Sunday, December 31, 2017

Global Warming DOES Cause Temperature Extremes (Despite Uneducated Tweets)

As a meteorologist, I weep for today's generation with a king tweeter who has no concept of science and especially that global warming causes extreme temperature swings. That's been documented for decades by scientists around the world. Sadly, he feeds to his uneducated base who continue to believe anything.

FACT: Changes in extreme weather and climate events, such as heat waves, Arctic outbreaks and droughts, are the primary way that most people experience climate change. Read more below the uneducated tweet.  The full report of the National Climate Assessment provides an in-depth look at climate change impacts on the U.S. It details the multitude of ways climate change is already affecting and will increasingly affect the lives of Americans.The link is below.

Here's the Tweet that was sent out on Dec. 28 as the east coast of the U.S. was experiencing and Arctic Outbreak.

FACTS ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE:
As the world has warmed, that warming has triggered many other changes to the Earth’s climate. Changes in extreme weather and climate events, such as heat waves and droughts, are the primary way that most people experience climate change. Human-induced climate change has already increased the number and strength of some of these extreme events. Over the last 50 years, much of the U.S. has seen increases in prolonged periods of excessively high temperatures, he ownpours, and in some regions, severe floods and droughts. 
LINK TO THE NATIONAL CLIMATE ASSESSMENT REPORT: https://nca2014.globalchange.gov/report

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Funny VIdeo: Tyler Plays with an Oatmeal Box!

Our 7 year old black and tan Dachshund Tyler loves treats and can find pleasure in anything to entertain him (if only people would be like that). So, after baking oatmeal cookies over the holidays, I decided to put a couple of dog treats in the tubular Quaker Oats carton, and gave it to Tyler. He enjoyed playing with it for a while, trying to get the treats out of it. He finally tore open the top and when he put his head inside he got stuck!  -He backed up trying to get it off, and I immediately put the camera down and pulled it off his head... but it was funny!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9p1BDsgBPo






Friday, December 29, 2017

This TV Meteorologist Has Absolutely Had It With The Flat-Earth Movement

Every day, NASA gets harassed with messages and emails by uneducated people who think the Earth is flat. Seriously.

WHAT IS A FLAT EARTHER? Modern flat Earth societies consist of individuals who promote the idea that the Earth is flat rather than an oblate spheroid. Such groups date from the middle of the 20th century, although some adherents are serious and some are not.

THE BEST, EDUCATED RESPONSE, EVER! This month a brilliant meteorologist in Maine dispelled all of these "Flat Earther's" ridiculous theories in a five minute video. Like Conspiracy theorists, Flat Earthers are simply uneducated in science, physics, mathematics, history and astronomy.

TV Meteorologist Keith Carson has a simple challenge for those who think the Earth is flat. Carson, who works for NBC affiliates WCSH and WLBZ in Maine, spent nearly five minutes flattening the movement’s arguments. And if that wasn’t enough to convince them, he offered a simple challenge: “Find the edge of the Earth, lean backwards and prove to me that gravity is just another big lie.”

VIDEO:




Thursday, December 28, 2017

In the News: Coal Industry Dying as World Bank and JHU Pull Back

train cars of coal
  If you didn't know, and you live in Kentucky, West Virginia or other coal-oriented states, major investors in coal are now backing out of their investments, leaving the U.S. coal industry reeling.   
  During the week of Dec. 11, 2017 the World Bank and Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore are both dropping coal in the next couple of years.  Voters in the U.S. Coal Country thought that if they voted for Donald Trump who promised to resurrect their jobs, but the reality is that it isn't happening. The Coal Miners and U.S. Coal Industry were duped, and should have taken the job retraining offered by the candidate they didn't elect.

JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY STOPPING COAL INVESTMENTS

Johns Hopkins University will stop buying stocks and bonds of companies that produce coal for electric as a major part of their business.  The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, plans to stop investing in thermal coal because of concerns over the environmental and public health effects of climate change.Johns Hopkins’ board of trustees voted Friday to direct the university to stop buying stocks and bonds of companies that focus on producing coal for electric power.
  The university in Baltimore says it's only the third time in Johns Hopkins' history that the board has barred a particular type of investment because of broad social concerns. In the 1980s, Johns Hopkins divested from companies that did business in the then-apartheid state of South Africa. In 1991, the board ended all direct investment in tobacco company stocks and bonds.
PRESS RELEASE: https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/maryland/articles/2017-12-12/johns-hopkins-university-backing-off-of-coal



WORLD BANK PULLING AWAY FROM COAL
Paris, 12 December, 2017 - At the One Planet Summit convened by President Emmanuel Macron of France, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, the World Bank Group made a number of new announcements in line with its ongoing support to developing countries for the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement’s goals.

