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The Old Weird California

In general, our concepts of things like 100 Year Floods and 1000 Year Floods are based on what we have measurements for, which is usually roughly the 20th Century. But it’s quite possible that the 20th Century wasn’t all that representative. Perhaps the 21st Century will be quite a bit more extreme in one way or another.

For example, one commenter has pointed out that Los Angeles, which averaged 15 inches of rain per year in the 20th Century, received 66 inches in 1861-62.

Here’s another Old Weird California weather fact. Richard Henry Dana visited California on a sailing ship out of Boston in the mid-1830s and came back to write an 1840 bestseller about it, Two Years Before the Mast.

One of the themes of his book was the trouble caused by a routine cold wind out of the east which blew his ship away from the California coast almost to Hawaii. Back then, it had a name and was considered by Californios to be a common pest.

But we don’t have it today. We have a warm wind out of the southeast, the notorious Santa Ana made famous by Raymond Chandler:

“There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.”

Here’s an insane tribute to the Santa Ana winds by the Philip Marlowe/Frankie Valli/Phil Spector/Pee Wee Herman narrator of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend:”

But, apparently, there used to be a cold wind from the East in Southern California. Yet, when Dana revisited California just before the Civil War, he mentioned that the cold East wind had stopped, which had made life much more pleasant in California.

That’s weird.

But maybe the future will be weird, too.

Speaking of disasters:

 
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  1. Climate change! Weirding! Catastrophe! Catastrophe!

    I blame it on that Putin.

    • Replies: @Neoconned
    Steve I remember a discussion on here talking about how David Lynch loved the "old, weird America".....

    Who said rhat term first?
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  2. I have never had a chance to track down the claim (nor do I have any particular reason to doubt it) by the author of Cadillac Desert that the 1850s is believed to be one of the wettest decades in several centuries in Kansas, allowing the New Englanders to get initially well settled in there and leading to such misguided theories as “Rain Follows the Plow”.

    (Weather anomalies are a funny thing. Would we have skateboarding as we know it today if there weren’t so many empty swimming pools in the Seventies due to the drought? (Don’t know how much of the Seventies you were away for with Rice and all, but the documentary “Dogtown and Z-Boys” (NOT the Seventies “nostalgia-porn” film with Heath Ledger (I want to say it was called “Lords of Dogtown” ) which let the younger Hollywood set dress up in their parents’ clothes and try and relive disco) covers the ground well. If you have not seen it, run do not walk as they say …)

  3. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Such an amazing book. If you think you have it bad imagine running around on icy rigging while traversing the roaring 40′s trying desperately to get around Cape Horn, oftentimes in total darkness.

    • Replies: @syonredux

    Such an amazing book. If you think you have it bad imagine running around on icy rigging while traversing the roaring 40′s trying desperately to get around Cape Horn, oftentimes in total darkness.

     

    Yeah. Two Years Before the Mast is an excellent book.
    , @Weltanschauung
    Amazing, too, that a memoir by a New England lawyer taking time off from his Harvard education ends up being almost our only primary source for what life was like in California before the Gold Rush.
  4. You mean the climate CHANGED? Holy Mother! THE CLIMATE CHANGED!! Stop the presses.

    • Replies: @Olorin
    Good lord. Can we please up our science game in commenting on this topic in 2017?

    Our host noted:


    In general, our concepts of things like 100 Year Floods and 1000 Year Floods are based on what we have measurements for, which is usually roughly the 20th Century.
     
    No, the prevailing concepts/definitions of those terms are not based on that century.

    But he comes around to the intelligent conclusion:


    But it’s quite possible that the 20th Century wasn’t all that representative. Perhaps the 21st Century will be quite a bit more extreme in one way or another.
     
    Though framed improperly this is intuitively accurate and highly likely.

    Fact is we have more long-term climate data based on exhaustive measurements of all sorts of natural and geological phenomena than any of us would know what to do with.

    When you start looking at the sigmas and the p's of big chunks of it all, never mind how they interact and reinforce, the conclusions converge on the near and distant horizons within a narrow and disconcerting azimuth.

    Dendrochronology/paleoclimatology--NOAA NCEI
    https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data-access/paleoclimatology-data/datasets/tree-ring

    NOAA paleo data search (literature; pick your data specialties)
    https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo-search/?dataTypeId=18

    NOAA paleoclimate data map
    https://gis.ncdc.noaa.gov/maps/ncei/paleo?layers=0000000000000001

    Just three out of many available places to look for information or simply dip a toe into the scope and scale of climate data.

    Our camp has got to stop with the reactive kneejerk corporate propaganda flatulations on this topic. It's as idiotic and embarrassing to observe as when liberals talk about genetics/genomics.

  5. Well, you know what else happened in the 1800s? THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION.

    Climate Change ™ switched the california winds. Qed.

  6. Hurricane Sandy is often referred to in NY/NJ as a “500 year storm”. And it was unusual in many ways; a late October that was huge and did not weaken in the cooler water off the Northeast coast. But what set it apart was it came ashore exactly on 2 of the 3 full moon tide cycles and kept that water from going out. If it came ashore a day or 2 before or after, it would not have been nearly a big deal. Because of the tides, it pushed 2 high moon tide walls of water in shore and kept it from flowing out. There are typically 3 or 4 moon tides every 28 day cycle, so having a hurricane come ashore one of those 28 days as opposed to the other 27 is a longshot, being big enough to stay around for a 2nd moon tide longer still. In the hysteria of a 24/7 news cycle,the MFM attributes superlative qualities to the next big thing right now instead of looking at the simple facts also present. Tides are boring, global warming or THE STORM OF THE CENTURY is exciting.

    • Replies: @Jack Highlands
    I hear ya' brah - my place is very susceptible to stormtide erosion. I have a saying about tidal energy: 'let the moon do the work.'
    , @JohnnyGeo
    Houston's Annual Flood of the Century came early this year.
  7. A cold wind from the east would require the desert to be cold, which it isn’t except in the middle of the night. The native plants here are also adapted for the 10 inches of rain climate. So I think the Southern California climate has not changed much in the past 250 years.

    I don’t agree with Chandler on the SA winds. I think they are quite pleasant, especially when they produce summer weather outside summer.

    The most freakish weather here is when there is hail storms when it is 55-65 degrees on the ground. But that happens every 2-3 years.

    • Replies: @Georg E
    Portland gets a cold wind from the east when a cold area of high pressure sits above Oregon's eastern desert and funnels biting 20F winds down the Columbia gorge. This was formerly quite frequent in the '70s and '80s but has since become less frequent, making a notable return this winter. I suppose a similar phenomenon could occur in LA if cold, heavy arctic air took up residence in the Mojave and funneled winds through the San Gabriel valley.
  8. I like you, Steve. I’m a fan. I wish nothing but the best for you and your family. By “the best” I mean that I hope you and your kin flee that festering sore of a state, and that the Big One washes the whole thing away. California has natural beauty, but it is ruining the United States and therefore the world.

  9. The old storms were called Southeasters. Mentioned in the first USGS survey of California.

    They were so severe and so sudden in the months of Oct thru March that ships would anchor ‘beyond the kelp’, at least 3 miles out, to avoid getting caught and smashed against the rocks. This at a time that they had to row in small boats to deliver and pick up cargo.

    The storms diminished rapidly, even within Dana’s time (he returned to California 20 years latter). However they still pop up, the last major one being in 1988 (Huntington Beach pier was severely damaged, IIRC).

    Here’s the definitive article.

    • Replies: @Bill P

    The old storms were called Southeasters. Mentioned in the first USGS survey of California.

    They were so severe and so sudden in the months of Oct thru March that ships would anchor ‘beyond the kelp’, at least 3 miles out, to avoid getting caught and smashed against the rocks. This at a time that they had to row in small boats to deliver and pick up cargo.
     
    Interesting comment. Where I live (NW Washington state) we get strong storms from the sea with warm, wet southwesterly winds, and then cold, dry northeasterly gusts from the Fraser Valley (basically arctic air from inland Canada). It can make for obnoxious fall and winter weather. Cold and frozen one week and then wet and warm the next, but pretty much always windy. Sometimes the two collide, with cold air sliding under the warm, and then we get coated with ice.

    Evidently, cold air from the Fraser Valley can cause low-elevation snowfall as far south as Northern California.
  10. Anyone remember the huge fogs we used to get in Southern California? We got a little bit of that this year, but I remember as a kid we’d have pea soup conditions for (what seemed like) several days?

    • Replies: @Weltanschauung
    Are you talking about the kind of "fog" that London used to be famous for?

    Every now and then something bad does get fixed.
  11. SoCal native, the Santa Anas are miserable. Hot, Dry, nasty, fire-weather. Cold Santa Anas are nasty, perhaps that was what Dana encountered.

  12. we simply must increase immigration so we can quickly become like Brazil because they have good beaches.

  13. O/T The NYT has an article about the Democrats’ problems with immigration. Most interesting is to read the “Times Selected” comments, which are almost ALL opposed to Clinton-style disparagement of Deplorables.

    Since the Times select are a combination of highly rated but also ideas that the author agrees with, it seems that even the paper of record has people opposing huddled masses taking jobs from better-paid long term residents.

  14. OT: It may have had its place during the Meme War of 2016, especially during the GOP primary, but I think commenters on respectable blogs like iSteve should refraining from using “cuck” and its variants. The word has two common meanings. The old one was for a man raising another man’s child with his wife. The new one is a vulgar term for a sexual fetish. In the second sense, we should avoid vulgarity. In the first sense, however, how many of us have good and honorable men in our families who have a step child, an adopted child, or are infertile and used assisted reproduction? Most of us I’d say, especially from large families. It is wrong to insult them.

    • Disagree: NickG
    • Replies: @theo the kraut
    I get your point and sympathize, I hardly use that word myself, but as it is a powerful meme, the second meaning included,* I let it slip now and then, in written or spoken square quotes so people don't forget it. "They" have "racism," it's dead short and simple, everyone gets it intuitively, we need to counter that. Ethno-masochism doesn't cut it, cuckservative is better, though it makes me cringe, too.

    * denotes the ethno-masochist and narcissist aspect
    , @mukat
    Think of 'cuckservative' this way: The Bushes, McCains, and Romneys, along with all of the neocons, like to watch while swarthy and dusky invaders run a train on Columbia, the goddess of America. If that's vulgar, too bad, because it's the truth.
    , @Rod1963
    The insult is aimed at a particular class of Republican/Conservative usually well off and little more than a whore for monied interests and only pretend to be "conservative".

    The fact it upsets members of the more genteel class is well, too bad. Because these GOP/cucks deserve every bit insult that can be directed at them for the damage they caused the country. Look I get that some men get upset, but just grow a thick hide, these SOB's excused and supported policies that destroyed lives and careers by the millions.

    I Listened for decades to these fat rat mofos lecturing blue collars/Dirt people like myself that we need to accept globalization and race to the bottom economics and having no future while they fattened themselves like god d**m swine at the money trough. No sympathy for the monsters.

    They're getting off easy. They should be swinging from the nearest telephone pole like any quisling.

    , @Desiderius

    how many of us have good and honorable men in our families who have a step child, an adopted child, or are infertile and used assisted reproduction?
     
    They're not cucks.

    Lying doesn't suit you.

    The term cuckservative is about calling out vice masquerading as virtue. What you're talking about is actual virtue.

    , @Daniel Chieh
    Let's not give any ground to the liberals and resume the restoration of the old notions of virility, including siring your own children.
    , @bored identity
    What a c*ck (WTC) !?

    May I assume that this was just an unfortunate snowfluke moment of trolling, or you're really about to become Lot the Triggerc*ck par excellence?
    , @Jack Highlands
    The only way raising another man's child has ever, or can ever, be a virtue is if the mother is the widow of a better man who must now settle for you, with the deal being that going forward, she will beget and raise some of yours too.
    , @MB
    This is why our term of choice is "cluck", the connotation being a hybrid of cuckold and Chicken Little.
    , @Jenner Ickham Errican

    The word has two common meanings. The old one was for a man [unwittingly] raising another man’s child with his wife [or being cheated on]. The new one is a vulgar term for a sexual fetish [as applied to posterity-squandering politicians and pundits].
     
    FTFY.

    It’s dishonest to conflate the archaic, rarely used “cuckold” (def. #1) and the perfect political insult “cuck” (def. #2), which is still quite relevant and will be for the foreseeable future—the cucks are still around and haven’t stopped cucking.

    If anyone with adopted kids winces at the term, they should man the fcuk up. The first definition doesn’t apply to them, and the second is rightly used against Kristol-crush invade-the-world, invite-the-world cucks like David French.

    What’s next, decrying the use of “cat lady” to describe Merkel’s Boner type follies?

    “Jeez guys, a lot of respectable people own cats, and besides, the term is kinda sexist in the current year.” :(
  15. Tom Cotton is turning into our best Senator. Here he is dumping on Paul Ryan’s latest tax cut for the rich plan

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/paul-ryan-tax-reform-republicans-235117

    • Replies: @bored identity
    Here I fixed it:



    "...on Paul Ryan’s latest tax cuck for the rich plan."

     

    , @Reg Cæsar

    Here he is dumping on Paul Ryan’s latest tax cut for the rich plan
     
    If our corporate tax rate so low now, how come Burger King is Canadian and Apple Irish? Do we have left-wing tax havens, too?

