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The Great Gorge of the Ruth Glacier

From Amusing Planet:

The Ruth Glacier, in Denali National Park and Preserve in the U.S. state of Alaska, covers an enormous area in the heart of the central Alaska Range. Located about 3 miles vertically below the summit of Mt. McKinley, it catches all the snow that falls on the southeast side of the mountain, and as the accumulated snow and ice that makes up the glacier slides down the slope, it get squeezed through a one-mile-wide bottleneck of what is called the Great Gorge.


Just going outside and may be some time …

And so, dear reader, the Higham component of N.O. closes for what I hope is a short hiatus but might be more. Just received an email and clearly I gave the impression N.O. is closing.

Nothing doing. The site’s still open, the other chaps and chapess are all capable of posting – it’s just that I can’t for now.  Organizational things for tomorrow and then, depending on that, I’ll drop a note on the blog.  All is well in the spirit though.

Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with some peace and quiet:


Of things watery and muddied


One shouldn’t smile.  Macheath is at it again with the hi-tech treasure hunt in the shore mud and rising tide:

Someone appears to have had the bright idea of hiding the ‘treasure’ near the low water mark during a spring tide on a stretch of coastline notorious for quicksand.

Ah yes.  Wonder if that’s the same mentality which caused California to drain countless gallons of water to protect a three inch fish?…

No Mars without us – NASA

The key to Mars is the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), which is scheduled to launch in 2020 with the crazy goal of putting chunk of asteroid into orbit around the moon. NASA will use it to trial critical technology, like Solar Electric Propulsion and autonomous robotic technology.

ARM will also be a crucial test of the Space Launch System (SLS) designed to take astronauts and cargo beyond low Earth orbit.

Bolden said that astronauts will even land on the moon, which will function as a way-station to Mars. As for private companies like Mars One and SpaceX? Bolden doesn’t see them as any kind of competition to NASA:

“No commercial company without the support of NASA and government is going to get to Mars.”


Parachutee watch – Ghosh and the Common Purpose National Trust

ghoshIt’s a type, the sexless, Common Purpose graduate woman with the Theresa May hair, similar age, champagne socialist, shunted from field of work to field of work she’s not in the least qualified for and on an obscene salary, talking utter bollox direct from the narrative and the reason the type is appointed is to run down the institution it’s parachuted into.

This does quote from Delingpole but as not all NO readers read him, then it will be fresh, if unpleasant, for them.…

The loudest noise in the ocean


File this under Useless Information if you like. What is the loudest noise made by creatures of the ocean?

The answer for any individual creature is the blue whale – and that takes in the land as well], it’s not the loudest collective noise, i.e. one which submarines might encounter.  That prize goes to the trillions of a variety of shrimp called Alphaidae in shrimp layers in tropical and sub-tropical waters.

The sound comes to 246 decibels but adjusted for sound travelling five times as fast underwater, is still around 160 decibels.  Given that a jet plane makes about 140 decibels, it gives you an idea why they interfere with sonar.  Subs need to stick their mast up through the layer – if below – in order to hear anything.…

Those rains in Costa Rica


The theme of the River in Africa post was that it is very hard establishing truth and that there is a tendency to go with the more “homely” explanation, the one which all good, rational people would opt for … yet it turns out to be the wrong one and the weird, left field original charge turns out to be correct.

Chuckles writes this about the article mentioned further down:…

Taswegian Whisky makes it to the Big Time

sullivan's coveThat tiny place, the size of Ireland, at the arse-end of the World keeps surprising people. I should imagine there are a few red Scottish faces around seeing what a Taswegian can do.

THE Godfather of Australian whisky, Bill Lark, has been inducted into the Hall of Fame at the World Whisky Awards in London, becoming the first distiller in the southern hemisphere to receive the honour.

Tasmania Distillery, which produces Sullivan’s Cove Whisky – winners of The World’s Best Single Malt at last year’s awards – won the Icons of Whisky award for Craft Distiller of the Year.

And Sullivan’s Cove took out the Best Australian Single Malt award for the third year in a row.…

Tips on watching the eclipse this morning


09.33. Hey, it’s right outside my living room window – can’t believe it. Temptation is great. Have decided not to look directly but wait until it goes black and there’s a way of looking at the effect on the sill, which I’ll do.

09.35 Still hasn’t darkened appreciably. Daren’t look though it is tempting.

09.37 Still hasn’t really darkened, which is strange according to the chart in the papers. Should have been about now. If anything, it seems brighter. It’s brilliantly light out there.

09.43 Still light though I’d say there is perhaps less now. When’s this thing supposed to happen?

09.45 Still hasn’t gone dark. I’d say this eclipse is not going to happen.

09.49 Now getting brighter, back to normal day.


Maybe it dimmed 20% but certainly not the 80% which they were talking about. So what’s with this eclipse? That was pathetic.…

The soggy solar system



The largest moon in the solar system harbors a salty ocean beneath its icy shell, the latest member to join a growing club of watery moons, NASA said Thursday.

“The solar system is now looking like a pretty soggy place,” said Jim Green, director of planetary science at NASA headquarters.

The ocean on Jupiter’s Ganymede is estimated to be much deeper than the oceans on Earth — about 60 miles thick and buried under 95 miles of ice. The moon’s ocean is believed to have more water than all of Earth.