Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ho-hum, another amazing Kelly Brook swimsuit picture

This blue one has a couple of extra perkiness features that keep it new and entertaining.

Kelly Brook can't wait to make a splash as she strips off to cool down in the Caribbean sea

Hmmm, let's see, there's a couple more... as she takes off her beach cover-up.

Well, there's two more ... and one of those might be more revealing than she intended.

Now we have some action shots...

... and three more in the blue number. Well, well. That's a pretty good day in the Barbados sun.

Scrolling down... oh, she's changed into a fuchsia two-piece. Appears she's headed for the beach again...

and the water sure looks nice... hmm, she's leaning over, and kneeling on the beach...

and here's the bikinis she wore yesterday...


Wheww. Was that good for you too, Kelly?

Yes, "cribble" is a word

Believe it or not.

n. 1. A coarse sieve or screen.

2. Coarse flour or meal.

v. t. 1. To cause to pass through a sieve or riddle; to sift.
[imp. & p. p. Cribbled (-b'ld); p. pr. & vb. n. Cribbling (-bl?ng).]

a. 1. Coarse; as, cribble bread.

South Carolina wins its second NCAA championship -- ever

Other than women's track, USC (the one on the East Coast) had never won a NCAA championship in any sport, and obviously not a single men's championship. So it was very nice to see the Gamecocks pull off the victory over UCLA (which has won a LOT of college championships) in the NCAA Division 1 baseball championship. And according to some of the statistics, it was also very unexpected; USC's team batting average was a measly .300, (173rd out of 292 NCAA Div. 1 teams), but they fielded well and pitched well, and that's what won.

USA Today article

ESPN SportCenter video


Ashley Greene -- truth in advertising?

OK, so I see the "Twilight" series Cullen sister Ashley Greene on the cover of Women's Health, in a bikini, showing off a gorgeously fit tummy. The kind of tummy that is so good-looking it becomes an auxiliary erogenous zone. Here it is:

So I figure there's more of that inside the mag, right?

Just some fashion shots in the desert with her Twilight co-star, Kellan Lutz. Nonetheless, these do show (examples below) that she has a classical, exquisitely perfect visage. It's nice to get both in the same package.

So I then figure that Women's Health online might have more Ashley-in-a-bikini pictures. Especially when I see the link to the video of "Ashley Greene's Cover Shoot"!

Wrong again. This is a video of the inside fashion shoot. Not a bikini top or bottom in sight. That'd be great on a nude beach with fashion models getting an all-over tan, but here it means that the principals are well, dressed. Or well-dressed, take your pick.

OK, it's not hard to find Ashley in less than a bikini, either the youthful indiscretion that got leaked on the Internet, or the SoBe water body paint advertising campaign (I wrote about that before). She certainly has a wonderful figure in the "slender and natural" female category. But if you're going to show her off in a bikini -- give us a bit more of that, please!

Here's something that caught my eye while looking around:

Ashley in frilly underthings

Also about Ashley:
"My body holds muscle really easily, and I tend to bulk up [if I'm always lifting] weights," says the 23-year-old Jacksonville, Florida, native. So while filming the movie in Vancouver, she focused on cardio, squats, and planks during her daily hour-long interval sessions.

"I did side planks for my obliques, which are one of my trouble areas," she says.
Could've fooled me!

Landon Donovan's possible love child

It seemed exciting that Landon Donovan and his-hot-as-a-"Man vs. Food"-chicken wing wife (estranged, not quite divorced) Bianca Kajlich might get back together even as Landon salvaged the U.S. World Cup group play, before a collectively flat performance against Ghana. But now comes the news that Landon may have fathered a love child with a British bird, making him even more like a British soccer player(!) -- he did a stint with Everton, and now apparently Manchester City is interested in getting him.

Well, they (he and Bianca) WERE on a break (gratuitous "Friends" reference)

I hope that the love-child-mommy is at least equivalent to Bianca in the attractiveness department, because she certainly has got those goods.

Nothing nude here, but plenty nice:

Bianca A

Bianca B

Bianca C

and one more

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The umitigated gall of these people

Chris de Freitas is claiming that normal scientific criticism of the McLean et al. paper (which I discussed here, and also generated the largest number of comments I've ever got!), now published in Geophysical Research Letters, is akin to "Climategate", and that the only reason for publishing the refutation/rebuttal to their paper is because it might discredit 'work' that 'challenges alarmism' (quoting New Scientist here -- I don't know where they got the quote from de Freitas).

Well, f*ck yes it does, Chrissy. What you call "alarmism" is the basic scientific understanding of, and consensus on, global warming and climate change. Your paper with McLean and Carter took on some of the basic tenets of that scientific understanding. Did you expect a shoddy paper like this to go unchallenged and unrefuted? Do you think that this is the blogosphere, where even publishing back-of-the-napkin calculations gives you equivalent scientific stature to a paper in Nature?

Fat chance. Publishing a paper like that amounted to putting a big ol' bulls-eye target on it, and it got skewered. Too d*mn bad it was quickly shown to be both trivial and wrong.

"Climategate" jibes fly over El Nino impact on global warming

Never mind my Wimbledon predictions

Well, Clijsters beat Henin, so one half of my women's final prediction is out. And then Zvonareva beat Clijsters. The women's draw is unbelievable now; a 1 and a 21 seed against two unseeded players. Serena can walk to this championship at this point.

Murray still looks good, but to make the final, he has to beat Federer. I think he can do it; to do it, HE has to think that HE can do it. Fed has shown he's vulnerable, but he consistently seems to get better as the tournament goes on. If the Murray-Federer semi happens, it could be one of the legendary epic semis.

Hayabusa reentry video from the plane

More student stuff; students filmed the Hayabusa reentry. It was a pretty spectacular break-up, right up there with Ashley and Cheryl Cole.

Still hoping for a little grain of dust in the Hayabusa sample chamber; reports indicate that X-rays of the inner compartment didn't find any grains bigger than a millimeter. So they're truly hoping for a LITTLE grain of dust.

World Cup apology -- tech to be considered

FIFA president apologizes for blown calls (the biggies!)

You can't argue with the obvious (or the blatantly obvious). The English and Mexican fans will suffer for months, but at least the officials have seen the horrible light and realize that catching up with the 20th century, not to mention the 21st, makes sense.

Meanwhile, Brazil rolls on.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Transportation is the hard place of energy conversion and conservation

As in "between a rock and a ..."

"For example, in our energy future “nuclear, solar, hydro and wind energy all will have growing roles in electricity generation, whereas the importance of coal and oil will decline,” explained Dirks. “But when we want to move a car, a truck or an airplane, there’s really only one way to do it – get the stuff out of the ground. Oil remains a relatively cheap source of energy that is so convenient its use overrides its considerable drawbacks in terms of air pollution, environmental concerns and national security.”

From Transportation is the Achilles Heel of Green Energy Efforts: ASU Expert (The expert is Gary Dirks, "renewable energy expert")

The article advocates research and technological implementation of solar power production of biofuels:
"The process is similar to photosynthesis, by which concentrated solar energy is used in conjunction with carbon dioxide and water to create hydrocarbons. In addition to creating combustible fuels like methanol and ethanol, additional processing can yield more traditional fuels like gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.

“The fuels that result from these processes will look, feel and perform just like what we pump into our cars today. They will use existing refineries to prepare fuel blends and existing gas stations to deliver the fuel to today’s cars,” he added.

