2017 Eclipse

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Re: 2017 Eclipse

Post by Steve3007 » August 24th, 2017, 7:08 pm

I saw it as planned from Casper Wyoming. Just got back to the UK at 7 this morning. I agree with poster about both the vividness and the traffic. No problem getting there but traffic hell driving back from Casper to Denver to fly back to NYC and then home. Perhaps it was a crazy thing to do to spend all the money and effort for 2 minutes and 26 seconds of totality. But what the heck. What else is life for? This evening I've just got back from a philosophy discussion session in a local pub where we mostly discussed Elon Musk and living in a simulation. So a refreshing changed from eclipses.

Here are some of my photos:
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-- Updated Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:15 am to add the following --

Poster:

You mentioned Venus. My son pointed out that a star was visible during totality. I saw it but didn't actually realize that it was Venus at the time!
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Re: 2017 Eclipse

Post by Greta » August 24th, 2017, 8:02 pm

More incredible shots, Steve. Weirdly, just a few seconds looking at the pictures gave me a surprisingly strong after image.

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Re: 2017 Eclipse

Post by Steve3007 » August 25th, 2017, 7:04 am

Thanks Greta. Trouble is, they don't have any people in them. If I was doing it again I'd set it up so that at least one shot had people in with the eclipse. Tricky to do though, because it's high in the sky and I have to use a zoom lens to get the sun/moon a reasonable size. Next time.

I guess the standard holiday snapshot is simply a certificate of presence. A person or people next to a landmark (or celestial phenomenon).
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Re: 2017 Eclipse

Post by -1- » August 25th, 2017, 5:25 pm

Steve3007 wrote:Thanks Greta. Trouble is, they don't have any people in them. If I was doing it again I'd set it up so that at least one shot had people in with the eclipse. Tricky to do though, because it's high in the sky and I have to use a zoom lens to get the sun/moon a reasonable size. Next time.

I guess the standard holiday snapshot is simply a certificate of presence. A person or people next to a landmark (or celestial phenomenon).

It's not just your fault. Lately mankind has been sort of neglectful in sending people to the Moon or around the Sun (to see what's on the other side). Even sci fi movies don't deal with the subject any longer -- last it happened was in the 1980s. These days it's all about viral infections, mutants mutilating mutes, or permutants permeating the permafrost.

Please don't be harder on yourself than absolutely necessary.

But I actually left this post to have all posts show -1- as the last contributor to each thread on the board index.

It's boring, innit, my dear feller philosophers.

So please get cracking, I can't bear the thought of being solely responsible for posts on this site.

-- Updated 2017 August 25th, 5:25 pm to add the following --

Gerry RAfferty, "if you get it wrong, you'll get it right next time".
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Re: 2017 Eclipse

Post by Steve3007 » August 25th, 2017, 6:56 pm

I hope Gerry was right. Although sadly he did drink himself to death. Easily done. But he did write some fantastically wistful lyrics before doing so. If I don't do the same I hope to "get it right next time" by seeing the next one, in 2024, at Niagara Falls. It should be slightly later in the day there and therefore possible to get some non-celestial subjects in the frame. Possible some people and a waterfall.
But I actually left this post to have all posts show -1- as the last contributor to each thread on the board index.
It's an amusing exercise, that, isn't it? Kind of a 15 seconds of fame thing. Like drawing a painting in chalk on a pavement and then watching the rain wash it away.

-- Updated Sat Aug 26, 2017 12:01 am to add the following --

Having looked back at the other topics, it appears that Fooloso4 was the first drop of rain which began the erosion of your masterpiece, -1-.
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Re: 2017 Eclipse

Post by Greta » August 25th, 2017, 7:40 pm

Steve3007 wrote:Thanks Greta. Trouble is, they don't have any people in them. If I was doing it again I'd set it up so that at least one shot had people in with the eclipse. Tricky to do though, because it's high in the sky and I have to use a zoom lens to get the sun/moon a reasonable size. Next time.

