Tag: History

Mooning – displaying the bare buttocks

The human buttocks are being linked to the Moon at times, just like in the case of the so-called sexual position »full moon«. This is due to the large, round shape of the buttock cheeks, which could occasionally remind of the lunar globe when properly lit or observed from the correct angle.

If someone shows their bum publicly, he or she usually does so to break a socially accepted norm and to express their protest or contempt. Or simply because of the fun of it provoking other people. This »baring the behind« is called »mooning«. It derives from the verb »to moon«, which means  »to expose to the (moon)light«. [read more]

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African lunar deities

Just like with all natives from different countries and continents, the Moon also plays an important role amongst African peoples in myths and stories. In this respect, we have already mentioned other peoples, for example the Native American Indians in America, the Inuit in the far north or the Aborigines in Australia. [read more]

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The lunate bone

There is actually a bone inside the human body, which is called »lunate bone«. Indeed, it may not belong to the most important of the 206 bones that a grown man carries around with him, but the name alone makes it remarkable. The lunate bone is one of the eight carpal bones, being the bones that connect the hand with the forearm. The lunate bone (lat.: os lunatum) was given his name because of its crescent shape. [read more]

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The »Moon Pie«

We have already reported about full moon delicacies, which are being produced during the full moon. Especially popular are full moon bread, cheese, sausage, coffee, beer and water. But there are also foods that have been simply connected to the Moon via their shape and therefore carry the moon in their name. For example the mooncake at the Chinese festival or the American »Moon Pie«, a sandwich cookie that has been made since 1917. [read more]

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Nightly paintings with Petrus van Schendel

We had already told you about the paintings of romanticism by German painters Caspar David Friedrich (1774–1840) and Philipp Otto Runge (1777–1810). And also the English painter William Turner (1775–1851) had the moonlight in his mind. Here we are looking at the next generation and find the Dutch-Belgian artist Petrus van Schendel (1806–1870), whose speciality were the nightly moonlight sceneries. What distinguished him from his predecessors and colleagues, was that it were precisely those depictions of nightlight, which brought him fame and not an insignificant financial success (which was not a given for many painters). [read more]

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»Moonrise, New Mexico« by Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams (1902–1984) was one of the most influential photographers in the US, who particularly became famous for his magnificent black and white photography of American landscapes and national parks. He is the role model of many photographers  and set standards with his shots. And as chance would have it, one of his most renowned photographs is an image with the rising Moon in New Mexico. [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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The full moon and Paul Klee

Paul Klee (1879–1940) was a German painter and graphic artist, one of the biggest names of the Classic Modern Era, being the time at the beginning and first half of the 20th century, which was expressed in so many different styles and is nowadays regarded as avant-garde of that time. Paul Klee created cubistic, expressionistic and surrealistic paintings. The names of his friends read like the »who’s who« in the art scene: August Macke, Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc, Walter Gropius, Robert Delaunay, Lyonel Feininger, Alexej von Jawlensky, Pablo Picasso … [read more]

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The Moon in astrology

Astrology, the teaching of the interpretation and meaning of star constellations for human life, shows once again the sun’s dominance in our society and the insignificant role the Moon plays. Everyone knows »his/her« sign of the zodiac, meaning the position of the Sun at the time of their birth. If you say, for example, »I am an Aquarius«, you refer to the fact that the Sun was positioned in the astrological sign Aquarius when you were born. Also, some people are still aware of the ascendant, being the sign, which was on the eastern horizon at the time of birth (lat. ascendere = to rise). But which sign the Moon is in their birth horoscope, only very few people know. [read more]

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The last curtain for the word »lunatic«

In the past, we have already reported about the antiquated word »lunatic«, which derives from the Latin »lunatus« and originally means »influenced by the Moon«. This term »lunatic« has been used in the English language, over several centuries for many forms of mental illnesses. [read more]

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The full moon of the Native American Indians

Like all natives of a country, the Native Americans, as inhabitants of the American continent, have a connection to the moon events and the full moon, too. It appears in mythology as much as in the relevant lifestyles. Instead of the term »Native American Indian« the term »indigenous peoples of the Americas« is generally used nowadays. It is strived for to be politically correct. [read more]

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Ancient Chinese moon poems

Matching to the moon festival, which has just been celebrated in Asia, we are looking to the Far East and are going far back in time to the year 700 A.D. Back then, the Tang Dynasty ruled China, a powerful dynasty that remained in power for almost 300 years. And there were two poets whose names are still well-known today, Li Bai (701–762) and Du Fu (712–770; see fictitious portrait opposite). Both created magnificent works. Li Bai was already a little older and hence a few years ahead, Du Fu had apparently surpassed his idol – this is what is being said amongst scholars. [read more]

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The death of Cyrano in the full moon light

Cyrano de Bergerac (1619–1655) was a French writer, who was less famous for his own pieces [*], but better known through the writings about him by Edmond Rostand (1868–1918) from 1897. The piece was called just like himself »Cyrano de Bergerac« and premiered as stage play in Paris in the same year.
Up until today, it has been staged and filmed many times. The movie that is surely most famous is the one with Gerard Depardieu in the leading role from 1990. All dialogues are versified, which lends everything a historicising but also an intense, poetic effect. [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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Neil Armstrong – pioneer on the Moon

Neil Alden Armstrong (1930–2012) was a US American astronaut, who was the first man to set foot on the Moon as the commander of the Apollo 11 mission on 21st July 1969, and hence the first to step on a foreign celestial body. The mission was preceded by a fierce competition about the »reign« of space, between the then super powers USA and Soviet Union, so that the success of Apollo 11 turned out to not only have a historical meaning but also had a political relevance.   [read more]

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Selenography – maps of the Moon

Looking at the Moon, you can recognise the spots on the surface with the naked eye, which are termed lunar maria and have always been inspiring people’s imagination. It is actually molten rock that rose to the surface during the origin of the Moon and then hardened. If looked at closer and using a telescope as an aid, you are able to make out mountains and valleys and a large amount of craters. In short: they are landscapes that give our Moon its face. [read more]

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Shakespeare and the full moon

We figured it would be obvious to look for the full moon in the works of England’s most famous poet William Shakespeare (1564–1616). Surprisingly, the »moon« is to be found more often, however the word »full moon« appears in the original text only once, namely in »King Lear«.

The text of the comedy »A Midsummer Night’s Dream« (approx. 1595), contains the moon a whopping 52 times (28 times in the last act alone) and it can be assumed that Shakespeare was thinking of the full moon when he wrote these lines. Although it is not described as the »full 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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The career of William Turner

Photography had not yet been invented when the British painter J. M. William Turner (1775–1851) created his painting »Fishermen at Sea« in 1796, where he depicts a nightly scenery at a tempestuous sea, which is lit by the full moon midst heavy clouds. This painting was the first exhibited oil painting by the then 21 year-old Turner and marked the beginning of a great career. [read more]

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