“Are you okay?”

aging, fitness, health, life, people, perception, retirement, seniors

the gym

nautilus_stairmaster_freeclimber_4400cl

I was probably about 3/4 of the way through my hour of exercise on the stairmaster, my head down, my hands clasping the top of the machine’s bars and my ear buds in, oblivious to what was going on around me.

I heard someone say something, but the voice didn’t sound familiar, and I ignored it.

Then I heard it again, louder and closer, so I looked up and saw that she was talking to me, with concern on her face.  I took out the ear buds so I could hear what she was saying.

“Are you okay?” the little old lady1 asked as she gestured towards my thoroughly soaked shirt and the puddles of sweat on the mat under the stairmaster.

I grinned and told her that I was fine – and, then, realized that she thought I was overdoing it with my heavy sweat and head lowered.

I held my phone up and turned the screen towards her.  “I’m watching a movie.2


1 I guess “old” applies to a large percentage of us at the gym in the middle of the day.  I think she was at least 10 years older than me, which would put her at 73 or older – but I could be wrong.
2 My Netflix workout plan.

17 comments

Drying Feathers.

critters, wild life, zazzle

A double-crested cormorant drying its feathers.
poster

great-cormorant-602782
Image by Ben Kerckx is licensed under CC0 Public Domain

In the last 15 years or so, cormorants have been regular winter inhabitants down in the Arkansas River Valley.  Large numbers often perch, many with wings spread wide, on the cross braces of an electrical transmission tower rising from the water between US 64 and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks, where both cross the Illinois Bayou area of Lake Dardanelle.

The double-crested cormorant mainly eats fish, hunting for food by swimming and diving.  Like all cormorants, its feathers are not completely waterproof.  After diving, it stands for long periods in a characteristic wings spread pose, which allows the feathers to dry.

A member of the cormorant family of seabird, the double-crested cormorant occurs along inland waterways as well as in coastal areas, and is widely distributed across North America, from the Aleutian Islands in Alaska down to Florida and Mexico. Measuring 70–90 cm (28–35 in) in length, it is an all-black bird which gains a small double crest of black and white feathers in breeding season. It has a bare patch of orange-yellow facial skin.  (Wikipedia)

0 comments

Tragedy in Yellowstone.

accident, hiking, mountains, parks, people, photography, places, safety, Travel Photos, wyoming

Searching online for material related to a photo of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone  (below), I learned a tragic accident had occurred there while we were in the park last summer.  An eight-year-old girl, hiking with her family to the observation platform at the brink of the falls, was two-third’s of the way down the trail when she fell 550 feet into the canyon. She had apparently stepped off the trail when she lost her footing.

Lower Falls of the Yellowston River

We last took the trail to the brink of the lower falls in 2010.  The high usage, 1.5 mile paved trail, round trip, is steep, dropping 600 feet over multiple switchbacks to the viewing platform.  The climb back up is strenuous.

Trail to Brink of Lower Falls of Yellwston

Trail to Brink of Lower Falls of Yellwston

Trail to Brink of Lower Falls of Yellwston

Numerous signs along the trail warn visitors to stay on the trail.  Some are intended to limit human caused erosion.

Warning Trail Sign at Grand Canyon of the Tellowstone

Some people choose to ignore the signs.

Shorcutting on Trail to Brink of Lower Falls of Yellwston

Shorcutting on Trail to Brink of Lower Falls of Yellwston

Other signs warn of danger.

Warning Trail Sign at Grand Canyon of the Tellowstone

imageUnfortunately, some people ignore these signs, too, some quite flagrantly.

Hiking a portion of the South Rim Trail last summer, we were passed several times by a large group, all of whom looked to be in their early 20s, except for one or two.  It was an organized group, possible a guided day hike.

If it was a guided hike, their trail discipline was very poor.

We saw several of the group venture off the trail to have their picture taken with the canyon in the background, including one young man repeatedly, including some balancing poses that could have ended badly.

Trail Sign at Grand Canyon of the Tellowstone - Uncle Tom and South RimOn the day the girl fell into the canyon, we took Uncle Tom’s Trail down into the canyon. The trail is asphalt with switchbacks and steps, including a metal staircase with 328 steps terminating at a  view platform about 3/4 of the way down into the canyon.

It’s across the canyon from where the accident occurred and slightly downstream.  The photo below is the observation platform at the brink of the lower falls, through a zoom lens.

Observation platform at Brink of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone

We were on Uncle Tom’s Trail in the middle of the afternoon.  The accident occurred in the morning, with the body recovered around noon.

Brink of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone

7 comments

February to be the worst month of the bunch?

weather, winter

WeatherBELL Analytics is predicting that the worst is yet to come for the winter of 2014/2015 in February and extending well into March and possibly April.  The top graphic is mean temperature departure from normal in °C for the month of February. The second graphic is accumulated snowfall predicted over the next 10 days.

image

image

Polar vortex 2015?

2 comments

Old School

computers, history, technology

typewriter

The only way I used one of these was the hunt-and-peck method.

That’s pretty much the way I use my laptop these days, except I’m a lot faster at it than I was back then.

