Cardinal Directions and Colour

28 November 2014

What Colour is your Compass?

Most of these admittedly are from wikipedia, which means that they are cited, however, as I don’t have access to the source material I can’t corroborate much of it. If you happen to know of another colour series, feel free to share it and I’ll add it to the pile.

The Cardinal Points, North, East, South, West, and sometimes Centre, have been fundamental ideas upon which much knowledge is built. Often, each direction is assigned a colour. These are often represented by circles divided into four quarters, sometimes with a central circle if appropriate. Like so:

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the Lucifer Effect – Updated

26 November 2014

What this says about what make us behave in ways counter to our expectations, or, how to turn good people evil.

the Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE) has become notorious for how quickly it spun out of its designers’ control. It was a shocking lesson in how particular situations can set people against their better natures. There is a lot written about it,  – the Lucifer Effect is the first thorough presentation of the experiment and its conclusions.

the Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo

Life is the art of being well-deceived; and in order that the deception may succeed it must be habitual and uninterrupted.
–William Hazlitt, “On Pedantry,” The Round Table. 1817

Our sense of power is more vivid when we break a man’s spirit than when we win his heart.
–Eric hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind (1954)

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Year 1 Month 12

23 November 2014


Year 1 Lunation 12

22 November 2014

Year-1-Lunation-12Although this Lunation contains the New Year’s Day (on Dec 21st), however, the lunar month during which the solstice occurs is Lunation 0 (solstice falls on Dec 22nd this year).

Ineffable Video of Earth from Space

19 November 2014

Get your Stomping Shoes on!

19 November 2014

More Holy Days and Merry Making.

June 29th is the date, celebrating the arrival of John Davis to the shores of Greenland. The story below is from Arctic Dreams. theAbysmal Year 2, or the Gregorian 2015 marks the first annual celebration. Read the story below and see if you don’t agree that John Davis has a better claim to statues, being on our money, having pictures hung in public places, but unfortunately, he was an exceptional navigator and decent human being, so as a result, history has no time for him.

But we do. And what better way to celebrate than with music and dancing?! Call it the Settler’s Stomp, invite everyone from your community to bring instruments and dancing shoes. Most properly, it should open up with the aboriginal people from the land where you live (Anishnaabeg of Kitigan Zibi where I am), and dance the night away. If you’re lucky, some Inuit will teach you how not to laugh at throat singing.

“With the backing of adrian Gilbert, a prominent Devonshire physician, and William Sanderson, a London merchant-adenturer, and under the patronage of the Duke of Walsingham, Davis outfitted two small ships, the Sunneshine and the Mooneshine, the former with a four-piece orchestra, and sailed from Dartmouth on the Devon coast on June 7, 1585.

“Their first landfall was near present day [mid-1980s) Cape Walloe on the southeast coast of Greenland, but fog and the ice stream in the East Greenland Current held them off. “[T]he irksome noyse of the yse was such, that it bred strange conceites among us, so that we supposed the place to be vast and voyd of any sensible or vegitable creatures, whereupon I called the same Desolation.” The two ships stood out from Cape Farewell (Davis would so name it on his second voyage) and came to shore, finally, near the old Norse settlement at Godthab on July 29. And here took place one of the most memorable of meetings between cultures in all of arctic literature.

“Davis an several others were reconnoitering from the top of an island in what Davis had named Gilbert Sound when they were spotted by a group of [Inuit] on the shore, some of whom launched kayaks. They made “a lamentable noyse,” wrote John Jane, “… with great outcryes and skreechings: wee hearing them thought it had bene the howling of wolves.” Davis called on the orchestra to play and directed his officers and men to dance. The Eskimos cautiously approached in kayaks, two of them pulling very close to the beach. “Their pronunciation,” wrote Jane,” was very hollow through the throate, and their speach such as we could not understand: onely we allured them by friendly imbracings and signes of curtesie. At length one of them poynting up to the sunne with his hande, would presently strike his brest so hard, that we might hear the blowe.” John Ellis, master f the Mooneshine, began to imitate, pointing to the sun and striking his breast. One [Inuk} came ashore. They handed him pieces of their clothing, having nothing else to offer, and kept up their dancing, the orchestra playing the while.

“The following morning the ships’ commpanies were awakened by the very same people, standing on the same hill the officers hand stood on the day before. The Eskimos were playing on a drum, dancing and beckoning to them.

“(Davis’s courteous regard for the [Inuit] is unique in early arctic narratives He found them “a very tractable people, voyde of craft or double dealing….” He returned to the same spot on his second voyage; the moment of mutual recognition, and his reception, were tumultuous.)”

5. Unravelling the Weave of Time

18 November 2014

What with the week?

the Seven Day Circle by Eviatar Zerubavel is the essential book about the 7-day week. It’s out of print, but you may come across it at the library or online.

So I had to finally come to terms with the 7-day week. I had hoped to incorporate it into the perpetual structure of the 52-week year, but realized that such a necessary change would make people less likely to adopt it.

Also, theAbysmal calendar is meant to be invisible in terms of applying symbol (outside of numbers), so weekdays were by necessity out. This makes things easier.

weekday-starTaking a Whack at the Week

There are so many different ways to measure regular lengths of days – the Maya use their sacred numbers 13 and 20 for many of their important measures of time, in parts of West Africa, market calendars can have interrelating cycles of 4, 5, and 6 days.

The best example of a calendar with several different weeks running at the same time is the Pawukon used on the island of Bali in Indonesia (curiously, it’s one of the few places I’ve visited in that hemisphere).

By looking at the factors, you can easily figure out what length of week are possible.

13 month calendar
2 x 2 x 7 x 13

Although 2 and 4 day weeks are possible, I think that 7, 13, and 14 day periods are more useful here. Although longer periods are possible, I limit “weeks” to 2-20 days. So with theAbysmal, I also created equivalent images for the year using 13-day weeks. I don’t have a proper name for them. the Spanish call them trecena, and I have been calling them fortnight, although that’s technically 14 days. Here’s what the 13-day year looks like.

Market Weeks

But the real creative spark came when I considered how to divide this up like a 360-day calendar. I needed to remove 5 days – the New Year Day was a given. The remaining 4 days could either be the two before and the two after the New Year day, however, I thought of the mid-quarter days.

Year-1---wheel-of-the-yearWith the New Year Day (roughly the southern solstice) and the four mid-quarter days removed, we have 360 days to work with. In practical terms, it means that any of the “weeks” of the 360-day calendar skip those 5 days – they don’t count. they are null days, or non-weekdays if you will.

360-day calendar
2 x 2 x 2 x 3 x 3 x 5

That allows us to have weeks of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, 18, and 20 days contained within the calendar year. The market week calendar looks like this.

In the end, this calendar allows more choice than any other of which I’m aware, in terms of possible measures of time to follow. The gregorian calendar has a 7-day week, and the irregular lengths of months. You can schedule by the week, by the month, or measure of month (quarter, semester, year).

Calendar users that wish to use unbroken progressions of weeks are certainly free to do so. This really opens up the playing field. How would you use a 5-day week?