Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Guess this chest

It's an easy one, but if you can't get it today, I'll reveal who possesses this marvelous rack on the last day of May. Going back into my posting history will give it away pretty readily.

OK, sorry, it's June 2nd as I type this.   The wondrous bosom below belongs to Luisana Lopilato -- pretty obvious if anyone's been paying attention.

Link to the full picture of her wondrous self.

The LOTUS (Liar of The United States)

Republicans are willing to vote for a man WHO THEY KNOW IS PROBABLY LYING about being a conservative like they are, just so they can get someone who'll rubber stamp the agenda of McConnell, Boehner, Cantor, and Ryan.  Do we really want these guys running the country?

More on this later.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Hoping we can save the Devil

Usually there isn't much call to save the Devil, but in the case of the Tasmanian Devil, it's something worth doing.  The Taz Devil population has been decimated (pretty much correct in the mathematical meaning of that term) by an always-fatal epidemic of facial cancer that gets spread by contact.   I don't like it when charismatic megafauna are endangered, and here's another case of that, surprisingly with very little human causation in this case.

But humans are stepping in and doing what they can to save the Devil.   And since these aren't witches or warlocks trying to do this, I'm all for it.   (Meanwhile, Kill the Lionfish).

Fortunately they seem to breed well in captivity.

Race to save the Devil down under

Decimation:  "In 1996 the disease was first found -- since then you've had a 91 percent population decrease," Faulkner, who is based at the Australian Reptile Park, said."

Hope we don't lose you, mate

Hot in your own product

I will always be grateful to Ultimo lingerie head Michelle Mone for recruiting women like Kelly Brook and Luisana Lopilato to be her company's show models.  But I'm also grateful that following 3 kids, a substantial weight loss, and a marriage breakup, she herself can look so good that she can pose in her company's lingerie, and in a very appealing one-piece of swimwear.

She talks a bit about it (with the swimsuit) in Hello! magazine.  Such a view inspires desires.  (I know what you're thinking.  But I won't say it, even though I'm thinking it too.)

And here's Michelle in her own brand.

And I hope her skin cancer concern is taken care of.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Oblique view of the Moon's Tycho Crater

Another beauty of nature.   The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera captured this view of the central peak (and most of the rim) -- that was not supposed to sound sexual -- of the Moon's most prominent crater, the rayed splendor Tycho.   Click on it to see it much bigger and substantially more impressive.

OK, that was not supposed to sound sexual either.


The beauty of nature (and a shipwreck)

OK, since I've veered dangerously close to the unwholesome today, I'm going to finish on a very high note.  The NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer was checking out Gulf of Mexico seafloor targets with their robotic submersible, and one of the targets they checked out turned out to be what was probably a 19th century shipwreck with rifles and cannon.  The combination of wreck and marine life is PHENOMENAL.   I assume they'll try to use the footage to figure out more accurately the who/what/when of the ship.  But for me, it shows that the world still has the power to amaze and mesmerize.

Wow.  Just plain wow.

Quicktime and WMV versions available here.

"Game of Thrones" best yet

That would be in the category of "best sex scene" yet on "Game of Thrones".  It starred Oona Chaplin, who has an acting pedigree.  And a great body.   The characters who got physically involved were Robb Stark, Lord of Winterfell, and healer Lady Talisa Maegyr.

The title of the sex scene could have been "You Can Leave Your Boots On".  Which Lady Talisa did.  I don't think that Robb minded one bit.

There are online sources if you're curious.   Here's a four-panel screencap if you want to verify the boot thing.  And the body thing.  And the booty, while you're at it.

Nancy Pelosi' and Mark Warner blast Boehner's debt ceiling dunderheadedness

Nancy Pelosi: Speaker John Boehner 'Wants To Go Over The Edge' 

Pelosi described Boehner's approach to coming debt-ceiling negotiations as immature
and irresponsible. "Last year, just the threat of not lifting the debt ceiling caused our credit rating to be lowered. This is not a responsible, mature, sensible place for us to go. We all know we have to reduce the deficit. We have to do it in a balanced way," she said on ABC's "This Week." "The speaker wants to go over the edge."

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), speaking on CBS's "Face the Nation," said that Boehner's approach was "incredibly irresponsible" and risked the global economy.
I agree. But it's all part of the Republican dirty-tricks playbook.

Cheryl Cole dives onto UK's The Voice

Oh, I'm sorry, it's just Cheryl now.  I'm obviously a fan.  Even over here in the States.

Anyway, Cheryl showed up on the UK "The Voice" to sing and dance.  And she made a pretty impressive entrance.

Cheryl dives onto stage, sings "Call My Name"

Video interview (and she's MUCH easier to understand now)

Brief Cannes fashion comments, with links

Oooo la la Longoria! The fur train was way over the top, but she worked it.

Eva Longoria's Cannes looks

Salma Hayek almost always looks good. No exception here. Her silverback hubby Pinault, who also bred with Linda Evangelista, is definitely on the lucky train. Or the money train. Actually both.
Check out the still-an-hourglass figure of Salma here.
And of course, there was this one, with show-stopping cleavage.

Diane Kruger - the fashion critics loved her. 
Shiny dress with unnatural cleavage, not so good. 
 Ice blue gown - GOOD. 
Brown dress with side lacing - so-so. 
Final night dress -- looked like she had a horse under there.
Other dress 1
Other dress 2

Umm, Chris Pine's date was real hot.  Her name's (don't click this next link unless you want to see a long and leggy lass modeling swimwear and lingerie)  Dominique Piek, from South Africa.  Some sites say the're boyfriend-girlfriend.  I swear these actors must go window-shopping with Google Images.

