Friday, August 31, 2007

Self Medication Tragedy

My friend Eric at Classical Values tells of a self medication tragedy:

Most people who suffer from schizophrenia smoke. A lot.

This is one of those stereotypes that not only happens to be true, but there's a special reason why schizophrenics smoke:
Cigarette smoking may improve attention and short-term memory in persons with schizophrenia by stimulating nicotine receptors in the brain, according to a study by Yale School of Medicine researchers in the June issue of The Archives of General Psychiatry.
This explains not only why they smoke, but why they smoke so much more than people who don't have schizophrenia. They are engaged in self medication.
Why is this a tragedy? Read the whole thing.

And, if the subject of self medication interests you I have written a little on the subject.

PTSD and the Endocannabinoid System
Addiction or Self Medication?
A well known secret

I forgot to mention that nicotine is an anti-depressant, as is marijuana.

Cross Posted at The Astute Bloggers

House #2

Who does House #2 belong to?

House #2 Designed by an architecture professor at a leading national university. This house incorporates every “green” feature current home construction can provide. The house is 4,000 square feet ( 4 bedrooms ) and is nestled on a high prairie in the American southwest. A central closet in the house holds geothermal heat-pumps drawing ground water through pipes sunk 300 feet into the ground. The water (usually 67 degrees F. ) heats the house in the winter and cools it in the summer. The system uses no fossil fuels such as oil or natural gas and it consumes one-quarter electricity required for a conventional heating/cooling system. Rainwater from the roof is collected and funneled into a 25,000 gallon underground cistern. Wastewater from showers, sinks and toilets goes into underground purifying tanks and then into the cistern. The collected water then irrigates the land surrounding the house. Surrounding flowers and shrubs native to the area enable the property to blend into the surrounding rural landscape.
Answer here.

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

The Way It Was

There used to be a lot of discrimination in the Marine Corps against blacks. That has changed. However the old days are being documented. Lest we forget.

LaSalle Vaughn said the hardest thing in his 23-year career as a Marine was being passed over for promotion and retiring as a staff sergeant despite passing the test for a higher rank.

He said it was because he declined to work for yet another general as a steward, a type of personal assistant.

"My life in the Marine Corps was hard because every base I went on, there was nothing but discrimination," said Vaughn, who was one of the first black men to enter the Marine Corps in 1942.

However, the outspoken 83-year-old Port Royal resident has garnered much more recognition since his retirement than he did in the Marines because of his insistence on passing on the story of the first black Marines, who were trained at Montford Point, N.C., from 1942 to 1949.

Vaughn was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Montford Point Marine Association in July, and a documentary on the Montford Point Marines, for which he served as one of the advisers, is set to air on public television stations in the Carolinas starting in September and nationwide in November.

The story of the 20,000 black recruits who trained at the segregated base was threatening to be swept under the rug. He said he asked a recruit at a speaking engagement whether he had heard of Montford Point Marines.
The Navy used to discriminate against Jews. Rickover changed that. He has a submarine named after him.

Or we could talk about the Marine's General Honore. Famous for asking a reporter why he was "stuck on stupid". My kind of Marine.

Semper Fi.

Murtha Sued

It seems that at least two Marines are planning on suing John "I Was A Marine" Murtha over his public comments on the Haditha Incident once they are fully exonerated. From the first link:

Well, the Marine Corps investigator has now dropped all charges against 3 of the 8 accused Marines in the case, and only one Marine still stands accused of crimes at the scene. The others are charged with various after-the-fact issues that arose from investigations of Haditha, not the events themselves. Murtha’s aim, of course, in accusing the Marines of murder “in cold blood” was to pin the blame on Bush. But in the process of blaming Bush, he slandered those Marines.

One of those Marines, Col. Jeffrey Chessani, plans to sue Murtha once he’s exonerated.
I guess Murtha didn't follow events in Durham, North Carolina over the past year and a half.

The evidence is that the Marines were doing their job as trained and within the limits of the rules of engagement.
Based on that reasoning, the case against Wuterich is likely to fall apart too. He is the last Marine against whom charges from that night remain. If the charges against him fall, game over. Jack Murtha will have slandered Marines who acted according to their training during the course of ongoing combat.
Although Murtha is not a prosecutor he has certainly engaged in Nifongery. i.e. adverse pre-trial publicity on the part of a government agent, with reckless disregard for the facts.

The Marines may just have a case.

H/T Instapundit

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Flat Earth Climate

I was visiting The Reference Frame where Lubos was talking about the changes required to become 100% carbon free by 2030 and came across this gem:

All industry and traffic will have to be converted to a new kind of energy that either doesn't exist today or looks economically or socially unacceptable. Agriculture, transportation, and industry represent significant fractions of the greenhouse emissions and the basic nature of all of them will have to be radically changed. That won't be enough because even breathing and grilling parties produce carbon dioxide. These processes will have to be banned, too, much like alcohol fermentation, cement production, and dozens of other processes.

How is this complete destruction of our civilization justified? Well, those people think that this radical step will lead to a
Flat Earth's Climate (thanks, moptop).
Well I added some emphasis. And capitals.

That just about sums it up. Flat Earth Climate.

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

World Economy Growing

Here is an interesting metric on world economic growth.

The market of Yachting is in its constant progression of 14% per year. The yachts’ orders of ship builders has grown by 28% this year with the adequate increase in yacht-size.The visibility of orders for exemple of Yachting HiFi International relates from 7 up to 9 years. Moreover, the request for prestigious installations, Hifi Cinema and Computer Services is confirmed very clearly and was accentuated at the last International Boat Show of Monaco in October 2006.
Interestingly yachts with sails are a declining market. Evidently the rise in the price of oil is not deterring these yacht buyers.

Note: obviously English is not the writers first language. What I think he means is that yacht orders are up 14% and the dollar value is up 28%. The reason for this is that the average size of yachts ordered is growing.

Free Trade

Pastorius has an article up at Astute Bloggers that tells a story of a man who traded his way from a paperclip to a house in 14 trades. Pastorius thinks this is a sign of decadence.

I don't:

Every body involved in the trades got something out of it.

i.e. something s/he wanted more.

Entertainment, something to do, the nice feeling you get when you do a good deed. An item preferred over the item traded. Reflected glory.

That is what is so neat about the free market. It can satisfy needs that are hard to quantify.

Peak Oil?

Oooops. That one is for the peak oil folks. It looks like all that has peaked is the easy to get oil. Evidently there is an abundance with current technology and prices.

We're flying over the Gulf of Mexico, above some 3,500 oil production platforms, and Siegele is pointing them out with the verve of a birder — here a miniature oil rig known as a monopod; over there a drill ship almost as big as the Titanic; still farther out, platforms looking like huge steel chandeliers that dropped out of the storm-shaken clouds.

Siegele has reason to be giddy. He works for Chevron, and his team is sitting on several new record-breaking discoveries in the Gulf, a region that many geologists believe may have more untapped oil reserves than any other part of the world. On this trip, the 48-year-old vice president for deepwater exploration has come to a rig called the Cajun Express to oversee final preparations before drilling begins on the company's 30-square-mile Tahiti field.

