Saturday, July 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Mama

I would like to wish my wonderful mother a Happy Birthday. I would like to congratulate her on making 67 successful solar passes. I also would like to inform her on a possible hypothesis for why she becomes light-headed often. As we all know the Earth makes one revolution in a 24 hour period giving us one day, or an average of 23 hours 56 minutes and 4.096 seconds, but we will use 24 hours to make it easy. (I am not even going to account for leap years, aren't you glad) As the Earth rotates it does this at the rate of 1,700 kilometers per hour or roughly 1,056 miles per hour. Also as it orbits the sun it moves at the rate of 110,000 kilometers per hour or 68,350 miles per hour. With the combination of these two simple orbital movements we can see that this could possibly cause one to become dizzy. And to think that she has completed roughly 24,455 revolutions on Earth. If we could only work on an over-the-counter medication to combat these universal gravitational forces. Perhaps the Dramamine company can come up with a special formula for such individuals. I hope that I have helped my mother understand why she gets light-headed and have not shed any light on her age, after all I never actually said how old she is.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! She is the greatest mother that anyone could have. To show an example of what a great mother she still is. I work outside and one day before I was to start working she called me to inform me that it was going to be cooler that day and that I should be sure to take a jacket. But, the greatest example is that she has not had a child-free house in 45 years. When I was 11 my younger brother Kelly was born with Downs Syndrome. She continues to care for him everyday without complaining and will always do this. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Rainbows and Moonbows

Have you ever seen a rainbow on a completely cloudy day? Probably not. But, most of us have viewed spectacular rainbows during the day and some may have been lucky enough to view a rainbow at night, or known as a moonbow. To view these beautiful refractions of light all we need is the correct solar zenith, around 40 to 42 degrees (no this is not temperature) and rain, ice crystals or some form of moisture. What we need is the correct angle of sunlight to pass through drops of rain to refract the light so we are able to view the prism of light. Most of us view rainbows when we are facing east. The sunlight needs to be at our backs and rain to our front to view rainbows. Some of us may have viewed rainbows facing west, of course all of us know this would only be possible in the morning. Well, maybe not, but rainbows viewed in the east are in the afternoon or evening depending on the time of year and rainbows viewed in the west are in the morning when the sun is at our backs. An interesting thing to think of when viewing rainbows is the weather associated with these rainbows. Most mid latitude storm systems pass from west to east, so when you see a rainbow in the east it is most likely indicating the weather is improving. This is evident because of the sun shinning from the west void of cloud cover. Now when you view a rainbow in the west this would probably indicate that the weather on this day is going to involve some moisture.

Moonbows are not as viewed and well known. I have not viewed one but, would really like the chance to see one. I guess I will need to keep an eye out for partly cloudy, full moonlit, misty nights, but for some reason the weather forecast does not usually give me the indications for such events. This works with the same basic principles as a rainbow, but uses reflected sunlight from the moon to form the prism with rain. The moon needs to be relatively full or bright. You also need to have the same angle of light coming from the moon, around 40 to 42 degrees. Using the same principles as with rainbows your back must be facing the moon.

My favorite thing about rainbows is the double rainbow. Is this really two rainbows? Think about it. Do we have two suns? No, thank goodness, it is hot enough with one. A double rainbow is the reflection of the first rainbow. To prove this think about the colors and their order in the rainbow. We can use Sir Issac Newtons sevenfold red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Some of us may remember this by using the mnemonic, "Roy G. Biv." One rainbow will follow this color order. A second or double rainbow will not. The colors are in reverse clearly indicating a reflection of the first. Reflections are in reverse, this is why when you look at an ambulance in your rear view mirror you are able to read the words. The next time that you are lucky enough to view a double rainbow, take a closer look. You will be amazed.

If you do not want to wait for a rainbow you can make your own using a garden hose, sprinkler, or view one at a water fall. But, remember to have your back facing the sun. And try not to loose too much sleep waiting for a moonbow, but then again, I probably will.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Visible Light

This is my opening thought for my blog. I am a thinker. If you know me you may think I am rather quiet. (Shari will tell you different) However, I am probably entertaining my mind with some interesting (to me) thought. This opening post will give you an idea of what goes on in my mind. Enter if you dare.

Have you ever thought what life might be like if we saw in more than just the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum? This is the rather large area of light that we can not view. Well, probably not. Let me tell you how lucky we are to just to be able to view just the rather cleverly named, "visible light." Your day would probably start out pretty rough. You roll over to turn off your alarm clock and view all the FM or AM waves being transmited in the air, but that is just the begining. As you make your way down the hall you would be able to see the thermal infrared being given off by everyone in the house, even pets if you have them. Lets say you decide to make breakfast using the microwave oven, WOW! I bet that would be a good light show to watch. If you decide to watch the television you will probably want to limit the use of your remote, I am sure that beam sent out of your remote might make you late for work. You might practice with this like it is your Jedi lightsaber. So, are you getting the idea of how lucky we are? We have not even stepped outside yet. You open your garage and back out of your garage, as you press the remote to close your garage you will see light being emitted from your remote. Now the fun begins. Imagine all of the many wavelengths of light tramsmitted through space and our atmosphere. Gamma, shortwave radio, microwaves, AM/FM radio, CB radio, cell communications, satellite television, short wave and long wave radiation, or many of the other wavelengths that you are now able to see. We would probably feel as though we were living in the 60's or 70's and having a bad acid trip, or good one depending on who you may talk to. I hope I have opened your mind to something else to be thankful for. So, when you kneel down tonight to say you prayers, please be thankful that you only view the visible light. I would say that there would be one day of the year that I would like to be able to view all the electromagnetic spectrum. This would be for just an hour on the 4th of July. Talk about your fireworks display. And all of this without the risk of fire and injury. Think about it.