Monday, December 31, 2018

For the New Year, something truly new (in space)

If you haven't heard, tonight (aka New Year's Eve) NASA's New Horizons spacecraft will fly by the Kuiper Belt object that has been named "Ultima Thule".  It'll take a couple of days to send back good pictures of it;  it'll take weeks to get really good pictures of it;  and it will take months to get all the data back from this swift encounter.   But tonight it's happening, billions and billions of kilometers (or miles, if you prefer) from Earth.

And That's Really Cool.

NASA's New Horizons Spies Elongated Target Ultima Thule Ahead of Flyby

(I'd post the picture but it's really not that spectacular yet.)

For New Year's Eve 2018, a truly erotic sonnet

Finishing off 2018 with a bang.

essential and basic

It is the vaulted time — my blazon stands
protrusive from my self, a scepter forged
by her arousing love, while eager hands
explore the naked offerings engorged
by pulsing heartbeats and desire — alone
we are together in a universe
of two, its boundaries defined by moan
and sigh and groan and cry and profane curse
of captivated imploration true
in its intent and meaning, known and heard
innately when our peak delights ensue —
and as we join our pure emotions stirred
by pleasure, physical reality
infuses our conjoint duality.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Small places of interest heading into Atlanta on Highway 41

Two quick and short stops on the Highway 41 end-to-end trek.

Biscuits and Bar B Que (sounds yummy!) by Lake Talmadge

Even though we're going north, we'll take a quick look over on the southbound side at the Sigma Chi Clayton Memorial Park (and Constantine Monument).

Lighthouse of the Week, December 30, 2018 - January 5, 2019: Punta Cavazzi, Sicily

The next lighthouse of the Five Lighthouses Regatta is Punta Cavazzi.  If you will look at the map again:

you will see that Punta Cavazzi is one of the two lighthouses on the island of Ustica. Apparently it is a great place for snorkeling and diving in very clear waters.

Now, the Lighthouse Directory, which I think is great, apparently has a typo for this one, because it has it listed as "Punta Gavazzi".  Since there are only two lighthouses on Ustica and this is one of them, it's the same one.   So we can trust the stats:
"1885. Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); four white flashes every 12 s. 28 m (92 ft) tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story keeper's house. The lighthouse appears to be covered with unpainted white concrete panels; lantern dome is gray metallic."
Below are four pictures of this one.

The end of the year

I think you'll figure out the theme here.

Ali Rose

Jocelyn Binder

Julianne Kissinger

Kalyssa Alynn

Molly Eskam

Cherie Noel

Once again, Mitch is a McBitch

What should happen on January 3rd, 2019:  the newly-Democrat controlled House passes a clean CR without funding for a useless and wasteful border barrier (cuz it's not really a wall anyway), and gives it to the Senate to consider.  The Senate considers it and votes, and it goes to the President.  If it doesn't have funding for what the current President-in-name-only thinks is necessary, he vetoes it.  Then the House and Senate can try to override the veto.

But no;  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who seems to be making up new rules and guidelines and do-it-my-way procedures every day, now seems to think that the Senate can't vote on something that the President won't sign.

The last time I looked (and it was recently), this was certainly not in the Constitution. But the Constitution is rarely a consideration for Mitch McBitch.

Federal shutdown enters second week with no resolution in sight

"But House Democrats alone will not be able to break the impasse. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) indicated last week he will not hold a vote on any spending plan that Trump will not sign, meaning a solution to the shutdown will depend on a deal between Trump and Democratic leaders."
That ain't right.  I'm contributing to anyone running against the bitch in 2020, even if they don't have a chance to beat him, because I need to make a statement about this corndog.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

This is a place of note on Highway 41 outside Atlanta

As Highway 41 approaches Atlanta, it gets a bit more interesting.  Two places of note here are Richard Petty Boulevard and the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Highway 41/19 (two highways currently sharing the same pavement) meets Richard Petty Boulevard.

By the Atlanta Motor Speedway (in the distance).

Coming up real soon: biscuits and BBQ at the same place, with a table on the water.

Good news, and maybe bad news, for Crystal Palace

Following the Crystal Palace Football Club can be quite entertaining.

Over the course of the past couple of weeks, the team had some disappointing losses in Premier League play.   But suddenly (soccer being a funny game and all), they used both skill and a bit of luck to defeat last year's champions, Manchester City, 3-2.  They didn't do quite as good in their most recent game, a 0-0 draw with Cardiff City, but it's still another point in the standings. 

