Saturday, December 28, 2013

New Jersey National Guard

Air National Guard security forces training at Fort Dix,New Jersey on 19 November,2013.A Tech. Sgt. mans an M240B machine gun while playing an opposing forces member during Military Operations on Urban Terrain training.Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht photo.

Friday, December 27, 2013

About Today's Song "Coming Home"

"Coming Home" is by Diddy-Dirty Money,a group that was formed by hip-hop artist Sean P. Diddy Combs for his sixth studio album,"Last Train To Paris"(2010).Born Sean John Combs in Harlem,New York City,Combs,44,grew up in Mt.Vernon,New York.He attended Howard University in Washington,DC,studying business.*
Beginning his career as a record producer and developer of talent,he eventually recorded his own material for his first album,"No Way Out,"which won the 1998 Grammy Award for Best Rap Album.A song from that album,"I'll Be Missing You,"also won a 1998 Grammy for Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group.The video for the song won a 1997 MTV Video Music Award for Best R&B Video.*
"Coming Home" was one of four singles released from "Last Train To Paris."It reached #12 on the Billboard US Hot 100;#4 in the UK;and #7 in Canada.The album garnered both critical acclaim and airplay.*
Besides being a musician and record producer,Combs is an actor and entrepreneur,guest starring on the TV series "Hawaii Five-O" and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia."His clothing line "Sean John" has been both critically well-received and controversial at times.Combs was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is worth an estimated 580 million dollars,according to Forbes magazine.He has five children,including twin girls.For a time,he dated singer,dancer and actress Jennifer Lopez.
In between the tracks,this major talent has presented with a rather complex and mercurial personality over the years,as "Coming Home" suggests.

Diddy - Dirty Money - Coming Home ft. Skylar Grey

The Rolling Stones - Under My Thumb (1966)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Lockett Meadow Basin seen from Peaks saddle

Looking east from the saddle of the San Francisco Peaks with snow in June.Brady Smith photo,USDA Forest Service,Coconino National Forest,Arizona.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Edition:Music and NBA Basketball

The music almost didn't get here tonight.There were more technical problems,but,with persistence,I was finally able to bring it to you.It was challenging,believe me.It's a marginal situation.The slightest defect somewhere along the line can wreck the posting.So you got an old classic,"Chestnut Mare,"and one a little less old,"Holiday."I think it's a good gift for everyone.It's great to hear the Byrds' narrative song,a song that really tells a story.It's a blast to see Madonna dance as well.*
The Golden State Warriors did not get a gift.They got a lump of coal in their Christmas stocking,losing to the San Antonio Spurs 104-102 Thursday night in Oakland.This dropped the Warriors to 14-13,and lifted the Spurs to 21-5.
Stephen Curry and David Lee were outstanding for the Warriors.It was Lee's tenth consecutive double-double game,and Curry made several remarkable shots,both close-in and outside of the paint;but they were hindered by repeated turnovers to the Spurs.You cannot win NBA games that way.*
We never give up,said the Spurs' Marco Belinelli.Everyone was good on defensive and offensive rebounds.It was really tough.This is the NBA,it's nothing easy.We just try to come from the bench and be very aggressive.*
Season's Greetings to all.Happy and Merry Christmas,dear readers.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

New Jersey National Guard

Air refueling mission.Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Bowen guides the flying boom from a KC-135 Stratotanker to a C-17 Globemaster.Tech. Sgt. Armando Vasquez photo.

Houston Dims Golden State;Snowy Jerusalem

The Houston Rockets overpowered the Golden State Warriors 116-112 Friday night at Oracle Arena in Oakland.The fourth period was a closely fought battle after the Wariors had trailed by about 10 points most of the game.In the end,however,the Rockets' powerful combination of James Harden,Chandler Parsons and Dwight Howard was just a bit stronger than the Warriors' top performers David Lee,Harrison Barnes and Stephen Curry.
Dwight Howard said he had been working a lot with the NBA legend Hakeem Olajuwan and Rockets coach Kevin McHale.He contributed 18 points,11 rebounds and 3 assists to the winning effort.James Harden led the Rockets in scoring with his 26 points,2 rebounds and 9 assists.Chandler Parsons added 23 points,1 rebound and 3 assists.
For the Warriors,David Lee topped with 23 points,10 rebounds and 2 blocks.Big man Andrew Bogut impressed with two one-hand jams as the Warriors narrowed the gap and even led briefly late in the game.Warriors star Stephen Curry had an off night with 20 points,2 rebounds and 9 assists.He is 6th in the league in points and assists.*
A vast snowstorm is moving eastward across the United States,buttressed by a stubborn dome of cold air from Canada.It is spanning more than 1,000 miles/1609.3 km.Plowable snow will extend from Missouri east to New Jersey,North to Maine and South to Virginia.
The extent of the snowpack in the US is extraordinary for this date.Last year it covered 30.8% as of 12 December;this year it covers 58.6%.It also goes farther south than normal,reaching all the way to North Texas.This is attributable to the persistent arctic air that has spread so widely.*
Overseas,there has been a rare snowstorm in the Middle East.Jerusalem was in chaos as it faced the worst snow in 50 years,receiving up to 4 inches/10.16 cm.Airports,roads and schools were closed,and the snow even spread into the Egyptian desert just outside Cairo.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Great Moments in History

Great Moments in History by K. Kendall
Great Moments in History, a photo by K. Kendall on Flickr.

Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama,August 1996.Obed Zilwa photo.

Giant Step Forward for Humankind

Nelson Mandela with the Dalai Lama,August 1996.Roland de Bar photo.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Deadly Arctic Outbreak,Winter Storm Slam Several States

An arctic outbreak and winter storm struck a large portion of the US Friday,bringing record low temperatures and an ice storm that knocked out power to 250,000 in North Texas alone.At least nine deaths are being attributed to the frigid weather system,including the demise of four homeless people from hypothermia in San Jose,California.A record low of 30F was recorded there Friday morning.*
The wintry conditions swept from South Texas through the Midwest and into Northern New England and the Canadian Maritimes.More than 1500 flights were canceled in Dallas,and many vehicles were stranded on I-35.*
Winter Storm Warnings are in effect for Utah's Wasatch Mountains;Western Uintas;Wasatch Plateau;Book Cliffs;and Southwest Wyoming from early Saturday to Sunday evening,with snowfall ranging from 3-5 inches in the lower elevations to up to 20 inches in the mountains.*
A Winter Storm Watch is in effect for Northern Maryland from early Sunday into Monday,with a wintry mix of snow,sleet and freezing rain expected.*
This blog is recognising the passing of the heroic Nelson Mandela by posting a video featuring South African musicians,Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me Al,"filmed in South Africa's neighbour Zimbabwe.

Paul Simon: Call me Al, concert zimbabwe / South Africa

Ke$ha - Your Love Is My Drug

Sunday, December 1, 2013

St Andrew's Day

St Andrew's Day by UKinUSA
St Andrew's Day, a photo by UKinUSA on Flickr.

St.Andrew's Day at the British Consulate.British Embassy Washington photo.

St Andrew's Day

St Andrew's Day by UKinUSA
St Andrew's Day, a photo by UKinUSA on Flickr.

St.Andrew's Day at a British Consulate.British Embassy Washington photo.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Scotland Marks St.Andrew's Day

Scotland and other countries,as well as the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches,are observing St.Andrew's Day today,November 30.It is a bank holiday in Scotland-an optional day off which will take place on Monday,since November 30 is on Saturday this year.The weekend will be celebrated with parties,dances and dinners.People will paint their faces with the Saltire,the X-shaped St.Andrew's cross,which is also the flag of Scotland.
This year,the event is marred by tragedy,the dimensions of which are still unclear as of time of publication.A police helicopter crashed into a crowded pub,Clutha Vaults,in Glasgow,causing a roof collapse.Many people were trapped inside and rescue teams are gingerly extricating them.The structure is very unstable.Casualty figures are not being released yet,but several injuries and some fatalities are anticipated.
St.Andrew's Day is being observed with church services;the wearing of kilts;the ceilidh,or traditional dancing;preparation of traditional Scottish food;and the playing of bagpipes.
It is also celebrated in Romania;Greece;Russia;Ukraine;the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople;St.Andrew's Barbados;and in churches and ethnic communities worldwide.St.Andrew was one of the Apostles of Jesus Christ.He and his brother Peter left the fishing trade when they were called to be "fishers of men" by the Lord.According to tradition,he preached along the shores of the Black Sea and as far east as Kiev,founding the see of Byzantium-later called Constantinople and today Istanbul,Turkey-and installing its first permanent bishop,Stachys.Eventually he irked the pagans and was crucified for his faith by being bound to an X-shaped cross,according to the Acts of Andrew,an early text familiar to historian St.Gregory of Tours in the sixth century.
Scottish tourism publicises the holiday extensively.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Lockett Meadow

Mike Elson,US Forest Service photo,Coconino National Forest,Arizona.

Lakers Halt Warriors;Navy Stops San Jose State

The Los Angeles Lakers(6-7) halted the Golden State Warriors 102-95 Friday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.Both teams are hobbled by injuries,with the Lakers missing Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant,while the Warriors lack Stefan Curry.The Lakers handled it better as Pau Gasol stepped us with 24 points,10 rebounds,3 assists and a block.Jordan Farmar and Steve Blake helped with 14 points each.
For the Warriors(8-5),David Lee led with 21 points,13 rebounds,4 assists and a steal.Hamilton Barnes contributed 20 points.
You look at our team,Nash said,there are not a lot of NBA starters.It takes a lot of discipline.Sacrificing yourself for your teammates is paramount.I've had a lot of teammates and coaches who allowed me to be successful.
I like Golden State.That's a championship starting lineup.If they can find a bench,they've got to be in the conversation.
The truth is,a lot of guys have been discarded by their teams.They have a lot of talent.In this system,it does take effort.I think Chris Paul is the best point guard in the league.I love Stef Curry.
The came continues to evolve,the Canadian star observed.He attended Santa Clara University before playing for the Phoenix Suns,Dallas Mavericks,and now the Lakers.He is currently sidelined with a back injury,but says he 18 more months of basketball in him,and he intends to make the most of them.
I got good rhythm going on,Pau Gasol said at halftime,and it was good enough to bring the Lakers within one game of .500.*
In a big college football struggle,the US Naval Academy Midshipmen edged the San Jose State Spartans 58-52 in three overtimes.Navy sophomore quarterback Keenan Reynolds ran for an impressive seven touchdowns,and passed for one more.That brings Navy to a 7-4 record and improves their chances of getting a better bowl invitation.
The Army-Navy game is December 18.*
In European Tour golf,the 2014 season got underway at the South African Open Championship hosted by the City of Ekurhuleni at Glendower Golf Club.After two rounds,Marco Crespi(ITA) topped the leaderboard along with native son Charl Schwartzel(RSA) at -12.Morten Madsen(DEN) held third place at -11.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Air refueling

Air refueling by The National Guard
Air refueling, a photo by The National Guard on Flickr.

A South Carolina ANG F-16 receives fuel from a KC-135R Stratotanker en route to SC from training at Nellis AFB,Nevada November 12,2013.

Paramore: Still Into You [OFFICIAL VIDEO] (+playlist)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Stenson Tops in Dubai,Adam Scott in Melbourne;Knicks Off

The Super Swede,Henrik Stenson,holds the lead at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai,United Arab Emirates after two rounds.Swede,who earlier won the FedEx Cup on the PGA Tour,is now vying for an unprecedented double by also leading in the European Tour's Race To Dubai,its overall season championship.In Round 2 at Dubai,Stenson birdied the eighteenth hole to take sole possession of the lead with his twelve under par 64,one stroke ahead of Spaniard Alejandro Canizares.
The tournament is being played on the Earth Course,one of two courses at Jumeirah Golf Estates,a luxury resort community in the desert just outside Dubai,the city with the world's tallest building.The top three players on the Race To Dubai leaderboard have a chance to take its gold scepter trophy by winning the DP World Tour Championship tournament.Besides Swenson,they are Justin Rose and Graeme McDowell.
1.Henrik Stenson SWE -12
2.Alejandro Canizares ESP -11
3.Marcus Fraser AUS -8
3.Victor Dubuisson FRA -8
5.Kiradech Aphibarnrat THA -7
5.Ian Poulter ENG -7
5.Justin Rose ENG -7
5.Jonas Blixt SWE -7
9.Peter Hanson SWE -8
9.Francesco Molinari ITA -8
9.Rory McIlroy NIR -8
21.Graeme McDowell NIR -4
47.Peter Uihlein USA +2
Meanwhile,on the PGA Tour of Australasia,Australian sport hero Adam Scott leads the Talisker Australian Masters at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Victoria after three rounds with his -14.American star Matt Kuchar is in sixth place at -9.*
The New York Knicks were off Friday after losing to the Houston Rockets 106-103 at Madison Square Garden on Thursday,their eigth staright loss to the Rockets.This was despite Carmelo Anthony's amazing 45 points and 10 rebounds.The Rockets were led by James Harden with his 36 points.Chandler Parsons conributed 22 points,and Jeremy Lin 21,to the Houston victory.
The Knicks are near the bottom of the table with their 3-5 record,but the season is just getting started.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Alpine tundra atop Humphreys Peak

Brady Smith photo,USDA Forest Service,Coconino National Forest,Arizona.

