Dying Iraq War vet unloads on Bush and Cheney

This was posted and marked as compiled from an Iraq War vet who was paralyzed in an ambush in Sadr City in 2004. He is now reportedly under end of life hospice care for complications from that wound. Regardless of his condition and prognosis, the points made are painfully dead on balls accurate. There are still dozens and dozens of imbeciles in Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, who proudly voted to piss away trillions of dollars and countless lives on non-existent WMDs. Some have genuinely repented, but there are many who say they would vote to ‘liberate the people of Iraq’ again, some made the talk show circuit this weekend because it was the tenth anniversary of the worst, bloody foreign policy fuck up since Vietnam. Many of those same lying apologists suddenly get the vapors when anyone suggests spending a tiny sliver of that titanic sum helping ordinary Americans, including wounded vets and evicted former home owners, better endure the dire consequences of their many, many catastrophic policy blunders: [Read more...]

Of global temperatures and tropical cyclones

 

Most people understand that a hurricane is a vast, natural heat engine fueled by warm surface sea water. It follows then that, all other things being equal, warmer sea surface temps mean more intense tropical storms and hurricanes. But all things are decidedly not equal. windshear, loop currents, upswells, wave height and depth, and watery downdrafts all vary and complicate the already fiendishly intricate variables at play in storm meteorology and climate change. A new study on tropical cyclogenesis seeks to isolate the effect of greenhouse forcing from that bevy of variables and the results are no surprise to anyone:

ArsTechnica – The resulting data was compared to possible contributing factors, such as the El Niño Southern Oscillation, average global temperature, local temperature around the Earth, and sea surface temperature in the tropical Atlantic. Since hurricanes are fueled by warm surface water, the data correlated most strongly with global temperature and sea surface temperatures in the area where hurricanes form.

The researchers used these relationships to create statistical models of hurricane behavior. Based on the last 90 years, those models calculated that a 1°C warming of the globe increases the probability of a hurricane storm surge the size of Hurricane Katrina’s by two to seven times—a startling rise.

That’s larger than previous estimates, which relied on climate model simulations. If accurate, the study tells us that putting hurricanes on climate steroids will have costly consequences. But it also tells us that the warming of the 20th century is already affecting us in a significant way. The paper concludes that “we have probably crossed the threshold where Katrina magnitude hurricane surges are more likely caused by global warming than not.” In other words, storm surges of that size are now at least twice as common as they were a century ago.

Crowdsourcing request

Folks I need some pointers on independent publishing. This is not an idle query for an intern or someone who once read a book about it and wants to dabble. I need to talk to a veteran professional who can hit the ground running with a serious project back by serious capital in the unlikely event this turns into more than an info gathering lark.

Another conservative switches teams on marriage equality

It’s funny how knowing someone affected by your laws and traditions, and your bigoted prejudicial medieval mindset, makes all the difference eh? Sen. Rob Portmam (R-OH) found out recently he had a son that was affected. And boy howdy did the Senator’s former ‘heartfelt moral principles’ fall faster in the face of that familial reality than the walls at Jericho cleaved and tumbled — we are told — when blown by the mighty horn of God-eh: [Read more...]

The world won’t end with a bang or a whimper

I spring out of bed hours early, show up at work three hours ahead of time, log in ready to play with some software … and the entire system is down for an undetermined period of time for no reason that anyone can figure out. I’m literally just sitting here watching people play phone games and gossip. I don’t know how many zillions in company resources are lost every year due to computer crashes, but it must be staggering.

Just a few days ago it was really windy in central Texas. A tree fell across some power lines twenty miles away. It caused a surge that skipped down the line for dozens of miles, knocking off power and crashing systems in every building along the way, or at least those that were too cheap to use proper surge protectors. Our system was knocked to smithereens, everyone one that was logged into our servers — including something on the order of tens of thousands of customers — were kicked off, every single PC inside the building went dead and with it every piec eof data on every spreadsheet that hadn’t been saved, the power flickered, and because our phones go through our comnputers, every phone call dropped in mid sentence. It took over an hour to get everything back up. Again, I don’t know the total dollar lost, but it must be enormous, and this happens here several times a year.

When the world ends, it won’t be with a bang or a whimper, it will be with a completely avoidable systemic electronic crash.

Back at work!

It’s a strange world we live in. My cardio rehab nurses get nervous when I slow jog a mile on a treadmill or report a mildly stressful event of any kind. My disability insurance company insists I’m completely 100% healthy and able to resume normal activities without restriction, which they know include walking across a giant facility for a couple of miles every day from one stressful event to another. I wonder what could possibly explain the discrepancy …

Ryan’s big budget day

Paul Ryan’s lively new budget comes out today, to much fanfare and catcalling. Alas, it is already dead. It died last year when Ryan lost in his bid to become Vice President. But maybe we shouldn’t be so hasty: it’s built on such hypocrisy and so many howlers it stands in its own right as a satirical masterpiece: [Read more...]

House Science Committee to hold hearings on impact danger

Forgive my absence gentle readers, I was on a well deserved R & R after the preceding, and life changing, two months (I had some evergreen content timed to go, I thought. But, well, for whatever reason Microsoft won again …). After which I was deemed healthy enough to return to work full time. So, last week the House was supposed to hold an important hearing on the danger posed by Near Earth Objects, a hearing so important it was at first postponed indefinitely and, I’m now told by trustworthy sources, rescheduled for next week on March 19. It’s interesting to hear what planetary scientists think of the people who are actually on that committee and by extension the party that controls it: [Read more...]

Our precious bodily fluids

 

We are made of lots of water. It’s sobering to think if we run just a quart or two low, madness, misery and eventually death awaits. I was reminded of this in gruesome detail starting Saturday. It was either a stomach bug masquerading as a migraine or vice-versa. By Sunday evening I was severely dehydrated with a thundering headache. Combined with sleep deprivation it got bad enough that I’m pretty sure I began to hallucinate. [Read more...]