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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Rainbow Over the MatSu

 

For those of you who didn’t see this on my Facebook or Google+ pages.

There was a spectacular double rainbow over the Matanuska Susitna Valley last night. The colors were incredibly vivid. It lasted about ten minutes or so.

image

About the only way I could have gotten a shot of the entire thing would have been to climb up on the roof. The slippery wet roof. The really high, sharply peaked wet slippery roof. In the pouring rain.

But, you know, I would have done it. For you, gentle reader.

Except the only person available to hold the ladder would have been my wife.  You know, the person who gets a lot of money if I were to fall off the roof and break my neck in the pouring rain.

She did offer. 

But I declined.

12 comments:

  1. I once commented to my husband that he was actually worth more dead than alive, since his life insurance policy was quite nice but his salary as a high school chemistry teacher sucks. For weeks after his underwear actually landed in the hamper! LOL

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  2. Didn't know you are on google+ I'll just go over and +1 them.

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  3. What?
    You need someone to "hold" the ladder? Yikes!
    I guess it doesn't matter, you took a great picture from the safety of the ground and shared it with us. For that, we are all thankful.

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  4. Fun facts:

    * there is nothing in the sky. The effect is refractory and happens in the eye (or the camera)

    * the effect extends far past the visible spectrum in both directions as can be seen by appropriate frequency-shifting software and cameras

    * different language groups seee different numbers of colors. Most aboriginals will swear there are three bands. Russian speakers see eight, an extra line in the higher frequencies. I forget the name but I can't type Russian on my iPad anyway. No, they don't have "one name that covers more than one color," they actually see fewer bands. Fucking fascinating.

    * there is no pot of gold, As you move closer, the image moves away. Sorry.

    Mr. Reductionist Killjoy in Cần Thơ

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  5. Oooh! Oooh! What is that? Oh, my God! A double rainbow! Oooh! Oooh!

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  6. You captured the beautiful golden light which I enjoy so much! It usually happens when the sunshine comes to you under dark clouds, such as around the time it's raining.

    Thank you for this, and given my fear of falling from heights, I wouldn't have even thought of climbing up on the roof!

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  7. Of course there is a pot of gold - he was standing at the bottom of the ladder refusing to go up...wisely...you missed the pot of salmon that hit the Kenai River this weekend. I hope you dip-scratched your way into sustenance for the winter the week before. Oh what a difference a few tides make...rainbow pic made my day - thanks.

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  8. I don't know where Chris Fox gets his "facts" (with no references to actual scientific studies), but here's something a bit closer to reality.
    .
    1. There are water droplets in the sky acting as prisms and reflecting light to your eye or camera. While a rainbow is not like a movie image projected on a screen, it is absurdly simplistic to say that there is "nothing" up there.
    .
    2. No, different groups of people do not see colors differently. An individual person may have a mutation in the genes that code for light receptor compounds or neural signaling, with slightly more or less in a population, but it's typically only around 6% (~8% for men and ~3% for women). Large groups of people are not _all_ color-blind. See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2608383
    .
    By the way, color-blindness is most typically an inability to distinguish red from green, not a lack of ability to see specific colors. Very very few people have multiple-color blindness aside from red-green.
    .
    The genetic code among the so-called races has less variation than the variation within each of the races. That means people across the world are more alike than we are different. Races are social constructs held together by common culture and a slight psychological preference for associating with people with a similar appearance to oneself. The races are not based upon any meaningful genetic differences. Superficial appearance changes like hair, eye, and skin color result mainly from pretty small differences in regulation of the same genes, not mutation. E.g. almost everyone has a range of melanin expression resulting in the spectrum from caucasian to african skin tones; but very few people express no melanin at all. Out of about 3 billion DNA bases, this is a 0.000000% change (rounding off).
    .
    People have so many strange misconceptions when it comes to genetics and racial differences, when the differences are really trivial. Humans are one species amounting to a very close family. We see the same colors and taste the same flavors, but we just express ourselves differently.
    .
    In short, people may have different words for colors, and some languages may lack a word for a specific color. That's about it. If Chris has a study that I can read showing differently, then I'd really like to see it. Otherwise, I think real-life biochemistry should beat "fun-facts" heard from a friend of a friend. (The world needs less misinformation and more facts.)
    .
    wribiong: The sound of a frog bouncing on a rubber band.

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  9. I think my comment was worded too strongly. I did not mean to even hint or imply that Chris was in any way racist, merely misinformed about his biology.
    .
    I also left out my first line, which should have been "That's one beautiful rainbow. Thanks Jim."
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    restyl: What I should do between writing and posting a comment.

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  10. I;m not talking about biology, dichromaticism, or racial differences. It's an intersection between language and perception, as I said in the first sentence of that paragraph. Chill.

    photo reception neurology between races is identical so far as I know.

    You just jerked an egalitarian knee, is all.

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  11. Awesome picture Jim. Love the sunlight on the back side of the trees providing that excellent glow. I would have held the ladder and without a sizeable bribe, you would have remained safe.

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