Thursday, December 31, 2009 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Haunted house in Spooksville demystified: little boy

In November, I wrote about a haunted house in Spooksville ("Strašice"), an aptly named village near Pilsen where things such as power outlets and towels, among many others, were mysteriously ignited approximately 60 times a day.

The needed natural (if you allow me to avoid the word "supernatural") phenomena to explain the effects were so diverse and unusual that I decided that the effects had to be man-made. The little boy, Mr Jiří Mraček (12), shown on a well-known picture with the towel above, became my prime suspect, especially because he is a bright guy with achievements in math and biological olympiads, among other contests. And he's been the primary "messenger" of many of the strange effects.

When I was as old as he is today, my interest in possible unusual phenomena that would require some really exotic ;-) physics was peaking. I have never really believed them but I was interested in various "stories" and "arguments" supporting their existence and I surely did think that all other people had to be completely excited by such things, too. And I had some tendencies to produce some paranormal hoaxes, too.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Patrick Labelle: Supersymmetry DeMYSTiFied

Off-topic: if you want to see how the Einstein's puzzle can be solved by pure thought as well as an efficient Mathematica algorithm that needs less than 1 second and just 6 reviews of the hints to get certain about the solution, see the updated article Einstein's puzzle: a step-by-step solution which also contains links to the Mathematica code and its PDF preview.

Supersymmetry DeMYSTiFiedClick the image to get to

Two weeks ago, a new interesting "demystified" book was published. Patrick Labelle wrote an introduction to the phenomenological aspects of supersymmetry. In this user-friendly colorful format, those 481 pages manage to explain superspace, superfields, the Wess-Zumino model, and the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model. Right now, it's the #4 bestseller in science for kids although TRF had to raise the rank from 120,000 to 3,500 now. ;-)

Morozko: Mrazík

Tonight, Czech TV NOVA is going to air "Morozko" (in Czech: "Mrazík", in English: "Jack Frost"), a classic Russian fairy-tale that has become immensely popular in Czechoslovakia, too. The Czech and Slovak viewers have seen it during the Christmas holidays on each year during the last 25+ years or so. Here is the full fairy-tale:

We have lots of cool Czech fairy-tale movies, too - for example, "Three Nuts for Cinderella" has also become hugely popular in Germany which helped to shoot it in the 1970s - but "Morozko" is special.

French carbon tax deemed illegal

Good news may sometimes come from unexpected places. ;-)

What does this horde of slaves,
Of traitors and conjured kings want?
For whom are these ignoble (carbon) trammels,
These long-prepared irons? (repeat)
Frenchmen, for us, ah! What outrage
What fury it must arouse!
It is we (the consumers of beef and fossil fuels)
whom they (e.g. Sarkozy) dare plan
To return to ancient slavery!

To arms, citizens...

What! Foreign cohorts (in the U.N.)
Would make law in our homes!
What! These mercenary phalanxes
Would strike down our proud warriors!
(especially climate skeptics, repeat)
Great God ! By chained hands
Our heads would bow under the yoke
Vile despots would become
The masters of our destinies!
(Via the carbon tax.)

To arms, citizens...

Tremble, tyrants and you traitors
The shame of all parties,
Tremble! Your parricidal (and Ponzi) schemes
Will finally receive their prizes! (repeat)
Everyone is a soldier to combat you...

See Wikipedia for the full lyrics.
As WUWT, Reuters, dozens of other sources, and hundreds of French outlets report, France's Constitutional Council struck down Nicolas Sarkozy's carbon tax bill just two days before it was planned to come in force. Many CO2 producers were expected to pay EUR 17 per ton of CO2, almost 50% above the current market price, in additional taxes.

The official institution declared the bill unconstitutional for two related reasons: the tax was meant to primarily affect gasoline and heating oils - while giving exemptions to 93% of CO2 other sources (including the right of AGW apparatchiks to fly to exotic, long-haul destinations for meaningless CO2 conferences). These irregularities mean that the bill contradicts its own stated purpose, namely the "fight against climate change", as well as the principle of fairly shared tax burden.

