Thursday, July 29, 2010
In the past, scientists were generally neutral on questions of what to do. Instead, they just told people what they found, such as “we have discovered that smoking vastly increases your risk of lung cancer” or “we have discovered that some people will have adverse health effects from consuming high levels of salt.” Or “we have found that obesity increases your risk of coronary heart disease.” Those were simply neutral observations that people could find empowering, useful, interesting, etc., but did not place demands on them. In fact, this kind of objectivity was the entire basis for trusting scientific claims.
But along the way, an assortment of publicity-seeking, and often socially activist, scientists stopped saying, “Here are our findings. Read it and believe.” Instead, activist scientists such as NASA’s James Hansen, heads of quasi-scientific governmental organizations such as the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, editors of major scientific journals, and heads of the various national scientific academies are more inclined to say, “Here are our findings, and those findings say that you must change your life in this way, that way, or the other way.”
Once objectivity is lost, individual choice is lost also.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Science, however, is founded on skepticism and doubt. In order for scientists to figure out what is going on, it is essential that they have the freedom of thought to question everything. To deny anyone that freedom is to deny them the very essence of science. Or as Francis Bacon noted
Truth is to be sought for, not in the felicity of any age which is an unstable thing, but in the light of nature and experience, which is eternal. . . . Let every student of nature take this as a rule — that whatever his mind seizes and dwells upon with peculiar satisfaction is be held in suspicion. [Novum Organum, sections 56 and 58]
That the editors, reviewers, and scientists of a modern peer-review journal do not understand this basic point about the scientific method speaks volumes about the corruption of modern climate research. It also explains why a scandal such as climategate could happen, and why there is such a willingness by so many scientists to cover the scandal up.
Unfortunately, it appears that climate research today is not about in seeking after truth, but in defending the personal theories of powerful scientists, regardless of facts.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann hides atop the climate change ivory tower | The Daily Caller - Breaking News, Opinion, Research, and Entertainment
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Sony has taken eight promising high school students from across the US, given them Vaio laptops, and challenged them to use the devices to build and launch a rocket. Sounds pretty cool, but why did Sony do this?
To answer a question that had never occurred to me until the press release hit my inbox: Can Vaio laptops (which, Sony reminds us, feature Intel processors) launch a rocket? Considering analog devices of 1960s could, we're betting on the "yes" end of the spectrum. But it's still fun to watch.
Follow the Rocket Project here.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Elderly US astronauts reunited with their Soviet-era counterparts in Moscow on Wednesday to mark the 35th anniversary of their epic "handshake in space" in 1975 at the height of the Cold War.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Now film maker and Apollo aficionado Stephen Slater, working with London-based archive film company Footagevault, has painstakingly united the visual material with high-quality recordings of the original mission audio.
Footagevault, which sourced and supplied the archive material for the award-winning documentary film In the Shadow of the Moon, started this process with the film's editor David Fairhead back in 2006, but only attempted to lip-sync a few seconds of footage.
Slater has taken it to a new level, synchronising more than eight minutes of the Apollo 11 landing. "Some of this footage has become almost as iconic as the shots of the Saturn V launching, or the Earth rising over the moon," says Slater. "But as a film maker I was always rather disappointed with the way the mission control shots were used in such a generic fashion, without any sense that it was the actual moment that the Eagle had landed."
It's awesome to watch the 2 min. version here:
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
The Obama directive to NASA also revealed a mental tic common to liberals -- the tendency to universalize the African-American experience. Just as African-Americans were denied their rights and dignity, goes this reasoning, so today fill-in-the-blank are being persecuted or demeaned -- women, gays, Muslims, the handicapped, illegal immigrants, Palestinians, "people of color."
But this line of reasoning impedes rather than advances understanding. The African-American experience in America was actually very different from that of women, gays, the handicapped, illegal immigrants, or others here, to say nothing of the experience of Palestinians or "people of color" worldwide. Invoking the emotionally charged civil rights paradigm closes the door on nuance and context and encourages dogmatism.
That's why this policy is totally wrong! NASA's goals should be EXPLORATION for the USA into SPACE. It will not advance but impede.
Well, then, I asked, is Administrator Bolden's description of his assignment from the president -- is that accurate?
I received this response:
NASA is focused on its core mission of exploration, from pushing the boundaries of known space to breakthrough innovations in science and technology here at home. Without question, that work includes collaboration with other nations who share our goals.
While space exploration may have once been a global competition, it is now a global collaboration. It is in this vein that Administrator Bolden has engaged with his colleagues around the world, to bring the world’s best minds and ideas together to expand our common knowledge and capabilities.
Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/NASA-responds-to-White-House-Outreach-mission-stands-98322919.html#ixzz0tfxPGfow
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
"That was not his task, and that's not the task of NASA," Gibbs told reporters.Distance. Getting too hot for Gibbs I guess.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
The $19 billion for 2011 is less than 0.5 percent of the proposed federal budget, one-ninth of what it was at its peak in the 1960s. The $300 million increase eliminates the program of human space exploration and sentences the agency to the same starvation diet it has existed on for the past several decades. NASA needs a $3 billion increase to continue operating a viable human space program.
