Hoje passei algumas horas explorando The Proceedings of the Athanasius Kircher Society, o blog de uma entidade criada em honra ao jesuíta, intelectual, cientista e visionário germânico. Pioneiro de muitas teorias, Athanasius Kircher é comparado à Leonardo da Vinci e Robert Hooke pela amplitude e profundidade de sua obra, e sua inventividade.
Our interests extend to the wondrous, the singular, the esoteric, the obsessive, the arcane, and the sometimes hazy frontier between the plausible and the implausible — anything that Father Kircher might find cool if he were alive today. Records of our proceedings are maintained for the public’s edification.
E edificada eu fui. Em The Gottorp Globe, aprendi sobre este predecessor do planetário moderno:
Dating back to 1650, it is a reminder that science has always had a fun side. The 3-metre-diameter globe is hollow, and has mythological pictures of the constellations on the inside [and a map of the world on the outside]. Turned by water power, it demonstrates the “movement” of the heavens to those seated inside in candlelight. Czar Peter the Great of Russia coveted this marvellous toy and received it in 1713 as a present from the Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, whose forbears had built it in a palace garden to amuse and amaze visitors.
“The inventions of Lequeu … belong to another world, a world pervaded by dreams and eccentricities. Lequeu’s universe is crowded with details and marginalia, but it is nonetheless empty: alcoves are deserted; temples have no devotees; roads no traffic. The question becomes inevitable: Was Lequeu ever addressing anyone but himself?”