Archive for the ‘Weather’ Category

Nah, it’s not dangerous, but it may soon be responsible for some cool sunrises and sunsets in the southern part of the US of A. Check it:

From As the plume comes across America, the blue skies will fade and the sky will have a ‘milky’ haze to it. That milky haze is the dust! Millions upon millions of tiny dust particles will dance in the sky, tens of thousands of feet up, scattering the sun’s rays. This will give off an incredible affect during sunsets and sunrises.


Preach it Bill Nye the Science Guy.

Nothing needs to be added here.

Not today, dumbass.

I know, that was a descriptive title. You’re welcome. Anywho, we can all agree that myself and my crack staff here at Shoe: Untied maintain an eclectic site, amirite? I mean, name another site that covers, among other things, politics, sports, humor, nature, education, and dumb people being mauled by animals. You can’t. That said, let’s take a look at some facts you may not know about Antarctica. Seriously, you’ll dig it. Trust me.

Note: Antarctica is the one on the bottom of the earth, but you knew that, right? Right?

There Are Places In Antarctica Which Haven’t Received Rain Or Snow In 2-Million Years

See? Mind already blown. Check to make sure your brain isn’t on the floor behind you. Seriously, in Antarctica around 1% of the continent is permanently ice-free. These areas are called Dry Valleys or Antarctic Oasis.

There’s A Waterfall In Antarctica Which Is Called Blood Falls

Not kidding. And you know why? Because it’s freakin’ red, man. You see, 5-million years ago, as sea levels rose, East Antarctica was flooded and a brine lake was formed there. After millions of years, glaciers formed on top of the lake. As they froze, the water below became even saltier. Still with me? Today, the subglacial lake under Blood Falls is three times saltier than seawater and, therefore, is too salty to freeze. The water beneath Taylor Glacier, which feeds the Blood Fall, contains a lot of iron, and when iron-rich water comes in contact with air, the iron oxidizes and takes on a red coloring, leaving blood-like stains on the ice. Whew. Get all that? Good. Here’s a photo for all you cynical folk.

70% Percent Of World’s Fresh Water Is In Antarctica

Yep. Around 90% of the world’s ice and 70% of the fresh water is in Antarctica. If all of the Antarctic ice melted, sea levels in the world would rise about 200-feet and that trip to your summer beach house would be shot all to hell.

See ya Florida!

The Average Ice Sheet Thickness In Antarctica Is 1-Mile

You know, other than that 1% I told you about earlier.

Sled Dogs Have Been Banned From Antarctica Since 1994

Back in 1911 sled dogs hauled supplies for Norwegian explorers led by Roald Amundsen. It was the first expedition to reach the South Pole. Afterwards, sled dogs were kept and used in Antarctica for years. However, they were banned from the continent in 1993 due to fear that they might transmit canine distemper to the Antarctic seals or would escape and disturb the local wildlife. Good call Antarctica.

Antarctica Has No Official Time Zone

Why, you ask? Because Antarctica is mostly uninhabited. However, a number of research stations use the time zone of the country that operates or supplies them.

Antarctica Is 1.5 The Size Of USA

It’s also twice the size of Australia and 50-times the size of the United Kingdom. In yo face ya limeys.


Antarctica Is The Only Continent Without Reptiles And Snakes

However, there is an abundance of other forms of wildlife such as whales, seals, penguins and other birds. On a related note, I may or may not have cried while watching March of the Penguins.

Winds Can Reach The Speed Of 200-Miles Per Hour

It rarely snows in Antarctica, but it looks like it because of the wind blowing it around. Illusions and whatnot.

There Are No Polar Bears In Antarctica, Only In The Arctic

True story. See, the Brown bear of North America is the ancestor of the Polar bear. Naturally, Polar bears now live in countries that surround the Arctic Circle – Alaska, Norway, Russia, Canada and Greenland. Consequently, Polar bears do not live in Antarctica, but only in the Arctic, as there was no way they could reach the South Pole. Bears could not handle the tropical temperatures on the way down there anyway, and there is no way to get there by land. Der.

Antarctica Has One ATM

The banking conglomerate Wells Fargo installed an ATM back in 1998 at McMurdo Station, the largest science hub on the continent. While it is near New Zealand territory, the ATM only dispenses US dollars. Aaaand here it is:

Does it look lonely or is it me?

Note: Most facts have been pilfered from the good folks over at Bored Panda.

Note 2: I have no idea if they’re good folks. I don’t even know them.

Apocalypse now in Russellville, Kentucky. Freaky, man.

Kotisaari Island was a traditional stronghold of the Lumberjacks in Kemijoki, Finland and is located in the middle of the scenic Kemi river. The photos are from each season.



[click to scroll through the photos]

Dude. Shake it off.

(CNN) There’s an Iguanocalypse in Florida, or at least that’s what it looks like judging from the photos worried Floridians are posting all over social media. Because of the cold temperatures sweeping the nation, iguanas are dropping out of trees like overripe mangoes, littering the ground in an apparent state of rigor mortis.

One tiny detail, though: They’re probably not dead. They are, however, literally frozen.

Emily Maple, the reptile keeper at the Palm Beach County Zoo, told CNN affiliate WPEC the cold-blooded animals get “cold stunned” — that is, they basically freeze — if the temperature gets below 45º Fahrenheit.

“If it’s just for a day or two they’ll just get to where they’re completely frozen in time. They’re still able to breathe. They’re still able to do bodily functions just very slow,” said Maple.

Let me get this straight. When things start to go sideways, iguanas literally shut down their body and just wait it out in a state of suspended animation? That’s whack, man. And who knew iguanas were such wussies? 45°? Hell, up here in Ohio we have animals running around all over the place outside at -8° like it ain’t no thing. Get your shit together, Florida animals. You’re embarrassing yourself.

PS- An iguana falling on your head would be sort of traumatic, no? Head on a swivel, Floridians. 

PPS- Here’s how true badass animals handle the cold. 

Amazing stuff. Be sure and watch both videos.

Julius Caesar too. And Socrates. And Plato. Hell, even Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Beethoven.  But you get the point. There’s a solid chance the water coming out of your faucet or inside that bottle you bought contains molecules that all those people drank. Yes kids, Cleopatra may have sipped that very same water from the Nile back in 33 BC. How in the hell, you ask? Read on . . .

Here’s the dilly. The water on our Earth today is the same water that’s been here for nearly 5-billion years. Only a teeny-tiny bit has escaped out into space, and as far as we know new water hasn’t formed either.

What does that mean? It means there’s a very high chance the water in your glass is what thirsty dinosaurs were gulping about 65-million years ago.

It’s possible that you could drink the same water as a T-Rex or any of those historical figures I mentioned above because of the way water circulates around our planet. You and I are actually part of this water cycle, too.

Here’s what happens. As water on the surface of lakes, oceans, and rivers warms up, it travels into the sky as very tiny droplets, or vapor. When the water vapor gets colder, it turns back to liquid to help form clouds.

When the liquid gets so heavy it can’t stay in the atmosphere anymore, it falls as rain, snow, sleet, hail, or my personal favorite, graupel.* Once the precipitation reaches the ground or lands in lakes, oceans, and rivers, the cycle continues.

*Graupel is snow pellets or soft hail. Feel free to drop that word on your friends this winter.

See, the earth is a closed system with finite resources, and one of those resources is water. That means we don’t get new water or lose water on average; instead, like I said, it mixes and recycles. The same is somewhat true for air, and most everything else on earth, although each substance is different.

This next part is sort of complicated, and since I had to read it 7-times to understand it, you might have to read it twice. From Scientific American:

Water is a chemical substance with a chemical formula of H2O, meaning that its molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. People drink an average amount of 2-quarts of water a day.
Each quart of water contains 3.1634653 x 10^24th power of molecules. Thusly, if a person lives for 75-years, we can calculate them needing roughly 365 x 75 x 2=54,750 quarts of water over their lifetime. That means the average person drinks roughly 54,750 x 3.1634653 x 10^24th power of molecules in their lifetime. There are about 326-million trillion gallons of fresh water on Earth. We have approximately 4.72 X 10^46 molecules of fresh water in total. Thus, there is a fair chance you shared water molecule or two with the Dinosaurs, Jesus, Buddha, Confucius, Julius Caesar, Socrates, or any other human or animal that drank water in history.

So there you go. Interesting stuff, amirite?

Fun Fact: Less than 3% of all the water on Earth is fresh water, the kind we drink. Although you might think that most of the fresh water on Earth is found in lakes and rivers, only a small fraction can be found in these places. Most of the fresh water is frozen in polar ice caps and glaciers. The rest exists in the atmosphere as gas or clouds, or is underground.

A nurse fleeing California’s raging wildfires said “neigh” to leaving her pony behind. Lauren Mesaros decided to drive away from the Tubbs Fire flames Monday with her pony, Stardust, in the backseat, after realizing the trailer she had could only fit two of her three horses, SF Gate reported.

