The Eclipse of the Century Part 1 of 3: There and back again

The Eclipse of the Century Part 1 of 3: There and back again

Waking up in my own bed today, I felt a little like Alice waking beside the rabbit hole, not sure if the adventure of my last week was real or not. Luckily I have pictures to confirm the reality of the past 10 days. On July 15th, I flew from St Louis, MO (38° 45′ N, 90° 23′ W) to Shanghai, China (31° 14′ N, 121° 29′ E), traveling 11 timezones and ~148 degrees around the globe. I was on my way to join the Eclipse of the Century tour group to board the Costa Allegra and chase what was the longest eclipse of this century, at just over 6 minutes. Along the way we would explore the South Korean island of Cheju (also spelled Jeju), and the Japanese cities of Fukuoka, Nagasaki, and Kagoshima. After the last of these cities we...

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Getting ready for a Hungry Dragon

Getting ready for a Hungry Dragon

I’m currently in Shanghai, China. The city is undergoing a truly amazing amount of construction as it prepares for Expo 2010 (a version of the world’s fair I believe). Everywhere there are young trees and new landscapes growing up along roads still being built and building from ancient times that are being refurbished in a frenzy of labor. 20 million people in one place; it is amazing. There are the negatives: exceedingly aggressive beggers, horrible smog, frightening traffic. But at the same time there is an awesomeness to the sheer scale of humanity at this high a density. I’m here to see the July 22 Solar Eclipse. In Chinese lore this is a Dragon consuming the Sun. In pre-modern times, people would bang pots and launch fireworks and otherwise...

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