Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Great lava

Just found out yesterday that Piton de la Fournaise volcano on the island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean justhad a short eruption.  I think the eruption has already ended after about 24 hours;  Piton can be like that.

Some great pics on this Web site if you like glowing and flowing lava, which I do  -- text is in French.

Not this time

Just a couple of days ago, I checked in on the women's draw at the French Open tennis tournament, and noted that Simona Halep and Agnieska Radwanska had advanced to the fourth round.  I also noted that I would prefer Halep to win but wondered when second-seeded Radwanska would break through.

Well, both rain delays and light rain played havoc with the schedule and their games, so both of them were defeated.  Why is it that the ones I pick to win don't, but totally unexpected players (like at last year's U.S. Open) pull off the upsets?

I have no idea how that keeps happening, but it does.  Serena Williams has something to do with it.

Swingin' in the rain -- Radwanska, Halep lose at the French Open

Last day in May sonnet

beyond the boundary - a sonnet in May 2016

To open all the layers of my soul
requires a dedicated partnership,
and patience to achieve the vaunted goal
of true exposure, where I lose the grip
I cherish on my own enamored space
and time and open it to them, until
each molecule is shared, inhaled in place
and exhaled to the stars as dreams of will
and hopes for more than what can be unless
emergence overcomes reluctance -- then
convergence knifes into contrived duress
and we are free to live the now as when
we are exalted, and convey a range
of humanness that normal marks as strange!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Lighhouse of the Week, May 29 - June 4, 2016: Nan'aodao, China

Here is another China lighthouse, this one very new.  It's the Nan'aodao Lighthouse, on the island of Nan'ao, which is near the mainland city of Shantou.  It was dedicated in November 2009, so it's definitely new.  Also a unique design, 98 feet high.  The only available picture that I could find is below.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Trump = idiot on California water woes

Climate Progress reports that Donald Trump told a California audience that there isn't any drought.

Geez.  That's beyond stupidity, trending into idiocy.  El Nino added a bit of precipitation this last winter, but that's a long way from being out of the drought.  All this did was make the drought less severe -- for awhile.

That's bad.  Really bad.  Not surprising for Donald, but truly, totally bad.

Donald Trump Tells Drought-Stricken Californians There Is No Drought

True quote:

“It is so ridiculous where they’re taking the water and shoving it out to sea,” Trump said. “There is no drought. They turn the water out into the ocean.”


Checking in on the women's draw, French Open

The big news on the men's side was Nadal pulling out with a wrist injury.  Obviously makes things easier for Djokovic/Murray/Wawrinka to win.  I'd be stunned if one of those three doesn't win it, but sometimes a clay-court specialist rises to the top.

On the women's side, Eugenie Bouchard went out 6-4, 6-4 to a 15th-seeded player.  The fourth round is almost set, with Serena, Kuznetsova, Halep, Stosur, and Radwanska already into it.  Radwanska is still seeded second -  when is she going to break through?  Still, I'd prefer Halep.

As I write this, Venus Williams just advanced to the fourth round too, over Cornet.  She (Venus) is amazing.

Go Simona!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

I agree with George Will??

Well, yes I do.  I found an editorial by Will in the Washigton Post that seemed pretty obviously correct.  So, here it is:

If Trump is nominated, the GOP must keep him out of the White House  (excerpted with comments at Media Matters)

This has been quote elsewhere, but it's worth repeating here:

"If Trump is nominated, Republicans working to purge him and his manner from public life will reap the considerable satisfaction of preserving the identity of their 162-year-old party while working to see that they forgo only four years of the enjoyment of executive power."
The thing is, "standard" (i.e., normal) Republicans know that voting for Trump is a bad idea.  But the many supporters of Trump aren't standard Republicans anymore.

And they sure aren't normal.

A lot of Petra at Cannes

One of my totally favorite supermodels (I have a few, but she's always been one of the best), Petra Nemcova, was making appearances at the Cannes Film Festival, and even doing a retro glam fashion shoot.

And she did something else that made her quite appealing.  She wore a black sheer number to an appearance, and she didn't wear a bra (it was difficult to see how she could have worn a bra, actually).  The appealing thing about this particular black number, as has happened for other female celebrities wearing similar outfits, is that when the bright lights shine and the flashes go off, the black blouse suddenly becomes semi-transparent, and voila! she is indeed fully female!

