([syndicated profile] epod_feed Aug. 20th, 2017 03:01 am)


Each Sunday we present a notable item from our archives. This EPOD was originally published August 22, 2002.

Provided by: USGS - Water Resources of Alaska

Summary authors & editors: Martin Ruzek; USGS

These photographs show an eastward-looking view of a small section of the Hubbard Glacier in southeastern Alaska. Hubbard Glacier is the largest tidewater glacier on the North American continent. It has been thickening and advancing toward the Gulf of Alaska since it was first mapped 1895 in stark contrast with most glaciers, which have thinned and retreated during the last century. The advancing terminus of the glacier created a "squeeze-push" moraine in front of Gilbert Point that blocked the tidal exchange between Disenchantment Bay (bottom of photos) and Russell Fiord (top of photos), creating Russell Lake earlier this summer. The lake rose to 18.6 meters (61 feet) above sea level over 2 1/2 months before the rock and ice dam broke, creating the second largest glacial lake outburst worldwide in historical times. On August 14 the trapped water in the 70-square-mile (18,000 ha) lake broke free to the ocean in a spectacular roiling and chaotic 36 hours, making the torrential channel into the sea an extremely fast-moving and dangerous river full of large chunks of ice and debris.

Photographs made by the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Forest Service, Yakutat Range District and National Park Service, Yakutat Ranger Station.

Related Links:

([syndicated profile] epod_feed Aug. 19th, 2017 03:05 am)

Miraged boats

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.

Flying DutchmenPhotographer: Mila Zinkova

Summary Author: Mila Zinkova

January 2012 Earth Science Picture of the Day Viewer's Choice Like many people who live next to an ocean I’ve long been spellbound by the legend of the “Flying Dutchman”. For some time now, I’ve been on the lookout for such a vessel and on a warm, calm day this past November, I got lucky. My eyes were drawn to a ship on the horizon and what a ship it was... it looked as it was cut in slices and floating inside a wave! As I watched, it kept changing appearance. I was sure it was sailed by ghosts – this was indeed the Flying Dutchman. I looked around a little more, saw another such ship and then spotted a small sailboat that had an inverted boat atop it and even more strangely, another one hanging above it in the air (lower photo). To see a Flying Dutchman was eerie but to see several all at once was really quite bizarre. 

There had to be another explanation to these odd apparitions. When I got home, I sent animations of my Flying Dutchmen to Dr. Andrew Young of San Diego State University, asking him how a ship that’s cut in slices could be floating inside a wave. Dr. Young described the scenes thus:

"I think what happens here in the first animation is that the superior mirage includes some of the foreground sea surface, as well as the ship itself. As the mirage changes, there are multiple images of alternately erect and inverted portions of this region that includes the sea horizon. The animation nicely reveals this. So sometimes the 'fold line' of the image includes the ship, and you see a vertically stretched image of the part of the ship near the waterline, sandwiched between two images of the foreground sea surface."

"The second animation, showing interesting short-term changes, also shows a few frames with multiple images of the ship. You can see now and then a bit of sky miraged beneath the ship, where the stacks of cargo on its deck are lowest. I have the impression that waves on the inversion were causing slight oscillations in the structure of this mirage."

So it seems my Flying Dutchmen were mirages of ships sailing along the miraged sea surface with the miraged sky adding to the picture. To someone hoping to see an actual ghost ship this explanation might be just a little bit disappointing. Still, when you visit the seashore, keep your eyes peeled to the horizon – it seems to be a mysterious place.

siderea: (Default)
([personal profile] siderea Aug. 18th, 2017 11:44 pm)
(h/t [personal profile] fiddlingfrog)

UrsulaV bats it out of the park:


(Note, this requires clicking through to see two images.)
siderea: (Default)
([personal profile] siderea Aug. 18th, 2017 10:45 pm)
The conference is over, and I am super tired and omg why do my feet hurt? I didn't do that much walking, and indeed spent most of the last three days sitting. The physical spaces the conference was held in were agreeably compactly laid out, so I didn't have do a lot of hiking down halls to go from one session to the next. But I feel like I've walked for miles.

