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Welcome to Stuff You Missed in History Class A production of I Heart Radio. Hello and welcome to the podcast. I'm Holly Fry. And I'm Tracy Wilson. Oh, Tracy, we're finally getting to the topic that's been on my list for ever. Yeah, forever enough that there have been several times in the last couple of months where you're like, is this the week you're doing that thing? And I'm like, no, no, not this week. I it's something else this week.
And I've been working on it kind of in the background a little at a time, honestly, since last fall. And for some reason I just wanted to be a little more languid with it. So I would work on other topics and I'd come back to this one periodically. And then I finally just like buckled down and got all of my my research together. Emily to Chatelain Early Life would make an absolutely marvelous TV series. Her later life is could be something of an inspired tragedy.
And the middle of it offers up a glimpse at someone who figured out how to take advantage of their privilege to be the person that they wanted to be, even though they were really bucking tradition and societal expectation. And she challenged the philosophic and scientific world of her time. And while she was eclipsed after her death by her far more famous lover in the last century and specifically the last several decades, historians have taken a closer look at this blazingly smart 18th century French woman who prioritized her love of learning above all else, Gabrielle, Emily, Tony.
The British boy was born in Paris on December 17th of 1786. She was the daughter of wealth. Her father was Baron Louis Nicolae Latonia deliberately, and he was part of Louis the 14th, the royal household. So a part of the noblest dobe, her mother, Gabrial, and definitely was the daughter of Charles de Gaulle, who had a distinguished military career and was captain of the French guard before becoming grand marshal of the House of the King, Gabrielle, and clearly had been educated to the extent that most young women in the late 17th century, France would have been.
She spent some of her youth in a convent and she didn't receive formal schooling outside of that setting. But her daughter Emily had a very different upbringing. Emily's father, seeing that his daughter was very curious with, quote, uncommon capacity and vigor of mind, consented for her to learn about mathematics and poetry and languages and other topics that sparked her interest. Although this is alleged to have caused some strain with Gabrielle, who did not want her daughter raised outside of the same tradition she had grown up in, her father even had her take fencing lessons and ride horses very outside the norm for a girl at the time and the multiple languages that she picked up in her formative years, particularly Latin, would be very useful later in her life.
When Emily was ten, Louis Nicola had the scientist and writer Bernard Liebovich de Fontanelle visit their home for an evening and have this casual chat about astronomy. And this was really a way for him to offer his daughter some private instruction. And she just really soaked up everything that Fontanelle had told her about solar systems that orbited stars similar to our sun and about the Milky Way. Emily really loved it.
And visitors like Fontenelle, we're fairly regular. And that opened Emily's worldview, and it made her mother more and more worried. There are actually some differing accounts as to whether Gabrielle Ann was dismayed about her daughter's proclivities towards study versus what she thought were more appropriate activities. But it seems whether she was angry about it or not, her real concern was her daughter's future. She wanted to send Emily to a strict convent school, but Louis Niccola refused to let that happen.
And instead, their daughter, sometimes awkward, infinitely inquisitive, stayed home almost all the time as a sort of compromise. They did have a beautiful place that overlooked the two Lily. So it's not the worst place to have to hang out at home all the time.
But she was growing up and that meant that eventually she was either going to have to go to a convent or she had to get married because there were not a lot of other choices for women in early 18th century France.
Yeah, that sort of circles back around to just what we talked about with Elliptic, about she wrote a lot about how there were not other options for women besides getting married or going into the combat. So as she grew into her teenage years, Emily became quite a beauty by some accounts, and that eased the family's mind a little bit. It made it more likely that she would be able to make a good marriage match.
There's also a description, though, that describes her as more awkward and plain. So beauty was probably in the eye of the beholder here. She was introduced, Vusi, at the age of 16 so that she could meet a potential husband. I believe seeing that the men of the court were self-indulgent and to her mind, ridiculous is said to have come up with a plan that she would tell everyone in the court exactly who she was. Her thinking here was that she would either attract a man who understood that she was unique and needed some space or she would scare away all of these shallow men who had simply seen her as another pretty young woman to woo up until that point.
