Sunday, March 30, 2014

Get ready for the lunar eclipse

I hadn't been paying attention, but thanks to Twitter I found out there's a total lunar eclipse coming up April 14-15.  For those of us on the East Coast, it'll start in the early early morning, and end at about sunrise, but the good stuff should still take place in the dark.   I'll put in an early order for clear skies, which haven't been common thus far this unusual spring.

Total lunar eclipse for the Americas on the night of April 14-15

Lighthouse of the Week, March 30 - April 5: At the End of the World

I decided to see what South American had in the way of lighthouses this week.  When I searched for South America lighthouses, one of them dominated the pictures.

That lighthouse is Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse (Wikipedia), in the Beagle Channel, near Ushuaia, Argentina.  It is called by some the Lighthouse at the End of the World, though that moniker from Jules Verne actually belongs to another lighthouse.  Nevertheless, the Ushuaia light is apparently seen a lot and photographed a lot.  

Thus, there are lots of pictures of it, and it's easy to search on and appreciate.  The classic view is with snow-covered mountains behind it.

A nice example of that can be found here, from Flickr. (Matt Kitson)

Here's a nice colorful shot (Beacon South America)

And here's a closeup, noting the brick construction.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Palace shocks the League

Soccer/football is indeed a game where sometimes, the lesser bests the greater.  And that was the case on Saturday, March 29, when Crystal Palace defeated Chelsea 1-0 on an own goal header by John Terry.   Crystal Palace played very well and deserved the victory, with a save on a point blank shot by Speroni and a shot off the post by Jerome.

The team now is five points ahead of Cardiff City, the current top team in the relegation zone of the Barclays Premier League.

Manchester City couldn't capitalize, gaining only a point due to a 1-1 draw with Arsenal.

Crystal Palace shock victory over Che

There should be more pictures of the match here soon:

Friday, March 28, 2014

It's Michelle Keegan bikini time again

Well, it's not naked, but it's as close as we're likely to get.

Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright (her betrothed) went to the beach in Dubai.

Both of them have what it takes to make the other gender take notice of their physical attractiveness.

Since I'm male, I'm noticing Michelle.  But I'm also noticing how Mark gets up close and physical, frequently (smart guy) and thinking a) I wish I looked like him, b) I wish I could do what he was doing, and c) don't screw this up, bloke.

As the Daily Mail covered it:
 It’s their special place: Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright return to Dubai and put on an amorous display in the ocean

As SawFirst covered it:  Michelle Keegan black bikini candids in Dubai (oh yeah, Mark was there too)

Here's an example:

Smiles, everyone!  Smiles!

And from Zoo UK:
Michelle Keegan for ZOO UK – March 2014

which includes this:

... and which is certainly something to smile about.

Big missed opportunity

If they'd been paying attention, Playboy could've gotten the luscious Michelle Keegan to pose nude for them when she first started acting on the Brit soap Coronation Street.  As she says herself:  "When I first started on Corrie, I'd have said yes to Playboy. And now? Never say never, and it can look classy, but it's the whole thing of sitting there thinking, 'I'm actually naked'.

We'd be thinking that too.

Darn.  Darn. Darn. Darn. Darn.

Michelle Keegan interview in the Mirror

Oh but wait... there's more.

This is really bad, Repubs

Katrina van den Heuvel:  Voters should know who is holding up their health care


I.e., typical Republicans.

"Louisiana isn’t the only state where Republicans are preventing thousands of low-income Americans from receiving health care. In Virginia, where state lawmakers refuse to expand Medicaid, hospitals will face higher costs and reduced services as a result. One million Texans will be denied access to coverage if the state continues to reject the Medicaid expansion. Meanwhile, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant is willing to leave 300,000 of his neediest citizens uninsured. His reasoning? He’s afraid that the law might be repealed, leaving his state no way to meet its commitments — an ironic stance for a Republican to take, since they’re the ones trying to repeal it! 
The 19 states that are refusing to expand Medicaid aren’t just leaving low-income Americans out to dry — they’re also leaving billions of health-care dollars on the table. While Bobby Jindal busies himself over a billboard, his state’s internal analysis found that Medicaid expansion would save Louisiana as much as $134 million in 2015 alone. 
The real cost of Republican cruelty, however, cannot be measured in dollars and cents, but in people’s lives. Researchers at Harvard and the City University of New York concluded that without the Medicaid expansion, individuals will go without checkups, cancer screenings and treatment for diseases such as diabetes and depression — leading to thousands of premature and preventable deaths."

Monday, March 24, 2014

If this is healthy, I'm in favor of healthy

Whilst checking out the online Women's Health magazine because Shakira is on the cover, I discovered two articles about healthy activities.  Very healthy indeed.

Increase your chances of having orgasms during casual sex

8 Ways to Spice Up Oral Sex

Well, those certainly beats diets high in veggies, new ways to shape up your butt, and how to look better naked.  Though I am certainly in favor of that last one.

What would El Nino do?

If we have an El Nino this year, there might be GEOPOLITICAL implications.

As discussed here:
El Niño Geopolitics

"The risks of El Niño are numerous, including increased drought and fire risk in India and Australasia, diminished food production in the Asia-Pacific region with potential ramifications throughout the global marketplace, a potential increase for severe Pacific storms (look no further than the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan last year to gauge potential implications), to a very unwelcome potential setback in Africa’s Sahel food security situation. 
In addition, based on research led by Solomon Hsiang and published in the journal Nature, a positive correlation can be drawn across the globe’s tropics correlating increases in conflict in nations impacted by El Niño."
I.e., the warmer it gets, the more fightin' there is. Which is a macro- situation comparable to the increase in violent crime that accompanies heat waves.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Hot model, Camille Rowe

I never heard of French model Camille Rowe before this article.

Ooh La La! French model Camille Rowe smoulders in new Seafolly bikini campaign

Naturally I have to look her up.

Oh my.

Oh MY.

I recommend anyone interested in the loveliness of the female form, both face and figure, do the same.

Here's a mild example, safe to show here.  Others not so much (but if you're interested...)

Thought this would be in Kansas

The state of Wyoming has garnered the distinction of turning down the teaching of the new national science standards because they ask teachers to teach the truth about climate change.

I though this would be in Kansas, which battled against the teaching of evolution for years (and still probably does in curriculum skirmishes on their school boards around the state).

But no, it's Wyoming.  Here's an excerpt from the article.

A group of Wyoming educators last year urged state officials to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards, but, the Casper Star-Tribune reported, Gov. Matt Mead, a Republican who doesn’t believe  climate change is caused by human activity [what a surprise], recently approved a last-minute footnote to the budget introduced by legislators including Republican Rep. Matt Teeters, who was quoted as saying:“[The standards] handle global warming as settled science. There’s all kind of social implications involved in that that I don’t think would be good for Wyoming.”
Kansas is most likely to be next to do this;  if not them, Texas.

Ugh.  I thought teaching science was about teaching facts.  Climate change, due to increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere caused by the burning of fossil fuels, is a fact.

Cheryl Cole raises malaria awareness

I've praised British songstress and TV personality Cheryl Cole (X-Factor, which she's back on in Britain after making nice with Simon Cowell and a couple million from the ill-fated venture in the US) for her talent and looks many times.  And I always wished that she and admirer Derek Hough got together for more than a dance or two.  And I think I noted her courage in battling through a real bad bout (near-death situation) of malaria a couple of years ago, which fortunately she recovered from.

I still think she's one of the world's most gorgeous women, despite the gigantic rose on her butt.

Well, in support of Sport Relief, a British charity show with sports personalities (apparently) that raises money for the poor in the UK and abroad, Cheryl is talking about her personal malaria struggle and urging contributions to Sport Relief.  Hopefully some of those contributions will go for malaria nets, as she suggests.

‘At one point I was given 24 hours to live’: Cheryl Cole talks about her battle with malaria to raise awareness and money for Sport Relief  (and there's also a very pretty picture of Cheryl in the article, but no picture of the tattoo on her butt)

Toles gets it right

Tom Toles in the Washington Post draws this one on climate change just right.

See it larger and in color by clicking here.

Lighthouse of the Week, March 23-29, 2014: Portsmouth Harbor

Interesting thing about this lighthouse: it's the only one on the mainland of New Hampshire.  Think about it:  New Hampshire only has about 70 miles of coastline.

The Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse looks strange from some angles, because there's an old fort behind it.  Here's the history:   Portsmouth Harbor, NH

The fort was named Fort William and Mary during the Revolutionary War, and Fort Constitution when it was rebuilt in 1800.  Got that from the history.

Here's the three different angles on the lighthouse, with one a wintry view.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A couple of comments on Obamacare and politics

Some found thoughts to ponder.

Obamacare might make 6 million enrollees

What the Obamacare enrollment numbers mean
"By one analysis, 5.2 million Americans who could have gotten Medicaid if their states had accepted the expansion will remain uninsured. And if you asked those people in a poll whether Obamacare had helped them, they’d quite reasonably say no. For all its complications and the difficulty of implementation, the ACA has already done an extraordinary amount of good for those millions of people. 
If Republicans took their newfound concern for (some) people’s access to health care and used it to actually work to make the law work as well as possible, millions more might be helped as well. If only." 

Democrats should play offense on Obamacare in the midterms 

Today’s Republican Party is not “conservative” by any reasonable definition of the word. It is a radical party seeking to dramatically alter the social compact by which we have lived for decades. Republicans, if they could, would slash Social Security benefits and turn Medicare into a voucher program. They, not Democrats, are the ones who threaten the safety net for seniors.  
Republicans refuse to invest in our decaying infrastructure. They want to do away with government regulation that has given us cleaner air, healthier food, safer workplaces. They seek ultimate control over women’s reproductive rights and have already made it oppressively difficult to terminate a pregnancy in many states. Instead of comprehensive immigration reform, they propose “self-deportation.” 

Why taking over the Senate may not do the Republicans much good

"See the difference? The senators accept that the ACA is law and are thinking about how they’d like to change it. The House members are coming up with another way to make a futile, symbolic shaking of their fists in the general direction of the White House. And this may offer a clue to how legislating would proceed in a Republican Congress. The House, still dominated by extremely conservative Republicans for whom any hint of compromise is considered the highest treason, could continue to pass one doomed bill after another, while the Senate tries to write bills that have at least some chance of ever becoming law."

Lighthouse of the Week, March 16-22, 2014

Went to Lake Ontario for this one, which has been here for awhile, back to 1822 in fact.  This is the Charlotte-Genesee light at the mouth of the Genesee River (near Rochester).  I like the stonework on this one.

Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse, New York (history)

Great scenic panorama of the lighthouse

A couple of shots below.  Right now, it probably looks a lot like the top one.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Love this cover

I haven't commented on gorgeous celebs on magazine covers for awhile, but Shakira on the cover of Women's Health deserves a word.


And given what it says across her thighs, I'm totally sure she does.

Shakira gives us a peek of her rockin' abs on the cover of Women's Health, April 2014

And here's a video.

A sonnet for March and the morning

OK, apparently I really was inspired this morning (in more ways than one) because this is truly one of the best erotic sonnets I have written.   I hope you'll enjoy it too.


Because I dreamed of you, when I awoke
I sensed my nocturne's reveries were now
translated to an overture, an ache
of stark desire, the sprit upon my bow,
distinguished by its personality --
a singleness of purpose and intent
which in the morning's mirrored clarity
expresses all that you fulfill, unbent 
and unabashed, remembering how you
accept my comicality as we 
connect ecstatically and we renew
the physicality of love, so free
that I can be what I can see, except
within you I express my profuse debt.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Stacy gets married, and...

After ending her couple of year relationship with George Clooney, weapon of mass seduction (I borrowed that) Stacy Keibler started a romantic relationship with Jared Pobre, who had previously been a "friend".

