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Picture Perfect Postcard of Erosion from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon
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Nature and Science



Any change in the weather?

Although these links are preset for Long Island, they can easily be adjusted for Anytown, U.S.A. (assuming your Anytown is in America, or at least, English speaking).

  1. If you want to know where lightning struck in your town the last minute, or an hour ago, this site has the info.  The speaker toggle generates an audio click of every bolt of lightning from your local storm that hits the ground.  How this works is this organization has millions upon millions of volunteers on the ground reporting lightning day and night — that, and they use reporting antenna stations.  Here is a second one that does much the same as the first, with emphasis on global reporting.
  2. National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the most accurate weather forecast you will find, because if Americans are in danger from above, rescue teams need to know local weather conditions.  For your local weather outlook, just enter your zip code.

  3. For Long Island weather data, let’s start with Other Letter’s Half Hollow Hills weather station, crossroads of America.  The Weather Underground can be set to work for Paducahville, just tinker with it for a few minutes, or hire that neighborhood kid who somehow knows your Amazon password.

  4. Here’s local radar resolvable to your town.  Click and drag diagonally to zoom in to your neighborhood; and select a heading to find many, major English speaking locales.  Click “Rain/Snow” beneath the map to know who’s getting snow...  If you live in the tri-State New York region, or you are traveling here, this is high-definition radar for this area, while here we have ‘stitched’ radar with a greater mile range.

  5. A map of the forecasted snowfall amounts from NOAA.  In winter, more than life itself, you need this map.

  6. Snow cover of the United States and parts of Canada, for the cross-country skiers in our ranks, and those who just love to know who has snow cover in May — we know you’re out there somewhere.  As an example, as of 5/13/17, there was still snow cover just North of Quebec City, and in parts of the Rocky Mountains.

  7. Visit Stellarium.org (a non-profit), and download their free planetarium software.  Yes, it is free, and it is also extremely powerful.  (Hint: F6 sets your location.)

  8. If you are going stargazing, you will need a clear skies predictor.  For some unknown reason, the Canadian Meteorological Center is the only data provider for North America.  Here is the one local to Half Hollow Hills on Long Island.  They all use a 24-hour, military-style clock.  For seeing, darkness, transparency, and cloud cover, the darkest blue represents the best viewing conditions, and white the worst.
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Tonight, on January the 20th of 2019, there will be a lunar eclipse.  The moon eclipses the Sun during a Solar Eclipse, casting its shadow on Earth.  The moon’s shadow on the Earth is location specific.  Not so for the lunar eclipse, everywhere on Earth the moon is being eclipsed by the Earth.

The critical issue preventing worldwide viewing occurs when the eclipse occurs during a region’s daylight hours (or if there’s too much cloud cover).  If you’re facing or pointing away from the Moon on the other side of the Earth, you obviously cannot see the eclipse.

Lunar eclipses can only occur during a full moon when the Earth is inline between the Sun and the Moon.  That said, 11:41PM US Eastern Time begins the total eclipse, and 12:13AM US Eastern is when it’s at its peak, or when the eclipse is greatest, when the Earth blocks the Sun’s rays that usually reflect back off the moon.  1/20/19.

Usually a crescent moon is seen near sunset, but in a waning crescent, lunar phase, you can see that slivered, crescent moon near 6AM, just before sunrise typically.  10/07/18.

This afternoon was the long-awaited, spectacular eclipse in the U.S. of A.  Out on Long Island, with the sun blocked, the temperature dropped six degrees between 1:30PM and 3PM (on average, it starts dropping near 4PM).  As we approached 70% of totality here, the birds and crickets started chirping as well.  While it would have been nice to also see midday stars, like they did in places such as Nashville, Oregon, and Charleston, maybe next go round in 2024, we’ll see them.

What is especially eerie is the fact that the moon just fits over the sun, the moon is neither too big nor too small to cover the solar system’s star.  Is this a property of physics, where the gravitational forces between the Sun and Earth position the moon’s orbit to where it entirely blocks all of the Sun’s rays, yet nothing more?  8/21/17.

On August the Twelfth near midnight, the Perseid meteor shower will reach its peak.  The showers will be seen originating from the North-Northeast, out of the Perseus constellation, a third of the way starting from the horizon to directly overhead.  Because the moon will be three-quarters full, it will make it a little more difficult to see the shooting stars, but not nearly so difficult as to obscure the display.  Meteors in this shower are a result of the Earth passing through the path of the Comet Swift-Tuttle.  Because this is how the meteors are generated, the showers will also be viewable from July 17th to August 24th, especially in locations with little light pollution (if you live on a farm that doesn’t night harvest, you are in luck).  7/22/17.

Visit Stellarium.org (a non-profit), and download their free planetarium software.  It is free, and it is extremely powerful.  (Hint: F6 sets your location.)

The first, total solar eclipse in the States in over eighteen years will appear on the twenty-first of August from the one to two o’clock hours (2:45 P.M. on Central Long Island when totality is over Columbia, South Carolina).  There will be temporary, yet complete, darkness along the swath of the shadow that the moon will be casting.  Those from Oregon to South Carolina properly equipped with dedicated, eclipse goggles will see the eclipse in totality, and they should be able to see the stars of the night sky in the middle of the afternoon.  We’ll be hoping for clear (but obviously not sunny) skies that day.  6/27/17.

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Weather Logged


Absolute versus Relative Air Pressure

Right now, my absolute atmospheric pressure is 29.67 inches, and my relative pressure is always .24 inches more.  So currently, my relative pressure is 29.91 inches.  Absolute barometric pressure is mostly meaningless because it’s diminished in magnitude by increasing altitude.  (Huffing and puffing mountain hikers though are concerned with absolute pressure and thin air.)

Absolute pressure has to be calibrated against uniform sea level pressure.  Sea level is the calibration point, the benchmark.

My home is at 200 feet of altitude, so .24 inches needs to be added to absolute pressure to get back to sea level.  This way, my relative pressure can be compared to relative pressures anywhere else, pressures relative to sea level.

If a storm is approaching, someone at the top of Bear Mountain in Upstate New York (a peak of circa 1305 feet), might want to know how their barometer compares to someone at the outlet of the Hudson River Valley, or near sea level.  To correct for differing altitude, this is done with relative pressure.

In the Rockies it’s not the .24 inches differential it is in Western Suffolk County, but a near 15, full inches are added because air pressure is so effected by mountain altitude, and its thin air.

If you do own a barometer, it will display absolute pressure, and often allow the entry of relative pressure.  To do so, take a local, nearby reading from the National Weather Service station.  This will be in relative pressure.  Remember, absolute pressure has an above sea level, altitude component that has to be removed.  To do this, just increment your barometer in relative pressure mode, until it equals the NWS reading.

I am not a meteorologist, but I have considered this enough, that I feel I have a strong understanding of the topic.  Are there real meteorologists out there (like Janice Huff of WNBC-4 in New York) that will weigh in on all of this?  7/09/20.

I don’t mean to gloat (or maybe I do).  But the perfect experiment for my economic-meterological connection has been created with the Coronavirus.  The economy is grinding to a halt, and so is the emission of greenhouse gases.

As a result, we are in the midst of a very cold Spring.  In fact, on April 17th, we had a 29° Fahrenheit overnight temperature which last happened on this date, 92-years-ago, in 1928 (via The New York Times Replica Accuweather page).  This would easily suggest that our current economy matches that of the 1920’s in productive capacity.  4/17/20...

Air temperature has returned to normal or below normal levels for the last ten days (via The New York Time’s Replica Edition, Accuweather page).  This is a sharp departure from an entire year of much above average temps.

So while the Coronavirus flu is devastating the economy, at least it’s counteracting global warming.  The reason is simple: No one is driving their cars, and these emit carbon dioxide, which is the chief component of greenhouse gas.

These trapped emissions are the reason for climate change.  Trump has been denying climate change for quite some time.  Most recently, he turned back the clock, and loosened, emissions regulations on new cars.  4/01/20.

Is this winter the last of the snowy winters on Long Island?  We’ve had just five inches of snow this year, which is more typical of much further South, like say, TennesseeLong Island averages 28 inches of snow every year, and occasionally, much more.  Is this just an atypical jet stream, or far worse?  2/26/20...

For the last ninety days, effectively the entire winter of 2020, the temperature has been much above average, and a +6.3° daily departure from normal for the year.  This is yet more evidence of climate change that’s being ignored by our government.  (This data is from the Accuweather Report of the New York Times.)  3/16/20...

It’s been said that if the tri-State has significant accumulations of snow before Thanksgiving (more than just a dusting in downstate New York, central New Jersey, or Southwestern Connecticut), then we’re in for an unusually cold and/or snowy winter.  11/17/19.

The heat wave has been broken.  On July the 22nd, of 2019, Long Island had 1.6 inches of rain fall in an hour and a half, which is on average, a week and a half’s worth of precipitation.  The temperature dropped ten degrees in one hour, ending what is likely this year’s heat wave (mid-July is not unlike mid-January for extreme temperature variations).  At 6:30PM, it was close to looking like nighttime, even though the sunset was near two hours later, at 8:22PM.  Lightning strikes were close to being continuous, not one or two an hour as is more typical.  7/22/19.

The following day, the 23rd of July, there was yet more rain, and yet cooler temperatures.  Another 2.17 inches of rain fell, along with yesterday’s 1.6 inches, over approximately a twelve-hour span, 3.77 inches of rain fell.  In the space of approximately one half of one day, there was nearly a month’s worth of rain on the ground.  The temperature also dropped another eight degrees, to 65°.  The maximum temperature was 85°, two days ago, and 96°, three days ago  7/23/19.

As of 3/26/19, and beginning 10/01/18, Downstate New York has had 20.5 inches of snow.  31.9 inches of snow is the recent annual average, but anyone living here for more than ten years remembers snowier winters.  By comparison, Boston currently averages 43.8 inches.

The New York Times Replica Edition states that for the 90 days prior, there was average temperature and precipitation.  Although for the last 30 days, the temperature has been much colder than average (with average precipitation).  For the month of March, the temperature has been 1.3° below average.  For this calendar year, the temperature has been 0.1° below average, which is not yet statistically significant.  3/26/19.

Weather vanes are of value because they show where vane-indicated winds are originating.  When the weather vane points North, cold temps are expected, because this is where the next weather system is originating.  The opposite holds true for a Southerly pointing vane, as the South has stores of warmer air.

Along the Eastern Seaboard, a weather vane pointing to the East, implies Atlantic Ocean are headed our way with moderating temps, and more moist air (oceans are warmer than land in winter, and vice versa in summer).  When the vane points West, one can expect drier air, although Westerly air does not necessarily mean warmer or colder air (the last compass point, the West one, I couldn’t verify, but it makes sense as bringing both warmer and colder air).

The North and South vane points are predictive either East Coast or West Coast, Eastern or Western Hemisphere, but never Southern Hemisphere, where the vane indications are reversed, and cold air is from the South not the North.  Easterly breezes on the North American Atlantic, equate to Westerly, moist winds across the continent, on the Pacific.  1/25/19.

On January the 20th of 2019, there was a major change in the weather.  Long Island had a thirteen degree temperature drop in fifty minutes, just at the time the barometer rose .27 inches, and the winds shifted from the East to the North.  Northerly winds bring much colder air to Long Island from the frigid arctic (this holds true for the entire Northern Hemisphere, not just Long Island).  Midday temps were 48.7 degrees, overnight it’s expected to reach 7 degrees, a near 40 degree drop in one day.  All of these are very unusual weather phenomenon.

Montauk, aka The End, an ocean front community known primarily for seafood and beach combing (and sadly and most recently for round-the-clock, drunken, summer partying akin to bacchanal Jersey Shore), had temps four degrees warmer than central Long Island due to the moderating, warming effect of the Ocean.  Winds were twenty degrees gustier there on the East End, than they were inland and in the west, because there’s few buildings or trees blocking the unimpeded sea breezes and points just off the water.

The second week of January is typically the coldest.  There is a thermal equation at play that minimizes temperature in mid-January.  The stored heat of late Autumn has fully escaped off the surface of the Earth, and the sun’s rays that would otherwise replace this heat are at a sharp, glancing angle.  The Northern Hemisphere’s tilt away from the sun is at it’s maximum this time of year.

The coldest day in recent memory on Long Island, was on January the 7th of last year.  That night, it reached a bone-chilling -3°, Fahrenheit.  1/17/19.

It’s been said that if Long Island gets snow before Thanksgiving, which is what we just got on Thursday, we’ll have a wintry, colder than usual winter.  The last time we had snow before Thanksgiving (I can pretty much vouch for this), was a week after Super Storm Sandy, on November the SixthThe date of Thanksgiving, the fourth Thursday in November, may have much to do with traveling considerations, and not expecting snow in late November.  That said, Canada has their Thanksgiving set on the second Monday of October.  11/17/18.

Great Britain also deals with hurricanes almost on a par with Florence in the Carolinas, although the winds there don’t exceed 15 miles per hour.  They don’t have the warm, tropical water with massive stores of energy there that the Southern United States has here, so while you typically hear of massive hurricanes barreling at the British Isles every year, no one ever dies there, and there is no damage and no flooding whatsoever.  It is the miracle of Britain.  9/16/18.

[In 2017] At the end of summer, there is most often a few hours in a single day that signifies the end of the warmer, summer weather.  It is as if summer is resigning once more to autumn.  Yesterday, we probably received that change in the weather.  In a 15 hour span the temperature dropped 26 degrees.  If you wanted to get in some time swimming in the ocean or a lake, I hope you got it in already.  9/01/17...

[In 2018] Thursday, September the Sixth, may qualify as the last day of warmer weather in the Northeast.  We were dealing with a bit of a heat spell as the temperature reached 89 degrees.  That is, until just past 4PM when the temperature abruptly dropped twenty degrees in only three hours as a cold front moved through Long Island.  Mark these words, we may not see temps in the upper eighties until 2019.  The sun’s rays in the Northern Hemisphere are just too angled, too glancing, onto Earth to sustain substantial heat for the next three seasons.  9/09/18...

[In 2017] Well, most summers I’ve seen that happen, that summer is over and done by mid-September not to return until May or June.  This year though, with all the hurricanes, there has been a great deal of Southern, warm air flowing North.  That said, is the end of balmy weather here with this latest cold front?  This one flooded Long Island with 2.60 inches of rain today — that’s more than the average, weekly inch of rain, more than two weeks worth in fact, in under 8 hours.  The average temperature for the 24th of October has been 7.8 degrees above average (per the New York Times Replica Edition, Accuweather Weather Report).  10/24/17.

Last week, Minnesota received two feet of snow.  This is almost a month into Spring — and they are expected to receive more snow this week.  According to AccuWeather in the New York Times Replica Edition, Long Island is running -3.4° below normal for this month.  For the last thirty days, temps have been much lower than average here.  Area weatherman are saying it is too early to call for an Ice Age, but do any of them have the guts to call “Ice Age” when by every indication it’s approaching.

Yesterday, Long Island received two inches of rain, and a full inch in a three hour, morning span.  On average, Long Islanders get an inch of rain a week, but very rarely two weeks worth in twelve hours like this Monday.  4/17/18.

25.1 inches of snow, on average, falls yearly on New York City.  In Boston, it is 43.8 inches.  Per AccuWeather and the New York Times Replica Edition, Central Park currently has measured 23.8 inches of the fluffy stuff for the season.  This is before a nor’easter that’s heading our way tonight dumps its payload.  Our region may end up slightly above or at the average, annual snowfall accumulation (the averages computed go back to 1981).  As far as climate change concerns go, this is encouraging, but New York City is +2.8° above the normal, expected temperatures for the year.  3/06/18.

On the Second of March in 2018, Long Island received 3.5 inches of rain in 18 hours.  The outdoor temperature was 36°Fahrenheit.  If it was four degrees colder, it would have been snow, and not rain (32° is the freezing point of water).  An inch of rain is roughly equivalent to a foot of snow, so we would have had three and one half feet of snow.  Considering Long Island averages an inch of rain a week, in today’s 18 hour span, we received near a month’s worth of rain.  The upside is that we were spared a snow plowing disaster (or if you owned a snowplow, it would be white gold), but the downside is that this is more proof we are browning and baking the planet.  That’s because this is still winter, and we are only getting rain.  3/02/18.

On January 7th of this year, the Half Hollow Hills temperature in Northwest Suffolk County on Long Island, New York, U.S.A., was -3.5° Fahrenheit, and +2° in Islip, which was the Mac Arthur Airport record for the Seventh of January.  HHH is in the woods and further north, which could help to explain the five-degree discrepancy.  So far, this is the coldest temperature over two years I have recorded on my weather station.  The raccoons didn’t meet their demise.  A month later, they’re still eating the daily, five slices of bread (or dinner scrap equivalents) we put out for them.  2/09/18.

According to the National Severe Storm Laboratory:

“On average, thirteen inches of snow equals one inch of rain in the US, although this ratio can vary from two inches for sleet to nearly fifty inches for very dry, powdery snow under certain conditions.”

15° Fahrenheit has become the new normal for the Northeast, even as far South as Tennessee.  Enjoy the coziness the deep freeze brings.  But if this weather is making you ill, this is Canadian weather almost all winter long, and right now it is -12°F in Quebec City.  Fairbanks, Alaska, on the other coast, has a balmy-for-them temp of +10° now (even with only five hours of daylight), near Long Island’s of only +11°F.

For more perspective, Saint John’s, Newfoundland, in the Canadian Maritimes, is +25°F.  Saint John’s is a near a full degree of latitude further North of Quebec, the two are at opposite ends of the Saint Lawrence Seaway, but Saint John’s is also in the North Atlantic with its moderating ocean temps (just as the British Isles are North of both often-frozen, Canadian cities, but England rarely gets snow because of Gulf Stream currents).  1/01/18.

Historically, a barometer has been a sealed column of liquid mercury resting in a partially-sealed cup or reservoir, one also containing liquid mercury.  If the ambient air pressure pressing against the reservoir causes the column to rise above 30 inches, fair weather predominates.  With a reading of 29 inches to 30 inches, stormy, changing conditions can be expected.  If your barometer reads below 29 inches, it’s time to hide in the cellar, because a significant, even historic storm is headed your way.  12/06/17.

Another consideration in measuring barometric pressure is whether this is referring to absolute or relative pressure.  Relative pressure is benchmark pressure recalibrated or adjusted relative to sea level, without regard to elevation.  As elevation increases, air pressure decreases, and for example, absolute pressure in the Mile-High-City, Denver, is regularly only 24 inches.  Thus, relative pressure is greater in quantity than the absolute metric.  Relative pressure (or pressure relative to sea level) is generally the pressure of record because the elevation of the instrument’s location does not matter.  12/07/17.

Northerly winds bring in, or transport, cold, dryer air from the North; Southerly winds bring in the South’s warm, more humid air; strong Easterly winds on the East Coast of the United States, pull in moist, moderating, and humid ocean air; while Westerly breezes on the East Coast tend to be drier as there is no nearby major body of water.

A nor’easter is a cyclone with a double barrel of devastation.  This storm type combines the North’s cold air, and the warmer moisture from the Atlantic Ocean in the East.

So if you know which way the wind blows with a weather vane, and how fast or turbulent it is getting here with an anemometer, that can tell you much about the type of weather heading your way.  1/14/17.

I prefer seasonable temperatures, or below average temps, over above average ones.  Above average temps are more proof we have irrevocably damaged the ecology.  They signify global warming is well under way.  Plus, I am half-French Canadian, historically my lineage belongs in the colder weather.  11/19/17.

One would expect the maximum temperature for the day to be at noon, when the sun is highest in the sky, and most directly shining down on the Earth, but this is almost never true.  Solar, radiant energy accumulates during the day until around 3PM to 4PM, when, with the setting sun, the top temperature is reached, and radiant energy starts dissipating faster than it’s being accumulated.  11/11/17.

The 0.87 inches of rain today was the first significant soaking on Long Island in two weeks.  June the 24th had 2.37 inches and June 19th had 2.10 inches.  This staves off watering your lawn for at least a week.  By the way, Long Island receives, on average, one inch of rain each week.  7/07/17.

In forty minutes this evening, one and two-thirds inches of rain fell.  Warm, humid air heading up the Eastern Seaboard met with a cold front from the West, and this caused very unusual amounts of rain as well as lightning strikes.  To give an idea of the severity associated with this rainstorm, a typical Long Island soaking might drop a half inch of rain over its entire duration.  6/19/17.

With inclement weather nearing, I was wondering why the barometer was holding steady today.  Well, at this point, it’s falling.  An inch or two of rain is expected within the next two days.  A single barometer reading of 29.99 inches or lower of air pressure is significant, but the best indicator of bad weather, outside of satellite imagery, is falling pressure.

Strong winds also indicate bad weather, but from a physics perspective, they only represent pressure differentials, either a gradient of rising, strong high pressure, bringing good weather, or significant low pressure, which predicates stormy conditions.  If you do not believe me, ask your local meteorologist.  I’ll wait...  5/04/17.

The near-Spring Blizzard of 2017 was no blizzard, it was a non-event on Long Island; and I had a feeling early on that the fine men and women of meteorology had missed the call.  As of 4:38PM prior to the big event, I could see on my weather station that it was 37.9 degrees, hardly enough for concerted snowfall eight hours distant.  If all the weather bureaus knew of my acumen, millions of dollars would have been saved in compensatory time for a mostly pointless snow day.  Master Trump will soon get nasty for the loss of his tax levies, but don’t accuse my person.  (We’re talking weather, a prime occasion to go high-brow and have a take on Charles Dickens.)  3/14/17.

