From roughly 1pm ET to roughly 3pm ET today there will be an eclipse of the Sun by the Moon over the US.

I like this map which shows when and where the eclipse will take place:

I spent a half hour this morning on the Internet and learned everything I wanted to know about what is happening and why.

I wonder how the earliest inhabitants of planet Earth must have felt when the sky went dark for a few minutes in the middle of the day.

Mankind has learned a lot about the universe we inhabit over the years and that knowledge is now largely available online for anyone to browse and learn from, as I did this morning. Here’s a study set based on today’s eclipse from Quizlet (a USV portfolio company) which uses their new diagramming feature.

It is a wonderful time to be alive with so much knowledge at our fingertips.


Comments (Archived):

  1. aminTorres

    This tool, lets you input your zip code and shows you an animation of what the eclipse will look like from your area:

      1. Twain Twain

        Thanks for sharing, v. cool!

  2. JimHirshfield

    SPF 50 today?

    1. Twain Twain

      LOL and why isn’t there protection against moon dust?!

      1. JimHirshfield

        NASA makes a suit for that, I think.

      2. Pointsandfigures

        Guy that recruited me to USAFA works for Raytheon now. Shot missiles into the moon and analyzed the dust.

        1. Twain Twain

          It causes silicosis and smells like gun powder, apparently.From NASA website: “The immune system’s white blood cells commit suicide when they try to engulf the sharp-edged particles to carry them away in the bloodstream. In the acute form of silicosis, the lungs can fill with proteins from the blood, “and it’s as if the victim slowly suffocates” from a pneumonia-like condition.”@JimHirshfield:disqus — Better hope the moon doesn’t fall out of the sky either!

          1. WA

            Have you read SevenEves? LOL

          2. ShanaC

            apparently it would make an excellent concrete

  3. sigmaalgebra

    My main ugrad physics prof was big on optics, radiography, infrared, and, in particular, solar eclipses. He had a USAF grant “to further the technology of the infrared”; considering what the USAF and the rest of the US DoD have done with the infrared, really smart USAF!For solar eclipses, he wandered in depots with surplus military equipment and picked up a nice trailer, enough old machine tools for a nice machine shop, stacks of big plates of aluminum, etc. The USAF funding let him hire a full time machinist. One way and another he built an usually large Fabry-Perot interferometer, an amazing device.He liked the eclipses since that was about the only opportunity to study the atmosphere of the sun near the surface of the sun, the solar corona. What is going on there is amazing, much hotter than first-cut would be expected. So, he’d get infrared spectra from the corona.At one time Dad was working for the US Navy, and my ugrad physics prof wanted something he could use to mount quite a lot of scientific equipment and aim it, e.g., at an eclipse. He thought of an old Navy ship gun director, a steel pillar with a big top for a big gun that would let the gun aim by rotating about a vertical axis and also a horizontal one. So, presto, bingo, Dad made some phone calls, and a nice US Navy war surplus gun director was on the way.With all the other military surplus stuff, the prof put together a nice expedition to the eclipses! So, usually he had to travel, e.g., once to Alaska. So, all the scientific equipment, tents, food, etc. got packed up and shipped.I really wanted to be a physics major, but that prof’s math was too sloppy for me, so I was a math major, to get good versions of the math I’d need for physics. The math department was quite good. There’s an old joke about math in physics: If know the math, then can do the physics in the footnotes! I found cases when that was close to true so wanted to get the rest of the math.There’s also at guy at Williams College who does similar eclipse work,https://www.quantamagazine….So, how to make these really nice, very accurate predictions of the eclipses? Sure, get numerical solutions of some initial value problems for some second order ordinary differential equations! Ah, that’s math, right? Yup!

  4. Eric Satz


  5. feargallkenny

    I’d say those earliest inhabitants were pretty pissed off when they damaged their eyesight not knowing what they were doing ; – )

  6. Rob Underwood

    Taking kids to LL Bean today for a big viewing party. They are doing a presentation on the science of the eclipse and setting up a bunch of solar telescopes. Great time to be alive and a great time to be in Maine, even if we only are going to get a 55%er here (we get a full one in 7 years).Also check out coverage from last one in 1979, especially the very end and the shout out to today —

      1. Pointsandfigures

        does everything have to get political? Can’t we just experience stuff?

        1. Seth Godin

          Climate change isn’t political. Denying it is.

          1. kidmercury

            partial list of scientists who dispute the anthropormophic global warming thesis:

          2. LE

            Also to mention that there are plenty of people that will deny that has nothing to do with politics. Sounds pithy though.

