Wednesday Reads: Eclipse From Reality…Hump Day Cartoons

Cartoon by MStreeter -

08/09/2017 Cartoon by MStreeter


The upcoming total eclipse is big news here in Georgia. I am sure it is making the rounds of top stories in states where folks will observe the complete and total event. In Banjoville they are closing the school:

Solar eclipse 2017: Some schools close on Aug. 21, traffic plans during eclipse |

Expect heavy traffic along the path of totality for the Aug. 21 complete solar eclipse. (Contributed photo/Department of Transportation)

Areas along the prime viewing path of the Aug. 21 complete solar eclipse are bracing for an influx of visitors and traffic.

In Nashville, the city’s school board has opted to close on the day of the eclipse. According to the Tennessean, more than 400 teachers and 100 bus drivers were scheduled to be off that day, with only a half-day possible for high schoolers and no pre-kindergarten. School officials cited other concerns in deciding to close, including heavy traffic.

Dubbed the “Great American Eclipse,” the main viewing path – or path of totality – for the complete solar eclipse spans from Oregon to South Carolina and includes portions of Tennessee. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park part of the viewing path and has several activities planned on that day.

My daughter works for the Georgia DNR, at Vogel State Park, and they are expecting to close the park because they will have reached full capacity within an hour after the park opens on Aug. 21st.

Concerns over traffic tie ups are growing as the eclipse nears. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, some 200 million people – a little less than 2/3 of the nation’s population – live within a day’s drive of the path of the total eclipse.

The traffic will not be the only effect this eclipse brings…5 surprising effects the total solar eclipse will have besides darkness

Subtle differences may be noticed in areas that only experience a partial solar eclipse, but much bigger changes will take place along the narrow path from Oregon to South Carolina that see a total eclipse of the sun.

1. 360-degree sunrise/sunset

While everyone’s attention will be focused on the sky, looking down can reveal another scene that not many have experienced.

Spectators that look at the horizon during totality will witness the colors of sunrise and sunset around them in every direction.

This 360-degree sunset effect is caused by the light from the sun in areas outside of the path of totality and only lasts as long as the face of the sun is covered by the moon.

2. Stars and planets

As the moon causes day to turn to night, the darkness will reveal the stars in the sky as well as a few planets.

People shouldn’t waste too much time looking for planets and constellations since many of these can be seen at night during different parts of the year. However, the eclipse will make it easy to spot Mercury, a planet that can be tricky to spot due to its close proximity to the sun.

I hope many of you get a chance to see these…Number 4 on the list has a historical record to match…

The celestial alignment will also reveal the sun’s corona, the area of hot gas the surrounds the sun.

A few lucky spectators may even be fortunate enough to see a meteor streak across the sky during the brief period of darkness.

3. Light pollution and city lights

Those watching the total solar eclipse from a city, parking lot or street corner may still see some light during the brief period of totality.

This light will not be from the sun, but rather streetlights that automatically turn on when it gets dark outside.

These automatic lights will not ruin the eclipse, but it may make it more difficult to spot planets and stars in the sky during totality.

4. Temperature change

Not only will an eclipse cause the environment to appear different, but also feel different.

“When sunlight fades at twilight, we always notice how things start to cool down. The same is true for the temporary dimming during a total solar eclipse,” NASA said.

Depending on factors such as the time of year, cloud cover and the length of totality, the air temperature can drop more than 20 degrees F.

During a solar eclipse in 1834, the air temperature in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania reportedly dropped by 28 degrees F.

Astronomers aren’t expecting the temperature to drop quite that much, but people may still feel the temperature drop by around 10 degrees F.

Here is a graph of the temperature change from a total eclipse in Zambia, 2001;Credit/Dr. Mitzi Adams NASA/MSFC:

temp change eclipse

The fifth thing you can see is something called Shadow Snakes. Now this one is a bit more tricky to witness, and does not always occur:

5. Shadow snakes

One of the rare phenomenon to look for during the total solar eclipse is something called shadow bands or shadow snakes.

