That's "Campana-stan" or ''Land of Campana." It reflects the Weltanschauung of Michael E. Campana, President-for-Life of the Republic of Campanastan. Welcome to Campanastan - no passports or visas required!
Texas Agriculture Law Blog Don't let the name fool you - there are lots of water issues in agriculture and Tiffany Dowell of Texas A&M University does a fabulous job with this important Internet resource. Give it a read - I do every day!
The Way of Water Oregon State University Geography PhD Student, Jennifer Veilleux, records her fieldwork, research, and thoughts about transboundary water resources development in the Nile River and Mekong River basins. Particular attention is given to Ethiopia's Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and Laos' Xayaburi Dam projects.
Thirsty in Suburbia Gayle Leonard documents things from the world of water that make us smile: particularly funny, amusing and weird items on bottled water, water towers, water marketing, recycling, the art-water nexus and working.
This Day in Water History Michael J. 'Mike' McGuire, engineer extraordinaire, NAE member, and author of 'The Chlorine Revolution', blogs about historical happenings in the fields of drinking water and wastewater keyed to calendar dates.
WaSH Resources New publications, web sites and multi-media on water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH).
Water 50/50 From Jay Famiglietti at UC-Irvine. Fifty lectures in fifty weeks: The 2012 Birdsall-Dreiss Distinguished Lectureship. A global lecture tour delivering the message about our changing water cycle, groundwater depletion, and the future of freshwater availability.
Water For The Ages Abby, another PNWer, writes about global water issues with passion and concern.
Watering the Desert Aptly-titled blog by CJ Brooks, a lawyer-hydrologist-geologist from Tucson, AZ.
Watershed Moments: Thoughts from the Hydrosphere From Sarah Boon - rediscovering her writing and editing roots after 13 years, primarily as an environmental scientist. Her writing centres around creative non-fiction, specifically memoir and nature writing. The landscapes of western Canada are her main inspiration.
WaterWired All things fresh water: news, comment, and analysis from hydrogeologist Michael E. Campana, Professor at Oregon State University.
Watery Foundation Tom Swihart, formerly of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, tells all about water management in the Sunshine State.
Western Water Blog The 'mystery blog' about Western USA water issues. What more can I say?
Wisdom in Water, Please... Kate Wilkins-Wells , who manages the Northwest Kansas Groundwater Management District No. 4, provides her wisdom on water issues.
xAnalytical Doug Walker's xAnalytical blog:Turning Data and Information into Knowledge
Okay, not really.Toncontín International Airport(TGU) has shed its retro bus station look for a
beautiful new terminal building. It is still one of the world's most dangerous airports: it sits in the middle of the city, has a relatively short runway by international standards, and is surrounded by mountains. Not conducive to confidence when you are landing, that's for sure!
But part of an 'annoying' hillside has been removed and the runway is longer. Plus a road that skirted one end of the runway has been closed. There used to be a stoplight there for vehicles when planes were landing or departing (see this video and related ones). Oh, by the way, the other end of the runway ends abruptly at an embankment that slopes down into the city.
I have landed there 4 or 5 times. Each time, the passengers (myself included) broke out in spontaneous applause upon hitting the runway and hearing the squeal of the brakes. A set of tires probably lasted a couple of landings.
I have heard that gringo pilots - United (former Continental flight from Houston), Delta (Atlanta), and American (Miami) fly there - like to fly high then make a steep descent, whereas the more confident Central American pilots (mainly from TACA, the El Salvador airline) will fly lower, hugging the topography. But oddly enough it was the crash of a TACA flight on 30 May 2008 that prompted the closure of the airport to international flights for a month or so and some improvements in safety.
One of my funniest (but not at the time) experiences regarding TGU occurred in the USA. My wife and I were having three undergraduate students over for dinner on the eve of our flight (the students and me) to TGU. At dinner, Mary Frances nonchalantly mentioned, 'Oh, and I'm sure Michael's told you that you're flying into the world's second most dangerous airport, hasn't he?' The looks on their faces told her that she had said the wrong thing. So much for trust...
But we made it, and flying into TGU was far safer than my driving a 4WD Toyota pickup in Tegucigalpa and southern Honduras!
"There are only two emotions in a plane: boredom and terror." - Orson Welles
Thought I would celebrate the fourth anniversary of the arrival of ourSUSIE students, twenty-three young women and men from Central America (Panama, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua) and the Caribbean (Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Trinidad and Tobago). Most arrived on a Sunday. We were all excited.
Ana Maria Peralta, one of three Dominicanas, who later pursued an MBA in Spain, assembled this photograph:
The instructors are arranged along the left side and top. The picture of Mt. Hood is signifcant because on the day before we all went to Washington, DC, we took them up to a few patches of snow where they all experienced snow for the first time.
Here is a larger picture of all of us in Washington, DC, where we spent a week after five weeks in Oregon:
Each student was different, but all shared great intelligence and a desire to learn. I told them that they were going to spoil me for my fall Geology 101 class. They did!
Lasst year at this time I was traveling through Honduras and Nicaragua and saw three of the SUSIE students. I saw Julio Eguigurems (above) on 27 June in Honduras. He works at the national forestry school in Comayagua. I then traveled to Nicaragua to see Laura Espinoza García and Natalia Raudez. Laura will be hesading to study in Belgium on a scholarship and Natalia is married and a mommy. I unfortunately missed Lucia Paiz Medina, who is studying for her Master's degree in Brussels.
Julio may be applying for a Master's degree at OSU, and Dara-Marie Raggay of Trinidad and Tobago was accepted at OSU for a Master's in Environmental Science but did not matriculate.
You don't know how much I miss you!
"Sometimes the only difference we can make is passing our wisdom to someone else who will make the bigger difference." -- Linda B. Gray
"What's all the fuss about? That God prefers kindness over hate? I would think that's a given. Isn't that the meaning of one of the most often quoted parables: the Good Samaritan? As far as Jesus' crowd was concerned Samaritans were atheists. What was Jesus meaning? Did the Samaritan convert to the 'right beliefs.' Not according to the story. As a matter of fact, it was the teachers of law, those with 'right beliefs' who didn't get it; who 'passed by.' " - Rev.Tom Tate
Although the ASARCO (originally known as 'American Smelting and Refining Company) copper smelter closed in 1999, two of the stacks remained until yesterday, when both came down. The taller of the two was 828 feet; the other was 612 feet. ASARCO decided in 2007 that it was not worth reopening the smelter after more than 100 years of operation so it was time to dismantle things.
Here's a good story on the smelter's legacy - not all of it good - from theEl Paso Times, with more videos and stills.
I recall first seeing these in summer 1970 en route from Virginia to Tucson; I believe there were three at the time. They were hard to miss from Interstate 10 on the west side of El Paso. Impressive!
The cover stands out for its cast of black and Hispanic caricatures with exaggerated features reminiscent of early 20th century race cartoons. Also, because there are onlypeople of color in it, grabbing greedily for cash. It’s hard to imagine how this one made it through the editorial process.
"Instead of being presented with stereotypes by age, sex, color, class, or religion, children must have the opportunity to learn that within each range, some people are loathsome and some are delightful." - Margaret Mead
Today we honor Dr. Martin Luther King,Jr ,,who would have turned 84 on 15 January 2013. I have come to appreciate and admire him (and all the civil rights workers) by reading Taylor Branch's brillianttrilogyof the civil rights era: Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63; Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years 1963-65; and At Canaan's Edge: America in the King Years 1965-68.
