30 January 2017

US Travel Bans

Welcome to America.....not.

What will be the impacts from Trump's travel bans?  World leaders and prominent figures have blasted US President Donald Trump's temporary ban on citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States as divisive, illegal, insulting and discriminatory.

For a quick summary of the world's opinion, see CNN.

Our own travel.state.gov site states "Urgent Notice: Under the Executive Order on Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals signed on January 27, 2017, visa issuance to nationals of the countries of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen has been suspended effective immediately until further notification. We will announce any other changes affecting travelers to the United States as soon as that information is available."

I guess we will not be able to see our friends and relatives anymore?

26 January 2017


Tongue twister?  Try this link.

For "A geographer's view on recreation: "zusammenhang," the connectedness of it all" try this one.

24 January 2017

Singin' in the Rain

Saw this classic on the big screen last week as part of a TCM initiative to bring films to audiences at movie theaters.  You can't beat the BIG screen.

At first I wondered if the film was wide screen but according to the ad, "This film will be shown in the same aspect ratio as when it was originally released in cinemas."  There seems to be some debate on the subject though.

In any case, it was fun.

13 January 2017

Mass GIS

We have seen tremendous improvements with interactive mapping sites.  My own "river.wsc.ma.edu" served maps a decade ago and you can see some of the features on this link (thanks to Archive.org and the "wayback machine").

More contemporary ones are wide spread and may be general, like Google Earth, or specialized like the Oliver one at Mass GIS or one for Iceland.

11 January 2017



Explore your National Parks!  Thanks to the National Park Service, all national parks across the country will waive admission fees on the following days throughout 2017:

January 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

February 20: Presidents Day

April 15-16 and 22-23: Weekends of National Park Week

August 25: National Park Service Birthday

September 30: National Public Lands Day

November 11-12: Veterans Day Weekend

10 January 2017

Where's the snow?

It was a cold weekend in Westfield, but in a few days, warmer temperatures are predicted.   That said, short term memories mean that we may remember that last winter was mild and the one before it was hard.

What will we say about the winter of 2016-17 next summer?  time will tell.

The graphic above shows the change in the Urban Heat Island for Westfield, 16 years apart.  Read more about this here.

05 January 2017

Cold Fronts

At 12 midnight GMT last night, the US was experiencing this:

You can see the cold front just passing the eastern seaboard and with it, we are getting colder air with winds from the NW.

The current radar loop is found here and depending on how far after you observe it will take the past conditions above and relate that to the live values in the loop.

What will tomorrow bring?

04 January 2017

They're dead. They're all messed up RIP

George Kosana, who played Sheriff McClelland in the 1968 cult zombie film, Night of the Living Dead, has died. He was 81. http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2017/01/03/george-kosana-sheriff-night-living-dead-dies-81/96133166/ 

NOTLD was one of my first prints in my 16 mm collection.

03 January 2017

Full Proof Weather Forecasting

Ok, the secret is out.

Long thought to be highly trained scientists, actually meteorologists employ and ancient and highly accurate tool to understand the weather.

(source: http://www.usscouts.org/profbvr/weather_rock/)

To analyze:

If the rock is wet, it's raining.
If the rock is swinging, the wind is blowing.
If the rock casts a shadow, the sun is shining.
If the rock does not cast a shadow and is not wet, the sky is cloudy.
If the rock is not visible, it is foggy.
If the rock is white, it is snowing.
If the rock is coated with ice, there is a frost.
If the ice is thick, it's a heavy frost.
If the rock is bouncing, there is an earthquake.
If the rock is under water, there is a flood.
If the rock is warm, it is sunny.
If the rock is missing, there was a tornado.
If the rock is wet and swinging violently, there is a hurricane.
If the rock has white splats on it, watch out for birds.

02 January 2017

To see the Northern Lights

Iceland is the place to go.

On my first visit, it was June and we enjoyed 20 hours of daylight and plenty of time to explore the countryside.  And a second visit was in October.  A bit more chilly, 12 hours of daylight, but we did get to see the lights while in southern Iceland, southeast of Hella.

01 January 2017

Daylight and Darkness map

Always kinda' cool to see where in the planet it might be dark and where the sun might be shining.

The site also gives calendars, sunrise and sunset info and full moon dates, should you want to go to the Bomba's Shack to party.