          3. Alex Murphy

            Less than 60. There will always be contrarians willing to argue just for the point of arguing.To question whether or not global warming is happening, that is no longer a question:…To question if we are having an impact, go inside a greenhouse for a few hours on a cold day, review what happens with more chemicals in the air, and look at the escalating temperature of the planet over time. It is hard to argue this is just correlation and not causation.…We (as a planet) are left with the choices of do nothing or try to reduce our impact, even if it is a potential impact.

          4. JLM

            .It has been a lovely day.”In my lifetime, I have personally walked across a frozen NY Harbor from Sandy Hook.”Actually, that is not true, but during the American Revolution the water between Jersey City and Manhattan froze over sufficiently they could move cannon over the ice with no danger of losing them.The Brits were afraid Washington was going to attack Manhattan because the British fleet could not provide their normal protection.What I can never really figure out is how did thermometers take such precise readings — sufficient to catalog less than 1.5F — over the last 120 years? I can’t find a damn tire pressure gauge which can tell me the pressure of my 35PSI tires within 2PSI, but these guys are tracking temps from 1897 at accuracies of 0.01F?Every time I ask a climate scientologist this question, I get the “OK, you’re a skeptic heretic” face, but nobody can answer it for me.And the two guys on the other side of the Urals who took the 24/7/365 readings every 20 minutes in the thirty foot deep snow? With the four cases of vodka?You can’t trust the Russians; they tamper with everything.Most everything that anyone wants to argue as it relates to global warming is a good idea as it relates solely to air pollution.This may be the blockchain killer app we’ve been waiting for.Musings from beneath the eclipse in the ATX.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          5. kidmercury

            New York times is not a valid source given it’s long history of lies and manipulation by intelligence agencies.Are temperatures really escalating? Depends on how you measure it. Here’s one way that suggests no escalation.… which way is correct?

          6. JLM

            .I thought climate change was religious?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          7. LE

            In your state I hear that football is religion.

          8. JLM

            .Please allow me to confirm that. However, we are very tolerant of other religions. We allow soccer and baseball.Get the mo. Like MOJO.…JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          9. Alex Murphy

            I think you might be thinking of evolution.

          10. timraleigh

            …just an ideology often mistaken for a religion.

      2. LE

        Tyson is cherry picking one example and using it to imply that science is always right and should be believed. There are many examples of where man has come up with some conclusion based on the current state of the art science only later to discover that they were wrong.

    1. LE

      Taking kids to LL Bean today for a big viewing party. They are doing a presentation on the science of the eclipse and setting up a bunch of solar telescopes.This is for sure one of those events that is hyped up beyond the actual experience by the media. [1] It also shows how easy it is for people to be excited about something that they probably wouldn’t have any interest in at all if there wasn’t some overriding force (others) telling them to get excited about it and saying it was a can’t miss event. [2] I felt bad this morning (not really) for the people working in Whole Foods who will not be able to go out and see this because they punch a clock. I am thinking they will probably let employees rotate out to take a look. Hopefully they will wear those glasses.Kids now? I can barely get my stepdaughter to go outside to see awesome rainbows after storms and honestly the only reason she does is so she can post a picture on Snapchat. I on the other hand drove and shot video out the window of the rainbow.I actually do wonder how excited kids will be about this considering all of the wonderful distractions they get to view everyday including interesting cat videos. After all in the clip above (1979) the world was a much different place and there were still some people probably watching black and white tv’s.[1] Of course don’t listen to me! I am one who doesn’t really get into fireworks.[2] I remember when my kids were young and we were at the boat dock and ducks used to swim up. As I shouted in excitement ‘duckies’ the kids were all happy and excited simply because I made it such a big deal.

      1. Rob Underwood

        My 13 year old has been planning this trip to LL Bean and is incredibly excited. My 6 year old is also excited about the trip and seeing the moon hide the sun.I am blessed that my kids are surrounded by public schools teachers who inspire an interest in science and math (as well as CS and chess, with some thanks to our host). We re-enforce this interest at home.My son goes to school in the East Village. He and his friends think social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram are “stupid and a waste of time”. His friends here in Maine say the same. They seem more interested in robotics camp, basketball, D&D, and the eclipse and I count that as a blessing.

