Building on the success of the 2010 USA Science & Engineering Festival, the North American Sundial Society and Analemma Society joined nearly 1500 other activities at the Expo in Washington DC on April 28-29, 2012 presenting "Sundials, the World's Oldest Clocks". That's the old news. The new twist is that Ken Clark of NASS made it to youtube describing sundials. You can watch too:
On September 11, 2012 the Town of Cortlandt and the Villages of Buchanan and Croton-on-Hudson in New York will dedicate a giant sundial as part of a 9-11 memorial using steel salvaged from the World Trade Center site. All are welcome to the dedication.
Visitors attending the dedication of the Buchanan*Cortlandt*Croton-on-Hudson (BCC) 9-11 Remembrance Memorial are asked to assemble at 2:30 pm at the Croton Landing parking lot and walk the 1/2 mile to the memorial site for the 3 o’clock ceremony. A van will be available for those who wish to ride. For further information, please call the Project Director, Janet Mainiero at 914-271-8222.
The North American Sundial Society held its 2012 conference in Asheville NC, August 16-19. Alice Io Oglesby and Hugh Munro, local hosts and sundial enthusiasts, took NASS members on a sundial tour through Asheville and the rolling hills of western North Carolina to see the vertical dials at Sunny Point Café and the analemmatic dial of the “kitchen garden” at the Biltmore Estate. In Burnsville, NASS members saw the Quilt Block Sundial, one of over 200 colourful quilt block paintings along the North Carolina Quilt Block Trail. NASS was welcomed by the Mayor of Burnsville and had the Quilt Block sundial explained by Bob Hampton, astronomer designer and Martin Weaver artist. The Quilt Block Sundial in Burnsville was a most impressive example of teamwork and community support. Travelling further, Brian Leonard showed the armillary sundial he fabricated and installed in Marshall, NC.
The NASS conference included exciting talks on a colourful “Parallel Time East West Sundial” presented by new NASS member Peggy Gunnerson and shadow alignments at Toshogu Shrine by Barry Duell of the Tokyo International University. Frank King talked about a most unusual circular analemmatic dial he designed for the Metropolitana of Naples (an Italian job). Dr. King was also this year’s recipient of the Sawyer Dialing Prize. Roger Bailey discussed dials of Mallorca and the “Box of Sapphires”, a compendium designed by Ibn al-Shatir in the 14th century. Fred Sawyer gave a most interesting talk on “Projected Refraction Sundials with Ambigram”, and at the NASS dinner on Saturday, he distributed a special gift to NASS participants: a location specific projected refraction sundial with the ambigram showing “CARPE” on the dial and “DIEM” in the projected shadow. Other speakers with interesting presentations included Alice Io Oglesby, Bill Gottesman, Dudley Warner and Ken Clark. Next year’s conference is being planned for Boston.
Photos shown: (Top) NASS conference participants underneath Bob Hampton's Quilt Block Dial; (Bottom Left) NASS members examine Alice Oglesby and Hugh Munro's vertical dial at Sunny Point Cafe; and (Bottom Right) Bob Hampton's Equatorial Dial made from a bent yardstick.
With the successful landing of the NASA rover Curiosity, another sundial is on planet Mars. Turning the color calibration target into a sundial was the idea of Bill Nye, the Science Guy, and Professor Woodruff Sullivan at the University of Washington, originally hailed by “Two Worlds – One Sun”
A new sundial project called “Meantime in Greenwich” opened on “Dingle Day” August 6th in Sir Sandford Fleming Park (affectionately known as “Dingle Park”) located in the Halifax Regional Municipality of Nova Scotia. Media artist David Clark created a series of 24 horizontal sundials that surround the Memorial (Dingle) Tower, a site that once had been Fleming's summer home. Visitors to the public exhibit can download a free app onto their phone or iPad and hear an audio story when they approach each sundial. For iPhone users, aiming its camera at the sundial triggers a 3D object to appear on the screen. As Clark describes it, “Each sundial becomes a pedestal for virtual reality. Everybody becomes their own cinema.”
At 3pm on August 15th Roger Bailey of the North American Sundial Society will hold a public lecture on the historic Ibn al-Shatir sundial at the Great Falls Library in VA. The Analemma Society proposes to recreate the dial’s design, adapted for the latitude of Observatory Park, The Turner Farm, in Great Falls, VA.
Hopefully this will be the second major dial at Observatory Park maintained by the Analemma Society in conjunction with the Fairfax County Park Authority. The first dial was a commemorative dial designed and built by Tony Moss for the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, VA.
“High on the minaret of the Great Mosque in Damascus is a remarkable sundial created by Ibn al-Shatir in 1371. Through the 10th to 14th centuries the science of astronomy, timekeeping and sundials had advanced in major Moslem centres like Cairo and Damascus. Based on the developing science of timekeeping, Ibn al-Shatir designed a unique instrument that was a breakthrough…The sundial features equal hours rather than the previous system of dividing the day into 12 hours regardless of the seasonal changes.”
Update: On Saturday July 22nd, less than two weeks after the Henry Moore sundial was stolen, it was recovered by detectives after receiving tips from the British Crimewatch television series. Three young men, all from Essex, have been arrested on suspicion of two counts of theft and are currently in police custody.
[photo courtesy of the Jamestown Rediscovery Archaeology Project]
At historic Jamestown, Virginia, the first successful English colony in the New World, a rare 17th century ivory sundial was found during recent excavations. You can read about it in Popular Archaeology June-2012
A small ivory diptych sundial was discovered during the Jamestown Rediscovery Archaeological Project dig of soil where a cellar stood as part of the early James Fort. The pocket dial was crafted by Hans Miler, most probably of Nuremberg, Germany. You can see a similar Nuremberg Diptych Sundial from Metropolitan Museum of Art made by Hans Troschel the Elder. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/03.21.38