A Space Weather Sunnet

Aside from an unfortunate scarcity of a few minor items like jobs, money, and political civility, we enjoy a great abundance of just about everything else.

Just think of all the things that surround us in much larger numbers than we could ever need -

Celebrities
Colleges
Supermarkets
Automakers
Medical Syndromes
Goldilocks Planets
Electronic Devices
Sports Stadiums
Coffee Shops
Things to Worry About

And on the “worries” front, there’s a fresh new ulcer maker in the news today – an unsettling universal calamity, so to speak – Bad Space Weather.

Haven’t checked the Space Weather today? You thought the cold and icy slush close to ground was enough to temper your enthusiasm? There’s more! This morning we’ll experience the effects of a massive solar storm with a tsunami wave of charged solar particles washing over the Earth at around 8 am central time, all the result of a Coronal Mass Ejection that happened on Sunday. Whats in a Coronal Mass Ejection? All sorts of bad, radioactive stuff that will amp up the northern lights but won’t get down to our level, thanks to our planet’s natural defenses.

Which doesn’t mean we can’t go into a tizzy over it, especially since we’re in a lull between incessant coverage of Republican primaries. But in spite of the occasional alarms that go out, Space Weather just doesn’t seem as immediate as stuff that’s closer to the skin. If only the great poets would romanticize it, perhaps Space Weather would seem more real.

With sincere apologies to Shakespeare, and anyone who loves him:

Shall I compare thee to a solar flare?
Thou art more lovely and less violent
Solar winds may tilt Earth’s elastic air,
Gaudy northern lights, while bright, are silent:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion blotched;
And whilst he rises and too soon declines,
He cannot ever be directly watched.
But thy eternal visage may be seen
With all thy bling and fancy articles
By naked eyes alone, without sunscreen
or visors to deflect charged particles.
Looks that thrill direct or in reflections
Outshining Coronal Mass Ejections

Does it make sense to worry about the sun?

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78 thoughts on “A Space Weather Sunnet”

  1. annie hall was my favorite woody allen movie. he starts it out with this and the two stories he wants to share looking into the movie camera. the old gorucho arx line about i wouldnt want to be associtated with any organazation who would have someone like me as a member. and the story about the two jews at the delacatesen one says to the other ” the menu . the prices are so high” and the other guys says “and the portions are so small” “thats the way i feel about life says alvy singer. it couldn’t be summed up more efficiently

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    1. Woody Allen is great. I remember that start to Annie Hall, but not the the line about high prices and small servings which does seem to sum up Woody’s view of life.. While in New York on a vacation I stopped by the night club where Woody Allen plays in a band and saw him preforming on clarinet.

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    2. Alvy Singer: [addressing the camera] There’s an old joke – um… two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of ‘em says, “Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.” The other one says, “Yeah, I know; and such small portions.” Well, that’s essentially how I feel about life – full of loneliness, and misery, and suffering, and unhappiness, and it’s all over much too quickly. The… the other important joke, for me, is one that’s usually attributed to Groucho Marx; but, I think it appears originally in Freud’s “Wit and Its Relation to the Unconscious,” and it goes like this – I’m paraphrasing – um, “I would never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member.” That’s the key joke of my adult life, in terms of my relationships with women.

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      1. I read a book about love that talked about the “Marxian paradox.” That was the core idea that “I could never love a woman who could love a person like me.” Sadly enough, it isn’t a joke. If we meet someone who behaves haughtily toward us, we assume their standards are too high for us to meet. And they become desirable though that. If they adore us, it is hard to escape the idea that they aren’t very selective or perceptive, for we are such frauds and undeserving things.

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  2. thanks for the shakespear to start the day off dale. the gop scientists have proof that there is no space weather and the funding to study it should be stopped and given to wall street banks to redistribute to worthy parties who will trickle down the affects.

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    1. Yes, with the money the GOP plans to redistribute to Wall Street from those government programs that they would end there will be so many trickle down jobs that every one will have a job. Then everyone will have lots of money so that we will not need Social security, Food Stamps, and any of those other commie programs, right?

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  3. In that I am beginning to question whether it makes sense to worry about ANYTHING, I’d have to say, no. But that could just be the grey days and endless campaign coverage talking.

    It seems to me that worry is an optimistic endeavor. It implies that there just might be something you can/should be doing about the situation. When you give up worry, you have either transcended that idea, or you have given up in despair.

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      1. I like this too, but I LOVE my rocking chair. And sometimes, getting nowhere is better than going off the cliff.

        A dear friend and I act as each other’s sounding boards. When we start to get on the hamster wheel of worry, we get together and catastrophize. “What is the worst thing that could happen, if you________?” It is great fun and works every time to get us out of the Wheel of Worry.

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  4. If there is a solution for a problem,
    no point in being overwhelmed and worrying.
    And if there is no solution for a problem,
    no point in being overwhelmed and worrying about it.

    The Dalai Lama

    And I don’t know where this came from:
    Worrying is just wishing for what you don’t want to happen.

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  5. Fabulous way to start the day… love the “But thy eternal visage may be seen
    With all thy bling”.

    I sometimes feel like that proverbial ostrich… if I can’t do anything about it, then I’m pretty good at putting worry aside. Airplane flights, global warming, Republican primaries, the sun burning out in 100,000 years…. my head is in the sand!

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  6. Don’t you people understand that in many million years or so, our sun is going to run out of fuel! What are we going to do then, how will we prepare? How can we just sit here and let it happen? Oh, it is just horrible!

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    1. Ha ha… never take anything I say as the gospel… especially when I’m typing quickly on a busy day. According to a few sources on the internet, we actually probably have several billion years left, so we can back-burner the worry about the sun. Make more room for worrying about the Mayan calendar predictions for this year!

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  7. Thanks for the Shakespeare, Dale. Very nice!

    I will share this, but it comes with some unfortunate advertising. I wish it would embed, for once!

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    1. What a weird and charming video for this song. With Robin Williams, no less! Love that Bobby McF.

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  8. Good morning to all. I don’t pay much attention to space weather and the effects of the sun on this weather. I would like to know more about this. Should I worry about the sun acting up? Yes, but not as much as I worry about people acting up and becoming very destructive.

    I want to know more about space weather to be a prepared for coming events and because I am part of the universe. We can’t change the sun. People can change even if it does seem they have even more potential that the sun for destroying the earth. I want to know more about people because, sad to say at times, I am sharing the extremely tiny part of the universe where I live with other people.

    Does that make sense? I don’t know.

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  9. There is a section of I-94 that serves as one side of a very small dam about 15 miles west of Bismarck. A stream flows out of the dam, under the highway, and travels south. The highway department mentioned a year or two ago that highway portion of the dam was unstable and that it could burst, drowning several homes and farms on the stream path. Because both east and west lanes of the highway serve as part of the dam, it would be really hard to detour traffic to fix. I think they made some temporary repairs recently. My daughter cringes every time we drive on that section of road since I always announce “Sure hope the dam doesn’t burst!” I think she is more annoyed with me than worried about the dam. Oh, how fun it is to be the mother of a teen.

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    1. Somewhere in my formative years I learned the game of having to hold your breath when ever you go over a bridge. The Mendota bridge was the ultimate test of course. First, it was a big deal if we were up in the cities to be on the bridge.Second; it is such a cool bridge being so high I just wanted to look around and not have to worry about holding my breath.
      Yes, the fun of being a parent and tormenting our children.

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      1. I had a friend who lived in West ST Paul (south of St Paul, of course) who was very worried about the old Smith St High Bridge before it was replaced. She had worked out some plan to save her children in the event that it collapsed as they crossed it. She was worried but she had a plan. I don’t know if breath holding was involved.

        Personally, I’m not much of a worrier especially not about impossible-to-influence things like happenings on the sun.
        Once, I woke up to find that my teen-aged son was not yet home at 2:30. I sat up in the living room, trying to work myself up to be angry with him when he finally returned (see conflict/anger/yelling suppression from yesterday). Because I trusted him and was not REALLY worried, it was hard to be the stern parent when he showed up shortly later.
        i faked it (not well).

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        1. You know, that was at least 14 years ago and I can’t remember. Probably out with friends. He had/has some wonderful friends (at least they had me fooled). He went to college in NYC and shortly after he and all his friends graduated from wherever they went, his 4 closest friends moved to NY, too. He still does much of his socializing in Brooklyn and Manhattan with buddies from Minneapolis’s South High School. They all chose friends well.
          That’s part of the reason I couldn’t work up a good worry-lather that night.

