Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A Hallowe'en Encounter - A Bubba Jr Tale


Halloween is come. Yet I am thinking not so much of candy and plastic or rubber masks. Rather, I am thinking of older times. Perhaps some racial or genetic memory calls down the centuries flown. My pagan ancestors, speaking in faint whispers, some ancient humming along the usually insensitive antennae of my DNA.  Suddenly the word Halloween doesn’t fit on my tongue. Nor Hallowe’en. Not even All Hallows Eve. No, the right word is…. Samhain. The coming of the dark half. It is not a celebration, not a fall festival. It is a wake. It is the death of the old year, the end of light and warmth, and the beginning of the long dead of winter. I imagine hearing the words of the shaman, a druid priest, speaking beneath bushy brows and fierce eyes, to beware. For this night, after darkness falls, as midnight waxes, the wall which separates this world from that other becomes thin. So that others may pass. Others….and the dead. Not only to pass, but to speak, and to be heard. If you dare.

Feeling that call, I make my way. As the shadows of encroaching night gather beneath old oaks, their bare branches questing for the darkening sky even as their roots grasp the cold ground, I find myself standing. Standing before tomb stones. My familial plot. Why here? I ask myself. Do I really think to hear some dear voice, long silent, speak as dry leaves skitter over my feet? It all begins to seem so, irrational. Even so, I seem to be possessed with a sense of abandon. My decision made, I set upon the old marble border which marks the extent of the ground where relatives lay, unseeing and unknowing.

Presently I see a figure marching along an approaching path. It has become quite dim now, so he moves as a shadow within shadows. Yet, I can see it is a man with grey hair, wearing a hat.

“They’re coming to get you Barbara” I whisper, chuckling.

Still he comes, marching to some unheard cadence. Soon he is close enough I can see it is a military uniform he wears. But what kind? Everything about him seems strangely colorless. He is all grey. His face a blur of lighter grey floating within darker grey borders.

I suddenly realize I should be frightened, yet I am not. Again, there is a sense of abandoning…something. Fear perhaps? It is, after all, Samhain.

Before too long he stands before me. I see he is indeed an old man. His greyish face is pulled tight against his closed mouth, like a man clinching his jaws against a long remembered bitter taste. His uniform is now distinct and clearly old. Civil war I guess. Once again, the thought passes briefly, I should be scared, but I am not. I am now feeling and acting as a dreamer in a dream, one I am strangely aware has no power to touch me in any corporal sense.

The words slip out of my mouth, almost of their own volition. “Whose color’s do you wear?”

His bright moonlit grey ghost marble eyes turn to me. His lips part like someone who has forgotten speech, forgotten speech even existed. I wait in quiet anticipation. Until he finally speaks in a faint whisper.

“Whose colors…..I had forgotten. Color.”

His voice becomes stronger.

“I wore the colors of the cause, son.”

“The cause….”

His eyes, now becoming less distinct in the gather dark, lift to peer at some unseen horizon. His shoulders straighten with some new vigor as he speaks, as it turns out, one last time.

“There comes a time when your colors don’t seem to matter so much. When all you see is red. Red everywhere. Rivers of red, flowing like tears. Futile, bitter tears. Then everything turns black and finally, finally everything fades to grey. Nothing but grey. And before long no one even remembers your name, least wise no one comes to speak it. Everything you ever worried or fought about, it just don’t matter no more. Then all you want is rest. You gotta let it go and……rest. That’s where I’m heading. Gonna find that place.”

I really didn’t know what to say, he seemed so sad and yet, there was a certain gallantry and calm to his resignation. I couldn’t meet his eyes, so instead I looked to the ground at my feet. Finally I looked up to face his gaunt determination and…..

He was gone.

And soon so was I. Back to the warmth and light of home.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Gun Control: Facts on Guns


Today I am going to tackle the current debate on gun control. Well kind of. I am not going to try and persuade one way or the other. For this blog entry I am going to do nothing more than give facts. Much of what you hear about the topic from both sides is inaccurate and down right misleading. I will be neither of those things. I will also link some Youtube videos so you can take those facts and place them into real world context. I will also include appropriate excerpts from Wikipedia at the end so you can understand what exactly an "assault rifle" really is.

It may not be obvious to those who are completely unfamiliar with guns but the term “assault weapon” is essentially meaningless. It is not a term the military uses. In the modern world the vast majority of semi-automatic weapons use a detachable magazine. What differentiates an “assault weapon” from any other weapon using a detachable magazine as defined by the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban is the addition of features which essentially do nothing to make it a “military” weapon. As you will see, detachable magazines have been around and in common civilian use for 112 years. By the way, a grenade launcher is really a fanciful term when you can’t buy grenades. Call it a flare gun, which is what it really is.

Now for a bit of history.

Benjamin Tyler Henry invented the Henry repeating rifle in 1862. Not a true semi-auto, it still had to be cocked between each shot. The original Henry rifle used in limited numbers in the Civil War held 15 .44 caliber cartridges in a tubular magazine. These were 200 grain loads with a muzzle velocity of 1200 feet per second. The 1873 Henry rifle, often chambered for the more powerful .44-40 cartridge, is basically the famous cowboy rifle.
Today’s modern semi-auto rifle was essentially born with the introduction of the 1905 Winchester “self loading” rifle. These came chambered as either .32 or .35 calibers with 5 or 10 round capacity magazines. While there have been improvements in loading mechanisms and magazine design the basic concept has not changed.

The submachine gun was developed in World War I (1914 - 1918). The term was coined by John T. Thompson, the inventor of the Thompson Machine Gun. Submachine guns as essentially machine guns chambered to fire pistol cartridges.
The first assault rifle is generally recognized to be the Sturmgewehr 44, introduced by Germany in World War II. Supposedly named by Adolf Hitler, the word Sturmgewehr literally means storm. Same as elements of the German army were known as Storm Troopers. Or as we would call them assault troops. The weapon was designed based upon the idea most firefights occur with opposing forces being within 300 yards of each other. See the linked video below for a very cool demonstration of this weapon.
The M1 Garand was introduced at the end of World War II. The basic difference between the M1 and the Winchester 1905 is the magazine is not detachable. Rapid loading is achieved by using a clip. This allows the gun to be fully reloaded and cocked for firing in one smooth motion.

