Philosophical Transactions. For the months of July, August and September, 1716. - Part II

January 19th, 2019

Ⅱ. A letter of the Reverend Mr. John Sackette, A.M. to Dr. Brook Taylor, Reg. Soc. Secr. Giving an account of a very uncommon sinking of the earth, near Folkestone in Kent.

Sir,

I am about to give you the best account I can of what is remarkable, and known almost to all hereabouts, concerning the pressing forward of the cliffs, and sinking of the hills in the neighbourhood of our town of Folkestone. I begin with giving you a sketch of the situation of the country. This I shall do by describing a strait road from what we call the Mooring-Rock, to Tarlingham-house; the manner of the country, as to the rising and falling, being much the same, for about a mile on either hand of the road described.

philo-trans-for-the-months-of-july-august-and-september-1716

A. The Mooring-Rock, about half-way between high and low water-mark.
B. The foot of the cliff, 50 yards from the rock.
C. The top of the cliff, about 6 yards high.
C D. A plain of 50 yards.
D E. A cragged1 cliff, of 60 yards high.
E F. A plain above a mile long.
F G. An hill of steep ascent, near half a mile.
G H. The land from the top of the hill to the house, near a mile.
I. Tarlingham house, lying near 2 miles and a half N.N.W. from the rock.
E G H. A line of sight.
K B L. The shore at high water mark.
I hope Sir, you will understand the situation of the place pretty well, tho' I have not observed exact proportion in the sketch; which the paper would not allow after I had taken the rise of the cliffs so high, which I thought proper for the more particular describing of them.
The Mooring-rock (tho' it lies surrounded with great numbers of other rocks) is it self a most noted one, known by this name, time out of mind2. At this vessels use to be moored, while they are loading other rocks; which they take from hence, not only for our own Pier Heads but for those of Dover Pier; and a very great quantity of them were shipt, in the time of Oliver's usurpation, and carried to Dunkirk, for the service of that harbour.
This rock has remain'd fixt thus, for the memory of man; and old men have observed, that, for forty years and upwards, the distance between it and the foot of the lesser cliff A B. has been much the same; neither can they be much out in their guess, the distance being so small. Tho' there seems nothing extraordinary in this, yet its what they take special notice of, to their great surprize; for they say, and prove by good marks and tokens, that the lesser cliff B C has been constantly falling in, insomuch, that from time to time, in their memory, near 10 rods forward to the land has been carried away by the sea. From whence, as it appears that the plain between the top of the lesser cliff and the foot of the higher C D has been formerly double the breadth that it is at present, so the distance been the rock and the foot of the lesser or lower cliff A B. should have increased in proportion, and would have been double at present, to what it has been formerly; but this distance remaining the same (as is above noted) or rather less (in the opinion of many) is what is greatly wonder'd at; nor can it be accounted for otherwise, than by supposing that the land pressing forward into the sea is washed away by the high tides; and, as often as this happens, presses forward again. This pressing forward of the land into the sea, would be incredible, were it not shewn to be matter of fact; and that not only at this one place of observation, but by like observations all along this coast, as far as the situation continues the same.
Now, Sir, let us climb both these cragged cliffs, and place our selves at the top of the higher one, at the point E. And here we are to observe, that (as old men inform us) upward of forty years ago, not so much as the top of Tarlingham-house could be discern'd, neither from hence, nor yet a good distance off at sea; but it discover'd it self by degrees, till at this day, not only the whole house, but a great tract of land below it, is plainly to be seen, as in the line of sight E G H. The tact of land is more in proportion than describ'd in the sketch, between the point at H and the house. In this there can be no fallacy; and we can ascribe it to nothing less than the sinking of the hills (for their tops could never wear away considerably, being always cover'd with grass, and never broken up by the plough or otherwise). These hills are all of chalk, and have probably very large caverns within, springs of water always flowing plentifully from the foot of them; and I have had it observ'd to me, that upon their tops frequent cracks have been taken notice of. Whatever be the cause of it, 'tis not to be doubted but that these hills are greatly sunk. And this sinking of the hills, the people at this place believe, forces the cliffs and all the land forward into the sea. The cliffs consist of great ragged sand-stones till we come to near a yard (at some places more) of the bottom; then we meet with what they call a slipe, i.e. a slippery fort of clay always wet. Upon this slipe at the bottom, they presume that the hard stony land above slides forwards toward the sea, as a ship is launch'd upon tallow'd planks. I thought it proper to give you this account of the nature of the earth; and withal to mingle with it the opinion of the people, that you might perceive they are so far from doubting the truth of what is above written, that they endeavour to find some solution of it, as being a thing not more strange than true. If I should take all the hands that can be got to testifie the truth of this, it would make too large a roll, so I shall chuse only a few of the most antient and of best credit.
I assure myself that I have credit enough with you to be believed upon my own single subscription, that I am,

Sir, Yours,

Folkestone in Kent,
February 24, 1715-16.

John Sackette.

We whose names are underwritten do hereby testifie the truth of the matters of facts in the within written letter related,
Benjamin Master, a Jurat of the Town, aged 74.
Robert Hammond, Senior, a Jurat of the Town, aged 77.
William Godden, a Fisherman, aged 74.
Thomas Marsh, a Fisherman, aged 72.
William Hall, a Fisherman, aged 73.
James Godden, a Fisherman, upward of 60.

A pdf version of the entire text of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London can be found here (this article begins on page 469).


  1. Cragged: a steep, rugged rock/rough, broken, projecting part of a rock. []
  2. The phrase time out of mind has origins as early as the 1400s, when it was used in the British Rolls of Parliament. The phrase means a time in the past that was so long ago, that people have no recollection of it. The phrase time out of mind is time out of mind... []

Philosophical Transactions. For the months of Octob. Novem. and Decem. 1716. - Part II.

January 18th, 2019

Ⅱ. A Description of that curious natural machine, the wood-peckers tongue, &c. By Richard Waller
Esq, late Secretary to the Royal Society.1

