Sarah Jane maintains the Dr Who tradition of companions making dubious fashion choices.
I was first amused and then subsequently puzzled by the copyright notice under the picture. This is, after all, a publicity still created with the intention that it would be copied and published by other people.
At any rate, I'm assuming that at this point in the game I'm a) too small a fry a b) people distributing publicity images on the Internet is too common a thing for the BBC to come after me, but I suppose we shall see.
Today, and every Saturday Earth Science Picture of the Day invites you to rediscover favorites from the past. Saturday posts feature an EPOD that was chosen by viewers like you in our monthly Viewers' Choice polls. Join us as we look back at these intriguing and captivating images.
The photo above shows a jaunty rainbow stretching over a cornfield near Piberbach, Austria. My shadow clearly shows the direction of the antisolar point -- the only direction where rainbows can be observed. Note that the fainter secondary bow is also visible (at left). This bow is caused by two internal reflection of sunlight in raindrops. Since some light is lost with each additional reflection, secondary bows are only 43 percent as bright as the primary bow. Photo taken on July 21, 2011.
Photo Details: Canon EOS 550D camera; ISO 200; Peleng 8mm fisheye lens; f/8; aperture mode, corrected by -1 stop, resulting in 1/60 sec. exposure.
the important proportions bits:
2 medium onions
6 cloves of garlic (pressure-cooked garlic is almost imperceptible -- next time i'll put the whole head in)
slices of raw ginger
2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
2 cups diced celery and carrot
2 cups medium-grain brown rice (nishiki brand)
3 cups liquid (i used vegetable broth)
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
black pepper, thyme, 2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
sautee the onions with the garlic and ginger in the instant pot.
deglaze the pan with the broth, and add everything but the chicken and stir.
put the chicken on top, and pressure cook (manual / high) for 25m. fast-release.
next time I think I'd add a little sushi vinegar or something, it wanted some acidity. definitely a recipe that you could flavor in all sorts of ways, but the chicken was perfectly cooked and so was the rice, so i'll keep the liquid ratio.
It happens tomorrow (Saturday, March 25) from 8:30pm to 9:30pm in your local timezone. All you have to do is turn out your lights for that hour.
Please join the millions of people around the world doing this, if you can swing it.
Locals: the Cambridge Community Development Department is asking folks to participate, and will be giving out hot chocolate at the main library branch during Earth Hour to celebrate.
* There seems to be an understanding that candles, phosphorescence, and fireworks are okay? So this is Reform Earth Hour? Presumably Conservative Earth Hour is where you can have a candle or glow-stick, but only if it was lit before Earth Hour started, and an Orthodox Earth Hour where you will damn well sit there in the dark.
Oh, and for those who don't get the title of this post, the string to search is "how many Jewish mothers does it take to change a lightbulb?"
Let the finger-pointing commence!
Shown above is a beautiful springtime view of Osorno Volcano as seen from Lake Todos los Santos in the Los Lagos Region of Chile. Though quiescent for over a century, Osorno erupted at least 11 times between 1575 and 1869.The symmetrical shape and snowcapped summit (8,701 ft or 2,652 m) of this stratovolcano is renown in Chile as a geographic symbol. It's also known for its resemblance to Mount Fuji, Japan.
As a result of its maritime (marine west coast) climate, Osorno's flanks receive abundant snowfall during the colder months. Glaciers cover its upper slopes -- above approximately 5,900 ft (1,800 m). Photo taken on November 21, 2016.
Photo Details: Camera Maker: Apple; Camera Model: iPhone 7; Focal Length: 3.99mm (35mm equivalent: 72mm); Digital Zoom: 2.287x; Aperture: ƒ/1.8; Exposure Time: 0.0002 s (1/4808);
ISO equiv: 20.
You know what would be awesome, Medium Game, for the Blue Nation and Obamacare? If outraged Repealists started flipping out on Replacists on Twitter, accusing anybody who espouses Replacism of being a RINO/libtard/Democratic plant/etc and attacking them for being a lazy slob who mooches off the government like those damned Democrats.Today, on CNN, emphasis mine:
Come the day that Republicans expect to be personally attacked by fellow Republicans for expressing any wish for government assistance in securing health insurance, a whole bunch of no-longer-insured Republicans will quietly cross the aisle.
I don't know that the Repealists have started doing this for us. Here's hoping.
The tug-of-war between the factions angered some other Republicans who are not part of either faction and resent their influence, like Alabama Rep. Bradley Byrne.Now we just need Red Twitter to run with it. Oh please oh please oh please.
But Byrne predicted that when the bill finally came to the floor, political reality would kick in.
"If you are a Republican you have one choice. You're either going to vote with Donald Trump to repeal and replace Obamacare or you're going to vote with Nancy Pelosi to defeat the only bill that will repeal and replace Obamacare. And if you're a Republican, that's a pretty simple choice."
As you may know, about 2-3 weeks ago the Dreamhack server died. Since then, mark and I have been working on getting its replacement going, and updating a few things.
It should be ready to go in a few days, and I wanted to make a few notes for when it comes back up:
- Firstly and most importantly, you'll need to re-apply for a Dreamhack if you want one, and you'll be set up as if you were a new user. Any changes that you pushed to GitHub will be available, but any other data you may have had will be gone - apologies for that.
- I do still have email addresses for everybody who had an account when the server went down, and I'll send out a one-time email to everybody when the server is up to point them to this post. After that, the only people who will receive emails about Dreamhacks will be those who have applied for one.
- The address you need to use to log into the server via SSH will be different from the Web address domain. The email you receive when applying for a Dreamhack will state this clearly.
- The new server will have an increased quota. The earlier quota of 500MiB was enough at first, but since then the space taken by a base install of Dreamwidth has risen to 270MiB. In light of this, I've raised the quota to 750MiB.
- Each user will automatically get a test database called "test_dreamhack_<user>", accessible using the same database user and password as the main database. You'll still need to configure it properly yourself for now, but the installer will at least copy the required files to $LJHOME/ext/local/t for you to configure. Later on I'm hoping that it'll be possible to have it configured automatically.
- The official email address to contact me has changed - you should now use my Dreamwidth email address (sophie at dreamwidth dot org). Automated emails will come from this address, so if you had the previous email whitelisted you may want to whitelist this new one instead.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment! I'll answer any questions you might have.
A key element of the negotiations between the Freedom Caucus and the White House revolves around the so-called Essential Health Benefits. The White House is working to possibly include the repeal of Obamacare requirements that certain benefits -- such as mental health coverage, drug addiction coverage and maternity care -- be required in insurance plans. [CNN.com one hour ago]
I still have it! \o/
That's it. That's the straight-up legalization of junk insurance, by the front door instead of coming in through the side.
The American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus) is a striking coastal seabird noted for its bright, functional beak, designed to extract mollusks from intertidal sediments. New England populations are migratory, wintering along the American Gulf Coast and breeding along New England’s rocky shoreline. Before the mid-1800’s Oystercatchers were a very common spring and summer sight along the northeastern coast of the United States and Canada, but hunting, wild egg and feather collecting, and habitat encroachment lead to its near extinction.
Although they received government protection under the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Oystercatcher numbers continued to decline. In the early 2000s, after the total North American population fell to fewer than 10,000 individuals, efforts to protect the species and its dwindling habitat intensified. These combined public and private habitat protection efforts have been remarkably successful, with a clear rebound in the New England population in recent years. In this image, an American Oystercatcher on Rainsford Island in Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area protects its nesting area with its distinctive shrill cry. Previously, its shrill cry was not enough to ensure survival, but the addition of legislated habitat protection seems to be working! Photo taken on June 6, 2015.
Photo Details: Camera Maker: NIKON; Camera Model: COOLPIX S9700; Focal Length: 162mm (35mm equivalent: 750mm); Digital Zoom: 1.200x; Aperture: ƒ/6.4; Exposure Time: 0.0080 s (1/125); ISO equiv: 180.
Mount Etna, on the island of Sicily, Italy, is erupting once again. This is the second time this month that Etna (10,922 ft or 3,329 m) has unleashed noteworthy Strombolian explosions. The second eruptive event began on the morning of March 15, 2017. The lava fountain featured above is erupting from Etna's southeast crater. When this shot was snapped, during the night of March 16, 2017, lava was flowing to the base of the volcanic cone and beginning to ooze down the south flank of the mountain.
This fiery landscape was lit from above by a waning gibbous Moon and a starry sky. The long exposure used here results in the star trails rotating about the North Star. In the foreground note that a thick snowpack lower down the mountain partially covers the volcanic landscape.
Photo Details: Camera Model: Canon EOS 7D; Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM; Focal Length: 200mm; Aperture: ƒ/4.0; Exposure Time: 25.000 s; ISO equiv: 400; Software: Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.5 (Windows).
Will got the best score on his team! Yay!
Will got the second best score in the whole tournament! WHAAAT?
Trophies to be awarded on Thursday!
One problem: I got two copies, one to my current actual secret Patreon email address, and one to my honeypot email address - the Patreon-exclusive email address I decommissioned after I learned of the theft of creators' email addresses from Patreon about two years ago.
I checked Patreon's front page and blog and there's nothing there about this political project.
None of the links in the email actually go to Patreon.com, they go to a third party service - which is not unusual for corporate mass-mailings, but which is still... unreassuring.
I strongly recommend not clicking any of the links in the email if you get it.
