Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tomorrow At This Time

It will be an hour earlier than it is now. Don't forget to set your clocks and watches back.

150 Years Ago Today

Abraham Lincoln won the Presidency. Is it going to take another civil war to keep this country together? I don't think the dems have the spine to do so, and the rethugs are the ones whose rhetoric is tearing it apart.


Til Tuesday Voices Carry:

Yaz, In My Room:

Gary Numan, Complex

Friday, November 5, 2010

Great Migrations

I always enjoy seeing non-Oregon news sources find web-worthy stuff from Oregon. Today's example is Great Migrations at's Big Picture, and containing at least one, maybe two, pictures of pronghorns in Oregon.
Dusk silhouettes a pronghorn at the Heart Mountain National Antelope Refuge in Oregon. (© National Geographic/Michael Durham/Minden Pictures)
That's actually Hart, you know, like a male deer. But whatever. Another gorgeous Oregon location. This whole quadrant of Oregon doesn't see much use, and it's not all unusual to arrive at a well-known location and find you have the whole thing to yourself. In this FlashEarth link, I've placed the crosshairs over the regional headquarters of the Charles Sheldon National Antelope Refuge- you'll have to zoom in a little more to see the compound; I backed out so you could see the rim as well. A couple of miles south from the headquarters, following the gravel road, you can see a little white patchy area. This is tufa and siliceous sinter surrounding the Hart Mountain hotsprings. Very nice.

You Know What Comes Next, Right?

News item: radioactive rabbit captured at Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
The Tri-City Herald reports that officials suspect the rabbit sipped some water left from the recent demolition of a Cold War-era building used in the production of nuclear weapons.
So when violently mutilated bodies start showing up in the area, there will be no doubt what's going on.

Remember, Remember the Fifth of November,

The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Thanks to FB friend Maureen for reminding of this anniversary. More information and the full poem can be found at Wikipedia, though I have to say, as gripping as the opening lines are, the remainder is a disappointment.

As a related aside, I watched V For Vendetta earlier this year, and found it much more moving than I expected.

Followup: Steve Denton and Kevin McIntosh also caught this... thanks for the reminder, all!

Another Followup: CSM has an interesting article about Guy Fawkes Day as seen in the US.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Something Called 'Volcano Monitoring'"

Oct. 20, 1991 -- ©R.A. Jensen

Many of the major features of Newberry Caldera are visible in this photo. Note Paulina Lake (left), Interlake Obsidian Flow (between lakes), Little Crater (center foreground), Central Pumice Cone (center background), Big Obsidian Flow (lower right), and East Lake (right).

Image from The Deschutes & Ochoco National Forests Webpages... a gallery of geology-related imagery from the general area can be accessed here.

KGW has picked up an excellent article from the Bend Bulletin on the installation of a set of seismic stations on Newberry Volcano, in order to monitor the area for indications of future eruptions. There's also a nice aerial photo of Lava Butte, which lies on the NW flank of the shield volcano, along route 97, a few miles south of Bend.

Because of this, the USGS is planning to add eight seismic monitoring stations next summer on Newberry Volcano, which the agency classifies as a "very high threat."

But that doesn't mean new buttes or obsidian flows are going to pop up in Central Oregon next week, or even in the next century -- so people shouldn't sell their homes, Donnelly-Nolan said.

"The chances it's going to happen any time in our lifetime is very small," she said, but when the volcano does start to rumble, it could cause a lot of damage. "Imagine the disruption from just having a little lava flow across Highway 97," she said.
I really like the way the author, Kate Ramsayer, describes the risk in this passage. It is indeed "a very high threat," but it's probably not immediate. This sort of monitoring project will, in the event of an event, most likely extend the warning ahead of an eruption. Just as satellite observation of the atmosphere allows us a few days warning for severe weather events, seismic monitoring can give us days or weeks notice to prepare for volcanic eruptions, rather than being taken by surprise.

Here's the area in Google Maps, and here's a Flash Earth link.
View Larger Map

This area has a tremendous variety of volcanic and other landforms, and is a real delight for anyone with an interest in geology.

Derision Points

So Dubya's new book thingie is set to be released next Tuesday, but the NYT has the review today. I'm sure the review makes for better reading than its subject.

Certainly it’s the most casual of presidential memoirs: how many works in the genre start as a sort of evangelical, 12-step confession (“Could I continue to grow closer to the Almighty or was alcohol becoming my god?”), include some off-color jokes and conclude with an aside about dog poop?

The prose in “Decision Points” is utilitarian, the language staccato and blunt. Mr. Bush’s default mode is regular-guy-politico, and his moods vacillate mainly among the defensive and the diligent — frat boy irreverence, religious certainty and almost willful obliviousness.

I was one of the lucky few given the opportunity to get a sneak preview of the draft of a chapter, posted in its entirety here.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Some Days You Get That Pesky Mouse...

Other days, the frog gets it. Either way, it's all good.Telegraph UK.

Wednesday Wednesday

It's a newborn Wednesday! From Lacey Michelle.

The Onion Sets Its Sights On Oregon

Glad I voted for him. He's our only hope now.
WASHINGTON—In the wake of what is being called the deadliest midterm election in the nation's history, Washington's sole surviving politician, Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon's 4th Congressional District, emerged from the rubble of the Capitol building Wednesday to announce his intention to rebuild the fallen U.S. government.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tuesday Tits

Willow Tit (Poecile montanus); image from Wikipedia.

Emission Accomplished!

I have proudly completed my patriotic task of adding a little more noise and stench to the god-awful witch's brew of modern American Politics.As it turns out, most of the measures were more familiar to me than I realized, and didn't require much extra work. The toughest call was for mayor, and the reason, in the end, the way I voted as I did was based mostly on the use of key phrases, like "values," by the person I voted against. I have already passed along my voter's guide to one of my young friends, who groaned, "Oh yeah, I need to get that done," when I said I was walking over to the library to drop off my ballot. So hopefully I have encouraged at least one more person to fart today. There were three people ahead of me and one behind as I walked up to the box, so perhaps the farting rate won't be all that bad.

We can only wait now...

Please, no open lights. Flammable gases.

No More Time For "Studying"

Even though we Oregonians can generally cast our ballots any time during the two weeks prior to and including election day, I generally put it off until the end. Most years, I actually do spend a fair amount of time reading up on issues and candidates, and it's not all that uncommon for me to vote- at least during the last century- for non-democratic candidates, or against the party line on contentious issues. This year, it's purely been procrastination. I know of three races that I feel strongly about- Governor, US Senator, and US Representative. I'll be voting Kitzhaber, Wyden, and Schrader, respectively. I'm less than proud to say I am really not familiar with other candidates, or what measures are up. Nevertheless, I'm going to drop out of sight for a little while here and do a whirlwind run through the voter's guide and my ballot, and get this beast out of the way, as a fellow coffee drinker is doing above. Since I took the photo, she has dragged out her laptop, and is doing some follow-up research.

I have had homework assignments I've been excited about- that doesn't mean they're easy, or without frustration, but it does mean that when I'm done I feel as if I've accomplished something of value. I've had others that feel like pure drudge work. This year's voting, for the most part, feels like the latter.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Today's Geography Lesson

For other Americans who've been confused (at least occasionally) by the place names associated with that chunk of terra firma between mainland Europe and the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, here's a handy reference.Via Bits and Pieces

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween! I was a little concerned, as I started putting this post together, that I hadn't really found anything I considered deliciously creepy. I don't do gruesome, really, but I do like a bit of an edge. Turns out, I did find a few things that raise the goosebumps a little, without going too far. Jack Nicholson trick or treating, for example... you'll have to wait a bit for that one. But in the meantime, enjoy!
You're No Zombie Boy
see more Ugliest Tattoos

From Uncertain Principles, a set of conceptual physics costumes. My favorite:
The Pauli Exclusion Principle (Requires two people): Dress in identical outfits, and refuse to be in the same room with one another. If circumstances force you to be close together, one of you must stand on your head.
demotivational posters - MR. ROGERSAlign Center
see more Very Demotivational
see more Historic LOL Blackadder
Funny Pictures of Cats with Captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
Excitement Gif - Excitement
see more Gifs. Stupid, funny or creepy? This is very creepy to me, but it's your call.
Dark Roasted Blend
The Daily What

Jim Stafford, Swamp Witch:

Donovan, Season of the Witch:

Skull Swap
Predator: Faster and Furrier.
see more WTF Pictures and WTF videos by Picture Is Unrelated
see more WTF Pictures and WTF videos by Picture Is Unrelated
Medication time... Backadder
The Big Picture, from a couple of days after Halloween last year. (37 pictures)
Flickr- click to embiggen
Boing Boing
HI ELLIE! Hrrr... Pamcakes! Tix-Comix
The Daily What
Hark, A Vagrant- I've cropped out my favorite, but there's a slew of Dracula-themed comics in this issue.
Bits and Pieces
Bits and Pieces
Bits and Pieces
"Preeeesenting! The One Eyed, One Exploding Sprinkle Brained, Cookie Purple People Eater!" CakeWrecks has been on a roll this week with Halloween wreckage. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and today's Sunday Treats, as always, are unbelievably gorgeous. And if you want to be seriously creeped out, check out this meat loaf.
And that should help you feel much better. Bits and Pieces
Happy-faced spider sez Happy Halloween! Ugly Overload
Fake Science
Sofa Pizza

see more Lol Celebs
BizarroBlog's Scariest Costumes of 2010... choices for 2007-09 at the link.
Hacked IRL

Sunday Funnies

I've been working on both the funnies and the Halloween post simultaneously. Gonna eat breakfast, and I'll finish the latter soon.
Breaking News - Iraq celebrates Dubya Shoe Day
see more Political Pictures. "And There Was Much Rejoicing."
Clay Bennett
Non Sequitur
Weather servicing? Darius Whiteplume's Tumblr
Dr. Boli
culture jamming win - Here There Be Monsters...
see more Hacked IRL - Truth in Sarcasm
Red Meat, via Sober in a Nightclub
Oooohhhhh! I get it! Sober in a Nightclub
Natalie Dee, via The Daily What
see more Historic LOL
Sofa Pizza
funny dog pictures-The moment Walter realized he played a little too rought with tha cat...
see more dog and puppy pictures
Literal tramp stamp, from The Daily What.
That's Quite a Boner!
see more Oddly Specific. Refreshingly honest...
Way To Be Subtle About It, Telegraph...
see more Political Pictures
Those Are My Choices?
see more Political Pictures
The Far Left Side
Sober in a Nightclub
Walcott's Quarry is a recent find... Click through here to read the subsequent panels of this brilliant take-down of science by popular media. This strip is like Tree Lobsters, but with real talking fossils instead of imaginary arboreal arthropods.
engrish funny - Dispels Unnecessary Scalps
see more Engrish

Judge Orders God To Break Up Into Smaller Deities
The Onion... Doyle Redland audio at the link
Whomping Willow?
see more Oddly Specific
Sober in a Nightclub
The Daily What... If you haven't played Civilization, you won't get this.
Sofa Pizza
The High Definite
demotivational posters - AT THIS POINT
see more Very Demotivational
The Daily What
Dr. Boli
Bits and Pieces
Non Sequitur