21 June 2015
Here the sun is at its most northerly point. If one were to stand on the Northern Tropic, the sun would appear directly overhead at noon(ish). You would have no shadow. It would also rip across the sky. If you were above the Arctic circle, the sun wouldn’t set for a good chunk of time (depending on how far north one is). Higher than the Antarctic circle, and darkness rules the land, the penguins, and documentary filmmakers. The auroras are quite spectacular.
16 June 2015
Here we have the lunar month Ramadan, when devout muslims who are able fast during daylight hours. Nothing passes their lips including water. What is unfortunate for those who are practicing in higher latitudes, is that this is the period of time when the day lasts about 16 hours (I’m not sure how they would have to adjust to living in the high arctic during 24 hours of sunlight – I suspect one would have to default to Mecca time at that point).
For those fasting, praying for peace, and gathering with family, I wish you all tranquil solace.
14 June 2015
Mars has the longest synodic period, or planetary cycle in theAbysmal case, of all the planets. Cycle 2 will take Mars 744 days.
12 June 2015
Looking Anew at the History of Language and Literature in Canada
The Tree of Meaning by Robert Bringhurst
the Polyhistorical Mind
Human beings have been migrating widely over North America at least since the last ice age. Some of these movements – like the migration of the Navajo and Apache south from teh Yukon to New Mexico and Arizona – can be dated fairly closely; others are harder to fix. But it is not hard to distinguish between these earlier Native American migrations and the colonization of North America by Europeans. The difference is cultural, not racial. It is the difference between, on the one hand, families of hunters learning their way through the landscape step by step, and on the other hand boatload after boatload of refugees uprooted from a sedentary life in one land, crossing the great ocean to another they know nothing whatever about.
The first kind of movement encourages learning, alertness, adaptation, and it generally allows the kind of time this adaptation requires. The second kind of movement is abrupt. It involves the imposition of remembered patterns, or idealize versions of remembered patterns, even where they will not fit. Often it involves the building of large-scale artificial realties. In one of Ghandl’s narrative poems, a man marries a goose. She is unhappy living with him on the earth, and he is unhappy with her in the sky, but neither tries to rearrange the other world. Europeans arriving in North America routinely attempted instead to remake the place in the altered image of home. The maps are still replete with names like Nouvelle France, New England, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, New York. That habitual refusal to accept the actual world continues to this day. It is responsible for Disneyworld, the West Edmonton Mall, and for the bridge that will soon reduce Prince Edward Island to one more faceless piece of the mainland.
Read the rest of this entry »
8 June 2015
Telling Truths About Canada.
A Fair Country – Telling Truths About Canada by john Ralston Saul
the Power of a Story
To accept and even believe such fundamental misrepresentations of Canada and Canadians is to sever our mythologies from our reality. Playwright and novelist Tomson Highway points out that “Languages are given form by mythologies.” To accept a language that expresses neither our true selves nor our true mythologies is to disarm our civilization. It is to cripple our capacity to talk and to act in a way that reflects both our collective unconscious and our ethical standards.
And so there are actions – creative acts – we believe we should take. We feel it would be right for us to act in a particular way, a way right and true to ourselves. Yet these beliefs and feelings have something inchoate about them, because our mythologies and our organized language do not support them. thus we find it almost impossible to take such action or to act in a way true to ourselves. or we find the process leading to action so difficult, so tortuous, so dragged out that by the time we arrive at the act itself, it is no longer what we had intended. Read the rest of this entry »
8 June 2015
Halfway through the year. The midpoint of the year also falls at the midpoint of this month, and coincides (more or less) with the northern solstice.