Monday 7 September 2009

Politically Correct Science, 1906 Style

Notice at the bottom of a page in the American Mathematical Monthly, Feb. 1906.

The Paris Academy of Sciences announces the Gutzman prize of 100,000 francs for communication with any star or planet other than mars. No affront to the Martians is intended [italics added]

Ok, this is in the period when Lowell was reporting and mapping "canals" on Mars from the 24 inch telescope at his observatory in Flagstaff. Were the French simply willing to accept that the Martians were too possible a target? I assume the prize was never paid..
Curiosity two.... reading Freeman Dyson's The 30 Greatest Problems of the Last 100 years. He commented that there were examples of Mobius strips in Roman Mosaics. I found a couple of other references, but not specific images. If anyone knows where I can find an image of such a mosaic, please advise..

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