scientific holidays

Those little stars must be enormous. The whole earth must be a tiny pebble in comparison. A spinning pebble, and he, on it, the astronomer, looking at flaming gigantic worlds so far away that they seemed no more than sparkling grains of dust. He felt for a moment less than nothing, and then, suddenly, size did not seem to matter. Distant and huge the stars might be, but he, standing here with chattering teeth on the dark hill-side, could see them and name them and even foretell what next they were going to do. “The January Sky.” And there they were, Taurus, Aldebaran, the Pleiades, obedient as slaves … He felt an odd wish to shout at them in triumph, but remembered in time that this would not be scientific.
— 

Winter Holiday, Arthur Ransome

My dad’s tried to point out to me Aldebaran, but I still can’t find it on my own…

Winter Cardinals

This was inspired by the times I’ve watched cardinals in the woods during the winter when it’s starting to get dark outside. Their bright colors against a monochromatic snowy background make them look like they’re glowing.

Now available as greeting cards and stickers on my new RedBubble store ^_^

It is obvious that Pumpkaboo is based on our beloved Jack O’ Lantern tradition of Halloween, but where did this practice of carving faces into gourds come from? Well, since it is Halloween I figured we could talk about it!

There are many different theories to the origin of Jack O’ Lanterns but there is no real consensus.

The most common theory suggests that the faces that were carved were used to represent the faces of souls stuck in purgatory.

This stems from the story of Stingy Jack. It was said that a blacksmith, named Stingy Jack, invited the Devil out for a drink. Holding to his nickname, Jack did not want to use his own purse to pay the tab so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin so that he could settle the bill. The Devil agreed, but instead of following through with his word, Jack skipped out on the tab and kept the devil-coin in his pocket with a silver cross. The cross prevented him from being able to change his form back from the coin. Eventually Jack agreed to free the Devil, on the condition that he never claim Jack’s soul. The Devil agreed and left Jack to the rest of his life. When Jack died, God viewed him as too sinful to pass into heaven and the Devil, keeping his promise, did not claim Jack to Hell. Because of this, Jack was cursed to wander the earth in purgatory. However, the devil did give him a piece of lit coal to light his way through the darkness of earth. 

Many also believe that Jack O’ Lanterns were created to ward off evil spirits.

In the early 19th Century, Halloween was not a day to be celebrated. Many people believed that on this day spirits, ghouls, and demons were able to wander the mortal world and play tricks on the living. Many people would carve scary faces into gourds or other vegetables and set them outside of their homes to ward away these entities and keep themselves safe.

So make sure to put a scary face on your doorstep and have a safe night! Happy Halloween! -From your favorite Pokemon Professors here at Scientific Pokedex.

voluntarydemise  asked:

I think I read you're a Tom Stoppard fan. You must have read Arcadia! Bellarke as Septimus and Thomasina. Not a full immersion into Arcadia, just some component of their relationship. Either the meeting-of-the-minds, or the teasing and evolving relationship, or the bittersweet and sad ending. And in case you didn't read Arcadia, mhm... think 2 scholar/geniuses bonding over their mutual devotion to curiosity and delight in scientific discovery! Happy almost holidays :)

Clarke is getting tired of tutors.

It’s not that she doesn’t like learning; in fact, the problem might be that she likes learning too much. Her tutors are clearly intelligent men, but they’re awful teachers. Half of Clarke’s questions they can’t answer and pretend they can, and the half that they can answer, they make her feel stupid for asking. As far as Clarke is concerned, not knowing something she’s never been taught isn’t stupid; if her tutors don’t teach her these things, how else is she supposed to learn them?

Then, when she’s fifteen, her father hires Bellamy Blake.

“If this one doesn’t stick, I might be out of options,” he says, but his voice is fond and warm. Some of her tutors have said she has too much curiosity for a girl, but her parents have never listened to that. They want her educated.

Bellamy is unlike any of her previous tutors. He’s quite young, can’t be far out of university, if he’s out at all. His skin is darker than she’s seen, except from men who work in the sun, and his hair is a tangle of inky black curls that she finds very distracting. She loves to sketch, and something about his hair and the smattering of freckles across his face makes her itch for a pen.

He’s gruff and short with his instructions; he gives her a set of sums to work right away, to find out where she is with her mathematics, and when she finishes them in fifteen minutes–they were far too easy–he just glances over her paper and says, “Great. These next.”

Keep reading