My former colleagues at OU/NSSL got together and painted the phased array radar (PAR) purple in honor of a key PAR scientist who is going through cancer treatment right now. As someone remarked on Facebook, there's a lot of love in that picture.
On a week when OU is in the national news because of a group of fraternity boys singing songs about niggers hanging from trees, the purple radar reminds me of the thoughtfulness and camaraderie that I associate with my nearly 20 years in Oklahoma.
Apparently someone painted a hateful symbol on the wall of the Seattle area Hindu temple.
The ironic thing is that the graffiti in question was a swastika. Swastikas were of course Hindu symbols long before Hitler got hold of it. Even though the Nazi symbol is a mirror image of the Hindu swastika, many Hindu temples in America use the Hindi letter for Om in order to avoid any misunderstanding.
If caught, a smart lawyer could probably plead the symbol was not meant in a harmful way and that the swastika was drawn on a wall where it was quite apt. Hope however that the graffiti artist was drawing in da Vinci code.
My usual commute is to ride the bike (at 6.45 am) to a freeway station and catch an express bus to Seattle. At about 7.10am, I got a call from home. The wife could not find the car keys.
Turns out I had been even less sharp than usual this morning when I left for work. I had left home with both set of car keys, one in each jeans pocket. Mine and the wife's.
In the mornings, the express routes and the bus lines are all oriented towards getting to downtown. Coming back is another matter altogether. Luckily there was a bus at 7.25am that stopped somewhat in the vicinity of home. So, I took that bus, bicycled home, returned the car keys and caught the next bus back to the city. I was back at work at 8.40 am. Not bad for two roundtrips on public transit.
The funny thing? Because all my bus rides were within 2 hours of the start of my journey, the remaining 3 trips all counted as "transfers" and all four journeys together cost $3.00.
And of course, there was the infamous physics professor who wanted to build a wall in the Great Plains forgetting that there are mountain ranges that high in the Midwest that do nothing to stop 'em twisters.
But the email I got today was a first. The crank makes a testable prediction:
Since when have cranks started making testable predictions? Since severe storms are more prevalent in Alabama starting in March, this is not a climatological prediction. And while there have been a few small earthquakes near Fuji, and the Japanese have evacuation plans in place, there is no heightened state of alarm.
She is about to pass the die off to me, when I suggest that she look again at her hand. "Why don't you use your 2:1 port to convert some of your cards," I ask her, "and upgrade one of your houses to a settlement?". She doesn't quite get it. "What does that mean?," she asks.
At which point, the son interjects: "Because she doesn't want to, Appa. Don't control her spirit."
p.s. You may have noticed that my blogging frequency has reduced. This appears to be a side-effect of working in the private sector -- I am reluctant to post anything that is even tangentially related to work, and that obviously cuts down on what I can post. The bridge blog continues apace of course, because there is nothing there to self-censor.
My work is in downtown Seattle but we chose to live in Bellevue after extensive research because it has both great schools and convenient public transport into the city. I'll talk about the schools another day; today, I'll talk about bicycling. Having lived and bicycled in Oklahoma, the difference is stark.
Most days, I bicycle to an express bus stop (5 minutes) and then take the bus into the city (20 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes on the way back). Had I taken a car, it would take 40 minutes to get there and an hour to get back. Not to mention ... I'd pay $11 for parking most days and up to $125/day when there are events going on .
On days when I can plan it out, I can bicycle all the way home, forgoing the bus altogether. The bicycle path runs along the interstate and over the lake. This is what my bicycle commute looks like:
I'm bicycling to a bus stop and taking an express bus to work. This combination is a little unlikely in the Midwest -- I am on the liberal, left coast alright.
Last weekend, we drove all of two hours and found ourselves in glacier country. Glaciers!
Surely, that means we'd have the place all to ourselves? Nope. The parking lot to the trail was crowded with at least 50 cars.
This weekend, Thursday's solar flares were to setup a huge geomagnetic storm. That, along with clear skies, meant that there was a good chance of seeing the aurora borealis. The question was where to go to escape the light pollution of the Puget Sound cities and still get a northern view.
A lot of internet searching led to Rattlesnake Lake, about 30 miles east of where live. So we went well after dusk to that secluded state park ... and found that cars were lined up outside the park entrance for at least a mile!
Rattlesnake Lake was unlighted and dark, but there were still low hills ringing it, meaning that we couldn't see the horizon. The light pollution was still there, though, because of aircraft lights atop the hills, and the situation was not helped by the hundreds of people packed by the lake and turning on their flashlights every so often.
This was the view from Rattlesnake Lake. Those are not northern lights.