Carl Sagan Explains The 4th Dimension


A few minutes ago YouTube displayed video of Carl Sagan explaining the 4th dimension on my Home page – well played YouTube! Smitten of late by Neil deGrasse Tyson, pondering the enormity of Sagan’s influence, accomplishments and reason seemed long overdue.

Time magazine called Sagan “America’s most effective salesman of science”. Faint irritation nibbled at the realization I didn’t know how to proceed. Biographical bullet points wouldn’t do, I wanted to impart subtleties of wonder sparked by his influence. Thoughts meandered to his corduroy jacket, an unfortunate fixation that wasn’t making things easier. Then it came to me – Carl Sagan’s reach can be introduced, acknowledged or discovered dependent on individual experience. Rather than fret over conveying my appreciation to a generation untouched by his perceptible impact, it was enough to appreciate contributions by posting his explanation of the 4th dimension.

 

Supermoon Rising November 14


Moving in an ellipse around Earth, the Moon completes one orbit a month. Once a month the Moon is full, or opposite Earth. Once each month a new moon rises at a point between Earth and the Sun. At closest orbital position to Earth a Moon is called perigee, farthest away is an apogee Moon.When full moons coincide with perigee, a Supermoon is born. At perigee the Moon is 50,000 Km closer to Earth than at apogee.

Supermoon used to be known as full perigee moon. 30 years ago astrologer Richard Nolle coined the phrase and it stuck. On Monday November 14 the Moon becomes full 2 hours away from perigee, a circumstance not witnessed since January 28, 1948 and not duplicated until November 25, 2034. Best seats for supermoon’s 14% larger, 30% brighter show should be secured at Moon rise or set, time-frames when  “Moon Illusion” is star of the show.

Moon illusion is an optical illusion – ponder http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/space/blogs/why-nobody-can-explain-the-moon-illusion

Understanding optical trickery satisfies the curious, supermoon illusion tickles the soul. No other illusion stirs inexplicable wonder, smacks consciousness without warning or possesses the power to stop witnesses in their track. Watch Full Moon Silhouettes below, it’s breathtaking.

5 keys to enjoying the closest supermoon

Goodnight Leonard Cohen


News of 82 year old Leonard Cohen’s death found me driving home from work, they played Hallelujah and I cried. Home compelled So Long Marianne to fill the room. Not youthful or studio Marianne, I needed proof of Marianne in Cohen’s sinew. I found it in a live performance from 2012.

Cohen’s effortless spell rippled through the room. I saw an ageless man, a man whose beautiful presence transcended the shell of his being. Swaying melodically to the cadence of his unabashed existence, I whispered goodnight.

David Souter Ponders Democracy


This morning CBC radio aired a sound bite of retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter speaking at a 2012 UNH (University of New Hampshire ) open forum. Souter was asked to comment on declining civics education and what effect that has on government. His answer runs almost 8 minutes. For those short on time, patience or inclination skip to 4:00 or read the transcript below.

“But the reason I said I think it is the most significant problem that we’ve got is that I think some of the aspects of current American government that people on both sides find frustrating are in part a function of the inability of people to understand how government can and should function.

It is a product of civic ignorance.

What I worry about is a remark that Benjamin Franklin made and Susan Leahy quoted Jefferson at the beginning about how “an ignorant people can never remain a free people.”

Democracy cannot survive too much ignorance.

Franklin, in effect, had a comment to which the Jefferson comment is a kind of an answer or a response. You’ve probably heard this but it bears repeating.

Franklin was asked by someone I think on the streets of Philadelphia shortly after the 1787 convention adjourned in what kind of government the constitution would give us if it was adopted. Franklin’s famous answer was “a republic, if you can keep it.” (edited)

You can’t keep it in ignorance. I don’t worry about our losing republican government in the United States because I’m afraid of a foreign invasion. I don’t worry about it because I think there is going to be a coup by the military as has happened in some other places.

What I worry about is that when problems are not addressed, people will not know who is responsible. And when the problems get bad enough, as they might do, for example, with another serious terrorist attack, as they might do with another financial meltdown, some one person will come forward and say, “Give me total power and I will solve this problem.”

That is how the Roman republic fell. Augustus became emperor not because he arrested the Roman senate. He became emperor because he promised he would solve problems that were not being solved.

If we know who is responsible, I have enough faith in the American people to demand performance from those responsible.

If we don’t know, we will stay away from the polls. We will not demand it. And the day will come when somebody will come forward and and we and the government will in effect say, “take the ball and run with it.”

“Do what you have to do.”

That is the way democracy dies. And if something is not done to improve the level of civic knowledge, that is what you should worry about at night.

http://crooksandliars.com/2016/10/justice-david-souter-civic-ignorance-how