Tag: water

Lee’s Ferry

 

Lee’s Ferry

It’s not much more than a small dot on a map; but, despite that Lee’s Ferry has had an outsized import over the years. And, where and what is Lee’s Ferry you may ask? The where is on the Colorado River about 9 miles south of the Utah- Arizona border and, as later would be determined, also as good a boundary as any between the river’s upper and lower basins.  The what is the only location along the river between the small hamlet of Hite, Utah (now submerged under Lake Powell) and Black Canyon (the site of Hoover Dam), a distance of over 450 miles at which it is possible to access and cross the Colorado River with relative ease. Otherwise, the rest of the river between these two points had steep canyon walls making access to and crossing of the river difficult if not impossible, while the Lee’s Ferry area had gentle slopes that could easily be traversed.

California Recall

 

Last Wednesday, June 23, 2021, the California Secretary of State Shirley Weber announced that the recall petition against Governor Newsom had the requisite number of valid signatures and was thus certified. This sets the stage for a recall election within the next six months. For those unaware of California recall procedures, the recall election will involve two questions on the same ballot, first, should the governor be recalled, yes or no, and the second vote for one candidate from a list of candidates to replace the governor. If 50% plus one vote to recall the governor, then the candidate who receives the most votes on the second question will be the new governor; otherwise, Governor Newsom will remain governor until the end of his term.

I live in California and will vote to recall Newsom. As to the second question, who to replace him with, that remains an open question. However, the candidate most likely to get my vote will need to espouse conservative principles (hopefully with a record to back up those principles) and I hope will take positions like the following;

Rob Long is in for the vacationing Jim Geraghty. Join Rob and Greg as they welcome the rescue of the massive cargo ship Ever Given from the Suez Canal and highlight some important lessons that ought to be learned from this episode. They also discuss the coming reality of vaccine passports that will require you to have a COVID vaccine or a negative test to gain entry to various events and businesses. Is this the right of private sector businesses or a major blow to whatever privacy we have left? And we discuss the hysterical reaction to the new election laws in Georgia, with Rob explaining that recent elections prove that voter suppression isn’t actually a problem.

To Herb Meyer’s Memory

 

Over the years, Ricochet has inspired lasting friendships, not least of which is many members’ friendship with @tommeyer, who’s not only a great guy, but someone who rendered Ricochet great service before he moved on to other things. When Herb Meyer, Tom’s father, died, the outpouring of thanksgiving for Herb’s life was tremendous. At the time, I dedicated a motet I was working on to Herb’s memory, but life having gotten in the way, I haven’t had a chance to share it with the Ricoverse until now:

Remembering the Fluoridated Water Wars

 

Flyer used by opponents to water fluoridation in Seattle 1952

If you’re of a certain age, you probably remember the fluoridated water controversy of the 1950s and early 1960s. I’m old enough to remember it and the other day I came across a brief discussion of the controversy in the book I was reading which whetted my appetite to see how accurate my memory of the issue was. What I found, I think, is that my memory of the controversy was only partially correct and incomplete. I thought I’d write about here at Ricochet because the actual story is 1) more interesting than the cartoon version I remembered, 2) I believe the story has been somewhat mythologized and distorted, and 3) the fluoridated water wars continued long after the early 1960’s and to a certain extent still exists.

Engineering Failures: St. Francis Dam

 

St. Francis Dam nearly full.

I’ve been fascinated by the St. Francis Dam failure since I first found out about it. For those who are unaware of or who’ve forgotten about it, the St Francis Dam failure, which occurred in 1928, was the greatest civil engineering failure in the United States in the 20th century (the Johnstown Flood killed many more people, but it took place in 1889), and except for the San Francisco Earthquake, caused more deaths than any other event in California history. Until recently, however, it was relatively hard to find much information on the topic. There was a book about the disaster by a local retired rancher, Charles Outland, who had been a high school senior in Santa Paula at the time the St Francis flood waters raged through town, which was published in the early 1960’s, but that was about it. Since then a couple more books have been published and an engineering professor who has extensively studied the failure and developed a detailed analysis thereof has written and given talks on the subject so that it’s now possible to flesh out the subject in great detail (I’ll provide links to the books at the end of this article; all other links will be in the text). The most interesting aspect of the story to me, however, is the way in which this event touches on and impacts so many other stories.

Member Post

 

I’d like to bring up the topic of infrastructure. President Trump, of course, beat me to it last year. He talked about the sad state of American infrastructure, how our roads, bridges and related facilities are in a sorry state, and how it’ll take over a tril to fix ’em. There have been a few […]

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For many Western Christians, Epiphany, observed on Jan 6 or on a neighboring Sunday (like today), commemorates the visitation of the Magi, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. It also celebrates Jesus’ baptism in the River Jordan, which the Orthodox Church celebrates with the Great Blessing of the Waters. When we’re baptized, the water […]

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Home

 

I’ve always felt like I was at home in the water.

I grew up in Arkansas rice country, next to the muddy Black River. Plenty of rain throughout the year made our already hot summers muggy and miserable. The rain always provided temporary relief from the humidity, but as soon as it stopped, misery set in with a new wave of wet heat, mosquitoes, and chiggers. I spent every summer with red, itchy welts up and down my legs, but it never stopped me from celebrating the rain by dancing around in it barefoot, with my face held up to the sky to catch raindrops in my mouth. I loved splashing through the puddles in the driveway, and disrupting the mini-waterfalls created by the rocks in the ditch. By the time I was done, I was always covered in grass clippings and pine needles.

Member Post

 

It was like being on a cloud. I was floating on the cool, green ocean along Carpinteria State Beach. It’s one of my favorite places in the world. The oak covered mountains loomed into the sky on the east. The dim outline of Santa Cruz Island was visible through the misty haze hovering off shore […]

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Note: All translation from ‘Anglo-Saxon is the author’s. English had not long been a written language before it began producing masterworks of poetry. One of the earliest and to my mind most beautiful is the elegy we call “The Seafarer” in modern scholarship. It begins like this: Preview Open

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Balanit: My Life as a “Mikveh Lady”

 

Sometime in the spring of 1976, the rabbi found out that Mindy’s husband was smoking with his Sunday School students. They were the usual rum lot of high school age boys whose interest in religion had ceased with the cashing of their Bar Mitzvah checks; they put up with Eliyahu’s class for the sake of a reliable source of weed. A very unpleasant conference with the rabbi and the synagogue board was followed by a heated exchange with several outraged parents. Mindy and Eliyahu decided it was time to fulfill their dream of “making aliyah” — moving permanently to Israel. As their departure date neared, Mindy asked if I wanted to take over her job as balanit or attendant, at the mikveh.

The San Francisco mikveh (“ritual bath”) was in the Bnai David synagogue in the Mission District. Built in 1908 after the Earthquake, most of the congregation by then had long since departed, but the mikveh remained in use. Orthodox synagogues do not necessarily include a mikveh in their building plans, but this congregation, established in the 1880s by Eastern European Jews, was the first strictly Orthodox community in San Francisco. It is said that people came from as far away as Nevada to use the mikveh. The pool was unusually large — a dozen people could immerse at one time.

Seth and the Waterbed

 

Water is heavy. This was a lesson I learned in my freshman year in college, back more years than I care to remember. It was something I learned in class, but the lesson was underscored by my first-ever roommate, Seth. It is not his real name – for reasons obvious as this story progresses.

I was accepted to the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering. How far back? Back a few years after the Great Aerospace Bust left engineering graduates unable to find a job more challenging than pumping gasoline upon graduation. Not just baccalaureate degree holders, but rather those with masters and doctorates. In some ways folks looked on engineering grads the same way we view those with worthless studies degrees today.

Member Post

 

Filling glass of water from stainless steel kitchen faucet   A week or so ago @susanquinn wrote an excellent post regarding the purifying power of water. And it’s true that water does have the ability to cleanse, heal and sustain life. Indeed, it is essential to life. Such powers have been much discussed by both […]

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Think about the ancient Planet Earth.  Billions of years ago, shortly after the new planet had cooled down enough, and had developed an atmosphere, and liquid water.  Before there was any life on Earth, there was water.  In fact, it is postulated that the first life on Earth developed in the water.  Before cells, before […]

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Group Writing: Angkor

 

Thveu sre ning tuk, thveu suk ning bai” is an old Khmer adage, which roughly translates to “grow rice with water; wage war with rice.” And the Khmer Empire certainly needed a lot of rice to feed its growing armies to continue its prior polities’ campaigns of expansion.

Between the 9th and 15th century, Angkor served as the seat of the Khmer Empire. The word Angkor itself means capital city, derived from the Sanskrit word nagara, meaning city. Scholars and researchers refer to Angkor as a hydraulic city.

The Crik

 

They would never allow it today.  Any parent who tried would lose their kids, and possibly end up in prison.  Unsupervised kids running wild in the wilderness, a place where the laws of kid-dom prevailed, untrammeled by the feet of parents?  But it was a simpler, more innocent time, so it was the most natural thing in the world that we would spend half our lives at the Crik.

We all called it that, regardless of how we would pronounce the word.  The settlement patterns in Ohio had created a mini Mason-Dixon line, that ran right through my home town.  The third of the kids who spoke with a southern accent, with a sound like Kentucky-lite, called it the Crik, because that’s how they pronounced creek.  And for the rest of us, the sort of kid-osmosis that guarantees that each succeeding generation of kids know the words to “Great Big Gobs of Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts” similarly guaranteed that every one of us knew that the proper pronunciation in this case was Crik, even though in every other case it was creek.