Yes, she didn't want to deal with their frivolity. So her plan was to challenge one of the Royal Guards at Versailles to a sword fight. To be clear, this is not like a challenge to a duel that's intended to end in someone's death. It was a physical challenge to see who would win the day. And, of course, something this unusual brought everyone at court out to watch. So she did meet her plan of telling everyone exactly who she was all in one go.
And Emily did really, really well. Actually, the match ended in a draw, which was quite an accomplishment considering her opponent was trained in combat. You'll recall she had some fencing lessons when she was younger. Her mother was, of course, horrified when she found out about this entire thing, writing, quote, We may be forced to send her to a convent after all. But no, Abis would accept her.
Definitely seems like the setup for a period TV show.
Oh, I would watch it in a New York minute mini series.
After that whole swordfight experience, all the men who had been bothering Emily started to leave her alone and she started a period of self guided education. She bought what books she could with her allowance, but her father's income had dwindled and he couldn't keep sending her more money for more books. So she leaned on her skills in math and she taught herself to count cards. And she started gambling so she could earn more book money. And while her father seemed to be pretty proud of her level of ingenuity here, he also recognized that this kind of behavior could not go on forever.
She was going to have to get married at some point. Yeah, he wrote letters for he talked about how she had just cleaned out a whole bunch of people playing cards.
She was apparently very good at it and she liked gambling pretty much for the rest of her life. And Emily realized this couldn't go on forever as well. And as she kind of made peace with this reality, she very carefully considered which gentlemen of the court she would be comfortable offering her attentions to. And ultimately, her marriage match was a marquee, a military man who was in his 30s and seemed polite. In 1725, Emily married Marcie Floren, Claude disgustedly Lomo, thus becoming a Maki's.
And this was, to be clear, an arranged marriage. It wasn't like she wooed him. She was just kind of like maybe this one. And the families worked out the business arrangements and it was very beneficial for both families. Right. Emily's new husband could take care of her financially. And while the military family was not as wealthy as it had once been, the powerful connections that disgustedly gained through his new in-laws were pretty substantial. If you're noting that difference in the name between Do Shetterly, which is how Emily is known today, and she still that is not an accident or an error.
And we're going to come back to it. This marriage really wasn't romantic, but in many ways, Flora Claude was about as good of a match as Emily could have made in the French court. He didn't inflict a whole lot of rules on his new bride. She was still able to visit her brothers and ride horses, although she could not do either of those things alone. After spending the summer in Paris, the couple moved to the town of Semur and Burgundy, where Florence Claude had been given the governorship by his father as a wedding gift.
The couple lived pretty separate lives and that was common at the time. And in this marriage, Emily had three children who had a daughter and two sons.
Their daughter, Gabriel Pauline was born one year into the marriage on June 30th, 1726. Seventeen months later, on November 20th, 1727, their son Floreana Louis was born.
Their youngest child, François Victor, was born on April 11th, 1733, but he unfortunately died in infancy.
Floren Claude was also an officer in the Royal Army and that meant he was away for long periods of time.
Once the children were born, it seems as though Emilie was perceived as having delivered on her responsibilities to the marriage contract, and she was able to live more or less as she pleased, without any kind of interference from her husband. After sticking by his side and traveling with him on deployments for the first five years, they were married. She went back to Paris and they really didn't live together again after that point, although they did see each other from time to time.
Essentially, he was her benefactor for the rest of her life. Enabled her to pursue her studies and her projects as she wished without having to worry about making a living. Sounds pretty ideal compared to what she was looking for. Sounds dreamy. In a moment, we are going to talk about do Shadowlands transition into a new phase of her life?
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After the birth of her third child, Emily, as we said, returned to society and almost immediately at the age of 24, she began an affair with famed womanizer Louis François Alman Divinia duplicity Duke deliciously.
And the two of them were an item for a year and a half. And the Duke is said to have encouraged Emily to bring an even more structured approach to her learning and hire tutors to guide her through various subjects rather than continuing to work just on her own.
This affair ended amicably. The Duke and Emily remained friends for the remainder of her life, and they wrote each other long letters like 10 to 20 pages at a time. These letters discussed philosophy and literature and metaphysics.
