Category Archives: science

An Expletive for the Sky

It’s so cold!  And this is what I’m looking at as I type this.

I know you can’t really see it, but there are enormous fat snowflakes drifting on down to the earth and it’s driving me bonkers.  I hate this time of year.

It’s all just so inevitable.  I know that my feet are going to be wet and cold the next time I go outside.  It makes me so grumpy.  And the flakes keep falling with (I imagine) a soft bump sound.

It’s supposed to rain later, which will also inevitably result in snow that’s caked in ice.  I am not amused.

But in other news…



Did I mention that my heat was turned on?  It’s awesome!  My house is much warmer than the -6°C (21.2°F) that says it is outside.  Kudos to my ancient radiators.

But because the heat is on, the air in my apartment is much more dry.  We have a humidifier for the bedroom at night, but we don’t leave it on during the day.

In colder climates, experiencing higher degrees of static electricity during the winter months is common.  Newer radiators compensate for the lack of humidity in the air, but we live in a deliciously old apartment and can’t expect such modernity.

Human skin (when dry), synthetic fabrics, and cat fur are all really good at collecting electricity.  Static electricity is really just kinetic energy that’s stored on the surface on an object; so, me tossing and turning under my synthetic blankets with my dry skin is basically just magic waiting to happen.  And then (of course!) Patrick Purrswayze hops up on the bed and demands cuddles.

Honestly folks, I’ve never seen anything so pretty in my life.  When I pet my cats at night and everything’s all still and dark and perfect, and then I run my hand down Patrick’s back, the static electric shocks just sparkle and glow.  The cats purr more deeply, and the light reflected on their fur is so beautiful.

And in knitting news – I’ve knit 15 glorious inches of pure sweater awesomeness.  I’m going to knit about another inch, do the armhole shaping, and do some math because I want this edition to have long sleeves.  No pictures because I don’t feel like it.  But here are my kittens!

Red Sky at Night

Last night, the sky was this absolute lavender that I attempted (and subsequently failed) to capture with my camera.

red sky at night

It was much more of a sweet blue-purple than what’s represented in the picture.  The sky is definitely red in the snap,  but then again, cameras show a different angle than what I can see with my own eyes, and it’s been drizzly and grey and cold all day.

sailors take flight

As I look at the nighttime photo, I recall the saying, ‘red sky at morning, sailors take warning; red sky at night, sailors’ delight’.

I’m from the easternmost tip of North America and I recall that saying having this bizarre effect on me;  primarily because it’s an inconsistent saying.  I think it’s because the saying originates in western Europe, and it’s dependent on how sunlight refracts.  In western Europe, most inclement weather comes in from the Atlantic Ocean, from the west of landmass whereas inclement weather in eastern Canada is usually ferried up the eastern coast of the United States from the Caribbean by ocean currents.  That means that fronts would approach the two land masses from two completely opposite directions and as the sun (obviously) rises in the east and sets in the west, it would make sense that the saying be reversed for the different geography.  Doesn’t it?

I hear by propose that those of us to the east of the Atlantic switch it up: ‘Red sky at dawn, sailors rock on;  red sky at night, sailors take flight.’  Maybe?  Okay, my substitute doesn’t have the same ring.  Although, sometimes I like imagining sailors as more neurotic than all that:  ‘Red sky at morning, sailors’ forewarning; red sky at night, sailors take flight.’

In the meantime, my socks are still damp from this mornings’ excursion.