When was the last time Domino's changed the recipe?
Because when you read the work of your favorite writers, their ideas are so clear, so vivid, so damn easy-to-understand that they light up your brain. Your writing is missing something. Some of these are like hand tools, like a chisel. Others are like power tools, like an electric drill.
At first, they can be a little scary to use. And one of the least used and least understood power tools for writers is the analogy.
When talking about Thing X , you also mention seemingly unconnected Thing Y because it has useful similarities. Analogies are powerful because they use established ideas to do the heavy lifting of introducing new ideas. But can you see how the second description is much more concise?
It reuses everything we already know about horses to describe a zebra. For the record, a horse is not strictly an analogy for a zebra. However, the process of describing a zebra in relation to a horse is like using an analogy. Although educating your readers is not enough to build a popular blog , you will likely be teaching your audience at least some of the time.
Analogies help you explain subtle or complex ideas by reference to concepts the reader already understands. They allow you to establish such ideas without much of the intellectual scaffolding required to build them from scratch. To give an example, in physics class, the flow of current through an electrical wire is often explained as being like water flowing through a pipe. A thinner wire can take less current the same as a narrower pipe can take less water. Higher voltage is like higher water pressure.
Are water and electrical current the same? In fact, if you mix the two, you could literally get a nasty shock. But then Jon tells them in his post that publishing content without having an established audience is like teaching in an empty classroom. A teacher standing in front of a class delivering a lesson to absolutely nobody. How deluded would you need to be to do that? So if you can get your reader to buy into your analogy, it can be hugely persuasive. Analogies also serve a simpler purpose — making your content more interesting and engaging.
People like discovering unexpected connections and comparisons. It activates their imagination and helps you to hold their attention. To give an example, the latest version of our revised Guest Blogging program uses analogies in almost every lesson. In one lesson, we compare guest blogging without a strategy to trying to hit a pinata blindfolded.
We even embedded a video of birthday pinata to bring it to life. The bottom line is that learning can be hard work.
If the materials are too dry or unengaging, people will stop reading. Often the most interesting and effective analogies are the least obvious, and thus the hardest to find. For each of the features of Thing X, try to think of other things that also have those features by asking simple questions. Find ways in which the two things are not alike and decide if the differences detract from the analogy.
Taking the first of the three ideas above, one difference is that being a government spy is not a short-term situation, like looking for a new job. With a job search, you either find a new job and move on, or decide to stay. But also the fact that being a spy is a job of sorts is an unhelpful similarity. What about the second idea — arranging a surprise birthday party?
Similar to looking for a new job, arranging a party is a short-term situation, so that could work. But unlike a job search, party planning is not about finding a replacement for an existing thing. Finally, what about the extramarital affair? You could argue that an affair is more like moonlighting rather than changing jobs — i. Also other interesting similarities exist. For instance, consider the consequences of getting caught sneaking around.
So this seems like the most promising analogy of the three. Is the writing clearer, more persuasive or more interesting with the analogy than without it?
As you become more confident using analogies, consider using one of these methods to get even more power. John Maduka Apr 30, Glen Long Apr 30, And well done for being the first to comment. Normally Andrew takes the top slot. Karina Pinella May 03, You fill a niche and have great ideas and suggestions.
I just started my blog a few days ago and in the process of mapping my newly purchased karinapinella. Where would we be without food?
Thanks again for serving a need. Warner Apr 30, Mainly for the fact that 1. But I can definitely see how using analogies can help you not only become better, but get your point across more concisely. You used the example of the seagull manager … so should we be trying to create analogies that are memorable like that? OR … should we not try to be perfectionists at it and follow the formula that you presented and go with what works?
Just wanted to know because like you said, if you create a memorable one, people will remember it for years to come. In practice those are really tough to come up with. But you can still use humor by making an analogy with an invented situation. Laura Roberts Apr 30, Ha, I read this post just because I was sure you were going to say the answer was alliteration!
Powerful, Popular and Persuasive… Thanks for the tips, Glenn. Meggan Culinary Hill Apr 30, A great morning read! If you found a typo in this post, would you tell? I would honestly rather just NOT point it out and avoid looking like a know-it-all. What would Glen Long do? Zarayna Apr 30, Reading your posts is like having all my important little bits bathed in warm oils and lovingly massaged in. Yes, my door hinges — unseen but important — once oiled now operate smoothly and silently.
Thanks and kindest regards. Mia Sherwood Landau Apr 30, The strength of an analogy makes all the difference. Yes, analogies can be tricky in an actual real-life argument. Jenna Dalton Apr 30, Absolutely loved this post, Glen! Thank you for breaking it down and making the process of coming up with an analogy super simple. You also get sucked into the whole analogy vs metaphor vs simile discussion, which I decided to artfully avoid. Donna Patterson May 01, Before I got to his particular comment, I, too was wondering the difference between analogy and metaphor.
Where can I get the info? Magnetism could not be explained but it manifestly existed, so miracles should not be dismissed just because they could not be explained. Several tidal mills were built during the Roman occupation of England for grinding grain and corn. They operated by storing water behind a dam during high tide, and letting it out to power the mill after the tide had receded and were the forerunners of the modern schemes for capturing tidal energy.
A pattern of rows of tiny dots was made in a sheet of paper which was pressed down on top of a blank sheet and ink was forced through the holes. Later stencils developed by the Chinese and Japanese used human hair or silk thread to tie delicate isolated parts into the general pattern but there was no fabric backing to hold the whole image together.
The stencil image was printed using a large soft brush, which did not damage the delicate paper pattern or the fine ties. These printing techniques of composite inked squeezes and stencils foreshadowed modern silk screen printing which was not patented until Chemistry Arabic Al Khimiya "pour together", "weld" was indeed the invention of the Muslims who carried out pioneering work over three centuries putting chemistry to practical uses in the refinement of metals, dyeing, glass making and medicine.
In those days the notion of alchemy also included what we would today call chemistry. By the tenth century however, according to historian Toby Huff , the preeminence of Islamic science began to wane. It had flourished in the previous three centuries while Muslims were in the minority in the Islamic regions however, starting in the tenth century, widespread conversion to Islam took place and as the influence of Islam increased, so the tolerance of alternative educational and professional institutions and the radical ideas of freethinkers decreased.
They were dealt a further blow in , thirty five years after the invention of the printing press , when the Ottoman Sultan Byazid II issued an order forbidding the printing of Arabic letters by machines. Arabic texts had to be translated into Latin for publication and this no doubt hampered both the spread of Islamic science and ideas as well as the influence of the outside world on the Islamic community. This prohibition of printing was strictly enforced by subsequent Ottoman rulers until when the first printing press was established in Istanbul but due to objections on religious grounds it closed down in and the first Koran was not printed in Istanbul until Islam was not alone in banning the dissemination of subversive or inconvenient ideas.
Henry VIII in , aware of the power of the press, became the first monarch to publish a list of banned books though he did not go so far as banning printing.
He was later joined by others. Despite these setbacks, European scientific institutions overcame the challenges by the church, taking over the flame carried by the Arabs and the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries became the age of Scientific Revolution in Europe. In the period around A. He isolated or prepared several chemical compounds for the first time, notably nitric, hydrochloric, citric and tartaric acids and published a series of books describing his work which were used as classic works on alchemy until the fourteenth century.
Unfortunately the books were added to, under Geber's name, by various translators in the intervening period leading to some confusion about the extent of Geber's original work. He also introduced the decimal system of Hindu-Arabic numerals to Europe as well as the concept of zero , a mathematical device at the time unknown in Europe used to Roman numerals. Al-Khawarizmi also constructed trigonometric tables for calculating the sine functions. The word algorithm algorizm is named after him.
Around that year, a book attributed to Chinese alchemist Cheng Yin warns of the dangerous incendiary nature of mixtures containing saltpetre potassium nitrate , and sulphur, both essential components of gunpowder. Such chemicals mixed with various other substances including carbonaceous materials and arsenic had been used in various concentrations by alchemists since around A. After Cheng Yin's warning, similar mixtures were soon developed to produce flares and fireworks as well as military ordnance including burning bombs and fuses to ignite flame throwers burning petrol gasoline.
The first example of a primitive gun called a "fire arrow" appeared in , and in , arrows tipped with burning "fire chemicals" were used to besiege the city of Tzu-t'ung. It was not until that the full power of the saltpetre rich mixture was discovered and the first true formula for gunpowder was published by Tseng Kung-Liang. After that, true explosive devices were developed including cannon and hand grenades and land mines.
