Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Crossing the water on Highway 41 north of Atlanta

Before some Civil War highlights, on Highway 41 we'll see some water crossings.

Lake Acworth - two views
June 2017 - there was water in the lake

December 2016 - there was a lot less water

Crossing the Etowah River

Monday, February 25, 2019

Lighthouse of the Week, February 24-March 2, 2019: Capo Testo, Sardinia, Italy

I just found out about this place - and apparently its one of the most expensive places you can own land on in Europe.  (Funny me, I thought that was Monaco and Cap Ferrat, but what do I know?)  This is the Gallura coastline of northern Sardinia, where granite is shaped like plastic.  And it has awesome beaches, too:  10 beaches near Santa Teresa di Gallura.

It also has a lighthouse.  The name of the lighthouse is the Capo Testo (or Testa, I'm not sure) lighthouse.  As one could expect, there are quite a few pictures of it, because it's near one of those great beaches.

Specifications from the Lighthouse Directory:
1845 (modernized in 1955). Active; focal plane 67 m (220 ft); two white flashes every 12 s. 23 m (75 ft) square cylindrical masonry tower with lantern, round watch room, and two galleries, rising from a 2-story masonry keeper's house.

This handsome lighthouse stands on a steep headland on a promontory connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus. It marks the northern tip of Sardinia and the western entrance to the Strait of Bonifacio.
Oh yeah, you have to see where it is!  The map.

And of course, the pictures.  Six of them.

A new sonnet, about a special group

This new sonnet is about a special and noted group of women.

the dodecahedral sorority

Their type exists upon a higher plane
than where most of us reside; and yet
they are composed the same, though from the main
these treasures are quite far removed, a set
with designated membership, akin
to female deities of passion, made
what they are named by how their lustrous skin
is so delightfully arranged, portrayed
for admiration that they must accept
although they never feel its earnest length.
For they would not be who they are, and kept
in memory, were it not for the strength
of wanting they engender in each male,
each wishing they could cleave her gauzy veil.

Friday, February 22, 2019

National high school record in the women's 100-yard butterfly

Last week, just across the river (the Potomac River), i.e., in Virginia, a high school sophomore set a national high school record in the 100-yard butterfly. 

Her name is Victoria (Torri) Huske.  And while one might think that she would have been way out ahead of the rest of the field, she actually wasn't -- she was pushed strongly by second-place finisher Lexi Cuomo, who's pretty fast herself, obviously.

Article and perspective in SwimSwam:
Torri Huske Breaks National High School Record in 100Y Fly

And if you want to see the actual race: (I'm just guessing this was shot by her parents or close friends):

You too can take great pictures with your mobile phone camera

As I've noted MANY times, I like photography contests. This one was a contest that could have had a a very large number of entries, because it is for photographs taken with a mobile phone camera.

And there's a lot of those.

Here's the article that alerted me to this contest (in the Daily Mail, of course).

The stunning winning entries from the Mobile Photography Awards revealed (and there's not a selfie in sight!)

And here's the actual site of the contest:

Mobile Photography Awards

There are a LOT of pictures there - I plan to spend some time looking at many of them.

Here's one nice example from the Black & White category.

Mount Huangshan by Dan Liu

Thursday, February 21, 2019

HERSHEY! B-E-A-R-S Bears! Bears! Bears!

Back at the beginning of the season, I noted that the Washington Capitals' AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears, had a new coach.  Which was appropriate, because the Capitals had a new head coach too.

From October to January, they then proceeded to suck bigly.  This is unusual for Hershey, because they are commonly in the playoffs.

They suddenly decided to start playing a lot better, and they have crawled back into a playoff position.  It's still very close, but it's a considerably improved position over where they were, i.e. dead last.

In the big leagues, both the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks have caught fire, which is pretty amazing considering how far down they were in the standings just a few weeks ago.  The Blues are actually in a playoff spot on this night, and Chicago is one point out,  tied with Colorado.   These things have happened before in hockey, and they can happen again, especially if a team makes a move at the trade deadline that works.  Not all the trade deadline deals work, but when they do, it's magical.

