Saturday, April 25, 2015

Jukebox Saturday Night Entry for April 25th, 2015: The Soft Rain, H&O, and Escapade Edition


"Soft Rain" by Paul Hardcastle on his The Jazzmasters VII release (2014)

This is a vintage Paul Hardcastle on The Jazzmasters series, and it suites the chilly, rainy weather tonight here in the city. The image stills that accompany it are wonderful, as well.

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"Say It Isn't So" by Hall and Oates from the duo's album Rock 'n Soul Part 1 (1983)

This isn't the best quality video of what is the original music video -- esp. since that original itself featured lots of blurry and disjointed camera action -- but the sound quality is fine. Furthermore, the beat is wonderful and lyrics are great.

"Say it isn't so painful / To tell me that you're dissatisfied / Last time I asked you / I really got a lame excuse / I know that you lied / Now wicked things can happen / You see 'em goin' down in war / But when you play in a quiet way / That bites it even more ..."

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And now for something both smooth and Saturday night upbeat in a way that only Janet Jackson could do with beat, lyrics, spectacular choreography, and all ...


"Escapade" by Janet Jackson from her album Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989)

The singing talent quotient between her and her late brother, Michael, is simply off the charts.

*******

I had a decent gym workout and I just finished my laundry. I'm meeting Fred at Trio for dinner (the little inside bar that I like) and then going to Floriana for a drink and perhaps No. 9. In other words, a standard weekend night. I might meet up with Gary at some point later tonight.

As noted above, it a chilly, gloomy, rainy night here in D.C. despite the late April calendar date. That's fine with me. The air temp. is only around 46F. I'll dress accordingly.

I'll try to update the blog tomorrow early afternoon.

--Regulus

My Planned Friday Night Update Posted on Saturday Afternoon (with a Paucity of Pictures)

**This entry was posted on April 25, 2015.**

An old boat -- in place of the usual yacht$$$ -- at Washington Harbour on the Potomac River, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 6:49PM April 19, 2015.

OK, I composed this entry on Friday night but simply ran out of time to post it -- it was getting too late if I wanted to go out. It is right now Saturday early (and soon-to-be-mid) afternoon, and I need to go to the gym. I'll try to post this as I wrote it with only an update at the end.

Also, I just don't have many pictures for this entry. The ones I have for it were were taken at various times including on my bike ride last Sunday that included a stop at the windy, rainy Washington Harbour in Georgetown at Sequoia's outdoor bar.

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Friday night.

I left work early today because my allergies were so bad that I felt like a zombie. In addition, I wasn't that busy today. I went to the Dupont Circle CVS and purchased Zyrtec. This was to replace the Claritin I bought at the same spot about two weeks ago that clearly has not been working for me this year.

Of note, this long-time CVS (and, long before that, Peoples Drug) recently expanded to the second floor even as a major renovation of the whole space takes place. Maybe the old 1940s-era lunch counters that I understand it once had back in its Peoples Drug era can be returned??

Cemetery at Our Lady Queen of Poland / St. Maximilian Kolbe Church near Forest Glen Metro, Silver Spring, Md., 3:41PM April 19, 2015.

There's nothing quite like a Polish Catholic Church with adjoining cemetery filled with Virgin Mary stone statuary to get one in that "special mood" of all-is-lost despair.

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The Zyrtec was $29.99 because America is great, but again I was able to put it on my HSA card, which has really come in handy. I've probably spent about $62 on that card so far but the amount added to it each paycheck puts the total well above that (probably around $300 even with these expenditures).

In yet another way, Obamacare is working. Therefore, the GOP must destroy it.

Anyway, I walked home and then quickly went back out to the gym, where I had a decent workout. I did my 6.5 mile jog, about an hour of moderate to even borderline strenuous weightlifting that included about 10 minutes trying to work on midsection, still, and a quick swim in the pool (itself preceded by 5 minutes in the steam room and quick shower and then followed by another shower).

What follows below are some observations about my physique / body / weight -- and I'll spare everyone pictures.

Blurry picture of Rosslyn and Theodore Roosevelt Island across the Potomac River from the Washington Harbour, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 6:30PM April 19, 2015.

It was windy, overcast, chilly, and showery at that point. Also, "harbour" is spelled the British way there.

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First, as for my midsection, it remains too flabby by about 10 to 15 pounds of middle aged male fat. However, it is really not noticeable unless I only wear a t-shirt (as I tend to do with my gym shorts when I am at the gym).

A shrimp cocktail (obviously) and a glass of wine (surprise) at the outdoor bar at Sequoia's, Washington Harbour, Washington, D.C., 6:31PM April 19, 2015.

