The illions Of Carl Sagan


In 1980 Carl Sagan took humanity to the Cosmos. In honour of Sagan’s  dedication to bring wonder and thought provoking insight to the masses – a clip for those who share my regard for one of the greatest minds in history.  Ponder Millions, Billions and Trillions, all the illions of Cosmos taken in order.

Still beaming from Cosmos illions, I can’t resist offering – We Humans Are Capable of Greatness…

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Asperitas


For the first time in over 50 years, skies are officially cloudier. This year maestros of meteorologic whimsy, conduits of foreboding trepidation and petticoats of nature’s fancy were asked to make room for Asperitas at the head table. Gavin Pretor-Pinney, founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society inducted Asperitas into the International Cloud Atlas hall of fame. A monumental achievement in science clouded by genre, subsection, supplementary features and special circumstance.

https://cloudatlas.wmo.int/clouds-supplementary-features-asperitas.html

Gavin Pretor-Pinney defined Asperitas as –

… localized waves in the cloud base, either smooth or dappled with smaller features, sometimes descending into sharp points, as if viewing a roughened sea surface from below. Varying levels of illumination and thickness of cloud can lead to dramatic visual effects.

An asperitas formation over Ballstad, Vestvagoy, Lofoten islands, north of Norway.

If by chance you happen upon undulating clouds that resemble rough seas if viewed from below – shout a hearty welcome to Asperitas, the first cloud formation recognized in half a century.

Romulus Augustus


Romulus Augustus appeared on my Facebook page yesterday. Written by Nigel Best, a fellow Canadian who echoes my sentiments –

When a dog has fleas, a powder helps. worms? it’s given medicine.

When the dog has cancer, it’s only right that the animal is put to sleep.

So it should be with Romulus Augustus, such is the name of the dog.

Romulus is the mastiff American republicans adopted a couple of years ago. Despite some fears about his temperament and his propensity to shift in an instant from licking to snarling, the party took him in, gave him a few dog whisperers, and put him out on show.

“somehow, he manages to grab us all in a certain way, despite a certain revulsion at the slobbering jowls,” gushed one junior senator at Romulus’ inaugural event just 12 months ago.

Excess salivating aside, the party membership in America needs to accept what the rest of us could already discern on that cold day, the dog looked very sick.

Republicans had to have known something may be going on when their mastiff started pissing on the bed. with some hindsight, perhaps the congress should have done something earlier, but when one has a pet, it’s sometimes hard to accept this day will arrive, especially not this quickly.

By mid-year, it was a little more difficult to afford or reconcile Romulus’ sneaking into offices and pissing on senators’ heads as they attempted to sleep on office sofas between late-night committee sessions.

“all i needed was him to quieten down and curl up in my lap, but he just could not, or would not,” said a Utah congressman. “yet, it still seemed possible he would take a turn for the better.”

It’s hard to hear that something one has coddled is riddled with inoperable tumors, though it probably helps to understand some of the animal’s most outlandish and erratic behaviors stemmed from a systemic sickness.

It must have been difficult to shake off questions about his behavior, even as they were being mocked and ridiculed.

Was that perhaps because some were in horror at the appearance of being aloof to his plight? Now that there’s no disguising this sickness, will there be any pity for the appearance of being almost inhumane?

It should not have come to this, but look, Romulus is barely able to breathe. he can barely walk. having gone almost blind, like any creature in a similar situation, he is afraid. that accounts for his bared teeth and attempts to bite at any shadow that flits across his dimming pupils.

It is cruel to keep the sick animal on a life-support system. at the same time he is taxing your well-being, putting your health at risk with the constant not knowing what is next.

It’s never easy letting go. having to have done it before, dog owners will tell you, whisper gently into Romulus’ ears as the sharp needle is administered.

You will detect in his final moments that this is exactly what he has been wanting from you. those early-morning yelps of desperation that would rouse you daily from your slumber, those were his appeals for this moment.

You will know he will be thanking you as the drug helps him slip into oblivion.

So, in the sake of empathy, now is the moment to say goodbye to Romulus Augustus. as the saying goes, every dog has its day.