And while they both may have moved on romantically when it said that Emily is the one who ended that romantic relationship, Richard, who had always spoken to friends about how incredibly smart she was and that intellect was something that he really valued in her as a friend.
Yeah, as a as a character in history, richly is said to have been the inspiration for development in Lily is the. He was really, truly an infamous womanizer. And I, I read one comment, but I didn't fact check it, that Emily was the only woman who ever left him, which is just an interesting trivia on her part. In 1733, when Emily du Chatelet was in her late 20s, she met the man who would in many ways define her life story, at least as it has often been portrayed.
And that is Voltaire. At the time, he was thirty eight and he was almost instantly smitten with these smart, quick witted young woman writing shortly after they met, quote, Why did you only reach me so late? What happened to my life before? I'd hunted for love but found only mirages.
In actuality, the two of them had probably met years before this, when Emily was still a little girl. Voltaire had been one of her father's friends and had visited their home. But meeting as adults, there was this instant attraction between the two of them in Voltaire. It really seems like Emily just suddenly had finally found a partner with whom she could be entirely herself. She did not have to hold back her interest in science or mathematics, and while his expertise was in different areas, he was really an intellectual match for her and he truly became the love of her life.
Voltaire, of course, was already famous or rather infamous by this time.
This is a quick, quick and dirty version of his life story.
So he was born Francois McRea way, and he had initially been charting a course for a career as a lawyer. Before he became a writer in 1717, he was famously arrested and spent 11 months in the Bastille when he took credit for verses which had been circulating in Paris that accused Philip the second Duke Dorio, who was the region at the time of an incestuous relationship with his daughter. It's actually unlikely that Voltaire had actually been the author of that accusation, but he took credit for it just the same.
He had also won critical acclaim for his epic poem by Henri, and that was about the life of only the Fourth and was published in 1723. His ongoing skewering of the French government and specific aristocrats had led to his temporary exile to England after he had been permitted to return to Paris. He kept writing plays and critiques and he became incredibly rich.
And it was during this pretty heady time in his life that he met Deshotel and that shift in the name from disgustedly, which sometimes you'll see it with one L. Sometimes with two to Chatenay that is attributed to Voltaire. He added that excellent circumflex over the AI to indicate in emitted s as a form of shorthand because everything was not standardized at this time. There were still stylistic choices that were completely optional for various people. And over time that version is what became the standardized version of the name Emily took on a private tutor.
She might have been following up on Lou's advice here. That tutor was Pierre-Louis Morad Mao Pertwee. He was a student of Johann Banally and through Mao Pertwee, Emily was introduced to another man who would in some ways define her life. And that was Sir Isaac Newton. Now, where their timelines overlap a little bit, Newton was actually already dead by this point, so she wasn't introduced to the man himself, but to his work. Newton's Principia, for reference, was written in 687 and Newton died in 1727.
This whole period of freedom and a renewed commitment to her studies made Emilie de Chatila feel as though she was changing as a person. Really significantly, she wrote of this period and.
Early 70s and 30s as one in which she was leaving one life behind and engaging in another, and one of the fun stories about her absolute unwillingness to accept the limitations that society attempted to place on her during this time involves walking into a Paris cafe to chat with one of her math tutors, which I think was approach to this establishment. Cafe Gladio catered to the intelligentsia and it had a no women policy because they would presumably merely distract from the very important conversations being had after having been escorted out of the Cafe du Chatelet, came up with another of her plans.
She had a suit of men's clothes made and she wore those anytime she wanted to meet someone at the cafe. And allegedly these people that she was meeting would always invite her to their table as though she were a gentleman. And the staff, of course, still knew she was a woman. But as long as she maintained the pretense of being a man and the people she met played along, they would serve her and allowed her to meet with her fellow mathematicians and philosophers.
Emily moved to a family chateau on the border of champagne. And Lauren, this is a way from the social rules of Paris. And she did this to focus on her studies. The year after meeting Voltaire, she invited him to join her there. And at the time, he was in danger of being arrested for his vocal critiques of the French government. That was in his letter of philosophy. He had once again invited the ire of the monarchy. So the Chantilly chateau was a very welcome escape for him.
