Thursday, May 16, 2024

Flat Earth Believers

I was going to write about and show one of my pictures from last Friday when the Northern Lights were, for the first time in my life, actually overhead. But it seems everyone north of Florida saw them and posted pictures on Facebook. So I'll talk about something else today.

Somehow I found this group on Facebook that had the title "Flat Earth Official." Later it changed its name to "Don’t be fecking stupid, of course Earth’s not flat" That didn't seem to discourage the flat earth zealots.

What amazes me is that these people believe the Earth is flat despite all the evidence to the contrary. You show them a picture of the Earth and they'll say it's fake. Or a "cartoon." You point out that NASA had pictures of a globe Earth in the 1960s and they'll say NASA had CGI then. And, of course, they think the Moon landing was faked because the Moon is "local" and some sort of light source. They don't seem quite sure about that. They don't

understand gravity ("It's just a theory"/"It's magical"). They don't understand orbits. They say density makes things fall down. They think south is equivalent to "down" as if there's up and down in space. They post the picture at right saying all water would go down to the south if we lived on a globe.

One even said he went to Australia and nothing was upside down so therefore the Earth is flat.

I don't know why it frustrates me so much. I guess I'm annoyed at the ignorance. They will point out that there's no stars in space pictures. You try to explain why (because of how cameras work) and they say you're lying. I've never seen such pig-headed people. Well, except some political types.

And the wonders they are denying themselves. They say the pictures the Hubble and James Webb Space Telescopes are fake. They say space probes are fake. They deny the wonders of the universe that are both beautiful and sometimes frightening.

I tried to leave the group, but I was sucked back in by the sheer ignorance displayed. 

Oh, and the scary news, it has 126,700 members last I looked (and growing). Some of those, like me, are not flat earth believers. But I bet most of them are. I finally had to leave the group for good. It was making me angry to encounter such willful ignorance. But now flat earthers are invading other Facebook groups, such as the one for the James Web Space Telescope. Very annoying and frustrating.

I wonder what they thought of the aurora borealis. How do they explain away that?

Have you ran into flat Earth believers? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Okay, here's a Northern Lights picture that I took last Friday:

Thursday, May 9, 2024

National Parks

Glacier National Park (photo by me)
For some reason the other day I started counting the National Parks (in the US) I've visited. I think I've visited four in Canada: Banff, Jasper, Lake Louise, and Waterton Lakes. 

All the parks I've visited are in the west part of the US. Probably because I live in the west part of the US.

The park I've visited most is Yellowstone. I lived less than 200 miles from it as a kid and we went there every year, at least. TIP: Go after Labor Day and before it snows. It's much less crowded. Yellowstone is mostly in the north-west corner of Wyoming but a bit of it leaks into Idaho and Montana.

Just south of Yellowstone is Grand Teton. The main attraction there is the Teton Range and the three mountains of the Tetons.

I've only been to Glacier once. It's in northern Montana and a long ways from everything. But it's worth the trip. It's gorgeous and the old hotels (built by the railroad) are amazing. 

In Washington State (where I now live), I've been to Mount Rainier once. That despite living close to it (I can see the mountain from my house on a clear day).  Someday I'd like to visit the Olympic National Park in western Washington and the North Cascades National Park in northern Washington State.

In Oregon I've been to Crater Lake. The lake is very pretty but there's not much to do there unless you like to hike.

In California, I have been to many national parks. The absolute best was Yosemite. It definitely lives up to the hype. But I've also been to Pinnacles (which is not very well known but interesting as the San Andres Fault runs right through it). I've also been to Sequoia and Kings Canyon and Redwoods National Parks.  Redwood trees are amazing for their size. And Sequoia trees are even bigger!

In Utah, I've been to a lot of parks, too. First was Arches. Amazing place. Next door to it is Canyonlands. I've also been to Bryce Canyon (another amazing spot) and Zion.

And finally, the grandaddy of them all: The Grand Canyon in Arizona. If you've never been there, it'll blow you away

So that's 14 national parks I've been to in seven western states. (I'm ignoring monuments such as Craters of the Moon and Devil's Tower.)

I've also been to Gettysburg National Military Park. Not sure that counts. If it does, it's the only national park I've been to that's east of the Rocky Mountains.

For more pictures of Glacier National Park, go here and here.

How many national parks have you been to? What was your favorite. Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, May 2, 2024

3 Body Problem Review

 I recently watched 3 Body Problem on Netflix. And, wow, what a great show. My sole disappointment was that it was only ten episodes and it ended on a cliffhanger. I believe it covered the events in the first book it's based on. There are four books in the series so maybe there will be four seasons.

The show starts with the Cultural Revolution in China in the 1960s. It's a scary scene as it is so reminiscent of what happens on college campuses if someone who's not woke enough (in the eyes of the students) tries to speak. It then jumps to the present and someone (or something) is trying to shut down human science by screwing with experiments and driving scientists insane. Many are committing suicide.

As the mystery deepens, clues are found, including in a VR video game like no other.

I don't want to give any spoilers, but just watch the series. It's amazing. 

Have you seen it? Let me know in the comments below what you thought.

The above photo is being used under Section 107 of the Copyright Act: fair usage.