When does the day end?

To some, it may seem as though I’ve already failed in my mission to post once per day for the entire month of October. But when you only wake up at 8pm, when does the day really end? I will probably go to bed sometime around 1pm or 2pm tomorrow. I won’t be held down by the man on this one. As far as I’m concerned, the date does its incrementing at sunrise. That’s the point when I generally begin to feel awkward about still being awake. Give me a break, anyway. Why should the date change at midnight? Mid. Night. Middle. of the Night. Let the night end before you do the switcheroo, at least. It’s all just because this world is sun-centric. Why should that be so? Damned daystar gives me a rash. With the ozone being in the state it’s in, shouldn’t we start organizing our lives based around the hours when the bloody thing is out of sight? Either way… noon might be the middle of the day proper, but it just doesn’t make sense for it to be the middle of the 24-hour day. It makes more sense to put the divider between day and night. Or night and day — there is no reason that the day needs to be considered to come first — damned sun-centric planet. So it should go at sunrise or sunset. Not that that doesn’t become complicated, what with sunrise and sunset and the length of the day vs. the night changing all the goddamn time, but that fucks with noon and midnight as well. I appreciate the fuckupperly in the winter, as a matter of fact. The bright part of the day is the part in which I am expected to be useful and productive. In the winter, that length of time is minimal. Doin’ shit… I don’t like it. In other news, I don’t know what I’m rambling about, as usual. Best get back to CD liner note text layouts. Yarg. Yeah, I’m still putting that shit off, and my deadline is Thursday, October 2nd, 2008. And yet, the work is not overdue. See what I mean? The day is clearly not over.

In other other news, I have exactly 29 drafts sitting in WordPress. Maybe I should just set them all to autopublish? Most of them are me complaining about Comcast, seems like (didn’t get published because Comcast was fucking up, FYI). It would get me a lot of AdSense cents and through the month…. Is that cheating?

When I was very little

I used to think that picking your nose would stretch it out, and that’s why some people had big noses. Those people were the gold diggers. Well, that was my hypothesis, anyway. I knew that I didn’t have any supporting evidence, and I didn’t really have the means to carry out controlled experiments. So it remained a totally unconfirmed theory.

I was a weird little kid.

But it kept me from picking my nose…

Not only

did I put on Sean’s “Icy Blast” scented deodorant when I couldn’t find mine after I got out of the shower, but I didn’t realize that the hair gel he just bought contains pheromones. I am so going to get all of the ladies after I walk out of my apartment…

I feel so… manly.

It’s all in your head

According to an article in the New York Times, Out-of-Body Experience? Your Brain Is to Blame, out-of-body experiences are not paranormal or supernatural at all. They can be triggered by applying electric current to certain parts of the brain, and may also be caused as a reaction to conflicting information about body position. I for one, am shocked by this discovery.

Of course, nobody who wants to believe that they can leave their body will have trouble explaining this science away. What nonsense will they come up with this time? I can’t wait to see.

The sun is essplode!

SpaceTramp brought my attention to the current increase in solar activity that’s been happening over the last few days. According to SpaceWeather.com, Wednesday’s X17 flare was the fifth largest ever recorded!

A quick search on Technorati for other posts about the solar storm brought me to Astinus’ Blog where I found a couple of amazing animated GIFs that show a two-day time lapse of the recent activity. The National Weather Service’s Space Environment Center website (which is where you want to go to find the most recent solar stats, images, and predictions BTW) led me to the source of the images The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph Experiment (I think there’s a reason they refer to this as LASCO…) SOHO (The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) is a good source of pretty pictures and information as well. And there are news stories up at NASA (Huge Solar Flare Spotted) and NOAA (NOAA issues another space weather warning; powerful solar flare erupts).

I’m supposed to be getting ready to go out right about now, but I have this awful glut of information attacking me! Can’t… stop… clicking… links! The possibility of seeing me some aurora would probably get me out of the house, if there weren’t all of these nasty buildings in the way (which reminds me of how annoyed I was not to be able to look at Venus and Jupiter on the 1st — it was my first day living in Chicago!)… I’m not sure exactly what conditions are necessary for it to be visible way down here, but just a guess… they might be something like the current conditions. I saw the aurora once from my home in southern Ontario, and I must say, it took me a while to figure out what the hell it was (it was partially cloudy, so I assumed it was some sort of freakish lightning at first :) Hey, I’m not that dumb… Roman emperor Tiberius once sent his men out to Ostia to put out a “fire” that was actually a freakish occurance of red aurora (of course, I can’t seem to find a source for this, and the internets don’t seem to agree about whether this happened in 34 or 37 BC — I’ve gathered that Seneca recorded the event, but that’s not very specific, now is it) (UPDATE: Seneca wrote about this in his Quaestiones Naturales — Book I. I know enough Latin to find the section of the text that talks about it, but not to translate it, for I am very rusty, and didn’t know that much Latin to begin with).

