180: Is Sunset A Local Phenomenon? January 6, 2022 10:40 AM   Subscribe

I checked in with management and apparently we have to do a 2022 now even though we just finished wiht 2021. Jessamyn and I do our best to roll into the new year and talk about MetaFilter stuff and get in a philosophical discussion of the nature of the literal horizon qua solar objects. Runs about 90 minutes.

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- Jessamyn's 2021 wrapup
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- Elmo says worker's rights

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posted by cortex (staff) to MeFi Podcast at 10:40 AM (27 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

i guess i am one of the eleven listeners in the audience, but i really do enjoy the podcast. i hope you all keep it up.
posted by mumblelard at 4:48 AM on January 7, 2022 [2 favorites]

Yeah, I also enjoy the podcast. Do you have any idea of how many people do listen? I assume it is actually more than eleven people?
posted by bondcliff at 7:08 AM on January 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

I am listener 69
posted by wheelieman at 7:35 AM on January 7, 2022 [3 favorites]

I think we got up to more like 20 listeners last time around. I used to read the language(hat|log) blogs all the time and miss the one that posted here on occasion, got in a bit of a tuff with them but discovered their Russian is like my Japanese good on the linguistic bits like syntax and grammar, can text/mail chat pretty well, just rather limited vocabulary and have never really spoken it.

Oh and like boot heels, never trust the eraser on an old pencil. The rubbery eraser like magic has evaporated into a hard lump that will just smear things instead of erase.
posted by zengargoyle at 8:46 AM on January 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

posted by cortex (staff) at 9:39 AM on January 7, 2022 [2 favorites]

Do you have any idea of how many people do listen? I assume it is actually more than eleven people?

I do not. I feel like maybe someone knows but until that time, my needle is pinned at 11.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:33 AM on January 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

Sunset is a complicated question. If the sun going behind a building counts, my home experiences an average of roughly 1.5 hours of daytime throughout the year. Maybe 1.75 if sunlight reflecting off the windows across the alley counts. But, it's never actually been dark enough that I couldn't read in the living room with all the lights turned off at 2am, so I'm tempted to argue that it's never actually night in a city. Which is good and bad.

Twlight, in its various forms, is equally arbitrary, but at least is well defined, historically. I once got cold-called by a lawyer who wanted to pay me to be an expert witness regarding definitions of twilight and visibility in a case involving a car hitting a pedestrian in the early evening. I told him I was entirely unqualified and turned it down. (I probably know more about both optics and the solar system than an average juror. But, many people know more than me.)

I also think, "what's a long, detailed thing that you find fascinating but you realize everyone else in the world thinks is boring" is a pretty good perpetual mefi topic of discussion. Even if the question is formed a bit differently.
posted by eotvos at 11:04 AM on January 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

Driving through West Virginia in the afternoon a couple weeks ago and we passed by a couple one-street towns on the north side of a steep hill and I wondered for a moment whether it gets any direct sunlight at all in the winter; if not, does it have sunsets?
posted by ardgedee at 4:00 PM on January 7, 2022

I saw the mefi podcast was up and is it bad that my first thought was "yay, something to listen to while scrubbing poop!" ?

Coronacast was back early from their summer break (not a good sign. Brown trousers and bicycle clips indeed) - I listened to that one instead.

I'm currently watching (via camera) the cutest pooper* attempt to fall asleep by herself- she's not overtired today having taken a decent nap and is doing much better than yesterday, thankfully a return to cheerful chatter instead of angry crying protests. (Yes! asleep!)

So there's a basket of clean nappies that needs hanging, so I'm looking forward to digging in to the podcast shortly.

* (in this house at least, title for cutest pooper will be contested later this year, suspect there will be a tie declared.)
posted by freethefeet at 1:27 AM on January 8, 2022

Cortex are those your actual cat names or are they pseudonyms (pawdonyms?) to protect their identities online?
posted by freethefeet at 1:33 AM on January 8, 2022


Thanks for entertaining us.
posted by jaruwaan at 6:48 AM on January 8, 2022

Loved this episode!
posted by ellieBOA at 7:57 AM on January 8, 2022

Those are the actual names; Freyja was what we named one of a pair of kittens we got yeeears ago, the other being Frigg who sadly got sick several years ago and died. And then we went back to the Humane Society and adopted a new cat and named her Boaty McBoatface during the one moment in time when that felt entirely justifiable, and it took a couple tries to get the vet to understand that her name was Boaty and not e.g. Bodhe.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:58 AM on January 8, 2022 [2 favorites]

(Oh, also, when I checked the feedreader metrics on the podcast feed a while back the number of downloads was on the order of like upper hundreds, so that's something. Narrowing that down to (a) people actively downloading vs. rolling on inertia and (b) actively listening vs. just adding it to a pile of stuff they might get to is much trickier.)
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:00 AM on January 8, 2022 [2 favorites]

Heh, sun(rise|set):
Pure geometry math: 0 center of sun at horizon; -0.25 upper limb at horizon
Atmospheric refraction: -0.583 center; -0.833 upper limb
Moot: -6 civil twilight (no reading outside w/o illumination; -12 nautical (can't horizon navigate); -15 amateur astronomical (can pretty much see the stars); -18 astronomical (completely dark)

So says the module that drives this:

$ sunclock
子   丑   寅   卯   ▃▃   辰   巳   午   未   申   酉   戌   亥   子
2359 0219 0439 0659 0733 0839 1020 1200 1340 1520 1700 1920 2140 0000
Which doesn't seem to format properly here. This is the Japanese version of hour of the 'rat,ox,tiger,rabbit,dragon,snake,horse,goat,monkey,rooster,dog,pig' where each of the midnight-sunrise-noon-sunset-midnight natural divisions is broken into 3 equal parts.

