Global warming is over

Wow, this September was cold:

September 2016 was the warmest September in 136 years of modern record-keeping, according to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.

September 2016’s temperature was a razor-thin 0.004 degrees Celsius warmer than the previous warmest September in 2014. The margin is so narrow those two months are in a statistical tie. Last month was 0.91 degrees Celsius warmer than the mean September temperature from 1951-1980.

My mistake, I meant to link here (go to September if it’s moved to the next month):

The September temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.60°F above the 20th century average of 59.0°F. This was the second highest for September in the 1880–2016 record, 0.07°F cooler than the record warmth of 2015 when El Niño conditions were strengthening.

See, it might not have been a record, so obviously global warming is a hoax.

The year-to-date temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.78°F above the 20th century average of 57.5°F. This was the highest for January-September in the 1880–2016 record, surpassing the previous record set in 2015 by 0.23°F.

Umm, if you ignore the last three years, there’s been an obvious plateau.


Ok, if you ignore the last 40 years then there’s no obvious upward trend.

Here, let’s change the subject, here’s the Red Spider Nebula (Credit: ESA/Garrelt Mellema (Leiden University, the Netherlands):

Huge waves are sculpted in this two-lobed nebula some 3000 light-years away in the constellation of Sagittarius. This warm planetary nebula harbours one of the hottest stars known and its powerful stellar winds generate waves 100 billion kilometres high. The waves are caused by supersonic shocks, formed when the local gas is compressed and heated in front of the rapidly expanding lobes. The atoms caught in the shock emit the spectacular radiation seen in this image.

Say that again?

Republicans are going after Donald Trump after he said the election will be rigged:

“The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary — but also at many polling places — SAD,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

Jon A. Husted, secretary of state of Ohio, said it was “wrong and engaging in irresponsible rhetoric” for any candidate to question the integrity of elections without evidence. Husted, a Republican, said he would have no reason to hesitate to certify the results of the election.

“We have made it easy to vote and hard to cheat,” Husted said in an interview on Sunday. “We are going to run a good, clean election in Ohio, like we always do.”

What that’s you say Jon Husted (bold added)?

In Cleveland’s Cuyahoga County, 40,000 voters were “unlawfully purged,” attorneys claimed.

Husted, a Republican, said the lawsuit was “politically motivated, election-year politics (and) a waste of taxpayer dollars.”

He insisted that he maintains the state voter rolls in compliance with state and federal laws as well as an agreement with the same federal court four years ago stemming from a similar legal complaint.

“Voter rolls with deceased voters and people who’ve moved out-of-state have long contributed to the problems of voter fraud, long lines and discarded ballots,” Husted said. “In 2011, there were several Ohio counties with more registered voters than eligible voters.”

Jon Husted has been a long-time cheerleader for Voter ID laws, now what do you have Jon?

In reality, an exhaustive report released last year by Husted, no voting-rights champion, found just 135 possible voter-fraud cases out of around 5.63 million votes cast. Not a single case that would have been stopped by a voter ID law has turned up.

So Jon Husted has been yelling about the need for a voter ID law because of fraud … even though there is no evidence of any. Let’s go back to his bit:

Jon A. Husted, secretary of state of Ohio, said it was “wrong and engaging in irresponsible rhetoric” for any candidate to question the integrity of elections without evidence.


Fuck Donald Trump

I haven’t posted too much about Donald Trump, because he’s such an obviously terrible person and yet, at times, he has polled close to Hillary Clinton. Now that we’re getting somewhat close to the election I thought I would put up all the reasons to vote against him. Since almost all of this has been reported repeatedly, I’m not going to put in many links but might add them later.

