Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A great quote from George Will

I don't always agree with George Will (especially the views he has expressed on climate change).  But his column entitled "The 'Oh, never mind' president" had a great quote, directed at the misguided citizens of the U.S.A. that voted for Donald Trump.

Here's the quote:
"Donald Trump’s “Oh, never mind” presidency was produced by voters stung by the contempt they detected directed toward them by the upper crust. Their insurrection has been rewarded by Trump’s swift shedding of campaign commitments, a repudiation so comprehensive and cavalier that he disdains disguising his disdain for his gulled supporters."
In case his supporters need a definition of "gull" (the verb), here it is:

"to take advantage of (one who is foolish or unwary) : deceive"

In other words, Trump supporters, you've been had. Big time.

Casual wear

This is the second time this year I've featured gorgeous model Julia Lescova.  In this case, she shows her fashion sense in this stylish, eye-catching outfit.  It takes a bit of confidence to wear something like this.

Especially if you've omitted your lacy underthings

I don't have a problem with that at all.

In case you were wondering

Chalk one up for science.  A mystery has apparently been solved.

The mystery was the source of Blood Falls in Antarctica.  Blood Falls is a somewhat bizarre flow of water at the outlet of a glacier that is colored, indeed, blood red.  The red comes from iron-loving brine extremophile bacteria.

Blood Falls

But where does the salty water that supports the extremophile bacteria come from?  That's what's been solved.

Century old mystery of Antarctica's Blood Falls SOLVED

"The American researchers tracked the brine with radio-echo sounding, a radar method that uses two antenna—one to transmit electrical pulses and one to receive the signals.

While analyze the scans, the team had seen something that until now was deemed impossible – liquid water was able to keep its form inside of the extremely cold glacier that flowed through a 300-foot long path."

So, by proving that the brine is flowing under the glacier, they basically confirmed that the source is a subglacial brine reservoir further upstream from Blood Falls.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Meet Steve, the new aurora

It's not every day that you meet a new auroral phenomenon.  But there is one -- with the unlikely moniker of  'Steve'.

An Aurora Called 'Steve'? Strange Sky Phenomenon Investigated

It's even been observed by satellite.

"Within a few weeks of searching, Donovan identified signs in the ground-based data that could match a Steve-like feature, and asked the Facebook group whether anyone had spotted it — sure enough, there were photos of Steve from that very location. And better yet, one of the Swarm satellites had flown through the feature.

"As the satellite flew straight through Steve, data from the electric field instrument showed very clear changes," Donovan said in the statement. "The temperature 300 kilometers [200 miles] above Earth's surface jumped by 3,000 degrees Celsius [5,500 degrees Fahrenheit], and the data revealed a 25-km-wide [16 miles] ribbon of gas flowing westwards at about 6 km/s [3.5 miles per second] compared to a speed of about 10 m/s [33 feet/s] either side of the ribbon." "

Monday, April 24, 2017

Lighthouse of the Week, April 23-29, 2017: Roanoke River Light, North Carolina, USA

This week's LotW is a historic one that is no longer operational, but has been restored. It was restored due to it's historical value. It is North Carolina's last remaining rectangular frame building on a screwpile base.

Lots and lots of history at Lighthouse Friends:

It was established in 1867, burned in 1885, was relighted in August 1885 and then destroyed by ice in January 1886. (Umm, climate has changed a bit since then.) It looks like it was rebuilt in 1887, and worked as a lighthouse until 1941.

It was purchased to be a home, as were two other lighthouses. While attempting to move the lighthouses, two of them sank, but the Roanoke River lighthouse survived the move to Edenton.

It gets more interesting - a replica of the lighthouse was built in Plymouth (because the family that owned the original asked too much for it at the time), and is apparently there still, along with a maritime museum. But the original was purchased, "refloated", and renovated on the Edenton waterfront, and reopened (with an empty interior) in August 2014. It doesn't have an authentic Fresnel lens back yet, but hopefully they can eventually get to that.

The Roanoke River Lighthouse at Visit Edenton

It has it's own Web site, too:

So does the replica in Plymouth:

Edenton and Plymouth are only about a 1/2 hour drive apart; one could visit both the original and the replica on a day trip.

For the sake of historical accuracy, I only have images below of the renovated original in Edenton.

An award winner by Jeff Knox:

And here's one from Max Stansell:

New chemosynthetic bacteria found

I'm referring to this Daily Mail article, but there are more available. Scientists recently described the discovery of the Venus Hair bacteria, which was found on the ocean floor near the site of an underwater eruption adjacent to El Hierro island, one of the Canary Islands.

According to the DM:
"The vast lawns of bacteria, which was named Thiolava veneris, were several kilometres in diameter.

The researchers studied the new bacteria and found that it can thrive in the sulfur-rich environment left by a volcanic eruption.

Here's a somewhat more scholarly, though short, discussion. There's a link to the abstract of the paper in it. To read the actual paper, you'll have to pay good money, unfortunately.

Venus's hair thrives after volcanic eruption

Hard to believe what Crystal Palace has just done

I tabbed them for relegation a couple of months ago, but Crystal Palace has dramatically turned around its Premier League season with notable wins over Chelsea, Arsenal, and most recently this past Sunday, Liverpool. If they can defeat a motivated Tottenham Hotspurs side this Wednesday, it would be an incredible (which is higher than amazing) turnaround, and likely insure that they won't be relegated. Relegation is unlikely at this point; I'm pretty sure two more wins would make it impossible.

Christian Benteke, a former Liverpool player, provided both goals in the upset.

Ultimately, I think the difference has been better defense, as they haven't given up late goals when they've acquired a lead, which they with upsetting frequency earlier in the season. And not giving up late goals to the three top-of-the-table teams they defeated is a definite noteworthy accomplishment.

Christian Benteke struck twice to claim a 2-1 win for Crystal Palace over Liverpool at Anfield