2121:"Light Pollution"

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2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby ECK138 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:16 pm UTC

Image

"It's so sad how almost no one alive today can remember seeing the galactic rainbow, the insanity nebula, or the skull and glowing eyes of the Destroyer of Sagittarius."

I saw this yesterday, I wonder if it inspired the comic
https://lighttrends.lightpollutionmap.i ... t=33.78523

and
http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/11/e1701528

Mjb
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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby Mjb » Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:01 pm UTC

This puts the rejection of older mythologies in new context, and makes one wonder what the moon-orbiting astronauts might know.

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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:04 pm UTC

Living as I do on the edges of a small town in the middle of a national forest, that is nevertheless a short drive from much larger cities, it initially struck me as weird how my girlfriend (from one of those neighboring cities) would marvel at the stars at night when staying over at my place. I just kinda thought like, yeah, it's the sky, it always looks like that, what's the big deal? I guess because of that, I wasn't really paying attention to the sky when visiting her in the city, and if I did, I guess I just thought "it's a foggy night so the stars aren't out" (it is foggier there than here, being on the coast while I'm on up the mountains). It took me quite a while to realize you can almost never see the stars from her place, because the sky is always glowing at least as slight orange haze, and that's why being able to see the stars at my house wowed her so.

Suffering from some insomnia recently, I also realized that seeing a warm glow from outside the bedroom window at night doesn't mean it's about dawn. It just means you're in the city, where the windows always glow with that orange sky glow from outside, because it's never actually dark out.
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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:13 pm UTC

I have a street lamp right outside my bedroom window. If it looks dark out, that means it's daytime, and heavily overcast...

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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby Carteeg_Struve » Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:20 pm UTC

It's not light pollution if we're getting rid of those cluttering bright stars corrupting the beautiful black void in the sky. :twisted:

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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby Heimhenge » Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:32 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Living as I do on the edges of a small town in the middle of a national forest, that is nevertheless a short drive from much larger cities, it initially struck me as weird how my girlfriend (from one of those neighboring cities) would marvel at the stars at night when staying over at my place. I just kinda thought like, yeah, it's the sky, it always looks like that, what's the big deal? I guess because of that, I wasn't really paying attention to the sky when visiting her in the city, and if I did, I guess I just thought "it's a foggy night so the stars aren't out" (it is foggier there than here, being on the coast while I'm on up the mountains). It took me quite a while to realize you can almost never see the stars from her place, because the sky is always glowing at least as slight orange haze, and that's why being able to see the stars at my house wowed her so.

Suffering from some insomnia recently, I also realized that seeing a warm glow from outside the bedroom window at night doesn't mean it's about dawn. It just means you're in the city, where the windows always glow with that orange sky glow from outside, because it's never actually dark out.


I've had the same thing happen. Our astronomy club has invited scout troops, grade school science classes, etc. out to my place in the desert to show them the sky through telescopes. Being from the big city (Phoenix) they marvel at the unmagnified sky itself, many seeing the Milky Way for the first time. Not so much the scouts since they've camped out, but the school kids are generally amazed ... once we get all the lights turned off and eyes get dark adapted. I take it for granted. Still getting SQM readings above 20.5 out here.

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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby mschmidt62 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:49 pm UTC

I am curious why the lattice of the crystal spheres appears to be largely 2-dimensional. That's not what I was promised.
Last edited by mschmidt62 on Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:50 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby pogrmman » Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:49 pm UTC

I like this comic. It’s funny. But seriously, though. Light pollution is a huge issue. It impacts wildlife, human health, and is a waste of electricity (which uses, in most places, fossil fuels and water). And it stymies astronomical research. Plus, the unpolluted night sky is truly incredible, inspirational, and awesome.

One of the worst offenders (in the US) is fracking. North Dakota is as bright at night as many cities are. The McDonald Observatory, which prior to the fracking boom had the darkest skies of any observatory in the lower 48 states basically can’t do research towards the north because of fracking. Between gas flaring and the fact that many fracking platforms have completely unshielded lighting, it’s a mess. The observatory has worked with fracking companies to develop a way to lessen light pollution — it turns out that having bright, unshielded, glary fixtures isn’t good for the people working at night. Who woulda thunk it?

The new LED street lamps are good, but they’re an issue for both people and astronomy. They use loads less electricity and have better shielding, but they have a much wider spectral output that’s hard to filter and they have much more blue light, which disrupts sleep cycles. The other thing I’ve noticed is that they are replacing sodium streetlights with LEDs that produce the same brightness, but because of the spectral difference, it actually seems way brighter. It’s absurdly bright under lots of those LED lamps, and that reflects off of the ground back into the sky. At least in Austin, the new LED lamps automatically turn off late at night unless there’s someone driving nearby, so there is noticeably less light pollution at like 2am, but because they’re apparently brighter, there’s more early at night.

