October 16, 2020

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Inspired To Go Ot

Originally published April 11, 2011 LPOD-Apr11.11.jpg
image by Damian Peach

In past times, shadow-filled craters were sometimes called ink pots, after the glass bottles that held ink for quills - remember them? Grimaldi, Schroeter, Madler and Schmidt all used quills and ink pots in writing their observing notes, so calling a darkened crater an ink pot was an easy simile. But we don't use such antiques now so what name should we use? Nothing easily comes to mind - for something dark we can think of a toner cartridge, but the shape and the sound are all wrong. A black hole in a can would be a more modern description, but is too distracting. This is a common problem. We live in a world of modernity but have nursery rhymes and sayings, for example, that become increasingly unassociated with our lives Baa baa, black sheep have you any wool was about the English wool industry, humpty, dumpty is about a great cannon in the English Civil War that fell off a wall, and Pop goes the weasel laments pawning your suit. But there are some ancient sayings that still ring true: Ignorance is the night of the mind, a night without moon, Confucius, 1500 years ago.

Chuck Wood

Technical Details
March 13, 2011, 19:44 UT.

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