Top 11 Drooling And Slobbering Dogs Neapolitan Mastiff

 

18 Minutes


Today my world wears a badge embossed with “18 minutes”, a private honour reserved for individuals who share my profession. 18 minutes is the stuff of legend, an accomplishment of mythic proportion meaningless to all but a team of elite lunatics brave enough to prove it can be done.

Image result for 18 minutes

So why does 18 minutes have me beaming with pride? Last night with two teams of five servers we served 180 guests the main course of a plated dinner in 18 minutes. I’m talking flawless execution, no screw-ups or dead plates returned to the kitchen for “they ordered beef not salmon”. It was 18 minutes of perfection, feathers in the cap of our existence, testament to the power of professional satisfaction. If there were a catering Olympics, my team would be standing on a podium collecting a gold medal. 18 minutes is why I get out of bed in the morning.

 

December 3, 2017 Supermoon


Over thirty years ago astrologer Richard Nolle coined the term Supermoon, he defined it as –

… a new or full moon which occurs with the moon at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit.

Once each month the Moon is full (opposite Earth from the Sun), once a month new (between Earth and the Sun). The closest point of orbit is called perigee, farthest point, apogee. By definition Supermoon occurs at perigee, this happens 4 – 6 times a year. All perigee moons are Supermoons, not all Supermoons are full moons. On December 3 the first and only full supermoon of 2017 happens worldwide at 15:47 UTC. (Translate to your time zone at – http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/universal-time )

Image result for dec 3 2017 supermoon

December’s full moon is known as the long night or wolf moon in native American folklore. Ponder all things moon courtesy Eartsky astronomy essentials at – http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/full-moon-names

Poor weather needn’t squelch inclination to howl at the super wolf moon. Linked below, the Virtual Telescope Project in Rome, access to remote robotic telescopes and live streaming of astronomical events.

https://www.virtualtelescope.eu/2017/11/02/supermoon-2017-largest-full-moon-year-online-observation-3-dec-2017/

But You Know What, I Like You


By rough estimates Donald Trump has referred to Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas” 26 times, the 27th came this week. Trump stood in the Oval Office with 3 veteran WWII Navajo Code Talkers, it was supposed to be a ceremony honouring their military service. The pride of right wing America connected colouring book dots, so pleased with himself for equating Native American veterans with Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren. Simultaneously creaming his pants while patting himself on the back, Trump simpered –

“You were here long before any of us were here,” Trump said, standing beneath a portrait of former President Andrew Jackson. “Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas.”

Turning to the veterans, Trump said “but do you know what? I like you.”

U.S. President Donald Trump reacts as he honours Navajo Code Talkers for their contributions during World War Two at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 27, 2017.

WTF! “But do you know what? I like you”. That’s how a world leader honours veterans? Never mind the peculiar photo-op staging, the jury still deliberates whether Trump thought it hysterical or was oblivious to parading Navajo veterans in front of an Andrew Jackson portrait. (Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act of 1830, a nasty piece of legislation intended to strip native Americans of land rights) But hey, Trump “likes” these veterans, unlike his wrath for Elizabeth Warren, the outspoken Democrat Senator who admittedly listed herself a minority of native American descent in the Association of American Law Schools directory – right wing media lost their minds. How dare she advance her career by claiming so much as a snippet of minority blood!

All the quibbling in the world can’t justify Donald Trump calling Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas”. Only the vilest of human beings would do so in a formal ceremony honouring war heroes. White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied Pocahontas a racial slur, insisting the public focus on Trump’s “intent” rather than his words. “Intent” to what? Are we supposed to praise President Putz for graciously liking some native Americans, drink White House Kool-Aid spiked with mind numbing froth of a madman?

Deplorable ignorance runs in the family. Ever so reasoned Eric Trump tweeted – “The irony of an ABC reporter (whose parent company Disney has profited nearly half a billion dollars on the movie ‘Pocahontas’) inferring that the name is ‘offensive, is truly staggering.” Stop, I can’t take it!

Forget Russia, I want to know why Americans aren’t marching on Washington in protest of Trump’s racist conduct. He promised to drain the swamp, all he’s done is create a quagmire of disparaging hypocrisy. Please America, stop clucking from the comforts of home long enough to see what’s happening.