Monday, November 30, 2020

A comet for Christmas


There's a comet currently visible (with the right equipment), Comet Erasmus.  Not as bright or as newsworthy as summer's Comet Neowise, but still, comets are fascinating things.

I'll make this quick;  here's a page of Comet Erasmus pictures. 

Realtime Image Gallery:   Erasmus

Here's one of the best from the gallery, taken in Namibia by Gerald Rhemann.  Clearly, clear skies enhance the view of this green glowing glob.  This picture is actually one of two -- the tail extends out of frame into the other picture.  

This comet was discovered by a South African astronomer named Nicolas Erasmus, and it is on a ~2000 year cycle return orbit.

I learned that from here:  Bright Comet Erasmus

It has been said that comets portend the overthrow of despotic leaders;  this was discovered on September 17, and Trump was defeated on November 3rd (and a few days after that).   So that works. 

Lighthouse of the Week, November 22-28, 2020: Guard Island, Alaska, USA


Another week, another lighthouse.  Alaska does not have a lot of lighthouses, but the ones it does have are pretty and sometimes spectacular.  Search "lighthouse Alaska" on this blog to see what I mean.

This one is Guard Island, near Ketchikan (click there to see where).

Or, more descriptively:

"Located on a island marking the northern entrance to the Tongass Narrows from Clarence Strait, 9 miles (15 km) northwest of Ketchikan."

That's from the Lighthouse Directory, as is the following:
"1924 (station established 1904). Active; focal plane 74 ft (22.5 m); white flash every 10 s. 30 ft (9 m) square cylindrical reinforced concrete tower with lantern and gallery, centered on the roof of a square concrete oil house; DCB-24 aerobeacon. Lighthouse is white concrete; lantern painted black."
The Guard Island lighthouse also has a page at Lighthouse Friends:  Guard Island, AK

Plenty of history there, including a murder.  Not kidding.

One other page about it, at Neal's Lighthouse Blog (he has actually been there):  Guard Island Lighthouse, Alaska

Unlike Neal, I haven't been there.  But I have pictures of it below.  As you'll see, Guard Island isn't very big.  But where it is located is pretty.

And spectacular.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Whither goest thou, iceberg?


A few posts ago I noted the observations of a really big iceberg that might possibly collide with South Georgia island in the far southern Atlantic Ocean.  Or maybe it's in the northern Southern Circumpolar Ocean.  

In any case, I used NASA's cool Worldview site to try and check on the progress of the iceberg since last I checked.  And it's definitely moving.   It is not necessarily moving much toward South Georgia at present, though.

What I did was measure the distance between the approximate centers of the two objects on November 21 and 26, then I kept the measurement line in place from the 21st and fast-forwarded to the 26th, but kept the measurement line from the 21st in place, so the movement can be perceived.  

Here's what it looked like on the 26th:

Here's the measurement of distance on the 21st (a very clear day -- remember, it's summer down there now):

And now here's the November 26th image again, but now with the November 21st measurement line.  Most of the iceberg's movement has been to the north, it seems, but that could change.  Or maybe it won't.  We can just keep watching.

Beautiful butts on the bed


Another thematic posting.

The model above is Jocelyn Binder

Lake Shore Drive (aka Highway 41) passes by or through Chicago's McCormick Place


McCormick Place is Chicago's lakefront convention center.  It had a massive fire in 1967, but was rebuilt bigger and better in 1971.  And the Highway 41 StreetView end-to-end trek goes right past it, as it is on the lake shore and all.

The little building has a pretty mural on it.  Pan around if you don't see it, it's in front of the lake.

Passing by Morgan Point.

This fancy pedestrian bridge transforms pedestrians into beachgoers at Oakwood Beach.

Pedestrian bridge at 35th Street.

So now this is by McCormick Place, Chicago's lakefront convention and exhibition center (as was said up top). Looking to the southeast, there's also a bird sanctuary.  Various parts of McCormick Place are on either side of Lake Shore Drive.

Another view of McCormick Place, and OH MY GOD to the north (red arrow pointing up) is downtown Chicago! It DOES exist!

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Mystery girl


I saw this picture, and went to the article (it was a click-bait picture), but the article didn't identify her.  So I screen-captured it and let Google image search for it.

Google found who it is.    So ponder the picture, and wait for the subsequent post with identification (and more pictures).

This was funny, and yet sad


The headline tells the main story, but there's another story inside the story.

Federal appeals court panel rejects Trump request to block certification of Pennsylvania’s election results

That's good, but here's the funny part.

