Wednesday, November 30, 2022

The Ecphora

A Beachcomber’s View: The Unusual and Extinct Ecphora Shell

In September I was in Norfolk, Virginia, and had the opportunity to beachcomb along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. By sheer coincidence, I was able to beachcomb on the Bay during a new moon, which is significant to a beachcomber because of the effects the moon can have on the tidal heights, which impact the shells that wash up on the shoreline.

For a beachcomber, the tide is everything. Full moons and new moons can affect the height of the tide lines greatly, but the new moon often gets overlooked because it isn’t visible like the full moon. A new moon is when the moon is located between the sun and the earth, which makes the moon seem invisible to us earthlings. The crescent moon or the fingernail moon is what appears in the sky before and after the new moon phase. During a new or full moon phase, the gravitational pull of the moon has a stronger effect on the oceans, making the tide lines higher and lower than normal. The extreme impact that the moon has on the height of the tide during these phases means a greater chance of finding something unexpected.

Whenever I go beachcombing, no matter if it’s for 10 minutes or two hours, I always take a bag for trash. I also make sure I take a reusable bag because, one – they are reusable, and two – they are easy to clean. My trash collecting led me in a direction I don’t typically go, but I don’t ignore trash on the beach, and on this day, it led me to a glorious treasure.

I was only able to walk the shoreline for a short bit of time, and during my initial search of the beach, I noticed right away that there were not a lot of shell pits or a thick debris line to look through, but I did notice how extremely low the tide was.

There were several pipes exposed that seemed to have been buried for quite some time, and that’s where I found it: Laying in between two of these huge pipes, all alone, was this one seashell, a shell that I had never seen before.

Since I had never seen this shell before, I had a hard time figuring out what it was, but talking to someone at work gave me the idea to use Google Lens for help. I took a picture of the shell and Google Lens used the image to search the internet for similar images, and the result was astonishing.

I had found an Ecphora seashell.

This magnificent shell isn’t the prettiest in color, as it is a dull, pastel taupe brown, and it certainly isn’t the biggest in my collection, measuring a mere 2″ inches, but I can safely say it is the oldest one I have ever discovered.

The Ecphora is an extinct gastropod, and since this one was found on the Chesapeake Bay in Norfolk, my best guess is that it is an Ecphora quadricostata species that lived during the Pliocene epoch, which ranges from 5.333 million to 2.58 million years ago.

The raised ridges along its body give it a very distinct look, which reminds me of one of my favorite shells, the Imperial Venus Clam, which also has ridges like the Ecphora shell, but a clam is a bivalve and an Ecphora is a gastropod.

During my research of this amazing specimen, I learned that the Paleontological Research Institute (PRI) uses the image of this beautiful shell as its logo. It was originally adopted by the founder of the Institute in 1932, and it has been the official image of their seal ever since. They also have an excellent article on the history of this shell on their website.

I believe I have mentioned before that the Ecphora is Maryland's State Fossil. They are pretty common in the cliffs at Matoaka Cottages. The best place to look is in relatively fresh falls from the cliff. The Ecphoras are usually full of mud, and survive the falls OK, but they are fragile enough that even our light surf breaks them up easily and small bits of the brown shell are common in the shell hash along the surf, and polish nicely to a nice amber color. Intact ones are very rare, usually some part of the tip, and maybe the lower sections are missing, even in specimens fresh out of the cliff. We collect a fair number along the way. Here is a shot of the Ecphora pile in our fossil case:



 

Biden Nantucket Vacation Flames Out

Fox, Biden’s Secret Service rental vehicles burst into flames after he left Nantucket vacation. Haut Hair's Beege Wellborn, Wait, whut?! Biden's Nantucket Secret Service rental vehicles burst into flames. Bob Spencer at Haut Hair, There Once Was A Prez on Nantucket, and Each of His Cars, a Fire Struck It. There's speculation that one or more of the vehicles was electric, and it was battery fire. Frankly, I doubt it; Li-ion battery fires are notoriously difficult to fight, and the damage is all to the front, while the batteries of electric vehicles they are in the rear and underneath. Pretty odd, though.

Via Insty
Speaking of flaming, Ace woke up yesterday afternoon and noticed Sam Brinton, Biden's Genderfluid, Puppy Perversion Official In Charge of Nuclear Materials, Charged With Felony Theft of a Woman's Luggage. At WaEx, Paul Bedard says the Theft case against Biden nonbinary aide Sam Brinton is admittedly getting ‘weirder’. Jordan Boyd at Da Fed notes the Biden Energy Dept. Won’t Say If It Will Fire Cross-Dresser Charged With Felony For Allegedly Stealing Lady’s Luggage. I would be very surprised if that happens. It is in a protected class. Stacy McCain Crazy People Are Dangerous (and They’re Working for the Biden Administration) if for no other reason that they're crazy. "It doesn’t make sense, but that’s just the way it is with lunatics — their behavior doesn’t make sense, like when 81 million people decided that Joe Biden should be President of the United States, a completely crazy choice that has had predictably crazy consequences." At the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 11.29.22 (Evening Edition), EBL chimes in with Biden’s Baggage Bandit Brinton Busted and Nice Deb (at Am Great) contributes Transgender Pup Fetishist DOE Official Charged With Stealing Woman’s Luggage at Minneapolis Airport.

The Biden Rail Strike appears to be on track. Da Caller reports Biden’s Big Union Deal Could Be About To Implode. Capt. Ed at Haut Hair, Biden passing the buck to Congress on rail strike -- and union blowback; Rubio: I stand with the workers and Pelosi: We'll hold a floor vote tomorrow to impose Biden's deal on rail workers. What happened to the party of labor? 

'Bonchie' at Red State hears Biden COVID 'Lead' Inadvertently Says the Quiet Part out Loud on CensorshipJeremy Konyndyk@JeremyKonyndyk "Farewell to Twitter's health care ad revenue." The Manhattan Contrarian wants to  Talk About Biden Corruption. Enough talk; it's time for indictments. Joe Curl at Da Wire says D.C. is Abuzz With Chatter About Biden Replacing VP Harris. With what? She checks all the boxes except ability. Don Devine at Am Spec makes the case that Bureaucratization and Peril Haunt the Modern Presidency "A president cannot succeed without personal loyalty to him and his program," putting all Republicans at a disadvantage. 

John Sexton at Haut takes note that Tom Nichols admit Never Trump really meant never Republican. Duuuuh. Spin, Strangeness and Charm wonders  Was the Nick Fuentes meeting a setup? Does 45 have a mole in his personal staff, or are they just that incompetent? [UPDATE: you wouldn’t believe it]. Milo Yiannopoulos was involved? Definitely. "And, Yiannopoulos said, he arranged the dinner “just to make Trump’s life miserable” because news of the dinner would leak and Trump would mishandle it." Jeff Lord at Am Spec offers up A House GOP Opportunity: A Resolution Calling on Biden, Democrats to Apologize for Dem Support for Slavery "Democrat support of slavery was once official party policy — and no apologies yet." He' right. Edward Mike at Am Think considers Should it be Trump or DeSantis in 2024?

At Breitbart, Judge Rules Trump Ally Devin Nunes Can Sue NBC Universal for Defamation "The complaint filed by the Nunes legal team alleged MSNBC and Rachel Maddow knew that the package had been given to the FBI but chose to instead “inflict maximum pain and suffering” on Nunes to harm his reputation." I hope it's filed in his home district, because DC won't work. From the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 11.29.22 (Evening Edition), at the Volokh Conspiracy: Devin Nunes’ Libel Claim Over Rachel Maddow Show Broadcast Can Proceed for Now, as to One Assertion.

Capt. Ed, Gulp: Warnock's war chest triple that of Walker's. Insty, ONCE AGAIN WE HAVE A CLOSE RUNOFF IN GEORGIA THAT IS IMPORTANT TO SENATE CONTROL, AND THE GOP IS LETTING IT SLIDE: Gulp: Warnock’s war chest triple that of Walker’s. Is it because they know the fix is in, or because they don’t want to win? Jazz Shaw at Haut Hair, Latest residency accusations could spell trouble for Walker. At Da Caller, MSNBC Anchor: Georgia Voter Turnout Shatters Expectations, which is not normally a great thing for the GOP. I hope they've learned to scavenge votes like Stacy Abrams, but I doubt it.

At Da Wire, Democrats Flip Pennsylvania State House In Another Massive Midterm Loss For Republicans, Promise ‘Center-Left’ Agenda, giving Democrats control over the electoral machinery. At Da Caller, How The GOP Establishment Made An Avoidable Mistake In The Midterms. Only one? At NewsMax, Rep. Kevin McCarthy to Newsmax: Dems Could Pick Speaker If GOP Isn't Careful. At the Conservative Brief, Carmine Sabia warns Democrats Could Pick Speaker If Republicans Continue Fighting. I suspect the Republicans will get it together at the last possible second. Meanwhile, Democrats chose election denier Hakeem Jeffries —  first Black party leader in Congress (WaPoo).

WaPoo also reports Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes guilty of Jan. 6 seditious conspiracy. Rhodes seems like a nut, but I don't trust DC juries or DC judges anymore. At Twitchy, a Detailed thread shows FBI OBLITERATED bedrock civil liberties in their J6 quest to ‘Defend Democracy’

Matt Vespa at Town Hall explains Why the 'Power Grab' Case That's Heading to the Supreme Court Could Give the Left Fits.

The legal beef that must be settled is whether it was constitutional for the North Carolina state Supreme Court to dismiss the latest redistricting map, which heavily favored Republicans. It’s a test of the “independent state legislature doctrine.” That legal position says that state/local courts cannot interfere in the redistricting process—the pickle here for those arguing in favor of the doctrine is that the Tar Heel state passed a law granting local courts the authority to review the maps. If successfully argued, critics warn that the “independent state legislature doctrine” could pave the way for single-party rule. Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives Tim Moore sued voter Rebecca Harper, leading us to this final legal showdown (via The Week) . . . 

 Jay Valentine at Am Think thinks Here’s How They Did it: Real-time Election Fraud

County election managers change the zip code of 31,000 voters on September 3. Ballots go out that week. Those 31,000 are undeliverable. Someone collects those valid ballots. On September 15th, those addresses are quietly changed back.

National Change of Address Database (NCOA) will not pick up those address changes. They didn’t happen because there is no history.

The 31,000 citizens were getting their mail just fine -- except for ballots. Ballot addresses were driven by the county mail-in ballot database -- the one that was changed, then changed back.

Many states send ballots to everyone; the recipient is none the wiser that they never received a mail-in ballot. They may vote in person. Oops! “You already voted!” Ever heard that?

David Strom at Haut Hair notes that Elon Musk is now a Russian stooge apparently for bringing freedom of speech back to Twitter. Ace, DeSantis: Apple's Threat to Deplatform Twitter from Its App Store is an Act of "Raw Monopolistic Power" Which Should Be Met by Congressional Action. From Althouse, Dear Tim Cook... Love, Josh Hawley. Josh Hawley@HawleyMO, "I’d like to know why ⁦ @Apple⁩ continues to aid and abet the totalitarian regime in #China while campaigning against free speech at home. My letter to Tim Cook"

The Wednesday Wetness

 Featuring Ashley Kidd, 5 times World Champion Wake Boarder:


Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Can Acorns Save the Bay?

I doubt it. But, at the Bay Bulletin, Acorns In Short Supply: Volunteers Collect Acorns For A Cleaner Bay Watershed

Raking up fallen leaves is a staple of autumn yardwork. But for some people in Maryland and Virginia, fall is also acorn collection season. These all-too-often ignored seeds are actually critical to creating a future Chesapeake Bay watershed that has cleaner air, cleaner water, and more green spaces for all.

People who collect acorns are a large part of making this future possible. During the 2022 acorn collection season, which ended in October, public contributions in Virginia were higher than ever.