Yeah, right. Might I point out that widespread expansion of nuclear power would provide plenty of electricity for plug-in hybrids, covering a lot of the road warriors, leaving only the train and plane sectors requiring liquid fuels? Everybody seems so focused on their particular solution that the benefits of a combined solution seem to escape them.

Why instant replay? To make it exciting

I won't say much about the World Cup, except that in much the same way that the questionable goalie interference call robbed the Canadiens-Capitals first round NHL playoff series this year of exciting drama, the amazing missed goal of the England-Germany match really deflated that particular match.

Yes, Germany was probably better. But soccer is such a game of luck + skill that a match can turn on a single moment or event. Lampard's missed goal was just such an event. England was pushing Germany, and the commentators were noting that Germany needed to survive to halftime. A tie would have meant, cliche-wise, a whole new ball game.

Blatantly obvious

Instead, in the second half, England, playing from behind, pressed too much on offense and gave up two easy counter-attacking goals, where Germany exploited the English lack of speed on defense, a known deficiency.

As a lot of comment has said (example here), FIFA is being ridiculous not to allow some basic implementation of instant replay. The English travesty is the best reason why. The fans of the game, particularly the English fans, deserved the excitement of their underdog team rising to the occasion. Instead, they got a heartbreaking second half. They deserved better. So do we all.

This makes me go "WOW" too

George Clooney's current Italian girlfriend, Elisabetta Canalis, is pretty extraordinary. And on a recent boating excursion on Lake Como (where George famously owns a fancy villa), she demonstrated just how extraordinary: particularly her backside, which is thong-worthy and world-class.

Two articles provide definitive coverage of this newsworthy event.

Elisabetta really floats our boat (from the Sun)

What does George Clooney see in Elisabetta Canalis? Well, her amazing bikini body might have something to do with it (from the Daily Mail)

and if you really just want to get to the point of all of this:

Nice... very nice

Not out of focus this time

Yesterday I was astonished that Kelly Brook allowed herself to be photographed OUT OF FOCUS in a bikini in Barbados.

Brook has remedied this horrific occurrence in spades -- and in both green and orange zebra stripes.

Note: this link goes to a Sun article that is positively eye-catching.

Curvy Kelly's cuddling a new hunk in trunks (oh, they're really just riding a jet ski)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

2010 Wimbledon singles predictions: DO NOT use for wagering

With the World Cup beset with officiating errors, I'll just let Brazil or Argentina win the tournament, and fohgedabboudit. But Wimbledon is into its second week this week, and here's my predictions:

Men's singles: Andy Murray finds his game finally on the lawn, beats Rafael Nadal in the men's final

Women's singles: after the great day on Monday, I see Henin surviving to the final, and like clay- and hard-courter Ivan Lendl, will be denied a Wimbledon title yet again, this time (again) by a Williams sister. Despite the dominance of Venus on grass, I give Serena the nod.

TanDEM-X launches

The Germans have launched a second synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite on a Russian rocket. This satellite follows the launch of TERRASAR by a few months. What they're going to do is fly the two satellites in close formation, allowing the generation of very high resolution Digital Elevation Maps (DEMs, of course) via interferometry.

That's about as much as I understand. Still, you've got to admire the technology.

TanDEM-X launched, returns first images (the Daily Mail may be a tabloid, but it also covers science pretty well, with some exceptions, particularly climate change)

TanDEM-X technical concept

How long does it take ...?

How long does it take between the time that Kelly Brook arrives at a destination in the Caribbean until the first appearance of pictures of her in a bikini on the beach are available online?

About a day.

Yesterday the Daily Mail had an article about Kelly arriving in the Caribbean. It showed her in the airport, wearing a cinched blouse. She joked with the paparazzi.

That article is gone, replaced with this:

Kelly Brook shows Danny Cipriani exactly what he's missing as she enjoys Barbados break

This was obviously not unexpected. What's unexpected is that the pictures of her in a bikini are OUT OF FOCUS! C'mon, she's supposed to walk down the beach in range of the medium-range lenses!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Orgasm in a country-western song

I was touring the dial while traveling the state the other day, and I did what I occasionally do; I listened to a country-western station for a couple of hours. I somewhat like country-western music, primarily when there's a deft turn of phrase or play on words, and some ballads can pack some emotional strength, too.

So... while I was listening, I heard the song "Firecracker" by Josh Turner (released about three years ago). It immediately struck me -- it was rather obvious -- that this song was one of the more explicit CW songs about sex. Metaphor or not, it's pretty clear. In particular, two lines are a fairly concise description of female orgasm (and a nice way to say it, too).

Now, the video is pretty tame; nice-looking girl, guy, fireworks store, band outside the store. According to brief searching, his wife is in the band (on keyboards). Fortunately she's also blonde; see below.

Firecracker video

So anyway, here's the specific lyrics about the climactic subject, and a link to the video. There have been other CW songs that touch upon this touchy subject, but not being an aficionado, I couldn't name any. ("A Whole Lotta Shaking Going On" seems to be in that vein.) Clearly, a whole lot of CW songs are about the consequences of sex, particularly the cheatin' kind. So it's nice to have at least one CW song about good sex in a committed relationship, isn't it?

She goes off with a great big bang

Boys I tell ya it's a beautiful thing

She takes off you better hang on tight

She's a blonde bottle rocket in the middle of the night

Turner is a sufficiently adept vocalist as to make "bang" and "thing" almost sound like they rhyme. I'm surprised he's not a bigger star, but maybe he's a bigger star than I think he is, because I'm not paying sufficient attention. His fans seem to adore him (but fans always do, don't they?)

By the way, what do you think the lyrics are alluding to here?

When I light the fuse, I gotta get back quick

You gotta be careful with a dynamite stick

Naahh, couldn't be...

Julianne Hough has a new CW single out too; after a little searching on YouTube, I found both the single release and a recording of her singing it live for a radio program, it appears. There's a considerable difference. She's an adequate singer, with a decent upper and lower register, but in the middle she lacks power and sounds a little girlish (more noticeable in the live performance than the single). She does project some emotion and longing fairly well in this song, which is about... well, wanting to feel someone with you when you're, ahem, lonely. One of the lines in the song makes that fairly clear.

"Is That So Wrong" Single on YouTube

Live performance

Here's some of the lyrics:

Baby, close your lips, only a kiss, only a kiss don’t say a word
You can let it go, loose control, and I promise it wont hurt
I just want to get lost, wanna get lost in your arms
So throw on the floor, I just can’t wait anymore

Doesn’t everybody just want to feel somebody
Just want to hold someone to fill that empty space
When your missing that rush and a friends not enough
I just can’t deal
No tonight I just don’t wanna be alone, tell me, is that wrong?

Wanting to fill that empty space...? I'm sure there'll be takers, Julia (even if you're still waiting for marriage...)
As an aside, one of the clearest references to the act itself is in the theme from the James Bond film "Octopussy" (not that this should be a surprise). The song, "All Time High", sung by Rita Coolidge, has this lyrical aspect at the beginning:

All I wanted was a sweet distraction for an hour or two.
Had no intention to do the things we've done.
Funny how it always goes with love, when you don't look, you find.
But then we're two of a kind, we move as one.

And this fairly direct wording:

I don't want to waste a waking moment; I don't want to sleep.
I'm in so strong and so deep, and so are you.

I did find one item on the Web with other country songs about sex:

(Note: I'm aware that a lot of urban music is absolutely, totally, unexpurgatedly about sex. I prefer some poetical aspects to the music.)

First reports: Hayabusa has gas

While normally having gas might not be construed as a good thing, scientists have begun opening the Hayabusa sample return capsule, and it had a trace (a whiff, a tinge) of gas in it.

