Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Lighthouse of the Week, June 25 - July 1, 2017: Cape Carvoeiro, Portugal

If you look at a map of Portugal, on the Atlantic Coast north of Lisbon, there's a little bump.  On Google Maps, it says there's a town on the bump named Peniche.  The bump is actually a peninsula on which Peniche is located. Peniche, unsurprisingly, is a traditional Portuguese fishing village. Peniche is all about the ocean, and seafood.

Given its location, I suspected that there would be a lighthouse nearby.  And I was right.  The lighthouse is the Cape Carvoeiro lighthouse (or in Portuguese, the Farol do Cabo Carvoeiro).

Here is its own Web site (I recommend the Google translation): Farol do Cabo Carvoeiro

Some details from this site:

  • It began operation in 1790.
  • The tower is 20.6 meters high.
  • In 1923 the third-order Fresnel lens was replaced with a fourth-order Fresnel lens.
  • The light ceased operation in 2001.  (Wikipedia, though, says it's still active, and the Lighthouse Directory just says it's no longer a major coastal light.)

It's also situated on an impressive bluff, but it was hard to find non-stock pictures of the lighthouse and the bluff.  I did, though.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Well, I missed that - Crystal Palace has new manager

I completely missed the news when Sam Allardyce, who had helped Crystal Palace avoid relegation with some remarkable upsets late in the season, had opted not to return for the upcoming season.

So they have a new manager, named Frank de Boer.  According to the article, he played with Louis van Gaal (formerly the head coach of Manchester United and the Netherlands, to name a couple).  de Boer played for van Gaal at Barcelona and Ajax.

So he has good (excellent, actually) playing experience.  What I can't discern from the article is what coaching/managing experience he has.  So I went to Wikipedia.  He managed Ajax for six years, and then had a brief stint at InterMilan, which apparently did not meet expectations.  Hopefully he'll have better success with the Palace people (especially the team).

His playing career statistics are pretty impressive.

New Crystal Palace boss Frank de Boer took advice from former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal before agreeing three-year deal worth £7.5m

The guy who benefits

A short while ago, I posted about how actress Danielle Panabaker ("The Flash", "Sky High") had gone from child/teen actress to sexy starlet quite gracefully.

In that posting, I noted that she was engaged.  Well, she got married over the past weekend, and the guy who benefits from her sexy starlet-ness is named Hayes Robbins, and he's a "wealthy entertainment attorney".  Good for her.

Good for him, too. Plus, if it ever gets too hot in the house, she comes with built-in air conditioning.

Friday, June 23, 2017

A scathing treatment of McConnell

Amanda Marcotte in Salon blasted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell -- and he deserves it, of course.

The face of Republican evil: it's not Donald Trump

Let's review a few of the good things she had to say about the bad bitch:
"McConnell’s contempt for the processes, much less the defining principles, of democracy couldn’t be more apparent. But he doesn’t really care. No doubt the election of Trump helped confirm the rising sense among Republicans that they can wipe their collective butts with the Constitution, flip the bird at their constituents and not really worry about losing many seats. Republican voters might not like it, but they like liberals, black people and feminists even less, so they will show up and dutifully vote against the Democrats every time. Losing health care access isn’t great, but for conservative voters, admitting that liberals might have a point is a hell from which there is no escape."
"McConnell was so unwilling to accept the legitimacy of Barack Obama’s two substantial presidential election victories that the Republican leader refused to acknowledge Obama’s right to nominate a Supreme Court justice after Antonin Scalia’s death. Not only did that work out perfectly for McConnell — he got Neil Gorsuch onto the high court, instead of rightful nominee Merrick Garland — but it proved once and for all that bedrock conservative voters don’t care about niceties like the rule of law or government by the people."
There isn't anything I don't agree with in those excerpts.

Driving by ... the Gaffney Peachoid

Heard about this -- so I looked it up. Outside of Gaffney, South Carolina, there's a water tower painted like a giant peach (a major local crop).  They apparently call it the Peachoid.   It's right off Interstate 85, which is where the StreetView car was when it captured this view.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Super scenic Zakynthos

Found out the name of this place (after seeing lots of pictures of it) -- the Greek Island of Zakynthos. It has lots of great features -- superb beaches, happening (occasionally somewhat wild) night life, and some great coastal scenery.  The Blue Caves of Zakynthos are likely the most photographed coastal scenic location on the island.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

But when? No way to know

This recent statement on the danger of asteroid strikes on our home planet has been in several articles.  Here's the Daily Mail version:

A surprise asteroid strike that could wipe out humanity is 'just a matter of time', warns leading astrophysicist

First, I'll note that "a matter of time" could mean tomorrow or two centuries from now.

From the article:
'It is important to know that scientists and engineers have made great strides in detecting Near-Earth Asteroids and understanding the threat posed by them', said Dr Fitzsimmons from Queen’s University Belfast Astrophysics Research Centre.

'Over 1,800 potentially hazardous objects have been discovered so far, but there are many more waiting to be found. 'Astronomers find Near-Earth Asteroids every day and most are harmless.'

'But it is still possible the next Tunguska would take us by surprise, and although we are much better at finding larger asteroids, that does us no good if we are not prepared to do something about them', he said.

So, while we are fighting silly religious wars on Earth, we should be devoting global resources into being ready to divert or destroy a civilization-threatening asteroid.

Right?  Another good argument for a one-world government.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A sonnet - Austin's Power

You never know where and when you'll meet someone extraordinary, even if it's only for a few minutes.

Austin's Power

I wish that I could dream of her at will,
to conjure her again within my mind,
for she possesses what I need to fill
my longing thirst  — regality combined
with naked certainty and opulence;
a queen disrobed; a lissome fervency
of curvature requiring no defense,
for brilliant beauty is her currency —
I touched magnificence when I caressed
the assets she provided, slender waist
and ample breasts each with a perfect crest
of loveliness; mobility so placed
that my enthroned enthrallment was complete —
and in my life such bliss will ne'er repeat.

Ever hear of Escondido Falls? I hadn't

Via Instagram, I just found out about the existence of Escondido Falls in California. It's accessible via a 4-mile hike in Malibu, through Escondido Canyon Park. It starts out looking like a desert stream with a rocky waterfalls, but ends up at the top, where the highest (130-foot} falls of the three-tiered feature look like a desert oasis. Quite unique, it is.  (You can even see it in Google Maps.)

Escondido Falls Hike in Malibu: A Beautiful Three Tiered Waterfall  (from California Through My Lens)

Here's the 130-foot top waterfall:

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Juno continues to astonish

Not much more to say here except "Wow", as a true expression of astonishment.

Stunning new Juno image reveals colourful clouds and the gigantic 'string of pearls' storms on Jupiter

An example is below.  Juno, if you don't remember, is the NASA satellite orbiting Jupiter.

Lighthouse of the Week, June 18-24, 2017: Split Rock, Minnesota

I was surprised to find out that despite my regularly-occurring praise of the spectacular Split Rock Lighthouse on Lake Superior, that I have only had three pictures of it in my Lighthouse of the Week feature.  I'm going to remedy that with four more.

As you might suspect, this well-known lighthouse has several Web sites in which it is the main subject.   Before we get to the pictures, here are three Web sites:

Split Rock Lighthouse State Park

Split Rock Lighthouse and State Park - North Shore Visitor

Split Rock Lighthouse - Lighthouse Friends

Two details:  the tower is 54 feet high and the cliff is 130 feet high.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Romancing the Stone, for real

The movie "Romancing the Stone" (Kathleen Turner, Michael Douglas, Danny DeVito) involved a ridiculously large green gemstone.

Looked like this:

Well, real-life super-stones do exist, and they are a LOT bigger than that.

Miner who discovered massive $300MILLION emerald weighing 800 lbs in Brazil goes into hiding because he fears thieves will kill his family to get it

There's even a video.  People are going to pay a lot of green to get this big green rock.

And now a picture of Demi Rose Mawby

Immensely fabulous.

She's busy establishing her brand, while having a good time doing it, and what a brand it is.

And now a quote from Jennifer Rubin

Jennifer Rubin writes "Right Turn" in the Washington Post.  She's a conservative voice at the paper, though not quite as angry as Krauthammer.

What stops Republicans from behaving rationally

I adored this quote:
"First, unlike Senate and House Republicans during Watergate, there are few genuine leaders of principle whose sense of propriety is offended by Trump. The moral and intellectual quality of the current crew of Republicans pales in comparison to the type of Republicans who finally told Richard Nixon the jig was up."
The thing is ... we Democrats have known that for as long as Bitch McConnell (not a typo) was trying to keep Obama from being elected to a second term by being Obstructionist #1, and for as long as Apalling Ryan has been proposing ridiculous budgets.  But more and more of them keep making Jennifer's point, every day.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Lighthouse of the Week, June 11-17, Walker Bay, Leech Lake, Minnesota

It would be easy for me to look for lighthouses in Minnesota and find them on the shores of Lake Superior.   I could, in fact, just post more pictures of the marvelous Split Rock lighthouse (and after seeing more of them, I was tempted).  And I might be lazy next week and just post a selection of Split Rocks.

But I wondered if there were lighthouses in Minnesota that were NOT on Lake Superior.  I didn't know if I could find any.

But I did.

This is not a working lighthouse.  From what I can gather (you can read it too), it was a private project that was donated to be a public site.   It's lit up at night, but I don't know if it actually has a light.

Walker Bay Lighthouse

Now, if you're wondering where Leech Lake is, it's roughly in the center of north Minnesota.  If you draw a line directly from Fargo, North Dakota to Duluth, Leech Lake is just above the centerpoint of that line.  It's about 50 miles east of Lake Itasca, source of the Mississippi River.

Now, Leech Lake does not have a big fleet of commercial ships, nor does it have much of a cruise ship business.  What it does have is lots of fishermen on fishing boats.

The fleet

Good enough reason for a lighthouse.

Here's three pictures of the Walker Bay lighthouse.

The Arctic Circle - cartoons with an environmental edge

I just found out about "The Arctic Circle" cartoon by Alex Hallatt, so it's going to take a while to go back through the days and months of previous toons.   So I'll just feature a couple here.

Tons of fun.  (Not every strip is about climate change, BTW.)

A sonnet --- "Sara Unbound"

In case you don't know Sara Underwood (aka Sara Jean Underwood), she's a former Playboy Playmate and Playmate of the Year, has appeared on a variety of TV shows and Internet media, and now is specializing in using Instagram for promotional appearances and spots, as well as producing some absolutely astonishing glamour+nature photography (with dedicated and daring photog Steve Bitanga).

You can follow her adventures (and some of their expeditions and site hikes truly qualify as such) on her Instagram accounts, saraunderwood and sarainthewoods.   If you want to see Bitanga's photography, try out stevebitanga.   They also have Twitter accounts, Snapchat accounts, private Snapchat accounts, Supe accounts... hard to keep track.

So, getting back to Sara, her outdoor photography efforts with Bitanga have included some stunning scenery combined with Sara wearing a) not much, b) very little, and c) nothing.  (And occasionally some cold weather shots where she's dressed to survive).   While following her around photographically, I've also been introduced to a few remarkable scenic locations that I had not previously known existed, especially some Pacific Northwest waterfalls and secluded hot springs where soaking naked is de rigeur.  Nice.  Wish I could try out some of that in person.

Having said all that, I composed a poetic and photographic tribute to Sara.   If you can't read it (given what I can post here), the sonnet text is below my composition.

