Merry Christmas

Best wishes to all my readers. A more successful gingerbread house than last time.

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… we cheated by buying a flat pack gingerbread house from Ikea.

Comments

  1. #1 silkworm
    December 24, 2011

    In his Christmas message yesterday, George Pell made a sly political comment by asking us all to thank God for our good climate. What he was basically intimating was that the climate is not changing.

  2. #2 Scribe
    December 24, 2011

    Pell’s on his way to Hell.

    Thanks for this blog, Tim.

  3. #3 Daniel J. Andrews
    December 24, 2011

    Pell may want to read John 8:44 which mentions the father of lies and those who lie are doing his work.

    We made a gingerbread house once. Poor sad thing, ours was. But fun to make and watch sag in slow motion.

  4. #4 chek
    December 24, 2011

    For some reason your gingerbread house recalled for me that Stonehenge scene in Spinal Tap: “When we get the actual piece, it’ll follow exactly these specifications. I mean even these contours and everything”?

    Merry Christmas Tim and the Deltoid community.

  5. #5 Lee
    December 24, 2011

    It’s pretty obvious where your true skills lie.

    Keep up the good blogging work.

    Best wishes for Christmas and the year ahead.

  6. #6 Michael Ashley
    December 24, 2011

    I’m with Lee on this one. Although the improvement since last year is quite remarkable!

    Best wishes for Xmas and the New Year. Thanks for all the effort that you put into Deltoid, it is greatly appreciated.

    On an unrelated point, I’m off to the South Pole tomorrow. See you when I get back.

  7. #7 Mikem
    December 24, 2011

    Pell is a twit, on many fronts. Thankfully though, a lot of people realise this and don’t listen to him on any topic anyway.

    I’m not one for religion, but there’s no escaping it’s Christmas time in the western world and a great opportunity to unwind with family and friends. So Merry Christmas anyway!

  8. #8 john byatt
    December 24, 2011

    too much egg nog

    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

    egg nog recipe,

    one carton dairy farmers egg nog
    one litre rum
    one litre whiskey

    mix

  9. #9 BP
    December 24, 2011

    Love your work tim

    merry xmas

  10. #10 David Horton
    December 24, 2011

    Merry Xmas Tim, and thank you for your good work as scourge of idiots over another year.

  11. #11 Bernard J.
    December 25, 2011

    A Happy Yuletide/Saturnalia/insert-relevant-festival-here to all those who work so hard whacking the denialist moles of all stripes.

    On the matter of Pell, all I can say is that I hope he persists with his nonsense. I’m sure that someone’s cataloging his idiocy, a la Deltoid’s “The Australian’s War on Science” series, and one day it will all come to bite him on his fat eclesiastical arse.

    Chocolate and the recording of part 2 of Going Postal beckon…

  12. #12 Phil M
    December 26, 2011

    Well Pell, can we get “God” on a conference call & just verify whether you are taking the right stance? No? He’s not available at the moment? Strange that.
    Hope everyone had a good xmas & wish a mighty new years.

  13. #13 SteveC
    December 27, 2011

    Many thanks for your efforts at debunking the nonsense this year Tim. Hope you had a fab Xmas and best wishes for 2012.

    PS I tried to post yesterday but to no avail, all seems OK today.

  14. #14 Crispy
    December 27, 2011

    Okay, I’m guessing a small child was driving the piping bag this time around. Impressive.

    Thanks for putting in the hard yards again this year Tim. May the trolls drag their knuckles elsewhere in 2012.

  15. #15 jrkrideau
    December 27, 2011

    @ 1 silkworm

    Given what I saw of Australian weaatheryesterday (clip from Channel 7 News on Yahoo.ca )about golf-ball sized hail stones, floods, and cyclones, perhaps Cardinal Pell was a bit premature?

  16. #16 Bernard J.
    December 27, 2011

    Jrkrideau.

    It’s a bit like our venomous plants and animals compared to other countries’ bities and stingies… For a lot of us golf-ball sized hail stones aren’t really anything to bother with.

    Back in ’99 I was driving across Taylor Square in Sydney when Pell’s heavens opened and within the space of about 5 seconds I went from not having my wipers on, to having dozens of cricket ball sized hail stones denting every panel of my vehicle (except the tail-gate, which was the only rusted part… would have loved the insurance to repair that!).

    By the time I slid sideways off the road about 30 seconds later, in a blanket of ice ball-bearings about 25 cm deep, I’d had one stone leave it’s impression in my badly crazed and buckled – but not shattered – windscreen to prove to my friends that it was the size of a rock melon when it rolled out. After the storm passed one guy across the road from me removed a hail stone from behind his back seat that was about the size of a football.

    For about 5 minutes I thought that I was going to be pulped by a lump of ice coming through the sun-roof. Fortunately those things are manufactured with toughed glass. In hindsight covering my head with my squash bag probably wasn’t going to help much had the glass failed!

