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The Virginia Tech Police Department has obtained a full confession in the most brazen crime our area has seen so far this year!


The results of a scientific experiment are valid…

When another independent scientist can replicate the results of your experiment. If those results cannot be replicated, then your experimental results are not valid. Additionally, your experiment must actually measure the mechanism you are claiming to test.

Apparently, Al Gore and (surprisingly) Bill Nye “the Science Guy” don’t seem to understand this, and had to resort to wholesale fabrication of experimental results to create a video supporting their claims. Anthony Watts at the blog Watt’s up with That? shows and explains, in a blog post with a series of experiments well documented on video, both how the experiment shown in Gore’s video (which he also critiques at the second link) would not show the mechanism he claims it illustrates, and how it could not have shown the results Gore claims.

I’m not going to analyze the results. You should go read and view the whole thing yourself. What I want to comment on is how Mr. Watts shows us how science really works.

First, he explains his theory and the reasoning behind the theory of why Gore’s experiment would not illustrate the mechanism it claims to illustrate. He then shows us, with video documentation, a rough but simple experiment the results of which support his theory and falsify Gore’s stated explanation.

Next, he duplicates (to the best of his ability given the lack of specific documentation available) Gore’s experiment, posting documentation of the equipment, methods, and apparatus he uses, and supported with unedited video documentation of the actual experiment and the results. Results which not only do not match the results of Gore’s experiment (as he predicted, and which also support his earlier theory about why Gore’s experiment wouldn’t do what Gore claimed), but actually show an opposite result. He runs the experiment more than once, adjusting one variable (time) from Gore’s experiment that he’s not sure about. He then runs the experiment and his earlier variations using different sensing equipment. He posts all of his methods and data for public examination and analysis. He explains his conclusions and his reasoning behind those conclusions.

Gore’s video is staged propaganda, claiming to be science while falsifying the results.

The post at Watt’s up with That? is science.


(h/t A Conservative Shemale)

Particles found to break speed of light

Fundamental shift in our knowledge of the laws of physics, or experimental error?

Antonio Ereditato, spokesman for the researchers, told Reuters that measurements taken over three years showed neutrinos pumped from CERN near Geneva to Gran Sasso in Italy had arrived 60 nanoseconds quicker than light would have done.

“We have high confidence in our results. We have checked and rechecked for anything that could have distorted our measurements but we found nothing,” he said. “We now want colleagues to check them independently.”

If confirmed, the discovery would undermine Albert Einstein’s 1905 theory of special relativity, which says that the speed of light is a “cosmic constant” and that nothing in the universe can travel faster.

The idea isn’t new, even in physics circles. I know back in college I read about a different theory of relativity that would allow for FTL movement, and also didn’t require the “fudge factor” of dark matter or dark energy to make observed results fit the theory, like the currently accepted model does (and if I could remember what it was called, or enough detail to find it in a Google search, I would provide a link). Of course, whether that other theory is right or not is a completely separate question.

This discovery, if confirmed, opens up a whole slew of new questions. But I would point out to the manmade climate change crowd that this is a stunning example that the science is never truly settled. New evidence can be discovered at any time that contradicts the current understanding. If the science is “settled,” then it’s no longer science, it’s religion.


[Source: article, retrieved 9/22/11]

In the tank

I’m sitting at lunch watching CNN on the restaurant’s tv, and they’re doing a story on the “hidden benefits” of the rising gas prices. They are talking about things like reduced fatalities and reduced obesity, and states getting more money from taxes.

So the fact that I have to pay more to get to work, and have that much less to spend on luxuries must be a good thing, right?

A breakdown of the problems at Japan’s nuclear plants

This site seems to have a good timeline and breakdown of the problems that lead to the current situation with the nuclear reactors that are having issues. It’s an interesting read.

Some important points to consider:

  1. Two unprecedented natural disasters struck the plants within about a one hour timeframe.
  2. The cooling systems themselves were not damaged by either the quake or the tsunami.
  3. The sequential disasters caused the failure of two layers of power systems for the cooling system – outside power was disrupted by the quake, and the multiply redundant on-site diesel generators were wiped out by the tsunami.
  4. The third layer of backups – battery power for the cooling systems – worked exactly as designed.
  5. The fourth layer of backups – mobile diesel generators brought in from off-site – appear to have failed due to not having the proper plugs to connect to the plant’s cooling systems. This is entirely feasible, as this is a 40 year old reactor (installed in 1971), and the general state of confusion and crisis throughout the nation caused by the quake and tsunami.

So, just for the normal cooling systems to fail required the failure of four redundant systems – one of which had it’s own built-in redundant backups – before a meltdown became even a possibility. There were multiple emergency procedures already planned and ready when that happened.

There comes a point when designing anything where creating safety procedures becomes an exercise in ridiculousness. The plant survived two of the worst disasters in Japan’s recorded history in the space of one hour, without a reactor breach, and with all backup systems operating as designed for eight hours afterwards. Human error (the wrong plugs for the outside generators), exacerbated by the scale of the disasters (which likely prevented the proper plugs being brought in in time), is what led to the current situation, not poor design.

TANSTAAFL applies to all forms of power generation. There is no perfect way to power a modern society – nuclear, coal, oil, and gas all have inherent dangers and pollution. Solar and wind are unreliable and insufficient to meet our needs, and have their own environmental costs. Simply cutting our energy production to meet the abilities of “green” power generation would result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands, if not millions. Nuclear is still the best option.


Gaia’s flatulence will kill us all!

Well, okay, not really. But that’s the gist of the latest doomsday theory, and this one blames BP for our upcoming extinction.

If you’ve spent any considerable length of time on the Internet lately — and not just its dark conspiratorial alleys — you may have run across a number of geological reports that read like the plot of a Jerry Bruckheimer movie: BP may have haphazardly tapped into a violent reservoir of methane gas deep below Earth’s surface, possibly setting off a chain of events that could lead to release of a “methane mega-bubble” capable of triggering floods of biblical proportions and emitting poisons into the atmosphere, effectively wiping humans off the face of the Earth.

Fortunately, it’s not true.

“I wouldn’t believe that at all,” Gregory Stone, director of the Louisiana State University Coastal Studies Institute, told us. “There’s a lot of press out there in regards to this event that is just inaccurate. We’ve got some of the best scientists in the world here, and we’re not concerned about that scenario at all.”

In fact, it’s apparently laughable.

Another prominent scientist we contacted thought that the reports were such hogwash that he declined to even offer a comment to refute them.

So relax, we’re not all going to die from a massive earth fart. Unless it’s “silent, but deadly.”

Even more Climategate shenanigans

The “rigorous peer review” everyone keeps trotting out when the studies are questioned? Turns out, not so much.

From Reason, by way of Les Jones:

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that claims of rigorous peer-review [in the IPCC report] may have been exaggerated:

a new study put this claim to the test. A team of 40 researchers from 12 countries, led by a Canadian analyst Donna Laframboise, checked out every one of the 18,531 scientific sources cited in the mammoth 2007 report. Astonishingly, they found that nearly a third of them – 5,587 – were not peer-reviewed at all, but came from newspaper articles, student theses, even propaganda leaflets and press releases put out by green activists and lobby groups.

[emphasis mine - Jake]

But, you know, the science is settled.

(h/t SayUncle)

Yet more Climate Change shenanigans

Now it’s NASA/GISS cooking the numbers.

Now a new “Climategate” scandal is emerging, this time based on documents released by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in response to several Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suits filed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). The newly released emails further demonstrate the politicized nature of climate science, revealing a number of questionable practices that cast doubt on the credibility of scientific data provided by NASA.


In another email, he reveals that NASA had inflated its temperature data since 2000 on a questionable basis. “[NASA's] assumption that the adjustments made the older data consistent with future data… may not have been correct,” he says.


Unfortunately, it seems that the discrepancy privately highlighted by Dr. Ruedy was not coincidental, but part of a broader pattern of misrepresentation on the part of GISS. Between 2002 and 2005, GISS chief James Hansen issued press releases headlined “2005 Warmest Year in a Century;” “2006 was Earth’s Fifth Warmest Year;” and “The 2002 meteorological year is the second warmest year in the period of accurate instrumental data.” In other words, global warming is happening and that immediate action is necessary.


In fact, further corrections revealed by the emails indicate that U.S. temperatures on average had only increased by 0.5 degree Celsius since 1934, rather than 1 degree, as originally claimed.

There’s more – you should go read the whole thing. Remember – even in science – where there’s money involved, there’s politics involved.

(h/t SayUncle)

More Climategate, and other things

Jenn over at A Conservative Shemale gives us a great multi-subject post today, starting with more problems for the whole global warming/cooling/climate-change thingamabob:

Scientists have been forced to withdraw a study on projected sea level rise due to global warming after finding mistakes that undermined the findings.


“One mistake was a miscalculation; the other was not to allow fully for temperature change over the past 2,000 years. Because of these issues we have retracted the paper and will now invest in the further work needed to correct these mistakes.”

They didn’t “allow fully for temperature change over the last 2,000 years.” Doesn’t that cover the entire period where any man-made climate change would actually have occurred? That’s some “mistake”!

She then links us to an article where the AGW pushers are trying to defend their claims.

[N]one of that gets at the question du jour, which is how big a role humans are playing. Until later on. Lashof and Deans say it’s a big one, and their source for saying so is a government report compiled by the nation’s top science, defense, and diplomatic agencies—NOAA, NASA, the Pentagon, the National Science Foundation, the Department of State (none of which have been marred in scandal)—over the course of two decades, through four presidential administrations.

Notice their source is a government report – they don’t say where the agencies got their data for the report. Remember, most of the problems cropping up recently in the whole AGW theory are about problems with the data. It doesn’t matter how “nonpartisan” the report is if it’s based on corrupted, compromised, cherry-picked, or imaginary data.

She also hits on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, taking us to an article about a study showing that other militaries have found allowing openly gay soldiers to continue to serve has not been disruptive even with rapid transitions.

A comprehensive new study on foreign militaries that have made transitions to allowing openly gay service members concludes that a speedy implementation of the change is not disruptive. The finding is in direct opposition to the stated views of Pentagon leaders, who say repealing a ban on openly gay men and women in the United States armed forces should take a year or more.

Remember, a lot of the people pushing for a “slow” repeal of DADT are the ones who don’t want it repealed in the first place – or would prefer to go back to the complete ban that existed before DADT.

She has more, too, but you should go to her blog to read it all.


I knew the “science” behind global warming was sketchy, and the data questionable, but… Wow.

Just one quote:

“We concluded, with overwhelming statistical significance, that the IPCC’s climate data are contaminated with surface effects from industrialization and data quality problems. These add up to a large warming bias,” he said.

Such warnings are supported by a study of US weather stations co-written by Anthony Watts, an American meteorologist and climate change sceptic.

His study, which has not been peer reviewed, is illustrated with photographs of weather stations in locations where their readings are distorted by heat-generating equipment.

Some are next to air- conditioning units or are on waste treatment plants. One of the most infamous shows a weather station next to a waste incinerator.

Watts has also found examples overseas, such as the weather station at Rome airport, which catches the hot exhaust fumes emitted by taxiing jets.

This really has gone from bad science to a farcical cover-up. Read the whole thing.

[h/t Robb, at Sharp as a Marble]


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