Saturday, April 25, 2015

A bonus lighthouse


I missed my Lighthouse of the Week last week, but I've got a good one for tomorrow.   Meanwhile, I found a picture of the Arenas Blancas lighthouse in the Canary Islands, which is a very modern design.




Italy has strange ancient fossil guys


Italy has a couple of strange ancient guys.  One of them is Ötzi, the frozen Bronze Age hunter found in the Italian mountains (a few hundred yards from Austria), who was apparently assassinated in a tribal power struggle.

And after reading this Daily Mail article, I found out about "Altamura Man", a Neanderthal (now conclusively identified as such) who was encased in calcite after falling into a cave sinkhole.  And the pictures of him are positively spooky.

"The DNA is the oldest to ever be extracted from a Neanderthal and the researchers now hope to further analyse the genetic information from the skeleton. ... However, few could agree on whether the skeleton belonged to a Neanderthal or a modern human, or how long it had been down there. But after taking a tiny part of the skeleton's shoulder bone, researchers at the Sapienza University of Rome, University of Firenze and Newcastle University have been able to answer the questions. They found mitochondrial DNA they extracted from the shoulder bone matched that of other Neanderthal skeletons."
Here's a spooky picture of Altamura Man:





Properly improper


Elle Evans (formerly known as Lindsey Gayle Evans)  has established herself as a fashion model and rising recognizable celebrity.   Her career got a big boost from her appearance (and I use that word in its best sense) in the "Blurred Lines" video.  She's made more appearances, on TV, in LOTS of high-fashion shoots, avant garde photography, and she's also now making movies.

She might also be in a newly initiated high-profile dating relationship.  Read about that here.  I won't speculate.

The reason for this post is a recent Instagram from her management team (photographer unknown, but I wouldn't mind having had the opportunity) showing the proper form for eating breakfast in bed, though not necessarily entirely in proper attire.  On the other hand, depending on what you've got planned or what you've recently accomplished, she might be entirely appropriate.



Fetching.




Great shot of Calbuco eruption


Calbuco volcano in Chile started erupting on April 22, with more plumes of ash on April 23 and 24.  Like most Chilean volcanoes, this eruption is producing a lot of ash, and a lot of that ash is falling on Argentina.   This also appears to be a volcano that's easy to watch, as there are many picture of it erupting.  

There were videos and pictures of the first eruption at sunset and the second one at night, the latter with lots of lightning.  The picture below must be of the eruption on Friday the 24th, because it was viewed from space during the day.  See link below.





Here's an article with more pictures, an ashfall map, and an excellent view from space.  The article notes that Calbuco is considered Chile's 3rd most dangerous volcano.

Calbuco volcano in Chile could erupt for months


Vote on the bright spots


I, like many other astronomically interested persons, am wondering what the bright spot features on Ceres are.  We may know fairly soon as the Dawn satellite makes more observations.

A couple of posts ago, I guessed that the bright spots are ice.  Well, now anybody can vote on what they might be:

What's that spot on World Ceres?  (Ha ha, get it?)

So I voted for ice.  Ice was leading the voting totals with 34%.   "Other" is second with 27%.

Can't wait to find out.


Monday, April 20, 2015

I have to mention...



Because of my long-running admiration for Kate Hudson  (don't believe me? here's my blog search results), I have to mention this compendium of both her glam and casual (including bikini) fashions, in which she almost invariably looks marvy.

Kate Hudson's twenty hottest looks

Somehow, though, they missed this appearance, to which I paid ample tribute at the time it appeared:


Marco Rubio says very little about climate change



I was stunned by the lack of anything substantive in Marco Rubio's interview statement on climate change.  It's confused, vacuous, and pandering.  By the title of the article, you might perceive that the author agrees with that assessment.  Full disclosure here:  I read the whole article and agreed with the author of it, which is why I say that this statement is confused, vacuous, and pandering, because that's basically what the author said it is.

And that's what it is.

From "Marco Rubio's intellectually vacuous position on climate change":
"Humans are not responsible for climate change in the way some of these people out there are trying to make us believe, for the following reason: I believe the climate is changing because there’s never been a moment where the climate is not changing.  The question is, what percentage of that … is due to human activity? If we do the things they want us to do, cap-and-trade, you name it, how much will that change the pace of climate change versus how much will that cost to our economy? Scientists can’t tell us what impact it would have on reversing these changes, but I can tell you with certainty, it would have a devastating impact on our economy."

Questions:

1.  Who are "some of these people", and in what way is climate not changing that they are trying to make us believe it is changing?  (Can we have a few names? )

2. If you have a question about how much climate change is due to human activity, why don't you ask some experts who can give you a good answer?  (I can give him a few names.)

3.  How much will uncontrolled climate change cost our economy, in terms of agriculture, extreme event damage, infrastructure deterioration, resource use, and mitigation?   (Quick answer: a lot.)

4.  What are your reasons for "certainty" that economic impacts would be devastating?  (Probably because he believes without question everything the Heartland Institute writes.)

5.  Have you evaluated the use of a carbon tax to address some of your scenarios?  (Very unlikely.)

Pathetic.  Or as the author (Stephen Stromberg) says:

"But most important, he [Rubio] keeps it all really vague. He opposes some unspecified policies favored by unspecified “people” because of an unspecified amount of skepticism about the science. He seems to admit that humans have some role in driving climate change, not as much as “some” claim, but he doesn’t say how much. And he fails to articulate what policies he does favor."

But wait ... this is a GOP Presidential candidate.  To expect much better would be comical.