Decorated Scientist Defects From Belief in Global Warming – Caps Year of Vindication for SkepticsThe article then goes on to talk about (and provide links to) such subjects as:
One of the most decorated French geophysicists has converted from a believer in manmade catastrophic global warming to a climate skeptic. This latest defector from the global warming camp caps a year in which numerous scientific studies have bolstered the claims of climate skeptics. Scientific studies that debunk the dire predictions of human-caused global warming have continued to accumulate and many believe the new science is shattering the media-promoted scientific “consensus” on climate alarmism.
Claude Allegre, a former government official and an active member of France’s Socialist Party, wrote an editorial on September 21, 2006 in the French newspaper L'Express titled “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” (For English Translation, click here: http://epw.senate.gov/fact.cfm?party=rep&id=264835 ) detailing his newfound skepticism about manmade global warming. See: http://www.lexpress.fr/idees/tribunes/dossier/allegre/dossier.asp?ida=451670 Allegre wrote that the “cause of climate change remains unknown” and pointed out that Kilimanjaro is not losing snow due to global warming, but to local land use and precipitation changes. Allegre also pointed out that studies show that Antarctic snowfall rate has been stable over the past 30 years and the continent is actually gaining ice.
“Following the month of August experienced by the northern half of France, the prophets of doom of global warming will have a lot on their plate in order to make our fellow countrymen swallow their certitudes,” Allegre wrote. He also accused proponents of manmade catastrophic global warming of being motivated by money, noting that “the ecology of helpless protesting has become a very lucrative business for some people!”
Allegre, a member of both the French and U.S. Academy of Sciences, had previously expressed concern about manmade global warming. "By burning fossil fuels, man enhanced the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which has raised the global mean temperature by half a degree in the last century," Allegre wrote 20 years ago. In addition, Allegre was one of 1500 scientists who signed a November 18, 1992 letter titled “World Scientists' Warning to Humanity” in which the scientists warned that global warming’s “potential risks are very great.” See: http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~sai/sciwarn.html
Allegre has authored more than 100 scientific articles, written 11 books and received numerous scientific awards including the Goldschmidt Medal from the Geochemical Society of the United States.
Allegre's conversion to a climate skeptic comes at a time when global warming alarmists have insisted that there is a “consensus” about manmade global warming. Proponents of global warming have ratcheted up the level of rhetoric on climate skeptics recently. An environmental magazine in September called for Nuremberg-style trials for global warming skeptics and CBS News “60 Minutes” correspondent Scott Pelley compared skeptics to “Holocaust deniers.” See: http://www.epw.senate.gov/fact.cfm?party=rep&id=264568 & http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2006/03/22/publiceye/entry1431768.shtml In addition, former Vice President Al Gore has repeatedly referred to skeptics as "global warming deniers."
This increase in rhetorical flourish comes at a time when new climate science research continues to unravel the global warming alarmists’ computer model predictions of future climatic doom and vindicate skeptics.
Kitschy Pink Flamingo Faces ExtinctionBut there is some hope:
The plastic bird, found on lawns across the U.S., ceases production. Its maker looks for a buyer.
The plastic pink flamingo, a front-lawn icon that has been reviled as kitschy bad taste and revered as retro cool, is dead at age 49.
The pop culture symbol met its demise after its manufacturer, Union Products of Leominster, Mass., was socked with a triple economic threat — increases in costs of electricity and plastic resin combined with loss of financing. Production ended in June, and the plant is scheduled to close Nov. 1, according to the president and chief executive, Dennis Plante.
Union Products made 250,000 of its patented plastic pink flamingos a year in addition to other garden products.
Robert Thompson, professor of popular culture at Syracuse University, paid tribute to the bird that has been immortalized everywhere — in the 1970s John Waters movie "Pink Flamingos" and on lawns across America.
"Let's face it," he said, "as iconic emblems of kitsch, there are two pillars of cheesy, campiness in the American pantheon. One is the velvet Elvis. The other is the pink flamingo."
The birth of the plastic pink flamingo in 1957 coincided with a booming interest in Florida, Thompson said, making it possible for those in other parts of the country to have a little piece of the Sunshine State's mystique in their yard.
By the late '70s, according to Thompson, the pink flamingo became a symbol of bad taste. It was considered trash culture and embraced by folks with a wise-guy attitude.
Featherstone and President Plante are hoping for a resurrection. Plante has been seeking another company to buy the molds. So far, two companies in the U.S. and one in Canada have expressed interest.Hat tip to BoingBoing for the link...
"I am hoping that someone will come forward and save the plastic pink flamingo from extinction," Plante said.
Late-life Artists - Transforming Life Experience Into ArtWork from an older artist has a lot more resonance to the viewer than work from a younger one. I am leaving myself open to a lot of "No F@#%!@&* Way" comments and in many cases this is justified but still, I look at work from a younger artist and they can have a very very cool and creative idea and you can appreciate that idea but there is no resonance. Or one of their pieces may speak volumes to you but it's a one-shot deal where earlier and later works do not share this attribute. Someone who is a bit older, has knocked around this planet a bit and has seen a lot of other cultures will have a larger palate to draw from when they start to express themselves -- they may not have as polished a technique as the art-school trained 25 year old "next big thing" but their work will speak for itself.
I see an increasing number of professionals who find themselves transforming their life experiences into art. Many of these mid and late-life artists were launched into art by taking a course taught by a professional artist, while others simply find themselves caught up by late-onset creativity.
