Recent Posts

Read a Random Post




Next Entries »

Happy (Old) New Year

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

I assume that everyone doing British or British Colonial research is getting ready for New Year’s Eve. It’s time to uncork another of those pre1752 bottles you have hidden away, put on your homemade tri-cornered party hat and get together with fellow genealogists. Ok, maybe not, but the fact that New Year’s Day is coming […]

Auld Lang Time

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

New Year’s Eve is the proper moment to contemplate time. There is nothing logical in this. There is no great discontinuity in anything but our calendar as the clock strikes twelve but the feeling is right. All the better if eyes are bathed, as mine are now, in the ancient light of far away stars. […]

Ye Olde Google Maps

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

I was just catching up on the Sunday paper (yes, it is Wednesday, I’ve been a bit busy). The Chicago Tribune ran a story entitled Google Maps inexplicably mixes Chicago’s past, present. It turns out that there are more than a few anachronisms lurking in Google Maps. Some of the places labeled on Google’s version […]

The Future’s Past

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

One of the most important things to realize when thinking about the past is that there is not only much to learn but also much to forget. What we know blinds us to what we could know. We understand that this or that was different yet fail to see how the world itself was different. […]

Space-Time for Family Historians

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

I just gave my talk “Space-Time for Family Historians- Time warps and curved space aren’t just for physicists” for the first time at my local genealogy society meeting (Lake County Illinois Genealogical Society). I had a lot of fun with it and I have to admit that by the time people had finished complimenting me […]

Boltzmann’s Grave

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

Ludwig Boltzmann died on September 5, 1906 and was buried in his hometown of Vienna. His monument is dominated by an imposing bushy-bearded bust that stares down glowering. Above that bust is a single line, a mathematical equation first formulated by Boltzmann- S = k log W. Besides the fact that this appears at a […]

Next Entries »