Monday, October 31, 2022

Dad Joke CCXXXVIII - special Halloween Dad Joke

Why don't mummies take vacation?  They're afraid to unwind.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Site Maintenance

 In support of Borepatch, I went into the HTML that underlays the blog and set all the blogrolls to display 100 items before hiding anything. So if you look at our blogroll, you now see the entire list again. It had been hiding anything more than 10 for at least a couple of years.

Since we are talking about the blogroll, I recommend looking through our lists and visiting some of them to see some very fine content. Far better than the usual drivel and dad jokes we manage to post here. The only thing stopping me from picking some to recommend is that I would be passing by equally deserving blogs and I don't want to post the whole list.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

How Florida recovered from Hurricane Ian so quickly

These linemen are restoring power to Sanibel Island.

Shock and awe.  

Spotted by The Queen Of The World.

Buck Owens - (It's A) Monster's Holiday

"Bigger than the Beatles" is a cliche in the music world.  Buck Owens wasn't bigger than the Fab Four, but he was first - he recorded "Act Naturally" before they did, and his version inspired them to record their cover.  Owen's career peaked in the 60s and early 70s but this 1974 gem is just plain fun for Halloween.  And you can play it for the kids without scaring them.

(It's A) Monster's Holiday (Songwriter: Buck Owens)

Frankenstein was the first in line
And the Wolfman came up next
Dracula was doing his stuff
Breathing down my neck

Jump back, make tracks
Here comes the Hunchback
Better get out of his way
Fee fee fi fi fo fo fum
It was a monster's holiday

Well, I hopped into bed
And I covered up my head
Said, I'm gonna get
A good night's sleep

I got woke up
About twelve o'clock
And I jumped right to my feet

There was gremlins and goblins
Dragons and zombies
Lawdy, what an awful sight

I said, good buddy, you may get me
But, brother, let me tell you
It's gonna be after the fight

Frankenstein was the first in line
And the Wolfman came up next
Dracula was doing his stuff
Breathing down my neck

Jump back, make tracks
Here comes the Hunchback
Better get out of his way
Fee fee fi fi fo fo fum
It was a monster's holiday

Uncle Bill
Well, he took ill
And they sent for me to come
Well, I had to pass
By the old graveyard
So I went on the run

There was screaming and moaning
Wailing and groaning
Scary as a mummy's curse

I said, good buddy, you may get me
But, brother, let me tell you that
You're gonna have to catch me first

Frankenstein was the first in line
And the Wolfman came up next
Dracula was doing his stuff
Breathing down my neck

Jump back, make tracks
Here comes the Hunchback
Better get out of his way
Fee fee fi fi fo fo fum
It was a monster's holiday

Fee fee fi fi fo fo fum
It was a Monster's Holiday

Wednesday, October 26, 2022


 In Greek Mythology, Chiron was half man, half horse. He was also a doctor of medicine.

You could say that he was the centaur for disease control.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

@#$%! Google

There are a lot of blogs on the blogroll here that Google won't display.  Sure, it let's you add them to the blogroll but it only displays ten.  When the heck did they start that?

Apologies to those of you who mysteriously dropped off - it looks like I'm going to have to do major surgery to get everyone back.

Monday, October 24, 2022

Dad Joke - CCXXXVI

I boiled a funny bone last week.

It turned into a laughing stock. 

Sunday, October 23, 2022

The Internet interprets censorship as damage

It routes around it.  Big Brother Google (you do love Big Brother, don't you?) cast Big Country into the Outer Darkness, yea with bell, book, and candle.

He's baaaaaaaack.

Looks like this may have wedged Divemedic's blog, though.

UPDATE 24 October 2022 11:53: Divemedic's blog is back.

John Morris - "Transylvania Lullaby" from Young Frankenstein

John Morris had a long career writing music for Mel Brooks (he scored "Springtime for Hitler" in The Producers), but this is his most iconic work from Brooks' equally iconic 1974 film Young Frankenstein.  It's a very rare film, a satire that was both critically and commercially successful despite (or perhaps because of) its intentionally retro approach.  Filmed in black and white using the laboratory devices from the original Frankenstein film, the movie works on many unusual levels.

For example, Aerosmith's iconic song "Walk This Way" was inspired by Marty Feldman's line in the film.

It's one of The Queen Of The World's and my favorite films, especially around Halloween.

