Monday, October 31, 2016

Leftist logic

Facts and reason are so regularly subversive to Green/Left  claims that it is always amusing to read the commentaries they put up.  How do they get around  the pesky facts? Mainly by telling just half the truth.  There is a good example below.  The article was headed: "A New American Low: One Rule For The Whites, Another For Its First Peoples".  It's a desperate attempt to connect two totally unconnected things.  The article below is from "New Matilda" but there have been similar articles in "The Guardian" and some other Leftist organs.

The first thing covered below is the dispersal of protesters occupying private land in order to block construction of the Dakota access pipeline.  The pipeline is an important piece of infrastructure that will enable domestically produced crude oil from North Dakota to reach major refining markets in a more direct, cost-effective, safer and environmentally responsible manner. The pipeline will also reduce the current use of rail and truck transportation.  There is of course no mention of the environmental and safety benefits of the pipeline below.

The key claim, however, is that the removal of the "Sioux" protesters shows bias against these wonderful native people who mainly live on the taxpayer these days.  Whites would have been treated better, is the claim.  Again something is not mentioned -- something that completely blows apart the accusation of bias:  Most of the protesters were white, not Sioux!  And exactly the same methods were used to disperse both groups.  Both Sioux and whites were treated equally!  What a laugh!  Leftists quite cheerfully lie in their teeth.

The second event covered below is the exoneration of the Bundy brothers.  Sit-ins and protests are fine if you are black, Leftist or some other favoured group but sit-ins and protests by white ranchers protesting government oppression get absolutely NO sympathy below.  That good ol' double standard again. Apparently, the wrongness of what the Bundys did arises solely from their whiteness!  Just the usual Leftist obsession with race

Forget the US presidential race. Over the weekend, two things happened in the USA that define the nation better than a sexual assaulting Republican candidate and a deeply corrupt Democrat ever could.

The story goes like this: Protestors from the Sioux Nation, along with a growing band of supporters, have been facing off with state police against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in Standing Rock, North Dakota.

The pipeline is to carry oil, and traditional owners say it threatens lives and livelihoods, because of its proximity to the Missouri River, the life blood of a huge section of north and central America and the major river system that feeds into the Mississippi.

Over the weekend, about 250 protestors were outnumbered by more than 300 police, armed to teeth and driving armoured cars, Humvees and helicopters.

The police moved in – dozens of protestors were arrested, and some of them shot with rubber bullets, including this guy, who copped one in the face.

The situation is so grave, that Amnesty International has committed to sending impartial observers.

At the same time, a Portland (Oregon) jury came in with a verdict on the armed occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Reserve, which took place in January this year.

On January 2, dozens of heavily armed (predominantly white) ‘ranchers’ overran the government compound, and seized it in a coup that eventually led to one man being shot by police, and dozens arrested.

On Friday, seven of the white nationalist extremists, led by Ammon and Ryan Bundy, were acquitted of all charges of impeding federal officers in their duties. The jury was all white.

This despite an armed stand-off that lasted weeks, and included a call out from the terrorists for people to send “snacks”.

It’s not clear what, if any, effect the two incidents will have on the US presidential election. But more than likely, it’ll be none. Business as usual.


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Do cranberries prevent burny pees?

There has been popular support for cranberries helping with urinary tract infections for a very long time.  But the research findings have been uneven. There has therefore been a wish for studies which would settle the question for once and for all. The abstract of the latest study is below.

It is undoubtedly a well-conducted study and a contemporaneous review has used it as something of a final nail in the coffin of clinical use of cranberry juice.

I wish to prise that nail out of the coffin, in part because I have personally found cranberry juice to be very efficacious. It doesn't happen often but, if I get a twinge of UTI, I rapidly belt a couple of mouthfuls of supermarket cranberry juice into me and the problem disappears.

So why is my experience different from what we read in the report below?  Several reasons.  For a start, I am not a sick and elderly woman living in a Connecticut nursing home.  More importantly, however, I take the juice as a cure, not as a preventive.  Its effects could wear off if you take it all the time.  Cranberries may not be able to prevent UTI but they could cure it.

I am also concerned that most of the studies administer the stuff in capsule form rather than as a drink. As a much-published academic researcher myself, I know exactly why they do that.  It enables standardization and replicability.  But what if the scientific precautions damage the effect?  What if capsules are not a good way of delivering the power of the cranberry?  To put it in academic terms, what if the finding is an artifact of the experimental method? What if capsules have processed all the goodness out of the cranberries? Health researchers are loud and frequent in condemning processed food generally, so how come cranberry capsules get a pass?

So it is my conclusion that most of the studies, including the one below, have been incautious despite themselves and have not examined the question adequately.  Drink up your cranberry juice!

Effect of Cranberry Capsules on Bacteriuria Plus Pyuria Among Older Women in Nursing Homes: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Manisha Juthani-Mehta et al.


Importance:  Bacteriuria plus pyuria is highly prevalent among older women living in nursing homes. Cranberry capsules are an understudied, nonantimicrobial prevention strategy used in this population.

Objective:  To test the effect of 2 oral cranberry capsules once a day on presence of bacteriuria plus pyuria among women residing in nursing homes.

Design, Setting, and Participants:  Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled efficacy trial with stratification by nursing home and involving 185 English-speaking women aged 65 years or older, with or without bacteriuria plus pyuria at baseline, residing in 21 nursing homes located within 50 miles (80 km) of New Haven, Connecticut (August 24, 2012-October 26, 2015).

Interventions:  Two oral cranberry capsules, each capsule containing 36 mg of the active ingredient proanthocyanidin (ie, 72 mg total, equivalent to 20 ounces of cranberry juice) vs placebo administered once a day in 92 treatment and 93 control group participants.

Main Outcomes and Measures:  Presence of bacteriuria (ie, at least 105 colony-forming units [CFUs] per milliliter of 1 or 2 microorganisms in urine culture) plus pyuria (ie, any number of white blood cells on urinalysis) assessed every 2 months over the 1-year study surveillance; any positive finding was considered to meet the primary outcome. Secondary outcomes were symptomatic urinary tract infection (UTI), all-cause death, all-cause hospitalization, all multidrug antibiotic–resistant organisms, antibiotics administered for suspected UTI, and total antimicrobial administration.

Results  Of the 185 randomized study participants (mean age, 86.4 years [SD, 8.2], 90.3% white, 31.4% with bacteriuria plus pyuria at baseline), 147 completed the study. Overall adherence was 80.1%. Unadjusted results showed the presence of bacteriuria plus pyuria in 25.5% (95% CI, 18.6%-33.9%) of the treatment group and in 29.5% (95% CI, 22.2%-37.9%) of the control group. The adjusted generalized estimating equations model that accounted for missing data and covariates showed no significant difference in the presence of bacteriuria plus pyuria between the treatment group vs the control group (29.1% vs 29.0%; OR, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.61-1.66; P = .98). There were no significant differences in number of symptomatic UTIs (10 episodes in the treatment group vs 12 in the control group), rates of death (17 vs 16 deaths; 20.4 vs 19.1 deaths/100 person-years; rate ratio [RR], 1.07; 95% CI, 0.54-2.12), hospitalization (33 vs 50 admissions; 39.7 vs 59.6 hospitalizations/100 person-years; RR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.32-1.40), bacteriuria associated with multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacilli (9 vs 24 episodes; 10.8 vs 28.6 episodes/100 person-years; RR, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.10-1.46), antibiotics administered for suspected UTIs (692 vs 909 antibiotic days; 8.3 vs 10.8 antibiotic days/person-year; RR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.44-1.33), or total antimicrobial utilization (1415 vs 1883 antimicrobial days; 17.0 vs 22.4 antimicrobial days/person-year; RR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.46-1.25).

Conclusions and Relevance:  Among older women residing in nursing homes, administration of cranberry capsules vs placebo resulted in no significant difference in presence of bacteriuria plus pyuria over 1 year.

JAMA. Published online October 27, 2016. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.16141

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Why does our planet experience an ice age every 100,000 years?

More Warmist rubbish -- confusing cause and effect again. Of course there was more CO2 dissolved in the oceans during cooler periods.  That is what cooler water does.  It dissolves more CO2.  Your Coca Cola would not fizz otherwise. So they really have no causal explanation at all for the matter they discuss

I add the journal abstract following the popular summary below.  The opening comments of the abstract indicate that the period of cyclicity was cooler  as a whole.  I quote: "The ~100 k.y. cyclicity of the late Pleistocene ice ages started during the mid-Pleistocene transition (MPT), as ice sheets became larger and persisted for longer"

Only a carefully dated tabulation of temperature and CO2 levels showing which changes came first could establish the theory they offer. They offer nothing of that sort.  They report on CO2 proxies only

Experts from Cardiff University have offered up an explanation as to why our planet began to move in and out of ice ages every 100,000 years.