Capitals prospect report: Hershey climbs into a playoff spot with a 15-game point streak

A great 3D view of Ryugu

It just happened today -- the Japanese space probe Hayabusa2 slowly approached the surface of asteroid Ryugu, touched down gently, then rudely attacked the unsuspecting space object by firing a bullet at it.  The purpose of this assault was to free a few grains of Ryugu to get captured in the satellite's collector, to be brought back to Earth for analysis.  Apparently it worked, and they've still got two more shots in the chamber in case they want to try again. 

This is not difficult to find searching for news. 

While I was poking around their Web site, I found this great 3D anaglyph of Ryugu, which really "pops" when you put on your red-blue 3D glasses.   It's almost like riding Hayabusa2 down to the surface.  Put on your specs and then click below.

Ryugu in a 3D view

Monday, February 18, 2019

Lighthouse of the Week, February 17-23, 2019: Haengdamdo, South Korea

I think I've mentioned before that South Korea has a lot of lighthouses, and a lot of them are very unusual lighthouses.  This is a quick short post, because there are only a couple of pictures of this particular unusual lighthouse.

The lighthouse is the Haengdamdo light, located near Danjin, South Korea (which is on the western coast, south of Seoul).  It marks the end of sand bar near the Seohae Bridge.   Here's what the Lighthouse Directory says about it:
"2006. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); red flash every 6 s. 17 m (56 ft) steel sculpture; the tower is curved gracefully forming a loop at the top. Entire structure is red."
As I noted, there aren't many pictures of it.  In fact, as far as I can find, there are two.

Here's one of them.

Even though there aren't many pictures, it was on a stamp, too.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Important news bulletin: Eliza Dushku is pregnant

Ever since her role on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I've followed the career of the beguiling and intriguing Eliza Dushku.  During her run on Buffy, she was also a great cheerleader on Bring It On, and an even better cheerleader in The New Guy (see below).   After Buffy, she did Tru Calling, Dollhouse, quite a few guest shots, was on more than a few shows I never heard of, and did a guest stint on the highly unique and extremely bloody Banshee, which I did watch.

Eliza always brings an interesting edge and simmering sexuality to her roles.  She hasn't been inactive on the dating front either, as she was with basketball's hunky Rick Fox for an extended run.  But it was a tad surprising that she recently married former tennis pro and real estate corporation Peter Palandjian, who was a slightly (16 years) older than her.  But that apparently doesn't thwart nature, as Eliza is now pregnant through a mutual cooperative arrangement (sex) with Peter.

Eliza Dushku bares baby bump on NYC red carpet after announcing she's expecting her first child with husband Peter Palandjian

Excellent news! Now, as long as the kid doesn't end up being a backup vampire slayer with a vengeful streak, everything should be great.

By the way, this is her IMDb profile picture. I knew she was pretty darned attractive, but this is next level stuff.

And since I'm on the subject, I'll also provide this career highlight, the bikini shopping scene from The New Guy.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

StreetView of the Water Tower

In addition to the Highway 41 end-to-end trek, I've also featured many natural landmarks as they can be seen from a nearby road here on the blog.  This time, I'm featuring a historical landmark in Chicago, the famous Water Tower that survived Chicago's great fire of 1871. 

It's over on the left. You can move closer and angle the view up.

A space-based sonnet

Inspired by the recent exploits of the New Horizons satellite that just rendezvoused with the strangely-shaped, actually stranger than first thought, Kuiper Belt object Ultima Thule, I wrote the sonnet that follows below.

flyby of Ultima Thule

To find a single ebon pebble rest-
ing on basaltic sands would seem to far
exceed what valiant efforts could be best
applied; it's simpler just to find a star
within a galaxy, because its light
shines bright against the empty dark of space;
yet this dim wanderer traversed the night
in spectral silence, leaving just a trace
detectable, and yet enough to track
it in the Kuiper void and then to send
our envoy, where for moments in the black
we had a single chance to comprehend
an object with a clear identity
existing in austere serenity.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

January science images from Nature

Nature magazine has a monthly feature with the best science images of the month.

I'm going to have to remember to check back every month.

Meanwhile, if you want to see what the images were for this January, click on the link below.

Arctic hunters, see-through squid and star birth — January’s best science images

(Well, OK, here's a teaser.)

Highway 41 goes past a natural and historic landmark

Our next views on the Highway 41 end-to-end trek are in Kennesaw, Georgia. Yet leaving Marietta and before reaching Kennesaw, the highway goes past the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield.  This is actually a pretty pathetic Web site.  If you want to know more about the battle, read about it here.

First we sight the mountain from the road, then we go off-highway to visit the summit and look around.

Entrance to Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield (off OLD Highway 41)

Panoramic view from the summit (in winter).

Now actually in Kennesaw, we might consider sight-seeing of a different kind, at the Kennesaw Hooters.

More Civil War lies ahead.

Monday, February 11, 2019

It's almost firefall time in Yosemite

If you're planning to try to photograph the "firefall" optical phenomenon that happens when the late rays of sunset illuminate Horsetail Falls in Yosemite National Park (actually right on the side of granite superstar El Capitan), you've got to get there soon.  Peak day for the phenomenon is February 22.

Horsetail Falls 2019 Date and Time Predictions

Here's a good picture from 2016.

Lighthouse of the Week, February 10-16, 2019: Port Boca Grande, Florida

I thought that I knew most of the lighthouses in Florida, but even though I've been to Fort Myers and Sanibel Island, I did not know about, nor had I ever seen a picture of, the Port Boca Grande lighthouse that sits at the end of Gasparilla Island, marking the entrance into Charlotte Harbor.  If you look at the location, it's not one of the more accessible locations in Florida, but still, I'm surprised I had not ever heard of it until now.

So, it's this week's Lighthouse of the Week, and Lighthouse Friends has a page on it.  Here's a historical picture of the lighthouse from their page:

Here's some basic info on it:
"Built in 1890, the lighthouse consists of a one-story dwelling, supported by pilings, with a square tower protruding through the center of its hipped roof. Atop the tower is mounted an octagonal lantern room that originally protected a rare third-and-a-half-order Fresnel lens, which produced a white light interrupted every twenty seconds by a red flash at a focal plane of forty-four feet. The dwelling was painted white, its shutters green, and the lantern room black. Roughly seventy feet away, a nearly identical dwelling, minus the tower, was built for the assistant keeper, and wooden storage tanks were provided to hold a supply of water for the keepers. Keeper Francis McNulty activated the lighthouse on December 31, 1890, just in time to welcome the new year."
It's also supposed to be haunted.

Given where it's located, erosion threatened to carry away the sand it was built on (via pilings), but a community association managed to get a protective jetty built, and the lighthouse was restored.  (This is all in the article.)  If you image-search, you'll find that it's the subject of a lot of photographs, paintings, and even models.  So it's reasonably famous, too.

This leads to the pictures.

This is a poster that can be purchased from Walmart

by Shari Jardina

I did a quick search and found one picture of a 3 1/2 order clamshell Fresnel lens, the kind that was originally installed in this lighthouse.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Sony World Photography Contest 2019 highlights

The Daily Mail covers a lot of different things, and one of the things they cover is photography contests (which I really like).

So they just had an article about the Sony World Photography Contest 2019. There are four categories for entrants:   Professional, Open, Student, and Youth.  This article is about the "shortlisted" entries -- the ones that are eligible to win -- in the Open and Youth categories.  The Professional and Student shortlisted entries will be announced in a few days.

From a waddle of penguin chicks to a snowy night in the Alps: Spellbinding shortlisted entries for the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards

I did some searching, and I found the galleries for the contest, if you want to see all of the shortlisted entries.

2019 Shortlist Entries

There is lots of photographic variety here, and pictures that are clever, breathtaking, poignant, and funny.   Now I'm waiting for the other two categories.

Here's an example from the Open competition, Natural World and Wildlife:

A sonnet in February: "familiar shores"

familiar shores

Together we evolved from meeting and
acquainting, sharing knowing what we knew
was in our future — so what I had planned
encountered her intentions and then grew
into embodiment. For when I found
her naked and awaiting, a concubine
who there became my harem bride unbound,
my passions rose to seek her, sharp and fine,
like metal forged into a polished bond.
We merged as sword and sheath, in joy inspired
by ancient calls to which we all respond,
transforming into what our lives desired,
yet all too brief and much too far removed
from what my stark realities have proved.

Highway 41, through Marietta

Now Highway 41 moves north of Atlanta, into a region with a lot of Civil War history.

But first, there's these views.

By the runway at Dobbins Air Reserve Base

The green space is the A.L. Burruss Nature Park

First Waffle House on the Highway 41 trek (Marietta)

The Big Chicken!  (product placement)

Entrance to Six Flags WhiteWater

Thursday, February 7, 2019

I've missed her

I haven't seen many pictures of Michelle Keegan for awhile.

This new article helps. Plus, if you ever wondered what MichKeegan would look like blonde, this is your chance to find out.

Michelle Keegan turns blonde she shares behind the scenes look at sizzling new photoshoot

(Well, OK, she's appeared blonde before, even back to 2016, if you've been paying attention.  I missed that.  And she looks good blonde, even though it's unnatural, and she looks fantastic as a brunette.  And she's also brunette in the video.)

She looks like this:

If you look at the pictures in the article, they come from "Karis Kennedy Photography".  This is a very fortunate photographer, and it appears that Abby Clancy Crouch is also one of his favorite models, which is not a bad thing at all.  And at the Karis Kennedy Web site, I found this:

Click here for full-size version.

Now THAT's worth the price of admission.

Striving for Justice

Actress Victoria Justice is that kind of woman, at her current age, that can still look kind of teenager-ish and youthfully nubile.

And at other times, she can be just plain hot.

This was one of those other times.  (amfAR is the Foundation for AIDS Research.)

Victoria Justice shows off her sizzling frame in bustier gown with racy sheer panels as she dazzles at amfAR Gala

Exhibit A:

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Can't pass this up

The Daily Mail frequently, really frequently, has articles about curvaceous cutie Demi Rose Mawby.  And they constantly repeat what she has said about her diet, her exercise routine, and the fact that very briefly she dated rapper Tyga.  Which was what brought her to their attention in the first place.

The main thing that changes in these articles is what she's wearing. And because she's really curvy and really cute, she usually looks good in what she's wearing, which commonly reveals her world-class cleavage and her very round and large fundament.  On her, it looks good.

So here's a recent article in which she and her attributes are featured (of course).

Demi Rose sets pulses racing as she flaunts her curves in daring crochet bikini while soaking up the sun during her idyllic Thailand break

Here's an example.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Highway 41 passes Georgia Tech

Through western Atlanta, after passing the new Mercedes Benz stadium, Highway 41/19 goes past the Georgia Institute of Technology, otherwise known as Georgia Tech.

Big intersection, with North Avenue NW (78/278/29), southern end of the Georgia Tech campus. The building is the Food Processing Technology Building. We lose US 29 here, and it heads off to go through South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland. US 29 even goes within three blocks of the White House.

Sliding by the Georgia Tech campus, next to the Maulding Residence Hall. Highway 41 briefly splits apart here, but it gets back together right away.

Major important intersection here (but it doesn't look that exciting). US 19 (and Georgia 9) separate from Highway 41 and head east.

This building is called the Georgia Tech Student Competition Center.

Next, Highway 41 goes upscale.

Dinosaurs could get strange

Eretmorhipis carrolldongi?

Well, it's a strange name.  But the actual dinosaur was even stranger.

This ancient stegosaurus-platypus mashup has everything

I recommend reading the article.  I found some pictures to augment the weirdness.

Ultima Thule comes into focus

NASA released a better image of Ultima Thule, the Kuiper Belt object that the New Horizons buzzed by about a month ago.

There should be more to come, but it's pretty interesting so far.

Newest and Best-Yet View of Ultima Thule

We're waiting for more.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Legendary manuscript

Scholars recently found some pieces of very very old paper that included the story of King Arthur, Camelot, and the wizard Merlin.

The pages were found in a series of 16th century books deep in the archive of Bristol Central Library and are now being analysed by academics from Bristol and Durham universities.

The Vulgate Cycle is believed to be have been used by English writer Sir Thomas Malory as a source for his Le Morte D'Arthur, which is itself is the main source text for many modern retellings of the Arthurian legend in English.

As the article discusses, there's a chance there really was a King Arthur, but there may have been a few rulers of legend that had their stories combined.

Myth of King Arthur and Merlin revealed as experts discover seven pages of a 700-year-old manuscript telling the legend of Camelot

Lighthouse of the Week, February 3-9, 2019: Ponta dos Capelinhos, Azores, Portugal

After five lighthouses in Sicily, I cast about for places that I hadn't featured before that have lighthouses.  I settled on the Azores islands, which are part of Portugal.  And yes, they do have lighthouses.

