Uneven Gravity


Our planet isn’t a perfect sphere, as such Earth’s mass is distributed unevenly. Ponder how uneven mass manifests itself as uneven gravity.

There's uneven gravity

Pictured above Hudson Bay, Canada, one of Earth’s gravitational anomalies.

Science has pondered lower gravity in Hudson Bay since the 1960s. Basic laws of gravity dictate its force is proportional to mass in a given region. One theory steps 20,000 years back to the last ice age, a time when behemoth ice sheets crinkled Earth’s crust, displacing mass. Another theory credits tectonic plates, movement of magma and subduction.

We think of gravity as constant, one planet, one equal gravitational force. I wonder how many know they weigh 1% less at the equator than the poles. Rotation creates centrifugal force which varies by latitude because our planet is a oblate sphere. Centrifugal is an outward force, gravity a inward phenomenon. Earth spins fastest at the equator, outward centrifugal forces cancel gravity resulting in diminished measurable weight. The link below is a great resource –

http://wtamu.edu/~cbaird/sq/2014/01/07/do-i-weigh-less-on-the-equator-than-at-the-north-pole/

Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation states that every particle attracts every other particle in the universe with a force which is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between their centers.

https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton%27s_law_of_universal_gravitation

Uneven gravity isn’t fickle or complicated, uneven distribution of mass and centrifugal force account for gravitational anomalies. Everything happens for a reason.

https://www.rankred.com/why-we-observe-uneven-gravity-on-earth/

 

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Geomagnetic Storm


It began with a routine check of space weather before bed. I say routine because it used to be daily ritual until a few months ago when work took siege of every waking moment. Not so long ago I would have been all over a geomagnetic storm, auroras are my thing and I miss them. SpaceWeather http://spaceweather.com/ told of “the next geomagnetic storm”, Earth’s exit from one solar stream and anticipated arrival of another on November 18. Oh man, what solar stream? Then I remembered Adrien Mauduit, newly discovered astro-photographer and visionary whose efforts warm my heart.

Sure enough, Mauduit not only knew of last weekend’s solar storm, he captured its ethereal beauty in HD.

Adrien Mauduit wrote “If you missed the show last night, here’s a recap of what happened from the Aurora observatory on Senja island, Norway. “

Pondering Social Media


The average attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds. In 2000 social media analytics credited humanity with a 12 second attention span, in 2013 that average fell to 8 seconds. Scoff if you like, but I tend to believe statistics culled by social media marketers.

Image result for social media

Ponder this from https://www.disruptiveadvertising.com/social-media/be-in-the-know-2018-social-media-statistics-you-should-know/

  • Close to half the world’s population (3.03 billion people) are on some type of social media.
  • 64% of online shoppers say that a video on social media helped them decide on a product to buy.
  • Only 43% of online stores receive significant traffic from their social media pages.
  • Acknowledgment is key: 77% of Twitter users appreciate a brand more when their tweet is responded to. It takes about 10 hours on average for businesses to respond to a tweet, even though customers want a response within four hours.
  • Content marketing is a top priority of B2B businesses after brand building and social media engagement.
  • 59% of adults between 18 and 29 are using Instagram.
  • The average person spends about 20 minutes on Facebook or one in every six minutes a person will spend online.
  • 1.57 billion YouTube users watch about 5 billion videos on average every single day. Of the 2.1 billion total accounts on Facebook, 270 million profiles are fake.
  • 86% of women will look at social media before deciding to make a purchase.
  • People are accessing 69% of their media on their smartphones.
  • 89% of people on smartphones are using apps, while only 11% are using standard websites. Unsurprisingly, Facebook is the most popular app at 19% (measured by time spent).
  • Pinterest is number one for mobile social media, with 64% of referral traffic being driven by smartphones and tablets.
  • 57% of all mobile users will not recommend a business if their mobile website is poorly designed or unresponsive.
  • 40% of all mobile users are searching for a local business or interest.
  • Mobile websites that load in 5 seconds or less will end in a viewing session that’s 70% longer than their slower counterparts.
  • 92% of American teens accessed the internet on a daily basis, where 56% claim to connect several times a day, and 24% are connected almost constantly to the internet.

Lets talk selfies, next to tediously boring photos of mealtime “nobody cares what you had for dinner” fluff, selfies are a blight more annoying than hot sidewalk gum stuck to the bottom of your shoe. Stalwart aversion to catatonic postings of selfies on social media and subsequent refusal to validate self centered media content with likes, solidifies my place as a middle aged dinosaur. Every week over 20 million selfie posts are immortalized on social media, who am I to bemoan the erosion of civilization?

Social media is a business. It knows precisely how vain, inattentive, malleable, financially sound, politically inclined and impulsive every last one of us is. It knows who we are, where we are, what we eat, where we shop, how we vote, our views on abortion, gay rights and immigration. Prospective employers, financial institutions, property management companies and law enforcement routinely scrutinize social media footprints.

Valuable as it is intrusive, pondering social media asks only that we understand how it works, personal footprints we leave behind and magnitude of this marketing tool.

Lux Caeli


Lux Caeli, Latin for “sky light” (loose translation) is a timelapse photography project by Adrien Mauduit. In his words –

“Summer is often synonymous with light, warmth, sun, vacation and ultimately night outings. As the latter generally has a social connotation, it can also mean something else for more and more people. Summer is also the host of a wide variety of celestial events that more than one can enjoy. Amateur photographers, professionals, backyard astronomers, star gazers, you, me, we all tend to linger outside longer to gaze at the sky’s impressive displays while it is not too cold. But what is so special about them at this particular time of the year? Probably the possibility of watching several phenomena occur at the same time! In my latest project called ‘LUX CÆLI’ (from Latin, ‘sky light’), I wanted to focus on these events and show their mesmerizing nature in a time-lapse series. It is merely a celebration of the summer time night sky phenomena in high resolution, and my goal was to show them in a bit different way. Whether you are talking about a sunset, northern light, meteor showers or eclipse, these displays are all breath-taking by essence. However the pinnacle of celestial awesomeness is to witness several of these natural phenomena happen at once.”

Ponder Lux Caeli –

 

Church News


Image result for church news

Like it or not church news is a global barometer. In no particular order, pondering church news starts with Father Jacques Lacroix, the French priest who face slapped a crying baby during baptism on June 21, 2018. When this video went viral the following day, a statement issued by the Meaux Dioceses said in part – 89 year old Father Lacroix “was suspended from all baptism and marriage celebrations.”, adding “This short video is an excerpt from the celebration which the baby cries a lot. The elderly priest loses his temper and slaps the child. Aware of this inappropriate gesture, the priest apologized to the family at the end of the baptism.” Official statement ended with – the priest was likely tired, but that “does not excuse him.”.

California State Bill AB 2943 (passed first reading in April, expected to pass state senate by the end of summer ) targets “conversion therapy”. Specifically the advertising or sale of “sexual orientation change efforts” by religious organizations. The bill states “sexual orientation change efforts” are defined as “any practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation.” “This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex,” the bill reads.

Calif. Bill Would Limit What Pastors Can Say about Homosexuality

This image from ChristianHeadlines.com fills my mouth with bile. The image chosen by fundamentalist Christians to illustrate outrage over state bill AR 2943 is nothing short of insane. Anyone with a glimmer of common sense knows sexual orientation isn’t a choice . Never the less, fundamentalist tongues wag –

“A pastor paid to speak at an event addressing current social topics could not encourage attendees that they can prevail over same-sex desires or feelings that they were born the wrong sex.”

“A religious ministry could not hold a conference on maintaining sexual purity if the conference encourages attendees to avoid homosexual behavior.”

“A licensed counselor could not help a married mother of three who is experiencing unwanted attraction to a close female friend or confusion over her gender identity overcome those feelings.”

“A bookstore (including online bookstores like Amazon) could not sell many recently published books challenging gender identity ideology and advocating that these beliefs should be rejected by society.”

Knock, knock, anyone home at the pulpit? Conversion therapy is a multi-million dollar business marketed as everything from talk and addiction counseling models to electroshock treatments and isolation therapy. It’s misguided, unethical, abusive and predominantly geared toward adolescents.

