Thursday, October 30, 2014
Until I followed a tweet to the Weather Channel, I had never heard of the Carcross Desert, which was called in the article both Canada's desert and the world's smallest desert.
Carcross Desert: Yes, Canada has a Desert - Sort Of (22 pictures)
If you search for Carcross in Canada in the satellite images of a mapping site, like Google Maps or Bing Maps, the little desert shows up readily.
It's a unique and pretty place. I think it rather unlikely I will ever visit it in person, so via the wonders of the Internet, now I know about it and also know what it looks like.
at 8:21 PM
I previously noted that Kelly Brook's 2015 calendar is quite appealing, but there is another girl I'd like to get my hands on -- I mean, another girl's calendar I'd like to get my hands on.
That stupendous girl is the outrageously charmingly sexually gorgeous British actress Michelle Keegan, who I still have tabbed for eventual world domination in the glamor girl category. I'm not sure where and when the breakthrough to international acclaim will take place, but I'm still pretty confident it will. We'll see. Meanwhile, here's Michelle's 2015 calendar. I couldn't find a site with all the pictures large-size, but on this site you can zoom in and see each month's picture medium-size.
Michelle Keegan Official A3 Calendar 2015
I like May (below) and June in particular.
at 7:40 PM
With many cars and trucks getting a lot higher gas mileage than before, and a small but growing number of vehicles not using gas at all, the traditional way of funding roads with a gas tax is gradually becoming obsolete. Furthermore, many big new road projects are being built as toll roads, some without the traditional coin-tossing toll collection booths and machines.
So it makes sense to come up with a way to fund roads based on who drives on them, and how much they drive on them. There is a supposed privacy problem, because you have to use GPS to only record the mileage on your own state's roads. However, I have a feeling that as this becomes the norm, it will become inter-state and every state will charge drivers for the mileage driven on their roads.
That's a way off, but I can see a day when it's the accepted way of doing things. The first step in getting to that place is a trial -- and that's what this article is about, a trial of VMT (Vehicle Miles Traveled). Because of the changes in the way roads are used as I described above, I think that eventually this will be implemented nationwide. That or revenue-collecting interstate highway speed cameras, something I advocated a couple of years ago on this blog. But since that involves collection of fines based on our right to break the law, maybe this VMT idea is better.
Oregon to test mileage-based gas tax
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Here's another opinion (I posted this one a couple of days ago) that expresses the idea that the Republicans winning the Senate won't be good for them -- in this case, the writer thinks it will be a nightmare for them.
Republicans will probably take the Senate. Here’s why it will be a nightmare for them.
Three intriguing excerpts:
1. "There will be tremendous built-up pressure from conservatives that Sen. Mitch McConnell (assuming he wins his own race and becomes majority leader) will have to satisfy. That means votes on things such as repealing the Affordable Care Act, building border fences, slashing environmental regulations and cutting corporate taxes, most or all of which will be unpopular and inevitably filibustered by Senate Democrats."
2. "Though it was called “the nuclear option,” the true nuclear option would apply to legislation, which under current rules the minority is still free to filibuster (as the Republicans do). Would McConnell go fully nuclear and get rid of that, too, so the GOP Congress could send bills to the president’s desk? ... There wouldn’t be much point, since Obama would just veto the bills. And McConnell surely knows that his time as majority leader would come with a two-year expiration date, since in 2016 there will be only 10 Democrat-held seats up for election, while Republicans will be defending 24 seats, many in Democratic states, and they will be doing it in a presidential election year, when the electorate that comes to the polls is far more friendly to Democrats." *
3. " Not only that, at various times they will have no choice but to make deals with Obama. McConnell, John Boehner and the more sober Republicans know that there’s nothing worse for them politically than forcing government shutdowns and debt defaults. That means they will have to agree to continuing resolutions keeping the government open and making increases in the debt ceiling in order to avoid national and political disaster. And when they do, the tea party base of the GOP will be enraged. “What did we elect a Republican Congress for?” it will shout."
