Assignment 0

SciRev – HHS369ev

for the Week of 8/27/08

Welcome to your first assignment page

This assignment page will go into more detail and be a much longer winded than usual about the mechanics of using the class materials and the web site.  Normally these pages won’t be quite so wordy.

How to Use the Assignment Page and How to Prepare and Submit Homework:


All assignments will be posted on pages like this one.


They will generally consist of a list of commands like Read, Write, Draw, Consider… etc.


Readings will either be from the books I asked you to buy or from web materials that will be located in the eLibrary or will have links to outside sources. Sometimes a PDF in the eLibrary will be rather large [e.g. 10 MB].  When this is the case I will generally post a smaller but fuzzier resolution version along with the large master copy so that anyone with a bad internet connection will have a fighting chance of downloading the reading.  Be aware that .htm files in the eLibrary often have accompanying “files/” with the same name. [E.g. Shakespeare-Hamlet.htm vs. Shakespeare-Hamlet_files/.]  Click on the .htm file, not the “files/” link.  The “files/” link is just a folder of the images for the .htm link.


Homework assignments are due the week on which they are assigned unless otherwise specified.  In general a written assignment will be due on a Thursday. I prefer physical paper for assignments so that I can more easily comment on your work, but you may occasionally submit your homework as an email attachment or a link if the electronic medium is more appropriate for your particular submission, i.e. you have done a short movie or a web site or a graphic intensive essay, or of your printer is acting up.  Homework submitted electronically tends to be graded slower than paper homework. 


Cite everything.  I’ll let you know if you are going to far with citations, but I can’t think of this ever having happened.  Cite me from a lecture, cite your roommate’s strange observation, cite the conversation you had with your pals at 3:00 am around the family hookah (or narghile or nargileh), cite your dream about early animal domestication or the video game that referred to some idea you had… make up the format if you are not sure… cite the newspaper article you read and mentioned, cite your mother.  Think of your life as one giant lab.  Record all data.


Always email me with any question you might have:

For Thursday:


1- Email me at from an email account that you check regularly so that the return address is functional. [I suggest you put this email address in your address book.] If you are not officially registered for this class, tell me your status in this email. If you have any special interests or things you’d like me to know about you, feel free to tell me about them, otherwise you can just say, “Hey.” This is extremely important and it will be graded.


2- Read this class policy document: Class Policies.  These are the nuts and bolts for the class.  A link to this is also on the Syllabus [SciRevF08].

Intermission - Tutorial- How to use the  eLibrary. The readings listed in bold on this page can be found in the  eLibrary. Some readings are PDF and others are .htm and still other materials might be .jpg or some other file type. The PDFs may take a few minutes to download, depending on your connection, so be patient.  My browser initially claims that PDFs viewed within the browser have “failed to open” even though if you wait everything seems to work just fine. You may prefer right-clicking on the PDF in the  eLibrary and downloading it to your hard drive for reading and safe keeping. You may print them if you want, but it is not necessary.  I usually read PDFs on screen and take notes in a Word.doc or on real paper. Either way, take notes, otherwise your time reading them will have been wasted, unless you have a really good memory.  I don’t, so I buy my memory by the gigabyte. Taking notes slows you down, but it means that you usually don’t have to read the material ever again.

3- Read: pp. 57-75 in Koestler (pp. 59-79 in the paperback edition), which is available at the bookstore, but if you are not ready to commit or there is a problem at the bookstore, I have posted this reading, Koestler-SleepWalkers-I.v-vi-2.6MB.pdf in the eLibrary.  Later readings from Koestler will not be posted.


4- Read: Newsome-Medieval-Aristotelian_Perception which can be found in the eLibrary.  This reading is very short, but very dense and should be read with great care.



5- Look over the images I have put at the end of this page.  If you want a closer look they can be downloaded and blown up in a graphics program.


There is no written assignment, but quizzes happen.


Here are the citations for the above works:


Koestler, Arthur. The Sleepwalkers : A History of Man's Changing Vision of the Universe. New York: Macmillan, 1959.


Newsome, Daniel. "The Sensory Media of Aristotle, Albert, and Aquinas." CUNY Graduate Center, 2006.


Back to Syllabus [SciRevF08]


Have a question or need to report a bad link?  Email me:


Those who report problems with this site will get a star next to their names.  I need to know if everything works.


Images for Your Perusal


Here are a few images from Genesis as interpreted by a few European artists from the past.  How well do they represent the astronomy you read about? Although I am not asking that you do anything with these images officially for this week, these could have been good essay material.  Why are these images so weird?  The answer has as much to do with Aristotle and Greek philosophy as it has to do with the Bible.  We will be discussing some of this in later classes. 


Pay attention to the worlds shown in these images.

There is/are physics and chemistry and medicine and astronomy and botany and zoology and in these pictures.

Here are two images from the mystic Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179).

She was an artist, a composer, a theologian, a mystic, and an all around interesting woman.

Here is a link for more information on her: Hildegard-Grove_Article




Interesting Science News

(I will often put links to interesting science and technology news items. Sometimes they are relevant to what we are studying, and sometimes they are not.  These are not required reading.  I found them interesting and thought you might too.  If you run across an interesting story, let me know.)


New Sphere in Exploring the Abyss by William Broad of the NY Times

(Deep sea explorers are getting a new Alvin submersible capable of diving 4+ miles deep.)


Nijhuis - Friend or Foe? Crows Never Forget a Face, It Seems

Crows know who you are and where you live.  Watch out!


Review Materials: posted 10/10/08




Back to Syllabus [SciRevF08].