GMIM: Lights, Eyes, and Lists

Welcome to another installment of Good mourning, it’s Monday! This weekly blog looks to cover various topics in the news, along with personal stories or encounters from the past week at home and work to help you through your first day back at work (unless you don’t work). Hopefully my seven followers like this and share this to make it eight. Enjoy…

(Unsuccessfully) Chasing the Northern Lights

 

You know the saying, “unless it’s absolutely guaranteed, don’t do it because you’ll look like a dummy”? Well, neither do I, but I should’ve used that advice last night.

So the nerds over at the National Weather Service reported a coronal mass ejection from the sun prior to the weekend. Basically, something on the sun exploded, shot plasma laser beam stuff towards Earth, and took a couple of days to arrive. If you want to act like you understand it, check out the Space Weather Conditions website. The result of this is an aurora in the sky, otherwise known as the Northern Lights.

After the weather folks reported it, local media stretching from the Midwest to New England ran with it and slapped it all over social media, evening news reports, and the front pages of their websites. The story had gone from “sun explosion plus certain weather conditions on Earth equals visual phenomenon” to “HOLY SHIT,, FOLKSS WE’rE GONNA SEE LIGHTS IN THE SKY!!”

Here’s the catch with these activities: conditions need to be absolutely perfect. Now perfect doesn’t mean it’s impossible; perfect just means it’s the right environment at the right time. New England winter is perfect for a two foot snow storm, but that’s simply how the Northeast is set up. Albuquerque would need truly perfect conditions to experience a harsh winter, but the only ice they’ve experienced is at the hands of Heisenberg.

For New Englanders to witness the Northern Lights last night, the following needed to take place:

  •  The Kp index (nerd scale 0-9 that shows the geomagnetic activity in the atmosphere with 1 being calm and 9 being high activity) needed to be close to 7 or above
  • No light obstruction from city skyscrapers or other lights
  • Absolutely clear skies with no clouds

The lady and I didn’t have a Kp index reader, but we did have a car that drove us an hour and a half into New Hampshire. From highway, to back roads, and through dirt paths that possibly inspired The Blair Witch Project, we found a spot next to a pond (on the side of the road) to put a blanket down and star gaze.

But that was pretty much it: stargazing. Turns out we forgot to pack our cloud displacer and we were left looking at all the stars. It was nice, don’t get me wrong, but when you travel a total of three hours to hunt down some Northern Lights and you get overcast skies instead, feeling disappointed is an understatement.

So let this be a lesson, kids: when it comes to things our simple brains can’t comprehend (space weather, stock market, Sammy Sosa’s ever-changing appearance), stay away unless it’s a guarantee.

UK surgeon finds 27 missing contact lenses in woman’s eye

[Source: Optometry Today] – A “blueish mass” of 17 contact lenses has been discovered in the eye of a patient who was scheduled for cataract surgery.

The 67-year-old patient was unaware that the contact lenses were missing, and later told surgeons that she thought her discomfort was due to dry eye and old age.

Specialist trainee ophthalmologist, Rupal Morjaria, told OT that another 10 individual contact lenses were discovered in the woman’s eye following further examination at Solihull Hospital.

The operating team, which included an ophthalmologist with more than 20 years of experience, were startled by the discovery, Ms Morjaria explained.

“None of us have ever seen this before,” she added.

“It was such a large mass. All the 17 contact lenses were stuck together. We were really surprised that the patient didn’t notice it because it would cause quite a lot of irritation while it was sitting there,” Ms Morjaria elaborated.

The patient had been wearing monthly disposable contact lenses for the past 35 years but did not attend regular optometrist appointments.

We’ve all done this type of thing. You’re sitting on the couch wasting your life away with video games and you drop a few dollars between the cushions. Or maybe you kick off your socks and lefty gets stuck underneath to collect dust for the next few months. I don’t wear contacts, but I’m sure this is the same case. Good old Agnes (I assume that’s her name) probably got all sexy’d-up for a night at bingo, had a few too many cups of decaf, and wound up passed out on the davenport next to the chifforobe without taking out her contacts. Classic move by Agnes to embark on a nearly four decade long Bingo Bender. For you stats geeks out there, that’s one forgotten contact every 15 months.

She believed the pain was from getting old, so it’s possible she was losing these contacts at a much faster rate recently. This leads me to beg the question: how many 67-year-old ladies are wearing contacts? I was under the impression everyone in retirement was forced to wear over-sized glasses with gold frames and a strap to prevent them from falling to the ground, but I guess this is what the ladies are doing these days. Grannies like Agnes want to stay hip and young, and this might be a good thing for single men in this country. Instead of guys being duped by teenagers dressing up and piling on makeup to look older, old single ladies have a chance to ditch the retirement look and take over as this great nation’s generation of cougars.

Guys might think this will be a catastrophic disaster in the dating world, but there’s two major benefits: no arrests for being with a minor, and you get your name in her will. You’d be a fool to pass up on that free cheddar. Just make sure she doesn’t pop too many Werther’s Original before going out. Can’t be losing eyeballs on account of getting turnt.

Bucket list goes viral, is definitely not fake or stupid

The Internet is a place that either brings me laughter and knowledge, or frustration and stupidity. The other day, I experienced the latter of the two.

An user I follow on Twitter retweeted an image of a hand-written summer bucket list for this year.

The tweet is from Sarah Sams, a student at Robert Morris University. She doesn’t exactly have a large Twitter following, nor does she appear to be some sort of online personality, but she’s an avid tweeter with 25k tweets and counting.

When I saw it in my timeline, I didn’t think much of it. A vague back story, mid to low quality photo, and a call to “make this go viral.” To me, just another attempt to be online famous. But I did a double take and realized it had been shared over 10,000 times. TEN-FREAKING-K.

The reactions to this? Good lord are they nauseating.

“This is a goddamn inspiration”

“This is amazing”

“We have to find this girl!”

Nine different websites shared the tweet, describing it as bizarre, innocent, hilarious, amazing, and the best. Of course, included in these websites are Daily Mail, Cosmopolitan, and BuzzFeed.

What I find strange is people both guessing her age and calling her an inspiration. Most people have guessed she’s between 15 and 17-years-old, which would basically have people saying, “OMG, this 16-year-old wants to run a lemonade stand, get drunk and high, have sex, and pet a giraffe? I need to live like this girl!”

I’m not trying to be the old man yelling at a cloud because I understand this tweet and reaction posts are targeted towards exactly the type of girls who would write lists like this, but you’re a dummy if you think this list was genuinely left in a dressing room by some random teenager. It was sent to the Twitter user by her “friend’s friend” who found it in an Urban Outfitters, the most cliché teenage store. And the call to “make this go viral” makes it come off as not being genuine. It doesn’t say, “let’s get this back to her,” or “how old do you think she is,” but it is discussed later. So was the purpose to share something interesting or gain followers online? Besides, why the hell would anyone bring a bucket list, especially this one, to the mall? The whole things smells of phony and I don’t like it one bit.

If somehow, someway this is a real bucket list from some teenager out there, God help you and thoughts & prayers to your father.

Have any stories to share? Suggestions? Feedback? Send them to ZacharyAdamGray@gmail.com or Tweet me @ZacharyAdamGray

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