        1. LE

          Look it annoys me to no end that my stepson spends little time studying and is typically playing video games in his spare time.The reason it bothers me is he took the SATs last year when he was in only the 8th grade and scored a 760 MATH (total score 1330, attached). And honestly don’t think he cracked any books that I could tell. Was tested on things he didn’t even have in middle school. I am thinking ‘wow if I had that brain I’d be doing ….’. And to repeat this was in 8th grade and the first time he took the test. You know the things I’d be stuffing into my head if I had that type of ‘good at taking tests’ brain.The stepdaughter is younger, hasn’t been tested yet. The mother has genius level IQ and the type of high number that you would typically think is a lie actually.To your point about friends one of the biggest advantages of going to a good school or a private school is who you are surrounded by and what they do in their spare time. Had this when I attended private school where not only the education was good (college was easy after that) but nobody was goofing off. And I was the one who asked to go there, not my parents idea. Same at Wharton. Didn’t get in because of test scores that is for sure. No slackers at least I didn’t come in contact with any. The group enforces the behavior. Not all about the actual education which in this day and age you can make up for poor teaching at least more so than in the past… https://uploads.disquscdn.c

          1. sigmaalgebra

            Congrats on the 760. I got 752 the first time and 768 the second. I finished early, checked my answers, and had time to spare so always wondered what if anything I missed and wondered why it wasn’t 800. But I wasn’t in the eighth grade! Uh, it is supposed to be an aptitude test, not a knowledge test!When the guidance counselor read me my 752 she was shaken, said, “There must be some mistake.” Yup, there was, with her and the other gossiping teachers who all agreed I was a dunce. Good to get some external, objective measurement!You and your son might want to take an opportunity: He could race ahead in math and be ready for math grad school by age 18. Or he could use that math background to have one of the best starts on any of a wide range of the best shots in any of the STEM fields, economics, finance, even social science. For bio-medical, notice Eric Lander at MIT, Whitehead Institute: He was a mathematician, and maybe he has thought that being a mathematician has helped his work in bio-medical. There are some good videos of Eric Lander lectures; an example is at…That one is from a course, and can work backwards from that one and find home page with all the 39 or so lectures. And Lander has some other interesting lectures. Lander has been doing some of the most interesting work on the planet.Uh, usually the best science mathematizes the field, and for the workers the usual, main bottleneck is just the math — they needed to take more.One of the high points for your son should be Paul Halmos, Finite Dimensional Vector Spaces (FDVS) written in 1942 when Halmos had recently gotten his Ph.D. from J. Doob at U IL and was an assistant to John von Neumann at the Institute for Advanced Study. It doesn’t get any better than FDVS, powerful material, beautifully presented, a crown jewel of civilization.The book is still current and not so long ago was one of three used in Harvard’s “notorious” Math 55 — super fun reading at…The other two books were W. Rudin, Principles of Mathematical Analysis (calculus and related material done with care and precision, right, all theorems and proofs, beyond belief; IIRC at one time Rudin was from Vienna; he and his wife long lived in a Frank Lloyd Wright house) and M. Spivak, Calculus on Manifolds, right, mostly aimed at being a start on the math for the high end approach to the math for general relativity in physics (“‘Matter tells space how to curve. Space tells matter how to move.” J. Wheeler) but supposedly also of interest in mechanical engineering with solids.FDVS is novel, an advanced course in linear algebra via a finite dimensional introduction to Hilbert space theory, of course named after David Hilbert, and, IIRC, really an invention of von Neumann.Shock: The set of all real valued random variables X so that the expectation (average value) E]X^2] (of X squared) is finite forms a Hilbert space. The biggie point is completeness; that it holds for those random variables is astounding; actually there is a quite short proof.Uh, the real line is a Hilbert space. So is the 2D plane. So is the 3D version of the world we live in. So are the spaces in linear algebra. The main interest in Hilbert space is the infinite dimensional case, say, each point is the wave of the sound of an orchestra (I’m omitting some details here).A cute thing about Hilbert space is how much is just the same as our 3D space; e.g., we still have right angles and the Pythagorean theorem. Indeed, Plancherel’s result in Fourier theory (often working on points in a Hilbert space) is really a generalization of the Pythagorean theorem.So, FDVS tries to prove the theorems of finite dimensional linear algebra with proof techniques that also work in Hilbert space. It’s cute in FDVS to see that work. But, alas, it doesn’t always work; some results are true in finite dimensions and don’t generalize so then need proof techniques specialized for finite dimensions.Hilbert space is the first, main math of quantum mechanics, and FDVS is so good, so close to being a good introduction to Hilbert space theory that some physics profs teaching quantum mechanics tell their students just to read FDVS.One of the big points in FDVS, and my favorite result from there, is the polar decomposition — for any square matrix, what it does geometrically is just rigid rotations and/or reflections followed by stretching/shrinking on mutual orthogonal axes, that is, moving a circle into an ellipse. That’s the foundation of factor analysis, a pillar of multivariate statistics, singular value decomposition, important in numerical analysis (e.g., gives the condition number that says when matrix inversion will be numerically unstable) and now noticed by data science (“fields that say they are science aren’t”).For math to be applied, linear algebra competes with calculus in importance. E.g., calculating the path of the eclipse is a calculus, i.e., differential equations, problem. And soon in differential equations, linear algebra gets to be central. For computer applications, multivariate statistics, and really sick-o, hype-o stuff like machine learning, linear algebra is the most important math.FDVS is a bit too difficult for a first course in linear algebra. So, should start with something simpler, maybe two levels simpler. Just before FDVS might try Hoffman and Kunze, IIRC available free as a PDF on the Internet. And might start with something even easier than Hoffman and Kunze.In linear algebra, start with just solving a system linear equations by Gauss elimination. In a not wrong sense, that’s the start of the subject of linear algebra. The curious and powerful part is how far that start goes, how