Monthly Archives: March 2018

Library Card 5478 / The New Atlantis

img_3085This library card comes from a copy of Francis Bacon’s “Essays and the New Atlantis”, and shows it’s circulation throughout the 1980s.

Bacon is considered the father of empiricism and the scientific method for his position that knowledge can only be based on inductive reasoning and careful observation, with the use of a skeptical and methodical approach.

In addition to his contributions to science, Bacon also donated greatly to libraries, even developing a system of cataloging books by dividing them into three categories and further breaking those down into subjects and subheadings.

In his novel, “The New Atlantis”, Bacon created a utopia which was to represent what he considered the greatest aspects of human civilization; a community based on scientific enlightenment, generosity; in which the collected scientific knowledge was shared equally with all for ultimate betterment of society. At the center of this society was a state-sponsored scientific institution that served as the blueprint for what he considered the ideal college or what we think of today as a scientific research university.

It should be pointed out that due to Bacon’s death in 1626, this novel about the perfect society was left unfinished and its promise unfulfilled. Would the newcomers to this ideal society thrive in their new environment? Or did they represent the corruption of the European state, and would seek to take advantage of the scientific discoveries of Bensalem, to use them for their own gain rather then the greater, societal good, and cause conflict on the island?

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Double Spacing and the Legacy of Roy Hobbs


Roy HobbsSomehow, a satirical article author Hugh Howey shared that I reposted on Gas Station Burrito Facebook and initially forgot all about became my most seen and commented on post pretty much ever. There’s about four people who regularly like things I post (and I’m one of them) so when the reach exceeds 1000 people and a few days later there are still comments popping up on it, that’s a pretty solid performance.

It seems to be a rather divisive topic too. Check out the original article and let me know what you think. Most of the comments were people asserting that they were, in fact, still alive, which I take to mean they are still double spacing after a period and take great offense to the author’s presumption all double spacers have died out with Roy Hobbs.

Personally, the double space as a habit pops up more so when I’m typing on a keyboard. Sadly, most of my writing these days is done on my phone simply as a matter of convenience.  I write in very, very short bursts when I can, since like most of you, I’m usually doing twelve other things. When I end a sentence therefore and hit the space bar twice on my phone, it will insert a period and single space before auto-capitalizing for next sentence. The old double space isn’t an problem for then, but if I’m typing on a keyboard, I’m constantly going back to delete unnecessary spaces.

And they are unnecessary.  There’s an entire Wikipedia entry devoted the history, evolution and misconceptions of the double space.  Its a riveting story; Amazon already bought the rights to it, so extra spacing should be exclusive to Prime members soon. You can debate it all you like, but despite your Facebook comments, civilized society has established the rules of the new world order of typesetting already. Quite a while ago, actually. According to the Complete Manual on Typography from 2003, “The typewriter tradition of separating sentences with two word spaces after a period has no place in typesetting” and the single space is “standard typographic practice”.

The Elements of Typographic Style from around the same time also advocates a single space between sentences. They also said, “your typing as well as your typesetting will benefit from unlearning this quaint [double spacing] Victorian habit”.

In the cutthroat world of typography that may be about as close to a mic drop as it gets.

So for anyone clinging to their double spaces, now you’ll have to adjust your monocle and yell, “Take that, Reginald!” every time you maniacally double space.

Despite the typographic mic drop and the fact that the Daily Mash article was a joke, (and that Roy Hobbs is not real) the debate over redundant spacing rages on and certainly isn’t limited to one grammatical/typographic quirk. Several people saw fit to drag the Oxford comma into it, although there’s no word on what Roy Hobbs had to say on that matter

For a limited time you can support a cause dear to Roy’s heart by purchasing your very own official Roy Hobbs’ commemorative  “Make America Double Spaced Again.” hat.

Roy Hobbs Endorsed Make American Double Spaced Again Hat

Library Card 3503 / Exploring the Moon

Library Card 3503 Roy A. Gallant, Exploring the MoonThis library card comes from an old copy of Roy A. Gallant’s “Exploring the Moon” and shows the circulation history of this particular edition throughout the 1980s.

Gallant has been a professor at the University of Southern Maine since 1979 and is the director there of the Southworth Planetarium. Before that however, he began his writing career with “Boy’s Life” magazine. When his article on the origin of the moon resulted in hundreds of letters of interest, he began to consider a career as a science writer.

Gallant’s first book, “Exploring the Moon,” was published in 1955 and not only sold over 100,000 copies but led to a series of ‘Exploring’ books touching on chemistry, weather and planets.

This book was, for many, an introduction to the Moon, as it would be another fourteen years before Neil Armstrong set foot on it, and four years before the Soviet Union crashed their Luna II probe into the surface.

Gallant’s career would span 50 years and include 96 titles. His last book, “Meteorite Hunter”, was published in 2001, and chronicled his journey across Siberia in search of anything related to the Tunguska Event of 1908, an unexplained explosion said to be 1000 times more powerful than Hiroshima.

Visit our shop at Society6 to see this library card and more on a variety of great products!

 

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