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6/19/2016 - A little about Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) and his memory systems (Astrology)
3/18/2016 - Link: New Horizons Finds Blue Skies and Water Ice on Pluto (Astronomy - Link)
3/18/2016 - Links: Informal Names for Places on Pluto (Astronomy)
2/28/2016 - Concept Maps of Dispositors in an Astrological Chart (Astrology)
1/21/2016 - Links: The Search for Planet Nine (Astronomy)
1/20/2016 - Link: Free Software Foundation (FSF) Vision Survey (Activism)
11/16/2015 - Eryss.Com Forum updates - new posts will be under the GNU Affero General Public License (Site Update)
9/5/2015 - Mercury and Pseudoscience (Pseudoscience in General - Including Astrology)
8/18/2015 - Link: The Epidemic of Too Much Omega 6 and Not Enough Omega 3 in Our Diets (Health)
7/14/2015 - Pluto Flyby - New Horizons' Closest Approach - July 14, 2015, around 11:49 AM UT (7:49 AM EDT) (Astronomy)

Welcome to Eryss.Com. Probably the most interesting thing here is the forum.

As of 4/29/2013, the only released edition of the Eryss astrology software is the Eryss and Swiss Ephemeris Extension Package 1.0 for Astroblahhh GLMP-GTK or Astroblahhh PH-GTK.

I, Apollia of Astroblahhh.Com, will eventually release a Windows edition of the Eryss software.


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A little about Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) and his memory systems
Sunday, June 19th, 2016
09:37:34 GMT

Astrology

I recently read the wonderful book You Can Learn To Remember: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life by Dominic O'Brien, who won the World Memory Championships numerous times.

Something that intrigued me near the beginning of the book was some details about Giordano Bruno (1548-1600).

A quote from the book:

"Bruno devised many memory systems, finally completing a series of memory wheels. These wheels were seen as microcosms of the heavens, and showed the orbits of stars and planets. On them he placed symbols of the arts, languages and sciences, and used his sensory associations to lodge images and facts related to these symbols in his mind."


Definitely sounds astrological.

Someday, I'd like to read more about Giordano Bruno and his ideas.

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Link: New Horizons Finds Blue Skies and Water Ice on Pluto
Friday, March 18th, 2016
08:31:27 GMT

Astronomy
Link

Another cool thing I just found today.

From NASA.gov - New Horizons Finds Blue Skies and Water Ice on Pluto (Oct. 8, 2015)


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Links: Informal Names for Places on Pluto
Friday, March 18th, 2016
07:55:44 GMT

Astronomy

Today, I found out that various regions of Pluto have been given informal names.

Links:

From HuffingtonPost.com - Pluto Is Turning Into The Planet Of Your Nightmares (July 15, 2015)

From Gizmodo.com - Places on Pluto are Being Named for Your Darkest Imaginings (July 14, 2015)

From NASA.gov - New Horizons Map of Pluto: The Whale and the Donut (July 7, 2015)


And from Wikipedia:

Geography of Pluto

An annotated Pluto map

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Concept Maps of Dispositors in an Astrological Chart
Sunday, February 28th, 2016
10:56:43 GMT

Astrology

Recently, something piqued my interest in the astrological concept of dispositors.

So, I used the excellent free (as in freedom), libre, open source concept mapping software VUE: Visual Understanding Environment to make some concept maps of dispositors in my astrological chart.

I guess my below concept maps are pretty boring overall, but, at least they make it possible to easily create your own similar concept maps by modifying mine using VUE.

Images:
With Houses - Without Houses

VUE Concept Map Files:
With Houses - Without Houses

A zip file containing each image and concept map

These concept maps are under the GNU Affero General Public License 3.0.


By the way, my primitive JavaScript astrology software I released about a decade ago, AstroTally, can calculate chains of dispositors, though it can only display them in a primitive non-graphical way.

Not even my Eryss astrology software can do that yet - not even the unreleased versions of Eryss.

Someday I'll probably use pieces of AstroTally in the Eryss astrology software.

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Links: The Search for Planet Nine
Thursday, January 21st, 2016
09:03:16 GMT

Astronomy

An interesting astronomy blog:

The Search for Planet Nine

And no, they're not looking for Pluto. Pluto did not go missing. :-)


An amusing article from Mother Jones, Jan. 20, 2016:

Scientists Discover "Most Planet-y" Planet in the Solar System


I found both those links via astronomer Mike Brown's Twitter page.

