The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

GOP "Party of Stupid:" Krugman

Not the people, the rhetoric:

[K]now-nothingism—the insistence that there are simple, brute-force, instant-gratification answers to every problem, and that there's something effeminate and weak about anyone who suggests otherwise—has become the core of Republican policy and political strategy. The party's de facto slogan has become: "Real men don’t think things through."

This comports with my Wills professor, ten years ago, who called stupidity "the omnibus explanation." Yep.

BBC identifies world's oldest known joke

Via Scott Adams: Apparently, the Sumerians thought farts were funny:

Academics have compiled a list of the most ancient gags and the oldest, harking back to 1900BC, is a Sumerian proverb from what is now southern Iraq.

"Something which has never occurred since time immemorial; a young woman did not fart in her husband's lap," goes the joke.

Those ancient rubes. We're much more advanced today.

Seriously bad storm

The Chicago Tribune had another write-up of Monday night's storm. Apparently, it produced unprecedented electrical activity:

Over four hours, about a half-year's worth of lightning bolts bombarded the Chicago area, electrifying the night sky as trees were split, transformers were zapped and houses were set ablaze.

As work crews picked up Tuesday from the previous night's storms, meteorologists were assessing the staggering power of a historic thunderstorm.

Nearly 90,000 thunderbolts had hit northern Illinois, according to the National Lightning Detection Network. At the storms' peak, it was firing off more than 800 bolts per minute; and that only counts those that hit the ground.

Landing practice

I still need to do some high-altitude maneuvers (clouds were about 2800 ft, too low for slow turns and stall practice), but I finished much of my biennial flight review today. Interested people who have Google Earth can download the KML file.

Well, blow me down

There's a write-up of last night's storms in the Trib:

Clean-up efforts were under way Tuesday morning after a line of severe thunderstorms moved through the Chicago area Monday night, downing trees and power lines, starting fires, peeling off roofs, briefly closing down both Chicago airports and ending a Cubs game after two rain delays.

As of 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, crews from the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation responded to reports of 1,104 damaged trees, 132 malfunctioning traffic signals, 55 damaged street light poles and 92 downed wires. The department said there were also 194 city blocks without working street lights.

Fun thunderstorm

...but only because I got to watch it from inside my apartment. A major squall drove through Chicago this evening with 90 km/h winds (including two small tornadoes) and dime-size hail reported. My neighbors across the street have lost power, too. We didn't, but the Inner Drive Technology International Data Center battery backups complained loudly through the worst of the storm.

It's gone now, which makes Parker happy for two reasons: he didn't enjoy the storm itself, and he really, really wanted to go outside.

Here's the radar image from Intellicast: