attend the Full Moon Picnic - Fri 3 Aug from 9-11 PM, Pont des Arts

Ahoy there,
Scroll to the end for important announcements.
The next full moon picnic will be Fri, August 3 from 9 PM to 11 PM. Moonrise will be about 10 PM.
This full moon was known to American Indians as the Full Sturgeon Moon (big fish in the Great Lakes) or Full Red Moon or the Green Corn Moon.

WHAT: Everyone brings food and drinks to share. Beware, the police have begun enforcing the ban on alcoholic beverages again. So disguise your wine in grape juice cartons or similarly clever containers. I'll provide white cups.

WHERE: Pont des Arts. We'll gather around a bench near the middle of the bridge. Nearest metros: Pont Neuf and Louvre-Rivoli.

WHEN: Fri Aug 3 from 9 PM - 11 PM

WHY: Share one of the most memorable sights in Paris with some of the nicest people around.

WHO: You and your friends.

HOW to find us: Keep your ears open for "lunatics" chatting in English and French between laughing, munching and drinking (wine surreptitiously served from grape juice containers); keep your eyes out for a small white telescope on tripod if the sky is clear. Check in by cell phone if you can't find us:[masked]

THEME: Warmups for Olympic diving competition from Pont des Arts. (If you build it, they will come?)

PUZZLER: What is the difference between "global warming" and "climate change" and why is anecdotal evidence so misinterpreted?

PUZZLER ANSWER: You can research (ie. Google) these topics yourself. I don't have time right now, so I'll just give you my semi-educated point of view. "Global warming" refers to the increase in average temperature across our planet that has been going on for hundreds, even thousands of years. The rate has accelerated in the last couple hundred years due to green house gases, with much of the increase likely caused by human activities. "Climate change" refers to changes in weather patterns that can occur rapidly (over a few years) but remain long-lasting once a "tipping point" is reached. Certain reoccurring patterns (like El Nino, ocean currents and the polar ice caps) keep our climate stable. But when a "tipping point" is reached old patterns are replaced by new ones and there's no going back - like trying to squeeze toothpaste back into the tube. A "tipping point" can result in new stable patterns or can a positive feedback loop like a runaway train picking up speed. For example, the white polar regions reflect a significant amount of sunlight back into space, but as the surface area of ice decreases, more heat is absorbed, resulting in less and less cooling ice, which results in more heat absorbed, and so on and on.

So why are so many people convinced about global warming? And some people adamant naysayers? I think it's largely because they rely too much on personal anecdotal evidence rather than scientific research. Every time there's extreme temperature - whether hot or cold - many people take this as evidence to support their positions. But they forget that the variation in temperature from day to night, or season to season or even one year to the next is much much larger than the overall trend of global warming which is less than a couple degrees per century. Think of watching a few waves crashing on the beach to determine whether the tide is going up or down. You can't, because the variation between waves (fast cycle) is much greater than the variation between tides (slow cycle).

The problem is that changing the average temperature by even a few of degrees can lead to extreme changes in climate. The extreme weather we've been seeing lately from record breaking heat waves, droughts and forest fires in the US and the cold "summer" in France (the fantastic weather now may have wiped out your memory beyond two weeks) may reflect some developments in climate change - but only time can tell with certainty.

So the best plan is to get out and enjoy the Full Moon Picnic (and meteor showers - see below) , before the next round of extreme weather hits! ;-)

The Delta Aquarids meteor showers in late July and early August could be great if you watch between midnight and dawn.

The Perseids meteor showers will peak on the mornings – not the evenings – of August 12 and 13 in 2012. Should be much more visible against a darker sky than last year because we'll have a waning crescent moon instead of a full moon.

Also the moon will be sweeping past the sky’s brightest planets – Venus and Jupiter – in the eastern predawn sky. It doesn’t get any better than meteors plus moon and planets. And especially these two planets, which are super bright and wonderful in the morning sky now. So mark your calendars!

For more info click or paste:

I'm looking to rent a "cave" or "parking box." Please contact me if you know of any. [masked]

Ciao for niao,
Captain Bob

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  • Ted W.

    A very congenial evening

    August 4, 2012

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We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

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