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Friday, July 31, 2009

What's In A Color?

What's in a color?
Okay, now that I've drawn you in with a quirky question....   We all take a lot of things for granted in our daily lives. One of those things is color. Do you really know what it is?

Here are some thoughts about color that will hopefully make you think, and maybe encourage you to take a few less things for granted.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Look Up And See Into The Past

There's a curious thing about looking up, especially if you happen to be looking up at a clear, dark night sky - you can literally see into the past! Now, this applies to things in the sky other than clouds and bats - things like stars, planets, and galaxies.

But before we get to the crux of the matter, you have to realize that light travels at about 186,000 miles (300,000 km) per second - that would be about 7 times around the Earth in one second. Now, that's pretty fast, but not infinetly so. And since the distances we are considering are significantly greater than 186,000 miles, you can see that it is going to take time for light to travel those immense distances.

The Moon is about 240,000 miles (384,00 km) away. Divide that by 186,000 and you get the appromately 1.3 seconds that light takes to travel from the Moon to Earth. So that means whenever you look a the Moon, you are seeing it as it was 1.3 seconds ago. Well, that's not so bad, you say? Harumpn, Big deal!

But it gets better, really! When you look at the Sun, you are seeing it as it was about 8 minutes ago. Do the math: 93,000,000 miles (distance from Earth to the Sun) divided by 186,000 (speed of light per second) = 500 seconds = about 8.3 minutes. Keep in mind that the light you see Now actually left the Sun about 8.3 minutes ago and is just now getting to your eyes. So, when you see the Sun rise, it actually rose 8.3 minutes ago. And if the Sun were to suddenly go supernova, we wouldn't know it until 8.3 minutes later because the light from the supernova event would take over 8 minutes to get here.

But we're not going to stop here,... because it just keeps getting sooo much better.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Yup, most of us know the old adage that when we assume, we make an ass of you and me - you know, ass-u-me. But some of the assumptions we fall prey to are particularly insidious because we aren't even aware that we are making an assumption. Sometimes we run across things that raise our eyebrows and even amaze or astound us, and that raise our suspicions immediately. But those suspicions are fought down as we stare at the apparent evidence right in front of our eyes.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Evolution - Back to Basics

Okay, it's time to get back to the basics of evolution, folks!

The word evolution is seeing the light of day more and more these days as the debates about evolution vs. creationism and science vs. religion, ratchet upward in public arenas like school curricula, government, churches, newspapers, magazines, and Internet forums, blogs, and websites. But what an awful lot of people are missing, is a basic understanding of just what evolution is, how it works, what it says about how life evolves from simpler lifeforms, and what it doesn't say about how life began on Earth to begin with. So, this blog entry is devoted to clarifying and simplifying evolution for the masses, for the average Joe-Schmoe, and for even for some “experts” that still get things screwed up when they talk about evolution.