As I write this, they'll be facing Chelsea early on the morrow.   (Translation: they're playing the first game of the Premier League slate against Chelsea on Sunday, December 30, which will be on U.S. East Coast TV at 7:00 AM. That's 12 noon in the UK, I think.

So defeating Manchester City 3-2 is the good news, as is the fact that they are a few points above the relegation zone.  The potentially bad news is that a team in China offered CP's one truly star quality player, Wilfried Zaha, a fairly large salary increase if he would come to play with them.  The amount of the raise?  About 3x more than he's making now.

Such an offer is probably something Zaha will consider.  The article indicates that the Crystal Palace management will try to keep him, but it may not be enough.

So what will tomorrow bring?  Every day is a new adventure with this team.

Wilfried Zaha receives staggering £44m offer to move to China as Crystal Palace face major fight to keep hold of star man when transfer window opens

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

I've visited a few of the least-visited national parks

I found this Web article about the least-visited national parks of the United States. I've actually visited some of them:

- Denali
- Wind Cave
- Mammoth Cave (which I can't believe is one of our least-visited national parks)
- Carlsbad Caverns
- Great Sand Dunes
- Channel Islands  (by water, never actually set foot on them)

I don't have the equipment, stamina, or money to visit some of the super-remote parks of Alaska (like Gates of the Arctic or Katmai), nor do I want the mosquito bites.  Of this list, the two that I'd like to see that I haven't seen are North Cascades (which I've heard of before) and Pinnacles (which I had never heard of before reading this article).  Pinnacles should be possible to visit on a trip to San Francisco.

Here are two pictures from Pinnacles National Park, if you, dear reader, have never heard of it before either.

Where are we on Highway 41? Take a look

When last we were on the Highway 41 end-to-end trek, we were in the outer skirts of Atlanta, Georgia. Now we move closer.

Highway 41 crossing Old Milner Road (near Milner). Note railroad tracks.

Next, the Highway 41 and U.S. 19 intersection near Griffin, Georgia. This is actually the intersection of two great U.S. highways; U.S. 19 starts just south of St. Petersburg, Florida on the southern shore of Tampa Bay (north of Bradenton) and ends near Erie, Pennsylvania, while Highway 41 is the famous highway that this series of posts is traveling on. And perhaps slightly more interesting, Highway 41 also crosses Highway 19 right where 19 begins in Florida.

What's extra confusing here: at this intersection, Highway 19 and 41 join up for awhile. Business 41 and Business 19 go into Griffin, while 41 and 19, now the same road, stay west of Griffin. We aren't going into Griffin, which is an exurb or satellite city of Atlanta, but we're quite close.

Just to the east of the northernmost extension of Griffin is the town(?) of Experiment, Georgia. It isn't the home of mutant experiments gone bad, it's just the location of the University of Georgia Agricultural Experiment Station. This is the intersection of Highway 41 and McIntosh Road, just west of Experiment, not that exciting, but McIntosh Road is named Experiment Street where it links Griffin to Experiment. I'm sure that isn't confusing.

This is also close to Wyomia Tyus Olympic Park.  Since the Web page about the park doesn't say much about Wyomia Tyus except that she was an Olympic gold medalist, here's more about her, with links to a lot more information about her. And she was an important figure in sports history.

Lighthouse of the Week, December 23-29, 2018: Scoglio Porcelli, Sicily, Italy

I've been thinking a lot about Sicily in the past couple of days, as Sicily's own volcano, Mount Etna, has entered into a new eruptive pattern with a flank eruption, something it hasn't done for a decade.  And the last time it did this, no significant damage was done, but just after the turn of the century, a flank eruption lava flow destroyed a ski lift station and some tourist-service buildings.  So it always bears watching, and it's also enjoyable to watch (especially if it isn't destroying something), which is good for now.

Since I've been thinking about Sicily, I decided to cast about for lighthouses.  Surprisingly, even though Sicily has quite a few lighthouses, I've only featured two of them here before -- the truly stunning Strombolicchio, and the more traditional, but still scenic, Faro di Santa Croce ad Augusta.

I performed my traditional image search, found the one I'm featuring this week, and then discovered that it's connnected to some other nearby lighthouses.  So that made my life simpler, for awhile, because I'm going to feature the other lighthouses to which it is connected.  You'll see how it's connected to them shortly.

This week's lighthouse is the Scoglio Porcelli, which is located on its own island off the north end of the western coast of Sicily.  And pretty much all that's on the island is the lighthouse (it's not a big island).  The nearest city on the main island is Trapani.

Rather than utilize the esteemed Lighthouse Directory, for the stats on the Scoglio Porcelli, I'm using the Lighthouse Explorer.  Here's the full entry.  The stats I always look at are the height - 82 feet; the type - a round masonry tower;  the color - white; when it was established - 1904;  and the distance the light can be seen from - 11 miles or so.

Here are some pictures. I always like to find pictures of lighthouses that show the view from the water;  in this case, that's all I could find.

This one is high-definition

Now, about the connection to other lighthouses -- it turns out there's a regatta (a sailboat race) called the Regata dei Cinque Fari, which is basically the Regatta of the Five Lighthouses.  This is really a long (140 mile) race in the middle of summer, so there is a good amount of daylight. One of the five is the Scoglio Porcelli.   The map below shows the route and the lighthouses.   The map also provides a locator for the Scoglio Porcelli, conveniently.

Now, the Web site for the regatta also has a page for each of the five lighthouses, and I decided it would be fun to feature each of them in the upcoming weeks.  So the first month of 2019 will have four posts about the other four lighthouses seen by the sailors competing in the Regata de Cinque Fari.  I think it'll be fun.

Friday, December 21, 2018

InSight deploys seismometer

One of the main things that the NASA InSight lander planned to do on Mars was deploy its seismometer to record seismic activity on the planet (of course).  So, shortly after landed, it has done that.

This article has an animation of the deployment:

NASA's InSight Places First Instrument on Mars

Almost incidentally, this happens to be the first time a seismometer has been placed on the surface of another planet, and yesterday (as I write this) was the 50th anniversary of the first time human beings were in orbit around another body in the Solar System, which in this case is the Apollo 8 mission that orbited the Moon.

InSight's seismometer touches down

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

OSIRIS-REx arrives at Bennu - and finds water

About a week ago, the OSIRIS-REx satellite reached its destination, little asteroid Bennu. It's not exactly in orbit around the space boulder, because Bennu has so little gravity that it's hard to get gravitically captured.  Rather, it's keeping pace with Bennu right now.

But even though it just arrived, it discovered that Bennu has water.  Well, actually not now, but it did once, as it found minerals that require water to form.

OSIRIS-REx Discovers Water on Asteroid Bennu
"When OSIRIS-REx aimed those spectrometers [as it is now close enough to use them] at Bennu, they spotted signs of hydrogen and oxygen molecules bonded together in groups called hydroxyls. These hydroxyls are all over the asteroid in various rocks and clays, and the most likely way they could have gotten there is through some sort of interaction with water."

Bennu is a cute little somewhat octahedral asteroid, as this picture shows.

New record holder in Canada

A new record was recently set in Canada.

What, the most sap from a single maple tree, you ask?  Or the most poutine consumed at a single sitting?  Perhaps the most penalty minutes in a single youth hockey game?

No, nothing so mundane as that.  Canada now has a record for the largest diamond found in the country, and it's a LOT bigger than the previous record.   For the record, the previous biggest-diamond-in-Canada was 187.7 carats;  this one (found in the Northwest Territories) is 552 carats.  Not bad at all.

Article about Canada's new biggest diamond  (I think the actual headline is kinda dumb)

Monday, December 17, 2018

Getting ready for Atlanta on Highway 41

Here are two stops on Highway 41 on the outer outskirts of the Atlanta region.

Barnesville, Georgia - it's hot, so hopefully we can take a quick swim in the Barnesville City Pool, which is where this StreetView scene is.

Downtown Barnesville - and only a block away from the Georgia South Barbeque!

Because of the pool in Barnesville, we took a shortcut -- 41 dips south while Forsyth Street goes straight through the town. But we rejoin 41 after going through Barnesville on Forsyth, go a short distance on Zebulon Street, then head north again on Highway 41.

 We are literally and finally on the outskirts of ATLANTA!

