Postby Fred-in-the-Green » Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:21 am
In Shakespeare's Tempest there is a reference to Caliban being taught to see "The Man in the Moon, and his dog, and his bush". I'm more familiar with the Irish notion of seeing a Hare in the moon. I have a fond suspicion that this is related to the superstition that one should say "Rabbits, rabbits, rabbits" on the first of the month. (One must recall, but not mention, the presence of the sacred animal.) This Hare is sacred to the Moon Goddess, and even has a name: "Gearr" --which, if my lame Irish is correct, means "Shorty".
Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare, Vol. 1
2. A Midsummer Night's Dream
<<There is next the question of moonlight. Will there be a moon that night? Quince checks the almanac and says:
Yes, it doth shine that night.
—Act III, scene i, line 55
This is odd, since the play is to be given at Theseus' wedding and Theseus himself has said it will take place on the night of the new moon, which means there will be no moon in the sky.
But it really doesn't matter. Even if there is no moon to shine naturally upon the stage, Quince has an alternative.
… one must come in with a bush of thorns and a lantern,
and say he comes to disfigure, or to present, the person of Moonshine.
—Act III, scene i, lines 59-61
A man holding a lantern on high is an obvious representation of the moon. But why a bush of thorns?
The vague shadows on the moon's face, visible to the naked eye, are the marks of the "seas," relatively flat circular areas surrounded by the lighter cratered and mountainous areas. In the days before telescopes, the nature of the markings could not be known and an imaginative peasantry concerted the shadows into figures; most commonly the figure of a man. This was the "man in the moon."
Somehow the feeling arose that the man in the moon had been hurled there as a punishment and the particular crime was thought to have been described in the Bible. The crime took place when the Israelites were wandering in the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land.
Numbers 15: 32-4: And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day.And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him.
It is clearly stated that this sabbath breaker was stoned to death. Nevertheless, an alternate non-biblical version of his punishment arose and grew popular. This was that for breaking the sabbath he was exiled to the moon with the sticks he had gathered. The sticks gradually elaborated into a thornbush and a dog was often added too (either as a merciful gesture of company for the man or as an unmerciful representation of the devil, who forever torments him). When in the final act of A Midsummer Night's Dream the little play is actually put on at Theseus' wedding, the dog appears with Starveling the Tailor, who plays Moonshine. >>
Asimov's Guide to Shakespeare, Vol. 1
25. The Tempest
… this mooncalf …
<<Meanwhile another pair of individuals are to be found wandering on the island. Trinculo, the King's jester, has escaped and is wandering aimlessly. So has Stephano, the King's butler.
Caliban sees Trinculo approaching and, in terrible fright, pretends he is dead. Trinculo finds him, doesn't know what to make of the half-human monster, but crawls under his garment to stay out of the last dregs of the tempest.
Stephano, who has salvaged some bottles of liquor, is carrying one and is 'drunk. He comes across the Caliban-Trinculo combination and views it as a monster with four legs and two voices. When Trinculo calls his name, Stephano is terrified and says:
… This is a devil, and no monster. I will leave him; I have no long spoon.
—Act II, scene ii, lines 102-3
Stephano refers to the proverb which is usually quoted, now, as "Who sups with the devil must needs have a long spoon."
But Trinculo identifies himself before Stephano is out of earshot. Stephano returns, pulls Trinculo out from under Caliban's garment, and says:
Thou art very Trinculo indeed!
How cam'st thou to be the siege [excrement]
of this mooncalf? Can he vent Trinculos?
—Act II, scene ii, lines 110-12
A mooncalf is the name given to the occasional deformed calf born of a cow, because this was thought to be due to the malign influence of the moon (see page I-629). Eventually, the expression came to be used for any monstrous form of life.
Explanation: Have you ever seen the Man on the Moon? This common question plays on the ability of humans to see pareidolia -- imagining familiar icons where they don't actually exist. One facial outline commonly identified as the Man in the Moon starts by imagining the two dark circular areas -- lunar maria -- here just above the Moon's center, to be the eyes. Surprisingly, there actually is a man in this Moon image -- a close look will reveal a real person -- with a telescope -- silhouetted against the Moon.
Postby Ron-Astro Pharmacist » Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:33 pm
I happened to run across a copy of this when a teacher at my wife's school found one and knew I'd be interested. It shows "Proposed Apollo Landing Site 1" in Mare Tranquillitatis and many of the others places which became famous. Copies seem available pretty cheaply for those interested in map history. It was fun to look back at a point in history when it hadn't been made yet.
I was never able to see any sort of man in the Moon until Carl Sagan pointed one out in The Demon-Haunted World. I'm not sure I could see it today. When I was a kid, I read a book illustrating the face, but all I ever saw was a rabbit.
