Merry Christmas

Here at Deltoid world headquarters we built a gingerbread ruin. Pictures below the fold.

The house.


Decorated. Note gummi bear heads on roof.


The final step to acheiving a fashionable ruin is to let it stand for half an hour while it collapses under the weight of the decorations.


Best wishes to all my readers!


  1. #1 DaveH
    December 24, 2009

    Lang may yer lum reek (figuratively speaking)

  2. #2 Daniel J. Andrews
    December 24, 2009

    Ugh. There should be a law against that. Hope it tasted good though. :)

  3. #3 Bruce Sharp
    December 24, 2009

    Best wishes to all. No one says it better than [Tonto, Tarzan, and Frankenstein]( Oh, and for those who prefer Spanish (I’m looking at you, El Gordo), [we’ve got that covered, too](

  4. #4 Trevor Williams
    December 24, 2009

    What a scientist! You even drew up plans for the project! Have a great holiday, Tim, and thanks for all the excellent posts over the year.

  5. #5 hankroberts
    December 24, 2009
  6. #6 barry
    December 25, 2009

    Seasons Greetings, Tim Lambert.

    Best wishes from a regular reader and fellow Sydney-sider (Bondi). I hope you planned for indoors today!

  7. #7 Billy Bob Hall
    December 25, 2009

    Happy Christmas Tim.

    You should have used ‘polar bear heads’ on the roof ! 😉

  8. #8 William Wallace
    December 25, 2009

    Merry Christmas.

  9. #9 Kristjan Wager
    December 25, 2009

    Merry Christmas Tim. Hope you and your family have a great day – collapsing gingerbread houses aside

  10. #10 Marco
    December 25, 2009

    Merry Christmas from up over, too.

  11. #11 Lionel A
    December 25, 2009

    Ho! Ho! Ho!

    And a Good Christmas to you all, even though it is summer down there. Did this cause the collapse?

    You may like to add it to those at this web site:

    My wife, an accomplished cake decorator, had a book of ‘Cake Wrecks’ as a present.

  12. #12 Scott M
    December 25, 2009

    A friend of mine’s 6 y/o son called theirs a “Ninjabread House.” Merry Christmas to everyone, everywhere.

  13. #13 Nigel Moslesworth
    December 26, 2009

    Thank you Tim for your blog. A voice of rationality in a seriously irrational world. Whenever The Stupid becomes too much I come here for solace.

  14. #14 Tim Lambert
    December 26, 2009

    It collapsed because the gingerbread was too soft. We probably need to dry it out more.

  15. #15 Betula
    December 26, 2009

    I hope all had a Merry Christmas..

    That’s right, I said Merry Christmas, and I’ll even throw in a Happy Holidays to those who may be offended by “Merry Christmas”

    An old Irish toast…

    “Here’s to you as good as you are, here’s to me as bad as I am, but as good as you are and as bad as I am, I’m as good as you are as bad as I am.”

    And Tim, I couldn’t make this up myself, but I think I know why your Gingerbread house collapsed:

  16. #16 Proper Gander
    December 26, 2009

    I have a question, if I may:

    Is there any truth to the charge that climate scientists will not publicly release raw data and modeling software code? This is about the only charge from denialists I have trouble rebutting, though I know that there are ownership issues with some data sets. Can anyone explain the reason behind this to me, or direct me to something which does?

    I’d appreciate any help.

    Merry Christmas, Happy New Year all,


  17. #17 Proper Gander
    December 26, 2009

    Ah never mind, it’s a complex issue but I think I’ve got a better handle on it now.

  18. #18 dhogaza
    December 26, 2009

    In case you’re better handle is still incomplete :)

    Here’s the complete source and documentation to GISS Model E.

    GISTEMP source is available, too, though I don’t have a handy link. There’s a small team of interested programmers restructuring it and rewriting it in Python at Clear Climate Code They’ve found a very small number of very inconsequential bugs in the original FORTRAN GISTEMP, and the GISTEMP maintainer has very happily incorporated their fixes into the official code.

    GHCN data’s online, here’s a monthly version. You can get daily results via FTP somewhere but I don’t have it handy. GISTEMP only uses the publicly-available GHCN data. HadCRUT uses an additional 5% (roughly) data available only under a non-distribution agreement. It’s this 5% only used to create HadCRUT that’s the source of all the “they’re hiding data!” crap you’ve heard.

    The Hadley Centre climate model sources aren’t available, unlike NASA GISS Model E.

    The reason for this is that UK Met is by law bound to sell services. Their model’s a bit unique as it can be configured to do short-range weather forecasts, indeed AFAICT the official UK Met daily and weekly forecasts are generated using the same atmospheric model used for their long-term climate forecasts (reconfigured for a smaller grid size/time step and initialized with a snapshot of current ocean conditions rather than being coupled to an ocean model – as I understand it).

    This money-making requirement placed on UK Met means they don’t give the source to their tools away.

    Hope this summary of some of the situation helps you out a bit … there’s nothing nefarious going on.

  19. #19 zoot
    December 26, 2009

    A [Christmas present]( for Proper Gander. Best wishes to all.

  20. #20 Proper Gander
    December 26, 2009

    Danke, Freunden.

  21. #21 Russell Seitz
    December 26, 2009

    A decent respect for microclimate mitigation demands a white icing roof.

  22. #22 David Horton
    December 26, 2009

    Tim, that must be the most disgusting looking purported food item I’ve ever seen. Guess you could approach it like the old recipe for cooking galah – put it in a pot with a rock. Boil until rock is soft, then throw away the galah and eat the rock. in your case it could be throw away the house and drink the brandy.

    Anyway, well done for a good year, thank you for all your efforts.

  23. #23 Paul UK
    December 27, 2009

    I’m a bit suspicious (and keen to start a conspiracy).
    It looks like the collapse was due to the eating of some crucial supporting parts. eg. there was some anthropogenic involvement.

  24. #24 Dean Morrison
    December 27, 2009

    Hi Tim,

    thanks for all your brilliant stuff – I have very few reference points – but you are in my top eight.

    You point to the great resources to laugh at shitheads like Monckfish, Mcinface and Plimpsole… but for me you are the centre of information against the ongoing defamation campaign against Rachel Carson. I’ve bought about 15 malaria nets, that’s nowhere near enough – but next year I’m going to make it my mission to get more. Thanks Tim, your blogging most definitely isn’t in vain.

    Deano – Hastings UK

  25. #25 Marion Delgado
    December 28, 2009

    As an Alaskan, I know what happened: the table was made of permafrost, and it melted under the cabin and shifted all the load until the structure itself collapsed. Happens every day.

  26. #26 Dan R
    December 28, 2009

    The Australian’s latest opinion piece on climate is here. Yet again, it’s Asten.

  27. #27 Lionel A Smith
    December 28, 2009

    Marion Degado
    wrote re melting permafrost, ‘Happens every day’.

    But not under Sarah Palin it would seem, which is a shame.

  28. #28 wagdog
    December 28, 2009

    It collapsed because the gingerbread was too soft. We probably need to dry it out more.

    I call foul. Your conclusion is ridiculously premature given that your sample size is one. Your gingerbread reconstruction was weighted too high with confectionery so the outcome was predisposed. Is that really enough data to justify such expensive preventative measures? Let us hold off from acting until we have more data. Another decade’s worth of measurements should suffice.

  29. #29 Marion Delgado
    December 29, 2009

    No, for sarah, the gingerbread house flies through the air and lands on her.

    sorry, couldn’t resist.

