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Shark Bay: a problem with pendulums

Louis de Freycinet elected not to use the method of coincidences when making pendulum observations on hos circumnavigation in the Uranie. There are, however, all sorts of difficulties in discovering what he actually did do.

Freycinet at Shark

The sequence of events during the visit of the Uranie to Shark Bay is outlined in Gaimard’s diary. Gaps in this narrative can be filled by reference to accounts prepared by other members of the expedition.

The Man in Car No 6

After the chaos of British politics, it is almost a pleasure to turn to the simple certainties of Ayn Rand, So certain that those who disagreed with her deserved nothing better than to be packed onto a train and sent into a dark tunnel from which they would never emerge.

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.