Weekend=Holiday?

February 25, 2013 Leave a comment

You know it’s going to be a choice week when, first thing on Monday morning, a co-worker asks if you “had a good holiday?” and you’re both fully aware that you were only gone for the standard weekend.

It’s a sad state when you both recognize and admit that the office is such a fun and enriching place that time, any time, away from said office, even if only for 48 hours can be seriously considered a “holiday.”

This does not bode well for the upcoming week…

Categories: Musings

Movie Review – Zombieland

February 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Today I’ll be giving my personal synopsis of Zombieland (Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, character seemingly written for Michael Cera, Abigail Breslin, “the mountain” BM).   In short:

–          Lots of zombies, not too many people

–          Lots of rules, but “Double Tap” is the most important

–          Not a lot of Twinkies

–          Woody’s business is killing (“re-killing,” actually), and business is good

–          The power grid is, thankfully, still working

–          Apparently, it’s remarkably easy to fool zombies (a la Shaun of the Dead)

With all that out of the way, I can say this movie was a pleasant surprise (and I’m not one to be gushing over the latest Hollywood offerings).  I saw the trailers and thought “eh, maybe I’ll see it someday, maybe not…” but I’m legitimately glad I did.  It’s mildly gruesome, but nowhere near a Tosh.0 segment, has a decent submersion/believability factor (S/B Factor: is it true-to-life and/or do I get sucked in enough to forget that I’m watching a piece of fiction and enjoy it) – more on that later – and there are some genuine laugh-out-loud parts.

In lesser hands I don’t think the jokes would have played out as well, but Woody (Tallahassee) brings it and makes the movie (in fact, I probably never would have seen it had he not been here).  He delivers a spate of one-liners that a week later I’m still using at work – some to more effect than others, as “It’s time to nut up or shut up” and “Do you want to see how hard I can punch?” seemingly work better in social/professional situations than “You sure got a pretty mouth” (although, to be fair, I wasn’t playing Dueling Banjos at the time, so it may have been taken out of context).

In a role that seems to have been written for Michael Cera (thankfully, he didn’t get the call), his more believable, non-wooden brother (Jesse Eisenberg), is the narrator and “main” character Columbus. Unfortunately, this also means he is given the most screen time – I would have preferred more Tallahassee quotes to use on my co-workers.  Columbus wants the simple things in life; an end to IBS, to one day brush a girl’s hair off her forehead, and to grow a pair of testes of his own.  Unfortunately for him, his first experience (in one of the nicest apartments a UT student has EVER had) at life-fulfillment ends badly for him, and his impossibly hot neighbor.  During 406’s demise we learn of Columbus’s rules for staying alive; specifically in this instance, #2 – the “Double Tap.”  I counted over 30 (rules) in total, but we only learn about 10 of them or so, and the truly important ones are “Don’t worry about wasting a bullet – be sure to double-tap” and “Be sure not to get nailed by a zombie-clown whilst dropping a deuce”… or something along those lines, I may have been channeling Poe.  Columbus sets up the back-story (but it’s a throwaway, some crap about mutating mad-cow virus that jumped to humans), and he also acts as the jam-in-my-jellyroll of the story – he connects everyone together and serves as a moderator/conscience. Awww…

Wichita and Little Rock (Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin) round out the rest of our Greek tragedy – but something here bugged me about them.  Tallahassee was heading to Florida, Columbus was heading back to Ohio, Wichita and LR – sisters – were heading to a fictional amusement park in Los Angeles, so shouldn’t they have been named something like, I don’t know, Compton and El Segundo??  I understand the need to have a nice and tidy plot contrivance, and to have some appeal to the fairer sex being dragged by the hair to see the movie, but I can only see W and LR serving two purposes: A) repeatedly stealing Woody’s vehicles and distracting him from his quest of finding new and better ways to re-kill zombies, and B) Serving as some round-the-way plot-device for Columbus to set sail on his life-ambitions and get some closure.  And by get some closure, I’m not referring to finding a cure for the bubble-gut. Or growing a pair (although they would be useful)…ehh, if you don’t get the innuendo, you probably shouldn’t be reading this.

I’m not going to bore you with the plot, because it’s basically a road movie (but with zombies!), motivated by each character’s travelling quest (parents, Twinkies, Ferris wheel), and how they all come together to satisfy their needs (and re-kill zombies!).  Bill Murray makes a great cameo as himself, with a lesson about zombie intelligence and a positive spin on the whole “end of civilization as we know it” issue.  Other than that, not much else – hopefully, we’ll find out how this happy little family fared when “Zombieland 2” comes out in 2011.  Maybe then they’ll explain how the power grid over multiple states was still up and running, with no glitches whatsoever…

 Rating:

  • Zombieland – 3 ½ out of 5 Twinkies
  • zombie killing – 4 out of 5 Twinkies
Categories: Movie Review

Movie Review – “In the beginning…”

February 11, 2010 Leave a comment

I need to write…something, anything… so I figured I would try something simple first and hopefully delve into better things as I get my “feet” under me and relearn how to do this.  That being said, I’m going to try some movie reviewing (I’ve seen some review sites on the interwebs; I don’t think I can do much worse), so very shortly I’ll put up the first of (hopefully) many of my RB Reviews – “RB” standing for a free-standing movie-dispensing kiosk (I don’t want to get involved in that whole legal issue of copyrighted entities).  These will be based upon my viewing of the movies in my home (so no complaints/comments about how “man, Avatar totally rocked in the IMAX, that’s the only way to see it!!”) mostly because of a couple reasons:

  •    Invariably, every time I go to a theater someone is being an ass and I’m anti-social enough to let them ruin my good time.
  •    Said RB kiosk charges $1.08 per movie (as opposed  to $30+ for Significant Other and me to go to the AMC), so I can watch on my big-ass TV and sound system that I paid for with my real job that I got after my stint in the military allowed me to pursue a degree-plan and discipline (engineering) that would provide meaningful, productive employment…

…but I digress.

Onward!

Categories: Movie Review

Warrior Dash

January 7, 2010 Leave a comment

“I drank what..?” – Socrates

With a healthy dose of trepidation I’ve begun training for the Warrior Dash, competition, to be held in 5 months.  ‘What is the Warrior Dash?’ you ask…?  Only one of the most awesomest things you can do!!

What the hell is Warrior Dash?
Warrior Dash is the ultimate event for thrill-seeking athletes. This running series is held on some of the nation’s most demanding and unique terrain. Participants will conquer extreme obstacles and celebrate their feat with music, beer, warrior helmets and muddy shorts.

I’m apprehensively excited about this endeavor; apprehensive because it’s a daunting physical and mental challenge, and I’m only vaguely aware of all that’s involved.  But this is also what makes it exciting, the unknown and wondering if I’ll be able to rise to the challenge.

I’ve talked some friends and relatives into doing it as well (misery loves company), so at the very least it will be fun.  Especially the beer and Viking headware!

I had almost completed the P90X program last summer when life got in the way, so I’m planning on starting that over once again, and doing a bit of running on the side (the WD course is approximately 6k).  Not really sure where I’m going to be able to run through a bog and/or riverbed (maybe the bayou will do), or climb a cargo net, or bales of hay, or jump over fire, but I’ll figure something out.

More updates to follow as the training progresses – wish me luck!

Categories: Warrior Dash

Christmas Song?

December 18, 2009 Leave a comment

I love Christmas.  The season seems to (mostly) bring out the best in people, and I like to think that I’m seeing what people are capable of when they think of others first.

There’s a local radio station here that has, since Thanksgiving evening, devoted their entire playlist to Christmas music.  This is, for the most part, a good thing; at any given moment of the day (or night) I’m able to be regaled with the dulcit tones of Nat King Cole (singing “The Christmas Song”) or “Beat ‘em Up” Bing Crosby (White Christmas).  It’s perfect, especially when I play it all-day-long in my office, simultaneously bringing holiday cheer to all who enter and a bit of holiday insanity to myself – it’s worth it.  The insanity comes from the somewhat limited playlist that local station employs, which often entails hearing the same song more than two-three times per day; Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” becomes a bit much the third time around in a 12-hour span.  That being said, there are some songs (one in particular) that are considered Christmas songs, just because, although they aren’t even close to being Christmas Song material.

If I began a “Christmas” song like this:

Picked up my buddies in the beat up Ford,

The snow was falling Christmas Eve,

I greeted Johnny with a smack in the face,

Which then caused his nose to bleed.

 

Would it instantly fill you with the Christmas Spirit, ready to go out and do good amongst men? Is this a Christmas song just because it mentions Christmas Eve, and snow (in short commodity here in The South)? I would venture to say “no,” this is not sufficient criteria for Christmas Song status.  Yet the local station has repeatedly played a particular song over, and over, and over, claiming it’s a Christmas song solely because the second line of lyrics in the song is, “The snow was falling Christmas Eve.”