Joshua McLaughlin, the assistant nursery manager at the Virginia Department of Forestry’s Augusta Nursery, estimated that four to five tons of seeds were collected by the public. McLaughlin explained that the nursery will grow the seeds for a season before selling the seedlings for primarily reforestation, riparian buffers, and watershed planting projects on private and state property.

“We’re thinking about the forests of tomorrow,” he says.

Alexis Dickerson, senior director of community conservation at the Potomac Conservancy, is thinking along similar lines. Dickerson helps run a program called Tomorrow’s Trees, which focuses on “community-powered collective action” and getting people involved in more meaningful conservation work connected to their everyday lives.

Rebranded from a previously fizzled program, Tomorrow’s Trees focused this year on laying the groundwork for future acorn collection and tree planting work. They helped to establish seed drop off sites and built capacity within communities so they can run their own seed collection, since seeds drop off trees at different times each year.

Acorn collection is more important now than ever because of state tree planting targets. Virginia has a goal in their plan to clean up the Chesapeake Bay to plant nine million new trees by 2025. Last year, Maryland passed a law requiring the state plant five million native trees by 2031.

“These initiatives put pressure on state nurseries,” Dickenson explains. “Every seed that you plant isn’t going to germinate. If you want to plant five million trees, you’re going to need tens of millions of seeds.”

“Good quality, native tree seeds are one of our most limiting factors to achieving our 5 million trees goal,” Anne Hairston-Strang, acting director of the Maryland Forest Service, said.

Public acorn collection can make the difference for these state nurseries that are competing with commercial suppliers for the same seed stock. People power can also help out staff like Francis Smith, a natural resources planner with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, who is the only staff member delivering seeds to the state nursery.

“We are obviously in need of volunteer help,” he said.

Last year, I think our yard alone could have provided most of the 4 or 5 tons of acorns sought. This year, we had hardly any. That's the way it goes with trees that have mast years.

We lost a big oak in the back lot last night. We had noticed it was leaning, but based on the direction of the lean, we thought it wasn't going to hit anything costly. Fortunately we were right.






Winter is Coming!

Snow extent in the Northern Hemisphere at the end of November represents an important parameter for the early winter forecast. This year snow extent is running much higher than average and according to existing global estimates, it is now beyond the highest ever observed so far. Winter forecast, especially in its early phase and in Europe, might be strongly influenced by such a large snow extent, although many other factors need attention.

Northern Hemisphere snow extent is currently indeed very high, now at about 41 million square kilometers, according to the NOAA/Rutgers Global Snow Lab. The most recent snow cover information is given in the image below.

 

The Weekly Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent for the winter season 2022-2023 in purple is plotted together with the mean (grey dashed line), maximum (blue), and minimum (orange) snow cover extent for each week. Mean weekly snow cover extent and extremes were calculated using the 56-year period from October 1966 to July 2022.

 

 

Looking at the below Rutgers Daily Snow Extent map, it is clearly noticeable how Russia is completely covered in snow now. Snow is also seen overwhelming all of Canada, and Alaska, as well as a good portion of the Lower 48. This is an important parameter for the early winter forecast.


You could probably forecast a colder-than-normal winter based on Autumnal Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent alone. It’s the largest snow extent in decades. Having so much snow on the ground means any arctic outbreak is going to be a little bit colder. . . .

A long detailed explanation follows.  From WUWT, Ace Forecaster Bastardi: “Something We Used to See In 1970s”, Warns Of “Spectacular Cold”

In his most recent Weatherbell Saturday Summary, veteran meteorologist Joe Bastardi looks ahead at the winter weather over the coming weeks across the globe.

What definitely distinguishes Joe from forecasters I follow here in Germany is that he doesn’t rely solely on the so-called ensemble models to make his longer term forecasts, but goes way back into the archives and searches for similar patterns that took place even decades ago (analogues) in order to better discern which way the weather is likely to turn in the weeks ahead.

German forecasters like here , here and here like to put out videos once or even twice daily to report on what the many model ensembles are showing, which is something no one really needs a meteorological license to do. Too often you hear these weather pundits suddenly change their 7+ day forecast, in lockstep with whatever the latest ensemble run crunches out. Yet, most of us know that such forecasts are only valid until the next ensemble run because 7 days out the models can and often make U-turns. 

 

In Joe’s latest forecast, he again makes use of analogue years to forecast weeks ahead. I recall a forecast he made some 2 weeks ago warning that early December likely will turn cold in Europe – long before anyone else – basing it on weather patterns seen over past decades. Lo and behold, now the models are finally seeing wintry weather for next weekend.

In his latest forecast, Joe has become “very concerned” about the coming cold, which is going to be a real problem for not only people in the US, but around the globe.

 

“Mark my word, if this kind of cold shows up, that we’ve been setting up since the end of summer, and it looks like it at least has merit to consider, there’s going to be a blaming on climate change because of the blocking that caused it.”

Joe worries that many countries aren’t going to have sufficient energy to meet the forecast cold challenges, something politically inexcusable in 2022 with all our modern technology. . . .

So far, our fall has been relatively mild.  I hope a turn for the worse is not in store. But being a La Nina year, it seems possible. 

 

Nuclear Waste Queen Charged with Felony, Mess in Maricopa Continues, Elon to Release Twitter Censorship Files

Sam Brinton
Not the biggest political story of the year, but one of the more amusing. Sam Brinton, the Biden Admin. Nuclear Energy Waste Czar, and flamboyantly nonbinary gendered, was charged with felony theft after taking a woman bag that wasn't his/hers at an airport, with bag and goods estimated at more than $2000. Awrd for best title to Dan Greenfield at Front Page, Biden’s Nuclear Drag Queen Stole Women’s Clothing. David Strom at Haut Hair, Biden's transgender DOE appointee is charged with a felony. Sundance at CTH, Non-Binary Nuclear Waste Official Arrested for Stealing Womans Luggage and Clothes. Alpha News, Controversial energy official charged with stealing woman’s luggage at MSP. Bob Spencer at PJ Media, Biden's 'Gender-Fluid' Nuclear Waste 'Puppy' Makes a Mess in Minneapolis. I have no doubt it will be pled down to a misdemeanor with no time served and no job lost, except maybe a cop.

