Real-time Earth and Moon phase

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Typhoon Usagi in Southern China

Here are two photos of interest from america.aljazeera.comamerica.aljazeera.com showing the recent Typhoon Usagi visiting Southern China:

A surfer jumps from his board after catching an unusually large wave in Hong Kong's Big Wave Bay on Monday.(Jessica Hromas/Getty Images)

People watch waves hit shore as Typhoon Usagi approaches Shantou in GuangTong province.(Reuters)

Now this second picture posts a nagging question: the big wave is obviously coming, why the two people still standing there not to run away for safety? Are they for real?

By the way here's the path of Usagi that appears aiming directly at Hong Kong and southern edge of Chinese mainland;


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Yes, God is in Antarctica too!

This is an article with a clever title "There's no God in Antarctica" that attracted me to take a look. I have never heard of the author, Jo Stewart, or the site vice.com, a magazine of some kind. There are some language used in this article seems to be unnecessary, may be just for the magazine.  Anyway, the article is a super travelogue with super pictures that I have not seen elsewhere. And this video is well worth the watching to feel the ocean in action down there!

I found especially intriguing are the two pictures interior and exterior of the church I don't think I have seen other Antarctica articles ever mention:



along with this narration:
Obviously whoever built Trinity Church on King George Island hadn’t heard the old sailor’s adage, “Below 50 degrees south there is no law; below 60 degrees south there is no God.” This little slice of Russian Orthodoxy is maintained by a priest year-round, and he does such a good job it even has a church-like smell—that unmistakable potpourri of candles, incense, guilt, and shame. That’s an impressive feat given the funk of penguin vomit and seal excrement almost constantly hanging in the air in Antacrtica.
So I find myself admiring the author to go to Antarctica and willing to spend time to visit and experience the church smell!

And this interesting signs picture:


with the background scenery shows surprisingly a calm and tranquil Antarctica Ocean. For the trip of getting down there the author has this to say:
For many, the trek to Antarctica involves sailing from the southern tip of South America and crossing the Drake Passage, a.k.a., “the Drake,”  which is known for whipping up some of the roughest seas on the planet. Just for the record: I hate the Drake. Most travellers get to experience the passage from a comfy cruise ship with an icebreaker hull (still not exactly a picnic), but if you’re in a smaller working yacht, as I was, it’s a whole different kettle of krill. In storms, these yachts lurch, roll, and shake so violently that eating is futile given the inevitable seasickness, sleep is nearly impossible, and a simple task like dressing yourself is pure slapstick. Being surrounded by a churning, featureless gray-black monster that has no regard for your life is a sobering experience for a land dweller.
which is of course no surprise to any one. It also reaffirms that I have no intention of visiting Antarctica even on a cruise ship.  

Upon enjoy reading this superb travelogue I like to register one disagreement with the author -- I would like to change the title to "Yes, there's God in Antarctica too!"

A rogue wave came out of nowhere and rolled us over

The statement "A rogue wave came out of nowhere and rolled us over" is certainly does not seem to be strange or unusual to freaque wave news followers, because it is no longer some rare happenings, it is more frequent than anyone would like to hear! We hear it again this morning from this News article by Chris Trenkmann:
TAMPA - When Harrison Mettling and five of his friends set out for a day of fishing, they never expected to be the ones who were fished out of Tampa Bay.
"We saw the storm coming in.  We thought we could get in in time.  And then it was a little rough," said Mettling.  "It wasn't that bad, and then a rogue wave came out of nowhere and rolled us over." 
Here's the rest of the story:
Mettling, 24, said the once tranquil bay near Weedon Island became more like high seas, and six foot waves began pummeling the 18-foot boat.  The craft's bilge pump seemed to be emptying the water fast enough, until a cord got tangled in the boat's propeller, effectively shutting down the motor.

The helpless boat, unable to steer or power through the waves, capsized.

"When the boat flipped over, it hit me in the head and I was kind of seeing stars for a little bit," Mettling said.  "I couldn't figure out where was up."

Mettling managed to come to his senses, and during the next two hours, swam nearly two miles to shore.

Jared Lyons, 24, and girlfriend Brittany Whitten, 23, recalled the force of the rainfall.

"It hurt," Whitten said.  "It felt like needles."

The Lakeland couple said after setting out in the morning, the weather was virtually perfect until late afternoon.

"We got the worst of it.  We got turned upside-down," Lyons said.

For Whitten, it was her first time fishing.  It might be her last for some time.

"It was terrifying," Whitten said.  "But I caught a fish," she said, trying to put humor in a frightening experience.

The Tampa Police marine unit responded to the emergency call.  Their boat reached three of the boaters who were struggling in waist deep water.  It was too shallow to get them by boat, so officer Randy Lopez got into the bay and reached them in person.

Lyons and Whitten were rescued by a passerby.

"it's a recipe for disaster if you're not prepared out there on the water," Lopez said, noting that none of the boaters was wearing any life jackets.

"This is a prime example that if they had the life jackets on, they could have been safe," Lopez said.

Mettling said he won't make that mistake next time.

"Whenever you see a storm coming in, put on your life jackets and get in as quickly as possible," Mettling recommended.  "Don't try to wait and catch that last fish.  Go ahead and head home."
This last comment by Mr. Mettling is clearly a very sound advice based from his own experience.And of course never ever neglect to wear life jacket by any means! Bad weather and freaque waves are to be expected, please make certain don't ever get caught unprepared out there!


Friday, September 20, 2013

Mid-autumn Harvest moon


This was the rising of the September full moon I took early Wednesday evening. According to earthsky.org the skylore says this is the Harvest Moon of 2013 since it is closest to the autumnal equinox this year on September 22.  For Chinese people this is also the mid-autumn moon, supposedly the brightest of all the full moons of the year. Happy mid-autumn moon festival everyone!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Lightening over the ocean and twin water sprout over the lake

Here are two Pictures of the Day from Washington Post showing two over water phenomena: Lightening over the ocean near Maine and twin water sprout over the lake near Wisconsin:


9/11/13 Robert F. Bukaty, AP  Lightning strikes north of Mackworth Island in Portland, Maine.



9/12/13 Kevin Poirier, Kenosha News/AP  Twin water spouts form on Lake Michigan southeast of Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Friday, September 13, 2013

A fascinating coastal ocean wave picture

Surfing on the Internet -- yea, the only kind of surfing that will not get me wet!-- I came across this picture from this site called "the open" which I find fascinating. The photographer has this to say "About the Shot": " Morning offshore winds perfectly groomed this wave as the sunrises." Rather poetic, don't you think?. It looks like a long swell kind of wave lazily propagated over in the morning breeze as  the sun rises, at the end the wave curled up, and expectedly or unexpectedly broke.  Was it by wind or was the energy exhausted?  The whole picture looked so calm and tranquil. All the credit and admirations go to the photographer, Myles McGuinness, for captured this in credible moment and this scene. I am not allowed to copy the picture, so I'll refrain from attempting to do it. Just go visit the site and enjoy the pictures there and be fascinated!



Wednesday, September 04, 2013

What's 'freaque wave' in Chinese language?

What's 'freaque wave' in Chinese language?

I don't know. But I do have a suggestion:
常波
which literally translates to be strangely unusual waves, I think it generally includes the implication of freaque in the words.

In Taiwan, the Republic of China, I understand their local fishermen do encounter freaque waves not infrequently.  One statistic indicated that there were 50 cases recorded during the 50 year period of 1949-1999 many of them fatal.  The local fishermen had rather unflatteringly called the wave
瘋狗波
which means the ribbi-dog wave. It certainly carried out what a freaque wave truly meant to the fishermen out there when they encounter it. No one seems to be inclined to provide an alternative term for this folksy term yet.

Strangely enough, the mainland China doing just all western scientific researches available, but I have yet to see them doing creditable research on freaque waves per se.  I guess the ruling regime is so superstitious that they are scared of repeating the same history of Boris Yeltsin revolution that toppled  the old USSR that can still happen anytime there. The power that be, accusing people "anti-revolution" all the time but will not allow people using that term, would not even allow words like rogue, freak, freaque to exist either, so no research on freaque waves naturally. Pity!