Saturday, August 31, 2013

Wozniacki's basics

Being as the last tennis major of the year is underway now, and being as I predicted that Caroline Wozniacki would win one this year - which appears quite unlikely - and being as she'll be playing later today after I write this - I felt that now is the time to note that Caroline Wozniacki's appeal is not all about how well she plays tennis.  Now, Maria Sharapova is hot both for her looks and her major-winning, but obviously Anna Kournikova was more noted for appearance than her titles, even though AK was still a darned good player, a fact frequently overlooked when she's appreciated for her appearance.

So, regarding Wozniacki, she's parlayed her looks and sporting success into offering a line of sporty underwear.  And she's showing how the underwear looks by wearing it herself.  This is a good tactic (one that works really well for Bar Refaeli), but I only wonder if other women will wear underwear with Carolina Wozniacki's name on them.  

See what you think.

I didn't realize how good this was

Initially I thought the idea of naming hurricanes after politicians who are global warming deniers was silly, because it won't really happen.   Obviously the National Weather Service and the weather services of other countries (and international bodies) won't do this.  So it took me awhile to watch the video in which this theoretical idea is demonstrated.

It actually works quite well.   Now, there is considerable scientific debate about whether or not climate change will increase or decrease the frequency of tropical storm systems.  And we're currently having a really strange Atlantic year, without a single hurricane thus far.  Still, such things as storm surge and coastal erosion are going to increase due to sea level rise, which is definitely going to continue, dependent on how much (not if) the Greenland ice sheet melts.  

So the idea is endorsable for its humor and political value, even if it won't happen for real.  But it does underscore that these know-nothing, see-nothing, do-nothing politicians should be called to task for their scientific ignorance.

Let's name big storms after politician climate deniers

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pyroclastic flow from Kizimen

Pyroclastic flows, the dreaded "glowing avalanche" unleashed by a certain variety of volcanoes, are one of nature's most terrible and mesmerizing sights.  Can't say that I've been in position to see one in person - doing that requires a good safe vantage point near the type of volcano that does this.   And such volcanoes tend to be unpredictable, occasionally unleashing a bigger pyroclastic flow than expected, which has (and probably will continue to) catch observers that were too close, with unfortunate deadly consequences.

Nonetheless, the pyroclastic flow is a spectacle, and recently Kizimen, a Kamchatkan volcano, let one fly down the slopes when its thick viscous lava spine (this type of volcano frequently features thick viscous domes and spines, and when they collapse, the collapse products can turn into the flow).   So I found this picture of Kizimen's recent production (captured via a Webcam far enough away).

There's a video here (this is where I got the picture from).

I was wrong, Buble-Lopilato's delivery was next

After writing briefly about the birth of Alec Baldwin and Hilaria Baldwin's child, I speculated that the next celeb baby to be born would be Fergie and Josh Duhamel's.    I missed that minor prediction;  the next baby to exit the womb and make their debut is Michael Buble and Luisana Lopilato's, a boy they named Noah.  This is very good news.   One of the reasons that it is very good news is that now we can look forward to Luisana modeling lingerie again - no hurry to lose the baby weight, as long as she gets back in form in time for Christmas 2014.

Michael Buble and Luisana Lopilata have a baby boy

Monday, August 26, 2013

Hey, cover women's soccer, too

Fortunately ESPN actually did cover the semi-finals of the National Women's Soccer League - on the Web, at least.  It wasn't easy to find news about it elsewhere.

Anyway, it should be a good game - the Western New York Flash play shut down defense and let Abby Wambach and Carli Lloyd do their thing, and the Portland Thorns FC have the new scoring darling, Alex Morgan, who has recovered enough from her knee strain to be available to play.  Unfortunately, one of Portland's goal scorers, another young star named Tobin Heath, got hurt near the end of the game.  I don't know how bad.

So, here's ESPN's take:  Western New York Flash to play Portland Thorns FC for title

Baby Baldwin

Apparently a bit overdue, silverback Alec (see here for that commentary) and wife  Hilaria are now finally parents.  Congrats.

Alec Baldwin and wife Hilaria welcome baby daughter Carmen

There are a lot of celeb babies nearing parturition;  I think Fergie must be next to deliver.

Oh Cheryl, what have you DONE?

Cheryl Cole is beautiful, a talented singer and dancer, and phenomenally sexy.  Even though she hasn't broken through in the States, and may never, I enjoy keeping up with her showbiz life, and her personal adventures, in and out of love.   Searching on  "Cheryl Cole" on this site will find many different articles where I've commented on her. 

I haven't said much recently because there hasn't been a lot of Cheryl news in the Daily Mail, where I get most of my Cheryl news.  She's apparently still reasonably happy in her relationship with Tre Holloway (they went to dinner in May). She tweeted congratulations to a Girls Aloud bandmate that's got pregnant, and she appears in a behind-the-scenes video for L'Oreal.

Speaking of behind...

Cheryl apparently likes getting tattoos.  She's already got quite a few. But now apparently she has decorated her entire backside with a colorful tattoo of roses.  We know that because there's a picture of it.  Her derriere still appears marvelous.  But with the tattoo, less so.

I'm sad. I'm a dedicated admirer of excellent female backsides, and to have one that is so fine as Cheryl's -- decorated to the point of hardly being able to recognize it for what it is -- disturbs me.  There has been considerable negative commentary, more to the effect that this might encourage young impressionable women to do similar, but less about my particular grievance...

... which is that her butt might be prettier without the artwork. 

Oh well -- it's her body.  And her butt.  And it's still a very nice butt. 

Here's what it looked like with a lot less decoration (and a bikini bottom):

I was in a sonneting mood...

... and so I wrote this one.  It's not too bad.

" It's More Than Just That "

The moments of completion are but sec-
onds out of time -- a shared event, the same
in basic action ev'ry time, each beck-
oning a reckoning with hungry flame
that shall consume our own mortality.
'Tis there we sense eternity inside
necessities of physiology --
connected to our forebears through the pride
of our accomplishment, the elements
of which are beautiful and vulgar, stirred
within her by the vigor of ascents
to proclamation as our lives our blurred
together, linked forever by my flood
of liquid love whose might entwines our blood.

