Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Eclipse Tomorrow!

Here's information specific to tomorrow's solar eclipse. It's got way more precise and specific info than I can put up here, including where it can be seen in totality, and exact times. A less technical article is here.

But if you just want to know how it works, check it out here. This article is quite interesting. I thought I knew how eclipses work, and in a very general sense, I did. But there's a lot more to know. There's more than one kind of eclipse. The one tomorrow is a total eclipse, and may have something to do with the fact that the moon is currently (today) at perigee, or at it's lowest altitude.

Our moon is in an elliptical orbit. That means that sometimes it is closer to earth's surface, and further away at other times. When it's closer, it has a greater ability to block the sun. When it's further away (at apogee) it has a smaller apparent size (just as anything further away looks smaller), and cannot fully cover the sun as seen from the earth.

One of the things that tomorrow's eclipse, combined with the perigee means for us here on earth is that the moon will be at it's lowest, which means higher tides than usual, but in addition to that, it will be lined up with the sun, creating an even greater gravitational pull than just the perigee alone would cause. The combined gravitational effects of these two celestial bodies will mean exceptionally high and low tides, and will increase the possibility of extreme meteorological effects and also raise the probability of seismic events.

So, be on the lookout for these possible side effects from the eclipse.

As for viewing, it won't be visible in the United States, or anywhere in the Americas, or even Europe or Australia, really. It will be happening in the general area of Asia. You can see much more detail from that first link. You will also be able to see it on NASA TV! Scroll down in the article for more TV viewing information, and don't forget to check your local schedules to be sure of times.

This photo is of earth during a total eclipse. It was taken from the International Space Station 230 miles above earth, during a total solar eclipse at about 4:50 a.m. CST Wednesday, March 29, 2006.

I am in total awe of this photo. I've never seen anything like it.


It seems strange to talk about anything as mundane as television after all this, but here goes.

Children of Earth will be continuing on BBC in America tonight with the second episode (called Day Two) of the miniseries. For anyone who missed it last night, they'll be rerunning Day One tonight right before Day Two, so you can catch up.

For anyone who really misses out, they'll be rerunning all the science fiction shows they're showing this week on Sunday. That's right! You can spend all of Sunday glued to BBC in America and see all of Children of Earth, the Doctor Who special, Planet of the Dead, and the first episode of Being Human! I love BBC in America!


I'm sorry there hasn't been much in the way of knitting new lately, but Knit Picks has been having a sale on books, and I bought a copy of Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles, two circular needles, and two balls of sock yarn. So, I've been knitting my old standby comfortable socks on two needles. They're plain and ordinary looking, but they are comfortable. These plain socks are giving me a chance to try knitting them on two circular needles, a technique I've never tried before. There are a couple of things in the book that I haven't tried yet, but so far, there isn't anything that isn't just plain common sense. In fact, I wonder why she bothered to write a book about it at all. The toe for toe-up socks is ingenious, and something that would become a stand-by for me if I were going to knit toe-up socks. But I doubt that that will ever happen unless I can find a way to make a good heel in that direction.

The instructions for standard heel-flap heels is always written correctly. The heel flap should be as long as it is wide. But you can tell by the photos of socks made from these patterns that nobody ever does them that way (except the Yarn Harlot). The whole reason I like hand knit socks is that the heel is longer, which means you don't have to pull them up all the time! But you can see clearly from photos of socks made from these patterns that from the side, the heel flap looks square. Since you're looking at it from the side, though, that means that the heel flap was stopped when it was half-way to where it should've been stopped.

All of the heels I've read instructions for that are knit in the toe-up direction are short, like the heels made wrong from the top-down. In short, I don't like any of the toe-up heels I've read directions for so far.

My daughter's father has diabetes, and she tried some socks made specifically for foot problems on his recommendation, and loved them. She said they're the most comfortable socks she's ever worn.

The features of these socks is that they are snug around the ankle and foot to keep down swelling, and to keep them from rubbing in your shoes. But the toes are looser and less restrictive to let your toes be happy.

Anyway, I took her description of what was so wonderful about these socks, and wrote a pattern of my own for them. And she's right. They are comfortable. They don't look like anything special, though.

Real soon now, I'll write up the instructions for these socks and publish them on my blog with a link to the pattern in the sidebar where I have the links to my other patterns.

Please note that there are lots of links in the sidebar to free patterns, some written by me, and some from other people. I hope you haven't been missing out on that.

In the meantime, enjoy Children of Earth, and the eclipse!

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