Wednesday, February 28, 2018

GOES-S launches tomorrow

Our next Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) is scheduled to launch March 1, which is tomorrow as I type this.

Here's a bit more about it.


It's got a great new camera and a lightning mapper. It's pretty cool.

The only good lionfish...

... is one that looks like this:

Just needs a slice of lemon.

Here's some lionfish news.

"A scheme to take invasive lionfish out of the sea and put them on dinner plates is to expand.   
The number of hunters is to double and permits will run for a year instead of six months."

"Led by teacher David Camperman, the students have been working on improving and testing their traps, originally developed by lionfish expert NOAA Chief Scientist Steve Gittings. Nicknamed the “taco trap,” the trap features a piece of lattice acting as an artificial reef to attract lionfish. The lattice is surrounded by cast net, and when the trap is pulled to the surface, the cast net folds up and over the lattice so it looks like a taco shell. Though the process is relatively slow, with no known predators, lionfish are notoriously hard to startle and the lack of bait in the trap will eliminate bycatch."
Keep on working, kids.

Dates released for REEF’s 2018 Lionfish Derby Series Presented by Whole Foods Market

Go spearfishing for lionfish!

The following dates and locations have been set for REEF’s 2018 Lionfish Derby Series presented by Whole Foods Market®:

• March 31st: Winter Lionfish Derby at Sharkey’s Pub and Galley, Key Largo
• June 8th – 10th: Miami Lionfish Derby at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum*
• July 6th – 8th Sarasota Lionfish Derby at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium*
• July 13th & 14th: Fort Lauderdale Lionfish Derby at 15th Street Fisheries
• August 3rd – 5th: Palm Beach County Lionfish Derby at Loggerhead Marinelife Center*
• August 11th – 13th: Jacksonville Lionfish Derby at Beach Marine*
• September 14th – 16th: Upper Keys Lionfish Derby at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park*

Bluefin tuna news early in 2018

I recently checked in on the status of bluefin tuna.  The news is decidedly mixed.  Catches are up in some regions, and that meant that the fisherpeople immediately wanted quotas raised.  Which in most places they were.

Japan, the number one bluefin tuna consumer in the world, missed its quota last year, and they appear on track to do it again this year.  That is not good, of course.

Japanese fishermen urged not to catch small bluefin tuna until the end of June

"As of January, Japanese fisherman had harvested 3,201 tons of small bluefin tuna, or 93 percent of the quota."

Japan likely to exceed quota on bluefin tuna for 2nd year
"During the previous season — from July 2016 to June 2017 — Japan exceeded its quota of 4,007 tons by more than 300 tons, which was then subtracted from the quota for the current season.

The Pacific bluefin tuna stock was 160,000 tons in 1961, but overfishing by Japan and others drastically reduced this to 17,000 tons in 2014.  [Yikes.]

Therefore, Japan, the world’s largest catcher and consumer of bluefin tuna, led an effort to introduce international catch limits, which were imposed on immature small tuna in 2015 and on adult fish in 2017."

But there is some good news from other sectors.

Monaco Sea Fishing Federation:  Protecting the bluefin tuna
"The Federation practices catch and release, with special materials to prevent the fish from being injured in the process. The Federation hopes to help with the collection of data on the bluefin tuna population in the Mediterranean with this technique. It’s a project supported by the WWF and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. 
David Gamba, President of the Sea Fishing Federation, said that the Mediterranean has a nursery zone, or a reproduction zone for the bluefin tuna, which has sparked questions like: What are the Bluefin’s population numbers? What is its seasonality, is the species present all year round, or does it migrate? According to the Federation’s recent studies, it seems as though there is one population which is internal and remains in the Mediterranean and another one which is very migratory." 
Maybe with more people like the Monaco Sea Fishing Federation, bluefin tuna still have a chance.

Jill Wagner got married last year

If you don't know who Jill Wagner is, let me jog your memory.  She got her acting start on the short-lived (but pretty decent) Blade TV show, then got famous for doing car commercials, and she then had a summertime gig on Wipeout interviewing hapless Wipeout victims. I lost track of her, but for the past six years she's been on Teen Wolf.  Since I've never watched Teen Wolf, I did not know that.  IMdB also indicates that in 2017 she was in a couple of Hallmark-type comedy-romance movies.

I accidentally discovered this while looking up actors and actresses that were on the Blade TV show.  I had a different motivation than seeing what Jill Wagner was currently doing, but well... never mind.  What I discovered while reading about Jill Wagner was that she got married last year, to a fortunate man named David Lemanowicz.

So now you know that too.

Here's her IMdB page:  Jill Wagner

(Wow, I just remembered that I wrote about her here;  and mentioned that she was on Teen Wolf then, which was back in 2013.  Oops. )

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Do you recognize this body?

Take a close look.  Trust me, I have.

Pretty impressive, eh?  Sure hope you think so, no matter what your preference.

Well, not to keep the suspense prolonged, this body is that of Ellie Gonsalves.  If you don't know who she is, she's a Australian, a model (naturally), notably having worked with Guess and Frederick's of Hollywood.  She's been in Maxim multiple times.

She got somewhat famous with a Yellowtail wine Super Bowl commercial.

If you want more information, here's her Web site. There are more pictures.  Trust me.  She's also got a fitness program.

And she also has an Instagram account, where there are more pictures.  Trust me.

And she has a boyfriend.  Trust me, you and especially I, don't have a chance.

This year she may get a little more noticed with a small role in a Dwayne Johnson movie titled Fighting With My Family.

I'll just finish with this thought.  (Acquired from her Instagram account, so it's definitely intended for public perusal.)

Rachel McAdams reveals baby on the way

Cute, pretty, sexy, smart, talented, wide-ranging actress Rachel McAdams was just in the news with the announcement that she and current partner, screenwriter Jamie Linden, are going to have a baby together, and pretty soon.  According to other sources, like this one, she's seven months into the process.

Well, that sounds like good news about her. She's had a number of romantic partners, including an off-on, off-on, off-on, etc. relationship with her The Notebook co-star Ryan Gosling. The Daily Mail provides the list below of her other BFs, none of whom appeared to have what it took to be the one to father her child.  Well, apparently she found what she was looking for in Mr. Linden.

Prior McAdams love-interests:
Taylor Kitsch (2015 - 2016), Patrick Sambrook (2013 - 2014), Michael Sheen (2010 - 2013), Ben Jackson (2009 - 2010) and Josh Lucas (2009).
I've written previously about Rachel here,

and here,

and also here (just a comment about a slightly humorous picture).

A sonnet of the past and the future

contortions of time and space

If one could easily imagine times
in other places -- distant magic zones
controlled by laws that make uncommon crimes
into quite normal acts, then ancient bones
could rise and dance again beside the pyres
of ancestry, and what was once thought true
would be considered false. Within the gyres
of galaxies where yellow yields to blue
as ages pass in moments, I could then
reverse my course in time and find relief
from crude necessitude, and as that when
occurred, the bastions of constrained belief 
would fall into the ebon core of naught
as I would seize the treasure I have sought.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Moving north of Venice on Highway 41

Some more stops on the way north in Florida.

Highway 41 and Bay Street, Osprey

Historic Spanish Point (

Vamo  (named after the home states of Mr. and Mrs Webb, who built the first home here).  VA  and MO.

Now, a little further up the highway, we can turn onto Southpointe Drive, and in just a couple hundred yards, get a view of Little Sarasota Bay.

Back to the highway, and up to Sarasota. where there are lots of things to see.

Lighthouse of the Week, February 25-March 3, 2018: Vizhinjam Lighthouse, Kovalam, Kerala, India

Last week, I featured a lighthouse from India, and noted that this was the first time I had featured a lighthouse from this country. I decided to seek for more, and I was rewarded with the almost unimaginably tropically picturesque Vizhinjam lighthouse.

Vizhinjam is on the coast, across from a beach appropriately named "Lighthouse Beach", and rising from a throng of palm trees. It's in the Indian state of Kerala, on the southwest coast, and because it is lapped by the waves of warm Arabian Sea, I think we can see where it gets its tropicality.

Now, when I first did this, I discovered there are many pictures of the similar-in- appearance, but not in location, Alapuzzha (alternatively, Aleppey) lighthouse, which is located further north on the coast. Indeed, many of the pictures of Vizhinjam mistakenly indicate they are pictures of Alapuzzha. So one outcome of this post is that I will straighten out that confusion. Alapuzzha is located a couple hundred meters inland, and as you can see at the link, Vizhinjam lighthouse is right on the coast. Plus, it's pretty close to the farthest southern point of the whole Indian subcontinent.