* My thought: if they end up doing very little, which is very likely; or looking really obstinate and mean-spirited while opposing President Obama; then there will be even MORE incentive to vote the GOP bums out. So while I don't relish two years of Republican congressional rule (looking on the bright side, Eric Cantor is GONE), the prospect of a heavy overturn two years later is slightly heartening.
at 9:25 PM
I was going to do the Cape Spear Lighthouse in Newfoundland this week, but fell behind, so I decided to wait. Instead, I chose an "ugly duckling" lighthouse that isn't classic in shape, but which still has a nice location, on the tip of San Juan Island in the San Juan Islands of Washington State. While the Cattle Point lighthouse itself may not be picturesque, its setting definitely is.
Description: Cattle Point Lighthouse, Washington (Lighthouse Friends)
In the first picture, you can see the snowy peaks of the Olympic Mountains on the horizon. So yes, this is a nice spot (and it's a national monument, too).
at 8:49 PM
To think, I felt kinda bad for lucky Ryan Reynolds, who had been married to Scarlett Johannson, which likely meant he had sex with her at least a few times, but their marriage ended, apparently mostly at her behest.
Still, Ryan apparently thought that he and Blake Lively got along reasonably well when filming "Green Lantern", so apparently he got back in touch. And that apparently went pretty well, considering that they became an item, got married, and are now expecting a child together. (Which means they've had sex.)
Gee, moving on from Scarlett Johansson to Blake Lively -- not a bad move. And somewhat not fair to mere mortals who are not in Ryan Reynolds' league (or for that matter, in Scarlett or Blake's league).
But there's another level to this unfairness, and that is seen in the following article. The level of unfairness is what Blake Lively looks like pregnant. Which is to say - she looks pretty much incredible.
And Ryan appears to be aware of that.
She's all mine! Ryan Reynolds can't tear his eyes off Blake Lively as she highlights her bump in plunging yellow gown at Angel Ball
at 8:05 PM
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
I was wondering recently when someone came up with the idea of putting a plane on a boat to attack the enemy. Obviously by World War II this warfaring technology had been developed to be the dominant mode of seaborne attack, but somebody had to come up with the idea in the first place.
It turns out that the first idea was to put a single plane on a boat. And they just recovered the first of these boats from the Thames River near London.
World's first aircraft carrier restored after it was found rusting by the Thames - and it's just 58 FEET long
The second idea was to build a ship with a flat top to land planes on. The first example of this was the HMS Argus.
That information satisfied my curiosical inauiry,.
at 9:05 PM
Another example of life not being fair is Alessandro Ambrosio looking like this on the beach after having two kids.
More pictures here:
Alessandra Ambrosio displays her toned supermodel figure in tiny string bikini on the beach in St. Barts
at 8:54 PM
Monday, October 27, 2014
If the reports are to be believed, then Orlando Bloom is dating Selena Gomez.
'New couple' Selena Gomez and Orlando Bloom attempt to go incognito at LAX airport
Let's get this straight. This is the same Orlando Bloom who was romantically linked with the very lovely Kate Bosworth for a few years (like here) and who then moved on to the astonishing world-class gorgeousness of Miranda Kerr, who he proved he was having sex with (probably more than once) by having a child together. So now, lacking MK at his beck and call, he gets to experience the nubile hottieness of Selena Gomez?
No, that is not fair to the rest of the male world.
I've got a few more in the "not fair" category that I'll roll out over the next few days.
at 9:42 PM
Lots of facts about avocados here:
Avocados: Health Benefits, Risks & Nutrition Facts
Three that interested me:
1. “Avocados have great anti-inflammatory properties,” said Flores. She listed avocados’ “phytosterols, carotenoid antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids and polyhydroxolated fatty alcohols” as being able to “help both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.”
2. "The vitamin C and vitamin E in avocados help keep skin nourished and glowing, according to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. "
3. " The word "avocado" is derived from the Aztec word "ahuacatl," meaning testicle.
Now consider yourself enlightened, too.
A few days ago, Simona Halep blew Serena Williams off the court at the WTA championships. But Serena managed to stay in the tournament because Halep lost to Ana Ivanovic in three sets instead of two, which actually eliminated Ivanovic in the round-robin format. That meant that Halep would play Radwanska, who she handled easily, and Williams would play Wozniacki.
That W vs. W match turned out to be a classic; wish it could be watched at some normal time over here. Williams won 8-6 in a tiebreaker in the third, which meant Wozniacki pushed her to the limit (and indeed she was serving for the match at 5-4 in the third set). Woz must be wondering what it takes to beat Serena. One point here or there, and it goes her way.
So the live-to-fight-another-day Williams goes against Halep in the final, and totally reverses the previous outcome, finishing with a 6-0 drubbing in the second set. Halep had beaten Serena 6-0 in the first set of their round-robin meeting.
Serena's time may be coming, just as Federer's came after years of massive dominance. But for Serena, still, no one can figure out what it takes to keep her from winning when it counts.
Serena Williams beats Wozniacki to make WTA final
Serena Williams crushes Simona Halep to win WTA title
at 9:15 PM
Friday, October 24, 2014
Ana Ivanovic took three sets to beat Simona Halep, while she needed two to advance to the WTA Championship semi-fnals. So Halep advances out of the round-robin group,
Tennis-Ivanovic bows out despite beating Halep at WTA Finals
So where does that leave the tournament?
"Halep, runner-up at this year's French Open, faces Agnieska Radwanska in Saturday's semi-finals while Williams, who is chasing a hat-trick of WTA Finals titles, meets Caroline Wozniacki in a rematch of last month's U.S. Open final."
So Serena, despite being schooled by Halep, is still in the tournament, and will still be the favorite to win it.
Of course this makes PERFECT sense. If you remove the predators, the prey will thrive. That's why the Eastern US is overrun with whitetail deer, why the Yellowstone ecosystem had way too much elk until wolves were reintroduced --- and in the case of the oceans, why there are now a lot of LITTLE fish, not much fun to catch from a charter fishing boat.
Small ocean fish are thriving while humans eat up all their predators
Anyways, it would appear that the oceans aren't DEAD yet, they are just CHANGING a lot.
Small ocean fish are thriving while humans eat up all their predators
"Industrialised fishing practices are causing a revolution in the world’s oceans, with numbers of predator fish - which also include swordfish, grouper, North Atlantic cod and salmon - tumbling by 54 per cent in the past four decades. These fish sit at the top of the food chain and are more popular with humans than the smaller species because people find them tastier. Their volume – by weight - has fallen by 67 per cent in the past century, a University of British Columbia study has found."Might I also add bluefin tuna to the list of overfished predator fish? I think I'm justified in doing that.
Anyways, it would appear that the oceans aren't DEAD yet, they are just CHANGING a lot.
at 8:45 PM
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Back on September 5, I posted a link to 1/3 of the Kelly Brook 2015 calendar.
Well, being the conscientious man that I am, now I am providing a link that shows all of the pictures from the calendar. And they're YUMMY.
Kelly Brook Boobtastic Hotness (courtesy of Egotastic, which doesn't mince words)
I particularly liked August.
I bet a lot of other guys do too.
at 9:51 PM
Sure, Republicans might take the Senate. But if Sam Brownback loses the governorship in Kansas, which is a strong possibility, then it is a massive demonstration that when taken to the extreme, hard right conservative positions when implemented DON'T WORK.
And this is happening in an extraordinarily conservative-friendly state, a state that could actually elect Sam Brownback governor in the first place. A place where being a Republican probably also means you're very likely a Tea Party Republican.
A state where school boards still try to get creationism taught in science classrooms, and a state where they also try to get pseudoscientific climate skeptic claptrap taught as science, in the name of "balance".
I'm sure there are a lot more extreme conservative positions I could note about Kansas. But I don't need to, it's easy to investigate. What I'm going to note is that the conservative Republicans of Kansas are discovering that it's not a good thing for your government to be extremely conservative. Things like public safety and public education and roads and bridges and libraries and garbage pickup all suffer. As does the basic economy and job growth and things like that.
So Brownback losing is a point that all Democrats running against highly conservative Republicans can use. As in "They tried that in Kansas, and it didn't work. So how do you propose to do it any differently, so it WOULD work?"
Good luck with that question, GOP.
at 9:31 PM
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
By Michael Gerson, writing in the Washington Post:
For the GOP, Senate control could be a doubled-edged sword
Republicans are susceptible to the myth of the midterm mandate. Midterm elections generally express unhappiness, not aspiration. But some conservatives took the 2010 result as an ideological turning point. They concluded that Obama’s 2008 victory was an anomaly — that the country, deep down, was really on the Republican side.
It was a false dawn. As a weakened president celebrated a decisive reelection, a few things should have been clear: At the presidential level, the GOP brand is offensive to many rising demographic groups. Republicans are often perceived as indifferent to working-class struggles (because they sometimes are). The GOP appeal seems designed for a vanishing electorate.
The problem that the 2010 election was that it planted the seeds for the Tea Party, which has exerted an inordinate amount of influence on the Republican Party, and pushed them ideologically rightward, which made the House Republicans an unruly bunch that rejected normal compromise. And we're still dealing with that national headache.
at 9:17 PM
Big news from the Women's Tennis Association championships in Singapore - not only did Simona Halep defeat Serena Williams, she gave her a 6-0 thrashing in the first set, and followed up with a 6-2 second set.
- So she beat her in straight sets.
- She blanked her in a set.
- She scored her first defeat of a top-3 player.
That's all big. In other news, Caroline Wozniacki took a tough three-set match from Maria Sharapova.
Here's two different descriptions of the upset:
Tennis - Halep conjures up the match of her life to beat Serena
Simona Halep crushes Serena Williams 6-0, 6-2 in WTA Finals
It's a round-robin, so nothing is decided yet. Here's the Web site: WTA Finals
Monday, October 20, 2014
The climate skeptics' nightmare is that the faux-pause, aka The Hiatus, will end. Well, it really already has (see the quote at end). But being calendrically-obsessed, we need an annual calendar year temperature record to certify this.
There are already admirable skeptic attempts to downplay the importance or impact of this. But the fact is, with the Pacific barely in or just barely not in an El Nino state, setting a global temperature record is a big thing, because in 1998 the Pacific was in a gigantic El Nino state. And as I and others have noted previously, the high temperature that year was about 0.2 deg C above the baseline warming rate over the past few decades. So even considering the hiatus and all that, we have gone a couple years over a decade, and the global temperature has gone up 0.2 deg C, and here we are on the threshold of an all-time annual temperature record. Right where, unfortunately, all the trends would put us. And 0.2 deg C per decade is 2 degrees a century, well over thrice the rate of the 20th century warming.
No wonder the skeptics are fearful. The general public, if they get this information properly processed, might realize en masse all the lies they skeptics have been telling and comprehend all the data the skeptics have been distorting. There will be a sense of betrayal and even anger at the chumps they've been played for. And then they will take refuge in the hope that scientists (and much more nuclear power) can bail us out of this sinking mess.
Hot News: 2014 on track to be the warmest year
"In fact, leaving aside calendar years, the period from October 2013 through September 2014 “is the warmest 12-month period that we’ve ever had on record,” Blunden told Climate Central."Now that that is out of the way, the annual temperature record should fall next.
We need it to, to make the issues more obvious and to start to clear the obfuscated air that they have exhaled.
at 9:07 PM
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Kelly Brook, fresh off of breaking up with and telling off muscle man on-off boyfriend/fiance David McIntosh, got back with him, at least briefly.
This is very strange behavior. I can think of a reason for it, but it's not a reason I should state publicly. Probably shouldn't even think it. But I have evidence for thinking it HERE.
Meanwhile, here's what was happening in LA.
Kelly Brook and David McIntosh reconcile for romantic dinner date just weeks after calling off engagement
In order to know more, we'd have to have the view at the HERE link. Which I'd be OK with.
at 8:46 PM
While awaiting observations of Comet Siding Spring at Mars (can't find any yet), I must note these even closer close-ups taken by Rosetta. It's only 10 km, just over 6 miles of course, away from the comet. That's a hair's-breadth in astronomical terms.
