Category Archives: Astronomy

Total Eclipse, Wyoming, August 21st 2017

At totality there was a strange twilight
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There was not the spirituality and feeling of other-worldliness I had expected and hoped for.  But, if you look closely, you can see sunspots.

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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Road Trip to a Total Eclipse of the Sun.

Today I’m in Dublin airport, waiting for my flight back to England, after spending a month or so in the USA; allegedly to witness a total eclipse of the sun.

Which I did, in Wyoming of all places.  To English eyes Wyoming is Very Empty….  Miles and miles of nothingness, followed by miles and miles of more nothingness.

I’m looking forward to being back in my little seaside garret, and having a proper computer and decent internet connection again.

I am also looking forward to sharing some of the cool photographs I have from what was the longest road trip I have ever been on.

Oh, Marmaduke and the girl riding shotgun were there too.

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

(I think that picture might be Utah, and not Wyoming)

Vacation

We see the same moon, you in your world and me in mine.

The reason I haven’t posted anything for a little while is that I’m vacationing in; California, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming.

I won’t be back in the garret until Sunday September 10th.  Look for some very cool posts from me right after that.

Take care everyone.

~

Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net 

She’s So Beautiful

The prudent distrust witches promises.

so listen while I call you a fool

she walks in beauty like the night

the moon and  stars her tender light

their celestial adoration her soul incites

Selene rises for her love’s wonderous light

an enchantress erotic promise darkly excites

and later she will lie that her feelings were true

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

you need herbs for witchcraft

Never the Great Romancer

A dreamer, ever  hopeful of finding adventure and romance.

I didn’t get along with Casanova

Romeo and me were never friends

incestuous Borgias really scared me

but you see how much that I adore you

let me say ‘I love you’ time and time again

I’ll bring the moon down from the sky for you

if you’ll only just once reply that you love me too

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

pictures taken with a Lumix

available from Amazon.com

 

light of selene

There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.

~

goddess of the moonlight

shine your love down on me

make it kind, strong, and bright

be with me in wanderings by the sea

never leave me alone again in the night

do you feel my heart beating, am I dreaming?

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

these days I always use a Lumix

an unexpected purchase

In August I will be taking a long vacation in the USA to witness the forthcoming total eclipse of the sun, which happens on August 21st.

For various reasons I will be flying out to John Wayne Airport, in Orange County, California ~ and then taking a long, long road trip from Orange County to Jackson Wyoming.  It’s about 1,000 miles through California, Nevada, and Utah to get to Jackson Wyoming.  I’ll be driving a Mustang convertible.

Ergo, I’ve just bought myself a Sat-Nav, or Satellite Navigation device, or GPS ~ depending on which version of English you use.  And you know what?  I swore I would never use an in-car sat-nav / GPS.

But, America is a big place and I have no desire to get lost in the wilds of Utah.

So there you go, amazingly you can buy a USA maps sat-nav / GPS from Amazon in the UK for less than $100.

Just to be safe, I’ll also be buying a paper map ~ and a new camera.

jack collier

jackcollier7.com

click the link

travel broadens the mind

To travel is to take a journey into yourself.

Doing a little research on something else, I was bored enough to read a narrow-minded American’s opinion of visit to England, which pissed me off somewhat.  Here are some real facts about Americans;

64% of Americans do not own a passport.

In states such as; Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and South Carolina only about 25% of US citizens own a valid passport.

When most Americans visit another country it’s to either Mexico or Canada.

Annually, less than 5% of Americans travel overseas.

More than half of all Americans have never been outside of America.

Most Americans have not been to more than 5 US states.

Many Americans have never been more than 100 miles from where they were born.

The commonest complaints of Americans visiting England are;

  • ‘the bacon is terrible…’
  • ‘few ethnicities are represented in London cuisine…’
  • ‘there is no Mexican or Latin American food in Britain…’
  • ‘British people are cold and hard to befriend…’
  • ‘the London subway is unreliable…’
  • ‘the British are obsessed with the Queen and Royal Family…’
  • ‘it always rains in England…’
  • ‘the English drive on the wrong side of the road…’
  • ‘British cars are undrivable…’
  • ‘free healthcare is such a stupid idea…’
  • ‘British TV sucks…’
  • ‘refrigerators and washing machines are very small…’
  • ‘there’s no dress code…’
  • ‘black people are just people…’
  • ‘they eat with their forks upside down…’

SFairportI’ve travelled all over the world, I’ve worked, lived, and had many vacations in the United States, I have some close friends in America, and none of the above surprises me one little bit.  American culture is so in-your-face and all-pervasive, (you only had to watch the recent Oscars ceremony to realise that), that all Americans think the rest of the world is just like America ~ trust me, it isn’t.

