Line Up of Sunrises

We have a roof top patio in Arizona – a perfect place for watching sunrises, sunsets, and star gazing.

Sunrise with plane contrails.

The science behind contrails is fascinating. Contrails should never be a cause for alarm; after all, folks don’t flip out on chilly days when their breath forms a cloud. If it’s cold enough and the air is still, you might even notice a cloud hanging behind you for several meters.
What really comes out of an airplane? Contrails, not chemtrails, The Washington Post –

Clouds aligned in rows.
The jagged lines of the mountains on the horizon and the palm trees in the neighbours yard.
Clouds are in line with the horizon.
The lines of palm fronds.

Are you on a flight path? Are the planes loud and noisy, or so high you don’t even notice them?

This week’s WordPress.com photo Challenge is Lines.

This is the Week That Was: April 10, 2018 – UK Sexual Consent (Video)

Robert Fulghum – Questions and Answers

Question: If you could live your life over, what changes would you make?
Answer: None. Well, maybe I wouldn’t have eaten some bad oysters, and would forgo the times I had too much wine and was miserably hung over. But otherwise, I’d live it all over again – knowing that the hard and troublesome events almost always led to something good in the long run. Every difficulty contained possibilities for something that proved better.

While Canadians wrestle with Environmentalists meddling in Canadian politics and policy…

Democrats dig for Russian connection and uncover environmentalists.
– Headline in ‘The Hill’, Merrill Matthews –

The ‘out of touch bubble’ called Hollywood

David O. Selznik, producer of Gone With The Wind, once observed that “It’s somehow symbolic of Hollywood that Tara was just a façade, with no rooms inside.”

A Comment About Bitcoin

I must say its entertaining watching greens who believe in the imaginary climate crisis condemn the enthusiasm of people who believe in an imaginary currency.
– Eric Worrall-

Confirmation bias (myside bias) – when you only believe things that confirm what you already believe in and doubt anything that doesn’t agree with that.

Confirmation bias isn’t an occasional bug in our human operating system. It is the operating system. – Scott Adams –

The Queen of Climate Change in Canada – stuffing gender into everything.

We need to consider the gendered impacts of climate change on women, girls and children…
– Twitter comment from Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna March 9, 2018 –

A tweeter responded: “My sister’s first job was babysitting. Mine was shoveling snowy driveways. Is that what you mean?”

Mercenaries

Maxim 18: If the officers are leading from in front, watch for an attack from the rear.
The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries

A quote my daughter sent me sums up the winter that won’t leave: “It’s like winter is really mad and keeps storming out of the room and then coming back in to yell ‘And another thing!'”

More snow is in the forecast, the Rockies have not reached the maximum snow-pack yet, and Edmonton Alberta has had 167 consecutive nights where temperatures were below freezing.

The UK explained sexual consent in the most British way possible

If you have experienced Alberta in the winter and Saskatchewan in the summer, then you’ll appreciate this joke about the City of Lloydminster, which straddles the border between the two Provinces.

Person #1: “Did you know Mercury does not rotate on its axis as it orbits the sun?”
Person #2 pauses: “That can only mean one side is a barren ball of ice while the other side is a flaming fire pit of Hell!”
Person #3: “Presumably if you built a house on the border between the two it could be livable — in theory.”
Person #4: “Like Lloydminster!”
– Blacklock’s Reporter –

If you are tired of knitting sweaters and hats, try out some of these!
Jewellery and Moths at Max’s World
Knittin’ kittens and intra-abdominal viscera at Masculiknity

What did you find that was Mildly Amusing this week!

Not Fueled by Chocolate

As I
slide
towards
another birthday,
I am reminded that
increasing age diminishes
my ability to shed those
extra pounds that cluster
around the part of my body
that makes me look like
a pear.

quip cardAn unfortunate side effect of getting older is that it is getting harder to maintain anything remotely resembling an hour glass figure.

A brisk thirty minute walk in the morning and forty-five minutes at the gym after lunch just isn’t enough exercise to make my clothes feel ‘less snug’. I’ve been forced to cut calories too, starting with the ultimate sacrifice – no dark chocolate snacks until the pudginess is brought into submission again. For some indefinite amount of time, my blog writing will Not Be Fueled by Chocolate.’

There are any number of articles and advertisements that suggest how to lose weight (many are for bogus diets or are designed to drain your bank account), but it is only in the last few years that researchers have identified how our body fat makes us fat. With the rise in obesity and diabetes, researchers have had increased incentive to investigate how fat cells work.

It has now been suggested that the number of fat cells in our bodies increases from infancy into our early twenties. After that age, we keep the same number of fat cells throughout our lives. Gaining or losing weight does not affect the number of fat cells.

Fat cells do many good, important jobs besides being able to store a lot of energy in a small space. Unfortunately, when we take in more calories than we burn by exercise, the extra calories make the fat cells larger.

Scientists now say that our bodies have THREE kinds of fat cells: white ones, brown ones and beige ones. White fat stores extra energy. Brown and beige fat cells burn chemical energy to create heat.

