[photo credit: Andrew Caswell and
Robert Cockburn of The Daily Telegraph ]
Ask a person what is the earliest evidence of humans building structures to mark significant celestial events, and one offer "Stonehenge". But there may be a structure built thousands of years early according to some experts in Australia.
A site "down under", name Wurdi Youang, estimated to be older than 10,000 years, has a strange arrangement of stones with alignments toward solstices and equinox that has been scrutinized by several eminent Australian scientists. They conclude that the placement and alignment of the stones is not an accident and there is a perfect alignment with the setting sun on the mid-summer day. Understandably, the exact location of the site is a well-guarded secret, but it is known to be west of Melbourne approximately 80 kilometers.
Primarily an industrial designer, Kota Nezu has designed a parasol for people who use their umbrellas for shade as well as staying dry.
With just a little bit of effort, Nezu's dial can be used to tell the approximate time of day and season of the year. The parasol comes equipped with a small compass to aid in lining things up. And even though a true sundial aficionado might point out that a proper dial has to be designed for a specific latitude, this handly umbrella is sure to be a conversation starter come rain or shine.
The Recreation Center Sun City (RCSC) Board of Directors has decided to repair the sundial monument at the corner of 103rd Avenue and Boswell Boulevard [in Sun City, Arizona].
At this time, it is impossible to know an exact repair cost until further inspection can be made below the surface. We do know that the three steel supports at the foundation must be repaired to restore the steel supports’ structural capacity to ensure further deterioration does not occur.
Gino and Judith Schiavone, members of the North American Sundial Society, are winners of the City of Bowie sundial contest to build and install a dial in front of the New City Hall under now construction. The value of the project is $90,000. Completion is expected in Oct 2010.
Gino Schiavone: After studying Liberal Arts at Loyola University and Fine Arts at Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles I began a career of what I called “making wonderful things.” Some thirty years ago I happened upon some books about sundials at a library. This happy accident changed my life. These books introduced me to the wide range of sundials and methods for their design. I was enthralled and inspired; I was in love. I decided to make fine sundials and embarked on a new course of study.
NASS and the Analemma Society, inspired by the success of the 2010 USA Science and Engineering Festival, are registering for the Festival on the Washington D.C. Mall. The event, supported by volunteers from both NASS and the Analemma Society is scheduled for the Spring of 2012.
NASS and the Analemma Society will have a booth to teach families and children how to make sundials and read sundial time with the theme: Sundials, the Worlds Oldest Clocks.
We expect the return of many of the sundialist volunteers that supported the 2010 Festival. For the coming year, we expect to improve our educational goals beyond the popular “Great Sundial Cutout.” What else is in store? Stay tuned as we formulate our educational material. Have and idea? Please send an email toRobert Kellogg
For more information on all Festival events and how you can get involved, visit www.usasciencefestival.org.