The court kept its opinion about the very idea of having a carbon tax in secret which is probably the right thing to do. The French leaders will have to find a different place where to steal EUR 4.1 billion in 2010 than the carbon Ponzi scheme. As far as I know, Sarkozy who tried to squeeze this illegal scheme - violating liberty, equality, as well as fraternity - into the French legal system won't follow the 1793 example of Louis XVI of France so far.

Stay tuned. ;-)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

How to eliminate ENSO from global temperatures

This analysis uses the ENSO data from NOAA - especially from pages 24-26 - and temperature data from GISS

After 1998 and 2005 which were warm because of the 1997/98 and 2004/05 El Nino episodes, the champions of climate panic would emphasize how catastrophically warm these years had been and suggested that it was a result of the industrial CO2 emissions. They would never mention the natural cause of the relative warmth.

However, as 2005 and especially 1998 are getting distant memories of the past, their warmth is becoming increasingly inconvenient. So the same champions of climate panic emphasize that those years - especially the more distant one - were only warm because of the natural factors, namely El Nino. They should be erased, hidden, the "right" temperature for those years - whose greatness was worshiped and emphasized in the past - should be lowered, and so on.

The hypocrisy, inconsistency, and purposefulness of this attitude is flagrantly obvious. I think that all of us realize that those people lack the basic honesty and they're orders of magnitude from something that could be called scientific integrity.

However, it's still true that there was a strong El Nino in 1997/98. It would be a complete methodological failure to eliminate one episode by hand, especially now when the El Nino that is underway already reached 5/6 of the maximum strength of the 1997/98 El Nino. Is there a consistent way to remove the effects of El Nino and La Nina conditions?

Let me tell you about a good method. Its final conclusion will look satisfactory: it will explain virtually all of the variations in GISS time series in terms of the El Nino ONI index (the ENSO 3.4 regional index averaged over 3-month periods). However, I will also explain why the coincidence had to work. Some numerical checks will indicate a consistency between the NOAA El Nino data and the GISS data. After all, they use the same sources although they focus on different regions. Nevertheless, the agreement will be found "too good".

So let me begin.

First, I have manually copied the ONI index from the NOAA PDF file to my TXT file. Also, I have added 1.5 for the October-November-December period of 2009, which is now almost exactly known +-0.1, and estimated 1.7 for the following overlapping 3-month period. All 3-months periods will be attributed to the middle month among the three so the two numbers mean that the year 2009 is complete.

The GISS global temperature data were extracted from the corresponding page, too. First, I calculated the correlation coefficients between the ENSO vector and the GISS vector, with "x" months of lag, assuming that ENSO influences GISS with this lag.

Click to zoom in.

You see that the graphs are surprisingly smooth. The correlation coefficient is always positive which should surprise you, too. It's because both vectors actually include an increasing trend in time; I will discuss this issue later.

Havel elected president 20 years ago

Václav Havel was elected the president of Czechoslovakia exactly 20 years ago, on December 29th, 1989. This event marked the final victory of the Velvet Revolution even though the first free parliamentary elections confirming the end of communism had to wait for additional six months.

I pledge my loyalty to the Czechoslovak [sic] Socialist [oops] Republic...

Havel was elected unanimously even though the bulk of the Federal Assembly was still composed out of the old communist deputies and he was arrested as recently as a few months before his election by the very same guys. ;-) Well, many of them have experienced some pressure from the Civic Forum.

His rise was very exciting. As a typical great man of another era, he doesn't quite understand the issues that are important in the world today - with his past health problems and torture, it's quite amazing that he's still alive and doing pretty well today - but he will surely remain a top symbol of the fight for freedom and democracy in the previously socialist Europe.

What would 1.5 °C of warming mean in Prague?

If you extrapolate the UAH climate record from the last 30 years to the following century, you will get something like 1.3 °C of warming. Let's generously call it 1.5 °C. Also, some people in the "fight against climate change" want to prevent Nature from warming by 1.5 °C.

