“I cannot fix on the hour, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”
The fabled ‘Viking sunstone’ thought to be used by ancient Norse mariners as a navigation aid, has thought to have been found in a 16th Century shipwreck off the coast of Alderney, an island between Britain and France.
The ‘sunstone’ found in the shipwreck is about the size of a bar of soap and made from Iceland spar, a type of calcite crystal. It should be transparent but the shipwrecked stone is a milky white after centuries immersed in water and abrasion by sand.
The crystal allows navigation by the sun when it’s obscured by clouds, or dipped below the horizon, by observing a dot made on the top of the crystal. When observed from below the crystal, the dot refracts into ‘two’ dots. By rotating the crystal until the dots are the same intensity, the direction of the sun can be found.
“Using a transparent crystal similar to the original, the scientists were able to follow the track of the setting Sun in poor light, with an accuracy of one degree. In a second experiment, they were able to locate the Sun for 40 minutes after sunset.’ [full story via rawstory.com]
When I was young, I used to design houses for myself, envisioning the perfect one. I planned them out carefully on graph paper with a ruler an pencil, meticulously labeling the rooms. My ideal was a rambling Victorian with a wrap-around porch. It had a porch swing, and a round tower room to be my own. It had an atrium and a library, it had big picture windows with window seats in them. It had wooden floors and a fireplace and a secret passage. It had trim and gables and skylights and a sweeping staircase, with a banister for sliding.
In my imagination, I lived happily in my dream house with all the wonderful friends I didn’t have.
do you ever feel like you’re just sort of
like all your friends go out and do things and have fun and do stupid things with their best friends and instead of doing all that you’re just sort of this mildly entertaining thing that people take an interest in once in a while but they wouldn’t really care if it was gone
like you just sort of exist but you don’t really mean anything
Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is a beautiful calendar for May from a stunning manuscript called the The Hours of René d’Anjou which is in the collection of the British Library.
Image source: British Library MS.Egerton 1070. Image declared as public domain on the British Library website.
Archetypes | WOMAN KING
And she speaks in a voice that sets men trembling, with eyes painted gold and a throne built on the bones of those who would challenge her rule. Cults of ascetics dance ecstasies in her honour and write her words in blood across their altars. Her body is a holy temple and her power springs from the divine source of her own terrible will. She is not of mortal flesh, they will whisper, as she wheels on her stallion and screams warchants to the heavens, emerging from battle wreathed in the blood and soil of a new kingdom. She rules with iron fists, with the cracking of cathedrals, with the love and the fear of her vast wild armies. She harbours a sword within her unquiet roaring heart, and with it has carved herself a new space, outside of law or nature or humankind. She is the mother of an empire; she is the mother of herself. Watch her rise.
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