Friday, December 24, 2010

O Holy Night

My favorite Christmas song

Little Rascals, Oh Miss Crabtree......

Call me Winter, Please....

Woke up in the middle of the night


To find the tree set up with lights...I guess Lil one did it, maybe with the help of the Elves...lol...
Gonna decorate. It just hasn't felt like Christmas, too much stress and worry about money and whats happening in the world..
I have been sick, but today I want to try and gain some of that Christmas magic

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A great Solar Eruption


After a three-month study of the incident that sent shock waves racing across the solar surface, physicists have just presented their findings of what they're calling the "Great Eruption," NASA reports.

"The August 1st event really opened our eyes," said Karel Schrijver of the Lockheed-Martin Solar and Astrophysics Lab in Palo Alto, Calif. "We see that solar storms can be global events, playing out on scales we scarcely imagined before."



K. Schrijver & A. Title / NASA
Locations of key events are labeled in this extreme ultraviolet image of the sun, obtained by the Solar Dynamics Observatory during the Great Eruption of Aug. 1. White lines trace the sun's magnetic fieldSince August, Schrijver and fellow solar physicist Alan Title have pored over the tons of data collected by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and twin Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) space telescopes. They revealed their findings this week at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

"To predict eruptions, we can no longer focus on the magnetic fields of isolated active regions," Title said. "We have to know the surface magnetic field of practically the entire sun."

Understanding eruptions on the whole sun is vital to predicting solar activity, according to Rodney Viereck of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colo.

"This, in turn, would provide improved forecasts to our customers, such as electric power grid operators and commercial airlines, who could take action to protect their systems and ensure the safety of passengers and crew," Viereck said.

The Great Eruption resulted in more than a dozen shock waves, flares, filament eruptions and coronal mass ejections over half of the sun in a 28-hour period.

This was the first time that scientists witnessed such an event on the sun, and while most of it couldn't be seen from Earth, they watched the entire process via the SDO-STEREO spacecraft.

Further analysis of the data will, hopefully, help researchers more accurately predict solar disturbances.

"We're still sorting out cause and effect," Schrijver said. "Was the event one big chain reaction, in which one eruption triggered another -- bang, bang, bang -- in sequence?

"Or did everything go off together as a consequence of some greater change in the sun's global magnetic field?"

This is global warming to a T

World
It's Cold Now, but 2010 Was Warmest on Record GloballyDec 16, 2010 – 9:20 AM
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Paul Yeager
Contributor
(Dec. 16) -- While much of the United States and parts of Europe have been shivering through intense early-season cold, NASA records show that this was the warmest climate year on record.

The NASA statistics indicate that the overall global temperature during the climate year (December 2009 through November 2010) was 1.17 degrees Fahrenheit above the 1951-1980 base period, making it the warmest since records began in 1880.

All-time record heat occurred in 19 nations in 2010 -- the highest number of national all-time records established in a single year.

This was the temperature on a Citibank digital thermometer at 3 p.m. Sept. 27 in Los Angeles. 2010 was the warmest climate year on record, according to NASA statistics.
These statistics do not take into consideration this month's cold across the U.S. and Europe; however, they do include the unusually low temperatures in these same regions during December 2009 and January 2010.

The cold during that time, although impressive, was more than compensated for by higher-than-average temperatures across much of the remainder of the globe last winter and widespread intense heat during the past summer. In fact, much of the region that experienced intense cold last winter (and again to start this cold season) experienced intense heat during the summer months.

The southeastern U.S. followed one of the colder winters on record with the hottest summer on record.

A simplistic reading of what is going on with the planet's climate would be to hold that the current weather in a region is the sole determining factor in whether the climate is warming or cooling worldwide, and that global warming was halted last winter and resumed during the summer, only to be halted again this month.

The climate is more complicated than that.

Changes in climate -- warmer, colder, drier or wetter -- are represented by slowly changing long-term averages, not the natural up-and-down cycles of weather from one season to the next. The amount of data needed to make useful assessments of Earth's climate is greater than what could be taken from a month, season or year for any individual region or even an entire continent.

The concept of global warming is not one in which every winter would be void of snow and cold and every summer is hotter than the previous. Variations resulting from normal weather processes -- such as extreme cold and snow -- would continue even with global warming.

Some of these normal weather phenomena that account for our short-term weather include (but are not limited to) Pacific Ocean temperature changes (including La Nina and El Nino), Atlantic Ocean temperature changes and the Arctic Oscillation.

One of the many challenges for climate scientists is to determine what effect global warming has had, or might have in the future, on those natural processes. This is much more complicated than making a determination based on the weather at any one time -- and much more open to debate.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Is the FDA so totally heartless? Is it because its a "womans drug"?