I own and have used semi-automatic weapons with magazines in all three configurations above. Ranging from a .22 tubular fed long rifle (which holds 17 rounds by the way) up to an M1 style .308 high powered deer rifle. All of which are very much lethal weapons. Weapons similar to each one have been used as military weapons. Calibers from .22 and up have been used as military weapons.

Below are Youtube links so you can see exactly how these types of guns operate. They are every bit as lethal and in the case of a high powered rifle more lethal than an AR 15.


The following information comes from Wikipedia.

The U.S. Army defines assault rifles as "short, compact, selective-fire weapons that fire a cartridge intermediate in power between submachine gun and rifle cartridges." In a strict definition, a firearm must have at least the following characteristics to be considered an assault rifle:

  • It must be capable of selective fire.
  • It must have an intermediate power cartridge: more power than a pistol but less than a standard rifle or battle rifle.
  • Its ammunition must be supplied from a detachable box magazine.
  • It must have an effective range of at least 300 meters (330 yards).

Rifles that meet most of these criteria, but not all, are technically not assault rifles, despite frequently being called such.

For example:

  • Select-fire M2 carbine are not assault rifles; their effective range is only 200 yards.[17]
  • Select-fire rifles such as the FN FAL battle rifle are not assault rifles; they fire full-powered rifle cartridges.
  • Semi-automatic-only rifles like variants of the Colt AR 15 are not assault rifles; they do not have select-fire capabilities.
  • Semi-auto rifles with fixed magazines are not assault rifles; they do not have detachable box magazines and are not capable of automatic fire.

The term assault rifle, when used in its proper context, militarily or by its specific functionality, has a generally accepted definition with the firearm manufacturing community. In more casual usage, the term assault weapon is sometimes confused with the term assault rifle. In the United States "assault weapons" are usually defined in legislation as semi-automatic firearms that have certain features generally associated with military firearms, including assault rifles. The 1994 Federal Assault Weapons ban, which expired on September 13, 2004, codified a definition of an assault weapon. It defined the rifle type of assault weapon as a semiautomatic firearm with the ability to accept a detachable magazine and two or more of the following:

  • a folding or telescoping stock
  • a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon
  • a bayonet mount
  • a flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor
  • a grenade launcher

End Wikipedia

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Let be be Finale of Seem, the Odd Connectivity Between the News and Freddy Kreuger

It is Saturday the 16th of September and like every Saturday I am blessed to be drinking good coffee with my wonderful wife, while our poor mistreated yet spoiled silly kitties alternate between begging for more yummy and playing cat tag over every square inch of the house. Meanwhile, our house horses, a Great Dane and a German Shepherd, preside over the basement. No doubt anticipating the morning grub run.

Speaking of which, I honestly can't stand Sheppard Smith on Fox. It isn't his condescending, snarky delivery, though that does suck. It isn't even the way he keeps interjecting his personal bias in a condescendingly snarky manner, though that sucks too. No, my dislike goes way beyond such superficial concerns. I just think if they are going to paint a face on the man they aught to at least make it resemble a human face. I have seen better airbrush jobs on T shirts in Florida. But ol' Shep isn't the only painted pundit (Ack! Argle!) on TV. There is also Chris Cuomo and George Stuffituphisbuttous. Consider the following unimpeachable evidence:

 
No offense, but other people in the business of upchucking bile and partially digested farm animal feces directly into the collective face of America manage to look less manikinish when they are at it. Though perhaps the in your face faux human look is actually fitting. It goes with the overall tone. Though fake, could it be unintentionally honest? A fraudulent Freudian faux pas perhaps.
 
For some reason they remind me of the Prime Mediator from the movie Robot Overlords, a robot made into a fake yet disturbingly similar image of a human. His job is to keep humans subjugated and demoralized, working with traitors to fool and mislead.
 


 People who know me will understand, a movie metaphor is an inevitability. I stand by this one.
 
Oh, but there is more. Something else jumped out at me. I wonder at no one noticing this suspicious coincidence. Our country is supposed to be crawling with conspiracy theorists, tin foil hattists, and fake newsologists. You guys are falling down, bad. How did this get past you?
 
 
What are the odds Chris Cuomo and Rand Paul both see the same stylists or hair restoration clinic? Yeah, me neither. But notice how Rand appears somehow, more human. But wait, there is more!
 
 
Connections. There are connections everywhere in the secret make up departments and hair restoration clinics of the halls of power. Connections they don't want us to know about. Speaking of which, has anyone at any time or place ever seen George StuckinHillarysAss's hair actually move? Is it even real? Is anything we see on the dumb box real? Or is it just a dream within a dream? A pan spinning in the wind to confound crows?
 
"Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
As they are used to wear, and let the boys
Bring flowers in last month's newspapers.
Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream"
 
"Take from the dresser of deal,
Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet
On which she embroidered fantails once
And spread it so as to cover her face.
If her horny feet protrude, they come
To show how cold she is, and dumb.
Let the lamp affix its beam.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream."
 
 
Credit: Wallace Stevens & Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot
 
 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Berkeley Earth Super Duper Exposed

Over the past week I have spent a lot of my spare time examining the Berkeley Earth temperature data to a greater depth than ever before. What I have found is shocking. It is unbelievable just how bad the dataset they are using truly is. There is no science here. This is fraud at worst, gross incompetence at best. Perhaps the best way to explain what I found is to explain how I went about examining and organizing their data.

The first thing I realized was Excel was just not powerful enough to handle the complexity and size of the task of data analysis. So I imported the information into an Access database. Access is capable of handling far more records than Excel. It is also far more powerful.

The very first thing I did was to examine how complete the records were. I want to look at annual averages. So I ran a query to order all the records by station and by year. Then I looked at how many readings each station had for each year. What I found were thousands of incomplete years. Some had only one month. Obviously, you can't compute an annual average for a year when there are not 12 months recorded. Considering how the temperatures vary in one year, a missing month can skew the average by quite a bit. It is certainly an inaccurate record which can not be used.

I also found dozens of records with more than 12 readings in one year. In fact I found as many as 99 monthly averages recorded for one station in one year. These are obviously duplicate records.