The picus martius or wood-pecker has several particularities in the structure and mechanism of its whole Body, which may deserve a nice and accurate observation and description; all which are wisely contrived and adapted, either for catching the food and sustenance of the individual, or continuing the species.
That this Bird makes a round hole even in sound and hard trees, such as the oak, horn-beame, beech and the like, is commonly observed; and that within these Holes, the hollow being enlarged, the nest is made, the eggs laid and hatch'd; and the young brood fed, as by other birds.
For this purpose, that he may be enabled to perform such hard work, the muscles of his neck, breast, and thighs are exceeding strong in proportion to the bigness of the bird; he has also a very firm strong sharp bill, his legs are strengthned with very strong tendons; and his toes, which are two before and two behind (as it is in some other birds) are provided with sharp strong hooked claws or talons; besides this, his tail consists of ten very stiff large and strong quills, firmly set into a robust strong uropygium or rump; so that when he has fastened his claws and feet into the clefts and inequalities of the bark of the tree, he claps his strong tail-feathers against the body of the tree; and so stands with his head erect, to give the strokes with his bill with the greater Force.
That he is of the insectivorous kind is certain, and lives not only upon insects catcht creeping on the outside of trees, but also on such as are under the bark between the bark and wood, as likewise on those in rotten wood; and as I am very confident on worms and other insects in the ground; for I have frequently observed the roots of their Bills very dirty, as it is in crows and rooks, &c. Whence I suppose he strikes his long sharp bill into the soft earth to take the worms out of it. I have also found their craws full of small ants.
But the contrivance2 and mechanism of the tongue in this bird being the soft remarkable, I shall presume to lay before this illustrious society some few remarks of this curious contrivance of nature, with some figures I have drawn by the parts themselves, in order to explain the whole.
This bird is known to throw out a long, slender, round tongue, to a considerable distance beyond the end of his bill; and to draw it in again very quick into his mouth or bill, with the caught insect spitted on the tip of it.
The chameleon indeed darts out its tongue to a considerable length; and having intangled the fly in the glutinous matter at the end of it, draws it into its mouth, together with the prey; but the mechanism in that animal is wholly different from that of the present subject; as may be seen by the account the gentlemen of the academy royal give thereof in their memoirs for a history of animals.
The protrusion therefore of the tongue to the length even of three or four inches in this bird, being very extraordinary, and the mechanism of the several parts for that end no less curious; several learned and diligent enquirers have attempted to explain it; but I am of opinion they have been, in some particulars at least, mistaken. I shall mention some of these.
The learned and curious enquirer into nature, Mons. Perault, describes it after this manner*3 .
This long tongue he throws out by the means of two small bony cartilages, about seven inches long, and of the thickness each of a middling pin, which are perfectly smooth and slippery. These two cartilages are united at the end, and being in this place covered with flesh make the fore-part of the tongue. The rest of these cartilages are separated from each other, and pass turning round under the ears; and then rising up behind the head, where they meet again, they pass over the top of the head, and so extend themselves to the root of the beak. These cartilages which make the hinder part of the tongue, are also inclosed in a channel fleshy on the out-side, and whole inside is covered with a very smooth slippery membrane.
Now these fleshy channels, which incompass and keep in these cartilages, are the muscles by which the tongue is moved; for having their origine at the Larynx, and their insertion at the extremities of the cartilages, it comes to pass, that when those muscles of the two fleshy channels, which make the hinder part of the tongue are shortned, they force the fore-part of the tongue out of the beak, by drawing the posterior or farthest end nearer to the larynx; and on the contrary, when the fleshy channel which makes the anterior part acts, it draws the fore-part of the tongue into the bill towards the larynx.
This mechanism of making a hard part, such as the bony cartilages are, to come out and return into another, such as the canals are, by the means of cords drawing them, which are the muscles, is made use of in coaches to pull up the glasses of the doors; for the string, being fasten'd to the lower part of the glass-frame, makes it rise when drawn, which resembles that action of the muscles by which this tongue is moved.
Of these cartilages and other parts, and of the head of the bird, Mr. Perault gives the figures.
Either the wood-peckers in France are different from ours in England; or this figure of the head is very ill designed; it being much too broad and large, and the beak too short. Besides he makes the two cartilages to come to the root of the beak separately, one on one side, the other on the other side of it; whereas in all the wood peckers heads I have met with, the two cartilages joyn close together about the top of the head, and thence proceed joyned, tho' not fastned to one another, a little slanting towards the right nose-hold, where they end together.
Besides upon viewing and examining several subjects, I could not find them agree in diyers particulars with his account and explication. For the muscles which are fastened to the end of the cartilages at the root of the upper beak, are not inserted at the larynx, but pass on and are fastened to the lower bill. This pair I take to be the muscles chieftly concerned in forcing the tongue out of the bill. There is another pair of muscles, which, being fastened to the place where the two bony cartilages are articulated with one single bone in the fore-part of the tongue; (as will be shewn in the 4th figure) is, as I apprehend, the chief pair concerned in the drawing the tongue with its prey into the mouth. These proceeding from that articulation of the cartilages as far as the larynx, (each of them sending a branch to the cartilago scutiformis) from thence go on along with the neck, (tho' not fastned to it) till they come within the cavity of the thorax, where they are inserted under the clavicula or merry-thought-bone4, as 'tis called. This pair is represented by K.K in the second figure; and by Q.Q. in the first.
There is likewise a very slender white thread, (whether tendon or nerve, I am uncertain) which accompanies this muscle its whole length; and which drawn gently, (for fear of breaking) pulls in with it the end of the tongue. As there is such another all along the vagina to the end at c.
Volker Coiterus, as he is mentioned by Gerad Blasius, in his Antaome Animalium, Cap. 24. p. 64. treating of the Tongue of this bird, makes it to be made of three slender bones, round, and as he says bound together, (invicem colligatis) which is a mistake; for tho' reckoining the two bony cartilages for ossicula, yet the third is not bound up with them, but articulated to the end of them. The same person says the tongue may be thrust out to the length of an inch and a half, whereas when drawn in, it is scarce half an inch long; when in reality it may be thrown out near four inches; and I believe cannot be drawn in, so as to be less than an inch and quarter, viz. to that place where the two cartilages are articulated with the single bone. Besides he makes the use of the long flat muscle running over the top of the head, to be (if I rightly apprehend his meaning) to draw the tongue to the upper jaw, whereas their use is for thrusting the tongue out of the birds mouth.
But this person having given no figures, has rendred what he says less intelligible; tho' indeed he mentions two pair of muscles, as there are so many chiefly concerned, yet there are at least two other pair, that assist the performance.
Wherefore I shall leave him, and proceed to the account given by Alphonsus Borellus in his Treatise de Motu Animalium5, part. 2. pag. 24. which is in several respects likewise unsatisfactory, and the figure given by him to explain it very defective and ill designed.
He makes the pair of muscles concerned in thrusting the tongue out, to be fastened indeed as they are to the lower beak towards the point; but then he makes their insertion at their other end to be at the extremities of the two ossa hyoidea (Oss hyoidea is a U-shaped bone that supports the tongue muscles and is located at the base of the tongue.)); whereas they really reach to the very end of the long cartilages that go round the head; these by another mistake, he makes to be the retractors of the tongue, and joins another pair as assistants in the same action, which he makes to be twisted spirally about the trachia. None of all which agree with the subjects I have met with, as will be seen by the descriptions of my figures.
In the history of the Academic Royale des Sciences, publish'd in Latin by Mons. Du Hamel, 1698, lib. 4. Cap. 5. There is another description of this admirable contrivance of nature, by Mons. Mery, read at a meeting of the academic, November 16, 1695.
In this he differs from both Perault and Borelli, taking the horny end and bone to which it is joined, to be only the tongue properly so called, and that the next two bones answer the hyoides with the long cartilages annexed to them. But even in this he seems to me not to be so clear; confounding, as I apprehend, the two bones with the cartilages. He describes the vagina, in which the bones and part of the cartilages are encompassed, and which is fastned to the horny end and is protruded and drawn back with the tongue; he takes notice of the little sharp points or prickles on the horny part being moveable, and with their points bending towards the throat; but I apprehend it is a mistake to make the mucous matter glutinous which is furnished by the two pyramidal glands; for I take the use of that mucus to be chiefly, if not only, to lubricate the passage in the vagina, for the more easy slipping of the cartilages therein.
He describes the muscles for exerting the tongue, and extends them from their insertion at the lower beak, to the end of the springy ligaments, as he terms what I call cartilages to which he adds another small ligament capable of extension, at the end of the other two next the nose, which when the tongue is thrust out is relaxt and stretch'd. He also describes the pair of muscles fastned to the root of the tongue and os hyoides, serving to draw the tongue into the mouth; these he makes to be wound round about the aspera arteria once or twice, in which I think there is some mistake; being of opinion the mechanism for this action of drawing in of the tongue, is different from what is here described, as in the explication of the figures I shall endeavour to shew. But not to insist on all the particularities mentioned in this description, which, for want of more figures to explain the several parts in so curiously contrived an organ, is not so clear as might be desired (there being but one, and that a wooden cut of the head, tongue, bones, muscles, &c.) I shall now proceed to the explication of the several draughts I made, with what exactness and care I could, in 8 or 10 several subjects.

