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what I've been doing when I should've been working
This is a really good question from xkcd. I was pretty smug about knowing what Rayleigh scattering was. Damn.

This, on the other hand, is pretty much exactly what I think of the balls-on-a-rubber-sheet model. (also this)

This bit on the pools of water for cooling off old nuclear reactor fuel rods might be directly relevant to my game! Especially if my players go to places like these.

But the real point of this post is this here: a google map of some locations in my Tartary game. As I see it there are 2 great disadvantages to using real-world locations for your game and fantasying them up:
(1) people who can't tell fantasy from reality might get upset about what you're saying about their home (especially if you say it's a great place for radioactive horror);
(2) people who can't wrap their head around the fact that you're presenting them with fiction might demand you do more research and get it right. To show respect or some such.

I reckon these quibbles are totally blown out of the water by the fact that now I don't have to draw a map. And players can point to places in between my Interesting Points and ask me "what's there and why shouldn't we use it as our base of operations?"

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It's still mostly thanks to Rayleigh scattering, which doesn't say that it's ALL violet light. The scattered light consists of a lot of violet + a bit less blue + a bit less green + ... + not very much red. If it were all violet, it would look violet. If it were uniform in all wavelengths, it would look white. Because it's a weighted combination biased toward violet, it comes out as a pale blue-white. Simple!

Thanks for that, I can go back to being happy about that explanation again.
I'm guessing the answer to the mirror inversion thing is that your brain always turns everything right side up?

The mirror inversion thing is really simple: Mirrors don't reverse top to bottom or left to right, they reverse FRONT TO BACK. The left-right confusion only arises when you mentally try to compare the person in the mirror with yourself by rotating them into your position.

Edited at 2013-01-22 02:10 pm (UTC)

duh. Of course. Now I feel really stupid. Oh well, I guess it's better to ask than wonder.

It's simple but not stupid, it's a fiendishly subtle fallacy that's embedded in the question itself.

Edited at 2013-01-22 02:17 pm (UTC)

since the main other explanation you hear on the street is totally false ("it's reflecting the sea") I figured the Rayleigh one had to have something going for it.

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