Damage debris still remains in much of Florida Keys from Irma — today’s visit

Here is some footage I took of Hurricane Irma damage and recovery in the Florida keys today.

1   Between Islamadora and Marathon, a condo that appeared to be replaced by mobile homes

2 Deer Key

Linemen repairing still

From Islamadora to 30 miles from Key West there were many piles of debris along the road, some with parts of buildings

Cell videos




(Posted: Sunday Nov 19, 2017 at 11 PM EST)

Florida East Coast seems OK after hurricane Irma (2 months)

Well, Fort Lauderdale, FL, even on the beach, seems to be in good shape two months after Hurricane Irma, whose eye apparently stayed 60 miles to the west. They were buffeted by weak tornadoes (east side of storm) and had some trees blown down and some minor damage, but a lot of flooded roads.

More beach bars:


Wilton Manors — I hear the power never went off, and that many power poles in Florida are made of cement rather than wood, which seems a reasonable alternative to going underground.

Yes, the draw bridges work.

And the freight trains run (and so does the Miami Metro).

Recall,  however, the nursing home in nearby Hollywood Hills that had a number of deaths due to lack of sufficient backup generator air conditioning, NBC story.

(Posted: Saturday, Nov. 18, at 6:30 PM EDT)

New exoplanet near a red dwarf 11 light years away may fit the criteria for my script “Prescience”

There’s a lot of interest in a planet around red dwarf star Ross 128 b, just 11 light years away.

This particular star is much more stable than most red dwarfs and probably does not blast its planets with radiation that would strip away the atmosphere or destroy life.

The planet seems to be slightly larger than Earth, and may be tidally locked, which means that an annular zone would be in perpetual twilight. But winds might make the climate everywhere fairly mild.

Such a planet is described in one of my scripts, “Prescience.”

Loren Grush has a detailed article on The Verge

By NASA/Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics/D. Aguilar – http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/reddwarfplanet_cfa_full_1.jpg, Public Domain, Link

(Posted: Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017 at 11:30 PM EST)

The Richmond monuments still stand, and not all of them have to do with the Confederacy

Today I visited the controversial monuments along Monument Ave. in Richmond VA.

There are some reports on the controversy, following Charlottesville, for example WTVR and Richmond Times Dispatch.

The westernmost one is of tennis star Arhtur Ashe.

But others include Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and (the most elaborate) Jefferson Davis.

Near the Davis monument, as I took a picture while stopped in the car, a vehicle threatened to sideswipe me.

After I parked and got out, a haggard woman came up to me and asked me if I could start her car when she lost the key. No, I’m no good at things you need for crime, which is a bit ironic.

But then another silver Focus identical to mine, and I tried to open that one before I found my own after the photos.

The Richmond Marathon was held today, and some streets around Broad and Boulevard had closures.

Arthur Ashe:

Jefferson Davis:

Robert E. Lee


(Posted: Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017 at 7 PM EST)

Bedford County PA town recovers from spectacular train wreck and displacements; visit today

Today I made a brief visit through the town of Hyndman PA, on state route 96 in southern Bedford County, 10 miles north of the Maryland border above Cumberland.

On Wed. Aug. 2 CSX had a freight train derailment which led to a fire and evacuation of many residents.  Many had to stay in a shelter (maybe in Bedford) by some were housed by the railroad in hotels in Bedford or Cumberland. Winding up in a shelter because of disaster could happen to anyone.

Pittsburgh Post Gazette account.

WTAE account.

WESA FM account of return.

1   Stop on 96

2    Intersection where accident happened

3  cell phone


4  (cell phone) train passes

5 Bedford (cell phone)

I found that the accident did not happen on 96, but on a street that extends north of town.

(Posted: Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017 at 10:45 PM EDT)

Burkittsville, Gathland State Park, MD, and The Blair Witch Project

Today, a quick day trip, to Burkittsville MD and Gathland State Park on South Mountain behind it, site of the black and white film “The Blair Witch Project” (1999), by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez.  I saw it at the old Uptown Theater in Minneapolis on a sold-out Friday night then, with Josh Hartnett standing in line (he had just made “Halloween: H20” at the time).

There is a museum to honor one of the country’s first war correspondents, George Townsend, during the Civil War. There is a masoleum and tomb, and a great arch.




A lesser known similar film from 1998 was “The Last Broadcast” (Stefan Avalos and Lance Weiler, Wavelength Releasing), a “fact or fiction” docudrama about the disappearance and death of three young men in the New Jersey Pine Barrens from the supposed Jersey Devil.  I saw the film at the University of Minnesota Bell Auditorium, once of the first digitally shot features ever commercially made.


(Posted: Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017 at 10:15 PM).

Or this one:

High Heels Race 2017 in Washington DC

I didn’t get a perch for the 2017 High Heels Race near JR’s in Washington DC on 17th St because I ate in a sports bar on Dupont Circle (Circa) and watched Clayton Kershaw mow down the Houston Astros for the Los Angeles Dodgers for a while.

There was one man, about 30, who must have been 7 feet or so.  It does seem that super-tall men are overrepresented in the (cis) gay male community.

There seemed to be more contestants than usual.  It took close to three minutes for the race, starting promptly at 9 PM EDT, to end.



(Posted: Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017 at 12 noon)

IOS 11 and YouTube uploads from your iPhone

It looks like YouTube Capture doesn’t have an update for IOS 11, which is on my iPhone now. But YouTube has its own technique, which seems to work.

Here is my first video with the iPhone under IOS 11.2

It shows a nuthatch feeding on a tree.


Here is how to do it in YouTube


Here’s a supplementary video for cats (not made by me)

Google references:  about Capture not on 11

Google’s own instructions for iPhone

(Posted: Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017 at 5″25 {M EDT)

Comparative media reviews on hot topics