……………………..Limits are for governments.

Latest

Thomas Jefferson to John Adams: On Wading Through the Whimsies, Sophisms & Futilities of Plato

 

jefferson-via-tbnI am just returned from one of my long absences, having been at my other home for five weeks past. Having more leisure there than here for reading, I amused myself with reading seriously Plato’s republic. I am wrong however in calling it amusement, for it was the heaviest task-work I ever went through. I had occasionally before taken up some of his other works, but scarcely ever had patience to go through a whole dialogue. While wading thro’ the whimsies, the puerilities, & unintelligible jargon of this work, I laid it down often to ask myself how it could have been that the world should have so long consented to give reputation to such nonsense as this? How the soi-disant Christian world indeed should have done it, is a piece of historical curiosity. But how could the Roman good sense do it? and particularly how could Cicero bestow such eulogies on Plato? Altho’ Cicero did not wield the dense logic of Demosthenes, yet he was able, learned, laborious, practised in the business of the world, & honest. He could not be the dupe of mere style, of which he was himself the first master in the world.

With the moderns, I think, it is rather a matter of fashion and authority. Education is chiefly in the hands of persons who, from their profession, have an interest in the reputation and the dreams of Plato. They give the tone while at school, and few, in their after-years, have occasion to revise their college opinions. But fashion and authority apart, and bringing Plato to the test of reason, take from him his sophisms, futilities, & incomprehensibilities, and what remains? In truth he is one of the race of genuine Sophists, who has escaped the oblivion of his brethren, first by the elegance of his diction, but chiefly by the adoption & incorporation of his whimsies into the body of artificial Christianity.

His foggy mind, is for ever presenting the semblances of objects which, half seen thro’ a mist, can be defined neither in form or dimension. Yet this which should have consigned him to early oblivion really procured him immortality of fame & reverence. The Christian priesthood, finding the doctrines of Christ levelled to every understanding, and too plain to need explanation, saw, in the mysticisms of Plato, materials with which they might build up an artificial system which might, from it’s indistinctness, admit everlasting controversy, give employment for their order, and introduce it to profit, power & pre-eminence.

The doctrines which flowed from the lips of Jesus himself are within the comprehension of a child; but thousands of volumes have not yet explained the Platonisms engrafted on them: and for this obvious reason that nonsense can never be explained. Their purposes however are answered. Plato is canonised: and it is now deemed as impious to question his merits as those of an Apostle of Jesus. He is peculiarly appealed to as an advocate of the immortality of the soul; and yet I will venture to say that were there no better arguments than his in proof of it, not a man in the world would believe it.

It is fortunate for us that Platonic republicanism has not obtained the same favor as Platonic Christianity; or we should now have been all living, men, women and children, pell mell together, like the beasts of the field or forest. Yet ‘Plato is a great Philosopher,’ said La Fontaine. But says Fontenelle ‘do you find his ideas very clear’?—‘oh no! he is of an obscurity impenetrable.’—‘do you not find him full of contradictions?’—‘certainly, replied La Fontaine, he is but a Sophist.’ Yet immediately after, he exclaims again, ‘oh Plato was a great philosopher.’—Socrates had reason indeed to complain of the misrepresentations of Plato; for in truth his dialogues are libels on Socrates.—but why am I dosing you with these Ante-diluvian topics? Because I am glad to have some one to whom they are familiar, and who will not recieve them as if dropped from the moon…

~Thos. Jefferson July 5, 1814

 

 

 

Galileo Galilei to Her Serene Highness, Many Years Ago

galileo via milestotravel wordpress com

This image appears thanks to milestotravel.wordpress.com

“Some years ago, as Your Serene Highness well knows, I discovered in the heavens many things that had not been seen before in our own age. The novelty of these things, as well as some consequences which followed from them in contradiction to the physical notions commonly held among academic philosophers, stirred up against me no small number of professors — as if I had placed these things in the sky with my own hands in order to upset nature and overturn the sciences. They seemed to forget that the increase of known truths stimulates the investigation, establishment, and growth of the arts; not their diminution or destruction.

Showing a greater fondness for their own opinions than for truth they sought to deny and disprove the new things which, if they had cared to look for themselves, their own senses would have demonstrated to them. To this end they hurled various charges and published numerous writings filled with vain arguments, and they made the grave mistake of sprinkling these with passages taken from places in the Bible which they had failed to understand properly, and which were ill-suited to their purposes.

These men would perhaps not have fallen into such error had they but paid attention to a most useful doctrine of St Augustine’s, relative to our making positive statements about things which are obscure and hard to understand by means of reason alone. Speaking of a certain physical conclusions about heavenly bodies, he wrote: “Now keeping always our respect for moderation in grave piety, we ought not to believe anything inadvisedly on a dubious point, lest in favor to our error we conceive a prejudice against something that truth hereafter may reveal to be not contrary in any way to the sacred books of either the Old or the New Testaments.”…

Persisting in their original resolve to destroy me and everything mine by any means they can think of, these men are aware of my views in astronomy and philosophy. They know that as to the arrangement of the pars of the universe, I hold the sun to be situated motionless in the center of the revolution of the celestial orbs while the earth rotates on its axis and revolves about the sun. They know also that I support this position not only by refuting the arguments of Ptolemy and Aristotle, but by producing many counter-arguments; in particular, some which relate to physical effects whose causes can perhaps be assigned in no other way. In additgion there are astronomical arguments derived from many things in my new celestial discoveries that plainly confute the Ptolemaic system while admirably agreeing with and confirming the contrary hypothesis. Possibly because they are disturbed by the known truth of other propositions of mine which differ from those commonly held, and therefore mistrusting their defense so long as they confine themselves to the field of philosophy, these men have resolved themselves to fabricate a shield for their fallacies out of the mantle of pretended religion and the authority of the Bible. These they apply, with little judgment, to the refutation of arguments that they do not understand and have not even listened to.”

Response-ability: Overcoming Powerful Automatic Responses Using a 90 Second Guideline

“I define responsibility (response-ability) as the ability to choose how we respond to stimulation coming in through our sensory systems at any moment in time.

http://www.amazon.com/My-Stroke-Insight-Scientists-Personal/dp/0452295548/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418331031&sr=1-1&keywords=my+stroke+of+insight

 

Although there are certain limbic system (emotional) programs that can be triggered automatically, it takes less than 90 seconds for one of these programs to be triggered, surge through our body, and then be completely flushed out of our blood stream.

My anger response, for example, is a programmed response that can be set off automatically. Once triggered, the chemical released by my brain surges through my body and I have a physiological experience. Within 90 seconds from the initial trigger, the chemical component of my anger has completely dissipated from my blood and my automatic response is over.

If, however, I remain angry after those 90 seconds have passed, then it is because I have chosen to let that circuit continue to run. Moment by moment, I make the choice to either hook into my neurocircuitry or move back into the present moment, allowing that reaction to melt away as fleeting physiology.”~Jill Bolte Taylor

 

Upcoming Earth-Asteroid Encounter – .4 Lunar Distance

This is going to be close. There will likely be a very large explosion or electrical response from the earth when this goes by. Both the previous low solar activity, and the sudden X-flares from the sun, will make this an electrical transaction between the charged earth and the charged asteroid.

Recent & Upcoming Earth-asteroid encounters:
2014 UF56  Oct 27  0.4 LD  15 m

At the very least, we should be experiencing something like this:

via spaceweather.com “Valentine’s Day in Scandinavia began with a magnetic storm. Rob Stammes of the Polar Light Center in Lofoten, Norway, reports: “Our instruments recorded 2o swings in the local magnetic field, which induced strong electrical currents in the ground outside our lab.” The needles on his chart recorder were swinging wildly. “Overhead we saw some fantastic auroras,” he adds.”

Examples of electrical explosions and arcing between bodies in space:

Footage from the Siding Spring encounter with Mars showed an exceedingly bright flash.

Flash from projectile hitting Temple 1

The near earth asteroid of February 14, 2013 was also highly energetic according to many.

Shoemaker Levy broke apart and struck Jupiter with many flashes of extraordinary intensity.

From The Virtual Telescope:

I believe this could leave a mark, based on the recent Mars encounter.

Quoting Napoleon, Just This Once

“He who knows only his own generation remains always a child.”

Sustainable Energy and Agriculture: The Green Elephant of Economic Ruin

Green Elephant via bing image search

Everywhere.

“From time immemorial white elephants have been known in the East and are still believed to be an incarnation of the lord Buddha. In spite of this, the kings of Burma, Thailand and Cambodia used to present white elephants to people who had incurred the king’s displeasure as a mark of punishment. Their owners were obliged to maintain them without giving them any work to do and the drain on family resources often led to starvation and death; that is why a ‘white elephant’ came to mean economic ruin.”

~Kailash Sankhala

The Gift of Conjugial Love to Mankind: A Mythological Study on the Spiritual Significance of Marriage

Etruscan Terra Cotta Sarcophagus c 500 BC

Etruscan Terra Cotta Sarcophagus c 500 BC

“Show me the way to the town and give me some rag to wrap me in if you had any piece of cloth when you came here,

and then may the gods grant you everything your heart longs for; may they grant you a husband and a house and sweet agreement in all things, for nothing is better than this, more steadfast than when two people, a man and his wife, keep a harmonious household; a thing that brings much distress to the people who hate them and pleasure to their well-wishers,

and for them the best reputation.”

Comment: These words from Book Six of The Odyssey were spoken to Nausicaa by Odysseus, when he washed up on the shore after having drifted at sea for twenty days. Prompted by Athena in a dream the night before, the young lady had taken a picnic and was doing her family’s laundry by the sea.

