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
I've seen vehicles and drivers perform some amazing feats in developing regions - Middle East, Central America, etc. - but nothing like this. From Anthony Turton's FB page.
This South African vehicle and driver take the cake (which is probably buried somewhere in that pile). And it's not even a full-sized truck! Imagine what the driver could have done with a Ford F-250!
My friends in developing areas are usually puzzled when I insist upon riding in the back of the pickup, assuming I can stand and look out over the cab. I have to explain that I cannot do it in the USA where it is illegal in most states. Then they understand all too well.
'Oversized Load' does not do this justice!
"Q: How many people can you fit in the bed of a Honduran pickup truck? A: One more." - Honduran joke
Hard to imagine that my 'baby sister' should be turning 62 today. Yes, today would have been my younger sisterAnn Campana Judge's 62nd birthday had not five Saudi Arabians - not Iraqis, not Afghans - murdered her on 11 September 2001.
She and colleague Joe Fergusonwere on American Airlines Flight 77 escorting three middle-school students and their teachers to Los Angeles for a field trip sponsored by their employer, the National Geographic Society. They were to meet up with a number of other students and teachers to visit the Channel Islands.
It's not hard for me to imagine what she might have looked like today: not much different than she did in the above photo (she's on the left; my older sister Ellen is on the right). She was one of those people who would never look her age. The photo was taken in Spring 2000.
"Jesus did not spend a great deal of time discoursing about the trinity or original sin or the incarnation, which have preoccupied later Christians. He went around doing good and being compassionate." -Karen Armstrong
Mikhail Kalashnikov, inventor of the (in)famous AK-47 assault rifle, the world's most popular firearm, died today at age 94.
The rifle, a favorite of guerrillas, insurgents, soldiers, mercenaries, rebels, et al., is renowned for its simplicity, ruggedness, and low cost.
Its name stems from "Avtomat Kalashnikov" and the year it went into production.
Here is a piece about Kalashnikov's death from the AP. Interesting that Kalashnikov wanted to be a farm machinery designer but got sidetracked by World War II and wound up designing the weapon for the Soviet Union:
"Blame the Nazi Germans for making me become a gun designer," said Kalashnikov. "I always wanted to construct agricultural machinery."
Did it bother him that he designed such a weapon? From the story:
Kaslashnikov often said he felt personally untroubled by his contribution to bloodshed.
"I sleep well. It's the politicians who are to blame for failing to come to an agreement and resorting to violence," he told The Associated Press in 2007
Did he get rich from royalties?
Over his career, he was decorated with numerous honors, including the Hero of Socialist Labor and Order of Lenin and Stalin Prize. But because his invention was never patented, he didn't get rich off royalties.
"At that time in our country patenting inventions wasn't an issue. We worked for Socialist society, for the good of the people, which I never regret," he once said.
So what's this about being a flag designer? Well, his creation is the only modern firearm to currently grace a national flag - that of Mozambique:
Adds a kind of je ne sais quoi, don't you think?
I'll close with a favorite quote that strikes too close to home:
"The optimist learns English. The pessimist learns Chinese. The realist learns Kalashnikov." - An Armenian friend
Another kerfuffle involving a reality show personality, Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty. The cartoon is by Jack Ohman.
Here is an article about the latest controversy. There seems to be more consternation over his homophobic comments than his racist comments (see today's quote). I find both disgusting.
To A&E: you couldn't see this coming? Bigoted, really?
My take: BFD!
"I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I'm with the blacks, because we're white trash. We're going across the field. ... They're singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, 'I tell you what: These doggone white people' -- not a word! ... Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues." -Phil Robertson
TSA agents in St. Louis, Missouri, disarmed Rooster Monkburn, a cowboy sock money, of his two-inch toy gun after a woman brought the stuffed monkey through security. Agents said that it posed a threat because it could be confused for a real gun, according to local reports.
“[The agent] said ‘this is a gun,’” said Phyllis May, recounting the experience to fly back to her home in Washington state. “I said no, it’s not a gun it’s a prop for my monkey.”
Yeah, I can easily see how this could be confused with a real gun.
May, who has a small business selling sock monkeys, was also questioned for bringing the sewing supplies she uses to make the stuffed animals in her carry-on bag. TSA agents told her they would have to confiscate the miniature firearm and call the police, although Washington’s KING-TV reports that the TSA never did call the authorities. May’s sewing supplies were ultimately returned to her.
