seeing the Aurora Borealis

Recently I talked about recreating the Aurora Borealis so I could see it in the South (of North America). Well, I learned that it has actually been seen here before. In 1859 there was the most intense geomagnetic storm in recorded history, called the Carrington Event. And it will happen again. So I may get to see an aurora sometime. However, that would be a bad thing. A geomagnetic storm that intense would destroy a lot of electronics, including parts of our power grid. So calamity would ensue. It’s something that we should prepare for (both individually and as a country), but that’s beyond the scope of this article.

In 1859 the aurora was seen as far south as south-central Mexico. And in the north, it was so bright that some people thought it was morning already. It was supposedly really beautiful, with the sky filled with every imaginable color.

There were few electrical systems in 1859, but there was a telegraph system. Some telegraph operators got shocked, and some telegraph systems were still able to send messages while disconnected from their power supplies, using the power supplied from the solar storm.

If you would like to learn more about how this works and what may happen, watch this video by Physics Girl:

One neat way to think about the aurora is that it’s showing how the Earth’s atmosphere is acting as a shield. So when it lights up, it’s working. It looks like magic…

important news announcement today

Have you noticed how biased most of the news sources are today? Some “news” stations / websites blame the Biden administration for everything, saying he’s done every single thing wrong, while some other “news” stations / websites blame Donald Trump for everything wrong with America. And of course, while each blames one political party for all the problems, they ignore the problems in their own party while promoting all the good things (even if they have to exaggerate). Actually, both Republicans and Democrats don’t get much done, even when they have majority control in Congress, and that’s probably a good thing.

Anyway, the “news” you hear is mostly full of bias and opinion (particularly about politics). If you only listen to one side (i.e., conservative or liberal), you may not even notice. Here’s a quick test — if you think one party will save America and the other party is to blame for the problems, you have been fed propaganda and bias. And if you are just now realizing this, I apologize. Propaganda seems tasty at first, but when you realize what it really is, it tastes like crap. So don’t eat it!

By now, you’re probably wondering why I’m ranting about politics. Well, this is a big problem in America now, and perhaps Buffet o’ Blog should transition to be a news source you can trust, albeit with humor. (Politics is especially devoid of humor, if you haven’t noticed. It’s like they just care about making you mad these days.) So to be truly fair and balanced, we’re not going to pander to either political party. We’ll tell you the truth! Although I do wonder if the general populace is ready for the truth… here’s why — your preferred party is part of the problem. It’s hard to swallow for people that are lifelong followers of either side — Republicans or Democrats. The truth is, both parties are largely corrupt, incompetent, self-seeking, and are leading America toward eventual destruction. Both will claim they are the solution, that if only their party was fully in charge everything would be great, but it’s not true. Every few years we have one party fully in charge, and not much changes. The same problems still persist and continue to worsen.

You know, scratch that. I don’t think we could make the truth very funny. So that part about starting our own news broadcast, let’s not do that. It is April Fools Day after all, and that part was made up. (Sadly, the rest of the rant is true. Sorry to rain on your parade, but it’s important to know.) So we’re going to remain focused on humor and randomness here. Regardless of our government leading us to a bad future, we should do our best to make the most of each day. Most of us cannot do much about the political debacle other than voting, so why let it sour your attitude and ruin your day? Focus on what you can do to make today great for you and those around you.

That’s all. This was an attempt to be funny about a topic that isn’t funny, and while it probably wasn’t funny, perhaps it could help you feel better anyway. If it failed, sorry; just go to the next post and it’ll not be about politics. I was just trying to mix humor and awareness and life improvement, hoping perhaps someone will look at their “news” consumption and think, “They’re just telling me what to be mad about, and every day there’s some seemingly huge problem that is blamed on the other party. I’d be happier if I didn’t consume all this. I could find better uses of that time.” Find what works for you… personally I’ve cut back on news. Watching it was often like watching a train wreck — it’s a disaster, but it can be hard to look away. However, watching too much of it makes you feel like you were run over by the train… 🙂 And then there’s that whole taste of propaganda thing… ugh!

Oops, sorry, I meant to stop but kept rambling. That happens sometimes. This blog is supposed to be an outlet for rambling and randomness, but there I go trying to help people again. I’ll stop again. 🙂

Thank you, drive thru…

Can Cheetos cure headaches? (part 2)

One of the most popular posts here is “Can Cheetos cure headaches?” And rightfully so — if true, that would be a huge scientific breakthrough. Plus, Cheetos are tasty. How awesome would it be if your doctor prescribed for you to eat more Cheetos? 🙂

I initially wrote that 15 years ago (which doesn’t seem possible, but the math says so somehow). Since then I’ve done more research*. (* I ate more Cheetos.) Seriously (or at least pseudo-seriously), since then I’ve had more headaches (I’m also now married with children, which the data seems to suggest a correlation there, but that’s a topic for another day), and I have indeed eaten more Cheetos.

So, rambling aside (not really), do Cheetos really cure headaches? Well, it depends on how you define “cure”. It doesn’t remove the source of the headache, but neither does aspirin / acetaminophen. However, it can help you feel better, like aspirin / acetaminophen. I don’t think doctors will be prescribing it anytime soon due to a lack of healthiness, but if it helps you be more productive in your day, it can be worth it. You have to take care of yourself. And sometimes taking care of yourself can be accomplished by not taking care of yourself, if that makes sense. 🙂

Now, I’m no important doctor, so take all this with a grain of salt. Wait, no, don’t. Salt should not be added to Cheetos. But a disclaimer is still in order. It’s important to know that Cheetos do not work in the same way as aspirin or acetaminophen and thus do not replace them. So perhaps you should take both! 🙂

It’s possible it works due to the placebo effect, which means it is more psychological than scientific. Either way, if it helps, it helps. Comfort food is called that for a reason. (I do realize that comfort food usually refers to things like fried chicken and biscuits & gravy, but if your head is hurting, you probably don’t feel like cooking or going to a restaurant. So you need something quick and easy to eat that is also delicious. Oreos and ice cream also fit in this category, of course.)

Really, though, just eating seems to help headaches somewhat (unless it goes into migraine territory). Well, eating something tasty helps. I’m pretty sure eating broccoli would NOT help my headache. I haven’t researched that, and I don’t plan to. Why would I try to reduce pain by eating something that causes more discomfort? Common sense applies here, if you happen to have it. 🙂

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by Cheetos in any way, though if they’d like to send me free bags of Cheetos, that would be okay.

Green Child of Mine (Baby Yoda parody)

Someone made a video parody of the song “Sweet Child of Mine” by Guns N’ Roses where it is about “Baby Yoda” (Grogu) in the Star Wars series The Mandalorian. This is really well done on many levels — like Weird Al level quality. So if you have any idea what I’m talking about, I recommend watching it.