Artículos de Curiosities

Groundhog Day 2019

Sábado, 2 Febrero 2019

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On Groundhog Day 2019, Punxsutawney Phil could not find his shadow. And as the legend goes, this means we’re in for an early spring. 

The Pennsylvania groundhog isn’t the only weather-predicting rodent in this quirky American tradition, but he is the most famous. And according to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, his opinion is the only one that matters.

This is only the 19th time out of 123 in his recorded history (there are 10 years where no record remains) that Phil hasn’t been able to find his shadow. 

Even so, Phil is usually wrong, and meteorologists aren’t too sure Phil’s suspicions are right either. 

It’s hard to imagine that spring is right around the corner after the polar vortex this past week, but we’ll just have to wait and see. 

At least one other prognosticating groundhog disagreed with Phil on Saturday: New Jersey’s Milltown Mel predicted a longer winter after reportedly seeing his shadow. Mel has been giving predictions for the past 10 years.

Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog, is held by the gloved hands of handler Ron Ploucha during the 129th celebration of Groundhog Day on Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., Feb. 2, 2015.

The Groundhog Day shadow legend

The legend goes that if the groundhog sees his shadow on Feb. 2, there will be wintry weather for the next six weeks (just about until the start of spring). If he doesn’t see his shadow, that means fairer weather is on the way. 

What happened at Gobbler’s Knob this morning?

The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle — a group that organizes the event and cares for groundhog Phil — brought Punxsutawney Phil out of his den in front of a large crowd as cameras beamed his image around the world.

They reported that Phil communicated in “groundhogese” that he could not find his shadow.  According to legend, that means there will be an early spring.

The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club traces the tradition’s roots back to Candlemas Day in Europe – the Christian “festival of lights” that falls on Feb. 2, midway between the start and end of winter.

Do emojis and GIFs restrict our language and communication?

Jueves, 3 Enero 2019

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Recently I read Nineteen Eighty-Four, a dystopian novel by George Orwell set in a totalitarian state where even the language they use is controlled. Adjectives are forbidden and instead they use phrases such as ‘ungood’, ‘plus good’ and ‘double plus good’ to express emotions. As I first read this I thought how impossible it would be in our society to have such vocabulary. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realised in its own way it’s already happening. I type messages to my friends and alongside each is the obligatory emoji. I often use them to emphasise something, or to not seem too serious, or because this specific GIF conveys my emotions much better than I ever could using just words. And I wonder, with our excessive use of emojis, are we losing the beauty and diversity of our vocabulary?

English has the largest vocabulary in the world, with over one million words, but who’s to say what it’ll be like in the future? Perhaps we will have a shorter language, full of saying ‘cry face’ if something sad happens or using abbreviations like LOL (laugh out loud) or BRB (be right back) instead of saying the full phrase. So does this mean our vocab will shrink? Is it the start of an exciting new era? Will they look back on us in the future and say this is where it all began – the new language? Or is this a classic case of the older generations saying, ‘Things weren’t like that when I was younger. We didn’t use emoticons to show our emotions’?

Yet when you look back over time, the power of image has always been there. Even in the prehistoric era they used imagery to communicate, and what’s even more incredible is that we are able to analyse those drawings and understand the meaning of them thousands of years later. Pictures have the ability to transcend time and language. Images, be it cave paintings or emojis, allow us to convey a message that’s not restrictive but rather universal. 

How to make a yummy fruit salsa?

Lunes, 3 Diciembre 2018

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Diwali

Miércoles, 7 Noviembre 2018

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The Dangers Of Heavy Backpacks — And How Kids Can Wear Them Safely

Miércoles, 5 Septiembre 2018

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Cave Rescue in Thailand

Miércoles, 8 Agosto 2018

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A group of 12 youngsters from the Wild Boars football club plus their 25-year-old coach went in to explore the cave on 23rd June.