Around it was realised that an arrow could be made to fly without the need for a bow by attaching to the shaft, a bamboo tube packed with a burning gunpowder mix. This led to the development of the rocket which was born when larger projectiles were constructed from the bamboo sticks alone without the arrows.
A text from around that time describes how the combustion efficiency and hence the rocket thrust could be improved by creating a cavity in the propellant along the centre line of the rocket tube to maximise the burning surface - a technique still used in solid fuelled rockets today.
In Chinese chronicler Chao Yu-Jung recorded the first use of bombs which we would recognise today, with cast iron casings packed with explosives, which created deadly flying shrapnel when they exploded. They were used to great effect by a special catapult unit in Genghis Khan 's Mongol army and by the Chinese Jin forces to defeat their Song enemies in the siege of Kaifeng. He also prepared ethanol, which was used for medicinal applications, and described how to prepare alkali Al-Qali, the salt work ashes, potash from oak ashes.
Al-Razi published his work on alchemy in his " Book of Secrets ". The precise amounts of the substances he specified in his recipes demonstrates an understanding of what we would now call stoichiometry.
Several more words for chemicals are derived from their Arabic roots including alcohol Al Kuhl" "essence", usually referring to ethanol as well as arsenic and borax. Compass needles were made by heating a thin piece of iron, often in the shape of a fish, to a temperature above the Curie Point then cooling it in line with the Earth's magnetic field. Although his designs achieved widespread use in China, it was another four hundred years before the printing press was "invented" by Johann Gutenberg in Europe.
Challenging Aristotle now became a challenge to the Church. He discovered that a magnet had two magnetic poles , North and South and was the first to describe the phenomena of attraction and repulsion. He also speculated that these forces could be harnessed in a machine. The invention of the verge and foliot escapement was an important breakthrough in measuring the passage of time allowing the development of mechanical timepieces.
The name verge comes from the Latin virga , meaning stick or rod. See picture and explanation of the Verge Escapement. The inventor of the verge escapement is not known but we know that it dates from 13th century Europe, where it was first used in large tower clocks which were built in town squares and cathedrals.
The earliest recorded description of an escapement is in Richard of Wallingford 's manuscript Tractatus Horologii Astronomici on the clock he built at the Abbey of St. It was not a verge, but a more complex variation. For over years the verge was the only escapement used in mechanical clocks until alternative escapements started to appear in the 16th century and it was years before the more accurate pendulum clock was invented by Huygens.
When the Ming dynasty came into power, China was the most advanced nation on Earth. During the Dark Ages in Europe, China had already developed cast iron , the compass , gunpowder , rockets , paper , paper money, canals and locks, block printing and moveable type , porcelain, pasta and many other inventions centuries before they were "invented" by the Europeans.
From the first century B. They were so far ahead of Europe that when Marco Polo described these wondrous inventions in on his return to Venice from China he was branded a liar. China's innovation was based on practical inventions founded on empirical studies, but their inventiveness seems to have deserted them during the Ming dynasty and subsequently during the Qing Ching dynasty - China never developed a theoretical science base and both the Western scientific and industrial revolutions passed China by.
Why should this be? It is said that the answer lies in Chinese culture, to some extent Confucianism but particularly Daoism Taoism whose teachings promoted harmony with nature whereas Western aspirations were the control of nature.
However these conditions existed before the Ming when China's innovation led the world. A more likely explanation can be found in China's imperial political system in which a massive society was rigidly controlled by all-powerful emperors through a relatively small cadre of professional administrators Mandarins whose qualifications were narrowly based on their knowledge of Confucian ideals.
If the emperor was interested in something, it happened, if he wasn't, it didn't happen. The turning point in China's technological dominance came when the Ming emperor Xuande came to power in Admiral Zheng He , a muslim eunuch, castrated as a boy when the Chinese conquered his tribe, had recently completed an audacious voyage of exploration on behalf of a previous Ming emperor Yongle to assert China's control of all of the known world and to extract tributary from its intended subjects.
But his new master considered the benefits did not justify the huge expense of Zheng's fleet of 62 enormous nine masted junks and smaller supply ships with their 27, crew. The emperor mothballed the fleet and henceforth forbade the construction of any ships with more than two masts, curbing China's aspirations as a maritime power and putting an end to its expansionist goals, a xenophobic policy which has lasted until modern times.
