The Memory Palace

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Episode 60:
400,000 Stars

Mar 23, 2014

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Music, Footnotes & Ephemera

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22 Comments | Leave a Comment

22 Comments on 400,000 Stars

  1. Casey says:

    Enjoyed the episode as always, Nate. Thank you.

  2. Jocelyn Bennett says:

    How have I just discovered this…and by accident?! Truly one of the best podcasts I’ve ever listened to – well written, beautifully presented, unique stories, inspiring.
    This was my first episode – I’m now “binge listening”.

    Thank you – I’ll be recommending this to everyone I know and supporting you!

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  4. Bern Bradley says:

    LOVE the show. It aggravates me when it ends with no music, no goodbye no nothing. I’ve heard everyone of them. I was introduced to you by SLATE. As many of these as I’ve heard I STILL get mad at the end because there IS no end and I can’t wait for the next one.

  5. Chris says:

    I’d love to know what that acoustic song was near the end of the episode.

  6. Stephen says:

    Reminds me of William Herschel’s sister Caroline, who was one of the great early charters of the night sky.

  7. Larry says:

    This reminds me of the anecdote I read about in T-Minus: The Race to the Moon, in which the calculations for the early Soviet moon shots were done by women rather than computers. Nothing wrong with their brains; in fact, better than my own in that respect.

  8. Heather Hardison says:

    Loved this episode. It made me tear up.

  9. Dana says:

    Thank you. Yours is a podcast to be savoured.

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  13. Jb Smith says:

    Incredibly well written, beautifully descriptive. This really give s you a sense of space and place.

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  16. Dave says:

    Not sure if this is just happening to me, but at the 1:47 mark the episode skips straight to the end. Same thing happens if I try to jump to any point after 1:47.

  17. admin says:

    How are you listening to it? Via what platform?

  18. Dave says:

    I was listening to it streaming directly from this page, but it is working fine today, so I’m sure it was a fluke on my end. Thanks for checking in.

  19. sartrewasamoron says:

    Thanks for this interesting fact. However interesting this is, the fact remains that the women still served an extremely menial function, simple math, and did not direct or lead the research, they just number crunched as set up by those doing the actual discovery.
    Instead of making me excited that women had accomplished something, it saddened me to think that they were still menial labor. Prior to calculators, EVERY student could reliably perform simple mathmatical functions, or they did not graduate from high school.

  20. Maureen Greenbaum says:

    So glad I found theMemory Palace podcast.
    I subscribed to it on iTunes and put it on my iPhone for when I take a walk and on my AudioFlood for when I swim (
    This episode was great because it spoke about the original computer- people (many woman ) who calculated.
    I like it because it talks about computers like the second definition at
    note also Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
    Quick definitions from WordNet (computer)

    ▸ noun: a machine for performing calculations automatically
    ▸ noun: an expert at calculation (or at operating calculating machines)
    The episode was so interesting I Googled for more and found

  21. gguev says:

    I’ve recently discovered your podcast and downloaded all the episodes. They are really great and interesting.
    Relevant to this specific story, I just found on the Smithsonian Digital Volunteers: Transcription Center a project called Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics DASCH project where you can read and transcribe the writing of these incredible women from the Harvard College Observatory. It is like being a very small part of history!