This mysterious phenomena, dubbed the ‘100,000 year problem’, has been occurring for the past million years or so and leads to vast ice sheets covering North America, Europe and Asia. Up until now, scientists have been unable to explain why this happens.

Our planet’s ice ages used to occur at intervals of every 40,000 years, which made sense to scientists as the Earth’s seasons vary in a predictable way, with colder summers occurring at these intervals.

However there was a point, about a million years ago, called the ‘Mid-Pleistocene Transition’, in which the ice age intervals changed from every 40,000 years to every 100,000 years.

New research published today in the journal Geology has suggested the oceans may be responsible for this change, specifically in the way that they suck carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere.

By studying the chemical make-up of tiny fossils on the ocean floor, the team discovered that there was more CO2 stored in the deep ocean during the ice age periods at regular intervals every 100,000 years.

This suggests that extra carbon dioxide was being pulled from the atmosphere and into the oceans at this time, subsequently lowering the temperature on Earth and enabling vast ice sheets to engulf the Northern Hemisphere.

Lead author of the research Professor Carrie Lear, from the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, said: “We can think of the oceans as inhaling and exhaling carbon dioxide, so when the ice sheets are larger, the oceans have inhaled carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, making the planet colder. When the ice sheets are small, the oceans have exhaled carbon dioxide, so there is more in the atmosphere which makes the planet warmer.

“By looking at the fossils of tiny creatures on the ocean floor, we showed that when ice sheets were advancing and retreating every 100,000 years the oceans were inhaling more carbon dioxide in the cold periods, suggesting that there was less left in the atmosphere.”

Marine algae play a key role in removing CO2 from the atmosphere as it is an essential ingredient of photosynthesis.

CO2 is put back into the atmosphere when deep ocean water rises to the surface through a process called upwelling, but when a vast amount of sea ice is present this prevents the CO2 from being exhaled, which could make the ice sheets bigger and prolong the ice age.

“If we think of the oceans inhaling and exhaling carbon dioxide, the presence of vast amounts of ice is like a giant gobstopper. It’s like a lid on the surface of the ocean,” Prof Lear continued.

The Earth’s climate is currently in a warm spell between glacial periods. The last ice age ended about 11,000 years ago. Since then, temperatures and sea levels have risen, and ice caps have retreated back to the poles. In addition to these natural cycles, manmade carbon emissions are also having an effect by warming the climate.


Breathing more deeply: Deep ocean carbon storage during the mid-Pleistocene climate transition

Lear, Caroline et al.


The ~100 k.y. cyclicity of the late Pleistocene ice ages started during the mid-Pleistocene transition (MPT), as ice sheets became larger and persisted for longer. The climate system feedbacks responsible for introducing this nonlinear ice sheet response to orbital variations in insolation remain uncertain. Here we present benthic foraminiferal stable isotope (d18O, d13C) and trace metal records (Cd/Ca, B/Ca, U/Ca) from Deep Sea Drilling Project Site 607 in the North Atlantic. During the onset of the MPT, glacial-interglacial changes in d13C values are associated with changes in nutrient content and carbonate saturation state, consistent with a change in water mass at our site from a nutrient-poor northern source during inter- glacial intervals to a nutrient-rich, corrosive southern source during glacial intervals. The respired carbon content of glacial Atlantic deep water increased across the MPT. Increased dominance of corrosive bottom waters during glacial intervals would have raised mean ocean alkalinity and lowered atmospheric pCO2. The amplitude of glacial-interglacial changes in d13C increased across the MPT, but this was not mirrored by changes in nutrient content. We interpret this in terms of air-sea CO2 exchange effects, which changed the d13C signature of dissolved inorganic carbon in the deep water mass source regions. Increased sea ice cover or ocean strati cation during glacial times may have reduced CO2 outgassing in the Southern Ocean, providing an additional mechanism for reducing glacial atmospheric pCO2. Conversely, following the establishment of the ~100 k.y. glacial cycles, d13C of interglacial northern-sourced waters increased, perhaps re ecting reduced invasion of CO2 into the North Atlantic following the MPT.


Thursday, October 27, 2016

Do religious people understand the world LESS? Study claims belief in God makes you struggle with reality

Annika M. Svedholm-Häkkinen is a prolific publisher on religious matters but this piece suggests to me that she knows very little of Christianity:  A rather large lacuna, one would think. Her findings below sound methodologically acceptable but her interpretation of them is naive.  

She falls victim to the logical fallacy that correlation is causation.  She thinks that the unscientific thinking of Christians lies behind their poor knowledge of science.  It probably does, but not in the way she thinks.  Her clear opinion is that her findings show Christians as a bit dumb and intellectually deficient -- with those limitations also explaining their religiousness.  So once again we have Leftist academics trying to show that religion is stupid (Islam excepted, of course).

But an equally possible interpretation of the findings is that faith leads to reduced interest in science. Annika M. Svedholm-Häkkinen is apparently unaware that Christ said, "My kingdom is not of this world" and that Christians follow on from that by slighting physical world matters in favour of an interest in what they see as metaphysical matters.

I am an extreme atheist.  I agree with Carnap that all metaphysical statements are meaningless.  But that is just my opinion. Most of the world does find some metaphysical statements persuasive.  So we will have situations where a Christian spends his time on his knees in prayer rather than hunched over a laboratory bench. The Bible will be of interest where a  Bunsen burner is not. And both will learn different things from those different experiences

So I would argue that the results tell us only that Christians and unbelievers have different interests.  They do not tell us anything about mental inadequacies in religious believers.

I am just speaking basic science is saying that we would need some sort of before and after experiment to isolate the causal direction. A survey cannot do that

I have added the journal abstract after the summary below

A new study has suggested that religious people are more likely to have a poor understanding of the world.

It claims that those with a belief in God are more likely to think that inanimate objects, such as metal and oil can think and feel.

Researchers say that the findings suggest people's lack of understanding about the physical world means they apply their own rules, 'resulting in belief in demons, gods, and other supernatural phenomena'.

The study comes from the University of Helsinki, where researchers went as far as comparing religious people with those with autism, after finding they struggle to understand the realities of the world.

People with strong religious beliefs tended to have a worse understanding of physical phenomenon, such as volcanoes and wind, and were more likely to believe that inanimate objects can think and feel.

For example, religious people tended to agree with statements such as 'stones sense the cold.'

Marjaana Lindeman and Annika Svedholm-Häkkinen, who led the study, told The Independent: 'The more the participants believed in religious or other paranormal phenomena, the lower their intuitive physics skills, mechanical and mental rotation abilities, school grades in mathematics and physics, and knowledge about physical and biological phenomena were.'

The study involved 258 Finnish participants, who were asked how much they agreed with the statement 'there exists an all-powerful, all-knowing, loving God' and if they believed in paranormal phenomena such as ghosts and psychic visions.

They were also tested on a range of other topics, including intuitive physics skills and understanding of basic biology.

The results showed that religious people tend to base their actions on instinct, rather than analytical thinking.

A study in 2013 by researchers at the University of Rochester suggested that religious people tend to have a lower IQ.

It suggested that those with high IQs had greater self-control and were able to do more for themselves - so did not need the benefits that religion provides.

But other studies have also found the religious people tend to be happier than those who do not believe in God.


Does Poor Understanding of Physical World Predict Religious and Paranormal Beliefs?

Marjaana Lindeman and Annika M. Svedholm-Häkkinen


Although supernatural beliefs often paint a peculiar picture about the physical world, the possibility that the beliefs might be based on inadequate understanding of the non-social world has not received research attention. In this study (N = 258), we therefore examined how physical-world skills and knowledge predict religious and paranormal beliefs. The results showed that supernatural beliefs correlated with all variables that were included, namely, with low systemizing, poor intuitive physics skills, poor mechanical ability, poor mental rotation, low school grades in mathematics and physics, poor common knowledge about physical and biological phenomena, intuitive and analytical thinking styles, and in particular, with assigning mentality to non-mental phenomena. Regression analyses indicated that the strongest predictors of the beliefs were overall physical capability (a factor representing most physical skills, interests, and knowledge) and intuitive thinking style.

issue TOC Volume 30, Issue 5, September/October 2016, Pages 736–742

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A Perth chef has created a 28kg sculpture of an exotic dragon made entirely from margarine

Angela Stanfield, who works as an apprentice chef at Crown Perth, created the 28kg sculpture for an international culinary competition in Germany, reported WA Today. The sculpture is of a dragon with large feathery wings and a curled tail, crouching next to another sculpture of a gnarled tree with golden eggs sitting at its base.

The 20-year-old took part in the World IKA Culinary Olympics along with seven other chefs as part of the WA Youth Culinary team. Despite it being only her second attempt at the art of margarine sculpting, Ms Stanfield won a bronze medal for her creation.


