For my regular visitors, if you find that this blog hasn't been updating much lately, chances are pretty good I've been spending my writing energy on my companion blog. Feel free to pop over to Home is Where the Central Cardio-pulmonary Organ Is, and see what else has been going on.

Monday, November 30, 2009

No One Peer-Reviews Scientific Software

No One Peer-Reviews Scientific Software

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What justification?

While busily procrastinating getting our living room ready for Christmas, I've been going through my morning news, editorials and letters to the editor.  I am finding myself increasingly frustrated and perplexed in the fall out - or lack of it - of the leaked Hadley CRU documents.

First off, there's still surprisingly little coverage in the media.  Had this sort of scandal emerged from the "other side," the headlines would've been screaming about it.  Instead, there's hardly anything.  A few columnists, like Lorrie Goldstein, are writing about it.  If it weren't for Tom Nelson's blog, with his diligent posting of stories from all over, I'd be finding far less.

A few other main stream papers are finally writing about it, and some of them really blow my mind.  They are actually justifying the actions of these CRU "scientists."  A number of letter writers and commentors also try to excuse and justify this incredibly unscientific behaviour by the CRU.  How?  How can someone look at the leaked data and not realize that it calls into doubt everything about AGW theory?  It's not just the CRU that screwed up.  Similar problems are being revealed in New Zealand, and those following the data over the last few years know that the US data is woefully corrupted.

There is no excuse or justification for this sort of shoddy science and deliberate manipulation of information.  What we should be doing is putting all proposals to "fight climate change" on hold.  All current programs should also be stopped.  A thorough, independant investigation needs to be done, not only into the CRU, but all major climate data organizations.  We can't be pushing for global action based on bad information.  To continue to do so would be stupid and irresponsible.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Science News Cycle

My daughter sent me this, and I just had to share...


A good read...

I just wanted to call attention to this excellent opinion piece from Lorrie Goldstein.

Why 'climategate' won't stop greens


The problem, however, is those who hijacked science to predict a looming Armageddon unless we do exactly as they say, have already done their damage.
The moment they convinced politicians the way to avert the End of Days was to put a price on emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the unholy alliance of Big Government, Big Business and Big Green was forged.
Big Government wants more of your taxes. Big Business wants more of your income. Big Green wants you and your children to bow down to its agenda of enforced austerity.
What about saving the planet, you ask? This was never about saving the planet. This is about money and power. Your money. Their power.
 It's been fascinating to read some of the letters to the editors some papers have been publishing in reponse to pieces like this.  Certain papers simply didn't print any that agreed - and I know they got them - but those that disagreed.  Talk about head in the sand responses!  After shooting the messanger (you're not a climate scientist!  How dare you diss [fill name of alarmist person or organization here]?) to chastising the paper for publishing the piece at all, many then went on to talk about concensus and the IPCC as proof that AGW is really happening, and the writers are evil for disagreeing.

Let's see if I get this right.  The emails and code released show that the so-called scientists who's data CONTRIBUTED to the IPCC reports was fudged, massaged, falsified, while they discussed ways to hide information they didn't agree with (because they just *knew* AGW was really happening, even if the data showed it wasn't), thereby calling to question anything the IPCC and alarmist have ever said... but the IPCC and the alarmists are used to "prove" that AGW is real.

Uhm...  yeah.

Maybe they should lie down for a bit until the fever passes, 'cause that sort of twisted "logic" has got to hurt the brain.

While I'm at it, here's another excellent read from Steve Janke.

So what does this have to do with scientists and climate change?  Scientists are supposed to be the purist expression of realists.  For them, it is all about the data.  The data is never right or wrong in a moral sense, it simply is.  What the data shows can't be denied.  Anidealist will gladly ignore or denigrate data that conflicts with his ideal view of the universe, but a scientist does not have that luxury.
A proper scientist does not believe in man-made global warming.  It is a theory that may or may not be supported by evidence.  If not, it is rejected.  It is as simple as that.
For believers in man-made global warming, the ideal universe is one in which global warming is real, and is attributable to Western industrial activity.  From that ideal state flows the ideal solution -- massive de-industrialization of the West and a subsequent reduction of wealth and influence.  From that follows a crash in the standard of living, culminating in dramatic depopulation. 
Don't be naive.  This is what global warming idealists want to happen.

Yes, it is what they want.  Many have even said so rather bluntly. 

Funny how skeptics of AGW have been called deniers and equated to Holocaust deniers who should be put to trail and jailed.  Who are the deniers now?  Deniers of reality, that is.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Can it be more frivolous?

This takes the cake when it comes to frivolous lawsuits!  (h/t)

Comer v. Murphy Oil USA, No. 07-60756 (5th Cir. Oct. 16, 2009): The plaintiffs filed a diversity suit seeking only damages against numerous defendant petro-chemical companies.  The panel summarizes:
"The plaintiffs, residents and owners of lands and property along the Mississippi Gulf coast, filed this putative class action in the district court against the named defendants, corporations that have principal offices in other states but are doing business in Mississippi. The plaintiffs allege that defendants' operation of energy, fossil fuels, and chemical industries in the United States
caused the emission of greenhouse gasses that contributed to global warming, viz., the increase in global surface air and water temperatures, that in turn caused a rise in sea levels and added to the ferocity of Hurricane Katrina, which combined to destroy the plaintiffs' private property, as well as public property useful to them. The plaintiffs' putative class action asserts claims for compensatory and punitive damages based on Mississippi common-law actions
of public and private nuisance, trespass, negligence, unjust enrichment, fraudulent misrepresentation, and civil conspiracy."

Sure, take the oil companies to court!  They will then have to prove we humans really are causing global warming (in light of the Hadley CRU data, it would be pretty easy for the defense to prove we're not). 

Assuming there's such a thing as an unbiased court anymore.

Too funny!!

I love this!



(h/t)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Loaded

After reading a post over at Dr. Roy's Thoughts, I followed a link to a Liberal Poll.  I didn't answer it, as they want me to put in my name, postal code and email, and I don't want any political party to have those.  We somehow got on the NDP mail list as it is.  Not only have I been getting NDP "ten percenters" regularly since we moved, but so has my husband - and the woman who lived here before us!  Yup.  I get three Layton ten percenters, every time they get sent out.

Check out the loaded questions on the Liberal site, though.  After a misleading blurb using the phrase "Reform-Conservatives" (because they just have to dig up the ghosts of those scary old Reformers), the first two questions are yes/no choices.

1. Are the Harper Reform-Conservatives right to oppose pay equity for women?


Strange. That's not at all how I understood things. Equal pay for work of equal value, sure, but as a woman who's been home with the kids for more than 16 years, with a couple of forays into the world of employment in the last few years, I certainly don't expect to walk into the same wage as men who've been doing the job longer than I have, just because I'm a woman.  I expect to have to earn my way up, just like anyone else.

2. Do you agree with Stephen Harper that those supporting women's equality are “left-wing fringe groups”?

Another loaded question.  Most "women's groups" are indeed "left-wing fringe groups."  Therefore, their supporters are most likely to be extreme lefties and modern feminists (not to be confused with the feminists that actualy got us the vote and equal rights).  So there are left-wing fringe groups, and there are their supporters.  The supporters and the groups are different entities.

Not that either has anything to do with women's equality in the first place.

Then they ask:

3. Who do you trust more to advocate for the rights of women in Canada and abroad?





 (Cut and paste problem - it should just read "Michael Ignatieff and the Liberals" by itself, but Blogger won't let me edit out the repeated question.  I don't have the time or energy to fuss with it, so there it is...)

Again, they use the term "Reform-Conservative."

To the Libs making this poll: the Reform party doesn't exist any more.  The hard line Reformers didn't like the merger and don't support the Conservative Party of Canada all that much.  They think the CPC is too... wait for it... Liberal.

Now explain to me: how can you phrase a question so dishonestly and misleadingly - and make it a question about trust?

