April 14th, 2011

People Are Asking: Astrological Signs

starsDo you know your astrological sign? Are you sure? There is an ancient gap between astrology and astronomy that has come to light recently and has spread over the internet faster than Sagittarius could shoot an arrow. Your zodiac sign is determined by the position of the sun relative to the overhead constellation on the day of your birth. A recent Pew survey shows that 25% of Americans believe that your sign determines certain personality traits.

First, the original zodiac included thirteen signs, but the ancient Babylonians rejected Ophiuchus as an astrological sign because they wanted twelve signs divided evenly, each encompassing thirty degrees of the sun’s path. This brings us to the second problem with the zodiac. The constellations are not the same size. It would stand to reason that more dates would be associated with a huge system like Pisces and less to the tiny constellation of Cancer, but again they wanted the signs to be divided equally. The International Astronomical Union published an official set of boundaries about sixty years ago bringing this anomaly to light, but the old zodiac hung on and nothing much changed. The third problem was noticed first by Hipparchus around 130BC (BCE) or Aristarchus of Samos (280BC) depending on the source. Either way, astronomers have known that the Earth wobbles like a top when it spins for a long, long time. This wobble takes about 26,000 years to complete but, because of distances involved, makes a big difference in the night skies.  Currently, the Earth’s North Pole aligns with Polaris, the North Star, but when the pyramids were constructed approximately 4500 year ago, it aligned with Thuban in the constellation Draco. It is predicted that in 12,000 years it will line up with Lyra in the Vega System.

For 86% of us, our sign is perhaps different than what we thought if Ophiuchus is counted as an astrological sign. Here are the new astrological dates containing the “new” super-cool sign Ophiuchus, the serpent bearer [oh-fee-YOO-kuhs]. To read more and watch the “Nightline” video, click here.

CAPRICORN (January 20 to February 16), AQUARIUS (February 16 to March 11), PISCES (March 11 to April 18), ARIES (April 18 to May 13), TAURUS (May 13 to June 21), GEMINI (June 21 to July 20), CANCER (July 20 to August 10), LEO (August 10 to September 16), VIRGO (September 16 to October 30), LIBRA (October 30 to November 23), SCORPIO (November 23 to November 29), OPHIUCHUS (November 29 to December 17), SAGITTARIUS (December 17 to January 20).

Do you have a question? Leave a comment or email us and your question might be featured!

People Are Asking is a weekly column in the Cecil Whig newspaper. It appears each Tuesday in the Accent section.

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April 8th, 2011

What’s Your Story?

nlwBeginning April 10th, libraries throughout the nation will celebrate National Library Week.  This year’s theme is “Create Your Own Story @ Your Library.”

Throughout the course of the week, our libraries will offer programs geared at helping you do just that.  The Rising Sun branch will host National Library Week themed children’s story programs on Tuesday, April 12th at 1:30pm, Wednesday, April 13th at 10:30am, and Thursday, April 14th at 10:30am.  They will also hold a Family Game program on Saturday, April 16th from 1-2:30pm.  Winners of the county-wide NLW children’s bookmark contest will be announced at each branch during the week.

Teens will get the chance to perform an extreme makeover on boring book covers at the Perryville Branch on Thursday, April 14th at 3pm, and those with a flair for creative writing can exercise their pens, as well as their imaginations, at the Elkton Teen Writers group on Thursday, April 14th at 3:30pm. Cecilton teens can view a classic story made modern with a screening of Ten Things I Hate About You on Saturday, April 16th at 2pm.

On Wednesday, April 14th, the Friends of the Library will sponsor  “Meet the Authors,” featuring three local authors—Ken Wiggins, Corinne Litzenberg, and Bobbie Hinman—who will share their stories and advice on becoming a writer.  You can delve more into the story of “you” at the North East Branch’s Genealogy Detectives program on Saturday, April 16th from 11am-1pm.

To finish out the week, the Elkton Central Library will host an Open House from 10am-4pm on Saturday, April 16th, featuring tours of the CCPL Bookmobile and a family concert with local songster Scott Birney (free Italian ice and pretzels for all who attend the concert!).  Visit our “tech café” to watch previews of this year’s Cecilwood Film Festival and sample playlists from our cd collection (check out a free playlist preview here).

Please check with your local branch for additional details on programs taking place during National Library Week.

Looking for a library/librarian inspired read this week?  Check out our list of favorites here.  I’m currently engrossed in Deborah Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches, set in Oxford’s atmospheric Bodelian Library.

My library “story” began when I was five years old and signed up for my first library card at the Elkton library, spending much of my childhood in its stacks and kicking off a lifelong love affair with books and libraries.  I know that throughout the course of my life, both as a librarian and a patron, the library has given me access to knowledge and learning opportunities I never would’ve had without it.  That’s my story—what’s yours?

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