Post-eclipse complaining

Aug. 22nd, 2017 01:54 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
So, prior to the eclipse there were FAQs and news reports about people who didn't want to go out on the day of the eclipse - even before it started! - for fear that they'd go blind, or didn't want to walk their dog because the dog might go blind (not knowing not to look at the sky on eclipse day, of course) or not letting the kids out at all during recess because, you got it, they might freeze in place, stare at the sun, and go blind.

And then Trump looked at the sun without glasses. And everybody is throwing fits about what an idiot he is. I commented on one article that no, it's not likely you'll go blind if you just glance at the sun for a second*, and one person replied "but this isn't the sun, it's the eclipse!" like that's a winning argument. I mentioned to another, who claimed you couldn't see anything without the glasses until totality anyway that I'd been staring at the cloud cover impatiently before the peak, and when the clouds parted I'd gotten an unprotected glimpse of the sun and yes, I could see the bite of it - and that person went "Well, you do permanent damage at 20 seconds, so you might've been lucky". How long do they imagine it takes to see the sun when the clouds break and then look down again?

I think I've figured this out.

The rule is "You should not stare at the sun, even during an eclipse". This is a sensible rule that nobody has ever needed to tell anybody over the age of, say, six weeks. We don't stare at the sun. Even infants know better - if the sun shines in your eyes, you squint, put your hand up, and turn away. Aniamls are even smarter! No matter what happens, they don't need to be told.

But humans think we're cleverer than animals, and during an eclipse we sometimes break that rule and look at the sun because it's cool. And because the light seems dimmer, we can look longer. But it's not really dimmer - it's just as bright, it's just that some of it is blocked. So for the past year, we've had it drummed into our heads that you shouldn't look at the eclipse without glasses. Consequently, many people have internalized the rule as "You shouldn't stare at the sun, especially during an eclipse". But the sun isn't any more dangerous then. It's only our behavior that changes!

If you look for up to five seconds, you're probably fine, just like when you turn a corner and find yourself driving toward the sun. (Or look up at a flock of birds just as the clouds part and find the sun glaring in your eyes, or wake up with the sun in your eyes.) According to the only study on the subject, you're not likely to have visible damage unless you look for 15 seconds or longer... and even then, most patients improved with time.

So don't stare at the sun, but if you did catch a glimpse, whether on purpose or not, it's probably no more harmful than when you catch a glimpse of the sun on regular days.

(As for Trump, this was a dumb move, but not because of the potential eye damage. It was a dumb move because everybody and their dog, literally, knows better but he still did it on national TV. Doofus. And if he's getting any flak from it he probably blames the aide for calling attention to his behavior rather than his own foolish decision to do something everybody knows, from the very day they're born, not to do.)

* Turns out it was more like 30 seconds in his case, which is really way too long. Not that I give a fuck what that person does to his eyes.

Well, it could've gone better

Aug. 21st, 2017 07:56 pm
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[personal profile] conuly
I wanted to be there right when the museum opened - missed that by about an hour.

DID get the glasses. Boy, those were something. They seemed completely opaque until you looked up at the tiny, orange, dim sun. (The kids sold theirs to people even later than we were!)

Missed the lecture due to some miscommunication. Didn't see other exhibits, same reason.

But we did enjoy looking at the sun through the (shared) glasses, and the kids really loved making pinhole projectors on index cards. I'd expected they would - they wrote their names and all!

One thing that was not explained to me in the documentation, but in retrospect should've been obvious: The dimmer the light got, the closer the index cards had to be to make a clear image. At the beginning, having one on the ground and one in your hand was good enough. By the midpoint, when it was 70% covered and dark (and when we were done) they had to be right next to each other.

Several people, hearing me launch into another spiel on how "our eyes work the same way" and "the image is backwards and upside down - look, compare it! - but when it happens in our eyes our brains automatically flip it" asked if I was a teacher or a scientist! LOL. Only the former in a very *literal* sense, but this is something I've known since I was six or so. I had a book on the structure of the eye. (I didn't say that. I just said I homeschool and I made the kids listen to me talk to them about it.)

And then on the way back we talked about the Statue of Liberty and all. I heard a tour guide the other day say that the original model for the face was the sculptor's girlfriend, not his mother as in the finished version, but I don't know if that's correct. Still, "she looked too sexy" is obviously a story that's hard to give up!

[Fic] Candles Lit at the Doors

Aug. 21st, 2017 07:26 pm
branchandroot: pen with burning ink (ink burns)
[personal profile] branchandroot

Cross-post from my archive.

Fandom/Arc: Nirvana in Fire, In Every Time and Season
Characters/Pairings: Jingrui/Yujin, Lin Shu | Mei Changsu, Meng Zhi, Xiao Jingrui, Yan Yujin
Summary: Jingrui is finding himself drawn back toward a military position, after fighting at the northern border, and Yujin follows along, as he always has, despite his own reservations. Along the way, the two of them get into trouble, politics, and eventually a deeper understanding.
Meta: Drama with Politics and Romance, and also a Sprinkle of Porn, I-4
Wordcount: 18777

Very few of Yujin's reservations had ever held up in face of Jingrui's smile. Not when they were little and stealing sweets off Aunt Jing's table (with her amused connivance, Yujin had realized years later); not when they were a little older and Jingrui had dragged Yujin everywhere after their glamorous, if also sometimes alarming, older cousins; not when they'd come of age and Jingrui hauled Yujin out onto the roads to wander the country with that very same smile. He could barely imagine leaving Jingrui's side, at this point. So there was really nothing else to do but elbow him back until they managed to shove each other into the shallows, laughing.

Candles Lit at the Doors )

Not the response I was expecting...

Aug. 20th, 2017 02:46 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
I texted a friend to say that we were planning to go to the Natural History Museum tomorrow to do their presentation on the eclipse, and you know what she said?

"What is the eclipse?"

...

When I was a kid

Aug. 20th, 2017 12:45 am
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Wise produced a variety of chips called Crazy Calypso. And they were delish. And then they went off the market :(

But! Later Wise produced an extremely similar flavor called Mambo Mania. These were also delish, and may have actually just been the first chips with a new name. Those too, alas, went off the market.

Since then, I've spent a ridiculous amount of energy trying to find a chip with a similar flavor profile, to no avail. But if anybody ever produces one, I'm going to stock up.

Nomnomnom.

***************************


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conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
(And I swear, the next person to talk at me about "erasing history" is gonna sorely regret it.)

*****


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conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
(This always happens.)

I'll work my way up to it. I just get antsy thinking people will sneer.

(And now I'm thinking people will sneer because I didn't reciprocate. I can't win.)

On the plus side, my TBR list is full for at least a month. So thanks :)

****


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the vid I made for vividcon this year

Aug. 17th, 2017 10:15 pm
jmtorres: (physics)
[personal profile] jmtorres
This was in Club Vivid, and it is very silly.

vid: UFO
vidder: [personal profile] jmtorres
fandom: Home, AKA The True Meaning of Smek Day, the Movie
song: UFO Has Landed In the Ghetto by Ry Cooder
format: mp4, 39MB
runtime: 2:32
link: on Google Drive. I'm trying a new thing for where to keep my vids. Let me know if you have technical issues downloading it, please!
warnings: I can't think of any, there's a couple of explosions but it's an animated kids movie, they're not exactly graphic.
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
This is factually untrue - I just finished a new book yesterday - but it does feel that way.

Recommend something to me! Especially nonfiction - I really don't read much of that, so I can promise that I'll never have read whatever you recommend! (Whereas if you recommend anything kidlit or YA there's better than even odds that I've read it.)

Later I'll post up my own list of random recommendations for everybody, but right now I really must dash.
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
It's not my favorite ballad - if I wanted to sing The Murdered Brother I would and often do. Floaters are a thing, sure, but I still think it's cheating to basically steal 90% of the verses from one song and tack on a different framing story.