“He actually walked right into the car like a dog would,” Mesaros said.
The quick-acting woman lured her steed in the back of her 2001 Honda Accord. Her sister-in-law posted a Facebook photo of the pony filling up the backseat, his snout fogging up the window, with the caption: “When Lauren has to evacuate her pony from Santa Rosa but no transport is available—you do what you have to do.”

Hell yes you do what you have to do, and what Lauren Mesaros had to do was get Stardust out of harms way as soon as possible. Honestly, look at that face –  no way you could leave that pony behind. And Stardust hopped right into the backseat. He knew what was up. Anyway, kudos Lauren Mesaros. Kudos indeed.

I’ve seen some wild photos coming out of Texas, man. I’ve seen people canoeing, surfing and Jet Skiing down city streets, babies being towed through water in Tupperware bins, everything. But this photo is incredible. That’s Interstate 10 now in the first photo, with a photo prior to the hurricane below it.

Here’s a similar view with the same sign. Hard to fathom.

NYT – President Trump announced Thursday afternoon that he is withdrawing the United States from the landmark Paris climate agreement, an extraordinary move that dismayed America’s allies and set back the global effort to address the warming planet.

Trump’s decision set off alarms worldwide, drawing swift and sharp condemnation from foreign leaders as well as top environmentalists and corporate titans, who decried the U.S. exit from the Paris accord as an irresponsible abdication of American leadership in the face of irrefutable scientific evidence. Trump has described climate change “a hoax.”

The U.S. withdrawal from the Paris agreement cannot actually be finalized until near the end of Trump’s term because of the accord’s legal structure and language.

The Donald, man. Gotta give him credit to sticking to his guns on this one I guess? Our children and their children and their children can go to hell, man. We’ll all be gone by then anyway, amirite? But hey, at least we have two other stable, level-headed governments who see things the way we do – Nicaragua and Syria. Thank God for that. I guess all us weenies who believe in the climate change “hoax” can take solace in the fact that our withdrawal from the pact can’t take place for a couple years. The odds of Trump surviving that long are about 9%.

PS- One positive about a Trump administration? Endless source of blogging material.

PPS- Another positive? Wildly entertaining messages from Trump supporters.

PPS- For those who care, and I don’t think many do, here’s climate change explained pretty simply (and spare me the climate change is a hoax videos, please).

On a related note, I never thought I’d miss this guy so much:


[NYT] According to scientists and climate experts, the cloud in the photos below probably falls under a “roll cloud” category. Roll Clouds “form under wind created from a ‘mountain wave’ (or airstreams going over mountains) on a windy day.” The photo was taken over the city of Fujisawa, Japan.

Blah-blah-blah. Roll Cloud Scmoll Cloud. Haven’t these people ever watched a 1950’s Science Fiction movie? There’s clearly an alien spaceship inside that fake cloud, man. Any idiot knows that. Those Martians aren’t fooling me. On a related note, RUN FOR YOUR LIVES, FUJISAWIANS!

PS- I swear I sat here for 20-minutes trying to work in a Uranus joke. Sadly, nothing. Guess I’m bringing my B game today.


From ThinkProgress:winter2

It’s coming back.

The polar vortex that shocked the northeast with extremely cold days may bring more bitterly cold winters to North America, according to a new study.

The polar vortex is a massive system of swirling air that usually contains cold air around the North Pole. It has been shifting for decades, researchers found — but it has only recently become a household term, after it was blamed for causing record cold weather affecting some 200-million people in 2014.

According to the study, over the past 30-years, the polar vortex has weakened, in part due to Arctic sea-ice loss linked to human-caused climate change. That weakening has prompted it to shift toward Europe and Asia in February. This means unusually cold days may become more common in February and March, the Weather Channel reported. At the same time, Europe is facing warmer winters.

Scientists have long said global warming will bring extreme weather. This is what it looks like.

Batten down the hatches, kids. Store up on plenty of firewood, fatty foods, snuggies, hot soup and earmuffs. On a related note, Sparky hates cold weather so my winter is going to be turrible. Nothing worse than those midnight walks in blistering cold weather in which I carry my pup out in the yard, set him down after clearing a spot, and waiting for him to do his business.

Damn you polar vortex! Damn you to hell!

Good day Sunshine.


So good.


These are two of the most intense tornado videos I’ve ever seen. On a related note, these people are batshit crazy.




Northern Africa is interesting.


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