    A century ago, Southerners were all about "taxing the rich", and at the head of the line ratifying the 16th Amendment. They soon learned that they were the rich, too. And their sons cannon fodder.

    That may be why the earliest states to ratify are now the earliest states to ratify repeal:

    http://www.libertyamendment.com/

    "Be careful what you ask for…"
  16. A cold wind from the east would require the desert to be cold, which it isn’t except in the middle of the night.

    What are you talking about? It makes no difference how cold the desert gets at night, or even if the desert were cold all the time. Any easterly surface winds blowing in the vicinity of southern California are going to be warm (or at least “warming”) due to the same mechanism that makes the Santa Anas warm in the first place: the dry adiabatic lapse rate and the compression resulting from flowing down the leeward side of the mountains.

    If the winds in Dana’s memoir blew his ship nearly to Hawaii, that alone indicates that such winds had nothing to whatsoever to do with surface weather in California, desert or no desert. They must have been a macroscale phenomenon, the trades at that latitude being generally easterly anyway, and were cold due to some rather pronounced variation in global atmospheric or oceanic circulation. It would be very interesting to know what that was.

    • Replies: @Boomstick
    A recent December account of cold, strong Santa Anna winds is below. This was about the same time of year as Dana was in California, as I recall.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-powerful-cold-santa-ana-winds-20161202-story.html

    Although strong winds are not unusual for this time of year, this wind event is the result of a rare combination of cold air from Utah moving over the Southwest and a low pressure system from Baja California.
     
    1835 was the tail end of the Little Ice Age. Dana also reported a solid three weeks of constant rain in San Francisco, which isn't unheard of but seems uncommon.
    , @NickG

    It makes no difference how cold the desert gets at night,

     

    Try googling katabatic wind.
    , @unpc downunder
    There is a similar wind in New Zealand that comes from the north west. On the eastern side of mountain ranges it blows very hot and dry and where there are no mountain ranges in the way it is relatively cool and brings a fair amount of rain.

    The most extreme coastal difference I can remember was one day when it was hot, dry and 40 degrees Celsius on the east coast of the South Island of NZ, and 19 degrees and raining hard on the west coast (less than a 150 kilometres away as the crow flies).
  17. @Lot
    A cold wind from the east would require the desert to be cold, which it isn't except in the middle of the night. The native plants here are also adapted for the 10 inches of rain climate. So I think the Southern California climate has not changed much in the past 250 years.

    I don't agree with Chandler on the SA winds. I think they are quite pleasant, especially when they produce summer weather outside summer.

    The most freakish weather here is when there is hail storms when it is 55-65 degrees on the ground. But that happens every 2-3 years.

    Portland gets a cold wind from the east when a cold area of high pressure sits above Oregon’s eastern desert and funnels biting 20F winds down the Columbia gorge. This was formerly quite frequent in the ’70s and ’80s but has since become less frequent, making a notable return this winter. I suppose a similar phenomenon could occur in LA if cold, heavy arctic air took up residence in the Mojave and funneled winds through the San Gabriel valley.

  18. Desertification via overgrazing of the American Southwest may explain the disappearance of that cool east wind.

    The overgrazing that destroyed or severely altered the original grass cover of the rangelands of Mexico and the United States began in Mexico after the Spanish conquest and spread into the U.S. Southwest. By the early part of the 19th century, overgrazing was already a fact on both sides of the international boundary. With the explosive expansion of cattle numbers in the Southwest when the railroads arrived, range carrying capacities were greatly exceeded, and that situation continued well into the 20th century. The increased gully (arroyo) formation that occurred in overgrazed rangelands during the latter part of the 19th century has been associated with range deterioration, erosion, salinization, and waterlogging first received attention from research organizations in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

    DESERTIFICATION OF ARID LANDS (Dregne, 1986)
    ciesin.org/docs/002-193/002-193.html

  19. @Lot
    OT: It may have had its place during the Meme War of 2016, especially during the GOP primary, but I think commenters on respectable blogs like iSteve should refraining from using "cuck" and its variants. The word has two common meanings. The old one was for a man raising another man's child with his wife. The new one is a vulgar term for a sexual fetish. In the second sense, we should avoid vulgarity. In the first sense, however, how many of us have good and honorable men in our families who have a step child, an adopted child, or are infertile and used assisted reproduction? Most of us I'd say, especially from large families. It is wrong to insult them.

    I get your point and sympathize, I hardly use that word myself, but as it is a powerful meme, the second meaning included,* I let it slip now and then, in written or spoken square quotes so people don’t forget it. “They” have “racism,” it’s dead short and simple, everyone gets it intuitively, we need to counter that. Ethno-masochism doesn’t cut it, cuckservative is better, though it makes me cringe, too.

    * denotes the ethno-masochist and narcissist aspect

  20. @Lot
    OT: It may have had its place during the Meme War of 2016, especially during the GOP primary, but I think commenters on respectable blogs like iSteve should refraining from using "cuck" and its variants. The word has two common meanings. The old one was for a man raising another man's child with his wife. The new one is a vulgar term for a sexual fetish. In the second sense, we should avoid vulgarity. In the first sense, however, how many of us have good and honorable men in our families who have a step child, an adopted child, or are infertile and used assisted reproduction? Most of us I'd say, especially from large families. It is wrong to insult them.

    Think of ‘cuckservative’ this way: The Bushes, McCains, and Romneys, along with all of the neocons, like to watch while swarthy and dusky invaders run a train on Columbia, the goddess of America. If that’s vulgar, too bad, because it’s the truth.

  21. The New Weird Califirnia hosts rally of foreign country’s citizen/ presidential candidate.

    Not surprisingly, Obrador’s Meira Gold Moscow Mule Moment hardly got any domestic news coverage:

    Mexico’s home-grown populist and presidential hopeful Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador rallied supporters in Los Angeles on Sunday, criticizing U.S. President Donald Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric and plans for a wall along the border.

    “If the Mexican government does not put before the United Nations in the coming days a complaint about the violation of human rights, then we will do it ourselves,” Lopez Obrador said.

    http://hi99.com/news/articles/2017/feb/13/mexicos-lopez-obrador-blasts-trumps-immigration-policies-at-la-rally/

    As a candid observer of Balkan’s 20th century history, I can garantee you that this political dichotomy of epical proportion (i.e. dubious narratives of California rejects Milo vs. California embraces Obrador) will end with a civil war…

    Numbers are very important in civil wars.

  22. Early nineteenth century was cold. The Little Ice Age was ending. Remember that the Delaware had been freezing over only a few decades earlier when Washington crossed it to surprise the hung-over Hessians on 26 December 1776. Then 1816 was the “year without a summer” after Mount Tambora erupted in 1815. SoCal (and elsewhere) could have been rather nippy in the 1820-1830s.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Early nineteenth century was cold.
     
    And not just here. Bandy, a precursor of ice hockey, was codified in 19th century England.

    And if you really want to shock a global warming justice warrior, mention that the Federation of International Bandy includes Somalia:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somalia_national_bandy_team

    BTW, I took my Cub Scout ice fishing with his troop today. It's pretty scary when it's 63°F out. Messy, too.
  23. OT- Los Angeles Looks to Ban Major Real-Estate Developments…Supporters of a ballot measure say it will give residents more say it will keep out refugees and increase home values; opponents counter it will worsen affordability problems

    In Los Angeles, residents in early March are set to vote on a ballot initiative that, if passed, would suspend for two years any development that requires a modification to the city’s existing planning rules. Currently, such modifications are routine for new developments.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/los-angeles-looks-to-rein-in-real-estate-development-1487264305

    • Replies: @verylongaccountname
    Many cities in Northern California have such rules in place already. Any change to the "master plan" in my area requires a ballot measure. There have been no new developments that weren't already on the master plan since this change was made.
    , @prole
    The city planners stated LA was at capacity, no room for more homes....yet the same leftists want millions of more immigrants crossing our borders.
  24. @Lot
    OT: It may have had its place during the Meme War of 2016, especially during the GOP primary, but I think commenters on respectable blogs like iSteve should refraining from using "cuck" and its variants. The word has two common meanings. The old one was for a man raising another man's child with his wife. The new one is a vulgar term for a sexual fetish. In the second sense, we should avoid vulgarity. In the first sense, however, how many of us have good and honorable men in our families who have a step child, an adopted child, or are infertile and used assisted reproduction? Most of us I'd say, especially from large families. It is wrong to insult them.

    The insult is aimed at a particular class of Republican/Conservative usually well off and little more than a whore for monied interests and only pretend to be “conservative”.

    The fact it upsets members of the more genteel class is well, too bad. Because these GOP/cucks deserve every bit insult that can be directed at them for the damage they caused the country. Look I get that some men get upset, but just grow a thick hide, these SOB’s excused and supported policies that destroyed lives and careers by the millions.

    I Listened for decades to these fat rat mofos lecturing blue collars/Dirt people like myself that we need to accept globalization and race to the bottom economics and having no future while they fattened themselves like god d**m swine at the money trough. No sympathy for the monsters.

    They’re getting off easy. They should be swinging from the nearest telephone pole like any quisling.

  25. @Lot
    OT: It may have had its place during the Meme War of 2016, especially during the GOP primary, but I think commenters on respectable blogs like iSteve should refraining from using "cuck" and its variants. The word has two common meanings. The old one was for a man raising another man's child with his wife. The new one is a vulgar term for a sexual fetish. In the second sense, we should avoid vulgarity. In the first sense, however, how many of us have good and honorable men in our families who have a step child, an adopted child, or are infertile and used assisted reproduction? Most of us I'd say, especially from large families. It is wrong to insult them.

    how many of us have good and honorable men in our families who have a step child, an adopted child, or are infertile and used assisted reproduction?

    They’re not cucks.

    Lying doesn’t suit you.

    The term cuckservative is about calling out vice masquerading as virtue. What you’re talking about is actual virtue.

    • Replies: @Lot
    I understand why people use the term. I am saying that its use is demeaning to men who raise children that are not their own, and in general vulgar.
  26. @Lot
    OT: It may have had its place during the Meme War of 2016, especially during the GOP primary, but I think commenters on respectable blogs like iSteve should refraining from using "cuck" and its variants. The word has two common meanings. The old one was for a man raising another man's child with his wife. The new one is a vulgar term for a sexual fetish. In the second sense, we should avoid vulgarity. In the first sense, however, how many of us have good and honorable men in our families who have a step child, an adopted child, or are infertile and used assisted reproduction? Most of us I'd say, especially from large families. It is wrong to insult them.

    Let’s not give any ground to the liberals and resume the restoration of the old notions of virility, including siring your own children.

    • Replies: @Lot
    The desire to sire your own children is strong enough on its own thanks to biology. But some good women already have children, and some good men can't.
    , @Patrick Harris
    There's nothing virile or traditional about using gutter slurs against adopted parenting.
  27. You could sail from Sacramento to Stockton during the Great Flood of 1862:

    The entire Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys were inundated. An area about 300 miles (480 km) long, averaging 20 miles (32 km) in width,[15] and covering 5,000 to 6,000 square miles (13,000 to 16,000 km2) was under water.[9] The water flooding the Central Valley reached depths up to 30 feet (9.1 m), completely submerging telegraph poles that had just been installed between San Francisco and New York. Transportation, mail, and communications across the state were disrupted for a month.[16] Water covered portions of the valley from December 1861, through the spring, and into the summer of 1862.

    ESR mentioned this in one of his global warming posts.

    This (along with, e.g., the Carrington event, the New Madrid fault earthquakes, and possibly Australian drought) implies that many of the advances of the 19th and 20th centuries were permitted by a bout of unusual geological and meteorological stability.

  28. OT, yet New Weird Mexifornia related.

    This is how Trump should roll every time some (((mofo))) exercises Godwin Law on him;

    “Me…Hitler?!?”
    “I don’t think so…but I can show you a picture of real Hitler visiting Austria, just before the Anschluß of a dreaded 1938″:

    https://storage.googleapis.com/media.mwcradio.com/cache-v2/64/b1/64b1cdf6d7b9144a869156e211192e96.jpg

    The MSM will cry fake news, but the normies will see the picture and they’ll start thinking about when and how it had become normal for a foreign leaders to include political rallies on the American soil into their presidential campaign itinerary.

    Please share this photo with your friends.

  29. “They” have “racism,”

    No, they don’t. No anymore. They have used it up – thrown it around so much that it no longer has any effect except to dumbass grubers. For most people, as soon as the leftists start throwing around the racist label people simply stop listening to them.

    • Replies: @E. Rekshun
    No, they don’t. No anymore. They have used it up – thrown it around so much that it no longer has any effect except to dumbass grubers. For most people, as soon as the leftists start throwing around the racist label people simply stop listening to them.

    It took a while, but this is what we wanted. I've even seen on-line comments from rational blacks that criticize other blacks for calling some White person racist for some stupid or perceived reason.
  30. @Lot
    OT: It may have had its place during the Meme War of 2016, especially during the GOP primary, but I think commenters on respectable blogs like iSteve should refraining from using "cuck" and its variants. The word has two common meanings. The old one was for a man raising another man's child with his wife. The new one is a vulgar term for a sexual fetish. In the second sense, we should avoid vulgarity. In the first sense, however, how many of us have good and honorable men in our families who have a step child, an adopted child, or are infertile and used assisted reproduction? Most of us I'd say, especially from large families. It is wrong to insult them.