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Secondly, I've never been more muscular in my arms in my life. However, that's not saying much, esp. since I've always had this unimpressive onetime very thin but now just sort of non-descript, short-statured, Italian-Polish peasant's body. Nevertheless, it is quite noticeable for me. I've also, as my regular reader(s) know, lost 40+ pounds from my heaviest weight in June 2012 with all the loss taking place by late 2013.

I probably lost more like 45 pounds of fat -- going from about 184 pounds to about 142 at my minimum as I put on some muscle mass.

These are approximations.

A dogwood tree in bloom (white flower variety) at the corner of 15th and U Streets NW, Washington, D.C., 11:08AM April 21, 2015.

This is a block from my apartment.

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Lately, I sense that my body "wants" to put on more weight -- I've probably gained a net of 4 to 6 pounds from my minimum. Even the extended jogs aren't helping with this. Indeed, my "natural" weight given my diet -- which is mostly good food-wise and not too bad with sugar intake, except for the major failure of drinking too much, even if it is mostly flavored vodka and soda (water) sort of drinks -- is probably about 155 pounds, and it's only jogging that keeps that off.

I also probably need to invest in a better pair of jogging sneakers rather than the first thing I see at Payless in Columbia Heights.

One odd thing: My shoe size had definitely increased from what had always been 9-1/2 to 10 and, in fact, probably closer to 10-1/2. I suppose it's just getting older and feet flattening out / expanding.

A dogwood tree in bloom (pinkish flower variety) at the triangular point New Hampshire Avenue meets 15th Street on the grounds of the Wakefield Hall, Washington, D.C., 7:14PM April 21, 2015.

Wakefield Hall is another William C. Smith property like my Hampton Courts building a block away.

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As for today's gym visit, I really wanted to go to the gym because I skipped last night along with Wednesday night (although I went Monday and Tuesday nights). Instead, I rode my bike to work and then biked home last night -- it was a chilly evening following such a cool, pleasant day -- but via Georgetown.

I stopped at two places in Georgetown I had not previously been: Gypsy Sally's and Paper Moon Italian restaurant.

Gypsy Sally's -- which was not my destination, but rather the place next to it called (Malmaison), that place was closed for a private event -- is a strange second floor music hall with a bar located waaaaay at the far end of Georgetown under the Whitehurst Freeway, almost under the Key Bridge in a sort of no man's land close to Jack's Boathouse and the start (or rather, end) of the Capital Crescent Trail. The "Potemkin Village" skyline of Rosslyn loomed large right across the Potomac River in the dusky evening.

I was told I couldn't stay in the main music "venue" room without paying for the live music that was about to start. However, the hostess walked me to the hidden back bar (the Vinyl Lounge?). However, that kind of sucked, both because the hatted bartender seemed to be in some sort of catatonic trance, and because that's just not my sort of scene. At all. I had quick beer and left.

I'm glad I visited it, though, just to say I was there.

I had far more luck at the second place: Paper Moon. I sat at the corner of the front bar in the main dining area -- whose dimly lit décor had a touch of New Orleans mixed with an old Catholic Church even as the overall feel was festive -- and I had a nice dinner with chianti. I was quite hungry actually. The bartender -- a fiery Muslim / Arab guy named "Red" -- was very friendly to me, and the whole experience was enjoyable. I will go back there.

I then biked on the back streets of Georgetown back to Dupont Circle (via Q Street) and stopped at Larry's Lounge, where I unexpectedly met Gary and also had a good conversation with Bill. I got home around 1140PM and had a whole phone call interaction with my dad down in Florida that I'm not going to get into now. That's a separate entry. Everything is fine except, as ever, I am not visiting him down there as long as the present situation with crazy Shannon remains.

I'm home now making dinner. I had a half hour (rare) phone call with my mom a few minutes ago. The good news is that Ray (my stepfather) qualifies for some VA benefits for health issues he incurred as a young man all those many decades ago in Vietnam. I looked up the Veterans Compensation Benefits Rate Tables and this is good news indeed based on the percentage.

I was also quite happy to hear that my mom in her retirement is keeping quite busy doing all kinds of stuff around northern Anne Arundel County and even in Laurel (Howard County).

OK, that's about all for now. My plan is to go to No. 9 tonight, although I might stop by Floriana, although Jamie is away this weekend. Tomorrow is another gym day visit and then repeat tomorrow night. For Sunday, I'd like to take a bike ride.

I intend to post a jukebox Saturday night entry along with one additional entry before that one tomorrow.

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The stunningly beautiful Kwanzan cherry blossoms on a tree at 1735 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Washington, D.C., 4:48PM April 24, 2015.

These blossoms were quite old and starting to fall off. I must say that all the fuss in D.C. is over the Yoshino "Japanese" blossoms and these Kwanzan -- which I think are prettier -- get short shrift, esp. on the CWG site during the blooming season.

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Saturday afternoon.

As noted at the outset, it is now Saturday afternoon. I didn't have enough time to post this entry last night -- it would have been (well) after 11PM by the time I did so.

Last night, I went first to [D's] bar at Floriana where I met Brian C. and watched the last minutes of Diane Sawyer's interview with Bruce Jenner, who is becoming a woman. It's a long and convoluted story, and not something I really want to get into on this blog. I also watched a few minutes of the movie Ghost. My flip-open cell phone and my pair of gloves (it was chilly last night) both caused amusement.

Later, I went to crowded No. 9, where I had an non-noteworthy time and came home.

Now I need to get ready to go to the gym. I intend a jukebox Saturday night entry as well as (perhaps tomorrow) a political-themed one, or at least one with some links to articles I read this past week that I liked.

--Regulus

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Just Hours Left to Help Name the Mountains, Valleys, and Craters on Pluto (or Charon)! - The Really Cool "Our Pluto" Naming Contest Closing


** ATTENTION! YOUR ATTENION, PLEASE!!**

ONLY HOURS REMAIN for you to submit a name for consideration for physical features such as mountains, valleys, or craters on Pluto and its double dwarf planet moon of Charon.

The wonderful website (that, alas, I only discovered today) run by SETI on behalf of the NASA New Horizons Mission that is called Our Pluto is accepting names through midnight Pacific Time tonight (3AM Eastern Time / 0700 GMT tomorrow).

As the website home page states:

Help us put names on the maps of Pluto and Charon!

On July 14, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft will fly past Pluto, and we will map that distant world and its moons for the first time. What will we do when this:


looks more like this?


Working with the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the New Horizons team plans to assign names to the features on the maps of Pluto and its large moon Charon, once we have seen them in sharp detail this summer. At this site, you can suggest your ideas for names and vote for your favorites. The team will use your best ideas in their proposal to the IAU.

The ballot will close on April 24, 2015.

Mark Showalter, member of the New Horizons Science Team

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(Yes, the IAU is the same body that so unceremoniously -- although by my way of thinking, understandably -- demoted Pluto to "dwarf planet" status. Still, the cheek of it all. There is a decent counter-argument on why Pluto should be considered a planet.)

The site contains many features including how to vote, nominate, discuss, and tally the names, as well as FAQs, news, and, of course, contest rules. (It's not a contest in that you win anything -- other than the honor of having named a feature on Pluto or Charon, but that's plenty.)

Speaking of the demotion of Pluto to dwarf planet status, I found some funny images about all of that from this blog entry by Amy Shira Teitel.

Ha ha

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Poor Pluto ...

Click on image for larger version. Uranus is the cross-eyed one with nearly vertical rings. And Mars looks bad-ass.

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JUST 81 DAYS TO GO until our awesome, intrepid, wonderful little New Horizons space probe meets mysterious Pluto and its retinue of moons including Charon. New Horizons will complete what NASA's other great planetary probes -- the Mariners, Pioneers, Vikings, and Voyagers -- started: The investigation of the last of the classical or "canonical" Nine Planets of Our Solar System.


We love you, New Horizons! GO, LITTLE ONE, GO! And we love you, too, Pluto.

--Regulus

April Weather of Perfection and a Movie Better Forgotten -OR- April and Mommie Dearest

**This entry was posted on April 23, 2015.**

The view this lovely morning from my apartment looking north by northwest toward Meridian Hill Park, Washington, D.C., 9:59AM April 23, 2015.

The buildings in this view include, the ornate Camden Roosevelt, and the behemoth 2112 New Hampshire Avenue building, even though it really fronts onto W Street.

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This is just the briefest of morning updates before work ...

It is just an absolutely beautiful April morning of the sort of weather I find perfect -- cool with a gusty northwesterly wind under brightly sunny cerulean skies fleeced with fair weather cumulus -- in a context I find perfect -- tender, leafy, flowery, well-watered green spring unfurling all around following a rainy spell earlier this week. This spring has not featured the frequent rapid transition into sweltering D.C. summer, and I deeply appreciate that fact.

The air temperature is actually outright cool at 52F at KDCA at the 10AM hour. The dew point is only 23F. There is a 15MPH wind from the northwest with gusts to near 30MPH.

