The transformer that provides electricity to the AMS building in Providence went down on Sunday, April 22. The restoration of our email, website, AMS Bookstore and other systems is almost complete. We are currently running on a generator but overnight a new transformer should be hooked up and (fingers crossed) we should be fine by 8:00 (EDT) Wednesday morning. This issue has affected selected phones, which should be repaired by the end of today. No email was lost, although the accumulated messages are only just now being delivered so you should expect some delay.
Thanks for your patience.
"Measuring the Past," by Michael Vickers. Nature, 26 April 2001, p.1030.
Vickers reviews All Done with Mirrors, a book by J. F. Neal onmetrology---the science of measurement. Neal makes the case that measures usedin Roman, Greek, Egyptian, and Babylonian cultures are interrelated. He alsosays that some errors in measures made by ancient people, which are usuallyattributed to lack of accuracy, are due to the latitude at which the peoplelived (measurements based on fractional parts of a longitudinal meridian willvary because of flattening at the poles). Vickers hopes that one result ofNeal's book will be that metrology "should cease to be a pariah subject andregain its place at the centre of the study of antiquity."
--- Mike Breen