    What a c*ck (WTC) !?

    May I assume that this was just an unfortunate snowfluke moment of trolling, or you’re really about to become Lot the Triggerc*ck par excellence?

  31. @Lot
    Tom Cotton is turning into our best Senator. Here he is dumping on Paul Ryan's latest tax cut for the rich plan

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/paul-ryan-tax-reform-republicans-235117

    Here I fixed it:

    “…on Paul Ryan’s latest tax cuck for the rich plan.”

  32. The first half of the 19th century was the tail end of the little ice age. https://www.eh-resources.org/little-ice-age/
    Whether that specifically affected California is not certain.

  33. @Desiderius

    how many of us have good and honorable men in our families who have a step child, an adopted child, or are infertile and used assisted reproduction?
     
    They're not cucks.

    Lying doesn't suit you.

    The term cuckservative is about calling out vice masquerading as virtue. What you're talking about is actual virtue.

    I understand why people use the term. I am saying that its use is demeaning to men who raise children that are not their own, and in general vulgar.

    • Replies: @syonredux

    I understand why people use the term. I am saying that its use is demeaning to men who raise children that are not their own, and in general vulgar.
     
    Sometimes vulgarity is necessary.White people need to be shocked out of their apathy. Wealthy White women (Sandra Bullock, Charlize Theron, etc) need to stop sheltering cuckoo's eggs and start breeding their own children.Vanessa Trump, with her five White children, is an example to follow:


    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2016/09/06/22/37FA51E400000578-0-image-a-85_1473198432165.jpg

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3776889/Swapping-campaign-trail-school-run-Donald-Trump-Jr-walks-wife-Vanessa-five-children-day-classes-telling-talk-Hillary-s-health-fair-game.html

    , @Chriscom
    The term is vulgar and I cringe myself. But it has never applied to adoptions, it was more about being hoodwinked.
  34. @Daniel Chieh
    Let's not give any ground to the liberals and resume the restoration of the old notions of virility, including siring your own children.

    The desire to sire your own children is strong enough on its own thanks to biology. But some good women already have children, and some good men can’t.

  35. @woodNfish

    “They” have “racism,”
     
    No, they don't. No anymore. They have used it up - thrown it around so much that it no longer has any effect except to dumbass grubers. For most people, as soon as the leftists start throwing around the racist label people simply stop listening to them.

    No, they don’t. No anymore. They have used it up – thrown it around so much that it no longer has any effect except to dumbass grubers. For most people, as soon as the leftists start throwing around the racist label people simply stop listening to them.

    It took a while, but this is what we wanted. I’ve even seen on-line comments from rational blacks that criticize other blacks for calling some White person racist for some stupid or perceived reason.

  36. Mr Steve, California was no more weird than other temperate parts of the world. Between 1650 and 1860 the world experienced a “Little Ice Age.” During parts of this period, temperatures, especially in winter were several degrees Celsius below modern norms. This was the era when the Thames froze over and got overran by skaters, as lovingly described by Dickens and Thackeray. See also E. Leroy Ladurie: ” Times of Famine , Times of Feast ”
    The wind patterns were different. Northern Europe experienced much more cold northerly winds than they do know. Likewise, California experienced cold easterlies, rather than hot south-easterlies.
    Things started to improve in many areas after 1810 and by 1860 the Little Ice Age was over. This is why Dana never experienced the cold easterly California after the War between the States.
    A Very good book on this subject – especially on 19th Century North America – Climates of Hunger by Reid Bryson andThomas Murray.

  37. @Daniel Chieh
    Let's not give any ground to the liberals and resume the restoration of the old notions of virility, including siring your own children.

    There’s nothing virile or traditional about using gutter slurs against adopted parenting.

  38. Based on the title I thought this post was going to be waxing nostalgic for old fashioned California hippies versus the insane translesbo racequeer identity politics zirs of the moment who are apparently killing them.

  39. @Bugg
    Hurricane Sandy is often referred to in NY/NJ as a "500 year storm". And it was unusual in many ways; a late October that was huge and did not weaken in the cooler water off the Northeast coast. But what set it apart was it came ashore exactly on 2 of the 3 full moon tide cycles and kept that water from going out. If it came ashore a day or 2 before or after, it would not have been nearly a big deal. Because of the tides, it pushed 2 high moon tide walls of water in shore and kept it from flowing out. There are typically 3 or 4 moon tides every 28 day cycle, so having a hurricane come ashore one of those 28 days as opposed to the other 27 is a longshot, being big enough to stay around for a 2nd moon tide longer still. In the hysteria of a 24/7 news cycle,the MFM attributes superlative qualities to the next big thing right now instead of looking at the simple facts also present. Tides are boring, global warming or THE STORM OF THE CENTURY is exciting.

    I hear ya’ brah – my place is very susceptible to stormtide erosion. I have a saying about tidal energy: ‘let the moon do the work.’

  40. @M_Young
    Anyone remember the huge fogs we used to get in Southern California? We got a little bit of that this year, but I remember as a kid we'd have pea soup conditions for (what seemed like) several days?

    Are you talking about the kind of “fog” that London used to be famous for?

    Every now and then something bad does get fixed.

    • Replies: @M_Young
    No, I'm not talking about 'fog' in the London sense. I remember smog too, and it used to be a lot worse. But we did seem to have a lot of fog as a kid. Then again I grew up in 'floodplain' Orange County -- Garden Grove, Fountain Valley, etc are all really flat, so maybe the fog just rolled up the Santa Ana river valley.
  41. @Lot
    The desire to sire your own children is strong enough on its own thanks to biology. But some good women already have children, and some good men can't.

    Thanks for the NAXALT.

  42. OT: Finally, 16 days later, UC police ask UC staff & students for help.
    _______________________________

    Update on the February 1, 2017 Sproul Plaza investigation:

    The University of California Police Department continues to actively investigate crimes that occurred during the evening of February 1 on and around Sproul Plaza, with the goal of identifying and holding responsible those persons who committed serious acts of violence and vandalism. We are working closely with the City of Berkeley Police Department, which is undertaking a similar investigation into related criminal acts that occurred in their jurisdiction on February 1.

    Detectives are following up on the leads provided by victims, witnesses and other sources, and we appreciate the assistance that many have provided. We encourage any other victims or witnesses who we have not yet heard from to please come forward.

    We are also seeking to identify persons who may have information relevant to the investigation. In this regard we ask the public’s help in identifying the individuals depicted in the photos that accompany this update. We also ask anyone who might be in possession of photos or video that depicts recognizable persons committing criminal acts on University property the night of February 1st to please contact us and provide a copy.

    The weblink to the pictured individuals is http://ucpd.berkeley.edu/ucpd-needs-your-help-individual-photos

  43. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    One example of someone getting it right in 1865 was Goyder’s line – a surveyed demarcation of the land in South Australia that was viable for farming. North of the line farming was a fool’s errand. I think Goyder used features of flora to guide him but am not sure how he did it. It is also an example of fools ignoring good advice based on current conditions instead of averages.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goyder’s_Line

  44. @Lot
    OT: It may have had its place during the Meme War of 2016, especially during the GOP primary, but I think commenters on respectable blogs like iSteve should refraining from using "cuck" and its variants. The word has two common meanings. The old one was for a man raising another man's child with his wife. The new one is a vulgar term for a sexual fetish. In the second sense, we should avoid vulgarity. In the first sense, however, how many of us have good and honorable men in our families who have a step child, an adopted child, or are infertile and used assisted reproduction? Most of us I'd say, especially from large families. It is wrong to insult them.

    The only way raising another man’s child has ever, or can ever, be a virtue is if the mother is the widow of a better man who must now settle for you, with the deal being that going forward, she will beget and raise some of yours too.

    • Replies: @BB753
    Why a better man?
    , @Chief Seattle
    Relax on the adopted children. No one is keeping score. There's a big difference between being fooled into thinking you're raising your own child and deciding to do some good and raising someone else's.
  45. I always think of the Santa Anas as northeasterlies, but I checked Wiki and it seems they are southeasterly inland and turn into northeasterlies as they cross the mountains. They are like the Sundowners whooping out of the north in Santa Barbara.
    I recall reading Dana’s account about those storms, and also something about them in either an essay by John Burroughs or John Muir, or maybe it was something I read by W.W. Robinson, the great historian of southern California and especially Los Angeles, in which they were called chubascos and it was mentioned that the rainiest month in southern California was September! I think it’s February now.
    I also read somewhere that the eastern Pacific hurricane track used to be farther north, and that cyclones that used to hit Baja came ashore farther north. A more northerly hurricane track would certainly explain heavy rains in September. Hurricane Norman hit southern California in early September of 1978. Such an occurrence might have been a normal thing in earlier times.
    The Los Angeles River used to flow into a series of ponds and marshes spreading across the Los Angeles basin, except in exceptionally rainy seasons. Thus we still have names like La Cienega (garbled “cienaga”) and La Puente. The original San Gabriel mission had to be moved because of flooding. There used to be lots of artesian wells in the Los Angeles area. Lacy Park in San Marino has a capped one, I believe.
    When Gaspar de Portolá visited the future Los Angeles in 1768, he described the area as full of trickling brooks and pools of clear water, forests and glades, wild roses and poppies, deer and grizzly bears…a kind of dangerous Garden of Eden.
    When I sailed out of Long Beach, the mornings were calm and often foggy and there might not be enough of a breeze to keep your sails from flapping uselessly and you’d have to motor over to the Island, but the afternoon offshore northwesterlies, typically blowing a steady 20 to 25 knots, ensured a fast close-reach run home.
    When I sailed out of Port Hueneme for the Channel Islands, the Sundowners could be a problem, as could a strong northwesterly swell, so you had to know where the safe anchorages were depending on weather conditions.
    I’m trying to imagine a northeasterly strong enough to blow a ship a thousand miles to the southwest. That must have been something. Of course, a square-rigger didn’t have much ability to sail close hauled or beat against the wind, so there’s that.

  46. @Anon
    Such an amazing book. If you think you have it bad imagine running around on icy rigging while traversing the roaring 40's trying desperately to get around Cape Horn, oftentimes in total darkness.

    Such an amazing book. If you think you have it bad imagine running around on icy rigging while traversing the roaring 40′s trying desperately to get around Cape Horn, oftentimes in total darkness.

    Yeah. Two Years Before the Mast is an excellent book.

  47. @Intelligent Dasein

    A cold wind from the east would require the desert to be cold, which it isn’t except in the middle of the night.
     
    What are you talking about? It makes no difference how cold the desert gets at night, or even if the desert were cold all the time. Any easterly surface winds blowing in the vicinity of southern California are going to be warm (or at least "warming") due to the same mechanism that makes the Santa Anas warm in the first place: the dry adiabatic lapse rate and the compression resulting from flowing down the leeward side of the mountains.

    If the winds in Dana's memoir blew his ship nearly to Hawaii, that alone indicates that such winds had nothing to whatsoever to do with surface weather in California, desert or no desert. They must have been a macroscale phenomenon, the trades at that latitude being generally easterly anyway, and were cold due to some rather pronounced variation in global atmospheric or oceanic circulation. It would be very interesting to know what that was.

    A recent December account of cold, strong Santa Anna winds is below. This was about the same time of year as Dana was in California, as I recall.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-powerful-cold-santa-ana-winds-20161202-story.html

    Although strong winds are not unusual for this time of year, this wind event is the result of a rare combination of cold air from Utah moving over the Southwest and a low pressure system from Baja California.

    1835 was the tail end of the Little Ice Age. Dana also reported a solid three weeks of constant rain in San Francisco, which isn’t unheard of but seems uncommon.

  48. @Lot
    I understand why people use the term. I am saying that its use is demeaning to men who raise children that are not their own, and in general vulgar.

    I understand why people use the term. I am saying that its use is demeaning to men who raise children that are not their own, and in general vulgar.

    Sometimes vulgarity is necessary.White people need to be shocked out of their apathy. Wealthy White women (Sandra Bullock, Charlize Theron, etc) need to stop sheltering cuckoo’s eggs and start breeding their own children.Vanessa Trump, with her five White children, is an example to follow:

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2016/09/06/22/37FA51E400000578-0-image-a-85_1473198432165.jpg

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3776889/Swapping-campaign-trail-school-run-Donald-Trump-Jr-walks-wife-Vanessa-five-children-day-classes-telling-talk-Hillary-s-health-fair-game.html

    • Replies: @Lot
    DJT II has a lovely family. I think you know already that I agree with you on eugenic natalism.

    Sometimes vulgarity is necessary.
     
    The vulgarization of culture requires more resources from parents to insulate children from it, and anything that increases the cost of raising children in the bourgeois manner is dysgenic.
  49. @Anon
    Such an amazing book. If you think you have it bad imagine running around on icy rigging while traversing the roaring 40's trying desperately to get around Cape Horn, oftentimes in total darkness.

    Amazing, too, that a memoir by a New England lawyer taking time off from his Harvard education ends up being almost our only primary source for what life was like in California before the Gold Rush.

