Desierto norte de Chile

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A dip in the Potomac

Yesterday, Saturday 12 June, I joined over 300 other folks from Iglesia Emmanuel down at Point Lookout State Park, the southernmost point of 'mainland' Maryland where the Potomac River joins the Chesapeake Bay. Our small group brought about 15 of us, and we joined with the 6 from Mefi's small group to grab some tables and start grilling out! Meat, tortillas, salsa (fresh tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and lemon), and a selection of sodas awaited us. Delicious.

The main point of driving 2 hours south of Annapolis wasn't a mass cookout though- it was to hold an annual baptism service. I thought the service was very meaningful for everyone involved. We sang, prayed, and celebrated together, and the baptisees were baptised in the Potomac. Here are some pictures from the day.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

interesting BBC article-- Iran, nuclear, and torture

On the BBC homepage this afternoon was linked an article describing a somewhat confusing situation: two video clips (on YouTube?) showing an Iranian nuclear scientist first claiming he was abducted by US agents in Saudi Arabia (and flown to the US after abduction), and the second saying he was happily living in Tuscon, AZ. I hope whatever is going on turns out fine for everyone involved, but the interesting/ironic part of the article was the response from the US spokesperson:
A US official told the BBC: "It's absurd for anyone to say that the United States is in the business of torturing people into false claims of defection - or anything else. That's not how we work."
Because evidently we work by torturing people into giving names and details of people involved in terrorist activity. See "Bay, Guantanamo"; "Ghraib, Abu", and "Bagram Theater Internment Facility". Long-term sleep deprivation, loud music, cold, forced nakedness, dogs, repeated simulated drowning . . . That's evidently how we work.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Warmer Atlantic SSTs

A follow-up from yesterday's post: the NATL SSTs are substantially warmer across a broad region-- nearly everywhere south of 20N is above normal, and the eastern half or so (roughly from 60W east to Africa) is 1.5C or higher above normal. We'll see how this translates - if at all - into TC activity in the Atlantic.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Another season begins...

Today is the official start to the 2010 North Atlantic Hurricane Season. The forecasts (from CSU; NOAA's outlook can be found here) are for significantly above-normal activity levels across a broad range of metrics: named storms, hurricanes, major hurricanes, and ACE. There's already discussion of way above-normal SSTs in the Main Development Region, as well as reductions of deep-layer shear over the same. We'll see what develops - and from a climatologist's perspective, I'm also interested in how well these forecasts of above-normal activity pan out. Come back on 30 November to see.

On a related note, the latest Tropical Cyclone Frequently Asked Questions page is out and can be accessed at The page is intended for a general audience and has lots of good statistics and descriptions of tropical cyclone-related phenomena.

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