much it generalizes. In that context, linear means close to a straight line as in high school first year algebray = ax + bwith slope a and Y-intercept b. But the usual definition of linearity isf(ax + by) = af(x) + bf(y)So, the left side comes apart in a way that permits lots of results. The a and b are usually real numbers but in some important applications are complex numbers. In some applications in error correcting codes a and b might be goofy numbers in some algebraic system thingy with fewer assumptions than the real numbers (e.g., the finite field of integers modulo a prime number). The x and y are commonly vectors of some kind or other. Such linearity is a biggie: The three main parts of math are algebra (sure, HS first year is an example), analysis (the core of it is calculus), and geometry (sure, HS plane geometry is a good start). Well, linear algebra spans all three. G. Simmons wrote “The two pillars of analysis are continuity and linearity.” or some such IIRC.Where to see linearity? E.g., in a concert hall, the sound from a violin is a complicated wave. Same for the flute. What a person in the back row or still out in the foyer hears is that sound passed through a linear filter of the concert hall and the air. The violin and the flute play the role of the x and y. Yup, in reality, they add! The filter is the f. Linear filters are super biggies in electronic engineering and much more. The tone controls on an old hi-fi set are linear filters. Some of the grand heights of linearity are, sure, Dunford and Schwartz, Linear Operators. Nelson Dunford was long at Yale; Jack Schwartz was long at Courant. Hilbert space theory is part of functional analysis (treat a whole function, say, the signal from a violin, as just one point, and for techniques borrow a lot from HS plane geometry, that is, wildly generalize HS; surprisingly the generalizations work great), and, as in Simmons, linearity is a biggie in functional analysis. Calculus? The first part is differentiation, that is, find the slope of a curve; yup, differentiation is a linear operator. The second part is integration, that is, find the area under a curve. Yup, you guessed it, integration is a linear operator.Linear math is a huge fraction of the math in a research library. Non-linear math is generally much more difficult!So, linear algebra is a start on linearity, and the start of that is, right, those linear equations from HS.For a system of linear equations, can have too many equations or two few, etc. In any case, always, there are none, one, or infinitely many solutions. In the infinite case, the solutions are the same as or a generalization of a 2D plane in 3D space.With Gauss elimination, can see, find, determine, identify, etc. clearly all three cases. So, Gauss elimination is good stuff, a big part of the start of linear algebra. It’s easy and a good exercise to program at least a good first version of Gauss elimination. Doing that will be able to visualize how the work goes. Basically you end up with a staircase; it starts in the upper left corner. Where it ends determines which of the three cases.Then with the these cases of Gauss elimination, that is, the case of one solution or infinitely many, get what later on are essentially the implicit and inverse function theorems which are the local (local linear approximations to the) non-linear case of the same thing. These two are central, about all needed, for differential geometry as in general relativity theory in physics. For the implicit and inverse function theorems, that’s “advanced calculus” and then only in some books, one of which is W. Fleming, Functions of Several Variables. There is a clever proof based on contractive mappings, that is, each time you apply the map, you shrink what you have, and everything converges to a point. Several important theorems are based on contractive mappings.Sure, I’d suggest your son might zip through first and second year high school algebra. I’d suggest going through those quickly, paying good attention only to the high spots — the rest aren’t worth more than that, and stuff neglected will see again in much better form anyway. Heck, algebra is just doing arithmetic with letters that represent any number instead of with specific numbers. So, with algebra get to see what holds in general. Okay.E.g., some high school math book might try to get him into how find square roots. Bummer! First, second, third cuts, at least, find square roots via Newton iteration, and that’s super easy in the early parts of calculus. To heck with the high school stuff. Besides, Newton iteration, right, THAT Newton, bright guy, is quite general and often, as in square root finding, just astoundingly fast. Right, Newton iteration is based on making better and better local linear approximations — linearity again!Once for fun I used the inverse function theorem and Newton iteration to calculate the stiffness of 3D space frames. The software ran fine! There was a lot of cute indexing!BTW avoid like a mud hole any time wasting nonsense such as “pre-calculus” and AP calculus — apparently that stuff is to keep busy HS math teachers who don’t actually know calculus. Instead, for calculus, just get a good, highly respected FRESHMAN COLLEGE level calculus book, two, or three. Under no circumstances pay attention to AP calculus — IMHO the people who did that material didn’t understand calculus.There, sure, in many calculus texts, they start with analytic geometry. So, hold up an empty ice cream cone and, like John Belushi’s Samurai Tailor, slice with a samurai sword. Then the cut parts, depending on the angle of the sword, are a circle, ellipse, parabola, hyperbola, or just two lines. In physics, there are lots of circles. The planets move in ellipses. A baseball follows a parabola — or would on a flat earth with no air. And if shoot an electron at a target with too many electrons, then the moving electron follows a hyperbola as it curves away from the target. So, those curves are the conic sections. Nice to know that, especially early in calculus and physics. Write out the algebra for the conic sections, see some of the properties, e.g., for focusing light or sound, and that’s enough for a calculus course — can see the conic sections again off and on later.Sure, plane geometry, where the center of the course is the proofs, will be super good stuff — great introduction to proofs. Besides, it’s gorgeous. And the exercises are more fun than eating caramel popcorn, unless the girl sharing is really pretty! And if in addition she is smart, then she can have fun with the exercises, too!Then, see if you can get the video lecture by A. Gleason on high school plane geometry. Gleason was one of the brightest guys of the last 100 years, at least. He knocked off one of David Hilbert’s problems, skipped a Ph.D., was made a Harvard Fellow, and was a bright star in geometry since then. And he’s a beautifully clear lecturer. When he talks about geometry, shut up, sit down, and listen up. His lecture is short, elegant, and profound. Elegance in math: “Directly proportional to what you can see in it and inversely proportional to the effort required