Monthly Archives: December 2010

Heading towards a Maunder Minimum

Though I have been saying that the Sun’s lack of sunspots the last two years suggests the possibility of that we might be facing an extended period without solar activity, I am not a solar scientist. Today, in a paper published today on the Los Alamos astro-ph website, a solar scientist says just that. Key quote:

One method that has yielded predictions consistently in the right range during the past few solar cycles is that of K. Schatten et al., whose approach is mainly based on the polar field precursor. The incipient cycle 24 [on-going right now] will probably mark the end of the Modern Maximum, with the Sun switching to a state of less strong activity.

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The Sun is no longer blank

After six blank days, the Sun is once again showing spots. As I have mentioned several times in 2010, this might be the last time the Sun is blank for years to come as it ramps up to solar maximum. However, don’t bet on it, as the Sun’s activity has been way below all predictions. The upcoming solar maximum might very well be the first in centuries with blank days interspersed throughout.

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ObamaCare plans for high-risk patients attracting fewer, costing more than expected

Repeal the damn bill! Health plans for high-risk patients under ObamaCare are attracting fewer customers while costing far more than expected. Key quote:

Last spring, the Medicare program’s chief actuary predicted that 375,000 people would sign up by the end of 2010. In early November, the Health and Human Services Department reported that just 8,000 people had enrolled.

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