I'm being cagey about the identity of the conference because of reasons. Suffice it to say I spent three days getting my radical on with people who, hmm, could be said to identify as "psychiatric survivors" – people whom the mental health system has done profound harm and violated their human rights – from around the world, many (most?) of whom might be described as activists and there in that capacity, some of whom are also clinicians or ex-clinicians or psychology researchers. Lots of very explicit intersectionalism and inclusivism. Very emotionally intense, super intellectually stimulating, enormously morally compelling.

Since the default assumption at the conference was that attendees were psychiatric survivors, I was "out" about not being a psychiatric survivor myself but a mental health professional and there as an ally. That was... a very hard experience to describe. To do such a thing, and do it ethically, is extremely demanding of energy, because it entails such a high level of self-monitoring and attention to others, at literally every second. Yet at the same time, it was so wildly validating of my ethical values as a person and a clinician, in ways I hadn't even realized I was hungry for, it felt very spiritually nourishing and emotionally supportive. I realized after the second day that just in the program book and in the presentations I'd attended, that I'd heard the word "humanistic" more times in those two days than I'd heard it used by anybody not me in the previous five years. Or maybe more. I'm a humanistic therapist, and I'm literally welling up again just reflecting on that, and how clinically-philosophically isolated this reveals me to have been. And, my god, the first, like, three times the term went zipping by I thought, Hey, do they know what that means, technically, to a therapist? Ah, they're probably just using it as a synonym for "humanely", as lay people usually do. And it became clear that, no, at least some of the people using the term really did mean it clinically. And I was like Oh. They don't need me to explain it to them. They already know. Which, is, like, the fundamental unit of being understood. Talk about your being called in from the cold.

I went to this conference thinking of myself as an ally, someone there to support another people as they do their thing – an in a really important sense, that is exactly right – but to my surprise, I discovered that these people, despite not being clinicians, were clinically my people. I wound up doing a hell of a lot more personal sharing than I would ever have expected – certainly vastly, vastly more than I have ever done in a mental health professionals context. It was like, I suddenly realized I was in an environment in which I could talk about how furious I am that I am forced to use diagnoses on patients without their consent, how frustrated I am by how the bureacratic systems in which I must work compromise the integrity of the treatment I try to provide, how disgusted I often am by the conduct of colleagues and mental health institutions (I discovered the wonderful expression, "psychiatric hate-speech"), how indignant I am at all sorts of idiocy and injustice and unfairness in the system – all the things I am so careful never to say because of how poorly my colleagues may take it. (Not my imagination: The last session I attended drew quite a number of clinicians, who were all "AND FOR ANOTHER THING!"; the presenter afterwards told me she had presented the same talk at a conference on the philosophy of psychiatry for an audience that was half psychiatrists, and, in contrast, they were furious with her for her temerity.)

I got to have conversations about capitalism and disability, culture and identity, the history of psychiatry, the history of nationalism, what you can and can't do inside the health care system, other countries' nationalized (or not, where mental health is concerned) health care, and how money affects mental health care; I heard a slew of what I would call "mental health radical coming out stories". I met someone who is as into the history of the DSM as I am, and someone who has written an academic article about the ethical and clinical problems of diagnosis. I got politely chewed out once, early on, for using oppressive language, and then immediately apologized to for it, them saying ruefully that they have "a chip on [their] shoulder" about mental health care professionals and shouldn't have talked to me like that, and I assured them I was there to be chewed out and have my vocabulary corrected and was fine with it; I'm pretty sure they were way more upset about what they said to me than I was, and I feel bad about putting them in that position by my ignorance – but we've exchanged phone numbers and I'm hoping I might yet make it up to them.

There was a point where somebody asked me something like whether I had been learning a lot at the conference so far, and I thought a moment and replied that I had, but, "I am at this conference not just to learn things. I am here because, as a person and a clinician, these are my values."

So it was an experience that was weirdly simultaneously hard and easy. If you had asked me four days ago I would have said that it's probably impossible for an experience to require a very high level of scrupulous self-monitoring and yet feel welcoming of and safe for emotional vulnerability and risktaking. Yet that was precisely my experience.

