Steens Mountain, sunrise, or sunset?

July 31, 2013

Either someone just spent a very cold night to get a photo, or they’re getting ready to spend a very cold night.

Which is it?

Steens Mountain in #Oregon

US Dept of Interior: If you haven’t seen Steens Mountain in #Oregon, you really should check out this stunning photo from @BLMOregon pic.twitter.com/H2eePMmfsX

Steens Mountain at sunrise is a very popular image for photographers — but very few get a shot from the mountain itself like this one.

Steens Mountain is a large fault-block mountain in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Oregon. Located in Harney County, it stretches some 50 miles (80 km) long north to south, and rises from alongside the Alvord Desert at elevation of about 4,200 feet (1,300 m) to a summit elevation of 9,733 feet (2,967 m). It is sometimes confused with a mountain range, but is properly a single mountain.

More:

English: The Alvord Desert playa, looking sout...

The Alvord Desert playa, looking southeast from Steens Mountain, southeast Oregon; Wikipedia image


Twitter open thread: Noah’s flood

July 30, 2013

No, the evidence doesn’t point to a Noachic flood.  Evidence contradicts the idea.

Welcome, @crazy_stairz @EdDarrell @paulmc107 @StrangerGirl2 @HomunculusLoikm @LogicBobomb, and anyone else who wants to join in.  Usual rules of civility apply.

Discussing this, and its many cousins:


Annals of ObamaCare: Restaurant hiring increased since the bill passed

July 30, 2013

Watch the charts, get the facts.  Obamacare is working well.

First, let’s look at the food service industry.  Hoaxsters claim that restaurants are cutting hours of employees and refusing to hire, to avoid the law. Not so.

Growth in restaurant employment and sales since Affordable Care Act was signed into law

Growth in restaurant employment and sales since Affordable Care Act was signed into law

So food service establishments — restaurants — have experienced sales and employment growth as has the rest of the economy during the Obama administration.  What about employees?  Are restaurants cutting back their hours to avoid providing benefits to employees?  Evidence suggests the opposite:  Hours worked per employee are increasing.  Go to the chart:

Average weekly hours worked in restaurants, per employee, since the Affordable Care Act became law

Average weekly hours worked in restaurants, per employee, since the Affordable Care Act became law

These are the official figures from the White House.  More [links added here]:

During the four years since the recession ended in June 2009, 87% of the increase in employment has been due to a rise in the number of workers in full-time jobs. And looking at the period since ACA was signed in March 2010, more than 90% of the rise in employment has been due to workers in full-time jobs. Moreover, the length of the average workweek for private sector production and nonsupervisory employees has returned to its level at the start of the Great Recession.

And while the number of involuntary part-time workers has declined roughly in line with previous recoveries, it spiked up 322,000 in June. However, nearly 30 percent of the June increase was due to federal employees. This suggests that furloughs contributed to the pickup in part-time employment.

These observations strongly suggest that the Affordable Care Act has not constrained growth in hiring or work hours. So what is the ACA doing? It’s slowing the growth rate of health care costs for consumers, creating new incentives for providers to raise the quality of care, and adding new transparency and accountability in the insurance marketplace—all steps that help the economy.

ObamaCare is working — the Affordable Care Act has provided cheaper health care, much broader insurance coverage, better health — and seems to be stimulating industry, too.

More:

 


Geographic jokes, on the Colorado and Green Rivers?

July 29, 2013

Can the scientist appreciate the beauty of creation as much as the non-scientist religious person?

Can you get the joke in this photo, without a smattering of knowledge of geography, and languages?  Or am I looking at it wrong?

Confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers, in Canyonlands National Park.  Photo by Jim Collins

Confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers, in Canyonlands National Park. Photo by Jim Collins, posted on Facebook by Canyonlands National Park

It’s a joke on a planetary scale, if not a cosmic one.

(Hints:  This is a photo looking from the north, I think; “Colorado” means “red” in Spanish.)

Update: Okay, Mr. Higginbotham convinced me.  We’re looking from the west, and that’s the Colorado coming from the top of the picture, and the Green coming from the bottom left; then the conjoined streams flow away, to the bottom right.  So, in the photo, the Colorado River is, appropriately, red, while the Green River is, fittingly, green

Not a majestic joke by Mother Nature, but a poetic way to remind us of the names of these rivers.

Poetry that might make us smile, too.

(It’s rare that these rivers run such dramatically different colors, especially with the Colorado that red, that far north.)

Google Maps aerial photo of the Confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers; match the geography with the other photo, and note the labels on this one.  Tip of the old scrub brush to Mr. Higginbotham.

