Christmas is the most important Christian holiday, but the origins of the festival date back to before the birth of Jesus. Both the Romans and the Germans did not let the winter solstice on 21 December pass by unnoticed. Understandably: even in modern times with its central heating and abundance of artificial light, many people get a little depressed by the short and chilly days. In earlier times, in poorly heated houses by candlelight, this part of the year must have felt even more depressing. So the moment on which the days start getting longer and we begin our long… Read More
Beauty can be found in unexpected places. And sometimes it takes a little effort to really see that beauty. It started with a somewhat peculiar action of a fellow inhabitant of my apartment complex (which I recently started referring to as the 3Develop Tower). A few weeks ago this person had used the emergency stairwell to get rid of his or her Christmas tree. A little bit late, indeed; February was well on its way. Shards Dragging Christmas trees around is usually a good way to create a mess. As a result there were branches and needles all over the stairwell.… Read More
Anecdotal evidence is no evidence at all. It’s hard to say whether or not the boring winters of the last few years are an effect of global warming. For which, by the way, there is enough real evidence; that’s what scientists (or at least 99.9% of them) agree on. Anyway, the last few winters were exceptionally mild. Especially here in the southwest of the Netherlands. On television I see people skating on natural ice in the northern province of Friesland or a beautiful blanket of snow in the eastern region of the Achterhoek. But the last time Rotterdam colored white… Read More
If in winter it wouldn’t become dark so early, it wouldn’t stay light on summer evenings that long. In that respect, things are distributed fairly across the globe: over an entire year there’s the same number of daylight hours everywhere. In a way, we are now saving light for later. But there is another reason for not being too sad about the short days. Some theory to start with This year 21 December is the shortest day. Of course, also in that day there are 24 hours but it’s the day with the least hours of daylight. A less known… Read More
For decades, I’ ve been putting a great deal of work into my Christmas cards. And sometimes into those of others. This year I made one by commission of Explore Mars, a (mostly) American non-profit organization that promotes Manned Mars exploration: The design and the text “Two Down, Mars and the Universe to go” is a reference to Neil Armstrong’s “giant leap for mankind” and the recent landing of the European spacecraft Philae on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Mars comes into view as the next big step. And after that there are a few hundred billion stars and their planets to… Read More
3Develop wishes you a merry Christmas and a great 2014!