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The Total Solar Eclipse of 2017

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Washington DC did not see a total solar eclipse, but there was at least one small part of it in the path of totality on August 21st — in Nebraska.

These four sandstone columns were once part of the Department of the Treasury, until they were detached in 1908 and moved to Pioneers Park, Lincoln, Nebraska in 1916. It was to this artifact of historic Washington that I traveled, to watch the moon slide in front of the sun and shroud the area in darkness, above me a ring of silvery coronal fire piercing through darkened clouds.

Eclipse 2017

I had read that the experience of totality produced a kind of primal fear in some viewers, an irrational sense of ominous doom; or in others, a sense of expanded cosmic awareness of the universe. I didn’t feel any of that, but I did get goose bumps of awe. (It’s entirely possible that I just live in a constant state of ominous doom and cosmic awareness.) Mostly I just stared at that silvery ring, mumbling to myself, “There’s the shadow, ooooh prominences, wooow” while letting the camera trigger run through exposure cycles.

Eclipse 2017 Single LE HDR Exposure Eclipse 2017 Single LE HDR Exposure Eclipse 2017 Single LE HDR Exposure Eclipse 2017 Single LE HDR Exposure

Post-totality I also met Thomas, who didn’t just watch the eclipse, he was the eclipse. We talked a bunch about space and forklifts and Nebraska and DC, and he gave me a ride back to my parking spot.

Portrait of Man as Solar Eclipse

This was a same-day round trip and sadly there wasn’t time to drive into Lincoln and see the sights before going to the airport. Instead I hiked around Pioneers Park a bit to see the Prairie and Nature Centers. There was an injured barn owl at the Nature Center who had gotten used to waking at daytime hours to interact with guests. Apparently she had fallen asleep during totality, thinking it was night, and was still sleeping when I got there.

Pioneers Park
Pioneers Park
Sleepy Barn Owl, Pioneers Park Nature Center

It was a 22 hour journey, much of it spent aboard planes, in airports, or driving a rental Nissan Rogue around the Lincoln area, all for a minute and a half of cloudy celestial twilight above four grimy sandstone columns. It was worth the trip.

Total Solar Eclipse at The Columns

Full eclipse photoset here, and GoPro eclipse video here.

Next total solar eclipse on Earth will be 2 July 2019 over Chile and Argentina, and next total solar eclipse to cross North America will be 8 April 2024; so make your plans now, I guess?

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sillygwailo
23 days ago
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Toronto, ON
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Prelude to an Eclipse

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I’m on a plane to Lincoln, Nebraska, looking out the window at a sun soon to be obscured by the moon.

Clouds above and below IAD-ORD-LNK

I hadn’t originally planned to travel for the Great American Eclipse of 2017, figuring it would be enough to glance at the partial eclipse from DC today; but then I read the stories:

With all this I decided to give eclipse-chasing a try, and burned some airline reward miles on a same-day round trip to Lincoln, NE, with a car rental to get farther south and deeper into the shadow of totality. I’m torn between viewing the eclipse from Pioneers Park, which has four pillars that connect the eclipse site back to DC, or the Homestead National Monument, which will provide a full minute more of totality — precious seconds where an eclipse is involved — but as a NASA broadcast site and major venue event, will probably be more crowded. It’ll depend on the clouds more than anything else.

Of related interest: 18 second solar eclipse in Uganda, 2013.

(Many thanks to my wife and kid for letting me disappear to the heartland for a day to experience about two minutes of staring at a darkened sun.)

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sillygwailo
23 days ago
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Toronto, ON
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This is How Canada Talks

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Spread across a vast landmass, Canada’s roughly 30 million anglophones speak something called Canadian English. The stereotype often goes that Canadian English is a lot like American English in terms of both vocabulary and pronunciation, with significant influence from the British Isles, resulting in words like zed and spellings like colour and centre. A subtle Canadian accent that affects the vowels in words like about and write, and a collection of characteristic Canadian vocabulary like chesterfield, toque, poutine and bunnyhug, add to its uniqueness.

Wait, bunnyhug? Yes, bunnyhug is a very Canadian word (for a hooded sweatshirt), but you’ve probably never heard of it if you live outside of Saskatchewan. It turns out that there is a surprising amount of diversity within Canada when it comes to how we talk and the words we use. Of course, everyone knows about the characteristic English of Newfoundland, and regions like Cape Breton, Lunenberg and the Ottawa Valley also have unique ways of speaking. But even in other places that have no obvious reason to talk differently, Canadians have developed strong regionalisms.

“Convenience

Charles Boberg, an Associate Professor of Linguistics at McGill University, suggests that in addition to the influence of French as well as historical settlement patterns, much of our country’s language regionalism is due to “simple isolation.” While we can now easily communicate and interact with Canadians from all corners of the country, that was obviously not always the case. “[With] a relatively small population spread out over 5000 km … local cultures, which include unique vocabulary, have a chance to develop in each region, even over the relatively short time span of one or two centuries, without diffusing to other regions.” This isolation has given rise to some fascinating linguistic trends.

The Survey

To understand the different ways that Canadians speak, we conducted an online survey of English-speaking Canadians, asking 35 questions about everything from what you call a carbonated, sugary beverage (pop vs soda vs soft drink) to the preferred term for an evening meal (the great supper vs dinner debate). We then mapped the results, revealing some stark and surprising linguistic patterns across the country. In the maps that follow, each colour represents a term or pronunciation being most dominant in that region, and the intensity of the colour corresponds to its level of dominance there.

We collected over 9500 responses from across the country, including from every province and territory, as well as a significant number from interesting linguistic subregions like Cape Breton, Labrador and the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland. We also collected a significant number of responses from some of Canada’s most populous provinces, allowing us to study the differences between densely populated urban areas (like the Greater Toronto Area and southwestern BC) and more sparsely populated, rural areas (like Northern Ontario and the BC Interior). The maps show only Canadians who both grew up and currently reside in the same province or territory, which helps to isolate regional influences in language.

Canadianisms

Canada is known for some of its unique vocabulary, like chesterfield, toque, Kraft Dinner and even garburator. But how prevalent are these terms in reality, and what regions of the country embrace them most fully? Pop vs. Soft Drink


Toque vs. Hat


Pencil Crayons vs. Coloured Pencils vs. Leads


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Garburator vs. Garbage Disposal


Kraft Dinner vs. Macaroni and Cheese


“Pylons


Popularity of Chesterfield

Strong regionalisms

It can be easy to forget how diverse Canada is in terms of culture, politics, and of course, language. In these survey questions, we learned that there are striking regional differences in the words we use to describe some of the simplest ideas. “Supper


Runners vs. Running Shoes vs. Sneakers


“Cabin


Hoodie vs. Bunnyhug


“Cranky


Kickball vs. Soccer Baseball


Poster Board vs. Bristol Board

How we pronounce

The Canadian accent is sometimes stereotypically boiled down to a single word: “aboot”. But there is of course so much more to it than that, and an incredible amount of regional diversity. We examined a few such terms in our survey, including the pronunciation of words like caramel, decal and even the city of Toronto. CARE-A-MEL vs. CAR-MEL


Deckle vs. Dee-cal


Toronto - Final

Some surprising differences

Moving past some of the most obvious differences in the way Canadians speak, we learned that there continue to be some fascinating but subtle regional trend that govern the way we call everything from our monthly utility bill to our dinner table tools. Cutlery vs. Utensils vs. Silverware


Grades vs. Marks


Electric Pill vs. Hydro Bill


Rain Gutters vs. Eavestroughs


“Rubber

Methodology and Discussion

We are grateful for Professor Charles Boberg’s help and guidance in reviewing our survey and providing insight and historical context into the patterns that we observed. Our study is of course not the first to examine the different ways that Canadians speak, but is to our knowledge the largest national-level survey in scope and geographical diversity in Canada, reaching a significant number of respondents from every province and territory, as well as important linguistic subregions in the country.

Our online survey was conducted primarily via social media over a month in June 2017, gathering over 9500 responses. In our mapping, we restricted only to respondents who both grew up and currently live in the same province. For provinces with subdivided regions like Ontario or Nova Scotia, we mapped according to the region where the respondent grew up. We had at least 25 respondents in every province and subregion, but had many hundreds of responses in almost all areas except the Territories.

