Posts filed under ‘Nature’

Bacteria Can Reproduce Another Generation in 20 Minutes

Hey, I’m like the next person in that I’m spoiled to the Internets and short articles and quick this and fast that so when I come across a longish article I kind of wince.  But I’m fascinated by the whole issue of antibiotics and how bacteria are evolving such that they’re antibiotic-resistant.  This morning I came across a fascinating article about that that was fascinating and worth the time from beginning to end:  Imagining the Post-Antibiotics Future — After 85 years, antibiotics are growing impotent. So what will medicine, agriculture and everyday life look like if we lose these drugs entirely?

The breadth of the problem has escaped me until now.  For example, treating burns would “have a very, very difficult task keeping people alive” and maybe we should forget about transplantation.  People who get transplants are loaded up on antibiotics prior to surgery and if a transplant surgery is pretty much guaranteed to kill them, because antibiotics become ineffective, who in the world would be willing to perform the operation?

Salmonella Bacteria via Wikipedia

(Color-enhanced scanning electron micrograph showing Salmonella typhimurium (red) invading cultured human cells via Wikipedia)

And get this mind-blowing quote:

Bacteria can produce another generation in as little as twenty minutes; with tens of thousands of generations a year working out survival strategies, the organisms would soon overwhelm the potent new drugs.

Imagine getting a simple paper cut and dying from it.  Or having something as common as a ruptured appendix (which I had in 2005):

Doctors routinely perform procedures that carry an extraordinary infection risk unless antibiotics are used. Chief among them: any treatment that requires the construction of portals into the bloodstream and gives bacteria a direct route to the heart or brain. That rules out intensive-care medicine, with its ventilators, catheters, and ports—but also something as prosaic as kidney dialysis, which mechanically filters the blood.

Next to go: surgery, especially on sites that harbor large populations of bacteria such as the intestines and the urinary tract. Those bacteria are benign in their regular homes in the body, but introduce them into the blood, as surgery can, and infections are practically guaranteed. And then implantable devices, because bacteria can form sticky films of infection on the devices’ surfaces that can be broken down only by antibiotics.

I highly recommend the article.  We’ve got to deal with this.  If you’re a parent, start making noise for the sake of your kids or grandkids.

Again, here’s the link.

November 26, 2013 at 1:53 PM Leave a comment

Clouds

Clouds 11-26-13

Granted this isn’t the best picture but check out these bands of clouds I noticed this morning when I was coming home from my walk.  I was up on a ridge when I first saw them but didn’t feel like getting in my car and driving back there so I could get a better picture.

I think they’re called stratocumulus clouds and they form, “when humid air cools enough for water vapor to condense into droplets or ice crystals.”

Cool.

 

November 26, 2013 at 11:52 AM Leave a comment

Sardinia Hit With 17 Inches of Rain in 90 Minutes

Sardinia image via Wikitravel.org

I lived through the floods in Boulder in September when 24″ of rain fell over the course of four days.  On Monday night, 17 inches of rain fell on the Italian island of Sardinia in 90 minutes.  90 minutes!

Wow.  That must have been quite an experience.

November 21, 2013 at 3:20 PM Leave a comment

Wild Horses — Another Casualty of Fracking

Wild Mustangs in Wyoming by SteppinStars via Wikimedia Commons

Wild Mustangs in Wyoming (Image: SteppinStars via Commons.Wikimedia)

SAN FRANCISCO, Ca. (November 21, 2013)–The public is outraged more indigenous wild horses will be rounded up and permanently removed from public land to grab water and frack the land. Protect Mustangs is calling for protests to stand up for the American mustang and a tourism boycott targeted at Wyoming who promotes ”Roam Free” in their marketing yet ignores the wild horse. 700 Adobe Town and Salt Wells herds will be rounded up from the public-private land known as the “Checkerboard” starting this week. The majority will live in captivity, be at-risk for going to slaughter and forever lose their freedom to roam.

“Fracking for oil and gas is polluting the environment and wiping out America’s wild horses,” states Anne Novak, executive director of Protect Mustangs. “It’s time for clean energy that can coexist with wildlife.”

