May 22, 2013
Look up Sunday night
From NASA Science News:
Planets Aligning in the Sunset Sky
Sunset is a special time of day. Low-hanging clouds glow vivid red and orange as the background sky turns cobalt blue. The first stars pop out in the heavenly dome overhead, eliciting wishes from backyard sky watchers.
The sunset of May 26th will be extra special. On that date, Venus, Jupiter and Mercury will gather in the fading twilight to form a bright triangle only three degrees wide.
Triple conjunctions of planets are fairly rare. The last time it happened was in May 2011, and it won't happen again until October 2015. This triple is especially good because it involves the three brightest planets in May's night sky: #1, Venus; #2, Jupiter; and #3, Mercury. The triangle will be visible even in places with heavy urban light pollution.
The best time to look is about 30 to 60 minutes after sunset. The three planets will be hugging the horizon, so a clear view of the western sky is essential.
Should be spectacular. The alignment happens for a few days before and after the 26th, just not as close.
Playing with CHDK today
Waiting for someone to come to the house so spending the time playing with CHDK.
CHDK stands for Canon Hack Development Kit. If you own a Canon point-and-shoot you need to give this a closer look.
The main website is here: CHDK Wiki
I am getting so many hummingbirds at my feeders that I want to set a camera outside to take a photo every five seconds. Not possible with the built-in camera functions but very easy with CHDK.
The lives of our betters - Michelle Obama
From the White House Dossier:
Michelle Said to be Considering an Extended Vacation
With scandal swirling about the White House, First Lady Michelle Obama may be considering an extended exit from Washington this summer, fleeing for weeks to the Obamas’ traditional summer haven, Martha’s Vineyard.
According to the Boston Globe, “Michelle Obama and the children may be on the island for an extended period.” But the president would hardly be suffering by comparison. He may come up on weekends and then stay for two weeks at the end of the summer, the Globe reports.
The White House has not commented on the Obamas’ vacation plans.
The Obamas are said to be eying a house in Farm Neck on the Vineyard. If they land there, the president will have easy access to the lovely Farm Neck Golf Club and Cafe.
Must be nice — luxury ocean-front house in Honolulu and now this.
We the People are funding this lifestyle to the tune of many millions of dollars.
Makes me long for the era of clearing brush at the Presidential ranch in Crawford…
May 21, 2013
Big engineering at work - the Muon g-2 magnet
That looks cool — can I borrow it for a couple decades?
From the Chicago Tribune:
Huge magnet set for delicate voyage to Fermilab
A 50-foot-wide circular electromagnet — so delicate that tilting it just a few degrees would destroy it — must make a four-week journey this summer off the U.S. coast and up a river, before inching its way by road to a new home at Fermilab in Batavia.
The Muon g-2 ring, an electromagnet made of steel and aluminum, begins its 3,200-mile trek from New York in early June. From there, it will sail by barge down the East Coast, around Florida's tip into the Gulf of Mexico, then up the Mississippi River until it arrives in Illinois.
Once on land, the electromagnet will be driven at night in a specially designed truck at no more than 10 mph until it reaches Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.
The high-tech transport is all in service of a plan to use Fermilab's powerful beam to send muons, a rare kind of particle that lasts just 2.2 millionths of a second, into the circular electromagnet, according to experiment spokesman Lee Roberts, who works at Fermilab. Once in the ring, muons “wobble,” or tilt like a top.
What scientists find could open up a whole new world of particle physics, said Roberts, a Boston University physicist.
Very cool — the need for the move is not engineering stupidity. The magnet has been in use at Brookhaven since the 1990's but they were not getting clear data — the beam of muons wasn't strong enough.
Fermilab has an accelerator that is better for muons and the cost to ship ($3M) is an order of magnitude less than building a replacement magnet ($30M). Looking at first light around 2016.
Move along lil' doggie
Sunspot AR1748 seems to have lost its mojo which - considering its history - is a very good thing.
