Tuesday, 28 February 2012

HISTORY OF ASTROLOGY

HISTORY OF ASTROLOGY



Astrology - belief in the physical influence of planetary rays on earth - is one of the most important historical contexts in which astronomy developed.
 Astrology served as a motivation as well as a means of gainful employment for astronomers. The Babylonians meticulously compiled tablets of the position
 of Venus, as it was believed to signify omens for weather, war, famine, diseases, rulers and kingdoms. Ptolemy composed the Tetrabiblos, believing that
astrology could be placed on a rational footing, despite being a conjectural art like medicine. In practice, belief in astrology meant that horoscopes were cast
 for new-born children, prospective spouses and political enemies, public buildings were opened and marriage and other ceremonies conducted on auspicious days.
Numerous records of astrological practice can be found from the Roman times.
 Several important Arabic authors on astronomy, such as al-Kindi, Masha'allah and Abu Ma 'Shar were astrologers: Abraham ibn Ezra and Ibn Yunus discussed
astrology in a scholarly manner. In the Latin West, the terms astrology and astronomy were interchangeable for a long time. In the arts faculties of medieval universities,
the theory of planetary motion of Sacrobosco, Ptolemy and Gerard of Cremona (later Georg Peurbach) was always taught alongside guides for interpreting the
influence of planetary configurations, through texts such as Alchabitius' Introduction to Astrology, Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos and Centiloquium and Albumazar's Great Conjunctions.
Johannes Kepler believed that he could set astrology onto a surer footing, and his astrological beliefs were fundamental to his heliocentric cosmology.

It is important to remember that one of the important reasons for studying astrology in the Latin West was medicine: parts of medical prognosis and treatment
were determined by astrological information. For instance, whether a disease 'turned' (on 'critical days') better or worse depended on the state of the patient's
body and whether it was an astrologically favourable moment. Bloodletting, a medical treatment intended to rectify the imbalance of bodily humours, was regulated
by the position of the moon, which was considered to exert greatest influence over the human body. For instance, every sign of the zodiac was considered to rule a
part of the human body: the Saggitarius ruled the thighs, Pisces the feet, and so on. When the moon was in the zodiac ruling a particular part of the body, bloodletting
from that part was to be avoided, since the attraction of the moon might cause excessive bleeding. Numerous medical manuscripts and almanacs include the figure of
the 'zodiac man' as a reminder of the specific influence of the moon. In addition, the power of the moon's pulling power varied by its phases, and thus almanacs usually
showed the phases of the moon.



Thus, students of medicine at Bologna, for instance, learnt astrology for four years, including grounding in Euclid's geometry and Ptolemy's Almagest. In addition,
they learnt how to use instruments such as the astrolabe and the quadrant, and were taught how to use the Alfonsine Tables along with their canons. The instruction
to use astronomical tables indicates that students, or future practitioners of medicine were not expected to calculate afresh planetary positions each time they needed
 to make a prognosis or conduct blood-letting. Several manuscripts for physicians contain short-cut tables or volvelles (paper discs) in order to establishing planetary
 positions and phases of the moon. More frequently, practitioners relied on calendars which listed the necessary astrological information. Thus mathematics professors
at Bologna were required to compile the official prognostication in order to ensure the dissemination of proper and accurate astrological knowledge. The need for some
 mastery in astrology for the study of medicine explains why so many teachers of mathematics or astronomy had medical degrees or went on to become physicians,
 including the most famous astrologer of the Early Modern period, Nostrodamus. The works of Copernicus and Regiomontanus, and contemporary expectations and
 reactions to them, also needs to be understood in this light: developments in astronomy were inextricably linked with, and were believed to have, implications for astrology.
Astronomical developments did not necessarily mean the demise of astrology.

Outside the university walls, the belief in planetary powers was wide-spread enough that rulers retained their own court astrologers. Frederick II (1194-1250) employed
Michael Scot, Federigo da Montefeltro (Duke: 1468-82) Paul of Middelburg, and Rudolf II Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler in succession. Galileo Galilei, as courtier
was also expected to meet the astrological needs of the prince. Tracts and pamphlets came to be written, blaming astrological configurations for social upheavals or diseases,
such as the Black Death, the Sack of Rome, the Peasants' War, the split of the Church, outbreak of syphilis. Prognostications in the vernacular flooded sixteenth-century Europe,
 foretelling terrible weather, major floods, political unrest and the coming of the Anti-Christ. Comets were eagerly studied as signs portending disaster. Novelties in the heavens
were scrutinised for their influences and meanings on earthly matters. Belief in the power of the heavens became part of a world-view; poems were written and metaphors
developed in the works of Chaucer, Shakespeare and Milton, to name only the most famous. The supreme and central power of the sun was successfully employed as an image
of kingship by the advisors to Louis XIV, the 'Sun-King'.