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Drunk leftist launches peanut butter assault on what she thought was a Trump rally

Unfortunately for Wisconsin liberal Christina Ferguson, she was so drunk that what she attacked was actually a local environmentalist event. The hilariously inept episode of liberal rage started at 9:30 p.m., when Ferguson barged into a meeting of the Tomorrow River Conservation Club, a local environmentalist group.

Witness tell police Ferguson began screaming about how much she hated Donald Trump. According to the Portage County Sheriff Department’s report, she was holding a “family-size jar of low-sodium, creamy natural Jif.”

She was asked to leave the meeting, but attendees decided to check the parking lot to “make sure she wasn’t doing anything to their vehicles after leaving,” the Independent reports. They found Ferguson smearing peanut butter on cars, still convinced she was seeing Trump supporters.


Married female teacher, 33, at elite Sydney Grammar 'had sex four times with 17-year-old male student at the school and twice at her home'

An elite private school female teacher, 33, allegedly had sex with a 17-year-old boy six times.

The pair allegedly had sex four times at the school, Sydney Grammar in Darlinghurst, and at her home twice during their relationship between January and March this year, The Daily Telegraph reported.

In September, the student revealed the relationship to a school counsellor.

A police source also said the teacher - who is pregnant - had sought medical care after the relationship, according to the Telegraph.

The original non-publication order protecting the school's identity was dropped on Tuesday, while one remains in place for the identity of the teacher and the student involved, the Downing Centre Local Court heard.

The court heard the pair sometimes were alone together when working on extracurricular activities.

Magistrate Jacqueline Milledge said publishing the name of the school was of interest to those attending the school and may encourage any other victims to come forward.

The teacher did not appear and did not enter a plea to the six counts of sexual intercourse with a person under care between 17 and 18 years, and one of indecent assault.

Sydney Grammar released a statement on Tuesday confirming New South Wales Police had charged a staff member 'with serious misconduct of a sexual nature'.

The teacher has been suspended and ordered to have no contact with students until the outcome of legal proceedings.

Last week she appeared in the Newtown Local Court - supported by her husband - and granted bail when her mother posted a $30,000 surety.

Sydney Grammar charges fees of $32,644 per year per student.


Monday, October 24, 2016

Sunday, October 23, 2016

British mother, 40, who sent explicit pictures and sexts to a boy, 15, and then dismissed it as 'banter' is jailed for two years  

A mother who exchanged explicit pictures with a 15-year-old boy because she was 'flattered' by the attention has been jailed for two years.

Claire Dinsdale, 40, from Willington, County Durham, sent 'sexually charged' messages to the teenager, which she dismissed as 'banter' when questioned by police.

Despite being handed a court order last year that prohibited her from contacting him, she continued to exchange messages with the boy until April this year.

Dinsdale pleaded guilty to charges of abducting a child, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and making an indecent photograph of a child at Teesside Crown Court.

The prosecution said they were unable to prove any sexual activity took place between them, with the victim refusing to provide a statement.  

Dinsdale and the boy met a few years ago and began to keep in contact on Facebook.

After concern from the boy's father, Dinsdale was handed a 'harbouring notice' last year prohibiting her from contacting the boy. Despite this, the pair continued to exchange 'sexually charged' messages. The court heard they also exchanged explicit pictures.

Police also found the boy at her property on three occasions while trying to locate him.

The inappropriate relationship carried on until April this year when Dinsdale was remanded in custody for being in breach of her bail conditions, which stated she was to stay away from her victim.

Jo Kidd, prosecuting, said: 'The messages indicated [the boy] repeatedly asking for sexual activity. 'Her responses indicate that it would be the order of the day. He messaged her saying "I want a sh*g when I come round" to which she replied "yes". '

Judge Phillips remarked that there was 'no discouragement whatsoever' from the defendant.

In a victim impact statement from the boy's father, he said that he believes his son's behaviour has significantly deteriorated as a result of his contact with Dinsdale.

Dan Cordey, defending, told the court that after the breakdown of an eight year 'controlling and abusive' relationship, Dinsdale had found herself to have low self-esteem and no self confidence.

He said: 'I hope to point out that this is a naive woman who after a very difficult time in her life, was flattered by the attention of this young man.

'She fully recognises now that she should have not been flattered by that. She realises it was entirely inappropriate.'

He stressed that no sexual activity ever took place.

He also told the court that Dinsdale has found being remanded in custody for the last six months incredibly difficult as other inmates treat her 'like a sex offender' and want nothing to do with her.

He added: 'This was not a very young boy. He was relatively mature for his years. 'One just has to look at some of his language in the messages to get an indication of his level of maturity.'

Two charges of causing a child to watch a sexual act and meeting a child following sexual grooming were dropped by the prosecution.

Judge Phillips told Dinsdale: 'It is not realistic to say that sexual activity was not something you thought about.

'The most concerning feature of this case is the boy's age. You had more than two months of sexual communication despite knowing his age. 'You have taken advantage of his vulnerability and done so in a persistent manner.

'The totality of the affect is that it has had a very negative effect on him and his family.'


Senior British policewoman 'had a drunken row with a colleague over whose breasts were most attractive'

Assistant Chief Constable Rebekah Sutcliffe, 47, faces claims that she exposed her bosom during a late-night row and could be sacked if found guilty of gross misconduct.

ACC Sutcliffe argued with her junior colleague Superintendent Sarah Jackson at the Hilton hotel bar. It is claimed ACC Sutcliffe told her colleague she was ‘pandering to men’ by having cosmetic surgery, and tried to prove her own breasts were better by exposing them.

They were reported to bosses by a witness, and initially both were told they faced investigation over alleged inappropriate behaviour.

Social media photos show ACC Sutcliffe ‘opened the gala event’ at one night of the conference, standing near Supt Jackson at a party where wine flowed freely.

Supt Jackson has been told she is in the clear. If the case against ACC Sutcliffe were proven, she would be hit with sanctions ranging from ‘management advice’ to dismissal.


Memo to Florida Voters: Your AC Bill Just Went Up

I have just been talking to a refrigeration expert who for his own reasons supports the ban on HFCs as refrigerants.  I put it to him that all the possible replacement gases have problems with toxicity, flammability etc.  We agreed that flammability is going to be the most likely problem to arise but he said that the probability of the gases igniting is very low.  He made the point that we often do things that have a much higher likelihood of harming us  -- driving a car, for instance.

While that is an intelligible argument, it ignores the reality that what we are moving away from is a zero-risk situation.  Say that there will in future be only three occasions worldwide where an AC unit explodes and kills someone.  ALL THREE of those occasions were fully avoidable by retaining HFCs. We may ordinarily take risks but how often do we deliberately heighten our risks?  Sensation-seekers aside, I think we do not.  So the latest Greenie mandate will kill some people -- entirely as a result of that mandate

We’ve warned for some time that Big Government is coming for your air conditioner in the name of saving the planet. Well, on Saturday, nearly 200 countries, including China, agreed to take action in the next eight years on reducing the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are used in AC units and refrigerators. The legally binding deal was spearheaded by John Kerry, who thinks HFCs pose as great a threat to national security as jihadis do. But EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy was equally involved. “In a nutshell, these HFCs cool our homes and chill our food, but they are turning up the temperature of our planet,” lectured McCarthy. “World leaders took a giant leap forward by agreeing to a global phase-down of these harmful gases.”

What do we get in exchange for this regulatory bonanza? The Washington Examiner reports, “Secretary of State John Kerry said the deal … would put the planet on track to stop the Earth’s temperature from rising a half of a degree Celsius over the next two decades.” That goal is unprovable. No matter how much the temperature changes, these folks will say it would be half a degree Celsius worse had it not been for their intrepid work.

Furthermore, air conditioners were more efficient with the already-banned CFCs than they are with HFCs, and these regulations threaten to make that even worse. Stephen Yurek, the head of the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute, says, “After two phases of research, the most promising alternatives are currently classified as mildly flammable or flammable.” That sounds fun. So when our AC doesn’t work as well without HFCs, we’ll all be hotter, which has the advantage of “proving” the alarmists right about global warming.

McCarthy also crowed, “While we have seen many significant successes under President Obama’s leadership in fighting climate change, this day will unquestionably be remembered as one of the most important in our effort to save the one planet we have.” And you can bet that “important effort” — just like every other Obama regulation to that end — is going to cost you dearly


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Haglin update

AN AMERICAN teacher-turned-stripper claims she’s the real victim of an illicit tryst she had with a teen student because he “duped” her by using “elevated vocabulary”.

“Many people see him as the victim and me as the perpetrator,” disgraced educator Mary Beth Haglin told the Dr. Phil show earlier this week.

“From a psychological standpoint and from every other standpoint, I feel like I am the victim.”

Haglin, 24, who now works as a stripper named “Bambi”, said the 17-year-old boy wooed her with romantic notes and texts, making him irresistible.

“He did so with such intelligence and such an elevated vocabulary that I was completely duped by the whole facade,” claimed Haglin, who worked as a substitute teacher in the Cedar Rapids Community School District in 2015.

