Extensive rains in California have brought an unusual sight to Lake Berryessa - an overflowing spillway. The upper photo, taken in 2010, shows the concrete structure of the spillway’s entrance, known as a bellmouth – or, in the words of locals, a glory hole. When the water level rises above the concrete, water begins to cascade down the spillway to relieve flooding. 

The flow is rather mesmerizing and beautifully laminar until it’s fallen many feet down the hole. This is intentional on the part of the designers – at least the laminar part. It means that the flow velocity at the entrance is slow, so that animals (or trespassing people) nearby are not going to get sucked down the spillway a la Charybdis. Nevertheless, the spillway does make quick work of excess water. The New York Times reported that on February 21st about two million gallons (7.5 million liters) of water a minute flowed down the spillway. (Image credits: J. Brooks; T. Van Hoosear; video credit: Lake Berryessa News; submitted by Zach B.)

so I’ve been hanging out all month here at Grandma Beach, Beach Where Grandmas Call My Mom “Little Susie,” and in April when it’s still freezing at night there are not a lot of grandmas on the beach yet, so I look out the window all day and I see:

  • waves
  • sand
  • a tree
  • that one rock that’s always a little further to the left than I think it is
  • clouds
  • birds
  • a squirrel sometimes

in the past three weeks, I have seen one (1) energetic grandma on a bicycle who went past my house to the right, and then half an hour past my house again going left, and, on Easter weekend, two (2) groups of bundled-up grandmas out for a walk during one of the most gorgeous sunsets of the month.

so there I was, taking some cookies out of the oven and thinking about doing a crossword puzzle (When On Grandma Beach, Do As Grandmas Do) when I caught a glimpse of motion out of the corner of my eye and looked out the window to watch the squirrel, and I was TOTALLY UNPREPARED

for the BARBERSHOP QUARTET of young men in identical dapper outfits to come walking four abreast down the beach! All in the same nice blue button-down, with nice black slacks, black vest, and straw hat with a black band. On the beach!

and while I was gaping at them just delighting in how unexpected they were, a fifth young man also in a dapper vest and straw hat jogged to catch up with them, clutching his matching straw hat to keep it on his head!!

never has anything so charming been so ineplicable
'Swan Lake' Pitch Starring Felicity Jones Sparks Bidding War (Exclusive)
'Call Me By Your Name' helmer Luca Guadagnino is attached to direct the project by Kristina Lauren Anderson.

Talk about fireworks – a hot pitch starring Rogue One actress Felicity Jones that hit the town just before the Fourth of July holiday has sparked multiple studio offers.
The pitch, from Kristina Lauren Anderson (Catherine the Great), is inspired by the classic ballet story Swan Lake. The project has Jones attached to star and Call Me By Your Name helmer Luca Guadagnino attached to direct.
Sources say several studios – including Universal, Paramount and TriStar – have put in bids along with other production banners. Mandeville Films is producing, and WME is representing the hot film package.

40 - The Red-Stained Water

My eyes were growing heavy as I looked out the car window. It was still dark when we had hit the road early that morning, and since leaving the city limits, there had  been nothing but trees on the roadside. This made for a very long and very boring car ride. I wondered if it wasn’t too late to persuade my parents to turn back. Surely there were more exciting things in the city to study than some dumb lake. I thought of all my friends back home and couldn’t help worrying that I would never see any of them. How could my parents expect me start over again in a new school, in a new town, in a totally new environment? I mean, what if nobody liked me there?

Just as I was about to fall asleep, my Mom turned around in her seat to tell me that, according to the map, we should be coming up to the lake any moment now. Through the trees, I was able to catch a faint glimmer of the sunset on the surface of the lake. The trees began to thin and as the full lake came into view, I felt the wind get knocked out of me. I had never seen anything like it before. Sure I had seen pictures and footage of the lake on the news, but that was nothing compared to seeing it with my own eyes. Instead of the rippling blue colour you would expect, the lake was a perfectly calm sheet of scarlet red.

We pulled into the small lakeside town that I would now be calling home. Maybe it was because it was already pretty late in the evening, but we didn’t see anyone as we drove through the town. There weren’t even any cars on the road. I was able to catch a glimpse of girl around my age in the window of one of the houses that we passed. Our eyes met and she waved at me with a smile. I waved back and wondered if it wouldn’t be so hard to make friends in this weird little town after all.