It was demanding and beautiful and powerful and huggy and astonishing and uplifting and I'm exhausted and weepy and have like twenty new best friends.
([syndicated profile] epod_feed Aug. 18th, 2017 03:01 am)

Double Waterspouts - Double Lightning (1)

Photographer: Antonios Lyras 

Summary Authors: Antonios Lyras; Jim Foster

The photo above showing two waterspouts and two cloud-to-ground lightning strikes was captured near Mykonos, Cyclades, Greece, on the morning of May 5, 2017. When lightning and or a wall cloud are observed in proximity to a waterspout, as shown here, the spout is tornadic rather than a fair-weather whirlwind. So it's time to seek shelter. While fair-weather waterspouts arise in relatively stable air masses, tornadic spouts, in the Mediterranean Sea region, tend to form in frontal zones -- during the passage of a strong cold front.

Photo Details: Camera Model: NIKON D5200; Lens: 18.0-55.0 mm f/3.5-5.6; Focal Length: 46mm (35mm equivalent: 69mm); Aperture: ƒ/8.0; Exposure Time: 6.000 s; ISO equiv: 100; Software: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.4 (Windows). 

([syndicated profile] epod_feed Aug. 17th, 2017 03:01 am)

Stone Door_30867385245_e302a4b64f_o (1)

Photographer: Chuck Sutherland

Summary Author: Chuck Sutherland

We're all on a long trip to the ocean. So are rocks. It may not seem exactly right, but rocks flow downhill under the same forces as water. The difference being that gravity must overcome the hardness of the rock, a gradient must be available for the rock to move down and their structure is sometimes able to prevent downward motion. Water shares some of these encumbrances but to much lesser degrees.

Shown above is the Stone Door, an artifact of flow found on the Cumberland Plateau in eastern Tennessee. More accurately, it's referred to as a joint, a place where pressure inside the rock is relieved by breaking. In this case, part of a cliff was sliding downslope, and the Stone Door was its relief point. Joints on the Cumberland Plateau often form in cliffs parallel to the cliff face. The Stone Door, while a fascinating feature, is not alone. There are dozens if not hundreds of similar features along the rim of the Plateau. Photo taken on October 2, 2016. 

Photo Details: Camera Model: Canon EOS M; Lens: EF-S10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM; Focal Length: 10mm; Focus Distance: 1.08m; Aperture: ƒ/4.5; Exposure Time: 0.077 s (1/13); ISO equiv: 100; Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5 Windows. 

siderea: (Default)
([personal profile] siderea Aug. 16th, 2017 09:23 pm)
I have made a heap of all my spoons and then set the heap on fire.

Which is to say, I am at a conference. So far it's been a really good conference.

Imma gonna fall over into my bed momentarily.

ETA 8/17/17 21:16: Still conferencing. I move that henceforth anything called a "BBQ" must serve something cooked with barbecue sauce; absence that criterion, it is a "cookout".

Someone at the conference gave me copy of this drawing which I hadn't seen before, and which made me tear up.

Bootstrapping problem: I still have to decide whether or not to try to get there in time tomorrow for the morning talks, or catch some additional Zs; the problem is I am now so exhausted my judgment is not just impaired but kind of non-functional. Normally, I'm pretty good at blowing things off to get more rest. This is, however, effectively a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, of which I would like to make the most.


Photographer: Juan Manuel Pérez Rayego

Summary Authors: Juan Manuel Pérez Rayego; Jim Foster

Following an afternoon thundershower in Merida, Spain, I happened to observe this handsome rainbow and striking supernumerary bows. In order for these supernumerary bows to be so obvious the minute rain droplets responsible for forming them, and their pastel colors, are likely very uniform in size. Larger raindrops produce the colors in the primary bow. Note that a portion of the faint secondary rainbow is visible at top left. Photo taken on June 25, 2017.

Photo Details: Dslr + 24-105mm; 105mm; polarizer filter; Adobe Photoshop. 

pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)
([personal profile] pauamma posting in [site community profile] dw_dev Aug. 15th, 2017 11:58 pm)
It's time for another question thread!

