Abysmal Friends and their Art

30 January 2013

Publishing beautiful works. Appreciate.

It’s been a while, I’ll grant you, since I’ve written anything unrelated to calendars, however, I wish to share some art that friends of mine have put together through hard work, creative instinct, and borderline obsession. Check it out, it’s rather amazing.

Blue Snail Garden

A publisher of books (the physical, in your hand kind, and not the digital, er, in your hand. kind. Although e-books are also coming) for children and young adults. They are works of visual art as well as narratives of words. Definitely a thing of beauty.

Cloudscape Comics

A collective of independent comic artists (graphic novellas, sequential art, y’know, like that) who contribute to yearly anthologies of their work. Creative energy at work.

True North Tattoo

Tattoo artist working out of Kingston Ontario, beautiful work, and versatile. My particular favourites are his japanese style pieces. Definitely get yourself some art to take with you wherever you go.

Year 0 Capricorn

20 January 2013

The Sidereal Zodiac – or, Where’s the Sun?

So here we are, on the day when the Sun enters Capricorn. Now, before you roll your eyes (I’m too late, aren’t I? They’re rolled like so much sushi), this isn’t astrology. Honest. I doubt that it will predict your fortune or love life. You’re on your own as far as those are concerned. I have no advice to offer on either count. Nothing useful anyway.

No, friends, this is astronomy. First off, it is based on the observable universe as opposed to astrology, which is based on something a little different. Here’s an illustration to get the point across:

If it were possible to see the constellations behind the Sun as the Earth orbits around it through the year, then this would make more sense. Behind the Sun sits the constellation of Capricorn. Like so much celestial wallpaper. For one, the signs are not of equal size by any stretch. It takes the Sun 6 days to pass in and out of Scorpio, and 44 days for Virgo.

The other thing that makes this particular measure of time so intriguing is that it helps us to track the Precession of the Equinoxes. Because of a motion in the Earth’s axis, the day on which the Sun passes into any given constellation falls one day earlier every 71 years or so (the rate varies). It takes just under 26,000 years for the Precession to complete one full cycle. That means that the Sun will enter Capricorn on Jan 9th in about 26,000 years. Here’s hoping we live to see it.


Here’s our friend Capricornus, the goaty sea-monster.

The dotted yellow line represents the boundaries of the constellation. The dotted red line is the apparent path of the Sun through the constellation. It takes the Sun about 27 days to pass through Capricorn.

The symbol for Capricorn is – like a letter “n” with a fancy curl at the end. Don’t ask me why.

So, now you know.

Chromatic: Year 0 Lunation 1 Day 30
Lunar: Year 0 Lunation 1 Day 9

Perpetual Year:
Year 0 Month 1 Day 1 Sunday
Year 0 House 0 Day 29
Year 0 Quarter 0 Day 29

Capricorn Day 0

Market Weeks (numbered from 0):
2~Day 1
3~Day 2
4~Day 1
5~Day 4
6~Day 5
7~Day 1
8~Day 5
9~Day 2
10~Day 9
12~Day 5
13~Day 3
14~Day 1
15~Day 14
18~Day 11
20~Day 9

Solar/Planetary Cycles:
Solar Cycle 0 Day 1844
Mercury 0 Day 64
Venus 0 Day 228
Mars 0 Day 716
Jupiter 0 Day 252
Saturn 0 Day 87
Uranus 0 Day 302
Neptune 0 Day 336

Year 0 Month 1

19 January 2013

Chromatic: Year 0 Lunation 1 Day 29
Lunar: Year 0 Lunation 1 Day 8

Perpetual Year:
Year 0 Month 1 Day 0 Saturday
Year 0 House 0 Day 28
Year 0 Quarter 0 Day 28

Sagittarius Day 34

Market Weeks (numbered from 0):
2~Day 0
3~Day 1
4~Day 0
5~Day 3
6~Day 4
7~Day 0
8~Day 4
9~Day 1
10~Day 8
12~Day 4
13~Day 2
14~Day 0
15~Day 13
18~Day 10
20~Day 8

Solar/Planetary Cycles:
Solar Cycle 0 Day 1843
Mercury 0 Day 63
Venus 0 Day 227
Mars 0 Day 715
Jupiter 0 Day 251
Saturn 0 Day 86
Uranus 0 Day 301
Neptune 0 Day 335

Reading List Year 0 Month 0

18 January 2013

Reading List:

