The Harvest Micromoon

This Friday the 13th marks a special occasion and that is the harvest moon, though this year it will actually be what experts call a harvest micro moon.

The harvest moon generally occurs near the Fall equinox and is a result when the moonrise comes soon after sunset giving its orange hue. This results in an abundance of bright moonlight early in the evening, which was a traditional aide to farmers and crews harvesting their summer-grown crops.

The micro moon is when a full moon happens at the point when it is the farthest from Earth. Mix the two and people in the United States will see an amazing spectacle that has not been seen in well over 19 years. With the next similar occur ace only happening in 2049.

Exoplanet Study Discovers Water

An artist’s illustration of the planet K2-18b

In this months edition of Nature Astronomy, scientists recently discovered a new planet K2-18b. K2-18b is an exoplanet, meaning it resides in another solar system. It is about 110 light-years away and about 8 times the size of our planet. 

What’s unique about K2-18b unlike other exoplanets, is that it lives in a habitual zone, meaning its in the prime distance from it’s star to be able to sustain life. Recently the Hubble Space Telescope revealed that the atmosphere on K2-18b contains water molecules in the form of cloud vapor, a good indication of it being able to support life.

No one knows what K2-18b looks like, but experts speculate that it could be similar in style to that of our own planet but with a different molecule composition. This will all be re-verified when the James Webb Space Telescope launches in 2021, which will have better and more accurate means of verifying such discoveries.

The Ice Slides of Russia, the roleercosters of 15th century.

In another fascinating article, the writers at Atlas Obscura talk about the Ice Slides of Russia. They describe that during the 15th and 16th-century Russians at the time would build these massive wooden structures 70 to 80 feet tall that spanned hundreds of feet long called flying mountains.

The structures were covered with water daily, and once frozen people would settle into a sled (nothing more than a hollowed block of ice stuffed with a bit of straw) and sled down a 50-degree slope.

It’s safe to say that this was not safest of activities, but it was a great way for daredevils and adrenaline junkies to get a rush at the time. It’s also noted that at one time Catherine the Great slid down herself. Read more about the Ice Slides here.

What can you do with 2,200 pounds of butter? Create an Apollo 11 sculpture.

Generally when it comes to sculpting the more common materials would be wood, metal, and or stone. But if you’re in Ohio, and its the state fair you may try your skills with butter.

Well, that’s exactly what Paul Brooke and his team of artists used when they decided to create a 50th-anniversary tribute to the moon landing. His team took about 500 hours carving life-like statues of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collin out of butter.

Smithsonian magazine has a great write up about this one-of-a-kind work of art.

Isicia Omentata, the oldest hamburger recipe

Isicia Omentata, cooking on a pan.

Today many people associate Hamburgers as a quintessential identifier of American cuisine. While there is no question that America is responsible for its popularity during the mid 20th century, its organs can actually be traced back to the Roman Empire.

Known as an Isicia Omentata, a Roman dish that contained ground meat pine nuts, pepper, and flavored with wine and garum. A great write up about the history of the burger can be found in this Food & Wine Article.

So the next time you bite down on that juicy, tender, burger just remember that it has a very long and fascinating history behind it.

Fermented rice, honey, and hawthorn. The oldest alcoholic beverage.

The Penn Museum published an article about the discovery of a type of alcoholic beverage that dates back to the early Neolithic period (7000–6600 BC). Recovered from early pottery from Jiahu, a village in the Yellow River Valley, remarkably preserved as liquids inside sealed vessels of the Shang and Western Zhou Dynasties.

The contents of the vessel was a mixed fermented beverage of rice, honey, and fruit well over 9,000 years old. While we would not recommend people drink the contents of the jar, the beverage was recreated by Dogfish Head Brewery and served at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City, 19 May 2005.

Read more about how this discovery here.

An Introduction to Futurism

Stati d’animo – Quelli che vanno, by Umberto Boccioni

An Italian artistic movement, during the early 20th century that grew to embrace painting, sculpture, photography, and architecture to reject the past and revolutionize satiety and make it modern. 

A byproduct of the First World World, the movement was built upon the idea of forming a new society based on the modern myth of the machine and of speed.

The movement encompassed works that embraced bold, controlled chaotic enthusiasm focused on modern simplicity versus the elaborate elegance of Italy’s more known baroque and resonance artistic styles.

Discover more about this artistic style here.

The Waffle Iron turns 150 Years old.

Yes the device that allows for us to enjoy delicious, buttery, flaky, checker-patterned breakfast meals is well over a century and a half old! While technically waffle irons have been around since the time of the early greeks the modern version that many of us use today was invited by Cornelius Swartwout in 1969. It is why August 24th is known as National Waffle day, so as you enjoy that delicious breakfast meal be sure to check out this great write up in Smithsonian Magazine about the history of the Waffle Iron.

The Botijo, an ancient jug designed to keep water cool.

Botijo on stone
Botijo on stone, CC BY-SA 4.0

The interesting people at Atlas Obscura, published a fascinating article about a very old type of jug used by Spaniards to cool water. Known as a Botijo, it dates back between 1,700 and 1,500 BC and its unique design can decrease water temperature down to 50ºF in just an hour during a hot summer day.

Read the full story –