Ernest Jones’ 1909 “Live-Map” navigator



“Under its guidance the most muddling twists, turns and corners melt away behind you,” read the advertisement. “It is better than a Human Guide because it is always doing its work to the exclusion of everything else. … The Jones Live-Map emancipates you from slavery to great, flopping maps and profound route-books that you can’t make head or tail of without stopping.”

more at Futility Closet

The Codex Rotundus

Great Post on the Codex Rotundus from Book Addiction UK:

Book Addiction

Codex Rotundus 3 fac

The manuscripts and codices which survive from the late 15th century are often large and lavish affairs and usually conform to certain norms in terms of shape. But this curious and unusual little gem, which takes its name ‘Codex Rotundus’ from its unique shape, measures just over 9 centimeters across and is circular.  Its 266 pages are bound along a spine just 3cm long, so small that three clasps are needed to help keep it closed.  Thought to have been rebound in the 17th century, the original clasps which help hold the tiny codex together, were reused. As so many of the manuscripts from this period, it is a devotional text -a lavishly illuminated Book of Hours in Latin and French.

Codex Rotundus 1 fac

Remnants of a coat of arms, which a subsequent owner appears seems to have tried to obliterate, in the first initial ‘D’ suggests that it was created for Adolf of Cleves…

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Robert Fludd – Utriusque Cosmi Maioris Scilicet et Minoris Metaphysica, 1617


Robert Fludd - Utriusque Cosmi Maioris Scilicet et Minoris Metaphysica, 1617


Robert Fludd - Utriusque Cosmi Maioris Scilicet et Minoris Metaphysica, 1617


Robert Fludd - Utriusque Cosmi Maioris Scilicet et Minoris Metaphysica, 1617


Robert Fludd - Utriusque Cosmi Maioris Scilicet et Minoris Metaphysica, 1617


Robert Fludd - Utriusque Cosmi Maioris Scilicet et Minoris Metaphysica, 1617


Robert Fludd - Utriusque Cosmi Maioris Scilicet et Minoris Metaphysica, 1617


Robert Fludd - Utriusque Cosmi Maioris Scilicet et Minoris Metaphysica, 1617


Robert Fludd - Utriusque Cosmi Maioris Scilicet et Minoris Metaphysica, 1617


Robert Fludd - Utriusque Cosmi Maioris Scilicet et Minoris Metaphysica, 1617

via bloodmilk

 

 

“Robert Fludd was a respected English physician (of Welsh origins) employed at the court of King James I of England. He was a prolific writer of vast, multi-volume encyclopaedias in which he discussed a universal range of topics from magical practices such as alchemy, astrology, kabbalism and fortune-telling, to radical theological thinking concerning the inter-relation of God with the natural and human worlds. However, he also proudly displayed his grasp of practical knowledge, such as mechanics, architecture, military fortifications, armaments, military manoeuvres, hydrology, musical theory and musical instruments, mathematics, geometry, optics and the art of drawing, as well as chemistry and medicine. Fludd used the common metaphor for the arts as being the “ape of Nature,” a microcosmic form of the manner in which the universe itself functioned.

“Fludd’s most famous work is the History of the Two Worlds (Utriusque Cosmi … Historia, 1617-21) published in five volumes by Theodore de Bry in Oppenheim. The two worlds under discussion are those of the Microcosm of human life on earth and the Macrocosm of the universe (which included the spiritual realm of the Divine).”

PublicDomainReview

Ikigai

James Gunn:

Our dreams are, generally, us imagining ourselves from the outside, not the inside. This can never be experienced and, because of that, “following one’s dreams” is usually a necessarily fruitless activity. Even in the best of circumstances, it is not a source of well-being or comfort.


And although we’re often told, “You can do anything you set your mind to!”, it’s just not true. People CAN’T do anything they set their minds to. The physicality of my vocal chords make it so that I will never sing like Adele. My height precludes me from being a basketball star. My age and ethnicity prevent me from ever being a member of South Korean boy band BTS, no matter how much I set my mind to it.


If you discover what you’re truly good at, and what you enjoy doing, and it’s something you can potentially make a living at – well, that, to me, is a much richer life than following your dreams, which are not only unfullfilling, but they shift and change throughout your life anyway. Because to achieve a dream is one thing, but to live inside a dream that you discover moment by moment along your path, where you grow stronger and wiser, and enhance the lives of those around you – well, that’s a much deeper, more fulfilling life.

8 for Kepler-90

For the first time, eight planets have been found orbiting a distant star, Kepler-90, 2,545 light-years from Earth in the Draco constellation, NASA announced Thursday. It is the first star known to support as many planets as are orbiting our own sun, and researchers believe that this is the first of many to come.

Researchers had known that seven planets were orbiting the star. But Google Artificial Intelligence — which enables computers to “learn” — looked at archival data obtained by NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler telescope and uncovered the eighth planet.

Theorists of Colour (1665-1810)

Color is always representative. Newton’s original wheel included “musical notes correlated with color.” By the end of the 18th century, color theory had become increasingly tied to psychological theories and typologies, as in the wheel above, the “rose of temperaments,” made by Goethe and Friedrich Schiller in 1789 to illustrate “human occupations and character traits,” the Public Domain Review notes, including “tyrants, heroes, adventurers, hedonists, lovers, poets, public speakers, historians, teachers, philosophers, pedants, rulers,” grouped into the four temperaments of humoral theory.

via Open Culture

Coltrane’s Circle of Fifths

From Open Culture:

Physicist and saxophonist Stephon Alexander has argued in his many public lectures and his book The Jazz of Physics that Albert Einstein and John Coltrane had quite a lot in common. Alexander in particular draws our attention to the so-called “Coltrane circle,” which resembles what any musician will recognize as the “Circle of Fifths,” but incorporates Coltrane’s own innovations. Coltrane gave the drawing to saxophonist and professor Yusef Lateef in 1967, who included it in his seminal text, Repository of Scales and Melodic Patterns. Where Lateef, as he writes in his autobiography, sees Coltrane’s music as a “spiritual journey” that “embraced the concerns of a rich tradition of autophysiopsychic music,” Alexander sees “the same geometric principle that motivated Einstein’s” quantum theory.

Neither description seems out of place. Musician and blogger Roel Hollander notes, “Thelonious Monk once said ‘All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians.’ Musicians like John Coltrane though have been very much aware of the mathematics of music and consciously applied it to his works.”

“The Amphitheater of Eternal Knowledge,” Hamburg, 1595.


“The Amphitheater of Eternal Knowledge,” Hamburg, 1595.


“The Amphitheater of Eternal Knowledge,” Hamburg, 1595.


“The Amphitheater of Eternal Knowledge,” Hamburg, 1595.


“The Amphitheater of Eternal Knowledge,” Hamburg, 1595.

“The images, in other words, invite the viewer to engage in a meditation on the nature of the universe and on the links between the earthly and the divine, the corporeal and the spiritual. Of course, such a statement would be equally true of many other instances of early modern alchemical and Hermetic symbolism. I suspect that a lot of the meaning in these images and the text that accompanies them has actually been lost, due to the fact that alchemical practice depended upon face-to-face interactions (like the one between John Dee and Khunrath) which were never recorded. And this was precisely what was intended – the true secrets of early modern alchemy were intended for a small number of the “elect” and were elaborately concealed in complex and often inscrutable language when they were allowed into printed works.”

Benjamin Breen

see more on his excellent blog post.

The Timbuktu Manuscripts 13C+

timbuktu-manuscripts-astronomy-tables

Timbuktu Manuscripts or (Tombouctou Manuscripts) is a blanket term for the large number of historically important manuscripts that have been preserved for centuries in private households in Timbuktu, Mali. The collections include manuscripts about art, medicine, philosophy, and science, as well as priceless copies of the Quran. The number of manuscripts in the collections has been estimated as high as 700,000.

loc_timbuktu_manuscripts_amm0001rs

The majority of manuscripts were written in Arabic, but many were also in local languages, including Manding, Songhay and Tamasheq. The dates of the manuscripts ranged between the late 13th and the early 20th centuries (i.e., from the Islamisation of the Mali Empire until the decline of traditional education in French Sudan). Their subject matter ranged from scholarly works to short letters. The manuscripts were passed down in Timbuktu families and were mostly in poor condition.[4] Most of the manuscripts remain unstudied and uncatalogued, and their total number is unknown, affording only rough estimates. A selection of about 160 manuscripts from the Mamma Haidara Library in Timbuktu and the Ahmed Baba collection were digitized by the Tombouctou Manuscripts Project in the 2000s.

timbuktu-manuscripts-astronomy-mathematics

With the demise of Arabic education in Mali under French colonial rule, appreciation for the medieval manuscripts declined in Timbuktu, and many were being sold off. Time magazine related the account of an imam who picked up four of them for $50 each. In October 2008 one of the households was flooded, destroying 700 manuscripts.

from Wikipedia via Muslim Culture