There Is No Cat

As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly

Saturday, July 27, 2002

Aurora Borealis doesn't bore me

Dick Hutchinson lives in Circle, Alaska, near the Arctic Circle, and gets to see the Aurora Borealis quite a bit. Lucky for us, he likes to share the beautiful photos he takes of it. I've only seen the Aurora once in my life, and feel pretty damned lucky to have done so, since I understand that only 5% of the people on Earth have ever had the experience.

Posted at 11:15 PM


Note: I’m tired of clearing the spam from my comments, so comments are no longer accepted.

Last year, I went to an symphony clinic band, and my professor had written a song entitled "Aurora Borealis." The song started slow... he said this part was setting the stage for the show. He told us to imagine a grassy hill on a cold wintery night and for us to place a blanket and get comfortable. I played the Marimbas and when the "Aurora Borealis" begin, it was all my part. An enchanted pattern of rythms and sounds that would begin to set the mood for the rest of the band to join in. After a few measures, the trumpets came in as bursts of light and color... backed by the lower brass section and tickled by the flutes and clarinets. Orchastra Bells ran up the scale producing beautiful lines of light. The bass drum would hit random notes that could only be predicted by the drummer and the composer, these blasts of sound produced the bursts of energy followed by light from the band. Then the full section where the show is at is peak. Notes of shining light, bursts of sound, warm feelings even on the coldest of nights, and it was a magnicifant section of music where it is almost to much for any human emotion to grasp. Then the song began to relish the night as the brass backed down and the woodwinds picked up the wind blowing and the smell of the air. Then after they think the show is over and the night is finish... the finale. A spectacle of percussion followed by the band. Load bursts from the bass drum followed by warm but powerful melody from the band. Then the song ends with a major warm chord and after the song is done, most people were left wanting more.

After playing that song, it is my dream to see the Aurora... and the only way I will have it... is by sitting on my blanket listening to that song. I envy your locale to that you can see it every chance it comes around. Alas, I will probally never get to see such a show. I hope you were entertained by re-enactment of our song.

Posted by Jarrod Bradford at 10:54 AM, October 10, 2002 [Link]

Well, I wouldn't say I can see it every time it comes around. At my current home, the sky is far too obscured by light pollution to have a chance to see the Aurora. Doesn't stop me from trying whenever I hear it's possible this far south, but no such luck in recent years.

Thanks for the description of your professor's music. It really sounds remarkable, quite an evocation of the actual event.

Posted by ralph at 5:56 PM, October 10, 2002 [Link]


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What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

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[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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