Archives for the month of: April, 2014

I’ve happened to notice the subject of human cloning in the news lately. We cannot outlaw it. What can be done will be done. For better or worse, if it can be done, people will do it. We must give everyone full human rights and due process protections, everyone: cloned, unborn, anything that is clearly human, and living, we need to endow with human rights and due process protections.

Then we will likely settle into moral and acceptable practices. Outlawing cloning will eventually lead to illegal slave trade, assuming cloning can work at all.

We need to treat the matter righteously. Then we will treat it legally.

Of course, this is a simplistic statement. There is obviously much to this complex issue, but outlawing “cloning” simply cannot work. Let’s start down a path that is likely to work, not one that has no hope of helping.

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Once we finally admit how stupid this is, who will clean up the mess?

Watts Up With That?

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

I shall not cease from mental fight,

Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,

Till we have built Jerusalem

In England’s green and pleasant land.

Thus William Blake, in the coda of the mystical poem that the nation belts out at full if not always tuneful volume on the Last Night of the Proms at the Albert Hall every summer.

England’s g. and p. l. is not what it was when Blake wrote about it. The place is being expensively carpeted with ugly, medieval, lo-tech wind farms.

The governing class still likes windmills. It is making a fortune out of them, at everyone else’s expense. 

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I appreciate being able to reblog my local KFOR news stories.

Quapaw, OK, and Baxter Springs, KS, are part of my stomping grounds growing up in Southeast Kansas. The fact that we are on a pace to set a new record for fewest and smallest tornadoes this year is no consolation for those hit by the severe storms. Likewise the fact this tornado in Quapaw officially didn’t make it to EF3, EF2 can still kill, obviously. A small bit of good news, the death toll for Quapaw has dropped from two to one, a resident of Baxter Springs, KS, coincidentally, and I’ll emphasize that it is small condolence for the widow who survived the twister while travelling with her husband. Further, the Arkansas death toll was revised downward, by two, also.

KFOR.com

MAYFLOWER, Ark. – Parts of the South and Midwest could be in for more severe weather Monday, a day after suspected tornadoes killed at least 18 people in three states, including 10 who died in one devastated Arkansas county.

“It’s chaos here,” said James Firestone, mayor of Vilonia, Arkansas, one of the two hard-hit towns in Faulkner County. “Our downtown area seems like it’s completely leveled.”

“There’s a few buildings partially standing, but the amount of damage is tremendous,” he said Sunday. “There’s gas lines spewing. Of course, power lines down. Houses are just a pile of brick.”

Widespread damage was also reported in the nearby Arkansas town of Mayflower.

“There were cars flipped everywhere, there were people screaming,” James Bryant, a Mississippi State University meteorology student who witnessed the storm, told CNN’s “New Day” on Monday. “It was a tough scene.”

Austin Oberlag, another meteorology student, said the storm…

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“obtain the holy grail of everlasting green power generation: self-sustaining fusion.”

 makes that whopper quoted above at http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/181298-the-uk-will-be-the-first-to-break-even-with-fusion-power-leading-us-towards-a-future-of-clean-infinite-energy

ExtremeTech doesn’t strike me as a first-rate news source, but I’m sure they try.

Regardless, even in the article, they are talking years away. The article practically admits that fusion is still 20 years away, as it has been for about 70 years now.

Fusion is not a pipe dream. It will power our lives eventually, but it is still likely to not happen within the lives of our children, even grandchildren.

I will have to look into why they’ve installed a beryllium first wall, but everyone realizes beryllium is highly toxic, right? It is extremely expensive too.

We shall see how JET completes its life, but rest assured its death will be an ordeal. The entire facility will be classified as radioactive waste. How’s that for environmentally friendly? Highly radioactive and highly toxic? Again, we shall see.

ITER may prove out, but it too will have a short life and tedious death. Materials advancements are the key, not the physics. That is just an engineering problem now. It is making the things well enough to operate safely for decades that is so impossible right now. Not to mention what do we do with a radioactive building when we are done with it.

