Parallax

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The photo is an illustration and it doesn’t actually show parallax.

Do you know what parallax is?

Hold out your thumb in front of you and close one eye. Place it so that it covers something, perhaps a flower outside, or something in front of you. Maybe the moon.

Now without moving your hand open your eye and close the other one.

What do you see? The moon or the object appears to have moved! That is because your eyes are seperate. They are the base of a very long thin triangle and believe it or not you can measure distance that way.

Now stick a piece of wood in the soil on the equator, and a similar one a few miles north or south of it. At midday on the equator the sun will be directly overhead and there will be no, or hardly any shadow. But the one miles away will cast a shadow. The further away from the equator the longer the shadow. If you know the distance between the sticks, and the angle the shadow casts by the other stick. (measure the angle from the top of the stick and the end of the shadow) you can actually work out the distance to the Sun (which is casting the shadow). In this way the ancient Greeks did this and also worked out the size of the Earth approximately. You can use this idea if you look at a star at one end of the Earth’s orbit and six months later the other side of the orbit. That’s how they work out distances to stars. Amazing what you can work out by using your eyes, a couple of sticks and your thumb!

Typing stuff

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My life is full of typing at the moment. College work and blogging, and then all my social media too. I guess that’s why my arms ache? I’ve only got a small space for my keyboard as I only have a tiny desk. An old wooden table with a hinged section screwed in place on the side but too rickety to use.

I could use the dictation mode on the computer but I think there is too much extraneous noise to use it.

Anyway back to boggled eyes….

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Blank found verse

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I usually do a limerick challenge on a Monday at the Esther Chilton blog and this week I included something about the character Merlin. Also sometimes there are challenges on Facebook to write a found poem using just the middle key of your predictive text. I thought I would ask you to do the same here starting with “Merlin was a wizard who…..” if you get stuck use a different word. (I know sometimes the words just go round in circles). I’m calling it blank found verse…

Merlin was a wizard who
Sent me this one last week
I think I will try and get
On the cupboard for the next few weeks
I have a very complex problem
I have a very busy day.

Please feel free to play….

Remains of the painting

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High up on the wall in the bedroom are the supports that my summer dreams painting hung from. I need to re-string the painting with something stronger. I really need to dust away the cobwebs and take the string down. I hoovered up and forgot to attack it with the vacumm cleaner as I was looking at the floor. The vacuum is a bit heavy fir carting up the stairs and the cobwebs are a bit too high for me to reach. Anyway, better get on and try and find something to get at it with.

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Binoculars

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Want to see the stars? You don’t need an expensive telescope. Maybe just a pair of binoculars (you can get monocular too). You just have to get them set up so you can see images clearly. You can use them to look at the moon, where you will be able to see more of the craters and mare (seas). These are not actually filled with water, but flattened areas amongst the craters. There is the sea of tranquility where Apollo 11 landed for instance. Other things that binoculars make visible include some galaxies and comet Neowise which is gradually fading as it moves away from the sun. It is visible above the western horizon below the star Arcturus (follow the stars of the big dipper handle down till you get to a bright star, then look about halfway between it and the horizon. It is an idea to look in a dark sky area, and allow your eyes to become adapted to the dark for about twenty minutes to allow the pupils of your eyes to open fully.

It’s been cloudy here so I haven’t seen it!

Paint texture

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I was looking at my old summer dream painting and noticed how dusty it was. I realised that the surface od the paint is quite raised. This was when I was painting in oils in a more impasto way. I don’t do that in acrylics, I don’t know why, because it’s quite interesting to look at? Maybe it’s something I could try out. I have a large tube of white oil paint. Maybe I could add coloured chalk into it as an experiment. I can do anything I guess.

I do like how sassy I got this image. She’s got real character. A proper glint in her eye.

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Drawing portraits

_20200717_170656_optimizedThis is from a few years ago. I think it was just someone in a cafe or a pub. I don’t remember asking permission to draw him. But this is about twenty years old, so there is no reason why I would. What I like to do is draw carefully. I don’t pick my pencil up to measure, but I do look carefully. I try and get the proportions right. I look at the length of the nose, the width of the lips. The length of the hair and the shape of the person’s face. Portrait drawing and painting can be nerve wracking. But I enjoy doing it. I’m addicted to art.

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Abandoned cat update

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The abandoned cat is being extremely loving. He’s made friends with both of us now. He comes when we call and now our cats are almost inoculated (our male cat needs one more shot) there is the possibility of introducing them to each other. I will have to get him to the vets for a check up. That will be interesting as he’s a big cat, at least half as big again as ours. Still I guess I will find out. I want him to be inoculated too so he has more of a chance of a healthy life. Then if we can integrate them, maybe he can come indoors a bit, as long as he does not fight with the other two.