Jinchalo by Matthew Forsythe
Stumptown by Greg Rucka & Matthew Southworth
Vagabond vol. 11 by Takehiko Inoue
Cages by Dave McKean
Goliath by Tom Gauld
Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
Nonnonba by Shigeru Mizuki
the Bone People by Keri Hulme
Cul-de-Sac by Daniel MacIvor
Uzumaki vol. 1 by Junji Ito
Criminal Macabre by Steve Niles & Ben Templesmith
30 Days of Night by Steve Niles & Ben Templesmith
Geisha – the Secret History of a Vanishing World by Lesley Downer
Uzumaki vol. 2 by Junji Ito
Uzumaki vol. 3 by Junji Ito
Never Swim Alone by Daniel MacIvor
This is A Play by Daniel MacIvor
House Humans by Daniel MacIvor
Marion Bridge by Daniel MacIvor
Here Lies Henry by Daniel MacIvor
In On It by Daniel MacIvor
Gyo vol. 1 by Junji Ito
Gyo vol. 2 by Junji Ito
Hellariser: Pursuit of the Flesh by Clive Barker, Christopher Monfette, Leonardo Manco, & Stephen Thompson

Year 0 Lunation 1

11 January 2013

Chromatic: Year 0 Lunation 1 Day 21
Lunar: Year 0 Lunation 1 Day 0

Perpetual Year:
Year 0 Month 0 Day 20 Friday
Year 0 House 0 Day 20
Year 0 Quarter 0 Day 20

Sagittarius Day 26

Market Weeks (numbered from 0):
2~Day 0
3~Day 2
4~Day 0
5~Day 0
6~Day 2
7~Day 6
8~Day 4
9~Day 2
10~Day 0
12~Day 8
13~Day 7
14~Day 6
15~Day 5
18~Day 2
20~Day 0

Solar/Planetary Cycles:
Solar Cycle 0 Day 1835
Mercury 0 Day 55
Venus 0 Day 219
Mars 0 Day 707
Jupiter 0 Day 243
Saturn 0 Day 78
Uranus 0 Day 293
Neptune 0 Day 327

Fool’s Day

1 January 2013

April Fools? No, January Fools, fool.

So it’s time again for the most celebrated New Year Day worldwide (although there is a strong contender with the Chinese New Year). What is the significance of January 1st as a New Year Day? It isn’t related to any historical event (other than previous January 1sts), it isn’t an observable phenomenon (like the Full Moon, or Equinox). So, what is up with it?

It is related to the Southern Solstice (December 21st-ish), although the path is somewhat convoluted, and takes us from the middle east through to modern christianity. But let us not forget the romans.

January was named after the roman god Janus – the one with two faces: one looking backward towards the past, the other looking ahead to the future. He is the god of beginnings and transitions, so appropriate enough for the first month of the roman calendar.

So christmas day falls after the solstice, but we need to look at what happens with the sun in and around that time of year to put it in a christian context (for the winter solstice – this makes christianity a decidedly northern religion, as the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere occurs on june 21st).

As the amount of daylight grows shorter and shorter as we approach the winter solstice, the sun’s path across the skies appears to get lower and lower day by day. Then on the solstice itself, the sun reaches its lowest point. There is no discernible change in the sun’s path during this time (maybe because you’d go blind for trying to look at it) for three days. Then, the sun’s path appears to get higher and higher. So the sun descends (let’s call it dying), then waits for three days, then rises again (let’s call it rebirth, because that’s what many pagan stories were – the solstice was the death and rebirth of the sun).

So on the 25th, the sun is reborn (why this death and rebirth was moved to Easter is beyond me, while the birth of jesus remains after the solstice – it’s poor storytelling).

Now on to phase 2 of the christian new year – the 12 days of christmas (you didn’t think it was all about getting leaping lords as presents, did you?). the 12 days of christmas mark the days between christmas itself and the feast of epiphany. the feast of epiphany falls on January 6, which is about the time of the earth’s perihelion (i.e. the earth’s closest point in its orbit to the sun). The 12 days represent the coming 12 months of the year, such that each day is meant to augur one of the coming months, to let you know what kind of a year you’re in for. Modern tradition would put january as a month of great clusterfrakking in search of non-existent deals at future shop – crappy way to spend a month if you ask me.

january 1st, the most two-faced day of every year, then, falls halfway between christmas and epiphany. There’s the significance of the date itself. Thank goodness we’re all so attuned to the roman-christian traditions upon which our calendar is based that we celebrate its influence on our way of thinking.

or not. I’ve already celebrated the new year. enjoy yourselves you fools.

Chromatic: Year 0 Lunation 0 Day 11
Lunar: Year 0 Lunation 0 Day 19

Perpetual Year:
Year 0 Month 0 Day 10 Tuesday
Year 0 House 0 Day 10
Year 0 Quarter 0 Day 10

Sagittarius Day 16

Market Weeks (numbered from 0):
2~Day 0
3~Day 1
4~Day 2
5~Day 0
6~Day 4
7~Day 3
8~Day 2
9~Day 1
10~Day 0
12~Day 10
13~Day 10
14~Day 10
15~Day 10
18~Day 10
20~Day 10

Solar/Planetary Cycles:
Solar Cycle 0 Day 1825
Mercury 0 Day 45
Venus 0 Day 209
Mars 0 Day 697
Jupiter 0 Day 233
Saturn 0 Day 68
Uranus 0 Day 283