Thursday, July 03, 2014: The experts are stickin’ with the likelihood of tropical rain tomorrow. Hey, rain is a good thing, as I heard yesterday at an auction in Burlington County, where actual farmers were openly worried about the dry trend/period we had settled into. To coin a corny C&W song: “Around here we like the rain.”
Also sure to appreciate luxurious rainfall are tadpole-laden vernal ponds in the Pines, which began drying up in the recent 100-degee-plus air. A goodly number of frog and toad tadpoles are just now sprouting legs, meaning they need a lot more time underwater. A tropical downpour will surely offer an instant refill for those outback ponds and puddles. DYK: For whatever bizarre hieroglyphics reason, Egyptians used a tadpole to denote the value of 100,000. “I can’t believe she could afford a four tadpole house. Makes you wonder what toad she’s been kissin’.”
As for us, the wind thing remains a far larger player than even Arthur. The southerlies continue to pester the beaches. Water temps are frigid. They won’t end until they very quickly swing north tomorrow, when we finally see anything Arthurish.
(Below photo: bluepueblo.tumblr.com)
As is often a case, we spend so much time waiting for a hurricane to do something that load of other weather things whack us in the interim. In fact, we’re once again under the small-magazine gun for some slammin,’ summer thunderstorms. We saw some yesterday though the Island got off fairly unstruck, short of that late cell that rumbled through with half inch of rapid rain. It has to be noted that all these sky theatrics have absolutely nothing to do with Arthur.
As to tomorrows north winds, I still hold to the theory that they’ll all but instantly usher in very mild water – which should hang in for the entire weekend – and even into Monday, for the many who are making a four-day weekend out of July 4th. I now think the offshore winds might not kick in until late Saturday and, especially, Sunday. Surf and surfcast accordingly.
It can’t be the only driver running into this: You’re stopped in line at a traffic signal, the light goes green, the first couple/few cars accelerate, but, lo, the next vehicle fails to advance. Stalled? Nah. Stalling at a light has actually become archaic, thanks to fuel injection.
Nope, the stopped-in-place, utter road hazard is a driver in a blind texting stoppage. The stopped-on-green – sometimes even at a stop sign – driver is so engrossed in look-down texting that he (a little less likely) or she (a lot more likely) is clueless to the signal’s greenness.
I know some folks might say it’s better that those fingering folks are texting when stopped. Well, I’m betting the law does not see it that way. Take a wild guess at the danger for trailing vehicles which are also inexplicably stopped in the middle of the road, on green. How long do you think you can lounge around at a Route 72 green light on a high-speed day.
While I’ve seen sundry age groups in stopped-on-green stoppages, it’s usually the youngest of drivers.
Per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, ten percent of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted. Drivers in their 20s make up 27 percent of the distracted drivers in fatal crashes.
Just so we’re straight, the NHTSA is talking real death, not the set-up scenes performed to charm school kids with the dangers of distracted driving. Sure, we need those educational efforts but I sometimes wonder if fake-o crash scenes leave kids with an even greater sense of detachment, even fantasy, with the entire concept of highway super deaths.
I have no simple solutions for the potentially deadly stopped-on-green scenario, short of laying on the horn – or even taking down the tags of the numbnuts and passing it on to the police.
As for distracted driving in all its forms – cellphoning while driving is bigger and badder than ever – it’s now clearly the worst highway threat out there for all of us. And, yes, there are a growing number of cases of fully drunken drivers caught while also cellphoning. Just kill me now.
PS: I happen to have not just a forward-viewing dash video cam in my truck but also side-facing cams. I can – and have -- captured the entire distracted-driver kit and caboodle. I’m actually not sure where the law can go with such extemporaneous video evidence but I’m way more inclined to somehow contact the violator – or family – and show them the video, simply say, “You might wanna look at this.” If motorists think everyone around them is watching, it might keep more hands glued to the steering wheel.
Our newest vehicle 5127. This truck will be used as a utility truck to assist in fire fighting operations as well as motor vehicle accidents and beach rescues. We look forward to have this truck finished soon!
|...from Recreational Fishing Alliance
On July 2, 1776, the American colonies officially declared independence from Britain; the very next day, on July 3, John Adams wrote the following in a letter to his wife Abigail:
"The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more"
There was still much to be done of course. General William Howe had landed with 9,000 troops on Staten Island - to the delight of hundreds of Tories - while up the Narrows between Staten Island and Long Island more invading ships were arriving, including an armada of 130 warships and English transports.
Ironically, nothing actually happened in Congress on July 4, 1776 - the actual signing of the Declaration didn't actually occur until August 2, and a period of bloody warfare against English, Scottish and Hessian troops would begin soon after as the citizens of these United States fought courageously, successfully, for our nation's independence.
