The Southern Cross Pointer stars

 

The Southern Cross Pointer stars.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

Click here for a full, up to date ORIGINAL ARTICLE and to help fighting the stealing of readers’ traffic.

(Blog No.111).

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

#find North, #finding North, #navigation, #alpha Centauri, #Agena, #Southern Cross, #pointers, #constellation, #Scorpius,

The Southern Cross Pointer Stars.

Celestial navigators who do not use declination and right ascension begin their navigation by learning the various bright, easily unmistakable constellations in the sky (There are no more than 10 to learn beginning with Orion constellation. and Scorpius constellation.). In the Southern Hemisphere, the Pointers to Southern Cross constellation are next to be learnt as they are very bright and most easy to identify.

The two Pointer stars are two very bright stars (alpha Centauri and Agena) in the Southern Celestial hemisphere. They are very useful as they help identifying nearby navigational stars and consequently finding Southern Celestial pole for navigation.

These two bright stars are circumpolar and are both 30 degrees from to the Southern Celestial pole. They are seen late night in February, all night in May, early night in September.

Inhabitants of Southern hemisphere need only to identify Alpha Centauri (brighter star of the pair), Agena (dimmer star of the pair), and Achernar in the clockwise direction (all at 60° South declination) to find the Southern Celestial pole which is at the center of the circle of 30 degrees in radius through these three stars. Achernar is almost 60 degree from the Pointers (alpha Centauri, Agena) and is opposite them across the Southern Celestial Pole.

Figure: Pointer stars pointing to the Southern Cross on a Polar Skymap for Southern hemisphere.

Extending the line alpha Centauri-Agena (from brighter to dimmer Pointer) by 8 degrees takes us to the Southern Cross Constellation. Then turning clockwise by 50 degrees and extending by an additional 50 degrees takes us to the very bright Canopus star which is nearly 40 degrees from the Southern Celestial pole.

In the opposite direction, extending the line Agena-alpha Centauri (from dimmer Pointer to brighter Pointer) by about 30 degrees takes us to the stinger tail of the large, distinctive Scorpius constellation (this line goes on for another 40 degrees to reach the bright tropical star Altair). From the direction of the line Agena-alpha Centauri (from dimmer to brighter Pointer) turn clockwise by 50 degrees and travel by about 45 degrees from alpha Centauri takes us to the moderately bright star Antares at the heart of the Scorpion.

Figure: Locating an individual star in a crowded area is easily carried out using a folded piece of cardboard: The folding line is aimed at the first known star, one cardboard flap is aligned to contain the second known star. The other flap is then opened to the required angle (marked 1) and the angle to the target star (marked 2) can be read.

2. The Southern Cross.

The Southern Cross is a useful navigational constellation. Its long axis goes through the Southern Celestial pole (which is also nearly on the bisector of the Pointer Stars and is also nearly on the line through Sirius and Canopus) in one direction and goes through the Northern Celestial pole in the opposite direction.

Turning slightly by 20 degrees anticlockwise toward the trailing’ side (Eastern side) from this direction to the Northern Celestial pole and travel by a distance of about 50 degrees from the Southern Cross takes us to the bright star Spica. Turning more anticlockwise towards the Eastern side by an additional 15 degrees from that direction and traveling an additional distance of about 30 degrees takes us next to the very bright star Bootes Arcturus (The direction from Spica to Bootes Arcturus is pointing about 25 degrees to the trailing side, Eastward, from the direction of a great circle arc toward the Northern Celestial pole.).

3. The dates of Pointers to Southern Cross.

Figure 1: The dates of Agena and alpha Centauri from the table of star dates.

The Pointer stars are seen in late night in February, all night in May, and in early night in September.

4. Taking photos of the Pointers.

Figure 1: The Pointers and Southern Cross Constellation are in the lower right quarter of this phpto taken with a Samsung Galaxy Note 2. The original photo has been digitally enhanced.

The Pointers and Southern Cross constellation are adequately bright and their photos can be taken using a smart phone such as a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 with no extra attachment.

The Pointers and 3 corner stars of the vertical Southern Cross are seen on the bottom right of the above two pictures. The dimmer fourth stars of the Southern Cross can be seen in the second photo. Antares is the bright star near the middle of the left border of the second picture. Antares and the front part of the Scorpius constellation are located near the center of the left border of the second picture (The very bright dot near the upper left corner of the picture is a planet.).

Figure 2: Photos of the Pointers and Southern Cross Constellation taken with a Samsung Galaxy Note 2. The original photos have been digitally enhanced.

The two bright Pointers are seen on the bottom right of this picture 2. The two brightest spots on the left half of this picture are two planets traveling on the Ecliptic. Antares is the bright star near the middle of the half left of this picture. Vertically above Antares is the front part of the Scorpius constellation. Vertically below Antares is the bright stinging tail of the Scorpius.

Figures 3: Photo of the Scorpius Constellation taken with a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 at the same time. The original photos have been digitally enhanced.

The Scorpius constellation just mentioned is captured in the center of the third photo. There are four brightest dots on the top of the picture. The far right and far left dots are very bright and are two planets traveling on the ecliptic. The planets on the ecliptic sometimes make confusing the identification of the stars at the front of this constellation.

References.

[1]. tonytran2015, Finding North and time by stars, survivaltricks.wordpress.com, Finding North and time by stars, posted on August 28, 2015

[2]. The Orion constellation., posted December 26, 2016

[3].The Scorpius constellation., posted January 8, 2017

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Vietnamese (Lunar) New Year Custom for Westerners

Vietnamese (Lunar) New Year Custom for Westerners

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

Click here for a full, up to date ORIGINAL ARTICLE and to help fighting the stealing of readers’ traffic.

(Blog No.110).

#Lunar New Year, #Tết Nguyên Đán , #Tết Nguyên Tiêu, #Lunar Calendar, #Festival, #activities, #custom, #survival,

Vietnamese (Lunar) New Year Custom for Westerners.

To many Western and Vietnamese people, it is hard to tell when East Asian Lunar New Year (“Tết Âm Lịch” in Vietnamese) will come. To add to the confusion there are also different New Year days for its neighboring East Asian countries like China, Korea, etc… When the Festival comes they are again surprised at the activities or inactivity! This blog helps them understand the festival and know the custom to plan their activities to avoid any inconvenience.

In short description, the traditional New Year Festival (“Tet” in Vietnamese) is a period of long holidays and prolonged shut downs of normal trading. The details are explained in the following.

1. When is a Vietnamese New Year Day?

Figure: Moon phases.

The first new Lunar month after Winter Solstice is always named the Final Month (“tháng Chạp” in Vietnamese; the name may come (?) from the word “tháng LẬP Đông”). The end of that month is the Lunar New Year. Neighboring Asian countries (China, Korea) all use this rule but the New Year day of each country may differ by one day or sometimes one month due to their different time zones [1].

All months here denote Lunar months unless otherwise specified. Month are name Month 1 to Final Month and there may be 13 months in a Lunar Year with the Leap Month bearing the name of its preceding Month appended with the word “Leap”.

Note that the Final Month may be either a 12th month in a non-leap or a 13th month in a leap year.

2. What are the Vietnamese New Year Holidays?

Seafaring Vietnamese people finish their fishing activities before the stormy season (Stormy seanson in Central Vietnam extends over months 9,10,11 and Final month of Lunar Year.). Agricultural Vietnamese people in the countryside finish their harvest before Winter Solstice. So the Final month of a Lunar Year is ready to be a time for preparation or enjoyment of New Year Festival.

The Festival holidays may begin in the Final Month and continue through Month 1, 2, 3, 4 (“tháng Giêng, tháng 2 3, 4” in Vietnamese), If there is any leap month falling between Month 1 and Month 4 then the holidays are also extended by that extra month.

The popular quotes in Vietnamese is “Tháng Giêng là tháng ăn chơi, tháng Hai cờ bạc, tháng Ba hội hè”. It means First Month is for Enjoying Pleasures, Month 2 for Enjoying Gambling, Month 3 for Festivals, Carnivals, Meetings”

Agricultural people have to come back to their work on Lunar Month 4. Since Lunar Month 2 the sea becomes calm and fishermen can resume their work. Vietnamese fishermen are most busy when the star Arcturus Bootes is shining (Note that Arcturus Bootes is a star of the night on April 25th; it is called “Sao Một”, top ranked star, by Central Vietnamese people).

3. What are the activities in Vietnamese New Year Festivals.

a. Food and drinks are to be stored up to the brims of containers in each household (to make a wish of having prosperity for the coming New Year.). Food and drinks are supposed to be adequate for all requirements of the household for more than two months. “Tết” can also be considered a practice run for survival in disasters, for that Vietnam has had many).

The concept of “just in time” does not apply here. Prices are outrageously higher in some areas including Saigon (up to 10 times higher when buying from traders originating from Northern Vietnam)  in the month long New Year Festival period.

b. Most trading activities (including non-emergency transportation) are to cease from New Year Eve to the 10th day of First Month [5].

Everyone is provided with an opportunity to come back to his or her home town for Family Reunion. People already in their home town are also provided with a practice run for survival with reduced transportation and without trading.

Transportation people expect to be showered with 100% to 200% tips.

Example: During Tet Festival, economy class return air tickets by Vietnam Airlines from Melbourne to Saigon may cost AUD1500/person (too high?) while an economy class return air ticket on Thai Airway from Melbourne to Bangkok may cost only around AUD600/person.

So your own transportation is almost basic essential.

c. People from distant places may have additional holiday time to travel to their home town and back. Boat travelers may need encompassing full Moons to travel by rivers, canals to their home places.

d. All houses are to be cleaned up and decorated to celebrate the New Year. This activity commences early and does not end until New Year Eve. Houses and monuments are to be decorated with whole trees or cut branches of “cây mai” (Ochna integerrima or Ochna) which have been made to blossom flowers on the First day of New Year.

e. Food, preserved food and offerings are to be prepared to Festival days. Vietnamese food for New Year includes “bánh chưng” (steamed cooked loaf), “bánh dầy” (thick loaf), “bánh tét” (loaf that can only be cut by Splitting its wrapping made of banana leaves). “xôi vò” (rolled and squeezed sticky rice), “cơm rượu” (fermented cooked sticky rice) , “rượu đế” or “rượu nếp” (Vietnamese distilled alcoholic spirit made from fermented cooked sticky rice), “rượu nếp than” (Vietnamese distilled alcoholic spirit with the colour of charcoal, made from fermented cooked purple sticky rice). “tôm khô” (dried salted prawns), “khô mực” (dried salted squid), “củ kiệu ngâm dẩm” (pickled leek bulbs in vinegar).

f. Permanent Indoor Altars are to be decorated with white or red lilies (“hoa hụê” in Vietnamese). Incense and candles are to be lighted on altars.

Figure:Lilies from a Vietnamese stall in Melbourne at AUD 15/bundle.

Figure: Gladio Li from a Big W Supermarket in Melbourne at AUD 12.88/bundle.

Figure:Lilies from an Aldi Supermarket in Melbourne at AUD 4.99/bundle.

g. On the 23rd of Final Month, people have to make Farewell Ceremony for Three Inhouse Monitors from Heaven (“Hai Ông Một Bà Táo” in Vietnamese; they resides in the family earthenware stoves and have charred, blackened, faces). The three Inhouse Monitors from Heaven work similarly to real life Resident In-house Monitoring Agents of Ward Police (Ward Police = “Công An Phường” of current Socialist Vietnam; a ward is a subdivision of a district which, in turn, is a subdivision of a town or city). They leave the household riding 3 carps (not submarines!) to go to report to the Jade Supreme God of Heaven (“Ngọc-Hoàng Thượng-Đế”) of all the good and bad deeds of the household from the first day to 23rd day of final month of the preceeding Lunar Year.

i. Without the Three In-house Monitors from Heaven all activities in the household are now off-the-records!

j. Good-time boys and good-time girls now may do non-righteous things without worrying about having bad records made in Heaven. Some people from Northern Vietnam takes this off-the-record time to do  go out eating dogs!

k. On the last day of Final Month a temporary Altar have to be made and placed on top of an upright long pole for the Deceased Ancestors to reside (the assemblage is called “cây Nêu” in Vietnamese) and enjoy New Year celebration with their living descendants.

l. From Sunset to New Year Commencement at midnight, people have to make Welcome Ceremony for new Three In-house Monitors from Heaven (“Hai Ông Một Bà Táo” in Vietnamese). The new Three Monitors have been rotated by Heaven from some other household to ensure equality and impartiality.

m. All good and bad deeds from people in the household are from now observed and recorded again by new Three In-house Monitors until they in turn depart near the end of the current Lunar Year.

o. Incense and candles are to be lighted on the small Altar in the front yard for the Jade Supreme God of Heaven (“Ông Thiên” or “Ngọc-Hoàng Thượng-Đế”). This altar for the Supreme God does NOT have any statue, drawing and no more than the words “Môn-Khẫu Thiên-Địa” (The doorway to Heaven and Earth”).

p. Incense and candles are to be lighted on the small Altar on Ground Surface for the local Custodian God of the local Land (“Ông Địa”). People from North Vietnam now have the local Custodian God of the local Land sharing his altar with the White Eyebrow God (“Thần Bạch Mi”), the Patron God of Prostitutes.

Figure: Custodian God (having big fat belly) of the local Land sharing an altar with White Eyebrow God (having white eyebrows) . 

Note that the White Eyebrow God (“Thần Bạch Mi”) is totally different from the God of Lucks (“Thần Tài”), who rides a horse and wears an Imperial Court Administrative Official suit with WINGED Head Wear. The God of Lucks is usually depicted with a gold colour dress with black circular emblems, with the motto “Kim Ngọc Mãn Đường” -a court yard full of gold and precious jewels- ).
q. Midnight comes. This is the commencement of New Year. Trading (buying and selling) is a taboo for the next 72 hours. Higher prices are expected both before and after this 72 hours period.

r. New Year Celebration begins with detonation of fire crackers to scare away any bad spirits.

This is just like scaring away robbers and bandits during any change of guards.

Figure: Two Fire-crackers chains (in red colour) are hung from the ceiling to the ground. They are carefully guarded before they are burnt. 

Figure: Fire-crackers make crackling sounds and flashes. This Lion Dance is on the third day of New Year (2018Feb18z) in Sunshine, Victoria, Australia. Identical firecrackers are burnt in traditional Celebration at commencement of a Lunar New Year.

 

s. People make offerings to their ancestors at the indoor permanent altars for ancestors.

t. People go to Pagodas to break and take home (vandalize?) any of blossoming branches of “mai” trees there (“Hái lộc”).

u. First day of New Year is for Family reunion. Note that married women are considered family members of their husbands and not of their maiden family.

v. Second day of New Year is for Married Women to come back and reunite to their maiden families WITH their husbands and children.

w. Third day of New Year is for visit to former Teachers and people who brought/made working people to their current status.

x. Fourth day of New Year: People can enjoy their own chosen festival activities.

y. Seventh day of New Year: The temporary Altar (“Nêu” in Vietnamese) have to be dismantled and Deceased Ancestors are sent back to their Heavenly place.

Some shops may reopen on the Eighth day of New Year.

z. First Full Moon of New Year is “Hội Trăng Rằm” in Vietnamese (Carnival of Full Moon, “Tết Nguyên Tiêu” in Chinese written literature/history). People go to Pagodas to pray and make offering. Unmarried people go to the Carnivals of First Full Moon to select their matches (as described in the folk song of “Hát Hội Trăng Rằm”).

aa. New Year Festivals close. People relax to enter Month 2 for leisures.

Prices of good fall back to new levels which are not necessarily the old level. The high prices during the Festivals have been their stress-tests. Traders have evaluated supplies and demands during those tests and will confidently apply their new prices!