So let's get some stats from the Lighthouse Directory -- it's actually a pretty recent building -- and then let's get tropical, picture-wise (and video-wise, too).

"1972. Active; focal plane 57 m (187 ft); white flash every 15 s. 36 m (118 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands; lantern dome painted red."
Click on the first and third pics for a larger version.

Seems kind of rushed

Emily Ratjakowski, famous primarily for her stunningly slender but remarkably curvaceous body, and who continually demonstrates its slenderness/curvaceousness in print and on the Web (Instagrammily), occasionally on film, just got married.

In a hell of a hurry.

Newlywed bliss! Emily Ratajkowski flashes wedding ring as she shares more photos with Sebastian Bear-McClard from surprise nuptials 

Now, if I was a guy in a single position and Emily and I had connected romantically, and she was inclined to "seal the deal" if I "put a ring on it", I might be tempted to rush into marriage too (despite the large percentage of rushed i.e. Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, marriages that don't seem to last). But nonetheless, this one seems SO rushed, following Emily's apparently very recent breakup with a previous boyfriend, that I am tempted to label it rash as well. Time will tell.

Meanwhile, I will wish the seemingly happy couple best of luck, and also note that the happy husband has my admiration for his enviable position as well.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

A sonnet of romance and lust

take her to dinner, take her to ...

Her eyes are sparkling o'er the glimm'ring wine
and in them I see promise and desire,
so I am sure tonight she will be mine
as I will be for her, when we inspire
poetic verse and turgid prose, the diff-
erence between the romance of the act
and just the primal act itself, where stiff
assertive flesh creates a binding pact
with tenderness and warmth, as passion burns
far brighter than the candles in her eyes.
I wonder if she knows my body yearns
for hers when she looks back to me, my guise
of calm refinement much at odds with where
I wish I was -- with her, conjoined, and bare.

A bigger hotel in space

Previously I have written about plans for hotels in space -- in 2011, amazingly enough, and more recently in 2017.

More images of the honeymoon suite in space

If it's going to happen, it's going to happen here

Well, now there are plans for a bigger hotel in space, using Robert Bigelow's inflatable technology.

Space tourists could book a stay at a 'monster' inflatable hotel that will orbit Earth in 2021, claims billionaire hotel mogul Robert Bigelow

This one is independent, unlike the add-on that the Russians have described for the ISS.  So the guests in this orbital balloon would be in a private suite.

I think we know what that means.  And there's plenty of room in there for that.

So what lucky couple is going to set the bar this high?

Both moons of Mars

An instrument on NASA's Mars Odyssey was recently looking in the right direction (actually, I'm sure it was planned) to see both the moons of Mars pass through it's FOV.

Just in case you aren't familiar with these little moons, which most likely are captured asteroids, Deimos is the little round one and Phobos is the bigger potato-shaped one.

Impressive work by the instrument commanders.  If you have time, click on it to see it larger.

The article has a little more information:

Mars Odyssey Observes Martian Moons

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Phelps family adds another

There is lots of baby news on the Internet, so in this world of celebrity tots, this news might have slipped past you.  Michael Phelps and his wife Nicole had their second baby.   Michael announced that they were expecting the tyke at last year's ESPY Awards show.

Michael Phelps shares picture of newborn son Beckett being cradled by wife Nicole and their firstborn Boomer

I guess it's a little too early to tell if the kid is going to be a distance freestyler or a stroke specialist.

Right-wing guns, and Russia

E.J. Dionne, writing in the Washington Post, said:

"No one wants our political system to fail more than Russian President Vladimir Putin does, and our powerlessness on guns hardly enhances our democracy’s image to the world. It is worth revisiting reports last spring in Time magazine and The Post about the relationships that Russians close to their government are cultivating with the U.S. gun lobby as part of the outreach by pro-Putin forces to the far right."

On gun violence, we are a failed state

Which provides even more reason to find some semblance of reason on gun control.

