rss

Cogitate Inc Newsletters


Here you can find archives of our newsletters and other important information.

January 2015 Newsletter Bookmark

Chasing Shadows

I think I wrote once about chasing Rainbows and that’s something I continue to do when the weather looks cooperative. Somehow it’s just something I enjoy and I find lots of them. There’s something else I chase though and that’s shadows.

Chasing shadows has a negative connotation in that it implies that you’re chasing something that can’t be caught or chasing something only imagined. I know I’ve chased a rather large number of programming bugs that I thought were there, but turned out to be not a bug at all, but actually something that was working well all along. In those cases, the bug turned out to be in my mind as an incorrect expectation of how the program should work. It’s on those cases where I slap my forehead and say ‘Oh!’ I think over the years I’ve developed a dent in my head where I slap my palm.

The shadows I do chase are shadows cast by the sun. The most amazing of those are total eclipses of the sun when the moon’s shadow is cast upon the earth. It’s something that I’ve experienced twice. Chasing a total eclipse of the sun usually requires travel to distance places and even if one gets to the right place can be spoiled by bad weather. That has happened to me more than twice.

Next in the shadow amazing quotient is the annular eclipse of the sun or ‘ring eclipse’. That happens when the sun and the moon are lined up perfectly, but the moon is a little further away from the earth in its

elliptical orbit and cannot cover the full face of the sun when observed from earth. That leaves only the sun’s outer limb visible. A ring eclipse is very strange and I’ve seen exactly one of those and I only had to travel 10 miles from home to see it.

The earth’s shadow can also be cast upon the moon and I’ve seen several total lunar eclipses. When fully eclipsed by the earth’s shadow the moon turns a strange shade of red as the dust in the earth’s atmosphere diffracts the sun’s rays.

Another partial eclipse of the sun is when the planet Venus passes over the face of the sun in an event called the Transit of Venus. It’s very impressive to see a little dot of Venus pass slowly across the face of the sun. I’ve seen two of those.

There are always numerous partial eclipses of the sun and the moon. They’re not as inspiring or amazing as the other I’ve mentioned, but it’s fun to go out and catch them.

Now I’ve got a new shadow that I’m chasing. That’s of rock formations left by American Indians where a shadow is cast upon a rock face by another rock at a solstice or equinox. I found out that there’s one close to me and so I went out this past winter solstice to see it for myself. As it turned out there was no shadow of interest cast at all, but looking at the arrangement of the rocks and stones it seems I was probably one solstice off. I’m thinking the alignment only happens during the summer solstice.

So I’ll chase that shadow next June 21st and see if I can add it to my list of "Shadows that I have Caught."

Even if it turns out to be a failure, it will sure be more fun than chasing a program bug that isn’t there!

 

Read Full January 2015 Newsletter

Chasing Shadows

I think I wrote once about chasing Rainbows and that’s something I continue to do when the weather looks cooperative. Somehow it’s just something I enjoy and I find lots of them. There’s something else I chase though and that’s shadows.

Chasing shadows has a negative connotation in that it implies that you’re chasing something that can’t be caught or chasing something only imagined. I know I’ve chased a rather large number of programming bugs that I thought were there, but turned out to be not a bug at all, but actually something that was working well all along. In those cases, the bug turned out to be in my mind as an incorrect expectation of how the program should work. It’s on those cases where I slap my forehead and say ‘Oh!’ I think over the years I’ve developed a dent in my head where I slap my palm.

The shadows I do chase are shadows cast by the sun. The most amazing of those are total eclipses of the sun when the moon’s shadow is cast upon the earth. It’s something that I’ve experienced twice. Chasing a total eclipse of the sun usually requires travel to distance places and even if one gets to the right place can be spoiled by bad weather. That has happened to me more than twice.

Next in the shadow amazing quotient is the annular eclipse of the sun or ‘ring eclipse’. That happens when the sun and the moon are lined up perfectly, but the moon is a little further away from the earth in its

elliptical orbit and cannot cover the full face of the sun when observed from earth. That leaves only the sun’s outer limb visible. A ring eclipse is very strange and I’ve seen exactly one of those and I only had to travel 10 miles from home to see it.

The earth’s shadow can also be cast upon the moon and I’ve seen several total lunar eclipses. When fully eclipsed by the earth’s shadow the moon turns a strange shade of red as the dust in the earth’s atmosphere diffracts the sun’s rays.

Another partial eclipse of the sun is when the planet Venus passes over the face of the sun in an event called the Transit of Venus. It’s very impressive to see a little dot of Venus pass slowly across the face of the sun. I’ve seen two of those.

There are always numerous partial eclipses of the sun and the moon. They’re not as inspiring or amazing as the other I’ve mentioned, but it’s fun to go out and catch them.

Now I’ve got a new shadow that I’m chasing. That’s of rock formations left by American Indians where a shadow is cast upon a rock face by another rock at a solstice or equinox. I found out that there’s one close to me and so I went out this past winter solstice to see it for myself. As it turned out there was no shadow of interest cast at all, but looking at the arrangement of the rocks and stones it seems I was probably one solstice off. I’m thinking the alignment only happens during the summer solstice.

So I’ll chase that shadow next June 21st and see if I can add it to my list of "Shadows that I have Caught."

Even if it turns out to be a failure, it will sure be more fun than chasing a program bug that isn’t there!

 

Read Full January 2015 Newsletter



Comments are closed.

Contact Us

PO Box 980685
Ypsilanti, MI 48198
(866)-634-9991