    The amazing thing is that no-one was killed in that storm. [It cut a huge swathe through the windows, roofs and street lights of inner Sydney](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1999_Sydney_hailstorm) though – glaziers and roofers made a killing in the months following…

  17. #17 frank -- Decoding SwiftHack
    December 27, 2011

    The ghosts of phantom lawsuits past — have they decided to visit Roger Tattersall?

    A happy new year to all!

    – frank

  18. #18 Marion Delgado
    December 27, 2011

    We still have pending FOI requests for last year’s plans!

    Gingerbread Audit!

  19. #19 jrkrideau
    December 27, 2011

    @ 16 Bernard J

    You Aussies are so hasty.

    I was in the Great Canadian Ice Storm of 1998 [Great Canadian Ice Storm](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_ice_storm_of_1998) It took us weeks to do so much damage. :) In fact for the first 2-three days I didn’t actually realise we had a crisis.

    I was in a small section of Hull QC where we lost power for a good hour. My friends across the river had to evacuate for 1-2 weeks depending on where they were.

    A good portion of Ontario, much of Quebec and IIRC, most of New Brunswick lost electricity, often for 2 to 3 weeks.

    Losing electrical power (hydro in Canadian terms) in a Canadian winter is damn dangerous, in fact, life-threatening in many cases. Often it’s no hydro, no heat and at -6 or -10 C this can be deadly.

    I still remember the picture of the two railway locomotives driven down a street so that they could help supply power to a local hospital in Quebec. I think they were in the ‘Black Triangle where it took something like three weeks to restore power.

  20. #20 silkworm
    December 27, 2011

    FWIW, Tallbloke posted this item on his website just before Xmas.

    In a sudden new development, your correspondent has learned that Norfolk Constabulary have decided that climategate is too big for them to handle. According to an un-named source, they intend to hand over the inquiry to another force.

    This follows on the heels of a ‘request for a contact’ at Norfolk Constabulary by Lord Christopher Monckton in connection with his intention to have the police investigate revelations in the ‘climategate’ emails placed in the public domain.

    Looking past the fact that that last sentence is ungrammatical, at least Tallbloke has the decency to put the word climategate in quote marks. Maybe he’s coming around to our side in realizing it’s not the scandal the denialists think it is after all.

    And why is it is that, whenever the denialists mention “climategate,” they neglect to mention the nine enquiries that have exonerated the scientists at UEA?

  21. #21 Bernard J.
    December 28, 2011

    Jrkrideau.

    Even though the ’99 storm was estimated at half a million tons of hail stones, I yield to your greater weight of ice!

    In a capitulating riposte though I would note that frozen water in any form, and resulting from whatever meteorological phenomenon, is a scarce beast indeed in the greater Sydney area.

    I shall hasten more slowly next time. But I still contend that golf ball sized hail stones are but mere mistings of icing sugar…
    ;-)

  22. #22 jrkrideau
    December 28, 2011

    @ 21

    “In a capitulating riposte though I would note that frozen water in any form, and resulting from whatever meteorological phenomenon, is a scarce beast indeed in the greater Sydney area.”

    What do cocktail drinkers do? Oh, I misread that.

    “half a million tons of hail stones” .

    Gods! The mind boggles. It sounds like a WWI bombardment! Our weather can be a bit nasty but it is “normally” a lot slower. :)

    We seldom get hail like you do–I think Manitoba and Saskatewan do but not us in Eastern Ontario or the rest of Eastern Canada — so the idea of getting hit with such a sudden and devestating storm is very impressive (err, read scary?).

    It’s a little like hurricanes. We don’t get them so we’re very impressed with footage from the Carribean or southern USA. Or come to think of it, of a cyclone hitting Japan or the Gold Coast.

    It was just that,from that Channel 7 news clip, it seemed like Cardinal Pell’s reported praise of Australia’s climate was a bit poorly timed. A little like God said, “Cheeky b**, I’ll show him”.

    No ice, no snow, oh bliss!

    As I type I can hear the neighbour shoveling the snow in his driveway. Why he’s bothering I don’t know as there’s less than a centimetre but some people are anal.

    We’ve had the open-air Market Square skating rink [1, 2] open for about 3 weeks though occasionally under water as AGW does affect us. In one episode, we went from +9C (flooded pond) to ~ -5C (fantastic ice surface) in about 12 hours. Kudos to the ciy maintanence staff!

    Happy new year to you and all Deltoiders.

    1. Artificial cooling (In Canadian terms, ‘artificial ice’)

    2. Best out of a poor set of photos of the rink that I could find: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wiless/4256483013/ If you flick through some of the other photos, (direction ‘older’), you see a bit of us in winter, but at our best!

  23. #23 Gaz
    December 28, 2011

    Oh Tim, Tim, Tim!! Why oh why did you put snow on the gingerbread house?

    You’re just playing into their hands…

  24. #24 Bernard J.
    December 28, 2011

    >It was just that,from that Channel 7 news clip, it seemed like Cardinal Pell’s reported praise of Australia’s climate was a bit poorly timed. A little like God said, “Cheeky b**, I’ll show him”.

