The Physics of Sunsets – Starts With A Bang

The Physics of Sunsets – Starts With A Bang.

Image credit: Tamas Ladanyi (TWAN), over Lake Balaton, Hungary.

The first and most obvious is the change in coloration of the Sun, as well as a severe drop in the Sun’s brightness. On an airless world like the Moon, the Sun at sunset would look no different than at any other time. But it’s the Earth’s atmosphere that makes sunsets so special.

Image credit: Bob King of http://astrobob.areavoices.com/.

When the Sun appears progressively lower and lower on the horizon, its light needs to pass through more and more of the atmosphere to reach our eyes. You might not think of the atmosphere as being a very good prism, but when you pass through around 1000 miles of it just before the Sun dips below the horizon, it starts to add up.

Image credit: Pete Lawrence (Digital-Astronomy).

The bluer wavelengths of light get scattered away, leaving only the reddest wavelengths that reach your eye. As the sun drops towards the horizon, it progressively loses violets and blues, then greens and yellows, and finally even the oranges, leaving only the reds behind.

You may not even realize it, but by time you’d see a sunset like the picture above, the Sun has already technically set, it’s only due to the fact that the atmosphere bends light that we’re still seeing it like this.

Image credit: R Nave of Hyperphysics, from http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/atmos/redsun.html.

This is why, if you time a sunset, it will take longer than the expected 120 seconds to go from the moment it touches the horizon to the moment it dips below, even during the equinox at the equator, where it rises and sets as close to completely vertical to the horizon as possible. The Sun appears to linger due to the refraction of our atmosphere.  READ MORE………

What to Do When You Get Pulled Over by the Police | The Art of Manliness

What to Do When You Get Pulled Over by the Police | The Art of M

What to Do When You Get Pulled Over by the Police

Acknowledge the officer by turning on flashers. To let the officer know that you’ve seen his lights and that you plan on pulling over, turn on your emergency flashers. Phil recommends you do this if you think you’ll need to drive a distance before you can find a safe place to pull over.

Pull over to a safe area. Typically, you want to pull over to the right side of the road. When looking for a spot to pull over to, think “safety first” for both you and the officer. Phil recommends looking for an area with a wide shoulder so passing traffic isn’t a hazard. If it’s nighttime, look for place that’s well lit if possible. That will help put the officer at ease. Parking lots and well-lit side streets are other safe places to pull over to.

“If you need to travel a short distance to pull over, do so at a slower pace than you normally drive,” Phil recommends. You don’t want the officer to think you’re trying to make a getaway. Also, if you need to cross multiple lanes to pull over to the right-hand side of the road, do so safely.

Stay in the car. If you get out of the car as soon as you stop, it may give the impression to the officer that you’re going to be aggressive or you have something to hide in the car. Just keep your bum in your seat.

Turn off engine, roll down window, and turn on your dome lights. As soon as you come to a stop, turn off your engine and roll down your window. If it’s dark out, turn on your dome light so the officer can see what’s going on inside the vehicle as he approaches.

Stay calm. It’s common to get amped up whenever you get pulled over. Take some deep breaths and relax. Unless you’ve done something outright criminal (i.e. driving intoxicated, possessing illegal drugs, etc.) there’s nothing to be nervous about. The worst that can happen during a routine traffic stop is that you’ll have to pay a fine. Oh, and your insurance will probably go up. Pretty sucky, but not the end of the world.  If it helps, it’s good to remind yourself that the officer is probably nervous too.

Stay still and keep your hands on the steering wheel. Keep your hands resting on the wheel and remain still as the officer approaches your vehicle. You don’t want to give him or her any reason to believe you’re a threat.

If you plan on fighting your ticket, keep answers short and don’t directly admit wrongdoing. Everything you say to an officer is admissible in court, so if you plan on fighting your ticket, Andy suggests not saying anything that indicates you are guilty. Officers will typically ask questions to get some sort of admission out of you when they first walk up to your window. For example, “Do you know why I pulled you over?” Don’t say, “I was speeding, sir.” Simply say, “No” or, “I don’t know.”

