Monday, November 27, 2006

Clothing maintenance

Clothing, once manufactured, suffers physical bother both from within and from without. The human body inside sheds skin cells and body oils, and exudes sweat, urine, and feces. From the outside, sun damage, damp, abrasion, dirt, and other indignities afflict the garment. Bedbugs and lice take up residence in clothing seams. Well-worn clothing, if not cleaned and refurbished, will smell, itch, look shabby, and lose functionality.

In past times, restoration was an art. A careful tailor or seamstress could fix rips with thread raveled from hems and seam limits so skillfully that the darn was practically invisible. When the raw fabric cloth was worth more than labor, it made sense to use labor in saving it. Today clothing is considered a consumable item. Mass manufactured clothing is less expensive than the time it would take to repair it. Many people wish to buy a new piece of clothing rather than to waste their time mending old clothes. But the thrifty still replace zippers and buttons and stitch up ripped hems.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Alternative views
Stonehenge's fame comes not only from its archaeological significance or potential early astronomical role but also in its less tangible effect on visitors, what Christopher Chippindale describes as "the physical sensation of the place", something that transcends the rational, scientific view of the monument. This manifests itself in the spiritual role of the site for many different groups and a belief that no single scientific explanation can do justice to it as a symbol of the great achievement of the ancient Britons and as a symbol of something that continues to confound mainstream archaeology.Some people claim to have seen UFOs in the area, perhaps connected with the military installations around Warminster, that has led to ideas over it being an extraterrestrial landing site. Alfred Watkins found three ley lines running through the site and others have employed numerology dowsing or geomancy to reach diverse conclusions regarding the site's power and purpose. New Age and neo-pagan beliefs might see Stonehenge as a sacred place of worship which can conflict with its more mainstream role as an archaeological site, tourist attraction, or marketing tool. Post-processualist archaeologists might consider that treating Stonehenge as a computer or observatory is to apply modern concepts from our own technology-driven era back into the past. Even the role of indigenous peoples in archaeology, rarely applied in Western Europe, has created a new function for the site as a symbol of Welsh nationalism.The significance of the 'ownership' of Stonehenge in terms of the differing meanings and interpretations held by the many orthodox and unorthodox stakeholders in the site has been increasingly apparent in recent decades. Researchers Jenny Blain and Robert J. Wallis have pointed to the huge variety of views which show the continued and growing importance of Stonehenge today, as symbol and 'Icon of Britishness'; and indicate also the increased awareness of pasts by many people with no training in archaeology or heritage. For many, Stonehenge and other ancient monuments form part of the 'living landscape' which holds its own stories and which is there to be engaged with as people mark the seasons of the year. Today's mythology around Stonehenge includes the recent history of the Battle of the Beanfield and the previous Free festivals. Stonehenge has not one meaning but many. Today, curators English Heritage facilitate 'managed open access' at solstices and equinoxes, with some disputes over the days on which these fall. Blain and Wallis argue that issues over access relate not only to physical presence at the stones but to interpretations of past and validity of 'new-indigenous' and pagan usages in the present and such 'alternative' views have been central in alerting public awareness to the issues of roads, tunnels and landscape, noted below.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Milky way
The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy of the Local Group. Though the Milky Way is but one of billions of galaxies in the universe, the Galaxy has special significance to people as it is the home of the Solar System. Democritus was the first known person to claim that the Milky Way consists of distant stars.The term "milky" originates from the hazy band of white light appearing across the celestial sphere visible from Earth, which is included of stars and other material lying within the galactic plane. The galaxy shows brightest in the direction of Sagittarius, towards the galactic center. Relative to the celestial equator, the Milky Way passes as far north as the assembly of Cassiopeia and as remote south as the constellation of Crux, indicating the high inclination of Earth's equatorial plane and the plane of the ecliptic relative to the galactic plane. The truth that the Milky Way divides the night sky into two roughly equal hemispheres indicates that the solar system lies close to the galactic plane.