Monday, July 31, 2017

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Coal and plant fossils in Antarctica

Silicified Permian tree stump preserved upright in permineralised peat at the top of a coal seam, Prince Charles Mountains.

Antarctica and Gondwana were amalgamated into the megacontinent Pangea during the Mesozoic. The enormous scale of this megacontinent (reaching almost pole-to-pole) meant that cool polar ocean currents were deflected to mix with warm equatorial waters, creating oceans with relatively even, mild temperatures. This helped to maintain the ice-sheet-free greenhouse world of the Mesozoic. However, Pangea started to break up in the Jurassic and piece after piece began to separate throughout the Cretaceous. 

Antarctica remained connected to South America and Australia until about 35 million years ago and, up to that time, retained a diverse flora. At the end of the Eocene, both Australia and South America pulled away northwards allowing the South Circumpolar Current to develop – an ocean current that maintains a continuously flowing pool of cold water around Antarctica. Once this cold-water current was established, it trapped Antarctica in a frigid grip. 

Ice caps began to develop on the highlands then rapidly linked up to form an extensive ice sheet. The ice has advanced and retreated many times with changes in the global climate and hardy plants such as the southern beech trees (Nothofagus) managed to linger on in isolated Antarctic refugia until as recently as five million years ago. However, intensified global cooling since that time has eliminated all woody plants and the ice sheet is now four kilometres thick at its center.

Cross-section of Permian fossil wood showing prominent seasonal growth rings.

The smooth skinned Jaw Fish


Surprisingly rainy looking up in Yosemite today

Three Block Ranch, Rosaka Lake, New Mexico

Trump White House in "Chaos?"

Over at the American Digest, there's a collection of all the things that this administration has accomplished so far.
220 things
On Immigration
  1. Authorized DHS to hire 10,000 ICE officers & 5,000 border patrol agents
  2. Secured funding for more immigration judges for deportation cases in 2017 budget
  3. Ended “catch and release” policy
  4. ICE arrests up 40% as of May
  5. ICE arrests are 75% criminal illegals as of May
  6. Ice Arrests for non criminal illegals up 150% as of May due to sanctuary cities polices making Ice go to the home instead of the court houses
  7. 70%+ decrease in border crossings of illegal aliens in first 6 months per head of ICE (07/18/17)
  8. No Cuban refugees seen by Coast Guard in Apr first time in 7 years
  9. Open bidding and plans submitted for the WALL. Finalists selected, prototypes to be unveiled this summer per CBP official/Breitbart news.
  10. 6ft chain linked fences being replaced by 20ft hardened steel fencing at border
  11. More than 1400 gang members have been arrested by ICE
  12. This year the U.S. has already deported 398 MS-13 gang members back to El Salvador – compared to only 534 for all of 2016
  13. Texas has passed a law outlawing sanctuary cities
  14. Foods stamp requests by ILLEGALS D O W N
  15. The Trump administration has moved to reopen the cases of hundreds of illegal immigrants who had been given a reprieve from deportation by Obama
    1. Per Sec Kelly Plans are to start building the WALL by end of summer.
  16. Travel ban EO cut refugees to 50,000 limit has been reached as of 07/12/17). USA now closed to refugee without a close connection to the USA
  17. per Breitbart Sec Kelly has refused to expand H2-B visa program in FY 2017 Update 06/22/17 Sec Kelly will expand the H2-b visa program for a limited number of businesses that are in danger of failing and can’t find employment per breitbart.
  18. Pres Trump and Sec of DHS ended DAPA (06/16/17)
  19. Refugees dropped by half entering the USA in first three months of Pres Trump’s admin over Obama’s admin. (6/24/17 per Washington Times)
  20. In fiscal year 2017 so far, ICE has removed over 2,700 criminal gang members, compared to 2,057 criminal gang members in all of fiscal year 2016. (07/20/17) per Whitehouse
  21. Per Sec Kelly 66,000 mostly criminal illegals arrested by ICE in first 5 months
  22. Kate’s Law passed the House 06/29/17)
  23. No Sanctuary Cities Law Passed the House (06/29/17)
  24. Illegal immigrant arrests in San Diego, Ca have more than doubled from 2016 and 2015 figures per the San Diego Union Tribune (07/04/17)
  25. In a reversal of Obama administration policy, federal prosecutors with Operation Streamline are filing criminal charges against migrants the first time they are caught crossing the border illegally. Per and breitbart (07/05/17)
  26. Refugee Arrivals Plummet in Week After Supreme Court Ruling on Trump Executive Order per Breitbart and Department of State website (07/05/17)
  27. The International Entrepreneur Rule obama era loophole was closed by DHS on (0711/17). The rule allowed illegals to stay in the country for 2 and half years if they were “starting a business” per breitbart.
  28. ICE crackdown in Pueblo scaring some families back to Mexico per the Pueblo chieftain (07/10/17)
  29. House subcommittee includes $1.6 billion in funds for Wall in approbations bill (07/12/17) goes to full house for vote
  30. DHS proposes rule change to increase length (from 2 weeks to 90 days) and Distance (from 100 miles from the border to entire USA) for people to be immediately deported freeing up courts and stopping the lawfare over immigration. (07/15/17 ) per dailymail
  31. Thomas D. Homan, acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said in an interview that since Trump entered office, illegal border crossings have crashed by almost 70 percent, “an historic low,” arrests inside the country have jumped 40 percent and that demands for illegal criminals in local jails has skyrocketed 80 percent. (07/18/17) per Washington Examiner
  32. AG Sessions said one goal of DOJ is to totally end illegal immigration (07/18/17) per Breitbart
  33. The Trump Administration is providing funding for the Texas National Guard’s efforts to assist in securing the state’s border with Mexico per Breitbart (07/18/17)
  34. Acting ICE Director Thomas D. Homan said he is going to deploy more officers and agents to “sanctuary cities” to arrest illegal criminal (07/18/17) per Washington examiner
  35. President Trump ordered the creation of the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) office at DHS, ensuring that our Government can no longer ignore the victims of criminal acts by illegal aliens. (04/26/17)