Brown fat is present in most adults, but adults with more brown fat are generally slimmer than those without. (That explains that skinny friend who doesn’t exercise and can eat whatever they like.) Unfortunately, as we age, the heat production ability of brown fat cells decreases. This causes a natural increase in weight.

Beige and brown fat activation are both triggered by exercise. Combined with a decrease in calories, this is still the best way to shrink fat cells.

Scientists are hopeful, though, that they can find other ways to enhance the function of brown and beige fat cells or cause white fat to turn into brown fat. They have evidence that exposure to cold temperatures (16 degrees C) triggers beige and brown fat activation, but they continue to search for the ‘silver bullet’ that could be the game changing treatment for diabetes and obesity.

Other interesting facts about fat and weight:
– a single study published in the journal ‘Obesity’ showed that a year after liposuction removed fat, the fat came back, but not in the areas it was removed from. An increased fat appearance was observed in the upper abdomen, shoulders and the back of the arms.
– about 10 percent of your fat cells die and are replaced each year.
don’t diet – think instead about how to satisfy your hunger for fewer calories. Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. (Eat less chocolate…)
exercise (aerobic and strength training) – the more you do, the more calories are burned. The largest muscles (and therefore the largest calorie burners) are in the thighs, abdomen, chest, and arms.
one size does not fit all, so to speak. Researchers are trying to understand why one person may lose weight faster or slower than another, even when they eat the same diet and do the same exercise.
– the set-point theory of metabolism may be a myth. Studies suggest that if we lose weight, our metabolism shifts to a normal rate for that new weight.
walking for 30 minutes most days of the week, is as effective as a structured exercise done three to five days a week.
“low-fat” or “fat-free” food is not necessarily low calorie food. A bunch of low-fat cookies might have more calories than one or two regular cookies.

With that, I’ll go have a carrot…

Do share – are you an hour-glass, a banana, a strawberry, an apple or a pear shaped person?

Recipe for a Dramatic Sunrise or Sunset

Are the sunrises and sunsets in your part of the world ho-hum?
If they are, then you could follow this recipe to make them spectacular!
– start with clean air, preferably in the fall or winter season. (You might have to travel somewhere to find these conditions.)
– marvel at the blue of the daytime sky, which is caused by the selective scattering of sunlight by air molecules. This scattering favours the shorter wavelengths of violet to blue.
– consider the much longer path through the atmosphere that sunlight has to travel in the morning and evening. It scatters more violet and blue, which creates the opportunity for reds and oranges to reach our eyes.
– finally, add some clouds to catch the red-orange rays and reflect this light to the ground.

It wasn’t until I investigated the science of the colour of sunrises that I realized that not everyone gets to see such a thing regularly! Now I know how fortunate I am to live in two parts of the world where this frequently occurs.

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Rise/Set

For a good explanation of scattering, see The Colors of Sunset and Twilight.

Question of the day – do you have dramatic sunrises and sunsets where you live? If so, how much thousands of photos have you taken of them?

Rosemary, Rabbits and Rattlers

Clump of Rosemary at our Arizona house

This story starts with a large clump of Rosemary. It has apparently become the home of an Arizona Cottontail Rabbit – or I think that is so, since I have seen it (the rabbit) bolt from there on a number of occasions.

Arizona
A Cottontail Rabbit

It is a very handsome rabbit and except for it’s fondness for the leaves of my Torch Glow Bougainvillea, it isn’t what I’d call a pest.

Rosemary leaves

I would have thought the Rabbit would eat the rosemary leaves too, but if it is so inclined, it isn’t making much of dent in the rapidly spreading foliage!

Yesterday, a new dessert occupant appeared on our patio. At first, I thought it was another non-venomous gopher snake. We see them relatively frequently in our yard. However, when the snake finally decided to slither away, I realized that the pointed end of its 3 foot body was suspiciously rattler-like.

I have to admit that I was startled when The Car Guy pointed out that the snake had chosen to come within 15 feet of where I was quietly sitting and reading. It was only 8 feet away from where The Car Guy had been walking back and forth as he worked on a construction project.

The Rattlesnake (probably a Diamond Back) eventually headed into the clump of Rosemary. I don’t wish to think about whether a rattlesnake and a rabbit can enter into a relationship where the rabbit doesn’t become dinner.

The curious thing is, seeing a Rattlesnake on my patio made me want to pack up and head back to Alberta. It’s highly unlikely that there has never been a Rattlesnake on my patio before – it’s just that I’ve never seen one there before. That makes all the difference.

Today, there is NO rattlesnake on my patio, and I’ve ventured out into the yard to do all the spring gardening tasks that need to be done before we head for our Northern home. Of course, I’m extremely more cautious than I was a few days ago. I’m also hopeful that the snake will chow down on the wood (pack) rats that inhabit parts of our yard, then move over to the neighbour’s yard and never visit my patio again.

Question of the day – what would you do if you found a Rattlesnake on your patio? (I went inside and got my camera, of course…)