Eclipse !!!!!!!

Where will you be when the great eclipse of 2017 happens?  Will you go to the path of totality or sit it out here in boring old Prince William  County?  I am probably headed for splash down in my air-conditioned car.  I won’t be taking pictures.

I have my glasses though.  Several batches of them.  I have some I can’t verify.  Grrrrr.  Mind you, I ordered glasses 2 months ago.  So cast your politics aside and enjoy a good eclipse.  Oh, and pray for no rain!

Anyone named Moon-Howler has to love a good eclipse!!!

A word of caution——————————–>

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Denial can be a savagely dangerous

Neil deGrasse Tyson says that this video might just be the most important thing he has ever said.  That’s quite a statement considering his long, illustrious career as an American astrophysicist.

Often people aren’t comfortable with science and new ideas.  Some folks are still denying many components of evolution.  Parents are still attempting to dictate what is taught in science class across the nation.

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What do you do when the lights go out during the blizzard?


Get your mind out of the gutter!  Seriously…what do people do who are totally dependent on electricity for all their entertainment if they no longer have electricity?  I live with 2 other people.  I asked the question.  Everyone just sort of dropped in their tracks.  What would we do?

We came up with reading, cards and board games to break the boredom.  Actually I thought about sleeping.   Then I immediately started charging kindles, iPads, tablets, and power chargers.  We dug out an old ups or whatever you call them.

So what do adults do when there are no electronics?  What forms of entertainment are there to do during blizzards?  Your input is needed!



2015–the warmest year

U.S. officials stressed that the El Niño pattern alone does not account of the year’s record warmth. “The interesting thing is that 2015 did not start with an El Niño,” Schmidt said. “It was warm right from the beginning.”

Because a strong El Niño still is in place, “2016 is expected to be an exceptionally warm year, and perhaps even another record,” Schmidt said.

The release of the 2015 temperature data prompted statements from leading Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Clinton, in a Twitter posting, said, “Climate change is real. It’s hurting our planet and our people. We can’t afford a president who ignores the science.”

There was no immediate comments from the major GOP contenders, several of whom have been openly skeptical of the mainstream scientific view that human activity is causing the planet to warm. Front-runner Donald Trump has dismissed climate change as a hoax.

According to the NOAA analaysis on Wednesday, every month in 2015 broke previous temperature records except for two: January and April. NOAA also announced Wednesday that for December, the “temperature departure from average was also the highest departure among all months in the historical record and the first time a monthly departure has reached 2°F.”

From a climate policy perspective, the warmth of 2015 is also highly significant. Global leaders in Paris agreed in December that the planet should not be allowed to warm 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures — and ideally, warming should be limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius if possible.

Which presidential contenders do not believe that there is climate change?
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Virginia proposal to reduce unwanted pregnancy: Access to contraception

Women with little or no health insurance would be eligible for free, long-lasting birth control under a program proposed by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D).

Announced by Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) at a community college in Alexandria on Friday, the $9 million federal grant would cover intrauterine devices and skin implants as well as outreach to eligible women, training for clinicians and a study of the program’s impact.

“This is all about educating and empowering women to decide when and if they become pregnant,” Northam said at Northern Virginia Community College. “When women have access to this contraception, they choose on their own time when to start a family.”

Northam, who is running for governor in 2017, has been pushing for such a program for months. He wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post in Auguston the issue and argued for expanded access to birth control during a Brookings Institution event in October.

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War of the Worlds: Are people just smarter now?

war of the worlds

Shortly after 8 p.m. on the Halloween Eve, 1938, the voice of a panicked radio announcer broke in with a news bulletin reporting strange explosions taking place on the planet Mars, followed minutes later by a report that Martians had landed in the tiny town of Grovers Mill, New Jersey. Although most listeners understood that the program was a radio drama, the next day’s headlines reported that thousands of others plunged into panic, convinced that America was under a deadly Martian attack. It turned out to be H.G. Wells’ classic The War of the Worlds, performed by 23-year-old Orson Welles.

