Saturday, February 28, 2015

Indoor pool bad ideas

Winterize the construction or turn off the water ...


Medical upgate

Dick emails:
Sorry about the IV stuff.

How’s the ‘bone?  Started therapy yet?
He's not the only one who's asked, so here's the latest.

The bone seems to be doing pretty well.  I've been off the pain meds for over a week, and the X-Rays looked good yesterday.  Doctor says another 4 weeks is likely, but thinks that the bone graft is taking.

I got a therapy to do, although it's baby steps.  It does get me out of the sling and feels pretty good - my muscles were feeling like they were atrophying, and actually the only pain I've had has been muscle twinges.  I'm working on restraining my enthusiasm, but feeling frustrated is a sign that I'm bettter.

The PICC in my chest is a pain in the tail end.  I tried to talk the doc into removing it early but she wasn't having a any of that.  The cultures have eliminated the really nasty stuff like Mersa, but it's still daily doctor visits.  Getting a lot of reading done thought!

UPDATE 28 February 2015 10:22: There's quite a bit of fatigue still, which is making my mental processes dull.  You can tell this from the blog post output.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Rest In Peace, Col. Paul Green

In all the news about the passing of Leonard Nemoy, take a moment to remember a real hero.  Stephen emails to point out the passing of another World War II hero - one who flew P-51 Mustangs over enemy airspace:
Green got his chance after he was drafted into the Army and sent to [redacted - Borepatch], for pilot training. Green flew 25 combat missions with the 99th Fighter Squadron in Italy, escorting bombers.
I've posted frequently on the Greatest Generation who left home and hearth to fight the Nazi and Imperial Japanese menace.  But this one is different.  This one left a  society that despised Black Americans, to fight that same fight.  The story starts out with this:
Col. Paul L. Green, one of the Tuskegee Airmen — the legendary black pilots who escorted U.S. aircraft during World War II — has died in a Southern California senior care home. He was 91.
Col. Green flew 25 sorties against the Nazi ubermensch.  Then he came home to 1945 America, as a Black War Veteran.  And he continued his career in the Air Force, for 30 more years, serving in Vietnam.  He saw the change in Europe, and elsewhere in the world.  But most especially here.

God speed, Colonel.  You saw this Republic with its warts and you stepped up anyway.  That's something worth of respect in itself

Nova Scotia Gothic

You think they're mad?  Wait a month ...


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Douglas T. Jacobson

Doug Jacobson joined the Marines as a 17 year old in 1943. He fought in the Pacific in several campaigns. He survived the war, was in and out of the service, was eventually commissioned and retired in 1967.

70 years ago today, on February 26th, 1945, he was involved in combat on Iwo Jima and was responsible for taking 16 positions of various sizes and killing about 75 of the enemy.

You can think about just what sort of over the top action it must have been to get noticed on Iwo Jima to the extent that the Marine Corps would push forward documentation for a Medal of Honor. Here's what Harry Truman signed for the award:

PRIVATE FIRST CLASS DOUGLAS T. JACOBSON
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS RESERVE
for service as set forth in the following CITATION:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the Third Battalion, Twenty-Third Marines, Fourth Marine Division, in combat against enemy Japanese forces during the seizure of Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands, February 26, 1945. Promptly destroying a stubborn 20-mm. antiaircraft gun and its crew after assuming the duties of a bazooka man who had been killed, Private First Class Jacobson waged a relentless battle as his unit fought desperately toward the summit of Hill 382 in an effort to penetrate the heart of Japanese cross-island defenses. Employing his weapon with ready accuracy when his platoon was halted by overwhelming enemy fire on February 26, he first destroyed two hostile machine-gun positions, then attacked a large blockhouse, completely neutralizing the fortification before dispatching the five-man crew of a pillbox and exploding the installation with a terrific demolitions blast. Moving steadily forward, he wiped out an earth-covered rifle emplacement and, confronted by a cluster of similar emplacements which constituted the perimeter of enemy defenses in his assigned sector, fearlessly advanced, quickly reduced all six positions to a shambles, killed ten of the enemy and enabled our forces to occupy the strong point. Determined to widen the breach thus forced, he volunteered his services to an adjacent assault company, neutralized a pillbox holding up its advance, opened fire on a Japanese tank pouring a steady stream of bullets on one of our supporting tanks and smashed the enemy tank's gun turret in a brief but furious action culminating in a single-handed assault against still another blockhouse and the subsequent neutralization of its firepower. By his dauntless skill and valor, Private First Class Jacobson destroyed a total of sixteen enemy positions and annihilated approximately seventy-five Japanese, thereby contributing essentially to the success of his division's operations against the fanatically defended outpost of the Japanese Empire. His gallant conduct in the face of tremendous odds enhanced and sustained the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
(Signed) HARRY S. TRUMAN

Single OCD seeks same

There's a lot of sorting to do.