After I extracted from the original dataset only those years with complete records and eliminated all the duplicate records the number of stations dropped from over 4600 to 3127. In other words some 32% of the stations were eliminated because they consistent of incomplete or duplicate data. That is a really high casualty rate.

The final step was to create the program to generate the information I wanted to extract from the set of complete annual data. Based upon a start date and an end date, the program extracts every station with a complete record for each year in the date range, and then reports the annual average temperature of all stations for each year. Secondarily, the program also provides a count of stations.

Below is a screen grab of the program output for 1975 through 1980.
 

So, I now have a database tool which can almost instantly generate a record of temperatures from stations continuously reporting between any two years between 1880 and 2004. This is where my next graph comes in.


Do you see the problem here? Out of 3127 stations in the record only 2 contain a complete record from 1880 to 2004. Only 5 were continuously reporting from 1950 to 2004. That includes the original 2 by the way. There were only 44 stations reporting from 1980 to 2004. There were 380 stations reporting from 2000 to 2004. Yet, in 2004 there were 805 stations reporting.

So it appears the only usable data in the entire 120 MB's of original data is that from just two stations. The rest of it is too fragmentary, incomplete, or just does not cover enough time to be useful. Just two stations, one in Russia and one in Switzerland.

This is all they have. Unbelievable.

Just two more graphs and we will call it a day. I think these are pretty self explanatory.

Below is a graph showing the high and low annual averages for each year from 1900 to 2004. You will notice only the lowest reading vary, and they vary hugely. You are looking at temperatures in the -55° C  (-67° F) range. That would be Antarctica. You are seeing the effects of 12 stations running from 1953 to 1994 for periods ranging from 42 years to 1 year. Do you think having 2, 3 or 12 annual averages at such an extreme might have some noticeable affect on the "global average"? This is an extreme example of how ridiculous this entire business truly is.



Here is the record of stations reporting by year from 1900 through 2004. Enough said, don't you think?




Dog Daze

Here we are, the 22nd of July, and I am in Georgia. This is a miserable time of the year in my home state. Hot. Humid. You don't get that evening temperature drop after the sun goes down. We calls 'em dog days. You would suspect that has something to do with dogs, because dogs don't sweat. Dogs pant. A lot. Historically speaking, it is tough to be a big hairy dog in Georgia around this time of year. In days of old, dogs would be known to invade the root cellar or hide up under a cool front porch or in the crawl space under a house. Some place shady with open dirt, because those places tend to be cooler than most. Dogs also like to roll in mud and swim around in the kind of ponds typically found in cow pastures.

Dogs who have been rolling in mud or swimming in water subject to cow pie contamination are generally speaking not the ideal bed buddy. The last thing you want rummaging around the bed with you on a hot July night is a big, hairy, hot, reeking of wet dog, dog breathing gallons of hot doggie breath on you for extra good measure.

All things considered, dog days is a pretty apt description of this time of year.

However the origins of the term are not here in the wilting summers of the south and the sufferings of hairy dogs. The term comes to us down through the ages from the ancient Greeks. In late July the star Sirius becomes visible, appearing to rise at dawn, just before the sun. Sirius is called the dog star, because it is part of the constellation Canis Major, which the Greeks imagined to be a dog chasing a rabbit. Sirius is the dogs nose. The time of the year where Sirius rises were therefore called dog days.

Of course the Romans conquered Greece, then conquered pretty much everything all the way to Scotland. Later on Shakespeare wrote a bunch of plays featuring Romans and so forth. Mark Twain wrote the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which featured disreputable thespians doing Othello don't you know. Somewhere in an amongst all that hoopla and flap doodle the ancient Greeks and that entire astronomy part just kinda dropped off. As far as we are concerned nowadays, Homer is Bart Simpson's Dad. It is what it is.

Having read both Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, having once watched the movie Romeo and Juliet as part of an English Lit class in high school, and being a true native of the south I am somewhat of an expert on these matters. Plus I have been to the planetarium at the Fernbank Science Center. Twice.

You can trust me on this one.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

2016 Was the hottest year evah! Or was it?

According to Berkeley Earth and a bunch of other people, 2016 was the hottest year ever. Again. It seems like every year the ministers of information on all things climate related seem to make the same statement. Today I am going to deconstruct this claim focusing on Berkeley Earth specifically.

The picture below compares my graph of the Berkeley Earth data with their graph. Since my graph goes farther back, I have marked three common points. From this you can see, other than a minor Y axis scaling difference and a different ending date, the two graphs are identical. I have made no alterations to the data of any kind. At the end of this piece I will provide precise information so any who wish to do so can verify my work.

 
 
Now, let's begin deconstructing the data from which both charts above were made.
 
When organizations such as Berkeley Earth presents a graph of data to the public they are asking you to believe their data. The proof, as they say, is in the data. Yet, they are in fact lying to you by omission. They are omitting important details concerning not only where their data comes from but when. The illusion they are creating is you are looking at a continuous, consistent record of temperature over a very long span of time. That is absolutely not the case. From 1950 to 2004 a total of 2789 temperature reporting stations were opened while an additional 2349 were shuttered. That is a very important detail.


In order to properly assess data trends over a long period of time it is absolutely essential to establish consistent, stable measuring points without bias over the entire length of the time period being studied. If you move or change a measuring point or if you add or subtract measuring points you introduce additional variability into the data not created by the system being studied.

Take for example measuring the annual fluctuations of the water level in a large reservoir. To do that you would establish one or more stable locations from which to measure. Such as driving a pylon down into the lake bed until a firm under structure is reached and attaching a measuring device to the stable platform. What you would not do is drive around in a boat every year taking a number of depth readings at random locations. That would give you a lot of very useless data.

My conclusion, which is well warranted, is the complete Berkeley Data set is worthless for trend analysis and forecasting. As I stated above, in order to be useful in that manner a data set must consist of continuous, stable measuring points. The Berkeley data set, taken as a whole, is anything but that. There is, however, data with in the complete set which is valuable.

In 1951 there were 576 stations which came on line. Of those stations 211 maintained continuous, reasonably consistent measurements for 50 years. The graph below is the result of those 50 years of measurements from those stations.


