from TBTF for 1999-10-05
Peter Kaiser <kaiser at acm dot org> "viewed" the total solar eclipse of August 11. He sent this recipe for recreating his experience to a humor list. It is posted here by permission.
This material is Copyright © 1999 by Peter Kaiser <kaiser at acm dot org>.
We went to see the eclipse..., and I thought you might be interested to hear what it was like. Here's how you can reproduce our experience.
- Buy a candle.
- Rent a big apartment on a block on the West Side of Manhattan. Make sure that it's on the ground floor and that it has a big bathroom with a very big shower stall. (Important fact: such blocks are 1/20 of a mile deep and 1/8 of a mile wide.)
- Wait until the weather is overcast and drizzling lightly outside, then follow the rest of these instructions. Begin by turning on the bathroom lights and opening the shower to a drizzle.
- Put the candle on the bathroom floor.
- Open the doors of the shower stall, the bathroom, and the apartment. Make sure the doorman is on duty. Go outside and get in a car.
- Drive around the block 357 times, then into your building (the doorman will hold open the street door), your apartment, and finally into the bathroom and under the shower.
- Get out of the car and look up to confirm that there is still a shower head in the shower stall. Light the candle.
- Turn the shower on full. Turn off the lights, leaving the candle lit.
- Get back in the car. Sit there in the car under the shower for four minutes.
- Get out of the car. Turn on the lights and snuff the candle. Get back in the car.
- Drive out of the shower stall, the bathroom, and the apartment, back into the street.
- Drive around the block 357 times in the other direction. You're done.
Our apartment isn't on the ground floor, though, so here's how we handled it: we made a 250-mile round trip from Zurich to get rained on in the dark near Stuttgart.
Copyright © 1995-2000 by Keith Dawson. Commercial use prohibited. May be excerpted, mailed, posted, or linked for non-commercial purposes.