Looming like an Erector set version of Hellboy — with cranes for arms, a hydraulic drill for its head, and a 200-foot derrick for a body — the rig appears at once menacing and toylike. But the real spectacle is below the surface: A drill is plunging down through 4,000 feet of ocean and more than 22,000 feet of shale and sediment — a syringe prodding Earth's innermost veins. That 5-mile shaft will soon give Chevron the deepest active offshore well in the Gulf. Some land drills have gone deeper, but extracting oil from below miles of freezing salt water and unyielding sediment creates a set of technical problems that far exceed those faced on terra firma.
OK. The technology is very interesting and there is much more on that and what it takes to do the job. What is the bottom line?
Even better, a recent discovery by Chevron has signaled that soon there may be vastly more oil gushing out of the ultradeep seabeds — more than even the optimists were predicting four years ago. In 2004, the company penetrated a 60 million-year-old geological stratum known as the "lower tertiary trend" containing a monster oil patch that holds between 3 billion and 15 billion barrels of crude. Dubbed Jack, the field lies beneath waters nearly twice as deep as those covering Tahiti, and many in the industry dismissed the discovery as too remote to exploit. But last September, Chevron used the Cajun Express to probe the Jack field, proving that petroleum could flow from the lower tertiary at hearty commercial rates — fast enough to bring billions of dollars of crude to market. It was hailed as the largest publicly reported discovery in the past decade, opening up a region that is perhaps big enough to boost national oil reserves by 50 percent. A mad rush followed, and oil companies plowed more than $5 billion into this part of the Gulf.
So now you know what the oil companies have been doing with their "excess profits". Working to bring us more oil. Whoda thunk?

Between new oil finds like that and recent funding for Dr. Bussard's Fusion experiments, I'm very optimistic about our energy future. Our transition away from oil will be difficult, but not excessively painful.

H/T Instapundit

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Larry Craig

Maybe it is time for gays to learn the Morse code.

That would be some fancy foot tapping indeed.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Race To The Moon

I have been following this story for quite some time, so I think it is ripe for comment.

Asia Times reports on this new race to the moon.

MUMBAI - With the Chinese and Japanese making plans to establish moon bases, can India be far behind?

"Global players have declared that by 2020, they will have their bases on the moon," Madhavan Nair, chief of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), declared on August 18. "I don't think India can afford to be lagging behind in that."

Nair said ISRO is defining technologies needed for India's first manned space mission in an Indian space vehicle scheduled for 2015 (Squadron Leader Rakesh Sharma spent eight days aboard a Soviet Soyuz T-11 in 1984). Fifty-nine of 122 lunar probes launched worldwide were successful. More are heading moonward in a renewed interest in Earth's neighbor 385,000 kilometers away.

Leading Asia's moon ambitions is the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), which rescheduled its lunar orbiter, Kaguya, to September 13 instead of this month. On August 17, China insisted its lunar Chang'e I program is purely scientific and not competing with any other country (read Japan).

India is expected to invest US$1.5 billion over the next five years to develop technologies for a manned space flight by 2015 and a moon flight by 2020. Most of the designing, research and technical jobs are to be completed by 2012.

The United States wants a permanent outpost on the moon. This month, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released a master list of potential lunar objectives, consulting more than 1,000 people from businesses, and it included developing lunar commerce.

Scientists say moon resources could support life on Earth with cheaper and cleaner energy and help human exploration of the solar system and outer space with cheaper rocket fuel and space-travel construction materials. Lunar mineral deposits include aluminum, magnesium, titanium, iron (for building moon structures), and silicon (to make solar cells for energy), besides the lunar soil enriched with oxygen (for astronauts to breathe and for making rocket fuel) and hydrogen; the soil could also be melted into casts and used as construction blocks.
Now the big prize not mentioned in the article is Helium 3 which is an excellent fusion fuel. It is very scarce on Earth but relatively abundant on the moon.

Some people think that the race to the moon is basically a race for fusion fuels.'s moon race, unlike the one that took place between the United States and the U.S.S.R. in the 1960s, a full roster of 21st-century global powers, including China and India, are competing.

Even more surprising is that one reason for much of the interest appears to be plans to mine helium-3--purportedly an ideal fuel for fusion reactors but almost unavailable on Earth--from the moon's surface. NASA's Vision for Space Exploration has U.S. astronauts scheduled to be back on the moon in 2020 and permanently staffing a base there by 2024. While the U.S. space agency has neither announced nor denied any desire to mine helium-3, it has nevertheless placed advocates of mining He3 in influential positions. For its part, Russia claims that the aim of any lunar program of its own--for what it's worth, the rocket corporation Energia recently started blustering, Soviet-style, that it will build a permanent moon base by 2015-2020--will be extracting He3.

The Chinese, too, apparently believe that helium-3 from the moon can enable fusion plants on Earth. This fall, the People's Republic expects to orbit a satellite around the moon and then land an unmanned vehicle there in 2011.
However, I believe this rush for Helium 3 is unnecessary for fusion fuels.

First of there is enough Deuterium in the ocean for millions of years of power at current rates of world consumption. Second if we use Boron 11 in our fusion reactors we have supplies good for at least 100,000 years in mines and more if we extract it from the ocean.

Deuterium is good because it is abundant, but when it fuses it produces lots of neutrons. Neutrons cause problems. Boron 11 when it fuses with Hydrogen (sometimes referred to as proton-Boron 11 fusion) produces very few neutrons.

In any case, the reason for the race to Helium 3 is that it "ignites" in a fusion reactor at lower energies than either Deuterium or Boron 11. For a Tokamak reactor like ITER this is a big problem. It doesn't do the high temperatures needed for Deuterium or Boron 11 well. As Plasma Physicist Dr. Nicholas Krall said, "We spent $15 billion dollars studying tokamaks and what we learned about them is that they are no damn good."

There are alternatives. One is the Bussard Reactor which has been funded. We will know in the next 6 to 9 months if such a reactor is feasible.

There are lots of good reasons to go into space. Mining Helium 3 for use on Earth may not be one of them.

Energy Futures

I thought it might be interesting to look at what could be done with a light weight fusion reactor if the Bussard Reactor works as advertised.

Brian at New Energy discusses Fusion Futures and some of those implications.

Here are a few of my own ideas:

Since the US Navy is funding this research my guess is that the first application will be ships and power plants - just like the original fission program. In any case the first ship prototypes will be built on land.


For aircraft use - superconducting motors. In fact the Navy plans on superconductor motors for its ships without The Bussard Polywell Fusion Reactor.

There are turbofans well into the development stage that can give Mach .85 speeds.

Coupled with a superconducting electric motor it could be a very interesting aircraft. Radiations shielding issues will probably be the most difficult. We already know how to do that for ships.


Rockets. My current favorite using fusion would be to use hydrogen as reaction mass and with the first stage a Mag Lev slingshot based on the the Inductotrak design. That means the rocket would be traveling at 400 to 500 mph before it starts spewing serious quantities of hydrogen.