Getting Away from Coal
Canada and the World Bank will work together to accelerate the energy transition in developing countries and, together with the International Trade Union Confederation, will provide analysis to support efforts towards a just transition away from coal.

Oil and gas
As a global multilateral development institution, the World Bank Group is continuing to transform its own operations in recognition of a rapidly changing world.  To align its support to countries to meet their Paris goals: The World Bank Group will no longer finance upstream oil and gas, after 2019.

DOCUMENT:  http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2017/12/12/world-bank-group-announcements-at-one-planet-summit?CID=ECR_TT_worldbank_EN_EXT_OnePlanet

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Good Deeds: 2 Police Officers Brought Rescue Puppy from Virginia to Maine

the rescue pup!
 Police are amazing. They are always there to help out, and before christmas, police from Bangor, Maine went above and beyond the call of duty.  In short, a Mainer asked police to bring home her rescue puppy from Virginia. And they said yes.
 
The Bangor Police Department’s Facebook page is kind of famous.
Managed by Lt. Tim Cotton, the page has more than 250,000 likes, far exceeding the city’s population of roughly 33,000.
Another one of Cotton’s posts went viral Thursday morning. This time, he explained that two Bangor officers have agreed to drive a rescue Border Collie puppy from Virginia to Maine for a Waldoboro woman who couldn’t make the trip herself.
The woman messaged Cotton, who relayed her request to the officers. The dog is her Christmas present, Cotton wrote, and the officers were already heading to Virginia’s Arlington National Cemetery as part of the Wreaths Across America project. As Cotton described:
The conversation went like this-
TC: “Can you two bring a puppy back from Virginia after your visit to Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday? I am working on a Christmas miracle.”
Officer Jordan Perry: “Yes, let me check with Danny” (Hollers to Danny) “The Lieutenant wants to know if we can pick up a puppy in Virginia and deliver it to Maine.”
The 2 officers (forefront) who brought the rescue dog back to Maine
Officer Danny Place: “Of course.”
Read Cotton’s posts below, and check out the department’s Facebook page for updates.
 
Bangor Maine Police Department
on Thursday
   I have told all of you that Mainers don't mind asking for a favor. We borrow things, ask for rides, stop into people's homes exactly at the dinner hour, and we usually carry jumper-cables to help start other people's cars in the winter.It's real, and there are plenty of places left in America which are exactly like this (shameless plug for being neighborly).
    The lady from Waldoboro, Maine was an avid reader of our page, wrote a very convincing request, and found a sucker who likes all puppies.
She wins.
     Chris needs her rescue Border Collie puppy transported from Virginia to Maine. She does not have the ability to drive to Virginia right now, needs to get the puppy to Maine, and it's her Christmas present.
    Oddly, Christmas miracles are a specialty of the Bangor Police Department's marginally famous Facebook page.
     It is not lost on this guy that we just happen to have two of our probationary elves on a mission to Arlington National Cemetery on the Wreaths Across America - Official Page convoy.
You might see where this is going.
   Enter, Tessa. 14 weeks old, needing a ride to Maine (see photo).
As a poorly dressed, unpolished, and grammatically challenged spokesman for the state, I need to do my part to prove that talking about being neighborly and helpful must be backed up by being neighborly and helpful.
I called the boys on the convoy, somewhere in New Jersey.
The conversation went like this-
The rescued pup
TC: "Can you two bring a puppy back from Virginia after your visit to Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday? I am working on a Christmas miracle."
Officer Jordan Perry: "Yes, let me check with Danny" (Hollers to Danny) "The Lieutenant wants to know if we can pick up a puppy in Virginia and deliver it to Maine."
Officer Danny Place: "Of course."
Officer Jordan Perry: "LT, we can do it. You should also know that Rud (85 year old Maine Troop Greeter from Bangor) doesn't have a ride home to Maine, so we are bringing him as well."
TC: "Sounds good, I will work out the logistics."
Officer Jordan Perry: "Sounds good, this is going to be awesome!"
TC: "The puppy will need to stop to pee and poop!"
Officer Jordan Perry: "That's cool, so do we!"
TC: "Jordan, I figured that part out."
Officer Jordan Perry: "And that's why you are a lieutenant."
And so begins our Christmas Miracle puppy delivery business.
You might want to stay tuned for this.
Keep your hand's to yourself, leave other people's things alone, and be kind to one another.
It's Christmas, do someone else a favor this season.
Have a great Thursday!

