Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ows obambulation: orrery, odometers and origami...

You may have noticed but this month is "is about as good as it gets for planet watching!" [EarthSky]. You've probably noticed the two most obvious: Venus and Jupiter that are bright - in the west - for nearly four hours after sunset. A very slight "alignment" but nothing like the planetary alignment that people say (they're totally wrong) will accompany the 2012 Doomsday Scare later this year when the Mayan calendar 'runs out' (on December 21st 2012 it will display the equivalent of a string of zeros, like an odometer clicking over from 999,999). Anyway, obambulation - a word I love and have used many time here - means 'wandering' and I'm all over the place here: a model of planetary alignment is called an orrery and I made one as a child from paper, it was a mess; today the Google Doodle was celebrating what would have been the 101st birthday of Akira Yoshizawa, probably the most famous origami master: an "Origami artist of stunning originality who became an ambassador for Japanese culture and his art", follow this link for the story of when he got his biggest break: Link: pdf.

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