Saturday, March 23, 2019

Happy Martian New Year

As readers will be aware, today, Saturday the 23rd of March 2019, the Northern Vernal Equinox occurs on Mars, which by definition marks the beginning of Mars Year 35 (such years being counted from the Martian year of the great dust storm that occurred during the year 1956 AD on Earth).

The moment at which this equinox will occur is about 11:18 UTC, or 10:18 pm Australian Eastern Daylight (Saving) Time: so ring in MY 35 then.

I do hope all will celebrate, at least by praying (if not actually working) for the success of all missions to Mars, and perhaps enjoying a Mars bar, watching a cartoon starring Marvin the Martian, reading Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles, or partaking of a suitable Mars-themed cocktail.

One hopes that, if SpaceX's promises come to pass, not too many years will elapse before Martian New Year can be celebrated on the Red Planet by humans from Earth.

******

A curiosity: while Martian days ("sols") and years are defined, it is as yet impossible to say what day of the week it is on Mars.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

A Hymn for St Patrick's Day

From mediæval sources comes this hymn in honour of St Patrick:

1. Jesu, corona præsulum,
Conserva tuum populum,
Qui hodie Patricium
Vocas ad cæli solium. 
2. Vir sacer magni meriti
Affert lucrum dominici
Talenti sibi traditi
Auctum fructu multiplici. 
3. Sumpta Christi parabola
Propalat evangelica,
Per hunc facta christicola
Tota gaudet Hibernia. 
4. Hic est doctor benevolus,
Hibernorum apostolus,
Cui loca purgatoria
Ostendit Dei gratia. 
4A. Patricius episcopus
Oret pro nobis omnibus,
Ut deleantur protinus
Peccata quæ commisimus. 
4B. O Patrici, Præsul pie,
Nostræ custos familiæ,
Funde preces quotidie,
Pro nobis, Regi gloriæ. 
5. Præsta, beata Trinitas,
Concede, simplex Unitas,
Ut precibus Patricii
Hæredes simus gaudii. Amen.

And here is my bumbling attempt at a translation:

O Jesu thou the bishops’ crown,
Preserve thy people, (Lord, we pray,)
Who this day dost (holy) Patrick
Summon to the throne of heaven. 
(That) sacred man of great merit
Imparts the profit of the Lord's
Talents handed over to him
Enlarged by numerous fruit. 
He reveals evangelical
Selected parables of Christ,
By this made worshippers of Christ
All Ireland rejoices indeed. 
This doctor is benevolent,
The Apostle of the Irish,
To whom places of purgatory
By the grace of God he displays. 
May the (holy) bishop Patrick
Pray (and entreat) for all of us,
That destroyed immediately
Be the sins we have committed. 
O Patrick, thou pious Bishop,
Guardian of our family,
Pour forth thy prayers every day
For us, to the King of glory. 
Confer, O blessed Trinity,
Concede, O simple Unity,
That by the prayers of (Saint) Patrick
We may be the heirs of delight. Amen.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Azaria - "Sacrifice in the Wilderness" [sic]

Those old enough to remember the gross miscarriage of justice concerning the tragic death of baby Azaria Chamberlain, taken by a dingo – whose death was wrongly imputed to her poor mother, Lindy, who was vilified by all Australia, convicted on flimsy and ultimately erroneous evidence, and imprisoned for years, ere she was released and finally proven innocent – will recognise that another kangaroo court verdict has been delivered.

I predict that Cardinal Pell will be exonerated eventually, but, as in the case of the disappearance of Azaria Chamberlain, many will continue to be duped by cruel myths – her name was said to mean, quite wrongly, "sacrifice in the wilderness", and ignorance meant that Seventh Day Adventists, such as her parents, were imagined to be addicted to evil rites; his name has been blackened for years in the press, and one suspects that the jurors imagined all Catholic priests to be perverts, so despite the evidence before them, they decided to convict.

I suppose we must now await sick Pell jokes, just as during my younger years dingo jokes did the rounds.