And do Chatelain Voltaire made the silly chateau their perfect intellectual and romantic getaway, and they set up a laboratory for experiments that they wanted to do with electricity and light. The property underwent pretty significant renovation, largely under Voltaire's direction, and it expanded a great deal while the two lived there. Voltaire eventually had a stone gate archway constructed, which had images representing the various arts and sciences that the pair were interested in carved into it. So things like a compass, a ruler, a pen, a world map, a painter's palette and other icons.
And then there were also the words refuge of the arts seclusion in which my heart falls abides in deep peace. You give the happiness that the world promises in vain.
As the two became more deeply entwined, they also established a sort of hive of intellectual pursuits. Historian David Bananas included a line in his book about du Chatelet and Voltaire that Holly really loved. He said that their, quote, affair was at the enlightenments very heart. This is because the two of them were connected to and connected with all the prominent thinkers of the day. And a lot of cases they were reading letters or published works by those people together at breakfast, and then they would retire to their separate rooms to both work on the ideas that had been introduced and to see if they could frame them in a new way or expand on what was a lot of cutting edge math and science and philosophy.
Yeah, they would kind of both run away and do their own thing and then come back together and be like, here's how I'm thinking about this. Here's how I'm thinking about this, which is sort of brilliant, beautiful. I think this sounds great. It does, especially because they were so different in terms of like he didn't have the science and math background and she didn't have the the literature background that he had. And so they just looked at problems with completely different perspectives.
And additionally, during all of this, they were known to have visits from those great minds of the day. For example, Italian mathematician Francesco al Garatti spent a month and a half with them in 1735.
And at one point, Emily's husband even visited and he would stay at the chateau and he was completely unbothered by the presence of Voltaire. At that point, Emily and Voltaire were kind of living as husband and wife. Florence Claude did not mind sometimes when guests stayed with them, Voltaire and do Chatila with stage theatrical productions to amuse their friends.
Throughout all this time, Emily continued to refine and expand her knowledge by hiring experts to teach her. And 1735, she took a new math tutor, which was Alexis Chloro. She would hire several more over the years, and she was truly one of those people who both thought mastery and felt that she could never achieve it just wasn't achievable at all. As new concepts or ideas were introduced, she was always seeking out more information.
Yes, she she recognized mastery was a moving target in the world they were living in because there was so much really exciting work going on in 1737. DESHOTEL They wrote her dissertation, Solar a propagation. Dafu That's a dissertation on the nature and spread of fire. And in it she asserted that light and heat were from the same substance rather than heat being some sort of invisible force that was different. And she submitted without her name attached this. Paper to an essay competition run by the Royal Academy of Sciences, she did not win, but her paper was published by the committee, along with several others that were deemed noteworthy.
One of those others was by Voltaire. In the years following that publication, Deshotel worked on a book that landed her in very public debates with prominent members of the scientific community. We will talk about that work after we pause to hear from one of the sponsors that keeps our show going.
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The 1740 publication of institution, the physique that's institution of physics, you'll also sometimes see it translated as foundation of physics, proved to be a flash point of sorts for Deshotel.
And in this book, she distilled the metaphysical concepts that Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz had introduced in his work into a format that was relatively easy to understand for the layman.
And then here is what got a lot of people really upset. She combined those ideas with the work of Newton. So while most scientists and philosophers of the day were working with a mechanistic perspective, which builds on the work of René, did Carlton and Isaac Newton in the areas of gravity in the relationship of heavenly bodies, and is founded on the idea that there is a predictable mechanism at work in these matters.
She had a different approach, so discretely discussed these Newtonian concepts only after several chapters on God, space, time and the nature of matter. She intended to take elements of previously oppositional ideas and find a way to make them function together in a bigger concept. She felt there was a way for the observable laws of nature and a deeper understanding of what many people believed to be unknowable. That was the reasoning of a higher power to intersect. For one, this was all perceived by the established Newtonian scholars of the time as overreaching and rather insulting.
