Watching the moon is a very solitary undertaking; at least, it is for me. I know of local groups who get together to mark the full moon, and who keep the old Celtic lunar festivals, and I have enjoyed celebrating some of these with them. But for me, that’s an altogether different activity, one where […]
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“Think of a Number” is a common starting point for maths problems that use algebra. But you don’t need to know or use algebra to have fun with them. So …
So what can we notice if we watch the moon? The first, most obvious, feature is that its shape changes, and then, if we watch it regularly, it soon becomes clear that it doesn’t appear in the sky at the same times each day. After keeping an eye on it from time to time for […]
Following the seasons, noticing the shifts in the sun’s movements across the sky, being aware of the phases of the moon: these were once core skills that helped our ancestors to survive. Hunter-gathers used this knowledge to predict where they would find plentiful vegetation, or when to prepare to follow the herd that provided their meat. Agricultural communities planted their crops according to the time of year, and needed to predict when to start preparing for the fallow months. Most societies had stories about the cosmos, that helped them to explain the world and understand their place within it.