(This is the part where you need to share (the Bangor Police Facebook) page and get a couple of your friends to LIKE or FOLLOW our marginally famous attempt and kindness. We are shooting for a quarter million followers by January 2018. Thank you : https://www.facebook.com/bangormainepolice/)
TC

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Fascinating Book: Mysteries and Miracles of New Mexico by Jack Kutz

Tom took a trip out to New Mexico early in December to help our friends do some electrical and painting in their new house. While he was there, he picked up a couple of books for me. I just finished the fascinating collection of stories in "Mysteries and miracles of New Mexico" by Jack Kutz.
   The book is filled with many weird stories from UFO crash landings in the 1940s and 1950s through today, to Billy the Kid's escape from the grave (you'll believe that he did survive Pat Garrett, because Pat may have shot someone else and claimed it was the kid).
   One of the most fascinating stories in the book is about the Anasazi tribe who vanished! They were quite learned from exact measurements to knowing seasons, to constructing homes without tools, and more. One big mystery is that archaeologists can't figure out where they buried their dead or what they did with them!  The chapter is fascinating and makes you want to read more.
   There's also stories about Ambushes in Dog Canyon, odd miracles in Santa Fe, The tragic story of the Apache Kid, and even stories of Witches who rode fireballs!  
 At the end of each chapter they provide directions how to get to each site mentioned in the stories.
   Really a cool book, even if you don't live in New Mexico, it will inspire you to visit.

Watched DVD: Batman Return of the Caped Crusaders

In 2016, before Adam West passed, he (reprising his role as Batman,  Burt Ward (reprising his role as
Robin) and Julie Newmar (as Catwoman) all voiced over a new animated 75 minute movie called "Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders." As a fan of the Batman 66-68 live action TV series I (Rob) had to buy this and watch it!
- I will say that the animations are well done, and the movie features the appearance of the villains Catwoman, Joker, Penguin and Riddler as they appeared on the show. There's even Alfred and Aunt Harriet, Commissioner Gordon and Chief O'Hara. The voice casting was brilliant as all of the actors who played the villains (other than Catwoman) have passed away, and the actors who portrayed them sounded very much like the original TV actors.
   The story was 78 minutes, and could have been 40 minutes long... the movie dragged to me. There were some good one liners, and the writers really made extra effort to make it campy like the 60s TV show, citing things like using a crosswalk as a good crimefighter to set examples.
   It's worth watching and renting, but I don't think I'll watch it again. - Rob

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Fun at our house

Merry Christmas from Rob and Tom
Merry Christmas from our house to yours. The holidays are about spending time with those you love, family or friends, and being thankful for what we have. It's also about being kind to everyone - but that's something we should do every day. 
  Here are some of our pictures from today. Hope your day is wonderful. Rob and Tom

Dolly (moving her head) and Tyler


Franklin!

opening presents

The kids playing with toys

Celebrating the day

Opening gifts with the kids

Dinner out!

Tom is up to something!

dinner with Bob and Mom

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from us to you


Sunday, December 24, 2017

Did you Know? 2017 additions to the National Film Registry

Superman (1978) finally made the registry!
If you missed it earlier this month, there were 28 films that were added to the 2017 National Film
Registry. Of course, I (Rob) think it's about time Superman (1978) with Christopher Reeve made it! 
 
Below is the full list of films newly named to the registry, in alphabetical order:
I've highlighted the ones we liked in BLUE (one or the other of us, or both of us).  
The ones we didn't care for are in RED, and the ones we didn't see are in BLACK

Ace in the Hole (aka Big Carnival) (1951)
Boulevard Nights (1979)
Die Hard (1988)
Dumbo (1941)
Field of Dreams (1989)
4 Little Girls (1997)
Fuentes Family Home Movies Collection (1920s and 1930s)
Gentleman’s Agreement (1947)
The Goonies (1985)
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)
He Who Gets Slapped (1924)
Interior New York Subway, 14th Street to 42nd Street (1905)
La Bamba (1987)
Lives of Performers (1972)
Memento (2000)
Only Angels Have Wings (1939)
The Sinking of the Lusitania (1918)
Spartacus (1960)
Superman (1978)
Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser (1988)
Time and Dreams (1976)
Titanic (1997)
To Sleep with Anger (1990)
Wanda (1971)
With the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in Spain (1937)

"Superman"
This was no campy comic strip hero in a kids' TV show, ducking into phone booths to change into his flying costume. Director Richard Donner's epic origin story of "Superman" (1978) stretched across the galaxy, from the dying planet Krypton (where an infant escapes a cataclysmic end in a crystalline spaceship) to Midwest America on Earth, where the baby Kal-El grows up to become the guardian of his adopted home. As both Superman and as his undercover identity, mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent, Christopher Reeve made the magic believable. So do the Oscar-wining special effects ("You will believe a man can fly!" the ads announced, truthfully for once) and John Williams' buoyant score, one of his very best. Add a stellar cast, including Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Margot Kidder, Ned Beatty and Valerie Perrine, and you have the superhero movie to which all others aspire.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Excellent Film 5 of 5 Stars: The Man Who Invented Christmas!

Last weekend we decided to delve into the holidays and opted to see the movie "The Man Who Invented Christmas."  It's about how author Charles Dickens came to write "A Christmas Carol" with Scrooge, the ghosts, and cast of characters.  
   We didn't know what to expect, and it was BRILLIANT!  The way the director showed the characters in Dickens' mind were fantastic. I (Rob) got choked up about 4 times during the movie, and can't wait to see it again.  In fact, Tom and I give it 5 out of 5 Stars. 
  Once this comes out on DVD, we plan to buy it and watch it annually during the holidays. Truly the best Christmas movie we've seen in a long time. GO SEE IT!!
  NOTE FOR DOWNTON ABBEY FANS - Dan Stevens, who played the blonde haired Matthew, Mary's husband who was killed in a car accident.

SYNOPSIS:  In 1843 London, author Charles Dickens finds himself in financial trouble after writing three unsuccessful novels in a row. Desperate for a hit, Dickens relies on real-life inspiration and his vivid imagination to bring Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim and other classic characters to life in "A Christmas Carol," forever changing the holiday season into the celebration known today. 
TRAILER: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_man_who_invented_christmas/

New Findings: Explaining Extreme Events from a Climate Perspective

A special report in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS)  was just published with assessments of how human-caused climate change may have affected the strength and likelihood of individual extreme events (it covers 2015 and 2016). 
WHAT A WARMING WORLD DOES: Global warming causes temperature extremes. Some places will see extreme cold outbreaks while others experience record heat, flooding, drought, etc. 
NO DOUBT - As a meteorologist, I will tell you there is NO DOUBT that man-made pollution has exacerbated climate change. NASA, NOAA and agencies around the world have seen it, recorded it, confirmed it. Watch the NASA animation that shows Arctic sea ice shrinking since 1979.
Caption: A NASA visualization of the annual minimum Arctic sea ice from 1979 to 2016 with a graph overlay.  Credit: NASA   Source: https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4573

ABOUT THE STUDY
This sixth edition of BAMS explains extreme events of the previous year (2016) from a climate perspective. It is the first of these reports to find that some extreme events were not possible in a preindustrial climate. (In other words, man-made pollution has helped trigger them).   

SOME RECORD EVENTS
The events included the 2016 record global heat, the heat across Asia, as well as a marine heat wave off the coast of Alaska.

NOT UNEXPECTED IN A WARMING WORLD
While these results are novel, they were not unexpected. Climate attribution scientists have been predicting that eventually the influence of human-caused climate change would become sufficiently strong as to push events beyond the bounds of natural variability alone. It was also predicted that we would first observe this phenomenon for heat events where the climate change influence is most pronounced. Additional retrospective analysis will reveal if, in fact, these are the first events of their kind or were simply some of the first to be discovered.

SOME SPECIFIC EVENTS (from the report):
1) SEVERE FROSTS IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA - Human influence may have enhanced the circulation pattern that drives cold outbreaks and frost risk over southwest Western Australia in September 2016, but larger thermodynamic changes may have still made these events less likely. The wheat belt of southwest Western Australia (SWWA) experienced several severe frosts just before harvest in September 2016, leading to a loss

of one million tonnes of grain crops

2) THE RECORD HOT TEMPERATURES OF APRIL 2016 IN THAILAND would not have occurred without the influence of both anthropogenic (manmade pollution) forcings and El Niño, which also increased the likelihood of low rainfall.  April  heat  reached unprecedented levels. Drought that affected 41 Thai provinces, had

devastating effects on major crops, such as rice and sugar cane, and incurred a total loss in the agricultural production of about half a billion U.S. dollars



3) THE EXTREME 2015/16 EL NIÑO

Record warm central equatorial Pacific Ocean temperatures during the 2015/16 El Niño appear to partly reflect an anthropogenically forced (man-made pollution)  trend. Whether they reflect changes in El Niño variability remains uncertain.


Of course, these are just a few examples... there are many more. 
CHECK OUT NASA's CLIMATE WEBPAGE: https://climate.nasa.gov/

Friday, December 22, 2017

News You Don't Hear: Another human foot washes ashore in Canada. That makes 13.

We're here to help give you a "leg up" on news you may not hear.


Left leg and foot still wearing a white sock and black shoe.
.
If you live in British Columbia and walk the beaches, keep an eye out for feet. It seems that in the last decade there have been 13 different disembodied feet found. Ewww. A New York Times story indicates none of the remains were a result of foul play... and may have been unfortunate hikers or people doing other things that led to their death. Regardless, if your dog walks the beach, pay attention to what they pick up!

Another human foot washes ashore in Canada. That makes 13
By Matthew Haag, New York Times News Service
December 12, 2017

The exceptionally high tides this time of the year off British Columbia can turn the rocky western coast of Vancouver Island into a graveyard. Bones from gray whales, sea lions and killer whales wash ashore, piling on the beach along fallen evergreens.

But on Thursday morning, Taz, a 6-year-old Rottweiler, sensed something different about a bone tangled in a bed of kelp. Taz darted away from her owner, Mike Johns, to inspect it, sniffing a piece that jutted out on a beach in the hamlet of Jordan River.

Her instincts were right. Johns followed behind her and pushed away the kelp, revealing his dog’s find: a tibia and fibula attached to a left human foot with a white ankle sock in a black running shoe.

In any other part of the world, a sneaker with a human foot washing ashore might be a terrifying discovery, enough to frighten residents and stir fears of a gruesome murder or a serial killer on the loose. But not in British Columbia, where these discoveries have become so common that they are tracked. It was the 13th foot to wash ashore since 2007.

“It’s just a freak thing that it happened to be here,” said Johns, 56, who lives in Jordan River, a surfer’s village about 70 miles southwest of Vancouver, Canada.

Johns said he called the police and then used a stick to pick up what remained of the leg, carried it back to his property and locked it in his greenhouse. He worried that if it remained on the beach, it would have washed back into the ocean or attracted the bear hanging around town or an eagle from the nearby nest.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police retrieved the remains on Friday, the authorities said, and they are being inspected by the Coroners Service of British Columbia. “We’ll try to get a DNA sample,” said Andy Watson, a spokesman for the service.

During winter months, British Columbia experiences what are known as “king tides,” unusually high tides that can cause coastal flooding. The tides, along with strong currents and the fact that shoes are buoyant, mean that the remains could belong to someone as far north as Alaska or as far south as Oregon, Watson said.
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“Our search won’t stay in Canada,” he said.

Watson said it was too soon to determine how the person died.

Since the first severed foot was discovered in August 2007, the cases have caught the attention and imagination of Canadians across the country. By July 2008, five feet had been retrieved in the Strait of Georgia, part of the Pacific Ocean between Vancouver and Washington state.

The 12th foot was discovered in February 2016, a right foot in a black and blue New Balance sneaker that was found about 20 miles west of last Thursday’s discovery. (One foot discovered in 2008 turned out to be a hoax.)  The authorities have identified eight of the 12 feet as belonging to six people, and none died by foul play.

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next