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


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


This weekend has just been so relaxing and lovely.

Saw Annie at Winspear Opera House. No food prep. Two sweaty lifting sessions. Reading my favorite book by the lake. News from a friend that makes my heart want to explode. A good date. Seeing friends. Another trip to White Rock to walk and chat with these two lovelies. Watching Steel Magnolias for the first time (Sav, please forgive me) and trying not to cry in front of Angela. Reminiscing over John Hughes movies while watching Ferris Bueller.

Other things to note: Angela is the cutest, Ellen tells the best stories, and I know better and should have worn sunscreen. Oof.

My mini-summer break has started off perfectly.
Wreck of historic steamship that sank in 1862 storm discovered in Lake Ontario
Sonar locates wreck of Bay State, one of earliest steamers to sail the Great Lakes, seven miles off New York coast at Fair Haven

The 137ft-long, two-tiered ship vessel started coming apart, losing sections of its upper decks to the high winds and waves before eventually sinking and leaving a debris field about a quarter-mile long on the lake bottom.

Seven passengers and between nine and 11 crew members were lost. Kennard said records of the exact number of crew were not kept, but the captain and at least four crewmen were from Oswego.

The Bay State, owned by a Cleveland, Ohio, company, was built in Buffalo in 1852, a decade after the first propeller-driven steamers joined paddle-wheelers on the Great Lakes, the explorers said.

traumaticteacups  asked:

What about 34?

Pretty sure this is supposed to be an angsty one but I’m feeling fluff right now. ALSO THIS IS SO LONG OMG HOW DID THAT HAPPEN.

(the tunnel of trees is definitely based off of a road in Michigan, btw.)

34. Before we jump

When they first spotted the large body of water on the horizon, even Levi was naive and excited enough to believe that it might just be the ocean. He should have known that after only a month of travel - and slow travel, at that - they wouldn’t reach the ocean (if it even existed) that quickly. 

After setting up camp, Armin gathers a squad and sets out to explore the coastline, returning a few hours later with the news that it isn’t the ocean that they’ve discovered, but a very, very large lake. 

Still, it’s exciting news, and it’s something different after a month of exploration outside of the walls. And when Armin tells them that there’s something they should see on the other side of the body of water, Levi can’t help but feel a little excited to discover something new for once. Erwin is excited too, he can tell. 

The next morning, they embark on an expedition around the lake - something so small and trivial compared to previous expeditions before the walls fell - and about half an hour into the ride, Levi quickly understands why Armin insisted they see this. Before long, they start an ascent along the coast, the shore becoming smaller and smaller to their right as they begin to ride along cliff faces, the crash of waves and calls of gulls distant, but still very much there. And as they ride, the scenery just gets more and more beautiful. After another fifteen minutes, tall trees with golden leaves begin dotting the landscape ahead of them, and before long, they’re in the middle of a thick forest, a canopy of red and gold and yellow overhead, trees on either side while they follow what looks like a small trail along the cliff side. 

It’s quite possibly the most beautiful sight Levi has ever laid eyes on, and he can’t help the way his jaw drops slightly as they ride along. Thankfully, when he glances Erwin’s way, he has a very similar look on his face. Not even the Commander of the Survey Corps can deny the beauty of this ride.

But even more remarkable is what they come across about twenty minutes later, when Armin steers them off the path and out of the trees, to a clearing. It seems that over the course of their ride, the cliffs have gotten a little less steep. While still a few meters up, they’re definitely smaller, and this area looks different from the rest of their ride as well. Rather than opening up to rest of the large body of water before them, it seems that they’ve ridden up to a small cove, a hidden gem along the coast. Further up, there seems to be a small path that leads down to the shore and the water, but from where they stand now, it’s a straight drop down.

The decision to call it a day and spend the night in the beautiful clearing is unanimous, but what isn’t is some soldiers’ idea to leap off of the cliff face and into the water below. Unsurprisingly, Hange is the first to do so, screaming at the top of her lungs as she dives into the water, and when she emerges unscathed, many others follow her. And to be honest, Levi can’t help but want to join her. 

“Let’s do it,” he murmurs to Erwin, watching as Eren comes back up for another round, soaking wet with wide smile spread across his face. As if he could hear Levi, he calls out to him. 

“Come on Captain!” he says excitedly, “It’s fun!”

