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December 31, 2014

Comet Lovejoy

Phil Plait says it's visible in Orion.

On Jan. 7 it will pass about 70 million kilometers (44 million miles) from Earth, and it’s predicted to peak around 4th magnitude; easily visible from dark skies without optical aid.

4th magnitude is somewhere between the Andromeda galaxy and Ganymede at its maximum brightness. What Phil Plait can see with his naked eye may differ from what you or I can see.

Filed under Science | permalink | December 31, 2014 at 07:29 PM | Comments (0)

Where Were The Burners?

A rare wind event at the Rose Bowl that they are calling a "cold dust devil" seems to have hit at a moment when all the Burners were somewhere else. Burners would run towards the flying tents because otherwise all you've got is flying tents, as you see here.

Filed under Burning Man,California | permalink | December 31, 2014 at 05:16 PM | Comments (0)

December 30, 2014


Equal marriage rights begin today in Scotland. Here we see Joe and Malx.

More photos here.

Filed under Gay Issues | permalink | December 30, 2014 at 05:42 PM | Comments (0)

December 29, 2014

Virgin 747 Landing With 75% Of Its Landing Gear

Video at Gatwick today.

News story.

Filed under Travel | permalink | December 29, 2014 at 12:35 PM | Comments (0)

December 28, 2014

Berlin Snow

It's snowing in Berlin
A very recent photo (from a friend) of tonight's weather in Berlin

Filed under Photography | permalink | December 28, 2014 at 08:31 PM | Comments (0)

Coachella Valley History Museum

Photos of some of the things to see at the Coachella Valley History Museum in Indio.

Blacksmith's Tools at Coachella Valley History Museum (2599)

1967 Date Festival Booklet at Coachella Valley History Museum (2614)

45-Star Flag at Coachella Valley History Museum (2606)
45 stars.

Rairlroad Crossing Sign at Coachella Valley History Museum (2604)
"Look out for the cars."

Old Schoolhouse Ceiling at Coachella Valley History Museum (2611)
The ceiling in an old schoolhouse

More photos from the museum.

Filed under Coachella Valley,History,Photography | permalink | December 28, 2014 at 05:47 PM | Comments (0)

December 27, 2014

Porky Piggin' It

Shirtbleeping explained.

Filed under Burning Man,Television | permalink | December 27, 2014 at 10:01 PM | Comments (0)

December 24, 2014

Burning Man IP Network

Burning Man 2014 network diagram
Click it to make it big.
I'm sure this will be more interesting to someone who actually understands it. I understand only the very top level where Burning Man connects to the default world, and I see it's different than I thought it was. High Desert Internet in the upper right represents the default world. The specific part of the default world is Fernley.

Filed under Burning Man,Technology | permalink | December 24, 2014 at 05:24 PM | Comments (0)

December 23, 2014

"The Interview" To Be Shown In Los Angeles

Get $14 tickets here to see it in the 158-seat Silent Movie Theater at 611 North Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles 90036.

Filed under Film/Movies | permalink | December 23, 2014 at 08:31 PM | Comments (4)

One More Explanation Of Burning Man

I don't know how many people are included in "we," but it's at least two people and one of them is a child. Fifteen gallons of water is not enough, and I'm sure young Julia didn't rely on beer to fill in the gaps. But the fact that she survived seems to suggest I am wrong.

Filed under Burning Man | permalink | December 23, 2014 at 02:28 PM | Comments (0)

29 Palms To Camp Rice

I made this video yesterday. Part of my motivation was to get out to Camp Rice and see what sort of a state things are in since the solar power company came in, did a bunch of work, and then pulled out. It's almost easy to miss as you're driving by. They've got the ground all glued up so that at a quick glance it looks like desert varnish...except there isn't any desert varnish in the area of Camp Rice. A few thousand soldiers will do that to desert varnish. I point it out when I get there in this video.

