Thursday, June 30, 2016

Car that can park ANYWHERE: Car with wriggly tires moves in all directions

Parking just got a whole lot easier. An impressive YouTube video showcases an amazing set of wheels that enables all vehicles to move in all directions and to rotate on the spot 360 degrees.

English Inventor Matthew Liddiard can be seeing trying out the tyres on his Toyota Echo - and soon we'll all be after some. The car moves almost mesmerisingly from side to side as well as on the spot with an effortless elegance. The tyres roll perpendicular to the vehicle's body instead of parallel as the car appears to almost glide.

The Londoner stresses that these omni-capable wheels are a world first bolt-on application which are very easy to use and require no modifications. He adds that they're designed to be used in all weather and road conditions. 'They are stronger, faster, and more accurately controlled than prior art. They can take a beating,' he said"


Thirty-One Top Scientific Societies Speak with One Voice on Global Climate Change

I like the word "non-partisan" below.  Academe is notoriously Left-leaning so the claim is nonsense even on that ground.  Where scientists are undoubtedly and fiercely partisan, however, is about research grants.  No scientist ever says: "I don't deserve a research grant this year.  They are absolutely partisan about the importance of research grants and the need to keep them flowing.  So all that the article below shows is that learned societies believe passionately in keeping up the flow of research grants to their members.  The global warming scare has unleashed a golden shower of research grants onto anybody who can drag global warming into their research.  And we all now know not to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.  

Global warming is a scam dreamed up by a small number of unscrupulous scientists for the benefit of scientists -- and most other scientists just say "Thank you very much".  Anybody who challenged the myth would be seen as letting the side down -- thus endangering his position

In a consensus letter to U.S. policymakers, a partnership of 31 leading nonpartisan scientific societies today reaffirmed the reality of human-caused climate change, noting that greenhouse gas emissions “must be substantially reduced” to minimize negative impacts on the global economy, natural resources, and human health.

“Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research concludes that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver,” the collaborative said in its 28 June letter to Members of Congress. “This conclusion is based on multiple independent lines of evidence and the vast body of peer-reviewed science.”

Climate-change impacts in the United States have already included increased threats of extreme weather events, sea-level rise, water scarcity, heat waves, wildfires, and disturbances to ecosystems and animals, the intersociety group reported. “The severity of climate change impacts is increasing and is expected to increase substantially in the coming decades,” the letter added. It cited the scientific consensus of the vast majority of individual climate scientists and virtually every leading scientific organization in the world, including the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the U.S. National Academies, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Chemical Society, the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society, the American Statistical Association, the Ecological Society of America, and the Geological Society of America.

“To reduce the risk of the most severe impacts of climate change, greenhouse gas emissions must be substantially reduced,” the group said, adding that adaptation is also necessary to “address unavoidable consequences for human health and safety, food security, water availability, and national security, among others.”

The 28 June letter, representing a broad range of scientific disciplines, reaffirmed the key climate-change messages in a 2009 letter signed by 18 leading scientific organizations. The letter is being released again, by a larger consortium of 31 scientific organizations, to reassert the scientific consensus on climate change, and to provide objective, authoritative information to policymakers who must work toward solutions.

“Climate change is real and happening now, and the United States urgently needs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said AAAS Chief Executive Officer Rush Holt, executive publisher of the Science family of journals. “We must not delay, ignore the evidence, or be fearful of the challenge. America has provided global leadership to successfully confront many environmental problems, from acid rain to the ozone hole, and we can do it again. We owe no less to future generations.”

The 28 June letter was signed by leaders of the following organizations: AAAS; American Chemical Society; American Geophysical Union; American Institute of Biological Sciences; American Meteorological Society; American Public Health Association; American Society of Agronomy; American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists; American Society of Naturalists; American Society of Plant Biologists; American Statistical Association; Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography; Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation; Association of Ecosystem Research Centers; BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium; Botanical Society of America; Consortium for Ocean Leadership; Crop Science Society of America; Ecological Society of America; Entomological Society of America; Geological Society of America; National Association of Marine Laboratories; Natural Science Collections Alliance; Organization of Biological Field Stations; Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics; Society for Mathematical Biology; Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles; Society of Nematologists; Society of Systematic Biologists; Soil Science Society of America; University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Hate speech in the wake of Brexit

The report below is from the "Guardian", Britain's major Leftist  paper.  So in the best Leftist style, it leaves out half the story.  The other half is that there has been a huge outpouring of hate towards those who voted to "Leave" -- coming from those who voted "Remain".  The remainers are furious that they are now remainders.  One account of that here.  The truth of the matter is that a climate of political correctness is being challenged -- with some people feeling free to say what was previously forbidden and those who favour political correctness being furious at its breakdown

David Cameron has condemned “despicable” xenophobic abuse after the EU referendum as figures suggested a 57% increase in reported incidents.

The country would not stand for hate crime, the prime minister told MPs.  “In the past few days we have seen despicable graffiti daubed on a Polish community centre, we’ve seen verbal abuse hurled against individuals because they are members of ethnic minorities,” Cameron said.

“Let’s remember these people have come here and made a wonderful contribution to our country. We will not stand for hate crime or these kinds of attacks, they must be stamped out.”

Police believe there has been an increase in hate crimes and community tensions since last week’s referendum. Initial figures show an increase of 57% in reported incidents between Thursday and Sunday compared with the same days four weeks earlier, the National Police Chiefs’ Council said – 85 incidents were reported compared with 54 during the earlier period.

Cameron’s condemnation came amid a growing chorus of concern over intolerance and hostility. The mayor of London and the UK’s biggest Muslim organisation spoke out against a spike in racist abuse in the aftermath of the referendum.

The Polish embassy in the UK said it was shocked at incidents of xenophobic abuse directed at members of its community in the past few days, and the Board of Deputies of British Jews said it was alarmed by reports of harassment and abuse.


Can you believe she is FIFTY? Chinese fitness fanatic amazes

With her flawless skin, wrinkle-free complexion and super-toned body, 50-year-old Ye Wen from China looks decades younger.

The mother-of-one from China's Henan province puts her youthful looks down to her fitness regime after picking up swimming at the age of 30, reports the People's Daily Online.   She took her hobby one step further in March, swimming across the straits of Malacca, according to the report. And she is also hoping to swim the Han River in South Korea.

Ye said she trains daily at her local swimming pool and keeps toned by heading to the gym two to three times a week for two hours.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Fearless man corners a GIANT spider and removes it from a wall on his hand

Unlike other videos where people attempt to trap spiders with speed, only to miss and then see the creature scuttle away, the man works slowly and calmly. He moves his hands increasingly closer to the spider without making any sudden movements before touching one of its many legs with his fingers.

Without pulling his arms away he then keeps his right hand in front of the spider as it starts to walk towards him and takes a step onto his fingers. He then waits until the entire creature is standing on the back of his hand before gently removing it - along with the spider - from the wall.

The video concludes with the man transferring the terrifying creature, which clings onto his wrist and tries to escape, to a see-through plastic box before closing it inside.

Hitler with Ginger hair

British Leftist leader Neil Kinnock's famous speech to the Labour Party Conference, Bournemouth, October 1985

Anybody who has watched Hitler's speeches will be struck by how much Kinnock learned from Hitler.  His rhetorical technique is near identical.  The content of the speech was similar too:  Vilifying his opponents and promoting extreme socialism.  Kinnock lost that election, thankfully.  He is still alive, in a comfortable job with the EU

Monday, June 27, 2016

 The Brexit hysteria continues

The anti-democratic thinking of many of the establishment people behind the "Remain" vote is now clear.  Many of these miserable elitists are agitating for the exit not to be implemented.  Parliament could do that but it would create an unprecedented  constitutional crisis.  The Brexit MPs would simply not allow it.  They could bring parliament to a standstil by voting "No" to every government bill until the referendum is honoured.  So it's all just big talk from little people.  If they persist with their agitation it will only brand them permanently as the worms they are.

