Tuesday, March 21, 2017

World Water Day 2017

World Water Day snuck up on me this year and I've got nothing ready to hit 'publish.'  Please read my archive of previous year's entries about World Water Day.

I write often about water in general.

Remember when your elementary school teacher told you that water on the west side of the continental divide would end up in the Pacific Ocean and water on the east side would end up in the Atlantic Ocean?

Well, that's not true any longer.  Whether I am in Boulder, CO or Los Angeles County, I'm using Colorado River Water.

Both Boulder and LA's Metropolitan Water District have several water supplies.  Approximately 50% of Boulder County's water supply comes from the Western Slope, via the Colorado-BigThompson Project.  LA County imports about 45% it's water (30% from Northern CA and 15% from the Colorado River.)

BTW, water is heavy and it takes a lot of energy to move it.  Thus, an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint is to use less water.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Ice dye experiment 2

I've been ice dyeing again.

Incredible visual texture
First, I soaked the shirts in a solution of 1/4 cup soda ash for each gallon of hot water.  Then I wrung them out by hand (but not too much) so that they were thoroughly soaked, but only slightly drippy.  Then I
  1. Arranged t-shirts on the bottom of each plastic bin
  2. Placed a cookie cooling rack above them
  3. Put a white dress shirt on top of the rack
  4. Mounded ice cubes to completely cover the shirts (2+ inches deep)
  5. Sprinkled dye powder on top
  6. Went to bed

Ice dye, low immersion scrunch dye, tie-dye in baggies.
In the morning, I
  1. Spun out the shirts in my spin dryer
  2. Washed them twice in *hot* water with synthrapol dyer's detergent
  3. Rinsed them twice in cool water
  4. Spun them in between each wash and rinse to extract as much dye as possible 
  5. Spinning minimizes the number of washes and rinses you have to do

That's no plunger; it's a Breathing Washer.
Front of my favorite shirt
Back of my favorite shirt
Look at that detail!
A friend treats a lot of kids with head injuries.  The kids are in pain.  The parents are freaked out.  He's intimidatingly big at 6'3".  He likes to wear goofy things to lighten up the mood.  I think these will break the tension.  What do you think?

Two shirts going to a friend.
I mailed them off this morning, tucking in one of the blue/green tie dye shirts you saw on the drying rack.

Detail of the pocket
Ice dye shirt underneath the dress shirt caught the drips.
Two of the shirts were claimed by friends who came over for dinner while they were still drying.  Two more were claimed by friends who came over for dinner a few nights later.  She selected this one

This shirt caught the drips under my fave dress shirt.
and he selected this one.  (I know the title says ice dye, but this scrunch dye came out pretty cool.)  It looks kinda like space--perfect for a physics professor.
Spacey scrunch dye

The back view that the students will see in the lecture hall.
Another shirt went home to DD via DH, who flew into Boulder for a quick business meeting.

In total, I dyed 4 dress shirts and 7 t-shirts.  All of them were post-consumer waste given to me; the only new things I purchased were the dyeing supplies.

I gave away 3 dress shirts and 5 t-shirts.  This made a sizable dent in my refashioning supplies.

A coworker had a baby boy recently, so I need to tie-dye some baby onesies.  Click that link to see adorable baby onesies I've made in the past.  Explore all my Dyeing posts for dye recipes, tutorials and the results.

I've been sewing.  I've been working hard at my day job.  I have some science posts planned, but don't know when I will find time to write them.  There may be some short, quick posts to highlight interesting things I found before then.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Colorado Fabrics trip report

I've posted some of these pictures on IG, but wanted to put down my impressions about the rebirth of Colorado Fabrics in their new home.  I have no affiliation with them, but a great deal of loyalty as I've shopped with them for 29 of their 30 years in business.

Even before I moved from Berkeley to Boulder, I had heard about both Tattered Cover Book Store and Denver Fabrics.  They were the premier stores in the time zone and among the best in the nation.  Legendary would not be an understatement.

Did you know that National Jewish Hospital in Denver began as the National Jewish Hospital for Consumptives?  Jewish girls and women who worked in the garment industry in NYC were especially susceptible to consumption both due to crowding and inhaled fibers, which weakened their lungs.  National Jewish treated the sick, without regard for ability to pay.  Jewish organizations raised money to send the sick out to Denver and to pay for their medical care.

The women and girls who recovered founded the garment manufacturing industry in Denver.

