Eclipses

by Purple Wyrm on December 6, 2002

Eclipses. Eclipses are on my mind because there was one yesterday.

Not a total eclipse. Not this far west. You had to be in Ceduna (in South Australia) to see that (and about 30,000 people were). But we still got about 65% coverage here in Perth. Happily it got darkest just after 5:00, when I was waiting at the bus stop for my ride home.

It was weird. It was still bright enough to see easily, but everything seemed a little dim and fuzzy. I kept thinking I had my sunglasses on and kept trying to take them off, which must have made me look like a real idiot *g*. I took the opportunity to take a couple of photos, but you can’t really tell there’s anything different to normal, so I’m not going to post them 🙂

But as I was saying, I was thinking about eclipses. The last time there was one (1999 was it?) the path of totality was a lot closer, up in Greenough. Ryan, Justin and I planned to head up in the Justified, but were defeated when it broke down only ten minutes or so from Justin’s house. So we had to turn around and go back.

We watched the show through my telescope from Justin’s backyard (not actually through the telescope I should add, we’re not idiots – I rigged it up to project onto a screen). It was pretty funky. It was a particularly hot and bright day in the middle of summer, the kind of day when direct sunlight actually stings when it hits your skin*. But once the eclipse started the temperature dropped remarkably. Before long a cool breeze sprung up, and you could wander around in direct sunlight with no discomfort whatsoever. It got a lot darker than it did yesterday and, sure enough, all the birds stopped singing.

Despite all this entertainment there was one offputting thing. In fact it was one of the most bewilderingly stupid things I’ve ever experienced. It was Justin’s family. While we were outside watching the eclipse, they were inside, with the blinds drawn, watching the live broadcast from Greenough on the TV.

As totality aproached they got frantic. “Hurry UP!!” they were yelling “QUICK! You’re MISSING IT!!!“. We weren’t missing it. We were outside seeing the world get dark, feeling the cold wind rushing across the landscape, actually standing in the moon’s shadow. OK, we weren’t experiencing totality, but the TV footage was certain to be replayed that night on the news – what we were experiencing was real, and one time only. I seriously felt like shouting back “No! YOU’RE missing it!!”.

Truly, truly sad.

In lighter news I received two separate emails from the Chief Accountant of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation on Tuesday. They’re apparently wanting to transfer millions of US dollars through my bank account, and are prepared to pay me several million in thanks, but what is seriously surprising about all this is that there’s apparently two Chief Accountants of the NNPC. And they’re both Doctors! Doctor Bello Musa, and Doctor Idris Koma. Even stranger they both wrote exactly the same email! Word for word! If you ask me this is way too much of a coincidence and bears serious investigation 😉

Also bearing serious investigation is the sign I saw at the supermarket the other day…

Panda!?!?

Well. What can you add to that? 🙂


* Or is that just me? 😉


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