Sunday, November 6, 2016

265th post


"Army basic training's purpose is to learn the begining ways of a soldier."
Forrest Caricofe

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ways of a soldier."



"Most of our time was spent in class rooms or in the field learning...."

the ways of a soldier. 

We jog or marched everywhere we went, either to the field, classrooms, or 

back to our company area to the mess hall or barracks. 

I don't remember exactly, but I believe we were awakened at about 4:00 AM 

by the drill sargeant and got to bed at about 9:00 PM. 

Because of the good food and contiuous exersize, I gained muscle weight to 

about 200 pounds wereas before my average weight was 170 - 175 pounds.

After practicing with the M-14 or M-16 rifle during the training, we had 

qualifications near the end of our training and had to pass or be recycled.

Recycled meant starting the training all over from day one and I sure did no 

want that to happen. None of my shots hit the target and I was beginning to 





The Washington Post

Energy and Environment

Climate change is turning into a race between politics and physics

By Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis November 4 

“There’s so much that needs to be done,” said Heidi Cullen, chief scientist for 

the nonprofit environmental organization Climate Central. “The easy part is 

over. Friday, in many ways, marks the beginning of the rubber hitting the road. 

All of us see how much will be resting on every country’s commitment. We’re 

all going to be in this together, and we all have to hold each other accountable.”

William K. Reilly, who led the Environmental Protection Agency under 

President George H.W. Bush and has served as president of the World 

Wildlife Fund, said one key challenge for countries will be to identify precisely 

how they plan to meet — and eventually exceed — their commitments in 

coming years. Another is figuring out how to fund the kind of energy 

transformations that will be necessary to stay “well below” the 2-degree 

Celsius temperature red line laid out under the Paris agreement.

“One has to hope that the engines are gearing up to ensure that those 

financings, which are absolutely necessary to the success of the Paris 

agreement, are forthcoming,” he said.

Cullen agreed that finding funding for the projects that countries must 

undertake to slash their emissions and transform their energy sectors 

will be key. “We’re going to really need to develop these green financing 

mechanisms,” she said, adding that it will require a mixture of public and

private investment.

Even then, the reality of effectively ending fossil fuel emissions in coming 

decades will be a difficult proposition. “It’s going to take actors from every 

level, from every sector,” she said. “It’s far from where we are now. But 

we’ve managed to make tremendous progress.”

[A key part of Obama’s climate legacy gets its day in court]

The Paris climate agreement, in effect, pools together individual commitments 

by countries to lower their emissions, channeling that collective energy in an 

effort to bend the planet’s current climate trajectory. The trouble, though, is 

that while the current commitments help avoid a worst-case scenario of very 

extreme warming by 2100, they fail to put the planet on a “safe” path that 

would prevent serious climate impacts, such as rising seas, melting polar 

ice caps and more intense floods and droughts.

Meanwhile, in the scientific world, the evidence has grown ever clearer that 

each incremental increase in temperature, if sustained over a considerable 

period, corresponds to a notably different planet. In particular, researchers 

today are drawing more and more on analogies with warm periods in the 

Earth’s past, which allow them to make connections between key parameters 

such as planetary temperatures, carbon dioxide levels and sea levels. And the 

news isn’t good: For instance, there were past eras not much warmer than 

our own, or with comparable levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, that 

had far higher seas than we have now.

Compared with those daunting possibilities, the to-do list for Marrakesh next 

week appears relatively mundane. “The parties are going to roll up their 

sleeves and lay out the key issues in the fine print of the agreement that need 

to be ironed out so the architecture has meaning,” said Mariana Panuncio-

Feldman, who is co-leading the World Wildlife Fund’s delegation to 

Marrakesh. Only in 2018, at the earliest, will a future meeting actually focus 

on ramping up pressure on countries to put forward more ambitious 

commitments that alter the trajectory further, Panuncio-Feldman said.

That’s cutting it uncomfortably close, in light of a United Nations Environment 
Programme report released Thursday suggesting that if the planet’s overall 

emissions don’t peak by the year 2020, it may no longer be possible to limit 

warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the more ambitious and aspirational target 

contained in the Paris agreement and a goal particularly desired by 

developing countries and vulnerable small island nations.

None of this factors in the potential fallout from the upcoming U.S. election. 

While Hillary Clinton has vowed to honor the Paris agreement and make sure 

the United States continues to play a leading role in combating climate 

change, Donald Trump has pledged to “cancel” the accord. That might 

technically be difficult to do, given that the agreement will already be in 

force in January, but a Trump administration undoubtedly could slam the 

brakes on the political momentum for cutting carbon emissions, at least in 

the United States. And such a move would reverberate in the global 

community that has rallied, as never before, behind the Paris process.

“This is a binary choice,” said Reilly, the former EPA administrator, noting 

that Clinton has vowed to live up to the country’s commitments under the 

Paris agreement, while Trump has promised to “disavow” them.

“We have a choice between a strong leader on climate action and a climate 

denier,” Sandalow added. “The choice between Secretary Clinton and 

Donald Trump will make an enormous difference for the future of the planet.”

That might be true. But if Paris has revealed anything, it’s that on a global 

scale, Trump is an outlier. Far from questioning the reality of climate 

change, other world leaders have shown remarkable swiftness in the past 

year in trying to take the steps necessary to slow global warming.

And that action isn’t limited to governments.

“This is the first year in history where investments in renewable energy have 

outpaced those in fossil fuels. So the market is moving ahead much, much 

faster than most people understand,” John Morton, the White House’s senior 

director for energy and climate change, said Thursday in a call with reporters. 

He added that “what we have seen in recent months, and in fact in recent years, 

is [the] inevitability of the transition to a low-carbon economy.  And so the 

international community — the international business community, the 

international policy community — is moving forward and will continue to 

move forward, and there’s no questioning anymore about the commitment 

at both the government and policy levels.”

Global warming could be breaking up this 200 million year old relationship

We’re adding record amounts of wind and solar — and we’re still not moving 

fast enough. It could be the nation’s first carbon tax. And environmentalists 

are fighting over it."

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Chris Mooney reports on science and the environment.  Follow 

@chriscmooney. Brady Dennis is a national reporter for The Washington Post, 

focusing on the environment and public health issues.  Follow @brady_dennis.

Delhi imposes 'emergency' measures to combat hazardous smog External link

Source country news-yahoo-in Sunday, November 6, 2016 
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The Delhi government on Sunday put all construction 

projects on hold, shut down schools and advised residents of the Indian capital 

to stay indoors as part of an "emergency" plan to deal with dangerous levels 

of air pollution. New Delhi ranks among the world's most polluted cities...."

The (eight) countries that are presented here are ranked on the basis of the 

average PM2.5 pollution.

Bahrain – 57 ug/m3. ...

India – 59 ug/m3. ...

United Arab Emirates – 61ug/m3. ...

Mongolia – 64 ug/m3. ...

Egypt – 74 ug/m3. ...

Iran – 76 ug/m3. ...

Bangladesh – 79 ug/m3. ...

Afghanistan – 84 ug/m3.


NIH Rsearch Matters

June 14, 2016

Strategy may improve seasonal flu vaccines

At a Glance

"Scientists developed a novel strategy for predicting how circulating influenza 

viruses may evolve.

The approach could help scientists create more effective seasonal flu vaccines.

Flu viruses constantly change, or mutate, as they circulate in nature. Seasonal 

influenza vaccines need to be updated each year to match new emerging strains. 

Scientists monitor flu strains circulating around the globe to predict which 3 or 4 

strains will be most prevalent during the next flu season. To allow enough time 

for the vaccine to be made, the strains must be selected more than 6 months 

before the influenza season begins. Sometimes, an unexpected strain 

predominates or emerges too late to be included in the vaccine. This happened 

during the 2014-2015 flu season. That season’s vaccine was less than 20% 

effective at protecting against influenza infection.

A research team led by Dr. Yoshihiro Kawaoka at the University of 

Wisconsin-Madison developed a strategy to predict flu mutations before they 

occur in nature by simulating viral evolution in the laboratory. Their work 

was funded in part by NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious 

Diseases (NIAID). The approach was described in the June 2016 issue of Nature 


The scientists obtained samples of naturally occurring human H1N1 and H3N2 

influenza viruses from different flu seasons. They generated variants of these 

viruses by making random mutations in the virus surface protein hemagglutinin 

(HA). Seasonal flu vaccines are currently developed and evaluated in part based 

on their ability to induce production of antibodies against HA.

The researchers mixed these mutated virus collections with antibodies targeting 

the flu viruses the study began with. Mutations in some strains allowed the virus 

to replicate despite the presence of the antibodies. These viral strains continued 

to replicate and mutate. If such changes occurred during natural infections, 

vaccinated people might not have the right antibodies to fight the mutated 


The scientists mapped the mutational patterns of the viruses by using a process 

called antigenic cartography. This mapping revealed that the laboratory-

developed mutations matched how these viruses evolved in nature.

To test whether the lab-developed viruses could avoid detection by the 

immune system, the researchers tested mutated H1N1 viruses in mice and 

ferrets immunized against naturally occurring H1N1 influenza. Nearly all the 

viruses replicated efficiently in the immunized animals.

This laboratory-based approach could help researchers predict which viruses 

have the potential to cause future epidemics, and thus guide which strains to 

include in seasonal flu vaccines. “This is the first demonstration that one can 

accurately anticipate in the lab future seasonal influenza strains,” Kawaoka 



US-backed Syrian forces begin Raqqa offensive

Al Arabiya English with Agencies Sunday, 6 November 2016 

"US-backed, Kurdish-led, Syrian forces have announced the start of a campaign 

to retake the ISIS-held Syrian bastion of Raqqa.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) say only its forces will fight the battle to liberate Raqqa.

"The major battle to liberate Raqqa and its surroundings has begun," a 

commander with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said, reading a statement 

at a press conference in Ain Issa, some 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of the 

militant bastion.

The operation comes as Iraqi forces backed by a US-led coalition press an 

assault to take the militant group's Iraqi stronghold of Mosul."


Iraqi forces are 4 km from Mosul airport

Iraqi forces near east of Mosul on Friday Nov. 4, 2016. (Reuters)

By Babak Dehghanpisheh and Ahmed Rasheed Reuters, 

BaghdadSunday, 6 November 2016 
Iraqi security forces drove ISIS fighters from the center of a town just south of 

the militants' main stronghold of Mosul on Saturday and reached within a 

few km (miles) of an airport on the edge of the city, a senior commander said.

Lieutenant-General Raed Shakir Jawdat said security forces were in control 

of the center of Hammam al-Alil, about 15 km (10 miles) south of Mosul, 

although he did not say whether the militants had been pushed out completely.

The advance on the southern front comes days after Iraqi special forces 

fought their way into the eastern side of Mosul, taking control of six 

neighborhoods according to Iraqi officials and restoring a foothold in the city 

for the first time since the army retreated ignominiously two years ago.

Another unit advanced further north up the western bank of the Tigris river 

on Saturday, Jawdat added. "Our elite forces have reached an area

just 4 km (2 1/2 miles) from Mosul airport," he told Al-Hurra television channel.

Recapturing Mosul would crush the Iraqi half of a caliphate declared by Islamic 

State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi from the pulpit of a Mosul mosque in 2014. 

His Islamist group also controls large parts of east Syria.

There were no reports of further gains in the east of the city on Saturday, and 

officers said the military was clearing areas it took in recent days.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, speaking on a visit to the eastern front, 

said he brought "a message to the residents inside Mosul who are hostages in the 

hands of Daesh (Islamic State) - we will liberate you soon".

Abadi said progress in the nearly three-week-old campaign, and the advance 

into Mosul itself, had been faster than expected. But in the face of fierce 

resistance, which has included suicide car bombings, sniper fire and roadside 

bombs, he suggested that progress may be intermittent.

"Our heroic forces will not retreat and will not be broken. Maybe in the face 

of terrorist acts, criminal acts, there will be some delay," he said.

General Jawdat said his forces had destroyed 17 bomb-laden cars which had 

targeted them on their advance north.

So far the army controls only a small part of Mosul which was home 

to 2 million people before ISIS took over in 2014. More than 1 million remain 

in the city - by far the largest under ISIS control in either Iraq or Syria.

A Reuters correspondent in the village of Ali Rash, about 7 km (4 miles) 

southeast of the city, saw smoke rising from eastern districts on Saturday, 

while air strikes, artillery and gunfire could be heard.

The United Nations has warned of a possible exodus of hundreds of 

thousands of refugees. So far only 31,000 have been displaced, of which 

more than 3,000 have already returned to their homes, said William Lacy 

Swing, head of the International Organization for Migration.

"The numbers are not as large so far as had been expected. We'd heard 

figures all the way up to 500,000 or 700,000," he told Reuters.

"We're trying to prepare accordingly, but it's very difficult to do contingency 

planning with any level of accuracy because we don't know what they’re 

going to find when they get inside".

Last town before Mosul

The assault on Hammam al-Alil, about 15 km (10 miles) south of Mosul, targeted 

a force of at least 70 ISIS fighters there, commander of the Mosul operations 

Major-General Najm al-Jabouri said.

Jabouri said the assault began around 10 a.m. (0700 GMT) and some militants 

had tried to escape across the river, although others put up heavy resistance 

and the troops had thwarted three attempted suicide car bombings.

"(The battle) is very important - it's the last town for us before Mosul," Jabouri 

told reporters. Iraqi helicopters were supporting the army, he said, backed 

also by jets from a US-led air coalition.

He said the jihadists were using hundreds of people as human shields, although 

it was not clear how many civilians were left in the town. Before ISIS swept in 

more than two years ago, Hammam al-Alil and outlying villages had a 

population of 65,000.

As well as forcing residents to stay as they came under attack in Hammam 

al-Alil, ISIS fighters retreating north in the last two weeks have forced 

thousands to march with them as cover from air strikes, villagers have told 


The United Nations said the militants transported 1,600 abducted civilians 

from Hammam al-Alil to the town of Tal Afar, west of Mosul, on Tuesday 

and took another 150 families from the town to Mosul the next day.

They told residents to hand over children, especially boys aged over nine, 

in an apparent recruitment drive for child soldiers, UN human rights 

spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said.

Jabouri said a man he described as a senior ISIS figure, Ammar Salih 

Ahmed Abu Bakr, was killed by federal police - who are fighting with the 

army in Hammam al-Alil - as he tried to escape by car.

Many of the remaining militants were non-Iraqis, he said. "There are at 

least 70 Daesh fighters in the town. The majority are foreign fighters, so 

they don't know where to go. They are just moving from place to place.""

Last Update: Sunday, 6 November 2016 KSA 07:41 - GMT 04:41


BBC News

BBC Poll of Polls

Today                   Nov 6         Clinton 46%      Trump 44%

Yesterday             Nov 5        Clinton  46%      Trump 44 %

Last updated     November 6

Election day      November 8

Two days and counting.

BBC News

US election: Is Trump or Clinton going to win?

Anthony Zurcher

North America reporter

5 November 2016

From the section US Election 2016

"There are three days to go, so what is the state of the race now?

After a precipitous drop in the national polls in the days leading up to and after 

the James Comey FBI bombshell last week, Hillary Clinton's national poll 

lead appears to have stabilised in the low single digits (disregarding that 

quirky LA Times survey that has always leaned Trump).

A look at key state polling, however, shows signs of weakness in the 

vaunted Clinton firewall.

New Hampshire, one of the states that had proven to be durably blue over 

the past few months, now appears to be a toss-up.

Both Mrs Clinton and President Barack Obama are planning last-minute trips 

there to shore up support. And Michigan, which was a 10-point win for 

Mr Obama in 2012, is also looking uncomfortably close for the Democrats.

If Donald Trump manages to break the Democratic lock on one of those states, 

Mrs Clinton will have to prevail in one or more of the toss-ups on the map. 

Fortunately for her, there is some good news to be found in early voting 


In Florida, votes are pouring in from Miami-Dade county, and the Clinton 

campaign is boasting that many are from Hispanics thought unlikely to turn 

out (and therefore don't show up on likely voter surveys).

The last day of early voting in Nevada also led to strong results in solidly 

blue areas around Las Vegas, as one polling place in a Mexican grocery store 

had to extend polling hours to accommodate the massive crowds.

You can follow Anthony on Twitter @awzurcher

New York Times Upshot: Clinton has 84% chance of winning

FiveThirtyEight: Clinton has 64.7% chance

HuffPost: Clinton has 98.3% chance....

Election Day could play out in the traditional eastern battleground states. 

Or it could boil down to whether a Trump breach in the Midwest is offset 

by a pro-Clinton Hispanic surge in Florida and the Southwest. If that's the 

case, it could make for a very long and uncomfortable night for both 


Some things you might not know of past US Presidents.

Credit Bendon, Ashland, Ohio 44085

The 21st President was Chester Alan Arthur. During the last years of his term,

he was very sick with a kidney disease - but kept it a secret. He hired one of the 

most famous designers - Louis Comfort Tiffany - to redecorate many rooms at 

the White House.

The 22nd and 24th President was Grover Cleveland. He is the only President who 

served two terms that were years apart. During his first term, he was the first 

President to be wed in the White House. During his second term, he was the first 

President to have a child born in the White House. Cleveland's face is on 

the $1,000 bill - which is no longer in circulation.

The 23rd President was Benjamin Harrison. General Harrison was the grandson

of William Harrison, the 9th President. He became President 100 years after the

the very first President - George Washington.

The 25th President was William McKinley, Jr. He was called the "Idol of Ohio."

He was assassinated just six months in to his second term. His face is on the $500

dollar bill which is no longer in circulation.

The 25th President was Theodore Roosevelt. When he office after McKinley's,

Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the youngest President at 42 years 10 months.

As of 2013 he is still the youngest to have served as President. He is one of four

Presidents depicted in 60 foot high sculptures on Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota.

The other 3 Presidents who grace Mt. Rushmore are George Washington, Thomas

Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.

The 27th President was William Howard Taft. William Taft - "Big Bill" was the 

largest President: 6 feet tall, over 300 pounds. As President, he started the 

federal income tax.

The 28th President was Woodrow Wilson. Woodrow Wilson - "The Professor" - 

was the only President to earn a Ph.D. He was President during WW I and won

the 1919 Nobel Peace Prize for founding the League of Nations. He signed the

19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.

The 29th President was Warren Gamaliel Harding. At 19, Warren Harding ran

a newspaper. He was the first President to receive votes from women. He died 

in office, while traveling back from Alaska. 

The 30th President was Calvin Coolidge. H took office upon the death of Harding

and sworn in by a justice of the peace in Vermont. Coolidge was born on the

Fourth of July. The flag had 48 stars during his presidency.


"Weather forecasters need not worry about what they say about the weather. 

If there weather prediction is either wrong or right they will still remain in the 

employment of their employer."
Forrest Caricofe

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say about the weather. If there weather prediction is either wrong or right 

they will still remain in the employment of their employer."


Weather for Smithville, Ohio

Today                          SUNNY                                           65° 38°

Mon                             SUNNY                                           66° 42°

Tue                              SCATTERED_SHOWERS           62° 45°

The Weather Channel - Weather Underground - AccuWeather

I bought some more weed killer and fall grass seed yesterday and hope to

finish spraying all the remaining weeds today. 

I also need to plant the remaining flower bulbs that I have.

With two days of no rain, the plants in the fire pit should be dry enough for me 

burn the rest of them today.

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