Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog
Friday 8 July 2011

The Economist's Prospero blog piles on the Cubs after attending the Crosstown Classic last week:

Teams like the Cubs give people a safe space in which to lose. Fans get the benefits of commiseration without incurring any real costs. The predictable losers also allow other teams to win. So really the Sox fans should be grateful for the Cubs. Such losers may not be so lovable on scrutiny, but their ineptitude has an extra civic function: they take one for the team. They’re a sacrifice fly.

And on the Fourth of July, yet! Limey bastahd.

He may have a point, though.

Friday 8 July 2011 08:47:53 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Cubs#

Snapshot from the corner of Franklin and Randolph recently:

22 June 2011, Canon SD1200 at ISO-100, 1/160 at f/13, 14mm, here.

Friday 8 July 2011 08:45:04 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Chicago | Photography#
Thursday 7 July 2011

The Tower of Belem, outside Lisbon:

7 January 2001, Kodak DC-4800 at ISO-100, 1/90 at f/2.8, here.

Thursday 7 July 2011 18:22:03 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Photography#

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?

Wednesday 6 July 2011 19:21:32 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Kitchen Sink#

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...)

Wednesday 6 July 2011 19:03:38 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US | Weather#
Wednesday 6 July 2011

Rolle, Switzerland:

17 June 1992, Kodachrome 64, Canon EOS Rebel, Tamron 35-210mm, exposure unrecorded, here (I think)

Wednesday 6 July 2011 08:02:09 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Photography#
Tuesday 5 July 2011

This probably should have been yesterday's:

22 December 2009, ISO-100, 1/125 at f/8, near here.

Tuesday 5 July 2011 09:28:37 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Photography | US#
Monday 4 July 2011

Codey, at his grandparents' house:

6 June 2011, ISO-800, 1/160 at f/2.8, 50mm.

Monday 4 July 2011 11:13:44 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Photography#

Via Tim Vanderbilt, an encapsulation of bad traffic habits:

3-Way Street from ronconcocacola on Vimeo.

Monday 4 July 2011 10:07:37 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Kitchen Sink | US#
Sunday 3 July 2011

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.

Sunday 3 July 2011 15:18:16 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Kitchen Sink | US#

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.

Sunday 3 July 2011 15:05:19 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Chicago | Photography#
Saturday 2 July 2011

World Financial Center, six weeks after 9/11:

20 October 2001, Kodak DC4800 at ISO-100, 1/180 at f/4.5, 18mm, approximately here

You can see off to the right the Millennium Hilton covered in red cloth, and the damage to the center WFC building near the bottom.

Saturday 2 July 2011 09:09:23 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Photography#
Friday 1 July 2011


October 1984, Canon AE-1P, 70-210mm, Kodachrome 64, exposure unrecorded

Friday 1 July 2011 16:15:58 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Photography#
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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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