29 Palms To Camp Rice map
The route

Filed under California,GoPro,Photography | permalink | December 23, 2014 at 10:31 AM | Comments (0)

December 22, 2014

New Year's Carol

Commissioned by the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, New Year's Carol by Ola Gjeilo was just one of the numbers in their incredibly impressive holiday concert. The chorus will perform most of the concert three times on Christmas Eve in the Castro Theater. Tickets are still available, but they will surely sell out. If you are in the Bay Area I encourage you to get to the Castro on Christmas Eve.

Filed under Gay Issues,Music | permalink | December 22, 2014 at 07:13 PM | Comments (0)

December 21, 2014

Numbers From The Friday Night DUI Checkpoint

  • 626 Vehicles Screened
  • 2 DUI-Alcohol suspects arrested
  • 10 Drivers cited/arrested for operating a vehicle unlicensed or while suspended/revoked
  • 7 Vehicles stored/ impounded
  • 10 Citations issued

And they promise to do it all over again on Friday night, December 26.

Filed under Desert Hot Springs,Public Safety | permalink | December 21, 2014 at 10:04 AM | Comments (0)

December 19, 2014

Florida: January 5 for sure

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a request for a stay of the ruling that Florida's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The current stay expires January 5. Which means, barring some tomfoolery, same-sex marriages will commence in Florida on that date. It appears the entire court voted on this one and the results were 7-2 with our favorites Scalia and Thomas in the minority.

Filed under Gay Issues | permalink | December 19, 2014 at 06:34 PM | Comments (1)

DHS Medical Marijuana Dispensary Applicants

KMIR has published the list of 19 applicants for medical marijuana dispensaries in Desert Hot Springs. I haven't seen a similar list of cultivation site applicants yet.

I thought it would be interesting to map all the proposed locations. Each address below links to a Google map.

Boldface indicates the top three ranked applicants as of December 18.

Jeremy Salisbury64949 Mission Lakes Boulevard - Dr. Shah's shopping center
Avis Bulbulyan for Oasis DHS64949 Mission Lakes Boulevard, Ste. 110 - also Dr. Shah's shopping center
Dino Sogoyan11360 Palm Drive - the empty building on the southeast corner of 5th and Palm
Benno Pabst11522 Palm Drive - vacant lot on the southwest corner of 4th and Palm
Thomas Miller; Jeff Brayshaw11924 Palm Drive - between 1st and 2nd, the same building where the illegal dispensary opened a few years ago
Rudy Alarcon; Kelly C. Durban12106 Palm Drive - the northeast corner of Palm and Acoma, the former location of Thai Palms
Green Connect, Inc.; Juliette Marie Montante12106 Palm Drive - the northeast corner of Palm and Acoma, the former location of Thai Palms
Desert's Finest Patients' Cooperative. Inc.12106 Palm Drive - the northeast corner of Palm and Acoma, the former location of Thai Palms
DHS Wellness Services, Inc.; Allen Cooper12285 Palm Drive - the (former?) church building on the southwest corner of Palm and Buena Vista
Dan Gibbons; Malcolm Mclean12331 Palm Drive - that little building just north of Escapade on Palm Drive
Steven Palacios; Matthew Beasley12561 Palm Drive - on the west side of Palm between Desert View and Estrella
Anthony Young; Mae Lee17003 Palm Drive - Dillon and Palm
William Conner; Dennis MarkowskiPaul Road - Palm and I-10
Jason Foster66121 Pierson Boulevard - this points right at the Sidewinder Grill, but maybe it's that small building at the back end of the property
So-Cal MM Patient Association66191 Pierson Boulevard - Morgan's store
Thunder Lake Ranch Corp.66272 Pierson Boulevard - Wiefel's Mortuary
Eduardo H. Rivera66328 & 66338 Pierson Boulevard - the party supply business
Lisa Lozano; Stephanie Bodde66406 Pierson - Boulevard - just to the east of Haidet's Hardware
Andrew Milks66595 Pierson Boulevard - downtown

Filed under Desert Hot Springs,Marijuana | permalink | December 19, 2014 at 01:04 PM | Comments (10)

Coxswain's View

With a GoPro camera mounted on the coxswain, we are able to watch Michigan rowing in the 2014 Head Of The Charles Regatta. It's a nice tour of the Charles River and we get to hear how a coxswain talks. I see they are doing some major work on the Anderson bridge that connects the business school to the main campus...of Harvard, do I need to say Harvard?