The rules:

- You may ask any dev-related question you have in a comment. (It doesn't even need to be about Dreamwidth, although if it involves a language/library/framework/database Dreamwidth doesn't use, you will probably get answers pointing that out and suggesting a better place to ask.)
- You may also answer any question, using the guidelines given in To Answer, Or Not To Answer and in this comment thread.
([syndicated profile] epod_feed Aug. 15th, 2017 03:01 am)

Circular_Rainbow_GS_20170624_Rainbow_1112_Pan_v2 (3)

Photographer: Göran Strand

Summary Author: Göran Strand

Rainbows are always opposite the Sun, centered below the horizon at the antisolar point. The lower the Sun's position in the sky, the higher the rainbow arches. I took the above photo from Vansbro, Sweden, at sunset. Together with its reflection on the water in the foreground, it forms a complete circle. However, had the Sun been any higher in the sky, the shape (of the primary bow and its reflection) would have been somewhat out of round or slightly elliptical. Photo taken on June 24, 2017.

Photo Details: A 6-shot mosaic made with a Nikon D800E camera; Nikon AF-S, 14-24mm, f/2.8 lens. 

Local clinicians: I just got the mailing for this fall's Harvard Med Psychiatry Dept CE trainings, and at the Dec 1 & 2 session "Treating Couples", kinda buried in the list of presenters are Esther Perel and Terry Real. It's astronomically expensive, like all Harvard Med's stuff, but if you're a sufficiently hardcore fan, there you go. (Some of the other names on this list may also be famous people I don't recognize.)
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
([personal profile] purplecat Aug. 14th, 2017 08:41 pm)

I've no pictures from last week so have another from the week before. This is the approach to Housesteads fort from the East. Imagine what that must have been like when both wall and fort walls were more than a couple of feet high!

Blkcyn203c_21may17 (2)

Blkcyn166c_21may17 (2)

Photographer: Ray Boren

Summary Author: Ray Boren

As if slices had been cut into a marbled cake of titanic size, curiously striped dark cliffs near Montrose, Colorado, rise precipitously above a roaring river, far below — a testament to geologic events well over billion years ago (and since) at what is today treasured as Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

The grandeur is evident along scenic drives on Black Canyon’s rims, as illustrated in the photo above, taken at the South Rim’s Painted Wall overlook on May 21, 2017. At 2,250 ft (686 m) in height, the wall is considered to be the tallest cliff in Colorado. The Gunnison River, visible on the left, was named for 19th-century military officer and topographical surveyor Capt. John W. Gunnison. A second photo, taken at the Cross Fissures pullout, also shows snowy summits of the Sawatch Mountain Range, the source of the Gunnison.

For millions of years the river has been eroding a remarkably deep and narrow gorge through Precambrian rocks of the Gunnison Uplift. The uplift dome is composed mostly of dark metamorphic gneisses and schist, banded with pinkish pegmatite dikes, flecked with crystalline minerals like quartz, mica and feldspar, and even garnet. The sheer cliffs’ pegmatite veins were originally molten rock, or magma, which squeezed, or intruded, into fissures within the already-hardened gneisses and schist deep within the Earth. In some places the pegmatite, a granite more resistant to erosion than the surrounding rock, shows up in vertical fins; in others it manifests as serpentine bands that pattern the darker rock, as on the Painted Wall.

Like a long white-water waterfall, the Gunnison drops farther in 48 mi (77 km), as it cuts a trench through its sun-deprived and therefore black canyon, than the mighty Mississippi does in its 1,500 mi (2,414 km) journey from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, the Park Service notes. Rim to river, the canyon walls range in height from 1,750 ft to 2,772 ft (533 to 845 m). Black Canyon was set aside as a national monument in 1933. In 1999 Congress passed, and President Bill Clinton signed legislation that expanded the boundaries and created Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

Photo Details - Top: Camera Model: NIKON D3200; Lens: Tokina AT-X 124 AF PRO DX II (AF 12-24mm f/4); Focal Length: 12mm (35mm equivalent: 18mm); Aperture: ƒ/11.0; Exposure Time: 0.017 s (1/60); ISO equiv: 100. Bottom - same except: Lens: AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED; Focal Length: 70mm (35mm equivalent: 105mm); Exposure Time: 0.0020 s (1/500); ISO equiv: 400. 