Here is the City of Prague Symphony Orchestra performing the theme from Young Frankenstein.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Bad Livers - Honey, I've Found A Brand New Way

Nimrodmaroon emails to ask if I'd ever heard of Bad Liver.  I hadn't but holy cow, this is right up my ally.  They were a (fittingly weird) Austin bad from the 1990s that has been described as "thjrash-grass", "contemporary bluegrass", and acoustic-metal-bluegrass".  How can you not check them out after that? 

This song is less weird than many of theirs - almost normal bluegrass but with a little seasoning of we're-not-in-Kansas-anymore-Toto.  I like it.

Thanks for the heads up, nimrodmaroon!

Friday, October 21, 2022

The "French Haircut"

E.M. Smith has a typically thoughtful post about what is happening in Europe right now:

Do note that at present the EU & UK are having about a 10% to 20% reduction in their natural gas flows. This is about 5% to 10% reduction in their “Carbon”. Now both currencies have dropped about 1/3 of their value vs the $ US (that is also losing value fast to inflation….). They also have a political revolution in the starting phases, governments being turned out, and massive marches in the streets. It isn’t even winter yet… With that small a step toward the WEF “Decarbonization Goal”, this is what you get. What do you think will happen with a double of that “decarbonization”?

He then goes on to point out that the EU's "accomplishments" to date are only about 10% of the decarbonization goal and that to meet these goals each of the next ten years will have to do even more than what the last year has seen.  He points out:

Street Protests in the EU / Europe writ large are the prelude to riots that are the prelude to insurrections and revolts. I’ve often said these Elite need to remember “The French Haircut”. Yet they do not.

A lot of folks in Europe are going to die this winter.  We'll see what things look like in March, but I wonder how many of the EU governments will still be in power by then.


Thursday, October 20, 2022

Just how wrong are the Climate Temperature models?

I've written for years and years about how the Climate Temperature Models seem hopelessly broken. So just how broken are they?  This broken:

A major survey into the accuracy of climate models has found that almost all the past temperature forecasts between 1980-2021 were excessive compared with accurate satellite measurements. The findings were recently published by Professor Nicola Scafetta, a physicist from the University of Naples. He attributes the inaccuracies to a limited understanding of Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS), the number of degrees centigrade the Earth’s temperature will rise with a doubling of carbon dioxide.

File this under "prediction is hard, especially about the future".  Gosh, it almost seems like the climate system is massively chaotic and difficult to understand, or something ...

The paper groups dozens of models used in the CMIP 6 reference model into low, medium, and high ECS.  Here are the four major temperature databases and their results against the three groupings:

The black lines are the actual temperatures; the yellow bands are the model's predicted temperatures. Notice that the actual temperatures have diverged outside the yellow predicted ranges (i.e. recorded actual temperatures are lower than predicted for all temperature data bases and all model groups). Long time readers know that I prefer the UAH satellite temperature record because (a) it is truly global and (b) it is only minimally adjusted.  I have been vocal for a long time that adjustments to the other temperature records are excessive, and may be wildly excessive.

Let me emphasize here that the models have been wrong for 40 years.

There is another paper just out that corroborates Prof. Scafetta's results.  In other words, the accepted scientific consensus for ECS is out of whack.  Gosh, it seems like "Consensus Science" doesn't understand things as well as they tell us they do.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

It's not easy being green

Wind energy company fined $35M for killing hundreds of bald eagles:

An American wind energy company has admitted to killing at least 150 bald and golden eagles, most of which were fatally struck by wind turbine blades, federal prosecutors said. 

ESI Energy pleaded guilty Tuesday to three counts of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) after eagles died at three of its facilities in Wyoming and New Mexico, according to a statement from the Justice Department.

Nice going, Greens.  If the rest of us even pick up an Eagle feather from the ground we can go to prison, but your corporate buddies just cop a plea and, the cost to electricity rates, and go back to collecting their subsidies.

I'll believe that the Greens are serious when they insist on prison time for this sort of thing.


Tuesday, October 18, 2022

R.I.P. James McDivitt

Gemini and Apollo astronaut (and USAF General) James McDivitt dead at 93.

As usual, Dwight is your go-to guy for obits. 

Dad Joke - CCXXXV

 I went to the bookstore yesterday. There was a self-help book titled "How to Make 50% of Your Problems Disappear". 

I bought two copies.

Monday, October 17, 2022

Dad Joke CCXXXIV - Special Science Edition

All the science posting lately means we need a science themed Dad Joke.

Why do you never hear good chemistry jokes anymore?  Because all the good ones Argon.

Sunday, October 16, 2022


A Science-Based approach to weight loss!

Click to embiggen or read it at Dilbert.  This is simply top shelf mockery.


