Sunday, March 04, 2007

Eclipse Watching & "The Dark Arts"

Well, OK, that should be psychic arts, probably, but couldn't resist the Harry Potter-ish title!

We had a great time last night watching the lunar eclipse. Completely clear skies, it was lovely. Emily got her telescope and binoculars out and whilst the moon was "doing its thing" we also used some star charts to constellation spot, making out the plough, the pole star, Cassiopeia, Orion and his belt, Sirius, Gemini and part of Taurus. We did take lots of photos, but none of them came out particularly well - have yet to learn the art of photography in the dark!I promise those really are two pics of the moon, not just random blobs from paintshop pro!! And here's stargazer in chief:
Earlier yesterday evening, Jon did a fun psychic test for me and Emily. At least, it started out as a bit of fun, but Emily's results would certainly have delighted Professor Trelawney (mine, on the other hand, were rubbish!). For the test, Jon drew us each a set of five identical sybmols/pictures placed in envelopes, and as we held the envelopes we independently tried to sense what they were. I should add that no, you couldn't see through the envelopes (I tried!) and anyway, Emily was sitting on the floor in front of me as she worked and wasn't cheating in any way (the very suggestion! She'd be very offended I've written that!). Jon deliberately stayed out of the room while we were doing it so there was no chance of his facial expressions giving something away or anything like that, and had told us nothing except that each envelope held a shape, symbol or picture. Emily and I also didn't discuss it or show one another what we'd drawn.

Emily's first two were partial matches: for the broomstick, she got two parallel lines and for the star she got a dotted triangle (well, star's made of triangles...). Emily's guess on the left, Jon's pic on the right:
Where it started to get decidedly interesting was the last three envelopes. For the witches hat, Emily got a triangle; for the four ringed spiral, Emily got a, um, four ringed spiral and for the crown she got an almost idential shape even complete with dots. She thought it was a flower, but the shape was spot on!
I'm not a statistician and have no idea of the odds of getting these results by chance alone, but let me put it this way - Jon and I were pretty impressed. I'm not sure what the LEA would make of it though ;-))

1 comment:

lucy said...