Quote That Say Something to Me

This is intended to be an ongoing blog post and will be updated and re-posted to bring near the top from time to time.  If possible comments will be brought forward, too.  If I could “Sticky Post” it at the top, I might try that and see how it works out.  Some of the quotes are my own.

The list is necessarily short at first.  I did not scheme and plan to do this list.  It is an inspiration of the moment.

John Steinbeck: “I believe one thing powerfully—that the only creative thing our species has is the individual, lonely mind…. The group ungoverned by individual thinking is a horrible destructive principle.”

J Robert Oppenheimer:  “We do not believe any group of men adequate enough or wise enough to operate without scrutiny or without criticism. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it, that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. We know that in secrecy error undetected will flourish and subvert”.

Steve Garcia:  “All institutions are destructive of the individual.”

Anonymous:  

“Committees achieve things, now and again

And groups of three, discuss now and then,

But most things are done, by committees of one.”

The Future Is Not Here Yet, But It Is Coming

Thanks. Maybe one thing I am saying is that we ALL have some blessings on ourselves. Ones we have in increasingly larger quantity. Lives in Vietnam, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Italy, England, places all over the world, are so much more lives of ease than when I first traveled overseas 42 years ago. Nations in every corner of the world are more prosperous and are catching up and passing the U.S.

And time is the area of prosperity that is the biggest blessing. It is the most fundamental thing, I think, that we are living longer. Second is that we are having far less babies. Third would be that infant mortality is down – and that is to a large part responsible for longer life expectancy.

DO go see Hans Rosling’s TED Talks videos on YouTube. They are terrific. Continue reading

The Future of Futurism…

Hahahaha -

I was talking with a friend on Skype and marveling at the world having videophones after all this time.  (Anybody remember 2001 A Space Oddysey back in 1967?) That conversation got into talking about how COOL it is to live in these times.  And then it got into how things might change in the future.

If any of this is too off the wall or too nauseating for the tree huggers out there, tough luck!  I am going to talk about it anyway.  :-)

My friend is more than 40 years younger than I am, and he just got married, and is going to see as many changes in his time as I’ve seen in mine.  It is AMAZING how much technology brings into our lives over a span of 70 or 80 years.  It used to be 60.  Hell, it used to be 49!  In 1900 the average life expectancy in the USA was all of 49 years.  Now – as of about 10 years ago – it is 79 years.  So in about 100 years the life expectancy went up 30 years.  30 in 100. WOW! !

So right there we have one way technology has improved life – it has made it longer.  It is laughable when I tell this to people, because t really IS an improvement.  But would you like to know what the most common reaction I get from people?  “Well, extra years don’t mean anything if you are sick.”  They just don’t get it.

What don’t they get?  That 100 years ago at age 19 people only had 30 years more to live.  That NOW we are FORTY NINE when we have 30 years to live – at somewhat the same health level.  REALLY.  So, at the age when people used to die off – on average – we all still have 30 years to live.  So when someone tells you that 50 is the new 30, they are kind of right – but not right ENOUGH.  The average person at 49 now is not looking at spending the next 30 years as a medical invalid.  They are looking at about 20 more years of good living. Continue reading

Thoughts on meteors, on the eve of the anniversary of Chelyabinsk

One of my interests is the subject of impacts on Earth by comets or sear earth objects (NEOs).  (Everybody has something…)

Now, on the eve of the anniversary of the Chelyabinsk “event” of last year, it is a time to reflect on “what could have been.”