“Rooster Monkburn has been disarmed so I’m sure everyone on the plane was safe,” May quipped. “I understand [the TSA agent] was doing her job but at some point doesn’t common sense prevail?”
May had named the disarmed monkey Rooster Monkburn after Rooster Cogburn, John Wayne’s character in the film True Grit.
I have less of a problem with confiscation of her sewing supplies, depending upon what they were. I recall an event shortly after 9/11. Agents confiscated my nail clippers, but the woman with a large hat pin in her hair went through security with nary a suspicious look.
“Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish.” - Euripides
“You know if the U.S. Government wanted to boost the economy there's a simple solution make Black Friday the refund date for your state and federal taxes” - Stanley Victor Paskavich
"When women are depressed, they eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. It's a whole different way of thinking." - Elayne Boosler
"Shopping is better than sex. If you're not satisfied after shopping you can make an exchange for something you really like." - Adrienne Gusoff
"Oh for the good old days when people would stop Christmas shopping when they ran out of money." - Unknown
"One of the nice things about Christmas is that you can make people forget the past with a present." -Unknown
"Because only in America, people trample others for sales exactly one day after being thankful for what they already have." - Unknown
"Christmas is the season when you buy this year's gifts with next year's money." - Unknown
“Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacle s, discouragement s, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.” –Thomas Carlyle
“Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.” –Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.” – Napoleon Hill
“A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.” –Elbert Hubbard
“Perhaps there is only one cardinal sin: impatience. Because of impatience we were driven out of Paradise, because of impatience we cannot return.” –W.H. Auden
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” –Calvin Coolidge
“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” –Napoleon Hill
Coyne recently posted an open letter to Deepak Chopra. Seems that Chopra recently initiated a brief Twitter tirade against Coyne. That's interesting, because although Coyne has over 16,000 followers, he follows no one on Twitter; he learned of Chopra's effort from someone else.
What I enjoyed most about Coyne's post was this poem, set to the music of I Am Woman:
I am Deepak; hear me roar As you patronize my store, And buy up all the nostrums that I sell. You may say that I’m a crank, But just tell that to my bank, For I’m Deepak, and you can go to hell.
Oh yes, I am rich, Though it’s richness born of woo; And for those whose life’s a bitch, I will bilk them through and though. If I had to, I could sell anything; I’m a crank, But I’m a scientist— I am DEEPAK!
"Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and ends up a racket." - Eric Hoffer
I have decided to expose (pun intended) myself and First-Lady-for-Life Mary Frances to ridicule and embarrassment by entering Splashdirect's contest to support World Toilet Day (19 November) by relating my funny/disgusting toilet story.
Hey, it's for a good cause - money will be donated to WaterAid.
Okay, here goes:
It was May 2009 and I was returning from a trip to Armenia. The first leg of my return was a flight from Yerevan to Vienna. As I deplaned in Vienna, I headed for the men's room. Time to avert your eyes, right? No, not yet. After performing the required functions, I washed my hands and returned to the transit lounge.
As I browsed the food offerings, books, gadgets, etc., I noticed people giving me a variety of looks. Some scowled; some grimaced; some smiled; others covered their mouths as their eyes grew wide. Others averted their eyes completely and crinkled their noses. Some even gave me a wide berth or looked down and moved away. I could not figure out what was wrong. Stained or wet pants? No. Something on my shoes? Check. Hat askew? Nahh...
This must have continued for 15 minutes or so. I soon moved to the waiting room where more looks awaited me. Finally, as I stood by myself - unusual in such a crowded room - I noticed a couple staring at me. The woman was whispering something to the man. When she stopped, he looked at her, then at me, frowned, and walked toward me. Many eyes were fixed on him. I knew he was going to say something and I figured my dilemma was about to be resolved.
But I had no idea it would be this: 'Sir, you have about two feet of toilet paper hanging out from the back of your trousers.'
Reid Wilson offers a quick synopsis in his Washington Postblog post:
Yankeedom: Founded by Puritans, residents in Northeastern states and the industrial Midwest tend to be more comfortable with government regulation. They value education and the common good more than other regions.
New Netherland: The Netherlands was the most sophisticated society in the Western world when New York was founded, Woodard writes, so it’s no wonder that the region has been a hub of global commerce. It’s also the region most accepting of historically persecuted populations.