77 years ago today, at around 8 pm,  thousands of Americans pushed the proverbial panic button, loaded up their cars and drove off in a panic, convinced that they had moments to live because of an invasion.   It’s hard to believe, nowadays, that people were that naïve–or is it?

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Science vs. Religion

science religion

Are science and religion at odds with each other? A majority of the public says science and religion often conflict, with nearly six-in-ten adults (59%) expressing this view in newly released findings from a Pew Research Center survey. The share of the public saying science and religion are often in conflict is up modestly from 55% in 2009, when Pew Research conducted a similar survey on religion and science.

People’s sense that there generally is a conflict between religion and science seems to have less to do with their own religious beliefs than it does with their perceptions of other people’s beliefs. Less than one-third of Americans polled in the new survey (30%) say their personal religious beliefs conflict with science, while fully two-thirds (68%) say there is no conflict between their own beliefs and science.

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Super, harvest, eclipsing moon starring on Sunday night

superbloodeclipsing moon

This weekend, when you look into the night sky you will be able to see a blood red, larger-than-life moon projecting against the stars; the first in more than 30 years.

The rare event is due to the supermoon total lunar eclipse that is expected to happen on Sunday night. Anyone in the U.S. will be able to witness the event from their own backyards or watch the livestream on NASA’s website.

NASA expects the eclipse to last approximately 1 hour and 11 minutes beginning at 10: 11 p.m. and peaking at approximately 10:47 p.m. The live stream will begin at 8 p.m. when the supermoon is shining bright and it’ll end at 11:30 p.m.

NASA will also be answering questions regarding the eclipse via Twitter by using the hashtag #askNASA.

A ‘blood moon’ has always been seen as a bad omen throughout history, but NASA explains the red filtering is caused by particulates in Earth’s atmosphere. Experts have said that when there are a lot of fires or volcanic eruptions, lunar eclipses will appear darker and redder.

Once the moon hides behinds Earth’s shadow—the umbra—during an eclipse, sunlight reaches the moon indirectly and it’s refracted around the edges of Earth, which then causes all colors to be filtered with the exception of red.

Now all we have to do is keep our fingers crossed that the clouds of the weekend will have blown off.  The weekend is supposed to be cloudy and perhaps rainy.

My family always celebrates Harvest Moon, at my insistence.  We go to a Chinese restaurant each year.  The bad thing is, local Chinese restaurants don’t seem to highlight the Harvest Moon any more.  Now anyone with a moniker involving a moon should just get excited over this lunar event.   I am!

Happy Super, Harvest, Blood, Eclipsing Moon!!!!

Walker appointee suggests volcanoes are real culprit of climate change


Wisconsin, which has been in the news this week for voting to bar staff of the state public lands board from talking about climate change, is getting a new state official who is skeptical of human contribution to climate change.

Gov. Scott Walker (R) recently appointed Mike Huebsch to the state Public Service Commission, and Huebsch was asked about his views on climate change during his confirmation hearing this week. The Public Service Commission oversees utility issues in the state, including electricity, gas and water.

“I believe that humans can have an impact to climate change, but I don’t think it’s anywhere near the level of impact of just the natural progression of our planet,” Huebsch said, according to the Wisconsin Radio Network. “You know, the elimination of essentially every automobile would be offset by one volcano exploding. You have to recognize the multiple factors that go into climate change.”

Scientists have studied this issue fairly extensively, and concluded that emissions generated by human activity — specifically, the burning of fossil fuels — far surpass volcanoes when it comes to warming the planet. Human activities generate about 35 gigatons of greenhouse gases per year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, while all the world’s volcanoes combined spew something in the range of 0.13 to 0.44 gigatons per year. That means the human influence on the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is 80 to 270 times greater than that of volcanoes.

I don’t think there is THAT much geothermal activity going on.  Why do people say things like this regarding climate change?    I believe the readers will have something to contribute on this issue.

Will the ban be lifted?  Will state employees be allowed to say “climate change?”  I guess not talking about something will make it go away?

Defying the laws of physics in an SUV

I got an email from a friend today, mimicking people who drive SUVs.

“With my SUV I can haul ass over snowy and icy streets with total impunity, without really even paying attention to anything, because my fancy SUV makes me immune to all the basic laws of physics.

It seems a lot of people with SUVs or 4WDs think that way.”
Here’s a SUV wreck from earlier today in Arlington:

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The Plague: Black rats exonerated–blame the gerbils

black rat

Just when we found out that the hype about the Crusades was partially a myth, now we have another millennial myth blow up in our faces.  Rats have been exonerated for having killed a hundred   million people with the Black Plague.  Instead, scientists have discovered that this deadly recurring scourge was caused by rat cousins, the gerbils.  According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the  Washington Post reports:

After nearly eight centuries of accusing the black rat for spreading the bubonic plague, scientists say they have compelling evidence to exonerate the much-maligned rodent. In the process, they’ve identified a new culprit: gerbils.

It’s always the cute ones you have to watch out for, isn’t it?


According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, climate data dating back to the 14th century contradicts the commonly held notion that European plague outbreaks were caused by a reservoir of disease-carrying fleas hosted by the continent’s rat population.


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The Leonids: Fauquier kicks Prince William’s booty


Prince William Times:

When:: Nov. 15, 7 to 11 p.m.
Where: C.M. Crockett Park, 10066 Rogues Road, outside Nokesville
Fee: $6 per car
What to bring: Warm clothes

Grab a warm coat and get ready to enjoy the excellent horizons from C.M. Crockett Park outside Nokesville, the perfect stage for the 2014 Leonid Meteor Shower.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac forecast expects 10 comets per hour this year, and a new moon allows for the best visibility of the annual shower, which has been a true crowd-pleaser since 1833.

The park, set away from bright lights, competes only with the lights of Manassas, and a little disruption from the Warrenton-Fauquier Airport.

The park is just across the Fauquier border, about 10 minutes from Nokesville.

The moon factors into a viewer’s ability to glimpse the meteors, and last year the full moon ruined the visibility. This November, however, the new moon provides ultimate viewing conditions. However, the forecast remains the wild card.

The Leonids show up annually and seem to emanate from the constellation Leo. No howling over the cost even from these quarters.  At least Fauquier is doing SOMETHING.  I had asked for years to have an event like this in Prince William County, specifically at Silver Lake.  I was told that I would have to pay for security.   That cost is a deal breaker.  $6 looks like a real bargain.

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Antares blows up on second launch attempt

It only took a matter of seconds. The fireball from the explosion could be seen from space. The facility was severely damaged and cars were torched. The Antares space launch that was to take supplies to the space station is gone.
An unmanned rocket that was to resupply the International Space Station blew up Tuesday evening a few seconds after liftoff from Wallops Island, Va.

The Orbital Sciences rocket rose a short distance from the launchpad and then exploded in a ball of orange flames. Orbital Sciences is a private company based in Dulles, Va.

NASA confirmed that all personnel were accounted for and that there were no injuries in the explosion. However, it appeared that the explosion caused damage on the ground. Emergency personnel from nearby Virginia jurisdictions, including Chincoteague, were sent to the scene.

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Let’s talk about Fall

fruit trees

What is going on out there?  This is the beginning of October and trees are dropping their leaves like its November.  Leaves don’t usually fall like this until the third week of October.  Many of the leaves haven’t even begun to change colors.   The leaves are doing strange things.  Many trees have excessive fruit also.  The oak trees next door had large amounts of green acorns 6 weeks ago. It looked like bunches of green olives just hanging there.  The squirrels went nuts. (no pun intended.)  They jumped from cluster to cluster, stuffing their cheeks and gorging on the green fruit.  The acorns turned brown overnight and then began falling.  It sounded like rain for a day or two.


Other trees have had huge amounts of fruit and seeds.  Usually when the plants act strange and there are heavily laden fruit trees, , I have found it is a harbinger of blizzards and memorable snow storms.

What have our contributors read?  What have been your experiences?  Should we expect an unusually cold winter or many snow storms?   Your predictions please.