I guess the standard holiday snapshot is simply a certificate of presence. A person or people next to a landmark (or celestial phenomenon).
I had not problem with a lack of people in the shots, Steve. There's too many of 'em around anyway - everywhere you look there's one of those damnable ape faces there - on movies, paintings, statues, screens - and even now I'm not free, with stylised emoticon faces waiting for insertion.

There is no escape from endless images of humans, except out in the cosmos (for now). So I love your image :)

NB. I am not down on humanity at all - I love almost all animals - but I am bored by humanity's increasing self obsession (no, not you :), as though they were the only important life on Earth. Maybe it's an Australian thing - rooting for the underdog?

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Re: 2017 Eclipse

Post by Steve3007 » August 25th, 2017, 7:48 pm

Greta: I do know what you mean about the constant presence of human faces. We do live in what seems like a very artificial exclusively human world. And the combination of 7 billion people with an evolved fixation on faces (particularly eyes) means that we create them everywhere, including those little yellow circles to the right of where I'm typing now.

-- Updated Sat Aug 26, 2017 12:56 am to add the following --

What I should really have done during those 2 minutes and 26 seconds that I traveled a third of the way around the world to experience was to just experience the moment and forget about the cameras, phones and two tripods that I'd brought with me. But like all tourists I failed to do that. And once you've failed to do that, you have to give in to the truth that tourist photography is all about placing the tourist in the shot with the landmark (or skymark) in order to state "we were here". Because if it's not about that, then there are plenty of other better quality photographs taken by other people of the same view.

Or maybe I should break free from the shackles of tourist photography and be happy that my imperfect slightly blurry photos of the eclipse are special because I know that I took them.

-- Updated Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:04 am to add the following --

Funnily enough, I watched an in-flight movie on the plane home about humans trying to communicate with an alien race who had a completely different conception of time to us. The main protagonist was a linguist who had previously lost her daughter to cancer. The "message" of the movie was that the aliens had taught her to appreciate the life that she had had with her daughter while she was still alive and not to give in to the time-obsessed idea that just because her daughter was dead now, it somehow detracted from the experiences of the past.

A schmaltzy message, but after a couple of miniature bottles of airline white wine I saw a parallel there with my fleeting experience of the eclipse.

I think the movie was called "Arrival".

-- Updated Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:22 am to add the following --
NB. I am not down on humanity at all - I love almost all animals - but I am bored by humanity's increasing self obsession (no, not you :), as though they were the only important life on Earth. Maybe it's an Australian thing - rooting for the underdog?
An incidental question: You said "almost all animals". Which animals don't you love? Is it the ones that are most likely to harm you?

Also: I don't know the exact circumstances of where you live in Australia but judging by the size and human population of Australia compared to south east England, I'd guess that you probably have more of a sense that there is more to this world than humanity than we do here. I guess that would combine with the cultural history of Australia.
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Re: 2017 Eclipse

Post by Greta » August 25th, 2017, 11:17 pm

Steve3007 wrote:Greta: I do know what you mean about the constant presence of human faces. We do live in what seems like a very artificial exclusively human world. And the combination of 7 billion people with an evolved fixation on faces (particularly eyes) means that we create them everywhere, including those little yellow circles to the right of where I'm typing now.
Yes. We are hard-wired towards this solipsism, as are any social species, with infants responding more strongly to human faces than anything else.

Maybe I'm just getting old and grumpy?
Steve3007 wrote:What I should really have done during those 2 minutes and 26 seconds that I traveled a third of the way around the world to experience was to just experience the moment and forget about the cameras, phones and two tripods that I'd brought with me. But like all tourists I failed to do that. And once you've failed to do that, you have to give in to the truth that tourist photography is all about placing the tourist in the shot with the landmark (or skymark) in order to state "we were here". Because if it's not about that, then there are plenty of other better quality photographs taken by other people of the same view.