6 comments

All Swans are White.

critters, now that's cool!, perception, photography, science, science and nature

Black_Swan_bg

“Black Swan on Vacha reservoir, Bulgaria” by Kiril Krastev – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

At one time, Europeans thought that all swans were white as that was the only color of swan they had seen.  However, discovery of black swans in Australia and blacknecked swans in South America proved that not all swans are white. The hypothesis that “all swans are white” was falsifiable (could be – and was – proved not true).

In scientific hypotheses, it only takes one “black swan” to prove the “all swans are white” hypothesis wrong.

4 comments

The Commons–Color.

blogging, images, photography, vintage image, vintage images, vintage photos

Another resource that I use for free images is The Commons on Flickr.

The key goal of The Commons is to share hidden treasures from the world’s public photography archives.

The following images are a few of the many results on a search on “color” in The Commons. (Click on any image to go to the corresponding image page on Flickr)

 

Color guard of Negro engineers, Ft. Belvoir

Color guard of Negro engineers, Ft. Belvoir, VA circa 1939, image from Library of Congress


The Great Battles of the British Army. ... With coloured illustrations. (New edition.)Image taken from page 207 of ‘The Great Battles of the British Army. … With coloured illustrations. (New edition.), The British Library


Love-Knots and Bridal-Bands: poems and rhymes of wooing and wedding, and valentine verses. Selected ... by F. L. ... With sixteen coloured illustrations by G. D. Leslie, ... W. F. Yeames, etc

Love-Knots and Bridal-Bands: poems and rhymes of wooing and wedding, and valentine verses. Selected ... by F. L. ... With sixteen coloured illustrations by G. D. Leslie, ... W. F. Yeames, etc

Image taken from page 71 of ‘Love-Knots and Bridal-Bands: poems and rhymes of wooing and wedding, and valentine verses. The British Library


The Illuminated Books of the middle ages; an account of the development and progress of the art of illumination ... from the IVth to the XVIIth centuries ... Illustrated by a series of examples ... executed on stone and printed in colours by Owen Jones.  - caption: 'A dragon.'

A dragon  – The Illuminated Books of the middle ages; an account of the development and progress of the art of illumination … from the IVth to the XVIIth centuries … Illustrated by a series of examples … executed on stone and printed in colours by Owen Jones. The British Library


Color Decoration

Image from page 17 of “On colour, and on the necessity for a general diffusion of taste among all classes : with remarks on laying out dressed geometrical gardens, examples of good and bad taste, illustrated by woodcuts and coloured plates in contrast”, Internet Archive Book

0 comments

Free images

art, blog, blogging, copyright, internet ethics, people, photography

free images

I like to incorporate images in blog posts, no matter what the post is about.

Sometimes, the blog post is the image or images and little or nothing else.  Other times, the image(s) is an illustration for the post.

As much as possible, the images that I use will be (1) my own, (2) public domain, or (3) licensed for the use.

Public domain images are images that have no copyright restrictions on them.  This may be because the copyright has lapsed or they have been placed into the public domain by their “author.”  By law, most photos made by the US government are public domain as “works” by our government cannot be copyrighted.

Most of the licensed images that I use are licensed free to the public under Creative Commons copyright licenses.  Under Creative Commons licenses, creators waive some of their rights under copyright and retain other rights.  There are several standard Creative Commons copyright-licenses.  (See https://creativecommons.org/)

A site that I’ve been using quite a bit recently is Pixabay, which has over 300,000 free photo, art, and vector illustrations.  All Pixabay images are available for use without cost or attribution, even for commercial applications.

The image at the top is from Pixabay.

6 comments

Wolverine!

critters, montana, mountains, now that's cool!, parks, photography, places, wild life

Wolverine - Glacier National Park - September 9, 2012

Wolverine near Grinnell Glacier, September 9, 2012, Glacier National Park, Montana – National Park Service photo by Erik Peterson (Some rights reserved)

I had no idea that there were wolverines in the lower 48 states of the US.  That would have been interesting to see – from a safe distance – when we were in Glacier last summer.

The wolverine is the largest land-dwelling species of the family Mustelidae (weasels). It is a stocky and muscular carnivore, more closely resembling a small bear than other mustelids. The wolverine, a solitary animal, has a reputation for ferocity and strength out of proportion to its size, with the documented ability to kill prey many times larger than itself. (Wikipedia)

4 comments

Warmest year ever?

anthropogenic global warming, climate, climate change, give me a break!, global warming, in the news, media/news, science, science and nature, skeptic

desert-279862_640

In a press release on Friday, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) claimed its analysis of world temperatures showed ‘2014 was the warmest year on record’.  The analysis is based on readings from more than 3,000 measuring stations worldwide.

Apparently, it beat out the 2010 record by 0.02°C.

Really.

Really?  0.02°C? (That’s 0.036°F).

The margin of error acknowledged by GSS researchers is five times that value (0.1°C, 0.18°F).

Gavin Schmidt, Director of GISS, released the graphic below on Twitter.

probabilities

 

According to NASA, then, there is only a 38% probability that 2014 was the warmest.  Yet, in the media, it’s presented as proven fact.

Given that NASA says there is a 38% probability it was the warmest, there is a 62% probability that it wasn’t.

I didn’t see that on the evening news or in any of the headlines that proclaimed 2014 the warmest ever.

Global temperatures for all of the years in the table fall within the 0.1°C margin of error.

In other words, the variation has been insignificant.

2 comments