Column: Worth smiling

The moonflower

There is a plant called Ipomoea alba in Latin, but it also goes by the name of »Moonflower«, because its blossoms open in the evening and at night and because its round, white shape reminds of the full moon. It is native to tropical and subtropical regions, in particular Argentina, Mexico and Florida. The moonflower is a climbing plant and belongs to the genus ipomoea, incidentally, the same genus as a sweet potato (especially cultivated in China, Nigeria and Uganda). [read more]

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Full moon romance with »Lady and the Tramp«

»Lady and the Tramp« made in 1955, belongs to one of the most beautiful and most successful cartoons by Walt Disney. The story of the elegant female dog Lady and the fun-loving vagabond Tramp, shows how love can overcome social boundaries. In reality, this is of course a human issue and not one of our four-legged friends. However – as usual with Disney – it has been staged simply convincingly. And this is how a good acquaintance joins Lady and the Tramp in the nightly scenery: the full moon. [read more]

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The wrist watch on the Moon

What does an astronaut has on his wrist? You are not going to believe it, but it is something completely earthly: a watch. Because time is, next to the coordinates which show his position in space, the most important information for his mission and his life. And although, astronauts are surrounded by all kind of instruments, it has already been thought of in the beginnings of space travel to equip the crew with wrist watches. Of course with special models only. [read more]

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Slim and lean with the moon diet?

It belongs to one of the more strenuous ideals of our times, wanting to be slim and beautiful and fit. A multi-million industry is connected to this image and people like us, can decide as to how much we want to participate in this game. Most of us have already more of it on their minds as they may actually like to. And since the ideal of the slim and slender body doesn’t happen naturally, people have invented the diet. However, this word derives from the Greek díaita and relates to the correct organization and way of life in general. So losing weight is not actually the focus after all, but rather a life in balance. [read more]

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When was the full moon in the night of New Year’s Eve?

Today is the last day of 2012 and we asked ourselves when there has been or will be a full moon in the past or the future at the turn of the year. What a fascinating picture, if you are imagining also the full moon next to the firework welcoming the New Year. The spectacle of humans meets the eternal beauty of the universe … [read more]

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Kiss me!

Fitting into the Christmas period, we are hanging up a virtual mistletoe and calling upon all lovers out there to kiss each other! The custom has a long tradition in many countries. The symbolism of fertility and vitality play as much a part as the search for the possibility of making the kiss in public socially acceptable. The mistletoe helps to overcome the inhibition, which can stand especially between two people before their first kiss. And incidentally, for every kiss one berry of the bush is plucked – until no berries are left. [read more]

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Property on the Moon?

Times and times again, you read about the possibility to purchase lunar property. Is this to be taken seriously or more of a gimmick or a clever sales idea? If looked at more closely, some astonishing details are coming to light …

When the manned space flight started in the 60s and a trip to the Moon became more likely, nations tried to regulate the topic such as ownership in space, and created an »Outer Space Treaty« in 1967,  which prohibits states to use space or its celestial bodies for self-serving or military purposes. This treaty was signed by 98 states, amongst them the superpowers, at the time USA and Soviet Union. [read more]

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Full moon delicacies

Today, we would like to focus on a more culinary subject of everything that can be eaten or drunk and is prepared in connection with the full moon. Apparently, there is a multitude of vendors (especially in Switzerland), who regularly manufacture their products at the full moon and who detect that the quality of their foods differs from the foods, which have not been produced in connection with any lunar happenings. These products appear to sell accordingly and successfully. We have not been able to fathom out whether this is really related to the Moon – it might also be that the consciousness of the acting persons is different, or that the customers bring along the appropriate willingness to appreciate the reference to the full moon. [read more]

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The full moon in Venice

If you ask two lovers to which city they would like to travel to, to express their love, many will probably name two cities:  Paris and Venice. While Paris embodies a variety of aspects of love, being the »city of love« (obviously also the erotic aspect), Venice stands especially for the romantic encounter between people. This must surely be the reason why so many weddings are celebrated and honeymoons are spent there. [read more]

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The smurfs and the »blue moon«

The end of August 2012 will bring another »blue moon«. This is what you call the second full moon within a month. It happens from time to time, because the lunar cycle is shorter, with its averaging 29.5 days, than the normal calendar month. Just like in August of this year, with a full moon on 02.08. and one on 31.08.2012. We have already described here why this double full moon is called »blue moon«. [read more]

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A hotel on the Moon?

