Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Michelle Keegan is fit


She's a gorgeous woman, accomplished actress, has her own fashion lines, and is married to a hunky actor/presenter/fitness guy named Mark Wright, so it should not be a surprise that Michelle Keegan is in absolutely fine physical shape.  (Of course, she has one too.)

She demonstrates this in Women's Health (UK version, unfortunately).

Looks a bit like Gal Gadot here

Yet another argument for gun control


Three people including alleged shooter Joshua Jamal Williams were killed after he walked into Jefferson Gun Outlet – a store and indoor shooting range - in Metairie [Louisiana] with his brother at around 3pm, carrying a pistol with an extended magazine unholstered.

When staff approached him to ask him to unload his weapon, Williams fired off a warning shot and then fatally shot 47-year-old store clerk Noah Fischbach, police sources told

Several armed patrons inside the gun outlet then began exchanging gunfire with Williams.

PICTURED: Man, 27, who shot dead New Orleans gun store clerk, 47, when he was asked to unload his weapon – before being killed by customers in gunfight that left woman dead

I think that's self-explanatory enough.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Well, that explains it


I wondered how newly-elected Colorado reprehensibly repugnant Representative Lauren Boebert could appear in a virtual committee meeting with part of her gun collection behind her on the wall, but then I looked closer at the note she had posted there.  I guess it was a reminder not to think about certain inconvenient facts about mass shootings in the state she represents (well, she represents just part of the state, to be fair). 

On the rim of Roter Kamm


NASA's Earth Observatory features many different kinds of satellite imagery, both data from satellites and more direct observational images and photographs (i.e., showing what things look like on Earth from high above it).  A few days ago they featured an astronaut photograph of an impact crater in the Namibian Desert -- that's in Africa -- named Roter Kamm, translated to English as "The Red Comb".

The Red Comb

It is locatable with Google Maps -- right here.  I zoomed out far enough that you can also see Mount Aurusberg.  On the map, that's the green shape above the crater.  It's part of the mountain range that's also visible in the Earth Observatory photo. 

It's in a very remote and hostile place.  I did a bit of Google map searching, but I couldn't definitively locate the nearest inhabited location.  Might be Rosh Pinah, which is a mining town - read on. 

So I wondered if there were any pictures of it taken from the ground.  And I found one (shown below), which has a decidedly Martian feel.  The basic story is that the chap that took it had a friend who could get him there -- because being a place where diamonds are mined, it's an area that's closed to the public.

As if there were enough members of the public who would want to go there.  But I get it -- even if Roter Kamm doesn't attract tourists, the diamonds probably would attract diamond poachers.  And I've heard, though I'm not pursuing that now, that in this region the beach sands include the occasional diamond. 

So here's the pic from the rim of Roter Kamm, which by now has mostly filled with red Namib desert dust.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

No matter what you think of her


I don't have a negative opinion of Gwyneth Paltrow;  I know some people do, and I know that other people have a very high opinion of her.  I think she's done remarkable things as both an actress and entrepeneur, and of course she's had high profile romances and breakups, became (and still is) a mother, done the conscious uncoupling thing, and was recently married.  Goop was one of the first famous influencer commerce sites, and it's been successful, albeit with both expensive and weird products.

Sooo... as I said, no matter what you think of her, I was sorry to read that she was infected with COVID-19 (not that unusual in the U.S. or California), and is suffering from the effects of  "long covid".  I hope she improves.

Gwyneth Paltrow says she has long Covid: A-lister reveals she had COVID-19 'early on' and it has left her with 'long-term fatigue' 'body inflammation and 'brain fog' (but she is recovering with the help of Goop products)

La Soufriere's lava dome still growing


It's been difficult to find ongoing information about the slow-growth eruption of La Soufrière volcano on St. Vincent (not to be confused with other volcanoes with that or similar names).  But I did find this recent video.   The best (brief) live footage starts at the 5:17 mark.  Of course, you can listen to the whole thing if you want to get the full status report.

Tell me about it


Yes, I agree.

On dating apps, ‘covid vaccinated’ and ‘fully vaccinated’ are popping up in profile names. Does that mean it’s okay to be intimate?


"Instead, he plans to remain celibate. That can be a hard call for some: Studies have shown that the lack of physical intimacy and loneliness can have serious health consequences."

