Menorah celebration at endMenorah + manger scene together

December arrives early this year.

Melanie Renfrew, Grand Canyon 1-8-15In teaching, there’s an arc of energy and learning, and by the last 3 weeks, students’ brains become overwhelmed, and are desperately trying to catch up, complete all the extra credit possible, and pass with the best grade possible.  In Physical Geography we study the ‘biosphere’ last, plants mainly, although on our outdoor hikes we study all 4 spheres.  I love all of nature, but maybe have a special fondness for plants.  Even our dry, scraggly brown & gray hillsides become wonderfully green in the rain.

chaparralWe’re on the home stretch of the semester; so if you’re a student, catch your breath and keep running.

3-2-14 plants in rain 2, MP Renfrew

chicken saleO sale

If you haven’t seen it on the big screen, go: it’s the closest to really going to space or Jordan that most of us will ever get. Unless you really like 3-D, I recommend the standard showings, as it’s a little long.
Swing by Target first as their popcorn is better.
Real Mars dendritic patterns (my favorite, so symbolic!):
Martian dendritic patterns, NASA

It’s easy to over-generalize if the meteorologists are just looking at this regional map,,34.78,2453

If you look at where the people live, however, winds reverse mid-day during High pressure because hot land surfaces both in the city and desert East of us make air rise, creating Lower air pressure (less density of air molecules), so winds blow in from the ocean rather than ‘to it’ (‘sea breeze’/’onshore’ rather than out-to-sea ‘land breeze’/off-from-the-shore-as-if-you’re-in-a-boat).  ‘Onshore’ and ‘offshore’ are marine terms as if you’re on a ship.  Around the world, winds are named from their source, not nighttime direction-of-flow.

Check this one this afternoon (center it on L.A. Basin), 

Population Density in Southern California

Population Density in Southern California

L.A.'s High pressure winds are onshore at the shore, not "offshore"
SeaBreeze the Rerun
Coastal sea breezesea-land-breeze
Sea breeze afternoons

I’ve thought about this my whole adult life.  I have a lot of friends in medicine, and my son’s fiancée’s family is.  I’ve been struggling with lower back/tailbone bruise-pain for a couple of weeks, and it gets old.  They say it can take weeks to heal, and I’m sort of mad because I’m used to being so active.  At least I led our 7 field trips, 3 nature walks before.

The Yiddish term for a jester is batkhn, and Hebrew Proverb 17:22 says “a merry heart is good like a medicine.”  The New Testament sort-of version is a ‘Barnabas,’ one who comes alongside to encourage people.

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