Thursday, July 27, 2017
|—||European Union[n 1]||16,408,364|
In fact, if you combine Japan, Brazil, India, Mexico and Canada, those five economies add up to more than China ( 11,567 vs 11,218 ). Seems a little different if you look at it that way.
The Anglosphere is at 24,166 ( the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand ).
The Anglosphere is at 24,166 ( the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand ).
I recall the fear over peak oil, and that fear is the basis for much of the push for renewables like solar and wind. As much as that is superficially a good idea, the real energy pool is in oil/gas/coal, and making that energy cheap and plentiful is a ticket to high living standards.
"2017 has already been a banner year for American oil production. U.S. shale producers have gotten their feet underneath them once again, adapting to the low oil price environment by cutting costs and improving efficiencies en route to turning a profit at $50 crude, and we’ve seen output surge accordingly. Since last October, U.S. oil production has increased more than 900,000 barrels per day, but according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the party’s just getting started—it expects American producers to break a 47 year old record for production in 2018. . . .
The United States is already the world’s biggest producer of oil and gas, thanks to a recent surge in production of hydrocarbons trapped in shale. Fracking has catapulted the U.S. to the front of the energy producing pack, so to speak, and now it’s going to hurtle us past another important milestone, into uncharted territory.
Policymakers and the public are both still playing catch-up to this extraordinary transformation. For decades, the U.S. energy debate was framed in terms of scarcity, as the legacy of the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s loomed large in American minds. We’ve moved far, far beyond that, as next year’s projected milestone shows, into a new era of energy abundance.
And just as we once transitioned from a discussion of achieving energy “independence” (a farcical idea) to shoring up energy “security,” we might now shift again to discussing how to achieve American energy “dominance,” as the Trump Administration has described it."
What if you were followed around by a cute floating ball that kept taking your picture? Then you might be an astronaut on today's International Space Station (ISS). Designed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the JEM Internal Ball Camera -- informally "Int-Ball" -- is a bit larger than a softball, can float and maneuver by itself but also be controlled remotely, can take high resolution images and videos, and is not related to Hello Kitty. Int-Ball was delivered to the ISS in early June and is designed to allow ground-control to increase the monitoring of ISS equipment and activities while decreasing time demands on human astronauts. Int-Ball moves by turning on small internal fans and sees with a camera located between its two dark eyes.
Click and embiggen to get the full effect.
On the granite face sloping down from the top of Cloud's Rest, behind Half Dome, I notice for the first time ever a tiny ribbon of water that flows from the top of the rock face all the way to the bottom. You can see it if you enlarge the picture and look carefully. It looks like a tiny dark line emerging about half way down from what looks like a granite bowl. It appears to be snow melt from some hidden patch of snow, and has probably dried up by now (the picture was taken on or around July 3rd).
If I were a younger man, and in shape, I'd seriously consider hiking in from Tenaya Lake to the top of Cloud's Rest, snoop around until I found the top of the ribbon, and then follow it down to the valley floor, if possible, it looks quite steep in places, although you'd be surprised how steep of a slope you can carefully walk down on rough granite. Probably be a good idea to camp overnight, preferably on some hidden nook way up on the rock face, or in the bowl that is probably the source. Water you'd get from the little ribbon of snowmelt. If you were stymied by the angle of the mountainside, you could either find an alternative down, or pop back over to Little Yosemite Valley to the south and come down the Mist Trail to the valley.
That, my friends, would be a unique hike and experience that almost certainly no one else has done. It would have to be timed so the ribbon was running with water, but not so early that there was too much snow and slippery wet rock - that face looks steep in spots. All you young, ambitious folks, you're welcome.
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Another huge win for civil rights was scored in today’s Wrenn v. DC decision out of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal District of Columbia Circuit, of all places. The decision invalidates the District of Columbia’s prohibitionist “good reason” constraint on the lawful carry of arms in public for purposes of self-defense.
The case involved a request by the plaintiffs for a preliminary injunction of DC’s “good-reason” law, which constrains the right to carry a firearm in public for personal self-defense, while the law was being challenged on the merits in District Court.
So, it's not really a final win, as the losers will certainly appeal to the Supremes, but it is a very encouraging sign that even on a hyper liberal court there are judges who will protect our constitutional rights agains the liberal assault.
California should take notice, given the recent passage here of state laws intended to make law abiding gun owners into criminals, and making owning a gun very difficult due to the many legal hoops that it is necessary to jump through to buy or feed a firearm.
Always, the Democrats/Progressives seek to take away our individual rights, and socialize us into a mass of squirming, squealing dependents with no will or motivation other than to appeal to the whims of our political rulers.
Turned out the couch was a fold out bed too. Heavy. We figured someone dumped it in our lot late at night, and this guy just came along at some point and moved in. Probably a comfortable place to crash, if you're homeless.
Monday, July 24, 2017
In the first three weeks of January alone, the region received nearly a full winter's worth of snow. Then came February, and the Sierra Nevada was slammed yet again with moisture-packed chains of storms fueled by weather systems known as atmospheric rivers or the "Pineapple Express."
Sunday, July 23, 2017
The youngest daughter and I went up to the Big Hill Lookout last night, just to the west of Ice House Reservoir in the El Dorado National Forest, to do some night photography, as it's a new moon and very dark.
Got there early, with about an hour and a half of light left. Fortunately, the smoke from that Detwiler Fire was in a long strip to the west, over the valley, and it was nice and clear up in the pines.
Below, a view of Union Valley Reservoir and the rolling hills of this part of the forest
30 miles away to the south east, Round Top where Highway 88 crosses Carson Pass, our normal area of operations.
Directly east of us, the Crystal Range, starting with Pyramid Peak on the far right, bathed in alpenglow. Just over those mountains is Desolation Wilderness, and just beyond that, Lake Tahoe and finally, just beyond the curve of the Earth, the Silver State, Nevada.
Getting dark, and the daughter adjusts her gear.
Wonderful blue as the light fades behind a lonely pine. We painted the tree with a weak flashlight to make it pop out a little.
The Milky Way streaks across a wheeling sky. Campers fires light the night below at Union Valley.
One of the towers at the lookout reaching up towards the Milky Way, with lights from the central valley of California behind. The streak of dark orange just above the horizon is the smoke cloud from the Detwiler Fire far to the south in Mariposa County.
Got back to the house at about 1:30 in the morning. The air up on the lookout was cool and pleasant, a nice change from the burning heat during the day. All in all, it was a productive evening out with the kid, and we learned some tricks to make the night sky look good.