Sunday, January 4, 2009

Even More Micrographs...

More fun with the EyeClops! This morning I took the thing outside, and tried imaging a few pieces of Mother Nature. First was a granite rock, at right (100x). It looks basically like some sand under a magnifying glass, with some dirt on it.

Next I tried a moss (below left), one of our chaparral mosses that appear in thick layers on rocks as if by magic just after it rains. Just before the rain it looked like some black dirt on the rock, or even like a thick layer of weathered black paint. Within minutes after it starts raining, it turns bright green. At 100x it looks like your lawn! The two right hand micrographs are lichen, at 200x and 100x. These lichen are pale green, and very common around here on granite rocks.

Finally, I liberated a leaf from a native sage. If you're not familiar with sage, their leaves are pale green and they are ever so slightly “fuzzy”. The left hand micrograph is of the back of the leaf, across its spine, at 100x. The next three are of the front of the leave, at 400x, 200x, and 100x. You can see that the entire surface of the leaf is covered by stubby little hairs, growing in interlocking tufts.

Grunt Pranksters...

Our wonderful U.S. Marines have pulled off a wonderful prank. Read the link below before clicking on it:

Take that, you detestable pinkers!

Flying Pig Moment...

I rarely link to the Huffington Post; it's the haunt of a stable of liberal/socialist/communist (really!) political writers who rarely say anything I could agree with. Most recently they added Bill Ayers – former Weathermen leader, domestic terrorist – to their lineup (I'm not making this up!). But today I read a story there that definitely qualifies as a flying pig. It's written by Harold Ambler, a musician, writer, and owner of the site Talking About the Weather. He's not an expert on climate, just an interested observer who isn't dependent on grant money. A small sample (but do go read the whole thing, even though it's on the Huffington Post):
Mr. Gore has gone so far to discourage debate on climate as to refer to those who question his simplistic view of the atmosphere as "flat-Earthers." This, too, is right on target, except for one tiny detail. It is exactly the opposite of the truth.

Indeed, it is Mr. Gore and his brethren who are flat-Earthers. Mr. Gore states, ad nauseum, that carbon dioxide rules climate in frightening and unpredictable, and new, ways. When he shows the hockey stick graph of temperature and plots it against reconstructed C02 levels in An Inconvenient Truth, he says that the two clearly have an obvious correlation. "Their relationship is actually very complicated," he says, "but there is one relationship that is far more powerful than all the others, and it is this: When there is more carbon dioxide, the temperature gets warmer." The word "complicated" here is among the most significant Mr. Gore has uttered on the subject of climate and is, at best, a deliberate act of obfuscation. Why? Because it turns out that there is an 800-year lag between temperature and carbon dioxide, unlike the sense conveyed by Mr. Gore's graph. You are probably wondering by now -- and if you are not, you should be -- which rises first, carbon dioxide or temperature. The answer? Temperature. In every case, the ice-core data shows that temperature rises precede rises in carbon dioxide by, on average, 800 years. In fact, the relationship is not "complicated." When the ocean-atmosphere system warms, the oceans discharge vast quantities of carbon dioxide in a process known as de-gassing. For this reason, warm and cold years show up on the Mauna Loa C02 measurements even in the short term. For instance, the post-Pinatubo-eruption year of 1993 shows the lowest C02 increase since measurements have been kept. When did the highest C02 increase take place? During the super El NiƱo year of 1998.
I'm certain that at least half the writers at the Huffington Post have orgasmic reactions to the even a whisper of the Goreacle's voice (the other half probably requires visual stimulation, such as a photo of the Goreacle's Hitler-esque speechifying, as well). So why on this earth would the Huffington Post publish this piece by Harold Ambler?

The only reason I can think of is that the Huffington Post folks are trying to provide political cover for Obama and the Democrats to not spend money on mitigating global warming. Their political base has high expectations for serious and incredibly expensive expenditures all based on the notion of anthropomorphic global warming. At this point, to anyone with even 5% of their brain cells functioning, such expenditures are obvious madness – if we're going to spend money, the place to do it is in buttressing the economy, not destroying it with the “green” initiatives demanded by the Goreacle's followers.

If I'm right, this is just one more illustration of the shallowness of the left's ideology.

If I'm wrong, I'd love to know why the Huffington Post (till now a fervent supporter of the Goreacle, brooking no dissent at all) has published this piece...