Sunday, July 01, 2007

Blue Moon

Yesterday’s full moon was a blue moon which I know as the name in folklore given to the second full moon in a calendar month. June had two full moons, on the first and on the thirtieth. However, with a quick bit of research I found that this definition is actually the result of a misinterpretation of the Maine Farmer's Almanac. The original definition of blue moon was the third full moon in a quarter of the year when there were four full moons – normally a quarter year has three full moons. Oddly, it is the third full moon in a season that has four which is counted as the "extra" full moon and named blue moon. According to certain folklore, it is said that when there is a blue moon, the moon has a face and talks to the items in its moonlight.

Calendar blue moons occur fairly infrequently, and of course the saying once in a blue moon is used to describe a rare event. While most years contain twelve full moons to match the twelve months, every two or three years there is a year with thirteen full moons. On average, this happens once every 2.72 years. So now you have a better idea of how often once in blue moon actually occurs.

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I spent Thursday and Friday of last week in Sydney at a conference on leadership and group facilitation in education. The conference was held at the Olympic Park and my hotel room had a terrific view of the city and harbor bridge, though it's rather out in the burbs so there was no evening sightseeing around Sydney. No spare time anyway. Interesting but exhausting – something about being engaged with people for two days is so much more tiring than being holed up in my office. The conference did however make me think seriously about the option of pursuing a career in academia...hmmm, more on that after a bit more reflection time...

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This morning (Sunday) two lovely little Eastern Rosellas were foraging in our back yard and while this isn’t the best photo (it was taken through the window), you get the idea of how colorful they are.


2 comments:

  1. Apparently your blue moon in the Eastern Hemisphere that occured on June 30, 2007 occured in the Western Hemisphere a month ago on May 31, 2007.

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  2. Thanks for the details regarding blue moons - nice work.

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