This vibrant picture of conjugial love from Homer’s ancient epic reveals a pleasant and powerful representation of marriage as one the true blessings and advancements of life. It is likely that the source for this high esteem of conjugial love pre-dates the Roman and Greek civilizations; it is well attested that the Greek and Roman wives were kept at home, not to be seen in public, while the husbands went to banquets or other events. But The Odyssey shows kings and nobles showing hospitality and banqueting with their wives. This respected position and visibility is more closely matched with the Etruscan traditions than of their later conquerers, the Greeks and Romans.

It raises an interesting question, that if it may be shown that the Etruscan women were held in honor, carried out their own business for themselves, married happily having had their hearts won first, and were literate, then it is more accurate to consider Etruria, not Greece, as the “birthplace of Western civilization.” Of course, their histories and legends were lost after the Romans invaded, and their language remains a mystery; yet it has been said by some historians that the Etruscans had indeed developed some form of voting in their city-states. These questions must remain inconclusive, yet it is certainly worth looking beyond the Greek and Roman accounts for answers, since these were their rivals and later their destroyers in the pursuit of Empire.

I hope to continue this mythological series on marriage, and to show that some cultures and people are deeply and inherently conjugial, while we clearly understand that other cultures are not. It is at least a worthwhile study to understand this as a difference, with the hope that this difference can be discerned and appreciated. It looks to hold promise for an interesting survey, and in the end, I think perhaps more people can agree that being part of a conjugial tradition is really nothing to be ashamed of, but rather is a long spiritual heritage worth preserving.

For Now We See Through a Glass Darkly: An Attempt at Identifying Greek/Roman Distortions of Our Past, Present, and Future

Light dances on the highly polished heavy wooden door as a man in a tie emerges into the spring air. He descends the broad steps, still shaded from the sun’s rays by eight enormous columns, and pauses to look at his watch. He is a Senator, elected by the voters in his state two years ago. On the face of his elegant watch, one hand indicates IX and the other IV. Stepping into the hustle of the sidewalk, his eyes adjusted, he hardly seems to notice the carefully tended gardens beginning to bloom around him and moves efficiently to his next appointment. It is Saturday, March 23.

Our Greek and Roman heritage flows indelibly like a current through our daily lives from its headwaters in the ancient world. Today our calendar, numerals, architecture, forms of government, titles, astronomy, sculpture and symbolism all embody to some degree, or borrow, what belonged to these ancient societies. Much of our understanding of our history, and therefore of ourselves and nature, come from early Greek and Roman sources.

But what if, through the accidental abundance of Roman documents and edifices, this actually only provides a singular and quite distorted view of the cultures and eras before Greece and Rome? What if Classical culture was a continuation of the ancient world – but an inferior, lesser progression from previous people and cultures of the Aegean and Asian world? If we assume this is the case we can begin to ask new questions, and perhaps even push our way past the Classical wall between us and antiquity, and discover what has been hidden or obscured by unquestioning over-reliance on those particular witnesses.

It also allows us to question whether Greece was the cradle of modern civilization in its democratic form, or if in reality, Greek and Roman culture and philosophy actually casts one of the deepest and darkest shadows over the world, to this day. And we can observe whether, to the extent that we step out of these long shadows, we experience accelerated and unexpected creative and scientific advancement in all spheres of life.

Deep shadows: the Pontifex Maximus was the title of the high priest of the Roman State cult. This title and office is the same held by the Pope.

The Pontifex Maximus was the title of the high priest of the Roman State cult. This title and office is the same held by the Pope.

Four Considerations

1. The Persistence of Rome

To generally mark out and confirm the persistence of Roman government over the West, even after the supposed fall of Rome itself, I present these candid observations:

Christianity did not adopt pagan culture, but rather Rome adopted Christianity and continued its main offices, language, and philosophy from the city of Rome. It enforced the use of Latin in all manuscripts and learning; it maintained the scientific and political teachings of Aristotle and Plato as the authoritative educational standard for centuries, until the European Renaissance; and the office of Pontifix Maximus, High Priest of the Roman State religion, was continued in both title and functions through the Pope. This would explain why one may see an underlying continuity of Roman gods and goddesses in European art and churches.

 

 

 

 

3. Plato’s Long Shadow

karl-popper via anchaesmicasa wordpress comAs Karl Popper has exhaustively demonstrated in his book, The Open Society and Its Enemies: The Spell of Plato, the political philosophy of Plato possesses the earliest roots and full explanations of totalitarian and collectivist systems, and of the original misanthropic view of man as a slave by nature, who is only fit to be bred and ruled by a ruling class. (It may not be any accident or coincidence that the Club of Rome bears the name of that Iron Empire.) These philosophies persist to this day in almost the exact form and details Plato gave them in his writings 23 centuries ago.

 

 

 

 

2. The Tendency to Verify the Known

To very briefly introduce the problem of the over-confidence of scholars in Classical sources to interpret the ancient world, I present examples of several civilizations whose mythologies have no written record or textual narrative, yet as a whole are interpreted as reflections of Greek mythologies, and in popular documentaries, the Minoans are approached almost entirely in the context of passages from Plato’s writing: 

Back of the epingle en or. Decipherment and translation, by Dr. Aartun of the Linear A inscription on the gold pin is as follows:  a-ma-wa-si . ka-ni-ya-mi . i-ya . za-ki . se-nu-ti . a-ta-deTranslation: ”Devout yourself to the true friend who returns to you the good, who is free from hostile thoughts” (lit. “clean from hate”). Source: http://jarnaes.wordpress.com/1-minoan-crete-linear-a/

Back of the epingle en or. Decipherment and translation, by Dr. Aartun, of the Linear A inscription on the gold pin possibly reads as follows: a-ma-wa-si . ka-ni-ya-mi . i-ya . za-ki . se-nu-ti . a-ta-de
Translation: ”Devote yourself to the true friend who returns to you the good, who is free from hostile thoughts” (lit. “clean from hate”). Source: http://jarnaes.wordpress.com/1-minoan-crete-linear-a/

Ancient cultures preceding and contemporaneous with Greek/Roman civilization, such as the Minoans, Mycenaeans, and Etruscans, are interpreted through what is known in Greek histories, and their gods are automatically equated with Classical gods. This is the case, despite the fact that their texts remain undeciphered – or even undiscovered; they are thus not allowed to speak for themselves.

In fact, there is no shortage of examples which show that because of their own biases, the Greeks and Romans were sometimes quite unable to understand or accurately interpret cultures that were very likely in many respects their betters. And so these Classical reports can be false, idealized, or even slanderous.

As for city-states with elected governments, it is known that Etruria was unable to unify its own cities in the face of foreign invasion. Whether they had experimented in voting or not is a matter of speculation; but the Etruscans did not have a strong central government, preferring to exist as independent, prosperous provinces.

Front of the Minoan epingle en or

Beautiful Minoan epingle en or

 

 

 

 

 

4. Other Possible Questions About Our Past

candle-wallpaper-300x500 via furloo comIt would be wonderful to keep in mind, when holding up our small candle to look far back into the deep past of the Earth and its people, that there are many languages that remain untranslated, to this day. These include those of the Aegean cultures already mentioned, and also the writing of the Indus Valley people, besides others. Also, in some cases an ancient language may have been successfully translated, but the majority of tablets remain unavailable because of modern-day socio-political tensions – such as is the case in Ebla.

These ancient peoples’ character and relationships, manner of daily living, quality of life, writing or lack of it, are all still awaiting revelation. What was the founding genius and spiritual principles they built their original cultures upon, as preserved in their legends? What was the manner of the decline and fall from the original genius of the people, and what finally caused their cities to become abandoned?

What advanced cultures may have existed without leaving megalithic monuments or any trace upon the Earth? Is it possible that the physical preservation of great stone cities skews our view of the past toward highly centralized societies, and leaves the cultures that did not favor massive building projects unrepresented in our history?

Are there lost cities on the continental shelves, beneath the sea, which push human history even further back in time? These questions and others may help us begin to identify distortions and knowledge gaps, and to acknowledge the possibility of some of the lack or limitations in our present understanding of the ancient world. An excellent starting point for new discovery would be to set aside the powerful temptation to refer only to what is known through Greek and Roman sources, even ignoring them for a time, in order to study the unique character and genius of these unknown people on a case by case basis.

~P. West, 2013

James Madison: Protecting the Rights and Possessions of the Minority from the Passions of the Majority

Hancock.JamesMadison Hancock via portrain sculptors org

Walter Hancock, 1901-1998. Image via The Portrait Sculptors Society of the Americas or portraitsculptors.org

 

 

“[I]n all cases where the majority are united by a common interest or passion, the rights of the minority are in danger.”

~James Madison

 

 

 

Comment:  Today we consider the words of James Madison on the subject of minority and majority rights. James Madison is known as “the Father of the Constitution,” because his Virginia Plan provided the basic framework and guiding principles of the Constitution. He was also, as an elected Representative in the House, sponsor of the first ten amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights.

Madison’s words serve as a guiding light in times of doubt and uncertainty about the role of government in our Republic. Today, it would seem that those who believe government should be used to provide all manner of services and “standards of living” for its citizens are on the side of the angels. They are “are united by a common interest or passion” to expropriate more of the earnings of its citizens in order to institute social programs for all. However, as the majority gains the unimpeded ability to confiscate the income of some of the citizens, who are defined as “wealthy,” in order to pay for these services, a very basic principle is violated. The government ceases to protect the rights and possessions of a certain group of people, who are called “rich,” and begins to use its force to seize more and more of what they have. This is a problem, because as soon as this is done to the “rich,” the argument is effectively made – and won – that government may seize half (or more) of the possessions of all citizens.

One potential solution to the problem of allowing an unrestricted majority to pluck the rights and possessions of a minority is to move toward instituting a flat tax. This would bring simplification of the tax code and the protection of upper income couples, while introducing neutrality into the tax system towards the earnings and rights of both the minority and the majority.

