I love things that relate art and literature to science, so I enjoyed this story in the Smithsonian Mysteries of the Universe Collector’s Edition about a scientist who likes to investigate the astronomy and other science behind art and literature. He’s investigated lots of neat things – like figuring out that a reference in one of the Canterbury Tales to the rocks disappearing from the shore corresponded to a time when there were particularly high tides, and figuring out what Walt Whitman was referring to in his poem “Year of Meteors, (1859-60).” Read the article here.
Whoa. In an odd coincidence, if you google “Year of Meteors,” about half the results are for an album by someone I went to college with. I’m listening to it now and, wow, she’s good. Here’s the Whitman poem.