Saturday, March 05, 2011

Dr. Hoover's "Very Simple Process"

Longtime NASA scientist Dr. Richard Hoover has spent many years snooping about the Arctic, Siberia and Antarctic for a very special kind of extremely rare meteorite known as CI1 carbonaceous chondrites.  How rare are theses meteorites?  Up to this time, only nine such meteorites are known to exist on Earth.  The meteorites contain fossils of large bacteria closely resembling bacteria found here on earth.  The entire project suggests that life may be much more widely distributed than previously thought.  Dr. Hoover's entire article is published in the March edition of the Journal of Cosmology

Exclusive: NASA Scientist Claims Evidence of Alien Life on Meteorite -


Friday, March 04, 2011

World's sixth mass extinction may be underway: study - Yahoo! News

Don't worry, this is not another 2012 item!  Somewhere between being the most successfully adapted species on the planet and being the wasteful, overpopulating,messy species we are, is the story of what is clearly shaping up to be the sixth mass extinction in Earth history.  Mass extinction is the term used for periods when 75 percent or more of the species on the planet go extinct, and with loss of habitat due to increasing human population, over-fishing, non-native invasive species, pollution and other human and natural processes combining to cause the extinction of hundreds of species each year, it does appear that we are in the midst of a sixth such event.

World's sixth mass extinction may be underway: study - Yahoo! News

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My Way News - Egypt's top archaeologist warns of looting

This is a tragic situation in my opinion.  Dr. Hawass, the chief archeologist and the man in charge of all of Egypt's historic sites, digs, museums and galleries, has decided that with looting going on at such an extensive pace, and the military government failing to respond to his repeated requests to shore up security around the irreplaceable historical, artistic and archeological locations, he must resign his ministerial position to draw attention to the situation. 

Dr Hawass at the Egyptian Pyramids

Indeed, the situation must be quite bad in terms of providing police protection or military protection because Dr. Hawass is now calling on the young people who started the revolt in Egypt to come together and protect the nation's treasures and legacy as one of the world's greatest and earliest civilizations.  I wonder how the more militantly Islamic revolutionaries and the Islamic Brotherhood will view protecting the treasures of the past - will they see them as idols?  Will they see the Pharaohs as despots like Mubarak was believed to be?

The Metropolitan Museum of Art joined Hawass in his concerns, issuing a statement today: 

The Met and the entire museum community worldwide are increasingly concerned about what appear to be ongoing, grievous security breaches at Egypt's historic sites and archaeological digs," the museum's director, Thomas P. Campbell, said in a statement Thursday.

"The world cannot sit by and permit unchecked anarchy to jeopardize the cultural heritage of one of the world's oldest, greatest, and most inspiring civilizations. We echo the voices of all concerned citizens of the globe in imploring Egypt's new government authorities ... to protect its precious past. Action needs to be taken immediately."

Dr. Hawass has listed a number of disastrous crimes against the antiquities of Egypt in recent days on his personal website:

My Way News - Egypt's top archaeologist warns of looting

Cops find naked man 'growling like dog' and claiming to be devil

You just never know....

Cops find naked man 'growling like dog' and claiming to be devil

Monday, February 28, 2011

Last US WWI veteran dies

I hope to see flags at half-staff all over the country for this man.  When we talk about those who have come before and protected our Nation it is important to remember that they all had names, family, friends, hopes.  This man gives all of us a lot to live up to.   

Last WWI veteran dies

Maryland Semen Attacker Sentenced to Probation: The Criminal Report Daily : Investigation Discovery

I probably should have let this one alone too, as it is a really offensive subject, and in my opinion it is a sexual assault.  It seems unbelievable to me that this guy gets probation for multiple - and there were way more than two - sexual assaults.  He is connected by DNA, video surveillance, purchases made at the locations just prior to the assaults...


But here is what really bothers me.  If you can stand it, skip down to the end of the article by David Lohr.  I find his comment haunting when he says he's had a lot of time to think about this.  Why does that bother me?  Well, we're supposed to think, "Oh good, he has realized the error of his ways."  What it makes me think is that he's thought a lot about how NOT to get caught in the future.  It is common enough for behaviors like this to escalate into much worse behaviors, and I am not going to be surprised at all if in five years we find that there is a serial killer at work, or perhaps one caught.