It crept around the solar limb and proceeded to launch off a couple X and M class flares. We did catch a little of the CME from the last flare but the majority of its activities were directed away from our Earth. It moved along the suns surface, stared us in the face for three days and is now moving along; it is now heading toward the far limb.
We dodged a big one there…
The turnout was good for today's IRS protest — about 100 people at the peak. Very good considering the weather.
Easier day tomorrow and then it gets busier culminating in my participation in the Ski to Sea race early Sunday morning and the usual store shopping run the next day on Monday.
I am a ham radio operator and will be part of the team that coordinates one node of the relay race. We post two people a couple miles up the road and they radio race team numbers which we announce over the PA system. This gives the next leg of the relay ten minutes to get their shit together. If they were listening. Which a lot of times they are not. Fun times are had by all…
I also checked my tobacco seeds this evening and some of them have germinated. Some are just a thread but some have an upright stalk with a pair of leaves. This is a lot of fun because the seeds are so tiny (grain of sand) and the resultant plants are so huge.
Heading out for the day
Sent in some money to the Red Cross for tornado relief.
Got the truck loaded up for a dump run then it's off to the Bellingham IRS Office for the noon demonstration. It is raining pretty heavily here and 46°F outside so every person counts.
Doing some shopping in town and then picking up some large planters.
Lulu has been feeling poorly for the last week so she went into town for a doctor's appointment and will hang out with her son for a few days.
Back home this evening — probably grab dinner on the road.
May 20, 2013
The Gun Feed
Very similar to a well-known website in terms of layout and user interface.
Different subject matter though — kinda self-explanatory.
Check out The Gun Feed
Long day today and tomorrow - getting political
Did the store shopping run today (six hours) and then heading out to the Bellingham Federal Building to protest in front of the IRS office at Noon tomorrow.
This is a Bellingham TEA Party sanctioned event in solidarity with several hundred other demonstrations nationwide at this time tomorrow. Send a message…
Also doing some additional shopping (sewing machine oil, some hardware, a post-hole digger (cannot find the one I have but sure that it will turn up three days after I buy the new one) and some more concrete bolts — the ones I have are a little too short. Finally, I will be picking up a bunch of free one-gallon planting pots on my way home — a big thanks to our local Freecycle…
A horrible tornado happens - what do the Progressives do?
Liberals Blaming Oklahoma Tornado on Global Warming Ignore Record Low Tornado Activity
Liberals rush to capitalize on Oklahoma tornado tragedy, but in a report from NOAA just this month, tornado activity is at an all time record low, despite the supposed disastrous effects of anthropogenic global warming.
While reports come in from Oklahoma of the families devastated by a terrible tornado strike, those filthy liberals just can’t wait to wag their fingers at conservatives while dancing on victims’ graves.
Some downright disgusting Tweets have been recorded for your viewing pleasure.
From Publius Forum:
Liberal Laughing that ‘Conservatives’ Were Targeted by Oklahoma Tornado Today
Lizz Winstead is a producer and co-creator of the Daily Show, the left-wing comedy show hosted by Jon Stewart on Comedy Network. After this destructive and tragic tornado whipped through Moore, Oklahoma today, she thought it was hilarious that “conservatives” were killed there.
In typical scumbag, liberal manner Lizz Winstead took to Twitter to say: “This tornado is in Oklahoma so clearly it has been ordered to only target.”
A perfect example of how out of touch these people are — this level of emotional disconnect borders on sociopathy.
Our prayers go out to the city of Moore, Oklahoma
Despite the fact that tornado occurrences are at an all-time low, the occasional Finger of God does happen.
A compilation of stories can be found at Oklahoma City's station KFOR.
The London Daily Mail has a selection of pictures. Words fail.
They are saying it could well be an Enhanced F-5 — this is the largest it gets on the scale of tornado strength.
