Sunday, April 08, 2007

Almost Random Notes, Part 10


1. Happy Easter, to those of you so inclined. Oh, heck, Happy Easter to everyone!

2. Now that Lent is over, I've built out my links again. I've also added some links to institutions and organizations I am interested in or support. The next logical thing, I suppose, would be to organize my links alphabetically. I promise to do that as soon as I am feeling logical.

3. I'm still working on my long poem. I'm at six pages, but the more I look at it, the more possible it seems that what is worth saving is only a page, at most two.

We'll see.

4. I bought this little box, Urania's Mirror: A View of the Heavens, the other day out of the cheap-sale pile at Barnes & Noble. It contained a reprint of a pamphlet printed in England in 1825 and released in America in 1832. The pamphlet was written by one "Jehosophat Aspin" and is accompanied by 32 painted cards: "On which are represented all the constellations visible in Great Britain / On a Plan Perfectly Original / Designed by a Lady." The cards were originally designed for use at the 42nd parallel (almost exactly where I am)* and the package includes a modern star wheel, making it possible to find the constellations thoroughout the year. The cards have little pin-holes in them so that one may (theoretically; I can't image how this would work in practice) hold the cards up to the night sky in such a manner that the specific stars forming the card's constellation(s) shine through.



The cards are quite beautiful, and the pamphlet contains these somewhat arcane and meandering descriptions of the myths behind all of the constellations. The weather has been so snowy and cold that I haven't had chance to test the cards out, but even if they don't work, I'm happy. I love weird stuff like this.

5. Ah, the boys are awake. Easter eggs, candy, presents!



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*Grand Haven, Michigan:

Latitude: 43° 3′ 47″ N
Longitude: 86° 13′ 42″ W

3 Comments:

Blogger Leslie said...

I have that set! I give the cards away sometimes to people who like them. The book is pretty cool too, and I use the sky chart in the gaps the trees leave in my sky.

8:29 PM  
Blogger Susan Och said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:56 PM  
Blogger Susan Och said...

Perhaps the original idea was to hold the card up in front of a lamp to simulate constellations? Maybe you could sit in a dark room with a flashlight.

10:58 PM  

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