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Old Dec 17, 2008, 5:12 AM   #1
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Every year our children's godmother sends them an Advent Candle. It's a different design each year. This year its design fascinates me more than usual, as I'll explain later. The rectangular cross-section results in a beautifully castellated tip.

They're all in a completely dark room, except for the candle-light, and auto white balance.

Note that due to the busy round of Christmas concerts & the like, meal time spent with anyone at all sitting at the kitchen table watching the candle burn is very restricted, so when these shots were taken about 9pm GMT on the 16th December, we were already about 18 hours slow.

This shot reminds me curiously of a nativity scene

KODAK EASYSHARE Z1012 IS Digital Camera
Exposure program: Aperture priority
Exposure mode: Manual
Exposure bias [EV]: -1.0
35mm focal length [mm]: 33
ISO value: 200
Shutter speed [s]: 1/203
Aperture: F2.8
Subj. distance range: Macro



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Old Dec 17, 2008, 5:15 AM   #2
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A little later...

KODAK EASYSHARE Z1012 IS Digital Camera
Exposure program: Aperture priority
Exposure mode: Manual
Exposure bias [EV]: -0.33
35mm focal length [mm]: 51
ISO value: 400
Shutter speed [s]: 1/51
Aperture: F7.2
Subj. distance range: Macro

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Old Dec 17, 2008, 5:41 AM   #3
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A Christmas Quiz question, to which I don't know the answer...

The candle is shaped like a tall, thin pyramid, reaching for the ceiling. The scale printed down its side is linear in height above the base, but the cross-section increases as it burns down, so if it burns at a steady rate, it steadily slows down as a clock.

The mathematics of this intrigue me. 20 years ago, I'd have set down the equations for the slowingclock speed in days per hour, assuming a constant rate of volumetric wax burn. However it's a long time since I did any differential calculus, and I'd like some bright young whizz kid to do it for me.

It does strike me that Sarah Joyce, still obviously our resident bright young whizz kid in spite of time dilation, may have done just these calculations before. The volume of fuel of in, say, the tanks of a trans-Pacific flying boat, is analogous to the volume of candle left to Christmas touchdown. Real time, and distance to destination at constant airspeed continue linearly. But the rate of fuel burn will decrease as the fuel load lightens due to emptying tanks, just as the shortening of the candle slows due its widening base; more wax per millimetre.

This is exploding my slow brain. Perhaps the equations are all built in to MS Flight Simulator. Maybe they were all there in the Sinclair Basic Moon Lander program on my first, Sinclair Z88, home computer, a very long time ago.

Model: KODAK EASYSHARE Z1012 IS Digital Camera
Exposure program: Aperture priority
Exposure mode: Manual
Exposure bias [EV]: -0.33
F-Number: F4.5
Focal length [mm]: 54.9
35mm focal length [mm]: 322
ISO value: 400
Shutter speed [s]: 1/81
Aperture: F4.4
Subj. distance range: Macro


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Old Dec 17, 2008, 6:04 AM   #4
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Here's the candle in context just now, to show the pyramidal prismatic shape. It alsoillustrates that round here we're running only a day late, symbolic of the world state of Climate Change Remedies, Economic Miracle Rescues, and Christmas Shopping.
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