Entries from blogs tagged with “The Sciences”
I used to post photos of out of the way places in this blog. Today I ran across something that was unexpected. Since it is a little out of the way, even though it is probably pretty obvious, I thought I'd post it.
I've been experimenting with a new camera which let me takes series of photos so that I can create timelapse movies. This is the first of my efforts.
The World Bank isn't known historically as an environmentally friendly institution in terms of the sorts of development projects it has funded. So when the World Bank gets concerned about the possible affects of global warming perhaps even the skeptics ought to pay attention.
Check out the World Bank's climate change site here: http://climatechange.worldbank.org/content/climate-change-report-warns-dramatically-warmer-world-century
The wind picks up leaves
swirls them around
teens commit pranks
while adults act like clowns
You make chicken chili
heat up spiced cider
put beer in the fridge
stock up on candy
Carve pumpkins to
look like a fright
bring in the cat
turn on the porch light
Get in your car
Dirt roads wind you around
Take you far out of town
Where haystacks seem bleak
Until scarecrows peek
from around them!
Witches on horned owls
screech high overhead
Demons pop up from
under the hood
Clouds cover the moon
You hear a loud thud
You have a flat tire
in three feet of mud
You arrive back at home
It's time to disrobe
You sneeze once or twice
You've caught a damn cold!
Have one last beer
with your favorite candy
Pull on warm socks
Put your feet up.
Oops, turn out the light
Blow out the candle
Put out the cat
Spirits creep in, see you're asleep
Let themselves out with
hardly a peep.
Your snoring is loud
you're all tuckered out
Your dog jumps into bed
howling in fright!
Realization sinks in
it's gonna ba a long frekin night
On Halloween night in your neighborhood
(10-28-2007 - Ronda Miller)
Friends of mine seem surprised, and certainly questioning, when they learn I'm pro life. The questions my stance, which is a life style choice not a political siding, garner include the standard ones. I'm asked why I feel it's okay to tell someone else what they have to do with their body - my response is that I'm not telling anyone what they should do with their own body, just what they shouldn't do to a body too small and defenseless to stand up for itself.
Hasn't that been the American way since the beginning of the American dream? Don't Americans put themselves into harms way and travel across the sea to protect those who don't have the physical abilities to defend themselves against cutting swords or toxic poisons another entity uses on them?
It's easy for me to answer the 'when life begins' question. My response is that as a human development major I was taught that life begins with the zygote. I believe that.
I appreciate people come from different belief systems, lifestyle choices, opinions, cultures and religions.
In a perfect world the smallest form of human life would be cherished, protected, coddled, nourished. Once that perfect world of respect for the most fragile of human life begins, then our climate of a world at war begins to change.
Our focus shifts and we begin to look inward towards the smallest movement, the slightest sound of a beating heart.
I don't want or expect the reverse of our present culture where women for the most part retain secondary rights in respect to equal pay, sexual bias, and exploitation. They don't need to be put on a pedestal.
But our culture would be vastly improved if our focus was placed on the family - the smallest of life's form was cherished to the ultimate end of giving it the optimal in physical, emotional and educational care. Women wouldn't be subjected to the fear of rape or incest because they would be cherished as the sacred houses where honored life begins.
In a perfect world no one would need to defend their reasons NOT to kill an unprotected life.
I know we don't live in a perfect world, but let us begin doing what we can. It starts at home - it begins within.
Writers throughout the state of Kansas converged in Salina this past weekend for the yearly Kansas Authors Club convention and presentation of awards.
The convention was hosted by District Four under the leadership of President William Karnowski.
Key note speaker was Caryn Mirriam Goldberg. Goldberg is state of Kansas Poet Laureate.
