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What an exciting creepy cool evening New York city experienced! The first annual Athanasius Kircher Society kicked off with a fantastic series of presenters! Special thanks to all our MAKE readers who stopped by!

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Only a few photos managed to escape this first ever event….

  • Stump rain man with Kim and Fran Peek.
  • The Time Fountain, with Nate True.
  • Snakestones and Flying cats, Rosamond Purcell.
  • Romeo and Juliet: The ever dramatic performance in solresol, Paul Collins and Dylan Thomas.
  • The man who fell from space, with Col. Joe Kittinger Jr.
  • A polyreactory assemblage of contemplation, gadgetry, and exothermic libration, Jesse Ferguson.

More:

  • Photos – Link.
  • Inaugural Meeting of the Athanasius Kircher Society – Link.

Who was Athanasius Kircher?

Wikipedia: Athanasius Kircher (sometimes erroneously spelt Kirchner) (May 2, 1602-28 November 1680[citation needed]) was a 17th century German Jesuit scholar who published around 40 works, most notably in the fields of oriental studies, geology and medicine. He made an early study of Egyptian hieroglyphs. One of the first people to observe microbes through a microscope, he was thus ahead of his time in proposing that the plague was caused by an infectious microorganism and in suggesting effective measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

He has been compared to Leonardo da Vinci for his inventiveness and the breadth and depth of his work. A scientific star in his day, towards the end of his life he was eclipsed by the rationalism of René Descartes and others. In the late 20th century, however, the aesthetic qualities of his work again began to be appreciated. One scholar, Edward W. Schmidt, has called him “the last Renaissance man”.

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As a special treat for MAKE subscribers we’re sending out a printed copy of Athanasius Kircher’s “Magnetic Clock” – MAKER TALES. A 1st in a series from the travel journal Sir Robert Moray. If you’re a subscriber to MAKE you’re set, if not – start today!