Or maybe I should break free from the shackles of tourist photography and be happy that my imperfect slightly blurry photos of the eclipse are special because I know that I took them.
Yes, we want to encapsulate our own memories, not someone else's (which are now a dime a dozen), even if inferior. It's an interesting thing, this transference or delegation of our individual stuff to the usually-much-more-capable collective. Human specialisation is fast accelerating due to automation greatly reducing the number and scope of human employment opportunities. Basically, most individuals seem to be increasingly becoming dumb terminal (although not so much for those in high level, specialised fields), with almost all of their perceptions being that of a collective rather than unique.

Look at social media and how people parrot each other. It seems that "Monkey see, monkey do" over enough iterations becomes, well, humanity. Notice that, maybe for the first time, you seriously considered not preserving your memories and relying on those of others. While your own expression won out this time, it was less compelling than before, with Google Images ensuring you can always access photos to help revisit your memories.
Steve3007 wrote:Funnily enough, I watched an in-flight movie on the plane home about humans trying to communicate with an alien race who had a completely different conception of time to us. The main protagonist was a linguist who had previously lost her daughter to cancer. The "message" of the movie was that the aliens had taught her to appreciate the life that she had had with her daughter while she was still alive and not to give in to the time-obsessed idea that just because her daughter was dead now, it somehow detracted from the experiences of the past.

A schmaltzy message, but after a couple of miniature bottles of airline white wine I saw a parallel there with my fleeting experience of the eclipse.

I think the movie was called "Arrival".
Yes, it was Arrival. I came in partway through and rather baked so I found the temporal aspects hard to deal with at the time. I did like that for once the aliens we not like us yet also not mindless killers that would have about as much capacity to build and fly spacecraft over interstellar distances as a honey badger.
Steve3007 wrote:An incidental question: You said "almost all animals". Which animals don't you love? Is it the ones that are most likely to harm you?

Also: I don't know the exact circumstances of where you live in Australia but judging by the size and human population of Australia compared to south east England, I'd guess that you probably have more of a sense that there is more to this world than humanity than we do here. I guess that would combine with the cultural history of Australia.
Heh, you are right - the dangerous nasties. Worst IMO are things like bobbit worms and centipedes - voracious, mindless and effective killing machines of much more sentient, feeling and sophisticated creatures. At least vicious reptiles and mammals tend to kill and then spend a long time relaxing and digesting - unlike those simpler, nastier things. I also find hagfish rather hard to love.

Funny thing, isn't it? Revulsion of the primal. Bacterial and fungal slimes, creepy crawlies and slime and goo-ridden critters, usually small. Ironically (or obviously) they are almost identical to our internals, which also disgust us. I suppose if we were more aquatic and slimier, we might feel a little differently.

Australia may have much nature, but nearly everyone here lives in busy cities that are more or less like any other. My attitude appears to be pretty singular and I suspect to do with the impatience with non-fun nonsense that seems to come with age. I was very human centric even just a decade ago. I had a gradual dawning, maybe finally stepping back a little, and what I saw was an awful lot of innocent, and often vaguely well-intentioned, inauthenticity in myself and others - an approval-seeking overtipping of the balance between authentic expression and consideration for others. I suppose that's probably just experience observing youth to some extent.

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Re: 2017 Eclipse

Post by -1- » August 26th, 2017, 12:24 am

I left a note of not getting the connection between me and Disney -- now I get it, thanks, Steve!!

-- Updated 2017 August 26th, 12:38 am to add the following --
Steve3007 wrote: Having looked back at the other topics, it appears that Fooloso4 was the first drop of rain which began the erosion of your masterpiece, -1-.
Great simile! Reminds me of that famous song by Prince, "Acid Rain." Or was it titled "Purple Haze".

Most erosion of human artifacts happen due to human destruction, but the second strongest force to wash away remnants of ancient cultures are the wind, rain and rivers. "Sic transit gloria mundi" is what comes to mind.

