Monday, 18 October 2010

MOVING AND MALWARE

Double hit for me attm.

Firstly a vicious piece of malware - Antiviral2010 - got into my laptop and having tried isolating it and failing, I am now having to reboot the entire damn thing - not happy.

Secondly, we have moved so have no broadband for, oh, at least two weeks. Apparently, in this world of instant information and mass computer technology, I cannot simply have an exchange push a button. Nope! And I am not allowed to put the wi-fi box in myself either, Nope! No, I have to wait at least 15 days and have an engineer come round. Why? I have no idea.

Still, makes me nolstalgic for the days when the post office would deliver your phone and install it...not.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

THE EMPEROR'S CLOTHES


Marvellous!

Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California Harold Lewis has resigned from the American Physical Society in protest of its slavish devotion to the Climate Change economy and its lack of scientific procedures.

Here's the full letter:

Dear Curt:
When I first joined the American Physical Society sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood (a threat against which Dwight Eisenhower warned a half-century ago). Indeed, the choice of physics as a profession was then a guarantor of a life of poverty and abstinence—it was World War II that changed all that. The prospect of worldly gain drove few physicists. As recently as thirty-five years ago, when I chaired the first APS study of a contentious social/scientific issue, The Reactor Safety Study, though there were zealots aplenty on the outside there was no hint of inordinate pressure on us as physicists. We were therefore able to produce what I believe was and is an honest appraisal of the situation at that time. We were further enabled by the presence of an oversight committee consisting of Pief Panofsky, Vicki Weisskopf, and Hans Bethe, all towering physicists beyond reproach. I was proud of what we did in a charged atmosphere. In the end the oversight committee, in its report to the APS President, noted the complete independence in which we did the job, and predicted that the report would be attacked from both sides. What greater tribute could there be?

How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d’ĂȘtre of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.

It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford’s book organizes the facts very well.) I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.

So what has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it. For example:

1. About a year ago a few of us sent an e-mail on the subject to a fraction of the membership. APS ignored the issues, but the then President immediately launched a hostile investigation of where we got the e-mail addresses. In its better days, APS used to encourage discussion of important issues, and indeed the Constitution cites that as its principal purpose. No more. Everything that has been done in the last year has been designed to silence debate

2. The appallingly tendentious APS statement on Climate Change was apparently written in a hurry by a few people over lunch, and is certainly not representative of the talents of APS members as I have long known them. So a few of us petitioned the Council to reconsider it. One of the outstanding marks of (in)distinction in the Statement was the poison word incontrovertible, which describes few items in physics, certainly not this one. In response APS appointed a secret committee that never met, never troubled to speak to any skeptics, yet endorsed the Statement in its entirety. (They did admit that the tone was a bit strong, but amazingly kept the poison word incontrovertible to describe the evidence, a position supported by no one.) In the end, the Council kept the original statement, word for word, but approved a far longer “explanatory” screed, admitting that there were uncertainties, but brushing them aside to give blanket approval to the original. The original Statement, which still stands as the APS position, also contains what I consider pompous and asinine advice to all world governments, as if the APS were master of the universe. It is not, and I am embarrassed that our leaders seem to think it is. This is not fun and games, these are serious matters involving vast fractions of our national substance, and the reputation of the Society as a scientific society is at stake.

3. In the interim the ClimateGate scandal broke into the news, and the machinations of the principal alarmists were revealed to the world. It was a fraud on a scale I have never seen, and I lack the words to describe its enormity. Effect on the APS position: none. None at all. This is not science; other forces are at work.