And Sara, if you see this -- I hope you like it.  Because I certainly like what you've been doing.

Sara Unbound

She stands before the mountain peaks, enhanc-
ing nature's splendor with her own -- or in
a rushing forest stream, her featured stance
beside a waterfall's cascade, her skin
adorned with scintillating drops of mist.
It's hard to say which is more beautiful;
the scenery, or her outstanding list
of attributes, the curves and spaces full
of personality -- we therefore see
these places with her life inserted, dream-
scapes of reality, a woman free
to make the wondrous wonderful, a theme
of sensuality and naturalness
which we receive amazed, and blessed with bliss.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Where the 'roids are

Not steroids, silly.  Asteroids.  Near-Earth Objects (NEOs), specifically.

When the WISE mission ran out of cryogenic coolant, NASA retooled the spacecraft and retasked the mission to look for new asteroids, specifically NEOs.  Hence, NEOWISE was born.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory has just released a video of what NEOWISE has found.

Three years of NEOWISE asteroid data

Since it started looking for them, NEOWISE has found 114 new NEOs.

Does that keep you up at night?  It doesn't really keep me up at night, but I still wonder if there's one that will find its way to Earth.

There sure are a lot of them.

Ali Rose sonnet

There are many different beautiful women in the world, so to find one that is outstanding (at least to one's own personal preferences) is always enjoyable.

One of the women I've found personally pleasing is Playboy model Ali Rose,,, and a frequent representative of the Playboy brand. She recently released some new awesome photographic collections, which are quite appealing to those of us who appreciate glamour photography of a gorgeous naked woman. And she is that.

(An image search with the names "Ali Rose" and "Playboy" will yield bounteous results.)

I appreciate her appeal so much that I wrote a sonnet about her. She's married -- and I certainly hope that extraordinarily fortunate husband of hers shows his appreciation for what he's got, because it's pretty special. (Pretty and special, actually.)

If you want to see more - search!

the beauty of the rose

I've never heard a word spoke from her lips
(and I know that she has a husband, too) --
she shows her self in photographic chips
in which she is not shy; we can't construe
that we might ever touch the treasures she
possesses, nor shall we have chance to share
her sensual affection; but we see
the apex of phenomenal, the bare
reality of wondrousness, displayed
to instigate response, covetousness
spurred by the female power to persuade,
and pure desire; the rise of manfulness
we cannot hope to quell, for in her spell
we can envision stories we can't tell.

Halep through to the French final

After yesterday's heroic comeback, it didn't seem fair that Simona Halep had to come back the next day and play the 2nd-seeded Karolina Plíšková -- who could have been somewhat motivated by the fact that winning the semifinal match would have not only put her in the French Open fnal, it would have made her the number one women's singles player in the world.

But after a tough 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win, including a break that let Plíšková get back on serve 4-3 in the third set after she had been ahead 4-1, Halep can now have her sights on the number one ranking and her first Grand Slam title.  If she wins, she gets both.

Her unlikely opponent is young and unseeded Jelena Ostapenko.  Now, I hearken back a few years to Wimbledon, when a young and unseeded and somewhat exciting Kiwi (New Zealand) named Chris Lewis made it to the final -- against world number one at the time, John McEnroe.  The result wasn't pretty for Lewis, as he went down in three straight 6-2 sets.  (Lewis was good enough to have a decent 12-year career with three tournament wins.  But he was no McEnroe.)

There's always a chance that lightning can strike and an unseeded novice can beat a seasoned pro.  But Halep has been tested by fire in this tournament, and after the hairsbreadth win over Svitolina, and the tough three-set semi, it's hard to see how she would come into the final flat and unmotivated, and somehow be daunted by the precocious Ostapenko.  Plus, she has been in one Grand Slam final before, and that experience should help calm any nerves she might have.  I'm not going to predict the score, but I am going to take a chance and predict a Halep win for the title in straight sets.