The result was that during both the Ming and the Qing dynasties a succession of complacent, conservative emperors cocooned in prodigious, obscene wealth, remote even from their own subjects, lived in complete isolation and ignorance of the rest of the world.
Foreign influences, new ideas, and an independent merchant class who sponsored them, threatened their power and were consequently suppressed. By contrast the West was populated by smaller, diverse and independent nations competing with each other. Merchant classes were encouraged and innovation flourished as each struggled to gain competitive or military advantage.
Currently China is producing two million graduates per year, sixty percent of which are in science and technology subjects, three times as many as in the USA. For the first time knowledge and ideas could be recorded and disseminated to a much wider public than had previously been possible using hand written texts and its use spread rapidly throughout Europe.
Intellectual life was no longer the exclusive domain of the church and the court and an era of enlightenment was ushered in with science, literature, religious and political texts becoming available to the masses who in turn had the facility to publish their own views challenging the status quo.
It was the ability to publish and spread one's ideas that enabled the Scientific Revolution to happen. Nowadays the Internet is bringing about a similar revolution. Although it was new to Europe, the Chinese had already invented printing with moveable type four hundred years earlier but, because of China's isolation, these developments never reached Europe.
Gutenberg printed Bibles and supported himself by printing indulgences, slips of paper sold by the Catholic Church to secure remission of the temporal punishments in Purgatory for sins committed in this life. He was a poor businessman and made little money from his printing system and depended on subsidies from the Archbishop of Mainz.
Because he spent what little money he had on alcohol, the Archbishop arranged for him to be paid in food and lodging, instead of cash. Gutenberg died penniless in It was a law designed more to protect the economy of the state than the rights of the inventor since, as the result of its declining naval power, Venice was changing its focus from trading to manufacturing. The Republic required to be informed of all new and inventive devices, once they had been put into practice, so that they could take action against potential infringers.
One of the most brilliant minds of the Italian Renaissance, Leonardo was hugely talented as an artist and sculptor but also immensely creative as an engineer, scientist and inventor. The fame of his surviving paintings has meant that he has been regarded primarily as an artist, but his scientific insights were far ahead of their time.
He investigated anatomy, geology, botany, hydraulics, acoustics, optics, mathematics, meteorology, and mechanics and his inventions included military machines, flying machines, and numerous hydraulic and mechanical devices.
He lived in an age of political in-fighting and intrigue between the independent Italian states of Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice and Naples as well as lesser players Genoa, Siena, and Mantua ever threatening to degenerate into all out war, in addition to threats of invasion from France. In those turbulent times da Vinci produced a series of drawings depicting possible weapons of war during his first two years as an independent.
Thus began a lifelong fascination with military machines and mechanical devices which became an important part of his expanding portfolio and the basis for many of his offers to potential patrons, the heads of these belligerent, or fearful, independent states. Despite his continuing interest in war machines, he claimed he was not a war monger and he recorded several times in his notebooks his discomfort with designing killing machines.
Nevertheless, he actively solicited such commissions because by then he had his own pupils and needed the money to pay them. Most of Leonardo's designs were not constructed in his lifetime and we only know about them through the many models he made but mostly from the 13, pages of notes and diagrams he made in which he recorded his scientific observations and sketched ideas for future paintings, architecture, and inventions.
Unlike academics today who rush into publication, he never published any of his scientific works, fearing that others would steal his ideas. Patent law was still in its infancy and difficult, if not impossible, to enforce. Such was his paranoia about plagiarism that he even wrote all of his notes, back to front, in mirror writing, sometimes also in code, so he could keep his ideas private. He was not however concerned about keeping the notes secret after his death and in his will he left all his manuscripts, drawings, instruments and tools to his loyal pupil, Francesco Melzi with no objection to their publication.
Melzi expected to catalogue and publish all of Leonardo's works but he was overwhelmed by the task, even with the help of two full-time scribes, and left only one incomplete volume, "Trattato della Pintura" or "Treatise on Painting", about Leonardo's paintings before he himself died in On his death the notes were inherited by his son Orazio who had no particular interest in the works and eventually sections of the notes were sold off piecemeal to treasure seekers and private collectors who were interested more in Leonardo's art rather than his science.
Because of his secrecy, his contemporaries knew nothing of his scientific works which consequently had no influence on the scientific revolution which was just beginning to stir.
