Friday, September 30, 2016

The stuff that fantasies are made of

Michelle Keegan hosted a roll-out of new looks in her exclusive Lipsy London line, and this occasion attracted a number of local lookers (note that I spelled that correctly) to the red carpet and the soiree.  Michelle was there with her massively lucky (and very good looking) husband, Mark Wright.

One of the attendees was the remarkable, sumptuous, Demi Rose Mawby. Demi Rose combines a cherubic visage with an insanely curvaceous figure (one that she frequently decorates with swimwear or evening wear that displays her fabulous frontside and dynamic backside quite advantageously), and elevated her fame by very briefly linking herself to rapper Tyga (Kylie Jenner's BF), which the Daily Mail has never forgotten, and which it uses to feature her frequently. I follow Demi on Snapchat and Instagram, and she is frequently visually entertaining.

Now, my praise of Michelle Keegan (and many posts disclaiming such) knows few bounds. Michelle is one of England's and the world's great beauties, and is on a trajectory to superstardom, I believe. Sadly, her most recent acting gig, Our Girl, isn't available for viewing in the States.

The reason for this introduction is that Demi and Michelle posed together for a picture. Their visual linkage in a single photographic frame threatens to overwhelm the camera's ability to capture radiant gorgeousness. Nonetheless, it was accomplished. Female beauty doesn't get much better than this.

(Well, if they were both nude, it would. But I'll take what I can get.)

Here's Demi by herself at the party, looking beyond category.  And I don't say that often.

Republicans should just give Trump up

Fareed Zakaria, writing in the Washington Post, discusses and expands upon the kind of tribal thinking that is driving the Trump voters, similar to what I discussed a few posts ago, in "Tribe Following the Shaman".

Can Republicans be rational?

Here are two great quotes from Zakaria's piece:

"These dynamics have reminded me of Jonathan Haidt’s seminal book, “The Righteous Mind.” Haidt, a social psychologist, used exhaustive evidence to explain that our political preferences are not the product of careful analytic reasoning. Instead, they spring from a combination of moral intuition (instinct) and a tribal affiliation with people who we believe share these instincts. We use reason, facts and analysis to affirm our gut decisions."
"The signs to look for in the next few weeks are whether Trump is losing any support among Republicans. That would indicate that politics is about more than tribal loyalty to a team. It would be heartening on many levels. After all, democracy depends on the ability to look at evidence and argument, to use reason and judgment, and to take seriously our roles as citizens of a great republic."
OK, everyone -- especially you, Republicans -- time to get serious.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

This explains why I don't like pumpkin pie very much

I'll just put this out there -- squash is one of my least favorite foods.  Oh, I can handle zucchini if they're covered with tomato sauce and cheese, and flavored with garlic, but that's about it.  I tried spaghetti squash innards as spaghetti once, but that wasn't so great.  The other varieties?  Yuck.

And even though I've always had a slice of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and Christmas, I prefer apple. Or cherry.  Or lemon meringue.  Or key lime.   I've always known that pumpkin was a variety of squash, so even with the sugar and the cinnamon and the whipped cream, the pumpkin pie was not my favorite highlight of the meal.

So it turns out that the pumpkin pie filling used for pumpkin pie ISN'T pumpkin.  It's squash!

Pass me another slice of apple pie, please.

Article on MSN.COM: I Just Found Out Canned Pumpkin Isn’t Pumpkin At All, And My Whole Life is Basically a Lie

Quote: "Pumpkin puree: You know, the canned orange stuff that’s lining the supermarket walls right now? The stuff you use to make all your favorite fall desserts that’s labeled “100% pumpkin”?! Yes, well, it’s actually made from 100% not pumpkin. The mix is made from a variety of winter squash (think butternut, Golden Delicious, Hubbard, and more)."

(Read the rest of the article. It's funny, but it's also tragic.

Lighthouse of the Week, September 25-October 1, 2016: Kylmäpihlaja, Finland

This week's lighthouse is the Kylmäpihlaja lighthouse, which is located on an island off the coast of Finland. When I reviewed previous Lighthouses OTW, I discovered I had done one, the Bengtskar lighthouse, twice. So this one is the second one for Finland. It's a neat place -- apparently a great place to eat, in addition to the views. Find some links and find some pictures below, in addition to the brief description from The Lighthouse Directory:

"1953. Active; focal plane 36 m (118 ft); four white flashes every 45 s. 32 m (105 ft) square cylindrical brick tower, originally incorporating keeper's quarters, attached to a large 2-story coast guard building. This large lighthouse was leased or sold in 2002, and it has been converted into a hotel and restaurant operated by Suvi and Tom Lindqvist. Located on an island about 10 km (6 mi) west of Rauma; accessible during the summer months by daily passenger ferry service from Rauma."
Hotel Kylmäpihlaja lighthouse ( - lots of pictures)

Leisurely at the lighthouse (Official Travel Guide of Finland)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Rosetta on slow final approach

Currently, there is a satellite orbiting the following objects in the solar system:

Venus (Venus Express)
Earth (a whole lot of them)
Earth's moon (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter)
Mars (several)
Jupiter (Juno)
Ceres (Dawn)
Saturn (Cassini)
Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko (Rosetta)

As of this Friday, that list will be reduced by one, as Rosetta makes a slow approach to a slow touchdown on its forever home, the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

On the way in, much as NEAR did several years ago, they plan to take some really high resolution pictures on final approach.

Read more about it here:

Comet crash: a guide to Rosetta’s big finale

It's done a great job and produced some really tremendous pictures, lots of data, and even some surface composition data from the bouncy baby lander, Philae.

Good night, Rosetta

Monday, September 26, 2016

Another sonnet in September

This sonnet flowed together nicely, and ended up being one with interesting aspects, some of which I didn't anticipate at the beginning.  It's only mildly erotic, too.

layers beneath layers

Unexpected wisdom can accrue
from most unlikely sources -- we don't ask
for it, but still it is received, both true
and false and in between, beneath the mask
that ev'ry person wears, because our lies
compose what we believe. It takes the stark
exposure of our body's need, the cries
of bright delight within a gloaming dark
to open full the unknown streams that we
do not suspect exist below the deep
crevasses, flowing to the broken scree
that marks the end of ice. Then as we sleep,
we learn again e'en as we dream, and hold
those sparks like varves preserved in glacial cold.

Another great volcano video

The volcano Piton de la Fournaise on the island of La Réunion had a brief eruption this month.  The eruption took place from September 11-18.  It seems like this volcano has several of these small short eruptions in between larger and more effusive ones;  during the latter, the lava can reach the sea.  Not in this case, however.

I found a really nice drone-shot video of the fire fountains during this eruption, which I've always found fascinating.   Hope you enjoy it too.  It's got music, and at two points it has what sounds like the real sounds of the eruption.  I recommend full screen.