Mondays, they're like that

A Good Day

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Freckles, they are good

Seems like overkill, but I'll bet they're bright

Maybe it wasn't a good idea to play follow the leader

No one's gonna be buying


Best gender confused bathroom sign yet

Norwegian Cabin Porn

The U.S. Navy's Stealthy Zumwalt Class Destoyer: America’s New 'Pocket' Battleship?

The stealthy nature of the Zumwalt class, whose design reduces the ship’s radar signature to that of a small fishing boat, lends itself to operating in enemy waters. Coupled with a large magazine of missiles, the Zumwalt class could become the ideal warship for an aggressive antisurface-ship role. Operating as a lone wolf but fully networked into the U.S. Navy’s battle network, a Zumwalt could be sent to hunt down and destroy enemy task forces far and wide.
The conversion would start with deleting the two 155-millimeter Advanced Gun System howitzers on the bow and replacing them with a large field of Mk. 41 vertical launch systems. Each Mk. 41 can hold a single missile, which in this case will be the new Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM). Removing the guns could free up room for up to two hundred Mk. 41s, resulting in more silo-based firepower than even the Ohio-class guided-missile submarines. The combination of a stealthy ship and stealthy antiship missiles guided by artificial intelligence would make a formidable adversary. Alternately, the two hundred or so silos could be filled with Tactical Tomahawk missiles for a land-attack mission.

A ship-killing Zumwalt would by necessity operate alone, as an escort would be easy for enemy sensors to detect. Fortunately, the combination of the ship’s AN/SPY-3 Multi-Function Radar and SM-2 and ESSM missiles makes for a powerful self-defense suite. The Zumwalts’ eighty Mk. 57 silos, already installed onboard the ship, would be reserved for defensive weapons.  The eighty silos could provide a layered defense with a combination of medium-range Standard SM-2 air-defense missiles and short-range Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSM). If the newer SM-6 surface to air missile fits in the Mk. 57, the secondary antiship role of the SM-6 would give the Zumwalts a backup antiship weapon for use against enemy vessels that don’t rate a LRASM.

The key to the Zumwalt’s success as a hunter-killer would be being properly networked into the rest of the Navy. The ship would receive sighting reports from satellites; MQ-4 Triton high-altitude, long-endurance drones; P-8 Poseidon patrol aircraft; carrier-based aircraft; surface ships; submarines; and air, surface and subsurface drones. The Zumwalt could locate and track an enemy task group by proxy, setting up an ambush when conditions are favorable, without even turning on its radar or sending out drones of its own. As a corollary, the network would help keep the Zumwalt alive, allowing it to outmaneuver dangerous threats.

Freckles, they are good.

Everyone loves nice salty fries

Freckles, they are good

Australian Star Trails

Gene Tierney, 1941.

There's always that one guy....

 Gubin was having lunch one day in 1978 with a woman who worked as his assistant. Taking note of all the low-flying planes, she said it would be nice to make a sign welcoming everyone to Milwaukee. “You know what would even be better?” Gubin said.

And the rest is history.

A great odor of sulfur is arising...

In Iceland, the monstrous Katla volcano is rumbling, making the local Norse nervous.

The Katla volcano is invisible under the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, and it's eruptions are signaled by earthquakes and huge floods of melted ice water, called in both Icelandic and English a  jökulhlaup, that suddenly gush forth from under the ice.  That is happening in a small way now.

The Múlakvísl glacial river flooding (or would that be  jökulhlaupting?)  on Saturday.

The same river this morning

The glacial outburst flood at Múlakvísl in South Iceland has reached a peak on Saturday, but the river flow eased on Sunday.  Electrical conductivity is now measured around 580 µS/cm and has increased rapidly the last hour, according to an announcement from the Icelandic Met Office. People are warned to stay away from the area. 
A great odour of sulphur is rising from the river. The Iceland Road Adminstration is on standby to close the road. 
The alert level in Katla has been moved from green to yellow but nothing points yet to the likelihood of an eruption, although activity has increased. 
Katla is one of the largest volcanoes in Iceland. It is situated to the north of Vík í Mýrdal and to the east of the smaller glacier Eyjafjallajökull. Its peak reaches 4,961 ft and is partially covered by the Mýrdalsjökull glacier. The system has an area of 230 sq mi. The Eldgjá canyon is part of the same volcanic system.
The caldera of the Katla volcano has a diameter of 6.2 mi and is covered with 660–2,300 feet of ice. The volcano normally erupts every 40–80 years. The flood discharge at the peak of an eruption in 1755 has been estimated at 7.1–14.1 million cu ft/sec, comparable to the combined average discharge of the AmazonMississippiNile, and Yangtze rivers.

The 1918 eruption resulted in extending the southern coast by 5 km due to laharic flood deposits, or huge deposits of rubble from the very same Múlakvísl glacial river.

Katla's present dormancy is among the longest in known history.

A view of the Múlakvísl, looking towards Hjörleifshöfði in the background and the Atlantic Ocean.  Classic Iceland right there.

The only enemy attack on American soil during World War I

The only enemy attack on American soil during World War I occurred at the sleepy Cape Cod fishing town of Orleans, Massachusetts. On the morning of July 21st, 1918 the German submarine U-156 surfaced outside of the town and opened fire with its two deck guns.  First U-156 attacked the tugboat Perth Amboy, damaging it and sinking two of the four barges it was towing.

The submarine then fired upon the town, all of its shells landing harmlessly in a nearby swamp.  During the attack, a local citizens returned fire with rifles and shotguns, among them a ten year old boy named Jack Ainsley, who was armed with a .22 rifle, and who is my hero.  Jack and his pump action .22 says, "Don't mess with Massachusetts, you Huns!"  I'll bet he pinged a few off that U-boat's steel hull.  

On board the tug and barges were 32 sailors, all of whom were rescued by the local US Life Saving Service, who bravely rowed out to the sinking boats despite attracting fire from U-156. 

U-156 finally submerged and retreated when HS-1L Flying Boats and R-9 Bombers dive bombed the submarine with payloads of TNT, one of the first naval aviation attacks in American history.
The attack resulted in the sinking of two barges and a damaged tug, but no damage occurred to the town itself. For the remainder of the war rumors spread throughout the town that a German invasion or larger naval attack was imminent. The locals of the town would call the incident “The Battle of Orleans”. The submarine U-156 was also unharmed, and traveled north, sinking fishing boats and merchant ships off the coast of Maine and Newfoundland.  On 25th of November the submarine failed to report in to German High Command, and it or it’s 77 man crew was never heard from or seen again.
Except by the fishes.

Kapitänleutnant Richard Feldt, commanderof the German submarine U-156.  Jahvohl, Mein Herr!  Ve must shell ze svamp!

The battle map

The Americans were not impressed with the Kaiser's attack

The beach today



A Japanese soldier poses with a captured Soviet goat. Battle of Khalkin Gol, 1939, World War II.

Antifa goons infesting your neighborhood?