NASA spin is touting “new technology development programs to expand the capabilities of future explorers”— in-orbit fuel depots, rendezvous and docking, closed-loop life support systems, heavy-lift research and development of new engines, propellants, materials and combustion processes. These may sound new to someone unfamiliar with what NASA has been doing for 50 years, but (with one exception) they are pursuits for which NASA already has an unmatched reputation. Each of these would have played an essential role in the now canceled Constellation program. Without the focus of a specific mission, the raison d'être for these technologies is now “to advance the field of space science.”
In the place of the canceled Ares and Orion hardware, we now have increased support for education, increased spending on the discredited global warming hypocrisy and subsidies to several new commercial rocket companies. And, oh yes, don't forget a new outreach program to Muslim countries without established space programs.
In canceling Constellation with nothing to take its place, the president is saying the U.S. should not have its own human space program and is directing funds to the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program, or COTS. If NASA wants to participate in human spaceflight, it will have to be through contractors.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Friday, July 09, 2010
Thursday, July 08, 2010
BOLDEN: Before I became the NASA administrator he charged me with three things. One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math. He wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering.
RUSH: Now, a lot of people are saying, "Rush, the guy really didn't mean it, he's just out there, this is just a bunch of pap for the al-Jazeera audience, didn't really mean it." Of course he meant it, and of course Obama said it. There's no question. Why would he say it if he didn't mean it? He certainly meant it for the Muslim audience and al-Jazeera. And, by the way, would somebody show me any Nobel prizes for math or science from the Muslim world? I'm going to get in a lot of trouble for this, but that's what we do here, we make the complex understandable, we deal with the truth. Most of these claims about Muslim contributions to science and math are myths. Even, folks, the so-called Arabic numbers were actually invented by the Hindus in 500 AD. I looked this up this weekend. It was even before there was such a thing as Islam. The Hindus created the so-called Arabic numerals and you can find this in Wikipedia if you want to believe it. Charles Bolden, NASA administrator, he was asked, "Why are you here in the region?" "Well, I'm here to spread the Muslim outreach." He said it, he meant it. "He couldn't possibly have meant this." He did mean it.
Lack of Space Technology is not the Muslim World's Problem by M. Zuhdi Jasser at the Corner (NRO).
After NASA Administrator Charles Bolden got blasted for revealing the three objectives tasked for him by Barack Obama, the White House has decided to fight back — by basically claiming that Bolden misspoke. Jake Tapper reports from the White House that the Obama administration now claims that the mission will still be to “push the boundaries of exploration”:
Ed Morrissey is saying that NASA under Charles Bolden and Obama Presidency is giving up on:
1. Going Back to the MOON
2. Scraping Aries
3. Replacing the Shuttle (i.e. go to ISS on Russian launch vehicles.)
Again the three objects that Charlie is saying is none of them cover "Space Exploration!" Bolden's words here:
When I became the NASA Administrator — before I became the NASA Administrator — [Obama] charged me with three things: One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering.
Morrissey is right in the mission of NASA is going off "the rails." We need new direction and a new NASA Chief!
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
Though it has appeared that many if not most members of Congress have been unhappy with the Obama administration’s efforts to shut down the Constellation program, I have always believed that in the end, Congress wouldn’t have the fortitude to force its desires on the President. The action yesterday by the House appropriations subcommittee that funds NASA to take a neutral position on Obama’s proposals demonstrates this. They are willing to give NASA the extra money that Obama propopses, but they also have said that a compromise between Congress and the President on the future of the manned program must be agreed to before the money can be spent.
“NASA is not only a space exploration agency,” Bolden concluded, “but also an earth improvement agency.”
Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/obamas-new-mission-for-nasa-reach-out-to-muslim-world-97785979.html#ixzz0suLtDXif
Monday, July 05, 2010
Sunday, July 04, 2010
DENVER—A new U.S. Air Force satellite will provide the first full-time, space-based surveillance of hundreds of satellites and thousands of pieces of debris that could crash into American and allied assets circling the Earth.
[spacecam0703] Associated Press
Satellite made by Ball Aerospace and Technologies; the Space-Based Space Surveillance satellite in Boulder, Colo.
If all goes as planned, the Space-Based Space Surveillance satellite, scheduled for launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Thursday, will have an unobstructed, around-the-clock view of the heavy traffic in Earth orbit—something the Air Force doesn't have now.
Saturday, July 03, 2010
When I was in High School I went hiking on the John Muir Trail we were about 6,000 to 7,000 Feet and it is common for a snowfall to occur up in the Sierra's even in July.
Friday, July 02, 2010
Grazing animals produce methane through natural fermentation of feed in their guts. Today, cattle produce about 20% of annual global methane emissions. "This influence may have been greater in the Pleistocene epoch, when atmospheric methane concentrations were considerably lower," says the study.
What are they higher today because of Man?
HT Watts Up