I guess I should pay attention to the men, but's hard to see how Nadal will lose, even though Thiem is an up-and-comer.  On the other side, Murray vs. Wawrinka, I just have a feeling the revivified Wawrinka will find a way.  Then I think Nadal senses history and will win his 10th French Open.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

End of the Republican experiment in Kansas

It's over.

After several years of Sam Brownback's attempt to prove the Republican adages that tax cuts encourage economic growth, and that you can run a stripped-down government without enough revenue, and keep meeting your basic obligations (like education) -- the Kansas legislature, led by Republicans, has soundly repudiated the ideological effort.

It's about time.  It's still somewhat astonishing that Brownback even got reelected, given how poorly the experiment was going.  But it got worse, leading to the tax-increasing legislation and veto override.  Brownback can no longer be taken seriously (unfortunately, for awhile, he was).

Kansas’ Disastrous Experiment in Trickle-Down Economics Is Finally Over
The Republican Legislature voted to override the governor’s veto and raise taxes.
"The centerpiece of his [Brownback's] plan was a huge reduction in the state’s income tax. Brownback erased the top income tax bracket and lowered rates across the board, with the most benefits handed to the wealthy. And he zeroed out taxes on “pass-through” income, allowing owners of LLCs and other businesses to evade taxes. Analysts warned that such a big reduction in tax revenue would leave a crater in the state’s budget, but Brownback waved away such concerns, promising that the cuts would more than pay for themselves by juicing the economy and creating jobs. When moderate Republicans in the Legislature didn’t fully agree with their governor, he teamed up with the Koch brothers’ advocacy organization to back primary campaigns against them and replace them with true believers.

But Brownback’s promised economic miracle never came to pass. Tax revenue has consistently come in below expectations."

And I will shed nary a tear for the end of the dream. So long, Sam. You were wrong. You lost. It would take a man to admit that, and so therefore I doubt you will.

And whenever Republicans talk about lowering taxes to spur economic growth, and that such a course of action will "pay for itself", don't believe them.  It doesn't work.  What improves the economy is strong communities and a diversified (skill-wise) work force.


Yes, seriously.

She may lose in the next round, against 2nd-seeded Plíšková. She may win, too, and get to the final, where she would be favored to win.  That's secondary right now. If anybody ever doubted the strength of Simona Halep's competitive spirit, they are no longer allowed to do so.

Because in an instant-epic French Open quarterfinal, Halep started 0-5 to Elina Svitolina before starting to find her game, but still lost the first set 6-3.  Then she went down 1-5 in the second set, but truly figured something out, and revived her hopes by getting to 6-5 and had three break points against Svitolina to even the match.

And lost them all, and another, then the game, sending the second set to a tiebreak.  And in that tiebreak, she was down 2-4, subsequently faced a match point, saved that, and won the tiebreak and the set on a happy net cord.

The mentally-ravaged Svitolina was toast at that point, and Halep dispatched her 6-0 in the third set, sending her, finally, into the semi-final.

But look at what she had to face.  A 1-5 game deficit in the second set.  Battling back, then losing three break points that would have given her the second set.  That's daunting.  Then getting behind in the tiebreak, and even having to face a match point.

All that adversity, and yet she won.

She deserves to win it all now.  She might not.  It's too bad they don't give medals for Quarterfinal Heroism, because if they did, she earned one.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Lighthouse of the Week, June 4-10, 2017: Kolka Lighthouse, Latvia

Apparently this lighthouse (and its location) is a featured tourist location in Latvia.  It has it's own little island, definitely a lighthouse distinction.

"The Kolka lighthouse is on an artificial island which was created between 1872 and 1875. The original lighthouse was made of wood, and its light was first lit in June 1875. As the island settled into the sea, the current tower was built. It began operations on July 1, 1884. Today the lighthouse is six kilometres from Kolkasrags at the end of its sandy shallows (back when it was built, it was just five kilometres away). The island still has the building for the lighthouse supervisor, as well as several outhouses. The metal lighthouse [21 meters in height] which is there now was built in St Petersburg. It has been an automated lighthouse since 1979."