Now this has been done before, with an asteroid, by the NEAR mission. But this is a comet, a primordial snowball, the stuff of legend and harbinger of woes. Never has anything been this close to a comet (except when Deep Impact impacted). So this is COOL, as in way-in-the-depths of outer space COOL.
Cometwatch at 10 km
Here's one of the close-up frames. Remarkable topography. And lots of cometary boulders.
I was astonished by the number of lighthouses Newfoundland has. Look at this list:
Lighthouses of Newfoundland
There are a lot of good candidates, and I think I might do a three-week series. So I just went to the image search and went with the first picture that really stood out.
The 'winner' was Green Point Lighthouse. It's a pretty simple lighthouse, no keeper's house anymore, powered by solar-charged batteries, but the picture caught my eye.
Green Point Lighthouse is near Port de Grave, on the southeastern peninsula of Newfoundland. It's not far from Cape Spear, which is the easternmost point of North America, and which apparently has two lighthouses. I'll probably do that one next week if I can figure out if it really does have two lighthouses. (Actually, yes, it does.)
This was the picture that made me choose Green Point Lighthouse this week.
by Robert Baker on Flickr (from his "Scenic and Other" album)
at 6:15 PM
This one ended up being a lot of fun.
I think myself desirable – and yet
repeated offers go unanswered. Still,
I am persistent, wishing for a set
of parallel desires that would fulfill
a mutual correction, intersect-
ing where the angle and the curve become
acute and congruent, and we reflect
each other like a mirrored pair, the sum
of which is symmetry. For though we are
distinct, in this we are exposed, aligned –
embracing, facing, driving, striving – my spar
of crystal heat emplaced in its designed
entrancement, geometrically correct,
as hopes and schemes and nudity connect.
at 5:33 PM
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Paul Ryan thinks humans might not be the cause of climate change
One of the sharpest differences came when the moderator asked each candidate if he thought human activity is to blame for changes to the planet's climate.
"I don't know the answer to that question," Ryan said. "I don't think science does, either."
He's right about not knowing the answer to the question, because he's a dunce. But he's wrong about science. Science knows what's responsible and how much of it is currently in the atmosphere making it happen.
at 10:02 PM
The image below was taken by a camera on Philae, the little bug robot that is still attached to the Rosetta satellite. At some time in the near future, Philae is going to detach and let the light gravity of the comet draw it down to its surface. How they are going to control it to get it to land where they want to land is not something I currently know. But they do.
Still, this image would be flat-out science fictional if it weren't for the somewhat astonishing fact that it's real. Note the jet of vapor shooting out of the sublimating snowball.
Below that is artistic conception of what the release, descent, and landing of Philae might look like. If it works.
at 9:58 PM
This week's Lighthouse of the Week is Morris Island, South Carolina, which is located off of Folly Beach. As the name indicates, it used to be on an island named Morris Island, but the island has eroded way, leaving just the lighthouse. The state authorities are working on an plan to stabilize the foundation.
More about that: Save the Light.Org
Morris Island Lighthouse from Lighthouse Friends
Some great photography below. The phenomenal middle one is by Keith Allen.
at 9:46 PM
Sunday, October 12, 2014
seasons and reasons
Inspired by recent news of marriages and pregnancies
Who sees the ecstasies that lovers share
between their selves? In mindful eye we know
that this is what they'll do, and we're aware
that one result is progeny — so go
to where this thought resides, envisioning
a cove, a secret valley lit with flame
as autumn's colors blaze, the wondrous thing
that eyes adore when given without shame;
in openness and nakedness, enjoyed
because of pleasure and the privilege
of giving and accepting, where devoid
of base and mere concerns there is a bridge
that joins intrinsic diff'rences in bright
achievement, setting linked hearts alight.
at 3:23 PM
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
It's early in the season, so the answer to the above question is probably 'no'. The Palace is tied with four other teams with 8 points, ahead of Everton (6) and three teams in the relegation zone now which each have 4. This is in the Barclays Premier League, of course.
After all, everybody was in despair about Manchester United, and they grabbed a quick couple of wins and moved way way up to fourth, tied with Swansea and Tottenham Hotspurs. So things are still too volatile and too early to be nervous.
This weekend the Palace plays Chelsea, and though soccer is a funny game, the Eagles (that's their nickname) won't be favored to tie or win in that fixture.
Maybe in December I should check back on their status.
Barclays Premier League
at 10:52 PM
Readers of this blog might be able to figure out that I've followed the interesting relationship between South African Olympic swimmer turned princess Charlene Wittstock, now Princess Charlene of Monaco (Her Serene Highness, actually) with Prince Albert II of Monaco. I guess her married name would be Charlene Grimaldi, but we never see that.
Anyway, I have followed this relationship and the Quest for Heir with interest. They got involved, had an interesting wedding that may or may not have had some cold-feet drama, then seemed to look pretty happy, and there was increasing interest (at least on my part) in when and whether she would produce a legitimate heir -- Albert had already confirmed his heterosexuality via a couple of illegitimate children he fathered. A rumor about the marriage drama was that Charlene found out about a third bastard child. It now appears she was just a bit nervous and very happy.
Then the next news was that pretty Princess Charlene was pregnant.
And the most recent news is that Princess Charlene is pregnant with twins of the royal variety.
So double congratulations are in order.
Next up on their event schedule: the royal births, coming this December, reportedly.
at 10:38 PM
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
There's been some debate in biological and climate change circles about whether or not this huge gathering of walruses on an Alaskan beach is good or bad:
As sea ice melts amid global warming, 35,000 walruses crowd the shores of Alaska
Here is a similar story from 2010, with more discussion and detail:
Melting sea ice forces walruses ashore in Alaska
This was first observed in 2007 and 2009, so now it is continuing, more consistently. So whether or not it's good or bad, it's different -- and another harbinger of change.
A picture of the event:
|Rolling over in this situation can be challenging|
at 11:03 PM
OK, yes, I know it would be bad to be a man and to lose your penis. I have one and I'm very fond of it, and it has been very useful and enjoyable to have. I would definitely miss it if I lost it.
So, medical science is now creating laboratory-grown penises for situations in which a man loses his manhood (physically speaking). I enjoyed this secondary headline on the Daily Mail article:
Engineered penises now being tested for 'safety, function and durability'
Yes, those are all pretty important factors in a penis.
Here's the article (and no, it does not have pictures of a six-million-dollar penis):
The penises grown in a lab: Scientists say organs could be tested on humans within five years
Which brings me to the title of this article. Yes, I know it would be bad to lose one's male member. To be dis-membered, as it were. The stories where it has been lost in ways that would be considered having "suffered trauma", as the article's first secondary headline states, due to a jealous or wronged partner in particular, make one moan in sympathetic pain. And there are other perfectly good reasons that men would like to replace a penis with shortcomings with a perfectly good laboratory-grown phallus.
Still, with Ebola, enterovirus, diabetes, H1N1, dengue fever, MRSA, cancer in its myriad of forms, and simple but deadly cholera still widespread around the globe as scourges of humanity, doesn't it seem a bit trivial to be working so HARD to replace the occasional lost boytoy? Yes, I realize it's bad. But there are many other things that cause far more human hardship than the occasional man who has been separated from his pride and joy. Yet I would not wish that fate on any man.
However, were I to find myself lacking the extraordinarily handsome, effective, impressive, athletic, and dutiful kingly scepter that I am proud to have as my personal endowment, I'd probably want to go down to the stiffy store and get fitted for a replacement as soon as possible.
Which brings up a whole different issue -- if you've got a chance to upgrade, wouldn't it be interesting to go shopping? After all, the breast implant industry trades largely on female concepts of beauty, youth, and vanity, and many women get bigger and better with the help of cosmetic medical science -- so one can imagine (ouch) where this could potentially be headed --
-- once it's possible to replace lost or missing penises, the next step down this path is to replace those organs which are deemed to be lacking in length or girth or both. I don't think this will catch on widely given what has to be removed to be resized, but given the number of ads for things that DON'T work to make one's tool lengthier, heavier, longer, and stronger, the existence of actual organs that are bigger and better (provided of course that they are safe, functional, and durable) and which could actually be purchased might indeed be tempting to some.