Maryland Semen Attacker Sentenced to Probation: The Criminal Report Daily : Investigation Discovery

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Funerals, Births and Earthquakes

I remember where I was, just 10 years ago Monday.  I had just left my Grandmother's funeral, which took place just a few days before her 91st birthday.  She was the kindest person I have ever known, accepted life's ups and downs with the quiet confidence, compassion and understanding of the rhythms of life and death.  She was pretty healthy until about two weeks before she died.  She lived in her own home until her last day, and had accepted the subtle losses of capabilities that came with advanced years with grace and common sense that is often overwhelmed in people as we age by the frustration and pride that makes us deny even to ourselves that we are not quite up to doing some of the things we used to do. 

It was an emotional day - my brother and I led the memorial service - and it was amazing to me that although I was very sad, and felt a keen sense of loss, I also felt a profound sense of gratitude and a feeling of having been uplifted by the hours of reflection I'd done as I thought about her and what I wanted to say about her.  All the things we'd done together, the laughing; all those memories, happy memories of her.  I was surprised to find myself feeling that I had been lucky enough to be a part of that rarest of all things:  a life well lived.  Even at the end of her life, we took care of her in her own bed.  I think it was a comfort to her, and it was a deeply meaningful time for me as well.  She was at peace with what was happening, and told me in the middle of one night "I didn't think it would take so long." 

I have just one regret related to my Grandma.  I wish my kids had been given the chance to know her.  I was also struck by the feeling that as someone central to my life and who I am, was leaving this life just as I waited for someone to enter and become central to my life - my son.  My parents have made my grandparents home their own, and my son and daughter love to go to visit them, the small farm and their uncle (actually great-uncle, who along with my Grandpa shaped so many of my memories and sense of self as a boy).

I had left Pocatello and was in an area of patchy cell coverage near the Utah border with Idaho, driving to Salt Lake to catch a flight home to Seattle.  I heard the news of a big quake, and did what the emergency services people hate: I did my part to clog the phone lines and called my wife, who was then just over 7 months pregnant with our son.  At first it wasn't clear how much damage there was, and I was 650 miles away, having trouble getting my call through.  Finally I did, and learned that both mother and son were fine, and the house was fine, too.

Flights into Seattle were canceled that day, so I didn't get in until the next day.  As I drove along the very empty Alaskan Way Viaduct.  I noticed a bit of misalignment on the railings between sections of roadway, and wondered if the bridge was indeed safe to be driving on.  It's easier to be paranoid when you're the only car in sight on a viaduct that everyone says won't survive a major quake.    I guess it wasn't so safe after all, because the  bridge was under inspection at the time, and the engineers noted it too.  Not long after that it was closed until it could be repaired and retrofitted. 

I was glad, but surprised that there hadn't been more damage, after hearing about areas of liquefaction and the collapse of some masonry structures.  I remember a similar feeling on a more personal level:  though I'd been hundreds of miles away, and could do nothing to help Caty if she needed it, things had turned out okay.  I was so glad that she and the baby were unharmed; but I had such a helpless and anxious feeling that it was not until I was at home that I could relax.

I remember being glad that Seattle (and I) got a wake-up call that seems to have caused a lot of people to be much more aware of what could happen - what will happen in Seattle, but hopefully a more prepared and structurally sound version.

Local News | Dangerous ground: Hard lessons learned since the 2001 Nisqually quake | Seattle Times Newspaper

Cool or Fool? Is this a cool tat or a FAIL?

This seems like a better Seattle tattoo, than, say, San Diego.  You generally want cloudy days and layered shirts over this one, am I right?  Take it to the beach, lose the shirts, and well, then you're not even the guy who brought a knife to a gunfight.  You're the guy that brought a tat of a gun...

Funny Tattoo Pictures 2009

Maybe he has a silencer on it?  And then there would be flying.  Can you just hear the conversation with TSA as they lube a glove in the "special screening" area...

"Do you have any weapons, needles, anything I should know about?"

"Ummm..."   Here's the part where the tat begins to cause our friend to question his the time it seemed so cool to use a pictogram to let everybody know he's packin'!  For his sake I hope he's ugly, or the poor guy with the misguided tat might never get out of that special screening area!

I could never be this cool. Even when I carried a triple safety 45 like he seems to, I just never felt comfortable with carrying where this feller carries his "statement".  I'd be nervous all the time that I might have an accidental discharge in a place you really don't even want contemplate.  Then again, we can't see everything, so maybe he's integrated the bits I'd be a-stressin' over - like with the silencer and a couple of spare clips...

Well, enough of this silliness.  Though if any of you know this guy ask him if it is a Colt or a Springfield Arms version.  And hey:  if he chunks up and becomes the unfortunate pear-shape, does this tat just stretch into a


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Sunshine on Discovery Bay

Sunshine on Discovery Bay
As always, the photos we use are either my own, or in the public domain. Please let me know if there are any errors and I'll correct them immediately.