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    Re: Top fifty greatest breakthroughs since the wheel
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2013 Oct 25, 14:22 -0700


    Yes, to clarify, I meant the "sextant" specifically was "scarcely an invention at all", as opposed to the reflecting quadrant, octant, etc. You'll note that the date, 1757, is the one commonly given for the introduction of the first actual sextant. But at that time, it was no more than a slight variant on other reflecting instruments. Certainly the application of the reflecting principle by Hadley (which preceded the sextant by a generation) was critical to scientific navigation and without it, celestial navigation would have remained a rather low accuracy tool.

    I agree that the order is strange. Some things make sense in that ordering. Others do not. But if you ever make your own Internet list (they're very popular!), remember that controversial choices are a big part of what attracts the moths to the flame. :)

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