New Jersey Air National Guard

Preparing to fuel an F-16C in Atlantic City.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Tiger Woods in Turkey;Arctic Outbreak;Knicks Win

Tiger Woods zeroed in on the Turkish Airlines Open at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal in Antalya,Turkey on Friday,carding a sterling eleven under par 63.Woods logged a bogey-free round-his third of 2013-and scored nine birdies to lift himself within one shot of the lead,jointly held by Henrik Stenson and three others at -12.
Stenson,the 213 FedEx Cup champion,is currently leading the European Tour overall championship run,the Race To Dubai,which culminates next weekend in the UAE.Woods isn't in that overall competition,but has won 39 European Tour tournaments in his career,with a win percentage of 31.2%.
Stenson is complaining of a sore left wrist.I'm just hanging in and it's day by day,the big Swede said.It's not in great shape,but I'm hanging in there.*
1.Justin Walters RSA -12
Ian Poulter ENG -12
Victor Dubuisson FRA -12
Henrik Stenson SWE -12
5.Tiger Woods USA -11
6.Richard Sterne RSA -10
7.Jamie Donaldson WAL -9
Alejandro Carnizares ESP -9
9.Ross Fisher ENG -8
David Lynn ENG -8
An arctic outbreak is on the way south from Canada,and nothing is stopping it,said The Weather Channel.It is a Blue Norther,and will reach all the way to the Gulf Coast.Forecast models disagree on snowfall.One of them shows heavy snow for the Northeast;another one takes it out to sea.*
The New York Knicks cuffed the Charlotte Bobcats 101-91 at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte Friday night.Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 25 points and 8 rebounds,while Kemba Walker contributed 25 points and 3 rebounds to the Bobcat effort before 16,465 fans at the North Carolina contest.*
Catch the latest music pick on Twitter @Businessblogger.
Update:Tiger Woods played poorly in the third round of the Turkish Airlines Open,dropping to six strokes back of the leader,Victor Dubuisson of France.Woods made three bogeys on the back nine and had trouble hitting fairways.Ian Poulter dropped to second place and Henrik Stenson slipped to third alongside Woods and two others.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Shanghai Golf:WGC-HSBC Champions

The World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions is underway this weekend at Shenshan International Golf Club in Shanghai,China.This year is the first time this event has been part of the PGA Tour,yielding FedEx Cup points for the 2013-14 season and attracting most of the major talent.It's one of the prestige events for sure.As of time of publication,it is Saturday afternoon in the middle of the third round,and the standings are as follows:
1.Dustin Johnson USA -16
2.Ian Poulter GBR -12
3.Graham Delaet CAN -9
5.Martin Kaymer GER -8
5.Justin Rose ENG -8
5.Sergio Garcia ESP -8
5.Rory McIlroy NIR -8
5.Bubba Watson USA -8
10.Jamie Donaldson WAL -13
Phil Mickelson is tied for eighteenth place at -5.There has been some strong progress in the third round.Ian Poulter jumped three places,while Graham Delaet soared eight places.
Update:In the final round,Dustin Johnson and Ian Poulter are tied at -21.Graeme McDowell trails closely in third place at -20.The Chinese crowd has shown itself to be very knowledgeable and involved,voicing their opinion of every shot.

Where You Can Find the Music-flp

I want to apologise for the technical failure to post the music on Blogger this week.It is still possible for you to enjoy it,however.The two selections for this week are available on my Twitter page @Businessblogger,where you can find many other items of interest,so I hope to see you there as well.The selections are:
How To Save A Life-The Fray
Heart Full Of Soul-The Yardbirds.
Music is so important to a lot of people,I don't want them to be deprived.

YouTube Problems

YouTube said they were having some technical difficulties.I am unable to post the music I had selected.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Kanab Creek Wilderness

US Forest Service,Southwestern Region,Kaibab National Forest,Arizona


DSC05823 by Kaibab National Forest
DSC05823, a photo by Kaibab National Forest on Flickr.

Dyan Bone photo.US Forest Service,Southwestern Region,Kaibab National Forest,Arizona

World Series;PGA Tour;Laughing Kookaburra

The World Series had a travel day Friday as it moved to St.Louis from Boston.The best of seven series is tied 1-1.The St.Louis Cardinals downed the Boston Red Sox 4-2 in Game 2 on Thursday,aided by two hits by Carlos Beltran.Game 3 will start at 8:07 pm Eastern on Fox TV.*
The 2013-2014 PGA season is well underway as the third round of the CIMB Classic is being played at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club,Malaysia.Co-leaders as of the time of publication were Americans Ryan Moore and Chris Stroud at -12.Gary Woodland of the USA and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat,one of the local favourites,were tied for third at -11.Phil Mickelson is still in contention,tied for eleventh place with four others at -7.*
The Laughing kookaburra(Dacelo novaeguineae) is a fairly large,social and common bird of Australia and New Zealand.It may be found in woodland,park and garden settings and is very tolerant of people,even eating from,or snatching food from,people's hands.The amazing laughing call is a territorial claim mostly heard at dawn and from sunset to dusk.It may reach a very loud level as family units defend their territories.They eat all manner of small animals,including mice,birds,large insects,frogs and snakes,as well as large poisonous snakes on occasion.A popular children's song was inspired by this engaging down under character.
Update:In Game 3 of the World Series at Busch Stadium in St.Louis,St.Louis topped Boston 5-4 on an obstruction call.Clearly it was unintentional and a stroke of bad luck for the Red Sox.As Cardinal left fielder Matt Holliday said,that's part of the game.We'll take it.*
At the CIMB Claasic in Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia,Ryan Moore(USA),Gary Woodland(USA) and Kiradech Aphibarnrat(THA) are tied for the fourth round lead.*

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Jaded Thunder

Jaded Thunder by 124 Fighter Wing
Jaded Thunder, a photo by 124 Fighter Wing on Flickr.

Airman 1st Class Jessica salutes a Commander prior to his takeoff from Kirtland AFB,New Mexico during the Idaho Air National Guard's Jaded Thunder exercise.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Jaded Thunder

Jaded Thunder by 124 Fighter Wing
Jaded Thunder, a photo by 124 Fighter Wing on Flickr.