Figure the first.
Represents the head with part of the neck of this bird, the skin being taken off, in which,
A. The skull having two shallow grouves or channels, or rather one broad one with a small rising in the midst, on the sinciput or back part, from each sides of the neck to the top of the head, where they unite into one, which passes slanting towards the right side, and ends at the hole for the nostril on that side at c.
b. Is the hole or passage for hearing.
d. A large white gland, containing a glutinous liquor, almost like cream as to colour and consistence, which empties it self into the mouth; I suppose to lubricate the cartilages.
e. The eye, which has a bony ring, encompassing the iris.
f. Part of the tongue, which in this figure is represented as almost all drawn into the mouth, of which more when I come to describe the cartilages, &c. In the 2d fig.
g. Part of the neck, which is large and furnished with very strong muscles.
h. The ocsophagus, opening very wide at the fauces6 and wholly musculous.
i.i.i. A long but thin and flat muscle in respect of its breadth, which is about 1/8 of an inch, reaching from the end of the cartilage at c, to the under bill or beak at k, to the inside of which it is very firmly fastned; as is such another on the other side.
k. The under bill very strong and sharp pointed, articulated with the scull a little behind the ear-hole b.
l.l.l. The cartilage on one side, the other being exactly the same. This cartilage is round, very smooth, even and slippery, about the size of a pretty large pin; and reaches, when the tongue is drawn in and the muscle i.i. relaxed, from the root of the upper beak at c, to the root of the tongue properly so called, or to the bones of the tongue where they are articulated, being bent like a hoop as in the figure, slipping very freely in a sheath or membranous ductus fastned on the outward or convex edge of the flat muscle i.i.i. which muscle accompanies it from its end at c, almost to the end of the canal or sheath, which opens at a hole a little before the larynx; (as will be shewn in the third figure) and thence the muscle proceeds to its insertion into the lower beak at k. From the concave edge of this muscle there is a thin and transparent but very strong membrane, strained like a drum-head to the skull at m, where it is very strongly fastned; this membrane is furnished with capillary veins and arteries, and doubtless is nervous. n.n. represents this membrane. This cartilage, when the tongue is exerted, parts about half an inch from the root of the beak at c.
o.o. A pretty large vein and artery.
p.p. A muscle reaching from one jaw to the other, under the throat, serving as a bandage to keep in the cartilages, and the root and os hyoides of the tongue, as I may call it, from starting out that part where are the articulations of the cartilages with the bones, when by the muscles, inserted into the sheath at or near p and thence passing to the end of the tongue, it is drawn into the mouth.
q.q. One of the last mentioned muscles, which is round, of the size in the figure, and fastned to the breast of the bird, cut off at r.
s. The aspera arteria consisting of perfect rings.
t.t. A muscle accompanying the aspera arteria.

Figure the second.
A.A. The under part of the lower bill.
B.b. The tongue.
b. The place where the two cartilages and two bones represented by f.f. in fig. 4. are brought into and inclosed in one tube or membranous sheath.
C.C. Two glands displaced in this figure.
c.c. Two muscles attending these glands, and fastned near the end of the bill.
d.d. The two bony cartilages, bent, and passing on each side of the neck, but united at b.
eee,eee. The pair of muscles, one attending each cartilage from the end of it at the upper beak, and firmly adhering to the vagina, in which it slips, till about f.f.
f.f. The place where these muscles leave the vagina, and pass on to the inside of the bill, where they are inferred. Their action is to thrust the tongue forward, or out of the mouth.
g.g. A pair of muscles fastned a little below the larynx, to the musculous part of the aspera arteria, at i; the other end of them going up to the place b at the root of the tongue, whence they go in incompassed by the vagina to the articulation of the cartilages with the two bones. I take their action to be to draw the end of the tongue towards the larynx.
k.k. Two muscles fastned at one end within the thorax, under the merry-thought or clavicula; and at the other ends to the articulation of the cartilages with the two bones of the tongue, marked f.f. in fig.4. These have the forementioned nerves accompanying them. I take these to be chiefly concerned in drawing in the tongue; each of these fends a branch to the grisle at the top of the aspera arteria at n.
l.l.l.l. Two muscles running along and fastned to the sides of the aspera arteria, from the thorax to the place where they are united, where each of them sends a branch; which binding over the bones and cartilages goes on to the facues, where they are inserted.
m. Part of the gula.
n. A cartilage at the top of the aspera arteria.
o.o. The aspera arteria.
p. The neck bending like an s. The wind pipe and gula in this bird pass always on the right side of the neck.

Figure the third.
A.A. The two long flat muscles represented by i.i. in the first figure. These join close to one another at the top of the head, and so pass on together to the end of the cartilages; to the end of which, as I take it, they are fastned; from whence a slender weak king of ligament reaches to, and is inserted at, the right nose-hole, at the root of the upper beak. This ligament is relaxt when the tongue is thrust out.
b.b. The cartilages running in their vagina on the outside of the said muscles.
c. The larynx or passage to the aspera arteria. I observed no epiglottis.
d.d. Two articulations or joints in the under beak or bill.
e. The hole or passage, whereby the tongue in its vagina comes out and is drawn in again.
f. What I call the tongue, in the inside of which the two cartilages are brought together, till they are both articulated to one single bone, at the end of which is the horny barbed tip.
g. One of the pyramidal glands.
h. The lower bill.

Figure the fourth.
A. That part which I think may most properly be called the tongue; a small bone running thro' it; this, as far as c, is flat and thing at the sides. It is cut away at d, to shew the bones within it.
b. The horny tip of the tongue, about a quarter of an inch long, strong and sharp, furnished with four or five barbs on each side; (not with an infinite number as coiterus says) these barbs are sharp and moveable, like the small teeth at the root of the tongue, and beginning of the gula, in the pike and jack-fishes, in that of eagles and the like; so as to let the prey slip easily on, but not so easily get off again.
c. The end of the bone of the tongue where the two bony cartilages are articulated.
d. The place where the upper part of the tongue is cut away to shew the bone.
e. Several small tendons, or rather, as I take them to be, nerves running thro' the tongue. Of these some go to the end of the cartilages, others accompany the muscles to the neck.
f.f. Two bones or cartilages, which in the bird are united by a thin membrane as far as the next joynt, so as to open asunder to some distance, but not to separate quite. These two bones seem to answer to the ossa hyoidea in other creatures. At the place marked g.g. the muscle that draws the tongue into the mouth is fastned, or rather leaves the tongue at that place; it having its insertion near to the end of it. This muscle is represented by q.q. in the first figure.
h.h. The two bony and springy cartilages running on each side of the neck; which being joyned close together on the top of the head, pass so joyned to the nostril, or nose-hole on the right side.
From the consideration and comparing of these four figures, the true mechanism and motion of the tongue, seems to be in short thus; the two long muscles inserted near the end of this lower beak, and reaching to the end of the cartilages, being contracted, the round hoop of the cartilages is drawn up, from each side of the neck, close to the pyramidal glands; and at the same time the muscles that draw the tongue into the the7 mouth being relaxed, and the articulations at c and g.g. in the 4th figure brought near to a straight line, the tongue is thrown out to the length of 4 or 5 inches.
But when those long muscles are relaxed, the pair of muscles represented by k.k. in the second figure, being contracted, draw articulations g.g. where they are fastned, down into the throat or wide loose skin of the neck and at the same time the cartilages opening into a wide hoop, the whole tongue is drawn into the mouth.

Figure the fifth.
A. The scull.
b. The shallow crena or groove, for the cartilages.
c. The place of their ending at the right nose-hole.
d. The orbite of the eye.
e. The hole for the optic nerve.
f. A hole or passage thro' from one orbite to the other.
g. A bone covering the hole to the ear.
h. The lower jaw and bill.
i. A ridge or processus in the skull, beginning at the root of the upper bill, and keeping the two ends of the bony cartilages in their place on the right side.
k. The os fugale.
l. The upper bill.

Figure the sixth.
Represents the right leg and foot, in which there are two digiti before, and two behind. The strength largeness, and sharpness of the hooked claws or talons are remarkable.

Figure the seventh.
A. The oesophagus.
B. The ingluvies or crop, partly musculous, and lined with a glandulous coat. This I found quite filled with small black pismires; as also.
c. The ventriculus or gizzard, which joyned close tot he ingluvies.
d.d.d. The intestines nearly of the same bigness for the whole length.
e. The beginning of the rectum.
f. The pancreas.

Figure the eighth.
One of the middle pair of feathers of the tail, in which the great strength of the quill for so small a feather, and its bifurcate end, are very remarkable.

Figure the ninth.
The roof of the mouth, where 'tis observable, that the rima or passage for the air to the nostrils, is beset on each side with a row of 10 or 12 little sharp teeth, with their points standing inwards, towards the gula. These take the prey from the end of the tongue whose barbs or prickles are moveable, and are to keep it from going out of the beak again with the tongue, and from hence it is conveyed to the swallow.

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for-the-months-of-octob-novem-and-decem-1716-3

A pdf version of the entire text of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London can be found here (this article begins on page 509).


  1. This entry is titled in the contents page as: A Description of that curious natural machine, the wood-peckers tongue, &c. By Richard Waller, Esq, late Secretary to the Royal Society. []
  2. Contrivance is defined as the use of a skill to bring something about or create something. Contrivance may also be a device in literary or artistic composition that gives a sense of artificiality. In addition, it may also be a thing which is created skillfully and inventively to serve a specific purpose. []
  3. for-the-months-of-octob-novem-and-decem-1716 []
  4. A merry-thought-bone is the forked bone between the neck and breast of a bird and is the prior name for a wishbone. []
  5. Giovanni Alfonso Borelli is a Reanissance physiologist, physicist, and mathematician who focused much of his work around biomechanics. The De Motu Animalium (I & II) relates animals to machines by using mathematical theories to sustain his the theories. He was the first to argue the corpuscular influence on the movements of muscles and that the vital movement of muscles is contracting. Corpuscular theory of light was created by Descartes and consists of the theory that light is made up of small discrete particles called corpuscles. []
  6. The definition of fauces is arch shaped opening at the back of the mouth and which leads into the pharynx. []
  7. Duplicate 'the' is in the text, with no clear meaning as to why. This could be a possible ocr miss-scan. []

Philosophical Transactions. For the months of April, May and June, 1714 - Part I.

January 14th, 2019

Ⅰ. A new method for making logarithms, and vice versâ, for finding the number corresponding to a logarithm given, by help of the following table. Communicated by Mr. John Long, S. Theol. Bacc. and Fellow of Corpus Christi Coll. Oxon1.

philo-trans-for-the-months-of-april-may-and-june-1
philo-trans-for-the-months-of-april-may-and-june-2

This table is what I sometimes make use of for finding the logarithm of any number propos'd, and vice versâ. For instance: suppose I had occasion to find the logarithm of 2000. I look in the first class of my table (the whole table consists of 8 classes) for the next less to 2, which is 1.995262315, and against it is 3, which consequently is the first figure of the logarithm sought. Again; dividing the number propos'd 2, by 1.995262315 the number found in the table, the quotient is 1.002374467; which being look'd for in the second class of the table, and finding neither its equal, nor a lesser, I add 0 to the part of the logarithm before found, and look for the said quotient 1.002374467 in the third class, where the next less is 1.002305238, and against it is 1, to be added to the part of the logarithm already found; and dividing the quotient 1.002374467, by 1.002305238, last found in the table, the quotient is 1.0000690705 which being sought in the fourth class gives 0, but being sought in the fifth class gives 2, to be added to the part of the logarithm already found; and dividing the last quotient by the number last found in the table, viz. 1000046053, the quotient is 1.000023015, which being sought in the sixth class, gives 9 to the part of the logarithm already found; and dividing the last quotient by the new divisor, viz. 1.000002072, the quotient is 1.000000219, which being greater than 1.000000115, shews that the logarithm already found, viz. 3.3010299 is less than the truth by more than half an unit; wherefore adding I, you have Briggs's logarithm of 2000, viz. 3.3010300.
If any logarithm be given, suppose 3.3010300, throw away the characteristic, then over against these figures 3...0...I...0..2..0..0, you have in their respective classes. I.995262315.....0.....1.002305238......0.....1.000069080....0...0 which multiplied continually into one another, the product is 2.000000019966, which by reason the characteristic is 3, becomes 2000.000019966, &c. that is, 2000, the natural number desired. I shall not mention the method by which this table is fram'd, because you will easily see that from the use of it.
It is obvious to the intelligent reader, that these classes of numbers are no other than so many scales of mean proportionals; in the first class, between 1 and 10; so that the last number thereof, viz. 1.258925412 is the tenth root of 10, and the rest in order asscending are the powers thereof. So in the second class, the last number 1.023292992 is the hundredth root of 10, and the rest in order asscending are the powers thereof. So in the second class, the last number 1.023292992 is the hundredth root of 10, and the rest in the same manner are powers thereof. So 1.002305238 in the third class, is the tenth root of the last of the second, and the rest its powers, &c. Or, which is all one, each number in the preceding class, is the tenth power of the corresponding number in the next following class: whence 'tis plain, that to construct these tables requires no more than on extraction of the fifth or sursolid2 root for each class, the rest of the work being done by the common rules of arithmetick; and for extracting the fifth root, you will find more than one very compendious rule in num. 210 of these transactions, if any one shall desire to examin the computus of these tables.
The process is exactly the reverse of Mr. Briggs's doctrine, in Cap. XII. of his Arithmetica Logarithmica of Vlacq's Edition; and had Briggs been appriz'd hereof, it would have greatly eased the labour of deducing the logarithms of the first prime numbers, which appear to have cost him so much pains.

A pdf version of the entire text of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London can be found here (this article begins on page 52).


  1. The contents page titled this article as the following: Ⅰ. A new method for making logarithms, and vice versâ, for finding the number corresponding to a logarithm given, by help of a small table. Communicated by Mr. John Long, S. Theol. Bacc. and Fellow of Corp. Christi Coll. Oxon. []
  2. The fifth power of a number []

Philosophical Transactions. For the months of January, February and March, 1714 - Part III.

January 8th, 2019

Ⅲ. An Extract from the Acta Eruditorum for the Month of March, 1713. Pag. 111.

De Contagiosâ Epidemiâ, quae in patavino agro & totâ fere venetâ ditione in boves irrepsit, differtatio. Auctore Bernardino Ramazzini, practice medicince professore publico. Patavii, 1712. in 8vo.

A dissertation concerning the dreadful contagious distemper. seizing the black cattle in the Venetian territories, and especially about Padua.

It is now (at the publishing the discourse) a year and half, since a dreadful, unexpected and violent contagion has seiz'd the black cattle, which, like an increasing fire, could neither be extinguish'd nor stopt by any human means.
This first began to be observ'd a little in Agro Vincentino, and soon discover'd it self more openly in the country, spreading it self every way even to the very suburbs of Padua, with a cruel destruction of the cows and oxen. It has also been taken notice in Germany, in many places; nor has it been yet wholly conquer'd, publick news informing us, that it still remains in the territories of Milan.
Of this so threatning a distemper, the famous Dr. Ramazzini1, according to his yearly custom, on November 9, 1711. made a particular dissertation; in which he inquir'd into the canses of the distemper, and shew'd what remedies might be us'd, to put a stop to its violent course2.
It is sufficiently evident, that this distemper, in the cow-kind, was a true fever, from the coldness, rigor and standing up of the hair of the cattle at first, which was soon succecded by a violent sharp burning, with a quick pulse. That this fever was malignant, mortal and pestilential, its concomitant symptoms plainly shew'd; such as great uneasiness with difficulty of breathing, great pantings with a sort of snorting, and at the beginning a kind of stupor and drowziness, a continual flux of a strong smelling matter from the nose and mouth, a very fetid dung, sometimes with blood, all rumination ceasing, pustules breaking out over the whole body on the 5th or 6th day, like the small-pox; they all generally dy'd about the 5th or 7th day, very few of them escaping.
The author deduces this distemper from a contagious original. He tells us, it is certain, that out of a great drove, such as the merchants bring yearly into Italy out of Dalmatia and the bordering countries, one beast happen'd to straggle from the rest, and be left behind; which a cowherd finding, brought to a farm belonging to the illustrious and reverend Count Borromeo, Canon of Padua. This beast infected all the cows and oxen of the place where he was taken in, with the same distemper he labour'd under; the beast it self dying in a few days, as did all the rest, except one only, who had a rowel put into his neck.
'Tis no strange thing therefore, if from the essluvia, like an atmosphere, proceeding from the sick cattle, from those dead, and from the cowhouses and pastures where they were fed, and by that means infected, and chiefly from the cloaths of the cowherds themselves, this infection falling upon a proper subject, should diffuse it self so largely. When therefore this subtile venomous exhalation happens to meet with any of the cow kind, joining it self with the ferous juices and animal spirits, whilst it is carry'd all over the body, disorders the natural consistence of the blood, and corrupts the ferments of the viscera; whence it naturally follows, that the natural functions of the viscera are vitiated, and the requisite secretions stop'd. For3
Dr. Ramazzini not only supposes, but asserts, that this poison is of that kind which rather fixes and coagulates, than dissolves the blood; for besides the forementioned symptoms accompanying the disease, the eye it self is a witness; since the dead carcases being open'd while they are yet hot, little or no blood nevertheless runs out; those animals having naturally a thick blood, especially when the fever has continued so many days. Whether therefore this plague came first from the foreign beast, or any other way, it is the same thing, when at last it fell upon some animal in which there was the morbid seminary or ground prepared for it.
In the dead bodies of all the cattle it was particularly observed, that in the omasus, or paunch, there was found a hard compact body, firmly adhering to the coats of the ventricle, of a large bulk, and an intolerable smell. In other parts, as in the brain, lungs, &c. were several hydatides, and large bladers fill'd only with wind, which being open'd gave a deadly stink; there were also ulcers at the root of the tongue, and bladders fill'd with a serum on the sides of it. This hard and compact body, like chalk, in the omasus, the author takes to be the first product of the contagious miasma. He adds a prognostick, believing that from so many attempts and experiments, and the method observ'd in the cure of this venom, at last a true and specifick remedy will be found out to extirpate the poisonous malignity wholly. He also expects some mitigation of it, from the approaching winter and north winds. He does not think this contagion can affect human bodies, since even other species of ruminating animals, symbolizing with the cow-kind, are yet untouch'd by it; nor was the infection catch'd from the air, provided due care was taken in the burying the dead bodies.
As for the cure of it: from the chirurgical4 part he commends bleeding, burning on both sides of the neck with a broad red hot iron, making holes in the ears with a round iron, and putting the root of hellebore in the hole, a rowel or seton under the chin, in the dewlaps; he also orders tongue and palate to be often wash'd and rub'd with vinegar and salt.
As for the pharmactutical part; he recommends alexipharmicks, and specifick cordials; and from the vegetable kingdom, three ounces of jesuits bark, infus'd in 10 or 12 pints of cordial water or small wine, to be given in 4 or 5 doses; which is to be done in the beginning of the fever, when the beast begins to be sick. From the animal, two drams of sperma ceti dissolv'd in warm wine. From the mineral, antimonium diaphoreticum, against worms breeding, an infusion of quicksilver or petroleum and milk is to be given. And lastly, as to the food, drinks made with barly or wheat flower or bread, like a ptisane, fresh sweet hay made in May and macerated in fair water. In the mean time the cattle must be kept in a warm place, and cloath'd, to keep them as much as possible from the cold air, daily making fumigations in the cowhouses with juniper berries, galbanum, and the like. As to prevention, he enjoyns care in cleaning the stalls, and scraping the crust off from the walls; care also is to be taken of their food, that it be good, the hay and straw not spoil'd by rain in the making and judges their food ought to be but sparing; friction, rubbing and currying not only with the hand, but with a currycomb and brush; with setons under their chin, made with a hot iron run through the part, and kept open with a rope put through it.

A pdf version of the entire text of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London can be found here (this article begins on page 46).


  1. Famous indeed, as Dr. Bernardino Ramazzini is known as the father of occupational medicine. Dr. Ramazzini published De Morbis Artificum Diatrib in 1700, which contained his collection of observations regarding the correlation between a work area and associated disease. []
  2. See my previous article for the 'recipe' that was being used for a cure. []
  3. OCR must have left a random 'for' as a part of the scanned text. []
  4. Supposed archaic definition of relating to surgery. []

Philosophical Transactions. For the months of September and October, 1715 - Part II.

January 5th, 2019

Ⅱ. An Account of a journey from the Port of Oratava in the Island of Tenerife to the top of the pike in that island, in August last; with observations thereon by Mr. J. Edens.

