Plague in Athens, 430 BC

Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Note Thucydides wrote an eye-witness account of the plague of Athens in 430 BC in his History of the Peloponnesian War. It is estimated that the plague killed 75,000 - 100,000 people. The disease began, it is said, in Ethiopia beyond Egypt, and then descended into Egypt and Libya and spread over the greater part of the King’s territory. Then it suddenly fell upon the city of Athens, and attacked first the inhabitants of Peiraeus… I shall describe its actual course, explaining the symptoms, from the study of which a person should be best able, having knowledge of it beforehand, to recognize if it should ever break out again.

The Black Death, 1348

Saturday, September 12, 2020
The Black Death killed an estimated 25 million people in Europe, about a quarter of the population. In 1348 Henry Knighton, an English canon at the Abbey of St. Mary of the Meadows in Leicester wrote the following chronicle. In this year there was a general mortality among men throughout the world. It began first in India, and then appeared in Tharsis, then among the Saracens, and at last among the Christians and Jews, so that in the space of one year, namely from Easter to Easter, 8000 legions of men, according to widely prevalent rumours in the Court of Rome, died in those remote regions besides Christians.

The Plague Years of 1665 and 1666

Saturday, April 25, 2020
In 1666, when Cambridge University had been closed due to the Great Plague, one Isaac Newton retired to Woolsthorpe, and over a period of two years developed theories in optics, gravity and early calculus (“the method of fluxions and fluents…“): All this was in the two plague years of 1665 & 1666. For in those days I was in the prime of my age for invention & minded Mathematicks & Philosophy more then at any time since … [1]

Rob Pike on the origin of dotfiles

Thursday, June 20, 2019
Note The original Google+ post (dead link) by Rob Pike is from August 3, 2012. This version was archived from the original on March 20 2019, and is reposted here for posterity. A lesson in shortcuts. Long ago, as the design of the Unix file system was being worked out, the entries “.” and “..” appeared, to make navigation easier. I’m not sure but I believe “..” went in during the Version 2 rewrite, when the file system became hierarchical (it had a very different structure early on).

Barry Wasdell (bwasd)

