Saturday, October 21, 2017

Reason #5751 That Trump Was Elected

Melania Trump is embracing a more active and public schedule as first lady – but she still runs one of the leanest East Wing operations in recent history.

According to a Fox News analysis of White House personnel reports, Melania Trump has significantly reduced the number of aides on the first lady's office payroll in comparison to her predecessor, Michelle Obama.

During then-President Barack Obama’s first year in office, 16 people were listed working for Michelle Obama, earning a combined $1.24 million a year.

This year, just four people were listed working for Melania Trump as of June. Their salaries totaled $486,700.
Plus, she probably doesn't trust them not to be moles for the press.

Rule 5 Saturday - Kim Basinger

I was reminded of Kim Basinger when I posted the video of Tom Petty's "Last Dance with "Mary Jane's Last Dance" when he died. Best dead girl ever!
Kimila Ann "Kim" Basinger (/ˈbeɪsɪŋər/ BAY-sing-ər; born December 8, 1953) is an American actress, singer and former fashion model. Following a successful modeling career in New York during the 1970s, Basinger moved to Los Angeles where she began her acting career on television in 1976. She starred in several made-for-TV films, including a remake of From Here to Eternity (1979), before making her feature debut in the 1981 drama Hard Country. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Lynn Bracken in the 1997 film L.A. Confidential.
Shoot, she's almost as old as I am!
Basinger came to prominence playing Bond girl Domino Petachi in the 1983 film Never Say Never Again, opposite Sean Connery, and went on to receive a Golden Globe nomination for her role as Memo Paris in The Natural (1984). She starred as Elizabeth in the controversial erotic romantic drama 9½ Weeks (1986) with Mickey Rourke, and as Vicki Vale in Tim Burton's blockbuster Batman (1989), which remains the highest-grossing film of her career. For her role in L.A. Confidential, she also won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress and the SAG Award for Best Supporting Actress.

. . .  Basinger met her second husband, Alec Baldwin, in 1990 when they played lovers in The Marrying Man, and they married on August 19, 1993. They appeared together in the remake of The Getaway (1994) and played themselves in a 1998 episode of The Simpsons, in which Basinger corrected Homer Simpson on the pronunciation of her last name and polished her Oscar statuette. Basinger and Baldwin have a daughter, Ireland Eliesse Baldwin (born October 23, 1995). They separated on December 5, 2000,  and divorced on February 3, 2002. In 2008, Baldwin wrote a book which dealt with the contentious custody battle with Basinger over their daughter.
The ancient Yiddish proverb: Too soon old, too late smart.
In 1981, Basinger posed for a famous nude pictorial for Playboy, which didn't appear for two years, until she used it to promote her breakthrough role as the Bond girl Domino Petachi in Never Say Never Again (1983), where she starred opposite Sean Connery. In his review of the film, Gary Arnold of The Washington Post said Basinger "looks like a voluptuous sibling of Liv Ullmann and has a certain something." Basinger said her subsequent Playboy appearance led to further opportunities, such as Barry Levinson's The Natural (1984), co-starring Robert Redford, for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination as Best Supporting Actress.
 A few NSFW pics from the good old days.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Teeth (and More) at the Beach

What wonderful weather! Mid October and it's 75 and sunny!
A couple of really nice shark's teeth today. Georgia found the big Snaggletooth lower on the top right, and I was feeling kind of jealous. Then I found the Mako lower (center) 10 steps away. I just picked up the Tiger (contortus) close by. 12 teeth total for the day.
Now a few pics from yesterday. A baby Chain Pickerel hiding in the rip rap at Flag Harbor. Do you see it? Excellent camouflage.
Someone using the flat water near the shore to practice touch and go landings.

I have no clue what this ship is doing. Servicing the CBOS buoys? I forgot to look on to see what it was yesterday.

This Might Be Overstating It Just a Little

A Hard Shore Is a Dead Shore
The land beneath Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the United States, is sinking. Couple that with climate change, and the sea level is rising twice as fast as the global average, chewing away at shorelines and drowning islands. Private landowners, who occupy about 85 percent of the shoreline, have responded with walls, rocks, and barriers, which have helped slow the losses. But evidence is growing that this coastal hardening may be insufficient at holding back future seas, and is doing serious damage to more than a dozen fish and crustacean species. Now, planners and landowners are hoping engineered living shorelines can solve both problems at once.

A hardened shore makes life more difficult for trout, perch, crab, and other species that need a natural shoreline to thrive, says Matthew Kornis, who recently published a paper evaluating the effect of shoreline hardening on these species.

Kornis, a fish biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, studied hundreds of sites in and around Chesapeake Bay, from natural beaches and marshlands, to shores lined with riprap (cages of loose rock) and bulkheads (walls, often wooden). The harder the shoreline, he found, the harder hit the species. This was true even for riprap, which is often considered more environmentally friendly than sheer walls.

Kornis says natural shorelines offer things hardened shorelines don’t: juvenile fish live in the nooks and crannies of rocky shorelines, for instance, and these environments serve as nurseries. Fish also feed within beds of seaweed and seagrass. Hardening decimates these complex habitats, leaving nothing to eat and nowhere to hide.

