One evening during the Anglo-Dutch wars, Isaac Newton entered the hall at Trinity College, Cambridge and announced to the assembled company that a historic naval battle had ensued earlier in the day -- and that the English had been throttled. As Cambridge is a considerable distance from the shore and no other news had arrived of a battle, his colleagues were naturally skeptical. How, they asked, could he possibly know. Newton explained that he had heard several explosions (the firing of cannon) from his observatory, and that the noise had become progressively louder, suggesting that the English ships were retreating toward the English coast. The following day a full report of the battle arrived -- and precisely bore out Newton's speculation.