Sonnet cascade in December 3

artistic licentiousness

A woman's body is created by
a multitude of splendored curves and arcs
that merge together and invite the eye
to contemplate the fettle which strikes sparks,
igniting flames of lusty hopefulness
within our calm demeanors. We cannot
give words to thoughts of how this does impress
us; circumspection means that any plot
to make such musings action must remain
internal, like a musty treasure map
that guides to massive fortune -- so our pain
is wanting what we see, yet with the gap
dividing our behaviors, knowing what
we wish to touch is legs and tits and butt.

Sonnet cascade in December 2

thoughts while watching a young and beautiful woman swimmer

The shape of fitness is a stirring sight --
not with a glamorous curvaceousness
but with efficiency, both smooth and tight
so that her movement seems both effortless
and graceful, like a dolphin through the waves
as curling surf cascades upon a shore --
and as I see her swim, my thought behaves
just as it should, admiring nothing more
than reasons for her beauty shown
without performed pretense or self-aware-
ness, moving with a purpose and a tone
of skill that is as if her body bare
was so athletic we'd note not her sex,
but just what lovely expertise reflects.

Sonnet cascade in December 1

the loss of anonymity

Temptation was so close to me, and yet
I did not say her name; she was so near
that just a whispered word would certain let
her be aware where I was placed; but fear
prevented my advances then and there --
but I am not completed; I will find
the moment I will have a chance to stare
into her eyes to look into her mind,
then ascertain what she remembers and
perceive the person that she thinks I am.
For I will not coerce, or more, demand
an answer for her actions and the sham
of interest she conveyed -- I truly just
want her to know that I can hold her trust.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Four pictures of Bianca Kmiec

Why, you ask?  To save time, and because she is a gorgeous freak of nature.

Lighthouse of the Week, December 16-22, 2018: Edgartown Lighthouse, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

As promised in the just-posted previous post, this week's Lighthouse of the Week is the Edgartown Lighthouse on Martha's Vineyard. 

If you want to see where Edgartown and Lighthouse Beach are on Martha's Vineyard, click right here.

If you aren't familiar with the region, and want to see where Martha's Vineyard is, click up there and then zoom out.

The interesting thing about this lighthouse is that it looks like it's sitting on a concrete pad right on Lighthouse Beach.  Let's see if that's true or not.

Here's a little more about it:   Martha's Vineyard Museum - Edgartown Lighthouse

No history or specifications there, though, so I went to Lighthouse Friends.  And from the article there, I found out the very interesting fact that the current Edgartown Lighthouse is not the one that was there for many decades.  The original building, which was there from at least 1828, was torn down in 1939 after it was damaged during the Great Hurricane of 1938.  To replace it, they took a defunct lighthouse from Ipswich, MA and relocated it on the beach at Edgartown.

Neat, huh?

It's been restored and refurbished since, and the public can visit and go inside.  It also has a children's memorial.

As for specifications, it's 45 feet high and it's mostly white.  Location, location, location.

Christmas Lighthouse of the Week, December 9-15, 2018: Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

OK, while on my pre-Christmas vacation, I missed last week's Lighthouse of the Week (I'm posting at the beginning of the next week).   So to cover LAST week, here's the Edgartown Lighthouse on the island of Martha's Vineyard, decorated for Christmas.

And coming up next, for the Lighthouse of the Week December 16-22, I'll feature the Edgartown Lighthouse!

Friday, December 7, 2018

Sony World Photography Contest entries

So many great photographs are taken every year that get submitted to photography contests.  It amazes me, and I am glad that such art can be easily accessed.

The stunning entries for the Sony World Photography Awards

Here's one that caught my eye, because it's actually a place I've been. Seems like most of the places that I see in these contests (in the Nature or Travel categories, usually) are places I could never, ever hope to visit.

On Highway 41 again, north of Macon, nearing Atlanta

Outside Macon, by the Morgan View Farm.

Smarr, Georgia. There are several small churches at this intersection outside Macon: the New Providence Baptist Church, the Midway Baptist Church, True Vision, and Lighthouse of Prayer. I don't know why they're all clustered right here.

Forsyth, Georgia, has a nice downtown and a very good-looking Probate Court building.

You may not believe it, but we're getting close enough to Atlanta to say we're near Atlanta. And that will be very fun.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Yellow snow in China

Despite the fact that China has both a Yellow River and a Yellow Sea, the yellow snow that just fell there is not due to either.  It's due to desert dust.

