The ghost of Nathaniel Bowditch came by last night. He had one hand on his heart and held the other hand aloft and declared, “I’m Nathaniel Bowditch!” People from long ago have a strong presentational way of talking. I think it’s because they didn’t have TV or the internet and so they felt good about themselves.

I said, “I’m sorry, but I don’t know who you are.”

Nathaniel Bowditch said, “Oh, that’s okay. Few do. In the early 1800’s I was intensely interested in the mathematics involved in celestial navigation. I used to set sail in the middle of the night with nothing but my protractor. I used my discoveries to write ‘The American Practical Navigator’ which became a bestseller and later was developed into a play that made a star of a young John Wilkes Booth.”

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