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  10. Thanks, Dale for the inspired Shakespeare.

    To me it doesn’t make sense to worry about things you can do nothing about. As William Ralph Inge observed: “Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.”

    I have plenty of things that I CAN do something about to worry about. Just learned last night of a musician friend who is about to lose his home to foreclosure. He’s a divorced father of a little girl who he is raising by himself. He’s selling a 1993 Gibson Country Gentleman guitar in an attempt to forestall the foreclosure. I’m looking for investors who might be interested in co-owning this fine instrument, and since I don’t know how to play the guitar, let him keep it. Don’t know if I have enough wacky friends to pull this off, so I’ll just quit worrying about it and get busy.

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    1. i hope you find an investor (it won’t be me–not only do i not know how to play guitar, but i don’t have the money to invest)!

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      1. Sorry about that Edith. Not to worry, I know a couple of people who are as goofy as I am. The idea of being co-owners of 1993 Gibson Country Gentleman is just irresistible.

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    2. I was thinking today that “Country Gentleman” was the Chet Atkins guitar. I checked and found out that I was right!

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      1. Happy to report that I’m now the proud co-owner of an old warhorse of a guitar that I will never lay eyes on. Two friends have joined me in this venture to keep a roof over the head of a man they’ve never met, and who I haven’t seen in twenty years. I tell you, I have some of the greatest friends in the world.

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  11. Every one seems to agree it is foolish to worry about things we cannot change. We should confine our worries to things we can control. But I have questions about that:

    1) How often have we thought we could control something only to find that we could not?
    2) How often have we thought we should control something only to find that our plans, once instituted, just made things worse?
    3) If we ever identified a solution to a problem and successfully arranged for a cure for it, how long did that solution continue to work?

    We shouldn’t worry about things we can’t control. Right. But when it comes to things we can control, we shouldn’t expect much! It doesn’t make much more sense to worry about things we can control than all those other things. “Worry,” in fact, is a pretty pointless thing.

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  12. i hope not to offend, but at my Mom’s memorial service the pastor (Wisconsin Ev. Luth. Synod) based his whole eulogy about Mom on worry. he said (i don’t believe this) that Mom asked if it was a sin to worry? (she wasn’t a worrier). he went in to the sparrows of the field thing and said he asked Mom “Caroline, what do you think it is when you do what Jesus told you not to do?” the 8 year old sitting right in back of us said “SINNING!” which got neither acknowledgment nor smile from the guy in the pulpit. the 8 year old belonged to one of the ELCA churches in town. and she gave us such a laugh, even though stifled.
    so, yes, i worry about stuff because i don’t want to go where that pompous stick in the mud is going.

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    1. Not to worry, they will be in their own, private section of heaven, firmly convinced they are the only ones there.

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    1. Sorry.
      Have very intermittent online access. I waited all day for the techie, who finally came. Left. Still have problems.
      Just ignore me.

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  13. So it seems we’re agreed that worrying is worthless, doesn’t make sense, a waste of time. But we do it anyway – are there techniques that can make you NOT worry?

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    1. If you keep busy, it can distract you from worry. Your focus is riveted to the thing you’re working on. Then you wake up at night and worry about all the things you didn’t have time to worry about during the day.

      Benzodiazepines?

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  14. I just remembered a book I used to have called The Worrywart’s Companion: Twenty-One Ways to Soothe Yourself and Worry Smart by Beverly Potter. Has some intruiging chapters:

    And it seems she is also the author of Overcoming Job Burnout and Healing Magic of Cannibis.

    Actually, Alfred E. Newman had it right. “What – me worry?”

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    1. Any little bit helps, tim. Just trying to create a fun way to really make a difference in someone’s life. At this point we’ve secured the roof over my friend’s head until next winter. If you want to email me, I’ll be glad to give you more details.

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      1. I can honestly say, tonight I’m going to bed with a smile on my face knowing that I’ve helped make a HUGE difference in someone’s life. My friend will not lose his home; at least not in this round. We can all make a difference, I firmly believe that.

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