A few years ago, someone gave me an explanation. We live in the tropics, and the Moon rises at a tilt such that the rabbit is oriented properly, but the face is lying on its side. Of course, these pareidolias occur when the Moon is full, moonrise is when the full Moon is most accessible.
Cousin Ricky wrote:A few years ago, someone gave me an explanation. We live in the tropics, and the Moon rises at a tilt such that the rabbit is oriented properly, but the face is lying on its side. Of course, these pareidolias occur when the Moon is full, moonrise is when the full Moon is most accessible.
Why? Personally, I see the full Moon much more often when it is high in the sky than I do at its rise. Seems like accessibility is a matter of personal circumstance.
<<Zuni Indians thought a red moon brought water. 17th-century English farmers believed in a "dripping moon," which supplied rain depending on whether its crescent was tilted up or down. Now scientists have found evidence for another adage: Rain follows the full and new phases of the moon.
Most studies on the weather and moon phases appeared in the 1960s and seemed to lend credence to lunar folklore. Researchers detected more peaks in rainfall in the days after the full and new moons, for example. Recently, three researchers decided to revive the issue when they stumbled across a link between moon phases and stream runoff while working on another project. They will soon publish in Geophysical Research Letters one of the most comprehensive studies yet, with more than a century of data from across the continental United States.
The researchers, a team comprised of geographers and climatologists from Arizona State University (ASU), Tempe, and the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in Asheville, North Carolina, ...turned to the U.S. Historical Climatology Network, a database with daily precipitation information for more than 1200 stations from as early as 1895. True to farmers' wisdom, precipitation tended to rise a few days before the quarter moon. It's not a strong link. .. But they do seem to account for 1% to 2% of the total changes in rainfall or stream runoff. "It's a real effect, but it's a real small effect," Thorne says.
The researchers still aren't sure how the moon exerts this effect. Most guesses also come from the 1960s and '70s. Back then, some scientists suggested that the moon's orbit could distort the magnetosphere, a region of ionized particles surrounding Earth's protective magnetic field. This might allow more particles from space into the atmosphere, where they could trigger rain when they collide with clouds. Others speculated that the moon's orbit could increase the amount of meteoric dust reaching Earth, which could also trigger rain when it hit clouds, or that the moon could create a pressure bulge that would affect storm systems—a hypothesis floated by the study's lead author, Randall Cerveny of ASU Tempe.>>
<<When the moon is high in the sky, it creates bulges in the planet’s atmosphere that creates imperceptible changes in the amount of rain that falls below.
New University of Washington research to be published in Geophysical Research Letters shows that the lunar forces affect the amount of rain – though very slightly. “As far as I know, this is the first study to convincingly connect the tidal force of the moon with rainfall,” said corresponding author Tsubasa Kohyama, a UW doctoral student in atmospheric sciences.
Kohyama was studying atmospheric waves when he noticed a slight oscillation in the air pressure. He and co-author John (Michael) Wallace, a UW professor of atmospheric sciences, spent two years tracking down the phenomenon. Air pressure changes linked to the position of the moon was first detected in 1847, and temperature in 1932, in ground-based observations. An earlier paper by the UW researchers used a global grid of data to confirm that air pressure on the surface definitely varies with the position of the moon. “When the moon is overhead or underfoot, the air pressure is higher,” Kohyama said.
Their new paper is the first to show that the moon’s gravitational tug also puts a slight damper on the rain. When the moon is overhead, its gravity causes Earth’s atmosphere to bulge toward it, so the pressure or weight of the atmosphere on that side of the planet goes up. Higher pressure increases the temperature of air parcels below. Since warmer air can hold more moisture, the same air parcels are now farther from their moisture capacity. “It’s like the container becomes larger at higher pressure,” Kohyama said. The relative humidity affects rain, he said, because “lower humidity is less favorable for precipitation.”
Kohyama and Wallace used 15 years of data collected by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite from 1998 to 2012 to show that the rain is indeed slightly lighter when the moon is high. The change is only about 1 percent of the total rainfall variation, though, so not enough to affect other aspects of the weather or for people to notice the difference.>>
Why yes, I do have a favorite object that I see in the moon! In September 2014 I photographed Nessie (the famous Loch Ness Monster) hiding in the crater Ptolemeus. She only comes out to play for a short time each month.
Postby email@example.com » Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:45 pm
The image (to me) appears to be a man [in profile] wearing funky sunglasses, sporting a polka-dotted shower cap of some sort; with a button nose and a slight "almost" smile...you can clearly make out his upper lip and chin. To his right, you can see the end of a rolled-up Torah, held up close to the side of his face. I think God has a good sense of humor, in light of what that face has had to behold on the Earth over the last 4 billion years---but especially in the short time-span that mankind has been running amok upon it.