"Also Friday [November 27], election officials concluded a recount in Milwaukee County, one of two Wisconsin counties where the Trump campaign paid a total of $3 million for a review of the ballots. The result: Biden’s roughly 20,000-vote lead in the state grew by 132 votes. A recount in Dane County, home to Madison, continues, and the Trump campaign still could sue over challenges raised during the recount that were rejected by local election officials."

So Trump lost the vote in Wisconsin, and this $3 mil recount indicated he lost the vote by even more in Wisconsin.

That makes me smile.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Lighthouse of the Week, November 15-21, 2020: Phare de Pertusato, Corsica, France


Catching up a bit here with a Lighthouse of the Week post that's a bit late, but it's a good one.  This is the Phare de Pertusato, located on a very southern point of the island of Corsica, such that at some angles of photography mountains on the island of Sardinia are visible.

Here's what the Lighthouse Directory provides about it:

"1844. Active; focal plane 100 m (328 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 17 m (56 ft) square cylindrical masonry tower with lantern and gallery, rising from the center of a square 1-story masonry keeper's house. The lighthouse is painted white with black trim outlining the corners of the tower and building; lantern and gallery painted black." 

So yes, it's been there awhile, and it's in a fabulous location, complete with sea-sculpted coastal formations and clear blue-green Mediterranean waters.  See the illustrations below.


More truth that hurts from Jennifer Rubin


The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin doesn't mince words, and her words are true. 

Here's an example.

Republicans created an anti-democratic mob

There's a lot to mull over and digest in this, but here's an excerpt that particularly affected me.

"Republicans who failed to take on Trump not only created a monster, but also misled their own base, rendering them unable and unwilling to accept the results of an election. These politicians and right-wing media personalities are as responsible as Trump for the MAGA masses who believe they are persecuted, regard pressure on election officials as fair game, buy into crackpot conspiracy theories and no longer accept the premise of democracy. 

The lawmakers who scream that Facebook (where the top-performing posts often come from conservative pundits) is out to get Republicans or that climate change is a hoax have turned their base into an unhinged mob for whom facts are irrelevant."

Truly, a giant artichoke


I just discovered that there is a giant artichoke in Castroville, California, the "Artichoke Capital of the World" -- they even have an Artichoke Festival there, and will again, when the COVID-19 emergency state ends.

I've been there, actually.  Not during the festival, but I was passing through, and saw the banner for the Artichoke Festival over Main Street. 

What I did NOT know was that there is a giant artichoke in Castroville, at the Giant Artichoke Restaurant, which I would think features artichokes on the menu.  (I checked; it does.)

I'm sorry I missed it.  Next time, I won't.  (Not sure when that will be, but I won't miss it.)

Meanwhile, here's a StreetView of it.

A big new sunspot


The Sun appears to be waking up from its minimum state.  There's a big sunspot on the disk right now, capable of making flares and disrupting communications and other things electronic on Earth.

Follow its status on

Here's the total disk on November 27:

And here's a really cool (so to speak) close-up of the sunspot acquired by Francois Rouvier.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Did you know this is a word?


Another installment of Adventures in Dictionaries.


verb, informal


1. wobble; quiver. 

2. speak or write vaguely or at great length.

So, I promise not to wibble any more in this post.

But, the Collins dictionary entry for wibble is more fun.  Go there and see.

Ambitious iceberg


Famously and tragically, an iceberg hit the luxury ocean cruise ship Titanic, causing the ship of dreams to sink on its maiden voyage in 1912.

Now there's an iceberg with a bigger target to take down -- South Georgia Island in the far southern Atlantic Ocean.

Of course, it's very unlikely that the iceberg could sink the island.  But just seeing it try would be very interesting (but it might be bad for the penguins).

An iceberg the size of Delaware is on a collision course with South Georgia Island

The picture in the article is from November 5.    Below is a more recent one from November 21.  The iceberg is definitely closer to the island.   South Georgia Island is in the top right corner;  the iceberg is pretty obvious.

How should we interpret this?


I fail to see why there's a problem here.  I don't think it's a cause for concern;  I believe it's really a cause for celebration and acclaim.

Margot Robbie has appeared in her underwear in more than half of her films, survey finds - as she strips down again for thriller Dreamland

This post requires an example.  A good example.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

A pretty girl post: Iveta Kindlmanova


I knew that my "pretty girl" posts would be intermittent, so it's been awhile since my last one.  I have a long backlog of candidates.   This post features lovely Iveta Kindlmanová.  This is what it says on her Instagram bio:


Prague, CZ (that's short for Czech Republic)
Dancer, Choreographer, Photomodel
Model of Czech Fashion Week 2020
Vítězka czech beauty star 2015

I found more about her on her Web page.  It has a gallery with several sections, including a Glamor section where she is in various states of glamor.  

