Cognition Obscura

Three Pound Brain

The Amazing Complicating Grain

On July 4th, 1054, Chinese astronomers noticed the appearance of a ‘guest star’ in the proximity of Zeta Tauri lasting for nearly two years before becoming too faint to be detected by the naked eye. The Chaco Canyon Anasazi also witnessed the event, leaving behind this famous petroglyph:

1054-supernova-petrograph-1

Centuries would pass before John Bevis would rediscover it in 1731, as would Charles Messier in 1758, who initially confused it with Halley’s Comet, and decided to begin cataloguing ‘cloudy’ celestial objects–or ‘nebulae’–to help astronomers avoid his mistake. In 1844, William Parsons, the Earl of Rosse, made the following drawing of the guest star become comet become cloudy celestial object:

m1rosse

It was on the basis of this diagram that he gave what has since become the most studied extra-solar object in astronomical history its contemporary name: the ‘Crab Nebula.’ When he revisited the object with his 72-inch reflector…

View original post 4,502 more words

Hogwood Speaks at Cornell

Understanding the musicality of the past can enrich the musical life of the present, said conductor, musicologist and keyboard player Christopher Hogwood Oct. 25, 2013 during his first visit to campus as an A.D. White Professor-at-Large.

Now, with more than a century’s worth of recorded evidence of how music was heard in the past, said Hogwood, people are able to pursue a historical interest in music, and the music of the 19th and 20th centuries can be observed and judged by everyone — not just expert musicians or historians.

20131214-172610.jpg