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Double Crested Cormorant September 18, 2018

Posted by Sobek in News.
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So named because during mating season, it gets big white plumes of feathers on either side of the head, which makes it look very much like Bernie Sanders.

Ibn Tulun Mosque, Cairo September 18, 2018

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The oldest mosque in Cairo still surviving in its original form, and the largest in terms of land area. It was completed in 879 AD.

Untitled September 17, 2018

Posted by Sobek in News.


Common Grackle September 14, 2018

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Net Neutrality Explained September 12, 2018

Posted by Retired Geezer in Crime, Economics.

September 2018 Employment Report September 7, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.

The Employment Situation Summary report is out today, with some accolades from the press for “Higher Than Expected Job Growth“. By the IB employment metric, however, we’ve had no real progress in almost a year.


The IB metric is a harsh one, only counting full-time jobs, and dividing by the civilian non-institutional population rather than the working population. But it’s a fair measure of how tough life is: it counts how many people with decent jobs are supporting how many people.

And by that measure, we’ve stalled out since last September. At least we’re still above 0.5, though.

About That Missing American Flag in ‘First Man’ August 31, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.

So the (supposedly very good otherwise) movie about Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon didn’t include the planting of the American flag.

“I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement (and) that’s how we chose to view it,” he said. “I also think Neil was extremely humble, as were many of these astronauts, and time and time again he deferred the focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the mission possible.”

“So I don’t think that Neil viewed himself as an American hero,” Gosling told the Telegraph. “From my interviews with his family and people that knew him, it was quite the opposite. And we wanted the film to reflect Neil.”

So, in a landmark space mission where weight is essential, mission planners decided to build a custom designed flag assembly to carry to the moon because . . . it wasn’t important? There certainly was a sentiment that the achievement was an advancement for all mankind, but the fact that Americans spent 7 years and the equivalent of $65 billion/year (2015 dollars), and that American lives were on the line when the mission was conducted, certainly suggests that some Canadian actor shouldn’t be trying to diminish the American contribution.

Finally, I’m willing to buy that Neil Armstrong didn’t view himself as an ‘American hero’ because I doubt he viewed himself as a hero.

But I’m pretty sure he thought of himself as an American.

Some birds August 29, 2018

Posted by Sobek in News.

Brown-headed Cowbird and Bullock’s Oriole:




Bobolink August 28, 2018

Posted by Sobek in News.


I had never heard of a bird called a Bobolink before. They have this weird blonde patch on the back of their heads and a very interesting shape to their beaks. I assume this guy was burping when the picture was taken.

June 2018 Exports Data August 28, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
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I suddenly recalled that I hadn’t done the exports graph for the month, so here it is in all its belated glory:


Looks like they took a breather in June. The data for July should be out within 10 days; hopefully we’ll see a resurgence of growth.

Unless the Trump tariffs suppress it.

Rental Rates Across the Land August 28, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
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From HowMuch.net, we have a lovely little chart telling you what monthly income you’d need to rent an average unit in each state.


You can see how nasty prices have gotten in my state (Colorado) due to the influx of fleeing Californians and marijuana lovers.

Via MarketWatch.

Terrifying Nature Lesson August 27, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.
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Ran across this Costa Rican video of the devious and persistent nature of army ants.

No place is safe.