The US Drought Monitor produces an assessment of drought conditions every week. The drought in California has taken a large jump over the last few days, with the highest category, “Exceptional,” jumping from 36.49% to 58.41%. At the start of the calendar year, that category was represented in California by 0%, so this is a…

Mark Your Cosmic Calendar: 774/775 One wonders if anyone felt it. Did Charlemagne feel it as he led his forces across Pagan Saxon Westphalia, knocking down Irminsuls and making everyone pretend to be Christian or else? Did the people of Bagdad, just becoming the world’s largest city, notice anything aside from their own metro-bigness? Did…

Unhappy Anniversary World War I

But they did not call it that then. This isn’t actually the anniversary of the war, but it is the wedding anniversary plus one month of Archduke Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, and the day the two of them were assassinated by Mlada Bosna. Today, one month later one hundred years ago, the first of…

UPDATE: The latest numbers do not indicate a weakening of the outbreak. (See list of new cases below. Several graphs have been updated as well) UPDATE: More detailed discussion of transmission of Ebola UPDATE: I note with sadness the death of my neighbor (though I did not know him) of Patrick Sawyer, of the Liberian…

The 2000 election was probably won by Al Gore. But George Bush was put into office anyway. Imagine what this world would be like had Gore been ensconced in the white house? The Tea Party would probably have emerged sooner and madder, but less organized; global climate change would have become a widely accepted issue…

Feral Cats as Invasive Species

The ranger stood on the dirt road, facing south, and the rest of us, scattered about the parked safari truck, facing north and paying close attention to what she was saying. The sun was slipping quickly below the red sand dunes to our west, and the day’s warm breeze was rapidly changing to a chill…

There are a lot of great and admirable religious leaders. Gandhi. Some other guys. But there are also a lot of bad ones. Did you ever want to have a place to look up who these dudes are (and most, but not all, are dudes)? This may be especially helpful if you find yourself in…

The original hoser, I’m told by an unimpeachable source from way up in Canada, was the guy who went out to his front yard in the middle of the winter and hosed down the lawn in order to make some flat ice, so he and his friends could play hockey. A better way to get…

How warm will 2014 be?

We just experienced the warmest two months (May and June) on record, meaning, essentially, in well over 100 years. This is because of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Does this mean that 2014 will be the warmest year on record? Probably not, in part because February was pretty cold and that lowers the score for the…

[Updated: Letter to the Editor, Worthington Daily Globe.] This is a followup on my earlier post (see “How do you say “Surprise” in Norwegian? The word is “Entenza.” I am not making that up” also reposted here) on Matt Entenza’s bid for the DFL (Democratic Party) Primary candidacy for Minnesota State Auditor. Entenza claims he…