A lot will depend on the final mass and power output.

It also means a return to powered landings. At least until final approach. Much safer.


Most of the world lives within a few tens of miles of the sea or a large river connected to the sea.

If we mounted Polywell on barges/ships we could easily transport them to where most of the world needs them and quickly connect them to the local grid.

Think of how much it would have helped the Iraqis (an obvious friction point) to be able to deliver a 500 MW barge to Baghdad (river transport) within 6 months of the cessation of major hostilities. And a new barge every 6 months to distribute power plants up the Tigris and Euphrates.

Over time the plants could be moved to land.

Another thing that will be done (caused by the technological shift of having to mass produce 1.5 MVDC to AC converters to convert the Polywell output to AC) is a HVDC grid replacing the AC grid. It would be more economical in terms of losses allowing 1,000 mile interconnects. In addition you wouldn’t have the phasing problems caused by intertie loops. So you could make such a grid much more redundant.

It also would mean that grid controllers would only have to worry about power dispatch not phasing problems. In addition power dispatch for new sources coming on line would be speeded up because phase matching would not be required. As soon as the DC voltage you are producing goes above the line voltage at the production point you are adding watts to the grid. Diodes would be used to prevent backflow.

Power to the People is my motto.

Let me say in passing:

Each person who has contributed to this (even if only following developments) has helped change civilization for the next 1,000 years.

This is a turning point in which every one involved can be proud. A few people at the right place and the right time can change civilization.


How about the implications for oil?

It will make refining oil shales much cheaper. So it will make our transition to an electric/biofuel regime much less painful.

Steel plants will be all electric except for the initial reduction of the iron ore. We even may figure out a way to do that with Hydrogen.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Climate Science Needs To Go Underground

I have been doing some more thinking about how to measure climate change. If we actually want to measure if the earth is heating, we ought to actually measure the temperature of the earth.

If climate was my interest, I’d find the “constant” temperature transition point in the ground and string thermometers (electronic of course) at, above, and below that level below ground. From watching the change in those temperatures over time climate change could actually be determined. Heat flows too. Similarly for the sea. Let the earth or water do your averaging for you.

From that and satellite measurements it ought to be relatively easy from first principles to figure out what is going on. We will have some measure of the heat flows. Which will give us a much better idea of what is going on than measuring the daily high and low air temperature for a given day.

If we are going to measure the air we need to measure it much more frequently than at two unknown times to get just the high and low. Because the heat capacity of air is so low, you can’t determine heat flows very well unless the recording frequency of temperature measurement goes way up.

Measurement 4 ft above ground (or what ever the standard is) to get the high and low for the day has so little climate information that it is tantamount to useless for climate observation. Or heat flows either. The only reason to keep doing it that way is that we have always done it that way.

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

Gravity Generator

I'm reading a fairly technical paper that shows that rotating superconductors may affect gravity fields[pdf].

...a clear azimuthal acceleration, which could be associated with an anomalous gravitational field, directly proportional to the superconductive ring angular acceleration, and an angular velocity orthogonal to the ring’s equatorial plane, which could be associated with an anomalous gravitomagnetic field, have been measured in type-(1) and type-(2) experiments respectively...
This is pretty big if true. It means we will some day figure out how to make gravity generators. Or possibly even gravity nullifiers. At least on a small scale.

Very interesting.

Magic Crystals

It looks like the USA has a shortage of Magic Crystals because of under investment in basic science.

The US "is a second-class, if not a third-class, citizen" in terms of investment in the synthesis of high-temperature superconductors, heavy-fermion materials, thin films, single crystals, ultrapure semiconductors, and other specialized samples for condensed-matter experiments, says Cornell University's Séamus Davis. US scientists "have to go cap in hand to the people who lead the development of new materials in these research fields." Davis gets samples for his spectroscopic imaging scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) studies from colleagues in Japan, Canada, and the UK. "From the pure perspective of science," he says, "things are great. It's from the parochial perspective of how much belongs to the US that you may think there is a problem."

With sample synthesis on the decline in the US over the past two decades or so, increasingly the US condensed-matter community does think there is a problem. Art Ramirez, director of device physics research at Bell Labs, notes that Bell, IBM, and a few other companies led the field after World War II. But around 1986, when the first observation of high-temperature superconductivity, by Georg Bednorz and Alex Müller in Switzerland, set off a rash of activity around the globe, "industrial investment in basic research began its rapid decline," Ramirez says. "And no one has picked up the slack."

The situation is reaching crisis proportions, says Jim Eisenstein of Caltech. The US, he adds, has been the leader in uncovering the physics of two-dimensional electron systems, and "the great majority of that success involved samples grown by one person at Bell Labs. It's unstable to have only one individual at one institution making ultrahigh-purity semiconductor crystals—like everyone else, he will someday retire." Worse, he says, what if Alcatel—which last year took over Bell's parent company (see PHYSICS TODAY, February 2007, page 26)—pulls the plug?

A smattering of crystal growers work in national labs and universities across the US, but in recent years, concern in the condensed-matter community has been rising about the availability of samples, a future generation of sample growers, and competitiveness in the discovery and exploitation of new materials. A National Academy of Sciences report exploring these and related issues is due out next year.
The thing is you never know where the next breakthrough is coming from. If you have no place in your army for privates the generals will wind up without any one to command. We need to support the artisans as much as we support the big idea people. Rewards and honors and better labs.

“The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because philosophy is an exalted activity, will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.” — John W. Gardner, Saturday Evening Post, December 1, 1962

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Swamp Works

The Swampworks is a Navy program for quick innovation similar to the Lockheed Martin Skunkworks

"Swampworks" was created by the Former Chief of Naval Research (CNR), RADM Jay Cohen, to find technological solutions to many new challenges that face the Navy today. The research funded by Swampworks is designed to produce results in 1-3 years, instead of the 15-20 year time-frame of conventional S&T development. The research is done at high-risk with the possibility of high payoff.
Good idea.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Jewish Porn Sweeps Arab World

Via Kesher Talk comes more confirmation that Islam will be Defeated by Pornography. From the Italian site ANSAmed.

(ANSAmed) - TEL AVIV, AUGUST 22 - Despite the diplomatic ice reigning between the respective governments, Israeli erotic sites are reaping enormous success among the Internet surfers of the Arab countries. "We notice on our servers that thousands of users live in Muslim states with which we don't even have diplomatic relations," Nir Shahar, who manages one of the most visited Israeli websites with erotic content, told an Israeli journalist. Up to 10% of the daily contacts of the porn portals in Hebrew come from Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iraq. Some owners have decided to rise the wave of success opening an Arabic version on the websites and registering in this way an immediate surge of the 'clicks'. Others, like Nir Shahar, believe the expense for translation is needless: "The videos and photos we offer do not need much explanation," he says. There is a real passion spreading among the Islamic users: that for the hard Israeli videos in which the actresses interpret, in their way naturally, the role of female soldiers, secret agents or policewomen. One of the most watched films at the moment is 'Codename: Deep Investigation', a spy story which narrates in parody the (real) story of Mordechai Vanunu, the Israeli technician who had given out the nuclear secrets of the Jewish state. 'The Affair-Vanunu', yet, has another meaning in the video. The preference shown towards the erotism in the language of the enemy is susceptible to many interpretations, one of which is that probably the fact that there are not many erotic sites in Arabic and that in the strictly Islamic countries they are even banned. Yet the Arab Internet users show they follow the erotic deeds of the feigned female soldiers with a special determination: often they have to manage to go round, through a complicated computer procedure, the block which in many of their states usually impedes access to the Hebrew sites.
Kinky Jews.