  30. #30 Marion Delgado
    December 29, 2009

    wagdog, I “found” this enlightening email:

    From: Tim Lambert
    To: Al Gore
    CC: David Karoly, Michael Mann, Phil Jones, James Hansen
    Date: 2009/12/25

    If the denialists get ahold of the house plans I CC’ed to everyone, they’ll say I used taxpayer-funded gingerbread for a private edible table residence, hired illegal immigrant elves from Tuvalu to build it, spent twice my construction budget on psychological counseling for elves that couldn’t hammer straight, and let Toni Collette and Rachel Griffiths override the architect I consulted, because he was in the Liberal Party.

    If any of that is taken out of context, the results of the Australian Robot Sumo Competition will be scrubbed, I’ll have to resign in disgrace, and Ian Plimer will reposess my VW microbus. Worse, the IPCC will have to admit that climate change inside a typical modern house is not human-caused.

    Is the line pretty well set now on, when asked about the gingerbread disaster, as to what everybody says and does, to stonewall? I want you all to stonewall it, let them plead the Fifth Amendment, cover up, or anything else.

    In other words, I say Gingergate is on!!

  31. #31 Marion Delgado
    December 29, 2009

    BTW and Merry Xmas back at you, Tim, David Appell’s Quark Soup is now as of about a month ago.

  32. #32 anony mouse
    December 30, 2009

    Dunno of this is the same Steve Mosher that I’ve seen posting in various climate-change discussion threads, but if it is… here he is, letting his hair down:

    Interesting excerpt:

    “Mr. Mosher obtained these emails on a CD from an unidentified colleague. After days of review, Mr. Mosher realized the importance of the information he was sitting on, and he began the process of posting the information on various “Climate Change” websites and blogs”

  33. #33 dhogaza
    December 30, 2009

    Yes, it’s the same Mosher.

  34. #34 Pierce R. Butler
    December 30, 2009

    Steven Mosher’s home base is a project misleadingly named the Population Research Institute, whose primary “raisin date” is to attack abortion rights, contraception, and any perception that there are too many humans on this planet at one time.

    Mosher once accompanied a Bush II “fact-finding team” to China in search of evidence that US aid had been used for coerced abortions. He, of course, found it – in (and only in) the fact that one office held an empty desk: proof positive to his little mind that the evil Commies had been running such a program from that office, but had failed to fully conceal their crime.

    No doubt his climatological reasoning is similarly astute.

  35. #35 Pierce R. Butler
    December 30, 2009

    Oops – it was one of Mosher’s eager underlings who detected the deadly desk.

  36. #36 Dianne
    December 31, 2009

    As a follow up to Dan R, I have been waiting for weeks for a decent paleoclimatic analysis of Michael Asten’s assertion that the data of Pearson et al. (Nature, 22/10/ 2009) proves that ‘climate claims fail science”. It certainly wasn’t supported by the three authors whose rebuttal was buried at the bottom of the letter’s column (The Australian 19/12). Asten’s article is being lapped up on the skeptical blogs but has received little attention elsewhere.

  37. #37 Vince Whirlwind
    January 4, 2010

    Yes, you have to make sure you cook the gingerbread until it’s very hard. If it ends up a bit burnt around the edges it’s no big deal.
    Maybe using thinner pieces would help make sure it isn’t soft in the middle?
    Also, those packets of pink & white miniature marshmellows are excellent for decoration: they weigh bugger-all and look better than those sweets made out of gelatine.

  38. #38 john byatt
    December 24, 2011

    You have made my daughters xmas Tim , she though her gingerbread house was crap, looking pretty good after seeing this well done and have a good xmas

  39. #39 john byatt
    December 24, 2011

    You have made my daughters xmas Tim , she thought her gingerbread house was crap, looking pretty good after seeing this, well done and have a good xmas

    Posted by: john byatt | December 24, 2011 5:42 PM

  40. #40 Rattus Norvegicus
    December 24, 2011


    I’m pretty sure that is another Steven Mosher.

  41. #41 Eli Rabett
    December 24, 2011

    Why yes Proper Gander, Roy Spencer and John Christy are still hiding their TLT code

  42. #42 Billy Bob Hall
    January 6, 2012

    There is Dan #2 It i called the carbon (dioxide) tax.