Wednesday, 2 May 2012

asterisms and poo bags

This evening I watched the first episode of Randling. In one segment, contestants were asked to make up a word for a concept that lacks a name in English. I enjoyed hearing their suggestions, some silly, some beautifully apt - especially the segment about the look on the face of someone who finds herself in public without a poo-bag when her dog has just defecated. In my opinion, you could tell which contestants were dog owners (as I am).

On the other hand, sometimes I think there is no word in English for a concept, and I find I'm mistaken. I didn't know English had a word to describe a pattern of stars that is not a constellation - asterism. I came across the word from a link on Coyote Prime's blog.

This is going to be a useful word to me, because here in the Southern Hemisphere we tend to notice a part of Orion that looks like a pot. Now I'll be able to call it an asterism.

Here's a blog entry by a visitor from the Northern Hemisphere:
The New Zealanders see an asterism in Orion called the "Iron Pot" where Orion's "sword" is the pot's handle and the stars of Orion's Belt are three burners under the pot. It really does look like that from that perspective. Also, the brightest star Sirius is at Orion's upper right instead of the lower left as we see here in Cleveland.


Anonymous said...

Hi Mary, It is interesting to see what other people call things. My family has always called it The Saucepan

parlance said...

Now that you mention it, I think maybe we used to call it The Saucepan. I can't quite remember. I might have been influenced by that quote about New Zealanders into thinking we also called it The Pot.