Once I had been engaged in a discussion of what human artifacts would stand up to 100 million years of erosion. Because we talked how some dinosaurs must have reached some intelligence level comparable to human's, yet we see no remnants of their heritage. Interestingly, the upshot was that the only things that may remain intact in existence of all human-made products after a billion years are urinals and toilets. Now I see that's because they were created in the first place to withstand and to conduit washing away things.

-- Updated 2017 August 26th, 12:54 am to add the following --

I know now why the page "board index" is called that. Because it indexes (indicates) how bored you are, by seeing how many of the topics have you as the last poster.

"you" in this post is the general you.
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Re: 2017 Eclipse

Post by Steve3007 » August 26th, 2017, 8:56 am

Greta:
Maybe I'm just getting old and grumpy?
Aren't we all! In my more insular moments I do often feel a sense of irrational resentment that there are almost no situations during the day when I am not in the presence of another human face. One of the few places is the toilet/bathroom/restroom! Maybe this can be related in some way to -1-'s point about toilets being the last remnants remaining when all other physical traces of our civilization have been eroded by the sands of time.
Yes, we want to encapsulate our own memories, not someone else's (which are now a dime a dozen), even if inferior. It's an interesting thing, this transference or delegation of our individual stuff to the usually-much-more-capable collective. Human specialisation is fast accelerating due to automation greatly reducing the number and scope of human employment opportunities. Basically, most individuals seem to be increasingly becoming dumb terminal (although not so much for those in high level, specialised fields), with almost all of their perceptions being that of a collective rather than unique.
This could branch off into the topic of alienation caused by that specialisation. It is indeed a sad fact that the efficiencies and material comforts of our civilizations are not possible without this increasing specialisation, but that the more we specialise - the smaller a cog we become in an increasingly big machine - the less easy it is to keep sight of the point of it all. I guess it's why so many people yearn for a life in which their efforts are directly related to their survival, even if that life is hard. It's a thought that I had continuously while driving across the beautiful high plains of Wyoming to see the eclipse and imagining the wagon trains of yesteryear travelling west across that wilderness, entirely dependant on their own resources and those of the land around them. I tried to convey it to the kids but they were glued to their laptop computers playing some kind of virtual reality game. Even when the batteries gave out they couldn't be persuded to take an interest. Maybe when they're older I'll try again.
Look at social media and how people parrot each other. It seems that "Monkey see, monkey do" over enough iterations becomes, well, humanity. Notice that, maybe for the first time, you seriously considered not preserving your memories and relying on those of others. While your own expression won out this time, it was less compelling than before, with Google Images ensuring you can always access photos to help revisit your memories.
Yes, and it was partly about the inability to preserve my own memories because of the technical limitations of cameras. It appears to be true what they say about eclipses. No photograph can do it justice. You have to either attempt to burn it into your memory or accept that the experience at the time was enough, without it having to persist.
Yes, it was Arrival. I came in partway through and rather baked so I found the temporal aspects hard to deal with at the time. I did like that for once the aliens we not like us yet also not mindless killers that would have about as much capacity to build and fly spacecraft over interstellar distances as a honey badger.
I also, at the time, misunderstood the key twist of the film (spoiler alert): that the memories she thought she was having of her daughter dying were actually premonitions of the death of a daughter who had not yet been born.
Heh, you are right - the dangerous nasties. Worst IMO are things like bobbit worms and centipedes - voracious, mindless and effective killing machines of much more sentient, feeling and sophisticated creatures. At least vicious reptiles and mammals tend to kill and then spend a long time relaxing and digesting - unlike those simpler, nastier things. I also find hagfish rather hard to love.

Funny thing, isn't it? Revulsion of the primal. Bacterial and fungal slimes, creepy crawlies and slime and goo-ridden critters, usually small. Ironically (or obviously) they are almost identical to our internals, which also disgust us. I suppose if we were more aquatic and slimier, we might feel a little differently.
Maybe. Or maybe we wouldn't feel at all. Maybe this empathy for our fellow furry creatures is unique to us mammals.
Australia may have much nature, but nearly everyone here lives in busy cities that are more or less like any other.
Yes, I hadn't considered that. A similar situation exists in the US, I presume. I guess few people have the time to properly explore their own wild backyard/outback. But I guess it does at least exist as a genuine wilderness. In Britain (or at least in England), there really isn't any genuine wilderness. Even the National Parks, like the Lake District, are the products of humans and their livestock.
My attitude appears to be pretty singular and I suspect to do with the impatience with non-fun nonsense that seems to come with age. I was very human centric even just a decade ago. I had a gradual dawning, maybe finally stepping back a little, and what I saw was an awful lot of innocent, and often vaguely well-intentioned, inauthenticity in myself and others - an approval-seeking overtipping of the balance between authentic expression and consideration for others. I suppose that's probably just experience observing youth to some extent.
Interesting point about the perils of approval-seeking. It's something I still suffer from myself.

-- Updated Sat Aug 26, 2017 2:07 pm to add the following --

---

-1-:
Great simile! Reminds me of that famous song by Prince, "Acid Rain." Or was it titled "Purple Haze".
Purple raspberry little red corvet beret rain? He did like songs about various shades of red, didn't he?
Once I had been engaged in a discussion of what human artifacts would stand up to 100 million years of erosion. Because we talked how some dinosaurs must have reached some intelligence level comparable to human's, yet we see no remnants of their heritage. Interestingly, the upshot was that the only things that may remain intact in existence of all human-made products after a billion years are urinals and toilets. Now I see that's because they were created in the first place to withstand and to conduit washing away things.
I love that idea that toilets and urinals will be the last remnants of humanity, because they are specifically designed to withstand erosion by the noxious substances that are disposed of in them.

It's also interesting to consider the longevity of two types of information: information that is preserved by writing it in stone - i.e. by recording it in a durable static medium, and information that is preserved by continuously copying it - digital information in computer hard drives and DNA.

DNA and computer hard drives break relatively quickly. Much more quickly than stone. Yet the copying technique wins in the end. Information in our DNA has survived for up to hundreds of millions of years. Even the great pyramids will be long gone in that time. (I don't know about the great urinals). The dynamic is more durable than the static.

-- Updated Sat Aug 26, 2017 2:39 pm to add the following --

-1-:
Here in London I never looked up, but the sunshine's intensity was decreased to about 70 percent of normal, which was both weird and welcome. My eyes are bothered by too much light.
I was momentarily confused there because the eclipse wasn't visible at all from London, except very slightly just before sunset. Then I realized that you mean London, Ontario. In which case, if you're still there on April 8th 2024 I think you'll get the total eclipse as it plows through the Great Lakes.
Steve, please tell us lusty tales of your adventure as you reached up with your arms from the top of the Rockies in Wyoming, and brushed the dark, rocky and dusty underside of the moon with it as it passed over you making its legendary proprietous and trademarked "Whoooosh...!" sound.
Sadly I was on a small grassy knoll on the campus of Casper College so couldn't reach it. I love the image though. It might make a good painting (with a small written disclaimer at the bottom stating "Warning. Do not attempt this. Moon is a quarter of a million miles away.")
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Re: 2017 Eclipse

Post by -1- » August 26th, 2017, 10:08 am

Steve3007 wrote:Yes, and it was partly about the inability to preserve my own memories because of the technical limitations of cameras. It appears to be true what they say about eclipses. No photograph can do it justice. You have to either attempt to burn it into your memory or accept that the experience at the time was enough, without it having to persist.
Yeah, quit monkeying around and whining. Just burn it into your retina, and the image stays with you your entire lifetime. Easily done.