All this is a digression to say that there were a lot of garmentos in Denver with links to the NYC and LA garment trade; one family founded Denver Fabrics.  The array of top quality old stock designer stuff sold on rolls at DF was amazing.  As .the. fabric store for the outdoor-obsessed Rocky Mountain region, they also stocked a room full of outdoor recreation fabric.  Add their bridal and home dec departments and you had one stop shopping.

Oh, if you joined their DF Club (mailing list) for $15/year, they gave you 30% discounts on all patterns and books and loaned sewing VHS tapes for free.

Denver Fabrics moved from Denver to bigger quarters in Littleton, but then had to downsize a few years later (but in the same location.)

Times changed.  Amazon arrived.  Joann's perpetually marked patterns down by 40%.  Manufacturing moved overseas and designer dead stock was harder to source.  People quit sewing garments and moved to quilting.  Times were so lean, the former owners sold the name, Denver Fabrics, to Fashion Fabrics Club in STL.

Some long-time employees of DF bought the store from the founding family and are trying to reinvent the sewing store.  It's a totally different time and I have to be careful to not lament what I miss.

The biggest change is that they moved from Littleton to south Aurora and doubled the floorspace to 40,000 square feet.  It's cavernous.
Plenty of parking and you'll need it to get to suburbia.

Panorama from the front entrance.

New NY Designer stuff on near right racks.  Older stuff on shelves to left and behind.
The aisles are wide.  The store feels empty.  However, an employee told me that they do have 1.25 the fabric as the Littleton store and 2.00 the floorspace.  I hope that, over time, they can add to the fabric so the place feels less cavernous.

This is the place to shop in Denver if you need to make a wedding or special occasion dress.

The depth of the silk selection is impressive.
Their large stock of quilting fabric rivals a standalone quilt shop.  I didn't get a photo because quilt fabric doesn't thrill me as much anymore.   I was impressed by their longarm studio.  You can pay someone to quilt your top, or take a class and rent time on the machine to DIY.

Longarm studio.  Rent time or pay someone to quilt for you.
 They stock an array of backings and battings at fair but not bargain prices.  That pretty much sums up their pricing strategy.  I hate places that mark stuff up and then have phony sales.  CF treats the customer respectfully, and prices realistically considering their overhead.
Batting sold at realistic prices every day (not Joann's mark-up or internet bargain prices.)
 I also like the convenience of having aisles and aisles in the center devoted to a plethora of notions.  You want to sew bags?  They have patterns, findings/hardware, interfacing and materials all in one place.  You want to sew couture?  Outdoor?  Home Dec?  They got you covered.

Bag findings, patterns and material all in one place.
I found it a bit exhausting so I just purchased some specialty notions from the center of the store and then cruised the bargain area.

Oops, did I mention that they had a well-organized bargain fabric area?  CF is also an odd-jobber of fabrics.
Bargain fabric ($3-$5/yd) is organized by color in a rainbow.
 Yes, it's a rainbow.  The moderate and lower quality stuff is in this back area--all $3-$5/yd.  The higher quality odd-jobber stuff is in the front and costs more.
Also bargain flat folds.  Not pictured, the bargain silk remnant area.
Refer back to the panorama to see the wool and knits sections.  They are each roughly the size of the special occasion silk section.

I ran out of steam and did not explore the Home Dec or Outdoor area last weekend.  They sell high quality pillow inserts at reasonable prices.  They're much better than stuff I ordered off the internet or found at IKEA and only slightly more expensive.

You'll have to imagine the thread and zipper selection.

I was disappointed in the button selection because I remember the wall of a la carte buttons in the old, old store.  It wasn't quite like Britex, but maybe half the selection.  Today's CF selection is kind of pedestrian in comparison.

They sell machines and have a classroom and a meeting room (in addition to the longarm studio.)

The staff is very helpful and knowledgeable.  They are the best part of shopping at CF.

It's almost 41 miles each way from Boulder.  (With each successive move, they get further and further from Boulder.)  I had to make IKEA and LL Bean runs, which are sort of in the south Denver area.

South Denver is undergoing explosive growth.  Roads are congested and constantly under construction.  People drive way crazier in Denver than in California.  I almost got t-boned by a jacked up Jeep that was cutting in and out of gridlocked traffic.  How he could have not seen a minivan is beyond me.  I arrived at CF so shell-shocked, my pulse did not go down to normal after a full hour of stroking fabric.

I stroked this silk crepe de chine remnant while walking around the store.  It came home with me.
It's not really worth it to drive 82 miles round trip to visit CF when I have Elfriede's Fine Fabrics (EFF) literally right around the corner from my home.

EFF is a jam-packed jewel box of a store that has a surprising amount of what I need (and didn't even know I needed.)  In fact, I found that CF didn't have the French grosgrain that I wanted.  I know that EFF stocks it.  It's in a drawer and you have to ask, but they have it.

Additionally, Boulder has a Joann's and Fabricate.  Then I have The Fabric Store, Mood and SAS in my neighborhood in LA.  There are also many other great fabric stores in LA in areas that I frequent less often.

I've decided that everything is much farther away in Colorado but traffic moves (somewhat) faster.  Overall, CO means more time spent driving than LA!

I did found out that the light-rail H line comes within 2 miles of CF.   I can bike to bus rapid transit (BRT) from Boulder to downtown Denver's Union Station, bike a mile through downtown Denver traffic to the light-rail station, take it to 9-mile station in Aurora, and then bike through Cherry Creek Reservoir state park to the store.  It can take 2 hours each way if I time it just right.  Or I can just shop local.

If you are flying into Denver, CF is off I-225, due south of the airport.  You can land, pick up a rental car, and shop CF on your way to the mountains.

Colorado Fabrics is having a grand opening on Saturday March 4, 2017.  It sounds like great fun.  I hope you check out the store because I hope they stay in business a long, long, long time.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Kettle Logic

Last week, I am called bullshit on a climate denier and exposed some of her rhetorical devices.

I want to call your attention to kettle logic, a rhetorical device that posits multiple reasonable-sounding arguments, but that contradict each other.

The term, kettle logic comes from an example given by Freud:
Freud relates the story of a man who was accused by his neighbor of having returned a kettle in a damaged condition and the three arguments he offers.
  1. That he had returned the kettle undamaged;
  2. That it was already damaged when he borrowed it;
  3. That he had never borrowed it in the first place.
The three arguments are inconsistent, and Freud notes that it would have been better if he had only used one.
 Logically Fallacious does a very good job summarizing it:
two or more propositions are asserted that cannot both possibly be true. In a more general sense, holding two or more views/beliefs that cannot be all be true together.
I have heard it in use so many times in the last month, I stopped keeping track. I'll just give one example, that of the role and necessity of the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA.

First, Republicans in Congress proposed abolishing it altogether by saying that a federal agency cannot protect the environment as well as state and local agencies can.

Then, Trump nominates and the Republicans confirm Scott Pruitt who, in his confirmation hearings, said that he does not believe that California can make it's own environmental standards.
Oklahoma Atty. Gen. Scott Pruitt said at a contentious confirmation hearing Wednesday that he cannot commit to keeping in place the current version of a decades-old federal waiver that allows California to set emissions standards stricter than elsewhere in the United States.
Which is it?

Should environmental standards be set at the national level, so that companies do not have the burden of complying with 50 states' different standards?

Or should states and local governments have the right to make decisions for their unique environmental and social challenges?

The status quo has the federal government, through the EPA, set the *minimum* standards, and allows states and local governments to set higher ones at their discretion.
Two-thirds of states choose to do no more than what is required of them by the EPA while the other third of states -- including New York and California -- set higher standards than required at the federal level, Walke said.
10 Million people live in Los Angeles county, between a mountain range and the sea.  In the early 1970s, millions of automobiles, which met federal standards, made LA unlivable.  People my age remember days when children had to stay indoors, even at recess, due to unhealthy air.  If you spent even a short time outdoors, your eyes would sting.

California asked for, and was given permission, to set a higher emission standard.  13 states have adopted California's automobile emission standards, including highly populous New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

In effect, the US has two auto emissions standards, the minimum federal one and the stricter California one.  States get to pick which is more appropriate for their circumstances.  That is not too burdensome to business and protects the health of people who live in high-density areas.

CA emissions controls cost more and it might be overkill for low density states such as Wyoming.  But, it is certainly necessary in California.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Los Angeles Weather and Climate

I was so shocked when I read this, it took me a while to figure out how to respond. I choose #sciencenotsilence.

 While I am aware that I have political differences with this sewing blogger, I had been prepared to look at our commonalities instead of our differences. I even took her on a tour of the Olmstead District in Old Town Torrance and introduced her to Momen+ fabric.

