darkoshi: (Default)
[personal profile] darkoshi
When I have something to add in regards to a post I've made previously (a few hours ago, or a few days, or even months), I'm not sure what's the best approach.

Often I simply update the old post, adding an "Update" section to it. That way if anyone finds the post from a websearch, they'll have all the details right there.

Sometimes I create a new post, and put my update there. That way, anyone on my list who read my original post will get the update on their reading page. I don't usually bother to update the old post to link to the new one... so unfortunately, anyone who finds the original post via a search won't get the whole story.

If the post was either very recent (such that maybe no one else read it yet), or a long time ago, I'm more likely to simply update the original post. If it was in-between but had no comments, I'm also likely to take this approach, as I suppose that none of my readers are very interested in the topic and wouldn't be interested in the update anyway.

If the post had comments/discussion, I may choose either option, but if I update the old post, I am more likely to at least mention and link to the update in a new post.

I've been making a lot of updates to recent posts lately.

What approach do the rest of you take?

photos

Aug. 19th, 2017 03:53 am
darkoshi: (Default)
[personal profile] darkoshi
Three vultures and a crow in a dead tree. The crow seemed to be cawing at the vultures.


Impressive power lines.


I call this the "yellow brick road". Yellow flowers grow in this gravel path, and only in the path, not in the surrounding fields of grass.

midday moon pondering (updated)

Aug. 19th, 2017 01:49 am
darkoshi: (Default)
[personal profile] darkoshi
For the last 3 days, I've seen the crescent moon in the sky during the late morning.

2017/08/16, 10:16am EDT:


2017/08/17, 8:43am EDT:


(On 2017/08/18, I saw the moon around 10:30am, but didn't think of taking a photo.)

But I have been unable to find the moon in the sky around 2:30pm (during my lunch breaks). I've been wondering why I can't find it in the afternoon.

(No wonder I've never paid much attention to the path of the moon in the sky. At night, I'm usually inside or asleep. In the daytime, even when the moon is in the sky, it's hard to see.)

On all 3 days, it's been partly cloudy, with today being the least cloudy. So it's possible the moon was behind a cloud. But as much as I've searched the sky, it seems unlikely it's *always* been behind a cloud.


As of today (2017/08/18) at my location, per the NOAA solar calculator (Find Sunrise, Sunset, Solar Noon and Solar Position for Any Place on Earth), solar noon is around 1:30pm. So at 2:30pm, the sun is still fairly high overhead.

On 8/16, it was 5 days before new moon and the eclipse, so the moon would have been about 5 * 13 = 65 degrees away from the sun. So that was most likely too near the horizon for me to see, as there are some trees and buildings around.

On 8/17, the moon would have been 4 * 13 = 52 degrees away from the sun. I think I should have been able to see it at that angle.

Today on 8/18, the moon would have been 3 * 13 = 39 degrees away from the sun. Surely I should have been able to see it at that angle.

The closer we get to the new moon, the thinner the crescent is. So the harder it is to see. It is hard to find a tiny arc of white in a light blue sky, and even more so when there are distracting white clouds around. But is that the only reason I haven't found it?

Per this page: Finding the Moon, crescent moons are "not observable" except right before sunset or after dawn. But I've seen it at 10:30am which isn't right after dawn. So I think it would be more accurate to say "not easily observable".

If I can see it at 10:30am when the sun is already bright in the sky, why shouldn't I be able to see it at 2:30pm?

I got to wondering whether how I think of the angles in the sky is wrong. I am thinking of 45 degrees as being the distance from straight overhead to a point halfway to the horizon. But the 13 degrees that the moon moves per day is in relation to the center of the earth, not to my spot on the surface of the earth. Therefore, is how I'm visualizing the angles in the sky wrong?



When the moon orbits 45 degrees around the earth, is that a much greater distance than the distance I see from overhead to halfway to the horizon?

But... as can be seen in the diagram, the larger you draw the earth, the closer the 45 degrees gets to one's visible horizon, and it would eventually even pass below the horizon. Yet I've been able to see the moon in the mornings, and the distance between it and the sun hasn't seemed such a large angle. So surely the above diagram can't be right.

On the same topic, I got to wondering how much of the sky / celestial sphere am I actually capable of observing from a point on the earth, at any moment in time. Ie. if I turn all the way around, looking towards the horizon, and up above me, how much of the sphere of the sky which surrounds the earth, am I seeing?

Based on the diagram, the amount of sky seen would not be half the sphere, as I've previously assumed. Yet again, the larger one draws the earth, the less of the sky one would seem to see. Surely that can't be right?

Based on these answers, it sounds like you should be able to see half of the sky at any time. But I don't understand the formulas and calculations listed.


Update (afternoon of 2017/08/19):

Today, the morning of 8/19, around 7:40am and again at 10:20am, I wasn't able to find the moon in the sky, even though it was clear with no clouds. So as of 2 days before new moon, the crescent must be too small and faint to see in the daytime. Perhaps a clear sky being so much brighter than a partially cloudy sky, also makes it harder to see.

MoonCalc.org - shows you the current position of the moon in the sky, and moonrise/moonset directions, for any position you select on the map.

Sun Locator Lite - a free app which lets you find the sun and moon by pointing the phone at the sky (as long as the phone has an internal compass/magnetometer - mine doesn't, but Qiao's does). The Pro version lets you get information for any day and time of the year.

Today, 2 days before the eclipse, the moon should be about 2 * 13 = 26 degrees from the sun. I used the above Sun Locator app to find the position of the moon and compare it to the sun's position, and estimated the angle between them. If anything, it seemed less than 26 degrees, not more. So that indicates that there's something wrong with my thinking in terms of the above diagram. But where have I gone wrong? I still haven't figured that out.
(And even with the app to show me its exact location, I still can't see the crescent moon in the afternoon sky.)

But I did have an epiphany on how much of the sky is visible from a point on earth at a single moment in time. It depends on what I'm calling the "sky". I think of the sky as a sphere centered around the earth, upon which I see moon, sun, stars, clouds, etc. But there are many such possible spheres around the earth, different distances from the center of the earth.

How much of the sky is seen depends on which of those spheres one considers. If one considers a sphere which is say, 10 kilometers above sea level, you can calculate the surface area of that sphere. The earth's diameter is 12,742 km. So the sphere's diameter would be 12,752 km, its radius (r) would be 6376 km, and it's surface area would be 4*pi*r^2.

[ another interesting thought... For an infinitely thin sphere, the size of the inside and outside surface areas should be the same, right? But how can that be? I can't visualize them being the same size. ]

Imagine that we cut a small slice, 10 km deep, from the top of that sphere. We can then calculate the surface area of that slice (with some formula, which I would have to look up.) That would tell us how much of the whole sphere we can see at a single moment, and it would be a fairly small portion.

But now, consider a sky-sphere with a much larger radius of 5 light-years - reaching the nearest stars - or even larger. At such distances, the diameter of the earth is minute in comparison - it can be considered negligible. A plane which touches the surface of the earth at one point is practically the same as another parallel plane which intersects both the center of the earth and the sphere. Either way, half of the sphere is above the plane, and half below. So the person can see half of that sky-sphere.

Now, what about a sphere with radius of 150 million km (about the distance from the earth to the sun)? In comparison to that distance, the earth's diameter is roughly 0.01%.* So again, it's basically negligible, and we can see practically half of the sphere at any moment in time.

..

Other interesting tidbits:

How far away is the horizon? Short answer: About 4 to 5 kilometers away, at standing eye-level for an average-height adult.

I see the moon: introducing our nearest neighbour - has several good diagrams/images.
Per this page, the moon's orbital plane is tilted 5 degrees from the ecliptic. That's not as much as I imagined. But when you add in the 23.5 angle of the earth's axis, the moon can orbit up to 29 degrees above or below the earth's equator.

Lunar Orbital Libration
Libration definition: "a real or apparent oscillatory motion, especially of the moon."

Altitude and Azimuth

* A lot of these numbers are rough calculations I've done, and they may have errors. Please don't rely on any numbers I've posted, without verifying them. If you find an error, please let me know so that I can correct it.

Friday Links (take a stand edition)

Aug. 18th, 2017 10:10 am
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer

It's the third Friday in August and I'm running late on getting this week's round up of links for a variety of reasons.

I tried to assemble a post that didn't focus on the bad stuff going on, but I can't. And the reason is summed up in the graphic at the right. Horrible things happened in America: literal neo-nazis and white supremacists murdered someone, injured a bunch of others, and then our president not only failed to condemn them for days, but clearly signaled that he is one of them, and refused to disavow the KKK and Nazi leaders who were actively declaring on camera that they supported Trump and felt he supported them.

So, here are the links, sorted into categories as accurately as I could.

