Happy Independence Day!

Enjoy your day, stay safe.
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Red Sky in the morning, Shepherd’s warning

Seeing some pink in the late evening sky , tonight, brought to mind an old British saying:-

Red Sky at night, Shepherd’s delight.

Red Sky in the morning, Shepherd’s warning.

Red Sky in the morning, in Indiana, USA, March 2021.

This old wives’ tale may help us to predict clear skies or stormy weather ahead depending on the color of the sky at dusk and dawn.

This saying can be traced back as far as the Bible – and a red sunset does typically presage clear skies the following day. However, this only holds true in regions where weather systems mostly travel from west to east, which includes most mid-latitude areas such as the UK.

During the daytime, the sky appears blue because dust and particles in the atmosphere mostly scatter the blue portion of sunlight. When the Sun is low on the horizon, however, the sunlight passes through more air than when it’s higher in the sky. This means that by the time the light reaches us, most of the blue light has been scattered away from our line of sight – leaving the oranges and reds.

A particularly red sky results from high atmospheric pressure, where particles are more highly concentrated and more blue light is scattered. A red sunset therefore usually means that there’s an area of high pressure (which is associated with clear skies) approaching from the west.

If, on the other hand, you observe a red sunrise (ie, in the east), it suggests that a high pressure area has already passed overhead and is moving away. Lower pressure air will soon take its place, bringing rain or even storms – hence the phrase’s companion, “red sky at morning, shepherd’s warning”.

Further Reading

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Planet Parade to Grace the Dawn Sky this Month

All five naked-eye planets will line up in the dawn sky in June. Not only that, they’ll also be in their proper order from the Sun.

The delightful view of all five naked-eye planets will greet early risers throughout the month of June. While seeing two or three planets close together (in what’s known as a conjunction) is a rather common occurrence, seeing five is somewhat more rare. And what’s even more remarkable about this month’s lineup is that the planets are arranged in their natural order from the Sun.

Throughout the month of June, shortly before the Sun rises, viewers could see Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn — in that order — stretching across the sky from low in the east to higher in the south. Mercury will be tougher to spot: Early in the month, viewers will need an unobstructed eastern horizon as well as binoculars to potentially see the little world. As the month wears on, Mercury climbs higher and brightens significantly, making it easier to see, and thus completing the planetary lineup.

All five naked-eye planets line up in their proper order from the Sun during the month of June. On June 3–4, the separation between Mercury and Saturn will be at its smallest, at 91°. Mercury will be a challenge to spot earlier in the month. Click on the image for a higher-resolution version of the chart.
Sky & Telescope illustration

The last time the five naked-eye planets were strung across the horizon in sequence was in December 2004. But this year, the gap between Mercury and Saturn is much shorter.

There are several dates of note this month.

June 3–4: On these two mornings, the five planets span 91° when the separation between Mercury and Saturn will be at its smallest. Find a place with a clear view low toward the east to maximize your chances of catching Mercury. Bring binoculars. You’ll also need to make sure you’re in position well in time to enjoy the view of all five planets — you’ll have less than half an hour between when Mercury first appears above the horizon and when it essentially gets lost in the glare of the rising Sun.

June 24: According to Sky & Telescope magazine, the planetary lineup this morning is even more compelling. To begin with, Mercury will be much easier to snag, making the five-planet parade that much more accessible. And you’ll have about an hour to enjoy the sight, from when Mercury pops above the horizon to when the rising Sun washes it out of the sky. But the real bonus is the waning crescent Moon positioned between Venus and Mars, serving as a proxy Earth. By this time of month, the planets are spread farther across the sky — the distance between Mercury and Saturn will be 107°.

If it’s cloudy on the dates of note, you still have all the mornings in between to take in the view of the five naked-eye planets adorning the southeastern horizon. Just make sure you set your alarm and wake up on time.

Read more on this in the June 2022 issue of Sky & Telescope magazine.

Sky & Telescope is making the illustrations above available to editors and producers. Permission is granted for nonexclusive use in print and broadcast media, as long as appropriate credits (as noted) are included. Web publication must include a link to skyandtelescope.org.

Picture of 4 of the planets, taken my me, from my front porch.
Because of the trees and houses, here in town, I could not see Mercury, by the horizon.

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Riding a bicycle

Just a thought, life is like riding a bicycle, if you don’t keep moving forward, you will fall off.

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Porch Life


The sound of the flags gently flapping in the wind, the rustle of the wind in the trees. Wind chimes gently ringing. Birds chirping, morning doves cooing, a couple of robins fighting over territory or a potential mate. Children laughing and playing in a back yard. The smell of somebody cooking on a charcoal grill. In the distance, the sound of a lawn mower. With the passing traffic, a semi, with a heavy load, struggling to change up through the gears, an older car with a blowing exhaust, a wave from a passing neighbor. Porch life in small town Indiana USA.

