August 13

Amber pages:

Strange day, today, for this blogger anyway:

William Caxton, the first English printer, was born today in 
1422; but what matters is what he printed, and for that I already have a piece on March 8.

The death, today in 1881, of Edward John Trelawney, English traveller and author, the man who should have been steering Shelley's boat but alas he forgot his license, the man who put his hand into the fire of cremation and took out what probably was not Shelley's heart, the man who went with Byron to Missolonghi, and abandoned him there, the man who... but I have written about this negligible nobody in my life of Byron, "A Small Drop of Ink", and in my travel piece "Running Wild in Charleston" in "Travels In Familiar Lands", so no need for a piece about him here.

Then what about Fidel Castro, Cuban leader, born today in 1927? But I already have pieces about the 1959 revolution (here), and his Presidency (here), and he crops up so often on so many pages.

And then, today in 1961, the Soviets began building the Berlin Wall... but the date that interests me is November 9, 1989, the day the Wall was sledgehammered into oblivion, and the charlies at the checkpoint free to make their own ways through (still just amber on that page; in the interim, click here)

Which leaves: major headline, today in 1831: "Blue sun observed throughout the South" - of the USA I presume; by somebody hallucinating, I presume; or a good prank-story for a slow news-day; or maybe 
YHVH providing a tour-guide in the Mosaic desert, or maybe ...

   ... or maybe it's actually, genuinely, a scientific phenomenon that occurs, quite often indeed. Volcanic dust, or it could be the smoke from forest fires, sometimes the sand of a desert storm, or just dense industrial pollution, that density scattering out the longer wavelengths of visible light, making the sun appear blue (actually it's exactly the same phenomenon that makes the sky appear blue, but in this case it depends on the size of the dust particles).

Which leaves only one item on this page that is even likely to be taken out of amber, into green. And when will that happen? When the moon does what the sun did, and turns blue.

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