Winners for the state poetry contest (open to the general public and members), are as follows:
Haiku: Judge Irma Hudson First - Box Turtle- Yvonne Green, D1 Second - Snow Drifts from the Sky - Barbara Brady, D1 Third - Moonlit Cottonwoods , Roy Beckemeyer, D5 First honorable mention- Flurry of Feathers - Diane Palka, D2 Second honorable mention - Coolness in the Fall -Annabelle Corrick Beach, D1
Theme: Judge Timothy Pettet First - Brushing Away my Fears - Judy Hatteberg, D5 Second, Such Power, Yvonne Green, D1 Third - It Takes Two To Tango, Jane Bandy, D7 First honorable, Hope, Roy Beckemeyer, D5 Second honorable, Encouraging Words, Barbara Brady, D1 Tied for second honorable mention, As a River Runs, Laura Patterson,
Lyrics: Judge Barry Barnes First - Shipwrecked Love - Roy Beckemeyer, D5 Second - Saturday Night Dreams - Audrey Collins, D6 Third - Editor's Lament, Annabelle Corrick Beach, D1 First Honorable Mention - Courtin' Country - Kay Towle, D6 Second honorable mention, Tall-grass Spring, Theodore Farmer, D5 Classic Forms : Judge Timothy Pettet First - Roy Beckemeyer - Winter's Weft, D5 Second - Prairie Fire Pantoum - Roy Beckemeyer, D5 Third - Half Joy Wing, Kristine Polansky, D4 First honorable - Molds - Dennis Etzel Second Honorable He Drinks Again - Pat Bonine, D1
Poets Choice: Judge Timothy Pettet TORNADO WARNINGS - Roy Beckemeyer, D5 Second Place, Wedding Picture, Diane Wahto, D5 Third place - May Morning - Diane Wahto, D5 First Honorable Mention - Sharing a Drink - Sarah Langley Second honorable mention - Grease - Dennis Etzel
Free Verse: Judge Paul Goldman First - East off Highway 77, Dusk - Kevin Rabas, D2 Second - Somewhere in the Water - Duane Johnson, D1 Third - City People - Judy Hatteberg, D5 First honorable mention - The Yellow Cat Naps - Roy Beckemeyer, D5 Second honorable - Curry's " Prelude to Tragedy": John Brown - Marilyn Page
Narrative: Judge Carolyn Hall First - Sweat For Sale - Diane Palka, D2 Second - Second Year Blues - Ronda Miller, D2 Third - Where the High Plains Meet Heaven - Ronda Miller, D2 First honorable mention - If Not for Tears - Ronda Miller, D2 Second honorable mention - That Time Again - Jean Jackson, D2
Whimsy: Judge Carolyn Hall First - For Women Only - Audrey Collins, D6 Second - DFTT - Kristine Polansky, D4 Third - The Handyman - Paulette Mattingly, D5 First honorable mention - Evaporating Issues - Annabelle Corrick Beach, D1 Second honorable mention - The Awful Truth - Yvonne Green, D1
Additional information about the club and how to become a Kansas Authors Ckub member may be found on-line. Kansasauthorsclub.com. (D stands for one of the seven districts that the club is divided in throughout the state)
Previous: IPS 6/24/2012
It is amazing I have the nerve to show my face around here, but I saw something worth a post, so it is below.
If you've seen it, and can identify it, you're welcome to do so in the comments. Otherwise I'll do so in a day or so. I was headed back from an auction this weekend and this subject caught my eye.
Oprah earned $222,000,000 last year. She likely paid a lower percentage in taxes than you or I did. Do you hate her for being intelligent enough to become wealthy and give mega money to the charities of her choice (many of them are outside the United States) rather than the government?
Do you despise Romney or Brad Pitt for being wealthy and giving their money to the charities of their choice?
Do you feel people lose their common sense during the months prior to Presidential elections in political debate?
If you are up, one of the most important space exploration events is happening now through early Monday morning (August 6), the landing of Curiosity. Media coverage is pretty spotty. Fortunately there is NASA TV for us night owls. http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html
CNN is covering this at least on line but they are getting their feed from NASA, so go right to the source.
Update! Curiosity has landed..first photos.
You may not realize it but we are getting a good lesson about the way science works, or at least should work. The lesson involves an independent study of planetary temperature data designed to examine some of the global warming skeptic's concerns about the nature of the data used in previous studies on climate change. The new study was conducted by a group of scientists involved in a project called BEST- the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature study.
Some of the study's conclusions include the following:
- The heat island effect in urban areas is not biasing the estimates of land surface temperature.
- Poor quality weather stations are also not biasing the global estimates of land surface temperature.
- Adding more temperature data gives results that are consistent with those in previous studies.
- The best fit to to the data-(BEST did not use traditional climate models but a correlational approach) are a model that combines volcanic activity (the effect by the way is to cool climate) and carbon dioxide concentration. Variation in solar input is NOT an explanatory factor in current climate trends.
The BEST group has submitted their analysis and results for publication and what is really admirable have opened up their data sets and analytical methods to public scrutiny. The study by the way was funded in part by the Charles Koch foundation.
Now it easy to say well we knew a lot of this stuff from current work-but an important aspect of science is the confirmatory aspect of science- it's what should enable us to gain confidence in our ideas-while others fall by the way side as not tenable. I don't expect these results to convince every one and they may also be flawed in ways that aren't immediately obvious. But maybe they will nudge the scientific and political debate to where we can have a serious talk about how to deal with global warming.
The BEST Website is at http://berkeleyearth.org/
There is also an interesting commentary from the study's principle investigator who has changed his mind and global warming and it's causes based on the results of the study.
