Tuesday, June 30, 2015

My dream commuter mobile. Traffic is no obstacle.

Where the astronauts get their Tang

An astronaut aboard the International Space Station took this photograph of the brightly colored Laguna Colorada in the Bolivian Andes Mountains. The lack of atmospheric haze at high altitude—the lake sits 4,300 meters above sea level (14,100 feet)—helps make images of the region especially clear.
The strong red-brown color of this shallow, 10 kilometer (6 mile) long lake is derived from algae that thrive in its salty water. Occasionally the lake has green phases as well because different algae display different colors. The type of algae at any given time is determined by the changing salinity and temperature of the water. As lake water evaporates in the desert climate, it becomes saline. Ancient shorelines show that the lake has been larger in the past.
Laguna Colorada is the center of a wildlife reserve, and it was listed in 1990 as a “Ramsar Wetland of International Importance.” The lake is home to vast numbers of flamingos.
Snow-capped volcanoes appear at the top center and lower left. 

Update: Our imperial rulers at the BLM back off their demand for endless ice cream before they grant the permit for the Burning Man festival.

Enjoy the Bureauspeak, as you imagine it coming out of the mouth of a "mature, reasonable and considerate" public (commissar) servant, concerned only with your welfare and happiness:

"I am concerned about the reported costs associated with supporting the Burning Man festival. I have directed that BLM staff take a fresh look at the initial proposals for food and facilities at the event. Our priority is to provide for participant and employee health and safety, sanitation and environmental compliance at this unique event that is attended by up to 80,000 people in a remote part of the Nevada desert. I have full confidence in BLM staff and their ability to develop a plan that is cost efficient and ensures public health and safety."

The reality is their plans to live like kings, in luxury, while getting paid to stroll among the hippies and then squire their choice of the females back to their palace for more intimate relations, have been at least temporarily foiled.  

The fault can be traced back to Dan Love, the same "public servant" who nearly got into a gun battle with Nevada rancher Clivon Bundy and his supporters last year.

"Emails between Burning Man organizers and a consultant, former BLM Director Bob Abbey, suggested that BLM Special Agent Dan Love was behind many of the requests this year."

This Dan Love is a menace, and should be immediately terminated from the public payroll, if terminating a "public servant" is even possible any longer.

The quintessential public servant, living it up on our dime:

Motorist jumps over opening drawbridge.

Tom Cruise emerges from car triumphant.

No, really, what a hazard this guy is if he can't even see this happening ahead of him.  Here in California, when a drawbridge goes up little barriers usually emerge from the roadway to physically prevent such shenanigans.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Touch it!

After all the bad news from the Supreme Court, a small win

In a loss for the Obama administration, the Supreme Court ruled that the EPA unreasonably interpreted the Clean Air Act when it decided to set limits on the emissions of toxic pollutants from power plants without first considering the costs of the industry to do so.
At least there is some brake on the legislation pouring from the bureaucracy, although I'm sure those crafty paper pushers will find another way to cripple the economy, in the left's continued push in their plan to implement a Cloward-Piven economic and societal collapse.
After all, a brake is needed since everybody thinks they have legislative power nowadays: Congress, naturally, but very unnaturally there is the President, with his executive orders, the bureaucracy, and the Courts.
Don't like what Congress passed?  Get the prez to change it by executive order, or the bureaucrats by rules and regulations, or the courts by interpretation of intents and feelings.
Meanwhile, the rest of us obey what we think is the law, go to work, pay our taxes and raise our families best we can.  God help the elites when all of us bitter clingers decide we are tired of their bunk and funk.

Get your woodpiles stocked up and your fuzzy slippers ready.

The UK MET office has published a study which suggests solar activity is currently plummeting, the fastest rate of decline in 9300 years. The study also raises the odds of Maunder Minimum style conditions by 2050 from 8% to 15 – 20%.

The Maunder Minimum coincided with the middle part of the Little Ice Age, during which Europe and North America were subjected to very cold winters. A causal connection between low sunspot activity and cold European winters has recently been made using the longest existing surface temperature record, the Central England Temperature record  and also using the ERA-40 re-analysis dataset.  A potential explanation of this has been offered by observations by NASA's Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment, which suggest that solar UV output is more variable over the course of the solar cycle than scientists had previously thought.

