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Athanasius, Underground

- November 1, 2012 in Art and Illustrations, Articles, athanasius kircher, Books, dragons, earthquake, giants, History, hollow earth, mount etna, mount vesuvius, Science, volcanoes

With his enormous range of scholarly pursuits the 17th century polymath Athanasius Kircher has been hailed as the last Renaissance man and “the master of hundred arts”. John Glassie looks at one of Kircher’s great masterworks Mundus Subterraneus and how it was inspired by a subterranean adventure Kircher himself made into the bowl of Vesuvius. Just before Robert Hooke’s rightly famous microscopic observations of everything from the “Edges of Rasors” to “Vine mites” appeared in Micrographia in 1665, the insatiably curious and incredibly prolific Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher published what is in many ways a more spectacular work. Mundus Subterraneus (Underground World), a two-volume tome of atlas-like dimensions, was intended to lay out “before the eyes of the curious reader all that is rare, exotic, and portentous contained in the fecund womb of Nature.” There is an “idea of the earthly sphere that exists in the divine mind,” Kircher proclaimed, and in this book, one of more than thirty on almost as many subjects that he published during his lifetime, he tried to prove that he had grasped it. As a French writer put it some years later, “it would take a whole journal to indicate everything remarkable in this [...]

San Francisco Earthquake Aftermath (1906)

- June 10, 2012 in 1906, earthquake, Film: 1900s, Films, Films: Documentary, Films: Short, non-article, san francisco

Haunting footage on the streets of San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake which devastated much of the city, left more than 300,000 people homeless and killed over 3000. The earthquake was the first natural disaster of its magnitude to be documented by photography and motion picture footage. This film appears to be made by amateurs who attached a camera to a car driven around the city. Noticeable is the huge amount of people out sightseeing amid the rubble. See also this Edison newsreel showing scenes of the rescue operation and clearup. And see “A Trip Down Market Street” which shows the streets of San Francisco only 6 days prior to when the earthquake hit.

Download from Internet Archive

Note this film is in the public domain in the US, but may not be in other jurisdictions. Please check its status in your jurisdiction before re-using.

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