 Jessica Chastain wore like 10 different outfits. Looked good in most of them.   Here's a few.
Four and Five

Cheryl Cole is the Girl on Fire! (and don't tell me you weren't thinking it)

And Kristin Stewart gave us all a nice glimpse of what's inside.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Miranda Kerr's sexiest picture

There is no shortage of beautiful pictures of Victoria's Secret model Miranda Kerr (she's also the wife of the extraordinarily fortunate Orlando Bloom).   Why, just last week, there were these casual shots of Miranda in a white bikini with her baby, which seems utterly impossible from looking at her bounce-back fit figure:

Miranda Kerr the model mother wows in white bikini on family vacation in Bora Bora

Now, fortunately for the thousands-to-millions of admirers who are enamored of Miranda's miraculous looks, she has deigned to provide us with numerous views of those looks, from the runway of VS lingerie shows while wearing wings, to the VS catalogs, to the VS commercials -- and she has modeled other clothing lines as well.  And she has not been shy to display the entirety of what she has been granted, unlike other celebrities and models who keep minor portions of their anatomy in hiding.   But Miranda has posed wonderfully nude, on set, in bed, even gorgeously, glowingly pregnant.   And because this is the era of the Internet, it isn't difficult at all to find and enjoy and marvel at the beauteous package of completeness that is Ms. Kerr.  (Plus, in her interviews, she comes across as nice and sweet and somewhat unaffected by the celebrity she enjoys due to her loveliness). 

So we've seen her just about every way we could see her, and in many many many examples, sexy and provocative and seductive and attractive and desirable.

Nonetheless, in all this world of admiration, I think there's one picture that is Miranda at her most sexually alluring, i.e., sexiest.   It was shot by photog Chris Colls, who has apparently done many pictures of Miranda over the years.   Without any further delay, here it is.

So why is this picture above all, in my estimation, Miranda's sexiest?   Here's some reasons why.

  • It's simple.  No major set construction, makeup, "preparation", appears involved.
  • It's natural.  Just her body, face, and sheets.
  • It's in color.  She takes great sexy pictures in black-and-white, but color is the color of nudity and skin.
  • It doesn't appear posed.  Miranda could wake up in the morning and look like this in bed.  We can only wish to see that in person and in real-time.
  • It includes a naked breast.  Miranda isn't shy about nipples.  And hers are very nice.  Both her nipples and her breasts.
  • Even though she doesn't necessarily have to be, she appears to be totally nude.  Totally nude is nice.  Totally nude is sexy.   Totally nude is how men usually like their women to be when they have sex with them.
  • It's on a bed.  People frequently have sex in beds.
  • She also looks inviting.  In the sense of "Come to bed with me now", or "that was really great, lover".
  • Her legs are in an open position.  One can imagine the delights that lie between those slender thighs.

Well, that's about enough.  But in a service to mankind, I've collected all of the other pictures that appear to be publically available from this photoshoot.  So we can imagine either a) Miranda getting undressed to be in the state of her prime picture, or b) Miranda getting dressed after a lovely physical romp.'

And let me be frank here -- I know that Orlando Bloom is the only male that has the legal and familial rights to a romp like that.   But the rest of us can enjoy the fantasies that these pictures inspire, can't we?  And we can thank the innateness of our human desires that a woman as lovely and desirable (and sweet and nice) as Miranda Kerr exists on this earth in our time of awareness.

Another view that the rest of us can only dream about

Simply on the pillow -- dreamy

Taking it off or putting it on, that's sexy

Nude is nice

I am totally taken by a women in a man's shirt - and nothing else

I don't care what skeptics say

China is well ahead in the total CO2 emissions race, and the fact that their per capita emissions are lower than developed countries is primarily a result of them having a huge population problem, too.

No, I'm not being nice to China.  The country is an environmental catastrophe, with disasters in-the-waiting. Great that their economy is keeping the world economy afloat, but at the cost of uncalculable environmental and resource withdrawals.  They epitomize the saying that if we (as humanity) live like there's no tomorrow, we aren't likely to have one.  More accurately, our "tomorrows" are going to be less livable than our present-day.   Yes, this is morose pessimistic moping.  But the alternative is to be optimistic in the face of the actual data, which if one is realistic, is impossible.

So I present two articles with excerpts, to illustrate my fundamental gloomy outlook.

2011 global emissions reach record, led by China

CO2 emissions rose by 3.2 percent last year to 31.6 billion tonnes, preliminary estimates from the Paris-based IEA showed.

China, the world's biggest emitter of CO2, made the largest contribution to the global rise, its emissions increasing by 9.3 percent, the body said, driven mainly by higher coal use.

"When I look at this data, the trend is perfectly in line with a temperature increase of 6 degrees Celsius (by 2050), which would have devastating consequences for the planet," Fatih Birol, IEA's chief economist told Reuters.

UN climate conference in Bonn reaches agreement after week-long deadlock

 Some countries also look set to miss their emissions cut targets for 2020, putting the world on a dangerous trajectory towards a rise in global average temperature of 3.5 degree Celsius, research showed on Thursday.

"The majority of countries want to move forwards faster but..a relatively small group is holding up what the rest of the room wants," said the European Union's chief negotiator Artur Runge-Metzger.

Only six months remain before the Doha meeting. Some nations want extra negotiating sessions before then but between 4.4 million euros and 4.8 million euros of funding will have to be pledged by countries by Monday to guarantee that, Figueres said.
Which I consider unlikely.  I know, I'm too gloomy.

So find something to cheer me up about this.

There will be a Maryland lacrosse champion

Well, my betting recommendations (bet against my pick of an all-Maryland final in the NCAA Division 1 lacrosse championships) didn't work out.  Even though it stayed nervous for Loyola into the last few minutes, they got past Notre Dame 7-5.  Goalie Runkel was definitely ON.   And Maryland shot past Duke (great shooting percentage) in a game with a final score of 16-10 that wasn't that close, as the Terps got up 16-8 and cruised late, allowing Duke a couple of meaningless goals.   I think that shows that seeds in the lacrosse tourney don't mean a lot;  Maryland was clearly in the same class as Duke, and the teams split their games in the regular season.

