Saturday, January 20, 2018

Hey, stoopid: climate and weather aren't the same thing!

global temperatures
I ran across this on Facebook not long ago (once more, I'm absolutely flabbergasted at how ignorant some people are). The names have been converted to random initials to protect the guilty...

AB: Yes it's definitely been crazy this year. 60's today but snow tomorrow here in Colorado but so much for global warming huh lol.

CD: I read an article a few days ago, A, that explained weather and climate are different. It was really interesting. Weather is what we see around us, climate is the whole planet. Overall, the planet is still warmer this past year, one of the hottest years in recorded history. Like right now it's unusually warm in Alaska. I hope this climate change isn't real, that's for sure!

AB: C, that's indeed interesting!Do you remember where you read the article? I would love to read it. I do know the planet is shifting.
Umm, excuse me people, but scientists and science writers – as opposed to politicians and Fox News talking heads – have been attempting to educate the public for thirty-plus years that,

  • Only climate deniers (and the scientifically illiterate) call the phenomenon "global warming" these days, mainly because they want to be able to point to cold spells as "evidence." People in the know call it climate change. In other words, having a cold snap in Louisiana or a warm spell in Utah doesn't disprove the evidence for global climate change!
  • Weather is a local, short-term expression of climate. Climate is the long-term trends observable in Earth's atmosphere.

'Nuff said? 'Nuff said!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Hey! Look Over There!

trump social medicaid obamacare medicare look someones burning flag
Here's a little story for you...

I was walking my dog in a neighborhood near my home one evening last summer, when not one but two dogs belonging to a homeowner on the street charged us, barking fiercely. One dog had been in the front yard as we approached (on the opposite side of the street), and the second charged out the front door when someone entered. It was over in a minute or two: the woman of the house caught one dog by its collar, and someone visiting the house removed the second dog after he'd snarled at us for a minute or two.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Wisdom of the Crowd? I Think Not

Have you seen the new CBS drama “Wisdom of the Crowd”? Well, here’s the official series synopsis from the network: it’s “a drama about a visionary tech innovator who creates a cutting-edge crowdsourcing app to solve his daughter's murder, and revolutionize crime solving in the process. Inspired by the notion that a million minds are better than one, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Jeffrey Tanner, develops ‘Sophe,’ an online platform for publicly shared information he's certain will find his daughter's killer.”

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Why Social Networks are More Antisocial than Not

empty grocery shelves
Ever notice how some people just cannot stand it if you disagree with them? In olden days, it seems that – when people had to talk to each other face to face – if people disagreed, they’d talk it out. Maybe one would point out something the other had missed; gently correct a mistake, offer an alternative explanation. That no longer happens, at least on-line and especially if the two parties will never meet face to face. It’s not unreasonable to wonder if this is a result of the blue-ribbon for everyone generation and the Lake Woebegone effect… here: check out this exchange.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Big Yellow Bus Maniacs

line of school buses
I lived in the country as a kid, many long years ago, and until I was about sixteen I rode a big yellow school bus to school almost every day. A local farmer -- Suzy Hedges' dad -- drove that bus for most of those ten-plus years. I doubt that my Mom or Dad drove me to school on more than a couple of occasions in all those years, so the idea of driving your kids to school every day is completely foreign to me.

I first noticed this in Texas, where schools are designed with gigantic, switchbacking driveways so that parents' cars don't block the streets as school starts and ends. It doesn't always work, but that's not the point. Why, I wondered, don't these kids ride the buses that ply the streets like great yellow elephants?

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Peter Heck is Intellectually Lazy

Is the Indy Star paying for Peter Heck’s column? Because if they are, they got ripped off by the installment in his weekly encyclical published on May 5. If I didn’t know better, I’d think Heck was in the bottom of a tequila bottle when he sent that one in. If you missed it (which you should), you can read it here (I linked to the Google cache version so you don’t put ad money in the moron’s coffers). Heck’s bio says he teaches high school history… I certainly hope he has higher standards for the research his students do than he apparently does for his column.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Life in the Bubble

I have a sister who, to be honest, is nothing like me -- especially when it comes to politics. She and my brother-in-law, one of the sweetest guys on the face of the earth if truth be told, live entirely in an evangelical Christian right-wing bubble. They don't watch television, don't go to movies, sent their kids to a Christian school, and listen to no radio except the local Christian station and AM talk radio. When we're together, we just don't talk politics -- it's non-productive.