Monday, June 2, 2008

The practise of the new and old phisicke, 1599

Oh, Alchemy. It was so popular in the Renaissance, and it always surprises me to see the types of people interested in it (Thomas Aquinas, Isaac Newton). To be fair, it wasn't all about turning base metals into gold; it had other dumb goals as well. The principles found their way into philosophy, biology, chemistry, spirituality, and even medicine (as seen in this publication. That's just what I want when I'm dying--some magician coming in trying to get me to drink the "panacea" he made in his basement). I think we can all agree that it was pretty stupid. I'd been wanting to do one of the "invisible"-style lolcat jokes for a while now, and when I saw this it was the first thing I thought of. I almost went with "Alchemy: It's Bullshit," because for me Alchemy has always been the early modern version of all the new-agey, pseudospiritual, pseudoscientific crap we still have to put up with now.

Also: I just started watching Blackadder (it's all on YouTube!) and it has a pretty sweet alchemy gag from the Elizabethan series. Why did I never watch this show before now?!


danielle said...

I think I would be more inclined to drink an elixir of life that some magician brewed in their basement. Because to me it sounds more magical that panacea...but then again if I was an ignorant peasant, I think I would drink a panacea because it sounds foreign. Except if I was speaking Middle English then it wouldn't sound foreign because it's a crazy word like all those Middle English I would probably drink the elixir of life. Yeah. Elixir of Life.

Okay, I guess I have work I should be doing rather than rambling on your blog.

Oh and I didn't go see The Detroit Cobras or X. I caught a head cold last week and plus you're still up north and it would have only been fun if you had gone.

Doug said...

This is completely off-topic, but there's an amazing program in Ohio called Alchemy that seeks to teach "urban" youths "the pragmatic value inherent in identifying, discussing, and analyzing common mythological motifs from a Jungian Depth Psychology perspective."

And I thought it was tough to interest Florida State freshman in Kafka.