From the ‘I just LOVE conspiracies’ file: Polybius, MK Ultra, and the CIA’s Brainwashing Arcade Game

If you find conspiracy theories as much fun as I do, and if you enjoy video games, you’ll love this one!

H/T:  PlasmaLink

xkcd: Moon Landing

Apocalypse has been cancelled

I am, of course, speaking of the dreaded 21st of December, 2012, when the world is going to end because the wise old Mayans chose to end their calendar on that day.

This is a sad day for all us fans of conspiracy theories….

Another, even older ancient Mayan calendar has been found.  And, this one continues way past 21.12.2012:

 

‘The Maya recorded time in a series of cycles, including 400-year chunks called baktuns. It’s these baktuns that have led to rumors of an end-of-the-world catastrophe on Dec. 21, 2012 — on that date, a cycle of 13 baktuns will be complete. But the idea that this means the end of the world is a misconception, Stuart said. In fact, Maya experts have known for a long time that the calendar doesn’t end after the 13th baktun. It simply begins a new cycle. And the calendar encompasses much larger units than the baktun.’

‘In one column, the ancient scribe even worked out a cycle of time recording 17 baktuns, the researchers found. In another spot, someone etched a “ring number” into the wall. These notations were used to record time in a previous cycle, thousands of years into the past. The calendar also appears to note the cycles of Mars and Venus, the researchers said. Symbols of gods head the top of each lunar cycle, suggesting that each cycle had its own patron deity.’

I am not certain from reading the article that my understanding of the length of the newly found calendar is correct, but it seems to imply that it goes on for at least 1,600 more years than the ‘apocalypse in 2012′ one.

The article itself states that

“The Mayan calendar is going to keep going for billions, trillions, octillions of years into the future,” said archaeologist David Stuart of the University of Texas, who worked to decipher the glyphs. “Numbers we can’t even wrap our heads around.”

But, I think they are discussing the system itself, not the particular notation they found, which, I think, they say encompasses 17 cycles of 400 years, continuing well past 2012.

Here is a link to neat photos of the discovery.

 

xkcd: ‘inside job’ was an inside job

 

Me too!

Conspiracy ‘theorists’ can be extremely entertaining.  I like to play with them.

P.S.  The word ‘theory’ in ‘conspiracy theory’ should always be in quotation marks:  let’s face it, a bunch of rantings do not a theory make!

Fake ‘dead Osama’ photo

Well, well, well…

It looks like the widely circulated ‘photo’ of the ‘dead Osama bin Laden’ is a fake.

Let the conspiracy theories begin!

(Wait – too late for that.)

Update:  not really an update of the story – just came across an interesting link I thought I’d throw in.  I just love conspiracy theories!

Secret societies – conspiracy theories

I just love conspiracy theories – especially if they have secret societies and mysterious influential people….and if there is a hint of the supernatural, even better!

Yesterday, in Ottawa, during a ‘routine traffic stop’, cops found 2 pipe bombs in the trunk of a car.

Now, I have not been stopped in many ‘routine traffice stops’, but the times I was, nobody ever searched the trunk of my car!

I smell ‘a conspiracy’ here!!!

So, where did they find this bomb?

In ”The Glebe’.

Which is a part of town riddled with trendy cafes, overpriced boutiques, little art galleries and other ‘hot spots’ which appeal to the aging yuppies and retiring civil servant boomers who have taken this honest, working class neighbourhood and turned it into pretentious snobville.

It is also the part of town where a bank was firebombed last year.

By an aging yuppie boomer, a retired civil servant.

Probably too young to have taken part in the ‘wild 60’s protests’, but young enough to idolize them….and too stoked up to know better.

I can’t wait to hear what the story with this newest arrest is going to be!

‘Medieval Warm Period': why do warm-mongers ‘have to get rid of it’?

While reading through the ClimateGate documents, I noticed that the ‘scientists’ paid some serious attention to the ‘Medieval Warm Period’(MWP).

Specifically, it worried them – we’ve known that since 2006, when one of them openly stated “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period”.

They did not like it.

They wanted to get rid of it.

And rid of it they got!

The second IPCC report (1995/6) showed that the Middle Ages were several degrees (about 3) warmer than the global temperatures are today.

The third IPCC report (2001) DID NOT!!!  It replaced the graph with the now infamously debunked ‘hockey stick graph’… and claimed the 1990’s were by far the warmest period ever.

WHY?

At first, I thought that the reason was the obvious thing:  if things were that warm during 800 – 1 000 years ago, then it would be hard to panic people into giving them tons of research money now.

