Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A town called Helen

I just found out there's a town in Georgia named Helen.  This first made me wonder how many other towns there are in our great country with women's names, but I haven't had a chance to pursue that trivialistic inquiry.

Helen turns out to be an interesting place;  it used to be a logging town, and when that commercially ended, it reinvented itself as a pseudo-Bavarian town smack inside one of the southernest states there is.  They even have an Oktoberfest.

The other interesting thing about Helen is that its sister city is Füssen, Bavaria. That's the little town that happens to be real close to the famous Neuschwanstein Castle.

Helen, Georgia on Wikipedia

The Crystal Palace finish - 10th

While Chelsea won the Premier League cup, Crystal Palace managed to finish 10th, by winning on the final day.  And that is a heck of an achievement for a team that just came up the previous season, and which struggled with poor starts both last season and this.

Crystal Palace 1-0 Swansea: Alan Pardew targets four signings after his side complete their quest to finish in the top ten with Jason Puncheon starring for the Eagles at Selhurst Park

I don't think they'll be contenders for the top spot anytime soon, given how much money the top teams command, but I think they'll be fun to watch (and not just because they might drop down into the relegation zone).

‘It’s remarkable to finish 10th. I wouldn’t believe me had you told me,’ [manager] Pardew said. ‘Our record has been phenomenal. The chairman’s got an extra £4million tonight, and I’ll be trying to take it off him. We don’t have to speculate. We can buy quality. We’ve had conversations and try to feel the market.’

Monday, May 25, 2015

Could you stop staring?

If I was at the Cannes Film Festival, and I saw Miranda Kerr wearing what she was wearing and showing what she was showing, it would take serious willpower and restraint not to stare until my eyeballs dried out.

Miranda Kerr shows off some serious cleavage and almost flashes her derriere in plunging pink thigh-split gown at Cannes

Example below.

Lighthouse of the Week, May 24-30, 2015: Hrólfssker, Iceland

I figured Iceland had lighthouses, but I had never checked before.  Boy, does it ever.  Some of the most spectacular settings for lighthouses I've ever seen.

I'm starting off with Hrólfssker. It's on a little island with a big background of the mainland (even has a waterfall descending to the sea).   Here's some detail from Lighthouse Digest.

Nearest Town or City:
Olafsfjordhur, , Iceland

Location: On small island (Rolf's Skerry) at entrance to Eyjafjordhur.
Managing Organization:
Icelandic Maritime Administration

Tower Height: 51
Height of Focal Plane: 65
Characteristic and Range: White flash every 3 seconds; range 8 nautical miles.
Description of Tower: Yellow round concrete tower.
This light is operational
Date Established: 1951
Date Present Tower Built: 1951
Current Use: Active aid to navigation.
Open To Public? Grounds only.

Four nice pictures of it below. The last one is great.

I thought this had stabilized

I thought the honeybee crisis had stabilized, in a not good, but a not-dire state.

Turns out I was wrong.  And after I found this article, the Presidential administration announced steps to Help the Honeybees.

Article:  U.S. honeybees are disappearing very quickly, USDA finds

Losses of managed honey bee colonies hit 42.1 percent from April 2014 through April 2015, up from 34.2 percent for 2013-2014, and the second-highest annual loss seen, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report issued on Wednesday.

"Such high colony losses in the summer and year-round remain very troubling," Jeff Pettis, a USDA senior entomologist, said in a statement.

The 2014-15 yearly loss was down slightly from the 45 percent annual loss for 2012-2013 but well above the prior two years of annual measurements and above the benchmark of 18.7 percent that is considered economically unsustainable, USDA said.

Yeah, they need help. I like fruit.

Climate denial's new tactic; stop science

How low can they go in Congress?  We haven't found the bottom yet.

Climate denialists in Congress acting as NASA's kryptonite

An extremely good excerpted quote from this article:
"If you are intent on convincing people there is no climate change, then the last thing you want is NASA — with all its heroism and accuracy — telling folks climate change is real. So, faced with this dilemma, climate denialist's have come up with a clever solution: Get NASA out of climate change science."
Read the rest.  It's scary.

The problem is, it's hard to see how to stop those idiots in Congress from doing this.

Be careful what you fish for

A new sonnet.

Be careful what you fish for

You are a tempting mermaid -- will you swim
into my net? I cast it in the sea
with just a wish to catch a fish, but whim
and wisdom brought me here, where playfully
aquatic jewels cavort. Yet I did not
expect to find a piscine miss of myth
within this cove; just perch or grunt or spot
or octopus; however, with
a glimpse of naked skin and scaly tail
I feared that I had seen a fateful sight
from love and legend, sought beneath the sail
for centuries, and now she swims in bright-
lit waves beside my boat. So could we mate?
Or am I just to her a tasty bait?