For more information, I'm providing three different links about it.

The Kolka Lighthouse (the Map tab shows where it is)

Cape Kolka

Lonely Planet:  Kolka and Cape Kolka

Here are the pictures, including the Kolka Lighthouse candle holder and the Kolka Lighthouse stamp.

An unusual sonnet for May

to touch beyond the commonplace

There was a time when she was mine, though just
in thoughts, and those indeed were commonplace;
in idle hours of droning days I'd trust
my intuition to align her grace
with my ungainliness and there produce
a forced amalgamation of her best
and celebrated attributes with loose-
ly packed desires until I faced arrest
of heartbeats and activities of mind —
constrained to only her, immune to where
I was and even who — within the bind
connecting all myself to her the rare
dimension would be gained beyond mere sense,
where I could then perceive the vault immense.

(written in May, finally had a chance to post it)

Monday, June 5, 2017

Ocean pH drops on the West Coast

Pumping CO2 into the atmosphere doesn't just raise global temperatures.  It also lowers the pH of ocean waters, a process called "ocean acidification".  And this process is having notable and observable effects.

Acidified ocean water widespread along North American West Coast

An excerpt from the article:  the direct quote is from Francis Chan, oceanographer at Oregon State U., and the first author on the paper on which the article is based.

“The West Coast is very vulnerable. Ten years ago, we were focusing on the tropics with their coral reefs as the place most likely affected by ocean acidification. But the California Current System is getting hit with acidification earlier and more drastically than other locations around the world.”

A team of researchers developed a network of sensors to measure ocean acidification over a three-year period along more than 600 miles of the West Coast. The team observed near-shore pH levels that fell well below the global mean pH of 8.1 for the surface ocean, and reached as low as 7.4 at the most acidified sites, which is among the lowest recorded values ever observed in surface waters.

Doesn't seem fair

French Open, Roland Garros 2017, Women's Singles Draw

The women's French Open quarterfinals are an interesting contrast now. On one side of the draw, Simona Halep (3rd seed) will next be playing Elina Svitolina (5th seed). If Halep wins that, her likeliest opponent in the semi-finals is 2nd-seeded Karolina Pliskova (facing 28th-seed Caroline Garcia in the quarters).

To get to this point, Halep dominated clay-court specialist Carla Suarez Navarro 6-1, 6-1. So she looks ready and the hurt ankle seems to be holding up so far. But it doesn't seem fair she has to play the 5th and probably the 2nd seed to get to the final.

Because on the other side of the draw, Caroline Wozniacki (11th seed) must be thanking the heavens that she's playing unseeded (that's sometimes dangerous) Jelena Ostapenko. If the Woz gets by her, she'll play either the 13th seed, Kristina Mladevnovic, or 30th-seed Timea Bacsinszky, who just dispatched Venus Williams, as she did last year too.

Seedings sometimes work out funny, but that seems quite imbalanced. If Halep gets to the final, she'll deserve to win it, and I'll be pulling for her. But I will be torn if her opponent is Wozniacki.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Lakes and climate change

Good article on a slightly-overlooked but very important aspect of climate change.  It's a long article, discussing several different phenomena, from Science News.

Lakes worldwide feel the heat from climate change

Here are three noteworthy excerpts.

