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  How the Moon Sank the Titanic & more non-newsMar 08, 2012 3:52 AM PST | url
Added 1 new A* page:I used the ol' 0.5 mm mechanical pencil instead of the 2 mm lead holder for laying out today's page, and it was definitely helpful in terms of speed and precision of execution, so that's a plus.
And I think I learned something else, which is that if I'm going to cross my hatches--that is, if I'm going to create areas of thicker black and white "shading" by drawing a set of thin parallel lines on top of and perpendicular to a previous set of similar lines--I should probably turn the paper sideways first, so that I can draw the lines simply by moving my wrist and forearm in their natural arc across the paper; instead of doing that, I've been moving my wrist/forearm perpendicular to their own natural arc in order to draw the crossing lines, and that seems to tire out some rather unimaginative and whiny muscles in my forearm surprisingly quickly.
... I bet Crumb doesn't have this problem. :P
Some space tidbits I accidentally read today!
- Biggest Solar Storm in Five Years to Hit Earth Thursday
Fortunately, these things generally don't produce effects you and I would notice; they've been getting reported a lot lately (this latest one had an event with two nearly simultaneous "X" flares--the largest category--among other things) since there are now some spiffy observatories trained on the Sun and picking up the activity there in great detail, and they get into the mainstream news (ie, the news I accidentally see) quite frequently, but they don't really *do* a whole lot, usually, good.
In other uneventful space events, there was some article somewhere that I didn't even bother to bookmark today about some eggheads determining that yet another medium-sized near-Earth asteroid is not going to hit us, even though it will come closer than some satellites (within 22,000 miles or kilometers or something? I forget exactly). Which is also good. Still, this type of stuff is happening so often that I'm just going to have to start ignoring it, like I've already done for "discoveries" of new exoplanets, which have become a dime a dozen lately. (Heck, ten years ago everyone would've ignored this solar flare thing anyway, since "a decade ago, this type of solar storm happened a couple of times a year.")
- How the Moon Sank the Titanic
Now this one was actually rather novel. Basically, some sciency types noticed that several months before the Titanic's fateful rendezvous with the iceberg that sank it (Jan 3rd and 4th, 1912; the ship struck the iceberg and sank on April 15th), an unusual gravitational conjunction occurred in outer space: not only was the Earth at its annual closest point to the Sun, but the Moon was the closest it had been to Earth in 1,400 years (which is doubly interesting given that the Moon is very slowly getting farther and farther away from the Earth, in the bigger picture anyway); as a result, tides on Earth were the highest they had been "in many hundreds of years"--just in time, the theory goes, to shake free an unusually high number of icebergs to plague the shipping lane the Titanic would enter.
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