Pacific Northwest from Space

A very nice shot of the Pacific Northwest with minimal cloud cover.  Notice the Willamette Valley in Western Oregon.

Pacific Northwest from space
Pacific Northwest from space. Vancouver Island is prominent in the top center of the photo. In the lower center the Willamette Valley can be seen running north from southern Oregon up to Portland.
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The Sentinelese- perhaps the most isolated people in the world!

sentinel-island
Sentinelese on the beach of North Sentinel Island fiercely defend heir home.

North Sentinel Island is in the Bay of Bengal, in the waters east of India. The Sentinelese inhabit the island and have an estimated population of anywhere from 50-500.  They are aggressively defensive of their island and fend off visitors with arrows and stones and have even killed to keep visitors away from their home.  After multiple failed attempts to communicate with the Sentinelese, the Indian Government has declared North Sentinel Island off -limits and has imposed a 3 mile no-trespassing boundary around the island.

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North Sentinel Island,- The Indian government has officially closed the island and made it illegal for anyone to visit – It is dangerous to outsiders trying to make contact and potentially devastating to the Sentinelese- who have no immunities to diseases such as smallpox, measles, and influenza.

 

A few days after the devastating tsunami in 2004, which killed more than 200, 000 and wiped out nearby islands, the Indian Government sent a helicopter to the island to

In 1981, the ship Primrose ran aground on the coral reef, which surrounds North Sentinel Island.  A few days later, the crew noticed “small black men” carrying spears and arrows and building boats on the beach.  Sensing imminent danger the captain radioed for Sentinelese could reach them.  The tribe used scrap metal from the abandoned boat to build weapons and tools

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Sentinelese chasing potential visitors away1

In 2007,  two fishermen fell asleep in their boat, anchored with a rock tied to a rope.  The anchor failed and the boat drifted near the island and inside the coral reef.   The Sentinelese promptly killed the men andburried them in shallow graves, giving others a grim warning sign to stay away from North Sentinel Island or risk death!

The dense forest canopy makes it impossible to get an accurate count of the tribe.

The Sentinelese survived the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and its after-effects, including the tsunami and the uplifting of the island. Three days after the event, an Indian government helicopter observed several of them, who shot arrows and threw stones at the hovering aircraft.  Although the tsunami disturbed the fishing grounds of the Sentinelese, they appear to have adapted.

Since 1947, India has administered the island as part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Union Territory.  However, because there has never been any treaty with the people of the island, nor any record of a physical occupation whereby the people of the island have conceded sovereignty, the island exists in a curious state of limbo under established international law and can be seen as a sovereign entity under Indian protection. It is, therefore, one of the de facto autonomous regions of India.

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Sentinelese trying to repel a helicopter with bows and arrows. (/the are quite accurate and deadly up to 30 ft)

The Andaman and Nicobar Administration has stated in 2005 that they have no intention to interfere with the lifestyle or habitat of the Sentinelese and are not interested in pursuing any further contact with them.   Wikipedia- North_Sentinel_Island

After the 2004 tsunami showed the dangerous tribal species, the world was still unaware of them: http://therednews.com/News/1913/indian-sentinel-island-where-untouched-human-living

North_Sentinel_Island
The canopy of vegetation covers almost everything on North Sentinel Island, even when looking at the island from satellite view, making it difficult to get an accurate count of people living on the island or seeing how they live.

 

The Lost Fabergé Egg

In Imperial Russia, Easter was special, even more special for the Empress, who was the recipient each year of an amazing present, a Fabergé Egg.  Each year, a new, unique egg was given to the Empress by the  Tsar, (First Alexander III, then Nicolas II) and made by Peter Carl Fabergé, a Russian jeweller who made his creations of precious metals and gemstones, in the style of Easter eggs.

In 1885, Tsar Alexander III commissioned Fabergé’s  company to make an Easter egg as a gift for his wife, the Empress Maria. The Tsar placed an order for another egg the following year. Beginning in 1887, the Tsar apparently gave Carl Fabergé complete freedom with regard to egg designs, which then became more and more elaborate. According to Fabergé Family tradition, not even the Tsar knew what form they would take—the only stipulation was that each one should contain a surprise. The next Tsar, Nicholas II, ordered two eggs each year, one for his mother and one for his wife, Alexandra.  Wikipedia- Carl Fabergé

The Russian Revolution changed everything and In 1918, The House of Fabergé was nationalized by the Bolsheviks and Fabergé fled to Switzerland. He never recovered from the shock of the Russian Revolution and died in Switzerland on September 24, 1920. His family believed he died of a broken heart. according to his family.

Some eggs were lost in the transition from Imperial Russia to the Soviet Union. Some eggs were sold the Soviets to the west. Eight of them are missing, and only three are believed to have survived the revolution. Now, one of the missing eggs has been found. Here is the story of an egg that was lost, only to show up in an unlikely place…

The Lost Third Imperial Easter Egg By Carl Fabergé- LINK

Easter is the most important of all Russian Orthodox festivals and it’s a long-established tradition to exchange Easter eggs. Carl Fabergé, goldsmith to the Tsars, created the lavish Imperial Easter eggs for both Alexander III and Nicholas II from 1885 to 1916. The Eggs are his most prized creations and have become bywords of luxury and craftsmanship.

The Third Imperial Egg
The Third Imperial Egg is a 1887 Fabergé egg rediscovered in 2012. It is a Vacheron Constantin Lady’s watch, with white enamel dial and openwork diamond set gold hands.

 

This egg was last seen in public over 112 years ago, when it was shown in the Von Dervis Mansion exhibition of the Russian Imperial Family’s Fabergé collection in St. Petersburg in March 1902. In the turmoil of the Russian revolution the Bolsheviks confiscated the Egg from the Empress. It was last recorded in Moscow in 1922 when the Soviets decided to sell it as part of their policy of turning ‘Treasures into Tractors’. Its fate after this point was unknown and it is was feared it could have been melted for its gold and lost forever.

It was only in 2011 that Fabergé researchers discovered that the Third Imperial Egg survived the revolution, when it was discovered in an old Parke-Bernet catalogue. Its provenance had been unknown and so it was sold at auction on Madison Avenue, New York on 7th March 1964 as a ‘Gold watch in egg form case’ for $2,450 (£875 at the time). This discovery started a worldwide race to discover the whereabouts of the egg, which was now worth tens of millions of dollars….

Continue with the link: The Lost Third Imperial Easter Egg By Carl Fabergé

 

 

Pike Place Market Bubble Gum Wall – Cleaned of Decay

Evoking lips by Man Ray, many pieces of gum went into this attachment to Post Alley's Gum Wall. Scheduled to be cleaned in a week.  (Tuesday Nov 3, 2015)  Seattle Times
Evoking lips by Man Ray, many pieces of gum went into this attachment to Post Alley’s Gum Wall.  Scheduled to be cleaned in a week. (Tuesday Nov 3, 2015) Seattle Times

Seattle’s Pike Place Market is a very popular tourist attraction and one of my favorite things to do at the market is to visit and even make a contribution to the Pike Place Bubble Gum Wall.  That will all change when the wall is scrubbed clean next week. Officials admit the gum will probably return, but they feel the accumulation is too much and must be removed.

Some Facts:

  • The gum wall is cleaned “every other month” with a steamer, but this will be the first time all the gum is removed
  • The Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority (PDA) has hired a contractor, Cascadian Building Maintenance, “because it’s going to be a very large job.”
  • The gum will be removed with an “industrial steam machine that works like a pressure washer.”
  • The machine will melt the gum with 280-degree steam; it will fall to the ground, and a two- to three-man crew will collect the gum in five-gallon buckets.
  • “This is probably the weirdest job we’ve done,” Kelly Foster, of Cascadian Building Maintenance
  • The PDA estimates 1 million pieces of gum are adhered to the walls of Post Alley, and the buildup is in some places 6 inches thick. The cleaning job is expected to cost $4,000.
  • Crawford said the gum needs to be cleaned off the walls to preserve the historic buildings in the Market district. “It was never part of the charter or the history of the Market to have the walls covered with gum,” she said. “Gum is made of chemicals, sugar, additives. Things that aren’t good for us. I can’t imagine it’s good for brick.”
  • The job will likely take three or four days.
  • “We’re not saying it can’t come back,” Crawford said. “We need to wipe the canvas clean and keep (it) fresh.”

Source: http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/pike-place-market-to-give-post-alley-gum-wall-a-scrubdown/

           

American Pharoah is Triple Crown Winner # 12!

Triple Crown Winners

Sir Barton – 1919
Gallant Fox – 1930
Omaha – 1935
War Admiral – 1937
Whirlaway – 1941
Count Fleet – 1943
Assault – 1946
Citation – 1948
Secretariat – 1973
Seattle Slew – 1977
Affirmed – 1978
American Pharoah – 2015

Sir Barton – 1919    Gallant Fox –1930      Omaha – 1935      War Admiral – 1937      Whirlaway – 1941     Count Fleet – 1943 Assault – 1946 Citation – 1948 Secretariat – 1973 Seattle Slew – 1977 Affirmed – 1978     American Pharoah – 2015

To read more about each triple crown winner, click on any of the 12 names above

Triple Crown Records:

Kentucky Derby- 1:5925, Secretariat, 1973
Preakness Stakes- 1:53, Secretariat, 1973 
Belmont Stakes- 2:24, Secretariat, 1973 

Should Clarence Thomas Speak in Court?

US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas doesn't speak in court
US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas doesn’t speak in court.

United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was nominated by George H.W. Bush, in 1991 to succeed Thurgood Marshall.  He was narolloly confirmed by the US Senate and has since had a strange presence on the court, speaking or asking questions almost never and going almost 7 years without speaking at all.  In 2013 he cracked a joke, surprising many that he had spoken at all.

Thomas’s confirmation hearings were bitter and intensely fought, centering on an accusation that he had sexually harassed—or engaged in unseemly behavior toward—attorneyAnita Hill, a subordinate at the Department of Education and subsequently at the EEOC. The U.S. Senate ultimately confirmed Thomas by a vote of 52–48 then confirmed after a media filled US Senate hearing. (Wikipedia)

Since joining the Court, Thomas has taken a textualist approach, seeking to uphold what he sees as the original meaning of the United States Constitutionand statutes. He is generally viewed as the most conservative member of the Court (Wikipedia)

Read more:

Clarence Thomas’s Disgraceful Silence – His behavior on the bench has gone from curious to bizarre to downright embarrassing, for himself and for the institution he represents.

Who Cares About Clarence Thomas’s Silence?–  His jurisprudential vision is unattractive in many respects, but he’s far from unqualified or incompetent, and his silence at oral arguments is an interesting trivia question but really nothing more than that.