This is a drastically different result from that of the complete data set. Instead of a pronounced warming trend as in the complete data set, we see a slight cooling trend of less than .25° C. Essentially this is no change as the year to year variability is many times greater than the total projected change.

The conclusion from this study is no evidence of any warming. None.

You can replicate my data for this time period or for any time period within the data set. As long as you follow the guidelines for a proper time based study of temperature trends, namely you can only use data from stations reporting for the entire time period being studied, you will get similar results. No warming, slight warming, or slight cooling. What you will not find is any warming trend even remotely resembling the chart put forth by Berkeley Earth. That is fact.

The methodology I have followed using their data is the correct one. The results I have derived are therefore valid. The methodology Berkeley Earth uses is, as I discussed above, very much incorrect and therefore their results are not valid.

Update: I follow a number of climate blogs and engage in conversation with a number of people. One of those blogs is the Deplorable Climate Science Blog by Steve Goddard. A reader on there passed this youtube clip on to me. This clip shows how the number and locations of climate stations have changed over time. During the period where the "experts" say warming has increased dangerously what you see is exactly what I stated. Large numbers of stations in colder climates disappear while stations in hotter parts of the world appear.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58mDaK9bH5o&feature=player_embedded&lang=en&app=desktop


Additional information concerning data and source

My data source. I used the raw, unadjusted data from land based measurements: http://berkeleyearth.org/data/

Below is the break down of the 211 stations used for my study based upon the long term annual average temperature for each station.

Below are the stations numbers I used for my study.



Sunday, July 2, 2017

Of Olly, Sassie, Mister Kitty and Life with Cats



We recently lost two of our kitties in the space of one week. Olly and Sassy. Sassy was kind of an unknown quantity to me, she lived in the basement with the kids. She never really had the opportunity to get used to me. I am the new guy around here. Going on two years, come September, of being married and I am still the new guy in some ways. Not so for Olly. To Olly I had become part of the furniture. He was Momma's boy, and always would have been, but he had gotten to love me pretty good. He learned I was not a threat, which was a good thing. He discovered I am actually pretty gentle and I give good scratchies, which could be tolerated in small doses. But then he discovered something Sharon had already discovered. I am one of those people that goes to bed hot but wakes up cold. Sharon is exactly opposite me, she goes to bed cold and wakes up hot.

I have always been that way. Even in the coldest cold of winter time, I have to stick my feet and legs out of the covers. I usually pull the covers off my chest. So I end up with the covers basically over my waist. I seem to just radiate heat, and I have to let that escape. I will wake up wrapped up like bug in a rug, because I eventually cool off sometime in the night. I have no idea when that happens, because I am asleep, you silly ninny.

Well Olly was a skinny minnie and a chilly willie. On cold days he would crawl up under the covers and hang out all day. We would go into the bedroom and see this bump under the covers. That would be Olly. One day Olly decided to lay down on me and that's when he discovered my bed furnace. He would always end up sleeping on Sharon's legs or burrowed under the covers next to her, but he spent a fair amount of time laying in my lap or up against my legs. So I became more than something to be tolerated or ignored. We became buds.

Olly was a good kitty. You had to read him, only give him what he was willing to take, and take only what he was willing to give. Follow the rules and he was truly a loving kitty. The fact it had to be on his terms didn't diminish what it was. When I would get up in the middle of the night with my own particular brand of insomnia and he would leave Mom to come curl up in my lap it was special. It was our moment.

Thinking about young mister Olly caused me to think about other great cats I have known. One of my top cats was this old, battle scarred guy we called Mister Kitty. Mister Kitty was bad. I really can't say this nicely and do it justice, so you'll just have to get over it. Mister Kitty was the king cat of the neighborhood for a long time. If it was a male, he pretty much kicked its ass. Bad. He was just an average size kitty, but he fought like a holy terror. He got cornered in the back yard one afternoon by two red chows. I was raking leaves in the front yard at the time and saw them chase him around the corner of the house. Before I could even make it to that corner I heard first one then the other yelp out in horrible pain. Next thing I know they were running on home, whimpering, with their tails between their legs. When I came to the back door of the house there was Mister Kitty, waiting to be let in, looking at me as if to say "What? I wasn't doing nuthin!" Like I said, he was bad.

Needless to say, he was a tom. Let me put it to you this way. A lady at church who lived a couple of miles away was talking one Sunday morning about this horrible orange  cat that was terrorizing her house because she has a female cat in heat. My mom asked what it looked like. She said "He's a horrible, beat up orange tabby. He just looks evil! He's missing this big patch on his right cheek, looks like something just ripped part of his face off!" That was Mister Kitty. That put his range of amorous nocturnal activities out to a radius of at least two miles.

Lovin' and fightin', that was Mister Kitty. My Dad, who as a general rule didn't care for cats much, liked Mister Kitty. I think he respected him. When Mister Kitty would come back from the wars to rest up, he would go comatose on the sofa. Dad would cover him up with a small blanket and say, "leave him alone, he's tard".

The funny thing about Mister Kitty is that was not his original name. My brother Paul brought him home from somewhere. He was like a wild cat. He wouldn't let anyone near him. Paul had named him Orfink. We thought that was, well, just a stupid name. Orfink, as he was named then, wound up in the basement and he wasn't having none of you. You couldn't get near him. Dad told Paul in no uncertain terms the cat had to go, he was not going to have his basement turned into a litter box. We tried too. Whatever our efforts were, he was not impressed.

It was Mom who tamed the wild kitty. This is what she told us she did. Everyday she would bring him food and water and just talk to him sweetly and kindly. She would say things like "I'm not going to hurt you mister kitty, I have some food" and the like. At first, she would put the food down and leave. Later, she would put it down and wait him out, talking gently and sweetly the while. Eventually she wouldn't put it down until he came out. That was how he was tamed and how he got his real name.

After that, Mister Kitty basically became my cat. He would go into the basement at night right under my bed and call me to come let him in during the middle of the night. He slept in my bed, in my window, or in my sock drawer. When I came home, he would come running. He was my buddy. He never really trusted Paul. I think Paul traumatized him bringing him home.

