Sunday, February 28, 2010

Thought For Another Day

If the end justifies the means does it also justify the standard deviation?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Climate Redo

The British Met (Meteorological) Office says it is time for a redo of the world temperature records.

The land-based temperature records collected by the British Meteorological Office form a central plank of the scientific evidence for global warming.

The office has collated global temperature readings back to 1850, and while the raw data have not been freely available, graphs representing it have been.

The office provided details this week of its self-imposed review of global temperature records, announced last month, in an effort to try to regain public trust in climate science in the wake of the East Anglia University debacle.

In a document entitled ''Proposal for a New International Analysis of Land Surface Air Temperature Data'', the office argued that it was time to propose an international effort to reanalyse surface temperature data in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organisation.

The new analysis, which is expected to take three years, aims to test the conclusions reached by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that ''warming of the climate system is unequivocal''.
I'm pretty confidant that if the review is carried out with that goal in mind the results will be reported as: "It is worse than we thought."

What is interesting is that they make no mention of proving that CO2 is the cause. I guess that now a days that is just assumed.

Friday, February 26, 2010


Any method for doing anything that cannot be sustained for 100 billion years minimum is unsustainable. Nothing is sustainable in the long term. So why not just focus on getting by with an eye towards future requirements?

And let me add that the things people were doing 200 years ago were unsustainable. And 200 years hence?

My definition of sustainable? Can we keep it up for about 100 years? Which is time enough to figure out what to do next.

Which was brought up by a discussion of the Bloom Box fuel cell and water heater.

Now if you want to get more into the technology of the Bloom Box here are a couple of very pricey books that may help:

Biofuels for Fuel Cells (Integrated Environmental Technology)

That came out in 2006. I wonder if The Bloom Boys got some ideas there? Here is one of the latest books in the field:

Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Technology: Principles, Performance and Operations

I haven't read either of them so I can't give any recommendations.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Thursday, February 25, 2010

You Can't Fool Me

Which was brought on by this comment at Watts Up With That?
Doug S (18:35:46) :

Dr. Curry, I think you did a good job in reconstructing the time line of political and scientific consensus coming together to ignite the warming craze. I believe the nut jobs in the progressive political movement latched onto the CO2 warming theory, recognizing that it could be used to further their goals and the climate scientists unwittingly, in some cases, took them on as allies. Once this partnership became apparent to all of us “stupid ordinary taxpaying citizens, the dummies that pay for the data collection” it was only a matter of time before popular opinion turned against the elite scientists and progressives. I don’t think enough credit is given to the average potato farmer with a solid eight grade education; he may not be college educated but he can recognize a con game when he see one.
And then my response:

The key line in the cartoon is about 2:45 in, “You can’t fool me because I’m too stupid.” Or as Orwell preferred: “Some things are so stupid, only an intellectual could believe them.”

Shoddy Furniture

“If most of us are ashamed of shabby clothes and shoddy furniture, let us be more ashamed of shabby ideas and shoddy philosophies…. It would be a sad situation if the wrapper were better than the meat wrapped inside it.” – Albert Einstein

Ashamed of shoddy furniture? I'm glad to have any furniture.

I am ashamed of shoddy ideas (I've had more than a few). To lessen the shame I drop the shoddy ones as soon as I'm convinced of their ill worth. Sometimes the convincing is not easy. It shouldn't be.

MLK Jr Was A Republican

Since this is black history month I thought I should do something about it. So here is a bit on Martin Luther King Jr.

It should come as no surprise that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican. In that era, almost all black Americans were Republicans. Why? From its founding in 1854 as the anti-slavery party until today, the Republican Party has championed freedom and civil rights for blacks. And as one pundit so succinctly stated, the Democrat Party is as it always has been, the party of the four S's: slavery, secession, segregation and now socialism.

It was the Democrats who fought to keep blacks in slavery and passed the discriminatory Black Codes and Jim Crow laws. The Democrats started the Ku Klux Klan to lynch and terrorize blacks. The Democrats fought to prevent the passage of every civil rights law beginning with the civil rights laws of the 1860s, and continuing with the civil rights laws of the 1950s and 1960s.

During the civil rights era of the 1960s, Dr. King was fighting the Democrats who stood in the school house doors, turned skin-burning fire hoses on blacks and let loose vicious dogs. It was Republican President Dwight Eisenhower who pushed to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and sent troops to Arkansas to desegregate schools. President Eisenhower also appointed Chief Justice Earl Warren to the U.S. Supreme Court, which resulted in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision ending school segregation. Much is made of Democrat President Harry Truman's issuing an Executive Order in 1948 to desegregate the military. Not mentioned is the fact that it was Eisenhower who actually took action to effectively end segregation in the military.
Well there is more.

All this was brought to mind by this article on writing some blacks out of black history.
As Black History Month draws to a close, the web site The Root has chosen to publish a hateful article that demeans black conservatives solely for their political views -- grouping them with brutal dictators, convicted criminals and self-centered celebrities. This has drawn a stinging rebuke from Project 21 member Bob Parks.

"It doesn't take much for liberals to call black conservatives 'self-hating,'" noted Parks, "but what is it called when someone decides that blacks deemed inappropriate should be wholly removed from history? What kind of egos are we talking about here?"

The Root is operated by The Washington Post. Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. serves as The Root's editor-in-chief.

In a recent posting, "Black Folks We'd Like to Remove From Black History" by Jada Smith, 21 blacks are singled out for being "embarrassing." Smith wrote: "[W]hile we love our own, we sure do dream of erasing a few of them."

"It's not enough that progressives intentionally distort and rewrite black history to their political advantage, but now The Root, the Post and Professor Gates are showing additional contempt for black people by allowing open suggestions about who should be excluded from that rewritten history," Parks pointed out.

Of the 21 blacks selected by Smith to purge from black memory, there are five American political figures, five infamous foreign dictators, two criminals and nine celebrities. The two liberal politicos -- current D.C. councilman and former mayor Marion Barry and former Baltimore mayor Sheila Dixon -- earned their shame by being convicted of breaking the law.

The three black conservatives are demeaned solely for their politics. Republican Party chairman Michael Steele is the "Bozo of politics." Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas allegedly lacks "standing" among blacks because "he looks to the Constitution as 'colorblind.'" Former presidential candidate Alan Keyes, whose activism extols the values of the Declaration of Independence and the rights of the unborn, has "never managed to make a lick of sense."
I think this is another one of those "it has always been this way" political deals. It wasn't always this way. Just like we didn't always have a drug war.

"He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future." -- George Orwell

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

You Are Sh***ing Me

As you can tell from the title - this video might not be entirely safe for work.

Jimbo might want to remember that Victory has 1,000 fathers. Even men who said, "I never went near that woman" will claim to be the father of a child named Victory.

This has been up since 4 July 2007:

I Support  Democracy In Iraq

H/T Sara at Pal2pal.

Poor Babies

It looks like a the big cheese in an Islamic terrorist plot to kill a lot of New Yorkers on 9/11 2009 has dropped the dime on his mates. Interesting but not unusual.

This is unusual:

Fordham University School of Law Professor James Cohen said Zazi represents a cautionary tale. He said Zazi, like other Muslims, felt isolated and unhappy with the actions of the United States around the world and its perceived favoritism of Israel.

"They are feeling left out and are very angry about it," Cohen said. "That's what we have to come to grips with. An identifiable part of the Muslim population is willing to do just about anything in terms of suicide bombings. Believe it."
So, they are planning (and in some cases carrying out) mass killings because they feel left out?

What a bunch of wimps.

What ever happened to bringing back the Caliphate and ruling the world? A tad too ambitious perhaps? Evidently considering the scaled back goals if not methods. My suggestion for incipient bombers? Go back to your mommas.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Time For A Redo

Fox News is reporting that there is to be a redo of climate data.

At a meeting on Monday of about 150 climate scientists, representatives of Britain’s weather office quietly proposed that the world’s climatologists start all over again to produce a new trove of global temperature data that is open to public scrutiny and “rigorous” peer review.
Isn't that supposed to be how science is done? Yes it is. Ah. But they still have a few surprises in store. Check this out:
The Hadley stonewall began to crumble after a gusher of leaked e-mails revealed climate scientists, including the center’s chief, Phil Jones, discussing how to keep controversial climate data out of the hands of the skeptics, keep opposing scientific viewpoints out of peer-reviewed scientific journals, and bemoaning that their climate models failed to account for more than a decade of stagnation in global temperatures. Jones later revealed that key temperature datasets used in Hadley’s predictions had been lost, and could not be retrieved for verification.
No data. Well that is bad.

But how about this for a capper:
Then, in a last defense of its old ways, the Met proposals argues says that its old datasets “are adequate for answering the pressing 20th Century questions of whether climate is changing and if so how.
So no data is good enough to make a case in the 20th Century but for the 21st Century such an oversight will just not do. That kind of thinking puts my mind totally at ease.

H/T Watts Up With That

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Trouble In Climate Land

H/T seedload at Talk Polywell

Monday, February 22, 2010

We Don't Know What We Thought

After years of getting "it is worse than we thought" from the Climate Catastrophists crowd and their pet scientists it turns out that maybe the certainty is not so certain after all. And wonder of wonders. Error is admitted.

Scientists have been forced to withdraw a study on projected sea level rise due to global warming after finding mistakes that undermined the findings.

The study, published in 2009 in Nature Geoscience, one of the top journals in its field, confirmed the conclusions of the 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It used data over the last 22,000 years to predict that sea level would rise by between 7cm and 82cm by the end of the century.

At the time, Mark Siddall, from the Earth Sciences Department at the University of Bristol, said the study "strengthens the confidence with which one may interpret the IPCC results". The IPCC said that sea level would probably rise by 18cm-59cm [7" to 23" ed.] by 2100, though stressed this was based on incomplete information about ice sheet melting and that the true rise could be higher.

Many scientists criticised the IPCC approach as too conservative, and several papers since have suggested that sea level could rise more. Martin Vermeer of the Helsinki University of Technology, Finland and Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany published a study in December that projected a rise of 0.75m to 1.9m [30" to 75" ed.]by 2100.
I guess it is still worse than we thought. So what is the current rate of sea level rise you ask? Some say 2.2 mm a year is a pretty good number. Others like 3.3 mm a year. I have also seen lower numbers. The variation is due to the imprecision of measurement. No matter. Let me translate 2.2 mm a year is 22 cm (8 1/2") a century and 3.3 mm a year is 33cm (13") a century. The people cooking the books (excuse me Climate Scientists) are going to have to do a lot of work accelerating the real world to match their model predictions.

The graph is from World Climate Report which discusses it further.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Failure To Pay

The Iranian government may be in a lights out situation due to a failure to pay its electric bill.

A failure by the Iranian government to pay producers of electricity threatens to push the national grid into a state of failure, industry executives said.

Mohammad Parsa, the chairman of the Iranian Electricity Industry Union, told the Reformist-leaning Iranian Labor News Agency that the industry was falling behind on loan payments because of a lack of government funding.

"If this situation persists, we will not be able to honor our commitments and we will also lose our foreign market," he warned, adding shortfalls could create blackouts for Iran.

He said the government has failed to honor its payments, meaning several producers in the electrical sector are forced to operate at a minimum capacity.

He said the government owes electricity producers about $5 billion, which is roughly the same amount the sector owes the banks.

"The government buys 99 percent of our production," he told ILNA. "Ministry of Oil and Ministry of Power are our main customers. But once they buy the product and do not pay up, they disrupt our balance."
Socialism, even oil socialism, doesn't work. Supply and demand don't come into proper balance when the government sets prices.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I Am The Tea Party Leader

The Democrats have a plan. And Bill Clinton is its leader. The Tea Party is getting too strong. It is changing the outcome of elections. Seriously. Scott Brown in Massachusets? Shaking in his boots.

Big Government has learned that Clintonistas are plotting a “push/pull” strategy. They plan to identify 7-8 national figures active in the tea party movement and engage in deep opposition research on them. If possible, they will identify one or two they can perhaps ‘turn’, either with money or threats, to create a mole in the movement. The others will be subjected to a full-on smear campaign. (Has MSNBC already been notified?)

Big Government has also learned that James Carville will head up the effort.

Obviously, there is no love lost between Obama and the Clinton machine. It may at first seem odd that Clinton would rush to Obama’s defense, but the tea party movement poses a threat far beyond the immediate goals of the Obama Administration.

The tea party movement could evolve into a new political realignment, one founded on a belief in limited government and less government interference in the economy. The Progressive agenda, which has been painstakingly built up over the last three decades, could be left in tatters.
So they are looking for leaders and moles. Why? All they have to do is join up. They can find out everything. This is an open source movement.

And that is exactly the basis of a Tea Party Counterattack. I Am The Tea Party Leader.
What can be done to one of us, can be done to all of us.

According to Andrew Breitbart, Bill Clinton and James Carville are planning personal 'deep opposition research on 7-8 national leaders' active in the tea party movement.

It is un-American and morally wrong for a former president to attack Americans who have gotten involved in the political system.

It was Thomas Jefferson who said, "when the people fear the government there is tyranny".

What they still don't understand is that this is a leaderless movement, this is a 'We The People...' movement. This site is a chance for 'We The People' to stand up and say that 'I Am The Tea Party Leader'.
Then they go into a short rap on how the movie Spartacus pertains.

There is an action plan. And the Tea Party Patriots want you all to join in. They have a plan to make you famous. For about 3 seconds. That 15 minutes of fame ain't what it used to be.
Participation is easy, here is how.

1. Watch the Spartacus video first
2. Shoot a video of yourself saying only the following words, "I am the tea party leader."
3. Upload the video to YouTube
4. Click here to share your video

Please note, videos which contain more or different language will not be approved.
Then the Patriots (sounds like a football team) suggest you go to their site, check your zipcode and find out what is going on near you. They list everything within a 100 mile radius.

So Bill. Why not join us? Then you can find out everything. This is an Open Source Revolution.

Tea Party Difference

Click on the above image and learn how to spread it around.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Friday, February 19, 2010


I was reading a story about how the US Navy exchanges officers and men with other Navies. Royal Navy Lt. Angus Essenhigh, a navigation officer, was part of that exchange. He was part of ship's company on the USS Winston Churchill. How fitting.

Essenhigh found this out when he tried to lay one of his “British” navigation words on the ship’s captain, Cmdr. Michael Franken.

“I said, ‘making a sternboard,’ ” Essenhigh recalled.

Franken was thrown. “What’s a sternboard,” he said. “That’s not a word.”

Essenhigh had to show his skipper the word in a dictionary of British nautical terms. It was an old sailing term retained by the Brits and dropped by the Yanks. “Making a sternboard” means “coming astern.” Essenhigh is outnumbered 350 to one — he now says “coming astern.”

Essenhigh had to watch his language in other instances, too. He can no longer shout out “5 cables” when he really means “1,000 yards.” Or when he wants to turn the ship, he can’t give the order “at wheelover.” No one will know what he’s talking about.

Well, some of the Churchill sailors do. Essenhigh has made some adjustments, but so have some of the other crew members.

“Like QM1 here,” Essenhigh said. “He’s practically bilingual. He understands me now.”
For those not up with Navy terminology QM1 is a "Quartermaster First Class". An enlisted rank. Quartermasters deal with navigation and ship handling.

All of this was brought to mind by a Winston Churchill quote:

Americans and British are one people separated only by a common language.

I looked into the subject a little deeper and found this:

`We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language' - Oscar Wilde

Help is available for the language challenged or those wishing to improve their bilingual skills:

Bum Bags and Fanny Packs : A British-American American-British Dictionary

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A New Revelation

We have some new Climate e-mails to peruse. This one is from the fourth pdf. I transcribed it by hand so if you find any errors let me know.

Subject: Re: Fwd: US temperature correction graphic and file
From:Reto Ruedy
Date:Mon, 13 Aug 2007 11:30:24 -0400
To:James Hansen
CC:Makiko Sato , gavin@e-mail, klo@e-mail


I did make those calculations (I assume you mean using only GHCN and hand-adjusting only St. Helens and Lihue, in both cases decreasing the trend, eliminating a 1C and .8C step, resp., as stated in our 1999 paper, also using our urban adjustment.

I only held them back because bringing in a new analysis at this time would confuse the situation beyond hope.

As far as global means are concerned, the effect of our cleaningis slightly negative for the pre-1950 period, slighly positive thereafter, the biggest deviations are -.01C in 1922, +.01C in 2006; the change in 1900-1999 (lin. trend) is .01C/century (i.e. without cleaning it would decrease by .01C).

The US trend however is a different story though not surprising: In addition to the change caused by the UHCN modifications (+.30C for the 1900-1999 change as noted in our 2001 paper: +.14 TOBS, +.16 station hist.adj), the other modifications added .08C/century to the trend. So the trend would decrease by .38C.

The deviations for the individual years caused by the cleaning range from -.13 in 1922 to +.37 in 2006. The optical impression this creates when you look at the table of data is totally misleading: the 1998 anomaly just happens to fall below 1C (.93C) whereas 1921, 1931, 1934 are above 1C (1.27, 1,20, 1.37C) !

It would be real nice to find out what this is about. At first glance it appears they adjust things in a way that adds almost .4°C to the US trend. Is this a valid adjustment? We would need to go back to the station data and then all the various adjustments and corrections to find out.

Think of it this way though. If the trend has been incorrectly adjusted by nearly .4°C a century then the temperature trend is almost non-existent.

H/T Author and Commenters at Watts Up With That

Cross Posted at Classical Values

A Little Kamikaze Action?

Is this a case of a kamikaze pilot or just a flight gone wrong?

A low-flying small plane crashed into an office building that houses the Internal Revenue Service in Texas on Thursday, and officials said they were investigating whether it was an intentional act by the pilot.

The U.S. law enforcement officials said authorities were trying to determine if the pilot intentionally targeted the IRS. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing.

Assistant Austin Fire Chief Harry Evans said at least one person was missing and two people were taken to a hospital. Their conditions and identities were not immediately known.

The crash sent workers fleeing as ceilings crumbled, windows shattered and flames shot out of the building.
I wonder if the SEIU is looking to man the anti-aircraft concession on top of IRS buildings?
As a precaution, the Colorado-based North American Aerospace Defense Command launched two F-16 aircraft from Houston's Ellington Field, and is conducting an air patrol over the crash area.
And that is going to help how? What they need is about 4 or 5 Avenger batteries on top of the building. Although debris falling on cities is not a very good idea.

I worked on one of the competing prototypes for the Avenger tracking system. Interesting work.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Just As Bad As The Real Thing

It looks like the never ending attempt to get high has brought new suppliers to the market. Government official pretend to be outraged.

There may be nothing like the real thing, but some industrious marijuana users have seized on an obscure but easily accessible substance that mimics the drug's effects on the brain — creating a popular trade in legal dope that has stymied law enforcement authorities.

The users are buying a product known as K2 — or "Spice," Genie" and "Zohai" — that is commonly sold in head shops as incense. Produced in China and Korea, the mixture of herbs and spices is sprayed with a synthetic compound chemically similar to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Users roll it up in joints or inhale it from pipes, just like the real thing.
Dang. Just like the real thing. Only not illegal. Sounds like an opportunity to me. So what is required is to raise the level of hysteria, get some bans enacted, and in short order there will be more jobs for police, lawyers, judges, prison guards, and a whole host of parasites sucking off the hysteria.
Though banned in most of Europe, K2's key ingredients are not regulated in the United States — a gap that has prompted lawmakers in Missouri and Kansas to consider new legislation.

"This isn't Jerry Garcia's marijuana," said state Rep. Jeff Roorda, a Democrat from the eastern Missouri town of Barnhart. "They've used chemicals to avoid creating something that's already illegal."
Of course it is not Jerry Garcia's marijuana. Jerry is dead and his stash is long gone.

Let me see if I get this straight though. They are using chemicals - to avoid - creating an illegal situation. But fortunately our ever vigilant government will fix that by banning the chemicals in order to create an illegal situation. Hardly anything gets by those guys for long.

"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." - Marcus Aurelius

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Open Source With Superconductors

My friend Famulus is building an open source Polywell with super Conducting magnets. It would be the first superconducting Polywell in the world as far as anyone knows. Follow the link to see pretty pictures of the plan.

Here he discusses power supplies for the coils.

All very impressive. I wish I was there. There is a slight hitch. Famulus has run into a money problem.

As of the last time I checked he had 25 donations and only needs $1,958 to reach is goal. You can check his latest fund raising stats and donate at the link. And click on the "Updates" link at the top of the page. There are 6 of them.

But that is not the only motivational trick he has in his bag. He has custom T shirts too! I think he needs a better slogan for the shirt. Maybe I Helped Fund An Open Source Bussard Fusion Reactor And Got The Shirt As A Bonus. With suitable type faces.

And just in case you haven't heard of Polywell I can bring you up to speed. You can learn the basics of fusion energy by reading Principles of Fusion Energy: An Introduction to Fusion Energy for Students of Science and Engineering

Polywell is a little more complicated. You can learn more about Polywell and its potential at: Bussard's IEC Fusion Technology (Polywell Fusion) Explained

The American Thinker has a good article up with the basics.

And the best part? We Will Know In Two Years or less.