But monsoon flooding cut off their escape and prevented rescuers from finding them for almost 10 days.

The first four boys were rescued on 8thJuly at around 6p.m. local time, and were taken to a field hospital near the cave.

Shortly before 8 p.m., the Thai Navy SEALs reported on their official Facebook page that four had been rescued.

A second rescue phase began on 9thJuly and a further four boys were rescued.

The third day of the mission successfully took place leading to the rescue of the final group of boys and their coach.

How were the boys and their coach rescued?

A team of 90 expert divers - 40 from Thailand and 50 from overseas - worked in the Tham Luang caves to get the boys and their coach out safely.

The divers guided the boys and their coach through darkness and submerged passageways towards the entrance to the cave system.

The rescue process included walking, wading, climbing and diving using guide ropes.

Wearing full-face masks, which are easier for novice divers, each boy was accompanied by two divers, who also carried his air supply.

The toughest part of the escape was at a section named “T-Junction” or “choke spot”, which was so tight that the divers had to take off their air tanks to get through.

After the tight spot, a cavern called Chamber 3 was turned into a forward base for the divers.

The boys could rest there before walking out to the entrance of the cave, where they were then taken to hospital in Chiang Rai.

They were rescued in stages between Sunday, 8th July and Tuesday, 10th July, when the final four boys and coach emerged to safety.

On 18th July, the boys left hospital and made their first public appearance, recounting their “miracle” survival story in front of the media.

Massive sinkhole just opened up on a New Zealand farm

Viernes, 4 Mayo 2018

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Kilauea Volcano

Domingo, 1 Abril 2018

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Europe under a blanket of snow

Sábado, 3 Marzo 2018

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What is a Supermoon and when is the next one?

Jueves, 1 Febrero 2018

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A Supermoon happens when a Full Moon or New Moon is near the Moon’s closest approach to Earth; also called perigee. A Supermoon can be a New or a Full Moon.

Super Blue Blood Moon Eclipse

The Full Moon on 31st January 2018 is an almost a Supermoon.

A Super Full Moon looks around 12% to 14% bigger than its counterpart, the Micromoon, and up to 7% bigger than an average Full Moon.

More importantly, on this Full Moon night, there will be a total lunar eclipse in some areas, including most of North America, Asia, Australia, and more.

It is also a Blue Moon, as this is the second Full Moon in the month of January. A totally eclipsed Moon usually looks red, and is often called a Blood Moon. This may be a rare opportunity to see a red Blue Moon, or a Super Blue Blood Moon.

Perigee and Apogee

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The Moon’s orbit around Earth is not a perfect circle, but elliptical, with one side closer to Earth than the other. As a result, the distance between the Moon and Earth varies throughout the month and the year. On average the distance is about 382,900 kilometers (238,000 miles).

The point on the Moon’s orbit closest to Earth is called the perigee and the point farthest away is the apogee.

Super Full Moon and Super New Moon

A Supermoon looks larger than a Micromoon.

When a Full Moon takes place when the Moon is near its closest approach to Earth, it is called a Super Full Moon. When there is a New Moon around the closest point to Earth, it is known as a Super New Moon.

A Micromoon,  on the other hand, is when a Full or a New Moon is near its farthest point from Earth, around apogee. It’s also known as a Minimoon, Mini Full Moon, or a Mini New Moon.

Looks Bigger and Brighter

Because it’s so close to Earth, a Super Full Moon also looks about 30% brighter than a Micro Full Moon and about 16% brighter than an average Full Moon.

Moon Illusion: Best at Moonrise and Moonset

The best time to enjoy a Super Full Moon, or any other Full Moon, is just after moonrise, when the Moon is close to the horizon. Just before moonset is also a good time.

When the Full Moon is low, it looks bigger and brighter than when it’s higher up in the sky. This is called the Moon Illusion, and actually makes more of a difference to what it looks like than the real boost you get from it being a bit closer to Earth.