RIP - Ray Manzarek
From The New York Times:
Ray Manzarek, Doors Keyboardist, Dies at 74
Ray Manzarek, the keyboardist and a founding member of the Doors whose sinuous and melodic organ riffs defined the band’s sound, died on Monday afternoon at a clinic in Rosenheim, Germany, after a bout with cancer. He was 74.
Mr. Manzarek had been sick for several months with cancer of the bile ducts, his publicist, Heidi Ellen Robinson Fitzgerald, said in a statement. He died at about 3:31 p.m. at the RoMed Clinic in Rosenheim. His wife, Dorothy, and his brothers, Rick and James, were at his bedside.
Mr. Manzarek formed the Doors in 1965 with Jim Morrison, a poet and film student and singer, after the two of them had a chance encounter on Venice Beach in California. The band went on to become one of the most successful and at times polarizing acts of the 1960s, selling more than 100 million albums worldwide and producing bits like “L.A. Woman,” “Break on Through,” “Hello, I Love You,” and “Light My Fire.”
74 is too early to go but he lived a full life. Quite the talent.
Had the pleasure of hearing him play a number of times in Boston when I was living there. Always a good show.
May 19, 2013
Winter is not done with us yet
From the National Weather Service for our area:
Special Weather Statement
…A CHANGE TO COLD WET AND POSSIBLY SNOWY WEATHER EXPECTED IN THE MOUNTAINS ON TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY…
LATE SEASON SNOW IS EXPECTED IN THE HIGH ELEVATIONS OF THE CASCADES AND OLYMPICS FROM LATE TUESDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY NIGHT. THIS WILL FOLLOW A DECEPTIVELY WARM…DRY AND SUNNY MONDAY.
A STRONG COLD FRONT WILL ARRIVE LATE MONDAY NIGHT AND TUESDAY MORNING. UNSEASONABLY COLD AIR IS EXPECTED BEHIND THE FRONT. THE SNOW LEVEL WILL DROP AS LOW AS 3000 FEET AROUND SUNRISE ON WEDNESDAY…RISING TO 4000 FEET ON WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON. MEANWHILE…A SLOW-MOVING LOW PRESSURE CENTER OVER NORTHERN OREGON ON WEDNESDAY WILL SPIN POTENTIALLY COPIOUS PRECIPITATION NORTH INTO THE AREA. THE AFFECT WILL BE SEVERAL INCHES OF ACCUMULATING SNOW AT HIGH ELEVATIONS…ESPECIALLY ABOVE 4000 FEET. THIS WOULD IMPACT HIGHWAY PASSES THAT HAVE ALREADY OPENED FOR THE SUMMER… INCLUDING RAINY PASS AND CHINOOK PASS. STEVENS AND WHITE PASSES COULD ALSO BE IMPACTED. THE CURRENT FORECAST CALLS FOR LITTLE IMPACT AT SNOQUALMIE PASS.
Winter always has the last laugh. We are around 600' so this should not impact us very much.
Look up tonight
Sunspot AR1748 kicked out an M3 flare on the 17th and the resulting CME grazed us around 4PM this afternoon.
Possible aurora displays tonight.
It is now facing us directly so any activity in the next day or two will be fun to watch…
Object of desire - Antiquity Music
Just damn! Was turned on to Antiquity Music earlier today.
They have some amazing instruments for sale. Prices are high but you need to make a living…
Nancy Pelosi - eleven quotes
Allan Erickson over at ClashDaily has compiled eleven examples of the wisdom of Nancy Pelosi:
Nancy Pelosi’s Greatest Hits
Actual quotations or paraphrases from former speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA):
- Unemployment benefits are the best form of economic development.
- The IRS admission it illegally targeted conservative groups is the fault of the Supreme Court.
- ObamaCare is responsible for bringing down the deficit.
- We have to pass the bill (ObamaCare) to see what’s in it.
- The Tea Party is astroturf.