But it does have one advantage over The Murdered Brother, and that's that the framing story makes sense. I can see how you might chop your sister up after you've knocked her up. I mean, I wouldn't do it, but I wouldn't do half the things people do in ballads. If I had no moral compass, though, then I might well look at murder as the solution to everyday social problems like an inconvenient pregnancy. Even in a ballad, though, killing your brother because he cut down a withy wand that might've been a tree is just strange.

(And their mother doesn't give a damn, it seems, no matter who killed whom and why. There's some seriously messed up family dynamics here. Sometimes you really have to wonder about the people who wrote these things.)

************


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Pretty sure I've seen this exact premise in, like, a thousand Harry Potter fics. Because how else are you gonna get Draco and Hermione to hook up?

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My goodness!

Aug. 17th, 2017 02:13 am
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Somebody really has made a recipe for Time City's butter pie!

Upon re-read, I realize that there is a small problem with the timeline in the book. Not in the usual time travel sense, which would be more or less okay, but in the educational calendar.

Vivian arrives in Time City during their half term, which I understand to be a short vacation in the middle of the semester - like midwinter recess in NYC. She attends school for two or three days, maybe as long as five - and then the whole city shuts down for two days of ceremonies! (And also the dramatic conclusion, but nobody knew that yet while the ceremonies happen every year.)

If they know, as they must know, that the kids will all have two days off, why not schedule their break a few days later so as to encompass the holiday? Instead of this on-again, off-again nonsense, which can't be good for their learning.

(Of course, I'm saying this from a city which only a few years ago started school on a Wednesday and then immediately took the next two days off for the Jewish New Year. Which, okay, it's an important holiday, but still. Start the year on a different day then!)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


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(no subject)

Aug. 16th, 2017 01:15 am
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
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conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
We used to spend summers in Belgium with our grandparents. Our grandparents had a nice patch of land, with red currants and black currants and gooseberries over here, and roses over there, and a field, and a little copse that, as a child, seemed more than large enough to house a few bears (oh my!) and I used to think all that land nearly went on forever. I'd go through the woods, avoiding the nettle at the entrance (or not) and wander until I hit the neighboring farmland. I'd stand there a while, carefully not stepping onto the field, and look at the Wallaby balloon in the distance, and then I'd get lost on my way back.

There were two houses on the property, the big one they rented out and the little one they lived in. The little one had outside stairs to a small attic, covered in ivy. I loved to sit on those stairs and pull off the ivy bit by bit and pretend I was a princess in a tower, right up until Bonne-Maman called me in and gave me an ice cream cone. Which I thought we were supposed to eat from the bottom up, so you can see why my face got messy.

The first year we went, when I was just leaving kindergarten, we had no bedroom of our own, but afterwards they added a small studio and an extra bedroom next to the attic. Jenn (Ginger, back then) and I had beds right next to each other, touching and there were two windows with a small patch of wall in between them.

And one night, quite randomly, we woke up when it was dark (and you know it gets dark very late in Belgium in the summer) and that little patch of wall was glowing. Pale, bright green. I eventually sat up and touched it, and the glowing patch was colder than the rest of the wall, and I swear Jenn saw it too or I'd never believe it now that I'm grown.

I have no idea what caused it. To this day, it is absolutely the weirdest, creepiest thing about my childhood. The only explanation I can think of is "practical joke", but not only are the logistics wildly out of character for my grandparents (painting on the wall!?) but there is no way they'd take a joke this funny to the grave. So I've got nothing.

Any explanation that isn't "aliens" or "ghosts" would be much appreciated, because I'm baffled. We both are.

************************


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Friending meme at [community profile] tv_talk

Aug. 14th, 2017 09:56 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly

Come find some friends/talk tv at [community profile] tv_talk!

Sigh.

Aug. 14th, 2017 04:35 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Our backyard neighbor has recently fixed up his garage. It was a three-day effort, culminating in spreading and raking gravel in front of the doors.

The gravel is not in a rectangle. They were going for "rectangle" but hit upon "awkward trapezoid" instead.

This annoys me. I've spent the day wondering about the propriety of just going over there and re-raking in the middle of the night.

***********************


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This is sad :(

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