Monday, November 20, 2017

WATCH this year's HURRICANES | NASA just released this spectacular animation of the atmosphere during hurricane season.



NASA just released this spectacular animation of the atmosphere during hurricane season. You are looking at something we call "Aerosols"... stuff like fine dust, smoke and salt particles. –– This new GEOS Simulation is a HUGE step forward in atmospheric monitoring and simulation. For Floridians there is a lot to take note of in this video like the hurricanes (salt) and the vast plumes of dust coming off Africa. You may remember hurricane Ophelia which hit Ireland as a post tropical cyclone. At 1:40 mins in you can see Ophelia pick up smoke from Portugal's extensive fires and stream it north into the UK.

Jeff Berardelli - Nerd Alert!! NASA just released this spectacular... (on Facebook)


Monday, November 13, 2017

Save the Grouse! Tell Sec. Zinke to Protect the Bird, the Herd, and the West. | Help Wildlife, Protect the Environment, Support Nature Conservation, Save the Planet



The sage grouse is an "indicator species" -- thriving sage grouse populations signal a healthy habitat for the 350 species that call the sagebrush home. But Sec. Zinke wants to dismantle plans to protect it.

WHY THIS MATTERS

Some people find it majestic; others think it’s funny-looking. But across the West, the iconic sage grouse is also known as an "indicator species": a thriving sage grouse population is a sign of a healthy sagebrush habitat. In recent years, the sage grouse was careening towards extinction -- until ranchers, conservationists, and industry workers reached a compromise to protect it.
It was a historic conservation success story. In 2015, Western stakeholders reached a bipartisan, win-win agreement that strengthened protections for the bird and the 350 other species that also rely on its habitat. The plan minimized the risk of wildfires and gave ranchers and landowners incentives to preserve sagebrush habitat.
Now Interior Secretary Zinke wants to gut that plan to please his buddies in the oil and mining industries -- and he’s only giving the public three weeks to comment on his plans.
Zinke is treating the sage grouse the same way he’s approaching national monuments like Bears Ears -- he’s ignoring public opinion and throwing out years of hard work, all to benefit the oil, gas, and mining industries.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is accepting comments from now until December 1st. Add yours to speak up for the sage grouse and its habitat.

SIGN THE PETITION: Save the Grouse! Tell Sec. Zinke to Protect the Bird, the Herd, and the West. | Help Wildlife, Protect the Environment, Support Nature Conservation, Save the Planet


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Samhain



Samhain is believed to have Celtic pagan origins and there is evidence it has been an important date since ancient times. Some Neolithic passage tombs in Ireland are aligned with the sunrise around the time of Samhain. It is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature and many important events in Irish mythology happen or begin on Samhain. It was the time when cattle were brought back down from the summer pastures and when livestock were slaughtered for the winter. As at Bealtaine, special bonfires were lit. These were deemed to have protective and cleansing powers and there were rituals involving them. Like Bealtaine, Samhain was seen as a liminal time, when the boundary between this world and the Otherworld could more easily be crossed. This meant the Aos Sí, the 'spirits' or 'fairies', could more easily come into our world. Most scholars see the Aos Sí as remnants of the pagan gods and nature spirits. At Samhain, it was believed that the Aos Sí needed to be propitiated to ensure that the people and their livestock survived the winter. Offerings of food and drink were left outside for them. The souls of the dead were also thought to revisit their homes seeking hospitality. Feasts were had, at which the souls of dead kin were beckoned to attend and a place set at the table for them. Mumming and guising were part of the festival, and involved people going door-to-door in costume (or in disguise), often reciting verses in exchange for food. The costumes may have been a way of imitating, and disguising oneself from, the Aos Sí. Divination rituals and games were also a big part of the festival and often involved nuts and apples. In the late 19th century, Sir John Rhys and Sir James Frazer suggested that it was the "Celtic New Year", and this view has been repeated by some other scholars.

In the 9th century AD, Western Christianity shifted the date of All Saints' Day to 1 November, while 2 November later became All Souls' Day. Over time, Samhain and All Saints'/All Souls' merged to create the modern Halloween. Historians have used the name 'Samhain' to refer to Gaelic 'Halloween' customs up until the 19th century.

… In parts of southern Ireland during the 19th century, the guisers included a hobby horse known as the Láir Bhán (white mare). A man covered in a white sheet and carrying a decorated horse skull (representing the Láir Bhán) would lead a group of youths, blowing on cow horns, from farm to farm. At each they recited verses, some of which "savoured strongly of paganism", and the farmer was expected to donate food. If the farmer donated food he could expect good fortune from the 'Muck Olla'; not doing so would bring misfortune. This is akin to the Mari Lwyd (grey mare) procession in Wales, which takes place at Midwinter. In Wales the white horse is often seen as an omen of death. In some places, young people cross-dressed In Scotland, young men went house-to-house with masked, veiled, painted or blackened faces, often threatening to do mischief if they were not welcomed. This was common in the 16th century in the Scottish countryside and persisted into the 20th. It is suggested that the blackened faces comes from using the bonfire's ashes for protection Elsewhere in Europe, costumes, mumming and hobby horses were part of other yearly festivals. However, in the Celtic-speaking regions they were "particularly appropriate to a night upon which supernatural beings were said to be abroad and could be imitated or warded off by human wanderers".


Samhain - Wikipedia


photo: A Mari Lwyd, the Welsh equivalent of the Láir Bhán
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samhain#/media/File:Mari_Lwyd_(wiki).jpg


see also: what next: BBC Archive - #OnThisDay 1948: The villagers of Abbots Bromley | the weird and wonderful world of English folk customs

Monday, October 30, 2017

How Science Reveals That “Well-Being” Is a Skill - Mindful


World-renowned neuroscientist Richie Davidson on the scientific factors that shape well-being.

Do you see the good in everyone? Outlook is the ability to savor positive experience—from enjoying a coffee break at work to seeing kindness in every person.
“We know something about the circuitry in the brain which underlies this quality of outlook,” says Davidson, “and we also know, for example, that individuals who suffer from depression, they show activation in this circuitry but it doesn’t last—this activation is very transient.”
"Basically: You can get better at well-being. It’s a skill you can train for."
Whereas resilience requires thousands of hours of practice, research suggests “modest doses” of loving-kindness and compassion meditation can impact outlook—Davidson mentions a recent study where individuals who had never meditated before received 30 minutes of compassion training over two weeks. “Not only did we see changes in the brain but these changes in the brain actually predicted pro-social behavior,” says Davidson.

How Science Is Unlocking the Secrets of Drug Addiction | National Geographic Society



We’re learning more about the craving that fuels self-defeating habits—and how new discoveries can help us kick the habit.


Not long ago the idea of repairing the brain’s wiring to fight addiction would have seemed far-fetched. But advances in neuroscience have upended conventional notions about addiction—what it is, what can trigger it, and why quitting is so tough. If you’d opened a medical textbook 30 years ago, you would have read that addiction means dependence on a substance with increasing tolerance, requiring more and more to feel the effects and producing a nasty withdrawal when use stops. That explained alcohol, nicotine, and heroin reasonably well. But it did not account for marijuana and cocaine, which typically don’t cause the shakes, nausea, and vomiting of heroin withdrawal.
The old model also didn’t explain perhaps the most insidious aspect of addiction: relapse. Why do people long for the burn of whiskey in the throat or the warm bliss of heroin after the body is no longer physically dependent?
READ: How Science Is Unlocking the Secrets of Drug Addiction


Saturday, October 21, 2017

'Katrina brain': The invisible long-term toll of megastorms (and other disasters)


Brandi Wagner pulls out the medications she must take on a daily basis to control a range of storm-related disorders

NEW ORLEANS — Brandi Wagner thought she had survived Hurricane Katrina. She hung tough while the storm’s 125-mph winds pummeled her home, and powered through two months of sleeping in a sweltering camper outside the city with her boyfriend’s mother. It was later, after the storm waters had receded and Wagner went back to New Orleans to rebuild her home and her life that she fell apart…

…Climate change experts agree. To avoid increasing loss of lives from the mega storms expected in the decades ahead, large coastal populations should relocate, researchers say. Mathew Hauer, a demographer at the University of Georgia, recently found that a predicted 6-foot rise in sea levels by 2100 would put 13 million people in more than 300 U.S. coastal counties at risk of major flooding.

