Daily Archives: January 26, 2018

From Wikipedia: Tomales Bay


Tomales Bay is a long narrow inlet of the Pacific Ocean in Marin County in northern California in the United States. It is approximately 15 miles (25 km) long and averages nearly 1.0 miles (1.6 km) wide, effectively separating the Point Reyes Peninsula from the mainland of Marin County. It is located approximately 30 miles (48 km) northwest of San Francisco. The bay forms the eastern boundary of Point Reyes National Seashore. Tomales Bay is recognized for protection by the California Bays and Estuaries Policy. On its northern end it opens out onto Bodega Bay, which shelters it from the direct current of the Pacific. The bay is formed along a submerged portion of the San Andreas Fault.

Tomales Bay Oysters

West Marin Towns

Tomales Bay as viewed from Tomales Point Trail
Oyster farming is a major industry on the bay. The two largest producers are Tomales Bay Oyster Company and Hog Island Oyster Company, both of which retail oysters to the public and have picnic grounds on the east shore. Hillsides east of Tomales Bay are grazed by cows belonging to local dairies. There is also grazing land west of the bay, on farms and ranches leased from Point Reyes National Seashore.

The bay sees significant amounts of water sports including sailing, kayaking, fishing and motor boating. Of special interest is the bioluminescence that can be seen from June to November. Watercraft may be launched on Tomales Bay from the public boat ramp at Nick’s Cove, north of Marshall. There is a $5 fee. The sand bar at the mouth of Tomales Bay is notoriously dangerous, with a long history of small-boat accidents.

Towns bordering Tomales Bay include Inverness, Inverness Park, Point Reyes Station, and Marshall. Additional hamlets include Nick’s Cove, Spengers, Duck Cove, Shallow Beach, and Vilicichs. Dillon Beach lies just to the north of the mouth of the bay, and Tomales just to the east.

The area was once Coast Miwok territory. Documented villages in the area included: Echa-kolum (south of Marshall), Sakloki (opposite Tomales Point), Shotommo-wi (near the mouth of the Estero de San Antonio), and Utumia (near Tomales).

Francis Drake is thought to have landed in nearby Drakes Estero in 1579. Members of the Vizcaíno Expedition found the Bay in 1603, and thinking it a river, named it Rio Grande de San Sebastian.

Early 19th Century settlements constituted the southernmost Russian colony in North America and were spread over an area stretching from Point Arena to Tomales Bay.

The narrow gauge North Pacific Coast Railroad from Sausalito was constructed along the east side of the bay in 1874 and extended to the Russian River until dismantled in 1930.

Tomales Bay State Park was formed to preserve some of the bay shore; it opened to the public in 1952. Popular units of the park include Heart’s Desire Beach and Millerton Point.

The Ramsar Convention, signed in 1971, listed Tomales Bay as a wetland of international importance.

The Giacomini Wetland Restoration Project, completed in 2008, returned to wetland several hundred acres at the south end of the bay that had been drained for grazing during the 1940s.

Marconi Conference Center
The Marconi Conference Center State Historical Park preserves a small hotel built by Guglielmo Marconi in 1913 to house personnel who staffed his transpacific radio receiver station nearby. The hotel and the associated operations building and employee cottages were built by the J.G. White Engineering Corp under contract to Marconi. RCA purchased the station from Marconi in 1920. The station was closed in 1939, though other nearby radio stations on the Point Reyes Peninsula still operate today. Synanon, a drug rehabilitation organization, owned it from the early 1960s until 1980, when it was purchased by a private foundation and given to the state in 1984 to operate as a conference center.


View of Tomales Bay towards the North

Entrance to Tomales Bay as viewed from Tomales Point, looking South

The former grade of the narrow gauge North Pacific Coast Railroad follows the east shore of the bay

Marconi Conference Center
See also
San Francisco Bay Area portal
Hog Island (Tomales Bay)
Drakes Bay — adjacent on north.
Nova Albion
Pacific herring

Today’s Holiday: Uganda Liberation Day

Today’s Holiday:
Uganda Liberation Day

This day marks the events of January 26, 1986, when the military junta controlling Uganda was overthrown by the National Resistance Army following a five-year civil war. On the evening before the celebration, fireworks are exploded over the capital city of Kampala. The next day, a parade involving all branches of the Uganda military is held either at the Kololo Independence grounds or at the Kololo airfield, just outside Kampala. The country’s president presides over the occasion. Throughout the country, the general public marks the day with sporting events and hearty feasts. More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Today’s Birthday: Maria Augusta von Trapp (1905)

