John Muir and Canine Fidelity

One day in 1880 John Muir set out to explore a glacier in southeastern Alaska, accompanied by Stickeen, the dog belonging to his traveling companion. The day went well, but on their way back to camp they found their way blocked by an immense 50-foot crevasse crossed diagonally by a narrow fin of ice. After long deliberation Muir cut his way down to the fin, straddled it and worked his way perilously across, but Stickeen, who had shown dauntless courage throughout the day, could not be convinced to follow. He sought desperately for some other route, gazing fearfully into the gulf and “moaning and wailing as if in the bitterness of death.” Muir called to him, pretended to march off, and finally ordered him sternly to cross the bridge. Miserably the dog inched down to the farther end and, “lifting his feet with the regularity and slowness of the vibrations of a seconds pendulum,” crept across the abyss and scrambled up to Muir’s side.

And now came a scene! ‘Well done, well done, little boy! Brave boy!’ I cried, trying to catch and caress him; but he would not be caught. Never before or since have I seen anything like so passionate a revulsion from the depths of despair to exultant, triumphant, uncontrollable joy. He flashed and darted hither and thither as if fairly demented, screaming and shouting, swirling round and round in giddy loops and circles like a leaf in a whirlwind, lying down, and rolling over and over, sidewise and heels over head, and pouring forth a tumultuous flood of hysterical cries and sobs and gasping mutterings. When I ran up to him to shake him, fearing he might die of joy, he flashed off two or three hundred yards, his feet in a mist of motion; then, turning suddenly, came back in a wild rush and launched himself at my face, almost knocking me down, all the while screeching and screaming and shouting as if saying, ‘Saved! saved! saved!’ Then away again, dropping suddenly at times with his feet in the air, trembling and fairly sobbing. Such passionate emotion was enough to kill him. Moses’ stately song of triumph after escaping the Egyptians and the Red Sea was nothing to it. Who could have guessed the capacity of the dull, enduring little fellow for all that most stirs this mortal frame? Nobody could have helped crying with him!

Thereafter, Muir wrote, “Stickeen was a changed dog. During the rest of the trip, instead of holding aloof, he always lay by my side, tried to keep me constantly in sight, and would hardly accept a morsel of food, however tempting, from any hand but mine. At night, when all was quiet about the camp-fire, he would come to me and rest his head on my knee with a look of devotion as if I were his god. And often as he caught my eye he seemed to be trying to say, ‘Wasn’t that an awful time we had together on the glacier?’”

China's Newest Bridge

Note that the person below is 1102 feet above the ground and is sweeping the dirt off this twenty first century engineering marvel with a broom that was designed centuries ago and has no safety line. 
Blasting and coating this steel superstructure in a couple of decades will be an interesting project.
Aizhai Bridge in Hunan province is 336 m (1,102 ft.) high and has a 1,176 m (3,858 ft.) span. 
It connects two traffic tunnels in the mountains, cutting the time needed to traverse the canyon from 30 minutes to 1 minute. Construction took five years. 
Work finished at the end of last year, making it the world's longest and highest suspension bridge. 
A brave worker put the final touches on the Anzhaite Bridge.The bridge, which connects to two tunnels, was built to ease traffic Drivers can take in the views of the Dehang Canyon People and traffic during the opening ceremony. Vehicles motor along a two-way, four-lane motorway. Pedestrians walk along it on a special walkway under the road.


Shirley in Japan

This is a very rare 'novelty' recording; most of people even never heard about this recording before. Shirley Temple, the all-time great child actress, sings two famous Japanese nursery rhymes, "Yuyake Koyake (夕焼け小焼け)", and "Kutsu ga naru (靴が鳴る)", in Japanese. Recorded on March 11th, 1937, at Japan Polydor Studio at Tokyo, Japan. Temple was briefly visiting Japan for promoting her film "Dimples". Despite the fact she learned the lyrics phonetically, there are basically no errors in pronunciation; it is pretty astonishing for a 8 year-old girl. This record had very few copies made.  It was only released in Japan, and after WWII broke out, the Japanese government prohibited listening to records made by any 'American enemies', so it is even rare in Japan.

Bye, Bye, Blackbird (at Mach 3+)

It is hard to comprehend the design of this aircraft and its capabilities without the technologies of today. This aircraft would fly faster and higher than any aircraft, and the faster it flew, the less fuel it burned. It also outran surface to air missiles (SAM) which the Soviets launched at them. Can you imagine a roll of film that is 10,500 feet long and five inches wide - that is almost two miles of film. I like it when three SR-71 flew over Hanoi and created a sonic boom that scared the hell out of the guards who were guarding American Prisoners of War.

Massive Arctic Warming Reported from Bergen, Norway

The Washington Post

The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulafft, at Bergen , Norway  

Reports from fishermen, seal hunters, and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes.
Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared.
Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds. Within a few years it is predicted that due to the ice melt the sea will rise and make most coastal cities uninhabitable.

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I apologize; I neglected to mention that this report was from November 2, 1922, as reported by the AP and published in The Washington Post - 90+ years ago.

 (And never mind that sea ice melting will not raise the ocean an inch.  Thank you, Archimedes!)
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