Via [personal profile] conuly, Why Medicaid Matters to You, by Prof. Sharona Hoffman, of CWRU. tl;dr: Because Medicaid is not just for poor people, it's how old people (and younger disabled people) pay for nursing homes. So it's for you, too, unless you plan on dying young and healthy.

The article has some interesting stats in it.

(I'm morbidly curious to know where you can score a private nursing home room for only $92k/yr. I presume it's somewhere very rural and far away from here, with terrible care, because by Massachuetts prices that's an incredible bargain.)
([syndicated profile] epod_feed Aug. 13th, 2017 03:01 am)


Each Sunday we present a notable item from our archives. This EPOD was originally published August 12, 2002.

Provided by: USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Summary authors & editors: Martin Ruzek

Hollywood cannot compete with the real thing - lava pouring to the sea, an image that conjures scenes from Dante's "Inferno". Kilauea, the most active volcano on Hawaii, has been erupting constantly since 1983, drizzling over 2 cubic kilometers of lava across its flanks in a continual island building process covering over 100 square kilometers and adding over 200 hectares to Kilauea's southern shore. The current flow started on Mother's Day, May 12, when a new vent opened near the southwest base of Pu`u `O`o and has been inching steadily toward the coast. In the third week of July, the flow finally reached the sea, and began pouring into the ocean at a point known as West Highcastle and later at Wilipe`a. This view to the west shows photographers on the other side of the flow watching in awe as the 1000+ degree C magma pours into the ocean, forming new land as a bench of rock.

Related Links:

siderea: (Default)
([personal profile] siderea Aug. 13th, 2017 12:00 am)
1) I feel the need to share that the lamp in question, I got from Aunt C – who spent her entire working adult life making lightbulbs for Sylvania. The fact that I can't manage to find adequate working replacement LED bulbs his is either the most ironic or most appropriate thing ever.

2) Okay, I'm now in correspondence with the manufacturer of one of the sets of 5W bulbs that didn't work. They asked about the competitor bulbs that worked, and said they will scare some up to compare with their product. ETA 8/13/17 11:10PM: I have just got a full refund and a thank you note for supplying such detailed information, which is being passed on to the R&D team.
siderea: (Default)
([personal profile] siderea Aug. 12th, 2017 03:03 pm)
I am frustrated with how my writing has been going of late. It's been difficult. I find myself having trouble keeping my focus on what I'm writing.

As you may have noticed, I tend to write about whatever I'm thinking about. Normally, that's (1) my psychotherapy clients and the issues that come up when working with them, (2) minds, more generally, and (3) the larger world around me, i.e. current events, politics, sociology, anthropology, economics, etc.

In an important sense, what I write about is my reaction to what I encounter in my life.

Right now my life is very rich in contact with the healthcare industry. There's D's health issues, my health issues (nothing new and alarming), my clients' health issues, and current events having to do with health insurance and medicine. So I have about a million and one things to say about healthcare.

Except that even I am getting bored of healthcare.

And, perhaps more importantly, I really have other topics that it feels to me would be much better use of my time. In this day in history, I don't think tackling problems in the US healthcare system is at all the best use of myself – as important as these things are, it feels a bit like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

This is not a general sense of futility. I have a huge amount of things in my head that I think sharing could be a very useful contribution to the Very Long Game. I understand what is going on in the US right now very, very, very differently than almost every other commentor. This is what I ardently want to be writing about.

If I could – ugh! – just get my head clear of all this incredibly boring healthcare stuff.

So what's been happening on the back end here, in Siderealand, is that I am oscillating rapidly and not at all profitably between the previously alluded to monster healthcare post (or series) and tackling some of the Very Long Game topics – interrupted by the occasional hot take on current events (you have no idea how badly I want to respond to the Sexist Googler Memo, while at the same time very badly wanting not to have to finish reading the Sexist Google Memo, much less start again from the beginning this time taking notes) – and never actually getting any one thing finished. I'll try to work on the monster healthcare post and my mind will wander off in boredom; so I'll try to work on something more important, but then I'll have to treat a patient or get my own medical care or deal with D's health issues, and my attention is wrenched back to healthcare and healthcare-related observations flood my mind. Argh.