The next morning, I prepared myself for my first day at my new school. I stepped out of our tiny wooden house and looked out onto the big red lake at our doorstep. It matched nicely with the fall foliage that surrounded it, but it still seemed so unnatural that the sight of it sent a shiver down my spine. A group of students passed in front of the house on their way to school and I hurried to catch up so that I could follow behind them. The town was a complete contrast to how it had looked the previous evening. It was so lively now. It seemed as though everyone in the town was awake and ready to face the day.

I suppose one benefit of this town over the city was the short walk to school. Never again would I have to worry about waiting around for the bus. In fact, every thing in the town was within walking distance. It was a wonder why anyone here had a car at all. As I stepped on the schoolyard, I felt my heart pounding in my chest. There were so many new faces around me. The bell rang and the students began making their way into the building. I held my breath and took my first step into my brand new life.

I stood at the front of the class as the teacher introduced me to my new classmates. I scanned the room and noticed a familiar face looking back at me. It was the girl that I had seen the night before, giving me that same smile. I suddenly felt a lot less tense. It looked as though I had made a friend already. I smiled back at her as I went to take my seat at the back of the class. Things were going to be okay here, I had absolutely nothing to worry about.

When the bell rang for break, she quickly rose from her desk and rushed over to me. She told me her name was Promise and asked to be my friend. I could feel my face light up. Of course, I said yes. We spent the entire break together. She asked me all kinds of questions about myself and the city I came from. She seemed genuinely interested in my life, which was more than I could say about my friends back home sometimes. All the time we were talking, I couldn’t stop myself from smiling. We talked so much, neither of us heard noticed that the bell had rung. The teacher grunted at us and we laughed in a shared embarrassment and agreed to continue our conversation at lunchtime.

Promise and I sat on the field overlooking the red lake as we ate our lunches. I liked the way the sun shined in her dark black hair. It looked just like stars in the night sky. I wanted to tell her that, but was worried that it would be weird, so instead I asked her about the red lake. As far as I knew, nobody could figure out what had turned the lake red. My parents were scientists and even they couldn’t make sense of it. Promise told me that everyone believed that something terribly evil had come to the town and stained the lake with blood of the innocent. She waved her arms around like a ghost and was suddenly speaking in a Transylvanian accent.  She must have sensed my discomfort and laughed.

“Don’t you like scary stories?”

No. Definitely not. I hated anything scary. Even the Count from Sesame Street was too much for me to handle. I tried to laugh it off, but I still had goosebumps from the story. I didn’t want her to think that I was some kind of baby. I held my forced smile, which caused Promise to raise a suspicious brow. She had seen right through me. She laughed and gave me a hard pat on the back. She was stronger than she looked. She then looked at me with her big black eyes and told me that she would never let anything bad happen to me.

The week went by and we spent seemingly every moment of it together. She was now my best friend and it felt as though I had known her my whole life. On the weekend, she invited me over to her house for a sleepover with a few other girls from our class. I could barely contain my excitement. Before I ran out the door, while checking to make sure that I didn’t forget anything, my Mom told me with a frown not to go swimming in the lake. She looked back at my Dad, who shared the same worried look.

I knocked on the door of Promise’s house and was surprised to see that she answered the door herself and not one of her parents. She led me through the house to the living room where she had set a bunch of blankets and I still saw no sign of her parents, and in fact there weren’t even any family photos. I thought that it was so cool of them to give her space while she had friends over. Though, I was looking forward to meeting them. I would have other chances. This wasn’t going to be the last time that I would be over to visit.

I was having a great time. We laid on the living room floor in a pile of cozy blankets and ate junk food while watching movies. The other girls were nice as well and I was surprised at how well I was fitting in with the group. Of course, I had Promise with me, so I felt comfortable no matter. It was shaping up to be the perfect sleepover, minus the obvious pillow fight, but the night was still just getting started. Who knows what else we were going to get up to that night.

It was getting close to midnight when Promise suggested that we go for a midnight swim. The other girls started to protest, they thought that the lake looked too gross to go swimming in. I was glad that none of them wanted to go, because I didn’t want to be the only one. I had told my parents that I wouldn’t, after all. Promise assured the girls that the lake wasn’t going to hurt them and it wasn’t long before they switched sides. I told her that I didn’t bring a bathing suit in the hopes that the excuse would save me, but Promise only offered that I borrow one of hers. Before I knew it, we were all running towards the lake. Promise was skipping and laughing as she pulled me along.

It was a full moon that night, so at least we didn’t have to worry about it being too dark, but I was still so nervous about breaking the rules. The red water felt oddly warm as we ran into the lake. I stood there quietly, refusing to go any deeper that waist height, as the other girls began to splash each other. I made a bowl with my hands and filled it with a water to get a better look at it, but the water was so dark that I could not see my palms through it. Just what was it made of?

I heard one of the girls scream. I looked up just in time to see her head disappear beneath the water. Then, the next girl went down, then the next. The surface of the lake bubbled for a moment before returning to it’s deathly stillness. It didn’t looked like those girls would be coming back up. I screamed and noticed a ripple in the water that moved towards me. I turned and ran for the edge of the lake, but soon felt something grab onto me. It was Promise.

She held me close in a hug and told me not to worry. My heart was pounding in my chest, but hearing her voice caused the rhythm to slow. She reminded me of what she had told me on the day we first became friends, that she would never let anything bad happen to me. I was still so scared, but I couldn’t help believing her. She was my best friend after all. I turned around and hugged her back. She smiled at me, took my hand, and we walked out of the lake together.


It’s finally time to meet Isadora and Duncan Quagmire! Isadora will be played by Avi Lake, and Duncan will be played by Dylan Kingwell. Both actors are 12 years old – the same age as the Quagmires when they first appear in the books! Avi has had roles in Chicago Fire, The One I Wrote For You, and Meeting Evil. Dylan has had roles in Big Eyes and Supernatural, as well as a starring role in A&E’s The Returned. The two confirmed their roles on instagram and twitter on September 23. The photo of the two of them was shared by Avi on instagram, along with a caption confirming that they’ve been filming in Vancouver – a major hint that the Quagmires will make an appearance in season one!

apanwitch  asked:


Here is to hoping that is a positive connotation! (I am assuming it is).

Welcome to Night Vale takes part in the long, rich history of advertising to tourists with stories of the splendor of their wondrous town.

Sir Terry Pratchett (Gnu Terry Pratchett) was a master of this, luring countless star travelers to Discworld. Edgar Lee Masters summoned ghosts from all over the world to Spoon River with his anthology. Garrison Keillor brought the news of Lake Wobegon for over 40 years with his Prairie Home Companion.

When you are Paris, you show pictures of the Eiffel Tower to advertise your corner of the world. When you are a tiny village in a small corner of the Netherworld, such our haunted Peyroux, then you write stories and draw small cartoons.

A floating pop-up library is opening on New York’s Hudson River this fall. The creation of the artist Beatrice Glow, The Floating Library will appear “aboard the historic Lilac Museum Steamship berthed at Pier 25 on the Hudson River in New York City” from Sept. 6 to Oct. 3, according to the library’s website. “The ship’s main deck will be transformed into an outdoor reading lounge to offer library visitors a range of reading materials from underrepresented authors, artist books, poetry, manifestoes, as well as a book collection, that, at the end of the lifecycle of the project, will be donated to local high school students with demonstrated need.” This is not the first floating library — another, the brainchild of the artist Sarah Peters, appeared last year on Minneapolis’ Cedar Lake.

More book news here.

Image via Facebook


The dusty decimation of California’s drought

California’s longstanding drought has escalated in recent months, with 62.7% of the state now in what the Department of Agriculture deems “extreme” conditions.

But in few places is it as easily visualized as in the area surrounding the vanishing Cachuma Lake, which has become one of the most prominent victims of the lack of rain.

In years past, the spot where Bozarth was standing was under 30, 40, even 50 feet of water. It wasn’t all that long ago that Cachuma “spilled” — filled to the brim, to the point where millions of gallons of clean, fresh water was released through the dam’s gates and cast into the sea, a display of surplus that is laughable today.

That was only three years ago. Now, said Tom Fayram, Santa Barbara County’s deputy public works director, “it’s just empty.”

External image

Read reporter Scott Gold’s full story here.

Photos: Brian van der Brug, Lorena Iñiguez Elebee / Los Angeles Times