Morning Shot 2

What a sweet, happy face to greet me this beautiful morning on the last day of March! With those big bright eyes and camouflage like the finest polished agate, the sharp-tailed grouse has an other-worldly beauty.

When Nature painted Jupiter,

She was in such a rush,

She grabbed a grouse by accident

And used it as a brush

–Photo by me

The Drunkard’s Walk

There’s a mathematical formula scientists use called ‘the drunkard’s walk’ to determine how long a photon, emitted in the center of the sun, would take to make the journey to the outer surface. The random turns it makes on its way out are analogous to the random turns a drunkard makes while trying to get home from the bar.

In both cases, the distance traversed from the start is the typical step size times the square root of the number of steps taken. Factor in the length of time a typical step takes, and you have your answer.

For the photon, this works out to be thousands or possibly hundreds of thousands of years “bouncing around” in the sun before being spit out into space and ending up smacking into your eye at 6 trillion miles an hour about 8 minutes later. For the drunkard, it’s a bit messier of a problem with far more variables, but you get the idea.

I only wish I’d known about this back when I was that drunk staggering home. I could’ve explained to my poor wife that I was out there contributing to science for the betterment of all mankind — at which point her fist would’ve smacked into my eye at 6 trillion miles an hour, I’m sure.

–Photo by me

Shot of the Night 3/24/22

My mother used to tell us that the northern lights were caused by reflections off the ice at the North Pole, and the movement in them was the result of Eskimos walking around on it. Then again, she also told us that fossils were buried by the devil to try to mislead us.

In her defense, she hardly had the time to drive to the library for every question she had. I wonder what she would’ve thought of the internet. Actually, I think I know: she would’ve thought it was part of Satan’s plan for a one-world government.

Yes, ignorance is not always bliss.

–Photo by Aaron

time machine (archives)

once upon a time machine

he fashioned from a box

with nothing more than crayons

and a cache of broken clocks,

the little boy went scooting

down the corridors of time

and it was all so easy

for a young and open mind.

but now the boy’s a physicist

and studies all his days

to learn to build a time machine

in complicated ways,

and every day it’s clearer

what his facts and figures mean:

that only little boys can build

a real time machine.