Monday, November 27, 2006

Clothing as social message

Social messages sent by clothing, garnishes, and decorations can involve social status, profession, ethnic and spiritual affiliation, marital status and sexual availability, etc. Humans must know the code in order to be familiar with the message transmitted. If different groups read the same item of clothing or decoration with different meanings, the wearer may aggravate unanticipated and/or unwanted responses.

The manner of intentionally constructing, assembling, and wearing clothing to convey a social message in any culture is governed by current fashion. The rate at which manner changes varies; easily modified styles in wearing or accessorizing clothes can alter in months, even days, in small groups or in media-influenced modern societies. More extensive changes, that may require more time, money, or effort to effect, may cover generations. When fashion changes, messages from clothing change.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Myths and legends The Heel Stone was once known as "Friar's Heel." A folk tale, which cannot be dated earlier than the seventeenth century, relates the origin of the name of this stone:The Devil bought the stones from a woman in Ireland, wrapped them up, and brought them to Salisbury plain. One of the stones fell into the Avon, the rest were carried to the plain. The Devil then cried out, "No-one will ever find out how these stones came here." A friar replied, "That's what you think!," whereupon the Devil threw one of the stones at him and struck him on the heel. The stone stuck in the ground and is still there.Some claim "Friar's Heel" is a corruption of "Freyja's He-ol" or "Freyja Sul", from the Nordic goddess Freyja and the Welsh words for "way" and "Friday" respectively.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Galaxy Evolution
Studies show that the Milky Way Galaxy is moving towards the nearby Andromeda Galaxy at about 130 km/s, and depending upon the lateral movements, the two may collide in about five to six billion years. Such galaxy collisions are fairly common, especially in dense galaxy clusters. Given the distances between the stars, the great majority of stellar systems in colliding galaxies will be unaffected. However, gravitational stripping of the interstellar gas and dust that makes up the spiral arms will produce a long train of stars, similar to that seen in NGC 250 or the Antennae Galaxies.Although the Milky Way has never collided with a galaxy as large as Andromeda before, evidence of past collisions of the Milky Way with smaller dwarf galaxies is increasing.Spiral galaxies, like the Milky Way, only produce new generations of stars as long as they continue to have dense molecular clouds of interstellar hydrogen in their spiral arms. Elliptical galaxies are already largely devoid of this gas and so form no new stars. However, the supply of star-forming material is finite; as stars convert hydrogen into heavier elements, fewer stars will form.After the end of stellar formation in under one hundred billion years, the "stellar age" will come to an end after about ten trillion to one hundred trillion years, as the smallest longest-lived stars in our astrosphere, tiny red dwarfs begin to fade. At the end of the stellar age galaxies will comprise compact objects: brown dwarfs, black dwarfs, cooling white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes. Eventually, as a result of gravitational relaxation, all stars will either fall into the central supermassive black hole of the galaxies, or be flung into the depths of intergalactic space as a result of collisions.