Thursday, April 30, 2020

Yes, these are difficult times

"Trauma is often associated with something overtly violent, such as a car accident or a shooting. But Dutch philosopher Ciano Aydin describes a situation as traumatic when it “violates” familiar expectations about someone’s life and world, sending them into a “state of extreme confusion and uncertainty.” In the case of this pandemic, prolonged uncertainty is compounded by the moral anguish health care professionals face when they do not have adequate resources to treat critically ill patients, says Wendy Dean, a psychiatrist and co-founder of the nonprofit Moral Injury of Healthcare."

- from "Psychological Trauma is the Next Crisis for Coronavirus Health Workers", Scientific American

A lot of black and white and women

Here's a few more selections from my growing collection of black-and-white glamour shots, courtesy of the models and Instagram.

Anya Areva

Anna Cer (?) from Lions Mag

Bianca Kmiec, of course

Susanna Canzian


Selena Verner

Lighthouse of the Week, April 26-May 2, 2020: Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse, Santa Cruz, California

As promised earlier, for the next three weeks the Lighthouse of the Week post will feature lighthouses which appeared in my Lighthouses in the Fog post.  So this week we will start off with the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse in Santa Cruz, California.  The lighthouse is named for a young surfer who died tragically in 1965 at the age of 18, and was funded by his parents.

The lighthouse is also the location of the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum.

I couldn't find a Web site specifically about the lighthouse, but I did find a page about Lighthouse Point, where it is located.  And it's pretty interesting.

Lighthouse Point:  A history

The previous lighthouse, appropriately named the Santa Cruz lighthouse, was taken down in 1948.  Here's the page's story about how the present-day lighthouse came to be built.
The beacon might still be the only light here today, if not for the tragic death of a local boy named Mark Abbott. On a Sunday morning in February 1965, Mark left for the beach with his friends. He went body surfing and never returned.

His body was later found floating motionless in the water.

Amazingly, Mark’s parents, Chuck and Esther Abbott, were able to turn their grief at losing a child into something posi- tive for the community. With the support of the city council, the community, and a $20,000 life insurance payout, they built the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse. The new lighthouse, complete with a rotating light, was opened and dedicated in November 1967. The new lighthouse honored Mark, but the Abbotts made sure it honored even more than their son. A bronze plaque inside the lighthouse reads: “This lighthouse is further dedicated to all our youth whose lives, through fate or misadventure, are terminated before realizing their true potential. May their spirits find new dimension in the unknown horizons that await us all.”
Now, more specifically, here's the specifics about this lighthouse (from the Lighthouse Directory, of course):
"1967 (station established 1869). Active (privately maintained); focal plane 60 ft (18 m); white flash every 5 s. 39 ft (12 m) square brick tower attached to a 1-story brick museum. The building is unpainted red brick; lantern and gallery painted white. The lantern and 5th order Fresnel lens (1890) were transferred from the Oakland Harbor Light (see below), but the badly deteriorated lantern was replaced in 1996. ... In December 2008 the Santa Cruz City Council voted to close the museum as a cost-saving measure, but it was rescued by contributions from supporters. In 2011 the Coast Guard installed a flashing green light, which was much criticized by lighthouse supporters. In 2013 the city assumed control of the light and the 5th order Fresnel lens was installed, restoring the original rotating white light. The lighthouse may be endangered by erosion of the cliff on which it stands; El Niño waves were expanding a cave below the lighthouse in the spring of 2016."

Four pictures are below.

The tallest tree in the world should not be hard to find

I recently ran across a description of the tallest tree in the world, which has been named "Hyperion".  The exact location of the tree, a California redwood of course, has not been disclosed to protect the tree from tourists and apparently from vandals who might want to cut it down.  The latter must have a really big chain saw and a lot of time.

But ... there are pictures of Hyperion (one of which is shown here), and it really projects high above the surrounding forest of more normal-sized redwoods.  So how hard would it be too find, actually, if one went looking for it?   Oh yes, California is a very large state, but the redwood forests don't cover all of it.  Furthermore, it wasn't hard to find info that this tree is in Redwood National Park, so I'd think with a good pair of binoculars and a good pair of hiking boots, it could be located by those with the inclination to find it.

Hyperion's very own Web page.  Which shows pretty much exactly where it is.  Not a very good secret!

Based on this page and the pictures on it, I don't think that the pictures I saw on Google Image Search of a tree projecting far above the surrounding trees are pictures of Hyperion.