What thoroughly amazes me were the toughness, resiliency, and
resolve of the civil rights workers, and how they honored King's insistence upon nonviolent resistance. Along with King, the names of heroes such as John Lewis, Ralph Abernathy, Hosea Williams, Rosa Parks, Coretta King, Septima Clark, James Meredith, Andrew Young, Marian Wright, Diane Nash, Fannie Lou Hamer, James Bevel, Bob Moses, et al., are forever burned in my mind. Similarly, I shall not soon forget place names like Selma and Montgomery,
or people like Lester Maddox, George Wallace, Bull Connor, Orval Faubus, Strom Thurmond, and their ilk.
As I read the aforementioned books, cringing at what humans can do to each other, one thought haunted me: what would I have done had I been a Southern white person during that time (I am actually half-North Carolina Scots-Irish WASP)? I've concluded that I probably would not have been one of the segregationist ringleaders, but certainly would not have risen to the defense of the oppressed. I probably would have (very quietly) supported their cause, but not done anything to jeopardize my comfortable middle-class lifestyle (see
the quote below). Certainly Northerners were no better than Southerners when it came to desegregation; recall the Boston busing "incidents" of the 1970s.
Another thing also amazes me: how much the Southern poor whites ("poor white trash") and blacks had in common. Both were horribly oppressed, but skillful politicians kept the poor whites riled about the "uppity Negroes". If the two groups had united, there would have been hell to pay.
I do have a few interesting memories about that period, as I was a student in Virginia (College of William and Mary) from 1966-1970. One stands out. Just after I arrived in Virginia, Sen. Harry F. Byrd died - he was the scion of the infamous Byrd (members of the FFV) political dynasty in Virginia, and the whole state mourned his death. What I remember most about that time is the characterization of Byrd by a local columnist:
"Never was there a man who so dragged his feet through the sands of time."
Here is a humorous memory. I played alto saxophone in the W&M marching band, and we had been engaged to provide entertainment at the Southern Governors' Conference (in Williamsburg or Jamestown). While we stood in formation, who should start darting among the band members, fiddling with the music and instruments and being a nuisance? It was none other than Lester Maddox, newly-elected segregationist governor of Georgia. He finally asked our band director, Charles 'Chuck' Varner, if we knew Dixie, and if so, could we play it? Varner, annoyed by all of Maddox's antics, calmly but firmly said, 'No, Governor, we don't have the music but we would gladly play Marching Through Georgiafor you. Maddox stopped, scowled deeply, and then darted off whence he came. Way to go, Chuck!
"I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr., 28 August 1963
Got this from Joe Dellapenna's Facebook page, written by Dianne Self Wing.
If only it were true....
“To secede from the Union and set up another government would cause war. If you go to war with the United States, you will never conquer her, as she has the money and the men. If she does not whip you by guns, powder, and steel, she will starve you too.” -Sam Houston
Nineteen years ago today, Mary Frances and I married on the shores of Lake Tahoe at the Hyatt Hotel in Incline Village, NV. Fun time with about 50 people and Jack, the white suit-clad Justice of the Peace.
No, this is not our wedding picture.
I joke with Mary Frances that the marriage is invalid because Jack called me 'Mitchell'. But he atoned for that gaffe by repeating the ceremony so I guess it's okay.
So here's my tribute, which will no doubt embarrass her:
Been nineteen wonderful years Great joy, and not any tears So let's try for more Say, ten-and-a-score? And a future without any fears!
"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams."- Dr. Seuss
Note added on 4 July 2014: See this postabout a May 2014 caddy camp reunion.
So here's why I went to Cooperstown, NY, two weeks ago - to see some old friends:
Maybe not Hall of Famers, but All-Stars for sure! From left to right: Babe Ruth; Frank Colvario; me; Steve Costa; Fred Forte; Ted Williams; Peter Xeller; and Peter Walsh. You can click on any of these pictures to enlarge them.
With the exception of the Babe and Teddy Ballgame, all of us caddied summers at the Maplewood Caddy Camp(see hereas well) which serviced the Maplewood Hotel's golf course in Bethlehem, NH, nestled in the gorgeous White Mountains. After the hotel burned down in winter 1963, we headed to Cape Cod and established a caddy camp for Clauson's Inn (Hatchville, MA), now the Cape Cod Country Club.
The camps were operated by the North Bennet Street School(formerly North Bennet Street Industrial School), located in Boston's North End. The caddy camps (another was at the Lake Tarleton Hotel in Pike, NH) served to get city boys out into the country, giving them the opportunity to earn some money and learn 'life skills.' A great experience.
Here is a picture of the Clauson's campers and counselors from 1963:
The camp's director, the late John T. Dexter, known to us as 'D' or 'Mr. D', was an amazing man who made a lasting impression on all of us. And who could forget 'Ma' Labonte, our cook, who had a ferocious backhand spatula.
I have seen Frank and Peter X. many times since 1963; Peter, a fellow New Yorker, is my long-time childhood friend (since third grade). I had not seen Steve, Fred, and Peter W. for almost 50 years. All the Cooperstown Six, save for Peter X and me, grew up in the greater Boston area - Steve in Somerville, Frank in the North End of Boston, and Fred and Peter in Roslindale.
We are hoping to get many of the 1963 crew together next summer - our 50th anniversary.
So how did two New Yorkers wind up working summers with a bunch of Bostonians? My father, a native of Boston's North End, caddied at the Maplewood Caddy Camp in the 1920s and thought it would be a great experience for his son and his friend. He was right.
In between the fireworks, auto and furniture sales, and barbecues, take a few minutes today to read the Declaration ofIndependence and the remarkable Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution, which came along 11 years later:
If you are an American citizen, thank your lucky stars for those 56 guys who signed the Declaration in Philadelphia in 1776 and started this thing rolling.
While you are at it, give extra thanks for the First Amendment, which guarantees five fundamental rights, which you can remember with the mnemonic RAPPS: religion, assembly, press, petition, and speech.
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, two giants in American history - friends, then opponents, and finally friends again - both died on this day in 1826. As I get older, I think less of Jefferson and more of Adams. Both were great men, but the former 'talked the talk' and didn't always 'walk the walk' (e.g., slavery) whereas the latter tried to do both.
Enjoy the day, and enjoy RAPPS!
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." -- Declaration of Independence
"...a Republic, if you can keep it." -- Benjamin Franklin, at the end of the Constitutional Convention, when asked, "What have you wrought?"
Man arrives home (Williamson County, Texas) from work to find sheriff's deputies, emergency vehicles, yellow tape around his house, and a crush of gawking neighbors.
Sheriff comes out and informs him in front of all that his wife has been murdered - bludgeoned to death. Man is shaken, mute, sheds no tears. Sheriff takes man inside, questions him for four hours, without letting him see his wife. Man answers all questions, not even asking for a lawyer. Figured the sheriff was just doing his job.
Later, man is charged with murder. DA swings into action, laying it on thick before stunned jury. Exculpatory evidence is withheld by defense. Eyewitness accounts, including that of his four-year old son, are discounted, witnesses told not to tell anyone about what they saw.
Not surprisingly, man is convicted. Gets life sentence in prison. Son grows up, changes his last name when he turns 18. Man hits bottom when he hears that.
Finally, thanks to the effort of an attorney and theInnocence Project, DNA evidence proves man did not kill his wife. After 25 years in prison, he once again breathes free air.
DA, now a state judge, claims no wrongdoing and says he is sorry.
Twist: DNA evidence solves the murder of another Williamson County housewife one year after the first one. In that case, grieving husband is not charged. But he is angered when he learns that incompetence by sheriff could have saved his wife's life.
So is the first man seeking revenge? No, amazingly not. He has joined forces with the other husband to ensure that this never happens again. God bless him! And all's well that ends well.
"There have been a number of allegations made about professional conduct by the prosecutors, including me, in this case. In my heart, I know there was no misconduct whatsoever." - Judge Ken Anderson, DA in the murder case
Alert reader James sent me this great video. Talk about exaptations: when the eagle repeatedly fails to catch a nutria in the water, it drops on top of it, and, floating in the water, swims the damn thing to shore using its wings to paddle. (Eagles obviously don’t have feet adapted for swimming, and the feet are occupied anyway.)
Nutrias (Myocaster coypus), by the way, are also called coypus, and are large aquatic rodents originally native to South America but introduced throughout the world for fur farming. It’s not clear to me if this one was alive before the eagle started dive-bombing it.
Thanks to Jerry Sehlke and Natalie Burtenshaw for this item.
Fascinating map created by Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto. It covers the period from 1945 through 1998.
From the WWW site:
Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto has created a beautiful, undeniably scary time-lapse map of the 2053 nuclear explosions which have taken place between 1945 and 1998, beginning with the Manhattan Project's "Trinity" test near Los Alamos and concluding with Pakistan's nuclear tests in May of 1998. This leaves out North Korea's two alleged nuclear tests in this past decade (the legitimacy of both of which is not 100% clear).
Each nation gets a blip and a flashing dot on the map whenever they detonate a nuclear weapon, with a running tally kept on the top and bottom bars of the screen. Hashimoto, who began the project in 2003, says that he created it with the goal of showing"the fear and folly of nuclear weapons." It starts really slow — if you want to see real action, skip ahead to 1962 or so — but the buildup becomes overwhelming.
"Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war that we know about peace, more about killing that we know about living." -Gen. Omar N. Bradley
"They're not 'bombs'; they are 'devices'! They are only called 'bombs' when we drop them from the sky." -an especially irritating Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory physicist, educating yours truly on the correct nomenclature for nuclear devices, 1976
I got this from Julie Elkins Watson's FB page and from MoveOn.org.
From the site:
Zach Wahls, a 19-year-old University of Iowa student spoke about the strength of his family during a public forum on House Joint Resolution 6 in the Iowa House of Representatives. Wahls has two mothers, and came to oppose House Joint Resolution 6 which would end civil unions in Iowa.
From what I see, the world could use some more Zach Wahls.
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." -- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I Have a Dream
Lest you think you are someone special try using BBC's tool to discover where you fit in the panoply of human existence.
Yes, I am the 75,491,735,358th human to have ever lived, and when I was born, I was the 2,480,775,909th person alive on Earth.
Maybe that's special after all!
If you also enter your country and gender you can get more information. Here is what I got:
What's next? The global population will continue to increase during your lifetime and beyond, reaching 10 billion by 2083. However, the rate of growth is expected to slow. Little of the current growth is happening in developed countries like yours.
Longer lives: Working-age people like you will be supporting increasing numbers of older people during the next decades. By 2050, there will be just 2.2 people of working age supporting every person aged 65 or older in the developed world. In Europe, this will drop to just two.
Battle for resources: It is estimated that your group of the richest countries consumes double the resources used by the rest of the world. The UN estimates that if current population and consumption trends continue, by the 2030s we will need the equivalent of two Earths to support us.
Did you know? The average family size globally has declined by half since 1950 - from five children to the current 2.5.
The site also told me that 4,136 people had been born since I entered the site.
Bringing attention to the 7 billionth person is good. It will focus our attention on the issue of increasing population and its ramifications.
So how's this for a wish? Hard to believe Prince Phillip said this. Click on the yellow text for more quotes about population control.
This morning on NPR I heard a story about the dismantling of the final blockbuster nuclear weapon in the USA's arsenal: a 9-megaton bunker buster known as theB-53.The story related how these weapons were the size of a minivan (see below), weighed 4.5 tons, and could obliterate all life within 9 miles of ground zero and spread radiation for hundreds of square miles. Only two could be carried aboard a B-52, and during the height of the Cold War, 24 of these things were always in the air ready to take out the Soviet Union.
Years ago I was involved in the nuclear weapons program. Read about it here.
