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Airy’s error

The experiment described by George Airy in his 1857 paper entitled “Account of pendulum experiments undertaken in the Harton colliery, for the purpose of determining the mean density of the Earth” produced an estimate of the mean density of the Earth that was 20% in error. Why was this?

Durville’s rant

In 1831 Dumont Durville made a contribution to the Bulletin of the Société de Géographie that was billed as a book review. It began, however, not with a discussion of the book in question but with an extended rant against the French naval establishment.

Gun Law

It was probably not a good idea on my part to get involved in a purely American tragedy, but I had an excuse. A fellow Brit had posted a comment suggesting that he thought that US-style gun control, or lack of it, would be a good idea in the UK. I thought some opposition to that would be worth while.