Which THEN brings up the comedic imagery of a cock shop, and a man going down (!) to the store to get something large or huge or monstrous, and being able to pick from a selection of models including the porn star signature series which includes the Dirk Diggler, the John Holmes, and the Peter North, or celebrity replicas like the Elvis Presley, the Brad Pitt, the Leonardo DiCaprio, the George Clooney (now available in single packs only), the Parker Stevenson (obscure entertainment reference), the Marcus Allen (if you figure out why I included that you're really good), or the John F. Kennedy.
I did not expect to write this much on this subject. But it got fun.
at 9:59 PM
Monday, October 6, 2014
It's hard not to be impressed with the full-size image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, taken from the Rosetta spacecraft. If you follow the link, make sure you click on the "Download Hi-Res" button. The detail is really astonishing.
Sunday, October 5, 2014
For this week's Lighthouse, I selected one of several on the skinny thumb of the Wisconsin mitten, the Door Peninsula.
Sherwood Point Lighthouse (from Lighthouse Friends)
"The Sherwood Point Lighthouse was the last manned lighthouse on the Great Lakes and became automated in 1983, one hundred years after its initial construction."
at 8:55 PM
Friday, October 3, 2014
Kristen Bell is:
a) a very talented actress;
b) a remarkably good singer (Frozen);
c) an adorably cute woman;
d) at times, a very sexy, attractive, desirable woman; and
e) currently, pregnant with her second child. And very pretty in that state.
And in regard to e), the article below shows just how pretty and pregnant she is right now.
Bell of the ball! Kristen shows off her burgeoning baby bump in clinging black dress as she wows at The Judge premiere
Now, as for d), here are three images that make husband Dax Shepard happy and which make others of us quite impressed:
at 8:30 PM
Why winning the Senate matters (by Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post)
But regaining the Senate would finally give the GOP the opportunity, going into 2016, to demonstrate its capacity to govern.
The Democratic line is that the Republican House does nothing but block and oppose. In fact, it has passed hundreds of bills only to have them die upon reaching the desk of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Winning control of the Senate would allow Republicans to pass a whole range of measures now being held up by Reid, often at the behest of the White House.
OK, Krauthammer - about those bills. Most of what the Republican House sent to the Senate was ridiculous stuff, like every bill to repeal Obamacare, or those based on Paul Ryan's crazy-ass budget ideas, or a bunch of useless social legislation that is anathema to the principles on which this country was founded. The scary thing about this is that if the Senate and House are both under Republican control, this stuff will get further, and they'll try to load it as poison pills into bills that have to get passed (like to keep the government running) and when Obama vetoes it they'll blame him for shutting down the government, when in fact the reason for shutting down the government will be the ridiculousness and untenability of what they are trying to pass.
Keeping the Senate in Democratic hands is one of the last ways we can avoid another step toward the collapse of the United States' democracy's ability to govern - and most of the steps already taken have been due to the polarity of hard-right ideologue Republicans.
at 6:52 PM
I saw something the other day that I didn't expect to see. It was breathtaking. It Verged on perfection, the raw natural kind of perfection that can't be imitated, duplicated, or replicated. I was awestruck, dumbstruck, and stagestruck. What I saw was exciting, arousing, marvelous, delightful, and delicious. It was a reward to the ordinary, which Happens to be most of the population, defining the dimensions of dreaminess, indicating that what we think is sometimes what is actually real.
I gave silent thanks for what I saw, and this is the only way I can communicate my thankfulness, which I felt I must express. Very rarely is a gift given where the giver doesn't know that they Have provided such a gift, and where the recipient is so grateful yet unable to express their appreciation for the thoughtfulness, the wonderfulness, and the uniqueness of such a gift.
Even now, days after I saw it, the memory remains, strong and Vivid, and untarnished. I can only think of those who actually receive this sight day after day, given freely, and Hope that they can appreciate it as much as I do, and appreciate the even deeper and more trusting rewards that it indicates for them. For while my eyes appreciated this sight, for others it is a prelude and a promise, a commonplace Vision (for them) that is so out of the ordinary that I Hope it is never seen as other than a privilege to View, Honor, and experience.
at 6:48 PM
OK, really. Yes, the student (16 years old, reportedly) was a victim, a victim of the unwise desires of two adult women. It boggles the mind that these women can't get what they need somewhere else and with someone else where they aren't breaking the law to get it!