Hayabusa asteroid capsule opening gets underway

Researchers said they had already detected a trace gas in the capsule but had yet to identify it.

"We still don't know exactly what kind of gas it is, but the researchers confirmed a trace of low-pressured gas in the capsule," a Jaxa official told AFP.

OK, I think it's a little funny. (I don't know if it smells a little funny, or not.) But more importantly, does it mean anything? I'm speculating that it does. Here's why:

Dust Found in Earth Sediment Traced to Breakup of the Asteroid Veritas 8.2 Million Years Ago


Because interplanetary dust particles are so small and rare in sediment-significantly less than a part per million-they are difficult to detect using direct measurements. However, these particles are extremely rich in helium 3, in comparison with terrestrial materials.

Mining the moon

More quotithon:

That realization would come 13 years later. In 1985, young engineers at the University of Wisconsin discovered that lunar soil contained significant quantities of a remarkable form of helium. Known as helium-3, it is a lightweight isotope of the familiar gas that fills birthday balloons.

Basically, asteroids, airless moons, and dust grains in the Solar System's empty reaches do the same thing; they collect helium-3 in the solar wind. So I'm guessing (and hoping) that Hayabusa knocked some helium-3 loose when it touched down on Itokawa. Whether or not that means some dust got knocked loose and into the sample chamber -- who knows. But this is promising.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Who would have GUESSED this?

Sometimes you need the A/C on:

Turning Off the Air Conditioning Helps Save Fuel, Swiss Study Finds


I'm inverting two paragraphs. First,

The study, the results of which have just been published in the scientific journal "Environmental Science and Technology," shows that the fuel consumption of the test vehicles with air conditioning systems in operation increases with rising ambient air temperature and humidity, reaching a value of some 18 per cent on a typical Swiss summer day with an air temperature of 27 degrees and relative humidity of 60 per cent.

Sounds reasonable. Here's part of the opening paragraph now:

Even in Switzerland, with its temperate climate, the use of air conditioning systems is responsible for about five per cent of total fuel usage, rising to around ten per cent in urban traffic, as shown by a new study undertaken by Empa on behalf of the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). Furthermore, two thirds of the additional fuel usage could be saved if air conditioning systems were simply turned off when the air temperature falls below 18 degrees Celsius.

Is the latter reasonable? 18 degrees Celsius is 65 degrees Fahrenheit or so. That's not too bad. The problem is, fuel-efficient cars are designed to be driven with the windows up. On a sunny 65 degree day, the car interior will get considerably warmer than 65 degrees if the A/C isn't running, even if the fan IS running. So there needs to be a way to vent the excess heat on sunny days. Then this might help.

Arthur C. Clarke would be proud

In "Rendesvous with Rama", Arthur C. Clarke sets the stage for an international asteroid interception program by sinking Venice with an impactor.

In the news, Russia and Europe actually seem to be in the process of setting up such a collaboration.

It's a good idea.

Russia, Europe may join forces to protect Earth from asteroids

Despite the growing concern about the asteroid threat, no anti-asteroid defense programs have been developed in practice so far, with only several theoretical concepts being studied. At a meeting in Moscow on July 7, the European Commission will consider Roscosmos's proposal to start a joint anti-asteroid project with the European Union.

Inviting harassment at ClimateDepot

Scum-meister Marc Morano is now publishing the email addresses of prominent climate scientists that he cites in posts on his ClimateDepot Web site.

Why? Is it not easy enough to find those email addresses using the World Wide Web? Morano's tactic invites the unthinking masses to send reactive and harassing emails to these people. No doubt that is his intention, to distract them from their real important work of climate science. And also to intimidate them.

Here's an example of what can happen:

Bullying, lies, and rise of right-wing climate denial

Australia's most distinguished climate scientists have become the target of a new form of cyber-bullying aimed at driving them out of the public debate.

In recent months, each time they enter the public debate through a newspaper article or radio interview these scientists are immediately subjected to a torrent of aggressive, abusive and, at times, threatening emails. Apart from the volume and viciousness of the emails, the campaign has two features - it is mostly anonymous and it appears to be orchestrated.

The messages are typically peppered with insults. One scientist was called a "Loudmouth, arrogant, conceited, ignorant wanker".

The emails frequently accuse the scientists of being frauds who manipulate their research in order to receive funding, such as this one to Ben McNeil at the UNSW:

"It's so obvious you are an activist going along with the climate change lie to protect your very lucrative employment contract."

They often blame the recipients of being guilty of crimes, as in this one received by Professor David Karoly at the University of Melbourne:

"It is probably not to (sic) extreme to suggest that your actions (deceitful) were so criminal to be compared with Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot. It is called treason and genocide.

"Oh, as a scientist, you have destroyed peoples trust in my profession. You are a criminal . Lest we forget."

Receiving emails like these is unsettling and at times disturbing, which of course is the point. They become worrying when they cross the line to personal threats, such as these sent to Professor Andy Pitman at the UNSW:

"There will be a day of facing the music for the Pitman type frauds... Pitman you are a f**king fool!"

And this one:

"If we see you continue, we will get extremely organised and precise against you."

When Pitman politely replied to the last, the response was more aggressive:

"F**k off mate, stop the personal attacks. Just do your science or you will end up collateral damage in the war, GET IT."

Benjamin Santer sometimes has personal protection bodyguards at conferences, and has been the subject of vandalistic attacks on his home.

Despite increasing attacks, climate scientists reiterate consensus

Santer, who was involved in the so-called 'Climategate' scandal in which over 1,000 emails between climate scientists in America and the U.K. were stolen and publicly posted by hackers, is just one of many scientists who report email attacks, including some suggesting that they should be lynched and explicitly threatening harm to their children.

Clearly Morano does this selectively. Looking at his page today, I find Judith Curry, John Christy, Patrick Michaels, Peter Webster, Roy Spencer, Roger Pielke Sr. -- NONE of whom have associated email addresses.

This is such a GREAT idea, Morano. You have confirmed your depth of scumminess by doing this.

Oh, and just in passing, ClimateDepot was cited by noted conservative columnist Cal Thomas as a great source of information on the climate change issue.

The German online news magazine "Focus" recently carried a story, "Warm Times Will Soon Be Over!" Commenting on the "new NASA high temperature record," which may be set, the magazine blames it on El Nino. [If there wasn't any global warming, then this moderate El Nino and its effects wouldn't be exceeding the effects of the 1997-1998 mega-El Nino.]

Meteorologists, like Joe D'Aleo of The Weather Channel, are publicly distancing themselves from the false doctrine of global warming. D'Aleo says, "We'll have La Nina conditions before the summer is over, and it will intensify further through the fall and winter. Thus we'll have cooler temperatures for the next couple of years."

Remember the scare ignited in 2007 by supposed melting Arctic ice caps? The Star Canada says a new analysis shows that the apparent change was the result of "shifting winds," while an expedition last year to the North Pole discovered the ice "100 percent thicker than expected."

Really? How about this, then?

Much of this information -- and more -- is available at the useful Website

Right, Cal. Shouldn't that be "... the useful climate scientist harassment Website" ???

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The current list of women I'd like to see...

... totally naked, but who are unlikely ever to provide that visual opportunity.

Now, grant you, many if not most of those below have posed with ostensibly nothing on, but left the really erogenous zones strategically covered. Others have worn or posed in some very revealing clothes. Others have had "love scenes" in movies. Others have been captured by the paparazzi in slight revealment of the bits.

But what I'd prefer is total and unabashed (artistic if they want it to be) exposure.

The current list (the 'Clean Dozen'):

1. Jessica Alba
2. Michelle Keegan
3. Julianne Hough
4. Stacy Keibler
5. Emmanuelle Chriqui
6. Cheryl Cole/Tweedy
7. Kym Johnson (Dancing with the Stars dancer)
8. Debra Lafave (hot for teacher)
9. Kate Hudson
10. Abbey Clancy
11. Katherine Heigl
12. Jill Flint

Honorable mention: Jill Wagner, Kelly Stables, Reshma Shetty

Natalie Coughlin
Maria Sharapova
Michelle Wie
Natalie Gulbis
Tanith Belbin
Biba Golic
Alina Kabayeva
Ana Paula Mancino


Kelly Brook was on the list, but Playboy is going to provide the desired uncoverage.

Candice Swanepoel isn't on the list because eventually she might be cajoled into posing totally.

Back in the day, I always thought figure skater Nicole Bobek would be a great feature. She's fallen on hard times recently.

Shania Twain too, but she's fallen off the list because of age. Oh well. Shania's still a fyine-lukin' wommin, though.

Simultaneous lightning strikes in Chicago

The moment lightning struck twice in the same place at the same time: Stunning images as storm breaks over Chicago

In case anyone thinks this didn't really happen, the HuffingtonPost has a video:

More Severe Storms Rock Chicago: Lightning Strikes Three Chicago High-Rises At Once (VIDEO)

Remarkable pictures; I was unaware that there was a Trump Tower in Chicago now. But there certainly is.

Swimming here would be a tad dicey

This high-rise infinity pool does offer quite a view; I think that I'd be a bit vertiginous swimming in it, though. (It's in Singapore, the Marina Bay Sands resort. Also has a big casino. Think about it.)

Don't go off the VERY deep end... Infinity pool 55 STOREYS above ground opens in Singapore in dazzling new £4bn resort

Swimming in the sky

Skyline view by the pool

Vietnam is going to build HOW MANY nuclear plants?

OK, one story says eight:

Vietnam plans eight nuclear plants by 2030

Another one says thirteen:

Vietnam plans to build 13 nuclear plants by 2030

Either way, it's a lot -- and it nicely demonstrates that Asian countries are taking both the global climate and their increasing power needs seriously.

Unlike us Americans, of course.

Ryan Seacrest getting happy, too

And here is was all worried about Julianne Hough's love life. Not sure why; there are men that would stand outside her house in freezing rain for hours just on the hope that she would emerge and talk to them for three minutes, until hypothermia set in and they died. (Not me; I'd give up when I started to shiver.)

But anyway, Mormon virgin Julianne is definitely playing the field, and it appears that she's gone public with American Idol host and general celebrity follower Ryan Seacrest. Now, Ryan is another one of those guys that's very, very pretty: like Orlando Bloom, if he sticks with Julianne, he appears to be increasing his happiness potential.

Right now, I expect that he's just happy to be talking and walking with Julianne, and doesn't have to stand in the freezing rain for that privilege.

Seacrest, Hough may be getting 'more serious' (Wonderwall)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

La Niña coming on the Pacific stage

Sometimes an El Niño is followed by average, or "normal", conditions. Other times, the Pacific switches to the negative mode, the La Niña, which can cool things off weather- and climate-wise in a hurry.

To silence the frigging climate skeptics, we need a record-setting 2010 in the global temperature category. The two things that could derail the heat train are a massive volcanic eruption (Eyjafjallajokull wasn't that), or a strong La Niña condition.

So we shall watch the Pacific equator.

Adios El Niño, Hello La Niña?

If at first you don't succeed, launch, launch again...

NASA is giving Orbital Sciences another chance to launch on Orbiting Carbon Observatory on a Taurus launch vehicle (otherwise known as a rocket). The first time didn't go too well. Before they do that, they're going to try to launch an instrument called Glory (to observe atmospheric aerosols) on a Taurus, too. Considering that the U.S. Government does not have millions to spare on re-tries, I hope they get the next two Taurus launches right.

NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for OCO-2 Mission

Prince Albert: He's got good taste for a silverback

Prince Albert of Monaco is like an archetypal silverback; wealthy beyond all imagination, able to indulge his whims and desires (though he is philanthropic and focused on the endangerment of the world's oceans, for which I commend him). For a long time, his long-term bachelor status made some suspect he might be gay. Turns out that is FAR from the truth, as he spread his seed illegitimately twice. [You see, when somebody's a royal, legitimate vs. illegitimate has an unfortunate stigma. If you're illegitimately the offspring of a royal, you just don't the perks, except for (probably and hopefully) decent child support. If you're a woman, you just don't admit where the kid came from, if it wasn't from the loins of the legitimate royal spouse. See "Braveheart" for details.]

But he's finally ending the bachelor game, and marrying a blonde, slender swimmer (backstroke specialist, actually), South African Charlene Wittstock. (Somebody please explain how the South Africans are exporting prize Charlenes and Charlizes!) There's a 20-year age difference; not a problem for a silverback. Presumably(?) the Prince is probably interested in procreating a legitimate heir to the throne. Oh, and maybe he likes her company too. (I'm so cynical when it comes to matters of the loins.)

Monaco's playboy prince to wed

There are a number of pictures of the princess-in-waiting, but I could find only one of her in a swimsuit (a full-length one). She appears to possess a swimmer's desirable sleekness. I couldn't find anything from her competitive days.


Wet and sleek

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Samuelson says Obama is misguided on energy (doesn't mention nuclear)

Robert Samuelson addresses President Obama's energy "pipe dreams" in a Washington Post column:

Obama's energy pipe dreams

He says this:

"Unless we shut down the economy, we need fossil fuels. More efficient light bulbs, energy-saving appliances, cars with higher gas mileage may all dampen energy use. But offsetting these savings will be more people (391 million vs. 305 million), more households (147 million vs. 113 million), more vehicles (297 million vs. 231 million) and a bigger economy (almost double in size)."

[There's a lesson here about population growth -- for another time.]

"Although wind, solar and biomass are assumed to grow as much as 10 times faster than overall energy use, they provide only 11 percent of supply in 2035, up from 5 percent in 2008."

He goes on to discuss the drawbacks of biofuel and wind power.

At no point does he discuss nuclear power (neither, for that matter, did the Prez.)

If Obama's serious about an energy future, he and his administration have to STRONGLY encourage conservation (and new technology) with a carbon tax, and you turn to the one generation source that provides a lot of energy -- nuclear; standard large plants, or maybe the Gates/Toshiba neighborhood nukes. Nuclear is wedge 9 of the Socolow and Pacala stabilization wedges, deservedly.

The Stabilization Wedges Web site

A plan to keep carbon in check (pdf)

Wedge 9: "Add twice today's nuclear output to displace coal"

APEC will get on the nuclear train

The Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation Group, in an enlightened move, will promote the development and expansion of nuclear power. For a region that is frequently choking on coal emissions and cooking fire smoke, this makes eminent sense, especially considering that the area is also chronically underpowered.

The Gulf oil spill is influencing their thinking and their negotiations. It should.

APEC energy ministers eye Gulf spill, low carbon fuels

Right back into action

Part 1: I speculated just a day ago on how someone might get Kelly Brook's contact information for a date, and how long it would be appropriate before calling and inquiring.

Kelly Brook dines with mystery man

Some guys just don't wait. The question is: what category does her date fall into? Or is he in a different unanticipated category? I guess if we continue to see him with her, we'll find out.

