The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

In an alien country

I'm in Texas for a couple of days on business, on the outskirts of (but still technically within) San Antonio. It's not Chicago:

I did, however, find a sushi restaurant only a few kilometers[1] from the hotel that got great Yelp reviews. Only, I should have called first:

And I didn't write down any of the other listings that had acceptable reviews because, you know, I didn't.

I will now go find something to eat in the depressing strip mall across the street. I can walk a couple of blocks in 36°C heat. I think.

[1] See what I did there?

Warming? What warming?

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released the 1981-2010 temperature normals this week, and guess what? They're warmer:

Normals serve as a 30 year baseline average of important climate variables that are used to understand average climate conditions at any location and serve as a consistent point of reference. The new normals update the 30-year averages of climatological variables, including average temperature and precipitation for more than 7,500 locations across the United States. This once-a-decade update will replace the current 1971–2000 normals.

In the continental United States, every state’s annual maximum and minimum temperature increased on average. “The climate of the 2000s is about 1.5 degree F warmer than the 1970s, so we would expect the updated 30-year normals to be warmer,” said Thomas R. Karl, L.H.D., NCDC director.

Like the myth of heliocentrism before it, the myth of anthropogenic climate change will stand forever disproven!

(Yet, it moves...)

Today's Darwin award nominee

A motorcyclist died during a ride to protest helmet laws:

State troopers tell The Post-Standard of Syracuse that 55-year-old Philip A. Contos of Parish, N.Y., was driving a 1983 Harley Davidson with a group of bikers who were protesting helmet laws by not wearing helmets.

Troopers say Contos hit his brakes and the motorcycle fishtailed. The bike spun out of control, and Contos toppled over the handlebars. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Troopers say Contos would have likely survived if he had been wearing a helmet.

This, you see, is called irony.

Photo of the Day

Columbus Park, in Chicago's Austin neighborhood:

Today, ISO-100, 1/80 at f/8, here.

The Chicago Park District describes the park:

[Designer Jens] Jensen's vision for Columbus Park was inspired by the unimproved site's natural history and topography. Convinced that it was an ancient beach, Jensen designed a series of berms, like glacial ridges, encircling the flat interior part of the park. In the center area, following the traces of sand dune, he created a "prairie river" flowing from two brooks. Two natural-looking waterfalls, with ledges of stratified stonework, represent the source of the river. Throughout the park, Jensen included native plants.

Jensen also included programming elements emulating nature. Broad prairie-like meadows provide a golf course and ball fields. He designed an outdoor theatre, known as the "player's green," for plays and other performances. In the children's playground area, Jensen included his favorite feature, the council ring, a circular stone bench for storytelling and campfires.

It's also two blocks away from the Eastgate Cafe, which has tasty and inexpensive lunch for people and cool water for dogs.