Can You Say TOTALITY?

I have been busier than a six legged dog a scratching fleas, but…I made time to gather up my telescopes, binoculars, eclipse glasses, umbrellas, cameras, snacks, coolers, lawn chairs, then load up the fam damily even if they did not want to go, picked up a straggler, (a friend of one of the boys) and drove the hour and a half drive to Eddyville Ky. for the Total Eclipse of the Sun!

Eddyville was darn close to the centerline of totality, and NOT one of the big towns garnering all of the attention, (and droves of people by my reasoning) so it seemed like a good spot to go.

We rolled into Eddyville snooping for a good place to setup, I saw a sign about some city park, figured that might be a good place to try. We got there only to be met by a park employee with lights flashing away on the park truck, they were not allowing eclipse goers to access the park. I mean they shut down a city park! I guess they knew we were coming… 😉 The nice lady handed us a printed map showing the “approved” viewing locations in Eddyville. Sheesh! I looked the map over, they were malls, a water park, and other places with concrete/blacktop to setup on, and my goal was grass. It was a blistering 95 degrees today and with the kind of humidity we get ’round here you really don’t want to be spending time on a blacktop lot for any reasonable amount of time.

So we backtracked a ways, I remembered seeing a sign previously indicating a river access point for the launching of boats. (We were right along the Cumberland River) We got down there and first thing we saw were a handfull of other eclipse enthusiasts setup. So I pulled in. I drove around to where a couple of folks were setup and took a parking spot. The parking lot was paved, but fortune leaned my way, right at the edge of the pavement was freshly cut grass. It took a good while to get everything unloaded and arranged, but we managed.

I set up my ED 80, equipped with a solar filter, and mounted on the Celestron ASGT mount. The mount is driven and keeps up with the motion of the sky, but you have to set it up just so for the tracking to work right. Try as I might, I nudged and fudged and fiddled but never got that mount to track as it should. Which meant I had to tweak it along the entire time I took pics. I also setup another 90mm achromat refractor in front of a whiteboard. This was a projection rig that could be safely observed with no glasses or other eye protection.

I took some time to chat with my new neighbors, the people right next to us was a mother from Wisconsin, and her two sons from Chicago. They had other family on the way, and they did indeed make it for the event. Just on the other side of them was an older gent from Indiana, and he had his mother with him. He had an 8″ Schmidt Cassegrain setup for solar views and pic taking. I also met another astronomy nerd who hailed from New Hampshire. He won the ‘who drove the farthest for the eclipse award!’ At least among those I met.

I took a few pics the day before as a test run. This is one:

DSC02761

It was hot. Damn hot. I was fiddling with the scope mount and missed first contact. Dammit. I caught this as my first pic of the day today:

DSC02775

There was a persistent haze in the sky, and a few wispy clouds. The haze made it difficult to achieve good focus. Any upcoming pics that look whiter will be suffering from the haze. The haze pretty much was consistent.

DSC02784

DSC02797

DSC02808

DSC02822

DSC02837

DSC02849

This next pic was my last. My ding dang battery died! I had another battery but it refused to take a charge, and I thought I would maybe get through this event, I sadly did not. The wife got a decent pic through her handheld camera, I will try to get it up soon.

DSC02854

Once totality hit it was like someone hit the light switch. It got dark! We could see Venus to our right. And Jupiter to our lower left. I had binoculars on hand for totality because when totality strikes you can look directly at it with binoculars and it was spectacular! The corona was glowing brilliantly. We could also see Mercury in the same binocular view. Everyone in my group got a good look with binoculars and we oohed and ahhed so much, I felt bad for my immediate neighbors, they had no binoculars, so I walked over and shared the binoculars with them. They were as stunned with the view as we were. I got the binocs back and took another good look, as I did the eclipse was seconds away from ending. I actually saw through the binoculars Baileys Beads. Baileys Beads is a well known phenomenon that resembles 4-5 bright pearl like beads strung out along of the freshly exposed limb. Just a mind blowing sight, and then it was way too bad to look at anymore as the suns glow was bright enough to hurt my eyes, I had to look away. It was over.

Hey there is another total eclipse not far from here in 7 years. I am making plans…  🙂

Advertisements

Jesus and Mo

I must admit to seeing this first at WEIT. At first I thought maybe Jesus was too stupid to realize that this result is bad for religion. Then I thought, wait… maybe because the analysis indicates that people who follow religion might be a little dense, they can’t realize they are being scammed. Either way works for the chuckle I suppose.

