Stale Thoughts and Broken Links

Old posts from my weblog.

(Click here for posts on geophysics and the energy industry.)


Associated Press: Tsunami Death Toll As Listed by Country.

"At least 121,213 people were killed in 11 countries in southern Asia and Africa from Sunday's massive earthquake and tsunami waves, according to official figures."

Here's an animation that apparently shows the propagation of the tsunami through the Indian Ocean.

I don't know anything about how the animation was generated, so I can't vouch for it's accuracy. The link is from the USGS site. I tried to find some more information about how it was generated, but all I found was a small-print analysis by blogger Thomas Nephew.


Reuters: Millions Hunt for Food as Tsunami Toll Over 80,000.

"The toll could rise to 100,000 when the dead are counted in India's remote Andaman and Nicobar islands...."

"The tsunami is the world's biggest disaster since a cyclone killed 130,000 people in Bangladesh in 1991."

Los Angeles Times: Vienna not swamping Starbucks.

"The Viennese coffeehouse, almost by definition, offers free newspapers and an oxygen supply severely compromised by cigarette smoke. The coffee is brought to the table -- ideally, by a surly, tuxedo-clad waiter -- on a small silver tray, accompanied by a glass of water with the coffee spoon balanced on top."


AP: Asia Struggles As Death Toll Hits 44,000.

"Sunday's massive quake of 9.0 magnitude off the Indonesian island of Sumatra sent 500-mph waves surging across the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal in the deadliest known tsunami since the one that devastated the Portuguese capital of Lisbon in 1755 and killed an estimated 60,000 people."

I'm a big BCS defender, but I've got to admit that these guys got a raw deal --

Houston Chronicle: Cal has Holiday attitude. Bears grouchy over losing coveted Rose Bowl berth.

"... fourth-ranked Cal is a tad upset that fifth-ranked Texas has the Rose Bowl bid in hand, while the Bears are left with a Holiday Bowl contest against Texas Tech.

"Boy, are they upset."


AP: Tidal Waves Kill 23,700 in Nine Countries.

"Government and aid officials suggested the toll could jump even further, citing unconfirmed reports of thousands more deaths on the Indonesian island of Sumatra and on India's Andaman and Nicobar islands, areas closest to the quake's epicenter." ...

"The governments of Indonesia and Thailand conceded that public warnings came too late or not at all. But officials insisted they could not know the seriousness of the threat because no tsunami warning system exists for the Indian Ocean."


NYT: Most Powerful Quake in 40 Years Triggers Death and Destruction.

Associated Press: Asian Quakes' Tsunami Kill More Than 7,200.

"The world's most powerful earthquake in 40 years triggered massive tidal waves that slammed into villages and seaside resorts across southern and southeast Asia on Sunday, killing more than 7,200 people in six countries."

USGS: Preliminary Earthquake Report.

Houston: It's Worth It.

"On Christmas you can still wear shorts and a tee shirt."

> They're selling windshield ice scrapers to give to "your yankee friends." Funny that a lot of this area broke all-time records for snowfall yesterday, and on Christmas no less. (If you're unfamiliar with Houston, the temperature rarely dips below freezing here.)

> We didn't get any snow here in The Woodlands, 45 miles north of downtown Houston, though.


Oh no-ooooo! --

Houston Chronicle: LSU coach Nick Saban accepts job with Dolphins.

> Bah, humbug!


Slate: Homo Respect-us.

"Gregory Stock, a biotech apostle from UCLA, predicts that within 10 to 20 years, human eggs will be screened for personality traits."

> I guess that will put an end to that "meek shall inherit the earth" stuff.

I don't post Flash links like this too often, but I recognized the "before" picture in this one --

The Dangers of Drinking Beer.

> Earlier this year, the local paper here in Montgomery County publish a set of six or so arrest photos of a local area meth junkie. The pictures had been taken over a ten year period, and they demonstrated how badly a meth addict ages in ten years. The most recent mug shot was the one that starts this before/after gag.

> Of course, the meth addict didn't really look like Brittney Spears ten years ago.


For the kids, I guess --

The White House: Where in the White House is Miss Beazley?

"Blue ornaments? Who decorated this tree with blue ornaments?"


An old one, but worth a review --

Ole Eichhorn: The Tyranny of Email.

"Turn your email client off. You should pick the moment at which you'll be interrupted."


Fast Company: The 6 Myths Of Creativity.

"We coded all 12,000 journal entries for the degree of fear, anxiety, sadness, anger, joy, and love that people were experiencing on a given day.... The entries show that people are happiest when they come up with a creative idea, but they're more likely to have a breakthrough if they were happy the day before.... One day's happiness often predicts the next day's creativity."


I can't believe it's almost X-mas. At my house we have done nothing to prepare for Santa's arrival -- unless you count cleaning the den. I need something to get me in the holiday spirit, but this isn't it --

National Lampoon: The 10 Least Successful Holiday Specials of All Time.


I was telling my kids about this recently --

Useless Information: Lake Peigneur Disaster.

"Thursday, November 21, 1980.... Texaco was drilling on the edge of a salt dome. Unfortunately, salt domes tend to be the home of salt mines. Yes, they drilled right into the third level of the Diamond Crystal Salt Mine that had been operating nearby."


NYT: The Hit We Almost Missed.

"... I was invited to sort through a stack of records and demos that were to be junked. Among them I discovered a gem: a studio-cut acetate of ‘Like a Rolling Stone.’ Carefully packing it into an empty LP jacket, I carried it home and that weekend played it more than once in my apartment.... Then, on Sunday evening, it came to me. I knew exactly where the song could be fully appreciated."


WSJ (subscription): Landscape Architects: Deer Are Designing Future Look of Forests.

"Nationally, whitetail population estimates range from 20 million to 33 million -- more than when Columbus arrived five centuries ago, wildlife historians believe. That's way too many deer to allow forests to regain their health and diversity...."

"Increasingly, professional hunting teams are hired to kill deer at taxpayer expense. This usually happens after battles between local factions for and against killing deer. ‘Market hunting is still taboo, but we talk about it,’ says Mr. Shissler, the wildlife biologist and consultant. Market hunting -- allowing commercial deer-killing and the sale of wild venison -- has been outlawed since early in the last century."


NYT: Under All That Ice, Maybe Oil.

"About 49 million years back, with the climate cooling and the atmosphere's greenhouse burden declining, the retrieved shafts of sediment also speak of an extraordinary, short-lived era of several hundred thousand years when so much warm fresh water apparently topped the Arctic's oxygen-starved salty depths that the polar sea became matted with tiny Azolla ferns, resembling the duckweed that can choke suburban ponds."

Walter Kessinger

Stale Thoughts Archive Walter's Home Page