Thursday, August 28, 2014

Travel is Expensive in Idaho

By Sophia Miraglio  Aug 27, 2014

 High Gas Prices

LEWISTON, ID - If you’re planning on hitting the road for Labor Day weekend, you're certainly not alone.

According to AAA, nearly 35-million people are expected to hit both the road and airways for the extended weekend, which would be the highest number since the recession-driven decline. Despite above average gasoline prices in the Gem State, 147,000 Idahoans or 11% will be travelling on the extended weekend as well.

"IDAHO HAS THE 6th HIGHEST PRICES IN THE COUNTRY, but despite that and despite our gasoline prices being 34-cents above the national average, we don't think that will have any sizeable impact on the number of people expected to travel," said AAA Spokesman Dave Carlson.

The current national average price for a gallon of regular gas is $3.44. The busiest two days of travel are Friday and Monday.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Picking a Landing Site ON A COMET!

COMET LANDING SITE SELECTION: Europe's Rosetta probe has been at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko for two weeks, taking close-up pictures and making measurements of the comet's strange landscape. According to ESA, researchers now have the data they need to start picking a landing site. This weekend, mission planners will meet to consider 10 candidate locations, with the goal of narrowing the list to 5 by Monday. Stay tuned for results!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Artist impression of Philae on the surface of 67P/C-G.                                                                                                                                    Credit: ESA/ATG medialab          

  • on the comet landscape - animated view of candidate sites


  • actual pictures of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko taken by Rosetta's navigation camera (NAVCAM).  August 21st photo:

  • More images of Rosetta's comet can be found in the '67P - by Rosetta' collection.  Watch the comet getting closer...

Donate Blood or Plasma - Get Paid for Plasma
Anyone who would like to do something to help us and can't donate to the fundraiser, please donate blood or plasma. They'll pay you to donate plasma. Shortages at blood banks will eventually affect us.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge spreading like wildfire through the L-C Valley

Published: Aug 20, 2014 

Faculty and staff from Walla Walla Community College challenged three local businesses to help out a great cause.

LEWISTON, ID - People around the world are spreading awareness about ALS by taking part in a popular Ice Bucket Challenge.

The viral campaign has already led to record donations for the ALS Association.
The ALS Association is the only national non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig's Disease 
across the globe. So far this year, they've raised more than $31-million in donations, compared to the almost $2-million raised during this time last year. Leaders from the association said the Ice Bucket Challenge has a lot to do with that. There are more than $600,000 new donors making a difference.

"Obviously we said yes, because this is right up our ally, between supporting community events and doing things that help a good cause," said Inland Cellular spokesperson, Chip Damato. "We enjoy doing them."

"Now that we've been challenged we're also challenging three other businesses," said Damato. "We're challenging KLEW, the Lewiston Tribune and City of Lewiston administration and staff."

Damato said Inland Cellular is making a big donation to ALS. So is the Lewis Clark Valley Chamber of Commerce and King Services in Lewiston.

"I think the main thing is bringing the awareness to ALS, generating a little more hype regarding the disease," said King Services Owner, Paul Markwalter. "Donate what you can and continue to promote the awareness."

All donations go toward helping people with ALS and their families, and research programs focused on the discovery of treatments and a cure for the disease.

"We challenge Cannon's Building Supply, Home Depot and Floor Coverings International...don't forget to donate!" said Markwalter.

You don't need to be challenged to make an impact. You can donate to the ALS Association anytime online.

Monday, August 18, 2014


Today I am especially thankful for my hardworking husband who has spent his past 3 weekends painting the interior of the house and cleaning all the carpets. Lucky me!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Could Ebola Antibodies Treat other Ailments?

Fi's mommy's blog August 11, 2014


Lots of people are concerned about the outbreak of Ebola reaching our country. I read an article last week that mentioned that the Americans who returned with Ebola were given an experimental treatment involving antibodies from mice exposed to parts of the Ebola virus. The reason this makes sense as a treatment is that once antibodies are exposed to a virus, they remember how to fight the virus. This is called adaptive immunity. Adaptive immunity is the reason that vaccines work. Fiona's body doesn't produce enough antibodies to fight infections. It makes me wonder if they took the igg from a patient who recovered from Ebola if it would be a better treatment?


Toddler Transplant Fund:

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Perseids - Peaks Tonight! Having trouble looking up? Watch Here

One of the year's most dazzling meteor showers peaks overnight tonight, and you can watch the shooting star display online if clouds or bright city lights ruin your view of the sky. 

BEST VIEWING: You'll see shooting stars from anywhere in the sky springing from the NE - best viewing time anywhere in the world will be from 3am to 4am local time.

you can watch webcasts live on, courtesy of  Slooh and NASA.

Why are Hurricanes Rare in Hawaii? Will the NW ever be hit?

by Cliff Mass Friday, Aug 8, 2014

Friday, tropical storm Iselle hit the big island of Hawaii and the much stronger Hurricane Julio was right behind (see infrared satellite image on right). 

 Julio, the more eastern storm, has a far more defined structure, and possesses a nice eye and substantial spiral rainbands.Tropical storms are relatively rare in Hawaii, although direct hits have occurred, such as the devastating landfall of Hurricane Iniki on Kauai in 1992.  FAR more hurricanes occur at similar latitudes in the Caribbean.

