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Saturday, 15 September 2018

Who named Australia?


I just had to dig this out of my files, because somebody cited a page that cited Wikipedia, but the material I found there was only a common misconception that Matthew Flinders was the first to use "Australia" in print.

I am putting it here, because I'm too busy to correct the Wikipedia entry, but somebody else can, if they like (and at least I know where I can look for it now).  [Later: I had tried to add this info, and thought it had failed, but it's there now, albeit without the references given here. Somebody else can fix that, if they wish.]

* * * * *

You might think putting a name on the place you had settled would be a high priority for the colonists, but James Cook had named the land when he mapped the whole east coast in 1770, and called it “New South Wales”, based on some fancied resemblance to the southern coast of Wales. On the west side, the Dutch navigators called that area “New Holland”.

Until Matthew Flinders’ mapping voyage in the early 1800s, people were uncertain whether or not these two coasts were part of a single land mass or separated by a sea channel.

Officially, Flinders was the first person to use the name ‘Australia’, in his book, A Voyage to Terra Australis, published in 1814, but there is more to the story.

In 1793, George Shaw and James Edward Smith published the first volume of a planned 2-volume work called Zoology and Botany of New Holland. That first volume covered animals only, and on page 2, the careful reader might have noticed this:

The vast Island or rather Continent of Australia, Australasia, or New Holland, which has so lately attracted the particular attention of European navigators and naturalists, seems to abound in scenes of peculiar wildness and sterility …

Smith’s botany section, if it was ever written, never came out. Shaw wrote up the animals, so he probably deserves the credit for using ‘Australia’. In the Transactions of the Linnaean Society vol. iv, p 213 (1798), Smith called the continent ‘Australasia’ several times. 

The name ‘Australasia’ was certainly known before Flinders went into print, because an 1808 piece of verse in The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser makes a reference to “Australasia’s Black tribe”.

[It's here: The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 6 November 1808, 2, https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/627622.]

Then just a few years later, The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser printed a poem in January 1813 which mentioned “… Australia’s rude Shore …”. 

[It's here: The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 30 January 1813, 3, http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/628623 ]

This poem also pre-dates Flinders’ book, which came out the next year. Here is what Flinders wrote, on page iii:

It is necessary, however, to geographical precision, that so soon as New Holland and New South Wales were known to form one land, there should be a general name applicable to the whole … I have … ventured upon the readoption of the original TERRA AUSTRALIS, and of this term I shall hereafter make use, when speaking of New Holland and New South Wales, in a collective sense; and when using it in the most extensive signification, the adjacent isles, including that of Van Diemen, must be understood to be comprehended.

Having introduced ‘Terra Australis’, Flinders then added a footnote:

Had I permitted myself any innovation upon the original term, it would have been to convert it into Australia, as being more agreeable to the ear, and an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth.

Within a few years, Governor Macquarie was referring to ‘Australia’ in dispatches to London, and in 1824, Sir Thomas Brisbane, governor of New South Wales, was delighted when his wife presented him with an heir, whom he named Thomas Australia Brisbane.

The land, the continent, the future nation, had a name, but that isn't how Wikipedia tells it.

That's why I once had to call for the sacking of an editor who altered my meticulously researched and correct spelling to follow three wrong spellings that said idiot had found on Wikipedia.  There's a price to pay if you rely mindlessly on the rich resources that Wikipedia delivers.


Thursday, 13 September 2018

ABES Teaching Pictures 6


My new book, Australian Backyard Earth Scientist, is due out next January, and I have just been writing the Teachers' Notes. I pulled out all the pictures I might use, and put them in a folder, then I decided to make the used shots available in three sets.


Then I looked at the others and thought, hey, I've been collecting nice geology for yonks, so I'll share the best ones of the discards as well. This is the third of those bonus sets.   I retain all copyright, but note the following let-out:


This Creative Commons copyright allows non-commercial use in any form, with attribution and share-alike.

 
Most of the images will look huge on the blog page, because they are all inserted as "original size" which means they will normally come out as 1600 x 1200 (some images are older and smaller format). Titles appear under the images: to get any picture onto your computer, right-click and choose "save image as".  The file titles are complex but sufficiently descriptive, while the captions will help.

There are multiple pages:

ABES Teaching Pictures
ABES Teaching Pictures 2
ABES Teaching Pictures 3

 King tide, Devonport, Auckland, February 2018.
 Myrvatn Krafla geothermal power station, Iceland.
  Myrvatn Krafla geothermal field, Iceland.
 Dyke, Bingie Bingie Beach, NSW
 Weathered-out dyke, between Gerringong and Kiama, NSW.
Dyke, 1080 Beach, NSW.
Lava flow, Kilauea, 2005.
 Crater, Mt Vesuvius.
 Pebbles between Gerringong and Kiama.
Dropstone on rock platform, Ulladulla.
Permian conglomerate (base of Sydney Basin), Budawang Ranges, NSW.
Permian conglomerate (base of Sydney Basin), Budawang Ranges, NSW.
 Damage caused by mining: mud like this indicates somebody is 'washing for gold' upstream.
Damage caused by mining: Hunter Valley coal damage.
Damage caused by mining: Las Medulas Spain, ruined 2000 years ago by Roman slaves seeking gold.
Damage caused by mining: the Oriental Claims goldfield was subject to 'hydraulicking'.
  Damage caused by mining:  the Oriental Claims goldfield was subject to 'hydraulicking'.
 Damage caused by mining:  the Oriental Claims goldfield was subject to 'hydraulicking', using nozzles like this.
  Damage caused by mining: near Hill End, NSW.
Uluru, central Australia, known to the ignorant as "Ayer's Rock".
Standley Chasm will one day be referred to as Angkerle Atwatye, which is what it has always been called by its owners.


