This morning the family went to a public viewing of the transit of Venus at the physics department at UTas.
The organizers were doubtless possessed of pure motivations, but their "public viewing" involved sitting in a lecture theatre, watching an internet feed of the transit on a big screen. Meanwhile, some guys were fiddling around to set up a camera feed of the local view of the transit, to be displayed on the same large screen, in the same lecture theater.
Visigoths! Barbarians! Imbeciles!
As if we all don't spend enough time inside, staring at stuff on screens. The transit of Venus is a physical event that is meant to be experienced personally, outside, as it happens. The whole idea is to behold the actual light that is cast by our glorious orb 93 million miles distant, with the single blemish that is the shadow cast by our lovely neighbor, the morning star.
Actual light, actual shadow, actual solar system, actual experience. No pixels, nothing digital, no tape delay.
After all, Hobart only had viewing conditions that looked like this:
Plus, sailors feel a bit proprietary about the transit. Captain Cook, tiare Tahiti, Fletcher Christian. All that.
So we left the big screen behind and set up our own private viewing - all it took was a pair of binoculars, a wheelbarrow for a tripod and a convenient shipping container for a screen.
Statistically speaking, I reckon Eric is the only one of us who has a chance of seeing the next transit. He would be 107.
You can do it, mate!