Whatever the reason, these late-life artists are playing an important part in Floyd. In fact, the majority of students at the residential craft school at the Jacksonville Center in Floyd are grey-haired veterans of life and industry.
A little background for those who are not familiar with the Center: The Jacksonville Center offers a wide range of classes from pastels and watercolors to pottery, glassworking and blacksmithing to students of all ages. The students range from beginning artists and craftworkers to well-known professionals who are cross-training in other disciplines. The cooperative interaction (synergy) between students at different levels is one of many benefits of these classes.
I think the reasons we find so many late-life artists emerging is that "Art" is not an easy way for a young person to make a living . Many young people, myself included, investigated making a living as artists and concluded reluctantly that we were not able to support a family with art although we could do so as engineers, salespersons or business managers. Some artists were making a good living, but I concluded that I did not have the skill or connections to succeed at that time.
Many of us made our choices to work at careers which enabled us to support our families, but once we reached an age where we had no corporate responsibilities, we could reignite our passions for creative work and explore new opportunities as craft workers and artists.
This delayed entrance into the world of art is not necessarily a disadvantage. Unlike ballet, where you are too old at 13 to entertain thoughts of a career, a career in painting can be launched at the age of 79 (Grandma Moses).
Art can be considered a communication where the artist evokes a response in the observer. Artists with a great deal of interesting life experience only need to learn to translate that life experience into a recognizable communication and they will generally find a ready audience.
Late-life artists may even have a certain advantage over young artists. At the same level of technical skill, the older artist has more to communicate about that will resonate with potential buyers.
TV Really Might Cause AutismSo the TeleTubbies are evil after all! Parents should not use the Television as a babysitter despite how effective and simple it is. The causes of autism might lay a lot deeper in the physiology of the brain (for example, autistic people tend to have larger brains) but a constant dose of television and computer games would certainly go a long way to foster the otherworldly disease. I sometimes see kids playing the portable twitch games and they are completely unresponsive to outside stimuli.
A Slate exclusive: findings from a new Cornell study.
Last month, I speculated in Slate that the mounting incidence of childhood autism may be related to increased television viewing among the very young. The autism rise began around 1980, about the same time cable television and VCRs became common, allowing children to watch television aimed at them any time. Since the brain is organizing during the first years of life and since human beings evolved responding to three-dimensional stimuli, I wondered if exposing toddlers to lots of colorful two-dimensional stimulation could be harmful to brain development. This was sheer speculation, since I knew of no researchers pursuing the question.
Today, Cornell University researchers are reporting what appears to be a statistically significant relationship between autism rates and television watching by children under the age of 3. The researchers studied autism incidence in California, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington state. They found that as cable television became common in California and Pennsylvania beginning around 1980, childhood autism rose more in the counties that had cable than in the counties that did not. They further found that in all the Western states, the more time toddlers spent in front of the television, the more likely they were to exhibit symptoms of autism disorders.
The Amateur's RevengeThe Slate article goes on to mention Sokal and has some nice quotes. Fun stuff! ANd a big tip 'o the hat to The Braden Files
Posing as a physicist—and getting away with it.
W.H. Auden once remarked, "When I am in the company of scientists, I feel like a shabby curate who has strayed by mistake into a drawing room full of dukes." Scientists often do have an aristocratic air. After all, they know things—important things, nature's secrets—that the rest of us could never understand ourselves. Or could we?
In a recent experiment of his design, British sociologist Harry Collins asked a scientist who specializes in gravitational waves to answer seven questions about the physics of these waves. Collins, who has made an amateur study of this field for more than 30 years but has never actually practiced it, also answered the questions himself. Then he submitted both sets of answers to a panel of judges who are themselves gravitational-wave researchers. The judges couldn't tell the impostor from one of their own. Collins argues that he is therefore as qualified as anyone to discuss this field, even though he can't conduct experiments in it.
Collins' feat startled the scientific community. The journal Nature predicted that the experiment would have a broad impact, writing that Collins could help settle the "science wars of the 1990s," "when sociologists launched what scientists saw as attacks on the very nature of science, and scientists responded in kind," accusing the sociologists of misunderstanding science. More generally, it could affect "the argument about whether an outsider, such as an anthropologist, can properly understand another group, such as a remote rural community." With this comment, Nature seemed to be saying that if a sociologist can understand physics, then anyone can understand anything.
U.N. Approves Sanctions on North KoreaThat part about "calls on all countries to inspect cargo leaving and arriving in North Korea" is going to hurt. North Korea's primary source of cash income is selling weapons to terrorists, drugs and counterfeit US hundreds. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy...
The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously on Saturday to impose punishing sanctions on North Korea including ship searches for banned weapons, calling Pyongyang's claimed nuclear test "a clear threat to international peace and security."
North Korea immediately rejected the resolution, and its U.N. ambassador walked out of the council chamber after accusing its members of a "gangster-like" action which neglects the nuclear threat posed by the United States.
The U.S.-sponsored resolution demands that the reclusive communist nation abandon its nuclear weapons program, and orders all countries to prevent North Korea from importing or exporting any material for weapons of mass destruction or ballistic missiles. It orders nations to freeze assets of people or businesses connected to these programs, and ban the individuals from traveling.
The resolution also calls on all countries to inspect cargo leaving and arriving in North Korea to prevent any illegal trafficking in unconventional weapons or ballistic missiles. The final draft was softened from language authorizing searches, but was still unacceptable to China - the North's closest ally and largest trading partner - which said it would not carry out any searches.
U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said North Korea's proclaimed test "poses one of the gravest threats to international peace and security that this council has ever had to confront."