But if you want a shorter video with dramatic music, here's Bucknell.

Head of the Charles Regatta route
This map shows the stretch of the Charles that they traverse

Filed under GoPro,Photography,Sports | permalink | December 19, 2014 at 11:45 AM | Comments (0)

DUI Checkpoint In Desert Hot Springs Tonight


DUI/Drivers License Checkpoint Planned on Friday, December 19th

Desert Hot Springs Police Department will be conducting a DUI/Drivers License Checkpoint on December 19th, 2014, at an undisclosed location within the city limits between the hours of 7:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.

The deterrent effect of DUI checkpoints is a proven resource in reducing the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol or drug involved crashes. Research shows that crashes involving an impaired driver can be reduced by up to 20 percent when well-publicized DUI checkpoints and proactive DUI patrols are conducted routinely.

In California, this deadly crime led to 802 deaths in 2012 because someone failed to designate a sober driver. Nationally, the latest data shows nearly 10,000 were killed by an impaired driver.

Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment with officers checking drivers for proper licensing delaying motorists only momentarily. When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving. Recent statistics reveal that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems. A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent). Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), checkpoints have provided the most effective documented results of any of the DUI enforcement strategies, while also yielding considerable cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent. Nearly 90 percent of California drivers approve of DUI checkpoints.

DUI Checkpoints are placed in locations based on collision statistics and frequency of DUI arrests affording the greatest opportunity for achieving drunk and drugged driving deterrence. Locations are chosen with safety considerations for the officers and the public.

Drivers caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes, other expenses that can exceed $10,000 not to mention the embarrassment when friends and family find out.

Funding for this checkpoint is provided to Desert Hot Springs Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone to 'Report Drunk Driver – Call 9-1-1'.

Filed under Desert Hot Springs,Public Safety | permalink | December 19, 2014 at 09:22 AM | Comments (0)

December 17, 2014

San Francisco

From my recent visit to San Francisco.

Art On 14th Street (0004)
That ain't no orca

HUF (0008)

Mushrooms (2577)

On Valencia (0002)
On Valencia Street

San Francisco City Hall (0014)
City Hall

Shanti Project sprouts (2567)
They grow sprouts and other vegetables in the windows of the Shanti Project on Polk

War Memorial Opera House (2559)
Opera House

The complete set of photos is here.

Filed under California,Cities/Urbanism,Photography | permalink | December 17, 2014 at 06:02 PM | Comments (0)

December 12, 2014

Kaiser Reports 100% Success With PrEP

And by 100% "success" we actually mean 100% lack of failures, which is all we could ask for. PrEP is the acronym used for "pre-exposure prophylaxis" and that means, specifically, "Gilead Sciences' Truvada (tenofovir and emtricitabine) combination pill to prevent HIV [infection]." Kaiser reports zero (0) new HIV infections in their 500 patients who use PrEP.

The article also discusses an unreliable poll of 90 self-selecting Kaiser patients about safe-sex strategies. They obtained no baseline data, so there is no reliable way to say much about the results. But some people are going to focus on the reported reduction in the use of condoms and complain about that. I would like to remind those people that all this effort is being made to prevent the spread of HIV, which is a much broader issue than adopting a rigid stance that all men should always use condoms forever and ever.

Filed under Health | permalink | December 12, 2014 at 11:22 AM | Comments (0)

December 10, 2014

Holiday Lights

Kicked up another notch so that they can only be truly appreciated if you have a drone and a GoPro.

This seems to be conveniently nearby in Yucaipa. Map.

Here's another video shot after dark.

Meanwhile, in Queensland people are improving the appearance of their holiday lights by vandalizing street lights that are on 240-volt lines. That's one way of doing it.

Filed under GoPro | permalink | December 10, 2014 at 02:27 AM | Comments (0)