4. So a few of us tried to bring science into the act (that is, after all, the alleged and historic purpose of APS), and collected the necessary 200+ signatures to bring to the Council a proposal for a Topical Group on Climate Science, thinking that open discussion of the scientific issues, in the best tradition of physics, would be beneficial to all, and also a contribution to the nation. I might note that it was not easy to collect the signatures, since you denied us the use of the APS membership list. We conformed in every way with the requirements of the APS Constitution, and described in great detail what we had in mind—simply to bring the subject into the open.<

5. To our amazement, Constitution be damned, you declined to accept our petition, but instead used your own control of the mailing list to run a poll on the members’ interest in a TG on Climate and the Environment. You did ask the members if they would sign a petition to form a TG on your yet-to-be-defined subject, but provided no petition, and got lots of affirmative responses. (If you had asked about sex you would have gotten more expressions of interest.) There was of course no such petition or proposal, and you have now dropped the Environment part, so the whole matter is moot. (Any lawyer will tell you that you cannot collect signatures on a vague petition, and then fill in whatever you like.) The entire purpose of this exercise was to avoid your constitutional responsibility to take our petition to the Council.

6. As of now you have formed still another secret and stacked committee to organize your own TG, simply ignoring our lawful petition.

APS management has gamed the problem from the beginning, to suppress serious conversation about the merits of the climate change claims. Do you wonder that I have lost confidence in the organization?

I do feel the need to add one note, and this is conjecture, since it is always risky to discuss other people’s motives. This scheming at APS HQ is so bizarre that there cannot be a simple explanation for it. Some have held that the physicists of today are not as smart as they used to be, but I don’t think that is an issue. I think it is the money, exactly what Eisenhower warned about a half-century ago. There are indeed trillions of dollars involved, to say nothing of the fame and glory (and frequent trips to exotic islands) that go with being a member of the club. Your own Physics Department (of which you are chairman) would lose millions a year if the global warming bubble burst. When Penn State absolved Mike Mann of wrongdoing, and the University of East Anglia did the same for Phil Jones, they cannot have been unaware of the financial penalty for doing otherwise. As the old saying goes, you don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. Since I am no philosopher, I’m not going to explore at just which point enlightened self-interest crosses the line into corruption, but a careful reading of the ClimateGate releases makes it clear that this is not an academic question.

I want no part of it, so please accept my resignation. APS no longer represents me, but I hope we are still friends.
Hal

Harold Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, former Chairman; Former member Defense Science Board, chmn of Technology panel; Chairman DSB study on Nuclear Winter; Former member Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Former member, President’s Nuclear Safety Oversight Committee; Chairman APS study on Nuclear Reactor Safety
Chairman Risk Assessment Review Group; Co-founder and former Chairman of JASON; Former member USAF Scientific Advisory Board; Served in US Navy in WW II; books: Technological Risk (about, surprise, technological risk) and Why Flip a Coin (about decision making)


Ht:Telegraph

Sunday, 10 October 2010

LIFE UNIVERSE & EVERYTHING


Today could be the day that the answer to Life, Universe & Everything could be solved.

Why?

Well it's 10/10/10 and in binary 101010 = 42

Now where did I put my towel?


ht: Geeks

Friday, 8 October 2010

DOCTOR WHO

More mini-bits are coming out about the Christmas Special:

TOYS OUT OF A PRAM



So the unions are threatening 'French style strikes' over the prospect of their pensions being altered.

I have said over and over again that we cannot afford the public sector (PS) pensions bill. WE couldn't ten years ago and we certainly can't now.

The reason why PS got good pensions was that traditionally PS was poorly paid, jobs for life.

But...

Since Labour got in, PS outstripped the private sector in terms of pay and conditions.

So what is the excuse for brilliant pensions?

Apparently some PS workers are still poorly paid.

Well, y'know what, so are some private sector workers. But they are not going to get the taxpayer to fund their retirement.

So why should PS expect the taxpayer to do so?

You are not some special breed that needs credit and protection. You, in essence, are people who do not generate wealth for this country, you spend the wealth of the nation.

So what makes you so special?

Oh and to the unions, 'French-style strikes'? Fair enough, but on one condition, we should be allowed to have Gendarmerie-styled response to these threats.

Remember, if you throw all your toys out of a pram, you will end up with no toys.

ONE OF US


According to the Bish, Miss Snuffy, aka Katharine Birbalsingh who spoke so passionately about how the State education system has failed children at the Tory conference, has been sent to work from home - suspension by any other term.

Now it should be pointed out that there could have been breaches of child confidentiality but I do suspect that it will be the hook to hang her on because she dared to speak out.

Once again we see how the orthodoxy outweighs any such high minded ideals like, erm, free speech.

Time and time again I have argued that free speech is not a pic n mix, either everyone has it or no one has it.

The left-wing educational establishment freely allows its Marxists to criticise, threaten and cajole us all but as soon as one stands up and says the Emperor has no clothes, the principle of free speech goes out of the window.

Miss Snuffy was no longer "one of us" and had to be punished.

Once more the educational orthodoxy fails children. Instead of looking at the issues behind the critique and looking inside itself to see how there are a bunch of feckless, ruthless kids who are barely able to read and write, it punishes those that fail to tow the line.

It is the educational establishment that should be sent home, not a teacher who's passion for teaching has led her to 'out' herself at the Tory conference in the belief that children should come first.

UPDATE: Dizzy has pointed out that the head teacher at Snuffy's school allowed Blair to use her school to launch his 2001 election campaign!

And to quote Iain Dale:
Quentin Letts's new book "Letts Rip!" includes an account of the day Bishop allowed her south London school to be used by Tony Blair for the launch of the 2001 general eleciton campaign. It notes that "Mrs Bishop is a fanatical Blairite who considers him the most wonderful Prime Minister in the world".
The piece describes how Blair used Bishop's school remorselessly for political ends. For Birbalsingh now to be accused of political agitation is unbelievably hypocritical.


Indeed!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

PIXIE DUST


WIth all the fuss over blowing kids' heads off, I did have a question for eco-loons -

To those in Greenpeace who use dinghies*

To those in their Prius

To those who go to eco-conferences

To those who attack "climate change deniers" online

To those who read the Guardian

To those that make 'humerous' films blowing up children

Where exactly do you think the energy that you are using comes from? Pixie Dust?
I mean come on. Even your precious windmills need the National Grid to keep themseves going let alone the air miles alone just to create a Prius and the eco-damage Prius make through nickle mining.

Seriously, you guys lecture, hector, and offend people in your insistence that we all go green yet the damage you yourselves do seem to be blithely ignored by you.

Hypocrites. I've said before that if climate is changing, it is probably a natural cycle and we should be preparing our adaption to the environment because there is sod all that we can do to halt a natural cycle.

Sustainability is a worthy goal. We need to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels because not only are they probably finite - therefore will become more expensive - but also because the countries where we get our fuel are not necessarily the most stable places in the world and it would be stupid to end up being hostage to events.

Food and water will become increasing factors to global instability as the human population grows, in certain areas there will be wars over this. With war and/or famine comes migration and by God I suspect we are pretty full right now and already we need to consider how to feed our population if these events occur.

So sustainability in both power, water and food should be a desirable goal, not because of some pseudo-marxist crap but because it may become a necessity.

In the meantime, if you eco-loons hate us all so much, lay off our pixie dust eh?

*In case anyone is confused about the dinghy one - most Ribbed craft (the ones Greenpeace love whizzing around oil rigs on)are mainly made out of Hypalon, neoprene or PVC. Rigid dinghies are usually made of glass-fiber reinforced plastic. All of which are based on, er, oil!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

DUDE


On a slightly related post to below, Steve 'The Dude' Rude is facing foreclosure on his house as he is yet another to be hit by the downturn.

As a result he is flogging off a lot of his artwork to try and stave of the auction which will be held on 15 November.

If you love good comic art with just a hint of Kirby in it, then get over to ebay, or Steve's site, and grab yourself some comic art gold!

HT: Comics Cube

UNDER PRESSURE

No, not the Cameloons, homelessness.

Now I now a few out there sneer at the idea of homelessness but it is a real problem. People get stuck in a spiral, be it debt, drugs, alcohol, and find themselves on the streets, lost, bewildered, not knowing how to get out.

Some falter, some manage to haul themselves out.

It can happen to anyone, me, you - yes you, you may think "nonsense!" but all it takes is a job loss, money problems, eviction, you could very quickly enter the spriral, become under pressure.

Look at this great video then think about helping out. If you don't have money, acknowledge the beggar or Big Issue seller, make eye contact when you say sorry. Knowing people still see them as human beings is as much of a help as a cigarette or a bit of spare change.



Ht: The bish

DANCE IRON MAN DANCE

Just because

Iron Man Dance from Kirby Ferguson on Vimeo.



ht: Bleeders

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

OOPS

It's always good fun looking at a train wreck happening.

Everyone knows about the 10:10 camtpaign film, written by Richard Curtis.

You know, the one where it's OK to blow up children who disagree with climate change, the one that my sprog will not be allowed to watch because, quite frankly, she would have nightmares.

Well, not only did 10:10 apologise, but have now apologised to its sponsors:
As you may have heard, last week, 10:10 made a mistake by releasing a short film about cutting carbon which was supposed to be humourous but in the event upset a lot of people. We quickly realised that we had made a serious mistake and took it down from our website within hours.

We also issued a statement apologising but there has subsequently been quite a lot of negative comment, particularly on blogs, and understandable concern from others working hard to build support for action on climate change.

We are also sorry to our corporate sponsors, delivery partners and board members, who have been implicated in this situation despite having no involvement in the film’s production or release

I am very sorry for our mistake and want to reassure you that we will do everything in our power to ensure it does not happen again.

10:10 is a young and creative team but we will learn lessons from this. We are going to investigate what happened, review our processes and procedures, and share the results with our partners. Responsibility for this process is being taken by the 10:10 board of directors.

This media coverage for this film was not the kind of publicity we wanted for the cause of saving the climate, nor for 10:10, and we certainly didn’t mean to do anything to distract from all the efforts of those in other organisations who are working so hard to secure effective action on climate change.

If you have been in touch with us personally about the film, we will be replying to individual emails over the next few days. I’m sorry not to have emailed you about this more quickly - although I have followed developments closely, I’ve been working from home with a four-week-old baby. I thank you for your patience and your support for the 10:10 campaign.

Eugenie Harvey

Director 10:10 UK


I presume this has nothing at all to do with Sony disassociating itself from this disgusting film:
Thank you for your email concerning the video released by the 10:10 climate change campaign group. Sony has supported the 10:10 climate change campaign because we share its objective to reduce carbon emissions. However, we strongly condemn the "No Pressure" video, which was conceived, produced and released by 10:10 entirely without the knowledge or involvement of Sony.

The company considers the video to be ill-conceived and tasteless. We also believe this video risks undermining the work of the many thousands of members of the public, schools and universities, local authorities and many businesses, of which Sony is one, who support the long-term aims of the 10:10 movement and who are actively working towards the reduction of carbon emissions.

As a result we have taken the decision to disassociate ourselves from 10:10 at this time.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

DEFENCE

One of the cuts is of course defence. Leaks, Liam being angry etc etc.

But...

Has anyone actually looked at defence in terms of national expenditure?



In terms of National Expenditure it doesn't even warrent it's own segment!

The breakdown:
Total Spending by Function
Values in £ billion

2008 2009 2010 2011
Total Spending 576 631 661 681
Pensions 100 110 117 123
Health Care 204 221 239 244
Education 76 80 86 84
Defence 38 42 44 46
Welfare 88 94 105 109

For all the debate, Defence is nothing on the national budget in comparison to social expenditure.

I honestly am in shock that a government - even a coalition government that has to appease yogurt weavers- would consider such a miniscule section of national cost to be worthy of a 10% minimum cut when health can continue spending its merry way.

Note: if they get rid of the desk pilots and civil servants rather than making sure troops are under-equipped and die unnecessarily then the cut will be fine - unfortunately as I have posted in the past, the last people to be cut are those that aren't on the front line!