Sunday, August 10, 2008

Meteors, Rockets, Magic Moon, and Trains

Lot's of stuff going on this month besides the Olympics and Hot August Nights.

The nights have been really nice here in Redding.
Up until midnight it cools down to 75 or 80 degrees, then gradually drops to about 65 just before sunrise. The daytime temperatures have been mild, at about 98 or 100. Just right for me. Inside, I keep the A/C at 80°, which feels very comfortable. Now that the smoke has cleared, I can open the windows at night.

From Space.Com
It is also the month of "The Tears of St. Lawrence," more commonly known as the Perseid meteor shower.

Laurentius, a Christian deacon, is said to have been martyred by the Romans in the year 258 on an iron outdoor stove. It was in the midst of this torture that Laurentius cried out: "I am already roasted on one side and, if thou wouldst have me well cooked, it is time to turn me on the other."

The saint's death was commemorated on his feast day, Aug. 10. King Philip II of Spain built his monastery place, the "Escorial," on the plan of the holy gridiron*. And the abundance of shooting stars seen annually between Aug. 8 and 14 have come to be known as St. Lawrence's "fiery tears."

Early Tuesday morning, like 4:00AM, is supposed to be the best of the meteor showers. The moon will have set, and we will be on the leading side of the earth as it hurtles through the debris from the comets tail. Look up.

*I always thought that was candlestick park.

Independently designed rocket plane
These guys have made a rocket plane for air races. They are making a rocket plane you can ride in, that will go up where you can see the curvature of the earth.
Video of plane flying

The full moon will be on the 16th.

The Full Sturgeon Moon, when this large fish of the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water like Lake Champlain is most readily caught. A few tribes knew it as the Full Red Moon because the moon rises looking reddish through sultry haze, or the Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon.

This month we have 2 new moons. I know they aren't called a blue moon, I better look this up...
"To Wiccans, the second New Moon is called the Black Moon, and any magic worked during that period is deemed to be especially powerful."
I just love Google search. Now you know what the new moon on the 30th is called. Of course, if you are a Wiccan, you probably knew that already. ( That old black moon magic has me in it's spell.)

While I was searching, I ran across this...

Homer Simpson Euro..."Doh!", not dough.

The apartments where I live, are perched on a knoll, on a hilltop above Redding and the river. Sometimes, when I am out on the balcony, I can hear the trains come from the station downtown, on the bridge across the river, and up through the ravine not far from here. I enjoy hearing the engines and the sounds of the different kinds of cars.

Railroad bridge across the Sacramento River.

The train sound is fading into the distance. The bats, skunks, possum, and owls are in their,"beds", and the birds are awakening. It's 6AM and time for a little shuteye before I embark on another glorious day.

Life is beautiful.

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