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Comments by jeffchemnick

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Posted on February 26 at 3:44 p.m.

Precisely the res of the matter, Coyote Countess. If I understand the chain of events correctly, Someone actually witnessed the very birth of fire, tried to put it out, gave up and called the authorities and told them it that it was started by a meteor...a streaking meteor that they witnessed crashing and burning right there on Gibraltar Road a little after 11 PM on a Saturday night. True, the "official" report on this fire has yet to be made public but in the meantime, go ahead and see if you can find a single verifiable meteror starts fire event. And make sure your evacuation plans are in place and up to date.
Remember back in the 1960's when UFO sightings were regularly reported occurrrences? Invariably it was someone returning from a party at 2 AM and witnessing "something" in a dark cornfield somewhere in southern Alabama. Maybe even a very blurry picture would accompany the story but such events never seemed to happen in broad daylight in the middle of Stanford University, observed by a team of physicists and recorded fin high resolution photographs.

On Small Fire on Gibraltar Road

Posted on February 26 at 1:03 p.m.

And what is implicit in rejection of the "meteor starts fire" explanation is that the question remains...if not that, then what? What starts a several acre fire on the front range along Gibraltar Road on a windy, nippy, dry February night? If it can't be explained as the action of Leprechauns, then who gets the blame? That's why folks around here are nervous!

On Small Fire on Gibraltar Road

Posted on February 26 at 11:11 a.m.

Thansk, Wolf, for the endorsment. As a Tea Fire survivor, and still living on Conejo Rd, I heard from a couple of neighbors as a result of this fire and they were plenty nervous...and this was nothing really serious, just a little heartburn perhaps. But we were all struck by the "meteor starts the fire" claim. If that is a regularly happening event, how come we don't hear about it...ever? And if it's a rare event, then it's the really big story here, not the fire. Anyway, that is why I began to examine the claim and found the answers I did. But don't shoot me, Itsacrockof, I'm just the messenger here. Would love to see a single verified report, anywhere in the world within the last 50 years of a meteor starting a fire.

On Small Fire on Gibraltar Road

Posted on February 26 at 7:10 a.m.

And nix to the radiation concerns as well..."You're not going to see any signs of radiation with a meteorite," said meteorite expert Ron Baalke. "People think they are radioactive and they are not."

On Small Fire on Gibraltar Road

Posted on February 26 at 7:05 a.m.

Curious minds need to know...so I did a bit of web searching about meteors starting fires and found that most such claims are debunked. Says Phil Plait in "Bad Astronomy" in response to claims that a warehouse fire in Auckland was caused by a meteor, "Meteors are chunks of rock or debris that enter the Earth’s atmosphere. They violently compress the air, heating it up — it’s not friction that does the heating, contrary to common belief. But common wisdom also says that meteorites would hit the ground still burning hot, and cause fires wherever they land. And after all, we’ve seen it in countless movies!

However, there’s a piece of info you should remember here: that’s in the movies. In real life, meteorites don’t work that way. A small meteoroid (the solid part of the glowing meteor) will burn up rapidly, leaving nothing to hit the ground. If it’s somewhat bigger, like the size of a car, it’ll explode high in the atmosphere, and then pieces of it will rain down. However, those smaller pieces fall relatively slowly, and have plenty of time to cool down before they hit. The recent fireball over Canada shows that, as did a rain of meteorites that hit Chicago a few years ago did too. No fires were caused by those rains of rocks from space, because they were cold when they hit.

A piece of rock or metal large enough to retain its heat when it impacts the ground would be pretty big, like over 100 meters across. Those tend to be a bit more obvious when they impact, since they explode with a yield equal to that of a 15 megaton blast.

That might do a bit more damage than start a warehouse fire. Had something like that been the cause of the Auckland warehouse fire, there wouldn’t be anyone left in the city to report it. There would be a smoking hole a mile across.

I’ve heard reports like this one many times. They always — always — turn out to be non-extraterrestrial in origin. Just because a bright meteor was seen does not mean it caused the fire! That’s a logical fallacy: post hoc ergo propter hoc, "after this therefore because of this." There’s a reason that’s called a fallacy.

So that’s why I think a meteorite didn’t cause this fire, and I’m pretty sure there’s a more down-to-Earth explanation here… at least one that started off down-to-Earth and didn’t just end up that way."

On Small Fire on Gibraltar Road

Posted on June 14 at 1:29 p.m.