The former teacher said she initially spurned the boy, whose messages included texts such as, “Trust me, it’s not difficult to be a caring boyfriend. Especially to someone as magnificent as you,” according to the show.

But after a bad day with her then-squeeze, Haglin admitted, she gave in.

“One night after a particularly bad night with my boyfriend, we had gotten into a big fight, and the next day I looked at his message and thought, ‘I’m just going to respond’,” Haglin said.

She eventually started sending explicit pictures of herself to the boy, which led to a nine-month relationship.

Show host Phil McGraw wasn’t buying any of Haglin’s excuses. “You have got to be dumber than a box of rocks to share naked pictures with a 17-year-old boy,” he said.

Haglin was fired from her teaching post and now works as an exotic dancer, the Des Moines Register reported.

Haglin has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanour charges of sexual exploitation by a school employee. The trial is set to begin on November 14, but she’s asked for proceedings to be moved from Linn County, claiming publicity about the case prevents her from receiving a fair hearing.


Friday, October 21, 2016

Health update

It looks like I am recovering steadily with the use of clindamycin.  Some skin areas that were red have now faded to pale pink.   The main remaining problem is that I am still spending lots of time asleep.  I am guessing that my body makes me drowsy to help fight off any sepsis.  I have always had naps during daylight hours but my naps at the moment are up to four hours long. I can't do much blogging in such circumstances but you can't keep a good blogger down completely so I have just put up one thing new:  A recipe for an unusual salad!  See here

Hopefully I will have more to say tomorrow.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

NOTE:  My normal posting time has come, only to find me  under the influence of both health and cable problems.  The cable problems seem by now to have been banished but too late for me to read much. There is a fair chance that I might be back in normal action by this time tomorrow.

My health problem is a post operative infection in the wound site -- most probably golden staph.  I am on 300 mg of clindamycin 6 hourly so that should help. I can control the pain with di-gesic pretty well but I have to be cautious about sepsis so my next recourse may have to be a vancomycin drip.

Either the infection or the remedies seem to be making me very drowsy so I sleep for long periods, which is probably a good thing on the whole.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Your monthly scare story below

As always, you have to look at what the Greenies and Leftists do NOT say. So here it comes. The news is that the global temperature for last month has just been promulgated by GISS.  So that has to be scary, right?  Problem: The temperature actually DECLINED last month.  September was COOLER than August.  The anomaly went down from .98 of a degree to .91 of a degree.  But nowhere below will you see any mention of that.  

No-one in his right mind would take any notice of  such tiny fluctuations but the Warmists do. Their whole story consists of taking hundredths of one degree seriously.  So all they tell us this time is that September 2015 was warmer than September 2016.  The anomaly was .81 last year.

Note that seasonal influences should normally cancel out in the global figures because while it is summer in the Northern hemisphere, it is winter in the Southern hemisphere.

So the real story this year is one of temperature stasis:  changes too small to mean anything. But if we wanted to play the Warmist game we could see a coming-down off an El Nino high. The anomalies from January to April were all a touch above one degree whereas the May to September anomalies were all below one degree.

So what to do with such frustrating figures?  You see the result below.  They have picked out all the weather events that suit them and presented them as if they proved something global.  As proof of the cherry-picking, note that no "coldest" events anywhere are mentioned.  They are such crooks!

As the Philippines braces for its second major typhoon in just five days, a Canadian glacier spawns a giant iceberg and eastern Australia mops up from a record wet spell, climate scientists can pick from a world of weird weather to highlight evidence of global warming under way.

Just days after nations agreed to curb production of greenhouse gases 10,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide and a fortnight before the Paris climate agreement comes into force on November 4, many regions are experiencing bizarre conditions.

September continued the run of exceptional global warmth, with last month narrowly edging last year as the hottest September on record, NASA, the US space agency, said overnight.

Typhoon Haima is expected to reach category 5 strength by Wednesday. After data adjustments, NASA said 11 of the past 12 months had set monthly high-temperature records. This year is on course to smash previous records for annual heat set in 2015 and in the year before that.

Climate scientists, such as NASA's Gavin Schmidt, emphasise that while individual weather events and even monthly rankings may be newsworthy, "they are not nearly as important as long-term trends".

Here, though, there are many worrying pointers.

The Philippines is facing the potential for a category 5-strength typhoon Haima just days after typhoon Sarika blew through, leaving a trial of death and destruction that has now extended to neighbours Vietnam and China.

Recent research indicates the western Pacific is experiencing stronger cyclones with the frequency increasing as much as four-fold.

In Canada, the Porcupine Glacier in British Columbia retreated more than two kilometres "in one leap", when a major iceberg broke off during the summer, The Globe and Mail reported recently.

Mauri Pelto, professor of environmental science at Nichols College in Massachusetts, said he couldn't identify a bigger iceberg carved from a Canadian glacier in a quarter century of work.

"It's just a highlight example of what's happening [from climate change]," Dr. Pelto was quoted as saying. "I have worked on over 200 glaciers just in that area, and all but one have been retreating."

The behaviour of ice of a different kind caught the attention of  Andy Pitman, director of the ARC Excellence for Climate System Science at the University of NSW.

After rivalling previously lows in 2007 and 2012, this year's recovery of Arctic sea ice as winter approaches has slowed sharply, placing it again at record low levels.

With less sea ice, more of the sun's energy is absorbed by the Arctic seas rather than reflected back to space, accelerating the pace of warming in an area that's warming faster than almost anywhere else.

"It's moving outside it's normal operating range," Professor Pitman said of the sea ice trend. "Climate extremes are emerging much faster than climate scientists thought."
Rain extremes

While major weather events can't all be attributed to climate change rather than natural variability, a warming world makes them more likely.

Scientists, for instance, estimate that the atmosphere can hold 7 per cent more moisture for each degree of warming - and we've had at least that since the Industrial Revolution triggered a rapid increase in greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels and land-clearing for agriculture.

Hurricane Matthew, which scraped along the east coast of the US earlier this month, is estimated to have dumped as much 52 trillion litres on the US, triggering widespread flooding, according to Ryan Maue, a US-based meteorologist.

Typhoon Sarika, which left at least 25 dead in the Philippines last week, is now expected to bring flooding rains to south-east China.

Behind Sarika, though, looms a more powerful storm, super typhoon Haima, which is likely to generate peak gusts of more than 300 km/h by Wednesday as it nears the northern Philippine island of Luzon.

"[A]long with the dangers of storm surge flooding and damaging winds, rainfall flooding and landslides would also be major threats in Luzon, given saturated ground from Sarika," the website said in a report. "More than a foot of rain could fall over northern portions of Luzon as Haima moves through."

Much of eastern Australia has copped its drenching in recent weeks, although the rains have fortunately been more spread out.

As the Bureau of Meteorology said in a special climate statement last week, the Murray Darling Basin had its wettest September on record, continuing a string of wet months.

"The May to September period was Australia's wettest on record, with each of the five individual months ranking in the 10 wettest in the last 117 years," the report said.
'Off the charts'

"You're seeing more extreme events and in most of the parts of climate that affect people," Professor Pitman said.

Heatwaves, for instance, that used to last typically three days, might be stretching in some places out to 10 days.

"It's like Usain Bolt doing a 4-second,100-metre run," he said. "It's completely off the charts."

Professor Pitman's centre will shift more of its focus to the study of climate extremes after securing funds from the Australian Research Council last month.

"There is some emerging evidence that the system is redefining itself," Professor Pitman said.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The arrogance of anger

The Left are chronically angry.  There is always something in the world that is not right and must be changed IMMEDIATELY if possible. Each Leftist probably has his own little wellspring of  anger and some may be dispositionally angry: Nothing may suit him.  He is in a permanent state of upset and disquiet.  The things that Leftists usually say they are angry about --  inequality, racism etc. -- are probably just convenient hooks to hang his expressions of anger on but there always seems to be some real, genuine anger motivating him. Often it is just that  he is not getting the recognition and praise that he thinks he deserves.

And that anger explains many things about the Leftist. It explains his impetuosity for starters. "Pass a law" is his recipe for fixing everything.  Finding the source of the problem he identifies and devising solutions that might work given time are alien ideas to him. The slow build that leads to permanent structures and systems is not for him.

The anger also explains the arrogance of Leftists and their pretence to elitism. Anger never considers that it might be in the wrong.  It always feels itself to be in the right.  It has no self-doubt. If Leftists really were an intellectual elite there might be some reason to regard them as wise governors but any ability they do have is nullified by their anger and urgency to change no matter what.  And that is why Leftist policies always have unfortunate side effects.  They may confer some benefit but also do a lot of harm.

The "Affordable Care Act" (Obamacare) is a classic example of that.  For the great majority of Americans it has made health insurance LESS affordable.  It was just not well thought out because it had to be enacted URGENTLY.