Peaceful Settlement

From Retief's War by Keith Laumer:

"I is a great believer in peaceful settlements," Jik-Jik assured him. "Ain't nobody as peaceful as a dead troublemaker."
via Instapundit. Insty has links to more free Laumer. The link above is to some free Laumer.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Insulting A Beggar

Here an anecdote from Elie Wiesel's book Souls On Fire. Let me define a few terms first for those of you not familiar with Jewish culture. Rebbe means Rabbi. Zusia is a famous and respected Hasidic Master/Rabbi from Europe. The "him" referred to in the first line is Rebbe Zusia.

In an inn somewhere, a wealthy guest mistakes him for a beggar and treats him accordingly. Later he learns his identity and comes to cry his remorse: "Forgive me, Rebbe, you must - for I didn't know!"

"Why do you ask Zusia to forgive you?" Rebbe Zusia said, shaking his head and smiling. "You haven't done anything bad to him; it is not Zusia you insulted but a poor beggar, so go and ask the beggars, everywhere, to forgive you!"

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bussard Reactor Funded

I just received an e-mail claiming that the Navy has funded Dr. Bussard to complete his WB-7 fusion reactor experiment. In addition the e-mail claims the Navy is on board for the full up power demo if the WB-7 results are positive.

If I get further confirmation on this and permission to post it, I will. ASAP!

New Energy and Fuel has a bit more to say on the subject. I can confirm (second and third hand) all the points he makes. It is very likely that we have the same sources.

Update: 09 Oct. '007 0131z

I have inside information that is very reliable and multiply confirmed that validates the above story. He will be doing his work in Santa Fe, New Mexico, near the Los Alamos National Labratories.

Update: 12 Oct '007 0245z

Dr. Robert W. Bussard Has Passed. However, his work continues. Two Los Alamos scientists, one a long time friend of Dr. Bussard, started working with him when the project was re-funded in August.

Here is a news report on the funding: It's Official.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Tragedy Of The Commons

The Tragedy of the Commons (Garrett Hardin) is that when no one owns a resource the maintenance of that resource is an externality instead of a source of future profits.

Inspired by this article and comments at The Reference Frame.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Big Heat Pipe In The Sky

The atmosphere has been described by the Profits of CO2 Doom as a blanket that traps the incoming solar energy and warms the planet. Which is true. At a short time scale. At a little longer time scale the atmosphere is more like a heat pipe. This is on the scale of weather. Day to day changes. I'm going to first explain how heat pipes work and then show how the atmosphere is similar. We will also look at how the ocean is the primary determinant of climate on longer time scales (5 years time constant).

What is a heat pipe? It is a sealed metal tube (quite often copper) partially filled with a fluid that also has a wick running its full length. The wick is arranged so that it is in contact with the walls of the tube. Here is a simple diagram of a heat pipe.

How does the heat pipe work? It has a cold end and a hot end. At the hot end the external heat source boils the fluid in the heat pipe the vapor created then condenses on the cold end and the wick then carries the fluid back to the hot end and the cycle repeats.

Because of the evaporation/condensation method of heat transfer the temperature drop between the hot end and the cold end is much smaller than if the tube had been made of a solid piece of metal. That kind of heat transfer is very efficient. You can get into more of the details at wiki on Heat Pipes. If you want to learn a little of the math and some of the practical difficulties here is a good article on how to build a heat pipe.

Let me start with an article I discussed earlier at Feedbacks Misdiagnosed. It is by Roy Spencer and discusses the nature of water vapor feedback in terms of weather and climate.

Let me start out by saying that water vapor is the most prevalent and most effective greenhouse gas in our atmosphere.

Here is a bit of what Roy has to say.

For instance, everyone believes that water vapor feedback is positive, and conceptually justifies this by saying that a warmer surface causes more water to evaporate. But evaporation is only half the story in explaining the equilibrium concentration of atmospheric water vapor; precipitation is the other half.
Which is to say that the whole heat pipe, not just the hot end, must be considered when studying the atmosphere. I covered some of that in Clouds and More Clouds and Clouds In Chambers.

Roy Spencer discusses how water vapor is the atmosphere's natural air conditioner. Which is not bad. An air conditioner is in many respects a mechanized heat pipe. It can actually transfer heat from a cold space to a hot space. The atmosphere can't do this. So the heat pipe analogy is more apt. Other than that he has some good simple diagrams and pretty pictures to explain what is going on.

So let me sum up:

We don't live in a greenhouse. We live in a heat pipe. Actually that is not strictly true. We live in a greenhouse and a heat pipe. The greenhouse slows heat transfer by radiation. The heat pipe increases heat transfer by conduction and convection and evaporation and condensation. Because of heat storage in the ocean there is about a 5 year time constant from the time the extra energy starts coming in until balance is mostly restored.

In terms of delayed response, the climate problem is similar to the capacitor soakage problem in electronics.

There is a primary time constant and a number of secondary time constants.

The secondary time constants are generally not very influential except at very high precisions. Even then their influence is limited to very low frequency signals.

Roy Spencer and a number of others have worked out the primary time constant by other means and have also come up with a numbers around five years.

In control theory to assure system stability you generally want a system where a first order lag is dominant. This appears to be the case in the climate system according to a number of different analysis methods.

In addition because of water vapor evaporation/condensation the atmosphere is more like a heat pipe than a blanket at the time scales (five years) in question. At shorter time scales it is more like a blanket due to the lags. In fact the primary time constant is determined by the evaporation/condensation time constant according to Stephen E. Schwartz.

I'll go into where the five year number comes from in another post (can't say when).

For those of you who can't get enough on how the consensus is breaking down you might want to read this link rich piece by a Congressional staffer.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Defensive Warfare

Some folks say that the only valid warfare is defensive warfare. OK. Have the jihadis promised to attack us? Yep. Have they carried our such attacks? Yep. Next question.

So how do we condone attacking nations when it is the jihadis who are at war with us?

Simple. We had a pirate problem in the Mediterranean in the late 1700s, early 1800s. Did we go after the individual pirates? No. We attacked the nation harboring them. Shelled cities. Attacked forts. Burned shipping. Until the pirate masters decided that the game was not worth the candle. Note that those pirates did their piracy in the name of (wait for it) jihad.

Thomas Jefferson was involved and it was called the War Against the Barbary Pirates.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Day The Music Died

Well, it is not actually dead yet. It is just under a death sentence. Gateway Pundit has the details.

A terrifying internet video call to action for supporters of Osama bin Laden also fingers ex-Arsenal striker Thierry Henry for assassination.

It was launched this week on a Glasgow-based website named after al-Qaeda that regularly supports attacks on Westerners.

It has also been uploaded to the massively popular YouTube video-share site, visited by millions of youngsters.

The sports stars are branded EVIL for being CRIMINAL influences on young Muslims.

The sick film shows a picture of Manchester United ace Rooney with the headline: "Why do u love the evildoers?"

Beckham, who is now at LA Galaxy, is shown under the caption: "What made u among the losers?" And the slogan across an image of Henry asks: "Why do u imitate the people of desires?"

Alarmingly the video then flicks to a series of graphics depicting graveyards and bodies. One shows the feet of a CORPSE on a mortuary slab with a toe tag marked "Death".
For the Islamics this is a worse move than the American failure at Abu Ghraib. I think this is proof positive of the maxim in the military arts: "he wins battles who makes the fewest mistakes".

They are not just going after sports figures. They have musicians in their sights too.
His rant declares that Muslims who are passionate about sport or music are hellbound like the "disbelievers" they admire. Other celebrities rubbished on the video include P Diddy and Justin Timberlake. It ends with the rousing message: "Rise up, oh youth!"
It is one thing to attack Republicans. It is quite something else to go after sports figures and musicians.

I don't think youth culture will fall for the Islamic line if the youth are unable to hear music calling men gangstas and women hos. Sad but true facts of life.

I think this points out one very important point. Islam is not just another religion.

Climate Diversity

Commenter O2converter at Climate Audit makes a good point (slightly edited):

I’m thinkin’ that we need to change the name to: “Climate Diversity”. That way we can celebrate and embrace it knowing that it makes us stronger.
Diversity is nothing to fear.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Shill For Big Oil

Roy Spencer, whose hypothesis about heat transfer in the atmosphere I recently discussed, talks about where he gets his funding.

It has become commonplace for those of us scientists who are skeptical of mankind's role in global warming (I like to call us global warming optimists) to be branded as shills for "Big Oil". As a result of misinformation posted at (and other web sites that spread that misinformation), I have decided to set the record straight concerning my financial interests.

I have never been asked by any energy company to take a position on global warming -- or to do anything else for them. While I have given talks on global warming at conservative think tanks like the Marshall Institute (for no pay), I have also done the same for environmental organizations in several states. Apparently, those who run think that any association of my name with conservative organizations is sufficient "guilt by association" for the public to assume that I receive compensation from energy companies.

After 12 years of receiving no compensation for my writings, I was eventually asked to write global warming related articles for (now That website advocated science, technology, and free markets, and was indeed partially funded by Exxon Mobil. While I no longer write for that web site, over a three year period I augmented my "day job" salary by an average of 5% by writing articles. The views expressed in those articles were consistent with the views I had expressed for twelve years for no compensation. (Quite frankly, since I supported the ideals promoted on, I really didn't care who funded it).

The dirty little secret is that environmental organizations and global warming pessimists receive far more money from Big Oil than do global warming optimists such as myself. While professional environmental lobbyists are totally dependent upon environmental crises for their continued existence, atmospheric researchers and meteorologists have day jobs which are not. Some outspoken global warming pessimists have received large cash awards (hundreds of thousands of dollars) for the positions they have taken; there are no such monetary awards for global warming optimists. Instead, we have to endure scorn from several outspoken peers in the scientific community, some of whom are successful at thwarting our publication of scientific articles and government funding of our research proposals.

As long as the global warming pessimists can convince the public that we skeptics are simply shills for Big Oil, they do not have to address our scientific arguments.
You see in science it doesn't matter where the money comes from. All that matters is "is the explanation correct.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Space War

Nice site to check out if you want to follow the current war and the future of high tech weapons:

Space War

Friday, August 17, 2007

Folk Wisdom

I love holidays. Especially holidays devoted to sex.

Pilgrims celebrating the Hindu month of Shravan (mid-July to mid-August) are filling the pockets of marijuana sellers in the Deoghar district of Jharkand, according to a report in the News Post of India. Considered auspicious by followers of Lord Shiva, the month is marked by, among other things, a pilgrimage by millions of adherents to pour water on the Shiva Linga at the Baidyanath temple in Deoghar.

The pilgrims, clad in saffron, smoke marijuana (ganja) as part of the observance. According to one estimate cited by the News and Post, devotees are buying and smoking 50 to 65 pounds of marijuana a day from happy Deoghhar pot vendors.
I think the Shiva Linga deserves some explanation. It is the male sex organ.

Now why would pot and the male sex organ be combined in celebration? I think it is folk wisdom. I wrote an article a while back, Better than Viagra, about the helpful properties of marijuana when it comes to sex.

It is possible the Hindus are on to something. It is possible they have been on to it for a very long time. It is my estimation that when the boomers figure this out in a big way the drug war will be over. It is hard to stand between a man and sex. Heck the ladies would be quite supportive as well.

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

Thursday, August 16, 2007

What Causes Ice Ages?

Since we have a consensus on climate science could some one please tell me the cause of ice ages?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Feedbacks Misdiagnosed

I have been following the climate debates rather closely these days. I'd rather be doing IEC Fusion but that is stymied for lack of research funds. So the climate debate keeps my brain engaged until I can put it to more productive uses.

Let me start from the beginning. Here is how the warmists say global warming works:

1. Extra CO2 makes the atmosphere less transmissive of heat
2. That causes the atmosphere to get hotter
3. That causes more water vapor in the air
4. Which causes the atmosphere to get much hotter

Item #4 - more water vapor leads to heating is based on measurements and calculations. The measurements are pretty good in this case since they are done by satellites, so the question is are the calculations correct?

Roy Spencer says we are not doing the calculations right because we are assuming that certain things are uncorrelated when in fact they are correlated. He says that because of the way the calculations are done that this almost always leads to a positive feedback result from the calculations.

First he does a software experiment and proves his thesis with that. Well you can prove anything with computers. How about some real live data.

Now, what we really need in the climate system is some big, non-cloud source of radiative forcing, where the cloud feedback signal is not so contaminated by the obscuring effect of cloud forcing. The only good example we have of this during the satellite era is the cooling after the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo.

And guess what? The SW
[shortwave - ed.] cloud feedback calculation from the Pinatubo-caused variability in Forster and Gregory was – surprise, surprise! – anomalously negative, rather than positive like all of their other examples of feedback diagnosed from interannual variability!
So what is Roy's conclusion?
What I fear is that we have been fooling ourselves with what we thought was positive cloud feedback in observational data, when in fact what we have been seeing was mostly non-feedback cloud “forcing” of surface temperature. In order to have any hope of ferreting out feedback signals, we must stop averaging observational data to long time scales, and instead examine short time-scale behavior. This is why our GRL paper addressed daily variability.
Richard S. Lindzen has been saying this since at least 2001. Here is a somewhat less technical explanation with better pictures. Until this "experiment" Lindzen had no way to explain why what he thought was true was not explained by the data. It looks very much like the data is correct but our assumptions about its nature are not.

Which is another good reason why climate scientist must make public their data and methods. There could be other errors.

OK there is the science controversy. What does this mean politically? If the feed back is negative, not positive, CO2 is way less important than people have thought and the temperature rise from a given amount of CO2 will be much less than calculated by the current models.

This could be a big thing politically because if it holds up it means that we will not have to cut back our energy use while we work to solve our long term energy needs. Like with that fusion project I mentioned. Which could use $15 or 20 million for research. Contact me.

Lubos at The Reference Frame has some thoughts.

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

The Victory Caucus Needs Help

As an official member of the Victory Caucus (all you have to do is put one of the thingys on your side bar and maintain an attitude) I thought I would give the head office a little boost since they put out a call.

August and September are crucial months for the war effort, both on the ground in Iraq and here at home. In September --- most likely right around September 11th --- General Petreaus will deliver his report to Congress, and defeatists are doing everything in their power to discredit and dismiss the General's findings before he even delivers them. At The Victory Caucus, we aim to ensure they fail, and that the American people get an accurate an honest understanding of the progress being made and the prospects for genuine victory.

But we need your help. Right now, the key media battlefront is not in Washington --- it's in your town; your district; your state. Congressmen and Senators are back home during the August recess, and while they are there, they need to hear from supporters of victory. If you haven't done so already, try to find out if your Congressman (and Senators) are holding "town hall" meetings while they are home --- or just try to reach them at their office. Let them know how you feel: if they have been strong on the war, thank them, and if they haven't --- politely let them know you hope they'll change their mind.

If you want to do more, we could use your help more directly. We're looking for bloggers / activists to serve as state coordinators to keep track of what's going on in each state, network with other pro-victory individuals and organizations, and coordinate local activities. If you have some time and are interested, please drop N.Z. a line (nz at victorycaucus dot com).

We also need help monitoring news on the war to keep The Victory Caucus up to date and on top of the latest events. You can now help by submitting news directly on the site. Our team will then review + post it.

Finally, there's one last easy way you can help, and that is to add The Victory Caucus to your sidebar/blogroll. This page shows a bunch of ways to do that, including a simple text link, a logo badge, and a full "widget" that displays our logo and the latest headlines from the site. The more sites include a link to us, the higher The Victory Caucus will appear in search engine rankings --- which means it will be more likely that people searching for news on Iraq will find us rather than a defeatist view on the war. So please, link away!
Contact your government:

House of Representatives
The Senate
The President

Monday, August 13, 2007


Clayton Cramer has written a piece on how we treat our mentally ill that is just heart breaking. I have seen some of these issues play out with a close relative. Very painful. Sadly, there is not much help out there and hardly any one interested. When we de-institutionalized people with mental problems a considerable good was done to many of them. However, considerable harm has been done to those who have difficulty coping.

Here is a bit of what Clayton has to say on the subject.

Many schizophrenics aren't scary. Those who do become violent, even if it is just property damage, create enormous fear in family and friends. Unfortunately, the problem that Vicki is going through is one shared by large numbers of parents across America. Some marriages do not survive the stress.

I've been planning to start annoying my legislators about the failures of our current system here in Idaho (and unfortunately, Idaho isn't unusual at all), but I've been waiting for a break in my current research project. It's time to turn my energies onto the Idaho legislature.

Too many lives are being destroyed.
You should read the whole thing. And this and this (also linked at Clayton's site). Then you should go to work on your legislature.

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

Propaganda Wise

Ever since Steve McIntyre nudged the Goddard Institute for Space Studies to correct its error in the "adjusted" data many of the AGW folks (global warming is man made) have been saying that this is a minor correction. [in the comments]

Without "the hottest year on record was 1998" the climate looks more naturally variable.

Scientifically this is minor correction.

Propaganda wise it is a big thing.

It has also alerted people to the idea that data and methods must be open in science.

Update 13 Aug 007 1709z:

Steve McIntyre on why Hansen's Error Matters.

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Default Interpretation

I was reading the comments at Coyote Blog since I just finished a bit about a climate article they had put up and I came across this little gem by dearieme posted Aug 9, 2007 12:15:51 PM:

"Government scientists ..refuse to publicly release their temperature adjustment algorithms or software": the default interpretation of that is that they are crooks.
It seems like a lot of people are coming to that conclusion.

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

A Shill For Al Gore?

Coyote Blog has a bit up on the latest Climate Change scandal. The error in the data making 1998 the hottest year on record. James Hansen is head of GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies) the source of the error. Michael Mann (inventor of the guaranteed hockey stick method - feed any data in, random numbers are good - get a hockey stick out) stated he was 99% certain that 1998 was the warmest year on record for the last 1,000 years. Actually it is the second warmest year on record in the last 73 years. That means he was only off by 927 years. Not bad for a professional. The error has been corrected in remarkably short time. However, it has brought to light something rather interesting.

James Hansen gets money from a foundation run by John Kerry's wife Teresa Heinz Kerry.

Newsweek portrays James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, as untainted by corporate bribery.

Hansen was once profiled on CBS' "60 Minutes" as the "world's leading researcher on global warming." Not mentioned by Newsweek was that Hansen had acted as a consultant to Al Gore's slide-show presentations on global warming, that he had endorsed John Kerry for president, and had received a $250,000 grant from the foundation headed by Teresa Heinz Kerry.
You don't suppose the money has biased Hansen do you? Me either. I put such talk down to idle speculation, innuendo, and ugly rumor. Like all true scientist who understand that CO2 is causing global warming, the man is beyond reproach. I think those inquiring into the underlying data and adjustment methods of NASA/Goddard's GISS temperature record are just a bunch of climate hooligans and should be ignored. Mr. Hansen is in charge of GISS. He works for the government. His honesty and integrity are beyond reproach. No need to audit the books.

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Problems in Asia

It has come to my attention that there are problems with the the temperature record in Asia.

At virtually the same time NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies was correcting historical climate data with the assistance of Climate Audit's Steve McIntyre, a British mathematician discovered serious flaws in papers used and cited by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its most recent Assessment Report.

Douglas J. Keenan, a former Morgan Stanley arbitrageur and current independent mathematical researcher, identified "fabrications" in such studies that suggest a "marked lack of integrity in some important work on global warming that is relied upon by the IPCC" and that "the insignificance of urbanization effects on temperature measurements has not been established as reliably as the IPCC assessment report assumes."
The errors are so glaring that one might conclude fraud was involved. Such a conclusion would be premature.

There are links to the studies involved and other links at the above url.

H/T Reliapundit

Update: 11 Aug 007 1711z

Questions about the Russian data.

Anthony Watts has some thoughts on the China problem.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Friday, August 10, 2007

Might As Well Be Walking On The Moon

It appears that China is interested in mining the moon.