Highway 41 to Venice, Florida

Yes, it has been awhile since the journey continued on Highway 41.  Now I'm going to get on this road and ride hard.  Our last stop was crossing the Myakka River, and then 41 heads due west, toward Venice.

And there's not much there.  South of Venice, it's not even possible to see the Venice Municipal Airport from the highway, because Florida is so flat, even though it's about half a mile away.

However, there is a very friendly place on the road.  Look around for the pink roof.

We're going to get close to the Gulf of Mexico now; this is Roberts Bay.  Our actual location is named Nokomis, north of Venice and just south of North Venice.  Got that?

And now, a short side trip off of 41. It's time to see the actual Gulf of Mexico at South Jetty Park, Venice Beach.

The final stop on this leg, after getting back on the highway, is four miles north. This is the Oscar Scherer State park, an Outstanding Florida Water. I'm not kidding.

It's not far now to Osprey, Vamo, Siesta Key, and Sarasota.  And something really interesting and historical right off the highway.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Lighthouse of the Week, February 18-24, 2018: Chennai, India

When I checked, I found out that I had featured three lighthouses on the island of Sri Lanka as Lighthouses of the Week, but not a single one from India.  And India does have lighthouses, in various states of between working and active to inactive and abandoned.

I'll probably feature a couple.  The one I chose this week is a tall one in Chennai (here's where it is), striped red and white and 151 feet tall, a pentagonal tower with what looks like balconies.

From the Lighthouse Directory:
"1977 (station established 1796). Active; focal plane 57 m (187 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 46 m (151 ft) pentagonal cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and double gallery, attached to a 3-story circular harbor control building. The two seaward sides of the lighthouse are painted with horizontal red and white bands."
And a bit of recent history: it was damaged by the great tsunami on December 26, 2004.  But it survived and has reopened to visitors.

The pictures:

Damn damn damn

Actress Jennifer Aniston and actor Justin Theroux, who had a long-term relationship that seemed stable, and who ended up getting married (but I saw a headline suggesting that maybe they really weren't), are breaking up.


Cute actress Rebecca Gayheart and hunky actor Eric Dane, who have been married years and who have kids together, seemed to have a marriage that was going to last.  There have been hiccups, including weird rumors of a threesome.  But still, they stayed together for quite awhile.  They are reportedly breaking up too.


But we know entertainment relationships can be volatile and prone to breakage.  It's been demonstrated numerous times.

Here's the one that bugs me the most.  Liam Payne and Cheryl (who has had the various last names Tweedy, Cole, and Fernandez-Versini, but now just goes by her first name), fell madly in love, apparently fell into bed a few times, fell pregnant (well, she did), and had a baby named Bear.   All wonderful and romantic and all that. 

But they may be breaking up too.   DAMN.

Hard to figure out what happened here.  Reportedly Cheryl wanted to stay home and raise the baby, out of the public eye, and didn't even hire help.   (That can be tough.) Meanwhile, Liam was touring to support a solo album.  Apparently Cheryl resented that.  But she knew he was the pop idol bringing in the big bucks, and should have expected that he wouldn't be home every night.  Maybe she was being a little unrealistic.  Meanwhile, Liam might have decided that his gorgeous girlfriend needed more help at home than they needed a couple more millions, and could have rescheduled the tour (I know that's not easy, but look what's at stake).

So, maybe they both need to find a comfort zone, hopefully together. I hope sincerely they stay together, especially for Cheryl's sake, because she's been unlucky in love more than once.

A sonnet for trying times

not what was imagined

Adrift in randomness, these times evoke
the superstitions of an ancient age --
and this could not be said to them who spoke
of these dark days as futures ruled by sage
and seasoned wisdom, logic, and the light
of noblest truth and fairest justice. Where
does come our desperation? How has blight
affected human bondedness, our care
for hopes we shared and lives that thrived on trust,
like arches of a bridge that spanned demise,
disaster, and disgrace? Like creeping rust
afflicting monuments to dreams, hope dies
in subtle stages, softly swept away,
until we dread the currency of day.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Lighthouse of the Week, February 11-17, 2018: Hilbre Island, England

This particular lighthouse is small, and it might even seem boring.  It's where it is located that's interesting.

This is the Hilbre Island Lighthouse/Beacon, now a solar-powered red light.  It's been where it is since 1927. 

