3 Matching Annotations
  1. Aug 2020
    1. The awe of the aurora The path of Joan’s life would be changed significantly one night when Richard woke her up and told her to get dressed and follow him out into the street. He took her away from the house and the street lights and out onto a wide open golf course nearby with a big dark sky above them. “I can still remember in my mind’s eye the green lights dancing in the sky”, Joan recalls of the flickering northern lights Richard had lead her outside to witness. “He told me that it was an aurora and no one knew what caused it exactly.” In that moment, she was hooked. And whilst the doubts about a woman’s abilities to undertake a career in science, planted in her by Lucille, remained, Joan’s interest in science continued to be fuelled by Richard’s progress through university. Before he’d left home, her brother had made a deal with her that whilst away at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), studying for his bachelor’s degree, he would answer any science question that she sent him. “For quite a while we had a notebook which went back and forth, and he sent me a problem in maths and I sent the answer,” remembers Joan of that time. Then for her fourteenth birthday, he gave her the book ‘Astronomy’ by Robert Horace Baker. “It was a book people studied at college,” she remembers. “And he’d pasted my name in it. I was so excited.” Somewhat daunted by the advanced level of the book, Joan wrote to Richard to ask how she should read it. He replied that she should start at the beginning and read until she didn’t understand, and then start at the beginning again. And each time she’d get a little further. “So I did,” says Joan, “and I got a little further each time. And then one day there was a figure in the book of a spectrum and underneath it said ‘the relative strengths of the Mg+ absorption line at 4,481 angstroms… of Stellar Atmospheres from the work of Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin’.” The caption was a revelation to Joan. Cecilia was a woman’s name, and the hyphenated family name indicated she was married. It was proof that a married woman was capable of doing science.


    2. Women can’t do science “Women can’t do science, because their brains aren’t made for it,” Lucille Feynman declared to her eight-year-old daughter Joan. The news was a huge blow to the little girl’s ambitions which, at the time in 1935, were firmly set on following her brother Richard into a life scientific. “I remember sitting in a chair and weeping,” she recalls.


  2. Jul 2020
    1. Life at the Queen’s Hamlet[edit] Courtiers at the Palace of Versailles constantly surrounded Marie Antoinette, leaving her in need of a refuge. She escaped the responsibilities and structure of court life to her private estate. The Hamlet was part of Marie Antoinette's estate, and she enjoyed dressing as a young shepherdess or milkmaid and acting like a peasant, while surrounded by the comforts of a royal lifestyle. This unintentional mockery of the economically depressed French peasants helped build the resentment towards the monarchy among the French people that eventually led to the French Revolution. While still in power, Marie Antoinette enjoyed acting as a tableau vivant, as if she were part of a painting. She brought her idyllic, picturesque village to life by stocking the barn with animals, and bringing in "simple" people, such as milkmaids and herdsmen, to act like residents of the Hamlet. Marie Antoinette would stroll around her perfect world in simple peasants' garb with her children, part of an idealized Nature. Her closest friends joined her in her ornamental village, where they also enjoyed pretending to live a simple life. Their isolation at the Hameau caused suspicion among the French people. Already resentful of Marie Antoinette for her profligate spending in times of economic depression, the secrecy surrounding her life of amusement led to suspected hedonism and scandal.[10] It was rumored that Marie Antoinette had lovers, and they met at the Hameau, a surreal place that was completely her own. The extravagance and subtle mockery of peasant life did not help Marie Antoinette's already suffering image. In spite of its idyllic appearance, the hamlet was a real farm, fully managed by a farmer appointed by the Queen, with its vineyards, fields, orchards and vegetable gardens producing fruit and vegetables consumed at the royal table. Animals from Switzerland, according to the instructions of the Queen, were raised on the farm. For this reason the place was often called "the Swiss hamlet".

      wtf xD