Hardening isn’t unique to Chesapeake Bay. Estimates suggest that about 14 percent of the United States’ coast had been hardened, and the shorelines of Europe and China are also heavily armored. While the motivations for reinforcement vary (development, industry, sea level rise), most Chesapeake Bay residents are trying to protect their property from rampant erosion. Sea level rise is a relatively new problem for many coasts, but land subsidence means it’s been the norm in the Chesapeake for a long time.

“Erosion has been happening for centuries,” says Zoe Johnson, climate change coordinator with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Chesapeake Bay. Tide gauge data shows the water rose nearly a third of a meter in the past century. Similarly, the sea moved inland by roughly half a meter a year on average. But these rates are accelerating as climate change adds a rising sea to sinking land. “The influence of global factors will outpace the land subsidence,” she says.

In the early 2000s, Maryland convened a climate change task force, including Johnson, to study how to better adapt to these future seas. They identified one promising method that seemed to stand up to the sea: living shorelines.

Designs vary widely, but most living shorelines start with a barrier, such as a rock wall, oyster reef, or log, placed several meters out in the water. The barrier is then backfilled with plants and soil to make a marshy buffer zone. In 2008, Maryland passed the Living Shorelines Protection Act, which Johnson says requires owners to prove that a living shoreline will not work in their location before they can get a permit to construct a wall.

Along with erosion control, living shorelines have other benefits. Researchers in North Carolina showed that living shorelines can act as nurseries for fish and crustaceans, the way natural shorelines do.

Bhaskar Subramanian, the shoreline conservation section chief for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, says his job now is to teach people about living shorelines, which he speaks of with infectious zeal. He sets up information sessions for planners and residents, talks to marine contractors and engineers about how to build living shorelines, and consults with homeowners about what would work on their properties.
I was present at the conception of the project that lead to this study. It was clear at the outset that NOAA and the rest of the management  agencies involved were aching for studies to justify their taking further control over the shoreline. One state regulator (not named in the article) got up and gave an impassioned speech about how we needed to disabuse land owners of their property rights.

But I'm sure much of what he says is true. The biota in Chesapeake Bay are adapted to soft shorelines, and many don't thrive around hard ones. And yet, some of my best fishing spots are along rip rap walls, which seem to attract a variety of animals, and predator fish that prey on them. I wonder how, if they are dead.

Reason #5750 That Trump Was Elected

Poll: Plurality Of Voters Believe News Media Fabricate Stories About Trump
A plurality of voters believe that major news organizations fabricate stories about President Trump, according to a new Morning Consult poll.

Forty-six percent of the 1,991 registered voters surveyed said they think members of the media make up stories about the president, while 37 percent believe news organizations do not make up stories about Trump or his administration.
. . .
The survey’s findings are not surprising, given that many major news outlets, including CNN, Vox, MSNBC, BuzzFeed, Slate, The Daily Beast, The Week, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and others have all reported numerous news items about Trump and his administration that turned out to be partially or completely false.

Remember when Politico reported that Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin kicked a little old lady out of her home over 27 cents? As it turns out, that story was full of glaring errors.

There was also that time when The Daily Mail claimed Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch founded a student group called “Fascism Forever.” After the story was picked up by numerous outlets, it was debunked and deemed to be totally false. A Time reporter also claimed the Trump administration removed the Martin Luther King Jr. bust from the Oval Office, a claim that was untrue. It’s no wonder only six percent of Americans say they trust the news media.
Donald Trump's entry into politics has caused the plaster to flake off  the facade journolistic integrity faster than ever before. There's not a lot left showing.

Fish Pic Friday - Pike

This week's fish are Pike, several species worth:
Esox is a genus of freshwater fish, the only living genus in the family Esocidae—the esocids which were endemic to North America and Eurasia during the Paleogene through present.

The species of this genus are known as pike and pickerel. The type species is E. lucius, the northern pike.

The big pike species are native to the Palearctic and Nearctic ecozones, ranging across northern North America and from Western Europe to Siberia in Eurasia.

Pikes have the elongated, torpedo-like form of predatory fishes, with sharply pointed heads and sharp teeth. Their coloration is typically grey-green with a mottled or spotted appearance with stripes along their backs, providing camouflage among weeds. Individual pike marking patterns are unique, like fingerprints. Pike can grow to a maximum recorded length of 1.83 m (6 ft), reaching a maximum recorded weight of 35 kg (77 lb)

Currently, seven recognized species are placed in this genus:

Esox aquitanicus Denys, Dettai, Persat, Hautecœur & Keith, 2014 (Aquitanian pike)
Esox americanus J. F. Gmelin, 1789 (American pickerel)
Esox cisalpinus Bianco & Delmastro, 2011 (Southern pike)
Esox lucius Linnaeus, 1758 (Northern pike)
Esox masquinongy Mitchill, 1824 (Muskellunge)
Esox niger Lesueur, 1818 (Chain pickerel)
Esox reichertii Dybowski, 1869 (Amur pike)
Esox masquinongy X Esox lucius  Dybowski, 1869 (Tiger Musskellunge)
Chain Pickerel are somewhat tolerant of salt water, and are found in slightly brackish waters in Chesapeake Bay. In fact, I saw some today hanging around in Flag Harbor. I have caught a few, and once got a follow from a huge Musky (in Canada).