Thursday, August 23, 2012

Vulcanalia, Bacchanalia, The Earth from Mars and the Flaming Volcano Cocktail

On this day in 79, the Vulcanalia feast day honoring Vulcan - the Roman god of fire, was being celebrated in Pompeii. On Vulcanalia, you would begin the day working by candlelight to recognize the importance and benefits of fire. Later in the day there would be music, dancing and bonfires into which fish were thrown in as a sacrifice to the god. I'm sure there was quite a bit of wine consumed as well, even though they were not honoring Bacchus (Bacchanalia).  Vulcan was representative of the good uses of fire such as light, cooking and wamth, as well as the destructive - forest fires, homes burning down and volcanoes - and the festival was a way of appeasing Vulcan to try to limit the destructive fires in the coming year.

The next day, on August 24th, the volcano on Mount Vesuvius would violently erupt, killing almost all the inhabitants of Pompeii.

I won't be writing about the eruption of Vesuvius tomorrow, so if you want to read more on that:

The Historical Inebriant: The Flaming Volcano

I won't list all the ingredients and the steps to make it since the first thing you need is the drink boat, which most people don't own.  As a substitute I would do any flaming shot that you like!


On this day in 1966, the Lunar Orbiter 1 would take the first ever photograph of Earth from orbit around the Moon.  It is truly amazing how far space travel has come since then.


Jack Landman's Cybercity Radio: Earth from Mars Photos - From Mars Orbit, from Mars Surface

This photo of the Earth was taken on May 8, 2003 from a camera aboard NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft as it orbiting Mars.


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