The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

You wanted rain, California?

A collection of weather phenomena off the west coast of North America, including a bomb cyclone, will give northern California record rainfall over the next day and a half:

Amid an exceptional drought that has wrought havoc on California for years, a Level 5 out of 5 atmospheric river is soaking the region, dumping double-digit rainfall totals and up to six feet of mountain snow. This heavy precipitation will help ease the drought but produce dangerous mudslides and debris flows in areas recently devastated by fires.

Atmospheric rivers are long, narrow swaths of exceptionally moist air, sometimes sourced from the tropics, that can produce excessive amounts of precipitation.

“It will be a wild 24 to 36 hours across northern California as we will see an extreme and possible historic atmospheric river push through the region,” wrote the National Weather Service in Sacramento, calling it a “dangerous, high-impact weather system.”

Flash flood watches are up for most of Central and Northern California, blanketing some of the same areas that went upward of six months without a stitch of measurable rain. Sacramento recorded its first 0.01 inches of rain last week since March 19, capping off a record-setting 222 days without precipitation. Now it is bracing for more than half a foot of rain and flooding.

The storm offshore of the Pacific Northwest driving this atmospheric river into the coastline rapidly intensified at a staggering rate. Meteorologists refer to a storm as a “bomb” if its minimum central air pressure drops by 24 millibars or more in 24 hours, signifying intense and speedy “deepening.” That sucks in more air and allows the storm to intensify.

This particular storm strengthened at twice that rate as a “double bomb” with its pressure tanking to 943 millibars, which, according to the Weather Service, would make it “the strongest known system for the area.”

Over the mainland United States, such low atmospheric pressure is practically unheard of. Even on the East Coast, where cyclones regularly strengthen into massive nor’easters, pressures seldom fall this low. The powerful March 1993 “superstorm,” among the most intense and damaging storms ever to strike the United States, bottomed out at “only” 960 millibars.

Welcome to climate change: seven months without rain, then nothing but rain for two days. Fun.

Here in Chicago we just have a normal gray rainy October afternoon. I'm glad we don't have to worry about 150 mm of rain in the next four hours.

Formal operations thought, part 3

If you've enjoyed (or at least attempted) Tuesday's and Wednesday's pieces of this quiz from William Bart at the University of Minnesota, you get to finish it now:

21. All ashes are not poplars. All locusts are ashes. Therefore:

(A) All locusts are not ashes
(B) All ashes are poplars
(C) All locusts are poplars
(D) Some ashes are poplars
(E) Some locusts are not ashes
(F) All locusts are not poplars

22. If yeast rises then caustic potash is present and if mold grows
then limewater is present. Either caustic potash is not present or
limewater is not present. Therefore:

(A) Yeast does not rise
(B) Limewater is not present
(C) Either yeast does not rise or mold does not grow
(D) Limewater is present
(E) Yeast rises
(F) Yeast rises and limewater is present

23. Some antigens are serums. All serums are donors. Therefore:

(A) All donors are not antigens
(B) All donors are serums
(C) Some donors are not antigens
(D) All antigens are not serums
(E) Some donors are antigens
(F) Some donors are not serums

24. If the Hardy-Weinberg law holds then Darwinian theory is false. If
Darwinian theory is false then man is a naked ape. Therefore:

(A) The Hardy-Weinberg law holds and Darwinian theory is false
(B) The Hardy-Weinberg law holds
(C) Darwinian theory is not false
(D) The Hardy-Weinberg law does not hold
(E) If the Hardy-Weinberg law holds then man is a naked ape
(F) Either the Hardy-Weinberg law holds or man is a naked ape

25. If opah live in the Indian Ocean then bass live in the Black Sea
and if gar thrive in Lake Chad then beavers live near Lake Chad. Either
opah live in the Indian Ocean or gar thrive in Lake Chad. Therefore:

(A) Bass live in the Black Sea and beavers live near Lake Chad
(B) Bass live in the Black Sea and gar thrive in Lake Chad
(C) Bass do not live in the Black Sea
(D) Beavers do not live near Lake Chad
(E) Beavers live near Lake Chad
(F) Either bass live in the Black Sea or beavers live near Lake Chad