to see it.” — S. Eilenberg (“SSPP, speedy Samuel, Polish prodigy”).I’d suggest you find a really nice guy with some gray hair and in a tenured, full professor of mathematics slot at a high end research university to meet with your son and suggest some reading and meet with him for, say, an hour each three months.In life, being ahead for ones age can be an advantage. No sense in wasting those young years that are so good for learning.Pursuing math is a choice your son, you, and your wife can consider. The 760 likely means that your son has some special talent but in practice doesn’t have to mean that he is obligated to pursue math.The SAT Math and Verbal tests are supposed to be aptitude tests, and doing well on one or both of them is supposed to mean some good aptitude. But aptitude for what? Well, doing well on those tests is supposed to be a big advantage in college work and, then, a guess, hope, that have an advantage in a lot of what might want to do later in life.Doing well on the Math SAT doesn’t say should be a math major in college; doing well on the Verbal SAT doesn’t say should be an English major in college. Instead, again, doing well on one or both of those tests is supposed to be an advantage in whatever college work or college major one wants to pursue.Sure, academics is supposed to be big stuff: E.g., what the US spends on education, K-12, college, etc., is enormous, one of the largest expenditures in the country.Now for academics to help careers, the emphasis is on more technical work in the STEM fields and bio-medical instead of social science or the humanities.For the STEM fields, and for bio-medical if want to follow Eric Lander or make a big guess, math has a huge advantage in that (A) it is so broadly applicable, (B) is the main tool technical workers feel short of and wish they had more of, and (C) with some good guidance can be done well with just a lot of mostly independent study and good books. That is, for (C), in high school if want to race ahead, then of the academic subjects math is more suitable than physics, chemistry, engineering, etc. E.g., need paper and pencil but not a laboratory.But academics is not nearly the only good career in life. Indeed, traditionally, for a career, academics pays so poorly that one guy has a tough time with just his own earnings buying a house, supporting a family, and with high irony paying college costs for his kids.E.g., when for a while (to help my wife recover from her Ph.D.) I was a college prof, for a common single family house they were asking about 8 times my annual salary and interest rates were high. So, that I could buy a house was a joke, a really bad joke.For more, when my wife and I went to graduate school for our Ph.D. degrees, I had a good career, a healthy wife, and a good marriage. When we had our Ph.D. degrees, I had a wrecked career, a wrecked marriage, and a fatally injured wife. Not good.So, then, for a career that pays enough to be a good family “bread winner,” academics mostly has to be preparation for a career outside of academics.No doubt the career outside of academics but closest to academics, with the greatest need for an academic background, is medicine. So, if want to take academics, with a lot of math or not, seriously as career preparation, then about have to consider medicine.But, as we know very well, “The business of America is business.”, and the career that best permits supporting a family and getting the kids through college and ready for doing well in life is business.If look at who is doing well in business, then see very few people who have any idea what the polar decomposition is! Bezos? If he ever knew, I suspect by now he’s forgotten! There is a story that early at Amazon he was having fun playing with SQL on Amazon data, but IIRC he was a computer science major.Or, from an old joke about math, if Bezos wants a bright applied math Ph.D., then he will hire one!Or pursuing math with the intention of using it as a special advantage for doing well in business is breaking new ground. MBA programs have long assumed that some math would be a big advantage in business, and the accreditation groups mandated teaching linear programming and statistics, but the examples, and there are some, e.g., some of the technical details of running an oil refinery, are not yet impressive enough to say that all MBAs should do even as much math as there is in the MBA programs now. Maybe pursuing math is the best way now to hope to be worth $100 billion, but there won’t be many people worth $100 billion, via math or not.Broadly what might be the role of math for making $100 billion in the future? Well, with current computing, we can get and process a lot of data. If we write software to manipulate that data, then maybe we can get some new data, call it information, that will be valuable. The manipulations the software does are necessarily mathematically something, and for more powerful manipulations likely should proceed mathematically. Then, broadly, would be building software systems that automatically — from math and software for the math, etc. — automate generating valuable new information. You just read that here just now; likely you never read anything very similar anywhere else. So, maybe some particular examples have some promise, but otherwise it would appear that what I just explained is no better than a wild guess, a long shot.In part this is now an old story:(1) The electronic engineers moved up from working with resistors, capacitors, inductors, amplifiers, and electro-magnetic waves to a lot of applied math for the leading edge of what such electronics was to be used for. Well, long in the US, leading edge electronics was for US national security. So, the EE research went for the associated applied math, especially stochastic processes, filtering theory, and control theory. The filtering theory is mostly linear, and the control theory is heavily generalizations of Lagrange multipliers, that is, more linearity!(2) Eventually the computer scientists got tired of working only with bits, bytes, processor instruction sets, programming language design, compilers, linkers, debuggers, operating systems, file systems, database, and communications, and, much like the EE people, decided to move to what all that computing stuff was to be used for and got into what they call machine learning (some statistics, mostly done badly, but with some curious new work), the dream of artificial intelligence, etc. In this way, the computer scientists have gotten deep into parts of linear algebra and statistics.For future careers, (1) and (2) look like academic fields that were overly narrow and practical and had run out of important new work to do and went looking for more to do. In some significant sense, both (1) and (2) found applied math.Then (1) and (2) look like some academic fields floundering around and not like good directions for a good career.Medicine has an advantage: It knows just what the heck to do: Find out how to cure those sick people who aren’t getting well.Net, it may be that the best preparation your son can get for business will be some in academics and the rest from you.

