a tune… a haiku… an infrared loop


Benefit for Amy & Bruce Eriksen’s little girl…Nov. 15th 4:00~10:00……


Get together for live music, a silent auction to raise money to help support Faye Eriksen and her family while she gets healthy.  You know this could be anyone of us… Please bring your generosity…



Elasticity of snow………5/13/14

Check out these cool pictures from Cathy Hartt in Montrose.  She was walking her dog around 7:30 this morning when she observed this “snowslide” at Buckley Park.




Dedicated snow scientists that have taught, mentored and influenced many deserve recognition. These awards were presented to Dr. Bruce Jamieson (above) and Ron Perla (below center) at the 2014 ISSW in Banff, Canada.


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JerryO recently “re-up’s”


Gerald & Allyn “solemnize” their marriage by the mayor of Alta.

A Warhol Leads a Night of Soaring Prices at Christie’s


“Triple Elvis (Ferus Type),” taken from a publicity shot for his 1960 movie “Flaming Star,” had been expected to sell for around $60 million.


Elvis Presley, as depicted in Warhol’s 1963 painting, looked ready for a shootout, staring at the viewer with his gun pointed. But there was no need to pull the trigger: The singer beat out Warhol’s Marlon Brando, along with 78 other works Christie’s had packed into its contemporary art sale on Wednesday night in Manhattan. While Elvis took home the evening’s top price — selling for nearly $82 million — it was just one big number in a night filled with soaring prices.

Christie’s had put together a banquet — 80 works total, 22 of them expected to sell for more than $10 million and nine poised to bring more than $20 million each. It managed to pull it off.

“It’s our highest total ever,” said Brett Gorvy, Christie’s worldwide chairman of postwar and contemporary art. “We saw a lot of new bidders tonight from the Middle East and Asia, but the biggest and most powerful buyers were still from America.”

For months before the sale, experts at Christie’s had been marketing the auction as an event filled with once-in-a-lifetime pieces. It worked. Some of this country’s biggest collectors came to watch the action, including Michael Ovitz, a former Hollywood agent; J. Tomilson Hill, the vice chairman of Blackstone Group; Andrew Saul, a New York businessman; and the Chicago collector Stefan Edlis. The sale totaled $852.9 million, well above its high $836 million estimate. Only five works failed to sell. The evening also trampled Sotheby’s sale on Tuesday, which was a smaller auction (78 lots) that brought $343.6 million. (Final prices include the buyer’s premium: 25 percent of the first $100,000; 20 percent of the next $100,000 to $2 million; and 12 percent of the rest. Estimates do not reflect commissions.)

WestSpiel, the government-controlled German casino company, was the seller of the two Warhols. The paintings had been hanging in its casino in Aachen since the late 1970s. Both were bought by unidentified telephone bidders. “Triple Elvis (Ferus Type),” taken from a publicity shot for his 1960 movie “Flaming Star,” showed Elvis in three overlapping images and had been expected to sell for around $60 million. “Four Marlons,” from 1966, based on a film still from the 1953 movie “The Wild One,” sold for $69.6 million. That too had been expected to sell for around $60 million. The image — Brando in a leather jacket leaning forward on his motorcycle looking the epitome of cool and seductive — is one of the actor’s most famous. Still, neither Warhol beat the $104.5 million paid at Sotheby’s a year ago for “Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster),” a two-panel Warhol from 1963.

It was the multiplication factor — that Christie’s had two major Warhol stars for sale in one evening — that gave the auction heft and helped propel prices, especially for other classic images from the 1960s and early 1970s. One of Twombly’s signature blackboard paintings, being sold by Nicola del Roscio, the artist’s former assistant and archivist who is now president of the Cy Twombly Foundation, had the sale’s most active bidding. Five people chased after the canvas, which is filled with the artist’s signature loops. While it was expected to sell for $35 million to $55 million, it went to a telephone bidder for $69.6 million.

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Kiitella Project: Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Recognition


The Grassroots Outdoor Alliance logo illuminated the direction to go for this recognition award… Keep it round and bold – with the classic Kiitella material combination of satin polished jetcut stainless steel, natural wool felt and double-layered birch plywood. And so fun to make an award for you Roanne! – Lisa

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Pulp Fiction is 20 years old




“Pulp Fiction” was released 20 years ago. Quentin Tarantino’s film blew everyone away and set Internet message boards on fire back when the web was in its infancy. Even if you’re a die-hard fan, bet you don’t know everything ….

