links for 2006-10-14

links for 2006-06-17

Getting More Funding for NASA Space Science

I am a couple of days behind the curve, but I saw this at Susan’s and wanted to pass this along…

Getting more funding for NASA Space Science
Rep John Culbertson put out an urgent call for people to write letters to fellow congressional appropriators about ways to add funds back to the NASA science budget (the Science budget for FY 07 has been gutted).

  • pull funds from areas that the OMB has declared “wasteful,” “obsolete” or “duplicative.”
  • give NASA $1billion from a 6.8billion stash of Homeland Security Funds that haven’t been spent in 3 years (”In other words, make Homeland Security spend $1 billion of their unspent surplus before we give them another $1 billion, and use that $1 billion now where it is needed most for the nation’s security in the future – for scientific research and planetary exploration that NASA is now canceling.”)

Culbertson is really pulling for the Europa mission, which has been declared the single most important mission to the outer planets, and is being pretty much starved out of existence. [2020Hindsight]

35 Degrees

Unlike the good folks in Santa Fe, we dodged last night’s temperature bullet — it only got down to an official 35°F. A long ways from *freaking cold*. Not that what passes for freezing weather in Las Vegas is that big of a deal, to our household at least.

I grew up on the Great Plains and Audrey was raised in Denver, so we’re familiar with Winter. It is interesting to see the serious winter coats, gloves, scarves and wool hats get rolled out by folks here when it gets below about 45°. I wonder what they do when they go skiing?

We are also fortunate in that a couple of years ago we went to a native Mojave landscape scheme that allowed us to turn off the outside irrigation. None of our neighbors are in that position. Plus, many (most?) landscapers use Sonoran community plants as ‘native’ here. There is a sizable difference between ‘native desert’ and ‘native Mojave.’ Plants like Saguaro, Ocotillo and Palo Verde are Sonoran and can die during a hard freeze. That happens about every 8 – 10 years, just long enough for it to slip from the collective consciousness.

You can wrap Sonoran plants and they will make it fine. It is just that most folks don’t do it when it does threaten a freeze, for whatever reason.

[this post has been edited]

Sometimes It Even Happens Here

Extremely rapid linkrot warning

Freeze Warning

Las Vegas Valley (Nevada)
URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LAS VEGAS NV
355 AM PST SUN NOV 27 2005
NVZ020-271930-
/O.NEW.KVEF.FZ.W.0001.051128T1000Z-051128T1600Z/
LAS VEGAS VALLEY-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...LAS VEGAS...NORTH LAS VEGAS...
HENDERSON...BOULDER CITY
354 AM PST SUN NOV 27 2005
...FREEZE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 2 AM TO 8 AM PST MONDAY...
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN LAS VEGAS HAS ISSUED A FREEZE
WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 2 AM TO 8 AM PST MONDAY.
ON MONDAY MORNING AN UNSEASONABLY COLD AND DRY AIRMASS WILL BE IN
PLACE ACROSS THE REGION. AS WINDS BECOME LIGHT TEMPERATURES ARE
EXPECTED TO PLUMMET TO AROUND FREEZING WITH SOME OUTLYING AREAS
SEEING TEMPERATURES FALLING INTO THE MID TO UPPER 20S. AREAS UNDER
THE FREEZE WARNING WILL EXPERIENCE TEMPERATURES AT OR BELOW
FREEZING FOR SEVERAL HOURS.
A FREEZE WARNING MEANS SUB-FREEZING TEMPERATURES ARE IMINENT OR
HIGHLY LIKELY. THESE CONDITIONS MAY HARM OR KILL CROPS AND OTHER
SENSITIVE VEGITATION. TO PREVENT FREEZING AND POSSIBLE BURSTING OF
OUTDOOR WATER PIPES...THEY SHOULD BE WRAPPED...DRAINED...OR
ALLOWED TO DRIP SLOWLY.