Iveta Kindlmanová: About Me

As you might guess, she's VERY pretty. So indulge her prettiness in this selection from her Instagram location.

Highway 41 / Lake Shore Drive continues on Chicago's lakeshore


Let's see three more places in Chicago on Highway 41, aka Lake Shore Drive.

Driving by Burnham Park. Not much to see from Highway 41/Lake Shore Drive, so we'll jump off road again for the next view.

View from the Burnham Park lakeshore. Burnham Park is actually a very extended lakefront park, which we'll be seeing more of.

Pedestrian bridge over Lake Shore Drive, by the Model Yacht Basin. This is Harold Washington Park, by the way, named after the former mayor, who unfortunately passed away while still in that office. Burnham Park is still lakeside.

Coming up soon, McCormick Place!

A George Will word


I was reading a George Will column in the Washington Post, and came across a word that I was absolutely certain I had not ever seen before.


Now, my initial thought was that this had something to do with 

"a candy made from sugar or honey, nuts, and egg white", 

but that would have been "nougatory".  No, this word means

"of no value or importance", alternatively "useless or futile".

Here's the column that contained the word:

The Supreme Court will extinguish health-care hysteria

Not Excalibur (wrong country), but still


I noted this interesting story in the Daily Mail, about a guy who went out looking for mushrooms and found a Bronze Age sword.  That's what I call an upgrade.

Mushroom hunter discovers intricately patterned bronze sword dating back 3,300 YEARS after he kicked lump of metal he found sticking out of the ground in Czech forest

The sword is broken.  (Might have once belonged to Elendil.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Product placement


A few posts ago I featured the delectable derriere of Yuliya Balandina (yulchikbb on Instagram) in a photographic selection of delectable derrieres.

Here, she uses her brilliant backside to feature a refreshment.   Yet somehow I'm more thirsty.

Crystal Palace scored FOUR goals?


I've you've followed Crystal Palace in the Premier League, as I for some peculiar reason have been doing, you would know that they are commonly goal-scoring-challenged.   So even though Leeds United is a new addition to the League this year and thus not one of the giants, still, when CP scored four, I was more than a little surprised.

The game was closer than the score indicated, partly because of a very tight offsides call made by VAR (Video-Assisted-Referee or some such).  Basically the Leeds player who scored was deemed to have a shoulder offside.  The goal would have knotted the score at 1-1, but it didn't, and CP scored soon after.  They've got a very talented new player, Eberechi Eze, who scored a strong free kick for his first goal on the team.

Because it was such a surprising scoreline for Palace, I've got the whole 12.5-minute highlights video here.  Crystal Palace is currently in 8th place, tied in points with Everton and Wolverhampton, and with a goal differential of exactly 0.  Those four points sure helped there.

Lighthouse of the Week, November 8-14, 2020: New Mukho Lighthouse, Donghae-Si, South Korea


I haven't had a lighthouse from South Korea in the Lighthouse of the Week slot for awhile, so that's where we return this week.  I made a quick decision on this one;  it's a lighthouse plus observation gallery, and apparently a pretty popular one due its high-level scenic viewpoint.

It's located here.  Zoom in if you want to get a better sense of where (and turn off the location labels!)

So, this is the New Mukho Lighthouse, which replaced the original Mukho lighthouse, of course.  The description from the Lighthouse Directory is short and succinct:

"2008. Active; focal plane 88 m (289 ft); white flash every 10 s. 21 m (69 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and large round observation room. Entire lighthouse is white. Fog horn (blast every 55 s)." 

The first lighthouse was built on the site in 1963.

Here's a variety of pictures, including a view from the observation gallery.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

A faster way to die quick


Not a lot of commentary here other than the title of this post.  This post provides the link to a Daily Mail article about a wingsuit that goes faster than free-fall via the addition of two battery-powered propellers.

This has not yet been in a James Bond movie.  I guess the next guy will have a chance to try one out.

Flying high! Professional skydiver takes maiden flight of the first electric wingsuit designed with BMW that hits speeds of 186 miles per hour while soaring 10,000 feet in the air

Don't try this at home
*as if anyone would be that crazy


Here's a more official article:  BMW builds electric wingsuit that can fly at over 186 mph

More StreetViews on Chicago's Lake Shore Drive aka Highway 41


Three more StreetViews in Chicago (and a bonus), on Lake Shore Drive.  As a reminder, as the end-to-end Highway 41 StreetView trek continues, Lake Shore Drive in Chicago is indeed also Highway 41.

By the lake. The Jackson Park Driving Range is on the land side.

Off-road for a minute, to visit the Garden of the Phoenix, which is on an island in a lagoon in the park.

Looking east, Lake Michigan. Looking west, Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry, formerly the Palace of Fine Arts at the 1893 Columbian Exposition. 

