CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

December 31, 2009

A Blue Moon On New Year’s Eve 2009

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

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A BLUE MOON ON NEW YEAR’S EVE 2009

    On New Year’s Eve, 2009, an infrequent yet common occurrence is happening—a “blue moon.” Persons living in areas with clear skies can observe the moon’s brilliance. In area like ours, where cloudy skies will probably hide the moon’s brilliance, this brilliance will be obscured.

     Myths surround the blue moon, which isn’t truly “blue.” The term, derived from the middle English word “belew,” meaning “false,” refers the full moon that occurs a second time in a particular month.

     Although each month is supposed to have only one full moon, a second moon in a particular month occurs on average thirty-seven times in a century, or once every 2.7 years—every thirty-three months.  It occurred on New Year’s Eve in 1990.

     And at 12:13 p.m. on New Year’s Eve 2009, the last purported year of the first decade of the 21st century, there will be a blue moon.

     One interpretation of the appearance of a second full moon comes from Medieval Christianity, whose members considered its  appearance as the devil taunting humanity. Since these religious folks used the moon to identify the correct date for Easter, the appearance of a second moon in Easter’s month was seen as the devil’s doing: Satan was sending the false moon to confuse them, tricking them in their determination of the real date of Christ’s Resurrection.

     Since the term “blue” can also mean sad, songs such as “Blue Moon of Kentucky” (written and sung by Bill Monroe in 1946) and “Blue Moon” (recorded by Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers in 1933), are melancholy. According to Gregory McNamee, an Encyclopedia Britannica writer, “it is interesting that no positive songs to my knowledge exist about blue moons…”

To continue reading about the blue moon and nature’s other blues, click on BLUE MOONS AND NATURE’S OTHER BLUES