Sunday, June 9, 2019
Programmer, living in Cape Town, South Africa. Email barrywasdell@gmail.com Social github, linkedin PGP 1444995EA28E4606A75BD7327BC21207AB08D788 -----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK----- mQGNBF0D1IgBDADDpB032csszzrOxa/5WN1Q1XmOmzaHc6F57E3XPFx0FgCY6iSQ SGj0KWLLQtTCs41dytnKaUv60n0qomm6LgY+yT90xlbNEiumtXnWZOOAVBV5IlQX uUvKONjCWJo1Qj+dXgJVhWQ9l52SrTvLZjnMp0Q+cZiE6GD1ZfxzqXSXGv2JSHck XqxdpFPKfG9orM2CtDs2l6TEdhK0xFoDQErerIQtRLodx8vnGtyq3NSAnmnXS0Rj MfCFQxcOyrtBDLr1Ku88p2+ztaFuZ6/xYZK9NfwF+nwzm/FSL58/2WoXGbXY222N eOhj0hs0+ttGP25IpLOQ9by3cuvchu2YhynBRxKCOgnqfaGqnoWKAEegIl+LQxsS e61WcxVJ0Gk6sTITa5unfxqKpp1k+ySCZjrS4KljWgozJq01YhC025hO4P1DxSGb yIdnNfjVNz7oq2dFPA8GcWz+fuccRoPdtUIVqJ/E5qtKocbf5dpj0pDDpDLthQW4 T5fNNHPnaZL0decAEQEAAbQmQmFycnkgV2FzZGVsbCA8YmFycnl3YXNkZWxsQGdt YWlsLmNvbT6JAdQEEwEIAD4WIQTVpdQjivkpkFOjudZ81NmxTPtU6QUCXQPUiAIb AwUJAAk6gAULCQgHAgYVCAkKCwIEFgIDAQIeAQIXgAAKCRB81NmxTPtU6b4jC/9W hHS8nb/beggHiUEeZ39n1AWAtlDblbAVvJKU+JMFicTNa9Dh7RTUOqv5aQyebLPQ J++y/34IQ4MQlsrBgQh9JB5m6vkebfIjOD9xVEPlmB6PldmhgdcHUWlTD02dF4V9 5ZGxbQxKZ0rsty5Ua2QhNgK91XTAjbTLvNOXrAxd0XBEdNe9HxDNfmHCCFHMSIJA P/MdqOvDgO+BJ+H6c0rXBO72sV11lkZRpnCBHriecxzhBc/WYKPgZsMRb4ntUQey tWM9KiD6oKQGBFXDEe1BKLSfTuCQtXaKIPkY+pAJN6Zu9WYUHzEdvHlaTTa+oU1y At2kguAl1nJpVtAr5djPMdvViLMpzyfVqfEJxl+S+W7bVZ7J3C2cBF1pDNaIMU8f S72HzV5BW7+WbUXc22y5+JRIRk2zLwVfl0wXabOyLCpF/H4kyU/6qeeSUHUnuYlF Kj3wqLnHj8gRpT5jclHmSZNJuKCV3/5DtL9xGExLxMY6DCmEcBtaygEdnboFVJG5 AY0EXQPUiAEMAMd7EuTlln+u30cA+HZ1kpYyCtVrL5ZOpGF5aC42/713LrTH3/jy 5G2mVWv5nYdpiAIsO/6K5oRqXddjn0RaLW9Y9tdW2eq7x/LXRzZoAvwLfY/PDdNl oxCAWwM+5EP0J9QAkq2lyLVY4TiBqs6qyrT6jCHT2Iby2/PUASKuDheuUznO4lij 8B0otUtX2G013S39LumrgPdReV1T7gPO8H8MXJePlDbB8gtcM68AO0DTeoaR2rLR UrkHWsHBnLCLjVMm8+JB7wWigfL8/xxB3fMKqkqEeW2x2ZGDCOHO9evuxFcU5fCB LcnlubULjUlnYa9zxesOD1OQ1MS0ax3TwxaIh4ci8KeWH/AS4V5nCbbESuf0eFHa uNwN1n9svdp9k1PNiyKlYOFks8zn5gCvax4W+5hx6CBg1wK4ft/OtjpGSO/pzPde fWfQPSiVeJyO8KsI8fvveWhj1fCdjvXSBiUKYwUqQOg62mtpt+Ksxbv48oE8VvEV JiuadXSqTAPiKwARAQABiQG8BBgBCAAmFiEE1aXUI4r5KZBTo7nWfNTZsUz7VOkF Al0D1IgCGwwFCQAJOoAACgkQfNTZsUz7VOlS1Qv/YHRH6breaTsNyl37ciUjUcMk 40Oc8nSmIbD86fxkd4crj5mCqMVvEnR1UUhoStuMUCrJ1ZVSg0IV/JRX8CP0hiCy LjiU6Y2FYtLuGr+gGKuE4AQnv7Z0y7K2V7H8buNWyBgZk0xy5KOFa7a2b+tKVOgS UaA557lupH054D0tmaz6VnFnBlzgw5F6ZmdaVkIgK0Z1SrB93xRxXkuYtIKV6ATn xs4It3rfjtT9QLtdSZGjFq73XVsHVqXKP00VoKwh3VVCixzQMV1bFjE+YQ/2deLc 2KIUS9camIeZkzLSr+NGYW6l6Req+uHcdbLoTRUU35aTiDAqQMxbqnM41a0qlq6Q RxSn3L8KqfHgiaiKupwUSNCP7X/Yqpv9uOkOrUhzb6NVEXjoZdvx+6lsg6aUZtPi 