Saturday, June 8, 2013

Trey Gowdy...

Before this morning, I had never heard of Trey Gowdy, Representative for South Carolina's 4th District.  He's been a member of the House since 2011; he's a lawyer and a Republican.

Then I watched this video of him during a Congressional hearing into the IRS boondoggle scandal:

More like him, please...

Libertia ixioides...

Via BPOD, of course:


Via reader Jim M.:
Rumors are circulating in California that radical Muslims are planning to go on a rampage in Los Angeles, killing anyone who is a legalU. S. citizen.  Police fear the death toll could be as high as 23.

Jamulians Against the Casino...

On Thursday, June 6, there was a meeting of Jamul residents opposed to the construction of the Jamul Indian Casino, organized as “Jamulians Against the Casino”.  Debbie and I are adamantly opposed, but we missed the meeting.  Our neighbor Marisa S. passed along the organization's email newsletter, which is full of linky goodness:

Jamulians Against the Casino Newsletter
June 7, 2013

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Union Tribune - Residents decry Jamul casino plan
Not here. Not now. Not ever.
That was the message, delivered in a variety of ways by dozens of Jamul residents Wednesday night at a well attended meeting about the casino planned for the Jamul Indian Village.
NBC News - Jamul Debates Hollywood-Themed Casino Project
Penn National Gaming Management Contract
Penn National Gaming stated they wanted to work with the community? They submitted the application for their gaming contract in April 2013 with "NO PUBLIC INPUT". We are past the submission date for comments to the NIGC and Department of the Interior in Washington D.C.
It is now in front of the Sacramento BIA office for consideration.
"Written comments on the scope and implementation of this proposal and/or alternatives must arrive by Monday, July 8, 2013.No public scoping meeting will be held for the proposal given the long history of the project and the extensive public input received to-date."
Again, " public scoping meeting will be held for this SEIS."
Guess Penn National Gaming didn't want anymore PUBLIC INPUT.
They don't know who they are dealing with!!!
You may mail, email, hand carry or fax written comments to:
Mr. John Rydzik
Chief, Division of Environmental Cultural Resources Management & Safety
Bureau of Indian Affairs, Pacific Region
2800 Cottage Way
Sacramento, CA 95825
Facsimile (916) 978-6055
The Jamul community have stopped this
project for over 15 years. We ousted the last two "financial backers", we will do it again!
No Casino!   Not Now!   Not Ever!
The fight is not over!
Your help is desperately needed to help pay our legal fees. Please send your donations for the JAC legal fund.  
PO Box 1317
Jamul CA 91935
Write to your local government officials at the links in the left column. Or go to the website and click on the Contact your Government Officials tab.
Please forward this newsletter to friends and family, and to your neighbors in the community. (use the link below)


Major News from Curiosity on Mars...

The lead:
PASADENA, CA­—Nearly a year after Curiosity’s triumphant Mars landing, scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced today that the NASA rover is preparing to explore a large structure six kilometers south of the Gale Crater, which preliminary reports indicate is an enormous Martian synagogue.
Read the whole thing...

Visualizing the Wind...

The snapshot I took of the wind map doesn't really do it justice – the real thing is animated and interactive (you can zoom in on any particular area).  The wind data being visualized is realtime, collected from NOAA via publicly available APIs.  The statement on the web page says it's a personal art project, and in fact it is often quite beautiful.  It's also a wonderful example of the power of data visualization: the animated map instantly conveys the current winds in a way we would never get by reading columns of locations, wind direction, and wind speed...

American Dialects...

At the University of Cambridge (UK), Bert Vaux has been running a survey of English dialects for some time, collecting a large amount of data (you can take the survey and add results yourself).  Now Joshua Katz at the North Carolina State University Department of Statistics has taken this raw data, filtered it for the United States, massaged it a bit, and produced a beautiful set of interactive graphics like the one below, each exploring a different particular dialectical variant.

The example I've reproduced below shows one such dialectical variant: what you call the device for drinking water in public.  The red areas mostly say “water fountain”, the blue areas “drinking fountain”, and the weird little green areas are where they say “bubbler” (what's up with Rhode Island and Michigan?). 

If you're at all interested in language, or just English in particular, this is a fascinating interactive graphic, very well done...

Climate Models: an Epic Fail!

Dr. Roy Spencer is a climatologist and long-time anthropogenic global warming (AGW) skeptic.  He's just done all of us a favor by plotting all 73 of the climate models used by the IPCC to support their predictions of AGW – along with the actual observations since the mid-'70s.  The data chosen is the “tropical mid-troposphere” temperature – the temperature of the middle of the troposphere (the lower 12 miles or so of our atmosphere, so about 6 miles high) at latitudes within 20&deq; of the equator.  He chose this particular data for two reasons:
  1. The IPCC models make a clear prediction of rapidly increasing temperature in this area.
  2. Since the 1970s, we have excellent objective observational data for this area (from both balloons and satellites), with more than enough data to allow the various sensors to be cross-calibrated.
On the chart below, the IPCC predictive models are the lines; the square and round dots are the actual observed temperatures.

As Dr. Spencer says, this divergence between the models and the actual observations isn't news – skeptics have been reporting it for years.  It's just becoming more and more obvious as the evidence accumulates that the IPCC models are fatally flawed.

There's no shame in their models being in error.  There's great shame in their defense of them, even in the face of solid evidence to the contrary.  That's not how science is supposed to work...