Laser TV predicted to be death of plasmaOf course, this could be a healthy dose of vaporware and wishful thinking but still, the technology is feasible. As I said, getting the color balance will be crucial. Have you ever looked at a "white" LED.
It's being hailed by its developers as the next revolution in visual technology - a laser television that will make plasma screens obsolete.
Soon-to-be-listed Australian company Arasor International and its US partner Novalux unveiled what they claimed to be the world's first laser television in Sydney, with a pitch that it will be half the price, twice as good, and use a quarter of the electricity of conventional plasma and LCD TVs.
Manufacturing company Arasor produces the unique optoelectronic chip central to the laser projection device being developed by Silicon Valley-based Novalux, which is being used by a number of television manufacturers.
And displayed beside a conventional 50 inch plasma TV, the Mitsubishi-built prototype does appear brighter and clearer than its "older" rival.
With a worldwide launch date scheduled for Christmas 2007, under recognisable brands like Mitsubishi and Samsung, Novalux chief executive Jean-Michel Pelaprat is so bold as to predict the death of plasma.
"If you look at any screen today, the colour content is roughly about 30-35 per cent of what the eye can see," he said.
"But for the very first time with a laser TV we'll be able to see 90 per cent of what the eye can see.
"All of a sudden what you see is a lifelike image on display."
Combine that with energy efficiency, price advantage and the fact that the laser TVs will be half the weight and depth of plasma TVS, and Mr Pelaprat says "plasma is now something of the past".
Flickin the Bird Pump up Finger(The website is in England -- Bernard Manning is an English comedian) A big tip of the hat to Gizmodo
Flick'n the Bird Pump Up Finger is an inflatable hand that sticks to your car window, and when you squeeze the pump, it communicates your state of mind and intention with a directness even Bernard Manning would find hard to beat!
The Disk Drive at 50: Still SpinningStorage capacity of about half a meg and as large as a washing machine. The disks could become unbalanced and when that happened, this 800 pound machine would start rocking back and forth, sometimes walking around the datacenter crashing into stuff. Talk about good old days indeed!
This month marks the 50th anniversary of the announcement of an innovative storage technology that IBM created and launched for its early computers--a device that predates its vaunted System/360 mainframe by eight and a half years. Back in September 1956, it was just called the IBM 305 RAMAC, and it wasn't a disk drive so much as computing system attached to a giant disk drive. That device, the great-great-granddaddy of the spinning disk in your computer and those in use at your company, is arguably one of the most persistent pieces of technology ever created.
Early phonographs created by Thomas Edison stored data on a rotating drum. Edison made scratches in the drum to record sound, and then rotated the drum to recreate the vibrations that in turn caused a horn to vibrate with the sound that was recorded--with a much lower fidelity, to be sure. Eventually, records were turned into platters and mass-produced, creating a music-listening industry where once there had been a sheet music business and a world of half-rate musicians--our relatives and friends.
By the late 1950s, information had been encoded on punch cards for decades and had more recently be put on magnetic tape. The genius of the RAMAC drive was its speed. But storing data on the top and bottom of metal disks using magnetic material is not an IBM invention--in fact, it was created in 1952 by an engineer named Jacob Rabinow, who worked at the U.S. Army's Ballistic Research Laboratory on its Aberdeen, Maryland, proving grounds. IBM's researchers initially chose a drum for RAMAC instead of a disk platter (which was easier to manufacture) because it was stiffer and therefore it was easier to maintain a consistent space between the drum and the head that read data off the drum or magnetically encoded it on the drum. But the RAMAC 305 actually consisted of 50 metal platters, spinning at 1,200 RPM and a recording density of about 100 bits per inch. RAMAC was capable of storing between 5 million and 20 million "words" of data. Yes, this predates bits and bytes as we know them.
Dynamic CapitalismYou do not have to be a student of that dismal science to know exactly what Edmund is saying. Awesome writing and it sure sucks to be Europe right about now. Go to the site to read the rest of the article, I only excerpted the first 30% or so...
Entrepreneurship is lucrative--and just.
There are two economic systems in the West. Several nations--including the U.S., Canada and the U.K.--have a private-ownership system marked by great openness to the implementation of new commercial ideas coming from entrepreneurs, and by a pluralism of views among the financiers who select the ideas to nurture by providing the capital and incentives necessary for their development. Although much innovation comes from established companies, as in pharmaceuticals, much comes from start-ups, particularly the most novel innovations. This is free enterprise, a. k. a. capitalism.
The other system--in Western Continental Europe--though also based on private ownership, has been modified by the introduction of institutions aimed at protecting the interests of "stakeholders" and "social partners." The system's institutions include big employer confederations, big unions and monopolistic banks. Since World War II, a great deal of liberalization has taken place. But new corporatist institutions have sprung up: Co-determination (cogestion, or Mitbestimmung) has brought "worker councils" (Betriebsrat); and in Germany, a union representative sits on the investment committee of corporations. The system operates to discourage changes such as relocations and the entry of new firms, and its performance depends on established companies in cooperation with local and national banks. What it lacks in flexibility it tries to compensate for with technological sophistication. So different is this system that it has its own name: the "social market economy" in Germany, "social democracy" in France and "concertazione" in Italy.
Dynamism and Fertility
The American and Continental systems are not operationally equivalent, contrary to some neoclassical views. Let me use the word "dynamism" to mean the fertility of the economy in coming up with innovative ideas believed to be technologically feasible and profitable--in short, the economy's talent at commercially successful innovating. In this terminology, the free enterprise system is structured in such a way that it facilitates and stimulates dynamism while the Continental system impedes and discourages it.
Wasn't the Continental system designed to stifle dynamism? When building the massive structures of corporatism in interwar Italy, theoreticians explained that their new system would be more dynamic than capitalism--maybe not more fertile in little ideas, such as might come to petit-bourgeois entrepreneurs, but certainly in big ideas. Not having to fear fluid market conditions, an entrenched company could afford to develop radical innovation. And with industrial confederations and state mediation available, such companies could arrange to avoid costly duplication of their investments. The state and its instruments, the big banks, could intervene to settle conflicts about the economy's direction. Thus the corporatist economy was expected to usher in a new futurismo that was famously symbolized by Severini's paintings of fast trains. (What was important was that the train was rushing forward, not that it ran on time.)
Friedrich Hayek, in the late 1930s and early '40s, began the modern theory of how a capitalist system, if pure enough, would possess the greatest dynamism--not socialism and not corporatism. First, virtually everyone right down to the humblest employees has "know-how," some of what Michael Polanyi called "personal knowledge" and some merely private knowledge, and out of that an idea may come that few others would have. In its openness to the ideas of all or most participants, the capitalist economy tends to generate a plethora of new ideas.
Visit his Flickr website for a lot more.
Urban bird owners get anti-flu adviceBullshit. Avian Flu represents zero danger in a normal urban or suburban settlement. The cases we have seen were in Asian countries where families lived in close proximity with a large number of birds. Overcrowding and poor sanitation were the cause, not the birds themselves. The article then goes on:
Hundreds of undocumented chickens live in Seattle, a clucking time bomb planted right in the urban core that poses just as great a risk for deadly bird flu as any rural chicken should the severe Asian strain of avian influenza ever finds its way to this region.
"All bird owners need to educate themselves how best to protect themselves and their animals," said Valoria Loveland, director of the state Department of Agriculture.
That includes the owners of at least 500 urban chickens living in Seattle backyards. Tuesday, state and federal officials held a public meeting to educate regional small-flock poultry and pet bird owners about the need to use standard "biosecurity" practices to protect against the disease. That included a call for all bird owners to register their flocks to assist with a statewide disease surveillance program.
When a poultry farm just across the U.S.-Canada border in British Columbia got hit in 2004 by a different form of bird flu (typically known as "highly pathogenic" avian influenza, or HPAI), Kinsel said Washington state officials knew any flock in nearby Whatcom County was at risk for the infection.The pathogen was something that was basically harmless to humans. Here is an Alberta province website that has an excellent timeline of that entire summer. For that entire outbreak, only two humans got sick. The CDC has the writeup and here is the money quote:
Influenza A H7N3 infection was confirmed in two men (40 and 45 years of age) exposed on different farms March 13 and March 22–23. Both had direct conjunctival contact with infected poultry. One was not wearing eye protection, and the other was wearing glasses that were bypassed by a feather. Neither was taking oseltamivir prophylaxis. Neither was vaccinated against human influenza virus. Symptoms developed 1–3 days after exposure (March 16 and 24). Conjunctivitis and coryza developed in the first patient, and conjunctivitis and headache developed in the second. Both received oseltamivir treatment, and symptoms resolved fully. Active daily surveillance by the local health unit identified no secondary cases.Since the outbreak started in February and was confined to about a 5 Kilometer radius, these people had one month to know that they might want to take some additional precautions. Seattle is just being Seattle and this is one of the many symptoms of that disease. Very glad to be out of there...
Lightning exits woman's bottomI'm going to be checking the sky each time I use the bathroom for the next few weeks... Yikes!
A woman has suffered severe burning to her anus after being struck by lightning which hit her in the mouth and passed right through her body.
Natasha Timarovic, 27, was cleaning her teeth at home when lightning struck the building.
She said: "I had just put my mouth under the tap to rinse away the toothpaste when the lightning must have struck the building.
I don't remember much after that, but I was later told that the lightning had travelled down the water pipe and struck me on the mouth, passing through my body.
It was incredibly painful, I felt it pass through my torso and then I don't remember much at all." Doctors at the city hospital where she was treated for burns to the mouth and rear said: "The accident is bizarre but not impossible.
She was wearing rubber bathroom shoes at the time and so instead of earthing through her feet it appears the electricity shot out of her backside," a medic told local television news channel, 24 Sata.
"It appears to have earthed through the damp shower curtain that she was touching as she bent over to put her mouth under the tap. If she had not been wearing the shoes she would probably have been killed by the blast."
Shivering Alaskans to Hugo Chavez: Keep your oilChavez also owns the US chain of Citgo gas stations. A good place to start showing your feelings towards despotic governments and communism in general.
In Alaska's native villages, the punishing winter cold is already penetrating the walls of the lightly insulated plywood homes, many of the villagers are desperately poor, and heating-oil prices are among the highest in the nation.
And yet a few of the small communities want to refuse free heating oil from Venezuela, on the patriotic principle that no foreigner has the right to call their president "the devil."
The heating oil is being offered by the petroleum company controlled by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, President Bush's nemesis. While scores of Alaska's Eskimo and Indian villages say they have no choice but to accept, others would rather suffer.
"As a citizen of this country, you can have your own opinion of our president and our country. But I don't want a foreigner coming in here and bashing us," said Justine Gunderson, administrator for the tribal council in the Aleut village of Nelson Lagoon. "Even though we're in economically dire straits, it was the right choice to make."