Special to AOL News (Dec. 14) -- The tragic death of Elizabeth Edwards has countless Americans asking what more can be done in the search for better treatments for breast cancer.

Unfortunately, our nation might be taking a huge step backwards in this fight on Friday.

That's the day federal officials decide whether to revoke approval for Avastin for the treatment of late-stage breast cancer. This biologic drug has been clinically demonstrated to give patients more weeks or months in which the spread of their cancer is halted in its tracks. However, an advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration has recommended the FDA "de-list" Avastin for breast cancer. And the agency is expected to make that recommendation official on Friday.

This campaign has shocked much of the medical community. For instance, Avastin has earned a key endorsement from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. This not-for-profit alliance of nearly two dozen of the world's top cancer centers -- including Stanford Comprehensive Cancer Center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins -- reviewed the studies on Avastin and affirmed its guidelines for using Avastin along with the chemotherapy agent Taxol to treat metastatic breast cancer.

So why is the FDA considering repealing the drug's approval for this use?

Agency officials argue that the drug doesn't grant "enough" extra time for the average metastatic breast cancer patient to be worth it.

In response to the prospect of a withdrawal, scores of patients and their families have launched heart-wrenching personal campaigns, begging the FDA to recognize that the extra weeks, months and in some cases even years Avastin may provide is absolutely "worth it" to them.

These patients know that every day in which their cancer doesn't progress means more opportunities to do the things that make their lives uniquely worthwhile: to celebrate one more birthday, to witness their children graduating from high school and college, to complete career projects that could revolutionize their fields, or simply to watch one more spectacular sunset holding the hands of those they love.

"I've been known to come out of the chair after the infusion of Avastin and get on the golf course and play 18 holes of golf. My golf handicap has plummeted instead of risen," retired California art teacher Patricia Howard testified before the FDA, adding that Avastin allowed her to enjoy the births of her grandchildren and her 43rd wedding anniversary.

While research thus far hasn't proven that, on average, Avastin prolongs life, it has provided clear evidence that the drug can slow the spread of cancer while improving quality of life. One study of patients taking Avastin with chemotherapy found that such treatment delayed tumor growth a median of about 11 months -- five months longer than chemo alone. Another study reported more modest but still significant delays in tumor growth.

Avastin works by shutting off the blood supply to tumors. It has FDA approval to treat a number of other cancers; in fact, it's the best-selling cancer drug worldwide. Currently it's prescribed to about 17,500 breast cancer patients each year. But it also is costly, with treatment running up to $8,000 a month.

Theoretically, if the FDA revokes approval of Avastin for breast cancer patients, their doctors could continue to prescribe it "off label." But for most patients, the gesture would be meaningless: government and private health insurance companies would likely stop covering it, and few patients could afford to pay for it themselves.

Nearly 1 in 8 American women will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetimes, and the disease claimed 40,000 lives last year. Metastatic breast cancer patients respond to Avastin in dramatically different ways -- and some of those patients and their doctors insist it is their best hope for better days.

These patients are running out of options. All they ask is that on Friday, the FDA not take one of those options away.

Peter Pitts, a former FDA associate commissioner, is president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, a nonprofit that receives some funding from the pharmaceutical industry. He is also a contributor to Reuters.com.

Unusually severe blizzard???

(Dec. 14) -- Canadian military and police rescued 150 people today on a snow-covered highway in Ontario after an unusually powerful blizzard left hundreds of motorists stranded.

A military plane and two military helicopters battled strong winds and blinding snow to help pull dozens of drivers from their vehicles to safety on Highway 402 outside the city of Sarnia, about 65 miles north of Detroit.

The storm trapped nearly 400 drivers on a lonely stretch of the highway overnight, and they struggled to stay warm in conditions Canadian authorities said were extremely dangerous. "We're talking violent winds and heavy snow," Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. David Rektor told Reuters. "Some of these cars are stuck in drifts that are 4 or 5 feet deep."


Glenn Ogilvie, CP / AP
Police check on stranded motorists on London Line, East of Sarnia, Ontario, on Tuesday.
Rescuers arrived this morning and began offering the drivers rides out of the storm on snowmobiles and 4x4s. Helicopters arrived as well and airlifted some of the motorists in baskets 10 at a time, then took them to warming centers closer to Sarnia, according to the Toronto Star.

There were no reports of any injuries, but the drivers were cold and hungry; some said they were running low on fuel. "We're tight on gas," John Stover told the Star. "We've run the car every hour for 10 minutes."

Others, though, said they preferred to stay put and wait for the storm to pass. "Food, I've got enough for the next day or so, and I've got lots of water. I try to pack extra, especially in the wintertime because you never know when you're going to get something like this," Todd MacDougall, a truck driver, told the CBC.

The Ontario Provincial Police said the best thing to do was to stay off the road. "No one -- underline 'no one' -- should be out driving," Dennis Harwood, a police spokesman, told The Wall Street Journal. "Right now, Mother Nature is in the driver's seat and dictating what we can do and can't do."

By this afternoon, the storm had largely passed, but authorities said visibility was limited. And according to the Canadian weather service, the temperature near Sarnia was only 14 degrees Fahrenheit, with wind gusts of up to 31 mph.

Polar vortex to dip the farthest south in a very long time

There are severe weather warnings for the UK...FRIGHTENING severe weather warnings.
This is weather unlike anything seen in the UK for centuries.
The Met office has issued severe warnings for Scotland, Ireland, Wales and the United Kingdom..
Snow, freezing temps, ice..
Anyone remember seeing the film " The day after tomorrow"?
The book it was based on made me think about this upcoming forecast.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

South Florida drought??

November wrap: Drought edges into South Florida
By John Nelander | Wednesday, December 1, 2010, 09:14 AM

November ended right on the nose in terms of average temperatures for the area but drought conditions appeared on the horizon. We finished the month 4.17 inches in the hole, and it would have been even worse were it not for the almost one inch of rain that fell on Nov. 4.

Through Tuesday, Palm Beach International recorded just 1.38 inches of rain. Fort Lauderdale had the 13th driest November on record and Naples experienced the 18th driest on record, according to the National Weather Service in Miami.

“The result of these dry conditions is the southward expansion of drought conditions over the southern Florida peninsula,” NWS forecasters said Wednesday. “Areas generally north of a Naples to Jupiter line, including the northern Everglades and the Lake Okeechobee region, are in the moderate drought status, with most of Glades County in severe drought status.”

The Climate Prediction Center’s call for a drier than normal December will probably expand official drought conditions into the entire South Florida peninsula, forecasters said.

November was much colder than normal through the middle of the month, but warmer temperatures averaged that out in the end. The lowest temperature recorded at the airport was 50 degrees on Nov. 6, and the highest was 87 on Nov. 1.

The dry weather was caused by sub-tropical high pressure over the Gulf of Mexico and western Atlantic. Slightly more rain fell on the South Florida East Coast, but most of the showers never made it to the interior.

DECEMBER OUTLOOK: NWS forecasters predict a December similar to November, with cooler conditions in the first half of the month, warming in the second half.

Historically, December can be a month of extremes, with a pair of 90-degree highs on record (including Dec. 9 of last year) and three lows of 28 degrees. We’ve had a Christmas Day with a high of 87 degrees (1948), and one with a 28 degree low (1989).

The average high temperature, though, starts out at 78 degrees and slips to 75 degrees on New Year’s Eve day.

This year we’ll kick off the month with a cold front. Temperatures will be in the 50s on Thursday morning and the NWS expects lows in the 50s through early next week. Highs will only be in the low 70s.

THE NEW ALMANAC IS IN: For a more authoritative look at the weather, we turn to the Old Farmer’s Almanac for 2011. It predicts that the upcoming month will be cool, then warm, and then cool again. It predicts below average temperatures in January and above average temperatures in February.

Looking much farther down the road, South Florida will be under hurricane threats June 10-13; and Oct. 1-3.

Global warming extends it grips..

AP CHICAGO (Dec. 12) -- A powerful, gusty storm dumped mounds of snow across the upper Midwest on Sunday, closing major highways in several states, canceling more than 1,600 flights in Chicago and collapsing the roof of the Minnesota Vikings' stadium.

At least two weather-related deaths were reported as the storm system dropped nearly 2 feet of snow in parts of Minnesota and marched east. A blizzard warning was in effect Sunday for parts of eastern Iowa, southeastern Wisconsin, northwestern Illinois and northern Michigan, according to the National Weather Service. Surrounding areas, including Chicago, were under winter storm warnings. Much of Iowa was under a wind-chill advisory.

In Minneapolis, the heavy snow left the Metrodome decidedly unready for some football. Video inside the stadium aired by Fox Sports showed the inflatable Teflon roof sagging before it tore open, dumping massive amounts of snow across one end of the playing field.


No one was hurt but the Vikings' game against the New York Giants had to be moved to Detroit's Ford Field. The day of the game had already been pushed back from Sunday to Monday because the storm kept the Giants from reaching Minneapolis on time. Stadium officials were trying to repair the roof in time for the Vikings' next home game, Dec. 20 against Chicago.

The wintry weather, with blowing snow that severely limited visibility, wreaked havoc on air and road travel. In the Chicago area, wind gusts of up to 50 mph, temperatures in the teens and wind chills well below zero were expected, along with up to 8 inches of snow.

The real thing

When life gets you at the heart string
and there is no place to escape
It bites hard and leaves a mark
when life gets you at the core

The struggle to be good and right
takes over from the instinct to survive
and pain takes second place
from the urge to be good, to be good.