So, one would ask, who would I now pick in this all-Maryland final?   Well, I watched Maryland lose three finals in 1995, 1997, and 1998, and of course they lost last year, so why should this year be any different?  So I pick Loyola to win a fairly close one, with a prediction of the final score of:

Greyhounds 11  Terps 8

But at least the winner is guaranteed to be a Maryland school other than Johns Hopkins.  Variety is nice.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Abbey's looking fine

It appeared that Abbey Crouch nee Clancy might have used too much lip plumper a few months ago, and she looked a tad strange.  That effect appears to have worn off, and Mrs. Crouch is giving Miranda Kerr a run for the top spot in the "hottest mom in a bikini" division.   She is looking in fine poolside form with hubby and baby.

By the pool, by the pool, beautiful by the pool

Orioles still in 1st place in AL East??

We're days away from June, and the surprising Baltimore Orioles are still in first place in the AL East, 1 game ahead of Tampa Bay as of this writing.  It's nice to have a baseball team to cheer for in Charm City that is actually the team associated with the city.  Even if they don't make the playoffs (which is much easier this year with the two new wildcards), I hope they keep it interesting by staying in the race most of the season.  Sports Illustrated says their best year(s) may be ahead of them, with a top pitching prospect and a top hitting prospect tearing up the minors right now.

Maybe a little too close

Video from the slopes of Popocatepetl -- while it's erupting.

If one of those ash/lava pyroclastics landed on one's person, it would hurt one, I would think.

I hope the dog is OK.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Speaking of heavenly bodies

At Cannes, Kelly Brook pours her heavenly curves into a dress that is pretty certain to inspire lustful, sinful thoughts in those so inclined to desire the feminine form.

She looks a €1million! Now Kelly Brook squeezes into an indecent black swimsuit for phone booth photoshoot

More on that  €1million: Pictured: The bizarre moment Kelly Brook was approached by a French businessman who offered her €1million for 'one night' Now, let's ponder this a moment. If one had a spare €1million that one could part with easily, and one had the chance to offer it to an object of affection of Kelly Brook's quality, and if one had the proper combination of courage, effrontery and self-confidence that would allow one to do such a thing, would it not be worth it to take the shot, even if the likelihood of success was low? Still, I think the offer could be made in a more classy fashion than waving a checkbook under her nose.

Best view ever of Methone

Methone is one of Saturn's tiny little moons, that apparently gets ice-blasted by the ejecta from Enceladus.  Up until now it has been just a point of light.  Well, Cassini got a shot at it from about 1200 km, and the little 3km moon looks like a nice smooth pebble.  Look close, because this historical shot may very well be the best view humanity gets of this little heavenly body for decades to come.

Impressive, isn't it?

NASA:  "Cassini discovered Methone and two other small moons, Pallene and Anthe, between the orbits of Mimas and Enceladus between 2004 and 2007. The three tiny moons, called the Alkyonides group, are embedded in Saturn's E ring, and their surfaces are sprayed by ice particles originating from the jets of water ice, water vapor and organic compounds emanating from the south polar area of Enceladus."

Ain't the beer cold?

There's a reason we like our beer cold, our white wine chilled, and our red wine at room temperature.  Temperature alters taste perception.   I think most of the world probably knew this, but now it's been STUDIED!

Temperature of food and beverages can effect [sic] the intensity and flavor of tastes*

(I think it would actually be the taste of flavors, but I'm not the copy editor, and I just chuckle when people get 'affect' and 'effect' wrong in a HEADLINE!)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

NCAA D1 lacrosse (men's) update

So Loyola escaped Denver 10-9, Notre Dame handled UVA 12-10, Maryland simply OWNED Johns Hopkins 11-5 (bad day for the Blue Jays), and Duke is currently brushing off Colgate with a 12 goal lead in the 3rd quarter.  So we'll have a 1 seed, 3 seed, 4 seed, and no seed in the LAX Final Four.

I'll be a homer.  I want to see a Loyola - UMD final.  Which means, given my record in these things, I would bet on Notre Dame meeting Duke in the final.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Not an outfit for cold and windy nights

Has to be seen to be believed!

Micaela Schaefer wears a dress made of tape to "Men in Black 3" premiere

Emmanuelle Chriqui on "The Mentalist" with outstanding cleavage

She was hot, and duplicitous, and 100% Chriqui.  And that's GOOD.

A comment about 'Hysteria'

Making a romantic comedy about the invention of the vibrator

Hysteria (RT 52%) opens against Battleship (RT 36%) and The Dictator (RT 61%)

The lull before the Memorial Day official start of summer and the summer box office is here -- and there may be a box office hangover from The Avengers anyway.  There's a huge number of good movies out there right now, including the incredible Chimpanzee. So this is an off-weekend.  Too bad, because I'd like to see a movie about women having orgasms.  Guess I'll have to wait until it's on pay-per-view cable.

The audience rated Hysteria fresh (61%) -- I do want to see it, and not just because of the orgasms.  I like Maggie Gylenhaal, too.  She's her own brand of sexy.

How are the Australian skeptics going to spin this one?

Last 60 years hottest in a millenium in Australasia (that would be 1000 years)

Australasia has hottest 60 years in a millennium, scientists find

Study of tree rings, corals and ice cores find unnatural spike in
temperatures that lines up with manmade climate change

Opening paragraphs:
"The last 60 years have been the hottest in Australasia for a millennium and cannot be explained by natural causes, according to a new report by scientists that supports the case for a reduction in manmade carbon emissions.

In the first major study of its kind in the region, scientists at the University of Melbourne used natural data from 27 climate indicators, including tree rings, corals and ice cores to map temperature trends over the past 1,000 years.

"Our study revealed that recent warming in a 1,000-year context is highly unusual and cannot be explained by natural factors alone, suggesting a strong influence of human-caused climate change in the Australasian region," said the study's lead researcher, Dr Joelle Gergis.

The climate reconstruction was done in 3,000 different ways and concluded with 95% accuracy that no other period in the past 1,000 years match or exceeded post-1950 warming in Australia."

And here's the plot of record;  is this an "Aussie Rules" hockey stick?

Chelsea surprises me

I didn't get a chance to post my prediction for the UEFA Champions Cup final before it was played today.  Here's my prediction:

Bayern Munich 3, Chelsea 1

Now, despite the fact that Bayern Munich outshot Chelsea by even more than that predicted goal ratio, a combination of tough Chelsea defense and more than one miracle by Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech meant that the score was 0-0 to the 83rd minute, when Thomas Muller headed one into the corner.  But Didier Drogba managed a marvelous header in the 88th minute, sending the match into 30 minutes of overtime, which then featured a Cech penalty kick stop on Arjen Robben, so it went to PKs, whereupon Cech appeared to get a finger on Bastien Schweinsteiger's attempt, putting it into the crossbar (Cech also saved one from Olic) and Drogba finished off a stunned Bayern Munich.

Which just goes to show ya, that's why they play the games.   And which also goes to show ya, never get off the Cinderella train when miracles are still possible.  Congrats to Big Blue.

 Kings of Europe

Drogba lifts his game when it matters

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A lot of Luisana Lopilato pictures (with a couple new ones)

Given the fact that Luisana Lopilato has a divine body and is hot sexy gorgeous (and Argentinian to boot), it's understandable that I've noted the loveliness of her contours before.  But now there is new reason to do so -- a couple of pictures of Luisana in Ultimo swimwear (she's one of their celebrity models), and a new one in lingerie that I hadn't seen before (below).    She is just one of those spectacles that makes me glad I'm a man, and I hope Michael Buble truly understands the treasure that he was so fortunate to wed.

Unveiling Luisana Lopilato in new swimwear

New pic:

More new pics -- and the accompanying text reflects my own thoughts quite well.

Oh no! Bad year for maple syrup

As suspected it might, the abnormally warm winter weather totally screwed up the maple syrup harvest this year.  Fortunately Quebec has a stockpile in reserve.

HEY CLIMATE CHANGE DENIERS!  By stalling action that we as a country and we as the dominant species on the planet need to take to avert really major climate change, which if we don't get acting really soon is going to happen, you're messing with MY maple syrup.

And that makes me ANGRY.

Yucky year for maple syrup tied to mild winter

Climate Depot slammed Mitt Romney on climate change repeatedly

Climate Depot:
Green donors bet on Romney flip-flop: 'Will Mitt Romney flip-flop on climate change if he's elected president? Some big donors are betting on it' 

'Romney and his super PAC have taken millions from funders with strong green streaks —despite the fact that the Romney has run to the right in the primary,  proclaiming doubts about global-warming science and trashing Obama's greenhouse  gas emissions policies'


Bye, Bye Mitt Romney! It Gets Worse! New Book touts his Gore like warmist views: Romney: 'Scientists are nearly unanimous in laying the blame for rising temperatures on GHG emissions' 

Romney: 'I believe that climate change is occurring — the reduction in size of global ice caps is hard to ignore. I also believe that human activity is a  contributing factor'

Climate Depot Response: 'We now have Gingrich, Christie, Huntsman and Romney unable to grasp the basics of the climate con. We must not tolerate the same pathetic GW Bush strategy of accepting the alleged AGW science but rejecting so-called solutions'


"Inhofe said that he likes Romney but that he’s “a little mushy on environmental issues," the Tulsa World reported.

Hours after being called "mushy on environmental issues" by a Republican senator, Mitt Romney has tweaked his position on global warming.

Asked Wednesday at a Lebanon, N.H., town hall meeting whether he believed in global warming and if humans contribute to rising temperatures, Romney said he doesn't know.

"Do I think the world's getting hotter? Yeah, I don't know that but I think that it is," Romney said, as reported by Reuters. "I don't know if it's mostly caused by humans."

"What I'm not willing to do is spend trillions of dollars on something I don't know the answer to," he added.

Just two and a half months ago in New Hampshire, Romney expressed concern about climate change and greenhouse gas emissions.

"I think it's important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and global warming that you're seeing," Romney said on June 3 in Manchester."

Mitt Romney will do ANYTHING -- say anything, change anything he said before, abandon key, well-supported positions -- to get elected.  Is that the kind ofman that should be President of the United States?  And Republicans, do you really believe he changed his mind, or did he just back down so he could curry favor with the Tea Party and the conservative climate change deniers?

I think it's pretty obvious.

Link from where the quoted section came from:


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Romney billboard for the Heartland Institute

What inspired this billboard, which I will tweet about every day between now and the start of the Heartland Institute's climate denial circus?  

Mitt Romney, June 2011:

"I can't prove that, but I believe based on what I read that the world is getting warmer. And number two, I believe that humans contribute to that… And so I think it's important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you’re seeing."
Mitt Romney, OCTOBER 2011:

"My view is that we don't know what's causing climate change on this planet. And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us."
So, herewith needing no further introduction:

Anti-Romney campaign image

Here's an image I made suitable for posting anywhere that it might have an impact.  We need to CONSTANTLY remind the uncertain voters in the electorate what they could get with a Mitt Romney Presidency -- perish the thought.

a LACROSSE movie? and the NCAA tourney


Trailers always make movies look good -- so this one makes the movie look good, even if it is in the time-honored tradition of rag-tag underdog up against the big bad establishment aka overwhelming favorite to win the championship.

But even if it follows the script of similar movies for other sports, I still hope it's a good movie.  Because lacrosse movies are pretty rare.  Like there's only been one other one ever released, and it wasn't very good (A Warrior's Heart, 18% on Rotten Tomatoes, even though it did have Ashley Greene).

So I hope this one is better.  Especially since Maryland is sort of the spiritual home of modern day lacrosse, despite the fact, obviously, that it was played by Native Americans elsewhere in this land.

Here's another article about it (with a different trailer):


Speaking of lacrosse, the NCAA tournament started this weekend, with three Maryland teams:  Loyola, Johns Hopkins, and Maryland -- in the field.  All three won (the Terps survived with a 10-9 win over Lehigh), but one of the Maryland teams is definitely going home next weekend, because Hopkins plays Maryland.   The last time a team from Maryland won the NCAAs was 2007, when the Blue Jays won. They also won in 2005.

The last time a team from Maryland other than Hopkins won the NCAAs was --  get this -- 1975.  And get this:  teams from Maryland lost in the finals in 2011 (Maryland), 2008 (Hopkins), 2004 (Navy), 2003 (Hopkins), 1998, 1997, and 1995 (Maryland), 1991 (Towson), 1990 (Loyola), 1989 (Hopkins),  1983, 1982, and 1981 (Hopkins), 1979 (Maryland, but Hopkins won it that year), and 1976 (Maryland again).   Hopkins won several championships  in the 80s.

Geez.  What is it with the other Maryland teams in the finals?

Please restart our reactor

One city in Japan is realistic about the coming summer of energy squeeze.

Japan town approves nuclear reactor restart

"Japan on Monday took a step towards becoming a nuclear nation again, when councillors in a town that hosts a power station recommended reactor restarts amid fears of a looming summer electricity crunch."

"With Japan's sticky summer on the horizon -- the peak time of year for electricity usage as air conditioning units are cranked up -- consumers and businesses are being asked to cut back on use, amid warnings that some areas could see supply fall up to 15 percent short of demand.

Kansai Electric, which booked a $3 billion loss last year due to higher fuel costs, says it would be able to meet summer demand if the two Oi reactors were brought back into operation."

We'll probably see more of this kind of thing.

This idea is on the right track for satellite investments

A firm has come up with a plan for a satellite that could reboost and refuel commercial satellites that are otherwise functioning just fine.

Spacecraft repair robots could give satellites longer lives

"ViviSat's Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV) is being designed to dock to satellites in orbit, and then use its own thrusters to provide propulsion and attitude control. Among other functions, the spacecraft will be able to adjust an older satellite's orbit, rescue fully fueled satellites that may have launched into the wrong location, or move a satellite into a different orbit for a completely new purpose."

Checking that first link, I think I wrote about this before last year sometime.  It's mainly for the geostationary orbit market.

Next step:  robotic manipulators that can actually fix things.  That would need really great communications technology, though.  Considering what we've done with the Internet, that doesn't seem too high a hurdle.)

Over-consumption is not good for eventual existence

World Wildlife Fund says over-consumption threatens the planet

"We are living as if we have an extra planet at our disposal," said Jim Leape,  WWF International director general."

And so I'll state two things, anathema to conservative Republicans. that could address this problem:

Extreme conservation measures
Population control

Time to get serious, folks.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Beautiful pictures of leafy seadragons

Enjoy.  Not much more I can say about this.

Seadragons Part 6 from Scripps

Sometimes sports miracles DO happen

If you haven't heard about the finish of the Barclay's Premier League season, you should.   After defeating Manchester United, Manchester City had to simply match what Man U. did in the last two games.  Well, Man U. won both games, so Man City had to do the same.   That would seem to be a relatively easy prospect against a 10-man Queens Park Rangers team (10 men due to a red card), but Man City found themselves trailing going into a five-minute extra time period at the end of the game, down 2-1.  They managed to score on a header two minutes in, then with less than half a minute left, Aguero took a roller from Balotelli past three defenders and sent it back behind to give Man City the win and the title.

To the delight of a whole light of light-blue fans in the stands who were praying for a miracle.

Well, they got it.  Heck of an ending to a great season.

Now we can look forward to Chelsea v. Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions Cup final.

Manchester City beats QPR to win English Premier League title

It'll be a hot summer in Japan, methinks

The electricity experts are a bit concerned that lacking nuclear power, energy shortages may make it hot in Japan, and also affect a variety of business concerns, including ICE CREAM.

People can take a lot, but a summer without ice cream?   Some things are beyond reason.

Firms fear summer-meltdown in nuclear free Japan

"If the temperature goes up very high this summer, and if the government asks us to cut electricity consumption a lot, our ice cream business will be seriously affected," a company spokesman told AFP.  "We may have to make more ice cream before" power shortages reach their peak, he added.
 and also:

The government has not yet issued a target for industrial power cuts, but significant reductions seem certain -- reportedly as high as 20 percent in the Kansai region, which includes the commercial hubs of Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe.

As the saying goes, good luck with that.

Fishing restrictions work AGAIN

Fisherpeople and watermen may not like 'em, but there's more and more evidence accumulating that if you give fish stocks a chance to recover, they frequently do recover, sometimes pretty fast.  So why do they resist restrictions so much?   Just a relatively short time and they can keep practicing the craft that they enjoy so much.

A rebound for six fish populations

"NOAA’s Fisheries Service said the count showed that controversial and often unpopular catch limits imposed by the government have been working.

Among the rebuilt populations are the Bering Sea snow crab, the summer flounder on the mid-Atlantic coast, the haddock in the Gulf of Maine, the Chinook salmon along the Northern California coast, the coho salmon off Washington State and the Pacific widow rockfish, the Fisheries Service said."

Friday, May 11, 2012

One of the world's most fabulous experiments

Because this experiment is being conducted over such a long duration, they probably write a news article about it every decade or so.  This article brought back memories of reading about this experiment sometime in my past.   I suspect it was when the last drop fell, in the year 2000.  It's just fascinating -- watching the flow of the world's most viscous liquid.  I wonder how it started;  did they just put a block of pitch into the container and sit back and watch?  That's what it looks like they did.

Watching pitch flow, drop by drop

Actually, this site explains the experiment and how it was set up:

The pitch drop experiment

The page above includes the LIVE action-packed Webcam of the pitch drop experiment!

Popocatepetl menaces Mexico City

New video of Popocatepetl's heightened activity.  Hope it keeps up with the low-level action, and doesn't blow big-time, because that would likely not be good for the Mexico City megalopolis.

We've learned a lot about Vesta already

Remember (I do) that the Dawn mission was once tentatively canceled before launch?  Glad that didn't happen.

NASA Dawn Mission Reveals Secrets of Large Asteroid

 "Data also confirm a distinct group of meteorites found on Earth did, as theorized, originate from Vesta. The signatures of pyroxene, an iron- and magnesium-rich mineral, in those meteorites match those of rocks on Vesta's surface. These objects account for about 6 percent of all meteorites seen falling on Earth. 

This makes the asteroid one of the largest single sources for Earth's meteorites. The finding also marks the first time a spacecraft has been able to visit the source of samples after they were identified on Earth."
And when it's done here, then it will head to Ceres.  And I want to know, why couldn't it go somewhere else after that?

How not to spill your coffee

A mathematical model has been developed to determine how best not to slosh your coffee while walking with it.

"So how does one avoid a spill? Krechetnikov and Mayer's answers may not come as a big surprise. Starting your walk slower—that is, accelerating less—will help. So will leaving a decent gap between the top of the coffee and the mug's rim; this should be at least one-eighth of the mug's diameter-for a normal mug, about a centimeter should do it. But the researchers' "take home" advice is to look at what you're doing—so long as your mug isn't filled too high, a watched mug almost guarantees a clean run."

How not to spill your coffee while walking

UNLESS you run into somebody coming the other way while you're staring at the coffee sloshing in your mug!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Inhofe's newest strategery

Oklahoma senator James Inhofe, who will be high on the next generation's who-do-we-blame-for-this-climate-mess? list, has a new plot to disable our national ability to protect our environment.

Inhofe wants Senate to confirm EPA regional administrators

And then, if that is passed, Inhofe will simply block their appointments, and without regional administrators
the EPA won't be allowed to enforce any regulations.

Clever girl. Complete a*shole, but clever. 

Salinity settles it

I've been watching for more than a week, and there has not been one skeptical/denier response to the new paper showing an accelerating water cycle due to global warming.  I have a good idea as to why there hasn't been any attempt at a refutation on this one.

Simple:  because they can't.  The data are straight up and simple.  There aren't any other explanations that fit them.   So, my next question is -- will they admit it?

I doubt it.

Saltier oceans set scene for changes

"As the Earth's atmosphere warms, its capacity to hold and transport moisture increases. Ocean salinity is determined by rainfall and evaporation at the ocean surface, and the study has found these patterns are changing with high rainfall ocean areas becoming less saline and drier ocean regions becoming saltier.

The study estimated the increase in atmospheric moisture occurring for every degree of warming was slightly more than 7 per cent.

''So, with a projected temperature rise of three degrees by the end of the century, we estimate a 24 per cent acceleration of the water cycle is possible,'' he said.

The paper's lead author, Paul Durack, said by analysing salinity changes and the relationship between salinity, rainfall and evaporation, the research team was able to determine the world's water cycle had strengthened by 4 per cent over 50 years. This was twice as fast as predicted by current climate models."

So I guess the skeptic/denier crowd could say that the models aren't quite right about this -- but that's scant comfort.  Especially since this scientific result means that our warming world will have more droughts and more floods.

Three French composers

For some reason, I had always associated Georges Bizet, Maurice Ravel, and Claude Debussy together as similar genre composers.  Of course, they were all French.  But when I finally checked on this, while Debussy and Ravel were certainly both contemporaries and followed similar musical pathways ("impressionistic" works rather than the more traditional classical oeuvre), Bizet was earlier, and much more classical.  I also had forgotten that Bizet died young -- smoking will kill ya -- in fact, dying the year Ravel was born.  Ravel  crossed over into the 20th century even more than Debussy, who died in 1918, whereas Ravel died in 1937.  Even though they didn't collaborate on music, Ravel and Debussy knew each other, played compositions together, and were featured jointly in concerts. They went different ways later in their lives, partly because they each garnered a  following that didn't like the music of the other composer.  Ravel's most famous piece, 'Bolero', was also one of his last major compositions.

Winter's over on Mars

With the Sun stronger on Mars, the immobile, long-lived rover Opportunity is getting ready to move again, and explore more of  Endeavour Crater, the crater that it finally made it to last Martian summer and fall, before it got cold.  Now, what it really needs is one good spring dust-devil to polish all the dust off the solar panels.   That'd be nice.

Opportunity gears up

"Therefore, Opportunity will soon be backing down off her winter perch and resume driving on the near-level terrain around the north end of Cape York."

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Turning point?

Is this possibly the turning point in the argument with climate change skeptics?

Amazing that a group like this would do this, especially considering that one of their main media allies, Marc Morano of Climate Depot, published the email addresses of mainstream climate researchers, inviting the right-wing climate skeptical public to bombard them with abuse and threatening language. 

Nice play.  Because they have shown their true colors -- their contempt for discussion on climate change the way it should be conducted, in the manner of scientific discourse, where reasonable people can disagree vehemently, and yet the way in which their disagreements are settled is with reliance on straight, untwisted, unspun fact.   Oh sure, they have all their propagandistic position papers that they point you to on their Web site, trying to draw us in while remaining unapologetic about their means.  While the fact is that they and their allies encourage harassment, and the supposed scandal that they trumpet, aka Climategate, has been shown repeatedly to have been overdramatized, misinterpreted, and misrepresented - and ultimately it was initiated as a crime, a theft of private email correspondence. 

As they say on Pandora, "We See You".

As Supporters Jump Ship, Heartland Institute Stands By Its Widely Condemned Anti-Science Hate Speech

The Heartland Institute Self Destructs 

Why I won't be speaking at the Heartland Conference

Heartland Institute Yanks Unabomber climate billboard

Heartland Institute Ends Experiment with‘Unabomber’ Global Warming Billboard

" The point is that believing in global warming is not “mainstream,” smart, or sophisticated. In fact, it is just the opposite of those things. Still believing in man-made global warming – after all the scientific discoveries and revelations that point against this theory – is more than a little nutty. In fact, some really crazy people use it to justify immoral and frightening behavior."

This is really worth the time

Bar Refaeli promoting her new lingerie line by wearing it, or not.

Definitely piques the interest level at about the 1:05 mark.


Too many durians?

In case you don't know, durians are a) an exotic fruit delicacy, b) one of the smelliest and repugnant fruits known to man, or c) both.   There are bans all over Southeast Asia about carrying or consuming the insides of the spiky fruits in public, on buses, in hotels, you name it.  Apparently it's an 'acquired' taste;  I'd like to try it once just to say I did.

Well, global warming is increasing the durian crop, which may or may not be a good thing, depending on your olfactory or culinary point-of-view.

The durian:  everyone's favorite 'bad smell food'

Climate change blamed for durian surplus

THANK you, Jeffrey Sachs!

The Earth Institute's Jeffrey Sachs, who is a pretty darned smart guy, has come to the inevitable conclusion that maintaining a strong nuclear energy generating capacity is critical to meeting society's energy demands while addressing the growing danger of climate change.   And while the Heartland Institute it shooting itself nicely in the foot with an ill-conceived ad campaign (more on that sooner), we as a societal whole need to be listening more to the wise words of Mr. Sachs and others who are like-minded, a group in which I humbly include myself.

Nuclear power is only solution to climate change, says Jeffrey Sachs
Earth Institute director says urgency of problem and immaturity of renewable energy industry leave little option but nuclear

"But Sachs, director of the Earth Institute and professor of sustainable development at Columbia University in the US, said the world had no choice because the threat of climate change had grown so grave. He said greenhouse gas emissions, which have continued to rise despite the financial crisis and deep recession in the developed world, were "nowhere near" falling to the level that would be needed to avert dangerous climate change.

He said: "Emissions per unit of energy need to fall by a factor of six. That means electrifying everything that can be electrified and then making electricity largely carbon-free. It requires renewable energy, nuclear and carbon capture and storage – these are all very big challenges. We need to understand the scale of the challenge."

California fireball was/is a chondrite

Remember that California fireball that made the news a couple of weeks ago?   Turns out it was a carbonaceous chondrite, the rarest kind, one that has lots of stone and carbon in it, rather than the usual run-of-the-mill iron nickel metallic kind.  This is the kind of thing that gets scientists excited, because of what they can learn from it, and meteorite hunters excited, because of how much then can sell it for.

Fireball remnants likely in California after meteor

"Robert Ward, who lives in Arizona and has been hunting and collecting meteorites around the world for more than 20 years, said he found the first piece about 10 a.m. Tuesday in between a baseball field and park on the edge of the town of Lotus.

Ward said he "instantly knew" it was a rare meteorite known as "CM" — carbonaceous chondrite — based in part on the "fusion crusts from atmospheric entry" on one side of the rock.
"It was just, needless to say, a thrilling moment," he said.

"It is one of the oldest things known to man and one of the rarest types of meteorites there is," he said. "It contains amino acids and organic compounds that are extremely important to science." "

Friday, May 4, 2012

Instantly inspired

The sonnet below was inspired by the insanely, intensely, immensely perfect torso of Playboy model Audrey Nicole, @missaudreynicole, illustrated personally by her illustrious and lustrous self thusly:

'Sweet Tweet Tummy'

She fixates sight, my eyes full mesmerized;
Her unexpected revelation, gift
that she bestows unto the world -- incised
like sculptured goddesses, yet not adrift
across the spanning sands of time. Her pool
bejeweled, sparkling o'er the symmetry
and brazen muscularity of dual
refined obliques that dive toward mystery
which beckons wantingly, engaging thought
on wisdoms she does not reveal, though yet
her sheer perfection draws us thence.  We ought
not think below this artistry, but whet
our appetites with heat, and we'll avail
To seize the loving handles of her grail.

Japan faces future of energy shortages without nuclear

Demand, demand, demand.  That's the keyword with regard to what we as a global society are facing in terms of energy.  More people with more things that need more energy.  And as Japan shuts down its nuclear plants  hastily and short-sightedly, they're leading the way in showing where we shouldn't be going. 

Japan nuclear disaster:  crisis-hit country mulls shift to renewable energy

"Many believe Japan has little choice but to restart nuclear reactors even in the face of  spirited public opposition. Utilities predict power supplies could fall 16 percent below demand in western Japan during the summer peak.

The government is eager to restart some reactors in coming months if it can persuade  skeptical local leaders and residents that they are safe.

"The bottom line is that without nuclear power Japan will have a very hard time meeting demand," said Paul Scalise, a fellow at the University of Tokyo who specializes in Japan's energy sector."

Instead of "drill, baby, drill", how about "grill & fill"?

U.S. biofuel industry moves from the beaker to the barrel

No matter what we eventually do about changing the energy infrastructure of this country for the better, it's going to be a long time before the transportation fleet is switched to something futuristic like electric or hydrogen to any great extent.  Therefore, I've acknowledged before and I acknowledge again that something that burns will have to go into the nation's gas tanks for a few more decades, even though a mixture of nuclear, renewables, and fusion (??) is where we eventually have to get to.  So it's good news that biofuels are expanding, and also good news for those of us who think all that cooking oil used at McDonald's and KFC ought to be used (and useful) more than once.

Now, also note that in the quote below, the aspect of bipartisanship that is so egregiously lacking in today's Congress and the unfortunate political era that we are in enabled some of the advances that biofuels have made thus far.

"McAdams also noted, "the single most important policy component is the Renewable Fuels Standard, passed overwhelmingly in 2007 by a bipartisan Congress and signed into law by President Bush. Although it is not perfect, it is fundamentally important that the Congress continue to send a strong bipartisan signal of support for this policy if we wish to continue the remarkable progress and grow an advanced biofuels industry."

He concluded his testimony, "We believe we can and should be a fundamental part of an American energy policy that adopts a portfolio approach. As I have shared with you this morning, we are already starting to see advanced biofuels delivering on its promise of creating new jobs, and helping to strengthen our nation's economic and energy security."

We need more of that kind of thing.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Serious words about serious risk

Dr. Kerry Emanuel is one of my favorites.  For one thing he professes to be a Republican scientist who knows the reality of climate change.  For two things he doesn't like fellow faculty member Dr. Richard Lindzen very much.   For three things, he has repeatedly laid it on the line regarding what the facts are regarding what we could be up against (humanity wise) with respect to climate change.

Here's an interview where he lays it on the line and makes it clear where we stand.  GREAT quote.

Climate change and the body politic

What they [scientists in the field] say they are quite certain of is this: Society is running a risk.

“I can say that my field is almost unanimous in saying that we are facing serious risk,” is the way Dr. Emanuel put it to me. “Things could turn out to be fine — I hope they do. But there’s no evidence at all that would support an assertion that we’re not facing serious risk at this point.”
I wonder how the morons like Morano spun that.

Continuing the Cheryl Cole theme of the week

Found Cheryl Cole's new video, "Call My Name", on Vevo.  The lyrics are pretty simplistic, but boy that girl can dance.  And walk.  And take her coat off.  And slide herself against a wall.  And walk with her back to the camera.  And toss her mane of hair around.  And look like Kim Kardashian all glammed up in a mirror.

Worth a look.  Or two or three.

Call My Name

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

When is this show on?

On a new show called "The Conversation" with Amanda de Cadenet, the hostess asks celebrities lots of questions.  One of them was what sex position they liked best.

Zoe Saldana, 33, who was most recently linked to Bradley Cooper, said: 'I like missionary and I like being on my knees too. And I love being on top... I love doggy-style or standing up.'

I knew I liked this actress. 

Want to read more?  Jane-Fonda-Sarah-Silverman-reveal-favourite-sex-positions.html

More about the show:  www.theconversation.tv  - says it's going to be on Lifetime.  Naturally.

Cheryl Cole has a new tattoo, and a new video

Since I was suggesting that I could take care of Cheryl Cole's longings in a previous post (a man can aspire and dream, can't he), I am obligated to mention that the object of my desires has shown off a new below-the-butt tattoo and also a clip from her new video.  Looking forward to seeing the rest of them.  Har.

Cheryl Cole:  Call My Name clip and pics

Manchester City takes the lead

A header in extra time at the end of the first half was the one-goal difference in the Manchester United - Manchester City Premier league fixture (that's a game) yesterday.  So Man City is in the lead, provided that they don't do something stupid like tying or losing one of their last two games.  I wonder, but don't know, if Man U. is like the New York Yankees of American baseball - a team that their fans love, and that fans of every other team love to see lose.  Well, Man U. is going to need some help to take this Premier League cup.

Manchester City Defeats United, 1-0: Vincent Kompany Goal Pushes City Ahead In Title Race (VIDEO) 

The video is in Russian, but you can still see that he scored.  That looks the same in any language.

Tragic swimming and sporting loss

 I was totally stunned and saddened to hear about the unexpected and tragic death of Norwegian swimming star Alexander Dale Oen.    It reminded me of the sudden and also horribly unexpected death of Russian figure skater Sergei Grinkov.  Both were in the prime of their lives and in seemingly tremendous physically fit health.  I mourn him with the swimming community and the country of Norway.

Dale Oen Dead: Swimming World Champ Dies During Training Camp After Cardiac Arrest 

Man, this is REALLY good news

Is it true that Romney's "ceiling" is 290 electoral votes?  If so, that would be really good news.  The article points out that he also has a high "floor", probably 170-180 electoral votes in the bag.  So the battle will be for a few states.

Mitt Romney's road to the presidency this fall looks narrow on the electoral map  (Washington Post)

"Given the narrowness of his electoral map window, the key for Romney this fall is to win in places that Bush, McCain and other Republican nominees over the past two decades have struggled to make inroads. No Republican has carried Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes), Michigan (16) or Wisconsin (10) in any of the past five elections, for example."
And the key for us stopping the rubber stamp, Etch-a-Sketch candidate is not letting him win in any of those places.

After Envisat, what?

The problem with Europe losing Envisat is that their plans for what to do next in Earth observation are all set - and all screwed up, at the same time.

Europe loses sight of Earth

"But the European Commission does not want to allocate €5.8 billion of its 2014–20 budget to the programme that would operate the satellites, the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES). Instead, the commission says, member states should make additional contributions to finance the programme — something that is unlikely to happen in the current fiscal climate (see Nature 480,19–20; 2011). ESA, meanwhile, says that it will not launch the first Sentinel without being certain that its operating costs will be covered."

"Not everyone believes that the situation poses a significant problem for Earth observation. Other satellites, such as NASA’s Aqua and Terra missions, can replace Envisat’s capabilities, says Ranga Myneni, an environmental scientist at Boston University in Massachusetts. Indeed, satellites launched by NASA freely provide their data in formats preferred by many scientists, and are thus more widely used than Envisat."

But Terra and Aqua are 12 and 10 years old respectively, and their
instruments are degrading and breaking down, too.

Not good.