  1. Let’s start with sexism/misogyny since that’s the latest thing that has exploded. In how many ways does this come up?
    1. He brags that he can sexually assault women without consequence.
    2. He brags that he was able to peak in to look at women nude at the Miss USA pageant since he ran it.
    3. It’s so well known that he cares only about a woman’s appearance that managers at his businesses make sure that he mostly only interacts with the prettiest women so he doesn’t fire them.
    4. He’s disgusted by perfectly natural aspects of women’s body (bloods coming out of her wherever).
    5. He freely leers at women.
    6. He freely insults women’s appearance who either don’t come up to his beauty standards or say anything bad about him.
    7. He has tried to fire women who either don’t sleep with him or get pregnant.
  2. He’s incredibly racist:
    1. He discriminated against blacks in his housing complexes.
    2. He started the race by saying Mexicans are racist.
    3. He has said a judge couldn’t rule fairly against him because he is of Mexican descent.
    4. He seems to think all blacks live in slums.
    5. He was one of the most prominent people behind the conspiracy about President Obama’s birth certificate.
    6. He still believes in the case against the Central Park 5 even after evidence has proved they were innocent.
    7. He has a habit of retweeting material from white supremacists.
  3. He is biased against Muslims:
    1. He claims they celebrated after 9/11 when they didn’t.
    2. He has said that all Muslims should be kept from entering the US.
    3. He has complained about a Gold Star family because they were Muslim.
  4. He was a bad businessman:
    1. He was basically broke in the mid-1990s because he had overpaid for Trump Airlines, many buildings, and casinos. He only got out of it by help from his father and the fact that he owed so much money he was able to convince his creditors to forgo much of what he owed.
    2. He routinely doesn’t pay people for work they have done for him.
    3. He has bought into numerous scams, the largest being Trump University.
    4. Almost all of the businesses that he has started have failed.
    5. The one thing he’s good at is publicity and selling himself.
  5. He lies all the time:
    1. A group that looked at his speeches found he lies about once every 3.5 minutes.
    2. He doesn’t care if people knows he’s lying–he will lie when there’s concrete evidence that contradicts what he says.
  6. His foreign policy is a complete mess even when it’s coherent enough to judge:
    1. He has said that numerous countries should build nuclear weapons.
    2. He thinks we shouldn’t automatically back countries in NATO.
    3. He thinks we should torture which is against international law.
    4. He thinks we should kill the families of terrorists which is against international law.
    5. He praises people like Putin and Saddam Hussein.
    6. He has intimated that he would fire at groups that irk him–Iranian boats that get too close to US ships, Russian airplanes that buzz US airplanes–seemingly not caring that this might cause wars.
  7. He doesn’t seem to have many serious proposals and the ones that he does would be terrible:
    1. He’s going to build a wall without saying how, even though, in places, this is almost physically impossible.
    2. He’s going to cut taxes so much it will make the current deficit tiny even though he’s going to cut numerous programs that help the poor and middle-class.
    3. He will get rid of Obamacare with nothing to replace it.
    4. He wants to outlaw abortion and has, at least once, said that the woman should be punished.
    5. Economists say his economic plans would drive the US into recession.
  8. He has autocratic tendencies:
    1. He has a habit of praising dictators.
    2. When he makes a claim he says that he will do something.
    3. He wants to make it easier to sue the press.
    4. He thinks the old NY City policy of stop and frisk should be expanded even though it was not shown to be effective and was declared unconstitutional.
  9. He has said he would put Hillary Clinton in jail even though she has been cleared of the charges he wants to put her in jail.

This is a list off the top of my head, I’m sure there are many more reasons so I might add to the list later.

The DR Congo and Cobalt

It seems that the Washington Post has found out about Cobalt:

The world’s soaring demand for cobalt is at times met by workers, including children, who labor in harsh and dangerous conditions. An estimated 100,000 cobalt miners in Congo use hand tools to dig hundreds of feet underground with little oversight and few safety measures, according to workers, government officials and evidence found by The Washington Post during visits to remote mines. Deaths and injuries are common. And the mining activity exposes local communities to levels of toxic metals that appear to be linked to ailments that include breathing problems and birth defects, health officials say.