Funny, I actually attended this concert at the Prague Castle and it was very good.

It's unlikely that the warming trend that was persistent in the last 30 years - but not in the last 60 years or the last 15 years - will continue. But let's assume it will. What would those 1.5 °C mean e.g. for Prague? Be sure that most of you live at places where the qualitative conclusions would be very similar.

If you open the Wikipedia page about Prague, you will learn that the average monthly temperatures range from -1.1 °C in January to 19.4 °C in July. Let's approximate this by

temp(x) = 9 - 10 Cos [(x-1/2) * Pi/6]
I have shifted "x" by 1/2 so that the minimum is at "x=1/2" which will be considered "mid January", and multiplied the argument by "Pi/6" so that the period of "temp(x)" is twelve. Now, let's consider the function "temp(x)+1.5", too. How do they differ?

Well, they differ by a shift in the y-direction. However, in the increasing (spring) and decreasing (fall) parts of the graph, you may also relate the two functions by a shift in the x-direction. Here is the result of the following plot:
Plot[{temp[x], temp[(x - 0.3)] + 1.5}, {x, 0, 12}, Filling -> {1 -> {2}}]

Monday, December 28, 2009 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Kosovo: KLA harvested organs of 3 Czechs, too

Although some Western readers who are totally brainwashed by the MSM media tend to support the Albanian supervision of Kosovo, the cradle of the Serbian state, the political representatives of this would-be new country are clearly something that doesn't belong to the 21st century Europe.

In her book, Carla del Ponte revealed that the Kosovo Liberation Army has harvested the organs of hundreds of Serbs they kidnapped and killed. They smuggled and sold them to the Western buyers, including rich Swiss and German nationals whose names are known. Others considered her memories to be just accusations - but serious enough ones to deserve an investigation.

Vladimir Vukčevič, the war crimes prosecutors, has made a lot of progress in validating her accusations: Google News. It seems that his office has pretty much verified her statements and identified the people who were present at the critical house. Some witnesses are apparently refusing to testify, being afraid of their own organs.

Two hours ago, our top MSM server has revealed that three of the victims whose organs were isolated and smuggled back in 1998 or 1999 were Czechs. The explanation of this bizarre nationality of the victims was that they were "Slavs".

Holy cow.

Temperature trends in different months

Have you ever asked the question how does the observed recent temperature trend - i.e. the magnitude of "global warming" - depend on the month? It's simple to divide the data to individual months. For UAH, this is the result of those 12 linear regressions applied to the monthly global temperature anomalies since December 1979:

For partially sociological reasons, I believe the UAH professionals that their product is the most accurate one: they argue that there is no major systematic periodic error related to the satellite cycles. It seems that the dependence of the trend on the season is dramatic: the trend goes from 0.64 °C/century in May to 1.80 °C/century in February - and there is pretty much one large annual wave in the chart.

The charts obtained from RSS look very different, much like the graphs from GISS and HadCRUT3. While UAH says that the temperature trends for February and May differ by a factor of 3, other teams claim that they're almost equal.

Einstein's puzzle

My sister gave me the following puzzle to solve. It's likely that she has solved it somewhat faster than I did. ;-) Some sources claim that as many as 98% of the people can't solve it at all.

The puzzle is sometimes attributed to Albert Einstein although it's questionable whether he would waste time with similar nonsense. More likely, someone borrowed Einstein's name to promote the riddle. If Einstein has something to do with it, the reason he invented it was probably to get rid of annoying students. :-)

The problem

At any rate, there are five houses. Each of them has one of five different left-right positions, five different colors, five different nationalities of the owners, five different favorite cigarette brands they like, five different beverages they drink, and five different species of pets they shelter. Moreover,

Sunday, December 27, 2009 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

2010: neutralino may beat the Higgs

Nude Socialist printed a short article with a simple purpose: the Higgs particle may be hard to be seen in 2010 but the lightest supersymmetric particle - possibly a neutralino which would be the best dark matter candidate - could be much easier to find.