I'm not going to link to her blog, because that would drive up the reputation ranking of these #fakefacts. I'm just going to share a screen capture so you can see what I am talking about.

Deep breath here.  I read her blog because she is an extremely prolific and skilled sewer, knitter and photographer.  She is highly competent in her areas of expertise.  I read her blog so I can learn and be inspired.

I don't want to hurt her feelings, but I cannot let lies go unchallenged.

My blog is not glossy and professional.  I do not sew prolifically.  I sew and blog late at night.  I take photos with my phone or a compact point and shoot--often with poor lighting.  Why should you believe me and not her?

I work as a data specialist at one of the world's premier weather and climate data archives.  Prior to this, I earned a BA in Mathematics and a BS in Chemistry.  Then I earned a PhD writing models to compare theory with precision physical measurements.   The expertise I developed led to a job in an Air Force research lab running weather models and performing weather satellite Cal/Val (calibration and validation.)  I have also run climate models, but only at an introductory classroom level.  I eventually landed in my current position.   I am working in my third national lab.

I could earn much more money using my math, statistics and computer skills to spy on your web behavior to influence you to buy stuff you don't need.  Instead, I'm busy trying to preserve the best quality data available for future generations.

I am proud to be part of the global weather and climate enterprise.  It takes a huge amount of international cooperation to study our planet for our common safety and good.  I would never take part in an international conspiracy to lie to everyone.   It's absolutely ludicrous.

The reason that scientists are so alarmed about global warming is because it is a threat to all life on earth.  We're all going to fry together unless we work together to change our behavior.

So let's unpack the statements:
I don't believe in global warming
Neil deGrasse Tyson said, "The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it."  He's right in that the planet is frying whether or not you believe in it.  But it's not a good thing.
or climate change or whatever they are calling it these days.
Don't blame the scientists. Blame the political appointees in the Bush 43 administration that forbade federal scientists from using the term, "global warming." Our scientific findings and reports were even scrubbed by fresh out of college political science majors with no science expertise whatsoever but fantastic partisan bona fides. But that is another rant.

The Obama administration did not renew that rule and some scientists drifted back to using global warming, while others use climate change. The planet does not warm uniformly, so there are good reasons to use CC when referring to some effects.
To me, it’s all weather, in some ways it’s predictable, in others it’s not.
This sows confusion.  "Oh, well.  We don't know for sure so let's ignore it."  No, we cannot ignore it and it is not confusing at all.

Actually, weather and climate are different things to scientists. The simplest definition is "Weather is what you get; climate is what you expect."

Edward N Lorenz wrote a classic explanation.

Weather is on a short time-scale and we are really good at predicting it. In fact, a 10-day forecast today is as accurate as a 3-day forecast was 20 years ago. I've written about Verification Statistics for my work blog. Weather verification is ongoing and published openly on the web. We got nothing to hide.

Climate models are similar and also very different from weather models. They have all the same physical models of how air, water and trace gases behave. But, they also vary in their external forcings (e.g. sun) and boundary conditions. Both types require millions of lines of computer code.

Early weather and climate models were not so good but both experienced continual improvement. Weather models are easier to verify and improve because of their short time-scale. I'm not going to live to see the verification statistics of 2100 climate simulations.  I'm going to have to trust that, because climate models verify well with the past, they will preform similarly well in the future.
What has been happening these last few years in California is predictable and following a pattern.
I don't know what she means by this. Is she referring to the El Nino/La Nina cycle that reverses every year of two? Or is she referring to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, a similar warm/cool ocean pattern that occurs on much longer timescales?

When the cool phase of the PDO lines up with La Nina, rainfall plummets in southern California.  We expected a few very dry years and we got them.  We got a longer dry spell than we were expecting and there is much research about why that occurred.  Overall, scientists were less surprised than the media.  I don't know if you can blame the scientists or the professional weather communicators who are hired more for ratings rather than scientific accuracy.

This next paragraph took me a long time to unpack.
Simply put, we get rain in the winter, then we get a few years of drought, we always have fires, but at some point, we have massive fires all over the state. The following winter we will have an abundance of rain and snow, then come the mudslides. Maybe back to regular rain for a while and then the cycle repeats.
Have you studied rhetorical devices? It's useful to understand how people try to persuade you, even when the facts aren't clear.

Consider the false dilemma. They set up an either or situation. If A is right, then B is wrong. But the fancy talk obscures that there is no real logical connection between A and B.

Yes, California's normally dry summers would qualify as a drought practically anywhere else. That's just our climate. Fire is a perpetual hazard in the American west. Burned areas are prone to mudslides the following winter. All that is true.

Just because weather and seasons are cyclical does not mean that the climate is not changing.

2016 was the hottest year globally in modern history.  Higher temperatures cause more water to evaporate both directly and indirectly through evapotranspiration of plants.  Even with the same amount of water, high temperatures will create drier and more combustible forests.  We are already seeing this.  The fire season is starting earlier and ending later.  We are experiencing wildfires in January!

Just because it rains in the winter, does not mean that our climate is not changing.  No one is saying that climate change = no seasons.  In fact, we expect more weather extremes in both precipitation and temperatures.  That is exactly what we are experiencing.

The Sierra snowpack is a complex and highly alarming subject that deserves its own post at a later date.

Next, I plan another post about kettle logic and how it is weaponized to confuse people about science.

I haven't sewn anything since early December so I might as well blog about science.  #resist

Burda 6919 for my daughter was a success.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Illuminating Infrastructure

I'm very nervous about the state and direction of our nation right now and am unsure about how to deal with it.

I want to get back into the habit of writing quick posts to share interesting things I come across.  At the very least, I hope to inform and entertain a few people.

I'm fascinated with infrastructure*.  It's so ubiquitous and reliable that we stop seeing it.  Yet, our comfortable lives would not be possible if we didn't cooperatively build and maintain our common infrastructure.

I recently learned about my neighborhood lift station, a place that pumps sewage uphill so that it can continue to flow downhill to a sewage treatment plant.  These stations are scattered all over the place, but they are usually designed to be as nondescript as possible.

I wish my neighborhood lift station was as cool as this one in Calgary.
That's a shame, because we then stop thinking about the everyday magic of infrastructure.  We flush and forget until something goes wrong.

Check out Calgary's solution that combines public art and the visual display of status information.
The crisscrossed LEDs on the Forest Lawn Lift Station form a graphical map of the 9 kilometers of pipe that feed into this building. Inside, a pump lifts Calgary’s wastewater to higher ground so it continues to flow by gravity to the Bonnybrook Wastewater Treatment Plant. Connected to instruments inside, the lights change color according to water volume and demand: blue when water flows freely, red when the system is taxed.
I'm not a Canada fan girl, but I love the names.  The sewage treatment plant is called Bonnybrook!  Forest Lawn means something very different in Los Angeles.  LOL.

I first learned about this art/infrastructure project from a highly negative newspaper article that I refuse to link to.  Honestly, I think that the $236,000 (Canadian) is a reasonable price to pay for
  1. a real-time visual display of system operational status 
  2. public warning system for when their infrastructure is over-taxed
  3. public education about infrastructure
  4. cool art (Art is supposed to get you to see and think about things differently so this might reiterate point 3.)
Forest Lawn is just one of 40 sanitary wastewater lift stations in the city (Calgary); 33 more handle just stormwater. And yet, until this project, “I’d never seen one once,” says Surtees. “[They’re] not visually present in the fabric of the city.”
If I can see when my local lift station is over-taxed, I can delay my shower or my load of laundry. Alternatively, if I see that the local sewage flow is running sluggishly, I might start the clothes or dish washer earlier to help keep the water pressure up.  If we see that the system is running red (overtaxed) much of the time, we can plan to upgrade to a larger pump before a catastrophic failure.

Isn't it cool to see a map of how our homes are all connected by our common infrastructure? To see the shape and size of our network?

Walking My Watershed contains pictures of my local RB stormwater basin, which I will write more about soon.  Now that it is actually raining during our rainy season, the pictures will be more interesting.

* My work is commonly described as data infrastructure. IMHO, my work is fascinating, but it's not fodder for this blog. Read my work blog for more about that; the link is on the right.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 in books

2016 has been a rough year for me.  I really didn't know how to respond.  But, I recently read a book that helped me make sense of what I was observing.

So, I'm gathering my friends and family around me by throwing a party tonight for LA-area friends.  I need to get back to picking up clutter and cooking.

I'll quickly share my eclectic 2016 reading list on Goodreads.  I read to learn; I read to connect to other humans; I read for entertainment; I listen to audiobooks to help me fall asleep.
My thoughts about the book, What is Populism, by Jan-Werner Mueller:
This is a short book and should have been readable in one evening had the last election not freaked me out so much.