They went on vacation to Mexico with friends, and surprised the friends by getting married

And a few days later they announced that Jared had definitely reaped the benefits of upping the friendship stakes into the romance zone, because he and Stacy had accomplished the act of conception, and I'm sure y'all know how that got done.

Congrats. (And snif snif snif...)

And I think we're entitled to think just briefly about what their romantic relationship might be like where it counts.  From the lucky guy's viewpoint. 

Please be kidding about this, NASA

How often do you land a working mobile scientific robot on another planet?

Hmm... I said another planet.  The Moon doesn't count.  So, if we count little Sojourner on Mars, I count 1... 2... 3... 4.   That's it, 4.

Two of those four are still working, still gathering data, still providing views with every few meters that are a new perspective that has NEVER been seen before.  Ever.

And now, due to budgetary pressure, NASA is suggesting that they'll shut down the longevity hero Opportunity in a year or so.

To put it very simply:  THAT'S NUTS.

Now, I bet they are all hoping that Oppy is going to shut down by itself sooner than that, so that the decision gets taken out of their hands.  And that might happen.  But it might not.

So seriously, how could anyone shut down a massively unique scientific platform like a moving, inquiring robot on Mars until it is totally and utterly done?

I'm hoping that this is a shot across the bow to get the attention of Congress that this is crazy.  But this is a Congress that first passed and then lived with the sequester, and some Republican nutcases actually like it.  So nothing is certain.  But a working robot on another planet?  C'mon.  It is the height of poor decision-making to make an awful decision like that.

Don't do it, NASA.  Shuffle some money around, find a more efficient way to manage Oppy's activities, but let it go as long as it is able.

Is Mars rover Opportunity facing the axe? Nasa plans to cease funding of the 10-year-old probe in 2015 budget proposal 

Opportunity looks into Endeavour Crater

Are we really going to stop this while it's still working?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Two Aussie bodies

The Daily Mail has an article about Australian model Natasha Oakley, who has 100s of 1000s of Instagram followers, for good reason, if you like the bikini model type.

Sizzling: Australian swimsuit model Natasha Oakley shows off her bikini for the day on Sydney's Bondi Beach 

Contrast the full-bodied goodness of Natasha with the slender-yet-curviness of Renee Somerfield.

Both of them are quite high quality, and they both have torso centerlines.  I really like that on a woman.

El Nino 2014? 50-50

There is some buzz about an El Nino taking place this year.  When you read the discussion, it is CERTAINLY not a sure thing.   See below.

"The model predictions of ENSO for this summer and beyond are relatively unchanged from last month. Almost all the models indicate that ENSO-neutral (Niño-3.4 index between -0.5oC and 0.5oC) will persist through the rest of the Northern Hemisphere spring 2014 (Fig. 6). While all models predict warming in the tropical Pacific, there is considerable uncertainty as to whether El Niño will develop during the summer or fall. If westerly winds continue to emerge in the western equatorial Pacific, the development of El Niño would become more likely. However, the lower forecast skill during the spring and overall propensity for cooler conditions over the last decade still justify significant probabilities for ENSO-neutral. The consensus forecast is for ENSO-neutral to continue through the Northern Hemisphere spring 2014, with about a 50% chance of El Niño developing during the summer or fall (click CPC/IRI consensus forecast for the chance of each outcome)."
How's that for not going out on a limb?  Undangerous to the max.

But the interesting thing right now is that the east side of the Pacific is definitely warming up.  See the animation below. Watch what happens off Central America right at the end of the period.

Hmmm, quite intriguing.  But it may mean nada.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

But there's a lot of biomass

A few years ago I believed that cellulosic ethanol would be the major biofuel in the world. I no longer think that, mainly because it seems like it's a lot easier to make biofuel from algae.

