Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Grand Canyon

Older than they thought.  Definitely more than 6,000 years
The new research into the age of the Grand Canyon used a dating technique based on the radioactive decay of uranium and thorium atoms.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Vendee: 7th boat withdraws after collision

Vincent Riou
Vincent Riou aboard PRB collided with a harbor buoy in the dark some 500 miles from land.  He later withdrew. There was a one meter gash in the hull and a whisker pole outrigger was fatally compromised.  It's an easy repair in the yard - but outside assistance is disqualifying in the Vendee Globe.  Only 13 of the 20 starters are still racing after only 15 days out, with the fleet just nearing Brazil. - gwc
"At 0700hrs (French time) on Saturday morning, Vincent Riou (PRB) warned his shore team that he had collided with a floating object. The skipper was at his navigation station at the time was able to get on the deck immediately after the impact and see that the object that had struck PRB was a harbour buoy (a large metal buoy). Following the collision, Riou found that the hull of his boat was torn and delaminated for about one metre. The impact was on the starboard side of the boat and the torn area is three metres from the bow. Riou was not injured in the collision. He will wait until daybreak to assess the damage and the possibility of repair. Conditions in the area are good and the wind between 12 and 15 knots. At the moment of impact, Riou immediately called the race office in order to report the position of the buoy to other competitors."

Go Navy - Gangnam style

The U.S. Naval Academy take-off on Psy's viral `Gangnam Style' video.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gutek Retires from the Race - Vendée Globe 2012-2013

ENERGA 061112 1657Zbigniew Gutkowski (Energa) is the sixth skipper to retire from the Vendee Globe.  It is day 11.  14 boats are still racing.
Gutek Retires from the Race - Vendée Globe 2012-2013:

“Having no autopilot means I can’t race, and if I can’t race, I have to retire.
When I joined the Vendée Globe I was not interested in being the 15thth skipper to finish. That’s a tough decision, one of toughest in my life. But that’s Vendee Globe, that’s the power of the ocean and you can’t fight it.
“I cannot go without an autopilot in the Southern Ocean, that is impossible. I need to keep the boat in one piece I don’t want to lose it and maybe my life in the Southern Ocean.”
”It’s like driving at night on a road you don’t know, a road with many turns, surrounded with trees. Suddenly your lights go off and you can’t slow down. How many chances do you have to survive?
That’s what is happening with my autopilot, if you replace the road and the trees with the ocean and the waves.”

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Vendee - Day 10 - 5 down. Alex Thomson's rudder repair

Alex Thomson
Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss
These boats are just not strong enough.  10 days into a round the world single-handed race 5 of the 20 Vendee Globe starters have withdrawn - broken keels, dismasting, etc. But the resourcefulnes of the skippers continues to amaze.  This is a French dominated event but a few Brits continue to take a whack at it.  Alex Thomson is in third, 28 miles behind the leader, and Mike Golding in 4th another 100 miles back.  With 21,000 miles to go it's anybody's race.

L'incroyable réparation d'Alex Thomson by VendeeGlobeTV

Monday, November 19, 2012

Friday, November 16, 2012

Samantha Davies `Saveol' dismasted

At 1945hrs (French time), on Thursday, November 15th, Samantha Davies contacted the race office of the Vendée Globe to report that her boat had dismasted. Davies is not injured. She is safe inside the boat with all the watertight doors closed. She is monitoring the situation and does not require assistance. She is wearing her survival suit and has safety equipment at hand.
The only woman in the race, Davies is now out of it.  There is no returning - anyone receiving outside assistance is disqualified.
Savéol dismasted - Vendée Globe 2012-2013:

DAVIES 131112 107
Samantha Davies waits for the storm to abate before setting up a jury rig.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

Vendee Globe - 3 days out - 2 boats down

Twenty started the Vendee Globe three days ago but already two boats are limping home.  The rules are very simple: if your boat meets the design specs and you have done the qualifying voyages you head out - single-handed - from Les Sables d'Olonne, France, round the great capes and return to port - without outside assistance.
Kito De Pavant and Marc Guillemot have both withdrawn.  Guillemot hit something and lost his canting keel. DePavant was napping when he collided with a trawler which had not activated its AIS (automatic identification system) which would have sounded an alarm giving DePavant warning to change course.

Day 3 highlights - Monday, November 12, 2012 by VendeeGlobeTV

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The storm surge at The Battery

Water level plot with predictions for The Battery, NY
from the NOAA Data Station
h/t Bowsprite
by Christina Sun

Down on the Bayou - and north to meet Sandy

Blue heron- Honey Island swamp
click on images to enlarge and for slide show
Andrew Jackson and St. Louis Cathedral, NOLA

three sisters

Tennessee River bridges - Knoxville

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The 2011 Report That Predicted New York's Subway Flooding Disaster - Commute - The Atlantic Cities

The 2011 Report That Predicted New York's Subway Flooding Disaster - Commute - The Atlantic Cities: "Last fall, as part of a massive report on climate change in New York, a research team led by Klaus Jacob of Columbia University drafted a case study that estimated the effects of a 100-year storm on the city's transportation infrastructure. Considering MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota’s comments today that Hurricane Sandy's impact on the subway was "worse than the worst case scenario," it seems pretty safe to put Sandy in the 100-year category. In that case, assuming the rest of the report holds true, the subway system could be looking at a recovery time of several weeks, with residual effects lasting for months and years.

The researchers modeled a potential 100-year storm that consisted of either a category 1 or 2 hurricane hitting nearby, or a severe nor’easter that coincided with high tide. (As we know now, Sandy was a hybrid of all three events.) The models predicted complete flooding of several tunnels after such an event, including all the tunnels in the East River:"

'via Blog this'

Manhattan's flooded zone is landfill

Most of Sandy-flooded lower Manhattan is landfill. There is a lot more Manhattan than there used to be. The Battery was just that - and it was on two near-shore islands. The entire area west of the World Trade Center is recent fill - much of it from the No. 3 water tunnel still being excavated. 
Compare the Manhattan evacuation map to a 1776 map of the island before the filling started. Basically - if it is red it is fill.   The eastern line of Zone A along the Hudson River runs along Greenwich Street on the west, which was at the waterfront in 1776. The old slips on the East River extend inland to Queen Street, now Pearl Street, which is near where Zone A runs along the East River.
Click through HERE for an interactive Google map in the TPM post which is the source of this post.