Monday, September 24, 2007

Saturn's Hex

Weird rotating hexagon formation on the North Pole of Saturn. Remembering Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey, which took place around Saturn, it's a bit spooky. But like most things, this also has a "prosaic" explanation - a weird result of fluid dynamics.

In an experiment carried out in Denmark, Thomas Bohr, grandson of Neils Bohr, rotated a fluid in a bucket at varying speeds. At high speeds, the cavity formed in the middle started to take polygonal shapes and at really high speeds, hexagons appeared. It doesn't take much to imagine that something like this must be going on at the north pole of Saturn.

Still, it does remind one of the strangeness, power and beauty of nature and that what comes from simple physical principles transcends the wildest imaginings of fairies, goblins, gods and goddesses.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Daily nonsense from the Religion of Peace

A Malaysian woman who wanted to convert to Hinduism from Islam was arrested and taken to an Islamic rehabilitation centre where she was made to pray, wear a headscarf and eat beef. This in a "moderate" Muslim state. More can be read here.

Sometimes I think that that the reason why we have not received any signals from extraterrestrial intelligence is that they are too busy laughing at us.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Freedom Lovin' Democrats

A student was tasered during a talk given by John Kerry. The student was asking him whether he was part of Skull and Bones, the same secret society of which George Bush is a member. The video says it all.

So much for the Democrats defending free speech.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Iran beware...

For some time, Iran has been hiding behind the lack of cohesion in the West's opposition to its program of enriching uranium (probably for nuclear weapons). Recent comments by Nicolas Sarkozy and his foreign minister Bernard Kouchner suggest that Iran now has fewer places to hide. Increasingly Washington and Europe are becoming united in their stances against Iran.
While out-and-out hostilities with Iran would not be pleasant, the alternative - a nuclear armed Iran - is far worse.

Let's hope Iran gets the message and steps back but with their current leadership, that's doubtful.

The Flying Spaghetti Monster and other things of note...

Every once in a while, I come across something that makes me think that the human race is not so stupid after all or at least elements of it are not. Anyway, I came across this relationship between global warming and piracy. Apparently, there is an inverse relationship between the number of pirates and the average temperature of the world - so they are obviously related. I've always contended that we needed more pirates to roam the open seas with Jolly Rogers and swords. Their decline is obviously an egregious assault on the natural order of things.

In an open letter to the Kansas School Board, who believes that intelligent design should be taught at school, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has petitioned them to add the Flying Spaghetti Monster to the curriculum and mention that He goes around in a pirate costume. Obviously, the slow decline in piracy offends Him greatly and He's planning to boil the world as a result.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

In the name of Climate Change...

Now that the new religion of climate change is in full swing, we should expect to see things like an inquisition. Questions asked like:
"Have you been showering for longer than 5 minutes?...Answer me heretic"
"Do you turn off all the lights, when you leave the house?...Answer me or I will stick this flaming, recyclable rod up your a***"

Of course, I wouldn't have expected these developments to emerge for at least a few years more but this story about military planes flying over houses in the UK to spot thermal emissions does at least make me wonder. It's quite a simple idea really - well thought out but just *wrong*.

NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.... Our *four* *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise.... I'll come in again.
Monty Python

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

More from the Religion of Peace

Stories from the S. Koreans taken hostage by the Taleban:

Frightening stuff.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Global Warming

Two interesting recent developments in the Global Warming debate:

NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies has recently revised their data to say that the hottest year on record was not 1998 but 1934.

Canadian and amateur climate researcher Stephen McIntyre discovered that NASA has made a mistake in standardizing the air temperature data post-2000 resulting in a temperature correction of nearly 0.15 degrees. This may not sound like much until one realizes that climate researchers allege that the world's temperature has increased by 0.21 degrees since the 1930s - which means that around 3/4 of the change is attributable to an error!

An interesting Op-ed piece from the Wall Street Journal about this can be found here.