So where is it?

It's on Hilbre Island, of course.  Hilbre Island is one of three small islands in the estuary of the River Dee, which flows by Liverpool on the way to the sea.   The neat thing about the island is that it's a popular place to walk to, during low tide.  Because the sea makes it impossible to walk to when it's high tide.  So plan your hike carefully.

Web site about the light:  Hilbre Island Lighthouse

And below, pictures of both the lighthouse and the island (when it can be accessed on foot).

Walking to Hilbre Island at low tide

A sonnet with intent: "repeating prehistory"

Well, I hope it's kind of clear what my meaning is here.

repeating prehistory

To think we owe our lives to barest fate
might seem a throw to far to make attempt,
and yet we now near-certain know a date
exists when well beyond a nightmare dreamt,
a cataclysm broke upon the Earth
and made a blazing sky ignite the rain.
Dominion fell as waves from fiery birth
cascaded on most distant shores, each chain
of massive ancient lives destroyed; but still
they have not gone, but changed into our birds,
reminders of a kingdom whipped to will
of intersecting orbits. Now just words
describe the dangers we ourselves have made,
creating futures we might not evade.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

I thought so. This is HUGE climate news

I brought this up recently on Twitter, but finally found the time to mention it here on my blog.

In my piece on why scientists know that CO2 is causing the warming of the Earth -- which is undoubtedly happening -- I mention the following:
"Skeptics like to point out that the warming at the Earth's surface hasn't been uniform, there have been cooling periods and flat periods (maybe), none of which I will give a name to, ever since the effects of increasing CO2 began to kick in. So, they ask, how can that happen if there is evermore heat being trapped.

The simple answer to that is: most of the heat is going into the ocean. It's been measured, documented, and quantified. Yet still, the ocean's uptake of the heat can vary, depending on a few factors, and just a slight variation can have a big effect on the atmospheric temperature. That might be part of the explanation for what happened in the early years of the 21st century (if in fact it happened). But more heat kept going into the oceans -- until it came back out decisively, in a massive El Niño event that drove atmospheric temperatures to all time highs, and also lower tropospheric temperatures measured by satellites."
That last part is based on the observation of the warming of the 20th century, that every time there was a big El Niño there was a jump up in global temperature, and it didn't come back down all the way, leading to a steplike appearance of the temperature vs. time plot.  And several readings indicated that this was a likely mechanism by which the oceans vented the excess GHG heat that they store.

But I didn't really know for sure that this last El Niño released a lot of that stored heat. I was pretty sure it had, but that isn't my field of expertise.  So that last sentence was an informed extrapolation of previous climate behaviors.

Not any more.  It's been confirmed.

Stored heat released from ocean largely responsible for recent streak of record hot years
"By analyzing records of global temperature, sea level rise, ocean heat content and other climate data, the study authors find the 2015-2016 El Niño released excess heat from the Pacific Ocean that had accumulated over the past two decades because of global warming.

They conclude this heat transfer from the ocean is largely responsible for the sharp spike in temperatures."
It feels so good to read that.  Because it's true and it's what I thought was true.

And this part too:
“The result indicates the fundamental cause of the large record-breaking events of global temperature was greenhouse-gas forcing rather than internal climate variability alone,” Yin said.

Of course it was.  Lest I sound gleeful to be right about it, I'm not.  It means that the Earth is getting warmer, and the Earth is getting warmer faster.

And that's not good.  We need to do something about it.  And I  have an idea about what to do, and pretty soon you'll read about it right here.

This is what deep tax cuts can do in Oklahoma

Oklahoma.  Home of Senator James Inhofe.

That should tell you something right away.

It appears that OK is not OK.  Because of something it shares with adjacent Kansas -- deep tax cuts.

Deep tax cuts cause problems, as they are doing in Oklahoma.

What's the matter with Oklahoma?

Some pithy excerpts:
"The roots of the fiasco are not hard to determine. As in Oklahoma’s northern neighbour, Kansas, deep tax cuts have wrecked the state’s finances.

Mary Fallin, the Republican governor, came to office pledging to eliminate the income tax altogether. Since 2008 general state funds for K-12 education in Oklahoma have been slashed by 28.2%—the biggest cut in the country. Property taxes, which might have made up the difference, are constitutionally limited.

No fact embarrasses Oklahomans more, or repels prospective businesses more, than the number of cash-strapped [school] districts that have gone to four-day weeks.

A recently hired special-education teacher worries that she will not be able to afford a flat for herself and her two children without a housing voucher and food stamps, says Julie Phillips, a speech pathologist with Tulsa Public Schools. After a school drive to raise food for poor families unexpectedly had some left over, needy teachers divided the remaining bags of apples and potatoes among themselves."

Republicans.  What did you expect, miracles?

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

This isn't fair

The f*cking House Republican shenanigans with the budget and continuing resolutions and tax cuts and military spending and domestic spending are maddening -- and disgusting.

House Republicans eye defense spending boost, complicating plan to avoid second shutdown
"House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) pitched the plan to his GOP colleagues in a closed-door meeting Monday. The bill, set for a vote on Tuesday, would increase Pentagon funding by about $30 billion, to $584 billion, breaking existing spending caps as well as making funding available through September. The rest of the government would continue to be funded at 2017 levels through March 23."
So that's what they want - and have wanted for a couple of years now - to slip out of the binds of sequestration that they CAUSED to be imposed in the first place, increasing funding for the military*, but avoiding raising spending on domestic programs.

* We do need to increase funding for the military.  But trying to avoid sequestration for military spending yet keep it in place for domestic spending is not fair.  At all.   Hence the title of this post.

Of course this is what they want to do.  They're Republicans -- this is what they do.  Put very simply, they lie, cheat, and steal.  Just like the POTUS.

Think I'm wrong?  They don't even want to provide money for disaster aid!!  (And may I say, AGAIN!)

This is ridiculous.  But for Republicans, ridiculous is normal.

House passes another spending patch as top party leaders finalize two-year budget deal

Sounds good, right?  Not so fast.  Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows (who we can refer to as Lil' JJ and M&M) have this to say:
“This is a bad, bad, bad, bad — you could say ‘bad’ a hundred times — deal,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus. “When you put it all together, a quarter-of-a-trillion-dollar increase in discretionary spending — not what we’re supposed to be doing.”
Hey, Lil' JJ - maybe that $1.5. trillion dollar unnecessary tax cut wasn't such a great idea, eh?

So what does M&M have to say?
"Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the Freedom Caucus chairman, said a broad deal encompassing a debt-limit increase and a huge disaster package would be “considered a lead balloon” among hard-line conservatives. “It’d get zero support” from the caucus, he said, aside from a member or two representing states affected by the disasters."
These numb-nuts simply make me SICK.  Maybe they think it's possible to repeal Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Maria, and devastating deadly wildfires in California and the Pacific Northwest, followed by mudslides closing down major highways.

They'd be wrong. They're idiots.

But they're Republicans.  So that's what we should expect.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Lighthouse of the Week, February 4-10, 2018: Queensport, Nova Scotia, Canada

Last week, the Lighthouse of the Week was a cute little replica lighthouse in Arisaig, Nova Scotia. I return to Nova Scotia this week to look at the lighthouse at Queensport, located on Rook Island.

First of all, as is customary, let's locate Queensport. Queensport is in Guysborough County. Unless you're familiar with Nova Scotia, that probably doesn't help, so click here to get there on Google Maps. Queensport is on the northern end of Nova Scotia, same as Arisaig, but it's on the Atlantic Ocean coast, specifically in Chedabucto Bay.

Rook Island is out in the water, so the Queensport lighthouse looks a bit isolated. That also lends itself to photographs of an isolated lighthouse, of course.

This Web site has all the necessary particulars.

I borrowed the short history:
  • 1883 - 6th order light, listed at entrance to Crow Harbour, fixed white, 12m 
  • 1922 - 7th order dioptric lens, hand fog horn 
  • 1955 - 1962 - replaced by present tower 
The building is 40 feet high.

And, importantly, it was recently named a Designated Heritage Lighthouse of Canada.

Looks chilly

Curiosity Rover panoramic five-year review video

If you haven't seen it, watch it now. It's a great video of a remarkable panoramic image taken by the Curiosity rover, and it looks back at where it's been.

Also, you can see the mountain it has been climbing in this image.

