winter solstice: ancient timekeeper for darkest day

Useful medieval gadget for calculating the winter solstice, dated 1396; ‘Brought to Light Having Spent Over 20 Years in a Shed in Queensland, Australia’… Went to auction last week, ‘Extraordinarily Rare 14th Century Time-Telling Instrument, Marked with Badge of Richard II, to Sell at Bonhams’… actually, no deal on the rare 14thC timepiece, so save your pennies for next time …!

Astrolabe quadrants are amongst the most sophisticated instruments ever made before the invention of the modern computer. They combine the mathematical and astronomical features of an astrolabe with a much smaller size.

Found at Sydney Morning Herald via here

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shop news: busy bees at work …!

Busy bees at work here at Tinder …!

{&, we’re hoping the hardy honeybees of Newfoundland enjoy a lovely spring & summer; photos via Tinder’s superb *Wildflower Honey suppliers in Newfoundland!}

*5% of profits from this purchase are donated to the ‘Save Our Bees’ campaign of the Canadian Honey Council!

shop news: temporary ship/shop operations {ii} …!

Tinder’s small selection of goods currently available for shopping/shipping during our temporary overseas operations …!

… These goods are now available in the UK! {shipping via Royal Mail – just shoot us an email for rates!}

… And, these goods are now shipping to Canada & the USA too! {via the UK; Canadian postal rates remain as published; USA custom postal rates apply – just shoot us an email!}

… Next up … Tide Clocks, Star Kits, etc … watch this space …!

Thanks for visiting!

cosmic coincidence: winter solstice lunar eclipse …!

Astrophoto of the Total Lunar Eclipse of Dec 2010, via Blackholes & Astrostuff, Saskatchewan, Canada …

Only once before in the past 2000 years … let’s hope for clear skies … it’s another very long wait until the next one …!

Venus, Jupiter & many First Magnitude stars & constellations such as Orion, etc, also brightly visible, surrounding the Full Cold Moon … sublime!

shop news: inuit wildcrafted tea … flora borealis

arctic flowers 1959-62 Cowley avataq

inuit tea harvest avataq

inuit tea via kanata

Arctic wildflowers, Inuit tea harvest, & Inuit wildcrafted teas; all photographs via Avataq Cultural Institute

*Teas, front to back: Labrador Tea, Crowberry, Arctic Tea, Juniper, Cloudberry …

Cloudberries, just one berry per plant, and so costly that they can trigger wars among the usually calm Scandinavians: cloudberries are “so valued in northern Scandinavia where Finland, Sweden, and Norway meet; the cloudberry has long been the cause of “cloudberry wars”. These otherwise peace-loving countries have been known to become quite territorial when it comes time to harvest this berry, causing the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs to develop a special section just for cloudberry diplomacy.”

{Alan Davidson. 1999. The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford: Oxford University Press}

Cloudberries, Crowberries … evocative, Arctic botanical infusions … in the shop … winter hibernation preparations underway …!

*All profits are given to Avataq Cultural Institute, a non profit charitable organization that protects & promotes the language & culture of Nunavik Inuit

shop news: sneak peek … inuit wildcrafted tea

inuit tea

Cloudberry tea, anyone …?

Wildcrafted traditional tundra teas … Coming soon …!

‘Inuit tea time’ archive photo via Avataq Cultural Institute

scotland dispatch: a good yarn …

Pringle of Scotland’s ‘Life Behind the Scenes’; witty, quirky short film by Glasgow based artist David Shrigley for the 195 year old esteemed Scottish wool brand … spotted via the archives of the lovely All Things Considered
While leading a nomadic life here in Scotland {temporarily}, this seemed a suitable follow-up to MacAusland’s beautiful blankets, and in particular, this week’s high profile ‘Wool Week’ campaign in Britain, sparked by the ever savvy bonnie Prince Charlie … so, Canada, … where’s our national wool campaign …?
Well, let’s start with the Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers Ltd, est. 1918, and dig a little … did you know we export 90% of our wool …? So it seems to be a rare commodity … we’re small fry, but we’ve got a niche product … though it’s a bit of a shame we can see, or enjoy, very little of it at home …!