All that changed when Mom went to bed when her cancer came back. She had beaten it before, and would beat it again this time, but somehow Mister Kitty knew. He left my bed and bedroom and moved in with Mom. She told me later one morning after chemo, when she was so sick and weak she couldn't move, she woke up with Mister Kitty in the bed grooming her and licking her. At first she thought "what is that horrible cat doing!!!" but then she realized it was really soothing. In fact, it made her feel better. Mister Kitty had a big purr box, and though battle scarred and all he was soft and warm. He stayed with her, sleeping in the bed with her, until she got better.

Mister Kitty, to put it bluntly, was a bad ass battle cat and a caterwauling lascivious tom. Yet, somehow, he knew and he remembered. That sweet lady who loved him out of his hidden wild cat phase needed him and he was there for her. I have no idea how he knew but I don't question it. Mister Kitty ended up leaving us as he lived. Fightin' and lovin'. But during that time he put those pursuits aside and loved on my Mom in her need as best he could with everything he had.






Wednesday, June 21, 2017

West Point Way

Just hanging in West Point at my latest contract job. It seem like it has been raining continuously down here for about three weeks. It's hard being away from home. Harder when the weather is awful.

NO FISHING!!!!! OMG!!!!!

I want to see how this video upload works so let's, shall we?


Friday, June 16, 2017

Great Moments in Church Aviation: The one perfect paper airplane

I was born into a family of Baptists and raised as a Baptist for all of my formative years. Whether this was always true or not from the time I was old enough to make the distinction I was raised a Southern Baptist. Not that I really understand the distinction now, but at least I know we are a separate group. Southern Baptists are not really as stodgy an fuddy duddy as you may have heard; they can be a fun loving bunch. They do have their limits. On a fine spring Sunday morning back in 1974 or maybe 1973 a fellow church going Southern Baptist and I pushed those limits.

It those distant days people observed a certain solemnity as concerns Sunday morning worship services. For one thing us men folk wore very uncomfortable clothes and shoes. Probably because being uncomfortable and having fun tend to be mutually exclusive things. Young folks were expected to act with decorum. Wearing slick bottom shoes can ensure a certain measure of decorum when traversing waxed and polished floors. Every Sunday the ushers of the church would hand out these stiff, singly folded, color printed pieces of paper known as the Sunday bulletin. That was their first mistake. Parents often allowed the young men to spend Sunday worship service in the balcony. This was their second mistake.

You see, church bulletins are stiff and thick. They are in fact the perfect material for the making of paper airplanes.

In those days I often sat on the first row of the balcony with a friend who would eventually graduate from high school with me named Blake. Blake and I created a number of airplanes. We would place our creations on the edge of the wall demarcating the end of the balcony. Often, when the congregation would bow their heads and close their eyes in solemn prayer these paper construction would creep over that edge as if by accident.

Now, for the most part, paper airplanes made from church bulletins tend to fly pretty good, but the widely recognized method of folding the paper makes an airplane that tends to corkscrew. Most of our creations either nose dived or just turned and flew back under the balcony where few people ever sat. Southern Baptists tend to see relative pulpit position as a badge of faith. Such churches tend to fill up from the front, which seems to be the exact opposite of normal human behavior but what can you do? So, while we felt gloriously naughty and bold our creations in reality were mostly duds.

Until one fine Sunday morning I threw accepted airplane construction technique out the window and created the one, perfect Church bulletin airplane. I won't divulge my design secrets here. Because....

THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!

My creation found itself in the position of many other such creations. Perched upon that edge marking a separation between the balcony and all that empty air above the heads of some fifteen hundred solemnly serious Southern Baptists, waiting for a moment of prayer. That moment came when all the ushers moved forward to the front of the church for the offering. We call that passing the plate. With the ushers lined up in front of the pulpit, the preacher enjoined the congregation to bow their heads and offer up a prayer. As soon as every head was bowed and every eye closed, my creation leaped into that great empty expanse.

What happened next very nearly cause Blake and I to rupture an internal organ in a supreme act of laughter suppression. My airplane seemed to soar with a will of its own. It never deviated from its course, turning neither left nor right. Instead it soared straight ahead in a perfectly level, gently descending flight. Unseen save for Blake, Me, and God it slowly floated all the way down over all those bowed heads and pegged the pulpit stand dead center with an audible thunk. From there it landed smack dab in the middle of an offering plate.

Seconds later the prayer came to amen, and the ushers came forward. One of them grabbed the plate with the airplane, seemed to pause in confusion, then promptly stuffed it in his pocket.

By this point me and Blake were fairly hurting. It was all we could do. I remember having my head between my knees trying to hold it in.

Shortly after the offering had been given and received and the service got back into full swing we were still in the grip of laughter when suddenly we found our ears gripped between the thumb and forefinger of one of the ushers, a man named Durham Phagan. Which I must say is one heck of a name. I will never forget what he said to us.

"I have been mistaken before, but this time I don't think I am. I do believe there will be no more paper airplanes falling off the balcony from this point on."

Well, all I can say is he was not mistaken. Our career in Southern Baptist Aviation had come to an end. But what a glorious end. It was the one, perfect, church bulletin paper airplane. I bet even God had to smile over that.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Flaw at the Heart of the Global Warming Myth

It is Thursday 4:14 in the afternoon, and we are coming to you live from the Lanett Alabama Econo Lodge. It has been a long week but things are rapidly coming to a close. Today I propose to show you what I believe will be the last thing you will ever need to see about the myth of global warming. Yes, I said myth. Over the past few posts I have shown you how the proof CO2 is driving temperatures up is weak. I have shown you how the number of monitoring stations active in the world has changed. We have examined station data from Australia, to Wake Island, to Scotland and seen no evidence of catastrophic warming of any kind. If you are scratching your head and wondering why none of this adds up I am going to show you. The answer is in the data and in the text files that go with it.
 
 
What does this tell you? It tells you simply they are not reporting the actual temperatures, they are reporting how much the temperatures vary from the 1951 to 1980 average. In fact, according to the text, they reported each month as a deviation from the monthly 1951 to 1980 average. That is how they created a homogenized model of the global average through time.
 
 
 
That is why the plot of their data from the year 1980 shows no seasons. No summer, no winter. Just variations from an average.
 