Part 2: It appears that the mystery man is in the 'Other' category.

And Kelly Brook's date was...

The man pictured being chummy with Kelly Brook a couple of nights ago wasn't the guy from Glee (c'mon search Google News, I don't have to do everything), it was noted glamour photographer Sante D'Orazio. But her appearance on a girl's night out leads to speculation that she's a bit glum. So maybe she hasn't bounced on the rebound board just yet.

Brook blue on girls' night out

I'm making a small prediction that the chief photographer for Kelly's upcoming Playboy photoshoot was D'Orazio.

Judging by his Body of work, he's fully accustomed to working with some distractingly gorgeous female bodies and faces. But I assume that he's a professional and he's unfazed by the nudacious pulchritude he captures on film (or digitally, whatever works these days).

Searching "Sante D'Orazio" in the Image zone provides many tantalizing examples.

Here's his official Web site. Be warned: it's all just a Flash slideshow, can't escape it, can't speed up or slow down the slides. And it's got a lot of girls wearing very little. (Famous shot of Christy Turlington; this guy is an A-list photographer.) Very little doubt that he did the work for Kelly in Playboy.

Waiting a long time

Back when, and then last month, I posted about Michelle Keegan, a young, buxom, pretty, buxom, winsome, buxom, sexy, buxom, attractive, buxom, brunette, buxom -- point made --
Brit soap actress (Coronation Street). As you might guess from the descriptives, there's a reason for that. Unfortunately, MK has not deigned to reveal herself a great deal in starlet photoshoots, such as Maxim provides.

So I've been waiting for MK to get to the beach again. Finally, she did. And the results of her holiday were quite pleasing, buxom, stimulating, buxom, to behold. But we, er, at least I, could certainly enjoy more.

Link to article

Link directly to the best (only) picture!

The Sun has a similar article, with a slightly different picture

And a bit more searching found this bonanza, from the News of the World (I knew the Brits wouldn't let me down, girl-wise; we'll have to see about the World Cup in a few hours)

News of the World: Michelle Keegan on the beach (St. Lucia)
(includes 6-picture sideshow, and covers all the requisite angles)

Orlando Bloom gets happy

Orlando Bloom is a very good-looking guy; this has been evident since the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and has continued through his film career. Being very good looking, he's going to have particular trouble procuring marital happiness unless he finds a suitably attractive wife -- according to reports (which I am GOING to get to, I promise), one key factor for marital happiness and accord is the relative attractiveness of the husband and the wife. (I don't want to give too much away, but you can try to guess where this is going.) Because of his handsomeness, Orlando's field for marital partners is relatively restricted, if he wants to have this factor working for him (and for her).

It appears that he does, and all those reports about Orlando begging Miranda Kerr to wear his ring (not the One Ring, of course) might mean that he realizes what he's got to get for mutual marital accordionship.

Finally, Miranda has capitulated. Best wishes to the happy, and attractively aligned, couple.

Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr get engaged

Sunday, June 20, 2010

To sail the solar seas

A little camera got ejected from the Ikaros solar sail spacecraft and took a picture of the mission, fully unfurled.

World's first solar sail photographed in deep space

Kelly Brook is available again

Not that I would (my wife is prettier than me; more on that later, eventually), but let's say that this news came across your Twitter feed. Let's also say that you're an A-lister; a wealthy professional athlete, a handsome young businessman, or a successful movie actor. How do you:

a) get Kelly's number;
b) figure out how long to wait before you call to attempt to get a date;
c) make a budget for the attempt?

It'd be fun to find out! Well, in a couple of month's, Kelly will put her $500K attributes on display for the world in Playboy; I sure hope Danny had fun while it lasted. To put it musically, her body is a wonderland.

Kelly Brook and Danny Cipriani "split" after two-year romance

He certainly appeared to be enjoying himself:

Exhibit A (pool hug)

Exhibit B (handy dandy)

Kids discover a hole in Mars

Interesting research performed by middle school students has apparently found an ancient skylight into a lava tube on one of Mars' volcanoes. It appears to be in-line with a row of collapse pits.

Middle school project discovers a cave skylight on Mars

The volcano is Pavonis Mons, the middle volcano of the three big Tharsis Ridge volcanoes.

High resolution, large image of Olympus Mons and the Tharsis Ridge volcanoes

Here's Pavonis Mons itself:

If the volcanoes still had remnant hydrothermal activity underground, a lava tube cave might be a place with the right ingredients to harbor life surviving from the wetter and warmer period in the Martian climate history. Unlikely, but a better place to survive than on the arid surface exposed to sunlight and ultraviolet rays.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sweden votes to replace reactors

In a smart vote, Sweden voted to replace its complement of reactors. It was a close vote because the unsmart left wing wants to phase out nuclear power altogether. Let them live in their unheated huts in winter, then.

Sweden to replace existing nuclear plants with new ones

"The centre-left opposition said they would rescind the law if they win the next
election, due in September.

"Of course we will tear it up," said Tomas Eneroth from the Social Democratic Party."

Great idea.

Here's the thing; make an honest effort to show (realistically) that renewables like wind and solar and biofuel can contribute as much energy as nuclear -- and reduce CO2 emissions an equivalent amount. If that doesn't work, then show how energetic conservation plus renewables can do it. If not, admit that nuclear is needed. Words are cheap.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Cheryl Cole and Derek Hough get out to Africa

Things are heating up. That guy: this is a substantial upgrade from Shannon Elizabeth.

Cheryl Cole jets off on secret 'romantic holiday' with Derek Hough

Meanstwhile, Hough's winning dance partner Nicole Scherzinger gets aquatic in Maxim (she's also on the cover)

Nicole Scherzinger

Poppy fields

A bit of history:

Remembrance Day

In Flanders Fields

And a picture:

Poppies on the heath

Accompanying article: Red Sea: Spectacular display as thousands of red poppies burst into full bloom

Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart got married

OK, everyone, one two three: Indiana Jones marries Ally McBeal (news at 11).

They make a cute (if slightly unusual looking) couple.

Silverback!! but I think that he really likes her, too.

Nuclear power really will reduce CO2

In case anyone was unclear (I wasn't), increased implementation of safe and reliable nuclear power could/will have a substantial impact on reducing global CO2 emissions. It behooves both the environmental wing and the economic wing of the politcal left (considering the right is composed of doofuses, dolts, and do-nothings on this vital issue) toget together and realize that nuke power is one of the only realistic ways out of our current road-off-the-climate-cliff.

The BP oil spill is a tragic lesson that virtually any aspect of the carbon-based economy is dirty, environmentally speaking. It is also a lesson that costs should not be cut when risks are inherent. This is a lesson for the nuclear power industry as the world, and likely eventually the US, ramps up the investment in nuclear power that can get us into the latter half of this century with still a chance to stabilize Earth's climate.

The Wall Street Journal likes this (but you have to subscribe to read it):

Nuclear Power Could Generate 25% Of Electricity By 2050 -IEA
(IEA = International Energy Agency)

RedOrbit says the same things for free:

Nuclear power important for reducing CO2 emissions

Jupiter flash was a little rock

According to the Hubble, which didn't see anything, the flash recorded on the face of Jupiter must have been cause by a lightweight small astro-rock that vaporized in the upper atmosphere of Jove. That interpretation is due to the non-observation of ash, soot, or heavy metals discoloring the swirling patterns of circulation in the Jovian atmosphere.

As artistically as I can state it, the little space wayfarer was just too small to make more than an instantaneous impression on the King of the Solar System.


Hubble telescope sheds light on mystery Jupiter flash

Mysterious Flash on Jupiter Left no Debris Cloud

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Candice Swanepoel's boyfriend is a soldier

According to the article linked below, Candice Swanepoel's boyfriend is not a soccer player or an absurdly wealthy team owner, nor is he a fat Italian guy, movie star, or international singing sensation -- he's actually a soldier serving in Iraq. I presume he's South African, since she is. Now, I should note; the article has a few lingerie pictures associated with it.

Candice Swanepoel, hot South African export

Insight into the solar cycle increases current mystery

Not much I can add to this, except for a link to a great CME video. (CME is a coronal mass ejection, and Do Not Think that it means anything except that.)

Sun's strange behavior baffles astronomers

"[NASA solar scientist] Hathaway predicts that cycle 24 should reach its peak in mid-2013 at about half the size of the last three cycles."

At least there have been a few sunspots, when last I checked, but there aren't any today (June 17) (

Here's the CME:

And here's where there's a movie of it:

Ring of fire

Scrabble scramble

Here's a word for Scrabble players:

Pilch: an outer garment, originally one made of skin.

My question: isn't that what we're ALL wearing?

Monday, June 14, 2010

European Union declares early end to bluefin tuna "season"

Of course it's good news, if it weren't for the fact that any bluefin tuna fishing in the Med right now is bad news.

EU closes bluefin tuna fishing season early

"The commission has declared a zero tolerance approach towards overfishing and will take all necessary measures to ensure full compliance across the board," the EU's executive arm said in a statement.

The summer season opened on June 1, but the commission announced that fishing the tuna with huge 'purse seine' nets would end at midnight, June 9, rather than the scheduled date of June 15.

EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki took the decision to end the fishing season early "due to the exhaustion of the quotas allocated to them."

Major tuna fishers France, Greece and Spain were informed of the decision.

OK, just the fact that they had to close the fishery in NINE DAYS ought to tell them something...

wouldn't you think?

The space that drives men crazy

It is simply air, of a shape and place defined by that which surrounds it. The larger the depth of absence, the more desirable the presence of that which defines it. It is celebrated, augmented, displayed, and featured by fashion. It is an emptiness of remarkable desirability. It is frequently not only created by fashion, but a true fashion accessory; when the regions above it and below it are suitably adorned by expensive diadems, they draw more attention to this delicious gap, and when it is suitably displayed, it draws more attention to the diadems as well. It can be deepened, deepened dramatically, and even plunged.

This non-existence is instantly recognizable, dutifully acknowledged, and strongly admired. It demonstrates exposure, and the more of it that is shown, the more that the diminishing hidden remainder is desired. The curvature of this enchanted space is utterly unique, and for that reason it holds a place of honor and attractiveness beyond its intrinsic value, for it is a gap, a location between the physical objects which create it and mold it.

It can be a place of pleasure and enjoyment for both the male and the female of the human species, and when such pleasure is mutual, it verges upon the sublime. And yet it can also simply be a resting place, filled by love and innocence.

I am speaking here of decolletage or cleavage, the lovely space defined between a woman's breasts. Cleavage can be subtle or obvious, barely glimpsed or obviously visible, displayed so as to show if its upper side, its middle, or even (rarely) its lower regions. There are a few different words in different languages for it, but most words primarily are related to decolletage. (Actually, to be precise, decolletage is also about a garment that reveals the space between the breasts, and can also refer to the upper surfaces of the breasts.)

Here are four outstanding examples (in order, Jennifer Love Hewitt; Rachael Neiberding; Salma Hayek; Bar Rafaeli, and Melissa Satta):

Naked-eye comet; not missing this one

Fresh from watching Hayabusa re-enter, here's some data about the current Comet McNaught (there are a lot of comet McNaughts) that should be visible in Northern Hemisphere skies right now.

The last time there was a naked-eye visible Comet McNaught in 2007, I missed it. It wasn't that way long (visible), because it got visible and then dived into the Southern Hemisphere skies in just a few days -- and then had the audacity to become a Great Comet! This new one, while maybe not becoming a Great Comet, will be visible longer in this hemisphere -- and this week is prime-time, but you (and me) are going to have to get up early!

Lots o' links:

Space Eye Candy to Appear in Skies in mid-June

C/2009 R1 ( McNaught )


Sky and Telescope: Comet in the June dawn

New comet visible in early morning sky

Beautiful picture of Comet McNaught 2009R1

Sunday, June 13, 2010

This is how low Japan will go

Japan -- blocking bluefin tuna fishing bans by influencing, encourages end to moratorium on whaling. For the latter, they've paid cash bribes and procured call girls for voting ministers.

That's LOW.

Revealed: Japan's bribes on whaling

Scandal of Japan's bribes over whaling

"Today The Sunday Times exposes how Japan has been using underhand tactics to try to overturn the ban. Small nations on the IWC have been systemically bribed with overseas aid, cash payments in envelopes and the offer of prostitutes. Although long suspected, these revelations — exposed by undercover reporters offering alternative bribes to smaller IWC members to support a continuation of the ban — are still shocking.

Japan’s bribes, together with the apparent inability of the European Union to speak with one voice because of Denmark’s support for a resumption of whaling, mean that a decision of enormous importance for the planet looks like being nodded through. A vote to lift the ban will in effect have been bought."

And I still think some whaling would be useful. But this is not the way to make it happen. But apparently also, it might work.

Just a lil' bit o' dust, just a lil' bit o' dust...

The Hayabusa sample return capsule made it back, intact, and even the parachute worked. So now, all that's needed is for the canister to have captured just a little bit of dust kicked up when Hayabusa touched down on Itokawa, the asteroid.

Everybody inhale, hold your breath... and open the canister.

Hayabusa sample container and parachute on the ground

Saturday, June 12, 2010

NASA and Germany make a very good decision

GRACE, the remarkable dual satellite laser ranging mission that provides really remarkable data about ongoing Earth changes, is getting a mission extension:

NASA and German Aerospace Center extend GRACE mission

GRACE allows insight into:

* Geodesy
* Glaciology
* Hydrology
* Oceanography
* Solid Earth Sciences

According to the short article, the extension will allow the mission to continue until 2015, barring any encounters with space junk, of course.

GRACE mission Web site

OK, that's one for the unabridged dictionary

Do I have sexsomnia? And is that a bad thing?

NO, apparently sexsomnia is not lying awake thinking about sex. (And that doesn't happen to me very often.) Sexsomnia is defined as: "initiating or engaging in sexual activity with a bed partner while asleep". First question: if you're asleep, how do you know you did this? Now, if you wake up and find yourself pleasurably engaged, obviously you can conclude that you got started while you were still in snoozeland. But if you sleep through the whole thing, I guess you have to rely on your partner's reports of your a) prowess (in the case of the male) or b) amenability (in the case of the female). And do they tell you that you were asleep? Is that determined by whether or not they had a good time while you were asleep and giving them a good time?

There is so much to be figured out about this condition. Legally, if you (a male) get a partner pregnant while you were asleep, are you responsible for the child? Conversely, if a partner gets you (a female) pregnant while you were asleep, should he be responsible? Or should he have tried to wake you up to ask if you were interested in continuing to the likely conclusion?

Would a regular partner tell you if you were better or worse as a sex partner while you're asleep compared to your abilities while awake? (Should they?)

If you're asleep while having sex, can you have an orgasm? If so, is your orgasm better while you're asleep compared to when you're awake?