    If Pell had any meterological smarts he would have realised that it’s best just to keep one’s mouth shut when proselitising about a “good” Australian climate.

    I’d say that God was probably thinking something more than “Cheeky b**”…

  25. #25 OMFG
    December 30, 2011

    “The ghosts of phantom lawsuits past — have they decided to visit Roger Tattersall?”

    Wait until Cucinelli gets done with Mickey Mann. Tearing a couple of new backsides comes to mind. And no, the court’s rejection hasn’t ended the AG’s case against fraud. There are more ways to skin a cockroach.

  26. #26 Scribe
    December 30, 2011

    Wise words from Ugo Bardi (one of my favourite scientists):

    I think we have here a nice summary of the problem with the public perception of scientists. They are “brilliant and kind” as long as “their discoveries are coming out of the lab and into the world” in the form of assorted gadgetry. When it works, it is “magic.” But, when scientists are not bringing gadgetry for free; when they warn us of inconvenient truths such as climate change or resource depletion, well, the magic is gone. They are not any more brilliant and kind; they are enemies of the people to be insulted and threatened.

    The invisible toothpaste: overselling science

  27. #27 Donald Oats
    December 30, 2011

    Hmm, I hope the old expression “Starve the bardies!” isn’t a reference to Ugo Bardy :-)

    BTW, in our favourite Australian newsrag there is a book review of Ian Plimer’s latest burnt offerings: the review is by a fellow geologist, namely one Professor Mike Sandiford (University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia). Quoting from page 14 of the Inquirer section of The Australian (Dec 31, 2011), we have in Mike’s words:

    In his 2001 award-winning book A Short History of Planet Earth, Plimer has numerous references to the greenhouse effect.
    He explains what all young geologists learn as the faint young sun paradox.
    “The early sun had a luminosity of some 30 per cent less than now and, over time, luminosity has increased at a steady state.
    “The low luminosity of the early sun was such that the Earth’s average surface temperature would have been below 0C from 4500 to 2000 million years ago. But there is evidence of running water and oceans as far back as 3800 million years ago.” The question is, what kept the early Earth from freezing over?”
    Plimer goes on to explain: “This paradox is solved if the Earth had an enhanced greenhouse with an atmosphere of a lot of carbon dioxide and methane.”

    In other words, Plimer acknowledges the importance and actual existence of an enhanced greenhouse effect in an earlier book. The evidence has only firmed since his previous book, and yet in his current book How To Get Expelled from School, Plimer blithely dismisses the greenhouse effect as inconsequential.

    Even better though, is the fact that sloppy erudition of facts is apparent even in his earlier work of 2001, to which I quote again from Mike Sandiford’s review:

    Here’s another quote from Plimer, referring to a time 100 million years ago when the dinosaurs roamed the planet. “The peak of 6 per cent carbon dioxide was at the time of a protracted greenhouse and maximum sea level. At this time, mean annual surface temperatures were 10C to 15C warmer than now.”

    As Mike Sandiford points out, the actual CO2 level was around 0.12 per cent! Not 6 per cent! Plimer got the amount spectacularly wrong. To quote Mike Sandiford:

    The problem is, although his temperature estimate is about right, his CO2 estimate is about 50 times too high. CO2 levels were more like 0.12 per cent. At just three times present levels, this is a target we are on track to reach early next century.

    In his book review, Professor Mike Sandiford demonstrates at least three serious failings in Plimer’s body of work, with regards to the subject matter of climate science, to wit:
    1) Plimer switches to a diametrically opposed position on the matter of whether there even exists a greenhouse effect;
    2) Plimer does not accurately or reliably report on the amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere at several crucial periods, particularly for 100 million years ago, and more importantly for the current debate, on CO2 levels in 1900 and 1960;
    3) Plimer mis-states the atmospheric contribution of volcanic CO2 emissions by roughly 100 to one.

    And yet there are people whol still believe that if they weigh what Plimer claims, against that of the extensive body of evidence comprising climate science, somehow Plimer is more credible? Sheesh, I have a bridge for sale on e-Bay…

  28. #28 Bernard J.
    December 31, 2011

    [Donald Oats](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/12/merry_christmas_1.php#comment-6204020).

    If more professional geologists and their organisations were to actually stand up for the integrity of their discipline and call Plimer on his travesties of scientific pronouncement, their overall credibility (and the quality of public geophysicsal discourse) would improve greatly.

    As it stands, geology has the dubious distinction of being the scientific discipline apparently being hell-bent on leading the lay population several hundred years backward in terms of human understanding. Kudos and kudos again to Mike Sandiford for doing his part to recify this trend.

  29. #29 Scribe
    December 31, 2011

    █████████████████████████████████████████

    “Remind me when we get back to the bus about Rush and global warming.”

    █████████████████████████████████████████

  30. #30 PhilE
    January 3, 2012

    I found out recently that I am related to Pell. It was ten generations ago though. Can I stop worrying?

  31. #31 Bode
    January 6, 2012

    Like your blog. Egg nog was great over the holidays and with some cake. Thanks