RED SPRITES OVER THE USA: Around Earth’s northern hemisphere, thunderstorm season is in full swing. That means it’s a great time to see sprites.  Paul Smith photographed these specimens on July 14th:

I was at Kaw Lake in Oklahoma when the sprites started leaping up from the thunderheads,” says Smith.

Sprites are an exotic form of upward-directed lightning, reaching from the tops of electrical storms all the way up to the edge of space. Because they emerge from the tops of storms, the best place to see sprites is from a distance where the camera can point over the edge of the thunderhead. [snip]

In recent years, citizen scientists like Smith have been photographing sprites in record numbers. One reason is raised awareness. More photographers know about sprites, so more sprites are being photographed. Another reason might be a genuine increase in sprite activity. Some researchers think that sprites are linked to cosmic rays. Subatomic particles from deep space strike the top of Earth’s atmosphere, producing secondary electrons that trigger the upward bolts. Cosmic rays are now intensifying due to the decline of the solar cycle. More sprites, anyone?


If today musicians put on a show…

… that had some variety and talent.

Historical happenings

7/11/1804 ~ Alexander Hamilton is mortally wounded by Aaron Burr in a duel.

7/11/1972 ~ American forces break the 95-day siege at An Loc in Vietnam.

7/11/1975 ~ Archaeologists unearth an army of 8,000 life-size clay figures created more than 2,000 years ago for the Emperor Qin Shi Huang.


Here’s some magic which requires NO sleight of hand. Stunning. Try to figure it out.

The link will load the clip.

Historical happenings

7/3/1901 ~ The Wild Bunch, led by Butch Cassidy, commits its last American robbery near Wagner, Montana, taking $65,000 from a Great Northern train.

7/3/1903 ~ The first cable across the Pacific Ocean is spliced between Honolulu, Midway, Guam and Manila.

7/3/1954Food rationing ends in Great Britain almost nine years after the end of World War II.

Laissez le bon temps rouler

America’s Monarch of the Avoirdupois wishes everyone to get out and sit around something to protest 1½ of American’s successes. Given Moore’s ample mass, he doesn’t need others to get out; his girth does this for all. When Moore sits around, HE REALLY SITS AROUND.

Michael Moore: We Have to ‘Put Our Bodies on the Line’ to Stop Trump

In 2004, Michael Moore released his documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 about the run-up to the Iraq War. This September, he will premiere his latest film: Fahrenheit 11/9.

As the liberal filmmaker told Stephen Colbert on The Late Show Thursday night, that date represents the night Donald Trump was elected president. “This is about how the hell we got in this situation and how we’re going to get out of it,” he said.

After playing a clip from the film in which he tries to infiltrate Mar-a-Lago, Colbert asked him if he was “civil” to the people there. “I was as civil as any Eagle Scout Catholic altar boy could be when confronted with the devil,” Moore answered.

Speaking to the great civility debate happening in America right now, Moore continued, saying that Democrats have traditionally been “so wimpy and weak” but now “a few people want to stand up and say, I’ve had enough, that’s it.” [snip]

Moore, who said he cries every single day when he watches the news, says he has to hold on to some shred of hope. But at the same time he wonders, “When are people going to get off the couch and rise up?” [snip]

Well Moore, You have the hope; we have the change.

Historical happenings

7/1/1777 ~ British troops depart from their base at the Bouquet River to head toward Ticonderoga, New York.

7/1/1916 ~ The Battle of the Somme begins. Approximately 30,000 men are killed on the first day, two-thirds of them British.

7/1/1963The U.S. postmaster introduces the ZIP code.