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More on Myanmar

Most of Myanmar considered prospective for hydrocarbons was covered by gravity surveys between 1964 and 1975. The results have been published as small-scale contour maps, but with gravity values referred to an arbitrary datum; there are also significant errors and ambiguities in the contouring. An approximate transfer to the current international IGSN71 system has proved possible, but correction of the contouring errors will not be possible without access to the underlying data.

The pay of seamen

The ordinary seamen listed in Gaimard’s diary were divided into First, Second and Third Class categories. The first two people listed as belonging to the First Class (Matelots de première classe) were further described as ‘matelots à 30 francs’, Presumably this was their rate of pay, but was it for a day, a week, a month or a year?

Rand on racism and slavery

In 1974 Ayn Rand was invited to address the graduating class at West Point, and in the discussion that followed defined her position on three different topics, one of which was slavery. She was against it, but her justification of that position forced her into some very contorted reasoning, and also revealed her astonishing ignorance of historical fact.