It should also be remembered there were many who objected to astrology in one way or another. The profusion of astrologers, their practice of divination and forecasting the
future alarmed Christians as well as Muslims, who saw them as implying a deterministic world-view in which God would loose his omnipotence and humans their free will.
Constantine thus made divination a capital offence in 357, a ban repeated in 373 and 409; Augustine spoke out vociferously against it in his City of God. Avicenna,
Al-Farabi and Averroes all objected to certain astrological practices. Important critiques of astrology in the Latin West included Nicole Oresme, Thomas Bradwardine,
 Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, and Martin Luther. In 1586, Gregory XIII issued a Bull against astrologers, confirming existing prohibitions against predictions of fortuitous
events or events depending on human will. However, predictions based on nature and of use to medicine, agriculture and navigation were still permitted.


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Monday, 27 February 2012

THE ENEMY OF ASTRONOMY

THE ENEMY OF ASTRONOMY
Global Light Pollution


There's one problem with Urban astronomy, and it's a big one.  It is the reason so many historical observatories, places where great discoveries were made and the foundations of modern astronomy
 were set down, have been shut down and even demolished.  That problem is light.  Modern cities pump so much light into the sky that many of us have never actually seen a night sky at all. 
Ask somebody what colour the sky is at night and they'll confidently assert "Black, of course!".  Which just goes to show when last they actually looked up.  The night sky in the city is navy blue in the suburbs,
 and dull orange in the city proper, and shines bright enough to completely extinguish all but a handful of the brightest stars.  If we happen to glance up, we see nothing at all. 
The sky is boring, and not worth watching.
But try this experiment to see just what you're missing, and what our ancestors took for granted:  Wait for a moonless night, then get in your car.  Drive out of town, taking a back road. 
You want to get somewhere very remote, with no traffic around you and no lights visible anywhere (You might have to drive quite far, so pack a flask of coffee!).  Once you've found your spot,
stop the car and look out the window.  You will see a breathtaking display - the sky itself as black as ink, and an astonishing spray of stars powdering the whole sky.  Admire it a bit, enjoy it,
and then when you're ready for the REAL show to start, turn off your lights.  That's the headlights, the courtesy light, everything.  Then get out of the car.  It's a breathtaking experience,
and all by itself will give you a new perspective on your place in the universe.

The biggest surprise we all get is that, after about 15 minutes or so, your eyes adapt to the point where you can see by starlight well enough to take a short walk and find your way back to the car.
And bear in mind that this is what our great-grandparents took for granted every single night!
Light pollution is taken very seriously by astronomers (both professional and amateur), and some environmentalists, and there are a number of activist groups fighting to get something done about it. 
There are even towns with by-laws forbidding outside lights after certain hours at night, and their astronomers are very fortunate indeed.  But what can the rest of us do?
Firstly, we can minimise the effects of local lighting.  Find a spot in your yard where the fewest lights (street-light, neighbour's security floodlight, your bathroom light, etc) can reach you. 
Put up screens, or plant hedges, to block the remaining lights.  In this way, you create a small space which is much darker than your surroundings.  Simply spend a few minutes in there,
and you'll find your eyes adapting in the same way they did in our experiment above, and you'll find a lot more stars become visible. 
Unless you're truly in the heart of the city, you should be able to see all the significant stars of all the important constellations, and that's already enough to give you plenty to watch for the rest of your life.  If you can see that much, then you can
begin to learn the constellations, and you will easily see the 5 classical planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn - these five planets are brighter than most stars). 
Secondly, conditions are never bad enough to blot out the moon -- it's visible during the day which shows that even the sun isn't bright enough to hide it.  While the naked eye doesn't reveal
much of interest (apart from the phases, and some mottled patterns), even the smallest of binoculars will reveal craters, mountain ranges, and a wealth of other detail which you can spend years
studying and getting to know (If you're interested in that sort of thing!)
So this is what Urban Astronomers do.  We deal with Light Pollution.  in the day, some of us campaign to do something about it, but the rest of us simple put up with it, and find ways to
 pursue our hobby in spite of it.  It's a challenge, but it sure beats having to plan a major expedition every time you want to view from a decent dark-sky site!

