Walrus spotted sunning itself in the Inner Hebrides

Creel fisherman Lorn MacRae saw the Arctic animal basking in the winter sun on Cairn Na Burgh Beag, a small island which is part of the Treshnish Isles in the Inner Hebrides, on Monday.

Marine conservation charity, the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT), described the walrus as “massive” after seeing photographs.

HWDT, which has been been monitoring wildlife for 25 years, said Monday’s sighting was the first record of a walrus on its database, meaning it is “significant” for the region.

One of those moments when I start thinking about finishing my remaining retirement years back in the Hebrides where so many of my Canadian kin were born.

Napoleon’s Death Mask

Death mask of Napoleon, taken a day and a half after he died on the island of St. Helena at age 51. His eyes are closed, lips slightly parted, and his shaven head is tilted backward, resting on a pillow garnished with a tassel at each corner. Napoleon’s original death mask was created on May 7, 1821. Surrounding his deathbed were doctors from France and Britain.

During the time of Napoleon Bonaparte, it was customary to cast a death mask of a great leader who had recently died. A mixture of wax or plaster was carefully placed over Napoleon’s face and removed after the form had hardened.

From this impression, subsequent copies would be cast. Contrary to some accounts of Napoleon’s death, it was not Dr. Antommarchi who made the original mask or so-called “parent mold”; it was the surgeon Francis Burton of Britain’s Sixty-Sixth Regiment at St. Helena.

Looks better IMHO than any actor ever chosen for a movie representation.

BEFORE & AFTER Atmospheric rivers impact

“Before” satellite image – 3 weeks before the rains came

After at least nine atmospheric rivers in a little more than three weeks dumped more than 30 trillion gallons of water on California, the state’s landscape of deep valleys, tall mountains and rugged coastlines has been visibly altered. Those changes, which extend well out into the Pacific Ocean, can be vividly seen from space now that the storm clouds have cleared.

Satellite imagery from before and after the atmospheric rivers, which are narrow bands of extreme moisture that produce heavy rain and snow, tell the story of a state that has seen devastating flood damage, rising reservoirs, and billions of gallons of water lost to the ocean after a three-year drought.


Twitter thinks moon launch is “revenge porn”

Revenge porn is a horrible thing, and Twitter should definitely continue to ban anyone who attempts to post it on the app. That being said, a video of a rocket taking off — an actual rocket, you pervs — does not revenge porn make, and shouldn’t be flagged as such.

It seems like a silly thing to have to say, but such is the exact situation that spaceflight photographer John Kraus found himself in earlier this week. Kraus, who was on site to photograph the historic Artemis I launch, took to Twitter to post a mesmerizing video of the liftoff — only to find himself kicked off of the app shortly thereafter, due to the fact that his post, for whatever inexplicable reason, had been marked as revenge porn.

“I’d like to acknowledge that our good friend and rocket photography extraordinaire, [John Kraus], has been completely locked out of twitter since yesterday, for an arbitrary and silly reason, the day of the biggest launch of his career,” read an angry tweet from the Tim “Everyday Astronaut” Dodd. “Worst possible timing.”

The inmates of the insane asylum – otherwise known as the US Government – are trying to run machines beyond their comprehension.

Girls in the windows

Click to enlarge

…It was the summer of 1960, and photographer Ormond Gigli was working in his studio on 58th Street, across the street from a group of brownstones that were about to be demolished. The windows had been removed and Gigli had an idea of photographing a group of women, one in each of the window openings, wearing formalwear…

Gigli and his staff only had 24 hours to plan the photo, find volunteer models to pose for the shot, and get permission from the city. There was a gaping hole in front of the building so they also located a Rolls-Royce to sit on the sidewalk in front.

…After the photo was taken, the models left, and the building came down.

Thanks, UrsaRodinia

Here’s what the whole critter looked like

Reportedly the first stage of Long March 2D expendable launch system rockets are 27.91 meters (91.57 ft) long and their second stages are 10.9 meters in length.

The piece of a first stage of this rocket that was photographed after it crashed into a Chinese field earlier this week is described as sticking ‘some 20 to 30 feet’ out of some freshly tilled soil.