The ~50 meter Chelyabinsk/Chebarkul meteor flaring over Russia in February, 2013

Not much real damage was done last year.  Fortunately the atmosphere absorbed about 90% of the energy of the meteor over Russia.  All that brilliance we all saw was meteoric material melting away, so by the time the big flare-up occurred, there wasn’t a lot of the object still left to explode.  Lucky Chelyabinsk!  Imagine if even half of it still had been holding together, how large that explosion might have been.  Certainly more thousands would have been injured.  Certainly many thousands of windows would have blown out. Most likely some other weakly built buildings would have been damaged. Continue reading

Comments on the formation of asteroids/meteoroids…

It is very often said in popular articles about meteors, comets and asteroids that they all represent the material that is left over from the very beginning of the solar system.  It is further said – often – that these bodies “accreted” from smaller material flying around in what is called the “planetary nebula.” That means that they kept gravitating toward each other until the collection of material became an asteroid or a comet.

I dispute both of these assertions by astronomers.  Why?   Because I think that they call up accretion as a mechanism, without ever asking what happens during accretion or if the temperatrues and pressures and impact forces available can actually do what they say accretion is or is doing.  When one reads about how asteroids or planets form, the say “accretion” and then go on to what happens after accretion, without really ever having to explain it.

Why do I think any of this?  Because there is insufficient gravitational force between small objects in space.  There is also insufficient pressure in space to turn molecules of metals into solid chunks of metal, nor to alloy them together.

Let me start with a few definitions.  I am putting them at the bottom here, so that I don’t lose the reader at this point with boring stuff.

I just looked at the list of elements and molecules present in the most studied meteorite in the world, one called the Allende meteorite.  The list runs to 17 main components and 57 elements.  That means over half the Periodic Table is represented in ONE meteor.  That is one helluva cocktail.

The Allende meteorite is a “carbonaceous chondrite” as opposed to a mostly iron-nickel meteor.  It still has plenty of iron and nickel, but not a LOT. Carbonaceous chondrites represent about 4% of all meteorites found so far. 86% of the total are stony chondrites.  The Allende meteorite weighs about 2 metric tons and is also the heaviest and biggest meteorite yet found.  It looks like this:

The Allende meteorite, showing many chondrules, which make it a chondrite

All those chondrules, plus the matrix that binds them together, contain all those compounds and elements I mentioned.

The funny thing is that some of the materials in the meteorite are garnet, peridotite, and olivine.  There are more, but those are important.  You see, peridotite is found where diamonds are found and are created by much the same forces – high temps and high pressures.  Olivine also needs pressures around 24 gigapascals (gP), about 3.9 million pounds per square inch (psi), plus high temps, about 2,000°C (nearly 4,000°F).  Garnet is a semiprecious stone that also takes a LOT of pressure and temperature to form. Continue reading

Making The NSA Spying On Us Even WORSE

Today, per the BBC: Obama Orders Curbs on Use if NSA Info

This is abysmally pathetic:

Senior officials tell the US media the centrepiece of the reforms will be the order to stop the NSA from storing information about Americans’ phone calls.

Storage of the data will instead fall to firms or another third party where it can be queried under limited conditions.

What the hell difference does that make?

The NSA is STILL spying illegally on Americans.  So nothing has changed there.  Its charter is to spy on other nations, and nothing in that charter violates our rights under the 4th Amendment, so I do not complain about that side of this.  However, the NSA charter DOES specifically prohibit it from spying on Americans, especially on American soil.

The only difference in this proposal is the storage – that they are going to PRIVATIZE THAT, of all things?  PRIVATIZE??!!  And that is supposed to make it all better?  That will even be WORSE!

It sounds like Dick Cheney must have been telling Obama what to do.

They propose intercepting it all just as before, and then giving Xe (Blackwater) or Halliburton control over the stuff?  Holy mother of God, do they think we are STUPID?

I trust the NSA – which has no guns – a lot more than I would ever trust those mass murders.

On this basis alone, I utterly and roundly reject this so-called “fix.” Continue reading

Climate Scientists and Nature Magazine are Crazy, It Seems

An article in Nature magazine, Climate Change: The Case of the Missing Heat, discusses why the global warming ended for a time in 1998 (actually, besides that El Niño of 1998 it began earlier).  About the global average, the article says

Simulations conducted in advance of the 2013–14 assessment from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggest that the warming should have continued at an average rate of 0.21 °C per decade from 1998 to 2012. Instead, the observed warming during that period was just 0.04 °C per decade

Now 0.04°C per decade is only 0.02°F per decade, and is only 0.4°C per CENTURY.  NO CATASTROPHE HERE!