Today’s Birthday:
Maria Augusta von Trapp (1905)

Born in Austria and orphaned at a young age, Maria Kutschera planned to become a nun in Salzburg. Instead, she met Baron Georg von Trapp while tutoring one of his seven children. They were married in 1927 and had three children together. After financial trouble, the family began to sing professionally, then fled Nazi Europe for the US. Today, the family operates a lodge in Vermont. Maria’s 1949 memoir was adapted into The Sound of Music. What became of the family’s home in Austria? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

This Day in History: Decomposing Whale Explodes on Crowded Taiwan Street (2004)

This Day in History:
Decomposing Whale Explodes on Crowded Taiwan Street (2004)

After a sperm whale became beached on the coast of Taiwan, researchers decided to perform an autopsy on the creature to determine its cause of death—later found to have been a collision with a ship. It took three cranes half a day to load the whale onto a truck, during which time gas continued to build up in the decomposing carcass. While passing through Tainan on the way to a wildlife preserve, the whale exploded, spattering onlookers and nearby cars with gore. Where else have whales exploded? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Quote of the Day: George Eliot

Quote of the Day:
George Eliot

People who love downy peaches are apt not to think of the stone, and sometimes jar their teeth terribly against it. More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Article of the Day: Royal Jelly

Article of the Day:
Royal Jelly

Royal jelly is a substance secreted by the pharyngeal glands of worker bees. Although it is fed to all young larvae in a colony, only those destined to be queens get to consume it exclusively and in large quantities. This rapid, early feeding triggers the development of reproductive structures unique to queen bees. Royal jelly is found in various beauty products and is also marketed as a dietary supplement that may provide certain health benefits because it contains what substances? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Idiom of the Day: look (someone) off

Idiom of the Day:
look (someone) off

In sports, especially American football, to mislead an opponent with one’s eyes as to one’s intentions in a given play. Watch the video…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Word of the Day: mound

Word of the Day:

Definition: (noun) A collection of objects laid on top of each other.
Synonyms: cumulation, heap, pile, cumulus, agglomerate
Usage: At one point upon the bosom of the Thames there rises a few feet above the water a single, disintegrating mound of masonry.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Poor Johnny: Watch “johnny cash – hurt (lyrics)” on YouTube

Looking for ideas for a Spring Break you’ll never forget?

Looking for ideas for a Spring Break you'll never forget?

Looking for ideas for a Spring Break you’ll never forget?

Whether adventuring with your family or simply looking for some sunshine and warm weather, here are six highlights from six different Backroads trips for kids of all ages – from 7 to 110! From exploring ancient ruins to spotting monkeys and giant lizards to snorkeling in paradise (and maybe even jumping off a waterfall or two). Here’s to Spring Break 2018! #springbreak #adventures #family #backroadstravel

Via euronews: Trump tells Davos: ‘America First’ does not mean ‘America alone’

Via euronews: Trump tells Davos: ‘America First’ does not mean ‘America alone’ http://www.euronews.com/2018/01/26/watch-live-donald-trump-speaks-at-davos-2018

Key points from Trump’s speech

  • Trump says he is here today to represent the interests of the American people
  • 2.4 million jobs have been created since his election. The world is witnessing the resurgence of a strong and prosperous America
  • “America is open for business and we are competitive once again”. Regulation is “stealth taxation”.
  • “‘America First’ does not mean “America Alone’… We support free trade but it needs to be fair and it needs to be reciprocal.”
  • US will no longer turn a blind eye to unfair trade practices. Predatory behaviours are distorting markets. “We cannot have free and open trade if some countries exploit the system at the expense of others.”
  • US is prepared to negotiate mutually beneficial bilateral trade pacts with all countries, including TPP countries
  • Trump asks friends and allies to invest in own defences and meet financial obligations. He calls for “maximum pressure to de-nuke the Korean peninsula” and on partners to block Iran’s path to nuclear weapons
  • US committed to ensuring Afghanistan never again becomes a haven for terrorists. Almost 100% of land taken by ISIL has been taken back, but the fight against Islamist militants is not over
  • On migration, America needs a new “merit-based system”

Trump threatens to withhold Palestinian aid unless they ‘negotiate peace’ – France 24



France 24 Mobile – International News 24/7

© Thomas Coex, AFP | Palestinian children look at vandalised graffiti depicting US President Donald Trump and slogans against the US Vice President painted on Israel’s controversial separation barrier in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on December 7, 2017.

Article text by NEWS WIRES

US President Donald Trump threatened on Thursday to withhold aid to the Palestinians if they did not pursue peace with Israel, saying they had snubbed the United States by not meeting Vice President Mike Pence during a recent visit.

Trump, speaking after a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland said he aimed for peace in the Middle East.

Palestinians shunned Pence’s visit to the region this month after Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and vowed to begin moving the US embassy to the city, whose status is at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Trump’s endorsement in December of Israel’s claim to Jerusalem as its capital drew universal condemnation from Arab leaders and criticism around the world. It also broke with decades of US policy that the city’s status must be decided in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

“When they disrespected us a week ago by not allowing our great vice president to see them, and we give them hundreds of millions of dollars in aid and support, tremendous numbers, numbers that nobody understands that money is on the table and that money is not going to them unless they sit down and negotiate peace,” Trump said.

Washington had already said it would withhold about half the initial aid it planned to give a UN agency that serves the Palestinians.

A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the United States had taken itself “off the table” as a peace mediator since it recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“Palestinian rights are not up to any bargain and Jerusalem is not for sale. The United States can’t have any role unless it retreats its decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,” spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah told Reuters by phone from Jordan.

Abbas has called Trump’s Jerusalem declaration a “slap in the face” and has rejected Washington as an honest broker in any future talks with Israel. Abbas left for an overseas visit before Pence arrived.

Israel’s government regards Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the country, although that is not recognized internationally. Palestinians see East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Trump said Palestinians had to come to the negotiating table.

“Because I can tell you that Israel does want to make peace and they’re going to have to want to make peace too or we’re going to have nothing to do with them any longer,” Trump said.

Trump said his administration had a peace proposal in the works that was a “great proposal for Palestinians” which covers “a lot of the things that were over the years discussed or agreed on”, without providing specifics.

Trump said that his declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital took it off the negotiating table “and Israel will pay for that”, adding “they’ll do something that will be a very good thing” without elaborating.

Earlier at the World Economic Forum, Jordanian King Abdullah said Jerusalem had to be part of a comprehensive solution.

He said Trump’s decision had created a backlash, frustrating Palestinians who felt there was no honest broker.

But he added: “I’d like to reserve judgment because we’re still waiting for the Americans to come out with their plan.”

King Abdullah’s Hashemite dynasty is the custodian of the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, making Jordan particularly sensitive to any changes of status there.

At the United Nations on Thursday, the US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, also criticised the Palestinians, describing a recent speech by Abbas as indulging “in outrageous and discredited conspiracy theories”.



    US Embassy to move to Jerusalem by end of 2019, Pence tells Israeli parliament

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Trump immigration plan to offer citizenship to 1.8m ‘Dreamers’ – France 24



France 24 Mobile – International News 24/7

© Spencer Platt / Getty Images / AFP | Demonstrators protest the lack of a deal on DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) outside of Federal Plaza on January 22, 2018, in New York City.

Article text by NEWS WIRES

US President Donald Trump’s administration on Thursday unveiled a sweeping new immigration plan to Congress that offers 1.8 million young unauthorized immigrants known as “Dreamers” a path to citizenship over 10-12 years.

Trump‘s comprehensive plan — which will be formally presented next week — includes eliminating the popular “green card lottery” program and would severely restrict family immigration.

It would also require Congress to budget $25 billion for a “trust fund” for constructing a wall on the US-Mexico border — a major plank of Trump’s White House campaign.


inRead invented by Teads

“The Department of Homeland Security must have the tools to deter illegal immigrants; the ability to remove individuals who illegally enter the United States, and the vital authorities necessary to protect national security,” a senior White House official told journalists.

The White House’s offer of a path to citizenship for the Dreamers was much wider than expected. Earlier it had suggested it was only open to granting citizenship to the 690,000 young immigrants registered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

But in exchange, Trump was asking Congress to make future legal immigration more difficult — and to shore up the Homeland Security Department’s toolbox and funding to crack down on the overall population of unauthorized immigrants, estimated at some 11 million including Dreamers.

Sharp turn in immigration policy

The plan represents a sharp shift in US immigration policies. Trump promised during his 2016 presidential campaign a tough crackdown on illegal immigration, but has extended this to narrowing the doors for legal immigrations and refugees.

The end of the lottery system — which was introduced in 1990 to diversify the origins of new immigrants — was expected and has support from some Democrats. Trump has argued the program has allowed people into the country who have supported Islamic extremists.

“This program is riddled with fraud and abuse and does not serve the national interest,” the White House said in a summary Thursday.