So, fusion is inevitable, but never buy the line about “clean and inexhaustible.” Neither is true with the methods and materials we are trying so far.

 

Because it is worth reading.

Watts Up With That?

Loony-Lewandowsky click to enlarge

Climate Psychologist with the Right Stuff

Stephan Lewandosky et al (including John Cook and Mike Marriott) published a paper called Recursive Fury, now retracted, psychoanalyzing climate skeptics’ opinions and categorizing them in psycho-babble terminology, such as:

(PV) Persecution Victimization

(NI) Nefarious Intention

(NS) Nihilistic Skepticism

…among others.

Now, Lew’s apologists will tell you he wasn’t simply “diagnosing” easily identified subjects as frothing lunatics, merely “categorizing” skeptics’ opinions in psychological terms and publishing them in a scientific psychology journal. So, by their thinking, no possible ethical breech occurred in publishing this information without the patients’ consent, nor in defaming named persons as “mentally imbalanced”.

That non-distinction between diagnosis and categorization sounds suspiciously like the old joke:

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In my opinion, unions actively oppose the average person.

I object to unions, but I don’t want to outlaw them. Unions can have their place in a free society, but teachers unions, in fact all unions of people employed by governments, are just wrong.

Bold? Not really. Unions have the sole objective of benefiting the members at the expense of the employer. That is the definition. It is the sole purpose for unions. Unions are the employees banding together to oppose and restrict the employer.

That is a bad model. It is really sad that it is sometimes needful. It is just as sad and just as bad for and employer to exploit employees. A proper model is partnership; it is for the employer to see the employee as a valuable asset in accomplishing the objectives of the work, and the employee should be able to see the employer as the facilitator of his ability to accomplish his livelihood and move forward in self fulfillment.

The reason the union of government employees is wrong is because that sets the union directly opposed to “We the people.” We simply should not have a government that opposes us, nor one that employees workers who oppose us.

This reason is doubled for the teacher. Teachers unions strive to improve the lot of the members at the direct expense of parents and students. That is, not only do the teacher’s unions oppose me in my taxes, and oppose the interests of the state and local community in minimizing the expenses of public education, but they oppose us, parents and children, in that the unions want to subject us to rules and restrictions related to our choices in education, in the conduct of the school, and in our participation in the school and specifically the lives of our children.

This is another place we objectify the children. We forget they are people first. They are not the future. They are the now, just as much as any of us!

Before wanting them to be good students, I want my children to be good people. Teachers can’t really train that. It is my responsibility, and I cannot successfully delegate it.

Anyway, this article posted by FEE.org, http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/a-teachers-union-speaks-power-to-truth, gives a little perspective. I’m always endeavoring to improve my perspective. The article reports how one particular teachers’ union boldly states that educating children is low on the list of priorities for the union.

The article was written by WENDY MCELROY.

I’m sure this won’t sit well with some folks. I’m happy to discuss. I will not edit comments. (I moderate, but I won’t change anything you say if I let it through. As of this writing, I haven’t deleted any comments. I just don’t get many.)

This one isn’t hard to figure out, but it is still worth ensuring is corrected.

Watts Up With That?

Physicist demonstrates dictionary definition was dodgy

It is the defining moment that demonstrates a QUT physicist was correct in pointing out a 99-year-old mistake to one of the world’s most authoritative dictionaries.

siphon_fig1QUT Senior Lecturer in Physics, Dr Stephen Hughes, sparked controversy over how a humble siphon worked when he noticed an incorrect definition in the prestigious Oxford English Dictionary.

In 2010, eagle-eyed Dr Hughes spotted the mistake, which went unnoticed for 99 years, which incorrectly described atmospheric pressure, rather than gravity, as the operating force in a siphon.

Dr Hughes demonstrated the science of siphons in a paper published yesterday in Nature Publishing Group journal Scientific Reports. 

