The last peaceful place on Earth

The last peaceful place on Earth

It’s amazing how many people come from all over the world because we haven’t stopped allowing people to do these kinds of things in our growing nanny states.

I’ve been to the Bonneville Salt Flats Speed week before. I can attest this is all true. This quote struck me:
“Here you can walk up and talk to anyone. Where can you get that close to someone mixing nitro? You can’t get that at Formula One. You can’t get that at Nascar.”

I remember walking up to the starting line and just started talking with a guy just as he was about to do his run. He had a few 170/180/190mph run stickers on his customized motorcycle – he wanted a 200. We chatted right at the start line as we waited for the previous runner to finish. He told me where he was from and his years of racing. He told me about his hopes for his daughter. Then he was up. I wished him well and off he went leaving me standing literally right on his tire tracks as I took a photo. He got 197 is I recall but had the rest of the weekend to try.

That’s amazing.

Effects during a solar eclipse

Effects during a solar eclipse

This is a great article on the visual anomolies that you’ll see near a total eclipse.

Just before/after totallity:

    • Eclipse shadows – Long before totality (when the moon is only covering part of the sun’s face), go to a nearby tree and look in the shade of the tree’s shadow.  You will see hundreds of crescent images of the partially covered sun all over the ground.
    • Shadow bands – Anywhere from 60 to 90 seconds before totality or just after totality ends, closely look at any flat light-colored or white surfaces around you. Dark lines called shadow bands may be seen racing back and forth across the surfaces.  These shadowy lines are supposedly caused by sunlight peeking around mountains and through valleys around the outer rim of the moon, while turbulence in the air makes them appear to shift position.

At totality:

  • The air will instantly chill – As soon as the moon entirely covers the sun and causes the sky to completely blacken, the air will instantly chill — perhaps by as much as 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Baily’s Beads – An instant before the sun’s disk is completely covered by the moon, you should experience the visually stunning diamond ring effect – or Baily’s beads.  The slight bit of sun remaining will give the impression of a brilliant diamond with the ring being a faint glow around the darkened moon.  Some images of the diamond ring effect can be seen at this link: https://sunstopper.wordpress.com/tag/diamond-ring-effect/
  • Planets will become visible – It will become dark as night during totality.  The stars will pop out and you will see two very bright points of light near the sun . They are really the planets Venus and Mercury.  Most people never get to see Mercury because it is usually so close to the Sun that it is blotted out by the Sun’s glare. Mars and Jupiter will make an appearance.  Those two planets will seem to be near the sun, when in reality they will be much farther away on the far opposite sides of their orbits.  In total, 4 of the 5 planets that don’t require a telescope can be seen during the eclipse.
  • Solar flares – If we are lucky, there will be eruptions from the sun that cannot be seen at any other time.  These eruptions are called prominences and will glow a bright beautiful ruby red color.  Go here to see a photo of red prominence eruptions during an eclipse: http://county10.com/will-wildlife-be-fooled-into-bedding-down-for-the-night-during-the-eclipse/
  • Sun’s corona – The bluish white glowing corona (outer atmosphere of the sun) is made of charged hydrogen atoms; AKA plasma.  During totality, the corona allows us to see the beautiful structure of the sun’s powerful magnetic field as the plasma is pulled by magnetism into graceful curving field lines.  Check out this gorgeous corona photo:  http://www.zam.fme.vutbr.cz/~druck/eclipse/Ecl2013g/TSE_2013wa_ed/0-info.htm.  As pretty as this image is, no photo can capture the almost ethereal fluorescent hue that you will see when looking directly at the corona.  Also, notice that you can see red prominence in this image near the bottom of the sun.
  • Animals will become confused.  Bats may fly around thinking it is night.  Birds may go to roost.  Crickets or cicadas may begin to chirp.

 

What is your ‘yes’?

What is your ‘yes’?

This painting hangs in my room. I bought it in Florence and had it framed after visiting the Convent of San Marco.


Fra Angelico’s painting of the Annunciation – Florence 1440

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing shall be impossible. 38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. – Luke 1:26–38

 

Reflection for the day:

The ‘Yes’ of Mary changed our lives. The ‘yes’ of every single person that raised, taught, helped, loved, or befriended us have changed our lives too.

Where are we being asked to say ‘yes’? Where do we need to say ‘yes’?

Blood Meridian

Blood Meridian

“They were watching, out there past men’s knowing, where stars are drowning and whales ferry their vast souls through the black and seamless sea.”

Pornography and intimacy

Pornography and intimacy

The Gottman Institute has become a renowned organization when it comes to analyzing relationships and marriage using the latest science. His studies have been cited and mentioned on such shows as NPR and This American Life.

