Wednesday, November 14, 2018

When even the Russians who got you elected don't like you

This article in the Daily Mail caught my attention:

Russia hits out at US 'unpredictability' under Trump, saying it is causing 'deep global concern'

"The Kremlin hit out at the 'unpredictability' of the United States under Trump, saying it was causing 'deep global concern'.

'The fact that America has become unpredictable lately is no secret to anyone,' Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Dozhd TV today during a visit by President Vladimir Putin to Singapore.

'Such unpredictability from the largest country, the most powerful economy in the world, is the subject of deep global concern,' he added.
Does the phrase "hoist by their own petard" seem appropriate about now?

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Two amazing pictures of Jupiter from Juno

Some of the best pictures I've seen from this mission - and that's saying a lot, because I've seen quite a few great shots.  But these are really, really special.

Lighthouse of the Week, November 11-17, 2018: North Foreland, Kent, UK

England has a lot of history.  England also has a lot of lighthouses.  And thus, a lot of England lighthouses have a lot of history.

As one might expect, a lighthouse that guides ships into the estuary of the Thames River (that's the one that flows through London) would have quite a bit of history.  And it definitely does. In fact, according to the Web site I found about this one, the first year there was a light set up at this location was 1499.   We just missed the 500th anniversary back in 1999.

This site is all about English lighthouses, so here's a whole page about the North Foreland Lighthouse.

Extracting a few morsels of information about this one:

"Later in 1636 the first lighthouse was constructed, a wooden octagonal tower, 2 storeys high with a Iron coal burning grate on the top. The timber tower structure was completed with lathes and plaster. This was destroyed by fire in 1683."

The new 1691 lighthouse burned coal. They switched to oil in 1793. They put a lantern house on it in 1890.


"Octagonal cylindrical stone tower with lantern and gallery, painted white, attached to two 2-story keeper's houses."

The height of the tower is 26 meters.

Pictures also indicate that it is close to Kingsgate Castle, of which I have a picture below, too.

Kingsgate Castle.  North Foreland lighthouse is at far right.

A sonnet, contemplating the reasons for taking chances

swing for the boundary

What kinds of risk are those that we can find
acceptable? For some of us wish not
e'en scant amounts of danger, with a mind
for safety by the simplest path to plot
toward lands of soft serenity. Yet that
is not the way of those who see the face
of nervelessness as when they take the bat
into their hands and man the crease, the space
where they can fully fail, yet if they swing
and hit and run, they have a chance to win --
and for that to occur, their offering
is courage and their penalty akin
to endings, brutal or sublime, the fate
that all must face though none shall know the date.

Highway 41 in Georgia, north of Cordele

A few stops traveling north of Cordele.

Vienna, Georgia

Dooly County High School, Home of the Bobcats

Pinehurst, Georgia

Thursday, November 8, 2018

I want to try durian - but not fly with it

I wrote a few posts ago about how I'd like to try the strange Indonesian fruit durian. It's the fruit with the big spiky outer hull, big enough to kill someone if it dropped on them, and containing an interior edible "custard" that smells horrible but which aficionados claim is one of the world's great flavors.

Well, I knew from previous reading that no one likes someone with durian traveling on a bus with them.  From the article below, we find out that this general rule applies to airplanes as well.

Overwhelmed passengers abandoned an Indonesian flight crammed with 2 tons of a notoriously smelly tropical fruit
"According to a reporter Boyke Ledy Watra with Indonesia's national news agency, Antara, several passengers were so overwhelmed that they were "almost coming to blows with flight crew members."
EWWW.  (And yum!)

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

It really is there

I like Google Maps (as you might guess from my end-to-end, eventually, Google StreetView journey on America's Highway 41.

So this interesting article in the Daily Mail (of course) caught my eye.

Water we REALLY looking at? Stunning Google Earth image appears to show a plane submerged under the sea seven miles off the coast of Scotland

After reading the article, I went to Google Maps, and found the location, and zoomed in.  Then I grabbed the satellite image and put it right below.  Just zoom in on the right side of the image and you'll see it too (it's the white spot).

It has a perfectly reasonable explanation, of course.  But it's still a little bit weird.  Also, weirdly enough, it's brighter in this linked image below than it is on the Google Maps site.