My judgment is feeble at best, my fellow inebriates, so when Scientific American emails me about a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see Venus transit the Sun, appearing as a small black disk in front of our blazing star, I’m not sure if SCIAM is advising me to look at it.
All my instincts are telling me it’s not okay to stare at the sun, but I’m thinking maybe I can get away with it just once. Venus won’t do this again until 2117. Astronomers are excited by it because it illustrates the way they find exoplanets orbiting distant stars—by the planets’ silhouettes.
I asked my friend Scarybear whether I should look at the sun* to see the Venusian disc. He said I definitely should**, for long enough to adjust my eyes to the glare and then a bit longer to make out the small dark spot. He said it would be “the coolest thing ever.” When I asked him if we need to put a special filter on the telescope, he shrugged and said that my eyes would “probably heal pretty fast.”
Sounds like a plan. After all, a solar filter for our telescope would probably cost more than a few cases of beer. Between a filter and another GRANVILLE ISLAND BREWING Mingler pack, I’ll take the beer.
And while I wouldn’t gravitate toward an entire case of BROCKTON IPA, I don’t mind finding three of them in the Mingler. Sometimes an India Pale Ale provides just the bracing, hoppy kick in the head that a bear needs.
Deep golden with white foam, BROCKTON IPA gives off a strong, earthy aroma—hoppy, bready, and slightly astringent. The taste is more bracing than the smell, with pine notes and hops front-and-forward but some malty caramel notes balancing it somewhat. With moderate carbonation and substantial weight in the mouth, BROCKTON IPA finishes with a lingering, satisfying bitterness.
IPA isn’t a style we seek out too often at LBHQ; it always seems off-kilter with its emphasis on hops at the expense of milder front-palate-pleasing flavors. And BROCKTON IPA is an example of a beer in which hops pretty much beat the shit out of the other taste sensations, not to mention the drinker. But sometimes you need a beer that kicks your ass, and when you do, one like this is great.
We could buy four cases for the cost of a solar filter! I mentioned this to my mum, who had no idea why I would posit the comparison until I told her I was following Scary’s advice to watch an unfiltered Venusian solar transit*** while pounding cases of IPA.
For someone who doesn’t like using the word “retarded,” she sure unleashes it on me a lot.
* Do not do this.
** Do not do this.
*** Do not do this.