Saturday, January 29, 2011

At base, it's about the wires...

The physicalness of the internet has been all up-in-our-faces these last couple days: a nation, it turns out, can just unplug itself, and corporate citizens of the world's great democracies help out. [See, however, Vodafone's current explanation.]

The Atlantic has a fascinating piece on the infrastructure of the internet. All that data travels through relatively few nodes, it seems. Why some nodes and not others? Undoubtedly the answer is history.

I can't help but think of that first trans-atlantic cable.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

An HOS in USA treasure-trove

Many of you may know the previous incarnation (in-Web-nation?) of Clark Elliot's extraordinary database on the history and historiography of American science. It has just received a face-lift and is better than ever. Check it out here.

I am particularly impressed by the 19th century chronologies, which are even complete enough to note the foundation of the US's first permanent agricultural society. See for yourself.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hodge-Podge of Goodies

A couple resources of note have crossed my desk recently.

First, I happened upon the University of Wisconsin's digitized collection of Aldo Leopold's papers. They have done a marvelous job, based on a quick look. I enjoyed just piecing through the collection, watching practical ecology evolve.

Second, the Agricultural History Society has announced a new award for the best article on the history of agriculture or environment of the South. It's named for Jack Temple Kirby, whose Rural Worlds Lost is a personal favorite.

Third, the Friends of the Princeton University Libraries announced their annual Library Research Grants of up to $3,500 to use the libraries and special collections. PUL has many fine collections for the historian of American science, including some interesting archival collections for individuals like the biogeographer Robert MacArthur and the mathematical biologist Alfred Lotka.