Apres un long silence, dont je ne chercherai pas a m'excuser,
j'ai le plaisir de vous communiquer ...
After a long silence, for which I will not try to apologize,
I am pleased to inform you ...
On the Electricity excited by the mere Contact of conducting substances of different kinds.
In a letter from Mr. Alexander Volta, F.R.S. Professor of Natural Philosophy in the University of Pavia, to the Rt. Hon. Sir Joseph Banks, Bart. K.B. P.R.S.
Read to the Royal Society June 26, l800
I have been absent from Science20.com for far too long, due to various reasons. I shall try now to catch up with all of the various part-written articles I have on my computer.
My first priority after the current article on ants will be "A letter from Mr. Volta". As far as I am able to discover, the original paper has never been translated into English in its entirety. I am trying to remedy that defect.
A related topic: the invention of the lead-acid cell by Wilhelm Josef Sinsteden is far too often wrongly attributed to the man who - 5 years later - improved Sinsteden's design and made it a thing of greater practical value. There is a world of difference between being the inventor of a thing and the improver of a thing. I have observed that in many cases of misinformation or wrong attribution, the cause seems to be the (deliberate or accidental) omission of qualifiers such as adjectives. An ice age predicted in the 1970s ? Yes, but the missing qualifier in so many reports of this is: "in some thousands of years time." and/or "ignoring anthropogenic effects". I hope to write an entire article on this interesting aspect of data transmission failures in human language.
I have today written about ants, trees and earthquakes. Enjoy!