Nelson Lagoon residents pay more than $5 a gallon for oil -- or at least $300 a month per household -- to heat their homes along the wind-swept coast of the Bering Sea, where temperatures can dip to minus-15. About one-quarter of the 70 villagers are looking for work, in part because Alaska's salmon fishing industry has been hit hard by competition from fish farms.
The donation to Alaska's native villages has focused attention on the rampant poverty and high fuel prices in a state that is otherwise awash in oil -- and oil profits. In 2005, 86 percent of the Alaska's general fund, or $2.8 billion, came from oil from the North Slope.
The Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, a native nonprofit organization that would have handled the heating oil donation on behalf of 291 households in Nelson Lagoon, Atka, St. Paul and St. George, rejected the offer because of the insults Chavez has hurled at Bush.
Chavez called Bush "the devil" in a speech to the United Nations last month. He has also called the president a terrorist and denounced the war in Iraq.
Nachos, anyone?A chance encounter in the Library of Congress and a 1954 church cookbook turns up:
In the 25 years during which I worked for the Oxford English Dictionary, before the days of sophisticated electronic searching, the methods used by OED library researchers like myself were varied, random, and frequently unscientific.
These were pre-computer days. The Internet was 25 years in the future. Gradually computer use for library holdings was introduced, but the more sophisticated searches (journals and newspaper texts) were restricted to use by authorized staff. I relied heavily on the many printed subject indexes to books, journals, reports, and newspapers. The general book stacks of the Library of Congress were then open to qualified researchers which made checking of references relatively easy. Browsing in a single library number frequently yielded answers impossible to find by other techniques.
Originally my work was the verification of quotations supplied by contributors after publication of the first Supplement in 1933, the sources for which could not be located readily in England. The early quotations needing verification were primarily bibliographic puzzles to be solved, but the work soon developed into requests to 'Please verify and supply antedating if possible.' Requests covered all parts of speech. Nouns (sb., at that time) soon became my favourites. I had many happy searches; one of the most rewarding was for nachos.
In September 1988 a slip of paper (the usual 4 x 6) for this word came from one of the editors, stating that the earliest quotation in the OED files was from a 1978 issue of the Tucson (Arizona) Magazine, but that the recently published Webster's Ninth Collegiate Dictionary showed 1969 as the earliest date in their files. Could I antedate? Added was a postscript asking if I could find its etymology. WNCD had suggested it might be 'fr. Sp. "nacho" flat-nosed'. Could I confirm this? I had only learned of nachos a few years earlier when a Mexican restaurant opened in our Capitol Hill neighbourhood. Those nachos were delicious! I could have made them my entire meal, but how could anyone who has looked at and eaten nachos see any relationship between one of these and the adjective flat-nosed?
...Ignacio 'Nacho' Anaya, gives the Victory Club as the place in which he invented his 'nacho specials', and provides his own original recipe.Read the whole article -- a lot of fun.
North Korea confirms nuclear testFrom CTV Canada:
North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Monday the country has performed a successful nuclear test.
South Korean government officials also said North Korea performed its first nuclear test, the South's Yonhap news agency reported.
According to KCNA, there was no radioactive leakage from the site.
South Korean officials could not immediately confirm the Yonhap report.
South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun convened an urgent meeting of security advisers over the issue, Yonhap reported.
The North said last week it would conduct a nuclear test as part of its deterrent against a possible U.S. invasion.
North Korea claims first nuclear weapon testAnd a bit more:
North Korea has claimed to carry out what its neighbours have long feared -- the test of a nuclear weapon.
"The nuclear test is a historic event that brought happiness to our military and people," said a quote carried Monday by the Korean Central News Agency, the communist state's official agency.
"The nuclear test will contribute to maintaining peace and stability in the Korean peninsula and surrounding region."
The test occurred at 9:36 p.m. EDT Sunday night (10:36 a.m. local time on Monday), it said, citing defence officials as a source.The seismic data will be crucial. It is possible to detect the differences between nuclear and conventional explosives and to pinpoint their site of detonation. It seems (from another source) that there has been a 3.5Mag quake recorded in NoKo but the data for that is not fully in yet. If the test was successful, it will be a big concern as NoKo is the primary source of munitions for terrorists. Due to government mismanagement, the nation is incredibly poor so being able to offer a nuke or two for sale would cause any number of the islamist pigs to salivate greatly.
However, the U.S. Geological Survey said it hasn't detected any seismic activity on the Korean peninsula in the past 48 hours of the type one might expect from a nuclear test.
The North had been threatening such a test as part of its deterrent against what it claims is a possible U.S. invasion. The U.S. has said it has no plans to invade the country it once called part of an "axis of evil."
HardeningCheck out the links to the first two posts. Blade making is a lot of fun -- as simple or as complex as you want it to be and the results are a very personal tool that will serve you for a long long time.
Having finally made time to do this, I'm going to harden the blade that was forged here and ground here.
Here's the blade, and that line drawn in is important. Generally, I want to bring it up to critical heat in that range back from the edge, not much farther.
That means that section will be at full hardness, with the area further back tougher to support the hard section. Not a big factor with a small blade like this, and you can harden the entire blade. It is how I prefer to do it on all but smaller blades.
I lit the forge, and made three of the roasting forks while it burned clean and larger, so I had a clean fire with all the coal that will be on/around the steel coked. I also got a small pot I keep for this and filled it with quenching oil. Before I started on the blade I took a piece of steel and brought it up to a bright red, then quenched it to heat the oil; warm oil(around 100F) flows better and gives a more even quench. When it was ready, the blade went into the fire.