The lighthouse I'm featuring is inactive since 1957 due to an eruption of the Faial volcano.  In fact, the lighthouse is inland now, because the eruption created a new island offshore that eventually merged with the main part of the island.  The remaining octagonal stone tower is about 20 meters high, according to the Lighthouse Directory, and the area where the eruption took place is now a protected area.   Here's a map.  Remember to switch over to the satellite view, which is pretty cool.

So here are pictures, and this time I'll start with a video, which starts with the lighthouse.

Below are some pictures.

The great convergence of highways in Atlanta

I didn't note something in the last Highway 41 end-to-end trek post, but it's kind of interesting.  Another long US highway, which acts as almost a secondary interstate highway in the Carolinas (it extends from Pensacola, Florida to Maryland west of Baltimore), meets up with the combined Highway 41 and 19 right by Spelman College.  While it's disguised as Chapel Street (and it took me a few minutes to confirm the numbers), US Highway 29 joins up with Highway 41 at that intersection. So if you want to, you can go back to the post at the end of January and look at that intersection. So in this stretch, the road is Highway 41, 19, and 29, and also a couple of Georgia route numbers, too.

But it's also interesting that I'm writing this post as the Super Bowl ends.  You'll see why.

On one side of the highway, Cleopas R. Johnson Park. On the other side, Dat Fire Jerk Chicken. Note the Jamaican flag on the side of the building.

All of a sudden, Highway 41 is passing by some new landmarks. First is Mercedes Benz stadium, home of the 2018 Major League Soccer champions Atlanta United. And where the Super Bowl was just played (also the home of the Atlanta Falcons football team).

The Georgia Dome used to be right here, just north of Mercedes Benz stadium, but it's been imploded. Instead, you can see the skyline of downtown Atlanta.

The next BIG building on the road is the Georgia World Congress Center. It's very long.

Next on the road - Georgia Tech.

Friday, February 1, 2019

This is horrible

One factor in the ongoing endangerment of endangered species is that some of them have features that are either considered gourmet delicacies, objects of art (or objects that can be turned into art), or features which provide ingredients for ancient mystical "medicinal" concoctions. In the first category are shark fin and bluefin tuna meat. In the second category are elephant ivory and rhino horn. In the third category are lots of different parts of tigers, musk glands from musk deer, and the scales of the ant-eating pangolin. Sadly, those are only examples.

I truly wish we could end the trade in all of this stuff. Because when I read an article like the one below, all I can think is how horrible and sad it is, and how it continues due to ignorance and superstition.

Hong Kong authorities bust record $8 million worth of ivory tusks, pangolin scales

Crouch back in the show (for awhile, at least)

Peter Crouch (tall soccer striker, and fortunate husband to the stunning model formerly known as Abby Clancy until she got married to him), was picked up by Burnley FC at the end of the transfer window. So Crouch, who had been playing with Stoke City (relegated last season), is a premier-time-player again. (Bad attempt at a pun.)

When you look at the Premier League standings, there are three groupings. The top teams/'Big 6' are those with a possible chance to win the league, and also to get into the Champions Cup (top 4) or Europa Cup (5th). Liverpool is a few points ahead of Manchester City in the title chase, while stumbling Chelsea (which lost 4-0 in one of those unique games where they dominated possession but didn't score, and when Burnley got the ball they did score) is only two points ahead of sixth-but-surging Manchester United.

The second group is the "Safe 6". They won't be cup contenders, but they are very unlikely to be relegated. This group includes surprising Wolverhampton, and also Leicester City, which has bravely continued despite the tragic death of their owner. They have between 31 and 35 points in the table.

The third group is the "Endangered 8". These are the teams in danger of relegation, topped by Brighton & Hove Albion with 26 points, and anchored by the beleaguered Huddersfield Town, with only 11. The interesting area here is the three teams with 23 points (Crystal Palace, Southampton, and the aforementioned Burnley), just above the other two relegation zone teams, Cardiff City and Fulham (19 and 17 points, respectively). All of these teams could go down if the odds aren't in their favor. A fixture this weekend between Crystal Palace and Fulham is one that CP would really do well to win to make their odds better.

So good luck Peter, even though somebody with Abby Clancy as a spouse has been lucky already -- I hope Burnley stays in the Premiership.