Lunden Roberts posed with her daughter
Navy, who was fathered by Hunter Biden
In other Biden Admin news,  NYPo reveals Hunter Biden’s love child snubbed again in White House stocking display. A baby with a stripper for a mother, a crack-head for a dad, and a president for Grandpa. Paul Bedard at WaEx calls Investigate! 62% want Hunter Biden probed. James Lynch at Da Caller reports Biden’s Former ‘Disinfo’ Czar Registers As Foreign Agent "Former head of the Disinformation Governance Board at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Nina Jankowicz has registered as a foreign agent, records show. Jankowicz submitted registration documents required by the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which show she now works for the UK-based Centre for Information Resilience." Ace, Leftwing Propaganda Organs Politico and NYT Moan: Biden Is Actually Serious About Running Again, "Last week, John Sexton noted that Politico worried that Biden... "refuses to leave the stage." Or, is not "ready to cede the stage," as they put it." At Haut Hair, Washington's dirty little secret: No one likes Kamala. At the Conservative Brief, a Report, Joe Biden Urged To Ditch Kamala Harris In 2024

Speaking of unloved, at Am Great, the redoubtable Julie Kelly observes Everybody Hates Liz Cheney. "Pimped by Democrats, used by the news media, abandoned by Republicans, and disliked by the public, Cheney, like her father, might have managed to tick off almost everyone on her way out the door." Tristan Justice at Da Fed, J6 Democrats Sour On ‘Cheney 2024.’  Also at WaEx, Adam Schiff: Jan. 6 committee will 'scrub' evidence before final report. He says to remove personal identification of witnesses.  At Breitbart, Schiff: Will ‘Consider the Validity’ of GOP Subpoena Before I Comply and  GOP Rep. Comer: Oversight Committee Will Investigate ’40 or 50 Different Things’. Jazz Shaw at Haut Hair, Schiff doesn't know if he would obey a GOP subpoena to testify. That's easy, put him in the House jail until he complies. They have one. Treat him like the J6 prisoners and deny him medical care. At ET, 42 Biden Admin Officials Put on Notice by House Republicans. At JTN, Kellyanne Conway meets with Jan. 6 committee investigators. "She had already left the Trump administration by Jan. 6, 2021, but reportedly called a Trump aide to encourage the president to ask his supporters to leave the grounds."

Atop Da Hill, Wall Street Journal editors on dinner with Nick Fuentes: ‘Trump isn’t going to change.’ At Da Wire, Pence Calls On Trump To ‘Apologize For’ Dining With Holocaust Denier At Mar-A-Lago. Ace, Byron York: Kanye West Duped Trump Into Providing Him With a Launching Pad for His 2024 Vanity Presidential Run. "And also damaged Trump in doing so. After trying and failing to quell the controversy about the dinner, Trump issued a new statement in which he attacks "Ye."" Nevertheless, at Town Hall Kurt Schlichter makes The Case Against Everyone Else 2024 – Part 1.

At Radar, Herschel Walker Comes Under Fire After Claiming Most Americans 'Haven't Earned The Right' To Change The Country. True, but impolitic to say. NPR prays Democrats made midterm gains in rural areas. Can they keep them? Can we at least make the Democrats fund NPR since it's a Democrat mouthpiece? At Pox, 5 Republicans publicly oppose McCarthy's speakership bid, putting ascension to leadership role in jeopardy." Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy can only lose four votes if full 435-member House of Representatives votes for speaker."  Breitbart expresses fear, Exclusive — Conservatives Warn of ‘Doomsday Scenario’ if McCarthy Fails in Speaker Race Where Democrats Neuter GOP Power. At Da Caller, Virginia Democrat Congressman Donald McEachin Dead At 61 Colon cancer. A special election for his replacement will be called at a date chosen by Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R).

For some reason or another, the vote in Maricopa is still in the news. at ET Jack Phillips , Maricopa County Should ‘Delay Certification’ of 2022 Election: GOP and Katabella Roberts, Maricopa County Responds to Arizona Attorney General Inquiry, Defends Way It Handled Election. At Gateway Pundit, Maricopa County Response to AZ AG Materially Conflicts with Instructions on Election Day – But They Announce They Will Certify Rigged Election TOMORROW Anyway Rules? Rules are for suckers. Charlotte Hazard at JTN, Maricopa County certifies election results over residents' grievances about polling station problems. "'My ballot looked perfect and no matter what I did, the tabulator would not accept it,' one Maricopa resident said." Also, Arizona county refuses to certify election, could face potential lawsuit. "Arizona's deadline for counties to certify election results is Nov. 28 and Cochise County may be sued for missing the deadline. At Da Caller, Arizona County Refuses To Certify Election Results, Threatening A GOP House Win. Cochise County, in protest to the Maricopa mess. At Da Caller, Trump insists Kari Lake should be 'installed as Governor of Arizona' because of 'broken voting machines' - as six counties still left counting told to certify results TODAY.

Selwyn Duke at Am Think thinks The New Voting System that Gave Democrats a GOP House Seat is Dangerous. Here’s Why. Ranked choice, 

Nick Arama at Red State Elon Drops Bombshell About 'Free Speech Suppression' Files He's Found
Rising serpent @rising_serpent Replying to @elonmusk "Make sure you tweet that you are not suicidal, stay away from all bed sheets and make sure that all security cameras around you are working." At Da Wire, Musk Releasing Files On How Twitter Suppressed Free Speech. Sundance, Twitter CEO Elon Musk Says He Will Publicly Reveal Twitter’s “Files on Free Speech,” and Implies Coordination with Government. Insty, MUSK: “THE TWITTER FILES ON FREE SPEECH SUPPRESSION SOON TO BE PUBLISHED ON TWITTER ITSELF.” "It’s really too bad that he committed suicide tomorrow before he could publish that info. Who knew he was even depressed?" Ace, Apple Threatening to Deplatform Twitter Unless It Begins Censoring People The Way Gay-and-Trans Crazy Apple Demands; Musk Threatens to Release All the Dirty Laundry of Twitter's Previous Internal Censorship Discussions Liz Wheeler @Liz_Wheeler "I predicted this the day @ElonMusk said he was gonna buy Twitter. Woke Apple *has* to deplatform Twitter because free speech is an existential threat to Marxism. The left doesn't "fight for the marginalized." The left are Marxists. Proud of Elon for refusing to bend a knee." At Summit News, Twitter Bans Multiple Antifa Accounts After Threats And Attempts To Burn Down Tesla Dealerships. Kevin Downey at PJ Media, Don't Be Fooled — Antifa Is America's Nazis. And an enforcement arm of Democrat party. 

