The Astronomical Clock at Hampton Court Palace

At over 3m in diameter, it is an imposing sight, set in the clock tower that overlooks the inner courtyard. It was installed in 1540 (although there were earlier clocks at the palace) and, as well as telling the hour, the day and the month, it shows the phases of the moon and its age in the month, the signs of the zodiac, the movement of the sun (according to pre-Copernican theory), and, most usefully for the members of the court, who usually travelled by barge, the time of high tide at London Bridge. This latter piece of information was necessary, as the unembanked Thames was strongly tidal, and the rapids that appeared at low tide around the bridge were dangerous.

The rim of the clock is marked into 24 hour segments, labelled I – XII twice over. The additional information is shown by three concentric copper dials, which rotate at different speeds, using a gearing system. The central dial rotates once per lunar month, and shows the time when the moon crosses the meridian each day – from which the tide can be read. The middle dial, rotating annually shows the age of the moon and the outer dial (2.5m wide) which also rotates once a year shows days, months and the zodiac. The original clock also had three copper bells.

Hampton Court Palace-Clock
Hampton Court Palace-Clock court-Astronomical Clock


Cooking mussels by covering them in a big pile of pine needles and setting it on fire.  Cool method!  Supposed to “adds to their brininess the fragrance of the forest floor”.

I dunno.  Not a fan of pine flavor.  Or forest floors.  And am a big fan of the juice from mussels, which is totally lost.  But it’s cool anyway.

BTW: they never show them actually picking them up and eating them. That part will remain a mystery

Slow Cooker Mac n Cheese

Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese

Milk, canned milk, butter and macaroni go in a crockpot.  Cook on low for 1.5-2 hours



1lb(16oz) elbow macaroni
2 cups whole milk
1 (12oz) can evaporated milk
½ tsp salt or more to taste
2 Tbsp butter
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1. Add evaporated milk, milk, macaroni, salt, butter and cheese into a large slow cooker. Mix

 2. Cook on the lowest setting for about 1 ½­2 hours.
 3. Cook until the pasta is al dente. Stir after 30 minutes and check the macaroni after 1 ¼ hours.

Perfect Bran Flake Banana Muffins

Using Butter!

1 c. flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 c. Bran Flakes cereal
2/3 c. milk
2/3 c. mashed fully ripe bananas
2 eggs
1/4 c. melted butter
1/2 c. raisins
Stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and spices. Set aside. Stir together Bran Flakes, milk and bananas in mixing bowl. Let stand 1-2 minutes or until cereal is softened. Beat eggs and add eggs and butter to cereal mixture. Add flour mixture, stir in raisins, stirring only until confined.Portion batter evenly into 12 greased 2 1/2 inch muffin pan cups or use paper fillers. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until lightly brown. Yield 12 muffins.

Coconut Almond Bars


  • 7 ounces sweetened condensed milk (half a standard 14-oz can)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 14 ounces (about 2-1/2 cups) shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup whole roasted salted almonds)
  • 1 lb chopped dark chocolate, or chocolate candy coating

first: prepare your fancy candy bar receptacle by lining a 9×13-inch pan with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, the vanilla, and the salt. Stir them together until they’re well-mixed.

Next add the powdered sugar to the bowl with condensed milk, and stir it in.


Add all the coconut at once and mix it with the condensed milk until there are no dry patches remaining.

Your final coconut mixture should be sticky but fairly stiff. If it’s runny add a bit more coconut, and if it’s very dry, add a bit more condensed milk. Coconut can have different moisture levels depending on its age and how it was stored, so there’s some trial and error involved in getting a texture you love.


Scrape the coconut into the prepared pan. Wet your palms and press the coconut into a thin, even layer. You can control how thick you want the coconut layer to be. I prefer my coconut to be about 1/2-inch thick, so I don’t cover the entire pan–I use about 3/4 of it and leave the rest of the pan empty.

Use a knife or a pizza wheel to lightly mark the top of the coconut into bars. This is optional, but it keeps your candy bars the same size and helps immensely in almond placement.


Take your roasted almonds and press them into the sticky coconut top. Once all the almonds are placed, refrigerate your pan to firm up the coconut, for about an hour.

Once the coconut is firm enough to cut, take it out of the refrigerator. Lift the candy from the pan using the foil as handles. Use a large sharp knife to cut your bars along the lines you marked earlier.


Place your chopped chocolate or candy coating in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave it in 30-second increments. Stir it after every 30 seconds so that it doesn’t overheat.

When it’s melted and smooth, use forks or dipping tools to dunk each candy bar in the chocolate, then tap it against the lip of the bowl to remove any excess chocolate. Place the bars on a foil-lined baking sheet to set while you dip the rest. Refrigerate the tray to set the chocolate, for about 10 minutes.


Radio hosts jolted by LePage’s story of domestic violence – The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

— And people still say there is no rape in marriage. I ask anyone who believes that: did she willingly have 18 children with a raging maniac? Did she consent to sex with her husband?

Since he beat her straight through 18 pregnancies, what would the conception incidents be like?

While Saindon couldn’t say whether the stillbirth was caused by a beating, it’s clear that Teresa LePage was the target of regular abuse from her husband. The governor of Maine left home at 11, brutalized by his father. He was the oldest of 18 children.

“He beat (my mother) through all her pregnancies, when she was pregnant with all of us,” Saindon said. “That’s how mean he was. He was nasty.”

While discussing the case of suspended NFL running back Ray Rice, LePage says his father caused the death of an unborn sibling by kicking his mother when she was pregnant.

Source: Radio hosts jolted by LePage’s story of domestic violence – The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Huckabee / Duggar Preacher in Sex Abuse Scandal

Arkansas prison chaplain Kenneth L. Dewitt was charged last week with 50 counts of third-degree sexual assault for allegedly pressuring three inmates at a women’s state prison into providing him sexual favors.

Dewitt based his prison classes on the teachings of Bill Gothard, an influential evangelical minister who is also accused of sexually harassing as many as 30 women under his influence. Gothard has deep ties to former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who opened prisons to his teachings, and the Duggar family, who sent their son Josh to be counseled under a Gothard program after he molested two of his sisters.


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