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How Animals Hacked The Rainbow And Got Stumped On Blue


Surprise! Not one of these things contains a single speck of blue pigment.


Until about 600 million years ago, seeing colors didn’t matter so much to Earth’s inhabitants — nobody had eyes.

“Before the eye evolved, you just wouldn’t have seen what was there,” says Andrew Parker, a biologist at London’s Natural History Museum who studies the evolution of color.

Simple animals back then just floated around, he says. They were aware of sunlight, but didn’t have any of the biological bits and pieces needed to perceive color. Then, as Parker tells it, something really big happened.

“A predator that could swim quickly evolved vision,” he explains.

That predator probably looked something like a big shrimp, and now it had eyeballs — compound eyes, like the ones that flies have. “That’s when color kicked off,” Parker says.

Suddenly color could serve as a beacon, alerting predators to tasty food. If you were a worm or a juicy slime blob of a thing — like the soft-bodied ancestors of shrimp or beetles that bobbed about back then — and you stuck out in the murk because you just happened to be yellow or red, you’d be lunch.

So, red prey, for example, had to adapt — by hanging out more often in red seaweed to hide, or by evolving in a way that took advantage of that red color to scare off the enemy. As time wore on, color became useful to animals trying to stay fit, well-fed and sexy enough to get the cool girl or guy — or shrimp-thing.

Millions of species and a few mass extinctions later, creatures with fins, fur and feathers have developed ways to make every color in the Pantone chart.

A lot of the colors in plants and animals come from pigments, colored chemicals that absorb certain wavelengths of light. Many pigments are useful in other ways — granules of melanin, for example, help keep bird feathers strong, and help protect human skin from the sun. Chlorophyll is a chemical that helps plants trap light for photosynthesis; it also makes them look green.

Pigments are like a color currency — many animals can take them from plants, digest them or modify them, and eventually display a version of the pigment in their outer layer. But they have to have evolved the right mechanisms to do so.

Take pink flamingos, for example. Baby flamingos are knobby-kneed, fluffy and awkward. They are also light gray. The adults are pink only because they steal pigments called carotenoids from the foods they eat.

4740758452_1fe2f0af7b_b_sq-5918efa3772050cd5039a789cf0210fa47547788-s3-c85Carotenoids, a class of natural pigments, are abundant in plants, where they play a role in photosynthesis. Different carotenoids make carrots orange and beets red, and are responsible for the range of colors in autumn leaves. Flamingos pick them up from pigment-rich shrimp, crabs and algae. Robins and cardinals get carotenoids from berries, and koi turn orange from munching on algae.

That sort of color change sometimes shows up in humans, too.

“If you eat way too many carrots and the whites of your eyes turn a little pink hue? That’s the same process,” explains Sara Hallager, curator of birds at the Smithsonian National Zoo.


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Preserving an Accident, the Salton Sea in California, for the Good of Nature


The Salton Sea, created accidentally when Colorado River floods overwhelmed flimsy dikes, fills crucial ecological niches in southeastern California but is becoming increasingly salty.



MECCA, Calif. — The area around this town of date palms attracts two kinds of migrants — hundreds of humans who work the land, and millions of birds that stop to rest and gorge at the nearby Salton Sea. The sea is a 110-year-old, increasingly briny, shallow lake that covers 350 square miles but is dwindling fast.

It was actually an accident, created when Colorado River floods overwhelmed flimsy dikes, but it now fills crucial ecological niches in southeastern California. Its wetlands and fish attract as many as 400 species of migrating birds. As it disappears, officials are scrambling to fend off the consequences.

“It’s not a tragedy yet, but it could be a forthcoming tragedy if there is a failure of our government officials to take preventive measures,” said Roger Shintaku, director of the Salton Sea Authority, a quasi-governmental agency.

Avalon is the only city on California’s Catalina Island, which has spent millions to revive tourism but, with limited water sources, is requiring businesses and homes to reduce use by 25 percent.On California Island, Goals for Water and Visitors Collide in DroughtAUG. 9, 2014

Washing sidewalks and watering gardens are among the actions the California water control board voted on Tuesday to restrict.California Approves Forceful Steps Amid DroughtJULY 15, 2014
Every year, the north shore of the Salton Sea is a little farther from this Sonoran Desert town, partly because of drought and partly because of the sale of Colorado River water to coastal areas. The migrating pelicans and grebes that hang out there have fewer fish to eat as the shallow water disappears. And the dust from desiccated shallows blows into the air and is easily inhaled by local children, whose asthma rates lead the state.

Environmentalists say there is some urgency to the problem. A recent report by the Pacific Institute, a nonprofit based in Oakland, predicts that in 15 years the water volume will decrease by 60 percent, 100 square miles of lake bed will be exposed and the water will get three times as salty. The average depth of the receding sea is now less than 30 feet.

The big fish, mostly tilapia now, could disappear. If so, migrating birds, like the brown pelicans on the shore here, will have little to eat. The exposed sand and dust, blown by desert winds, will contribute to dust clouds, making attainment of federal air quality standards impossible. Over 30 years, the cost of inaction, the Pacific Institute report argues, will be $29 billion to $70 billion.

In some ways, Salton’s fate is like that of other disappearing saline lakes, such as the almost-vanished Aral Sea in Central Asia and Lake Urmia in Iran: They are slowly getting saltier and disappearing because people have purloined the water that flows into them.

The people most directly affected by the somewhat overpowering odor live in Imperial County, where the population has many poor farmworkers, and the Coachella Valley around Palm Springs, which is rapidly growing. Researchers estimate that the population around the sea, now about 650,000, will double in 30 years.

“This is a disaster waiting to happen, if it hasn’t already started,” said Bruce Wilcox, who runs the environmental arm of the Imperial Irrigation District. The district receives Colorado River water for its farmers; the runoff and municipal waste feed the Salton Sea.

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Ralph’s of Aspen Ski & Party Togs ~~~ Bernie Arndt photo




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Republicans Vow to Fight E.P.A. and Approve Keystone Pipeline


Senator Mitch McConnell has said he will fight regulations that would limit carbon emissions.


WASHINGTON — The new Republican Congress is headed for a clash with the White House over two ambitious Environmental Protection Agency regulations that are the heart of President Obama’s climate change agenda.

Senator Mitch McConnell, the next majority leader, has already vowed to fight the rules, which could curb planet-warming carbon pollution but ultimately shut down coal-fired power plants in his native Kentucky. Mr. McConnell and other Republicans are, in the meantime, stepping up their demands that the president approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline to carry petroleum from Canadian oil sands to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

At this point, Republicans do not have the votes to repeal the E.P.A. regulations, which will have far more impact on curbing carbon emissions than stopping the pipeline, but they say they will use their new powers to delay, defund and otherwise undermine them. Senator James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, a prominent skeptic of climate change and the presumed new chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, is expected to open investigations into the E.P.A., call for cuts in its funding and delay the regulations as long as possible.

The Republicans’ new majority in the Senate also increases their leverage in pushing Mr. Obama to approve the pipeline, although it is still unclear if he will do so.

The White House vowed to fight back. “We know that there will be attempts to impede or scale back our actions,” John D. Podesta, the senior White House counselor who is leading Mr. Obama’s climate agenda, said in a statement on Monday. But he added, “We’re confident we can prevail.”

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‘The Laughing Monsters,’ by Denis Johnson ~~ Sunday Book Review ~ NYT


In Denis Johnson’s new novel, set in Africa, a spy and his ne’er-do-well friend plan to become rich by exploiting post-9/11 politics.


Denis Johnson is closest in sensibility to the great Robert Stone, though he lacks that writer’s command of plot and structure. Yet we don’t read Johnson for methodology but for troubled effect and bright astonishments. A writer should write in such a way that nobody can be ignorant of the world and that nobody may say that he is innocent of what it is all about. Sartre says this, more or less, in “What Is Literature?” Johnson writes in just such a way. Life is ludicrous and full of cruel and selfish distractions. Honor is elusive and many find the copious ingestion of drugs necessary. Our ignorance is infinite and our sorrows fearful. We have made an unutterable waste of this world, and our passage through it is bitter and unheroic. Still, the horror can at times be illuminating, and it is necessary that the impossible be addressed. Here is the hapless murderer Bill Houston at the end of Johnson’s first novel, “Angels,” strapped down in the gas chamber, listening to the sound of his heart:

“Boom. . . . Boom! Was there ever anything as pretty as that one? Another coming . . . boom! Beautiful! They just don’t come any better than that. He was in the middle of taking the last breath of his life before he realized he was taking it. But it was all right. Boom! Unbelievable! And another coming? How many of these things do you mean to give away? He got right in the dark between heartbeats, and rested there. And then he saw that another one wasn’t going to come.”

