An Interesting Article

Brig, who many of you know and whose blog you read, sent me this article from The New Yorker …more here

Patrick Byrne, the former head of Overstock, had always been outspoken. Did an affair with a Russian agent push him too far?

It Looks Too Clean – must be fresh off the boat



Fun With Maps

Counties with a poverty rate of less than 10%.

Net migration rate (population change not attributable to births and deaths) in Europe.


The Cultural Origins for the Names of US States.


Climate comparison between Italy and the US.


Stereotype map of Mexico, 2020


Red area occupies half of global GDP


Then there is the FBI


More on Masks


  1. Conjuction & you are here: so far, every event like this has caused cloudy skies in my area. Maybe this connection should be investigated by climatologists?

    • I’ve found that almost any celestial event heralds the arrival of clouds. The most recent comet was an exception and here, the Christmas Star has been conjoining in full view. I expect to walk out tonight after the sun goes down and witness it. I might take a photo. Or not.

      Arizona skies have been remarkably cloud free.

    • Following up: mirabile dictu – the clouds were not present, so I was able to go outside and see it through the tree branches. Having no leaves really helps.

  2. Clear here in Northern Colorado…which means by 5:12 it’ll cloud up, might even snow for good measure. If not, and luck holds, I’ll be gazing at the wonder.

  3. Been cloudy here the last few nights, but supposed to be clear tonight, so I’ll make sure I try and see it tonight.

    I watched the International Space Station go over one night a few weeks ago. I hadn’t seen it since we moved here, and it was like seeing an old friend again.

    Gotta go get SLW’s last present tomorrow. We’ll have our traditional Christmas Eve dinner with The Kids and TLG, and open our presents then.

    • Our neighbors to the north saw the latest Musk satellite launch from their deck…a string of lights. Weird. Wasn’t Terminator based on something like this?

      • Skynet.

        One time back in the 2000’s or so, I saw the Space Sation, Space Shuttle, and Vostok Resupply Ship go over. Three very bright lights following each other at a pretty good clip. It was amazing.

        • At certain hours of the night we can sit out and watch the satellites swing by, kinda cool but also a little unnerving.

  4. Here near San Antonio, Texas we have just had high cirrus clouds blow in from Mexico. It looked all day as if it would be clear until the last hour or so (current time in 16:30 CST). That is what the cute blonde weather gal on a local TV station said would happen last night. RATS!

    That B-25H looks like a predecessor to the A-10 with all of that fire power.

  5. It was supposed to be cloudy and rainy all day here in Eastern Washington. The clouds broke up about an hour ago and now, with sunset about 30 minutes away, it is clear as a bell. How come I think the fates are just teasing me and when I go out with my spotting scope at 5 PM the sky will be opening up with all sorts of nastiness.

  6. Re the B25H, I knew of the eight forward firing Browning .50 cal machineguns, but is there a 105mm or other artillery piece onboard? I’m looking at the shells being loaded into the fuselage .

    • As I understand it, the cannon was a 75mm piece. If you hit what you were aiming at (primarily shipping), it would punch a decent sized hole.

  7. Just in the last thirty years, think of all the celestial events we have witnessed.

    Halley’s comet, Shoemaker-Levy, Hale-Bopp, Neowise, and others I haven’t mentioned.
    A series of ‘blood moons’. Solar and lunar eclipses. Planetary alignments. Conjunction.
    The change of the Millennium. (not a celestial event but rare)

    I have a wonderful book detailing the origin of the gunship. Mostly unapproved field mods in PNG using the Mitchell light attack bomber. Things were hopping so crews weren’t of a mind to wait for approvals.
    What is shown in the picture is an approved mod. The field mods would filter back to the manufactures who would then design their version or to take a field and resign it in a beefed up airframe. Tremendous courage shown under fire.

  8. I took the big Kowa spotting scope out and we had a good lookit at the conjunction, the moon and Mars. Mrs. was gob-smacked.

    Suddenly, she’s talking about getting an honest-to-God celestial telescope. I’ve created a monster.

    • I’ve thought of getting one and setting it up on my deck – 11″ Celestron. It has to be big enough to see detail on the planets.

      • Celestron makes a good ‘scope. I had a 10″ one back in Illinois. Sold it when I moved to SoCal because I knew the light pollution would render it useless. Been thinking of getting another one, but there’s this new Yaesu radio that’s been calling me…..

  9. Hazy here, but still visible. Neat, wish I still had access to a powerful, wide-viewing-angle telescope to look at them with.

    Very tidy mask summation.


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