For about 300 years Jupiter's banded atmosphere has shown a remarkable feature to telescopic viewers, a large swirling storm system known as The Great Red Spot. In 2006, another red storm system appeared, actually seen to form as smaller whitish oval-shaped storms merged and then developed the curious reddish hue. Now, Jupiter has a third red spot, again produced from a smaller whitish storm. All three are seen in this image made from data recorded on May 9 and 10 with the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. The spots extend above the surrounding clouds and their red color may be due to deeper material dredged up by the storms and exposed to ultraviolet light, but the exact chemical process is still unknown. For scale, the Great Red Spot has almost twice the diameter of planet Earth, making both new spots less than one Earth-diameter across. The newest red spot is on the far left (west), along the same band of clouds as the Great Red Spot and is drifting toward it. If the motion continues, the new spot will encounter the much larger storm system in August. Jupiter's recent outbreak of red spots is likely related to large scale climate change as the gas giant planet is getting warmer near the equator.
Olny srmat poelpe can raed tihs. I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset c! an be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs psas it on !! ! Psas Ti ON !
Not just that you can figure it out, but you can read it at nearly full speed. If our minds are so amazing, how come we keep doing such stupid things?
If you're tracking the nuclear power revival in America, last Tuesday, September 25, was a milestone. For the first time since 1973, a new application for building a reactor was placed before the federal government...
Soon these new owners -- heavily staffed with veterans from the nuclear Navy -- were revitalizing the industry.
The results have been stunning. Whereas power plants traditionally ran at a "capacity factor" of 60 percent -- meaning they are up and running 60 percent of the time -- the nation's 104 reactors now run at a previously unimaginable capacity of 90 percent. (In South Korea, where nuclear provides half the electricity, the figure is 95 percent.) The average nuclear plant now runs uninterrupted for nearly two years before shutting down for refueling. Safety improvements have been spectacular. While there were 26 shutdowns of more than a year for safety reasons from 1987 to 1997 and 21 in the decade before, there has only been one over the past decade....
Yet even the best conservation scenarios only stabilize current consumption. (California has been able to accomplish this.) That still leaves us producing for 50 percent of our electricity with coal -- a billion tons a year that put three billions tons of CO2 into the atmosphere [That can't be right. How can burning one ton of coal yield three tons of CO2? - THC]. That's 40 percent of the nation's greenhouse gases and 20 percent of the world's. "When it comes to providing our baseload electricity, the only choice is between coal and nuclear," says David Crane, of NRG. "You simply can't be serious about global warming and against nuclear power."(emphasis added)
Of course, Greens are religiously fanatical, not scientific, so opposing nuclear power will not pose the slightest problem for them. It will be very interesting to see how this goes, though -- will the Greens be able to whip the American public into anti-nuclear hysteria again? I don't think so. They're about to discover they've over-played their global warming hand badly.
Global warming is an entirely natural phenomenon and its effects can even be beneficial, according to two leading researchers. Recent climate change is not caused by man-made pollution, but is instead part of a 1,500-year cycle of warming and cooling that has happened for the last million years, say the authors of a controversial study.
Dennis Avery, an environmental economist, and Professor Fred Singer, a physicist, have looked at the work of more than 500 scientists and concluded that it is very doubtful that man-made global warming exists. They also say that temperature increase is actually a good thing as in the past sudden cool periods have killed twice as many people as warm spells...
In contrast, they say there is evidence that wildlife is flourishing in the current warming cycle with corals, trees, birds, mammals and butterflies adapting well. In addition, sea-levels are not rising dramatically and storms and droughts have actually been less severe and frequent.
The authors claim that the change is not man-made because the most recent period of global warming took place between 1850 and 1940 when there were far less CO2 emissions than today. They claim to show strong historical evidence of an entirely natural cycle based on data of floods on the Nile going back 5,000 years. Evidence is citing showing records of Roman wine production in Britain in the first century AD.
Prof Singer, a specialist in atmospheric physics at the University of Virginia, said: "We have a greenhouse theory with no evidence to support it, except a moderate warming turned into a scare by computer models whose results have never been verified with real-world events. "The models only reflect the warming, not its cause." They also say that natural temperature change can be caused by fluctuations in the sun.
Well, duh and I told you so. It was just so obvious, wasn't it? And yet the chattering class of the entire world fell for it hook, line, and sinker. Maybe soon we'll be able to get to work on real environmental problems.
Nope. I'm not granting them the shield of good intentions anymore. Greens don't care whom they hurt in the pursuit of their idea of religious perfection any more than Islamic fascists do. Case in point:
Tonight, PBS will air "Gold Futures," a film by Hungary's Tibor Kocsis. The film focuses on residents in Romania's Rosia Montana, a rural Transylvanian town, who are divided over the benefits of a proposed gold mine. It also features Gabriel Resources, the Canadian mining company trying to convince them to relocate so it can dig for a huge gold deposit estimated at 14.6 million ounces, worth almost $10 billion. PBS describes the film as a "David-and-Goliath story."
While the film gives time to supporters and opponents of the mine, it leaves unsaid that half of the villagers voicing opposition have now either sold their homes or will not have to move, because they live in a protected area where the village's historic structures and churches will be preserved. Viewers who see pristine shots of the Rosia valley won't realize the hills hide a huge, abandoned communist-era mine, leaking toxic heavy metals into local streams--or that while the modern mining project will level four hills to create an open pit, it will also clean up the old mess at no cost to the Romanian treasury. ...