Then, I thought back to Al Gore’s instructive little movie…  What was the most iconographic image in it?

Al Gore’s big shiny graph which showed how temperature and carbon dioxide are linked!  Here was the proof that more CO2 means higher temperatures!!!

And, our CO2 IS going up.  Measurably.

Except that the temperature goes up first, then, about 800 or so years later (this period varies by a few centuries either way, but, roughly, it has about an 800 year lag) the carbon dioxide goes up!

It is hard to see this lag on Mr. Gore’s graph, because the two curves are separated out.  But, if one superimposes them on the same time-line, it is clear to see that the temperature goes up first and the CO2 goes up (about 800 years or so) later…

Not only does the CO2 go up, the graph shows that it can spike up very quickly!  The pattern shows a slow decline, followed by a sharp, ‘sudden’ rise.

WHEN was that Medieal Warm Period?  The one during which the temperatures shot up?

800-1300 C.E.?

Hey, that is somewhere between 700 and 1 200 years ago.

How long is the lag again?

800 years, plus or minus a couple centuries either way…

Doesn’t that mean that – just about NOW – we should be expecting the CO2 levels to spike up?

Way up?

How come we never hear about that?

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ACC is real – just not the way IPCC claims

Let’s face it:  us pesky humans are constantly changing the climate around us!

From as far back as we know, we have always tried to create pockets of micro-climates where we controlled the water flow and maintained temperatures as close to the 20-22 degrees Celsius optimum as possible! We call these ‘our homes’.

And, we have become very good at creating and maintaining these human-changed pockets of climate!

As I point out to my husband just about every summer, when he suggests that camping might be a fun family activity:  it took our ancestors thousands of years to develop running water at just the optimal temperature to fill a ‘soaker-tub’, it took centuries of engineering to be able to control the heating and cooling of our house with the touch of a button, it took decades of scientific research to put little box into our basement so I can connect to the whole world!  To voluntarily sleep on the hard ground, separated from the elements by nothing but a thin piece of cloth held up by glorified sticks – that would be disrespectfully turning our backs on our ancestors!

The tent, of course, is also an artificial  microclimate:  but nowhere as nice as our home.  But, ‘indoors’ is not the only climate we are building…

It is a well known phenomenon that the temperature inside a forest is several degrees cooler than in the meadow just beside it:  this is a function of the type of vegetation that grows there.  Plants use the energy from the air which surrounds them to eat up carbon dioxide and poop out oxygen – this energy ‘in the air’ is indeed what we measure as ‘temperature’.

In a meadow, the plants are usually (plus or minus) ‘knee deep’.  In a forest, there are short plants, too – plus they are surrounded by plants which are much taller.  And, all the green bits of these plants are eating up the carbon dioxide and cooling the air around them in the process.  Since the plants here are ‘stacked up above each other’, and each bit is sucking in energy out of the air, it is not surprising that the forest is cooler than the adjoining meadow because some of the heat from the air is absorbed by the plants (and turned into food) at every layer of the forest.

When we surround our homes with tiny little short lawns, where each blade of grass is chopped into stunted obedience (admission – I think that ‘manicured lawns’ are hideous and unsightly, as well as philosophically offensive), we have replaced the trees and bushes which used to grow there with plants which are nowhere near as good at cooling the air as a forest (or even scrub, or the plants in a marsh) would be.  We may not think of it that way, but when we mow our lawns and pull out the thistles, we are altering our climate by propagating plants which are relatively inefficient in cooling the air and reducing the carbon dioxide levels.

The same holds true when we cut down forests and plant crops (OK – I am not referring to Christmas tree farms….I mean grains, and so on).  And I am not even talking about the large areas we pave, because we find pavement to be convenient – forests which absorb heat are now replaced by cement or asphalt which absorb the heat and radiate it right back out.

Predictably enough, the temperatures we measure in cities are higher than in the ones we measure in the countryside just outside them. This effect is called ‘urban heat islands’ and is well known to climatologists.  (OK- my description is a simplification… these references do a better job.)