“Same Auld Lang Syne” by Dan Fogelberg is, for all intents, the devil incarnate. I understand you’re not supposed to speak ill of the dead (and Dan Fogelberg is certainly dead), but man this song really sucks.  Really.  In this case, it’s not that the song is horrible cheezy and morose and just full of itself in a 70’s “I’m so enlightened and in touch with my feelings” way, because it is. Mercilessly.   The real problem is that IT IS NOT A CHRISTMAS SONG!!!  My little four-line verse proves that just because you mention Christmas in your song, it doesn’t make it a Christmas song!!

So Sunny, please, please, PLEASE stop playing this during your Christmas month-long-athon.  Please!!

_____

The actual lyrics from the Fogelberg song, which I judiciously improved upon, are as follows:

Met my old lover in the grocery store,

The snow was falling Christmas Eve,

I stole behind her in the frozen foods,

And I touched her on the sleeve.

Really?!?  Christmas??

Categories: Christmas, Uncategorized

Climate Change is Natural (probably)

December 15, 2009 1 comment

“100 molecules of released CO2, 100 molecules of released CO2… 

Pay my carbon credit and feel no guilt,

99 molecules of released CO2…”       

Do I even suppose to have the proper knowledge-base and background to be 100% sure? No, and most likely neither do you, yet (many of) our politicians would have us believe that AGW (anthropogenic global warming) exists and is beyond query,  especially by us lowly, uneducated, sheeply masses.  That AGW is past hypothesis and even theory, and has jumped to the head of the class – law – is rather frightening in just what it says about how science now “works.”  I have a background in engineering, so I’m reasonably able to put numbers together and understand what they mean  in a scientific realm, unlike some of us with a microphone (ahem, Algore….), so I have a bit of a sceptical side – especially when someone tells me the sky will fall unless I start paying more than $1700 a year to offset the introduction of a naturally-occuring gas into the atmosphere.  Call me crazy.

Back to my original statement; I don’t have the proper knowledge-base and background to be 100% sure, but my b.s. detector works fairly well, and I really don’t care for the taste of KoolAid.  When the IPCC et. al.  start clamoring for my hard-earned money (and that’s exactly what’s happening), claiming to be completely unbiased and just “trying to save the planet,” well, let’s just say that if it looks like duck crap and smells like duck crap…

1) There is “no real scientific proof” that the current warming is caused by the rise of greenhouse gases from man’s activity.

2) Man-made carbon dioxide emissions throughout human history constitute less than 0.00022 percent of the total naturally emitted from the mantle of the earth during geological history.

3) Warmer periods of the Earth’s history came around 800 years before rises in CO2 levels.

4) After World War II, there was a huge surge in recorded CO2 emissions but global temperatures fell for four decades after 1940.

5) Throughout the Earth’s history, temperatures have often been warmer than now and CO2 levels have often been higher – more than ten times as high.

6) Significant changes in climate have continually occurred throughout geologic time.

7) The 0.7C increase in the average global temperature over the last hundred years is entirely consistent with well-established, long-term, natural climate trends. 

8) The IPCC theory is driven by just 60 scientists and favourable reviewers not the 4,000 usually cited.

9) Leaked e-mails from British climate scientists – in a scandal known as “Climate-gate” – suggest that that has been manipulated to exaggerate global warming

10) A large body of scientific research suggests that the sun is responsible for the greater share of climate change during the past hundred years.

11) Politicians and activiists claim rising sea levels are a direct cause of global warming but sea levels rates have been increasing steadily since the last ice age 10,000 ago

12) Philip Stott, Emeritus Professor of Biogeography at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London says climate change is too complicated to be caused by just one factor, whether CO2 or clouds

13) Peter Lilley MP said last month that “fewer people in Britain than in any other country believe in the importance of global warming. That is despite the fact that our Government and our political class—predominantly—are more committed to it than their counterparts in any other country in the world”.

14) In pursuit of the global warming rhetoric, wind farms will do very little to nothing to reduce CO2 emissions

15) Professor Plimer, Professor of Geology and Earth Sciences at the University of Adelaide, stated that the idea of taking a single trace gas in the atmosphere, accusing it and finding it guilty of total responsibility for climate change, is an “absurdity”

16) A Harvard University astrophysicist and geophysicist, Willie Soon, said he is “embarrassed and puzzled” by the shallow science in papers that support the proposition that the earth faces a climate crisis caused by global warming.

17) The science of what determines the earth’s temperature is in fact far from settled or understood.

18) Despite activist concerns over CO2 levels, CO2 is a minor greenhouse gas, unlike water vapour which is tied to climate concerns, and which we can’t even pretend to control

19) A petition by scientists trying to tell the world that the political and media portrayal of global warming is false was put forward in the Heidelberg Appeal in 1992. Today, more than 4,000 signatories, including 72 Nobel Prize winners, from 106 countries have signed it.

20) It is claimed the average global temperature increased at a dangerously fast rate in the 20th century but the recent rate of average global temperature rise has been between 1 and 2 degrees C per century – within natural rates

21) Professor Zbigniew Jaworowski, Chairman of the Scientific Council of the Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection in Warsaw, Poland says the earth’s temperature has more to do with cloud cover and water vapor than CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.

22) There is strong evidence from solar studies which suggests that the Earth’s current temperature stasis will be followed by climatic cooling over the next few decades

23) It is myth that receding glaciers are proof of global warming as glaciers have been receding and growing cyclically for many centuries

24) It is a falsehood that the earth’s poles are warming because that is natural variation and while the western Arctic may be getting somewhat warmer we also see that the Eastern Arctic and Greenland are getting colder

25) The IPCC claims climate driven “impacts on biodiversity are significant and of key relevance” but those claims are simply not supported by scientific research

26) The IPCC threat of climate change to the world’s species does not make sense as wild species are at least one million years old, which means they have all been through hundreds of climate cycles

27) Research goes strongly against claims that CO2-induced global warming would cause catastrophic disintegration of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets.

28) Despite activist concerns over CO2 levels, rising CO2 levels are our best hope of raising crop yields to feed an ever-growing population

29) The biggest climate change ever experienced on earth took place around 700 million years ago

30) The slight increase in temperature which has been observed since 1900 is entirely consistent with well-established, long-term natural climate cycles

31) Despite activist concerns over CO2 levels, rising CO2 levels of some so-called “greenhouse gases” may be contributing to higher oxygen levels and global cooling, not warming

32) Accurate satellite, balloon and mountain top observations made over the last three decades have not shown any significant change in the long term rate of increase in global temperatures

33) Today’s CO2 concentration of around 385 ppm is very low compared to most of the earth’s history – we actually live in a carbon-deficient atmosphere

34) It is a myth that CO2 is the most common greenhouse gas because greenhouse gases form about 3% of the atmosphere by volume, and CO2 constitutes about 0.037% of the atmosphere

35) It is a myth that computer models verify that CO2 increases will cause significant global warming because computer models can be made to “verify” anything

36) There is no scientific or statistical evidence whatsoever that global warming will cause more storms and other weather extremes

37) One statement deleted from a UN report in 1996 stated that “none of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed climate changes to increases in greenhouse gases”

38) The world “warmed” by 0.07 +/- 0.07 degrees C from 1999 to 2008, not the 0.20 degrees C expected by the IPCC

39) The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says “it is likely that future tropical cyclones (typhoons and hurricanes) will become more intense” but there has been no increase in the intensity or frequency of tropical cyclones globally

40) Rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere can be shown not only to have a negligible effect on the Earth’s many ecosystems, but in some cases to be a positive help to many organisms

41) Researchers who compare and contrast climate change impact on civilizations found warm periods are beneficial to mankind and cold periods harmful

42) The Met Office asserts we are in the hottest decade since records began but this is precisely what the world should expect if the climate is cyclical

43) Rising CO2 levels increase plant growth and make plants more resistant to drought and pests

44) The historical increase in the air’s CO2 content has improved human nutrition by raising crop yields during the past 150 years

45) The increase of the air’s CO2 content has probably helped lengthen human lifespans since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution

46) The IPCC alleges that “climate change currently contributes to the global burden of disease and premature deaths” but the evidence shows that higher temperatures and rising CO2 levels has helped global populations

47) In May of 2004, the Russian Academy of Sciences published a report concluding that the Kyoto Protocol has no scientific grounding at all.

48) The “Climate-gate” scandal pointed to a expensive public campaign of disinformation and the denigration of scientists who opposed the belief that CO2 emissions were causing climate change
 
49) The head of Britain’s climate change watchdog has predicted households will need to spend up to £15,000 on a full energy efficiency makeover if the Government is to meet its ambitious targets for cutting carbon emissions.

50) Wind power is unlikely to be the answer to our energy needs. The wind power industry argues that there are “no direct subsidies” but it involves a total subsidy of as much as £60 per MWh which falls directly on electricity consumers. This burden will grow in line with attempts to achieve Wind power targets, according to a recent OFGEM report.
 
51) Wind farms are not an efficient way to produce energy. The British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) accepts a figure of 75 per cent back-up power is required.
 
52) Global temperatures are below the low end of IPCC predictions not at “at the top end of IPCC estimates”
 
53) Climate alarmists have raised the concern over acidification of the oceans but Tom Segalstad from Oslo University in Norway , and others, have noted that the composition of ocean water – including CO2, calcium, and water – can act as a buffering agent in the acidification of the oceans.
 
54) The UN’s IPCC computer models of human-caused global warming predict the emergence of a “hotspot” in the upper troposphere over the tropics.  Former researcher in the Australian Department of Climate Change, David Evans, said there is no evidence of such a hotspot

55) The argument that climate change is a of result of global warming caused by human activity is the argument of flat Earthers.  
 
56) The manner in which US President Barack Obama sidestepped Congress to order emission cuts shows how undemocratic and irrational the entire international decision-making process has become with regards to emission-target setting.
 
57) William Kininmonth, a former head of the National Climate Centre and a consultant to the World Meteorological Organisation, wrote “the likely extent of global temperature rise from a doubling of CO2 is less than 1C. Such warming is well within the envelope of variation experienced during the past 10,000 years and insignificant in the context of glacial cycles during the past million years, when Earth has been predominantly very cold and covered by extensive ice sheets.”
 
58) Canada has shown the world targets derived from the existing Kyoto commitments were always unrealistic and did not work for the country.
 
59) In the lead up to the Copenhagen summit, David Davis MP said of previous climate summits, at Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and Kyoto in 1997 that many had promised greater cuts, but “neither happened”, but we are continuing along the same lines.

60) The UK ’s environmental policy has a long-term price tag of about £55 billion, before taking into account the impact on its economic growth. 
 
61) The UN’s panel on climate change warned that Himalayan glaciers could melt to a fifth of current levels by 2035. J. Graham Cogley a professor at Ontario Trent University, claims this inaccurate stating the UN authors got the date from an earlier report wrong by more than 300 years.
 
62) Under existing Kyoto obligations the EU has attempted to claim success, while actually increasing emissions by 13 per cent, according to Lord Lawson. In addition the EU has pursued this scheme by purchasing “offsets” from countries such as China paying them billions of dollars to destroy atmospheric pollutants, such as CFC-23, which were manufactured purely in order to be destroyed.
 
63) It is claimed that the average global temperature was relatively unchanging in pre-industrial times but sky-rocketed since 1900, and will increase by several degrees more over the next 100 years according to Penn State University researcher Michael Mann. There is no convincing empirical evidence that past climate was unchanging, nor that 20th century changes in average global temperature were unusual or unnatural.
 
64) Michael Mann of Penn State University has actually shown that the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age did in fact exist, which contrasts with his earlier work which produced the “hockey stick graph” which showed a constant temperature over the past thousand years or so followed by a recent dramatic upturn.
 
65) The globe’s current approach to climate change in which major industrialised countries agree to nonsensical targets for their CO2 emissions by a given date, as it has been under the Kyoto system, is very expensive.
 
66) The “Climate-gate” scandal revealed that a scientific team had emailed one another about using a “trick” for the sake of concealing a “decline” in temperatures when looking at the history of the Earth’s temperature. 
 
67) Global temperatures have not risen in any statistically-significant sense for 15 years and have actually been falling for nine years. The “Climate-gate” scandal revealed a scientific team had expressed dismay at the fact global warming was contrary to their predictions and admitted their inability to explain it was “a travesty”.
 
68) The IPCC predicts that a warmer planet will lead to more extreme weather, including drought, flooding, storms, snow, and wildfires. But over the last century, during which the IPCC claims the world experienced more rapid warming than any time in the past two millennia, the world did not experience significantly greater trends in any of these extreme weather events.
 
69) In explaining the average temperature standstill we are currently experiencing, the Met Office Hadley Centre ran a series of computer climate predictions and found in many of the computer runs there were decade-long standstills but none for 15 years – so it expects global warming to resume swiftly.

70) Richard Lindzen, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote: “The notion of a static, unchanging climate is foreign to the history of the Earth or any other planet with a fluid envelope.  Such hysteria (over global warming) simply represents the scientific illiteracy of much of the public, the susceptibility of the public to the substitution of repetition for truth.”
 
71) Despite the 1997 Kyoto Protocol’s status as the flagship of the fight against climate change it has been a failure.
 
72) The first phase of the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which ran from 2005 to 2007 was a failure. Huge over-allocation of permits to pollute led to a collapse in the price of carbon from €33 to just €0.20 per tonne meaning the system did not reduce emissions at all. 
 
