Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Energy Myths

From Forbes, Five U.S. Electricity Myths DeBunked
  • Myth 1: Wind and Solar Will Displace Coal
  • Myth #2: Fossil Fuels Get More “Subsidies” Than Renewables
  • Myth #3: Americans Will be Using Less Electricity
  • Myth #4: Only Renewable Energy Systems are Evolving
  • Myth #5: Europe is the Example to Follow

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Where Has Global Warming Gone?

Ka-Kit Tung, a fellow of the American Meteorological Society, a Professor of Applied Mathematics, and an adjunct professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington writes,
For the last quarter of the twentieth century, the average temperature at the surface of the earth edged inexorably upward. Then, to the surprise even of scientists, it stopped. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere continued to rise; indeed, it is higher today than it has been for centuries. And yet, for the last 15 years, according to the conventional way of measuring global warming, the planet does not seem to have become any hotter.
http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/global-warming-earth-surface-temperature-by-ka-kit-tung-2014-12#KQhDjxGjBsVLKcXp.99
 
It is significant because NO ONE expected the pause and NO ONE can explain what has happened.  It means all the computer models forecasting global warming alarms are wrong.  It does not mean that climate change is not going to happen.  It does mean that climate change is NOT SETTLED science, contrary what the "alarmists" try deceptively to promote.

Author of Dsicredited Research Paper Resigns

     In January 30, 2014, Haruko Obokata, a stem-cell biologist at RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan, caused a sensation when she reported in Nature the artificial creation of Stem cells. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v505/n7485/full/nature12968.html .
     In July the article was later retracted when critical flaws when discovered in her work.
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v505/n7485/full/nature12968.html 
     A few weeks later, one of the paper’s co-authors, Yoshiki Sasai, took his own life..
http://www.nature.com/news/stem-cell-pioneer-blamed-media-bashing-in-suicide-note-1.15715
     On December 19'th Obokata resigned her position at RIKEN.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/scientist-resigns-as-stem-cell-creation-method-is-discredited/?WT.mc_id=SA_BS_20141226
We at Nature have considered what lessons we can derive from these flaws. When figures often involve many panels, panels duplicated between figures may, in practice, be impossible for journals to police routinely without disproportionate editorial effort. By contrast, image manipulation is easier to detect. Our policies have always discouraged inappropriate manipulation. However, our approach to policing it was never to do more than to check a small proportion of accepted papers. We are now reviewing our practices to increase such checking greatly, and we will announce our policies when the review is completed.
http://www.nature.com/news/stap-retracted-1.15488

No claims have been made that the authors of these paper intentionally manipulated data to achieve the desired result, but the errors resulted from sloppy procedures.  This is an another example how the scientific method is self-correcting.   

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

"MOHR" or maybe "MOORE" About Christmas

. . On December 24,1818 the most popular Christmas carol of all time was performed by its author Father Joseph Mohr at St Nicholas parish church in Oberndorf, a village on the Salzach river. It has been declared an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in March 2011.
. . On December 23, 1823 a poem was first published anonymously as a "A Visit from St. Nicholas", also known as "The Night Before Christmas" and " '​Twas the Night Before Christmas" from its first line was written by Clement Clarke Moore . It has been called "the best-known verses ever written by an American" and provided some of the early conceptions of Santa Claus . Prior to the poem, American ideas about St. Nicholas and other Christmastide visitors varied considerably.

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Christmas Myth

     It's that time of the year when Christianity celebrates the birth of Jesus, although it is generally understood by non-children (and those who do not think like children) that Jesus was not born on December 25'th and most likely not in Bethlehem. Both his birth date and birth place are lost to history.  Furthermore, there are those who argue that Jesus was a myth.
http://thehumanist.com/magazine/january-february-2015/features/savior-shaman-myth-ink-blot 
With relentless advances in fields like archeology, linguistics, forensics, and pattern analysis, most scholars, including mainstream Christian theologians, have come to agree that the Jesus stories in the Bible are woven through with legend. Over the last 200 years more than a few have devoted their life’s work to trying to excavate the “historical Jesus” behind the myths.
Was there a man behind the myths? Most scholars say yes. Bart Ehrman has done as much as anyone to make modern biblical scholarship accessible and interesting to ordinary people. In his 2012 book, Did Jesus Exist?, he comes down firmly with the majority:
As I have repeatedly noted, most scholars in both the United States and Europe over the past century have been convinced that Jesus is best understood as a Jewish apocalyptic preacher who anticipated that God was soon to intervene in history to overthrow the powers of evil now controlling this world in order to bring in a new order. . . . establishing a rule of peace and justice here on earth, sometime, Jesus thought, within his own generation.
We particularly like the way Valerie Tarico, author of the above referenced article, concludes her post
My friend understands the Jesus she seeks to be a matter of hope, not history. The power of her Jesus comes not from whatever tentative facts scholars can glimpse in the fog of history, but from yearnings of the human spirit that are as relevant today as they were in the Ancient Near East. Perhaps the centuries of desperately seeking Jesus are best thought of as a quest to find and define ourselves. Perhaps that is enough.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Tech Service Scam

We are frequently requested to repair both corporate and private computers that have been infected with malware.  In the last three years the most prevalent problem has been the "Tech Service" Scam.  It is where some alarm appears on a computer that warns that it is infected and to call a certain tech service company with assistant to remove the infection.  Surprisingly, sometimes these warnings arrive by a telephone call from people claiming to be from an ISP or from Microsoft.  The warnings often are so dire that the "pigeon" reacts without thinking.
     The Anti-Malware Company that produces free and subscription Malwarebytes discussed this risk in greater detail in their post Beware of US-based Tech Support Scams found here
https://blog.malwarebytes.org/fraud-scam/2014/08/beware-of-us-based-tech-support-scams/ 

Friday, December 19, 2014

The 97% Fallacy

"Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.”
So it is alleged that Barack Obama tweeted.
http://www.breitbart.com/london/2014/09/08/obama-s-97-percent-climate-consensus-debunked-demolished-staked-through-the-heart/
The only problem is -- that statement is not true.  It propaganda; a pure fabrication.
"The '97% consensus' article is poorly conceived, poorly designed and poorly executed. It obscures the complexities of the climate issue and it is a sign of the desperately poor level of public and policy debate in this country [UK] that the energy minister should cite it."