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Sunday, 19 February 2012

FOREVER YOUNG

Alphaville a German synthpop group gained popularity in the 1980s. The founding members were Marian Gold (real name Hartwig Schierbaum, born 26 May 1954 in Herford, North Rhine-Westphalia), Bernhard Lloyd (real name Bernhard Gößling, born 6 June 1960 in Enger, North Rhine-Westphalia), and Frank Mertens (real name Frank Sorgatz, born 26 October 1961 in Enger, North Rhine-Westphalia). The band was at first named Forever Young before changing to Alphaville. They are best known for their two biggest hits, "Big in Japan" and "Forever Young". As of 2011 they have sold over 80 million albums.


FOREVER YOUNG

Let's dance in style, let's dance for a while,
 Heaven can wait we're only watching the skies.
 Hoping for the best, but expecting the worst,
 Are you gonna drop the bomb or not?

Let us die young or let us live forever
 We don't have the power, but we never say never
 Sitting in the sandpit, life is a short trip
 The music's for the sad man.

Can you imagine when this race is won?
 Turn our golden the faces into the sun,
 Praising our leaders, we're getting in tune
 The music's played by the madman.

Forever young,
 I want to be forever young.
 Do you really want to live forever?
 Forever, and ever

Forever young,
 I want to be forever young
 Do you really want to live forever?
 Forever young.

Some are like water, some are like the heat
 Some are a melody and some are the beat
 Sooner or later they all will be gone
 Why don't they stay young?

It's so hard to get old without a cause
 I don't want to perish like a fading horse
 Youth's like diamonds in the sun,
 And diamonds are forever

So many adventures given up today,
 So many songs we forgot to play.
 So many dreams swinging out of the blue
 Oh let it come true.

Forever young,
 I want to be forever young.
 Do you really want to live forever,
 Forever, and ever?

Forever young,
 I want to be forever young.
 Do you really want to live forever,
 Forever young?

Forever young
 I want to be forever young
 Do you really want to live forever,
 Forever, and ever?

Forever young,
 I want to be forever young.
 Do you really want to live forever?


Alphaville - Forever Young Music Video(HD/HQ)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8FeNJ2nJfk

THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM
Sometimes it feels so strange
The way I feel for you
It makes my life so quiet and free
And when you smile at me
It's just that special love
A kind of liberty I've never felt before
And I don't need to be a poet
I don't need to be a hero
When all I need to do is keep on
Loving you
I just have to be me
And I don't need to be
The stranger anymore I used to be
In my impossible dream
I keep my fingers crossed
I never want to lose
This new found world that's so alive, Angel
I'm so in love with you
My heart has circled in the past
The demons of deceit but now
Aside I've cast
And I don't need to be a poet
I don't need to be hero
When all I need to do is keep on
Loving you
I just have to be me
And I don't need to be
The stranger anymore I used to be
In my impossible dream

Alphaville - The Impossible Dream
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdwEwNvfmhg




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Saturday, 18 February 2012

FRACTAL DESIGNS


"SYMETRY IN GREEN"
By
David Hodgson



By
David Hodgson



"TAKEN  IN"
By
David Hodgson



"CENTERS"
By
David Hodgson




"MOVEMENTS IN BLACK AND WHITE"
By
David Hodgson



"STARCHILD"
By
David Hodgson


WELCOME TO THE LAKE TRAIL GUESTHOUSE
LOCATED IN THE COMOX VALLEY
ON VANCOUVER ISALND
BRITISH COLUMBIA
FOLLOW THESE LINKS AND FIND SERENITY!!!