For the first time, the readers of this magazine are correctly told that supersymmetry could actually be discovered by the LHC before the Higgs boson - even though supersymmetry is much more revolutionary and much less certain than the Higgs mechanism. That's how the masses, cross sections, and signals work.

As Patrick Goss says, supersymmetry is so 2010. The recent mixed non-observation of some possibly dark-matter-induced events by CDMS has somewhat increased chances that the dark matter is right behind the corner although this question remains to be settled.

Friday, December 25, 2009 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Merry Christmas

Thanks to Lee Kington for this nice union of my pictures of Pilsen and Karel Gott's Silent Night!

Here, it will be a white Christmas.

You may check the pictures of Pilsen's center taken yesterday, before I annihilated the drunk self-described thief on the street who was stealing a dog (boxer) from a blonde lady (details on Facebook only).

After several freezing days near -20 °C, we had a sunny day yesterday and the temperatures will be fluctuating around the freezing point for a while.

Thanks to the favorite TRF visitors of mine for your presence, loyalty, wit, and insights during the year.

No statistically significant warming since 1995

Because there has been some confusion - and maybe deliberate confusion - among some (alarmist) commenters about the non-existence of a statistically significant warming trend since 1995, i.e. in the last fifteen years, let me dedicate a full article to this issue.

Update: By the way, in 2010, this statement ceased to be a controversial issue in the climate debate when Phil Jones admitted to the BBC that there's been no statistically significant warming since 1995 - the very same statement.

I will use the UAH temperatures whose final 2009 figures are de facto known by now (with a sufficient accuracy) because UAH publishes the daily temperatures, too:

Mathematica can calculate the confidence intervals for the slope (warming trend) by concise commands. But I will calculate the standard error of the slope manually.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Copenhagen (the play)

Now, when Copenhagen has turned Barack Obama into a double loser (Olympics & Climate lunacy), you may want to see Copenhagen, the play by Michael Frayn, about Heisenberg's visit to Bohr in 1941:

Full screen... (playlist, 9 parts)
If you haven't watched it yet, it's 125 minutes. The show above is by Vassar College, NY

Monday, December 21, 2009 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

FoxNews on AGW and McIntyre

Global warming... or a lot of hot air?

If you have spare 45 minutes, you may check whether this FoxNews report on global warming issues was "balanced".

Full screen...

Click the tape (next to "play") for the six pieces of the playlist.

The first part shows some AGW champions behind Copenhagen. The second part focuses on the hockey sticks, Michael Mann, Ross McKitrick, and Steve McIntyre. Pat Michaels speaks a lot, too. The third part is about the ClimateGate.

Douglass and Christy about the DCPS and ClimateGate

Two years ago, this blog described an interesting paper by

Douglass, Christy, Pearson, Singer (click)
in the International Journal of Climatology. It argued that the relationships between the surface and upper troposphere warming trends are very different in reality and in the existing climate models. That suggests a serious problem with the models - and implies that the models may overestimate the CO2 sensitivity by a factor of 2 - 4.

We don't want to talk about the technical issues here. This article is about the process of peer review and publishing. Today, in the American Thinker, David Douglass and John Christy wrote a fascinating reconstruction of the events that led to the publication of their paper and a certain reply by Santer et al.:
A Climatology Conspiracy? (click)
Douglass and Christy knew something about the process of peer review and publishing but the ClimateGate e-mails have expanded their knowledge about the procedures - and especially the behind-the-scenes tricks - by a huge factor. So they could reconstruct the events.

It's just a stunning reading. I would write a similar summary of the corrupt aspects of the process, but let me reproduce theirs instead. Their reconstruction proves

Sunday, December 20, 2009 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Tetrahedral Kremlin UFO

Hundreds of people have called the police - a pyramid is flying above the Red Square - and there seem to be lots of independent videos from cell phones etc. So I actually believe that something was there.

It's probably unrelated to the failed Russia missile recently seen above Norway. However, I think that while the kilometer-sized object surely looks impressive, it could actually be pretty cheap and ordinary.

For example, the mayor of Moscow recently decided to ban snowstorms above Moscow, by some rockets. This could be just a cloud of the sulphur compounds used for this job. It can be hollow, too. It may be rather easy to create clouds with this shape.

Alternatively, I could surely create it for you, too - by superposing two videos. That's what I did with the Spooksville photograph - and one could do it with each frame, too.

Spherical Prague: 18 gigapixels

The world's largest spherical panoramic photograph is a picture of Prague taken from the TV Tower in Žižkov: it has 18.4 gigapixels which were stitched together from 600 individual photographs in October 2009.

The Prague Castle is pretty far from the TV Tower but you can get more details than the picture above. Needless to say, things get much sharper for objects within hundreds of meters from the tower where you can easily read the cars' registration numbers, including one of the black devilish car below:

Shift-click the thumbnails to zoom in.

Links: the Prague browser (arrow keys, +, -)
YouTube demo: focuses on a guy a blog article
Washington Post, VizWorld, DVICE,
Opposing Views, Wired, SoftPedia
Dresden has a picture with more than 20 gigapixels but it is not spherical.

Saturday, December 19, 2009 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

50% of Northern White rhinos migrate from Czechia to Kenya

Imagine that 50% of the people who live on this blue planet, or 3.4 billion humans, were suddenly moved from one continent to another. It sounds difficult.

However, the same thing - proportionally speaking - is going to happen to the species of Northern White rhinoceros.

The last four African guys in Africa have been missing since 2005 - even though there may have been 30 pieces living in the wild a decade ago. So there are eight individuals left: six of them live in the Czech Republic (Dvůr Králové ZOO) while two of them live in California (San Diego Wild Park).

Just to be sure, each Czech guy is not called "rhinoceros" which is a Latin mixture of two Greek roots meaning "nose" and "horn", but rather "nosorožec" [naw-saw-raw-zhets] which comes from "nos" (nose) and "rožec" (horner, but not Chris). The Czech language has developed full localized translations for pretty much all taxonomic names for all species that exist in Latin.

UAH MSU: temperatures for 2009 and ranking

Looking at UAH daily temperatures, one can estimate the temperature anomaly for December 2009.

In average, the first 17 days of December 2009 were 0.10 °C warmer than the same days in 2008. The "2009 minus 2008" differences for the month are

{7, 12, 22, 26, 34, 34, 17, 2, -1, 2, 1, -3, 1, 3, 3, -3, 7, f, f, f, 34, 22, 17, 10, 1, -2, -9, -4, 6, 14, f}
in units of 0.01 °C. Because the December 2008 UAH anomaly was just 0.18 °C, the December 2009 anomaly will be 0.28 °C plus minus 0.05 °C (standard deviation of my estimate).

Update, January 1st, 2010: the rest of the month had the same average anomaly. I expect the final reading for December 2009 to be 0.28 °C plus minus 0.02 °C.

Update, January 5th, 2010: my preliminary Dec 19th calculation 0.28 °C was exactly correct, see WUWT.

To summarize, the 2009 monthly UAH anomalies are
{0.3, 0.35, 0.21, 0.09, 0.05, 0.01, 0.42, 0.23, 0.42, 0.29, 0.5, 0.28}
and their average is 0.263 °C plus minus 0.005 °C which is statistically indistinguishable from 2006.

The annual UAH anomalies from 1995 to 2009 are:

An early Xmas present: AGW loons return from Denmark as sore losers

It seems that the Copenhagen summit is finally over. It ended with a vague, non-binding declaration which almost coincides with the document I posted yesterday morning. Because the document is so unimportant, I don't really think that you have to investigate which words have changed a bit.

Nevertheless, most third-world countries have disagreed even with this modest outcome. So the U.N. will only say it has "taken note of" the declaration but it won't dare to put it to vote because everyone knows it couldn't be adopted by the required consensus (given the fact that e.g. Sudan considers the agreement to be equivalent to the Holocaust).

