Monday, July 08, 2024

Warning About Blogging

Blogger was abandoned by Google a few years ago, and lately it's been getting worse and worse. A lot of problems. It's becoming so bad it may have to be abandoned soon. Just much more trouble than solution.

I'm not going to try to port all this to, I guess, Wordpress. Too much hassle, if it worked even a bit.

I don't have the enthusiasm anymore anyhow.

Bradbury Quote

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”

Ray Bradbury

I don't think he wrote this in his book Fahrenheit 451. I guess perhaps in an interview about it.

I just read 451°F two years ago. Never read it when I was younger, or was made to. Should have been much earlier. A good book that ended in a way I hadn't anticipated.

Did you know he wrote this book in 9 days? On a typewriter he rented by the hour at a local university?

Friday, July 05, 2024

Where US Coastal Land is Sinking

-4 to -6 mm/yr in a few places. Some less all across the Gulf Coast, and in many places along the Atlantic coast.

Friday, June 28, 2024

Biden Lost Market Share (Big-Time)

The PredictIt betting market on the US presidential race:

"...Will Not Be Able to Show Their Faces"

Thomas Friedman with some pretty sober words in today's NY Times (free link):

"But if he [Biden] caps his presidency now, by acknowledging that because of age he is not up to a second term, his first and only term will be remembered as among the better presidencies in our history. He saved us from a second Trump term, and for that alone he deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom, but he also enacted important legislation crucial to confronting the climate and technology revolutions now upon us.

"I had been ready to give Biden the benefit of the doubt up to now, because during the times I engaged with him one on one, I found him up to the job. He clearly is not any longer. His family and his staff had to have known that. They have been holed up at Camp David preparing for this momentous debate for days now. If that is the best performance they could summon from him, it’s time for him to keep the dignity he deserves and leave the stage at the end of this term.

"If he does, everyday Americans will hail Joe Biden for doing what Donald Trump would never do: put the country before himself.

"If he insists on running and he loses to Trump, Biden and his family — and his staff and party members who enabled him — will not be able to show their faces."

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Debate Notes (PS: Yikes)

  • 6:04 pm Pacific Daylight Time - Jesus, Biden sounds old. His voice isn't clear, he sounds almost sick. Not a good look sound.
  • 6:11 pm - Trump says "we're like a third world country." {ludicrous eye roll}
  • 6:15 pm - Trump says "every legal scholar" wanted Roe v Wade repealed (viz., abortion policies returned to the states). Massive lie. He says "they take the life of the baby after birth." Another massive lie. 
  • 6:18 pm - Trump again says "every legal scholar" wanted Roe v Wade repealed. 
  • 6:22 pm - Did Trump just call him "Brandon??"
  • 6:25 pm - Trump: "We're literally an uncivilized society."
  • 6:26 pm - Biden: "Everything he just said is a lie." That's more like it.
  • 6:31 pm - Biden: "I've never heard so much malarky in my life."😉
  • 6:40 pm - Trump makes January 6th sound like a peak instance of America in the world.
  • 6:46 pm - Trump: "Joe could be a convicted felon as soon as he gets out of office.... This man is a criminal.... I did nothing wrong."
  • 6:49 pm - Biden: "This guy has no sense of American democracy."
  • 6:52 pm - Biden has a powerful line: "40 of 44 of his top cabinet officials have refused to endorse him this time." 
  • "6:59 pm - Trump says "cost of food has doubled, tripled, quadrupled."
  • "7:02 pm - Trump is very obviously avoiding talking about climate change. Now he says he wants "immaculately clean water and clean air." He either doesn't understand climate change at all or prefers to lie about it. Or some/any combination of both.
  • Biden says: "He just doesn't know what he's talking about," by he says it weakly, with a very thin breath. Just not a good look. Where is the Biden who gave the State of the Union address in March??
  • Trump has the nerve to say, "Everything he says is a lie."
  • Trump says he just won "two club championships" in golf. LOLOLOL
  • Biden: "You're a whiner... You're such a whiner.... Something snapped in your last time." Funny. 

Summary: 

If I had to score this, in terms of both content and quality, I’d say Trump 60% - Biden 40%. I don’t like that at all, but to me Biden came across as old, kind of frail, and faint. It didn’t help that he often slurs his words, and occasionally starts a sentence that then meanders off into nowhere. His voice is gravelly and that sounds old. Trump gave almost no coherent replies, his words seem to follow a mind stuck in a washing machine. He was full of hyperbolic statements, and seemed to avoid giving any data or figures at all. He just doesn’t have a grasp on information of that sort.

My guess is that the majority of the public is going to decide that Trump “won.” Biden just sounded weak. I’m sure the transcript would show Biden winning, but that’s not how this will be judged. I guess it never has been since JFK vs Nixon. 

A pundit on CNN says Democrats are “in panic…it started minutes into the debate.” Questions if they will go to the White House and ask Biden to step aside. Another says “the panic I’m hearing from Democrats is not something I have heard” before. “Concern there has been some real damage done.”

Now I’m worried Biden can’t win this. I though before this he probably could, but now he simply doesn’t look like he can serve another four years. Trump did look like he could. 

Another: “this was an unmitigated disaster for Biden.”

Last election Biden said he would only serve 4 years. He should have kept his promise. Let Gavin Newsom run (he’d beat Kamala Harris). Newsom would stand up directly and forcefully to Trump. Sure Newsom has a lot of baggage, but certainly not as much as Trump. Newsom would battle. Biden seems like he can’t. And Trump didn't look like an angry ape.

What do you all think?

--
Thinking about it more, I would say Trump 75% - Biden 25%. That bad. Biden may have just lost the election, and handed it to an incompetent, dangerous, buffoon.

China's Returned Lunar Capsule

Here is China’s Chang’e-6 re-entry capsule, containing about 2 kg of lunar regolith. Landed in inner Mongolia. Just surprised how burned up/beat up it is....



PS: Until today I thought "regolith" referred specifically to lunar material, but learned it is any loose material above a bedrock.

Thursday, June 20, 2024

More Haj Deaths

Now over 900:

Death toll from heat at hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia passes 900.... Temperatures hit 51.8°C in Mecca, Islam's holiest city, on Monday, as 1.8 million people took part in the annual pilgrimage...total reported dead so far to 922.... According to a Saudi study published last month, temperatures in the area are rising 0.4°C each decade. Last year more than 200 pilgrims were reported dead, most of them from Indonesia.

Source: Le Monde, yesterday

Update: CBS News now saysCBS News now says 1,081.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Haj Heat

“At least 562 people have died during the [2024] haj, according to a Reuters tally based on foreign ministry statements and sources. Egypt alone has registered 307 deaths and another 118 missing, medical and security sources told Reuters, as temperatures at times soared past 51 degrees Celsius (124 Fahrenheit).”

from “Climate change threat hangs over haj pilgrimage as hundreds perish in heat,” Reuters 6/19/24.

Friday, June 14, 2024

11 Extreme Cooling Events Over the Holocene

I wrote an article for Phys.org:

"Uncovering the prolonged cooling events of the Holocene," Phys.org, 6/13/24.

They were all caused by a group of volcanic eruptions over a short period of time (~decades) augmented by the ice-albedo feedback. Just like the Little Ice Age. The paper gives this graph for the 200-yr moving average of NH surface temperature of the last 6,000 years:


There were no prolonged natural warm periods.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

I read the news today, oh boy

Here's what I posted last night, then accidentally deleted:

Here's what they wrote (it's still up):

While London was experiencing 32C (89.6F) a year ago, temperatures were around 16C (60.8F) in the capital on Tuesday. Similarly Cambridge had temperatures of 30.3C (86.5F) on June 11 2023, and 15C (59F) on the same day in 2024.

Of course, half of 32°C (=305 Kelvin) is 152.5 K, which is -121°C.

Notice their claim is bollocks in Fahrenheit. 

I wonder how many editors this article past through before publication. Not one caught this. Probably they never even heard of Kelvin nor understands what it means. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Just Some Items I Find Interesting

I've been collecting these as I find'em:

The mass of all asteroids in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter is equal to about 3 percent of the Moon's mass.

A spaceship could travel outward through the asteroid belt likely without seeing any asteroids at all.

The magnet strength in MRI machines ranges from 0.5 - 3.0 T (Tesla).

The Earth's magnetic field on the surface ranges from 22 and 67 μT (microteslas). That's a ratio (MRI/Earth) of about 50,000.

Your hat size is the circumference of your head, in inches, measured just above the ears and across your forehead, divided by π. In other words, it's the diameter of your head for that ring. Not sure what metric countries do. Not gonna look it up now.

Americans spent $4 B on pet insurance last year.

Last summer the water temperatures off Miami reached as high as 101°F (38.3°C).

Medicare [US medical care for seniors] loses $60 billion a year to fraud, errors and abuse. OMG.

It used to be that humans emit 100-200 times more CO2 than do volcanoes [Gerlach 2011], but recently that range has been revised to 40-100. Still a lot more. [Don't know the paper for the latter range yet, but will try to find it, as deniers frequently say something like one volcano emits more CO2 than humans have in their entire history.

{Yes, I had a post up before this one about a very dumb headline error made by The Telegraph, but I accidentally deleted the text and am not going to rewrite it. It's about the third file I've botched in two weeks, saving a short file on top of a large one, etc. One file was about 5,000 words and represented eseveral hours of writing. I hope these are just coincidences and I'm not entering into dementia.}


So far, the smart money is on ignorance for the destruction.

Monday, June 10, 2024

Trump "Doesn't care," Just Wants Their Vote

As usual, who knows what he meant. I doubt even he does. His audience laughed.

Stupidity