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Friday, 17 February 2012

USEFUL STAR ATLASES FOR AMATEUR ASTRONOMERS

USEFUL STAR ATLASES FOR AMATEUR ASTRONOMERS
By David Knisely





--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Learning the constellations and the apperance of the sky at various times of the year is a useful and fun way to get familiar with where things are in the heavens, and a good guide book plus a planisphere will definitely help with this task. However, once you begin a telescopic search for the many deep-sky objects scattered about the numerous stars of the major constellations, you really need a good detailed "road map" of the sky to keep from getting lost, and a star atlas is just that. An atlas is useful, not only for helping with the finding process, but as an aid in planning future observing sessions. There are a number of good atlases in print today, and below are some of ones most commonly used by amateur astronomers.
NORTON'S 2000.0 STAR ATLAS AND REFERENCE HANDBOOK, edited by Ian Ridpath (Longman Scientific & Technical, 1989) is considered to be one of the better basic observing guides for the amateur. This updated version is the 18th edition of a classic work which has been helping observers since it was first published in 1910. In addition to containing useful all-sky star charts, the book is an excellent reference handbook for the amateur astronomer. The atlas portion of this hardbound book contains sixteen 8" by 11" star charts covering the entire sky, ploting 8,700 stars down to magnitude 6.49 (most of the "naked-eye" stars), along with 600 of the best deep-sky objects. The stars are plotted as black dots of varying size on a white background, which makes for easier reading in dim light. The charts also show the brighter parts of the Milky-Way (green), as well as showing the coordinate lines, extensive object labeling, and constellation boundaries.
The 16 maps are laid out in adjoining form, so by opening the book flat, you get a really wide continuous area of coverage on the sky. Since the charts are bound in book-form, objects near the binding line (where adjoining maps meet with no overlap) tend to be a little hard to see unless the book is really pressed open, but othewise, the maps are very useful for the beginning to intermediate amateur.
In addition to star maps, the book also contains 4 detailed quadrant maps of the near side of the Moon, and a small map of the albedo features on Mars. Norton's also is a real goldmine of useful information for the amateur astronomer, covering things like practical astronomy, time, telescopes, viewing solar system objects, and the stars in general.
TIRION'S BRIGHT STAR ATLAS 2000.0 by Wil Tirion (32 pages). This is a bound set of ten 9" by 12" star maps of the entire sky, showing 9,096 stars down to magnitude 6.5, along with 600 of the best deep-sky objects. Again, the stars are plotted as dark dots on a white background for easy reading in dim light. Like its "big-brother" (Sky Atlas 2000.0), it has celestial coordinate lines, Milky-Way and constellation boundaries, and extensive labeling. It also contains a set of 6 seasonal constellation finder charts. It is a useful and inexpensive atlas for the beginner who is starting to "go deep", but for best results, the user should also have a good companion reference like Burnham's Celestial Handbook, or Deep-Sky Observing With Small Telescopes, by David J. Eicher.
SKY ATLAS 2000.0 by Wil Tirion (Sky Publishing), has become one of the true "standard" star atlases for intermediate and advanced amateur astronomers. The sheer number of objects shown make it a must-have for those who are doing deep-sky searches like those involved in the Messier and Herschel programs. Sky Atlas 2000.0 plots the positions of 43,000 stars down to magnitude 8.0, along with 2,500 deep-sky objects, on 26 large 18" by 13.5" charts covering the entire sky. The scale of the charts is somewhat larger than that of other atlases, which makes locating things in crowded fields easier. Objects like open and globular clusters, diffuse emission or reflection nebulae, planetary nebulae, and galaxies are all plotted with different symbols and are all labled clearly (in color for the Deluxe version). Double, multiple, and variable stars are all shown, along with the large-scale coordinate grids and constellation outlines. Clear plastic overlays are provided to assist in determining the coordinates of any celestial object, or in locating objects which are not plotted, but whose numerical positions are known. An all-sky wide-field constellation finder chart with map boundaries and page numbers is provided at the beginning of the atlas to assist with locating the map of interest. The atlas comes in five versions:
1. Field Edition (unbound single-page charts with white stars and markings on a black background).
2. Desk Edition (unbound single-page charts with black stars and markings on a white background).
3. Laminated Field Edition (spiral bound, and encased in clear plastic).
4. Laminated Desk Edition (spiral bound, encased in clear plastic)
5. Deluxe Edition (spiral bound with Lexan cover, with charts which fold out to 20" by 15.5": black stars and markings on white background with colored symbols for deep-sky objects and Milky Way outlines.
Sky Atlas 2000.0 is somewhat more expensive than the other two atlases mentioned earlier, but it does plot more objects on a greater scale, and tends to be more useful to the serious observer. Again, for best results, a good advanced observing guide is needed. Several catalogs for objects plotted on Sky Atlas 2000.0 are available, such as the Sky Atlas 2000.0 COMPANION: a complete listing of every deep sky object plotted on the atlas. A more complete 2-volume catalog SKY CATALOGUE 2000.0 is also available, but, like Sky Atlas 2000.0 Companion, it is not an observing guide.
URANOMETRIA 2000.0, (Wil Tirion, Barry Rappaport, George Lovi, published by Willman Bell) is a highly detailed two-volume hardbound atlas intended for use mainly by advanced amateur astronomers. This atlas is indispensable for the large telescope user intent on pushing towards the limits of Deep-Sky observing. It plots 332,000 stars as faint as magnitude 9.5, along with an incredible 10,300 non-stellar objects (open and globular clusters, bright and dark nebulae, galaxies, radio sources, quasars, ect.) on a total of 473 individual charts covering the entire sky. The stars, object symbols, and coordinate grids are plotted as black on a white background page. Some of the common object names (ie: "Horsehead Nebula", ect.) are also printed next to certain objects. The scale of these charts is much larger than for Sky Atlas 2000.0, with only portions of larger constellations being shown by any one page (13 degrees of declination shown per page). Unlike other atlases, adjoining pages do not together form a contiguous left-to-right area of sky (pages are in order of increasing right ascension). This, along with the large scale and huge number of stars and other objects plotted, makes the atlas more difficult for the inexperienced observer to use. It is definitely NOT for beginners, as they could quickly become totally lost in its pages.
Uranometria does contain wide-field guide charts in a polar projection to help the user locate the page containing the smaller area of interest, along with plastic overlays for the main charts for fine coordinate measurement or object location. Its 2 volume hardbound-only edition is more expensive than Sky Atlas 2000.0, but it is definitely worth the money for the advanced amateur who has outgrown the other atlases. There is also a companion catalogue, THE DEEP-SKY FIELD GUIDE TO URANOMETRIA 2000.0, which has a great deal of data covering every non-stellar object plotted in the atlas.