More…

Amen, amen, amen to that.

November 21, 2013 at 2:30 PM Leave a comment

What Should be the Top News Story

After watching this video — Fukushima:  Beyond Urgent — I’d say what’s happening at Fukushima these days should be reported on way more than it is, as in not at all (thanks “liberal media!”).

Words from the last frame:

Nothing like this has ever been attempted.  All of humanity will be threatened for 1,000s of years if rods in Unit 4 pools touch during removal process.

(My emphasis.)

See links to more info about Fukushima here (scroll down).

 

 

November 19, 2013 at 10:52 AM Leave a comment

Morning Gorgeousness

Look at this exquisite snowflake:

Snowflake via Alexey Kljatov on Flickr

(Image: Alexey Kljatov on Flickr)

See more of Mother Nature’s perfection here.

November 18, 2013 at 9:25 AM Leave a comment

Put Some Fracking Wells In My Backyard Tonight!

I saw this ad on my local Denver/ABC News station tonight.  I guess I better run out and sign up to have “Energy From Shale” put five or ten fracking wells in my backyard tonight.  Sounds so idyllic!

Just kidding.

I’d never eat meat from Ms. Kern’s ranch and man-oh-man, I feel sorry for her kids.  I have a bad feeling about this.  I think she’s going to regret it.  When you “talk with experts” from the fracking industry about fracking ah, yeah, it’s gonna sound great.

As an aside, Ault, Colorado is in Weld County.  On November 5, Weld County will vote on seceding (or not) from Colorado.

October 22, 2013 at 8:10 PM 3 comments

A Sad, Haunted Ocean

Ocean via Wikipedia

(Image via Wikipedia)

This article, from the Australian newspaper, The Herald, is about Ivan Macfadyen’s trek from Melbourne to Osaka, ten years go and then again this past spring:

IT was the silence that made this voyage different from all of those before it.

Not the absence of sound, exactly.

The wind still whipped the sails and whistled in the rigging. The waves still sloshed against the fibreglass hull.

And there were plenty of other noises: muffled thuds and bumps and scrapes as the boat knocked against pieces of debris.

What was missing was the cries of the seabirds which, on all previous similar voyages, had surrounded the boat.

The birds were missing because the fish were missing.

Exactly 10 years before, when Newcastle yachtsman Ivan Macfadyen had sailed exactly the same course from Melbourne to Osaka, all he’d had to do to catch a fish from the ocean between Brisbane and Japan was throw out a baited line.

“There was not one of the 28 days on that portion of the trip when we didn’t catch a good-sized fish to cook up and eat with some rice,” Macfadyen recalled.

But this time, on that whole long leg of sea journey, the total catch was two.

No fish. No birds. Hardly a sign of life at all.

[...]

But in March and April this year, only silence and desolation surrounded his boat, Funnel Web, as it sped across the surface of a haunted ocean.

North of the equator, up above New Guinea, the ocean-racers saw a big fishing boat working a reef in the distance.

“All day it was there, trawling back and forth. It was a big ship, like a mother-ship,” he said.

And all night it worked too, under bright floodlights. And in the morning Macfadyen was awoken by his crewman calling out, urgently, that the ship had launched a speedboat.

[...]

“And they gave us five big sugar-bags full of fish,” he said.

“They were good, big fish, of all kinds. Some were fresh, but others had obviously been in the sun for a while.

“We told them there was no way we could possibly use all those fish. There were just two of us, with no real place to store or keep them. They just shrugged and told us to tip them overboard. That’s what they would have done with them anyway, they said.

[...]

Macfadyen felt sick to his heart. That was one fishing boat among countless more working unseen beyond the horizon, many of them doing exactly the same thing.

No wonder the sea was dead. No wonder his baited lines caught nothing. There was nothing to catch.

If that sounds depressing, it only got worse.

[...]

After we left Japan, it felt as if the ocean itself was dead,” Macfadyen said.

“We hardly saw any living things. We saw one whale, sort of rolling helplessly on the surface with what looked like a big tumour on its head. It was pretty sickening.

[...]

“In a lot of places we couldn’t start our motor for fear of entangling the propeller in the mass of pieces of rope and cable. That’s an unheard of situation, out in the ocean.

[...]

Plastic was ubiquitous. Bottles, bags and every kind of throwaway domestic item you can imagine, from broken chairs to dustpans, toys and utensils.

And something else. The boat’s vivid yellow paint job, never faded by sun or sea in years gone past, reacted with something in the water off Japan, losing its sheen in a strange and unprecedented way.

More…

Tough as it is, I recommend reading the whole article.  It isn’t all that long and it’s good to get a first-person account — with a first-person, ten-year perspective — as opposed to reading about “what scientists predict…”

Far as I know, what Macfadyen experienced is what scientists are predicting will happen 30, 40 years from now, not RIGHT NOW.

October 22, 2013 at 6:53 PM Leave a comment

Lobbyists Winning The Fight to Stop Pumping Livestock Full of Antibiotics

Syringe via Wikipedia.org

(Image via Wikipedia)

The farm and pharmaceutical lobbies have blocked all meaningful efforts to reduce the use of antibiotics in raising livestock in America, a practice that contributes to a major public health risk, a study released Tuesday found.The report says Congress has killed every effort to legislate a ban on feeding farm animals antibiotics that are important in human medicine. Not only that, but regulation of livestock feeding practices has grown weaker under the Obama administration, the study says.

“Our worst fears were confirmed,’’ said Bob Martin, executive director of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, which issued the report. The Food and Drug Administration’s statistics, he said, show that fully 80 percent of the antibiotics sold in this country are fed to food animals.

[...]

FDA guidelines in the pipeline, Martin said, would require the industry to stop using antibiotics specifically to bulk up cows and other food animals but would continue to allow their use for “disease-control.” What constitutes disease-control is so loosely defined, however, that there would be “no change” in the use of antibiotics, Martin said.

“In a couple of areas, the Obama administration started off with good intentions. But when industry pushed back, even weaker rules were issued,” he said. “We saw undue influence everywhere we turned.”

More…

This article illustrates the incredible power of lobbyists.  Surely just about everyone in congress, if they’d stop and think for a sec, understands that pumping feed animals full of antibiotics is a very bad idea.  I mean, even doctors at the esteemed John Hopkins for God’s sake are telling them that but do they listen?  No, because they’re more terrified of the lobbyists than medical experts or even of us, the voters.

Think about it for a second:  The United States congress may singlehandedly be making antibiotics ineffective worldwide because it’s succumbing to bribes by corporate lobbyists, putting 7 billion people at risk.

How do these guys sleep at night?

October 22, 2013 at 12:59 PM Leave a comment

“Once in a Decade” Typhoon Headed Toward Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant

Oh, god:

Fukushima image Steve Herman via Wikimedia

(Image Steve Herman via Wikimedia.org)

A once-in-a-decade typhoon threatened Japan on Tuesday, disrupting travel and shipping and forcing precautions to be taken at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Typhoon Wipha is moving across the Pacific straight towards the capital, Tokyo, and is expected to make landfall during the morning rush hour on Wednesday, bringing hurricane-force winds to the metropolitan area of 30 million people.

The center of the storm was 860 km (535 miles) southwest of Tokyo at 0800 GMT, the Japan Meteorological Agency said on its website. It was moving north-northeast at 35 kph (22 mph).

The storm had weakened as it headed north over the sea but was still packing sustained winds of about 140 kph (87 mph) with gusts as high as 194 kph (120 mph), the agency said.

The agency issued warnings for Tokyo of heavy rain, flooding and gales, and advised people to be prepared to leave their homes quickly and to avoid unnecessary travel.

A spokesman for the meteorological agency said the storm was a “once in a decade event”.

The typhoon is expected to sweep through northern Japan after making landfall and to pass near the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, on the coast 220 km (130 miles) northeast of Tokyo, later on Wednesday.

[...]