But sometimes, saying “I’m sorry” works. However, Andy states that sometimes it doesn’t pay to be coy like this with the officer, and that it’s better to just fess up and apologize. “If you accidentally roll through a stop sign and immediately apologize, they may let you off with a warning.” If you don’t plan on fighting your ticket, just say, “I’m sorry, officer. I was imagining Teddy Roosevelt with Sasquatch in a headlock. I’ll pay more attention next time.” I’ve gotten off with just a warning a few times by saying those words, showing the officer some courtesies, and being polite

Wait for the officer to ask for your documents. Don’t try to expedite the process by getting your license and registration ready while the officer approaches your car. For all he knows you could be reaching for a gun or trying to hide some sort of incriminating evidence. Wait until he or she gets to the window and asks for your documents.

Move deliberately. When you do reach to get your license and registration, do so deliberately. “A quick reach into the glove compartment for your insurance paperwork looks the same as a quick reach into your glove compartment for a weapon,” says Phil. If your wallet is in a gym bag in your backseat, let the officer know before you turn around and rummage for it. Quick Tip: Try to keep your glove compartment relatively organized, and your documents together, so that when you pull the box open, you don’t have to frantically sort through 20-year-old maps and wads of receipts to find your registration.

If you’re carrying a gun, let the officer know. Some states have laws that require concealed carry owners to inform officers that they’re carrying a gun anytime they get pulled over. These are called “must inform” states. Officers are allowed to ask for and hold the weapon for the duration of the stop.

Even if you don’t live in a “must inform” state, as a courtesy to the officer, you might want to disclose the fact that you’re carrying. Nothing puts an officer on red alert like seeing a “print” of a gun through a motorist’s clothes.

Return hands to the steering wheel. After you’ve handed the officer your paperwork, return your hands to the steering wheel. “It keeps them visible to the officer,” says Phil.

Be civil. Be polite and respectful in your communications with the officer. Yes, it sucks to get a ticket, but calling the officer names, threatening him, and being rude won’t get you anywhere. In fact, it could make things worse. If the officer happens to be a woman, refer to her as “officer” or “ma’am,” not “sweetheart” or “honey.” She’s an officer of the law, show some respect.

You don’t have to consent to a search. In order to search your vehicle without your consent, an officer needs probable cause – maybe he smells something in the car or sees a bottle on your seat. If he doesn’t have probable cause but wants to search your car anyway, he’ll need your consent and may ask you something like, “You don’t mind me taking a look in your car, do you?” Even if you haven’t done anything illegal, it’s usually a good idea to exercise your Fourth Amendment right in this situation and decline the search. “While you may believe you have nothing to hide, you never know what could come up.  Maybe a friend left an empty beer can in your back seat during a tailgate party, and the officer will charge you with an open container violation,” Andy explains. Politely decline the search by saying, “I don’t consent to a search, officer,” loud enough so it gets on the police recorder. That’s it.

Don’t argue. “The side of the road is not the place to argue a charge,” says Phil. If you want to contest the ticket, you can do so in court and in front of a judge.

Sign the citation. If the officer decides to issue a citation, he’ll ask you to sign it. Sign it. It’s not an admission of guilt, it’s just recognition that you’ve received the citation and that you promise to either 1) pay the fine or 2) show up to court on the designated date. “A signature on a citation in most jurisdictions is in lieu of you posting a cash bond. Posting a cash bond generally consists of a trip to the nearest jail or judge and may include a booking process and fingerprinting. It is always easier to sign the ticket,” says Phil.

Be safe when merging back into traffic. Phil recommends taking your time to store your belongings before you re-enter traffic. “If you’re upset, collect yourself before driving away.” When you’re ready, turn on your signal and merge back into traffic. This time, avoid any mental fight simulations involving Teddy Roosevelt and Sasquatch until you get home and are safely ensconced in your man chair. Stay safe out there.

Got any traffic stop stories? Any other tips you should follow when getting pulled over by the police? Share them with us in the comments!

Thank you to Phil and Andy for offering their advice for this article.anlinessREAD MORE…….

