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Western Kentucky and Central Tennessee look to be the best spots weatherwise. All the fear mongering over traffic jams is keeping some people away; the reality is that the smart ones got out here Friday and Saturday. I anticipate Sunday as the big traffic day and then overnight Monday with a full on Gong Show of people trying to figure stuff out. The Amazon fiasco with the solar glasses, and some people stirring up clickbait about sex trafficking and crime syndicates hiring pick-pockets (Seriously??) may also lower crowd totals.
It is going to be a heat index of 100-110 from Carbondale to Nashville, so if you are headed this way, bring water and fill up your gas tank before you get too deep into the zone.
People out here are wavering from "KENTUCKY! FUCK YEA WE ARE NOT AN EMBARRASSMENT" to "WE ARE ALL GONNA DIE!!" to "Don't care, sounds like nerd stuff." Tons of signs on businesses that they are going to be closed for the time of the total, and there are state troopers EVERYWHERE. Do NOT speed if you are in the eclipse zone.
Looking forward to the after reports this week once I get on internet that is not a fucking war crime.
Twitter is a shithole of dog-piles and character assassination. Why is Twitter not banned? I state the opinion that Twitter is the most vile, hate filled, narcissist enabling toxic social site on the net. Jack Dorsey and Larry Page are buddies, or at least they run in the same circles and support the same charities, but that cannot have anything to do with why a twitter competitor was booted.
There is no such thing as an objective reporter because there is no such thing as an objective human being. That said, a biased source still has value. If MSNBC says something, you know that they are basically a mouthpiece for the DNC and have a left slant. If FOX says something you know that they are the mouthpiece for the Republican Party and can react accordingly.
Fuck Disqus. I have it blocked at the router DNS level at home and at work. But at least it is not facebook.
The Guardian went from a liberal answer to the WSJ to some weird cringe far left publication about a decade ago. Most of the people there worth reading and thinking about left for The Intercept or bailed to do their own thing. I still like The Economist, and the reporting on the WSJ is still good as long as you stay off the opinion pages (Thanks NewsCorp). Lately I've been hitting up the raw Reuter's feed and then going to the "main" news sites to see if there is more in-depth fact checking and writing. A perfect example of a turn into that "WTF are you doing" zone is the AV Club. It went from a pop culture review site to almost a religious fanatic church bulletin. They doubled down during gamergate three years ago and now seem to be pulling back into raw reviews from what I see, but yea. It is like they went full Buzzfeed for a while and now that their traffic is plunging they forgot what made them popular.
Reporters don't report news any more it seems. They report opinions. Or maybe we are old enough that we see it more than when we were younger, fuck if I know. This is why I fucking HATE NPR. And on paper I should be an NPR fan. But EVERY. FUCKING. STORY. they make into this weird personal experience in some odd attempt to put a single human face on every story they report on. I just can't do it and the last time I had NPR on, about a month ago, it seems to be worse. I need data, not feelings, to make up my mind about things and there are fewer places out there that offer what I need. Even the BBC is taking a hard turn toward opinion/emotional journalism.
GOOD. In my mind if you wave the flag of people who slaughtered millions and waged war on the USA, you should have bad things happen to you. Free speech and all, sure. But Free Speech is not free from consequence. Waving a NAZI flag, a Confederate battle flag, a Soviet flag, an anarchist flag should have real world consequences.
And I say that as a guy who wants my racists loud and proud and out in the open. firstly, it reminds some of my weaker willed liberal friends that these people exist and there are still battles to fight. Secondly so that I know who these idiots are so I can not interact with them other than to mock them.
The problem is that common jobs get no glory.. and no/minimal pay. Teachers are underpaid. EMT's are underpaid. Firefighters are underpaid. There is a vast, critical, list of 'jobs' out there that do not pay or pay minimal. Back in the days when we had a functional society (as he looks back through Wratten23A eyepiece filters) being someone involved in the community was a status symbol. Yea the scout leader did it for free, but they earned respect from the community as someone who gave a shit. Teachers have always been underpaid, but even up to the 1970's teaching was a well regarded and respected profession. I know I sound like a broken record here, but the blame for this lies on the Baby Boomer generation. So many of these people have the attitude "DO NOT INCONVENIENCE ME OR ELSE" coupled with an attitude of "that is someone else's problem stop bothering me." So all the grunt work style jobs got shit on for 50 years as a whole generation went for high dollar careers. Then they used those careers to shit on blue collar work, gut the middle of the country and send quite a bit of the manufacturing base overseas. We all cannot be millionaires and we all cannot be the guy in charge; someone has to do the work and those jobs often times don't pay more than median for the area.