But Dr. John Gottman has made an about face on his stance on pornography – specifically internet pornography. In a heartfelt open letter to colleagues (some that have suggested pornography is ok or even to be encouraged as he did himself), he states his stance unequivocally:

In summary, we are led to unconditionally conclude that for many reasons, pornography poses a serious threat to couple intimacy and relationship harmony. This moment calls for public discussion, and we want our readers around the world to understand what is at stake.

Pornography destroys relationships, distorts healthy sexual expression, and damages the ability to form healthy intimacy. Even divorce lawyers are seeing the trend:

In an informal meeting survey in 2002, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers questioned 350 divorce attorneys and found that roughly 60 percent reported that internet porn played a significant role in the divorces, with excessive interest in online porn contributing to more than half of such cases.

It’s not just lawyers who are picking up on the trend. In 2005, Dr. Jill Manning, a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in sexual addiction, pornography, or betrayal trauma, brought her research on porn and its connection to divorce before the Senate. According to Manning’s research, 56 percent of divorce cases involve one party having an obsessive interest in pornographic websites.

John Mathews*, Family Law and Divorce Attorney, has also found porn to be a prevalent problem within his practice. Mathews explains that, in most cases, spouses deny porn use. But during discovery, a process wherein each spouse is given a list of questions to answer under oath, and during the back and forth between spouses as he tries to understand the complaints, he sees clearly the role porn plays in crumbling marriages.

Mathews explains that porn is most often cited amongst complaints of “Constructive Desertion,” meaning the spouse is at fault for emotionally abandoning their partner and withdrawing from sexual intimacy. Mathews says that he has had several cases in which a husband can’t stop engaging with porn, causing him to withdraw from quality time that could be spent with his wife. Most often, Mathews explains, porn use takes its toll by creating false expectations for physical intimacy. “I have had many cases where the husband won’t even touch his wife and several cases in which the spouses have not had sex in three or four years,” Mathews says.

Pornography is an addiction – on in which you have become addicted to the chemicals of sexual stimulation our own bodies generate. If this is destroying you, I’d urge you to take the following actions:

  1. Recognize that intimacy is not just sexual expression. Sexual acts only have meaning to us when they draw us into a relationship with another. Outside of that, they leave us feeling more empty and alone afterward. Something that captures this idea for me is this, “Stop spending all your time fretting about who you want to get into bed with. Spend your energy on who you want to wake up to instead.”
  2. Seek out a professional counselor or professional tools that recognize pornography as an addiction and treat it as such. Even Gottman has changed his tune on this topic. Professional help is important. Like gambling or substance abuse addictions, it’s very hard to impossible to solve it yourself. You need support and assistance.
  3. You will fall. Seek our the grace of confession and resources of a local parish. Be open and honest in your struggles and ask for grace in the sacrament to strengthen and heal you.
  4. Know it is possible. The expression and truth of real intimacy is far, far greater than just a mere physical expression of sexuality. When sex is wrapped in relationship – it is transcendent.
Rebuilt…

Rebuilt…

“The sacraments are celebrated every day in the Catholic church. The sacraments give us the grace we need to put us in right relationship with God – nourishing and strengthening us for our discipleship walk. But for some, the ceremony of the sacramental life of the Church is what they do instead of growing and becoming a disciple.”

Shiny Pokemon and iPhone screen recording

Shiny Pokemon and iPhone screen recording

I was fooling around with Pokemon Go and ended up getting a very rare shiny Magikarp. I also wanted to know how hard it was to record the iPhone screen and the sound. There are lots of different ways from both PC and Mac, but I used my Mac Mini and it was very easy:

  1. Connect your iPhone or iPad to your Mac via the lightning cable.
  2. Open QuickTime player.
  3. Click File then select ‘New Movie Recording’
  4. A recording window will appear (with you in it, most likely). …
  5. Select the Mic of your iPhone if you want to record music/sound effects.
  6. Click the Record button.

So, I recorded the evolution from the rare shiny Magikarp to the rare shiny Gyarados. Results were very good:

YOLO!

YOLO!

YOLO is a real-time object detection system. On a Titan X it processes images at 40-90 FPS, and it has a pretty nifty demo reel too. 🙂

Portland’s bridges when the big one hits

Portland’s bridges when the big one hits

Portland is ill-prepared for the very likely 9.0 magnitude earthquake from the Cascadia subduction zone. In fact, we’re very badly/not at all prepared. It’s predicted all the city’s bridges (save one brand new one) would likely collapse. That on top the fact major regions of the city would be leveled due to being on fill dirt that would liquefy during such a quake.

This, however, is a good animation of what it would look like based on projections and engineering analysis of such earthquakes. Skip along to 1:37 for the animation.

Mixed Reality Room

Mixed Reality Room

THIS is compelling. No bulky headsets/goggles/etc.

Using projection mapping and a mix of tracking systems, creative studio THÉORIZ shows off a slick prototype which projects 3D images that dynamically adapt to movements. Everything you see was captured live, with no post-production.