They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me
dr_phil_physics

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I Can Haz Pony Now?

So There I Was, Minding My Own Business

I'd planned on leaving the office around 2pm, but it really became more like 5pm. Amazingly, the rain had stopped and I didn't get wet getting out to the Blazer -- and the 5pm traffic leaving campus and hitting West Main was surprisingly light.

Dark clouds above and to the north, south and east -- bright sun and white clouds off to the west. I stopped by Burger King to grab a small Coke (formerly the medium Coke, which was formerly the large Coke), when looking to the north I spotted quite a bright rainbow. I pointed it out to the girl at the drive-through, figuring that the workers need to spot nice things from time to time, and she was amazed to see that it was a double rainbow -- and quite bright.

So I pulled forward and parked. Grabbed the Sony out of my technology bag and dialed up the mountain icon to force it to focus at a distance despite looking through a windshield:


To the right I could see the double rainbows' other ends -- rolled down the window and shot that side:


The sun had brightened, but as I got out the rain started up again, so I held my hat over the camera as I shot over the roof -- you can never find the end of the rainbow, so naturally it was back over on campus, where I'd just been. (grin)


Or maybe just beyond the mall across M-43/West Main to the north -- such modern age symbolism, methinks. See all those cars? Not a single driver was looking to the side and seeing the wonders of nature. (double-rainbow-grin)


Alas, I'm not about to lug my new Kodak/Nikon digital SLR around with me to work all the time, so I didn't have access to the big lenses -- or the wide angles which could've showed the whole double arch overhead. But I was quite happy to have had any camera with me and confirmation from the little LCD panel that I'd captured the lovely bright true colors of the rainbow spectrum.

And Then The Magic Happened

By the time I got onto US-131 northbound, the rain had started up again -- but there on the entrance ramp, there was my rainbow again. And weirdly I was up high and looking down on the rainbow, which meant I could see the end of the rainbow!

Now I can't tell you what's going on with rainbows -- I mean I can quote the Physics and all but I'm not talking about that -- but I can tell you with some certainty that the end of the rainbow comes from an electrical service box below a high tension power line tower. Well that makes sense!



As I turned off the 4-way flashers and began to signal to leave the shoulder and merge back onto the entrance ramp, I noticed that there was another vehicle pulled over ahead of me. Nicely done, Dr. Phil, got another person to look out their damned windows and appreciate the wonders of nature.

But it didn't end there. My Little Rainbow ended up following me, and though it was raining heavily on top of me right there, the sun was still bright in the west and the rainbow was at first coming out of the drainage ditch past the shoulder, but later it seemed closer and looked almost as if it was coming out of the right side of the hood -- which would be where the alternator was.

Thus convincing proof that rainbows are electrically generated phenomena. Who knew those leprechauns were such electrical engineers?

And To Think...

If I'd left work at 2pm... if a former student hadn't stopped by and told me about his adventures in the last seven years... if my grader hadn't left the Exam 2s in my mailbox downstairs without telling me instead of dropping them off to me directly... if this week wasn't still daylight saving time because of that stupid DST2007 change...

... I'd have missed my rainbow. Go figure.

Dr. Phil
Tags: amusements, dst2007, kalamazoo, photos, weather, west michigan
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