r/interestingasfuck Jan 30 '23

[deleted by user]



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u/LightlyStep Jan 30 '23

Excellent follow through.

Did she stay his maid though?


u/ICantThinkOfANameBud Jan 30 '23

"After you're done sweeping, go find some more stars. Also don't forget the laundry!"


u/CeeArthur Jan 30 '23

"Sweeping. Stars. Sweeping. Stars. And this carries on for about 90 or so minutes until the movie just sort of ... ends."


u/New_Scientist_8622 Jan 30 '23

It makes you want to cry, and then cry again.


u/OneYeetPlease Jan 31 '23

Legend has it she could smell stars


u/Juno-bird Jan 30 '23

While she was originally brought on to assist with administrative work, she ended up learning astronomy and was a founding member of “The Harvard Computers” which was an academic group comprised entirely of women. She discovered and catalogued thousands of heavenly bodies, including the iconic Horsehead Nebula. She was also a member of the Astronomical and Astrophysical Society of America and the Astronomical Society of France… so no she did not stay his maid lol she pursued a very different vocation


u/Practice_NO_with_me Jan 30 '23

God damn, I'm glad to hear it. Makes me wonder if she had expressed interest in and an aptitude for the thinking and work to him before hand and this was his way of fostering that. Or did she go in totally blind and discover a calling?


u/Juno-bird Jan 30 '23 edited Jan 30 '23

She was an immigrant and a single mother at 21. She worked as a maid for Edward Charles Pickering, who happened to be a Harvard astronomer. She was not formally trained as an astronomer but started out with clerical work and worked her way up the ladder until she was hiring and managing other women in her field. I honestly think she was brought on because Pickering could see she was intelligent and it ended up being her calling lol. Here’s some more info on her biography if you’re interested https://web.archive.org/web/20180402041723/http://ocp.hul.harvard.edu/ww/fleming.html


u/mychampagnesphincter Jan 30 '23

Check out The Glass Universe by Dava Sobel


u/DarkWolf966 Jan 30 '23 edited Jan 30 '23

She was only the first of around 40-80 Supercomputer women he would hire. Said women never got any credit because the majority are remembered not individually but collectively by the moniker "Pickering's Harem". These women would work 6 day weeks earning half of what a man would've earned, calculating distances most couldn't even fathom today.


u/[deleted] Jan 30 '23



u/gtownjim Feb 04 '23

That's deep.


u/drunkdoodles Jan 30 '23

She saw the stars were a mess an went about organizing them.


u/_-Sesquipedalian-_ Jan 30 '23

Every time this gets posted somewhere I wonder what part is supposed to be condescending. That she's Scottish? Or that she's a maid? Or both? Or that she's a woman?


u/corn_sugar_isotope Jan 30 '23

That she is not Harvard


u/Classic_Department42 Jan 30 '23 edited Jan 30 '23

Probably only oxford


u/UserisaLoser Jan 30 '23

I read the title with more of a “I know exactly the person I’m going to replace you idiots with” kind of vibe.


u/linux1970 Jan 30 '23

Probably the part about an uneducated maid doing advanced math.


u/Rpbns4ever Jan 30 '23

Because it's not condescending to the maid, it's condescending to the staff. It's basically "Someone without all you education and qualifications could do a better job than you".

It doesn't matter that she's a maid it's just the specific person he had in mind, what's matters is that there is a very obvious contrast between a profession that doesn't require education and someone that lands a research position in a prestigious university.


u/TossPowerTrap Jan 30 '23

That she was an immigrant.


u/republicanvaccine Jan 30 '23

Taking jobs from those entrusted with their gifts of ineptitude.


u/Ihavecometochewbbgum Jan 30 '23

Who would have guessed that alienating 50% of the population would produce negative results


u/Archaris Jan 30 '23

that's why capitalism is inherently "inclusive" - pepsi opened the doors to a huge sales market by including minorities


u/Numetshell Jan 30 '23

Did he give her a pay raise?


u/bisho Jan 30 '23

*willemina fleming


u/AlienSporez Jan 30 '23

Williamina: "Fine, I'll do it myself."


u/sixteen89 Jan 30 '23

Fun fact, the Scottish and Irish were considered less than dogs and treated like slaves


u/Gyspyboy1976 Jan 30 '23

Thats not true about the Scottish.


u/AccomplishedAd3728 Jan 30 '23

The Shoreporter's Society of Aberdeen used to abduct kids playing in the streets to sell them. There's an infamous spot in the city center. It's where "the barn" used to be, the place they kept the slaves before transport. It's very.....visible.




u/Gyspyboy1976 Jan 30 '23

I am from Aberdeen i know all about this, its a different topic.


u/Formal-Rain Jan 30 '23 edited Jan 30 '23

Yes it is, many Scots were indentured servants. Wanda Sykes even had white Scottish indentured slave ancestry.

Oliver Cromwell invaded Scotland burned Dundee and sent Scots as slaves to the English colonies in the Caribbean and New England.

Scots in the Highlands made to dig destitution roads for famine relief during the Highland potato famine. Nothing more than enforced labour because they were starving. The same blight that struck Ireland. People shoved on coffin ships starving.


u/sixteen89 Jan 30 '23

People don’t know because the Irish and Scottish don’t care and have moved on. Also it kinda ruins the “slave” narrative. Want to hear a real trip?? Read up on Bacons rebellion.


u/WaltVinegar Jan 30 '23

Scot here. I dunno where ye got the info for that first sentence there, mate. Cannae speak for the Irish, but I suspect they might have something to say about their past treatment, and no likely "I don't care".


u/Formal-Rain Jan 30 '23

Fellow Scot here agree 100%


u/courierblue Jan 30 '23

Or the duration and conditions of slavery became drastically different between white indentured slaves and black slaves held in bondage. At some point very early on, most people in the colonies were indentured slaves until laws, culture, and economic pressures made it so that black slaves had less of a chance to be free and thriving once they were free.

Indentured slaves could work their time off and integrate with society, especially if they were white meaning they could seamlessly integrate within a generation or two as having always been free, but the other was often a slave for life, with no recourse for freedom, no compensation for their labor and a guarantee that their children would be born into bondage. Even if those children were part white, they were not entitled to the laws that governed white people. Even being a free black person, there were laws that restricted what you could or could not do as early as the late 17th century.

Compound this over a couple of years and integrate this difference into culture, and belief systems that persist even after the institution of slavery is abolished and there ends up being a difference, even though at one point way back in time, Scottish people and black people both started out as indentured servants.


u/DealerGreat1384 Jan 31 '23

All very true!


u/shrimpmobile Jan 30 '23

I see some things never change. Am i right?😁


u/[deleted] Jan 30 '23

That's just Alan Tudyk in a dress.


u/[deleted] Jan 30 '23

You know he was hitting that lol


u/Certain_Associate581 Jan 30 '23

Aparently he would say the same to his wife.


u/Arkslippy Jan 30 '23

Apparently, she CLEANED UP>>>>>>>>>>


u/potatopaladin007 Jan 30 '23

You sure that's not just Nanny McPhee?


u/ptq Jan 30 '23

Why on old photos women look like men looking on the face shape?


u/modsarefascists42 Jan 30 '23

I think he just lucked into having a very smart maid...


u/ThatSpecialKeynote Jan 30 '23

Common Scottish W