Events, Home, Health & Style

Last Minute Homemade Halloween Costumes

What’s your favourite holiday? Christmas? Easter? Or is it Halloween? The day when we let our imaginations run wild and, instead of feeling that we have to prettify, we are encouraged to look as disgusting as possible.

I love Halloween, I love getting dressed up and playing games. I love bobbing for apples and grossing everyone out. Once upon a time we just threw on a sheet with eye holes cut out, those days are long gone. Now we consider our costume choices carefully. We co-ordinate, we plan and we get excited. You don’t need to spend a fortune on fancy costumes though, nor do you need to be an expert face painter. Here are a few ideas to get you started. 

 

Read More...

Science, Nature and Tech

Is The Great Wall of China Visible from Space?

The idea that the Great Wall of China can be seen from space has been around since at least 1938 and is still popular today. It certainly seems plausible that such a large, linear structure would stand out from the surrounding landscape, but it’s actually not true.

Alan Bean, the fourth man to walk on the moon, said in 1969

“The only thing you can see from the moon is a beautiful sphere, mostly white, some blue and patches of yellow, and every once in a while some green vegetation. No man-made object is visible at this scale.”

But if you can’t see the Wall from the moon, how about somewhere closer to Earth? The International Space Station (ISS) maintains a low earth orbit of between 330-435 km above our planet’s surface.

Read More...

Language & Literature

Shooting stars, Weather, and Rocks falling from the Sky!

 

 

What do shooting stars, weather and rocks falling from the sky have in common? Are you wondering whether we have gone mad asking such a question? Do rocks ever fall from the sky? Of course they do! You might know them better as “meteorites”, and they are meteors, or rocks from outer space, that fall down to the earth. And what does that have to do with weather? It’s not like they come down like rain! And before you say to yourself “meteor shower”, remember that a meteor is actually a shooting star, a space-rock that burns up in the Earth’s atmosphere. Related, yes, but weather, no.

The weather connection is through another word, generally used to mean “study of the weather”. That word is “meteorology”. As you can see, all three have something in common – the word “meteor”.

So what is this word, and how did it come to mean these different things?

Meteor came into English through French in the late 15th century. In French it was meteore. Very similar, you might think. Does this mean that it is a French word. Not at all. The next question we must ask ourselves is where did French get it from? The answer is from Medieval Latin meteorum, which meant “things in the heavens”. But this is not the end of the tale. Latin took the word from ancient Greek, and in Greek we can analyse the word to see what it really means.

The Greek word μετέωρα (meteora) can be broken into two parts: meta, which means “over, beyond” and aora, which comes from the verb αείρω/ αίρω (aeiro, airo), which meant “to raise, lift up”. Even today, in Modern Greek, αιωρείται (aioreitai) means “it hovers”. All this means that the original meaning of the word was “thing that is raised in the air”. And even in ancient times this developed to mean “things in the sky” and gradually came to have the meaning it does today.

Another interesting point is that the word “air” is in fact from the same root as αείρω (aeiro), which makes it a distant cousin, or cognate, of “meteor”.

 

Did you know:

One of the largest and most famous meteor craters is to be found in northern Arizona, desert of the U.S. It is 1,200m wide, 170m deep and calculated to be created 50,000 years ago! It is more commonly known as the Barringer Crater.

Screenshot 2013-10-28 at 09.49.14

 

 

 

Title Photography: Mike Lewinski 2013

Amanda Scheliga 2007 

Read More...