Finally, if your sex partner is better at sex when they're asleep then when they're awake, "not tonight, honey, I have a headache" might just be a ploy to get you to fall asleep and then get busy.

There is such a condition, populars.

Study finds that sexsomnia is common in sleep center patients

Hayabusa homecoming

According to my calculations, Hayabusa will be hopefully re-entering and hitting Australia about 10 AM EDT. I found a site that has some live updates, and a Twitter feed, courtesy of Bad Astronomy.

The Planetary Society live links

Twitter feed

Come home, wayward satellite, and bring some asteroid dust with you!

Friday, June 11, 2010

This is the right outfit for a pool party

Liquid Pool Lounge hosts parties that starlets show up at to be seen and photographed. They even go swimming.

Kristin Cavallari is one such starlet, notable for Laguna Beach and The Hills, two shows I've never watched.

I may have to change that.

Kristin Cavallari: Sexy pool party pictures


Saudia Arabia blocked a report advocated by small (mostly island) nations that would have advocated much more aggressive action on climate change. They gave a couple of reasons why:

"However, the attempt to go ahead with the review was blocked by Saudi Arabia, with the support of fellow OPEC nations. Among their reasons for opposing the review were claims that there is not enough peer-reviewed literature out there for the process to uncover scientific gaps." [What the f*ck does that mean?]

More clearly:

"Saudi Arabia and other major oil producers argue that ratcheting up action on carbon emissions will hurt their revenues as fossil-fuel consumers switch to cleaner energy."

I think that's where their main objections lie. And this comes as the scum are using their petrodollars to invest in nuclear energy for their own future.

Like the title says, they're scum.

Oil nations block switch to 1.5 C climate goal

Climate: Saudis block call for climate report

Let's make tigers a cash crop

On the brink of extinction, tigers need man as never before

Tigers are on their way out, existence-wise. I don't know how their eventual extinction in the wild can be avoided unless truly drastic steps are undertaken. So here's a "modest proposal". Google that phrase up if you don't know the spirit in which I'm offering this.

The modest proposal: breed tigers in captivity and then sell their parts for the medicine trade in China. I.e., harvest them.

Why? Because they are being mercilessly poached in the wild, for their parts, to put into ancient medicine recipes. While the UGH factor of that is high, it doesn't seem to be stoppable right now. So what I propose is breed them, sell the parts, and use the profits to fund anti-poaching efforts to protect the wild populations.

If that seems cruel, yes, it probably is. But is it any more cruel than to let this noble and distinctive species get barbarically poached into extinction as we watch?

Hey, this worked for the American bison. Now there are bison farms, with plenty of animals, that are routinely harvested to make bison burgers. And there are also reserves and national parks, such as Yellowstone and Custer State Park in South Dakota, where there are thriving wild herds, which have to be culled so that they won't overwhelm the ecosystem. (I don't know if they cull in Yellowstone, but they definitely do in Custer.)

So I think that logically this is a good proposal. Have we truly come to the point where it is necessary and thus immodest? We might be close.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Blackhawks win! Blackhawks win! Blackhawks win!


Some pictures just make you go "WOW"

No, not more Miranda Kerr wearing little or nothing, or in the process of transitioning from wearing little to wearing nothing (but if you're interested in that subject, I missed this one), but this is about the jumping sharks off the coast of World Cup venue South Africa. I've seen pictures of them before, and it's an amazing natural phenomenon, but this one raised the bar.

Good-bye, sea lion

VERY lucky kid

I heard a report of this on the radio, and was hoping to find more information. I did. In Miami, a 4-year-old boy chasing a balloon fell off a 17th-floor balcony, hit a palm tree, and landed on soft ground next to a swimming pool on the 10th floor, and survived.

Boy, 4, survives 80ft fall from balcony after bouncing off palm trees

I think the kid might have a career as a stunt double in the "Avatar" sequel.

More proof that they're out there

More proof that asteroids and comets capable of hitting planets are out there; Jupiter's gravity well attracted another one to a fiery demise, and this time, the fireball of the event was observed (but not a debris cloud). Which makes me speculate that this was a pretty clean dirty snowball.

Big fireball on Jupiter spotted by amateur astronomers

Video: Fireball on Jupiter: Asteroid hits gas giant

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cheryl Cole: Hors catégorie

I really should devote myself more to the United States babe competition; the Daily Mail keeps providing timely and revealing updates of the Brit sector, particularly the WAG category.

Now, Cheryl Cole will soon be an ex-WAG, and I don't think she ever completely fit the classic WAG profile (which is to be mainly known for good looks). Cole, and a few others, are in the sub-category of talented WAGs -- and Cole (one wonders if she will go back to the less alliterative Cheryl Tweedy) is pretty talented. Because of the ability of electronics and amplification to make up for modest vocal chops, it's hard to tell exactly how talented, but suffice it to say that she sings good, dances really good, and looks extremely good while doing both.

All of which makes Derek Hough extremely lucky if reports are to be believed:

Cheryl Cole to move in with new beau (that would be Hough, pronounced "huff", so it don't rhyme)

Now, this particular post is about a clubbing night in Paris that the two went on; Cheryl was purebred knockout. Go to pics and article below.

Cheryl Cole steps out...

Link to my favorite pic of the stepping out (despite the unsightly background, which doesn't mean Derek, even though he's in the background, too)

This makes me ask: if Cheryl Cole and Derek Hough get on the dance floor together, isn't the proper thing to do to just get out of their way and watch?

I know I would.

If I mention Derek Hough, I've got to check to see what's recently happening with his astonishing sister, Julianne. She showed up at the MTV Movie Awards in a LBD. The related article has lots of pictures of other stars, such as Scarlett Johansson. Click the little gallery link in the bottom left corner of her pictures to get pure Julianne.

I should note that she's just quite pretty here. When she's glammed up and wearing diaphanous tight dance outfits, she looks even better. Still my favorite: the Samba with Ohno. Wish I had this in high-def, because that is truly a backfield in motion.

Julianne's going to star in a remake of "Footloose". That might be good -- if she can act. We know she can dance.

She's also in a movie called "Burlesque", with Christina Aguilera, Kristin Bell, and Stanley Tucci.

And she has a new single out, which she says is "sexy".

She could read Ecclesiastes and be sexy.

Bluefin tuna wars

Greenpeace and the Sea Shepherds are attacking tuna nets and tuna boats in the Mediterranean Sea. Unlike the effort to halt Japanese whaling, which probably had minimal effect on the number of whales taken or the recovery of populations of endangered whales -- thus being futile but noble -- this confrontation is over a practice that could truly endanger a noble and magnificent denizen of the oceans. Given the international inaction, the confrontation seems inevitable from these groups -- and necessary. What is being done is unjust. Gandhi recognized the injustices of British colonial rule and used passive resistance to great effect to alleviate it, though in that process there was considerably injury and even death. I hope no human beings get killed, but the fish, who cannot speak for themselves, are being slaughtered.

Who speaks for species that face extinction? There are only a few brave (and reckless/foolhardy/annoying/dedicated/dangerous)individuals who will undertake this campaign. I am helping them financially.

Green group to launch Mediterranean "blue rage"

Taking action, and taking blows, for bluefin

More action for bluefin tuna

Pre-World Cup injury report

I would be interested to know if the run-up to the World Cup this year is unique in terms of the number of World Cup-ending injuries to key or marquee players. It seemed to start last year with the horrific crash that U.S. striker Charlie Davies was involved in, which prevented him from playing. Then Beckham went down with a torn Achilles. Then Michael Ballack, Germany's
captain, got knocked out while playing for Chelsea. Another Chelsea player, Michael Essien, can't play for Ghana.