Tattoo Tuesday

Researchers from State University of New York at Binghamton analyzed 56 popular inks often used by American tattoo artists, uncovering that 23 of them have potentially hazardous azo-compounds.

While azo-compounds are not a cause for concern while chemically intact, bacteria or ultraviolet light can degrade them into another compound that is carcinogenic.

“Very little is actually known about the composition of tattoo inks, so we started analyzing popular brands,” the study’s lead author John Swierk said in a statement after Wednesday’s fall meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

“Surprisingly, no dye shop makes pigment specific for tattoo ink,” Swierk further stated. “Big companies manufacture pigments for everything, such as paint and textiles. These same pigments are used in tattoo inks.” 

Monday, November 28, 2022

Maryland, My Maryland

Not another negative post. I saw this in the Bay newsfeed and couldn't resist: 7 Natural Wonders In Maryland

Maryland may be the ninth smallest state in the US, but it is full of natural beauty. From sparkling waterfalls and rugged cliffs to awe-inspiring caverns and breathtaking beaches, there is a lot to see and explore in the great outdoors of this small state. The best time to visit is naturally, in the spring and summer. The weather is perfect for hiking the trails, exploring the state parks, or even relaxing on the beach. However, the state is beautiful at any time of the year and is home to many natural wonders, a must-see for anyone visiting the state.

1. Swallow Falls State Park - Been there. It's nice, especially in heat of summer.

2. Deep Creek Lake - We've spent a week there once. Again, it's pretty nice in summer, and close to good skiing in winter, near good trout fishing in spring.

3. Calvert Cliffs. I wouldn't know a thing at all about this. /sarc

4. Assateague Island - Been there once in summer. The only place in the world with more flies is Australia. And the Australian flies don't bite. Greenheads do. 

5. Billy Goat Trail - Never heard of it before, but it sounds intriguing. Might make an interesting stop on the way to or from Pittsburgh.

6. Crystal Grottoes Caverns - Yep. Love Caves.

7. Sunflowers At Mckee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area - Nope, but sounds like it might be worth stopping by during the blooms.

VA Moves to Restrict Bay Menhaden Fishery

Another use for Menhaden
Richmond Times-Dispatch, State proposes limits on menhaden fishing in the Bay after spills

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission is considering new limits on the controversial menhaden fishery after two spills of dead fish fouled Eastern Shore beaches in July and sparked calls for an outright ban.

The Reedville-based fleet operated by Omega Protein spilled 4,895 menhaden on Silver Beach over the July 4 weekend and an estimated 10,000 menhaden and 26 red drum on July 25, which forced the closing of Kiptopeke State Park beach for a time when some of them washed ashore.

The first spill came when a “purse seine” net tore, as Omega crew members were gathering a school of fish. Purse seining involves surrounding a school of fish with a net maneuvered by two boats, which then bring the closed “purse” alongside a larger vessel which vacuums the fish into its hold.

A Red Drum, for reference
 

The second spill came with the captain of one of the larger vessels spotted several large red drum in the net, and dumped all the fish hoping that would keep at least some of the drum alive.

In response to this year's spills, the commission is considering barring purse-seining within a mile of the mean low tide line.

That should keep operations in deeper water, reducing the possibility of a net tear and make it less likely that any dead fish from a spill would drift ashore, a commission briefing paper said.

Well, it was noble of the Capt to try to save the big Red Drum (which often hang around the big schools of Menhaden), but likely futile. Bycatch is a natural consequence of big netting operations

The commission also is proposing a half mile buffer zone on either side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, a hot spot for fishing that also crosses the main channels to the port and Navy facilities in Hampton Roads as well as to the port of Baltimore.
. . .
Finally, the commission proposed holiday bans, to make sure spills don’t close beaches when most vacationers want to enjoy them.

Those would run from two days before the Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend and through Memorial and Labor Days, as well as from July 1 to July 7.

It's better than nothing, but not as good a complete ban on the reduction fishery in Chesapeake Bay 

Creepy Joe Ogles Little Girls

And other political amusements. 'Adam Mill' at Am Great explains Why Anti-Trump Zealots Might Help Trump Win the Primaries. Because it worked out so well in 2016. Also at Am Great the great VDH makes a comparison, Was Trump Our Captain Queeg? "And will the NeverTrumpers finally be exposed to have been as contemptible as the NeverQueegers were in The Caine Mutiny?" Vince Coyner at Am Think thinks Donald Trump 2022 was Forged in a Crucible of White Hot Fire "From the second he announced, Trump found himself enduring a withering barrage of vitriol and venom unseen in American politics. The abuse came from Democrats, the media, social media, and academia as well as the GOP establishment. What Trump endured was relentless. Yet somehow, he won." At Fox, Trump deems Kanye West a ‘seriously troubled man’ who 'just happens to be Black' after Mar-a-Lago trip fallout. A valuable lesson on why you don't invite crazy to dinner. At LI Stacey Matthews is disgusted when the NY Times Predictably Tries to Drag Ron DeSantis Into Trump/Kanye/Fuentes Dinner Controversy. "So DeSantis is now on the hook to respond every time a Republican in his state behaves badly at dinnertime? If so, that’s a standard that needs to be applied across the board." Just Mindy@just_mindy "Ron DeSantis is responsible for every dinner meeting that happens in the state where he is Governor. Can’t wait until we apply this standard to Gavin Newsom." At Compact, Daniel McCarthy touts DeSantis the Realist.

At NYPo,   ‘Creepy’ Joe Biden roasted for strange selfies. A least he can't sniff their hair through glass windows. 

