Faith and Reason Wrestle with Santa Claus and Curtain Aurora

KM      The tubes are diffused so they look fluorescent, but they've got to be leds — see how you can see the PWM flicker along the faster trails? I would guess fluorescent lights would be a little bit harder to power in a baton like that.

KM      Oh, I see, the light is actually produced by the EMF field under the power line

KM      In that case fluorescent is perfect, and the flicker is caused by changes in the field as the bulb moves

MI      Exactly.

AG      Ooh, damn! Wish we could see that from within Helsinki boundaries. I always miss these things!

I felt something like redemption when the two scientifically-inclined commenters pursued their interest and brought the conversation back to where it began, explaining the image with something nearly as amazing as crazy lights in the sky — miniature auroras in the hands of Eastern European hipsters, induced in fluorescent tubes they waved around beneath high-tension power lines (see image #16).

I felt something like recognition when the oblivious guy actually in Finland was disappointed that the urban lights of Helsinki obscured his view of the curtain auroras that weren't there. That might be my faith, right there: a little rational, a little gullible, full of longing, and late to the game. "I always miss these things!" Sometimes, though, I think I see a boot sticking out of the fireplace.

Making sense of it all is a daunting task and we face it in utter darkness. Voices we love, sights and sensations that amaze us, and persistent longing intimate more than we know. If I choose to believe that God came to us, I have to synthesize a lot of conflicting received wisdom and a lot of mystifying experience. Can I resolve a reasonable faith that can weather the testimony and address my longing but not indulge it?

"Photoshop," says a voice.

"But curtain aurora do exist, right?" says another.

7/13/2016 4:00:00 AM