Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Conservapedia revisited

This modern world has a nice post about dinosaurs in Conservapedia. you can't make this kind of stuff up! Wonkette has two more pointed posts about Conservapedia's bizarre take on reality; George Washington and Bias.

Experiments with Credit Cards

The blog Pet Peeving has a great post worth checking out on experiments with Credit Cards.

CIA has admitted that President Bush personally authorized torture

Zaius Nation has a startling post on Bush's authorization of the torture of terror suspects.

Sign of the end times

Watching Scarborough (my guilty pleasure) this evening I saw a clear sign of the end of times - Arianna Huffington and Pat Buchanan agreed that Iraq is a lost cause and the Democrats should hold to their convictions and pull funding for the war. Matter and antimatter colliding!

British perspective on latest Stockmarket numbers

Bad humans

Kelly believes that any snow in her back yard is our fault. When ever it snows she glares at us as if we can do something about it.

It was a Sorel day today. The forecast predicted 1-2 inches today. We had that much by 10:30 AM this morning. For those who don't know Sorel boots are wonderfully comfortable and warm muck boots people tend to wear in the frozen northern wastelands.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Western governors join together to form Global Warming coalition

Five western governors from the states of Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington state have agreed to develop a regional plan to lower greenhouse gases, called the Western Regional Climate Action Initiative. This decision was prompted by the severity of the recent droughts in the south west and accompanying bad fire seasons.

While the specific goals are still certain, the approach will be based on creating market-based programs. In California, governor Schwarzenegger is promoting a cap-and-trade program, which lets companies that cannot meet their emission reduction targets to buy credits from those that surpass their carbon dioxide reduction goals.

A similar approach is coming into place in a number of Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states where they plan to impose caps on power plant emissions and encourage trading of allowances among utilities.

In California, Schwarzenegger recently signed legislation imposing an emissions cap on utilities, refineries and manufacturing plants, with a goal of cutting greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2020.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Here Kitty Kitty!


Imagine glancing into the back yard and being greeted with the sight of this! Taken somewhere in South Dakota.

Little Mosque on the Prairie

Its surprisingly funny. The first few episodes are on Utube, broken into three 9 minute segments.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Now Intelligent Design makes Sense


Now I understand intelligent design!

Starting today this blog will be bifurcating. Kelly the Little black dog will continue to cover issues related to pets, wildlife, life in Smugville (Boulder, Colorado), humor and culture. And a new blog The bizarre things people believe will focus on science, the environment and politics.

Oscar claims to be Green

DiCaprio announces here that the Oscar show has gone green. I think they're just color blind!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Conservapedia

Because as Stephen Colbert says, ... reality has a well-known liberal bias the group at http://www.conservapedia.com/ felt it necessary to produce an alternative to the liberal bastion of knowledge Wikipedia.

Conservapedia is a much-needed alternative to Wikipedia, which is increasingly anti-Christian and anti-American.


They even have a link to Examples of Bias in Wikipedia. But unfortunately it didn't open. I guess that the problem they have with Wikipedia is that when a posting is controversial, they can't just go in and make it the y way they want. Instead Wikipedia attempts to obtain a consensus from experts, and if there is no consensus, they try to state both sides. You know fair and balanced®

Although this smacks of if I can't get my way, I'm taking my ball home, I gave it a try. Unfortunately their bandwidth sucks so much that I was unable to get any of my searches to complete.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Switzerland bans feeding cows dope

Switzerland's Agriculture Ministry has called on the country's farmers to stop feeding their cows cannabis.

Several recent adverts have promoted feeding hemp to farm animals even after a March 2005 law banning its use.

The Agriculture Ministry has now warned that farmers doping their cows will be prosecuted.

Farmers consider the cheap and easy to grow plant is good for their cows.

They believe the active ingredient in cannabis, THC, makes cows happy and produce more milk, but the Agriculture Ministry say THC can get into the milk and create a health risk.

They also said that there was a risk that Swiss cheese products could be contaminated.

What Dogs think!




(Cartoons from The Other Coast)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Happy Paczki Day!

The Polish version of Fat Tuesday is Paczki Day. The tradition involves using up your extra fat, butter, and eggs before lent by making extra rich filled donuts. A cardiac delight!

Dog Saves Climbers

Three climbers stranded on Mt. Hood credit their dog as key to their survival.
Rescuers reached three stranded climbers on Mount Hood Monday, finding them in good condition after they spent a night huddled with their dog to stave off the whipping wind and snow 7,400 feet up the peak.

Yet one more example of how dogs are loyal companions to humans, while cats simply try to take over the world. ;-)

Happy Mardi Gras


Happy Fat Tuesday to everyone. If you're new to Mardi Gras see this link or the official site

Monday, February 19, 2007

KT Cat gets its first Troll


My old friend over at KTCatspost has gotten their first Troll. For those new to such things, according to Wikipedia a troll is
... a person who enters an established community such as an online discussion forum and intentionally tries to cause disruption, often in the form of posting messages that are inflammatory, insulting, incorrect, inaccurate, absurd, or off-topic, with the intent of provoking a reaction from others. Trolls can also be existing members of such a community that rarely post and often contribute no useful information to the thread, but instead make argumentative posts in an attempt to discredit another person, more often than not based on what they thought was said rather than what was actually said by the other person, concentrating almost exclusively on facts irrelevant to the point of the conversation, with the intent of provoking a reaction from others.

This Modern World


How bad things happen!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Happy year of the Golden Pig


According to Chinese Folklore the Golden year of the Pig occurs once in every 600 years and will ensure that a baby born on this year will experience a prosperous and wealthy life.

Chinese folklorists and historians doubt this belief.

... folklore professor, Joo Young-ha, at the Academy of Korean Studies rebuts the theory. He explained that if the year 2007 is the golden pig year which comes every 600 years, there should be records about the special year written in the ‘Taejong Sillok,’ archives of King Taejong. King Taejong ruled the Joseon Dynasty 600 years ago. But there are no such records, which makes him believe the myth was made not long ago.

Idaho Wolf Project a Success Despite Neglect.


A group of Canadian gray wolves introduced into Idaho's Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness have prospered beyond the dreams of federal recovery goals despite the neglect and hostility of state authorities.

The management of Idaho's wolf recovery program was handed over to the Nez Perce Tribe after the State of Idaho declined the responsibility. Despite inadequate funding, the wolf population has grown to twice that of Yellowstone's, to more than 650 animals. It is estimated that Idaho has more wolves than Montana and Wyoming combined. Most importantly, the wolves and the live stock community have learned to coexist. So what was Idaho governor Butch Otter's response to this success, to call for the introduction of wolf hunting.

While I can sympathize for the desire to stabilize Idaho's wolf numbers, too much work was put into this recovery to simply destroy the animals. Especially since current livestock conflicts are not the impetus for reducing the population. If the governor must reduce their numbers, he should be encouraged to find new homes for these animals. Most of the North East and upper Midwest are over run with deer and would make ideal habitat. Trapping and relocating the wolves won't be easy, and it won't be cheap, but its the right thing to do.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Fox's answer to "The Daily Show"

The Fox Noise Channel's attempt to rip of the success of Jon Stewart is their The 1/2 Hour News Hour. Salon asks if they hire[d] monkeys to write it? I'd say that statement was insulting to primates. What I saw was sadder than the last decade of Saturday Night Live. It was just terrible! The only vaguely entertaining part was the intro with racist comedian Rush Limbaugh and bat-shit crazy Ann Coulter playing themselves.

Strange how the far right thinks that a racist lying drug addicted misogynist pig and a fascist self-hating closet lesbian represent neo-conservative values - then again perhaps they do! Let the feces slinging begin...

China's Glorious new Environmental Program



I'm speechless. I can't think of anything to add to this. The original link is here.

Local government officials in China have come up with a novel solution for restoring old quarry sites - spray paint the offending area green.

The no-nonsense take on land remediation took place at Laoshou Mountain in Yunnan province where, instead of costly and time consuming re-foresting of the disused quarry, forestry officials hired a team of seven men to spray the mountainside with garish bright green paint.

The job took 45 days and many people living near the mountain were forced to abandon their homes because of the fumes.


I've also heard that when local officials were asked as to why they did this, their response was that they were told to from above!

Utter Shock

Imagine my utter shock at seeing, when I turned on the tv this morning, that bloated collection of privedged Americans called the Senate was in session. The horror. Imagine having to work on their weekends, just like many real Americans. I can't imagine how they must have whined, given the protests that followed Pelosi's demand that congress work a full five day week.


(image from Zaius Nation - article here.)

Larvets


Yum Yum!

Larvets - The Original Worm Snax. Now with Spicy Mexican flavoring. Real FDA approved insect larva. These mealworms (the larvae of a grain-eating beetle) come in three mouth-watering flavors: BBQ, Cheddar Cheese and Mexican Spice.

Busy Weather Week

Its been a busy week at work, so blogging was light.

This week we finely broke the cycle of weekly snow storms. The warm weather (above freezing) allowed the streets to finely melt back to the pavement. The warm weather didn't last for long. It snowed again on Tuesday and again last night, so I took some photos after the storms.


Tuesday morning I woke up to a world coated in icy spines. This was my first experience with Hoar Frost. According to WeatherOnLine the crystals are formed by fog coming in contact with objects at well below freezing.


And here is a Denver sunset.



This shot was taken towards the front range above Boulder after Thursday's dusting.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Pill Pockets


Kelly takes medication on a regular basis. After the first four months, it was really a struggle to get her to swallow the pills. We'd tried cheese, hot dogs, meat balls - she'd spit out the pill with all of these. Until we found pill pockets. They're a godsend for pets that needs to take meds.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Your pets and taxes

Once again KTCat has an informative post on the new IRS Form Omicron Delta Crimson Theta and how it may apply to pet related deductions on your taxes.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

China balking on its green house gas emissions

Today, the Foreign ministry of China stated that wealthier developed countries must take the lead in curbing greenhouse gas emissions. They further refused to commit to any mandatory emissions limits because they might hamper its booming economy. The article is here in the NYT and may require registration.

Currently China is the world’s second largest emitter of of carbon dioxide, trailing only the United States. The International Energy Agency in Paris predicted that Chinese emissions of carbon dioxide , would pass those of the United States before the end of this decade. China currently derives nearly 70 percent of its energy from coal-fired power plants, with little or no pollution controls. See this posting from KTCat for examples of the Kodachrome colored environmental disaster that is on the rise in China.

China argues that as a developing nation, it does not have the financial resources to shift to cleaner, i.e more expensive, technology and therefore should be exempt from any emissions limits.

While this might sound reasonable at first it should be placed in the context of China's decision to fund a space program. The chief of the China's Meteorological Administration, told Reuters that [a]s a developing country that’s growing rapidly and has a big population, to thoroughly transform the energy structure and use clean energy would need a lot of money. Yet the Chinese government currently funds the development of anti-satellite weapons and an ambitious lunar exploration program. They also fund a military with a sizable nuclear deterrent. So it really isn't an issue of not having the money. Rather an issue of priorities. No country that plans on sending a person to the moon can claim to be developing and needs to live up to its responsibilities.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Cartoon Network now listed as a terrorist organization by Homeland Security

Zaius Nation exposes the link between Al Queda and Cartoon Network. (Parody)

Scotty, place phasers on roast.


Last week the the military demonstrated a new weapon for crowd control called the active denial system. The heat ray was developed by the DOE as a way to safely disperse crowds. It uses electro-magnetic radiation at millimeter wave lengths that only penetrate the first 0.4 millimeters of skin. The DOD claims that the device causes just enough heating to cause discomfort, and does no permanent damage. It works by tricking the body into believing that skin is burning. One test subject was quoted as saying that it is similar to a blast from a very hot oven - too painful to bear and forcing them to dive for cover. Early tests of the device actually did cause minor burns. While it is claimed that the device penetrates normal clothing, basic undergraduate physics would suggest that clothing designed to act as a Faraday cage should shield a target.

One has to wonder why this is a better tool than the inexpensive and low tech method of using a water canon to disperse crowds. It might be its range of 500 yards.

The cynic in me wonders how long before they order one at GitMo. A device that causes intense pain and leaves no signs of trauma. A pretty dangerous thing in the wrong hands.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

IPCC Report on Climate Change

On Friday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest report addressing the impacts of climate change. This is the fourth in a series of periodic assessments presented to governments around the world for the purposes of making policy decisions.

The IPCC synthesizes the work of hundreds of climate scientist from all over the world who are experts in their field. Each report has continued to paint the same picture. The previous conclusions have been significantly strengthened by the new report and the uncertainties have been reduced. The world climate is heating faster than anytime in recored history and it is beyond doubt that it is being exacerbated by human actions. To quote from the report the uncertainties in the science mainly involve the precise nature of the changes to be expected, particularly with respect to sea level rise, El NiƱo changes and regional hydrological change - drought frequency and snow pack melt, mid-latitude storms, and of course, hurricanes. A very good summary of the report can be found at RealClimate.org. A wonderfully clear background article can be found here.

Climate change has become a controversial topic. It is no different than the denial of the link between cigarette smoking and cancer. Big money was threatened and it responded by attacking the messenger. The film thank you for smoking illustrates this particularly well. The same is true with the subject of global climate change.

There is a lot of misinformation out there that is being used to confuse the issue. KTCat points to a recent Chicago Sun Times article by Mark Steyn to question the findings of the IPCC report. Mark frames the issue thusly; whether what's happening now is just part of the natural give and take of the planet, ... or whether it's something so unprecedented that we need to divert vast resources to a transnational elite bureaucracy so that they can do their best to cripple the global economy and deny much of the developing world access to the healthier and longer lives that capitalism brings. The answer being yes and no! Yes something unprecedented is happening, but no it isn't necessary to cripple the global economy to do something about it. In fact, if action is delayed, the costs will be more severe. By framing the question as he does, he's resorting to the same attack the messenger strategy used for so long by the cigarette companies.

The key here is to ignore what the politicians and the special interests are saying. And definitely don't listen to the press. Try listening to the scientists. Would you go to a senator, the NYT, or your priest to diagnose a medical condition? Read it yourself! Don't take someone else's interpretation of it. Over 99% climate experts agree with the report's findings. Of the handful of climate scientists who don't, most are tainted by their financial connections with the oil industry. Lets look at what the skeptics are claiming.

KTCat asks, the climate is it's always changing. So what? Greenland used to be green. Now it's covered in ice. Climates change. Get over it. This is common misunderstanding. Climate, by definition, doesn't change. Its the average behavior of the weather. Year to year local weather will diverge from the mean, but with a stable climate the mean doesn't change. I live in Denver now. We're looking to have double the typical snow fall for the year. Does this mean we're experiencing global cooling? No. A single location isn't what is being considered here. Rather the entire globe needs to be considered. Much of the Midwest, the North East and the West experienced warmer than normal winters. All of this needs to be averaged together to see if the year is warmer or not.

What is the big deal about a few tenths of a degree. First of all it is currently 3/4 of a degree, but that is besides the point. Lets ignore the cause for the moment. If we agree that things are getting warmer, what will that mean for the world we currently live in:

Sea level will rise. It will rise because the fresh water glaciers will melt and because water expands when it gets warmer. This isn't conjecture. The current sea level rise has already placed a handful of Pacific islands at risk of becoming uninhabitable. As little as a meter will flood much of the gulf coast. A third of Florida gone! One half of Louisiana under water. See the maps on my earlier blog entry. Major ports and oil refineries gone. Both people and industry will have to be relocated. We could see this perhaps within our life time, but most certainly with in our children's life time. It will have an enormous economic impact. So saying that it costs too much to do something now, is only dumping the cost of the next generations.

An increase of extremes. Dry areas will experience more severe drought and wet areas will experience increased flooding. Since some of the largest US cities reside in the desert west and south west, expect to see increased drought in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. The tightening of water sources will disrupt both industry and agriculture in these states, because populations will get the water first. Expect to see greater forest die off and more frequent firestorms like those experienced in many western states. Expect to see a reduction of hydro-electric power as water becomes scarce. This isn't fiction. The recent Colorado drought brought the lake levels in Reservoir Powell and Mead to levels where if it continued for another few years, power generation would have to cease.

Steyn states if "global warming" is real and if man is responsible, why then do so many "experts" need to rely on obviously fraudulent data? The famous "hockey stick" graph showed the planet's climate history as basically one long bungalow with the Empire State Building tacked on the end. Completely false. He couldn't be more wrong! Look at this figure. It shows three curves. The first (black) is the data. Assume for the sake of argument, it represents truth. The second (blue) is a computer simulation where no anthropogenic influences are built into the simulation. The third (red) is the same model, but now with the anthropogenic influences included. Anyone can see from the figure that without including anthropogenic influences, such as green house gases, the simulation just doesn't mimic reality.

One can go on like this all night. People who don't want to be confused by the facts will never accept the conclusion they don't want to be true, but nonetheless it still is. the scientific fact of global warming is! What to do about it a messy political question I don't want to touch here. Still it would be nice if all sides could agree that something is happening and it has the potential for causing us significant problems.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Ground Hog Day; Morning Commute

More snow. Another 3-5 inches from yesterday. Today we've got a sunny ground hog day, so guess that means we have lots of winter left.

All that said, here's a morning commute I wouldn't want.





Thursday, February 01, 2007

Your Brain on Orange Alert.

This Modern World has a nice post this morning about the hysteria in Boston over a few lighted signs.

With all the loaded language, you’d almost think this guy did
something wrong. After all, this “device” was a “hoax” that “forced”
the Keystone Cops to chase each other in circles while waving
their tiny baseball bats at each other. Throw this guy in jail
because we all know this kind of panic isn’t the fault of the
people who overreact to anything they consider weird.


It would be nice if this country got some sort of perspective about terrorism so that they weren't constantly reacting like frightened children, but that might be too much to expect.

Molly Ivins dies at 62

Molly's sharp wit and keen intellect gave her the tools to speak back to the corridors of power. Read more here. She will be missed.