A spotlight on ‘the most interesting man in the church’ | National Catholic Reporter

A spotlight on ‘the most interesting man in the church’ | National Catholic Reporter.

While working on his doctorate at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Ravasi spent time in Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Jordan on archeological digs, and later served as prefect of the prestigious Ambrosian Library in Milan. Among those who know Ravasi, his penchant for literary allusion is legendary; rarely can he talk for more than five minutes without citing wildly diverse sources such as St. Augustine, Isaac Newton, Vladimir Nabakov, and the Russian Orthodox liturgy.

Despite his prodigious learning, Ravasi has a strong popular touch. On Friday night in Rome he delivered some reflections on Albert Camus at the Jesuit-run Church of Gesù, which struggled to contain an overflow crowd.

Ravasi was scheduled to lead this week’s retreat, delivering a series of spiritual reflections on the Psalms, long before Benedict announced his historic decision to renounce the papacy. The timing, however, means that Ravasi now has a rare opportunity to make a final impression on the other cardinals of the Roman Curia, who are certain to be among the kingmakers in the impending conclave. Moreover, his words will certainly make the rounds in the form of written summaries and rebroadcasts on Vatican Radio, giving the whole world an indirect week-long look at the man who could be pope.

Whispers in the Loggia: At B16’s Window, A Big “Thank You”… While Behind the Walls, The “Showcase” Begins

Whispers in the Loggia: At B16’s Window, A Big “Thank You”… While Behind the Walls, The “Showcase” Begins.

Drawing a crowd at least four or five times its normal size, a throng estimated at well over 100,000 people swarmed St Peter’s Square today for the Pope’s noontime Angelus – the next-to-last Sunday greeting from B16 before his resignation takes effect in 11 days.

Unlike the Wednesday Audience, no tickets are required for the pontiff’s weekly appearance at his study window. It was reported yesterday that the lone remaining mid-week gathering – on the 27th – has already seen 35,000 requests for tickets, and will be moved into the Square from its usual winter venue inside the 7,000-seat Paul VI Hall.

(On-demand video of the gathering is available through the Holy See’s streaming HD player.)

Keeping his usual focus on the day’s Gospel, the departing Popespoke of this First Sunday of Lent’s traditional account of Jesus’ temptation by Satan in the desert.

Quoting his favorite saint – Augustine, the subject of his doctoral dissertation in theology as a young priest, and a figure on whom he’s sought to model himself – Benedict reminded the crowd that “Jesus took our temptations on himself to give us his victory over them.”read more………..

The War of the Two Councils: The True and the False

by Sandro Magister

ROME, February 15, 3103 – To the priests of his diocese, with whom he met yesterday for the last time before leaving, Benedict XVI wanted to deliver “a little chat on Vatican Council II, as I have seen it.”

In reality, the “little chat” lasted for almost 40 minutes, with the audience very much attentive throughout.

Joseph Ratzinger spoke off the cuff, without ever looking at any notes.

He proceeded according to major chapter divisions, each of them dedicated to the main questions faced one after another by the Council: the liturgy, the Church, revelation, ecumenism, religious freedom, the relationship with Judaism and the other religions.

For each of these themes he said what was at stake and recounted how the conciliar fathers addressed it. With passages of great interest on the concept of the People of God and on the relationship between Scripture and Tradition.

But to everything he added an introduction and a conclusion that particularly impressed those present.

THE INTRODUCTION

Benedict XVI began with an anecdote, telling about when Cardinal Frings had invited him, a young theologian, to write him an outline for a conference that he would have to give in Genoa, at the request of Cardinal Siri, on the topic of “the Council and modern thought.”

The outline pleased the cardinal, who read it just as the young Ratzinger had written it for him. But the best part came afterward:

“A little while later Pope John called Frings, and he was full of trepidation that he may have said something incorrect, something false, and that he had been called upon for a rebuke, perhaps even to have the scarlet taken away.

