Saturday, April 30, 2016

Colour Sergeant Bourne, in the classic movie Zulu

The Pyramidion (top of the pyramid) from the Pyramid of Amenemhet II at Hawara, near Fayum. Egypt, 1900 BC

Island of St. Lazarus of the Armenians, Venice

St. Lazarus of the Armenians is a small island in the Venice lagoon. During the Middle Ages it was a leper hospital, where the infected people were confined (Lazzaretto is the Italian name of leper hospital).
Several Armenian monks took here shelter from the Ottoman invasion of their country. 
Since the early 18th century, it’s home of an Armenian Catholic monastery, probably the most important site of the Armenian diaspora. Since then, it has been the main center of this culture, with its own printing house, library, with a large collection of old Armenian books and manuscripts.
The island can be visited every day at 3.25 pm.

The temples at Paestum in evening light, by 1860 Jules Coignet (1798–1860)

Strangely pleasing

Perfect cabin view.

Weasel Shuts Down World’s Most Powerful Particle Collider - It's the Weasel Effect!

A small mammal has sabotaged the world’s most powerful scientific instrument.
The Large Hadron Collider, a 17-mile superconducting machine designed to smash protons together at close to the speed of light, went offline overnight. Engineers investigating the mishap found the charred remains of a furry creature near a gnawed-through power cable.

The shutdown comes as the LHC was preparing to collect new data on the Higgs Boson, a fundamental particle it discovered in 2012. The Higgs is believed to endow other particles with mass, and it is considered to be a cornerstone of the modern theory of particle physics.
There have been previous incidents, including one in 2009, when a bird is believed to have dropped a baguette onto critical electrical systems.
Nor are the problems exclusive to the LHC: In 2006, raccoons conducted a "coordinated" attack on a particle accelerator in Illinois.
It is unclear whether the animals are trying to stop humanity from unlocking the secrets of the universe.

Friday, April 29, 2016

The captain must go down with the ship

Was he pushed or did he jump?

The road trip to Portland and back.

Total distance traveled in the big Dodge in two days: 1245 long, long miles.

The beginning: somewhere around Dunnigan going north on I-5

Shasta Lake - basically full - bye, bye drought!

The secessionist north - there's a grassroots movement to separate the northern part of the state, basically from Sacramento northwards, and form a new state of Jefferson, to escape the tyranny of LA and SF.  Good luck.

The boy finished packing up from the dorm, the end of an era.  Next year he's in an apartment.

Triples in Oregon.  Keeping it weird on the freeway.

The boy pulling his shift behind the wheel

 Mount Shasta, a menacing presence over the land.  It's hard to picture how massive it is, and how it lords it over the landscape for miles and miles.  If it ever erupts...

The sun goes down somewhere around Williams, bringing an end to two blood curdling days of roadwork.

Vice News shows these ISIS boys having fun jihading their way across Iraq, until the run up against the Kurdish Peshmerga. Things don't go so well after that.

I love volcanos

Since August 2014, lava has gushed from fissures just north of Vatnajökull, Iceland’s largest glacier. As of January 6, 2015, the Holuhraun lava field had spread across more than 84 square kilometers (32 square miles), making it larger than the island of Manhattan. Holuhraun is Iceland’s largest basaltic lava flow since the Laki eruption in 1783–84, an event that killed 20 percent of the island’s population.
The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured this view of the lava field on January 3, 2015. The false-color images combine shortwave infrared, near infrared, and red light (OLI bands 6-5-4). The plume of steam and sulfur dioxide appears white. Newly-formed basaltic rock is black. Fresh lava is bright orange. A lava lake is visible on the western part of the lava field, and steam rises from the eastern margin where the lava meets the Jökulsá á Fjöllum river.
For comparison, the lower image shows the size of the lava field as observed by Landsat 8 on September 6, 2014. Beyond the growth of the lava field, notice that much of the flow was in lava rivers on the surface in September, while in January much of the lava was delivered to the eastern edge through a closed channel.
Scientists from the University of Iceland’s Institute of Earth Sciences have estimated the thickness of the lava field based on data from surveillance flights. On average, the eastern part was about 10 meters (33 feet) thick, the center was 12 meters, and the western part was 14 meters. Their preliminary analysis put the volume of lava at 1.1 cubic kilometers, enough for the eruption to be considered a flood basalt.

Friday Open Road

Bakersfield - Portland - Fresno.  I've had my fill of the open road this week.