I'm a big fan of small fusion projects. Especially after hearing what Plasma Physicist and author of Principles of Plasma PhysicsDr. Nicholas Krall said, "We spent $15 billion dollars studying tokamaks and what we learned about them is that they are no damn good." No I'm not against ITER, totally, but it is sucking all the oxygen out of the room. For a project that will not be done (regular power production) for 40 to 70 more years. With that kind of schedule we can afford to wait for some breakthroughs.

Oh yeah.

Pledge Some Money to help keep amateurs on the cutting edge.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Cosmology For Beginners

Lawrence Krauss relays what we know about physics and cosmology these days. He heaps a lot of scorn on religion because they get cosmology wrong. I think that attitude is misplaced. The value of religion is not cosmology but human interaction.

The question that starts around 57:30 is very interesting. As is the answer.

A Democrat Who Gets It

Senator Evan Bayh is retiring. On his way out he had a few choice words.

"I simply reached a conclusion that I could get more done to help my state and the American people by doing something in the private sector," said Bayh, the two-term senator and former governor, on ABC's Good Morning America on Tuesday. "Real accomplishments in a real way."
Now all we have to do is to make the 535 in Washington keep that in mind until the people retire them and we might actually get decent government from time to time.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What Is It About Democrats?

Thanks to the boyz at Hill Buzz for bringing this to my attention. They have more.

Emily Bear Again

We know the Bear Family. I have not yet met Emily.

She already has an album out:

Always True

Found at Good**** , now the place is definitely Not Safe For Work but I will tell you how to find it. Search for - Fred Lapides Good. You are on your own.

Organic Space

Crack open a meteorite and find organic compounds.

The Murchison meteorite, a 100-kg stone made of carbonaceous chondrite, is conventionally estimated to be 4.6 billion years old--as old as the solar system itself, according to the conventional nebula theory of its formation. It fell to earth on September 28, 1969 at about 11:00 a.m. local time, a fragment of a fireball that broke into three parts over some farmland near the town of Murchison and then shattered into thousands of pieces that fell over a five-square-mile region. Since its discovery, scientists have long known that it held a variety of organic compounds. Today's report by John Matson of Scientific American announced the results of a high-resolution mass spectrographic analysis conducted at the Helmholtz-Zentrum in Munich. This analysis revealed at least 14,000 "unique molecular compositions," considered a highly conservative estimate.

These findings have caused great excitement among astrobiologists (scientists who search for life in space, especially life that they think they can prove came from space). Daniel Glavin of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center speaks openly of the possible seeding of the earth from space, perhaps by meteoroids like the one that became the Murchison meteorite. By definition, then, Glavin and others are reviving a proposition called panspermia (literally, "seeding everywhere"), according to which the stuff of life fell to earth either on meteorites or from a comet's head or tail.
Neat stuff so far. And then the guy writing the piece goes off the rails.
Another commenter raised another possiblity: that the Murchison meteorite, before it fell to earth, came from earth. The commenter cited the Chicxulub impact as an example of impacts great enough to send fragments into space, even at escape speed.

This last commenter might, without knowing it, have hit upon the real answer. Even if the Murchison meteorite is not contaminated, it could have been ejected into space, not by a meteor impact, but by the great water jet that rushed through the rupture in the earth's original crust that caused the Global Flood. This is a far more likely scenario than the conventional one, which assumes that life somehow generated itself in space and then survived billions of years in a hostile environment, followed by a fiery transit to earth.
Oh well. He is the religion writer for the site so what would you expect.

I do have an idea though. We need to send missions out with micro GCMS sets and start examining things.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Natural Gas Fuel Cell

I just came across an Australian Company, Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd., that makes a solid oxide natural gas fuel cell, BlueGen™, that can produce electricity and heat.

BlueGen™ is a the latest breakthrough in small scale electricity generation - a modular style fuel cell generator that can be configured to suit a range of different markets and installations. For markets that require an alternative product approach to fully-integrated 'European style' systems, such as Japan, Northern America and Australia - BlueGen™ bridges that gap.

Utilising the Gennex™ fuel cell module; BlueGen™ is a grid-parallel SOFC system that operates on natural gas producing highly efficiency electricity.

* Output: up to 2 kW power export
* Efficiency: up to 60% electrical efficiency (net AC export)
* Modular installation; can be configured as:
mono-generation (power only)


co-generation (power+heat)

BlueGen™ is fitted with an integrated heat exchanger to recover the heat from the fuel cell module. A separate water tank (not supplied) can be connected to the unit to increase the total system efficiency.
I do see a few problems. It takes 20 hours to get the system up to operational temperature. So far it is only available in 50 Hz models. The USA uses 60 Hz. You have to burn gas to keep the system hot even if you are not using the heat or electricity.

One very good thing: It will self power if you lose mains power - if it is hot enough.

With all the new natural gas being discovered a system like this might make a lot of sense. If the price is right.

For those interested: there is no North American Distributor. It looks like an opportunity to me.

H/T Seeking Alpha article and comments on the coming glut in natural gas supplies.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Why We Can't Work It Out

The below video explains why banks are not wiling to make a deal on foreclosed property. And also why "the less we sell it for the better" is depressing housing prices. Now this may be a good thing to get property moving again. But it means that the true market value is unknown. The good stuff begins about a minute forty into the video.

The video with commentary is also available here.

H/T Jccarlton at Talk Polywell

Cross Posted at Classical Values

The Wheels Are Coming Off

Phil Jones admits no statistically significant warming since 1995.

Professor Jones told the BBC yesterday there was truth in the observations of colleagues that he lacked organisational skills, that his office was swamped with piles of paper and that his record keeping is ‘not as good as it should be’.

The data is crucial to the famous ‘hockey stick graph’ used by climate change advocates to support the theory.

Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now – suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon.

And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no ‘statistically significant’ warming.
But what about the steady rise in CO2 since the start of the industrial age? That has got to have caused something. Here is a question and answer - British Style - Between BBC reporter Roger Harrabin (H) and Phil Jones (J) of the University of East Anglia ClimateGate Scandal.
H - If you agree that there were similar periods of warming since 1850 to the current period, and that the MWP is under debate, what factors convince you that recent warming has been largely man-made?

J - The fact that we can't explain the warming from the 1950s by solar and volcanic forcing...
Well whaddaya know. We couldn't find who dunnit so we're going to pin the rap on you. That kind of injustice is occasionally imposed by the courts. Science is supposed to be better than that. You jerk.

But in fact he did just what he was told to do. You can read the IPCC remit in their charter.
The role of the IPCC is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.
You know. That is one of the funniest things I have ever read. In terms of religious history. In times past what we didn't understand we ascribed to the gods, a god, or The God. Now it is all man's fault.

Science IS better than that. About 11 March 2008 sceptic Richard Lindzen said:
There has been no warming since 1997 and no
statistically significant warming since 1995. Why bother with the
arguments about an El Nino anomaly in 1998?
So that is 15 years more or less with no statistically significant warming. While CO2 has been going up. And now Jones agrees.

As they say in the movies - this is a big break in the case.

And as usual Osama is wrong about everything. Maybe Mr. Obama as well.

H/T Author and Commenters at Watts Up With That

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Arguing Over Economics

It is interesting that the permanent employees want to be optimistic and Roubini wants to tell the truth as he sees it. What could get us cranking? Some technology investment that gave a 40% or more return per year. And if returns could be 100% or more they could be financed out of cash flow. Where are the gains?

We over invested in real estate and under invested in new knowledge. The trouble is real estate always looks like a sure thing. How low can it go? Where as you can put money into research and have nothing to show for it. Blind alley. So research looks risky. Until you don't have enough of it.

For one thing we need more work on graphene transistors. The way we have to make them currently is way too expensive. We take a silicon carbide wafer (one of the most expensive semiconductor materials) and cook it until a graphene layer shows up on the wafer. Well it is early days yet with all this carbon stuff. Which is to say that we are five years behind where we ought to be.

Chinese Threats

I have been wondering about China. Especially the threats to America over arms sales to Taiwan. And I wonder if the threats aren't mostly for internal consumption. What made me think of this was the popping of China's real estate bubble.

Why internal consumption? To justify a large army. And why a large army? To handle unrest caused by possibilities such as:

Wow, China fighting inflation with predictions of 50% commercial vacancy rates in Beijing, Japan is Japan, Vietnam is worried about their Dong, and Europe and South America are a mess - it looks like it’s up to America to save us because, as I said earlier in the week - do you really have anywhere better to put your money?
China's government depends on growth to keep the population pacified.

What about the big picture? The world has been generating more capital than it can profitably employ. Which means we are under invested in research. Which is the cause of our secular decline.

Here Come The DOLTS

Worried about a Greek default? Good. There is trouble ahead in European economic waters. But it is not just small economies that are in hot water. There are some big ones are also in trouble.

Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) -- When it comes to America’s AAA debt rating, we have to ask whether we would be better off without it.

That notion is pure heresy, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was quick this weekend to try and dispel any thought that the U.S. would ever be in for a downgrade.

“That will never happen to this country,” Geithner said during an interview with ABC News. The remark came after Moody’s Investors Service last week said the pristine U.S. rating will come under pressure unless something is done about mounting deficits.

Geithner shouldn’t have fought Moody’s report. He should have embraced it. What better way to impress upon Congress that the U.S. is very much in crisis and needs to face up to its problems.

That reality has yet to set in on Capitol Hill. Two weeks ago, for example, the Senate shot down a proposal to create a deficit-reduction commission. The measure failed because the Left worries such a committee will cut spending, while the Right is afraid it will call for tax hikes.

So no spending cuts or tax hikes, which is what we need -- just deficits as far as the eye can see. Let’s break out the fiddles already and watch Rome burn.

This is why concerns over the so-called PIGS -- Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain -- or those on the geographic and economic periphery of the European Union are really a sideshow. The real danger to markets lies with the DOLTS, or Dangerously Over-Leveraged Triple-A Superpowers.

That club currently consists of the U.S.
You can read more. And you should. Because when this crap sandwich trickles down to Main Street we are going to be in a place worse than we were in September of 2008.

China is now beginning to deleverage.
China joined my bubble brigade and raised their reserve requirements on banks for the second time this month! The reserve requirement will increase 50 basis points, or 0.5 percentage point, effective Feb. 25, the People’s Bank of China said on its Web site today. The current level is 16 percent for big banks and 14 percent for smaller ones.

Stocks reversed gains in Europe after the announcement on concern that tighter lending in China will dampen the global economic recovery. Policymakers aim to avert asset bubbles and restrain inflation after banks extended 19 percent of this year’s 7.5 trillion yuan ($1.1 trillion) lending target in January and property prices climbed the most in 21 months.
“This is all about controlling the boom, so that we don’t have a bust in the second half,”
said Stephen Green, head of China research at Standard Chartered Bank Plc in Shanghai.
So what do I think? Interest rates have to go up. They have to go up to a point where leverage is squeezed out of the market. Not that I'm against leverage. It is just that we are leveraged on the wrong things. Clear the table and let us plan a science meal instead of Chinese, the kind where you are hungry again after an hour.

Did I mention that we may only have snacks while we replan the meal? Life is hard and then you die. Take your enjoyment where you find it.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Red Meat To The Masses

This video is by a food guy. You know the type - change what you eat because it is killing you. If it's not one thing it's another. About 45 seconds in he puts up an atomic bomb blast (very pretty) and then he goes on to discuss the existential threat of our time. Wait for it. Can't guess? Climate Change.

Yep. Global Warming is real and dangerous and all scientists agree. Sounds serious. Why the glaciers in the Himalayas could be gone by 2030. Or was that 2035? Or 2350? Well no matter. It is serious. And Catastrophic. But we have these planners who have a plan and they can fix it all. They just need to control everything. What you eat. Travel plans. How much energy you can use. The number of children you are allowed. And one or two other minor points. Certainly we call all agree this must be done.

Am I overreacting? Maybe. But I don't think so. Here is what some person had to say in the comments at YouTube.
While I agree with this, fixing it is basically like getting a T-rex to eat veggies and telling people in general money isnt important. Simply put, if you want to correct this huge problem, you have to attack the cause. If humans were not allowed to procreate as much as we do, every and almost all problems will be fixed. Hell, just even making a law that you have to pass an IQ test before you conceive will cut down population and increase non-ignorance for a race.
The commenter is not an alimentationist he is an eliminationist.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Scientist Quits

Physicists dream of Nobel prizes, engineers dream of mishaps.” Hendrik Tennekes

Science is in a sorry state these days. It is so bad that a Dutch scientist has resigned from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Henk Tennekes is well known to the visitors of our website. A few days ago, he told me that he submitted a letter of resignation to the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences on Saturday, January 23. He wrote to me “I don’t want to remain a member of an organization that, like AMS and NAS, screws up science that badly.” The Dutch newspaper NRC-Handelsblad apparently got hold of a copy of the resignation letter and ran a News Flash on Saturday, January 30. In the letter to the Academy, Henk complains that he submitted the manuscript of his essay on Hermetic Jargon (which I am happy to reproduce here below, with his permission) to the Academy President at that time, Frits van Oostrom. The President, however, did not bother to respond. The NRC news flash, translated by Henk himself at my request, reads:
You can read the rest by following the link.

What bothers me is the attitude (not a new one) that we know it all. And what is unknown will just be a few minor corrections and additions to current theory.
American and British history is riddled with examples of valid research and inventions which have been suppressed and derogated by the conventional science community. This has been of great cost to society and to individual scientists. Rather than furthering the pursuit of new scientific frontiers, the structure of British and American scientific institutions leads to conformity and furthers consensus-seeking. Scientists are generally like other people when it comes to the biases and self-justifications that cause them to make bad decisions and evade the truth. Some topics in science are 'taboo' subjects.
The author of the paper goes on to describe how it works. He does sometimes fall in with the cranks (well who knows - maybe some day they won't be cranks) but he makes a lot of good points along the way.

Here is one I especially like.
Other innovators who were described by Milton (Alternative Science: Challenging the Myths of the Scientific Establishment 1996) as victims of the insults of the skeptical scientific power elite, were such men as John Logie Baird, inventor of television. Baird had been described by the British Royal Society as "a swindler" (p. 19). Likewise, Wilhelm Roentgen's discovery of X-rays was decried as an "elaborate hoax" (p.22) by Lord Kelvin, the most influential scientist of Europe in 1895. Scientists of Roentgen's day produced film fogging X-rays on a substantial scale but were unwilling to consider the wide ranging implications of Roentgen's work for 10 years after his discovery (Milton, 1996).

Another example of such victimization, presented by Dean Radin (1996) in his book The Conscious Universe, involved the theory of German meteorologist, Alfred Wegener. This theory which Wegener developed in 1915, contended that the earth's continents had once been a single mass of land which later drifted apart. Although Wegener carefully cataloged geological evidence, his American and British colleagues ridiculed both him and his idea (Radin, 1996). Although Wegener died an intellectual outcast in 1930, every schoolchild is currently taught his theory which is known as continental drift.
I'm not actually comfortable with Radin's book. The Conscious Universe: The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena. I don't think we actually have any scientific truth in the field. However, people do report things which, if valid, are weakly explained. Or explained away. I'm personally of the opinion that it is an emergent behavior of the way our brains work. I believe it is related to the fact that not all the signals the brain sends out rise to the level of consciousness (I have a feeling).

In any case I think this list is instructive.
Hans Alfven (galaxy-scale plasma dynamics)

Astronomers thought that gravity alone is important in solar systems, in galaxies, etc. Alfven's idea that plasma physics is of equal or greater importance to gravity was derided for decades.

John L. Baird (television camera)

When the first television system was demonstrated to the Royal Society (British scientists,) they scoffed and ridiculed it.

Robert Bakker (fast, warm-blooded dinosaurs)

Everyone knows that dinosaurs are like Gila monsters or big tortoises: large, slow, and intolerant of the cold. And they're all colored olive drab too! :)

Bardeen & Brattain (transistor)

Not ridiculed, but their boss W. Shockley nixed their idea, and when they started investigating it, he made them stop. They assembled their point-contact experiment on a wheeled cart and continued. They could shove it into a closet whenever the boss came by.

J Harlen Bretz

Endured decades of scorn as the laughingstock of the geology world. His crime was to insist that enormous amounts of evidence showed that the "scabland" desert landscape of Eastern Washington state had endured an ancient catastrophy: a flood of staggering proportions. This was outright heresy, since the geology community of the time had dogmatic belief in a "uniformitarian" position, where all changes must take place incrementally over vast time scales. Bretz was vindicated by the 1950s. Quote: "All my enemies are dead, so I have no one to gloat over."
One of the fields I'm currently exploring, fusion power, makes extensive use of ideas such as Alfven Waves in an effort to make tokamak devices (such as ITER) work.

Here is another good site on Geniuses derided. I speaks to something I am personally familiar with.
Some ridiculed ideas which had no supporters:

* Ball lightning - lacking a theory, it was long dismissed as retinal afterimages
* Catastrophism - ridicule of rapid Earth changes, asteroid mass extinctions
* Child abuse - before 1950, doctors were mystified by "spontaneous" childhood bruising
* Cooperation or altruism between animals - versus Evolution's required competition
* Instantaneous meteor noises - evidence rejected because sound should be delayed by distance
* Mind-body connection - psychoneuroimmunology, doctors ridiculed psychological basis for disease
* Perceptrons - later vindicated as Neural Networks
I once had a personal experience with ball lightning which I describe here.
I once had a personal experience with ball lightning. About 3/4 of a m across glowing green. Moving slowly. Scared the hell out of me.

It happened inside a geodesic dome that had a long wire antenna connected. (Ham radio stuff).

I watched it while slowly backing away. It dissipated in about 10 seconds more or less.
Let me add that it seems to have been triggered by a near by lightning strike. More discussion of ball lightning.

When a true genius appears in this world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. — Jonathan Swift

So true. The problem is in separating the cranks from the geniuses. I did a post on some "cranks" that seem to be coming up with some interesting results. The people "in the know" said it was all foolishness.

I did a post not too long back on the origins of inertia that I called Maching Einstein. And there is a very long thread at NASA Spaceflight on the subject. You would think that a fundamental concept like inertia might warrant a closer look. Maybe a few millions a year for experiments. But you would be wrong.

I remember what an uphill fight I had to get people interested in Polywell fusion. I got comments like, "They blew up their experiment? Proof positive of incompetence". Or "If this is such a good idea why was funding cut?" Or "There is a paper out there (Todd Rider) that proves it can't work." And much more along those lines. Now is it a sure thing? No. But the odds are good enough and the rewards so large that it is worth a few million (which the US Navy put up in August of 2007) to find some answers. There is way too much in science that the scientific establishment does not want answers too - you know - the science is settled.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

The Tea Party Difference

My friend Karl has designed a new widget for your sidebar:

You can go here to get the code to add to your sidebar.

If you want to get a mug or a T shirt or other stuff you can get it at The Tea Party Difference. Support the artist who designed the image by buying a few things. I get a bit of the purchase price also.

Thanks to Karl Egenberger of Envision Design/ Plum Creative Associates, Towson, Md 21286, who did the fantastic artwork. Give Karl a hand. Buy some stuff.

And don't forget your Pocket Size: The Constitution of the United States & Declaration of Independence

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Taxed Just For Breathing

And by the same group: Hide The Decline

H/T Vanderleun at American Digest via TDPerk at Talk Polywell

Cross Posted at Classical Values

The IPCC Is Underwater

It appears that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has some seriously wrong figures for the Netherlands.

A United Nations report wrongly claimed that more than half of the Netherlands is currently below sea level.

In fact, just 20 percent of the country consists of polders that are pumped dry, and which are at risk of flooding if global warming causes rising sea levels. Dutch Environment Minister Jacqueline Cramer has ordered a thorough investigation into the quality of the climate reports which she uses to base her policies on.

Climate-sceptic MPs were quick to react. Conservative MP Helma Neppérus and Richard de Mos from the right-wing Freedom Party want the minister to explain to parliament how these figures were used to decide on national climate policy. "This may invalidate all claims that the last decades were the hottest ever," Mr De Mos said.

The incorrect figures which date back to 2007 were revealed on Wednesday by the weekly Vrij Nederland. The Dutch Environmental Assessment Agency told reporters that the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) added together two figures supplied by the agency: the area of the Netherlands which is below sea-level and the area which is susceptible to flooding. In fact, these areas overlap, so the figures should not have been combined to produce the 55 percent quoted by the IPCC.

The discovery comes just a week after a prediction about glaciers in the Himalayas proved wrong. Rather than disappearing by 2035, as IPCC reports claim, the original research underlying the report predicted the mountain ice would last until 2350.
I have reports like this backed up in a queue five or ten reports long. The revelations are coming up so fast I can't keep up.

Take this latest bit of news.
Editor of Nature forced to resign from climate review panel

Within hours of the launch of an independent panel to investigate claims that climate scientists covered up flawed data on temperature rises, one member has been forced to resign after sceptics questioned his impartiality.

// In an interview last year with Chinese State Radio, enquiry panel member Philip Campbell, editor-in-chief of Nature said: “The scientists have not hidden the data. If you look at the emails there is one or two bits of language that are jargon used between professionals that suggest something to outsiders that is wrong.”

He went on: “In fact the only problem there has been is on some official restrictions on their ability to disseminate data otherwise they have behaved as researchers should.”

Dr Campbell, was invited to sit on the enquiry panel because of his expertise in the peer review process as editor of one of the world’s leading science journals.

The journal has published some of the leading papers on climate change research, including those supporting the now famous “hockey stick” graph, the subject of intense criticism by climate sceptics.