An Idaho Air National Guard A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft at Kirtland AFB,New Mexico for the Jaded Thunder exercise.

Air Support Operations Squadron train in Idaho Sawtooth National Forest

Idaho Air National Guardsmen move out to perform small unit tactics,over watch,Close Air Support and other missions during the Mountain Fury II exercises.

Air Support Operations Squadron train in Idaho Sawtooth National Forest

Idaho Air National Guradsmen flying in a CH-47 Chinook helicopter during exercise Mountain Fury II.

Cardinals Crush Dodgers;Wacha MVP

The St.Louis Cardinals ended the Los Angeles Dodgers' World Series dream Friday night with a 9-0 win that shocked L.A. ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw,knocking him out of the game in the fifth inning-the first time that has happened this year.For the Cards,rookie pitcher Michael Wacha was superb,throwing seven shutout innings for his second win of the National League Championship Series.He won the NLCS Most Valuable Player award for his efforts.*
The Cardinals now go on to the World Series against either the Detroit Tigers or Boston Red Sox.The World Series starts Wednesday night.*
Right fielder Carlos Beltran,known for his outsatnding post-season play,hit two singles and a double,going 3-4 and batting in two runs for the Cardinals.He made an excellent catch as well.It will be Beltran's first ever appearance in a World Series.We did it as a team,Beltran said.We fought hard,we worked hard all season long,and thank God we're here.*
The Dodgers' rookie outfielder Yasiel Puig,credited with energising the team in the regular season,had a terrible night,going 0-3 at the plate and being charged with two errors.Puig's behaviour was criticised by Major League Baseball in a memo to the Dodgers.In Game 5 of the NLCS,Puig confronted umpire Ted Barrett for his balls and strikes calls-a breach of baseball etiquette that will not be tolerated,MLB said in the memo.Puig's mercurial temperament has been on display all year.*

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Carlos Beltran

Carlos Beltran by Keith Allison
Carlos Beltran, a photo by Keith Allison on Flickr.

A Keith Allison photo taken when Beltran was a New York Met,on June 16,2009.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Beltran Continues Post-Season Magic,Cards Win

Arguably the greatest post-season position player of all time,the St.Louis Cardinals' right fielder Carlos Beltran added flash to an otherwise dull contest that dragged into extra innings,spriting the redbirds to a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series Friday night.The steady pitching of the Cardinals' Joe Kelly and the Dodgers' Zach Greinke and good relievers kept the bats at bay for most of the game.*
In the top of the tenth inning,the Dodgers threatened to take the lead when Mark Ellis tripled and Michael Young hit a fly ball,but Carlos Beltran caught it and threw a laser to home plate,nailing Ellis when he slid home.The Puerto Rican,a veteran of 35 postseason games coming into tonight,chewed his gum as he faced reliever Kenley Jansen in the bottom of the 13th,then lined a walkoff double to the right field corner,delighting the Busch Stadium sellout crowd,most of whom stayed till the 12:30 am conclusion of the series opener.*
Beltran's regular season record is very good,but not great,with a batting average of .283,along with 358 home runs and 300 stolen bases.In the post-season,however,he has batted .357 with 15 homers in 129 at bats,tying Babe Ruth's postseason home run record.That's a home run per every 8.6 at bats.On the strength of his post-season sparkle,Beltran,36,may well qualify for the Hall of Fame.*
I think God gave me the calm I needed to play this game,Beltran said.I just stayed in myself and tried to play the game the high way.I got to give the glory and the honor to God.We're fortunate to be here.Today was a good game,and that's what it's all about.They didn't want to lose,and we didn't want to lose.*
Update:The St.Louis Cardinals also won Game 2 of the National League Championship Series,edging the Los Angeles Dodgers by a score of 1-0.Now the next three games will be played at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles starting on Monday evening.

Pitbull - International Love ft. Chris Brown

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Yoenis Cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes by rocor
Yoenis Cespedes, a photo by rocor on Flickr.

Oakland A's star takes a swing on April 24,2012.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Tigers Muffle A's;SoCal Fire Threat Soars

Strong pitching by the Detroit Tigers muffled the Oakland Athletics' bats as the Tigers took game one of the American League Division Series 3-2 Friday night at Oakland Coliseum.Max Sherzer manhandled the A's with his fastball,striking out 11 in his 7 innings of work,and reliever Joaquin Benoit finished the job,getting the save.*
The only real excitement for the boisterous,towel-waving A's fans came in the seventh inning,when strongman Yoenis Cespedes clubbed a two-run homer,but it was too little too late for the Bay Area squad as they dropped the opener of the best 3 out of 5 ALDS.
One A's fan was so anxious,he bit his yellow towel as he watched the Tigers pitching shut his team down.*
In Southern California,the anxiety this weekend is about a severe wildfire threat as the annual ritual of the Santa Ana winds kicks into gear.These winds form when high pressure builds in the desert,pushing cool,dry air over the mountains and down toward the coast.As the air descends the slopes,it heats up rapidly and,striking the tinder dry vegetation,has a strong potential of igniting wildland fire.
Red flag fire warnings are posted for much of Los Angeles;Orange;San Bernardino;and Riverside Counties;plus other areas as far south as Campo on the Mexico border.Critical fire conditions will persist till Sunday evening,the National Weather Service said.
Los Angeles County is preparing by staffing nearly 500 extra firefighters on equipment across the county.Together with US Forest Service firefighters and a few dozen aircraft,they will handle the danger posed by near record low fuel moisture levels combined with the Santa Anas.Gusts of up to 85 mph are possible this weekend,with humidity in the single digits.Explosive fire growth is a distinct possibility,given the horrendous conditions in the region.
Update:In game 2 of the ALDS,Oakland evened the series to one game apiece by edging Detroit 1-0.The series now moves to Detroit for the third game on Monday.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


DSC_0034 by Kaibab National Forest
DSC_0034, a photo by Kaibab National Forest on Flickr.

Dyan Bone photo,US Forest Service,Southwestern Region,Kaibab National Forest,Arizona.

aspens on 212-2a

Kaibab National Forest,Arizona


IMG_2726-1a by Kaibab National Forest
IMG_2726-1a, a photo by Kaibab National Forest on Flickr.

Aspen in Kaibab National Forest,Arizona.

aspens in the outlet fire-1a

Kaibab National Forest,Arizona

Aspens in Demotte Park-1a

Kaibab National Forest,Arizona

Saturday, September 28, 2013


Jimmy_Page by OasisBT
Jimmy_Page, a photo by OasisBT on Flickr.

