2017 August 03

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Struggling Americans Once Sought Greener Pastures—Now They’re Stuck

"Like a lot of small towns in sparsely populated American counties, West Branch, population 2,067, is in an economic funk brought on by the decline of manufacturing and farm consolidation. In recent years, a handful of retailers, a flour mill and a carpet shop have all closed their doors."

"What is troubling about this rural town and many places like it is that while lots of struggling residents see leaving as the best way to improve their lives, a surprising share remain stuck in place. For a number of reasons—both economic and cultural—they no longer believe they can leave."

2 tons of seized ivory crushed to protest illegal trade

Prohibition always fails, as it only leads to increased prices, which increases the risks that people will do obtain the product. I think they should look at expanding regulated elephant hunting, and using those funds to provide more elephant habitat to ensure the success of the species. Additionally, more research should be done into elephant farming -- if elephants could be farmed, it could provide a good way to produce the ivory that world demands.

Good evening! Partly cloudy and 83 degrees in Albany. There is a south breeze at 6 mph. The dew point is 64 degrees.

I think it’s a pretty nice evening. After getting a lot of sleep last night, I’m feeling pretty good. I’m thinking of a quick dinner and going down to the park. It’s Alive at Five Night downtown so the bus was a few minutes late but I enjoyed my walk down to Tri Centennial Park and catching the bus down there. Now it’s just a quick, hopefully, ride down the expressway to home.

The sun will set at 8:12 pm with dusk around 8:43 pm, which is one minute and 14 seconds earlier than yesterday. At sunset, look for partly cloudy conditions and 77 degrees. The dew point will be 65 degrees. There will be a south breeze at 5 mph.

We will have a Waxing Gibbous Moon. The Full Moon is on Monday night with partly cloudy skies. The sun will rise at 5:50 am with the first light at 5:18 am, which is one minute and 3 seconds later than yesterday. Tonight will have 9 hours and 38 minutes of darkness, an increase of 2 minutes and 17 seconds over last night.

Tonight will have a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low of 70 degrees at 2am. Seven degrees above normal. Maximum dew point of 67 at 11pm. Southeast wind 3 to 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms. In 2016, we had mostly clear skies. It got down to 59 degrees. The record low of 46 occurred back in 1966.

I see that Bill McKibben is coming to the West Capitol Park next Thursday at 11:45 for a lunch time rally. I guess he’s protesting one of the Natural Gas plants there building down state to replace Indian Point. And to address the need for more climate awareness and quicker action. I think I am going to try to get down there to hear him. When I was in college, they tried to get him to speak but his speaking fees were enormous and they couldn’t afford him. While I don’t agree with everything he says, I think he would be a very interesting speaker.

Ordered some new towels and they should be at home by the time I get there. That’s a good thing because my bath towels have totally fallen apart and they are in totally awful shape for going to the beach. Not that the forecast doesn’t look promising for that.

I should probably go to the car was tonight and do some shopping but it’s such a nice evening, I think I’d rather go down to the park. It’s not going to be many more weeks that I will be able to go to the park without the sun setting and infringing on my time there. I guess I can wash the truck tomorrow or during the weekend or after should I get it muddy.

Right now, a split verdict on the weekend. Saturday, showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before 2pm, then a slight chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 79. South wind 9 to 14 mph becoming west in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible. Maximum dew point of 68 at 11am. Sunday, mostly sunny, with a high near 77. Maximum dew point of 57 at 5pm. Typical average high for the weekend is 82 degrees.

Still the best day of the weekend looks to be Sunday. I’m not sure if I will go hiking though, as I’m afraid most trails will be quite muddy from the rain. Maybe go to Thacher Park instead. I don’t know, I’ll have to think about it more. Maybe next weekend the weather will be good enough for camping.

In four weeks on August 31 the sun will be setting at 7:29 pm, which is 42 minutes and 10 seconds earlier then today. In 2016 on that day, we had rain, cloudy skies and temperatures between 76 and 62 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 78 and 57 degrees. The record high of 93 degrees was set back in 1953.

Looking ahead, State Fair Opens is in 3 weeks, 7:30 PM Sunset is in 4 weeks, Average High is 70 is in 7 weeks, Hunter’s Moon is in 9 weeks, Friday the 13th (October) is in 2 months, Thanksgiving is in 16 weeks, Cold Moon is in 4 months and Election Day 2020 is in 38 months.

How Two Senators, a Swiss Philanthropist, and Secretary Zinke Could Unlock America’s Only Inaccessible Wilderness

"There’s a 16,000-acre wilderness in Northern New Mexico that’s full of turkeys, mule deer, and elk (it’s even rumored to hold trophy aoudad). What’s more, this rugged wilderness of deep canyons, cottonwood river bottoms, and mesas has seen hardly any hunting pressure for at least a decade. The nearest city (Las Vegas, N.M., population 13,285) is a good 50 miles away."