But our founding fathers didn't just put forth words 238 years ago this week, but instead laid out our nation's mission, a directed charter for two centuries of duty by all American citizens. And as we prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July weekend, it is important to remember how we got here as Americans, the ongoing struggle and sacrifice to keep this great nation of ours free, and exactly what it is we are actually celebrating this week.
ou will think me transported with enthusiasm but I am not.
I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means.
And that posterity will tryumph in that days transaction, even altho we should rue it, which I trust in God we shall not." - John Adams
This whole week is an occasion to celebrate with family and friends, to honor the spirit of America through fun and festivity. But remember, it is a celebration of national independence - they're not just words, but the greatest words ever written, for the greatest nation there ever was, or will ever be.
"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.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."
The RFA asks that you also keep the thought of our armed servicemen and women close to your heart, say a prayer for those serving our nation, and raise a glass to the United States of America and all for which it stands.
May God bless the U.S.A.
Your Friends at the RFA
Recreational Fishing Alliance
This is not refuting global warming, simply shows there's no easy answer to how it might manifest ...
Antarctic sea ice hit 35-year record high Saturday
Antarctic sea ice extent on September 22 compared to 1981-2010 median depicted by orange curve (NSIDC)
Antarctic sea ice has grown to a record large extent for a second straight year, baffling scientists seeking to understand why this ice is expanding rather than shrinking in a warming world.
On Saturday, the ice extent reached 19.51 million square kilometers, according to data posted on the National Snow and Ice Data Center Web site. That number bested record high levels set earlier this month and in 2012 (of 19.48 million square kilometers). Records date back to October 1978.
The increasing ice is especially perplexing since the water beneath the ice has warmed, not cooled.
“The overwhelming evidence is that the Southern Ocean is warming,” said Jinlun Zhang, a University of Washington scientist, studying Antarctic ice. “Why would sea ice be increasing? Although the rate of increase is small, it is a puzzle to scientists.”
In a new study in the Journal of Climate, Zhang finds both strengthening and converging winds around the South Pole can explain 80 percent of the increase in ice volume which has been observed.
“The polar vortex that swirls around the South Pole is not just stronger than it was when satellite records began in the 1970s, it has more convergence, meaning it shoves the sea ice together to cause ridging,” the study’s press release explains. “Stronger winds also drive ice faster, which leads to still more deformation and ridging. This creates thicker, longer-lasting ice, while exposing surrounding water and thin ice to the blistering cold winds that cause more ice growth.”
But no one seems to have a conclusive answer as to why winds are behaving this way.
“I haven’t seen a clear explanation yet of why the winds have gotten stronger,” Zhang told Michael Lemonick of Climate Central.
Some point to stratospheric ozone depletion, but a new study published in the Journal of Climate notes that computer models simulate declining – not increasing – Antarctic sea ice in recent decades due to this phenomenon (aka the ozone “hole”).
“This modeled Antarctic sea ice decrease in the last three decades is at odds with observations, which show a small yet statistically significant increase in sea ice extent,”says the study, led by Colorado State University atmospheric scientist Elizabeth Barnes.
A recent study by Lorenzo Polvani and Karen Smith of Columbia University says the model-defying sea ice increase may just reflect natural variability.
If the increase in ice is due to natural variability, Zhang says, warming from manmade greenhouse gases should eventually overcome it and cause the ice to begin retreating.
“If the warming continues, at some point the trend will reverse,” Zhang said.
However, a conclusion of the Barnes study is that the recovery of the stratospheric ozone layer – now underway – may slow/delay Antarctic warming and ice melt.
Ultimately, it’s apparent the relationship between ozone depletion, climate warming from greenhouse gases, natural variability, and how Antarctic ice responds is all very complicated. In sharp contrast, in the Arctic, there seems to be a relatively straight forward relationship between temperature and ice extent.
Related: Arctic sea ice has *not* recovered, in 7 visuals
Thus, in the Antarctic, we shouldn’t necessarily expect to witness the kind of steep decline in ice that has occurred in the Arctic.
“…the seeming paradox of Antarctic ice increasing while Arctic ice is decreasing is really no paradox at all,” explains Climate Central’s Lemonick. “The Arctic is an ocean surrounded by land, while the Antarctic is land surrounded by ocean. In the Arctic, moreover, you’ve got sea ice decreasing in the summer; at the opposite pole, you’ve got sea ice increasing in the winter. It’s not just an apples-and-oranges comparison: it’s more like comparing apple pie with orange juice.”