Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Volvo: 20 kts - fire hose planing

After sailing east for seven days out of Sanyo, China, the Volvo fleet turned south.  With 3,000 miles to go to Auckland, NZ, the fleet is averaging 500 nm/day.  As this video shows life for a bowman is like standing in front of a fire hose.  But they're sailors, so they're happy.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Little ice, no snow - Back River, Friendship, Maine

Little ice, no snow on Presidents Day weekend 2012.

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JJ Lin - When You 当你

JJ Lin 林俊傑 - 当你

Pinyin-English translation

Saturday, February 18, 2012

John Fairfax, Who Rowed Across Oceans, Dies at 74 -

John Fairfax, Who Rowed Across Oceans, Dies at 74 - He crossed the Atlantic because it was there, and the Pacific because it was also there.
Central Press/Getty Images
Mr. Fairfax and Sylvia Cook in 1972, after their Pacific trek.
He made both crossings in a rowboat because it, too, was there, and because the lure of sea, spray and sinew, and the history-making chance to traverse two oceans without steam or sail, proved irresistible.

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Cod: grim assessment from NOAA


It was not Columbus but the Basques who discovered America.  In 1504 at the latest the European cod fishery was established in the strait of Belle Isle, Newfound Land.  Some think they got there a lot earlier but didn't tell the rest of the world. Fishermen don't give away their secret spots.  For the Basques the Grand Banks off Newfound Land was their secret spot- where the cod could be netted in unheard of abundance.  Once word got out cod wars followed.
So we have been studying and arguing over cod for 500 years.
Nonetheless we find that it is still harder to count the fish than it is to find fish.

NOAA had raised hopes that the stock would be restored by 2014.
Now that hope is dashed as the stock assessment is reduced.  The dread words: "overfished and over fishing is occurring"  Bad and getting worse.  And recreational charters are part of the problem.
The theory is that the stock has been clustering in the western Gulf of Maine, so while catches are abundant it is because the nets and hooks are dropping in the heartland of cod.

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

NOAA doubles Gulf of Maine winter flounder catch limits

Gulf of Maine winter flounder.
a flounder
NOAA doubles Gulf of Maine winter flounder catch limits: "NOAA announced today that it is doubling the amount of Gulf of Maine winter flounder commercial fishermen can catch from almost 510,000 pounds to more than 1.1 million pounds for the current fishing season, which ends April 30. New scientific information shows that overfishing is no longer occurring on this important fish stock.

This past year, NOAA scientists completed a new Gulf of Maine winter flounder stock assessment using three years of additional catch data and a more sophisticated stock assessment model. The assessment shows that fishing effort was well within the sustainable level, allowing catch limits to be increased.

“Raising catch limits for Gulf of Maine winter flounder is good news for fishermen and fishing communities,” said Sam Rauch, acting assistant NOAA administrator for NOAA’s Fisheries Service. “Increased catch levels will provide important economic benefits at a time when there is significant concern about the status of the Gulf of Maine cod stock.”"

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Millrose Games Move Into New Era -

Even I don't get around much anymore - not even 15 blocks downtown to the Armory where I ran utterly undistinguished half-mile races on its splintered drill floor.  (2:24 for the 880 at the Bishop Loughlin Games).   Every Friday in February indoor track  filled Madison Square Garden on 50th street [before the fools destroyed Penn Station].   The prime event was the Wanamaker Mile where (mostly Irish milers dominated).  For me the magic moment was John Uelses of the Quantico Marines team vaulted 16', breaking the world record with a new flexing fiberglass pole. The place exploded.
But track crowds have dwindled.  The 5,000 seats at the Armory are the best that we can expect for world class runners in the X-Games era.
George Vecsey tells the story.  So good to see his retirement is not complete. His blog is wonderful but it's in the daily paper that he really belongs.   Millrose Games Move Into New Era -
by George Vecsey
"An event called the Millrose Games is being held in a 5,000-seat armory in Upper Manhattan on Saturday.
Robert Caplin for The New York Times
The Armory in Upper Manhattan, where the Millrose Games will be held Saturday.More Photos »
Jose Lopez/The New York Times
Eamonn Coghlan competing in the Wanamaker Mile, which he won seven times, at the Garden in 1985. More Photos »
Does that mean it is really the Millrose Games?
“At first, I was thinking, ‘This is a joke,’ ” Eamonn Coghlan said in his Irish lilt. “But after I talked to people, I realized you have to keep the tradition going.”
The Millrose Games were once the center of indoor track and field, and Coghlan was the most gloried name.
He won the Wanamaker Mile — even that name comes tumbling out fast and euphonically — seven times, earning himself the nickname the Chairman of the Boards, for the steeped wooden oval track that circled cacophonous Madison Square Garden, where officials in tuxedos clicked their stopwatches..."
No tuxedos will be worn in Washington Heights on Saturday, but Coghlan will be there, honoring the current generation that runs around ovals in the middle of the winter.

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Michelle to Ellen: Let's Move

Michelle- Let's Move in pictures: Guardian
Michelle Obama fitness: Ellen DeGeneres challenges First Lady Michelle Obama to a push up contest

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Mexican Accordion band

I used to give them money, but they haven't changed their songs."

Break dancing on the A Train

The A train run from 125 to 59 mid-day is primetime for break dancers.  Here's a great one from the Times.  And YES, I do reward the performance.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

How to make a Spanish Windlass

From Fine Homebuilding: how to make a Spanish windlass
slideshow here
getting started


Giants 21
Patriots 17
Best super bowl ad: Chrysler

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Renewable Energy in Iceland a Top Priority

Renewable Energy in Iceland a Top Priority: "Iceland is reckoned as a forerunner in the field of renewable energy. The country is generating around 81 percent of its primary energy needs from renewable sources. There are even plans to go fully green. Figures in 2007 said that geothermal energy accounts for 66 percent of primary energy, hydropower 15 percent and fossil fuels 19 percent."

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Tattered safety net: heating oil assistance cut

A man's plea to an oil dealer for help heating his home in Dixfield, Me., led to some agonizing.A New York Times reporter headed north to Dixfield, above Lewiston, Maine.  It's cold there.  A slideshow and article tell the story of two retired and disabled Mainers struggling to heat their houses, living on $1,200/month in Social Security benefits.  As the economy improves will Congress restore the funds cut from federal heating oil assistance to the poor?