50 Facts Book Update

Finally, a workable, complete, and interesting outline for the first 50 Facts book, about house cats (and inevitably a bit about wildcats, too)!

It’s amazing just how much of the basic information I’ve been putting in the blog posts won’t be in the book. And this means I’ve got somewhere around 45,000 words to write between now and Cyber Monday.

Is it possible? Stay tuned.


Peaceful Moment: Victor Borge in Detroit

I came across a video of this performance on a Victor Borge collection from the local library. I had remembered him as a wonderful clown on TV during my childhood. Now in my sixties, I recognized that only someone who has lived life open as much as possible to the world’s pains and pleasures could play like this.

People say a lot of things about Detroit, but it is not a bad town – a Danish pianist did this there one night.

Major Earth processes can happen quickly

Most of us have a hard time seeing things on a geologic time scale.

We get all excited about USGS diagrams and GIFs about, say, how earthquakes happen.  Then we look out the window and can’t see it.

“Those hills and plains aren’t moving at all,” we think.

But they will.  And the geologists can see it all playing out in slow-mo every time they look out the window.

It’s easier to see Nature’s sudden transitions in a fluid medium like water or air.

Like this satellite image of Hurricane Harvey suddenly tightening up just before landfall.  Those two images are only 30 seconds apart.

Fire Smoke East of Us

Glad we’ve got onshore breeze this morning (yes, it reaches Corvallis, which is inland a ways).  The image above is facing toward the east and those aren’t clouds; it is wildfire smoke being pushed back by the west wind.

I didn’t realize there were so many fires in the Willamette National Forest right now – we’re due west of the top two clusters on this map (live interaction here):


It’s nowhere near a BC-wildfire situation, but it’s the largest local fire outbreak I’ve seen since arriving here three years ago.

You can follow Oregon’s wildfires at Inciweb.

PS:  Firefighters were watching the eclipse closely, too.