73) The EU trading scheme, to manage carbon emissions has completely failed and actually allows European businesses to duck out of making their emissions reductions at home by offsetting, which means paying for cuts to be made overseas instead.
 
74) To date “cap and trade” carbon markets have done almost nothing to reduce emissions.
 
75) In the United States , the cap-and-trade is an approach designed to control carbon emissions and will impose huge costs upon American citizens via a carbon tax on all goods and services produced in the United States. The average family of four can expect to pay an additional $1700, or £1,043, more each year. It is predicted that the United States will lose more than 2 million jobs as the result of cap-and-trade schemes. 
 
76) Dr Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, has indicated that out of the 21 climate models tracked by the IPCC the differences in warming exhibited by those models is mostly the result of different strengths of positive cloud feedback – and that increasing CO2 is insufficient to explain global-average warming in the last 50 to 100 years.
 
77) Why should politicians devote our scarce resources in a globally competitive world to a false and ill-defined problem, while ignoring the real problems the entire planet faces, such as: poverty, hunger, disease or terrorism.
 
78) A proper analysis of ice core records from the past 650,000 years demonstrates that temperature increases have come before, and not resulted from, increases in CO2 by hundreds of years.
 
79) Since the cause of global warming is mostly natural, then there is in actual fact very little we can do about it. (We are still not able to control the sun).
 
80) A substantial number of the panel of 2,500 climate scientists on the United Nation’s International Panel on Climate Change, which created a statement on scientific unanimity on climate change and man-made global warming, were found to have serious concerns.
 
81) The UK’s Met Office has been forced this year to re-examine 160 years of temperature data after admitting that public confidence in the science on man-made global warming has been shattered by revelations about the data.
 
82)  Politicians and activists push for renewable energy sources such as wind turbines under the rhetoric of climate change, but it is essentially about money – under the system of Renewable Obligations. Much of the money is paid for by consumers in electricity bills. It amounts to £1 billion a year.
 
83) The “Climate-gate” scandal revealed that a scientific team had tampered with their own data so as to conceal inconsistencies and errors.  
 
84) The “Climate-gate” scandal revealed that a scientific team had campaigned for the removal of a learned journal’s editor, solely because he did not share their willingness to debase science for political purposes.
 
85) Ice-core data clearly show that temperatures change centuries before concentrations of atmospheric CO2 change. Thus, there appears to be little evidence for insisting that changes in concentrations of CO2 are the cause of past temperature and climate change.
 
86) There are no experimentally verified processes explaining how CO2 concentrations can fall in a few centuries without falling temperatures – in fact it is changing temperatures which cause changes in CO2 concentrations, which is consistent with experiments that show CO2 is the atmospheric gas most readily absorbed by water.
 
87) The Government’s Renewable Energy Strategy contains a massive increase in electricity generation by wind power costing around £4 billion a year over the next twenty years. The benefits will be only £4 to £5 billion overall (not per annum). So costs will outnumber benefits by a range of between eleven and seventeen times.
 
88) Whilst CO2 levels have indeed changed for various reasons, human and otherwise, just as they have throughout history, the CO2 content of the atmosphere has increased since the beginning of the industrial revolution, and the growth rate has now been constant for the past 25 years.
 
89) It is a myth that CO2 is a pollutant, because nitrogen forms 80% of our atmosphere and human beings could not live in 100% nitrogen either: CO2 is no more a pollutant than nitrogen is and CO2 is essential to life.

90) Politicians and climate activists make claims to rising sea levels but certain members in the IPCC chose an area to measure in Hong Kong that is subsiding. They used the record reading of 2.3 mm per year rise of sea level.
 
91) The accepted global average temperature statistics used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change show that no ground-based warming has occurred since 1998.
 
92) If one factors in non-greenhouse influences such as El Nino events and large volcanic eruptions, lower atmosphere satellite-based temperature measurements show little, if any, global warming since 1979, a period over which atmospheric CO2 has increased by 55 ppm (17 per cent).
 
93) US President Barack Obama pledged to cut emissions by 2050 to equal those of 1910 when there were 92 million Americans. In 2050, there will be 420 million Americans, so Obama’s promise means that emissions per head will be approximately what they were in 1875. It simply will not happen.
 
94) The European Union has already agreed to cut emissions by 20 percent to 2020, compared with 1990 levels, and is willing to increase the target to 30 percent. However, these are unachievable and the EU has already massively failed with its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), as EU emissions actually rose by 0.8 percent from 2005 to 2006 and are known to be well above the Kyoto goal.
 
