The latest crop of links-n-stuff. First up is this superb photo - ht TS's google reader feed. It won second prize but for my money is far and away better than any of the others (higher-res version - thanks BD). Its tagged as a "condensation rainbow" but it isn't, I think (wrong shape). It is probably diffraction not refraction - see [[Iridescent cloud]]. Tom said I saw this elsewhere (can't remember where) and I think the explanation given was that the plane was making a sharp turn and adiabatic expansion resulting low pressure one side of the wing lowered the temperature enough for an ice(?) cloud to form. It seemed a reasonable explanation so I'll go with that. The same photographer, Bernardo Malfitano, has another good one at here.
Meanwhile, on the perennial issue of the costs of GW: A new mechanism to consider when measuring climate impacts on economies.
On the very very silly end of GW, on wiki we've been having a Big Argument about [[Climate change alarmism]]. What became really weird was me having to explain (see here) that yes indeed my own paper really wasn't a good source for what the septics were trying to push (here). This appears to have been so extreme that it has even got through to at least some parts of arbcomm.
[Update: but I forgot to link the the far more amusing spoof PD.]
And for all you physicists out there, an old favourite I ran across again recently How to do physics.
Melting Rate of Icecaps in Greenland and Western Antarctica Lower Than Expected says ScienceDaily but its wrong: what it means is, less than previously measured. The GRACE folk have recalibrated their isostatic rebound, it seems.
Knol is a "new" thingy from google. Actually not very new, but this is the first time I've noticed it. Wiki has some ruminations on it. It appears to have the advantage that you can write what you like, untramelled by the trolls. But the disadvantage that the trolls can write what they like, uncontrolled by the sane. And there is no structure.
Heiaheia is yet another track-your-fitness website that AN inveigled me onto, but it is cute and funky and brightly coloured. Hopefully they'll integrate it to garmin connect sometime.
Down at the scummy end: In particular, any "predictions" and "projections" about the future must be entirely based on observations. A must-read. As are the latest episodes of Harry Potter and the methods of rationality (up to 46 at last count).
Local news: I've just done my first erg for ages (7606) and Phoebe is a fleabag.
Finally, and belatedly, the LOLcat bible: Nebuchadnezzar sed: "ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US"
Special bonus pic at the end (saintgasoline via 4chan):
[Update. Oh, and I forgot the ridiculous kerfuffle about Hawking's latest. See Penrose in the FT (the after-coffee anecdote makes Penrose sound like a twat, which for all I know he may be, but the rest is OK) or Woit rip Hawking to shreds. Just because you're in a wheelchair doesn't make you right.
Listening: Martin Carthy: Famous flower of serving men.
More late stuff: Science scorned says Nuture (Volume: 467 ,Page: 133 Date published: (09 September 2010)): There is a growing anti-science streak on the American right that could have tangible societal and political impacts on many fronts... Denialism over global warming has become a scientific cause cÃ©lÃ¨bre within the movement. (ht: Romm).
Thanks a ton. It has been worth the read.
Why is there a Wikipedia article on 'Climate change alarmism'? It's a real phenomenon, but so is 'Elvis hysteria' or 'Nagging as displacement' or 'Art as arse', but they don't have their own entries.
Wouldn't it be better to expand Wikipedia's entry on 'Alarmism', which is currently only about 20 words long?
(Ooh! Excellent! Wikipedia's all-time most fatuous article, 'Swimming with dolphins', is still there and largely unchanged.)
[Weeeeelll... as to why it is still there, you can read the deletion discussion and find out. It all got a bit political around then, not that it isn't now (BTW, I've corrected the link - I meant to go to the article page not the talk page) -W]
In case anyone is looking for a higher resolution / unprocessed color image of the raptor, the photographer left info at
[Thanks. Via that, I found a link to the original pic: http://s748.photobucket.com/albums/xx128/airshowfan/Testing123/?action=… -W]
"The GRACE folk have recalibrated their isostatic rebound, it seems."
Do you have a link to updated/recalibrated GRACE info?
[No, I just read the ScienceDaily article. Or at least I skimmed it -W]
@Bart see here http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v3/n9/full/ngeo938.html
"The GRACE folk have recalibrated their isostatic rebound, it seems."
For those without access to the article behind the paywall, there's a more elaborate abstract here: http://polarmet.osu.edu/PolarMet/PMGFulldocs/bromwich_nicolas_ngeo_2010…
-104 +/- 23 Gt/yr is less then half that of Velicogna 2009, but not Luthcke 2007 (-145 to -175), both based on GRACE. Nor IPCC AR4 (-100+) in general.
This means that reports based on GRACE data will be more robust in the future, which is great.
Looks like you dropped a digit from the URL for "Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality." Here's the correct one:
[Thanks. I've fixed it up onw, I hope -W]
I've been reading "Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality." Why do you have it in the "scummy end" paragraph? Eliezar, IMO, can be a bit of a twat at times, and his mate Robin is a Masonomist (taught medical economics at George Mason, which I gather entails endless justification for a laissez-faire market approach to health care), and Eliezar's Harry is a huge Marty Stu, and Eliezar doesn't have his writing Britpicked, but I've found it an entertaining and sometimes even enlightening read. Which is more than can be said for that last sentence of mine.
[:-). I like the stoires, I haven't read the blog. But pushed by you I just have, or at least a bit. http://lesswrong.com/lw/jo/einsteins_arrogance/ for example is badly wrong: it looks like a complete misunderstanding of how a theory is made or evaluated. Does he really think Bayesian stuff is relevant in that case? ~~~~ (oh bloody hell I just wiki-signed this) -W]
"On the very very silly end of GW, on wiki we've been having a Big Argument about [[Climate change alarmism]]."
I see there's a discussion about Stephen Schneider's quote. He addressed that in the SBS Insight debate (him and 52 sceptics) shortly before he passed, for future reference.
It would have been nice to be able to use the uncertainty principle to fight all the speeding tickets I got in my youth. I had a large, powerful motorcycle capable of going more than 140 mph and destroying my driving record. It ended up destroying my driving record...
The latest new scientist editorial is definitely in the scummy department.
Apparently, it's all Pachauri's fault.
"Pachauri has spent too much effort defending the indefensible, iin particular when it emerged that the IPCC's last report conained serious mistakes"
Petermann Ice Island - Now There Are Two
"Petermann Ice Island (2010) has now broken into two parts.
The importance of the Petermann Glacier calving to climate science is not so much that it happened, but that it was predicted to happen. Quite a few predictions were made by people working independently as individuals or groups and using different techniques for prediction.
The incontestable fact that the calving was predicted using the scientific method - and that it happened - is a public demonstration of the power of science to predict the future. This evidence of the validity of the scientific method should be enough to convince any rational person that when climate scientists from the world's nations agree that the world's climate is changing, then it is changing."
I wonder if it is a combination of condensation and background oriented schlieren.
If this is the place for links, a new one from John Beddington, UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser:
It's ironic that you castigate The Slavering Hordes of Pharynguloids for their crass vulgarity in re their comments, stating In particular, insulting other commenters, or simply repeating yourself, aren't welcome. and yet you post an article where the author states that Roger Penrose sounds like a twat. If you're going to insist on standards, and I am glad that you do, then internal consistency is necessary to blunt charges of hypocrisy.
[I'm sure that if you ponder the matter deeply, you'll manage to work it out -W]