But relocating large populations has its own risks. For the hundreds of thousands of New Orleans residents who rebuilt their lives far from home after Katrina, the loss of social ties and the stress of adapting to new surroundings also took a heavy psychological toll, according to recent research at the University of California.

There’s another problem with relocating people from coastal regions. It’s not just hurricanes that are expected to plague the planet as the climate shifts. Wildfires, droughts, inland flooding, tornadoes, earthquakes and other natural disasters are also expected to increase in frequency and intensity, making it hard to find a safe place to put down new roots…

more: 'Katrina brain': The invisible long-term toll of megastorms

The Opposite of Rape Culture is Nurturance Culture | Dating Tips for the Feminist Man




The opposite of masculine rape culture is masculine nurturance culture: men* increasing their capacity to nurture, and becoming whole.
The Ghomeshi trial is back in the news, and it brings violent sexual assault back into people’s minds and daily conversations. Of course violence is wrong, even when the court system for handling it is a disaster. That part seems evident. Triggering, but evident.
But there is a bigger picture here. I am struggling to see the full shape emerging in the pencil rubbing, when only parts are visible at a time.
A meme going around says ‘Rape is about violence, not sex. If someone were to hit you with a spade, you wouldn’t call it gardening.’ And this is true. But it is just the surface of the truth. The depths say something more, something about violence…


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Northern California Fires – on Fire Watch


my area on the 13th
i won't post a bunch of photos or details here, but want to say that the past week has been dramatic - you would have seen it in the news - an international story. just to say: safe here, but devastation is not all that far away. the air quality improved today, forecast winds arrived but not too strong – the Red Flag Warning for the [San Francisco] North Bay Area has been lifted. while firefighters have made major progress with containment this weekend, we are not "out of the woods" yet. Thankfully the forecast is for calm to light winds for the next three days to be followed by rain!

see todays LA Times: California wildfires have killed 40 people; dozens still missing as firefighters make progress - LA Times

my resource notes on Facebook –
• #SonomaValley #SonomaCounty #FireStorm *** RESOURCES ***
• FireStorm :: MENTAL HEALTH --- "Disaster Mental Health"

The Copernicus Sentinel-3A satellite captured this image of smoke from wildfires in the US state of California on 9 October 2017. Wildfires broke out in parts of the state on 8 October 2017 around Napa Valley, and the smoke was spread by strong northeasterly winds.

In early October 2017, a series of wildfires started burning across the state of California, United States. They broke out throughout Napa, Lake, Sonoma, Mendocino, Butte, and Solano counties during severe fire weather conditions effectively leading to a major red flag warning from much of the Northern California area. Seventeen separate wildfires were reported at this time.[3] These fires included the Tubbs Fire (the most destructive), the Atlas Fire, Nuns Fire and others.
Due to the extreme conditions, shortly after the fires ignited on October 8 and 9, they rapidly grew to become extensive, full-scale incidents spanning from 1,000 acres (400 hectares) to well over 20,000 acres (8,100 ha) each within a single day. By October 14, the fires had burned more than 210,000 acres (85,000 ha), and destroyed an estimated 5,700 structures [4][1] while forcing 90,000 people to evacuate from their homes.[5] The Northern California fires have killed at least 42 people[1] and hospitalized at least 185,[6] making the week of October 8, 2017, the deadliest week of wildfires in California history.[7][8][1][9][2] Collectively, this event constitutes the largest loss of life due to wildfires in the United States since the Cloquet Fire in 1918.[10]