Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff: Episode 181: Taking Latitudes with Longitude
March 13, 2016 5:07 AM - Subscribe

In this special theme episode, we start in the uncharted waters of the Cartography Hut, to look at the struggle to accurately measure longitude at sea, and its underdog hero, clockmaker John Harrison. We shift to the Gaming Hut to ask ourselves how to introduce navigational uncertainty into magic-rich F20 worlds.

Then the Consulting Occultist tours us through the colorful career of privateer, courtier, cookbook author and magic powder maker Kenelm Digby. The connection? The rejected magical dog injury method of longitude measurement.

When the astronomer Giovanni Cassini wanted to establish a reference point for longitude he went to the ruins of Uraniborg, the observatory erected by Tycho Brahe. Can Ken’s Time Machine prevent it from being destroyed in the first place?
posted by graymouser (3 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
(Sorry, being sidelined with bronchitis over the last few days meant it took a while for me to listen to this episode.)

So: longitude! Which I'm glad was only one episode because I heard enough of Robin saying it with a hard "g" for a lifetime. (Apparently that's not wrong and we Americans are closer to being incorrect for saying it with a soft "g", but it trips me up every time.)

The whole derail into sympathetic magic during the Consulting Occultist segment was definitely the most interesting and has a ton of potential. I mean, swapping tattooed skin alphabets? Wow. Of course the whole dog part was just unfortunate. But the actual magical-worldview stuff there is really interesting.

When Ken and Robin talk about the narrative switching thing (tell me some bad things that happen to you) during exploration – I don't think they really dig the explorationist side of what they call "F20." To me that genre means that the map has X and it will always be there, it's not so easily skimmed across. But the general framework of sea trips in terms of encounters and such was solid.

It managed to keep my attention with a subject I'm not fascinated by, so that's good. I'm looking forward to how Patreon morphs the podcast.
posted by graymouser at 6:44 AM on March 13, 2016

I had no idea Ken and Robin fanfaring was a thing.

I'll be back.
posted by Zed at 10:08 PM on March 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

Awesome, Zed. I try to put up the posts within a day or two of the episode dropping.
posted by graymouser at 3:42 AM on March 14, 2016

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