Tag Archives: Total Eclipse of the Sun

The Earth Is A Sphere

You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him to find it within himself.  –  Galileo

Actually the Earth is an oblate spheroid; but as it has only a third of one-percent variation from a perfect sphere, to all intents and purposes the Earth is a sphere with a diameter of 7,918 miles.  Taking into account the atmosphere, mountains, and ocean’s, this planet is a gigantic billiard-ball coated with the thinnest film of moisture.

In the fourth century Before Christ. the Greek philosopher Aristotle postulated that the Earth was a sphere; based on his own astronomical and other observations.  In particular; the stars in the Southern Hemisphere differ from those in the Northern Hemisphere, the shape of the Earth’s shadow as the moon waxes and wanes, and the way a ship slowly disappears over the horizon as it sails away.  Aristotle probably based his theories on the earlier work of Pythagoras from the sixth century BC.

Both Pythagoras and Aristotle were ‘proper’ scientists / philosophers in that they would not accept that something was true just because the majority / a lot of people said it was so.  A properly educated man goes out and finds the truth, no matter what some may say.

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.  –  Aristotle

Pythagoras is credited with the proof of many aspects of geometry, but there is no evidence that he mastered the spherical geometry needed to properly navigate long distances on Earth.

However, by the 16th century enough was known of spherical geometry for the ship Victoria to circumnavigate the Earth between the years 1519 – 1522 under the command of Magellan and then Elcano.  With today’s modern technologies an aircraft taking off from anywhere, and flying in any direction, will, without changing course, end up back at the airfield it took off from.

This is only possible because the Earth is a sphere.  You cannot circumnavigate a flat Earth.

Many other things we take for granted are only possible because the Earth is a sphere; gravity, long distance travel, satellite navigation, national television, long-distance telephone calls, space travel, night and day, the season’s, oh…. and did I mention gravity?

Why is it then, that some people stubbornly cling to the mistaken belief that the Earth is flat?  Leaving aside that there is a fool born every minute, these ‘Flat Earthers’ point to the evidence of their own eyes, the world outside my front door looks flat – therefore the Earth is flat…QED. By that argument I could say that because I have once met a fool, all men are fools – and because I once met a slut, all women are sluts.

(Actually this is a tenable argument known as The Theory of Mediocrity.)

Some say that all men are fools.  And that all women are sluts.  All I know is that all things are true some of the time, in the same way that a stopped clock is right twice a day.

I am prepared to believe in some Very Strange Things; the interconnectedness of all things, spooky connections between people, extraterrestrial civilisations,  that the past, present and all possible futures run concurrently….  But I am not prepared to believe in; the literal truth of the Bible, nor that the Earth is flat.

I am of the opinion that people who truly believe in those two things, (the Bible and a flat Earth), are closed-minded and have never been outside of their own county.  But then, I am myself opinionated, judgmental, highly educated, well-travelled, and well-read.  I also strive to walk the warrior’s path with sincerity, honesty, humility, and courage – every single damn day.  Which makes whom the better person?

We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not a temporary act, but a life-long habit.  –  Aristotle

Outside of my garret’s door is a path.  I can walk along that path, and if I go far enough in a straight line, then in a couple of years I will arrive back at the garret again.  This is only possible because the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth are Not Fucking Flat.

No matter who wants to argue otherwise.

jack collier

jackcollier7 @talktalk.net


a clever charlatan can fool some of the people all of the time



Total Eclipse, Wyoming, August 21st 2017

At totality there was a strange twilight






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


some long wide roads out there


Marmaduke and I went to the USA to witness a total eclipse of the sun.  To Marmy and me, the USA seems to be doing pretty well right now.  We saw quite a lot of people driving Jaguars.

Nations, like stars, are entitled to eclipse.  All is well, provided the light returns and the eclipse does not become endless night…  The reappearance of the light is the same as the survival of the soul.  ~  Victor Hugo

During our trip we travelled some 16,000 miles, including driving 3,282 miles in our rented SUV.  (We needed an SUV rather than a Mustang convertible to take all the luggage the Girl Riding Shotgun brought on this long road trip.)

Marmaduke and I visited Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK, Dublin in Ireland, Amsterdam in Holland, LAX, Orange County, drove through California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and into Wyoming, (then back again to Orange County in sunny Southern California).

We also visited the Queen Mary in Long Beach for a champagne Sunday brunch, went up to Big Bear Lake, and kicked back at the Southern California beaches in Little Corona, Aliso, Laguna, and best of all Crescent Bay.  Went shopping in the local Mall and sundry thrift stores, checked out the Parks in Orange county, and generally hung out in some cool bars.

Finally flew back to the UK from LAX, via Paris and Dublin before arriving back in the UK on September 10th ~ broke, exhausted, and filled with amazing memories.

Right now, and back in the garret, Marmaduke and I have 1,111 unread emails in my inbox, 3,970 pictures on my camera, a good suntan, a little jet-lag, and a pile of laundry from our trip.

Marmaduke also wants to know why he couldn’t stay in SoCal… dude…

My advice?  Go on a very, very long road trip in the USA.  But, whenever and where ever you travel, take half the luggage you think you will need, and at least twice as much money as you think you could possibly spend.

It’s best not to stare at the sun during an eclipse. ~ Jeff Goldblum


jack collier


Pictures taken with a Panasonic 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


click the link

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