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Yet another aurora post

Aurora borealis

You tired of these? Because I’m not.

It was warm enough that I stayed out­side of the car and watched the show. To the naked eye—to my naked eye, at least—the auro­ra weren’t as bright green as they appear in the pho­tos; more like a dull pale­ness in the sky. But you could see motion and struc­ture in them, which isn’t always the case.

About 450 shots, 5s each.

If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.

—Kurt Von­negut, Jr.

Still lives

Oranges in the fruit bowl
Rum floating on lemonade syrup
The spe­cif­ic grav­i­ty of rum in lemon­ade syrup is appar­ent­ly less than 1.
Flowers
I’m amazed, frankly, at how long these flow­ers have lasted.
Oranges in the fruit bowl
Oranges in our fruit bowl.
Oranges in the fruit bowlOranges in the fruit bowl

Nerdy details: All shot at 50mm, f/1.8, vary­ing shut­ter speeds.

The late show

Aurora Borealis

About mid­night last night, after I got home from get­ting half an hour of chilly star trails (and charged up the bat­ter­ies the cold killed), I checked the space-weath­er app on my phone. It told me I had a strong chance of see­ing some auro­ra if I left like right now.

So I did, and between about 12:15 and 1 AM, I got almost 400 pho­tos of north­ern lights.

And I made all 393 pho­tos into a 30-sec­ond time­lapse, too. (Every sec­ond of video rep­re­sents a minute of real time.)

Nerdy details: each pho­to is a 5‑second expo­sure, 11mm, f/2.8, ISO 1600. The pho­tos were edit­ed for brightness/contrast; the frames in the video are all straight-out-of-camera.

Star Trails

Star Trails

Warmer than it’s been, but still cold enough to kill two cam­era bat­ter­ies inside the space of ½ an hour. I gave up on see­ing any auro­ra and head­ed home to process what I got.

Update: As it turned out, I got some auro­ra after all.

About 170 pho­tos, 5 sec­onds each (for a total of about 15 min­utes of rota­tion), ISO 1600, 11mm, f/2.8.

Strunk + White

fountain pen on notepad

I had a dream the oth­er night. I was vis­it­ing a friend—I don’t recall who, but it might have been one of the Craigs I know—and, left alone in a room, I was look­ing over the friend’s bookcase.

I found on there a copy of The Ele­ments of Style, col­lo­qui­al­ly known as “Strunk + White” after the authors. In the real world it’s a thin book, not much more impos­ing than a pam­phlet; I’ve read novel­las that are longer. But in the dream it was a trade paper­back, prob­a­bly 400 pages long, and I pulled it off the shelf. I used to have a copy, in the dream, and I thought maybe I’d lent it to this friend.

But if it was my copy, I had­n’t put my name in the front, which I usu­al­ly do when I lend out a book. So I hes­i­tat­ed, con­tem­plat­ed tak­ing it any­way, then decid­ed not to risk it. I put it back on the shelf.

I don’t remem­ber the rest of the dream.


When I searched the Inter­net for “Strunk and White”, I found this arti­cle from Mignon Fog­a­r­ty, aka Gram­mar Girl, in which she lays out one rea­son why she does­n’t much care for The Ele­ments of Style. (TL;DR: it’s a style guide that every­one treats like it’s a gram­mar book. In oth­er words, it’s a set of sug­ges­tions that peo­ple instead treat like laws.)