I had to put it down when too discomfited by PTSD from all the rhetoric that reminded me of living under Chang Kai Shek and martial law.

Even my 6 yo self could recognize the lies in our textbooks. I never expected to live in a post-truth United States.

Chapter 1 describes 'What is populism.' This is the scariest part for me, which brought up PTSD.

Chapter 2 explains 'How populists rule.' This scares me.

Chapter 3 gives some proscriptions for how to fight populists, from a scholar who has studied how populism waxes and wanes in regimes around the world. It gives me hope b/c some countries have defeated populists. But it is difficult as they change rules as soon as they are in charge to make it difficult. E.g. North Carolina voting changes and the Supreme Court that ruled that Lily Ledbetter couldn't file for discrimination because she didn't do so within 6 months of the wrong-doing, even while ruling her employers can withhold information and stall requests for info as long as they like. This is populism.

It's a difficult book, because of the emotional stuff. The language may be difficult for people who aren't used to academic treatises. But this book is essential reading for our times.
Bad Dad's thoughts on the same book:
With the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States of America, What is Populism? is officially promoted from useful reading to essential reading. Jan-Werner Muller first defines populism both in terms of what it is and isn't - the defining feature of populism being a claim to represent a "real" citizenry that excludes elites and/or minorities. Another important feature is a derisive attitude towards the give and take of the political process and a rejection of the entire idea of political pluralism.

Then comes the scary part of this monograph, where Muller describes how populists rule. Populists start by controlling and purging the government bureaucracy (note the Trump transition team's requests for names of DOE climate scientists and State Department personnel working on women's rights issues). After decrying the corruption of the previous regime, populists are incredibly tolerant of their own corruption and don't seem to care when this corruption is pointed out (sound familiar?). Finally, populists change the rules of government so that their party is difficult to remove and their policies are difficult to change (are events in North Carolina a sign of what is to come in Washington?).

The third chapter is about how to talk to populists, and explains how those who want to protect political liberalism need to address the very real concerns that are causing populist movements to flourish. Many, including me, will feel that they are reading this chapter a bit late in the game.

Muller's monograph is very well researched, and has numerous examples from populist movements of both left and right (including countries such as Venezuela, Bolivia, Hungary, Poland, Russia and Turkey). Although its tone is very academic, the intelligent layperson should have no problem with this book - unless it totally freaks him or her out.
If you view his list of 2016 books read, you can see why I love him so and hate his housekeeping.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Colorado Gives 2016 Update

I already explained my misgivings about Colorado Gives and the inefficiency of philanthropy.

I found the Colorado Department of Revenue's Annual Report for 2015.

The dismal results of Colorado Gives 2015 proves my hunch is correct. A very, very small number of people (less than 63,690 Coloradans) gave a measly $28.5 Million (much of that in recurring gifts that would have occurred anyway.)

Census.gov estimates that Colorado has 4.2 million adults 18 and over.  This means about 1.5% of Coloradan adults gave something.

Colorado taxes are a regressive disgrace.  They manage to be even more regressive than the sad nationwide average.  See how your state stacks up.

 To file part-year taxes for Colorado and California, I first calculate my taxes as if I solely resided in CA or CO.  I would pay about 3% more of my gross income to live in CA over CO. But Californians enjoy more legal, environmental and economic protections as well as higher levels of service from government.  If Colorado just followed California's example, we wouldn't have to resort to begging.

During the presidential campaign, one candidate bragged that not paying taxes makes him smart, normalizes tax avoidance.  Furthermore, he also gave virtually nothing to charities.  This normalizes selfishness.  He didn't just normalize it, he celebrated selfishness.

Giving to charity is for chumps under the current system.  Charities (thousand points of light) fills holes in the societal needs dike while states enable wholesale avoidance of responsibility to society with regressive tax codes and low tax rates.

I'm sitting out Colorado Gives.  It's a band-aid as long as Colorado has TABOR (the so-called tax payor bill of rights.)

If you feel like giving, please donate to High Country News.  I like to buy an e-subscription and donate a hard copy to a classroom.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Big Data, Big Planet

I wrote Big Data, Big Planet for UCARConnect explaining what I do to K-12 teachers and high school students.

Climate reconstruction with atmospheric rivers, including the one that flooded one third of Los Angeles in 1938.

The November 2016 issue of UCARConnect is all about Data: The Currency of Science.

Animation from The atmospheric river that caused the Los Angeles flood of 1938.