In order to set the scene for the following story I need to reveal some details of the private life of the Renaissance Mathematicus. My radio alarm clock goes off shortly before seven o’clock and after having listened to the news I get up, get dressed and go out into the woods with the other half of the RM team, Sascha. When we get home I clean my teeth, make my tea, Darjeeling First Flush drunk black without sugar if you’re asking, and sit down at the computer, Apple naturally, for my first journey through the intertubes accompanied by the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4. I have a set ritual of the order in which I visit various blogs, Wikipedia and my mailbox. On opening my mailbox I am usually confronted by a selection of messages from the history of astronomy mailing list (HASTRO-L), the Mersenne digest from the history of science mailing list, messages from the university library, private mails and spam.
A few days ago I had a mail from a sweetly named young lady informing me that the Renaissance Mathematicus had been selected for a list of the best fifty history of science blog sites, however on clicking on the link I discovered that the friendly siren was a spammer hustling for links to her website selling rotating bathtubs with built in rocket launchers or something like that.
This morning as I opened my mailbox, whilst sipping the life giving juices of my second mug of tea, I was confronted by a handful of mails from HASTRO-L on Columbus and the Ephemerides of Regiomontanus a debate in which I am one of the principle participants, an announcement from Mersenne of a conference in Gdansk in September on the 400th anniversary of Hevelius’ birth that I am seriously thinking of attending and a mail from the university library telling me that a book I had ordered through inter-library loan had arrived and was waiting to be collected. In the middle of all this was a mail from a guy I had never heard of with “Congratulations” as header. Spam was my first reaction and I almost consigned it to the trashcan without opening it, however curiosity got the better of me.
The mail informed me that I had won the Cliopatria award for the best individual history blog for 2010! Definitely spam! But I clicked on the link anyway to see what was on offer this time and nearly fell of my stool as I realised that I had really been honoured with a prestigious award from the History News Network. There’s an English slang expression that has become popular since I left the island that perfectly describes my feelings on finally becoming aware of what I was reading; I was gob smacked! In fact I’m still in a state of advanced shock now, eight hours later. All I can say is that I’m humbled and very, very honoured that anybody should think that my very minor contributions to the world of history in the Internet are worthy of consideration and am deeply thankful to the judges who have chosen to bestow this honour on my blog. But hey you guys what have you been smoking and where can I get some?
Of course it’s all really a mistake and tomorrow I will get an email apologising intently for the error as the award should have gone to a blog called “The Regency Mantelpiece” but somebody fucked up and because of the similarity of the names sent it to me by mistake but until then I shall bask in the glory of what might have been.