A hotel on the Moon – that sounds quite utopian if not absurd.  Fact is, there are people thinking about colonising and inhabiting space or other celestial bodies, since man has been busy flying into space. And if we believe the statements of different companies that are planning hotels beyond the Earth, there has to be a great demand. This would actually be also necessary to make this project lucrative. Or is it merely the prestige and publicity, which are reaped by such an undertaking and hence would justify it? [read more]

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To the hairdresser at the full moon?

You always hear that certain things should be done or left undone at certain phases of the lunar cycle, also during a full moon. You can believe it or not. It surely cannot be proven and to be honest, we are quite skeptical with regards to the attribution of human activities and lunar events. However, we would not like to exclude it – after all neither the efficacy nor the inefficacy of such theses has been proven. As long as you don’t get caught in your own convictions, it is part of people’s liberty to create their lives freely. [read more]

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Asterix and the full moon

Who doesn’t know them, the fearless Gauls Asterix and Obelix, who have been making the hearts of comic fans leap for joy since decades and who impress again and again through witty texts and masterful drawings. The stories originate from the pen of the French illustrator Albert Uderzo (* 1927), who created, together with his fellow countryman René Goscinny (1926–1977), the first comic in the year 1959, and with that, brought the adventures of the brave Gaul to life. [read more]

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Children of the full moon

We would like to take a quick look at people who were born at the full moon. As to this, we remind you, contrary to widely spread opinion, that there are not more children being born at the full moon than at any other point in time during the lunar phases. Extensive studies over many decades have arrived at this result. Even though, many people may perceive or experience this differently – the numbers are unmistakably clear. We have already written an article about this »More births at full moon?«. So there are as many full moon children as there are new moon children etc. [read more]

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Santa Claus in the full moon light

Ho ho ho – not long now, Christmas will bring joy to the hearts of the people and »Santa Claus« – this is how Father Christmas is called in America an many other countries – will ride with his flying sleigh across the sky at Christmas Eve, pulled by his reindeer with plenty of presents in the baggage. Looking at this imposing depiction of the nightly sleigh ride, the full moon is found quite often in the sky. [read more]

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Batman and the full moon

Who doesn’t know Batman, the comic hero who fights the sinister subjects of the big city at night as a bat man with super powers. Who has not seen him in movies or held one of the comic books in his hand? What we are mostly interested in, at this point, are not however, his impressive appearance, nor the trendy outfit, but the affinity to the full moon. Batman can be seen standing in front of the circular moon in countless images, his black cape blowing in the wind. And also the famous batman logo is always portrayed in connection with the moon, whether hovering against the light or as a full-moon-like light projection in the black night sky (the so-called »Bat-Signal«). [read more]

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»I’ll give you the moon.«

There are movies that live on Mount Olympus. The movie »It’s a wonderful life« by Frank Capra from 1946, belongs to them. However, at the time of the release, shortly before Christmas of the aforementioned year, this had not been the case yet. Commercially, this movie was a flop and did not turn into a cult movie until decades later. Today, the story about George Bailey (played by James Stewart), who does many good deeds in a small American town, quarrels with his destiny on Christmas Eve and eventually, through meeting an unconventional angel, learns to recognise the value of life, is considered to be one of the best movies in motion picture history. [read more]

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Harry Potter and the full moon

Does it surprise anyone that the full moon plays a part in the Harry Potter novels, the most popular fantasy stories of these days. This appears to be quite natural midst all the magic. Are there differences between the individual volumes? What other connections are there with the full moon? And: Which of the performers may have possibly been born on the full moon? These questions occupied us and brought forward some astonishing details.

Initially, we searched through the texts of all seven Harry Potter books and counted how often the word »full moon« appeared. We found 13 places altogether. [read more]

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Luck on Friday 13th

Today is Friday 13th and we wanted to take a look at, whether it is considered lucky and what this has to do with the full moon. Interestingly enough, the interpretation of the number 13 has developed in various directions in different countries and cultures and you can find as many examples for bad luck, as much as the ones that promise good luck, albeit diverse interpretations exist.
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Golf in a vacuum

Almost exactly 40 years ago, on 06.02.1971, Alan B. Shepard succeeded the furthest one-handed golf swing in history to date, as commander of the Apollo 14 mission. He did not accomplish this due to any extraordinary abilities as a golf player, but because he struck the golf ball on the moon.  And because of the prevailing, scarce amount of gravity and the absent braking effect in the atmosphere, the ball flew extremely far.

Shepard had to strike the ball one-handedly, as the rigid space suit did not allow two-handed play. He undertook four attempts and struck two balls altogether. How far exactly they flew has not been documented, however, one  can assume a couple of hundred metres. In the original audio material of NASA, you can hear Shepard saying jokingly, after his last tee off »Miles and miles and miles …«. [read more]

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