And for most Leftists, no parade of facts and logic will wean him off his poorly-considered beliefs.  The habitual anger of the Leftist is hard to give up, because wanting to feel/be right is part of human nature.  From the basic physical survival drive, through to intellectual and moral issues we like to be right.

That confidence in one's own rightness is however thoroughly deplorable in the Christian tradition.  As it says in  Luke 18:

"He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt:

“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed[a] thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’

But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

I like that scripture and believe that it forms part of my personal values.  The Pharisees there are directly analogous to the modern-day Left, who think that they know it all and are confident in their own righteousness.  So it is no wonder that Leftists hate Christianity.  Christ condemned them.  Leftists much prefer the arrogant religion of Mohammed.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Married high school choir teacher, 25, is arrested 'for having sex with her 16-year-old male student'

A married 25-year-old high school teacher from Washington state has been arrested for allegedly having sex with a male student.

The Snohomish Country Sheriff’s Office said Olivia Sondheim was taken into custody last Wednesday after detectives served a search warrant at her Bothell residence.

Sondheim, who was in her second year teaching choir at Lynnwood High School, has been charged with first-degree sexual misconduct with a minor

Sondheim has been placed on administrative leave

According to officials, the victim in the case was 16 years old at the time of his alleged tryst with the teacher.

Sondheim was booked into the Snohomish County Jail after her arrest. She has been placed on leave at the high school pending the outcome of the investigation.

Administrators with the Edmonds School District first learned of the allegations against Sondheim last week and relayed the information to a school resource officer who, in turn, contacted the authorities, leading to the teacher’s arrest, reported the Seattle Times.

During the course of the investigation, detectives allegedly uncovered evidence that Sondheim and her male student developed a relationship which, over time, became sexual. The boy is now 17 years old.

School district spokeswoman Debbie Joyce told the station KGMI that Olivia Sondheim had passed background checks before she was hired to teach choir part time at Lynnwood High last year.

As of Monday afternoon, Sondheim's name still appeared on Lynnwood High School's website.

'I am excited to get to know each and every one of you,' the teacher wrote on a page dedicated to the school choir.

Sondheim revealed in a Facebook message posted on Washington State University’s page last year that she and her husband, Daniel Sondheim, met through their respective sorority and fraternity in 2012 and got married in May 2014 after a year-long engagement.


Foolish Aboriginal model wants acceptance as a model only.  Is the Nordic ideal of beauty changeable?

She hasn't got a hope.  The worldwide standard of female beauty is Nordic -- narrow faces, fine features, white skin, blue eyes and blonde hair.  Even some Japanese ladies blond their hair.  To blacks, a white wife is a trophy.  The unfortunate Magnolia has no Nordic attributes at all.  If her skin were white she would be ugly.  She has received acceptance only because many people want to be kind to Aborigines.  She is an "affirmative action" model.

We may deplore the Nordic standard but saying that people should adopt other standards for females that they like to look at is pissing into the wind.  It won't happen.  It will have zero influence.  Brown hair can be accepted in lieu of blonde but that is the only variation to the top standard.  Mr Trump has plausibly claimed that he can have any sort of lady that he wants. He can have the top standard.  So see the picture of Melania below.  Compare and contrast.

I am sure I will be called a Nazi, a white supremacist and much else abusive for saying what I have just said but I am in fact simply pointing out the obvious.  The attractiveness of Ms Maymuru is very much of a piece with the Emperor's new clothes

So why am I pointing out such obvious truths?  It's because that is what I do.  I attack popular fairy stories.  I think truth serves us best.  A full and frank discussion of beauty standards might even help a black girl to be thankful for what she's got, rather than pining for the impossible.

It's been mere months since the Northern Territory model, Magnolia Maymuru, shot to fame after becoming the first Indigenous woman from a traditional community to become a finalist in Miss World.

But already, the 19-year-old has become something of a role model for countless women and girls around Australia.

Speaking to Sydney Morning Herald, Ms Maymuru said she wants to go above and beyond merely being seen as 'an Indigenous model'.

'I am about breaking down barriers and stereotypes,' she said.  'And I want to get to a place where I'm not described as an Indigenous model but simply as a model.'

So far, things are going pretty well for the girl who was discovered on a Darwin street in 2014 by her now manager, Mehali Tsangari.

At the time, Ms Maymuru was working as a sports and recreation officer, before she entered Miss World Australia and had the opportunity to represent the Northern Territory.

The 19-year-old has since landed her first major gig as the face of the Melbourne shopping centre, Chadstone. She has also recently been the ambassador for this year's Darwin Art Fair.

Magnolia Maymuru, whose real name is Maminydjama Maymuru, recently said that she never believed she would have a career in fashion. Describing herself as an outdoorsy sort of girl, who was into hunting and camping, she didn't have any experience within the fashion industry.

However, these days the model's glamorous Instagram account is testament to the fact that she is as at home on the catwalk as she is outside at home.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

HFCs: Mistaking theory for achievement

CFCs and HFCs are the safest gases for use in refrigeration. But in accord with their unfailing agenda of destruction, Greenies have now got both banned.  So more dangerous gases will have to be used. Air conditioners that explode or burst into flames coming to a place near you shortly.

And for what? Because HFCs absorb some frequencies of electromagnetic radiation in the laboratory.  So the Greenies assume that HFCs warm the earth.  But HFCs break down rapidly once they get into the atmosphere so the amount resident at any one point in time is much lower than the amount released.  So the calculations of the effect of a ban on HFcs are undoubtedly well wide of the mark.

But the warmists are so caught up the ecstasy of banning something that they even talk of the recent agreement as already working:  "this is the largest temperature reduction ever achieved by a single agreement".  Whether it achieves ANY effect on temperature remains too be seen, if it can be seen.

The ban on CFCs was driven by similar theory.  Banning them was supposed to heal the hole in the ozone layer. It didn't.  The hole was bigger than ever late last year.  So much for theory.

Nearly 200 nations have reached a deal, announced Saturday morning after all-night negotiations, to limit the use of greenhouse gases far more powerful than carbon dioxide in a major effort to fight climate change.

The talks on hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, were called the first test of global will since the historic Paris Agreement to cut carbon emissions was reached last year. HFCs are described as the world's fastest-growing climate pollutant and are used in air conditioners and refrigerators. Experts say cutting them is the fastest way to reduce global warming.

President Barack Obama, in a statement Saturday, called the new deal "an ambitious and far-reaching solution to this looming crisis." The spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called it "critically important."

The agreement, unlike the broader Paris one, is legally binding. It caps and reduces the use of HFCs in a gradual process beginning by 2019 with action by developed countries including the United States, the world's second-worst polluter. More than 100 developing countries, including China, the world's top carbon emitter, will start taking action by 2024, when HFC consumption levels should peak.

A small group of countries including India, Pakistan and some Gulf states pushed for and secured a later start in 2028, saying their economies need more time to grow. That's three years earlier than India, the world's third-worst polluter, had first proposed.

"It's a very historic moment, and we are all very delighted that we have come to this point where we can reach a consensus and agree to most of the issues that were on the table," said India's chief delegate, Ajay Narayan Jha.

Environmental groups had hoped that the deal could reduce global warming by a half-degree Celsius by the end of this century. This agreement gets about 90 percent of the way there, said Durwood Zaelke, president of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development.

Zaelke's group said this is the "largest temperature reduction ever achieved by a single agreement."

The new agreement is "equal to stopping the entire world's fossil-fuel CO2 emissions for more than two years," David Doniger, climate and clean air program director with the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement.

It is estimated that the agreement will cut the global levels of HFCs by 80 to 85 percent by 2047, the World Resources Institute said in a statement.

Experts said they hope that market forces will help speed up the limits agreed to in the deal.

HFCs were introduced in the 1980s as a substitute for ozone-depleting gases. But their danger has grown as air conditioner and refrigerator sales have soared in emerging economies like China and India. HFCs are also found in inhalers and insulating foams.

Major economies have debated how quickly to phase out HFCs. The United States, whose delegation was led by Secretary of State John Kerry, and Western countries want quick action. Nations such as India want to give their industries more time to adjust.

"Thank God we got to this agreement that is good for all nations, that takes into consideration all regional and national issues," said Taha Mohamed Zatari, the head of Saudi Arabia's negotiating team.


Saturday, October 15, 2016

British footballer Ched Evans cleared of rape charges, following retrial.  Feminists furious 

I thought from the beginning that the conviction was a monstrous injustice so I am pleased that justice has finally been done. It took a British court to convert consensual sex into rape. The Crown Prosecutors stretched the law in order to appease feminists with a high profile conviction. Feminists had been complaining that there were "not enough" rape convictions. Evans is the victim of feminist hate

The many who condemned and shunned Evans will have egg on their faces for a long time

According to the original prosecution, Yes means Yes and No means No -- except when you are Ched Evans

The woman concerned DID say Yes to him and made no complaint afterwards but a badly instructed British jury  in its stratospheric wisdom decided that Evans should have taken Yes to mean No. She was too drunk to give consent, apparently. Though how they know that and what is the relevant metric of drunkenness in those circumstances remains uncertain. How was Evans to know the woman was too drunk to give consent? There are no standards for how drunk a woman can be before being unable to consent.