That was five of them — six more at the site. The woman is a political hack, unresponsive to her constituents and just not that bright.
The worm turns - Chevron
Now this would be fun to watch — from Hot Air:
DC firm shaking down Chevron learns lesson about poking the bear
There’s been a new, and some might say long overdue twist in the ongoing saga of Ecuador’s Chevron shakedown. We’ve been covering this story here since January of 2011 and it’s been a wild roller coaster ride. From the time the environmental groups involved were initially awarded a huge payday in a kangaroo court, we’ve seen blatant fraud uncovered on the part of the plaintiffs, “investors” in the lawsuit claiming they were defrauded, and the judge in the case admitting that he was bribed.
Through it all, one law firm in DC, Patton Boggs, has been nipping at Chevron’s heels on their own behalf, as well as supporting the people trying to pick Chevron’s pockets. But as CNN reports, you can only push somebody so many times before they push back:Since late 2010, Washington, D.C. law firm Patton Boggs has been poking a sleeping tiger. It has filed three peculiar federal lawsuits — in its own name, not on behalf of any client — against Chevron, the third-largest corporation in the United States. These cases have fared poorly; two were quickly dismissed, and a federal magistrate judge recommended tossing the third in March.
On Friday, the tiger awoke. Chevron (CVX) sought a federal judge’s permission to bring counterclaims against the 455-lawyer firm for alleged fraud and deceit for its conduct in representing the Amazon Defense Front, which obtained a $19 billion environmental judgment against the oil giant in Lago Agrio, Ecuador, in February 2011. Chevron also seeks to charge the firm with “malicious prosecution” for having pursued its three lawsuits in bad faith. Chevron seeks to hold the law firm liable for any damages Chevron suffers from the Front’s allegedly fraud-infested litigation, plus punitive and treble damages.
Heh — I hope that Patton Boggs gets taken to the cleaners and that this serves as a heads-up to other 'enviro' groups. Thirty years ago, most of them did decent science. Now, it's just Eco-Socialism, a bunch of watermelon environmentalists. They need to get their pee-pees whacked good and hard.
From the Los Angeles Times:
Navy dolphins discover rare old torpedo off Coronado
In the ocean off Coronado, a Navy team has discovered a relic worthy of display in a military museum: a torpedo of the kind deployed in the late 19th century, considered a technological marvel in its day.
But don't look for the primary discoverers to get a promotion or an invitation to meet the admirals at the Pentagon — although they might get an extra fish for dinner or maybe a pat on the snout.
The so-called Howell torpedo was discovered by bottlenose dolphins being trained by the Navy to find undersea objects, including mines, that not even billion-dollar technology can detect.
“Dolphins naturally possess the most sophisticated sonar known to man,” Braden Duryee, an official at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific said after the surprising discovery.
While not as well known as the Gatling gun and the Sherman tank, the Howell torpedo was hailed as a breakthrough when the U.S. was in heavy competition for dominance on the high seas. It was the first torpedo that could truly follow a track without leaving a wake and then smash a target, according to Navy officials.
Only 50 were made between 1870 and 1889 by a Rhode Island company before a rival copied and surpassed the Howell's capability.
Until recently only one Howell torpedo was known to exist, on display at the Naval Undersea Museum in Keyport, Wash. Now a second has been discovered, not far from the Hotel del Coronado.
Meant to be launched from above the water or submerged torpedo tubes, the Howell torpedo was made of brass, 11 feet long, driven by a 132-pound flywheel spun to 10,000 rpm before launch. It had a range of 400 yards and a speed of 25 knots.
Its specifications seem primitive today, but in the late 1800s, it was a leap forward in military armament.
Very cool! 132 pounds spinning at 10K RPM is a lot of energy!
The Naval Undersea Museum in Keyport, Washington is an amazing place — a real national treasure. I have been out there a couple times (it's about a two hour drive+ferry ride from here) and always learn something with each visit.
Lazy Sunday afternoon
Got a Costco rotisserie chicken boiling for chicken noodle soup (dinner).
Moving the safe to its permanent location in an hour or so.
Raining lightly — Lulu and I are just hanging out…
May 18, 2013
And he's SAFE!
Spent an hour moving the safe from my truck to the garage. I love rigging and moving big things — patience, walking around and looking a lot, scratching my head, looking some more and then it's showtime. I used Buttercup the tractor.
The safe was laying on its back in my truck — 470 pounds — took a bunch of Costo people to get it loaded. As one person commented, it was a hernia in a box. Have some heavy ramps so slid it out and down to the ground leaning backward on the ramps. Tilted it until it was standing upright on some 2X4 blocking with about 4” of the safe's front edge hanging out in the air. Came in with Buttercup's loader bucket just under that front lip, lifted a little bit and levered the safe another 10” onto the bottom of the bucket.
Drove it into the garage enough that it was over the cement floor. Set out a couple lengths of iron pipe for rollers, lowered the bucket, nudged it forward and set it down on the pipes. That is where it sits for tonight — had to get dinner and take a break.
Having a dedicated safe will make me feel a lot more secure — it will be good to have a place for vital papers as well as some of the guns and ammo. I will still have a gun or two stashed around the house but I will feel a lot better in the event of a robbery. I have lost some tools from the equipment barn and there are some shady people who know where I live. Enhanced security is a good thing…
Being eaten out of house and home
Last year I put out one hummingbird feeder and was surprised by the response.
A month ago, I purchased two more of the same kind and we are swamped.
I filled two of the feeders two days ago and they are now both only about one quarter full. I have another gallon of syrup cooking on the stove and the ten pound bag of sugar I bought last month at Costco is almost empty — a few ounces at best. These feeders hold 48 ounces — three pints!
I really like the Perky-Pet 220 The Grand Master 48-Ounce Hummingbird Feeder
Very easy to keep clean and they hold three pints of syrup so you don't have to keep fussing with them. I have used other large feeders but the colors on the Perky-Pet attract the birds a lot better.
The syrup is simply one part sugar to four parts water. Bring to a low boil for ten minutes, put the lid on and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate if you aren't going to use it in a day or two. Toss after ten days in the fridge.
These birds really need their sugar — their metabolism is so hot that they need a constant source of carbs to just maintain. They also eat a lot of bugs and flower pollen so they do get quite a balanced diet even with all the sugar. Despite having two feeders constantly available (I rotate between the three so one is always indoors, completely taken apart and being cleaned and sanitized), they are also visiting the flowers in the garden.
Jay Leno's monologue
Transcript from Newsbusters:
JAY LENO: Got a lot of people in shorts. It is very hot. The heat wave just continuing here in California. They’re warning this could be a long, hot summer. They’re telling everyone to cover up, and believe me, you don’t have to tell the Obama White House twice. They know about covering up. Not a problem.
Well today, today the White House unveiled its latest high-tech weapon: the IRS audit. Yes. Did you hear about this? The IRS has admitted they were targeting conservative groups. President Obama called the IRS targeting conservative groups, he called it “outrageous,” and said he would immediately have his Benghazi investigators look into it. So we will, we will find out, we will get to the bottom of this.
I love this. I love what IRS Commissioner Steve Miller said today about this whole targeting conservative groups thing. He said, “Mistakes were made, but they were no way made with a political or partisan motivation.” “Mistakes were made.” Try that during your next IRS audit. “Look, I admit mistakes were made. Can we move on?” That works so well.
Well, first it was Benghazi, then the IRS scandal, now this phone records scandal. Remember in the old days when President Obama's biggest embarrassment was Joe Biden? What happened to those days? What happened to those days?
Remember in the old days when President Obama's biggest embarrassment was Joe Biden? — now that is going to leave a mark.
