Some of us are enchanted by the full moon that comes around once every 28 days. And the sight of it coming up over the horizon is so special.
By the way, see how many of your family or friends understand why the moon goes through its phases. Or how many even realise that the moon rises about an hour later than it did the previous day, or that it is “up there” in the daytime just as much as it is at night? [The answer does not include reference to clouds, nor to eclipses.]
Well, if you work for NASA, or have a little spare money, you can go to where the moon is always a full moon …… and you will see this amazing sight:
An image of the moon, captured by NASA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory as the moon passed between it and Earth. Taken on 15 August, 2015.
In this photo, the side of the moon that we never see from Earth (the “dark side”) is illuminated by the sun.
Are there still people who believe that the Earth is flat!?
What does this have to do with Croatia? Hmmmm …… I was so impressed with this photo that I forgot about that. Let me think …… Oh yes ….
Quiz: The North Pole is near the upper left of the globe in the image. So, is Croatia on the side of the earth that we can see in the picture? Would we be able to see Croatia if there were no clouds, and no moon, in the way? Is this a lunar eclipse of Coatia?
Yes, I admit that the inclusion of this blog is just a little artificial. But I hope that you too found it impressive?
Click here to go to Aha! Croatian: A ROAD MAP
These posts are not just about learning Croatian. Sometimes we might delve into culture, or botany or astronomy, or history, or philosophy, or chemistry, or sport, or even meteorology ….
On 25 May 2019, the newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija published an interesting article, in relation to Šibensko-Kninska županija (Šibenik-Knin county), with the following headline:
Severe weather in the county hinterland. Strong rain and hail hits the Drniš region. In one day, twice as much rain fell as the monthly average. Postponed final match of the county football cup also.
Wow! In late May!? And some details from the article:
“…….. u Drnišu je do 17 sati palo ekstremnih 185 litara kiše po kvadratnom metru. ……… Prema službenim podacima DHMZ-a, u Drnišu u svibnju prosječno padne 77,8 litara kiše po kvadratnom metru ….”
In Drniš up until 5 pm an extraordinary 185 litres of rain fell per square metre. .... According to official data of the DHMZ, the average May rainfall in Drniš is 77.8 litres per square metre.
[DHMZ is Državni Hidrometeorološki Zavod: the State Hydrometerological Institute]
Obviously, they had a lot of rain that day in Drniš! But how much? I have no sense of how much rain is 185 litres per square metre.
What are these units of measurement litres per square metre? Is this the way that rainfall is measured right across Europe, or is this peculiar to Croatia?
In Australia, the unit of measurement of rainfall is millimetres (mm). For example, "Yesterday Perth received 50 mm of rain".
How does a measurement in one of these systems compare with a measurement in the other? I have no feel for how much rain fell that day in Drniš - 185 L/square metre. If the same amount of rain fell in Perth, what reading would be reported (in mm), I wonder?
Stop reading now! What follows is mathematics, and has no relationship to learning Croatian.
I need to visualise what measurements in these two systems mean.
Let’s start with the Australian way. What is meant by a rainfall reading of 50 mm? Well, if we put any vertical-sided container (like a rain gauge) on the ground – no matter what area or shape is the bottom of the container - the rain collected in it would come up to a height of 50 mm.
Both containers (or any other container with vertical sides) fill with water up to a level of 50 mm.
And in the Croatian system, if we had a vertical-sided container, and the area of the bottom is 1 square metre, the reported rainfall is the volume of rain collected in that container.
If the volume of water is 185 L, the rainfall reading is reported as 185 L per square metre (185 litara po kvadratnom metru). It is a measure of the volume of rain that falls on each square metre of ground.
Cometh the reconciliation ……. [It’s not too late to turn back!]
Suppose that the vessel with a base of 1 m x 1 m received enough rain to fill with water up to a level of 50 mm.
In the Oz system, we would say that we have had 50 mm rainfall.
And the reading in the Croatian system of units? What is the volume of water collected?
Converting all measurements into centimetres, and knowing that 1 L = 1000 cubic centimetres ….
Wow! 50 mm rainfall is the same as 50 litara po kvadratnom metru!!!!!!!!
So I don’t have to do conversions between units at all. Bewdy!
Quiz 1: The rainfall yesterday in Split was reported to be 103 litra po kvadratnom metru. What was the rainfall expressed in units of mm?
A. 301 mm
C. 103 mm
D. Who cares? Only Aussies would use such a system of measurement
Quiz 2: What is a kišomjer?
I am going to change the name of this blog to Aha! Meteorolgy and mathematics.
I have been a little loose in my language in this post by referring to “rainfall”, when it should be “precipitation” (oborina) – the total of rain, snow, hail, dew and frost (kiša, snijeg, tuča, rosa i mraz). This is because in Perth, esentially the only precipitation that happens is rain. What colour is snow? Is it solid, liquid or gas?
It seems that in Croatia “hail” can be referred to as grad, krupa or tuča. I suppose each of them predominantly in different regions?
There is a mysterious thing about the conjugation of verbs like vidjeti (to see), voljeti (to like), and letjeti (to fly).
I refer to the form of the verb in the past tense, masculine singular. But first of all some other conjugations ……… Let’s use vidjeti as an example.
She saw him Ona ga je vidjela
The child saw him Dijete ga je vidjelo
We (males, or mixed) saw him Mi smo ga vidjeli
They (all females) saw him One su ga vidjele
The children saw him Djeca su ga vidjela
So it is not so surprising that a novice learning Croatian might say “On ga je vidjeo”.
But no …. it’s “On ga je vidio”!
I wonder why the ‘j’ has gone missing?
And the same construction applies in the cases of the verbs voljeti, poludjeti, and letjeti.
“Ona ga je voljela” but “On ga je volio”.
"One su poludjele" but "On je poludio"
“Oni su letjeli u London” but “On je letio u London”.
I'm sure that you can think of others?
Forever a mystery! But, as usual, accept it and get on with it, Bob.
Osvojiti - Finished (perfective) verb, meaning:
(Wiktionary): to conquer (by war), to win (medal or place in a competition).
(Bujas dictionary): to conquer, to capture, to take, to carry, to seize, to secure, to overrun, to subjugate.
Also to mean, like šarmirati, to captivate, or to charm, or to win over (somebody).
The continuous (imperfective) form of the verb is osvajati, and the gerund noun (conquering) is osvajanje.
The related noun osvajač is conqueror.
Examples of use ....
One su osvojile sve medalje. = They (the girls) won all of the medals ( a clean sweep).
Ja sam osvojio treće mjesto. = I won third place.
Marsovci će osvojiti Zemlju. = Martians will conquer Earth.
Another way of saying "to conquer" is "to take for yourself", or "to take as one's own".
The Croatian word for "one's own" is svoj.
Interesting word-building, isn't it?
It seems that Perth traffic authorities have accepted Croatian as an alternative language for car identification plates. Here's proof ....
What a pity that they don’t have enough of the numeral 2 to print the number 12! 1DVA, indeed!
Imagine when they come to number 2222. DVA DVA DVA DVA
And if they had run out of the numeral 1, instead of the numeral 2, I guess we would have the plate JEDAN2?
And if they have run out of some other numerals as well …. ČETIRI DEVET 8 SEDAM
We'll have to start making our cars wider!
Anyway, I wonder why they have taken on Croatian as an official language, instead of Italian, Vietnamese, or Latin?