Guitar legend Jimmy Page,taken July 15,2007.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Notes on The Firm "Radioactive" with Jimmy Page

Back to DJ mode.This time it's The Firm in "Radioactive."Guitar great Jimmy Page,on the double neck,shows some British flash,a showman with the goods to back it up.It's from the 1980s,but still resonates today.
The Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin veteran Page lends a brilliance with those roots in the British blues it's hard to find anymore.That's why this video won't be going away,though the following is relatively small at a few hundred thousand views.You can leave a comment,but the like has been disabled.It was actually a little difficult to find.They wanted me to watch a newer song by the same title.

The Firm-Radioactive

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Rihanna (112)#

Rihanna  (112)# by al7n6awi
Rihanna (112)#, a photo by al7n6awi on Flickr.

Barbados native Rihanna.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Notes on Rihanna:We Found Love

Being DJ tonight.
This video features a dramatic spoken intro-love the accent-and frenetic scenes in a Caribbean setting.From the first time I laid eyes on Rihanna,I knew she was something special and lasting.It was a benefit performance-can't remember what for offhand-singing "Under My Umbrella."She had the ultimate in style and presentation:authenticity.Very cool lady.
She has indeed kept it up,no one hit wonder.The high energy prevails.

Rihanna - We Found Love ft. Calvin Harris

Sunday, September 15, 2013

WISE Catches the Lagoon Nebula in Center of Action

The Lagoon Nebula,M8,a NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory photo-the organisation that also runs the Voyager project.Communication with space probes is via the three Deep Space Network facilities in Australia,Spain and California.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Voyager I Milestone Thrills Scientists

Just over a year ago,the venerable old Voyager I spacecraft left the solar system,although not the sun's influence entirely,and entered interstellar space,the space between the stars,NASA scientists reported this week.It is now in the transition zone just outside the solar bubble,and in the ionised gas between the stars.Some solar disturbance still obtains in this transition zone.
We believe this is mankind's histric leap into interstellar space,said Ed Stone,Voyager Project Scientist at Caltech,Pasadena.Voyager had entered the heliosphere,or solar bubble of charged particles which defines the edge of the solar system,in 2004.It first entered interstellar space on 12 August,2013,when an abrupt change in the density of energetic particles was first detected by Voyager I.
Suzanne Dodd,Voyager Project Manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory,Pasadena,said we expect the fields and particles science instruments on Voyager will continue to send back data through at least 2020.We can't wait to see what the Voyager instruments show us next about deep space.
Voyager I's twin,Voyager II,was actually launched a few weeks ahead of Voyager I in 1977.Both spacecraft flew by Jupiter and Saturn,but Voyager II veered off to fly by Uranus and Neptune as well.Scientists talk to or receive data from both spacecraft almost every day.It takes the weak 23 watt signal of Voyager I about 17 hours to reach earth.As of its February 21,2013 radio telescope image,Voyager I was 11.5 billion miles/18.5 billion kilometers from earth.It is now about 19 billion miles away.

Voyager Signal Spotted By Earth Radio Telescopes | NASA

Voyager Signal Spotted By Earth Radio Telescopes | NASA

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Golf-Club Crans-sur-Sierre 2

Site of the Omega European Masters,Switzerland.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Montreal and Valais Golf

Windy conditions hindered golfers in Montreal as the Champions League's Montreal Championship got underway at Club de Golf Richlieu Vercheres/Vallee Du Richlieu Rouville.The narrowness of the course increased the difficulty even more for the veteran golfers.
1.Dick Mast USA -3
2.Kenny Perry USA -2
3.Bernhard Langer GER -1
Mark Brooks USA -1
Mike Reid USA -1
Tom Perniece USA -1
David Frost RSA -1
4.Jim Carter USA E
Anders Forsbrand SWE E
Bill Glasson USA E
In Switzerland,the second round of the European Tour's Omega European Masters on The Race To Dubai was held at the historic Crans-Sur-Sierre Golf Club in Crans Montana,Valais.Opened in 1906,the tough course saw the late Seve Ballesteros win three times in the Switzerland High Alps at 5,000 feet altitude.There are also 8,000 km of hiking trails in the area and skiing in winter.
1.Stephen Gallacher SCT -10
Thomas Bjorn DEN -10
2.Richard Finch ENG -9
Miguel Jimenez ESP -9
Danny Willett ENG -9
Victor Dubuisson FRA -9
3.Mark Tullo CHI -8
Anirban Lahiri IND -8
Brooks Koepka USA -8
Next Thursday,the FedEx Cup Playoffs resume with the BMW Championship near Chicago.Henrik Stenson of Sweden is the points leader after two events.
Update:Hall of Fame golfer Bernhard Langer of Germany took the lead at the Montreal Championship Saturday,while Scotsman Craig Lee surged to the top of the Omega European Masters in Crans Montana,Swtzerland.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Liberty National Golf Club

The Barclays is being played across from the Statue of Liberty.

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Barclays Golf;Belgium Grand Prix

The golf world is crackling with activity this weekend.In the US,The Barclays is in progress at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City,New Jersey.The first of the four FedEx Cup Playoffs features striking views of the New York skyline,including the Statue of Liberty and One World Trade Center,or Freedom Tower,rising from the ashes of the 9-11 attack,as well as ferry boats and other watercraft on the Hudson River.Responding to all this scenery is Matt Kuchar,35,who tops the leader board with his -10.The Florida native and Georgia Tech man is number two on the money list,with two wins this season and seven top tens.He is Mr.Consistency,having made 19 of 20 cuts.*1.Matt Kuchar(USA)-10 2.Gary Woodland(USA)-9 2.Webb Simpson(USA)-9 4.Justin Rose(ENG)-7 4.Rickie Fowler(USA)-7 4.Adam Scott(AUS)-7 8.Brendon de Jonge(ZIM)-6 8.Henrik Stenson(SWE)-6 8.Jim Furyk(USA)-6*In LPGA action,The CN Canadian Women's Open is at Royal Mayfair Golf&Country Club in Edmonton,Alberta.Korean Inbee Park and American Cristie Kerr are tied for the lead at -8.*On the European Tour,The Race to Dubai,the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles,Scotland is being led by Argentinian Ricardo Gonzalez at -14.American rookie Brooks Koepka is in fifth at -10.*In motor sport,the August break is over and the Belgium Grand Prix is at the Spa Francorchamps circuit on Sunday.F1 series leader Sebastian Vettel of Germany came in first in the first practice session on Friday,ahead of teammate Australian Mark Webber.Update:At The Barclays,Matt Kuchar now shares the lead with Gary Woodland,29.Woodland has two career wins on the PGA Tour,including one this season at the Reno-Tahoe Open.He is known for his ball-striking power,although not an especially big man.He said he is pleased to be paired with Kuchar for the final round as they are close friends.*At the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles,Scotland,Ricardo Gonzales now shares the lead with Tommy Fleetwood of England,who has yet to win on the European Tour,while Gonzales has five wins.*The starting grid for Sunday's Belgium Grand Prix features Lewis Hamilton(GBR)in pole position,followed by Sebastian Vettel(GER) and Mark Webber(AUS).*Sweden's Caroline Hedwall took the lead at the CN Canadian Women's Open in Edmonton,Alberta.She is followed by Suzann Petterson of Norway and amateur Lydia Ko of New Zealand.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Beaver Creek Wildfire Scorches Idaho