          2. LE

            I would like so much to share your email with my wife (I am his stepfather btw.) but the problem is this. It will only make her more likely to allow him to play video games. The concept is ‘he does well in school so…’. This is what parents do. They think good testing is in itself confirmation that ‘nothing to see here,move along the kid is fine’.I may still share it I just have to figure out my strategy for doing so.I had a cousin who was gifted and he went through the 7 year med program and now runs a large medical practice. His mother definitely would not have let him goof off. In fact it was her job to ‘fight for him in school’.

          3. Matt Zagaja

            I remember when I was young having a similar score. While I do not at all regret where I went to undergrad or my career path, my public high school was not well equipped to identify and handle folks who are, shall we say, geeks. I was lucky to have a particular teacher who took interest in me and fostering my growth, and also to have parents who made some decisions I disagreed with at the time. Had I been surrounded by more like minded people I have no doubt that I would have spent more time doing things other than video games (there were SO MANY video games) and maybe would have looked even better for college. Ultimately there is no harder skill than turning potential into kinetic energy. It’s why good teachers matter so much.

          4. LE

            Did you score high on verbal as well? Why did you decide to do law instead of something technical? I would think you would be suited for patent work (law and engineering possibly). Assumes of course you would find that interesting.

        2. awaldstein

          just got back from viewing by the river and there were scads of school kids everywhere with pin hole cameras and with teachers.good stuff.the idea that nature and science and curiosity of the real world is waning is not true.personality, inspiration and education are the determinants of everything in kids.

          1. Rob Underwood

            For “gen z” – the kids these days – they were born concurrent to the rise of social media. They can compare social/mobile (and VR) to “real world” activities like spending time (in person) with friends, playing sports, making music going for a walk, and doing something with their hands without the disposition and prejudice that the former are somehow special or novel. And they are choosing the latter.

          2. awaldstein

            They just use tools naturally to support their interests.This particular 16 year old is into marine biology, raising funds for her save the reef project, building a stop action cam viewing database but if you ask her whether she is into tech, she says not really, into Kickboxing and surfer grunge and the ocean.Cool generation.

      2. awaldstein

        I don’t think your observation is generalizable from my experiences within my extended family.just depends on the parents and the kids.they are all different in my experience.