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The Freeman has interviews with Anne Wortham, the latest here, http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/the-individualist-part-2-an-interview-with-anne-wortham, and it is an eye-opening review of individualism versus collectivism.

I simply cannot understand why so many people hold the Borg (of Star Trek fame) as an ideal and as an objective to aim for.

In the end, there are only individuals. No set of characteristics is universal. No collective goal is truly good for the individuals absorbed within conformity. I am me, and no one else is sufficiently like me to be grouped with me in a collective that can be treated as a single entity. Perhaps I can try to be a conformist, but ultimately, my only identity is this dying man who is trying to accomplish something worthwhile in the fleeting moment I have on this mortal coil.

All the things I take as part of me, all the things that can group me or categorize with some societal group ultimately mean nothing. No one in such groups cares about me. I’m just one individual, which is exactly the point.

I am just one.

If I can be left to my own, perhaps I can leave this place confident I did my part.

However, if forced to be part of the collective, if coerced into compliance and conformity, then I’m hardly even a statistic, no more significant than the latest victim of some tragic accident.

Be yourself and don’t worry about the group. When each of us focuses on what is right, on what is important to try to accomplish as an individual, true to oneself and what one is inside, then the world will be a better place. I remember someone saying he was going to start with the man in the mirror; going to ask him to change his ways. That individual tried to be unique, and he was right.

This isn’t necessarily limited to the President.

Watts Up With That?

While Dr. Roy Spencer reports on a number of politically incorrect cartoons about Earth Day, saying,

“I mostly find Earth Day just plain annoying for the rank hypocrisy on display. A state-sponsored religious day of worship, along with all of the 1st Amendment-violating regulations to codify it. “

In response, the president has weighed in with a short speech.

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While one cannot make light of tornadoes, because a big one will come, and it mainly matters where it hits, but this is actually quite astonishing. Growing up in southeast Kansas, near Joplin, Missouri, and living in Oklahoma, near Moore, this is very personal for me, and it is simply a blessing that there have been nearly no tornadoes so far this year. Still, prepare. Also, pray for rain.

Watts Up With That?

While there continues to be wailing about how climate change is supposedly making the weather more extreme, Greg Carbin, the man in charge at NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center (SPC) sends along this graph and says:

Likely the slowest start to tornado activity in any year in modern record, and possibly nearly a century!

And he has the numbers to show why:

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Absolutely cool! (Bad pun,but this really is impressive.)
I think it most impressive that they’ve needed four decades to develop techniques they knew must exist. It is good to remember that real science is hard and often quite slow.

Watts Up With That?

Here’s something useful that works like radiocarbon dating, but on ice. Since it is cosmic ray based, it makes me wonder if it could be used to reconstruct the cosmic ray record to test Svensmark’s theory of cosmic ray modulation of climate. How it works (graphic from Argonne National Laboratory):

Kr is a cosmogenic isotope produced in the upper atmosphere. Its analysis allows age determination for:

  • dating polar ice to study the climate history of the Earth, and
  • dating old groundwater to study the source, sink, and flow pattern of aquifers.

The applicable age range of 100 kyr – 1 Myr  is beyond the reach of 14C-dating.

From Oregon State University   CORVALLIS, Ore. – A team of scientists has successfully identified the age of 120,000-year-old Antarctic ice using radiometric krypton dating – a new technique that may allow them to locate and date ice that is more than…

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There isn’t much we can do about it, but the devastation potential is horrific. The problem at the moment is that we are worrying about trivial things and trying to control and regulate everything, but those rocks are the biggest threat, and are not giving an appropriate level of effort to seeing what we might end up being able to do.

Watts Up With That?

The biggest threat to humanity, far bigger than global warming/climate change, is about to get bigger, much bigger

chelyabinsk-asteroid-fireball The chelyabinsk asteroid fireball, a “near-Earth object” (NEO), an asteroid (likely made of rock) between 15 and 20 meters across (about the length of a school bus), which just happened to arrive in the same place as planet Earth that morning. The mass of the object was about 10 thousand tons. It struck the atmosphere moving at about 40,000 MPH (more than double the speed of the Space Shuttle).

