Monday, June 18, 2018

Bunch of dweebs

The Supreme Court punted a decision on gerrymandering. Even though one of the cases was against the horribly gerrymandered districts in Maryland, which is a situation created by Democrats, and I'm a Democrat in Maryland, I know when things have gone too far. The SC should have taken a stand, but the majority is a bunch of conservative dweebs that can't be expected to do anything that's in the best interest of the country, particularly anything that could make elections more fair and Congress more effective.

We are indeed living in dark days.

Efforts to lift partisan gerrymandering falter at the Supreme Court

Another picture on the boundary between the erotic and the artistic

You make the call. Art gallery? Or just one for the personal collection?

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Sonnet for early June 2018

A sonnet, inspired by a couple of recent events in sports.

never bet on hope

There are such situations where the chance
of their occurrence is quite low; and yet
this rarity is why their happenstance
is notable -- so unwise players bet
upon these odds because unlikeliness
could make them rich (e'en though more commonly
such plays result in losses and distress).
So if these minor chances randomly
result in what was unexpected to
take place, the celebration shall be based
upon the magnitude of odds, and through 
that triumph is perceived what we have faced --
the dangerous belief that we might win
although the likelihood was dim and thin.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Lighthouse of the Week, June 10-16, 2018: Fairport Harbor, Ohio, USA

The lighthouse featured this week, in a return to the USA coast of the Great Lakes, isn't the one that's working. The one that's working is the Fairport Harbor West Lighthouse (, on the breakwater, which is still an "active aid to navigation" running automatically. According to a recent article on that Web site, the current owner bought the house under the light at auction, and is attempting to make the former lighthouse keeper's home habitable again, as it wasn't inhabited after 1948 when the light went to electric, and therefore automated, operation.

But enough about that. The lighthouse featured here is the old original Fairport Harbor Lighthouse, which is now a marine museum.

(And I'm sure you're asking yourself, where is Fairport Harbor, Ohio? It's on the Lake Erie shore, naturally, northeast of Cleveland. Click here. )

First of all, here's the link to the Fairport Harbor Lighthouse Web site.

And here's a brief history of this lighthouse, copied from the Web site:
"The original lighthouse was completed in 1825. The tower stood thirty feet high, capped with an octagonal-shaped iron lantern. The lighthouse was accompanied by a two-story keeper's house. Due to deterioration the tower and keeper's house had to be replaced. Rebuilt in 1871, the tower now stands sixty feet high and has a spiral staircase of 69 steps which leads to an observation platform.In 1925 the light in the tower (a third-order Fresnel lens) was discontinued. It was replaced by a combination light and foghorn station which was built on the west breakwater pier head."
The Fresnel lens is in the museum, in case you're wondering, and I grabbed a picture of it. I like Fresnel lenses.

Let's move on to the pictures:

No, that's not the real lighthouse. That's a collectible.  Pictures of the real (retired) lighthouse follow. 

Summer concert series on the museum grounds

Lake effect snow?  

AND Video!

In this second video, about 2/3 of the way through, there are views of both lighthouses from the featured beach.

The trouble with Trump

I don't know if I'll say much about the sorry summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jung-Un. The next weeks, months, and years will be necessary to sort out what it really means, if anything.

I'm still stunned (another word for appalled) by what happened at the G7 summit. Trump's nuttiness was in full gear.

European leaders are indignant and defiant over Trump's G7 statement - but they're not surprised

“How is it possible to work this way if once you have agreed to something, two hours later the guy decides he doesn’t agree with what he agreed with?” said François Heisbourg, a former French presidential national security adviser. “Is there any space for a multilateral order under these circumstances?”

Dana Milbank, of the Washington Post, had a great, funny column after the farce was over:

Finally a President with the guts to stand up to Canada

"Trump bravely punished Canada by withdrawing the United States from the communique of the weekend’s Group of Seven meeting, which was hosted by Trudeau. The communique Trump rejected is loaded with objectionable provisions such as “a clean environment,” “a healthy, prosperous, sustainable and fair future for all,” “quality work environments,” “a more peaceful and secure world” and “ending violence against girls and women.” In other words, it was like all the other bad, terrible, crazily made, one-sided, miserable deals that make us the laughingstock of the world — such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, the ­Trans-Pacific Partnership, NATO, the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal."

It'd be funnier if it wasn't so terribly sad -- and terribly bad.

Friday, June 8, 2018

If you like hot flowing lava...

... you'll probably like this video.

Public service announcement on caffeine

This is short;  if you want to know how much coffee to drink and when to drink it for maximum zip and bravado, as well as being wide-awake, read this:

New algorithm determines ideal caffeine dosage and timing for alertness
Paragraph to peruse: "The study used a validated mathematical model, which predicts the effects of sleep loss and caffeine on psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) performance and combined it with a computationally efficient optimization algorithm to determine when and how much caffeine to consume to safely maximize alertness during sleep loss. The algorithm takes a user-provided sleep/wake schedule and maximum allowed caffeine as inputs and provides a caffeine-dosing strategy as the output."
If you aren't a bit drowsy now after reading that, I'm surprised.  Pass me the sugar.