Trump however at least momentarily undermined his push against the lottery when, in immigration bill negotiations with lawmakers in early January, he complained about immigrants from what he reportedly dubbed “shithole” nations like Haiti, El Salvador and countries in Africa, sparking widespread outrage.

Trump has also argued for ending “chain” migration, the practice of allowing the extended family members of people who already have US citizenship to immigrate.

Thursday’s proposal said that to “protect the nuclear family,” family immigration would be only permitted for spouses and minor children.

Battle in Congress likely

The White House plan immediately provoked the ire of Democrats, who made clear they would likely fight to water down the changes in negotiations in coming weeks.

Pro-immigration groups said it would reduce overall immigration by half.

“$25 billion as ransom for Dreamers with cuts to legal immigration and increases to deportations doesn’t pass the laugh test,” said Democratic Representative Luis Gutierrez.

“The White House released a hateful, xenophobic immigration proposal that would slash legal immigration to levels not seen since the racial quotas of the 1920s,” said Lorella Praeli, director of immigration policy at the American Civil Liberties Union.

But Republicans voiced strong support.

“I applaud the president for releasing a realistic framework that meets the four immigration pillars agreed by both Republican and Democratic leaders earlier this month,” said Republican Senator Thom Tillis.

“The framework proposes solutions supported by both parties and the American people: securing our borders, providing long-term certainty for DACA-eligible youth, and making our immigration system more merit-based,” he said.


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Ariane rocket suffers rare launch anomaly – BBC News





Science & Environment

Ariane rocket suffers rare launch anomaly

By Jonathan AmosBBC Science Correspondent

  • 9 minutes ago
RocketImage copyrightARIANESPACE
Image captionEverything looked fine as the rocket climbed away from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana

Europe’s normally highly dependable rocket, the Ariane 5, experienced an anomaly during its latest launch.

Telemetry from the vehicle was lost about nine minutes into its flight from French Guiana, shortly after its upper-stage began the final push for orbit.

Uncertainty then followed as controllers tried to determine the status of Ariane and the satellites it was carrying.

Eventually, though, radio signals from the spacecraft were picked up.

It seems the rocket did do its job – but beyond the sight of controllers on the ground.


However, it is also clear the Ariane 5 left the satellites in a less than perfect orbit.

Arianespace, the company that operates the rocket from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana, issued a statement explaining that a tracking station located in Natal, Brazil, failed to acquire data from the launcher as expected just after second-stage ignition.

“This lack of telemetry lasted throughout the rest of powered flight,” it added.

“Subsequently, both satellites were confirmed separated, acquired and they are on orbit. [The two satellites] are communicating with their respective control centres. Both missions are continuing.”

One satellite is owned by Luxembourg-based operator SES; the other belongs to UAE, Abu Dhabi-based Yahsat. They are both telecommunications platforms.

The SES satellite, called SES-14, was manufactured by Airbus in the UK, at its Portsmouth and Stevenage plants, and at its Toulouse facility in France.

SES later confirmed the platform was in good health but its statement also established that the satellite did not separate from Ariane in the right place.

Nonetheless, the operator said SES-14 would take just an additional four weeks to reach the allocated orbital slot at 47.5 degrees West, 36,000km above the coast of northern South America.

SES-14 has an electric propulsion system that raises its orbit slowly but with great efficiency. It was originally expected to be on-station in July. The delay means August is now the arrival time.

The operator said the 15-year lifetime of SES-14 had not been compromised.

Yahsat has yet to speak publicly about the status of its spacecraft, Al Yah-3, other than to repeat Arianespace’s statement.

Al Yah-3 would have separated after SES-14 because it was sitting in the lower position of the satellite stack on top of the Ariane 5.

It carries a less efficient, chemical propulsion system, which could make it harder to reach the desired orbital slot if the separation was significantly off mark.

Ariane 5Image copyrightESA
Image captionThe Ariane 5 has had an unblemished record since 2003

What happened during Thursday’s flight was a highly unusual occurrence.

Although, famously, the Ariane 5 failed on its very first outing in 1996, it has since set a benchmark for reliability in the launcher business.

Before this flight it had gone to space 82 times on the trot without mishap.

An inquiry will try to determine what exactly went wrong and assess whether any changes are required to the vehicle’s design to ensure there is no repeat telemetry loss in future.

On the current calendar, the Ariane 5 is due to make up to six more launches this year.

Jonathan.Amos-INTERNET@bbc.co.uk and follow me on Twitter: @BBCAmos

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