Posted by: silverstar98121 | January 7, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Yeah, I know, I’m never happy. But we are in the midst of a pineapple express, which means warm winds and lots and lots of rain. Like 10″ in the mountains. Which will melt all that snow we just got, which will result in flooding. From whence trees will fall on powerlines, and there will be power outages. All I’m asking is a little moderation, here.

I will probably not be directly affected by the flooding or power outages, but on the other hand, there are a couple of places on my routes that always seem to accumulate water in the curb cuts, right where I need to go on Epona. So if you see this crazy lady driving a scooter funny on 5th Ave., it’s just me trying not to get my batteries wet.

The Boyo, after being gone a couple of days is back, I”m sure in order to share with me his sinus infection. Lovely. He did get down to the free clinic Monday to get some antibiotics, so that’s being handled. Meanwhile, both of us are coughing and sneezing. And no, Nurse Myra, we can’t take the whiskey and lemon cure. Dammit.

So, not having much energy, I’ve been reading. Yesterday I finished Longitude by Dava Sobel. I didn’t realize that world explorers were pretty much flying blind until the late 18th century. I guess that’s why they tried to stay in sight of land for centuries. The book is about John Harrison, who invented the marine chronometer. And some of his struggles to get the Longitude Prize the British Exchequer had offered.

Besides Harrison, there was a whole slew of other folks after the prize, many of them astronomers, who believed they could find longitude by siting the stars, or the moon. However, the methods were cumbersome, and best worked with a computer. Which wasn’t available. The chronometer solved this problem by comparing local noon to a known time, usually noon Greenwich Mean Time. It’s an interesting story. And a short book. One of the interesting things is that Harrison was not a clockmaker, but a carpenter. And one of his clocks is still running 270 years later.

I started on another book, Physics for Future Presidents by Richard A. Muller. Here’s a physics book even a fool like me can understand. The subtitle is “The Science Behind the Headlines”, and Muller starts off with terrorism. He explains the science behind 9/11, and what we can expect in the future.  It’s reassuring to read that dirty bombs are probably not the way to go for terrorists, the get more bang for the buck doing what they are doing all over the world, suicide bombing. But they haven’t been doing it here, you’ll notice.

I haven’t finished reading the book, but the rest looks really interesting, too. So I think I’ll go poke my nose in it.

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Responses

  1. It seems as if every time I turn on the news there is bad weather headed your way.
    Such a bad year for you guys.
    Well, you got books. That’s good stuff.

  2. can you mount pontoons on Epona? barring that, i recommend you start finding a male and female of every species. i’m sure your neighbors won’t mind.

  3. oh I’ve read Longitude – I thought it was fantastic. I think daisyfae has read it too. I’m sure we discussed it in spain.

  4. Kitty- the “bad years” seem to be getting closer together. Global climate change, anyone?

    Gnukid- If I put pontoons on her, I’ll have to put a big fan on the back like a swamp boat…and it’s too cold for that.

    Nurse Myra- The Boyo read the book and was so fascinated he read it in one sitting. Very unusual for him. It really is a good book.

  5. YES! i not only read it, but went to a lecture by Dava Sobel the year i was detailed to washington, dc… amazing book! we’re starting to see more of the “prize” funding in the science community again – and i’ve been a big champion of doing more of that! let the best minds – from WHEREVER THEY HAIL – come up with solutions to really hard problems. screw MIT and Stanford – let everyone take a crack at it!

    your review makes me want to re-read it… if i could only find it… somewhere…. in a box…. in my house…. ugh…


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