The Post traced this cobalt pipeline and, for the first time, showed how cobalt mined in these harsh conditions ends up in popular consumer products. It moves from small-scale Congolese mines to a single Chinese company — Congo DongFang International Mining, part of one of the world’s biggest cobalt producers, Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt — that for years has supplied some of the world’s largest battery makers. They, in turn, have produced the batteries found inside products such as Apple’s iPhones — a finding that calls into question corporate assertions that they are capable of monitoring their supply chains for human rights abuses or child labor.

I first read it as Coltan, since this story is almost exactly the same as one I posted about back in 2008. I guess history does repeat but with minor variations. It seems the DR Congo isn’t in much better shape than it was back then.

Oh, and here’s Senator Clinton from back then:

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived in Congo on Monday to push the Congolese government and the United Nations to end the longstanding bloodshed here, taking special aim at the illicit mineral trade that helps fuel the conflict.

“I am particularly concerned about the exploitation of natural resources,” she said, referring to Congo’s vast reserves of diamonds, gold, copper, tin and other minerals.

She said that illegal mining was one of the root causes of Congo’s violence and that armed groups were sustaining themselves off the mineral riches. “There is a lot of money being made in eastern Congo,” Mrs. Clinton said.

I wonder if Donald Trump has even heard of the DR Congo?

Tour the solar system

These tour guide like posters are pretty good, like this one of Europa (Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech):


Ok, I’m off to Europa. Have fun on stuffy old Earth.

It’s in the stars

This is more than a little funny:

The kerfuffle began in September, when Cosmopolitan cited a NASA Web post about the origins of the Western zodiac. In the 3,000 years since the Babylonians drew up the zodiac, the post noted, the Earth’s axis has shifted slightly, and thus, so have the astrological signs.

For those who check their horoscopes alongside their morning e-mails — and avoid making big decisions when Mercury is in retrograde — this was no small thing. Those born in, say, late February through mid-March went to bed thinking they were a gentle, compassionate Pisces only to awake the next day a temperamental, uncompromising Aquarius. Perhaps more disconcerting, those born between Nov. 29 and Dec. 17 learned they were no longer Sagittarius, but the strange and little-known Ophiuchus, “the Serpent Bearer.”

Oh dear, Astrologists claim that the star you’re born under affects you so they I guess they’re going to have to recalculate everything:

Many fans have simply vowed to ignore it. And Eugenia Last, whose internationally syndicated horoscope column appears in various publications, including the Globe, has no intention of tailoring her work to the new dates outlined by NASA (“Absolutely not,” she writes in an e-mail).

Now that’s real science–if new information comes up, just ignore it. I guess the star we weren’t born under is what really affects us … or, ok I’m just confused.

Only Unions pressure anyone

It’s interesting how things work when people talk about issues where unions weigh in:

Perhaps she was honestly torn. As Michael Jonas pointed out in CommonWealth magazine, the Massachusetts senator is a longtime proponent of school choice. In her 2003 book, “The Two-Income Trap,” she endorsed a system of vouchers to support attendance at any public school.

But in a statement put out on Monday, Warren said that she will be voting no on Question 2. “Many charters schools are producing extraordinary results for our students and we should celebrate the hard work of those teachers and spread what’s working to other schools,’’ she said. But, after hearing from both sides, “I am very concerned about what this specific proposal means for hundreds of thousands of children across our Commonwealth, especially those living in districts with tight budgets where every dime matters. Education is about creating opportunity for all our children, not about leaving many behind.”

Warren can play an important role in this debate. I only hope her decision really is about equal opportunity for all and not about caving in to union pressure.

The writer, Joan Vennochi, says:

When it comes to Question 2, you can put me down as “conflicted.” This campaign pits suburbs against urban communities and unions against business groups that despise organized labor. All supposedly in the name of “the children.”

and yet nowhere does she seem to question anybody who is voting Yes on Question 2 even though its backers will be spending millions to push it. It’s interesting how that works.

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