Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"Little Boy Blue and the Man on the Moon ..."*

A fantastic nighttime scene in the October 15, 2012 Google Doodle image celebrating the 107th anniversary of the start of Winsor McCay's Little Nemo in Slumberland (and later, In the Land of Wonderful Dreams) comic strip.

What an absolutely awesome Man-in-the-Moon illustration in a fantastic seaside palace. I love it.  

*Yes, the blog title is a nod to Cats in the Cradle by Harry Chapin. I think he's saying "man on the moon" instead of "man in the moon." FYI, that song always but always makes me cry. Ditto Elton John's Daniel.


This turned out to not be as quick an entry to note a few items as I planned ...

For starters, I have decided that my much-delayed Baltimore boundary (corner and inflection points) tour entry will have to wait until this coming Saturday, Oct. 20th, to get posted. There is simply insufficient time for me to compose the rest of the entry. I've let Chester know this.

Secondly, I had an excellent workout with my personal trainer at the YMCA tonight.

Thirdly, please note the slight revisions in my previous entry about Felix Baumgartner's record-breaking free fall jump on Sunday (highest and fastest records set). I was going to write about the whole "flat spin" thing but opted not too -- it's too ghastly.

However, I do want to post this image I saw on Gizmag earlier on Monday ...

This image shows more accurately the view from 128,100 feet above sea level (or was it 128,097 feet?) -- showing the flatness of the horizon even from about 24 miles up.

The horizon curvature visible in the image I posted yesterday was an artifact of the camera used, not because you can see the curvature of the Earth at 24 miles up (because you really can't -- the Earth is very large compared to 24 miles).


Tomorrow -- or rather, later this Tuesday -- is the second mind numbing presidential debate. It's a town hall format and as I mentioned in my entry yesterday, the only real question is how shitty Obama will do and how much Mitt "Etch-a-Sketch" Romney (or as Chris Matthews called him tonight, Multiple Choice Mitt) lies and gets the low-information "swing voters" all cluelessly excited. As for the hard-right 25 to 40 percent of the electorate, they live in their own hermetic reality.  

As for the polls this Monday, reading them had a crack addict like quality to it -- Obama up 3, Romney up 2, Obama up 1, Romney up 5 in a USA Today poll of 12 swing states, all in a matter of hours.

Rather than go into this, I just direct the reader to Nate Silver's New York Times-hosted FiveThirtyEight blog entry on October 15th entitled Distracted by Polling Noise.

Here are some electoral college maps from October 15, 2012. The first is from RealClearPolitics and the second is from The Huffington Post.



And here is the RealClearPolitics general election poll average match up between Pres. Obama and Mittens Romney stretching back to last April.
I suspect "No Drama Obama" is very proud of and impressed with his abysmal first debate performance. After all, he is the one he's been waiting for ...


The Weather ...

There was some needed rain this Monday that preliminarily appears to be as follows ... 0.53" at KBWI and 0.26" at KIAD, but only a shitty 0.06" at weather-shitty KDCA, which is still about 8" or 25 percent below normal for the year at KDCA. It also reached 72F at KDCA and 71F at KBWI. While this wasn't too far above normal for highs, the overnight lows this morning were were approximately 15F above normal. Again.

A front moved through this evening but that only will knock it back to normal for the rest of the week.

Here are the forecasted high temperatures (in Fahrenheit) for Oct. 16, 2012 across the Lower 48 -- as you can see, it's above, above, above as far as the eye can see.


And here is the 0Z 10/16/2012 model run showing the mean sea level pressure, 850mb temperatures, and 6 hour precipitation totals for the U.S. and parts of Canada valid at hour 144 or 0Z 10/22/2012. 

It shows, well, nothing happening anywhere for over 1,000 miles around the mid-Atlantic region. 

More generally, as you can see, there still isn't a goddamn sign of anything resembling winter approaching. Once again, the frickin' Arctic and sub-Arctic is devoid of any real cold air and it's the same shitty-nothing pattern that promises a blah - nothing winter.

It's the kind of winter that thrills the Sue Palka weathercaster sorts, the unwatchable local and idiotic national news media overall, the rightwing corporate Republican-dominated Weather Channel, the Sterling LWX crew and other NWS weather-by-rote vocational types, and a rather large fraction of the U.S. population.

As for me, I detest this ENDLESS warmth and lack of ANY winter, but I'm more or less resigned to the matter -- I figure I just need to move to Toronto someday.

Oh, yes, NOAA reported that September 2012 tied September 2005 as the warmest September on record.  See the above NOAA global surface temperature anomaly map based on the 1981 - 2010 average for September.

True, NASA reported it as the 4th warmest September. However you slice and dice it, 2012 is among the warmest one record with record-breaking drought in the U.S. Full story here.

Meanwhile, in the GOP Department of Global Cooling ...

Repug Teabaggers in the South, the Heartland, and Intermountain West are kept in a state of Alice-in-Wonderland bizarro reality about chimerical "global cooling" by the pseudo-intellectual Courtiers of Empire ensconced in assorted rightwing billionaire and/or corporate foundation-funded D.C. think tanks that endlessly spout nutty James K. Glassman libertarian rubbish,while the mainstream American whoremedia maintain their (to paraphrase the great Paul Krugman) "Views Differ on Shape of Planet" bullsh!t "balanced narrative."


OK, I'd like to end on a happy note ...

As noted above, October 15, 2012 was the 107th anniversary of the start of Winsor McCay's Little Nemo in Slumberland (and later, In the Land of Wonderful Dreams) comic strip, and Google had an absolutely delightful multi-part animated Google Doodle that followed him through one of the admittedly harrowing nighttime adventures he always found himself in.

Here little Nemo falls through one of the fantastic nighttime scenes, but he woke up safely in bed -- except he kind of fell out of bed and onto the floor.


OK, that's all for now. Time to enter my own slumberland.



CompTron said...

I have the same consistent reaction to "Cat's in the Cradle."

Regulus said...

Hey there,

I never realized you kept a blog while in Africa last year!

Hope your week is going well ... Sorry I didn't reach out to you Sunday.