Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Stigler's Law states that scientific laws are typically named after the second person to have discovered them, or else the person who promoted someone else's original idea rather more successfully. For example, Haley didn't discover Haley's comet, nor did Planck invent Planck's constant. And finally nor did Stigler invent Stigler's law...

Speaking of laws, according to the (unrepealed) 1738 Flotsam Act, it is technically illegal to 'cause any man-made illumination to be visible to shipping' off the coast of Cornwall. It was introduced to stop Cornish criminals luring ships onto the rocks in order to pinch their cargo, but theoretically also applies to flipping the kitchen light on in Penzance when you fancy a late-night cuppa. Don't say you haven't been warned!

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