"But there’s a catch to this backcountry hunter’s paradise, and it’s a big one."

"Right now, the Sabinoso Wilderness is completely inaccessible to the public—it’s the only designated wilderness in the country that you can’t get to. The area is surrounded by private land (since it’s designated wilderness, you can’t even helicopter in if you wanted to)."

"This wilderness could be unlocked, possibly in time for this fall’s hunting season, with a signature from the Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke. One of the ranches bordering the Sabinoso Wilderness was sold to the Wilderness Land Trust for $3 million, and the Trust intends to donate that land to the Bureau of Land Management in order to open access to the public."

Even transit leaders don’t rely on their own buses

"While politicians hold the purse strings, it's those on the transit agencies' boards who dictate how the systems operate."

"Board members for the two counties' agencies — Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority and Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority — are a mix of elected officials and community members."

"None of them rely on the bus for work, errands or their personal life."

"This isn't unique to Tampa Bay, or transit. Many boards are composed of people who don't use the service they help provide. But in a region roiled by transportation problems, it's worth knowing who sits on these boards and what philosophies they bring to the conversation."

As we head into the month of August, we are now sixteen weeks away from Thanksgiving. The warmest time of year has come and gone, and we will see a slow but steady drop in average temperatures, although certainty we can get some quite hot days through mid-September. In another week, we will have sunsets before 8 PM.

Albany, NY Temperature Normals and Records

Note: Last year’s highs and lows, have been updated through June 30, 2017.

Week Date Dawn Sun-
rise
Sun-
set
Dusk Day Avg High Avg Low Record Hi Record Low
0 August 3 5:18 am 5:50 am 8:12 pm 8:43 pm 14:22 82 61 97 (1975) 44 (1976)
1 August 10 5:26 am 5:57 am 8:02 pm 8:33 pm 14:05 81 61 96 (1949) 48 (1955)
2 August 17 5:34 am 6:04 am 7:52 pm 8:22 pm 13:47 81 60 97 (1913) 40 (1979)
3 August 24 5:43 am 6:12 am 7:41 pm 8:11 pm 13:29 79 59 95 (1947) 42 (1971)
4 August 31 5:51 am 6:19 am 7:30 pm 7:58 pm 13:10 78 57 93 (1953) 37 (1965)
5 September 7 5:58 am 6:27 am 7:17 pm 7:46 pm 12:50 76 55 96 (1945) 36 (1962)
6 September 14 6:06 am 6:34 am 7:05 pm 7:33 pm 12:30 73 52 93 (1931) 32 (1963)
7 September 21 6:14 am 6:42 am 6:52 pm 7:21 pm 12:10 70 50 95 (1895) 29 (1973)
8 September 28 6:22 am 6:50 am 6:40 pm 7:08 pm 11:50 67 46 83 (2014) 24 (1947)
9 October 5 6:29 am 6:57 am 6:28 pm 6:56 pm 11:30 64 43 91 (1941) 26 (1965)
10 October 12 6:37 am 7:05 am 6:16 pm 6:44 pm 11:10 61 41 85 (1954) 22 (1964)
11 October 19 6:45 am 7:14 am 6:05 pm 6:33 pm 10:51 59 38 79 (1963) 20 (1974)
12 October 26 6:53 am 7:22 am 5:55 pm 6:23 pm 10:32 56 37 78 (1963) 20 (1952)
13 November 2 7:02 am 7:31 am 5:45 pm 6:15 pm 10:14 53 35 82 (1950) 19 (2002)
14 November 9 6:10 am 6:40 am 4:37 pm 5:07 pm 9:57 51 33 71 (1975) 11 (1971)
15 November 16 6:18 am 6:49 am 4:30 pm 5:01 pm 9:41 48 32 71 (2006) 7 (1972)
16 November 23 6:26 am 6:57 am 4:25 pm 4:56 pm 9:28 45 30 72 (1931) 5 (1972)

nycmap $id

The ghostly radio station that no one claims to run

"It is thought to be the headquarters of a radio station, “MDZhB”, that no-one has ever claimed to run. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for the last three-and-a-half decades, it’s been broadcasting a dull, monotonous tone. Every few seconds it’s joined by a second sound, like some ghostly ship sounding its foghorn. Then the drone continues."

"Once or twice a week, a man or woman will read out some words in Russian, such as “dinghy” or “farming specialist”. And that’s it. Anyone, anywhere in the world can listen in, simply by tuning a radio to the frequency 4625 kHz."

It’s so enigmatic, it’s as if it was designed with conspiracy theorists in mind. Today the station has an online following numbering in the tens of thousands, who know it affectionately as “the Buzzer”. It joins two similar mystery stations, “the Pip” and the “Squeaky Wheel”. As their fans readily admit themselves, they have absolutely no idea what they are listening to."