Been there, doing that.

COVID-19 is a pain.

Highway 41 Streetview trek -- scooting through Chicago's northern suburbia


If you want to stop and shop, here's a good place; Skokie Boulevard/ Highway 41 passes by the Westfield Old Orchard shopping complex. Maybe it used to be called a "mall", but I think that term is going out of favor.

Skokie Boulevard meets Old Orchard Road.

Now passing by the Edens Plaza (which probably offers more shopping), approaching a VII (not the number 7 in Roman numerals, this is a Very Important Intersection).

So, right here where the end of Skokie Boulevard crosses the Skokie River (I told you we'd encounter that again), Highway 41 jumps onto Interstate 94, and will share that dual designation for a few miles. This is one of the places where Highway 41 loses its "highway" character to the interstate system. If you were doing a Highway 41 end-to-end drive, it wouldn't be a problem, but if you were taking this trek the slower scenic way, like by bike or roller skating or (wow) hiking it, it would be hard if not impossible to stay on Highway 41 for awhile. So when this happens, I'll take occasional side trips on nearby side roads that might offer an alternate route that would be permissible to alternate forms of transportation.

A look back at Valentine's Day


Looking back a week at a nice Valentine's Day-themed (in more ways than one) Instagram offering from luscious Heather Monique.

Lighthouse of the Week, February 14-20, 2021: Harrison Point, Barbados


This week's lighthouse is a nearly-defunct one, though it has a light.  The Lighthouse Directory says that it is gravely endangered.  Interesting "bio" on it -- here's the Lighthouses of Barbados page from the directory, where you can read it.  It's the northernmost lighthouse on the island -- see the map -- and in a fairly rural location, it appears. Most of the Barbadian lighthouses are on the southern end.

Here's the basics on it from the Lighthouse Directory.

"1925. Reactivated (inactive 2007(?)-2011); focal plane 59 m (194 ft); continuous red light. 26 m (85 ft) concrete block tower with lantern and gallery, originally painted white; lantern red. Keeper's quarters and other light station buildings abandoned and in ruins."

 Below, pictures, a stamp, and a video.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Valentine's Day is tomorrow


I have created a theme with these pictures.  Guess what it is.

I hope you have something to look forward to on Valentine's Day.

Highway 41 Streetview Trek: into the northern suburbs


Continuing the Highway 41 end-to-end Streetview trek, having fully experienced the city of Chicago, the visual travel log now moves into the suburbs.

Lincolnwood Fire Department

Highway 41 goes through Lincolnwood into Skokie. Skokie is somewhat famous for being one of the main Chicago suburbs with a large Jewish population, which has led to some confrontations with neo-Nazis through the years. It's also mildly famous because no one is quite sure why it's named "Skokie".

And in Skokie, where Lincoln Avenue intersects with Skokie Boulevard, Highway 41 opts to continue northward on Skokie Boulevard, right here. You can tell because the sign says so.


The boulevard goes through some nature, called the Emily Oaks Nature Center.


Skokie Boulevard and Main Street. Main Street is actually very quintessential suburbia, not really a street with a large amount of economic activity.

Skokie Boulevard and Gross Point Road. I'm just a bit fascinated by the name Gross Point. It's either big or ... bad.

Obviously we're likely to see more of Chicago suburbia next time.

Lighthouse of the Week, February 7-13, 2021: Nordmarsch, Germany


Germany has quite a few lighthouses for not a lot of ocean coastline.  It's a close thing, but it might have more km of coastline on the Baltic Sea than on the North Sea. This one is quite far north, nearly to Denmark.  It's on an island named Nordmarsch-Langeneß in a group of islands called the Halligen, which is apparently representative of islands without dikes to protect them.

By the way, lighthouses are called "Leuchtturm" in Germany.

Click on this line to see where it is.

Here are a few lines from the Lighthouse Directory describing it:

"1902. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); three long white flashes every 20 s, white or red depending on direction. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical brick tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse is unpainted brown brick; lantern is white with a black roof. Fresnel lens in use."

Several pictures are below (though there aren't a lot of them available -- it's not easy to get to this low-inhabitant island).   A couple of them are from this page: Lighthouse pages from Anke and Jens

The Fresnel lens is visible in the last one.

What's 'scup' ?