And Douceur DeLay had criticized the work of some of her contemporaries in the manuscript, which did not help matters. It led to a public back and forth with Jean-Jacques Dudamel, who responded to her criticism with the publication of his own. It was particularly sharp in tone, and this debate is considered part of the Velva debates that played out starting in the 18th century, with roots going back decades prior.
These debates were an ongoing argument about mechanics as a science of motion and the Fiverr, which was Latin for living force. The very, very boiled down version of this was an argument about the conservation of momentum versus the conservation of kinetic energy. And which one of these is the true measure or the true quantity of motion that doesn't really capture the nuance of the debate, because alongside the mechanics were components of the argument that involved philosophy and even theology. But the main point of contention, as it related to do Chatelain work, was that she believed that Newton's manner of calculating Sveva multiplying mass by velocity was not correct.
She favored the Leibnitz calculation, which multiplied mass by the square of velocity.
Democrat was the secretary of the Royal Academy of Sciences. So the fact that he was openly debating a woman on matters of science and philosophy was a very big deal. This is sometimes pointed to is the first public scientific debate between a man and a woman. There's a lot of ancient history that might have included that that we know about. So I'm reluctant to use those kinds of superlatives. But it was a very big deal. It put the shuttle in a position where she had to defend her work, knowing that all of the Royal Academy was following it and that a lot of people, frankly, thought she was a heretic.
But this also gave her a pretty significant level of credibility when she published the second edition of her book in 1740 to the debate with McCrann was included in it with the biting line from her retort, quote, I have read and reread your thesis and cannot find anything different from what I've expounded. Maybe we should define clearly what reading means.
I love this, too. It's like kissing with a pen.
So it's OK then. German mathematician Johann Samuel Koenig, who had tutored Emily beginning in 1739, she was in Brussels on business at that time. He accused her of plagiarizing his work when she was writing Institution to Physique. There is evidence that early drafts of her work contained the contested section and she had written those before he had come to teach her. But her reputation really suffered just the same because of the accusations. Any insight that her work might have included became clouded over with this suspicion of intellectual theft.
But despite all of this, any of the negatives were outweighed by the fact that institution, the physique was very popular and it was translated into both German and Italian and published in multiple editions because it kept selling out over time. The romance between Deshotel and Voltaire cooled, although the two of them did remain close. The work of Sir Isaac Newton would prove to be a particularly problematic topic for the two of them. Emily easily understood the. Radical principles involved in Newton's work and Voltaire really could not, and when she explored ways to push Newton's work farther than it had gone and then integrated into a larger philosophical system, this created a double layer of insults for her beloved.
For one, Voltaire did not really grasp it and did not like to feel foolish. And for another, he sort of hero worship Sir Isaac Newton. So do Shapleigh, suggesting that there was anything lacking in the man's work really irritated him, although they no longer shared the romantic passion that they had before, they remained very close and were devoted to one another.
Yet they still continued to live together. So there's an interesting passage. I didn't include it here, but there was one moment where as their relationship was breaking up in terms of a romance, she wrote something like, why would a smart woman care if she's involved with someone or not? Anyway, like, this is nothing to me. I'm fine. Move on in 1748, though. Emily Deshotel, a found romantic love once again, this time with the poet and military officer, General Francois the Sanabel, who is 10 years younger than she was.
And this affair led to a significant problem because Emily got pregnant.
And that is a problem because as a 42 year old woman in the 17 forties, she understood that there was a very real likelihood that she would not survive that pregnancy.
She and Voltaire continued to spend their time together while she was pregnant. They shared a house just a few blocks from the scullery.
Each of them had their own suite. Their cell number had apparently written to her saying that he wanted her to come to the shrine where he was stationed and military service at the time. But Emily had a project that she prioritized over love, and that was her translation and commentary on Newton's Principia. She wanted to finish this work on Newton before the baby came, because if the worst happened, her manuscript would be complete. And she felt this really deep compulsion, something that she described as a frightening need to finish it.
And Emily worked grueling hours according to a regimen that she established. And she actually wrote this all out in letters to her lover. She arose between eight and nine a.m. and went straight to writing. She would not stop until three p.m. Then she would take a break, have coffee and like a snack, not really a meal, and then go right back to working at 4pm, which she did until 10:00 at night. And then she would have dinner and spend time with Voltaire.
