Friday, July 21, 2017

Thursday, July 20, 2017

I want one

Tornado rearranges the car

Taking a quick taste


Back when Germans had some fortitude


It seemed like a good idea


Great alternative office


Much needed medication for many


Asylum seeker in Iceland falls into gigantic waterfall, and is never seen again.

This is what the dude fell into:





The Icelandic authorities are pulling out all the stops to, basically, recover the body, but the locals have a much more practical viewpoint.
They say that It is unlikely that the man has drifted out to sea. Lower down the river, it spreads out into sand bars where most things that fall in show up eventually, according to farmers in the area.
Earlier today it was revealed that the man who fell in was an asylum seeker. Authorities say that so far, nothing has been found in or by the river that could point to his fate.  
Uh, his fate is he drowned in the boiling torrent, geniuses. His corpse is stuck in a crevice or rocky spot, and unless the water goes down, his bones will stay there.   Or, he'll wash up on the sandbars downstream.  Just watch for circling seagulls, and you'll know where he ended up.

Could this be my office if I telecommute?


Axemen doing a dangerous job


Getting through the week


Perfect Flying Weather

If by that it means "flying" from the floatplane into the cabin.


When the anesthesia kicks in and you end up meeting your animal spirit guide at the Dentist's office





Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Mount Shasta sunrise


The Art of Speed


My cats do a feline version of this on hot days.


Mrs. CW just told me that this thing was the cat's meow, so to speak. True?



Made it!

Plane Parkour


Freckles, they are good


Jude Sparks poses with the jawbone of a stegamastodon, an ancient ancestor of the elephant, that he discovered while hiking in the desert in Las Cruces, New Mexico, with his family.


Nine-year-old Jude Sparks was playing with his brother in the New Mexican desert when he tripped and landed beside a massive skull. 
"I didn't know what it was," Sparks, now aged 10, told El Paso ABC affiliate KVIA. "I just knew it wasn't usual." 
Sparks later found out he stumbled upon an archaeological treasure: a mostly intact stegomastodon skull.  
At the time of the discovery, neither Sparks nor his parents, who were biking nearby, recognized the skeletal remains of the million-year-old creature preserved in the desert sands of Las Cruces. 
Prehistoric fossils usually break down after exposure to the elements, but the Sparks were fortunate to have discovered the skull just after strong rains made it visible to the naked eye.
Good work, Jude!  Now, off to Jurassic Park.

James Dean and Natalie Wood in “ Rebel Without A Cause “ ( 1955 )


He's a big fish for a reason


Swimming pool of dreams


Dogs, master farmers


Cool picture for a hot day


A6's on the way to becoming a reef


A massive wildfire in Mariposa County triggered a new round of evacuations Tuesday as flames threatened power lines that feed Yosemite National Park, officials said.

Cal Fire's  website here.
Approximately 4,000 people have been forced from their homes since the Detwiler fire, which is burning east of Lake McClure, exploded to 25,000 acres, with hundreds of firefighters trudging through steep terrain to reach flames in overgrown vegetation, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

I'm familiar with the country around Coulterville and Greeley Hill.  Very brushy, and now with multiple years of drought to add to the problem.  In my gold mining days, I recall hiking down into steep gullies on the side of a ridge in this region, and wondering if it would be possible to escape alive if a fire ever started down below.  The steepness of the ridge would have accelerated any fire to speeds that would be hard to believe, and the manzanita that grows everywhere burns extremely hot.  That's the kind of country were dealing with here.

Nevertheless, fires are common in this country in the summer.  People who are paid to know are or should be aware of the threat, and prepare accordingly to fight these inevitable conflagrations before they start.  Serious, real world fire breaks should be built to contain fires in this hot, thickly brushed landscape.

But of course nothing like that has been done, to my knowledge at least.   Once it gets into the brush, it's gone, and at a measly 5% containment so far, all Cal Fire can do is try and keep it away from town and homes.   Success there will depend strongly on how much brush clearance the local homeowners have done beforehand.

Cal Fire simply cannot put this fire out.  They aren't prepared, in spite of their shiny nice new trucks, sharp uniforms, and special tax money in the bank.  The Butte Fire a couple of years ago started in the foothills, mainly in grass at first where you'd think it would be at least a little easier to catch and extinguish, and just burned itself out eventually.  Cal Fire saved some homes, but really couldn't put it out.

Once any fire reaches a certain size, and this one seems to be that big already, it's too big for the number of men and resources to stop.  It's just damage control from here on out.

This will be the same.  It will burn to the granite, probably through parts of Yosemite, and go out more or less naturally when it runs out of fuel.  

The error here is lack of preparation before the fire starts.

On the bright side, the removal of virtually impenetrable brush by this fire will open up considerable land for gold prospecting.  I suppose that's a bright side.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Of course, Chuck Yeager would be the perfect choice to fly this rocket plane


The Lockheed NF-104A was an American mixed power, high-performance, supersonic aerospace trainer that served as a low-cost astronaut training vehicle for the North American X-15 and projected Boeing X-20 Dyna-Soar programs.
Three aircraft were modified from existing Lockheed F-104A airframes, and served with the Aerospace Research Pilots Schoolbetween 1963 and 1971, the modifications included a small supplementary rocket engine and a reaction control system for flight in the upper atmosphere. During the test program, the maximum altitude reached was more than 120,000 feet (36,600 m). One of the aircraft was destroyed in an accident while being flown by Chuck Yeager. The accident was depicted in the book The Right Stuff and the film of the same name.