I heard a fish referred to as a "scup" recently.  I'd never heard of that before, so obviously I looked it up.  Turns out that it's also called "porgy", which is a name I had heard before.

Let's find out a bit more about scup / porgy.

Learn about: Scup

I can't say that I've ever caught scup, on the line or at the table.  According to information available, they are a fun fish to catch, and they taste very good.

They're found offshore the Northeast, up to Massachusetts.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Can you see Bok Tower from the road?


Bok Tower is a carillon in a garden that doubles as a bird sanctuary in Polk County, Florida, south of Orlando.  It was a tourist attraction in Florida long before Disney and even before car air-conditioning, which made summers in Florida semi-survivable.

Bok Tower up close:

In one of my speculative moods, I wondered if Bok Tower is visible from the road, aka StreetView.  Turns out it is, but you have to look close.   I figured it would be, because it is high above the flatness of south-central Florida.  Stay centered and zoom in. 

Count that as another itch scratched. 

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Going on an ice fishing cruise


In this case, the ice fishermen had to go with the floe.

(They didn't have much of a choice.)

Coast Guard rescues 66 ice anglers in Wisconsin's Sturgeon Bay after the ice they were fishing on broke free and drifted into Lake Michigan

Another reason Senator Ben Sasse (Nebraska) should become an independent ... or a Democrat


Nebraska senator Ben Sasse, despite the fact that he pretty much voted for everything that former President Trump offered up, has at least called the President bad names, said he's bad for the country, and has made noises indicating he might vote to convict him in the impeachment trial coming up.  (Note that he toed the party line and didn't vote to impeach Trump the first time he had the chance, of course.)

For this, he has drawn the resentment and ire of Trump acolytes in Nebraska (which is unsurprising, as this isn't the only place this is happening, further evidence of the level of mind control that Trump and his media allies exerted over the faithful Republican, Fox News (and OAN) -watching, Parler-using, gun-toting, abortion-hating, populace in this country.  You know, the ones who'd still vote for him if he committed murder on the steps of the U.S. Capitol building.  Well, Donald didn't, but the rioters and intruders and vandals and looters and miscreants he incited to attack Congress did.

But back to my subject.  Ben Sasse got censured by Nebraska Republicans.  So I quietly urge him again;  quit the Republican Party.  You don't like them and they don't like you.  So show some gumption (aka courage) and get out.


Sasse's message to Nebraska GOP as he faces censure: 'Politics isn't about the weird worship of one dude'

"Sasse has been a vocal critic of the former President's claims casting doubt on the election results' veracity. In December, Sasse wrote on Facebook that he had been urging his Republican colleagues to "reject" objecting to the certification process of the Electoral College and then-President-elect Joe Biden's victory, adding that talk of objecting to the process is a "dangerous ploy."

In the video at the CNN link, Sasse points out that he's one of the most conservative voters in the Senate, so he and the Democratic Party are probably a pretty poor fit.  But he can declare himself and independent and divorce himself from the idiots running his state party.

I had a thought as I finished this up -- if Sasse actually does vote to convict Trump in the impeachment trial, he might not have to quit the party.  They might actually attempt to expel him.

Or worse.  Remember that gun-toting part.  

Wow, this could be a novel


After reading this article from the Daily Mail, I knew a lot more about Melo pearls than I did before.  In fact, that wasn't difficult to accomplish, because I literally knew nothing about Melo pearls before I read this article.

Melo pearl

Moving on, here's the article.  Somebody found one of these pearls in Thailand, and that's a good thing for their family.  They'd better get full price for it.

Poor fisherman stumbles across rare ORANGE pearl worth £250,000 inside a snail shell on a Thai beach

Are we out of Chicago yet? on the Highway 41 Streetview Trek


Now that Highway 41 is no longer Lake Shore Drive as it becomes a series of avenues in Chicago, the Chicago boundary cannot be that far away, and then the suburbs beckon, along with an engineering monument.  So let's go see some views.

Through the trees is Amundsen High School. Very famous alumni of this school are dancer/ choreographer/ director Bob Fosse, director Michael Mann (NOT the climate scientist), and actor Roy Thinnes.

At this not particularly noteworthy or noticeable intersection, Foster and Lincoln, Highway 41 turns north onto Lincoln. But for a moment, we're going to continue down Foster Avenue a little bit further to go see something truly historic, the engineering monument I mentioned in the introduction.