Writing, like old age and Wyoming, is not for sissies.

Johnson was born in Munich, and his childhood was peripatetic. “Every move meant a chance to reinvent myself,” he’s said. His books take that same opportunity. This is his ninth novel. Others include the best-rendered post-nuke Florida Keys dystopia ever (“Fiskadoro”), the big and boldly retro Vietnam novel “Tree of Smoke” and the curiously hypnotic academic novel “The Name of the World.” There’s also the elegant and gloomy Americana novella “Train Dreams,” and lesser merely impressive and enjoyable entertainments, sly riffs on our orphanhood, our muddled dreams, our historical tininess, our moral wobbliness. He’s also written poetry, some plays, a single collection of short stories — the perversely divine “Jesus’ Son” — and a solid collection of political and travel essays, “Seek.” He probably plays the cello too.

“The Laughing Monsters” is a minor work — there’s no rocketing prose or conceptual jumping of lanes. Cheerfully nihilistic, it’s a buddy book dependent for much of its situation on several of Johnson’s early journalistic pieces about Liberia and Charles Taylor and the “atmosphere of happy horror” pervasive at the time. The whores and martinis and low-rent espionage seem no more than familiarly nostalgic, as does a time pre-Ebola. Africa is a hard land and it’s getting even harder.

In Johnson’s earlier novel “The Stars at Noon,” set in Nicaragua, a druggie prostitute is known as Mona Lisa because of her secretive beautiful smile that says: “It’s over — why are we still here?”

What a question! Prescient as ever, even as it all is over faster and faster and we still appear to be here. The critic Walter Benjamin speaks of the Klee painting “Angelus Novus,” from which he derives the concept of “the angel of history.” A stupendous storm propels the angel into the future to which his back is turned, the wreckage of the past growing and growing before him. Whereas we perceive merely a chain of events, the angel sees “one single catastrophe.”

The single catastrophe is what fuels the demands and mysteries of literature. The wreckage is what essential writers particularize, and Denis Johnson’s interests have always been in wreckage, both individual and universal. If “Train Dreams” (a Pulitzer finalist) dealt with the dignified tragedy of a past American anonym, “The Laughing Monsters” addresses the vanishing present, a giddy trickle-down of global exploitation and hubris — the farcical exploits of cold dudes in a hard land.

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To Catch Up With Bob Dylan, T Bone Burnett Assembles A Dream Team

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There’s a well-known musical gap in the story of Bob Dylan. It comes after his 1966 album Blonde On Blonde, a work filled with raucous, rocking, stream-of-conscious imagery. About 18 months later, Dylan returned to his earlier style of acoustic music on John Wesley Harding. What accounted for that gap, and what transpired during it, are still a subject of speculation among those who care about such things. In any case, around the time of a motorcyle accident, Dylan retreated from public view.

Out of that time came a collection of songs referred to as The Basement Tapes. Those songs would be released in 1975 — but the story of the gap goes deeper.

Last fall, producer and musician T Bone Burnett received a phone call from Bob Dylan’s publisher. It had uncovered a box of lyrics from 1967, songs that had Dylan had never put to music, and wanted to know whether Burnett was interested in doing something with them.

“There was such a depth to the material. It was nothing I wanted to attempt myself,” Burnett says in a conversation with NPR’s Robert Siegel. “At the time, Bob was collaborating with one of the most extraordinary groups of musicians in history, the group that came to be known as The Band. I thought, in keeping with that spirit of collaboration that Bob was engendering at that time, let’s do the same thing. Let’s find a group of bandleaders who know how to collaborate, and could come in and conjure something up out of these lyrics.”

That star-studded group Burnett assembled includes Elvis Costello, contemporary folk notables Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons and Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes, vocalist Rhiannon Giddens of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, and My Morning Jacket’s Jim James. The group’s debut album together is titled Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes.

Burnett says the task of putting music to Dylan’s words was daunting, and yet compelling: Here was a chance to get into the songwriter’s mind at a time when he was arguably too productive.

“It’s irresistible to get to collaborate with a 27-year-old Bob Dylan,” Burnett says. “We felt maybe we could catch up with him at this point.”

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