As many people in the USA know, next Sunday is to be celebrated as Mothers' Day 2016. Bogie knows this full well; but, she sent me two cards - early - with the suggestion that I open one, today, and the other next Sunday. I have opened one. It tells about "Great Moms throughout History". It gives quotes from several of them.
"You can cross the Delaware AFTER you've finished doing your chores!" - George Washington's Mom
"It looks like this room hasn't been cleaned in fourscore and seven years!" - Abe Lincoln's Mom
"You actually met men who are willing to ask for directions?" - Sacajawea's Mom
"It doesn't take a genius to see you need to comb your hair!" - Albert Einstein's Mom
Bogie was kind enough not to send any quotes of my own back at me. What would she have sent? Contest!
As I was taking my afternoon break, I listened to This American Life on the local PBS station, KMUW. One segment of that program reminded me of a study, the results of which seem applicable to some of the candidates for higher office in the USA. Immediately, I Googled "Dunning-Kruger" effect to find the write-up in Wikipedia. The first couple of paragraphs follow, below.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which relatively unskilled persons suffer illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability to be much higher than it really is. Dunning and Kruger attributed this bias to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their own ineptitude and evaluate their own ability accurately. Their research also suggests corollaries: highly skilled individuals may underestimate their relative competence and may erroneously assume that tasks which are easy for them are also easy for others.
The bias was first experimentally observed by David Dunning and Justin Kruger of Cornell University in 1999. They postulated that the effect is the result of internal illusion in the unskilled, and external misperception in the skilled: "The miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others."
1. Kruger, Justin; Dunning, David (1999). "Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology77 (6): 1121–34.
There is a posting on the Military Advantage Blog that is mostly about military pay/benefits. It does, however, include a paragraph on possible registration of women for the Selective Service draft, which is excerpted, below.
Military Update: With U.S. forces still at war and House members up for re-election in November, the House Armed Services Committee rejected almost every idea the Obama administration proposed in its 2017 budget request to dampen military compensation and apply dollars saved to other defense priorities.
Women Draft Registration — With all combat jobs now open to women, the committee voted 32-30 for an amendment to require women to register with Selective Service System. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), who opposes women serving in infantry or Special Forces, said he offered the amendment to spark a debate that the Congress, so far, has avoided.
It seemed to me that spring had sprung about four weeks early this year. Well...I don't have a good year-to-year comparison for each year, but I can show you the difference between April 26, 2012 and today.
There really isn't that much difference since I expect the irises to be fully abloom within six days - except for the leafing out of the sugar maple tree that is in the middle ground just to the left of the ball-trimmed junipers. The sugar maple won't make the leafiness of 2012, I'm thinking. The 2012 photo looks muddy because the sun was having a hard time making its way through the clouds.
ADDITION of 4/26/2016 -
It's amazing how much a maple can leaf out in six days. Six days later, here's how things look.
Bogie had posted First 2016 Spring Flowers (showing pretty primroses!) the other day, on which I commented that I would try to post some photos of our blossoms, here. I mentioned the deep wine-colored dwarf irises' (a start of which I had sent her last year) being abloom.
And, I mentioned the creeping phloxes, the starts for which Bogie had sent me five or six years ago. The phlox have taken time to get established for three reasons: 1) Kansas drought, 2) my not watering them (plants have to really want to grow to survive my neglect), and 3) their frequently being disturbed by adjacent plantings or by their being moved - again!
While posting flower photos, I'll tell you about the ice plant. A few years ago, I planted two or three small pots of magenta-hued ice plant on the far side of the driveway from the house in which position they would get little water. Two of the plants did well, thriving there and blooming profusely. This year, one of those ice plant clumps is thriving, but not blooming. (No photos if they don't bloom!)