WaPoo pleased as punch, Early voters in Georgia head to the polls Saturday for Senate runoff. JTN reports wife-beater and slumlord Warnock sees massive cash advantage over Walker ahead of runoff election

Stephen Kruiser at PJ Media fears Republicans Might Make House Takeover the Wrong Kind of Interesting with a fight over the speakership. I'm not in love with McCarthy, but I don't know who would be better. On the Democrat side, Matt Margolis at PJ reports an Election Denier Refuses to Give Up House Leadership Position (Clyburn).

At the NH Union Leader, cited at Haut HairPatrick Hynes notes Dems reclaim election denier mantle from Trump. "Not two weeks after the Democrats ran a national campaign saying that “our democracy is on the ballot,” New Hampshire Democrats sued the Secretary of State to stop counting ballots and disenfranchise voters." At Da Caller, Former Rep. Jason Lewis looks at How The Census Saved The Democrats. By overcounting blue states and undercounting red states, they likely added more than one district to the Democrats tally. Accident? Maybe, but there's no reason to trust them after the federal bureaucracy went resistance against Trump. At HE, Roger Stone looks at The Hispanic Shift To The GOP– And Why Democrats Should Be Terrified.

AP whines Lake seeks election records in suit against Arizona county. WaPoo smugly asserts Maricopa County says printer glitches didn’t prevent anyone from voting. "A report to the Arizona attorney general’s office blames Republicans for stoking doubts about a secure alternative available to voters." Of course they'd say that; they can't take any blame when 40% of the machines suddenly don't work right on election day. At Am Spec, Tom Raabe looks at Arizona’s Election Bungle. "Once again, the Grand Canyon State is in the headlines for all the wrong reasons." At Am Think Jack Gleason thinks about The Uniparty, FTX, and Electoral Fraud. "We have just experienced the second great election steal in two years. Will the Uni-Party of Democrats and RINOs succeed in evaporating the Red Wave?"

Also at Am Think, Brian C. Joondeph says Don’t Shut Down the January 6 Committee – Supercharge It! "A better idea would be to renew the committee and stack it with Freedom Caucus Republicans and a few “Never-Biden” Democrats, if any exist. Names like Reps Jim Jordan, Andy Biggs, Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Chip Roy come to mind." Atop Da Hill, Schiff pushes back on reported tension between Cheney, Jan. 6 panel staffers "“No, I mean at least I certainly hope not,” Schiff told co-anchor Dana Bash on CNN’s “State of the Union” when asked if the story was true." At Da Caller, Schiff Says He’ll Have To ‘Consider The Validity’ Of GOP Subpoena, "We’ll have to look at the legitimacy or lack of legitimacy of what they do.” I'm sure his idea of "legitimacy" depends on whether or not it hurts Democrats.

ET reports House Judiciary Republicans claim the FBI Waited Over a Year to Fully Investigate Jan. 6 Pipe Bombs. "According to the whistleblower, it was not until Feb. 7, 2022—more than a month and a year after the incident—that the Washington Field Office of the FBI asked its national field offices to investigate and try to identify the man." Don't turn on the lights 'cause we don't want to see!

At Am Con Peter van Buren asks The Questions John Durham Didn't Ask

Did Clinesmith act alone in formulating his lies? Was he ordered to lie? Was his lie part of any broader pattern of lies on later FISA applications? Who worked with Clinesmith to create the FISA application and when was the lie incorporated? How many people above Clinesmith (McCabe, Comey, et al.) knew about the lie and played along? How far up the FBI chain did they know it was all constructed, that Page was a stooge alright, but one clearly documented as working for the American side? Durham never seemed to ask, and we the public may never know.
Durham never pursued the Joffe line. Who paid him? When did he start monitoring the Oval Office? What did he learn? When did he stop? Was any of the monitoring, likely unconstitutionally, shared with the FBI? Was the FBI aware of the action and what, if anything, did they do to support it, profit from it, or try and limit it? Were Georgia Tech researchers culpable?
Left answered: exactly when did the FBI learn Steele's near-only source was bogus? When did they learn Dolan was the originator of the pee tape? Why did they not conclude the investigation at that point? How high up the FBI chain of command did knowledge of the lackadaisical sourcing by Steele go? Director Comey? If not, why not? Is this why Comey was fired by Trump? The FBI was actively investigating the President of the United States as a Russian spy and Comey was not aware of the details?
Why didn't Durham walk his indictments up the ladder? Or instead, why did he not proceed sideways, leaving Hillary but moving deeper into the FBI? Why not see if Fiona Hill at Brookings connects the failed Russiagate coup with the failed Ukrainegate impeachment, both of which she played a pivotal behind-the-scenes role in? Why didn't Durham use the stage of congressional hearings to bypass Joe Biden’s Justice Department and throw the real decision making back to the voters?

An unspoken part of Durham's charge from Barr was to protect his beloved DOJ to the greatest extent possible. Fox, henhouse.

The Monday Morning Stimulus


Sunday, November 27, 2022

Unintended Consequences

 At WUWT, New York State Cracks Down on Bitcoin Miners Buying Old Coal Plants

As ordinary people suffer electricity blackouts and price hikes, Bitcoin miners have been restarting unwanted old coal plants, to produce the vast quantities of cheap, reliable energy needed to mint new bitcoins.
New York cracks down on carbon fuel-based crypto-mining operations

Two-year ban comes as state attempts to reduce emissions by 85%

Richard Currie
Wed 23 Nov 2022 // 17:01 UTC

New York State has banned a practice becoming more common in the crypto-mining industry – the rescuing and repurposing of mothballed fossil fuel plants to exclusively provide energy for mining digital currency.

Governor Kathy Hochul yesterday enacted a bill in the works since May 2021 that establishes a two-year moratorium on applications or permits for “an electricity generating facility that utilizes a carbon-based fuel and that provides, in whole or in part, behind-the-meter electric energy consumed or utilized by cryptocurrency mining operations that use proof-of-work authentication methods to validate blockchain transactions.” This includes applications to renew such permits.

The bill cites the contribution to climate change of dirty fuel plants at a time when the state has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent by 2050, with “net zero emissions in all sectors of the economy by that time.”

Though it notes that the industry is growing in New York, the bill says: “The continued and expanded operation of cryptocurrency mining operations running proof-of-work authentication methods to validate blockchain transactions will greatly increase the amount of energy usage in the state of New York, and impact compliance with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.”

…Read more: https://www.theregister.com/2022/11/23/new_york_crypto_mining_ban/
I love this story, because it makes a complete mockery of claims coal is too expensive or unreliable.

Bitcoin mining, despite the glamour, is a marginal business. Making a profit requires a gargantuan supply of reliable but very cheap energy.

To “mine” bitcoin, mining computers must provide “Proof of work”, the solution to a difficult cryptographic math puzzle. The puzzle is not mathematically complex, the difficulty is the trillions of attempts which are required to find the missing key, to create a valid solution – kindof like brute force code breaking with a computer, trying different keys until you find one which works. Each solution cryptographically secures not only the latest transactions, but all previous transactions, so solving these difficult equations helps secure the bitcoin ledger against tampering and theft. The difficulty of solving the puzzle, and lots of independent copies of the ledger, creates a near insurmountable impediment to tampering with past transactions. People who contribute to the Bitcoin community by helping to secure the ledger of transactions against tampering, by solving these immensely difficult “proof of work” cryptographic puzzles, are rewarded with newly minted bitcoins.

The specialised computers required to solve this cryptographic puzzle and find the missing key in a reasonable time are expensive, but the real killer cost is the cost of the electricity required to run those expensive computers.

It's my understanding (which may be wrong) that in the early days of Bitcoin, the computations required to mine it and keep the ledgers was much lower, and people with ordinary desktop computers could do it and a make a coin or so. The fact that it now requires whole powerplants to supply the electricity just to keep the books seems unsustainable. Does this apply to other forms of cryptocurrency too? Did the Bitcoin founders foresee this?

Another unintended consequence is people finding a use for coal-fired power plant idled, not because they are economically worthwhile, but for political purposes. A usable asset will alway find people willing to use it.

Trump Goes To Dinner . . .

And causes a commotion, of course. Apparently his good buddy Ye, formerly Kanye West, came to dinner at Mar-a-Lago with an uninvited guest, Nick Fuentes, whom I was not especially familiar with, but who is reputed to be, by all the correct thinkers, to be a dangerous White Supremacist. John Sexton at Haut Hair reports on Trump's dinner with Kanye and Nick Fuentes

"Ed put parts of this story in the headlines earlier but I wanted to consolidate some of it here. The basic story is that Trump agreed to host Kanye for dinner at Mar-a-Lago and Kanye apparently brought along white supremacist Nick Fuentes. Let’s just start with this tweet from Kanye in which he says he asked Trump to be his VP."

So right off, an alarm. Ye wants The Donald to be his VP? I know he's crazy, but I thought he was a little closer to reality than that. Could Ye be trying to damage Trump to help his fantasy run? Weird, but that's Ye. William Teach at Pirate's Cove, Bad Move: Trump Dined With Horrible White Supremacist Nick Fuentes. Althouse, "Even taking at face value Mr. Trump’s protestation that he knew nothing of [Nick] Fuentes, the apparent ease with which Mr. Fuentes arrived at the home of [the] former president..." "... underscores the undisciplined, uncontrolled nature of Mr. Trump’s post-presidency just 10 days into his third campaign for the White House," citing Maggie Haberman at NYT. At Da Mail, Trump was 'very taken' with Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes and they fawned over each other during Mar-a-Lago dinner with Kanye West - but former President claims he had no idea he was a white supremacist. How does the Mail claim to know what Trump thought? Pure wish casting. Wa Ex, Trump in damage control mode after dinner with infamous white nationalist. At PM, Trump responds after Thanksgiving dinner with Kanye, uninvited guests, that turned hostile, "West alluded in his Twitter video that his party was kicked out of Mar-a-Lago. When a source close to President Trump and with knowledge of the situation was asked if that was the case, they corroborated Kanye’s story." At Twitchy, Ron Filipkowski spread a lie, claiming that Nick Fuentes now supports Ron DeSantis. The story doesn't concern me much, except as an example of poor message discipline in the Trump campaign. Nobody on the left cares when Obama or other Democrats hang around dangerous Black Supremacists and anti-Semites, hell, they even elect them to Congress.

Teach again, Democrats Pining For Trump As Republican Nominee. They made that mistake once. On the other hand, KT at Haut Hair reports Elon Musk will support DeSantis if he runs for President, which may explain Senator Markey's thuggish tweet. 

KT at Haut Hair reports the White House offered up Thanksgiving talking points and it didn't go well. Cathy Salgado at PJ Media Biden Education Official Says Democracy—And Everything Else—Is White Supremacy. "Kristina Ishmael [she/her]" 

At News Max, Rep. Jerry Carl sees a Push on To Make Hunter Biden 'Look Normal', at least Washington D.C. normal. Jack Philips at ET cites a Top House Republican who Reveals How GOP Will Target Hunter Biden’s Financial Ties to Father. The current White House has pretty much destroyed the idea of executive privilege. Natalie Winters at da War Room,  Democrat’s ‘War Room’ Countering Congressional Investigations Into Biden Family Is Led By Operatives Tied To Chinese Communist Party Influence Groups And George Soros. Protecting their investment. 

Atop Da Hill, Newsom says he won’t run for president in 2024, even if Biden doesn’t seek reelection "Newsom said in an interview with Politico that he has told the White House that he is “all in” on Biden running for reelection and told Biden himself during a phone call on Election Day earlier this month. He also said he will not run for president if Biden does not run but was less firm about the 2028 election." Don't Californicate the USA. Capt. Ed at Haut Hair, Newsom to Biden: I'll wait my turn ... for you. Althouse cites Politico, "In 1976, Ronald Reagan challenged a sitting president, Gerald Ford, and four years later Jerry Brown did the same against Jimmy Carter." 