A press release from some former NASA astronauts on the current asteroid impact threat to earth, based on data on in-atmosphere detonations since 2001, gleaned from a nuclear weapon detonation detection system has yielded some startling numbers.

The threat is 3 to 10 times higher than previously predicted. The data will be presented at the Seattle Flight Museum, Tuesday April 22, at 6:00pm…

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Note Dr. Idso’s references. He is talking science, not politics. The alarmists mostly talk politics, and taking things away from you.

Cosmos, and ND-T, ran their episode on determining the age of the earth by getting so good at detecting lead. The researcher then realized we were adding lead to the environment at dangerous rates. They pointed out the money to be made by letting lead remain. Science was used on both sides.

Sense finally won out. Of course, hyperbole held sway as well, as ND-T asserted there is no safe level of lead in humans. Well, his own show proved him wrong when they pointed out the snotty nosed worker had thousands of times more lead in him than there was in the ice they were trying to retrieve and analyze.

Yes, we want lead levels very low, but it is nonsense to assert that any exposure is dangerous. For global warming, the money is on the side of the alarmists. Those asserting the alarm is false are just refusing to be taken in. It is a scam. The politicians and the alarmists see much money to be made, and much political power to be grabbed. Don’t believe them. As ND-T likes to point out, and Sagan and Fineman, before, nature will not be fooled. Mother nature cares not. She will simply carry on, throwing rocks at us whenever the mode strikes, and not noticing one whit anything we do to mess our nest. Sure, we can mess it up good, and cause plenty of harm to ourselves, but burning fuel that nature concentrated for us is never going to matter. CO2 is plant food, and essential ingredient to life. We can burn all the fuel, and the plants will go right on growing, and us critters will go right on eating them, and the planet and life as we know it will continue.

Watts Up With That?

NOTE: This op-ed is apparently too hot for some editors to handle. Late last week it was accepted and posted on politix.topix.com only to be abruptly removed some two hours later. After several hours of attempting to determine why it was removed, I was informed the topix.com editor had permanently taken it down because of a strong negative reaction to it and because of “conflicting views from the scientific community” over factual assertions in the piece.

Fortunately, some media outlets recognize a vigorous scientific debate persists over humanity’s influence on climate and those outlets refuse outside efforts to silence viewpoints that run counter to prevailing climate alarmism. My original piece follows below.- Craig Idso

Guest essay by Dr. Craig D. Idso

The release of a United Nations (UN) climate change report last week energized various politicians and environmental activists, who issued a new round of calls to reduce greenhouse gas…

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This Easter, reviewing Facebook items, I came across many comments celebrating Easter and life, and also the 19 April 1995 bombing here in Oklahoma City, and a couple of comments from our Oklahoma Blood Institute, to whom I donate regularly.

I wanted to specifically point out a comment from a friend, an Oklahoma State Senator (State House), Kyle Loveless.

He wrote (he makes boots and leather goods):

I was at the family business when we felt the explosion.

I had just got back from an errand and later found out had I been late I would have been cut up by broken glass of the store I visited.

We have a machine that literally weighs a ton, it shook and moved at the vibrations of the explosion of thee bomb at the Murrah building.

We went outside and thought a building gas line had exploded and it wasn’t too long before we got the news.

I remember getting the call from OKCPD asking of we could provide some leather for the search and rescue K-9 units because the rubble was too harsh for their paws. We stopped everything until we had the stuff they needed – my dad and I went down and delivered – I will never forget what I saw, what I smelt, what I witnessed,

I will never forget.

I’ve met many who helped that day. My family had not moved to OKC at that time. We were affected though, then and on to today.

Let us celebrate life. Death is always near. And, keep perspective: We all die young.

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