Last year, I bought a dozen or so small pots of ice plant, placing them at various places in the landscaping - but mostly in that bed on the far side of the driveway. Most of them died. After having the mulching renewed, this year, by the landscaping firm (Bogie "grew up with" the owner as he is a son of the woman who was my closest friend for years and years) I'm not sure but what a few of the ice plants may lie buried; however, I think they were long dead. Here are photos of the two clumps that survived. The one on the left is near the house/garage, in a position that receives overflow from the rain troughs. The other is in that neglected bed on the far side of the driveway.
Finally, some miscellaneous shots that I took. It was too late to catch the redbud trees in bloom, and the lilacs are several days past their prime, but, I got what I got.
Notes to Bogie & Dudette:
1) I've uploaded several of the above photos (and a couple of others) into the 2016 photo album on the left side bar.
2) I usually do my own mulching, but wimped out this year. Kevin's crew used 120 (each, 3-cu-ft) bags of mulch. Those young women toted those bags about as if they were feathers. (I lug them about like the old woman I am!)
3) I told the crew not to worry about burying ice plants. They are not expensive for me to replace.
In a comment to the previous posting, For those who may think that women get an easy pass in the military, in which I mention (and give formulae for) Body Mass Indices (BMIs), Stu mentioned that he had previously posted on a method developed by James Chesterman, of Sheffield, England, to estimate the weight of a bovine. He did, indeed.
In reading Stu's posting - Wednesday, February 10, 2016, A precursor to BMI ;-) - it occurs to me that a diagram might be helpful to my blog friends. Most of us were not raised on a farm or ranch, around cattle. (My maternal grandparents were dairy farmers so I've no excuse for needing the diagram!)
From a posting on Tractor Supply Company's website, How to Calculate Cattle Weight, I reproduce their diagram that shows where the measurements are taken, and the instructions on what to do with them. (Although Stu wrote about cows, note that the Tractor Supply Company, of which there is an outlet about 15 miles down the road from us, applies the same methodology to beef cattle.)
Unless you are a commercial livestock farmer, you probably do not own a livestock scale. Figuring out how to weigh a cow, bull or calf is easy if you can measure the animal body length and girth. Use this guide to determine the weight of your dairy cow or beef cattle:
Measure the circumference of the animal, as shown in "distance C" in the illustration. Make sure to measure girth in relation to the location of the animal's heart. [Good luck in figuring out where that is! CC]
Measure the length of the animal's body, as shown in distance A-B in the illustration.
Using the measurements from steps 1 and 2, calculate body weight using the formula HEART GIRTH x HEART GIRTH x BODY LENGTH / 300 = ANIMAL WEIGHT IN POUNDS. For example, if a beef cow has a heart girth equal to 70 inches and a body length equal to 78 inches, the calculation would be (70 x 70 x 78) / 300 = 1,274 lb.
In an article at Military.com, Max Fitness Test, Skip the Tape: Marine Corps Mulls New Body Fat Rules, the following paragraph appears:
"The brief notes that while the male BMI maximum for Marines is 27.5, the most liberal standard allowed within the Defense Department, the female BMI max is the strictest in the department at 25. The proposal would increase the BMI max for female Marines to 26, increasing maximum weight by five to nine pounds, depending on height."
I recall the fitness tests that the US Navy applied to us, annually, when I was in the Reserves. We had to cover 2 miles within so many (don't remember how many) minutes and meet waist to stomach and hip ratios. I don't believe that the US Navy used BMI, then; but, I would have had no problem joining the US Marines on that account. At the time, my BMI was 19 (age 42). We won't talk about what it is now that I am in my late 70s. Fortunately, I'm the anomaly in our family. I'm guessing that Bogie's and Dudette's BMIs are lower now than when they were in their early 40s. They work a lot harder (outside the workplace) than I did at their ages. Good for them!
With the metric system, the formula for BMI is weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. Because height is commonly measured in centimeters, divide height in centimeters by 100 to obtain height in meters.