I lauged and laughed

Biker chicks.  Grrrr, Baby!  Very grrr!

The best reason ever to not have antivirus software.

The theological reason to drink during Lent.  I mean, you can't argue with theology.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Pegging the Meter

Guns don't stop sexual assaults, at least according to the USAToday column published today. I'm not sure what this based on and unsure how it would change the 2nd Amendment even if it were true. But my first thought was that if your firearm didn't prevent you being sexually assaulted, you aren't using it correctly.

It's true enough on reflection. A gun is a tool. It sits in a safe or a holster until used for whatever purpose. A well trained, determined, sober, alert woman with a loaded firearm and the will to use it is not going to be anyone's victim.

A drunk coed in the upstairs of a frat with a guy she met two hours ago is at the mercy and whim of the man she is with. The fact that she owns a firearm, currently in the closet of her apartment ten blocks away, doesn't have anything to do with the situation she has put herself in.

As far as "allowing" guns on campus, which was the real point of the article, there are plenty of guns (and other weapons) on college campuses. The penalties for getting caught with one can be severe, but that doesn't mean some people don't have them. Honest people see those rules as important and follow them. Criminals just see those rules as creating a pasture where they can pick their victims without any personal risk.

Ingenuity

It's not what you have, just what you can imagine. Once someone figures out how to make a spear/bow/club/sword/knife/cannon/rifle/bomb/nuke and teaches someone, the knowledge exists. Getting rid of the knowledge takes more than passing a law.

Here's page after page of pictures of man's ingenuity in making homemade guns, and just one pic of a fairly well made example in .22LR.


Well played, Internet

Well played.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

You can tell it's been a long winter


Seems like it's warming up, though.

Genocide I

The Nazis didn't start with thousands of death camps, train schedules, IBM tabulating machines, and giant crematoria. They started small and worked up. It wasn't until Kristallnacht in November of 1938 that they got organized enough to kill 91 Jews at one time.

ISIS has kidnapped 90 Assyrian Christians this week. They beheaded 21 Christians last week. They're a new government, recently formed. They're starting small and already talking about working up.

We can wait. Unless some miracle happens, we will wait. But we shouldn't expect the outcome to be anything other than the obvious. It's the same evil manifesting itself under a new name.

It will be the Jews, the Christians, the homosexuals, the intellectuals, Muslims from different sects and any one who doesn't go along. They will die, deaths by every mutilating, degrading means, wiped out along with the ideas, thoughts and dreams they had. They will be erased. And when it gets rolling, we will not be able to say we didn't see it coming because they are proud of it and they are posting for the world to see. (WARNING! Graphic images).
“If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."
--Winston S. Churchill

The Atlanta commute

33 degrees and snowing pretty good.



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Monday, February 23, 2015

70 Years Ago, D+4

On February 23rd, 1945, Joe Rosenthal took a picture you might have seen somewhere. It is only the 4th day, and while the outcome may no longer be in doubt, there are 30 days of combat operations to go. It looks like victory as they are raising the flag, but there's a long way to go. Three of the men in this picture will never see it.





Look! The first flowers of the season!


Glad he cleared the path ...

Proof that the NSA despises the courts

NSA steals billions of mobile phone SIM encryption keys:
The Intercept has an extraordinary story: the NSA and/or GCHQ hacked into the Dutch SIM card manufacturer Gemalto, stealing the encryption keys for billions of cell phones. People are still trying to figure out exactly what this means, but it seems to mean that the intelligence agencies have access to both voice and data from all phones using those cards.

Me in The Register: "We always knew that they would occasionally steal SIM keys. But all of them? The odds that they just attacked this one firm are extraordinarily low and we know the NSA does like to steal keys where it can."
Now why would they do that?  After all, it's trivially easy for them to get a warrant from the lap dog FISA court.  But even that is too much interference, and so they hack the GSM companies.

Me thinks it's time to put some of those people out to pasture.

Maybe It's Past For Another Year

It was Tam that first alerted me to the insidious program to make all things in Pumpkin Spice. It seems the program went further than even she suspected.

Look, on Thanksgiving, a slice of pumpkin pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, okay. I might prefer pecan pie or apple, but if pumpkin is offered, I'll go along.