- Mike Hulme, Ph.D. Professor of Climate Change, University of East Anglia (UEA)
The following link lists of 97 articles that refutes a poorly conceived, poorly designed and poorly executed "consensus" study. The fact that anyone continues to bring up such soundly debunked nonsense is an embarrassment to science.
http://www.populartechnology.net/

Study Shows Dr Mehmet Oz is Not Credible

In an earlier post we warning about claims made by Dr Mehmet Oz.  Now a study by British Medical Journal confirms our claim.
We could find at least a case study or better evidence to support 54% (95% confidence interval 47% to 62%) of the 160 recommendations (80 from each show). For recommendations in The Dr Oz Show, evidence supported 46%, contradicted 15%, and was not found for 39%. For recommendations in The Doctors, evidence supported 63%, contradicted 14%, and was not found for 24%. Believable or somewhat believable evidence supported 33% of the recommendations on The Dr Oz Show and 53% on The Doctors. On average, The Dr Oz Show had 12 recommendations per episode and The Doctors 11. The most common recommendation category on The Dr Oz Show was dietary advice (39%) and on The Doctors was to consult a healthcare provider (18%). A specific benefit was described for 43% and 41% of the recommendations made on the shows respectively. The magnitude of benefit was described for 17% of the recommendations on The Dr Oz Show and 11% on The Doctors. Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest accompanied 0.4% of recommendations.
http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g7346 

Annoyed by Cell Phones? Jam Them

     Florida man, Jason Humphreys allegedly used a jamming device in his car to prevent commuters from using their phone behind the wheel.  This vigilante might deserve an award since using a cell phone while driving is a major cause of traffic accidents, but the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was not amused.  They slapped him with a $48,000 fine for using the device for two years.  It seems that using a cell phone jammer is a against the law.
    In fact it is against the law even to advertise to sell these devices in the U.S. as CTS Technologies found out.
http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/fcc-issues-34-9-million-fine-company-selling-signal-jammers/

The FCC has file a $34.9 Million dollar fine on this company for selling 285 units.
http://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-plans-fine-foreign-manufacturer-349m-jammer-marketing-0   

Fake Peer-Review and Fake Scientific Papers

Detective work at Scientific America has discover papers submitted to prestigious scientific journals with research that either was never done or referenced reviews that never happened.  The trail led to "paper mills" in China where those interested generating a list for themselves of articles published in peer-reviewed journals can buy "fill in the blanks" research. 
The price depends, in part, on the impact factor of the target journal and whether the paper is experimental or meta-analytic. In this case, the MedChina rep offered authorship of a meta-analysis linking a protein to papillary thyroid cancer slated to be published in a journal with an impact factor of 3.353. The cost: 93,000 RMB—about $15,000.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/for-sale-your-name-here-in-a-prestigious-science-journal/?WT.mc_id=SA_DD_20141218

Thursday, December 18, 2014

More Medical Insecurity

CSO Online put together a slideshow with 9 data security breaches that cost someone their job.  More than half were healthcare related.  Suspect that is understated participation.  Most doctors and medical offices have jumped into put huge amounts of medical info online with line to no security instruction. http://goo.gl/P9CXi0

Lima Climate Meeting Ends with Promises and No Commitments

Only pledges were made in the Global Warming Talks in the 2014 Lima meeting. Nothing prevents any of the participating countries offering to reduce CO2 emissions from failing to keep any promise. Shame would be the only punishment.
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2014/12/16/the-real-outcome-of-global-warming-talks-in-lima-a-future-for-coal/ 

Policy Riders in Budget Bill Block Enviro Actions

A lot of 11th-hour mandates in the $1 Trillion Budget Bill will affect environmental policy. The EPA got its smallest budget since 1989 - $60 million less than last year's $8.1 Billion. The NIH kept its current budget and received increases in funds for Alzheimer’s and Ebola research. DARPA received a 3.4% increase. And NASA received $500 million more than it initially requested.

The Bill include policy riders that
1) The EPA cannot use funds to
    - Require farmers to report greenhouse gas emissions from “manure management systems,” although agriculture is a major source of atmospheric methane.
    - Regulate farm ponds and irrigation ditches under the Clean Water Act.
    - Require farmers to obtain permits for gas emissions from cow belches and farts, which the EPA says is a major source of methane.
2) Obama may not honor his pledge to give $3 billion to the UN Green Climate Fund.
3) USDA must speed up permits for companies developing GMOs, like disease-resistant rice and soybeans.
4) U.S.’s export credit agency must reverse a previous ban on building overseas coal-fired power plants and loan construction funds to companies.
5) DOE cannot develop and enforce new standards for more energy-efficient lightbulbs.
6) DOT cannot fund most of its current light-rail projects.​

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-congress-snuck-changes-to-u-s-environmental-policy-into-the-new-budget-bill/?WT.mc_id=SA_DD_20141217

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

IGNORANCE IS BLISS

The trouble with ignorance is that it feels so much like expertise. A leading researcher on the psychology of human wrongness sets us straight.
http://www.psmag.com/navigation/health-and-behavior/confident-idiots-92793/

CHANGING DNA THROUGH MIND CONTROL

     Chemical imbalances are known to effect our mental state such as in the case of depression and bipolar disorders.  It is certainly reasonable to expect that the reverse is true. Thoughts do increase stress levels which negatively effect health. A recent article in Scientific American, Changing Our DNA through Mind Control? http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/changing-our-dna-through-mind-control/?WT.mc_id=SA_MB_20141217 suggests meditating cancer patients are able to affect the makeup of their DNA.
     This might explain some of the effects seen in the placebo effect or the claims "energy medicine."

Confabulation and History

     It called confabulation.  That is where so-called remember facts about an observation get modified by subsequent events.  It is a well confirmed human experience.  In his December 17, 2014 issue of eSkeptic, Michael Shermer explores the impact that confabulation has played in eyewitness testimony in Ferguson.  http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/14-12-17/
     He quotes world-renowned memory expert Elizabeth Loftus, in her 1991 book Witness for the Defense—a critical analysis of eyewitness testimony:
As new bits and pieces of information are added into long-term memory, the old memories are removed,replaced, crumpled up, or shoved into corners. Memories don’t just fade…they also grow. What fades is the initial perception, the actual experience of the events. But every time we recall an event, we must reconstruct the memory, and with each recollection the memory may be changed. Truth and reality, when seen through the filter of our memories, are not objective facts but subjective,interpretative realities.
     It is highly likely that such confabulation has played significant role in subsequent report of miracles and paranormal claims especially when such memories have had two of three generations to percolate and be passed hearsay by word of mouth.  There is little doubt that much of the emotion that surrounded the Ferguson riots was a response to eyewitness reports of actions that never happened or reports by people exaggerating their roles.
    Before trying to explain so-called miracles of faith, one needs to confirm that the event occurred as being reported or in some cases actually even occurred at all.  It is more reason why "extraordinary claims require extraordinary (and independent and unbiased) evidence.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Are Healing Codes Credible

     We tried to identify where Alexander Loyd received a Ph.D. and N.D.  So far, after having gone through pages of internet searches, no success.  We were, however, amazed at the almost universal positive support he has been receiving.  In the case of quack procedures usually there are reports that identify the claims for what they are.  We are also trying to be careful not to let our non-supportive opinions bias our analysis and seek credible reviewers.
     Therese Borchard is a popular writer on mental disorders, especially on depression.  With Loyd's wife's depression being the primary impetus for his work in "healing codes," she seems to be a good match for a skeptical review.  She states in her blog post on Beliefnet.com 
I’ll take a pass on buying into the Healing Code as the potential answer to all my health problems, which, I humbly admit, are substantial: A pituitary tumor, thyroid growths, Raynaud’s phenomenon, aortic valve regurgitation, and bipolar disorder.
http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/beyondblue/2011/02/my-debut-on-blisstreecom-why-i.html 
She adds,
I cringe at simple instructions like the following [see her post] , because whenever — in my disordered history — I’ve turned to easy answers, it almost cost me my life:
http://www.blisstree.com/2011/02/22/mental-health-well-being/the-healing-code-complete-mental-and-physical-health-success-and-inner-peace-in-6-minutes-or-less-or-not/

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Alex Loyd and Healing Codes

     A reader of this blog has directed us to "Cancer Cure" and "Healing Cure" promoter Alex Loyd of Leipers Fork, Tennessee. It is reported that he has a PhD in Psychology and a Naturopathic Doctorate, which we have yet to verify.
     According to the website http://www.naturopathic.org/ , naturopathic physicians combine the wisdom of nature with the rigors of modern science. Naturopathic medicine focuses on holistic, proactive prevention and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment. Naturopathic physicians help facilitate the body’s inherent ability to restore and maintain optimal health. Their role is to identify and remove barriers to good health by helping to create a healing internal and external environment.
      Naturopathic physicians work in private practices, hospitals, clinics and community health centers. This website also states qualified naturopathic physicians are licensed health-care practitioners.
     On first blush, naturopathic medicine sounds a lot like "energy medicine" which has no basis in science-based medicine, but we have a lot of research to do on this topic and are interested in hearing experience that readers may have had with Dr Alex Loyd, other than the promotion that is plastered all over the internet.

Comments from a retired physician about claims of Loyd

Promoter of Quack "Energy Medicine"

     Energy medicine (aka energy therapy, energy healing, spiritual healing) is a form of alternative medicine professing that a practitioner can channel healing energy into a patient. Recent reviews have concluded that there is no evidence supporting clinical efficacy. Furthermore, there is no valid theoretical basis for such healing.
    That has nevertheless discouraged otherwise notable spokesmen, such as Dr Mehmet Oz, from advocating this form of pseudo-medicine. http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/story?id=8450292 . It is hardly his only attempt to misguide the populace.
     During a Senate hearing on consumer protection, Senator Claire McCaskill stated that by airing segments on ineffective weight loss products that Oz perpetuated scams. She, like us, was concerned that he was offering medical information in a way that harms consumers. Mary Engle of the Federal Trade Commission criticized Oz for calling green coffee extract "magic" and a "miracle", stating that it is difficult for consumers to listen to their inner voices when products are praised by hosts they trust. The FTC filed a complaint accusing promoter Applied Food Sciences of false advertisement.
http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/garcinia-probably-works-but-is-far-from-a-weight-loss-miracle/ 
     The James Randi Educational Foundation has awarded Oz with their Pigasus Award, an award intended "to expose parapsychological, paranormal or psychic frauds that Randi has noted over the previous year." Oz has been given this award on three separate occasions, more than any other recipient:
  • In 2009 for the promotion of energy therapies such as Reiki.
  • In 2010 for support of faith healing and psychic communication with the dead, among other controversial practices. Oz became the first person to receive a Pigasus Award two years in a row.
  • In 2012, Oz won "The Pigasus Award for Refusal to Face Reality" for his continued promotion of "quack medical practices, paranormal belief, and pseudoscience".
For further info on OZ and Energy Medicine check out posts on Science-Based Medicine such as http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/dr-oz-revisited/

Monday, October 6, 2014

NASA Blows Another Global Warmist Excuse

The average global temperature has not changed in the last 18 years.  It's known as the great pause and the Global Alarmists have no credible explanation.  ALL their models predicted a continued temperature increase as the concentration of CO2 continued to increase.  The latter has happened; the former hasn't
One of the popular alarmist theories is the the heat has been absorbed in the deep ocean, However, NASA Study Finds Earth’s Ocean Abyss Has Not Warmed  http://www.nasa.gov/press/2014/october/nasa-study-finds-earth-s-ocean-abyss-has-not-warmed/#.VDMsClewRTu 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Science Policy for the Duped Who Engaged in Climate March

With all the hyperbole with this week's climate marches, one would think we're dealing with settled science.  That would certainly for those easily duped. According Steven E. Koonin, a theoretical physicist, former science adviser to the White House, and Director of the Center for Urban Science and Progress at New York UniversityWe are very far from the knowledge needed to make good climate policy.  He writes

The idea that “Climate science is settled” runs through today’s popular and policy discussions. Unfortunately, that claim is misguided. It has not only distorted our public and policy debates on issues related to energy, greenhouse-gas emissions and the environment. But it also has inhibited the scientific and policy discussions that we need to have about our climate future.

Hot West Coast

The hot/dry weather conditions on the west coast are often attributed to anthropogenic global warming.  Recent report by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science suggests otherwise.
Northeast Pacific coastal warming since 1900 is often ascribed to anthropogenic greenhouse forcing, whereas multidecadal temperature changes are widely interpreted in the framework of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), which responds to regional atmospheric dynamics. This study uses several independent data sources to demonstrate that century-long warming around the northeast Pacific margins, like multidecadal variability, can be primarily attributed to changes in atmospheric circulation. It presents a significant reinterpretation of the region’s recent climate change origins, showing that atmospheric conditions have changed substantially over the last century, that these changes are not likely related to historical anthropogenic and natural radiative forcing, and that dynamical mechanisms of interannual and multidecadal temperature variability can also apply to observed century-long trends.
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/09/16/1318371111.abstract

Monday, August 25, 2014

Medical Insecurity Worse for Identity Theft

Illegally purchased medical records fetch huge sums of money on black markets
 about $50 an account. Credit cards, on the other hand fetch only $1 each.

. . Criminals can use medical records to fraudulently bill insurance or Medicare, use patients' identities for free consultations, or pose as patients to obtain prescription medications that can later be sold on the street.
. . As medical offices are pushed by the Affordable Care Act to turn paper patient records into digital files they typically don't take the extra step to protect those files -- making them easier than ever for a hacker to quietly steal en masse.  They rarely encrypt all of the data they keep on us.  Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act doesn't demand it. Furthermore, many are using outdated technology that no longer receives security updates. For example, Community Health Systems allowed hackers access to employees' login credentials because it was slow to patch the infamous Heartbleed bug.

. . For more read, 90% of hospitals and clinics lose their patients' data at  http://money.cnn.com/2014/08/20/technology/security/hospitals-data/ 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

No Helmet Promotes Idiocy

. . For anyone who seriously rides a bike knows helmets safe lives.  It has probably saved them from serious injury on more than one instance.  It is beyond fathomable that some people would argue against the use of helmets, yet these people persists.  For example, consider Pete McMartin: Forget bike helmets: Take the lid off: Bike lanes do more to improve safety http://goo.gl/eBEUZf Apparently, he has already hit his head too oftenHere are the facts as provided by Statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
. . Less than two percent of motor vehicle crash deaths are bicyclists. The most serious injuries among a majority of those killed are to the head, highlighting the importance of wearing a bicycle helmet. Eighty-nine percent of bicycle deaths are persons 16 and older, so helmet laws should include adults. Helmet use has been estimated to reduce head injury risk. Ninety-one percent of bicyclists killed in 2009 reportedly weren't wearing helmets. The percentage not in helmets in 2010 seems to be lower, until you look at the "Unknown" column and find that it jumped in that year. The table below is from IIHS data.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Security by Obscurity

Those who criticize the White House for refusing to share security procedures only demonstrate their ignorance of the difficulty to achieve reasonable levels of security for such a widely accessed system as the information services for the Affordable Care program.  Since most often the greatest leaks are internal (think Snowden), the best policy until appropriate security audits can be performed is to limit who is permitted to know what.
Government cyber-security experts were worried that state computers linking to a federal system that verifies the personal information of insurance applicants were vulnerable to attack. About a week before the launch of HealthCare.gov, a federal review found significant differences in states' readiness.
For more read White House won't reveal documents related to ObamaCare website security http://goo.gl/FT0OPa

Monday, August 18, 2014

Medical Insecurity

. . No sooner had we warned of a major security vulnerability, then it happened.  Chinese hackers stole info on 4.5 million U.S. hospital patients. http://www.cnbc.com/id/101927433?__source=xfinity|mod&par=xfinity 
. . Very likely this is just the beginning.

Medical Records Security

. . One of the advantages of that doctors office with rows upon rows of patient records is they are relatively secure.  Because of the vary nature of paper records, they are hard to steal by anyone, but an insider.  However, with emphasis of the Affordable Care Act to digitize and share records all of that security is about to be lost.
. . In a recent visit to a doctor's office I watch him and his staff really struggle to digitize their records. A typical 15-minute office visit was now taking up to 30 minutes as they diligently transferred paper notes into some computer data base.  At the end of the visit, the receptionist offered me (and possibly a lot of other people) the opportunity to view my records online.
. . Most medical offices are computer-illiterate and consequently even worse data security illiterate.  Besides your medical records, they are likely to have personal records, such as your social security numbers, birth information, listing of family members, copies of driver's licenses and insurance cards, etc.  All of this stuff they are diligently and unwittingly making available to the cybercriminals.
. . Most people may feel the false sense of security that HIPAA protects the disclosure of personal records.  That is only protect against intentional disclosure, but how many medical and hospital offices conduct security audits?  Hacks of Target, Bank of America, AOL, etc have made the news.  Time to get ready for the big data thefts -- doctors' and hospital data bases.
. . For more about this problem start here, Yes, medical device security is lousy - so what?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Privacy Once Lost

. . Privacy is the most fragile possession in our lives.  Once lost, it can never be regained.  However, many people hardly realize its value.  They "life-log" their daily experiences, their thoughts, opinions, likes and dislikes, and key identification records, such as birth dates, birth locations, family, schools for the world to see and maybe abuse.
. . In the digital age nothing is forgotten: thoughts and opinions you shared in your youth with your "friends", all thousand or more of your "closest" buddies, who may have re-posted to their thousands of friends and so on.
. . Often most people find some of that early exposure very embarrassing later in life.  Before Facebook and Twitter we had the benefit of limited memory.  Now nothing is forgotten and often re-emerges to one's dismay.
. . Psychoanalyst Josh Cohen author of The Private Life , an intelligent and highly literary exploration of the changing nature of privacy in the age of Facebook says,
We need private lives because it ensures we're never fully known to others or to ourselves, provides a shelter for imaginative freedom, curiosity and self-reflection. So to defend the private self is to defend the very possibility of creative and meaningful life.
 Alex Preston in his article, The Death of Privacy, explorers psychological and cultural fallout from the end of privacy.
Google knows what you're looking for. Facebook knows what you like. Sharing is the norm, and secrecy is out. We have come to the end of privacy; our private lives, as our grandparents would have recognized them, have been winnowed away to the realm of the shameful and secret. Insidiously, through small concessions that only mounted up over time, we have signed away rights and privileges that other generations fought for, undermining the very cornerstones of our personalities. We have come to accept that the majority of our social, financial and even sexual interactions take place over the internet and that someone, somewhere, whether state, press or corporation, is watching: WikiLeaks, the phone-hacking scandal, the Snowden files, Facebook's "emotional contagion" experiment of 700,000 of its members. 
Facebook news feed is "like a sausage… Everyone eats it, even though nobody knows how it is made".

Inconvenient CO2 Fact

. . IPCC published reports acknowledge that the effective temperature increase caused by growing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere radically diminishes with increasing concentrations. This information has been presented in the IPCC reports. It is well disguised for any lay reader. It is a crucial fact not acknowledged in the IPCC summary for Policy Makers.
. . The rapid logarithmic diminution effect is an inconvenient fact for Global Warming advocates and alarmists, nonetheless it is well understood within the climate science community.
It is likely that any current global warming, if continuing and increased CO2 is:
§ largely a natural process
§ within normal limits
§ probably beneficial up to about a further 2.0°C+.
It could be not be influenced by any remedial decarbonisation action, however drastic, taken by a minority of nations.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/10/the-diminishing-influence-of-increasing-carbon-dioxide-on-temperature/#more-114325

10% of Brain Myth

. . The myth that we use only 10% of our brain is popular with Hollywood, such as in the recent movie Lucy, with psychics attempt to scam the naive, and UFOlogists trying to promote ET communication.  For some people the 10% myth may be true, but for most of us we use all that we have been fortunate to have.
. . Google "10% of brain capacity" to find all kinds of repudiation.  However, a good starting point is with Snopes at http://www.snopes.com/science/stats/10percent.asp

Friday, August 1, 2014

Verizon Scam

. . I have become very leery of any “gift” Verizon or Comcast wants to share with me.  I just read a long report from the FTC about action the gov brought against the telcos for “cramming”.  If you aren’t aware of what that is, it is where companies like VerizonWireless add “fees” to your bill for services some other third party says you owe.  Generally, the fees are small (around $10); not detailed, such reported as “Other Services”; and, most people just pay them without a second thought.  The telcos get a 30% to 40% kick-back on this billing and have earned billions.
. . A couple of days ago, I received an email solicitation from VerizonWireless for their “Rewards” program.  We have a Rewards program on our credit card and it works well.  However, because of my distrust of anything telephone company, I decided to check this one out.

Verizon Smart Rewards, and Dumb Rewards Programs You Should Skip

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

AAAS Board Says GMO No Less Safe Than Conventional Mods

. . Foods containing ingredients from genetically modified (GM) crops pose no greater risk than the same foods made from crops modified by conventional plant breeding techniques, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Board of Directors has concluded. Legally mandating labels on GM foods could therefore “mislead and falsely alarm consumers,” the Board said in a statement approved 20 October.
. . In releasing the Board’s statement, AAAS noted that it is important to distinguish between labeling intended to protect public health—about the presence of allergens, for example—and optional labeling that aids consumer decision-making, such as “kosher” or “USDA organic,” which reflects verifiable and certifiable standards about production and handling.
. . Several current efforts to require labeling of GM foods are not being driven by any credible scientific evidence that these foods are dangerous, AAAS said. Rather, GM labeling initiatives are being advanced by “the persistent perception that such foods are somehow ‘unnatural,’” as well as efforts to gain competitive advantages within the marketplace, and the false belief that GM crops are untested.
. .In the United States, in fact, each new GM crop must be subjected to rigorous analysis and testing in order to receive regulatory approval, AAAS noted. It must be shown to be the same as the parent crop from which it was derived and if a new protein trait has been added, the protein must be shown to be neither toxic nor allergenic. “As a result and contrary to popular misconceptions,” AAAS reported, “GM crops are the most extensively tested crops ever.”
http://www.aaas.org/news/aaas-board-directors-legally-mandating-gm-food-labels-could-%E2%80%9Cmislead-and-falsely-alarm 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Only 3% of Added CO2 From Human Sources

From all the noise one would think humans are pouring CO2 into the atmosphere.  However, the US Energy Information Center says it is only 3% of the total annual increase.  So, eliminating ALL human emission would have trivial impact.  The focus needs to be on adapting to climate change.  Like the sun rising in the morning, it's inevitable.

http://www.eia.gov/oiaf/1605/archive/gg04rpt/pdf/tbl3.pdf


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Religious Upbringing Harms Childs Ability to Judge Reality

. . The results of the study Judgments About Fact and Fiction by Children From Religious and Nonreligious Backgrounds. Cognitive Science. doi: 10.1111/cogs.12138 by Corriveau, K. H., Chen, E. E. and Harris, P. L. (2014) suggest that exposure to religious ideas has a powerful impact on children's differentiation between reality and fiction, not just for religious stories but also for fantastical stories. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cogs.12138/abstract

. . In two studies, 5- and 6-year-old children were questioned about the status of the protagonist embedded in three different types of stories. In realistic stories that only included ordinary events, all children, irrespective of family background and schooling, claimed that the protagonist was a real person.

. . In religious stories that included ordinarily impossible events brought about by divine intervention, claims about the status of the protagonist varied sharply with exposure to religion. Children who went to church or were enrolled in a parochial school, or both, judged the protagonist in religious stories to be a real person, whereas secular children with no such exposure to religion judged the protagonist in religious stories to be fictional.

. . Children's upbringing was also related to their judgment about the protagonist in fantastical stories that included ordinarily impossible events whether brought about by magic (Study 1) or without reference to magic (Study 2). Secular children were more likely than religious children to judge the protagonist in such fantastical stories to be fictional.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Garbage Telephone Calls

. . A couple of months ago I shared some techniques I use to block the ‘crap’ calls.  I found out there is a free service that can do it for you. It is called Nomorobo. Here is a link that explains it.
Free service proves it can block pesky robocalls. 
 http://www.cnbc.com/id/101314254
It works for Comcast, but unfortunately, it doesn’t work for Verizon.
. . For wireless phones there is however, an app you can use for them
Want to get rid of those $#%@ robocalls? There's an app for that http://www.cnbc.com/id/101758815
. . I still answer no calls outside my area code unless I know who they are.  We don’t get as many ‘crap’ calls on the cell phone, but they are increasing. I set the phone to reject those I have ‘googled’ and found to be garbage. However, these cell phone apps claim to do the ‘google’ and reject task for you. Check them out.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Another IPCC and Obama Lie?

The UN IPCC AR5 report claims:
It is very likely that the mean rate of global averaged sea level rise was 1.7 [1.5 to 1.9] mm/yr between 1901 and 2010, 2.0 [1.7 to 2.3] mm/yr between 1971 and 2010, and 3.2 [2.8 to 3.6] mm/yr between 1993 and 2010. Tide-gauge and satellite altimeter data are consistent regarding the higher rate of the latter period. It is likely that similarly high rates occurred between 1920 and 1950.
The latest mean sea level rise trend data from NOAA simply does not support these assertions that mean sea level rise trends are increasing since 1971.  The UN (and Obama speeches) fails to report that the long duration period mean sea level trend data behavior is constant and unchanging linearhttp://goo.gl/crxbJk

FACEBOOK AND IDENTITY THEFT

. . Identity theft is exploding and FACEBOOK offers a storehouse of invaluable information which thieves can use with the aid of a Google search to recreate another identity.  To see what might be done, just google "FACEBOOK and Identity Theft". 
. . According to Frank Abagnale, made infamous by the "Catch Me If You Can" book and movie,
If you tell me your date of birth and where you’re born and I’m 98 percent on the way to stealing your identity. Never state your date of birth and where you were born, otherwise you are saying ‘come and steal my identity’. Never using a passport-style photo as your Facebook profile picture – group photos are deemed much safer – and refrain from making comments that reveal too much. Every time you say you ‘like’ or ‘don’t like’ you are telling someone your sexual orientation, ethnic background, voting record.”
. . Many say that they don't worry because they have locked down their account and that information is available only to their friends, all 1000 of them.  Okay, without looking at your FACEBOOK page please name those 1000 people.  What is to keep any of those 1000 "friends" from re-posting any of your information to their 1000 friends and so forth.
. . The most effective form of identify theft is the socially-engineered email. The thief can pull personal information from your FACEBOOK page and then uses it to pretend to be someone you know and sends you a link to click on in an email about some irresistible topic.
. . With the internet and extremely low cost for data storage, privacy, once lost, can never be retrieved.

What NOT To Post On Facebook: 13 Things You Shouldn't Tell Your Facebook Friend.
http://goo.gl/qigLMF

 

Monday, July 14, 2014

What Do We Really Know About Climate Change

Dr. Roy Spencer is keynote speaker at International Conference on Climate Change.  He tells what we REALLY know about climate change

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

FACEBOOK Experiment

. . Users are outraged about the FACEBOOK manipulation of its users.  That responses seems remarkably disingenuous considering the enormous amount of personal information that many freely post for the world to see, such as their birth date, schedules, and family members list.
. . Some claim to have locked down that data to be share with ONLY their friends, all 1000 or more of them.

Internet outraged by Facebook's 'creepy' mood experiment, http://goo.gl/cHq7jY

How to get customer data without being creepy, http://goo.gl/p27Isu

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Climate Consensus Scam

If you read most of the policy statements of the organizations, which are claimed to be part of the "consensus", they will not be much different than

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Enigma of FACEBOOK

. . For about a half dozen years we have been an observer of the FACEBOOK phenomena.  A discussion of it always generates two types of response: people either "like" it or hate it.  The "like its" spend at least an hour every day perusing and contributing to the content while the other camp either avoid it altogether or keep their visits secret.  Most people who are "wired" most like have FACEBOOK accounts.  The questions are "why" and is "too much sharing" dangerous.
. . We have 'googled' the "Psychology of FACEBOOK" and the results were hardly definitive. For example, What draws us to Facebook: Psychologists and communication researchers are studying how Facebook so successfully lures us in. American Psychology Organization Mar 2013. This article is far too broad in scope. Our more limited quandary was why do some people spend so much time posting the minute details of their life and have hundreds and even thousands of "friends", what risk does such extreme exposure create, and what are some of the abuses of the medium.
. . We'll add subsequent posts about these question using the label FACEBOOK as we research what others have concluded.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Global Sea Ice Increase

Whereas, sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere has been decreasing, TOTAL global sea ice appears relatively stable after a period of reduction, potentially reducing the threat of coastal flooding.
Provided by the National Center for Environmental Predictions NOAA, NSIDC, U. Bremem

Friday, June 27, 2014

Quack Medicine - Autism

. . In 1998 Dr. Andrew Wakefield published in the medical journal The Lancet that he had discovered a link between autism and vaccines. After years of controversy and making parents mistrust vaccines, along with collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars from lawyers who benefited from suing vaccine makers, it was determined he fabricated his claims. The Lancet publicly apologized, but the damage was done.
. . Since 1998 millions have been spent on studying investigating potential connection autism and vaccines. Thousands of families out of fear stopped vaccinating the children for mumbs, measles, and rubella.
. . This graphics succinctly details the controversy
http://www.healthcare-management-degree.net/autism-vaccines/

Pseudoscience of Dr. Oz

. . Recently, the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection convened a hearing on “Protecting Consumers from False and Deceptive Advertising of Weight-Loss Products.” In attendance was Dr. Mehmet Oz of daytime television, whom Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) grilled about his claims about the many questionable weight loss “miracle” cures he has peddled on his show. She reproached him for the false hope he peddles with his “flowery rhetoric.”
. . She added, quite bluntly, “the scientific community is almost monolithic against you in terms of the efficacy of those three products that you called miracles.”

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Visits By ET May Not Be So Impossible

. . In 2012 NASA physicist Harold White stunned the aeronautics world when he announced that he and his team had begun work on the development of a faster-than-light warp drive. His proposed design is an ingenious re-imagining of an Alcubierre Drive. If successful it could may eventually result in an engine that can transport a spacecraft to the nearest star in a matter of weeks without violating relativity limitations.  It suggests that we shouldn't be so skeptical of the search for ET.
. . White explains how this might be possible at 

Shocking! You're About to Be Scammed

. . If the title of the ad includes such hyperbolic terms such as "shocking", "stunning", "secret", etc. that is almost a sure sign that you're about to be scammed.  If it's a secret that the IRS, the electric companies. or your investment broker doesn't want you to know, it's also most likely a "secret" that you are better off not knowing.  These titles are "socially engineered" come-ons to get the reader to click on something that normally may not interest them.
. . Just because these ads appear on otherwise legitimate websites does not mean that the reader should not remain extremely cautious and skeptical.  An example, is the current animated google of Ellen Degeneres that is labeled "Shocking: Ellen Lied" that seems to be popping up on many news outlets.  Click on this ad and you are likely to be taken to a webpage that has absolutely nothing to do with Degeneres.  These news websites simply sell space with virtually no review of the content. 
. . These suckers phrases are like offers of FREE stuff that needs your credit card to authorize.  In this case you can be certain that the advertiser is either expecting you to forget to cancel after the so-called "free" offer expires or they make it very difficult to cancel.
. . If these tactics irritate you (they should) and you prefer not to be treated like a fool, then voice you dissatisfaction by not clicking on anything that includes these come-on phrases or offers something for free only if they get your credit card number.  Maybe these dishonest advertisers will get the message.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Current Weather Extremes Are Not New

. . On January 16'th Judith Curry testified to the COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE reviewing the President’s Climate Action Plan.  http://goo.gl/RrfTiw
. . She is the Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology and has devoted 30 years to conducting research on topics including climate of the Arctic, the role of clouds and aerosols in the climate system, and the climate dynamics of extreme weather events.  As President of Climate Forecast Applications Network, she worked with decision makers on climate impact assessments, assessing and developing meteorological hazard and climate adaptation strategies, and developing sub-seasonal climate forecasting strategies to support adaptive management.
. . In her testimony she demonstrated that in the U.S., most types of weather extremes were worse in the 1930’s and even in the 1950’s than in the current climate, while the weather was overall more benign in the 1970’s. This sense that extreme weather events are now more frequent and intense is symptomatic of ‘weather amnesia’ prior to 1970. The extremes of the 1930’s and 1950’s are not attributable to greenhouse warming and are associated with natural climate variability (and in the case of the dust bowl drought and heat waves, also to land use practices).
 . . With regards to the impacts of climate change on the continental U.S., the following trends are seen over the past century:
  • declining frequency of wintertime cold extremes
  • declining frequency of drought
  • increasing frequency of heavy rain events
  • increasing sea level rise that is dominated by local factors in many locations 
There is a large component of natural variability seen in the 100+ year data record particularly for drought and heat waves, each of which had maximum extremes during the 1930’s. Sea level rise also shows a maxima during the 1930’s to 1940’s.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

What "Science" is Settled?

. . The "warmist" contagion claim the science of global climate change is settled, but their "models" for doom neither anticipate nor explain the current pause in warming.  They seem to be in denial.
. . A good summary of what is at stake is the article in the Washington Post, Global warming of the Earth’s surface has decelerated (Viewpoint). http://goo.gl/e0MHoa
. . Regardless of whether or not you believe in the global warming theories, solid evidence from NASA shows the pause in the temperature increase is real, it was never anticipated in the warmist models, and the later have no credible explanation.
. . The one fact that is settled, however, is that the science is not settled and those who say otherwise are dishonest.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Dr. Patrick Moore's Testimony on Climate Change

Patrick Moore, Canadian ecologist (PhD, Ecology, 1974) is an environmentalist who helped found Greenpeace in the Seventies.  He subsequently left in protest of its position on climate change which fails the most basic principles of the scientific method.
"The certainty among many scientists that humans are the main cause of climate change, including global warming, is not based on the replication of observable events. It is based on just two things, the theoretical effect of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, predominantly carbon dioxide, and the predictions of computer models using those theoretical calculations. There is no scientific "proof" at all."
Dr Moore testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight February 25, 2014. http://goo.gl/5Cy5je

In his testimony he states some key facts about "climate change" which are ignored by true believers are as follows:

Thursday, June 19, 2014

IRAQ MYOPIA

. . The noise is getting loud again about Iraq.  The level of ignorance of history in America seems to know no bounds.  America can do little to change the course in the Middle East, unless we want to take up permanent residence there.  In 2003 the majority of Americans supported the invasion of Iraq. A decade later the overwhelming majority realize that policy was a mistake.  Now this same bunch are quick to rush into this quagmire that has no reasonable strategy for success.  What don’t they understand about a sectarian conflict? 
. . Ever watch an outsider try to intercede in domestic violence?  The end result most often is the combatants turning on the na├»ve interceding party.  Sunni may have issues with Shiite, but they have greater issues with Americans.  If you are of a mindset to interject American into this battle take time to read the philosophies and beliefs of Osama bin Laden.

. . All need to be careful with the distortions promoted by the hawks.  In 2003 they garnered support for the Two Trillion dollar war expenditure by the world’s paranoia with nuclear weapons, aka weapons of mass-destruction.  It was going to be a quick jaunt in and out to remove a despot.  Without a doubt, Americans were either asleep or incompetent.  Now we are hearing the same rhetoric.
. . ISIS has a 9,000 soldier army.  Iraq is supposed to have a 900,000 soldier army.  If they can’t be overwhelmingly successful in pushing back why do some people believe America should get involved? Remember ISIS is the same group that some of the boisterous wanted Obama to arm in Syria. 
. . It is time to accept the reality of our position in the Middle East and not the fantasies of the boisterous.  The warring factions in the Middle East only tolerate American interference as long as America provides them leverage.  From Libya, Egypt, Syria, and Iraq, none of them want a true alliance with America.  The only thing our efforts create are more reasons to hate America.  In the end each of the warring combatants will proclaim they hate America more than the other in order to win over allegiance of their citizens.     
. . I am always amazed how a certain political party will cry about physical responsibility when it comes to spending billions on a healthcare, educational, and infrastructure systems for everyone, but never hesitate to spend trillions on war implements.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Social Inequality and Ignorance in America

. . With the constant resistance against such educational performance measures, such as Common Core, I become convinced in the inevitability of ignorance and superstition.  It is just too easy to accept.  It takes no effort, which seems to be an Americans priority -- the good life with no effort.  Americans constantly talk about the growing financial inequity in an expanding technological world where education is critical a higher quality of life, but America falls further behind the rest of the industrialized world in math and science, even though its citizens have the best exposure money can buy.Too many in this country believe the solution is a redistribution of wealth rather than a redistribution of effort.
. . Data from a recent national Harris survey (2008) addresses these deficiencies by measuring multiple dimensions of Americans’ beliefs about evolution,their familiarity with scientific concepts in evolutionary biology (for example, adaptation), and their scientific knowledge in general (for example, the age of the earth and of the universe) — all social-psychological facts that the American scientific and educational communities must confront in dealing with the obstacles to full acceptance of the theory of human evolution in the 21st century.

