28 March 2010

Variety of Factors

There is no doubt then but Centaurs as well as other Monsters, are produced, partly by the influence of the stars, and partly by other causes, as the ill disposition of the matrix, the bad temperature of the seed, the perverse inclination of the woman, the commixtion of seeds of divers kinds, sudden fear, bad diet, unwholsome air, and untimely Venus.
 - Alexander Ross, Arcana Microcosmi.


  1. And is he able to refute the vulgar errors of Sir Thomas Browne in this worke?

  2. Surprisingly enough, he actually does get some shots in. It's amazing what people liked to argue about in days of yore.

    Sir Thomas wrote an essay called "The Garden of Cyrus or The Quincunciall Lozenge, or Network Plantations of the Ancients, naturally, artificially, mystically considered", which has to be one of the greatest titles ever.

  3. It certainly beats "Avatar in 3d" - actually "Avatar in Quincunciall Lozenge" has a certain ring to it (since Quincux encoding is one of the display formats considered for stereoscopic television compression).

    Apologies for that piece of nerdism in advance.

  4. Interesting. I assume it has something to do with quincunxial patterns...I hear quincunx and think of the Galton Box. If given a large financial grant I will make a genuine effort to build a huge quincunx in a field somewhere and not squander the money on frivolities.

  5. I feel the Mayans could have been more accurate in their end-of-days predicting had they employed the quincunx in a field method.