For about 300 years Jupiter's banded atmosphere has shown a remarkable feature to telescopic viewers, a large swirling storm system known as The Great Red Spot. In 2006, another red storm system appeared, actually seen to form as smaller whitish oval-shaped storms merged and then developed the curious reddish hue. Now, Jupiter has a third red spot, again produced from a smaller whitish storm. All three are seen in this image made from data recorded on May 9 and 10 with the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. The spots extend above the surrounding clouds and their red color may be due to deeper material dredged up by the storms and exposed to ultraviolet light, but the exact chemical process is still unknown. For scale, the Great Red Spot has almost twice the diameter of planet Earth, making both new spots less than one Earth-diameter across. The newest red spot is on the far left (west), along the same band of clouds as the Great Red Spot and is drifting toward it. If the motion continues, the new spot will encounter the much larger storm system in August. Jupiter's recent outbreak of red spots is likely related to large scale climate change as the gas giant planet is getting warmer near the equator.
Global warming is an entirely natural phenomenon and its effects can even be beneficial, according to two leading researchers. Recent climate change is not caused by man-made pollution, but is instead part of a 1,500-year cycle of warming and cooling that has happened for the last million years, say the authors of a controversial study.
Dennis Avery, an environmental economist, and Professor Fred Singer, a physicist, have looked at the work of more than 500 scientists and concluded that it is very doubtful that man-made global warming exists. They also say that temperature increase is actually a good thing as in the past sudden cool periods have killed twice as many people as warm spells...
In contrast, they say there is evidence that wildlife is flourishing in the current warming cycle with corals, trees, birds, mammals and butterflies adapting well. In addition, sea-levels are not rising dramatically and storms and droughts have actually been less severe and frequent.
The authors claim that the change is not man-made because the most recent period of global warming took place between 1850 and 1940 when there were far less CO2 emissions than today. They claim to show strong historical evidence of an entirely natural cycle based on data of floods on the Nile going back 5,000 years. Evidence is citing showing records of Roman wine production in Britain in the first century AD.
Prof Singer, a specialist in atmospheric physics at the University of Virginia, said: "We have a greenhouse theory with no evidence to support it, except a moderate warming turned into a scare by computer models whose results have never been verified with real-world events. "The models only reflect the warming, not its cause." They also say that natural temperature change can be caused by fluctuations in the sun.
Well, duh and I told you so. It was just so obvious, wasn't it? And yet the chattering class of the entire world fell for it hook, line, and sinker. Maybe soon we'll be able to get to work on real environmental problems.
The 2007 hurricane season may be less severe than forecast due to cooler-than-expected water temperatures in the tropical Atlantic, private forecaster WSI Corp said on Tuesday.
The season will bring 14 named storms, of which six will become hurricanes and three will become major hurricanes, WSI said in its revised outlook. ...
I can live with that. If true, it will be very interesting to see what happens in the insurance situation in Florida which is beyond out of control. The amount of money piled up by the state's insurance companies will be so huge that all kinds of aggressive things will be attracted to it. But first, we need to get through this coming quiet storm season.
Note to self: start buying stuff, especially more ammo. Mmmmmmm, ammo!
Underwear (4) and for girls, bras (2) Socks (4 pairs) T-shirts (4) Jeans (2) Sweatshirt & pants (1) Raincoat / poncho (summer) Overcoat, hat and gloves (winter) Spare pair of shoes / sandals / sneakers / boots Towels (2) (For my Readers in colder climes, I cannot recommend these boots highly enough: light, easy to put on / take off with gloves, and my feet have never been cold with them on. They last about 4-5 years—with heavy usage—and I’m about to order my third pair.)
B. Carry bag / backpack
Games, CD players and CDs Spare batteries – and when those batteries run down, that’s it 2 or 3 books + U.S. Army Survival Manual Laptop computer & car power supply
Toiletries bag (inside the backpack):
Toothbrush Toothpaste Deodorant Sanitary stuff (girls) Prescription medications Tylenol etc. + Toothache remedy Sunburn lotion Shaving gear (Our kids would also carry their handguns and ammo inside their backpacks, rather than strap them on.)