But it also tells us how WRONG scientists can be.

The article further states that

One important finding came in 2011, when a team of researchers at NCAR led by Gerald Meehl reported that inserting a PDO pattern into global climate models causes decade-scale breaks in global warming.

No shit, Sherlock. Actually entering in a real-world (and pertinent) phenomenon into the models made them act more like the real world?

Wow. Whodathunk?

The PDO

The PDO is the Pacfic Decadal Oscillation.  It was discovered in 1997.  You might ask what it is.  And you might also ask what climate scientist discovered it.

Answering the latter first, it was NOT discovered by a climate scientist at all.  It was discovered by a biologist researching trends in salmon catches by fishermen in the northern Pacific.  His name is Steven Hare.

As to what the PDO is?  It is the observed shifting of the climate in the northern Pacific from one phase to another and then back again.  The shifts are called “phases,” and the phases are not short, and they are consistently long term, lasting about 2 or 3 decades or more.  (Hence the “decadal” in the name of the PDO.)  In a PDO warm phase, the northern Pacific is warmer than average, and the SE USA is also warm.  The rest of the USA in that case will be cooler than usual.  The opposite holds true in a PDO cool phase:  A cool northern Pacific matches with a cool phase in the SE USA, while the rest of the country is warmer than usual.  These phases are persistent.  There seems to BE no neutral phase to speak of – the PDO is usually in either a warm phase or a cool phase, but not long in the middle.

More than ten years ago people were already saying that the timing of the PDO’s phases indicated that its patterns suggested that we were likely to be ending our time in a PDO warm phase and thus heading into a slowdown and a possible/probable global cooling.

By 1990 we were all told that they knew what was happening with the climate and that it was CO2 causing the climate to warm – strongly implying that all the factors were known and all the factors were accounted for in the models and in their overall thinking. When the PDO was discovered, none of the climate scientist came out and said, “You know, we need to incorporate the PDO into the models, don’t we?”

OBVIOUSLY, ALL of the factors should be in the models. Any twerp with half a brain would know that.

It took them from 1997 – coincidentally the beginning of the hiatus (mentioned in the Nature paper) until 2011 – to FINALLY even THINK of putting the PDO into the models. And when they did, VIOLA! the models began to act more like the real world!

Are these guys numb nuts or what?

This is a science with so little science in it that it boggles the mind. Or at least too few actual scientists with brains capable of logic instead of wishful thinking. Not to mention the blatant cherry picking of not only data but also cherry picking of FORCINGS.  Forcings are a fancy way of saying “causes.” Leaving the PDO out until now is simply mind-blowing.

Maybe in about 250 years they will figure out that Trenberth’s sequestered heat in the oceans is just a total wishful thinking speculation/delusion. The editors of journals seem to be incapable of recognizing delusions and mere speculations.  For now, they are so illogical that they can’t tell the difference between speculation and evidence. Trenberth’s sequestered heat is an extraordinary claim – something never seen before or thought about before. He pulled it out of his butt, after all. And as an extraordinary claim, IT requires extraordinary proof. Yet, the editors at Nature cannot bring themselves to demand such extraordinary proof. Instead, they accept it at face value as if it is the truth of the matter.

So, once again, the skeptics who do demand the extraordinary proof are themselves now the ones who will be required to disprove Trenberth’s TOTAL GUESS.

Science, in other words, has been stood on its head.

The REAL story here should be this:

When INCLUDING the PDO makes the computer models behave like the real world, then the climate models were wrong all that time they did not include the PDO.

Instead, they shunt this important finding into the background and return to Trenberth and his delusion.

It just makes your mind reel, doesn’t it?