imageHugh Farey commented elsewhere:

I think the good thing about the conference (and about the BSTS Newsletter, among other things), is that it forces people to collect their thoughts, arrange them and present them, with relevent references and logical inferences, in a way that an online discussion, or responding piecemeal to a blog, never quite manages. I very much hope that the full texts of the papers will be available online shortly after the conference, and the discussion will then go on both for much longer than would be possible at any conference, and involve much wider participation than just those who can make it to St Louis. (Come to think of it, the English didn’t make it to the 1904 Olympic Games either!)

The English athletes missed so much not being there. It was at the World’s Fair in 1904 that the waffle cone for ice cream was first introduced, a bit of history that is debated perhaps as much as the legend of Abgar. (The Olympic games were a part of the World’s Fair, that year.)

Iced Tea was also invented at that same World’s Fair, so it is often claimed.  Just last week, my wife and I visited a working tea plantation in South Carolina. The plantation is still growing and harvesting tea, the only place in North America that does so. And the folks there were spreading the tale of ice tea being invented at the St. Louis Fair. It’s not true, of course. The September 28, 1890, issue of the Nevada Noticer newspaper reported that 880 gallons of iced tea was served to attendees of a reunion of Confederate Civil War soldiers in Nevada, Missouri that month.

St. Louis style smoked BBQ ribs and toasted ravioli, which isn’t toasted but deep fried, were also invented in St. Louis. Although mentioned frequently as facts on websites and at cocktail parties, it is certainly not true. Why am I reminded about shroud history?

Oh, terminology is important here. You’re right the English, technically, did not send a team. However, as Wikipedia explains:

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland did not send a team to the 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. Numerous events were contested, of which only some were later recognized by the IOC as official Olympic events. Within these, two athletes representing Ireland participated, winning one gold and one silver medal. Because Ireland was then part of the United Kingdom, the IOC classifies these athletes as British.

You are right or wrong. We should ask Charles Freeman.

Back to the topic at hand. Joe Marino said something about allowing online comments on the conference website in lieu of questions at the conference. Will this be public or only for attendees? Will it be readable by everyone? Will authors of papers participate? It is a big deal to administer; I know.  Anyway, we will have some open discussion here in this blog. Maybe we can set up a dedicated channel. I’m sort of waiting to see what the conference will be doing.

I certainly hope the papers will be up right away and that the authors will get engaged in discussions.

I’ll be in St. Louis. Did you know that Fish and Chips were invented in St. Louis?