Weekend Introspection

–Sometimes I can be arrogant, and disdainful of other people… but I think at least some of the time, this stems from the frustration I feel at being unable to do anything significant to affect the bad behavior of others.

For instance, today while reading a blog entry on Own Your Shit, (don’t you just love that name?)  I realized after I posted it, how my comments could possibly be construed as arrogant.   I sound as if I feel superior, morally and intellectually, to those careless and self-involved enough to enjoy our beautiful world and yet pollute it with their garbage and ruin it for others.  In a way, I guess I do feel superior…but whether or not you agree with my assessment of their behavior or my own, I believe part of the reason I feel so resentful of them is my inability to reach enough of them to make a difference, and the very real likelihood that it wouldn’t make a difference even if I could.  You can’t argue with self-involved.  You can’t argue with stupid.

Image courtesy of http://littermob.blogspot.com/ .   Check out this site; their efforts on behalf of Mother Earth are commendable.

Image courtesy of “littermob“. Check out this site; their efforts on behalf of Mother Earth are commendable.

— The second “revelation” for the weekend is that maybe I need a change in my perspective when it comes to my smoking.  I should apply the same no bullshit philosophy I have on so many other things and with so many other people to myself.  Basically, you can’t have everything you want.  I should stop being selfish, because even though I enjoy smoking, it would be better for my health (and wallet) if I didn’t, and I owe it to my daughter to be healthy and provide a better example for her.

Oooor, I could just be rationalizing another excuse to quit smoking and thus reduce the anxiety I feel over it.

Totally Not in the Path of Totality

Stargazing-Events

You may have seen this picture going around Facebook or some other social media site, the one of the “must see” astronomical events of 2013.  It just so happens, gentle readers, that this year my birthday falls on the date of the annular solar eclipse (at least according to this particular chart–  NASA has the date listed as May 10.)

You’ve probably heard of solar eclipses, although maybe you’ve never been lucky enough to see one first-hand.  They are predictable events, but do not occur at exactly regular intervals.  Wikipedia defines an solar eclipse occurring when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, and the Moon fully or partially blocks the Sun.  This can happen only when the Sun and the Moon are in conjunction as seen from Earth in an alignment referred to as syzygy.

In short, eclipses occur when the Moon’s orbit crosses the Earth’s orbital path.

However, the Moon’s orbit is not perfectly circular.  It’s elliptical (think of an oval.)  A total eclipse occurs when the Moon is on the shorter side of it’s orbit, and so it’s apparent size relative to the sun is large enough to completely occult the sun.  Conversely, when the Moon is on the longer side of it’s elliptical orbit, it appears smaller from Earth, and only partially occults the Sun, leaving a bright and visible ring of Sun around the outer edges.  This is an annular eclipse, also known as the “ring of fire” (calm down ladies, this is a different ring of fire.)

Ring of Fire

Ring of Fire

annular_eclipse_diagram.635

It should be noted that the ability to view an eclipse depends on your position on Earth at the time of the eclipse.  The path of totality, the path the Moon’s shadow traces upon the Earth, is not very wide.  The predicted path of totality, that relatively small part of the Earth where one will be able to witness this amazing event, is a 106 to 139 mile -wide track that traverses Australia, eastern Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and the Gilbert Islands.

So… it really doesn’t matter if it happens on my birthday or the day after; I won’t be seeing it from here!