A flat tax would introduce simplicity and neutrality to the tax code. Read more here: http://www.heritage.org/research/factsheets/2012/01/the-new-flat-tax-encourages-growth-and-job-creation

A flat tax would introduce simplicity and neutrality to the tax code. Source.

Norman Borlaug: One Man’s Scientific Vision and Perseverance Extends the Staff of Life to Hundreds of Millions of People Around the World

Norman Ernest Borlaug (March 25, 1914 – September 12, 2009) “was an American agronomist, humanitarian, and Nobel laureate who has been called “the father of the Green Revolution”. Borlaug was one of six people to have won the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian honor.

Borlaug received his Ph.D. in plant pathology and genetics from the University of Minnesota in 1942. He took up an agricultural research position in Mexico, where he developed semi-dwarf, high-yield, disease-resistant wheat varieties.

During the mid-20th century, Borlaug led the introduction of these high-yielding varieties combined with modern agricultural production techniques to Mexico, Pakistan, and India. As a result, Mexico became a net exporter of wheat by 1963. Between 1965 and 1970, wheat yields nearly doubled in Pakistan and India, greatly improving the food security in those nations.[5] These collective increases in yield have been labeled the Green Revolution, and Borlaug is often credited with saving over a billion people worldwide from starvation. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 in recognition of his contributions to world peace through increasing food supply.

Later in his life, he helped apply these methods of increasing food production to Asia and Africa.

Dwarfing

Dwarfing is an important agronomic quality for wheat; dwarf plants produce thick stems. The cultivars Borlaug worked with had tall, thin stalks. Taller wheat grasses better compete for sunlight, but tend to collapse under the weight of the extra grain—a trait called lodging— from the rapid growth spurts induced by nitrogen fertilizer Borlaug used in the poor soil. To prevent this, he bred wheat to favor shorter, stronger stalks that could better support larger seed heads. In 1953, he acquired a Japanese dwarf variety of wheat called Norin 10 developed by Orville Vogel, that had been crossed with a high-yielding American cultivar called Brevor 14.[19] Norin 10/Brevor is semi-dwarf (one-half to two-thirds the height of standard varieties) and produces more stalks and thus more heads of grain per plant. Also, larger amounts of assimilate were partitioned into the actual grains, further increasing the yield. Borlaug crossbred the semi-dwarf Norin 10/Brevor cultivar with his disease-resistant cultivars to produce wheat varieties that were adapted to tropical and sub-tropical climates.[20]

Borlaug’s new semi-dwarf, disease-resistant varieties, called Pitic 62 and Penjamo 62, changed the potential yield of spring wheat dramatically. By 1963, 95% of Mexico’s wheat crops used the semi-dwarf varieties developed by Borlaug. That year, the harvest was six times larger than in 1944, the year Borlaug arrived in Mexico. Mexico had become fully self-sufficient in wheat production, and a net exporter of wheat.[21] Four other high yield varieties were also released, in 1964: Lerma Rojo 64, Siete Cerros, Sonora 64, and Super X.”               ~Wikipedia

“[S]ome of the environmental lobbyists of the Western nations are the salt of the earth, but many of them are elitists. If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for fifty years, they’d be crying out for tractors and fertilizer and irrigation canals and be shocked that fashionable elitists back home were trying to deny them these things”.

~Norman Borlaug, on environmental and other groups hostile to bringing high yield crops to Africa

Happy Autumn and Fall Festivities

Tallbloke's Talkshop

CHUNDER DOWN UNDER

HOW GHCN v3.2 MANUFACTURES WARMING IN THE OUTBACK
by Roger Andrews

I originally entitled this post “Blunder Down Under”, but then it occurred to me that all of what I’m about to describe wasn’t a blunder at all, but intentional. So I changed “Blunder” to “Chunder”, which as those of you familiar with the Strine language will know, means “throw up”.

NCDC recently released the latest version of the Global Historic Climate Network data set – GHCN version 3.2, which applies adjustments to remove the artificial man-made discontinuities and spurious gradients that allegedly plague the “raw” GHCN Version 2 data.

I started to go through the GHCN v3.2 data, and the first record I looked at was Alice Springs in the middle of Australia. I plotted the “raw” GHCN v2 data against the adjusted GHCN v3.2 data for the station, and here’s what I got:

http://oi49.tinypic.com/2e34y6d.jpg

GHCN…

View original post 776 more words

A Good Question; and Merely a Question

“Long at her couch Death took his patient stand,

And menac’d oft, and oft withheld the blow:

To give Reflection time, with lenient art,

Each fond delusion from her soul to steal;

Teach her from Folly peaceably to part,

And wean her from a world she lov’d so well.

Say, are ye sure his mercy shall extend

To you so long a span?”

“Go wiser ye, that flutter life away,

Crown with the mantling juice the goblet high;

Weave the light dance, with festive freedom gay,

And live your moment, since the next ye die.

Yet know, vain sceptics, know, th’ Almighty mind,

Who breath’d on Man a portion of his fire,

Bade his free soul, by earth nor time confin’d,

To Heav’n, to immortality aspire.

Nor shall the pile of Hope, his Mercy rear’d,

By vain Philosophy be e’er destroy’d

Eternity, by all or wish’d or fear’d,

Shall be by or all suffer’d or enjoy’d.”

~William Mason

From which, by generalizing, we arrive at this unexpected conclusion: “Society loses the value of objects unnecessarily destroyed” or “Destruction is not profitable”

“In the economic sphere an act, a habit, an institution, a law produces not only one effect, but a series of effects. Of these effects, the first alone is immediate; it appears simultaneously with its cause; it is seen. The other effects emerge only subsequently; they are not seen; we are fortunate if we foresee them.

There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: the bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen.” …

1. The Broken Window

Have you ever been witness to the fury of that solid citizen, James Goodfellow,*1 when his incorrigible son has happened to break a pane of glass? If you have been present at this spectacle, certainly you must also have observed that the onlookers, even if there are as many as thirty of them, seem with one accord to offer the unfortunate owner the selfsame consolation: “It’s an ill wind that blows nobody some good. Such accidents keep industry going. Everybody has to make a living. What would become of the glaziers if no one ever broke a window?”

Now, this formula of condolence contains a whole theory that it is a good idea for us to expose, flagrante delicto, in this very simple case, since it is exactly the same as that which, unfortunately, underlies most of our economic institutions.

Suppose that it will cost six francs to repair the damage. If you mean that the accident gives six francs’ worth of encouragement to the aforesaid industry, I agree. I do not contest it in any way; your reasoning is correct. The glazier will come, do his job, receive six francs, congratulate himself, and bless in his heart the careless child. That is what is seen. But if, by way of deduction, you conclude, as happens only too often, that it is good to break windows, that it helps to circulate money, that it results in encouraging industry in general, I am obliged to cry out: That will never do! Your theory stops at what is seen. It does not take account of what is not seen.

It is not seen that, since our citizen has spent six francs for one thing, he will not be able to spend them for another. It is not seen that if he had not had a windowpane to replace, he would have replaced, for example, his worn-out shoes or added another book to his library. In brief, he would have put his six francs to some use or other for which he will not now have them.

Let us next consider industry in general. The window having been broken, the glass industry gets six francs’ worth of encouragement; that is what is seen.

If the window had not been broken, the shoe industry (or some other) would have received six francs’ worth of encouragement; that is what is not seen.

And if we were to take into consideration what is not seen, because it is a negative factor, as well as what is seen, because it is a positive factor, we should understand that there is no benefit to industry in general or to national employment as a whole, whether windows are broken or not broken.

Now let us consider James Goodfellow.

On the first hypothesis, that of the broken window, he spends six francs and has, neither more nor less than before, the enjoyment of one window.

On the second, that in which the accident did not happen, he would have spent six francs for new shoes and would have had the enjoyment of a pair of shoes as well as of a window.

Now, if James Goodfellow is part of society, we must conclude that society, considering its labors and its enjoyments, has lost the value of the broken window.

From which, by generalizing, we arrive at this unexpected conclusion: “Society loses the value of objects unnecessarily destroyed,” and at this aphorism, which will make the hair of the protectionists stand on end: “To break, to destroy, to dissipate is not to encourage national employment,” or more briefly: “Destruction is not profitable.”

~Frederic Bestiat

Washington State Constitution Article 1, Section 1

 

 

All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.

John Christy, Anthony Watts, et al. Release Analysis of Thermometer Siting and NOAA Temperature Adjustments

Link to paper here:  http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/watts-et-al_2012_discussion_paper_webrelease.pdf

Comment:  This paper introduces a finer method of classifying sites where temperatures are recorded. Many sites are affected by the presence of asphalt (either from roofs, tarmacs, or parking lots), buildings, and even exhaust from cars and AC units. These sites receive a lower compliance rating. Yet climate scientists still insisted that the overall trend remained the same for good or bad surface stations. In this paper, a better classification of sites is used. This classification is applied to historic data sets. The signal for good sites give a very slight warming over 3 decades. The poor sites give a greater warming trend. The adjustments made to the data later all conform to, and even exceed, the trends from the poor sites. See figure above, and the paper – in particular lines 189-211 and 284-298 – for more detail.

Principles of Zoroastrianism: Usefulness

Persian Zoroastrian relief

“Ahura Mazda, indeed, does not allow us to waste anything of value that we may have, not even so much as an Asperena’s weight of thread, not even so much as a maid lets fall in spinning.”

~Max Muller’s Sacred Books of the East

.

.

