Author Archives: Robert Zimmerman

Falcon 9 launch a success. Dragon capsule returns successfully

SpaceX is two for two! The Falcon 9 launch today was a success, and was topped off by the successful return of the Dragon capsule after two orbits.

This is big news. Think about it: a private company — not a government — has designed and built a rocket and capsule, capable of carrying astronauts, and successfully launched both and recovered the capsule. Hot dog! True space travel might very well be around the corner at last.

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The November sunspot graph – still low and below expectations

NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center today published its monthly update of the Sun’s developing sunspot cycle (see below). The graph shows the slow rise in sunspots (blue/black lines) in comparison with the consensis prediction made by the solar science community in May 2009 (red line).

Novembe sunspot graph

As I noted last month, the rise in sunspots as we ramp up to the next solar maximum has definitely slowed, which indicates clearly that we are heading towards the weakest solar maximum in more than two centuries. And as I have noted repeatedly on this website as well as on the John Batchelor Show, that means very cold weather!

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Climate models used by IPCC fail to predict past climate patterns

A recent paper published in Hydrological Sciences Journal states that climate models used by IPCC cannot even predict known past climate patterns. Key quote:

It is claimed that GCMs [General Climate Models] provide credible quantitative estimates of future climate change, particularly at continental scales and above. Examining the local performance of the models at 55 points, we found that local projections do not correlate well with observed measurements. Furthermore, we found that the correlation at a large spatial scale, i.e. the contiguous USA, is worse than at the local scale. However, we think that the most important question is not whether GCMs can produce credible estimates of future climate, but whether climate is at all predictable in deterministic terms.

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The attack on Pearl Harbor, as seen at the time

An evening pause: This newsreel, made shortly after the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, gives an honest sense of the rage felt by Americans following the attack. Or to quote the words placed in the mouth of Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto from the movie Tora! Tora! Tora!:

“I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant, and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

Though it is not clear that Yamamoto ever actually said this line, it encapsulates the consequences of Pearl Harbor quite concisely.

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The list of companies receiving healthcare waivers

The actual list of companies receiving healthcare waivers, from the government itself.

What I find interesting about this list is the number of insurance companies and unions on it. The insurance companies would be the ones most familiar with the consequences of Obama’s healthcare bill and therefore the likeliest to react quickly to it. The unions, however, were almost all shilling for the bill’s passage, which suggests that the leaders of these unions are simply idiots for backing something without knowing what was in it. Now that they know they are scrambling to avoid it.

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NASA’s arsenic biology discovery slammed

The uncertainty of science! A microbiologist is slamming last week’s NASA discovery that claimed a microbe had incorporated arsenic instead of phosphorus as part of its DNA. Key quote:

In an interview Monday, Redfield said the methods used by the researchers were so crude that any arsenic they detected was likely from contamination. There is no indication that the researchers purified the DNA to remove arsenic that might have been sticking to the outside of the DNA or the gel the DNA was embedded in, she added. Normally, purifying the DNA is a standard step, Redfield said: “It’s a kit, it costs $2, it takes 10 minutes.” She also questioned why the researchers analyzed the DNA while it was still in the gel, making the results more difficult to interpret: “No molecular biologist would ever do that.”

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Falcon 9/Dragon launch likely delayed to at least Thursday

The Falcon 9/Dragon test launch is likely delayed to at least Thursday. Key quote:

During reviews of vehicle closeout photos this morning, engineers found a possible crack in the second stage engine nozzle. If the nozzle needs to be replaced, the first launch opportunity would be Friday or Saturday. Officials called “remote” a possibility that the problem could be resolved in time to fly Wednesday.

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What We Can Learn from 120 Years of Climate Catastrophe Reporting

What can we learn from 120 years of climate catastrophe reporting? We are all gonna die! Or to put it more clearly:

1: The mainstream media outlets are going to publish whatever sells. If someone publishes a story about the world getting colder and people buy it, you can be sure there will be many more stories touting the same headline.

2: There is a long lag between what nature is doing and what the media will report. The lag seems to be anywhere from 10 to 15 years after the climate changes. There is an inertia problem with the mainstream media even when the evidence is clear.

3: When all the stories are about warming or cooling, you can be sure they are all wrong.

When government agencies or United Nations Climate Change conferences warn you that the climate is changing you can be sure that is true — the climate is always changing. Determining the direction is the hard part. Based on the past reporting of these changes, be it from global cooling or warming, the trend will have reversed many years earlier than reported.

Incidentally there has been no global warming for a decade. Get a good grip on your long johns. Maybe a trip to Cancun is not such a bad idea after all, but I’ll wait until the delegates have gone home.

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