The Natural Resources Conservation Service folks, among other things, maintain and monitor the SNOTEL system that projects moisture received by river drainage (e.g., Boise 59%, Salmon 67%).
If Repugnecants in Congress—like Herrs Risch & Crapo—don’t screw it up, keeping the MidEast from nuclear apocalypse for a decade could be the most important accomplishment of the Obama (& Kerry) administration.
Here is Marc Johnson’s excellent US-Iran history in a nutshell:
From the archives—slides scanned from my first trip to France, 1991:
After a drive through the Vosges mountains, we arrived in picturesque Ribeauvillé. Diane went to see about a room at the Hotel aux Trois Chateaux while I waited outside, surveying the hills above the village for the three castles. It’s not easy to see all three from town; the crenelated tower of Haut-Ribeaupierre is barely visible as it peeks above the trees just over the highest ridge.
A few blocks from the hotel, we came upon a chambres/zimmer that was available.
The “room” turned out to be a suite with a large kitchen, dining area and full bathroom for 5 Francs a night (about $25). We made it our base for the rest of the week and set out to explore Alsace.
Over the centuries, the fealty of this region west of the Rhine has been tossed back and forth between the French and the Germans, and both languages are spoken by many inhabitants—thus, the bilingual sign outside our lodging.
The area is the essence of quaint—buildings dating from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, beautifully maintained, exquisite workmanship everywhere.
A couple artists’ renditions of Chateau Ste. Ulrich:
This is about as close as anything I’ve read or heard to expressing my own consternation over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—and so many others. Like this writer, I keep hoping, amidst deep feeling of despair, that as a people we will wake up and face together the very real problems we have created as a species, problems like global warming that we may not be able to reverse at all and that we most certainly can only solve cooperatively.
Nicholas Kristof nails it in the Times today:
This is very cool!