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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Fiction Inspired Wiki-Wander

Syaffolee writes: "The stoneware container the size of a milk jug and the color of rust was shaped like a fat man with a beard and bulging eyes. Floral patterns had been carved into his belly. The census taker had only seen such a thing before at a rummage sale. They were known as Greybeards because of the frequent bearded man motifs seen on such containers. Or Bellarmine jugs, after a much feared inquisitor of the seventeenth century."

An inquistor named Bellarmine? Was that a real person? Yes, he was: "Immediately after his appointment as Cardinal, Pope Clement made him a Cardinal Inquisitor, in which capacity he served as one of the judges at the trial of Giordano Bruno, and concurred in the decision which condemned Bruno to be burned at the stake as a heretic."

So what did Bruno do to get his own self incinerated? He got too big for his britches, obviously: "His cosmological theories went beyond the Copernican model in proposing that the Sun was essentially a star, and moreover, that the universe contained an infinite number of inhabited worlds populated by other intelligent beings."

Sagan was a Johnny come lately.

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