But Pumpkin Spice potato chips? Vodka? Chewing gum?

Here's fifteen real, but absolutely unnecessary products flavored in Pumpkin Spice.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Forgot my damn book

It will be 3 1/2 hours of boredom getting the antibiotics. Not happy.


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Richard Strauss - Also sprach Zarathustra

The problem with cliches is that they distil the most easily memorable and discard 90% that remains.  In the case of Strauss' Also spracht Zarathustra, the cliche is here:



So what does the cliche leave behind?  Lots.

To start with, Strauss composed this as a tone poem, inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche's novel of the same name.  The score included the text of "Zarathustra's Prologue" from Nietzsche, which is worth a read to get the feel of the German mysticism of the day (1896).

The music above is only the beginning of the piece, more properly called Einleitung, oder Sonnenaufgang (Introduction, or Sunrise); actually, Stanley Kubrick caught this mood very well indeed.  But it's only the opening 90 seconds of a 30 minute piece, which is a delight.



The cliche of Strauss himself was that he was a Nazi, and in fact Hitler's favorite opretaist.  This isn't true.  In fact, Josef Goebels (Propaganda and Culture Minister) considered him decadent and partly jewish.  Strauss survived the war, and conducted one of the first HiFi versions of this, available on the Vanguard label.

Bootnote: Kubrick also included a Strauss Waltz in 2001: A Space Opera.  It was by Josef Strauss, not Richard Strauss.

Friday, February 20, 2015

But He Was Unarmed!

Of all the lies that get told by and about criminals, one that bothers the most is the "But he was unarmed and you shot him!" lie. If you think the only criminals you have to worry about are the ones carrying guns, I can't help you. It's going to take an altercation with a strong, young, assailant that beats you to the ground and stomps you into unconsciousness to get you in touch with that lesson.

An apparently unarmed assailant may hit you, choke you, kick you, bounce your skull off the pavement. How much injury do you think an unarmed man can do?

In other news, a man who punched a soccer referee in the head for ejecting him from the game plead guilty to manslaughter to avoid trial on 2nd degree murder charges. He hit the ref one time.



John Bieniewicz left behind a wife and two children. He worked in a pediatric dialysis center. He loved soccer and was the president of the Metro Detroit Soccer Officials Organization.

What he wasn't was someone that could recognize the signs of an impending attack and respond appropriately.

Could be worse, I guess

This could be my driveway.




From Rick, via email.

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

70 Years

On February 19th, 1945, Marines from the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Division assaulted the island of Iwo Jima. In the next 36 days, 6,800 of them would give that full measure.

Here are some of the survivors in their own words.



If You Tell a Lie Long Enough...

In the midst of record breaking cold, USAToday just can't let of the Global Warming message. It's a religion, and true faith will not be denied. Besides, who you going to believe, your frostbitten fingers or Al Gore?
"While it's been a rough winter so far for people in the north-central and northeastern U.S., both December and January were actually warmer than average across the country overall. The U.S. is having its sixth-warmest winter on record, according to data from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), which has records back to 1895.
For the first two weeks of February, while chilly weather enveloped the northeastern U.S. and record snow buried New England, practically the entire western half of the nation was seeing phenomenal, record warmth."
And so on. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Muzzle Control

You need to control the muzzle. It doesn't care if it's your gun. It doesn't care if it's "just" a .22. It doesn't care what you were doing or what you thought you were doing. Point the muzzle in any direction and do something that lets the hammer fall and the bullet will impact whatever was in front of it at the moment it fired.

In this case, it was a woman looking down at her bra holster as she tried to adjust it in some way. Whatever pulled the trigger, be it her finger or part of her clothing, the bullet struck her in the eye and she died.

This death is a tragedy and I can empathize with her family deeply, but it is not an accident. It is the result of a negligent discharge of a firearm while the firearm was pointed in an unsafe direction.

Oh boy

Potential bone infection. Looks like I'll have daily I/V antibiotics for six weeks.

Get a motorcycle, they said.

It will be fun, they said.


Harrumph.

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Maybe It Is Loon Mountain

Monday, February 16, 2015

There Are Things That Should Not Be

For the internet is large and and the corners many,
And tho' you may seek that which is wholesome,
you may find that thing that should not be.


The best (and worst) Presidents

This is from three years ago, but since people are taught red, white, and blue cardboard for history, this is a public service.

It's not a real President's birthday (Lincoln was the 12th, Washington is the 22nd), but everyone wants a day off, so sorry Abe and George, but we're taking it today.  But in the spirit intended for the holiday, let me offer up Borepatch's bestest and worstest lists for Presidents.

Top Five:

#5: Calvin Coolidge

Nothing To Report is a fine epitaph for a President, in this day of unbridled expansion of Leviathan.

#4. Thomas Jefferson.

Jefferson is perhaps the last (and first) President who exercised extra-Constitutional power in a manner that was unambiguously beneficial for the Republic (the Louisiana Purchase).  He repealed Adam's noxious Alien and Sedition Acts and pardoned those convicted under them.

#3. Grover Cleveland. 

He didn't like the pomp and circumstance of the office, and he hated the payoffs so common then and now.  He continually vetoed pork spending (including for veterans of the War Between the States), so much so that he was defeated for re-election, but unusually won a second term later.  This quote is priceless (would that Latter Day Presidents rise so high), on vetoing a farm relief bill: "Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character."

#2. Ronald Reagan

He at least tried to slow down the growth of Leviathan, the first President to do so in over half a century (see entry #5, above).  He would have reduced it further, except that his opposition to the Soviet fascist state and determination to end it cost boatloads of cash.  It also caused outrage among the home grown fascists in the Media and Universities, but was wildly popular among the general population which was (and hopefully still remains) sane.

#1. George Washington

Could have been King.  Wasn't.  Q.E.D.

Bottom Five:

#5. John Adams.

There's no way to read the Alien and Sedition Acts as anything other than a blatant violation of the First Amendment.  It's a sad statement that the first violation of a Presidential Oath of Office was with President #2.

#4. Woodrow Wilson.

Not only did he revive the spirit of Adams' Sedition Acts, he caused a Presidential opponent to be imprisoned under the terms of his grotesque Sedition Act of 1918.  He was Progressivism incarnate: he lied us into war, he jailed the anti-war opposition, he instituted a draft, and he was entirely soft-headed when it came to foreign policy.  The fact that Progressives love him (and hate George W. Bush) says all you need to know about them.

#3 Lyndon Johnson.

An able legislator who was able to get bills passed without having any real idea what they would do once enacted, he is responsible for more Americans living in poverty and despair than any occupant of the White House, and that says a lot.

#2. Franklin Roosevelt.

America's Mussolini - ruling extra-Constitutionally fixing wages and prices, packing the Supreme Court, and transforming the country into a bunch of takers who would sell their votes for a trifle.  At least Mussolini met an honorable end.


#1. Abraham Lincoln.

There's no doubt that the Constitution never would have been ratified if the States hadn't thought they could leave if they needed to.  Lincoln saw to it that 10% of the military-age male population was killed or wounded preventing that in an extra-Constitutional debacle unequaled in the Republic's history.  Along the way, he suspended Habeas Corpus, instituted the first ever draft on these shores, and jailed political opponents as he saw fit.  Needless to say, Progressives adore him.

So happy President's Day.  Thankfully, the recent occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue haven't gotten this bad.  Yet.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Snerk


Via Theo

Heh

This is for all y'all in New England, shoveling out again.  It could be worse.


Hat tip: A Large Regular who might be shoveling out today.

Feeling better

Actually got out of bed.  Mat even post stuff later.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Transforming America

The BATFE is going to ban the sale of M855 ammunition, the .223 green tip ammo that is commonly sold for use in AR-15s. There will be a hearing period and then after they have heard from everyone, it will be gone.

We lose by inches.

Hold My Beer and Watch This

Tannerite is a binary explosive made to serve as a target marker. You mix aluminum powder with ammonium nitrate and put it out at safe distance. The shock of being struck by a rifle bullet causes it to detonate. It is meant to be loaded into a plastic jar in half pound or one pound quantities and shot.

It looks like fun. I've never had the opportunity to shoot at it. My club does not permit it's use and I haven't wanted to try it badly enough to find someone with enough land to get out in the middle where we wouldn't bother anyone.

I suspect Tannerite and all the other binary target marking explosives are going to be banned sometime soon. Please understand that I'm not saying it should be banned, I'm just saying it's going to be.

People are not content to shoot a half pound of the stuff unconstrained. Of course not. They want to try five pounds, or ten, or thirty. They want to put it in something and make it blow up.

And they don't get far enough away. An eight year old died of injuries sustained in that one.

There's lots of examples. Youtube will serve them up, just start in the side bar of any one of these.






Ouch





I think I'm going to set off the metal detector at the airport.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Done

Four hour surgery. Groggy.


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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Light posting

My shoulder has really been wearing me down, with essentially continuous pain.  The broken collar bone ends are moving around, cutting tissue and causing bleeding and bruising.  I'm actually glad that surgery is tomorrow because this needs to get fixed.

I mean, it's interfering with my blogging, for crying out loud.


Favorite Gun

Outdoor Life, the magazine you probably remember from the barber shop you dad took you to when you were a kid, has a new column called "My Favorite Gun".

Here is one man's choice. When you read it, you'll see that it is not the particular gun, model, or caliber. It's who owned it before him, the memories it evokes, and what it all means to him.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Home security systems not so secure

This is my shocked face:
In a recent study, every connected home security system tested by HP contained significant vulnerabilities, including but not limited to password security, encryption, and authentication issues.

HP's Fortify on Demand security service assessed the top 10 home security devices – such as video cameras and motion detectors – along with their cloud and mobile application components. It uncovered vulnerabilities in all of them. None of the systems required the use of a strong password, for example, and 100 per cent of the systems failed to offer two-factor authentication.
There's no excuse for not using, say, a SMS message to a cell phone as a 2 factor authentication.  I'm a big fan of that.*
Manufacturers are under pressure to release security systems that deliver remote monitoring capabilities. Ironically, however, the network connectivity and access that are necessary for remote monitoring mean the security risks associated with such systems are significantly greater than those associated with older, disconnected systems.
I guess it's too much to ask that manufacturers are under pressure to make their security system actually, you know, secure.

*If you use online banking, I strongly recommend you turn that feature on.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Radio Shack Finally Accepts the Inevitable

I haven't been in a Radio Shack in years. The last time I went in was when I was looking for a pre-amp to connect a turntable to a new stereo home entertainment amplifier. The cabinets and drawers full of small parts like transistors, diodes, and resistors were gone. The clerk was fully prepared to sell me a new phone and there was a nice selection of batteries in blister packages.

I left empty handed, ordered what I needed online, and promised myself I would not ever waste time at a Radio Shack again.

But once, long ago, boys and girls, in a country called America, there was a business called Radio Shack. Here's the catalog from 1945.

They branched out and made an industrial catalog for a while. Here's what they were selling in 1965.

When was the last time I could have walked into a Radio Shack and got a silicon controlled rectifier? How about a 10 amp power relay? A assorted box of resistors in various values and power ratings?

Radio Shack has been gone for a long time.

Vote for Brigid!

Or we can't be friends anymore:
Bookbzz.com's 2015  International Prizewriter Competition is open for voting and The Book of Barkley is in the running for not only a monetary prize - which I will donate for the care and training of the disaster response dogs of  Search Dog Foundation - but a televised mention on National Book Day as a Finalist in the biography/memoir genre.
Vote here.

Obama Administration revokes Silver Star in retaliation for criticism?

I have no words.  If this is true, then the Army is pretty much worthless - its leadership are empty suits uniforms.

Monday, February 9, 2015

cue the world's smallest violin

Eric Holder is a Sad Panda:
The inability to enact new gun safety laws after the Sandy Hook school shooting ranks as "the single failure" of his tenure, Attorney General Eric Holder said in a televised interview.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2015/02/08/255921/holder-says-lack-of-new-gun-laws.html#storylink=cpy
Don't let it hit you in the butt on the way out, Eric.

So how did the climate data get changed?

I've been blogging about the changes made to the climate databases for five years now - this scandal has been around for quite some time.
OK, we don't want a jump in the historical record if you move a station or replace a thermometer with a better one.

But. All the Climatologists in the world will look at this data. How much do the adjustments change the results?

We don't know, but people are starting to look. They're starting to find that adjustments change the data a lot. They change the data so much that they show that the earth is warming when the raw data may show that it's cooling.

Let me say that again: Thermometers may be showing that the Earth is cooling, but adjustments to this data show a rapid temperature rise.
After all this time, it's good to see this in the Mainstream News:
Homewood has now turned his attention to the weather stations across much of the Arctic, between Canada (51 degrees W) and the heart of Siberia (87 degrees E). Again, in nearly every case, the same one-way adjustments have been made, to show warming up to 1 degree C or more higher than was indicated by the data that was actually recorded. This has surprised no one more than Traust Jonsson, who was long in charge of climate research for the Iceland met office (and with whom Homewood has been in touch). Jonsson was amazed to see how the new version completely “disappears” Iceland’s “sea ice years” around 1970, when a period of extreme cooling almost devastated his country’s economy.
The scope of the data adjustment issue is really astounding:
An interesting question is how much of the 20th Century's warming came from adjustments, rather than from raw data? A picture is worth a thousand words:
What you're looking at is the annual adjustment made to the raw temperature, for each year in the 20th Century. You'll notice that almost no adjustments are made to years up to 1960, and then a very interesting shape appears in the graph.

A hockey Stick.
And what Science®-denying Tea-Bagging place did I get that?  From the Fed.Gov's weathermen, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

So the data are fiddled to the point that over 80% of the reported warming cannot be found in the data as recorded.  Its in the adjustments to the data after the fact.  And it's not just North America:
A week ago [November 2009 - Borepatch], a group called the Climate Science Coalition of New Zealand made a bombshell announcement: all of New Zealand's reported 1°C warming between 1850 and 2000 was due to adjustments. Here's the New Zealand National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) reported warming graph:

The Climate Science Coalition folks went back and looked at the raw data by itself. It looks different:

Well, well, well. OK, so it looks like the Kiwis and the Yanks have crummy government scientists. Sweden, too. Who else is in the club? How about the CRU? Actually, we can't tell what their adjustments look like, because they've lost all the raw data. Sorry about that.
Any the implication from five years ago is as fresh today:
Like I said recently, almost every climate scientist uses data from one of a very small number of data sets. If the people who control the data sets can inject a warming signal, then you will indeed reach a consensus that the climate has been warming. All scientists using those data sets will find the warming signal. The science will, in a sense, be "settled".

It will be wrong, but it will be settled.

And what's worse, scientists knew that something was very, very wrong. One widely-quoted CRU email fairly shrieks bewilderment:
The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong.
The data are surely wrong, because the science is settled. I mean, everyone sees a warming signal!
And now to the title of this post.  Clearly the data have been changed in a persistent manner, reducing older temperatures and increasing newer temperatures to the point that nearly all reported warming come from this manipulation (no, I do not think that the word is too strong).  So who did it, and when?

Some of this is done via computer program:
In 1972, there was a Weather station at the Ripogenus Dam. It collected temperature readings every day. Those readings were included in NASA's GISS temperature reading data set. Its readings were included in GISS until 2006, along with data from thousands of other weather stations. There's really only one little problem.

The Ripogenus Dam weather station was decommissioned in 1995.

So for ten years, GISS reported temperature readings from a station that didn't exist. How? Filnet.
This quite frankly is one reason I like the satellite data records (UAH and RSS) better - it measures temperature globally without the need for surface stations, "infilling" and adjustment.  Odd how the satellite record shows no warming for nearly twenty years.

But if the adjustments were made by computer, who checked that work for sanity?  Who audited the code, and the output?  If the answer is "nobody", doesn't that tell us how much faith to put in this "settled science"?  A computer program is precisely the place to put these changes, for plausible deniability.

And who wrote the code?  How much money did they make from doing this?  Who issued the grant? There are quite frankly a lot of whos involved here.  I would like to see names named, along with a list of grant funds received.

I am now at the point where I don't have the slightest idea what the climate is doing, at least since about 1860 when we came out of the Little Ice Age.  It seems likely that the 1930s and 1940s were hotter than today,, at least based on raw data collected at the time.  It's a fact that the hottest day ever recorded in the USA was in 1912.  Odd how a century of accelerating warming can't beat that.

You can't adjust a record. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Once The Internet Makes It a Meme...

Play him off, keyboard cat.





Gasoline Profits

Watching the price of gasoline fluctuate made me think about who's making money. The companies refining and selling gasoline make somewhere between 7 and 8 cents a gallon profit. For all the investment, the business risk, and the work, less than a dime a gallon.

The government, on the other hand, with no investment, risk or work, collects far more. Sometimes 10 times as much. You might think California is treating it like a sin tax.


It doesn't matter what the government is doing with the money either. They can claim to be building roads or rescuing baby seals from Canadian hunters or building a fully operational Death Star, it doesn't matter.


Friday, February 6, 2015

Arthur C. Clarke Predicts the Internet

Arthur C. Clarke sees it coming.

Scientific failure is inevitable

By definition:
The problem is that every natural process is subject to random variation.  Even without changing the conditions of an experiment, there is going to be random variation in measurements.  For example, one population of white mice might have 6 cancers, but the next might have 12 and the next might have zero, all from natural variation.  So the challenge of most experiments is to determine whether the thing one is testing (e.g. exposure to a particular substance) is actually changing the measurements in a population, or whether that change is simply the result of random variation.  That is what the 95% confidence interval (that Naomi Oreskes wants to get rid of) really means.  It means there is only a 5% chance that the results measured were due to natural variation.

This is a useful test, but I hope you can see how it can fail.  Something like 5% of the time that one is measuring two things that actually are uncorrelated, the test is going to give you a false positive.  Let's say in a year that the world does 1000 studies to test links that don't actually exist.  Just from natural variation, 5% of these studies will still seem to show a link at the 95% confidence level.  We will have 50 studies that year broadcasting false links.  The media will proceed to scare the crap out of you over these 50 things.
Peer review cannot possibly hope to address this - the experiment was performed correctly within its parameters.  The parameters simply assumed a 5% false positive rate and the experiment "hit the jackpot".

The problem with science as practised today is that journals do not like to publish experiments designed to replicate earlier results.  It isn't "news", and so it doesn't get published.  Since scientists have to publish ("publish or perish") to make their careers, we are stuck with a minimum of 5% of "scientific fact" that is bollocks.  And the more significant the "fact" the bigger the bollocks.

Laws of the Universe

Via email:

1. Law of Mechanical Repair - After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you'll have to pee.

2. Law of Gravity - Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible place in the universe.

3. Law of Probability - The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

4. Law of Random Numbers - If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal; someone always answers.

5. Variation Law - If you change traffic lanes, the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now. This is also true when you change checkout lines at Walmart, K-Mart and the
Grocery store.

6. Law of the Bath    - When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone will ring.

7. Law of Close Encounters - The probability of meeting someone you know INCREASES dramatically when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.

8. Law of the Result - When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, IT WILL!!!

9. Law of Biomechanics - The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

10. Law of the Theatre & Hockey Arena - At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle, always arrive last. They are the ones who will leave their seats several times to go for food, beer, or the toilet and who leave early before the end of the performance or the game is over. The folks in the aisle seats come early, never move once, have long gangly legs or big bellies and stay to the bitter end of the performance. The aisle people also are very surly folk.

11. The Coffee Law - As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

12. Murphy's Law of Lockers - If there are only 2 people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

13. Law of Physical Surfaces -
The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug.

17. Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy - As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it OR the store will stop selling it!

18. Doctors' Law - If you don't feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there, you'll feel better. But don't make an appointment and you'll stay sick.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Funny corporate song

Most company songs are commissioned by corporate Marketing departments, and so are terrible.  Home Depot seems to have an annual competition between the stores for employee written and performed songs.  This one is very funny, and the performances are quite good.



From the notes in the Youtube video:
DJ CHEWY, JORDAN SOVIS, and MICAYLA MARKS, team up to produce another music video for the 2015 Home Depot Search for a Star!! 

...

The Home Depot Search for a Star is a music and video talent search put on by HOME DEPOT. The winners of this contest receive an all expenses paid trip to las vegas to perform live at the annual store manager meeting. 

...

This video was produced straight out of the orange pumping heart of Michigan at the Owosso store #2772 by Sovis Productions, & DNA Design! 

Well played, Owosso store #2772!

Brian Williams Regrets Making Up a Story

Brian Williams has admitted he made up a story about being in a helicopter that took fire and was shot down in Iraq. He also says he deeply regrets it deeply regrets getting caught. (Updated for clarity)

No word yet on whether he deeply regrets all the other made up stories he has been given to read to the viewers of his program over the years.

Update 2: Video has surfaced of Brian Williams memories of that fateful day.


Err, don't give these out on Valentine's Day

 For the Tolkien lover:

For the pessimist:

For the, err, disturbed:

From Rejected Candy Hearts.  I like this one:


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Huh. I actually tweeted something


I guess that's why people go to Twitter, to crack jokes.  Stupid me, tweeting about security ...

Quote of the Day

Brits are (justifiably) mocking American public school idiocy:
In surprising news from the colonies, the one ring has been found by a halfling 9-year old man-child in Kermit, Texas. It’s discovery was announced when the man-child in question attempted to use the power of the one ring to make another man-child invisible.
The finding of Isildur’s Bane in such circumstances bears remarkable similarities to its last return from hiding in the shadows upon the banks of the Anduin back in the middle of the Third Age, so to find it causing strife among the school districts of the Texas / New Mexico border is perhaps not so surprising.
Heh.

BMW patches boneheaded security bug

D'oh!
Luxury car manufacturer BMW has rolled out a patch for a security flaw that could have allowed hackers to open the doors of some 2.2 million vehicles.


The issue affects BMW, Mini and Rolls Royce models that come equipped with ConnectedDrive – a technology that allows car owners to access internet, navigation and other services via a SIM card installed directly into vehicles.
Seems that someone could wirelessly unlock the doors.  Rather than fussing around with coat hangers attracting attention to themselves, they could do it from the nearest Starbucks.

And BMW's "Yay, us for patching this so quickly" doesn't impress:
It appears the vulnerability revolved around the insecure transmission of data, as the patch rolled out by BMW appears to have enabled HTTPS. Something you would probably have hoped that BMW’s engineers would have thought about in the first place.

Yes, it’s good that BMW has fixed the problem. But frankly I think they’re being a little disingenuous talking about “rapid response” if this issue was first brought to their attention in the middle of last year.
The update happens automatically via ConnectedDrive, which is a good thing.  But still, this is pretty bone headed.

Jordan

Jordan gets it.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Just Like The Nazis

I put up a couple of posts about the death camps in Nazi Germany recently. At the time I knew I was making an analogy. The only thing that made the Nazis stop was enough people with weapons and the will to use them. We demanded unconditional surrender and then we did what ever was necessary to back up that demand. It wasn't necessarily honorable or kind or measured. We brought enough death and destruction that finally the remaining survivors surrendered.

ISIS took a pilot that they had captured, put him in a cage, doused him with gasoline and set him on fire. This is not conjecture. They videotaped it.

We can do nothing and sit back and watch more of this. We've done that before. The Nazis took power in Germany in 1933 and it took us until 1945 to sort them out. But one thing is for certain, this will not stop until it is stopped by force.

It Won't Be Spring Till The Stitches Come Out

There's a reason they call them varmints.

Oof

Today starts at 0800 and runs until 2200.  I'm "exercising influence" at work - "follow the sun" exercising, starting in Europe, then North America, and ending in Asia.

Blogging will be haphazard.

In the meantime, here's a picture of a cute kitten, because Internet, or something.


Of course it's not bigger inside.  2010 kitteh sez: "OMG, it's full of kittehs!"

Monday, February 2, 2015

Ode to Groundhog Day

The obligatory serenade ...


Secret location is secret


Hesitation

From Modern Service Weapons, a post on the shoot/no shoot dilemma. If this ever happens, whatever you do will be second guessed, repeatedly. By the police, the lawyers, judges, the press, and perhaps most importantly, by you.

It will be reviewed like you were involved in an academic exercise in the classroom, with nearly unlimited time to consider options and a peer review committee to help you decide what to do.

Without gun control, it will be the wild west!

Oh, wait:
A Massachusetts man faces multiple charges after allegedly shooting cars left in parking spots that had been shoveled of snow, days after two feet of snow blanketed the town.
Jose Osorio was arrested Friday after witnesses reported he fired multiple shots at two parked cars that were parked in shoveled spaces on a street in Fall River, Massachusetts.
With 2-3 feet of snow to be shovelled, I can see why the gentleman might have been upset at his lazy neighbors.  But this seems a bit extreme.

And what sort of guy breaks out his gat in a situation like this?
Osorio faces multiple charges, including carrying a firearm without a license, carrying a firearm after being convicted of a violent crime and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling.
Ah, I thought so.  Good thing there's all that Massachusetts gun control!

Via A Large Regular, which you really should be reading every day.

That was the dumbest play call in Superbowl history

I can't imagine for the life of me why Seattle ran a pass at the New England goal line.  There was 30 seconds left on the clock and they would have been up by 3.

Stalin would have had the coach who called that play shot.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Wow

Nissan just dropped big bucks on a Superbowl ad that not only didn't show the usual stupid Dad, but actually celebrated traditional fatherhood and a traditional male role model.

Wow.

Feminists bitching about PATRIARCHY in 3 .. 2 .. 1 ..

I see lots of possibilities in this Greek Euro crisis ...

Hat tip: Counting Cats in Zanzibar, which has great stuff.

Nerdgasm


Claude Debussy - Nocturne

James McNeill Whistler - Nocturne in blue and silver
Chopin popularized the Nocturne which became so popular that more or less everyone dabbled in it.  Debussy was no exception, writing a collection of three at the very end of the nineteenth century.

Unsurprisingly, Debussy was inspired to write these pieces by an exhibition of impressionist paintings, most notable being the nocturnes by James McNeill Whistler, one of which is shown here.

The music was not received with excitement by the Parisian public, but these have had staying power, gaining popularity over time.  Maurice Ravel scored the pieces for two pianos, and now no collection of nocturnes is complete without these.