Speaking of Swedish (not actually speaking Swedish), this is the Swedish Covenant Hospital complex.

The historic place/engineering monument: The water being crossed here on Foster Avenue is the North Shore Channel, built between 1907 and 1910. It was built to enhance the flow of the North Branch of the Chicago River into the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. So literally just south of here, the channel flows into the North Branch of the Chicago River. The channel actually originates at Wilmette Harbor, so the water from the lake flows out of the lake, into the channel, and then into the North Branch. The flow of the North Branch and South Branch was thus reversed, so both rivers flow out of the lake and into the Sanitary and Ship Canal, which flows to the Des Plaines River, which then flows to the Illinois River and finally the Mississippi River. (The North Branch of the Chicago River parallels the Skokie River; we aren't done with that yet.)

Read more: Reversing the flow. 

Now the trek returns to Lincoln Avenue and heads north.

Bearing to the northwest here in Peterson Park.


Passing by Mather High School. It's named after the first director of the National Park Service, who actually has his name on a lot of things, including Mather Gorge in Great Falls National Park north of D.C. Since it opened in 1959, it doesn't have really famous alumni like Amundsen. However, Max Levchin, who founded both PayPal and Yelp, graduated from here.

Here's where Highway 41 actually crosses the North Shore Channel AND

this is where Highway 41 leaves Chicago and enters the suburbs, which here happens to be Lincolnwood.

Suburbia beckons us.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Bit of a man crush here


Well, I wouldn't say that I have the same level of visual attraction to Luke Evans as I do to Demi Rose Mawby or Alexis Ren, but I wouldn't mind being this fit and handsome.

Actor Luke Evans flaunts his ripped physique in tiny red shorts at Sydney's Bondi Beach... as he unveils a new leg tattoo with a mystery pal

Hey, he played Bard in The Hobbit movies, so that made him a guy to admire right there. 

Another argument for gun control


I'll just leave this here, but it shows that if guns are in the home, and someone is tempted to use them in situations where they really aren't needed, things like this might happen.

And this did happen.  (This was in Pennsylvania.)

Three dead in a fight over snow: Man, 47, shoots feuding neighbors with handgun and rifle for shoveling snow into his yard - before turning gun on himself

Travel Photographer of the Year 2020 winners


I have a backlog of links to photography contests from last year (all via the Daily Mail, which alerts me to them) -- I may put together a post just with those links, so people interested could use that as a starting point.  Now that it's January 2021, the 2020 contests will start reporting their winners, so this year I'll try to keep up.

The first contest I'll feature here is the Travel Photographer of the Year contest.

Daily Mail article:

The stunning winning images from the 2020 Travel Photographer of the Year contest show life on earth at its most beautiful, bizarre... and brutal

The Web site:  Travel Photographer of the Year - 2020 Winners 

It's really difficult to choose just one, but I'll choose a different one than any shown in the article.  I have to note, though, the one with the bear and the volcano in Kamchatka is really great.

This one, which was Special Mention and which has a lighthouse in it, is from Edward Hyde, UK.

Lighthouse of the Week, January 31 - February 6, 2021: Mersey Bluff, Tasmania, Australia


I decided to keep with the vertical stripes theme this week, but this time the stripes are red.  The lighthouse this week is the Mersey Bluff Lighthouse, on the bluff that extends out of Devenport, Tasmania into the Bass Strait, pointing generally toward Australia.  This map link shows the location within the full context of Tasmania.  If you zoom in, you'll see that the intent of this lighthouse was to guide mariners around the bluff and to the Mersey River.  

I acquired the information below from the Seaside Lights Web site page on this lighthouse.

"Work on the lighthouse started on October 16 1888, and was completed almost 12 months later on May 28 1889. The original Chance Bros. 4th order dioptric lens was first lit on 2nd August 1889, and used kerosene. The first lighthouse keeper was Mr W. Jacques, transferred from Swan Island. A second house was later built for the assistant keeper.

In 1920, it was converted to automatic acetylene gas operation and was de-manned. The keepers' houses were let to local tenants until they were demolished in 1966.

The Lighthouse was converted to hydro electricity with gas standby in 1952, and a 2nd order (700mm) fixed lens was installed. In 1978 it was further converted to all electric operation."