Among the bishops of the whole world, those who had the most definite intentions from the start were the episcopates of France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, what was called the “Rhenish alliance.” In the first part of the Council “they were therefore the ones who pointed out the way, but the activity was quickly widened and everyone participated more and more in the creativity of the assembly.”” read more…

 

 

THE CONCLUSION

 

 

At the conclusion of the conversation, Benedict XVI instead subjected to criticism the relationship that has been established between the “true Council” and the “Council of the media,” between the real Council and the virtual one.

 

Here it is best to consult the literal and complete transcription of his words:

 

“I would now like to add another point: there was the Council of the fathers – the true Council – but there was also the Council of the media. It was almost a Council unto itself, and the world perceived the Council through these, through the media.

 

“Therefore the Council that immediately and efficiently arrived to the people was that of the media, not that of the fathers. And while the Council of the fathers was realized within the faith, and was a Council of the faith that seeks ‘intellectus,’ that seeks to understand itself and seeks to understand the signs of God at that moment, that seeks to respond to the challenge of God at that moment and to find in the word of God the word for today and tomorrow, while the whole Council – as I have said – was moving within the faith, as ”fides quaerens intellectum,’ the Council of the journalists was not realized, naturally, within the faith, but within the categories of today’s media, meaning outside of the faith, with a different hermeneutic.

 

“It was a political hermeneutic. For the media, the Council was a political struggle, a power struggle between different currents in the Church. It was obvious that the media were taking sides with that part which seemed to them to have the most in common with their world. There were those who were seeking the decentralization of the Church, power for the bishops and then, through the expression “people of God,” the power of the people, of the laity. There was this threefold question: the power of the pope, then transferred to the power of the bishops and to the power of all, popular sovereignty. Naturally, for them this was the side to approve of, to promulgate, to favor.

 

“And so also for the liturgy: the liturgy was not of interest as an act of faith, but as a matter where understandable things are done, a matter of community activity, a profane matter. And we know that there was a tendency, that was also founded historically, to say: sacrality is a pagan thing, perhaps even in the Old Testament, but in the New all that matters is that Christ died outside: that is, outside of the gates, meaning in the profane world. A sacrality therefore to be brought to an end, profanity of worship as well: worship is not worship but an act of the whole, of common participation, and thus also participation as activity.

 

“These translations, trivializations of the idea of the Council were virulent in the praxis of the application of liturgical reform; they were born in a vision of the Council outside of its proper key, that of faith. And thus also in the question of Scripture: Scripture is a book, historical, to be treated historically and nothing else, and so on.

 

“We know how this Council of the media was accessible to all. Therefore, this was the dominant, more efficient one, and has created so much calamity, so many problems, really so much misery: seminaries closed, convents closed, liturgy trivialized. . . . And the true Council had difficulty in becoming concrete, in realizing itself; the virtual Council was stronger than the real Council.

 

“But the real power of the Council was present and, little by little, is realizing itself more and more and becomes the true power that then is also true reform, true renewal of the Church. It seems to me that, fifty years after the Council, we see how this virtual Council is breaking up, is becoming lost, and the true Council is appearing with all of its spiritual power. And it is our task, precisely in this Year of Faith, beginning from this Year of Faith, to work in order that the true Council, with its power of the Holy Spirit, may be realized and that the Church may really be renewed. Let us hope that the Lord may help us. I, retired with my prayer, will always be with you, and together we will go forward with the Lord. In the certainty: the Lord triumphs!”

. . . Yes, when his secretary was dressing him for the audience with the pope he said: ‘Perhaps now I am wearing this robe for the last time.’ Then he went in. Pope John came to meet him, embraced him and said: ‘Thank you, Your Eminence, you have said the things that I wanted to say, but could not find the words.’ In this way the cardinal knew that he was on the right path, and he invited me to go with him to the Council, first as his personal expert and then also as an official peritus.”

Benedict XVI then continued:

“We went to the Council not only with joy, but with enthusiasm. The anticipation was incredible. We were hoping that everything would be renewed, that a new Pentecost would come, a new era of the Church, because the Church was still robust enough at that time, but it seemed more a reality of the past than of the future. And so we were hoping that this would change, that the Church would once again be strength for tomorrow and strength for today.” read more…