And now, Hyperion (definitely identified):

National Geographic video about finding and climbing Hyperion

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Public service: guide to reheating leftovers

Just passing on this Washington Post article on the proper way to reheat all kinds of leftovers.  Given that many more people are cooking at home these days, there are probably a lot more leftovers than there used to be, AND this also helps reduce food waste.

How to safely reheat all those leftovers without ruining them

Tips for reheating pasta:
"For two servings of pasta, Friedman recommends heating a medium skillet over medium heat before adding the pasta and a few tablespoons of water. Take care not to burn or separate the sauce. The pasta is already cooked, and all you’re looking to do is heat the dish through and cook off any excess water as needed. Make sure the pasta is freely moving around the skillet, not glued together."
The article didn't mention my well-known strategy for reheating dishes like lasagna with cheese in the microwave:  don't do it on a high setting, because that will dry out the cheese.  Do it on a medium setting (which really means that the microwaves are alternating on and off during the cook time).  This will heat the water in the dish and melt the cheese, rather than cook the cheese.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

What is "dubu jorim" ?

I discovered this term the other day, and researched what it was.

It's a dish, a South Korean dish, that translates into English as "spicy braised tofu".


And if you want to make it, here's a link to a cooking video about it:

Korean Braised Tofu

This version looks pretty spicy.

Onward on Highway 41 in Indiana

Now leaving Terre Haute -- but not very far, with just three views this time, on the end-to-end Highway 41 Streetview trek.

Back in the country, a right turn on E. Hasselburger Avenue will get you to the one-runway Sky King airport.  That's what the sign behind the moped rider says.

Crossing Otter Creek (looks like it's pretty high)

Crossing Spring Creek. All creeks lead to the Wabash River around here, here being an area that looks really rural.   But I would think not many people are surprised that most of Indiana is farm country.

Roadside volcano

Lava Butte in Oregon is in the Newberry Volcano National Monument, which has quite a few different volcanic features.   But the thing about Lava Butte is ... you can see it without getting out of your car.   And right now, that's all you could see.

Lava Butte

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Jill Wagner delivers offspring

I've kept track of actress Jill Wagner's career ever since the short-lived but fairly intriguing Blade TV show.  She was on the Ninja Warrior knockoff Wipeout (interviewing contestants, a waste of her talent) as well as doing a few memorable automobile commercials.  As the Daily Mail noted, she has also been in a few Hallmark movies.

Checking IMDb, I also found she had a continuing role in Teen Wolf.  So she's had sharp pointy teeth in more than one franchise.

And, very importantly, she made Maxim's "Hot 100" list one year.

'We wanted a patriotic name': Hallmark star Jill Wagner welcomes baby daughter Army Gray

Personally, I might have gone with "Liberty" over "Army", because a lot of people are going to think that they misspelled Amy.

Checking back, I've mentioned Jill Wagner thrice on the blog, when she got married, with a very nice picture, and one other time.  (You can look that third one up.)

Let me see if I can find another nice picture of Jill.

This one's quite nice.

Lighthouse of the Week, April 19-25, 2020: Lighthouses in the fog

As I did a few weeks ago with Fresnel lenses, this week for last week's Lighthouse of the Week, since I'm a day late, I'm featuring three lighthouses (all of which I have not featured before as LoTW, somewhat surprisingly) photographed in a common coastal condition known as fog.   And as I did last time, my next three featured lighthouses will be these three.

So, here they are.  Turn on the foghorns.

Great Point Lighthouse, Nantucket, MA

Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse, Santa Cruz, CA

Seguin Island Lighthouse, ME

Butts, eriously

A post featuring prime posteriors.   It's worth looking back at backsides.

Susanna Canzian

Demi Rose Mawby

Izabel Goulart

Jayde Nicole

Jocelyn Binder

Ekaterina Zueva

Finishing Highway 41 through Terre Haute, Indiana

Last time in the trek, it was approaching the Indiana State University campus in Terre Haute, Indiana.  So this post will tour some campus sights, including one that any sports fan visiting would have as a must-see.

So now we take a turn down Cherry Street (off highway for a few blocks). You'll see why.

This is why. Arguably Terre Haute's most famous product (though he was originally from French Lick).  It's in front of the trees, so zoom in.

(For those of who don't know, it's a statue of legendary basketball superstar Larry Bird, who played at ISU before his pro career with the Boston Celtics.)

Let's get back to the main highway now.

This should be the stately tree-lined entrance to Indiana State University. But like I said, construction.

I accidentally found this image of the track at the Gibson track and field complex, right on the banks of the Wabash River. It's blue (like ISU's colors). On Google Maps, it's also inaccurately located.

