Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Telling it like it really is

Let's lay out the steps.

The Daily Mail publishes a misleading piece about how La NiƱa will cool off the Earth, thus disproving global warming and discounting all the temperature records set over the past two years.

Breitbart News picks up the piece and republishes it in a piece written by idiotic twit James Delingpole, and a link to his Breitbart article about it gets tweeted by the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology - headed by arch climate science critic Lamar Smith.

But the piece in Breitbart included a clip from the Weather Channel, and this clip had the Weather Channel logo, thus potentially implying that the Weather Channel stood behind the story.  (And note here that misbegotten climate change skeptic John Coleman founded the Weather Channel.  And he can't answer simple questions about the climate system.)

Well, the Weather Channel wanted to make sure that everybody knew that the Breitbart News piece written by Delingpole, with their clip in it -- was utter claptrap.  (I thought about using a short word starting with "c" and ending in "ap", but decided to be circumspect.)

Here's what they said:

Note to Breitbart: Earth Is Not Cooling, Climate Change Is Real and Please Stop Using Our Video to Mislead Americans

And that includes this:

"The Breitbart article – a prime example of cherry picking, or pulling a single item out of context to build a misleading case – includes this statement: "The last three years may eventually come to be seen as the final death rattle of the global warming scare."

In fact, thousands of researchers and scientific societies are in agreement that greenhouse gases produced by human activity are warming the planet’s climate and will keep doing so."

Alert President Trump. And John Coleman, while you're at it.

Climate change and fake news go together

Donald Trump believes what he's told.  The problem is, a lot of what he's told isn't true.

When he acts on things he thinks are correct but aren't true, that's inconvenient if it's just him.  It's bad if he uses his misguided knowledge to make decisions as the President of the United States.

More terrifying than Trump:  the booming conspiracy culture of climate science denial
"The problem is not that these [fake news, conspiracy theory, and climate change denial] sites exist but that not enough people seem to know the difference between actual news, fake news, partisan opinion and conspiratorial bullshit. One of those people is the president-elect of the United States.

Either that, or people don’t even care to differentiate between fake and real, especially if what they read taps into their own prejudices."
I've seen a lot of that in action.  If you don't question the news you hear, and you only get it from sources with particular points of view, your thinking becomes very, very biased -- and your mind becomes very, very hard to change, even if real facts and hard evidence are all in opposition to what you think is correct.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Will the media let Trump keep lying?

Jennifer Rubin, who is a conservative right-wing columnist at the Washington Post, and who really, really doesn't think Donald Trump should have been elected President, has some advice for the media:

Don't let Trump or his seconds lie to you.  And don't let Trump's seconds defend the lies that he tells.

She provides a transcript of George Stephanopoulos trying to get Mike Pence to discuss the topic of Trump lying about the "millions" of fraudulent votes in the last election, but Pence stuck to the script of denying that the Trumpster lied about that.

Interviewers cannot let Trump's lies fly by

A quote: "Trump’s assault on the truth goes a long way toward explaining his unhinged attacks on the media. He and his advisers scream bloody murder when the press reports his own words. That’s not “dishonest” or “liberal bias” as he says — it’s reporting on the objective reality (what came out of his own mouth), something that threatens Trump’s stranglehold on the national conversation. His bizarre notion that we should not take him “literally” (i.e., expect him to believe what he says) sums up the Orwellian world in which he operates."

One game at a time

Crystal Palace may not have been exactly dominant and convincing, but they did win against Southampton.  It helped that the Southampton goalkeeper took a mighty swing at the ball in front of his own net to send it deep into the Crystal Palace zone, and instead kicked it about three feet right to Christian Benteke, who took the gift and put it where it belonged.

So they live to play another week, and Alan Pardew is still the coach.

Tune in again this weekend to watch another tightrope walk against Hull City, a game that they should be favored to win, but nothing is ever easy.

Crystal Palace 3-0 Southampton: A birthday brace for Christian Benteke seals vital three points and hands under-fire manager Alan Pardew a lifeline

Lighthouse of the Week, December 4-10, 2016: Race Rocks, British Columbia, Canada

I've had a couple of British Columbia lighthouses as Lighthouse of the Week before, but I went back there again.  This time I chose the Race Rocks lighthouse, which is one of the oldest lighthouses in Canada, and is made out of granite.  Solid rock.  Built to last.

It's located south of Vancouver Island, close enough to Washington State and the USA that the Olympic Mountains make a dramatic backdrop in some photographs (as you'll see below).

It even has it's own Web site with live Webcam views (I think that's a first for my LOTW), and occasionally has elephant seals on the front lawn.

It is also now currently located in a Marine Protected Area.

More from Wikipedia here

Race Rocks Lighthouse Web site (with the Webcams)

History of Race Rocks Lighthouse

It's an old-timer, too: "The lighthouse was built between 1859–1860 by the crew of HMS Topaze and outside labourers under a contract awarded to John Morris by the British Government."

And the pictures:

Friday, December 2, 2016

Hope nothing happens before then

The U.S. military, specifically the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), has just finished building and testing a new telescope designed to track space junk and small asteroids, for two primary reasons:

1.  To anticipate and hopefully prevent collisions of junk with things that are valuable;


2.  To keep track of things big enough to hit Earth with dangerous consequences.

The problem is, now that it's been built and tested, it has to get shipped to Australia and rebuilt, and maybe it'll be ready to start looking for space rocks and space junk in 2020.  That is, provided Donald Trump doesn't think space junk and killer asteroids are a Chinese hoax and cuts off the funding.

I don't see that happening, but you never know with The Donald.

DARPA's SST spans the sky for asteroids

My first sonnet for December

I haven't posted any sonnets for awhile, but I have a backlog.   So this when will start off the month.

rite impassioned

So simple and so commonplace, this act,
which happens ev'ry day uncounted times
so that it seems we'd be far too exact
to think that one of them deserves the rhymes
of a poetic utterance -- yet still,
participants may think their act was such,
so wonderous and thunderous they will
believe themselves as blessed, though in the much
more unemotional considera-
tion of statistics we all know they can-
not be so specially unique, yet they
will always think they were. The span
of globalness defines the grace for all,
where ev'ry pair creates their naked thrall.