        1. LE

          I agree. But otoh you can’t deny that one of the reasons that the circus went out of business was not just because they had to ditch the elephants or that parents decided to not buy tickets to take their kids.

      3. Susan Rubinsky

        I’ve always been into these kinds of events, even before the internet and media hype. I guess I’m just a dork.

        1. Vasudev Ram

          More like normal, I’d say. It’s the others … 🙂 , coz interest in these kinds of events is natural (pun intended).

        2. SFG

          Guess that I’m a dork too and remember being in the 6th grade and being in awe of eclipses.

      4. Vasudev Ram

        Ha ha, kids can get excited about almost anything – almost the definition of being a kid (at heart) – having a sense of wonder.Speaking of which, check out:Chinmaya Dunster and the Celtic Ragas Band:A Sense of Wonder:Concert for India’s Environment:

  7. Vitomir Jevremovic

    Only problem I see is that not all truths are treated equally. Internet is here for that too, but it looks like humans are mostly ignorant creatures not interested to know the real facts.

  8. Richard

    any peculiar behavior by dogs or other domestic animals?

  9. WA

    Greek root word context. To abandon or disappear. Are the gods angry or did a dragon eat the sun…?

    1. Twain Twain

      No, the turtle Atlas was standing on got tired and went down on his front legs. LOL.

      1. WA

        Atlas’s fault – he should have picked a tortoise. Better longevity you know… 😉

        1. Twain Twain

          But not big enough for his gigantic feet!

          1. WA

            Fares better on land for longer periods of time, does the tortoise, no?

    2. Vasudev Ram

      I’ve read somewhere that that is why Eclipse (the Java IDE from IBM) was called that – Because it was an Eclipse of the Sun 🙂 (tech joke)

      1. WA

        Or at least Microsoft… Non tech wise crack… 😉

  10. David C. Baker

    Nashville, where I live, is the largest city right in the “total” path and this place is overrun by 200,000+ additional people, I’m told. We’re staying in the yard. 🙂

    1. Pointsandfigures

      New country music songs will be written about it today

      1. Vasudev Ram

        and will shortly disappear like the eclipse.

    2. Kirsten Lambertsen

      I have family living in a town that’s in the “total” path in northern Wyoming. People have rented out rooms in their houses for $1k a night, ha!

      1. Vasudev Ram

        We should get Elon or whoever to manufacture some more eclipses, by pausing their rockets at the right places in space (with a wide enough parachute to create the shadow, and secretly, for just some people’s benefit) and use that to multiply that 1K to nK – per night … :)/jk

        1. Kirsten Lambertsen

          LOL, love it.

  11. Chris O'Donnell

    85% coverage here, and not a cloud in he sky at the moment.

  12. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Cool map. Yesterday was also the 40th anniversary of the launch of Voyager 2.It can be easy to forget that it’s an amazing time to be alive, but I wouldn’t want to have lived at any other time. As Bebe Buell says, the fact that I was here when David Bowie and Prince walked the earth is proof enough for me.

  13. DJL

    Today I am reminded why I decided to study Earth and Planetary Science a long time ago. It’s just so cool to have the Earth and starts as a living laboratory. Hoping my kids catch some of the excitement today.

  14. William Mougayar

    And rightfully so, Bonnie Tyler will song her famous song during that time.

  15. Girish Mehta

    “It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience” – Carl Sagan.This may be a good time to also look inwards at that mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam”. – Carl Sagan…

  16. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:We all are truly blessed. Some more than others.

  17. JLM

    .Whew, that was dicey. Damndest thing just happened.It got dark here in the ATX like somebody forgot to pay the electric bill. Then, it got bright. The sun is back on. Might have had something to do with the S Texas Nuke.I was floating in the pool at the time. Close call, I guess.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  18. jason wright

    the ultimate in block tech power.

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      Wow! Well done! And here I was feeling so proud of my little iPhone pic, ha ha! You gonna frame this?

      1. David C. Baker

        I might! I do like how it turned out.

    2. Twain Twain

      Stunning! Thanks for sharing.

    3. JLM

      .Great, awesome pic. Could I get a copy? I will offer you a $25 gift certificate at Red Lobster. Real. I love that pic.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. JLM

          .My new hero. Thanks.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        2. JLM

          [email protected] deal is a deal. Thanks. Love the pic.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. ShanaC


    4. jason wright

      like a black hole. imagine one of those turning up in our system.