While our survey method provided an efficient means of getting many responses, our survey respondents are not representative of all Canadians in the standard statistical sense. Respondents to our survey provided their age and education level, and in aggregate they tended to skew younger and more educated than the overall population. As a result, some questions may display certain kinds of biases; for instance, the term chesterfield is known to be more common among older Canadians, so our data likely underestimates the prevalence of this term as compared to couch or sofa.

Nevertheless, as our analysis primarily focuses on geographic distributions, we are confident that the observed trends are real and meaningful. Indeed, our survey results for some well-studied variables in the linguistics community, like the name of a lakeside summer home (cabin/cottage/camp), the name of the evening meal, and others, closely match previous results. Consequently, Boberg notes that this “… suggest[s] that they represent real patterns and not chance findings influenced by [our] particular method.”

Some questions for our survey were adapted from previously studied language variables in past studies and surveys – including Boberg’s influential North American Regional Vocabulary Survey – while others were drawn from our own research and observations. The most interesting results were presented in this article.

We began with a set of mapping divisions used in the North American Regional Vocabulary Survey; that is, each province is treated as a single linguistic unit, while also subdividing British Columbia into two regions — the southwest urban Vancouver/Victoria region, and the rest — and Ontario into four regions — southwestern Ontario, the Greater Toronto Area, eastern Ontario, and northern Ontario. We then added the three territories, as we had sufficient data for each, as well as several interesting linguistic regions that to our knowledge had not been fully studied in a pan-Canadian survey such as this: Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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The post This is How Canada Talks appeared first on The 10 and 3.

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mkalus
27 days ago
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iPhone: 49.287476,-123.142136
sillygwailo
28 days ago
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Toronto, ON
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Day One Goes Premium

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Day One is evolving. We’re transitioning to a more stable subscription business model to ensure this app and these services always stick around.

This week we’re releasing the Day One Premium subscription service. It includes the ability to create more than ten journals and access all future premium features.

If you have already purchased Day One (version 2.0 and later), the features you currently have will always be yours to use without any additional cost. This includes encrypted sync, ten journals, multiple photos per entry, and all ongoing maintenance updates and improvements.

As an additional benefit for our existing customers, we’re offering Day One Premium for 50% off (regular price is $49.99).

Thank you for being a founding part of making Day One what it is today, a trusted platform for personal writing, special moments, and reflections on life.

For more information, check out the Day One Premium FAQ or contact us.

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sillygwailo
79 days ago
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Toronto, ON
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Day One Encryption

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(Repost from Medium)

When Day One launched in 2011, I knew that privacy would be an essential part of a great journaling app. We pour our deepest thoughts and feelings into this app, it should give us the assurance these remain private and secure.

In 2015, we launched Day One Sync as a replacement for iCloud and Dropbox sync, knowing we wanted to eventually offer web services (IFTTT, API, etc.) and applications on other platforms (Web, Android, Windows). Most importantly, it was the only way to create a proper solution to our most requested feature, end-to-end encryption.

We set a high bar for our small team, sync is hard, encryption is hard. It took two years for us to complete this project. During this time, we continued to move forward reading every 1-star review requesting encryption come sooner.

Today, I’m pleased to announce Day One Sync with private-key, end-to-end encryption is now available in version 2.2 of the Mac and iOS apps.

Day One is a trusted source for your personal data, thoughts, ideas, dreams, memories, etc. You own your data.

Day One iOS App Security Settings

“End-to-End” is a journal settings toggle alternative to “Standard” encryption on a per-journal basis. This approach allows us to continue developing additional applications and services for Day One, like our web and Android apps (curently in beta), without requiring the advancements of our encryption design. We will expand support for end-to-end encryption to all applications in the future.

You can learn more about end-to-end encryption, including our 3rd-party audit in our FAQ.

Thank you for your ongoing patience, trust, and support.

Paul

Day One iOS App Security Settings

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sillygwailo
79 days ago
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Toronto, ON
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What is retirement?

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With only a week left of work you would think it would be pretty easy to be ready for this. You’ve worked most of your life now you stop. The problem is the questions. What will you do because not doing anything seems almost obscene. What about all those people at work? Will you even see them again? What happens when your income is not dependent on getting up and going to work?

In a matter of seven days these questions will become less important because this new lifestyle will suddenly dictate your experience. One thing is certain — time will be your own to use as you choose. That new dimension will be so enjoyable. 






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sillygwailo
79 days ago
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Toronto, ON
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