[Edit and note to all: It is assumed that the reader understands the important role that Zarathustrians have played in the history of both the Jews and the Christians. First, in the Old Testament, the Persian King Cyrus issued the decree that allowed many of the people who had been removed from their lands by the Babylonians to return to their homelands. That is what the Book of Ezra is about. Next, in the New Testament, it is probable that the Wisemen who visited the newborn baby named Y’shua (Jesus) with rich gifts were Zarathustrians. The astonishing fact is, they knew more than the Judeans themselves about the greatness of this event. At Christmas time we all enjoy images of the Zarathustrians traveling the dangerous route through the desert on their camels, and kneeling by the manger. Often, our Nativity sets include the Wisemen and several cows, which were properly respected by the Zarathustrians. These are just two reasons why I enjoy studying the Gathas and the Bundahishn. If I had my way, people would say, “The three great monotheistic religions are Judaism, Zarathustrianism, and Christianity.”]

 

Comment on the quote: The parallels between the teachings of the New Testament and the teachings of Zoroaster are worthy of study. Since excellent translations into English of the primary texts are available, it is possible to compare the two and make modest progress understanding the similarities of the principles and the most basic teachings, without a deep knowledge of the original languages.

Zoroaster’s teachings are written in Gathic Avestan, a language whose only existing texts are the Gathas of Zoroaster himself. Mary Boyce assigns an early date for the life of Zoroaster (c. 1400-1200 BC) based on the similarity of the Gathic Avestan language to the more ancient Vedic writings. He lived in present-day Iran.

In this parallel passage from the New Testament, there is a gathering of people numbering more than 5,000 on a hill in Judea, or modern-day Israel. They are mainly curious about the miracles, and they have also listened to Yeshua teach. He expresses his desire to feed the people who attended his teaching.

[Andrew] said to Him,“There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”

Then Yeshua said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Yeshua took the loaves, and when he had given thanks he distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. 

So when they were filled, he said to his disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.” Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. 

~Yohannan 6

These passages, one from the Zand Avesta and the other from the New Testament, are clearly both teaching that uses can be found even for small and easily overlooked items.

Amend the Constitution So That the Supremacy Clause Refers to Treaties with Other Sovereign Nations and Does Not Include Treaties With Collective International Bodies (Such as the UN)

The treaties signed with the UN are considered international treaties, of course, and under the “Supremacy Clause” of our Constitution, these cannot override the Constitution but do trump state laws. So signing treaties with the UN does two things. It provides a way for distant world bodies and the Federal Government to change domestic policy by fiat, and it gives the activist judges and courts everywhere an international document to refer to in deciding local and state cases.

There are treaties with the UN awaiting ratification by the Senate which intrude into every area of our lives, from how we educate our children and what they are taught, to how and where we get our energy, to what we produce in our country, to whether we may fish or mine our own coastal waters – just to offer a few grievous examples. The response to some of these threats has been to attempt to add individual Constitutional amendments which would defend against Federal and International dictates created by treaties with the UN. For example, the Parental Rights Amendment has been introduced in the House and Senate protecting the duty and right of parents to educate and raise their own children in response to the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child.

I think that one single amendment would be more efficient and effective: an amendment which defines a treaty as an agreement with one or several governments of other sovereign nations, as signed with their leaders, in their State Capitals, but not with an international collective of nations such as the UN. This could pass Constitutional muster and respect the intent of the writers in Article VI Clause 2. Treaties with the UN are only being used to undermine domestic policy which was decided by voters and states, and to give the Fed gov’t expanded powers into state gov’t, lower courts, and resources which they do not now legitimately possess.  We, in the West, have wonderful Republics and they will work for us even under the gravest threats and tests, if we continue to believe in the balance and separation of powers and in our founding principles.

Dr. Doofenschmurtz of Evil Inc. Unveils the Mountain-Out-of-a-Molehill-inator; Plans to Take Over the Entire Tri-State Area

In this episode, Dr. Doofenschmurtz creates a machine which greatly expands molehill molecules in order to create mountains. As a child, Dr. Doof was told one too many times, “Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill!”
“Well now, I intend to do JUST THAT!” he announces.

(from 3:40 to 4:45)

Comment: There is an interesting discussion on WUWT today on the success rates of forecasts made by complex global climate models (Global Circulation Models). These are compared with the success rates of simple “random walk” models, and it is shown that random walk methods outperformed global climate model forecasts. Since outputs from computer models are constantly presented as compelling confirmation that manmade greenhouse gases are causing rising temperatures, it is encouraging to read that this audit of the models was carried out.

Climate models outperformed by random walks

WUWT provides the interesting paper which discusses the GCMs and recommends adding on some simple numerical forecasting to remedy their abysmal performance.  Or, as climate scientists mothers should be saying, “Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill-inator.”

*      *     *

PS. Some may not appreciate the whimsy of the analogy drawn in the post between Dr. Doof and the prevalent use of computer models in science. Nevertheless, “Phineas and Ferb” is an interesting children’s cartoon for many reasons. It is positive and upbeat, faster than Bugs Bunny, more creative than Nick Jr by Astronomical Units, and is generally a lot of fun. Children should watch it! Every evil scientist has a sweet, undercover, unknown nemesis, or “agent,” who also doubles as a family pet. Also, each character has a wonderfully complex and intense interior life, which is unknown to the others, but they intersect at perfect times.

Yes You May Stop What Your Are Doing and Take a Walk

“Afoot and light-hearted, I take to the open road.

Henceforth I ask not good fortune: I myself am good fortune…

Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms.

Strong and content, I take to the open road.”

James Allen, The Heavenly Life (p. 21). Kindle Edition.

Comment: We are all scolded enough with what exercise ought to be: heart rate raised for 20 min – nay that was last decade – heart rate raised for a minimum of 30 min at 130 beats per minute. Those who fall short of this sometimes give up exercise altogether, thinking that if they cannot attain the minimum definition of exercise published by experts, why bother? Others who do attain this daily habit very often go beyond it and overtrain, stressing their bodies and not allowing proper rest and healing between workouts of several hours. Today’s quote is from James Allen, and is to remind us that along with the toning of the body’s musculature, a simple walk under the crystal arcing sky is clearing and needful for mental vitality. Just as many athletes overtrain and strain their bodies, people who are busy sometimes strain the natural strength and tone of the mind.

A walk along a favorite or nearby path will refresh the mind as well as the body.

Excerpts from Paradise

“The One who turned His compass to mark the world’s confines, and in them to set so many things concealed

and things revealed,

could not imprint His power into all the universe without His Word remaining in infinite excess of such a vessel.

In proof of this, the first proud being, he who was the highest of all creations, fell –

unripe, because he did not wait for light.”   

~Dante

“The sword that strikes from Heaven’s height is neither hasty nor slow, except as it appears to him who waits for it – who longs or fears.”  

~Beatrice

In Memory of Beatrice Portinari (d. June 8, 1290)

Italian Alabaster Figure Beatrice Portinari

Beatrice Portinari, remembered forever in Dante’s poetic works as his inspiration and his radiant guide through the after-worlds of the Divine Comedy, died in Italy on the 8th of June in 1290. She was only 24 at the time of her death.

Dante himself, and many others, have chronicled the relationship of the poet to the young lady. Occasional commenters have even questioned whether she was a real person or was rather some spiritualized ideal of a woman. It is held by some societies that “Beatrice” is a representative of such inner qualities as wisdom and knowledge, which are to be pursued with the devoted passion of young love. However, researchers have uncovered civil records of Beatrice Portinari, the daughter of the noble family in Florence, Italy, who is likely to be the subject of Dante’s La Vita Nuova  – the book which relates their brief encounters until the year of her untimely death.

From the moment he saw her at a May party when they were children, he claims his life was entirely under the influence of his love for her. He finally completed his master works in fulfillment of a promise to himself “to say that of her, that never yet hath been said of any lady.”

Although Beatrice is immortalized in her connection to Dante, not much is understood of her own side of the experience.  Did Beatrice Portinari return Dante Alighieri’s love? Was she equally overpowered by her love for him? Did their love have something to do with her tragic death at the age of 24? Today I will share a quote from the introduction to La Vita Nuova by Theodore Martin, 1862. This brief quote is offered in order to highlight one of the very few things we actually know about Beatrice Portinari’s experience with Dante:  she ceased to greet him because she did not wish to be treated as he appeared to treat other ladies. Here is the account:

“The incidents recorded in the Vita Nuova are few and meagre. Dante, a boy of nine, meets Beatrice, a girl of eight, very much as Boccaccio mentions. He falls in love with her then at once and for ever. They do not meet, so as to interchange greetings, until nine years afterwards, although Dante, in the interval, seized every opportunity of seeing and watching the growing girl. This second meeting, and the words which fell from her on the occasion, confirm his passion, which finds its natural vent in poetry. No direct intimation of his love is, however, made by the poet to Beatrice; and, in order to mislead the curious, who saw from his appearance and demeanor that the fever fit of love was upon him, he resorted to the device, then not an uncommon one, of feigning to be the admirer par armours of two other ladies in succession.

Beatrice, however, he gives us to understand, had reason to know the true state of the case; but he dissembles only too well, for his attentions to one of the ladies for whom he feigned affection becomes a topic of scandal. Beatrice, incensed, refuses him her salutation, or, in other words, declines further acquaintance with him. The poet is in despair. Her indignation lasts apparently for a considerable time, and during this period, it may with great probability be inferred, she married, – although Dante is silent throughout on this subject. How a reconciliation takes place we are not told; but we are left to infer that they were reconciled…” ~Theodore Martin, 1862

In La Vita Nuova, Dante relates how he writes poetry to another woman, and even moves to the city in which the other woman lives, all the while believing Beatrice understood it was just a fashionable ruse on his part, and that the poetry was written to her. Given that Dante himself admits the possibility later that she “wist not” that he was writing to her, it is not unreasonable to raise the possibility that if Beatrice truly loved Dante, she may have been privately devastated by these events. By the time he has publicly written poems to a second lady, meaning them for Beatrice, the ruse misfires, and Beatrice then no longer greets Dante in the lane. An alternative view is that at this point not only was she unable to interpret the repeated public attentions to other ladies, but also she was disappointed by his clumsiness in the resulting public “scandal.” Her decision then not to greet him shows a strictness with herself, and on her part a great inner strength and dignity which would not accept such apparent shabby behavior, even from one she loved.

Neither do I think it is unreasonable  to observe that her father likely gave her in marriage to one of his business partners in banking, and that she did not have any choice but to obey her father in this marriage. Her fate then was to carry out the wishes of her father in an arranged marriage, a task which she seems to bravely meet. But when her father dies in December of 1289, her grief is so great, and she is so bereft, that it is remarked by her friends at the funeral that she would not live long. Dante becomes very ill, and experiences visions of her death. Then, some months after the death of her father, Beatrice Portinari passed away at the young age of 24.

The traditional site of her tomb is not ornate, but gives honor to her memory and her quiet strength with her maiden name. This rose marks the passing of a young medieval Florentine woman whose nobility was not merely outward, but inward as well.

Image 2, 3,  4, & other

Andrea Rossi’s E-cat: Potential to Provide 2 Liters of Clean Drinking Water to 83 Persons in One Day

 

Kenyan boy drinking a cup of cold water. Image via eleosproject.wordpress.com

Dear Andrea Rossi,

Consider the problem of potable (drinkable) water. Assume water source is nearby the village but is contaminated with disease-borne agents. Boiling the water would kill the agents.

Assume a 5kW eCat running continuously with an input water temperature of 20 degC. Bringing the water to boiling: Specific Heat of Water: 4.18 J/ (gm * degC) Delta temperature = 80 degC Heat of Vaporization for Water: 2257 kJ /kg Raise 1 kg of water from 20 degC to 100 degC: = 4.18 J / (gm * degC) * 1000 gm/kg * 80 degC = 334 kJ Boil 1 kg of water: = 2257 kJ Total Energy required: = 2591 kJ / kg Amount of Water turned into steam in one hour: = 5 kW * 3600 sec /(2581 kJ / kg) = 18 MJ / (2581 kJ / kg) = 6.95 kg / hour Amount of Water per day = 166 kg = 166 liters / day Required drinkable water per person per day = 2 liters per day. Number of people one 5kW eCat could support = 83 persons Steam could be used to provide electricity (5kW @ 30% = 1.5kW electricity) Waste heat used for structure heating, etc.            ~Steven N. Karels

 

Dear Steven N. Karels:   Yes, is important what you say. This is an issue in which we can give an important contribution.

Warm Regards, A.R.

Andrea Rossi

 

Runaway Temperatures, or Runaway Numerical Modeling in the Natural Sciences?

One of the messages that I like to convey after these five years of working in the topic is that I believe that in the general world community there has been a breaking of the balance between the three key aspects of any research in the natural sciences, which is observation, theory – by theory I mean physical, chemical, biological theory based on principles – and numerical modeling. I believe the three are extremely important. They all should be interacting, but they should be balanced.

My view is that in the last 20 years there has been much too much on the numerical side and absolutely not enough on observation, and I would suggest that observation is the key thing that should be supported in the coming decade. 

So I begin with a critical look at some global and regional temperature data. I think this is either from […] or Fred Singer – I stole this slide from. It’s just to remind people what the recording of temp at a station looks like.  On the left I don’t know which station but from 1850 to the year 2000 you have all the temperature data and you see that actually the trend you are going to try to extract is the mean on the right.  When we talk about climate change in terms of temperature, what we are looking at is the figure on the right, which is always expanded on the vertical axis in such a way that you forget where it’s extracted from. It doesn’t mean that it is not interesting or not meaningful. It means one you should remember how difficult it is to extract this small signal, and two, it doesn’t have an error bar. Someone asked the question about uncertainties. Another one of my messages is that I believe uncertainties in many cases have been enormously underestimated, and we should always bear them in mind.”  (To be cont’d.)

~Vincent Courtillot

“The Boast of the Stoic is Empty”

“The boast of the Stoic is empty, that the mind is its own place.

The mind lives by its takings, and fresh experience feathers the wings of the human spirit, and lends them scope and power.”

~Sir Walter Raleigh

Gravity: A Simple Dipolar Effect at an Atomic Level

Image: presented online by Wal Thornhill, Nov 27, 2010

Mass: A Simple Model Requiring No Newly Invented Particles

Image: presented online by Wal Thornhill, Nov 27, 2010

Aleksandra Andreevna Glagoleva Arkad’eva

Aleksandra Andreevna Glagoleva Arkad’eva (1884-1945)

Soviet physicist.

“Upon graduating from the physics and mathematics department of the Moscow Advanced Courses for Women in 1910, she began working there. From 1914 to 1918 she worked in the X-ray department of a military hospital. From 1918 she was at Moscow University, becoming a professor both at the university and at the Second Moscow Medical Institute in 1930. In 1916, Glagoleva-Arkad’eva constructed an instrument for measuring the depths of bullets and shell fragments in wounds–the X-ray stereometer. In 1922 she constructed a new source of electromagnetic waves, the so-called mass radiator, a vessel with aluminum filings suspended in a viscous oil. The filings, being moving hertz oscillators, radiate electromagnetic waves when electric sparks are passed through them. Because of the small dimensions of the oscillators, Glagoleva-Arkad’eva was able to obtain (in 1923) wavelengths of 5 cm to 82 μm, filling a gap in the scale of electromagnetic waves between the spectra of infrared and radio waves.”

http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Glagoleva-Arkadeva,+Aleksandra+Andreevna

 

Mastery

The struggle against lying in oneself and the struggle against fears is the first positive work which a man begins to do.”

~GI Gurdjieff

Absolute Space

“Absolute space is conceived as remaining always similar to itself and immovable. The arrangements of the parts of space can no more be altered than the order of the portions of time. To conceive them to move from their places is to conceive a place to move away from itself.

But as there is nothing to distinguish one portion of time from another except the different events which occur in them, so there is nothing to distinguish one part of space from another except its relation to the place of material bodies. We cannot describe the time of an event except by reference to some other event, or the place of a body except by reference to some other body. All our knowledge, both of time and of place is essentially relative.*

~James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879)

*The position seems to be that our knowledge is relative, but needs definite space and time as a frame for its coherent expression.” (notes and appendices by Sir Joseph Larmor)

Successive and Simultaneous Order

“Both in heaven and in the world, are found two kinds or establishments of order, successive order, and simultaneous order; in successive order, one thing succeeds and follows another…but in simultaneous order, one thing is next to another, from what is innermost to what is outermost.”

~Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772)

Seeing the Unseen

“No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars or sailed an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.”

~Helen Keller

.

Nikola Tesla on Aether

The inventor responded thus to an article by Laurence M. Cockaday:

“I have read the article, and I quite agree with the opinion expressed – that wireless power transmission is impractical with present apparatus. This conclusion will be naturally reached by any one who recognizes the nature of the agent by which the impulses are transmitted in present wireless practice.

“When Dr. Heinrich Hertz undertook his experiments from 1887 to 1889 his object was to demonstrate a theory postulating a medium filling all space, called the ether which was structureless, of inconceivable tenuity and yet solid and possessed of rigidity incomparably greater than that of the hardest steel. He obtained certain results and the whole world acclaimed them as an experimental verification of that cherished theory. But in reality what he observed tended to prove just its fallacy.

“I had maintained for many years before that such a medium as supposed could not exist, and that we must rather accept the view that all space is filled with a gaseous substance. On repeating the Hertz experiments, with much improved and very powerful apparatus, I satisfied myself that what he had observed was nothing else but effects of longitudinal waves in a gaseous medium, that is to say, waves, propagated by alternate compression and expansion. He had observed waves in the ether much of the nature of sound waves in the air.

“Up to 1896, however, I did not succeed in obtaining a positive experimental proof of the existence of such a medium. But in that year I brought out a new form of vacuum tube capable of being charged to any desired potential, and operated it with effective pressures of about 4,000,000 volts. I produced cathodic and other rays of transcending intensity. The effects, according to my view, were due to minute particles of matter carrying enormous electrical charges, which, for want of a better name, I designated as matter not further decomposable. Subsequently those particles were called electrons.

“One of the first striking observations made with my tubes was that a purplish glow for several feet around the end of the tube was formed, and I readily ascertained that it was due to the escape of the charges of the particles as soon as they passed out into the air; for it was only in a nearly perfect vacuum that these charges could be confined to them. The coronal discharge proved that there must be a medium besides air in the space, composed of particles immeasurably smaller than those of air, as otherwise such a discharge would not be possible. On further investigation I found that this gas was so light that a volume equal to that of the earth would weigh only about one-twentieth of a pound.

“The velocity of any sound wave depends on a certain ratio between elasticity and density, and for this ether or universal gas the ratio is 800,000,000,000 times greater than for air. This means that the velocity of the sound waves propagated through the ether is about 300,000 times greater than that of the sound waves in air, which travel at approximately 1,085 feet a second. Consequently the speed in ether is 900,000 × 1,085 feet, or 186,000 miles, and that is the speed of light.”

~Nikola Tesla

H/T PG Truspace

Snow Crystals

Wilson A. Bentley (1865-1931)

“Snow, the beautiful snow, as the raptured poet sang, winter’s spotless and downy blanket for forest and field, has ever challenged pen to describe, and brush to paint, its marvelous mass effects.

Nor is the aesthetic urge of its very tiniest flake or smallest crystal that gently floats from heaven to earth any less compelling. It is even more insistent – doubly more – for it not only quickens that response to the dainty and the exquisite that makes us human, but equally arouses our desire to understand, our curiosity to know, the how and the why of this purest gem of surpassing beauty and of a myriad myriad forms.

But it is so tiny, so fragile, and so evanescent save in the coldest of weather, that few, very few indeed, have come to know the snow crystal at first hand.

All the rest of us must get our knowledge of this endless gallery of Nature’s design through the careful drawings and faithful photographs, microphotographs, by that devoted few whose enthusiasm never wanes and whose patience never tires.”

~W.J. Humphrey

Andrea Rossi Energy Catalyzer: March Update

Andrea Rossi ECAT – March update

"There is only one thing that counts for me: to work and to make a valid product. If there will be competition, whomever they are, they will have to fight against a very tough competitor. We will be very tough to be beaten." ~Andrea Rossi

Here is a summary of the latest ECAT developments made by Andrea Rossi:
•Andrea Rossi has developed a new design of the ECAT Home unit which is 33cm x 33cm x 6cm and can be put vertically or horizontally. Total weight is 10 kg
•The technology is completely changed, new patents have been applied for, an intense testing program is going on with very good result
•Leonardo Corp will defend its Intellectual Property against copycats in all necessary courts
•The new ECAT Home unit has two simple connections for input and output of water
•No pictures will be released until the product is for sale
•By law a customer has 60 days of time to give back the device if unsatisfied, and Leonardo Corp give all the guarantees required by the law
•Production capacity of new factory is one million units per year
•The hydrogen canister has been removed and the hydrogen is now stored inside a solid material due to safety reasons
•There is a new control system for both the ECAT Home unit and the ECAT 1MW Plant which are made from an undisclosed supplier, not National Instruments
•The only certified places to pre-order an ECAT are either Info@leonardocorp1996.com and/or via the order form at ECAT.com
•Certification from UL – Underwriters Laboratories is in process
•The highest temperature that could be achieved in the reactor of the domestic ECAT is just below the melting point of Nickel
•No radiation has ever been detected outside the ECAT
•The ECAT has already got important authorizations
•The COP (Coefficient of Performance) is 6
•Licenses to sell and market ECATs has been granted to licensees, not yet published
•When Leonardo Corporation will execute the commercial strategy, the entire network of the licensees will be published
•Andrea Rossi anticipates that an air conditioned generator and a electricity generator will eventually be suitable accessories for the ECAT
•Siemens has shown an electricity solution for Andrea Rossi with 33% efficiency for 25MWe at 250C, 40bar and a smaller version with 30% efficiency for 5-8MWe also at 250C, 40bar in the secondary circuit

http://ecat.com/news/andrea-rossi-ecat-march-update

Attributes and Mysteries of Life: Symmetry, Twinning, Hemihypertrophy*, and Gynandromorphs; from the Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry, 1921

  Comment: This interesting paper from the Archives of Neurobiology and Psychiatry brushes on several topics which are easily taken for granted; one of them is the symmetry of life. The article raises questions about the possibility of a single individual actually being a pair of twins. (There are cases of individuals called chimera who have two blood types and are considered to have been a pair of twins who fused.) The article also raises an interesting question about the differences and similarities between the process of bilateral symmetrical development, and twinning. This excerpt ends with the case of the beautiful bee that is a winged male on one side, and a wingless female on its other side. I doubt if modern medicine is any closer to discovering the enigma of the source of the symmetrical development of life. Probably, it is further than ever. (:

“‘By twinning we mean production of equivalent structures by division.’ This statement is taken from the biologist Bateson, who regards the power to divide as a fundamental attribute of life. The tendency to symmetry, to bilateral equivalence or mirror imaging is so general that it  also must be regarded as a fundamental of biologic mechanics. Hemihypertrophy accordingly may be conceived as some profound inaccuracy in the natural process of developmental duplicity. It is not as monstrous as the double monster but it may have a related morphogenesis. At any rate, we can safely assume that hemihypertrophy is not an artifact really consisting in a hemi-atrophy. It is evidently a mild unilateral gigantism of an individual whose lesser somatic half is normal.

In a certain biologic sense we may regard every bilateral individual as being a pair of twins. H. H. Newman, in his fascinating work on the ‘Biology of Twins,’ holds that monozygotic twinning – where a single egg produces two offsprings – is a phenomenon that should be considered as only a phase of the much more general phenomenon of symmetrical division. The development of the right and left hand homologous organs in a bilateral organism is essentially a twinning process. This also observes that ‘the whole matter of bilateral development appears to be quantitative in nature, in that the same type of process may go not so far or farther than normal.’ Just as there may be an inhibition of the normal culmination of the process of bilateral division…so there is frequently an excess of division resulting in the two bilateral structures becoming completely segregated, as when a single individual develops two heads or two tails, while the remainder of the organism is a more or less normal individual. Newman, like Bateson, regards the phenomenon of twinning as a fundamental process which is almost universal in the field of biology.

From this point of view, hemihypertrophy may be interpreted as an atypical or imperfect form of twinning, a variant of the same process which may produce a double headed [creature] or a perfectly, ordinary normal individual – an ordinary individual being an organism in whom there has been a precisely balanced inhibition on the biologic process of bilateral doubling.

The actual mechanism of this regulative control over symmetry of size and form remains somewhat enigmatic in spite of much biologic investigation….

Newman has made suggestive researches into heredity and organic symmetry in armadillo quadruplets. He has noted some cases in which ‘one lateral half of the body has quite a different number of scutes from the other half, and one of these halves resembles the maternal condition.’ Since each set of quadruplets have the same genetic constitution as they arise from one zygote, he concludes that some irregularity in the mechanism of the mitotic cell-division is responsible for the anomalies of symmetry….

Another form of asymmetry, even more startling and drastic than hemihypertrophy is that of gynandromorphism. A gynandromorph is an animal that is male on one side and female on the other. This differentiation may include the reproductive organs, gonads and ducts. Usually it is longitudinally bilateral, but it may be anteroposterior.

This curious phenomenon is most frequent in insects but has been reported in birds and in a few mammals. A beautiful case was described in a mutillid wasp in which the male half of the body was black and winged like the male while the female half was rich red and wingless.”

~Arnold Gisell

*”Hemihypertrophy is a unilateral enlargement of one side of the body, and is one of the rarest among developmental anomalies.” Many people with this growth defect live happy and productive lives. Some undergo a surgery in the larger leg to inhibit its growth. It is more common that the right side is larger.

“Discours sur les révolutions de la surface du globe”

Georges Cuvier (1769-1832) Image: purchase this fine giclee print online

 

 

 

“There is no longer anyone who does not know that the earth we inhabit shows everywhere clear traces of large and violent revolutions; but it is not yet possible to unravel the history of these upheavals, despite the efforts of those who have collected and compared their documentation.”

~Georges Cuvier, 1798

 

“Crystals of Golden Proportions”

Figure 1. Dan Shechtman’s diffraction pattern of a quasicrystal, previously thought to be an impossible or forbidden symmetry - for which he won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

‘“Eyn chaya kazo”, Dan Shechtman said to himself. “There can be no such creature” in Hebrew. It was the morning of 8 April 1982. The material he was studying, a mix of aluminum and manganese, was strange looking, and he had turned to the electron microscope in order to observe it at the atomic level. However, the picture that the microscope produced was counter to all logic: he saw concentric circles, each made often bright dots at the same distance from each other (figure 1).

Shechtman had rapidly chilled the glowing molten metal, and the sudden change in temperature should have created complete disorder among the atoms. But the pattern he observed told a completely different story: the atoms were arranged in a manner that was contrary to the laws of nature. Shechtman counted and recounted the dots. Four or six dots in the circles would have been possible, but absolutely not ten. He made a notation in his notebook: 10 Fold???”‘

~read more here:  http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/2011/popular-chemistryprize2011.pdf

Comment: At first, Dr. Shechtman was rediculed for his “impossible” discovery, and given a textbook on crystallography to study. Eventually, his boss asked him to leave the research group. But as his paper gained some circulation and the results were repeated, he was vindicated for believing the observations, rather than the textbooks.

You see, things really do turn out right in science sometimes!

The Gift of Fire to Mankind: A Mythical Study on the Spiritual Significance of Coal, Part 7

Introduction:  According to native myths and legends found the world over, there was a time when man did not possess fire. In these legends fire is remembered and celebrated as a divine gift. It is given by the respective gods of the peoples to lift them from their primitive state.

But within the myths, there is also great hostility and opposition to fire and the prosperity it brought to mankind. Sometimes it had to be stolen from vain or hoarding Spirits.

In our modern times there is a great hostility towards the combustion of hydrocarbons, and in particular towards coal, which burns much more efficiently and hotter than wood. European countries have committed to carbon dioxide emissions reductions agreements which legally bind them to get 80% of their electricity from renewables by 2050. Many of the so-called “renewables” never overtly use combustion – while behind the scenes they are intermittent, and require an uninterrupted power source like a coal or gas power plant. Should the people of the world be convinced that fire is now harmful for the planet, and must be regulated and taken from them? Or is fire a divine blessing which is foundational to all cultures? And isn’t it interesting that so many of the wise stories of old included the warning that some of the powers wished to suppress or deny this sacred gift of fire, and prevent it from benefitting mankind?

We have looked at myths from several continents, and are now surveying the legends of the North American Indians.

The Theft of Fire

“Long ago, in the beginning, people had only stones for fire. In the beginning everyone only had that sort of firestone. ‘Do you hear? There is fire over there. Where Pain lives, there is fire.’ So Coyote went, and came to the house where Pain lived. The children were at home, but all the old people were away, driving game with fire. They told their children, ‘If anyone comes, it will be Coyote.’

Coyote went into the house. ‘Oh you poor children! Are you all alone here?’ said he.

‘Yes we are all alone. They told us they were all going hunting. If anyone comes it will be Coyote. I think you are Coyote,’ they said.

‘I am not Coyote,’ he said. ‘Look…way back there is Coyote country. There are none here.’ Coyote stretched his feet out towards the fire, with his long blanket in which he had run away. ‘No, you smell like Coyote,’ said the children. ‘No, there are none about here,’ he said.

Now, his blanket began to burn, and he was ready to run. He cried to Chicken-Hawk, ‘You stand there! I will run there with the fire. I will give it to you, and then you run on. Eagle, do you stand there! Grouse, do you stand there! Quail, do you stand there!’ Turtle alone did not know about it. He was walking along by the river. Now, Coyote ran out of the house; he stole Pain’s fire. He seized it and ran with it. Pain’s children ran after him…[A chase ensues in which the fire changes hands between many creatures, and then is given to Turtle, who is shot at by the Pains and dives deep in the water with it. The Pains gave up, and Coyote was very angry because he thought the fire was extinguished. Turtle in the end emerged, telling Coyote, “You keep quiet!” – and “threw the fire all about.”]

Now everybody came and got fire. Now we have got fire. Coyote was the first to get it, at Pain’s that way. That is all. That is one story.”

~Edited and Compiled by Jarold Ramsey

How Coyote Stole Fire, additional story: http://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/How_Coyote_Stole_Fire-Shasta.html

The Gift of Fire to Mankind: A Mythical Study on the Spiritual Significance of Coal, Part 6

Nahookos bokhoh, the Fire Star, a gift of the Holy People of Navajo legend. The man and woman constellations revolve around the Fire Star, to remind the people of the laws of life and the principles for health, happiness, and haromony. Image via APOD, copyright Daniel Lopez.

Introduction: This is a legend from the Navajo tribe of North Amercian Indians, speaking of the gift of fire to man and woman. They were meant to light it and sit together in its glow in their hogan in the evening. The legend is quoted in its entirety because I did not wish to truncate it.

The Holy People made the sun from a perfect piece of turquoise and the moon from a perfect piece of white shell. Each was adorned with crystals for light,* feathers for flight, a spirit for life, then placed in the sky.

After Sun and Moon had been completed, there were bits of crystal remaining. Considering what might be done with these, the Holy People laid them out on a buckskin. It occurred to them that these brilliant gems might be used to help the people, yet to be created, know, understand and remember principles for health, happiness and harmony in balance with everything.

With this in mind, they arranged the crystals in patterns to represent the laws of life.

After discussing the matter, it was decided that the crystals should be placed in the sky where they would not be interfered with and where they could be seen by everyone in order to be constantly reminded, with beauty, of how they should behave. Constellations would be made in pairs with each pair representing important principles.

First they put up Nahookos bokhoh, the Fire Star (now commonly called Polaris, in Ursa Minor) where it would always be visible to guide people. On one side of the fire they placed Nahookos bika’ii, Revolving Male (Big Dipper in Ursa Major), and on the other side Nahookos ba’aadii, Revolving Female (Cassiopeia). This pair, parents of the other stars, demonstrates the balance by their positions, and, along with the Fire Star people are reminded of the importance of spending time at home, in their hogans, with their families, doing the things they should do together.

Coyote saw the sky begin to change: brilliant jewels shining off to one side. Disturbed at being left out of this important work, he went off looking for those who were doing it.

Meanwhile Black God put op his own stars, the ones shown on his mask, naming them Dilyehe, the seven stars (Pleiades). They symbolized all the stars thet were being created. They added Atse’ets’ozi, First Slim One (Orion), keeper of the months. This pair would be key to the calender…A common Navajo saying is ‘Never let Dilyehe see you plant.’ If you plant before the Pleiades disappear in the western evening sky, late frost might kill the young plants. If you wait until after they are back in the early morning sky as day breaks, you will likely not get a mature crop before freezing weather comes in the fall.

Coyote found the Holy People and watched as they placed another pair in the sky: Hastiin Sik’ai’i, Man With Legs Ajar (Corvus and other stars) and Atse’etsoh, First Big One (front part of Scorpius and other stars), the pair representing divination of illness, clear seeing, and long life and happiness through good living into old age.

Moving among them Coyote expressed dismay in being shunned in this work, demanding a star that he could put up. The others were reluctant, knowing that Coyote tended to create chaos where order was intended. However, Coyote was a Holy Person in those days, and they could not deny him. He placed his star in a peculiar place, down low in the south where it would just hump over the horizon ever so briefly, then set again.

‘Isn’t it beautiful,’ he said, ‘that is So’doo ndizidii, Coyote Star.’ The others paid him little attention, being busy putting up Gah heet’e’ii, Rabbit Tracks (tail of Scorpius), the hunter’s guide. There remains debate about the identity of the Coyote Star, but it is likely Canopus….

The Holy people rested, admiring what they had done and thinking about how they should complete the work. Coyote rested too, for that was his favorite activity, but he was thinking, ‘this shouldn’t take so long, it isn’t very difficult.’ He crept over and looked down at the buckskin where the remaining crystals lay. Stooping, he took hold of the corners, then, swiftly flung the rest of the stars in the sky. ‘There,’ he pronounced loudly, arousing the others, ‘it is finished, and a fine job too. My way was faster than yours. Aren’t you glad I came along?’

The Holy People were not glad. They were devastated. Coyote had spoiled it again, as he always did. There were some proper patterns that would guide the people, and it was, indeed, finished. It would remain that way, partly ordered and partly chaotic. The mark of the Holy People was there and the mark of Coyote was there as well.

Without knowing it, Coyote had written and important principle onto the sky. His motion spread most of the stars in a pathway bisecting the heavens: Yikaisadahi, ‘Awaits the Dawn,’ the luminous trail that represents the principle that one should arise early and walk in first light, saying prayers, spreading meal and pollen in a motion that resembles the Milky Way in the sky, and contemplating things that should be done in order to live a long and happy life, enjoying balance and harmony with all things.”

~Von Del Chamberlain

A mother and daughter color Coyote in Central Oregon

The Gift of Fire to Mankind: A Mythical Study on the Spiritual Significance of Coal, Part 5

“In the mountains of this province, they mine a sort of black stone. There are big seams of it. When lit it burns like charcoal and gives off much more heat than wood and will burn throughout the night and still be going in the morning. The stones flame a bit when first lit but then glow, giving off considerable heat. Abundant and cheap in a country where admittedly there is also an abundance of wood, these stones make possible the continous firing of stoves and baths. Warm baths are taken by everyone at least three times a week and daily in winter if a person can afford it.”

~Marco Polo (d. c. 1324)

Comment:  We continue our study of “The Gift of Fire to Mankind” as passed down through the myths and traditions of the people of the world.

It may be protested here of course that Marco Polo was a historic figure and portions of what he wrote about his travels in Asia in the 1200’s have

Marco Polo wrote from his prison cell about abundant black stone used for fire in Asia, making possible “the continuous firing of stoves and baths.” Image Life Mag archives.

since been verified to be accurate observations. Yet Marco Polo’s writings were met with such astonishment, disbelief, and derision in Europe that during the time he was imprisoned, his name was in use as a household slang term for lying or making up wild tales out of whole cloth.

And so I have taken the liberty of including Marco Polo’s report of coal fire and the prosperity enjoyed by regions of Asia, because it was at one time treated as a legend and a myth by the poor Europeans of the Medieval Ages.

It is now reported that Great Britain has not built coal fire power station since the construction of Drax in 1986. The country is instead committed to a policy of carbon dioxide emissions reductions. Dozens of coal power plants have been demolished,  others are scheduled to be shut down, and the beautiful English countryside groans under the increasing weight of giant wind turbines, sometimes measuring 200′ high and possessing 130′ blades. So far these have produced only a “half a percent of the power” needed, despite the £200 billion  investment in their use.

It is logical to ask if at the present rate of power generation reductions, and with the dousing of the country’s bright and efficient coal fires, only the wealthiest of the British will be able to bathe 3 times a week.

The Gift of Fire to Mankind: A Mythical Study on the Spiritual Significance of Coal, Part 4

'Come and eat breakfast.' Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah

Introduction:  This week we are surveying myths, legends, and faith traditions which celebrate the gift of fire to mankind. We looked at an ancient Greek myth from the European continent, which reflects a theme of divine benevolence and care for man, and a delight in the progress and wealth that fire brings. But we also noted in Zeus’ response a theme of spiritual hostility and rage in the heavenly places at the elevation of man’s physical life brought by the power of fire.

Today we turn to Asia, to a little country on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea called Israel.

“Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others…were together. Simon Peter said to them, ‘I am going fishing.’ They said to him, ‘We are going with you also.’ They went out and got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.

But when the morning had now come, Yeshua stood on the shore:  yet they did not know that it was Yeshua. Then Yeshua said to them, ‘Children, have you any food?’ They answered Him, ‘No.’

And He said to them, ‘Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.’ So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish.

…Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. Yeshua said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish which you have just caught….Come and eat breakfast.'” (NKJV)

Comment:  In this New Testament account from the ancient world, we see the expression of divine care and love towards a very confused, grieving, and hungry group of individuals, shown both through the catch of fish, and the little fire of coals laid out with fish and bread.

This appearance of divine love involves fire. Therefore, this passage sanctifies of the combustion of hydrocarbon fuel and the energetic as well as chemical reactions from the fire – including the combination of carbon atoms with oxygen atoms to create carbon dioxide, which we now know is necessary for the respiration of plants. This passage from a sacred text reflects and reaffirms the spiritual and physical divine care of all mankind as expressed through fire, which is to be used for the purposes of cooking, heat, light, hospitality, gathering together, and for communication.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all.

The Gift of Fire to Mankind: A Mythical Study on the Spiritual Significance of Coal, Part 3

Introduction: We follow the Greek myth of Prometheus the Titan, who directly questions Zeus about keeping man in darkness and refusing to give him the gift of fire. After the divine conversation, Prometheus is restless; he decides to help mortals against Zeus’ will, and rises early to touch his reed to the sunrise. He gives fire to man, instructing him of its dangers and teaching him how to use it.

“Then, one day, Zeus looked down from the mountain and was amazed. Everything had changed. Man had come out of his cave. Zeus saw woodsman’s huts, farmhouses, villages, walled towns, even a castle or two. He saw men cooking their food, carrying torches to light their way at night. He saw forges blazing, men beating out ploughs, keels, swords, spears. They were making ships and raising white wings of sails and daring to use the fury of the winds for their journeys. They were wearing helmets, riding out in chariots…like the gods themselves.

Zeus was full of rage. He seized his largest thunderbolt. ‘So they want fire,’ he said to himself. ‘I’ll give them fire-…I’ll turn their miserable ball of earth into a cinder.’ But then another thought came to him, and he lowered his arm. ‘No,’ he said to himself….”

Prometheus the friend of man.

The Gift of Fire to Mankind: A Mythical Study on the Spiritual Significance of Coal, Part 2

“One morning [the Titan Prometheus] came to Zeus, and said, ‘Oh Thunderer, I do not understand your design. You have caused the race of man to appear on earth, but you keep him in ignorance and darkness.’

‘Perhaps you had better leave the race of man to me,’ said Zeus. ‘What you call ignorance is innocence. What you call darkness is the shadow of my decree. Man is happy now. And he is so framed that he will remain happy unless someone persuades him that he is unhappy. Let us not speak of this again.’

But Prometheus said, ‘Look at him. Look below. He crouches in caves. He is at the mercy of beast and weather. He eats his meat raw. If you mean something by this, enlighten me with your wisdom. Tell me why you refuse to give man the gift of fire.’

Zeus answered, ‘Do you not know, Prometheus, that every gift brings a penalty? This is the way the Fates weave destiny – by which gods also must abide. Man does not have fire, true, nor the crafts which the fire teaches. On the other hand, he does not know disease, warfare, or old age….He is happy, I say, happy without fire. And so shall he remain.’

‘Happy as beasts are happy,’ said Prometheus.”

~Evslin, Evslin, & Hoopes

The Gift of Fire to Mankind: A Mythical Study on the Spiritual Significance of Coal, Part 1

Lest we forget. Image credit: purchase or view this lamp online

Introduction: This week will be set aside for a study of the myths relating to the giving of fire to mankind. It is, not surprisingly, a story passed down from distant antiquity by people and nations from every corner of the world, spoken in vibrant and mysterious forms through tragic dramas and curious legends.

While some fire myths are as familiar and evocative to the Western mind as ever, and are still included in any Classical liberal arts education worth its salt (see photo of my Christmas wish for 2011), other celebrations of the gift of fire require slightly more attention to the spirit of the traditions, rather than the letter, in order to be perceived. But the memory is clear: with fire came light, heat, savory cuisine, the charms of hearth and home, and the ability to forge new tools and art from the minerals of the earth. Fire lifted the struggling people, who were previously but little elevated above the beasts in their powers and living conditions.

Today, we bring lights, heaters, ovens and refrigerators – along with a host of wonderful electronic gadgets – to life through electrical energy delivered to our homes by power plants. In the year 2008, 41% if the electric power generation in the entire world was generated by coal – that is, the burning of coal. Indeed, by fire – that ancient gift and help to mankind – transformed into electrical energy by moving wires in a magnetic field. In the US, coal power generation was slightly higher than for the rest of the world at 45% in 2009. On its brightly colored green website, the US Department of Energy boasts of bringing this figure down dramatically in the future, through economic policies, mandates, subsidies and other coercions, stating that the carbon dioxide molecules emitted in the coal fires is a danger to the atmosphere.

Has something changed? Is fire no longer to be used for the use, good, happiness and benefit of mankind? Or is there something within the myths which also tells the story of those who did not want this gift to be given to man, and sought from the beginning to either prevent its capture, or to take it away? We will have a further look at these world legends for the next several days, so please drop by.

America’s Incandescent Light Shines Brightly Still, for Now

Nikola Tesla demonstrating the safety of AC power by passing it through his body.

“It appears that the budget deal in Congress is going to save the incandescent light bulb!

The Edison incandescent light bulb is a signature American invention. It has long symbolized Yankee ingenuity and industrial prowess. It is inexpensive to make, emits a warm, pleasing light and can be thrown away at the end of its life without declaring an environmental emergency.

The victory is only temporary, however. The spending bill Congress has agreed to prevents the Obama administration from spending any money to enforce the ban in 2012. But the ban is still on the books.”

~CFACT

Comment:  This is a good development. Now if we can just make those dratted little dark Christmas lights illegal next.

Ode to Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

Atmospheric carbon dioxide sustains plant life and feeds baby duckies.

“As a plastic spoon is burnt, for example, the carbon atoms within it are incorporated into carbon dioxide molecules which are dispersed in the air. Let us think of the possible fate of one of these molecules.

It may be absorbed by a nettle leaf, and the carbon atom may then be assimilated by photosynthesis into a sugar molecule, and thence through a series of biochemical transformations into a protein molecule within one of the leaf cells.
This part of the leaf may be eaten and digested by a caterpillar of the peacock butterfly, and the carbon atom may end up in a DNA molecule in the butterfly’s body. The butterfly may be eaten and digested by a bird, and so on through endless food chains and carbon cycles.
The matter of any given carbon atom has the potential to be part of any one of countless millions of different forms, natural or artificial;  it could be in a diamond crystal or an aspirin molecule, a gene or a protein, a mushroom or a giraffe, a telephone or an aeroplane.”
~Rupert Sheldrake

Ski Lodges, Chairlifts, and Learjets: Some Scientists Have All the Luck (While Skeptics Have Their Laptops Seized)

Comment:  It seems while climate science researchers have been called by the line of duty to work on ski slopes and fly in learjets, skeptic scientists have their computers seized by UK authorities – presumably for having received and published the link to the Climategate leaked emails. 

(PhysOrg.com) — Ski season is snow season, and snow season means clouds – exactly what a team of atmospheric scientists in “Ski Town USA” are anticipating. For the next five months, a dense collection of remote-sensing instruments will gather data from the clouds at four different elevations on Mount Werner in the Steamboat Springs ski area. Scientists will use these data to study how clouds – especially those that produce rain and snow – evolve in mountainous terrain. They will use the data to verify the accuracy of measurements used in computer models of the Earth’s climate system.

About a dozen instruments are located on the valley floor, near the base of Mount Werner, where researchers will also launch weather balloons several times a day. More instruments are located outside Thunderhead Lodge, a main thoroughfare for the ski area. A third instrument collection is located near the Christie Peak Express chairlift. Storm Peak Lab, at the top of the mountain, will host several instruments in addition to its permanent collection.

Because clouds are so dynamic and can contain ice, water, or a mixture of the two, they continue to be one of the hardest components of the climate system for scientists to model accurately. Ground based instruments provide more geographic and temporal coverage of these cloud systems. Instruments on the ground are typically used to obtain – or “retrieve” – measurements that are related indirectly to important cloud processes. Inferring these cloud processes requires development of mathematical formulas, or algorithms, to convert the measurements into cloud properties.

Second story:

Quantifying cirrus albedo and greenhouse effects in Learjets

“Cirrus clouds exert significant controls on the Earth’s radiation budget, both reflecting solar radiation (the albedo effect) and reducing radiative heat loss through the atmosphere (the greenhouse effect). Quantifying cirrus albedo and greenhouse effects is an important factor in building accurate global climate models.

High-altitude cirrus clouds are made up primarily of ice crystals in various sizes, shapes, and densities. Discrepancies in how different instruments measure these properties contribute a large degree of uncertainty in scientific knowledge of these clouds. Some of these discrepancies may be due to the shattering of larger ice crystals on aircraft and probe surfaces during airborne sampling efforts.

The scientific objectives of the SPARTICUS field campaign include rectifying the archived discrepancies and improving the methodology for cirrus data acquisition.  This will provide scientists a better understanding of existing and future cirrus data sets, leading to an overall improvement in climate model accuracy.

Between January and June 2010, the SPARTICUS field campaign collected 150 hours of concurrent data from cirrus clouds over the ARM Southern Great Plains site using a broad array of both ground-based and aircraft-mounted instruments.

To obtain the airborne data, the ARM Aerial Facility coordinated flights by the SPEC Learjet 25, provided and flown by the Stratton Park Engineering Company, Inc.  These corollary data sets will provide a solid foundation for the rigorous evaluation needed to rectify the existing discrepancies in cirrus data.

http://www.arm.gov/news/facility/post/8884

Third story:

http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/tallbloke-towers-raided-many-computers-taken/

Tribute to Zoroastrians and Christians in Iran

Vohu Manah, or good thought

Vohu Manah, or good thought, was the first protector of man and woman given by Ahura Mazda

“Thus, through generations and generations, flourished Zoroastrianism, to be ultimately shattered and almost annihilated by the Arabs of the Khaliph Omar at the battle of Nehavand, AD 642.

Subsequent events may well be described in the words of Thomas Moore:

‘Is Iran’s pride then gone for ever,
Quenched with the flame in Mithra’s caves?
No – she has sons, that never – never
Will stoop to be the Moslem’s slaves,
While heaven has light or earth has graves.'”

~The Teachings of Zoroaster and the Philosophy of the Parsi Religion, The Wisdom of the East Series; by SA Kapadia; edited by J. Murray, 1905