Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Christmas decorations

last year I reported the overall decorating that I did on my house with a total number of light broken up between outside and inside.  Well this year is no different it just took me longer to post about it.  So last year my grand total was 1775 lights inside and out this year I added more. 

DSCF6785For one thing my artificial tree grew over the course of the year I know what you are thinking artificial trees can not grow. I would tend to agree however,  I had to add 50 more lights to completely cover my tree this year bring the total to a whopping 1,000 on just my tree alone.  last year I had a similar problem and I thought I would be just DSCF6787fine but no the lights from last year ended 2-3 feet from the top of the tree.  Needless to say I was very perplexed and confused, so I concluded that my tree even though it is not real grew a foot or two.  We also placed our tree in our living room window to add to the overall outdoor lighting experience.

In addition we also splurged and purchased a DVD of a fireplace to help set the mood for Christmas.  I can tell you even though it was a fake fireplace just watching it and DSCF6871hearing the popping sounds of the burning logs I could actually feel the warmth of a real fire.

This year we decided to start buying the LED light set, and slowly over the course of the next few years would replace our existing light with more power efficient strands.  However this year I just added to what I had because I’m like that, and I bet you can not tell which strands are the new one rightWinking smile.  

These pictures don’t show it but one of the old strands ( the DSCF6865same ones I used last year and suspended them form my celling on my patio) was set to a chase setting which created a interesting effect seeing as everything else was just solid.  This strand is on the gutter and above the main level window and door.

I also for fun put some lights in my girls window just to DSCF6867increase the excitement level for them.  I did this because I can remember back when I was growing up seeing the lights twinkling through my bedroom blinds and light up my celling.  I loved watching as one of the old c9 bulbs would blink while the others would be continues.  Just having those light on would make me so excited about the Christmas season, and I wanted my girls to have the same memories. 

So now comes the time where I tell you the total number of lights for this year with an astounding 2520 I can smile knowing I broke my personal record.  The break down goes as follows 1,000 lights on my growing tree, and 1520 on the outside of the house.  So until next year this is my new record for decorating.


This semester in my classes we are learning about volcanoes, and everything that goes with them.  So I thought I would share with you sofig32me of what I learned first off geologist have a index rating for volcanoes that is similar to the rector scale meaning a change from a 1 to a 2 is 10 times more powerful.  This scale is called  Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) (check the link for more info)and ranges form 0 to 9 in intensity rating.  Each volcano has a different rating based on the plume height, frequency of eruption, its occurrence, and the total amount of ejected material.  With a little back ground I wanted to share some new knowledge about a type of volcano that I did not know much about they are called a “Maar” volcanoes and are very deadly.  They form like any other volcano by magma rising to the surface however in this case the magma comes into contact with an underground aquifer.  Water is instantly flashed to steam and as a super heated gas it need to expand rapidly but being trapped under ground applies pressure which is quickly over powered in a atomFig1-maehara-5-18-bm_largeic like explosion earning a VEI of 5-6.  Some of these eruptions produce super heated plumes that can rise 55 kilometers in the atmosphere in case you are wondering NASA describes space as starting at 100 kilometers from the surface of the earth just to give you an idea of the height these plumes can reach.  They produce pyroclastic density currents(PDC) which are super heated ash flows that can travel up to 100 miles an hour, destroy anything in there path.  These PDC are what is responsible for the destruction of the city 080710maarof Pompeii and all the people that lived there (note Mt. Vesuvius is not a maar but is a Strato-volcano like Mt St. Helens).  It is common to find maar’s as a shallow lake sometimes as deep as 10 to 200 meters  and as wide as 60 to 8000 meters.  I will describe more volcanoes and what I have learned in upcoming posts but until then get to know what your walking around on.