Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog
Tuesday 28 July 2015

I really love my camera:

Tuesday 28 July 2015 14:19:26 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Baseball | Photography | Travel#

While in Phoenix, I took an unscheduled side-trip to Rúla Búla in Tempe:

The bar features prominently in Kevin Hearne's Hounded series, which one of my oldest surviving friends turned me on to about a year ago. In the series, the protagonist frequents the bar, including at one point to buy a shot for Jesus. (Yes, that Jesus, in one of the funniest scenes in the novels.)

Since I was only 18 km away, I just had to make a field trip. I did not, alas, have the fabled fish and chips, so I'll never know if they're better than the Duke's.

Tuesday 28 July 2015 13:59:53 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Baseball | Kitchen Sink | Travel#
Monday 27 July 2015

Why would anyone go to Arizona in July? A geas. On Friday I visited Park #26:

The trip also gave me a chance to take my 7D Mark II for a spin. Sitting 18 rows behind the Diamondbacks' dugout, I was able to get photos like this, no problem:

Let's take a closer look, yes? This is at ISO-3200, 1/500 at f/5.6, from about 100 meters away:

Cool, right?

More photos of the game and of my field trip to Tempe later.

Monday 27 July 2015 14:50:45 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Baseball | Photography | Travel#
Saturday 25 July 2015

Louise Brown, the first test-tube baby, is 38:

On this day in 1978, Louise Joy Brown, the world’s first baby to be conceived via in vitro fertilization (IVF) is born at Oldham and District General Hospital in Manchester, England, to parents Lesley and Peter Brown. The healthy baby was delivered shortly before midnight by caesarean section and weighed in at five pounds, 12 ounces.

Before giving birth to Louise, Lesley Brown had suffered years of infertility due to blocked fallopian tubes. In November 1977, she underwent the then-experimental IVF procedure. A mature egg was removed from one of her ovaries and combined in a laboratory dish with her husband’s sperm to form an embryo. The embryo then was implanted into her uterus a few days later. Her IVF doctors, British gynecologist Patrick Steptoe and scientist Robert Edwards, had begun their pioneering collaboration a decade earlier. Once the media learned of the pregnancy, the Browns faced intense public scrutiny. Louise’s birth made headlines around the world and raised various legal and ethical questions.

So far, more than five million babies have been born through IVF.

Saturday 25 July 2015 09:14:06 MDT (UTC-06:00)  |  | Kitchen Sink#
Friday 24 July 2015

For some reason—and rest assured I will ask, because I'm really curious—we're flying at an unusually low altitude right now (7800 m—officially FL240), and dodging clouds. I'll post the FlightAware track at some point so you can see the waltz we've just danced over central Colorado.

I know future generations will look back on my glee about posting a blog entry from an airplane whose geo-tag is derived from looking at my mobile phone's GPS feature, but allow me this moment. Look where we are. Look where we're going. It's stuff like this that gives me optimism about our species.

I'm not optimistic about tonight's game at Chase Field, though. Neither the third-place Diamondbacks nor the last-place Brewers has done much to excite fans this season. (Though as a Cubs fan, I'm happy to see the Brewers lose.) I have a plan B, if the game doesn't go well.

Friday 24 July 2015 17:11:33 MDT (UTC-06:00)  |  | #

So far Chicago has had a milder-than-normal summer, with only a couple of over-32°C days and a lot of rain. Given our greenhouse gas emissions, that will change:

The NASA climate projections offer a detailed view of future temperature and precipitation patterns around the world at a 15.5 mile (25 kilometer) resolution, covering the time period from 1950 to 2100. The 11-terabyte dataset provided daily records and estimates of maximum and minimum temperatures and precipitation over the entire globe. It integrates actual measurements from around the world with data from climate simulations created by the international Fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, or CMIP, which is a standard experimental protocol for studying the output of coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation models.

The result? Pretty warm:

I won't be around to experience an average annual temperature around 30°C. Unfortunately, given the effects of climate change on our food and water supplies, not many others might be either.

Friday 24 July 2015 12:20:01 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Chicago | Geography | US | World | Weather#
Thursday 23 July 2015

Tomorrow afternoon I'm flying to Phoenix to visit Park #26. Fortunately, Chase Field is air-conditioned, because the forecast calls for 38°C at game time after a high temperature of 41°C earlier in the day.

Photos and a frank assessment of the weather conditions to follow this weekend.

Thursday 23 July 2015 16:57:22 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Baseball | Weather#

Jeff Skilling at the Chicago Tribune updates us on the equatorial Pacific:

The current El Nino comes together against a backdrop of warming oceans and oceans which are growing more acidic as they observe mass quantities of CO2 produced through the burning of fossil fuels and the release of CO2 into the atmosphere this produces. More on the rate at which the planet’s oceans are warming here. It’s estimated that the warming which has taken place in the world’s oceans since 1990 is the equivalent of having exploded 5 Hiroshima strength nuclear bombs in the our planet’s oceans every second over the 25 year period. The warming oceans may be impacting the strength of the current El Niño. For more, click here.

What can we expect in the next few months? Most likely, increased precipitation in California, heavier than normal precipitation this fall and winter in the South, and a milder winter here in the midwest. However, with the ridiculously resilient ridge over the western U.S. and Canada, this year's El Niño could be completely different. Can't wait to find out.

Thursday 23 July 2015 16:51:02 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Geography | Weather#
Wednesday 22 July 2015

Not a lot of time to write today because I'm spending most of the day as CTO and the rest of the day as Lead Developer. The context switches are horrible.

Tomorrow should be a little easier.

Wednesday 22 July 2015 17:10:04 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Blogs#
Tuesday 21 July 2015

Stuff I found on the Interwebs this week:

That's all for now.

Tuesday 21 July 2015 13:32:25 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Aviation | Chicago | US | World | Weather#
Monday 20 July 2015

During the first half of 2015, I took four trips, slightly fewer than the 22 I took in the second half of 2014. As of today I have four scheduled in the next three months—still not a huge number by historical standards.

This coming weekend I'm restarting the 30-Park Geas. Then from mid-August to mid-September I've got trips planned to downstate Illinois, London, and San Francisco, the last one to attend the Dreamforce conference.

It's still murder on my EQM numbers. It will hurt in 2016 if I can't somehow fly about 11,000 miles farther than I have planned through the end of 2015. Once you've gotten platinum status, you never want to go back.

Monday 20 July 2015 13:16:30 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Aviation | Business | Travel | Work#
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David Braverman and Parker
David Braverman is the Chief Technology Officer of Holden International in Chicago, and the creator of Weather Now. Parker is the most adorable dog on the planet, 80% of the time.
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