January 29, 1594

On January 29, 1594, Scottish mathematician, physicist and astronomer, John Napier of Merchiston, dedicated his manuscript, ‘A Plaine Discovery of the Whole Revelation of St. John’ to King James VI. While Napier was a brilliant mathematician and he did discover logarithms and he even invented a device, known as Napier’s Bones, which helped in completing complicated calculations, like the later invention the slide rule, he was also a full-on nutjob. He believed he was a magician and even carried around a black spider in a small box. Napier’s manuscript was a ‘decyphering’ of the Book of Revelations using mathematical formulas to determine the end of the world. Lucky for him, his calculations placed it in either 1688 or 1700, long after he expected to be dead. Which proves that even for a nutjob, he was more intelligent than the average, bellow-lunged Revelationists who says the world is going to end next week, or 1984, or 2012, or 2021. If you predict the end of the world far enough into the future and past your own expected lifetime, you don’t have to worry about something unexpected happening. Like the world not ending when you said it would.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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