Pryor Week #12: Moonshots, Stonehenge, and Stray cats
I escaped the city again on the weekend. It’s been a few months as the last time I ended up having a surprise gift of something called Covid, which wasn’t a very nice gift at all now that I think back.
Anyway, the moon last weekend was just insane.
Once you get out of the plethora of Asian city night lights and reside by the riverside with a cool breezy tip-of-the-island wind in your face, the sky just lights up to welcome you.
The shot above was one of my favorites from the weekend, even if it isn’t the most focused (perhaps my camera takes after me?). But there was another cool aspect to the moon those nights, it had an almost constant ring around it.
One might even say the ring was about a constant 22°.
A 22° halo, if you will.
“A 22° halo is an atmospheric optical phenomenon that consists of a halo with an apparent radius of approximately 22° around the Sun or Moon. When visible around the Moon, it is also known as a moon ring or winter halo. It forms as sunlight or moonlight is refracted by millions of hexagonal ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere.
Like other ice halos, 22° halos appear when the sky is covered by thin cirrus or cirrostratus clouds that often come a few days before a large storm front.”
Also note the tiny green UFO trying to distract me from the far cooler Moon Ring.
Not today, E.T., not today.
Some Cool Things This Week:
#1. Speaking of the moonlight
I learned something else on the weekend. Not out of curiosity, but because of a seemingly ridiculous claim by one of my friends.
“An object directly in the moonlight is colder than an object in the shade.”
Well, sort of.
At his insistence, I said I would do a mini-dive on the subject and write about it if I was wrong. And well, since this isn’t a full article on the subject, you can assume I was partly wrong—to my utter shock.
There’s something called radiative cooling, which at its core in this specific case (and don’t mind me butchering science), is when an object on a cloudless moonlit night sees its temperature lower slightly.
“Radiative cooling is commonly experienced on cloudless nights, when heat is radiated into space from the surface of the Earth, or from the skin of a human observer.”
And while my friend might insist this proves the rest of the theory—that somehow the moonlight actually absorbs heat—the science says otherwise.
If you put an object under a leafy tree in a shadow, the temperature won’t change. Put the same object in a shadow without a canopy overhead, and the temperature will probably drop slightly.
It’s like placing a lid on a boiling pot when the heat is radiating upwards. No lid (like in the moonlight), the heat escapes faster. With a lid (or canopy), the heat is reflected back down below.
Upon further digging into the subject, I found out my friend has likely been going down flat-earther rabbit holes without mentioning it. Cold moonlight is apparently a common theory in the group.
God, I hate algorithms.
#2. How thrifty is your significant other?
My folks’ anniversary is coming up, so I’m sure they’re both working on a master plan to outdo the other with their gifts. But I’d be shocked if they could outdo this guy’s “gift.”
Cecil Chubb once bought Stonehenge in 1915 using money from his brother-in-law’s inheritance, gifted to the couple.
A tidy little sum of £6,600, which would be over half a million in today’s equivalent. But it wasn’t just a nice gift for his wife with her money, he had another important reason—keeping it out of the hands of dirty, nasty, foreigners!
As the BBC writes about the time:
“In its preview story, the Daily Telegraph noted that the news of Stonehenge's sale was ‘enough to rouse the envy of all American millionaires who are bitten by the craze for acquiring antiques’. Preventing this might have influenced Chubb's purchase.”
And yet the fears of a legendary monument being acquired by Americans weren’t too far-fetched—the London Bridge was sold, dismantled, and moved in 1968 by an American entrepreneur named Robert P. McCulloch for $2,460,000.
Where to, you might ask?
Why, Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Because, of course!
🎵London bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down, into the traps of unbridled western capitalism.🎵
The bridge still stands to this day.
Even more amusingly, the legend says Cecil was sent out by his wife to buy a set of dining chairs—presumably not for half a million pounds. But if we wonder how angry Mrs. Chubb might’ve been, a clue later popped up.
In 1918, less than 3 short years later, Stonehenge was gifted to the British people with 2 conditions:
All of the money collected at the gate would go to the Red Cross until the end of WWI
Local residents should be allowed free admission to Stonehenge, permanently
Fortunately, both conditions were fulfilled, and residents are still free to visit the premises without paying, even today.
There’s a new, much-hyped game called Stray that just released today. In the game, you star as none other than a stray cat!
I think I’ll have to dabble in this one, it’s too purrfect of a concept.
This message has been brought to you by a non-lizard-king named J.J. Pryor.
🤞Click the heart thingy to titillate the algorithm’s cold dead cockles?🤞