Some scientists hypothesize that the dense wood used in Stradivarius instruments was caused by slow tree growth during the cooler period. Instrument maker Antonio Stradivari was born a year before the start of the Maunder Minimum.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Mondays, they're like that

Swimming hole of dreams

Littoral Combat Ship 5 Milwaukee side launch

Freckles, they are good.


  • “Adam and Eve on a raft and wreck ’em”: two scrambled eggs on toast
  • “Burn one, take it through the garden, and pin a rose on it”: hamburger with lettuce, tomato, and onion
  • “Burn the British and draw one in the dark”: English muffin, toasted, with black coffee
  • “Adam’s ale, hold the hail”: water, no ice
  • “Give it shoes”: an order to go
  • “Honeymoon salad”: “lettuce alone”
  • “Life preservers”: doughnuts
  • “Noah’s boy on bread”: ham sandwich
  • “Put out the lights and cry”: liver and onions
  • “Zeppelins in a fog”: sausages and mashed potatoes.

Launching stuff into space isn't easy.

An unmanned American Falcon-9 rocket has broken apart in flames minutes after lifting off from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
Debris from the SpaceX vehicle tumbled out of the sky into the Atlantic Ocean.
The rocket, which had 18 straight successes prior to Sunday's flight, was in the process of sending a cargo ship to the International Space Station.
As well as carrying supplies for the astronauts, the Falcon had also been transporting a new docking port. 
"The vehicle has broken up," said Nasa commentator George Diller, as TV images showed the white rocket falling to pieces.
"We appear to have had a launch vehicle failure," he added.
The problem occurred 139 seconds into the flight, just before the first-stage of the rocket was about to separate from the upper-stage, or top segment of the Falcon-9. 
"There was an overpressure event in the upper-stage liquid oxygen tank," tweeted SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. 
"Data suggests counterintuitive cause. That's all we can say with confidence right now. Will have more to say following a thorough fault tree analysis."

She loves it, I can tell.

Hold my beer and watch this.

Sometimes the hard lessons are the best ones.  I wonder how that slime water tastes?

Reminds me of Mono Lake

The Uvs Nuur Basin sits on the northern edge of the Central Asian steppes, bounded on all sides by mountains. Though largely arid, the basin is dotted with water. A large salt lake, the Uvs Nuur Lake, sits at the center of the basin, and several smaller lakes are scattered across the 600 kilometers east to west and 120 kilometers north to south that make up the basin. Rivers, the largest of which is the Tes-Khem River, run from the surrounding mountains into the basin, but no rivers flow out of the basin, making it an enclosed basin. This image shows one of the smaller lakes near the western edge of the basin.
The sapphire waters are nestled against the southern face of the Tannu Ola Range, which forms the northern edge of the Uvs Nuur Basin. The angle of the Sun on the mountains’ steep peaks and ridgelines creates sharp lines and angles that color the rocky landscape shadowy black to pale tan. The mountains block moist air from the north, leaving the entire Uvs Nuur basin drier than the land on the north side of the range. This rainshadow effect is evident even in the small area shown in this image. The northern side of the Tannu Ola Range is much greener than the tan desert landscape to the south. The mountains also form a boundary between the taiga (evergreen forests) of southern Siberia and the deserts and steppes (grasslands) of Central Asia.
Since little rain falls in the basin, the most vibrant green in this image comes from the wetlands that surround rivers flowing into the small lake. A web of bright green lines the river that flows in from the west, culminating at a broad green delta. Other wetlands cluster around rivers on the northeast and southern sides of the lake. Possibly the most striking feature of this image, the wetlands are an important wildlife habitat. Streaks of white running across the desert are likely seasonal streams that flow when snow melts off the mountains in the spring. The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER), flying on NASA’s Terra satellite, captured this image in the late summer on September 4, 2001.

