11/4/17

Día de los Muertos

“The cempasúchil, a type of marigold flower native to Mexico, is often placed on ofrendas and around graves. With their strong scent and vibrant color the petals are used to make a path that leads the spirits from the cemetery to their families’ homes.

Monarch butterflies play a role in Día de los Muertos because they are believed to hold the spirits of the departed. This belief stems from the fact that the first monarchs arrive in Mexico for the winter each fall on Nov. 1, which coincides with Día de los Muertos.

Calaveritas de azucar, or sugar skulls, along with toys, are left on the altars for children who have passed. The skull is used not as morbid symbol but rather as a whimsical reminder of the cyclicality of life, which is why they are brightly decorated.”

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10/29/17

Happy Halloween! 🎃

“‘THE LEGEND OF “STINGY JACK’

People have been making jack-o’-lanterns at Halloween for centuries. The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed “Stingy Jack.” According to the story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn’t want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree’s bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.

Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern,” and then, simply “Jack O’Lantern.”

 

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8/26/17

Many people stopped to watch the moon block the sun on Monday, Aug. 21 through special glasses or homemade contraptions. Many of those same people are sick of hearing about the total eclipse. But, here is a interesting fact about solar eclipses:

“Total solar eclipses won’t be around forever

There will be no more total solar eclipses in about 600 million years, scientists say. Because of the moon’s slowly increasing orbit, NASA believes the moon will have moved far enough away from Earth in that timeframe that it will no longer be big enough to entirely cover the sun. “It will be too small in the sky,” said Dr. C. Alex Young, the associate director for science in the heliophysics science division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The moon’s orbit is increasing by about 1.5 inches each year, Young added. The sun is also expected to expand slightly in the future but NASA has not yet seen a noticeable change, Young said. Partial eclipses will still exist in 600 million years.”

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8/20/17

Publick Occurrences, Both Foreign and Domestick, the first newspaper published in America, was printed by Richard Pierce and edited by Benjamin Harris in Boston on September 25, 1690. It contained three printed pages and one blank. The pages were about 6 x 10 inches in size in a folded sheet of paper. . . . Ultimately, the first newspaper published in America became the first to be suppressed by the authorities.”

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8/12/17

fivetotwenty.jpg

“Monica’s apartment changed from number 5 to number 20 when the show’s writers realised that “5” wouldn’t denote an apartment on an upper level floor in a large block. So they matched, Chandler’s also changed from 4 to 19.”

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7/29/17

The book character, Harry Potter, will celebrate his 37th birthday July 31, 2017 (he was born in 1980).

The producers tried to give Daniel Radcliffe green eyes and Hermione buck teeth like in the books, but failed. Sadly, Daniel had a terrible allergic reaction to his green contact lenses and had to stop wearing them, while Emma Watson couldn’t speak clearly wearing her false buck teeth.”

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