Posted by: Rob Viens | August 12, 2012

200 days with the Beagle

August 12th and more talk of unrest in the city.  I’m not surprised.  If I were sitting on a ship just offshore from an unstable political situation, I think it would be on my mind a lot, too. Today Darwin writes:

“The utter consternation of the civic guard during the other nights skirmish has given general amusement.— Large bodies immediately threw away their white cross belts that they might not be recognised in the dark: & the impetuosity with which they rushed down the streets, if it could have been directed to a charge, would have been most imposing.— In evening dined with Mr Parry.” (Aug 12)

There he goes again – switching from revolution to dinner plans without skipping a beat.  I’m not exactly sure who his dinner guest is, other than back on July 26th he refers to him as “a leading merchant here”.  Darwin does seem to meet folks wherever he goes, and at least so far, they seem to be British businessmen, military figures and/or ambassadors.  It is probably refreshing now and then for him to experience some of the day-to-day routines he was used to back home.  He seems to have no problem with taking meals on the ship, but seeking out a little “civilization” now and then must have helped him stay sane.

So, I thought I’d take the opportunity tonight to share a little of the global appeal of Darwin and thank those of you who have visited the blog from all over the world. Tonight is my 200th consecutive post – I started January 25th, and other than January 27th, have not missed a day of blogging since. Needless to say I can’t do that forever (and hey, its summer), so now that I have reached a nice even number I may allow myself a day off now and then :).

More importantly, I never cease to be amazing by how the internet connects you with the world.  I’ve had some great chats with people from every continent and made some new friends.  Since February 25th, when WordPress started keeping stats on hits from different countries, I have had readers from 107 countries (see the list below)!

visitors to BeagleProject

Not surprisingly I think this list covers all the places that Darwin stopped on his voyage.

When I set out to do this project I wanted to make sure that I was doing it for me.  But I have to say, that knowing there are folks out there from all over the world checking in now and then is pretty inspiring.  So thanks for reading! (RJV)

PS – If you are in the northern hemisphere be sure to get out there and take a look at the Perseid Meteor Shower (which peaks tonight). You know Darwin would…

Perseid Meteor Shower – from NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day, August 12, 2007 (by Fred Bruenjes)

…in fact, in a notebook from the late 1830’s Darwin tried to estimate the mass of meteorites that fell to Earth through time. Basing his calculations on the number of large “storms” over a 50 year period he averaged about 100 pounds a year, or 2500 tons every 50,000 years. This made him wonder if over time this could affect the spin of a planet and/or even bring about its end. (Couldn’t find the original notebook, but found this reference in Sandra Herbert’s book Charles Darwin, Geologist)


  1. In Portugal this blog is well known 🙂 I’m student in Leiria, Portugal, and i hav to do a work about darwin for the biology class. You helped me a lot. Thanks

    • Thanks! I’m glad to know that you and others are finding the blog helpful. It is fun to write, but even more fun to know others enjoy it, too!

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