The EU mandarins are clearly furious and are suggesting that Britain will not get a good trade deal when it exits.  But in the end they are just public servants and it is the national governments that will have the final say.

France is once again making highly sympathetic noises: 'We must put an end to this sad and finicky Europe. Too often it is intrusive on details and desperately absent on what's essential,' [Prime Minister] Valls said. 'We must break away from the dogma of ever more Europe. Europe must act not by principle but when it is useful and pertinent.'"

And the German motor vehicle manufacturers are arguing emphatically for free trade arrangements to continue.  They sell 800,000 cars into the British market every year so you can understand why:  "German manufacturers last night demanded that Britain be allowed to continue trading with the EU without any barriers. The car-making industry said punishing Britain makes no sense – and it called on the German chancellor to give the UK a favourable trade deal

It is clearly in the best financial interests of both Britian and the EU to continue free trade arrangements so it will happen. Britain buys quite a lot more from Europe than it sells into Europe so a collapse of free trade would actually hit the EU the hardest

There is an extraordinarily pessimistic article here in which a Brussels-based journalist argues that Britain will get a very harsh deal on exit -- but he is obviously listening to the EU mandarins only, not the national leaders.

He draws on the Greek experience to argue that the EU will be very demanding.  But I think he draws exactly the wrong conclusion from the Greek experience.  Greece had many billions of its debts written off -- and the EU got very little in return.  The EU can clearly be very forgiving if it thinks it is worthwhile -- and free trade was the very foundation of the EU.

It's amusing that the Brexit vote has spooked sharemarket investors worldwide.  British shares were down a bit on the most recent reports but  the losses in other countries were mostly much bigger.  It's just nervousness on the part of shareholders who don't understand what is going on.  The businesses underlying the shares are still there much as before so the "losses" will mostly be reversed in the not too distant future --JR.

Chancellor George Osborne says robust contingency plans are in place for the immediate financial aftermath of #Brexit

Bigger ships: Panama celebrates opening its expanded canal

A 984-foot Chinese container ship cleared the new massive locks of the Panama Canal on Sunday, becoming the first to officially pass through the expanded canal and sparking a new dawn for Panama and global shipping.

The $5.4 billion effort to expand the 102-year-old canal took nearly 10 years and the sweat from 40,000 workers to complete. The new set of locks now allows ships carrying up to 14,000 containers, known as neo-Panamax ships, to cut a quicker path between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. U.S. ports have been investing billions of dollars to expand their facilities in a race to accommodate the mega ships.

The expanded canal nearly triples the capacity of ships transiting the canal, from those able to carry 5,000 containers to up to 14,000 containers, and is expected to bring increased revenue to Panama"


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Reflections on Brexit

The most extraordinary thing about Brexit was the immediate and unreasoning hysteria it provoked.  A lot of very foolish people acted as if their lives had immediately changed -- when NOTHING will happen for at least a year. For anything to happen, laws have to be changed -- and I am sure that we all know what a glacial process that can be. Still, the dishonest predictions of disaster put out by the establishment in the lead-up to the vote must bear some responsibility for the panic.

And the very first indicator of disaster has already reversed itself.  The stockmarket plunged, only to bounce back to end up on the week.  Though some shares are still down of course.  The stockmarket is like that. If you think there's anything simple about it, you are headed for a fall.  I have seen people who had all the answers lose big money.

So people will have plenty of warning about changes before they change and will be able to make any adjustments to their affairs that they may see as needed.

So what are the likely changes?  Not much.  Some money now going to Brussels will probably be diverted to to where it is desperately needed -- the public hospitals -- so the hospitals  might not bump off grandma as quickly as they have been doing -- but that is probably about it.  The new Prime Minister will almost certainly be the popular Boris Johnson and party politics will return to their accustomed ways.  Everyone from David Cameron down has been promising that, though there will undoubtedly be a few sore-heads.

A threat that some people have made much of is that Scotland might secede.  Scotland voted solidly to stay in the EU. But that is nonsense.  If Scotland were to become an independent country with different immigration arrangements, the border between England and Scotland would become an international border to be marked by a fence and passport controls.  Free movement between the two countries would be halted for the first time in hundreds of years.

And Scotland would no longer be able to use the British pound as its currency so would probably have to adopt the troubled Euro -- possibly leading to an overnight drop in the value of Scottish savings.  If Nicola Sturgeon thinks she can get Scots to agree to  that she has haggis for brains.

The big threat that hung over the whole campaign was the possibility of British industry losing markets for its goods and services.  When Britain leaves the EU, will the EU abandon free trade between itself and Britain and start putting tariffs and other import restrictions on British goods headed for Europe?  It's most unlikely.  Trade wars almost always provoke retaliation.  And Britain has plenty to retaliate with:  a market of 60 million  people, to be precise.

As I have said previously, If Britain's tariff-free access to Europe were cut off by  some big-bottomed bureaucrats in Brussels, Britain could very rapidly and very effectively retaliate.  A Prime Minister, Boris Johnson could and probably would announce a complete embargo on the importation of European farm products into Britain.

That would be particularly disruptive to France, including the already-stressed French wine industry.  The Brits now buy twice as much Australian wine as French wine but Britain is still a major market for French wine. And one cannot imagine the French farmers taking that lying down. And French farmers always get their way.  One imagines them getting into their tractors and blockading the Berlaymont building, the primary seat of the EU Commission in Brussels. And when cut off from their supply of beer, chocolate and stinky cheese, the Brussels bureaucrats would undoubtedly cave in. "Temporary" or "transitional" arrangements would be made.

In short the EU will, as far a Britain is concerned, revert to being what it originally was:  A free trade area with Britain inside it.  Norway already has a free-trade-only agreement with the EU so a model for such arrangements already exists.

What about visa-free travel?  That's less certain.  There have always been visa-free travel arrangements between some countries and it would certainly be highly desirable to retain such arrangements between Britain and the countries of Europe.  Hundreds of thousands of French and Italians have moved to London to find work and hundreds of thousands of Brits -- mostly retirees -- have moved to France and Spain for the better climate there.  So both of those groups would be inconvenienced by a cessation of the existing travel arrangements.

So why might there NOT be visa-free travel arrangements?  That takes us right to the whole heart of Brexit.  I put up yesterday on POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH four lengthy essays that attempted to explain why the British people voted to leave the EU.  And they all did a reasonable job of it -- "unresponsive elites" and all that.  But in fact there was really only one standout issue between the people and their establishment:  Immigration.

Let me summarize the whole issue in the language of the people:   "The politicians are letting too many bloody wogs into the country".  In formal English: "The politicians are letting too many accursed foreigners into the country".  And most of those "wogs" got in under EU rules. Brexit was about giving England back to the English.

So, given that aim, any new immigration arrangements will have to be restrictive -- and that will almost certainly include at a minimum passports and visas for everyone entering Britain.

So is that racist?  You would have to define racism very broadly to say so.  But Leftists do define it extremely broadly.   Any awareness of group loyalty at all can attract cries of racism from them.  They use the ghastly memory of the socialist Hitler to imply that any degree of racial or ethnic consciousness is only a hairsbreadth away from genocide.  So something as simple as patriotism becomes racism in their unending outpouring of hate  for normal people.

They fail to take into account that it was patriotism, Russian patriotism, that defeated Hitler.  Something like 80% of German military casualties in WWII were incurred on the Eastern front.  And Russians to this day refer to that war as "The Great Patriotic War".

So the resentment that many Britons feel towards the influx of foreigners might in part be due to a love of England as it was but there are also huge practical reasons behind the resentment. The millions of foreigners who have arrived in recent years have put a strain on basic services -- hospitals, housing and transport facilities -- that the British government has done little to address -- because of the large costs involved.

So parents find that they cannot get their kid into a nearby school, they constantly get stuck in traffic jams, they can find standing room only on commuter trains and rushed hospital staff make errors that lead to serious harm and even death. And the price of housing has become unaffordable to many would-be buyers. There is no irrationality in wanting to stop further deterioration of that already dire situation

Finally, what are we to make of the age difference between "Remain" and "Leave" voters?  The older the voter was, the more likely they were to vote "Leave".  The cause is fairly straightforward.  Older voters remember a time when Britain did quite well on its own, thank you very much, and could see no reason why Britain could not do so again.  Younger voters, on the other hand have known nothing but the EU and accept it as normal, warts and all.  They were afraid of what was to them the unknown.

There is however some anger among young people about not getting their way and that will hopefully be a good lesson to a spoiled generation.

An amusing footnote:  "Quebec Separatists See New Hope After Brexit Vote".  I guess I shouldn't laugh -- JR.

Trial ordered for teacher accused of sex with student in Pa. cemetery

A substitute teacher accused of having sex with a 17-year-old student in a car parked in a Pennsylvania cemetery has been ordered to stand trial on a charge of institutional sex assault.

49-year-old Kelly Aldinger of Pen Argyl waived her right to a preliminary hearing Monday in Northampton County.

Police say they caught a 49-year-old woman who works as a substitute teacher having a sex with a 17-year-old boy in an Easton, Pa. cemetery.

Authorities allege that the married Easton woman met the boy when he was her 16-year-old student at Easton Area High School. Police say they were caught having sex in a car on May 6 about 1 p.m. at Easton Cemetery, and both told investigators that they've had a sexual relationship since last fall.

Defense attorney Philip Lauer said after the hearing that his client has no criminal history and "is a good person and a good educator."


Huge flying boat.  The Dornier Do-X aircraft cruised the sky and seas in the 1920s

In July 1929 a symbol of luxury air and sea travel took its first flight. Known as a flying boat the Dornier Do-X, which took its name from its designer Dr Claudius Dornier, could soar through the skies and skim through the seas.

It provided a glamorous way to see the world as the 70-100 passengers onboard were treated to a dining salon, smoking lounge, wet bar and comfortable seating. However, passengers were integral in helping the captain bank into turns by moving from one side of the cabin to another whenever necessary.

 Weighing 61 tones and with a wingspan of 177 feet, it was a massive craft that had over 12 engines and could reach an altitude of 1650 feet. Though it was financed by the German Transport ministry it had to be build in Switzerland as a section of the Treaty of Versailles forbade Germany from manufacturing certain types of airplanes"


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Vive la France!

By far the best reaction to Brexit came from France.  Many European leaders rightly saw the Brexit vote as a repudiation of their policies but, instead of being humbled by it, were simply angry about it.  They were sure they knew what was best for the peasants and can't see where they went wrong  -- EXCEPT M. Hollande.  The French president rightly saw the excesses of the EU bureaucracy as a powerful motor behind British dissatisfaction with the EU.

I also liked the reaction of Donald Tusk, representative of the heroic Polish people, who insisted: 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger'.  Being the ham in the sandwich between Germany and Russia, Poles have had to have that attitude. Some excerpts below of the European reaction.

European leaders have warned Britain to leave the EU quickly and avoid prolonging uncertainty.

The presidents of the EU's main institutions said in a statement today that they expect London to act on the decision to leave 'as soon as possible, however painful that process may be.'

As he demanded Britain make a quick exit from the EU, furious European Parliament President Martin Schulz said the U.K.'s relationship with the EU had been ambiguous, but was 'now clear.'

He added a prolonged exit was 'the opposite of what we need', adding that it was difficult to accept that 'a whole continent is taken hostage because of an internal fight in the Tory party'.

French President Francois Hollande has admitted the EU requires 'profound change' in the wake of the Brexit vote as German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her dismay at the result.

Hollande said the UK's vote to leave the EU must act as a 'jolt' to the bloc to implement the change needed to address its troubles - adding he was 'sad' to see Britain sever relations.

The French President warned the remaining 27 member states that action was needed to reconnect with citizens. 'The British people have decided to leave. It is a sad decision but one which I respect,' he said.  'The vote puts the European Union in difficulties. It must recognise its shortfalls.

'A jolt is necessary. Europe must reaffirm it values of freedom, solidarity, peace. The EU must be understood and controlled by its citizens. I will do everything to secure profound change rather than decline.'

As leaders across Europe woke up to the news, France's far-right leader Marine Le Pen changed her Twitter picture to a Union Jack and told her followers the result was 'victory for freedom'.

'As I have been asking for years, we must now have the same referendum in France and EU countries,' she wrote.

This morning, Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, a member of the Le Pen dynasty and an FN MP,  tweeted 'Victory!'

Egregious, I know.  But this is a picture of Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, an anti-immigration member of the French parliament

The Le Pens are fiercely anti-Europe. They view an end to the EU as the best way of implementing their anti-immigration and anti-globalisation agenda.

French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said he was 'sad for the United Kingdom' and that 'Europe will continue but it must react and rediscover the confidence of its peoples. It's urgent.'

Meanwhile the result also triggered Dutch far-right MP Geert Wilders to call for a referendum on EU membership in the Netherlands. Wilders, who is leading opinion polls, said if he is elected prime minister in March he will force a vote.

He said in a statement: 'We want to be in charge of our own country, our own money, our own borders and our own immigration policy. 'As quickly as possible the Dutch need to get the opportunity to have their say about Dutch membership of the European Union.

'If I become prime minister, there will be a referendum in the Netherlands on leaving the European Union as well. Let the Dutch people decide.'


Thursday, June 23, 2016

New crop varieties 'can't keep up with global warming'

How ridiculous can you get?  Do the BBC have no pride to publish this excreta?  For a start, global warming has been so slight in C21 that there is debate over whether it exists at all.  It is certainly not racing ahead in the way the article below implies. 

Secondly, we don't need new crop varieties.  We just use ones we already have. There are heaps of areas on the earth that are both very hot and which grow crops. A warming world would simply see them more widely used. Just as a minor example of heat-adaptation, the tropical Australian city of Townsville produces grapes, normally a cool temperature crop, And what is the effect of growing grapes there? They are bigger and juicier and reach the table up to a month before most other table grapes. We ALREADY have heat adapted crops if we need them.

A large muscadine grape native to sub-tropical Florida

Some very tasty Chambourcin grapes from Townsville

Warmer temperatures tend to suit crops in fact,  which is why the greatest biodiversity is in the tropics.  And maize is just such a plant.  It is  it is "cold-intolerant".  It likes warmth. It is already grown in temperatures up to 35C in India.  The most usual limitation on maize crops is drought.  But warming oceans should give off more water vapor -- which comes down as rain -- so maize should get more water and yield very well in a warming world.

And I suppose I should mention the obvious:  According to Warmist theory, there will be lots more CO2 in the atmosphere of a warming world.  And plants LOVE CO2.  They suck it up.   It's the raw material that they use to build themselves. So again, a warmer world would be a CO2-rich world in which plants would flourish as never before

So a bit of global warming would IMPROVE maize crops. The picture below of the sad lady holding maize ears is just another example of Warmists lying with pictures

Crop yields around the world could fall within a decade unless action is taken to speed up the introduction of new varieties. A study says temperatures are rising faster than the development of crop varieties that can cope with a warmer world.

In Africa, researchers found that it can take 10-30 years before farmers can grow a new breed of maize. By the time these new crops are planted, they face a warmer environment than they were developed in.

The scientists behind the study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, looked closely at the impact of temperature rises on crop duration - that's the length of time between planting and harvesting.

They found that in a warmer world durations will be shorter meaning these varieties will have less time to accumulate biomass and yields could be affected.
Out of date

In their paper, the researchers write that crop duration will become significantly shorter as early as 2018 in some regions but by 2031, the majority of maize-growing areas of Africa will be affected.

"The actual changes in yield may be different but this effect is there, the impact of this change in duration will occur unless breeding changes," said lead author Prof Andy Challinor from the University of Leeds.

"The durations will be shorter than what they were bred for - by the time they are in the field they are, in terms of temperature, out of date."

The scientists say the lag is down to a combination of factors including the limited number of crops you can grow in a season, the need for government approved testing and there are also a number of problems of access to markets that can increase the time it takes before the farmers have the new seeds to plant.

"We can use the climate models to tell us what the temperatures are going to be," he told BBC News, "We can then put those temperature elevations into the greenhouses and then we can breed the crops at those temperatures. People are beginning to do this, but this paper provides the hard evidence of the necessity of it."

Researchers are also working on the impact of heat stress on crops at sites in Zimbabwe, Kenya and Ethiopia. Data from these trials is being used to identify species that could cope with warmer conditions.

But would the use of genetic modification (GM) help speed up this type of work? "GM does some things faster, so you would get a new variety of crop faster," said Prof Challinor.

"But it doesn't get you out of the testing requirement in fact the testing may in fact be greater and it doesn't help it all with farmers accessing seeds and markets - the problem will remain even for a magic GM crop."

Better techniques and more money for research are the keys according to others in this field, familiar with the study.

"Investment in agricultural research to develop and disseminate new seed technologies is one of the best investments we can make for climate adaptation," said Dr Andy Jarvis, from the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture,

"Climate funds could be used to help the world's farmers stay several steps ahead of climate change, with major benefits for global food security."

The researchers believe that the study also has implications beyond Africa, especially in the maize growing regions of the tropics.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Incredible co-ordination

Japanese chefs pounding rice to make rice cakes

Chinese fitness fanatic enjoys morning walks while balancing a 90lb boulder on his HEAD

"Most people try dieting fads or exercise to try and lose a bit of weight. However this fitness fanatic from Cihna has taken exercise to the extreme by balancing a 90-pound boulder on his head.

53-year-old Cong Yan from Jilin province says walking with a stone on his head helps him lose weight and he has shaved off around 60 pounds in the space of a year, according to a Weibo post from People's Daily Online. Cong Yan said: 'When I began, I wanted to try this method because I did not want to use diet pills.'

When he first tried the weight loss method he used a 33 pound stone and then gradually increased it to 88 pounds.  Every morning Cong Yan heads to the Beishan Scenic park to do laps while wearing the boulder.

Yan says the method has worked well and over three years he has reduced his weight by 85 pounds"


Which animals will cope with climate change droughts?

One has to assume that the Warmist prophecies below will be as good as all the other Warmist prophecies:  Totally useless and wrong.  Prophecy is a mug's game and those who engage in it reveal themselves as mugs.  And why is prophecy needed anyway?  Australia is always having a drought somewhere so if response to drought is of interest, go out and observe it directly instead of theorizing about it from your armchair

And the basic assumption below is a crock-- that warming would cause drought.  It would not.  Warmer water gives off more water vapour which eventually comes down as rain.  Flooding might be a problem, not drought.

So the whole story below is just an arid intellectual exercise. Tasmin Rymer should stick to rhymes

James Cook University, Australia

Summary: Scientists believe the current rate of climate change is unprecedented in Earth's history and will lead to more and worse droughts in many areas. Now a research team may have found a way to predict which mammals will best cope with drought -- and which won't do so well.

JCU's Dr Tasmin Rymer led a study that produced a template measuring several crucial factors, including an animal's physiology and environment, to determine how it would handle a severe drought.

Dr Rymer said scientists believe the current rate of climate change is unprecedented in Earth's history and will lead to more and worse droughts in many areas.

"So we developed a theoretical framework that allows researchers to estimate the likelihood that a species will be able to cope," she said.

Dr Rymer said the "Adaptive Triquetra" model considers the primary driving stressors of droughts: temperature, limited water, and reduced food availability. Then it looks at how well an animal's specific body system could mount a response, and the extent to which its traits are adaptable.

"We have provided a comprehensive suite of traits to consider when making predictions about species' resilience to drought. It's designed to help scientists assess the potential for a species or population to cope with increasing aridity," she said.

Dr Rymer said the process is more complex than it sounds, with much work still needed to fully determine the characteristics of many species before the model can be applied to them.

She said the Adaptive Triquetra is still a conceptual framework in need of empirical testing, but held great promise for fine-tuning wildlife management.

"If you found a species was particularly vulnerable to water stress, such as in a drought, you might design a management plan that provides access to artificial water points. If you found a species was vulnerable to increased temperatures, you might provide subterranean shelters."

Dr Rymer said in one example of where the model would have been useful, managers of a reserve in South Africa assumed their animals were suffering from lack of water during a drought, but in fact they had denuded the vegetation around their few artificially-built water holes and the animals were starving.

"If they had dropped fences and spaced water sources widely apart, this would have promoted movement and foraging over a wider area. Our model may have suggested this course of action if it had been in use," said Dr Rymer.

"Knowing which species are at risk and what stressors have the greatest impact allows for more effective management strategies to be put into place."


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

 The great ozone embarrassment

Do you ever wonder why we don't hear much about the ozone hole these days?  There's a reason.  I made some mocking comments about the messed-up talk from Greenies about stratospheric ozone yesterday.  I now want to tell more of the story.

When I searched the net for the numbers about CO2 levels and global temperature, I very rapidly found the numbers nicely set out for both.  So I initially expected that I would have no trouble finding the numbers for atmospheric ozone levels.  I found quite a lot of sites that gave information about that but none of them gave the underlying numbers.  The information was always presented in pretty multi-colored pictures.

That is very strange.  Numbers are food and drink to scientists.  Pictures just cannot give you precision.  So what is going on? Is there a reason for the imprecision?

I think I have eventually found out. The numbers are pretty  embarrassing.   Ozone levels are at least not rising and may be FALLING.  Yet, according to the Ozone-hole enthusiasts, the levels  should be rising.  When the very expensive Montreal protocol of 1989 was imposed on us, we were told that CFC's were destroying ozone at a dangerous rate (ALL change is dangerous according to Greenies) so if we stopped producing CFCs, the ozone would bounce back and the "hole" in Antarctica would shrink away.  So ozone levels should have been RISING for quite a while now.

But the opposite may have happened.  I eventually found  an official  New Zealand statistics site which informed me that: "From 1978 to 2013, median monthly ozone concentrations decreased slightly, about 4 percent",  And I found another source which put the loss to the year 2000 at 7%.

And the cooling trend in the stratosphere can only reasonably be explained by falling ozone levels.  It's absorption of UV by ozone that keeps the stratosphere warm.  I showed yesterday that the cooling trend cannot be explained by CO2 levels.

Greenies are always cautious about when they expect the ozone hole to close, generally putting it quite a few years in the future.  They say, reasonably, that these things oscillate so the  process of ozone recovery must be a gradual one and you need a long series to see a trend.  But  for the level to be DECLINING  looks very much like proof of failure.

But I needed those elusive numbers to be certain of what was going on. And I did eventually find them at Mauna Loa. They give almost daily readings up to this year. I looked at the readings for three years, 1996, 2010 and this year.  I noted  that the readings in all three years  varied between around 230 to 270 Dobson units, according to the time of the year.  I saw no point in calculating exact averages as it was clear that, at this late stage when the effects of the CFC ban should long ago have cut in, essentially nothing was happening.  The ozone level may not have fallen in recent years but it is not dropping either. The predicted rise was not there.  The levels just bob up and down in the same old way within the same old range year after year

So it looks like the Montreal protocol did nothing.  The whole thing seems to have been wholly misconceived. The "science" behind it was apparently wrong.

Yet it was the "success" of the Montreal protocol that inspired the Greenie assault on CO2.  We have paid a big price for that hasty bit of scientific speculation.

Frustrated employees reveal the dumbest things their colleagues have ever said to them

One user, known only as GldRush98, told how one co-worker was convinced that 'If you went before a judge before taxes were due and recited a specific part of the tax code that you no longer had to pay taxes for that year.'

Mrs-machino said she was dumbfounded after one woman seemed to think humans breathe out pure helium. 'We were decorating for a party, blowing up balloons with our mouths,' she recalled. 'After a few she said, "Why aren't these floating? Did I buy the wrong kind?"'