Rare 'yellow snow' blankets north-west China due to freezing temperatures and sandstorms

The travesty of Republicans in Wisconsin

If I had a lot more time, I'd write a lot more about the sickening spectacle that has played out in Wisconsin this past week or so.  I'm referring to the Republican-held legislature (which it wouldn't be if not for the gerrymandered districts*) passing lame-duck session laws that limited the powers of the incoming elected Democratic officials.  This is something that the despicable Republicans in North Carolina already did (and now they're trying to stop a legitimate inquiry into voter fraud that might have illegally gotten one of their boys into office).  Michigan's repugnant Republicans might try to pull a similar stunt.

* Yes, I'm aware Maryland has outrageously gerrymandered districts that favor Democrats. We shouldn't.

But anyway, I don't have a great deal of time, so I'll just provide a link to an article and a quote from that article:

Where the GOP can’t win elections, it changes the rules
"Scott Fitzgerald (R), Wisconsin’s Senate majority leader, admitted Monday that Republicans would not be trying to limit the governor’s powers if outgoing GOP Gov. Scott Walker had won a third term, explaining that Republicans do not trust the incoming Democrat. It does not matter if they trust the next governor. Wisconsin voters chose to do so."
I've been to Wisconsin a couple of times, and it has a lot of dairy cows, which is one reason cheese is a famous product from the state.  The dairy cows produce a lot of manure, and its distinctive aroma can usually be detected for large areas around the fields.

The GOP in Wisconsin stink worse than that, and what they just did is the same thing that drops from the rear orifices of the cows,.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Lighthouse of the Week, December 2-8, 2018: Grand Island East Channel Light, Michigan

This week's lighthouse is on the shores of Lake Superior, on Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  It's a restored lighthouse that hasn't been a working light for a long time, but it's a landmark.  The lighthouse is on Grand Island, and since it's on the east channel, it's called the Grand Island East Channel Light, naturally.

Just to the east of the lighthouse, and the nearest community, which is Munising, Michigan, is the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.  And in the winter, which is still usually quite cold up here, there are remarkable picturesque ice caves on Grand Island, too.

But about the lighthouse - here is the Lighthouse Friends page.

You can look at the map to see where it is.  The funny thing about its location is that the northern end of Highway 41 swings right by it -- so we'll be back, eventually.

Historically and briefly, there was a lighthouse of some kind here in 1856, but it took until 1867 to get a lighthouse built there. It was hit by lightning in 1891, and after a shipwreck in 1903, they took the lighthouse out of service in 1905.  Some range lights were put up, and the lighthouse was last lighted in late October 1908.  Somehow the building managed to survive the entire remainder of the 20th century, and finally at the turn of the century the shore was protected and the lighthouse was restored in the next years.

So it looks kind of aged.  But it's supposed to look like that. There's a restored lantern room, but I don't think it has an actual light in it.  I'd sure like to visit it

So here are the pictures:

If you want to buy a castle

There's a castle for sale in England.  It's pretty nice.

Historic castle built to replace one gifted to Catherine of Aragon by Henry VIII and dubbed the 'most gorgeous in Christendom' goes on sale for £2.5m

"Devizes Castle in Wiltshire was once owned by the Crown for around 500 years after it was claimed by King Stephen of Blois in the 1130s.

The Grade I-listed building has lots of period features, such as castellations, turrets, stone mullioned windows, impressive fireplaces and oak floors.

It was passed down through the Royal family over the years and was frequently visited by monarchs including King John, Henry III and Edward I, while Henry VIII gifted it to his first wife Catherine of Aragon, although it was later reclaimed after their divorce."

The article at the link has a lot of great pictures, so I found a different one.  This is not the original castle, this is a house built like a castle that was built on the grounds of the historical one.

This is an aerial shot of the quaint little cottage.

I wish I could

I'll never be a surfer -- not even on a little wave -- but I sure wish I could do something like this.

Getting back on Highway 41 around Macon

In the last Highway 41 end-to-end StreetView trek post, we visited the Allman Brothers "big house", where the Allman Brothers Band museum is now located.  Now we move on.

Where Highway 41 meets Vineville Avenue, though the Allman Brothers Band Museum is east (a right turn), Highway 41 goes west (left turn) on Vineville Avenue. There are other places of interest in Macon, like Mercer University and the Tubman Museum, but we're going to stay on the highway.

A view of Wesleyan College.

Now north of Macon, in a community named Bolingbroke, there is a place called the Sweet Tea Cafe just off 41. There are several StreetView panoramas here, so it must be a place of interest. Looks quaint. There are panoramas inside too, if you want to see more. Doing a quick search indicates that this place was formerly called Miss Hattie's. Use that information wisely.

We'll move on quickly in our next post.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A sonnet for this late November - "the naturality"

Inspired by true events.

the naturality

Forbidden are my thoughts regarding her --
except that men do always think this way --
and social norms do not at all deter
a difference in both our times of day
for she is still alighted near the dawn
of her existence, while my life is in
its deep mid-afternoon, so like a faun
upon the fleshscape of a nymph, her skin
a realm of topophysical delight,
I dream of wandering across her slopes
and delving in her caves; although my right
of passage is prohibited, my hopes
thought lecherous, so my polite desire
can only keep the sights that I admire.

To fully understand this sonnet, it would help to be familiar with the animated movie set to classical music Allegro non Troppo.

Must take note of this

Demi Rose Mawby is maturing.  Having once looked like a somewhat cherubic 16-year-old with a devilishly curvaceous bod, she is now looking more like a beautiful adult woman with childlike features, and still with the curvaceous bod.  And she is making a living with it.

Here, in this article, she makes another public appearance, and makes the most of it.

Demi Rose puts on a brazenly busty display in a sparkling gold mini dress at star-studded beauty awards

That's a pretty accurate description, I believe.

InSight is on Mars

NASA landed another lander successfully on Mars yesterday, this one called Mars InSight.  It might not be a complete replacement for the amazingly plucky and ultimately unlucky Opportunity -- unless a miracle happens -- but it is an important scientific mission that will tell us a lot about Martian geology, provided everything works.

One of the really necessary things it did on Day 1 of its time on Mars was deploy the solar arrays.  That was a very nifty operation, so I have the 7-second video below.

More strong words from Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin

Jennifer Rubin is so fun to read, especially when she's going after President Donald Trump.  The only thing that makes what she says less than hilarious is the sad fact that what she says is dead solid perfectly accurate.

Take this example.

From the piece entitled "Trump's incoherence is too much -- and it's getting worse":
"As striking as Trump’s utter inability to grapple with basic problems, his staff’s unwillingness to maintain any semblance of unity and loyalty suggests they no long think it’s in their personal interest to be associated with a president who makes mincemeat of one policy issue after another. His childish inability to make hard decisions and engender possible complaints from his base makes him a hapless, inept figure. He’s not so much leading as he is meandering — with aides racing after him to prevent bigger disasters and embarrassments."
Now, given the numerous issues of import facing us, the problem I perceive is that one of those bigger disasters or embarrassments (or something that's both) might get through the haphazard Trump White House system -- and that could mean that we, collectively, will be in big trouble.


Monday, November 26, 2018

Another very pricey piece of carbon

I was going to note this topic when the diamond was about to go on sale, but that time came and went, and the diamond was sold.  The diamond is named the "Pink Legacy", and it was purchased by Harry Winston Jewelers for $50 million.

Pink diamond is bought for a record $50 MILLION by New York jeweller Harry Winston

It's about 19 carats, and it's really, really pink.  Which obviously makes it really, really valuable.

As befits an owner that can afford to buy it, they renamed it the "Winston Pink Legacy".

Here's a picture of the big piece of crystallized carbon with a little bit of an impurity. I am really fascinated by gemstones, especially the big rare ones, but seriously, that's what this is. And we as humans assign great value to its uniqueness.

Lighthouse of the Week, November 25 - December 1, 2018: St. David's Lighthouse, Bermuda

The island of Bermuda has two real lighthouses, and several other beacons and metal towers.  I know because I looked at the Bermuda page of the Lighthouse Directory.   So maybe some day I'll come back to Bermuda and feature the famous high-on-a-hill Gibb's Hill Lighthouse, but this time I'll discuss the other one, St. David's Lighthouse.

So where is it, other than on the island of Bermuda, you are asking?  It's here.  Really and truly, it's on St. David's Island.

"1879. Active; focal plane 65 m (213 ft); two white flashes every 20 s; tower also carries flashing red and green lights that cover nearby shoals. 22 m (72 ft) octagonal limestone tower with lantern and double gallery; 2nd order Fresnel lens. ... Formerly all white, the lighthouse is now painted white with a broad red band in the center. The keeper's house is occupied by resident caretakers."
That's cool, it's a working lighthouse that still has a Fresnel lens.

Pictures below. Note that one of them is not an actual picture of the lighthouse.  And there's a bonus below the four pictures.

Bonus:  StreetView panorama at the St. David's Lighthouse.

OK, I'll answer that question

I saw this on an Instagram account (you've almost undoubtedly seen it before):

"What would you do, if you know you couldn't fail?"

I pondered that briefly, and then this thought came to my mind unbidden, but nonetheless inspired:

"Make love to Nina Agdal."

And I realized that I hadn't thought about Nina Agdal for literally weeks.  So it must be true.

A special stop on Highway 41

OK, this is important. About 1,000 feet east of Highway 41, on Vineville Avenue in Macon, Georgia, is the Allman Brothers Band Museum. (

It's the white gabled Tudor house in the StreetView below. Why is this important? Because in the band's famous hit, "Ramblin' Man", there is this lyric:

 "And I was born in the back seat of a Greyhound bus / rollin' down Highway 41". 

Though Highway 41 goes from Miami to Lake Superior, it's a famous road in Georgia, as this demonstrates.

Also, where Highway 41 meets Vineville Avenue, though the Allman Brothers Band Museum is east (a right turn), Highway 41 goes west (left turn) on Vineville Avenue. There are other places of interest in Macon, like Mercer University and the Tubman Museum, but we're going to stay on the highway.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Insight on the election - and the economy

From "Why did Trump’s lies fail so badly? Important new data provides a clue", an opinion piece in the Plum Line, a Washington Post opinion column.

“Big, techy metros like San Francisco, Boston, and New York with populations over 1 million have flourished, accounting for 72 percent of the nation’s employment growth since the financial crisis,” the report says. “By contrast, many of the nation’s smaller cities, small towns, and rural areas have languished.” This has created a “geography of discontent” that has spawned “entrenched poverty” in the “left-behind” areas, producing “deepening small-town resentment of coastal cosmopolitan elites.”

So we should come up with a plan to employ the people who are in the languishing communities.

Like PLUGS-In, my solar energy plan.

Now is definitely the time.

On Highway 41, approaching Macon, Georgia

The next four StreetViews on Highway 41 are taken as we approach Macon, Georgia.

Crossing Echeconnee Creek (water looks a bit high)

Another creek crossing, at Tobesofkee Creek.

There's a little wetland here, this is Rocky Creek, just a very short distance from the last creek crossing. All of this flows into the Ocmulgee River to the east.

By the Overtyme Bar and Grill.

The next StreetView, in the very next Highway 41 end-to-end StreetView trek post, will be one of the most historically interesting stops thus far, and one directly related to the heritage and fame of Highway 41.

Lighthouse of the Week, November 18-24, 2018: Saugerties Light, New York, USA

For a little while, I've been seeking a lighthouse on a river.  Not situated at the mouth of a river where it meets the ocean, and not on a river that doesn't look much like one (much like our Maryland rivers that really resemble small embayments when the join with the Chesapeake Bay).  No, I wanted a lighthouse that's on a real river that looks like a river, and would be geographically defined as a river where the lighthouse is located.

Well, I found my first lighthouse on a river.  For a while it was decommissioned, but was recommissioned after restoration and it is a working lighthouse.  This is the Saugerties Light on the Hudson River, and as you might surmise, it's very close to the community of Saugerties.  It's situated where Esopus Creek enters the Hudson River.  (Map here.)

It's open to the public and it's ALSO a bed & breakfast.  Here are some Web sites:

Saugerties Lighthouse (official site)

Saugerties Lighthouse, New York (Lighthouse Friends)

Information excerpts from the Lighthouse Directory:
1869 (station established 1836). Reactivated (inactive 1954-1990); focal plane 42 ft (13 m); white light occulting every 4 s. 46 ft (14 m) square cylindrical brick tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 2-story brick keeper's house. The building is unpainted red brick with white trim, lantern and gallery painted black. ... The lighthouse deteriorated after being deactivated and was on the point of being lost when the Saugerties Lighthouse Conservancy purchased it (for $1) in 1986. In four years the Conservancy restored the building and brought it back to life. In 2018 the Village of Saugerties used federal grants to restore and rebuild the seawall and bulkhead protecting the lighthouse.

OK, so that's the basic information, now for the pictures (and a short video).  The last picture is a visually interesting panorama.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Highway 41 in Georgia, near Warner Robins

Yesterday I looked at how far the Highway 41 end-to-end StreetView trek has to go, and it's a LONG way.  But north of Warner Robins (where we are in this post), it enters the environs of Atlanta and Civil War country.  In fact, Highway 41 passes very close to a major Civil War battlefield.  You'll find out which one and where when we get there.  But before that, there are some quite interesting landmarks and historic sites along the way.

So today, we are in Warner Robins, where there's a major Air Force base.  The trek will take a side trip there.  And there is an interesting spot here in this city, too.

Perry, Georgia. It's a little bit confusing here to stay on Highway 41. In downtown Perry, the General Courtney Hodge Boulevard, which is Highway 41 entering Perry, splits in to Main Street and Commerce Street. Main Street is numbered Highway or Route 127, and Commerce Street runs into Macon Road, which is also definitely Highway 41. So I'm pretty sure Commerce Street is Highway 41, which is the street we're on here.

Commerce Street and Macon Road

Bahama Bob's, north of Perry

Highway 41 and Gunn Road. Highway 41 doesn't go anywhere near Robins Air Force Base, which is probably the main reason you might have heard of Warner Robins.

So I decided to go off the main road a few miles just to take a look at Robins AFB. Not much to see there, but now I've seen it.

This is a little more interesting, it's the Museum of Aviation next to Robins AFB. It's about 9 miles east of Highway 41, so worth a side trip.

The next main city is MACON.

What should really be on Mitch's door

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently posted a picture of his office door, and it's even the top banner image on his Twitter account.  You can go take a look, if you want.

I felt that the door needed a clearer message about the status Mitch has in this country, so I redid the right panel for him.

Now it's much clearer.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

This is not a very exciting part of the Highway 41 journey

As I noted when this StreetView journey began, one of the main thoroughfares that took over much of the traffic that formerly had to travel on Highway 41 was Interstate 75.  And through Georgia, Highway 41 and I-75 stay very closely intertwined.  In this post of the journey, you will see why.  We are now north of Pinehurst, GA.

Crossing under Interstate 75

Unadilla, Georgia - Highway 41 at Borum Street

I'm bored, so I turned off Highway 41 to see Trico Gin and Peanut. Unfortunately, I'm still bored.

Highway 41 crosses under Interstate 75 again

Highway 41 crosses under I-75 again, on the approach to Perry!

As you might expect, the next destination is Perry, Georgia.

More rains from hurricanes - due to climate change

It stands to reason (even though climate change deniers can rarely be considered rational) that with more water vapor in the atmosphere due to warming global temperatures -- which there is -- weather systems which involve rain would be able to create more precipitation.

And apparently, they do. This is not a surprise, but it's a good confirmation.

Climate change has intensified hurricane rainfall, and now we know how much
"Today, we know that Harvey wasn’t an outlier. A new study, published Wednesday in Nature by the same lab, reports that climate change intensified the rains of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria by between 4 and 9 percent. The researchers predict that future warming could increase rainfall totals for the most extreme hurricanes and tropical cyclones by up to 30 percent."
So, more now, and even more later -- potentially causing more flooding, and thus more dangerous conditions, and thus a higher likelihood of fatalities.

Increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations, which cause Earth's temperature to increase, cause more bad weather. And that sure isn't part of a hoax or a conspiracy, it's a fact.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

When even the Russians who got you elected don't like you

This article in the Daily Mail caught my attention:

Russia hits out at US 'unpredictability' under Trump, saying it is causing 'deep global concern'

"The Kremlin hit out at the 'unpredictability' of the United States under Trump, saying it was causing 'deep global concern'.

'The fact that America has become unpredictable lately is no secret to anyone,' Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Dozhd TV today during a visit by President Vladimir Putin to Singapore.

'Such unpredictability from the largest country, the most powerful economy in the world, is the subject of deep global concern,' he added.
Does the phrase "hoist by their own petard" seem appropriate about now?

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Two amazing pictures of Jupiter from Juno

Some of the best pictures I've seen from this mission - and that's saying a lot, because I've seen quite a few great shots.  But these are really, really special.