Let's see...Buffalo Springfield shakes off 43 years of cobwebs to reincarnate themselves and play precious few gigs in 2011 of which we in Santa Barbara were lucky enough to draw back to back evening performances along with Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. Of course such a noteworthy event would be reported on and reviewed in great detail by the Independent...wouldn't it? I mean even Peter Gabriel was deemed worthy of review following his concert. So, where are the reviews? Didn't the concert take place? I know it did 'cause I was there along with a full house on the second night. I have reason to believe the first night was a sellout as well. Don't two sellout shows of arguably the last worthwhile sixties band to reband for a 21st century concert merit at least a paragraph of commentary? Here goes my take: Don't go to reunion concerts if what you're looking for is dejavu all over again. I last saw the BS in San Diego in 1968. That was many years and many concerts ago. Here in SB, BS (palindrome intentional) put on the show you would have expected but was mostly running on two of its three cylinders. Neil Young was great, Richie Furay was pretty good and Steven Stills was none of the above. Gillian Welch and David Rawlings would do better to play as headliners at more intimate venues where people who really care about music and don't talk during performances can actually hear and appreciate what's happening on stage. Playing second fiddle to sixties backwash reunion concert tours and indifferent audiences who appear to think it's "hip" not to be in their seats respectfully listening to the opening act does nothing to enhance the experience for anyone, including the musicians who clearly expressed their frustration at the rude SB crowd they tried valiantly to please. That was sad...as was S. Still's almost unrecognizable and forgettable renditions of "Bluebird" and "For What it's Worth"...which wasn't much. For me the highlights were Neil Young's between song commentaries and nearly everything that Young and Furay sang. Best in show for me were "Broken Arrow" and "Sad Memory". Your thoughts?

On Buffalo Springfield at the Santa Barbara Bowl

Posted on June 13 at 10:54 a.m.

How funny...mere moments after I posted my lament that the Independent didn't even bother to review the BS at SB, here comes Palladino's Review. Somebody might tell him that Tuesday was actually June 7, not 6 but that doesn't really matter much. His "review" was even less satisfying than the harmonies on "Rock and Roll Woman". Surely the concert deserved more than the several sentences of commentary. Brevity might be the key to cogency but reviews are the notable exception. Not a word about Gillian Welch? That's it for all those years and all that influence and historical importance? I guess we boomers didn't matter as much as we thought. Nothing left to do but consign myself to the trash heap of vinyl-loving, dope-smoking, long hair hippie no good memory lane laden idealogues that I once was back in 1968 when the BS played San Diego State and were actually relevant. I guess the sixties can now take its rightful place along with flappers, big bands, and disco balls.

On Buffalo Springfield at the Santa Barbara Bowl

Posted on June 13 at 10:01 a.m.

Let's see...Buffalo Springfield shakes of 43 years of cobwebs to reincarnate themselves and play precious few gigs in 2011 of which we in Santa Barbara were lucky enough to draw back to back evening performances along with Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. Of course such a noteworthy event would be reported on and reviewed in great detail by the Independent...wouldn't it? I mean even Peter Gabriel was deemed worthy of review following his concert. So, where are the reviews? Didn't the concert take place? I know it did 'cause I was there along with a full house on the second night. I have reason to believe the first night as sellout as well. Don't two sellout shows of arguably the last worthwhile sixties band to reband for a 21st century concert merit at least a paragraph of commentary? Here goes my take: Don't go to reunion concerts if what you're looking for is dejavu all over again. I last saw the BS in San Diego in 1968. That was many years and many concerts ago. Here in SB, BS (palindrome intentional) put on the show you would have expected but was mostly running on two of its three cylinders. Neil Young was great, Richie Furay was pretty good and Steven Stills was none of the above. Gillian Welch and David Rawlings would do better to play as headliners at more intimate venues where people who really care about music and don't talk during performances can actually hear and appreciate what' happening on stage. Playing second fiddle to sixties backwash reunion concert tours and indifferent audiences who appear to think it's "hip" not to be in their seats respectfully listening to the opening act does nothing to enhance the experience for anyone, including the musicians who clearly expressed their frustration at the rude SB crowd they tried valiantly to please. That was sad...as was S. Still's almost unrecognizable and forgettable renditions of "Bluebird" and "For What it's Worth"...which wasn't much. For me the highlights were Neil Young's between song commentaries and nearly everything that Young and Furay sang. Best in show for me were "Broken Arrow" and "Sad Memory". Your thoughts?

On Buffalo Springfield at the Santa Barbara Bowl

Posted on February 27 at 7:56 a.m.

Doc, it hurts when I go like "this". Well, then stop going like "this". To the central point of contention as I see it...Fox advocates cutting the cartels' lifeline (legalizing drugs). I have wondered about this for years. Seems to make sense. And the pros and cons? Pros first:
puts cartels out of the drug business, lessens drug related crimes, lowers the prison population. Cons: purported increased toll on society due to easier access to drugs. What I wonder is how it all shakes out after several years of legal dope. Is the toll on society really increased or lessened? Given the failure of the war on drugs worldwide and its wake of death and destruction, I'd like to see what happens with the alternative.

On Vicente Fox Speaks to Santa Barbara

Posted on February 27 at 7:24 a.m.

Agree completely. Penning large marine mammals for entertainment is not okay. It's certainly not any more for educational purposes than Japanese whaling "studies". I only wonder what would happen if all the killer whales held prisoner were simply released without the long and expensive rehabilitation process that J-M C details...No matter what, I hope that the SeaWorlds of the world phase out their marine mammal acquistion policies and stick to fish.

On Cousteau on SeaWorld Tragedy

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