Here is a nifty video I came across, which really clearly illustrates this:

This video used the surface temperature data collected by NASA’s GISS – the same data was also available to the IPCC scientists…. If you would indulge me, I would like to point something out:  I have not verified that what this kid and his dad have done is accurate.  BUT – I could, if I wanted to! Because unlike the IPCC cabal, which swore they would rather delete their ‘source data’ than reveal it – and this data has, mysteriously, been accidentally deleted due to lack of storage memory (!), this kid and his dad have  (in preparing a YouTube video) followed the scientific method with much greater integrity than our esteemed IPCC experts.  Notice what theboy and his dad did:

  1. Stated what they wanted to find out, and why (their hypothesis)
  2. Stated where they took their data from (the NASA GISS site – they showed both the web address and screenshots), so people would be able to get the same data from there and check that they were not making it up, or that they did not make any mistakes.
  3. Stated how they selected the sites they used:  a pair of readings, one inside a city, one in the countryside nearby
  4. Stated how they defined ‘city’ (minimum population size) and ‘countryside’ (maximum population size)
  5. Stated how they ‘controlled’ for geographic variations:  the maximum distance separating the ‘city’ and ‘country’ pair, to make sure that they really were located in the same geographic area
  6. Showed the points they actually used – each and every one of them, along with the selection criteria, was scrolled down the screen, making it possible for everyone to check their work and reproduce it
  7. Showed their methodology:  the dad explained, in detail – and repeating himself to make sure he was clear – exactly what they did with the data once they decided which points to use….again, everyone can follow his steps EXACTLY in order to verify his claims
  8. Showed intermediate results:  the ‘in-between’ stages of the data, the various graphs, are shown and clearly explained what it is they are showing and how they were generated
  9. Showed final results and explained how they related to (confirmed, in this case) tw thheir hypothesis – in other words, they said this is why/how our results confirm what we said at the beginning

EVERYONE CAN RE-DO THIS TO CHECK IT FOR THEMSELVES!!!

And THAT is what ALL scientists are supposed to do – not just for little videos, but especially for work based on which trillions of dollars are being spent!  But, I digress from my original point…

Which was that yes, we humans ARE changing the climate around us.  If nothing else, this little amateur video has demonstrated this:  but this ‘ACC’ is not caused by carbon dioxide emissions, it is caused by deforestation and urbanization….

 

Carbon caps will have no effect on it whatsoever!

In science, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

The CRU climatologists have not only failed to provide any proof of their claims (aside from their say-so), they have actively destroyed data so that nobody else can provide a proof, either.   Without a proof, why should we believe them – especially when an alternative explanations for the same data, presented transparently and verifiably, is so easily available?

A long tail for your house

Please, consider the options which would open up to you if your house had a really long tail – a fibre optic tail, that is!  One belonging to the homeowner, NOT the ISPs!  We could take a step away from throttling off net neutrality.

‘The really long tail’ from ‘ars technica’

With more ISPs discussing ‘bundling’ accessible websites the way cable companies offer ‘bundled channel packages’, this would significantly improve consumer choice.

“say, doesn’t co2 kill plants??????”

While I have been taking a look at Aspergers, and describing some of my experiences and coping methods that worked for me, I have neglected a number of other very important topics. 

For example, I have promised to post on the topic of the climate.  And I promised that I would provide some solid information about why I hold the views I do.  Thus, I was preparing something on this. 

Alas, it is difficult to assess the information one is provided if one is not familiar with the underlying science behind the words.  More and more of what I have been reading from non-scientific (that is, MSM (main stream media) and many blogs, debating sites etc. – you know, all them places that have replaced the ‘watercooler chat’) has convinced me that before I can hope to provide useful information, it will be necessary to log in some explanations first.

As if to convince me that I ought to do this, in a coment on this post on a dime a dozen blog , somebody asked the following question: 

“say, doesn’t co2 kill plants??????”

I thought this question needed to be addressed, the sooner the better.  Here is my (somewhat expanded) answer:

No.  CO2 does NOT kill plants.  Nor is it pollution!  It is plant food, and what plants use to make food for us.

There are 2 basic ‘gas exchange’ processes that occur in plants:  breathing (respiration) and photosynthesis.

RESPIRATION

Why breathe?  What is the purposeENERGY!!! 

To carry out the process of living, all cells need energy.  That is why we – and plants – need to breathe 24 hours a day.  So how do we get energy by breathing in oxygen?

An oxygen molecule is made up of two oxygen atoms  (hence O2 – the 2 means the molecule is made up of 2 oxygen atoms).  These two atoms are held together by a ‘bond’ – breaking this bond releases energy.  But an oxygen atom by itself has a strong ‘need’ to bond to something (we rate it a level 2 need).  If left in this state, it would harm the surrounding cells (it is called a ‘free radical’). 