Note that it goes in roughly horizontal and with a very low air flow at first to let it soak up heat. Depending on how thick and/or wide a piece is, you may only need the low air blast. The big factor on even heat is to make sure the fire is large enough to bring the whole blade up to temp.
More Hollyweird ExcrementRead the rest -- sounds like a job for Mr. Hankey...
DNA may implicate Malibu stars’ toilets
This was just too much to pass up. La-La Land Loons vs. Enviro-Loons Vs. The Attack of the Escaped Turds.Holy Human Waste Batman, search warrants for septic tanks? DNA testing….Do you really, really think the celebs will provide DNA samples. Although it is entirely possible to find Oliver Stone’s next movie script floating around in one of them, and it might pay for the lab work. I know wishful thinking, but I guarantee George Clooney’s stunt double is a floating wrinkle-neck.Just whose waste is fouling the most star-studded stretch of the Southern California coast? Los Angeles County officials intend to find out, and if the evidence leads back to the toilets of some of Hollywood’s rich and famous, the sewage could really hit the fan. “This is going to get messy,” predicts Mark Pestrella, the public works official assigned to the project.
Environmentalists and health officials suspect Malibu homeowners’ leaky septic tanks are allowing what gets flushed down the toilet to flow down the hills and into the Pacific Ocean. To identify the offenders, authorities intend to use DNA testing and, if necessary, get court warrants to inspect septic tanks. And that includes tanks buried in the backyards of Hollywood celebrities.Hypocrisy in action. The plebes are forced into abandoning their septic systems and paying through the nose for municipal sewer tie-in assessments. The elitist turds created their own little socialist utopia to ensure their shit (which is way to good to put into a public system) agenda is maintained status-quo.Malibu, whose spectacular seaside cliffs, canyons and beaches have attracted numerous environmentally minded celebrities over the years, including Sting and Tom Hanks, was incorporated in 1991 specifically to stop construction of a sewer line. There are an estimated 2,400 septic tanks in this city of multimillion-dollar homes strung along 25 miles of coast.
Malibu residents fiercely guard their privacy and their right to use septic tanks, and many deny their septic systems are the source of dangerous ocean bacteria levels that rise sharply after heavy rains.
Under pressure from Southern California regulators, investigators over the next few months will begin testing sea water. If DNA shows the waste is human and not from, say, raccoons or coyote, they will follow the trail up creeks that traverse neighborhoods in Malibu, where clean-water advocates such as Pierce Brosnan and Ted Danson live.You really didn’t think the stellar fecal matter denizens would ever actually get tested didja?Where the tests show a concentration of human waste, inspectors will sleuth out the source. Though they will not request DNA samples from residents to match waste with its human source, they may ask a judge for authority to inspect tanks of property owners who bar them from taking samples.
Testing for Skeeter Bag™ began in the summer of 2004 at a puppy breeding facility in Central Florida. The facility cares for over 100 adult dogs and as many as 30 puppies at a given moment. Their mosquito problem was out of control. On June 12, 2004 the first trap was set six feet above several dogs on the sleeping porch and by morning it had over 3,500 mosquitoes inside. As the mosquito season picked up as many as 38,000 mosquitoes were caught in a night (estimated by weight 1 gram » 1,000 dried mosquitoes). In reaction to these astronomical result the inventors, Sidney McCarty IV and Mark Eugene Valentine coined a phrase for Skeeter Bag™, “It’s like a black hole in a mosquitoes universe.” They also said jokingly, “Let’s face it man, you’re the bait, you and your beloved animals are at the center of their universe. Why not use that?”
Robot cars will race in real trafficVery cool! Here is the DARPA website: The DARPA Urban Challenge Here is the 2005 winning vehicle from Stanford:
The first 11 teams for a race in which robot cars will jostle with real ones along mocked-up city streets have been announced. The teams must construct autonomous vehicles to navigate an unfamiliar urban environment in the shortest time possible.
The robot racers will face a "simulated" urban course 96 kilometres (60 miles) in length in November 2007. The course will feature urban obstacles, such as trees and buildings, traffic signs and other moving vehicles. Its location is yet to be disclosed.
The contestants must obey traffic regulations. As well as merging with other traffic, changing lanes and observing stop signs, the robo-participants will have to pull into a parking lot for a short period. The first three vehicles to complete the course in less than 6 hours will be awarded prizes.
The event is called the Urban Grand Challenge and organised by the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). It is the follow-up its original Grand Challenge, a robotic race across a 212 km desert course, which was successfully completed in October 2005.
Hop warehouse burns to ground in YakimaBrewers everywhere issue a collective sob.
About 4 percent of the nation's total hop yield was lost to fire Monday, as 2 million pounds of the pungent beer-making crop smoldered in a Yakima warehouse.
The fire began just before noon in a Division Street warehouse leased by S.S. Steiner Inc., filling the lunch-time sky with smoke. It was under control by Monday evening, allowing cleanup crews to start hauling away the damaged hops. Firefighters expected to monitor the scene through the night in case hot spots flared up.
"This will affect the U.S. market particularly because in some of the varieties, there was a feeling we were already a little short this year," said Ann George, the administrator for the Moxee-based Washington Hop Commission.
Representatives of the Steiner company declined to comment Monday afternoon.
The hops, packed in 10,000 bales weighing about 200 pounds each, were probably worth between $1.75 and $2 per pound, based on average prices this year, George said. That puts the fire's monetary damage between $3.5 million and $4 million. Depending on the varieties, the hops' value per pound could be even higher, she said.
