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Aurora borealis comes in view

Going through the backlog of links in my "to blog about" list and found this, Stephen's list of things to do before you die.

Stephen's list is elistist and classist, as not many of us can afford to crack up a brand new sports car or buy a $500 bottle of wine.

There's only a couple of things I'd like to do before I die, and only one of them - see the Northern Lights - is a serious task that I fully intend to undertake one day.

I've had this fascination with the aurora borealis since I was a child. I would often (and still do) dream about standing under those lights, my breath taken away by the color and shape of the ghostly patterns. In some of those dreams, the light would filter right through me and my skin would be aglow with colors and tones. In other dreams I would fly, lifting myself higher and higher until I could dive right into the light and swim around, feeling the softness of the colors rub against my skin like crushed velvet.

I can only imagine what it's like to stand in full view of this or this. It must be like standing insde of a dream.

So that (and attending a game at Lambeau Field) are the things I most want to do before I die - at least the most reasonable things I'd like to do.

The other things, like bitchslap Ted Rall, would all require having a stash of bail money ready. But hey, if I can't get to see those lights or hang out in the frozen tundra of Lambeau, I'll settle for beating the crap out of Robert Fisk.

[Of course, there's always that "have my book published" thing, but I think that's (1) pretty much out of my hands, as I am at the mercy of the publishing industry and (2) more along the lines of a dream rather than a tangible goal. It would probably be easier to sneak porn by Ashcroft than to get a book deal.]


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Aurora borealis comes in view:

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The internet is kewl in many ways, but one of the nicest kewl bits is when you find somone that [Read More]

» More Aurora from Absinthe & Cookies (a little bit bitter, a little bit sweet)
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» Northern Lights from aimless
Michelle of a small victory has this post on the northern lights. I had the chance to see them once in Buffalo, NY around 1983. I was sitting outside at our picnic table with some friends, I looked to the... [Read More]


I suggest a visit to Fairbanks in September -- the nights are finally dark again, but it hasn't plunged yet to the bonechilling sub-sub-subzero temps that can happen as early as November and re-occur frequently until (and even during) March.

And if you're really lucky, the hills will be ablaze with fall color during the week you get there.

Dude, the Northern Lights are, like, AWESOME....

You can surely come to Juneau. In fact the paper had a huge photo of one the other day....


That's very cool because I had no idea anyone else would have the goal to see the Northern Lights one day.

My mum is from northern British Columbia and I think her stories about them inspired me to want to see them myself. I especially want to hear the sound she says they make.

Ith, I lived in Alaska five years and saw the Lights I don't know how many times.

The only thing remotely like that sound I ever heard was my boots in the snow.

I had no idea that they made sounds as well. Now I am further obsessed.

in stephen's defense, there's a huge difference between drinking a $500 bottle of wine and buying one.

i've seen the aurora borealis from my cousin's house, just north of kingston. it's made from the flares on the sun, with some delay, if i recall correctly. so there must be a website that lists when it'll be visible from more-southern areas. better to see it in alaska, obviously, but infinitely faster to drive to, like, new paltz.

new paltz?? I went to school there!

boots in the snow

I love that description!

Michele, that's what we're here for, to further your obsessions!

Um, what I was trying to say is, I never heard the alleged sound. I heard all kinds of other sounds instead, such as...

crackle crackle

I've seen the Northern Lights a few times in Wisconsin. The first time, I was half-asleep riding home from some church activity. The driver pulled to the side of the road. I stumbled out of the van, saw the strange, shimmering haze, and promptly went back into the van to sleep. Another time, I what looked like luminated fog way up in the sky.

The Aurora have long been my white whale cliche. I was an astronomy obsessed kid (I still have the book with handwritten notes denoting those constellations I actually saw), but aurora have always escaped me. My father, who grew up in rural Montana (which is saying something!) has always tinged to awe when speaking of the times he saw it. Aurora are one of the very few things I insist on seeing before I die.

Michele! Michele! What song is that from? (...aurora borealis comes in view...something, something, something, something you...)?

Driving. Me. Nuts. I must know. Modern English? Split Enz? Flock of Seagulls? WHAT?!?! Help! I can't sleep until I know!

I have my own list of things to do before I die. Sadly, none of them will happen. Number one on the list is to buy one of these.

The rest involve well-known women in advanced stages of undress.

I saw the lights down here in Indiana one summer night while drinking on top of a water tower with friends, and then a few years back in the dead of winter because of some incredible solar activity.

I'm sure it was only a shadow of what you can see in more northerly locales, but i hope to see the full show at least once in my life.

Eltist? Classist? Well. . . OK, probably.

But, in my defense -- the classic covertible cost less than a new Ford Focus, and I have yet to buy a $500 bottle of wine.

I did drink one, though. Bought a vintage bottle for $50 and held onto it for ten years.

I shoulda bought two of'em.


I grew up in a small farming town in Saskatchewan and I think I mostly took the Northern Lights for granted, although I remember a few times when I was a teenager where I would pull over on the side of the road late at night to watch the show.

The best place I could recommend to you is either Thompson or Churchill, both in northern Manitoba. The reason for this (and I've done this in Thompson) is that the north magnetic pole is (was?) directly north of Manitoba, in the Nunavit Territory. This is a focal point for solar activity in the atmosphere and there are few places better suited to see the most spectacular solar reactions than northern Manitoba.

Churchill would be a great place to do this as it is also host to some amazing polar bear and beluga whale tours.

Sorry, I meant the "Nunavut" Territory.

Hey that's my nickname! "borealis" anyway. Hence the e-mail address. I saw the real ones from the U.P. over Lake Superior. Stunning. Every now and then we'll see a toned down version this far south (central Wisconsin) still very cool.

Oh! Just finished reading everyone else's comments...

Kelley: I don't know the name/who of the song but a co-worker used to sing it to me. She had "theme songs" for all of us and that was mine. What with the nickname and all it made sense.

A Flock of Seagulls, "I Ran So Far Away" -- which describes me whenever that song comes on '80s radio...

I actually saw my first aurora in Sacramento during the 1980s. Big diffuse red glow in the sky. Didn't know what it was until much later I overheard my astronomy professor talking about it with a fellow student.

After having seen the real thing in Alaska, that event hardly rates a memory anymore.


My fellow Wisconsinites above failed to mention that if you moved here, you'd not only get to see the northern lights on a fairly regular basis--you'd also be in the neighborhood of Lambeau Field!

Michele, the lights are worth pursuing. I saw them ebb and flow and shimmer for months from (now closed) Goose Air Base at Goose Bay Labrador--approx. 1300 air miles north of Manhattan. St. Johns Newfoundland is also far enough north and there might be good air connections from where you are.

In re a book: and why not? During the Next Big Thing you will again be interviewed about Command Post. Before too long, a blog reference will show up in Letterman's top ten, Leno will reference one in the monologue and the Peter Jennings-only set will be asking "Blog? Blog? whazzat? Oh...pickup Michele's tell-all Blogguide...funny as hell and she tells you just where to go."

Why not meet it?

"We are the makers of music...we are the dreamers of dreams."
      -Willie Wonka

a few years ago, there was such a strong electrical storm that the aurora borealis was visible as far south as San Diego...

no biggie to me, as i grew up in alaska.

and if you move to wisconsin, you'll also be closer to the Bong Recreation Center. the cheeseheads will know what i'm talking about...

I just drove past the Bong Recreation Center on Tuesday. Laughed my arse off. (I live in Boston.)