I captured this beautiful display of crepuscular rays near Warwick, Queensland, Australia, at sunset on January 15, 2017. Sunlight streaming through gaps in building cumulus clouds near the western horizon form the bright rays while the dark lanes result from cloud turrets that effectively blocked the Sun. Look for rays such as this when clouds, most often cumulus clouds, are observed on the horizon where the Sun is setting. Also, look toward the opposite horizon to see if anticrepuscular rays can be detected.
Photo Details: Camera Model: Canon EOS 70D; Lens: 5mm; Focal Length: 5.0mm; Aperture: ƒ/3.5; Exposure Time: 0.0006 s (1/1600); ISO equiv: 100; Software: PaintShop Pro 15.00.
It has come to my attention that some of the Blue Nation is unclear on what is currently playing out on the Right in response to Ryancare. This is terrible: you're missing out on some top-shelf schadenfreude.
A crucial confusion is, apparently, not understanding that there are several different factions over on the Right right now. If you attempt to understand what is happening over there by generalizing from all the things everyone over there does, things look very self-contradictory. I mean, even more self-contradictory than they actually are.
Before explicating the factions and their agendas, I need to take a moment to recount how it has been long much observed that messing with Obamacare wouldn't work or wouldn't be possible, because of the Three Legged Stool principle. ( The Three Legged Stool of Obamacare was... [3,700 Words] )
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Featured above is an attention-getting 22 degree solar halo, an upper tangent arc (tangent to the top of the halo) and sundogs (on the sides of the halo and at the same elevation as the Sun). It was observed over Murrieta, California, on February 2, 2017. Sunlight passing through hexagonal plate ice crystals in cirrus clouds form the 22 degree halo and the arcs seen here. Because the crystals are oriented horizontally (think of a leaf as it falls to the ground) when they're positioned at the same elevation as the Sun and approximately 22 degrees from the solar disk their particular alignment allows this segment of the halo to be considerably brighter than the remainder of the halo. In addition, since the oriented crystals that form the sundog tend to be larger than the randomly oriented crystals that generate the 22 degree halo, they're generally much more colorful. Sundogs can be seen best when the Sun is low in the sky -- they cannot be viewed when the Sun attains an elevation of 61 degrees. Note also the contrail and its distinct shadow.
Photo Details: Camera Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark III; Lens: EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM; Focal Length: 24mm; Aperture: ƒ/16.0; Exposure Time: 0.0020 s (1/500); ISO equiv: 100; Software: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6.8 (Macintosh).
Monday: After my morning run my foot suddenly started hurting - same leg where I pulled a calf muscle a few weeks ago. At the time I was unsure of diagnosis, though I now think I've acquired a mild form of plantar faciitis which afflicts the ligament running along the base of the foot and is a bugbear for runners. Since I wasn't actually planning to run again until Saturday I just left well alone and got on with life which mostly involved failing to write a lecture on Machine Ethics.
Tuesday: Tuesday involved driving to Liverpool in order to deposit miscellaneous lego robot equipment. There was a fair amount of walking up and down stairs, not to mention walking from the university to the nearest street which doesn't have Residents' Only parking. My foot was feeling better, but was still quite painful.
I saw several project students all of whom were well on track for their "bench inspections" next week (my weaker students have become conspicuous by their absence. I'm trying to convince myself this is not my problem). I also discovered that the lecture on Machine Ethics I was trying to write was actually a lecture on Verifying Ethical Autonomous Systems, this actually make life a lot easier.
Wednesday: Flew to Bergen where I was to deliver my freshly written lecture to Matryoshka's Machine Ethics students. The university had booked me into a very nice hotel with complimentary brownies available. I met up with Matryoshka once I arrived and, after a little confusion, in which I stood outside her department texting that I couldn't find it, we went out for dinner.
Thursday: I gave my lecture - well two 45 minute lectures and then left Matryoshka trying to organise her students into project groups. Matryoshka gave me a draft paper on verifying properties of filter bubbles on social media, so I amused myself trying to figure out how to actually do this.
Friday: Matryoshka showed me around Bergen. The weather in Bergen is, I gather, mostly like the weather in Manchester, so we trudged through torrential rain to view various Hanseatic warehouses. We had lunch in a fish restaurant which had been recommended but found it rather disappointing. Then we went up the funicular railway to the top of the hill. As we ascended it started to snow. By the time we got to the top my foot was also complaining. Fortunately Matryoshka had pain killers on her person, so we stopped for coffee and muffins in a souvenir shop while they took effect and then went for a very short walk, admired the views we couldn't see because of the thick cloud cover, and the suddenly archetypal Scandinavian scenery we could see (snow covered paths through coniferous forest). Both of us had extremely cold and wet feet by this point.
