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Hot Damage
and other disasters

Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1981)

Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid
July 14, 2012

You could use a cup of my famous java.

...It was a street of frustrated hopes and broken dreams...

Music Association: Bob Dylan - One More Cup of Coffee

when is ice cream not ice cream

It's Still Hot
July 12, 2012

Could someone explain how it can be 90° in Minneapolis and 78° in Memphis?

Music Association: Martha and the Vandellas - Heatwave

Mighty Servant 3 sinks off Angola, December 2006

July 11, 2012

On December 6, 2006 off the coast of Angola, the Mighty Servant 3 sunk.

Makes you wonder whatever happened to the Mighty Servants one and two.

Music Association: Fleetwood Mac - Sara  "Drowning In The Sea Of Love"

Land of Sky Blue Water Damage
July 10, 2012

Have you ever felt like everyone else was dry and the rain was targeting just you?

Truman Show (1998)

That may be what parts of northeastern Minnesota feel like.

Water damage in Minnesota extends from Moose Lake to Duluth and northward.

Gooseberry Falls 2012

Here's what the Gooseberry Falls looked like recently as photographed by Alexius Deters.

Many events of the Minneapolis Aquatennial (July 13-21) are free of charge.

The northeastern Minnesota clean-up movie association is The Truman Show and...

Young Frankenstein (1974)

Freddy:  What a filthy job!
Igor:       Could be worse.
Freddy:  How?
Igor:       Could be raining.

Music Association: Talking Heads - Take Me To The River
Movie Associations: Truman Show & Young Frankenstein

Sunburn is RNA Damage
July 9, 2012

Sunburn is triggered by
ultraviolet (UV) radiation damage to the ribonucleic acid (RNA) of skin cells.

Lab coat wearing researchers at the
University of California - San Diego took a field trip to the beach with some field mice. They set up little tiny lounge chairs for the mice. The researchers and mice soaked up the sun.

Occasionally, the researchers looked over at the mice with magnifying glasses in hand. This focused sunlight on the mice and enabled the sunning scientists to see UV-B
radiation fracturing and tangling RNA fragments, then released by the irradiated cells, and causing neighboring cells to trigger the inflammatory response to shed the damaged cells.summer sun

The mice yelled, "Hey, do you mind?!?" And everyone laid back to damage their RNA under the summer San Diego sun.

Music Associations: Blue Oyster Cult - Burning' For You & Sheryl Crow - Soak Up the Sun

Destruction of forests at St. Croix State Park, MN

July 6, 2012

If a tree falls down in a forest that is closed due to a state shutdown, does anyone notice?

Trees fell down in the forests of  St. Croix State Park a year ago, and people noticed.

High winds and soggy ground took out more than half the trees in 11,000 acres of the park's 34,000 acres.

St. Croix State Park blowdown logging in July 2012

When we were there recently, the park ranger said the bugs were bad. You caught that, right? The park ranger said the bugs were bad. Whoa.

The whole Duluth area has been flooded with rains, so that means stagnant water, which means huge gangs of mosquitoes and flies the size of deers.
deer fly reflects on biting a mirror
Bug Sense
As a Mosquito Scientist (what a dipterist!), I know the five ways mosquitoes zero in on me (not you, me):
1. Motion (I am always in motion, I'm just not hyper)
2. Carbon Dioxide (I breathe)
3. Heat (I am hot. Even when it's cold, I'm hot)
4. Humidity (I sweat a manly sweat)
5. Cholesterol on my skin surface (I have efficient HDL)

I am not a deer fly expert. I mean, I wasn't. Now I am. 

Driving through St. Croix, the bugs weren't bad. They were awful. They were horrendous. Or they were amazing, if you could drive through the park with the air conditioning on and the windows rolled up. The deer flies follow the moving car as a swarm and land on it. When the car stops, the deer flies bite the car, get confused, and leave.

thank you, thank-you-very-muchDeer flies go after the motion of the vehicle. Then they bite. They don't wait around to smell the air or take skin surveys. They bite.

Some logging vehicles were abandoned in the middle of the afternoon. I never investigated the mystery.

Music Associations: REO Speedwagon - Time For Me To Fly &
Albert E. Brumley - I'll Fly Away

“Let's Get This Over With”
July 5, 2012

Fireworks Controller:                "Don't push that button. It will start everything."
Impatient San Diego Official:  "That's exactly what I want to do." [push]
Fireworks:                                   BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM! [silence & ear-ringing]

Last night in San Diego, eighteen minutes of fireworks went off in about eighteen seconds, five minutes early as if someone were in a hurry and pushed the Everything button.

2012 San Diego fireworks

The debate of today is Fail, Epic Fail, or Win (since if this didn't happen, we wouldn't be talking about San Diego today).

The San Diego high temperature yesterday was 66° F.

July 4, 2012 US weather map

San Diego hurried up the fireworks because they were feeling a little chilly.

Okay, their eighteen seconds of fireworks fame are up.

Here's a picture of this past weekend's Hmong Sports Tournament in hot and sunny Saint Paul, Minnesota.

2012 Hmong Sports Tournament, St. Paul, MN

There's a lot to see. Try not to see it all at once.

Music Association: Katy Perry - Fireworks

Independence Day
July 3, 2012

When you send a letter, do you ever date it ahead of the date that you wrote it?

Not many people write letters any more. But back when penmanship mattered, sometimes letters were dated ahead so they wouldn't have to be rewritten due to delays.

The Declaration of Independence was ratified on July 2nd. But it was dated as July 4th.

John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail:
"The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."

Yeah, well... about that...

History has not marked the United States Independence Day as July 2nd.

Due to my famous timelines and calendars, I feel obligated to list a Declaration of Independence timeline:
April-June 1776 - Many informal declarations of independence throughout the colonies (war began in 1775)
June 11, 1776 - Continental Congress appoints committee to draft a resolution
July 1, 1776 - Continental Congress begins vote on Independence
July 2, 1776 - Continental Congress concludes vote on Independence [spoiler alert]  it passed
July 4, 1776 - the date on the document
July 8, 1776 - Public readings of the Declaration in Philadelphia, Easton, and Trenton
July 9, 1776 - Fourth New York Provisional Congress declared independence
July 9, 1776 - Declaration read to General Washington's Continental Army
mid-July 1776 - colonial newspapers reprint the Declaration, British officials send it to England
July 19, 1776 - Timothy Matlack, a clerk to  Secretary Charles Thomson, engrossed parchment copy
August 2, 1776 - Declaration of Independence signing day
mid-August 1776 - British newspapers reprint the Declaration
November 4, 1776 - New Hampshire delegate Matthew Thornton signed the Declaration (the last signer)

Declaration of Independence as engrossed by Timothy Matlack

It's self-evident. Independence Day was yesterday.

Oh and don't get me started about how they lost the original manuscript of the Declaration of Independence.

Music Association: Carrie Underwood - Independence Day

Liberty and Justice Connect
July 2, 2012
Liberty and Justice for all
Liberty and Justice were talking about being national symbols and always having to carry outdated stuff. "Do you even know what I'm carrying?" Liberty asked.

"A book and a torch," Justice said.

"Who told you?" Liberty asked while setting her stuff down.

"Nobody told me. This blindfold doesn't make me blind. It's a myth that I'm blind. I was imagining what it must be like to have to wear a crown all the time," Justice wondered.

Liberty took her crown off and noticed, "Hey, I can see your eyes! That's not much of a blindfold. Here, try on my crown."

"No, thank you," Justice replied. "Don't you think I have enough to carry?"

"You were the one who wanted to know what it's like," Liberty said while putting her crown back on her head.

"Yeah. You know, I can see Guantanamo Bay," Justice said. "Just because I don't know who they are or what they've done, doesn't mean I can't see them. I know they're there and there's nothing..." Justice sniffs, "...nothing I can do about it. I can't go to Cuba. I can see; I just don't have a passport."

"I know. I know," Liberty said.

Empty green eyes stared, unblinkingly, into empty gold eyes. Liberty put her arms around Justice and kissed her golden lips.

Music Association: Katharine Lee Bates - America the Beautiful

Blonded and Insured
July 1, 2012

Went to see Legally Blonde the Musical at Tartan High School this weekend.  Based on the movie based on the novel, the musical had more set changes than many professional plays. (All this in three weeks? Kudos to director Ryan DeLaCroix!)

Legally Blonde, starred Katie-Lynn Brooks as Elle Woods, a UCLA fashion student who stalks follows her ex-boyfriend to Harvard law school. Ms. Brooks carried the play amazingly, singing and acting for most of the two and a half hours.

Rachel Roettger, as Paulette Buonofuonte the hairstylist, was dynamic with the Ireland song. She had strong stage-presence, looking out and connecting with the audience.

Brittany  Stone as Serena was great as the Bend and Snap instructor.Legally Blonde the Musical at Tartan High School

Luke Mielke stole the show as Kyle the UPS Guy from the first time he sauntered through the audience.

Chloe the Chihuahua filled the Bruiser role with limited stage-time and the hope of future adoption.

Wait. Did I just review a high school play?!?

Music Association: Laurence O'Keefe & Nell Benjamin - Omigod You Guys

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