She had a two hour block there. She did not go to bed after that. Instead, she would stay up to complete another block of writing from midnight to five a.m. before finally getting some sleep.
She had always been a little light on sleep throughout her life. But this is really rough when you consider like this is third trimester behavior. And she herself noted that this schedule, quote, required a mind and body of iron. And when she had first determined she had to finish this work before she had her baby, her schedule wasn't quite as demanding.
But as time wore on, she realized it had to get demanding and it had to be an all out effort or she was never going to make it throughout the pregnancy to schedule continued to write to Jean-Francois to no asserting how deeply she remained in love with him.
She talked about how her body was in various pains from the pregnancy, but her heart retained its vigor and caring for him.
And she wanted him with her because without him she wrote, quote, I see only Black Emily to Chatila finished her translation and commentary on Newton's Principia at the end of August, 1749 in Louisville, at the home of the Duke Dullahan. She had left Paris to give birth because she was already a target of ridicule. Society gossips talked about how absurdly stupid she was to have gotten pregnant by her lover at the age of 42, and even her beloved friend and former paramour, Voltaire, made jokes about the baby being one of Deshotel is, quote, miscellaneous works.
On September 4th, she had her baby. This was a daughter named Stanislas Adelaide, and the delivery, to everybody's surprise, seemed like it had gone smoothly. It was considered a fairly easy birth, but there was a complication afterward. And six days later, after several days with a fever, Emily died of a pulmonary embolism. Voltaire, Sehnalová, and her husband, Floran Claude, were all with her and her final moments. The daughter she had given birth to died before she reached the age of two.
After Emily dishtowels death, she was wildly misrepresented by the gossips of the day and those she had been incredibly forward thinking and way ahead of her time. It became so absurd to many people that a woman would have come up with the ideas that she had, that they were attributed to men or they were simply discussed.
Without much mention of attribution to her work, Emmanuel Conte compared the idea of Emily to schedule is a great thinker as being as absurd as a woman with a beard man manual count as a jerk on so many levels because of Voltaire's prominence.
Emily Shetterly was largely relegated to the role of his love interest rather than a collaborator and driving force in his work. He was actually the person who worked and lobbied assistance from other intellects of the day to get her translation and commentaries on Newton's Principia published. Voltaire even wrote an intro for it, but it took 10 years. It wasn't until 1759 that her translation and the additional writing, the that accompanying it came into print. That translation is still used today because it is so good and it was the only French language version of it for a very long time.
And it does. Chatelain created ways to describe and explain the many mathematical proofs that Newton had used in ways that made them more accessible for readers, as she had done with other concepts earlier in her life. She was also able to draw more direct lines from his work to the mechanisms of energy and gravity than he had been able to do in his day. And as a consequence, she kind of opened up the way these ideas could be passed and quantified.
For those who follow her, some of the most lauded work that came after her was built on her commentary on Principia. Einstein's theory of special relativity, for example, has been cited as using a square to represent the speed of light because of the groundwork that she laid in this publication. There's also been a great deal more examination as to whether Emily Du Sassily was helping Voltaire write his elements of Newton's philosophy, which was actually published two years before her work.
There was certainly a change in his work during his years with Shapleigh, but whether it was because she was dictating or simply inspiring him is still something of a debate.
Yeah, there are certain papers of hers that are mixed in with his papers in various places that people point to as evidence that really she was the one that was kind of developing a lot of this stuff. There is one rumor that he told someone that she was basically dictating to him, but that's not substantiated. We just don't know. I like the idea that they were just driving each other intellectually to new places. Neither would have gotten to on their own.
As for Voltaire, soon after Emily's death, he moved to Berlin and then eventually made his way to Switzerland. And it was there that he wrote what is probably his most famous work indeed in 1759. Incidentally, that work famously take shots at the work of Leibnitz who do Shadowlord both translated and interpreted for her readers. Voltaire outlived Chatelain by 29 years. He died in Paris in 1778 after Deshotel death.
The theory Chatto passed through a number of different hands in her family before it was sold. Today, it's privately owned, but it's also designated as a historical monument. That's a status that's had since 1981.
