[Daily article] July 1: The Man in the Moone

The Man in the Moone is a book by the English Church of England bishop
Francis Godwin (1562–1633). Initially considered to be one of his
early works, it is now thought to date from the late 1620s. It was first
published posthumously in 1638 under the pseudonym of Domingo Gonsales.
The work made a contribution to the branch of astronomy influenced by
Nicolaus Copernicus, the only astronomer mentioned by name. Gonsales is
a Spaniard forced to flee the country after killing a man in a duel.
Having made his fortune in the East Indies he decides to return to
Spain, but falls ill on the voyage home and is set off on St Helena to
recover. He resumes his journey, but his ship is attacked by a British
fleet off the coast of Tenerife. He uses a flying machine he has devised
to escape, but once safely landed he is approached by hostile natives
and is forced to take off again. This time the birds powering his
machine fly higher and higher, ultimately reaching the Moon. There
Gonsales encounters the Lunars, a tall Christian people inhabiting what
appears to be a utopian paradise. Some critics consider The Man in the
Moone to be one of the first works of science fiction.

Read more:

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Today’s selected anniversaries:

1770:

Lexell’s Comet passed closer to the Earth than any other comet
in recorded history, approaching to a distance of 0.015 AU.

1867:

The British North America Act came into effect, uniting the
Province of Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia into the Canadian
Confederation.

1932:

Australia’s national broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting
Corporation, was formed.

1963:

The British government revealed that former MI6 agent Kim
Philby had engaged in espionage for the Soviet Union.

2006:

The Qinghai–Tibet Railway, the world’s highest railway and
the only railway line to the Tibet Autonomous Region, was inaugurated.

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Wiktionary’s word of the day:

jorum:
1. (countable) A large vessel for drinking (usually alcoholic beverages).
2. (countable, figuratively) A large quantity.
3. (countable, uncountable) The contents, or quantity of the contents, of
such a vessel.

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Wikiquote quote of the day:

  In the stormy days of our youth, we imagine that solitude is a
sure refuge from the assaults of life, a certain balm for the wounds of
battle. This is a serious mistake, and experience teaches us that, if we
cannot live in peace with our fellow-men, neither romantic raptures nor
aesthetic enjoyment will ever fill the abyss gaping at the bottom of our
hearts.  
–George Sand

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