Links of the Week



Last week the Independent newspaper published a list titled “30 mind-expanding experiences you should have before you’re 30.” “Entitled” would have been more apt, as the list was one that was so dripping with privilege that it was impossible to take it seriously. As a (not rich) parent of a (not rich) twenty-something this list made me so cross that I thought I would write my own..

Mother Of Charlottesville Victim Heather Heyer: ‘I’m Proud Of What She Did.

Things We Saw Today: How You Can Help Charlottesville.

Some historical politicians knew how to respond to complaints from white supremecists: Letters of Note: Kiss my ass.

Science!



Dan Savage: Get ready for sex robots that look like Bigfoot.

'Not a good idea:' Why you shouldn't try driving to the eclipse Monday morning.

Science Fiction, Fantasy and Speculation!



Hugo awards 2017: NK Jemisin wins best novel for second year in a row.

Tired Puppies 2017 . “If you scratch the paint of libertarians you find frustrated authoritarianism trying to peek out...”

Ray Bradbury Reveals the True Meaning of Fahrenheit 451: It's Not About Censorship, But People "Being Turned Into Morons by TV”.

N.K. Jemisin’s ‘The Fifth Season’ To Be Developed As TV Series At TNT.

he truth in fantasy: An interview with Hugo-winning Ottawa writer Amal El-Mohtar.

During Trump's present, it's gotten hard to write the future, says John Scalzi.

Jason Sanford — Measuring the slow Hugo Award death of the rabid puppies.

Locus Online News » Worldcon News.

Fixing the Dragon Awards isn’t my problem | Camestros Felapton.

Farewells:



BLANCHE BLACKWELL, IAN FLEMING’S MISTRESS AND THE INSPIRATION FOR PUSSY GALORE, DIES AT 104.

This Week in History



The Myth of the Kindly General Lee.

Robert E. Lee opposed Confederate monuments.

This Week in Difficult to Classify



'A whole different relationship': Mayor Murray and the man who says he abused him.

Fabulous, Darling!



Texas 'bathroom bill' dies in special legislative session.

Chorus of Opposition Helps Prevent Anti-Transgender Bill .

Pantone announces new purple shade in honor of Prince .

This Week in Tech



THE EMAIL LARRY PAGE SHOULD HAVE WRITTEN TO JAMES DAMORE. “Your interpretation is wrong. Your memo was a great example of what’s called “motivated reasoning” — seeking out only the information that supports what you already believe. It was derogatory to women in our industry and elsewhere. Despite your stated support for diversity and fairness, it demonstrated profound prejudice. Your chain of reasoning had so many missing links that it hardly mattered what your argument was based on. We try to hire people who are willing to follow where the facts lead, whatever their preconceptions. In your case we clearly made a mistake.”

GoDaddy boots neo-Nazi site after a derogatory story on the Charlottesville victim.

Google cancels Neo-Nazi site registration soon after it was dumped by GoDaddy.

Discord bans servers that promote Nazi ideology.

This Week in Misinformation



‘Patently false’: Newspaper rips Idaho GOPer for defending white nationalism as ‘people who love the Constitution’.

Fox guest says LGBT rainbow flag is just as offensive as Confederate flag: They ‘represent the exact same thing’.
Excuse me? For the record, never in the history of the universe have gay people waged a bloody war in order to enslave straight people.

Burying the Lie of the “Alt-Left”.

AP FACT CHECK: Viral photo doesn't show 'antifa' beating cop.

Charlottesville and the Effort to Downplay Racism in America.

This Week in Covering the News



AP Definitive Source | How to describe extremists who rallied in Charlottesville. AP styleguide says stop calling them alt-right: 'we have taken the position that the term “alt-right” should be avoided because it is meant as a euphemism to disguise racist aims.'

Culture War and Hate Crimes



The persistent crime that connects mass shooters and terror suspects: Domestic violence.

Culture war news:



The Deadly Consequences Of Texas’ Anti-LGBT Adoption Bill.

N.C. House Votes to Protect Drivers Who Hit Protesters.

NEW TEXAS BILL WOULD MAKE RUNNING OVER PROTESTERS LEGAL.

Rauner Signs Law Removing Sex Crime Statutes of Limitation.

White Christians Who Voted for Trump: Fix This. Now.

“We Just Feel Like We Don’t Belong Here Anymore” -Think it’s hard for the white working class in rural America? Try being a person of color.

This week in the Resistance:



Rep. Pramila Jayapal Introduces Resolution To Fire White Supremacists From White House.

Johnny Cash's family tells white supremacists to get Johnny's name out their mouth.

No, Mr Trump, we're not the same as the neo-Nazis.

In Charlottesville, the Local Jewish Community Presses On.

This Week Regarding the Lying Liar:



The Trump Files: When Donald Destroyed Historic Art to Build Trump Tower.

Donald Trump has no grasp of what it means to be president.

Donald Trump Just Gave the Press Conference of the Alt-Right's Dreams | National Review.

This Week in Racists, White Nationalists, and other deplorables:



Why Did Someone Have to Get Killed Before GoDaddy Severed Ties With The Daily Stormer?

WSU College Republican President attends 'Unite The Right' rally in Charlottesville.

Man Who Marched In Charlottesville White Supremacy Rally Disowned By Family .

Man arrested by FBI agents after allegedly planning to bomb building in downtown Oklahoma City.

Charlottesville: The Truth About Women and White Supremacy.

Watch Jason Kessler, Organizer Behind Disastrous White Supremacist Rally, Get Run Out of His Own Press Conference.

Watch the Vice Documentary on the Charlottesville White Supremacy Rally.

Before Charlottesville, a String of Killings Raised the Specter of Far-Right Violence.

Videos!



John Oliver - Charlottesville:



(If embedding doesn't work, click here.)

Stephen Makes Condemning Nazis Look Easy (Because It Is):



(If embedding doesn't work, click here.)
darkoshi: (Default)
[personal profile] darkoshi
I thought of an easier way to explain why the eclipse shadow travels west to east, even though the moon travels east to west through the sky.

First, here's the general picture from the perspective of the sun, when looking down at the solar plane from above:
The earth revolves around the sun in a counter-clockwise direction, completing a full circuit about every 365 days.
The moon revolves around the earth in a counter-clockwise direction, completing a full circuit about every 28 days.
The earth rotates around its own axis in a counter-clockwise direction, completing a full turn every 24 hours.

Here's the general picture from the perspective of a spot on the earth at the equator, when looking up at the sky:
The sun revolves around the earth in an east to west direction, completing a full circuit every 24 hours.
The moon revolves around the earth in an east to west direction, completing a full circuit about every 24.5 hours (I hope I calcuated that right)

Now to explain why the solar eclipse shadow goes west to east:

Imagine you are standing on the north side of an east-west street, facing south.
The moon is a person walking on that street from east to west.
The sun is another person walking on that street from east to west, except that they are walking slightly faster than the moon, and emitting a bright light.


When the sun is still a fair bit behind the moon, the shadow that is cast from the moon due to the sun's light will point towards the west.
As the sun starts overtaking the moon, walking behind the moon compared to the observer, the shadow that is cast points towards west-northwest.
As the sun continues passing behind the moon, that shadow changes direction, towards to the northwest, then north, then northeast, then east-northeast.
So even though both the sun and moon are going east-to-west, the shadow goes west-to-east.

Maybe that is totally obvious to other people? I mean, it seems pretty obvious to myself now that I've explained it.

.

It's actually more complicated than that, of course.

The sun's path does go from east to west rather consistently, even though during the summer, the path is higher in the sky (northeast -> northwest) than during winter (southeast -> southwest).

But the moon's path is more dynamic, as it doesn't revolve in the plane of the equator. It may rise in the southeast and set in the northwest. Or it may rise in the northeast and set in the southwest. (right? I haven't ever really paid much attention to the moon's path, but I must have learned that somewhere.)

Because of that, based on the images I've seen, instead of the moon crossing the sun from right to left, during this eclipse, it will cross it from lower right towards the upper left.

So in the above example, the moon would be on a different street, at an angle to the other street, and the streets would happen to cross each other right at the point where the sun was walking behind the moon.
(although what angles the streets need to be at, and which direction the moon is going on its own street is a bit difficult for me to visualize right now.)
..

I guess it's time to create a new eclipse tag for all these entries, and to rename the eclipse tag I used on a single other post in reference to the software called "Eclipse".

Writing should be an adventure

Aug. 16th, 2017 08:38 pm
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
Some of the best stories I’ve ever written (by which I mean that I don’t cringe much when I re-read them years later) began with me trying to figure something out. I didn’t sit down at the keyboard thinking, “I’m going to write a story about a detective who left the force looking for the one who got away, and X, Y, and Z are going to happen.” Instead, I had a question I didn’t know the answer to, or an image in my head of a character in a situation and I didn’t know how they got there, or a snippet of conversation I had imagined between two characters and I was trying to figure out what they were talking about (or even who they were, sometimes)! I didn’t know what the story was, and I was writing to find it out. I wasn’t writing what I knew! ...

(The rest of this writing post is at FontFolly.Net.)
darkoshi: (Default)
[personal profile] darkoshi
The local news mentioned that the downtown population could double to a million people, from all the people coming here for the total eclipse. And that cell phone service may be affected, due to bandwidth problems from all the extra people. That's something that wouldn't have occurred to me. They advise people to text instead of calling, to save bandwidth.

.

One thing I'm curious about is whether during totality, it will be dark like during the middle of night, or only somewhat dark like when the sun has just dipped below the horizon at dusk, or if it won't even be as dark as that.

I could look it up. But that would be like watching spoilers :-)

I wonder if the street lights will come on.

I wonder how many people will be driving vehicles during totality. I wonder how many people have to work and won't even have an opportunity to go outside to look. I wonder if store employees will have to stay inside. I wonder if people are going to be shopping instead of watching it. I wonder if employees and even managers are simply going to abandon their posts for a few minutes, in order to experience this once in a lifetime event. I wonder if surgeries and doctor's appointments have been scheduled during totality. I wonder if some people just don't care about it. I wonder if some people think it's too hot to go outside just to look at the sky.

I wonder if it will be raining... :-(
As of now the forecast indicates a clear morning, then partly cloudy til 2pm, then a 50% chance of thunderstorms. Totality here is at 2:42pm.

.

This morning I looked in the sky and found the moon in the general area I expected it to be. This afternoon during my lunch break, I looked and wasn't able to find it again. I wonder if the sky is just so bright during midday that a crescent moon is very faint and hard to see. Or whether it was hiding behind one of the clouds.

.

Aaaannnnd I just noticed that I wrote "left to right" a couple times in my prior post, when I meant "right to left". As if it wasn't confusing enough without me flubbing the words too. I fixed it now.

.

Hah. I found another reason it's good I decided to work from home on Monday. At my home, totality will last 20 seconds longer than it will at my work, because my workplace is further from the center line.
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
...My dad was the kind of racist who made it easy for other people to congratulate themselves that they weren’t racist because they didn’t talk as crudely as he did. We look at guys like my him, or the people waving Nazi flags and throwing Nazi salutes in Charlottesville, Virginia this last weekend, and tell ourselves that we aren’t like that, so clearly we aren’t racist...

(The rest of this post about privilege, bigotry, and et cetera is at FontFolly.Net.)
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
[personal profile] mortonfox
One of the prizes you can get for attending a Munzee event is a virtual emerald munzee. Emerald munzees are assigned randomly to emerald gardens, which are groups of hundreds of emerald pins, usually arranged in the shape of a pin icon. Since there were a lot of events in July for Munzee's 6th birthday, new emerald gardens have been popping up all over the world. I noticed that one of those emerald gardens was in Atlantic City, so that's where I went on Saturday.



There it is. Splat, right on the beach! Hope Caesars doesn't mind. :) I also went to Brigantine to capture a nascent munzee garden. I think it's a boat but the shape is unclear now. Unfortunately, it was too rainy for a walk along the beach so I left the area after that.

A number of things happened on Sunday, but the most significant of those was I finally completed my 365-day Munzee capture and deploy streaks and got two more super streak badges! I would not say it's easy because doing anything every single day for a whole year takes some dedication, but it's more doable than a geocaching streak because of the sheer number of munzees out there and the different ways to play the game.

After hitting that milestone, I spent the rest of Sunday in Mount Laurel, Mount Holly, Willingboro, Beverly, and Cinnaminson, the area with so many munzees that even local munzers haven't gotten everything. Since I passed through the downtown part of Mount Holly, I stopped to take a look at the Shinn Curtis Log House, a log cabin that is three centuries old. Funny thing is dinner that evening was also in a 300-year-old building, so South Jersey has a lot of those historic structures.

The munzees... )

why the eclipse travels west to east

Aug. 14th, 2017 11:11 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
[personal profile] darkoshi
This morning, I started wondering why the eclipse will be seen on the west coast before it is seen on the east coast.

I know that the earth spins counter-clockwise (towards the east) when looking at it from above the north pole. And that the moon travels around the earth in the same counter-clockwise direction. And that the earth spins relatively faster. It does a complete rotation (360 degrees) in 24 hours, whereas the moon only travels 1/28th of the way around the earth (360 / 28 ~= 13 degrees) during that time.

So how can the moon's shadow travel from west to east? Isn't the earth spinning into the shadow and out of it in a clockwise west to east direction (the same as it always spins), and so the shadow should appear to move from east to west, just like the moon appears to do in the sky?

According to the answer on PhysLink.com, it has something to do with the moon's orbital velocity being greater than the earth's. But according to this orbital velocity formula, it seems that anything closer to the earth (ie. the earth's surface) would have a greater orbital velocity than something further away (ie. the moon). So that answer seems to be wrong or badly worded, maybe. Of course, if we simply consider velocity, the moon does travel a further distance through space than the earth's surface does, in the same amount of time. But what does that have to do with the eclipse? If it were a race, the earth would still win, rotating faster than the moon revolves.

Here's another page (cached, as the original eclipse2017.org page isn't responding - the website must be swamped) that tries to answer the question. Some of the commenters on that page seem to have the same confusion as I do.

Here's another page (Washington Post) that tries to explain it. Again talking about the speed of the moon compared to the earth.

Watching the various NASA visualizations didn't explain it well to me, because of how the videos keep shifting perspectives. Even in this animation, it looks like the sun must be moving from behind the viewer, to make the shadow move like that.

I think I may finally sort of understand it, but my explanation doesn't match any of the answers I read. So it's probably wrong. But... as the moon moves across the sun from right to left (as seen from the earth while facing south), it's shadow as seen from the earth changes direction. First it points towards the west, then straight, then towards the east.
And while the moon itself, from the earth's perspective, doesn't move far in the sky (and due to the earth's rotation, even appears to be going to the west*), it's shadow moves much faster... that must be why the answers keep mentioning the speed of the moon.. they must be trying to say that the speed of the moon's shadow across the face of the earth matches the moon's speed in space. I suppose that is logical, even though it isn't very intuitive to me**.

* But the sun appears to move to the west faster than the moon, so the moon does still cross the sun from right to left, even though they are both moving to the west.

So the moon's shadow moves quickly from the west to the east.

Right? Maybe? Sort of?

** Because the moon doesn't move in a straight line, but rather circles the earth. And those x-thousand miles per hour it moves up in space only correspond to y-hundred miles down on the earth... Oh jeez, now I'll start doubting my above explanation again...

Ok, thinking about it more. The shadow moves west to east like I explained above, because the moon crosses the sun from west to east. The speed of the moon through space around the earth affects the speed of the shadow, but it's not a direct x = y equation. The faster the moon moves across the face of the sun, the faster the shadow sweeps across the land from west to east. Since the shadow is sweeping through an arc (sort of), the far end of the shadow will pass a different distance during that time, depending from how far away you measure it... which for us is based on the distance between the moon and earth. So the speed of the shadow depends on that distance, and on the speed of the moon's revolution, and on the speed of the earth's rotation, and the size of the earth, etc. And it is complicated more because the moon moves in an elliptical orbit, not just straight past the sun, etc.

Now it makes sense to me. If I'm wrong, feel free to tell me which of my logic is wrong.

.

On a related topic, how long will totality last, across the U.S.? It will start on the west coast around 10:17am (1:17pm eastern time). It will end on the east coast around 2:48pm (eastern time). So for one and a half hours, the shadow will sweep across the country, from coast to coast.

Within that time period, based on the 3 to 4 hour time difference between the coasts, the earth only rotates about half the same distance.

But actually, the earth and the shadow are moving in the same direction... so if the earth weren't turning, the shadow would traverse the distance even faster.

2017/08/16 Corrected some words above. I was mixing up the words "right" and "left", even though I was visualizing it correctly. I'm used to thinking of the west coast as on the left side and the east coast on the right side. For the above, my perspective is from the center of the county looking south. So the west coast is on the right, not the left.
Although since the sun will be pretty high overhead during the eclipse, "left" and "right" aren't good words to use to begin with.
darkoshi: (Default)
[personal profile] darkoshi
I bought some eclipse sunglasses on Tuesday. Seems like I did it in the nick of time, as they are becoming scarce around here. I got some cheap cardboard ones, and some slightly less cheap 2x magnification cardboard ones (I ordered the latter from Best Buy in the morning, and picked them up after work. When I checked the website in the evening again, they were sold out.) The glasses are neat! You can look at the midday sun while it's high in the sky! What you see is a nice orange disk. That may not sound special, but it's neat to be able to look straight at the sun without it being sunrise or sunset. I'm not sure I could see any sunspots or flares with these glasses, but they should be fine for watching the eclipse. As long as we are lucky and have clear skies. The forecast isn't looking good so far... a 50 to 60% chance of thunderstorms all day on the 21st till 8pm. But things may change, and even with thunderstorms, there might be a break in the clouds. (please, pretty please, at least during totality, please?)

I've been debating whether to work from home that day, or go in to work like usual and take my lunch break during the total eclipse. Now I think I'll work from home... that way I can occasionally check what is broadcast from the other parts of the country that experience the eclipse before we do.

I replaced the pull-chain light switch for the light fixture on Qiao's ceiling fan with a 3-way pull switch. Now we can turn on either 2 or all 4 lights, where before you could only turn on all 4 at once. Now while sitting on the sofa, we can turn on only the 2 lights which face towards the other direction, so that the room isn't uncomfortably dark, but without as much glare from above as before. When we want more light, we can turn them all on. Previously, I had replaced the lamp shades and bulbs, but it was still too bright for me.

One of the metal spines on my umbrella broke. I can't think of any simple way to fix it. It's a fairly new umbrella which my neighbors gave me recently, as thanks for looking after their dogs while they were on a trip. A nice lime-green color with reflective edging. I can't bear to throw it away. I couldn't even bear to throw away my old umbrella yet.. On it, the fabric had worn out and had holes. I cut the fabric off that one, and still have the metal umbrella skeleton. It's pretty useless, slightly dangerous, but looks neat in a goth-steampunk kind of way.

My dad has been researching his side of the family tree. It's amazing what you can find in old census records. This FamilySearch website is run by the LDS church, and lets you search records for free. There's an 1885 census from the state of Nebraska, with an entry for my grandpa's father and grandfather. We also found 1870 and 1880 census records which seem to match, but there are some discrepancies which we haven't been able to explain yet. We found that the Nebraska Historical Society has microfilms of church records from the area my grandpa's grandpa lived. Those records don't seem to be online anywhere. My dad contacted them, and they have a volunteer who will check the microfilms for us, even translating from Latin! How nice is that?

Friday Links (death defying edition)

Aug. 11th, 2017 11:29 am
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
It's the second Friday in August, and we're surviving a tamped down heat wave and smokezilla. Those are related. While the unhealthy air quality is not good for us, on the other had, it's blocking enough sunlight that (depending on which part of the region you're in) temperatures have been between 10-16 degrees farenheit cooler than they would have been without the smoke. Prevailing winds have finally shifted, bringing in cooler air, so the temps will go down a bit and the air quality is improving.

We're both still very busy and have been feeling less than well which we're attributing to the haze--we've both got red eyes and painful sinuses all the time, and despite sleeping in a room with an air purifier and an air conditioner, neither us seems to be getting nice deep sleepl

Anyway, on to links! I'm still trying to sort it so that the science and other, mostly happy news is at the top, and then we get to less pleasant topics before finishing with music videos. Enjoy!

Links of the Week



The supposition that NK will soon have missile-capable thermonuclear weapons is, at best, stupidly generous.

The Last Death-Defying Honey Hunter of Nepal.

Science!



10 Badass Trees That Refuse To Die.

How America Really Lost Its Mind to Pseudoscience: Hint, It Wasn't Entirely the Fault of Hippie New Agers and Postmodern Academics.

City-dwelling sea snakes are changing colors for a strange reason.

Early humans may have seen a supervolcano explosion up close.

Study: The Milky Way is swarming with black holes.

The Largest Space Telescope Ever Could Study an Earth-Like Exoplanet Next Door.

Prehistoric Baby Skull Shows What Our Common Ancestor With Apes May Have Looked Like.

Malicious code written into DNA infects the computer that reads it.

Rare Fossils Reveal New Species of Ancient Gliding Mammals.

Evolutionary psychology is the most obvious example of how “science” is flawed.

This Week in Weather and the Atmosphere



The Long Seattle Haze Shows How Climate Change Will Hit the Poor.

This Week in Typography



The Loveliest Living Fossil"Nº was the number sign before # became a number sign, and it refreshingly serves this one and only purpose."

Science Fiction, Fantasy and Speculation!



Locus Online News » Dragon Awards Refuse Withdrawal.

The Story of the Bad Ugly Monster by May Peterson.

This Week in History



How Ice Cream Helped the U.S. Military at War.

Here's Why the U.S. Hasn't Brought 'Fire and Fury' to North Korea .

News for queers and our allies:



The Hero Who Saved His Gay Friends.

Conservatives Are Really Scared Of This Purple ‘Gender Unicorn’.

This Week in the Patriarchy



If Men Were “Just Polite” To Each Other - comic by Kasia Babis.

How a 19th century nude painting became a feminist meme.

This Week in Misogyny in Tech



I’M A GOOGLE MANUFACTURING ROBOT AND I BELIEVE HUMANS ARE BIOLOGICALLY UNFIT TO HAVE JOBS IN TECH.

Researcher reveals how “Computer Geeks” replaced “Computer Girls”.

Culture war news:



Court Blocks Federal Prosecution of California Pot Growers.

We Hold Sasha and Malia Obama to a Higher Standard Than the Trump Children, and That's Ridiculous.

The Walls We Won’t Tear Down: “what used to be racial segregation now mirrors itself in class segregation.”.

Texas Transgender Bathroom Bill Falters Amid Mounting Opposition .

This Week Regarding the Lying Liar:



Nearly Half of Donald Trump's Twitter Followers Are Fake Accounts and Bots.

How Twitter took on Trump's bot army—and won.

‘I hate when people take credit for an election I won’: Trump blows his top over Bannon-praising book.

Twitter suspends army of fake accounts after Trump thanks propaganda ‘bot’ for supporting him.

News about the Fascist Regime:



What The Fuck Just Happened Today? Anyway, congratulations. So far you (and America) have survived Steve Bannon, Steve Miller, "alternative facts," "Braggadocious," Jeff Sessions, Anthony Scaramucci, Neil Gorsuch, and so many bad policies and apocalyptic pronouncements that a person needs a web archive like this to track them all.">.

Video reveals how actions of US border officers led to tragedy: Investigation finds allegations of abuse (including sexual abuse of minors), impunity along U.S.-Mexico border.

This week in Politics:



Get Off Kamala Harris's Back: Lately the Democratic senator has been criticized for being too establishment. But this discussion is much bigger than her.

Mueller Seeks White House Documents on Flynn.

A Congressional Candidate Asked Men If They'd Be Willing To Give Up Their Civil Rights.

This Week in Racists, White Nationalists, and other deplorables:



White people should be more afraid of other whites than they are of people of color.

This Week in Hate Crimes



Minnesota mosque bombed during morning prayers.

On average, 9 mosques have been targeted every month this year.

Farewells:



Glen Campbell Is Dead at 81 from Alzheimer's.

Things I wrote:



Weekend Update 8/5/2017: Let’s stick with happy stuff.

Getting a better perspective on threats to knowledgee — and us.

By their fruits you will know them — when people show you who they are, believe them.

Videos!



P!nk - What About Us (Lyric Video):



(If embedding doesn't work, click here.)

Move Your Body - Sia ft Kazaky:



(If embedding doesn't work, click here.)
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
Those of us who are fans of Geek Girl Con had a little scare this week, as a message that seemed to indicate a huge portion of the staff was quitting together came into our mailboxes. The post (also put up on the con’s Facebook page and elsewhere) was carefully crafted to push the outrage buttons of the types of person most likely to be attracted to the con’s spirit of inclusivity...

(The rest of this post that is more about how people behave than simply one fan event, is at FontFolly.Net.)
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
A few years ago a lot of people were sharing some articles about the rapidly declining ratings of Fox News and either a) cheering that at last real news was overtaking propaganda, or b) urging people like me to stop ragging on Fox News because if we just ignore it it will finally die. I argued at the time that is was the wrong way to look at it...

(The rest of this post about the robot apocalypse, misinformation, and more is at FontFolly.Net.)

South Jersey, Baltimore

Aug. 6th, 2017 11:37 pm
mortonfox: (morton blvd)
[personal profile] mortonfox
Saturday's trip was to Haddon Heights, Cherry Hill, Mount Laurel, and Willingboro in South Jersey. This area is pretty much inexhaustible for Munzee because the local Munzers keep deploying more of those. However, I wanted to capture some of the new air mysteries that they have deployed in Mount Laurel and Willingboro. These are fun. Capturing the virtual air mystery scatters some feather munzees in the vicinity. Capturing the feathers in turn scatters some golden feathers.

Sunday's trip was pretty simple. Went down I-95 from Newark to Baltimore, capturing Flagstack flags along the way. Found one geocache at the turnaround spot. Then from Baltimore back to Newark, I captured virtual munzees as well as some of the flags I missed on the way down. What's remarkable is the way Flagstack has grown recently. Just this quick there-and-back trip alone netted 258 flags! There are many more flags along the other roads around Baltimore but I decided to save those for another time. Finished up with a little walk on the James F Hall Trail in Newark for a few more munzees before an early dinner.

The munzees... )
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