  19. SFG

    I think that the earliest inhabitants viewed celestial events, such as a total eclipse, as God revealing Himself to them. Even back then without a bunch of mathematical models, they were probably intuitive enough to note that the moon being the perfect size to block out the sun, yet still allow the edges of it to be seen, was a bit too lucky to happen by mere chance. Now go ahead and start flaming me for believing that something other than simply time, chance and natural selection are the cause of everything : )

  20. David C. Baker

    Another, with the moon partially obscuring the sun, both obscured by clouds. https://uploads.disquscdn.c

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      All this one needs is a bat flying across 😉

      1. Vasudev Ram

        This is not with a bat, but close :)…

        1. Kirsten Lambertsen

          Amazing! What are odds? 😉

          1. Vasudev Ram

            Didn’t get it. Odds of what?

          2. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Oh, it was a just a joke 🙂 The odds of a witch passing in front of your view of the eclipse at just the right moment (little reference to the ISS picture out there). I guess that’s not an eclipse shot — it looks so much like David’s pic above!

          3. Vasudev Ram

            Got it now 🙂 In that case, I can think of how there can be good odds: the witch had created the eclipse as a curse on someone, and she was passing in front of it, to prove that :)In fact that reminded me of an adventure story I read as a kid, and this also relates to Fred’s point in his post above:>I wonder how the earliest inhabitants of planet Earth must have felt when the sky went dark for a few minutes in the middle of the day.In that story, some explorers had landed in some unknown unexplored country, and were caught and taken in front of the local tribe. The tribe was deciding what to do with them – the usual stuff – eat them, throw them over the cliff as a sacrifice to the gods, or befriend them, etc. One of the explorers knew some astronomy and had an almanac, and saw in it, that by chance an eclipse was about to happen in a few hours or the next day, lets say. So via an interpreter he communicated to the tribe that his friend and fellow explorer was a powerful chief with magic powers, and that as proof, he would in a few hours, make the sun go dim.You can figure out the rest … :)… one possible ending being, that he also said that if they were not released without harm, his friend could later make the sun disappear permanently. (after the demo).

    2. ShanaC

      I actually like this one a tad better – really interesting greys

      1. David C. Baker

        Thanks! I use the free Nik filters that Google bought and then made available. This one is Silver Efex II, applied to a RAW file. I show it with a 560mm lens on a Canon 5Ds.

  21. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Did anyone else feel like they could see the moon ‘wobble’?

    1. Lawrence Brass

      Thank you David!

  22. Lawrence Brass

    The umbra as viewed from the International Space Station ( source: NASA )…The silhouette of the ISS over the sun ( source: NASA )…

    1. Lawrence Brass

      As seen from Alaska Airlines’ Boeing 737-900ER at 38,000 ft ( source: Alaska Airlines )…https://uploads.disquscdn.c

  23. jer979

    I was in Nashville. It was surreal, right @ReCourses:disqus ?

    1. David C. Baker

      Yes, indeed. Cool that we didn’t have to even leave the house.

  24. ShanaC

    So any predictions of what scientists will learn from this eclipse?

  25. Ray Gordon

    You’re just an idiot with money if you believe that, living off the spoils of yesterday’s war, which you won, and not by betting on those who play fair. If you think anyone with valuable knowledge is going to dump it on the internet these days you’re wrong. That was a 1990s trick based on an implied promise of reward that was broken with defamation, piracy, and a host of other dishonest behavior. You sit atop a pile of crap. The internet has turned people into power-tripping narcissists who assume the worst of everyone yet who always try to “trade up” when networking. You tell yourself the opinions of those without money, or who do not worship your money, do not matter, and I’m sure to you they do not. For all your investments, I didn’t see any into low-profit housing, i.e., where you rent apartments at a small profit to those overlooked in the rental market, making say $100 per unit by reducing homelessness or overpriced rentals one at a time. If you say “there is good in the world,” that has nothing to do with it. Capitalism is inherently predatory, and in a society as corrupt as ours, NO ONE with money could possibly have earned it without overlooking the corruption, or at least participating in it. Think your family would “love’ you if you weren’t their personal ATM? Guess you’ll never have to find out. Keep running your mouth about changing the world when those who are REALLY changing it get on with their work.

  26. Ray Gordon

    Learning “everything that is on the internet” is not “learning everything you want to know.” Want a good example? The PUA movement of “pickup artists.” The PUA who taught idiots with money how to get laid got their work ripped off as a reward, and stopped supplying information that works. All that was left were the con artists (imitators who pirated the material), and their marks (people too stupid to realize the internet had changed due to the smart people not being paid), the latter “finding everything they need to know” online about how to get women, except the information they got didn’t work anymore, and those who could tell them what works now having no reason to publish it. Same for ANY industry where helpful advice is needed. The public doesn’t notice the drop in quality, marketing trumps content, and people are sent to hell in a handbasket by the con artists they thank for sending them on the trip. the VCs are the driving force behind one of the greatest evils in history. Make no mistake: camel-eye-needle was written for men like you. Money is fool’s power.

  27. ShanaC