Well…I guess in retrospect we coulda just cancelled the whole college football season and proceeded directly to the Championship game…as the two teams that everybody said back in August…Clemson and Alabama…were head and shoulders above the rest of them…anyways they proved everybody correct last Saturday by beating their semi-final playoff opponents. Clemson won 30-3 gradually pulling away from an overmatched Notre Dame squad. Alabama was up 28-0 with 2 minutes gone in the second quarter…as predicted Oklahoma had no defense and at least for the first 17 minutes of game time no offense either…before winning 45-34. Neil was kinda surprised that they jumped on the Sooners that much that early…and also surprise that given the ability of the Sooner offense to score bunches of points that Coach Saban took his foot off the gas as early as he did. Oklahoma scored 10 in the first half of the second quarter then the Tide used up the second half of the quarter on a long field gold drive to lead 31-10 at the half. In the second half…the Sooners did manage to find some offense scoring another 24 while our side mostly ran the ball and used clock to score twice and were on the verge of a third score after a 7 or 8 minute drive when time expired.
Clemson and Alabama will meet next week for the championship…they’ve met each of the past 4 years in the playoffs and they’re clearly the best two teams. The talking heads…one would call them headlets I guess…keep talking about Alabama and Clemson fatigue and want somebody else to win…but at least to this point over the past few years no other team has stepped up and shown they are in the same league.
We had a nice Christmas…then this past week got back to work. Gordon came in and he and Neil replaced the slide topper fabric on the rig…they were falling apart after 3 years in the winter sun down here in FL and summers spent in hot and windy places. They also worked on planning for next summer’s travels…as of today we have our route and stopping places all figured out and Connie will start picking out campgrounds next week sometime I guess.
The other big news…well at least it’s big in the space business…is that NASA’s probe New Horizons…and no, it wasn’t built at Camp Horizons in Kansas…anyway the probe passed an object known as Ultima Thule or 2014 MU69 as it’s astronomical designation today. Thule is a 20 mile long oblong object/planetoid Kuiper belt object about 4 billion miles from the sun or about 300 million miles past the minor space system formerly known as the planet Pluto. From there…because the probe had some fuel left after passing Pluto…it was given an extended mission to pass through the Kuiper belt to investigate whatever might be there.
Nothing much else going on down here though…
We did see the hatching of the second egg down at the nest of Harriet and M15…it hatched on Christmas Eve and both eaglets are alive and kicking as they say…here’s a shot of mom feeding the two of them a fish the was delivered a few minutes ago by M15.
They’re still little bundles of gray feathers at this point…all they do is eat and poop.
Not much else to report…so let’s see what interesting things were found on the net this week.
As you can see from this graphic…the cost of getting things into space is coming down…but it’s still not low enough to make exploration of planets outside the earth any cheaper or more likely…Musk and his ilk keep talking about a mission to Mars…but the real problem is that it would take most of an entire year’s worth of all global launch missions just to get the vehicle, food, oxygen, water, and spare parts needed into orbit. At minimum a mission to Mars would take 200-250 days each way plus however long the crew stayed there for exploration. With zero possibility of external support…they would need going on two years of food, fuel, water, oxygen, and parts…and even the ISS only has 6 months or so of food, fuel, and oxygen onboard…and it took something like 70 space shuttle missions to put it together.
Another space related graphic…the closest galaxy to our own Milky Way is the Andromeda Galaxy at about 2.5 million light years away. It’s not visible to the naked eye…and I always thought that you needed a telescope to see it. Turns out that actually what you need is more sensitive eyes…here’s a graphic showing what Andromeda would look like to the naked eye if you could see it.
It’s over 6 times the angular width of the full moon…I never realized that.
Now we all know that the earth’s surface is about 80% covered by water right? So how much water is that exactly. Well…according to scientists…the earth has 330 million cubic miles of water on it…but that doesn’t really mean anything to most people. I found this graphic and it turns out that if you do the math 330 million cubic miles would be a ball of water about 800 miles in diameter. Again…that doesn’t mean much to most people but maybe this graphic will help. The earth is obviously on the right and the blue marble next to it is a sphere 800 miles in diameter…the other planet looking thing is the moon Europa which orbits Jupiter. Me…I would have thought the ball of water would be much larger compared to the earth than it actually is.
Borrowed from Real People of Walmart which is a series of photos by Greg White of http://www.ourrvadventures.com. Jammies…really?
Fixer upper snowman for sale.
Heroes…like the t-shirts on this organ donor and recipient.
That’s Christmas dinner sorted out.
What’s the worst that could happen?
Mexican fire opal…when illuminated it looks like clouds with a sunset behind them.
This is a hybrid corn variety named Glass Gem Corn…pretty neat.
Another size representation graphic…we all know that there are about 7.3 billion humans on the planet…if you put them all in one place how much space would they take up? Superimposed on the island of Manhattan below…turns out that a cubic building of 1.07 km on a size could hold all of them. The Empire State Building and the world’s tallest building (Burj Khalifa) are on the side of the cube for reference. 1.07 km is 3,510 feet so that’s how large this cube would need to be.
Is this the best color name they could come up with?
Lenticular clouds over Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa.
And finally…not what you want to see at the airport.