Wednesday, April 26, 2017

'It's like someone reached in from space and drew a line with a purple magic marker across the Earth'

Alberta, Canada sky watchers chasing the northern lights have partnered with scientists in an effort to explain the appearance of a curious ribbon of purplish light that everyone is calling "Steve."
The feature is attracting attention for its silly name, as well as the way it was discovered, said Eric Donovan, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Calgary.  While photographers have been taking pictures of the phenomenon in the night sky for years, Donovan said a serendipitous drink at a pub near campus last year prompted the recent interest from scientists. 
"Social media has provided a bridge between these amateur sky watchers, who are very talented photographers and very prolific finders of the aurora, and the scientific community," Donovan said.  
Talk at the pub turned to a photo of what aurora chasers were calling a proton aurora. Donovan told them that was incorrect, as proton aurora are not visible to the naked eye.
"Myself and some other scientists decided we were going to try and figure out what this thing was," Donovan said.
Steve is theorized to be a ribbon of very hot and fast moving gas moving at a speed of about six kilometres per second in a westward direction.

"Now what we're doing is trying to figure out what is exactly causing this, why the gas is moving so fast, why it's so narrow, why it's so long in the east-west direction and why it's so common," Donovan said.
In any case, the odd purple color and streak like shape are beautiful.  Has anyone reading in Canada seen this "Steve?"


Dad reflexes to the rescue.

Doing dadding right.

The ER is going to have a tough time with that.

Note to self: Never go bungee jumping in third world countries, like Bolivia

With the EMP threat from the Norks very real, it might be time to get serious about investing in a generator.

I'm on a well and I'll need that water for sure.

So much skill, style and panache stuffed into one duck

NOW they tell me. I missed a near lifetime of steaks and burgers because of this.

Pass the ketchup...

Popular belief that saturated fat clogs up arteries is a myth, experts say.

Of course, after a bunch of years eating steaks and lasagna, the pointy heads will change their minds again and decide it's the worst thing in the world to do.

There are, however, dissenting points of view:

Leading the the critics was Professor Alun (sic) Hughes, associate director of the Medical Research Council Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing at University College London.
He said: "This editorial is muddled and adds to confusion on a contentious topic. The authors present no really new evidence, misrepresent some existing evidence, and fail to adequately acknowledge the limitations in the evidence that they use to support their point of view."
Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said the claims about saturated fat were "unhelpful and misleading".
He added: "Decades of research have proved that a diet rich in saturated fat increases 'bad' LDL cholesterol in your blood, which puts you at greater risk of a heart attack or stroke."

I guess the science isn't settled.  I'll keep eating vegetables and statins, thanks.

Enraged, shooting a revolver from a speeding car. Naw, never gonna hit your target.

Experimental Invader XA-26B with 75-mm gun M5, equipped with a muzzle cover.

Big bang stick on this bird

The cat investigates the climbing roses this morning

And the cilantro and the parsnips, from seed, are about to take over the little raised bed they live in.

Spring is good.

Hey, who doesn't love pushing leaves around like a mafia don.

Apollo 9 Mission - Top view of the Lunar Module spacecraft from the Command Module

Dunnottar Castle, Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Like something straight out of Game of Thrones

My brain making it's escape after too much partying

Coming At You

Good Dog

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Ha! Thanks to Rick R., we now know that our awesome helicopter landing spot is in BC!

Attention: your "tough guy" membership card is hereby revoked.

Freckles, they are good

She seems irritated.  Maybe she could use a double latte caramel full soy almond milk super gnocchi venti unicorn frapaccino from Starbucks, with sprinkles.


It's springtime and the deployed primary mirror of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope looks like a spring flower in full bloom.

In this photo, NASA technicians lifted the telescope using a crane and moved it inside a clean room at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Once launched into space, the Webb telescope’s 18-segmented gold mirror is specially designed to capture infrared light from the first galaxies that formed in the early universe, and will help the telescope peer inside dust clouds where stars and planetary systems are forming today.
The James Webb Space Telescope is the scientific successor to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. It will be the most powerful space telescope ever built. Webb is an international project led by NASA with its partners, ESA (European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Should'a tightened the lug nuts

I'll never complain about my job again. Climbing the Rope Ladder 380F.T. high. Crooked River Bridge, Central Oregon.

The bridge was designed by the famous bridge architect, Ralph Modjeski, who also designed the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge. The Missouri Valley Bridge & Iron Company built the bridge by cantilevering it out from rock walls on both sides of the canyon.
 A myth arose, fostered by a photograph of men climbing a rope ladder up to the bridge, that the bridge builders camped at the bottom of the canyon and climbed up to work every day. In fact the crew lived two miles north of the bridge in a large construction camp at Opal City.  Opal City was expected to thrive well into the future but it was completely abandoned soon after the railroad was completed.
The first steel for the bridge arrived on May 18, 1911, and was lowered by derrick to the bottom of the gorge. Men climbed down rope ladders to attach cables to the steel beams and the steel was hoisted back up both sides of the canyon as the beams were needed. The first train crossed the bridge only four months later on September 17. Half the rivets holding the bridge together were installed after trains started using the bridge. The bridge was built quickly to facilitate laying the last 25.5 miles (41.0 km) of track to Bend where Jim Hill himself drove the "golden" spike on October 5. 
Dramatic photographs of the bridge's construction were taken by Olof Hedlund of Madras.

Is it nearly May? Then why is wet snow falling over the pass on Highway 80?

It will be an interesting runoff year, assuming it gets warm enough to melt all that white stuff.

Mount Fuji splits the cloud deck


So since the wife isn't at work today, I took what's known as a "dog day" and stayed home to play.  She and I were hanging in the front room just now after lunch, when we heard a pop and then a small crash from the kitchen.

Suspecting cat misbehavior, we went in and discovered that the miscreant was actually Doug, the sourdough starter.  It appears that last night Mrs. CW fed Doug some sweet, sweet flour, stirring it in nicely so all the little yeasty beasties can have a bite.

Doug's current home is a tupperware container, and someone put another container on top, since they stack.

Well, the beasties ate, and ate and ate, and produced so much sourdough pressure, that the pop we heard was the lid blowing off the tupperware, which propelled the other container into the sink.

Doug.  What a scoundrel!

Something serious is afoot.

All 100 senators have been asked to the White House for the briefing by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the aides said.

While top administration officials routinely travel to Capitol Hill to address members of Congress on foreign policy and national security matters, it is unusual for the entire 100-member Senate to go to such an event at the White House, and for those four top officials to be involved.
House aides said they were working with the White House to set a similar briefing for members of the House of Representatives.
And isn't it presidential and proper for him to do this.  Let the people's representatives know the score and participate in the decision making process.  They'll appreciate it, and it is the right thing to do.

Dad! They're being mean to me!

Dad's dead and gone, little chubby dictator.  Now that you've pissed off the big boys, you get to suffer the consequences.  

Bucking the trend by returning freedom to the people, Texas begins the process of removing the state from the business of banning knives.

Like every other state should.  Governments are far too involved with citizen's choices and business, and should cut back their nosiness by a minimum of 50%.

Carry the knife you want without worrying about getting the government's permission.  Next up, nationwide constitutional carry.

You are a public figure, and you say one - just one - funky thing, and the creative types run wild with it. Funny

Someone mentioned this over at r/The_Donald, and I had to look it up.  So, for Obama we have ifififif, Okey Doke, and Chew soap (choose hope).

I know I could find multiple uses for this. Won't replace the man cave's 1919 parlor stove, however.

Escape from Sasquatch Bay

Cabin Porn

Don't know where this is, but it looks like the Sierras, and even like Hetch Hetchy somewhere.

Anyone know?

Roy Rogers and Dale Evans in a CJ2A with duals!

Convair XFY Pogo

A crazy idea I guess someone just had to try.

Sea ice off Newfoundland thickest ever yet another polar bear comes ashore

Al Gore nowhere to be seen.

“Ice too thick for coast guard’s heavy icebreaker” said a 20 April 2017 CBC report on the state of ice in the Strait of Belle Isle. The pack is thick first year ice (four feet thick or more in places) and embedded with icebergs of much older, thicker ice. The ice packed along the northern shore of Newfoundland is hampering fishermen from getting out to sea and is not expected to clear until mid-May.

NASA Worldview shows the extent of the pack ice over northwest Newfoundland and southern Labrador on 19 April 2017 (the Strait of Belle Isle is the bit between the two).

The same day that the above satellite image was taken (19 April), at the north end of the Strait on the Newfoundland side, a polar bear was spotted in a small community northwest of St. Anthony (marked below,  “Wildberry Country Lodge” at Parker’s Brook). It’s on the shore of north-facing Pistolet Bay on the Great Northern Peninsula, near the 1000 year old Viking occupation site of L’Anse aux Meadows.

Harp seals are now abundant in the pack ice of southern Davis Strait, providing polar bears with an ample source of food when they need it most and therefore, a strong attractant to the area.

All the photos taken this year show fat, healthy bears – not animals struggling to survive.
Then there's this:

Actual Soyuz/ISS docking better than Hollywood's Interstellar version