  50. @Travis
    OT- Los Angeles Looks to Ban Major Real-Estate Developments...Supporters of a ballot measure say it will give residents more say it will keep out refugees and increase home values; opponents counter it will worsen affordability problems

    In Los Angeles, residents in early March are set to vote on a ballot initiative that, if passed, would suspend for two years any development that requires a modification to the city’s existing planning rules. Currently, such modifications are routine for new developments.
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/los-angeles-looks-to-rein-in-real-estate-development-1487264305

    Many cities in Northern California have such rules in place already. Any change to the “master plan” in my area requires a ballot measure. There have been no new developments that weren’t already on the master plan since this change was made.

  51. @Bugg
    Hurricane Sandy is often referred to in NY/NJ as a "500 year storm". And it was unusual in many ways; a late October that was huge and did not weaken in the cooler water off the Northeast coast. But what set it apart was it came ashore exactly on 2 of the 3 full moon tide cycles and kept that water from going out. If it came ashore a day or 2 before or after, it would not have been nearly a big deal. Because of the tides, it pushed 2 high moon tide walls of water in shore and kept it from flowing out. There are typically 3 or 4 moon tides every 28 day cycle, so having a hurricane come ashore one of those 28 days as opposed to the other 27 is a longshot, being big enough to stay around for a 2nd moon tide longer still. In the hysteria of a 24/7 news cycle,the MFM attributes superlative qualities to the next big thing right now instead of looking at the simple facts also present. Tides are boring, global warming or THE STORM OF THE CENTURY is exciting.

    Houston’s Annual Flood of the Century came early this year.

  52. @markflag
    You mean the climate CHANGED? Holy Mother! THE CLIMATE CHANGED!! Stop the presses.

    Good lord. Can we please up our science game in commenting on this topic in 2017?

    Our host noted:

    In general, our concepts of things like 100 Year Floods and 1000 Year Floods are based on what we have measurements for, which is usually roughly the 20th Century.

    No, the prevailing concepts/definitions of those terms are not based on that century.

    But he comes around to the intelligent conclusion:

    But it’s quite possible that the 20th Century wasn’t all that representative. Perhaps the 21st Century will be quite a bit more extreme in one way or another.

    Though framed improperly this is intuitively accurate and highly likely.

    Fact is we have more long-term climate data based on exhaustive measurements of all sorts of natural and geological phenomena than any of us would know what to do with.

    When you start looking at the sigmas and the p’s of big chunks of it all, never mind how they interact and reinforce, the conclusions converge on the near and distant horizons within a narrow and disconcerting azimuth.

    Dendrochronology/paleoclimatology–NOAA NCEI

    https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data-access/paleoclimatology-data/datasets/tree-ring

    NOAA paleo data search (literature; pick your data specialties)

    https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo-search/?dataTypeId=18

    NOAA paleoclimate data map

    https://gis.ncdc.noaa.gov/maps/ncei/paleo?layers=0000000000000001

    Just three out of many available places to look for information or simply dip a toe into the scope and scale of climate data.

    Our camp has got to stop with the reactive kneejerk corporate propaganda flatulations on this topic. It’s as idiotic and embarrassing to observe as when liberals talk about genetics/genomics.

    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
    Olorin:

    Thank you for the interesting and valuable citations.

    Our taxpayer dollars at work!
    , @Neil Templeton
    S'all right, we're not all gonna die. Maybe a few.
  53. @M_Young
    The old storms were called Southeasters. Mentioned in the first USGS survey of California.

    They were so severe and so sudden in the months of Oct thru March that ships would anchor 'beyond the kelp', at least 3 miles out, to avoid getting caught and smashed against the rocks. This at a time that they had to row in small boats to deliver and pick up cargo.

    The storms diminished rapidly, even within Dana's time (he returned to California 20 years latter). However they still pop up, the last major one being in 1988 (Huntington Beach pier was severely damaged, IIRC).

    Here's the definitive article.

    The old storms were called Southeasters. Mentioned in the first USGS survey of California.

    They were so severe and so sudden in the months of Oct thru March that ships would anchor ‘beyond the kelp’, at least 3 miles out, to avoid getting caught and smashed against the rocks. This at a time that they had to row in small boats to deliver and pick up cargo.

    Interesting comment. Where I live (NW Washington state) we get strong storms from the sea with warm, wet southwesterly winds, and then cold, dry northeasterly gusts from the Fraser Valley (basically arctic air from inland Canada). It can make for obnoxious fall and winter weather. Cold and frozen one week and then wet and warm the next, but pretty much always windy. Sometimes the two collide, with cold air sliding under the warm, and then we get coated with ice.

    Evidently, cold air from the Fraser Valley can cause low-elevation snowfall as far south as Northern California.

  54. @syonredux

    I understand why people use the term. I am saying that its use is demeaning to men who raise children that are not their own, and in general vulgar.
     
    Sometimes vulgarity is necessary.White people need to be shocked out of their apathy. Wealthy White women (Sandra Bullock, Charlize Theron, etc) need to stop sheltering cuckoo's eggs and start breeding their own children.Vanessa Trump, with her five White children, is an example to follow:


    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2016/09/06/22/37FA51E400000578-0-image-a-85_1473198432165.jpg

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3776889/Swapping-campaign-trail-school-run-Donald-Trump-Jr-walks-wife-Vanessa-five-children-day-classes-telling-talk-Hillary-s-health-fair-game.html

    DJT II has a lovely family. I think you know already that I agree with you on eugenic natalism.

    Sometimes vulgarity is necessary.

    The vulgarization of culture requires more resources from parents to insulate children from it, and anything that increases the cost of raising children in the bourgeois manner is dysgenic.

    • Replies: @syonredux

    Sometimes vulgarity is necessary.

    The vulgarization of culture requires more resources from parents to insulate children from it, and anything that increases the cost of raising children in the bourgeois manner is dysgenic.
     

    Vulgarity takes many forms. In some instances, as you rightfully point out, it demeans and debases civilization. Cf things like twerking, pornography, etc. However, there are occasions when vulgarity can be used to preserve civilization. Genteel language can mask vital truths. In some instances, we need the shock of the barnyard.
    , @theo the kraut
    Sometimes, a certain amount of vulgarity even gets you the presidency, and I'm all for that. Tough times, this is not a beauty contest, it's SOS.
  55. @Lot
    DJT II has a lovely family. I think you know already that I agree with you on eugenic natalism.

    Sometimes vulgarity is necessary.
     
    The vulgarization of culture requires more resources from parents to insulate children from it, and anything that increases the cost of raising children in the bourgeois manner is dysgenic.

    Sometimes vulgarity is necessary.

    The vulgarization of culture requires more resources from parents to insulate children from it, and anything that increases the cost of raising children in the bourgeois manner is dysgenic.

    Vulgarity takes many forms. In some instances, as you rightfully point out, it demeans and debases civilization. Cf things like twerking, pornography, etc. However, there are occasions when vulgarity can be used to preserve civilization. Genteel language can mask vital truths. In some instances, we need the shock of the barnyard.

  56. Seems like stereotype threat is rearing its head in interesting ways:

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cdev.12079/abstract;jsessionid=C91B3FE4EF35B6467BDD3C77C06478B7.f03t04

    A Stereotype Threat Account of Boys’ Academic Underachievement
    Abstract
    Three studies examined the role of stereotype threat in boys’ academic underachievement. Study 1 (children aged 4–10, n = 238) showed that girls from age 4 years and boys from age 7 years believed, and thought adults believed, that boys are academically inferior to girls. Study 2 manipulated stereotype threat, informing children aged 7–8 years (n = 162) that boys tend to do worse than girls at school. This manipulation hindered boys’ performance on a reading, writing, and math test, but did not affect girls’ performance. Study 3 counteracted stereotype threat, informing children aged 6–9 years (n = 184) that boys and girls were expected to perform similarly. This improved the performance of boys and did not affect that of girls.

  57. A thought I had in regards to weather modification. The Gulf Stream rounds the tip of Florida and heads up its East Coast. Anchoring a number of Very Large Crude Carriers, bow to stern with their hulls full of water to draw say, 50 feet and at an angle to divert part of this flow of warm water up the Eastern Seaboard instead of out towards Bermuda might make the winters in the mid Atlantic states more temperate. Might make the winters in the UK more like Norway too

    • Replies: @Boomstick
    People underestimate moving water. Water 50 ft deep and 50 miles wide moving at 5 mph is an enormous force, and ultimately the change in momentum would have to be accomplished via tension on anchor chains.
  58. Sort of OT, but then, not. I am really glad you mentioned the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend show last week. I’d never heard of it but, being a sucker for musicals, watched season two last week and really enjoyed it. It’s quirky, the lead actress does a great job in a very unique roll, the voices are good, about half the musical numbers are very engaging.
    So … thanks Steve!

  59. @unit472
    A thought I had in regards to weather modification. The Gulf Stream rounds the tip of Florida and heads up its East Coast. Anchoring a number of Very Large Crude Carriers, bow to stern with their hulls full of water to draw say, 50 feet and at an angle to divert part of this flow of warm water up the Eastern Seaboard instead of out towards Bermuda might make the winters in the mid Atlantic states more temperate. Might make the winters in the UK more like Norway too

    People underestimate moving water. Water 50 ft deep and 50 miles wide moving at 5 mph is an enormous force, and ultimately the change in momentum would have to be accomplished via tension on anchor chains.

  60. @Weltanschauung
    Amazing, too, that a memoir by a New England lawyer taking time off from his Harvard education ends up being almost our only primary source for what life was like in California before the Gold Rush.

    New Englanders: Writing Stuff Down Since 1620!

    • Replies: @Flip
    The Puritans in New England may have hung witches and the ones in England may have executed the king, but they were quite literate and education oriented.
  61. @Olorin
    Good lord. Can we please up our science game in commenting on this topic in 2017?

    Our host noted:


    In general, our concepts of things like 100 Year Floods and 1000 Year Floods are based on what we have measurements for, which is usually roughly the 20th Century.
     
    No, the prevailing concepts/definitions of those terms are not based on that century.

    But he comes around to the intelligent conclusion:


    But it’s quite possible that the 20th Century wasn’t all that representative. Perhaps the 21st Century will be quite a bit more extreme in one way or another.
     
    Though framed improperly this is intuitively accurate and highly likely.

    Fact is we have more long-term climate data based on exhaustive measurements of all sorts of natural and geological phenomena than any of us would know what to do with.

    When you start looking at the sigmas and the p's of big chunks of it all, never mind how they interact and reinforce, the conclusions converge on the near and distant horizons within a narrow and disconcerting azimuth.

    Dendrochronology/paleoclimatology--NOAA NCEI
    https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data-access/paleoclimatology-data/datasets/tree-ring

    NOAA paleo data search (literature; pick your data specialties)
    https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo-search/?dataTypeId=18

    NOAA paleoclimate data map
    https://gis.ncdc.noaa.gov/maps/ncei/paleo?layers=0000000000000001

    Just three out of many available places to look for information or simply dip a toe into the scope and scale of climate data.

    Our camp has got to stop with the reactive kneejerk corporate propaganda flatulations on this topic. It's as idiotic and embarrassing to observe as when liberals talk about genetics/genomics.

    Olorin:

    Thank you for the interesting and valuable citations.

    Our taxpayer dollars at work!

  62. Gotta be careful any time you’re tempted to think “gosh darn there’ve sure been a lot of ’500-year’ floods/winds/earthquakes lately.”

    Because though any particular 500-year disaster is unlikely to occur in any particular century, it’s a near certainty that some 500-year disaster will occur.

    As a numerical example: the probability that a particular 500-year disaster will happen some time during a given century is 0.18 (note to math geeks: I’m using the exponential distribution). But there are lots of possible 500-year disasters. If you’re interested in, say, twenty of them, the probability that at least one of them will hit within a century is quite high — 1 – (1 – .18)^20 = .98.

  63. @Travis
    OT- Los Angeles Looks to Ban Major Real-Estate Developments...Supporters of a ballot measure say it will give residents more say it will keep out refugees and increase home values; opponents counter it will worsen affordability problems

    In Los Angeles, residents in early March are set to vote on a ballot initiative that, if passed, would suspend for two years any development that requires a modification to the city’s existing planning rules. Currently, such modifications are routine for new developments.
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/los-angeles-looks-to-rein-in-real-estate-development-1487264305

    The city planners stated LA was at capacity, no room for more homes….yet the same leftists want millions of more immigrants crossing our borders.

  64. Other 19th century weirdness of the Old West that disappeared in the 20th century: prairie fires and locust swarms. Both were vividly described in Laura Ingall’s late-19th century Little House memoirs. The 1875 locust swarm was thought to cover an area larger than the state of California. That species of locust (assuming it was in fact a species) is now considered extinct. Strangely, the eco-types never lament this extinction.

    Personally, I suspect it was neither a species nor is it extinct, but simply that the conditions under which the swarms formed have not recurred … yet.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    How are they doing with locust swarms in Ethiopia? A Portuguese envoy visited Abyssinia about 500 years ago and wrote a book about it. The locust swarms that plagued the highlands was a big theme in his book.
  65. So Steve, which one of the producers/crew/cast members are your friend(s) that you’re promoting this crap show so bad?

    I mean, I know you like helping out your buddies, but a Fat-Jewish-Lefty-Pig Woman Musical Comedy about Finding Mr. Right—-it’s a bit obvo you’re shilling. Yuck.

    P.S. As an aside, Netflix/AMC/someone could score a lot of money if they made a TV show depicting early 1960s California boomer kids—Beach Boys’s types, drag racing and surfing and blondness and getting married early. American Graffitti but with less hate-America and more love of innocence. And the music. Heavens, the soundtrack could sell itself.

    Someone get Brian Wilson on the phone. One last hurrah!

    • Replies: @Ivy
    Holding out for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue: The Movie.

    The movie covers, or uncovers, the HBD angle, the California beach angle and the readership demographic angle, all tastefully presented. The print version is showing up around the country now.
  66. Once upon a time I heard that the gold rush era navigational charts marked two behemoth coastal redwood trees along the Oakland hills skyline to guide mariners in the San Francisco Bay. They stood out so much that it was common practice to chart a course using them. Usually, maps would only contain permanent objects but the things were probably a couple of thousand years old already. They probably still exist but as someone’s house. There are older houses in the Oakland Berkeley hills I have been in made out of old growth redwood where the lumber was milled on the spot. There is not a knot in the house.

    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    You are talking about the "Navigation Trees" that were used to maneuver around Blossom Rock (more or less where Treasure Island is today).

    Here's a couple of references:

    http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/Hidden-redwood-is-remnant-of-forest-giants-4493517.php

    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/EAST-BAY-The-Grandfather-of-Oakland-s-redwoods-2491122.php

    https://localwiki.org/oakland/Blossom_Rock_Navigation_Trees_%28California_Historical_Landmark%29

  67. This is the USNS Rigel . https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Rigel_(AD-13)#/media/File:AR-11_Rigel.jpg . My first ship as a civilian . 1981 . A ship owned by the Defense dept , but crewed by civilians . I learned to tie a bowline and a clove hitch on that ship . I ran the winches on the No . 3 hold and f**kup that I have been for most of my life they were in awe of my skills . We left Norfolk with the holds full and cargo stacked on deck . A couple of UNREPS in the Med . And then into Palermo to take on cargo . I never got off the pier , we worked our asses off for two days , 18 hours a day , good money . Then over to Haifa where our Jew friends sold us over ripe fruit for the fleet which we dumped in the Red Sea after transiting the Suez Canal . Down into the Indian Ocean . A little work and into Diego Garcia . In Diego Garcia , which is a beautiful Atoll , one of our boilers blew up . Then into Subic Bay RP for repairs . A sailors paradise . You could go ashore with 20$ get something to eat , get a BJ and take a taxi back to the base and have change left over . I myself got a Subic Bay Marriage . You went to the bars , to find a girl , street walkers being illegal . The girls in the bars were checked weekly for VD . I signed Lucy out for 200$ . The Mamma San gave her a release to be out of the bar . She always watched out for my money . I guess you could say she was a Ho , but I’ve been shit on more by “descent” white girls . While we were in that dump a Negro beat a girl to death and stuffed her body in the closet where the water heater was . I went back to the RP in 1983 and went to the bar where Lucy had worked . They told me she had married some sailor and was living in Fl. Well God bless her . Tho I HAVE BEATEN YOU AND FLAYED YOU BY THE LIVING GOD THAT MADE YOU YOU ARE A BETTER MAN THAN I AM GUNGA DIN .

  68. OT, but I’d like to get Steve’s take (or any of the commentariat here) on this excellent post by Scott Alexander about cost disease in American healthcare, education and infrastructure:

    So, to summarize: in the past fifty years, education costs have doubled, college costs have dectupled, health insurance costs have dectupled, subway costs have at least dectupled, and housing costs have increased by about fifty percent. US health care costs about four times as much as equivalent health care in other First World countries; US subways cost about eight times as much as equivalent subways in other First World countries…

    Imagine if tomorrow, the price of water dectupled. Suddenly people have to choose between drinking and washing dishes. Activists argue that taking a shower is a basic human right, and grumpy talk show hosts point out that in their day, parents taught their children not to waste water. A coalition promotes laws ensuring government-subsidized free water for poor families; a Fox News investigative report shows that some people receiving water on the government dime are taking long luxurious showers. Everyone gets really angry and there’s lots of talk about basic compassion and personal responsibility and whatever but all of this is secondary to why does water costs ten times what it used to?…

    I’m more worried about the part where the cost of basic human needs goes up faster than wages do. Even if you’re making twice as much money, if your health care and education and so on cost ten times as much, you’re going to start falling behind. Right now the standard of living isn’t just stagnant, it’s at risk of declining, and a lot of that is student loans and health insurance costs and so on.

    What’s happening? I don’t know and I find it really scary.”

    http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/02/09/considerations-on-cost-disease/

    • Replies: @Ivy
    The comments following that article are also well worth taking the time to read.
    , @newrouter
    "So, to summarize: in the past fifty years, education costs have doubled, college costs have dectupled, health insurance costs have dectupled, subway costs have at least dectupled, and housing costs have increased by about fifty percent. "

    He might want to look into the federal gov't's increased financial participation in those sectors of the economy over the last 30 years.
    , @anon
    Doug.

    It's why we haven't had deflation in the US.

    Corn is $4/bb. Oil producers are hedging production @ $50/bbl. Basic materials, Oil, and commodities have experienced significant price declines over the last 3 years.

    Not to mention effective wage declines via globalization.

    And then technology. Stuff is cheaper.

    However those sectors of the economy where supply is politically constrained have been immune. This includes housing in desirable locations with zoning or geographic constraints.

    The future will be more like housing over the last 20 years. There are limits and we are getting closer to them.

    In general and over the last 50 years or 100 years, education and health were good 'investments'. I think there will be resistance to pouring money into these to the extent we have done in the last 20 or 30 years.

    These are the sorts of things that can't be dealt with except under an acknowledged crisis. A politically significant constituency will have to give up something.
  69. @whorefinder
    So Steve, which one of the producers/crew/cast members are your friend(s) that you're promoting this crap show so bad?

    I mean, I know you like helping out your buddies, but a Fat-Jewish-Lefty-Pig Woman Musical Comedy about Finding Mr. Right----it's a bit obvo you're shilling. Yuck.

    P.S. As an aside, Netflix/AMC/someone could score a lot of money if they made a TV show depicting early 1960s California boomer kids---Beach Boys's types, drag racing and surfing and blondness and getting married early. American Graffitti but with less hate-America and more love of innocence. And the music. Heavens, the soundtrack could sell itself.

    Someone get Brian Wilson on the phone. One last hurrah!

    Holding out for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue: The Movie.

    The movie covers, or uncovers, the HBD angle, the California beach angle and the readership demographic angle, all tastefully presented. The print version is showing up around the country now.

  70. @Doug
    OT, but I'd like to get Steve's take (or any of the commentariat here) on this excellent post by Scott Alexander about cost disease in American healthcare, education and infrastructure:

    So, to summarize: in the past fifty years, education costs have doubled, college costs have dectupled, health insurance costs have dectupled, subway costs have at least dectupled, and housing costs have increased by about fifty percent. US health care costs about four times as much as equivalent health care in other First World countries; US subways cost about eight times as much as equivalent subways in other First World countries...

    Imagine if tomorrow, the price of water dectupled. Suddenly people have to choose between drinking and washing dishes. Activists argue that taking a shower is a basic human right, and grumpy talk show hosts point out that in their day, parents taught their children not to waste water. A coalition promotes laws ensuring government-subsidized free water for poor families; a Fox News investigative report shows that some people receiving water on the government dime are taking long luxurious showers. Everyone gets really angry and there’s lots of talk about basic compassion and personal responsibility and whatever but all of this is secondary to why does water costs ten times what it used to?...

    I’m more worried about the part where the cost of basic human needs goes up faster than wages do. Even if you’re making twice as much money, if your health care and education and so on cost ten times as much, you’re going to start falling behind. Right now the standard of living isn’t just stagnant, it’s at risk of declining, and a lot of that is student loans and health insurance costs and so on.

    What’s happening? I don’t know and I find it really scary."
     
    http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/02/09/considerations-on-cost-disease/

    The comments following that article are also well worth taking the time to read.

  71. This post has been up all day and “Babylon Sisters” didn’t even get a hat tip?

    • Replies: @Anon
    I see your Steely Dan and raise you a Randy Newman:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KcADqxnQA_4#t=01m06s
    , @Ganderson
    Sorry, I was out jogging with the show folk on the strand.
    , @donut
    Sorry my friend , great song . Thank you .

    Another good Steely Dan song :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sogYgHlNnqo

    And I'll raise you one :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAwREhMRux0

    , @NickG
    Steely Dan lyrics provide a uniquely rich trove of geographical, cultural and pharmacological references.
  72. @Jack Highlands
    The only way raising another man's child has ever, or can ever, be a virtue is if the mother is the widow of a better man who must now settle for you, with the deal being that going forward, she will beget and raise some of yours too.

    Why a better man?

  73. @Prof. Woland
    Once upon a time I heard that the gold rush era navigational charts marked two behemoth coastal redwood trees along the Oakland hills skyline to guide mariners in the San Francisco Bay. They stood out so much that it was common practice to chart a course using them. Usually, maps would only contain permanent objects but the things were probably a couple of thousand years old already. They probably still exist but as someone's house. There are older houses in the Oakland Berkeley hills I have been in made out of old growth redwood where the lumber was milled on the spot. There is not a knot in the house.

    You are talking about the “Navigation Trees” that were used to maneuver around Blossom Rock (more or less where Treasure Island is today).

    Here’s a couple of references:

    http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/Hidden-redwood-is-remnant-of-forest-giants-4493517.php

    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/EAST-BAY-The-Grandfather-of-Oakland-s-redwoods-2491122.php

    https://localwiki.org/oakland/Blossom_Rock_Navigation_Trees_%28California_Historical_Landmark%29

  74. In a later edition of the book Dana recorded his visit to SF in August 1859 (i.e., before the Civil War). He met a ship captain whom he remembered from his own cruise in the mid 1830′s: “But Captain Wilson tells me that the climate has altered; that the southeasters are no longer the bane of the coast they once were, and that vessels now anchor inside the kelp at Santa Barbara and San Pedro all the year round.”

  75. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @SPMoore8
    This post has been up all day and "Babylon Sisters" didn't even get a hat tip?

    https://youtu.be/O5e_1_ySlaY?t=119

    I see your Steely Dan and raise you a Randy Newman:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KcADqxnQA_4#t=01m06s

  76. @Weltanschauung
    Are you talking about the kind of "fog" that London used to be famous for?

    Every now and then something bad does get fixed.

    No, I’m not talking about ‘fog’ in the London sense. I remember smog too, and it used to be a lot worse. But we did seem to have a lot of fog as a kid. Then again I grew up in ‘floodplain’ Orange County — Garden Grove, Fountain Valley, etc are all really flat, so maybe the fog just rolled up the Santa Ana river valley.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    You heard about fog on the news more in the past because it would shut down airports. Now they have superbright flashing lights on the ground so planes can land in fairly heavy fog.
  77. @Steve Sailer
    New Englanders: Writing Stuff Down Since 1620!

    The Puritans in New England may have hung witches and the ones in England may have executed the king, but they were quite literate and education oriented.

  78. @Doug
    OT, but I'd like to get Steve's take (or any of the commentariat here) on this excellent post by Scott Alexander about cost disease in American healthcare, education and infrastructure:

    So, to summarize: in the past fifty years, education costs have doubled, college costs have dectupled, health insurance costs have dectupled, subway costs have at least dectupled, and housing costs have increased by about fifty percent. US health care costs about four times as much as equivalent health care in other First World countries; US subways cost about eight times as much as equivalent subways in other First World countries...

    Imagine if tomorrow, the price of water dectupled. Suddenly people have to choose between drinking and washing dishes. Activists argue that taking a shower is a basic human right, and grumpy talk show hosts point out that in their day, parents taught their children not to waste water. A coalition promotes laws ensuring government-subsidized free water for poor families; a Fox News investigative report shows that some people receiving water on the government dime are taking long luxurious showers. Everyone gets really angry and there’s lots of talk about basic compassion and personal responsibility and whatever but all of this is secondary to why does water costs ten times what it used to?...

    I’m more worried about the part where the cost of basic human needs goes up faster than wages do. Even if you’re making twice as much money, if your health care and education and so on cost ten times as much, you’re going to start falling behind. Right now the standard of living isn’t just stagnant, it’s at risk of declining, and a lot of that is student loans and health insurance costs and so on.

    What’s happening? I don’t know and I find it really scary."
     
    http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/02/09/considerations-on-cost-disease/

    “So, to summarize: in the past fifty years, education costs have doubled, college costs have dectupled, health insurance costs have dectupled, subway costs have at least dectupled, and housing costs have increased by about fifty percent. ”

    He might want to look into the federal gov’t’s increased financial participation in those sectors of the economy over the last 30 years.

    • Replies: @JackOH
    "He might want to look into the federal gov’t’s increased financial participation in those sectors of the economy over the last 30 years."

