Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday See One, Oh, Two Blog Entry Topics and Monday Carbon Dating

The house at the corner of Revere Place and Caroline Avenue, Silver Spring, Md., 6:41PM May 26, 2014.

This entry contains some of the pictures I took on Memorial Day on my walk back from Quill's parents' house to the Silver Spring Metro. I have been posting my Memorial Day weekend pictures piecemeal because, let's face it, I'm never going to get around to posting in a separate entry.

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Friday morning (well, early afternoon by the time I posted this entry).

The house at the corner of Hastings Drive and Normandy Drive, Silver Spring, Md., 6:29PM May 26, 2014.

This is right off Colesville Road at the interchange with (and just "inside") the Beltway. This is around the block from where I lived for 9 months in 2004 and early 2005 during my unemployment-and-financial crisis-induced "exile" from the District of Columbia.

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I am working from home as soon as I post this entry. I had intended to pull an all-nighter to finish that last report but I was so tired last night after the gym. In addition, I detoured over to / stopped at Marvin at 14th and U Streets on my home from the YMCA and had two drinks (a Stella beer and a really good glass of white wine recommended by the bartender, Tyler). Again, the place was very nice downstairs -- dim, cozy, and inviting although the music was a bit loud for my taste. It closes early for the U Street Corridor.

The house at 218 Granville Drive, Silver Spring, Md., 6:31PM May 26, 2014.

This is the house where I lived with Wall-P for 9 months -- admittedly rent free for 8 of them. I guess I should be more grateful. He was an extremely helpful friend -- indeed, a savior -- during that time. But then She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed arrived, and I soon fell afoul of Her Ways and Her Plans, which resulted in wanton violations of Her Honor. Uh, oh -- God Save Our Souls.

Anyway, I had the upstairs room on the right (the window is hidden by the maple tree in the yard). The exterior fa├žade was redone in some fashion -- except I actually can't recall how it was other than it was partly or entirely white.

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The weather yesterday was showery and cool with a low overcast that morphed into mist and fog. It only reached 62F for a high at KDCA and that was shortly after midnight. The afternoon hours held steady just about 60F. KBWI was even cooler at 57F and KIAD at 59F.

Precipitation (rainfall) totals were 0.29" at KDCA and KBWI and 0.33" at KIAD. KDMH reached 58F and had 0.24" of rain. As I noted in my previous entry, we are above normal for the year on precip.

Such cool, wet days in this the warm (read: hot and humid) season are truly bonus days.

Today is cloudy and cool but it should start to warm up.

I don't know whether to get a haircut today or not. I have been keeping my hair short the past year, but now it is starting to grow in again.

I guess I could keep it short or let it grow out for a while -- except it is so thick and weird looking.

I quickly start to look like an ashen leprechaun version of a chia-pet.

I also need some new clothing, although at this point it looks like the new onsite position with the Federal client -- my original reason for making a $300 or so purchase -- is not going to happen. June and July could be a bit dicey with billable work. There is much uncertainty right now at this point in the contract cycle.

9330 Caroline Avenue, Silver Spring, Md., 6:40PM May 26, 2014.

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I also should do my laundry.

As for this evening / tonight, I'm not really sure. I might be meeting Wendy.

618 Bennington Drive, Silver Spring, Md., 6:52PM May 26, 2014. Someone was practicing the piano and I could just barely hear the muffled, haunting sounds floating through the air.

Bennington Drive is on the other side of Sligo Creek Park heading "up" toward downtown Silver Spring, which is quite vibrant these days but in that loud, morally anarchical, consumer-frenzied, corporate-friendly, suburban quasi-ghetto sort of way.

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Before ending, I would like to link to some pieces discussing the upcoming EPA regulations on carbon emissions from existing power plants. My two favorite economics and political writers these days, Paul Krugman and Jonathan Chait, have had some good observations, specifically, on that silly U.S. Chamber of Commerce study that was meant to scare everybody but actually shows the opposite of what it intended with very small macroeconomic effects -- and it does so only by using unrealistic assumptions and emphasizing effects in the out years (2020 and beyond).

Typical crap -- the kind that James K. Glassman would "marshal his facts" around in some 1998 WaHoPo op-ed (in between all the weirdly puritanical Monica's Dress garbage) that Fred Hiatt considered "rollicking" and "provocative."

The monthly mean CO2 trends as measured at the Mauna Loa Observatory atop Mauna Loa on Hawaii from 2010 through April 2014. The red dashed line is the monthly mean and the black dashed line is the same but with the seasonal cycle removed. As of April 2014, the monthly mean clicked above 400PPM for the first time ever. Source webpage here.

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The pieces are as follows (with links embedded):

Paul Krugman's Friday May 30th, 2014 New York Times op-ed: Cutting Back on Carbon

Jonathan Chait's May 29th, 2014 Daily Intelligencer blog entry: Business Lobby Tries to Frighten America About Clean Energy, Fails Utterly

Paul Krugman's May 28th, 2014 blog entry: Cheap Climate Protection

The bottom line is that these rules -- which EPA can implement without Congressional approval, although legal challenges could alter or eventually torpedo them --are a big deal for a variety of reasons including political (setting hopefully a favorable stage for global action) yet will have very minor adverse economic effects (and even if they did, mitigating the severity of climate change sort of trumps that anyway).

Visualization of the all-time record low Arctic sea ice reached August 26, 2012 with the yellow line showing the average summer minimum extent for the period 1979 - 2010. Source:NASA.

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To be clear, though, their announcement will be greeted with Republican yahoo shrieking and political dung-flinging ginned up even more by media hysteria and misinformation with Wolf Blitzer earnestly looking to discuss "both sides of the issues." As Chait wrote earlier this month, for the Know-Nothing, Anti-Science GOP, the rules will represent Obamacare and Benghazi rolled into one.

The full atmospheric record at the Mauna Loa Observatory stretching from 1958 through early 2014. Again, the red lines are monthly means and the black lines are seasonally corrected monthly means. Same source webpage.

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Also, read this Chait piece on how two of Obama's signature achievements -- the Affordable Care Act and these carbon emission regulations -- are really reconstituted Mitt Romney ideas from his days as Massachusetts governor, before he ran for president and had to go all rightwing bat-sh!t crazy). In the case of the power plant emissions regulations, the EPA plan will probably allow states to set up cap-and-trade systems.

Alaska's Mendenhall Glacier in 1894 and in 2008.

Here is another version of the above pictures without the labels / captions:


Finally, on a different note, I highly recommend this piece by Roger Cohen in The New York Times (link embedded): Capitalism Eating Its Children. I am tempted to post this in its entirety in a subsequent entry.

The house at 606 Ellsworth Drive, Silver Spring, Md., 6:58PM May 26, 2014. I always forget when I do this walk (which is rare these days) to take Pershing Drive instead of Ellsworth Drive.

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OK, that's all for now. I intend to have a jukebox Saturday night entry. 

--Regulus

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