Friday, August 14, 2015

Friday Goulash

The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) index for July was a strong positive +1.84. That's 19 months now it's been positive. I'd call that a flip.

You are already paying a carbon tax, you just don't get a vote on it:
"The question is not, 'Is there going to be a tax on carbon?' It's, 'Do you want a tax that you have a voice in and control, or do you want to keep writing checks after disasters that you have no control over?'" says retired Rear Admiral David Titley, who has advised some of the GOP presidential candidates and directs the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk at Penn State University. "That $60 billion relief bill for Hurricane Sandy that passed very quickly through a Republican-led House, did you get a vote on that tax? Because that's a tax."
Wildlife bridges.

An exoplanet has been viewed by an Earth-based telescope. I didn't know this had been done before, but this planet, a "young Jupiter" 96 light-years away, is the smallest yet. The news story contains the mandatory boilerplate "the discovery could shed light on how our solar system formed, scientists added," which usually  means the reporter didn't have enough time to ask for details or didn't understand them when he did. Science paper here. PS: The planet's sun is only 20 million years old, so this isn't a planet to look towards for life. (At least, "life" as we and the Star Trek series know it. Unless maybe that weird orange light being that Captain Archer had Tucker torture in the double episode In a Mirror Darkly.)

"A computer is a clock with benefits."
-- Paul Ford, "What Is Code?" Businessweek 6/11/15

Nature published a graph labeled in Fahrenheit. Nature Geosciences complained.

How will driverless cars make ethical decisions? "Will Google Kill 'The Fat Man'?: What runaway trolleys tell us about driverless cars," Rick Paulas, Pacific Standard, 8/5/15.

That tortured orange being in Star Trek: Enterprise was a Tholian. And maybe not pure light as I had thought.

Here's a picture of the exoplanet mentioned above, taken by the Gemini Planet Imager in Chile. The Sun, in the middle, has been masked. The planet, "51 Eridani b," is the spot marked "b."

Alien Planet 51 Eridani b

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