This page also says the stripes were painted on the tower in 1929. 

According to the Lighthouse Directory, the tower is 16 meters tall.  

Below are the pictures; there are many, as it has easy access.

This final beautiful shot is from Chilby Photography

Highway 41 end-to-end StreetView trek in Chicago: the last of Lake Shore Drive


Seriously, Lake Shore Drive in Chicago is a Highway 41 highlight, so I spent some time on it.  Here, we reach the end of the drive and head inland.

Inland from Montrose Beach, there's a sports complex, with a track and a "Cricket Hill".

At this overpass, just south of Foster Beach, Highway 41 gets off the lake shore and heads west and inland. Driving wise, you can't actually do it here; the exit was back south a bit.

Here's the actual turn after exiting Lake Shore Drive onto Foster Avenue. Note that there's another colorful mural on the underpass wall, directly under the overpass that was seen in the previous StreetView.

Heading inland by Mariano's, a grocery store.

Residential area on Foster Avenue.

About a half-block off of Foster Avenue on Clark Street is the Swedish-American Museum. I have no idea what's on exhibit here.  Likely it's related to Swedish-Americans. 

Saturday, January 30, 2021

The joy of lingerie


Well, it's an eye-pleasing theme.

Three of these women are also natural mothers (i.e., they've given birth).  Can you figure out which ones they are?

Heather Monique

Jocelyn Binder

Julia Lescova

Bethany Joy April

Rose Dawn

Ekaterina Zueva

Great op-ed on the filibuster


The filibuster should go.  Its time has passed.   I've become convinced of that.

An op-ed like this helps.  (As does the quote from Alexander Hamilton, below the link, which is taken from the column.)

Alex Ham's words:

"If a pertinacious minority can control the opinion of a majority, respecting the best mode of conducting it, the majority, in order that something may be done, must conform to the views of the minority; and thus the sense of the smaller number will overrule that of the greater, and give a tone to the national proceedings. Hence, tedious delays; continual negotiation and intrigue; contemptible compromises of the public good."


Can't ignore this


Despite the fact that I peruse the daily offerings from the Instagram account of the astonishing and improbable Demi Rose Mawby, I have endeavored not to feature her TOO often on this lightly read blog.  But every now and then, she provides something that can't be ignored.

This is one of those times.

Demi Rose sizzles as she flaunts some serious underboob in a tiny top and silk skirt while posing in Ibiza

She is one of those Instagram glamour superstars that offers just about everything but the totality of glorious nudity;  I hope one day, fairly soon, for a very large amount of money, she goes full-off.  But until then, we go with what we get.

The thing is, OnlyFans has siphoned off a lot of what used to be available via other more accessible outlets; she doesn't have an account, but a few other delectable ladies do, and that's not something I can see.  So, for those of you with the luck, time, and private economic resources, enjoy what you can buy.

The island behind her has its own stories to tell;  someday I might write about that, too.

The iceberg breaketh


Update on the travels and travails of Iceberg A68A.  Here's a satellite view from January 27, where you can see the big piece and the primary fragment (colloquially named "the finger"):

After I captured this, I saw the following article, but I haven't confirmed visibility with the satellite images yet.  It's clearly visible in radar;  the article has some superb radar shots.

Is this the end of the A68a iceberg? Enormous block of Antarctic ice that was once three and a half times bigger than LONDON suffers another major split

Jaws bites


Mid-January 2021 there was a BIG storm in the Pacific Ocean, followed by BIG waves in Hawaii.  They were surfed of course, with various skill levels and various levels of success.

Here's an article from the Daily Mail about one of the lesser levels of success.

'Wipeout of the year': Heartstopping moment surfer is crushed by 62 ft wave on Hawaii’s north shore but miraculously survives after spending more than a minute stuck under water

I couldn't find a way to directly link the video here, but if you go to the photographer's Instagram, the video is there.

You have to look quick to see the surfer written about in the article;  he shoots by at the top of the wave just before the windsurfer sail goes down.

Here's a picture of outstanding female big wave surfer Justine Dupont on this day.  At the Instagram link, there's a video of an incredible ride where she escapes a Jaws tube that looked like it was destined to swallow her.

On Highway 41 / Lake Shore Drive in Chicago: Montrose Harbor


Moving up the lakeshore to another harbor, Montrose Harbor. I'll show the view from the highway, and then a lakefront view on the "steps".