26. Sycamores are smaller than red elms. Sycamores are larger than
sequoias. Therefore:

(A) Sycamores are the largest of the three trees
(B) Red elms are the largest of the three trees
(C) Sequoias are larger than red elms
(D) Red elms are the smallest of the three trees
(E) Sycamores are the smallest of the three trees
(F) Sequoias are the largest of the three trees

27. Chordates are less numerous than crustaceans. Mollusks are more
numerous than crustaceans. Mollusks are less numerous than cilliates.
Therefore:

(A) Chordates are the least numerous of the four animals
(B) Ciliates are less numerous than crustaceans
(C) Chordates are more numerous than mollusks
(D) Ciliates are the least numerous of the four animals
(E) Mollusks are the least numerous of the four animals
(F) Mollusks are the most numerous of the four animals

28. Either flagellates grow in ce or sponges reproduce in icy water.
Therefore:

(A) Flagellates do not grow in ice
(B) Flagellates do not grow in ice and sponges reproduce in icy water
(C) Sponges reproduce in icy water
(D) If flagellates do not grow in ice then sponges reproduce in icy
water.
(E) Flagellages grow in ice
(F) If flagellates grow in ice then sponges reproduce in icy water

29. All blue monocots are parsnips. Therefore:

(A) If all individuals are blue then all monocots are parsnips
(B) All individuals are blue
(C) All individuals are blue monocot parsnips
(D) All individuals are monocots
(E) All individuals are either blue or monocots
(F) All individuals are parsnips

30. Oaks are not fungi if and only if oats are flowers. Therefore:

(A) If oaks are fungi then oats are not flowers
(B) Oaks are not fungi and oats are not flowers
(C) Oaks are fungi and oats are not flowers
(D) Oaks are fungi
(E) Oaks are not fungi
(F) Oats are flowers

Wednesday's answers: 11, c; 12, d; 13, d; 14, a; 15, a; 16, c; 17, e; 18, b; 19, d; 20, f.

Crisp fall morning

Cassie and I both love these crystal-clear autumn days in Chicago, though as far as I know she spent her first two autumns in Tennessee. Does Nashville have crisp fall mornings? I don't know for sure, and Cassie won't say.

I meant to highlight these stories yesterday but got into the deep flow of refactoring:

I will now make Cassie drool buckets by using salmon skin as a training tool.

Ale's well that ends well?

The Tribune yesterday reported that local breweries have started producing more lagers as people get tired of IPAs:

Lager accounts for most of the beer sold in the world — including the 16 biggest-selling brands in the United States — but it has rarely been a recipe for success for craft breweries, which often default to ratcheting up experimentation, flavor and intensity. Lager, by contrast, tends to be approachable and predictable. Think Miller Lite. Michelob Ultra. Modelo Especial.

While tropically fruity India pale ales and boozy stouts remain engines for the nation’s small breweries, the industry has increasingly embraced lager in recent years. And consumers are rewarding them with surprising demand.

Around Chicago, the shift can be seen in the growing number of lager-centric breweries, including Goldfinger, Kinslahger in Oak Park, and Metropolitan and Dovetail on the city’s North Side.

Established breweries, including Hopewell, Revolution and Maplewood, are increasingly incorporating lagers into their portfolios while newer breweries, such as Art History in Geneva, have opened with an embrace of lager that would have required a leap of faith a few short years ago.

For Art History, it is already paying off; open just 18 months, the brewery is planning a new, larger production facility, due in large part to its lagers, which account for three of its four top sellers.

I typically evaluate a brewery by its mainline IPA, but in some cases (notably Dovetail), I'll go with their flagship lager. And I have yet to visit most of the breweries the article mentions, so I'll take their advice.

Evening reading

I was pretty busy today, with most of my brain trying to figure out how to re-architect something that I didn't realize needed it until recently. So a few things piled up in my inbox:

And finally, Whisky Advocate has four recipes that balance whisky and Luxardo Maraschino cherries. I plan to try them all, but not in one sitting.

Formal operational thought, part 2

Had fun yesterday? Try these next 10:

11. All dace are platy. Some dace are cod. Therefore:

(A) All cod are not platy
(B) Some cod are not platy
(C) Some cod are platy
(D) All platy are dace
(E) All dace are not cod
(F) Some dace are not cod

12. Some skinks are plastrons. All turtles are not skinks. Therefore:

(A) All skinks are not plastrons
(B) Some turtles are skinks
(C) All turtles are plastrons
(D) Some turtles are not plastrons
(E) Some skinks are not plastrons
(F) All skinks are turtles

13. If wasps eat haploids then fly pupae are lost. Wasps do not eat
haploids and fly pupae are not lost. Therefore:

(A) Wasps eat haploids
(B) Either wasps eat haploids or fly pup‘ are lost
(C) Fly pup‘ are lost
(D) Fly pup‘ are not lost
(E) Wasps eat haploids and fly pup‘ are lost
(F) Wasps eat haploids and fly pup‘ are not lost

14. All axolotls are bream. All catfish are not bream. Therefore:

(A) All catfish are not axolotls
(B) Some axolotls are not bream
(C) Some catfish are bream
(D) All axolotls are not bream
(E) All bream are axolotls
(F) All bream are catfish

15. Some peepers are killifish. All peepers are haddock. Therefore:

(A) Some haddock are killifish
(B) All haddock are not killifish
(C) Some haddock are not killifish
(D) All haddock are peepers
(E) All peepers are killifish
(F) Some peepers are not haddock

16. All blue wombats are skates. All skates are not nymphs. Therefore:

(A) All nymphs are blue wombats
(B) Some nymphs are blue wombats
(C) All nymphs are not blue wombats
(D) Some blue wombats are not skates
(E) All skates are blue wombats
(F) Some skates are nymphs

17. Either genes grow or dodders thrive. Genes do not grow and dodders
thrive. Therefore:

(A) Genes grow if and only if dodders thrive
(B) Genes grow and dodders thrive
(C) Genes grow
(D) If dodders thrive then genes grow
(E) Genes do not grow
(F) Genes do not grow and dodders do not thrive

18. All medaka are sea horses. All orangefish are medaka. Therefore:

(A) All medaka are not orangefish
(B) All orangefish are sea horses
(C) Some medaka are not sea horses
(D) Some orangefish are not medaka
(E) All medaka are not sea horses
(F) Some orangefish are not sea horses

19. Margays are less aquatic than ocelots. Margays are more aquatic
than penguins. Pike are less aquatic than penguins. Therefore:

(A) Margays are the least aquatic of the four animals
(B) Pike are the most aquatic of the four animals
(C) Penguins are more aquatic than ocelots
(D) Ocelots are the most aquatic of the four animals
(E) Margays are the most aquatic of the four animals
(F) Penguins are the most aquatic of the four animals

20. If water dissolves fat then acetone dissolves protein. Water
dissolves fat if and only if acetone dissolves protein. Therefore:

(A) Either water dissolves fat or acetone dissolves protein
(B) Water dissolves fat
(C) Acetone dissolves protein
(D) Water does not dissolve fat
(E) Acetone does not dissolve protein
(F) If water does not dissolve fat then acetone does not dissolve
protein.

And here are the answers from yesterday: 1, a; 2, c; 3, e; 4, a; 5, e; 6, f; 7, a; 8, a; 9, f; 10, c.

Test of formal operational thought

I found this quiz in a (virtual) pile of things from my first year at university. Have fun! Answers and more questions tomorrow. (The answers may surprise you, unless you really dig in to the logic.)

1. Either auxins are proteins or petioles grow on auxins. If auxins are
proteins then petioles grow on auxins. Therefore:

(A) Petioles grow on auxins
(B) Either auxins are not proteins or petioles do not grow on auxins
(C) If petioles grow on auxins then auxins are proteins
(D) Auxins are not proteins
(E) Auxins are petioles
(F) Auxins are proteins and petioles do not grow on auxins

2. Whelks are more colorful than periwinkles. Whelks are less colorful
than abalones. Therefore:

(A) Whelks are the most colorful of the three animals
(B) Periwinkles are more colorful than abalones
(C) Periwinkles are the least colorful of the three animals
(D) Periwinkles are the most colorful of the three animals
(E) Abalones are the least colorful of the three animals
(F) Whelks are the least colorful of the three animals

3. Worms move slower than lice and worms are smaller than mice. Worms
move faster than mice and worms are larger than lice. Therefore:

(A) Worms move the fastest and are the largest of the three animals
(B) Mice move faster than lice
(C) Mice are smaller than lice
(D) Lice move the fastest and are the largest of the three animals
(E) Lice move the fastest and are the smallest of the three animals
(F) Mice move the fastest and are the largest of the three animals