Typhoon Wipha is the strongest storm to approach eastern Japan since October 2004. That cyclone triggered floods and landslides that killed almost 100 people, forced thousands from their homes and caused billions of dollars in damage.

More…

October 15, 2013 at 4:30 PM Leave a comment

First Snow

We had our first snow here in Boulder, Colorado yesterday.  It’s still sticking to the Flatirons.  Beautiful contrasting colors, imho, in this pix from my morning walk.

First Snow Boulder 10-5-12

October 5, 2013 at 10:54 AM Leave a comment

If You Love Chilean Wine, Stock Up Now!

More weird weather:

Chilean Wine via Wikipedia

(Image via Wikipedia)

Chile declared a state of emergency on Thursday after a late frost caused an estimated $1 billion worth of damage to fruit crops, potentially hitting wine production as well.

The affected central region is the main fruit and wine producing area in Chile, the world’s No.7 wine producer, and includes vineyards owned by prominent local wine label Concha y Toro.

The industry is one of Chile’s most important after copper, with fruit exports worth $4.3 billion in 2012 and wine worth $1.8 billion, according to government figures.

“These frosts are the worst that agriculture has faced in 84 years, impacting the area from Coquimbo to Bio Bio,” the national agricultural society said as Agriculture Minister Luis Mayol pledged aid for affected farmers.

Fruit trade association Fedefruta has given an early estimate of up to $1 billion of damage from the extensive cold snap in late September.

More…

October 3, 2013 at 12:13 PM Leave a comment

Secretary of Agriculture: Why Do We Value Our Rural Farmers? Because They Send Their Kids to the Military!!!

A friend just sent me this mind blowing and sadly discouraging tidbit from mid-August.  Does a militaristic mindset permeate the brain of every upper level government official?

Farm by Scott Bauer via Wikimedia Commons

(Image Scott Bauer via Wikimedia Commons)

Why do we need more farmers? What is the driving force behind USDA policy? In an infuriating epiphany I have yet to metabolize, I found out Wednesday in a private policy-generation meeting with Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McCauliffe.

It was a who’s who of Virginia agriculture: Farm Bureau, Va. Agribusiness Council, Va. Forestry Association, Va. Poultry Federation, Va. Cattlemen’s Ass., deans from Virginia Tech and Virginia State–you get the picture.

But I digress. The big surprise occurred a few minutes into the meeting: US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack walked in.

[...]

Are you ready for the shoe to drop? The epiphany? What could the US Secretary of Agriculture, at the highest strategic planning sessions of our land, be challenged by other leaders to change this figure, to get more people in rural America, to encourage farming and help more farms get started? What could be the driving reason to have more farmers? Why does he go to bed at night trying to figure out how to increase farmers? How does the President and other cabinet members view his role as the nation’s farming czar?

What could be the most important contribution that increasing farmers could offer to the nation? Better food? Better soil development? Better care for animals? Better care for plants?

Here’s the bombshell:

Are you ready? Here’s his answer: although rural America only has 16 percent of the population, it gives 40 percent of the personnel to the military. Say what? You mean when it’s all said and done, at the end of the day, the bottom line–you know all the cliches–the whole reason for increasing farms is to provide cannon fodder for American imperial might. He said rural kids grow up with a sense of wanting to give something back, and if we lose that value system, we’ll lose our military might.

So folks, it all boils down to American military muscle. It’s not about food, healing the land, stewarding precious soil and resources; it’s all about making sure we keep a steady stream of youngsters going into the military.

More…

I was left speechless after reading this and I still am. SMDH.

 

 

 

September 29, 2013 at 3:57 PM Leave a comment

Please Stay Out of the Mountains West of Boulder

Boulder County put this PSA together urging people to stay out of the mountains west of Boulder so road crews can do their work.

Duh people!

September 25, 2013 at 3:54 PM Leave a comment

Mega-Typhoon Usagi Headed for Hong Kong

Having just lived through a mega-storm here in Boulder, Colorado, my heart goes out to all the people in the path of Super-Typhoon Usagi:

Joint Typhoon Warning Center

(Image: Joint Typhoon Warning Center)

An atmospheric monster has blossomed in the western Pacific Ocean, and it could have a devastating impact on Hong Kong this weekend.

On Thursday, Super Typhoon Usagi—now officially Earth’s strongest storm this year—rapidly grew from tropical storm strength to the equivalent of a category five hurricane, the scale’s highest level. That transformation occurred in an impressively short period of time: the storm’s estimated winds increased in speed by about 85mph (140kph) in less than a day—good enough for one of the fastest intensification rates ever recorded. Maximum wind gusts within Usagi are now estimated to be an incredible 170 knots (see below), or 195 mph (315 kph).

More…

195 mph winds combined with buildings like this

Hong Kong via Wikimeida Commons

(Image via Wikimedia Commons)

could spell disaster.

Fingers crossed.

September 20, 2013 at 9:09 AM Leave a comment

Colorado Republicans Support Local Flood Relief After Voting No on Help for Hurricane Sandy

Ah yes, fickle Republicans strike again.  Ethics?  Morality?  Character?  Doing what’s just plain right to help their fellow humans?  Nah.  It’s all about what will get them re-elected:

Colo Republican Committee via Wikipedia

(Image via Wikipedia.com)

Colorado House Republicans Unanimously Support Flood Relief, Unanimously Opposed Sandy Aid

As historic floods of “biblical” proportions continue to ravage Colorado, President Obama signed an emergency declaration on Sunday — a move that was encouraged by a bipartisan letter last week from the state’s nine-member Congressional delegation. But the four Republican Congressmen who are now supporting disaster relief for their own state were among those voting earlier this year against the emergency aid funding for Superstorm Sandy victims on the East Coast.

Colorado Republican Reps. Mike Coffman, Cory Gardner, Doug Lamborn, and Scott Tipton joined their delegation in asking the president to send emergency funds to help their constituents combat and recover from the more than 14 inches of rain that have flooded Colorado this month.

More…

The next time you hear a Republican say he or she wants to “cut the deficit” laugh and tell them about this. What they bloviate about to their Fox & Friends has nothing to do with their convictions.  It has everything to do with sticking one’s finger in the air and deciding which way the wind is blowing.Turning that upside down, both of Colorado’s Democratic senators voted for Sandy relief earlier this year, despite the fact that that that relief didn’t go to their state.  Hello!

In a 62-36 vote, the Senate on Monday approved legislation providing $50.7 billion to help New York, New Jersey and other states hit by Hurricane Sandy.

All 36 “no” votes came from Republicans.

More…

 

September 19, 2013 at 7:48 PM 4 comments

The Unanticipated Little (No, Big) Problems After a Flood

West on Table Mesa 9-13-13

Table Mesa Drive, Boulder, Colorado September 13, 2013

Boulder is slowly recovering after the flood.  The hubby and I had to drive across town yesterday; the farthest we’d been since last Wednesday.  We saw home after home with trash in the front yard — mattresses, carpeting, carpet pads, etc. — and though it had rained since Monday morning, water was still running down the streets in some areas.  What a testament to the amount of water that fell on the mountains that’s still draining down and out onto the plains.

This morning I took my three mile speed walk for the first time in ten days.  I go up into a hilly area to the southwest of our house, right up against the base of the Flatirons.  Homes on top of the ridges were fine but those built below have been inundated, with water, obviously, that flowed down the hillsides.  Some of them look like they literally had a wall of water blow right through them.

And then there’s this unanticipated pesky little problem:

Following last week’s seemingly endless rain, trash and debris dropoff sites established around Boulder to help with the post-flood cleanup efforts are now dealing with a seemingly endless stream of water-logged, muddy material.

[...]

City officials recognized Tuesday that sites were having trouble keeping up with demand but noted thee Boulder area is not the only place in Colorado with garbage disposal needs, making it hard to find additional run-off containers.

“The challenge we’re facing is that the demand for the receptacles is far greater than the space in the receptacles,” city spokeswoman Sarah Huntley said.  “And there is a limited supply of roll-off containers in the region right now.”

More…

Amazing.  You can plan and plan and plan but then run into a snag like this that really makes a huge difference in people’s lives, and not for the better.

 

September 18, 2013 at 12:03 PM Leave a comment

Imagine 17.5 Feet of Snow

My Tweet of the Day:

Tweet of the Day 9-16-13I’d rather have the snow but that’s just me.

 

September 16, 2013 at 2:44 PM 5 comments

Boulder Flood More Like a Once in a 1000-Year Event

I can see the beautiful building that houses the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) here in Boulder from my chair as I write.  You can almost see that building vibrate during the day and glow at night what with all the geniuses at work here. It isn’t a genius bar, it’s a genius building.

Here’s Bob Henson from NCAR’s assessment of the flood that hit Boulder this week.  It wasn’t a 100-year flood as everyone’s been surmising. When you hang out at NCAR and you crunch the numbers, it was more like a 1,000-year flood.

(Full disclosure:  Bob Henson is a good friend of my brother’s.)

NCAR Logo

Bob Henson | September 14, 2013  •  Even after the rains finally abated on Friday, I found myself struck by how the waterlogged air in Boulder felt oddly, almost eerily tropical. This only put an exclamation point on the weirdness of the week and its events. Four days of rainfall across Colorado’s Front Range produced massive flooding that’s marooned thousands of people, inundated many key roads, and damaged countless homes and businesses.

Just how rare was this event? Was it a 100-year flood, or something bigger (or smaller)? As always, the answer depends on exactly what you’re looking at, and exactly where.

[...]

Engineers often refer to NOAA’s Atlas 14 to find frequency estimates: how often to expect precipitation of a given intensity and duration. Russ Schumacher (Colorado State University) used the atlas to calculate frequency estimates for the rains observed in the critical 48-hour window from 6 a.m. MDT Wednesday to 6 a.m. Friday. In doing so, Schumacher found that a large chunk of Boulder County and parts of several other state counties passed the 1000-year recurrence threshold.

This doesn’t mean that such an rainfall would literally be expected once every thousand years, like clockwork. Rather, it’s a statement of probability: a 1000-year rainfall has an 0.1% chance of occurring in any given year.

More…

Wow.  And to think I was here for the big event!

I left out a lot so if you’re a science geek, you might want to read the whole thing.

September 14, 2013 at 4:57 PM Leave a comment

The Destruction Caused by a Little Creek During the Boulder Flood

Bear Creek — usually not a whole lot more than a trickle — runs down the middle of Table Mesa Drive in South Boulder.  The creek comes out of the mountains and runs out onto the plains.

Table Mesa Drive is a block and a half north of my house.

This is what looking west on Table Mesa Drive looks like this morning:

West on Table Mesa 9-13-13

This is what it looks like looking east.  You can see where the creek is supposed to run, in between the two lanes of road.

East on Table Mesa 9-13-13

This is two blocks west, where Bear Creek is pouring out of the mountains.  It appears that debris piled up at the entrance to the culvert that runs under the street (just the other side of those big trees) and the creek made its own path immediately to the south:

Bear Creek 9-13-13

This is a shot just to the right of the one above, showing a pile of rocks that were once strewn all over the road:

Bear Creek 2 9-13-13

And this is another shot, again just a bit to the right of the two photos above, showing an earth mover at work:

Bear Creek 3 9-13-13

If that earth mover was about 100 feet further ahead of where it is here at the time I took the top shot above, it would be visible at the top of the hill in that photo.

This is as far out as I’ve ventured thus far but I imagine there is damage like this everywhere, not to mention thousands of flooded basements, roads that have literally washed away, and hillsides that have washed away.

Needless to say, I have new respect for lil’ ol’ Bear Creek.

Hey, I see a patch of blue in the sky outside my office window.  Fingers crossed!

September 13, 2013 at 11:29 AM 3 comments

Boulder Flood Update

I’m basically hanging out, reading updates on the Boulder Flood and watching the rain come down but, the the hubby and I did manage to walk the dogs around the block.  We waited for a lull but one didn’t come so we went out while it was pouring.  Mr. Al (the guy on my masthead, above) acted like he was dying for some action all morning but then sulked the whole time we were walking because it was raining.  Hey, I tried to tell him but he wouldn’t listen.