 
 
This is exactly where they got it wrong. Their model is badly flawed. Remember how I said the number of active stations in the world has grown exponentially during the time their charts show so much rise in temperature? That is the heart of the flaw. In order for their method to work the annual global average can not change because of new stations coming on line or old ones going off line. Meaning if you drop off a station in Antarctica and add 10 stations in the Bahamas you have just caused the global average to go up. It doesn't matter if you move all the data up or down by adding or subtracting 50°, the difference between the land of frost and the land of sunshine remains.
 
The correct way to homogenize or smooth a large collection of records with varying local temperatures, different starting and ending dates, with no way to determine the true, accurate local temperature back in time, and no way to determine the referential accuracy between instrumentation is to homogenize each individual station record to it's own zero reference point. This way you are asking a simple question. How much temperature rise or fall did this particular location see over that amount of time. Then, when you look at a time frame of the record you are seeing a true record of change on average.
 
Let me prove this to you. I have created a spread sheet simulation that mimics four temperature stations. Two of these are random numbers between 40 and 50, one consists of random numbers between 30 and 40, and the last one consists of random numbers between 50 and 60. I then processed the numbers using their method and lastly using my method.
 
 
When I chart the data, regardless of how many times I generate a new set of random numbers, the result looks like this.
 

I created my simulation to generate numbers that varied within temperature bands, but always maintained the exact theoretical averages of 45, 55, and 65. That would be the orange line above. It always, always, reflects the reality contained in the data regardless of how I play with the data. I can add station data, or take it away, but the actual trend of the data remains at or close to zero as long as I didn't change the average in any station over time. Even then, it would take a fairly large change in one of the four created stations to make much of a difference on the chart.  
 
The blue line, however, demonstrates their model is highly sensitive to changes in the number of stations active and the differences in local climate. This is their flaw, and it is a big one. Where the stations were added in that big change from 1977 to 2000 makes a huge impact. That would not be the case if they had constructed their core mathematical model correctly.
 
The evidence I have presented is, in my opinion, conclusive. Their chart of annual global averages shows a likely probability of correlation between temperature and the number of stations on line. Under examination that correlation does not break down as the CO2 correlation did. In fact further examination supports that correlation. 
 
In order for their model to work they would have had to maintained an exact ratio of weather stations to temperature zones, which they did not do. This is why their over all global data does not match any individual records set. If the basic mathematical model for how they engage with the data is so seriously flawed then any conclusions they derive must also be flawed. They are in fact divorced from reality.
 
Honestly, it is hard to imagine any group of high powered scientists not seeing this basic flaw. It is hard to imagine no one even testing the model against real world results to make sure it was right.
 
Anyway, I believe my work here is finished.
 
 

Global warming, Wake Island, the Pacific Ocean

Well, it is 5:41 am here in Lanett Alabama. Not too long now before the alarm goes off and I need to wake up so I can get ready for work. Insomnia bites again. Coffee is coming though. After a good shower & shave and after I get some good, non hotel brand coffee I am sure I will feel human again.

So. What's up today? Well, I was kind of wiped out yesterday after work so I didn't play amateur weather researcher much, but the one hour I did put in was pretty productive. You can read on ahead and decide for yourself.

If you remember last time, I demonstrated there is as good a relationship between so called global warming and the number of weather monitoring stations active in the world as there is with how much CO2 is in the atmosphere. Today I am going to zero in on one station and show you a potential cause for that. Call it progressive error in the system. That location is station 61353 on Wake Island.

Which is really cool, because Wake Island played a role in World War II. Americans died there defending our country. The ones who survived entered a nightmare of captivity under the Japanese. The price was heavy, but they paid it. God bless them. We owe them. We owe their families. Some debts just can't be paid.

Below are pictures of monitoring stations on Wake Island. While these are clearly two different stations, according to NOAA, Smart Tracker, and other sources there is only one station on Wake. It is the only station within 200 kilometers.

I believe this is the older station.
The tower looks like 70's construction.
Looks like solar panels were added at
different times. Plus this is the older picture by
the digital info.

This appears to be a newer station.
It was uploaded after the one above.
The tower appears to match newer construction.
The technology appears newer. The data transmitter
appears to be on the tower.
 
Below is the temperature record from Wake Island in the NOAA dataset.
 
 

In the story of global warming, 1946 to 2004 is a pretty important time frame. The location, smack dab in the middle of no where in the Pacific Ocean, is also pretty important too. The Pacific in particular and oceans in general play a very important role in global temperature and weather. I really can't stress that enough. I may go into detail on why that is a true statement in another post down the line.


I did some statistical analysis of the data and here are the results. I won't get into the details of how and what, though I can if anyone asks. The conclusion matches reality so well I honestly don't think it necessary to prove anything. What appears at first glance to be a general rise in temperature over time resolves into a nearly 1° C jump in temperature occurring in 1979. There appears there may be another such sudden change around 2003 but there just isn't enough data to make the determination. There is a single singularity in the annual readings both before 1979 and after 1979. Other than that the data, when viewed as two separate data sets, shows a high degree of consistency and constancy. No trends in other words. In other words, something happened.


There are only two options here. There was an actual change in the weather or there was a change in how the weather is measured. The evidence presented above shows the monitoring station was moved. No doubt the actual temperature measuring equipment has changed from 1946 to 2004.

There can be quite a difference in temperature from one location to another. That is just a fact. How the a thermometer is positioned, how it is shielded from the sun or wind can make big differences. There is, however, potentially more. Remember, in a prior blog I mentioned my experience in metrology through my nearly 30 year career in Engineering.

Measuring temperature isn't very tricky really, but measuring temperature accurately is. Regardless of instrument resolution, otherwise known as precision, the accuracy of the device depends upon being able to calibrate it to a known standard of much higher accuracy. Unfortunately, temperature isn't something you can carry around. The standard in calibrating thermometers in general use has not changed appreciably since the late 1800's. The standard for the relative zero point on the scale, regardless of what scale you use, is the freezing point of water. That is the general method. The standard for accuracy for normal usage field and regular laboratory usage is ± 1° C. With special care, accuracies of ± 0.1° C can be achieved. With extraordinary care accuracies of ± 0.001° C can be achieved. So, while ultimate accuracy within those parameters can be achieved actual referential accuracy between stations would be twice that. In other words, take two thermometers, regardless of precision, put them in a temperature and humidity controlled environment and you may find they differ by as much as 2° C.

