Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Republican Prez candidates miss the mark on climate

Not surprisingly, the field of Republican Presidential candidates does not know the facts about climate change, according to scientists who do.  Now, if they really studied the issue, they might know more, but if they revealed their insightful knowledge, most of their potential voters will abandon them in a flash.

Here's a ridiculous statement by Donald Trump:

" "It could be warming and it's going to start to cool at some point," Trump said in a September radio interview. "And you know in the 1920s people talked about global cooling. I don't know if you know that or not. They thought the Earth was cooling. Now it's global warming. Actually, we've had times where the weather wasn't working out so they changed it to extreme weather and they have all different names, you know, so that it fits the bill."
Here's how they ranked:

Astronauts snap Lake Titicaca

NASA showed off a picture of the highest navigable lake in the world taken by astronauts on the International Space Station.   It's a great shot.  

Lake Titicaca

It seems like I've heard of Lake Titicaca since I was a toddler.  It was mainly because of the reed boats (like here) and Thor Heyerdahl's Kon Tiki.

Not a place I'm planning to visit, but it is unique.

Lighthouse of the Week, November 22-28: Strumble Head, Wales, UK

So I said to myself, "I wonder what lighthouses in Wales would look like?".   So that's what I searched for, and I found Strumble Head.

Now this is Wales, so it's located on an unpronounceable (unless your Welsh) islet:  Ynys Meicel.  (St. Michael's Island, if you speak English).

Here's the Web site for this unusual lighthouse: Strumble Head

And some pictures:  from a distance, closer, and close-up.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

So what happened to WT1190F?

A short while ago, I wrote about the impending incoming of an object known as WT1190F, likely a piece of derelict space junk.  It was scheduled to enter Earth's atmosphere over the Indian Ocean on November 13.

Silly me, I was busy and I forgot to check on it until yesterday.  So it did re-enter on schedule (there are very limited reasons why it wouldn't), and it was observed from a chase plane equipped with the proper cameras.  Apparently it didn't last long.

Spectacular breakup of WT1190F seen by airborne astronomers

Here's the video of the flaming entry into the atmosphere.

Keeping up with Princess Charlene

Princess Charlene of Monaco, despite the somewhat rocky start of her royal marriage to Prince Albert II of Monaco a few years ago, appears to be settling in nicely to domestic life in the high castle.

She's got a new, very short haircut, and she's making visits to the Red Cross.

And she made a balcony appearance on National Day with the cute young heir and heiress.

Here's how she looks right now:

Given the age of the young Prince and Princess, I suspect that Princess Charlene cut her hair really short primarily to reduce the amount of hair-pulling the tots are likely currently capable of.

Historical diamond find

For some reason, I've always been fascinated by large diamonds (and actually, other large gemstones as well).  I don't collect them, I can't afford them, and I don't go looking for them, but I really enjoy their uniqueness and their history.  Because most of the big gemstones have some history.

But this one doesn't, because they just found it:

Largest diamond in over a century found in Botswana

It's a nice one, clear and white, and 1,111 carats.  The Cullinan diamond, which begat the world's current two largest blue-white cut diamonds in the British crown and scepter, was 3,106 carats.  This one is now the second-largest ever found.

One thing that isn't entirely well-known is that the Cullinan I (in the scepter) isn't the world's largest cut diamond.  That record is owned by the Golden Jubilee, about 15 carats bigger, but the Golden Jubilee isn't blue-white, it's yellow-brown ("gold" is a stretch).

Here's a page with a list of the world's ten largest cut diamonds, even though one of them, the De Beers, is currently whereabouts unknown.

Crazytopics:  10 largest diamonds in the world

So the question is:  could they possible cut this new one to be even bigger than the Cullinan I or the Golden Jubilee?  A lot depends on the internal structure of the big rock.  I'm sure that setting the record has to be on the minds of the owners.

There are only a few pictures of it - below is the best one that shows it's transparency.  The other pictures show it being held, though because we can't judge the size of the hand holding it, we don't have a good size scale.

Idiot watch

Now, there's two sides to every marriage and two sides to every divorce, so one cannot judge why a marriage comes to an end in terms of who's to blame without getting a very clear picture from both sides.

In the case of a celebrity couple, it's pretty much impossible to get a clear picture, unless they both talk about it in very honest terms.  A lot of times, they don't talk or the stories don't match, in which case it's hard to figure out who really deserves to be tabbed as the main reason for termination of the marriage.

Other times, it's easy.  There have been many instances in which cheatin' by the guy or girl was the obvious motivating factor for ending the marital situation.  Even if they didn't ever admit it.

Some cases consitute idiocy (or madness).  Just for the sake of a fling, men have bedded a babe that was no match for their high-class, high-quality celeb wife, giving them grounds and justification for kicking the guilty party out (or hitting the road themselves).

Hopefully that isn't the case here.  I've often lauded lucky Len Wiseman for apparently treating his glorious wife Kate Beckinsale right.  They have been shown in the clinches of PDA many times, and he didn't seem to have an eye for other ladies.  Married to Kate, how could he?

But it now appears that the Beckinsale-Wiseman marriage is in a questionable state.  Len's been seen out with a younger woman while Kate films overseas.   Not a good sign.  Now, it certainly could be that she trusts him SO much that she's just letting him have fun, but the fact that he's observed not wearing a wedding ring is not a particularly good sign.

So, if Len is straying  for a younger woman, I think he's crazy.  Or an idiot.  Or both.  We'll have to just watch and see what happens.   If I had any advice for Len, it would be: if there's a chance to stay married to Kate, take it.  Any sane normal man would.

Len Wiseman, 42, parties with model CJ Franco, 24, for the THIRD time in two weeks as wife Kate Beckinsale shoots new movie Underworld 5 in Prague