----------------------------THE HEADERS--------------------------- Date: Mon, 28 Apr 1997 14:30:16 -0400 From: cwt3(at)juno.com (carl w thiel) Subject: Re: porching  Date: Mon, 28 Apr 1997 12:49:38 -0700 (MST) From: "STEPHEN DAVIES, MT. ROYAL COLLEGE"
Subject: Etext avail: John Bennett's "The remember service"  Date: Mon, 28 Apr 1997 23:32:33 -0500 (EST) From: Robert Champ Subject: Reeve's scientists  Date: Mon, 28 Apr 1997 23:56:11 -0500 (EST) From: Robert Champ Subject: More on Becquerel  -----------------------------THE POSTS----------------------------- Date: Mon, 28 Apr 1997 14:30:16 -0400 From: cwt3(at)juno.com (carl w thiel) Subject: Re: porching  I write regarding the recent query about "porching" as defined below: >DEATH WATCH. (A folkloristic belief that the >spirits of those due to die within the next >year will be seen at a certain time and place-- >usually the church. In England called porching >or church-porching.) This brings to mind something I thought I'd forgotten. About 25 years ago I remember watching George Gobel (Ol' Lonesome George?) on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and George made a comment which, in context of the story he was telling, I understood to be rather positive. I cannot recall the story, but the phrase he used was, "I was so excited, I was in like a porch climber." >From that day till now, I have had no idea what a porch climber might be. I doubt if it's related to an activity having to do with "deathwatching", but one does not know. Anyone recognize the term as George used it? Carl William Thiel cwt3(at)juno.com
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 1997 12:49:38 -0700 (MST) From: "STEPHEN DAVIES, MT. ROYAL COLLEGE"
Subject: Etext avail: John Bennett's "The remember service"  REMBERSV.SHT John Bennett's "The remember service" will initiate our tour of the American South. This short, weird story was prepared by our guide, Deborah McMillion. Discussion of this story will begin Mon, 97-may-05. Send to: mailserv(at)mtroyal.ab.ca the following command: send [gaslight]rembersv.sht or visit the Gaslight website at: http://www.mtroyal.ab.ca/programs/arts/english/gaslight ===> Current reading schedule ===> 1997-may-05 Stephen D SDavies(at)mtroyal.ab.ca
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 1997 23:32:33 -0500 (EST) From: Robert Champ
Subject: Reeve's scientists  I've been tracking down some of the people mentioned in "The Invisible Ray." Among the scientists, the Curies are, of course, well-known figures, but Becquerel and Ramsay frankly stumped me. Here are a couple of brief bios. from the A&E Biography page. Becquerel, (Antoine) Henri (1852--1908) Physicist, born in Paris. An expert on fluorescence, he discovered the Becquerel rays , emitted from the uranium salts in pitchblende, which led to the isolation of radium and to the beginnings of modern nuclear physics. For his discovery of radioactivity he shared the 1903 Nobel Ramsay, Sir William (1852--1916) Chemist, born in Glasgow, Strathclyde. He studied at Heidelberg, and became professor of chemistry at Bristol (1880--7) and University College, London (1887--1912). In conjunction with Lord Rayleigh he discovered argon in 1894. Later he identified helium, neon, krypton, and xenon, and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1904. ********** Ramsay's Nobel Prize reads "in recognition of his discoveries of the inert gaseous elements in air, and his determination of their place in the periodic system." Reeve's description of our bogus scientist Prescott and his claims to have discovered new element and correctly placed them in the periodic table were probably intended to remind readers of the story of what a real scientist had done just a few years before. I'll tackle the alchemists shortly. The real mystery man seems to be Professor Tamassia of the University of Padua, who developed the method of establishing identity through vein patterns on the hand. I've never heard of the man or the method, but Reeve's technique isn't simply to make up someone or play loose with facts. Thus, in some obscure book on early twentieth century criminology there is undoubtedly a discussion of him. Bob Champ rchamp(at)europa.umuc.edu
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 1997 23:56:11 -0500 (EST) From: Robert Champ
Subject: More on Becquerel  Here is some more information about Becquerel. Note that Prescott remarks that "we have only begun to know of X-rays and the alpha, beta, and gamma rays from them, of radium, radioactivity..." It is clear that Becquerel's discoveries were behind this allusion. Moreover, Becquerel's apparatus, as described here, seems to have some curious resemblances to Prescott's. Bob Champ rchamp(at)europa.umuc.edu >>Antoine Henri Becquerel was from a family of eminent scientists, both his father and grandfather were prominent French physicists. In 1892 he became professor of applied physics at the Musee d'Histoire Naturelle (Museum of Natural History) in Paris, a position that both his father and grandfather had held before him. In 1895 he received an appointment at L'Ecole Polytechnique in Paris. His discovery of radioactivity resulted from that combination of things that often appears to be associated with great discoveries, the discovery comes from research whose goal is to understand something else. After the discovery of x-rays by Roentgen in 1895, Becquerel began an investigation of their properties. This was done by using a Crooke's Tube (an evacuated tube in which one could produce a high voltage discharge to produce the electrons when the electrons were rapidly decelerated upon colliding with a copper anode). To view the x-rays one used various phophorescent salts. He noted that the uranyl salts he was using for these fluorescence studies appeared to give off their own radiation. This radiation was determined to be different from that of the x-rays he had been studying and was, in fact, shown to be three different kinds of radiation which were called alpha, beta and gamma rays. We now understand that the first two of these are not "rays", but are in fact particles, and that only the last is a form of electromagnetic radiation. If Becquerel had not been investigating x-rays, he probably would not have discovered radioactivity. If he had not been trained to be inquisitive, that is if he had convinced himself that there was probably something wrong with his experiment or if he had not recognized what was unusual, he probably would not have discovered radioactivity. Lastly, if he had not pursued an answer to what he saw, if he had just returned to doing what he had been doing, he probably would not have discovered radioactivity. << End of Gaslight digest.