24 October 2014

A Good Weekend for Viewing

the Northern Lights.
Massive sunspot could lead to aurora displays through weekend 

Sunspot region AR 2192 could be about to light up the atmosphere over Alaska. Lovers of the aurora borealis should cross their fingers and hope for clear skies.

The National Weather Service Space Weather Prediction Centers says a sunspot cluster the size of Jupiter has broken out in region 2192. It's the largest sunspot in 20 years on the earth-facing side of the sun.

"If [the sunspot region] maintains this level of complexity, we still believe more X-class flares are likely, and that should continue for next six or seven days,” researcher Doug Biesecker told The Washington Post

CMEs -- coronal mass ejections -- from sunspots are what set the aurora to dancing across the night skies in a rainbow of colors. AR 2192 has so far been low on CMEs, but that could change.

And then there's this one. You may not be watching the Alaska-based reality shows on the Discovery channels (we don't), but one has drawn legal attention:
'Alaskan Bush People' indictments? So what? Reality TV fakers know no bounds
Reality TV as defined in the north these days is Aesop's Fables written by someone sent on a trip by questionable acid. Reality TV is the so-called "Alaskan Bush People" running around in the green light of a night-vision lens trying to confront fictional shooters in the night in the woods near Glennallen and then supposedly fleeing for their lives.

Actual reality -- which is waaay different from TV reality -- is the Bush People getting busted on charges of falsely filing for Alaska Permanent Fund Dividends. And never mind what people can get away with on that phonied up "Alaska State Troopers" show; there are some realities Alaskans take seriously. Lying about living in Alaska in order to collect a PFD is one of those realities.

This is the crime of which six members of the Brown family -- better know as simply the "Bush People" -- stand accused. A Juneau grand jury indicted chief Bush Person Billy Brown and children Amora, Snowbird, Joshua, Bam-Bam, Solomon, Gabriel and Noah on multiple counts of second-degree theft and unsworn falsification for fibbing on their PFD applications.

As if any Alaska reality TV star would ever fib. C'mon, it's not fibbing if it could be real.

Alrighty then. That's all the blogfodder I found this morning. I'm reasonably sure there will be more, later.

Thanks for stopping by, friends.

23 October 2014

More Excitement Than We Expected, Today

From the Alaska Dispatch News, and found here

Today's partial eclipse, a sixty-percenter locally, was apparently quite exciting if you're into watching the skies.

I was a bit preoccupied at its maximum occultation (is that the right word?) with keeping an eye on the high-as-a-kite dude who wandered into the building. He was busily throwing all the contents of his pockets and backpack on the floor, around the mezzanine, and onto tables where the lunchtime crowd was trying equally hard to mind their own business. It appeared at times that he could barely remain erect.

Then he proceeded downstairs, to empty all the trash cans in the men's room, stuff paper into the urinals, and rub his face on the walls ... or stumble around bumping into them. Depends on which witness you ask, and he might well have done both.

He never became violent per se, nor loud, so three of us kept him under surveillance until the police showed up to apply the Bracelets O' Correction and take him to a happier place (for us, at least).

Never a dull moment.

The sad part was watching a guy who has his whole life ahead of him, and presumably some talent, being reduced to an object of derision by some alleged substance that was robbing him of his humanity.

It's so sad ... and such a waste.

Quote of the Season:

In 1913, President Woodrow Wilson approved the Federal Reserve Act. A few years later, he reflected:

"I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men.

"We have come to be one of the worst-ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world -- no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men."

May 2013: A Drive in the Kenai Mountains

Here are just a few photos from a May 2013 drive to the south. (Click for the ooh, ahh factor.)

Heading south out of Anchorage, along the Turnagain Arm.

Halfway to Girdwood, near Bird Point.

Nearing Girdwood, with Alaska's ubiquitous "rear of the RV" view.

High in the Kenai Mountains.

Looking north (on the way back) near Turnagain Pass.

Tools of the Trade

What you carry depends on where you are.

Things you acquire:

and things you're given: