Wednesday, April 25, 2018

A Clip from Salvador Dali's Film

Comet 67P

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko:
The video clip (below) shows roughly 25 minutes of flight past Comet 67P on June 1, 2016. The scene looks like something out of a science-fiction film:

Sneaking Up on the Sloths of New Mexico

Prehistoric encounter out at White Sands:
Last April, Matthew Bennett was lying on a white salt flat in New Mexico, uncovering fossilized footprints that had been preserved in the white rock. The print belonged to a ground sloth—a bulky animal, whose large feet and curved claws left apostrophe-shaped impressions wherever it walked. There were many such tracks around, but Bennett found one that was very different.

Inside the outline of the sloth’s 20-inch-long foot was a human footprint.

He looked at the next track in the series and found the same thing—a human footprint, perfectly nestled inside a sloth one. There were at least 10 of these, all in a row. “It slowly dawned on me what was happening,” he says. Thousands of years ago, a ground sloth had walked along this site, and a person had followed it, carefully matching its every step. “There was a lot of profanity [from me],” Bennett adds. “That’s what geologists do when we discover something.”

White House Primatology

Sean Hannity, Welfare Queen

All that money!:
The Guardian found that Hannity owns millions of dollars of real estate through more than 20 shell corporations, which shield his identity. The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, The Guardian notes, insured the mortgage loans with which Hannity purchased the properties. Let's be clear: This is a subsidy. This is a benefit. This is big government aiding a very wealthy man. This is welfare.

Karma Comes For The Troll

He earned it:
Milo was apparently at a bar in Manhattan recently when the bar patrons (many of whom were members of the Democratic Socialists of America) began chanting “Nazi scum get out.”

Milo eventually left the bar in a perfectly calm and collected fashion, and no physical intimidations appear to have been made. However, he later recalled the incident on his Instagram, claiming that he was afraid of getting “hurt or killed” and that the situation “was about to escalate into something ugly.”

Dairy Queens of the Southwest - Canaries in the Coal Mine

DQs have always been more vulnerable than other fast-food outlets:
The old saying that every Texas town has a Dairy Queen is no longer true for many communities, especially the agricultural hamlets of the Panhandle, which have been disproportionately affected by a spate of closures. On October 30, Vasari LLC, which operated about 70 Dairy Queens across Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, filed for bankruptcy and announced it was closing 29 stores, 10 of them in the Panhandle.

...The old saying that every Texas town has a Dairy Queen is no longer true for many communities.

Vasari’s explanations for its troubles are puzzling. Its bankruptcy filing claims that many of its restaurants are located in “prime oil country” and were hurt by declining oil prices. Yet only three—in Hobbs, New Mexico; Denver City; and Seagraves, all southwest of Lubbock—are close to the oil patch. Most are in cities like Post, Claude, and Perryton, in the heart of cotton country. Vasari also blamed its demise on Hurricane Harvey, claiming that it ruined inventory and damaged stores. But most store closures weren’t in areas battered by the storm. (Neither Vasari officials nor their bankruptcy attorneys responded to requests for comment.)

Deep in the bankruptcy documents, in a subsequent filing, Vasari hinted at a more deep-rooted problem: while some of its stores were profitable, the company “as a whole [was] facing net operating losses that [could not] continue unabated.” That might have left the Panhandle locations particularly vulnerable. Though most seemed to be doing a healthy business, at least in the eyes of locals, supplying remote towns miles from the interstate is an expensive proposition. Vasari doubtless burned through a lot of money paying for gas, cargo space air-conditioning, and truckers’ salaries in order to get frozen burger patties and soft-serve ice cream to restaurants that weren’t exactly booming. “In small-town fast-food restaurants, the profit margins are small,” said Mary Dawson, an associate dean at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, at the University of Houston.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Fire At The Albuquerque Rail Yards

Stupid arson:
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A fire ignited inside a vacant building at the historic Albuquerque Rail Yards Monday afternoon, spreading to the roof and two other adjacent buildings before it was contained, according to a spokesman for the Albuquerque Fire Department.