We returned to Matryoshka's office where I managed to dry my shoes and socks in front of her heater while we discussed modelling filter bubbles as biological processes (mostly because the tool I was looking at had fairly well defined techniques for modelling biological processes). It seems at least plausible that the opinions on social media platforms could be viewed as biological processes so Matryoshka is going to look to see if this can be justified (beyond it's a cute idea) while I'm going to look at the nitty gritty of building a model.
Then I caught the Flybussen to the airport and came home. By this time the sun was shining brightly, the snow had all melted and Bergen was looking extremely pretty and not at all damp and cold. There will be a Bergen picspam in due course.
Saturday: I spent a lot of yesterday reading up on plantar fasciitis. There are plenty of symptoms I don't have but the pain in my foot has localised to the classic location for the complaint - though when under the influence of ibuprofen its now more a weird slight itch than a pain. Recommendations seemed to be anti-inflamataries (B. recommends continuing to take these for at least a week after I'm pain free), stretching of both calf muscle and plantar ligament, and not running in old shoes. I bought new running shoes a couple of months back, but they exacerbated a bunion I have and so I'd regretfully given them to Barnardos.
So far I've always purchased running shoes on a "cheap pair from Decathlon" basis but if I was going to have trouble with my feet it seemed like it might be time to get a more expensive pair from a specialised running place that did gait analysis. Googling gait analysis rather suggested it was a pointless exercise as done in running shops but B. persuaded me that even if it was pseudo-science I would probably still get a better pair of shoes from a place that offered the service. I was having a bit of a self-confidence crisis by this point - partly because I was anxious about buying an expensive pair of shoes that I might end up not using and giving to charity - so B kindly drove me to a running shop and stood around looking supportive while the (I presume) Saturday Girl analysed my gait ("looks all right") and very diffidently offered me some shoes which I purchased (they cost at least twice as much as any shoes I've had previously so I do hope they don't do terrible things to the bunion). I also set up a revised and much reduced training schedule for the half marathon at the end of May, based on various online offerings all of which involved far less running than I had been doing (B. is unaccountably smug about this for some reason). So we'll see how it all goes.
Since I was in a specialist running shop and spending silly money on trainers, I also spent £10 on a "pediroller", a kind of stiff foam roller for massaging the underside of the foot. I'm very pleased with this. It's a very pleasant sensation, though I've no idea if its actually doing any good, but it's quite tempting just to sit at my desk rolling my foot backwards and forwards on it all the time.
Each Sunday we present a notable item from our archives. This EPOD was originally published March 31, 2003.
This pyroclastic flow deposit is located in Poseidon's Gardens, near Citara on the island of Ischia, Italy. Ischia, just off the coast from Naples and notorious Mt. Vesuvius, is dominated by Mt. Epomeo. This deposit indicates the violent nature of pyroclastic flows and the turbulence and deformation possible within these volcanic features. These soft volcanic layers were deposited about 10,000 years ago and deformed as the flow slid down the side of the mountain, or possibly as the soft sediments were covered by a more viscous lava flow during the same eruption. Poseidon's Gardens is a day spa that takes advantage of a fairly shallow magma chamber that still heats the groundwater to over 90 degrees C. This water is pumped and piped throughout the spa, providing a series of pools of varying temperatures.
In other news, the county math tournament happened yesterday, so that was exciting! Each grade's team had 10 members, and 4 of those were chosen to compete in the ciphering rounds. Guess who was the best cipherer on their team? That's right, my precious firstborn son. Doing well on the team has given him so much confidence! He was laughing and relaxed in between events, and I was even more excited to see that than I was his performance. Unfortunately there was some kind of glitch with the scoring system and they weren't able to announce the awards at the end of the tournament, so we'll have to wait and see who won what.
Last night was movie night at H&P's house. First we watched the original Ghost in the Shell, which I hadn't seen since it was shown at MIT in 1996 or so; it was a good refresher for the upcoming Hollywood adaptation. Then we followed that with the first two episodes of Iron Fist, which I enjoyed, even though I haven't seen any of the other Netflix Marvel series yet. I've been instructed to go back and watch Daredevil, so I might do that soon. I also found Moana at the library and will finally watch that this weekend sometime.
I've been thinking a lot lately about what I want to do this summer. Like I mentioned recently, we skipped doing any family vacation last year, so I want to do something with the kids. But I also want to attend my 20th year reunion at MIT if I can, and I'm not sure I want to do that in the context of bringing the whole family. That's what I did the last time I visited Boston six years ago, and while that trip was a ton of fun, our time was spent very differently than what I would have done if I'd left the kids at home. As for what the kids want, they've spoken several times about wanting to visit the Harry Potter world at Universal Studios, and now that we've all finished reading the books, I think that would be a more enjoyable experience for them. I just don't know how to make both ideas work, or if I can only do one, how to choose.