And the list goes on. English captain Rio Ferdinand (see more below*) suffered a knee injury in practice and he's out. Nani of Portugal, who would have paired with Ronaldo, fell on his shoulder being too cute in practice -- and HE's out. Didier Drogba, also from Chelsea, got an arm broken in practice, but had surgery and still hopes to play. And remember that Ashley Cole of Chelsea broke his ankle and his marriage earlier this season, but he's back and apparently ready to play (even has a new girlfriend, whilst his extraordilovely soon-to-be-ex-wife Cheryl Cole dances and dallies with Derek Hough).

*Speaking of Ferdinand: he became captain after the standing captain, John Terry (who plays for Chelsea!!!), suffered a self-inflicted libido wound by bedding his best soccer friend's girlfriend, which came out in the media. But he's still going to play, and amazingly enough, he's still married, too!

Chelsea players really seem to have been hammered by this.

Here's some more World Cup injury news (I'm just grabbing quotes and not attributing article sources):
"Carvalho and Deco who both, on season, play for Chelsea FC, were injured at the end of the season, but have already begun playing in pre-match friendlies before their first match against Ivory Coast.

Pepe (Real Madrid) will indeed join the Portugal squad in the World Cup games. Pepe had a major knee injury this past December, tearing ligaments and having to undergo surgery. He has been given a pass to proceed to the games by his medical staff. Portugal, has in exchange, dropped Jose Castro from the 24-man squad which is now 23.

The latest Chelsea curse alumni, John Mikel Obi of Nigeria will miss the World Cup due to complications from a minor knee surgery he underwent. The squad just doesn't want to risk the possibility of further injury to their midfielder."

Washington Post:
"Italy playmaker Andrea Pirlo is resting at home in Milan with a calf injury that could force him out of the world soccer championship.

Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar missed practice for the second straight day as he recovers from a back injury.

And American striker Jozy Altidore has a sprained right ankle that makes him doubtful for Saturday's tuneup match against Australia." [Altidore is now expected to play in the opener against England.]

Soccer Fanhouse:
"Germany is also without keeper Rene Adler. France is missing Lassana Diarra."
"Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Wilson Palacios is a doubt for the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The Honduras star picked up a shin injury in his side's 3-0 defeat by Romania in their last warm-up match before the finals.

West Ham United midfielder Valon Behrami is also a doubt after picking up a hamstring injury in Switzerland's 1-1 draw with Italy. [Coach still hopeful; he's got 8 days before the first match]

Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel is breathing a sigh of relief after learning an ankle injury will not keep him out of the tournament. Skrtel limped out of Slovakia's 3-0 friendly win over Costa Rica after only 16 minutes and was taken to hospital for scans. But Skrtel has been told he needs only a few days' rest before he returns. "It is not too bad, it is just a gash," said Skrtel. "I think
that in a few days it will be okay."

The Netherlands have an injury concern in Everton centre-back John Heitinga. He was substituted after an hour of a 6-1 win against Hungary and his ankle was immediately
wrapped in ice.

Former Chelsea winger Arjen Robben is a major doubt for Holland after suffering a hamstring injury against the Hungarians."

Start the games already, before they all get hurt!

Hershey Bears prove Yogi Berra wuz right: it ain't over...

Because of my ongoing minimal interest in the Washington Capitals (spurred by my analysis of the Ovechkin no-goal call in Game 7 of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs), I've been following their surrogates, the Hershey Bears (who wear chocolate-and-white, I just found out). Summary: they fell behind 0-2 in games in the Calder Cup finals to the Texas Stars (who play in Austin and which are likely affiliated with the NHL Dallas Stars, though I haven't checked) and fell behind 3-1 in game 3. Which wouldn't bode well for eventual championship hopes -- the Bears are the defending champions of the AHL.

But reversals can strike faster in hockey than practically any other sport; Hershey reeled off five straight goals to go up 6-3, and to get the series back to a more manageable and hopeful 2-1.

(UPDATE, June 9: they won Game 4 on a late power play goal, so the series is even at 2-2).

One thing that intrigues/bothers me: why is it that some players that are stars in the AHL can never get a permanent place on an NHL team? Too many durned furriners in the NHL?

Article links about Game 3:

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Arctic sea ice volume: increasing or decreasing?

I'm going to mention this now and try to get back to it later. I know, I know, I've said that before. But I am going to try.

Arctic Sea ice volume tracker

There's a conflict in the comments with another model. G. Karst asks:

"And yet the US Navy, who actually went out and performed measurements, reports a 25% increase in Arctic ice volume since May 2008. Oh well, when empirical evidence contradicts models, Brett recommends modeled results. It could be that he is privy to information the rest of us, are not."

This is quoting a Watts Up with That? article, Arctic Ice Volume Has Increased 25% Since May, 2008 The model discussed in this article is the PIPS2.0 sea ice forecast model.

In the discussion section of the above article, poster "Tom P." says:


Your approach does not agree with the calculations from the the team actually producing these maps. The Navy PIPS team derive a loss in the May ice volume from 2007 to 2008 of 22%.

Your figures give a corresponding loss of around 13%. You might want to contact the PIPS team to see how they derive their volume estimates and hence understand how best to use this data.

I grabbed this table out of the above PDF. Spacing formatting wasn't transferred, but it isn't hard to figure out what it's showing. The maximum volume and the month it occurred are on the left, and the minimum volume and the month it occurred are on the right.

Total Central Arctic Ice Volume × 109 m3
Maximum Minimum
Year Month Value Month Value
2000 May 0.90 Sep 0.59
2001 May 0.93 Sep 0.69
2002 May 0.99 Sep 0.75
2003 Apr 0.95 Sep 0.58
2004 May 0.91 Sep 0.58
2005 Apr 0.93 Sep 0.62
2006 May 0.85 Sep 0.52
2007 May 0.86 Sep 0.49
2008 Mar 0.67 Sep 0.38

There are obvious declining trends here. But the Watts Up with That? article was about May 2008 to present, not 2000-2008. Is that significant? The author of the WUTW piece noted the same thing.

But further down, "R. Gates" says:

"An excellent presentation, and if the PIPS 2.0 data had any validity or accuracy I would almost believe it. Unfortunately, PIPS 2.0 was quite inaccurate with low fidelity and is no longer used by the Navy for any serious applications, and especially not to navigate their way through the Arctic."

and also says

"In general though, a nicely done effort, but I think your data is suspect, and I think you should realize that the modeling done by PIOMAS [the model quoted in the Accuweather article] is much closer to the more updated PIPS 3.0, as they both use CICE from Los Alamos, and thus, I would tend to stick to the projections of PIOMAS and the volume loss anomlay they project for the arctic over software that the Navy abandoned many years ago in PIPS 2.0"

Ouch. R. Gates answers some of the author's questions further down politely, but he and Tom P. together pretty much trashed this WUTW production. Though at the end there is a very interesting comeback from "KD Knoebel". I'll be interested to see if R. Gates responds. Because I want to know what's actually happening, even though I think I know what is most likely to be happening.

As for the funniest comment, this was, from "Tom in Florida":

"It’s never been about length, always about thickness."

Gave me a grin.

After writing the above, I noticed that Joe Romm has done a much better job:

Arctic death spiral: Naval Postgrad School’s Maslowski “projects ice-free* fall by 2016 (+/- 3 yrs)”

But in the land of make-believe, Watts and Goddard say: "Arctic ice extent and thickness nearly identical to what it was 10 years ago."