Looking toward the harbor and Montrose Avenue.

Now under Highway 41, on Montrose Avenue, with a nice fish mural in the underpass.

By the harbor on Montrose Avenue.

The lakefront steps. I don't know why they are here, I just know they are.

We will keep plowing northward in Chicago, though there's no snow in the StreetViews.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Should we ever be surprised by Republicans?


You would think, after all of the events since the election of President Joe Biden, that Republicans would be a little bit chastised about doing things that aren't good for the country.

Well, not Senator Mitch McConnell.  He's trying to distance himself from the pitiful former POTUS, but he won't distance himself from the tactics and strategy that got us here, and got us him -- divisiveness and party above both principle and patriotism.

This is not the time for that.  There are too many problems, and too little time, to waste it on petty politics and maneuvering for advantage.  Shouldn't a Republican Party -- and leadership -- looking to get back on the right side of history realize that?

Apparently they haven't realized that yet. Specifically, Mitch McConnell hasn't realized that yet.

Fight over the rules grinds the Senate to a halt, imperiling Biden’s legislative agenda

Excerpt one:
"Two days earlier, he [McConnell] had notified his Republican colleagues in the Senate that he would deliver Schumer a sharp ultimatum: agree to preserve the legislative filibuster, the centerpiece of minority power in the Senate or forget about any semblance of cooperation — starting with an agreement on the chamber’s operating rules."

Excerpt two:
"But most of those Democrats — who watched McConnell exempt Republican nominees from filibuster rules where he saw fit under Trump, after using them to the GOP’s advantage for six years before that to block Obama’s legislation and nominees — now find his early power move to be infuriating.

“We’re not going to go along with it,” said Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), who was among those who signed the 2017 letter. “There will be some kind of resolution that does not involve Mitch McConnell getting what he wants.”

Schumer said as much Friday on the Senate floor, telling McConnell that he considered any guarantee surrounding the filibuster to be an “extraneous demand” departing from the arrangement that the two parties worked out the last time there was a 50-50 Senate, in 2001.

“What’s fair is fair,” Schumer said, noting that McConnell changed Senate rules twice as majority leader. “Leader McConnell’s proposal is unacceptable, and it won’t be accepted.”

So that's where we are.  Despite losing the majority due primarily to major fed-uppedness with their tactics (and it will be sweet to see Merrick Garland come up for AG confirmation as a reminder of those tactics), the tactics of obstinacy, of standing in the way of what needs to be done NOW, continue.

So I came up with a T-shirt design, even though I'm not really a T-shirt designer.  Maybe someone can do better with the same basic idea.

Well, it's a start.

Lighthouse of the Week, January 24 - 31, 2021: Fangyuan, Taiwan


Sometimes it requires a bit of ingenuity to maintain variety in this pursuit of lighthouses around the world to feature.  So this week, I decided to search for lighthouses painted with vertical stripes.  Horizontal and spiral stripes aren't uncommon, but I didn't recall very many with vertical stripes.  The search indicated there are a few.  The first one I found looked pretty interesting, but when I searched on the name, it looked like it had been repainted all white.  I won't reveal which one it is, because I'll likely feature it shortly.  

So after a little more searching, I found the one I'm featuring this week, the Fangyuan lighthouse on Taiwan's west coast.  It's quite prominent, as it is tall and isolated.  Plus, it has black-and-white vertical stripes.

So, here's the Lighthouse Directory info.

"1983. Active; focal plane 36 m (118 ft); white light, 5 s on, 5 s off. 37 m (121 ft) octagonal concrete tower with lantern and double gallery. Tower painted with black and white vertical stripes; lantern painted white with a black dome."

The short notes also say that the current light came from a different lighthouse.

So, let's see where it is.  The nearest large city is Taichung City.

Below, three pictures and a stamp.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Is this a dagger I see before me?


Though I found out about this find from a Daily Mail article, I found a more detailed article about the find that I am linking below.  

I try to be clever.