But, as I noted above, there is a LOT of waste biomass in the world.  Algae biofuel requires large areas of water to grow the algae.  Waste agricultural / plant biomass is EVERYWHERE.  If the conversion process could be made cost-competitive with other biofuel types and sources, I think that it would be viable and useful.  When I think about all the leaves that fall off suburban deciduous trees and end up in landfills, it makes me shudder how much SOLAR energy is being wasted (after all, those leaves grew due to photosynthesis, right?)

The article I found and have linked here describes where the cellulosic ethanol industry is at present. Three U.S. plants are going to open this year.  Funding and time will be important to get these to full capacity and demonstrate that this technology can make a contribution.

Then, the next step, is to turn food waste into biofuel.  Because there's a lot of that, too.

Cellulosic ethanol fights for life

Figure skaters are FIT

Figure skating is, when done at the highest level, graceful, elegant, and artistic.  At the same time, what we don't see, when performed by the best figure skaters, is the effort and athleticism underlying that grace and elegance.

But figure skaters are very fit.  And when you combine grace and beauty and fitness, you get a really nice package.  Lovely Katarina Witt actually demonstrate the fullness of this package when she posed nude for Playboy a few years ago (and the pictures are easy to find).

Subject of this post is Tessa Virtue, half of the gold medal winning ice dancing pair (with Scott Moir) four years ago, and silver medalists this time in Sochi.  According to some sources, Tessa is the most Google Olympian in Canada.  This apparently includes Sidney Crosby, and indicates that there are many more guys Googling a hot female figure skater than one of the best hockey players in the world and a national sports hero.  Of course, it could be argued that Tessa is a national sports hero too, but I don't think that's why most of the guys are searching for her.

Now, she's beautiful, graceful, and elegant on the ice when ice dancing with Moir.  And she makes it look easy. But a bit of searching revealed the body underlying the beauty, and particularly the flat and sculptured abs that I find particularly appealing.  When you find a women with a center line on her torso, that's a woman I appreciate.   Absolutely (sorry, had to).

So here is Tessa, fit and fine.

A serious question and a serious answer

Oh, if you follow the Twitter feeds I follow, I'm sure you saw some mention of this, but it's IMPORTANT. It is a question that has been a subject of inquiry, conjecture, and experimentation for literally centuries.  (Well, maybe not in the laboratory.)

There are two different kinds of female orgasm.

One kind results from external clitoral stimulation.  The other kind results from vaginal penetration.

Here's the article.  It is NOT illustrated, you perverts.  But it does describe the experimental methodology IN DETAIL.

Ponder and enjoy.

Are there really two kinds of female orgasm? Science weighs in.

Now, one important point.  If I am part of the process, I strive for my partner to get at least one of each kind.  I will report that one kind is easier to accomplish than the other kind.

DWTS cast is interesting, but...

The cast for the next "Dancing with the Stars" (which won't have glorious Brooke Burke as a co-host, unfortunately) has some interesting choices.  A pesky hockey player, two Olympic ice dancing gold medalists competing against each other, a paraOlympian, Billy Dee Williams, Drew Carey, Diana Nyad -- it definitely has diversity.

But unfortunately what it won't have is Tyne Stecklein. I thought she was the heiress-apparent to the Julianne Hough hotness title, even despite an early exit with Bill Nye the Science Guy.  But she is not included in this season's cast.  I hope that there's still a chance she'll be back.  Perky and curvy Witney Carson could be fun to watch in her place.

As for the likely winners, I have to go with the gold medalists, Charlie White and Meryl Davis. They know how to do practically every dance move, they know how to put flair on every move, and they are fit athletes.  DWTS would salivate over having them be the final pairing for the mirror ball. (More on the fitness aspect in the next post.)  After that, it's hard to tell.  I'll go with Danica McKellar and Candace Cameron Bure to get into the later weeks, along with the wild card, Sean Avery.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Great astronomical images

In honor of the new 'Cosmos' TV show, NASA released a set of great new images. 

Cosmos - NASA images of a space-time odyssey

I particularly liked this perspective of Jupiter and its mighty moon, Ganymede.

Leave the trees alone!