The popular quotes in Vietnamese is “Tháng Giêng là tháng ăn chơi, tháng Hai cờ bạc, tháng Ba hội hè”. It means First Month is for Enjoying Pleasures, Month 2 for Enjoying Gambling, Month 3 for Festivals, Carnivals, Meetings”

 

References.

[1].  tonytran2015, When-is-lunar-new-year-khi-nao-la-tet-am-lich , posted on 2018 January 1st.

[2]. tonytran2015, Simple-determination-of-east-asia-lunisolar-new-year , posted on 2017 January 19th.

[3]. http://www.bbc.com/vietnamese/vietnam/story/2006/07/printable/060704_lichvietnam.shtml

[4]. https://m.thanhnien.vn/van-hoa/vi-sao-nam-nay-viet-nam-an-tet-truoc-trung-quoc-mot-ngay-317188.html

[5]. https://tuoitre.vn/khach-bay-bat-ngo-vi-gia-ve-may-bay-tang-nhu-tet-20171003082319591.htm

Added after 2018Feb19:

[6]. https://perspectiveofawriter.wordpress.com/2018/02/09/lunar-new-year-in-south-korea-and-asia/

[7]. http://fragilemyths.com/2018/02/17/thoughts-lunar-new-year/

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Government may be behind Bubble Markets

Government may be behind Bubble Markets

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

Click here for a full, up to date ORIGINAL ARTICLE and to help fighting the stealing of readers’ traffic.

(Blog No.109).

 

#bubble market, #market crash, #share market, #investment mania, #capital gain, #tax, #duty, #government,

Government may be behind Bubble Markets.

The arguments here use data and laws for only Australia but they are supposed to be applicable to other similar countries.

1. Government makes money on all transfer of wealth and all betting.

Let us say that any share trading market is only a place with zero sum for gains, just like a legalized casino (but with less requirements for transparency and fairness). There will always be winners and losers.

The government collects stamp duties on all transfer of wealth (ownership of shares) and betting (based on Contracts for Index Trading and Call and Put Options for shares).

The winners pay stamp duties and taxes on capital gains. The losers can ONLY deduct their capital losses against any current or future capital gains OF THE SAME NATURE!

That means you cannot deduct capital losses from shareholdings against capital gains in gold investment!

If a shareholder get very dispirited and decide never to own shares again, the Government win on the capital gain taxes he already paid on his IMAGINARY gains (during the growth of the Bubble)!

2. Government collects non-refundable stamp duties and capital gain taxes on all form of IMAGINARY capital gains.

During the bubble phase, most capital gains are imaginary and the government is quite happy collecting stamp duties and capital gain taxes on those imaginary capital gains!

3. There is more trading during any crash.

A crash of any market is only a (equitable or otherwise) transfer of wealth.

The computers for Share Trading have been overloaded and shut down in past crashes due to hectic trading. There will be obligations to complete the transfers of wealth after the trading.

A government always collect more stamp duties during crash despite its lip service that it shares the anguish of losers.

4. Australian government has been pumping up bank shares.

a. It allows shareholders to bet that bank shares would rise (by buying Call options and Selling put options) but penalize those shareholders who have “Put options” (by disqualifying them from offsetting company taxes against their personal income taxes)

b. It prohibits day traders (of shares) from selling first and buy back later the bank shares they don’t have. However it does not stop day traders from buying first resell later with the money they may not have ! (You are not allowed to sell in the morning the overpriced bank shares and buy them cheaper in the afternoon to fulfill the obligation caused by the contract in the morning).

5. Conclusion.

Just follow the money then people can see that Australian government benefits more from Bubble Markets than from “Fair Markets”. It may advise caution to investors but actually it may enjoy the money it collects from Bubble Markets of any form (for shares, real estates, bitcoins, tulips, gold, etc…).

Therefore it may be unnatural to expect a government to stop the growth of any bubble in its markets. It may actually have lent a hand to their growth!

Figure: Predicting a share market crash is really difficult.

Figure: Tulips (currently at $2 a bulb).

Figures: 1 ounce gold slab.