Saturday, October 15, 2022

Loretta Lynn (and Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette) - Silver Threads And Golden Needles

Loretta Lynn passed on a week ago.  The Choir Invisible's gain is our loss.

She was a force of nature, both professionally and personally.  Professionally she is the most awarded female country artist ever; personally she was as tough as they come.  She said of her husband that he never hit her where she didn't hit him twice.  The Coal Miner's Daughter wasn't of a mind to back down.

Her music defined country music in the 1970s, when she was awarded artist of the decade.  The 1980 film Coal Miner's Daughter (starring Sissy Spacek who won the Best Actress Oscar that year) wasn't so much a movie as it was a national singalong - Mom and Dad went to see it at a theater in Brewer Maine and said that the audience knew all the words to all the songs.  Lynn was asked whether Sissy Spacek could sing the song in the film and Lynn replied, "Well, she's a-gonna."

Tough, and not of a mind to back down.

We've lost something here.  Only Dolly is left from the trio of 1960s break through country women.

Rest in peace, and rise in Glory.

Friday, October 14, 2022

The Scientific Dark Age

I ran across this photograph somewhere in the last couple of weeks:

It was from the Fifth Solvay Conference in 1927.  IIRC, 16 of these gentlemen and one lady received Nobel Prizes.  There are only 29 people in the photograph, so that's a 58% Nobel rate.  I suspect that's a world record for a scientific conference.

Aesop says that we are in a Scientific Dark Age,* and I agree.  He says we may have been in it for a couple hundred years, and that's where our opinions part.  I think that it's been since July, 1969.

I am currently reading Richard Feynman's Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feinman.  Feynman will need no introduction here, but for those unfamiliar with him he worked on the Manhattan Project and then taught Physics at Princeton for Decades.  He was the guy on the Space Shuttle Challenger Investigation Committee who showed that O-Rings lost their ability to seal pipes when they were cold.

He had a fascinating career - one of the world's greatest scientific minds, he rubbed shoulders with the rest of the world's greatest scientific minds.  One theme that continually comes out in his memoir is a passion to question why things work the way they do.  He independently derived methods of solving mathematical problems that in some case were superior to the "Official" ones.  His was a strict allegiance to experimental proof:

It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it disagrees with experiment, it's wrong.

This is from the 1960s.  That's gone now.  Exhibit A for the Prosecution is my last post's reference to the chief of CERN - the world's most prestigious physics lab - and his command to his staff not to comment on the Svensmark experiment (because it calls into question the Scientific Orthodoxy of Global Warming).  Exhibit B is the fact that for multiple reasons the climate databases are "seriously flawed and can no longer be trusted." Exhibit C is how NASA administrators are prohibiting NASA scientists from publishing papers that run against current Global Warming orthodoxy.  There are many more examples of this in yesterday's post, and many, many more (over 500, in fact) here.

So something happened between July 1969 and today.  Back then we were able to make atomic bombs, invent integrated circuits, and land a man on the moon.  Now it's arguments over string theory and why we can't detect more "Dark Matter".

Feynman could have told people about that last one.  I suspect that today they wouldn't listen, because they don't want to listen.  Careers will be lost if the scientific grant gravy train gets upended.

And the funniest part?  That gravy train is controlled by the same Government Leviathan that challenged the scientific community to land a man on the moon and return him safely by the end of the decade.

Mission accomplished.  But what to then do with the gravy train?  Well, never let a gravy train go to waste.  And thus the beginning of the Scientific Dark Age dates to July 1969.  It sure as shootin' hadn't started when the 1927 Solvay Conference was fresh in the rear view mirror.  It took the Feb.Gov to royally screw up Science.

They're still having physics conferences at Solvay.  There's a table here showing who chaired each conference.  After Oppenheimer in 1964, the roster lists a bunch of nobodies.

* Interestingly, the picture that appears at the top of Aesop's post is of Percival Lowell in his Flagstaff observatory.  Lowell is best known for his maps of the Canals of Mars, so this shows that the scientific rot had set in well before 1969.


Wednesday, October 12, 2022

The biggest science story in decades is being swept under the carpet

I was going to post about this a couple of months ago, but the story is getting even more interesting.  The new James Webb Space Telescope is showing images of the most distant galaxies ever seen, and it is raising questions on basic, fundamental theories about the universe - most notably, the Big Bang theory.

Plasma physicist Eric Lerner (a long time questioner of the Big Bang theory) lays out the case for the prosecution:

It is not too complicated to explain why these too small, too smooth, too old and too numerous galaxies are completely incompatible with the Big Bang hypothesis. Let’s begin with “too small”. If the universe is expanding, a strange optical illusion must exist. Galaxies (or any other objects) in expanding space do not continue to look smaller and smaller with increasing distance.

Beyond a certain point, they start looking larger and larger. (This is because their light is supposed to have left them when they were closer to us.) This is in sharp contrast to ordinary, non-expanding space, where objects look smaller in proportion to their distance.

Put another way, the galaxies that the JWST shows are just the same size as the galaxies near to us, assuming that the universe is not expanding and redshift is proportional to distance.

Smaller and smaller is exactly what the JWST images show. Even galaxies with greater luminosity and mass than our own Milky Way galaxy appear in these images to be two to three times smaller than in similar images observed with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), and the new galaxies have redshifts which are also two to three times greater.

This is not at all what is expected with an expanding universe, but it is just exactly what I and my colleague Riccardo Scarpa predicted based on a non-expanding universe, with redshift proportional to distance. Starting in 2014, we had already published results, based on HST images, that showed that galaxies with redshifts all the way up to 5 matched the expectations of non-expanding, ordinary space.

There's a lot more at the link, but this excerpt is long enough to give you the flavor.  Amusingly, Lerner links to a peer-reviewed paper on the subject: Panic! At the Disks: First Rest-frame Optical Observations of Galaxy Structure at z>3 with JWST in the SMACS 0723 Field

I love the first word in the title, although rather think that the authors used this with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

The wagons are being circled by the scientific establishment (which is what makes this story interesting to me). has an article filled with the usual name calling: "pseudoscience", "disinformation", claims of "misused" and "out of context" quotes, "serial denier", "anti-science", and even "flat-earth".  The article quotes (at length) a guy who wrote a book called "How To Talk To A Science Denier".

Whew!  That's a lot of insults to pack into a single article.  I'm glad to see scientific discourse advanced!

Now I'm not an astrophysicist (although older brother is), so I don't know which is right - Big Bang or Non-expanding Universe.  Or maybe neither.  Who knows?

But the reaction to this challenge to "Scientific Orthodoxy" is fascinating.  And the brings to mind that quote from Hamlet: Methink the Lady doth protest too much.  It also brings to mind two very old posts of mine.  In The Iron Law and the Bureaucratization of Science I write about the curious fact that scientific progress does not seem to be accelerating, despite hundreds (or thousands) of times more scientists and funding.  In it I posted a chart from Nigel Calder's blog (he founded and edited New Scientist magazine):

These are Calder's opinion but are a reasonable comparison.  It certainly does not seem like things are speeding up - certainly not by a factor of 100x.  There's a lot in my post of complaints by eminent scientists about suppression of views dangerous to the scientific establishment.  I encourage you to click through and read the whole post.  Remember, this is more than ten years old.  And think about the article linked and all their name calling. 

This is not a one-off, a "black swan" event.  The scientific establishment has been doing this for a long, long time.  In Soviet Science, I wrote about how the head of CERN prohibited employees there from commenting on Svenmark's experiment (likely because it casts doubt on Global Warming theories).  In it, I point out the breakdown in the scientific method on display:

At this point, I must confess that I'm an old faht, getting my science education back in the 1970s, from teachers and professors who got theirs in the 1940s.  I was taught that the Scientific Method went something like this:

  1. Observe something happening.
  2. Formulate a testable hypothesis about what might be causing it.  
  3. If your hypothesis isn't falsifiable (i.e. cannot be shown to be wrong), go back to 2.
  4. Formulate a Null Hypothesis (likely alternative) for your hypothesis in 3.
  5. Construct an experiment to test your hypothesis against the null hypothesis.
  6. Perform the experiment, and document the results.
  7. Explain which hypothesis was closer to matching the observed reality in 1, and why.

It seems that the head of CERN - one of the biggest scientific research organizations in the world - doesn't want his people to do that last step.  Everything else is OK (for now, at least), but that last one is right out.

You can read more about Svenmark's hypothesis and experiment here.  The scientific establishment seems to hate this theory, as it's so not helpful to the Global Warming position.  Unfortunately for them, it has been experimentally confirmed (see the link) - in great contrast to much of establishment climate science.

So what gives with all of this?  I mean, this is not the public image of cool, rational scientists advancing our understanding of the universe.  I wrote (again) at length about this a long time back in Science and the Cold Civil War.  The post has multiple examples of how the scientific research funding game is played.  The Climategate emails make an appearance here, as does the term "Saganized".  I know that I'm throwing a lot at you, but this is important as a description of the (dare we say it?) pettiness of the scientific establishment.  Physician, heal thyself.

Lastly (I can hear the cheers of relief) is Science as practiced today is very sick.  This seems pertinent as it lets us circle back to the both article and Calder's wonderment at the slowdown of scientific advancement:

Developing new methodologies is harder than inventing new particles in the dozens, which is why they don’t like to hear my conclusions. Any change will reduce the paper output, and they don’t want this. It’s not institutional pressure that creates this resistance, it’s that scientists themselves don’t want to move their butts.
How long can they go on with this, you ask? How long can they keep on spinning theory-tales?
I am afraid there is nothing that can stop them. They review each other’s papers. They review each other’s grant proposals. And they constantly tell each other that what they are doing is good science. Why should they stop? For them, all is going well. They hold conferences, they publish papers, they discuss their great new ideas. From the inside, it looks like business as usual, just that nothing comes out of it.

It also has what may be (but probably isn't) my first link to RetractionWatch.

So is the Big Bang theory right?  Maybe.  But as older brother told me long ago, the Scientific Method isn't replacing a falsehood with a truth, it's replacing a falsehood with a more subtle falsehood.  But the Big Bang theory is not the point here.  Rather, it's Physicists behaving badly:

The Queen Of The World and I loved that show, and a lot of the reason is in that clip.

So the issue is not whether the Big Bang theory is right or wrong, it's why won't the establishment allow actual scientific discussion of so many issues.  There are too many sacred cows (and gravy trains) at risk.

Oh, yeah - this has been going on a long, long time.  And even NASA scientists admit it.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Do you get strange Youtube suggestions?

Tacitus tilts at the algorithmic windmill and seems to be making some headway getting the oddball suggestions turned off

Tacitus, a grateful Internet thanks you.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Ron DeSantis and hurricane preparation

While the media try to pin hurricane deaths on Gov. DeSantis, here's what they are not telling you:

Linemen have reportedly restored power for roughly two million customers in Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian last week, the governor said on Sunday.

45,000 linemen from all over the country* were pre-positioned before the storm hit.  In 4 days (Friday - Monday) they're restored ~ 80% of all outages.

The media are biased jerks who have changed Mark Twain's old addage.  It used to be "If you don't read the newspaper you're uninformed; if you do read the newspaper you're misinformed."  Now you're uninformed no matter what, but you're only misinformed if you read the paper.

* I saw one in the last day or two from Kansas City.  That's a long way to come to help out, and we appreciate it. 

Sunday, October 2, 2022


 Stolen from blogbrother Irish.

Max Steiner - Theme from Key Largo

The hurricane hit Florida last week, an old story made new by Mother Nature. The story is so old that there's a great film about it - the 1948 movie Key Largo staring Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and Claire Trevor.  The great Max Steiner wrote the score which delivers (ignore the picture in the video which is from a different Humphrey Bogart/Max Steiner film):

Claire Trevor won the Oscar for best supporting actress, playing a washed up, alcoholic bar singer.  She wants a drink and the villain makes her sing a song before she gets one.  The song is about a cruel boyfriend, and Edward G. Robinson plays that part to perfection.  Trevor realizes as the song goes on that she's in the same position as the girl in the song.  Her despairing performance is what is said to have won her the Academy Award that year.

More impressive is that Trevor repeatedly asked the director (John Huston) to rehearse the scene.  He repeatedly put her off because "there's plenty of time".  Then one day he told everybody to shoot the scene.  Trevor sang the song both unrehearsed and a Capella which is unbelievably impressive and way more than Huston deserved.  Here's her one take wonder:

Saturday, October 1, 2022

I'm back (mostly) - plus an important message

First, the message:  Napoleon famously said that an army marches on its stomach, and Big Country is trying to provision his army of attorneys to save his grand daughter from a completely messed up home situation.  I expect that you've already heard about this (I expect that 95% of our readers also follow him), but any spare change you can toss his way would be very much appreciated.   You can donate here.

Plus he's made an appearance in Chris Muir's Day By Day cartoon.  Pretty darn cool.

Now for a quick update.  It's been nothing but asses and elbows for a week, first getting ready for the storm and then cleaning up after.  Long days, and it's shown me that I'm not in very good shape physically.  Need to start working out.

The Queen Of The World is hurting pretty bad - back, hip, and knees have been an issue for a while now, and all the lifting and carrying has not helped.  Today is a day off, by executive order.  I'll post more tomorrow, but we're both pretty wiped out now.