Adam Names the Animals In the Garden of Eden

adam naming animals in garden - saveryRoelandt Savery  (1576 – 1639)

Nature, in its ministry to man, is not only the material, but is also the process and the result. All the parts incessantly work into each other’s hands for the profit of man. The wind sows the seed; the sun evaporates the sea; the wind blows the vapor to the field; the ice, on the other side of the planet, condenses rain on this; the rain feeds the plant; the plant feeds the animal; and thus the endless circulations of the divine charity nourish man —
. . . .  that spirit, that is, the Supreme Being, does not build up nature around us, but puts it forth through us —-

Ralph Waldo 
Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) 



Variations on an Ascending Scale

herschelFriedrich Wilhelm Herschel (1738 – 1822) was born in the Electorate of Hanover, part of the Holy Roman Empire, to Isaac Herschel and Anna Ilse Moritzen. The family were Lutheran Christians, probably descended on his father’s side from converted Moravian Jews. His father was an oboist in the Hanover Military Band. In 1755 the Hanoverian Guards regiment, in whose band Wilhelm and his brother Jakob were engaged as oboists, was ordered to England. At the time the crowns of Great Britain and Hanover were united under King George II. As the threat of war with France loomed, the Hanoverian Guards were recalled from England to defend Hanover. After they were defeated at the Battle of Hastenbeck, Herschel’s father Isaak sent his two sons to seek refuge in England. Although his older brother Jakob had received his dismissal from the Guards, Wilhelm was accused of desertion (for which he was pardoned by George III). Wilhelm, nineteen years old, was a quick student of the English language. In addition to the oboe, he played the violin and harpsichord, and composed music. After terms as first violin and soloist in one orchestra, and first organist at a church, he was appointed director of the orchestra at Bath, with his sister often appearing as soprano soloist, and three of his brothers as musicians.  His compositions include 24 symphonies and many concertos. Six of his symphonies have been recorded in the 21st century, by the London Mozart Players.
Herschel’s music led him to an interest in mathematics and lenses. He started building his own reflecting telescopes and would spend up to 16 hours a day grinding and polishing the mirrors they used. He began to look at the planets and the stars in 1773, and on 1 March 1774 began an astronomical journal by noting his observations of Saturn’s rings and the Great Orion Nebula. From the back garden of his house in New King Street, Bath, Herschel began a systematic search among “every star in the Heavens.” His theoretical and observational work provided the foundation for modern binary star astronomy. In 1783 he gave Caroline a telescope, and she began to make astronomical discoveries in her own right, particularly of comets. She discovered or observed eight comets, eleven nebulae and, at her brother’s suggestion, updated and corrected Flamsteed’s work detailing the position of stars which was published as the British Catalogue of Stars. She was honoured by the Royal Astronomical Society for this work. From studying the proper motion of stars, Herschel was the first to realise that the solar system is moving through space, and determine the approximate direction of that movement. Studying the structure of the Milky Way he concluded that it was in the shape of a disk. He also coined the word “asteroid”, meaning star-like to describe the appearance of small moons. As part of his attempts to determine whether there were a link between solar activity and the terrestrial climate, he collected records of the price of wheat, as direct meteorological measurements were not available. He theorised that the price of wheat would be linked to the harvest and hence to the weather over the year. In 1800, Herschel was testing filters for the sun so he could observe sun spots. He found infrared radiation in sunlight by passing the light through a prism and holding a thermometer just beyond the red end of the visible spectrum. This thermometer was meant to be a control to measure the ambient air temperature in the room, but after it showed a higher temperature at that end, he ultimately concluded that there must be an invisible form of light. Herschel also used a microscope to establish that coral was not a plant, as many believed at the time, since it lacked the cell walls characteristic of plants Despite his important scientific discoveries, Herschel was not averse to wild speculation. In particular, he believed every planet was inhabited.
Chamber Symphony in F Major: II. Adagio e cantabile