Curiosity selfie on Mount Sharp

The Keegan world domination plan continues

So, now we see the outlines of the plan. Mark Wright casually infiltrates Hollywood while Michelle Keegan finishes up her obligations in the UK.

With Mark in place, Michelle can now move to the States and establish her base of operations.

 In short order, she will start guest-starring, likely as a "hot English girl" in a couple of shows. The next step will be a co-starring role on a TV show or perhaps a movie. At the same time, she will start making more red carpet appearances and photographic features in magazines and online.

She will become familiar to the American audience, and then launch her assault on the heights of superstardom.

I predicted this would happen years ago. The wheels are in motion. She's a force that cannot be denied.

Mark Wright and Michelle Keegan 'are house hunting in Hollywood Hills ... as the couple start planning their new life together in Los Angeles'

" 'She's been auditioning for roles including a big new drama on American network ABC and a guest role in the show This Is Us, as well as meeting agents, talent managers and top casting directors.' "

See? I told you.  It's only a matter of time.

A sonnet in February: "a private test"

Here's a new sonnet for early in February 2018.

a private test

It's still a vivid moment to recall,
the when I saw her first -- a vision clad
in loveliness and grace which did enthrall
my sighted urgency. For I was glad
to find her then and there, where I required
a view to be desired, so I would feel
the certainty of verve, my blood inspired
by her exquisity of nude appeal;
and so I could provide my gratitude,
the cells of male affection and the source
of line and life's continuance. This interlude
established my extravagant resource
and set her in my memory, the place
I always see her body and her face.

The art of the nude

The nude human body has been a subject of artistic expression pretty much since artistic expression first happened.

And much of the nude human body in art is a depiction of the female nude body.  This is strongly and primarily due to the male visual fascination with the nude female body.

That is not something I need to apologize for.

This post is about a picture in which there is a nude woman.  I'm posting to make a distinction about artistic nude and the stimulating, ahem, pornographic nude.  In the case of the former, the purpose of the art is to express something about the nudity of the woman.   In many cases, the artist is expressing admiration of the beauty of the nude woman.  That is not always the case, and there is a wide variety of depictions of nude women and what their appearance in art is intended to express.  It could express vulnerability, courage, aloneness, sisterhood, fertility, motherhood, life, beauty, abstraction... I couldn't hope to cover all the possibilities.

In the picture below, from an Instagram account in which the woman has no qualms about her appearance in the nude, the picture captures the curvaceous grace of a nude woman in motion, captured in a natural setting.  The black-and-white tonality of the picture emphasizes that this is a figure study and not a picture that is primarily intended to get men excited (which is the purpose of pornographic nudity).

Don't be surprised when I tell you that the lady is a model and a dancer.

Yes climate always changes - when it changes fast, that's not good

Good article from The Guardian:

Humans causing climate to change 170 times faster than natural forces

The article discusses this paper:   The Anthropocene Equation, authored by Owen Gaffney and Will Steffen.

Here are a couple of snippets from the article:
"The authors of the paper wrote that for the past 4.5bn years astronomical and geophysical factors have been the dominating influences on the Earth system. The Earth system is defined by the researchers as the biosphere, including interactions and feedbacks with the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere and upper lithosphere.

But over the past six decades human forces “have driven exceptionally rapid rates of change in the Earth system,” the authors wrote, giving rise to a period known as the Anthropocene."
This is something that I frequently tell the denierati in our discussions, now primarily taking place on Twitter.   Which is, yes, Earth's climate is always changing, but except under very unusual natural conditions (like the end of the Younger Dryas), those changes are slow and gradual, and caused by factors that can be identified.  Now, the dominant change factor that can be identified is humanity, and we are causing climate to change much faster than any natural factors.

Which is pretty much what this paper says, too.   Here's another snippet.
"According to Steffen these [astronomical and geophysical] forces have driven a rate of change of 0.01 degrees Celsius per century.  
Greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans over the past 45 years, on the other hand, “have increased the rate of temperature rise to 1.7 degrees Celsius per century, dwarfing the natural background rate,” he said.  
This represented a change to the climate that was 170 times faster than natural forces."

So, as might be expected for the vastly dominant lifeform on the planet, we humans are changing the climate too fast for nature to adapt to it.  It would behoove us to figure out a way to slow this down as much as possible.