Sunday, December 30, 2012

A tragedy at San Franscisco Bay

Here's a sad, sad tragedy happened in San Francisco Bay yesterday as reported by Tomas Roman of the local abc news:

We're learning more about the father and son who drowned after being swept away by a large wave while fishing Friday afternoon.

The two San Francisco residents, 37-year-old Juan Escamillo-Rojas and his 9-year-old son Juan Carlos Escamillo-Monroy, were last seen trying to reach shore near Point Bonita off the Marin Headlands by their friend who joined them on a Friday fishing trip. That friend, Gabriel Cabrera, also told us how he struggled to try and save them as they tried to reach shore in the frigid waters off the headlands.

The Escamillo and Monroy families came together on Saturday to grieve and say a rosary for the father and son.
We spoke to Cabrera, who was fishing with the two around 4 p.m. when the 9-year-old was swept off the rocks near Bonita Cove by a large wave. In his native Spanish, he described how the father screamed out, "my son my son," and dove into the water to save the boy. He told us how a giant wave after wave washed over him as he tried to find a way to save them. He finally used the only thing he could find -- a fishing rod and line, which he managed to get to the pair. But then the line snapped.

Having no other choice, Cabrera then ran up the hill to call 911. The two were plucked from the water about 100 yards offshore by a Tiburon Fire Department boat and the Coast Guard.
Sister-in-law Gloria Monroy couldn't believe what happened, "And then they told us about the terrible accident that happened to Juan and Juanito. They went fishing and then the big waves came and took them both. It's so horrible."
Gloria also says the family recently lost all they had in a house fire. The family is trying to raise enough money to bury father and son in their native Mexico City.

It was "a large wave" that swept away the 9-year-old first and the father dived into the water to save his son and both were drawned. What a tragic happening!  Same storyline we have seen too much time, this time in San Francisco Bay again. God bless the lost father and son, may they be rest in peace and May God help their family and friends to cope with this tragedy and try not to let it ever happen again!

Sunrise at South Padre Island, Texas

Here's a great sunrise picture of South Padre Island, Texas I got from LiveScience (Credit: © Giovanni Gagliardi |

It was from Image Album entitled "Photos: Beautiful and Ever-Changing Barrier Islands by LiveScience Senior Writer Stephanie Pappas. It was noted that "Only about 15 percent of the world's shores are lined by barrier islands, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)."

For me, personally, I am just intrigued by the ferocious looking early morning waves out there.  Will there be any freaque waves somewhere, sometime, out there also?  May be the sea bird on the lower left corner of the picture knows the answer!  Strangely the waves look ferocious but the picture looks so peaceful, is it not?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

2012 Christmas moon!

Christmas day 2012 happens to be two days before full moon of the lunar month.  At around 5 o'clock in the morning I looked out of the window and saw the bright moon shine over the cleat west sky -- almost full but not quite there. I grabbed my camera and captured the following picture.  So here we are, the 2012 Christmas moon, as viewed from SE Michigan!

We know that Easter always comes as the first Sunday after the Spring Equinox and a full moon.  Christmas does not seem to have any correlation with full moon.  Last time a Christmas fell on a day of full moon was 1996.  Next time that will happen will be 2015.  I have never heard any one talk about  this. I don't think there's any meaningful science in it.  Anyway, I like this picture I took this morning on Merry Christmas day of 2012!


There was an interesting NASA Science article talking about the full moon of 2004 even with a poem joking about Rudolph's red nose. But that article was wrong, the moon on 2004 Christmas was full enough, but not the full moon -- that was the day before the full moon! One day closer than 2012, but still not yet the full moon according to Chinese lunar calendar.


We have all seen this famous earth-rise picture by Apollo 8 took from the lunar orbit on Christmas eve, December 23, 1968 as
That evening, the astronauts--Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders--held a live broadcast from lunar orbit, in which they showed pictures of the Earth and moon as seen from their spacecraft. Said Lovell, "The vast loneliness is awe-inspiring and it makes you realize just what you have back there on Earth." They ended the broadcast with the crew taking turns reading from the book of Genesis.

What can be more appropriate than reading the book of Genesis on Christmas eve while orbiting the moon!  Of course that episode led to Apollo 11 that landed the first humans, Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, on the Moon on July 20, 1969, at 20:18 UTC. Armstrong became the first to step onto the lunar surface 6 hours later on July 21 at 02:56 UTC. Armstrong spent about two and a half hours outside the spacecraft, Aldrin slightly less; and together they collected 47.5 pounds (21.5 kg) of lunar material for return to Earth. A third member of the mission, Michael Collins, piloted the command spacecraft alone in lunar orbit until Armstrong and Aldrin returned to it for the trip back to Earth.

It is also appropriate for us to remember here that Astronaut Neil Armstrong passed away this year in August, 25 2012, R.I.P.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas eve, 2012, the ocean world has been nicely quiet recently. The web site of WOUB Public Media just published an article entitled "The Ten Best Ocean Stories of 2012" co-written by Hannah Waters, Emily Frost and Amanda Feuerstein.  While all of them are of interest, there does not seem to have any freaque or just wave related stories.  Other than that, I was particularly noticed with interest this following picture of emperor penguins in the Antarctica:


Their abundancy is clearly impressiv!  The authors of the article have this to say:
"Using satellite photos, researchers counted twice as many emperor penguins living in Antarctica than they thought existed."

