Reply by Charles Krug December 23, 20032003-12-23
On Tue, 23 Dec 2003 12:16:46 -0500, Jerry Avins <jya@ieee.org> wrote:
> Rune Allnor wrote: > > ... > >> Actually, I saw an astronomer on Norwegian TV the other day who postulated >> an explanation of the Christmas Star. He said that Saturn and Jupiter had >> been in close conjunction three times during the year 7 BC. >> > ... > > I've seen a number of supposedly scientific speculations about the > Christmas star, all with the same flaw. The "star in the east" > supposedly led the Magi to Bethlehem, but the location of a star depends > on the time of night, and even if fixed in the firmament while the > others move, where you get to when traveling toward it is determined by > where you start. Maybe there were tens of thousands of Magi following > the star, but history only records the four who started in the right > place. Or maybe someone made it all up. >
The number's unspecified in the original account. All you get it "Wise Men from the East saw his Star" . . if they were astrologers, they were looking for something much more subtle than is typically depicted. In the Matthew account, they "Saw his star" and knew to go to Judea, where they reported to the authorities who consulted the priests who told them where to look. Were they "Following yonder star," much of that would have been unnecessary. "The Greatest Story Ever Told" wasn't especially faithful to even the English language translations of the source material :-) You'd have to find an astronomical event in the first decade BC (BCE if you prefer) that would have, according to the astrological practices of a people approximately one year's journey East (and with the wherewithal to send a caravan to Judea under Roman rule). Anyone alive today who can authortatively speak on BOTH astronomy and the astrological beliefs of Assyria, Asia Minor, and Persia in the first century BC? Anyone? Buehler? Anyone? Many people know the song "We Three Kings" which gets much of this, including the number, Just Wrong in the first verse. It does however recover nicely in the subsequent four verses, at least from the Christian perspective on the meaning of the gifts. Even more confusing is that a number of Afro American spirituals speak of "A Star in the East," which makes no sense until you recall that much of that body of music spoke of returning to Africa in coded terms.
Reply by Charles Krug December 23, 20032003-12-23
On Tue, 23 Dec 2003 09:53:33 -0500, Clay S. Turner <CSTurner@WSE.Biz> wrote:
> > "Charles Krug" <charles@pentek.com> wrote in message > news:slrnbugk36.qjj.charles@homer.pentek.org... >> > >> > Pot (wood) Ash -> Potash -> Potas(h)sium ?? >> > >> >> I've always wondered where the "K" came from. >> > > Charles, > > K -> Kalium (Latin) > >
Thanks. I've done lots of work joining Cuprium tubes with Plumbium, but Kalium and water mix all too well to be practical for that purpose.
Reply by Martin Eisenberg December 23, 20032003-12-23
Jaime Andres Aranguren Cardona wrote:

>> >> Here's the season's greetings in Norwegian: >> >> God Jul og Godt Nytt&#2013265925;r til alle sammen! > > Let me participate, too: > > Season's greetings in Spanish: > > Feliz Navidad y Prospero A&#2013265921;o Nuevo!
Just listening to Celia Cruz y La Sonora Matancera, El Cha Cha Cha de la Navidad :) Best Wishes, Martin
> JaaC > >> >> Rune
Reply by Jerry Avins December 23, 20032003-12-23
Rune Allnor wrote:

   ...

> Actually, I saw an astronomer on Norwegian TV the other day who postulated > an explanation of the Christmas Star. He said that Saturn and Jupiter had > been in close conjunction three times during the year 7 BC. >
... I've seen a number of supposedly scientific speculations about the Christmas star, all with the same flaw. The "star in the east" supposedly led the Magi to Bethlehem, but the location of a star depends on the time of night, and even if fixed in the firmament while the others move, where you get to when traveling toward it is determined by where you start. Maybe there were tens of thousands of Magi following the star, but history only records the four who started in the right place. Or maybe someone made it all up. Jerry -- Engineering is the art of making what you want from things you can get. &#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;
Reply by Jerry Avins December 23, 20032003-12-23
Robert Gush wrote:

   ...

