Feeling Worthless

I’m feeling pretty worthless and full of regret. Regret does no one any good but still it seems instilled in me – when you feel like crap make sure to make it worse because it can always be worse. That sounds like a rambling bit of bullshit, doesn’t it?

The job search thing is going poorly. I am trying to apply to places but I don’t have what it takes to get a job, it seems. No callbacks, nothing. How can I be so smart and yet so useless? I emailed a friend of mine last week for help but she has been busy and hasn’t been able to get back to me. I talked to her tonight but she is swamped trying to get a proposal uploaded before the deadline. She didn’t hear me but I was near to tears when we got off the phone. Oh, it’s nothing she did, it’s just knowing that these are the things that she and I used to do together when I worked there. Things that I should be doing, had I not gotten kicked out of academia for being female.

I feel like crying and yet not crying. I want my old teaching job back. I even want the hell of a job I had here back. I wouldn’t let them make me crazy this time. It would be different, I swear. That’s probably just a lie I am telling myself. I’m still crazy, it’s just a matter of which level.

I’m having a hard time being a scientist, or thinking of myself as a scientist. I need a better research proposal for my job applications so DH suggested I research carbon nanotubes. There are thousands of papers on carbon nanotubes. Probably hundreds published every month. How am I supposed to come up with a novel idea centered around carbon nanotubes when there is so much out there and no foreseeable path? If this were a dream, I would be trapped, wading through a forest of carbon nanotubes finding no end and no beginning. No water, no light, naught but an endless forest. That’s how it feels right now. I feel hopeless.

They say there is light at the end of the tunnel, but I don’t see any light. It’s dark as pitch and I can’t feel my way. My mind is blank – devoid of anything useful. All my senses are gone – defunct in this quest for survival. All I want is to teach, to be a university professor, but apparently so does everyone else. The competition is fierce and overwhelming. My four years of experience teaching seem to be a waste of time as I don’t even get callbacks for phone interviews. Why has my life gone awry?

I no longer recommend going to college. I especially don’t recommend going into science. And whatever you do, don’t waste your time on a PhD. It’s fun while it lasts, but eventually it will mean nothing more than you aren’t employable.

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The Equinox and The Moon

I couldn’t have described it better. Thanks to Barefoot Baroness for this lovely post.

Happy Equinox!

Barefoot Baroness

Image Credit: Dan Bush of Missouri Skies

Shine on, shine on harvest moon

Up in the sky,

I ain’t had no lovin’ Since January, February, June or July

Snow time ain’t no time to stay Outdoors and spoon,

So shine on, shine on harvest moon,

For me and my gal

~ Shine On Harvest Moon By Nora Bayes and Jack Norworth (1903)

Traditionally in skylore, the Harvest Moonis the full moonclosest to the autumnal equinox. In 2012, for us in the Northern Hemisphere, the autumnal equinox comes on September 22. The full moon for us in the U.S. will come on the night of September 29. That makes the September 29-30 full moon the Harvest Moon

Harvest Moon is just a name.  It’s the name for the full moon nearest the autumnal equinox. In the Northern Hemisphere, you’ll always see the Harvest Moon in either September or October.  In the Southern Hemisphere

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Venus Transit 2012

NOTE: NEVER LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN. YOU CAN NOT VIEW THE SUN WITHOUT SPECIAL FILTERS.

Today was a monumental day in astronomy history.  Venus crossed our Sun during the daylight hours and I was able to view it through telescopes, binoculars, and even my camera lens utilizing special filters.  The local astronomy club set up their telescopes in a bank parking lot, complete with filters so I went over there (camera in tow) and took pictures with both my iPhone and my SLR digital camera.  The image I have posted here was taken through a telescope with a filter.

Venus Transit 2012

Venus Transit 2012

Since not everyone had the chance to view this monumental event due either to timezone or weather, I thought I would post about my experience.

Nothing gets a bunch of science geeks together like an astronomical event.  The local astronomy club set up a half dozen telescopes with filters and invited the public to come and see the transit.  Either it wasn’t well advertised, or we don’t have as many science geeks in the area as I expected.  I thought there would be long lines, but there were only small crowds.  I had time to talk to the telescope owners, take pictures, and view the transit from different telescopes.  One of them had it set up so that the image was projected onto a piece of paper.  Another had it set up with a webcam, projecting it onto a computer screen in real time.  He also had a special telescope camera setup to take photographs every 30 seconds.  There was a young lady set up with her telescope and a hand-made filter using the appropriate filter material.  Another person had a pair of binoculars with the filter taped over the lenses. (Although this is not recommended by professionals.) There were even a few handheld viewfinders.  The last of which I used to take a shot through my own camera.  DH said he could see Venus through the handheld one, but I really had trouble.  Imagine looking at a tiny dot (circled above) on top of a small dot that is the sun.  Once you use the filter to block out the dangerous light, the Sun is only about the size of the moon, which is why we have solar eclipses.

The smaller smudges are not due to a dirty lens.  They are sunspots.  Sunspots occur in regions of high magnetic fields that creates a slighter cooler area (although still very hot!) so these areas appear dark.  I am fortunate to live in the central time zone where we had about 3-3.5hrs of sunlight.  Those who live west of me are even more fortunate, as they will see the beginning and middle of the transit.  Hawaii and Asia should have great views and early risers in Europe will get to see the end of it.  It’s a much slower transit than the 2006 Mercury transit.  The Mercury transit will be repeated in 2016.

As I mentioned, the original image I captured was through a telescope.  Specifically, a reflecting telescope, which means the image is upside down and backwards.  So when I edited this image, I flipped it both directions so you could see it as if you looked through the special filter with your eyes.

I hope some of you were able to see the Venus transit for yourself, or at least watch NASA’s video stream from Hawaii.  I’m sure there will be many images on the internet for you to enjoy.

 
© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.