Justus Susterman's Portrait of Galileo Galilei, 1636

Galileo, Pisa and Those Two Famous Balls


Galileo Galilei famously faced the Inquisition for steadfastly asserting the Earth revolved around the Sun, rather than the Sun around the Earth. But before that, he is credited with the equally famous experiment at Pisa, where he dropped two heavy metal balls, of different sizes, from Pisa’s Leaning Tower. Aristotle had written the heavier metal…

Whack A Mole Fever | by TPapi

Following Up and Following Down: July 2018


WC will make another stab at his efforts at diligence, if not journalism, and follow-up on some earlier blog posts. Remember when Golden Valley Electric’s Healy 2 power plant was called the “Clean Coal Project”? In an ongoing affront to the Sunk Cost Fallacy, GVEA has now poured $175 million in rate payer dollars in…

Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Lola Creek, Sawtooth NRA, Idaho

Salmon River Notebook, July 2018


The Salmon River, the largest tributary of the Snake River, dominates central Idaho. It drains the eastern, western and northern slopes of the Idaho Batholith, the vast granite pluton in the heart of the state. It’s also the largest un-dammed river in the Lower 48. Exploring all of the Salmon River and its tributaries would…

Hordes of cops; one peaceful protester. CreditAgence France-Presse — Getty Images

WC Admires Therese Patricia Okoumou


Therese Patricia Okoumou was the woman who climbed up on the skirts of the Statue of Liberty to protest President Trump’s immigration policies. WC think there is a lot to protest and that Ms. Okoumou’s protest was a pretty mild response. She didn’t harm anything or anyone; just sat there peacefully. According to the New York…

Striated Caracara, New Island, Falkland Isalnds

Return of Bird of the Week: Striated Caracara


In the Falkland Islands, the ecological role of ravens, crows and vultures is occupied by a falcon, the Striated Caracara. This is one of the larger members of the falcon family, with a wingspan of about four feet. And you can see those talons aren’t anything you’d want to mess with. In the Falkland Islands,…

The Death Warrant

Silver Maple Receives Death Warrant


This is a Silver Maple tree, across the street from WC’s house. It’s likely more than 100-110 years old and more than 100 feet tall. It has homed Eastern Fox Squirrels, a family of Western Screech Owls, countless Eurasian Starlings and American Robins. It received a death warrant on Tuesday. Its crimes are (1) being…

Trickle Down Didn’t. Anyone Surprised?


President Trump and the Republicans that control Congress promised the giant, budget-busting tax bill passed last year would have a trickle-down effect as big corporate employers passed tax breaks down to their employees in the form of bonuses and raises. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R, Quitting) back in January in response to Apple’s decision to reward…

Now THIS is a time suck!

Geology 101: WC’s New Internet Toy


WC can report a new and entertaining way to waste time assiduously study on the internet. Sometime in 2016, the United States Geological Survey created an on-line, interactive geological map of Alaska. If you are a geologist, professional or amateur, it’s about as cool a toy as the Series of Tubes™ has to offer. WC…