My life right now is mostly made of work, trying to get all these ebooks made on time. It seems like I’ve been taking work home most nights, and it’s crowding out my other projects, but so far the workload has only gotten me down in passing moments. I’m expecting a couple more weeks of this, and then everything will be due and I’ll get back to life as usual. I even took my work computer on my trip, but I set a moderate goal for my vacation work, and it’s been progressing well.
Traveling this weekend sort of erased my memory of the rest of the week, but my dim impression is that my sleep schedule wasn’t great but still better than before I started trying.
Pretty much all I did on this last week was collect the readme files from a few other generators to plagiar–I mean to use as guides. I saved them locally so I could work with them offline on the bus–a good idea, it turned out, given the flaky wifi–but the fact that the power to the bus seat outlets was turned off most of the time demotivated me from doing anything on the computer apart from work.
I’m updating the section on the Bible to match my new approach of addressing various types of belief, and then I’ll start on the new sections. Last week the main task was to sort through the statements of belief I’d collected from various religious organizations in my life, and I settled on using the Wheaton College statement as my main point of comparison for my current beliefs.
Despite my misgivings about Amazon Logistics, my replacement 360-degree camera arrived on Monday as they predicted, and this one charged just fine. The test photo I took looked disappointingly flat, but then I researched 3D 360 cameras and decided they weren’t really ready for consumers and cost more than I liked for a side hobby, so I concluded the camera I bought was good enough for now. I took the camera and my tripod to Tennessee to try filming the eclipse.
The eclipse is tomorrow, if you haven’t heard, and we’ve made our plans, which involve staking out a spot within walking distance so we don’t have to drive anywhere in all the traffic. I basically live for surreal experiences, and I’m hoping tomorrow will live up to the kinds of dreams I sometimes have about strange sky events–such as an enormous moon or weird flying creatures or overly tangible, ground-level clouds–which reality only comes close to when I see a blimp or dramatic clouds. Reading Annie Dillard’s eclipse essay reminded me of a couple of surreal fictional works: (1) Isaac Asimov’s short story “Nightfall” about people on a planet with six suns who see the night sky for the first time in generations, which you can listen to on the Escape Pod site and (2) the ending scenes of the online game Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, which is exactly how I’m expecting tomorrow’s eclipse to play out (scene 1, scene 2, explanation of context, H/T Shodeku). Based on my sciencey links from last week and a few others, here’s what I’ll be looking for, if clouds aren’t in the way and I have the presence of mind:
- 10 minutes before totality: Venus, Jupiter, Mars and Mercury (link 1, link 2), though there’s very little I’m able to identify in the night sky, and I won’t be looking for them very hard;
- 10 minutes before totality: saturated colors, sharpened shadows, crescent shadows (link 1, link 2);
- 1-2 minutes before totality: shadow bands (maybe on some paper, if there’s no other smooth, uniformly colored surface nearby);
- Up to 1 minute before and after totality: Bailey’s beads;
- Some unspecified time before totality: the edge of the moon’s shadow, approaching from the northwest;
- Right before totality: the diamond ring;
- During totality: the sun’s corona (hard to miss, and safe to look at without glasses);
- During totality: a 10- to 20-degree drop in temperature, which I’m thinking will make the day comfortable for a couple of minutes;
- During totality: malevolent sky snakes emerging from their parallel universe to attack the earth (might’ve made that part up);
- During everything: emotional reactions.