On Tuesday August the 13th N.S. at half an hour past ten in the evening, I, in the company of four more English and one Dutch-man, with horses and servants to carry our provision, together with a guide (which is the same that has conducted all those that have been on this journey for many years) set forward from the Port of Oratava1. The night being somewhat cloudy, and the moon in the full at 12 the night following.
At half an hour past eleven we came to the town of Oratava, which is about two miles from the port, where we stopt for about half an hour, to get walking staves to assist us in our ascending the steep of the pike.
At one a-clock on Wednesday morning we came to the foot of a very steep rising, about a mile and half above the town of Oratava, where it began to clear up; and we saw the pike with a white cloud covering the top of it like a cap.
At two a-clock we cme to a plain place in the road which the Spaniards call Dornajito en el Monte verde (the little Trough in the green mountain) so call'd I suppose because a little below this plain, on the right hand as we went, there is a spout of wood placed in a rock, through which there runs very clear and cool water, which comes from the mountains; and at a descent a little lower than the spout there is a trough into which the water comes.
At three, after travelling a road, which was sometimes pretty smooth and at other times very rough, we came to a little wooden cross, by the road side on the left-hand, which the Spaniards call la Cruz de la Solera (The Cross of the Solera). A solera is a long pole with a hole at each end, which the Spaniards use to draw wood with, by fastning one end to the wood and the other to the oxen. This cross was made with a piece of solera, and for that reasion is so call'd, but why it was set up in this place I can't tell, unless it was because somebody was kill'd thereabouts. At this place we also saw the pike before us; and altho' we had come up hill quite from the port, yet to our thoughts it seem'd almost as high here as when we were there, the white cloud still hiding the greatest part of the sugar-loaf.
After riding about half a mile further, we came to the side of a hill which was very rough and steep, the place call'd Caravala; where are a great many pine trees that grow on both sides the road for a great way, both on the right-hand and the left, one of which was close to the road, on the right-hand as we went, our guide defir'd us to observe; it having a great branch growing out, which with all the boughs2 that were upon it look'd like the forepart of a ship. And from the likeness of this tree has to a ship I suppose the place took its name, for Caravela signifies an old-fashioned vessel formerly much used in Spain, sharp before, ill shap'd every way, and all the masts stooping foorwrds; their sails are all mizen sails, that is, triangular; they will lye nearer the wind than other sails, but are not so commodious to handle. Amongst these trees, not a great height in the air, we saw the sulphur discharge itsself like a squib or serpent made of gun-powder, the fire running downwards in a stream, and the smoak ascending upwards from the place where it first took fire; and like this we saw another, whilst we lay under the rocks the next night at la Stancha, part of the way up the pike; but I could not observe whether either of them gave any report as they discharg'd.
At three quarters after four we came to the top of this high rough and steep mountain, where grows a tree which the Spaniards call el Pino de la Merenda, the pine tree of the afternoon's meal. This is a large tree, and is burnt at the bottom, as having had fires made against it; and in the burnt place there issues out turpentine, a little of which I brought with me. At a few yards distance from this tree we had a fire made, where we stay'd and baited our horses, and breakfasted our selves. These hills are very sandy, and there are a great many rabbets which breed there; there is also much sand found a great way up to the pike itself, and not a great way below the foot of the sugar-loaf, some of which I brought down with me.
At three quarters after five we set forwards again, and at half an hour past six came to the portillo, which in Spanish signifies a breach or gap. We saw the pike about two leagues and a half before us, cover'd still with a cloud at top; and the Spaniards told us we were come about two leagues and a half from the port.
At half an hour past seven we came to las Faldas, that is the skirts of the pike; from whence all the way to la Stancha, which is about a quarter of a mile up from the foot of the pike, we rode upon little light stones, for the most part not much bigger than ones fist; and a great many not much broader than a shilling and if we kept the beaten track which was used before, it was not so deep, but if we turn'd out of it the horses went almost over their feet. I lighted and made a hole there, thinking to find how deep these little stones lie, but could not find the bottom; which makes me conclude they may cover the ground for a great thickness.
There are a great many vast rocks, some of them two mile or thereabouts from the foot of the pike, which the pike-man told us was cast out from the top of the pike at the time it was a vulcano; many of them lye in heaps of above threescore yards long, and I observ'd that the further these rocks lye from the foot of the pike, the more like they are to the stone of other common rocks: but the nearer we went to the pike we found them more black and solid; and some of them, tho' not many, were glossy like flint, and all extream heavy. Those that shone so, I suppose, retain'd their natural colour, but there are some that look like dross that comes out of a smith's forge, which without doubt was occasioned by the extream heat of the place they came from.
Some of these great rocks were thrown out of the caldera or kettle in the top of the pike; and others from a cave or cistern which is a pretty way up the side of the pike, and had by some been thought to have no bottom, more of which I shall say anon.
At nine on Wednesday morning we arrived at la Stancha, about a quarter of a mile above the foot of the pike on the east-side, where are three or four large hard and solid black rocks lodg'd under some of these we put our horses, and under others we lay down ourselves to sleep, after having refresh'd ourselves with a little wine and we had a fire made in order to get our dinner ready, where a cook we took along with us both roasted and boyled our meat and fowls very well. We slept here for about two hours, then rose again, and at about two in the afternoon went to dinner.
There are several mountains that lye eastward from the pike at four or five miles distance, call'd the Malpeses, and one more lying a little more to the southward call'd la Montaña de Rejada; all which were formerly vulcanos, tho' not so great as that of the pike, as appears by the rocks and small burnt stones that lye near them, just in the same manner as about the pike.
Still being at la Stancha, after we had dined we lay down again to take a nap under the rocks as before dinner, but not sleeping very well we all got up again, the rest of them spending the afternoon at cards, &e. But I made it my business to admire the strangeness and vastness of that great body, which indeed is very wonderful, insomuch that its impossible to express to one that has never seen it, in what a manner that confused heap of rubish lyes; for it may very well be stiled one of the greatest wonders in the world. About six at night we saw grand Canaria from la Stancha bearing from E. by N.
At nine at night, after having had our suppers, we retired to our former lodgings, where laying stones for our pillows and our cloaks for bed-cloaths, we endeavoured to get to sleep, but all in vain for a great while. Some lying pretty nigh a fire complain'd of being burnt on the one side and froze on the other (for the air was very cutting and sharp). Others happening to lye in a place where there was a great many fleas; though it be something strange that fleas should be found there, the place being so cold in the night; perhaps the goats sometimes get under these rocks and so leave them; and I am inclin'd to believe it, because the guide and I found a dead goat in a cave at the very top of the pike. I suppose this goat straggling up here by chance was benighted, and so finding the cold got into this place for heat, where meeting with too much of it, and a very strong sulphurious vapour it overcame him, for he was almost dryed to powder. But to proceed, betwixt eleven and twelve we got to sleep, and slept till one, when waking, our guide told us 'twas time to prepare for our journey. We immediately rose, and by half an hour past one we were all upon the march and leaving our horses and some of our men behind, we went away fasting excepting about two mouthfulls of wine apiece, which we took at our uprising. Betwixt la Stancha and the top of the pike there are two very high mountains and the sugar-loaf, each of which mountains is almost half a mile's walking; on the first of them the rubbish is more small, and we were apt to flip back as we stept upwards. But the uppermost is all composed of hard loose rocky great stones, cast one among another in a very confused order. After resting several times we came to the top of the first mountain, where we drank every one of us a little more wine, and eat each of us a bit of ginger-bread we had smongst us. Then being pretty well refresh'd, we set forwards again to ascend the second mountain, which is higher than the first, but is better to walk on because of the firmness of the rocks. After we had travel'd for about half an hour up the second mountain, we came within sight of the sugar-loaf, which before we could not see by reason of the interposition of these great hills. After we were arriv'd to the top of this second mountain we came to a way that was almost level, but bearing some small matter up-hill; and about a furlong farther is the foot of the sugar-loaf, which was soon after came to. Then looking upon our watches found it to be just three a-clock. The night was clear where we were, and the moon shone very bright but below over the sea we could see the clouds, which look'd like a valley at a prodigious depth below us. We had a brisk air, the wind being S.E. by S as it was for the most part whilst we were upon our journey.
Whilst we sat at the foot of the sugar-loaf, resting and refreshing our selves as before in other places, we saw the smoak break out in several places, which at first look'd like little clouds, but they soon vanish'd, others not long after coming in their room from the same or other places.
We set forwards to ascend the last and steepest part of our journey, viz. The sugar-loaf, exactly at half an hour past three, and after we had rested twice or thrice, I left the guide and the rest of my company, and ran forwards; and when I was got very nigh the top (which was at three quarters after three) two more of the company deserted, and came up about five minutes after me; the rest of the company and the guide coming up to the top just at four.
The shape of the top of the pike is partly oval, the longest diameter lying N.N.W. and S.S.E, and is as nigh as I could guess, about 140 yards long; the breadth the other way being about 110. Within the top of the pike is a very deep hold call'd the caldera (or kettle) the deepest part of which lyes at the south end; it is I believe 40 yards deep, reckoning from the highest side of the pike; but it is abundance shallower reckoning from the side opposite to Garachica. The sides of this kettle are very steep, in some places as steep as the descent on the outside of the sugar-loaf. At the bottom of this kettle we all were, where lye a great many very large stones, some of them higher than our heads. The earth that is withinside the kettle, being roll'd up long and put to a candle, will burn like brimstone. Several places withinside the top of the pike are burning, as on the outside; and in some places if you turn up the stones you'll find very fine brimstone or sulphur sticking to them. At these holes were the smoak comes out there also comes forth a great heat, so hot that one cannot endure one's hand there long. At the N. by the E. side within the top is the cave where we found the dead goat; in which cave sometimes the true spirit of sulphur distills, as they say, but it did not drop whilist I was there.
The report is false about the difficulty of breathing upon the top of this place; for we breath'd as well as if we had been below; we eat our breakfast there, and I was up in all for about two hours and a quarter.
Without doubt the quicksilver would have fell very much upon this high place, if I had but the good fortune to have got a couple of barometers to try. But there is no such thing in this island, and I was fearful of not getting company in the mind to go up with me another year (for to go up by ones self is very chargeable) else I would have sent to England to have been supply'd, tho' the expence had come all out of my own pocket.
Before the sun rose I think the air was as cold as I have known in England, in the sharpest frost I was ever in; I could scarcely endure my gloves off. There was a great dew all the while we were there till sun rising, which we could find by the wetness of our cloaths; but the sky look'd thereabouts as clear as possible.
A little after sun rising we saw the shadow of the pike upon the sea, reaching over the island of Gomera; and the shadow of the upper part, viz. of the sugar-loaf, we saw imprinted like another pike in the sky itself, which look'd very surprizing; but the air being cloudy below us, we saw none of the other islands but Grand Canaria and Gomera.
At six on Thursday morning we came down from the top of the sugar-loaf; at seven we came to the cistern of water which is reported to be without bottom; this the guide says is false, for about seven or eight years ago, when there was a great vulcano in this country, the cave was dry and he walk'd all about it, and said that the deepest part of water, when we were there, was not above two fathoms.

The dimensions of this cave I guess to be as follows.

Length about 35 yards
Breadth ― 12
Ordinary depth 14 from top to bottom.

Upon the furthermost side grows white stuff, which the pike-man told us was salt-peter. There was both ice and snow in it when we were there and the ice was of a great thickness covered with water about knee deep. We let down a bottle at the end of a string for some of the water, in which we put some sugar and drank it, but it was the coldest I ever drank in my life. The ice was broken just under the mouth of it, where we could see the stones lye at the bottom, for it was very clear. A little to the right-hand within this cave the ice was risen up in a high heap, in form of a spire steeple or like a sugar-loaf; and in this place I believe the water comes in. I should have been glad to have come at it, to let down a line to try whether there may not be some hole that the guide knows not of, that may be a great depth.
In our way home, we came by a cave three or four miles from the pike, where are a great many skeletons and bones of men; and some say there are the bones of giants in this cave, but we know not how many bodies are laid here, nor how far the cave may go. I intend (god willing) to go again before I leave the island, and then I'll take a light with me and see what discoveries I can make.
We came home to the port at about six a-clock this evening, being Thursday August 15, 1715. NS.
Whoever reads this, I hope, will pardon the faults my pen may have committed, for I was forc'd to write all night; the ship being to sail the next morning, and I have not time to examine it.

A pdf version of the entire text of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London can be found here (this article begins on page 317).


