By Ian Livingston

December 4, 2022

Watch a lenticular cloud in action

A lenticular cloud was seen Dec. 1 on a hike to Fitz Roy, a mountain in the Andes in Argentina. (Video: Minh Phan)

Mountain chains and the turbulent airflow around them help create some magical and otherworldly scenes.

On Thursday, during a beautiful and otherwise sunny jaunt, hikers in Argentina’s Andes caught a prime example of a stacked lenticular cloud, which appeared to rotate in place like a saucer-shaped top hat. It’s easy to imagine why these phenomena have led to UFO reports in the past.

Minh Phan, a U.S. government meteorologist, tweeted: “I literally lost my … mind” upon first seeing the cloud formation. Fortunately, he was able to capture a mesmerizing time lapse of the lenticular’s silent pirouette over a mountaintop near the Argentina/Chile border.

As air in the mid-latitude flow rushes across a mountain chain — in this case the Andes — eddies form, like horizontal rotors stretched along the peaks, and eventually can become large-scale standing waves. A similar phenomenon can lead to downstream gravity waves, which tend to line up in packed rows to the lee of a mountain chain.

“Lenticular clouds are pretty common in this part of the world, especially with the mountain climate,” Phan wrote in a text message to The Washington Post. “There were many other pockets of lenticular clouds on that hike alone, but this one stood out because they were so stacked.”

These standing waves are often present in mountain environments, even without clouds to show them off. They are a primary cause of clear-air turbulence, and airline pilots will often try to avoid them.

Lenticular clouds become visible when there is increasing moisture aloft. Rather than being truly stationary, the lenticular cloud is continually redeveloping near the crest of the standing wave. The stacked appearance of some lenticular clouds is believed to form because of small variations in moisture concentration at different altitudes.

Contrails from planes are highlighted in much the same way as lenticulars. The presence of either the natural or man-made clouds is a sure sign of rising moisture levels overhead and perhaps unsettled weather to come.


By Wilawan Watcharasakwej and 

Bryan Pietsch

December 1, 2022

All four monks in the temple, including the abbot, were found to be using drugs. (Fred Froese/Getty Images/iStock)

BANGKOK — A small Buddhist temple in northern Thailand has been left without monks after the entire monastery was found to have been using methamphetamine, according to local officials.

Following orders to investigate drug use in Phetchabun province, the sheriff and village headman in Bung Sam Phan subdistrict, some 150 miles north of Bangkok, poked around schools, factories and temples in search of drug addicts and dealers so they could be sent for rehabilitation.

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“As a community leader, I was frightened because I never thought the monks would be addicted to drugs,” said Sungyut Namburi, the village headman. “I never thought that drugs would spread to temples.”

Monks are revered figures in Thai culture; in Bangkok’s metro system, seats are reserved for them alongside pregnant and elderly individuals. Particularly in rural areas outside Bangkok, monks are trusted advisers, often serving as counselors and role models to the community.

So it was much to Sungyut’s surprise that all four monks in one small temple tested positive for methamphetamine use when he and the sheriff paid a visit to the monastery Friday. At another small temple, two monks tested positive, he said.

But the writing was on the wall: The monks’ personality and behavior gave them away as drug users, Sungyut said. Some villagers had tipped him off, telling him to check on temples in the community.

Even the abbot — the head of the monastery, who had served as a monk for 10 years — was found to be using drugs. “When I inspected the abbot’s shelter, I was stunned because it was a mess,” Sungyut said. After the drug tests came back positive, he said, the monks confessed to using drugs. Some of them admitted to being longtime addicts.

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‘S.N.L.’ Mocks Herschel Walker Ahead of Georgia’s Senate Vote ~ NYT


Saturday Night Live episode’s opening sketch found Senator Mitch McConnell (played by James Austin Johnson) in an office with Senators John Cornyn (Mikey Day) and Marsha Blackburn (Cecily Strong), lamenting the difficulties that Republicans face in Tuesday’s Senate vote in Georgia.

Into their office, they welcomed their party’s contender for that seat, Herschel Walker (Thompson). “Hey there, Mitch McDonalds,” Thompson said as he entered. “I’m sorry I’m late. I was having too much fun in that free merry-go-round y’all got out front.”

“That’s a revolving door,” Johnson answered.

Told by his colleagues that they thought he had a chance to win the coming runoff, Thompson replied, “Oh, well, I’m good at those. My ex-wife said all I do is run off.”

With polling numbers running narrowly in favor of the Democratic incumbent, Senator Raphael Warnock, Johnson said that Georgia had already begun counting votes by mail.

“Right,” Thompson said. “But you’ve got to remember, they’ve still got to count votes by female.”

Asked by Strong if he could share any additional “bad things from your past that maybe people don’t know yet,” Thompson eagerly responded, “Oh, yes definitely. So many.” A clock on the wall spun forward as he shared an anecdote, which he concluded by saying, “Anyway, she didn’t want to keep it, so I drove her down to the Planned Parent Trap.”

The three senators asked Thompson for some privacy and he happily obliged: “You can toss a blanket right over me and I fall asleep like a parakeet,” he explained, which they did. While he napped, his colleagues concluded that they had no choice but to go to Plan B.

Awaking Thompson, Johnson brought him to a security door that he said led to what used to be his panic room, and he instructed the candidate to wait there until the election was over.

Pisco war vets working behind the Provisions bar


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Hey, I don’t care how scrubbed and spiffed up you are, still don’t see a bottle of good old HijoPuta there on the old estante de licores

Abuelo Norte