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.

How many World Series have seen Game 7 go to extra innings?

How many World Series have seen Game 7 go to extra innings?

The 2016 Cubs/Indians World Series was the 4th time.(Although in 1912 game 8 went extra innings-see below for more info on that)

World Series extra-innings in game 7
• 1924 Washington def N.Y. Giants 4-3 in 12
• 1991 Minnesota def Atlanta 1-0 in 10
• 1997 Florida beat Cleveland 3-2 in 11
• 2016 Cubs def Indians 8-7 in 10

*55 extra-inning games have been played in World Series history.

Source for above:  World Series extra-inning games:

Interesting fact: I was looking up world series game 7’s with extra innings and noticed in 1912 game 8 went to extra innings. 1912 was one of only four World Series to go to eight games, and the only best-of-seven Series to do so. While the 1912 Series was extended to eight games due to a tie game being called on account of darkness, the 1903, 1919, and 1921 World Series were all best-of-nine affairs that happened to run eight games.

Tsunami Balls-Survival Capsules

Call them what you like, these could save lives but until mass produced, they are very expensive.  Would these be a better way to go than building new tsunami wall for billions of dollars?

The Survival Capsule designed to withstand tsunamis, earthquakes and hurricanes (providing you’re not too claustrophobic!) Read more:



Read more:

The Sentinelese- perhaps the most isolated people in the world!

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.

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

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.

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:

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



Prince- does”Creep”at Coachella 2008

Prince gives the Coachella 2008 audience a treat and does a special cover of Creep, by Radiohead.  He definitely makes this version his own and like great cover songs, it isn’t simply him singing/playing the original, it is beautiful in a new, artistic way.

One of the most beautiful “covers” ever!  It stands on its own as a masterpiece!

I shared this with a friend and after listening to it, he said, “I have heard many musicians cover that song, but none did it that well.”

Prince didn’t cover a song, he possessed it. He took over its limbs and made it do things it had never done before—dance wildly down the aisles, scream, shout, and fall to the ground. When he covered a song, it got religion the way people only do in the movies.

State Trooper Buys Meal for Panhandler

State Trooper buys meal for panhandler in massachusetts

When an alleged panhandler spotted a Massachusetts State Trooper heading in her direction, she expected to be asked to move along, not treated to a meal.

Trooper Luke Bonin from the State Police Dartmouth Barracks was reportedly driving along when he spotted a woman in Fall River holding a sign, asking for help.

According to a Facebook post by Massachusetts State Police on the deed, that was when Bonin decided to continue driving, and picked up two meals for them to eat.

When the trooper pulled up to the woman, officials wrote, “thinking he was there to remove her from the side of the road, she immediately stated to him that she would leave.”

But Bonin reportedly replied, “I’m not here to kick you out.”

Instead, he pulled out the meals and asked her to take her pick.

And, unbeknownst to him at the time, a passerby snapped a photo that showed him perched on the cruiser’s bumper, chatting up the woman who made herself comfortable in the grass. Link:


Adam Levine does everything right!

Normally, my insecurities, ingrained into my DNA, and giving me an excuse to hate those guys who seem perfect, would not allow me to show any respect or give any praise to the extremely talented and super-nice-guy, Adam Levine.

He is just too cool and seems to be nice to everyone he meets.  He covers Prince’s Purple Rain for Howard’s birthday bash and the performance may be his best ever!

Adam Levine, Purple Rain

Adam Levine Performs  Purple Rain  At The Howard Stern Birthday Bash on SiriusXM   YouTube



Prince does “Creep” at 2008 Coachella- Beautiful!

One of the most beautiful “covers” ever!  It stands on its own as a masterpiece!

-Creep    Prince at Coachella 2008  Uploaded via Permission from Radiohead   NPG Music Publishing    YouTube

“Creep” – Prince at Coachella 2008 (Uploaded via Permission from Radiohead & NPG Music Publishing):


Tracking and Mapping Space Junk

More than 500,000 pieces of debris, or “space junk,” are tracked as they orbit the Earth. They all travel at speeds up to 17,500 mph, fast enough for a relatively small piece of orbital debris to damage a satellite or a spacecraft.

In the 50-plus years that humans have been zipping through space more than 6,000 satellites have been launched. While some have made their way back down to Earth, more than 3,600 remain in orbit.


  • It’s estimated that between 100 and 150 tons of space junk re-enters our atmosphere each year — with the vast majority of it burning up before it hits the ground.
  • Scientists are looking to develop methods of removing some of the space junk that’s currently in orbit.
  • Some worry that if we don’t act fast enough, the Kessler syndrome will be observed. This would occur if space debris continues to pile up, eventually reaching the point where it would be impossible to launch new objects without creating a collision.

SourceInteractive map shows how much space junk is flying around Earth

Stuff in Space

Stuff in Space.- Key-Legent

Stuff in Space
Stuff in Space is a realtime 3D map of objects in Earth orbit, visualized using WebGL. (Shown above)

The website updates daily with orbit data from and uses the excellent satellite.js Javascript library to calculate satellite positions.

Stuff in Space on GitHub, by James Yoder.:

The US. department of Defense maintains an accurate log of all the objects in the Earth’s orbit that are larger than a softball — and if you’d like to get an idea of what all that might look like, you can — via an interactive map called Orbital Objects.

The rising population of space debris increases the potential danger to all space vehicles, but especially to the International Space Station, space shuttles and other spacecraft with humans aboard.

NASA takes the threat of collisions with space debris seriously and has a long-standing set of guidelines on how to deal with each potential collision threat. These guidelines, part of a larger body of decision-making aids known as flight rules, specify when the expected proximity of a piece of debris increases the probability of a collision enough that evasive action or other precautions to ensure the safety of the crew are needed.

Space debris encompasses both natural (meteoroid) and artificial (man-made) particles. Meteoroids are in orbit about the sun, while most artificial debris is in orbit about the Earth. Hence, the latter is more commonly referred to as orbital debris.

Orbital debris is any man-made object in orbit about the Earth which no longer serves a useful function. Such debris includes nonfunctional spacecraft, abandoned launch vehicle stages, mission-related debris and fragmentation debris.

There are more than 20,000 pieces of debris larger than a softball orbiting the Earth. They travel at speeds up to 17,500 mph, fast enough for a relatively small piece of orbital debris to damage a satellite or a spacecraft. There are 500,000 pieces of debris the size of a marble or larger. There are many millions of pieces of debris that are so small they can’t be tracked.

Continue reading Tracking and Mapping Space Junk

The Final Days of Albert Einstein

This is from the Princeton University Press Blog,

November 24, 2015 by

In April of 1955, shortly after Einstein’s death, a pathologist removed his brain without the permission of his family, and stored it in formaldehyde until around 2007, shortly before dying himself. In that time, the brain of the man who has been credited with the some of the most beautiful and imaginative ideas in all of science was photographed, fragmented —small sections parceled to various researchers. His eyes were given to his ophthalmologist.

These indignities in the name of science netted several so-called findings—that the inferior parietal lobe, the part said to be responsible for mathematical reasoning was wider, that the unique makeup of the Sulvian fissure could have allowed more neurons to make connections. And yet, there remains the sense that no differences can truly account for the cognitive abilities that made his genius so striking.

Along with an exhaustive amount of information on  the personal, scientific, and public spheres of Einstein’s life, An Einstein Encyclopedia includes this well-known if macabre “brain in a jar” story. But there is a quieter one that is far more revealing of the man himself: The story in which Helen Dukas, Einstein’s longtime secretary and companion, recounts his last days. Dukas, the encyclopedia notes, was “well known for being intelligent, modest, shy, and passionately loyal to Einstein.” Her account is at once unsensational and unadorned.

One might expect a story of encroaching death, however restrained, to chronicle confusion and fear. Medically supported death was a regular occurrence by the middle of the 20th century, and Einstein died in his local hospital. But what is immediately striking from the account is the simplicity and calmness with which Einstein met his own passing, which he regarded as a natural event. The telling of this chapter is matter of fact, from his collapse at home, to his diagnosis with a hemorrhage, to his reluctant trip to the hospital and refusal of a famous heart surgeon. Dukas writes that he endured the pain from an internal hemorrhage (“the worst pain one can have”) with a smile, occasionally taking morphine. On his final day, during a respite from pain, he read the paper and talked about politics and scientific matters.

“You’re really hysterical—I have to pass on sometime, and it doesn’t really matter when.” he tells Dukas, when she rises in the night to check on him.

What did Einstein believe at the end? We can’t know, but An Einstein Encyclopedia opens with his own words,

Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose….To ponder interminably over the reason for one’s own existence or the meaning of life in general seems to me, from an objective point of view, to be sheer folly. And yet everyone holds certain ideals by which he guides his aspiration and his judgment. The ideals which have always shone before me and filled me with the joy of living are goodness, beauty, and truth. To make a goal of comfort or happiness has never appealed to me; a system of ethics built on this basis would be sufficient only for a herd of cattle.

Slurpee Waves

Jonathan Nimerfroh, a photographer and surfer in Nantucket, took this amazing photo on February 20, 2015 of an ocean wave, just before it freezes solid. He calls it a slurpee wave.
Jonathan Nimerfroh, a photographer and surfer in Nantucket, took this amazing photo on February 20, 2015 of an ocean wave, just before it freezes solid. He calls it a slurpee wave.

The February 2015 deep freeze of the eastern United States broke hundreds, maybe thousands of record daily low temperatures. A photographer who is also a surfer in Nantucket, photographed some partially frozen waves on February 20, 2015, just before they froze solid.  He calls them slurpee waves.

Nimerfroh said he returned the following day to the same beach. That day it was a few degrees colder still and the water had completely frozen. He said: “Nothing was moving. There were no waves anymore.”

Even experts commented that they had not seen waves like this before.

  • Helen Fricker, a glaciologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, who studies the dynamics of ice flows in Antarctica, told the New York Times that a full scientific explanation was “outside her expertise.”
  • Erin Pettit, a glaciologist at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, added that waves in Alaska tend to break up sea ice and said, “I have never seen frozen waves like this.”

EarthSky: Slushy wave off coast of Nantucket

New York Times- Article on the wave

Jonathan Nimerfroh’s collection of Slurpee Waves

Macau dwarfs Las Vegas!

Macau is exploding.  The Asian gambling city dwarfs Las Vegas!
Macau is exploding. The Asian gambling city dwarfs Las Vegas!


Las Vegas is the gambling center of the world, right?  Very wrong!  Macau has surpassed Las Vegas and Atlantic City and as of early 2014 has 7 times the gambling revenues of Las Vegas.  The Chinese territory reported gambling revenue of 360 billion patacas ($45 billion) for 2013, an increase of almost 20% over the previous year.  The city of Macau, pronounced Ma COW  is just 64 kilometers (about 40 miles) from Hong Kong.  The former colony of Portugal was transferred over to Chinese control in 1999.  Hong Kong was a former British colony and went to Chinese control two years earlier,  in 1997. The cities are  Special Administrative Regions of the People’s Republic of China,

Macau’s casino revenues overtook those of Las Vegas back in 2006.
Macau’s economy is growing at a rate of 19 percent per year—faster than mainland China.
In Macau, most of the revenue comes from gaming tables—not slot machines. The most popular game is baccarat.

The 2,200 room Galaxy Macau, opened in 2011 and cost $1.9 Billion.

The Sands’ owner, Sheldon Adelson, has vowed to build a replica of the Las Vegas strip on an artificial pier between two Macau islands.