Yuck - A 4th Grader's Short Documentary About School Lunch
Heh — from the About page for Yuck - A 4th Grader's Short Documentary About School Lunch:
In the fall of 2011, fourth grader Zachary Maxwell began asking his parents if he could start packing and bringing his own lunch to school. Unfortunately, they kept insisting that he take advantage of the hot lunch being served at the school. After all, the online menu sounded delicious and the NYC Department of Education (DOE) website assured parents that the meals were nutritious. Zachary wanted to convince his parents that the online menu did not accurately represent what was really being served at his school.
In an effort to prove his point, Zachary started sneaking a small HD camera into the lunchroom to show his parents the truth. Over the next six months, Zachary would continue to gather “inside” footage and research the claims being made by the DOE and the media about the City's public school lunch program.
The New York Times did a nice write-up:
The Michael Moore of the Grade-School Lunchroom
Guerrilla filmmakers often face crackdowns by the powers that be, and Zachary Maxwell is no exception.
His hidden-camera documentary was almost derailed last year when he was caught filming without permission by a fearsome enforcer – the lunchroom monitor in his school cafeteria.
“She sent me to my teacher, and my teacher told me to delete everything,” said Zachary, who is now 11.
Zachary pretended to delete the day’s shots. After that lapse in production security, he said, “I fired my lookouts.”
What his teacher didn’t know, though, was that Zachary had six months of footage shot surreptitiously in the cafeteria, forming the spine of his 20-minute movie “Yuck: A 4th Grader’s Short Documentary About School Lunch.”
The kid has a career in film ahead of him. I wonder where the school lunch money went to - such a disconnect between what is listed and what is served…
Just wonderful - say hello to Nylanderia fulva
From the Houston Chronicle:
Crazy ants are invading parts of the U.S., including Houston
According to researchers at The University of Texas at Austin, invasive “crazy ants” are slowly displacing fire ants in the southeastern United States. These “Tawny Crazy Ants” have a peculiar predilection toward electronics as well.
“They nest in electronics and create short circuits, as they create a contact bridge between two points when they get electrocuted they release an alarm pheromone,” says UT research assistant Edward LeBrun.
“The other ants are attracted to the chemicals that other ants give off,” he adds. At this point, more ants arrive and create a larger nest.
And talk about achieving fame:
The tiny invaders have become quite common in the Houston area, first discovered in 2002 by pest control worker Tom Rasberry. He alerted Texas A&M scientists of his discovery.
At one point they were called “Raspberry Crazy Ants” after the pest fighter. The scientific name is Nylanderia fulva, which doesn't quite have the ring of “crazy ants.”
The ants should be contained where you find them and then exterminated. They thrive on human movement.
“You shouldn't move them around. They nest in anything, boxes, potted plants,” says LeBrun. As the ants travel, they disrupt other ant populations. Their colonies survive, unlike fire ants.
There is more at the Los Angeles Times:
Alien 'crazy ants' invading southern U.S
An invasion of alien “crazy ants” is making many residents of the U.S. Gulf Coast long for the old days of pesky, biting fire ants.
Native to northern Argentina and southern Brazil, tawny crazy ants, or Nylanderia fulva, were discovered in a Houston suburb by a pest control worker in 2002. Populations since have fanned out through Texas and the Gulf Coast region as far as Florida, where 20 counties have active colonies, according to LeBrun, who published a study of the invasion in the aptly named journal Biological Invasions.
LeBrun believes the ants came to the U.S. through the Port of New Orleans. That’s how the Argentine ant got here in 1891; the black fire ant was first found near the port of Mobile, Ala., in 1918, and in the 1930s, the well-known and despised red fire ant showed up, pushing out the black fire and Argentine ants.
And of course, some moron somewhere will import the ant's natural predator from South America and it will find something else to be much more tasty — a valuable insect — and will leave these ants alone.
Hat tip to Slashdot for the link…
More climate change news - follow the money
Looks like some governments are finding out that money spent to support climate change doesn't yield any tangible results.