Country well known to the great American author Ernest Hemingway is being threatened by a massive wildfire this weekend.Extreme fire behavior is resulting in explosive growth of the Beaver Creek Fire northwest of Hailey on Sawtooth National Forest,Idaho.It was ignited by lightning about midnight on 7 August,and is mone of 10 uncontained wildfires of more than 100 acres burning in the area.*Firefighters are building containment lines along the perimeter where safety permits;where it does not,air support is being called in.Presently,698 personnel and 14 helicopters are assigned to the 64,236 acre fire,but this number will be swelling over the weekend as more hand crews,engines and support personnel arrive.Beth Lund is incident commander.*The fuels invloved are grass,sagebrush,riparian areas and timber.The fire is characterized by extreme fire behavior with active surface runs and crown fire.Multiple subdivisions have been evacuated on both sides of Highway 75 between Hailey and Ketchum.The growth potential is extreme in the highly difficult terrain.One home has been lost,along with a bunkhouse and five other structures.There have been a few minor injuries to firefighters.The bridge connecting Ketchum and Fairfield on Forest Service road 227 has been destroyed.*The head of the fire produced a massive pyrocumulous column.Fire whorls,torching trees and crown fire were visible from Hailey and the Highway 75 corridor to Ketchum.Pre-evacuation warnings have been issued for Sun Valley and Ketchum.Spot fires from flaming embers thrown off the main body of the fire are starting up to a mile away.*Sawtooth National Forest is about 2,000,000 acres in size.It contains the Sawtooth Wilderness Area with 50 jagged peaks of more than 10,000 feet in height.They are high granitic peaks with narrow glacial valleys and nearly 400 alpine lakes.Alpine wildflowers bloom in July and August in the high meadows.*An American Red Cross shelter has been set up at the Hailey Community Campus for persons displaced by the fire.Area residents should prepare now to evacuate.If you are in danger,do not wait for an evacuation order.*Update:The Beaver Creek Fire has grown to 92,754 acres and is 9% contained.There has been extreme fire behavior on Saturday with active surface runs and long range crown fire through drought-stressed fuels.The growth potential is extreme with the temperature at 90F at 6pm with 8% humidity,winds at 7-15 mph with SW gusts to 30.Assets deployed include DC10s;single engine air tankers;heavy,medium and light helicopters;bulldozers;Hot Shot crews;20 person hand crews;engine crews;equipment operators;and fire managers.There are extensive mandatory evacuations and pre-evacuation warnings,the latter having been issued from Lake Creek south to hospital bridge,including Warm Springs and the cities of Ketchum and Sun Valley,plus Residents of Hailey west of River Street.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Jim Furyk

Jim Furyk by bacbrown
Jim Furyk, a photo by bacbrown on Flickr.

Jim Furyk leads the PGA Championship after the third round.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Oak Hill Golf;Perseid Meteor Shower

His nondescript appearance and deadpan manner make him a target for the Hollywood types on television,but Jason Dufner proved his high degree of competence in golf on Friday when he seized the top of the leader board at the PGA Championship in Pittsford,New York,near Rochester.The beautifully forested Oak Hill Country Club saw Dufner tie the record for lowest score in a major championship with his brilliant nine under par 63.Dufner,who is well-regarded by his peers,stood out even in the strongest field in golf,with 99 of the top 100 players in the world vying for the tournament's Wanamaker trophy,seven of them Scotsmen.*The history of the game is dear to my heart,Dufner said,and it's really neat to be part of it.You'd never think a guy from Northeast Ohio would accomplish these things.*1.Jason Dufner,USA,-9 2.Matt Kuchar,USA,-7;Adam Scott,AUS,-7;Jim Furyk,USA,-7 5.Henrik Stenson,SWE,-6;Justin Rose,ENG,-6 7.Robert Garrigus,USA,-5;Steve Stricker,USA,-5 9.Charley Hoffman,USA,-4;Marcus Fraser,AUS,-4.*The Perseid meteor shower will illuminate the night sky from August 11-13,NASA said.The best meteor display of the year may be best seen between 1am and dawn,with meteors streaking across the heavens at the rate of about 70 an hour at the peak of 11-12 August.They are bright because of their relatively large size of around a centimeter across and speed of almost 134,000 kilometers an hour.The debris of Comet Swift-Tuttle,the annual event is about as bright as the Ursa Major constellation's stars,and is better seen outside of urban areas.*Update:Veteran golfer Jim Furyk,who won the US Open in 2003,took over top spot on the leader board of the PGA Championship with his -9 in Saturday's third round at Oak Hill Country Club.Jason Dufner slipped to a close second at -8.The greens were starting to dry out and there was a breeze,making the course more difficult to manage-a trend that may only be accentuated by another dry,sunny day on Sunday.There were a lot more bogies amid the huge white oaks of the densely wooded course,as the cheers of thousands of fans livened things up for Furyk and Dufner.TV ratings must have been hurt,though,by the fact that both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson,the world numbers one and two,dropped out of contention with their multiple bogies.*It's totally unrealistic for the media to expect Mickelson to win a second major after his back to back wins in Scotland.Psychologically,that is extremely unlikely.There's a natural comedown after all that glory.As for Woods,he has apparently still not fully recovered mentally from his personal problems,not having won a major for five years now.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Bridgestone and St.Andrews Golf