Chinanews, Guiyang, Aug 10 –China plans to survey every inch of the soil on the moon during the Chang'e project, said Ouyang Ziyuan, China's chief scientist for the moon exploration project.
So why would China be spending money on moon exploration. Do they have something practical in mind? Yes they do.
“There are altogether 15 tons of helium-3 on earth, while on the moon, the total amount of Helium-3 can reach 1-5 million tons. Helium-3 is considered as a long-term, stable, safe, clean and cheap material for human beings to get nuclear energy through controllable nuclear fusion experiments. If we human beings can finally use such energy material to generate electricity, then China might need 10 tons of helium-3 every year and in the world, about 100 tons of helium-3 will be needed every year. This means that the helium-3 reserves on the moon can serve human society for at least 10,000 years,” he said.
It turns out that if this alternate fusion scheme works, out we will not have to go to the moon for fuel. We can leave the He3 on the moon for use in space travel. On earth we can use Boron 11 and hydrogen. Hydrogen is abundant. There is enough Boron 11 for around 100,000 years. More than enough time to figure out what is next. Plus we need not get into resource wars over goodies in space. At least not for a while.

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

Climate Audit Hit

It appears that Climate Audit after posting on a NASA error that made 1998 the warmest year on record (it is now second warmest after 1934, Power and Control link) has been hit with a denial of service attack according to a commenter at Watts Up With That?

Evidently the news was too much for some people to bear.

More news here.

Michelle Malkin sent an e-mail. She thinks it was a mention of Climate Audit by Rush L. that did it. Possible. Steve McIntyre has posted at A. Watts' site saying it may be a while before CA returns. Maybe a week. The usual DOS type attack is cleared in a couple of days or less. So I'm still wondering. More news as it becomes available. Michelle has more details on the main story and some thoughts on why Climate Audit is Down.

Clayton Cramer has some thoughts.

Update: 10 Aug 007 2258z

What really happened by some one who was actually there.

I know the DOS attack on was real, as I helped them try to troubleshoot the problem, and the attack continues even now.
BTW Climate Audit is back up.

Update: 11 Aug 007 1838z

Climate Audit has limited access until they get their new servers installed. If you can connect to them you are fortunate (I got lucky). Otherwise you will most probably get a 403 Error. They hope to have all the kinks ironed out by Monday.

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

Thursday, August 09, 2007

On Vacation

There seems to be a fair amount of bleating from certain quarters that the Iraqi Government is dysfunctional. How dare they take a summer recess with unfinished business in the middle of a war.

So the Iraqi government appears dysfunctional.

Dysfunctional compared to what?

Has any one looked at the American Congress lately?

H/T Instapundit

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

After Correcting

After correcting for an error in data correction we have a new list of the hottest years since around 1900 in the USA.

The top 10:

1934 - hottest

Let us cluster them by decades:
1931, 1934, 1938, 1939
1990, 1998, 1999,

So 1934 was the hottest. Interesting. Man made CO2 so far hasn't been blamed for the warming in the 30s.

According To NASA

According to NASA surface measurements and satellite measurements of Earth's temperature do not match:

Unlike the surface-based temperatures, global temperature measurements of the Earth's lower atmosphere obtained from satellites reveal no definitive warming trend over the past two decades. The slight trend that is in the data actually appears to be downward. The largest fluctuations in the satellite temperature data are not from any man-made activity, but from natural phenomena such as large volcanic eruptions from Mt. Pinatubo, and from El Niño. So the programs which model global warming in a computer say the temperature of the Earth's lower atmosphere should be going up markedly, but actual measurements of the temperature of the lower atmosphere reveal no such pronounced activity.
I wonder why?

H/T Commenter Mark T. at Climate Audit

The Inflationary Universe

Michael Turner of the University of Chicago talks about the Big Bang and the Inflationary Universe. A deep subject given a light hearted treatment. You might want to get up to speed on the physics idea of "time horizon" in relation to the speed of light before digging in. Or keep repeating the section from about 7 1/4 minutes in on the first video until it makes sense. His "view graphs" owe a lot to Batman Comics. The videos require "Real Player".

Michael Turner - video 1

Michael Turner - video 2

More Cosmology Videos

H/T Commenter Cynthia at The Reference Frame

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Record Highs

Sacramento California has been reporting record highs this summer.

Don't tell Al Gore, but global warming is taking a holiday in Sacramento this week. The maximum temperatures Sunday and Monday set records each day -- as the coolest "highs" for the dates since record-keeping began in 1877.

Forecasters credit a deep marine layer and a potent low-pressure trough with funneling the cool air this way. It's as if Mother Nature cut herself a wedge of Santa Barbara weather and plopped it down on Sacramento's plate.

We're talking, for once, about the all-time lowest maximums, instead of the all-time highest. Monday's downtown high was just 74 degrees, 3 degrees cooler than the previous record of 77 degrees set in 1906, according to the National Weather Service. Sunday's downtown high of 76 frosted the previous low maximum of 78, set in 1962.
I'm wondering if like the Gore effect there might not also be a Newsweek effect.
Since the late 1980s, this well-coordinated, well-funded campaign by contrarian scientists, free-market think tanks and industry has created a paralyzing fog of doubt around climate change. Through advertisements, op-eds, lobbying and media attention, greenhouse doubters (they hate being called deniers) argued first that the world is not warming; measurements indicating otherwise are flawed, they said. Then they claimed that any warming is natural, not caused by human activities. Now they contend that the looming warming will be minuscule and harmless.
So what I want to know is: why isn't my check in the mail?

However, I'm not a true denialist. The IPCC projection of sea level rise has gotten me seriously worried. My advice to people living close to the shore? “Run for your lives before it is too late” the IPCC predicts a 3 mm per year rise in sea level. That is one foot in a century. Think of the devastation that wave would cause if it happened all at once. A one foot wave is unprecedented. It will be the end of civilization as we know it. OTOH “dude, surf’s up”.

OK so could a 5 deg F temperature change could be deadly to the flora and fauna on earth. You are telling me that a system that varies over a range of 120 deg F in a year’s time is going to be seriously disturbed by a predicted 5 deg F change? And is already out of whack from a 1 deg F change? You are telling me that the biota will not adapt? That adjustments will not be made?

You are telling me that we must assume a signal which is much less than the noise will have big effects on the system? Doubtful. That 120 F yearly variation and 20 F daily variation tends to anneal out the effects of very small very low frequency variations at least until they get significant relative to the yearly variations.

Well any way, I'm willing to become a full fledged denialist if it pays well. I think $2,500 a month would be sufficient to start. Just let me know the check is in the mail.

Several sites have suggested this Marc Morano article:
The only problem is -- Newsweek knew better. Reporter Eve Conant, who interviewed Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the Ranking Member of the Environment & Public Works Committee, was given all the latest data proving conclusively that it is the proponents of man-made global warming fears that enjoy a monumental funding advantage over the skeptics. (A whopping $50 BILLION to a paltry $19 MILLION for skeptics – Yes, that is BILLION to MILLION - see below)
Mann. I'm on the wrong side in this argument. I guess the check will not be in the mail.

There are also some good links here.

H/T papertiger

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Monday, August 06, 2007

Perils Of Global Warming

Commenter papertiger brings this charming story to my attention:

Brothel owners in Bulgaria are now reportedly having trouble attracting workers. The owners claim the best prostitutes have moved to ski resorts, where they entertain tourists who cannot ski because of a lack of snow.