Cultural confusion

Gimme a big pile.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Awesome aeronautic tech

Via Xbrad

The only way to fly

Gun Porn

Ruger Charger, custom stock


Greek bronze,  Museo del Satiro danzante, Mazara del Vallo, 4th century

Disgusting government piss ants at BLM demand 1 million dollar VIP compound before they will issue a permit for Burning Man this year.

A Burning Man spokesman estimated the compound would cost the event more than $1 million, bringing its 2015 permit fees to about $5 million. The renderings of the compound obtained by the RGJ also show various accommodations set aside for VIP visitors but don't indicate who the visiting dignitaries will be.

The BLM has said it needs the elaborate encampment to support staff at the event. The agency is raising concerns about safety after a woman was run over and killed by a vehicle last year, and says the additional staff will attend to assess security conditions.

Why, of course, the government thugs are only interested in our safety, those dedicated public servants!  It's certainly not that they want their own special pad, with air conditioning and vanity mirrors, where they can hang after spending the day ogling the naked hippie chicks.

Among the amenities included in the BLM's demand are flushing toilets to be cleaned daily by Burning Man staff, a laundry with washers and dryers, on-demand hot water, air conditioning, vanity mirrors, refrigerators and couches. The event, known for its emphasis on self-reliance in harsh conditions, provides only basic amenities for normal ticketed attendees, such as nonflushable portable toilets.

BLM officials whine that their staff can no longer stay in the "primitive" accommodations available in Gerlach, which is about 20 minutes from the event location.

Details of the request were included in an email exchange obtained by the RGJ between a Burning Man official and Bob Abbey (and let's hope Bob Abbey lives up to the tradition of his last name), the former BLM director who is now a consultant for Burning Man organizers.

Abbey went on to say that BLM won't "change their strategy of threatening your permit until you agree to everything they are demanding including the latest BS proposal for providing VIP facilities for law enforcement and (Department of Interior) officials."

BLM Special Agent Dan Love of Salt Lake City was cited multiple times as the person behind many of the BLM requests, according to the emails. He did not return requests for comment. Love also led the BLM operation against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy that ended in a standoff with Bundy's armed supporters.  

Here we have yet another example of the commissars of the leviathan government refusing to give their approval to a hugely popular event without what they consider the appropriate bribe in money, service and comfortable accommodations.  Forget that the spirit of the event is in roughing it, that the event mostly polices itself, and that it's a place to escape the rules and conventions of society.  Nope.  Must have everything needed for the elites, the Eloi, to drop in whenever they want, stay in far better accommodations than everyone else, and have someone else pay for it all.  Or else no permit.

Bastards.  I guess we can see who believes they are the rulers, and who are the ruled.  Burning Man should just tell the BLM to stick it, and hold the event anyway.

Cabin Porn

Looks like fun to me

The ongoing drought in the western United States is evident in the water levels of Shasta Lake, a large reservoir in northern California that counts on rainfall for replenishment. Low water levels can lead to hazardous conditions for local recreation. Many more people are affected by how this limited water resource is allocated for ecological, urban, and agricultural needs downstream.
The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on Terra acquired these simulated true-color images of Shasta Lake. The top image shows the lake on September 14, 2005, and the bottom image was acquired on September 2, 2014.
On the day the first image was acquired, the lake’s elevation was 309.4 meters (1,015 feet); nine years later (second image), the lake level had dropped to an elevation of 278.3 meters (913 feet). The water elevation in the reservoir at full capacity would be 325.2 meters (1,067 feet). Light tan colors along the shore are new beach areas that have been uncovered as the water level has dropped.

Ar-ko. Comanche. Late 1800s. Photo by Sawyers and Connolley, Purcell, Indian Territory.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Black man can't jump quite as far as he thought

The Fenn Treasure - is it still out there somewhere?

