Clear skies seen through wisps of ground fog the main feature this early Monday on California’s north coast as we start a brand-new work week.
And all against our will — the weekend is just way-way-too short. Seemingly, from Friday afternoon to right now occurred with just a snap of the fingers, which should be used only as a last resort.
This weekend, though, might have been way-too long for some parts of the US mid-section. A horrific storm system with tornadoes killed at least 18 people in Arkansas and Oklahoma. Karla Ault, a Vilonia (Ark.) High School volleyball coach, who hid in the school gym: “I’m just kind of numb. It’s just shock that you lost everything. You don’t understand everything you have until you realize that all I’ve got now is just what I have on.”
(Illustration: John Stewart Curry’s ‘Tornado Over Kansas‘ (1929), found here).
The line of weather terror included a shitload of twisters, some half-a-mile wide, ripped across the region — tornado alley didn’t just happen upon such a name. In Baxter Springs, Kansas, a tornado estimated to be ‘three blocks wide’ destroyed 70 homes and at least 20 businesses, and kept on a-churning.
Extreme weather is the future, which is here now. Climate change affects/effects everything, but its MO can be weird, and not subject to complete, and detail analysis.
From Climate Central on Friday and tornadoes:
Just three years ago, the U.S. saw a tornado season so active that one forecaster called it “shockingly extreme.”
The 1,691 tornadoes reported in 2011 were the second most for any season on record, and April of that year saw the highest monthly tornado count, with 758 recorded twisters.
In stark contrast, 2014 is on pace to set record-low numbers.
Only 109 tornadoes have been reported to date, according to preliminary numbers that will likely be reduced.
“It’s looking like the slowest start to tornadoes in any year that we have records for,” said Greg Carbin, a warning coordination meteorologist with the Storm Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Norman, Oklahoma.
“It’s like it’s another planet,” Carbin told Climate Central.
But while they can chart the tornado numbers, Carbin and his colleague Harold Brooks have “no explanation” for what’s behind this wild swing in tornado activity in just a handful of years. That hasn’t stopped them from looking for one, though, including the possibility that climate change is playing an unrecognized role.
“We’ve been scratching our heads for awhile on what is driving this extreme sort of behavior,” Carbin said.
Warm temperatures and crazy humans.
In other shit over the weekend, Syria’s main asshole, Bashar al-Assad, has announced he’s going after a third term in office; the 16-year-old high school kid charged with stabbing to death a girl after she refused his prom date request, was described as a “class clown” with depression: “He was always kind of weird,” Murray added to the Post. “But nothing that made me think he would do this.”
No one knows the shit in a person’s brain.
Also on tap the last couple of days was the nasty, ugly open mouths of ignorant assholes. The first was of that saint of brains, Sarah Palin, who blubbered at the NRA’s big meeting that if she were president, people “would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.”
But the way-asshole funny guy over the weekend was LA Clippers owner, Robert Sterling, who belched out the most gosh-awful hideous racist remarks this side of Cliven Bundy.
US news cycles held onto this forever.
Beyond all the racist shit from that “bitch-ass redneck, white bread, chickenshit motherfucker,” is the horror story of the weekend:
A 32-year-old North Carolina woman died in a car accident Thursday just moments after she used her cell phone to post on Facebook.
Police in High Point, N.C., said Courtney Ann Sanford posted a message on Facebook at 8:33 a.m. and one minute later the car accident was reported. She was driving.
“The happy song makes me HAPPY,” Sanford wrote of the hit song by Pharrell Williams.
“In a matter of seconds, a life was over just so she could notify some friends that she was happy,” said High Point Police Lt. Chris Weisner.
Sanford drove her vehicle across a grass median and hit a truck. The truck driver was uninjured.
“As sad as it is, it is a grim reminder for everyone … you just have to pay attention while you are in the car,” Weisner said.
Driving and technology sometimes don’t mix.
And finally, in a rush — Quick love as formulated from Dr. Harry Fisch’s new book, “The New Naked: The Ultimate Sex Education for Grown-Ups.”
In an excerpt published on Nerve, Fisch notes that his patients are typically fixed on what the normal frequency of sex should be, but that quality — and therefore duration — should be of equal concern.
He trots out statistics from previous sex studies to that end: that the length of the average sex act is 7.3 minutes, but an “astonishing” 43% of such acts are completed within 2 minutes.
So what’s a guy to do, other than get over it?
A Swedish study offers one interesting course of action: Researchers had men who couldn’t make it more than a minute complete 12 weeks of pelvic floor exercises; their average ejaculation time rose nearly five-fold, from 31.7 seconds to 146.2 seconds, reports UPI.
And it being Monday, get over it!
(Illustration out front found here).