So what does this mean? It is pretty simple really. There has been no significant change in average annual temperatures on Wake Island since 1946.

There is more to be gleaned here, but I am out of time.

Until the next time, be good to one another and remember the boys and men of Wake Island who gave it everything they had and be grateful.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Humans May Have Created the Global Warming Crisis After All

Today's blog is a bit of a travel blog. I am currently residing in the luxurious Econo Lodge of Lanett Alabama. Econo lodge features a continental breakfast as one of it's amenities. You have your choice of Fruit Loops or a hardened granola bar. Beverage choices include juice or water with a splash of coffee in it. Each room, with the free WiFi, is a trip back to a time when dial up ruled the world. Okay, maybe I exaggerate just a bit. But not much.

Last time I put on my nerd hat and traveled into the world of statistics and global warming. It was a fun trip for me, but hey that's me. This time we are going to delve a bit further. I have gone data spelunking with great success. Millions of records kind of success. I had to ice down my computer and turn the AC up full blast kind of success. My data this time comes straight from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). I now have raw station data from around the world from 1764 to 2017.

First, I would like to show you something. If you remember on my last blog I showed you a graph of temperature and CO2 along with some statistics indicating a possibility of a relationship. Today I am doing the same thing but instead of CO2 I am looking at the number of active temperature monitoring stations per year in the NOAA records. If you will remember, the correlation between temperature and CO2 was about .7. Call that a 70% chance if you will. It turns out it is equally as likely we are causing global warming by building temperature monitoring stations. Yeah, really.

The correlation coefficient between temperature as a global average and the number of active stations is .698, which is really danged close to .7. There isn't any real difference. The fact of the matter is if I had a record of how many cell phones were in use each year I might get a fairly decent correlation out of that too. Because even when things appear to have a high likelihood of being tied together in a cause and effect relationship it turns out not to be true. The ultimate test of that is being able to make it happen. Turn the faucet knob right, more water comes out and vice versa. That is what conclusive stuff looks like.

Looks like a pretty good match, does it not?


 

I am going to go a step further. I believe that statistical match between the number of active monitoring stations and the global temperature averages they are reporting is more than just a happy accident. In 1900 there were 495 active stations. In 1925 there were 819, and increase of 65.5%. From 1925 it went to 1305 in 1950, and increase of 59.3%. From 1950 it went to 2828 in 1975, an increase of 116.7%. In 2000 it went to 4515, and increase of 59.7%.
 
During the last quarter century the biggest jump in stations occurred in 1998 to 1999, with 465 stations coming on line. By 2004 the number hit 4627 and has stayed there through 2017. Now, what are the odds that 1998 or 1999 just happen to be the point climatologists and experts all over the world point to as the beginning of the pause? That period of time over the past, well, 17 to 19 years global temperatures have failed to rise.
 
Actually, I don't know the odds. It just seems very coincidental. Especially in light of the moderately high correlation above. Again, when you see that kind of correlation it means the idea has merit and is worth exploring. I fully intend doing so.
 
In the mean time, since I happen to have a wealth of information at my finger tips I decided to see how individual station data stacks up to the overall picture. I can answer that right now. It doesn't.
 
Below you will see graphs from stations located from Scotland, to Germany, to Australia, and to the Sudan in Africa. You will see three plots per chart corresponding to the yearly average, the highest monthly average in the year, and the lowest monthly average. This gives you a far more complete picture than you will see anywhere else, as far as I have seen.
 
With the except of Sudan, each graph shows the annual highs to be either flat or slightly decreasing over time. In the Sudan the annual highs have been generally increasing but jumped slightly towards 2008 after apparently going haywire. Who knows. They may have seen a 10 to 15 degree jump in one year, but that seems unlikely.
 
In all locations the annual lows have been steadily increasing at rate of .9° C to 2.7° C (which is Sudan) per year. Meaning the summers are generally staying about the same or lower, while the winters are gradually getting warmer.
 
What you do not see in any of these places widely scattered across the planet is this big hockey stick. It just isn't there.
 
Unravelling this big kettle of noodles is going to be really hard to maybe impossible, but I am going to try. The fact of the matter is there are not so many continuous records to look at covering that 1970 to 2000 or better time frame. Each year new stations came on line, but each year older stations went off line. Over 700 in one year in fact. I don't know how these folks are doing it, but they are splicing a lot of fragmentary records together. So far, it doesn't appear to be worth a tinker's damn. Which could mean the crisis exists only in the playing with the data while not really existing in the data at all. That would really be a man made crisis. Kind of like a man freezing to death because his thermometer broke.
 
Enjoy the show folks!



Sunday, June 4, 2017

Climate Change - Is It Really Settled?

 
 It has certainly been a while since I have blogged. What can I say? Holidays, tax season, vacations, work, putting in a home recording studio, spring fishing.....Hey, stuff gets in the way.

This post is going to be different. I am going to dust off a hat I very rarely wear in public without getting paid for it. I am going to go full tilt nerd. Yeah, very surprising I know. Whatever... We are going to talk Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). You will note I am sticking with the original terminology. It changed to climate change for whatever reasons, but the heart of the debate is still the original concept. CO2 is a primary driver of temperature and we are polluting the world with the stuff. For every addition 100 PPM (parts per million) of C02 in the atmosphere temperatures go up. Thus we are cooking the planet and we are all going to die. They tell you the science is settled. It is the settled or proven part I am going to address. I am not going to prove CO2 doesn't make the temperature go up. I am not going to prove it does either. I am going to demonstrate why I think the issue is far from settled science and nothing more.

Before we begin I am going to address some key issues. I have discussed and debated this subject many times and whenever you do that people who support the theory of AGW always, always, make these ad hominem statements. So let's get that out of the way up front. No I am not a climate scientist. I never claimed to be. No, I have never published a peer reviewed article. Neither did Isaac Newton and he was no hack. I am, however a degreed mathematician. I have worked in an engineering field for some 30 years. I have extensive experience in statistics and statistical analysis as well as metrology. Metrology, by the way, is the science of measuring. Now that isn't all I have done, but it is a big part of what I have done. Okay? By way of comparison, I am at least as qualified to study and discuss the subject as Bill Nye. I equal him in education and I believe I exceed him in terms of experience. If you think about it, we should all thank Bill Nye for setting the precedent of elevating someone of less than overpowering qualifications to the level of national expert and spokesperson. Golf clap, Bill, golf clap.

As to questions on my data. The temperature data comes from Berkeley Earth which is a non profit eco organization. I have pulled data from a number of sources in the past from the CET, to the English MET, NOAA, and so forth. The folks at Berkeley Earth have basically compiled these data sets. My data on global CO2 comes from the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science (IAC) at Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule in Zürich, Switzerland. The data represents what is the acknowledge global record of temperature and CO2 for 265 years beginning in the year 1753. The temperature data shows temperature variations from the 1950 to 1984 average in degrees Celsius.

So shall we begin?

The chart below shows temperatures in blue and CO2  levels in grey from 1753 to 2016. This is no different from any graph you have ever seen from proponents of AGW. Except most graphs I have seen do not go back past about 1978. It is true, looking at this graph you will say it all looks pretty clear to you. I can assure you it is not. So don't stop here! In the world of statistics looking right is usually only the beginning. Can you prove it is right is the real question.


The next graph is something you probably haven't seen. This is called a scatter diagram and is a graphical representation of the measure of correlation between CO2 levels and temperature. This chart in fact does indicate a moderate amount of correlation. Not strong and certainly not beyond any doubt or debate. Call it a 70% chance of correlation. That isn't precise, but it does give you an idea. It does indicate further work is warranted. The hypothesis has not been rejected, but it hasn't been proven either. We are at the point of saying the theory appears likely. I will break this down as we continue.



Prior to this point the data we have been looking at was yearly averages through time. From  this point onward we are going to be looking at monthly global averages through time. There are a number of reasons to look at the data this way, but to me the biggest reason is this. Looking at an average, especially one generated over data showing a great deal of inherent variability, does not yield a clear picture of what is really happening. If I tell you last year was a lot hotter than the year before what do I mean? Was the summer really hot? Was the winter really mild? Was it a late spring? A long fall? What does it mean to say one year is hotter than another? Well, if all you look at is just the average temperature for the year it could very well mean any or all of those things and more besides. To understand why something is happening you really must understand what is happening. The charts below will, I believe, answer some of those questions.

The next chart shows the strength of correlation between CO2 levels and temperature variations over time both for annual yearly averages and annual monthly averages. What I am charting is known as a correlation coefficient. This is a statistical measurement of correlation strength ranging from 0 to 1 for positive correlation, 0 being no correlation at all and 1 being perfect correlation. A scatter diagram with a CC of 1 would be a straight line with no deviations. Generally speaking a CC of .5 is the point at which statisticians consider there to be some evidence of correlation between two factors.

You will notice the CC for the annual averages appears to be somewhat significant, but that is not true for the monthly averages. In fact, there is a pretty wide variation between months. How can that be right? Well, I will explain that. But first, lets look at some monthly data side by side so we can see what is really happening.



The graphs below depict the historical temperature records for July and December from 1753 to 2016. The first thing you will notice is neither month bears any strong resemblance to the chart of global averages we started off with. Secondarily, you will notice there is a very distinct difference between July and December. There doesn't appear to be any appreciable change to July temperatures. It started off just below 1° and ended up just below 1°. December's data shows a general steady rise in temperature with minor cyclical oscillations. .



Let's see what happens when we compare August and March temperatures through time. Again, August appears to have netted not much of a difference between 1753 and 2016. The results are pretty similar to what we saw looking at July and December.


I won't put a chart for every month up, they are all similar to the four proceeding charts. Below is a closer look at the data for January. Notice how the graph generally fluctuates above and below the linear average creating four essential symmetrical sections. Weird, huh?
So, here is the conclusion to my piece. There is no clear proof of correlation between CO2 levels and temperature. Therefore it is reasonable to reject the hypothesis of correlation between CO2 and temperature. That doesn't mean the issue is settled by the way. It is a rejection based upon a failure to prove the hypothesis because the case for it is just not strong enough to accept.
 
So what explains the seemingly strong correlation between CO2 and the annual averages? 
 
A correlation coefficient of .7 is fairly strong, but is by no means definitive. It indicates you might be on the right track and the inference is reasonable to fairly likely. Further work would be required if you wish to declare the issue settled. But, that is what I did, I performed a deeper examination of the data.
 
What I have found indicates there is a flaw in the basic methodology of looking at global temperatures as an annual average. As such, the picture or model of reality thus created is inaccurate and flawed.
 
The data infers whatever effect CO2 may have on temperature as an annual global average is not uniform throughout the year. This would indicate there are additional factors involved capable of either enhancing or counteracting whatever affect CO2 might have. Therefore it is necessary to understand that effect on a seasonal basis.
 
This leads me to conclude there are other factors which may skew the data and create an inaccurate picture. Such as seasonal differences between the northern and southern hemispheres, location with respect to the equator, and so forth. The simple fact is more study is needed.
 
From the moment I first became aware global warming was a thing, from the moment I first saw a graph showing annual temperatures and CO2, I have been interested in the subject. And yes, as crazy as it sounds, I actually enjoy looking at data and doing statistics. In my career as an Engineer I did a great deal of data analysis. Back in the day we didn't have anything like the type of programs nearly everyone has on their computers today. Programs like Excel for instance. I wrote programs to do statistical analysis myself, because such programs were not common. I used these tools to analyze and resolve real world problems where the proof of the results of my work was, as they say, in the pudding. It made the difference between good product or bad product rolling down the assembly line. It made the difference between machines making good part or spitting out piles of scrap. It is what I do. In my world looking at just an average rarely ever yields a complete picture of what is really going on. Looking at the average of a target that moves in cycles as an average over several cycles is just bad statistics. Looking at the average of results produced over several different processes is just bad statistics. Yet, that is exactly what all these charts you see supporting the theory of AGW do.
 
I will no doubt continue looking at this as I have been doing for quite some time. Actually presenting the results is a new and novel idea to me. I will no doubt do so again. Maybe.
 

We shall see.