December 2010


(Another ancient draft, and I don’t remember much of anything from the book.)

Wang-3-Watch mentioned his book American Vertigo (the blog was deleted for whatever reason), and after almost 3 months I finally finished it. Not that it’s dull–just the opposite. It’s just that I only have a few commute minutes on weekdays to read, if I’m awake at all.

Before I say anything, you’d better take a look at this piece.

Then if you still have any interest, how about another one, which says “Noël Godin has hit him a record five times”.

Still with me? Are you nuts?! Or is it because my hair is perfect?

If I had read those, I wouldn’t in a million years have borrowed the book from library. The book is a good read, almost like a road trip reality show, and if anything, I learned about Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, which I promise to never read.

方舟子 strikes again:

《后汉书·张衡传》认为它是管用的,记载了这么一个著名的故事:有一次地动仪的机关发动,但是人们并不觉得地在动,京师(洛阳)的学者都怪它乱报,几天后信使来了,果然在陇西发生了地震,于是大家都佩服它的巧妙,从那以后皇帝就让史官记载地动发生的方位。

但是这个记载很成问题。按《后汉书·张衡传》所说,地动仪建成于阳嘉元年(公元132年),张衡卒于永和四年(公元139年)。在此期间,《后汉书》只记载发生过一次陇西地震,那就是永和三年(公元138年)的地震。一般认为地动仪检测的就是这次地震。但是《后汉书·五行志》说得很清楚,这次的陇西地震在京师是有感的,破坏很严重,“裂城廓,室屋坏,压杀人”,京师学者不会对地动仪的机关发动感到奇怪,与《张衡传》的故事矛盾。可见地动仪检测的不可能是这次地震。