2017 December 30

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December 2017
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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

Good evening! Light snow and 12 degrees in Delmar, NY. There is a west breeze at 5 mph. Plows have come through once or twice this evening. That light dusting of snow made it rather slick walking down to the library today, I slipped once or twice. Caught my balance the first time, the second time I didn’t break nothing. 

Tonight will have a chance of snow showers, mainly before 10pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low of 1 degree at 6am. 16 degrees below normal. Maximum wind chill around -15 at 6am; Northwest wind 6 to 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Total nighttime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. In 2016, we had mostly cloudy skies. It got down to 19 degrees. The record low of -17 occurred back in 1917.

Tonight will have a Waxing Gibbous Moon. The Cold Moon will be on New Years Day with mostly cloudy skies. The sun will rise at 7:25 am with the first light at 6:53 am, which is 9 seconds later than yesterday. Tonight will have 14 hours and 53 minutes of darkness, a decrease of 42 seconds over last night.

New Year Eve will be sunny, wait for it, wait, with a high of 11 degrees at 3pm. 21 degrees below normal. Maximum wind chill around -14 at 6pm; Northwest wind 11 to 17 mph. Bundle up if you are heading out on New Year Eve. A year ago, we had light snow in the morning, remaining cloudy in the afternoon. The high last year was 37 degrees. The record high of 61 was set in 1895. 7.9 inches of snow fell back in 2007.

Went down to the library for a while, then headed home. Sidewalks are pretty slick in town from the snow. Just posted a few updates for the blog and downloaded some videos to watch. I ended up watching another video I had saved on my hard drive. 

Finally after asking the about the status of my headphones that I ordered, they have shipped. I will be happy when I can listen to music on the bus again. I think that the company somehow misplaced my order but now it’s on the way. 

Speaking of mess ups, my smartphone auto renew didn’t work because I didn’t update my credit card in time, but fortunately they let me renew online the next day and keep my number. I would be upset if I lost my phone number. 

And speaking of silly stuff, I ordered from China one of those inexpensive LED soldering practice kits. For $3 including shipping, but it looks like a fun little project that I can build for Valentines Day, assuming it arrives. They recommend those inexpensive little projects to help one master the art of electronics soldering. When you look at DIY electronics projects with LEDs shipped from China there are many inexpensive options. I want to keep myself busy in the winter with various little projects and keep learning electronics. So many inexpensive things to build these days, especially if you order directly from China. 

In four weeks on January 27 the sun will be setting at 5:03 pm, which is 31 minutes and 33 seconds later then tonight. In 2017 on that day, we had rain, snow, mostly cloudy skies and temperatures between 40 and 33 degrees. Hopefully we will eventually have a January thaw. Typically, you have temperatures between 31 and 14 degrees. The record high of 62 degrees was set back in 1974.

Lookingng ahead, The Day the Music Died is in 5 weeks and Good Friday is in three months. April and Easter are just around the corner, well, maybe. 

The 100-year capitalist experiment that keeps Appalachia poor, sick, and stuck on coal — Quartz

"Ask most Americans what they know about coal in central Appalachia, and they’ll tell you it’s a dying industry—one that US president Donald Trump famously vowed to revive during the 2016 election. “We’re going to put those miners back to work. We’re going to get those mines open … I see over here a sign, it says ‘Trump digs coal.’ It’s true. I do,” he told a rally in Charleston, West Virginia, in May 2016. “You’re going to be working your asses off.”

"But the idea that the region’s coal industry is dying is not quite true. For much of the hundred-plus years of its existence, the industry has been on a kind of artificial life support, as state and federal governments have, directly and indirectly, subsidized coal companies to keep the industry afloat."

"The costs of this subsidy aren’t tallied on corporate or government balance sheets. The destruction of central Appalachia’s economy, environment, social fabric and, ultimately, its people’s health is, in a sense, hidden. But they’re plain enough to see on a map. It could be lung cancer deaths you’re looking at, or diabetes mortality. Or try opioid overdoses. Poverty. Welfare dependency. Chart virtually any measure of human struggle, and there it will be, just right of center on a map of the US—a distinct blotch. This odd cluster is consistently one of America’s worst pockets of affliction."

Map: Yellow Lake State Forest

Map: Yellow Lake State Forest

Yellow Lake State Forest is composed of 751 acres located in the town of Rossie in northwestern St. Lawrence County.

The Yellow Lake Overlook Trail (red markers) begins at the bridge on Chisholm Road and leads northward 1.4 miles through a mixed forest of northern hardwoods and red oak. This hiking trail ends at two scenic overlooks bordering Yellow Lake. The property also provides large undeveloped areas well suited for hunting, hiking, and nature viewing.

There are no designated camp sites on this property. Backcountry camping is allowed. Camping for more than three nights or in a group of ten or more requires a permit from a Forest Ranger. Camping is prohibited within 150 feet of water roads or trail.

More info: http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/81109.html

Maintaining Tissue Sample Quality Might Reduce Medical Errors

"You might not suspect that the success of the emerging field of precision medicine depends heavily on the couriers who push carts down hospital halls."

"But samples taken during surgery may end up in poor shape by the time they get to the pathology lab — and that has serious implications for patients as well as for scientists who want to use that material to develop personalized tests and treatments that are safer and more effective."