I've been feeling unwell, physically, in ways that are also making concentration hard. This makes the VLG stuff particularly daunting, because it involves having to explain a lot of background and conceptual stuff to get where I am trying to go. I mean, that's the whole point of the exercise. And that takes - or so I find – a lot of concentration to do at all, much less well.

So, for instance, today was supposed to be a writing day, but I woke up, for no reason I can tell, exhausted and having trouble marshalling words. *throws hands up in the air* Before writing this, I took a break to play some flash games and, wow, does my judgment and reaction time suck.

So I guess we'll see what I come up with. Sigh.

ETA: Ahahah, and I managed to initially post this technically wrongly, trying a second time, see if I manage to get it to my journal.

ETA2: I feel I should mention, part of why my contact with healthcare is up is that my clinical caseload is up: I have more patients. Which is wonderful and makes me happy.

EPOD_EncoreKanabstone690_7nov11 (2)

Kanabstone673_7nov11 (2)

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.


Photographer: Ray Boren

Summary Author: Ray Boren

December 2012 Viewer's Choice About 50 years ago, W. Rex Brown was amazed by evocative patterns and pictures he noticed in sandstone near his hometown of Kanab, Utah. As many have observed since, the designs seem to mimic the landscape all around Kanab, which is the famed red-rock country of the Colorado Plateau along the Utah-Arizona border. The region is home to such national parks and monuments as Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon and Grand Staircase-Escalante – all within striking distance of Kanab. When cut into slabs large and small, the images on the quarried stone evoke Colorado Plateau landscapes that appear to be decorated with ridges, buttes, pinnacles, valleys and eroded swirls (top photo).

Brown and a partner subsequently formed Western Hills Rock & Gem Inc. to market “nature’s most beautiful paintings” as Kanab Wonderstone, Kanab Goldenstone and Arizona Sierra, quarried in both Utah and Arizona. The photo at bottom shows the natural design of a cut boulder outside of the shop. Large pieces of sandstone are mounted on walls in the Kanab shop. Some are framed. Smaller stones have been transformed into clocks, paperweights, picture frames and figurines, such as howling coyotes. Occasionally slabs are painted by artists, who may insert barns, roads and fence lines, adding a pastoral effect to Nature’s gritty canvas. For most of the artful stones, what you see is what you get, but in a few cases, as with Arizona Sierra, the rock is treated with heat to bring out richer, terra-cotta tints.

According to postings in the Western Hills Shop, picture sandstone is actually part of the Shinarump Formation, laid down 180 million to 220 million years ago by water and wind. The U.S. Geological Survey describes the Shinarump as a basal conglomerate and pebbly sandstone member of the more extensive Chinle Formation, formed during the Late Triassic. The colors and designs within the rock are created by iron oxides, which filtered into the porous rock from mineral springs. Photo taken on November 7, 2012.

Photo Details: TOP - Camera Maker: NIKON CORPORATION; Camera Model: NIKON D60; Focal Length: 35.0mm; Aperture: f/5.3; Exposure Time: 0.033 s (1/30); ISO equiv: 400; Software: QuickTime 7.6.4. Bottom - Same except Focal Length: 20.0mm; Aperture: f/9.0; Exposure Time: 0.013 s (1/80); ISO equiv: 200.

siderea: (Default)
([personal profile] siderea Aug. 12th, 2017 12:47 am)
Of particular note to my fellow geek clinicians: just published in the US was Superhero Therapy: Mindfulness Skills to Help Teens and Young Adults Deal with Anxiety, Depression, and Trauma, by psychologist Janina Scarlet, PhD.

It draws unapologetically on her own personal experience of identifying with the X-Men to heal from the trauma of radiation poisoning, subsequent chronic illness, being a refugee, and being bullied.

I haven't read it yet, just excerpts, but it looks lovely. Illustrated by Wellinton Alves of Marvel and DC.