Monthly Archives: January 2012

Coriolanus again


Earlier in the week I wrote this:

And in the conflict between Rome and the Volscians, Shakespeare won.

I went back to the text and wrote down some of the questions which Shakespeare invites you to ask and which he never, never answers.  In the first act alone I found 58 small questions (things like: who if anyone really is stockpiling the grain?  how come the plebs know about Volumnia’s power over Caius Martius? why does Martius refuse the reward/shared booty for taking Corioles?) and 10 large ones (things like: what is the proper relationship between governors and governed in any civil society? what is the nature of courage?)  The Fiennes film, as far as I can tell on one viewing, asked many of the questions, and resisted the temptation to make up answers.  It makes watching the play (and the film)  unsettling and fascinating, like watching snakes under a blanket.

Transit of Io


I have been writing up the observing log for Sunday 15th, making fair copies of the sketches.  Difficult observing conditions, windy at ground level and turbulent air above making everything wobble.  It was like trying to look at a coin on the bottom of a swimming pool, through a telescope set on a springboard.

In the odd few seconds of steady seeing, Jupiter looked fantastic.

Postponing hypothermia


This is what I wear for astronomy nights.  It doesn’t stop you getting hypothermic, but it does give you an hour or two first.

Inside to out:  long vest, long-sleeved top, silk leggings, thermal leggings, very thick thermal socks, pullover 1, pullover 2, long skirt, long fleece dressing gown, padded coat, furry boots, scarf, 2 hats, and gloves.

Good thing astronomy is done in the dark…