One look inside the museum, at the U-Boat (U-505) pavilion. Years ago, when I visited it as a young kid, the submarine was outside the museum. It's an actual German U-Boat captured during World War II.

If you visit Trenton, New Jersey ...


If you happen to visit Trenton, New Jersey -- not that I'm suggesting you should, but just in case you do -- there's a monument to the Revolutionary War's Battle of Trenton.  That's the battle that was fought the morning after General Washington and the Continental Army daringly crossed the Delaware River on Christmas night, 1776 and surprised a regiment of sleepy Hessian troops the next morning.

If that's not on your immediate travel plans, I StreetViewed the monument for you.

If you want to know more about the Battle of Trenton, then click right here and read.  

Thursday, November 5, 2020

WOWS (Women On White Sheets)


Two pictures of attractive women on the white sheets of a bed.  The first is the phenomenal, but never-quite-naked Abigail Ratchford;  the second is anonymous in a picture by Karl Clifford.

Lighthouse of the Week, November 1-7, 2020: Port of Grafton, Grafton, Illinois, USA


Back in 1993, there was a massive flood on the Mississippi River.  A river town in Illinois named Grafton, located where the Illinois River joins the mighty Missy, was nearly destroyed by the floodwaters.  However, the town recovered, and to commemorate the recovery, they built a cute lighthouse at the "Port of Grafton", and it is next to the ferry dock.  It's not a real working lighthouse, but it was the first photograph I found when I Google searched the phrase "cute lighthouse".

Even though it's not a real lighthouse, it still gets a mention in the Lighthouse Directory.

"2007. Active (unofficial but charted as a daybeacon); continuous white light. 40 ft (12 m) round tower with lantern and gallery rising from a square 1-story stone building. The lighthouse symbolizes the village's resurrection after being devastated by a 1993 flood."

Location, location, location.

Picture, picture, and picture.

The river still rises...

and floods.

by Nancy Varner Helmer

Still, you've got to admire the technology


Narcotics smugglers in South America have developed a pretty remarkable way of transporting their product.

Narco submarines.

Can you imagine what could be accomplished with this effort and applied energy if it were put to the service of a legitimate purpose?

New wave of NARCO SUBS: Built by drug lords in the Colombian jungle, they can sail all the way to Europe - underwater and undetected - with up to £180m of cocaine... 

They've actually been around for awhile, but they're getting more sophisticated -- harder to detect and capable of carrying more cargo.  

Here's an example of the genre.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Lighthouse of the Week, October 25-31, 2020: Spooky lighthouses


I'm a day late on last week, which ended on Halloween.   So I decided to see what an image search found in the category of "spooky lighthouse".  The lighthouses might not actually be spooky (as in abandoned, haunted, or scary looking), but the photograph should be.

If the name is linked, that means I already featured that lighthouse as an earlier Lighthouse of the Week.

The first one is Pointe-Aux-Barques, Michigan.  

The second one is Aniva Rock, Russia, which is abandoned.

Web site for Aniva Rock

Point Loma, California

Santa Cruz Harbor Lighthouse

More Chicago sights on Highway 41 / Lake Shore Drive


I was amazed and a bit chastened that it has been over two weeks since the Highway 41 end-to-end Streetview trek had its last post, considering the scenic city (scenicity?) it is now in.  So, let's get back to it.  I have lots of stored Streetview views, so I expect to make good progress this month.  But there are many sights to see in the city.

At this point, Highway 41/Lake Shore Drive also briefly becomes 71st Street. The StreetView faces South Shore park, but I recommend panning around to see the nice apartment building.

Decided to take a look at the South Shore Cultural Center in South Shore Park, which the map says is a historical building.

Here at 67th Street, the lake is on the right, and just to the left is the first of the big lakefront parks the highway/drive cruises by, Jackson Park. This is actually a corner of the Jackson Park golf course.

Lake Shore Drive, between Jackson Park's Inner and Outer Harbors

View of 63rd Street Beach

Wow, where did October go?


It seems like this last week of October 2020 has been very long, dragging into November as we await the outcome of what is beyond a DOUBT the most important election in the history of the United States since Lincoln was elected in 1860.   (And I am not kidding.)

At this point, I am apprehensive.  The odds are strongly in favor of the outcome I prefer.  But there are just enough uncertainties to make that far less of the sure thing I wish it was.

So, I will endeavor to get back to my blogging efforts, and to keep posting Lighthouses of the Week and the ongoing Highway 41 end-to-end Streetview trek.   That's what I'm going to do next.

Butt first ...

My last post was about several different views of the loveliness of the female posterior.  After I posted that, Amanda Cerny did the following:

I had to include this in the rearview review.