Technology & Science

Stromboli erupts

02.28.07 | Permalink | 4 Comments

The island volcano Stromboli erupted sending lava down it’s flank and into the ocean. Stromboli is a very active volcano and frequently displays signs of volcanism. Located in the Tyrrhenian Sea between the “foot” of Italy and the “ball” of Sicily, the volcano protrudes about 3000 meters (10,000 feet) from the sea floor to it’s peak. There’s a map below that shows the location.

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Technology & Science

Lunar Eclipse March 3

02.28.07 | Permalink | Comments Off on Lunar Eclipse March 3

NASA has great information about the coming lunar eclipse that should be visible, at least in part, on all continents. If you’re in central Africa, Europe, or west Asia, you’ll get the full impact. If your on the US West Coast, you’ll get a little view of the final penumbral phases.

Here’s a handy chart prepared by NASA to show the coverage of this eclipse, click the image if you wish to enlarge it.

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Coastal Stuff

Flashback: November 21, 2001

02.27.07 | Permalink | 1 Comment

Otherwise known in these parts as “100 foot Wednesday,” the legendary Mavericks surf break is located about 3 miles south of our present location and we’re now in the “watch period” for the 2007 event.

But turning the memory machine back to 2001, there were some powerful storms that came through and it just so happened that people were in the water for a set of rogue waves that were huge. Some say 100 feet (30+ meters) some say smaller, some say bigger. Suffice to say, these waves were huge and abnormal for this part of the world.

A great account of the day was written by the San Francisco Chronicle and will serve to conjure the event should you choose to read it. What I remember about it not being at Mavericks, but on Highway 1 by surfer’s beach is waves breaking over Princeton Harbor’s breakwater and actually reaching the road surface on Highway 1.

Photo taken by Frank Quirarte

Question: How big is this Mavericks wave? Answer: The helicopter is 11 feet from rotor top to skid, the wave looks to be about 3 times the size of the helicopter. Thus I would say the wave is about 30 feet (9 meters) tall.

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Business, Energy

KKR led consortium acquires TXU

02.26.07 | Permalink | 4 Comments

In what can only be described as a mega-deal, investment firm Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts, & Co. are paying a 15% premium over market close, $69.25 per share, to take TXU Corp private. The $31.8 billion dollar deal is the largest ever to take a company private.

Why do we care? Simple, as a consequence of the takeover, TXU’s planned 11 mega-coal plants will be reduced to 3 as a result of the acquisition and stronger environmental policies are likely to be enacted. The reduction will displace some 56 million tons of carbon emissions, equivalent to preventing 10.2 million new cars from appearing on the road.

This is an interesting development to be sure. Let’s hope the focus shifts from coal to other, less polluting generation mechanisms as a private company. But axing 8 planned coal plants is a good start.

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Humor, Media

Basic Instinct 2 honored with 4 Razzies

02.25.07 | Permalink | Comments Off on Basic Instinct 2 honored with 4 Razzies

Well, it’s that time of year again. Kevin Chu posted his Oscar predictions and we’ll see how he does. But the real action happened last night as the Golden Raspberry Foundation presented the 27th annual Raspberry Awards at the Ivar Theater in Hollywood. It takes talent to make movies so bad that people cringe, and the Razzies recognize this extraordinary work.

A snippet from the award for worst picture “Basically, it stinks too” is what Basic Instinct 2 really was intended to communicate. The Wayans brothers got into the act with Little Man. The big disappointment of the night was Sylvester Stallone’s absence, the veteran of 30 Razzie nominations and 10 wins didn’t make the cut because Rocky Balboa didn’t uniformly stink.

CNN has surface level coverage of this important event. I can’t wait until next year, the competition is getting tougher for this under appreciated set of achievements. After all, where else would you find “That’s Entertainment” performed by the Merman Tabernacle Choir?

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Tune: Hillbillies from Outer Space by Stevie Ray Vaughan
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