Sunday, September 24, 2017

Senator Smith should leave Washington

Senator Lamar Smith, from Texas, is against anything that might positively influence the issue of climate change, and in favor of anything that keeps CO2 pumping into the atmosphere.

Thus, he is a climate denier favorite.  And this tactic shows why.

Rep. Lamar Smith cites fake news in fight against climate science

Here are a couple of illuminating excerpts:
"The Mail on Sunday was forced to publish an “adverse adjudication” on Sept. 17 admitting that a story by its reporter, David Rose, had breached the Editors’ Code of Practice of the UK Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO). The organization was established and is funded by a group of British newspapers, including The Mail on Sunday and its stablemate, the Daily Mail."

"Most reputable media were skeptical of Rose’s false claims when they were published in February. However, a few outlets, such as The Times in the U.K. and Fox News, were fooled and erroneously reported the story without checking its veracity.

In addition, Science Committee Chairman Smith, was taken in by Rose’s article and cited it in a letter he wrote in February to the Acting Administrator of NOAA, Mr Benjamin Friedman."

The article goes on to suggest that Senator Smith should apologize to Friedman.  Fat chance of that happening, I think.  Smith does not impress me as someone that practices propriety.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Video of the Indianapolis on the ocean floor

After posting about the wreck of the USS Indianapolis, I discovered a video of an ROV tour of the ship a day later.  Not much else to say:  it is both extremely interesting and somber.

Web site: Watch: A Tour of the USS Indianapolis Wreck

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

One of the last great wrecks was found

This is moderately old news by now, but the finding of the USS Indianapolis by an expedition led by Paul Allen marks one of the last great shipwreck finds available.

Oh sure, there are still lots of wrecks.  But there aren't a lot more truly historically significant wrecks that haven't been found.  One of the remaining challenges with historical and human significance isn't even a ship, it's a plane, the wreck of the ill-fated flight Malaysian Airlines 370 (MH 370).  And that's going to be even harder to find than a big battleship.

So, noted briefly, this was a major shipwreck find.  Sometimes I state the obvious.

Wreckage of WWII-Era Warship U.S.S. Indianapolis Found After 72 Years

An image of the wreck, taken by an ROV:

End of the run

In the end, they didn't have enough.

The Minnesota Lynx are loaded -- as the Washington Post called it, they are a super team (and maybe more than that).  And the Washington Mystics aren't.  You need at least three great players, it seems, to have a chance to win a basketball championship, and this year, after Tayler Hill got injured and went out for the season, the Mystics were down to two (Elena Delle Donne and Kristi Toliver), plus a strong supporting role from Emma Meesseman.

Not enough against the Lynx. So even though they made the semi-finals, they were outmatched, and were swept.

But it was enough to give us a little hope, especially those two wins in the one-and-done rounds.

They just need a little more.

On their way up, the Mystics just saw what a genuine super team looks like

Just to put it in context:
"And then they played a team [the Lynx] that had two former league MVPs, four all-stars and an experienced core that has recorded 37 playoff wins since 2011. The Mystics have four. Maybe that sweep wasn’t a super shock."
Final thought:  I think both men's and women's professional basketball has a bit of a problem if at the beginning of the season there's hardly any drama about who'll be in the championship round at the end of the season.  And given super teams like the Golden State Warriors, the Lynx, the Cleveland Cavaliers with LeBron and the Miami Heat with LeBron before that, the expectation is that they are so good that it would take something significant to stop them from getting that far.  Dynasties are OK, but hey, give the rest of the country at least a chance to dream about getting a ring.

A sonnet: "in modern times"

Yes, we do live in the future we imagined.

in modern times

I find a new one ev'ry day - a shot,
a view, a revelation, and a name
I never knew before. Though I cannot
be sure, I think that they exist, their fame
dependent on the eyes of we behold-
ers, looking, gazing, longing, wishing we
could be upon those slopes and shores, not cold
and lonely in the steeped stark nights, just free
to roam with needful vision, finding them
both posed and casual, unclothed or clad
in silk or lace or string, each frame a gem
of femininity that makes us glad
to know humanity can reach such heights,
and soothe our savage hearts with lissome sights.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Finding the Bay of Kotor

Just learned about this place by happenstance.  I doubt I'll get there, but it seems like a good place to visit if I was in the neighborhood.

Montenegro's Bay of Kotor by Rick Steves

Of course, if I was near Croatia, I'd also want to see the Plitvice Lakes National Park.

So many places to see, so little life to see them.

Lighthouse of the Week, September 17-23, 2017: Oluvil, Sri Lanka

So I asked myself, "Does Sri Lanka (the pendant-shaped island south of India) have lighthouses?"

I suspected that it did, because it is, after all, an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean.

And the answer to this simple question is:  Yes.  In fact, it has quite a few of them.

I'm going to start off this look at Sri Lankan lighthouses with Oluvil, a cute and modern (1999) lighthouse on Sri Lanka's east coast.

Because it was built in 1999, it doesn't have a lot of history.  This Web site has all the info you really need:  Oluvil Lighthouse, Ampara

It also has a map that can show you exactly where it is.

If you're in a hurry, skip the Web site, it's 24 meters (79 feet) high.  Now you can go look at the pictures and the drone video.