As if we haven't got enough assaults on the natural environment to worry about, in California now they are arresting guys for poaching burl off live redwood trees.  They do that because the burl can be made into fancy wood items. I promise I won't ever own one.

The article has quite a bit of good info about why this is not good for the redwoods.  Notably, burl is important for redwood reproduction.

Redwood parks battle bold wood poachers

Here's a picture of what this looks like.  Barbaric and tragic.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Palace loses 1-0 to Southampton; next game critical

Crystal Palace lost a game in which Southampton dominated possession 1-0, but the goal was somewhat fluky on a breakaway that the goalkeeper almost made a fabulous save on.  Unfortunately the ball got through and Jay Rodriguez was able to nudge it forward into a goalward roll that made it.

Daily Mail's match report

Next up for Crystal Palace next week is Sunderland, below them in the Barclay's Premier League standings.  Thus a really critical three points are on the line, since they are now only two points ahead of Cardiff City and West Bromwich Albion, tied at 25 but WBA is placed ahead of Cardiff City.

Vine cap of the goal

Can't stop thinking about...

Azita Ghanizada on a bicycle, from Maxim.   Now, it is doubtful that safety experts would recommend riding without a helmet and in high heels, let alone in an eye-grabbing outfit like this (of which I wish there were many more shots and angles).  Love the hair and eyes in that look, too.

I noted on Twitter that riding in this outfit would also cause many distracted-driver accidents, as well.  To which Azita replied, quote, "ha".  I'm glad I got her attention, because she certainly got MINE.

Azita also visited Esquire's "Me in My Place".  I recommend looking it up.  I hope she gets a new acting job soon, because she's worth watching.

Lighthouse of the Week, March 9-15: Cape May, New Jersey

This week's lighthouse is the classic at Cape May, New Jersey, which has likely been seen by millions of people.  Attesting to that are the numerous pictures of it.  So for slight variety, two sunset shots.  The link goes to a beautiful morning shot that could be purchased and framed.

Morning at Cape May Lighthhouse

Watch Miranda Kerr get undressed, and other good things

There's no doubt that Miranda Kerr combines cuteness and hotness into one remarkably desirable package.  Despite her marriage to Orlando Bloom not going the distance, there's not much else to complain about --  apparently one of the main marriage complaints was that she was just too busy.  If that was the main thing then maybe she should have slowed down, but it's hard not to be busy when you are extremely popular and extremely in demand.  Maybe they just shouldn't have gotten married when she got pregnant, though maybe Orlando wanted a baby with his name.

Anyway, Miranda has moved on from her Victoria's Secret days and is now the very appropriate representative for Wonderbra.  This will provide something to look forward to for a couple of years.

Former Victoria's Secret Angel Miranda Kerr is the new face (and cleavage) of Wonderbra
with three example pics

But this multi-million supermodel can also support good causes, like baby elephants, as demonstrated here:

Now that's a Jumbo donation! Miranda Kerr hand delivers a $100,000 cheque to help baby elephants in Thailand

 And finally, there's this Reebok ad, that shows a domestically comfortable view of Miranda getting undressed and into the shower.  That's a really good thing.  Great, in fact.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Top current orchestra conductors

I'm going to come back to this (and I have a couple of other symphonically related items to share), but I was trying to evaluate who are the current best conductors around the world.  Here are a few names that I came up with.  In a subsequent post I'll try to come up with a top five.

Sir Neville Marriner
Riccardo Muti
James Levine
Claudio Abbado
Alondra de la Parra
Daniel Barenboim
Christoph Eschenbach
Riccardo Chailly
Esa-Pekka Salonen
Michael Tilson Thomas
Marin Alsop

A guide to the climate denier mind

Useful article from Salon about how climate deniers can't (or won't) see the basic reality all around us:

Climate buffoons’ real motives: 5 reasons they still spout debunked garbage
From greed to idiocy, here's the true agenda of deniers who still claim climate change isn't happening

 Here's 1 of the 5:
"Theory 4: They’re unable to grasp the big picture
Just as they can take one cold day and say it contradicts the decades-long, global pattern of climate change, climate deniers are constantly prioritizing the here-and-now over the future. How else to explain why Newt Gingrich found it so hard to understand why John Kerry would call climate change “the greatest challenge of our generation”? Kerry’s claim actually threw the former House speaker into the Twitter equivalent of a nervous breakdown:

We saw the same thing recently on Fox News, which used plenty of snowy footage to emphasize the ridiculousness of Obama spending money now to combat a problem that will only “maybe” affect us later:"
The other four are:
Theory 1: They don’t understand science
Theory 2: Big industry is pulling their strings
Theory 3: Deniers hate regulations, and they really hate the EPA
Theory 5: They just don’t want to believe it

Now, according to Chris Mooney and "The Republican Brain on Science", and a lot of supporting psychological research, it's not just that they don't want to believe it, it's that they can't believe it. For to do so would destabilize their entire cognitive framework and the groupthink by which they establish and sustain their own personal value within the value system of a larger group, in this case Republican Conservatives.

And that's the way it is.

I told you! Lauren Parsekian is HOT

In a few previous posts, I've praised Aaron Paul's new wife, Lauren Parsekian (here and also here).  I wondered when the Hollywood press and tabloids would catch on.

Well, when you wear a semi-revealing dress to your husband's movie premiere, at least the Daily Mail will notice, as they did here.   And the Huffington Post saw that article and ran with it, right here.

I say, that dress was worth all the shots it got.

We can only anticipate more red carpet appearances for Aaron's movies.  Something to look forward to.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

How do you say Cuyahoga in Chinese?

Many historians mark the 1969 Cuyahoga River fire in Cleveland as the single event that raised the general American environmental consciousness and enabled passage of the Clean Water Act. 

Could the same thing happen in China?  Well, a river/waterway caught on fire.

We'll see if it has any impact.  In a very populous nation, it may be mostly ignored.  But given the heated discussions going on in China about their environmental crisis, it might influence some opinions.

Io has big volcanoes for a small moon

Just about everybody who knows about astronomy, specifically in the category of Solar System planets, knows that there are big volcanoes on Jupiter's moon Io.  The volcanoes were discovered because of a big plume of sulfurous spew that was spied in a Voyager image.  So when the New Horizons satellite stopped by Jupiter on its way to Pluto, it took a look at Io, and saw more volcanic plumes arching high into the Jovian sky.

A five-frame "movie", repeated over and over, shows the volcanic plume over Io.  There are certainly strange places in the Solar System, and Io is one of the strangest.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Lighthouse of the Week, March 2-8, 2014: Hirakubo, Okinawa, Japan

This week's lighthouse is in the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa, on the island of Ishigaki.  It's actually pretty close to the island of Taiwan. It overlooks clear, tropical waters, and has a plaque in Japanese on the walk to the light.

This Panoramio page has a larger picture and a locator map.

Coupla engagements of hotties

A couple of hotties got engaged recently.

U.S. women's soccer striker Alex Morgan got engaged to a Houston Dynamo player.

Supergirl Laura Vandervoort (who I wrote about here) got engaged to a British actor named Oliver Trevena.

Both guys are very fortunate.  Very, very fortunate.

Next stop, Crete

Rihanna wore a garment to a party recently that displayed her feminine assets with only a bare smidge of covering, like a net. 

The garment can be seen in the following article, without censoring (which has happened at many other media outlets).  I mean, what's the controversy if there aren't any pictures to verify it and help determine the reactions of the participants.

Rihanna leaves nothing to the imagination in see-through fishnet top at Balmain party 

So given the low-cut and no-cut (like Rihanna's) outfits out there, it might not be long before a post-award show party looks like a day at the Minoan palace.

