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Forestry Phyromaniacs
May 21, 2016

The U.S. Forestry Service started a controlled burn Thursday (5-19) that burned out of control in the Superior National Forest near Foss Lake. It's still burning. It was supposed to have only burned 78 acres. So far, it has burned over 1,000 acres, northward into the BWCA.

U.S. Forestry says the uncontrolled burn was supposed to clear dead wood and encourage jack pines. They say the problem was the wind changed. Oops.
Smokey, you only had one job
According to the forestry journal Fire Management Today volume 60 issue 4:
“There are plenty of reasons to control-burn and many ways to do it. But we are often told that burning is necessary simply to prevent conflagrations and that it is easier, cheaper, and safer than fire supression. It is, inherently, none of these. Free-burning fire is as complex as the living world that sustains it. There are biotas that more or less expect fire, biotas that tolerate it, and biotas that suffer from it. More precisely, places accomodate the regimes under which fire appears. Applying and removing fire affects each of them differently.”

According to the forestry journal Fire Management Today volume 66 issue 1, the definition of controlled burns depends on:
1.  skill
2.  under exacting weather conditions
3.  in a definite place

Well, the Foss Lake fire left its definitive place... due to unexpected winds, which calls into question the skill of the U.S. Forestry officials.

Music Association: Pointer Sisters - Fire
Update 5-22: The fire is 70% uncontained. Working on the fire are 6 crews, 2 helicopters, 2 engines, 1 water tender, and 180 total personnel.
Update 5-24: The fire is 45% uncontained. Working on the fire are 6 crews, 2 helicopters, 4 engines, 1 water tender, and 217 total personnel.

Wildfire Costs by the Seattle Times

guests in the woods

Smokey by Michael Maslin for the New Yorker

Global Temperature Changes
May 14, 2016

Ed Hawkins, a climate scientist in the National Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University of Reading, posted a graphical representation of global temperature changes this week.

global temperature changes by Ed Hawkins

Music Association: Kool and the Gang - Too Hot

Christos of St. Paul
May 9, 2016

Later this month, the Christos of St. Paul will close.

Christos has filled the empty great hall of the Union Depot since 1996 with the wonderful tastes and smells of Greek food.

After withstanding years of economic-recovery-based construction projects, the Greek restaurant could not get a new lease.

No more spanakopita (spinach and cheese baked golden in phyllo dough). No more kalmata olives. No more shish-kebabs or mousaka (eggplant and potato casserole). No more tzatziki and veggies on pita. No more saganaki on fire -- Opa!

Good-bye Christos and thank you. You've been delicious for twenty years. You will be missed.

Music Association: Wombats - Greek Tragedy
-- Visit Christos in Minneapolis or Minnetonka instead! --

Hopes and Dreams

April 21, 2016

It rained this morning in Minneapolis. A legend died.

Prince died in his home in suburban Chanhassen. An artist, guitarist, singer and songwriter, Prince had an unrestrained style that at times mixed Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, and Little Richard but was uniquely his own.

He wrote his own music, wrote music for others, and stood up for his beliefs. He was 57.

Music Association: Prince - Purple Rain
Twin Cities Calendar: April 21-22, 11pm-7am Prince memorial block party, First Avenue (free)
Twin Cities Calendar: April 30, 1pm-6pm  Prince block party, Sabathani Community Center, 310 E 38th St, Minneapolis (free) - wear purple

commercial review
Waste Not, Want Not
April 14, 2016

I subscribe to a philosophy of waste not, want not. It is an absence of wasting and wanting.

It helps me enjoy the now -- this moment -- with focus. I enjoy being. I am part of nature. Repair improves upon what is, internally and externally.

This philosophy does so much with so little. It is a trail to a positive attitude. It is a path away from climate change. {Climate change side note: Sir David Attenborough discusses the undiscussed, undercurrent multiplier of climate change.}

Waste not, want not is so much an ingrained part of me that I sometimes forget about the commercial world. I don't watch much television, and I usually mute the commercials. A recent Sprint commercial slipped by the mute-barrier by involving visuals and reading. I know!

Reading: normal for foreign film subtitles, weird for commercials. The ad said, “How it feels to get a new iPhone every year,” and then a woman dances. I don't get it.
Zero stars.

How it feels to get a new iPhone every year

Music Association: Beatles - Can't Buy Me Love
More Information: Union of Concerned Scientists - Climate Deception (pdf)

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