Have you ever owned a galalelo thermometer? It’s a neat piece of artwork. Even cooler by how the properties of mass and volume contribute to this artwork.
Reading a Galileo Thermometer
Each sphere has a temperature indicating medallion. Depending on the actions of the spheres, the temperature is read in a number of ways. If there is a sphere or globe floating mid way, the medallion says the temperature. If you have a group of spheres at the top and a group of spheres at the bottom, you take the lowest one on the top (say 72) and the highest one on the bottom (say 76), the temperature is the average of the two. Or add the two together (148) and divide by 2 equals 74. If all spheres are floating, the temperature is below the lowest sphere. If all the spheres are at the bottom, the temperature is above 84. And some are read by the lowest floating sphere. Normally, it is the lowest medallion at the top.
Have you ever heard about the history of the wine bottle tree? Some will tell you about pagan superstition while others will mention artsy fartsy. The Greeks and Romans thought that sneezes were bad spirits being expelled. When someone sneezed, nearby people would snap their fingers to keep the spirit out of their own bodies, and say “Jupiter preserve you” to keep the spirit from reentering the sneezer. Superstitious crapalicious. Facts or not, we put up our tree to enjoy the beauty of the color of blue all season long.
Funny as it is, anyone saying “God bless you” are really performing an ancient pagan superstitious ritual.
On to the spirit of the bottle. The spirit story came from Africa and up into eastern Europe, and eventually imported into the Americas by African slaves – and Germans, Irish, and other superstitious folk who among other things put hex symbols on barns and celebrated May Day and Halloween. Europeans brought “witch balls” and “gazing balls” to repel witches. Supposedly, when the sun sets and the light shines on the bottles, the spirits (evil demons that is) are drawn to the reflection and upon sunset enter through the opening of the neck. As the dawn approaches, the spirits are now tipsy from cleaning out the insides and as the sun rises and hits the bottles, the demons are cooked because they can’t figure how to escape. (Makes a good campfire story with some imagination and blowing into the bottle)
But today my bottle tree is mostly used as conversation piece and garden ornament that glistens in the sun, and the use of the colorful glass garden art is on the rise. Try finding just blue bottles is becoming a challenge though. Anyway, have fun with your own wine bottle tree.
Going to see how well I can accomplish this by taking a photo of each day in 2013 and see where this leads me. Shall I focus on a theme (clouds, birds, plants, hobbies) or just something out of the ordinary that catches my eye.