5F8JEH/dZQANc39oUD0GmvFTtUMpBhLzBFk/nstXNnZM920aPopWuxgCpdxoKhtb +DyX1agR47Cn1PxEPtYwKgFX4C9CcrgFLa3XoK7SmQGNBF0xdogBDADJJNNOf1UQ 07890XCA2aiHRaUbkXO5Nls4wCJ+G7Ij5HQ9wz4FYkFvu77l/4Z0cj5RUkxoA1/1 bHq/ubpbbw1fmiWOVfrwtlIGHXLT7MFbM1hJ57V2c57HfrRYJEjQm+1D7ATNlz7k HyrBzm7nFW1gmLAya+IURvzgmYYOgT3K8yRLln5qwLrdRRoL2SPaDwgQuGtSIXjY 23G+ERQ3pYwlX3SCXEMSfCX6im4eFxY68vFrO0FZ4mN0udoBIBfmTJqQPVB9DkMZ evaI3gJ3eFyI+Nk0Cj70//k65MawUBoXjn4GUsOrr0xevv2A8n9h2alRJlh0LsHA KoAunJfoUMSj+p4QUz1oqsElqprUFV1waYtvJw2u+kTfNWCcsRBFwbnBmq8jq2OM y3lIokR3Cq4bThAjJu/rO8WdIdW7e6ZQKxPln8X2JXeoBQThVZFWrt2gTCD7nJq0 NLlXaHcCInn9fXm4XznTG/eVkoydZyEJmtrXw2J8y04d3DZGR4Z0UncAEQEAAbQm QmFycnkgV2FzZGVsbCA8YmFycnl3YXNkZWxsQGdtYWlsLmNvbT6JAdQEEwEKAD4W IQQURJleoo5GBqdb1zJ7whIHqwjXiAUCXTF2iAIbAwUJA8JnAAULCQgHAwUVCgkI CwUWAgMBAAIeAQIXgAAKCRB7whIHqwjXiFbfC/0flr909QCxsKwhHrp6sXfsn9qA bf03EpDZXfdHcWbRkKmo+EoyVeu0XLpCApW4qfCaRcspGl1z8LF1jtYdQK2Ey21o HG8+HWNLkvDrpEcQtnCs5Ij0zizht+U/Ab+yxezTka5bnc82C7X2h4OK2sU959Hv aOljk2dsWT7oUMW79sSoGZRsBw6bjypyqIup9/r8z5o/S42l2Xl/2ums16NyUCUM wqIN4Ye1NYyTBPDJgr/vSwvnTZnyvUGOhytvs5h7c4luV144xyvKFhcF7Q9Odc3e jpwCzew8qYGpjoRzStv44l1DtYNYF/D72O2myvnYKOXsE9Dzyrzow2lZXehFDLWk bHw67dDgwdbtuL2if+WKnzWRR7UmYJC+0YqEm2edVnwtwAstHpE9iHtpes/HIN90 9S2w7EMLgohYLRh1svw8vnBYskKk+5mLp8Xa6ieG6sED9Nt1EJFB7482SLdwZ7iG T6eEwdMhzXhEZcwwTAfXAsGC0CsFBJs/FXbwBqG5AY0EXTF2iAEMAMK2AUHbmCNA uzSVVStTdXB9NE+it7VxUWB/1aq7V0vBoqyhiHkZ/TnGKRdzvsbJWv5Djq2x5sy2 ZU7hcaUYRIqARwU3s0Eqm1wTvABkcmmqkURInF46uEPuYpmCnqWFKJUpa0ef8wRm HMmvzkH47s7hvbmeb6ZE6ZFwKE6nH+tzsffiIEPKpCvADoWWiaDWLDJZKTp5gxiu jUDQTW951NkO8ACOcDmjruABFyzUBEAogwnRXqHnZ2r2XUESkhafp6CiucXFkdqL rRSkj4CCjBtF0e8iE2Sokv96+5vrTg3pFID+hEA3R43UqsvUmY6fSyLwatUvvhGG JBJgMv2Z41gX/gzCF7K9le0S/h16r9oaFRrerHNX/RJaUslpBJqQsQXKQQKimL2J RvjWYXgH8TApJz2BPj/m1eIJXvljygk4JTVfqUnuMq7m7zxLs+e18RecI9iH5Wok hbf722B524kqo1VTPcLyDaVgAOnzR1jEdyNJy40Oi6KlyPJDGcIRdwARAQABiQG8 BBgBCgAmFiEEFESZXqKORganW9cye8ISB6sI14gFAl0xdogCGwwFCQPCZwAACgkQ e8ISB6sI14gpIQv/RMQGyJBuNRWqpp5DvE/FAJ0kTKAXvR/6oTofsiJ8tq47aNY5 Tdw5ZniLZWRJ4JviKva3ATuQqT4EJO2hWeLm6+mlf7NZQKPIf/p5LxanY4oRnFT+ AIQOIz9t28r4S8fjK4rHhnfKKuqrbiywDkEUPyumYTbq/RoWnMLkmZUUPem3JNgH NoiieAaVixej0GW5VLhNaGimF9Lc3Uz+TYhZIU0EKWooItWDUN6kXspEbc856/eF Ns8o+lZYtzhhx0LeK8FXfwtROSzYA1uATv+Vsnjtmn6n6iqPQ994A9s+ayTIfJA3 gGHd1ViVmYDh49euiq8ea8tzfGqmLg90JQEx0xwjQ2QIr3Sqg43O+GwjY8uqkxRG vM1GUhcpqKJHMkBtet9SVNkxDQ/iIC1KpyjWXWdlGJazyYMHB8NqMBTRVjIp9+gj ziS1SSEEn6mQptruWZd/DDlmQmPWQMxjA4YoLfgpQGEx/sFidFWt8By1uHhEXbHr kGYYSrO/ZY4wqsF9 =CSC/ -----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----