My parents are having their 50th wedding anniversary.
As I am typing I am 7 miles above the face of the planet
traveling about 122 lengths of my body per second. I am over
the deserts of New Mexico watching the mountain shadows hiding
in the landscape. I have noticed a bright spot of light on the
ground that is moving at the same rate as we are. Evidently a
wake of light diffracted around my airplane. I find it fascinating,
the airplane is acting like a lens focusing light by bending it
around the airplane.
About an hour ago I was over Los Angeles Los Angeles imparts much more energy from this perspective. New York's energy is totally different more personal. From here LA looks like the giant machine that it is. I am much more impressed with this city from the sky.
Thinking about technology I have a phone onboard this airplane. I will email this back to you from in the sky.
Thinking about the process of taking a picture and emailing it to you: A lens gathers the image in the form of light and bends it miraculously at the point where the air meets the glass. The bending of the light in the glass lens creates a cone of light the tip of the cone is the focal point which is a tiny spot focusing on a light sensitive computer chip The light sensitive computer chip filters the light into 3 colors red green and blue. That same chip converts the light levels of each individual color into numbers between 0 and 254 (expressed in a binary number system i.e. 01001101). Those numbers are really expressed in the computer chip as pulses of electricity and stored in a microscopic container (another computer chip). This chip contains eight switches which are turned off or on. Each switch represents 0 or 1. The camera converts those switches (which represent numbers) back into electrical pulses, which travel down a cable from my camera to my computer. The computer sends those pulses through the modem which converts the pulses into sounds which are converted into electromagnetic waves (radio wave) and transmitted from this airplane 7 miles above the planet to a radio receiver on the ground. Then those radio wave are converted back into sound by another modem and sent across the telephone lines to you computer. The computer arranges the pulses into a grid, which is physically constructed by a cathode ray tube. The cathode ray tube creates the picture on your monitor by shooting electron beams through a magnetic field. The magnetic field directs the electrons to certain points on the screen of your monitor. When the electrons smash into the phosphorus coating on the backside of your monitor's glass screen the energy is converted into photons of light The amount of energy transformed determines the different colors for the photons. The photons then travel through the space between you monitor and your eyes. The photons focus through the lens in your eyeball and are displayed upside down on your retina. The retina converts the photons into electrical signals, which travel through the synapses in your brain. Your brain is familiar with this upside down business and some how makes sense of it.
What are the things you think about while flying in an airplane?