Example: Weight = 68 kg, Height = 165 cm (1.65 m) Calculation: 68 ÷ (1.65)2 = 24.98
Pounds and inches
Formula: weight (lb) / [height (in)]2 x 703
Calculate BMI by dividing weight in pounds (lbs) by height in inches (in) squared and multiplying by a conversion factor of 703.
We returned this afternoon from spending most of the week in Salina, Kansas. I had been working (for about 6-8 months ) on the team putting together a Disaster Response & Recovery Training Institute held there and had left home early Tuesday morning. Hunky Husband had been held up to provide adult supervision to the lawn service team that was servicing and turning on our lawn irrigation system for the season. He arrived in Salina before I awoke on Wednesday, morning. One of the IT guys was kind enough to guide HH to our room in the military housing. Similar to a low-end, but well-run, motel, the charge was $30/night and meals in the mess hall were a bit over $6/person/meal (noting that the organization with which we volunteer was charged for 150 persons each meal, regardless of how few showed). The facilities that we occupied and used were part of a Kansas Army National Guard Training Center.
I was slaving over a hot computer most of the time (7:30am to, sometimes, 9:00pm) while HH was visiting various classrooms to provide the required annual monitoring of each of the instructors presenting.
There have been two separate wildfires in Kansas during the past two weeks: The Anderson Creek Fire, in Oklahoma, and The Sharon, Kansas fire in Barber County, Kansas, which borders Oklahoma. I posted Smokey here on Wednesday, March 25, 2016.
Kirk Trekell, the fire chief in Alva, Okla., a town about 25 miles east of Stansberry’s home [a 79-year-old resident who had previously been quoted concerning his efforts against the fire on the 22nd - CC], said he’s always a little anxious with weather like that on March 23. The humidity was about 10 percent, so the grass and trees were dry and brittle. The winds were blowing steadily between 30 and 40 miles per hour, with gusts near 60.
Barber County firefighters are volunteers who are reimbursed $15 per fire for driving to the station. On March 21 they had been responding to a fire near Sharon, Kan., for more than 24 hours when they first heard about the Anderson Creek fire. Rick Wesley, one of the three chiefs in Barber County, sent one man down to Oklahoma to help and, as they finished up near Sharon, called to see if they needed more help. The answer was yes.
“I figured it had gotten pretty big or they wouldn’t be calling us,” Wesley said.
As they worked with local firefighters in Oklahoma, they learned they were going to have to try something bolder [as the fire moved into - CC] Kansas. As Tuesday night began to turn into Wednesday morning, about 25 trucks from Barber and neighboring counties tried to make another stand on Highway 160, about 30 miles north of where the fire had started.
The decision was made to take the risk of starting a backfire. At first, the backfire seemed to be working, but conditions worked against the firefighters.
“The wind was just pretty tremendous the way it was filtered through those canyons and ravines,” said Ken Leu, 77, fire chief in Harper County for the past 50 years, who had come to help.
He watched the distant glow of the two fires colliding through the smoke.
As the fire slowly slipped past the burn line, the winds started to shift east until the fire was, as [Chief] Trekell had foreseen the day before, no longer a few miles wide but now 35 miles of open flame bearing down on Barber County.
The fire had, like a Hydra, split into several head fires now, according to McNamar. As someone whose job as emergency manager was to think about the overall safety risk, he had set the process in motion to declare the fire a disaster beyond the resources of the county to handle.
If they already had trouble defending a couple of miles of fire with 25 trucks, the resources they were going to need to defend more than 35 miles were enormous.
Although the winds wouldn’t allow them to bring in helicopters for a few more days, Barber County officials decided to bring in two incident management teams, which included experts who had worked on some of the country’s biggest forest fires out west, but whose services had never been required on a fire like this in Kansas.
And in a stroke of luck, a group of fire experts was already assembled just 90 minutes away.
Please follow the above link to read the rest of the story and/or to watch other videos. The last report that I saw was two days ago - 95% contained.