Genericky told how their receptionist was somewhat confused about the process of sheep shearing. When told there were a lot of sheep in New Zealand, she replied: 'Ha! I bet they wear a lot of cotton then,' before adding: 'I think it's sad that they have to kill all those sheep just to make sweaters.' Her baffled colleague wrote: 'Apparently she thinks sheep are stuffed with cotton.'"


Monday, June 20, 2016

That pesky stratospheric cooling

We all live in the troposphere -- that part of the atmosphere that stretches from the sea surface upwards for about 10 miles.  The next big "sphere" as we go upward is the stratosphere.  And even Warmists agree that the stratosphere is COOLING. And "spheres" above the stratosphere are cooling too.

So does that not upset global warming theory?  No, say the Warmists.  Their whole theory is that various gases in the troposphere "trap" heat rising off the earth.  So that heat rising off the earth never reaches the stratosphere or higher.  So the more the troposphere traps the rising heat, so the stratosphere will cool.  It's a reasonable enough theory given Warmist assumptions.

And the big assumption is to conceive CO2 as forming some sort of blanket around the earth.  A blanket would indeed keep the heat in and deny it to the stratosphere.  But CO2 is NOT a blanket.  It is just lots of separate molecules jiggling away doing their own thing.  And ANY heated atmospheric molecule will emanate its radiation in ALL directions -- not just downward towards earth.  CO2 molecules  don't have little compasses in them telling them in which direction to focus their radiations.

So CO2 is not a blanket at all.  It will be just as likely to radiate upwards as downwards.  It will be just as likely to warm the stratosphere as the troposphere.  So once again Warmism is fundamentally flawed.  Their explanations are bunk. One could argue that upward radiation is blocked by that peculiar layer called the tropopause but if we argue that way, what do we need CO2 for?  The tropopause already does the blocking job that CO2 is supposed to do.  CO2 blocking becomes a surplus explanation that is put to death by Occam's razor.

It is true that stratospheric cooling could be due to the fact that most of the ozone is in the stratosphere. Ozone is that great stuff that soaks up most of the nasty UV radiation put out by the sun. I quote Dr. Jeffrey Masters, Director of Meteorology at  Weather Underground: "The main reason for the recent stratospheric cooling is due to the destruction of ozone by human-emitted CFC gases. Ozone absorbs solar UV radiation, which heats the surrounding air in the stratosphere. Loss of ozone means that less UV light gets absorbed, resulting in cooling of the stratosphere"

That seems precisely backwards to me.  It implies that CFC levels are rising, when the proud boast of the Greenies is to have cut them back.  He is talking about a steady process -- cooling -- and explains it by another steady process -- decreasing ozone.  But thanks to the heroic framers of the Montreal protocol, ozone levels should be RISING, not decreasing.

An explanation of cooling in terms of a recovery  of ozone might  make some sense:  CFC chemicals had destroyed a lot of the ozone so less of the UV was being blocked. The stratosphere got warmer than it should be. It wasn't blocking as much UV as it once did.  So heroic environmentalists  created the Montreal protocol which stopped human beings from manufacturing any more of the evil CFC stuff.  So the stratosphere has been cooling down from an abnormal high as CFCs diminish and ozone increases.

I don't like that explanation either but let's concede that some way or another ozone explains  stratospheric cooling.  The big problem is that if we go further up in the atmosphere, the ozone more or less vanishes but we still find cooling.

So what is the explanation for stratospheric cooling?

Can I say that I don't know?  What I do know is that the role of CO2 has been misconceived.  CO2 is a red herring.  It explains neither  tropospheric warming nor stratospheric cooling.

Is a confession of not having all the answers troubling?  It shouldn't be.  Such a confession is the starting point of all research.  I was amused by something Carl Mears said on his RSS site: "Climate models cannot explain this warming if human-caused increases in greenhouse gases are not included as input to the model simulation."

He seemed to think that was a decisive argument. Unexplained warming was anathema to him.  We MUST have an explanation, he seems to say.  But there is no such must.  Chemists once had an explanation for combustion that they thought was pretty good.  They thought that it consisted of the release of phlogiston.  Problem:  There is no such thing as phlogiston.  So I think Carl Mears is full of phlogiston

In fact, I think I do know what is happening with ozone and the stratosphere.  The key is to leave CFCs out of the picture. But I will leave that for tomorrow -- JR.

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).  <

Girl plucks massive catfish out of lake with her bare hands

While some people opt to use a line, hook, rod and reel when fishing, this girl did away with it all and impressively caught a massive catfish by using just her bare hands.

In video footage of the incredible catch, a girl called Hannah is seen submerging herself into a muddy lake for several seconds. She then comes out with a big smile on her face as she tosses the large catfish over her shoulder with most of her arm inside its mouth while the other is in its gill.  The girl flashes a big grin and is heard cheering after making the catch using the daring method called noodling, which is when flathead catfish are caught by hand.

During the process, noodlers wave their arms around in a catfish hole and if all goes according to plan, the fish will latch onto the arm as a defensive measure and the noodler can bring the fish in. The arm-as-bait method means the sport is not for the faint hearted.

(Catfish have only tiny teeth)


Sunday, June 19, 2016

A very angry woman writes:

"The horrific assassination of British MP Jo Cox should act as a caution for Anthony Watts and his personal vendetta against scientists, whose only "crime" is doing scientific research. He should be very wary of doing or writing anything that would lead one of his nutters to do something like that. I doubt he'll stop"


She claims that her blog is "not a high-brow blog" and it shows. She is just full of anger, in the common Leftist way. The anger seems to have flared up when she "was banned from the share trading forum, HotCopper" but for some unknown reason, the anger seems subsequently to have overflowed onto Anthony Watts. She is pretty obsessed by him. Just about everything he does is wrong, according to her. She is particularly steamed up about one of his more light-hearted posts -- about solar panels on Warmist roofs. A very strange lady

Note that Greenie concerns HAVE fuelled terrorism. Take the case of James Jay Lee, a Greenie who thought that the TV was not Green enough and that babies were "disgusting". Terrorist skeptics have yet to emerge, though.

Mystery of the bent trees

The mystery of the bent trees which are dotted all over the United States have baffled experts for decades. But now, one researcher is investigating the theory that the unusual trees are not a natural phenomena but a secret marker for Native Americans finding their way through the forests.

Dennis Downes heard stories growing up about the native tribes who once dwelled around Lake Michigan. More than a century ago, tribes would use hidden trails to find safe passage through the forests and across the water, Atlas Obscura reports. The Native Americans would cultivate young trees, bending them into shape to mark the path, Downes claims. And while the tribes may have long since vanished from the woods, the trees remain as markers to forgotten paths, from a largely forgotten way of life.  

Don Wells, whose Mountain Stewards began finding marker trees in Georgia around 2003, said that tribal elders have confirmed the practice used to be routine among Native Americans"

[There are bent trees in Poland too.  Polish Indians?]


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Global warming will make it too hot to work in the tropics

That's a reasonable summary of the long article below. It's complete nonsense.  And it's REALLY nonsense to pick 25°C as a cutoff point.  These guys know nothing of the tropics.

There are already highly productive agricultural industries in the tropics -- where I was born.  And we already cope with heat in the '30s (F '90s) with perfect ease.  And I can assure one and all that a couple of degrees hotter would make no difference.  We already have some super-hot days that we endure without blinking.  We are of course heat-adapted so what seems normal to us would seem stifling to people coming direct from a cool climate.

And, last I heard, a lot of our tractors still did not have air-conditioning!  And it's not just tractor drivers who work well in the conditions.  For years, my own father spent months cutting sugarcane every day -- just using a type of machete: Hard, dirty   outdoor manual labour under the bright tropical sun.

A sugarcane knife

LONDON—Climate change is likely to affect the global economy—and it may already have begun to affect raw material supplies from tropical regions, according to new research.

That is because, in a global economy, the flow of wealth depends on a secure supply chain, and productivity that depends on outdoor work in the tropics could become more precarious in a warming world.

Even in a temperate zone country such as Australia, researchers have linked heat extremes with economic losses. And climate-related disasters are on the increase, claiming not just lives but a growing economic toll.

Research has also indicated that, without drastic action, some regions may reach temperatures that could make them uninhabitable.

Heat exhaustion

But there is already evidence that at temperatures around or above 25°C, labour productivity declines. At significantly higher temperatures, heat exhaustion becomes a hazard. And if output falls at a source of materials, then workers far away who depend on those supplies will also see their productivity falter.

Two German scientists report in Science Advances journal that they tracked economic traffic from 26 industry sectors—including mining, quarrying, textiles, forestry and agriculture—all the way to final demand in 186 countries.

They matched temperature, population and global economic connections from 1991-2011, and then fed into their computer simulations the known consequences of heat stress on workers. Their finding was that interdependence had increased, and with this interdependence had come vulnerability.

“The structure of our economic system has changed in a way that production losses in one place can more easily cause further losses elsewhere”

The implication is that what might be bad news for workers in one region subjected to extremes of heat would ripple through the global market.

“Our study shows that, since the beginning of the 21st century, the structure of our economic system has changed in a way that production losses in one place can more easily cause further losses elsewhere,” says Leonie Wenz, a physics PhD student at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). “What is self-evident for us today is really a phenomenon of the last two decades.”

Worldwide repercussions

Single events – such as Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, which destroyed half the world’s production of coconut oil, a vegetable fat used in food production worldwide, and the 2011 Queensland flood in Australia that halted production at one of the world’s largest coal sites for weeks—have repercussions worldwide.

But smaller perturbations linked to heat stress for workers also impose costs far from the locale where the temperatures have soared.

“With unabated climate change, the rise in global mean temperature will have severe impacts on natural and societal systems,” says Anders Levermann, head of global adaptation strategies at PIK and adjunct senior research scientist Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in the US.

“To estimate the costs of future climate change, we need to assess global economic impacts of more frequent heat extremes and meteorological impacts, such as floods and storms, and understand their relation to the economic network’s structure.

“In a warming world with more intense weather extremes, it is likely that society needs to become more resilient and more flexible.”


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Maori cameraman uses a pair of SCISSORS to slice through 'uncuttable' ankle bracelets used to monitor prisoners

The New Zealand corrections department was left red-faced on live television when their new 'uncuttable' monitoring bracelets were cut through with a pair of paper scissors.

Rachel Leota, corrections deputy national commissioner, seemed very confident when she appeared on news program Story to discuss the bracelets, and even invited reporter Dan Parker to try and cut through it with a pair of paper scissors. Footage shows the reporter try to hack at the monitoring system and fail, before a strong cameraman appears on the side of the screen eager for a go.

In just three snips, cameraman Billy Weepu cut through the rubber and the thick wire. The reporters all looked to Ms Leota for comment, however she was speechless as the camera zoomed in on the open ankle bracelet.


Friday, June 17, 2016

Woman accused of sex with minor on church retreat seeks trial

A woman who pleaded no contest in July to having sex with a teen at a church retreat sought to withdraw her plea on Friday and send the case to a jury trial, San Mateo County prosecutors said.

Jameliah Bates, 35, was set to be sentenced to three years in prison Friday after she pleaded no contest to one count of lewd acts with a minor in a plea agreement reached in July, according to the district attorney’s office.

The alleged lewd conduct happened on a retreat in Sacramento organized by the South San Francisco-based Hope United Methodist Church in May 2013. There, prosecutors said Bates started to kiss a 14- or 15-year-old boy and the next day convinced him to have sex with her in a hotel room.

After the retreat, she kept in contact with the boy, becoming a trusted family friend and sent him text messages and naked photos, according to prosecutors.

She had sex with the boy again in June 2014. The victim told a cousin what happened and Bates was arrested and charged, prosecutors said.

The case went to trial once before, but Bates changed her plea to no contest on the first day. On Friday, she was given a new attorney as she sought to send the case back to trial.

A hearing on the motion to withdraw her plea was set for this Friday morning. She remains in custody on $500,000 bail.


Strange Rolls Royce

The world of autonomous vehicles just got a more luxurious, after Rolls-Royce unveiled a driverless super car of the future. It has dubbed its futuristic car, which looks like it could have come straight out of Batman's cave, the Rolls-Royce 103EX.

The front seat is replaced with a sofa-style body. It features an artificial intelligence-powered voice assistant named Eleanor. Rolls-Royce describes it as the 'ultimate concept car', in a rare insight into how the luxury vehicle maker sees the future of motoring.

The car was unveiled at a global event held in London today but the company said it may be another 25 years before it hits the road.  BMW, who own Rolls-Royce, said self-driving technology was still some way off being fully autonomous. During the event, the company cited legislative changes and more accurate maps as hurdles facing drivers"


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Warmists have no shame

The May global temperature has just been released and the article below is headlined: "Month Of May 2016 Continues Trend Of Record Heat, Possibly Proves Global Warming Is Happening".  So warming is still going on alarmingly, you would conclude from that.

That word "possibly" is wise, though.  Because the writer has ignored the really BIG feature of the May average global temperature.  According to the latest (revised) figures from GISS, here are the temps for this year:

Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr  May
112  133  128  109   93

El Nino peaked in February, March dropped a bit and April and May  dropped like a stone.  You would never guess it from the article briefly excerpted below but COOLING has begun. So much for the deceitful claim that May "Continues Trend Of Record Heat".  It doesn't continue anything.

The May temperature was actually less than one degree above the 1951-1980 base period -- just about back to the C21 norm.  And with a La Nina in the wings, the cooling is likely to go on.

This May temperature is not a seasonal effect.  This  is a global figure so the Northern hemisphere summer will be balanced out by winter in the Southern hemisphere, and vice versa

The month of May 2016 is not only the beginning of Summer for many around the world. It is now officially the warmest May in recorded history. This may not seem like such bad news after such a chilly winter, but it could be an indication that former Vice President Al Gore was right.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Teenage girl had sex with young boy in a car on a beach and engaged in sex acts with underage girls

"A teenage girl who had sex with a young boy in a car on a beach and engaged in sex acts with underage girls - before claiming 'age is just a number' - has been spared jail.

Scarlet Drury, 19, of Skelton-in-Cleveland, North Yorkshire, committed sex offences against three underage children when she was 17 and 18. She had sex with a teenage boy on Redcar beach after drinking alcohol and was repeatedly seen kissing, cuddling and taking part in sexual activity with the two teenage girls.

Drury admitted five charges of sexual activity with a child and one of taking a child without lawful authority – and received a one-year prison sentence suspended for two years.

Drury defied child abduction notices banning her from communicating with the girls. When challenged, she said: ‘I know it's wrong and the police are taking me to court. I'm probably going to jail for it. I'll still do it when I get out.’

The court was told how one of the girls was said to be nervous and paranoid, blamed herself for what happened, struggled emotionally to accept it and isolated herself from her family.

Concerns had been raised about reports of sexual activity at Drury's flat when it was alleged children went to the property in school uniforms and there was alcohol and cannabis there.

Jo Kidd, defending, said Drury was a young, vulnerable woman who had battled hard in the last 18 months with drugs and alcohol. She said Drury was very sorry and would not offend again.

Judge Tony Briggs told her: ‘You've had a very tragic past for which you are in no way responsible.

‘You lived with your mother who was ill and then lived with your father but he was, unhappily, addicted to drugs and alcohol and introduced you to these substances. You relied on these substances from your very early teens.

'You were in a very powerless state indeed. All this happened a considerable time ago, two years since the last offence.’

The judge gave Drury a one-year custodial sentence suspended for two years with a year's supervision and a five-year sexual harm prevention order.


Global warming is causing a 'fundamental change' in the world's weather UN warns

The article below is founded on a lie.  It is true that the world has experienced unusually warm weather lately but how much of it was caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions and how much was caused by El Nino?  The authors below pooh pooh El Nino and assert that it was mostly caused by CO2.  But how much?  Real scientists use numbers.  But we note with great surprise that no number is given for the percentage of the warming that was due to CO2.  How come?  Because NONE of it was caused by CO2.

The Mauna Loa CO2 record seems to be the one most referred to by Warmists so I have for some time been greatly amused by what it shows for 2015, that "record" year for warming, according to Warmists.  So I have decided to take a screen capture of it.  See below.

The 4th column is the actual average CO2 level in ppm.  As you can see, the actual CO2 levels just bobbed up and down around 400ppm, showing that CO2 levels plateaued during that year.  There was no overall change.  There were slight increases but also slight decreases.

So it is perfectly clear that this "warmest" year was NOT caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions rising -- because total CO2 levels did not rise.  ALL the warming was due to natural factors, principally El Nino.

Instead of crowing that it proved their theory, Warmists should be in deep despond that this "warmest" year was TOTALLY natural.  CO2 levels did nothing.  Once again, there was no linkage between temperature and CO2 levels.  The facts are totally at odds with Warmism

But what about 2016, the tail end of the El Nino event?  It was just as amusing, though in an opposite sort of way

The NOAA figures from Mauna Loa, showed  a LEAP in CO2 levels this year.  Where December 2015 ended up on an average of 401.85 ppm, April averaged 407.42.  That's twice as big as most annual increases.

So, on Warmist theory, temperatures should have leaped too over that same period.  In fact they remained absolutely flat. GISS shows a January temperature anomaly of 1.11 degrees Celsius and April shows an anomaly of exactly the same!  You couldn't make it up! When the temperature rose in 2015, CO2  levels did not.  And when CO2 levels did rise in 2016, temperature did not.  There was a complete disconnect between CO2 and temperature in both records

The U.N. weather agency is warning of 'fundamental change' afoot in the global climate and continued warming, accompanied recently by unusually high rainfall in parts of the US and Europe.

The World Meteorological Organization cited data released by Nasa showing that this May was the hottest on record, and the Northern Hemisphere spring has been the hottest spring ever.

WMO global climate director Dr. David Carlson said the new data showed 370 straight months of warm or warmer-than-average temperatures worldwide.

'The state of the climate so far this year gives us much cause for alarm,' said Carlson. The first four months of 2016 were the warmest globally in 136 years.

'Exceptionally high temperatures. Ice melt rates in March and May that we don't normally see until July. Once-in-a-generation rainfall events. The super El Niño is only partly to blame. Abnormal is the new normal.'

Now dissipated, the El Nino weather pattern factored into 2016's record-setting heat, but meteorologists say greenhouse gases emitted from human activities remain the underlying cause.

The Arctic in particular experienced abnormal heat, causing Arctic sea ice and the Greenland ice sheet to start melting unusually early, said Nasa.

Alaska recorded its warmest spring on record by a wide margin, and in Finland the average May temperature was between three and five degrees warmer than usual in most regions, according to data from the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

'The rapid changes in the Arctic are of particular concern.

May's exceptional warmth was accompanied by extreme weather events including abnormally heavy rains throughout Europe and the southern United States.

From 28 to 31 May, France witnessed exceptional rainfall. For instance, the department of Loiret saw 92.9 mm in 3 days which is without precedent in the past 30 years. Such amounts are only seen once every 10-50 years according to Météo-France. Paris received 3 months worth of rainfall in a month and May was the wettest month since 1960.

Southeast Texas had record flooding. An additional 2-5 inches of rain in the last 24 hours in Southeast Texas where intense storms in the previous 24 hours had totals exceeding 10 inches is causing record floods.

Australia had its warmest autumn on record at 1.86 °C above average, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

More than 53% of the country experienced highest on record mean temperatures, because of strong El Niño Water temperatures to the north and northwest of Australia.

Strong El Nino temperatures did cause more than 53 percent of Australia to experience its warmest autumn on record.

May's exceptional warmth was accompanied by extreme weather events including abnormally heavy rains throughout Europe and the southern United States, as well as 'widespread and severe' coral reef bleaching.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is expected to announce complete global May temperature records in the coming days.

Recent predictions by US scientists anticipate that 2016 will go down as Earth's hottest year on record—on the heels of record-setting years in 2014 and 2015.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Why is it that only a tiny minority of Western Muslims take up terrorism?

The orthodox answer is the risible claim that "Islam is a religion of peace" and that the jihadis are perverting their religion to make it condone violence.

I have read the Koran, keep my copy of it handy and from time to time check in it to confirm that it says the things that people say it says.  And there can be no doubt that is a document of hate -- hate for non-Muslims.  It is suffused with anger.  And its commands to attack and subdue unbelievers are clear.

So why do most Muslims in the Western world NOT go on Jihad?  Why do they ignore the clear precepts of their holy book?  They wage ferocious religious wars in their Middle East heartland so why do they mostly go quiet among us?  I think it is because they actually like the comforts of life in the West and know that anyone who goes on Jihad here will certainly end up dead.

Our good lifestyle has corrupted them.  As it has done for Christians, a soft modern lifestyle has defused religious passions.  For social reasons, many modern day Muslims may go to the Mosque on Friday but their degree of religious committment is probably little different from the degree of committment to their religion that is observable in modern-day adherents of the Church of England.  Anglican bishops 400 years ago were burnt at the stake for their religion but the only burning to bother them these days would be burnt toast.

So what is to be done to stop the terrorist attacks?

Before I answer that I reproduce below a comment from here that gives chapter and verse for what the Koran says:

The Quran is divided into the Meccan Quran and the Medinan Quran. The Meccan Quran contains some peaceful verses Q 2:256; 5:32; 3:64; 4:56; 109. But each of these Meccan verses was revealed when Muhammad was weak.

When Muhammad went on hijra to Medina and established the first Islamic State he revealed the full Quran containing the sharia law mandate to use violent jihad, terrorism, subversion, hijra (hostile migration and demography) and dawa to subjugate all people to sharia.

The war doctrine and mandate to govern globally is contained in very clear verses of the Quran 2:190-3; 8:12; 8:39; 8:60; 9:05; 9:29; 9:111 and 47:4.  But here is the point. It is very clear sharia law that the later Medinan Quran abrogates the earlier Meccan one - So that the peaceful verses are replaced by the imperialist ones. The doctrine of abrogation is ­a mainstream interpretation not simply a minority interpretation.

The mandate to jihad for the global caliphate is not simply a minority interpretation. It is the very clear word of the Quran. It is mandatory for all sharia compliant Muslims. The Quran makes clear that all Muslims must follow sharia law to the letter and engage in jihad (Q 9:111; 2:216; 33:36).

Thankfully however, many Muslims do not follow this clear command, and a small number of reformist Muslims admit that this command to jihad exists but do not follow it and in fact renounce it – making them technically apostates for which the sharia law punishment is death

A proven solution

The Western world has faced this problem before and defeated it.  I refer to the fanatical religious code known as Bushido in Japan.  Japanese warriors in WWII make Jihadis look like children playing games.  Many armies have claimed that they will fight to the death but only the Japanese have ever done it.  So why did they suddenly cave in and surrender, thus abandoning everything they stood for?

Nuclear weapons.  The Hiroshima and Nagasaki blasts subdued one of the most ferocious religions the world has ever seen.  They would work just as well with the Muslims.  Take out one of their holy cities with a small nuclear device and then keep taking out the rest of their holy cities until attacks on the West cease.

The firebrand Muslim preachers would rapidly lose their fire and counsel restraint instead of Jihad.  It would certainly make them angry but the threat to their religion would trump that.  As their holy cities vaporize, it would powerfully suggest itself to everyone that Allah is not on the side of the Muslims, thus threatening the very foundation of their religion.  The mullahs could not afford that and would go to great lengths to limit the carnage.

I don't think Trump will do it but one day someone will.  I see no other solution -- JR.

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Children reveal their hilarious life goals - including learning to fly, working in a supermarket and never getting married

Images circulating the web show some youngsters' dreams in life are either unrealistic or hilariously mundane. From a large number of little boys hoping to become Batman to the wish to turn into an inanimate object - such as a potato - these children won't let anything stand in the way of their ambitions, including all sense and reason.

 One blond-haired little boy is after the good life, treats and presumably lots of long walks. He is hoping to become a dog when he grows up. Another boy, whose hobbies include playing tag and catch, wishes nothing more than to grow up and work in this local supermarket. His goal reads: 'In 20 years I'll be 32 years old and working in KMart'.

Another boy hope to tackle a lack of ethnic diversity in the Marvel Comics universe by becoming Black Spider-Man. It's the simple life for another child. When they grow up they hope to be a person who cleans tables"


Lezzos do it too

West Australia:

A FEMALE schoolteacher has appeared in court accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old student over 10 months and possession of child exploitation images and video.

The 26-year-old woman was charged last month with 23 sexual offences committed against a 15-year-old girl between July last year and May, including sexual penetration and indecent dealing with a child.

A new charge of possessing child exploitation material was revealed on Tuesday.

Police said hundreds of child exploitation images and videos, allegedly recorded during the same period as the other offending, were found on electronic devices during a search of her Forrestfield home last month.

The woman, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the child, appeared in Midland Magistrates Court on Tuesday but was not required to enter a plea and is due back in court on July 12.

Child Abuse Squad detectives said the girl was 15 at the time of the first offence and the woman was the girl’s teacher.

The woman faces 15 counts of sexual penetration of a child over 13 years and under 16 years; two counts of sexual penetration of a child over 16 years under her authority; five counts of indecently dealing with a child over 13 years and under 16 years; and one count of persistent sexual conduct with a child under 16 years.

Child Abuse Squad Detectives executed a search warrant at the woman’s Forrestfield home on Saturday, May 28 and allegedly seized a number of electronic devices.

Police allegedly found 104 Category 1 child exploitation images; 11 Category 3 child exploitation material images and two Category 3 child exploitation videos.

It will be alleged the child exploitation material was recorded between July 2015 and May 2016.


Monday, June 13, 2016

Not all homophobias are equal

"There's good homophobia and bad homophobia.  Muslim homophobias are good homophobias.  They can't help it. It's part of their  religion.  And if the phobic one is from a poor group and is a registered Democrat to boot, we must totally forgive him.  And for the sake of his family, we must limit all publicity as far as possible"

Does that sound like a sane response to the Orlando massacre?  I wrote it as a prediction of what Leftists will say about the matter.  I read a lot of Leftist stuff so know the sort of thing they say. So we will see.  The fact that the victims were mostly minorities might slow them down a bit, though.

UPDATE:  I wasn't cynical enough above.  Below is an actual and quite deranged Leftist response:

Christian conservatives are responsible for the mass shooting at a gay bar in Orlando because they "created this anti-queer climate," according to American Civil Liberties Union attorneys.

"You know what is gross — your thoughts and prayers and Islamophobia after you created this anti-queer climate," ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio tweeted on Sunday morning.

But Strangio — who "spend[s his] life fighting Christian homophobia while being loved & supported by [his] Muslim family" — and his colleagues connected the shooting back to Christians and Republican politicians who oppose gay marriage. "The Christian Right has introduced 200 anti-LGBT bills in the last six months and people blaming Islam for this," Strangio tweeted. "No."


One wonders how he explains Muslims in the Middle East throwing gays off buildings

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The psychology of conservatives

Some psychometric observations

Powerline has up a fun story which is rather long and quote-heavy so I will not reproduce it in full.  But here is the opening paragraph:

"Hoo-wee, the New York Times will really have to extend itself to top the boner and mother-of-all-corrections at the American Journal of Political Science. This is the journal that published a finding much beloved of liberals a few years back that purported to find scientific evidence that conservatives are more likely to exhibit traits associated with psychoticism, such as authoritarianism and tough-mindedness, and that the supposed “authoritarian” personality of conservatives might even have a genetic basis (and therefore be treatable someday?). Settle in with a cup or glass of your favorite beverage, and get ready to enjoy one of the most epic academic face plants ever"

It turns out that the authors got their statistics back to front.  What they said was true of conservatives was actually true of liberals and vice versa.  The article was titled: "Correlation not Causation: The Relationship between Personality Traits and Political Ideologies"

If you look closely at the findings, however, it doesn't much matter either way.  The only correlations of some note were between politics and Eysenck's P scale -- correlations explaining around 12% of the variance. Correlations of that magnitude could be of interest but in this case, the problem actually is the P scale.  It has poor reliability and originates as a set of "leftover" items in a factor analysis yielding two main factors.  In my research I have found internal reliabilities for it of as low as .40, which is way below the normal criteria for measuring anything.  What correlations with it mean is therefore hard to say.  You would have to do an item-by-item analysis to find out what was really going on.  As a scale, however, it is of doubtful meaning and proves nothing certain.

And given the known psychometric weakness of the P scale, the authors were quite remiss not to report any reliability data for the scale in their use of it.

The authors also reported various correlations with neuroticism but such correlations are all over the place.  Sometimes conservatives are found to be slightly more neurotic and sometimes it is liberals. And mostly it is neither. Again, however, there is a large problem with the measuring instrument used.  The Eysenck N scale is one-way-worded, which can greatly distort the score on it.  When I used a scale to neuter that problem, I found (in a community sample) no correlation between neuroticism and politics.

Finally the authors report some slight correlations with social desirability responding.  What these mean is also obscure.  Social desirability scales can collapse into complete  unreliability sometimes -- but, far from giving us reliabilty data, the authors do not even tell us which of the several available scales they use.  I will not therefore attempt any interpretation of their findings

In short, both in its initial and revised form, the report is pure junk.  Hatemi and Eaves are generally good scholars but they seem to have fallen into a trap common among psychologists -- treating a measuring instrument as a black box -- without making any enquiry about what is going on inside it.

So all we have is another episode in the long tradition of doing junk research to examine the psychology of politics.  That Leftism is the politics of hate is just too unpleasant for most people to face.

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

West Bend woman convicted of sex with 13-year-old boy

A 27-year-old West Bend [Wisconsin] woman who said she was in love with a 13-year-old neighbor has been convicted of felony sexual assault for two encounters with him at her apartment last year.

A jury late Tuesday found Christine Spoo guilty of two counts of sexual assault of a child after a two-day trial, during which both she and the victim testified. She faces up to 25 years in prison on each count at her sentencing in March.

According to the criminal complaint, the victim told a West Bend police detective that he had moved in with his mother in February 2015 and met Spoo, who lived nearby with her own 4-year-old son.

The boy said he began spending lots of time at Spoo's apartment, sometimes over night, and the two began falling in love. He described two incidents in March when they had unprotected sex in her apartment.

Spoo told the detective she cared deeply for the boy and admitted he spent lots of time at her apartment, watching TV and playing video games, but she initially denied having a sexual relationship.

But after detectives explained the boy's detailed recounting of the encounters, Spoo began to cry and said the boy was very manipulative and tricked her into having sex.

She also said she was in love and wanted a relationship with the boy but knew he was too young. She was charged in April and remained free on $1,000 bail until the guilty verdicts were returned late Tuesday.


Bungling bicycle thief gets lassoed by horse-riding Oregon cowboy in Wal-Mart car park

"A bike thief in Eagle Point, Oregon got some old-fashioned frontier justice Friday when a passing cowboy chased him on horseback across a Wal-Mart car park and brought him down with a lasso. Victorino Arellano-Sanchez, 23, found himself pursued by Robert Borba, 28, who was nicknamed 'The Lone Ranger' by spectators.

The debacle began when Arellano-Sanchez attempted to steal a mountain bike from a woman in front of the Wal-Mart. But Borba  brought his horse, Long John, out of his trailer and saddled up. The BMX bandit, who was struggling with the gears on the bike, decided to flee on foot at this point, but that only made it easier for Borba to use his lasso to bring the man down.

Borba is a former rodeo star and now works as a rancher"



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