Climb Ev’ry Mountain | Audra McDonald
The Sound of Music -Live!
As December has arrived, you may now be starting to get into the Christmas spirit. For many of us in the Northern Hemisphere, this is helped along by winter snow. Whether you are a fan of snow or not, you have to admit that white landscape makes for some beautifully photography, better still if accompanied by the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) as in this image, taken in Sodankylä, Finland.
This phenomenon, which is arguably the most beautiful on Earth is the result of when highly charged electrons being blown towards Earth in what is called “solar wind”. The electrons interact with elements in the earth’s atmosphere; mainly oxygen and nitrogen over a range of altitudes: from 20 to 200 miles above the Earth’s surface. It often looks like the auroras are dancing through the sky, this is because the magnetic and electric forces are reacting with each other in constantly shifting combinations.
The colour of the aurora depends on which atom is first struck and at what altitude, as follows:
• Green - oxygen, up to 150 miles in altitude
• Red - oxygen, above 150 miles in altitude
• Blue - nitrogen, up to 60 miles in altitude
• Purple/violet - nitrogen, above 60 miles in altitude
In this image, it can be deduced that nitrogen pretty low in the atmosphere is causing the spectacular aquamarine glow. If you are lucky enough to be able to witness it firsthand, please take advantage; for everyone else, here is a link to some great photos: http://www.psdeluxe.com/articles/inspiration/50-magnificent-aurora-borealis-pictures/
Image courtesy of Visit Finland.
In this time of term papers I wanted to draw my patron deity, Bullshitticus, god of students and general last minute fudgery, sitting upon his Golden Futon, attended by the muses Caffeina and Thesaurae, whose powers of artificial energy and pretentious vocabulary can be invoked in case of the all-nighter.
I like to think he’s Dionysus’s second cousin or something.
This is genius…
all wise words from the sagest of the sage.
Detail of a miniature of St Nicholas with the three boys in the tub.
And because this would just be weird without some context:
Nicholas performed a miracle to save the life of three boys. The children had been murdered by a wicked butcher, who concealed their bodies by cutting them up and throwing the remains into a tub he used for curing meat. Nicholas not only found them there, he was able to restore the dismembered boys to life, and the image of the bishop standing over the three now-healed children standing up from the tub is a popular subject for illustration. - BL
France (Paris), 1382, Royal MS 19 B. xvii, f. 14r. - (via)