In addition, working Americans are allowed and take so few vacation days, (average 10 days a year), that the idea of visiting some of the great cultural sites in Europe just never crosses their minds.

The whole world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a single page.  ~  Saint Augustine

Which is why it does not surprise me that;

  • Middle America elected Donald Trump as their President.
  • Americans are obsessed with social media like Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.
  • More than 80% of Americans believe in conspiracy theories, and that the Government has kept secrets about UFOs.
  • More than 85% of Americans believe in one or more of; aliens, flying saucers, angels, astrology, extra-sensory-perception, Big Foot, ghosts, reincarnation, the healing power of crystals, witchcraft, that they can win money in Las Vegas casinos, and that winning the lottery is a viable financial plan.
  • Over 75% of Californians believe that more than 25% of Americans are Gay or Lesbian, (the true figure is 3.5% of Americans are LGBT).
  • 25% of Americans believe in creation theory and that the Earth is the centre of the universe.
  • 25% of Americans believe they won their Independence from a country other than Great Britain.
  • All Americans feel they need a planned and fixed itinerary before setting off on their travels.

A good traveller has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.  ~  Lao Tzu

To a well-travelled, well-read, and well-educated Englishman like me, it’s very sad that most Americans are like a Monday morning quarterback ~ they think they can talk a good game, but mostly they talk bullshit.  Actually, it’s worse than that, most Americans think their opinions matter to others.  They need to get out into the world a bit more.

And in England, ‘Trump’ is still another word for ‘Fart’.

Have a nice day.

~

flagjack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Ash Wednesday

moderation, moral courage, self-denial, self-discipline

Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent and comes 46 days before Easter.  Since Easter itself is a movable feast, Ash Wednesday can happen on any Wednesday from February 4th to March 10th.  Ash Wednesday is really a Pagan festival, having only been adopted by the Christian Church in 325 AD by Constantine the Great.  (Although almost all Christians will deny it, most, if not all Christian Festivals are built on the back of festivals from other and older religions, civilisations, and cultures.)

sping-goddessLent and Easter is a long festival of Spring ~ in fact the modern English words Lent and Lenten derive from the Old English word Lencten, which means Spring.  As it happens, even the English word Easter derives from the Goddess Oestar / Ostara / Éostre, the Pagan Goddess of Spring, (one of them).

stonehenge1Which begs a couple of questions.  Firstly, when does spring begin?  Conventionally, in the Northern Hemisphere, in England in particular, Spring starts at the vernal equinox, or on the night of March 20th / 21st.  Stonehenge and similar ancient monuments were set up to predict and confirm these astronomical events.  And secondly, what does Lent have to do with Spring?  And I believe the answer to that is in ancient times the end of winter, coming up to Springtime at the vernal equinox, was a time of hunger, starvation, and hard work preparing the land for spring planting.  Ergo, in ancient times people would fast during what is modern Lent, not out of choice, but of absolute necessity.

The deeper one goes into the rituals, superstitions, and deities of these old cultures the more connected to the seasons everything seems to be.  Persephone, the beautiful Greek Goddess of Spring, (Roman Proserpina), was also the Goddess of Death and the Underworld.  That makes perfect sense because the end of winter, when the food was running out and the weather was bad, would be when the old, young, and infirm were  very likely to die.

spring

So, Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, the time leading up to Spring, makes perfect sense when looked at from the point of view of our ancestors.  It’s not really time for a festival, carnival, or feasting ~ it’s more a time of self-denial and self-discipline.

It all makes sense in terms of the Four Noble Truths of the Buddha too.  The end of winter is a time of pain and suffering.  Indulging our wants, desires, and lusts just makes everything worse.  The road to freedom from suffering is through self-discipline in body, mind, and spirit.  The way to get through those hard days at the end of winter would have been through self-discipline in body, mind, and spirit.

So starting today, what am I giving up for the 46 days of Lent?  It’s going to be something difficult.  Starting today I will not take impulsive and negative actions when I have negative thoughts and feelings like; anger, jealousy, insecurity, anxiety, or fears of abandonment ~ all those old symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder.  I know that I will have those negative feelings, I just won’t let them get to me.

Maybe I should have decided to give up chocolate instead ~ I’ve already given up booze.

Maybe I’ll just lock myself in the garret for Lent.

~

wiccan moonjack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

poor little snowflake

every snowflake is the last of the great individualists

snowflake_shapes_and_science_0In English, there’s often a new meaning for an old word, it happens every day.  Yet, never in my long and interesting life have I seen such a meteoric rise of an all-purpose insult created out of a familiar word, in the way that Snowflake has instantly appeared everywhere.  I like snowflakes, real snowflakes that is.

To be clear, a snowflake usually refers to; often a younger person, prone to taking offence, emotionally vulnerable, unable to cope with views that challenge their own, easily distressed when met with rejection, incapable of seeing an opposing point of view, unable to hold a cogent argument, and liable to pointlessly futile demonstrations of anger.  In my time I’ve met a hell of a lot of people like that.

Back in the day we had a few other words for those of the snowflake ilk; wazzockprat, jessie, dil, and many more that are considered extremely politically incorrect today.  All in all I quite like snowflake.  There, there, don’t cry.

Older snowflakes do exist; for example our own Archbishop of Canterbury, who used a major speech to call President Trump, (and almost everyone else), a Fascist.  Oh! Do get a grip Welby.  Then there’s loathsome Ken Loach, who used the BAFTA awards ceremony to say the that current UK Government is callous, brutal, and disgraceful.  Champagne Socialist is a good insult to Loach the Roach. BUFF And, my award for Old Snowflake of the Year goes to that limousine liberal ~ Meryl Streep.  In a speech at a New York Galamad Meryl seemed to equate President Trump with Hitler, and intimated that Mr. Trump was likely to start a nuclear war.  No dear, that was your beloved JFK in 1962.  It’s always nice to see the old Buffs again.

When they are not using awards ceremonies to give us unopposed foul-mouthed tirades, or shouting down opponents, or holding pointless marches, snowflakes have their own interesting range of insults.  My own political views could easily get me labeled as an old-fashioned, misogynist, racist, war-mongering, climate change denier, and supporter of populist politics.  I’ll admit to a couple of those.

My views are mine, and mine alone.  Other than I will not usually break the law, I will not be told what to do, and I will not be told what to think.  My views are based on things like a lifetime’s study of; hard science, engineering, geography, geology, history, finance, literature, current affairs…  My views do not come pre-packaged from the pages of the Huffington Post, the Guardian, the New Statesman, or even the BBC.

moonProviding that you are polite, I will take care to hear your opinions, and the opinions of anyone else for that matter ~ your opinions tell me many things about you, and that’s interesting.  But that’s about as far as it goes.  If you think the Earth is flat, the Moon is made of green cheese, and that man-made carbon dioxide is destroying the planet, then that’s interesting too.  Those views will tell me that your opinions are mostly misguided, that you don’t know much hard science, and that you need to widen your circle of friends.  Have a nice day.

If you regularly use social media like twitter and Facebook, then that tells me a lot about you too.  It tells me that your brain is slowly turning to mouldy oatmeal, that you have a lot of ‘friends’ you’ve never actually met, and that you really don’t know anything that’s worth listening to.  (Or, maybe you still do, but soon you won’t.)  By demographic definition, all regular users of twitter and Facebook are soft snowflakes.

Generally, I find a lot of sound sense in most blogs I read.  It takes time and effort to write a decent blog post.  It takes a lot of time, effort, and a little money, to maintain a regular, high-quality blog.  Any wazzock can write 140 badly worded characters and stick it on twitter.  Maybe President Trump is a snowflake too?  Anyhow, where I come from trump is just another word for fart.

~

PrisonerSeventhese views are mine and mine alone

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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