Scientists teleport two different objectsThings are conserved as the light going one way carries the information of the matter going the other so no actual data is being exchanged but still, we are getting closer. Something like this, down the road ten years or so, could use pre-loaded "smart" light to add its information to matter as it is being teleported so you could theoretically create tissues or materials of any kind. Sort of like Charles Townes' LASER back in the 60's, just bumped up a notch or two.
Beaming people in Star Trek fashion is still in the realms of science fiction but physicists in Denmark have teleported information from light to matter bringing quantum communication and computing closer to reality.
Until now scientists have teleported similar objects such as light or single atoms over short distances from one spot to another in a split second.
But Professor Eugene Polzik and his team at the Niels Bohr Institute at Copenhagen University in Denmark have made a breakthrough by using both light and matter.
"It is one step further because for the first time it involves teleportation between light and matter, two different objects. One is the carrier of information and the other one is the storage medium," Polzik explained in an interview on Wednesday.
The experiment involved for the first time a macroscopic atomic object containing thousands of billions of atoms. They also teleported the information a distance of half a meter but believe it can be extended further."Teleportation between two single atoms had been done two years ago by two teams but this was done at a distance of a fraction of a millimeter," Polzik, of the Danish National Research Foundation Center for Quantum Optics, explained.
"Our method allows teleportation to be taken over longer distances because it involves light as the carrier of entanglement," he added.
Quantum entanglement involves entwining two or more particles without physical contact.
Although teleportation is associated with the science-fiction series Star Trek, no one is likely to be beamed anywhere soon.
Still in the shadows, an artist in his own right
Judging by his appearance in "Crumb," Terry Zwigoff's 1995 documentary about an artistic and deeply troubled family, Maxon Crumb didn't seem long for this world. The younger brother of underground cartoonist Robert Crumb was filmed in his seedy hotel room, sitting on a bed of nails and begging for money on San Francisco sidewalks. He looked haunted, spiritually ransacked -- done in by the family abuse that drove his oldest brother, Charles, to suicide.
Twelve years later, Maxon Crumb still resides in the same Sixth Street dump, and still maintains an extreme spartan diet -- "only plant food" -- and an ascetic spiritual practice that includes long, holy-man treks to Bolinas Ridge, where he sits in lotus position for 12 hours at a time. But in the years since "Crumb" was released, he is no longer dependent on government assistance and has stopped panhandling and started supporting himself with his art. His paintings -- more intricate, surreal and disturbing than Robert's antic work -- sell for as much as $3,200; his ink drawings go for $1,200.
Myth #7: A Ph.D. means something.Emphasis mine -- this is the disease that is causing academia to so loose touch with the world. It's a gigantic circle-jerk, there is no feedback, no induced self-correction. Entropy is increasing when it should be forced into decrease. If the terms "feedback" and "induced self-correction" seem vaguely familiar, thank Norbert Wiener. Wiener founded the study of Cybernetics -- got his Ph. D. at Harvard at the tender age of 18. Fascinating character. Mathematicians have always been a little off plumb. Wiener was an excellent mathematician and hence very much off plumb...
Reality: The only thing a Ph.D. means is that you're not a moron, and you're willing to put up with the bullshit it takes to slog your way through a Ph.D. program somewhere. Empirically, having a Ph.D. is negatively correlated with business success. This is because the reward structure in academia is almost the exact opposite of what it is in business. In academia, what your peers think matters. In business, it's what your customers think that matters, and your customers are (almost certainly) not your peers.
The Seattle Times has recently reported on the close ties between Sen. Maria Cantwell and former boyfriend, boss and campaign consultant, lobbyist Ron Dotzauer. Begging explanation is a $15,000-$50,000 personal loan to Dotzauer reported in Cantwell's financial disclosures since 2001. (See Times articles here, here and here).Nasty timing for the upcoming election... Not a particular fan of Cantwell so I would be happy to see Mike Mcgavick get the job. His last job was as head of Safeco Insurance and when he started his tenure, they were close to bankruptcy but he was able to turn them around. The stockholders were pretty happy.
The loan was apparently extended to help Dotzauer through messy divorce litigation. The Times didn't mention that the court file, oddly, was entirely sealed. I had the file unsealed last Thursday. Cantwell is identified as the "other woman".
Willie Nelson’s public statement regarding being caught with a bag of marijuana:Nothing like putting things into proper perspective... Hat tip to Mostly Cajun for the link.
"It’s a good thing I had a bag of marijuana instead of a bag of spinach. I’d be dead by now."
Equine surprise for new landlady
The new landlady of a Tyneside pub has spoken of her surprise at discovering that one of the regulars is a horse.
Jackie Gray recently took over the Alexandra Hotel in Jarrow and said she was shocked when carthorse Peggy joined owner Peter Dolan for a pint.
The 12-year-old female, which has a taste for John Smiths and pickled onion crisps, has apparently been visiting the pub for several years.
Mrs Gray was taken aback at first but says Peggy is no bother at all.
She said: "When I bought the pub a few weeks ago I heard rumours that one of the regulars was a horse but I didn't quite believe them.
"It was a hot day when the horse came in and I was shocked at first because I have never run a pub before."
Retired oil rigger Mr Dolan, 61, from Jarrow, bought Peggy six years ago and discovered her fondness for the pub when she followed him inside.
She had been tied up, but the rope was so long she was able to follow Mr Dolan right up to the bar.
He said: "Peggy's no bother at all. Most of the regulars know her as she's been coming in here for years and for them Peggy's a bit of a novelty. She's a proper lady."
In Antipsychotics, Newer Isn't BetterWhoops! Sometimes newer is not necessarily better.
Drug Find Shocks Researchers
Schizophrenia patients do as well, or perhaps even better, on older psychiatric drugs compared with newer and far costlier medications, according to a study published yesterday that overturns conventional wisdom about antipsychotic drugs, which cost the United States $10 billion a year.
The results are causing consternation. The researchers who conducted the trial were so certain they would find exactly the opposite that they went back to make sure the research data had not been recorded backward.
The study, funded by the British government, is the first to compare treatment results from a broad range of older antipsychotic drugs against results from newer ones. The study was requested by Britain's National Health Service to determine whether the newer drugs -- which can cost 10 times as much as the older ones -- are worth the difference in price.
There has been a surge in prescriptions of the newer antipsychotic drugs in recent years, including among children.
The study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, is likely to add to a growing debate about prescribing patterns of antipsychotic drugs. A U.S. government study last year found that one of the older drugs did as well as newer ones, but at the time, many American psychiatrists warned against concluding that all the older drugs were as good.
Yesterday, in an editorial accompanying the British study, the lead researcher in the U.S. trial asked how an entire medical field could have been misled into thinking that the expensive drugs, such as Zyprexa, Risperdal and Seroquel, were much better.
"The claims of superiority for the [newer drugs] were greatly exaggerated," wrote Columbia University psychiatrist Jeffrey Lieberman. "This may have been encouraged by an overly expectant community of clinicians and patients eager to believe in the power of new medications. At the same time, the aggressive marketing of these drugs may have contributed to this enhanced perception of their effectiveness in the absence of empirical information."
THE LOW POST: I, Left GatekeeperCome on Matt -- tell us what you really think! Heh... He continues:
Why the "9/11 Truth" movement makes the "Left Behind" sci-fi series read like Shakespeare
A few weeks ago I wrote a column on the anniversary of 9/11 that offhandedly dismissed 9/11 conspiracy theorists as "clinically insane." I expected a little bit of heat in response, but nothing could have prepared me for the deluge of fuck-you mail that I actually got. Apparently every third person in the United States thinks George Bush was behind the 9/11 attacks.
"You're just another MSM-whore left gatekeeper paid off by corporate America," said one writer. "What you do isn't journalism at all, you dick," said another. "You're the one who's clinically insane," barked a third, before educating me on the supposed anomalies of physics involved with the collapse of WTC-7.
I have two basic gripes with the 9/11 Truth movement. The first is that it gives supporters of Bush an excuse to dismiss critics of this administration. I have no doubt that every time one of those Loose Change dickwads opens his mouth, a Republican somewhere picks up five votes. In fact, if there were any conspiracy here, I'd be far more inclined to believe that this whole movement was cooked up by Karl Rove as a kind of mass cyber-provocation, along the lines of Gordon Liddy hiring hippie peace protesters to piss in the lobbies of hotels where campaign reporters were staying.
I don't have the space here to address every single reason why 9/11 conspiracy theory is so shamefully stupid, so I'll have to be content with just one point: 9/11 Truth is the lowest form of conspiracy theory, because it doesn't offer an affirmative theory of the crime.Matt gives a possible fly-on-the-wall view of the Oval Office planning for 9/11 and then concludes with this thrown gauntlet:
Forget for a minute all those Internet tales about inexplicable skyscraper fires, strange holes in the ground at Shanksville and mysterious flight manifestoes. What is the theory of the crime, according to the 9/11 Truth movement?
I challenge a 9/11 Truth leader like Loose Change writer Dylan Avery to come up with a detailed, complete summary of the alleged plot -- not the bits and pieces, but the whole story, put together -- that would not make any fifth grader anywhere burst out in convulsive laughter. And without that, all the rest of it is bosh and bunkum, on the order of the "sonar evidence" proving the existence of the Loch Ness monster. If you can't put all of these alleged scientific impossibilities together into a story that makes sense, then all you're doing is jerking off -- and it's not like no one's ever done that on the Internet before.And Dylan, while you are at it, run those by a licensed structural engineer and have them sign off on them. I'll be here waiting... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... crickets ... ... ... ... ... .. . . . .
|Rank||Country / Corporation||GDP / sales ($mil)|
Sources: Sales: Fortune, July 31, 2000. GDP: World Bank, World Development Report 2000.
GORE: CIGARETTE SMOKING 'SIGNIFICANT' CONTRIBUTOR TO GLOBAL WARMINGWhat a clueless putz! Notwithstanding the fact that the sun is a variable star and that we have had periods of warming and cooling about every four hundred years, CO2 is a very minor greenhouse gas. Water vapor is the elephant in the living room and since there is nothing that we can do about it, nobody mentions it.
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore warned hundreds of U.N. diplomats and staff on Thursday evening about the perils of climate change, claiming: Cigarette smoking is a "significant contributor to global warming!"
Gore, who was introduced by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, said the world faces a "full-scale climate emergency that threatens the future of civilization on earth."
Gore showed computer-generated projections of ocean water rushing in to submerge the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, parts of China, India and other nations, should ice shelves in Antarctica or Greenland melt and slip into the sea.
"The planet itself will do nicely, thank you very much what is at risk is human civilization," Gore said. After a series of Q& A with the audience, which had little to do with global warming and more about his political future, Annan bid "adios" to Gore.
Then, Gore had his staff opened a stack of cardboard boxes to begin selling his new book, "An Inconvenient Truth, The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It," $19.95, to the U.N. diplomats.