Tag Archives: Sun

Sun Dragon News!

Good news, everyone! The star dragon that’s been munching on our local star has finally gotten tired of chasing its food across the sky and will be moving on at last.

(We’re apparently in a migration path, because we seem to get one nearly every year. Every year I can remember, anyway. Good thing they only feed during the day, so the sun as a little time to recover.)

I’m glad it finally left; I was a little worried it might see Parker as a tasty hors d’oeuvre. Or a toothpick. You never can tell with dragons.

And now our star can start to heal and grow back to its lovely warm summer fullness. (Only problem with that is, it attracts hungry star dragons!)


Improbable

xkcd-1732-fragmentOn the one hand, global climate change is likely to make things very — strictly in the curse sense — “interesting” for the human race as this millennium progresses. The effects already are obvious, visual, striking, and — one would think — undeniable.

Randall Munroe, of xkcd, has created another of his brilliant graphics, this one showing the history of climate change. It’s well-worth checking out (do it now). It makes the point in a visually striking, and — one would think — undeniable way.

On the other hand, it’s very — in the usual sense — “interesting” that we’re here at all.

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On This Day We Remember

911-stampIt’s one of those days you remember better than any birthday or wedding. Those were planned; these hit you suddenly, stunning your mind, breaking your heart. “The shuttle blew up!” “The Towers fell!”

The impact was even greater if you saw it happen in real-time. If you watched the shuttle launches. If you caught the breaking news before the second tower was hit. Saw the second plane, realized at that moment, “This is no accident!”

Even if you saw it after, you saw it; saw it as an attack.

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How Big is God?

galaxy

“Space is big. Really big.”

When I started blogging here, one of the first bloggers I followed was Robin, of Witless Dating After Fifty. Over the years, she’s several times mentioned a great question her dad often posed when discussing religion with someone: “How big is your god?”

Last week my buddy and I were having our weekly beer- and gab-fest and our (typically very meandering) conversation came to touch on the problems with young Earth creationism — the Christian fundamentalist idea that the universe is only thousands of years old.

In fact, there’s a pair of real whopper problems involved!

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SR #4: Two Rules

EquinoxIt’s Friday, and I’m sure you’re thinking about the weekend, so today will be just a review and some more details about the speed of light.

And speaking of light, today is the Vernal Equinox. For the next six months (for those of us in the northern hemisphere), our days will be longer than our nights. No doubt the combination of spring, the Equinox, and the weekend, have you wondering what you’re doing at your computer reading about Special Relativity.

So I’ll try to be very brief…

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Sliding into Darkness

summer solsticeI didn’t realize it at the time, but by staying up reading until 5 AM this morning, I was awake for the ironically named “Beginning of Summer.” I say “ironically” because the Summer Solstice is the point when the days start to get shorter again. The beginning of summer is also the beginning of the darkness.

Which means that my pagan side mourns the Summer Solstice as much as it celebrates the Winter one. These days, it’s hard not to see a larger parallel in society. Many of us feel and fear society is sliding into darkness — inexorably spinning along a path towards a Winter of Disaster.

This Solstice, as food for thought, I want to introduce The Five E’s

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Vernal Cycles

spring!The Earth.
Ever looping, ever spinning,
Passes a point.
Spring!

The Sun.
Ever higher, ever warmer,
Melts all the snow.
Spring!

The World.
Ever turning, ever changing,
Brings forth fresh life.
Spring!

Winter’s silence fades.
Birds sing, life renews.
A new year begins.
Spring!


Sunhenge Moment

sunlightWhoops! I was delighted yesterday when I saw the sun was once again shining into my living room. During the depth of winter it’s too low in the sky for the rays to get past the (rather deep) skylight well in the ceiling.

Seeing it yesterday required three things I’ve been waiting for: The sun to get high enough in the sky (obviously); for it to be not cloudy, which has been a problem recently; and for the snow and (weirdly) the grime to melt off the skylight itself. The snow cover isn’t unusual, but I’ve never seen grime before!

Anyway, hooray, yesterday it happened. And then I woke this morning to winter again!

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Darkness Ahead!

The SeasonsThose who know me know that I’m not big on calendar holidays. Even my birthday tends to pass without fanfare. That comes from being single, the island that supposedly no one is.  After a lifetime of Christmas and New Years’ being ordinary days, you get used to it.

But I do honor the Solar Event Days because (as I’ve mentioned many times) light is so important to me (and because I’m a geek).  Christmas may not mean much to me, but the Winter Solstice does! The days finally start getting longer!  Summer Solstice is a day of mourning for the opposite reason.

Today — the Autumnal Equinox — marks the halfway point.

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100 Days

upcomingI’ve been encountering a bit of blog blah recently, and it’s tempting to go on another hiatus until I retire and don’t feel the work pressure and negative energy. But I have a growing backlog—new ideas keep popping up—and I really do enjoy the writing.

Things are returning to normal around here; page hits are finally back to their low numbers. The party has died down considerably, and that lets the host leave the remaining guests so he can whip up some new treats (and maybe open that bottle of wine I’ve been saving).

Speaking of which, I meant to open two bottles this weekend, but life did one of those unexpected detour things. I’ll pour both those articles very soon, but today’s snack catches up on some things.

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