References

[1]. A satirical guide to signs of an impending crash for small investors,

[2]. Signs-pointing-to-an-impending-crash-for-small-investors,

[3]. Bitcoins-tulips-sparkling-diamonds-fiat-moneys-and-gold,

[4]. http://riggedgame.blog/2018/02/06/largest-cryptocurrencies-plunge-50-80-372-bn-gone-in-1-month-will-it-hit-the-us-economy/

[5]. http://riggedgame.blog/2018/02/11/the-game-truly-is-rigged-admits-economist-magazine/

Added after 2018 Mar 05:

[6]. https://riggedgame.blog/2018/03/05/democrats-gutting-wall-street-reform-follow-the-money/

[7]. https://www.thestreet.com/investing/why-red-hot-ipo-market-will-soon-bring-financial-carnage-14665587

[8]. https://dailyreckoning.com/you-should-fear-the-emerging-market-debt-bubble/

[9]. https://counterinformation.wordpress.com/2018/09/14/central-banks-have-gone-rogue-putting-us-all-at-risk/

[10]. https://wolfstreet.com/2018/09/18/just-how-exuberant-is-the-junk-credit-market/

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Smashed mung bean (green) peas in crushed ice

Smashed mung bean (green) peas in crushed ice

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

Click here for a full, up to date ORIGINAL ARTICLE and to help fighting the stealing of readers’ traffic.

(Blog No.108).

#Smashed mung bean, #drink, #dessert, #Chè đậu xanh, #nước dừa đường cát,

Smashed mung bean (green) peas in crushed ice.

Smashed mung bean (green) peas in crushed ice (Chè đậu xanh) is a delicious, simple Vietnamese thick drink or dessert dish. It is sometimes served with boiled concentrated coconut extract (Chè đậu xanh nước dừa đường cát)

(Chè = sweet thick Drink/Dessert, Đậu= Peas, Xanh= green, Nước= Juice, Dừa= Coconut, Đường=Sugar, Cát= of small grains)

1. Recipe.

Figure: Smashed mung bean (green) peas in crushed ice in 150ml glass.
1. Buy split peas of mung beans. They are made by crushing the mung bean (green) peas. The outer green crusts have been discarded, the yellow cores are split. Only the yellow, kidney shaped half cores are retained and sold as split mung bean (green) peas.

2. Boil the split mung bean peas until they are soften and broken up into a thick yellow paste.

3. You may add refined sugar (ordinary refined, table sugar, “đường cát” in Vietnamese) to the mixture to suit your taste.

4. Some people may add boiled coconut extract (nước dừa) to the mixture. I don’t, it is just not my taste and it may cause stomach upset if left at room temperature for too long.

CAUTIONS:

1. A nutritious, healthy drink may become a harmful drink if the traditional recipes are not observed.

2. Cooks using unauthentic recipes may use artificial sweetener (saccharin) in the drink to reduce their purchase cost of ordinary sugar! The traditional recipes has no such modern ingredient

3. If your mouth and your taste feel not normal about 30 minutes after taking this drink, you may have consumed some artificial sweetener.

2. Alternative dessert from whole mung beans.

Some people may boil whole mung bean peas until the green crusts separate and the yellow cores are just split and softened. The crusts are not removed from the yellow split cores.

This whole pea dessert is then served. It is not as soft as the other drink/dessert.

3. Ingredients.

Figure: Mung beans of 5mm size.

The whole Mung Bean peas are in the photograph. The peas are then crushed into a green crust and two half cores each is yellow and has kidney shape. The yellow half cores are sold as split Mung Bean (green) peas.

4. Where to find it.

It is a common drink (costing 40000VND =$2.00US in 2017) in Vietnam (in Saigon). In Australia, it cost $4.00AUD.

Outside Vietnam, you may expect it to cost about $3.00US.

References.

[1]. Mung Beans as grains for self-reliance, https://wordpress.com/post/survivaltricks.wordpress.com/4998

[2]. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saccharin

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Herbal noodle soup of stewed fried duck / Mi vit tiem, posted 2017/11/23

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