Drawings made to provide a pattern or give instructions

arch. Ulm Minster was first planned in the mid-14th century and was one of the most  ambitious projects for a religious building promoted by townspeople in the late  Middle Ages. Lutz Krafft, the burgomaster, laid the foundation stone for the new  parish church of the Heilige Jungfrau Maria in 1377. In 1446 Ulm acquired the  patronage and parish rights from the monastery of Reichenau. A statement of  account from 1387 names the first three consecutive architects as members of the  Parler von Ulm family. Ulrich von Ensingen became Master of the Works in 1392  and presided over the most important building phase (1392-1419). The  consecration took place in 1405 while the minster was still only partially  complete. Hans Kun was appointed architect in 1417 and was succeeded by his son  Kaspar Kun in 1435. In 1446, Matthäus Ensinger became Master of the Works and  was succeeded by his son Moritz Ensinger in 1465 (his position was confirmed in  1470). After Moritz Ensinger’s premature departure in 1477, Matthäus Böblinger  from Esslingen was appointed and given life tenure. The Augsburg mason Burkhard  Engelberg replaced Böblinger as minster architect in 1494/5. From 1518 Bernhard  Winkler was appointed Master of Works until the Reformation put an end to  construction work in 1531. The next important building phase started in 1844  under architect Ferdinand Thrän. The west tower which had been abandoned for  centuries as a stump was completed on the basis of Matthäus Böblinger’s drawing  by the architect August von Beyer by 1890.

Although this architectural drawing probably dates from the period of work on  the third storey of the tower, the lower parts of the tower are not drawn as  built but use the same proportions as drawn in a design of about 1399 attributed  to Ulrich von Ensingen in the Ulm Stadaarchiv. The earlier drawing  is a partial elevation of the west tower. Both are drawn to the same scale.  There are a couple of differences between the two drawings; firstly that the  later drawing proposes more concentrated proportions for the second storey which  is located above the St Martin’s window, and secondly that the two storeys of  the octagon are much more slender (this can be seen in the section of the  drawing that is at Ulm). The draughtsman may have been inspired by older  architectural drawings (Wortmann, 1978) as some ‘modernisations’ of detail, like  the depiction of the bases of the portals are drawn in a typically end of the  gothic period manner. The later drawing is a variant of the earlier drawing  rather than a new proposal.

Victoria and Albert Museum

  • The main organ of the church was destroyed by iconoclasts and replaced in the late 16th century. In 1763 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  played it.
  • In 1877, the Jewish congregation of the synagogue of Ulm – including Hermann Einstein, the father of Albert Einstein – donated money for a statue of the Biblical prophet Jeremiah.


Everything That Needs to Be Said

Giotto di Bondone (1266/7 – January 8, 1337)

Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.
André Gide

Published in: on December 25, 2013 at 11:04 pm  Comments (5)  
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Vanishing Point

uccello,_studio_di_cavalierePaolo Uccello (1397 – 1475), born Paolo di Dono, painter and mathematician



A glorious chapter of the Austrian artillery. The army artillery reserve after the battle of Hradec Králové on 3 July 1866.

To See the Rabbit

Takeuchi Seiho (1864-1942)


To See the Rabbit
( after Prévert )

We are going to see the rabbit.
We are going to see the rabbit.
Which rabbit, people say?
Which rabbit, ask the children?
WHICH rabbit?
The only rabbit,
The only rabbit in England,
Sitting behind a barbed-wire fence
Under the floodlights, neon lights,
Sodium lights,
Nibbling grass
On the only patch of grass
In England, in England
(Except the grass by the hoardings
Which doesn’t count ).
We are going to see the rabbit
And we must be there on time.

First we shall go by escalator,
Then we shall go by underground,
And then we shall go by motorway,
And then by helicopter way,
And the last ten yards we shall have to go on foot.

And now we are going
All the way to see the rabbit,
We are nearly there,
We are longing to see it,
And so is the crowd
Which is here in thousands
With mounted policemen
And big loudspeakers
And bands and banners,
And everyone has come a long way.
But soon we shall see it
Sitting and nibbling
The blades of grass
In – but something has gone wrong !
Why is everyone so angry,
Why is everyone jostling
And slanging and complaining?

The rabbit has gone,
Yes, the rabbit has gone.
He has actually burrowed down into the earth
And made himself a warren, under the earth
Despite all these people.
And what shall we do?
What CAN we do?

It is all a pity, you must be disappointed,
Go home and do something else for today,
Go home again, go home for today.
For you cannot hear the rabbit, under the earth,
Remarking rather sadly to himself, by himself,
As he rests in his warren, under the earth:
“It won’t be long, they are bound to come,
They are bound to come and find me, even here.”

Alan Brownjohn