A plot of historical hurricanes tracks shows the story clearly (see image).  Hurricanes move way north in the Caribbean and eastern Atlantic.  The same for the western Pacific.  But over the eastern Pacific they die quickly as they approach Hawaii.
What is it about Hawaii that works against their getting strong tropical storms and hurricanes?

The main reasons:  the  water temperatures are generally too cool and there is often too much vertical wind shear, the change in horizontal winds with height.

Cool sea surface temperatures
Anyone who has taken a vacation in Hawaii knows the story.  The waters of the Pacific are relatively cool and you know it when you snorkel or swim.   70s are typical, ten degrees or more cooler than the Caribbean for example. Why do hurricanes care about the temperature of the ocean surface?  Because the heat and moisture (evaporation) from the ocean surface is the fuel for hurricane development and maintenance.

Vertical Wind Shear
The change in horizontal wind with height is called vertical wind shear.  Such shear is bad for tropical storms, since it tends to distort the vertical structures necessary for the development of these systems.There is often a lot of shear near Hawaii, with easterly trade winds at low levels and westerly  winds aloft.  

Tropical Storm Iselle dumped heavy precipitation on some of the Hawaiian islands, but it now appears that Julio will move north of the island chain, reducing its impacts substantially (see graphics from the National Hurricane Center)
One place that will NEVER get tropical storms is the Pacific NorthwestOur 50F water is a barrier that will never let them approach our coast.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Meteor activity is increasing

PERSEID METEOR SHOWER: Meteor activity is increasing as Earth plunges deeper into the debris stream of Comet Swift-Tuttle, source of the annual Perseid meteor shower. On the nights of Aug 4-5, NASA cameras recorded 26 Perseid fireballs over the USA. Counts are high even though the shower's peak is still more than a week away. To see for yourself, get away from city lights and look up during the dark hours before sunrise. You can also hear the Perseids on Space Weather Radio.


This morning, August 5th, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral carrying the AsiaSat 8 telecommunications satellite. About an hour and a half after the 4 AM launch, electric-blue clouds appeared over Orlando FL:

"These clouds appeared just before sunrise," says photographer Mike Bartils.
These are, essentially, man-made noctilucent clouds (NLCs). Water vapor in the exhaust of the rocket crystallized in the high atmosphere, creating an icy cloud that turned blue when it was hit by the rays of the morning sun. Years ago, space shuttle launches produced similar displays.
Natural NLCs form around Earth's poles when water vapor in the mesospherecrystalizes around meteor smoke. Sometimes they spread as far south as Colorado and Utah, but rarely or never Florida. Electric-blue over the Sunshine State requires a rocket launch, and that's what happened today. Browse the realtime photo gallery for more images of the Falcon 9 launch:

Expect delays over Snoqualmie Pass

Published: Aug 5, 201                                                             Mon.-Thurs. both lanes closed 7:30-8:30p.m.     

SEATTLE, WA -  You may experience road closures if you plan on heading to Seattle during the next few days. 

Starting at 7:30 each night, Monday through Thursday, lanes will be closed in both directions on I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass. Rock blasting crews will be at work.

Washington Department of Transportation leaders said closures should last no longer than one hour,but longer delays are possible. 

For more traffic alerts, visit:

Power Outage

Published: Aug 4, 2014                                                      2,000 Clarkston residents lost power on Sunday.

Lewiston, ID: More than 48,000 people were affected by the outage. That number is now down to about 33,000. Crews from Avista in the Valley are up in Spokane right now helping to restore the power.

Small power outages happen throughout the year, but what should you do to prepare for a long power outage like this one? 

"You want to make sure you're prepared," said Avista Regional Business Manager, Mike Tatko.                                                                              
"That means having water on-hand, nonperishable food items, a manual can opener. Also, you want to make sure your cell phone is charged and you have a battery-powered radio. That way you can check the status of power outages and the weather status."

Tatko predicted 95-percent of power had been restored by 10:00 Monday night. 

There was also an outage in Clarkston on Sunday, but it wasn't caused by the storm. Tatko said a bird got into a substation on Pound Lane, which caused 2,000 people to lose power but everything in Clarkston has been restored.

Friday, August 1, 2014

27 days to Cougar football: What is your guide to tailgating in Pullman?

Food, drinks, and more. What are your do's and don't's for tailgating at a WSU football game?
Washington State won't play its first true home game until Week 3 of the season. That makes the game more than six weeks away, but that doesn't mean people aren't already getting prepared. Tailgating season is right around the corner and depending on how into it you are, the preparations may have already begun.
The first WSU game I ever attended, a fan told me "tailgating isn't an act, it's an art." People take it very seriously. There are tailgating rankings and even websites devoted to tailgating news.
With the way Washington State played football during the last decade, the tailgate was often times the highlight of gameday. I know there are several CougCenter members who are weekly tailgators, so let's use this opportunity to create a master guide of sorts to tailgating in Pullman. Tricks of the trade, must haves, whatever comes to mind. Even beyond the guide, what are some of your staples of a tailgate? Food you always make, drinks you always have, even music you always play.

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