I won't go 10 for 10 (Blanchett wins Best Actress)

I succumbed to all the publicity surrounding Sandra Bullock's performance in "Gravity", and paid too little attention to the late-year buzz around Cate Blanchett's star turn in "Blue Jasmine".   But once I'd made the Undangerous Prediction, I couldn't back off, even as Cate started taking home all the trophies.  So by the time the Oscars arrived, I had consigned myself to not getting that prediction right.  In retrospect, the mortal locks at the Oscars were "Frozen" for Best Animated Feature Film and Alfonso Cuaron for Best Director.  (And Kate Hudson for Sexiest Presenter Dress, and Kate Beckinsale for Sexiest Woman at the Parties (for the latter, check this out).   She had serious competition from Miranda Kerr.



Looking ahead, the next undangerous prediction with a deadline is the World Cup and my unfortunate hope-I'm-wrong prediction that the U.S. National Men's Soccer Team won't get out of the group play into the elimination rounds.  Now, an 8+ earthquake could happen any time, and Hilary Clinton could declare that she'll seek the presidency anytime. But other than that, I can relax for a few months on the prediction front.

Sonnet time for March

'if my appeal be answered'

I do not know if there will sometime be
another way - a diff'rent sight and touch,
an altered sound, a new approach, a shared
experience of learning, though there's much
we would already know - the basics, paired
desires and mutual intentions, free
of history and tales of sorrow, which
can color those who know each other well.
The newness is excitement, unexpect-
ed flesh and fresh expression as a spell
of temporary thrall makes us connect
through love's ingrained affections, as we twitch
and shake and quake in our ecstatic throes,
the secret splendor our infection knows.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

A point for the Palace

Well, checking in on the Crystal Palace, they got a point for a tie, 1-1 with Swansea City, on a late penalty kick.  So they are currently 3 points ahead of Sunderland (which is on top of the relegation zone), a point behind Norwich and two points behind Swansea City, with Southampton and Sunderland coming up next.  The Sunderland match will be critical, but a win over Southampton would be most welcome.  Sunderland has a week off next week before facing Crystal Palace, which is why an extra point or three againts the Southampton Saints would be very useful.

Crystal Palace 1, Swansea City 1

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Name this moon, win a prize (which would be the name of the moon)

Interesting article about bi-lobed Trojan asteroid Hektor, which apparently is orbited by a much smaller asteroid moonlet, and apparently will be orbited by said moonlet for a long, long time.  The article describes how the authors determined that the orbit of this moonlet around Hektor is very stable.

What it also says is that you can send ideas for the name of the unnamed moon to the authors. The writer of the article had an idea for a name;  see below.

Bizarre orbit of weird asteroid's moon revealed  (which is a great title for an article, by the way)

"Eight years after its discovery, Hektor’s moon remains nameless and Marchis and his team will consider any nomination from the public. If I had to make a suggestion, I’d vote for the name Astyanax, the son of Hector, Crown Prince of Troy and Princess Andromache of Cilician Thebe"   (followed by this note:  "NOTE: There is, in fact, an asteroid named 1871 Astyanax, another Trojan asteroid. But my nomination still stands for Astyanax, little moon of Hektor. The IAU may need some convincing, however.")

How about Durendal?


Join the club

In an article in the Daily Mail, British soap star Kym Marsh had a confession about fellow British soap star and ready for world domination unbelievably gorgeous hottie Michelle Keegan.

The recently on-the-outs with her husband Marsh said, "I find myself staring at her with my mouth open. I have to go, stop it."
There are a whole lot of other human beings (admittedly, most of them men) who do the same thing, with the exception of saying to themselves "stop it".  I mean, why do we have to?  Why would we even WANT to?

How is it even possible to stop?

"Must-win" for the Palace?

On March 2 (which is like almost now), Crystal Palace will play Swansea City.  In the Barclays :Premier League, Crystal Palace has 26 points, Swansea City has 28 points, and the team with the most points in the relegation zone (the bottom zone), is Sunderland, with 24.  So with a win, Crystal Palace will move ahead of Swansea City and the other teams with 28 (of which there are two others, Norwich City and Aston Villa), which puts it in a considerably better position.  With a loss, they'll still be only two points out of the going-back-to-the-lower-tier zone. 

So obviously, this one is pretty important.

Go Palace.