Dew point is the temperature at which the outdoor air’s moisture condenses.  It indicates how humid the air is, and how much it needs to cool to precipitate.  In winter, the gap between dew point, and the air temperature shows the potential for significant snow.  The narrower of a difference, the more snow can fall.  Five degrees is narrow, twenty degrees is likely not enough for significant precipitation.  (This is per Nick Gregory, New York’s channel 5 meteorologist.)  1/14/17.
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Harvard is an easy A

  9/14/17.  5/15/19.  To be accepted into Harvard, one must ostensibly be super-bright (or belong to every club in existence at their high school); but is getting admitted the hardest part about attending this university?  The cumulative grade point average for a Harvard undergraduate senior is a 3.65, very close to a 3.67, or almost exactly an A-minus.  Harvard sure sounds like an easy A.  Once you get in, your cares are over, and you are set for life with all the prestige of an elite, Harvard sheepskin.

Even more comical, or tragic, depending on how you want to look at it, is that the student body knows this, yet won’t think of this as grade inflation.  Only 28% believe there is actually grade inflation at Harvard.  On the basis of these grade evaluations, the leaders in every field, business, science, medicine, government, and finance, have been coasting since they were eighteen years of age.

This doesn’t even include those who were admitted into Harvard because of either family fortune or celebrity, yet not because of proven academic excellence in high school or as an undergraduate.  These two extra-special groups are looked at even more favorably than the A-minus crowd.

(This favoritism most likely doesn’t stop at Harvard, and infects the other Ivy League Universities.  Trump has blocked release of his academic grades, does anyone think he was a stellar scholar?)

The motto greeting new students at Harvard is “Veritas,” or truth.  Harvard’s motto instead should read “Your cares are over, welcome to country club living...”
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The Networked Rooms Model of Memory and Consciousness

The longer an experience transpires, or the more novel and unusual it is, the easier it is to remember.  Yet the more repetitive an experience, the more likely that it is: habituated in consciousness, and classified cerebrally as insignificant; that is, forgotten...

The brain has finite memory storage.  Memories from very early in life fill a smaller brain and are soon replaced by more recent, adult ones.  Thoughts intentionally repeated over and over again, like test answers, are imprinted into memory and are flagged as being useful somehow so they’re held indefinitely.  Any repetitive, boring activity like brushing your teeth, is forgotten due to cerebral habituation, the brain would overflow beyond its capacity if dull, repeated information were collected.

The fact that this all this processing happens without any governance by the individual — our memory system is a genetic inheritance — makes the brain’s evolution astoundingly incomprehensible, and devoid of explanation...

Memory, and even consciousness, can be considered a traversal of unique, related, and networked rooms where each one contains related and grouped words, thoughts, ideas, images, or senses.  The tree-like linkages — from rough recollection at the trunk to detailed refinement near the leaves — are retrieved based on prior associations, or denominators, between the rooms and what is contained within them.  To jog one’s memory, one browses the rooms known to be near the temporarily forgotten memory node.

Try taking a passive stance, and noticing the thread your brain used to connect, or chain, between different thoughts.  Fortuitously, trying out this parlor game does not permanently add a layer of processing to your cognitive functioning as an invasive cult like Scientology does.
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Summer Bookended by Holidays versus Astronomical Methods

Summer is half over based on one of two methods.  The holiday method, or the astronomical method.  With the former, the midpoint of Memorial and Labor Days is chosen; with the latter, the half way point is between the June 21st, Summer Solstice, and the September 23rd, Autumnal Equinox.

If one chooses the holiday method, July 15th becomes the mid point (September 2nd - May 27th = 98 days, half of 98 days is 49 days, May 27th + 49 days is July 15th).  If one chooses the astronomical method though, Summer is half over on, August 7th (September 23rd - June 21st = 94 days, half of 94 days is 47 days, June 21st + 47 days is August 7th).

Having holidays bookend Summer came with the popularity of the Memorial and Labor Day holidays, but it may have also become popular with Global Warming because our Summer is starting earlier temperature-wise, yet not astronomically which has much of a historical tradition.

Regardless of method selected, please keep in mind that Labor Day is the last day of the year that it is still fashionable for those in High Society to wear white or seersucker.  Your crowd will be so put out if you wear white in mid-September.  So please dress appropriately and cognizant of the calendar...
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Equinox and Lunar Eclipse, get your Program here.  9/20/15.  The Autumnal Equinox, or the beginning of Autumn, occurs on Wednesday, September 22nd of this year.  On this date, every place on earth will have equal daytime and nighttime, because the Earth’s axis of rotation doesn’t favor any latitude regarding the duration of daylight.  The next time that this occurs is the beginning of Spring, or the Vernal Equinox, on March 20th, 2017.

There are many more lunar eclipses than solar eclipses.  This is in part because the Earth is bigger than the Moon, so it casts a wider shadow.  During total solar eclipses, the moon’s shadow blocks light to Earth, and the earth goes dark during the daytime.  In Biblical times, its cause baffled and frightened all except the astronomers and their patrons, so eclipses were seen as the sign of an vengeful God.
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Fireflies only Light-up when They’re Rising

The next evening you notice some fireflies, check the direction that they’re flying when they light up; they’re always flying upward.  This is likely because they’re going against gravity, and that is when they’re converting food to motion at the fastest clip.  The by-product of this quickened metabolism for fireflies is light.  As for why fireflies would need its wings to flap with more effort and determination, it may be required on hotter days to fan themselves, on cooler days they disappear.

To think, this light show has been going on for at least tens of thousands of years, and you’re only finding this out now because of your nominally-priced, Prestige Other Letter Subscription.  If you are bugging out because you haven’t paid for your subscription, no worries, you are a lucky Other Letter Prestige Winner.
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The Biggest Insects in Town  9/16/19.  I opened my door yesterday, and I watched a two-inch-long grasshopper fly by me and into my house.  Even with the invention of the humane insect capture, cup-and-carding technique, I still have never tracked down an insect once it got inside my house.  I’ve only escorted ones that were already inside.

Well, surprise, surprise, today I found the grasshopper in question near a bedroom door frame.  I was able to cup-and-card it, and get it outside.  When I was going back inside, I came across a second, two-inch-long grasshopper, and in the exact place I found the first one, on the screen door in the back.  I didn’t make the same mistake twice, and the second one didn’t sneak inside as well.  So the story has a happy ending.

But this raises another issue, why was the second grasshopper in the exact same place as the first, a day later? Grasshoppers can’t be smart, they can’t have affiliation with other grasshoppers.  They may or may not be aware of a change in seasons though, and see a house as protection from them.  Crickets want to be inside houses in the Autumn, that’s well established.

Still, it was on the opening side of the door, not the middle, or the other end.  Imbuing an insect with more intelligence than it deserves is a bit delusional, and worthy of a Disney movie.  Still, it was in the exact same place its relative was on the following day.  Was the second grasshopper checking up on the first, wondering where he went, or at least exhibiting lemming, follow-the-leader tendencies?
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Removing Insects without Pesticides  10/08/12.  Want to cleanly remove bugs or insects from a home, and still respect the ecology?  The following works very well, especially with the autumn crickets in the Northeastern U.S., or when there is no infestation.

Tarantula with a piece of cardboard to slide under it for removal

This is not as difficult as it looks.

Take a plastic see-through cup, and a wider, thin piece of cardboard (on Long Island, a real estate ad works well).  Cover the critter with the cup.  Lift the cup slightly and slowly slide the piece of cardboard under the cup.  Hold the bottom of the cup with your thumb, and the cardboard on top with your other fingers.  If you are using a taller cup, hold the cup in one hand, and hold down the cardboard with the other hand.  Go outside, lift the cardboard, and throw your haul back to nature.

The bug may eventually freeze, but it will not starve, and it will get to live another day where it was intended to live.  Of course you could crush it underfoot, or spray it with insecticides, but by disrupting the ecosystem you lose on two counts — you will have an insect to clean up, and some hungry wildlife like a bird may miss a meal.
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The Great Outdoors Close-Up

Birds must have a long-term memory  9/14/19.  The blue jays who were regularly visiting our backyard birdbath disappeared for nearly six weeks.  A few returned to take a bath with the hot day that Long Island had on Wednesday.  They were able to find our birdbath after the layoff, which definitely suggests that they have a memory of locations.

A swallow returned to the nesting site in our outdoor speaker, four months after the nestlings flew the coop (no, we never turned the speaker on while they nested).  Was it the mother hoping to reunite with its nestling? Okay, that may be a stretch, but did the bird just remember that this was a safe and protected location, one that allowed it’s chick to reach full maturity?

Most significantly, both of these observations suggest that they probably have a long term memory and would be aware of other events such as seasons.  Without getting all phantasmagorically Disney, they probably have a recollection of winter, that it does seem to be coming here again, and they know that while it’s uncomfortable, they won’t die from the cold because they survived the prior winter.
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The Tree Branch Balancing Act  9/13/13.  Branches will never grow on only one side of a tree.  In fact, look at a tree, and you will see that its branches are well-distributed to balance each other.  They are further balanced respective to branch thickness and age — so they are well-positioned regarding the limb’s weight.  Were they not, the tree would topple.  Then just as the rings of a tree trunk will determine the age of a tree, the diameter of a tree’s branches also give the relative age of its limbs.  The thinner branches would have to be the most recent additions.

Somehow the tree knows where to start new branches — a certain feedback loop is in place.  Is advantageous bough positioning just a product of the availability of light?  Then are its branches located where its food can best be found, from a particularly sunny side of the tree?  Yet branches in already shaded areas grow well too.  Regardless, just by looking at a tree, one can see which branches were there first, and which branches were next to counter-balance the weight of the first, and so on, until the tree is decked in full array.
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Pea-brained, yet jet plane-equipped?  9/13/13.  If you notice birds escape patterns, they take flight flying upwards.  This must be because groundlings can still catch them when they only fly laterally.  They also know the aerodynamics to fly in any direction, typically in speed-oscillated, arced intervals.  Their tail feathers serve as horizontal stabilizers controlling pitch, that is, flying them higher or lower, as well as slowing and stopping them.  Their wings serve as vertical stabilizers controlling yaw, or left and right travel.  Larger birds, usually birds of prey, can thermal or glide, without noticeable wing motion, circling and covering long distances.

Even very small birds dart in and out of shrubbery at speeds that must approach thirty miles an hour, yet they never bump into anything.  Just as cats and dogs have better night vision than humans, do birds process their visual field at a much faster clip than all others in the Animal Kingdom can?

Yet birds would not seem to have the cranial capacity to support all these levels of aeronautical sophistication.  Then again, they do not need the tremendous cerebral overhead necessary to process the symbolic logic of linguistics and mathematics.
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Do trees prefer a Southern exposure like many homeowners do?  2/28/16.  Next time you are surrounded by a stand of trees, take note of which direction their branches and leaves tend to lean.  Being phototropic and thus gravitating towards light, one would think that plants need the maximum exposure to light, and that this is accomplished by facing South.  Otherwise, it does survive as a natural resource transformer, one turning water and carbon dioxide into sugar and oxygen.  This process, known as photosynthesis uses plants’ chlorophyll pigment to trigger a universal chemical reaction that enables all of life on Earth.

Getting back to our tree stand, you will see some trees that do seek Southern exposure, although they do tend to be in the minority in the sample I checked.  Another aspect to consider, is that any available light left beneath the tree canopy is where new growth must occupy, irrespective of predominant Sun direction.  By the way, you can easily find a surrogate for South by looking ninety degrees between you and the Sun at 6AM or 6PM, or near the direction of the Sun at noontime.

What is most difficult to believe about the chemical, food-producing complexity articulated by green and very tall, arching life forms, is that Darwinism claims that this is all the product of surviving molecular collisions, and DNA mutation.  These two hypothetical mechanisms do not hold up well as the explanation for the generation of the grand sum of Creation.  Even after millions of years of trial and error, chemicals, without being governed, can really only become chemicals.  That is unless there is another, unaccounted for, never seen or observed factor at work; one needed to explain the equivalent of biochemical miracles from only interstellar dust.
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New York to London by Car

Wouldn’t it be great to some day pack up the sedan and travel around the world?  This is not as far-fetched as it may seem.  The main impediment is the Bering Straight dividing Alaska from Russia.  Averaging twenty degrees colder than New York City, the Straight is a sheet of ice in winter.  In the summer though, it could be a ferry route.

Mouse over for neon nightlife

Old World charm of Europe

The Old World charm of Europe,
see it like a local
(but not in an antique Lada)

A summer-only road, or auto on rail route, joining Fairbanks, Alaska and the Bering Straight would need to be constructed.  On the other side of the International Date Line, in Eastern Russia, a new highway would complete necessary construction.  It would connect the Bering Straight to the North Pacific’s Sea of Okhotsk.  After arriving at the town of Magadan by the same Sea of Okhotsk, car travel can proceed along the fully graded Trans-Siberian Highway (slated to be fully paved this year).  This will transport travelers to Europe, Pacific to Atlantic, and no further construction is required.

A circumferential highway would be a great idea in many ways.  It would increase the tourism, and thus better the economy, of those that have never seen a Yankee.  Every society on Earth would have greater appreciation and understanding of every other society.  Instead of traveling to Vegas or Atlantic City, bus tourists could get first-hand experience with another culture, another way of life.

The road would connect all the peoples on our earth, it would be a common thread of every man.  Asians and Europeans could drive to Quebec, California and Acapulco; Americans could drive to Tokyo, Saint Petersburg, Stockholm, and Paris.  Take the ultimate road trip, the vacation of a lifetime, one around the globe.

And if you’re wondering how you’ll get across the English Channel in a car; auto-carrying trains leave every two hours for the 35 minute ride.


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Climate Change rapes Mother Nature...

I don’t mean to gloat (or maybe I do).  But the perfect experiment for my economic-meterological connection (detailed in 2010 below) has been created with the Coronavirus.  The economy is grinding to a halt, and so is the emission of greenhouse gases.

As a result, we are in the midst of a very cold Spring.  In fact, on April 17th, we had a 29° Fahrenheit overnight temperature which last happened on this date, 92-years-ago, in 1928 (via The New York Times Replica Accuweather page).  This more than suggests that our current, Coronavirus economy matches that of the 1920’s in productive capacity and activity.  4/17/20...

That lead-in must have grabbed your attention.  Here’s what it means ...

When gas gets more expensive, people adjust their driving habits, buy less gas, and use their car less.  This was definitely true during the summer of 2008’s, gas price surge as weekly purchases dropped more than five percent year to year.  What most do not realize is that when they use their car less, they are also releasing less greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.  The net effect is that this lessens global warming.

There is anecdotal evidence to support this correlation as well.  Many noticed that Long Island’s summer of 2008, with its outrageously high gas prices, was a welcome, mild one, without a single, long heat wave.  A few months later, Long Islanders had an anachronously frosty winter.  Alaska had an extremely frigid three weeks in the same winter of 2008-2009, with temperatures as cold as -80° Fahrenheit.  And that winter paradise, England, had eight inches of snow February of 2009, the most in 18 years.  The following New York summer, the one of 2009, was again mild and without a single heat wave.  Further evidence, the coldest New York State temperature, -52°F in Herkimer County, was recorded in 1979, months after the OPEC energy crisis began.

It is not even necessary to prove the correlation between temperature and oil’s price, it is proved by definition.  Green house gases like car emissions raise air temperature.  The price of petroleum increases, following a simple demand schedule, people use less petroleum; less green house gas is emitted, air temperature cools.

Determining the quantitative extent of the temperature change and how long it lasts, calculating how much temperature change lags gasoline price change, and gauging how this plays out regionally, are different matters.  Since motor vehicles are a principal polluter though, any factor reducing their usage is sure to significantly lower carbon dioxide emissions, and thus have a direct effect on temperature.


sign for expensive gas

Take comfort, this helps the environment

This does not mean we should put a crimp in petroleum demand by price gouging the motorist, leaving many of them to decide between buying gas or employing pedal power.  OPEC and Exxon Mobil have no right to piles of our hard earned cash regardless of what the New York Mercantile Exchange dictates.

Instead lightly tax gas purchases and use the proceeds to put cities, towns, and neighborhoods on an even footing.  Have the outer boroughs look like Manhattan, do beautiful things with the money.

This also holds true for drops in petroleum demand not keyed to the price of oil.  Any falloff in economic activity would have the same chilling effect on global warming.  Lowered economic output means less use of fossil fuels, either in transportation, manufacturing plants, or shopping destinations.

By the way, why am I paying 55 percent less for gas now than I did in August ’08?  Did they hit the mother lode in Alaska?  The Mayor of Alaska did not mention this in her bid for the Presidency.  Sorry for the break in tone there, Sarah Palin will do that.

Meteorology Economics  11/25/09.  It was only fourteen months ago that Hank Paulson, Bush’ Treasury Secretary, unexpectedly asked for, then received, $700 billion from Congress to buy up Wall Street’s under-performing assets.  Along with the stranglehold on credit, this vote of no confidence helped to pull the emergency brake on the economy, and the U.S. is now getting an unusually early and cold winter.

Winters from Back in the Day  2/12/10.  With further evidence of the economic activity-weather interconnection, the Southern United States is getting socked in with record cold and snow, right in tune with an inherited, sputtering economy.  It is not too difficult to see the interplay of commerce, fossil fuel consumption, and climate.

Is the Weather Channel perfect?  3/05/10.  The Weather Channel claims our unusual weather is the result of 2010 being an El Niño year, with a set of associated regional weather patterns.  The El Niño hundred-year weather model though, only predicts average precipitation and temperature in an El Niño year for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States.  In spite of this, that is where a lot of this year’s atypical weather occurred.

For winter months here in Downstate New York, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) El Niño model forecasted weather close to the norm, meanwhile Central Park had an all-time record for February snowfall accumulation.

Petroleum usage varies with the economy’s performance.  So global warming, being a consequence of petroleum usage, can be a product of the economy as well.  Thus, a downturn in the economy precipitates a drop in the mercury.  Today’s representations overlook this economy-climate relationship.
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The Economy’s Chilling Effect on Weather in Britain  11/27/10.  Unusually expensive gas and an unresponsive economy spell lower temperatures, this time in London and the rest of Great Britain.  The British Isles, even though they lie on the path of the Gulf Stream, had close to a half foot of snow this weekend.  Britons last had November snow in 1993.  William Hill, English gambling parlor operator, lowered their odds from 16/1 to 10/1 on bets this winter would be England’s coldest ever, with a White Christmas now paying six to one.
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The Tanked Economy and a White Halloween  10/28/11.  This weekend’s snowy weather is additional, cold hard evidence for Other Letter’s theory connecting the weather and the economy.  Because of a very stubborn economic recovery, less greenhouse gas is produced from lowered petroleum consumption in transportation, manufacturing, and consumer sectors.  For the New York City region, the consequence is lower temperatures, and snow before Halloween.

Makes one wonder though what is with this economy.  True, Congress is deadlocked, but recessions have lifted with divided branches of government.  And one would think that the brightest, most experienced economic minds in the world could kick start this engine of commerce.

I wonder if there has been a withholding of major, long-term purchases by consumers and businesses who possess a racist bent.  Their rationalization is that they will spend freely once they feel they have someone in the White House that gives them their requisite feeling of “confidence.”  That would be someone of their own kind, someone pale-skinned.
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Other Letter Decides the Weather  6/27/15.  Here’s an interesting scientific fact, Other Letter decides the weather.  OL is trending towards tens of millions of visitors each and every day, and when they’re reading this, they’re not polluting the atmosphere with planet-warming, greenhouse gas.  Why is this so?  Because they are not driving around in their cars, they are staying at home.  Our readership is greatest in the Northeastern United States, therefore we’re having a gorgeous, almost unseasonably cool summer here.  This is all thanks to your friends at OL.  You’re more than welcome.  We’re glad we could be of service to you.

This might also be caused by TV usage, say by a hot new TV show, but of course, there is no such thing any more.  Even if there was, it would only draw people inside their homes once a week; OL does this all day, every day.  Yes, this is irrefutable and undisputed, hard, cold science, people — OL determines your weather.  In fact, with a more precise audience metric system, stories could be run whose readership is known ahead of time.  Then OL would control when people use their car, and thus, OL may one day control the weather.  That’s right, instead of Obama, Sarkozy, Thatcher, or any of those other Presidents taking the credit for reversing climate change, it would just be me.  So on the next beautiful day, you know who to thank, thank the best blogs on this great Earth, the Other Letter family of blogs.
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...And the rape of Mother Nature began in 1843

1843, or thereabouts, is as exact an estimate as you will find.  This was when Canada’s Athabasca glacier started retreating from historic lengths.  Checking the graphic from the early to mid-1800’s, you’ll see many of the world’s glaciers measured prior to 1900 changed direction right around this time.  The yellow markers on the chart indicate the year that major glaciers started getting smaller, irreversibly so as of yet.

Around the 1840’s, the Industrial Revolution, and man’s use of coal as an energy source – in transportation, factories, and homes – made global warming a reality.  Like the rest of the earth antebellum, industry of the American South must have been building up steam (and at an alarming pace as far as the Union was concerned).  1843, though, that’s about when man’s ability to pollute the environment began to outdo nature’s ability to clean it up.  We may witness the end result; the lush, verdancy of this earth evaporating and going up in smoke, just to become an arid wasteland, home only to domesticated animals (such as ourselves).

There is a report that studies the question of global warming with far greater detail than this does.  It claims global warming started in the 1950s.  That report fails to explain why the world’s glaciers started receding circa 1850 as easily seen here.  The report also has a temperature graph that indicates much of the same — temperature started rising by 1880 at the latest.  I have much difficulty understanding how a report with 53 authors and 3 editors would gloss over evidence that powerful and easy to recognize.  This must be the ivory tower though.  Obfuscation passes for what’s called intelligence; and what’s called intelligence is tightly linked with the size of a professor’s paycheck.