Both the Chinese and Japanese used to do this and there are old clocks where the 'numbers' actually move around the face of the clock so the hands keep tracking the 24 hour day but point to the right space. They're pretty cool.

So here in LA midnight was at 2359, sunrise 0659, it was 0733 when I ran this and it shows how far along we are, noon is wow 1200 actually, sunset 1700, next midnight is at exactly 0000.
posted by zengargoyle at 8:05 AM on January 8, 2022 [2 favorites]

Oh, heh.... 180 degrees == abstract sunrise-sunset half a day. snort.
posted by zengargoyle at 8:45 AM on January 8, 2022

I pronounce it interNAYscene, fwiw. Not that I have much reason to say it aloud.
posted by janell at 3:12 PM on January 8, 2022 [1 favorite]

I mostly do not listen but I listened yesterday. It was fun. For a while I listened to each and every but that's a bit lin the past.

re: Sunset. It's actually the earth that is setting, it's an earth-centric thing to think that the sun sets around us, whereas it's actually the earth setting each day.

The sun is of course moving, as is everything in spacetime, but it's not moving relative to us, we are moving relative to it.

Now, the moon rises and sets around the earth.

Which doesn't mean I don't love to watch the sun as the earth spins us into that golden hour. I watched it happen today, here in Austin, and there was no golden, the sky grayed out, but it's still really pretty; I *really* love it when it's that luminous soft gray-purple, the clouds lower down, but still it's pretty on the river, and on all of the mirrored buildings of the Austin skyline; the buildings pick up the gray of the sky *and* the light off the river, also.

The sky in Chicago is so often that luminous silver-purple-gray, about 30 or 35 minutes a day, about 5 or 6 months of the year. I love to be downtown on afternoons like that, it's really a show if you think to notice it. It's absolutely my favorite time to be in The Art Institute, they've a lot of galleries on the top floor with big skylights in them and that light from outside finds its way inside, plus it finds its way into my heart, too, and I'm generally pretty happy.
posted by dancestoblue at 6:22 PM on January 8, 2022 [2 favorites]

Yay, Shepherd's Christmas post made the podcast! I am definitely toying with the idea with somehow subjecting my street to Noddy yelling "IT'S CHRIIIIIIIISTMAAAAAS!" once during the next holiday season for one hour.
posted by Kitteh at 5:11 AM on January 9, 2022 [2 favorites]

I'll listen tomorrow. Thanks for the links in these posts. I never miss an episode.
posted by kingless at 1:29 PM on January 9, 2022 [1 favorite]

I listen! I find it interesting that the posts I read and interact with rarely intersect with the ones called out by cortex and jessamyn. I like to dive into and lurk on the really long threads on the blue (I'm a secret drama llama at heart), and keep most of my posting to Fanfare. I rarely go to Ask but sometimes I check out the ones you mention. Anyway, hello! Thanks for keeping me company while I scoop litterboxes, chop vegetables, fold laundry, and go on walks.
posted by j.r at 10:18 PM on January 9, 2022 [1 favorite]

I always intend to listen . . . .
posted by JanetLand at 5:56 AM on January 11, 2022

I'm told it's "inter-NEH-scene," but a lot of theologians (me included) pronounce it "inter-NICE-ene" by way of false analogy(/false etymology) to the Council of Nicaea. For a long dang time I did think that's where the word came from, the pointlessly hypertechnical but frequently violent theological debates that spurred the convening of the Council. (It does not, it's just a regular Latinate word.)

I hooooooope that if I were going to use the word in a speech I would remember that I pronounce it wrong, and mark it in my text so I'd pronounce it right? But, uh, I think I might not remember that, unless someone specifically asked me how it was pronounced. I definitely never remember it when I'm saying the word in regular conversation.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:19 AM on January 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

I realize now I managed to mention the Nicene creed without even thinking about whether I remembered it. Which maybe I do? In part? The whole "we believe in one holy and apostolic church" one? My exposure to Catholic dogma and liturgical jargon was all pretty contextless and imparted on a single-digit-age Josh by not so much force as a resigned osmosis. The analogy between Catholic prayer recitations and the Pledge of Allegiance is pretty solid in terms of shit adults made me recite as a kid in service to a philosophy of power they didn't get around to actually convincing me to buy into.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:06 PM on January 14, 2022

I had managed to forget the mysterious bird your neighbor had and now you remind me only to leave the question unanswered?!?! No worries. I’ll just pretend it’s a super common East coast species.
posted by hydrobatidae at 9:58 AM on January 22, 2022

I just had a think. About dogfood. I have several stories about dogfooding.

The best is OMG my first job out of college was writing/editing the SOP (Standard Operating Practices) for Hill's Pet Products (Hills Pet Nutrition - Dog & Cat Food Transforming Lives).

LOL, seriously.... I have written/edited/whatever a linear meter of shelf space on goddamn actually making literal dogfood. And cat food and monkey chow and lion kibble (they do zoo like stuff as well).

Fun job, but as my Ex Air Force Documentation Specialist boss/contractor/gig-thing taught me early on.... write for an 8th grade education level.

I have a lot of geek dogfood stories but I just made the connection to the OMG I wrote the book on dogfood.

Hope you lol.
posted by zengargoyle at 2:32 AM on January 30, 2022 [2 favorites]

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