So much of Emily du Chatelet life was about living outside the boundaries that had been set by society as a woman that I thought it would be good to close with a quote from her. And this appeared in the preface to the French version of Bernard Mandeville's Fable of the Bees, which she translated, and she wrote, quote, I confess that if I were king, I would get women to participate in all the privileges of humanity, especially those of the mind.
It's as though women were born only to flirt. So they are given nothing but that activity to exercise their minds. The new education I propose would do all of humanity.
A great deal of good women would be better off for it, and men would gain a new source of competition. I love her so much. I love all of the the just stories when she was young and she's like, I'll figure out a way around this problem.
I love the I'm going to have a sword fight.
That's how we're going to get out of this jam for listener mail. I have an e-mail from our listener, Greg, because he wrote in to kind of help me with my question that I asked in that episode about color deficiency and how certain things work for him.
So he writes, Hi, Tracey and Holly. I listened with interest to your podcast on John Dalton and his descriptions of the world as he saw it. I, too, have the common male red green deficiency. But it was very clear in hearing his descriptions that we see the world very differently. I can see both green and red, but only some shades of each are distinguishable by their color. Blue is blue, but purple is pretty much blue, too.
I can only tell one from the other if they are a Jason. The purple is usually the one that is lighter in shade.
Yes, odd yellow is yellow. Except when I find out that it's actually a shade of green to this day, I truly don't know what color beige is.
I'm laughing as an aside because I'm like, you don't need to know it's not worth it. Orange.
Strangely, that one seems OK. Where all this hits home is what you noted at the end of your behind the scenes podcast, where confusion ranging from annoyance to safety comes into play. The green and yellow lead indicators on electronic equipment are almost indistinguishable for me, so their use as indicators of done versus not done can be problematic. Worst traffic signal lights are red, yellow and white. During the day, that's fine. At night, however, the green light becomes hard to distinguish from nearby street lighting.
If I don't see the actual light change, I might miss it. One of the most valuable apps that I found for my smartphone is one which uses the camera to descriptively and numerically describe the color that it is seeing. Well, it does help in my daily life. It does have its limits. To my wife's dismay. I still cannot pick out the ripe bananas from the ones that are just this side of wood. It is, however, essential in sorting out the various flavors of Skittles.
Reese's Pieces and Eminem's technology has its place. Keep up the good work, Eric, he writes. P.S. I'm also left handed. Well, not usually thought of as safety critical. Try using a skill sword some time with your other hand.
Yeah, that little button doesn't work. Yeah, ergonomics is a serious topic that we shouldn't take so lightly. I agree with that. My, my dad, who I mentioned in that behind the scenes, also left handed and was kind of forced to use his right hand because of that, because his dad, like you, won't be able to use tools or fire a rifle or do any of the things that we need on the farm. Don't make you do this.
Thank you so much, Greg. It's it is really fascinating to hear his version of it, right? Yeah. And I'm also glad that you picked this one to read, because when I read it this morning, it reminded me of how when the pandemic started and we all started wearing masks, I bought an app on my phone called Hearing Helper, which does live transcriptions of what you're saying for people who might not be able to read your lips because you have a mask on.
Right. So there are a lot of accessability things that are being approached through apps.
Yeah, apps bridge a lot of gaps that I didn't mean to be quite so Rimi there. But it is true.
It's an interesting thing. I know I have seen also some people making the masks that have the clear window in them. Yeah.
If you can make those that don't fog up when people I was going to say like that's the problem right then you're obscured not by fabric but by like a wall of film.
As people exhale and create a condensation blinder, it's it's really, really fatal. Yeah. Don't worry about beig.
You're not missing anything. Someone who loves beige just get offended. And I hope not. But it's just one of those colors.
And I'm like, why you would like to write to us and share your thoughts on color blindness or how apps can help us get across some divides you are free to do so. You could do that at History podcast at my heart, radio dotcom. You can also find us everywhere on social media as missed in history and you can subscribe to the show if you haven't already. That is easy to do on the I Heart radio app, at Apple podcast or wherever it is you listen.
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