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Discovery

Volume X, Number 2 | spring 2017

Miscellany

A scholar in Peking contracted malaria in 1899 and was given medication with an ingredient labeled “dragon bones.” The bone chips, he found, were inscribed with writing dating back to China’s second dynasty. Thousands more were uncovered in the decades following; many of these “oracle bones” had inscriptions recording celestial events, which scientists have since used to calculate changes in the length of an earth day and in the rate of the earth’s rotation.

The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility.

- Albert Einstein, 1936

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