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/conversion-therapy-lgbtq-youth-study_us_5a6f549ee4b0ddb658c929e4

It’s getting late, whatever point flickered an hour ago is lost. Church news is still a barometer, but I’m done for tonight. Forgive me for my last gasp on the subject –

Hot Dog Water


It’s street festival season in Vancouver. Yesterday, 17 blocks of Main Street welcomed thousands to annual Car Free Day celebrations. Hundreds of vendors marked twelve feet of curbside real estate with colourful tents. Block after block of inexpensive dresses made in India, food trucks, jewellery, yoga classes, political action groups, straw hats and local crafts. Lavender Kombucha in one hand, bacon raspberry chipotle jam sandwich in the other ( don’t judge me 🙂 ), an eager young man in a hot dog costume drew my eyes to the “Hot Dog Water” tent.

Image result for hot dog water car free day

Hot Dog Water CEO Douglas Bevans, mustered his inner Gwyneth Paltrow to proclaim –

“We’ve created a recipe, having a lot of people put a lot of effort into research and a lot of people with backgrounds in science really creating the best version of Hot Dog Water that we could,” “So the protein of the Hot Dog Water helps your body uptake the water content, and the sodium and all the things you’d need post-workout.”

A sign breaks down the “health benefits” of Hot Dog Water.

Scores of festival goers lined up for free samples of chilled hot dog water. Move over Gatorade, there’s a new boss in town. Hot dog water is the future of weight loss, vitality and brain function. Still skeptical? Rest assured proof is in the cost – one bottle of hot dog water sells for $37.99,  two for the Father’s Day special of $75.

Image result for hot dog water car free day

Bevans won’t say how much hot dog water he sold, but cheerfully points to a statement clearly displayed at the booth –

“Hot Dog Water in its absurdity hopes to encourage critical thinking related to product marketing and the significant role it can play in our purchasing choices.”

From Global News –

Bevans, a tour operator by trade, is also an artist, and said the Hot Dog Water concept was actually dreamed up as a commentary on what he called the “snake oil salesmen” of health marketing.

“It’s really sort of a commentary on product marketing, and especially sort of health-quackery product marketing,” he said.

“From the responses, I think people will actually go away and reconsider some of these other $80 bottles of water that will come out that are ‘raw’ or ‘smart waters,’ or anything that doesn’t have any substantial scientific backing but just a lot of pretty impressive marketing.”

Vancouver festivalgoers invited to enjoy a cool glass of… hot dog water?

Kudos to you Douglas Bevans – well played.

 

Ponder Degrees Of Acuity


New research by Eleanor Caves at Duke University suggests most species view the world in less detail than us Comparison of visual acuity in 600 species of animals, birds, fish and insects conclude humans see fine detail elusive to most species. Based on spacing and density of light sensing structure in eye anatomy, the study measured acuity in terms of cycles per degree, translation – how many pairs of black and white parallel lines a species can discern within one degree of the field of vision before they turn into a smear of gray.

Average human eyes resolve 60 black/white cycles per degree of acuity. Anyone with less than 10 cycles per degree of acuity is legally blind. Most insects can’t see more than one degree of acuity. Fish and birds hover around half the visual acuity of humans. (One exception birds of prey – Australian web tailed eagles boast 140 cycles per degree )) Cats and dogs perceive 7 times less visual detail, slightly more than goldfish, significantly more than rodents.

Evolutionary perfection compensates lack of visual acuity with species specific tweaks of survival fancy. Sight as we know it is not the measure of life on Earth.

 

Image result for kitchen as seen by different animals

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/humans-see-world-100-times-more-detail-mice-fruit-flies-180969240/

 

The image on the left shows the wings of a map butterfly as they might look to a jay looking for a snack, and on the right, to another member of its kind, such as a rival or potential mate. Image courtesy of Eleanor Caves

The image on the left shows the wings of a map butterfly as they might look to a jay looking for a snack, and on the right, to another member of its kind, such as a rival or potential mate. Image courtesy of Eleanor Caves

Image result for eleanor caves acuity

A spider web as seen in bird vision (left), and fly vision (right). The zigzags on the spider’s web send a secret message to birds that their insect prey can’t see, even from less than a foot away. Image via Eleanor Caves.