    Agree. Before Medicare, also, there's the bankrolling of group health insurance, a uniquely odious product. But, few people are willing to confront the horror that so much money, whether health care or education, is tossed around in unsound ways. Plus, there's an almost quaint and lulling belief among many ordinary folks that extraordinary and inexplicable sums of money spent on X or Y imply some preternatural wisdom on the part of those spending it. (I've seen fantastic construction projects going up at my local state university, including a $1000/ sq. ft.--that's no misprint--rehab of a small office building. Political egoism and patronage jobs, and, of course, a sedated public. There's no "market" in my area for construction at fantasy prices. Markets, I'm thinking sarcastically, are for losers.)
  79. @Lot
    OT: It may have had its place during the Meme War of 2016, especially during the GOP primary, but I think commenters on respectable blogs like iSteve should refraining from using "cuck" and its variants. The word has two common meanings. The old one was for a man raising another man's child with his wife. The new one is a vulgar term for a sexual fetish. In the second sense, we should avoid vulgarity. In the first sense, however, how many of us have good and honorable men in our families who have a step child, an adopted child, or are infertile and used assisted reproduction? Most of us I'd say, especially from large families. It is wrong to insult them.

    This is why our term of choice is “cluck”, the connotation being a hybrid of cuckold and Chicken Little.

  80. @M_Young
    No, I'm not talking about 'fog' in the London sense. I remember smog too, and it used to be a lot worse. But we did seem to have a lot of fog as a kid. Then again I grew up in 'floodplain' Orange County -- Garden Grove, Fountain Valley, etc are all really flat, so maybe the fog just rolled up the Santa Ana river valley.

    You heard about fog on the news more in the past because it would shut down airports. Now they have superbright flashing lights on the ground so planes can land in fairly heavy fog.

    • Replies: @cthulhu
    I don't think it has anything to do with super bright lights. IFR minimums for landing are usually 200 ft and have been for quite a while; if you are 200 ft above the runway altitude and you can't see the runway, you abort the landing. I don't think the runway lights have gotten much brighter. ILS doesn't help below IFR minimums unless you and the airport have very expensive and finicky Cat-II or Cat-III systems.
  81. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Doug
    OT, but I'd like to get Steve's take (or any of the commentariat here) on this excellent post by Scott Alexander about cost disease in American healthcare, education and infrastructure:

    So, to summarize: in the past fifty years, education costs have doubled, college costs have dectupled, health insurance costs have dectupled, subway costs have at least dectupled, and housing costs have increased by about fifty percent. US health care costs about four times as much as equivalent health care in other First World countries; US subways cost about eight times as much as equivalent subways in other First World countries...

    Imagine if tomorrow, the price of water dectupled. Suddenly people have to choose between drinking and washing dishes. Activists argue that taking a shower is a basic human right, and grumpy talk show hosts point out that in their day, parents taught their children not to waste water. A coalition promotes laws ensuring government-subsidized free water for poor families; a Fox News investigative report shows that some people receiving water on the government dime are taking long luxurious showers. Everyone gets really angry and there’s lots of talk about basic compassion and personal responsibility and whatever but all of this is secondary to why does water costs ten times what it used to?...

    I’m more worried about the part where the cost of basic human needs goes up faster than wages do. Even if you’re making twice as much money, if your health care and education and so on cost ten times as much, you’re going to start falling behind. Right now the standard of living isn’t just stagnant, it’s at risk of declining, and a lot of that is student loans and health insurance costs and so on.

    What’s happening? I don’t know and I find it really scary."
     
    http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/02/09/considerations-on-cost-disease/

    Doug.

    It’s why we haven’t had deflation in the US.

    Corn is $4/bb. Oil producers are hedging production @ $50/bbl. Basic materials, Oil, and commodities have experienced significant price declines over the last 3 years.

    Not to mention effective wage declines via globalization.

    And then technology. Stuff is cheaper.

    However those sectors of the economy where supply is politically constrained have been immune. This includes housing in desirable locations with zoning or geographic constraints.

    The future will be more like housing over the last 20 years. There are limits and we are getting closer to them.

    In general and over the last 50 years or 100 years, education and health were good ‘investments’. I think there will be resistance to pouring money into these to the extent we have done in the last 20 or 30 years.

    These are the sorts of things that can’t be dealt with except under an acknowledged crisis. A politically significant constituency will have to give up something.

  82. Obviously California is a huge state with very different microclimates. Nevertheless, clues about the climate over the last few millennia ought to be available from analysis of the year rings of Prometheus:

    https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-oldest-living-plant-on-Earth

    And if memory serves, desert plants like creosote can be very old too.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Right. So if you are Gov. Pat Brown, and you are building a dam in Gold Rush Country in 1959, your experts have about 110 years of weather data since 1849.

    But these days, we can pull together hints about thousands of years of weather. Over a long period going well back into prehistory, averages from California's short history are not necessarily all that average.

  83. @SPMoore8
    This post has been up all day and "Babylon Sisters" didn't even get a hat tip?

    https://youtu.be/O5e_1_ySlaY?t=119

    Sorry, I was out jogging with the show folk on the strand.

  84. @Cortes
    Obviously California is a huge state with very different microclimates. Nevertheless, clues about the climate over the last few millennia ought to be available from analysis of the year rings of Prometheus:

    https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-oldest-living-plant-on-Earth

    And if memory serves, desert plants like creosote can be very old too.

    Right. So if you are Gov. Pat Brown, and you are building a dam in Gold Rush Country in 1959, your experts have about 110 years of weather data since 1849.

    But these days, we can pull together hints about thousands of years of weather. Over a long period going well back into prehistory, averages from California’s short history are not necessarily all that average.

    • Replies: @Cortes
    Steve:

    Perhaps the clues from analysis of Prometheus and other sources might only be useful to inform our "best guesses " about longer term patterns. No wish to be disrespectful to people who made decisions in the light of the best information then available.
    , @Cortes
    Further details on Prometheus:

    https://www.nps.gov/grba/historyculture/the-prometheus-story.htm
  85. @Lot
    OT: It may have had its place during the Meme War of 2016, especially during the GOP primary, but I think commenters on respectable blogs like iSteve should refraining from using "cuck" and its variants. The word has two common meanings. The old one was for a man raising another man's child with his wife. The new one is a vulgar term for a sexual fetish. In the second sense, we should avoid vulgarity. In the first sense, however, how many of us have good and honorable men in our families who have a step child, an adopted child, or are infertile and used assisted reproduction? Most of us I'd say, especially from large families. It is wrong to insult them.

    The word has two common meanings. The old one was for a man [unwittingly] raising another man’s child with his wife [or being cheated on]. The new one is a vulgar term for a sexual fetish [as applied to posterity-squandering politicians and pundits].

    FTFY.

    It’s dishonest to conflate the archaic, rarely used “cuckold” (def. #1) and the perfect political insult “cuck” (def. #2), which is still quite relevant and will be for the foreseeable future—the cucks are still around and haven’t stopped cucking.

    If anyone with adopted kids winces at the term, they should man the fcuk up. The first definition doesn’t apply to them, and the second is rightly used against Kristol-crush invade-the-world, invite-the-world cucks like David French.

    What’s next, decrying the use of “cat lady” to describe Merkel’s Boner type follies?

    “Jeez guys, a lot of respectable people own cats, and besides, the term is kinda sexist in the current year.” :(

  86. @Steve Sailer
    Right. So if you are Gov. Pat Brown, and you are building a dam in Gold Rush Country in 1959, your experts have about 110 years of weather data since 1849.

    But these days, we can pull together hints about thousands of years of weather. Over a long period going well back into prehistory, averages from California's short history are not necessarily all that average.

    Steve:

    Perhaps the clues from analysis of Prometheus and other sources might only be useful to inform our “best guesses ” about longer term patterns. No wish to be disrespectful to people who made decisions in the light of the best information then available.

  87. @dearieme
    Climate change! Weirding! Catastrophe! Catastrophe!

    I blame it on that Putin.

    Steve I remember a discussion on here talking about how David Lynch loved the “old, weird America”…..

    Who said rhat term first?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Rock critic Greil Marcus used it about Bob Dylan's music. Dylan doesn't it like it, however.
  88. @Steve Sailer
    Right. So if you are Gov. Pat Brown, and you are building a dam in Gold Rush Country in 1959, your experts have about 110 years of weather data since 1849.

    But these days, we can pull together hints about thousands of years of weather. Over a long period going well back into prehistory, averages from California's short history are not necessarily all that average.

    Further details on Prometheus:

    https://www.nps.gov/grba/historyculture/the-prometheus-story.htm

  89. @SPMoore8
    This post has been up all day and "Babylon Sisters" didn't even get a hat tip?

    https://youtu.be/O5e_1_ySlaY?t=119

    Sorry my friend , great song . Thank you .

    Another good Steely Dan song :

    And I’ll raise you one :

    • Replies: @el topo
    Two of my favorite songs from the early 80's! Thank you.
    , @NickG

    Another good Steely Dan song :
     
    The Nightfly was not branded as Steely Dan, rather as Donald Fagan album, I'm not sure if Walter Becker was involved.
  90. @Neoconned
    Steve I remember a discussion on here talking about how David Lynch loved the "old, weird America".....

    Who said rhat term first?

    Rock critic Greil Marcus used it about Bob Dylan’s music. Dylan doesn’t it like it, however.

    • Replies: @benjaminl
    Dylan's satellite radio show seems designed to validate Marcus's idea, however.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theme_Time_Radio_Hour_(season_1)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Best_of_Bob_Dylan's_Theme_Time_Radio_Hour


    2 Season 1 - Episodes 1 to 50
    2.1 Episode 1: Weather
    2.2 Episode 2: Mother
    2.3 Episode 3: Drinking
    2.4 Episode 4: Baseball
    2.5 Episode 5: Coffee
    2.6 Episode 6: Jail
    2.7 Episode 7: Father
    2.8 Episode 8: Wedding
    2.9 Episode 9: Divorce
    2.10 Episode 10: Summer
    2.11 Episode 11: Flowers
    2.12 Episode 12: Cars
    2.13 Episode 13: Rich Man, Poor Man
    2.14 Episode 14: The Devil
    2.15 Episode 15: Eyes
    2.16 Episode 16: Dogs
    2.17 Episode 17: Friends & Neighbors
    2.18 Episode 18: Radio
    2.19 Episode 19: The Bible
    2.20 Episode 20: Musical Map
    2.21 Episode 21: School
    2.22 Episode 22: Telephone
    2.23 Episode 23: Water
    2.24 Episode 24: Time
    2.25 Episode 25: Guns
    2.26 Episode 26: Halloween
    2.27 Episode 27: Dance
    2.28 Episode 28: Sleep
    2.29 Episode 29: Food
    2.30 Episode 30: Thanksgiving Leftovers
    2.31 Episode 31: Tennessee
    2.32 Episode 32: Moon
    2.33 Episode 33: Countdown
    2.34 Episode 34: Christmas & New Year's
    2.35 Episode 35: Women's Names
    2.36 Episode 36: Hair
    2.37 Episode 37: Musical Instruments
    2.38 Episode 38: Luck
    2.39 Episode 39: Tears
    2.40 Episode 40: Laughter
    2.41 Episode 41: Heart
    2.42 Episode 42: Shoes
    2.43 Episode 43: Colors
    2.44 Episode 44: Texas
    2.45 Episode 45: Trains
    2.46 Episode 46: More Trains
    2.47 Episode 47: Fools
    2.48 Episode 48: New York
    2.49 Episode 49: Death & Taxes
    2.50 Episode 50: Spring Cleaning
     
  91. @newrouter
    "So, to summarize: in the past fifty years, education costs have doubled, college costs have dectupled, health insurance costs have dectupled, subway costs have at least dectupled, and housing costs have increased by about fifty percent. "

    He might want to look into the federal gov't's increased financial participation in those sectors of the economy over the last 30 years.

    “He might want to look into the federal gov’t’s increased financial participation in those sectors of the economy over the last 30 years.”

    Agree. Before Medicare, also, there’s the bankrolling of group health insurance, a uniquely odious product. But, few people are willing to confront the horror that so much money, whether health care or education, is tossed around in unsound ways. Plus, there’s an almost quaint and lulling belief among many ordinary folks that extraordinary and inexplicable sums of money spent on X or Y imply some preternatural wisdom on the part of those spending it. (I’ve seen fantastic construction projects going up at my local state university, including a $1000/ sq. ft.–that’s no misprint–rehab of a small office building. Political egoism and patronage jobs, and, of course, a sedated public. There’s no “market” in my area for construction at fantasy prices. Markets, I’m thinking sarcastically, are for losers.)

  92. @Olorin
    Good lord. Can we please up our science game in commenting on this topic in 2017?

    Our host noted:


    In general, our concepts of things like 100 Year Floods and 1000 Year Floods are based on what we have measurements for, which is usually roughly the 20th Century.
     
    No, the prevailing concepts/definitions of those terms are not based on that century.

    But he comes around to the intelligent conclusion:


    But it’s quite possible that the 20th Century wasn’t all that representative. Perhaps the 21st Century will be quite a bit more extreme in one way or another.
     
    Though framed improperly this is intuitively accurate and highly likely.

    Fact is we have more long-term climate data based on exhaustive measurements of all sorts of natural and geological phenomena than any of us would know what to do with.

    When you start looking at the sigmas and the p's of big chunks of it all, never mind how they interact and reinforce, the conclusions converge on the near and distant horizons within a narrow and disconcerting azimuth.

    Dendrochronology/paleoclimatology--NOAA NCEI
    https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data-access/paleoclimatology-data/datasets/tree-ring

    NOAA paleo data search (literature; pick your data specialties)
    https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo-search/?dataTypeId=18

    NOAA paleoclimate data map
    https://gis.ncdc.noaa.gov/maps/ncei/paleo?layers=0000000000000001

    Just three out of many available places to look for information or simply dip a toe into the scope and scale of climate data.

    Our camp has got to stop with the reactive kneejerk corporate propaganda flatulations on this topic. It's as idiotic and embarrassing to observe as when liberals talk about genetics/genomics.

    S’all right, we’re not all gonna die. Maybe a few.

  93. @Almost Missouri
    Other 19th century weirdness of the Old West that disappeared in the 20th century: prairie fires and locust swarms. Both were vividly described in Laura Ingall's late-19th century Little House memoirs. The 1875 locust swarm was thought to cover an area larger than the state of California. That species of locust (assuming it was in fact a species) is now considered extinct. Strangely, the eco-types never lament this extinction.

    Personally, I suspect it was neither a species nor is it extinct, but simply that the conditions under which the swarms formed have not recurred ... yet.

    How are they doing with locust swarms in Ethiopia? A Portuguese envoy visited Abyssinia about 500 years ago and wrote a book about it. The locust swarms that plagued the highlands was a big theme in his book.

  94. @Lot
    DJT II has a lovely family. I think you know already that I agree with you on eugenic natalism.

    Sometimes vulgarity is necessary.
     
    The vulgarization of culture requires more resources from parents to insulate children from it, and anything that increases the cost of raising children in the bourgeois manner is dysgenic.

    Sometimes, a certain amount of vulgarity even gets you the presidency, and I’m all for that. Tough times, this is not a beauty contest, it’s SOS.

  95. @Jack Highlands
    The only way raising another man's child has ever, or can ever, be a virtue is if the mother is the widow of a better man who must now settle for you, with the deal being that going forward, she will beget and raise some of yours too.

    Relax on the adopted children. No one is keeping score. There’s a big difference between being fooled into thinking you’re raising your own child and deciding to do some good and raising someone else’s.

    • Replies: @Moshe
    I have never used or written the word cuck before a second ago.

    That said, here's how I see it. It has less to do with the child than with the woman you are attatched to.

    I can't believe we have to really websters this obvious term.

    I'll try though.

    YOU ARE A CUCK if a woman who does not love you very much has parasited herself on to you so that you could raise her child - and you also do not particularly love that child.

    If a woman is your best friend so you raise her kids too - you are not a Cuck.

    If she isn't your best friend but you either really love the kid or have some kind of benefit from the deal like her helping to raise your kid - you are not a Cuck.

    If however you are expending your limited time and energy on a child you do not like and who is not yours either by biology or choice, but who you are wasting your life on because you bought into the idea that you should "man up" and give your life to some gross slut and her vaginal emission because "if you were a real man" you would, then you are a Cuck.
  96. @Steve Sailer
    You heard about fog on the news more in the past because it would shut down airports. Now they have superbright flashing lights on the ground so planes can land in fairly heavy fog.

    I don’t think it has anything to do with super bright lights. IFR minimums for landing are usually 200 ft and have been for quite a while; if you are 200 ft above the runway altitude and you can’t see the runway, you abort the landing. I don’t think the runway lights have gotten much brighter. ILS doesn’t help below IFR minimums unless you and the airport have very expensive and finicky Cat-II or Cat-III systems.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    If you see the white approach lights, you may descend to 100 feet above the Touch Down Zone Elevation. To go any lower to a landing, you need visual contact with other elements of the Runway Environment; in the case of seeing the "bright" approach lights only, you would need to see the red terminating or side bars on the approach path lighting system and you would need to be able to land from that point using ordinary manouevres (you wouldn't want to dive to a runway you can't quite see). It is much easier to use CAT III and autoland, but not many of us have that equipment.
  97. Speaking of weird California, how many people – even in Southern California – know that there is a giant inland lake between Palm Springs and Mexico, an artificially created potential ecological disaster which has become so saline that only tilapia can live in it?

    Salton Sea

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The Salton Sea used to be a tourist attraction. My parents and I went there about 1970.
    , @Hippopotamusdrome
    Save the tilapias.
    , @Moshe
    I've spent plenty of time out there. Totally weird place and I love it. Too much weirdness to get into but in one brief visit, within the space of an hour I had run over shrapnel in a quasi military zone and then sang on stage at a semi-coordinated concert outside some kind of ancient homeless encampment. Wait! I know gow to describe it. You saw it in, "Into The Wild".

    Anyway, I've been around the sea some half a dozen times and it's incredible.

    Sometimes however it stinks worse than Soddom and Gemorah.

  98. @Intelligent Dasein

    A cold wind from the east would require the desert to be cold, which it isn’t except in the middle of the night.
     
    What are you talking about? It makes no difference how cold the desert gets at night, or even if the desert were cold all the time. Any easterly surface winds blowing in the vicinity of southern California are going to be warm (or at least "warming") due to the same mechanism that makes the Santa Anas warm in the first place: the dry adiabatic lapse rate and the compression resulting from flowing down the leeward side of the mountains.

    If the winds in Dana's memoir blew his ship nearly to Hawaii, that alone indicates that such winds had nothing to whatsoever to do with surface weather in California, desert or no desert. They must have been a macroscale phenomenon, the trades at that latitude being generally easterly anyway, and were cold due to some rather pronounced variation in global atmospheric or oceanic circulation. It would be very interesting to know what that was.

    It makes no difference how cold the desert gets at night,

    Try googling katabatic wind.

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
    I know what a katabatic wind is, Mr. Condescension. No googling necessary. But down-slope winds do not go up and over mountain ranges, nor would a local surface wind blow ships thousands of miles out to sea. Why is everyone forgetting that part?
  99. @donut
    Sorry my friend , great song . Thank you .

    Another good Steely Dan song :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sogYgHlNnqo

    And I'll raise you one :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAwREhMRux0

    Two of my favorite songs from the early 80′s! Thank you.

  100. @el topo
    Speaking of weird California, how many people - even in Southern California - know that there is a giant inland lake between Palm Springs and Mexico, an artificially created potential ecological disaster which has become so saline that only tilapia can live in it?

    Salton Sea

    The Salton Sea used to be a tourist attraction. My parents and I went there about 1970.

    • Replies: @el topo
    Yes, I read about that after I discovered its existence rather accidentally (on a drive from Joshua Tree back to LA). It seems to be a remarkable and rather tragic story of prosperity and decline, given its current condition. I took a long drive around the lake to find the Sono Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, only to find it to be an abandoned lunar landscape stinking from a nearby factory, with precious little wildlife to be seen. On the way I passed through Bombay Beach, an impoverished little beachside community of dilapidated huts where time seemed to have stopped decades ago. Very weird indeed.

    I subsequently discovered a pretty good documentary had been made about the lake, narrated, appropriately, by John Waters: Plagies and Pleasures on the Salton Sea
  101. @Steve Sailer
    The Salton Sea used to be a tourist attraction. My parents and I went there about 1970.

    Yes, I read about that after I discovered its existence rather accidentally (on a drive from Joshua Tree back to LA). It seems to be a remarkable and rather tragic story of prosperity and decline, given its current condition. I took a long drive around the lake to find the Sono Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, only to find it to be an abandoned lunar landscape stinking from a nearby factory, with precious little wildlife to be seen. On the way I passed through Bombay Beach, an impoverished little beachside community of dilapidated huts where time seemed to have stopped decades ago. Very weird indeed.

    I subsequently discovered a pretty good documentary had been made about the lake, narrated, appropriately, by John Waters: Plagies and Pleasures on the Salton Sea

  102. @el topo
    Speaking of weird California, how many people - even in Southern California - know that there is a giant inland lake between Palm Springs and Mexico, an artificially created potential ecological disaster which has become so saline that only tilapia can live in it?

    Salton Sea

    Save the tilapias.

  103. @Lot
    I understand why people use the term. I am saying that its use is demeaning to men who raise children that are not their own, and in general vulgar.

    The term is vulgar and I cringe myself. But it has never applied to adoptions, it was more about being hoodwinked.

  104. Man’s general ignorance about natural variations in weather and climate has been fodder for witch doctors of various stripes from the time humans were sufficiently sentient to follow the specious arguments of these medicine men, con men, and famous liars.

    The real witch hunts took place in Europe during the Little Ice Age, rallied on by no less an authority on weather and climate than Pope Innocent VIII himself, with the tragic result that 1000s upon 1000s of innocent wretches were burned alive at the stake, having been falsely accused of causing all bad things, including the nasty weather.

    Today’s witches take the guise of CO2…

    ‘Different bull; ‘same dust.

  105. @Steve Sailer
    Rock critic Greil Marcus used it about Bob Dylan's music. Dylan doesn't it like it, however.

    Dylan’s satellite radio show seems designed to validate Marcus’s idea, however.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theme_Time_Radio_Hour_(season_1)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Best_of_Bob_Dylan’s_Theme_Time_Radio_Hour

    [MORE]

    2 Season 1 – Episodes 1 to 50
    2.1 Episode 1: Weather
    2.2 Episode 2: Mother
    2.3 Episode 3: Drinking
    2.4 Episode 4: Baseball
    2.5 Episode 5: Coffee
    2.6 Episode 6: Jail
    2.7 Episode 7: Father
    2.8 Episode 8: Wedding
    2.9 Episode 9: Divorce
    2.10 Episode 10: Summer
    2.11 Episode 11: Flowers
    2.12 Episode 12: Cars
    2.13 Episode 13: Rich Man, Poor Man
    2.14 Episode 14: The Devil
    2.15 Episode 15: Eyes
    2.16 Episode 16: Dogs
    2.17 Episode 17: Friends & Neighbors
    2.18 Episode 18: Radio
    2.19 Episode 19: The Bible
    2.20 Episode 20: Musical Map
    2.21 Episode 21: School
    2.22 Episode 22: Telephone
    2.23 Episode 23: Water
    2.24 Episode 24: Time
    2.25 Episode 25: Guns
    2.26 Episode 26: Halloween
    2.27 Episode 27: Dance
    2.28 Episode 28: Sleep
    2.29 Episode 29: Food
    2.30 Episode 30: Thanksgiving Leftovers
    2.31 Episode 31: Tennessee
    2.32 Episode 32: Moon
    2.33 Episode 33: Countdown
    2.34 Episode 34: Christmas & New Year’s
    2.35 Episode 35: Women’s Names
    2.36 Episode 36: Hair
    2.37 Episode 37: Musical Instruments
    2.38 Episode 38: Luck
    2.39 Episode 39: Tears
    2.40 Episode 40: Laughter
    2.41 Episode 41: Heart
    2.42 Episode 42: Shoes
    2.43 Episode 43: Colors
    2.44 Episode 44: Texas
    2.45 Episode 45: Trains
    2.46 Episode 46: More Trains
    2.47 Episode 47: Fools
    2.48 Episode 48: New York
    2.49 Episode 49: Death & Taxes
    2.50 Episode 50: Spring Cleaning

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Greil Marcus is a real bright guy.

    Sometimes he's too bright, as in his book about how the Sex Pistols reflect French Situationist philosophy. But when somebody asked Johnny Rotten about Situationism, he explained that he hated the Queen because he's an Irish Catholic.

  106. @NickG

    It makes no difference how cold the desert gets at night,

     

    Try googling katabatic wind.

    I know what a katabatic wind is, Mr. Condescension. No googling necessary. But down-slope winds do not go up and over mountain ranges, nor would a local surface wind blow ships thousands of miles out to sea. Why is everyone forgetting that part?

  107. @Intelligent Dasein

    A cold wind from the east would require the desert to be cold, which it isn’t except in the middle of the night.
     
    What are you talking about? It makes no difference how cold the desert gets at night, or even if the desert were cold all the time. Any easterly surface winds blowing in the vicinity of southern California are going to be warm (or at least "warming") due to the same mechanism that makes the Santa Anas warm in the first place: the dry adiabatic lapse rate and the compression resulting from flowing down the leeward side of the mountains.

    If the winds in Dana's memoir blew his ship nearly to Hawaii, that alone indicates that such winds had nothing to whatsoever to do with surface weather in California, desert or no desert. They must have been a macroscale phenomenon, the trades at that latitude being generally easterly anyway, and were cold due to some rather pronounced variation in global atmospheric or oceanic circulation. It would be very interesting to know what that was.

    There is a similar wind in New Zealand that comes from the north west. On the eastern side of mountain ranges it blows very hot and dry and where there are no mountain ranges in the way it is relatively cool and brings a fair amount of rain.

    The most extreme coastal difference I can remember was one day when it was hot, dry and 40 degrees Celsius on the east coast of the South Island of NZ, and 19 degrees and raining hard on the west coast (less than a 150 kilometres away as the crow flies).

