Friday, October 24, 2014

Ivanovic beats Halep, but Halep advances

Ana Ivanovic took three sets to beat Simona Halep, while she needed two to advance to the WTA Championship semi-fnals.  So Halep advances out of the round-robin group,

Tennis-Ivanovic bows out despite beating Halep at WTA Finals

So where does that leave the tournament?

"Halep, runner-up at this year's French Open, faces Agnieska Radwanska in Saturday's semi-finals while Williams, who is chasing a hat-trick of WTA Finals titles, meets Caroline Wozniacki in a rematch of last month's U.S. Open final."

So Serena, despite being schooled by Halep, is still in the tournament, and will still be the favorite to win it.

Learn to like anchovies and sardines

Of course this makes PERFECT sense.  If you remove the predators, the prey will thrive.  That's why the Eastern US is overrun with whitetail deer, why the Yellowstone ecosystem had way too much elk until wolves were reintroduced --- and in the case of the oceans, why there are now a lot of LITTLE fish, not much fun to catch from a charter fishing boat. 

Small ocean fish are thriving while humans eat up all their predators

"Industrialised fishing practices are causing a revolution in the world’s oceans, with numbers of predator fish - which also include swordfish, grouper, North Atlantic cod and salmon - tumbling by 54 per cent in the past four decades. These fish sit at the top of the food chain and are more popular with humans than the smaller species because people find them tastier. Their volume – by weight - has fallen by 67 per cent in the past century, a University of British Columbia study has found."
 Might I also add bluefin tuna to the list of overfished predator fish?  I think I'm justified in doing that.

 Anyways, it would appear that the oceans aren't DEAD yet, they are just CHANGING a lot.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

All of the calendar

Back on September 5, I posted a link to 1/3 of the Kelly Brook 2015 calendar.

Well, being the conscientious man that I am, now I am providing a link that shows all of the pictures from the calendar.  And they're YUMMY.

Kelly Brook Boobtastic Hotness (courtesy of Egotastic, which doesn't mince words)

I particularly liked August.

I bet a lot of other guys do too.

The most important governor's race

Sure, Republicans might take the Senate. But if Sam Brownback loses the governorship in Kansas, which is a strong possibility, then it is a massive demonstration that when taken to the extreme, hard right conservative positions when implemented DON'T WORK.

And this is happening in an extraordinarily conservative-friendly state, a state that could actually elect Sam Brownback governor in the first place.  A place where being a Republican probably also means you're very likely a Tea Party Republican.

A state where school boards still try to get creationism taught in science classrooms, and a state where they also try to get pseudoscientific climate skeptic claptrap taught as science, in the name of "balance".

I'm sure there are a lot more extreme conservative positions I could note about Kansas.  But I don't need to, it's easy to investigate.  What I'm going to note is that the conservative Republicans of Kansas are discovering that it's not a good thing for your government to be extremely conservative.  Things like public safety and public education and roads and bridges and libraries and garbage pickup all suffer.  As does the basic economy and job growth and things like that.

So Brownback losing is a point that all Democrats running against highly conservative Republicans can use.  As in  "They tried that in Kansas, and it didn't work.  So how do you propose to do it any differently, so it WOULD work?"

Good luck with that question, GOP.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Be careful what you hope for

By Michael Gerson, writing in the Washington Post:

For the GOP, Senate control could be a doubled-edged sword

Republicans are susceptible to the myth of the midterm mandate. Midterm elections generally express unhappiness, not aspiration. But some conservatives took the 2010 result as an ideological turning point. They concluded that Obama’s 2008 victory was an anomaly — that the country, deep down, was really on the Republican side.

It was a false dawn. As a weakened president celebrated a decisive reelection, a few things should have been clear: At the presidential level, the GOP brand is offensive to many rising demographic groups. Republicans are often perceived as indifferent to working-class struggles (because they sometimes are). The GOP appeal seems designed for a vanishing electorate.

The problem that the 2010 election was that it planted the seeds for the Tea Party, which has exerted an inordinate amount of influence on the Republican Party, and pushed them ideologically rightward, which made the House Republicans an unruly bunch that rejected normal compromise. And we're still dealing with that national headache.

Halep beats Williams!

Big news from the Women's Tennis Association championships in Singapore - not only did Simona Halep defeat Serena Williams, she gave her a 6-0 thrashing in the first set, and followed up with a 6-2 second set.

  • So she beat her in straight sets.
  • She blanked her in a set.
  • She scored her first defeat of a top-3 player.

That's all big.  In other news, Caroline Wozniacki took a tough three-set match from Maria Sharapova. 

Here's two different descriptions of the upset:

Tennis - Halep conjures up the match of her life to beat Serena

Simona Halep crushes Serena Williams 6-0, 6-2 in WTA Finals

It's a round-robin, so nothing is decided yet.  Here's the Web site:  WTA Finals

Monday, October 20, 2014

A lot of Web sites featuring this climate news

The climate skeptics' nightmare is that the faux-pause, aka The Hiatus, will end.  Well, it really already has (see the quote at end).  But being calendrically-obsessed, we need an annual calendar year temperature record to certify this.

There are already admirable skeptic attempts to downplay the importance or impact of this.  But the fact is, with the Pacific barely in or just barely not in an El Nino state, setting a global temperature record is a big thing, because in 1998 the Pacific was in a gigantic El Nino state.  And as I and others have noted previously, the high temperature that year was about 0.2 deg C above the baseline warming rate over the past few decades.  So even considering the hiatus and all that, we have gone a couple years over a decade, and the global temperature has gone up 0.2 deg C, and here we are on the threshold of an all-time annual temperature record.  Right where, unfortunately, all the trends would put us.  And 0.2 deg C per decade is 2 degrees a century, well over thrice the rate of the 20th century warming.

No wonder the skeptics are fearful.  The general public, if they get this information properly processed, might realize en masse all the lies they skeptics have been telling and comprehend all the data the skeptics have been distorting.  There will be a sense of betrayal and even anger at the chumps they've been played for.  And then they will take refuge in the hope that scientists (and much more nuclear power) can bail us out of this sinking mess.

Hot News: 2014 on track to be the warmest year

"In fact, leaving aside calendar years, the period from October 2013 through September 2014 “is the warmest 12-month period that we’ve ever had on record,” Blunden told Climate Central."
Now that that is out of the way, the annual temperature record should fall next.

We need it to, to make the issues more obvious and to start to clear the obfuscated air that they have exhaled.