There's plenty of typical Lefty manipulation -- fake but accurate -- in the story:
Mr. McAleer, a former Financial Times journalist who has followed the mine battle for seven years, says he "found that everything the environmentalists were saying about the project was misleading, exaggerated or quite simply false." He produced his film on a shoestring $230,000 budget largely provided by Gabriel Resources, but says he was given complete editorial control.
The Gabriel funding caused environmental groups to label the film "propaganda" and demand the National Geographic Society cancel plans to rent its Washington, D.C., theater to the free-market Moving Picture Institute for a screening. The Institute notes opponents rarely challenge the film's facts. As for Mr. Kocsis's documentary, his Flora Film corporate Web site lists as its partners Greenpeace, the Hungarian Ministry of Environment and the George Soros-backed Energy Club of Hungary, all of which oppose the Romanian project on either environmental or nationalistic grounds (Transylvania used to be part of Hungary). ...
"Local opposition to the mine is strong and organized" says a statement signed by 80 environmental groups in January.
80 environmental groups opposing one little mine! Talk about a gold rush...
In his letter, Mr. Soros cites a recent poll organized by some members of Romania's parliament that "found 90% of respondents rejecting the project." But the poll turns out to be an unscientific Internet survey, and one of the environmental groups Mr. Soros funds urged people outside Romania to participate in it. What is clear: Two-thirds of Rosia Montana's people have accepted Gabriel's voluntary offer to buy their homes at above market rates....
Mr. McAleer tells me such encounters should wake up people "who, like myself, unquestionably believed environmentalists were a force for good in the world."... (emphasis added)
If the gold mine goes ahead, then the toxic mess from the old communist mine will be cleaned up. If not, then it won't be. Yet those labeled Greens oppose the mine. Why do you think that is?
No one should argue that we went to war to improve the Mesopotamian environment. We didn't. We did go, in part, to liberate the Iraqi people, so while we were there we helped put the water back into the marshes of southern Iraq. Turns out that little side job is paying fast and big dividends (from John at Random Jottings, a fellow carpenter):
...The restoration of southern Iraq's Mesopotamian marshes is now a giant ecosystem-level experiment. Uncontrolled release of water in many areas is resulting in the return of native plants and animals, including rare and endangered species of birds, mammals, and plants. The rate of restoration is remarkable, considering that reflooding occurred only about two years ago. Although recovery is not so pronounced in some areas because of elevated salinity and toxicity, many locations seem to be functioning at levels close to those of the natural Al-Hawizeh marsh, and even at historic levels in some areas.... You know, since I've told you already, that the Iraq Campaign does not really have a military purpose. We just did it to test leftists. To test whether "liberals are really liberal. Test 'em to destruction; show them up for the evil horrid frauds they are.
I [John] wrote here:
...Iraq was (and is) the big test. To propose regime-change in Iraq is really to say to the Left: , "OK wise guys, you claim to be anti-fascist. Help us remove the worst fascist tyrant of our times. You claim to be humanitarian; here's one of the most brutalized countries of the earth needing our help. You claim you are not anti-Semitic; stand with us against against a monster who was paying bounties to Jew-killers. You claim to care about a certain group that's been denied a homeland; here in the Kurds we have a far bigger group denied a homeland..." (I could go on for a long while with these. You get the picture.)... Now I see there is another test. A test for the fake-environmentalists commonly known as "Greens." The deliberate destruction of the Iraqi Marshes was the biggest environmental crime of our time. Any real environmentalist would be thrilled by the possibility of bringing back to life this vast wetland, and succoring the simple people who lived in harmony with it for at least 5,000 years....
Real environmentalists would be eager to help out. So where are they?
I think that environmentalist is to Green as progressive is to Liberal, i.e., not much difference to any one outside the group looking in. Restoring the marsh, once twice the size of the Everglades, is nice. I'm glad we're able to un-do their deliberate destruction by Saddam Hussein. It's one more way in which Iraq will be a better place after we've left.
Hummingbird Finally, my first hummingbirds. Saw them on a fire bush in Crystal Beach, FL. My rental's neighbor's yard is all xeriscaped, which is ugly to me but just fine with the little hummers. At first, I thought they were the biggest hornets I'd ever seen.
Flamingo! One of these dudes flew right over my house. I couldn't believe it. And please don't tell me it was a roseated spoonbill because it was a frickin' flamingo, dude! Huge and pink and right there above me. I was like so freaking out, you know?
Falcon! Don't see these guys too often. Wish we did. Bet the morning doves don't.
Black Skimmer These beauties are getting scarce, but one flew by yesterday at low tide on the hunt for minnows.
Dead sea turtle cool, but smelly
Reddish Egret These have been hanging out around the pool quite a bit lately. Must be a new group of adolesent birds -- the youngsters like to hunt where the water is clear, and it takes them a day to figure out there are not now and never will be fish in the swimming pool no matter how clear the water.
Brown Pelican I saw a flock of about 200 of these at Disappearing Island yesterday, just south of Anclote Island on the west coast of FL. Good to see such a large flock.
Wood Pecker They've developed a sudden interest in the orange tree, which just went into bloom.