Friday, November 1, 2013

7QT: magic and aurora

1. I'm learning to play the Swedish National Anthem on the harmonica. Or maybe it is safer to say that on Sunday afternoon I spent several hours playing harmonica for fun, and much of that time was dedicated to playing (or sometimes just singing) the Swedish National Anthem. I was going to attempt to memorize it, but I only had the first two lines down by the time the request came for harmonica practice to be over.

2. My new favorite thing is to translate what Swedish people are saying for Greg. So, at the folk music festival over the weekend I was translating all sorts of great stuff for him. The first thing was how a guy was talking about a dog and a sandwich and then he was going to play a last song from Orsa. Then there was another thing a woman was saying about how a) they had a sister school or b) her sister is at the school. And also she said 145. I am clearly making a lot of progress with this whole language learning thing.

3. "Magic can end up being rather uninteresting." That is the essence of a comment made at lunch earlier this week after we were talking about how so many movies take liberties and get 'the physics' wrong and whatnot. For example, how long can you find something enjoyable until it just starts to upset you because of how wrong it is? Then that topic sort of morphed into fantasy/magic, and that is when someone made the comment I quoted above, in reference to taking extreme liberties without limits. It was a seemingly simple thing to say, but it sort of hit me in a hard way. It immediately made me think that this is a value of organized religion as opposed to the "I'm spiritual but not religious" mentality.

4. Aurora! The sun has been really active* lately, so I've been waiting and waiting for the clouds to clear out. On Wednesday night clear skies were predicted, so I checked the space weather** and things seemed moderately okay. So after I got home from my dance course, Greg and I headed out with camera and tripod in tow. As an aside, it was really nice to be able to use the tripod for its true purpose instead of just a long-handled spider-killer. And if you are super interested, here are all the other posts I've written and tagged 'aurora'.


Also, to avoid any confusion, the aurora in the above photo is the long green stripy bit very close to the horizon. Those little crosses near the center-top of the photo are an artifact of the lights from the building. Sort of like sun-flare, only building-flare?

5. Oh, and there is a book at the library about aurora legends that I saw while browsing that I really want to get. I believe it was Northern Lights: Legends, Sagas and Folk Tales. I'm glad it has a really high rating, should be an interesting read:)

6. Yesterday we treated ourselves to some Reese's peanut butter cups in celebration of the Halloween we didn't actually celebrate. And while I was browsing the American section of the grocery store, I couldn't help but to put some mac & cheese in our basket. I had been resisting that purchase for quite awhile. The brand of the mac & cheese is Mississippi Belle, which I had never seen and might only be available in places that are not the US? When I saw this item on a webpage I laughed a LOT when I noticed that others who had purchased it had also purchased Bette Crocker Rainbow Chip cake and peanut butter m&m's. These people really get me.

7. I'm out of things, but don't want to save this for next week, so let's just call it the end and link to the link-up. Thanks for reading:)

* I may have really low standards, what with the whole - doing my phd on auroral studies during solar minimum - thing.

** I once wrote some posts on predicting aurora, but they are rather out of date now. The two main things I looked at yesterday were data from the ACE satellite and from the GOES satellites, and I think what I wrote still mostly applies. Anything I said about Stereo satellites is no longer relevant, because their location has changed quite a bit. I am also really impressed with myself, because those two links contain current plots... not sure how I found out where to get those, but go me!


  1. I started reading this one but never finished it:

    It's called Norther LIghts by Lucy Jago in case the link doesn't post.

  2. My husband's family is Swedish, and he spent several years of his childhood in Norway. I really hope we can visit Scandinavia as a family some day.