Places To GoBook LookMovie & VideosThe Arts,

Calendar, GamesCrossword

Book Reviews Elsewhere  (fresh daily from the Web)

 Movie Reviews Elsewhere  (fresh daily from the Web)


Tri-State Chess Tournament open to youth and adults

[FEB. 22, 2003]  The Evening Optimist Club of Quincy, Quincy Senior High School and the Quincy Chess Club are jointly sponsoring the Tri-State Chess Tournament on Sunday, March 23, in the Quincy Senior High School cafeteria, 33rd and Maine in Quincy. Registration is from noon to 1 p.m. Competition will be divided into two separate tournaments: Scholastic and Open.

The Scholastic Division is open to any student enrolled in grades K-12. Students from all schools in the tri-state area are encouraged to participate. Trophies will be awarded to winners in levels K-6, K-9 and K-12. Entry forms for the Scholastic Division can be downloaded from the Quincy Chess Club website: http://www.adams.net/~gblickh/index.htm.

The Open Division is nationally sanctioned and is open to any member of the United States Chess Federation, regardless of age. Membership forms are available at the tournament.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the programs of the Evening Optimist Club of Quincy.

For further information about the tournament, call Gary Blickhan at (217) 223-8762. For further information about the Evening Optimist Club of Quincy, call Howard Dewell at (217) 222-1910.

[News release]


Places To Go


'Lost Discoveries'

[MARCH 19, 2003]  "Lost Discoveries: The Ancient Roots of Modern Science -- from the Babylonians to the Maya." Dick Teresi, Simon & Schuster, 2002, 453 pages.

Review by Richard Sumrall

According to Western tradition, the history of science and mathematics is one of the grand triumphs of what is referred to as the Golden Age of Greece. From approximately 600 B.C. until about 140 A.D. science flourished under the Greeks and the Romans. After that time scientific progress lay dormant until its "rediscovery" during the Renaissance era of 14th-century Europe. This renewed interest in the physical and natural sciences was the impetus for some the monumental scientific discoveries credited to Europeans -- discoveries such as Copernicus' circular planetary theory, Newton's laws of physics and Gutenberg's movable type printing press. The existing body of scientific knowledge was greatly expanded by the Europeans and represents the foundation of modern science. That is the present-day explanation of the history of science.

But is it really true? Is this notion of European dominance the complete and accurate history of science in the civilized world? Not exactly, according to author Dick Teresi. In his new book, "Lost Discoveries," Teresi presents the argument that many of the advancements of Western science and mathematics were inspired by or borrowed from the world's non-European cultures. Important discoveries traditionally attributed to Western scientists and scholars were actually known to other cultures centuries earlier. These discoveries and contributions came from cultures around the world, including the Middle East, China, India, Africa, Oceania and the New World (North, Central and South America).

Teresi's exhaustive research of the historical record confirms that, far from being stagnant, unsophisticated societies, these cultures developed an astonishingly diverse body of knowledge about the natural world. In many cases this knowledge predates the European application of the same scientific principles.

 

Teresi surveys seven scientific disciplines -- mathematics, astronomy, cosmology, physics, geology, chemistry and technology -- and describes how different societies were successful in advancing their culture by cultivating science and mathematics.

A perfect example involves the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. His publication "Concerning the Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres" is generally regarded as "the most important scientific achievement in Western history." Science historian Thomas Kuhn writes that the "Copernican Revolution represented a final break with the Middle Ages, a movement from religion to science." The Copernican theory held that the sun, rather than the earth, was at the center of the solar system and that the planets revolved around the sun.

Teresi finds in the historic record that this scientific fact was known to other cultures centuries before Copernicus. For example, astronomers in ancient India knew prior to Copernicus that the earth revolved around the sun; they made this discovery without the use of telescopes through "naked-eye astronomy."

 

[to top of second column in this review]

Teresi's book has numerous examples of advancements in science credited to the West but previously known to non-Western cultures. Some notable examples include:

Mathematics

The Babylonians developed the Pythagorean theorem at least 1,500 years before Pythagoras was born. India invented our present-day numerals "0" through "9" and also used geometry and trigonometry. The scribes of Egypt recognized pi (3.14) before the Greeks.

Astronomy

Five thousand years ago the Sumarians knew that the earth was circular. The ancient Arabs built the first observatories and gave the present-day names to stars and constellations. Between 1,400 B.C. and 1,200 B.C. the Chinese observed, reported, dated and interpreted eclipses.

Physics

Twenty-four centuries before Newton, Hindu Rig-Veda postulated that gravity held the universe together. Islamic scholar Alhazen developed theories on light, rays and refraction that were the precursor to modern optics. Two thousand years before Newton, Mohist (Chinese) physicists recorded their version of the laws of motion.

Geology

Smelting equipment for metalworking from 4,000 B.C. has been discovered in present-day Iran. Arab and Chinese scholars were the first to use fossils to trace the earth's history.

Chemistry

Early African scientists and physicians discovered plants that contained medicinal qualities, dyes and dyestuffs. Prior to the Spanish invasion of the Americas, the Aztecs used native plant resins and saps for turpentine, balsams, medications and perfumes.

Technology

According to Francis Bacon the three inventions that heralded the beginning of the modern Western world were gunpowder, the magnetic compass, and papermaking and printing. All three were invented in ancient China. The Andean farmers of Peru were the first to freeze-dry potatoes, while their Quechuan Indian counterparts discovered how to vulcanize rubber.

Recognized by Library Journal as one of the best science books of the year, "Lost Discoveries" is an authoritative study of the history of science and the achievements of non-European cultures. Its comprehensive footnotes, bibliography and index further enhance the book's value. Teresi's attention to detail and historical accuracy has produced a work that takes its place as an important contribution to the literature of science history. This book is highly recommended to everyone who enjoys history or science or simply would like to increase their knowledge about the advances and accomplishments of non-Western cultures.

[Richard Sumrall,
Lincoln Public Library District]




Classic films return to Lincoln Cinemas

The Logan County Arts Association, in conjunction with GKC Cinemas Corporation, has brought the classic film night series back to the Lincoln Cinemas. The next set of films is scheduled for every second Thursday through October, with shows at 7 p.m.

Classic films lined up for the 2003 season:

  • "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers," April 10
  • "The Guns of Navarone," May 8
  • "My Fair Lady," June 12
  • "Old Yeller," July 10
  • "The Apartment," Aug. 14
  • "Wuthering Heights," Sept. 11
  • "War of the Worlds," Oct. 9

Tickets are $5.50 for adults and $4.50 for senior citizens and children 12 and under. The tickets are available at GKC Lincoln Cinemas.

Anyone wanting more information may call the Logan County Arts Association at (217) 735-4422.

[Press release from the
Logan County Arts Association]


Lincoln Community Theatre information

Lincoln Community Theatre's box office, phone 735-2614,  is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday for the summer season. The office is located in the lobby of the Johnston Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Lincoln College.

Performances of "Dearly Departed" are scheduled for July 12-20, and "The King and I" will be presented Aug. 2-10. Show times are 2 p.m. on Sundays and 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

The LCT mailing address is Lincoln Community Theatre, P.O. Box 374, Lincoln, IL  62656; e-mail: lincolncommunitytheatre@yahoo.com.

Visit the LDC website at www.geocities.com/lincolncommunitytheatre/index.html. Pictures from past productions are included.

Back to top


 

News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor