Maybe the only good thing about covid hysteria is that it has, for a while, drowned out global warming hysteria. Still, many people have the impression that global temperatures have warmed alarmingly in recent decades. Unfortunately, there is no reliable record of surface temperatures for a number of reasons, including the fact that the activists who are in charge of the records keep changing them to promote the alarmist position.

But that is all right, since warming due to carbon dioxide doesn’t occur at the surface, it occurs in the atmosphere. The only reliable, unfudged record we have of global temperatures is the satellite record in the lower troposphere, which only goes back to 1979. This is the global temperature trend from then until now:

This means that “[t]he linear warming trend since January, 1979 remains at +0.14 C/decade (+0.12 C/decade over the global-averaged oceans, and +0.18 C/decade over global-averaged land).” In other words, at the warming rate that has prevailed since 1979–assuming it continues–the Earth’s average temperature would rise by one degree in 70 years.

How much of that is due to human activity, as opposed to natural variation (e.g., rebounding to normal temperatures after the Little Ice Age), no one knows.

The Year of No Science.

Remember “The Year of Living Dangerously”? That was a 1982 film based on a 1978 novel about a love affair during the year Sukarno was overthrown in Indonesia, 1967.

2020 and now 2021 might be called the Year or Years of No Science… or maybe Phony Science… or Pretentious Science… or, perhaps most accurately, Political Science (but not with the usage commonly employed).

Yes, I know we have seen the extremely rapid appearance of COVID-19 vaccines from several companies, but we have no way of knowing if they work long term or, more importantly, if they were necessary.

(FULL DISCLOSURE: I have taken both Pfizers myself, largely because it will undoubtedly soon be required by our government to able to travel.)

It’s quite possible this pandemic would have run its course the way all others have without intervention—or that it was highly exaggerated in the first place.

No one has fully explained that not that many more Americans died in 2020 than in previous years, when the pandemic was supposed to have killed hundreds of thousands, nor has anyone a satisfactory theory for why countries and states without lockdowns often do as well as those with the most stringent regulations.

And this is not even to mention the amount of extraordinary and endless contradictions (mask/no mask… hydroxychlorquine yes/no… ivermectin yes/no and so on) we have had from medical experts, sometimes apologizing to us for their mistakes but other times changing their minds in full view as if we never noticed.

Add to that the mystery surrounding the Wuhan laboratory with all the various explanations cum communist Chinese propaganda augmented by the duplicitous World Health Organization about how this came about, including the odd involvement of Dr. Anthony Fauci with that lab over the years.

And all this is adjudicated by politicians many, if not most, of whom could not now easily pass a high school chemistry test. Does anyone think our president could?

They speak of “settled science,” but they don’t even know what science is.

But none of this should be a surprise.

I am writing this locked in my Nashville house, not by COVID, but by snow and ice that do not allow me to drive my car down my driveway without landing in a ditch.

In about an hour, another six to eight hours of non-stop snow and ice are predicted. Neither my wife nor I are likely to able to leave home to shop for food for several days. (We have emergency supplies.)

I gather things are worse in Texas, to the South of us, where millions are without power in freezing weather.

Fifteen years ago, Al Gore, in his Oscar-winning film “An Inconvenient Truth” predicted “Within the decade, there will be no more snows of Kilimanjaro.”

We all know how ridiculous that sounds now (well, everyone but John Kerry and Joe Biden and an endless stream of miseducated social justice warriors who have never read, nor heard of, Bjorn Lomborg).

Of course, those were the days of “global warming,” before it morphed conveniently into the factually meaningless “climate change.”

After all, you can’t get the lusted-after political power and financial gain if you say the sun is vastly more important to our weather and climate (a distinction, we are told, is important, so I put them together) than human endeavors.

So maybe we have been living in the Year of No Science for a long time, since the days people thought the world was flat, which was most of history by far.

It could be that people today are equally ignorant about the truth—or nearly. The idea of “settled science” is an oxymoron and those who speak of it are only making fools of themselves.

