Monday, April 30, 2007

Flowering Goddess

Moon Phases

Lunar phase refers to the appearance of the illuminated portion of the Moon as seen by an observer, usually on Earth. The lunar phases vary cyclically as the Moon orbits the Earth, according to the changing geometry of the Earth, Moon, and Sun. One half of the lunar surface is always illuminated by the Sun, and is hence bright, but the portion of the illuminated hemisphere that is visible to an observer can vary from 100% (full moon) to 0% (new moon). The boundary between the illuminated and unilluminated hemispheres is called the terminator.

The phases of the Moon have been given the following names, which are listed in sequential order:

Phase Name [PN] Northern hemisphere [NH] Southern hemisphere [SH]
New [PN] Not visible [NH] Not visible [SH]
Waxing Crescent [PN] Right 1-49% visible [NH] Left 1-49% visible [SH]
First Quarter [PN] Right 50% visible [NH] Left 50% visible [SH]
Waxing Gibbous [PN] Right 51-99% visible [NH] Left 51-99% visible [SH]
Full [PN] Fully visible [NH] Fully visible [SH]
Waning Gibbous [PN] Left 51-99% visible [NH] Right 51-99% visible [SH]
Third Quarter [PN] Left 50% visible [NH] Right 50% visible [SH]
Waning Crescent [PN] Left 1-49% visible [NH] Right 1-49% visible [SH]
New [PN] Not visible [NH] Not visible [SH]

When the Sun and Moon are aligned on the same side of the Earth, the Moon is "new", and is not illuminated by the Sun. As the Moon waxes (the amount of illuminated surface as seen from Earth is increasing), the lunar phases progress from new moon, crescent moon, first-quarter moon, gibbous moon and full moon phases, before returning through the gibbous moon, third-quarter moon, crescent moon and new moon phases. The terms old moon and new moon are interchangeable, although new moon is more common. Half moon is often used to mean the first- and third-quarter moons.

In the northern hemisphere, if the left side of the Moon is dark then the light part is growing, and the Moon is referred to as waxing (moving towards a full moon). If the right side of the Moon is dark then the light part is shrinking, and the Moon is referred to as waning (moving towards a new moon). Assuming that one is in the northern hemisphere, the right portion of the Moon is the part that is always growing. The acronym mnemonic "DOC" represents this: "D" is the waxing moon; "O" the full moon; and "C" the waning moon. (One phrase that can be used to remember this is "Dog comes; Cat goes".) In the Southern hemisphere, this order is reversed, and the mnemonic is "COD".

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Very Berry


Berries are delicious gifts from nature. If you have ever had the pleasure of picking berries right from a garden or gathering wild berries in the woods, you already know how delicious berries are. The most popular berries are naturally sweet, and don't require much effort to make them into a tasty treat. Just rinse and serve them for a healthy, easy snack or dessert.

Berries in general are a good source of vitamins and phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are components of fruits or vegetables that may help to prevent diseases, and perhaps even help to treat some disorders. For instance, cranberries and blueberries contain a substance will help prevent or treat painful bladder infections. Extracts from blueberries and strawberries have been shown to have anti-cancer properties in laboratory settings. Red raspberries have also demonstrated similaranti-cancer properties in the lab. Dark colored berries like black raspberries contain powerful antioxidants which may help to slow down the aging process and keep us healthier. Berries also contain lutein, which is important for healthy vision, especially blueberries and raspberries. Hopefully, further research on the different phytochemicals found in berries will prove to be fruitful.

A cup of strawberries contains over 100 mg of vitamin C, almost as much as a cup of orange juice. We need vitamin C for a healthy immune system and for strong connective tissue to keep away the wrinkles. Strawberries also add a bit of calcium, magnesium, folic acid, and potassium and only 53 calories. A cup of blueberries offers a smaller amount of vitamin C and minerals, but don't forget about the lutein and phytochemicals for only 83 calories. A cup of cranberries is similar, but with only 44 calories. One cup of raspberries offers vitamin C and potassium for 64 delicious calories. There are other berries as well that offer similar nutrition and healthful benefits, such as loganberries, currants, gooseberries, lingonberries, and bilberries

For the best berries, find berry farms that pick them fresh or allow you to pick your own. The healthiest berries would be found on farms that don't use chemical pesticides. When you buy berries in a store, look for ripe, colorful, yet firm bodies, with no sign of mold or mushy spots, and gently wash the berries before you serve them. Berries can also be found in the frozen section of the grocery store. Once they thaw, they will not be as firm as freshly picked berries, but they will still contain all the nutritional benefits of fresh berries.

Berries are fabulous when they are served whole, without anything added, but for a little flair, try serving a mixture of your favorite berries with just a touch of whipped cream and nuts. Another way to serve them is to sprinkle a bowl full of berries with granola and add a splash of half and half or an alternative such as soy or rice milk. Berries to some palates taste better with some sweetening, especially gooseberries, lingonberries, and cranberries [they are tasty, but very tart]. Berries can also be combined with other healthy foods such as whole grain muffins and bread [just add them as baking ingredients]. They can also be used to make excellent jams, jellies, pies, cobblers and other desserts.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007


Obzkure Fax

-A dime has 118 ridges around the edge.
-A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.
-A crocodile cannot stick out its tongue.
-A dragonfly has a life span of 24 hours.
-A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.
-A "jiffy" is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.
-A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.
-A snail can sleep for three years.
-Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer.
-All 50 states are listed across the top of the Lincoln Memorial on the back of the $5 bill.
-Almonds are a member of the peach family.
-An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
-Babies are born without kneecaps. They don't appear until the child reaches 2 to 6 years of age.
-Butterflies taste with their feet.
-Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds. Dogs only have about 10.
-"Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".
-February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon
-In the last 4,000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.
-It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.
-Maine is the only state whose name is just one syllable.
-No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.
-On a Canadian two dollar bill, the flag flying over the Parliament building is an American flag.
-Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.
-Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite.
-Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.
-"Stewardesses" is the longest word typed with only the left hand; "lollipop" with your right.
-The average person's left hand does 56% of the typing.
-The Bible does not say there were three wise men; it only says there were three gifts.
-The cruise liner, QE2, moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns.
-The sentence: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter of the alphabet.
-The words 'racecar,' 'kayak' and 'level' are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left (palindromes).
-There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.
-There are more chickens than people in the world.
-There are only four words in the English language which end in "dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.
-There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: "abstemious" and "facetious."
-Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.
-TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.
-Women blink nearly twice as much as men.


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Open Access


The word Earth may have come from the Sanskrit word Arth [meaning]. Those people believed that everything on this planet was imbued with deep and significant meaning and to uncover that meaning was the objective of life. Understanding would take them to richer beauty and consonance with the universe.....

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