Fenn said he’d conceived the idea when diagnosed with cancer in 1988, planning to bury the treasure as a legacy. The cancer went into remission, but he decided to bury the chest anyway. In a self-published memoir he offered the following poem, which he says contains nine clues:
As I have gone alone in there
And with my treasures bold,
I can keep my secret where,
And hint of riches new and old.
Begin it where warm waters halt
And take it in the canyon down,
Not far, but too far to walk.
Put in below the home of Brown.
From there it’s no place for the meek,
The end is ever drawing nigh;
There’ll be no paddle up your creek,
Just heavy loads and water high.
If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.
So why is it that I must go
And leave my trove for all to seek?
The answers I already know,
I’ve done it tired and now I’m weak.
So hear me all and listen good,
Your effort will be worth the cold.
If you are brave and in the wood
I give you title to the gold.

No one came up with it right away, so Fenn added the following clues:

In March 2013, Fenn revealed that the treasure was hidden in the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe and 5,000 feet (1,500 m) above sea-level.
On March 27, 2013, Forrest Fenn's 11th clue was revealed: "No need to dig up the old outhouses, the treasure is not associated with any structure."
On May 3, 2013, Fenn was interviewed to reveal: "The treasure is not in a graveyard." This was in response to an arrest of a treasure seeker the previous month.
In September 2013, Fenn announced the publication of a new book, Too Far to Walk, containing a pullout map of the area surrounding the treasure. The book has since been published and is available for purchase.
In January 2015, Fenn revealed in a new interview: "I know the treasure chest is wet."

If you were to find it, keep it secret and keep it all.

Friday Open Road


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Wild politics of the past.

On May 22, 1856, South Carolina representative Preston Brooks approached Massachusetts senator Charles Sumner as he sat writing at his desk in the U.S. Senate chamber. “Mr. Sumner,” he said, “I have read your speech twice over carefully. It is a libel on South Carolina, and Mr. Butler, who is a relative of mine.” Then he began to beat Sumner savagely with his gold-headed walking cane. Blinded with blood, Sumner at first was trapped under the desk, which was bolted to the floor, but he wrenched it free and staggered up the aisle, Brooks raining blows on his head until the cane snapped and Sumner collapsed unconscious. Even then Brooks held him by the lapel and continued to beat him with half the cane until the two were separated.
Sumner had denounced South Carolina senator Andrew Butler in a speech two days earlier in a dispute over slavery in the new territories of Kansas and Nebraska. Brooks was convicted of assault and fined $300, but he received no prison sentence, and his constituents returned him to office. Pro-slavery Southerners sent him hundreds of new canes, one inscribed “Hit him again.”
On Nov. 9, 1889, Col. A.M. Swope encountered Col. William Cassius Goodloe in the corridor of the Lexington, Ky., post office. The two had been battling for control of the state Republican party, and tragically they had adjoining mailboxes.
“You obstruct the way,” said Goodloe.
“You spoke to me,” said Swope. “You insulted me.”
Goodloe drew a knife. Swope drew a Smith & Wesson .38. Goodloe stabbed Swope 13 times, piercing his heart and nearly cutting off his hand. Swope shot Goodloe twice, tearing up his belly and setting his clothes afire. Swope died on the post office floor, and Goodloe staggered to a doctor’s office. He died two days later.
One witness said he never thought he would witness “such a magnificent display of manly courage and bravery.” Goodloe’s uncle, Cassius M. Clay, said of his nephew’s conduct, “I couldn’t have done better myself.”

CW like big boom

You can actually buy little jars of this here in California, and try to set it off.  It's actually not easy to do.

John McCain (of all people) grills criminally incompetent OPM director Katherine Archuleta

One interesting thing about this exchange is the bureaucratic happy talk used by Ms. Archuleta to obfuscate and divert the pointed questions proffered by Mr. McCain.    He should have asked her what her "dedicated team of professionals" was doing when the Chinese were stealing 4 to 18 million files on government employees. It's also interesting that she refuses to answer until she is convinced her "team"of total incompetents has provided her with a specific number of files stolen, allowing her to decide when she will answer Congress (which is never).

What a joke.  She should spend the rest of her miserable life in prison for the damage done to America, along with every past director for the last ten years, and every OPM manager with any significant responsibility for security.  That she hasn't resigned is a further disgrace, and indeed an arrogant poke in the eye to every citizen and to Congress.

CW, the early years