Sunday, November 13, 2011

CO2 - Where Does It Come From?

A nice piece that clearly articulates one of the key questions raised by skeptics of anthropogenic global warming: if CO2 produced by human activities is a tiny amount compared to the CO2 produced by Mother Nature, then how can it be the cause of global warming?

Lost Faith...

Thomas L. Day has lost his faith in the leadership of his parents' generation.  An excerpt:
Our parents’ generation has balked at the tough decisions required to preserve our country’s sacred entitlements, leaving us to clean up the mess. They let the infrastructure built with their fathers’ hands crumble like a stale cookie. They downgraded our nation’s credit rating. They seem content to hand us a debt exceeding the size of our entire economy, rather than brave a fight against the fortunate and entrenched interests on K Street and Wall Street.
Read the whole thing.

Superhydrophobic Coatings...

They repel water and heavy oils.  This is going to be big!  I have spoken...

On Heretic Scientists...

An interesting piece on two facts seemingly at odds:
  1. About 90% of all scientists who make breakthrough discoveries are heretics, in the sense that they held unorthodox views widely rejected by their contemporaries.
  2. About 90% of all scientists who are heretics (in the sense described above) are whacked out loonies – only about 10% of them actually make real breakthrough discoveries.

Bouncy Doggie...

I don't really know what's going on here, but it's cute...

Newt Wipes the Floor...

...with the debate moderator.  He certainly doesn't sound like your average politician – the guy has knowledge and IQ, and can use it even in hostile circumstances...

Paul Ryan Speaks...

...and I sure wish our Congresscritters would listen...

An Inch and a Half...

Yesterday's storm brought us another inch and a half (4 cm) of rain, bringing our calendar year total to 15.43 inches (39 cm) – the highest measurement (by 20%) for this date I've seen in 9 years of collecting weather data here.

The early wetness has some of our plants changing their usual timing.  We have bulbs popping up all over the place, and the grass is growing strongly – we're going to have an unusually long growing season this year, assuming we get our usual rainy season.  Our aleppo pines are normally looking a little sad (dry) this time of year; now they're fully greened up and their sap is flowing.  Take that, bark beetles!  Our eucalyptus trees are putting out new growth.  The ground is soft down to at least three feet, and the gophers are tunneling like crazy (good for some plants, bad for others).  The manzanitas that happen to be full of berries right now have big, juicy berries.  And the moss on the rocks is bright green.

I wouldn't mind a bit more of this.  An inch or so every couple weeks would be quite nice!

Three Years Old...

This video is over three years old, and I just now discovered that it existed.  I have no idea who created it – probably another ServiceNow employee, though it certainly could have been a customer.  In any case, it's a great humorous look at ServiceNow's product vs. its competitors.  I've heard many comments from our customers that reflect the comparisons in this video.  Note that being three years old, the video has our old logo, company name spelling, and artwork...

A Visual Message From Texas... the President, at right.

Via my mom...


I can't stand beer myself (I'm more of a Cabernet kinda guy), but that didn't keep me from enjoying this beer wisdom, forwarded by reader Jim M.:
Sometimes when I reflect on all the beer I drink, I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. I think, "It is better to drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver."
Babe Ruth
"I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day."
Lyndon B. Johnson
"When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading."
Paul Horning
"24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not."
H. L. Mencken
"When we drink, we get drunk.. When we get drunk, we fall asleep. When we fall asleep, we commit no sin. When we commit no sin, we go to heaven. So, let's all get drunk and go to heaven!"
George Bernard Shaw
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
Benjamin Franklin
"Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza."
Dave Barry
Beer: Helping ugly people have sex since 3000 B.C.!
W. C. Fields
Remember "I" before "E," except in Budweiser.
Professor Irwin Corey
To some it's a six-pack, to me it's a Support Group - Salvation in a can!
Leo Durocher
One night at Cheers, Cliff Clavin explained the" Buffalo Theory" to his buddy Norm:
"Well, ya see, Norm, it's like this. A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members.

In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine!
That's why you always feel smarter after a few beers."


Via reader Simi L., this pure delight:

It's Toast...

The (very ambitious) Russian Fobos-Grunt Mars mission, that is...

NGC 6302 (Butterfly Nebula)...

Via APOD, of course (click to enlarge)...