How NASA might get asteroid samples

Interesting conceptual video of how NASA would send astronauts to get samples from an asteroid that was captured and put into Earth orbit (safely) by a robotic mission.  It's certainly ambitious. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Black Dragon strikes

The 'Black Dragon' is a tidal bore on the Qiantang River, which is at the head of trumpet-bell-shaped Hangzhou Bay in China.  Because of the shape of the bay, the tide gets focused into a regular, strong bore (a forward-moving wave that can travel for quite a distance upriver in certain places).  Every now and then conditions set up to make the tidal bore considerably bigger than normal, and when that happens, people that gather to watch can be surprised.

This has happened before, but it happened again recently.  It's kind of funny, but people do get hurt, too.  Fortunately this time I don't think anyone was killed.  And it's an impressive natural phenomenon.

Powerful tidal wave [that's actually a correct description] catches hundreds of Chinese spectators off-guard   (with video)

The tide is coming in

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Biofuel is getting there

One of the chief problems with using vegetative material to make biofuel is digesting the stuff that isn't easy to digest (mainly because of the stuff that gives plants structural support, called lignin).  So when I read that researchers have combined a fungus with our friendly bacterium E. coli to convert the indigestible stuff into isobutanol (which has more fuel value than ethanol) that makes me happy.  Because it has been my ongoing belief that two major prongs of an alternate energy strategy will be biofuels for the transportation sector and nuclear energy for the industrial and residential sector.

At least, I hope so.

So, read the news and see if it makes you happy, too.

Microbial team turns corn stalks and leaves into better biofuel
"The fungus Trichoderma reesei is already very good at breaking down tough plant material into sugars. Escherichia coli, meanwhile, is relatively easy for researchers to genetically modify. James Liao's lab at the University of California-Los Angeles provided E. coli bacteria that had been engineered to convert sugars into isobutanol.

The Lin group put both microbe species into a bioreactor and served up corn stalks and leaves. Colleagues at Michigan State University had pre-treated the roughage to make it easier to digest.
The fungi turned the roughage into sugars that fed both microbe species with enough left over to produce isobutanol. The team managed to get 1.88 grams of isobutanol per liter of fluid in the ecosystem, the highest concentration reported to date for turning tough plant materials into biofuels. They also converted a large proportion of the energy locked in the corn stalks and leaves to isobutanol -- 62 percent of the theoretical maximum.

The harmonious coexistence of the fungi and bacteria, with stable populations, was a key success of the experiment."

Well, I don't know about you, but that kind of harmonious production of isobutanol really does make me happy.  And it might be good for the Earth and humanity, too.

Joey Yung is still doing quite well

I wrote an article about Joey Yung a couple of years ago.  If you don't know who that is, read it:

Who's Joey Yung?

But I realized I hadn't checked in with her.  She's still doing pretty good.  I grabbed a couple of lines from her Wikipedia entry.  I also edited it.

"According to Forbes 2013 Chinese Celebrity List, Yung made an estimated $29,200,000 RMB last year, ranking her 52nd on the list."

"On 23 September 2011, Yung released her 29th album Joey & Joey. Plugs of the album received outstanding results in the four major media, 13:00 (13點) getting to No.1 in three of them while Forest of Flowers (花千樹) and Wallpaper (牆紙) getting to No.1 in all four of them. It was also the highest-selling local album of the year 2011, thus being regarded as one of Yung's best productions."

She was also in a movie called Diva.
"Yung starred in Diva, a big budget film produced by Chapman To. The story revolved around a successful pop diva, which To cited was the reason why he chose Yung. In an interview, he stated "a movie about a diva obviously requires a diva to play the main role." He did not agree with the general consensus that Yung was a bad actress, and hoped that the film could show her true acting potential."
( It's a very honest Wikipedia entry.)

She can be very, very cute.

In July 2012, she released another album, called Moment.  

In the promotional art for Moment, she also looks very, very hot.

Like I said, I think she's still doing quite well.


"What I See is Not What I Feel"

Another sonnet for August.  This one got interesting.

Impetuous conceptions taunt me through
their unprovisioned mandates; though I try
to service them, they still resist a true
investment in their whimsies and belie
the sweet deceptions that they shall create.
For it is easy to believe them -- and
when my amazement comes, when I inflate
the magnitude of their import, the sand
of which they are composed transforms to mud,
which holds no form and cannot be constrained
into the shape of one's desires. Though blood
may flow and tears evaporate, I've gained
awareness of perceptions, so I might
accept the gist of dreams I cannot fight.

Keep up the good news from Virginia

Double good news from the Virginia governor battle front.   First, a Republican political advisor/consultant who was chief-of-staff for Governor Jim Gilmore (Gilly was definitely not one of my favorites) has elected (ha) to help Democrat Terry McCauliffe's campaign against Republican arch-conservative-ape Kenny Cooch-inelli. 

Veteran GOP strategist backs McCauliffe
“I am enthusiastically supporting Terry McAuliffe for Governor because I believe he will work with both parties to advance an agenda that prioritizes economic growth. Virginia needs an experienced businessman who will put the practical needs of our people ahead of political ideology,” [Boyd] Marcus said in a statement. “I’ve never before supported any Democrat, but this election Terry is the clear choice for mainstream conservatives.”

( Boyd Marcus, who served as chief of staff to then-governor James Gilmore III and advised George [Macaca] Allen’s bids for governor and U.S. Senate, will work as a paid adviser to the Democrat’s campaign.)
Number two, a poll of likely voters puts McCauliffe ahead of Coochie-Cuckoo by a couple of points above the margin of error.  That tells me that anyone who can make up their own mind (this excludes most Tea Party types) can see that the Cooch would be an absolute disaster as the governor of Virginia.  How far back into the Dark Ages he could take the state, I don't know, but I sure know that's what he wants to do.  After all, he wants to make oral sex a prosecutable crime again.

Terry McCauliffe up 6 points in Virginia likely voter poll
"But the poll also found likely voters showing a more Democratic tilt in party loyalty than in the last governor’s election in 2009.

Among likely voters surveyed by Quinnipiac, Democrats outnumber Republicans 39 percent to 32 percent — the identical split found in Virginia exit polls in the 2012 presidential election.

The findings could indicate that Democrats are poised to repeat their turnout advantage, although some Republicans said that Democrats were over-represented in Quinnipiac’s survey.

Democrats have consistently outnumbered Republicans among all Virginia adults in recent years, but Republicans have neutralized that advantage by turning out at higher rates in off-year elections. In the 2009 governor’s race won by Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R), exit polling showed Republicans held a four- percentage-point turnout edge over Democrats. A year earlier, Democrats led turnout by six points in the 2008 presidential election."
McCauliffe still has some work to do to convince voters he'll be a good governor; but that's a lot less work to do than the Coochster has to do to convince normal Virginia voters that he's sane.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The problem with Passionata

Passionata makes lingerie.

Passionata has Bar Refaeli as its lead model.

The problem is, if you go to the Passionata Web site, you can't find big versions of all the pictures of Bar Refaeli modeling their latest lingerie line.

I don't get that.

But if you go here, you can see the large versions of the most recent Passionata lingerie modeled by Bar, interspersed with other more candid shots.   Number 13 is pretty lucky.

I H8 Huckabee (and Inhore, too)

Yes, I misspelled the Senator's name.  It's actually Inhofe.  But that is such a convenient typo.

Anyway, Huck and Jimmy are trading skeptical inaccuracies about climate change.  How positively backwoods is that?   And Huck is still stuck with the idea that volcanoes produce more CO2 than humans.  That one has been laughably wrong (and repeatedly refuted) for years.  C'mon, Huck, if you're going to do climate skepticism, at least make an effort to sound intelligently wrong about it.

Mike Huckabee, Jim Inhofe Give How-To On Denying Climate Change Without Any Concern For Facts

Huckabee also threw in a few of his own theories:
  • "When I was in college, all the literature at that time from the scientific community said that we were going to freeze to death." (No, it didn't.)
  • "The volcano that erupted over in Northern Europe actually poured more CO2 into the air in that single act of nature than all of humans have in something like the past 100 years." (Even when it was erupting, the European aviation industry's emissions alone dwarfed the volcano's daily emissions.)
 Very sad, but very true, that former Gov. Huck is spouting the skeptical nonsense. 

What Stuart Townsend is into now

Actor Stuart Townsend has been famous for a number of things that aren't likely on many people's wish lists.  So, number one, he was famously (and highly luckily) the boyfriend of the incredible Charlize Theron.   Unfortunately, after some years of unwedded bliss, they split up.   He was also up for the part of Aragorn in the massively successful "Lord of the Rings" movie trilogy, but after one or two days of shooting they decided he wasn't right for the part and got Viggo Mortensen instead.   He did do a credible job as the not-quite-indestructible Dorian Gray in "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen", but beyond that, he's been somewhat quiet (but he did have a recurring role on "Robot Chicken").  Thus, he's been a bit more defined by his failures than by his successes, even though bedding Theron even once would have to be considered a success in my book.

Apparently not anymore, as the picture below (which caused a bit of a stir when the trailer aired on morning TV in the U.S.) attests.   He's going to be in a show that's somewhat like the Richard Gere - Diane Lane vehicle "Unfaithful".   The trailer (findable at the linked Daily Mail article) indicates an acceptable level of melodrama.

Looks like a good gig to me

Monday, August 19, 2013

Is this the best thing Kelly Brook has ever done?

Kelly Brook, recently broken up with the one of the dumbest blokes on the planet, Danny Cipriani, provides several excellent reasons to have sex in space.

Remembering that this is a commercial, the gravitational dynamics are pretty weird.  Kelly is walking as if in gravity, but things go weightless at random around here.   OK, fine, artistic freedom.

I keep wondering how I even noticed the gravity anomalies will I was watching Kelly.

Oh, and the following picture was in the Daily Mail article that provided this video.  I also noticed Kelly had curlers in her hair, but I actually don't know how I managed to do that, either.

Hard work pays off

I have previously profusely lauded Shakira's abs.  But that was before a baby.  Surely she could not put those abs back into the supreme shape they were in before she gestated.

Surely you jest, because this is Shakira we're talking about.

And after the picture, a bonus video (which really gets good at the 2-minute mark).    Yes indeed, this is a Desirable Woman.  And add to that her world-class talent singing and dancing, well, that's a package.

This was on the cover of SELF magazine

More asteroids that could be captured (easily)

Not long ago (May, in fact) I suggested that NASA wait until 2026 for an asteroid capture mission, because an asteroid is going to make a close fly-by of Earth.   So I asked, why not catch that one?

Now I read that apparently a couple of bright engineers in Scotland ares thinking along similar lines, because they've identified 12 potentially catchable asteroids in nearby orbits.  What I don't know is if the one I suggested as a candidate, the one flying by in 2026, is one of these twelve.  I'm sure that their absolute velocity with respect to Earth is one factor to consider.

So, anyway, NASA maybe should pay attention to these Scottish engineers (and not just because the starship Enterprise had a Scottish chief engineer, either).   And maybe they should pay attention to me, too.

Why we still need Austin Powers

OK, now, number one, this is actually serious.  Terrorists have apparently thought about trying to put weapons and explosives inside human bodies.  LIVING human bodies.  So the following article about serious concerns is entirely on the up-and-up.

Breast implant explosives could be used in terrorist attack
According to Philip Baum, editor of Security International, body scanners are good at identify objects outside the body but not inside and the “possibility of medically implanted explosives is a concern to the industry.”

Explosives expert Andy Oppenheimer said: “There is a great fear that al-Qaeda are planning on using internal devices to try and get through airport scanners.

"These explosives could be in breast implants."
So the experts do need to take this seriously.

Unfortunately, it also has some comical aspects.  Thus, it's too bad that we can't get Austin Powers to deal with breast implant bombers, because he's already dealt with dangerous weapons like this:

 Hopefully this is all the experts will ever have to deal with, too.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Bad news for Apalachicola oysters continues

Apalachicola oysters are not currently offered on the menu most places

Drought sucks.

In a real sense, drought cuts freshwater supplies dry.  (Or drier, at least.)

In the case of Apalachicola Bay, Florida, there is a delicate balance between fresh and saltwater.  It is in this delicate balance that the tasty Apalachicola Bay oysters thrive.

There has been an ongoing drought in the U.S. Southeast (obviously, there's some ongoing droughts elsewhere in the U.S.) that has restricted the vital water flow in the Apalachicola River that enters the bay.  And that has hurt the oysters bad. And they used to be 10% of the entire U.S. oyster crop.

A couple of articles about that are offered below.

U.S. thirst for freshwater threatens Apalachicola Bay fisheries
In 2009, Florida thought it had won the long battle. A senior Federal District Court judge ruled that the Army Corps of Engineers could not draw more water from Lake Lanier. The decision would have freed up more water for Florida. 

But in 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, reversed the ruling. It decided that the corps had the authority to allocate additional water from the reservoir to supply Atlanta. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case. 

The appeals court ruling, coupled with the drought, which forced Georgia to draw more water, has starved Apalachicola Bay, scientists and lawmakers said. “These levels are unprecedented,” said Dan Tonsmeire, the executive director of Apalachicola Riverkeeper, an environmental group. “The decline in the entire productivity of the bay is not only an ecological disaster but puts the livelihoods of thousands of fishermen at risk of being lost forever. And it’s not just Apalachicola Bay. It affects the entire Gulf Coast.”

Feds declare fishery disaster for Florida oysters
Nearly a year after the state first asked for help, federal officials are declaring a fishery disaster for Florida's oyster industry in the Gulf of Mexico.

The collapse of the oyster industry last year came after a drought reduced freshwater flowing into Apalachicola Bay. But state officials have also blamed the lack of freshwater flow due to increased consumption in Georgia.
Why bring this up?  Because it's a symptom of a greater problem - and the problem is that the natural order of things is being subverted a lot of different places because of the need and desire to keep humans happy.   When things get way out of balance, the things we take for granted (like nice plump oysters) will disappear.

Sequestration hurts science (we've heard this before)

Sequestration Ushers In A Dark Age For Science In America

Unbelievably good and true article from the HuffingtonPost.   First, some excerpts:

In 2013 alone, NIH, the primary federal spigot for projects impacting human health, will be forced to cut $1.7 billion from its budget. Government agencies across the board are making similar reductions in their research budgets as well. The length of some grants have been shortened, while others have decreased in size and still others have been eliminated altogether. Though they aren't supposed to do so, university officials have begun siphoning money from funded projects to those feeling the pinch, in hopes that if they hang on long enough, help will eventually come.

At the University of Virginia, hopes are wearing thin. After our first phone interview in July, Dutta ended the conversation with thanks. "I appreciate you doing this story because we need your help, buddy," he said. "We are in deep shit."
It's not just projects receiving NIH grants that have been set back by sequestration. Various other government agencies have seen their research budgets slashed as well. Early estimates from the American Association for the Advancement of Science projected that $9.3 billion would be cut from research and development projects in 2013 alone, including $6.4 billion from the Department of Defense.

Tom Antonsen and Phil Sprangle, two professors at the University of Maryland, said they've experienced funding shortages from the Defense Department that could hamper their work.
The non-technical term for this is "brain drain." It had been happening for years prior to sequestration, though the recent cuts have accelerated it. Antonsen, a plasma physicist who studies the production and interaction of electromagnetic fields with matter, said he has lost two staffers so far: one has left the country and another accepted a job at a Wall Street bank. A third is currently looking for work outside the field.

Boston University's Gursky said that her program in Physiology and Biophysics had had no incoming graduate students during the last two academic years, while the overall number of matriculating PhD students at other programs had "dropped sharply." Dutta said a prospective hire in India had recently turned down a job offer in favor of going to Germany.
     So here's the deal.  Republicans claim to be a) concerned about education, b) concerned about defense, and c) concerned about the economic future of this great nation.  The hits that sequestration is landing on our higher education system attack all three - and they don't seem to care.  Oh, they talk a good game about worrying about our budget deficit -- nevermind that the economy depends on new business, new sectors, new products, and innovation (that's what made America great).   Undercutting our innovation engine - forcing brilliant innovators into economic analysis for Wall Street firms - hurts us in the long-term.  Taking away the incentives required for brilliant innovators to invest their time in higher education hurts us in the long-term.   Places like NASA and NOAA and NIST actual inspire kids to take up science rather than accounting in high school and college.  And the Republicans are undercutting them too.  And finally, their sequestration cuts are hitting defense directly, in terms of our readiness and our troop strength, and they are hitting our defense directly, in taking away the innovation that allows us to use drones to kill terrorists, fight cyberwars with incredibly destructive viruses like Stuxnet, fly things like stealth helicopters and fire things like cruise missiles.  And that doesn't even talk about the classified research we won't know about for decades (if ever), but still which keep us safer.

So, they can tout their ideological conservative purity, but they are hypocrites.  Sad and dangerous hypocrites.  I could call them a lot of other names, but it is their hypocrisy that hurts us the most.

Nina Dobrev goes full-length

Well, it's not what you might think or want, but still...

Awhile back I said that Nina Dobrev will likely be an acclaimed beauty, and she's still heading that direction.  She does something here that I haven't seen before;  a full-body cover on Cosmopolitan. She had to do some serious knee-bending, but it sure works for me.

Friday, August 16, 2013

For your eyes only, five times

The "For Your Eyes Only" Bond song is one of my favorite Bond opening montage songs, partly because it's sung by Sheena Easton, and partly because in the opening montage you can watch a young and striking Sheena Easton singing it, and utilizing one of musicdom's all-time greatest pair of lips to sing it  (as well as a great voice).  So for the total heck of it, here are five different versions of Sheena singing it, including a very recent one.

I looked up the desirable Sheena on Wikipedia.  Turns out she's been married four times, all of them pretty short.   I guess she believes in marriage, but that would indicate some level of volatility in her personal life.  But I can see why she attracted men, then and still.  She adopted two kids, and according to the online info, they're still with her.

For Your Eyes Only, Version 1

For Your Eyes Only, Version 2

For Your Eyes Only, Version 3

For Your Eyes Only, Version 4

For Your Eyes Only, Version 5

Pirelli's 50th anniversary calendar is special

The Pirelli calendar, which has been provocative and evocative in the past, is featuring a bunch of supermodels this year:  Alessandra Ambrosio, Helena Christensen, Karolina Kurkova, Alek Wek, Miranda Kerr and Isabeli Fontana.

And they posed for a group picture in one of my favorite outfits:  white men's dress shirts and underwear!  (Search back in my archives for my on that.)  The heels are a nice touch, too.  I haven't heard of Wek and Fontana before -  I expect to post a followup.

Now that's an all-star lineup!

Even stranger Mercury crater - Eminescu

This Mercury crater has some very bright features on the crater floor.

There's a high resolution  shot of it here: 

This image, taken with the Narrow Angle Camera (NAC), gives us a stunning close-up view of the floor of Eminescu crater.

The bright features are called "hollows", and might (emphasis on the might) be due to loss of volatiles from the surface after the impact. 

Or not.  That's why more research is needed.

Add this to the list

Climate change threatens crunchy tart apples

In addition to threats to common vices like chocolate, coffee, wine, and cheese,  now apples are on the list of things changing (and not in a good way) due to climate change. 


Answer:  Not unless we, humanity, collectively, do something about it!

Monday, August 12, 2013

BIG deal for fish farming

Report out of Baltimore, just an hour north of here, that researchers found a way to get cobia to eat a vegetarian feed (not based on fish), which is good in itself, and apparently it supplied all their nutritional needs, too.

Baltimore researchers turn carnivorous fish into vegetarians

I have previously suggested that the invasive Asian carp (in the rivers of Illinois threatening to enter Lake Michigan) could be used for fishmeal.  Anything that takes the pressure off of menhaden is a good thing.  But this is even better;  we can always grow soybeans.  It might be a little more expensive (now), but that's because we don't count the cost of exploiting a fishery until it collapses.

How'd they do it?  After some less-than-highly-successful efforts:
"When the researchers tried a combination of soybean concentrate, protein concentrate, wheat flour and soybean meal, they made progress. The pellets that worked “are 15 to 20 percent more expensive than the commercially available feed,” Watson said. On the other hand, the cobia grew bigger and absorbed fewer contaminants."
 Good for fish and good for fish farming.  Good for the Earth.  Now, will bluefin tuna eat it?

The other thing that's good about cobia is that they can get big.  The girl in the bikini is shown for scale.

She's the real thing

Elena Delle Donne's impressive rookie year continues - the Chicago Sky are in 1st place in the Eastern Conference of the WNBA, and EDD (as she's being tabbed) is a big reason why.  In the most recent games, she hit a 3-pointer to force overtime and finished with 32 points as Chicago defeated the Western Conference's top team, the Minnesota Lynx.

She's also fourth in scoring average per game and fifth in blocks per game.

Not bad for a rookie. 

WNBA Web site

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Lack-of-water world

Two articles underscore and emphasize the current worsening drought conditions in the Southwest.

Now, let's put this in perspective.  IF rainfall returns to semi-normal soon, then this could be just a blip on the climate screen.  But it's getting bad enough to be exceeding the bounds of blipness, to the point that it might be verging on signalhood.  I.e., a signal that something is really changing. 

First, from the LA Times:  New Mexico, driest of the dry
The statistics are sobering: All of New Mexico is officially in a drought, and three-quarters of it is categorized as severe or exceptional. Reservoir storage statewide is 17% of normal, lowest in the West. Residents of some towns subsist on trucked-in water, and others are drilling deep wells costing $100,000 or more to sink and still more to operate.

Wildlife managers are hauling water to elk herds in the mountains and blaming the drought for the unusually high number of deer and antelope killed on New Mexico's highways, surmising that the animals are taking greater risks to find water. ...

The last three years have been the driest and warmest since record-keeping began here in 1895. Chuck Jones, a senior meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque, said even the state's recent above-average monsoon rains "won't make a dent" in the drought; deficits will require several years of normal rainfall to erase, should normal rain ever arrive.
Much of the rest of the article is devoted to the loss of the indigenous grass, which could lead to irreversible desertification.

Second, from the Las Vegas Review-Journal:  Las Vegas water chief seeks disaster aid for Colorado River drought

The Las Vegas Valley depends on the river for 90 percent of its drinking water supply. That water is drawn from Lake Mead using two intake pipes that could stop working if the reservoir drops far enough.

The surface of Lake Mead already has fallen more than 100 feet since the current drought descended on the Colorado River in 2000.

But even in an average year, the river does not carry enough water to fill the allocations parceled out decades ago to the seven states and Mexico.

The expected cut to Lake Powell’s release for the coming year creates a 1.5 million acre-foot math problem for Mead, which is supposed to deliver 9 million acre-feet of water each year to Nevada, Arizona, California and Mexico.
Bottom line:  this all is adding up to an indication of a major problem.  Is something really changing here?  Well, we know climate is changing; this may be one place where we're seeing the effects.  And even if it's in the range of natural variability, it's on the bad side of that range, and with many more people living out West due to the cleverness of the water managers, they will be in trouble if the water managers run out of tricks.

Lake Mead's 'bathtub ring' due to lowering water levels


Some observations about Natalia Vodianova and the Love Ball

Princess Charlene and Natalia Vodianova at the Love Ball in Monaco

I was stunned by a couple of things in the article linked above.  One, that I have not written any posts about Natalia Vodanova. Ever.  She's really good-looking, she's had no qualms about posing in the unclad (nude) mode, and she's also very successful, which means she's in a lot of different venues.  I thought I had posted about something she said about looking even prettier when she's pregnant, and how easy it is/was for her to get pregnant.  (I am thinking that it was not hard to want to get her pregnant, spouse-wise, but after their third kid she and her hubby and children's father broke up.  Not surprisingly, she's got a new, rich, boyfriend.)

OK, searching around, it wasn't that she was prettier when she was pregnant, it was because she got more like the glamor industry wanted after her first child, when she lost a lot of weight due to  child-rearing efforts (apparently). If she kept the breasts but lost the hips, I can see why she'd be more marketable. 

Natalia Vodianova credits career success to post-pregnancy weight loss

Here's more on her current activities:  Natalia Vodianova moves beyond the runway

Two, I was stunned how I missed that she's so popular that she's one of the world's highest-paid fashion models.  The Calvin Klein and Guerlain gigs surely helped.  But I haven't posted ANYTHING about one of the world's best-paid and best-looking women - more so because she looks like she does after THREE kids?  Wow.

So here's a selection.

Yes, she really has three kids

And three, I was stunned in this Daily Mail article about the Love Ball by how big Karl Lagerfeld's head is. He's got a large dish, and the way he dresses makes it look even larger, and the camera angle might have had something to do with it, but still, it's just outlandish.

Worth repeating

So this is why Tea Party Republicans in Congress can't act like normal legislators:

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Sasha Cohen update

Well, a couple of days ago I discovered retired (mostly) figure skater Sasha Cohen's Instagram account.  Which allows us mere mortals to get a glimpse into Sasha's activities.  Turns out that she's CLEARLY got a boyfriend.  Lucky, lucky guy.  He appears to be a tad older than her - doesn't look like he's a frat boy fling. 

So here are three pictures, with short captions, from her Instagram account.
1.  I knew she was pretty darned flexible, but I never imagined seeing her in this position.  (With clothes on, that is.)
2. She has grown up, and filled out.  Nice puppy.  (I said "puppy".  Clearly.)

3.  We knew she was graceful and balletic, but did we also know she was as strong as a gymnast?  And super-fit?  Well, we do now - and THAT is a position.  Like I said -- lucky, lucky guy!

And one recent picture to show that she's well, still real cute.  

August is National Water Quality Month

I just recently posted about the micro-plastic contamination that's being found in the Great Lakes.  Well, some of that stuff (like cosmetic microbeads) probably goes down the drain, but a lot of stuff that is bad for our freshwater resources doesn't -- it comes off our sidewalks and lawns and parking lots and goes into storm sewers and urban streams.  So, some of things that can be done about improving our national water quality are described on this Web site and shown in the graphic image below. 

Remember, rivulet to runoff to creek to stream to river to lake and bay.  We're all in this together, if we drink water.

By the way, apparently the Environmental Protection Agency is ultimately behind National Water Quality Month, but I can't find anything truly official stating that.  But hey, it's still a good thing to remember.

Like we didn't expect this?

The Virginia governor campaign is being characterized as very nasty.  Well, it's obvious that the Cooch can't run on his record or his issues, because he is so wacky right-wing that if he did, not only would he demonstrate to the middle and left voters that he's totally unfit for office, he'd also motivate a lot of them to vote against him.  So all he can do is to attack McAuliffe.

Now, McAuliffe scares me, because while it makes sense to show what a righty wingnut Cooch is, he should also demonstrate that he's got a set of ideas for Virginia.  His record, though he hasn't been a politician, is not riddled with the lunacy of Cooch's record.  So while it's necessary to keep the pressure on the Cooch's kookiness, McAulifee should also be showing that he can govern, and that he's got a set of plans to govern with.   That would differentiate him more from the Cooch.  And he needs to.  Cooch in the governor's chair is UNTHINKABLE.  (Or ABOMINABLE.  Take your pick.)

If the Cooch showed his hand with his real plans, a lot of of the Virginia voters would just plain vomit due to both disorientation - because his positions are so dizzyingly daffy that it makes the heads of normal people spin - and due to their actual substance, which is deeply  unpalatable.  Hey, we have 80-year old grandmothers confessing they've committed sodomy and would be eligible for a jail sentence if Cooch gets elected.

But negative is the only way Cooch can run, because if he ran on who he really is and what he stands for, McAuliffe would win in a laugher.

Oh c'mon, viruses, this isn't fair!

Yes, a couple of weeks ago Michael Douglas blamed his throat cancer on oral sex.  Some people thought that this was funny, or a bit over the top, but Michael has been somewhat of a Lothario, so it's entirely likely that he's committed sodomy (in the form of cunnilingus - that Liberace movie was just ACTING) a few times.   So he might be right.

But the thing is, this is actually happening.  Throat cancer, due to HPV (human papilloma virus) is on the rise due primarily to - the practice of oral sex.  Unfortunately for the male homosexual community that got hit bad by AIDS, the practice of man-on-man oral sex is one of the main sources of transmission for this, apparently.  I'm certain that there's also heterosexual transmission, and I'm not trying to single them out, but it's unfortunate that another of the sexual practices that they like to perform with some frequency has a health blowback - so to speak. 

Dramatic increase in throat cancer due to HPV virus is a looming health crisis

Well, it's not really funny.  More of them should get vaccinated for this.  Just like more young girls should get vaccinated too, even if their parents don't think they're sexually active, because some of them are, both orally and traditionally.

The point of my title is:  life finds a way.  And in the case of viruses, life finds a way to infect us.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Amazing what you can find

The amazingly beautiful/hot/wondrous/ideal swimsuit model Marisa Miller turned 35 yesterday, and there was a photographic celebration of her swimsuit modeling prowess offered by Sports Illustrated, where she established her shining credentials.  Perusing through it I found the picture below, which is at least five different kinds of appealing to the male mind and loins:

Five different kinds of appealing:
1. She's gorgeous.
2. It's outdoors.
3. Her position is mouth-watering.
4. That backside curve is... scrumptious.
5. Her bikini is, like, TOTALLY untied.

Fish vote with their fins

Unlike terrestrial flora and fauna, which are heavily invested in their particular ecological niches and the locations of those niches, oceanic fauna can move fairly quickly.  And that means that they can respond when the conditions to which they have become ecologically accustomed change such that they are no longer existing in an optimal state for their particular biomic needs.

So they do move.  And a big study shows that the vast majority of them are moving poleward, where the waters are colder than where they've been living.  And what this says is, for the skeptical and also for those who want it explained simply, is that the climate is changing in one direction, and this particular phenologic factor is predominantly changing in the way it would be expected to change in response.  Which means you can try to argue all you want about pauses and station siting and clouds and climate model flaws, but when it comes down to what nature is doing, nature is doing what we would expect nature to do if the world is getting warmer.

So go suck eggs, @ClimateDepot. The fish are voting, and they're voting that you're WRONG.

What happens when a crab eats methane?

Seriously.  Did you think that was even possible?  Well, this fascinating video shows the of a methane seep in the deep ocean (where it's both cold and the pressure is high), this hapless crab encounters the methane bubbles and tries to eat them, his mouth gets frozen shut.

Seriously. Almost like licking a metal stair railing on a very cold day; this crab would  very stupid if it was possible for a crab to feel emotions.

We can just laugh.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Alec Baldwin, silverbacking along

When he was young and impossibly handsome, Alec Baldwin was very fortunate to wed and bed and impregnate the beauteous Kim Basinger. Definitely an alpha couple, and they broke up acrimoniously, as might be expected in a show-business relationship between two apparently very strong-willed individuals.  Alec has demonstrated his dominant characteristics on more than one occasion.

Well, Alec has maintained a successful career, and aging into silverback status, he found a young and fertile second mate, and also wedded, bedded, and fathered a child (about to be born) with her.  He chose wisely again, a yoga instructor named Hilaria.  Shown below is Alec and Hilaria, Hilaria demonstrating a flexixibility that likely had bedroom benefits for Alec, and Hilaria very pregnant.

Sonnet for early August

It's early enough that I might do another one (or more), but here's one I came up with on the first weekend of August.

It could happen (but it won't)

There is a massive distance set between
a wish or fantasy for diff'rent fate
and the reality of change -- I preen
and wish that I were younger, that my weight
was far more muscular, and that my length
and girth were more impressive; if these facts
were changed, where could I be today? My strength
of character has been assailed, the pacts
I promised challenged and neglected, so
that I am ready to be taken, ripe
for picking and to pick, to have and know
the savageness of love again, the type of
romance poetry portrays - one chance
to find myself shall our two lives enhance.

The biggest achievement at the swimming World Championships was

... pronouncing Ranomi Kromowidjojo (Netherlands woman sprinter, winner of the 50 freestyle) correctly. That takes practice!

Katie Ledecky's massive volume of work, and four gold medals, was also pretty noteworthy. Her 400 might have even been more impressive than the 1500, because it was the best time ever (including the Olympics) swum in normal suits, and they compete that race at the Olympics. The 1500 world record was impressive, but since the women don't compete that at the Olympics, it doesn't get as many shots at it as the 400 and 800. Ziegler's record was strong, but it was due to fall.

On the men's side, I was impressed with how fast Brazil's Cesar Cielo continues to be, as well as old man sprinter Anthony Ervin of the USA; glad the USA went 1-2 in the 100 backstroke; enthralled by both the 400 freestyle relay and the 100 freestyle (Nathan Adrian's stroke is just plain exciting to watch); and dismayed by the DQ in the men's 400 medley relay. Still, great meet to watch.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The world's 2nd largest volume of fresh (liquid) water

... is contaminated with microplastic.

Now, whether or not this is a big problem is yet to be determined. 

By the way, adding up the volume of the five Great Lakes makes them the 2nd largest volume of freshwater in the world after Lake Baikal, and Baikal only surpasses them by a few hundred cubic kilometers.  Baikal has its own problems, but one of them is not being surrounded by a big population of people and several large cities.  This cannot be said of the Great Lakes.   Now, we in the USA take pride in our efforts to keep our water clean and drinkable (even though Republicans aren't exactly trying very hard to maintain that tradition, as I noted two posts earlier).  So cleaning this up might present a challenge, so the question is, does it need to be?

The first thing to figure out is if the fish are eating enough of this stuff for it be concern, and I think that's what they're going to do next.

Masses of plastic particles found in Great Lakes
"Now, researchers are stepping up efforts to determine how much damage the plastic could do. Mason and Rios are working with the 5 Gyres Institute, a nonprofit group based in Los Angeles that has called attention to sprawling masses of plastic in the oceans.

While Mason searches Lake Michigan for more plastic, Rios is poking through fish innards for plastic fragments. In ocean environments, fish and birds are known to feed on microplastics, apparently mistaking them for fish eggs.
A more complicated question is whether the particles are soaking up toxins in the water, potentially contaminating fish that eat them - and sending them up the food chain."
Well, even if this doesn't turn out to be a big problem, you (and I) likely won't think about the cool clear water of the Great Lakes quite the same way anymore.

Look for fireballs

According to a new report, the upcoming Perseid meteor shower is the best regularly-scheduled fireball-producing meteor shower every year.  And this year might be better than usual.

Perseid fireballs

Cooke thinks the Perseids are rich in fireballs because of the size of the parent comet.
"Comet Swift-Tuttle has a huge nucleus--about 26 km in diameter," comments Cooke. "Most other comets are much smaller, with nuclei only a few kilometers across. As a result, Comet Swift-Tuttle produces a large number of meteoroids, many of which are large enough to produce fireballs."
Here's an example from 2011:

NJ paper editorial gets it right on GOP and the environment

Great - I repeat, great - editorial on the GOP (that's those darned Republicans) and how they are ridiculous with respect to the environment, from the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

Let me rephrase that.  They are complete a**holes with respect to the environment.

House GOP takes our environment hostage:  Editorial

Our deficit is already on a steep decline, yet House Republicans are gleefully pushing massive new cuts on the social, regulatory and environmental programs that make up a relatively small sliver of our federal budget. ...

As a result, EPA staffing would shrink to the levels of the early 1990s, hobbling the agency’s ability to enforce the laws and update standards against pollution. In New Jersey, this cut would choke off the flow of federal money that supports upgrades to our antiquated sewer systems by as much as 80 percent, and our drinking water infrastructure by 60 percent, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. ...

That’s not all. Republicans also threw in some dirty policies: They blocked the EPA from enforcing the rules on lead paint, or doing virtually anything on climate change, including setting new controls on carbon emissions from power plants. ...
And now, the short paragraph that absolutely NAILS it:
The environment was once a bipartisan issue, but these extremists who’ve hijacked the House have a blind spot when it comes to setting basic standards to protect people from air and water pollution and toxic chemicals. They view this as wasteful, rather than necessary spending.

So, so, so, so, exactly right.

This is big. Really big. HUGE.

There are lots of discussions on lots of different topics in the world of climate and environment these days. Carbon seems to dominate the discussion, but there are other issues.

One of them is fertilizer use.  For a lot of reasons, fertilizer has made the 20th century and 21st century population growth possible, and we're able to feed a lot more people than anyone expected half a century ago because of it.  But the problem is, we use too much, even when we use it carefully, and a lot of places don't.  The result is bad ocean waters, overgrown with floating algae (like what happened in China about a month ago) and no-oxygen 'dead zones' on the bottom of a lot of coastal areas and bays, like my local Chesapeake.

But... a scientist has discovered a way to infect plant roots with a nitrogen-fixing bacteria.  A few plants (legumes) fix nitrogen naturally, but most plants don't.  This guy... well, read this part quoted from the article:

Professor Edward Cocking, Director of The University of Nottingham's Centre for Crop Nitrogen Fixation, has developed a unique method of putting nitrogen-fixing bacteria into the cells of plant roots. His major breakthrough came when he found a specific strain of nitrogen-fixing bacteria in sugar-cane which he discovered could intracellularly colonise all major crop plants. This ground-breaking development potentially provides every cell in the plant with the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen. The implications for agriculture are enormous as this new technology can provide much of the plant's nitrogen needs.
 Now, not only can this help food crop plants, it can also help biofuel feedstock plants (like switchgrass and corn).  Removing the need for fertilizer (corn needs a lot) substantially reduces the energy required to raise the crop, reduces the amount of nitrogen in the runoff, and increases yield.

This is exciting.

This is real.

This is HUGE.

Some people talk about changing the world;  Prof. Cocking's discovery very likely will.  For the better.

If you haven't read it...

Read it again;  the op-ed by four former EPA administrators, all from REPUBLICAN administrations, on climate change and the need to address it right now.   I underline a couple of things of note.

EACH of us took turns over the past 43 years running the Environmental Protection Agency. We served Republican presidents, but we have a message that transcends political affiliation: the United States must move now on substantive steps to curb climate change, at home and internationally.

There is no longer any credible scientific debate about the basic facts: our world continues to warm, with the last decade the hottest in modern records, and the deep ocean warming faster than the earth’s atmosphere. Sea level is rising. Arctic Sea ice is melting years faster than projected.

The costs of inaction are undeniable. The lines of scientific evidence grow only stronger and more numerous. And the window of time remaining to act is growing smaller: delay could mean that warming becomes “locked in.”

A market-based approach, like a carbon tax, would be the best path to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, but that is unachievable in the current political gridlock in Washington. Dealing with this political reality, President Obama’s June climate action plan lays out achievable actions that would deliver real progress. He will use his executive powers to require reductions in the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the nation’s power plants and spur increased investment in clean energy technology, which is inarguably the path we must follow to ensure a strong economy along with a livable climate.
[ Insert: Nuclear Energy is clean energy technology! ]

The president also plans to use his regulatory power to limit the powerful warming chemicals known as hydrofluorocarbons and encourage the United States to join with other nations to amend the Montreal Protocol to phase out these chemicals. The landmark international treaty, which took effect in 1989, already has been hugely successful in solving the ozone problem.

Rather than argue against his proposals, our leaders in Congress should endorse them and start the overdue debate about what bigger steps are needed and how to achieve them — domestically and internationally.

As administrators of the E.P.A under Presidents Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George Bush and George W. Bush, we held fast to common-sense conservative principles — protecting the health of the American people, working with the best technology available and trusting in the innovation of American business and in the market to find the best solutions for the least cost.

That approach helped us tackle major environmental challenges to our nation and the world: the pollution of our rivers, dramatized when the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland caught fire in 1969; the hole in the ozone layer; and the devastation wrought by acid rain.

The solutions we supported worked, although more must be done. Our rivers no longer burn, and their health continues to improve. The United States led the world when nations came together to phase out ozone-depleting chemicals. Acid rain diminishes each year, thanks to a pioneering, market-based emissions-trading system adopted under the first President Bush in 1990. And despite critics’ warnings, our economy has continued to grow.

Climate change puts all our progress and our successes at risk. If we could articulate one framework for successful governance, perhaps it should be this: When confronted by a problem, deal with it. Look at the facts, cut through the extraneous, devise a workable solution and get it done.

We can have both a strong economy and a livable climate. All parties know that we need both. The rest of the discussion is either detail, which we can resolve, or purposeful delay, which we should not tolerate.

Mr. Obama’s plan is just a start. More will be required. But we must continue efforts to reduce the climate-altering pollutants that threaten our planet. The only uncertainty about our warming world is how bad the changes will get, and how soon. What is most clear is that there is no time to waste.

"The writers are former administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency: William D. Ruckelshaus, from its founding in 1970 to 1973, and again from 1983 to 1985; Lee M. Thomas, from 1985 to 1989; William K. Reilly, from 1989 to 1993; and Christine Todd Whitman, from 2001 to 2003."

Right.  Dead solid perfect.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Shine like a diamond

Hovnatanian Crater is a very bright crater on Mercury.  Image courtesy of MESSENGER, still in orbit and still working around the closest planet to the Sun.

Go to this page to see other size versions. 

Ten synonyms

Ten synonyms for "enjoyment"

  1. contentment
  2. delectation
  3. delight
  4. gratification
  5. satisfaction
  6. pleasance
  7. elatedness
  8. elation
  9. rapture
  10. euphoria
A.  Which one do you like the best?
B.  Which one do you think is closest in meaning to "enjoyment"?
C.  Which one describes what you feel when you eat a very tasty meal?

Just curious.

Russell Simmons demonstrates silverbacking

I'm way backed up on my silverback reports (and I have several news items that I should have commented on regarding that).  If one will remember, I term the older man - younger woman matchups, as wives or girlfriends, "silverback" relationships, after the appearance of alpha male gorillas.  Now, more appropriately or perhaps more accurately, such relationships could be termed "alpha male" relationships. 

To review, the basic biological underpinnings of this kind of relationship are that the dominant males of a species get to mate with the most fertile/desirable females (and in some cases, ALL of them).  You could  call the males herd bulls or alpha wolves or pride lion or leader of the pack.  The position is competitive (and stressful), frequently determined in nature by either real or ceremonial combat. 

In human societies, mating with a harem is somewhat frowned upon, but highly compensated professional athletes sometimes evince a similarity to this behavior.  But the silverback relationship is clearly between a successful (usually = wealthy) male, frequently an older male possessing requisite demonstrations of his success, and a considerably younger and highly attractive female.  As we have seen, silverbacks also commonly release an earlier mate from their mating and marital and childbearing obligations, and move on to have progeny with a younger woman (sometimes several).   It must also be pointed out that frequently the silverback is not nearly as attractive as the younger woman.  This can be partly attributed to age and also to the fact that in this particular relationship mode, sexual attractiveness is less determined by physical characteristics and more by the ability to provide stability and resources
for successful offspring rearing and thus survival of the genes.    (Somewhere in my files I've got the article about marital happiness that I was going to write about, to whit, that in the most stable marital relationships, the woman is usually younger and prettier than the man.  I'll dig that up.)

The Leonardo DiCaprio / George Clooney variant silverback behavior does not include marriage or

So, to get started on my review, I offer up Russell Simmons and girlfriend Hana Nitsche.  Russell is a rich music producer, already has a child and isn't exactly svelte.  On the other hand, Hana is svelte, stacked, and not afraid to demonstrate both.  The article shows the daring dress she wore to Russell's charity event;  Google image searching provides a couple of other examples:

Demonstrating the difference