It was about two centuries before the public and the scientific community began gradually to get access to Leonardo's scientific notes when some collectors belatedly allowed them to be published or when they ended up on public display in museums where they became the inspiration for generations of inventors.
Unfortunately, only pages are known to survive and over pages of these priceless notebooks have been lost forever.
Who knows what wisdom they may have contained? Leonardo da Vinci is now remembered as both "Leonardo the Artist" and "Leonardo the Scientist" but perhaps "Leonardo the Inventor" would be more apt as we shall see below.
It would not do justice to Leonardo to mention only his scientific achievements without mentioning his talent as a painter. His true genius was not as a scientist or an artist, but as a combination of the two: He did not sign his paintings and only 24 of his paintings are known to exist plus a further 6 paintings whose authentication is disputed.
He did however make hundreds of drawings most of which were contained in his copious notes. This was the volume of Leonardo's manuscripts transcribed and compiled by Melzi. The engravings needed for reproducing Leonardo's original drawings were made by another famous painter, Nicolas Poussin. As the title suggests it was intended as technical manual for artists however it does contain some scientific notes about light, shade and optics in so far as they affect art and painting.
For the same reason it also contains a small section of Leonardo's scientific works about anatomy. The publication of this volume in was the first time examples of the contents of Leonardo's notebooks were revealed to the world but it was years after his death. The full range of his "known" scientific work was only made public little by little many years later. Leonardo was one of the world's greatest artists, the few paintings he made were unsurpassed and his draughtsmanship had a photographic quality.
Just seven examples of his well known artworks are mentioned here. After serving his apprenticeship with Verrocchio, Leonardo had a continuous flow of military commissions throughout his working life.
In the ruthless and murderous Cesare Borgia , illegitimate son of Pope Alexander VI and seducer of his own younger sister Lucrezia Borgia , appointed Leonardo as military engineer to his court where he became friends with Niccolo Machiavelli , Borgia's influential advisor. These commissions gave Leonardo ample scope to develop his interest in military machines. Leonardo designed war machines for both offensive and defensive use. They were designed to provide mobility and flexibility on the battlefield which he believed was crucial to victory.
He also designed machines to use gunpowder which was still in its infancy in the fifteenth century. They included a triple barrelled cannon and an eight barrelled gun with eight muskets mounted side by side as well as a 33 barrelled version with three banks of eleven muskets designed to enable one set of eleven guns to be fired while a second set cooled off and a third set was being reloaded.
The banks were arranged in the form of a triangle with a shaft passing through the middle so that the banks could be rotated to bring the loaded set to the top where it could be fired again. Leonardo studied the flight of birds and after the legendary Icarus was one of the first to attempt to design human powered flying machines, recording his ideas in numerous drawings.
A step up from Chinese kites. The following are examples of some of the tools and scientific instruments designed by da Vinci which were found in his notes. As part of his training in Veroccio's studio, like any artist, Leonardo studied anatomy as an aid to figure drawing, however starting around and later with the doctor Marcantonio della Torre he made much more in depth studies of the body, its organs and how they function.
Because the bulk of his work was not published for over years, his observations could possibly have prompted an earlier advance in medical science had they been made available during his lifetime. At least his drawings provided a useful resource for future students of anatomy. Leonardo had an insatiable curiosity about both nature and science and made extensive observations which were recorded in his notebooks.
He did not however develop any new scientific theories or laws. Instead he used the knowledge gained from his observations to improve his skills as an artist and to invent a constant stream of useful machines and devices. Leonardo unquestionably had one of the greatest inventive minds of all time, but very few of his designs were ever constructed at the time. The reason normally given is that the technology didn't exist during his lifetime.
With his skilled draughtsmanship, Leonardo's designs looked great on paper but in reality many of them would not actually work in practice, an essential criterion for any successful invention, and this has since been borne out by subsequent attempts to construct the devices as described in his plans.
This should not however detract in any way from Leonardo's reputation as an inventor. His innovations were way ahead of their time, unique, wide ranging and based on sound engineering principles.
What was missing was the science. At least he had the benefits of Archimedes ' knowledge of levers, pulleys and gears, all of which he used extensively, but that was the limit of available science. Newton's Laws of Motion were not published until two centuries after Leonardo was working on his designs. The science of strength of materials was also unheard of until Newton's time when Hooke made some initial observations about stress and strain and there was certainly no data available to Leonardo about the engineering properties of materials such as tensile, compressive, bending and impact strength or air pressure and the densities of the air and other materials.
Torricelli's studies on air pressure came about fifty years before Newton, and Bernoulli's theory of fluid flow , which describe the science behind aerodynamic lift, did not come till fifty 50 years after Newton. But, even if the science had existed, Leonardo lacked the mathematical skills to make the best of it. So it's not surprising that Leonardo had to make a lot of assumptions. This did not so much affect the function of his mechanisms nor the operating principle on which they were based, rather it affected the scale and proportions of the components and the force or power needed to operate them.
His armoured tank would have been immensely heavy and difficult to manoeuvre, and it's naval version would have sunk unless its buoyancy was improved. The wooden gears used would probably have been unable to transmit the enormous forces required to move these heavy vehicles. The repeated recoil forces on his multiple-barrelled guns may have shattered their mounts, and his flying machines were very flimsy with inadequate area of the wings as well as the level of human power needed to keep them aloft.
So there was nothing fundamentally wrong with most of his designs and most of the shortcomings could have been overcome with iterative development and testing programmes to refine the designs. Unfortunately Leonardo never had that opportunity.
Leonardo was indeed a genius but his reputation has also been enhanced or distorted by uncritical praise. Speculation, rather than firm evidence, about the performance of some of the mechanisms mentioned in his notebooks and what may have been in the notebooks which have been lost, has incorrectly credited him with the invention of the telescope, mathematical calculating machines and the odometer to name just three examples.
Though he did experiment with optics and made drawings of lenses, he never mentioned in his notes, a telescope, or what he may have seen with it, so it is highly unlikely that he invented the telescope. As for his so called calculating machine: It looked very similar to the calculator made by Pascal years later but it was in fact just a counting machine since it did not have an accumulator to facilitate calculations by holding two numbers at a time in the machine as in Pascal's calculator.
Leonardo's "telescope" and "calculating machine" are examples of uninformed speculation from tantalising sketches made, without corresponding explanations, in his notes. Such speculation is based on the reasoning that, if one of his sketches or drawings "looks like" some more recent device or mechanism, then it "must be" or actually "is" an early example of such a device. Leonardo already had a well deserved reputation as a genius without this unnecessary gold plating.
Similarly regarding the odometer: The claim by some, though not by Leonardo himself, that he invented the odometer implies that he was the first to envisage the concept of an odometer. The odometer was in fact invented by Vitruvius 15 centuries earlier. Leonardo invented "an" odometer, not "the" odometer.
Many inventions are simply improvements, alternatives or variations, of what went before. Without a knowledge of precedents, it is a mistake to extrapolate a specific case to a general conclusion. Leonardo's design was based on measuring the rotation of gear wheels, whereas Vitruvius' design was based on counting tokens.
Note that Vitruvius also mentions in his "Ten Books on Architecture" , designs for trebuchets, water wheels and battering rams protected by mobile siege sheds or armoured vehicles which were called "tortoises".
It is rare to find an invention which depends completely on a unique new concept and many perfectly good inventions are improvements or alternatives to prior art. This applies to some of Leonardo's inventions just as it does to the majority of inventions today. Nobody would or should claim that Leonardo invented the clock when his innovation was to incorporate a new mechanical movement into his own version of a clock, nor should they denigrate his actual invention.
It's a great pity that Leonardo kept his works secret and that they remained unseen for so many years after his death. How might technology have advanced if he had been willing to share his ideas, to explain them to his contemporaries and to benefit from their comments? The Crown thus started making specific grants of privilege to favoured manufacturers and traders, signified by Letters Patent , open letters marked with the King's Great Seal. The system was open to corruption and in the Statute of Monopolies was enacted to curb these abuses.
It was a fundamental change to patent law which took away the rights of the Crown to create trading monopolies and guaranteed the inventor the legal right of patents instead of depending on the royal prerogative.
So called patent law , or more generally intellectual property law , has undergone many changes since then to encompass new concepts such as copyrights and trademarks and is still evolving as and new technologies such as software and genetics demand new rules.
Indeed it had even been reinforced in the thirteenth century by St. Thomas Aquinas who proclaimed the unity of Aristotelian philosophy with the teachings of the church. The credibility of new scientific ideas was judged against the ancient authority of Aristotle , Galen , Ptolemy and others whose science was based on rational thought which was considered to be superior to experimentation and empirical methods.
Challenging these conventional ideas was considered to be a challenge to the church and scientific progress was hampered accordingly. In medieval times, the great mass of the population had no access to formal education let alone scientific knowledge. Their view of science could be summed up in the words of Arthur C.
Clarke , "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic". Things began to change after when a few pioneering scientists discovered, and were able to prove, flaws in this ancient wisdom. Once this happened others began to question accepted scientific theories and devised experiments to validate their ideas. In the past, such challenges had been hampered by the lack of accurate measuring instruments which had limited the range of experiments that could be undertaken and it was only in the seventeenth century that instruments such as microscopes, telescopes, clocks with minute hands, accurate weighing equipment, thermometers and manometers started to become available.
Experimenters were then able to develop new and more accurate measurement tools to run their experiments and to explore new scientific territories thus accelerating the growth of new scientific knowledge. The printing press was the great catalyst in this process. Scientists could publish their work, thus reaching a much greater audience, but just as important, it gave others working in the field, access to the latest developments. It gave them the inspiration to explore these new scientific domains from a new perspective without having to go over ground already covered by others.
The increasing use of gunpowder also had its effect. Cannons and hand held weapons swept the aristocratic knight from the field of battle. Military advantage and power went to those with the most effective weapons and heads of state began to sponsor experimentation in order to gain that advantage. Scientific method thus replaced rational thought as a basis for developing new scientific theories and over the next years scientific theories and scientific institutions were transformed, laying the foundations on which the later Industrial Revolution depended.
The Age of Reason marked the triumph of evidence over dogma. There remained one great mystery yet to be unravelled but it was another years before it came up for serious consideration: The Origin of Species.
Such heresies were unthinkable at the time. They not only contradicted conventional wisdom that the World was the centre of the universe but worse still they undermined the story of creation, one of the fundamental beliefs of the Christian religion. It was not until around that Copernicus completed the work which he called De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium " On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres " but he still declined to publish it.
Historians do not agree on whether this was because Copernicus was unsure that his observations and his calculations would be sufficiently robust enough to challenge Ptolemy's Almagest which had survived almost years of scrutiny or whether he feared the wrath of the church.
Copernicus' model however was simpler than Ptolemy's geocentric model and matched more closely the observed motions of the planets. He eventually agreed to publish the work at the end of his life and the first printed copy was reportedly delivered to him on his deathbed, at the age of seventy, in As it turned out, "De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium" was put on the Catholic church's index of prohibited books in , as a result of Galileo's support for its revolutionary theory, and remained there until One of the most important books ever written, De Revolutionibus' ideas ignited the Scientific Revolution See above , but only about or were printed and it became known recently as "the book that nobody read".
Because it was often inconvenient or difficult to measure large distances directly, he described how the distance to a distant target location could be determined locally, without actually going there, by using only angle measurements.
By forming triangles to the target from reference points on a local baseline, and measuring the angles between the baseline and the lines between the reference points and the target at the vertex of the triangle, the distance to the target could be calculated using simple trigonometry.
It was thus easier to survey the countryside and construct maps by dividing the area into triangles rather than squares. This method was first used in B. Triangulation is still used today in applications from surveying to celestial navigation. In Frisius was also the first to describe how longitude could be determined by comparing local solar time with the time at some reference location provided by an accurate clock but no such clocks were available at the time.
He carried out his research on the corpses of executed criminals and discovered that the research and conclusions published by the previous, undisputed authority on this subject, Galen , could not possibly have been based on an actual human body. Versalius was one of the first to rely on direct observations and scientific method rather than rational logic as practiced by the ancient philosophers and in so doing overturned years of conventional wisdom.
Such challenges to long held theories marked the start of the Scientific Revolution. It was simply a jet of steam impinging on the blades of a paddle wheel mounted on the end of the spit. Like Hero's reaction turbine it was not developed at the time for use in more useful applications. He lived before the invention of the telescope and his measurements were made with a cross staff , a simple mechanical device similar to a protractor used for measuring angles.
Nevertheless, despite his primitive instruments, he set new standards for precise and objective measurements but he still relied on empirical observations rather than mathematics for his predictions. Brahe accepted Copernicus ' heliocentric model for the orbits of planets which explained the apparent anomalies in their orbits exhibited by Ptolemy 's geocentric model, however he still clung on to the Ptolemaic model for the orbits of the Sun and Moon revolving around the Earth as this fitted nicely with the notion of Heaven and Earth and did not cause any conflicts with religious beliefs.
However, using the data gathered together with Brahe, Kepler was able to confirm the heliocentric model for the orbits of planets, including the Earth, and to derive mathematical laws for their movements. A wealthy, hot-headed and extroverted nobleman, said to own one percent of the entire wealth of Denmark, Brahe had a lust for life and food. He wore a gold prosthesis in place of his nose which it was claimed had been cut off by his cousin in a duel over who was the better mathematician.
In , Brahe died in great pain in mysterious circumstances, eleven days after becoming ill during a banquet. Until recently the accepted explanation of the cause of death, provided by Kepler, was that it was an infection arising from a strained bladder, or from rupture of the bladder, resulting from staying too long at the dining table. By examining Brahe's remains in , Danish toxicologist Bent Kaempe determined that Brahe had died from acute Mercury poisoning which would have exhibited similar symptoms.
Among the many suspects, in the finger was firmly pointed by writers Joshua and Anne-Lee Gilder , at Kepler, the frail, introverted son of a poor German family.
Kepler had the motive, he was consumed by jealousy of Brahe and he wanted his data which could make him famous but it had been denied to him. He also had the means and the opportunity.
After Tycho's death when his family were distracted by grief, Kepler simply walked away with the priceless observations which belonged to Tycho's heirs. With only a few tantalising facts to go on, historians attempt to construct a more complete picture of what happened in the distant past.
In Brahe's case there could be another explanation of his demise. From the available facts it could be concluded the Brahe's death was due to an accidental overdose of Mercury, which at the time was the conventional medication prescribed for the treatment for syphilis, or from syphilis itself.
This is corroborated by the fact that one of the symptoms of the advanced state of the disease is the loss of the nose due to the collapse of the bridge tissue. Brahe's hedonistic lifestyle could well have made this a possibility. Kepler's actions in purloining of Brahe's data could have been a simple act of opportunism rather than the motivation for murder. You let them fill in the missing pieces. This is what involves them and keeps a reader fired up enough to turn each page.
The explicit details on screenwriting format referenced above are the purview of a production script NOT a spec script. You do not want any distractions that jar the reader from your story. Your job is to paint a vivid story with as few words as possible then get the hell out of the way. What details are in the opening lines of this script? You can use the scene numbers to comment no scene numbers in spec scripts. Why fade into view or start here? However, the scene description states he scurries not runs toward the doors.
We will learn the screenwriting format details and receive answers to these questions and more as the scenes on the first page progress. He is out in inclement weather with no protection for himself or his significant papers or else why carry them , scurries vs. Note, that shoes and socks are not mentioned because, as will be shown in a screen moment, their description is not a significant piece of information.
It has no immediate bearing on the story. He also takes poor care of his belongings as his glasses are taped up. All of this information and these questions created by just the first five lines of the script. Tune in same time, same channel next month some of you old enough will notice I left out the Batman reference, but it pop into your mind anyway as we explore together what else there is to learn from this one page without encroaching on another professional area.
You validate my every fear of an ivory tower monolith who feels the need to create a paradigm where no such paradigm exists — nor should it. If a gestalt is needed, it is having questionable pedants like you confuse the up and coming writers who might otherwise strengthen their learning curve. You are the tumor that needs to be scalped from the robust and energetic bodies of healthy writers who would otherwise go on to explore the best parts of story — the human story.
Nowhere have I read that the human story must be told in a way that satisfies a cynic that, after script readings, has yet to fulfill his own dream of attaining the heavens of Hollywood. I am a writer. In the truest sense. I explore every possible means to deliver my story — and the hell with one old failure-of-a-writer who compensates by sticking to the anchors that give his life meaning.
I despise those who use more vapid verbs linking than action verbs. Without an object of a verb, you condemn yourself to passive writing. I only care about economy of description and dialogue. And if you can achieve that by taking liberties for the sake of visual enhancement, I would applaud the writer who throws mud in the face of arbitrary restrictions.
An aura of nurture surrounds her — a healing kiss on a scraped knee. Would you condemn this description? The visual metaphor speaks volumes. It says what would normally require another sentence or two.