Searching for contentment

Contemplating:
Warming Stripes for Colorado from 1895-2018

#ShowYourStripes

The Show Your Stripes website provides an interactive tool that creates temperature stripes for different areas of the world. The one for Colorado, the state where I live, confirms my experience of the change that is occurring.

Excerpts from their FAQ:

These 'warming stripe' graphics are visual representations of the change in temperature as measured in each country over the past 100+ years. Each stripe represents the temperature in that country averaged over a year. For most countries, the stripes start in the year 1901 and finish in 2018. For the UK, USA, Switzerland & Germany, the data starts in the late 19th century.

For virtually every country or region, the stripes turn from mainly blue to mainly red in more recent years, illustrating the rise in average temperatures in that country.

For most countries, the data comes from the Berkeley Earth temperature dataset, updated to the end of 2018. For some countries (USA, UK, Switzerland & Germany) the data comes from the relevant national meteorological agency. For each country, the average temperature in 1971 - 2000 is set as the boundary between blue and red colours, and the colour scale varies from +/- 2.6 standard deviations of the annual average temperatures between 1901-2000.

Website: Show Your Stripes
Graphics and lead scientist: Ed Hawkins
Data: Berkeley Earth, NOAA, UK Met Office, MeteoSwiss, DWD.
#ShowYourStripes

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Living in the Rockies

Came across a Gaillardia on my walk today unlike any I've seen before, tinged with a beautiful reddish blush. It's interesting because there are Gaillardia blooming all along the several mile walk I take, but this is the only cluster with the reddish blush. Nature is always surprising me.

Blushing Gaillardia

Higher res version of this photo >
More recent photos >

Reading: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

A Story of Justice and Redemption

Just Mercy by Bryan StevensonNarrated by the author

Bryan Stephenson is a person of amazing grace and compassion. As a lawyer and the executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, he fights to bring justice to wrongly convicted death row inmates. His story is a sobering and troubling look at injustice that plagues our justice system, and an invitation to us to glimpse the humanity of those on death row.

Finally, and most important, I told those gathered in the church that Walter had taught me that mercy is just when it is rooted in hopefulness and freely given. Mercy is most empowering, liberating, and transformative when it directed at the undeserving; the people who haven't earned it, who haven't even sought it, are the most meaningful recipients of our compassion.

Random House, 2014

More recent reading >

Woodworking: Windtraveler lamp

The Windtraveler shoji lamp

Dedicated to my good friend Thomas Hey'l
who has inspired me to look at design more deeply
and to take even more care about precision.

More about this project >
More woodworking >

Tool reviews: Window tools

For someone like me, owning a home for twenty years means I've done just about every kind of handyperson remodeling and repair job imaginable, from plumbing to electrical, painting to insulation, and on and on. But one thing I had never needed to do, thank goodness, was to replace a large double-pane piece of glass. We did replace all of the windows in the house when we first moved here, but never the glass in an installed window.

Then one day I was out doing something I've done for many years, using a grass trimmer to cut down the tall grasses growing where we hang our clothes, and suddenly I heard a crack followed by a very strange sound. I took off my ear protectors and discovered that the sound I was hearing was of a large sheet of tempered glass forming thousands of cracked pieces spidering outward from where a stone my trimmer had kicked up had struck it. See the large vinyl windows in the background of the following photo? It was one of them. Oh shit!

New clothesline in our backyard

More of this tool review >
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Ham radio: Reflections of an amateur⩘ 

My HT: Kenwood TH-D74A

Although I'm still relatively new to the universe of amateur radio, where there are active hams who have been playing around with it since the 1950s, I've already enjoyed enough interesting learning experiences as well as stubbed my toes enough times to have gained a few insights. I'm a non-technical user figuring things out as I go along, and I'm writing these articles as my way to keep track of what I'm learning (and also just for fun, as I love writing as much as learning). Basically, this is info I wish I had found online when I was browsing for insights: AmateurRadioNotes.com⩘ .

Playing with Pi-Star⩘ 
More amateur radio⩘ 

Perspective

Sharks kill an average of 10 people per year. People kill around 100,000,000 sharks per year 1. People also kill approximately 425,000 people per year, topped only by mosquitoes, which kill about 725,000 people per year 2.

And we worry about sharks?

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People walk at an average pace of about 2.5 miles per hour.
Trail winding up Cow Creek valley by Toshen
Meanwhile, light travels about 186,000 miles per second, or about 11,160,000 miles per hour. It would take light about 0.13 seconds to travel around the Earth,
Blue Marble, 2012. Credit: NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring
1.3 seconds to travel the 238,900 miles from the moon to the Earth,
Big end-of-year moon by Toshen
8.3 minutes to travel the 93,000,000 miles from the sun to Earth, and 1.3 hours to travel the 890,000,000 miles from the sun to Saturn.
Saturn. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
At the scale of the solar system, the Earth is a spec of dust (1,300,000 Earths could fit within our sun).
Sun, from the video Fiery Looping Rain on the Sun. Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO
Our sun, as big as it is, is just a tiny twinkle of light in a suburb of the Milky Way galaxy. Its light takes 28,000 years to travel to the center of the Milky Way.
The Milky Way in Yosemite by bgwashburn is licensed under CC BY 2.0 (cropped)
One light year is just short of 6,000,000,000,000 miles. The Milky Way has a diameter between 150,000 and 200,000 light-years, and contains between 100,000,000,000 - 400,000,000,000 stars, which together create a smidgen of light in our local group of galaxies.
The Milky Way: VL test PSP8 by gjdonatiello is licensed under CC CC0 1.0 (cropped) The light of the Milky Way takes about 2,500,000 years to travel just to the nearby Andromeda galaxy.
Andromeda. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
The observable universe is estimated to contain somewhere between 200,000,000,000 - 2,000,000,000,000 galaxies.
Hubble eXtreme Deep Field (XDF). Credit: NASA, ESA, G. Illingworth, D. Magee, and P. Oesch (University of California, Santa Cruz), R. Bouwens (Leiden University), and the HUDF09 Team

And we worry about anything?

All distances and times are approximate.
Inspiration: "New 3D map of the Milky Way shows we live in a warped galaxy," NBC News, Feb 5, 2019.
A related video: Hubble Legacy Field Zoom-Out.
Another related video: The Exhilarating Peace of Freediving by Guillaume Néry (really, it's related).
Related project: A team of five French amateur astrophotographers has assembled an amazing gallery of deep space images from their observatory in Chile: Ciel Austral, which means Southern Sky.

Image credits: