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Professor Turnabout: Cowcatchers, Calculators, and Computers

Avigail Sharer

Whooosh! Here I am, in England, in 1835. It’s a beautiful spring day, and I sip my hot chocolate before I step outside. Surely there can’t be any danger. There’s a snug cottage with a thatched roof, and roses growing up the walls, a little way off. It looks safe enough, so I walk toward it. As I come near, I can hear a man shouting. “Wrong, wrong, wrong!”

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

His eyes brighten. “You’re a professor?”

I nod.

“In what?”

“Advanced High-Velocity Physics.”

He looks at me a little strangely and I wonder if they even knew what high-velocity physics was in the 1830s.

“So, then, maybe you can help me. Just which book is accurate?”

A miniature leaning tower of Pisa made up of books bound in all colors sways precariously on his desk. There must be at least two hundred books there, maybe more.

 

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