The Midlands: Stretching from Quaker territory west through Iowa and into more populated areas of the Midwest, the Midlands are “pluralistic and organized around the middle class.” Government intrusion is unwelcome, and ethnic and ideological purity isn’t a priority.
Tidewater: The coastal regions in the English colonies of Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland and Delaware tend to respect authority and value tradition. Once the most powerful American nation, it began to decline during Westward expansion.
Greater Appalachia: Extending from West Virginia through the Great Smoky Mountains and into Northwest Texas, the descendants of Irish, English and Scottish settlers value individual liberty. Residents are “intensely suspicious of lowland aristocrats and Yankee social engineers.”
Deep South: Dixie still traces its roots to the caste system established by masters who tried to duplicate West Indies-style slave society, Woodard writes. The Old South values states’ rights and local control and fights the expansion of federal powers.
El Norte: Southwest Texas and the border region is the oldest, and most linguistically different, nation in the Americas. Hard work and self-sufficiency are prized values.
The Left Coast: A hybrid, Woodard says, of Appalachian independence and Yankee utopianism loosely defined by the Pacific Ocean on one side and coastal mountain ranges like the Cascades and the Sierra Nevadas on the other. The independence and innovation required of early explorers continues to manifest in places like Silicon Valley and the tech companies around Seattle.
The Far West:The Great Plains and the Mountain West were built by industry, made necessary by harsh, sometimes inhospitable climates. Far Westerners are intensely libertarian and deeply distrustful of big institutions, whether they are railroads and monopolies or the federal government.
New France: Former French colonies in and around New Orleans and Quebec tend toward consensus and egalitarian, “among the most liberal on the continent, with unusually tolerant attitudes toward gays and people of all races and a ready acceptance of government involvement in the economy,” Woodard writes.
First Nation:The few First Nation peoples left — Native Americans who never gave up their land to white settlers — are mainly in the harshly Arctic north of Canada and Alaska. They have sovereignty over their lands, but their population is only around 300,000.
"With such sharp regional differences, the idea that the United States would ever reach consensus on any issue having to do with violence seems far-fetched. The cultural gulf between Appalachia and Yankeedom, Deep South and New Netherland is simply too large. But it’s conceivable that some new alliance could form to tip the balance." - Colin Woodard
This week's New Yorkerhas another wonderful cover by Barry Blitt: 'Reboot'.
“We’re going to do a challenge. I’m going to try and download every movie ever made and you are going to try to sign up for Obamacare — and we’ll see which happens first.” — Jon Stewart to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on The Daily Show, Oct. 7
"Listening to the data is important… but so is experience and intuition. After all, what is intuition at its best but large amounts of data of all kinds filtered through a human brain rather than a math model?”–Steve Lohr
"Why would the heathcare.gov website be designed in such a way by an outside contractor? Because coders often price jobs by the number of lines of code they will have to write." -Daryl Rowland, after learning that the number of lines of code in the website is around 5x that of a large bank's.
"We have denigrated the Native Americans long enough. But there are so many dickheads in DC that we have decided they deserve their own team." - Daniel 'Rich Cabeza' Snyder, owner, Washington Foreskins
I was hoping that Malala Yousafzai would win the Nobel Peace Prize, but it was not to be. Certainly the OPCWis a deserving winner, but the Nobel folks could have sent a real message to the world by awarding it to a courageous 16-year old girl who stood up to the cowardly Taliban by daring to promote education for females.
She floored Jon Stewart on the Daily Show the other night with her response to Stewart's question about her reaction when she learned the Taliban wanted her dead:
I started thinking about that, and I used to think that the Talib would come,
and he would just kill me. But then I said, 'If he comes, what would you do Malala?' then I would reply to myself, 'Malala, just take a shoe and hit him.' But then I said, 'If you hit a Talib with your shoe, then there would be no difference between you and the Talib. You must not treat others with cruelty and that much harshly, you must fight others but through peace and through dialogue and through education.' Then I said I will tell him how important education is and that 'I even want education for your children as well.' And I will tell him, 'That's what I want to tell you, now do what you want.'
Good Lord, what an answer from an amazing, articulate, person! Sixteen years old! Watch theentire interview.
I've got another hero to join the likes of Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Jackie Robinson.
And she's a girl!
You go, Malala!
"We realize the importance of light when we see darkness. We realize the importance of our voice when we are silenced. In the same way when we were in Swat, we realized the importance of pens and books when we saw the guns." - Malala Yousafzai
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.