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Blast From The Past

June 15th, 2022

I was driving to work this afternoon, here in rural Indiana, with the car windows down, and the outside temperature at about 95 F, with high humidity, that you could see in the air.

This reminded me of what it felt like, on one of the first times I went for a drive, on my own, with all the windows down, in the UK. I suppose, it was in the Summer of 1976, when the UK was under a heatwave and drought that lasted 6 or 8 weeks. That day was similar to today, hot and muggy.

I remember I drove from my hometown of Bournemouth, to a small airfield that was on top of a ridge called Compton Abbas, one Sunday afternoon. That airfield is north of my hometown, but south of the town of Shaftsbury, in Dorset. I passed my driving test in 1975, but did not get my car on the road until early 1976, I think it was.

I had not thought of that day for years. Funny how sights, smells and feelings can trigger memories from your past…

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Depressed Woman Dies on Operating Table, Sees Heaven and Future Events, Returns to Life a New Person


Tricia Barker was depressed. She was 21 years old, in college studying English, unsure what career would follow, and generally feeling that life was hopeless and painful. She tried to take her own life by washing a handful of pills down with alcohol.

She woke up 36 hours later still in her own room. She didn’t tell anyone she had attempted suicide, but decided to move forward with her life. As a symbol of getting her life back on track, she started training for a 10 km race.

On the way to the race, she had a terrible car accident.

After her suicide attempt, Barker trained to run a 10 km race as a way to recover from deep depression. After weeks of training, she was on her way to run the race when she had a head-on collision. Her back was broken in several places, she couldn’t feel her legs, and she had internal injuries. Without health insurance, it took nearly 20 hours to find a surgeon who would operate on her. She spent those 20 hours lying in the hospital without painkillers or any relief.

Finally on the operating table, Barker was anesthetized.

Read More

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How to Add “Move to” or “Copy to” to Windows 10’s Context Menu

How to Add “Move to” or “Copy to” to Windows 10’s Context Menu

Windows 10 has a hidden function that allows you to right-click a file and either move or copy it to a specific location of your choosing. This little registry hack will have you copying and moving your files with ease. Read More »

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Song of the day – Rod Stewart – Maggie May (1971)

On this day in history; October 2nd, 1971

Rod Stewart earns his first #1 hit with “Maggie May”

If living well is the best revenge, then Rod Stewart has long since avenged the critical barbs he’s suffered through the years. Still active in his fifth decade as a recording star, he can point to nearly three dozen pop hits and nearly 40 million albums sold as proof that he’s done something very right. Yet all of his commercial success wouldn’t silence those purists who believe that Rod Stewart wasted the greatest male voice in rock history by putting it to use in service of disco anthems and an endless string of generic adult-contemporary ballads. Whatever one’s opinion about Stewart’s musical choices few could deny the pure perfection of his performance on one of the greatest rock songs of all time, “Maggie May,” which became Rod Stewart’s first #1 hit on this day in 1971.

An international hit that topped the U.K. and U.S. pop charts simultaneously in the autumn of 1971, “Maggie May” was a last-minute addition to the album Every Picture Tells a Story and was originally released as the “B” side to the single “Reason To Believe.” Soon, however, radio programmers began flipping “Reason To Believe” in favor of “Maggie May,” the possibly autobiographical tale of a young man reflecting wistfully on the end of a love affair with an older woman. With its ringing acoustic guitar and mandolin arrangement, “Maggie May” reflected the full range of influences that had shaped a singer-songwriter then better known for the harder-edged music of the rock bands he’d fronted in the late 1960s and very early 1970s: the Faces and the Jeff Beck Group. But Rod Stewart had begun his path to stardom as an itinerant banjo- and harmonica-playing Bob Dylan devotee, and it was that folk sensibility that helped make “Maggie May” such a standout hit.

“Maggie May” and Every Picture Tells a Story launched Rod Stewart’s spectacular solo career—a career that has included 33 subsequent top-40 hits on the American pop chart, including two subsequent #1s in “Tonight’s The Night (Gonna Be Alright)” (1977), “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” (1979). Rod Stewart’s detractors may believe that they also marked a creative high point in a career that has seen more success among record-buyers and concert-goers than among rock critics, yet those record-buyers and concert-goers continue to support a singer who has even managed to reinvent himself successfully as a crooner of jazz standards in his fifth decade as a major pop star.


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Song Of The Day – Procol Harum – A Whiter Shade of Pale (1967)

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