Sterling (LWX) NWS county warning area (CWA) weather advisories as of 10AM EDT April 23, 2015.

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Of note, there is actually a freeze watch out for tonight for northern Maryland and into Pennsylvania and west along the Allegheny Front and Potomac Highlands and down the Blue Ridge where it morphs into a freeze warning.

Last night, I skipped the gym and went to Tsunami with my co-worker Natan and his friend. Thereafter, I went to No. 9 where I met Gary.

Finally, I head to Floriana to D's downstairs bar where I watched the last part of Mommie Dearest with several others. I'm really starting to feel badly for Joan Crawford and contempt for what Christina Crawford wrought through that movie, which clearly damaged Faye Dunaway's career.

Forever dancing on her mother's grave like that in a story not backed up by any of Joan Crawford's other adopted children.


On a personal note, my mother refuses to watch that movie even though she is well-aware of it (and even used to refer to herself as "Mommie Dearest" back when I was a teenager). It has to do with her relationship with her mother -- that is, my maternal grandmother -- growing up in the 1950s and '60s on Henry Street in South Amboy, New Jersey.

It was that kind of relationship. It wasn't pretty. And grandma, God rest her troubled soul, definitely had a touch of the Joan Crawford in her, if not personality-wise (as portrayed) then just in appearance.

My mom, maternal grandmother, and yours truly (about 3 years old) in South Amboy, N.J., circa 1973.

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OK, I better get this day started. Tonight is a planned gym night. My new rule is to avoid going out on Thursday nights as much as possible. However, it is such a lovely day that I am tempted to bike to work, which would likely nix my gym plans. I will say that I've gone to the gym quite frequently this past month.

--Regulus

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Reposted CWG Entry: A Rare Double Double (i.e., Quadruple) Rainbow Photographed and Explained (Hint: You Need a "Double" Sun)

A double double-decker (i.e., quadruple) rainbow as seen from the Glen Cove, Long Island train station on the morning of April 21, 2015. Photo by (@amanda_curtis via Twitter, CEO NineteenthAmendment.com).

Reposted from this Capital Weather Gang entry but with slight adaption (including lead image picture placement, adjustment and/or addition of captions, and all the text colors):

Is it legit? Rare quadruple rainbow photo goes viral

by Jason Samenow April 21st, 2015 at 3:05PM EDT

While waiting for her train this morning at the Glen Cove train station in Long Island, NY, Amanda Curtis grabbed her phone and snapped a photo of an incredibly rare atmospheric phenomenon: A quadruple rainbow.

When she posted the photo on Twitter – where it went viral, some folks were incredulous. They said the photo was photoshopped or that Curtis had shot it through glass, causing a reflection.

But, in the interview posted below, Curtis told The Weather Channel the image was authentic and taken in the open air:

[Blog Editor's Note: There follows an interview with Ms. Curtis by the Weather Channel, specifically, Jim "Crocodile Dundee" Cantore and two other idiot media clowns. While Ms. Curtis, a fashion designer, is a young, genuine, and seemingly nice person, the Weather Channel on-air team is unwatchable, so I'm not going even to attempt to embed the video, which I don't even think I could if I wanted to. Instead, it is just a screenshot image of the video. If you want to see the interview, go to the CWG entry itself here.]

Not an actually embedded video.

The photo was convincing to Paul Neiman, who works as a research meteorologist at NOAA's Earth System Research Observatory. He posted this very helpful explanation on his Facebook page, which he allowed me to republish:

This is an outstanding example of a primary and secondary rainbow (relatively common) occurring together with their reflected-light counterparts (quite rare). Allow me to elaborate.

A typical primary rainbow is caused by refraction and one internal reflection of sunlight within raindrops, resulting in a rainbow that is positioned 41 arc degrees from the anti-solar point (i.e., the point directly opposite the sun – for example, if the sun is 10 degrees above the horizon at your back, the anti-solar point is 10 degrees below the horizon directly in front of you). The refraction causes the separation of white sunlight into its component colors, with red on the outside of the rainbow and violet on the inside.

The secondary rainbow, which is centered 51 arc degrees from the anti-solar point (i.e., the larger of the two bows during a typical display), involves two internal reflections of sunlight within the raindrops rather than one, resulting in a reversal of the color sequence (red on the inside and violet on the outside). We can usually only see the portion of these rainbows above the horizon, because there isn’t a sufficient density of raindrops between the observer and the ground to see the rainbow below the horizon (exceptions include full-circle rainbows viewed from locales such as airplanes and mountain tops).

