Big Wind Tonight

On October 25, 2014, in Environment, by CaptRR




Solar activity is high. During the past 48 hours, monster sunspot AR2192 has produced a series of seven M-class solar flares of increasing intensity. The eruptions crossed the threshold into X-territory with an X1-class flare on Oct. 22nd. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded a powerful flash of extreme UV radiation in the sunspot’s magnetic canopy at 14:30 UT:

Remarkably, not one of the explosions so far has hurled a significant CME toward Earth. The primary effect of the flares has been to ionize Earth’s upper atmosphere, causing a series of short-lived VHF radio communications blackouts. Such blackouts may be noticed by amateur radio operators, aviators, and mariners.

Earth-effects could increase in the days ahead. AR2192 has an unstable ‘beta-gamma-delta’ magnetic field that harbors energy for powerful explosions, and the active region is turning toward Earth. NOAA forecasters estimate at 65% chance of M-class flares and a 20% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

AR2192 is shaping up to be the biggest sunspot in many years. Its area is now approaching that of AR0496, the last great sunspot of the previous solar cycle, which covered 2610 millionths of the solar disc on Oct. 30, 2003. As of 0h UT today AR 2192 is 2410 millionths. (Thanks to Geoff Chester of the US Naval Observatory for this comparison.)

Because the sunspot is so large–now about as wide as the planet Jupiter–people are beginning to notice it at sunset when the sun is dimmed by clouds or haze. Pilot Brian Whittaker took this picture on Oct. 21st while flying 36,000 ft over Resolute, Nunavut, Canada

(Thanks to Alan Hobbes Buchanan for the link via Facebook)


Man falls of pier while taking selfie

On October 23, 2014, in Just for Fun, by CaptRR

Neatorama is reporting:

A reporter from a Lebanese news program is interviewing a man standing on a pier. Behind him, another fellow thinks this is a great time to take a selfie with his smartphone. Or he’s trying to record the scene in front of him. Anyway, he’s not watching where he’s walking and goes for a swim.

The complete Neatorama post is here.


GizMag is reporting:

If you want to get a picture of wild dolphin populations’ health, it’s typically necessary to capture some of the animals and then obtain blood samples or skin biopsies. Needless to say, it’s hard work, and the dolphins tend not to like it. Soon, however, it may be possible to gather the same information using a device that samples their breath.

The complete GizMag pos by Ben Coxworth is here.


Largest Underwater Sculpture in the World,

On October 21, 2014, in Interesting, by CaptRR

Scuttlefish is reporting:

This 18-foot, 60-ton sculpture, “Ocean Atlas” is the newest statue installation off Nassau in the Bahamas, where an underwater artificial reef trail is being built. It depicts a local Bahamian girl holding the surface of the sea on her shoulder in parody to the Greek sculpture of Titan Atlas, holding up the heavens. It’s also the largest (mostly) underwater statue in the world.

The complete Scuttlefish post by Owen James Burke is here.



GizMag is reporting:

A new study by a team of scientists from Italy, France, Columbia University and the University of California, Berkeley, demonstrates that the Earth’s magnetic field could change polarity in less than 100 years. The last magnetic reversal occurred some 786,000 years ago and was previously thought to have taken several thousand years but, if the researchers are right, the real time it may take for the flip to occur could actually be closer to the span of a human life.

The complete GizMag post is here.


Capt. Kelly Sweeney in Anacortes

On October 19, 2014, in Anacortes, Leadership, Piracy, Shipping, by CaptRR


Kelly Sweeney was in Anacortes yesterday. He presented a program on modern day piracy.

Kelly, his wife Frances and I got to tell a few more stories afterwards at Frida’s, a local Mexican restaurant.


Oh what a feeling

On October 18, 2014, in General Boating, by CaptRR

GizMagazine is reporting:

As the world’s largest automaker, Toyota is quite well-known for land vehicles, including SUVs like the 4Runner and Land Cruiser. Lesser known is the corporation’s marine arm, which sells several car-inspired boats in the Japanese market. The latest is the Ponam-31, a “sports utility cruiser” that puts a rather elegant cabin atop a hull that skips across the water by way of dual Land Cruiser engines.

The complete GizMagazine post is here.


More on the Phoenician ship

On October 17, 2014, in History, Navigation, by CaptRR

A replica of the Antikythera mechanism on display at the Exhibition of Ancient Greek Technology in Athens, 2005. Its mechanism consists of at least 29 gears of various sizes.

GMA News is reporting:

Ancient computer

However, the wreck is most famous for the “Antikythera mechanism”, an ancient Greek astronomical analogue computer from the second century BC, referred to as the world’s oldest computer that performed multiplication, subtraction, division and tracked the movements of the sun and the moon.

Famous oceanographer Jacques Cousteau led a second expedition to the wreck in 1976, but its deep remote location, of some 55 meters deep, has made it difficult to reach.

The complete GMA News post is HERE.


Phoenician ship

On October 16, 2014, in History, Navigation, by CaptRR


PioneerExpeditions is reporting:

Three years after building the replica Phoenician ship “Phoenicia” and circumnavigating Africa a new expedition is being planned. This time to sail Phoenicia from the Mediterranean to the Americas to illustrate that the Phoenicians (as the greatest ancient seafarers) had capabilities and skills to cross the Atlantic two thousand years before Columbus. Crossing the Atlantic is an ambitious challenge as the Atlantic winds and storms are powerful and unforgiving for any sailor. However, it is a quest that demands to be attempted in order to answer one of history’s most important questions: who were the first sailors to discover the Americas?

The complete PioneerExpeditions post is here.

(Thanks to Norton Rider for the link)

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