Climate and COVID are much the same. We should be humble before making definitive statements. And we should always be skeptical of politicians who say they are “trusting the scientists.” Which scientists and why?

Meanwhile, since I wrote the paragraph nine above this one, the snow and ice storm has returned, about a half hour earlier than predicted. The temperature is 25 Fahrenheit, about another 25 to 30 degrees below normal for February in Nashville.

People on my NEXT DOOR app are warning our neighbors not to go out jogging or even to walk their dogs on the streets for fear the cars will not be able stop and run them over. They are sharing pictures of many autos in ditches.

But not to worry. We are reentering the Paris Climate Accords. All will be saved.

Well, it seems to work for Pop at 96, so…….

Afternoon nap could boost mental agility, study says.

“You snooze, you lose” may not be true when it comes to your brain: A new study finds that napping in the afternoon may actually boost mental agility.

The study couldn’t prove cause and effect, but a midday nap was associated with a rise in “locational awareness,” verbal fluency and working memory, the Chinese researchers reported this week in the journal General Psychiatry.

Continue reading “”

And people wonder why I’m not going to take this stuff until there’s a lot more research into not just long term effects.

Help wanted translating article about coronavirus vaccines

A 2012 scientific study about mRNA vaccines for coronaviruses seems to suggest problems down the line that nobody is talking about now.

Someone sent me to this article, which seems to say that mRNA vaccines against coronaviruses can actually make you dangerously vulnerable to subsequent coronaviruses by triggering cytokine storms:

An early concern for application of a SARS-CoV vaccine was the experience with other coronavirus infections which induced enhanced disease and immunopathology in animals when challenged with infectious virus [31], a concern reinforced by the report that animals given an alum adjuvanted SARS vaccine and subsequently challenged with SARS-CoV exhibited an immunopathologic lung reaction reminiscent of that described for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in infants and in animal models given RSV vaccine and challenged naturally (infants) or artificially (animals) with RSV [32][33]. We and others described a similar immunopathologic reaction in mice vaccinated with a SARS-CoV vaccine and subsequently challenged with SARS-CoV [18][20][21][28]. It has been proposed that the nucleocapsid protein of SARS-CoV is the antigen to which the immunopathologic reaction is directed [18][21]. Thus, concern for proceeding to humans with candidate SARS-CoV vaccines emerged from these various observations.

Continue reading “”


Voter fraud is a large and growing problem in the United States, and there is good reason to think that it exploded in 2020 on account of (among other things) unprecedented numbers of mail-in ballots and deliberately lax controls in many states. John Lott has now produced a statistical analysis that suggests substantial voter fraud in Fulton County, Georgia and Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Lott’s conclusion is that his analysis suggests a total of more than 55,000 fraudulent votes in those two counties. You can read Lott’s paper here. His statistical calculations are laid out in detail, and you can evaluate them for yourself.

Lott’s method is simple and rather elegant: he compares absentee votes in precincts in Fulton County, for example, with adjacent precincts in neighboring counties. He also controls for demographics. Since voting is done at the precinct level, while counting was done at the county level, and since there is no evident reason why precincts across the street from one another should show significantly different results, the approach makes sense.

But the evidence is still circumstantial. One factor in this year’s election in Georgia is that unattended ballot boxes were set up, but only in heavily Democratic areas. I don’t know whether all of them were in Fulton County, but I believe a lot of them were. Anyone could drop any number of ballots into these boxes. Why the state’s Secretary of State, a Republican, agreed to such an arrangement, which virtually cries out for fraud to be committed, is anyone’s guess. But he did.

Continue reading “”

Trump signs Space Policy Directive-6 on space nuclear power and propulsion

One goal laid out in SPD-6 is the testing of a fission power system on the moon by the mid- to late 2020s.

Nuclear power will be a big part of the United States’ space exploration efforts going forward, a new policy document affirms.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday (Dec. 16) issued Space Policy Directive-6 (SPD-6), which lays out a national strategy for the responsible and effective use of space nuclear power and propulsion (SNPP) systems.

“Space nuclear power and propulsion is a fundamentally enabling technology for American deep-space missions to Mars and beyond,” Scott Pace, deputy assistant to the president and executive secretary of the National Space Council, said in an emailed statement Wednesday. “The United States intends to remain the leader among spacefaring nations, applying nuclear power technology safely, securely and sustainably in space.” Continue reading “”

Only 100 Billion Years! *gasp* And I had so much planned for the future.

Our Solar System Is Going to Totally Disintegrate Sooner Than We Thought.

Although the ground beneath our feet feels solid and reassuring (most of the time), nothing in this Universe lasts forever.

One day, our Sun will die, ejecting a large proportion of its mass before its core shrinks down into a white dwarf, gradually leaking heat until it’s nothing more than a cold, dark, dead lump of rock, a thousand trillion years later.

But the rest of the Solar System will be long gone by then. According to new simulations, it will take just 100 billion years for any remaining planets to skedaddle off across the galaxy, leaving the dying Sun far behind. Continue reading “”

Stop Blaming Guns For Suicides

Nearly two-thirds of all firearm fatalities each year are the result of someone taking their own life. Anti-gunners routinely leave that part out when they’d slinging numbers around because people don’t view suicides the same way they do homicides or accidents. After all, someone commits suicide by making a conscious decision to take their own life. It’s on them and no one else.

And since two-thirds of those firearm-related fatalities are suicides, it’s no wonder that anti-gunners try to obscure the truth.

Unfortunately for them, it becomes easy to debunk their claims by simply pointing this fact out. That’s why there’s now a push not just to acknowledge this, but to blame guns for those suicides.

According to national health statistics, 24,432 Americans used guns to kill themselves in 2018, up from 19,392 in 2010.

People who kill themselves in this way are usually those with ready access to firearms: gun owners and their family members. Gun owners are not more suicidal than people who don’t own guns, but attempts with guns are more likely to be fatal.

Now, nearly a year after the coronavirus pandemic began, unleashing a tide of economic dislocation and despair, experts are bracing for a rise in suicides. Gun sales have risen steadily since March, and as shutdowns aimed at containing the virus have disrupted lives and led to social isolation, studies have shown an increase in anxiety and suicidal ideation.

“So many people are struggling right now,” said Jennifer Stuber, an associate professor of social work who helped found the University of Washington’s Forefront Suicide Prevention center. “The indicators are that a perfect storm is about to hit.”

She noted that people who purchase guns to protect themselves from civil unrest and a possible rise in crime “may actually be incurring more potential risk in terms of harm that can come to their family.”

OK, let’s break down the facts.

First, that 24,432 suicides with a firearm? That accounts for just a tad over half of all suicides in the country. It sounds to me like people are finding plenty of other ways to kill themselves without firearms.

Oh, but that’s an increase since 2010, right? Sure. But overall suicides are also up during that same period.

Further, while firearms may be the most effective means for someone to take their own life, it’s not the only effective means to do so. There are plenty of other ways to claim your own life and be pretty sure you’re going to be successful. While guns might be more effective, we’re talking about a couple of percentage points of different, which is practically statistical noise.

In other words, guns aren’t the problem.

Suicide isn’t a political issue, it’s a mental health one. Just today I read a good friend lamenting a buddy of his from the Marine Corps who claimed his own life. The issue there wasn’t access to firearms, but that so many who serve have ended up broken mentally and emotionally by what they endured.

Please, for the love of all that is holy, stop trying to make this about guns and recognize that tens of thousands of people are still claiming their own lives with things that aren’t firearms and instead focus on solutions that can help everyone.

It took tests to determine? Who paid for these ‘tests’. If it was the taxpayer, and it looks like it was, I want that money refunded.

In New Tests, Facial Recognition Products Are Consistently Thwarted by Masks

Ongoing tests of facial recognition technology continue to show that the technology is baffled when people wear masks of the sort that have become widespread (and even mandatory) in some places during the current pandemic. Forty-one newly tested algorithms—some of which were designed to compensate for face coverings—show the same dramatically elevated error rates as those examined earlier.

The tests have important implications for privacy at a time when surveillance technology is growing increasingly pervasive—but so is mask wearing. These studies are of interest, too, in an era of political instability and growing concern over law enforcement excesses, when people may have a strong interest in making identification of opponents and protesters difficult for the powers-that-be.

The tested facial algorithms are additions to those scrutinized by the U.S. government’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in a report issued in July. “Now that so many of us are covering our faces to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, how well do face recognition algorithms identify people wearing masks? The answer, according to a preliminary study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), is with great difficulty,” NIST summarized its findings at the time. “Even the best of the 89 commercial facial recognition algorithms tested had error rates between 5% and 50% in matching digitally applied face masks with photos of the same person without a mask.” Continue reading “”

NASA knows about only a fraction of near-Earth objects (NEOs) like this one. Many do not cross any telescope’s line of sight, and several potentially dangerous asteroids have snuck up on scientists in recent years.

If the wrong one slipped through the gaps in our NEO-surveillance systems, it could kill tens of thousands of people.

An Asteroid Just Made The Closest Earth Fly-by on Record, And We Didn’t See It Coming.

A car-size asteroid flew within about 1,830 miles (2,950 kilometers) of Earth on Sunday.

That’s a remarkably close shave – the closest ever recorded, in fact, according to asteroid trackers and a catalogue compiled by Sormano Astronomical Observatory in Italy.

Because of its size, the space rock most likely wouldn’t have posed any danger to people on the ground had it struck our planet. But the close call is worrisome nonetheless, since astronomers had no idea the asteroid existed until after it passed by.

“The asteroid approached undetected from the direction of the Sun,” Paul Chodas, the director of NASA’s Centre for Near Earth Object Studies, told Business Insider.

“We didn’t see it coming.” Continue reading “”

Fun With Data: More ‘Research’ Blames Mass Shootings On Those Who Didn’t Do It

It’s time to play “spot the lousy gun research” again! There’s yet a new “study” out that purports to link high rates of firearm ownership to higher rates of mass shootings. It’s economically entitled Comparing the Impact of Household Gun Ownership and Concealed Carry Legislation on the Frequency of Mass Shootings and Firearms Homicide, by Emma E. Fridel.

I had to read this paper because the pseudo-news reports included a remarkable factoid.

In order to address these challenges, a unique dataset of all mass murders in the United States from 1991 to 2016 was created. …

To date, this represents the most comprehensive and accurate database available on mass shooting incidents in the United States, with a total sample size of 592 mass shootings during the study period.

Five hundred, ninety-two mass shootings? Gun Facts only found 94 from 1982 to 2019. The Violence Project lists 174 from 1966 to 2020. The Rockefeller Institute of Government identified 318 from 1966 to 2017.

Where did Fridel find hundreds more than any other researcher over a shorter time frame? The devil is in the definitions.

Rockefeller’s Capellan and Jiao defined “mass public shooting” as “the killing of four or more individuals in one or more closely related locations within a 24-hour period.” That’s representative of the definition usually used. It excludes targeted killings like gangbangers fighting over turf, or domestic disputes gone massively wrong.

It excludes serial shootings that don’t occur in a single incident. Fridel went with something a little different.

Defined as the killing of four or more individuals (excluding the offender) with a firearm within 24 hours… …

As WISQARS does not provide linkage information, firearms homicide was measured as a count of victims rather than incidents.

Four or more within 24 hours.

No gang or family exclusions. It doesn’t even necessarily specify that the four victims be shot for related reasons or even by the same shooter.

I’m sure she dinked around with that highly questionable definition until she got one that generated clusters in all the wrong states. Since she’s using WISQARS in part, I’m not even sure the “mass shooting” victims had to be in the same city or state, just the same 24 hour period.

Then I hit this.

Household gun ownership was measured using a common proxy, the proportion of suicides committed with a firearm.

“Gun ownership” is estimated from suicides by firearm. Never mind that a goodly percentage of suicides are committed with firearms not owned by the subject. Never mind that better proxies, such as firearm hunting licensesconcealed carry licenses or in states like Illinois and Massachusetts, firearm owner licenses, exist.

Fridel gets to generate bogus data and reinforce the gun-ownership-equals-suicide canard, a twofer.

I should have quit there, but I was gripped by morbid curiosity.

She controlled her data for various socioeconomic and demographic factors. She included firearm homicide rates. But she specifically excluded non-firearm homicides, and violent crimes and property crimes.

It turns out she had per capita hunting license data, but decided not to use it; she just threw it out.

What this really is, then, is a study in how to manipulate and misuse data to further an agenda. Fridel could probably teach Garen Wintemute a few new tricks. Her data is so bad she probably wears an isolation suit to massage it.

When they come out with armored spacesuits, I’ll really get interested.

US Marines to get ‘Alpha’ exoskeleton for super strength.

The Marines are about to get their hands on an impressive bit of hardware: A wearable robotic exoskeleton that gives users super strength. The company delivering the unit, a defense-focused subsidiary of Sarcos Robotics developed the exoskeleton for industrial uses, including in energy and construction.

Still, in many ways, this is a return to roots for Sarcos. In 2000, the company was part of a storied class of DARPA grant recipients working on powered exoskeletons for defense purposes. In many ways, the XO, which conserves energy by remaining passive when not actuated, is the fulfillment of that research.

Another exoskeleton maker, Ekso Bionics, came out of the same DARPA grant.

According to Sarcos, the U.S. Marine Corps will test applications for its Guardian XO Alpha, which was first unveiled earlier this year at CES 2020, where it was named “Top Emerging Technology” by Digital Trends, “Best Robot” by, “The Best Ideas and Products of CES” by VentureBeat, and was recognized by WIRED Magazine as being one of the smartest technologies on the show floor. Although the suit may bring to mind nightmares of battlefield cyborgs, the more immediate applications will be in the realm of logistics, where heavy lifting is often necessary. Continue reading “”

I used to explain that there was no such thing as a ‘standard cow’ made in a lab when one steak wasn’t as tender or juicy as the next one. Now they’re telling me KFC has what could be called a ‘standard chicken’?
Is beef next? Eeyahhhhh!

KFC will test lab-grown chicken nuggets made with a 3D bioprinter this fall in Russia.

KFC will test chicken nuggets made with 3D bioprinting technology in Moscow, Russia, this fall, the chain announced in a July 16 press release.

The chicken chain has partnered with 3D Bioprinting Solutions to create a chicken nugget made in a lab with chicken and plant cells using bioprinting. Bioprinting, which uses 3D-printing techniques to combine biological material, is used in medicine to create tissue and even organs.

The 3D-printed chicken nuggets will closely mimic the taste and appearance of KFC’s original chicken nuggets, according to the press release. KFC expects the production of 3D-printed nuggets to be more environmentally friendly than the production process of its traditional chicken nuggets. The fall release will mark the first debut of a lab-grown chicken nugget at a global fast-food chain like KFC.

“Crafted meat products are the next step in the development of our ‘restaurant of the future’ concept. Our experiment in testing 3D bioprinting technology to create chicken products can also help address several looming global problems. We are glad to contribute to its development and are working to make it available to thousands of people in Russia and, if possible, around the world,” Raisa Polyakova, the CEO of KFC Russia and Commonwealth Independent States said in the press release.

BLUF: Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Carriers Are Not Very Contagious.

Background: An ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread around the world. It is debatable whether asymptomatic COVID-19 virus carriers are contagious. We report here a case of the asymptomatic patient and present clinical characteristics of 455 contacts, which aims to study the infectivity of asymptomatic carriers.

Material and methods: 455 contacts who were exposed to the asymptomatic COVID-19 virus carrier became the subjects of our research. They were divided into three groups: 35 patients, 196 family members and 224 hospital staffs. We extracted their epidemiological information, clinical records, auxiliary examination results and therapeutic schedules.

