2016-03-09 (Wednesday)

Today, I learned that:

Already yesterday, I could watch in real time a streaming video of the total solar eclipse, which was happening at the same time next day in the Pacific Ocean. It was a webcast arranged by NASA (North American Space Administration) transmitting live from one of the Micronesian islands, where the eclipse was total during 4 minutes, from 22:38 to 22:42 yesterday my time. Below, I show two screen shots that I took during the totality.

totaleclipse

Two photos from NASAs webcast from Micronesia, showing the totality of the solar eclipse. The left photo, from the first seconds of totality, shows the Sun’s corona and the second one is the exact moment when the Sun starts to get out of the Moon’s obstruction, creating a so-called Diamond Ring.

And while we are at it, here comes another update to my post from 2016-02-15, when AIK celebrated its 125th anniversary:

After an exciting sudden death, AIK beat Tingsryd with 4-3 and won the Swedish Icehockey’s 2nd division, aka Allsvenskan. Now AIK will dispute a series of best of 7 against Karlskrona, where the winner is qualified for SHL next year.

And of course, we must not forget that the Swedish female national football team today qualified for the Olympic Games after a draw (1-1) with the Netherlands.

To continue in the name of sports, here are two other interesting facts:

According to a podcast from Scientific American (reference #2 below), a researcher who wanted to measure perception went to a softball game and after the game, she showed the players a poster with different sized softballs, asking them to point out the correct one. People who hit better selected a larger circle, meaning the batters who were hitting better saw the ball as bigger. Which means not everyone sees the ball the same way. And it also means that what we see is affected by our ability to act. Performance impacts vision.

In other studies she found that golfers who putted better saw the hole as bigger than did poor putters. Faster swimmers saw targets underwater as being closer than did slower swimmers. And she had athletes who were not placekickers try to make field goals in American football. The ones who did better saw the space between the uprights as wider.

Bottom line:
“You don’t see the world the same the others. You see the world in a way that’s unique to you, and it’s unique to your abilities.”

Finally, do you know what a golden set is? In volleyball, if after the last play-off match, two teams are still tied, a sixth set (“golden set”) decides which team wins the play-off series. This means, that one team wins by a 3-3 set draw! See reference #3 below, if you do not believe me!

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: The total solar eclipse 2016-03-09 over Micronesia

2: Ball Really Looks Bigger to Better Hitters

3: Golden set to decide a volleyball game

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-03-08 (Tuesday)

Today, I learned that:

In many countries around the world is commemorated today the International Women’s Day, and of course I participate in congratulating all those women who make our lives worth living. I understand that there places, including my home country Sweden, where the women do not believe that there is a need for such a day, argumenting that there is no special day for the men. Well, they are correct, of course, but only in part! In fact, we men have 364 days (even 365 days this year) we can call special days for men, so we cannot complain. Girls, I beg you, please acknowledge your day and do not leave us in the dark!

Eclipsesolar

Total Eclipse of the Sun in Salzburg, Austria, on 1999-08-11

Speaking about being left in the dark, the photo above shows just that situation. I took it in Salzburg, Austria, on 1999-08-11 when there was a total solar eclipse against a complete clear sky! I was there with my family and still in the very morning of that day, we were worried that an abundant volume of clouds would continue to reign the skies and leave us without any sighting of the sun. But luckily, one hour before the point of totality, the sky cleared and we had a marvellous view of this rare phenomenon. More information can be found in reference #1 below.

When I was a kid, my parents often told me about the total solar eclipse which occurred on 1954-06-30, when suddenly in the middle of the day the sky went pitch black and the birds stopped their usual singing. I was there but only passively participating from within my mother’s womb. 45 years later, our daughter was in the same spot, present but not actively. References # 2 and #3 give more information about that eclipse.

The reason for all this talk about a total eclipse of the sun is that such a one will occur tomorrow in Indonesia, see reference #4 below. A band of eclipse hunters have headed there and let us hope that their travel is worth the while. Listen to the podcast of reference #5 below from one of them.

The travelers of flight Alaska Airlines 870 from Anchorage to Honolulu will receive a bonus on their flight when the departure time will be delayed so that they can intercept the eclipse en route, see reference #6 below.

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Solar eclipse of August 11, 1999

2: 1954-06-30 Senaste totala solförmörkelsen i Sverige

3: Solförmörkelsen 1954 i direkt reportage på Sveriges Radio

4: Solar eclipse of March 9, 2016

5: Mar 6th: The Indonesian total solar eclipse of 8/9 March 2016

6: Alaska Airlines is adjusting a plane’s flight plan so passengers can see tomorrow’s solar eclipse

+: What did you learn in school today ?