Do you like TRAIN PICTURES or train watching?  I have
sometimes had fun doing this, and that goes back to when I
was a little kid (a very long time ago.  
Check this).  Anyway
here are
some of my old train pictures in Mattoon and
Effingham in Illinois and also from Athens Ohio.  These
really are old pictures.  They include trains on the New York
Central, Illinois Central, Pennsylvania RR, and the Baltimore
and Ohio.  That would include the Knickerbocker, the City of
New Orleans, the Penn Texas, and the Metropolitan.  How is
that for old?
Here is a SHORT STORY that I wrote about 2005 called "THE
It might sound as if I was trying to write about real people
and didn't quite get it all right, but remember, it is only a
story.  You know how it goes: any similarity with real people,
living or dead, is purely coincidental.  Besides, if it were about
real people, I would go back and change the ending to get one
of the characters hanged.  By the way, it is a little ribald, but
only a little -- at least for the reader.

Here is a version
to print.
I also fool around with a telescope sometimes.  On June 8,
2004, the planet VENUS got right in the way of the sun and
could be seen as a small dot in front of it.  That is called a
TRANSIT of VENUS. Actually, you had to go to Europe to
see the whole thing, but here in Clinton, IA we got to see
just the end of it at sunrise.  Click
HERE to  see a few
pictures that I took of this event.
AAPT Summer 2014 Presentation (Greenhouse Boxes)
Beetle Infested Colorado Forests (updated 5-1-12)
Centrifuges for Uranium Separation (uses MATH)
Global Warming (updated 11/25/11)
Federal Revenue, Spending etc. (updated 5-30-12)
Are we gaining or losing jobs? (updated 8-15-12)
A Trip to Iguazu Falls
Mississippi River Flood
Heating up the world -- GLOBAL WARMING. Are we
humans really doing this?
Well, what should we think if years of
detailed work by three research groups all show about the same long-term
temperature increase? What if the world is presenting us with several other
lines of evidence of climate warming such as retreating glaciers, polar ice
changes, wildlife changes, sea-level rise, permafrost thawing, and others, all
of which seem headed toward significant disruption of human lives down the
road?  What if there is a well-developed theory about human-produced
greenhouse gas as the main cause and if detailed observation can rule out
enough change in other possible causes such as solar activity? And what if
greenhouse gas emission is such an integral part of our economy, because of
fuel burning, that we don't know how to quit?  Click
HERE to check it all out.
Will the next big WAR be like your father's war? Or
are the weapons just getting so good at what they do that warfare can
never be the same.  Anyone exposed might just be wiped out.  It might
be necessary to fight the next big war without exposing anyone to it if
we expect anyone to survive.  Among the ways of fighting a war without
exposing anyone to it are adopting guerrilla warfare tactics, fighting it
by remote control from California even though the war is in the Middle
East, and building robots to do all the fighting.  Have any changes like
this happened before?  Are they happening now?

I am placing materials in this section based on a once-per-semester talk
on the history of WAR TECHNOLOGY that I gave while I was teaching
and which I am still giving as a guest speaker even though I am now
retired.  However, I am revising and updating everything, so this is
probably always going to be a work in progress.
A GLACIER is a big river of flowing ice which can thrill you with its
scenic grandeur, daze you when big chunks fall off with a sound like
thunder, and worry you when you realize that most of them are
retreating.  I have managed to visit one in Colorado and a whole
bunch of them in Alaska.  So if
you click my glacier link, you can
find pictures and information about St. Mary's Glacier in Colorado,
and about the following glaciers in Alaska:  Kahiltna, Exit, Hubbard,
Margerie, Meade, Mendenhall, and Northwestern, and the glaciers in
College Fjord including Harvard and Yale.  Among other things, I got
some pictures of a couple of them calving.  That is what they call it
when chunks fall off.  Those are not the only ones I have visited,
and I will try to get some pictures of more of them up later.  (And
see the Antarctic link above.)
Mendenhall Glacier
near Juneau, AK
(Click the pic to enlarge.)
I live in a town along the MISSISSIPPI RIVER (Clinton,
IA).  Sometimes this river wants to drown us all, but we
have a big levee to get in its way.  It made one such
attempt in 2001, and I got a few pictures of it along the
Check them out here.
Who am I