I can confidently say that everyone ought to see truly unpolluted skies at least once. I’ve been to a few places with a limiting magnitude of like 7 or more, and it’s astounding.

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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby keithl » Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:04 pm UTC

Carteeg_Struve wrote:It's not light pollution if we're getting rid of those cluttering bright stars corrupting the beautiful black void in the sky. :twisted:

I grew up in the Boötes void; zoning laws did not allow stars. I had a cold hydrogen sphere for a pet. When I wasn't looking, my pet mated with the neighbor's pets. They collapsed into a star, and ignited.
We were kicked out of Boötes, and ended up in the refugee camp you know as the Milky Way. We were welcomed; immigration laws were more relaxed then.
Now the refugee caravan you call the Andromeda galaxy is approaching, and the Galactic Rainbow Coalition is demanding funding to extend the crystal sphere lattice and wall them off. Amazing how political groups completely reverse their stance over a few stellar generations.

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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:31 pm UTC

I've seen … attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate…

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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby keithl » Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:56 pm UTC

pogrmman wrote:The new LED street lamps are good, but they’re an issue for both people and astronomy. They use loads less electricity and have better shielding, but they have a much wider spectral output that’s hard to filter and they have much more blue light, which disrupts sleep cycles.

LED "white" lights are actually an intense monochromatic blue GaN LED coated with pigments that downgrade most of the photons into the green/yellow/red. You can estimate the colors produced by observing the reflections off a DVD or CD, which acts as a cheezy diffraction grating.

I have severe sleep problems. I wrap Philips slimstyle LED lamps with Lee Filters type 105 theater gel plastic sheeting to block the melatonin-destroying blue, and use those at light. Also UVEX S0360X orange safety glasses where I can't control the lighting, and with computer screens.

I've argued about "melatonin blue" with Shuji Nakamura, who earned the 2014 Nobel Prize for co-inventing the modern LED lamp. Fortunately, he's now working on ultra-high-efficiency violet lasers at UCSB; those can also be pigment-shifted into a full color spectrum, and they promise to be twice as energy efficient.

But how about light pollution for astronomy? LEDs and lasers tend to make pulses synchronized with rectified AC voltage; perhaps the 120 Hz (rectified 60 Hz) pulses from LED bulbs could be time gated and partially subtracted from the image made by a CCD imager, perhaps by diddling the bias voltages to the array.

I don't know how the three-phase line power is distributed in an urban area, but I imagine that varies by neighborhood, powered by different "legs" of the power grid. This approach might yield a 30% improvement in the optical "noise floor"; it would be fun to learn about.

Power-cycle-synchronized light research might also help people on the autism spectrum, some of whom are very sensitive to line-frequency-pulsed light.

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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby Heimhenge » Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:56 pm UTC

Phoenix made the switch to LED fixtures a couple years ago. They actually provided an online survey that showed "warm" LEDs compared to "cool" LEDs and let the people provide input. The local astronomy community mobilized enough info the sway the vote to "warm" and that's what happened to some 17,000 fixtures. Further replacements are in the works.

Alas, the "smart fixtures" weren't available then, or too costly. But I hear the sensors and electronics an be easily retrofitted. Makes so much more sense to turn them off when not needed for safety. When there's no traffic (vehicular or otherwise) those lights should be off for even further energy savings. When you need them, they can ramp up to full brightness damn quick compared to HPS and LPS fixtures. No idea what the retrofit would cost.

I'm 50 km north of Phoenix in the (relatively) open desert. I haven't noticed any difference from here, but it probably helps if you're in the city.

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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby Eutychus » Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:26 pm UTC

keithl wrote:I grew up in the Boötes void; zoning laws did not allow stars. I had a cold hydrogen sphere for a pet. When I wasn't looking, my pet mated with the neighbor's pets. They collapsed into a star, and ignited.
We were kicked out of Boötes, and ended up in the refugee camp you know as the Milky Way. We were welcomed; immigration laws were more relaxed then.
Now the refugee caravan you call the Andromeda galaxy is approaching, and the Galactic Rainbow Coalition is demanding funding to extend the crystal sphere lattice and wall them off. Amazing how political groups completely reverse their stance over a few stellar generations.


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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby Southern Man » Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:53 pm UTC

Thank you for bringing this back front and center.

In an 8-hour period on August 31st, 2005 my whole world changed as the eye of Hurricane Katrina went over my house 20 miles inland from landfall.

