Evangelical Hurricane


Common sense knows lesbians aren’t responsible for Hurricane Harvey. Radio preacher Rick Wiles begs to differ,suggesting Houston is underwater because it “boasted of its LGBT devotion”. Enter my favorite nincompoop Ann Coulter, who tweeted – I don’t believe Hurricane Harvey is God’s punishment for Houston electing a lesbian mayor,” “But that is more credible than ‘climate change.’ ”

Right Wing Watch reported Pastor Kevin Swanson’s caution on hurricane Irma –  the storm path would be altered by God if the Supreme Court quickly made abortion and gay marriage illegal.

Rush Limbaugh doesn’t blame hurricane season on God, however he fingers “liberal media hype” – “There is a desire to advance this climate change agenda, and hurricanes are one of the fastest and best ways to do it,” he argued, claiming that “hurricanes are always forecast to hit major population centers.”

Twenty years ago religious broadcaster Pat Robertson said Orlando should beware of hurricanes for allowing the Gay Days celebration. Robertson said the widespread practice of homosexuality “will bring about terrorist bombs, it’ll bring earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly a meteor.”

Jim Bakker deserves mention, his tenacious resolve to profit from God is staggering. Not for a post Harvey assertion “this flood is from God”, but for saying so while pitching “Tasty Pantry”, a line of dehydrated survival food sold to sustain the faithful during the coming apocalypse.

I shudder to think how many people take natural disaster as Gods wrath. How many buy nonsense of climate change conspiracy or fail to understand the significance of 79 degrees Fahrenheit – when surface water in the Atlantic reaches 79 degrees it evaporates at the rate of 180 tons an hour, water vapor rises forming massive clouds of low pressure. Caught in rotational force, clouds rotate pushing away high atmospheric pressure, feeding on energy of continuous evaporation a hurricane is born of warm ocean water, not God.

Stop this Biblical nonsense.

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Stoic Cassini Dives Into Rings Of Saturn


Without apology to explain fondness for her remarkable existence, suffice to say Cassini’s eminent demise weighs on my mind. On September 15, 2017, just 30 days shy of her 20th launch anniversary, assisted suicide concludes the little mission that could. The magnitude of Cassini will percolate long after she’s gone.

Link to all things Cassini – https://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/

Below – compilation of 21 images taken last week,captured by wide angle camera over 4 minutes as Cassini briefly plunged between Saturn’s innermost ring and planetary body. The rings move up as Cassini flies from sunlit to dark side. At the bottom, a gray band of Saturn’s “C Ring”. Middle, bright strip of the “B Ring”, beyond that a dimmer band of “A Ring”, and then a filament of “F Ring”. Rings appear scrunched due to Cassini’s extreme angle of view.

Link to Cassini’s timeline – https://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/the-journey/timeline/#launch-from-cape-canaveral

Oh Cassini, you served us well. The magnitude of your unassuming contributions will percolate in cosmic wonder long after you’re gone. Watch Cassini: The Wonder of Saturn, suspend belief and wish her well. –

Refreeze The Arctic


Back in February 2017, Arizona State physicist Steven Desch published a detailed report on refreezing the Arctic. In a nutshell, millions of wind driven turbines would pump sea water spray directed at surface ice. In a single year pumped sea spray could add a metre thick layer of Arctic ice. With average Arctic temperature 20 degrees Celsius warmer than average, adding a metre of ice is equivalent to rolling back time 17 years.  All well and good until the math kicks in. From http://www.sciencealert.com/that-crazy-plan-to-refreeze-the-arctic-is-actually-getting-a-trial-run-in-switzerland

“The team calculated that covering just 10 percent of the Arctic would involve erecting millions of pumps, which together would have to spray 7.5 kg per of water (16.5 pounds) every second to achieve 1 extra metre in a year.

“The area of the Arctic Ocean is about 10km2 [3.8 million miles2],” the report stated.

“If the wind-powered pumps are to be distributed across 10 percent of that area, this would necessitate about 10 million wind-powered pumps; if distributed across the entire Arctic, about 100 million would be needed.”

In order to build a fleet of 100 million pumps to save the entire Arctic, you’d need more steel than the US produces in a entire year. ”

Resist dismissive guffaws long enough to ponder this – scientists in Switzerland will spend this summer blowing artificial snow at the Diavolezzafirn glacier, a trial run that if successful will green light a project to preserve Monteratsch, Swiss Alps largest glacier.

“Glacier expert Johannes Oerlemans of Utrecht University in the Netherlands calculated that around 4,000 snow machines could help the Morteratsch glacier not only stop retreating, but actually grow in the coming decades.

The basic idea is that the ice on the glacier is now being exposed to sunlight, but if they could cover the ice in thick, artificial snow, it could reflect the light away before it ever gets to the vulnerable ice layers below.

Oerlemans presented his plan at the recent annual meeting of the European Geosciences Union in Vienna, Austria.

“Looking at previous work showing that natural snow can help glaciers grow, he concluded that the glacier could regain up to 800 metres of length within 20 years if it had a covering,” Andy Coghlan reports for New Scientist.

“He worked out that just a few centimetres of artificial snow blown onto a 0.5-square-kilometre plateau high up the glacier each summer could be enough to protect the ice beneath.”

Of course, the plan isn’t as colossal as the Arctic one, but it’s still huge, and would require a lot of funding, but Oerlemans and his team are quietly confident.

For the past decade, the Diavolezzafirn glacier has been having artificial snow added to it over the winter months to improve the ski season. Locals in the area have seen as this extra snow helped the small glacier grow by up to 8 metres in the past 10 years, and they actually raised the US$100,000 needed to launch the trial run this summer.

If the trial successfully maintains the test section at the Diavolezzafirn glacier’s foot through the summer months – the artificial snow usually melts down, only to be rebuilt for the return of the ski season later in the year – the team will need millions of euros to launch the actual Morteratsch rescue plan.

But the result could be revolutionary – it would be the first large-scale attempt to do something like this anywhere in the world.” – http://www.sciencealert.com/that-crazy-plan-to-refreeze-the-arctic-is-actually-getting-a-trial-run-in-switzerland

 

 

April 11, 2017 Full Pink Moon


Roughly every twenty nine and a half days, a full moon occurs when sunlight fully illuminates Earth facing side of the Moon. Phases of the Moon are a matter of perspective, perceptible refracted light in relation to lunar orbit define phases of the Moon. We see a full moon when it orbits on the exact opposite side of Earth from the Sun.

Depending on where you live the first full northern hemisphere spring, southern hemisphere fall moon falls on April 11, 2017. Native American  tribes dubbed spring’s first full moon the Pink Moon, named for wild pink ground phlox, the first bloom of spring. Also known as the Flower, Sprouting Grass, Egg and Fish Moon, spring’s first full Pink Moon is believed to have originated on America’s east coast with native Algonquin tribes.

http://fullmoonphases.com/pink-moon/

http://www.space.com/36040-april-full-moon.html?utm_source=sp-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20170410-sdc

If you happen to fall under pink moonlight, ponder long ago and once upon a time. Gaze into the night, embrace prickles of instinctive wisdom with reverence for people who once called spring’s first full moon pink.Next, listen to Nick Drake’s Pink Moon….

 

What’s So Great About Carl Sagan?


The other day I was asked “what’s so great about Carl Sagan?” Caught off guard, indecipherable splutters formed the sentence “how much time do you have?”, followed immediately by “I’m sorry, that was rude. What do you know about Sagan?” The response, “he had a TV show about space, Cosmic or something like that”, landed with a thud. Answering “yes he narrated a show called Cosmos”, gave me time to think.

Throughout the brief exchange continuous loops of “what’s so great” played in my head. Feeling disinclined to spew snippets of Sagan’s accomplishments forced me to admit I was annoyed. I heard myself say “Google Carl Sagan’s biography if you want to know the magnitude of his influence, listen to him if you need to know why I consider him a great man”

 

The Known Universe And Other Cosmic Visualizations To Ponder


Ponder The Known Universe, a short film by the American Natural History Museum. Next – allow Hubble to hijack senses. Follow with reverence demanded by solar symphonies. Finally – drift softly back to Earth wrapped in the arms of Aurora.