I Love Optical Illusions

Puzzles like this can tell researchers a lot about how your eyes and brain work, but I won’t try to explain it because I don’t understand it myself. I just enjoy it.

When you casually look at the picture from a little distance,  the lines are all wavy. Or tilted. Or something. It’s hard to even say exactly. But examine it closely, and they’re absolutely straight. It’s all in your eyes. Furthermore, it’s a reminder that the world is not as it appears.

Remain skeptical.

But He Loves You

I miss George Carlin. Nobody could tell it like it was  better than he.

Carlin could be vulgar, but this short video is entirely clean. It’s one more example of how a vulgar funny man can still be funny without being vulgar. But even more than that, it’s one more example how somebody like him or Bill Maher can just state the obvious and make it hilarious.

A cousin of mine recently sent me this. (Thanks, Johnny.) Watch as George once again demolishes our favorite adult fairy tale.

First Santa Clause; now Him.

9-11-2001

9-11On September 11, 2001, I watched with the rest of the world as our nation was attacked and the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center came down. Only I watched from my mother’s hospital room.

She had had back surgery earlier that morning, and was under the influence of so much medicine that I’m not sure she knew what was going on. The noise from the TV bothered her, but my siblings and I could not turn it off. We had to learn what was happening to our nation.

Almost 3000 people died that day In the worst single attack on American soil since World War II. We must always be ready to defend ourselves from aggressors and make certain that such a thing never happens again.

Here’s Harvey.

Golden retriever mix Otis in survival mode, carrying a bag of dog food in Corpus Christi after Hurricane Harvey
Golden retriever mix Otis in survival mode, carrying a bag of dog food in Corpus Christi after Hurricane Harvey

Otis, a golden retriever mix, was apparently in survival mode yesterday morning in Corpus Christi, after hurricane Harvey tore through the city, when he was seen carrying a large bag of dog food down the street.

“Must be a Texas dog, cause he can survive without help,” one commenter wrote. I’m not sure who the commenter was, but he must not have been a Texan. Even in Texas, the home of the Lone Ranger, this is not the lesson to be learned. Texans do what we can for ourselves, as Otis is doing; but we also help each other, as plenty of other Texans are doing.

The La Quinta Inn in Victoria, for example, sheltered about 70 people plus a collection of dogs, cats, and at least one rabbit Saturday afternoon, after the storm hit the city with winds of over 100 mph. That’s what Texans really do. Even the Lone Ranger had to depend on Tonto sometimes.

It’s not over yet by any means. “It’s going to last four to five days,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, who urged drivers to stay off the road. “This is Day One.” That was yesterday.

Take care of yourself, and remember to help somebody. And don’t forget the animals.

_____________________

Sources:

666 Users? Significant?

2017-08-25 666 Users. Significant? Nah. Probably not.
2017-08-25 666 Users. Significant? Nah. Probably not.

Am I really seeing that number right? 666 subscribers? I think so.

What does it mean? Nothing, of course. It’s just an interesting number for superstitious reasons, which means nothing here. I’m not even sure it’s accurate, but it’s what the system tells me. So add your email address to receive each new post in your email account, as 666 other people have already chosen to do.

Tuesday’s Solar Eclipse

Partial solar eclipses on the sidewalk
Partial solar eclipses of the sun

Her: “Will it be possible to get pictures with a smart phone?” Him: “I don’t see that happening.” That was part of a conversation I watched on TV a day or two before Tuesday’s eclipse. The picture above is from my iPhone.

I’m an old man in a nursing home, but that’s no excuse. I failed to prepare, and I wasn’t ready for this eclipse. I had no glasses and no appropriate photographic equipment.

A total solar eclipse is seen on Monday, August 21, 2017 above Madras, Oregon. A total solar eclipse swept across a narrow portion of the contiguous United States from Lincoln Beach, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. A partial solar eclipse was visible across the entire North American continent along with parts of South America, Africa, and Europe. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)
A total solar eclipse is seen on Monday, August 21, 2017 above Madras, Oregon. A total solar eclipse swept across a narrow portion of the contiguous United States from Lincoln Beach, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. A partial solar eclipse was visible across the entire North American continent along with parts of South America, Africa, and Europe. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

But I knew that even if you can’t look at the sun, you can still look at the ground and see thousands of little pictures of the sun with a bite taken out of each one where the light shines between the leaves of the trees.

They never look focused very well, because the holes between the leaves are all different shapes instead of real pin-holes (as they should be to project sharp pictures). Besides that, I think I was holding the camera too high, which made it even worse.

We weren’t going to see the total eclipse here in North Texas, anyway; but even a partial solar eclipse is worth preparing for; and I hadn’t even bought eclipse glasses! Nevertheless, I knew I could get pictures. And here are a couple of them. One at the top and one at the bottom of this page.

You’ll notice in the right-hand edge of the picture above, I got a little bit of my power chair in  the frame. The pictures were made on the sidewalk just outside my room at the nursing home. That’s about as far as it’s practical for me to go by myself.

Now I have a new goal: to live seven more years. I really want to see the total eclipse that’s coming through North Texas on April 8, 2024. And if I survive that long, I definitely plan to be prepared this time.

Above is an example of what I hope to see in 2024. And of course the guy was right, I won’t be able to take a picture of the sun like this with my iPhone. If I even tried, I’d probably burn out the camera. But, better than that, I should be able to see it with my own eyes.

April 08, 2024 solar eclipse path
April 08, 2024 solar eclipse path

This is totality! It’s the scene described by science journalist David Barron in the last post: “It was truly a life-changing experience! Just mind bogglingly beautiful and awe inspiring!” Well, it’s not exactly the same scene. He was talking about what he saw in 1998, and this is a picture of the 2017 eclipse two days ago, taken by NASA. But you get the picture (so to speak).

Any given point on earth experiences a total solar eclipse about once every 400 years on average, and it only lasts from a few seconds to four or five minutes maximum. But I plan to be here for it, If possible, in 2024. If I make it, I’ll try to get some better pictures.

Stick around with me and let’s be prepared to watch the full total eclipse In the sky, instead of just pictures on the sidewalk like that below. And above.

Partial solar eclipses on the sidewalk
Partial solar eclipses on the sidewalk

The NASA animation shows the path of the 2024 eclipse. The large shadow is the partial eclipse area, like the one we had here Tuesday. But notice the tiny dot In the center of it? That’s totality! The total solar eclipse area, just 70 miles wide, racing through Texas and several other states at probably around 600 mph or so. That’s where I intend to be in 2024, stalking the eclipse somewhere as near the center of its path as practical, for just a couple of glorious minutes of totality.

Onward to 2024!