So it is a relief that the British justice system has now got it right -- after Evans spent over two years in jail.  According to the original verdict, sex with women who drink must be harshly discouraged.  If that pompous dictum were taken seriously among the population at large, it would at least halve the British birthrate, I would think.  Alcohol and sex have a long history together, even among married people.

And the Yes means Yes mantra is a typically stupid feminist invention anyway.  There are many men who can attest that sometimes No means Yes.  I was always too impatient to play that game myself (apparently to some confusion) but it is a common one where the woman is embarrassed, shy etc.  Many women would think less of themselves if they said "Yes" straight away.  The woman  would think that she was appearing "too easy". So men do sometimes have to decide whether a No really means Yes and they can obviously make the occasional mistake there, particularly if they are not too bright.

So one can only hope that the feminist mantra, Yes means Yes, is vigorously preached to women too so that they will be less evasive and less confusing to men.  I am not holding my breath.

Some of the feminist comments below are very disturbuing.  Discovering the truth can be wrong:  Better for an innocent  man to remain wrongly convicted, apparently

International footballer Ched Evans has been found not guilty of the rape of a 19-year-old woman, but the decision to allow the jury to hear the sexual history of the complainant has sparked outrage from women’s support groups and campaigners.

As Evans was acquitted of rape at a retrial on Friday, five years after having sex with the woman in a hotel room, activists expressed the fear that an earlier appeal court ruling which allowed the complainant’s sexual behaviour to be taken into account by the jury would set a dangerous precedent, and could put off women from coming forward to report sexual offences.

The appeal court judgment – made before the retrial but which can only now be reported – allowed in new evidence from two witnesses who gave testimony about the complainant’s sexual preferences and the language she used during sex. It led to her being questioned in detail in open court about intimate details of her sex life.

Evans, who has played for Wales and Sheffield United and was a member of the Manchester City youth set-up, spent two-and-a-half years in prison after being convicted in 2012 of raping the young woman following a drunken night out in his home town of Rhyl, north Wales.

Following his conviction, a well-funded legal and PR campaign that included the offer of a £50,000 reward for information leading to his acquittal was launched by family and friends. The campaign eventually resulted in the case going to the court of appeal in London and his conviction was quashed.

After an eight-day trial, a jury at Cardiff crown court took two hours to acquit Evans. He kept his head down as the male foreman returned the unanimous verdict. Evans then rushed from the dock into the arms of his girlfriend, Natasha Massey. They held each other for a minute and sobbed on each other’s shoulders.

In a statement read outside the court by his solicitor, Shaun Draycott, Evans said he was “overwhelmed with relief”. He thanked his friends and family, “most notably my fiancee, Natasha, who chose, perhaps incredibly, to support me in my darkest hour”.

The statement concluded: “Whilst my innocence has now been established, I wish to make it clear that I wholeheartedly apologise to anyone who might have been affected by the events of the night in question.”

A spokesman for Evans said he would now return to football – though he is currently nursing an injury. He may be able to sue for lost earnings, which would total millions of pounds.

Chesterfield, his current club, welcomed the verdict. Chief executive Chris Turner said: “We can now all move forward and focus on football.”

It can now be revealed that:

    During the appeal case that led to the retrial, lawyers for the crown suggested the two new witnesses may have been “fed” information by those close to Evans. This claim was rejected by Evans’s side and by the appeal court.

    The appeal court judges expressed “a considerable degree of hesitation” before allowing in the new evidence of the former partners because it would result in the complainant’s sexual behaviour being subject to forensic scrutiny.

    Evans’ girlfriend, Massey, was accused in legal argument during the second trial of offering an “inducement” to a key witness. The prosecution said this had “the flavour of a bribe”. The trial judge disagreed.

The woman told the jury she woke up naked in a hotel room in Rhyl, north Wales, in May 2011 with no memory of what had happened but fearing her drinks were spiked.

Friends encouraged her to go to the police and officers found out that the room in which she woke up had been booked and paid for by Evans. He was questioned, and both he and his friend and fellow footballer Clayton McDonald said they had consensual sex with the woman.

The prosecution said she could not possibly have consented as she was too intoxicated. She has never alleged Evans or McDonald raped her.

In court, Evans admitted he lied to get the key for the hotel room and did not speak to the woman before, during or after sex. He left via a fire exit. It also emerged that Evans’ younger brother and another man were trying to film what was happening from outside the room.

Lisa Longstaff, of the group Women against Rape, said the case seemed a “throwback to another time”. Section 41 of the Youth and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 puts restrictions on what evidence can be put before a court by the defence about an alleged victim’s sexual behaviour and questioning of the complainant.

“But it has exceptions, and clever lawyers can get round it,” said Longstaff. “Here they’ve driven a coach and horses through the supposed protection.”

Vera Baird, the barrister, women’s rights campaigner and police and crime commissioner, said the appeal court decision would “go down as a precedent that will be used and abused”. She said the exception used by Evans’ team was originally specifically about instances of sexual activity that happened “at or about the same time”, such as during sex parties.

One of the new witnesses said he had sex with the complainant on the same bank holiday weekend as the hotel incident; the second said they had sex a fortnight later. A feminist activist who goes by the pseudonym Jean Hatchet and was behind petitions asking football clubs not to sign Evans following his jail term, told the Guardian it was “deeply worrying” that evidence about a victim’s sexual history had been permitted.

She said: “This will set a precedent in rape cases to follow where defence barristers will comb through an alleged victim’s sexual past and following the alleged assault at a time when they are suffering trauma.”

Rachel Krys, co-director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, said: “We are very concerned at the precedent which might have been set.

“In addition to this there are reports that the defence offered a ‘bounty’ for such testimony. This is extremely worrying. We will review the case in full and may contact the Crown Prosecution Service and the government about aspects of this case which raise concern.”

Polly Neate, chief executive of Women’s Aid, said: “There is a big risk that this case overall has a negative impact on reporting. Only this week CPS figures revealed a quarter of women are not pursuing cases. If you look at the surrounding maelstrom about this case it’s easy to see why that is the case.

“A woman’s past sexual history bears no relevance on whether or not they have been a victim of rape. There is a need to challenge pervasive cultural assumptions that equate a woman’s former sexual history with her likelihood of being a victim of rape.”

Police reminded people that naming the complainant was a criminal offence. Supt Jo Williams, of north Wales police, said: “We are aware that once again the victim has been named on social media. An investigation is ongoing.

“People need to be aware that they could find themselves being arrested and prosecuted. This was done previously, people were prosecuted and heavily fined.”


Friday, October 14, 2016

Old model does well

Unlike most models, who make their foray into fashion in their late teens, Nicky Griffin, 56, from Nottingham, only started modelling three years ago after being scouted in her local bank. The mother-of-two's twin daughters left home in the same week that she was scouted to lend her looks to the White Hot Hair company; a shampoo brand for grey and white hair.

Since then, she has landed some major modelling gigs including the latest Swimsexy campaign for swimsuitsforall, which was shot by Victoria's Secret snapper, Russell James.

The campaign also featured in this year’s Sports Illustrated, which made her the oldest model to ever appear in it. So what are the secrets behind her model good looks? 'Drinking water, clean living, and exercise,' she said."


Australia: Female teacher, 33, charged over alleged sexual relationship with male student, 17

A TEACHER at an elite Sydney private school has been charged over an alleged sexual relationship with her 17-year-old male student.

The 33-year-old woman — who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was arrested today and appeared in court to face charges of indecent assault and six counts of sexual intercourse with a person under care between 17 and 18 years.

The identity of the school involved, which lists prime ministers among its alumni, cannot be revealed as it would identify the student.

The Daily Telegraph understands the teenage boy told a school counsellor about the relationship and the school alerted police.

The teacher, who is pregnant, was accompanied by her husband and mother to Newtown Local Court, where the prosecutor told the magistrate the accused “was in a position of power and she’s abused that power ... she has exercised a degree of influence over him”.

The woman’s mother subsequently posted a $30,000 cash surety, allowing the woman to be released on bail.

It is understood the teacher was suspended by the school last month and parents been informed about the police investigation and subsequent charges.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

New book: Twenty-five Myths That Are Destroying the Environment: What Many Environmentalists Believe and Why They Are Wrong

Written by Daniel Botkin. Published by Rowman & Littlefield Lanham, MD 20706. $12.71 from Amazon

The Introduction discusses the distinctions between myths, folktales, and science, and the chapters discuss which generalizations about environment are which of these.


Myth 1 We Are the Only Species That Has Had Global Effects on Environment
Myth 2 Life Is Fragile and Can't Adjust Easily to Change
Myth 3 Extinction Is Unnatural and Bad, but Easy to Accomplish
Myth 6 Beauty in Nature Happens Only in Areas Completely Undisturbed by Us
Myth 10 People Have Changed Environment Only Since the Industrial Age
Myth 11 Without Human Interference, Earth's Climate Is Stable
Myth 13 Climate Change Will Lead to Huge Numbers of Extinctions
Myth 20 We Can't Do Much about Environmental Risks
Myth 21 Smokey Bear Is Right: Only You Can Prevent Wildfires
Myth 23 Solar and Wind Energy Require Huge Areas
Myth 24 Large-Scale Solar Energy Projects RequireVery Hot Climates
Myth 25 Compared to Climate Change, All Other Environmental Issues Are Minor

Tantric lover rushed to hospital in agony after ‘breaking’ his penis trying an exotic sexual position

AN ADVENTUROUS lover has been rushed to hospital after ‘breaking’ his penis while attempting a daring new sex position. The once-virile Vietnamese gentleman had his penis “broken at the joint” in an incredibly rare case which shocked medics at the hospital in Ho Chi Minh City.

While enjoying an energetic romping session with his girlfriend, the 59-year-old reportedly heard a deafening ‘crack’ before unimaginable pain coursed through his still-naked body. Speaking with newspaper Tuoi Tre, Mai Ba Tien Dung from Binh Dan Hospital, revealed the unnamed man’s penis turned bright purple.

 The poor man was rushed into surgery where a crack team of doctors worked tirelessly to stitch his penis back together. Dr Dung insisted breaking the penis at the point where it is attached to the body is extremely rare and occurs at full erection.


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Wife’s hilarious necklace for husband on holiday

Most wives would be a little concerned if their husband took a trip to Las Vegas with the boys, but Kim Gip took it to the next level. She made a hilarious lost-and-found necklace for her husband, Jim, which went viral after their son Brandon shared it on Twitter.

The sign, attached to a lanyard, says: “My name is Jim” in bold, highlighted letters. “If I look lost, please call my wife ... I’ve never been away from my wife who does everything for me.”

Apparently Jim saw the funny side, later posting a picture of himself wearing the necklace.


Global warming doubles size of forest fires in US West, study finds

This is just more rubbishy modelling.  They have got no way of knowing what part of forest fire activity is attributable to anthropogenic global warming -- unless they use the old formula "post hoc ergo propter hoc" -- which is both a scientific and a logical fallacy.  It does appear that there is some correlation between fire incidence and global temperature but we must remember what is just about the first law of statistics:  Correlation is not causation.  I would think the correlation could be amply explained by the steadily increasing Greenie influence on forestry.  Greenie resistance to back-burning is by far the biggest producer of catastrophic fires.  I append the journal abstract to the summary below

Global warming has caused the area affected by forest fires in the western United States to double over the last 30 years – and the problem will continue to get worse until the trees start to run out, according to new research.

Higher air temperatures dry out vegetation, making it more prone to combust, as witnessed with increasing ferocity in states like California and Oregon.

While some parts of the world will get wetter as the climate warms, fires have been increasing in places like the Amazon, Indonesia and Canada's boreal forests.

Climate scientists had predicted wildfires would increase in places, but the new study, funded in part by Nasa, is one of the first to quantify the effect.

One of the researchers, Professor Park Williams, a bio-climatologist at Columbia University, said: “No matter how hard we try, the fires are going to keep getting bigger, and the reason is really clear.

“Climate is really running the show in terms of what burns. We should be getting ready for bigger fire years than those familiar to previous generations.”

An extra 4.2 million hectares of forest fires – about 16,000 square miles, the same area as Denmark – were estimated to have been caused by human-induced climate change between 1984 and 2015, according to a paper in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

This increase nearly doubled the area that would have burned if the temperature had not risen, the researchers found.

Eventually the fires will be so extreme that the remaining forests are too fragmented for flames to spread easily between them.

“There's no hint we're even getting close to that yet. I'd expect increases to proceed exponentially for at least the next few decades,” Professor Williams said.

While the world’s average temperature has risen by one degree Celsius since pre-industrial times, the increase within forests in the US West has been sharper. Since 1970, temperatures have gone up there by 1.5C – and this increase is expected to continue.

Warmer air can hold more moisture, so water is sucked out of plants, dead vegetation and the soil, creating tinder dry conditions.


Impact of anthropogenic climate change on wildfire across western US forests

By John T. Abatzoglou and A. Park Williams


Increased forest fire activity across the western continental United States (US) in recent decades has likely been enabled by a number of factors, including the legacy of fire suppression and human settlement, natural climate variability, and human-caused climate change. We use modeled climate projections to estimate the contribution of anthropogenic climate change to observed increases in eight fuel aridity metrics and forest fire area across the western United States. Anthropogenic increases in temperature and vapor pressure deficit significantly enhanced fuel aridity across western US forests over the past several decades and, during 2000–2015, contributed to 75% more forested area experiencing high (>1 σ) fire-season fuel aridity and an average of nine additional days per year of high fire potential. Anthropogenic climate change accounted for ∼55% of observed increases in fuel aridity from 1979 to 2015 across western US forests, highlighting both anthropogenic climate change and natural climate variability as important contributors to increased wildfire potential in recent decades. We estimate that human-caused climate change contributed to an additional 4.2 million ha of forest fire area during 1984–2015, nearly doubling the forest fire area expected in its absence. Natural climate variability will continue to alternate between modulating and compounding anthropogenic increases in fuel aridity, but anthropogenic climate change has emerged as a driver of increased forest fire activity and should continue to do so while fuels are not limiting.


Views on Trump vs Clinton

With the 2016 US Presidential election less than a month away, I feel the need to express my views on the two major candidates – Donald J. Trump and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Both candidates have major flaws. I believe, however, that Clinton's flaws are more detrimental to the country than Trump's flaws are. Plus, I believe that Trump has the capability and desire to change America for the better. Clinton does not.

Hillary Clinton's motivation for running for President appears to be this: She wants to be in the White House again; she wants to be the first female president; and she wants the prestige of being the most powerful person in the country. She will do anything and say anything to make sure she achieves her goal of living in the White House again.

With respect to how Clinton would run the country: It will be 4 more years of continuing in the same style as Obama - no change or, even worse, change in the wrong direction. I can see her going towards a single payer health plan in order to "make ObamaCare better" (which will eventually bankrupt the country), raising taxes which will slow economic growth even more, and continuing to be part of the corruption that exists in Washington with more "pay for play." Most members of Congress are there only to support themselves, not to work for the country. She will continue to be an integral part of that corrupt political class.

Donald Trump says his motivation for running for President is this: He has seen the country going in the wrong direction (going bankrupt) and he wants to change that direction. He wants to make America the respected nation that it used to be. I believe that when he decided to try to fix things, he believed he could do it, and he believed that his business acumen gave him the credentials. Becoming President would give him the best opportunity to fix what's wrong with America.

Yes, Trump is not the polished political orator that Hillary Clinton is. He often rubs people the wrong way with his crass remarks. I believe he will learn to tone it down. He will have good advisors around him. That's what he knows how to do - hire good people and fire bad people.

With respect to how Trump would run the country: He would run it like a business. He knows how to negotiate and get things done. He would figure out how to actually get Congress working for America rather than maintaining the status quo as most recent presidents have. He would solve problems. He would get the economy going again by lowering taxes and closing corporate loopholes in the tax code; he would get rid of oppressive government regulations (which would also stimulate the economy); and he would enhance the safety of Americans by building the wall and vetting people before allowing them into the U.S.

The difference between our choices for candidates is stark and massive. Either we elect Hillary Clinton and continue subsisting with a slow economy and corrupt government, OR we elect Donald Trump and possibly shake things up and do some good for the economy and begin to fix the political corruption that exists.

Just my opinion.

Posted by Note Taker

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Short-sighted people are brainier than those with 20/20 vision say scientists

Glasses-wearers are smarter than those with perfect vision, according to researchers at Mainz University in Germany. According to The Times, scientists in the department of ophthalmology at the German university found that short-sighted people were more likely to be brighter and better educated than people who don't need glasses.

Researchers were investigating the increase in myopia across Europe, which is as high as 50 per cent in groups of professionals over the age of 40. The study looked at 3,452 people, giving them eye examinations and intelligence tests and recorded their age and level of investigation.

But the research also drew the link between intelligence and time in education, which involves a lot of 'near-work' and can affect eye health


Cold waves and the jump in European temperatures

An excerpt below of a study based on long records of temperature held in various European cities.  The analysis showed 8 "cold waves" from 1750 to 2000 and explained these as incursions of Arctic air.  So the record is one of alternating cooling and warming, not the climate stability preached by Warmists such as Michael Mann.  Climate change is natural and cyclic, in other words.

