Buteo jamaicensis

Red-tailed hawk
Buteo jamaicensis – red-tailed hawk. These two emerged from the nest and spread their wings for a few days, but they did not fly while I was watching. After a few more days they disappeared. I assumed they were juveniles getting ready to fledge. I further assume that someone will correct me if that is not so.

Photography Contest IX in 2 weeks ...


… July 5-19. That is, we will accept entries from noon, July 5, to noon, July 19, where noon is defined by the Panda’s Thumb server, which thinks it is in Mountain Standard Time, or UTC(GMT) - 7 h. The rules will be essentially the same as previous years’. We have not chosen categories yet, but please be assured that they (or it) will be all-inclusive.

The number of entries has gone down monotonically or almost so since the first contest in 2009. Thus, we want to dispel the rumor that each person gets only 3 decent pictures per lifetime and encourage our readers to submit up to 3 photographs per person, even if you have already submitted several in past contests and think that you have used up your allocation: There is no Law of Conservation of Complex Specified Photographic Quality!

So dust your lenses with a fine camel’s hair brush, check your archives, and be ready!

Cannabis indica


Photograph by Manning Turner.

Cannabis plant
Cannabis indica – marijuana. Mr. Turner creates fine art using focus stacking. This image, entitled "Arcadia 7," is made from 14 individual photographs at different depths. The photographs were exposed on the 49th day after flowering. Mr. Turner's work is exhibited by the Denver Art Society Cooperative in Denver and is also available on line here. Photograph copyright © 2017 by Manning Turner. All rights reserved.

Trump's 2018 science budget


You can read about it in the Washington Post or Science, but FYI, by the American Institute of Physics, possibly sums it up the best:

  • The Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy* – down 109 %
  • DOE's Renewable Energy – down 70 %
  • DOE's Fossil Energy – down 58 %
  • NOAA Research – down 32 %
  • DOE's Nuclear Energy – down 31 %
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology – down 23 %
  • National Institutes of Health – down 22 %
  • DOE's Office of Science – down 17 %
  • United States Geological Survey – down 15 %
  • National Science Foundation – down 11 %
  • Department of Defense Science and Technology – 5.8 %
  • NASA Science – down 0.9 %
  • National Nuclear Security Administration – up 7.7 %
  • * The figure 109 % is correct and has something to do with prior year balances.

In dollars, as opposed to percentage, according to FYI, the largest hit is to NIH, which will lose approximately $7.4 billion compared with the FY17 budget. NNSA, by contrast, gains about $1 billion.

According to the Science and the Post articles, reaction from scientists and science organizations has been predictable. Fortunately, the Post reports in a headline, Even some Republicans balk at Trump’s plan for steep budget cuts. We shall see.