Read more:

Read more:
The dark side of Asia’s gambling Mecca:

45 Interesting things about Macau:

Portuguese egg tarts are Macau's most famous and popular local snack
Portuguese egg tarts are Macau’s most famous and popular local snack.  



Kim Jong Un Missing?

Looking for Kim Jong Un
Looking for their leader?

Is Kim Jong Un laying low due to an injury, or has he possibly been overthrown?  Has there been a coup in North Korea and those who are now in charge are keeping it secret to maintain political stability?

Kim Jong Un is the thrid in the line of succession to lead the reclusive, communist state.  His father, Kim Jong Il, took overl when revolutionary leader, Kim Il-sung died in 1994.  Kim Jong Il ruled until his death in 2011, whereupon his third son, Kim Jong Un gained control and became the new leader.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un absent at major event, but there are indicators he’s still in charge: Seattle Times

Apparently some in China refer to Kim Jung Un as “Fatty the Third”: Wash Post article

Kim Jong Un Misses Shrine Visit:  CNN Article

Where in the World is Kim Jong Un?:  MSNBC Video

Kim Jong Un loojking at a sock
Kim Jong Un loojking at a sock

Interesting website of Kim Jong Un “looking at things”: http://kimjongunloo

Looking at a snack!
Looking at a snack!

Belmont Stakes 2014- Pedigree

Is this finally the year of the elusive 12th Triple Crown?

Some information from

There are few horses in the history of racing with as much momentum as California Chrome carries into the Belmont Stakes, and the horse’s hopes of winning the Triple Crown are the most realistic in a long time.

Not only did California Chrome win at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, but he also won at the Santa Anita Derby, San Felipe Stakes, California Cup Derby and King Glorious Stakes

For a horse that is the son of a $8,000 mare and was studded for $2,500, few expected him to be a serious contender. As the distant relative of Seattle Slew (1977 Triple Crown winner), racing in big events is in his blood.

Horse racing insider Bill Oppenheim … about how tough the profession of breeding horses is and how hard it is to find a challenger worthy of winning all three races:

“I think it’s important to remember that it’s livestock being bred here, and you can only be so precise when you’re trying to breed. Even when we’re talking about human beings, full brothers and sisters can be vastly different, not only in temperament but in looks.

You always shoot for the best, but breeding is different from racing, so more of the genetics apply. It’s not one of those deals where you breed the best with the best and come out with the best. That’s not how it works.”

Source: Belmont Stakes Picks 2014

Daily Racing Form‘s John P.Sparkman penned an excellent analysis on how well California Chrome’s bloodlines compared to previous Triple Crown winners:

“…there is no way to argue that Lucky Pulpit is anywhere close to the same class as either a racehorse or sire as the sires of the 11 previous Triple Crown winners.”

If California Chrome can pull off the spectacular and take first place at the Belmont Stakes, the victory would prove to be even more amazing considering his underwhelming pedigree. Secretariat and Seattle Slew—Triple Crown winners in the 1970s—are buried deep within his bloodlines and could be an ancestral explanation for this horse’s surprising display of strength and speed in 2014.

Source: 2014 Belmont Stakes Field

Google Converter Tool

Click on graphic above for acutal tool.  You can also use link included below this image.
Click on graphic above for acutal tool. You can also use link included below this image.

Use this tool to make easy conversions. Link:  Conversion Tool  You can change the cateogories, then select variables for the units of measurement for each category.

Click “More Info” (Green arrow in above image) for this link: Calculator and unit converter

The Fifth Down- Why to not punt!

Punting.  Giving the ball to the opponent.  Giving away scoring opportunities.

Here is a good way to sum it up:

Here’s a thought exercise for you. Imagine that for decades no one ever thought of the punt. Teams knew nothing else than to run or pass on 4th down. And then one day it’s invented. Some guy comes up to a coach and says, “Kick the ball on every 4th down and the other team gets possession 37 yards further down the field.” The coach would think he was crazy: “Wait, you want me to give up one quarter of my opportunities for a first down on every series…just for 35 yards of field position? Do you realize how much that’s going to kill our chances of scoring?”

Every single serious study of 4th-down decisions has found that, in most situations, teams would be better off by going for the conversion attempt rather than kicking.



NFL Win Probability Widget

This is a widget from that shows the win probability of any NFL team users select.

NCAA Football Week 4-

College Football TV Schedule:
Graph link modified to Seahawks:



Caddie Steve Williams gives great advice to golfer Adam Scott!

Steve Williams was Tiger Woods’ caddy for 12 years, from 1999 -2011, during the pinacle of his career.  When Woods took a break from golf,  Williams had caddied for Adam Scott in the 2011 U.S. Open and 2011 Open Championship.  Woods announced on July 20, 2011 that Williams would no longer be his caddy. Williams released the following statement on his official website:

“Following the completion of the AT&T National I am no longer caddying for Tiger after he informed me that he needed to make a change. After 13 years of loyal service needless to say this came as a shock. Given the circumstances of the past 18 months working through Tiger’s scandal, a new coach and with it a major swing change and Tiger battling through injuries I am very disappointed to end our very successful partnership at this time. I have had the opportunity to work of late for Australian Adam Scott and will now caddy for him on a permanent basis. Having started my caddying career with Australian great Peter Thompson and working for Greg Norman in the ’80s I am excited about the future working for another Australian.”   It is estimated he earned $12m working for Woods.

Nearly two years later, Williams was on the bag for Adam Scott at the Masters, and even helped him win it with a clutch read on the winning putt.

Scott and Williams celebrate 2013 Masters

“The winning putt might be the highlight of my career, because he asked me to read it,” Williams told The Associated Press. Link:  HERE

Scott said after the round that it was dark and he had trouble reading his putt on the second playoff hole. So called over Williams for help.  Story on this:  HERE

Scott and Williams high five after Williams helps read a putt for Scott

“I don’t get him to read too many putts. He said it’s at least two cups, it’s going to break more than you think. I said, ‘I’m good with that.’ He was my eyes on that putt. It managed to hang in. Amazing feeling.”

Read more: HERE


Luna Mimics Outboard Engine

Luna (September 19, 1999 – March 10, 2006) also known as L98 or Tsuux’iit, was a killer whale (orca) born in Puget Sound. After being separated from his mother as a toddler, Luna spent five years in Nootka Sound, off the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Although Luna was healthy and his presence in the area delighted tourists and drew a large paparazzi, there were concerns that his behavior was endangering people. After years of debate, the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) authorized an effort in June 2004 to capture Luna and return him to his family. However, the plan was ultimately thwarted by the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nations, who believed Luna was a reincarnation of a former chief. The orca was killed by a tugboat in 2006.  Source:

Here is Luna imitating a boat engine:


GOP Party of the Rich

Great Rolling Stone article:

After taking office, Clinton immediately seized the mantle of fiscal discipline from Republicans. Rather than simply trimming the federal deficit, as his GOP predecessors had done, he set out to balance the budget and begin paying down the national debt. To do so, he hiked the top tax bracket to nearly 40 percent and boosted the corporate tax rate to 35 percent. “It cost him both houses of Congress in the 1994 midterm elections,” says Chafee, the former GOP senator. “But taming the deficit led to the best economy America’s ever had.” Following the tax hikes of 1993, the economy grew at a brisk clip of 3.2 percent, creating more than 11 million jobs. Average wages ticked up, and stocks soared by 78 percent. By the spring of 1997, the federal budget was headed into the black.

10 Greatest Race Horses?

  1. Secretariat – 16 wins from 21 starts. The greatest of the great, his triple crown campaign, during which he set official track records at Churchill Downs and Belmont Park, and an unofficial track record at Pimlico, will never be exceeded or even matched. Pity poor Sham, an outstanding race horse in his own right, who was a game second in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness before being annihilated with all the rest in Secretariat’s incomparable Belmont Stakes win, during which he set a world record for 12 furlongs that still stands to this day.
  2. Man o’ War – 20 wins from 21 starts. Man o’ War was the first great race horse to really capture the public’s imagination and raise horse racing in the public consciousness. His lone loss, ironically to a horse named Upset, came during his 2-year-old season in the 1919 but hardly mars an otherwise dominating career.
  3. Seattle Slew – 14 wins from 17 starts. Undefeated as a 2-year-old, Triple Crown winner at 3. His Kentucky Derby win, which came despite being rushed to the lead by Jean Cruguet after an awkward start, may be the greatest ever. Crushed Affirmed in their two meetings a Belmont Park in the fall of 1978.
  4. Spectacular Bid – 26 wins from 30 starts. Champion two and three-year old. Only denied a Triple Crown by a poorly judged ride in the Belmont Stakes by Ron Franklin. A threat to break the track record every time he stepped on the race track, his astonishing 1:57.4 in the 1980 Strub still stands as the record for 10 furlongs at Santa Anita
  5. Kelso – 39 wins from 63 starts. The only gelding on the list, “Mighty” Kelso, as he was inevitably described, was named Horse of the Year an incredible five times from 1960-1964, a feat that will surely never be matched. Perhaps not as consistent as others on this list, but his durability and willingness to take on all comers more than compensates.
  6. Native Dancer – 21 wins from 22 starts. Only a narrow loss to Dark Star after a rough trip in the 1953 Kentucky Derby blemishes an otherwise perfect career
  7. Dr. Fager – 18 wins from 22 starts. There’s fast, faster, and Dr. Fager. Twice named champion sprinter, and once Horse of the Year, he was among the best from 7 furlongs to 1 1/4 miles.
  8. Miesque – 14 wins from 18 starts. The only filly, the only foreign-bred, and the only turf horse on this list, which says something about her greatness. 15 of her 16 starts came in Group 1 or Grade 1 races, but her crowning achievement is surely her back to back victories in the Breeders Cup Mile, both in utterly dominant style.
  9. Holy Bull – 13 wins from 16 starts. Brilliant, precocious, altogether the greatest horse of the 1990’s (only Cigar can rival him). He might rank higher on this list if not for an unaccountably disastrous performance as the 2-1 favorite in the 1994 Kentucky Derby.
  10. Affirmed – 22 wins from 29 starts. His Triple Crown battles with Alydar will never by forgotten. His heart and intelligence combined with speed and stamina to make him one of the all time great champions. Beat Spectacular Bid in their only meeting, but was beaten handily by Seattle Slew in their two races.

Honorable Mentions: Sunday Silence, Easy Goer, Buckpasser, Ghostzapper, Count Fleet, War Admiral, Seabiscuit, Damascus, Cigar, Personal Ensign, Ruffian, Risen Star, John Henry, Swaps.


Smoking Humpy (pink) Salmon

Late August and early September in PNW

Walked down an alley in Everett, WA and smoke was pouring out of this little, wooden shack.  A wooden sign on it said “Smoke house.”  Every other year, the Pink Salmon (Humpy) runs are incredible in the Pacific Northwest, as the fish head back to their birthplace to spawn and keep the cycle going.  Some get caught along the way, cleaned, and hung in cool little shacks like this to be cured with smoke, a tasty way to preserve and enjoy the fish!

A tax cut the GOP doesn’t like!

Portions below from  September, 9, 2011

“Republicans are steadfastly opposed to raising taxes,” said Adam Serwer in “Except when they aren’t.”  President Obama wants Congress to extend the payroll tax holiday, which he pushed through last year.  It  put more money in average Americans’ pockets and may stimulate the economy a bit.  It is temporary and reduces Social Security deductions from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent.  Works out to about $1,000 annually for most working families.  Republicans say they are opposed to extending the payroll tax cut for another year, even though last year they aggressively defended the extension of tax cuts for the wealthy.  Even more puzzling is that Republicans introduced and passed a temporary payroll tax cut to stimulate the economy during the recession in 2001 and again in 2008, when George W. Bush was president.

“The GOP was happy to cut the payroll tax to boost economic growth.”  Jonathan Chait in

“I know some of you have sworn oaths to never raise any taxes on anyone for as long as you live,” Obama told a joint session of Congress on Thursday night. “Now is not the time to carve out an exception and raise middle-class taxes.”

James Fallows,

“I had thought that Republican absolutism about taxes, while harmful to the country and out of sync with even the party’s own Reaganesque past, at least had the zealot’s virtue of consistency. Now we see that it can be set aside when it applies to poorer people, and when setting it aside would put maximum drag on the economy as a whole. So this means that its real guiding principle is… ??? You tell me.”  James Fallows

Reminds me of this post from last year:

White House Beer

President Obama, VP Biden, Sgt. Crowley and Professor Gates sit down for a cold one and settle their differences.  Some idiot US Rep. from Wyoming, Jan Lamier, is complaining about it, saying “we are at war.”  Who started the war?

When you are slamming somebody for trying to improve relationships, I think you are grasping at straws.

Secretariat Still Best Ever

Best Ever
Best Ever

His record still stands, Secretariat ran the fastest Kentucky Derby ever, in 1973.  Second fastest ever was Sham, who took 2nd that year to Secretariat.  This is one record that I hope will never fall.

Read through the above link for some amazing facts.  His huge heart, his burial, he was listed 35th on ESPN’s top 100 athletes of the 20th century.   His 31 length victory in the Belmont is still a record in G-1 races.

In the 1973 Kentucky Derby, on his way to a still-standing track record (1:59 2/5), he ran each quarter-mile segment faster than the one before it. The successive quarter-mile times were: 25 1/5, 24, 23 4/5, 23 2/5, and 23. This means he was still accelerating as of the final quarter-mile of the race. It would be 28 years before any other horse would win the Derby in less than 2 minutes (Monarchos  in 2001).

Secretariat was mourned by millions and buried at Clairborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky, given the rare honor of being buried whole; usually only the head, heart and hooves of a winning race horse are buried, the rest cremated. Post-mortem exam showed that his heart weighed 22 pounds, the largest ever recorded for a racehorse.

Here’s to you Big Red!

Tough Dogs

Check out this story, future Disney movie. I heard the dog was spotted near Boise.  It “may” be working its way home to Kelso. This story may or may not have happened:’

 And this dog story from Australia: (fell off a sailboat, swam to an island and survived by eating goats)

More money for education

“One of the greatest injustices is that America’s best teachers overwhelmingly teach America’s most privileged students. In contrast, the most disadvantaged students invariably get the least effective teachers, year after year — until they drop out.:

Virtual Doctor

As more and more of our lives migrate to the cyber-world, visits to doctors may also go online.  Virtual clinics, online house calls and other various websites mmay really change the future of health care;

Israel begins ground war in Gaza

Tragic situation in Gaza, hundreds of greiving families, saddness beyond belief.  I go back to the main question.   What should Israel do?    According to news reports, many Palistinians and Arabs are asking why Obama hasn’t been more involved.  What should he do?

Bomb explodes over Gaza
Bomb explodes over GazaMap of Gaza

Location of Shadybrook Mobile Village

This is the place  where I lived for awhile in Ellensburg, Wa.  It has a babbling brook, and shady trees, and is a little chunk of paradise in Central Washington!

Israel- What would you do?

Things have changed, Iran may get the bomb, Hezbollah and Hamas threaten, the world is shrinking and Israel is probably more vulnerable.  Another great article from the Opinion of NY Times:

Future for NASA

Here is an article about future NASA Spacecraft

and  slide show:

And a very cool interactive graphic: