Weather Here

17 02 2008

I was walking home today from the library appreciating the beauty of a Midwest winter. I’m one of the first to bitch and moan about the cold, the slush, the snow and everything else. I like the summer more, simply because it’s easy to get out and do things. I can stay more active.

We broke the all-time record for most snowfall in Wisconsin, last set in the 70s. Since then (about a week ago), we’ve had about three more snowfalls. Late last night, it started raining, and the rain froze to everything. If you’ve never seen freezing rain before, it’s fantastic. Imagine everything outside covered in a half inch of ice.

I stepped out the door this afternoon, and I heard crackling. The wind was blowing the tree branches, and the ice was fracturing in thousands of places at once. On my walk home tonight, I looked up. In the orange glow of the sodium vapor lamps, all the trees looked like some cross between antlers and icicles. When a wind gust came up, instead of whipping, the branches swayed rigidly together.

After that, I smelled the smoke of a wood fire. I felt and heard the crunch of the snow, frozen in the tread of the tires that had run over it before. I stomped through five inch puddles of slush and enjoyed the cold air in my lungs. I remembered what it was like playing in the snow as a child. I smiled.

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Not interesting… Fascinating

18 04 2007

Three very fascinating items found recently:

1. How to waterproof items (think digital cameras) with nothing more than two condoms, wetsuit glue, cardboard and anti-desiccant. It’s the Navy SEAL way, dude! (Found at lifehacker.com, which rocks hard.)


The Hole – video powered by Metacafe

2. Biodegradeable newspaper seedling pots! Cool beans!

3. The world map, resized to reflect the percentage of Wal-Mart store “objects” supplied by every country. It’s a bit scary. Found via (deep breath) consumerist.com>kottke.org>fake is the new real>some guy named Benjamin Edwards!





Sick

4 05 2006

Only FOX news, upon a search for “popular blogs” would have a story on the “Green House Myth“.

One of the first grafs of the story:

Greenhouses work by physically blocking heat transfer (by convection) from inside to outside – the same effect that heats the inside of your car when it’s parked in the sun on a hot day. Opening the doors and windows allows air currents to flow and the heat to dissipate.

But neither the atmosphere nor “greenhouse gases” block convection, so there is no literal atmospheric “greenhouse effect.

That’s this guy’s working arguement? Sick. The author is Steven Milloy, author of the book “Junk Science Judo”. You must have heard of him! His site is www.junkscience.com. Though the prefix “Doctor” does not appear before his name, Steven Milloy seems to pose as an expert on various issues.

His philosophy on Junk Science:

Junk science?

“Junk science” is faulty scientific data and analysis used to advance special and, often, hidden agendas. The junk science “mob” includes:

  • The MEDIA may use junk science for sensational headlines and programming. Some members of the media use junk science to advance their and their employers’ social and political agendas.

  • PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS may use junk science to bamboozle juries into awarding huge verdicts. Large verdicts may then be used to extort even greater sums from deep-pocket businesses fearful of future jury verdicts.

  • SOCIAL ACTIVISTS, such as the “food police,” environmental extremists, and gun-control advocates, may use junk science to achieve social and political change.

  • GOVERNMENT REGULATORS may use junk science to expand their authority and to increase their budgets.

  • BUSINESSES may use junk science to bad-mouth competitors’ products or to make bogus claims about their own products.

  • POLITICIANS may use junk science to curry favor with special interest groups or to be “politically correct.”

  • INDIVIDUAL SCIENTISTS may use junk science to achieve fame and fortune.

  • INDIVIDUALS who are ill (real or imagined) may use junk science to blame others for causing their illness.

It sounds to me like he’s actually a lobbyist, or at least he’s paid to tell people what they want to hear and back it up with absolutely no peer-reviewed research (the foundation of scholarly science), just data and graphs he has compiled himself. He used no researchers to speak of as sources in his story.

Upon further inspection of his website, I found this:

Mr. Milloy holds a B.A. in Natural Sciences from the Johns Hopkins University, a Master of Health Sciences in Biostatistics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, a Juris Doctorate from the University of Baltimore, and a Master of Laws from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Mr. Milloy is a frequent advocate for free enterprise/free market principles and policies in conjunction with the Free Enterprise Education Institute. FEEI is supported by individuals, foundations and businesses, including ExxonMobil.

Mr. Milloy is president of Steven J. Milloy, Inc., which provides news and consulting services on environment- and health-related public policy issues to food, beverage, and other consumer product businesses and organizations.

So he’s no idiot, but he has a neocon agenda, and he’s trying to discredit genuine science.

Boo-urns.