Organisms ‘solve’ the problem by taking a carbon atom (C) which has an even higher ‘need’ to bond (level 4).  Two oxygen atoms (with a ‘2’ each) are bonded to the one carbon atom (to add up to the carbon’s ‘4’).  (Yes, this is a major simplification – but the underlying principles are accurately described).  The resulting molecule is CO2 – or one carbon and two oxygen atoms.  All of its ‘needs’ for ‘bonds’ are met, so it is not harmful to the surrounding tissues.

Yes, it does require energy to bind the oxygen atoms to the carbon one.  However, because carbon has such a high ‘need’ for bonds, it takes less enegry to bind the oxygen atoms to it than was released by breaking the bonds between the two oxygen atoms.  In other words, when one breaks the molecular bonds between the two oxygen atoms in O2, then take a part of that energy and uses it to bind the two oxygen atoms to a carbon atom, one has some energy left over.  I stress again, this is a major simplification – there are many steps and other ‘bits’ (like glucose, which is where the carbon molecules for the reaction come from) are essential!!!  However, the underlying principle is correct.  If you would like to read more about this, here and here and here are good starting spots.

This energy difference is what cells use to carry out ‘living’.  We call this process aerobic respiration, both in plants and animals.  And though other molecules may be used in its place, oxygen is by far the most efficient one.  (Respiration in the absence of oxygen is called anaerobic respiration.)

PHOTOSYNTHESIS

During respiration, living cells get energy by breaking ‘bond’ betwen two oxygen atoms in an oxygen molecule (O2), and then use carbon atoms from glucose (simple sugar, made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms) molecules to stop the resulting oxygen atoms (free radicals) from harming the cell itself.  So, where does the glucose come from?

Glucose is produced by photosynthesis.

Plants have special organelles called chloroplasts.  These are specialized organelles (sub-section of a cell with a specialized function) in the plant cells which contain the green pigment chlorophyl.  Their function is to take IN carbon dioxide (CO2) form the air, and combine it with hydrous oxyde (H2O – water). 

The C (carbon) from the CO2 is combined with the OH group from H2O.  OK, I am simplifying again:  you need several molecules of CO2 and H2O to make it work, because the result of combining the carbons and oxygens and hydrogens together is the simple sugar, glucose:  and it has 6 carbon atoms in it. 

It is, in fact, pretty much the reverse of the chemical reaction during respiration.  But the reason for respiration is to release energy.  So, this process of photosynthesis needs energy from the outside to happen – and this is the reason why it occurs in the chloroplasts, which contain the green pigment chlorophyll, which is very good at absorbing light energy from the sun.  It then uses this energy to drive the chemical reaction of binding carbon atoms (from CO2 in the air) to water molecules to produce the simple carbohydrate, glucose.

This process is called photosynthesis because it uses the enegy from light (photo) to build (synthesise) glucose, a simple sugar.  Glucos molecules can, in turn, be joined up into long chains so they can be stored efficiently.  The end product, the carbohydrate chain, is called starch.

Plants can then use the stored up starch in order to breathe.  And animals, unable to make starch themselves, eat plants in order to get it.  Thus, energy from sun gets stored by plants (using carbon dioxide and water) as carbohydrates. The byproduct of this process in the oxygen molecule. Plants and animals use these carbohydrates and oxygen from the air to use this stored solar energy to ‘drive’ their cells.  The byproduct of this is carbon dioxide.  This is the basic energy cycle of our current lifeforms.

The more complex the plant, the more CO2 it requires to grow and thrive.  For example, the ‘Great Plains’ in the US used to be mostly covered by trees – until the carbon dioxide levels became too low to support them.  Then, they reverted to grassplains, because grass is a less complex plant and requires (and uses)less CO2 in the air.

If you love trees, as I do, you cannot but object to anything that will reduce the CO2 levels available for them to grow.  I am a self-admitted tree hugger – and a scientist.  I thought the ‘global warming’ thing sounded good when it was first proposed, so I have ‘looked into’ it (extensively – though this is NOT my field of expertise!!!  I do not wish to mislead!).  The evidence has convinced me that this is not dangerous.  To the contrary.  Incerases in CO2 levels are higly advantageous to lifeforms on Earth because historically, they raise food availability and are accompanied by greater species differentiation and increase in overall lifeforms supported.  And despite some claims, hard datea shows that we are nowhere near historically high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.

So, why the hype?

I don’t know.  In situations where things get as murky as this is, I like to use a very simple ‘rule of thumb':  “cui bono?” 

Or, in other words, ‘Follow the money, honey!’ 

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