By Sue Hardacre - 5th December 2013 7:00am
The recent gathering of Tarvin Meeting Point took a look at fire, another topic in the occasional series that studies the 'elements' of the ancient world.
A brief look at the chemistry of fire — it is technically a plasma — was followed by a description of St Elmo's Fire, that mysterious, eerie glow often associated with ships.
The importance of fire in the development of early humans meant that access to more easily digested food allowed mankind to spend less time on eating and spend more time on, well, becoming more human!
Cooking by open fire remains very common in the world today, a practice that causes many health problems as well as environmental issues. A number of charities now exist to try and bring more efficient cooking techniques and better ventilated stoves to developing countries.
A brief look at the fire-worshipping Zoroastrian religion seemed to show that though they used fire extensively in their liturgy, they did not actually 'worship' it, this idea had probably been put about by detractors.
A delightful poem about the Great Fire of London in 1666 containing the line "Wee will put it out", turned out not to be a misprint, this solution was apparently suggested by the mayor as the fire spread!
But perhaps the most poignant contribution came from a member who has relatives in Australia and whose actual words, via email, described vividly the recent bush fires in Tasmania and the ever constant threat of fires that could affect that delightful and most civilized city, Sydney.
After the Christmas party, the New Year programme will commence on Jan 9th with a look at Christmas and New Year customs around the world.
Please call Sue Hardacre on 01829 741962, for any more information.
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