“Shadow bands are thin, wavy lines of alternating light and dark that can be seen moving and undulating in parallel on plain-colored surfaces immediately before and after a total solar eclipse,” NASA said.

Some people also call these shadow snakes since their wavy motion can look like snakes slithering on the ground.

The article says if you want to see them, it is best to put a piece of white poster board or sheet on the ground and keep a close eye on the lookout for them. There is a video of the Shadow Snakes at the link, so please go and take a look at that…it took me a few minutes to realize what I was watching, until I noticed the faded glimpse of shadows streaking across the white portion of the screen. Very faint and difficult to see. It is almost like looking at those popular 3-d posters from back in the day…you would have to stare into them a long time and then pow…you saw it.


I have been actively avoiding the news the past week and a half. First because my aunt and family were in town, then it became a natural defense mechanism. The few times I did come out to see what was going on, stories of nuclear catastrophe caught my attention:

Trump Threatens ‘Fire and Fury’ Against North Korea if It Endangers U.S. – The New York Times

 President Trump threatened on Tuesday to unleash “fire and fury” against North Korea if it endangered the United States, as tensions with the isolated and impoverished nuclear-armed state escalated into perhaps the most serious foreign policy challenge yet of his administration.

In chilling language that evoked the horror of a nuclear exchange, Mr. Trump sought to deter North Korea from any actions that would put Americans at risk. But it was not clear what specifically would cross his line. Administration officials have said that a pre-emptive military strike, while a last resort, is among the options they have made available to the president.

“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” Mr. Trump told reporters at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., where he is spending much of the month on a working vacation. “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

What the fuck? It made me welcome this bloody story out of Australia:


If you can’t see that video from Time magazine…here’s two articles for ya…

Flesh-Eating Sea Fleas Feast on Teen’s Feet at Australian Beach – Motherboard

It’s not shark jaws you have to be worried about, but microscopic pincers.

If you’re terrified of the ocean because of sharks, you should reconsider—the real thing you need to be afraid of is invisible.

As reported by Australian news outlet The Age, 16-year-old Sam Kanizay decided to cool off after a difficult football practice on Saturday night by taking a dip in the water at the Dendy Street Beach in southeastern Australia. When he came out, his legs were dripping with blood.

Sam Kanizay’s father, Jarrod Kanizay, told Australian news that his son didn’t know he was bleeding until he stepped out of the water.

“He went back to his shoes and what he found was blood on his legs. As soon as we wiped them down, they kept bleeding,” he said. “There was a massive pool of blood on the floor [at the hospital].”

But the culprit wasn’t sharks, stingrays, or any of the usual suspects in marine attacks on humans.

Tiny ‘meat-loving’ marine creatures ‘eat’ teenager’s legs at Melbourne beach | Australia news | The Guardian

Experts left stunned by possible sea lice bites after Sam Kanizay emerged from the beach at Brighton with severe bleeding


University of New South Wales marine invertebrates expert, Alistair Poore, said he had never seen a case like it.

Poore told Guardian Australia the biting must have been caused by a marine invertebrate, most likely sea lice. But he said a large number of sea lice would be needed to cause such extensive bleeding.

“If it is sea lice, then it is a pretty dramatic example of it,” Poore said.

He said often beachgoers mistook stinging from the remnants of jellyfish tentacles with bites. But Poore said the bleeding in this case appeared too severe for that scenario.


The next night, Kanizay went back to the beach with a pool net full of meat and captured the creatures he said were responsible.

“What is really clear is these little things really love meat,” he said of a video showing the bugs in a tray of water devouring chunks of meat.

Now that is some scary shit.

Forget all about Marabunta…


Now for some cartoons.

08/09/2017 Cartoon by Jimmy Margulies

Cartoon by Jimmy Margulies -


Clay Bennett editorial cartoon: 08/09/2017 Cartoon by Clay Bennett

Cartoon by Clay Bennett - Clay Bennett editorial cartoon

Cartoonist Gary Varvel: Trump vacation Tweets: 08/09/2017 Cartoon by Gary Varvel

Cartoon by Gary Varvel - Cartoonist Gary Varvel: Trump vacation Tweets

08/09/2017 Cartoon by David Horsey

Cartoon by David Horsey -

08/02/2017 Cartoon by David Horsey

Cartoon by David Horsey -

08/09/2017 Cartoon by Kevin Siers

Cartoon by Kevin Siers -

08/09/2017 Cartoon by Joe Heller

Cartoon by Joe Heller -

08/05/2017 Cartoon by Joel Pett

Cartoon by Joel Pett -

Playing the Country Card: 08/09/2017 Cartoon by Jen Sorensen

Cartoon by Jen Sorensen - Playing the Country Card

Judge Jury and Executioner in the Philippines War on Drugs: 08/09/2017 Cartoon by Angelo Lopez

Cartoon by Angelo Lopez - Judge Jury and Executioner in the Philippines War on Drugs

Working Vacation: 08/09/2017 Cartoon by Adam Zyglis

Cartoon by Adam Zyglis - Working Vacation

This is an open thread….

40 Comments on “Wednesday Reads: Eclipse From Reality…Hump Day Cartoons”

  1. dakinikat says:

    That last one is a hoot.

  2. Minkoff Minx says:

    I hope everyone is doing ok…we got the results of Jake’s biopsy, it is not cancer. He has eczema, but the doctor did not prescribe him anything or tell him what he could do to help with the condition. Drives us insane. My mom is stable, so the oncologist is going to wait and see with her…checking her regularly. I guess the chemo is still working?

    We brought the puppy home, at least he is holding his own against the pug. His name Lorenzo didn’t fit his personality. He is a tough little bugger. So after some time with us, we decided to call him Chanchito. Little piggy. Chito for short.

    • NW Luna says:

      What a cutie! Sweet pup. He will help take you mind off the crazy stuff happening elsewhere.

      Good to hear your mom’s stable. Suppression from the chemo can last quite a while and even be permanent depending on status of cancer. And really good that Jake’s biopsy is nonmalignant!

    • Enheduanna says:

      omgosh Chito is adorable! You’ve got your hands full now! hahahahaha

      That’s wonderful news about Jake’s biopsy. I have a light touch of psoriatic arthritis that leaves patches on elbows and even my upper thigh (left side). Skin problems are really hard to diagnose and treat. Drink tons of water for sure.

    • NW Luna says:

      JJ, This is a technical review of what works & doesn’t for excema:
      I’ll looking for layperson language current articles.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Good news about Jake. If he has eczema, there are lots of over-the counter treatments or he could get a prescription for cortisone cream.

      • NW Luna says:

        There’s a type of intense eczema which is a lot harder to control, especially with OTC treatment, however there should be some Rx agents which reduce the intensity.

        • dakinikat says:

          I have that. It’s living hell.

        • Minkoff Minx says:

          What otc cream do you recommend Luna?

          • dakinikat says:

            Triderma is my go to…But he should get one with colloidial oatmeal like aveeno or Goldbond, then get one with a cortizone if it gets too drastically itchy … then the other thing I use religiously after a bath or shower is Walgreen’s vaseline and shea butter. I’ve never EVER found anything more emollient than that.

            Also, tell him to never use soaps or detergents with fragrances or dyes. Stick to everything clean and clear and hypoallergenic. Detergents can set me off a mile away.

          • NW Luna says:

            Completely agree with dak.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        I tell you BB, it has been difficult waiting for those results.

    • Enheduanna says:

      Another home remedy I found helps somewhat with skin rash and itchiness is rinsing with distilled water. Water here in GA is typically hard and full of fluoride and chlorine. Just a sprinkle of distilled water to finish washing face or showering is very soothing.

    • Enheduanna says:

      JJ – apologies for all my unsolicited “advice” – most of which you probably already know. I have very sensitive skin – I can’t even use shampoo with sulfates or I get pimples on the back of my neck.

      Anyway – avoid really hot showers and baths. Avoid soaps and lotions with perfumes and dyes. Aveeno makes some good products with colloidal oatmeal.

      Good luck with treatments for Jake!