Google Maps aerial photo of the Confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers; match the geography with the other photo, and note the labels on this one. Rotate this picture 90 degrees to the left, it matches up better.   Tip of the old scrub brush to Mr. J. A. Higginbotham.

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Mark Twain in Fort Worth

July 29, 2013

Mark Twain statue, Trinity Park, Fort Worth, Texas Photo by Barbara Schmidt © 2010

Mark Twain statue, Trinity Park, Fort Worth, Texas Photo by Barbara Schmidt © 2010

I’m falling down in my Mark Twain fandom, obviously.  Barbara Schmidt, who keeps the fine site, TwainQuotes (www.twainquotes.com), features this photo of Mark Twain holding an open copy of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, on one of the main pages at her site.

I did not know such a statue of Twain existed in Texas, let alone within an hour’s travel from my home.  I’ll have to track it down.

Why is it there?  Twain never set foot in Fort Worth, that I know.

What other great statues hide around Dallas and Fort Worth?

More:

Mark Twain in Fort Worth's Trinity Park, by Amy Moore, at Everything Everywhere

Mark Twain in Fort Worth’s Trinity Park, by Amy Moore, at Everything Everywhere.  The statue was created by Gary Lee Price.


Great obits: Scott E. Entsminger, and six Cleveland Brown pall bearers

July 28, 2013

Published in the Columbus Dispatch, July 7, 2013; highlighting the best part:

Scott E. Entsminger, at Corvette Forum

Scott E. Entsminger. According to Corvette Forum: The family also has requested that “everyone” wear their Browns clothing to Entsminger’s funeral Tuesday. Browns public relations director Zak Gilbert told ESPN.com that as soon as the Browns learned of Entsminger’s death they contacted his widow, Pat, to express their condolences. “She told us that Scott’s favorite player was Lou Groza, so we had a 76 jersey customized with Scott’s last name,” Gilbert said. A representative from the Browns’ front office will personally deliver it to Pat Entsminger at her husband’s memorial service Tuesday afternoon. Image from Corvette Forum

Entsminger — Scott E. Entsminger, 55, of Mansfield, died Thursday, July 4, 2013 at his residence. Born January 8, 1958 in Columbus, Ohio, he was the son of William and Martha (Kirkendall) Entsminger. He retired from General Motors after 32 years of service. He was an accomplished musician, loved playing the guitar and was a member of the Old Fogies Band. A lifelong Cleveland Browns fan and season ticket holder, he also wrote a song each year and sent it to the Cleveland Browns as well as offering other advice on how to run the team. He respectfully requests six Cleveland Browns pall bearers so the Browns can let him down one last time. Scott was a fun loving, kind and caring man who enjoyed gardening and fishing but his greatest enjoyment was spending time with his family. He is survived by his wife of 16 years, Pat Entsminger; a son, Aaron Entsminger of Columbus; a brother, Bill (Kathy) Entsminger of Grove City, Ohio; a sister, Lois Courtright of Galloway, Ohio; a sister-in-law, Carol Ferrall of Georgia; four nieces, Kristi Nunamaker, Allison Courtright, Emily Ferrall and Ashley Ferrall; a nephew, Benny Entsminger; his three dogs, Blackey, Shadow and Jezebel; his step mother, Lil Entsminger; a special aunt, Ginny Entsminger; and several cousins and other dear relatives. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother-in-law Harry Courtright. Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at the Life Celebration Reception Center, 129 South Main Street, Mansfield, Ohio 44902. Friends may call one hour prior to the service, from 1-2 p.m., on Tuesday. The family also encourages everyone to wear their Cleveland Browns clothing to the service in honor of Scott. The family suggests that something be planted in his memory. Online guest registry at www.wappner.com

– See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/dispatch/obituary.aspx?n=scott-e-entsminger&pid=165695591

More:

Mr. Entsinger's favorite player was Lou Groza, who wore #76 for the old Cleveland Browns.

Mr. Entsminger’s favorite player was Lou Groza, who wore #76 for the old Cleveland Browns.


Happy birthday, Bugs Bunny! 73 today

July 27, 2013

On July 27, 1940, Bugs Bunny burst onto screens across the nation in his first Warner Bros. cartoon, “A Wild Hare.”

Lobby card for "A Wild Hare," Warner Bros, via Wikimedia

Lobby card for “A Wild Hare,” Warner Bros, via Wikimedia

Still wondering who was it said this.  Can you help me pin down the source?

Bugs Bunny is who we hope to be, but Daffy Duck is who we secretly fear we are.

Happy birthday, Bugs!

More: 

The first on-screen appearance of Bugs Bunny, ...

The first appearance of Bugs Bunny as Bugs Bunny — 1940’s “A Wild Hare,” starring Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd.
Wikipedia image, from an unrestored version of the cartoon.


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