How to Survive a Solar Eclipse

Here are a few last-minute tips for anyone planning to view today’s eclipse:

1. Don’t stare directly at the Sun. Staring is rude. The Sun has been around for billions of years, and without it, none of us would be here. Show a little respect.

2. Don’t look at the Sun through sunglasses. The Sun receives no compensation from the sunglass industry for the use of its name. The Sun believes this is unfair. The Sun filed a lawsuit. The Sun lost. The Sun is still bitter. A pair of sunglasses pointed at the Sun is like a slap in the Sun’s face.

3. Don’t look at the Sun through those 3-d glasses you got when you saw Avatar a couple years ago. 3-d glasses make two-dimensional images appear three-dimensional. The Sun is already three-dimensional. Who knows how many dimensions it would appear to be if you looked at it through 3-d glasses? I’m guessing four, four and a half, or nine. That’s too many for your tiny human brain to process. It would explode, the way computers always did on the original Star Trek TV series whenever anyone asked them to solve simple logic puzzles.

4. Consider using binoculars to project an image of the Sun onto the ground. But don’t look through the binoculars at the Sun. Also, don’t look through the binoculars into your neighbors’ windows; if your neighbors are anything like mine, this makes them inexplicably testy.

5. Consider using a pin and a large cardboard box to make a pinhole projector. But – and I cannot stress the importance of this enough – remember to use the pin to poke a hole in the box, not in your eye.

6. Consider using your fingers as a pinhole projector. Hold your hands so that your fingers overlap at right angles and the spaces between them form pinholes. But resist the temptation to make shadow figures with your fingers. You’ll get distracted and miss the whole eclipse.

I hope this helps make today’s eclipse a safe and enjoyable experience. If you have any favorite eclipse-viewing tips of your own, please leave them in the comments.