Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"It's Clouds Illusions I Recall ..."

Cumulus clouds over L'Enfant Plaza in the early evening as I was leaving work (on the late side), Washington, D.C., 6:20PM, April 26, 2011.

These clouds looked like those painted ones you see a canvas "sky" setting in an old movie.

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This is my midweek update. It has been hard to write this entry as I got distracted by the weather this evening (although in the end nothing actually happened here in D.C. proper) and I was "busy" watching TV (discussed below).

More cumulus clouds over L'Enfant Plaza as I walked to the Metro station, Washington, D.C., 6:24PM, April 26, 2011.

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As noted, my gum infection seems to be gone, but there is inexplicably some lingering pain inside the NEW permanent crown (which will need to be resealed on next week). That doesn't make much sense to me since the tooth isn't even real. I'm still on antibiotics and will be for another five days or so.

The Washington Monument under a threatening looking sky -- although in the end there were no storms in the District proper -- on an unseasonably warm spring evening, Washington, D.C., 5:30PM, April 27, 2011.

Sometimes I walk to the Smithsonian Station instead of L'Enfant Plaza. On rare occasions (once every two weeks or so), I walk the 2 miles home.

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The view from my apartment -- after I removed the screen -- looking at the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and 16th and U Streets, NW, Washington, D.C., 6:33PM, April 27, 2011.

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Political Detour on the Teabagger Crazy Express to Nowhere...

Earlier tonight I was watching "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell, whom I really enjoy, and he was in high-dungeon over the whole Teabagger / birther bullshit sideshow that is being fanned by Donald "Deranged Egomaniac" and showman Trump for his own narcissistic and financial reasons -- and that hit a frenzy today when the White House released Obama's actual birth certificate from that vault in Hawaii where it was.

Behold! -- the Teabaggers' "anti-Holy Grail" (as I heard it said today) -- President Obama's birth certificate.

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O'Donnell -- whose show is on MSNBC, which is the news division that is part of the larger NBC company -- was tearing into NBC's entertainment division. O'Donnell also had a "interview" with the Original Birther Queen herself, Orly Taitz (R - Scary Crazy) that was as brief as it was disastrous. It ended after about 2 minutes, if that, when (Bill O'Reilly-style) he stopped the interview and had her thrown off the show.

The New York Times online front page at 9:39AM, April 27, 2011 with the birth certificate featured prominently "above the fold," as it were.

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End of the Age of America ...


A fascinating article appeared on Yahoo finance news about the impending economic eclipse of the United States by China by 2016 based on on real economic data known as purchasing power parity (PPP). The author Brett Arend is a columnist for MarketWatch and the Wall Street Journal. He quoted a professor describing the difference between the Chinese and U.S. economic paradigms in place:

"Under PPP, the Chinese economy will expand from $11.2 trillion this year to $19 trillion in 2016. Meanwhile the size of the U.S. economy will rise from $15.2 trillion to $18.8 trillion. That would take America's share of the world output down to 17.7%, the lowest in modern times. China's would reach 18%, and rising."

Interestingly, the IMF actually issued a statement denying this interpretation and instead said it prefers market exchange rates, which Arend easily takes down as a point.

But my favorite quotable quote from the article -- other than the line about the Euro not being "the drachma in drag":

"'There are two systems in collision,' said Ralph Gomory, research professor at NYU's Stern business school. 'They have a state-guided form of capitalism, and we have a much freer former of capitalism.' What we have seen, he said, is 'a massive shift in capability from the U.S. to China. What we have done is traded jobs for profit. The jobs have moved to China. The capability erodes in the U.S. and grows in China. That's very destructive. That is a big reason why the U.S. is becoming more and more polarized between a small, very rich class and an eroding middle class. The people who get the profits are very different from the people who lost the wages.'"

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Dramatic looking cumulonimbus (thunderstorm) clouds to the southeast of D.C. as seen from the Washington Nationals Stadium earlier this evening, April 27, 2011, in a picture taken and sent to me by Kevin. There were severe t-storms in the area tonight (see below).

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Weather Update ...

It has been a sort of an active weather evening with scattered but severe thunderstorm clusters moving quickly SW-to-NE -- and a general tornado watch across the Washington / Baltimore extended region.

The Sterling LWX radar in enhanced base mode, 7:30PM EDT, April 27, 2011.

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We missed one batch of t-storms right here in the District proper, but there is another one (if it holds together) over central Virginia that could bring stormy weather in a couple of hours. However, the storms that sort of split around D.C. itself had tornado warnings associated with them in Prince George's and Anne Arundel Counties (right in the area where my mom lives!) but everything ended alright.

The Baltimore/Washington NWS (LWX) county warning area (CWA) map updated at 7:28PM EDT, April 27, 2011.

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As of 9:30PM, the storms had moved on / dissipated and only 0.01" had fallen so far today at DCA and a trace at BWI, though Dulles had 0.77" in a thunderstorm. All three airports are at or slightly above normal precipitation for the year-to-date totals.

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Apropos of nothing except I like it ...

This is Ford's new Focus spokes-puppet Doug and his human friend, John. It sort of looks like Mr. Sirius and me.

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A few other pictures ...

Here is the view from the DOE cafeteria looking at the top portion of the Washington Monument poking above the expansive USDA headquarters building. This was lunchtime, 12:40PM, April 26, 2011.

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A leafy triangular plot created by the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and 16th Street at U Street, NW, Washington, D.C., 6:03PM, April 27, 2011.

The trees and shrubs are basically in full-leaf at this point.

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OK, that's all for now. It is nearly quarter to eleven at night and I'm planning to go to bed, although both Gary and Kristof are going to Larry's Lounge and I said I would join them briefly. But it IS nearly quarter to eleven at night ... and I really should be winding down and going to bed ... sleep-deprived, exhausted, agitated, and on antibiotics for my (recovered) gum infection ... as I am.

My next planned update won't be until at least Friday.

--Regulus

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