So indeed their population is more numerious than previously indicated.  How wonderful -- and what we have heard about those warnings on their dwindling population must have been "greatly exaggerated!" This is a great story to remember next time when we heard some warnings from some "scientist", we at least ask for some scientific verifications before jumping onto any conclusions.  The good things here is that no one as yet has try to hide the numbers like some of the "hide the decline"cases in some other area of "research". All power to the emperor penguins! They certainly had never been bothered by freaque waves.  They must know much more things about ocean than humans do!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

HD technology with 2B pixels

I came across this article from yesterday's UK Guardian. It got nothing to do with freaque waves, but I can't help wondering what this new high density technology of 2B pixel photos can do for the studies of ocean waves?  I don't think I can copy and reproduce it here. Click this to see the familiar scene of Mount Everest in 2B pixels and then zoom in to see a whole new world you have never been there!

Now how about apply it to get a similar picture of the waves, or freaque waves, if possible. Can Schrödinger scientists handle the 2B pixel details?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cyclone Evan in Fiji

While people in North America are preparing for a Merry Christmas of 2012, lest we forget that it is still the cyclone season in the Pacific Tropics.  Cyclone Evan jusr ravaged Fiji and onward to New Zealand. Here are some pictures showing the scenic aspect of Evan's visit to Fiji as shown in The Australian:


Of course we did not forget the unexpected visit of tropical storm Sandy that severely damaged some part of the unprepared U.S east coast.  Nature is ferociously defying any expectation and choose to arrive unexpected and unwelcome, no government with all kinds of useless executive orders, manmade meaningless laws, rules and regulations can cope and only cowardly hide inland to watch her people suffer!!! 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Post-Sandy Seaside Heights, N.J., November 2012

Here's an unusual picture which is one of TIME magazine's pick of Top 10 Photos of 2012:

The picture was taken by TIME Photographer Stephen Wilkes which is entitled "Seaside Heights, N.J., November 2012" with the following narration: 
I’ve covered disasters in other parts of our country, but Sandy devastated my hometown, it was a storm of historical significance. How does one begin to comprehend the scale of this storm? The only way for me was to capture Sandy’s destructive fury from above. 
On the Sunday after Sandy made landfall, I rented a helicopter and flew over some of the most devastated areas—it was everything I’d heard about, yet it was difficult to believe what I was actually seeing. Once we were above the shoreline, the scale of the destruction quickly came into focus. The expanse of land it ruined, the totality of the devastation — it was like a giant mallet had swung in circles around the entire coast. I was particularly drawn to Casino Pier, and the Jet Star rollercoaster, where this photograph was taken. As I flew over the area, the ocean appeared dead calm; there were no waves, the water looked as if I was in the Caribbean, not the Atlantic. That contrast in itself was surreal to experience, and I was reminded of the iconic image in the film Planet of The Apes. Charlton Heston, riding horseback along a deserted shoreline, suddenly sees a charred structure rising out of the water, the torch of the Statue of Liberty. In a strange way this image shares a parallel universe, perhaps a warning from post-apocalyptic Earth.
On the first sight of this picture it appears just like any aerial photo of  a quiet beach area. It's hard to recognize immediately the devastation until after reading the narration.  Of course we can imagine the ferocity the beach experienced during Sandy, but what is really unusual is seeing the rollercoaster structure became part of the ocean that makes it downright terrifying.  The aftermath of Sandy is still fully going on for the people being victimized.  We can only remember them in our prayers. Here at the closing days of the year 2012, we just can not help to remind ourselves that no matter where, no matter how, or no matter what, disaster happenings can never be totally ignored or excluded.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Pray for the missing fishermen after Typhoon

It's Sunday, so let us pray please! Especially after reading this AP news from the Philippines:
NEW BATAAN, Philippines (AP) -- The number of people missing after a typhoon devastated parts of the southern Philippines jumped to nearly 900 after families and fishing companies reported losing contact with more than 300 fishermen at sea, officials said Sunday.
May the Lord keep them and their family, safe and sound and surviving the unwelcome typhoon ordeals. When we enjoy our sea foods in our daily meals, don't forget all the brave fishermen all around the world out their in the sea, rain or shine, storm waves during hurricane or typhoon to bring the sea foods to us! Plus all the rescuers who are also out there, risking their own safety, trying to help rescuing the fishermen in need.  To them not help is not an option! They deserve our prayer, appreciation, and salute!

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Ferocious North California beach wave scene

I found this week old beach wave picture from North California from here. The picture is  from AP Photo/The Tribune, by David Middlecamp. The ferocious waves are good at looking from a safe distance, the two onlookers may be a little bit closer already!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Ten tidal bores of the world from TBRS

As someone grown up in China in the good old days, I have learned about the tidal bore at Chian-Tang River in Che-Chiang Province in elementary school.  Later on I also learned about the mathematics of tidal bore in graduate school.  Though I have never been to Chian-Tang River to actually see the bore there, I did have a chance to see the tidal bore at Nova Scotia when I attended a conference there some years ago. But I have never heard that there's a Tidal Bore Research Society until today when I wondered my way into them on the internet.  The TBRS website is really a gold mine for tidal bore informations all around the world complete with all pictures and detail informations. Here's their comparison table of 10 largest tidal bores in the world:

I recommend visit their web site to check out of the local pictures. It's a very nice adventure at home!

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Vincent van Gogh's view of ocean seascape.

Ocean waves are ubiquitous, everyone has probably . seen and known what an ocean wave looks like. Here's a view of Dutch post-impressionist artist Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890):

Is this more or less realistic than the modern scientists' view as a random process at a single point??