Dr Campbell has now withdrawn his membership of the panel, telling Channel 4 News: “I made the remarks in good faith on the basis of media reports of the leaks.
You believed the media? You fool. If you haven't caught on to the Failing Media game by now you deserve what you are getting. And that goes double for ANY pronouncements by the United Nations.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Affinity Groups

Eric at Classical Values commented on a series of e-mails between us and was wondering if the Christian Conservative wing of the Tea Party Movement was trying to lever the libertarians out of the movement by gay bashing and other culture war memes. He referenced this post on which I commented:

M. Simon says:

What you saw was a Tea Party event. Which is not the same as the Tea Party Movement.

But I encourage all you lefties to stay confused and dismissive.

As to Tea Party fraud? For charging money? OK I'm down wit that. The Government is a bigger fraud. It makes me pay for things I don't even want at the point of a gun.

Posted On: Sunday, Feb. 7 2010 @ 1:03PM
Which backs up the advice given by some panelists at the convention. Find a group you like and work with it. It is not about regions (although that comes into play during elections). It is about that old 60s revolutionary's term "affinity groups". Find one you like and work with it.

Tea Party Patriots is a good resource for finding like minded patriots. They are the people behind The Contract With America.

Cross Posted at Classical Values


The Department of Energy is giving out grants. Research grants.

DOE Secretary Steven Chu recently announced recipients from across the nation will receive about $85 million in total funding for five-year research grants.

Under the program, university-based researchers will receive at least $150,000 per year to cover summer salary and research expenses. Awards were given in advanced scientific computing research, basic energy sciences, biological and environmental research, fusion energy sciences, high-energy physics, and nuclear physics.

Awardees were selected from a pool of 1,750 university- and national laboratory-based applicants. Selection was based on peer review by outside scientific experts.

A list of the 69 awardees, their institutions, and titles of research projects is available at [at the 1/14/2010 Update - ed.]
This is excellent news. We may actually get something useful out of this. But compare it to the cost. On average each project costs $250,000 with a minimum of $150,000 per project. It will cost $17 million a year to fund 69 projects out of a possible 1,750. That is 4% of the proposals. Which is pitiful. I'd like to know which projects didn't make the cut.

Let us look at the social dynamics of that. Every one who didn't make the cut is obviously in the top five percent since only the top four percent made the cut.

So what would I do about all this? I'd cover 90% of the reasonable proposals. That could be done for $400 million a year plus the usual graft and corruption overhead. And what about the sociology of picking so many? If you don't make the cut you are in the bottom ten percent. Perhaps that is too harsh. Maybe covering only 80% of the proposals would be better if we didn't want to totally demoralize the losers. That leaves all the losers in the bottom 20 percent. That would make them decide if science is for them, and if only just barely, do they want to put more effort into the hard part: thinking.

Here is a book I liked a lot on a related subject:

Managing the Design Factory : The Product Developer's Toolkit

The writer's thesis is that if half your research money doesn't end in failure you are not getting the most bang for the buck. You get the best return when you get a yes-no answer. The maybes can kill you.

And let me add that I got some good ideas from MirariNefas at Talk Polywell.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Can You Guess?

Jonah Goldberg wants to play a guessing game.

I’m thinking of a military leader who seized power in his country by stirring up populist rage against foreigners and foreign powers and promising a sweeping program of national-socialism. He claims that he is the true expression of the will of his people and is using every trick to make himself dictator for life. He is currently harassing the Jewish population, a quarter of which has already fled the country.

Give up? The answer is Hugo Chavez, world famous Buckleyite Conservative and devotee of Milton Friedman.
You can find more of the discussion series at this link. Jonah also suggests this book: German big Business & the rise of Hitler

Or you can buy the book Jonah was discussing when the above "can you guess?" came up: Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Living Dead

It looks like the Grateful Dead will live on in business schools.

Oddly enough, the Dead’s influence on the business world may turn out to be a significant part of its legacy. Without intending to—while intending, in fact, to do just the opposite—the band pioneered ideas and practices that were subsequently embraced by corporate America. One was to focus intensely on its most loyal fans. It established a telephone hotline to alert them to its touring schedule ahead of any public announcement, reserved for them some of the best seats in the house, and capped the price of tickets, which the band distributed through its own mail-order house. If you lived in New York and wanted to see a show in Seattle, you didn’t have to travel there to get tickets—and you could get really good tickets, without even camping out. “The Dead were masters of creating and delivering superior customer value,” Barry Barnes, a business professor at the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship at Nova Southeastern University, in Florida, told me. Treating customers well may sound like common sense. But it represented a break from the top-down ethos of many organizations in the 1960s and ’70s. Only in the 1980s, faced with competition from Japan, did American CEOs and management theorists widely adopt a customer-first orientation.

As Barnes and other scholars note, the musicians who constituted the Dead were anything but naive about their business. They incorporated early on, and established a board of directors (with a rotating CEO position) consisting of the band, road crew, and other members of the Dead organization. They founded a profitable merchandising division and, peace and love notwithstanding, did not hesitate to sue those who violated their copyrights. But they weren’t greedy, and they adapted well. They famously permitted fans to tape their shows, ceding a major revenue source in potential record sales. According to Barnes, the decision was not entirely selfless: it reflected a shrewd assessment that tape sharing would widen their audience, a ban would be unenforceable, and anyone inclined to tape a show would probably spend money elsewhere, such as on merchandise or tickets. The Dead became one of the most profitable bands of all time.

It’s precisely this flexibility that Barnes believes holds the greatest lessons for business—he calls it “strategic improvisation.” It isn’t hard to spot a few of its recent applications. Giving something away and earning money on the periphery is the same idea proffered by Wired editor Chris Anderson in his recent best-selling book, Free: The Future of a Radical Price. Voluntarily or otherwise, it is becoming the blueprint for more and more companies doing business on the Internet.
Sound's good to me.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Bronze Irony

They who seek to establish systems of government based on the regimentation of all human beings by a handful of rulers... Call this New Order, but it is not new and it is not order - FDR

The irony? FDR was not going to do the job by setting taskmasters over us. At least not at first. Instead he set taxmasters over us by implementing the withholding tax. And now instead of screaming at the thousands gone on April 15th we say, "A $300 refund? Let's party!"

Found at Extra Good**** , now the place is definitely unsafe for work but I will tell you how to find it. Search for - Fred Lapides Good. You are on your own.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

The Worse The Better

During the 2008 Presidential Campaign there were folks out there who said: "the worse the better". They were very unhappy with Mr. Obama. They were not thrilled by McCain and only the advent of Palin sent even a spark of joy to their political hearts. Their political theory was - if we elect some one really bad the American people will wake up and and we will throw out not only the Democrat bums but the Republican bums as well. It was not my theory. I didn't vote that way. I wrote and wrote that such a strategy even if it worked was a very bad idea.

So far it looks like the strategy is working. We get confirmation of that in this Bill Whittle video for PJTV. However, as I predicted, it is a very bad idea. Which Mr. Whittle also confirms. Watch the video because it is definitely worth the time it takes to get to the punchline.

Update: And in another PJTV video Bill Whittle further confirms my thesis.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Outstanding Comment

A most interesting comment I found at Wretchard's. More like vitriolic rant actually.

Joe Hill:

The American people aren’t all that smart and they aren’t all that interested either most the time, but once you get their attention and they actually bear down and concentrate on the problem at hand for a couple of minutes and make a decision it is political suicide to buck them. This health care bill is a done deal. It is as done as this mornings coffee that has been sitting on the burner all day.

The people thought about it and decided it sucks. If Massachusetts won’t buy it no one will. Obama is flogging a dead horse here and it is political suicide. All anyone wants to know is how are you going to get the economy going, create jobs, and get the deficit down… oh yeah and we don’t want no stinking carpet kissing camel jockeys blowing stuff up. We don’t care if you try him or just chain him up to a pickup truck and drag him for a few miles after waterboarding him, his cousin, his cousine;s mothers pet cat and three random totally innocent Islamic “moderates”. Just do it in a hurry. Do it quietly. Do it out of sight and don’t tell us about it – or anyone else for that matter.

Kill or enemies and keep the economy humming. It is as simple as that and he has about another three months to convince the country he is up to the job or he is going to have to double the guard at the White House gate.

The debt is unsustainable. We have lost 3 or 4 million jobs in the last year. The stock market is about to take another dive. Iran is developing a bomb. China’s economy is a house of cards. The Indians and illegals are taking all our jobs and depressing wages, and “it is Bush’s fault” doesn’t cut it any more. We fired that guy and hired Mr Hopey Changey to fix things and all they are doing is getting worse. On top of everything else we are up to our eyeballs in snow.

Feb 8, 2010 - 11:53 pm
I'd say Mr. Obama has done excellent work. In just over a year he has convinced about half the country he is not up for the job. An outstanding accomplishment rarely exceeded by any President.

Breitbart At The Tea Party Convention

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

I also like the following interview of Breitbart done by Instapundit. You can see several of the themes he presented in his speech previewed here.

Part 2

And just to add to the mix, here is Bill Whittle on how Breitbart splashed on to the scene.

H/T Andrew Marcus at Big Government

Cross Posted at Classical Values

The Image President

You can't be an image President unless you can control all the information sources. And even that is not possible. There are leakages. The best you can hope for in this age of the Internet is about 30 to 60 days. Long enough to win an election campaign. And thus we have a quote from an Old Joe. The whole quote. Because the usual excerpt doesn't do it justice.

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.

Joseph Goebbels
The trouble is that there are not enough leakages - yet - to cause trouble in a thirty or sixty day campaign. But a year in office? People begin to notice that the words don't match the reality. You know, people in contact with the real world rather than the reality based community in their heads.

And who would the reality based community be? People with unicorns and Obama in their heads.
There appear to be thousands of these paintings (made by mental patients, we think) of a naked Obama astride a unicorn, being rubbed down with oil by a unicorn, and doing things with unicorns that would be grossly inappropriate anywhere but deep within the bowels of Man’s Country in Andersonville.
The above was written by a male gay blogger. So you can just imagine what a joint Man's Country must be like. This search page has cataloged 152,000 images in the - Obama Unicorn - category. And let me tell you. The images are just as weird as described.

But reality seems to be settling in with some frequency (Kenneth is that you?) these days among the very people who who shielded him for long enough to win an election.

Let me start with Edward Luce of the Financial Times.
Whatever issue arises, whether it is a failed terrorist plot in Detroit, the healthcare bill, economic doldrums or the 30,000-troop surge to Afghanistan, the White House instinctively fields Mr Axelrod or Mr Gibbs on television to explain the administration’s position. “Every event is treated like a twist in an election campaign and no one except the inner circle can be trusted to defend the president,” says an exasperated outside adviser.
Mr. Luce goes on to point out in detail that just having a position is not helpful. You have to have a policy or a plan. And to start having policies and plans and taking action is not in Mr. Obama's repertoire. Can he change? Mr Luce gives this answer.
“There is an old joke,” says Mr Gergen. “How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb? Only one. But the lightbulb must want to change. I don’t think President Obama wants to make any changes.”
OK why doesn't Obama want to change? Pretty simple. He won. Against impossible odds.
...close allies of the president attribute the problem to the campaign-like nucleus around Mr Obama in which all things are possible. “There is this sense after you have won such an amazing victory, when you have proved conventional wisdom wrong again and again, that you can simply do the same thing in government,” says one. “Of course, they are different skills. To be successful, presidents need to separate the stream of advice they get on policy from the stream of advice they get on politics. That still isn’t happening.”
Now I read my history. And I can tell you that the Government of a certain Austrian Corporal whose Reichsminister of Propaganda I quoted above had the same problem. His political and military intuition was astounding. And then reality set in. He had gained a large domain and found to his chagrin that it was ungovernable.

Steve Clemons at the formerly reliable Huffington Post piles on. Ann Gerhart of the Washington Post has some words to add. And even hacks like Andrew Malcolm of the Los Angeles Times are firing shots across Mr. Obama's bow.

It is not all rainbows and unicorns or rainbows and unicorns any more. Or even a Plastic Jesus of one version or another riding on the dashboards or rear view mirrors of some cars.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Monday, February 08, 2010

That Is Fast

Carbon (graphene) transistors are getting really fast.
IBM Research has demonstrated a 100GHz transistor. Fabricated on new 2-inch graphene wafers and operating at room temperature, the RF graphene transistors are said to beat the speeds of all but the fastest GaAs transistors, paving the way to commercialization of high-speed, carbon-based electronics.

"There are all kinds of extraordinary claims being made every day for graphene semiconductors, but this is the first demonstration of a RF graphene transistor that was made under technologically relevant conditions and scale," said IBM Fellow Phaedon Avouris, who oversees carbon-based materials efforts at IBM Research.

The graphene RF transistors were created for the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency under its Carbon Electronics for RF Applications (CERA) program. Almost four times faster than previous demonstrations, the graphene transistors were fabricated at the wafer scale using epitaxially grown graphene processing techniques that are compatible with those used to fabricate silicon transistors.
Big transistors are are not too hard. You essentially lay down a sheet of graphene, dope it (or dope it while it is part of the SiC substrate), and then put a gate pattern over it. You get a power transistor. At 100 GHZ that probaly is indicative of the ability to work at 50 GHz.

But they have set their sights on bigger game.
There are several relatively easy steps to further widen the gap between graphene and silicon. For instance, graphene suspended over an air gap and supercooled has achieve carrier mobilities of up to 200,000cm²/Vs compared to silicon's 1400cm²/Vs.

IBM's demonstration of room-temperature graphene on an insulating substrate only achieved 1500cm²/Vs.

The gate length of IBM's graphene transistor was 240nm, nearly 10x larger than the smallest gate lengths achievable with current lithographic techniques (under 35nm). By optimizing its process to increase mobility and shortening the gate length, IBM will next aim to increase the speed of its graphene transistor up to 1THz, which is the goal for the CERA program.
Computers are a little different. Take the top speed and divide it by 4. Then allow for 6 levels of logic (AND, OR, and NOT) plus wiring delays and you can divide that number again by 10. So 1 THz/40 = 25 GHz. About 10X faster than today's computers. If they can cut the heat load by a factor of 5 to 10 they will have one screaming machine. Who will be the early adopters? Gamers, server farms, and of course the guys who funded it. The military through the CERA Program.