4. No individual is a tapir. Therefore:

(A) All individuals are not tapirs
(B) All individuals are tapirs and monkeys
(C) No individuals are tapirs
(D) All individuals are tapirs
(E) No individuals are not tapirs
(F) Some individuals are tapirs

5. Either birch thrive or sage die. Birch do not thrive. Therefore:

(A) Birch thrive if and only sage die
(B) Sage do not die
(C) If sage die then birch thrive
(D) Birch thrive and sage die
(E) Sage die
(F) Birch thrive and sage do not die

6. If amnions are red the chick embryos shrink. Amnions are not red and
chick embryos shrink. Therefore:

(A) If chick embryos shrink then amnions are red
(B) Amnions are red
(C) Amnions are red and chick embryos shrink
(D) Chick embryos do not shrink
(E) Amnions are red and chick embryos do not shrink
(F) Amnions are not red

7. Manatees are reptiles if and only if lemurs are birds. Therefore:

(A) If manatees are reptiles then lemurs are birds
(B) Manatees are not reptiles and lemurs are birds
(C) Manatees are reptiles and lemurs are not birds
(D) Manatees are reptiles
(E) Manatees are not reptiles
(F) Lemurs are birds

8. Pink rays are not carnivores. Therefore:

(A) If pink rays are carnivores then remoras ride pink rays
(B) Pink rays are carnivores
(C) Remoras ride on pink rays
(D) Pink rays are carnivores and remoras do not ride on pink rays
(E) Pink rays are carnivores and remoras ride on pink rays
(F) Either pink rays are carnivores or remoras ride on pink rays

9. All individuals are neither zebras nor rotifers. Therefore:

(A) All individuals are zebras
(B) All individuals are rotifers
(C) All zebras are rotifers
(D) No individuals are zebras
(E) Some individuals are zebras
(F) All individuals are not zebras and rotifers

10. Either tropisims occur in apes or taxes occur in bees. Tropisms
occur in apes and taxes occur in bees. Therefore:

(A) Taxes do not occur in bees
(B) Tropisms occur in apes and taxes do not occur in bees
(C) Tropisms occur in apes
(D) If tropisms occur in apes then taxes do not occur in bees
(E) Tropisms do not occur in apes
(F) Either tropisms do not occur in apes or taxes do not occur in bees

Fun, right?

(I have a note that the author of this quiz is William Bart at the University of Minnesota, but I cannot confirm this.)

What's with the car warranty calls today?

While swatting away my 4th "your car's extended warranty is about to expire" call today (including one in Spanish), I consoled myself reading about new ideas on how to reduce the environmental impact of brewing beer:

From start to finish, making alcoholic beverages asks a lot from the environment. It takes about 20 gallons of water to produce a single eight-ounce serving of beer and 30 gallons per five-ounce serving of wine. Then there’s the glass and aluminum production for alcohol containers, the plastic and cardboard for packaging, and energy consumption for home and retail refrigeration. Many types of alcohol are only made in one or a few places—tequila in Mexicoscotch in Scotlandbourbon in Kentucky—requiring long-distance transportation to reach consumers.

The most common ingredients in alcohol production—grapes, wheat, barley, hops, sugar—are some of the most water- and energy-intensive crops on the planet. Brewing and fermenting also require huge amounts of energy.

Global transportation accounts for an estimated 20 percent of beer’s carbon footprint. Beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages are generally shipped in climate-controlled vehicles to prevent spoiling. “There's a lot of stainless steel, water, and air being shipped around the country and around the world by virtue of the technology that's being used today,” [Sustainable Beverage Technologies CEO Gary] Tickle says.

Other ideas include yeast that produces hoppy flavinoids, heat sinks, using waste products to generate heat, and carbon offsets.

With the exception of the yeast-made hop flavors, that all sounds good to me.

Happy Mason-Dixon Day

On this day in 1767, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon completed their survey of the disputed Maryland-Pennsylvania border, which became even more contentious in 1780 when Pennsylvania aboolished slavery. A group of surveyors started re-surveying the border in 2019; I can't find out whether they finished.

Meanwhile, 255 years later, politics is still mostly local:

Finally, Chicago has perfectly clear skies for only the third time this month after yesterday and the 4th, getting only 39% of possible sunshine for almost the past three weeks.