The complex world of professional golf offers a panorama of tournaments,global locations and series for the avid fan to follow this weekend.In the US,Tiger Woods was totally dominant in the second round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at the Firestone Country Club in Akron,Ohio Friday.Woods matched his PGA Tour career best and the course record with his superb 13 under par 61.I had it going today,Woods said.The weather's coming in tomorrow.We're gonna have to make a few adjustments.We'll see how it goes.The top three:1.Tiger Woods(USA)-13 2.Keegan Bradley(USA)-6;Chris Wood(ENG)-6*The women's pro golf scene is underappreciated.It's not boring to watch.At The Women's Open Championship on The Old Course at St.Andrews,Scotland,the typically unflappable Na Yeon Choi was unfazed by brisk winds that barreled into the afternoon session,topping the leader board with her crisp 10 under par 67.Not content with one complete success,Miki Saiki hammered down second place with two eagles.The top three:1.Na Yeon Choi(ROK)-10 2.Miki Saiki(JAP)-9 3.Morgan Pressel(USA)-8*Bernhard Langer is playing in his native Germany this weekend.At the European Senior Tour Berenberg Masters,Golf-und Land-Club,Koln,Refrath,Germany,the top 3:1.Turner,Greg(NZL)-7 2.Lane,Barry(ENG)-5;Langer,Bernhard(GER)-5;Woosnam,Ian(WAL)-5*The European Senior Tour Order of Merit top three:1.Bernhard Langer(GER) 2.Peter Senior(AUS) 3.Paul Wesselingh(ENG).*Langer is also pursuing his second Charles Schwab Cup,the overall trophy for senior pro golfers in the US.The PGA Champions Tour Charles Schwab Cup Standings:1.Kenny Perry(USA)2508 2.Bernhard Langer(GER)1713 3.David Frost(RSA)1613 *Update:Tiger Woods continued his brilliant campaign,topping the leader board at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational with his 15 under par 68 in Saturday's third round.The third round of The Ricoh Women's British Open was suspended because of high winds,and will restart shortly.At the Berenberg Masters on the European Senior Tour,Steen Tinney(DEN)and Nick Job(ENG)are tied for first place at -6,while Bernhard Langer(GER)has dropped back to sixth with his -4.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Bernhard Langer

Bernhard Langer by Keith Allison
Bernhard Langer, a photo by Keith Allison on Flickr.

Langer is highly regarded personally and professionally.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Mickelson at the NYSE;Royal Birkdale Golf

The Open Championship winner Phil Mickelson visited the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Friday,accompanied by Exxon Mobil Vice President for Exploration&Development Emil Jacob.Mickelson,fresh off his celebrated victory at Muirfield and at Royal Stuart the previous week,brought the claret jug trophy with him and was interviewed on CNBC's "Squawk On The Street" by Carl Quintanilla. Our favorite week is the week after the British Open,Mickelson said.We're putting on an academy for science and math teachers.Our students aren't interested in those subjects,and there are three million science and technology jobs going unfilled. That's a concern for us,added Exxon's Jacobs-not only for us,but for the country.If we can hook the students in grades 3-5,it'll be great for us in the future.Science and technology play a big part in the game of golf and in my success,Mickelson noted.I've been pretty well and able to drive the ball better,which has a lot to do with science and technology-the new technology inside the golf club. The wakeup call for me was coming down with psoriatic arthritis two years ago.I've been losing a pound a month and now,about two years later,I'm 25 pounds lighter and playing better,champion golfer Phil Mickelson said on CNBC.He indeed was looking leaner and more fit than in previous years. At Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport,Merseyside,England,the older golfers were playing in The Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex.At the end of round two on the links style course,site of many previous Open Championships,the standings were as follows: Mark Wiebe,USA,-5 Bernhard Langer,GER,-5 David Frost,SCO,-4 Mark McNulty,IRL,-3 Peter Fowler,AUS,-3 Gene Sauers,USA,-3 Sandy Lyle,SCO,-2 Rocco Mediate,USA,-2 Jeff Hart,USA,-2 Greg Turner,AUS,-1 Just as in the regular Open Championship,the Senior winner will recieve a claret jug trophy.Royal Birkdale is considered one of the world's finest courses,and is notable for its art deco style club house.The club house is considered unattractive by some,not fitting into its bucolic setting,frankly.It resembles a small airport terminal. An interesting moment occurred in the second round.While Bernhard Langer carefully studied one of his shots,his playing partner American Cory Pavin sat down on the ground and crossed his legs,apparently meditating.At the end of the round,Pavin slapped his old friend Langer on the shoulder,congratulating him. Update:Bernhard Langer took sole possession of the lead at The Senior Open Championship on Saturday.Praised for his precision,he goes into the final round at -9,three shots ahead of South African David Frost at -6.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Pacific Crest Trail Sign

Wildfire season may result in closures of portions of the trail.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Massive Wildfire Closes Pacific Crest Trail

A huge wildfire on San Bernardino National Forest and adjacent lands in the San Jacinto Mountains of Riverside County,California,has closed part of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail and its connecting trail system.The Mountain Fire had grown steadily to 27,179 acres as of four hours ago.The blaze ignited at 1:45 pm Monday. Several communities have been evacuated,including Idyllwild,Fern Valley and Trails End.Local high schools are being used as American Red Cross evacuation centers for the 6,000 evacuees,and both their large and small animals are being sheltered in San Jacinto. A number of camps in the area and Forest Service campgrounds along Highway 243 have been closed,as well as San Jacinto State Park and National Forest Wilderness.The iconic Pacific Crest Trail is closed from Highway 74 north to Saddle Junction. The inferno is being battled by 3316 wildland firefighters with 263 engines,19 helicopers,10 fixed wing aircraft and 10 bulldozers.Humidity is only 12-15% in the remote chapparal and timber ecosystem. The fire's cause is under investigation.The affected area is roughly between Los Angeles and San Diego,just south of Palm Springs. Update:As of Saturday,progress had been made against the Mountain Fire,with containment of the fire at about 50%.Evacuations remain in force.Ten structures had been lost,including homes and mobile homes.The progress was partly attributed to pinpoint determination of drop zones by new digital technology in the tanker aircraft.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Volcan - Popocateptl - A lo Lejos - Far away

An interesting local perspective on this active Mexican volcano.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Scottish Open Golf;Popocatepetl Volcano

The Scottish Open is underway at Castle Stuart Golf Links,Inverness.The tournament is on Scotland's Northeast coast along the Moray Firth,looking across to Black Isle and the town of Fortrose.It is an important practice session for next weekend's Open Championship at Muirfield. Phil Mickelson shot a second round eight under par 70 at Castle Stuart Friday,tying for 13th place on the leader board and staying in contention.Fellow American Peter Uihlein did even better with his eleven under par 66 for second place.Uihlein won earlier in the season on the European Tour,and his chances for a second victory certainly looked excellent as of Friday's round. Mickelson got himself out of trouble several times with his much-admired bunker skills.A classic flop shot out of a hazard or rough is pure Mickelson.He seems to be at his best in such difficult situations,excelling at the most challenging moments. It is Mickelson's 11th Scottish Open.His best finish to date was second place at Loch Lomond in 2007. The top ten on Friday were as follows: Christopher Doak(SCO) -12 Peter Uihlein(USA) -11 Matthew Southgate(ENG) -11 Ross Fisher(ENG) -11 Joachim B Hansen(DEN) -11 Henrik Stenson(SWE) -10 Simon Khan(ENG) -10 Lorenzo Gagli(ITA) -10 James Morrison(ENG) -10 Victor Dubuisson(FRA) -10 Mexico's snowy Popocatepetl volcano,about forty miles from the capital,Mexico City, continued to send up a four mile high cloud of ash and steam Friday,coating nearby communities with ash and closing Puebla International Airport,about 20 miles from the eruption. Several airlines have been canceling flights to the area as a precaution.In communities near the mountain,water may not be used for drinking or bathing,since it comes from snowmelt on the mountain,which is 17,930 feet high,or 5465 meters. Update:Phil Mickelson fired off six birdies in the third round of the Scottish Open on Saturday,his excellent 14 under par 66 lifting him from 19th to a tie for 2nd place,two shots behind leader Henrik Stenson at -16.It was vintage Phil,momentum taking hold once he started to roll.At one point,he made four birdies in an hour.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

greenbrier resort, wv

greenbrier resort, wv by wvbees
greenbrier resort, wv, a photo by wvbees on Flickr.

The Greenbrier Classic is played here.

Friday, July 5, 2013

West Virginia Golf:The Greenbrier Classic

At The Greenbrier Classic in White Sulphur Springs,West Virginia,Matt Every holds the top position on the leader board with his second round nine under par 67.Every,29,has made 10 cuts out of 21 tournaments played this season.The Floridian has placed in the top 10 twice and is 95th on the money list.
Phil Mickelson failed to make the cut and is headed for Scotland to play in the Scottish Open next weekend,and then The Open Championship after that.Tom Watson,63,shot a three under par 69,tying for 35th place,while Kenny Perry,52,fired off a five under par 67 to tie for 17th.
The tournament is held at The Greenbrier Resort,a popular summer retreat in the Allegheny Mountains for generations.It's a favourite with the PGA players and their families for the comprehensive recreational package,and amenities such as evening concerts by name performers,including Kenny Chesney and Aerosmith.
The top 10 are as follows:
  Matt Every(USA) -9
  Russell Henley(USA) -8
  Johnson Wagner(USA) -8
  Daniel Summerhays(USA) -8
  Bill Lunde(USA) -8
  Steven Bowditch(AUS) -8
  Tommy Gainey(USA) -7
  Jonas Blixt(SWE) -7
  Ben Curtis(USA) -7
  Greg Owen(ENG) -7

Friday, June 28, 2013

Crummy Weekend Weather:Extreme Heat Grips West

Extreme heat warnings and watches have been posted in several western states for the period through at least Monday.From West Texas north to Oregon and Idaho,and east to Colorado and New Mexico.the mercury is threatening to reach near record or record levels.
Death Valley,California,which owns the world record for heat at 134 degrees Fahrenheit,is expected to reach 129.Record highs may occur in such cities as Flagstaff,Arizona;Reno,Nevada;as well as Las Vegas.
Phoenix,Arizona may near 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Isolated storms with little rain,known as dry thunderstorms,may strike the higher elevations of the Rocky Mountains and Great Basin,threatening wildfire outbreaks in those areas already hot and tinder dry.
The heat is being caused by a stubborn dome of high pressure,preventing cloud formation and rainfall.
Meanwhile,the East has been soaked by repeated thunderstorms in recent days,which may extend well into next week.Tropical air has parked itself over the region,threatening flash flooding in many locales.
Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are distinct possibilities in areas under heat warnings and watches,possibly with fatal consequences.Cooling centers are being set up in these communities.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Moon

The Moon by Alexis Birkill
The Moon, a photo by Alexis Birkill on Flickr.

The moon as it appears through standard binoculars.

Single Room, Earth View | Space Exploration | Air & Space Magazine

Single Room, Earth View | Space Exploration | Air & Space Magazine

Moon At Its Closest Now

The moon is at its closest to the earth for 2013 this weekend.It appears about 7% larger tonight,Friday night,because of being nearer to us in its elliptical,or egg-shaped,orbit at this time.I observed this to be the case tonight.
At its peak Saturday night into Sunday morning,this perigree full moon,as it is scientifically known,will appear to be up to 14% larger and 30% brighter,some 40,000 miles closer than at its farthest point from earth.
It is said you can notice it most readily when the moon is low in the sky and in the daytime.I saw the moon fairly high in the sky at night,yet it did look a bit larger,especially noticeable with binoculars,compared to how it usually looks in them.
Some are calling it the "super moon."

Friday, June 21, 2013

Fire and Flooding Threaten Rockies Communities

Areas of the Rocky Mountains have been plagued by both fire and flood recently.Powerful flood waters coursed through the Calgary,Alberta area Friday.About 75,000 have been evacuated from their homes,but only 1500 are in emergency shelters.Most have taken refuge with friends and relatives.
Three deaths have been reported so far.The water went as high as the tenth row at the ice rink of the Calgary Flames NHL team.The Calgary Stampede rodeo grounds were also inundated,with water reaching the roofs of barns at the site.
The flooding is attributed to a combination of prodigious Rocky Mountains snow melt and heavy rain swelling the Bow River.It extends as far south as Lethbridge,Alberta.The waters appear to have peaked in Calgary for the moment,but could still go higher,and other towns have yet to feel their full force.
Elsewhere in the Rocky Mountains,Colorado wildfires are among those causing the US Forest Service to spend 40% of its budget on firefighting.A total of 16 are currently burning in Colorado,some of them totally uncontained.Arizona and New Mexico are also struggling with conflagrations.
In Colorado,the East Peak fire is now at 9,000 acres and 0% containment.Ten buildings were destroyed,including a Boy Scouts ranch.The scouts were evacuated.The West Fork fire has grown to more than 18,000 acres,and the Wild Rose fire is another blaze that is  also 0% contained at 850 acres.
On the plus side,the Black Forest fire was declared fully contained on Thursday.It had killed two people and destroyed 509 homes.Arson is suspected in that fire.
Ultimately,the question is whether global warming has contributed to both the fires and the flooding.One suspects that it has,since it is the context of everything weather-related in our world today.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013