Breakfast with Kubla Khan
Today I did break my fast on honey-dew, and drink the milk of paradise.
Well it was honeydew melon and an iced coffee. But the coffee had milk in it, so I think that counts.
Now I am weirdly tempted to watch an old Olivia Newton-John movie and listen to Rush.
If I were wearing a polo shirt, I’d pop the collar like it was the 80s. (Because that would make it a collar ridge.) But I think that would upset my tailor, Samuel.
SDCC 2014 Friday - Professor Henry Jones Sr. - Photo by Alicia Glass.
Major props to this guy.
We named the dog “Indiana!”
Not so long ago, many islands rose above the brackish waters of the Chesapeake Bay. These small islands offered a predator-free haven for nesting water birds and turtles, while the larger islands supported fishing communities along with wildlife. But now, the muddy, marshy islands are eroding under the combined forces of geology and climate change. The very crust under the Chesapeake Bay is sinking, while sea levels are rising. Made of clay and silt, the islands erode quickly, and many have disappeared altogether.
Poplar Island ranks among those that would have been gone a decade ago if not for a massive restoration project. In the 1800s, the island had an area just over 1,000 acres and held a small town of about 100 people. By the 1990s, the island was nearly gone, containing a mere 10 acres of land. In the left image, taken by the Landsat 5 satellite on June 28, 1997, Poplar Island had been reduced to a tiny green dot surrounded by clouds of silt-laden water.
In 1998, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers began to restore Poplar Island. The project serves two purposes: it restores lost habitat to birds and turtles, and it provides a use for material dredged from Baltimore Harbor and Chesapeake Bay shipping lanes. The method of restoration is visible in the center image, taken on June 21, 2006. Engineers built dikes around sections of the island and have been gradually filling in the center with dredged silt. By 2006, the island had regained the shape it held in the 1800s.
As each cell is filled with new soil, the Army Corp of Engineers plants vegetation. The right image, taken on July 5, 2011, shows that much of the island has been re-vegetated. Poplar Island now has an area of 1,140 acres and may continue to expand by another 500 acres before the restoration is completed in 2027. Upon completion, Poplar Island will be half wetlands and half uplands covered by forest. The restoration project is expected to cost $667 million, says the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.
Islands and shorelines in the Mid-Atlantic may become increasingly vulnerable to erosion. Sea levels are rising as the ocean warms and expands—and as glaciers and ice sheets melt—but the rise isn’t uniform around the planet. Currents, salinity, and topography create areas where sea levels are increasing more quickly, and recent research found that the U.S. Mid-Atlantic coast is one of the areas of accelerated sea-level rise. The rate of increase in the densely populated Mid-Atlantic is three to four times greater than average global sea-level rise. The increased sea level will make coastal regions and islands more prone to flooding and erosion.
A short animation of the Poplar Island restoration is available from the NASA Scientific Visualization Studio.
- Burton, K. (n.d.) The island that almost vanished is slowly reappearing. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Chesapeake Bay Field Office. Accessed June 29, 2012.
- Erwin, M., Brinker, D.F., Watts, B.D., Costanzo, G.R., and Morton, D.D. (2010, September 1). Islands at bay: rising seas, eroding islands, and waterbird habitat loss in Chesapeake Bay (USA). Journal of Coastal Conservation.
- Kaplan, M.D.G. (2012, June 22). Escapes: Rebuilding Maryland’s wild islands. The Washington Post Accessed June 29, 2012.
- Sallenger Jr., A.H., Doran, K.S., and Howd, P.A. (2012, June 24). Hotspot of accelerated sea-level rise on the Atlantic coast of North America. Nature Climate Change.
- US Army Corps of Engineers Baltimore District. (2011, March 9). Poplar Island Paul S. Sarbanes Environmental Restoration Site. Accessed June 29, 2012.
NASA Earth Observatory image by Robert Simmon, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey. Caption by Holli Riebeek.Instrument(s): Landsat 5 - TM
Do you want to build an island?
(It doesn’t have to be an island…)
There’s merit in trying to ascertain what the Founders intended the Constitution to mean, but that doesn’t mean that our understanding has to be the same. George Washington wanted a well-regulated militia but he couldn’t imagine a teenager gunning down two classrooms of first graders in less than five minutes. I think if Washington took a guided tour of the Pentagon and the Situation Room, his concern about having a well-regulated militia would go out the door. If he saw what happens on a regular basis in our schools, malls, and workplaces with gun violence, I think he’d be appalled. In his day mass shootings weren’t just unusual, they were impossible. I don’t think he’d believe that the NRA was being reasonable at all.
* Have panic attack
* Realize that this time it’s actually related to something, not just random
* Get weirdly happy about that fact
* Have trouble falling asleep afterwards
The first moment today when I haven’t felt like shit.
I’m just happy to get any time at all like that after headache-palooza today. I’ll take it.
Of the hundreds of times I have seen the Saturn V rocket, at all the locations it is on display in the world, never has it ever been as beautiful or commanding as it was this time.
The five J-2 engines on the second stage attracted my eye the most. The countless wires, chambers, and fuel pumps of the engines contrasted with lack of aerodynamic protection gave the business end of the S-II a mechanical sense that I have never really appreciated before. Sure, the five F-1 engines on the S-IC or the single J-2 on the S-IVB are equally as complex and exposed, but for some reason, the cluster of them on the second stage is appealing.
A surprising lack of people in the building gave me great opportunities for pictures I normally avoid taking due to crowds, and I was able to see the rocket in a totally different perspective.
I would just sit and stare at it for hours. Someday, gonna have to make that happen.