30 August 2017

Open Space Blog

Sponsored by the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) here is a really neat blog about open space.

21 August 2017

Eclipse as viewed in Westfield, MA

Here is some footage of the Solar Eclipse as viewed this afternoon at 42 deg, 6 min, 7 sec North and 72 deg, 46 min, 23 sec West.

20 August 2017

Banana Sun

Well, forget all the science stuff.  This site explains it so well, that even this guy can understand the Eclipse.  It has a neat countdown clock too.

19 August 2017

Hiking History

Found this neat little article on hiking history that you can read while you are waiting for the eclipse to arrive on Monday.  enjoy.

13 August 2017

Eclipse Tourism

Forget Trump Slump, the hottest news in travel and tourism this summer is the Solar Eclipse.  There is a boat load of info on the web, so let me start with some links my colleagues at Westfield State have shared.

The American Astronomical Society has this one.  A commercial site from France has a cool map.

Now if it is a cloudy day, visibility will be poor.  So just like you need to have cloudless days to the Aurora Borealis you will need the same for the eclipse.  So check out the US government site for cloud cover on the day.

Last Sunday (6 August 2017) the New York Times has a special section on the eclipse.  You can probably find a copy in your public library.

Best places to see the eclipse?  Think West, where the skies will be clearer and less pollution.  Casper Wyoming might be a good spot.  SIU at Carbondale (Illinois) will open the stadium and enjoy the longest duration of 2 minutes 41.6 seconds (don't you love the precision mathematics of astronomy).  For us on the eastern seaboard the eclipse will rock the skies at 2:40 pm, while Salem Oregon it will darken the skies at 10:20 am.

Remember your glasses.

Cloudy or too far away?  Watch it on TV.

For a night time video on a lunar eclipse, check my entry here.

11 August 2017

Airshow this Weekend in Westfield Mass.

I wonder how many tons of carbon are dumped into our air this weekend.  Bring your O2!

The EPA reports "EPA Determines that Aircraft Emissions Contribute to Climate Change Endangering Public Health and the Environment."  Add to that the thousands of tourists driving into Whip City, the human impact is deadly.

Now, to be fair, the bulk of aviation is commercial traffic and not the War Games this weekend.

But just  yesterday our NOAA reports that 2016 was the hottest on record!!  Be patient seems everyone on the planet wants to read how we are destroying the planet.  From the report:

For more visuals from the report.

Need information about the airshow?  Otherwise steer clear of Interstate 90 and 91 this weekend.  If you must, use your Waze App or see MassDOT.

10 August 2017

Cultural Resource Monitoring on the AT

Did some field work today on the Appalachian Trail.  We are trying to protect historic resources on the AT and need to create a volunteer cultural resource monitor handbook (a project for the fall).  Today we did some field work in the Lee / Tyringham area of the AT then moved south to Sheffield to do an early assessment of the historic resources there.  Shays'  Rebellion is perhaps one of the more famous sites.

 The AT committee stabilized the monument last summer (2016) and now there is a need to do more.

09 August 2017

Godzilla RIP

Well not exactly Godzilla (ゴジラ or Gojira), but the actor who played the building crunching monster. Haruo Nakjima passed away at age 88.   To learn more about this 60 plus year franchise see the Wikipedia link.

07 August 2017


Watched an interesting documentary last night called Icarus.  Suggested by the NY Times, it is a fascinating expose in cycling doping that moves into perhaps the largest corruption in Olympic sports. Filmmaker Bryan Fogel is fortunate that Netflix picked up the distribution.  Don't have Netflix?  Try a one week free trial and include this title in your binge watching.

04 August 2017

Hurricane Update for Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean

Yucatan Peninsula is in for some nasty weather as well as the Lesser Antilles over the next week.  This is where that vacation insurance comes handy.  While you are waiting to make the final call to cancel your trip, use the tracking maps and make this a learning experience.

Keep an eye on the weather in Martinique and the RADAR they provide.  A long range forecast is found here (in French).

03 August 2017

Charlies Bunion

Great hike for this weekend?  Try Charlies Bunion in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.