It began early in the morning, and by late afternoon, destruction was everywhere, and complete. When the worst of the back side of the storm finally diminished in the late afternoon, we walked outside, checked on neighbors, and began chainsawing fallen trees and limbs to open driveways and streets.

An odd thing happens just after hurricanes. The storm swirls off to the north-northeast usually, and just as it pulls moisture from the Gulf of Mexico during the storm, it pulls in dry air from the northwest once the storm is gone.

So there we were, with debris everywhere, exhausted from moving and cutting fallen trees, and we sat down in lawn chairs on the moonless, clear night and looked up to see the most amazing sky I've seen in my six decades on the planet.

That 200-mile wide storm had extinguished every street-light for at least 150 miles in every direction. The stars and the milky way were far brighter and clearer than in the third panel of this comic. It was just stunning -- one of those few "special" moments we get.

Our neighbors and us didn't get anything else done that night. We all just sat there on chaise lounges, drinking our best Cabernet Sauvignons, and staring at those stars and galaxies.

Thanks again for the bump on those memories.

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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby rmbdot » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:56 pm UTC

Darn Tholians!

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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby Flumble » Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:41 am UTC

keithl wrote:I wrap Philips slimstyle LED lamps with Lee Filters type 105 theater gel plastic sheeting to block the melatonin-destroying blue, and use those at light[sic].

I just have a couple of halogen lamps lighting the place. They have a nice colour temperature (and I assume a good colour rendering index because it's just a glowing fillament), especially when dimmed, and they're 100% efficient most of the year. :D


Recently my neighbourhood has gotten LED street lamps and I was amazed at how much better their light was focussed on the road, i.e. how much darker it was next to the road. But now I'm longing for more: the light is concentrated in front of the post and fades pretty much radially instead of lighting a rectangular area and lighting it equally*.
Surely this can be resolved with some cheap plastic fresnell lenses (either on the 'bulbs' or on the fixtures). I don't know how hard it would be to make them adaptable to different post heights, post spacing and road width, though. After some searching it appears this is solved already but my neighbourhood is just unlucky/got old or cheap fixtures.

*if I did the math right, the brightness (energy per time per solid angle) should be I=sec(α)² (with α the angle from straight down) to illuminate the street evenly (while a ball would become brighter between posts), while I=sec(α) would give equal illumination (street gets darker between posts, ball stays constant). Some street light's diagrams reflect the former, while others don't. I haven't seen a diagram that shows equal illumination though, that is, a horizontal line in the polar plot (unless I misunderstand polar plots).

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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby Soupspoon » Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:00 am UTC

When there was some LED streetlighting head replacement here, not so long ago, I started to notice the patterns of illumination and shadows on the ground as the grid-arrayed LED set shone down through leafy tree branches. A 'pixelated' shadow, as it were.

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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby da Doctah » Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:22 am UTC

"It was so clear you could see the epicycles and deferents."

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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby GlassHouses » Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:34 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:"It was so clear you could see the epicycles and deferents."

I went walking in the woods one night with some friends, all of us under the influence of some kind of mushroom, and I could see dotted lines connecting the stars, like the constellations in a star chart.

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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby wumpus » Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:34 pm UTC

Heimhenge wrote:I've had the same thing happen. Our astronomy club has invited scout troops, grade school science classes, etc. out to my place in the desert to show them the sky through telescopes. Being from the big city (Phoenix) they marvel at the unmagnified sky itself, many seeing the Milky Way for the first time. Not so much the scouts since they've camped out, but the school kids are generally amazed ... once we get all the lights turned off and eyes get dark adapted. I take it for granted. Still getting SQM readings above 20.5 out here.


When I was a scout from the East coast, it was a bit of a shock to get out to Philmont (New Mexico) and suddenly see the stars. Simply going a slight ways "out of town" isn't enough to see stars.

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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby Heimhenge » Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:41 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:When there was some LED streetlighting head replacement here, not so long ago, I started to notice the patterns of illumination and shadows on the ground as the grid-arrayed LED set shone down through leafy tree branches. A 'pixelated' shadow, as it were.


They put some in here as an experiment along one city block where one of their city lightning engineers lived, just for data and observation. I heard about the experiment and went over to check them out. Talked to the engineer, who came out when he saw me photographing them. These were some of the earliest models available and sound like what you're describing.

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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby eviloatmeal » Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:57 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:I've seen … attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate…

Came here to make sure someone had made this reference.
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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby Meticulac » Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:54 am UTC

I propose removing the need for outdoor lighting by giving everyone night vision goggles.

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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby Mikeski » Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:24 pm UTC

Meticulac wrote:I propose removing the need for outdoor lighting by giving everyone night vision goggles.

Skip the goggles, just give them night vision.

Downside: injected directly into the eyeball.

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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby ucim » Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:52 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:Downside: injected directly into the eyeball.
What?? Not applied directly to the forehead?

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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby The Moomin » Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:39 am UTC

Come to Yorkshire.

Due to budgetary constraints, streetlights are turned off at night.
I possibly don't pay enough attention to what's going on.
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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby cellocgw » Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:28 am UTC

keithl wrote:
But how about light pollution for astronomy? LEDs and lasers tend to make pulses synchronized with rectified AC voltage; perhaps the 120 Hz (rectified 60 Hz) pulses from LED bulbs could be time gated and partially subtracted from the image made by a CCD imager, perhaps by diddling the bias voltages to the array.

I don't know how the three-phase line power is distributed in an urban area, but I imagine that varies by neighborhood, powered by different "legs" of the power grid. This approach might yield a 30% improvement in the optical "noise floor"; it would be fun to learn about.

Power-cycle-synchronized light research might also help people on the autism spectrum, some of whom are very sensitive to line-frequency-pulsed light.


Unfortunately, the streetlights almost certainly run on 220V source transformered down to LED voltage levels but at some manufacturer-selected rate more likely to be in the 100-200 Hz range. But even if the LED drive were in sync with the local 60Hz feed, the phase lag across a couple parking lots would be more than enough that the net illumination would have (does have!) a huge DC component.
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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:36 pm UTC

Maybe we can make one of those eldritch abominations that eats light do some community service...
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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:37 pm UTC

Since when are plants "eldritch abominations"?

Okay, I'll grant you kudzu.
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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby pogrmman » Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:05 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:
keithl wrote:
But how about light pollution for astronomy? LEDs and lasers tend to make pulses synchronized with rectified AC voltage; perhaps the 120 Hz (rectified 60 Hz) pulses from LED bulbs could be time gated and partially subtracted from the image made by a CCD imager, perhaps by diddling the bias voltages to the array.

I don't know how the three-phase line power is distributed in an urban area, but I imagine that varies by neighborhood, powered by different "legs" of the power grid. This approach might yield a 30% improvement in the optical "noise floor"; it would be fun to learn about.

Power-cycle-synchronized light research might also help people on the autism spectrum, some of whom are very sensitive to line-frequency-pulsed light.


Unfortunately, the streetlights almost certainly run on 220V source transformered down to LED voltage levels but at some manufacturer-selected rate more likely to be in the 100-200 Hz range. But even if the LED drive were in sync with the local 60Hz feed, the phase lag across a couple parking lots would be more than enough that the net illumination would have (does have!) a huge DC component.

That's also way, way more expensive and difficult than filtering out the virtually monochromatic light of sodium-vapor lamps. Even amatuers can buy filters that do that! It would also necessitate increasing data collection time, which is expensive and makes research even more dependent on things like the weather than it already is.

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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby da Doctah » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:26 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Since when are plants "eldritch abominations"?

Okay, I'll grant you kudzu.


And oleanders. And pyracantha. And bougainvillea.

(Do I even have to bring up kale and quinoa?)

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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby serutan » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:52 am UTC

rmbdot wrote:Darn Tholians!


Was going to make a Tholian remark myself. Good job.
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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby pogrmman » Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:59 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:Since when are plants "eldritch abominations"?

Okay, I'll grant you kudzu.


And oleanders. And pyracantha. And bougainvillea.

(Do I even have to bring up kale and quinoa?)


There’s plenty of abominable plants — like mycoheterotrophic ones that don’t photosynthesize and instead parasatize fungi. Heck, every orchid needs to do that at some stage of their life cycle! And all the many, many incredibly invasive ones (like hydrilla and the aforementioned kudzu). Don’t forget other non-photosynthetic plants like dodder and Rafflesia, either.

I don’t know if you’d consider them abominations, but carnivory has probably arisen in plants at least 8 different times — possibly more (in the Caryophyllales carnivore clade (it’s debated as to how many times carnivory originated here, but it’s at least once), in the Roridula/Sarraceniaceae clade (maybe once, probably twice), in Lentibulariaceae (probably once), in Byblis (once), in Cephalotus (once), in Philcoxia (once), in Brocchinia (once), and in Catopsis (once)) and those carnivorous plants grow on every continent but Antarctica and in all but a small handful of countries. They capture and digest many, many things. My Sarracenia often fall over because they’ve caught so many insects and they begin rotting inside the plant. There’s also plants that indiscriminately kill insects and do nothing with the carcasses (like Proboscidea).

I don’t know if I’d call bougainvillea an abomination (it’s thorny and gets big, but it’s not super invasive). Pyracantha is quite invasive, but not to the extent of some other plants.

There’s all sorts of wacky, fascinating plants that could be considered abominable in their own ways — parasitic ones, carnivorous ones, highly toxic ones, highly invasive ones, ones with close symbiosis with certain animals, ones that grow in incredibly harsh conditions, etc... They’re truly an incredible group of organisms.

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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby freezeblade » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:40 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:pyracantha.


Oh god, I hate that shit. I did a fair amount of landscaping jobs in my teenage years, and having to trim back overgrown pyracantha in far-too-thin gloves and no arm protection left burning scratches that lasted for weeks.

I also despise Nasturtium and Ivy due to the smell that it creates when you have to rip out multiple cubic yards of it from a location and stuff it into green waste bins. That stuff can be so invasive.

Although for the "thorny and evil" plants rating, some Acacias have thorns that can easily pop bike tires, and go though shoes.

Oops. this went a tad off topic.
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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby pogrmman » Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:35 am UTC

freezeblade wrote:Oops. this went a tad off topic.

Of course it did :p

WRT spiny, nasty plants, acacia is pretty bad -- I've cleared out enough catclaw acacia to realize how nasty it is. Though I think cholla still gets the crown for worst spiny, nasty plant. The damn things break at the slightest touch, leaving a piece of stem stuck into your flesh. When said stem falls off (or is removed), it'll grow into another cholla if it touches the ground! And, to make matters even worse, they've got nasty, tiny, hair-like barbed spines called glochids that you don't feel getting into your skin, but which make the slightest touch in that area painful. Because of the size and the barbs, they're very hard to remove.

Pyracantha ain't fun, but they're not as bad as agaves, acacias, certain citrus, opuntioid cacti, or sotol (those bastards are like saws). Actually, now that I think about it, there's a pretty massive number of nasty, spiny plants that aren't all that fun.

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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby Flumble » Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:41 am UTC

Hasn't biology found a way yet to make species of insects/funghi that love one particular spikey invasive plant (in a not-so-symbiotic way)? Or any particularly invasive plant for that matter, because we're getting more and more of those due to all our world-wide transport.

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GlassHouses
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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby GlassHouses » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:20 am UTC

One thing that probably tends to rein in the nastiness of plants (or living things in general) is that making all those toxins and thorns and whatnot requires energy, which takes away from the budget for growth and reproduction. The optimum appears not to be "maximum nastiness."

Of course it varies by region, but growing up in the Netherlands, the worst that happened to me as a kid was reaching into a rose bush without noticing the thorns, or walking into a thicket of stinging nettles (not pleasant, but the effect wears off within hours, at least if you're not allergic). Definitely a corner of the world where nature manages to thrive without being very nasty.

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freezeblade
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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby freezeblade » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:33 pm UTC

I submit the following for a "maximum nastiness" candidate: Dendrocnide moroides also known as the "suicide plant"

Has stinging hairs much like stinging nettle, except the result is far, far, far worse. Here's a description from a naturalist who was unlucky enough to be accidentally slapped by one across the torso when romping though Australia:

Ernie Rider, 1963 wrote:For two or three days the pain was almost unbearable; I couldn’t work or sleep, then it was pretty bad pain for another fortnight or so. The stinging persisted for two years and recurred every time I had a cold shower. ... There's nothing to rival it; it's ten times worse than anything else.
Belial wrote:I am not even in the same country code as "the mood for this shit."

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Heimhenge
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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby Heimhenge » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:32 pm UTC

We've got a particularly nasty species of cactus here in AZ called cholla. Its spines easily pierce soft shoes and leather gloves, and the spines have barbed ends that make them very difficult to remove without getting a chunk of flesh with it. It's really a beautiful plant. People use the "teddy bear" variety for decorating landscapes. Looks fuzzy and "cuddly" but will stick you good.

Image

It's sometimes called "Jumping Cactus" because you can be hiking along minding your own business, not realize you brushed up against one, and suddenly you feel this tug on your sock or pants, turn around and see the cactus rocking back and forth from the collision, and one of the spiny bulbs stuck to you. Almost like the bulb jumped at you from the plant. But that's how they propagate, as one bulb can generate a whole new plant.

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Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

Postby Mikeski » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:15 am UTC

freezeblade wrote:I submit the following for a "maximum nastiness" candidate

Hmm...

freezeblade wrote:romping though Australia

I found the problem!


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