A fairly good look at the campus, with practice softball field (Price Field) through the trees.

Now you can see the main softball field (also called Price Field).

The baseball stadium (Sycamore Stadium) can be seen here.

Next time, which will be soon, we'll move past the campus.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

An impressive peak

The picture below showed up in my rotating screensavers, courtesy of Microsoft (I think).  I did not recognize this impressive peak.  Google Image Search was successful, though I had to look at a few other pictures to confirm the name.

Meet Bugaboo Spire in Bugaboo Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada.

As one might easily expect, this is a popular challenge for rock wall face climbers.  In fact, the Google Map label says "Park known for its climbing mountains".  I was surprised at how close to the U.S. border it is, about a six-hour drive from Spokane.  And I suspect the scenery on that route is pretty spectacular.

I did a few StreetViews on the route to check if I'm right about that.

I'm right about that. 

And plus, if you turn right at Radium Hot Springs, that road will take you into the vicinity of the Matterhorn of the West, Mt. Assiniboine.

Geez, I have to get out more. 

N t quite "Jura sic Pa k" yet

So, how many people who read the headline below immediately thought what I thought, alluded to in the title of this post?

Possible Dinosaur DNA Has Been Found

Now, before you entertain visions of riding a Triceratops down your street to the envy of all your neighbors, let's read the article.
"Yet first, paleontologists need to confirm that these possible genetic traces are the real thing. Such potential tatters of ancient DNA are not exactly Jurassic Park–quality. At best, their biological makers seem to be degraded remnants of genes that cannot be read—broken-down components rather than intact parts of a sequence. Still, these potential tatters of ancient DNA would be far older (by millions of years) than the next closest trace of degraded genetic material in the fossil record."
So even before I read the above in the article, I suspected it would be that way, nothing more than remnants.  But as the article explains, just remnants are still pretty amazing.

If that's what they are.  Confirmation or disconfirmation awaits.  Stay tuned.  And if you want to ride something with "tri" in its name down the street, I suggest a tricycle.

Random search on Google

As I have mentioned before (though I'm not sure of the last time I mentioned it), sometimes to get to the Google page in the browser I type in a random string of letters resembling a word.  About 80% of the time it has an entry in the Urban Dictionary (and about 50% of those cause me to cringe in puritan horror).   The most recent time I did this, about two days ago, I typed in the following:


Now, I expected that I might end up with the name of an evil dwarf from the Nordic edddas, or perhaps a juvenile dragon from a fantasy video game.  And I was thankful that "urgul" didn't have an entry in the Urban Dictionary.   In fact, it turned out to be a place, also spelled "Urgull", actually and properly named Monte Urgull.

What it is:  a small coastal town in Spain, specifically "a hill by the ocean sitting at the heart of the Basque city of San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa, Spain",
quoted from Wikipedia.

Of course we want to know where it is. It's really close to the border of France. To see where, click here.

I searched for a beach view without many people, and below is what I found.  Monte Urgull is the hill on the right if you're facing the water (with the coastal homes and hotels behind you).  I think it will be to the left of the panorama if you haven't panned around yet, but I'm never sure if that's what my viewers will see.

Lighthouse of the Week, April 12-18, 2020: Cape Blanco, Oregon

Doing a little catch-up here;  this is the fourth of my four Fresnel lens lighthouses. It's the Cape Blanco Lighthouse near Port Orford, Oregon.   It has a few superlatives, which I found on this Web site:  Enjoy Port Orford - Cape Blanco Lighthouse.
"This isolated lighthouse holds at least four Oregon records: it is the oldest continually operating light, the most westerly, it has the highest focal plane above the sea, (256 feet), and Oregon’s first woman keeper, Mabel E. Bretherton signed on in March 1903."
There is one thing on the Web site I don't understand:
"Explore Oregon's only working lighthouse, where you can climb into the working lanternroom where the historic lens still serves as a beacon and a warning."
I don't know what they mean by "only working lighthouse", as I checked the Lighthouse Directory for Oregon, and several lights are active.  Perhaps they mean the only working Fresnel lens lighthouse.

Since I mentioned the Lighthouse Directory, I'll get some pertinent stats on it from there.
"1870. Active; focal plane 245 ft (75 m); white flash every 20 s, day and night. 59 ft (18 m) brick tower attached to a workroom. The lighthouse has an unusual rotating Henry LePaute Fresnel lens (1936), larger than 2nd order but smaller than 1st order. Lighthouse painted white with black trim; lantern roof is red. The keeper's house has been demolished but there is a modern visitor center."
Where's Port Orford?  Click right here for a map.  Cape Blanco is just a bit north of there, so zoom in.

And below, the pictures that always accompany a Lighthouse of the Week post:

Historic photo with keeper's house, from Lighthouse Friends

Sunday, April 19, 2020

First images from DUNE movie

Just a few days ago, the first images from the new version of Dune (the movie) were released.

First look at Dune

Still images don't tell us much, but it looks good so far.

Rebecca Ferguson, no stranger to playing a queen, isn't one in this movie -- she's Lady Jessica.  If you don't know the novel, go find it and read it.  Be ready.

Just wait another month

Even though the theatrical release of Wonder Woman 1984 has been moved from June to August of this year (and hopefully it will be possible to actually go see it in theaters), we don't have to wait that long to see star Gal Gadot on a magazine cover.  I expect there will be a few more cover appearances in the coming months.

The Daily Mail's accompanying piece:

Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot lands Vogue cover as she talks self-isolating with her husband and two kids: 'We're trying to enjoy quality time'

And this one too:

Gal Gadot puts her wonderful body on display as she strikes a pose in sheer metallic dress for Vogue

Bennu's version of the Apollo 10 mission

Back in the Apollo days, Apollo 10 made a test run for the moon landing;  it went to the moon, deployed the Lunar Excursion Model, had the LEM descend to near the lunar surface, then it returned to the rendesvous with the Command Module and headed home to Earth.   The crew members were Thomas Stafford, John Young, and Eugene Cernan.   Both Young and Cernan landed on the Moon on Apollo 16 and Apollo 17, respectively.

But that's not the point. The point of this post is that the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft made a test run for the sample collection landing on asteroid Bennu on April 14, coming within approximately 250 feet of the surface.

Here's a description of what it did:

One Step Closer to Touching Asteroid Bennu

This link features a video of the approach-and-retreat maneuver. 

NASA and Bennu will have to wait for the OSIRIS-REx landing and sample collection attempt, the first of which is scheduled to take place on August 25.  As the saying goes, "We got a bunch of guys about to turn blue ... "

Ultimate decontamination

From "The Andromeda Strain", 1971.

I wonder if I could get the home version installed.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

What I said about this place

I was recently contemplating a picture of the famed Greek isle of Santorini, and I said the following about the location:

  • "It's on my list of places I'd like to go see if I had nothing else to do in life than to go see places I'd like to go see."

So I doubt I'll be visiting there anytime soon.  So I'll just contemplate the beauty of the pictures of the place, and there are a lot of them.  Example below.

Another symmetric post

Jayde Nicole, formerly Playboy Playmate of the Year, looks forward to better times, and we appreciate the perspective.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Max Boot capitulates

Max Boot is a Washington Post columnist.  He's also a recovering Republican.

Here's his biography:   About me   (from his Web site,

Here's an important part of his biography:
"Max Boot was a senior foreign policy adviser to John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2007–08, Mitt Romney’s campaign in 2011–12, and Marco Rubio’s campaign in 2015-2016. He served as an adviser to U.S. commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has lectured on behalf of the U.S. State Department and at many military institutions, including the Army, Navy, and Air War Colleges, the Australian Defense College, the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare School, West Point, and the Naval Academy."
Now, Max Boot recently wrote an op-ed entitled, simply, "The worst president. Ever."

So what pushed him to that conclusion?
"So I have written, as I did on March 12, that Trump is the worst president in modern times — not of all time. That left open the possibility that James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce, Warren Harding or some other nonentity would be judged more harshly. But in the past month, we have seen enough to take away the qualifier “in modern times.” With his catastrophic mishandling of the coronavirus, Trump has established himself as the worst president in U.S. history."
and the summary paragraph:
"Trump is characteristically working hardest at blaming others — China, the media, governors, President Barack Obama, the Democratic impeachment managers, everyone but his golf caddie — for his blunders. His mantra is: “I don’t take responsibility at all.” It remains to be seen whether voters will buy his excuses. But whatever happens in November, Trump cannot escape the pitiless judgment of history."
Hopefully, enough voters will be pitiless in November to kick him out of the White House and subsequently into jail.

Lighthouse of the Week, April 5-11, 2020: Pigeon Point Lighthouse, California (in art)

The third lighthouse in the Fresnel lens series of lighthouses is the Pigeon Point Lighthouse in California.  Now, actually I featured this famous and picturesque lighthouse last year, right here, where all the important information is located, as well as actual pictures.

So this time, instead of pictures, I'm featuring paintings.  I simply found these by image searching this:

"Pigeon Point" lighthouse art

So below are four of what I found, with credit to the artist.

by Donna Elias

by Frank Kliewer

by Regina Femrite

by Sally Bookman

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Mount Thor is well-named

Mount Thor on Baffin Island is indeed a mountain of the gods, with a big, high, sheer rock wall.

Height club: Incredible pictures show the mighty Mount Thor, which features the world's greatest vertical drop - of 4,100ft (that's three Empire State Buildings end to end)

A more distant view of Mount Thor, aka Thor Peak.

Mount Thor is just under ten miles from Mount Asgard, which combined its impressive vertical face with its flat-topped peak to be the sight for the one of the Bond movie series most memorable opening sequences, in The Spy Who Loved Me.

Some views of Terre Haute, Indiana, on Highway 41

In the next set of Highway 41 posts, we'll see some highway highlights in Terre Haute, Indiana.

The building behind the tow truck with the red car on it (timing is everything) is the Candles Holocaust Museum and Education Center.

The Wabash River flows very close to the highway here. So we'll turn off at Dresser Drive and go take a look at it.

This ornate building, right on Highway 41, is the Vigo County Courthouse.

Next time, Highway 41 goes by the Indiana State University Campus. Sorry about the construction. I'll make up for that.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Panabaker post-partum

I've written a couple of articles about actress Danielle Panabaker a couple of times.

First, I commented on how Danielle had grown from a child/teen star into a mature actress, and that she also had a sexy side  (illustrated).

Then I noted that she had a man whom she married, whom I speculated would benefit from Danielle's sexy side.

Well, it appears that he did, and one of the side effects of marital relations is procreation, which despite the ongoing catastrophe of COVID-19, they have carried to completion.

Best of luck to the new family.

Stromboli lava flow

Stromboli volcano in Italy is most famous for the intermittent, fairly gentle explosive activity that is so commonplace here that it gave the name "Strombolian" to this mode when it occurs at other volcanoes.  Now, Stromboli is capable of bigger explosions, and these can be surprising, and when they are surprising they can also be deadly, as happened last July.   Hey, it's a volcano.

Also, every now and then, Stromboli's crater overflows and a fast lava flow slides down a steep slope to the ocean. 

Accuweather has a video of when this happened, just a few days ago (on March 31, 2020).

Here's a picture of it from Volcano Discovery (and a status report):

No friend of Fox News

The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin, who yes I do admire greatly, is no friend of Fox News.

Fox News has succeeded - in misinforming millions of Americans

I found this excerpt from the op-ed quite compelling.
"Facts are neither liberal nor conservative — at least they did not used to be. One does not combat bias (real or exaggerated) by presenting false narratives, ignoring factual material that contradicts one’s ideological preferences or attacking outlets that are presenting accurate information (i.e., the mainstream media). The Pew survey demonstrates that Fox News is not merely counteracting supposed bias against Trump but conveying false, and in this case, dangerous, information."

That sure does apply to a lot of issues.  And given how much I've argued about climate change, I know there are minds that will not accept factual material that contradicts their ideological preferences, to the point of massive cognitive dissonance.

Which is why I really liked the idea of Michael Bloomberg buying Fox News.

Lighthouse of the Week, March 29-April 4, 2020: Pointe Aux Barques, Michigan, USA

Pointe Aux Barques is the tip of the thumb of Michigan's Lower Peninsula mitten shape (thus on the Lake Huron coast). In case that doesn't geographically orient you, click on this right here to see the map.

The Pointe Aux Barques lighthouse is the second in my Fresnel lens series of lighthouses, and it has considerable historic value. And it has it's own Web site, which can be a bit repetitive, but it is informative. I extracted the information on it below.
"The Pointe aux Barques Lighthouse ranks among the ten oldest lighthouses in Michigan. It is an active lighthouse maintained by the US Coast Guard remotely.

The original Pointe aux Barques Lighthouse was constructed of stone taken from the shore of Lake Huron in 1848. The keeper's house and separate tower were located on a three acre clearing hacked out of the dense wilderness.

By 1857, the ravages of shoreline weather and a fire in the interior of the house created the need for a new structure. The new keeper's house and attached 89-foot tower were built of the finest brick available. The light is still an active aid to navigation, making Pointe aux Barques one of the oldest continuously operating lights on the Great Lakes."

So let's look at some pictures and a 1-minute video.

by Chris Hardy