Saturday, July 10, 2010

Out of the Summertime Hot Spot (For Now) and Into Some Rain

I continue to lack a good set of my own pictures for entries of late, hence the random nature of this entry's images.

Common cottongrass (or bog cotton) growing in a meadow somewhere in England.


I wrote the bulk of this entry last night but it was taking me so long to get suitable images that I gave up and I'm now reposting it this morning, updated as needed.


From today's APOD showing radiant Venus, my namesake star (Regulus), and Mars -- with convenient constellation outlines of Leo and part of Virgo sketched in -- as seen above Lake Taupo on the North Island of New Zealand. The glow in the lower right is the Zodiacal Light.


So I actually had a good week -- my boss shared with me a very nice compliment she received about me from one of the ladies I've been working with intently this week on two consumer fact sheets. It is shared below.


FIRST, though, weather and political commentary ...

The Weather (Updated through 4PM Saturday)

Our disgusting heat wave finally broke, at least for now. The 102F and even 105F high temperatures and overnight urban core lows of 80F have been replaced by 75F weather now. True, the dew point is around 70F at the 1PM hour, so it is quite humid -- but not oppressive.

More importantly, we had a very much needed decent rainfall dousing between about 5AM and 12PM today -- over an inch at DCA, which was the jackpot among the three regional airports.

This was the Northeast U.S. mosaic of composite radar images at 0128UTC (928PM EDT) July 10 (July 9), 2010.

As it turned out, little of the rain shown in the above radar image from about 930PM last night reached the D.C. / Baltimore area. Indeed, Dulles (IAD) and BWI Airport managed to get nothing out of it. DCA got just 0.02". Its amazing how the radar can look so promising -- and then we don't get squat.

Instead, in the wee hours of this morning, additional rain developed and there was a few hour dousing with the following totals recorded between 5AM and Noon ...

DCA 1.17" (and thus 1.19" for the event)
BWI 0.41"
IAD 0.61"

We're still way below for both the year and the summer season (as reckoned from June 1st).


From previous unpublished entry ...

As for that weak low that moved toward the coast, it didn't bring any rain here but it did usher in a nice Caribbean / Atlantic maritime tropical envelope of air even to the D.C. area, but it marked the end of the hideous heat wave as the high weakened its grip / moved anomalously to the southwest.


Global Climate Change Comment ...

Sometimes it bears simply stating the truth:

All that "global cooling" bullshit by the teabagging GOP fundamentalist and libertarian crazies -- all little more than clueless tools of reactionary corporate intrigue -- is just that, bullshit.

The planet's warming trend continues with the 2000s the warmest decade in the historical record and the bulk of 2010 so far is turning out to be the warmest so far.


Political Commentary ...

"I can see it now - someone drops a Bible and it makes a big boom sound. Then some handjob stands up and draws his gun, ready to 'save the church.' Then other armed handjobs see 'an armed gunman' so they open fire and the headline reads, '22 people shot at local Church.'"

-- Bartcop, who is a bit of an Okie gun nut himself, on Louisiana's new "bring your loaded firearms to church the way Jesus would" law that Gov. Bobo Jingle signed into law.

Note: The image above is from gun-crazed "church" called New Bethel Church in Kentucky.


Some good Glenn Greenwald stuff ...

Here is Glenn Greenwald on how the corporate mainstream media fails to practice the "accountability" it demands in others, exemplified by the corporate criminal operation that is the WaHoPo.

Embedded in this column is the following 3m 15s clip of comedian George Carlin discussing the myth of the American Dream. Here is the YouTube clip.

Caution: It is very crude and profanity-laced, but he basically sums it up.

And here is Glenn Greenwald on what the firing of long-time CNN correspondent Octavia Nasr tells us -- again -- about the allegedly "liberal" Washington media establishment.


Oh, and here's some Bullshit From Your Government:

AP Headline: Feds say new cap could contain Gulf leak by Monday


OK, so the email:

Hi [****]

I just wanted to let you know that I really like working with [Regulus]. He is a really great researcher, gets very involved in every task he is assigned, can move between technical subject matter with ease and is very on top of concrete deadlines given to him. He is proactive in asking questions and seeking feedback, and all around has been a HUGE help with the consumer fact sheets.

Those are just my 2 cents for now on him, since I know he is still in an evaluation period.


And my boss told me this has been forwarded to my HR file.

For my part, I told her -- in one of my first real jokes -- that I'm Catholic / ex-Catholic and "I don't handle compliments very well." She said she too is a "recovering Catholic."


Speaking of Catholic / God and whatnot, I've been tonight watching -- again -- Touched By An Angel. I already posted on my other blog. I was staying overnight in a cheap motel in Tampa with my dad in January 1999 and I was watching this show.

As an aside, he and I always seemed to stay in cheap motels (or their international equivalent) no matter how far flung our travels -- Nova Scotia to Seattle to Costa Rica to the French West Indies (Guadeloupe and Martinique).

Yeah, that's about right.

From this motel, you could see the Tampa skyline nearby -- mostly giant banks headquarters.

He was trying to sleep and I had the TV tuned to Touched by an Angel (back when it was actually on the air). He started yelling about how there must be "organized money" "pushing" the show and its agenda.

It is true that I also watch the show to avoid nonstop outrage on MSNBC -- Schultz, Olbermann and Maddow (yes, I know she's on at 9PM after the Hallmark airing).

The problem with all of these "TbaA" episodes is that it is so not how the "real world" works. At least in this stupid and nonsensical reality -- pretty much bad always wins, at least in big and spectacularly ways (good things happen in quiet, personal, intimate ways) and all kinds of horrendous shit endlessly happens.

And into the mix there's this weird Christian God burbling something about being "well-pleased" and "loving Him with all your heart and soul" -- and all because the suffering of someone somewhere "proves" this or that Hidden Good Thing.

He probably says it all with a bit of Holy Drool coming out of His Mouth.

Now do you love that God? That God is just a Crazy God.

No, I haven't really done anything to make the world a better place, and I'm too tired, fearful, and self-absorbed to try to do so now. Guess no Monica-like angel for me ...


Speaking of tired ...

I've been feeling exhausted and weak all week long. Sometimes I get these heart flutters and I think I'm having a heart attack.

The heat has been very enervating. I haven't had any liquor since Monday -- and sometimes I think it's a kind of withdrawal.

Actually, speaking of liquor, I'm supposed to go to Cobalt tonight. I think I'm going to sign off for now since it would take me far too long to get all the image I need to post this entry tonight.


Updated (Saturday afternoon):

Well, I was sort of doubly stood up last night but whatever. I love the "purgative" effect I have on one friend in particular -- I call him up and he INSTANTLY has to run to the toilet. Instead, I ended up meeting with Jamie and his friend and we went to Fox & Hound. As it is, I'm feeling too fat and frumpy to go to Cobalt and EVER have an enjoyable time among all those bitchy, vicious gay men.

It's now 1:25PM on Saturday afternoon and I'm watching TV.

Specifically, I've been watching How the Earth Was Made on History Channel. The first episode was on the geological history of Death Valley, and now it is on Yellowstone and its beguilingly calm "supervolcano" caldera above the magma chamber that itself is above the massive fixed "hot spot" in the Earth over which the North America continent is moving.

The above image shows the apparent motion of the Yellowstone hot spot over the past 16.1 million years as a result of the motion of the North American continent with respect to the fixed crust / mantle.

The supervolcano erupts ever 600,000 years on average and it has been 640,000 years since the last one -- and there have been some suggestions in the past few years (increased swarms of small quakes and rapidly rising land) another eruption is approaching.

And we know what will happen the next time the Yellowstone "supervolcano" catastrophically erupts, destroying much of the U.S.

But it probably won't happen for many thousands of years, long after the U.S. has ceased to exist, but probably still with humanity and civilization around.

Alright, that's enough.

An English meadow


It is going to take me about two frickin' hours to find enough suitable images for this entry so that it looks nice, and I'm sure my readers appreciate my efforts. My next entry may be Monday or Tuesday period.



krzysztof said...

Ah the figure of drooling God! Your own original contribution to theology. I've always loved it. What it lacks in intellectual subtlety it makes up for in evocative imagery.

Glad the heat wave is over for now and glad that I'm not there just yet.

Your efforts to find suitable images are much appreciated.

Regulus said...

Thank you, Kristof.