Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
April 2018
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Night magic

Look, the photos are lousy to the point that I really shouldn’t bother posting them but tonight was kind of magical. It was a Scout night, and we were doing stuff outside, and there was some cloud about, but one of the biggest aurorae that I have ever seen decided to “go off” and it was visible to the naked eye not far from the centre of the city of Hobart.

I first saw it as a glow, with a brief flare that made me more confident that it wasn’t merely light pollution on the clouds, but later it brightened and varied more strongly, rippling and swelling with glowing greens. The Scouts were enthralled when I pointed it out to them (they hadn’t been convinced earlier when it was fainter), and we stood out in the street, shading our eyes from the street lights, watching the magic. I realised I had my little camera and so I grabbed it and took some shots (the third one was actually taken later in the evening, from Rosny Hill). Unfortunately the camera can only manage a 1 second exposure, and cranking up the ISO setting to capture more light has the down-side of making for a “noisier” photo (visual static), and the shots were handheld while propped against various objects … and so the photos are useless from an artistic point of view (indeed, I am jealous of some of the great shots I’ve seen on facebook tonight, taken by folk using tripods and good equipment and in better locations). These pictures will, however, remind me of the awesomeness of standing in a suburban street, with a bunch of kids seeing their very first aurora, and gazing into the sky as one of nature’s more spectacular night-time phenomena did its thing.

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