> Pot (wood) Ash -> Potash -> Potas(h)sium ??
Precisely! It's Sir Humphrey Davey's pseudo Latin. Potassium is also known as Kallium -- hence its symbol, K -- from Arabic "qali". You will guess accurately what "al qali" became in English. Let's see: http://www.webelements.com/webelements/elements/text/K/hist.html Yup! (I like to check facts learned long ago.) Jerry -- Engineering is the art of making what you want from things you can get. &#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;
Reply by Clay S. Turner December 23, 20032003-12-23
"Charles Krug" <charles@pentek.com> wrote in message
news:slrnbugk36.qjj.charles@homer.pentek.org...
> > > > Pot (wood) Ash -> Potash -> Potas(h)sium ?? > > > > I've always wondered where the "K" came from. >
Charles, K -> Kalium (Latin) Clay
Reply by Charles Krug December 23, 20032003-12-23
On 22 Dec 2003 21:52:40 -0800, Robert Gush <robert@suesound.co.za> wrote:
> Lasse Langwadt Christensen <langwadt@ieee.org> wrote in message news:<3FE78B7F.6070206@ieee.org>... >> I believe it's potassium hydroxide, maybe that's why it's called potash? >> it's also used on wood floors and such to prevent it from turning yellow >> from sunlight, gives its a white dusty look. >> >> while we are at the northern European cuisine, an unavoidable part of a >> danish xmas lunch is marinated herring on rye bread, with a curry salad >> on top and a few "snaps" on the side ;) >> > > Maybe its the other way round > > Pot (wood) Ash -> Potash -> Potas(h)sium ?? > > Have a good holiday ! >
I've always wondered where the "K" came from.
Reply by Rune Allnor December 23, 20032003-12-23
Jerry Avins <jya@ieee.org> wrote in message news:<3fe7265e$0$4742$61fed72c@news.rcn.com>...
> Lasse Langwadt Christensen wrote: > > ... > > > Whether xmas happened to be right around winter solstice > > ,which has been celebrated since forever, by coincidence or > > a smart PR-stunt I don't know but I'm sure it helped ;) > > > > > > -Lasse > > Of course it was no coincidence. The year of Christ's birth is not known > with certainty, let alone the month and day.
Actually, I saw an astronomer on Norwegian TV the other day who postulated an explanation of the Christmas Star. He said that Saturn and Jupiter had been in close conjunction three times during the year 7 BC. Jupiter and Saturn being in conjunction apparently happens every 20 years or so. At this particular instance, the conjunction happened around that half-weird retrograde apparent motion of the planets. According to this astronomer, there was a conjunction just prior to the retrograde motion, another conjunction during the retrograde motion, and yet another conjunction after the retrograde motion of Jupiter and/or Saturn. Certainly something the astronomers of the time would take notice of. Apparently, this "triple conjunction" is very rare, it happens once every 1000 years or so. And there was, evidently, the last point that these conjunctions happened in the constellation Pisces, which apparently had a special significance for the people in Jerusalem. Since these conjunctions can be dated very presicely, this astronomer said something like "If these conjunction really are what we know as the Christmas Star, we can postulate that the three wise men visited king Herod on either September 12th or December 15th in the year 7 BC". An explanation is given in Norwegian on the URL http://www.astro.uio.no/ita/nyheter/betlehem_0103/betlehem_0103.html which sorts under the department for theoretical astrophysics at the University of Oslo. Rune
Reply by Robert Gush December 23, 20032003-12-23
Lasse Langwadt Christensen <langwadt@ieee.org> wrote in message news:<3FE78B7F.6070206@ieee.org>...
> I believe it's potassium hydroxide, maybe that's why it's called potash? > it's also used on wood floors and such to prevent it from turning yellow > from sunlight, gives its a white dusty look. > > while we are at the northern European cuisine, an unavoidable part of a > danish xmas lunch is marinated herring on rye bread, with a curry salad > on top and a few "snaps" on the side ;) >
Maybe its the other way round Pot (wood) Ash -> Potash -> Potas(h)sium ?? Have a good holiday ! Regards Robert
Reply by Jerry Avins December 22, 20032003-12-22
Lasse Langwadt Christensen wrote:

   ...

> I believe it's potassium hydroxide, maybe that's why it's called potash? > it's also used on wood floors and such to prevent it from turning yellow > from sunlight, gives its a white dusty look. > > while we are at the northern European cuisine, an unavoidable part of a > danish xmas lunch is marinated herring on rye bread, with a curry salad > on top and a few "snaps" on the side ;)
Yes, potash is largely potassium hydroxide, but there's a fair amount of sodium in the stuff made the old way. Sodium hydroxide and beef fat (glyceral stearate) makes glycerin and the kind of soap we're used to. Potassium hydroxide makes soft soap, and home-made soap made from wood-ash lye is somewhere between. Is it a case of "You say snaps, I say schnapps"? If not, what? Jerry -- Engineering is the art of making what you want from things you can get. &#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;&#2013266095;