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A Lifetime of Light from a Droplet of Water

Einstein let the world in on the fact that minute amounts of matter could be converted into vast amounts of energy.  Yet what does this mean on a practical basis?  For instance, how much energy does a droplet of water contain?  The question was raised, and the equation was then devised and solved by my father, an electrical engineer well-versed in science and mathematics.  My sole contribution was asking if the final conversion, to kilogram meters, could be translated further to more familiar terms, kilowatts for instance.  Here is the derivation.

Energy in Mass
E = m c^2

c = 300,000 Km/sec = 300,000,000 velocity of light in meters/sec

c = 300,000,000

c^2 = 9E+16 (meters/sec)^2

f = m * a   is the force required to accelerate a mass, m, at "a" meters per sec per sec (the acceleration being the increase of velocity in one second)

w = m * g   weight equals mass times the earth’s gravitational acceleration constant (gravity, g, differs on different planets)

g = 9.817073171,  the acceleration that the Earth imparts to objects.   Defined as the gravitational constant in meters/sec/sec (velocity increase, or acceleration, per second).

w = v * d   weight equals volume times density

v = (4/3)*(3.141596)*r^3 cu cm    equals the volume of a droplet of water which has a diameter of 1/16 of an inch, that is, a 0.002094789 cu cm droplet

d = 1 gram/cu cm, the density of water

w = v * d  or  0.002094789, weight of water droplet in grams

2.09479E-06   weight of water droplet in kilograms

m = w/g = 2.13382E-07   mass of water droplet in kilogram sec sec per meter

E = m c^2  =  19,204,401,111.95    kilogram sec sec per meter (meters/sec)^2

E = m c^2  =  19,204,401,111.95   kilogram meters (two sec and two meter units cancel)

E = m c^2  =  19,204,401,111.95  *  9.8 newton meters (mass to electrical conversion)

E = m c^2  =  188,203,130,897.07 newton meters or joules (1 watt a second)

1,882,031,309 energy ‘packets’ of 100 joules = ‘packets’ equaling 100 watts for a second (188,203,130,897.07 / 100)

522,786 hours of 100 watt packets (1,882,031,309 sec / (60 sec * 60 min))

21,783 days of 100 watt packets (522,786 hours / 24 hours)

59.7 years of 100 watt packets (21,783 days / 365 days)

The result, a droplet of water has enough energy to power a 100 watt bulb for sixty years.  This can be further converted into a home’s monthly electrical usage.  The same droplet of water will generate six years of kilowatt hours, or enough energy to power a typical 1kw/hour house for six years.  All without any pollution, or possibility of depletion.

Were our energy water-based, we would no longer need to justify the leveling of countries to get our precious fuel for our more precious gas-guzzler.  Almost incomprehensibly, every time it rained, it would be raining free fuel for turbine plants.  One downpour and there would be enough to power cities to perpetuity.


What is worth $10,512?  9/19/12.  If you guessed a droplet of water, you take home our door prize.  A kilowatt hour, or the electricity required to light ten, 100-watt light bulbs for an hour, costs approximately 20 cents.  Based on the calculations above, a droplet of water can supply a kilowatt continuously for six years.  $0.20 times 24 hours, times 365 days, times 6 years, equals $10,512.  Then the value in energy of a droplet of water is, surprisingly enough, $10,512.
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Finding the Phantom Railroad

The maps on a GPS include railroad lines that no longer exist.  If you follow one of those lines in your car you’ll notice out of use trestles, railroad ties, and older buildings that were first there with the railroad.  The only explanation I have for why these spurs are included on a GPS is that they’re U.S. Geological Survey maps, and the government assumed railroad lines exist forever.  In this sense, they do.


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A species is revitalized from extinction?

Can a species evolve a second time?  More specifically, if a species were to be driven to extinction by man’s adulteration of habitat, would the reintroduction of the finer environment that allowed for its creation, allow for its re-creation?  Likewise, can the natural, genetic alteration that created a new species, happen once more?

Because genetic mutations have been shown to be random, yet represent only a small portion of the specimen’s genetic blueprint (or genome), the odds of a complete revitalization of a species must be small, yet still possible.

This, of course, is not meant as apologetics for decimating flora and fauna.  Those forays on Mother Nature damage the interdependent, global ecosystem, and will likely prevent return to its pristine state.  Rather it is the hope that species already extinct, when given suitable environs, have a chance of again populating the earth.
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When kayaking, go left here?  Go right?

kayak-river bank cross section

The steeper bank gets
deeper nearer to shore.

Say you are paddling a kayak down a tidal river at slack low tide before the current starts coming back in.  You would prefer to not go aground, so you need a general rule or algorithm to determine your path.  Do you travel nearer the left bank or the right bank?

Generally speaking, current travels fastest on the inside bank of a turn, not as it fans out on the outside of a turn.  The inside bank’s current would thus carry off the most sediment and off its shore would be the deepest.  Or compare the steepness of the two river banks.  The steeper bank to water level is subject to faster current and would be angled deeper into the river bed; so this side should be the side to choose to have more water depth, where one would be less likely to hit bottom.


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The Lion Guarding the Gate

Lion statues as entrance way adornment may have been tribute from a practice of taming the felines.  They could attack marauding strangers like mauling dogs, yet purr like kittens for their scrap-offering masters.  Egyptians would then build their sphinx to honor the creatures and the practice.  During the games of the gladiators, the Romans must have had them partially trained to be released from the Hypogeum beneath the Coliseum.  Smaller cats can be domesticated, it stands to reason larger ones can be as well.
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Solving the Mystery of Mona Lisa’s Smile

The Mona Lisa was commissioned to celebrate a new home, and a new child, of Lisa del Giocondo and her husband, Francesco del Giocondo, a wealthy Florentine silk merchant.

Notice the water all around Lisa.  She is looking to her left as if to say “Look over my shoulder, water everywhere, it is resplendent.”  She has water to drink, water to cook, water to bathe.  She can easily wash her garments, she does not have to trudge miles with swaddling clothes and buckets.  Her enigmatic smile may very well be concealing a wide grin.

To her upper left is a large harbor, conceivably a trading center with goods from far away lands.  The bridge to her lower left allows a natural, river border to be easily crossed — or defended, if need be.

This majestic view is attributed to imaginary, aerial perspective, I would suggest it is only a consolidated perspective from a hill-top.  Leonardo Da Vinci, consummate painter that he was, still did not possess a studio with this panorama.  As this was a commissioned work, he would have no need to invent background, the wealthy would supply it with the sitting, and the patrons would rather have a portrait in honor of their own environs.
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Beasts of Burden, the Pyramids, and Stonehenge

Beasts of burden, such as any oxen or horse, can pull slabs of log-rolled limestone or granite.  This may help to demystify two riddles of the ages; where was the brute force necessary to build the ramped, Great Pyramids in Giza, and England’s levered, Stonehenge monument?  Wikipedia, among others, claim these were solely the work of very numerous laborer or slave teams.

One may say that Africa did not have horses, although they would be mistaken, as Egyptians did ride chariots.  They definitely had cows as well, so they did have bulls, and castrated bulls, or oxen.  England, of course, had horses.

They must have known their work would stand through the ages, and some of its construction remains a mystery, perhaps deliberately.  The source of this horsepower may have been hidden, as knowing this makes for a substantially less impressive construction accomplishment.

Enslaved or not, the work crew and their animals would need to eat.  So one could even conjecture that any fertile area by the Nile they used for food were ultimately torched.  This destroys any evidence of the site’s creation method or presence of livestock.  Although upon its completion, they might all return to their settlements — then perhaps our age is the unkind one.
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Life 200 Years Ago

What amenities do we have today that we take for granted?  Are there luxuries our ancestors could only dream of, that they would have killed to possess?

Here’s a short list of modern conveniences we’ve learned we cannot live without: supermarket, non-locally prepared food; pre-butchered livestock; refrigerators preventing spoilage; fast yet never-tiring, mechanized transportation; weather forecasts; automatic climate control.  And before we forget: electric lighting; indoor plumbing; polio, typhus, and tuberculosis vaccines; land lines and cell phones; readily-available entertainment (and endless porn); and personal computers.

We were unprepared when most of these stopped working after Hurricane Sandy.  Our ancestors had learned to live their entire lives under the same conditions we loathed experiencing for just a few days.


Any Population with 46 Chromosomes has roughly the same Intelligence as any Other  10/28/16.  Native Americans may have lived primitively and remotely but their cranial capacity was not much different than our own.  They were about as smart as we are although they lacked: formal education, sophisticated tools, or the ability to retrieve info on past discoveries.

They had no place to store knowledge, either in books or machines, so it was all passed down informally via folklore.  As nomadic people, and being sparsely populated, their ability to manufacture from high-tech blueprints was never possible, as their capabilities and logistics never approached a critical mass of scientific enlightenment.

Consistent nutrition was lacking for them, so they tended to be shorter, but it’s doubtful that this made them mentally retarded.  The Native Americans’ fate was dictated by their mode of living, sparse population, and community organization, not any lower levels of intelligence.

The same can be said of the African Bushmen, or the traders on camel along the Silk Road.  Their migratory society never reached a critical mass of concentrated, technological sophistication.
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In the Heavenly Skies Above



The Winter Constellation of Orion

The constellation of Orion the Hunter is easily seen in winter in the Northern Hemisphere.  Orion cannot be seen in the summer because that’s when it’s behind the sun.  The most distinguishing feature of Orion is Orion’s Belt.  This is comprised of three stars side by side all in a row (from left to right these stars are named Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka).

Contellation of Orion with the year the star's light left for Earth, and its distance in light years
Constellation of Orion the Hunter with lightyears

Rollover stars for their
names, and the year the
light left the star to be
seen with your eyes today.
(ly = light years distant)

There is an interesting phenomenon at work here.  We know when the light left the stars for Earth.  It is not five years ago, or ten years ago.  The photons you see with your eyes today left the stars in the Middle Ages, and several stars even further back.

Onto the play-by-play: One light year is the distance light travels in a single year.  Each star in Orion’s Belt is over 825 light years away.  The light took over 825 years to get here, being over 825 light years away.

What this means is that when the light from the stars reach your eyes, the same light left the stars before 1194 AD.  In 1194 AD, Europe had barely even entered the Dark Ages, Christopher Columbus hadn’t set sail on the Santa Maria, and in fact he wasn’t even born yet, and neither were Sir Isaac Newton, Joan of Arc, or Leonardo Da Vinci.

The right shoulder of Orion the Hunter is a star called Bellatrix and the left shoulder is one called Betelgeuse (pronounced like the movie, Beetle Juice).  Bellatrix’ light left for your eye in 1776 AD, and Betelgeuse’s, in 1590 AD.  (If any of this is incorrect, blame Einstein, he proposed fundamental speed of light calculations.)

Betelgeuse may go supernova within a few thousand years.  In other words, it may explode.  Because it’s such a bright, well-fueled star it would light up the night sky for several months like a full moon.  Betelgeuse is so far away from us though, it would pose no threat to this earth.

What’s also of interest is this winter constellation’s name, Orion the Hunter.  One can easily imagine a society relying on hunting in the winter, but gathering or farming in the salad days of summer.  Perhaps the name was chosen by antiquity to signify to their successors something about their way of life, and when certain foods were plentiful.  Given this constellation’s shape it could just as easily been called the Archer Sagittarius, or the Goddess Virgo.  That it was instead called the Hunter, and given that it’s probably the most prominent seasonal constellation, may prove this conjecture.

One other note, for much of everyones’ birthday month, your astrological sign is the constellation behind the sun.  For instance, at this writing, the constellation Sagittarius is on the other side of the sun, and anyone born now is a Sagittarius.
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Who doesn’t believe you’re seeing the light of Orion’s Belt from Medieval times?  7/23/19.  If you don’t believe that the light seen today from Orion’s Belt left those three stars in the Middle Ages (read The Winter Constellation of Orion above), you are essentially refuting Albert Einstein and his “knowledge” concerning speed of light calculations.  Do you go by your own intuition, or do you go by Einstein’s?  And if Einstein was wrong about this, what else was he wrong about?

Can atoms really be split?  Did the spectre of nuclear weaponry become what the spectre of Jesus the Christ once was, a means to instill fear in the under classes?  Were the bombs used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki just grand-scale, TNT explosives?

Why did the Enola Gay, the plane dropping the bombs, require such a huge munitions bay for such a huge bomb?  Why did a 140 pound load of Uranium require a 9,700 pound bomb to house it?  Just a little to think about.

(If you would like to build your own atomic weapon, here’s how to do it...  Have a blast!  By the way, if you can actually construct a nuclear weapon from these sketches, you are the most brilliant person the earth has ever produced.)
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Is time needed?

There are two types of clocks.  The first is mechanical, and has cogs to advance the hour, minute, and second hands.  The second is based on human cycles, on our circadian rhythms, and is entirely independent of the machine clock.  The gears behind the clock face, are the equivalent of a factory time clock running our lives.  The human and mechanistic clocks are often not in harmony, but the machine clock is the clock of record.  The clock with hands on the wall is only an abstraction, a time-keeper that really does not exist in reality.

On earth, the only real clocks we have are the sunrises, high noons, and sunsets.  In addition, one revolution of the moon around the Earth measures approximately 29-30 days.

(The far side of the moon, always pointing away from Earth, was never viewed, or mapped, until the Russians sent a space probe there in 1959.  This was during a new moon, one not visible on earth, when the far side was fully lit.)

As earthly activities get more automated, humanity has less to do, and scheduled get-togethers become less important, perhaps we can shed the yoke that is timekeeping.  Ultimately, is time our friend or our enemy?  Do we appreciate this artificial abstraction of time, or is it really a drag on our freedoms?

In today’s world, a clock-less society may be impossible, but prior to the railroads’ standardizing of schedules, there was not any uniform timekeeping system.  Appointments were impossible back then.  11/01/19...

Is time your friend or your enemy?  It is a solely man-made construct, but was it invented for good purposes, or harmful ones?  Time allows for scheduling of events that require multiple participants.  It helped to create the modern workplace.  Yet can time make us enjoy life less?  Can time get in the way?

Until the railroads were initially built in the 1840s, time was not reliably kept, there were no time zones, time was meaningless.  Every location had a different high noon, when the sun was highest in the sky.  If we keep too close tabs on this time abstraction, then do we penalize ourselves for being late because we didn’t meet artificial, and not organic, time schedules?  Our personal time performance can be judged with time metrics not even our own.  2/24/19...

What is time?  Why would five minutes ago be any different than five minutes ahead, except for the movement of the hands on your watch.  How can you identify that ten minute span?  What is the defining characteristic of time?  Does time even exist?


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When the Moon locates the Sun

crescent moon pointing to sun

On the Space Shuttle, there is little distinction
between daytime and nighttime.  The sun always shines.

If you ever wonder where the sun is after it sets, the moon has the answer.  Draw a line between the two ends of the moon’s crescent.  Draw a second line at right angles to the first.  Fine tune the calculation.  Rotate the perpendicular line away from you if less than a quarter, or rotate it towards you if more than a quarter.  This line points to the sun.

As the moon waxes past a quarter moon towards a full moon though, it becomes more difficult to identify the end points of the crescent, because with gibbous and full moons there are no end points.  So when the moon is near full this method cannot be effective.  Instead the following should be used.

Gibbous moon with obscured soft edge shown with a dotted line

A gibbous moon with the soft and hard edges delineated.
Soft edge shows where the sun is located.
Vis-a-vis a quarter moon, the sun is at an angle closer to Earth here.

The hard edge of the moon is the obscuring edge; it obscures Sun-lit, otherwise visible, lunar surface.  The soft edge is the “natural” edge; it occurs naturally from the shadow that the moon’s surface casts.  When determining where the Sun is, the soft edge, and its hidden continuance, is the deciding factor, and not the hard edge.  Drawing out to near infinity from the center of that ellipse will split the Sun.


Ecliptic or solar plane diagram

The green grid represents the ecliptic, or solar plane.
(Orbits of several planets outside Mars are shown and not identified.
This image via Starry Night Backyard planetarium software.)

The moon points to the planets.

The moon’s shadow points to the planets of the solar system.  It won’t when the moon and the planets are right on top of each other, or at other ends of the sky (it still will, but that would be a long, blue arrow to follow with your eyes).

A Lunar Pendant with a String of Planetary Pearls  6/18/10.  If you were to take the construction in the prior article of drawing a line perpendicular from the ends of a crescent or quarter moon, it will connect nearby planets in the night sky.  This means that the direction of the shadow that the sun casts on the moon can be used to identify the ecliptic, or solar system plane.

The moon has an orbital inclination of 5 degrees, it is 5 degrees above or below the ecliptic.  As a consequence, this “string of pearls” method will not be completely exact.  It can, though, help to define a planet on the ecliptic as being a planet, and not a star; and it works surprisingly well.

During occultations of the moon, when planets are visually “stacked up on top” of the moon, this method is less effective as the planets are scattered around the moon — the moon’s shadow cannot point to a planet very nearby.  Otherwise, any planet currently visible in the night sky can be found somewhere along this moon-defined ecliptic.

The reason why this works is because, at night, the sun’s shadow on the moon draws a line between the moon and the sun.  Because any other planets all occupy the same solar plane as the moon (the ecliptic), these are also on that line.

Knowing the position of two objects relative to each other that both exist on a horizontal plane, allows one to deduce where the rest of the objects on that plane can be.  When a plane is seen edge on, this three-dimensional plane becomes two-dimensional, it becomes a line commonly known as the ecliptic.
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(geograph.org.uk, Ashley Dace)

Star Trails around Polaris

Extended Exposure Star Trails around Polaris
At least for one night’s viewing,
the heavens are fixed in the sky,
the Earth is what’s moving.

The Earth moves East, the sky, West  1/01/13.  The Earth rotates to the East — for example, America moves in Britain’s direction.  The moon, the planets, and its nearby stars in the night sky are relatively fixed, at least in one night’s sky, and if seen outside a rotating Earth.  Because the Earth moves East, the solar system objects of the stationary night sky appear to move West.  Thus, a full moon will cross from Eastern to Western horizons over a night.

There is a caveat.  As one looks further and further North, celestial bodies no longer move East to West, they travel counter-clockwise around Polaris, the North Star.
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Unnatural, non-planar, planetary orbits

An orbital system such as this
defies physical laws.  It may defy
a few graphical design ones as well.

Why major meteor events tend to happen in Siberia  2/17/13.  Both of the largest meteor impact events within the last 105 years happened in Siberia.  In astronomical time, a hundred years between meteor landings for one location is extremely brief as well as extremely rare.  Because Siberia is at the Northern reaches of our planet, away from the equator and the solar system plane (or ecliptic), meteors would more likely make impact here.  Meteors with a Siberia trajectory are above the full gravitational pull of the rest of the planets, and also outside the meteor-blocking path of the moon.  Siberia has forty million people and is well inhabited compared to the 160,000 Inuit Eskimo in far Northern Canada, so these meteors would be more likely noticed over Siberian Russia.

This raises many questions.  Why is the solar system situated on a plane, the ecliptic?  Why do the planets not revolve around the sun like the electrons of the atom, in any direction?  Is this the orbital path of least resistance?  Then how did each successive planet entering the solar system establish this plane?  Is there a toy top-like centrifugal dynamic at work?  Could the solar system even be planar because of gravity from massive celestial bodies outside the solar system?  Our enveloping galaxy, the Milky Way, is known to be disc-like and planar.  Do the Milky Way and the Solar System share the same infinite plane, that is, are they co-planar?  Is there a physics maxim that explains the tendency of orbiting planets to be planar?

My father, an M.I.T.-educated engineer, suggests that if the planets are all uniform in mass, they will have random orbits and never establish an ecliptic plane.  Once one planet collects nearby mass, and becomes larger than the rest, it will pull other smaller objects concentrically into closer and further circular, co-planar orbits.  This would then influence the orbits of the remaining planets on each other, one by one.  This gravitational influence would also occur over time, it would be continuous and would not manifest itself in just one moment.  Then this flat disc orbital plane model we see in the solar system and the Milky Way, would also be seen most anywhere else in the universe.
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The Far Side of the Moon

This is not so well known, but a moon seen illuminated in half is not called a half moon, it’s known as a quarter moon.  This is because the half-illuminated moon has traveled a quarter way around the earth from a new moon, and three quarters of the way around the earth from a new moon, when it’s, respectively, at the first and last quarters.

There are two quarter moons, the first quarter “waxes” to a full moon, and the last quarter “wanes” towards a moonless night, or a new moon.  Stitching together photos of the first and last quarter moons renders the entire topography of the full moon.

The near side craters of the moon always faces earth; the far side craters, on the back side, always faces away from earth.  In 1959, the Russians were the first to photograph the craters of the far side of the moon, the back side, the side away from the earth.  This was done during a new moon when this far side of the moon is completely illuminated.

The dark side of the moon is not the same as the far side of the moon.  The dark side of the moon is the side away from the sun, the far side of the moon is the side away from the earth.

procession of moon phase, with the time of day on earth

Lunar phases with time of day they are visible.
(Distances and diameters are not quite to scale.)
© Other Letter

Whether the moon is visible at any given time depends on its lunar phase.  The moon is either outside the earth’s orbit and predominantly in the night sky; or inside it, between the earth and sun, and cloaked by daylight or the horizon.  When the moon’s phase is less than a quarter it is within the earth’s orbit around the sun.  When the moon’s phase is more than a quarter, it is outside the earth’s orbit around the sun.  This is not too difficult to visualize, and will hold true for any time of year, as well as both the Northern and Southern hemispheres.

The moon in the first quarter is visible until approximately midnight.  The next phase, a full moon, is visible all night, while a last quarter moon is only visible past midnight.  A new moon cannot be seen (unless its shadow eclipses the earth in a solar eclipse).

Changing your vantage point, either by latitude, or by advancing night, will not appreciably change what you see on the ground.  No matter where you are you will see the same phase of the moon.

One final point, there is a quick way to determine if the moon is in the first or the last quarter.  When the moon is illuminated on the right side, the moon is in the first quarter.  If the left side is lighted, then the moon is in the last quarter (to remember: left lit is last).  The moon is in the last quarter midnight or later, the first quarter, sunset to midnight (actually it can occasionally be seen earlier than sunset, but often it cannot, because it is blotted out by broad daylight).

Now this might seem unexpected, “left side is lit last quarter” describes moon on the Northern Hemisphere.  In the Southern Hemisphere such as in Australia, the moon is finishing its cycle around the Earth in its last quarter, when lit on the right, not the left.  The reason for this is because Australians are essentially looking at the Moon upside down from those in the Northern Hemisphere, so they see a inverted image of what Northerners view.

So that’s a hemi?  9/21/10.  As seen on Earth with the unaided eye, the moon may be mistaken for a two-dimensional disc.  Instead this is actually a portion of a three-dimensional hemisphere, and at full moon, a complete hemisphere.

A hemi in hot rod jargon is a combustion chamber that is one hemisphere, a gas-devouring one half of a sphere.  The downside of generous fuel usage is traded for the upside of speed — if you don’t work in law enforcement, that is, it is an upside.
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(Wikipedia, Other Letter)

comparison of Earth and Lunar diameter

The moon is so far away, it appears miniscule
when compared to our planet.  In reality,
its diameter is 27% of earth’s.

Stacking the Earth’s Moon Four Times equates to the Earth’s Diameter  11/22/10.  The Earth’s average diameter is 7,913 miles, the moon’s measures 2,159 miles.  Stacking the Earth’s moon four times is roughly equivalent to the Earth’s diameter.  The rough equivalence in dimension partly explains why the moon is cratered everywhere yet the Earth is free of craters — the moon’s size has Earth partially protected from meteor showers.  The strong luminosity of the moon’s surface may account for it being so easily visible when a quarter million (or 236,339) miles away (the distance the missions past Apollo 10 traveled).
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The Moon Eclipsed the Dinosaurs

Why isn’t the Earth cratered everywhere like the Moon is?  The Earth is not cratered with meteors of the tremendous girth that hit the moon.  Considering that many iron boulders heading for Earth would be too big to be pulverized into dust by our atmosphere, these boulders should have hit our planet.  Yet they are nowhere to be found on Earth.  How would all these meteors hit the moon, and miss the Earth?

A probable explanation for the earth-moon crater difference, is that the moon’s surface was scarred by meteors before the moon even entered Earth’s orbit, perhaps outside the Solar System where the moon originated.  Of current, accepted explanations, only capture theory, where the moon is pre-formed elsewhere and captured in the Earth’s gravitational pull, could possibly explain this difference in earth-moon cratering.

The dinosaurs’s extinction suggests an even more startling theory.  When the moon entered Earth’s orbit, it must have created a lunar dust cloud on Earth, making sunlight impenetrable.  This lunar dust cloud did not even have to fall unto the Earth’s atmosphere, it could exist along the ecliptic, the solar plane.  This created unusual cold and perpetual darkness thus wiping out all plant life.  The Velociraptor and T. rex ultimately had nothing to eat.
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The Other Side of Infinity

Think about this for a minute, is there infinite space beyond the ends of the known universe, or is the universe finite?  If the universe were finite, then what would be after the end of deep space?  If you get to the end of the universe wouldn’t there still be another universe ahead?  Does mankind’s inability to fathom infinity dictate that the models of our universe we create cannot be infinite as well?

From various observations including those concerning our Big Bang, it has become an established maxim in astrophysics that the universe is expanding, be it also curved (although no longer shaped like a soccer ball).

Yet what is at the other side of this curve enveloping the universe, nothingness?  How would you distinguish the universe part from the nothingness, volumeless part?  When the known universe finally collapses what happens to the space outside the curve it vacates, that could not vanish, could it?  And what if there were, or will be, other Big Bangs from universes besides our own?

Then there is the notion of an unknown universe, that we are looking out into a celestial sphere, placed in a fishbowl for some reckoning by a much greater order intelligence.  Our Space Program might disprove notions of that caliber, or at least effectively discredit them.  NASA may have a more difficult time, though, defining the end of the universe.  Anyway, one cannot help but wonder.


On a planet with less gravity than ours,
could rivers flow uphill?

Life is only possible on Earth?  12/02/10.  Life on Earth has been said to be the product of unique and precise levels of thousands of variables like temperature and atmospheric oxygen concentration.  As such, our planet is often thought as the only one in the universe capable of sustaining life.  It must be remembered though that life on Earth is only a manifestation of a single set of these biochemical values.  Couldn’t galaxies with entirely different ecologies emerge from other sets of points on environmental continuum?
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Say we were organic machines designed by other organisms.  6/05/11.  How do we know all living today are not machines, devised and manufactured by other organisms?  If reproducible life on Earth were in fact “machines,” followers of Darwin know them to be partially imparted with the designs of their predecessors (for instance, apes preceded Man).  Then it is conceivable there was one omnipotent, genesis, machine seed impregnating Mother Earth, giving rise to everything that lives today.

Continuing the framework: species would follow their preordained, evolutionary path; first as simple sugar-to-energy converters, then much later, as self-directed, well-tuned sensors and processors.  Kind of takes the life out of life, doesn’t it?  Shepherds for the Lord and their prayerful congregants may have difficulty conceptualizing humans as machines, how might one account for the undousable flame of consciousness?  Nonetheless, resolving a novel perspective can offer its own merits.

Dissecting life’s engine further, one discovers natural processes including, but not limited to, photosynthesis and metabolism — producing plant’s sugar from light, and consuming plant’s sugar for animal energy, respectively.  Both core life-givers are ultimately limited in their complexity because these are non-governed processes, these possess no guiding intellect.  They are only inanimate, molecular happenstance.  They cannot reason, or decide their future, they can only exist in time and space.
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The Crucifixion Eclipse



The Crucifixion and its simultaneous eclipse was predictable eighteen years in advance.  Ever wonder what the exact day was that the Crucifixion take place?  It took place on April 17, 33 A.D.  Check this link for the date given and you’ll see it’s a Friday, Good Friday.  If you happen to have accurate planetarium software, set it for Jerusalem on this day.  You’ll see a solar eclipse, where the sun is obscured by the moon, happened close to 3 P.M. on the first Good Friday.

Here’s the next piece of the puzzle: The New Testament indicates Christ was crucified during a sixth to ninth hour solar eclipse, see the Book of Luke chapter 23, verse 44 (noon to 3pm, by today’s clocks).  Finishing the puzzle, Christ died at 33 years of age, in 33 AD.

The Moon’s Orbit is Slowing  10/10/09.  If you would like to see this phenomenon for yourself check this image generated by planetarium software (this graphic was created by Starry Night Backyard).  There is an interesting three hour discrepancy between the time when the Bible says the crucifixion eclipse occurred, and when the planetarium software indicates that the same eclipse does.  Could this be an error in the software algorithm?  That’s extremely doubtful, they claim 10 arc second accuracy going back 3,000 years.  What they cannot do is verify their handbook algorithms against first hand observations written down in 33 A.D. — that is until now.

Discounting any highly improbable software error, then today’s moon, and its derived rate of revolution, is slower now than the rate at the time of Christ.  This would mean that eventually the centrifugal pull between the moon and earth will degrade, and the moon will stop circling the earth.  Eventually, there is little doubt that the moon collides with our planet, which is what moons usually do over eons of time anyhow.

Considering this eclipse and the moon’s slowing along its orbital ellipse, the moon slowed three hours in 2,000 years, or 45° of 360° lunar orbit).  The question remains for someone knowing the equations of celestial mechanics to find the exact year our satellite, our moon, can be expected to hit the earth.  We have the parameters of the equation as the Moon’s weight and the Earth’s gravitational pull from its weight must be known.

The Crucifixion eclipse occurred between noon and 3PM, but the same moon is expected to cross the Sun-finish-lane three hours later according to today’s astronomy software.  The moon was revolving faster in 33AD, it is slowing, and during the end times, it will end all life on Earth in an apocalyptic explosion...

That the Moon is slowing might possibly be assumed, that there is exact, eyewitness proof of this cannot be, unless what is read here is kept in mind.  The Bible provides the perfect frame of reference against which to calibrate today’s observations; we know exactly where three orbiting bodies were at a point in time two thousand years ago.

(The crucifixion eclipse took place on April 17th, in 33AD, which is a Friday, the Good Friday.  The Crucifixion also occurred at the same time of this documented and verifiable eclipse.  This makes the accurate date of Easter, April 19th.)

Timing the Crucifixion with the Eclipse  3/17/10.  Could Good Friday’s Crucifixion and the solar eclipse happen at the same time by some miraculous, unintended accident?  If it was accidental, what would the odds of this accident be?  If it was not an accident, who would benefit more from a Crucifixion with the imprimatur of a heavenly solar blackout, Christians or the Roman Empire?

moon eclipsing the sun

The Crucifixion eclipse,
18 years in the offing.

Christ’s followers would surely benefit more, because not only could they proclaim Tiberius Caesar and his functionaries had ended the life of their Lord; but now the Heavens were demonstrating their dissatisfaction with Tiberius but blacking out the Sun.

Christ’s light show finale would not be very difficult to arrange.  Just before the eclipse, his handlers would have arranged for Pontius Pilate to order the impending crucifixion.  Yet how would these handlers know when the eclipse were to occur?

Every 18 years, 10 and 1/3 days, the sun, moon, and earth orbit back to the same starting position.  This is known as the saros, and it was discovered in pre-Roman times.  Astronomers of the Roman Empire made note of their last total solar eclipse (just like their Greek ancestors had).  Then they would know when the next one would occur (4/07/0015 AD + 0/10/0018 = 4/17/0033 AD).

If they knew about the eclipse, they could plan religious ceremonies for it.  That the Bible notes the perfect timing between the eclipse and the Crucifixion, offers additional evidence proving they knew of the saros.  This eclipse and Crucifixion could be timed eighteen years (or even more with multiple soros) before Christ handed off his Crucifix to Simon the Cyrenian on Good Friday.

Then they would just need to get the spectacle going in time for the nearing total solar eclipse.  The odds of a given locale’s Good Friday randomly occurring during a total solar eclipse are roughly 1 in 6,585 (the number of days in a saros), and 1 in 52,680 to have the two events coincide to the hour.
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Was Jesus Christ a murderer? — or at minimum, was he an accomplice to murder?  9/08/14.  Christ’s Crucifixion was staged with an eclipse that was planned up to eighteen years in advance.  This makes the story handed down by the Church concerning Jesus’ hurried execution, and resurrection, a fabrication in opposition to the documentation presented by the Holy Bible, and the laws of astronomy. 

