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Atmospheric Optics ~ Great site with photographs and explanations for all kinds of phenomena you might notice in the day and night-time sky. Rainbows, rays, clouds, coronae, halos, shadows and iridescence all feature, together with the Optics Picture of the Day, a notable addition to the online tradition of regularly updating and specialist imagery.
Babel Fish Translation ~ Not directly connected with astrology, but an invaluable bookmark when you want to access the wealth of astrological information available in languages other than your own. Admittedly it doesn’t work perfectly, but it certainly helps with a broad overview. Plus this free service is steadily improving all the time.
Beaufort Scale ~ Recently, we have endured high winds in the UK. These are as nothing compared to the cyclones and tornadoes of more equatorial climes, but get pretty wild if you are near the sea. Wind speed is reckoned here on the Beaufort scale. Links are scarce when it comes to the stars, yet the biggest seas and highest winds hit the night of the February full moon.
Big Mac Index ~ The Big Mac index has its origins in The Economist magazine. It compares the strength of a currency with the cost of a Big Mac around the world, on the premise that the same amount of money ought to buy you something similar, wherever you are. Astrology also stresses the importance of where you’re born and live, vaguely echoing the basis of this exercise.
Biodynamic Calendar ~ My comments on wine tasting better according to the constellation the Moon is passing through have stirred some interest. However, really to apply biodynamic principles, you need to follow this calendar produced by Maria Thun, based on a gradually moving sidereal zodiac that has twelve constellations of unequal size…
Birthday Calculator ~ Enter your birth date into the birthday calculator to discover all sorts of fun things. For instance your Chinese and Native American zodiac signs; what date this was in the Mayan, Hebrew and Islamic calendars; how old you are in hours, minutes, seconds and dog years; the phase of the Moon you were born under, your birthstone and the top songs that year.
Born Under a Bad Sign ~ This song was released by Albert King in 1967, then re-released by Cream the following year. This is the Cream reunion concert from the Royal Albert Hall in May 2005, after they had disbanded in 1968. Their bassist and singer Jack Bruce (d. 2014) is just phenomenal. “Born under a bad sign… If it wasn’t for bad luck I wouldn’t have no luck at all.”
Brooklyn Space Program ~ The Brooklyn Space Program is a group of friends with an interest in scientific experiments, engineering, design and education. Their most notable achievement to date involved a video camera inside a takeaway container and then attached to a weather balloon, which they sent into space. The video record is an inspiration…
Budai ~ Budai, or the Laughing Buddha was an eccentric monk who lived in China during the tenth century. He is often conflated with Siddhartha Gautama, the historical Buddha from 1600 years earlier. The latter is depicted as tall and slender across India, Nepal and south-east Asia. Budai is short and fat, predominating wherever a Chinese cultural influence spread…
CalendarLabs ~ The word horoscope derives from the Greek and acknowledges the importance of correctly observing the time. The right date is essential too and there is no substitute for a good calendar. If you’re currently after one tailored to next month or even the coming year, you’ll find this site proves hard to beat with a myriad of varied offerings.
Cambridge Dictionaries Online ~ This is a site I’ve used a lot and it’s only fair to give them a mention. There is both a British and American English version you can use, as well as a dictionary of popular idioms. I’m far from perfect and often make mistakes, but judging by much of what I’ve seen out there, this ought to be a popular recommendation.
Carhenge ® ~ The city of Alliance, Nebraska has under 9,000 inhabitants and occupies the High Plains region of the United States. A few miles north-east on Highway 87 is Carhenge, a replica of Stonehenge built out of vintage American automobiles. This monument lies precisely on the path of the forthcoming Great American Eclipse. The chances of clear skies still seem excellent…
Celebrity Heights ~ This site fascinates me for inexplicable reasons. But like knowing the zodiac sign of your favourite celebrity helps put them into perspective, so finding out what height they are must add to the picture. Did you know for example that Justin Bieber is shorter than Tom Cruise? How Taylor Swift has a quarter inch on Sly Stallone? Or that Paul Simon is 5ft 2in?
Channel Coast Observatory ~ As I write, the UK is in the grip of one of the stormiest winters ever, with no let-up in sight yet and eager journalists seeking fresh superlatives almost every day. As a small island, the sea has always mattered to Britain, hence this site helps to monitor the shifting tides and weather of the English Channel that separates us from mainland Europe.
Cheapest Countries ~ I wasn’t entirely sure what price competitiveness meant, but it is a measure used by the World Economic Forum to distinguish the cheapest countries from the most costly. Despite our weakened currency, the UK and Switzerland tie as the most expensive locations from the 136 reviewed. This creates a big headache for those with clients overseas.
Chicxulub Crater ~ When considering the damage an asteroid might cause if one were to hit the Earth remember this, linked by many with the extinction event that killed off the dinosaurs. The Chicxulub crater has a diameter of more than 180 km, suggesting an impacting bolide roughly 10 km across, but with an explosive power of 100 million megatons.