 

Jesus&Mo2017-08-02.png

So being the what I am, and curious about this analysis, I followed a link here:

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1088868313497266?journalCode=psra&

Now I briefly looked at DL -ing the PDF there, but it looks like it might be a pay to view thing, so I’m not going to go quite that far. However there is a very interesting abstract, or summary if you will. I will share that with you, note that this was back in 2013:

“A meta-analysis of 63 studies showed a significant negative association between intelligence and religiosity. The association was stronger for college students and the general population than for participants younger than college age; it was also stronger for religious beliefs than religious behavior. For college students and the general population, means of weighted and unweighted correlations between intelligence and the strength of religious beliefs ranged from −.20 to −.25 (mean r = −.24). Three possible interpretations were discussed. First, intelligent people are less likely to conform and, thus, are more likely to resist religious dogma. Second, intelligent people tend to adopt an analytic (as opposed to intuitive) thinking style, which has been shown to undermine religious beliefs. Third, several functions of religiosity, including compensatory control, self-regulation, self-enhancement, and secure attachment, are also conferred by intelligence. Intelligent people may therefore have less need for religious beliefs and practices.”

Note the word significant in that first sentence. Fascinating 🙂

And moving along: Intelligent people are less likely to conform? Maybe, maybe every inmate in prison has an intelligence problem? I don’t know, but I know I do have issues sucking up what religion has to offer with no supporting evidence for their claims. It all goes way beyond reason and slips into the realm of complete absurdity very quickly for me, and frankly I am somewhat surprised that a great number of people have no issues at all with talking snakes, virgin births, and massive floods that if happened would have left ample evidence for, which we do not see. It is just a fine and dandy fantasy for them. For us, it’s just wacky…

I find it intriguing that an analytic vs. an intuitive thinking style was brought up. I believe that may be a huge factor in the differences between the them and us, and a significant reason in the why, we can’t really seem to communicate across the divide very well. We find the way they arrive at their world view completely alien to how we understand things, and I figure (from what I have seen) their side is just too damn stubborn to bother learning or thinking about the how and why they wound up where they are at in the first place.

Being self sufficient, and dealing with reality on realities terms, which is how I am interpreting this: “several functions of religiosity, including compensatory control, self-regulation, self-enhancement, and secure attachment, are also conferred by intelligence.” That is we deal with our emotions, our control, our inner selves, on our own. We need no outside influence to keep us on the straight and narrow path. We need no imaginary friends to keep us in line. We just manage with no need of some social construct to supposedly make us better. We find we have no need of some mysterious godly excuse for all of the bad things that happen in life. Also I can’t even imagine what sort of person needs an outside influence to keep them straight so badly that church every damn Wednesday and twice on Sunday is a must experience situation for them. Doesn’t even compute for me. Just suck it up people and do what needs doing, reason will help you get there! Sheesh.

I suppose we all sort of already knew this was what we were bucking up against. Only thing I can figure is, we may never fully understand what drives the religious to adamantly oppose reality, and avoid analytical thinking at any cost. Even to the point of not sending their children to a public school. The fantasy must be maintained!

All we can really do is keep on keeping on and deal with our own realities the best we can. Of course pecking away at the stone of ridiculousness every now and then can keep us happily occupied.  Just thinking out loud, I hope this finds you all well.

 

http://www.jesusandmo.net

Old Diver Tales

I was just over at WEIT, one of my regular web site stops, (I didn’t call it a blog!) and there was a story posted about a Japanese diver and a fish friend of his that has been the result of a very long friendship. 25 years this guy has visited his fishy friend which is an amazing story.

It reminded me of my fish friend story, so I shared it over there. Then since Mak came in and dusted the cobwebs out of my blog I figured I’d share it here. (Check is in the mail Mak) Here is what I shared over there:

“I was a commercial diver in Tn. for 30 years. A harvester of freshwater mussels, and now my handle might make sense 🙂

Anyway, one day I was working fairly shallow, and quite often game fish would use my activities (disturbing bottom features, and causing bait species to scatter) as a hunting opportunity. I have seen some huge bass using this tactic. But this day a small bass was piddling around in front of me, its movements slow, lethargic, and when it made a pass exposing its bad eye, I could see it was completely hazed over due to cataract. (it happens to bass a lot I hear) But it occurred to me this little fellow was very hungry. I had no shortage of shell, so I cut one open with my dive knife ond offered the meat up to the little guy. It took it with great enthusiasm. So I fed it till it looked like it might burst.

That fish actually started rubbing up against me, swimming in front of my mask looking at me with its good eye, and followed me everywhere I went like a happy puppy dog for the duration of that dive. A unique experience, of many, I’ll never forget.

This story inspired me to share. :)”

https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/scuba-diver-visits-same-fish-daily-for-25-years/#comments