"Both incumbents would lose the general election, as would George H.W. Bush in 1992, the last year a president would face a remotely serious primary. This fear of wounding your own president and only ensuring his defeat in the fall is partly the reason why primaries against incumbents have faded, and it’s certainly top of mind for younger challengers who don’t want to hurt their future prospects within the party.

Victory Girls see Abortion The Focus Of 2024 for Democrats. Bonchie at Red State hears CNN Calls Freedom of Speech 'Nonsense' in Moronic Rant in response to Elon Musk's announcement of general Twitter amnesty. Stacy McCain, ‘Blood On Your Hands’? Is Anyone Really Endangered by Twitter ‘Amnesty’?

At ET, Sen. Graham Testifies in Georgia 2020 Election Probe “Today, Senator Graham appeared before the Fulton County Special Grand Jury for just over two hours and answered all questions,” Graham’s office said in a statement. “The Senator feels he was treated with respect, professionalism and courtesy. Out of respect for the grand jury process he will not comment on the substance of the questions.”

Also at ET, Mike Lindell Says He’ll Announce Bid for RNC Chair on Monday. "Lindell’s proposition comes after Ronna McDaniel, the RNC chair since 2017, signaled her intention to seek to lead the party for a fourth term."  If I buy one of your pillows will you promise to stay out of politics?

Palm Sunday

Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup and links.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Twilight Seaplane


On Wednesday evening. We see that plane, and another like it fairly frequently. I'm curious as to where they fly from. They don't have wheels, so it has to be some marina type thing.

Trump Political Obit Premature? House to Go 222 to GOP

From the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 11.25.22, Eric Root claims Trump’s Arc Must Play Out "It remains an observable fact that the average American voter—the MAGA voter—is not going to abandon Trump, not even for another attractive candidate." I think that's over stating it. George NeuMayer at Am Spec is a little less strident, saying Trump’s Political Obituary Is Premature, "As they did in 2016, critics cast him as unviable even as he commands a strong following." But can he be the power without being the boss, the way Obama has been?  

Mia Cathell at Town Hall thinks There's Something Fishy About the Special Counsel Investigating Trump. Well, he's not starting off from an objective point of view, that's for certain. At WaT, New Trump special counsel Jack Smith once pursued another Republican biggie — and lost. Sundance at CTH, DOJ Once Again Changes Trump Seizure Evidence List Dropping “Empty Classified Folders”, and Continues Refusing to Give President Trump Lawyers the Affidavit Used for Search Warrant, " the DOJ previously leaked to media about “empty folders with classified banners” as part of the evidence cache they collected.  According to the filing the DOJ has since presented three different versions of their evidence collection list, with the most recent list dropping any claims of “two empty folders with classified banners.”

Also from the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 11.25.22, At Am Great, the redoubtable Julie Kelly has hopes, Is Congress Poised to Investigate Whitmer Fednapping Hoax? Greg Byrnes at PJ Media, calls Christopher Wray: The Mystical Mouthpiece for the Deep State. "It seems he can’t remember the answer to the simplest of questions at congressional hearings. Have a question for the smartest man in law enforcement? Whether it is complicated or simple, he’ll get back to you. Once the cameras are off, and the information the public has a right to know is as stale as a hobo’s breath, then he’ll let you in on the secret — maybe." At Da Wire, ‘Blood Is On Your Hands’: Christian Nonprofit Vandalized After Club Q Shooting and the FBI doesn't seem to be able to do anything about violence from the left.

At Newsbusters, Same Dismal Pattern: CBS Only Mustered One Hunter Biden Story, ABC and NBC Fail to Notice. Scott Johnson at Power Line says Let the credits roll.

Mike LaChance at LI, Republican Kevin Kiley Wins CA House Race, Increasing GOP Majority to 220, “Republican Kevin Kiley defeated Democratic challenger Kermit Jones to win California’s 3rd Congressional seat.” At ET, 2 House Races Remain Uncalled, Republicans Lead in Both "With these two seats being added to the Republican majority, the GOP would have 222 seats in the U.S. House while the Democratic Party would have 213." The same margin Democrats had in the last Congress. Dave Wasserman@Redistrict "I've seen enough: barring a tabulation error, John Duarte (R) defeats Adam Gray (D) in #CA13. That means the final House count will be 222R-213D, a mirror image of Dems' current majority." From the Daily Fetched, California Has Over 250,000 Ballots Still Yet to Be Counted. The longer it takes the more suspicious the results.  

NewsMax claims Polling Average Shows Walker With Slight Lead Over Warnock, but not outside the margin of fraud. Da Caller reports MSNBC’s Joy Reid Says She Will Debate Herschel Walker, But Only One-On-One. Does he get a Joy to reality video translator like Fetterman? At the Conservative Brief, Kari Lake to File Lawsuit Citing Wave of Voting Issues in Arizona Elections. Therre's something deeply wrong with voting in Maricopa County.

At WaEx, GOP beat Democrats by 3 million midterm votes but barely secured House majority. Republican voters are becoming more concentrated, like Democrats. Also from the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 11.25.22,  Joe Fried at Am Think, Surprised by the Midterm Election Results? Take a Look at the Data. He thinks it's vote harvesting. If we can't outlaw it, we need to beat the Democrats at it. At Front Page, Dan Greenfield identifies another factor, abuse of non-profits by Democrats, in How Corporations and a Nonprofit Partnered to Stop the Red Wave, "The IRS let the Left 'Rock the Vote' in the midterms."  Brandon Weichert at Am Great tells how The Republicans Form Their Circular Firing Squad. It is a tradition, after all. Richard McDonough at Am Think thinks The Democrats’ Plan to Give Illegal Aliens a Path to the Voting Booth. I think he's right. 

Vicky Marshall at Da Fed, YouTube Censored User After He Published Democrats’ 2016 ‘Stolen Election’ Claims. Ben Whedon at JTN, Musk confirms Twitter censors only targeted conservatives, "D'Souza tagged Musk in the post, prompting him to succinctly reply "correct.""

JTN, posts Appellate Court invalidates restraining order against jailed True the Vote principals, "The judges excoriated the lower court’s decision."