From Australia's The Sydney Morning Herald:
Anger as green projects slashed, funds diverted to help cattle exports
Australia has all but dumped $75 million worth of projects regrowing forests in the developing world and shelved a $100 million forest carbon partnership with Indonesia.
Simultaneously, millions of dollars in foreign aid will be channelled into the live cattle export trade, sparking claims by the Greens that aid money is being misused to help the embattled industry.
Australia's contribution to global environment programs will drop from $74.1 million in 2012-13 to just $1.5 million next year, the budget papers reveal.
Come back when you have something concrete to show me. As for partnerships in Indonesia, if these are anything like the other 99% of the 'partnerships', the majority of the funds disappear into off-shore bank accounts while a small tranche of the funds are used to set up a Potemkin Village somewhere for visiting dignitaries to ohhh and ahhh over.
Next, from The Wall Street Journal:
Vote Leaves EU Emissions Trading in Tatters
The European Union's flagship program to fight global warming—a regional carbon-emissions trading system—suffered a major blow Tuesday when legislators rejected a proposal aimed at saving the market from collapse.
After the European Parliament's rejection, spooked investors drove the already depressed price of carbon emission permits down by nearly half. Benchmark electricity prices also fell.
The legislature derailed—at least temporarily—a plan to revive prices by postponing the issuance of any new permits for between five and seven years. Electricity generators and some other industries must buy the permits to cover their carbon dioxide emissions.
Europe's Emissions Trading System, launched in 2008, was intended to protect the environment by raising the cost of polluting and encouraging businesses to invest in cleaner technologies.
Emphasis mine — no, the intention was to make some oligarchs more wealthy, the effect of climate on the common man was never even on the table. That is just how it was sold — as a sop to account for the increase in cost of electricity, gasoline, heating fuels, etc…
Nice to see this house of cards collapsing — wonder what the next watermelon environmentalist claim will be.
James Oliver Deckard v/s James Hanson
Wonderful account from The Libertarian Alliance: BLOG:
An Evening with James Hansen
The famous climate “scientist,” James Hansen, spoke at the London School of Economics on the 16th May 2013. Here is an account of his talk and its attendant circumstances.
Last night he gave the usual bilge, truly putting the frighteners on and informing everyone (for about the 10,000th time since 1988) that immediate action is required otherwise thermageddon is guaranteed. Though he has changed his tune a little – the threat is now no longer imminent but (conveniently), “in the pipeline”. That it is going to be catastrophic though, he is in no doubt at all.
A bit more:
The place was absolutely packed – hundreds of people were there and I have to admit, as I listened to one questioner after another identify whichever hack activist group or pleading green lobbying special interest they were from, I truly felt like I was alone in enemy territory. I almost backed out and let my fear get the better of me. But I kept putting my hand up regardless – Hansen’s scaremongering could not go unanswered and if it wasn’t by way of putting points and questions to him then it was going to have to be heckles.
Shortly before the mike came to me, one of the activists in the audience pointed out that he [Hansen] was only preaching to the choir, saying that it was important to get people from ‘outside the choir’ to attend such events and asking how.
And the meat of the exchange:
I stood up and laid into him. I said that he was high on the hyperbole and hysteria and low on the facts. Most of the people there would unfortunately take him at his word and not look any further so I said I felt obliged to point out that most of his claims were highly controversial and some were flat out wrong and that I’d be happy to go through them with him there and then and debate him.
The crowd then turned on me, exploding in incredulity.
I said that my question to him was that if he truly wanted people from ‘outside the choir’ to get involved then what on earth did he expect to happen when he (and he did) ridiculously claim that there was an “enormous well funded denial conspiracy, funded by big oil and gas”, thereby immediately dismissing anyone who dared to air a single sceptical thought.