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TIME TRAX "Lovers In A Dangerous Time"

Lovers In A Dangerous Time
BY THE BARENAKED LADIES

Don't the hours grow shorter as the days go by?
We never get to stop and open our eyes.
One minute you're waiting for the sky to fall
Next you're dazzled by the beauty of it all.
Lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time
These fragile bodies of touch and taste
This fragrant skin, this hair like lace
Spirits open to thrust of grace,
Never a breath you can't afford to waste.
Lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time
When you're lovers in a dangerous time,
Sometimes you're made to feel as if your loves a crime.
Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight
You gotta kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight.
Lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time

We were lovers in a dangerous time
We were lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers, Lovers, Lovers
Ohhhhhh
Lovers in a dangerous time

"Lovers in a Dangerous Time" is a song by Bruce Cockburn, originally released on his 1984 album Stealing Fire.
The song was a Top 40 hit for Cockburn, peaking at No. 25 on the Canadian charts the week of August 18, 1984.
In 2005, "Lovers" was named the 11th greatest Canadian song of all time on the CBC Radio One series 50 Tracks:
The Canadian Version.
Bruce Cockburn - Lovers in a Dangerous Time (Live in the Bing Lounge)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKjgJ3oLJqE&feature=related
Barenaked Ladies - Lovers in a Dangerous Time - Live
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv7e9TdzJIA&feature=related
...............................................................................................................
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Vancouver Island
A Wilderness Adventure
Awaits You !


LAKE TRAIL GUESTHOUSE
4787 Lake Trail Road
Courtenay, British Columbia
Canada,  V9N 9N2
Telephone: 1-250-338-1914
Contact us at :
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IN THE WOODS AND ON THE HIKING AND CYCLING TRAILS
The Lake Trail Guesthouse is situated minutes from downtown Courtenay in the beautiful Comox Valley
 midway up the east coast of Vancouver Island
Leave the busy city and experience the wonder of our wilderness.
Step out the door and you are surrounded by forest, lake, river, stunning waterfalls and mountain views.
The hiking and cycling trails start in our backyard and provide the traveler the opportunity to explore the
true natural beauty of Vancouver Island.
The Lake Trail Guesthouse offers comfortable accommodation, where you can relax and regain energy after a busy day of activities.
You can hike, cycle, swim or play in the potholes and waterfalls, and then
 take time to recharge, sitting by a campfire or lounging in a deck chair.


The Lake Trail Guesthouse has private and share rooms, full kitchen, laundry.
$60/night private double bedroom
$40/night single private
$28 shared bedroom
weekly/monthly rates


Open Year Round
Minutes to Mt. Washington.

Located 6k up Lake Trail Road from downtown Courtenay (5th Street)
Pick-up is available at the bus, train, ferry or airport with a reservation.
Reservations are recommended

Call us at :  1-250-338-1914

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