One of the labels for this is the book title: click on that to see what else is available: the link is just below this.

ABES Teaching Pictures 5


My new book, Australian Backyard Earth Scientist, is due out next January, and I have just been writing the Teachers' Notes. I pulled out all the pictures I might use, and put them in a folder, then I decided to make the used shots available in three sets.


Then I looked at the others and thought, hey, I've been collecting nice geology for yonks, so I'll share the best ones of the discards as well. This is one of those bonus sets.   I retain all copyright, but note the following let-out:


This Creative Commons copyright allows non-commercial use in any form, with attribution and share-alike.

 
Most of the images will look huge on the blog page, because they are all inserted as "original size" which means they will normally come out as 1600 x 1200 (some images are older and smaller formatTitles appear under the images,: to get any picture onto your computer, right-click and choose "save image as".  The file titles are complex but sufficiently descriptive, while the captions will help.

There will are multiple pages:

ABES Teaching Pictures
ABES Teaching Pictures 2
ABES Teaching Pictures 3
 Joints, Triassic Hawkesbury sandstone, Fairlight, Sydney.
  Weathered joints, Triassic Hawkesbury sandstone, Manly, Sydney.
Iron oxide-filled joints, Permian sandstone, Broken Bay.
 Unconformity, Myrtle Beach, NSW.
 Folding and faulting, Aragunnu, NSW.
Folding in a sheep paddock, Wee Jasper road, south of Yass, NSW.
 Folds, Mt Pilatus, Switzerland.
 Folds, Mystery Bay NSW.
 Folds, Cascade Mountain near Banff, Canada.
 Weathering and hoodoos, Bryce Canyon, USA.
  Weathering and hoodoos, Bryce Canyon, USA.
 Weathering and hoodoos, Bryce Canyon, USA.
 Natural bridge, weathering in Triassic sandstone near Frenchs Forest.
 Lighning blast in Hawkesbury sandstone: weathering with attitude.
 Liesegang weathering near Swansea Heads NSW.
  Liesegang weathering near Swansea Heads NSW.
  Liesegang weathering near Swansea Heads NSW.
  Liesegang weathering near Swansea Heads NSW.
  Liesegang weathering near Swansea Heads NSW.
Honeycomb weathering, Cape Banks near Sydney.


One of the labels for this is the book title: click on that to see what else is available: the link is just below this.

ABES Teaching Pictures 4


My new book, Australian Backyard Earth Scientist, is due out next January, and I have just been writing the Teachers' Notes. I pulled out all the pictures I might use, and put them in a folder, then I decided to make the used shots available in three sets.

Then I looked at the others and thought, hey, I've been collecting nice geology for yonks, so I'll share the best ones of the discards as well. This is one of those bonus sets.

I retain all copyright, but note the following  let-out:

This Creative Commons copyright allows non-commercial use in any form, with attribution and share-alike.

Most of the images will look huge on the blog page, because they are all inserted as "original size" which means they will normally come out as 1600 x 1200 (some images are older and smaller formatTitles appear under the images,: to get any picture onto your computer, right-click and choose "save image as".  The file titles are complex but sufficiently descriptive, while the captions will help.

There will are multiple pages:

ABES Teaching Pictures
ABES Teaching Pictures 2
ABES Teaching Pictures 3


The gob-stopper model of packing (see the book for how this relates to crystals!)

Ice crystals.

Unconverted shell fossils

 A mould fossil from Ulladulla.
 Fossil tree, Swansea Heads.
  Fossil tree, Swansea Heads.
 Fossil coral in my marble table.
 Marble paving stone, Suomenlinnen, Helsinki.
 Angle of rest measurer (the crack in the Vegemite jar cam from over-enthusiastic microwaving: be warned!).

Leigh Creek, South Australia, spoil heap from a coal mine (now closed) showing erosion.

Hawkesbury sediment, being picked up and carried north after heavy rain.
Mud cracks.
Dunes in the Sahara. Note the angle of rest. This pic has been enhanced.
Beach landform, Cyprus.
Sandbank, The Entrance, with mineral sands exposed.

 Sand spit
 Mesa, on the road to (ptui!) Las Vegas.
 A neat inclusion, a pebble in Hawkesbury sandstone.
 A normal fault in varved shale, taken with a Go Micro at x15: the field is 9 mm across.
 Slate sample, Heidiland, Switzerland.
Look closely at this Norwegian slate, and you can see cross-bedding, so maybe, it's quartzite, rather than slate. Think about it!



One of the labels for this is the book title: click on that to see what else is available: the link is just below this.