See what I mean in the first linked article below, and then peruse the others at your leisure.

(This made me ponder whether or not Petra had actually posed nude in her career, and it turns out that she apparently did, once, at a very young stage in her career.  Also, she made a couple of runway walks with bare breasts, once with an open jacket, and the other time with some strange writing on her upper body.  All  of which can be ascertained with an image search using her name and the word nude.  Watch out for the fakes, there's a lot, and mixed in will be many other pictures of her wearing lingerie, swimwear, etc. -- and those are always enjoyable to see.)

Braless Petra Nemcova exposes a little too much cleavage when camera flashes turn her sexy plunging jumpsuit completely sheer at prestigious Chopard Cannes bash

Petra Nemcova shows off her supermodel figure in sheer lace gown as she puts on an animated display at L'Oreal bash in Cannes

Petra Nemcova oozes sex appeal in retro polka dot bikini as she poses up a storm for sultry swimwear shoot in Cannes

One pic from this last one:

A different take on the cheese surplus

America can't eat its way out of this massive cheese problem

Slightly humorous take on the Great Cheese Glut of 2016, and explains why it is happening. Interesting factoids are contained within. The U.S. average per capita consumption of cheese is 36 pounds (to take care of the glut every single one of us would have to eat 3 more pounds). The highest per capita consumption of cheese is in France, at 57 pounds, but they commonly serve a fruit and cheese plate after dinner.

Of course, that made me wonder where other countries rank, so I found a table:

Global cheese consumption (Kg per capita) --- from the Canadian Dairy Information Centre

Finland, Germany, and Denmark (love that Danish Blue!) follow France in the EU, but Iceland is actually second amongst all the European countries.

Classic Danish Blue, since we're on the subject of cheese:

Democrats will be unified - probably

The Washington Post predicts that once the primary shenanigans are completed, the party will unify behind nominee Hillary Clinton (her email controversies notwithstanding).

I certainly hope so.  The rationale is that LOTz of Democrats hate Trump.  That's strong language.  I'm not going to vote for him, as it stands, but my vote could be bought -- for $100K.  Even $75K.  See, I'm not THAT strongly opposed to a Trump presidency.

I mean, it's seemingly very unlikely that Trump could win (according to another article, if Trump wins all the states that Mitt Romney won, and also adds Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida), but its still possible.

But we can hope that the Democrats won't let up on Trump.  And the quote from the article shows that they already blasting away at him.

Yes, Democrats will unify behind Clinton - this political scientist persuasively explains why

""Beyond all this, Elizabeth Warren’s big speech this week attacking Trump as a cruel, selfish capitalist cutthroat and con artist, and framing the election as a stark choice between Trump’s fraudulent pro-rich economic agenda and concrete Democratic policies designed to improve people’s economic prospects, hints at a powerful unifying populist argument against Trump that Sanders (despite his hopes for more transformative change than Clinton will push for) would be well suited to make."

We Dems will unify, but I wish Sanders would just give it up already. And tell his supporters to vote for Hillary, because the alternative is unthinkable.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

What climate change can do

I've said to many climate deniers over the years I've been arguing about this issue that one of the main conservation concerns of climate change is the rate that temperatures are changing.

This article is a great example of why.  It's about spiny crayfish in Australia that have symbiotic worms (temnocephalans) living on them.  Great video, which is a little freaky.

Here's the problem (quoted from the article):

"Today, spiny mountain crayfish - a genus called Euastacus - live in dwindling patches of eastern Australia. In the warmer, northern part of their range they are restricted to lofty forest streams."

"Currently, three-quarters of the 37 Euastacus crayfish species are known to be endangered. The scientists found that if all those crayfish species were to die out, some 19 of the 33 temnocephalans would also disappear - starting with those in the north."

"They warn that such a sweeping coextinction is a genuine threat, particularly as modern-day climate change steepens the warming of Australia that has shaped and shrivelled the creatures' shared habitat over the millennia."

So there it is, adapt or die.  And the rapid pace of climate change makes more things die because they can't adapt.

Sutter Buttes from Google Street View

Sutter Buttes in California is known as the world's smallest mountain range.  NASA had a picture of them from space with a short explanation and a link to a longer explanation.

I wondered, naturally, if they were visible on Google Street View (expecting that they would be).  I got a bonus - there's a Street View driving through them.

First, the distant view:

Then the drive-thru:

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Time for the NCAA Lacrosse Final Four

As usually happens around every Memorial Day, in addition to the Indianapolis 500 (about which I have heard nary a word), the NCAA reaches the Final Four for lacrosse.  Being a Marylander and living nearby Washington D.C., I've become accustomed to championship losses.  The wins are few and very far between.

Especially for Maryland and lacrosse. Despite regularly being very good, and frequently ranked in the top 5, Maryland has repetitively come up short in the championships.

So let's see what is up for these semifinals.  Maryland will play Brown in the first semifinal, and North Carolina will play Loyola of Maryland in the second.  Loyola of Maryland features a super freshman named Pat Spencer who could truly be the X-Factor.

Given that both Maryland and Loyola of Maryland are in the Final Four, odds are decent that a school from Maryland will win it.  But what about U. Maryland itself?

Before I go any further, let me note that the U. Maryland women are strong favorites to win the championship.  Doesn't mean they will, of course, but they're ranked and seeded No. 1.  And they've won it before, most recently in both of the last two years.

And the Maryland men are ranked and seeded No. 1 as well.  Which likely means another weekend of heartbreak for them.  Let's review the recent history:

The Terps last won it in 1975.  Since then, they've lost in the final -- get this -- in 1976, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2011, 2012, and 2015.   In 2012 they lost to Loyola of Maryland.  In 2011 they lost 9-7 to Virginia. And other than the years in which they lost in the finals, since 1975 they've lost in the semifinals 10 other times.

All of which says:  I wouldn't bet on them to save my house.  But I sure would like to see them kick all that bad luck in the teeth and win the damn thing.

A handsome horse indeed

Yeah, I have to agree, this horse is pretty good-looking. Statuesque, in fact.

What's your name, Stud? Meet the world's most handsome horse, Frederik, whose lustrous mane changes style according to his mood and drives the fillies wild

Monday, May 23, 2016

The last one is amazing

Many pictures are featured in the Daily Mail article about the National Geographic travel photography contest. The last one they provide, taken in Glacier National Park, is particularly outstanding. 

Breathtaking entries - National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year contest 

Here's the link to the actual contest site. This is the last week to enter. There are some great shots in the entire collection of submissions.


Here's another fine entry, the Erta Ale lava lake, Ethiopia:

Couldn't she have a swimwear collection, too?

I hadn't checked to see what Michelle Keegan has been doing recently, so I did. Last I knew she was down filming a TV show in South Africa. Turns out she's released a new spring line for Lipsy London, and she models it in a short video. The dresses are tasteful, and MK, as would be expected, looks fabulous in them.

Now, the world has seen Michelle in a swimsuit before, and I'm sure many of us were as appreciative of that as I was. But we could always wish that Michelle could get connected with a swimwear or lingerie manufacturer, and produce a collection in that genre as well. And then (of course) she would model her personalized creations. And that would, again, be much appreciated.

Michelle Keegan's gorgeous spring collection

This is why we wish she had a swimsuit line too

Well, that was certainly disheartening - the FA Cup final

Ever since Crystal Palace qualified for the Premier League, and then managed to stay there, and then get better (and then get worse starting in January of this year, but still staying in the league), I've wanted them to have some success. Leicester City's championship this year showed that anything is possible. So with Palace reaching the FA Cup final, it also seemed possible that they could beat the big, much-higher- budgeted, and more stellarly-populated Manchester United squad.

And it seemed like it could happen. The scoreless tie was broken after substitute Jason Puncheon, who has been a big reason that Crystal Palace has gotten to where it is and stayed there the past couple of years, made an exemplary play into the corner of the net. Wembley was rocking and James Pardew, the CP manager, was dancing.  United was dominating, though, with a few shots off the frame.

Unfortunately for Palace, the skills of world-class MU player Wayne Rooney asserted themselves three minutes later. Rooney eluded three or four defenders on a brilliant run, then crossed to the other side, where Juan Mata (another international star on their lineup) was able to finish.

But still -- the match went into its 30 minutes of extra time, and Palace got something it desperately needed - a break. A Manchester defender, Chris Smalling, received his second yellow card of the match, sending him off and putting the Reds a man down. Though CP didn't score in the first half of extra time, they had 15 more minutes with a man advantage. 

But again, fate dealt them a poor hand. Young winger Jesse Lingard, a late substitute, put home a volley off the outside of his foot, and the CP goaltender didn't have a chance. The hopes of the Palace faithful were dashed by his superb shot.

Watching it live on TV, I can only imagine how disheartening that must have felt to be there in person, seeing the team take the lead only to lose it, then gaining the man advantage, then have MU score what is called in soccer terms a "shortie". That hurts. Still, making the FA Cup final is an achievement. Now they have to figure out what went wrong in the second half of the season and fix it.

Manchester United 2-1 Crystal Palace

Lighthouse of the Week, May 22-28, 2016: Yúlínjiǎo, China

This week's lighthouse only has one picture, but it's worth it.  China has several lighthouses (it has a long coastline, after all), and most of them are very modern designs.  In fact, I might do another one from China next week.

This one, Yúlínjiǎo, is on the westernmost point of Hainan Island, according to the Lighthouse Guide. It's on top of a really big rock.  Really big.  So it's quite striking.

Here's the Google Map link, so you can see where it's actually located.

And here's the picture.  Heck of a walk up to the top.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Real Americans eat cheese

We have a cheese problem in America.  We have way too much of it.

There is a solution.  All we have to do to relieve the cheese surplus is eat one of these:

Every day.

That's a lot of macaroni and cheese.  Better get started, because this is a crisis.

America is facing an overwhelming cheese glut

Pizza could have similar problems

I didn't know that Io, the highly volcanically active moon of Jupiter, had really high blocky mountains.  But it does -- even higher than Olympus Mons on Mars, which is an absolutely gigantic volcano.

The mountains on Io aren't volcanoes. They are just big blocks of sulfurous rock.  A new study indicates that the reason for them is the volcanic activity on the moon, which are spewing out huge amounts of what's inside Io.  So much, in fact, that the crust of the moon is actually shrinking because there isn't enough stuff inside the moon to hold it up.

This causes faulting in the crust, which forces ridges to form, which turn into the blocky high mountains.

That's all described here:

Io’s 10-mile-high mountains result from a shrinking crust

I was thinking that if the crust on a pizza had the same problem (i.e., shrinkage), then there would be ridges of mozzarella and tomato sauce on a standard deep dish pizza.  But they wouldn't be ten miles high, hopefully.

French Open - so who's the looker?

With the French Open coming up, and with Maria Sharapova waiting to hear how long she'll have to be suspended from tennis, and with Caroline Wozniacki out with an injury, I have to ask -- who's the glamor girl now?

Top choice is Eugenie Bouchard of Canada.  She had a tough season last year, but appears to be improving her play this year.   It'd be good if she could make it to the third round.  Her sponsors would sure like that to happen, too.

Choice picture of Eugenie

After that, there's Sorana Cirstea (picture) and the always pretty Ana Ivanovic (picture).

As for the singles in the tournament, I'll be pulling for Simona Halep and Andy Murray.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Lighthouse of the Week, May 15-21, 2016: Sentinel Island, Alaska

I realized after featuring a British Columbia lighthouse that I hadn't ever checked to see what Alaska has for lighthouses.  It has a few.  Many of them are near Juneau, just up the Pacific Coast from British Columbia.

It didn't take too long for me to decide Sentinel Island was worth featuring this week.  Sentinel is newly restored, and it also is in a great location.  It does seem like many Pacific Coast lighthouses of North America have great locations, so Sentinel Island is in good company.

Here's some more info about it:  Sentinel Island, AK (includes map)

"During the 1930s, many of the original wooden lighthouses built in Alaska were replaced with stout concrete towers built in an Art Deco style. Such a structure was constructed on Sentinel Island between 1933 and 1935. When the new lighthouse neared completion, a wooden trestle was built between it and the old lighthouse, enabling the lantern room to be slid into place atop the new tower. The replacement lighthouse consisted of an eleven-foot-square tower that rose to a height of just over fifty feet from the eastern face of a two-story fog signal building, measuring twenty-eight by thirty-four feet. Pilasters, placed at the corners of the tower and fog building, project a few feet about the roofline and give the otherwise plain lighthouse a distinct flair. Another ornamentation found on the tower was a crest exhibiting an eagle, a sailing ship, and a lighthouse."
So here's three pictures of the new tower of Sentinel Island.

Don't know how Leo does this

Reportedly, and it fits his pattern, Leonardo DiCaprio is dating another gorgeous supermodel type.


How does he meet these girls??  He's dated a LOT of beautiful women -- and this one is not a step down.

Meet Leonardo's latest model girlfriend! DiCaprio is dating Polish beauty Ela Kawalec

Here's a picture for future reference.  (There are more in the article, most of which are also available via easy image searching.  And they're spectacular.)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Michael Phelps is a father now

It's probably not news to anyone paying attention by now that Michael Phelps, getting ready to compete in the Rio 2016 Olympics (if Brazil actually manages to make them happen), just welcomed his baby boy with his fiancee Nicole Johnson, on April 30.  The kid's first name is Boomer.  Not sure I agree with that choice, but I guess it was OK for Boomer Esiason.   However, in that case the Boomer part was a nickname, not his given name.

There is no truth to the rumor that Boomer Phelps already swam a 2:05 200-meter butterfly (long course). Those "in the know" say that it was more like a 2:07-2:08.  Not bad since it was just a time trial and the kid didn't shave down.  And he was only 10 days old.


While I'm on the subject of Cheryl

In the article I wrote about Cheryl Fernandez-Versini prior to the one I just wrote today (the previous one is linked in that article), I included a picture of her that I found from her 2016 calendar.

Well, I just found a site with all the pictures from the 2016 calendar.  My life will never be the same.''

Cheryl Cole calendar peeks from Egotastic

This site still calls her Cheryl Cole, so that's why I did it in the link line.

Truly scrumptious.

I haven't said much about Cheryl for awhile

For a couple of months, I haven't said much about the romantic travails and adventures of Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, formerly and more easily known as Cheryl Cole, and before that the less musical sounding Cheryl Tweedy.     When last we visited our heroine (here on this blog), she was in the midst of rapidly divorcing her Fernandez-Versini husband, and the speed of that process had only been exceeded in her life by the rapid and somewhat hasty (in retrospect) speed of their romancing and marrying.

Well, she isn't exactly divorced yet, but that'll happen pretty soon.  Because while getting that Fernandez-Versini man out of her life, she went ahead and started a new, fresh, make-the-tabloids happy love affair with Liam Payne of One Direction.  Liam Payne who happens to be about a decade younger than her.

They haven't been shy about showing they're together.  One thing I have to sayu about this is:

Lucky Liam.

I mean, this is an experienced older woman who just happens to be hotter than the brightest flames in the fireplace.  She's gorgeous, talented, and furthermore, they speak the same language (mostly), unlike the soon-to-be-ex-husband.  Since he's young, good-looking, young, talented, young, fairly wealthy, and ... did I mention young?  I imagine that Cheryl is happy too, and one can hope in all the right ways.

The reason for writing this is to highlight to illustrated articles about their appearance as a couple at recent events, most recently the Cannes Film Festival.   The reason I emphasize illustrated is that there are several pictures of Cheryl in these articles.  I like that about these articles.

2.  In a striped 70s-style glitter jumpsuit at Cannes  (and the headline adds that Liam is lucky, which I already noted)

Good for you, Cheryl,  I hope Liam, unlike the others previous to him, makes you truly happy.  You deserve it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Seagrass recovery in the Chesapeake Bay

Just a short note, since it's late:

The seagrass beds on the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay are getting larger.  That's good news for fish, shellfish, and people that like living on the Bay.

Chesapeake Bay Grasses Making a Comeback

"Due to human influence, mostly pollutants of one sort or another, the plants and their associated beds have been declining over the last several decades, beginning in the 1960s," said Dr. Michael Kemp.

A hurricane in the 1970s caused excess runoff from the land and from the Susquehanna River to pour into the bay, killing off much of the grass. That has started to change. But the real changes are up north.

"We think that the bay grasses have come back in the upper bay for a combination of reasons. It seems like there are subtle but real decreases in nutrients coming into the bay from the watershed and the Susquehanna River," said Dr. Cassie Gurbisz."

In a world where good environmental news is far outweighed and outspoken by bad news, this article made me smile.

The Washington Post thinks Trump can't reboot

According to the Washington Post, no matter what Donald Trump tries to do, he can't undo what he's already done in this campaign.  From their article "A Trump reboot? Impossible", they quote the Wall Street Journal when it said:

"The Wall Street Journal editorial page, previously eloquent in its opposition, urges Mr. Trump to behave “in a way that reduces his epic unfavorable numbers with many voters.”

This is what the Post thinks is impossible:  Trump changing who he is, how he behaves, what he stands for, and explaining how his rudimentary and simplistic policy ideas could actually be implemented.  Since they don't think he can change, the Post certainly doesn't advocate him being elected.  And one of the reasons why is what they think would happen if he was:

"His nomination is a calamity for the Republican Party, and Republicans will have to sort out how it happened and how they might recover. But the more urgent task is to ensure that Mr. Trump does not become a calamity visited on the United States and the world. For all his unpredicted success, the number of Americans who have voted for him so far amounts to only 4.7 percent of eligible voters, according to a calculation by the organization FairVote. As conservatives of principle recognize, he can be stopped, and he must be."

Lighthouse of the Week, May 8-14, 2016: Passage Island, MI, USA

Passage Island is a very small islet, actually, located at the northeastern end of Isle Royale in Lake Superior.  Now, even though Isle Royale lies off the coast of Minnesota, it is technically in Michigan. So the Passage Island Lighthouse is also in Michigan.

Below is a small map showing where it's located.

Read more about it at Lighthouse Friends:  Passage Island Lighthouse, MI

Current status, from that site:

"Passage Island Lighthouse was automated at the close of the 1978 season. The tower’s fourth-order Fresnel lens, a four-panel lens likely installed when the light was electrified, was removed in 1989 and is now on display at the Portage Coast Guard Station near Houghton. In 1996, Passage Island Lighthouse was declared surplus by the Coast Guard and was subsequently transferred to the National Park Service, which now offers excursions to the lighthouse from Rock Harbor on Isle Royale."

And below are three nice pictures of this far-flung rock and lighthouse:

Friday, May 6, 2016

Pictures from National Geographic's Travel Photographer of the Year Contest

The Daily Mail just ran an article about National Geographic's Travel Photographer of the Year contest:

Nature at its most awesome: The stunning submissions in National Geographic Traveler's photographer of the year contest

The contest isn't over yet, it runs through May 27.  So if you've got a picture that might qualify, you can still enter it.  But I'd recommend looking at the article first, because it's a good idea to know how spectacular these images are.

Being partial to volcanoes, this is my favorite picture from the Daily Mail article, a picture of Piton de la Fournaise volcano erupting on the island of La Reunion, taken by Gary Barathieu.

Big Botswana diamond will be on sale on June 29

The ultra-large diamond found in Botswana, which I wrote about here, has a name now, and it is going to go up for sale.

The name given to the diamond is Lesedi la Rona.

The article about it puts a rough (ha) expectation of the sale price at about $70 million.

The question in my mind is:  could they cut it to be bigger than the Cullinan I, in the sceptre of the British Crown Jewels, currently the largest cut blue-white diamond in the world (530.2 carats)?  I know I asked that same question in my first posting on this.  But I think that's going to be the big question after the sale.

I have no idea if the buyer will go for the record or not, but I would think that whoever buys it would certainly consider the option.  It all depends on what's inside the rock.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

More fish stocks in trouble, but some doing better

Given the number of people in the world and the USA, and the number of fish in seas and lakes, it isn't a surprise that there's a lot of overfishing going on.

So this report, indicating that there are more fish stocks on the watch list than before, isn't a surprise. However, there's good news too, as what the Feds are doing is actually having an effect.

Number of distressed fish stocks rose in 2015

"The tally of overfished stocks grew from 37 in 2014 to 38 in 2015, while the number subject to overfishing grew from 26 to 28, according to an annual assessment released Wednesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s fisheries division."

What does that mean, exactly?  Well, this good article explains:
"A stock that is subject to overfishing is being harvested at a higher rate than its rate of reproduction. An overfished stock has a population size that is considered too low. A rebuilt stock is one that was overfished but has rebounded enough to sustain its population while being harvested."
One of the stocks doing better is greater amberjack in the Gulf of Mexico.  Any time tuna is doing better, I'm happy to hear it.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Red Rectangle lights up

What's the Red Rectangle?  

No one knows for sure.

But now we have a better image of it.

Hubble Telescope Captures Sharpest Image Yet of Mysterious Red Rectangle

"This new image gives scientists the best understanding yet of the structure of the Red Rectangle, according to a statement from NASA. Instead of a rectangle, it appears that the nebula around the star is shaped like an "X," with ladder-like rungs of glowing gas connecting the four arms."

Here's the picture:

Compare to an older one from 2004:

Republican Party seeing how low it can go

The Pew Center reports on just now unfavorably the Party of Trump, aka the former Republican Party, is viewed right now by the American public.

GOP's favorability rating edges lower

The money sentences:

Currently 33% of the public has a favorable impression of the Republican Party, while 62% have an unfavorable view. Unfavorable opinions of the GOP are now as high as at any point since 1992. ... In October, 37% viewed the Republican Party favorably and 58% viewed it unfavorably. The decline in favorability since then has largely come among Republicans themselves: In the current survey, 68% of Republicans view their party positively, down from 79% last fall.
All of those low numbers are downright good news for the U.S.A.

Here's some more:

"Just 28% of independents view the Republican Party favorably, while 37% say they have a favorable impression of the Democratic Party."

Even more good news. I recommend reading the rest; those numbers are very insightful.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Lili Simmons is pretty darn nice looking

I have to admit that I started watching the last season of Banshee because Eliza Dushku is guest-starring on it.  Banshee is a guilty pleasure, a film noir mix of sex and violence and drugs and thievery and sadism and murder and general all-around bad doin's in Pennsylvania Amish country.  One critic said that Banshee County, where it fictionally takes place, is the most dysfunctional county in America.

Not far wrong.  But after I started watching, I realized that actress Lili Simmons, who plays Amish girl gone bad (really, really bad) Rebecca Bowman, who happens to have been brutally murdered at the beginning of this finale season, is very appealing.  Hard to be wholesome when you're as bad as she is, but she gives it a go.

I figure there were some sexy pictures of Lili around somewhere, and I was right, there are -- see below.  And if you want to see more of her, there are screen caps and probably videos of the sex scenes that she's been an integral and unclad part of on Banshee.  Not hard to find;  trust me.

Sometimes a team beats the odds

If there's any lesson to be taken from Leicester City winning the Premier League (which they clinched with Chelsea's 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur), it's that sometimes a team, or an individual, can overcome the tremendous odds against them and win.

I kinda wish that would happen for the teams that I want to win.  But it's pretty rare.

Congratulations, Leicester City.  All the underdog teams that dream of glory can now look at your example and say, "If they can do it... then we have a chance too."

Unless you're the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League, of course, because the hockey gods have apparently decreed that they're never going to win the Stanley Cup.  I might have more words to write on this subject,  because I have quite a few mixed thoughts right now.  And there are more actions yet to happen (or not happen) to be considered.

Lighthouse of the Week, May 1-7, 2016: Pachena Point, BC, CA

This week's lighthouse, Pachena Point, is another one of those lighthouses situated in a casually magnificent location on the Pacific Coast of North America.

Here's more information about it:

Pachena Point, BC

"The lighthouse, an octagonal wooden tower with sloping sides, was built to a height of thirty-eight feet nine inches high from its base to the lantern deck. In addition to the lighthouse, a double dwelling was also constructed along with a square fog alarm building. John S. Richardson, Pachena’s first lightkeeper, lit a temporary life-saving beam, in the form of a lantern on a gas tank, on September 1, 1907."

It was being restored in 2015 and according to the very up-to-date Lighthouse Friends Web site, the scaffolding came down in April 2016.

Three pictures: