Wednesday, October 29, 2003
Peace, all. Hope that it's not cloudy in your area tonight. The solar flare means that people deep into the southern US might catch a glimpse of the aurora borealis. I've seen it twice in my life. Once when I was a kid I tried to confirm I was actually seeing it the night of our parish festival. I left the parish parking lot only to have four guys attempt to mug me. Couldn't believe they were trying to interrupt my viewing. I began lecturing them on high energy particles entering earth's atmosphere and they left me alone. The triumph of science. Eight or nine years ago, my friend Chris and I were driving home from a Kalamazoo Wings game on Interstate 69. We couldn't believe we had reached Lansing already and were complaining about light pollution ruining good viewing. Then something shimmered. We were still 25 miles from home, actually and it wasn't car dealerships as we thought. It was .... "Auroraaaaaaaaaaa!" we yelled, and found a safe spot to pull over. We gawked at it for about ten minutes. Nobody passed us on the highway; they must all have been in their backyards watching the sight at home. Film buffs will appreciate Jenny Seagrove's explanation of it in Local Hero. Be sure to appreciate it yourself tonight.