Two female teachers accused of group sex with student, 16, freed on bail as more salacious details emerge about their 'videotaped threesome
I mean, how could a sixteen year old hormonal male turn this down? I was fantasizing about threesomes when I was 16 -- to be offered the opportunity with mature adult sexual women, would I have turned it down back then? COULD I have turned it down back then? Very likely not.
It's really strange. I'd like to know the motivations of these women. What the heck - Fifty Shades of Grey? Lady Chatterley's Lover? Game of Thrones? Seriously, what caused them to have such an egregious lack of judgment?
And it also makes me wonder if society is so much different than when I was in high school. (Well, of course it is.) Now it just seems like there are so many more teachers victimizing their students. And though there are numerous incidents of male teachers and female students, these incidents of female students and male students just seem to be, well, bizarre. It's certainly a matter of a person in a position of power taking advantage of the hormonal, immature, and impetuous desires of a teenage male. I.e., it's easy to do. And while in the case of the adult male and the underage female force and power and coercion are (sadly) involved frequently, in the case of the adult woman and the underage male, it's more a matter of enticement and opportunity. Women who do this must perceive that if they offer themselves, the offer is likely to get accepted! Especially if they are somewhat attractive and desirable women. (These two teachers were.) With all the ways of communication these days, and the sexualization of society, I guess this is not a surprise. But it's remarkable that they can be so brazen about it.
Ever since the Debra Lafave case, there seems to be an increasing number of these episodes. Of course, I could be reading the Daily Mail too much, too, which seems to find these episodes quite readily.
Well, ultimately, they are both in a lot of trouble. They should have thought about that instead of letting their base desires run free.
And seriously, how good-looking is this kid, anyway?
at 6:06 PM
Thursday, October 2, 2014
Space debris expert warns of increasing small satellite collision risk
More than a third of all CubeSats launched to-date (around 160 between 2003 and 2013) are predicted to remain on-orbit for more than 25 years. Since 2005, CubeSats have been involved in more than 360,000 close approaches of less than 5 km with other orbiting objects.
Dr Lewis and his team used their Debris Analysis and Monitoring Architecture to the Geosynchronous Environment (DAMAGE) model to simulate three future CubeSat launch traffic scenarios until the year 2043. By comparing these with close approach data from 2005 to 2013, the team found CubeSats are estimated to be involved in millions of close approaches over the next 30 years, with a handful leading to a collision.
Analysis of the close approaches found that most of the collision risk from CubeSats comes from high-speed encounters with large spacecraft. In addition, many of these encounters were in Sun-synchronous orbits that are popular with remote sensing and Earth science satellites.
Oh Great. Tell NASA.
at 9:34 PM
Kelly Brook, who recently dumped a boyfriend she should have never been with (as opposed to me, a boyfriend I wish she could have been with, despite the age difference) appears to have added some amplitude to her curves recently. Meaning she's not quite the same delectable combination of slinky and superb that she has been in the past.
Still, she's Kelly Brook, and that's really really really really good. I hope this package of sweet and goodness (and probably a substantial dash of sexy spiciness, given the boyfriend list she's put together) can find the truest of loves. I thought Thom Evans, former rugby player, current model and currently on Britain's Strictly Come Dancing, who was as good-looking as she is magnetically attractive, was The One, but the emotional upheaval of her miscarriage may have split them irretrievably. (Actually it turns out it was a second miscarriage, sadly, according to her book.) Which is too bad, because she deserves the best. Hopefully for her next go-round on the romantic road, she'll choose wisely and love long and happily.
Kelly Brook cuts former fiance David McIntosh out of her [paperback version] book
Here's how she's looking now.
The movie "The Imitation Game" is about Alan Turing and the breaking of the "Enigma" code machine used by Nazi Germany.
It stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing.
If the movie is anywhere close to as good as the trailers (and judging by the awards it has already receved, it should be good), this gets put on "can't miss" list. More on that later.
Here's the trailer.