Another finding, however, was of a temperature "jump" of a full degree in one recent 3 year period.  There was however no corresponding jump in CO2 so once again we see a disjunction between CO2 and temperature. It is oscillations in Arctic air currents that cause European temperature change, not CO2

Much of European history has been marked by the effects of such irruptions of arctic air into a region that is habitually under the influence of warm Atlantic air – to which, consequently, European agriculture and economy has been adapted. But at the end of the 20th century, an anomalous and very rapid warm shift in surface temperatures occurred that has been described as a “jump” in the temperature record. Over just a 3-year period from 1987-1990, SAT anomalies inceased rapidly over about a full degree.

Regional SAT was maintained through to the end of the record in 2014 at a higher mean temperature than had been recorded during the previous century. One may choose to ignore it and simply draw a trend line from 1890 to 2015 – or one may choose to interpret the record differently, as here: both positions are valid and in the present state of climate science your choice will largely depend on your confidence in the reliability of simulation modelling of complex Earth systems.

The flowering dates of plant communities in Britan, analysed for their response to long-term change in the Central England surface air temperature record, responded closely to this regime shift.  The fit between ambient temperature and flowering dates (both at community level and for individual species) is excellent over each 25-year segment of the entire record back to the 1750s. The series terminates in a very clear 15-day advance in the dates of community flowering after 1985 that was maintained to the end of the record in 2008.

Such a rapid change in surface air temperature over this large region is compatible neither with anthropogenic nor with volcanic forcing, but is consistent with the expected result of an equally major and rapid change in the distribution of atmospheric pressure over the entire North Atlantic-Arctic region.

This is indicated by change in the values of both the wintertime NAO and the Arctic Oscillation (northern annular mode of Hurrell) which together describe the state of the polar vortex north of the mid-latitude jet stream; when polar surface pressure is low (positive AO index) this flows strongly and consistently, with relatively weak meanders, so that cold polar air tends not to intrude down into mid-latitude Europe. But when polar surface pressure is high (negative AO index) the jet stream weakens and meanders more strongly, so that cold polar air is routinely carried down into mid-latitudes. Because of the existence of the western mountain ranges in North America that perturb its flow, the jet stream has a preferred number and location of southerly waves appropriate to each state of the AO. Periods of strongly negative AO are, in western Europe, associated with irruptions of cold polar air, as occurred rather commonly in the period 1935-45, discussed above.

Major warm excursions in surface air temperatures on the Japanese islands have already been noted for these same years (see plots for two rural stations on p. NN) and although these excursions were brief and cooling set in after only a single peak warm year, they were peraps related to the same rapid change in the value of the Arctic Oscillation after 1985. Changes in the AO has consequences for the strength of the winter westerlies that bring cold air from central Asia down across the Japanese islands, affecting winter temperatures generally in East Asia; this effect is modified by the strength of western Pacific cyclonic activity, and the 1985-1990 warm event over Japan (see p. NN) appears to have been the result of complex interaction between these two processes.


Monday, October 10, 2016

Sexual misbehaviour in Australian universities is extremely rare

Sexual misbehaviour at universities is a great fad worldwide at the moment.  There are constant wails about it.  And from the wails you would infer that universities are a hotbed of rape. But are they?  Putting a lot of juicy young men and women together is sure to go astray in some instances but is rape in universities any more common than in the community at large? Among all the hyperventilating, I have yet to see any statistics on the question.  

That rather aroused my suspicions.  If rape really were particularly common in  universities, would not all the agonizing ones be forcing the statistics on the matter down our indifferent throats? Instead there seems to be a complete statistical blackout.

So I decided to do a few back of the envelope calculations of my own.  The total university rapes reported across Australia is given below as 126 in five years.  And I estimate the number of students as being about 1 million.  That gives a rate per 100,000 of 12.6.  Compare that with the latest nationwide figure of 28.6 per 100,000 PER ANNUM.  Clearly, by general community standards, rape is exceptionally RARE in Australian universities. Clever young people behave cleverly, which is what I thought.  I spent nearly 20 years in Australian universities without hearing ANYTHING about campus rape

No doubt much scorn will be heaped on my calculations but surely the challenge is to do better.  I would think that no statistical jiggery pokery would close up by much the vast gap I have found

Three young women have shared the harrowing stories of how they were allegedly raped at Australian universities - two when they were just 18.

They are some of 575 students who were sexually assaulted on campus in the past five years, with only six alleged perpetrators expelled.

Dr Rosyln Arnold, a former council member of Sydney University’s St John's residential college who quit her position in disgust in 2012, said it was the product of entrenched rape culture in young men.

'It's endorsing a pattern that women deserve to be victims, that it is acceptable to denigrate and humiliate them and to act violently towards them,' she told Sunday Night.

She said this was made worse by an environment where women were 'objectified and crudely ranked on social media'.

However, one student who had dozens of men make sexualised comments on her Facebook photos said she enjoyed the attention.

'For me, that was really flattering and actually quite funny too. My friends also found it very funny so we just had a bit of a laugh,' Melbourne University student Sydney Watson said.

Sunday Night reporter PJ Madam then read Ms Watson a series of very insulting comments directed at her - including that she 'is a b**** and has bad breath'.

'Look, I won't lie, that some of those thing are really inappropriate but to me that's the nature of the online world. I think it's all in the name of fun,' she responded.

'Whilst they might not be completely right, I don't think that it's in a serious fashion, by any stretch of the imagination.'

Dr Arnold said attitudes like Ms Watson's were 'letting down the side by saying that it's OK. We don't think it's OK.'

Another student, Emma Hunt, was excited to attend Monash University in Melbourne, but her first experience of university life on orientation camp went horribly wrong when she got blackout drunk at a costume party. 'I remember waking up in a cabin with a stranger. And I don't know how I got there, didn't know who he was,' she said.

Her first memory was a lot of people getting her out of the room. She didn't remember how long she was there for, but she was being raped when she woke up.

Ms Hunt only told a friend months later because she didn't know where to go for help. Her alleged rape is now being investigated by police, but she is still scarred by the ordeal

'I wake up fearing i'll run into him every day at uni. It's quite scary, I feel like I have to be hyper-vigilant in case I recognise him,' she said.

'I never really know when the next day is that I'm going to run into him. Last time I was absolutely terrified. I only saw him for a split second, the most unsafe I've ever felt.'

On the other side of the country, former University of WA science student Jannika Jacky said she was raped on her 18th birthday three years ago by a friend from her dorm.

'We met at college, and we became friends quite quickly. He seemed like a perfectly good you know, charming, funny sort of person,' she said.

After pre-drinks at college and then a bar to celebrate, she was feeling drunk and wanted to go home but couldn't find friends who had her room key, so asked him to get her home. 'It was freezing outside and I was just like, "It's really cold, can I just chill in your room for a little bit?"' she said.

'And he was like, "sure, no worries, what are friends for".'

As soon as they were in his room he turned the light off and began kissing her, before raping her despite her protesting.  'I remember quite clearly saying "no. I don't want to do this. because we're just friends". But he just didn't stop,' she said.

'When I got back to my room I just remember taking the longest shower I have probably ever taken.'

Ms Jacky eventually had to drop out of university. Her alleged rapist was kicked out of campus housing but otherwise not punished. He graduated last month.

'The stress was unbearable, depression just went through the roof and so did my anxiety as well. Um, I also have a lot of trouble with having relationships,' she said.

Olivia Todhunter, at the University of Melbourne, alleged she was on exchange overseas when she was raped by a fellow Australian student. 'I remember saying "stop". I remember saying "get off". I remember saying "you have a girlfriend". I remember saying that I didn't want this,' she said.

'When I went to uni counselling they said that my issue wasn't urgent enough to be available for emergency counselling.'

It took Australia's biggest ever freedom of information request to lift the lid on the scale of sexual assault in Australian universities, forcing 27 universities to hand over records of complaints.

There were 575 cases of sexual assault, harassment and indecent behaviour reported over five years, including 145 rapes.

Only six alleged perpetrators were expelled, 14 were suspended, 11 given warnings, 12 reprimanded, and six 'voluntarily separated'.

Those who were punished by universities were in some cases made to pay a $55 fine, write an apology letter, or do just eight hours of community service.

In the vast majority of cases no action was taken by universities and, against their own policies, allegations were often not reported to police.

The complaints uncovered included a male student breaking into campus dorm rooms and raping women in their beds, and another given a master key to all rooms after he was accused of multiple assaults.

Staff members exchanged sexual favours for free accommodation, and others secretly filmed women using showers and toilets.

Male students grabbed women’s breasts, forcefully kissed them, spat at them, and yelled insults like 'slut, slut, slut', 'I bet you like c**k', 'bitch' and 'scum-c*nt'.

Victims were also advised that any discussion of their sexual assaults or abuse with others 'could be considered a disciplinary matter' due to 'confidentiality’' concerns.



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