Americans’ Scientific Knowledge and Beliefs about Human Evolution in the Year of Darwin  
http://ncse.com/rncse/30/3/americans-scientific-knowledge-beliefs-human-evolution-year-

Thursday, June 12, 2014

MS XP FUD

. . Everyone was warned that Microsoft was no longer going to support its popular XP Operating system.  In its wake we should expect an avalanche of malware.  The dire prognostications were reflective of the Year 2000 scare.  At this time we were told to expect planes to fall from the sky.  But nothing of significance happened.  It's now been over two months and no serious infections have appeared for XP.  Is anyone surprised?
. . After thirteen years of almost monthly security patching, it was certainly reasonable to expect the "holes" in XP were plugged.  The big fear, however, was the not so public declining sales of desktop systems and of the constant barge of updates sold by software manufacturers. The demise of XP provided an opportunity to scare users into buying new stuff.
. . Microsoft's constant change and software bloat was unnecessary.  Their goal was not to improve their offerings with requested features, but to sell new product.  In the process they created a productivity challenge for support organizations.  With each new release, every three years or less, users had to retrain on stuff they once knew how to use even though the new software provided no new usable features for them. It was serious lost time.
. . Windows 8 was the final straw. Likewise, what has the "ribbon" graphical user interface added to the Office, but more confusion and unproductive retaining? Corporate users have solidly rejected Microsoft's self-serving tactic.
. . What the computer industry did not explain to users in their XP fear-mongering is the greatest source of malware was stuff users were being tricked into loading onto their computers through very effective social engineered scams, which arrive via email bait or promise of something FREE on the internet.  Unfortunately, none of Microsoft's heralded software protects against the guy or gal typing on the keyboard.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Big Bang Blunder and the Carbon Pollution Canard | The Resilient Earth

Hoards of non-scientists have been making a career out of pushing “settled science,” particularly when it come to climate change, the eco-socialists' favorite excuse for dismantling the world's existing economic and industrial base. Unlike the notoriously squishy science of climate change, physics is viewed as being mature and on a more solid foundation, at least by those who are physicists. Given the recent furor caused by the IPCC and NCA reports, plus the US EPA's ham handed attempt to institute CO2 Cap & Trade without the agreement of Congress, it is instructional for scientific outsiders to review recent events in both fields. Read on, believers in the myth of settled science and those who think scientific questions are resolved by consensus.
Big Bang Blunder and the Carbon Pollution Canard | The Resilient Earth

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Misguided Climate Policies

The Obama policy on climate change is based on computer models.  So how well have those models done relative to reality?

Not so well! For more read,
Why Kerry Is Flat Wrong on Climate Change: It was the scientific skeptics who bucked the 'consensus' and said the Earth was round by McNider and Christy,  http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303945704579391611041331266

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Want More Information on GMO from Peer-Reviewed Articles

. . The goal of GENERA is to provide an all-in-one place where scientific literature about agricultural biotechnology can be found and understood at-a-glance and be readily accessible to the public. Regarding the risks associate with this technology there is extensive scientific literature.
. . Scientists and students at academic institutions have access to peer-reviewed journals around the world. However, most people do not have free access to these journals, and the research papers are often difficult to understand.
. . Many websites may discuss these issues in way that is easy to understand, but lack accuracy, independence, and sufficient scope.
. . GENetic Engineering Risk Atlas (GENERA) provides a searchable database of peer-reviewed research on the risks of genetically engineered crops. Below are answers to FAQs about GENERA:


Monday, June 2, 2014

Genetically Modified Scare Stories

. .  It seems some people thrive on scare or often are quick to accept pseudo-science to the exclusion of real science.  One of the latest scares is that of genetically modified food.  What they fail to realize is humans have been genetically modifying food for centuries.  For example, the corn we eat today bares no resemblance its initial natural form as teosinte.   It has been highly domesticate over millennia at the hands of humans in a far less targeted and controlled manner that is being done today. Furthermore, it is claimed that nearly 90% of all corn is genetically modified. (Click here)
. . Virtually all our food has been domesticated and a good reference as to studies can be found at Assessment of the food safety issues related to genetically modified foods.
. . Jon Entine, senior research fellow at the Center for Health & Risk Communication at George Mason University[1] and the founder and director of the Genetic Literacy Project states
"We've eaten about 7 trillion meals in the 18 years since GMOs first came on the market. There's not one documented instance of someone getting so much as a sniffle."
A popular GMO product is the red grapefruit (click here for more info)
The 1929 Ruby Red patent came after the discovery of a red grapefruit growing on a pink variety. Using radiation to trigger mutations, new varieties were developed to retain the red tones which typically faded to pink, The Rio Red is a mutation bred variety which was developed by treatment of bud sticks with thermal neutrons. 
We are not suggesting that caution and proper testing is not required.  We are suggesting the current level of hysteria about GMO is not justified.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

How Credible Is NASA on Climate Change?

The following web page on the NASA website http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensusstates
Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities,1and most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position. The following is a partial list of these organizations, along with links to their published statements and a selection of related resources.
On this same page, near the bottom, the following statement is found

The following page lists the nearly 200 worldwide scientific organizations that hold the position that climate change has been caused by human action. http://opr.ca.gov/s_listoforganizations.php
I can list the studies that have repeatedly debunked the 97% figure (aka a lie).  However, it's more telling just to examine this last claim.  Did NASA somehow miss the last several periods of worldwide glaciation (climate change in its most severe form) that occurred before humans occupied the planet? 

For more about the intentional misrepresentation on the climate consensus "google" The Myth of the Climate Change '97%' in order to see the whole Wall Street Journal, May 26, 2014 article
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303480304579578462813553136


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Weather Extremes

The Media has been in overdrive on weather extremes, but what are the facts.
https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/extremes/scec/records

Scientists Respond to the Obama Administration’s 2014 National Climate Assessment
May 19,2014 by Anthony Watts  

The National Climate Assessment - 2014 (NCA) is a masterpiece of marketing that shows for the first time the full capabilities of the Obama Administration to spin a scientific topic as they see fit, without regard to the underlying facts. With hundreds of pages written by hundreds of captive scientists and marketing specialists, the administration presents their case for extreme climate alarm. This is a rebuttal drafted by 14 independent meteorology and climatology experts.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Current Claims Regard Climate Change Are Inadequate

In case of dissension, never dare to judge till you've heard the other side.”

. . The issue with the Global Warming alarmism is not with the fact that the climate is changing.  Few deny the evidence.  The problem is the explanation.
. . Below is a graph showing the temperature anomaly measured in the last century as recorded by NASA http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/

. . The temperate change from 1900 to 1940 is approximately equal to that from 1970 to 2010.  The alarmists claim that later is due primarily to human intervention while the former is not.  Likewise, they have no explanation for the 30 year pause from 1940 to 1970 and have no explanation for the apparent pause commencing in 1998.
. . The change in CO2 concentration has been monotonically consistent in this period.  Current claims are in adequate.  Better models are obviously necessary.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Poor Science Make Quacks Difficult to Debunk.

. . This month's eNewsletter from eSkeptic discussed EMDR or "Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing."  http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/14-05-21/ .  The main gist of the article was about how easy it is for some treatments to become mainstream even before they are adequately verified through independent and credible researchers.  This is especially true for Alternative Medicine where victims are desperately in search of remedies and are willing to try almost anything.
. . The best safety in such cases is to look for support from fundamental scientific principles.  Extreme caution is advised when claims seem to defy good sense, are revolutionary, or tend to be of an occult or magical nature.  Today, good science is rarely revolutionary.
. .  This article is a good example of how some practitioners stay ahead of competent review by constantly changing the baseline for analysis, make exorbitant wide claims that demand extensive time to confirm, or demand unusual levels of "training." 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Global Climate Change - The Human Element

I repeatedly hear that global climate change is caused by humans.  That statement is an unequivocal lie.  Humans do play a role in climate change, but they are not responsible for it.  The historical proxy record shows that climate has always changed long before humans were on the planet.  It is fair to say -- climate will always change.  Nothing within our current and foreseeable technological abilities can stop climate change.  Our ancestors adapted to the change, just as we must do.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Another Round of Climate Scare

. . They alarmist are at it again warning about catastrophic climate change.  Every time I hear them I head to NASA and check out the temperature anomalies trends. Here is the link.  http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/
. . There is no argument that the climate has and continues to change.  It has always changed.  There is also no argument that the planet is warming.  We are exiting an unusually cold climate period.  There is also no argument that humans contribute to climate change.  That statement is inane. Humans change the planet.  The issue is the magnitude of the change and whether the alarmists can predict the future.  Thus far the answer is demonstrably NO.
. . The graphs are the NASA website deserve more in depth examination.  Here it is for the last 17 years in tabular form

  YEAR     ANNUAL    ROLLING
 1997   0.46    0.45 
 1998   0.62    0.44 
 1999   0.40    0.48 
 2000   0.40    0.51 
 2001   0.53    0.51 
 2002   0.61    0.53 
 2003   0.60    0.58 
 2004   0.51    0.60 
 2005   0.66    0.60 
 2006   0.59    0.58 
 2007   0.63    0.59 
 2008   0.49    0.59 
 2009   0.59    0.58 
 2010   0.66    0.57 
 2011   0.54    0.59 
 2012   0.57     * 
 2013   0.60     * 

. . Over the last 17 years the temperature anomaly has been flat. The alarmists neither have an explanation nor did they predicted it through models they have been using to forecast disaster.  They refer to it as a "pause."  They could be right, but the issue is -- it came as a complete surprise to them.  
. . With the scientific method if the model fails to predict, the hypothesis is erroneous. The one thing that is certain is -- The debate is NOT over and more research is needed.  Remedial actions need to be measured. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

I'll Pray for You.

. . Ever time I see where someone has purchased a Catholic Mass card or some religious prayer card, it reminds me of the purchase indulgences that offended Martin Luther. Although the purchaser's intentions may be admirable, the gesture seems disingenuous and a waste of resource.  In the case of illness wouldn't be better to do something to help the invalid or to eradicate the reason for his or her illness?  How do you gracefully redirect the positive wishes without offending?
. . For example in a recent Humanist article the question was posed. 
My Father is Sick, and Everyone Wants to Pray for Him. How Should I Respond?
Click here for the suggestion.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Obama Administration Misinforms

. . John Paul Holdren, the senior advisor to President Barack Obama on science and technology issues through his roles as Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, attempted to blame the colder winter extremes on Global Warming.  Although on the surface that seems illogical, it demonstrates the extremes one side of the Global Warming debate will go to misinform.
. . In his White House video in January, he had this to say:
“A growing body of evidence suggests that the kind of extreme cold being experienced by much of the United States as we speak is a pattern that we can expect to see with increasing frequency as global warming continues….
We also know that this week’s cold spell is of a type there’s reason to believe may become more frequent in a world that’s getting warmer, on average, because of greenhouse-gas pollution.”
Judge for yourself about any trends in winter temperatures

Superstition Prevails


Should Public Dollars Fund the Teaching of Ignorance and Superstition?

. . Taxpayers in 14 states will bankroll nearly $1 billion this year in tuition for private schools, including hundreds of religious schools that teach Earth is less than 10,000 years old, Adam and Eve strolled the garden with dinosaurs, and much of modern biology, geology and cosmology is a web of lies.
Decades of litigation have established that public schools cannot teach creationism or intelligent design. But private schools receiving public subsidies can — and do. A POLITICO review . . . found that many of these faith-based schools go beyond teaching the biblical story . . . as literal fact. Their course materials nurture disdain of the secular world, distrust of momentous discoveries and hostility toward mainstream scientists. They often distort basic facts about the scientific method.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Artic Sea Ice

Claims are being made and often repeated by one group in the Climate Debate that the loss of Arctic Sea has not been accelerating.  The facts show that it is

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Lead Author of IPCC Climate Report Refuses to Sign It.

Prof Richard Tol, from Sussex University, a highly respected climate economist and one of two ‘co-ordinating lead authors’ of an important chapter in the 2,600-page report published last week by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). refused to sign last week’s high-profile UN climate report because it was too ‘alarmist’.  Examples of its exaggeration are as follows:

How IPCC report was ramped up to predict wars, extreme weather and famine... while its authors slept on the job By Ben Pile Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2597907/Green-smear-campaign-against-professor-dared-disown-sexed-UN-climate-dossier.html#ixzz2y9W1q0fM

More IPCC Noise

. . Again the authors of IPCC reports engage in shrill rhetoric.  Their tactic seems to be -- when the facts do not substantiate the claim, then scream louder.  When Global Warming was rebuffed by the facts, then they changed the headline to Climate Change.  Who can argue against that?  Actually no one, since Climate Change is not new. It has always happened and most likely will continue to always happen.  Who can forget when the earth was a hot house as dinosaurs roamed the earth or when it was followed by ice sheets -- the latest being about 20,000 years ago when extended to the Ohio and Missouri rivers in North America.  Now that is some real climate change.
. . The attempt to claim that the humankind is responsible for climate change and can mitigate it is egotistical and absurd.  Yes, humans contribute, but to an insignificant amount and history has more than demonstrated.
. . The big squawk at this time of the year when tornadoes are prevalent is the severity of the weather extremes.  The Global Warning extremists claim that this violent weather will be more frequent and more severe.  But is that what is happening. NOAA says no