1. "Globally, observations show that many lakes are heating up — but not all in the same way or with the same ecological consequences. In eastern Africa, Lake Tanganyika is warming relatively slowly, but its fish populations are plummeting, leaving people with less to eat. In the U.S. Upper Midwest, quicker-warming lakes are experiencing shifts in the relative abundance of fish species that support a billion-dollar-plus recreational industry. And at high global latitudes, cold lakes normally covered by ice in the winter are seeing less ice year after year — a change that could affect all parts of the food web, from algae to freshwater seals."
2. "Lake Superior is warming so quickly because it is stratifying earlier and earlier each year. It used to separate into its summer layers during mid- to late July, on average. But rising air temperatures mean that it is now stratifying about a month earlier — giving the shallow surface layers much more time to get toasty each summer. “If you hit that starting point in June, now you’ve got all summer to warm up that top layer,” Lenters says."
3. "Ecological changes put into motion during a particularly cold or hot time can send ripples during the following seasons, researchers are finding. “What happens in previous seasons sometimes matters more than the current season,” Lenters says. This is especially true for lakes at high latitudes that are covered in ice each winter but may see less ice as temperatures rise. Ice acts as an insulator, protecting the waters from big changes in the air temperature above. When the ice finally melts in spring, the water is exposed to warming from the atmosphere and from sunlight. “It’s a way the temperature can really rapidly increase in those lakes,” Hampton says."

A meteo-tsunami in the Netherlands

Never heard of this before (not unusual, because it's rare) -- a "meteo-tsunami" hit the beach in the Netherlands a few days ago.

The Daily Mail  called it a tidal wave, but the only real tidal wave is a tidal bore, and that's not what this was.  It was an unusual wave driven by a strong weather front.  The pressure change led to the formation of a wave (great example of physics, by the way).

Dramatic moment seven foot tidal wave sweeps away beach chairs, boats and parasols as mini tsunami strikes the Netherlands

Here's the video, if you're in a hurry.

And here's a PDF document about them, if you aren't in a hurry, from NOAA.

Meteotsunami  (I guess the hyphen is optional)

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Princess Charlene in a Monaco Grand Prix video

I've got to admit, even with two twin toddlers, Princess Charlene of Monaco is still looking REAL good.

Princess Charlene stuns in scarlet at the Monaco Grand Prix

Here's a site with the video in HD (People)

The Musée océanographique de Monaco, where Jacques Cousteau used to hang out, is seen prominently at the beginning of the video.  It's hard to miss a structure that is this striking:

As you'll see in the video, Princess Charlene's athletic structure is quite striking, too.

Lighthouse of the Week, May 28 - June 3, 2017: Rathlin West, Ireland

When I searched with the phrase "upside-down lighthouse", I didn't know what would be found, if anything would be found at all.

What was found was the Rathlin West lighthouse in Ireland.  I have to admit, the upside-down subscription is apt.   I could also term it the "headless lighthouse".

Here's more about it:

Great Lighthouses of Ireland:  Rathlin West, Antrim  (includes locator map)

It's considered one ot Ireland's 11 Great Lighthouses.

Height doesn't mean much here, so let's go with the trivia on the page:

  • The lighthouse was built into the cliff face between 1912 and 1917. A special pier and an inclined railway from the pier to the cliff top had to be built to facilitate the lighthouse’s construction.
  • The light was first exhibited in 1919.
  • Lightkeepers lived in the lighthouse until it was automated in 1983.
  • The lighthouse’s fog signal, dubbed the ‘Rathlin Bull’, could be heard from more than 30km away. It was removed in 1995 after 70 years’ service.

And so... the pictures.

The Headless Lighthouse on the headland

Halep through to third round

Halep watch:   Simona Halep won her second-round French Open match 6-4, 6-3, in a match that was more difficult than the score indicated, against needs-a-last-name Tatiana Maria.  Maria hit lots and lots of lobs, which apparently messed with Halep's timing.

Now, her next match is against Darla Kasatkina, her first match against a seeded player (seeded 26th;I   Halep is seeded 3rd).   We'll see how that goes on Saturday.

Just noticed Caroline Wozniacki is in the third round, too.  I can't expect her to win it, but it would not upset me if she pulled off a couple of upsets and did.

Simona may be grounded, but she doesn't necessarily have her feet on the ground