  108. @benjaminl
    Dylan's satellite radio show seems designed to validate Marcus's idea, however.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theme_Time_Radio_Hour_(season_1)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Best_of_Bob_Dylan's_Theme_Time_Radio_Hour


    2 Season 1 - Episodes 1 to 50
    2.1 Episode 1: Weather
    2.2 Episode 2: Mother
    2.3 Episode 3: Drinking
    2.4 Episode 4: Baseball
    2.5 Episode 5: Coffee
    2.6 Episode 6: Jail
    2.7 Episode 7: Father
    2.8 Episode 8: Wedding
    2.9 Episode 9: Divorce
    2.10 Episode 10: Summer
    2.11 Episode 11: Flowers
    2.12 Episode 12: Cars
    2.13 Episode 13: Rich Man, Poor Man
    2.14 Episode 14: The Devil
    2.15 Episode 15: Eyes
    2.16 Episode 16: Dogs
    2.17 Episode 17: Friends & Neighbors
    2.18 Episode 18: Radio
    2.19 Episode 19: The Bible
    2.20 Episode 20: Musical Map
    2.21 Episode 21: School
    2.22 Episode 22: Telephone
    2.23 Episode 23: Water
    2.24 Episode 24: Time
    2.25 Episode 25: Guns
    2.26 Episode 26: Halloween
    2.27 Episode 27: Dance
    2.28 Episode 28: Sleep
    2.29 Episode 29: Food
    2.30 Episode 30: Thanksgiving Leftovers
    2.31 Episode 31: Tennessee
    2.32 Episode 32: Moon
    2.33 Episode 33: Countdown
    2.34 Episode 34: Christmas & New Year's
    2.35 Episode 35: Women's Names
    2.36 Episode 36: Hair
    2.37 Episode 37: Musical Instruments
    2.38 Episode 38: Luck
    2.39 Episode 39: Tears
    2.40 Episode 40: Laughter
    2.41 Episode 41: Heart
    2.42 Episode 42: Shoes
    2.43 Episode 43: Colors
    2.44 Episode 44: Texas
    2.45 Episode 45: Trains
    2.46 Episode 46: More Trains
    2.47 Episode 47: Fools
    2.48 Episode 48: New York
    2.49 Episode 49: Death & Taxes
    2.50 Episode 50: Spring Cleaning
     

    Greil Marcus is a real bright guy.

    Sometimes he’s too bright, as in his book about how the Sex Pistols reflect French Situationist philosophy. But when somebody asked Johnny Rotten about Situationism, he explained that he hated the Queen because he’s an Irish Catholic.

    • Replies: @benjaminl
    Agreed. I discovered Marcus's Mystery Train as a youth, pre-internet, and was blown away by the idea that someone could be a Serious Intellectual about pop music.

    Unfortunately it took me a long time, and a few useless soft-subject degrees, before realizing that Serious Intellectuals were often totally loony.

    That's why I love the Sailersphere comments section: here it's important to be on the Right Side of Reality.
  109. @cthulhu
    I don't think it has anything to do with super bright lights. IFR minimums for landing are usually 200 ft and have been for quite a while; if you are 200 ft above the runway altitude and you can't see the runway, you abort the landing. I don't think the runway lights have gotten much brighter. ILS doesn't help below IFR minimums unless you and the airport have very expensive and finicky Cat-II or Cat-III systems.

    If you see the white approach lights, you may descend to 100 feet above the Touch Down Zone Elevation. To go any lower to a landing, you need visual contact with other elements of the Runway Environment; in the case of seeing the “bright” approach lights only, you would need to see the red terminating or side bars on the approach path lighting system and you would need to be able to land from that point using ordinary manouevres (you wouldn’t want to dive to a runway you can’t quite see). It is much easier to use CAT III and autoland, but not many of us have that equipment.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    My impression is that LAX doesn't get shut down due to coastal fog diverting inbound jetliner flights to inland Ontario Airport as much anymore as in the early 1980s.
  110. @The Alarmist
    If you see the white approach lights, you may descend to 100 feet above the Touch Down Zone Elevation. To go any lower to a landing, you need visual contact with other elements of the Runway Environment; in the case of seeing the "bright" approach lights only, you would need to see the red terminating or side bars on the approach path lighting system and you would need to be able to land from that point using ordinary manouevres (you wouldn't want to dive to a runway you can't quite see). It is much easier to use CAT III and autoland, but not many of us have that equipment.

    My impression is that LAX doesn’t get shut down due to coastal fog diverting inbound jetliner flights to inland Ontario Airport as much anymore as in the early 1980s.

  111. @Steve Sailer
    My impression is that LAX doesn't get shut down due to coastal fog diverting inbound jetliner flights to inland Ontario Airport as much anymore as in the early 1980s.

    Your observation would indeed be correct.

  112. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Was ice boating on the Hudson and other places where it was possible much more common in the 1800s than last century? I have the impression it was.

    For a long time ice boats were probably the fastest form of human travel:

    Ice boat:

    “…The first iceboat in America is attributed to Oliver Booth in 1790 at Poughkeepsie, NY….

    …The stern-steerer Debutaunte, recently rebuilt, was timed over a measured mile at 124 knots (230 km/h; 143 mph) on the ice of Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin in 1938.”

    Ice yachting:

    “…In 1881 occurred the first race for the American Challenge Pennant, which represents the championship of the Hudson River; the clubs that competed included the Hudson River, North Shrewsbury, Orange Lake, Newburgh and Carthage Ice Yacht Clubs.”

    “Frost fair: When an elephant walked on the frozen River Thames”, Tom de Castella, BBC News, 28 January 2014:

    “…It is 200 years ago since the last “frost fair” – an impromptu festival on a frozen Thames, complete with dancing, skittles and temporary pubs…

    …People didn’t know it then but this “frost fair” – a cross between a Christmas market, circus and illegal rave – would be the last. In the 200 years that have elapsed since, the Thames has never frozen solid enough for such hedonism to be repeated…

    …between 1309 and 1814, the Thames froze at least 23 times and on five of these occasions -1683-4, 1716, 1739-40, 1789 and 1814 – the ice was thick enough to hold a fair…”

    • Replies: @Ivy
    Railroad barons of the late 1800s like Commodore Vanderbilt used to race their trains against ice boats. That would've been quite a sight with steam engines fired up and eying the competition on the Hudson.
  113. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Broken link:

    Ice boat:

    “…wide, stubby, scow-like vessels used in the 1800s, often for transportation across a mixed passage transitioning over sea-ice and open water. Wildly sailed …these boats had no rudder… capable of simultaneously and daringly traversing both open water and jumping onto stretches of ice and were used primarily for winter transportation to and from lighthouses and for ice fishing…

    …can achieve speeds as high as ten times the wind speed in good conditions…

    …a timed run on Lake Geneva, Wisconsin reported an “E-Skeeter” as having reached 137 knots (254 km/h; 158 mph)….

    …Iceboating’s popularity is primarily limited to… the “ice belt” of approximately 40°N latitude to 45°-50°N latitude where it gets cold enough to freeze water to several inches thick before snow covers them… Once a thick snow fall occurs, iceboaters must wait for the snow to melt completely then refreeze…”

  114. @Steve Sailer
    Greil Marcus is a real bright guy.

    Sometimes he's too bright, as in his book about how the Sex Pistols reflect French Situationist philosophy. But when somebody asked Johnny Rotten about Situationism, he explained that he hated the Queen because he's an Irish Catholic.

    Agreed. I discovered Marcus’s Mystery Train as a youth, pre-internet, and was blown away by the idea that someone could be a Serious Intellectual about pop music.

    Unfortunately it took me a long time, and a few useless soft-subject degrees, before realizing that Serious Intellectuals were often totally loony.

    That’s why I love the Sailersphere comments section: here it’s important to be on the Right Side of Reality.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I liked Marcus a lot but he was kind of too smart for his own good. But "old, weird America" is a good three word phrase and he'll be remembered for that (even though it will usually be attributed to Dylan, but that's not shabby), and being remembered for anything at all is pretty good for a journalist.
  115. @Lot
    Tom Cotton is turning into our best Senator. Here he is dumping on Paul Ryan's latest tax cut for the rich plan

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/paul-ryan-tax-reform-republicans-235117

    Here he is dumping on Paul Ryan’s latest tax cut for the rich plan

    If our corporate tax rate so low now, how come Burger King is Canadian and Apple Irish? Do we have left-wing tax havens, too?

    A century ago, Southerners were all about “taxing the rich”, and at the head of the line ratifying the 16th Amendment. They soon learned that they were the rich, too. And their sons cannon fodder.

    That may be why the earliest states to ratify are now the earliest states to ratify repeal:

    http://www.libertyamendment.com/

    “Be careful what you ask for…”

  116. @shockedintoinaction
    Early nineteenth century was cold. The Little Ice Age was ending. Remember that the Delaware had been freezing over only a few decades earlier when Washington crossed it to surprise the hung-over Hessians on 26 December 1776. Then 1816 was the "year without a summer" after Mount Tambora erupted in 1815. SoCal (and elsewhere) could have been rather nippy in the 1820-1830s.

    Early nineteenth century was cold.

    And not just here. Bandy, a precursor of ice hockey, was codified in 19th century England.

    And if you really want to shock a global warming justice warrior, mention that the Federation of International Bandy includes Somalia:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somalia_national_bandy_team

    BTW, I took my Cub Scout ice fishing with his troop today. It’s pretty scary when it’s 63°F out. Messy, too.

  117. @anonymous
    Was ice boating on the Hudson and other places where it was possible much more common in the 1800s than last century? I have the impression it was.

    For a long time ice boats were probably the fastest form of human travel:

    Ice boat:


    "...The first iceboat in America is attributed to Oliver Booth in 1790 at Poughkeepsie, NY....

    ...The stern-steerer Debutaunte, recently rebuilt, was timed over a measured mile at 124 knots (230 km/h; 143 mph) on the ice of Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin in 1938."

     

    Ice yachting:


    "...In 1881 occurred the first race for the American Challenge Pennant, which represents the championship of the Hudson River; the clubs that competed included the Hudson River, North Shrewsbury, Orange Lake, Newburgh and Carthage Ice Yacht Clubs."

     

    "Frost fair: When an elephant walked on the frozen River Thames", Tom de Castella, BBC News, 28 January 2014:


    "...It is 200 years ago since the last "frost fair" - an impromptu festival on a frozen Thames, complete with dancing, skittles and temporary pubs...

    ...People didn't know it then but this "frost fair" - a cross between a Christmas market, circus and illegal rave - would be the last. In the 200 years that have elapsed since, the Thames has never frozen solid enough for such hedonism to be repeated...

    ...between 1309 and 1814, the Thames froze at least 23 times and on five of these occasions -1683-4, 1716, 1739-40, 1789 and 1814 - the ice was thick enough to hold a fair..."

     

    Railroad barons of the late 1800s like Commodore Vanderbilt used to race their trains against ice boats. That would’ve been quite a sight with steam engines fired up and eying the competition on the Hudson.

  118. @benjaminl
    Agreed. I discovered Marcus's Mystery Train as a youth, pre-internet, and was blown away by the idea that someone could be a Serious Intellectual about pop music.

    Unfortunately it took me a long time, and a few useless soft-subject degrees, before realizing that Serious Intellectuals were often totally loony.

    That's why I love the Sailersphere comments section: here it's important to be on the Right Side of Reality.

    I liked Marcus a lot but he was kind of too smart for his own good. But “old, weird America” is a good three word phrase and he’ll be remembered for that (even though it will usually be attributed to Dylan, but that’s not shabby), and being remembered for anything at all is pretty good for a journalist.

  119. @Chief Seattle
    Relax on the adopted children. No one is keeping score. There's a big difference between being fooled into thinking you're raising your own child and deciding to do some good and raising someone else's.

    I have never used or written the word cuck before a second ago.

    That said, here’s how I see it. It has less to do with the child than with the woman you are attatched to.

    I can’t believe we have to really websters this obvious term.

    I’ll try though.

    YOU ARE A CUCK if a woman who does not love you very much has parasited herself on to you so that you could raise her child – and you also do not particularly love that child.

    If a woman is your best friend so you raise her kids too – you are not a Cuck.

    If she isn’t your best friend but you either really love the kid or have some kind of benefit from the deal like her helping to raise your kid – you are not a Cuck.

    If however you are expending your limited time and energy on a child you do not like and who is not yours either by biology or choice, but who you are wasting your life on because you bought into the idea that you should “man up” and give your life to some gross slut and her vaginal emission because “if you were a real man” you would, then you are a Cuck.

  120. @el topo
    Speaking of weird California, how many people - even in Southern California - know that there is a giant inland lake between Palm Springs and Mexico, an artificially created potential ecological disaster which has become so saline that only tilapia can live in it?

    Salton Sea

    I’ve spent plenty of time out there. Totally weird place and I love it. Too much weirdness to get into but in one brief visit, within the space of an hour I had run over shrapnel in a quasi military zone and then sang on stage at a semi-coordinated concert outside some kind of ancient homeless encampment. Wait! I know gow to describe it. You saw it in, “Into The Wild”.

    Anyway, I’ve been around the sea some half a dozen times and it’s incredible.

    Sometimes however it stinks worse than Soddom and Gemorah.

  121. @SPMoore8
    This post has been up all day and "Babylon Sisters" didn't even get a hat tip?

    https://youtu.be/O5e_1_ySlaY?t=119

    Steely Dan lyrics provide a uniquely rich trove of geographical, cultural and pharmacological references.

  122. @donut
    Sorry my friend , great song . Thank you .

    Another good Steely Dan song :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sogYgHlNnqo

    And I'll raise you one :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAwREhMRux0

    Another good Steely Dan song :

    The Nightfly was not branded as Steely Dan, rather as Donald Fagan album, I’m not sure if Walter Becker was involved.

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The unprecedented racial transformation of California and its political consequences.
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