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Madeline Miller & Mark Anderson

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Sunday, December 9, 2012 - 9:00pm

This week on Inquiry we talk with Madeline Miller. Ms Miller teaches Latin and Ancient Greek and has studied at the Yale School of Drama, specializing in adapting classical tales for modern audiences. Her first novel is The Song of Achilles, a dramatic and complex retelling of the story of Achilles and the Trojan War through the eyes of Achilles' romantic interest, Patroclus. Tune in and learn about how Madeline Miller fleshed out the ancient characters of Achilles, Patroclus, Agamemnon and re-imagined the gods to create this engaging and thrilling novel.

The passage of the planet Venus across the face of the Sun as seen from Earth is called “the Transit of Venus”. It is the rarest eclipse in our solar system and occurs typically only twice every century. In the Eighteenth Century, it was of critical importance to observe and carefully measure the Transit of Venus because it would allow a more precise measurement the distances of the planets from the sun. More importantly, these numbers could be used in calculating nautical longitude. The country that could best measure longitude ruled the seas. Tune in tonight when we talk with journalist and author Mark Anderson about his latest book that follows several Venus transit expeditions to the ends of the earth in 1761 and 1769. These scientist adventurers braved wars, disease, hostile locals, and horrible weather all to observe a distant planet pass in front of the sun. Anderson’s amazing book is titled The Day the World Discovered the Sun: An Extraordinary Story of Scientific Adventure and The Race To Track The Transit of Venus.

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