  1. Also known as Puerto de la Cruz which was developed as a major place of trade. []
  2. Boughs: a main branch of a tree. []

My new G

January 4th, 2019

So, im out here in Costa Rica feeling a little bit lonely. You see, I dont speak the language of either the native or noble people. Which means that my best option is to explore the gringo scene. This desire for social exploration led me to a picnic at Ciudad Colon...

I get overly optimistic when I met new people. The prospect of possibility trumps some critical thought on my end. At least this time, this hope was short lived when my neighbors sister in law picked me up in a honda with the trunk strapped down by a bungee cord and a baby in the back seat. She had invited me to the picnic the day before and I started the morning with peak bimbo excitement. The trunk was the first notch against any hope of a good day. We made small talk on the way...she was from Minnesota1 and moved here to teach and "marry a Tico". In fact, she informed me that the women we were meeting with had all moved here to marry Ticos. Notch two and I know enough to stop counting.
When we arrived at our destination, I was introduced to two women who were both teachers... three teachers from Minnesota and I were going on a picnic. You could tell how proud they were to have moved to Costa Rica2 by how many areas of the country I was instructed to avoid - it made me sad to realize that after 5+ years they are just permanent tourists. Their lack of understanding of actual Costa Rica was solidified by the host not offering anyone Costa Rican coffee. Emily had made lemonade with packets of pre-made mix and sandwiches from store bought bread. The ladies continued to make small talk3 about Minnesota life and excitedly warned me about venturing out alone. This was because one of them was robbed by a man in the capital of Costa Rica, San Jose, who repeatedly asked her for her cell phone until she just handed it over. I humored them by not telling her that, no - she wasn't actually robbed and from now on she should probably carry two of everything. The group was pretty shocked to see me wearing heels and a dress to a park in 75 degree weather. According to them, I should buy jeans/pants because "your body will adjust to this climate"4. Also, they freely offered to help me get a smart phone (with whatsapp) and a facebook account. The rest of the conversation consisted of talking about working at a school and vacations with their parents5. My desperation for socialization had led me to the type of people I actively avoided in the states. I wont bore you with any more details from the rest of the day6 - besides how I rushed home to try and wash away the degenerate feeling I was left with, but in the shower is when I met a real G!

arealg2

It was suggested to me that the little guy should be named Giuseppe and its the perfect name. Living with a gecko is a nice change from the raccoons that owned the trash cans in Indiana7. Were working on getting him his own scrub brush, shower cap, and weight set, so that hes ready to battle any spiders or gringos that come our way. I finally found a real G8 in Giuseppe the gecko.

arealg4

  1. When you tell people you are from Chicago, they naively resort to thinking that you walk down the street dodging bullets. I mostly encounter this by women who live a boring sheltered life and never had anal - so you can see why I dont correct them in hopes that they would never visit or move to chicago. Didn't think id see it in another country but hey, you cant take the basic out of becky. []
  2. When in fact they should have never moved anywhere under any circumstances, ever []
  3. I understand I repeated the word 'small talk' but thats all they are capable of. []
  4. Which is a harem inside joke, as the dresses are mandatory and I was warmer than usual. []
  5. This is even more sad when you realize that they were in their early thirties or younger []
  6. Guaranteed nothing they do will be worth mentioning by anyone ever again []
  7. This is not an exaggeration, all hoosiers know that you throw the garbage and run because those bastard raccoons are vicious. []
  8. To quote urban dictionary - "a real G is someone who is true to themselves and stood the test of time", but I've always know a real g to mean a real gangster. []

Philosophical Transactions. For the months of November and December, 1715 - Part III.

January 3rd, 2019

Ⅲ. An extract of a letter from Dr. Helvetius at Paris, to Monsieur Duyvenvoorde Embassador Extraordinary from the States-General1, and by him communicated to the Royal-Society.

I am extremely pleased, Sir, that you have applied yourself to me, for my advice about the use of the Pareira Brava2 which has been recommended to you because I can give you a very good account of it, having been one of the first that introduced it in France; I have made abundance of lucky experiments about it, which have made this medicine very well known to me wherefore I assure you, you can do nothing better than to make tryal of it.
The Pareira Brava is a root which comes to us from Brazil by the way of Lisbon, but which the war has rendred pretty scarce; however it is to be found among the good druggists, and is sold at Paris for 40 livres the pound: 'tis call'd in Brazil the universal medicine, and is made use of there in all kind of distempers. A Capuchin Monk3 , who came from thence, told me that he could not give it a greater character than by assuring me, that in all their voyages they carryed the Gospel in one pocket and the Pareira Brava in the other.
It will be very easy to convince you, Sir, that the Pareira Brava is perfectly good in your distemper. The business with you is to restore the digestions, to the end, that in the first passages there may not be form'd so much phlegm and acid crudities; and it is also necessary to hinder the serosity of the blood from spreading itself too much upon the parts. Now as experience shows us that the Pareira Brava does abundantly provoke urine, it will follow from thence, that it will discharge by the kidneys the corrosive acidity of the mass of blood; it is also good to break and thin the pituitous and viscous humors; and it cures the suppressions of urine occasion'd by obstructions in the kidneys.
One may conclude from hence, that the salts of the Pareira Brava, which are moderately volatile, are proper to dissolve or separate the too thick and too close texture of the sulphur of the lympha. Finally this medicine has a light or gentle bitterness which corrects the acids of the stomach, and renders them more pure and fine.
Hence the chyle4 becomes better digested and more balsamick, and fitted to assimulate it self with the blood, and to preserve therein that degree of division and fluidity which is necessary for it.
The method of using this root with success, is to reduce it to an impalpable powder, and to infuse thereof the weight of a demi-gros in a pint of boyling water, and let it lye in it all night, and next morning boyl it one moment. Then pour the liquor off gently from the powder, and take of it a demi-fetier in two cups with a little sugar as hot as tea, putting into each cup 5 grains of the said root reduced to an impalpable powder, which you must stir with a spoon, that none of it may remain at the bottom. You may repeat the same dose about 4 hours after dinner, but you must not eat anything within an hour after you have taken it in.
This medicine does not oblige you to alter the ordinary course of your living and you may continue the use of it several months together, in which time also you may discontinue it two or three days together at a time, if you please; but you should make some gentle purge every fortnight or three weeks during the use of the said medicine.

The preparation of the Pareira Brava, as Monsieur Duyvenvoorde uses it.

Take eleven grains of this root, and put it into a pewter tea-pot fill'd with boyling water, and so let is infuse all night over warm ashes, or a very small fire; and in the morning boyl it again, but very gently, till you use it. You must drink it just as you do tea, and the liquor which comes from this infusion must not exceed the quantity of 5 small dishes of tea.

A pdf version of the entire text of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London can be found here (this article begins on page 365).


  1. An ambassador extraordinary is a diplomatic minister of the highest rank sent on a special mission. []
  2. The Pareira Brava root is still in use by those who practice homeopathy medicine. The root is native in the West Indies, Central America, and India. []
  3. This Monk being a part of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. This order of Monks traveled around preaching to the poor. The name Capuchin came from the Camaldolese monks who hid the original members of Capuchin from the Catholic church. The Catholic church was not interested in the monks living in solitude as nomads. []
  4. Chyle is a fluid which looks like milk and consists of a mixture of lymphatic fluid and chylomicrons []

Part I - if im lucky

January 3rd, 2019

2019 already started off with me wanting to go back in time. How dumb can one person be in one night? I suppose since #trilema hasn't developed time travel, I'm left with making living amends.

You see, I've been navigating a new life. For the first time, I feel submissive to multiple people, who I love tremendously, and desperately want to please. I feel fortunate in some way everyday. I'm sure a blog post about that will come later, but for now lets focus on how I messed up. My fuckupery goes beyond being selfish and not submitting at a crucial time. I stopped listening and sprayed hurtful words all over a great night. Words that I didn't at all mean but how would they know that? Some moments you learn and move on from, but its always been the most shameful ones that stay. However, its not about my memory (it shouldn't have been about me to begin with) - its about the person I hurt. The person who has always had my back and has never done anything but supported me. Ive been fortunate to have her still take a chance on me despite being hurt herself. I'm ashamed that when she reached her hand out, I attacked1. I'm at a loss here (a real loss in multiple ways) because she would be the person id turn to for help with forgiveness. So I'm left with writing, which is the only thing I know to do and what I'm not very good at2.