Well, there
I am.
My first rather
fuzzy picture of
Venus in front of
the sun.
My later pictures
were better, but
by then Venus had
partially made its
(Click pics to enlarge.)
Well, of course a
picture that I took of
a thermometer in
Death Valley does
not really say
anything about global
warming.  But I like
the picture.  And it
was hot.
(Click the pic to enlarge
and see how hot it was.)
Not the flood -- just a
picture out on the river
looking downstream in
(Click the link to the left for
the flood and this pic for a
larger version.)
An Amtrak
Chicago to
Carbondale train,
The Illini,
arriving in
Mattoon, IL.

In Mattoon

Leaving Mattoon
(Click pics for larger
And here is another SHORT STORY that I wrote around 2006.
This one is called "SPACED OUT POTUS".  Any similarity etc.,
etc.  Only a story.  By the way, my apologies to the Chicago Cubs
and their fans.  Actually, I like the Cubs too, but the only
characters laughing at them are Sox fans, and that probably
reflects reality.

Here is a version of this one
to print.
Looking right into a
Civil War cannon at the
Civil War Visitor
Center In Richmond,
(Click pic to enlarge)
My take on "Lost"  and My other take on "Lost"
Old Train Pics
Short Story (Hookworm) (Version to Print)
Short Story (POTUS) (Version to Print)
Short Story (Foggie's MOP)  (PDF version)
Solar Eclipse 2012 (NEW May 24, 2012)
Venus Transit
War and Its Technology
ANTARCTICA:  which probably reminds you, as it does me, of snow,
ice, glaciers, penguins, and other cold stuff and things that like cold
stuff.  I spent three days cruising off the Antarctic Peninsula's coast
on the cruise ship MS Amsterdam in January, 2009. In the summer,
in other words.  I didn't get cold; it was in the 30's F (and getting
warmer).  But I saw a lot, observed a lot, and took a lot of pictures.
Here are many of the pictures and observations.
A little way down the
Click the picture to
Mom and
Dad's Slides

They were
travelers and
 I am
working on a
site to
their pictures.
 If you are
from Mattoon,
IL, you might
This is sunset at the Grand Canyon, not my world.  I am from the Midwest - Clinton, Iowa,
on the Mississippi River.  But I like to travel, take pictures, write stories.  Alaska.  
Antarctica.  Glaciers. Trains.  Politics. Science. War.  Continue on below for a few
selected images and other parts of my real world.  There, just below are some links
followed farther down by more information and explantions.
Pleased to
meet you.  
I am
Thomas C.
Gibbons, a
MORE here.
"LOST", The TV series, just ended a couple of days ago
(as I write this on 5-25-10).  I liked it enough that I
thought I would talk about it.  This is my first attempt to
summarize the plot:

Eye.  Plane crash.  Polar bear.  Smoke dragon.  Others.  Numbers.  
Hatch.  Button.  Tail people.  Dharma.  Ignore button.  Boom.  Cages.
 Submarine.  Boom.  Jacob.  Ship.  Boom.  Time travel.  Large foot.  
H-bomb.  Boom.  2 copies of everyone.  Glowing water.  Put rock in
hole.  Remember.  Eye.  


Well, OK, the plot was incomprehensible.  But the show
was good anyway.  
So here is my next attempt at a
review, which just might garble things a bit in spite of my
careful (!) attempt to get it right.  Then,
Here is what I
really think
FOGGIE'S MOP.  Another short story. (PDF version)
Can we solve our energy problems by finding oil on Mars?  How could we
get that oil back to Earth?  And can our friend Foggie MOP up any
spills?  Confused?  You won't be if you read this.  (NEW)
It's an eclipse of the sun!  Happened May 20, 2012, and
I jumped on Amtrak's Southwest Chief (the remnant of
the old Santa Fe service) and headed to Albuquerque NM
to see it. You can see it too,