I wish I could remember when my aurora happened, so I could link it up with a particular storm, or that I’d thought of doing so at the time. It was quite impressive even that far south, so I can only imagine what it must be like up north. And see, dammit… I clicked on some more links — did you know that September is aurora season? Because I didn’t.

I’m going to stop now, before I dig into my browser history to find the link to recent crackpot theories about sunspots that I’ve read. Whoever wrote the page I saw had some pretty precise predictions for what is now the present, and related sunspots to earthquakes and one causing the other, somehow. I’ll dig it up later if I can find it, and link it here. Because everything’s more hilarious once crackpots get their hands on it! Now I’m gonna get me out of the house, and stop rambling. Since I’m fairly sure that I’m not even being intelligible, anyhow!

Similes and Metaphors

I’ve never been fond of them, except when employed by Douglas Adams.

I don’t have any particular reason for my distaste, I just find them generally annoying. But here’s a good argument for avoiding them (if you didn’t already clue in to the danger after all of that Gulag nonsense): if you use a simile or metaphor, some idiot out there is going to take you literally. Case in point — this is what Hoagie had to say yesterday after someone made the mistake of using a simile to describe materials found on Tempel 1:

Now, examine carefully Chick Woodward’s extremely tantalizing statement: “[the] silicates … might even be similar to the beach sand here in Hawaii ….”

Why choose THAT particular comparison … unless you meant it?

“Beach sand” is a highly specific, very weathered end product of a long history of planetary sedimentary processes … which can take place only on highly evolved, Earth-like (or, Mars-like) planets (with lots of flowing, liquid water)! To make that specific comparison, as a scientist, one can only think that Woodward was directly hinting at the “exploded planet hypothesis” itself … but without naming it as such–

This is where I bash my head into a brick wall. Repeatedly. (Actually, it got a good chuckle out of me. That and a whole lot of head shaking.)

P.S. If there’s anyone out there that abuses italics more than I do, it’s this guy. And please, Richard… quit it with the scare quotes. If there’s one thing I hate more than similes or metaphors, it’s the incorrect use of quotation marks.

Maybe instead of instant gratification…

…NASA actually wants to wait for the dust to clear, and to have some time to analyze data before releasing results. You fucking loon!

I am so satisfied. Look’s like Hoagland’s blog is starting out, at least, to be all that I hoped for. Regularly updated psychoceramics. A laugh and a half, on a more regular basis. Hopefully someone else will catch onto this stuff and become active in debunking it. I don’t have nearly enough knowledge of astronomy to do so, but geez, even I know obvious complete and utter crap when I see it. Then again, I’m really not sure why anyone bothers with this guy at all anymore. He’s such a freakin’ loon… I can’t even convince myself 100% that he’s not joking…

(P.S. Hoagland brings that “dirty snowball” crap up yet again. Read this for additional bullshit, and read this for a little bit of sanity.)

(And P.S. — XMM-Newton detects water on Tempel 1)

More spacey stuff

Spectacular Conjunction

This weekend Mercury, Venus and Saturn are going to crowd together in a patch of sky no bigger than your thumb. Astronomers call it a “conjunction” and it’s going to be spectacular.

And possibly visible to me, for once. The weather predicts that the skies will be clear around these parts this weekend.

Cosmos1 Video Feed

A live feed of Cosmos1 (ya know, the super keen solar sail spacecraft they just launched from a submarine in Russia, yada yada) will be available whenever it crosses over the Clay Center Observatory in Massachusetts via the Cosmos1 Video Site. If you’re interested, first feed should be: Thursday, June 23rd between 21:00:00 – 22:00:00 EDT.

[edit] Except that they apparently don’t know where the thing is… I just read that the solar sail may be lost in space. I hope they find it (in working condition)! [/edit]