Several people have reported seeing these wonderful insects over the last couple of days. These are sometimes called velvet ants. They are not ants but mutillid wasps. The females are wingless and usually brightly colored-orange or orange and black, though a few are grey. The males are winged. The females are enter the burrows of ground nesting bees and wasps and lay their eggs on or near the larvae of their host. The eggs hatch and the Mutlillid larvae feed on the host's larvae.
Mutillids can pack a powerful sting-especially the one pictured here. That probably is the origin of the other common name as a figure of speech- "Cow Killer." The females are extremely active and never seem to stop moving so it is difficult to get a decent picture of them. Fortunately I had a plastic lid to a lens filter handy and was able to trap this one long enough to get a good shot.
Poet Timothy Pettet, Kansas City, Missouri, is drawn to the prairie, small towns (think Cottonwood Falls and Linwood, Ks), their cemeteries and their history.
Pettet, who is in the process of finalizing an Opera entitled Mona and Zero, made his way to a cemetery outside Linwood today to research the Chance family. By a differing means of chance, Pettet met Stuart Sweeney (Union Pacific car inspector), who has information about the approximately 30 members of the Chance family Pettet is interested in.
Pettet, who made his way into Linwood with the intent to research the lone cemetery, that sits atop a cottonwood treed shaded hilltop, at The Linwood Library, was directed to one of the town's yearly fund raising events hosted by The Lion's Club when he asked a member from the Sheriff's department to direct him to a restaurant.
Wes Knight (stonemason) invited Pettet towards a cooker of pulled pork, homemade potato salad and a selection of desserts even though the fundraiser doesn't start for several hours (it is open from 3 -7 pm Saturday evening - donations accepted).
Knight, Sweeney (sons Jacob and Andrew) and fellow BBQer Phil Rosewicz (Civil Engineer Amy Core), all of Linwood, spoke about a shelter, prescription eye wear and other uses the money from the Lion's Club fundraiser has provided the Linwood community since the mid 1950's when now deceased charter member Casey Jones helped set up tents along the road in which chickens were smoked..
These days, the smokers are filled with pork and chicken and club members remain downtown with their specialty smokers.
Pettet left Linwood with an affirmation of why he is attracted to the prairie and small town comraderie.
Pettet will be reading poem 'Switching Way Back' and discussing additional projects on KLWN live from The Runaway Pony Sunday, July 29th, between 8:30 and 9:30 am.
With all the attention Google is getting with the fiber plans in Kansas City, I thought it was a good idea to share some things I've heard, and see if anyone knows more.
A few years ago, I was sitting in the barbershop. The gentleman next to me was telling us that he'd received a letter from Sunflower/Knology (don't recall which who it was. or exactly how long ago it was) announcing that they would be deploying fiber based internet in his area. He lived southwest of town, somewhere near the Wakarusa school.
A call to Sunflower (or whoever) at the time, and a few inquiries since, have not elicited any more information.
However, there is one more interesting item. About a year ago, I was googling trying to find information about fiber deployments. Somewhere, and I can't find it again now, I saw a map of the Dougas county area that showed fiber deployed in a narrow band north and south of Clinton Lake.
Is there anyone out there with a fiber connection from Knology? Does anyone know anything more?
Yes, I know I haven't posted an IPS photo in a while. Don't give up hope. I haven't.
Locally Westar has introduced Smart Grid technologies that are billed as helping individuals track and manage their power usage and also help the power company manage its load. Does this technology, though pose a threat to civil liberties in ways we haven't thought about yet? I don't know... but a cousin in Canada sent this link to me from a Canadian Libertarian think tank...not a site I would normally visit...but it does provide an interesting take on the new smart grid technologies.
For the record, neither my cousin or I use old style incandescent bulbs and personally I like my smart meter. So check the article out. What do you think? Are these fears real or vastly overblown?
If you've lived in Lawrence for any length of time, you've heard the stuff legends are made from. Amazing keyboardist, song writer and vocalist Mike Finnigan (he originally landed in Lawrence to attend KU on a basketball scholarship) makes it big. Ok, make that huge!
Back in the day, we danced to Finnigan and Wood and held our breath. We knew he was bound to leave us. And we wanted him to. He had music to share with the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, Etta James, Taj Mahol, Cher, Ringo and Leonard Cohen (yes, I picked a few at random).
Finnigan and Woods hit, Crazed Hipsters, is a frekin classic.
I was thrilled to hear Finnagin and his band were playing at The Bottleneck last night and again tonight. I hadn't heard him play for years.
He may be the old kid on the block, but he brought a new kid with a newbie old sound along His son, Kelly Finnigan, and band Monophonics (mono phonics.com/).
The pride with which father introduced his son last night was obvious - and for good reason. Kelly has stage presence, voice, soul and talent to die for. He may not resemble his dad physically, but he inherited the music gene and then some.
In a society where offspring of famous talents (think Julian Lennon and Presley), often disappoint, Kelly surprises and just keeps bringing it. And bringing it. His performance of My Baby Shot Me Down was my favorite of the night, but each performance was brilliant.
Monophonics isn't 'just' Kelly Finnigan - here then are the rest of the band, each one a stand out in their own right: guitarist, Ian McDonald, Myler O'Mahony, bassist Alex Baly, saxophonist Ryan Scott, trumpeter drummer Austin Bohlman.
With voice and soul reminiscent of Joe Cocker, Kelly oozes stardom.
The Monophonics music is described as psychedelic soul - known these days as black rock.
Students, if you've completed summer finals, treat yourself to this two in one concert for $16. If you have a final tomorrow, you know you either know it by now or you don't!
Music lovers of any generation really do not want to miss this concert.
There has been a lot in the news about the great drought of 2012 and what the high temperatures might be telling us about what is happening to climate. So rather that rely on "some people say" as a source, I decided to check climate data from NOAA to get some perspective on the situation. NOAA has a great time series of statewide data for important weather parameters including average temperatures, precipitation and several measures of drought severity.
First of all how does 2012 stack up so far temperature wise for Kansas?
My firs NOAA data plot shows June's historical temperature data just by itself:
Notice that June just by itself really isn't so extreme historically. But my impression as a biologist who spends a lot of time doors, is that this year HAS been abnormally warm so lets look at year to date historical data shown in my next plot:
This shows a quite different story. As you can see the year to date temperature through June is very extreme. The year to data average temperature for the state is 55 degrees F. The next closest year to date average for Kansas appears to be 1986 at 54 degrees F. Going back to the 1930's, 1934 is the dust bowl year that comes closest at 53 degrees F. So temperature wise- so far this year is historically abnormal. However many of the record highs of the 1930's still stand.
Another concern is of course the several drought and NOAA provides several drought indices. Not being familiar with how these indices relate to each other I chose just to plot the basic Palmer Drought Severity index which uses local temperature and precipitation data to provide an index of drought severity that can be used to examine historical data: Negative values of the index represent more severe local drought conditions.
Notice that 2012 does not even come close in severity to the earlier droughts, including some relatively recent droughts of the 1980's. What is interesting is that the Palmer index suggests that the drought of the mid 1950's was in some respects more intense than the drought of the 1930's.
So the data suggest that yes it has been really abnormally warm so far in 2012. On the other hand the Palmer data suggest that the current drought is not (At least through June) as severe as a number of other droughts we have had.
One problem we have of course looking at historical data is that agricultural practices have changed since the 1930's. Much of the marginal land that was farmed then is not farmed now or is farmed using large scale irrigation. Farmers today tend to use tillage and other conservation practices that that probably are moderating local temperature and precipitation to some degree compared to earlier years. This might explain the greater number of extreme highs during the 1930's when conservation practices were not as widespread.
If you want to have your own fun looking at climate data, check out the NOAA site at:
There is a pull menu where you can select your state or region. You can also filter the data in various ways. This is a good way to check one's perceptions of climate change against historical data so you won't have to rely on what "some people say" or the infamous "they say" as a data source!
A link the drought indices is here: http://www.drought.noaa.gov/palmer.html
If you are into looking at extremes in terms of temperature and precipitation weather underground has a link to climate data. Go to www.wunderground.com and select the climate tab. Have fun!
We have a winner for Kansas Poet Laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg’s The Divorce Girl: a story of art and soul
We had 25 entries from fifteen different contestants in The Divorce Girl giveaway. The Divorce Girl: a story of art and soul is Kansas State Poet Laureate's latest book which has been released as of July 7th by Ice Cube Press.
Goldberg has scheduled readings from July 7th, 2012 through January 13th, 2013 in Kansas, Missouri, Vermont. Minnesota, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Florida, and Tuscon. Additionally, Goldberg will host Skype book group sessions through WOW program. Her book may be purchased locally at The Raven bookstore.
Drum roll please.....
Our winner is Frankie8!
Congratulations to Frankie8!!! I'll be in touch via the secure ljworld messaging service to find out how to get your book to you. I hope you'll enjoy reading it as much as I have.
Thank you to the other contestants. I encourage all of you to purchase the book and embrace it at upcoming book clubs. Goldberg does make appearances at them to discuss her book.
I was zipping back across town early this morning when I noticed a gentleman with a long tool changing gas price numbers on the sign at Westside 66 to a lower number.
My first thought was that if I had not been driving, I'd have given him a round of applause. I then wondered what, if anything, I've done recently that would warrant applause; that of course led to this blog topic.
So go ahead, toot your own horn, break your arm patting yourself on the back.
What have you done recently that makes you deserving of a bow and a round of applause?
GIVEAWAY!!! Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg’s novel ‘The Divorce Girl: A Story of Art and Soul’ free book GIVEAWAY!!!
No, I'm not giving away the book's entire plot, but if you leave a comment, you'll be entered in a drawing to win a copy of State of Kansas Poet Laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg's soon to be released novel, 'The Divorce Girl: A Story of Art and Soul'.
I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of the book a couple of months ago. I made time to read 'The Divorce Girl' when I recently house sat east of Lawrence on my friend Richard Gwin's gorgeous property. I alternated between picking blackberries, (and ticks) and reading the exquisitely written novel. It was one of the best weeks I've had in years!
'The Divorce Girl' is told through the eyes of main character Deborah Shapiro. This isn't your run of the mill coming of age story about a girl growing up and surviving turbulent times. It is set in New Jersey and is a tenderly written, intricately woven masterpiece of blending varied cultures, poignant human flaws, child abuse and a never ending search for oneself through internal and external processes.
Goldberg's idea of giving main character, Deborah, a camera, which then enables her to carefully scrutinize every person, place and thing without (too much) suspicion, was not only brilliant, but masters movement throughout the book as well.
This novel is officially set to be released July 7th by Ice Cube Press (www.icecubepress.com) Be the first on your street to own a copy!
Goldberg is the author of 14 books, including upcoming non fiction "Needle in the Bone: How a Holocaust Survivor and Polish Resistance Fighter Beat the Odds and Found Each Other'.
Besides being our state Poet Laureate, Goldberg is the founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College where she teaches. You may follow her at www.CarynMirriamGoldberg.com
Books may be purchased from The Raven Bookstore - 8th E. Seventh St., Lawrence - at a ten percent discount. Goldberg is happy to make an appearance at your book club.
Entrees may be continued until midnight Saturday, July 7th. The winner will be announced Sunday. Happy summer reading and good luck!
It had been decades since I'd seen Bill Lynch play. I'd stopped going to dances and local performances once I had children and only recently did I fall back in with the 'in' crowd who enjoy meeting and dancing our caloric needs and weekend nights away.
I was excited this past month when I learned Lynch would be coming to town and would perform this past weekend.
I was disappointed however at how a local business used a big name performer such as Lynch for their bait and switch.
Here is what happened. Online tickets were a few dollars more than those purchased direct from the business - which opens daily at three for drinking and ticket purchases. My son is more likely the age group who frequent the establishment, so I sent him in - three days in a row - to get tickets.
The problem was that their computer 'was down' and they couldn't run any tickets off. I wised up and started calling in advance rather than send my son in a fourth or fifth time in the heat. Each time I was told they still had no means to run the tickets off, but the problem would be solved the next day. There was even discussion that they were bringing in another computer specifically for the purpose to run off tickets.
Saturday, the day of the concert, I called and still no tickets had been printed. I expressed concern that the performance would be sold out. I was assured that it would not be and that I could even wait until that evening to purchase my ticket at the $13 fee.
I arrived early to insure getting a ticket and to save seats for additional friends. No one was at the door at that time. At some point I went to get water for our group and the bartender asked me to go get my wristband. I went to the doorman/ticket taker and was surprised when he told me the price was $16. I mentioned all the times I'd tried to purchase tickets. I was referred back to the bartender (perhaps he is a manager). He wasn't interested in how many times I'd attempted to get tickets or that I'd been assured I could purchase them that evening for the original fee. He said they still had to pay for the price of running off the tickets. I asked why they couldn't just f' ing stamp my hand. I got a look that told me if I didn't back down, I'd be escorted from the establishment. I went to buy my ticket. The doorman said, "So you get the $13 price?" I could have lied, but I did not. I told him I was required to pay the $16.
An hour later, I mentioned to a friend in the bathroom what had occurred. Several other women spoke up and said they had the same experience.
My questions: How much extra money did the establishment make by doing this? (there were probably a couple of hundred people there)
How could they say the extra charge for tickets at night cost $3 more than tickets during the day that they never had?
When did they become able to run tickets off?
Is this a common practice used by this establishment?
I would gladly have paid more for a performance by Bill Lynch. The issue wasn't about the price, it was about the practice by the establishment that cost many people time and effort.
Please share your experiences with bait and switch practices.