Here is a PDF of a lecture on the effects of nuclear weapons and the classic text by Glasstone and Dolan,The Effects of Nuclear Weapons. Here is an online version of the 1977 edition. Above is a picture of the 'Strangelove Slide Rule', the circular 'Nuclear Bomb Effects Computer' that came with the Glasstone and Dolan book. I still have mine! John Walker has an online version of the computer.
Talk about macabre displacement behavior! Enjoy, if you can.
"They're not 'bombs'; they are 'devices'! They are only called 'bombs' when we drop them from the sky." -an especially irritating Lawrence Livermore physicist, educating yours truly on the correct nomenclature for nuclear devices, c. 1979
I learned of an incredible school in India - Barefoot College - that trains villagers to be social entrepreneurs. As one woman engineer, Mahdu Rangi, explained to me, Barefoot College likes to train the 'disenfranchised' (especially older women) to help their villages. They want to train people who will return to the village to improve it and not take their skills to the cities to seek their fortunes, so they often avoid young men and women. They are especially good at training grandmothers to be solar engineers, who then electrify their villages.
Sanjit 'Bunker' Roy founded Barefoot College and was one TIME's 100 most infleuntial people in 2010. Here is Greg Mortenson'spiece about him.
With his abiding compassion for the rural poor in his native India, Sanjit "Bunker" Roy, 64, has nurtured a grass-roots social entrepreneurship that is redefining the way the world thinks about fighting poverty.
Roy's Barefoot College has trained more than 3 million people for jobs in the modern world, in buildings so rudimentary they have dirt floors and no chairs. This bottom-up approach is designed to make poor students feel comfortable. The college's "barefoot professionals" then return home to use their new skills — as solar engineers, teachers, midwives, weavers, architects, doctors and more.
Roy combines humanitarianism, entrepreneurship and education to help people steer their own path out of poverty, fostering dignity and self-determination along the way. His simple formula holds a key to what nations and aid organizations might do to build a more just world.
Established in 1972, the Barefoot College is a non-government organisation that has been providing basic services and solutions to problems in rural communities, with the objective of making them self-sufficient and sustainable. These ‘Barefoot solutions’ can be broadly categorised into solar energy, water, education, health care, rural handicrafts, people’s action, communication, women’s empowerment and wasteland development.
The College believes that for any rural development activity to be successful and sustainable, it must be based in the village as well as managed and owned by those whom it serves. Therefore, all Barefoot initiatives whether social, political or economic, are planned and implemented by a network of rural men and women who are known as ‘Barefoot Professionals’.
Rural men and women irrespective of age, who are barely literate or not at all, and have no hope of getting even the lowest government job, are being trained to work as day and night school teachers, doctors, midwives, dentists, health workers, balsevikas, solar engineers, solar cooker engineers, water drillers, hand pump mechanics, architects, artisans, designers, masons, communicators, water testers, phone operators, blacksmiths, carpenters, computer instructors, accountants and kabaad-se-jugaadprofessionals.
With little guidance, encouragement and space to grow and exhibit their talent and abilities, people who have been considered ‘very ordinary’ and written off by society, are doing extraordinary things that defy description.
“I’m encouraging young people to become social business entrepreneurs and contribute to the world, rather than just making money. Making money is no fun. Contributing to and changing the world is a lot more fun.” - Muhammad Yunus
Circle of Blue Circle of Blue uses journalism, scientific research, and conversations from around the world to bring the story of the global freshwater crisis to life. Here you’ll find new water reports, news headlines, and hear from leading scientists.
Drink Water For Life The idea is simple. Drink water or other cheap beverages instead of expensive lattes, sodas, and bottled water for a set period of time. A day, a week, a month, Lent, Ramadan, Passover, or some other holiday period.
eFlowNet Newsletter From the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) this newsletter has lots of information about environmental flows and related issues.
Sustainable Water Resources Roundtable Since 2002, the Sustainable Water Resources Roundtable (SWRR) has brought together federal, state, corporate, non-profit and academic sectors to advance our understanding of the nation’s water resources and to develop tools for their sustainable management.