Saturday, April 30, 2011

Drug induced art from the sixties? Or is it....

an interference image of draining soap film (15x)?
Rauðholar, Iceland.

Time lapse of an entire night at the ALMA array in Chile, or a glimpse into the way the world turns.
Classic pillowy Pahoehoe forming in Hawaii.

This is one of the coolest things I've stumbled across on the net lately. At the Kawah ljen volcano on the eastern half of the island of Java, miners collect hardened sulphur. In its molten form, it flows like lava and burns with an otherworldly blue flame.

These pictures are by Olivier Grunewald.

A bit of weekend education. Think about this stuff next time you fill up, or buy anything that requires the use of oil or electricity in its production or delivery.

It really is a dog's life out in the country, especially in the springtime.

It helps to have a boy to play with too....

Time to sleep in the sun on the deck.

Saturday porch pictures

Thursday, April 28, 2011

After this performance, I predict "Lars" female companion, suitably impressed, will treat him as all good cave women treat their cavemen.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

More crazy weather, as in mile wide tornado.

Go here to see what a trillion dollars looks like, in 100 dollar bills. Nice perspective.
You want crazy weather, here is some for you. Below is a softball sized hailstone from north Texas. Ouch, that one would send you to either the hospital or the morgue.

Word on the street is that that Stuxnet virus (remember that) continues to completely paralyze Irans nuclear plant, and the Iranians are at a loss on what to do about it.

Consider how many people, both Iranians and others, that that virus has saved.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Wilhelm scream, a cliche sound effect that has been in use since the mid 50's, has been used in most popular movies at least once. See the below video for entertaining examples...

Hoplite (Greek armored foot soldier) helmet, 350 BC

Real, or not?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Blå, blå vinder och vatten,

Blå, blå himlar och hav.

Marines rock out.
The Cat's Eye Nebula, as seen with the Hubble telescope. The inner eye is one half of a light year across, to give the picture some scale. the concentric outer dust rings were likely shrugged off by the dying star in some sort of repetitive convulsion, but how the eye structure itself was formed is a complete unknown. Something like this will be the fate of our own star in about five billion years.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Kloppenburg Komedy gold. The thirteen second pause at about 1:40 is just amazing. Dead air time is not what we want to hear. The answer, judge, when you are asking the taxpayers to foot a one million dollar bill for a recount, is an emphatic YES, not that you feel you have "won" in many ways. You were so so confident you won when the margin was only 200 votes in your favor. And please, someone, it's time for a fashion makeover, and it's time to lose that "deer in the headlights" crazy aunt stare. Yuck.
A TSA official fails spectacularly in her job at Newark airport. In consequence, she is promoted.

Your government, rewarding incompetence, as usual.

Scientists beclown themselves with their predictions of doom at the very first Earth Day. So why do we listen to them about global warming/climate change?

Here are two of several howlers:

“Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”
• Peter Gunter, professor, North Texas State University

“The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

More hysterical beclownment.

"Three points for Gryffindor!"

Fire and ice.

The planet Neptune, very blue.

Our own blue marble. And typically, the weather is nice and clear in California.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Photographic proof that Obama started life as a little Somali pirate, supported by his very young mother, Stanley (snicker). Actually this is a pretty cute picture. Who knew that he would grow up to be, in fact if not in name, The Dread Pirate Obomerts.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

From the Cassini spacecraft, just before it passes behind the planet Saturn.

Emission of greenhouse gases drops to 15 year low in the US. Of course, no one measures or even knows the effect of the largest greenhouse gas - water vapor, otherwise known as clouds.

Monday, April 18, 2011

"In the last 20 years, I’ve never seen anything like it," said Chuck Whitehead, general manager for Coldwell Banker's Southwest Riverside operations. "I bought my first house in 1996, a four-bedroom for $124,000, and I could probably buy that same house for $124,000. All the appreciation we've gained in the last 15 years, it's gone."

15 years of crazy real estate speculation and all that pretty appreciation is gone. And what did all that debt do for the people and the country? Worse than nothing, it ruined us. It will be a long rebuilding process.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A long lazy Sunday afternoon. Got the lawn mowed this morning, so I whipped up a shepherd's bread in the dutch oven. Turned out pretty good, if I might say so myself.

The Mountain from Terje Sorgjerd on Vimeo.

Terje Sorgjerd did this timelapse in Spain's Canary Islands. As always, full screen this and enjoy.
In honor of the 13 inning high school baseball game I attended yesterday, I post this great shot.

Hat tip to SDA for this one.

Scientists are surprised and even a bit concerned about a swarm of earthquakes that have suddenly occurred in an unexpected area of Nevada. In the recent geologic timeframe there has been lots of volcanic activity in this general area, although nothing spectacular within the last few thousand years of human history.

However, not so far away there is the Mammoth area across the border in California, which has a lot of near the surface magma and is constantly experiencing these kind of earthquakes. Hot springs are common in this part of the world as well.

Could this be a hint that a new eruption of some sort is in the works? No one knows, of course, but that is why the local seismologists are keeping an eye on things.

Below is todays map of the activity. The large blue square near the California border is the area in question. Note how much activity that has occurred in the last week.

This is a picture of the general area in question. The view below is about ten miles west and maybe five miles south of Hawthorne. I took this one last fall during our annual trek across the backcountry of Nevada, completely unaware at the time of the impending ferment deep below.

Cats - any evil is acceptable in the quest to steal human food.

Uh, yeah! Plenty of times.

Read the story below on retired pilot and Congressional Medal of Honor winner Bud Day, and then watch the video, full screen of course, and see if it doesn't bring a lump of pride to your throat. This old fellow is one big ol' hunk of American warrior badassery. Who knows how old he is now, but notice how he zips right up the ladder into the cockpit of that jet. Wow.

On 26 August 1967, Col. Day was forced to eject from his aircraft over North Vietnam when it was hit by ground fire. His right arm was broken in 3 places, and his left knee was badly sprained. He was immediately captured by hostile forces and taken to a prison camp where he was interrogated and severely tortured. After causing the guards to relax their vigilance, Col. Day escaped into the jungle and began the trek toward South Vietnam. Despite injuries inflicted by fragments of a bomb or rocket, he continued southward surviving only on a few berries and uncooked frogs. He successfully evaded enemy patrols and reached the Ben Hai River, where he encountered U.S. artillery barrages. With the aid of a bamboo log float, Col. Day swam across the river and entered the demilitarized zone. Due to delirium, he lost his sense of direction and wandered aimlessly for several days. After several unsuccessful attempts to signal U.S. aircraft, he was ambushed and recaptured by the Viet Cong, sustaining gunshot wounds to his left hand and thigh. He was returned to the prison from which he had escaped and later was moved to Hanoi after giving his captors false information to questions put before him. Physically, Col. Day was totally debilitated and unable to perform even the simplest task for himself. Despite his many injuries, he continued to offer maximum resistance. His personal bravery in the face of deadly enemy pressure was significant in saving the lives of fellow aviators who were still flying against the enemy. Col. Day's conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Armed Forces.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Klutz reporter David Nazar wrecks attempt to blow world's record bubble. Way to go, idiot.

Jackass TV reporter David Nazar stupidly destroys an ice sculpture in progress. Can't help but laugh at this dumbazz.
Berlin, Nevada is another ghost town preserved in arrested decay out in the basin and range country near Gabbs. More remote than Bodie, it also includes the Ichthyosaur national monument nearby, where you can see fossil bones from a long extinct marine dinosaur which was the size of a small bus. It's an odd juxtaposition to see a large marine fossil in the midst of a dry desert.
Like so many things, it's on my list to see this summer.