"We have hired students, but they are temps and nothing like our elite girls," Petra Nestorova, who runs an escort agency in Sofia, told the United Kingdom's Metro newspaper.
I get a scent of desperation from the Bulgarians. I wonder how soon before the ski season will be over?

An Interesting Question

Commenter Cormac-ballz asks:

What I don't get is: Congress is less popular than Bush because they didn't stop the war/stand up to Bush etc.

But Bush should be less popular because he's the one persecuting the war in first place!

Is there something about U.S. citizens that I fail to grasp? Is it because they don't sympathise with people they view as wimpy (e.g., Congress).
The Democrats won Congress by replacing the Republicans in the South with Blue Dog Democrats.

Those Democrats who won in the South promised not to damage the war effort. This has disgusted 1/2 the Democrats. The Republicans are disgusted to begin with. The other 1/2 of the Democrats are disgusted with the disgusted Democrats and no one is interested in solving the overspending problem.

So you have the Republicans who still support Bush - 24% and no one who supports Congress.

There is also the wimp factor which underlies the attitude of the Southern Democrats. They come from a martial culture. It transcends Republican/Democrat.

In many ways the Republicans won the last election. Southern Democrats are closer to the Republicans than they are to San Francisco liberal Democrats.

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

Romance Novels

Grim, one of my favorite mil-bloggers is posting at, Villainous Company on the subject of "what do women want?" An age old question. He asks if the romance novel isn't a reflection of what women really want(a man) and thus feminism has done its duty by allowing the free expression of female desire.

All this in response to a piece in the Nation that suggested:

Feminism has not finished its job; a version of nonmushy, nonmarital sex that makes women feel good about themselves is still hard to achieve.
Commenter Annlee says:
I wouldn't know - I've never read any of them, either. But then, I'm an engineer - I try not to think in mushy anything.
I think I'm in love. Provided the first mate approves.

A New Record?

Bush is doing a really lousy job. His approval ratings on the Iraq War are at 24% according to Zogby.

According to Zogby, Congress is at 3% and they did it in less than 6 months. Way to go guys. I wonder if they set a record?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Suspicious Lack Of Coverage

Eric at Classical Values is wondering why there is so little coverage of a story about a reporter murdered in Oakland California.

I think the answer is that the press does not wish to call attention to the connections of Barack Hussein Obama with the Nation of Islam's leader or the Nation of Islam itself.

Well it is a theory. Is it testable?

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

Something Is Wrong

Here are some interesting quotes from American Judges who don't like mandatory minimums for drug offenses.

Judge Morris S. Arnold
Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals
Appointed by George H.W. Bush, 1992

"You may say that I said that many of our drug laws are scandalously draconian and the sentences are often savage. You may also quote me as saying the war on drugs has done considerable damage to the Fourth Amendment and that something is very wrong indeed when a person gets a longer sentence for marijuana than for espionage."
That is only one quote. There are more.

The Drug War shreds our Constitution and wastes resources. Apparently there are some folks in government who actually understand that we are in a real war and that the Drug War is a waste.

Taken from a study: Republican Judges Speak

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

Saturday, August 04, 2007

As Certain As Global Warming

There will come a day when the phrase "as certain as global warming" will be used with derision when some one starts pontificating about: "if current trends continue".

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Climate Has Changed

I can remember back just a few short months ago. Our climate was in the lower 20s. Perfect for creatures adapted to the cold. Now it is in the upper 80s destroying the habitat of the cold climate creatures.

And if that is not enough to bother you, the climate is heating at an unprecedented rate. Normally climate scientists talk about changes of tenths of a degree in decades. Here we have something like 60 degrees change in six months. If the temperature keeps going up at its current rate we will all be boiled to death in less than two years.

We shoulda done something about it when we had a chance.

Brought to you by commenter papertiger who reminded me that I have been insufficiently diligent in providing climate porn. Is boiled to death in less than two years good enough for you?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

I Question The Timing

Walid Phares tries to help us tell "good jihad" from "bad jihad".

First, the argument of "good jihad" raises the question of how there can be a legitimate concept of religious war in the twenty-first century to start with. Jihad historically was as "good" as any other religious war over the last 2,000 years. If a "good jihad" is the one authorized by a caliph and directed under his auspices, then other world leaders also can wage a "good crusade" at will, as long as it is licensed by the proper authority. But in fact, all religious wars are proscribed by international law, period.

Second, the authors of this lobbyist-concocted theory claim that a wrong jihad is called a
Hiraba. But in Arab Muslim history, a Hiraba (unauthorized warring) was when a group of warriors launched itself against the enemy without orders from the real commander. Obviously, this implies that a "genuine" war against a real enemy does exist and that these hotheaded soldiers have simply acted without orders. Hence this cunning explanation puts "spin" on jihad but leaves the core idea of jihadism completely intact. The "spoilers" depart from the plan, attack prematurely, and cause damage to the caliphate's long-terms plans. These Mufsidoon "fail" their commanders by unleashing a war of their own, instead of waiting for orders.

This scenario fits the relations of the global jihadists, who are the regimes and international groups slowly planning to gain power against the infidels and the "hotheaded" Osama bin Laden. Thus the promoters of this theory of
Hiraba and Mufsidoon are representing the views of classical Wahabis and the Muslim Brotherhood in their criticism of the "great leap forward" made by bin Laden. But by convincing Westerners that al Qaeda and its allies are not the real jihadists but some renegades, the advocates of this school would be causing the vision of Western defense to become blurred again so that more time could be gained by a larger, more powerful wave of Jihadism that is biding its time to strike when it chooses, under a coherent international leadership.
Basically our Islamic friends are not questioning the actions of the "radicals", only the timing.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Iran And Al Queda

Time Magazine discusses the connection between Al Queda and Iran:

A senior U.S. official told TIME that the Commission has uncovered evidence suggesting that between eight and ten of the 14 "muscle" hijackers—that is, those involved in gaining control of the four 9/11 aircraft and subduing the crew and passengers—passed through Iran in the period from October 2000 to February 2001. Sources also tell TIME that Commission investigators found that Iran had a history of allowing al-Qaeda members to enter and exit Iran across the Afghan border. This practice dated back to October 2000, with Iranian officials issuing specific instructions to their border guards—in some cases not to put stamps in the passports of al-Qaeda personnel—and otherwise not harass them and to facilitate their travel across the frontier. The report does not, however, offer evidence that Iran was aware of the plans for the 9/11 attacks.

The senior official also told TIME that the report will note that Iranian officials approached the al-Qaeda leadership after the bombing of the USS Cole and proposed a collaborative relationship in future attacks on the U.S., but the offer was turned down by bin Laden because he did not want to alienate his supporters in Saudi Arabia.
Which brings up my esteemed Senator from Illinois, Mr. Barack Obama who wants to bomb Pakistan. I think he should consider bombing Iran - our enemy - before he takes on Pakistan - our ally.

Update: At one point I was wondering why Obama didn't mention Saudi Arabia. I found out why he didn't mention Saudi Arabia. Edwards already has it.