Archaeology dig in Spain yields prehistoric 'crystal weapons'

So here are some details:

"Structure 10.042-10.049 is another large two-chambered megalithic construction made from slate slabs. In the second chamber archaeologists found the body of a young male aged between 17 and 25 lying in the foetal position along with a large set of grave goods. These included an undecorated elephant tusk laid above the young man's head, a set of 23 flint blades, and numerous ivory objects. Additionally, red pigment made from cinnabar had been sprayed over the body and the objects surrounding it. The "remarkable crystal dagger blade", however, was not found with these grave goods, but instead in the upper level of this chamber.

The rock crystal dagger blade appeared in the upper level of Structure 10.049 of the PP4-Montelirio sector, in association with an ivory hilt and sheath, which renders it an exceptional object in Late Prehistoric Europe... The blade is 214 mm in length, a maximum of 59 mm in width and 13 mm thick. Its morphology is not unheard of in the Iberian Peninsula, although all the samples recorded thus far were made from flint and not rock crystal..."

It's easy to find a few pictures of this in a lot of different sources;  the article linked above actually has a microphotograph that indicates how the dagger was fashioned.


Yes, still in Chicago on Highway 41


Let's check out a couple more Chicago views on the end-to-end Streetview Trek on Highway 41, which while in the city of Chicago is also Lake Shore Drive.

Now on the bridge over the entrance to Diversey Harbor. On the lakefront up ahead is a statue of a Native American (the "Signal of Peace" monument), on the Lake Shore Drive side of the copse of trees, and an unusual modern art piece called the Chevron Sculpture, on the lake shore side of the same trees.

Passing by the Chicago Yacht Club at Belmont Harbor. It's not called the "Gold Coast" for nothing.

The next views form a set of four, so I'll post them next, separately and shortly.

The New River is a New national park


I just saw this today.  After reading it, I'm putting this on my destination list, and I can get there in approximately a quarter day (if I don't stop anywhere).  I've heard of it before, mainly because of the bridge over the gorge, but I'd never considered if I should try to visit.

I could make a long weekend of it and also visit Natural Bridge State Park in Kentucky.  That would make it a pretty long drive back, though.

New River Gorge: America’s newest national park is one of West Virginia’s hidden gems

"The New River Gorge is located in southern West Virginia, roughly five hours southwest of D.C. The new designations [as a national park and preserve] encompass 53 miles of the New River (locally called simply “the New”) and the rugged tangle of Appalachian forest around it, which is crisscrossed by hiking and mountain biking trails, railroad tracks, and winding country roads. The area has been administered by the National Park Service, which maintains several visitor centers on the gorge, since it was given conservation status as a national river in 1978."

There are great photos in the article;  here's another one I found.


Two excerpts from Biden's inaugural speech


These caught my ear (and also my eye when I went back and re-read them):


"Politics doesn’t have to be a raging fire, destroying everything in its path. Every disagreement doesn’t have to be a cause for total war. And we must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured."


"Recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson. There is truth and there are lies, lies told for power and for profit. And each of us has a duty and responsibility, as citizens, as Americans, and especially as leaders, leaders who have pledged to honor our Constitution and protect our nation, to defend the truth and defeat the lies."
I'm going to try and keep on defending the truth about the science of climate change, a truth that is becoming more apparent every day and month, and defeat the lies of skeptics and deniers, even as they defy the truth of data and their own senses.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Lighthouse of the Week, January 17-23, 2021: Castle Island Lighthouse, Acklins, The Bahamas


Location wise, Castle Island is a small island off of the much larger and better known (and more easily findable) Acklins, also an island of the Bahamas.  Confused?

To locate it more accurately, click right here.

To make things slightly confusing, there is also a Castle Island Lighthouse in Freeport, Bahamas. Or at least there's one according to Google Maps.  I'm not actually sure there is a lighthouse there, but there is a castle, called Cooper's Castle, which is both an occupied home and a tourist attraction, because it is a big, recently-built home that looks like a castle.

But that is not the subject of this post;  the lighthouse on the little island is the subject.

Here's what the remarkable Lighthouse Directory tells us about it:

"1868. Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); two white flashes every 20 s. 34 m (112 ft) round brick tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; 1st order Fresnel lens (1934)."

Wow, a first order Fresnel lens!  The Directory also informs that it might be endangered (i.e., not maintained well), and it that is used to have red stripes.

Since Acklins is one of the lesser Bahamian islands, there aren't a lot of pictures here, so it might be a nice place to get away to.

I also found a 3+ minute video, so enjoy your trip.