Let the Stars and the Ink Guide You Home [Science Tattoos]

By Carl Zimmer | July 5, 2009 1:32 am

star-navigation-440-tattoo.jpgMarc Morency, Quartermaster 1st class, USN, writes: “While I am by no means a scientist, I have been fortunate enough to be paid by the government to get ships from pt. A to pt. B serving in the US Navy as a Quartermaster.  I was drawn to the navigation when I joined.  In my opinion, it is the only job in the military that is both a science and an art  Celestial navigation has been something I have become profoundly interested in since I joined ten years ago.  In this age of GPS, it is, in my opinion  more important now than ever for Navigators to remain proficient in the old ways to fix a ship’s position using a sextant and trigonometry.  My tattoo is the visual depiction of how to plot a line of position from a celestial body using the altitude intercept method, a method which has been time tested for more than a century.  For me it serves as a reminder that while technology improves, the sea remains an unpredictable place and it is up to the older generation to teach the younger the old school ways of doing business.”

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  1. hooks for a good cause « Aniareads Weblog | July 5, 2009
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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.

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