The echo of fallen years
falls empty upon ears that don't hear
ears that are full of booming anger
that says you be good...must be good

The Penguins of Madagascar

These are my favorite characters on TV...

The day is coming........

From a speech given on Capitol Hill by Rep Ron Paul

Please read the following transcript from a speech delivered by Ron Paul on the floor of the house of representatives:


"WikiLeaks release of classified information has generated a lot of attention in the past few weeks. The hysterical reaction makes one wonder if this is not an example of killing the messenger for the bad news. Despite what is claimed, the information that has been so far released, though classified, has caused no known harm to any individual, but it has caused plenty of embarrassment to our government. Losing our grip on our empire is not welcomed by the neoconservatives in charge.

There is now more information confirming that Saudi Arabia is a principal supporter and financier of al Qaeda, and that this should set off alarm bells since we guarantee its Sharia-run government. This emphasizes even more the fact that no al Qaeda existed in Iraq before 9/11, and yet we went to war against Iraq based on the lie that it did. It has been charged by experts that Julian Assange, the internet publisher of this information, has committed a heinous crime, deserving prosecution for treason and execution, or even assassination.

But should we not at least ask how the U.S. government should prosecute an Australian citizen for treason for publishing U.S. secret information that he did not steal? And if WikiLeaks is to be prosecuted for publishing classified documents, why shouldn't the Washington Post, the New York Times, and others also published these documents be prosecuted? Actually, some in Congress are threatening this as well.
The New York Times, as a results of a Supreme Court ruling, was not found guilty in 1971 for the publication of the Pentagon Papers. Daniel Ellsberg never served a day in prison for his role in obtaining these secret documents. The Pentagon Papers were also inserted into the Congressional record by Senator Mike Gravel, with no charges of any kind being made of breaking any national security laws. Yet the release of this classified information was considered illegal by many, and those who lied us into the Vietnam war, and argued for its prolongation were outraged. But the truth gained from the Pentagon Papers revealed that lies were told about the Gulf of Tonkin attack. which perpetuated a sad and tragic episode in our history.

Just as with the Vietnam War, the Iraq War was based on lies. We were never threatened by weapons of mass destruction or al Qaeda in Iraq, though the attack on Iraq was based on this false information. Any information which challenges the official propaganda for the war in the Middle East is unwelcome by the administration and the supporters of these unnecessary wars. Few are interested in understanding the relationship of our foreign policy and our presence in the Middle East to the threat of terrorism. Revealing the real nature and goal of our presence in so many Muslim countries is a threat to our empire, and any revelation of this truth is highly resented by those in charge.

Questions to consider:

Number 1: Do the America People deserve know the truth regarding the ongoing wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen?

Number 2: Could a larger question be how can an army private access so much secret information?

Number 3: Why is the hostility mostly directed at Assange, the publisher, and not at our governments failure to protect classified information?

Number 4: Are we getting our moneys worth of the 80 Billion dollars per year spent on intelligence gathering?

Number 5: Which has resulted in the greatest number of deaths: lying us into war or Wikileaks revelations or the release of the Pentagon Papers?

Number 6: If Assange can be convicted of a crime for publishing information that he did not steal, what does this say about the future of the first amendment and the independence of the internet?

Number 7: Could it be that the real reason for the near universal attacks on Wikileaks is more about secretly maintaining a seriously flawed foreign policy of empire than it is about national security?

Number 8: Is there not a huge difference between releasing secret information to help the enemy in a time of declared war, which is treason, and the releasing of information to expose our government lies that promote secret wars, death and corruption?

Number 9: Was it not once considered patriotic to stand up to our government when it is wrong?

Thomas Jefferson had it right when he advised 'Let the eyes of vigilance never be closed.'

Friday, December 10, 2010

Beautiful weather this past week

Except for the ice on my windshield that one morning....that just ain't right...lol

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

I can't believe how long ago it was....but John Lennon was murdered thirty years ago


I grew up with The Beatles as my first major musical exposure and influence.
Still lived in NY of course when it happened.
I miss him still. He was IMHO the main talent of the band, and the close second with George as the number two talent. Subsequent years showed clearly where the real gift of the group was.
Paul is a talentless hack IMHO..the Britney Spears of the Fab Four.

Fare thee well to Elizabeth Edwards...

OMG

There was freakin ice on my freakin windshield this morning when I left for work!!!
This is the freakin Tropics man...we ain't supposed to get no stinkin' ice!!!!
Broke records...that coupled with the horrible snows they are having in the UK make it kind of scary in a Day after Tomorrow kind of way.
Marc has a friend in Falkirk Scotland, she sent him pics, its HORRENDOUS..the snow they are having.
An acquaintance of hers froze to death, getting lost in the snow while out checking on her sheep and livestock.