When we got back I noticed water was pouring out of the gutter in the back of the house.  I guess debris is stuck in the downspout.  It just so happens, directly below where it’s pouring out is the entry to our crawl space.  It’s got a nice lean-to type cover on it but water was draining in around the curved, metal, window well-like structure that forms the base.  The last thing we need is a flooded crawl space (they’re saying the rain won’t stop until Sunday so we’ve got a long way to go), so I spread two tarps over the cover and out away from the house:

Tarps 9-12-13

Hope that works.

Otherwise, here’s some of what’s been happening:

This is north and west of town but still a fairly well populated area.  So scary to read a tweet like this:

Boulder Tweets 1

Boulder Creek runs right through downtown:

Boulder Tweets 2

We don’t need hillsides collapsing:

Boulder Tweets 3

The city is telling businesses to send their workers home.  I think they’re worried about a massive flood on Boulder Creek washing into town and they’re trying to get people out. The problem is, Boulder Creek runs through the mountains for miles before it emerges onto the plains immediately to the west of town.  Rain water is running down the mountain sides, pouring tons of water into the creek as it moves east toward Boulder.  A flash flood is a real possibility:

Boulder Tweets 5

The Coast Guard is being sent in.  Yes, the Coast Guard.  There isn’t a coast within a thousand miles of us.  That’s how much water we have around here:

Boulder Tweets 4

Medical marijuana is legal here so there are the inevitable tweets like this:

Boulder Tweets 6

Oh, the National Guard is coming in too:

Boulder Tweets 7

And hey, it wouldn’t be a good ol’ American disaster with a Pat Robertson wanna be like this butting in:

Boulder Tweets 8

I repeat my offer to take in dogs belonging to people who get Raptured.  Get in touch with me via my email above.

Oh, and one last thing:  The National Weather Service sent out an “Area Forecast Discussion” in which it referred to this rain as “biblical.” The local TV weather people say they’ve never seen the NWS use that word before.

That’s it for now.  I just hope we don’t lose power.

September 12, 2013 at 4:12 PM 2 comments

Thus Far, the Defining Photo of the Boulder Flood

This has got to be the most epic photo to come out of the Boulder flood so far.  Apologies to whoever took it for not giving credit where credit’s due.  It’s making the rounds and at this point, it’s impossible to tell where it originated.

Amazing.  So.  Much.  Water.

Boulder Flood Photo 1 9-12-13

(And yes, it’s still raining.  It’s getting kind of scary actually.)

September 12, 2013 at 12:14 PM Leave a comment

Boulder Flooding

As of Sunday, we here in Boulder, Colorado had been sweltering through roughly 12 days of 90º+ heat with humidity levels somewhere around 10%.  It was hot and crispy around here.

Then, on Monday, it began to rain and it rained and rained and rained and it’s still raining.  There is flooding everywhere; a CU campus spokesperson says he thinks every basement on campus has water in it.

A Boulder firefighter was caught in a tree as a wall of water headed east down Lefthand Canyon. Last word is that he was screaming into a scanner that the tree was washing away.  The city has asked for a Blackhawk helicopter to be sent in but apparently the cloud ceiling is too low for it to fly right now.

I’m safe.  We live in a hilly area so the water is draining away but I have a lunch date across town which I might have to reschedule.  We’re being told to stay home:

Boulder OEM re Floood 9-12-13

Stay home and wait 9-13-13

The forecast is that it’s supposed to drizzle all day and then pick up tonight with heavy rain expected again.

Ironically, last weekend I made a list of things to do.  One of the things was “water, water, water.”  I wanted to saturate my perennials going into the fall.  Looks like Mother Nature is taking care of that for me.  Heh.

Oh, and the poor dogs.  They’re going stir crazy.

Lots of info and photos here.

September 12, 2013 at 8:37 AM 1 comment

Scary As Hell Video of Giant Boulder Almost Crushing Car

Wow:

Phew.  That’d be enough to make you pee your pants, wouldn’t it?

August 31, 2013 at 12:41 PM Leave a comment

Let’s Name Climate Disasters After Climate Change Deniers. This is Fantastic

Let’s do it!

Brilliant.

 

August 27, 2013 at 7:20 PM 4 comments

29% of Louisianans Think Barack Obama Responsible For Slow Response to Hurricane Katrina

Remember Hurricane Katrina, the hurricane that hit the Gulf coast in 2005?  And remember Barack Obama, the guy who didn’t take office until January, 2009?

Hurricane Katrina image via Wikipedia

(Image via Wikipedia)

Fast forward to today and the results of a question asked in a Louisiana poll by Public Policy Polling, August 16 – 19, 2013:

Who do you think was more responsible for the poor response to Hurricane Katrina:  George W. Bush or Barack Obama?

George W. Bush:  28%

Barack Obama:  29%

Not Sure:  44%

More…

Holly cow.  What the hell are they smokin’ down there?

August 21, 2013 at 10:27 AM 5 comments

Oil and Gas Companies Screw Americans Out of Lease Fees

Fracking via Summit County Voice.com

(Image via SummitCountyVoice.com)

Surprise, surprise!

Another reason why we have to get this whole fracking thing under control before we go any farther:

Don Feusner ran dairy cattle on his 370-acre slice of northern Pennsylvania until he could no longer turn a profit by farming. Then, at age 60, he sold all but a few Angus and aimed for a comfortable retirement on money from drilling his land for natural gas instead.

It seemed promising. Two wells drilled on his lease hit as sweet a spot as the Marcellus shale could offer – tens of millions of cubic feet of natural gas gushed forth. Last December, he received a check for $8,506 for a month’s share of the gas.

Then one day in April, Feusner ripped open his royalty envelope to find that while his wells were still producing the same amount of gas, the gusher of cash had slowed. His eyes cascaded down the page to his monthly balance at the bottom: $1,690.

Chesapeake Energy, the company that drilled his wells, was withholding almost 90 percent of Feusner’s share of the income to cover unspecified “gathering” expenses and it wasn’t explaining why.

“They said you’re going to be a millionaire in a couple of years, but none of that has happened,” Feusner said. “I guess we’re expected to just take whatever they want to give us.”

I’m going to fast forward to the last two paragraphs.  The article is quite long and I’m leaving a lot out:

Even if a gas company were found liable for underpaying royalties in Pennsylvania, it would have little to fear. It would owe only the amount it should have paid in the first place; unlike Oklahoma and other states, Pennsylvania law does not allow for any additional interest on unpaid royalties and sets a very high bar for winning punitive penalties.

“They just wait to see who challenges them, they keep what they keep, they give up what they lose,” said Root, the NARO chapter president. “It may just be part of their business decision to do it this way.”

More…

This is outrageous.  As usual, the oil and gas companies’ lobbyists — with the help of local, state and federal lawmakers — have paved the way for a very good life for them.  As for We the People?  Not so much.

August 13, 2013 at 3:58 PM Leave a comment

Terrifying 2011 Japanese Tsunami Video

I can’t imagine being the person holding the phone that recorded this video.  I don’t think I would have been able to keep my cool like he/she did.

Wow.  Just wow.

August 13, 2013 at 2:51 PM 2 comments

Fun NOAA Deep Sea Live Feeds

I don’t know if these are new as of today but NOAA has three deep sea live feeds up, and they’re narrated live too.

Deep Sea live feed via noaa.gov

(Image via NOAA.gov)

So cool.

Go here:  LIVE – You are watching live video from the Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition 2013.

August 12, 2013 at 10:53 AM Leave a comment

The Colors of Mother Nature

This is a pot of Gazanias that I have on my deck.

Man oh man. I. Love.  These. Colors!

The shades of pink and red and yellow look gorgeous together.

Gazanias on Deck 8-9-13

August 9, 2013 at 2:09 PM 2 comments

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