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Friday, September 05, 2014

A small asteroid, designated 2014 RC, will safely pass very close to Earth on Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. At the time of closest approach, based on current calculations to be about 2:18 p.m. EDT, the asteroid will be roughly over New Zealand. From its reflected brightness, astronomers estimate that the asteroid is about 60 feet in size. CBC reports on the close flyby. "Stargazers will need telescopes to see Sunday's flyby. Or they can watch the asteroid approach streamed live online by Slooh, an online observatory that broadcasts telescope feeds of celestial events on the internet." read more

Thursday, September 04, 2014

The comedian Joan Rivers died Thursday at age 81, her daughter announced. "It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers," Melissa Rivers said. "She passed peacefully at 1:17 p.m. surrounded by family and close friends." Joan Rivers suffered cardiac arrest Aug. 28 during surgery. She had been performing stand-up comedy since the 1960s, first appearing on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1965, later becoming his permanent guest host. "When I started out, a pretty girl did not go into comedy. If you saw a pretty girl walk into a nightclub, she was automatically a singer. Comedy was all white, older men," Rivers wrote in 2012. "I didn't even want to be a comedian. Nobody wanted to be a comedian!" read more

Friday, August 29, 2014

John Walker, a former U.S. Navy officer convicted of spying decades ago for the Soviet Union, has died in federal prison, according to the U.S. government. Walker, 77, passed away Thursday at a federal correctional facility in Butner, North Carolina, the Federal Bureau of Prisons said. The agency's website indicated Walker was scheduled to be released on parole within the year.

Monday, August 18, 2014

COLUMBUS (Chris Vanocur) -- A prominent member of an Ohio church recently picketed by strippers is now calling for a ban on all public nudity in the state.

Sunday, dancers from an Ohio gentlemen's club protested at a church in Warsaw. Reportedly, this was because the church members had been protesting them for years.

Dr. Patrick Johnston is a member of that Warsaw church. After the protest by the dancers, Johnston posted this message on his Facebook page: "I am sick that women can legally bare their breasts to children and to married men against their will in Ohio." read more

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Republican state senator in Colorado justified the practice of hydraulic fracturing -- commonly known as "fracking" -- by saying that the presence of burnable amounts of methane gas in drinking water is a perfectly natural phenomenon. "They talk about methane in the water and this, that, and the other," state Sen. Randy Baumgardner said, "but if you go back in history and look at how the Indians traveled, they traveled to the 'burning waters.' And that was methane in the waters and that was for warmth in the wintertime."


"You know, I might have a lot more faith in this analysis is this was the first reason put forward to explain the pause and it was truly backed with non-partisan, peer review. However, it is about the 20th reason cited, along with the hidden heat in the deep ocean, etc. So, are you saying the hidden heat in the deep ocean does not exist? I mean, it is one or the other, right? I don't know what the issue is with climatologists not being able to simply state that they do not know. The pause is real - all data sets show it even after the adjustments (which always make the past data cooler), but the explanations are nothing more than speculation.

Proposing a hypothesis to explain an observed phenomena is not an exercise in "faith", it's the way science is done. A hypothesis doesn't have more/less validity if it is the first or 20th (an aside: hyperbolic hand waving doesn't help support one's point, unless you can cite the other ~19 reasons others have proposed!). This particular paper is relatively recent (although I think others have proposed similar hypotheses), so it might not have had sufficient peer review yet. A little google time would answer your speculations.

Meanwhile, I have not said anything about the existence of hidden heat in the deep ocean. Also, it would be reckless to claim it is ONLY one or the other. It's likely that in a complex system (like the global temperature system), there are multiple factors that interact and influence the observed condition.

I won't presume to explain why "climatologists (are) not being able to simply state that they do not know". I would submit that climatologists who do think they have some understanding of the processes involved are proposing hypotheses for review/evaluation. Those climatologists who do not think they have adequate understanding are probably choosing to remain silent.

Meanwhile, from the land of HadCRUT, it seems some have jumped on the last decade (or so) of global temperature data as having some significance. What is obvious from a graphing of the data from the last ~160 years of data (whether northern hemisphere, southern hemisphere, or globally), is that limiting the discussion to only the recent data is (diplomatically) disingenuous.



This isn't to say the recent "pause" in the overall temperature trend should be completely ignored. It should be evaluated for what it is: a small 'tail' that should not be allowed to 'wag the entire dog'. For example, some folks have done just that:


If their analysis is correct, then the current hiatus in the temperature trend is more an indication of a rare weak solar maximum rather than an indication that the climate models are "crap". After all, the climate models do not make projections on the strength of future solar maximums. I suspect projecting the intensity of future solar maximums is beyond the ability of more than just climate models.

Here's a link from yesterday:


that tells of her being moved out of the ICU.

No additional word on her passing that was announced just a few minutes ago.

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