- As for finding people who are physically fit...
WOW. Holy shit what a great idea that I would have never even thought of. Go talk to high school athletes, many of which are facing fast food and walmart as jobs, get them to be volunteer firefighters and pay to get them in EMT training. Huh. I'm gonna go write some letters today, thanks man.
Just remember we live in arguably one of the best times ever to be alive. Crime is very low, most health problems have a solution, child labour is non-existent and there are amazing things happening in all facets of technology and work and engineering.
Its easy to see the world as shit because shit sells ad copy. But we humans just sent a rocket to a space station and landed the booster back for reuse. We are using AIDS to, if not cure at least fight, leukemia. Heart disease, cancer etc are now on the run. The biggest mass murders of humanity? Polio, measles, smallpox? They are now epidemics if 100 people contact the disease. The kids born today are going to look at the early 2000's the same way we look at the early 1900's when nobody had electricity or running water and infant mortality was in the order of 40%.
Things get better.
One other thing that this article does not touch on. The obesity problem and so many young men out of shape has rendered the pool of eligible candidates lower. Lexington, KY put out a call for free volunteer firefighter training and the requirements were something like 20 pushups, 10 pull-ups, 8 minute mile, climb a ladder with a pack on in a certain time, pull a fire hose x feet in y seconds, able to lift and carry 80 pounds, etc. Some 200 or so people, men and women I might add, showed up and 20 or so met the physical needs of the job. The job only paid on service rendered but it is considered a high prestige job and they could not get enough people to fill all the positions.
A million years ago I dated a dorky nerd girl who had this amazing sister that was her diametric opposite: the sister was a fire jumper. As in she parachuted into forest fires and cleared back burns, and did scary dangerous work including face offs with wild animals, traversing steep canyons and blazing trails and marking spots for the fire retardant air drops. When I was at my peak physical form, she ran circles around me, lifted more than I was able and had crazy physical endurance. (Her day job was a bouncer.) I got the chance to meet a few of the others on her team and even though she was one of the 'weaker' people in that group it hit home what a physically demanding job fire and rescue is. You can read and watch all you want, but stand next to those guys and realize those folks are STRONG. When they started to talk about lowering physical standards for EMT and firefighters in California to get more people into the forestry and fire departments in the late 80's, these people lost the farm. Since they only got paid if they were fighting fires, and if memory serves they got health benefits but no pension etc, many of them threatened to walk if people unable to do the physical work were let into the organization.
I have brought this up here on Hubski and elsewhere, but the country needs to stop the bullshit and figure out if we want to be a functional society or not. Firefighters are kind of important, and those people need to be paid and held in a high regard. Teachers need to once again be held to a high standard and also hold an honorable position in society. I think we send too many people to college and not enough people to union halls. And I wish I was able to pull all these thoughts together and write up a coherent statement as to why. My one good thought on this is that I am going to be dead in 15-20 years when all the chickens come home to roost and there is not enough people to do the grunt work and the place falls apart so I don't have to watch the aftermath.
- They were asking me WHY the shadows will be half-moons and I was like... cause pinhole photography? Physics?
Ah, a question I can answer! The sun is not a point source of light. It acts like a uniform disk of light in the sky. This is why on a normal sunny day your shadows are, for lack of a better word, soft. A diffuser sort of, but not exactly, does this as well; it takes the light from a point source, aka light bulb, and spreads it out a bit. The little pin holes mirror the sun's disk on the object that the light is projected on. As long as the sun is a disk, that image will be round. As the moon move in front of the sun, you see less and less of a disk and more of a crescent. Now, the light from the sun is still not a point source of light, but it is also not a perfect disk either. The shadows on the ground reflect the change in the shape of the sun as the eclipse progresses. One of the things that I intend on documenting is when shadows stop being soft and start having hard edges. (My guess is at 75% covered but we will see.)
If you have a square light source, by the way, and use a pinhole projector? The image looks more square than round.
- I'll be in a city called Tate in Georgia - north of Atlanta. Out of the path of totality by a few miles :(
Yea you are maybe 10 miles from the fun stuff. We get to do this again in six and a half years so use this as the excuse to whet the appetite for a total eclipse. Still a bummer, but when work is paying the bills you gotta do what they want you to do, right?
And just because I had it up already for some other sites I looked at the NWS report for Tate. Thunderstorms and 30% chance of rain on the day of. Prepare an out for your gear in case of rain. Hopefully you get to dodge the rain and get some great pictures.