Results: The median contact time for patients was four days and that for family members was five days. Cardiovascular disease accounted for 25% among original diseases of patients. Apart from hospital staffs, both patients and family members were isolated medically. During the quarantine, seven patients plus one family member appeared new respiratory symptoms, where fever was the most common one. The blood counts in most contacts were within a normal range. All CT images showed no sign of COVID-19 infection. No severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections was detected in 455 contacts by nucleic acid test.

Conclusion: In summary, all the 455 contacts were excluded from SARS-CoV-2 infection and we conclude that the infectivity of some asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carriers might be weak.

Israeli Professor Shows Virus Follows Fixed Pattern

Professor Yitzhak Ben Israel of Tel Aviv University, who also serves on the research and development advisory board for Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, plotted the rates of new coronavirus infections of the U.S., U.K., Sweden, Italy, Israel, Switzerland, France, Germany, and Spain. The numbers told a shocking story: irrespective of whether the country quarantined like Israel, or went about business as usual like Sweden, coronavirus peaked and subsided in the exact same way. In the exact, same, way. His graphs show that all countries experienced seemingly identical coronavirus infection patterns, with the number of infected peaking in the sixth week and rapidly subsiding by the eighth week.

The Wuhan Virus follows its own pattern, he told Mako, an Israeli news agency. It is a fixed pattern that is not dependent on freedom or quarantine. “There is a decline in the number of infections even [in countries] without closures, and it is similar to the countries with closures,” he wrote in his paper.

“Is the coronavirus expansion exponential? The answer by the numbers is simple: no. Expansion begins exponentially but fades quickly after about eight weeks,” Professor Yitzhak Ben Israel concluded. The reason why coronavirus follows a fixed pattern is yet unknown. “I have no explanation,” he told Mako, “There are is kinds of speculation: maybe it’s climate-related, maybe the virus has its own life cycle.” ……..

Professor Yitzhak Ben Israel concludes in his analysis summary paper that the data from the past 50 days indicates that the closure policies of the quarantine countries can be replaced by more moderate social distancing policies. The numbers simply do not support quarantine or economic closure. ……….

While the American policies remain less restrictive than those of Israel, it is important to understand the origins of our own “mass hysteria” response. President Trump urged a strong coronavirus response after consulting with Dr. Fauci and his team, who relied on a British model predicting 2.2 million deaths in the United States and 500,000 deaths in the U.K. But that model was developed by Professor Neil Ferguson, who had a history of wildly overestimating death rates through his prediction models. ………

It’s been one month since our country declared a national coronavirus emergency and life as we knew it had ceased. Americans have been growing agitated, unwilling to continue in this way, knowing something is wrong. Trump has sensed that his constituency is displeased with the authoritarian power grab by our Governors and has repeatedly stated that he wishes to reopen the country, but that he needs more information to make the right decision. Professor Yitzhak Ben Israel’s data analysis provides Trump with the assurance that he needs to reopen America.

Come onnnnnnn Warp Drive.

New Earth-size planet discovered 300 light-years away could support life

A new, Earth-size exoplanet has been discovered in old data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope — and scientists say this world has the potential to support life. 

The rocky exoplanet, known as Kepler-1649c, is only 1.06 times larger than Earth and is located about 300 light-years away, according to a new study released Wednesday in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Out of all the exoplanets found by the now-retired Kepler space telescope, Kepler-1649c is the closest to our planet in size and estimated temperature.

The exoplanet orbits a red dwarf star within the so-called “habitable zone,” the area of space around a star in which liquid water could exist on a rocky world.

Researchers initially missed the planet when their computer algorithm misidentified it as a “false positive” while looking for planets in past Kepler space telescope observations. After double-checking the algorithm, scientists realized Kepler-1649c was, in fact, another world.

“Out of all the mislabeled planets we’ve recovered, this one’s particularly exciting,” said Andrew Vanderburg, a researcher at the University of Texas at Austin and an author on the study.