After several hostile exchanges with the crowd immediately around me and a bit of back and forth between myself and Hansen, he finally got around to (not) answering my question. His response was bizarre. He came out with the hackneyed bollocks that the basis of science was scepticism blah blah blah. He then said that he had debated Richard Lindzen previously (Lindzen is one of the world’s most famous climate sceptics and most highly published atmospheric physicist). He said (referring to Lindzen) that it was “hard to win against an articulate guy”). He also – bizarrely – claimed that Lindzen had been shown to be wrong again and again and that he [Hansen] would no longer have any kind of debates, public or otherwise, with Lindzen or others because – apparently – “even when he has been shown to be wrong on so many occasions, he just shifts to another point to pick on”.
Much more at the site.
Hansen is just plain off his rocker. He 'retired' from his post at NASA and is now doing the speech circuit. He needs to do a careful self-evaluation as his claims are coming apart at the seams. He has not done honest science in forty years…
May 17, 2013
Not much tonight
Kinda tired — I will be surfing for another hour or so and may find something that catches me eye.
Right now, the unraveling of the IRS scandal is delicious especially since Timothy (tax-cheat) Geithner was head of Treasury when it was in its heyday.
Things are so bad that Obama had to release some more Benghazi emails to distract the media from the IRS.
I thought that these people were supposed to represent us?
Now that is a stop sign
Australia's Water Curtain Stop Signs Are A Great Idea
Sydney has been having a big problem with oversized trucks driving into tunnels that are too low. So Sydney needed a stop sign that is absolutely impossible to miss. Here it is and it's amazing.
It's a curtain of water with a stop sign projected onto it. You can have as many overhead stop signs as you want, but as this 10 News video report shows, truck drivers still crash their trucks into these low-overhead tunnels. Sydney was tired of the delays, the costs of the damages, and the threat that a truck crash would get someone killed.
That's why in 2007 they put in this water curtain sign on its harbor tunnel, designed by light show company Laservision. They work brilliantly.
And Laservision just got a whole new revenue stream. Looks kinda hard to avoid…
Hat tip Neatorama for the link.
A fun day
The Welding Rodeo was fun but it was raining pretty heavily so there were only the participants, the students and teachers at the college and a few die-hard crazies like myself.
They had three blacksmiths demonstrating and I came away with a couple of ideas for my own portable forge — tool holders, etc…
Went to a couple of Sewing shops in Bellingham but none of them had any parts for my new puppy — I wasn't really expecting much but would have liked Singer Oil Type 'A' and needles and bobbins. Looks like I need to go on line. One store recommended three places in Seattle — two for industrial sewing machines and one for leather. Google them after dinner.
Costco and I finally reached a nexus where they had gun safes in stock and I was able to take the time to pick one up and install it. Doing that tomorrow. There is a corner in the garage that is poured concrete on three sides so I am going to rotohammer that puppy into the next dimension — it will not move until I want it to…
May 16, 2013
Long day today and tomorrow
Long day today and tomorrow is going to be just as busy.
Got a bunch of stuff planted in the hoop-houses as well as repotted into larger pots. Planted seven different cultivars of tobacco — see what happens there. I have a south-facing wall that these are going up against to get maximum heat and light. Same wall is going to get several varieties of grapes (pick these up next week) and hops plants (already in and growing like a weed).
Spent some time surfing the web for “Singer Industrial Sewing Machines” and it is amazing the breadth of parts that are available for this 70 year old machine. I know that some things like needles and bobbins do not change much but most of the innards for this unit are available (albeit sometimes pricey!). Nice to know that this can be handed down to the next couple of generations.
Lulu and I will be spending much of tomorrow at the Welding Rodeo. This is a really fun event with lots of artistry involved — I try to make it each year. Lulu's son was invited but he is going with some friends to the Star trek premiere tonight and will be out late. Oh to be 21 again… NOT!
There is nice weather forecast for tomorrow so whatever time not spent at the Rodeo will be spent in the garden.