Saturday, January 22, 2011

Just What We Need

A bunch of "celibate," decrepit old white guys in dresses giving us relationship and marriage advice. Just remember, free advice is worth exactly what you pay for it.

By the way, I've been having exasperating connectivity problems the last week few weeks, and I see no indication it's likely to get better soon. Forgive the spotty posting, but my compulsion is to get through my reading first, then and only then going back and communicating what I've found interesting. Instead of having six to eight hours to get my reading done, I've been having three or four hours for that, and three or four hours to hop around to different wifi systems, while my stupid computer demands that I dial a connection- despite the fact I have never dialed a connection. Like I say, frustrating.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Life on Palette Earth

Dark Roasted Blend has a gorgeous gallery of art on a planetary scale. At one level, I find this disturbing and silly- a similar act to the one above in Oregon's Alvord desert a decade or so ago was treated like environmental vandalism. At another level, though, I have to say it's kind of impressive.

Lotsa Water

I think Anne at Highly Allochthonous was the first to post this, along with some great discussion and explanatory hydrographs, but because RSS gives you the most recent articles first, I first saw it at KATU and OregonLive. The OL article has a more standard news perspective, if you're not into Anne's hydrogeological approach. KATU also has a story surveying tentative plans to restoring the wiped-out road, which no longer exists: the Sandy River is currently flowing where the road used to be. (Followup, 6:28- OregonLive also has a piece about reconstruction of the road, and an excellent aerial photo of the damage.)

Anne also mentions the February '96 floods, which I recall vividly. I was not out and about during those, though I did go downtown one afternoon to look at the water encroaching toward 2nd street, and it was not until mid-May when I found a field trip completely disrupted by washed out, debris-covered or severely damaged roads that I understood at a gut level how bad that set of floods had been. There are several areas in the Quartzville Creek drainage that I've been keeping a curious eye on for the last fifteen years, watching the recovery as plants have recolonized and various processes conspire to slowly hide the geological evidence of that mess.

As Anne correctly points out, last weekend's flood was not such a big deal- yes, it caused some local problems, and a number of people have lost possessions and homes, but no one was killed, and as far as I've seen no one was even hurt, though there may have been some discomfort when the power failed. As scary as the above footage is, in my mind, this was a good disaster: no casualties and awesome documentation. Another example of a good disaster was last year's volcanic eruption in Iceland. (No, I'm not going to look up, copy and paste its spelling.)

Other, much more seriously attention-deserving floods have occurred already in this young year, namely in Brazil and Australia. Today's Big Picture (The editor is moving on to another position, but says's photo staff will continue the blog) showcases the Brazilian flooding and associated landslides/debris flows. And January 3rd, the same feature shared photos of the Australian floods. These two and other flood events (for example, "Sri Lanka, which suffered a 1-in-100 year flood this month.") are discussed in meteorological detail by Dr. Jeff Masters at his Wunderblog, who says
NOAA's Climate Prediction Center currently puts the La Niña event in the "strong" category, and whenever a La Niña or El Niño event reaches the strong category, major perturbations to global weather patterns occur. This typically results in record or near-record flooding in one or more regions of the globe.
Still, keep in mind some aren't sharing in this hydrologic wealth. An article that I would have read but probably not mentioned here, if not for the fortuitous context in which to place it, notes Prineville's water woes. Prineville is in the center part of Oregon, on the other side of the Cascades, and thus in their rain shadow. Trying to infer between the lines of this article, it sounds as if the problem is more about the groundwater geology and conserving scarce surface water resources rather than simply the dry climate, but the community is bumping up hard against the water limit, whatever the cause. "The reason the city is so interested in developing better wells is because, as it stands now, the city does not have the capacity to serve its existing residents, Klann said."

So yes, it has been a wet and mucky winter here in western Oregon, as was predicted when a La Nina developed in the second half of 2010. But overall, it could be a lot worse.

Followup: Heehee... just found this. Is it related enough? Sure, why not.
Funny Pictures - Spell Evian backwardz
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Sometimes I Wish My Mind Would Shut Up

Source photo from a story at OregonLive.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Jaw Dropping

I am stunned to read that "There were 32 reported incidents at Portland International Airport last year in which the safety of planes was put at risk by people pointing at them with lasers." How do you explain that? I mean, I can see a few accidents, where someone inadvertently beams a plane, and the occasional crank/lunatic/sociopath, but seriously? Once every eleven days or so? There are dozens, even hundreds of passengers and crew on those things, and every one of them is put at risk. How, exactly, is it that there are people doing this, apparently for shits and giggles? And according to the article, PDX isn't even near the top of the list:
There 108 incidents at the Los Angeles airport last year, more than any other airport, FAA said. O'Hare was next, with 98, followed by airports in Phoenix and San Jose, Calif., both with 80; Las Vegas, 72; Philadelphia, 66; Oakland, Calif., 55; Honolulu, 47; San Francisco, 39; Denver and Newark, N.J., both 38; Tucson, Ariz., 37; Miami and Salt Lake City, both 36; Portland, Ore., and Ontario, Calif., both 32; Burbank, Calif., Orange County, Calif., and Baltimore, each 31, and Seattle, 26.
I swear, my species makes me sick sometimes. Next time you feel inclined to flash a laser at a plane, do us all a favor and go play with some nitroglycerin in a remote open field instead.

PC Versus AG

One of these guys is John Hodgman, the PC guy. The other is Oregon's new Attorney General, John Kroger. Can you tell which is which? (Hint: I can't, either.)

Noted in Passing

Skimming through Google Reader a moment ago, this item caught my eye...Wow. Things are pretty desperate out in the real world, folks.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything

is not 42. It's all a mistake.Someecards


I have been hoping that Palin's comments regarding "blood libel" (not to mention the Washington Times "pogrom against conservative thinkers") would finally tip the balance in favor of "stupid." She's even getting flack from those on the right. David Frum, for example, said, "She should stop talking now, really." And:
Newt Gingrich, another likely contender for the 2012 presidential nomination, had barbed advice for Palin on ABC's Good Morning America breakfast show. "I think that she's got to slow down and be more careful and think through what she's saying and how's she's saying it," he said.
Granted, Palin's favorability ratings are at their lowest since she entered the national consciousness, but how dumb does one have to be to be unacceptable as a presidential candidate?

Pretty goddamned dumb, I guess. I was reminded of this quote from Gingritch- reported 16 years ago today:
While teaching his history course at Reinhardt College in Georgia a couple of weeks ago, Ms. Schroeder noted, Mr. Gingrich had expressed some thoughts on the subject.

If combat means being in a ditch, he told his class, "females have biological problems staying in a ditch for 30 days because they get infections, and they don't have upper body strength."

Men, he said, "are basically little piglets; you drop them in the ditch, they roll around in it."

And yet, he went on, if being in combat "means being on an Aegis class cruiser managing the computer controls for 12 ships and their rockets, a female again may be dramatically better than a male who gets very, very frustrated sitting in a chair all the time because males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes."

Oh yeah, Newtie is considered a potential 2012 Republican contender too.
(Savage Chickens) So 'scuse me; I gotta go kill a giraffe.

Followup: I meant to include a link to Tomasky's comments on Hannity's interview of Palin. Now I have.
...the interview was a predictable exercise in self-justification. She still doesn't know what "blood libel" actually means historically, saying that "blood libel obviously means being falsely accused of having blood on your hands." Maybe Randy Scheunemann can work on that with her one of these days, after she sorts out the difference between South and North Korea.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I Have a Dream Within a Dream Within a Dream...

4 koma comic strip - I HAVE A DREAM WITHIN A DREAM
see more Comixed. For a serious piece of the profundity of King's words and deeds in a much-too-short life, you could do worse than Leonard Pitts' column. I appreciate learning more about the breadth of his concerns... it wasn't just about African Americans, but all the downtrodden.

Stealing This Line

"I've been a Libra my entire life. Now all of the sudden I've been downgraded to a Virgo? Why didn't my previous horoscope warn me about this change?"

Indeed. (Bits and Pieces) Also, "I feel for those who tattooed their sign on their ass. (Not really)"

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Funnies

demotivational posters - FML
see more Very Demotivational
epic win photos - Hotel Ambassador WIN
see more Hacked IRL - Truth in Sarcasm
funny puns - Oh! The Humanity of it All...
see more So Much Pun
He Is... THE ONE
see more Lol Celebs
4 koma comic strip - Aye Right, Doc!
see more Comixed
If you’re not part of the solution, you’re not in enough hot water.
DuhismBits and Pieces
Sober in a Nightclub
4 koma comic strip - It had Some Shining in It
see more Comixed
Funny Pictures - Cat Gifs
see more Lolcats and funny pictures- "Oh ya, datz da spot."
Sarah Sobole via The Daily What
funny pictures - Tat pink ting in ur mouf when u yawn  ai wants it.
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
Cyanide and Happiness
Sober in a Nightclub
cute baby animals - Acting Like Animals: Um... Chirp?
see more Daily Squee... "Ummm... chirp?"
Bits and Pieces
funny pictures - Why no, dear.  There was nothing in the tea.  It was in the brownies.
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
funny puns - Well You Can Guess Who ISN'T Their Core Demographic...
see more So Much Pun
Focus Focus Gif - Focus Focus
see more Gifs
funny graphs - To Pee or Not to Pee
see more Funny Graphs
Fake Science
Sofa Pizza

see more Lol Celebs
Luke Surl
Sofa Pizza
funny graphs - No Gratification Without Separation
see more Funny Graphs
Funny Puns - Oh Dear...
see more So Much Pun
awesome photos  - Bout Damn Time
see more Epic Win FTW- "'bout damn time."
Grapefruit Aftermath Gif - Grapefruit Aftermath
see more Gifs- "Grapefruit aftermath."
demotivational posters - 120 DB  BASS MUSIC
see more Very Demotivational
cute baby animals - Handful of Sugar
see more Daily Squee
Political Pictures, Abraham Lincoln, Me Gusta
see more Political Pictures
funny graphs - I Forget Where I Found This
see more Funny Graphs (posted with the title "I forget where I found this.")
My First Dictionary
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
Sofa Pizza
What Would Jack Do?
demotivational posters - UH,
see more Very Demotivational
Sober in a Nightclub
Cyanide and Happiness
funny celebrity pictures - Sci-fi spacetime continuum malfunction.
see more Lol Celebs
EpicPonyz... Get off my country, you danged kids.
4 koma comic strip - Darwin Responds
see more Comixed... with a comment thread that's wearily predictable.