A tear catcher, also called a Tear Bottle is typically an ornamental vase piece, made from blown glass and dyed appropriately to the creator’s taste. There is an attached glass fixture at the opening of the stem that is formed to [the] eye. In ancient Persia, when a sultan returned from battle, he checked his wives’ tear catchers to see who among them had wept in his absence and missed him the most.
Tear Catchers were commonly used during Ancient Roman times, with mourners filling glass bottles with their tears, and placing them in tombs as a symbol of their respect for the deceased. It was also used to show remorse, guilt, love and grief. The women cried during the procession, and the more tears collected in tear bottles meant the deceased was more important. The bottles used during the Roman era were lavishly decorated and measured up to four inches in height. Tear bottles were designed with special seals, which allowed the tears to evaporate. By the time that the tears were assumed to have evaporated, the mourning period was considered over.
In the 19th century during the Victorian era in the British Empire tear bottles made a comeback among the wealthy. These were more elaborate than their Roman predecessors, and were often decorated with silver and pewter.
[Image: Silver Victorian tear catcher]
The cat Pangur Ban from the movie 'The Secret of Kells'got his name from a 9th-century poem found in a manuscript from a monastery in southern Germany. The poem is written in old Irish Gaelic by an anonymous monk, and is about himself and his white cat. A part of the poem is quoted during the movie’s credits.
This is the page containing the poem: Riechenauer Schulheft, fol 1v/2.
For more info and links to the original Gaelic text and translations, see this Wikipedia page .
A New Physics Theory of Life
Why does life exist?
Popular hypotheses credit a primordial soup, a bolt of lightning and a colossal stroke of luck. But if a provocative new theory is correct, luck may have little to do with it.
Instead, according to the physicist proposing the idea, the origin and subsequent evolution of life follow from the fundamental laws of nature and “should be as unsurprising as rocks rolling downhill.” From the standpoint of physics, there is one essential difference between living things and inanimate clumps of carbon atoms: The former tend to be much better at capturing energy from their environment and dissipating that energy as heat.
Jeremy England, a 31-year-old assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has derived a mathematical formula that he believes explains this capacity. The formula, based on established physics, indicates that when a group of atoms is driven by an external source of energy (like the sun or chemical fuel) and surrounded by a heat bath (like the ocean or atmosphere), it will often gradually restructure itself in order to dissipate increasingly more energy. This could mean that under certain conditions, matter inexorably acquires the key physical attribute associated with life.
“You start with a random clump of atoms, and if you shine light on it for long enough, it should not be so surprising that you get a plant,” England said. England’s theory is meant to underlie, rather than replace, Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, which provides a powerful description of life at the level of genes and populations. “I am certainly not saying that Darwinian ideas are wrong,” he explained. “On the contrary, I am just saying that from the perspective of the physics, you might call Darwinian evolution a special case of a more general phenomenon.”
(via A New Thermodynamics Theory of the Origin of Life | Simons Foundation)
It’s a lunar eclipse & my entire neighbourhood has lost power (no idea why). Seems like the best time possible to burn my hag. http://ift.tt/1t7z4wR
On this Mother’s Day, we should all remember our mothers by calling them and saying, “I love you.” They deserve it! After all, you probably take for granted what your mother went through. She kept you in her tummy for long months nurturing you day and night. When you started to get bigger and bigger inside her, it was hard for her to even turn over in bed to get some sleep. When you finally came out in the world, she had the big job of raising you… which she did the best she could.