Officials believe the fire was intentionally set. The AFD Fire Investigation Division along with the Albuquerque Police Department are following several leads, said Tom Ruiz, a spokesman for the fire department.

“There was a pile of pallets, and a pile of trash and rubbish – that was where the point of origin was,” Ruiz said.

In a news conference held in front of the building on Second Street, south of Downtown, Mayor Tim Keller said highly flammable logs soaked in creosote left over from when the Rail Yards was operational caught fire and contributed to its spread. He said the buildings that were affected had been closed to the public and no one was injured in the blaze.

It also is not expected to affect the Rail Yard Market, which opens for the season on May 6.

“The Wheels Museum has not been harmed,” Keller said. “The building where the Rail Yards Market is held is also fine and not affected by this fire.”

Damage was limited to three buildings, Ruiz said.

Short Zumba Stretch With The Barreto Brothers

Dancehall Powerup Promo Video

Kate writes:
The promo piece you posted on dancehall powerup looked fun, so I googled to see when/where the classes are, and this popped up. You probably saw it at the time, but in case not … you’re in it J

Whoa! No, actually I had NOT seen this! Thanks, Kate!

My Neighborhood

"Lean on Pete"

I was stunned with the hillside that opens this preview for "Lean on Pete," because I passed along this exact road near Burns, Oregon when I was traveling back from the Idaho eclipse trip in August. What are the odds of that?

I was very impressed with the beauty of the country near Burns. If the Pueblo Indians had even seen Malheur Country, they would have given up the Southwest in an instant.

Impressive movie! The perilous journey of a 16-year-old homeless kid in the Pacific Northwest. Plus, horses!

The Addams Family - Sheldon High School

A surprising fact, since I knew Craig Howard, but it was the first time I'd ever been out at Sheldon High School. I wanted to support Choreographer Katie Rogers, and her students. The dancing did not disappoint!

Like it a lot. I particularly liked Fester, Pugsley, and Morticia.

This Video Has Been Out For Years, But I Still Find It Disturbing

Not as disturbing as googly-eyed animated cars, but disturbing enough.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Second Foray with the Bat Echometer

I went under the western end of the Interstate 80 Yolo Causeway, shortly before sunset. The device was flagging about 2/3 of the bat calls as Hoary Bats, and the remainder as the expected Mexican Freetail Bats.

I eventually attracted the attention of a Wildlife Area volunteer. He explained that there were a number of different bats here, but that the main body of mature Mexican Freetail Bats were at the eastern end of the Causeway. Later in the year, juveniles would move out here towards the western end. Both ends have spectacular and distracting bat displays at sunset in the summer. I don’t know why the juveniles would choose to live apart from their elders. Maybe their ultrasonic rock and roll grates on the ears of their parents.

I never saw any bats, but I knew they were there. I could hear them a bit. Something whirred past my head. I looked up and saw midges floating above me. If I attract insects, it’s logical I’d attract bats too.

As I left the Causeway in the gloaming, in the distance, I could see a midge tower forming. In June 2011, I saw a spectacular series of midge towers out here. I hope they come back.

Now, time to look into the spectral analysis software.

I'm impressed with the loud pings of Hoary Bats. In the lower display, the horizontal line is at 20 kilohertz, which is the upmost range of a young person's hearing range, and exactly the frequency at which the Hoary Bats were loudest. I couldn't hear them, though. My ears are just too old.

Namibia's Fairy Circles

Interesting. Deserts around the world have similar patterned landscapes:

A new study published in Nature has found that Namibian Fairy Circles are the product of not one, but two ecological forces. By combining field observations and computer models, researchers from Princeton University, the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, and several other institutions, have shown that the interaction between both termites and self-organizing plants (i.e. plants that either clump themselves together or disperse according to the availability of resources) is sufficient to explain this enigmatic landscape feature. Importantly, this new theory could be used to solve similar mysteries around the world.

One Toke Over The Line - Lawrence Welk Show (1971)