95) Australia has stated it wants to slash greenhouse emissions by up to 25 percent below 2000 levels by 2020, but the pledges were so unpopular that the country’s Senate has voted against the carbon trading Bill, and the Opposition’s Party leader has now been ousted by a climate change sceptic.
 
96) Canada plans to reduce emissions by 20 percent compared with 2006 levels by 2020, representing approximately a 3 percent cut from 1990 levels but it simultaneously defends its Alberta tar sands emissions and its record as one of the world’s highest per-capita emissions setters.
 
97) India plans to reduce the ratio of emissions to production by 20-25 percent compared with 2005 levels by 2020, but all Government officials insist that since India has to grow for its development and poverty alleviation, it has to emit, because the economy is driven by carbon.
 
98) The Leipzig Declaration in 1996, was signed by 110 scientists who said: “We – along with many of our fellow citizens – are apprehensive about the climate treaty conference scheduled for Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997” and “based on all the evidence available to us, we cannot subscribe to the politically inspired world view that envisages climate catastrophes and calls for hasty actions.”
 
99) A US Oregon Petition Project stated “We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind. There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of CO2, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.”
 
100) A report by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change concluded “We find no support for the IPCC’s claim that climate observations during the twentieth century are either unprecedented or provide evidence of an anthropogenic effect on climate.”

I see enough reasoning and actual logical thinking in just a handful of these statements to have reasonable doubt about the veracity of AGW – you should too.
__________

http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/146138

Idiot of the Day: Howard Zinn

December 12, 2009 Leave a comment

 “Objectivity is impossible, and it is also undesirable. That is, if it were  possible it would be undesirable, because if you have any kind of a social aim, if you think history should serve society in some way; should serve the progress of the human race; should serve justice in some way, then it requires that you make your selection on the basis of what you think will advance causes of humanity.”   – Howard Zinn

Since when did History become a “social aim?”  I guess my naivety got the best of me, because I thought history was strictly a presentation of factual evidence of past events.  When History becomes subjective it’s no longer history, it is a story.  A story is usually told from a side, a viewpoint, and this inherently creates a bias; Zinn has no problem purveying his biased view of history, even so much as becoming “part of the history:”

Professor Zinn announces the overtly political agenda of A People’s History in an explanatory coda to the 1995 edition. Zinn explains to the reader that he has no interest in striving for objectivity, and that his history is ‘a biased account.’ Professor Zinn explains: ‘I am not troubled by that. I wanted my writing of history and my teaching of history to be a part of the social struggle. I wanted to be a part of history and not just a recorder and teacher of history. So that kind of attitude towards history, history itself is a political act, has always informed my writing and my teaching.’

Zinn’s book has done well, selling several million copies, so it must be good and factual and, therefore, historically accurate (it’s a history book, after all), right? Well…

So why have millions purchased Zinn’s demonstrably wrong history? Flynn offers an explanation: “It is reasonable to wonder when one looks at these facts, whether most of the million or so copies sold have been done so via coercion—that is, college professors and high school teachers requiring the book.”

When someone omits information and only presents the negative of a person/country/entity, obfuscates the whole ‘story’ by ignoring the positives, this is the very definition of bias.  If you are presented with this information/story, especially in an academic setting, there is a natural tendency to be influenced by the perceived standard of a textbook and view all that is written as truth.  An omission can be as damaging to truth as an outright lie, and yet this noted historian and academic stalwart apparently doesn’t see how he accomplishes that – or maybe he knows and doesn’t care: 

“More striking than Zinn’s inaccuracies—intentional and otherwise—is what he leaves out. Washington’s Farewell Address, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, and Reagan’s speech at the Brandenburg Gate all fail to merit a mention. Nowhere do we learn that Americans were first in flight, first to fly across the Atlantic, and first to walk on the moon. Alexander Graham Bell, Jonas Salk, and the Wright Brothers are entirely absent. Instead, the reader is treated to the exploits of Speckled Snake, Joan Baez, and the Berrigan brothers. While Zinn sees fit to mention that immigrants often went into professions like ditch-digging and prostitution, American success stories like those of Alexander Hamilton, John Jacob Astor, and Louis B. Mayer—to name but a few—are off the Zinn radar screen. Valley Forge rates a single fleeting reference, while D-Day’s Normandy invasion, Gettysburg, and other important military battles are skipped over. In their place, we get several pages on the My Lai massacre and colorful descriptions of U.S. bombs falling on hotels, air-raid shelters, and markets during the Gulf War of the early 1990s. ” – Flynn

This antagonistic view of America, written and embellished by an arguably anti-American (at least anti-capitalist Republic) “academic,” is being taught in schools and universities throughout the land (and soon to be coming to a History Channel near you)…Outstanding!

__________

Dan Flynn’s in-depth review of Zinn’s sectional work, “A People’s History of the United States”: http://97.74.65.51/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=17914

Larry DeWitt, “Howard Zinn: The Historian as Don Quixote”:  http://hnn.us/articles/58544.html

Malcolm A. Kline, “From Abject to Zinn”: http://www.academia.org/from-abject-to-zinn/

Adam Baldwin (nice to see some in Hollywood still have their senses): http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/abaldwin/2009/12/08/why-the-people-speak-and-the-zinn-education-project-may-be-illegal-in-public-schools/

Categories: IOTD

Frosty the Snowman

December 11, 2009 Leave a comment

So I’m listening to “Frosty”, and something about the lyrics just strikes me in a funny way…

“Frosty the Snowman
Knew the sun was hot that day
So, he said let’s run
And we’ll have some fun
Now before I melt away”

Now, is this just a continuation of the happy-go-lucky, carefree attitude of the song, or is it a subtle indoctrination into the counter-culture hippie movement that was to come in the next decade(s)?  It was written in 1950, as a “sequel” to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” so I don’t see any overtly sinister underlying meaning in the lyrics, but still…he KNEW the sun was hot that day, why didn’t he do something to protect himself??  They didn’t have walk-in coolers back then?  The children were obviously having fun with him that day, wouldn’t they have had more fun with him the next day(s), instead of his ambiguous “I’ll be back again someday?”  Why was he so selfish?  Did he have a bad upbringing that led him to become suicidal?  I understand things were tough and he didn’t have many accoutrements (corncob pipe, eyes of coal, “magic” old silk hat), but really, I’m sure he could have found some meaning and direction if he’d just asked – hello, Star of Hope??  They take in wayward gentlemen, right?

Whew, sorry, little tangent there…

So, my original question was, what does this song, regaling us with the story of Frosty living the high life for a vibrant and (very) short amount of time teach us (as children) about planning?  It seems in this case (as opposed to the Grasshopper and the Ant fable), to quote Neil Young, “it’s better to burn out than to fade away.”  Considering the post-war atmosphere of the time, and the uncertainty of any future after tens of millions of deaths in the previous decade, I guess living for the moment, with immediate gratification as your driving force, is probably a pretty good way to go.

Crap; I just argued against myself and won (or lost).  Now I’m bummed out – stupid Frosty! Proof, apparently, that I really don’t know what the hell I’m talking about…

Categories: Christmas

Hoonafudder??

December 11, 2009 Leave a comment

Soooo…

I initially thought I would go at this seriously, like an aspiring journalist and/or someone that had something important to say.  Well, if I were to be taken seriously then I needed a serious name for the blog, right?  Something that accurately reflected what I hoped the blog would portray and what I wanted to accomplish.  Unfortunately, I don’t know what I’m going to say, and I don’t really have great aspirations (yet) for this endeavor, so it became a labor of indifference. I am wont to say (according to significant other R), “it is what it is,” and I usually use that phrase in the context of “fu*k it,” so the acronym seemed apt for this blog – success!  However, “iiwii” is already being used by a rather nice lady with a much better cause than me http://iiwiiblog.wordpress.com/about/failure!

“Hoonafudder” is a catch-all “fake” expletive, used by a co-worker around the rugrats for years, similar to the two-word four-syllable phrase it rhymes with – much more convenient that telling them “earmuffs” every 30 seconds.  Like anything else in language, it takes on multiple meanings depending on the context, and in this context it means “fu*k it” and “it is what it is” and “I don’t have any clue what I’m doing here but I’ll trudge forward” and, well, you get the picture.

This is a creative outlet for me, an ego-stroke, a way to think that someone will find what I have to say is relevant, that I can be a poor-man’s (no journalism degree and no paycheck) Bill Simmons  http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/simmons/index , etc. etc (cue the string section).  I don’t keep a journal, diary, lj, or any kind of verifiable records, so I think this will be a fun way to be able to look back and see what I thought was important enough at the time to let complete strangers critique me – I anticipate a cathartic and humbling experience.

Thanks for stopping by; hope to see you again sometime.

Categories: Uncategorized

Hello world!

December 11, 2009 1 comment

no, this is not me either...(thanks SeekAll)

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

Well, that seems like an appropriate way to begin…

Categories: Uncategorized