Cliché or not, one night can ruin a friendship because when you push people away they will go. It's true that loyalty is the highest form of friendship, but its only valuable if its earned by honest consistent actions. Its also inexcusable to repeat the same actions of others that hurt you3. This goes beyond the obvious and into how you treat people you love in every instance, every day. Its fine to focus on missing people from the past but not when it affects current relationships. I'm not good at much of anything, but I have been fortunate at recognizing greatness in people. I just hope I'm good enough to earn back what I lost.

The love I have for you wasn't expected, planned, or ordered. Its been built upon being able to see you smile while drinking coffee and watching you stand at the door to smoke. I fell in love with how your hair falls in your face and the way you clutch a gear. Hearing your voice became associated with safety and even more, hearing your stories, a pleasure. Its exceedingly rare to see someone so beautiful expertly deliver a hilarious joke, with the right tempo, and at the perfect time. Ive started to listen for your heels and hope its your voice. Never has anyone so quickly figured out the things that i wanted to hide. A scant few months later and im still in awe of your intelligence and somehow you've mastered perfect balance with me. I wouldn't have gotten through this without the small tasks and sweet gashapon4 toys. I never thought that pushing a cart and carrying bags for someone would bring such pleasure5. You're the girl with limitless talents, because every time I think Ive seen it all - you will cooly pull out an expert dance or pro impression6 I've always thought it was lame when people said that they're better for loving someone but hey, thats another one of your talents. Of course, I wish I were writing this at a future time when I was better able to convey how I feel. So, well call this Part I - if I am lucky. However, now I'm just sorry.

  1. Which is a real shame too because she has soft pretty hands, George Costanza look out. []
  2. At the very least maybe shell laugh. I really felt happy and useful whenever I could make her laugh (especially during tough times) []
  3. I thought I was better than that but evidently not []
  4. Ah a word I look forward to telling you about in the car. Embarrassingly, I love seeing your half smile and eyes looking back through the review mirror []
  5. I'm sure you knew it would, you always know.. []
  6. Its no secret that valley girl is my favorite impression. []

Philosophical Transactions. For the months of September and October, 1715 - Part I.

January 2nd, 2019

ⅼ. Some accounts of the late great solar eclipse on April 22. 1715. mane. Communicated to the Royal-Society from abroad.

Since the publication of the large account we gave in Phil. Trans. No 343 of what was observed in England, and particularly at London, of this eclipse, we have received from foreign parts the following observations; which seem not unworthy the acceptance of the curious. And first Mr. John Edens, who has obliged us with the following soft particular relation of the pike of Teneriss1 and of the ascent thereto, being on his voyage to that island, observed the eclipse at sea, in latitude, by observation 34°. 20' and longitude Oh, 54'. West from London, as he concluded by their distance and position from the island Forte Ventura, which they soon after fell with. He writes that it began at VIh.49'. and ended at VIIIh.47'. this latter very exactly, tho' not quite so nice as to the beginning.
Had this observer signified what difference of meridians there was found between the place of observation and the west end of Forte Ventura, we might, without sensible error, have concluded the true longitude, not only of that island, but also of the Pike of Teneriff, where our geographers and the Dutch have fixed their first meridian. But this gentleman being both able and desirous to render the publick this fort of service, we hope from him such further observations as may put the matter past dispute. He adds that the greatest darkness was about ¾ of the sun's diameter, or nine digits on the northside.
From Germany we have received the following Accounts.

At Nurenburg.
The beginning and greatest obscurity could not beseen for clouds, but the end happen'd at Ⅺh. IO'. ⅗.
At Hamburg.
The beginning was observed at Ⅷh 57'. The greatest obscurity at Ⅹh. 5'. 30", when Ⅺ digg. were darkened. The end could not be seen for clouds.

At Kiel in Holstein.
The beginning Ⅸh 4'. The greatest obscurity Ⅹh. 19'. 20", and the quantity then eclipsed Ⅺ. digg. 20' The end was at Ⅺh. 29'.

At Berlin.
The beginning could not be seen for clouds, but the greatest obscurity was at 22 min. past ten, when Ⅺ digg. were eclipsed. The just end was at Ⅺh. 34'.
At Frankfort on the Meine.
The eclipse began at Ⅷh 50'. The greatest darkness at Ⅹh. Ⅱ', but perhaps should be Ⅹh. 01 min. the digits being Ⅹ. and 34 min. The end was observed at 10 min. past eleven.

By whom these observations were made, and with what instruments, we are not yet informed, but hope they may be exact enough to confirm the longitudes of those several places, which are at present reasonably well known.
Since these there is lately come to hand a Dutch print entituled Nouvelles Literaries, publish'd at the Hague, wherein, pag. 404, 405, there is an account of the observation of this eclipse at Upsal2 in Sweden, made by M. Fo. Waller, Professor of mathematicks in that university, who was very careful to observe it exactly; the times being verified by three clocks perfectly agreeing with one another and with the sun: but more especially by a quadrant of 5 foot radius for taking the sun's altitude. By this instrument he has determined the height of the pole at Upsal 59°. 51' 54". And by the same, a little before the beginning of the eclipse he found the height of sun 39°. 36'. 42". his clocks then shewing the hour Ⅸh. 47'.50", which proves that they were very near the true time. At Ⅹh. 58'. 15". the altitude of the sun being 44°. 17'. 29", was the beginning of the total darkness, and at Ⅺh. 2'. 24". was the end thereof, alto sole 44°. 29'. 13". So that here the duration of the total eclipse was 4'. 9", and the middle thereof but one third of a minute after eleven. And lastly the end is said to have happen'd about 4 minutes before noon, the sun being 45°, 42'. 6". high: but in this is a manifest mistake, for it makes the time of emersion, or from the middle to the end, but 55'. 20"; whereas being so near the meridian, 'tis certain that this emersion was the greater part of the duration of the whole eclipse, and consequently more than an hour. Perhaps the times might be deduced from the altitudes only, and then the mistake might be in supporting the end so much before noon as it was really after it. However, to-prevent all doubts, we have compared this observation with what we observed of this eclipse at London, and find that in the latitude of 59°. 50', the place where the middle of total darkness was at Ⅺh. 0'. 20", was near I9 degrees more easterly than London (that is exactly in the meridian of Dantzick) and that the eclipse began there at Ⅸh. 52' x2, and ended at Ⅻh. I0'. Wherefore the duration could not be 2h. 7'. 50", as the editor of the said Nouvelles has publish'd; not considering that the beginning could not be seen for clouds, as in the very next words he assures us.
As to the darkness, it was such that they could scare distinguish one another: and besides Jupiter, Mercury and Venus; of the fixt stars Cassiopeia, Capella, Oculus Tauri and Orion, (Siris not being yet risen) were visible.

A pdf version of the entire text of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London can be found here (this article begins on page 314).


  1. The Pike of Tenerife (modern spelling) is located on whats now known as Canary Island []
  2. Now known as Uppsala, Sweden []

Philosophical Transactions. For the months of January, February and March, 1714 - Part IV.

December 31st, 2018

IV. A Recipe: Or the ingredients of a medicine for the spreading mortal distemper amongst cows: Lately sent over from Holland, where a like distemper raged amongst the black cattle.1

Recipe veronica, pulmonarie, hissopi, scordii, ana m ivrad, aristolochie rotundo, gentiana, angelica, petasitidis, tormentilla, carlina, and unc. 12. bac lauri & funiperi, ana unc. 12. misc. fiat pulvis.2
Bleed the cow3, and give her every morning, for 3 or 4 mornings, an ounce of this powder with a horn in warm beer. If the cow's illness continues, after omission of 2 or 3 days, repeat the medicine for 3 or 4 days again.

A pdf version of the entire text of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London can be found here (this article begins on page 50).

  1. This entry was titled in the contents page as: A recipe: Or the ingredients of a medicine for the late spreading distemper amongst cows. Sent lately from Holland, where it was made use of with success. []
  2. The Netherlands lost 70% of cattle due to what is called the cattle plague. Some farmers lost little to no cattle and because of demand became very wealthy. []
  3. But not these cows! []