C. Survival Items (ours are in the Grab ‘N Go Bags)
Medical (in Ziploc bags):
Advil (sunburn, minor pains) Aspirin (“heart meds”) Tylenol-3 (Rx painkiller) Benadryl Antacids Immodium Potassium Iodide Neosporin 10% hydrocortisone ointment Antiseptic wipes or bottle of Curel Antiseptic soap in its own baggie Hydrogen peroxide / disinfectant Calamine lotion Band-Aids Small roll bandage Ace bandages (knee, ankle) Curved sewing needle Sewing needles & cotton thread 10’ nylon thread Scalpel blades Tweezers Tampons (for wound care) Sponges Eyewash / eye drops Soft earplugs
Large black plastic garbage bags Ziploc bags Insect repellant wipes and sprays Toilet paper
Signaling & Navigation:
Emergency radio Mirror Whistle (or one of these combos) Small compass Large Compass Maps (for the 100-mile radius around your house, get one which shows all the small backroads and country roads, because major highways are likely to be parking lots) Walkie-talkies & two sets of spare AA batteries Pencils / pens Sharpies Paper Flourescent orange or pink ribbon Red spray paint
100’ parachute cord 200’ twine Ropes Tie-downs Duct tape Zip ties Assorted rubber bands Safety pins Red electrical tape Superglue
NEW ORLEANS -- The predominantly black neighborhoods known as the 9th Ward can be brought back largely as they existed before Hurricane Katrina flooded them, a survey contends.
The finding contradicts the common perception that the neighborhoods are so damaged that they need to be rebuilt from scratch, said urban planners who conducted the survey....
The survey found that more than 80 percent of the 9th Ward structures "suffered no terminal structural damage" and that the majority of those structures were built atop piers, making it easier to raise them to meet new flood zone requirements.... (emphasis added)
Oh my aching back. The article goes on to quote New Orleans residents threatening to march on the government demanding money. Natch.
Yes, it's sad that a city built 18' below sea level behind defective dikes thanks to the US Army Corps of Engineers was effectively destroyed by floods. And how incredible is it that a city built 18' below sea level behind defective dikes thanks to the US Army Corps of Engineers was NOT required to have flood insurance. Flood insurance is damned expensive -- just ask any of my neighbors -- but if you don't have it and haven't paid for it, then why should you be able to collect on it? Now a class action suit against the US Army Corps of Engineers, that I could get behind. But that's not what caught my eye.
Imagine the breathless ignorance of saying that because the slum buildings are mostly built "atop piers, it will be easier to raise them to meet new flood zone requirements." Honestly, what's between those people's ears? The cost of raising a building 19' in the air is considerable. Besides the obvious cost of picking it up, you also have the less obvious costs such as utility connections and stairs -- long stairs (and don't forget ramps for the handicapped - ramps 228' long!). And while we're at it, are we going to make the structures compliant with new wind codes, too? That means for all practical purposes rebuilding them from scratch. Plus there's the flood damage, which is extensive and expensive. But never mind that, Virginia. Just how hard is it to understand this: The cost of raising a little slum house that high in the air is greater than the value of the house.
Yes, we could rebuild New Orleans just the way it was, but why would we want to? Why should we?
Hummingbird Finally, my first hummingbirds. Saw them on a fire bush in Crystal Beach, FL. My rental's neighbor's yard is all xeriscaped, which is ugly to me but just fine with the little hummers. At first, I thought they were the biggest hornets I'd ever seen.
Flamingo! One of these dudes flew right over my house. I couldn't believe it. And please don't tell me it was a roseated spoonbill because it was a frickin' flamingo, dude! Huge and pink and right there above me. I was like so freaking out, you know?
Falcon! Don't see these guys too often. Wish we did. Bet the morning doves don't.
Black Skimmer These beauties are getting scarce, but one flew by yesterday at low tide on the hunt for minnows.
Dead sea turtle cool, but smelly
Reddish Egret These have been hanging out around the pool quite a bit lately. Must be a new group of adolesent birds -- the youngsters like to hunt where the water is clear, and it takes them a day to figure out there are not now and never will be fish in the swimming pool no matter how clear the water.
Brown Pelican I saw a flock of about 200 of these at Disappearing Island yesterday, just south of Anclote Island on the west coast of FL. Good to see such a large flock.
Wood Pecker They've developed a sudden interest in the orange tree, which just went into bloom.