Sunday 12 October 2003
Pix Of The Day: Confidently Ignoring Kitty Hawk
CREDITS: © Gilbert H. Grosvenor /NationalGeographic.com
MAP: Baddeck, Nova Scotia, Canada. Thumbnail click pops-up image source page.
Although history now recognizes the Wright brothers 1903 Kitty Hawk flight as the beginning of aviation, it was not always so. Here is a 1908 picture of Alexander Graham Bell flying a kite. The picture is captioned with an excerpt from the issue of the National Geographic Magazine for October 1963, in which it appeared: 'Convinced that man would fly and that he himself might invent the machine, Dr. Bell had been experimenting with kites for many years.'
On This Day In 2002: Erik the Red from Narsarsuaq - Sat, 12 Oct 2002
CREDITS: © Dr.Wilfried Steffens/EUDIALYTE and Greenland 2001
MAPS:  Region  District  Location
Dr.Wilfried Steffens is a physician with a specialist knowledge of internal medicine, occupational medicine, and environmental medicine, who is currently studying clinical toxicology. He works for a large chemical company in Germany. After seeing mineral crystals during holidays in the Alps he went on to become interested in Scandinavian pegmatites, the Langban-type deposits, and finally the alkaline complex around the Langesundsfjord in Norway. From there his interest for alkaline localities in general grew until he now has more than 10,000 specimens, and about 2,200 other different minerals. Check out the web site for details of the collection. In 2001 Wilfried made a collecting trip to Greenland, landing at Narsarsuaq, seen in the left hand photograph.
This is where it gets interesting for the non geologists among us: Narsarsuaq (or at least what is now called Qassiarsuk on the opposite side of the fjord) was the home of the exiled Icelander Erik the Red, father to Leif Erikson, the discoverer of America. So it seems that when, as we reported in a recent article, Oscar Wilde said, "America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it had always been hushed up" he was, as so often, well ahead of the game.
It would be more than half a century after Oscar's death that the Vinland map would be 'rediscovered' when it was purchased for $1million by Yale University in 1957. The map's authenticity is an ongoing debate: to keep up to date with developments, see Tim Spalding's portal site, with succinct summaries and links to all sides of the debate. There is a 2.5Mb image of the map available for viewing.
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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)