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In many religions the god or divine order is represented by objects, which may be regarded simply as the god’s material form on earth or may be totally identified with the god and endowed with divine powers. In pre-Hellenistic Egypt the god was believed to be present in any man-made representation, and elsewhere the statue frequently was believed to contain the god.

Statues of human or animal figures are the most explicit of the objects representing the divine order. In most iconic (image-using) religions the gods are generally anthropomorphic, half human, half animal (as in Egypt and India) or often entirely animal. In many cases the statues conform to an ideal physical type that is symbolic and conventional. The formulation of the ideal is governed by precise aesthetic and iconometric (ritual image proportion) rules, as well as by iconographic (image-representation) requirements, as in Egypt, Greece, and India. All such standards and requirements guarantee conformity to the divine model and, therefore, the effective presence of the god within the statue. Typical in this regard are the sculptured animals of the Hindu pantheon, such as elephants, lions, horses, bulls, and birds, which—erected at sacred places in India and other Hindu-influenced countries—serve as ever-ready sacred mounts ( vahana ) for the journeys of the corresponding gods.

The masks representing beneficent and maleficent sacred or holy forces in religious dances—particularly in Buddhist monasteries of Nepal, Tibet, and Japan and in many other societies—constitute another category of sacred representational objects. They are usually worshipped just as statues are worshipped.

Certain customs incorporating representational figures have been widespread since prehistoric times and appear to be more related to magic than to religion. One example of this type of practice is the incorporation of a skull in an anthropomorphic statue in order to emphasize its divine, sacred, or magical character. To some extent, a similar use appears in Christian churches in the veneration of relics .

In all civilizations, plants and trees have been viewed as sacred. Generally, the tree is either a god’s habitat or the god itself and is worshipped. Such was the case, for example, in early Indian Buddhism. Trees may also be associated with the divine order because of some incident and subsequently venerated, as was the bodhi tree , under which the Buddha received his Enlightenment. Fences or even open-air temples, the form adopted for the early Bodh Gaya Buddhist temples, are built around such trees. Innumerable cases of sacred or divine trees and their painted or sculpted representations are found throughout written religious tradition and in the ethnological data. The branches of trees such as the palm, olive, and laurel are often associated with the gods; such branches may crown the god or be included among divine attributes. Many are used in worship, as are the branches of the bilva (wood-apple tree) among the adepts of Shiva, and the tulasi (basil), symbol of Lakshmi (Hindu goddess of prosperity and Vishnu ’s wife) and sacred plant of the Vaishnavites.

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NASA’s Superb Theewaterskloof Dam Time-Lapse Shows Remarkable Recovery [Videos]

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It’s been rather fair-weathered these past few weeks, but late June / early July saw some serious Netflix and chill downpours.

The City of Cape Town might be talking about doing away with the 50 litres per day restrictions, but experts have made it clear that the Western Cape is nowhere close to out of the woods .

experts have made it clear that the Western Cape is nowhere close to out of the woods

That being said, the rise and rise of the Theewaterskloof Dam levels have been heartening to watch, and you’ve probably seen a fair few videos and time-lapses of how things have improved.

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, but this time around the news is far better.

Their graphics from back in February painted a very worrying picture

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shared NASA’s effort, so let’s get stuck in:

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I have faith in your ability to apply basic logic, so I won’t explain the light blue / dark blue mapping.

Here’s another aerial time-lapse that maps out the past nine or so months:

If you prefer to have your feet planted, this video from Cape Town Live, posted on July 4, is worth a watch:

Makes such a pleasant change from those barren, desert-like images we all saw during the height of the Day Zero panic.

Just remember that 50 litres a day ismanageable, and if we’ve become accustomed to using the prescribed amount, why change now?

[source: southafrican ]

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The mission's greatest discovery came when Schmitt exclaimed that he had found orange regolith, or moon soil. Cernan joked in his autobiography that he feared his crewmate had "overdosed on rocks", but took a look despite his skepticism.

The regolith was indeed orange. It turned out to be tiny bits of colored glass that likely came from a surface vent .

The Apollo 17 mission commander checks out the rover prior to loadup.

Just before going back into the lunar module, Cernan drove the lunar rover roughly a mile away so that the video camera could photograph the takeoff the next day. Next, he knelt and etched his daughter Tracy's initials — T D C — into the dust, according to his autobiography, "The Last Man on the Moon."

Years later, Cernan was looking at a painting done by fellow astronaut Alan Bean. It showed the Apollo 17 crew working near a massive boulder they had encountered during their mission. According to Bean's book, "Painting Apollo," Cernan said he wished he had put his daughter's name on the side of the rock. Bean, therefore, included her name on the rock in the painting, which is called "Tracy's Boulder."

As Cernan prepared to climb up the lunar ladder for the last time, he paused and spoke these words:

"As I take man's last step from the surface, back home for some time to come – but we believe not too long into the future – I'd like to just (say) what I believe history will record. That America's challenge of today has forged man's destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus–Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind. Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17."

He and his crewmates returned to Earth on Dec. 19, 1972.

Cernan recalled that he was tempted to fly on the shuttle, and he probably could have flown a couple of the early missions. But after being to the moon, he was not as inclined to do it. That's why he left the agency in 1976, he said.

"You wouldn't get me up there to do that. Once you've gone to the moon, staying home just isn't good enough."

Cernan left NASA for private business, which included starting the company The Cernan Co. for management and consulting in areas such as aerospace. While he did not fly the shuttle, he did report on it for ABC for a time. He also was chair of the board for Johnson Engineering, a company that specialized in space crew stations.

Speaking in his NASA oral interview, Cernan recalled a speech he had given in 1973 about Apollo 17's legacy. Most of his feelings on that hadn't changed three decades later, he said.

"I said, 'I've been tired of being called the end. Apollo 17 is not the end. It's just the beginning of a whole new era in the history of mankind.' Of course at that time I said, 'We're not only going to go back to the moon, we will be on our way to Mars by the turn of the century.' "

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Elizabeth Howell is a contributing writer for who is one of the few Canadian journalists to report regularly on space exploration. She is pursuing a Ph.D. part-time in aerospace sciences (University of North Dakota) after completing an M.Sc. (space studies) at the same institution. She also holds a bachelor of journalism degree from Carleton University. Besides writing, Elizabeth teaches communications at the university and community college level. To see her latest projects, follow Elizabeth on Twitter at.

It doesn't get much better than a crisp, classic pair of Chuck Taylor's. Until you monogram them, of course. It's the perfect gift for Converse lovers who may have already amassed quite the collection of lace-ups.

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A blanket scarf is the new "it" accessory for winter, and it's no wonder why.

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Pom pom game is strong this season, but it gets even stronger when that fuzzy topped beanie is also embroidered with initials.

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About halfway through the holiday season, most people are pining for their pajamas and Netflix on a Friday night. Monogrammed PJs can give you a legitimate reason to stay in and snuggle up. After all, it would be rude to not put a gift to good use.

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