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    Re: Paper by Bill and Merri Carter
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2010 Nov 25, 16:34 -0800

    Well, I've now read the article. If it were a freshman college paper, I would give it a C-. It's amateurish, and it seems clear that they literally did not know what they were talking about. And a great deal of it is "cavilling" about Sobel's "Longitude". There's no evidence of any actual research.

    I'm thinking that there has to be some "extraordinary circumstance" that led to this mediocre article being published... maybe some personal connection to the father-daughter team that produced it? The pair also collaborated on an article on Simon Newcomb that was published in Physics Today:
    http://www.calstatela.edu/faculty/kaniol/a360/simon_newcomb_phys_today_Feb2009.pdf

    And they wrote a book together on Newcomb:
    http://www.booklocker.com/books/2313.html
    As you can see, this is a self-published book.

    The Carters also wrote a book on Chandler and his wobble entitled "Latitude: How American Astronomers Solved the Mystery of Variation". Ha! Hey, if "Longitude" made a fortune, then surely "Latitude" will make a fortune, too. :) Maybe that explains the overtly envious words about Sobel in the current article. I read the Carters' "Latitude" a few years back and found it largely forgettable.

    From my googling, it turns out that there was a William E. Carter who survived the sinking of the Titanic. Any chance he was related to this William E. Carter?? Now that would be a fun connection.

    -FER

    PS: I wrote previously:
    "Those of you who paid money for the article, you may want to request a refund. Since the project appears to have been funded under US government grant money, it's likely that you should have been able to acquire it at no cost. Don't quote me on it --just something worth looking into."
    And George Huxtable replied:
    "Those words are absurdly over-the-top, and can hardly have been intended to be taken seriously."
    Did you mis-read what I wrote? John H. had mentioned that he regretted "paying the 30 pounds for the dang thing." Yeah, that's a very high charge, over $45 USD at the current exchange rate, for a short article, no matter how you look at it. If, in fact, the article is LEGALLY in the public domain (because it appears possible that it was US-government-funded), then John and anyone else in the US, at least, may want to request a refund. On the other hand, it's possible that the copyright IS legally valid, either globally or in specific countries. And by the way, if that's the case, I'll remove it from the archives immediately.

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