No, I don't trust the Libs.  I trust Ignatieff even less.  Of all our current political leaders, I trust Harper the most.  Which really isn't much of a compliment, considering how little I think of the other leaders.  Layton is so slimey, he gives me the creeps.  May is off her rocker, but at least she seems genuine.  Ignatieff is a nobody who thinks his status makes him a somebody.  I don't like everything the CPC is doing, but they're a whole heck of a lot better than the alternative.

I honestly wish the Liberals would get their act together and be an effective opposition.  Our parliamentary system needs that.  Instead, they're so busy trying to get themselves back into office (with the other opposition parties goading them all the way), it's crippling Parliament.  We don't need any more faux scandals and knee jerk opposition to anything or everything, including the stuff you guys actually wanted in the first place. ie: complaining about lack of stimulous money in one breath, then berating the gov. for our debt the next.  Hello... you guys were the ones threatening to topple the gov. with a coalition supposedly because of the lack of stimulus funding!

We need you all to get your butts in gear, get to work and quit playing games, because those games are costing us regular folks (you know... the ones you want voting for you) a lot.


Monday, November 23, 2009

A successful evening!

Well, our first historical dinner as part of a formal group is done, and it was quite a success!  The only hitch of the evening was discovering the bathroom across the hall was locked, so we had to take people across the street to our place if they needed to go.  *L*

There were some last minute changes in the number of people.  One person ended up staying home with a fever, possibly a flu, but two other last minute additions made it.  We totalled 20 people, I think.  My husband wasn't able to stay very long - not too much of a surprise there, with the way his health has been lately - and Youngest went home with him.  The noise levels got a bit much for her. 

I'll detail more about the dishes we had on my home school blog once I've gone through my photos.  I did the rabbit, which went over quite well, wild rice.  Eldest did bannock, which also went over quite well, and fake coffee, which everyone seemed to find rather odd tasting. *L*  I also made some "hay time switchel" for a drink.  I imagine it would have tasted quite good after a day in the sun making hay - with all that sugar and molasses, it would have been quite the pick-me-up.  Otherwise, it was... not something I'd make again. LOL

Now, let's see if I can remember all the other dishes without having to go back to the photos. :-D  There were little potatoes, baked whole, a fish and carrot dish, a fish soup that included mushrooms and cattail roots, freshly made saurkraut, rose hip jam, pemmican, roasted pumpkin seeds, a thick lentil and smoked hamhock soup, and a dessert of... I think it was pears, prunes and raisins, but I'll have to double check that.  One of our guests even brewed up some spruce beer (used as a tonic to fight scurvy).  They had to make "essense of spruce" using their own spruce trees and a bit of guesswork.  Like the fake coffee and switchel, molasses figured heavily, too, though they had to make sure the molasses was preservative free, so the yeast wouldn't be killed off.

One of the surprised while researching recipes - when they had it, the pioneers used a LOT of sugar or other sweetener.  Huge amounts of salt was also used, though more often as a preservative.  I guess, with depending on game so much in the early years, fat and protein weren't much of an issue, but carbs were a little harder to come by.  Well, except for the poor souls that died of rabbit starvation.  Hard to imagine starving to death while having plenty to eat.  In our day and age, with dietary fat being viewed as such an evil, we tend to forget we can't live without it.

I think I remembered everything that was there. 

My personal favorites were the lentil/ham hock soup and wild rice.  I'm not big on fish, but the fish dishes worked out quite well.  I completely forgot to try the rose hip jam, though, which I was looking forward to.  The pemmican was an experiment, and I'm not sure if it worked or not, not knowing what "real" pemmican is supposed to taste like.  I was surprised by how much I liked the saurkraut.  I grew up with my mother's saurkraut and never liked it - it was so incredibly sour and acidic - but this was really nice.  The person who made it said it was saltier than it was supposed to be, but I wouldn't know any better. *L*

Before we started, we all talked about the dishes we'd brought and how close we could get to authentic to the theme.  I was surprised to find that lentils were being used in NA that far back.  There are always allownaces to be made when trying to recreate historical dishes, if only because information tends to be sparse or cryptic. 

Some of our guests even dressed up a bit, and one family brought a small table loom used for making narrow strips of fabric for sashes.  Another guest had brought her fiddle and played us a few tunes.  There were games and even dances - it was all a lot more elaborate than anything I'd expected.  The kids had a blast, that's for sure. 

Unfortunately, things went on a bit too long and we never got to the story telling.  One of our guests is actually a professional storyteller and I was really looking forward to hearing her. She had to leave, though, so it never happened.  :-( 

Things got loud, sometimes a bit chaotic, and was overall a success.  The theme was chosen by Eldest (I picked the last themed dinner we had, before the group was formally created), so the next one will have to be hosted by another family.  It may not happen until the spring, though! ;-D  We have plenty of themes we'd like to try, but I look forward to seeing what someone else might come up with!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Link Dump: the death of AGW alarmism?

Fascinating to see which media are or aren't talking about the hacked data showing that yes, AGW really was a manufactured lie.  With that in mind, here are some links to look at what you might not be finding anywhere else.

Global Warming Fraud Exposed has a number of links to follow.
Climate Depot has, at the moment, a great many stories to check out.
Watts Up With That, the blog alarmists love to hate, has plenty of good stuff.
Tom Nelson, as always, has lots of links to all stories climate related and is frequently upated.
Climate Realists is following the stories, too.
Icecap provides even more.
And you can't miss Mann's nemesis at Climate Audit.

Enjoy reading.  Me?  I'm going to start cooking for a pioneer themed dinner we're hosting tonight.  Canadian prairies, pre-1850, settler.  Researching for this has been quite fascinating.  A lot of people starved because they couldn't grow the foods they'd brought with them, due to the short growing season and cold.  Those that didn't know how to hunt or couldn't buy/trade for food from local Natives or nearby forts were often in dire straights.  Almost no grains of any kind, few vegetables, wild foods limited by season, difficulties preserving food for the winter.  I couldn't help but see the irony of how nutritional deprivation was such a danger because they only foods they had were local and seasonal - which is what we're being told we should be doing for the sake of the environment.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I don't get it.

Forgive me for a bit of a rant, here, but I just don't get it.

What is it with women's painted eyebrows these days?

Women have been painting their eyebrows for a long time.  My mother used to do it.  That's because she really didn't have eyebrows.  She was a dark haired woman with sparse, light haired eyebrows.  Hollywood starlets used to paint fine arcs, and that's kindasorta come back.  What on earth for?

I can't figure out the weird painted eyebrows I'm seeing more and more of these days.  These are the chunky, blocky, stencilled things.  I didn't realize stencils were used, or even existed, until I picked up a recent Avon catalog and saw some.  The write up described removing any hairs outside the stencil shape, appling the stencil, then filling in the shape completely with makeup.  Today I followed a link to an online fashiom magazine - I normally avoid fashion magazines - and there was this model with stencilled in eyebrows.

They looked like painted on mustaches.

Groucho Marx mustaches.

Over her eyes.

It didn't help that the thickest part was drawn well towards the bridge of her nose, looking like she's had a uni-brow, but someone erased a space in the middle.

How is this attractive?

Then there are the shavers.

Why would anyone shave off perfectly good eyebrows so that they could pencil in fake ones?  In odd shapes, no less.  I once saw a woman on the bus with eyebrows painted on where no eyebrows would possibly grow.  Her natural browline, devoide of hair, was completely ignored in favour of this weird, clown-like arc that went half way up her forehead at its highest point.

I realize I'm blessed with well shaped eyebrows.  How I managed that, with my mother's non-existant ones and my father's bushy visors, I have no idea, but all my siblings and I have pretty normal eyebrows.  No stray hairs growing in weird places.  No unibrows.  Still, according to fashion, I should be plucking, threading or waxing them anyway.  Then painting them.  Screw that! 

I'll save my eyebrow painting for Halloween.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I wonder how media play this will get?

Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of "Anthropogenic Global Warming?"

But perhaps the most damaging revelations  – the scientific equivalent of the Telegraph’s MPs’ expenses scandal – are those concerning the way Warmist scientists may variously have manipulated or suppressed evidence in order to support their cause.

Which was already known, though ignored, even encouraged, by the MSM and speical interest groups.

So what do you think?  Right now, there's nothing to suggest the hacked data is anything but genuine.  Will this finally reveal AGW alarmism for the lie it is, or will it get buried?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Quote for thought...

Rights! There are no rights whatever without corresponding duties.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
(1772-1834)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Munk Debates on climate change

I'm really looking forward to the Dec. 1 live webcast Munk Debate on climate change.

C02 levels in the atmosphere are climbing steadily higher. Some believe this is having a devastating effect on humans and nature, while others argue that the threat has been overstated. Is this the moment for a bold international treaty to curb carbon emissions? Or, are the social and economic costs of reducing C02 emissions too high in world where a billion people live on a dollar or less a day?

 There are 4 people to take part in this debate, two on each side.  They all have two things in common.  All of them are published authors, and none of them are climate "experts."

Those listed on the "con" side are Lord Nigel Lawson and Bjorn Lomborg.  A strong showing there, I think.

Lord Lawson is by far the most distinquished of the bunch, IMO.  He had a long and distinquished career in journalism before turning to politics.  He served as Energy Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer, and advisor to former British PM, Margaret Thatcher.  The positive economic results of his tenure are known as "The Lawson Boom."  He's well informed, logical, and has a backbone - something that seems to be missing in most politicians.

Also on the "con" side is Bjorn Lomborg.  It should be noted that Lomborg actually believes in AGW.  His arguement is that trying to stop or control climate change is a waste of resources, and that it would be much more prudent to use those resources differently.  An economist, he organised the "Copenhagen Consensus" to get together some of the top minds in the field to look at where it would be most effective to use our resources.

On the "pro" is, we have Elizabeth May.  She is the current leader of the Green Party of Canada - and the reason I no longer vote green.  She's a lawyer and environmental activist.  As a Canadian, I've seen her in action, and quite frankly, I find her difficult to watch or listen to, her behaviour is so atrocious.  No more so than, say, Jack Layton *shudder* but that's hardly a complement.  She seems to be all about the emotion and little to do with logic.

Of all the debaters, the "pro" is saddled with the man who is perhaps the least qualified - or sane - person of the bunch, George Monbiot.  When trying to read and review his book, Heat, his claim to relevance seems to be that he's a "thinker."  He's also travelled the world as an activist, suffering injuries and near death in the process.  His bout with cerebral malaria might explain his over the top rantings, such as his statement that, every time someone drowns in a flood in Bangladesh, an airline executive should be taken out and shot. 

Looking at this line up, I'd say the "pro" side is in for a trouncing.

Wow!!

Check this story out...

Subway train stops short of woman on tracks.

The security videos caught it all.

That is one very lucky woman.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Religion in our schools

There is a lot of hue and cry to ensure religion is kept out of our schools (unless, of course, it's a Judeo-Christian bashing course on so-called "world religion").  Prayer was taken out long ago, crucifixes are removed, and people are trying to purge virtually every reference to (a Judeo-Christian) God.  (For the record, I don't believe religion should be in schools, other than as part of history or social studies; religous belief systems belong in the hands of the parents.)

Now that belief in anthropogenic climate change has been legally recognized as a religion, does that mean we'll finally have it removed from our schools?

Monday, November 02, 2009

What did people expect?

For months now, headlines have been screaming about the dangers of H1N1.  Government officials, medical personnel, and more have been telling us to get vaccinated as quickly as possible.  Even those not in high risk categories were being told to get the shot, because they might still be carriers.  While there were a few calm voices, the overwhelming message was one of panic.

Then, once the vaccine finally becomes available, frightened people line up for hours, only to find the clinics have run out of vaccine.  Everyone seems to be angry, scared and...

Surprised? 

Seriously, folks.  How could anything else have been expected?

We've made no attempt to get vaccinated, and probably won't.  My husband and half his office has probably already had it, at which point, getting the shot is useless.  Even if we were planning to, we sure as heck wouldn't have tried to get it as soon as the vaccine became available, for the same reason we never go to movies on opening night - crowd avoidance. 

But it's so much more fun to point fingers at everyone else and play the blame game.

*sigh*