Just consider that it was Simon the Cyrenian who carried Jesus’ Crucifix.  As the Crucifixion began, the Sun went dark, and then shone again three hours later, yet Jesus still claims to be of “flesh and blood,” asking for handouts when the dust finally settles.  Simon, a father of two, and thus more likely with the bearing of a King than bachelor Jesus, made an excellent substitution for this 33-year-old, becoming a fall guy in Jesus’ stead, the Cyrenian haplessly saving Christ’s fledgling Church.

A mob clamored for a spectacle and blood at Calvary, anyone’s blood would suffice.  When they get their wish, Jesus is still standing, Simon’s two children, Alexander and Rufus, by all appearances, are fatherless (strangely, the Holy Bible lists the names of the next of kin of Simon, who was only the Crucifix carrier).

As show time neared on Jerusalem on Friday, April 17th, 33AD, a solar eclipse occurred — between Twelve noon and Three PM by today’s clocks.  Based on our current tradition, the coincident Crucifixion occurred during the month of Easter, or in April, in the year 33AD, on Good Friday.  The Book of Luke, Chapter 23, indicates:

[44] And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.
[45] And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.

Those in power arranged for the Crucifixion and the eclipse to occur simultaneously, based on an 18-year orbital pattern between the moon, Earth, and Sun, called the Saros; demonstrates that the Crucifixion was timed to coincide with the solar eclipse up to 18 years in advance (or even more for multiple solar eclipses).  The solar blackout gave the entire show maximum, frightening effect over a very superstitious people.

All the while the acquaintances of Jesus, mostly meaning his women followers, were watching the Crucifixion from far off, not meddling with the executions.  This meant that they had limited involvement in the identification of the principle players, Jesus and Simon the Cyrenian, and how their roles switched.

Carrying the Crucifix that Christ should have been nailed to, he saw Simon the Cyrenian join the procession.  Jesus the Christ had two choices here: should I, humble and self-sacrificing Jesus, continue to carry my load; or should I, the mighty Jesus, the one I have convinced everyone is God, hand it off to Simon for him to carry?  Any conventional notions about Christ’s altruism aside, he let Simon carry the tree-trunk Crucifix.  The so-called “Mob” clamoring with Pilate for Jesus’ death, oddly had no issue with the Crucifix hand-off from Jesus to Simon, even though it allowed for a great unburdening of their anti-hero.

Before Christ’s flesh and blood resurrection, amidst the confusion during the beginning of the solar eclipse, would he have beseeched Simon the Cyrenian for the return of his Crucifix so the King of the Jews might rightly be Crucified, and thus make his father happy up in heaven?  Or would he have saved his Church (and his ass) instead, by letting Simon assume Christ’s burden, his burden of the Cross?  Jesus stated post-Crucifixion that he was “of flesh and blood,” and asked “Have ye here any meat?” This offers more proof that Jesus let Simon be sacrificed in his stead.

Could Christ have helped decide the timing of the Crucifixion?  Jesus was shuttled from Pilate to Herod and back to Pilate “the same day” of the Crucifixion so the timing had to be like clockwork for this light show to be divinely stamped upon Pilate’s final release of Jesus.  This means Herod and Pilate were in on the Greek drama (and given the divine nature of this grand bread and circuses, Emperor Tiberius et al likely had a hand in it).

As this involved astronomy, the uppermost, most learned authorities in the Roman Empire must have been involved, working outside the purview of the hoi polloi, and because Jesus made no elaborate effort, or any effort at all, to escape in transit, Jesus the Christ must have known what to expect.  The day before he may have even been strong-armed via smiting to guarantee his full participation.

How does this finale satisfy the major players of this drama?  A Crucifixion Eclipse makes the Church’s founding, and its founder, divinely-inspired; any potential threat of his Church to Rome with this “gentlemen’s agreement” is removed as Jesus has no more need for his riotous public appearances, he is officially only a spirit now; and Rome would approve of his pro-Empire message of obedience, good behavior, respect, and duty.

After it was all concluded, Jesus the Christ was hardly a subversive worthy of this public, capital punishment spectacle.  This leaves Jesus living happily ever after with: a reputation as an immortal, and a bevy of Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary (the Mother of James).  All these sent back the word on Jesus’ missing body after the Crucifixion.  They said it had “risen,” which explained both the absence of Jesus’ cadaver, while Jesus happily trod Jerusalem with hookers (Mary Magdalene didn’t have hooker friends?)

Did Jesus actually survive the Crucifixion?  The Holy Bible, with a well-deserved reputation for being rather ambiguous, is very explicit on this count.  In the more open and honest Gospel, the Book of Luke, Chapter 24, Verse 39, describes Jesus Christ as being “of flesh and blood,” and he was hungry, asking, “Have ye here any meat?”  (Unlike the other three gospels, the Book of John does not even mention the eclipse.)

Since when did those just back from the spirit World require human nutrition?  A Crucifixion Eclipse made for a very tidy retirement, and golden parachute, for Jesus the Christ; one likely unheard of outside the Emperor’s court.  If someone from the spirit World stopped over for lamb, would anyone of that era not welcome him?  Jesus just proved he was God after all, didn’t he?

Verse 34, again from Luke, Chapter 24, there is this unusual verse: “The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.”  As the fable of Christ’s Crucifixion continues, Christ is in Heaven by now.  Yet what is he doing appearing to Simon of all the people on earth, instead of his apostles, or Mary and Joseph Christ, Mary Magdalene, et al?

Is Jesus the Christ offering apologies to Simon for having him bear his own Crucifix, then taking the ultimate fall for Jesus?  Christ set Simon up to be Crucified by a mob looking to take down whomever was burdened with the Cross.

Christ asks for handouts following his own Crucifixion.  Simon the Cyrenian is supposedly only the Crucifix carrier, yet this very minor player of the Bible is who Christ sees upon entering the Kingdom of Heaven?

Jesus’ survival instincts need to be considered here as well.  In a time when decisions in favor of your own livelihood over anyone else’s were the only ones sanely chosen, one would have to think Christ was at least complicit in the murder of Simon, if not entirely at fault.  The taking of Simon’s life would be an insignificant sacrifice compared to taking the life of the self-professed King of the Jews, the Son of God, Jesus the Christ.

Without the Christ, who would minister to his growing flock if their leader left?  Would God the Father enjoy the cruelty of God the Son slaughtered as a sacrificial lamb?  If God the Father killed God the Son for our sins, and we still sin regardless of their cost, what exactly did the Holy Father accomplish?

Considering Jesus fraternized with prostitutes such as Mary Magdalene, and his parents did not even attend his Crucifixion, nor come to try to retrieve his body, then we have the real Jesus, disliked by his own parents.  And one later exaggerated beyond recognition by the brainwashing of the masses by his ancient, bigoted Church, right up to the present day.

The Last Supper by this astronomically-verifiable calculus is only a dress rehearsal the day before Friday’s big show, a show staged for the one power hungry enough to claim he was King.  If there is a lesson in any of this, it may be that the power to transform one’s life rests within one’s own heart and soul.  Because if you expect the ether to transform you, or transformed by someone who received handouts two thousand years ago, and was involved in a murder, you are sure to be very disappointed.

The Bible is awash with incredibly poor writing.  Yet there are traces of a rebellion within the Bible itself, ones kept so that one day, the entire truth, however profoundly troubling, might be known.  Yet the Crucifixion Eclipse tragedy, and its concomitant travesty of justice, sets the tone for the Church.  One where the sanctimonious are anointed to be holier than thou, and others are nailed to the Cross yet today in Jesus’ name and honor.

Just look at the rampant homophobia and misogyny (the Vatican has decided that women are worthless, both as leaders and as deciders of their pregnancy outcomes).  The holy prey on all these they say are unholy.  This all returns to Jesus the Christ not having the guts to take his punishment like a man, and “compelling” Simon the Cyrenian to carry Jesus the Christ’s cross.
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When is Easter, and why is it always on the wrong date?  3/18/16.  Good Friday is the name given for the day when Christ was Crucified during a full solar eclipse, and Easter is two days later, when Christ was said to have risen from his grave.  Easter incorrectly falls on the Sunday following the first full moon after the Spring Equinox (Spring typically begins March 20th).

If the date selected was Biblically accurate based on the Good Friday eclipse, every Easter would be after the first new moon (new defined as being when the moon is not seen, and between the Earth and the Sun, if not an eclipse, then off the ecliptic plane).  The Good Friday eclipse then, and any other eclipse, occurs when a new moon is in front of the sun, but never a full moon behind the Earth and away from the Sun, as the Vatican instituted.

Then why did the Vatican choose the Sunday following a full moon to celebrate Easter, and not a new moon when the eclipse occurred in the Book of Luke Chapter 23:44-45?  Partly because it is much easier to notice a full moon than it is to notice a new one.  Further, without a broad-based understanding of astronomy or new moons, many parts of the World would always get this Biblically-accurate date wrong.

There is a second reason for not using the much more accurate and authentic new moon.  If people knew the science behind a solar eclipse, one generated by the new moon, and then its eighteen-year periodicity (as a few did in ancient times), the masses would see how the story of Jesus’ impromptu capital punishment story falls apart.  That is because Jesus’ supposed crucifixion on Good Friday was planned up to eighteen years in advance to coincide with the eclipse.

(In 2016, instead of March 27th, Easter should really be April 10th.  The successive years are left to the reader as an exercise.  Jesus let Simon die on Good Friday, which is actually the first Friday, after the first new moon, after the Spring Equinox.)
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Do you believe in ghosts?  3/12/17.  If you believe in Jesus the Christ, you do.  You put your stock in a ghost the Vatican calls the holy ghost.  Why not put your faith in a deceased parent?  Why put it in an anonymous Roman John from two thousand years ago?  He was a John, because he knew the hooker, Mary Magdalene, “whom he had cast seven devils,” or some such silliness (seven devils, not one?)

Why was he such good friends with Mary — was it because of her scintillating conversation?  Did he hear word of a hooker he could convert, and come a callin’?  Why didn’t he become friendly with a homely farmer’s daughter, or the shy rabbi’s daughter, ones he could offer ready counsel?  Because he was a John hanging around with a hooker, he likely had syphilis and/or gonorrhea.

Why then are you putting your faith in this ghost of a John — because he died on the Crucifix?  Except that post-Crucifixion, in Luke 24:39 he states, “A spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” and “Have ye here any meat?”  He didn’t die on the Cross, because he was alive after he was crucified.

If you must believe in ghosts, I can think of plenty of much more worthy ones.  Believe in any lost ancestry, or our heroes, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, or even Jeanne d’Arc or Abraham Lincoln.  Otherwise, can you honestly feel good worshipping a John with syphilis?  Or better yet, just grow up and stop believing in ghosts.
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