“You go on without me,” Erwin says with a shrug, “I’ll help the others set up camp.”

“It’s not even noon,” Levi argues, “Come on, we have time.” He feels like a teenager all of the sudden, itching to leap off of the cliff, but he wants to do so with Erwin. He wants to share this moment with him. They’ve never had the chance to let loose like this, at least not in a long time. 

Erwin sighs, and after a moment, reveals the true reason behind his hesitance. “I don’t even know if I can still swim with one arm,” he confides in Levi, “I’d rather stay up here.”

But Levi isn’t backing down. “I’ll jump with you,” he insists, then, “I’ll hold your hand. Come on.”

And maybe it’s the hand holding comment, maybe it’s because Erwin sees the excitement written all over Levi’s face. Whatever it is, he finally agrees. Before long, Levi is pulling of his boots, his jacket, and even his shirt. They stopped using their maneuver gear shortly after leaving the walls, storing it away for special occasions, and it takes no time at all before Levi is stripped down and helping Erwin out of his clothes. 

He steps forward, batting Erwin’s hand away and finishes unbuttoning his shirt, sliding it slowly off of his shoulders, all while admiring the strength of his upper body. Uncaring if anyone sees him now - because it doesn’t matter anymore - Levi reaches out, running a hand across Erwin’s chest before catching his bolo tie and pulling him down for a kiss. And thankfully, it seems to relax Erwin a little as he dips down to meet the kiss, hand coming to rest at Levi’s hip.

When Levi pulls away, it’s with a small smile, and then he’s tugging Erwin to the edge. 

The drop is big and the cliff is high, but nowhere near as tall as the walls or the trees the they’d frequently find themselves perched in while out on expeditions. It’s nothing to be afraid of, but Levi understands Erwin’s nerves, so he reaches out and takes his hand, shooting him a reassuring smile. 

“I love you,” he says quietly, just loud enough for Erwin to hear, and Erwin squeezes Levi’s hand in return.

“I love you too,” he murmurs.

And then they’re jumping.

The cold water comes as a shock, but it’s refreshing. The second they hit the water, hands firmly clasped like a couple of teenagers, it feels like their first taste of freedom all over again. 

Erwin sputters a little when they reach the surface, but thankfully, he seems to have no problems treading water at Levi’s side, and when they finally lock eyes after emerging from the water, Erwin lets out a loud, carefree laugh. It’s the first time in a long time - and the first time outside of the walls - that Levi has heard Erwin laugh like that, and he can’t help but swim closer, reaching out to brush his wet hair out of his face. 

And then they’re kissing again, in front of their entire squad and remaining members of the Survey Corps. When a few soldiers - mainly Hange, though she’s joined by Jean and Eren - begin cheering and whooping at the sight, Levi simply smiles against Erwin’s lips. 

Send me a number from this list so I can write about old men and cry.


Hey y’all! It’s about time I do an update post, particularly as I figure my biz out. 

So first off: I am no longer funemployed, I am partially employed! I have a great part-time gig within biking distance of my home, which pays enough to cover rent and … not much else, like food and utilities. 

But that’s okay, because working part time opens up the door for Phase 1 of Operation Never Work In An Office Again: ~* A Patreon *~ I’ve been brainstorming some fun reward tiers and my goal is to set it up sometime tomorrow or Monday. (Including one tier I think is pretty cool for folks who’ve been eyeballing commissions.)

As I get my new routine squared away I’ll be setting up an online store for more handmade stuff (like original art, custom shrinkydink charms, etc.) and convention leftovers. In the meantime, everything I’ve got for sale is over on Redbubble if there’s any swag you’d like. Exciting times! 


You guys. We did it. We broke the big one. Give yerselves a round of applause for your terrible taste in artists. (Haha, get it, terrible, okay I’ll just go) I’ll figure out some kinda celebration for this once, uh, I get the last giveaway biz shipped to the wonderful and patient winners, haha.

But also, holy shit you guys, that’s awesome and terrifying. You are all lovely people and I want to bake us all a cake out of rainbows and sparkles. (And special shout out to all the folks who’ve been super supportive after my last post - not the ginger one, that one - because it means a lot. HEARTS. SO MANY.) 

And that’s the news from Lake Woebegone! Oh… and I’m working on the next Relive The Magic tomorrow too. ;)


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