    • quixote says:

      Excellent paper NWLuna found. The gist from the summary is:

      There was reasonable evidence of benefit for the topical medications tacrolimus, pimecrolimus and various corticosteroids (with tacrolimus superior to pimecrolimus and corticosteroids) for both treatment and flare prevention; … Perhaps the greatest benefit identified is the use of twice weekly anti-inflammatory treatment [i.e. the drugs mentioned above] to maintain disease remission.

      Chiggers are the thing I react to with even more itching than most people. I’ve actually scratched open bleeding wounds in my sleep! Well, back in the day, one of my students was a guy from rural Texas whose granny had been a sharecropper. He said she had a trick for dealing with any kind of itching.

      You take very hot liquid — water, coffee, anything at hand — dip a paper towel or a cloth in it, squeeze out some excess wetness so it doesn’t run all over everywhere (being careful not to burn yourself) and then, while it’s as hot as you can stand it (but not so hot you burn yourself!) you hold it on the itching area for a second or two. Lift to reduce the heat, reapply. Dip again to reheat and reapply until the itch is gone. Usually takes maybe half a minute and it’s gone for hours.

      When you first apply the heat, there’s a flare like the way an itch feels when you first start scratching. But unlike scratching, it makes the itch go away.

      I know this works wonders on insect bites. But I don’t know how eczema would react to moist heat. If it was me, I’d experiment on a small spot, maybe? After asking the doctor whether heat is a definite no-no.

      I know it sounds crazy that something so simple could be so effective and so unknown. I remember giving the student one of those definitely professorial looks. He said yeah, people won’t even try it. But I was desperate, so I did, and then just boggled.

      Anyway, sorry for the long story, but I’m on a bit of a mission to spread the word about Fieldhand Gran’s Super Soother.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        That is a great story, I have heard some say coffee grounds and tobacco helps with stings from bees or wasps.

        • Enheduanna says:

          Don’t laugh but I heard saliva (spit) – applied immediately to a mosquito bite neutralizes the poison. I’m honestly not sure it works although I’ve tried it.

      • NW Luna says:

        Heat will cause an intense production of histamine (what feels itchy and increases inflammation/swelling), and generally then the body will not be able to produce histamine again for a while — it’s been depleted and needs time to build up again.
        So immersing body part (if possible) in hot water does the same thing.

        Also anything which is occlusive, such as a thick layer of mud or coffee grounds or similar can help soothe and quiet the nerves which report itch signal.

        There are often physiological reasons behind some of these folk recommendations!

        • quixote says:

          Ah ha! The histamine over-production – depletion explanation makes sense. Thanks for that. I was thinking maybe the localized super-high-fever, so to speak, destroyed neurotransmitters or something, which is sort of on the right track but not quite there :D.

          Calamine lotion used to be the occlusive layer people used, but for me the itch would always just keep right on going underneath all that.

          I’ve often wished I could visit that old student of mine and tell him what a huge contribution he made to my life! Sadly, I lost touch but the last I heard he’d emigrated to Panama and was living in the cloud forest, studying euglossine bees for all I know.

  3. NW Luna says:

  4. Enheduanna says:

    Here is a fun site for calculating what the eclipse will look like from your location:

    ATL will have very close to totality but only 20 – 40% chance of clear skies. I’m debating a long drive to South Carolina; weather will determine if we make that effort or not.

    • NW Luna says:


    • Minkoff Minx says:

      I saw that Tallulah Falls was one of the prettiest places to view the eclipse…that is closer than SC…and if it is cloudy you still have a beautiful day.

      • Enheduanna says:

        I tried to get the gang to do NE Georgia mountains but they had to have a hotel night so ended up in Trenton SC. That is a straight shot out I-20, but a three-hour drive. There are two of us planning to drive the day of the eclipse.

        It’s all good – my car needs a long run on the open highway and I could use a brain-clearing road-trip myself.

  5. NW Luna says:

  6. Sweet Sue says:

    Good news all around, J J. And, yes, Chito is adorable. What is he-a Peke?

  7. NW Luna says:

  8. NW Luna says: