The hieroglyphic sign for “mountain” depicted to peaks with a valley running between them. This image approximated the hills that rose up on either side of the Nile valley.
Although the djew hieroglyph did portray the mountain ranges the Egyptians saw in their everyday lives, it also was a visualization of their cosmic beliefs. Symbolically, the “mountain” was an image of the universal mountain whose two peaks were imagined to hold up the sky. The eastern peak was called Bakhu, to the west was Manu. The ends of this great mountain were guarded by two lions who were called Aker. Aker was a protector of the the sun as it rose and set each day. Continue reading
Myths and Legends/ Mitos y Leyendas
Folclore de la República Dominicana/ Folklore of the Dominican Republic
Creatures fitting this description were said to be spotted first in Puerto Rico in the mid-1990s. Then, a few years later, the chupacabra started showing up in Mexico, South Florida, Central America, and South America including Dominican Republic. Although few people have actually claimed to seeing a real chupacabra many claim to have seen the works of this blood sucking alien being. Continue reading
Legends of the Dominican Republic
By Robert Nickel, 2011 [Edited]
Although myths and legends are by definition largely untrue, each one of us has a little inkling in us that suspects there may be some truth to the story. Regardless of your assertion that you do not believe in such things, it is still fun to hear the mythical stories tied to a vacation destination. They give a great insight into the people and culture of the region, as well as offer an explanation on seemingly strange behavior you might encounter. Here are some of the most prevalent legends of the Dominican Republic.
Fireflies are fairly common in the Dominican, but are referred to as the Nimitas. The people believe Nimitas are the souls of the dead watching their loved ones. Their lights are a reminder for everyone that they are there and watching every move you make. Continue reading
The Wedding of Astrology and Kabbalah: Stars and Spheres
The following is an excerpt from Cosmic Navigator by Gahl Sasson:
The author of Sefer Yetzirah —tradition suggests it was Abraham, the first mono- theist of the Old Testament—provides precise associations between the zodiac signs and the Hebrew letters, yoking astrology to the sacred letters of the Torah. This manuscript details how God deployed the archetypal energies of the ten-sphered Kabbalistic Tree of Life and the twenty-two Hebrew letters to create the universe (see chapter 5).
The Midrash, a collection of Jewish myths and legends, tells us that King Solomon wore a magical ring engraved with Hebrew letters that afforded him the power to speak with animals. Since the word zodiac in Greek means “the wheel of animals,” one can say that King Solomon’s capacity to converse with animals referred to his ability to speak the language of the Continue reading
This most attractive example is in the apparatus collection at Bowdoin College. It has no maker’s name and is about 40 cm high.
The gyroscope was invented in 1852 by the French experimental physicist Leon Foucault (1819-1868) as part of a two-pronged investigation of the rotation of the earth. The better-known demonstration of the Foucault pendulum showed that the plane of rotation of a freely-swinging pendulum rotated with a period that depends on the latitude of its location.
His gyroscope was a rapidly rotating disk with a heavy rim, mounted in low-friction gimbals. As the earth rotated beneath the gyroscope, it would maintain its orientation in space. This proved to be hard to do in practice because the frictional forces bring the spinning system to rest before the effect could be observed. The gimbal bearings also introduce unwanted torque. But, the principle is well-known to all children who move their toy gyroscopes about and observe that the spinning disk stays in the same orientation. Continue reading
How Gyroscopes Work
by M. Brain
Gyroscopes can be very perplexing objects because they move in peculiar ways and even seem to defy gravity. These special properties make gyroscopes extremely important in everything from your bicycle to the advanced navigation system on the space shuttle. A typical airplane uses about a dozen gyroscopes in everything from its compass to its autopilot. The Russian Mir space station used 11 gyroscopes to keep its orientation to the sun, and the Hubble Space Telescope has a batch of navigational gyros as well. Gyroscopic effects are also central to things like yo-yos and Frisbees!
If you have ever played with toy gyroscopes, you know that they can perform all sorts of interesting tricks. They can balance on string or a finger; they can resist motion about the spin axis in very odd ways; but the most interesting effect is called precession. This is the gravity-defying part of a gyroscope. Continue reading