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Totally Blowing Shit Up Tuesdays: This Is Why It's So Effing Hot

July 19, 2011

I probably should not be whining about this, since it's not three million degrees in North By God Carolina...yet. Or again. Or however you'd like to put it. However, I've said it before and I'll say it again: the coinpurse is hanging mighty low.

I guess the price to pay for one very nice weekend is that we'll soon be thrust deep into the bowels of a very certain fiery hell. Some people (Texans, mostly) call it "summer". It's summer, so let's crank the motherfucking heat all the way to 11, right Mother Nature?

Who knew Mother Nature was such a fan of Nigel Tufnel?

Anyway, this whole ungodly heat wave that has been melting butter all across the Midwest and Great Lakes region--and which is headed straight for the east coast--is just more fuel for the fire for the global warming crowd. Any stretch of hot weather causes them to scream about carbon footprints and cow farts and such. Just like balls-deep snow causes the extremists on the other side to squawk just as loudly against global warming. Whatever it is, global warming or not, I know that I have to wring my pillow out around 4:20 every morning, and that's just not good eats.

I need to slow down my typing: my knuckles are sweating.

Anyway, global warming, celestial alignment, God's hot little prank on all of us--whichever reason you can come up with for this ball-saggingly hot streak, there's no denying that the temperatures are cranked up. Grab yourself a cool glass of ice tea or iced water or scotch on the rocks and check this shit out:

By the way, when I hit 45, scotch on the rocks is all I'll be drinking. You've been given ten year's warning, Scotland! Time to up the manufacturing process!

As you can see in the video, the sun doesn't get along too well with Thai food, either. That big, galactic fart was a solar flare coupled with a massive ejection of charged plasma particles. Fortunately, that was pointed anywhere but toward the Earth. If it had been pointed here, well, we wouldn't be having the conversation, now, would we?

Here's another clip, a closer view but also viewed at a slightly different wavelength of light so you can see the shit falling back into the sun. It's pretty awesome to see the light flaring when the sun's own ejecta lands back on its surface.

Now, run that back and pay special attention to the place where the flare originates and watch it as the flare erupts. Did you see that dark circle running away from the epicenter of the explosion? That's a blast wave. On the surface of the sun. From where part of it blew out.

*takes hat off head and fans self*

Pardon me. I need to catch my breath.

Here's something cool, though. If you look at your keyboard right now, everything you see--the carbon that makes up your flesh and bones and the plastic keys to your keyboard, the aluminum that forms the frame, the hydrogen and oxygen that makes up most of that delicious cup of coffee sitting on your desk, even the calcium and phosphorus that makes up the ceramic of your coffee mug--all came from shit like this. The sun--or any star--burps out the atoms that make up pretty much everything (elements heavier than iron, though are made when the sun truly gets surly and goes supernova) when it ejects material out of itself like this. Most of that stuff fell back to the sun's surface, it's true, but some of it went floating off into the deep, dark nether regions of space and may, someday, turn into the coffee mug or ballpoint pen of some future denizen of Earth. Or it could go further out and be incorporated into some alien life form's civilization.

That's pretty fucking beautiful, if you ask me (and I know you did...why else would you be here if you didn't want to know?), even if the sun could, tomorrow, point one of those blasts directly at the Earth. If it happened, we'd have about eight minutes to call our loved ones and hurry to the shelters where we can bend over and kiss our asses good-bye.

Kind of warms the heart a little, right? Well, good. Now that your heart is warm, it matches the rest of this hellish weather, doesn't it?

Where's my damned scotch and water?


Wynn said...

I'm totally blown away by the fact that that actually happened and is real. I mean, the sun in general is amazing. And I LOVE watching the moon with the feeling that it actually is the sun shining on it, and that it's out there.

Oh, and btw, shouldn't a banana hammock relieve you of problems with stickage? I tried getting bf into trying it when he complained but he flat out refused. Try it (and take pictures!)!

Elliott said...

I just want to know who's sacrificing his or her retinas to watch for shit like this?

Of course, I might take this as a sign that I should stop paying my bills and invest in better Scotch now. Seems convenient to me.

Pearl said...

Well that explains a lot over here in Minnesota. Today's heat index -- worse than yesterday's but not as bad as tomorrow's is predicted -- is 115 at 5:00. In time to walk to yoga.

I've had a headache since Sunday.


Anonymous said...

Spectacular vids. Hot? It was only 89 here in Atlanta yesterday. High of 91 today. Of course, it was 105 last week, so...

Bev said...

Wow, very cool videos! Loved your explanations, too, Mr. Nye. Who knew science was so... hot?

Looking forward to that heat wave hitting the east coast this weekend. NOT.

Hart Johnson said...

That IS pretty fucking beautiful! Very cool. Though now I'm frightened. I might have soiled my armor if it weren't too hot to wear armor today. How often do those happen? And how likely is one that IS pointed toward earth? And how close would it need to be to cause major freaking problems... something else to be paranoid about...

DEZMOND said...

it's 107*F here in Europe! I'm not sure how I'm still alive and not zombified!