SOURCE of some of the above information: Blue moon’s link to rare events, Satan or finding a great love dispelled, written by Mike Cronin and published in the December 31, 2009 in the Tribune-Review (Greensburg, PA).

 ~~~

ADDITIONAL READING:

A BLUE BUTTERFLY and STAR GAZER LILIES

OBITUARY FOR BLUE BUOY (A Blue Lobster)

LOBSTER-TALES

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September 21, 2009

85 Ways to tie a tie—and tying other knots

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

85 WAYS TO TIE A TIE—and TYING OTHER KNOTS

     Shortly after 18-year-old David came to live with us he asked my husband Monte to show him how to tie a tie. Our German exchange student was preparing to attend a formal dance and couldn’t recall the technique.

   Physicists at Cambridge University presented eighty-five different tie knots requiring three to nine moves. They drew their demonstrations from topology, history (ancient Chinese to the present), fashion, examples from the movies and practicality. Of the thirteen knots that survived their aesthetic constraints on symmetry and balance, they suggest the (more…)

May 17, 2009

Don’t let the bed bugs bite…

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

DON’T LET THE BED BUGS BITE…

 Good night,

Sleep tight,

Don’t let the

Bed bugs bite!

      A children’s ditty, but filled with history. Travelers used to sleep on rope-boxprings (rope woven together, tightened by twisting a wood piece attached to the bedframe). Several travelers shared the same bed. It was fertile territory for bedbugs to thrive.

     According to the Harvard School of Public Health, bedbugs are small, wingless insects. They are parasitic, and seek out the nests of warm-blooded animals, whose blood they feast on.  Although some types of bed bugs (and their relatives) inhabit bird nests and bat roosts, others seek out human “nests,” eg., people’s homes.

     While clearing out information from my New England travels, I came across an article headlined “Couple claims room infested with bed bugs.” A couple was (more…)

August 21, 2008

CHILDISH CHARACTERISTICS

CAROLYNS COMPOSITIONS

CHILDISH CHARACTERISTICS 

While traveling along the road on a work/vacation trip to New England, we met many people in libraries, courthouses, beaches, stores, and restaurants. Interactions with children provided many wonderful moments. Below are stories of some of these meetings.  Carolyn

the JOY…of something other than McDonald’s food…Monte and I ate a buffet lunch at an Indian restaurant in Brunswick. We chose to sit outside and then discussed which customers were tourists and which were locals. As I began a survey, a couple with two young sons entered. They said they were from Canada. I said I hoped the boys liked the food, and the mother responded that they did, they were used to it, that she cooks it at home quite often. In fact, the boys preferred it to (more…)

August 18, 2008

BLUE MOONS AND NATURE’S OTHER BLUES

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS
BLUE MOONS AND NATURE’S OTHER BLUES

On May 31, 2007, the moon turned full at 9:04 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (6:04 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time, according to The Truth Behind This Month’s Blue Moon, authored by Joe Rao, an instructor and guest lecturer at New York’s Hayden Planetarium.

“…(it is) the second of two full Moons for North Americans this month. Some almanacs and calendars assert that when two full Moons occur within a calendar month, that the second full Moon is called the “Blue Moon.”… The phrase “Once in a blue Moon” was first noted (more…)

June 23, 2008

BLACK FLIES AND OTHER INSECTS: Then and Now

Eight years after purchasing our retirement home, and five years after moving in full time, I finally am doing some very belated “landscaping” work.

Lest you consider us slothful, we had done some outside work in previous years—two years ago my husband, Monte, and son, Nolan, removed big rocks in our woods, then  made a path between (more…)

June 19, 2008

PLANT FOOD RECIPE: Making Compost

SUPPLIES
One 4 foot x 4 foot x four foot container
Pitchfork
Watering can or hose

INGREDIENTS

2-3 wheelbarrow loads of green stuff such as grass clippings, weeds, kitchen plant material
2-3 wheelbarrow loads of brown stuff, such as fall leaves, corn stalks, dead plants, chopped grasses
Water

DIRECTIONS: (more…)

June 7, 2008

LOBSTER-TALES

     My daughter Sandy loves lobster. Being inland, she’d eat at Red Lobster restaurant a dozen times a month if she weren’t budget-challenged.

     Personally, lobster’s not my favorite, but (more…)

May 23, 2008

FLASHY MOON EXPLOSIONS

—written by Monte W. Holland and Carolyn C. Holland

My husband responded to a recent USA Today news article titled “That’s flashy: 100 explosions recorded on the Moon,” written by Tony Phillips,  [5/21/08]

“In 1959,” my husband began, “I was required to do a research project in my senior year at Union College (Schenectady, New York) where I majored in physics. My partner was Chuck Bruce, another physics major and an electronics person who had been into ham radio.

“We signed up to work with Professor Curtis Hemenway, in Albany, New York, at Dudley Observatory—which is owned by Union College. Professor Hemenway lived over in a residence attached to the observatory, which he maintained. The observatory also had a bedroom where researchers could sleep when not actively using the observatory.
 
“The professor’s idea was for us to look for meteors hitting the dark side of the moon. He believed these could be seen if we looked for flashes of infrared light.”

Not so long ago, anyone claiming to see flashes of light on the Moon would be viewed with deep suspicion by professional astronomers. Such reports were filed under “L” … for lunatic. (more…)

May 8, 2008

THE AMAZING BEAVER

After the American Revolution (and probably before the war, too) the new world, from Virginia to Maine, was replete with wild animals. Tales of one, the beaver, are recorded in journals of French men exploring the country either after the American Revolution or while waiting out the French Revolution, between the 1780s and the 1790s. Surprisingly, this creature is credited with playing a role in American history.

The journal of Clermont-Crevecoeur, a French military officer assisting with the American Revolution, relates, about beavers in Virginia, that they were among the animals he located “but since they live in colonies and are very shy when hunted or when the virgin land where they live is cleared, they are rarely seen except in wild and uninhabited country.”

Park Holland, a surveyor of Maine lands, concurs. While he was explored Maine near an outlet of a large lake (possibly the Aroostook River headwaters), he wrote “We crossed a large beaver stream, and halted to examine the works of theses curious little animals. They had a large quantity of timber cut for completing a dam upon which they were evidently at work before (more…)

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