happy birthday chahlie!

Okay, so I'm a couple days early, but I just found something I'm really excited about.

Charles Robert Darwin (known as "Chahlie Dahwin" to his friends) was born on February 12, 1809. He grew up, went to medical school, didn't pay attention, did some other stuff, then died. (Truthfully, I hope you know a little bit more about him than that... if you don't you can always look him up on the omniscient Wikipedia.)

On his famous trip around the world aboard the HMS Beagle, Darwin served as the resident naturalist/geologist and man-companion to the captain, kinda like Paul Bettany in Master and Commander (booby shot at 1:42!). On that trip, he catalogued those wonders of the natural world he encountered, including many of them in his subsequent publications, including numerous parts of The zoology of the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle.

The entirety of Darwin's writings, including all of his drawings, are now available online for free, at http://darwin-online.org.uk. Feel free to read the text of his works (the first edition of Origin of Species is the least watered-down), but don't miss the numerous plates of everything from bones to fossils to live animals he encountered, all in high resolution, perfect for printing and framing, if I do say so myself).


And here's a great example of old-school science:
"In doubling the point, two of the officers landed to take a round of angles with the theodolite. A fox, of a kind said to be peculiar to the island, and very rare in it, and which is an undescribed species, was sitting on the rocks. He was so intently absorbed in watching their manœuvres, that I was able, by quietly walking up behind, to knock him on the head with my geological hammer. This fox, more curious or more scientific, but less wise, than the generality of his brethren, is now mounted in the museum of the Zoological Society."

-- From Darwin, C. R. 1839. Narrative of the surveying voyages of His Majesty's Ships Adventure and Beagle between the years 1826 and 1836, describing their examination of the southern shores of South America, and the Beagle's circumnavigation of the globe. Journal and remarks. 1832-1836. London: Henry Colburn.

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