An Odd Moon and An Odd Umbrella

June 18, 2018

On June 18, 1178, five monks in Canterbury, England, witnessed an astronomical event on the Sunday before the feast of St. John the Baptist. Historian Juanita Rose Violini, reported that their diaries note “an east-facing crescent moon” split in two. In addition to the “split,” a blaze of hot coals and fire surrounded the moon.  They also noted that the moon began to “throb like a wounded snake,” and the scenario repeated a dozen times.  This event was documented by the famous medieval chronicler, Gervase of Canterbury. Space scientist Dr. Jack Hartung of the State University of New York, reviewed the testimony 800 years later. He calculated the impact point and size of the moon crater, believing it was caused by a nine mile wide meteor. In closing, our umbrellas are getting a workout this month. Umbrella comes from the Latin word umbra meaning shade and was used in Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and Ancient Rome. The oldest reference to the umbrella in China dates to the year 21 CE and the King of Siam in 1687 gifted them to his subjects. Years ago, Ambient Devices marketed an umbrella that alerts the user when rain is expected. It’s called the Forecasting Umbrella and if it rains in the next 12 hours, the umbrella’s handle will flash.  Data from AccuWeather.com activates the umbrella’s sensors and can differentiate between storms, with fast flashes to slow flashes for sprinkles. Similar to current umbrellas, you’ll still need to manually raise this battery operated umbrella.

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