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.

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Moon wood

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»Moon Wood« (aka »lunar cycle wood«) is the name for the wood of trees, which are felled during a specific time of the lunar cycle, and are therefore attributed with better traits, with regard to quality, stability, durability, and resistance against pest etc. Just like with many other moon related traditions, there is currently very little proof of the actual influence of the Moon. Still, many people have faith in this special effect and are prepared to pay up to 30% more for moon wood. The use is popular from buildings through to musical instruments.

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Werewolf in the full moon light

We are approaching a more sinister subject, the werewolf, a being that apparently changes from human into a wolf on the full moon. Everyone has heard about it or seen more or less plausible interpretations in movies. Where does this belief stem from? Why a wolf of all animals? And why in the full moon light?

The word »werewolf« contains, without difficulty to recognise, the »wolf« and the word »were« that translates into »man, human« and can be found in many languages, et al. Old Enlish, Germanic, Old High German and more. So we are talking about a man wolf or a wolfman, someone who can or must take the shape of a wolf. This belief has been widespread in the old days and this had nothing to do with the cliché we are getting to see in horror movies today.

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The Moon Festival in China

In China, the September full moon is a special day. It is the day of the Moon Festival or Mid-Autumn Festival. This festival is traditionally celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month of the old Chinese calendar. Because the moon month averages 29.5 days in length, the 15th day is usually a full moon day, however, there are slight shifts in some years. The Moon Festival is one of the most important festivals in China, but is also held in Korea and Vietnam as well as in the respective districts in big cities around the globe.

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The Nebra sky disk

This disk, made of bronze and gold, with an age of around 3,600 years, belongs to the oldest find representing astronomical phenomena and thereby depicting planets and stars in the sky. It is thus of great value, because it is evidenced that people of the Bronze Age (2200-800 BC) did not only possess manual skills to create such a refined metal disk, but above all, had the knowledge about astronomical processes. They observed the celestial events with the naked eye and portrayed this in an artistic form.

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The hare on the Moon

Have you ever seen a face or shape of an animal in passing by clouds? This tendency of our perception to find structures within an image or a pattern, is called pareidolia (derives from Greek eidolon = picture). Essentially, this is a misperception where we see objects changing subjectively. But this can also be so much fun and inspire our fantasy to search for these shapes and to find them. Children, in particular, are known to be true masters of this game.

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»Actias luna« and »Actias selene« – two luna moths

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The moths »Actias luna« and »Actias selene« in the family of Saturniidae, carry the Moon in their name – maybe because they are attracted to light and we connect them with the night; although, they can also be active during the day. But perhaps it is because of the crescent shaped wings or the pattern on top  of the wings, which remind us of eyes that may have contributed to the naming. Luna is the moon goddess in Roman mythology, Selene is the equivalent in Greek mythology.  

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The Kinks and their song »full moon«

In 1977 the English music group The Kinks, released their album »Sleepwalker«, with which they returned to the more rocky sounds of the 60s after a more conceptual and overtexted phase, and thus were at least able to resume their previous success.

The Kinks are considered to be one of the most important British rock bands of this time, next to The Beatles, Rolling Stones and The Who.

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The “moonwalk” dance move

“Moonwalk” is a dance technique which fakes a forward motion by moving legs and feet, while in reality you are moving backwards. This is how the illusion is created that the floor is pulling away in a gliding motion, underneath the feet of the dancer. No other name can be more closely connected to this move than the name of Michael Jackson (who was born on 29th August 1958 on a full moon). Even though he is not the founder, in this case, one can refer to him as the figurehead. The key moment was Jackson’s performance of “Billie Jean” at the anniversary celebration “Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever” in 1983. From this moment on, the moonwalk’s triumph was not to be stopped and Michael Jackson had shaped his signature move.

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More births at full moon?

It is often said that more children are born at full moon. Meanwhile, many different studies have shown this not to be the case.

An American study from the years 1997–2001, can probably be referred to as a very popular example that investigated the influence of the moon cycle on births. The study was conducted with an impressive amount of 564,039 births and took place over a period of 62 moon cycles. Not only full moon, but also all other phases of the moon cycle were observed with the result that there is no verifiable correlation:

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