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Link: Free Software Foundation (FSF) Vision Survey
Wednesday, January 20th, 2016
00:34:54 GMT

Activism

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is doing a survey until the end of January 2016:

Free Software Foundation (FSF) Vision Survey

And here's the FSF.org blog post about the survey.

The FSF is also trying to raise $450,000 by January 31st, 2016. They're already most of the way there - as I write this, it says "370,295 so far" at the top of this page.


The Eryss astrology software is, and always will be, free (as in freedom), libre, and open source.


Addition, Feb. 3, 2016, 6:30 AM EST. Here are my replies to the survey:

Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4


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Eryss.Com Forum updates - new posts will be under the GNU Affero General Public License
Monday, November 16th, 2015
19:55:00 GMT

Site Update

I updated the forum's rules and simplified the forum's registration agreement, so now, all posts from after Nov. 16, 2015 at 1:15 PM EST will be under the GNU Affero General Public License.

Along with all the forum posts ever posted by me (Apollia), and my robot user, "Automated Post", which is supposed to (but currently doesn't) automatically start blog comments threads.

I also simplified the Marketplace section. Now it has only 4 boards, like the Marketplace section at Non24.Com's forum.


Edit, 11/17/2015, 1:58 PM EST. I added a poll which even unregistered guests can vote or comment on without joining the forum:

What do you think of the forum's posts being under the GNU Affero license?

Since even guests can vote on it, it might end up having really distorted results - but, I'm just curious to see what happens with it.

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Mercury and Pseudoscience
Saturday, September 5th, 2015
08:38:33 GMT

Pseudoscience in General
Including Astrology


False-color pictures of the planet Mercury - shrunk down from the image at this NASA.gov blog post.
There are plenty of other things to pick on about astrology, but, here, I'm going to focus on some Mercury-related things.

Though this is more about history than about modern-day astrology - since fortunately, there probably aren't many modern astrologers nowadays who would go around making absurd claims about the supposed benefits of the element mercury.

But unfortunately, there are plenty of modern-day non-astrologers (and perhaps some astrologers too) who make absurd claims about mercury's supposed safety and fitness for use in things such as light bulbs, dental fillings, and vaccines.


The real, physical, scientific, Periodic Table of Elements element of mercury has many horrible effects on health.

Which is interesting from an astrological perspective, since the planet Mercury in astrology is associated with intelligence, communication, and so on, and usually isn't considered bad. In fact, one of the symbols associated with mythological Mercury is the caduceus - which, to this day, is a traditional symbol of medicine.

But, meanwhile, the actual physical element of mercury can give you brain damage and numerous other terrible health problems.

That's even worse than astrological Mercury retrograde!


I wonder if the ludicrous notion that mercury in dentistry is harmless was somehow inspired or fueled by astrology? Judging by Wikipedia, mercury fillings in dentistry have a long history.


The Mercury (element) article on Wikipedia mentions (among other interesting things) that the first emperor of China, Qín Shǐ Huáng Dě (260–210 BC), "was killed by drinking a mercury and powdered jade mixture formulated by Qin alchemists (causing liver failure, mercury poisoning, and brain death) who intended to give him eternal life."

How awful!


And the great Isaac Newton was found to have massive amounts of mercury in his body - possibly the result of his studies of alchemy. :-(

(See also: this informative video.)


I wonder what was more to blame for superstitious overly positive beliefs about mercury - alchemy or astrology? Don't know, and I don't feel like researching in depth right now.

But, thank God for skepticism and real science.

(Yes, the irony in the preceding sentence is deliberate. But I really am grateful for skepticism and real science, which I believe have probably done a lot more to improve the world than astrology or any other pseudoscience ever did.)


Such a pity that even in our modern, more logical and skeptical era, there's still the persistent use of mercury-containing amalgam dental fillings, despite the info on this page from EPA.gov.

And, there's still widespread acceptance of the use of mercury in fluorescent light bulbs - even despite the alarmingly elaborate waste cleanup measures recommended if you break such a light bulb.

This page is also interesting:

Some comfort about broken CFLs from ScienceNews.org, July 7, 2011

"Mercury release rates are low, new data show, but can build to toxic levels if broken bulbs aren't cleaned up right away."


And here's a blog post I posted on January 7, 2014, on Astroblahhh.Com:

Incandescent Light Bulbs are Now Largely Banned in the USA - and I Suggest Avoiding Fluorescent/CFL Bulbs


And mercury contamination is a common problem with seafood nowadays, as I mentioned a bit in this blog post on Astroblahhh.Com from August 17, 2015:

The Epidemic of Too Much Omega 6 and Not Enough Omega 3 in Our Diets


And, the idea that mercury in vaccines causes autism is surprisingly often viciously criticized. Here's Wikipedia's Thiomersal controversy article.

But, regardless of whether or not there really is a direct link between mercury in vaccines and autism - I can't imagine that mercury in vaccines does no harm at all, given the fact that mercury is scientifically known to be a very toxic, potentially lethal substance.

Even if the mercury in vaccines isn't causing autism, my guess is the mercury is probably at least causing other bad effects of some kind(s). Why wouldn't it?

Skeptics often say extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

So, doesn't the claim that such an extremely toxic substance as mercury is somehow safe to use in vaccines, dental fillings, and light bulbs qualify as an extraordinary claim which requires extraordinary evidence?


And, returning to the topic of astrology - wouldn't it be awful if the belief that mercury is safe or even beneficial to use in dental fillings, etc. actually historically traces back to astrology?

If that's the case, maybe astrology has done even more harm to the world than I thought. Even if astrology only reinforced (rather than originated) the pseudoscientific idea that "the element mercury is safe or even beneficial for human health", that would be bad.

I wish some historian(s) would look into that.


But more importantly, I wish mercury wasn't still in such common use in places it shouldn't be, in my opinion.

We should know better by now, and learn from the past mistakes of alchemy and astrology.


Comments are welcome on the Eryss.Com Forum, either here or elsewhere - but, it's moderated, and I tend to be rather lazy about checking for new posts, so, please don't expect a fast-paced brawl.

Click this link to display the blog comment thread hosted at the Eryss.Com Forum:

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Link: The Epidemic of Too Much Omega 6 and Not Enough Omega 3 in Our Diets
Tuesday, August 18th, 2015
14:18:18 GMT

Health

This seemed important enough to point out despite the fact that it's not on Eryss.Com's usual topics.

It's from my personal blog at Astroblahhh.Com:

The Epidemic of Too Much Omega 6 and Not Enough Omega 3 in Our Diets


Addition, Aug. 18, 2015, 11:01 AM EDT: Also, I updated this old Eryss.Com blog post with some new info:

Avoiding Seafood is Probably a Good Idea

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Pluto Flyby - New Horizons' Closest Approach - July 14, 2015, around 11:49 AM UT (7:49 AM EDT)
Tuesday, July 14th, 2015
09:24:15 GMT

Astronomy

The New Horizons flyby of Pluto will (hopefully) reach its closest approach on July 14, 2015 at approximately 7:49 AM EDT (11:49 AM UT) - just hours from now.

And one article I stumbled across - Wired.com - New Horizons’ Finest Moment Could Be Its Hour of Destruction (posted July 13, 2015) - provides this remarkably exact time: "7:49:58 AM Eastern time"

And also says:

"With all sensors trained on Pluto, New Horizons won’t phone home for 21 straight hours."


Another link - New York Times - New Horizons' Pluto Flyby (July 14, 2015) - says in the last section of the animated slideshow near the top of the page:

"Confirmation that New Horizon survived the flyby is not expected until after 9:00 p.m., in part because signals from Pluto take four and a half hours to reach Earth."


More links:

NASA Television

NASA - New Horizons

Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory - New Horizons


Wikipedia - New Horizons


BusinessInsider.com - Pluto Infographics (June 4, 2015)

Io9.com - This is What We've Learned About Pluto in the Past 24 Hours (July 13, 2015)


Quoted from the last link:

"Pluto is 2,370 kilometers (1,473 miles) in diameter, give or take 20 kilometers. This makes it undisputedly larger than Eris, the second largest object in the Kuiper Belt at 2,336 kilometers with a potential error of +/- 12 kilometers, and ends a decade-long debate over which object is larger."


However, Eris still has more mass. Another recent link:

Discovery.com - New Horizons is Seeing Signs of Kuiper Belt 'Blood Spatter' (July 14, 2015)

Quote:

"It’s worth noting that Pluto and Eris’ masses have been precisely known for some time — Eris is around one-third more massive than Pluto. By measuring the characteristics of moons orbiting both dwarf planets, an accurate mass can be calculated."


Wikipedia - List of Solar System objects by size


Addition, Aug. 9, 2015, 1:10 AM EDT: Quoted from this page from The Guardian:

"The New Horizons probe has made contact with Earth, proof that the spacecraft survived its historic flyby of Pluto.

The signal was received at precisely 8.52.37pm Eastern time."

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