Friday, December 25, 2009

The History of Christmas

The Roan poet Virgil once wrote about "...the remnants of an ancient flame" ( veteris vestigia flammae) and those words ring true about the origins of Christmas which started as an ancient Roman holiday (The Saturnalia); a time when slave and master would change places for the day ( though I prefer the Roman custom of voluptates corporis). As one of my many varied sources of information, The History Channel has a lot of things going for it and it is here that I present to my readers the truth behind many of the Christmas traditions and practices which are far more recent in their origins than many who practice them would realize. The use of the Christmas Tree is less than 200 years old and German in origin not English but even newer in America. So here, my readers is Christmas Unwrapped:

Merry Christmas on and all.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Morning Dazzle of Ring Around the Planet

So I'm tweeting and doing my Face Book schtick when I come across a tweet by Phil Plait the Bad Astronomer and his blog on the Discovery Magazine website. It turns out that someone has done me a great favor - a BIG favor. It never fails that when I'm teaching my astronomy unit that when we get to the planet Saturn, the following question always comes up:

"What would it look like if the Earth had a ring around it like Saturn?"

Well, thanks Phil, he and others have found the following video on YouTube that evidently went viral not too soon after it was posted. It is fantastic:

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Most Terrifying Video You'll Ever See

So I'm listening to D.J. Grothe and the Point of Inquiry podcast (and trying to catch up on all the podcasts I've missed when school started again). Then I come across the one titled "What is the Worst That Can Happen?' and it inspires me to go to YouTube to see this guys video. You watch this video and you come to realize that practically all of the arguments that are used to deny Global Climate Change are the equivalent of whistling in the dark to keep the robbers away while walking down a street you should never have taken. Greg Craven is a high school science teacher from Oregon and an activist on Global Warming. He makes a set of arguments that just are not easy to try and shoot down. But don't take my word for it. Watch for yourself and try to shoot it down... this is in fact what Mr. Craven asks us to do... so do it:

Labels: , , , , , ,