So far, so good. For the much rarer reflected-light rainbows shown in this spectacular photo, a large glassy-smooth water surface is required behind the observer. This smooth water surface reflects the sun, such that a second solar light source is generated. This reflected sun, which is located the same the number of arc degrees below the horizon as the real sun is above the horizon, creates a second primary and secondary rainbow on the opposite side of the sky from the sun, but with the center of these reflected-light rainbows above the horizon. The geometry dictates that the regular and reflected-light rainbows will join at the horizon, as this photo shows.

Neiman's explanation requires a body of water to be behind the observer. And, indeed, Oyster Bay – located about 2 miles east-northeast of the train station "likely provided the reflective surface to create the reflected-light rainbows", he said.

 Google map showing the location of Glen Cove LIRR train station in relation to Oyster Bay and Long Island Sound.

Neiman said he was "awe-struck by this photo", so too apparently were the thousands who shared it on social media.

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As for the purported / proverbial pot of gold at the end of any rainbow ...


If awful Wall-P, a.k.a., Pitty Shil, were there, he'd go nuts looking for actual pots of gold because that would enhance his net worth.

"Eh. Eh. Eheheh. My net assets are far in excess of the D.C. definition of wealthy. By the universal law of libertarian morality, and from a strict constructionist legal framework based upon the primacy of contract law in our jurisprudence system, I therefore conclude that I am a morally far superior entity--"

Ohhhh, knock it off, Wall-P, you tangerine-sized ball of condensed matter corporate stoogery and oligarchical overclass useful idiocy. Go back to whatever "Dr. Who" episode whence you came.

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OK, that's all for now. To be clear, this totally wasn't the entry I planned tonight but here it is. I'm skipping the gym tomorrow night and probably not taking home the computer, so no entry until at least late Thursday.

--Regulus

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tuesday Morning Post: Area Rainfall Stats & Synopses of Two Scientific American Articles: Love in a Dog's Eye & All Those Missing Aliens


I had intended to post a full update last night instead of just this brief (albeit useful) entry. Instead, I'll try again tonight.

This includes a weather update to note the regional two-day rainfall totals that were capped by a two thunderstorms last night -- one around 9PM and another, somewhat unexpectedly as the actual cold front came through, around 130AM. Preliminarily, the two-day totals were 1.29" at KDCA, 1.59" at KBWI, 1.03" at KIAD, and 1.87" at KDMH.

Today is a cool, sunny, gusty-breezy day with rain-washed blue sky and temps right now around 62F.

I am planning on going to the gym again tonight as I did last night (jog, weightlift, and swim). (I'll take tomorrow night off.) Of course, given that I get home between 1015 and 1030PM, it makes posting a complete entry problematic.

In the meantime, read this article in Scientific American (link embedded) "Is the Gaze from Those Big Puppy Eyes the Look of Your Doggie's Love?"

The article discusses the findings of Japanese researchers on the hormonal changes that result in people AND their dogs after they gaze at each other or otherwise have good interactions (e.g., petting a dog). The hormone in question -- oxytocin -- is detected in urine. (Yes, that makes this study kind of weird.)

Bottom line: Humans and their dogs really and truly are biochemically connected in a profound way. But you didn't need an article to tell you that.

I came across that article (as a "most popular" on the site) because I had intended to repost in full another article but simply didn't have enough time, esp. to break up the text with pictures. Instead, I'll just post the title of that other article with embedded link and a brief synopsis:


The sub-title: The most far-seeing search ever performed for "Dyson spheres" and other artifacts of "astroengineering" comes up empty. Where is everybody?

(I actually came across this on Salon.com where it was reposted in full, except it has a different title.)

The article discusses a survey of 100,000 nearby galaxies to search for the "waste heat" signature from many Dyson spheres, namely, an optically dim but mid-IR bright galaxy.

False-color mid-infrared image of Andromeda Galaxy.

The totally unsuccessful efforts to find this waste-heat suggests that energy-intensive galaxy-spanning civilizations of the sort that devour the energy output from entire stars are quite rare, if they exist at all, at least in this "traditional" model.

Instead, if there are any such galaxy-spanning species, they are totally different, utilizing energy in a way indistinguishable from their background.

The visually spectacular M51a "Whirlpool" Galaxy and its companion M51b in Canes Venatici (the Hunting Dogs).

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Excerpt:


"Simply put, profligate galaxy-spanning empires are unsustainable and therefore we do not see them. 'SETI is essentially a search for technological waste products,' [science fiction author Karl] Schroeder has written. 'Waste heat, waste light, waste electromagnetic signals -- we merely have to posit that successful civilizations don't produce such waste, and the failure of SETI is explained.'"

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OK, and with that, I really will get my day started on this planet.

--Regulus

Monday, April 20, 2015

Perfection Reposted: YouTube Clip of the Most Recent "Zombie Lies - Environmental Edition" Segment from Real Time with Bill Maher



This segment from what I believe is the most recent Real Time with Bill Maher show just needs to be featured in a stand-alone entry. It's called "Zombie Lies - Environmental Edition" as part of the "New Rule" feature. Maher takes on the nonsense and garbage spewed by basically any and all Republican politicians, in particular, presidential wannabes on the topic of human-induced climate change in service to all the corporate and rightwing billionaire (read: Koch Brothers) money sloshing through our political system and funding their candidacies.

Maher gave this monologue as a nod to the upcoming Earth Day on April 22nd.

Just watch it. It's perfection.

The good people of Planet Earth thank you, Mr. Maher.

--Regulus

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sundry Notes from a Sunday April Spring Day -OR- Just Some Day in Washington

A spring day in Washington, D.C., taken April 17, 2015.

This picture was taken by Nathan A. Jones, whose terrific pictures often appear in Capital Weather Gang entries. To be clear, I think this picture was taken in D.C., although the actual webpage for it doesn't specify. It was certainly in the D.C. area.

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Sunday early afternoon.

All the morally superior people who don't drink on weekend nights and go to bed early with Jesus are up and out and about.

It is Sunday, the one day of the week that is ostensibly "free" for me with no work and/or gym or other chore obligations, self-imposed or otherwise. As such, I would like to take a bike ride, though not sure where. I'll take the bike on the Metro and go to some station and bike back into the city.

I figured out on Friday night that in a 168 hour week, basically only 14 hours are totally free for me -- and the bulk of them are on Sunday.

I arrived at this as follows: 49 hours sleeping/in bed; 40 hours of work; 5 hours round-trip daily commute to and from work; 12 hours of getting ready to leave the apt (i.e., showering, shaving, etc.); 20 hours blogging or otherwise online at home; 18 hours in bars; 10 hours in the gym. This totals 154 hours, which leaves 14 hours.


However, the weather might be an issue by the end of the day.

NWS 24-hour forecasted surface weather map valid at 0Z April 20, 2015 (8PM EDT April 19, 2015).

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While it is partly cloudy now with sunshine through blanched white skies and temps around 67F at the 1PM hour (at KDCA) with a gusty easterly (maritime) breeze (up to 22MPH at the last observation), a moisture-laden low pressure system is progged to move up the Appalachians today into tonight. It will drag a warm front ahead of it and tap ample Gulf moisture -- it is doing so already.

NWS composite radar mosaic for a portion of the eastern Lower 48 at 1528UTC (11:28AM EDT) April 19, 2015.

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NWS Eastern U.S. region weather advisories as of 12:04PM April 19, 2015.

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A flood watch has been hoisted for the Baltimore/Washington area and stretching back into the Virginia highlands and down the spin of the central and southern Appalachians into Georgia where there is also a tornado watch. There has been a real lack of severe weather in the eastern U.S. this season.

The Sterling (LWX) county warning area (CWA) weather advisories taken from the LWX webpage as of 12:19PM EDT April 19, 2015.

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1 to 2 inches of rain is forecasted for the D.C. area. After the system passes, a deep upper level trough -- continuing a semi-permanent pattern of the past two years -- is forecasted to slide the eastern United States and eastern Canada with well below normal temps. Thursday's highs here in D.C. might not break 60F.

Meanwhile, it's continued warmth and drought for the western United States, although the 3-day QPF shows up to 0.82" of precipitation for the high Sierras of California. Any bit helps.

The 3-day quantitative precipitation forecast (QPF) from the NWS / WPC valid 12Z April 19 - 12Z April 22, 2015.

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By the way, read this Capital Weather Gang entry by Jason Samenow on how warm March 2015 and the first quarter of 2015 was globally (link embedded): March and the first quarter of 2015 were Earth’s warmest on record.

Land - Ocean Temperature Anomalies by Percentile, March 2015 from NOAA. This is for the base period 1981 - 2010. More information is available here.

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Once again, though, CWG staffer Matt Rogers chimed in with comments trying to dismiss the idea of climate change because -- as near as I can tell in what I consider a somewhat misinformed and warped view -- the global temperature ISN'T rising fast enough vis-à-vis some unspecified global climate model that he thinks the Earth's climate system SHOULD be following. He makes the point repeatedly of how little the record highs are above old record highs and if you subtract the uncertainty range, the temperatures in fact are not the highest.

Global surface temperature anomalies for March 2015 versus the 1951 - 1980 March average base period.

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This is a flawed view for a variety of reasons. First, the system doesn't follow simple algebra equation. Secondly, uncertainty is just that -- uncertainty -- so you can't invoke it as you please to prove one thing and disprove another. Third, the Earth's climate system operates on its own timetable, not one convenient to humans.

Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent anomalies for March 1979 - 2015 versus the 1981 - 2010 average.

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Matt is missing the general trend of which is there overwhelming evidence all across the globe that only idiot Republican politicians and the GOP "base" -- as tools of corporate oligarchy and plutocracy -- could fail to see.

Finally, as an aside, the idea that Matt wants to see powerful record after record set is really warped: He basically wants a runaway greenhouse effect. Thankfully, that's not how the climate system works.

I engaged him briefly (as Arcturus24), but it's kind of a pointless discussion.

I will say that as a CWG staff writer, he should be more mindful of his position. He isn't some random far-right troll commenter (is there any other kind?) in the comment section to some Yahoo News article.

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The view from my Hampton Courts apartment, Washington, D.C., 12:21PM April 19, 2015.

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Yesterday was fine as far as a Saturday goes. I had a good gym workout. My weight was 145 pounds, so while I'm up 3 from my "low", I am down 3 from the jump last week. I'd like to think maybe an extra pound of that is muscle mass, but probably not.

Last night, I had a nice dinner at the little bar at Trio. (I'm finally used to the redesign of that place.) There was basso nova music playing, which was quite nice, AND there are NO TELEVISIONS. That is so rare nowadays. Outside, though, 17th Street was bustling. And it has become so straight.

Trio restaurant, Washington, D.C., 9:57PM April 19, 2015.

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Thereafter, I went to Floriana downstairs bar. That fellow Shane from Friday night was there and we talked for a while. Later, I went to Fox & Hound and met up with Jamie for a bit.


While at Floriana, [D] and I had an interesting discussion about the 1 day of uncertainty in when Queen Elizabeth II will become the longest serving British monarch later this year, surpassing the reign of her great-great grandmother, Queen Victoria.

This *should* occur on September 9, 2015. However, Victoria's reign included the year 1900 when -- as a century-year NOT divisible by 400 -- there was no leap year. By contrast, Elizabeth II was queen in the year 2000 when -- as a century-year that IS divisible by 400 -- there was a leap year. By including all the other quadrennial leap years during their respective reigns (15 for Victoria and 16 for Elizabeth II), it works out September 10, 2015 should be the day.

Here is an interesting write up about it by Martin Willis of the University of Westminster in London.

Updated 11:33PM 4/20/2015: I have been thinking about this, and it seems to me that if "ERII" has reigned during an extra leap year, she only needs to reach Sept. 8th, not Sept. 9th, much less the 10th. I guess I'm a bit confused. End of update (not noted in entry lead).

Top 10 longest serving British monarchs as of this day, April 19, 2015, with Queen Elizabeth II highlighted.

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According to Wikipedia, as of today, Elizabeth II has been no the British throne for 63 years 72 days or 23,083 days. Victoria's record is 63 years 216 days or 23,226 days.

Celebrating this event is problematic since it would implicitly be celebrating Victoria's death, and that's not something anybody would or should do.


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After I got home last night, I went (naturally) online and came across the YouTube clip of Bill Maher on his Real Time show the other day interviewing infamous former New York Times writer Judith Miller about the botched reporting in the lead-up to the war.

Without getting into details, I found it interesting actually to hear Miller's side of things. Miller wrote a new book on this subject called The Story: A Reporter's Journey.

And Bill Maher -- when he's not being a pugnacious atheist -- is really an insightful interviewer who captures and articulates what progressives / liberals are thinking. He does that very well in this interview.

Here is the clip:



As for the atheist thing, here is another clip (possibly from the same episode) where he talks about gay marriage and fundamentalist bakers objecting to making gay wedding cakes -- and then ties it into religious fundamentalism in this country versus in the Arab / Islamic world. Here is that clip:



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OK, I think I need to wrap up this entry.

One last item, though: I think I'm going to need a new box fan. My current fan's little motor feels hot after it has run all night. It shouldn't be that warm. This means another Friday trip to the chaos of the Columbia Heights Target, or rather, the adjoining Bed Bath and Beyond. I think box fans are sold there.

Tulips on a spring day, Washington, D.C., April 17, 2015.

This is another Nathan A. Jones Flickr picture, see here.

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OK, that really is all for now.

--Regulus

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Jukebox Saturday Night for April 18th, 2015: The Lee Morse, Eurthymics, and Katy Perry Edition -OR- On Sweethearts, Angels, and Fireworks


"Sweetheart's Holiday" by Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys (1929)

This is just a sweet piece. I need to learn more about Lee Morse.

Lee Morse circa 1930.

I actually heard first heard this song on Bryan Wright's Shellac Stack podcast show, specifically podcast #48. (It is the final song in the podcast. Bryan introduces it at 55:10.) I was lucky to find the YouTube clip.

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I'm not sure why I haven't featured this awesome Eurythmics song before but here goes ...*


"There Must Be an Angel (Playing with My Heart)" by the Eurythmics from the duo's Be Yourself Tonight album (1985)

God, I love Annie Lennox.

As for this video, I love the Louis XIV / Court of the Sun King motif. (David A. Stewart, the other half of the Eurythmics, portrays Louis XIV.)

*To be clear, I mean I'm not sure why I haven't featured this song in a Jukebox Saturday Night entry or the precursor Friday Night Musical Interlude. I actually posted it once years ago in the early days of this Regulus blog, specifically, in this entry. Actually, the embedded video I used -- from Spike.com or something like that -- was no longer working (and probably hadn't in years). I just updated that link, too.

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And let's end with something really Saturday night energetic and upbeat ...


"Firework" by Katy Perry from her Teenage Dream release (2010)

This is a quintessentially Katy Perry "spectacular" video -- as in one of her vintage video spectacles. However, the story line that the video tells along with the song lyrics is actually very touching and it all works quite well (and that's not just my opinion). I mean, ONLY Katy Perry could be in a video in which fireworks are supposed to be shooting off from her bosom (OK, it's supposed to be from her soul) and yet somehow it ISN'T ridiculous.

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OK, that's all. I was going to post another entry, but it would just take too long. I had a good gym workout this afternoon and did my laundry just now. I'll go get dinner somewhere (I haven't been to Old Ebbitt Grill in a while).

Last night was quite festive, first at Floriana where I went with Gary from Larry's Lounge and met Fred. Brian C. was there and in a full form. I also met a fellow named Shane with whom I'd like to stay in touch. Later, I went to Fox & Hound and joined Jamie and a large group.

Tomorrow, I am unsure of my plans though I might take a bike ride. My next update might not be until Monday night.

--Regulus

Friday, April 17, 2015

"Girl, Ima Have To Blog Later ..." -OR- On a Bed of New Comfy Foam Toppers and Old Yoshino Cherry Blossom Petals

Ha ha

Not sure if that picture was staged or not but it's still hilarious, in particular with the caption.

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I don't have enough time to post an entry tonight, so this one will have to do. In addition, Yahoo mail is screwed up again so I can't access some of my pictures for this entry.

I really need a dedicated entry to the one page of instructions and description (and illustrations!) that came with my brand new "COMFY FOAM TOPPER" mattress cushion I bought this evening at the Columbia Heights Bodega Gigante y Supermercado, I mean, Target.

Part of step 1: "Carefully remove the outer plastic layer so not to cut or damage the comfy foam topper." Part of step 2: "Gently unroll the comfy foam topper on a flat surface. It may take a few days for the topper to return to its intended size." 3. "Place your comfy foam topper on your mattress and secure with your fitted sheet."

To be clear, I use it on the floor (I have no bed or mattress) below a pile of comforters, quilts, pillow, and stuffed animals (of which lots are hippos).

The Yoshino cherry trees along the Tidal Basin losing their petals, Washington, D.C., April 16, 2015.

Picture by Nathan Jones and posted in this CWG entry. Source location here.

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It's a mild night following a partly cloudy to mostly sunny day with temps. reaching the upper 70s Fahrenheit (79F at KDCA and KIAD and 78F at KBWI; KDMH by the Inner Harbor reached 75F). There were a few widely scattered showers around today with a mostly southerly flow. Actually, there was a touch of convection with some t-showers out toward the Blue Ridge.

Tonight, I'm heading to Larry's Lounge shortly and then plan to meet Fred at Floriana "grotto bar." Thereafter, I might go to No. 9 or, as sometimes happens, to Fox & Hound with Jamie if he goes there.

I'm unsure about my plans tomorrow -- most likely it will just be a regular Saturday involving gym and laundry and then going to dinner and No. 9 at night. I intend to at least post a jukebox Saturday night entry.

--Regulus