-- Updated 2017 August 26th, 10:14 am to add the following --

[quote="steve3007]Sadly I was on a small grassy knoll on the campus of Casper College so couldn't reach it. I love the image though. It might make a good painting (with a small written disclaimer at the bottom stating "Warning. Do not attempt this. Moon is a quarter of a million miles away.")[/quote]
In America (also in Canada) the legal department would INSIST that the warning also included that we should not eat the paper on which the image is printed, we must not give the wrapper to any kids under 3, and we must use only gently soaped water to wash it. The marketing department, of the artist, on the other hand, will advise to put "No cholesterol", "Printed on 100% post-consumer fibre" and "Gluten-free" on the bottom left. The top will be taken up by the mission statement of the company, in burning red-rimmed orange-yellow golden capital letters, and the middle will be filled with signatures of children who have walked seventeen miles non-stop to eradicate ED everywhere.

-- Updated 2017 August 26th, 10:20 am to add the following --

Longevity of information: dna and hard drives are reproduced with TONS of information very quickly and in large numbers. Stone tablets...not so much. That's the advantage of DNA and Digital technology. But of course you knew that.

It is similar to how insects leave so many eggs by the mother, that in three or four generation the offspring, if all came to full maturity, would gabble up all carbon in the biosphere to build their own bodies. This is DNA. While mammals have an offspring once a year, to once every ten years. This is the Stone Tablet. So we think that humans are the most successful species on Earth, in terms of being at the top of the food chain? well, think again. Insects far outweigh humans in terms of combined bodymass in the biosphere.

-- Updated 2017 August 26th, 10:26 am to add the following --

Steve, if you are around and I'm around, consider yourself cordially invited to watch the 2024 eclipse from my rooftop, while shooting back Chivas Regal and listening to tracks from the album "Shades of Deep Purple". And I mean this.
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Re: 2017 Eclipse

Post by Steve3007 » August 26th, 2017, 10:52 am

-1-:
Steve, if you are around and I'm around, consider yourself cordially invited to watch the 2024 eclipse from my rooftop, while shooting back Chivas Regal and listening to tracks from the album "Shades of Deep Purple". And I mean this.
I've just downloaded the Google Earth file for the 2024 eclipse. A slight setback for London, Ontario:
Path_2012_Australia.jpg
(184.24 KiB) Not downloaded yet
You're going to be just outside the zone of totality. But I'd still be up for meeting down the road.

-- Updated Sat Aug 26, 2017 4:02 pm to add the following --

Greta:
For the record, there was no eclipse for the southern hemisphere.
Did you see this one in 2012, in Queensland?
Path_2012_Australia.jpg
(184.24 KiB) Not downloaded yet
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Re: 2017 Eclipse

Post by Greta » August 26th, 2017, 8:33 pm

Steve, I didn't know about it.

I've never been much excited about the idea of an eclipses, although I can see why people would. I'm already excited by the idea that there is this ridiculously monstrous hot concentration of nucleated plasma out there in the wilderness of space 150kms away that, in a sense, IS us, as the products of the protoplanetary disc and subsequent radiation. I also find the scale of the Earth an endless source of "OMG!"; this world we call the "pale blue dot", a "mote of dust" in the cosmos, is itself huge beyond our comprehension, and thus mostly unexplored and unknown. We know more about the surfaces of other worlds than we do about the centre of our own.

Of course, all of this is very easy to take for granted but I find it much more fun not to :)

In the meantime, some experiments suggest that photo taking does enhance memory of the photographed sciencealert.com/taking-all-those-photo ... -after-all

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Re: 2017 Eclipse

Post by -1- » August 26th, 2017, 11:40 pm

What about the total eclipse of the heart, Greta.
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Re: 2017 Eclipse

Post by Greta » August 26th, 2017, 11:59 pm

-1- wrote:What about the total eclipse of the heart, Greta.
My heart is a brown dwarf so, even if it was eclipsed, no one would notice :)

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