I think and hope that this Copenhagen failure is the beginning of the end of the AGW hysteria in the realm of politics. The Danish capital was effectively able to cope'n'hang (with) the political ambitions of the AGW champions. The key facts behind the dynamics of the "action against climate change" are not hard to understand.

Outsourcing vs suppressing economy

The third-world countries have only endorsed the Kyoto Protocol because it only brought them advantages but no obligations or expenses. Obviously, they will only endorse a new framework that effectively reproduces the advantages of Kyoto.

FoxNews interviews Václav Klaus: AGW is a new religion

FoxNews has interviewed Czech president Václav Klaus:

Czech President Klaus: Global Warming Not Science, but a 'New Religion' (click)
The point of the belief system are not the temperatures themselves but the desire to punish the Man for his sins.

Because of his vigorous defense of freedom, FoxNews compares Klaus - who was called the world's gutsiest politician on the station 2 months ago - to Thatcher and Churchill at various moments.

Klaus explains why most changes of the climate are cyclical and natural; why the long-term CO2 pledges have been so beneficial for many politicians so far; what are the diverse motivations of various people who join the movement; why the CO2 reduction plans are irrational and would hurt the civilization; that the silent majority agrees with him; but the kids are being fed the propaganda, threatening that this religion will survive in the future; that a critical debate about this phenomenon is still largely absent; and why it has been shown a bad idea for the government to tell what companies should do and what technologies they should develop.

Friday, December 18, 2009 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

LHC hibernated

As AP and others report, LHC has been brought into the hibernation mode until the end of February.

CMS detector

But you shouldn't imagine that everyone will sleep. In January, they will be commissioning the device for much higher energies that are appropriate for the year 2010. During the year, the LHC should reach its final 14 TeV of center-of-mass energy.

A leaked Copenhagen final statement

In the snowy Danish capital, Mugabe, Chavez, Obama, and other left-wing leaders as well as hundreds of third-class bureaucrats such as Czech minister of environment, Mr John Nitrogen (yes, he should better be replaced by Ms Oxygen or Dr Carbon Dioxide), are trying to abuse the climate change pseudoscience to deconstruct the freedoms and the industrial civilization as we know it.

So much hysterical stupidity. Fortunately, the speaker is an irrelevant puppet and loser. Even the most overvalued politician wasn't enough and his speech disappointed his left-wing comrades. The only way for the AGW hysteria is down now.

It's the last day today.

Chances are that the meeting will end up as a complete failure with no agreement at all. Let's hope it will be the case. However, there are some people who still want the participants to accept a meaningless ideological statement. Here is their currently most promising "list of 13 unhappy blubbers", including my translations and/or comments:

The Heads of State, Heads of Government, Ministers, and other heads of delegation present at the fifteenth session of the Conference of the Parties and the fifth meeting of the Parties to Conference of the Parties to the to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,

Thursday, December 17, 2009 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

CDMS sees two dark matter-like events!

Update: On Thursday, 10:50 am PST, more than 3 hours before the seminars, a West European source of mine is telling me about a new rumor that they have seen two events. That's not quite a discovery but it is a hint that they have seen WIMPs and in a few years, they could collect data for a true discovery! And I bet that my source's rumor is correct. We will see.

Final result: see CDMS's own fresh results summary (click, two PDF pages)
Preprint 0912.3592 (PDF, works, available now)
Update: At 11:35 p.m. Prague time, almost 4 hours later, my source has been confirmed by Jodi Cooley: they have seen two events in total (in August and October 2007, with energies 15 and 12 keV, respectively: both were kind of early: the box was closed in late 2008 or 2009), somewhat higher than the 0.6 +- 0.1 expected background events!

But the probability to see 2 or more events without any signal, by pure chance, is 23% - something like the Poisson distribution with event rate lambda=0.9 or so (not sure where the deviation from 0.6 comes from) summed over k greater than 1 - which is far from impossible, so this is no discovery. We can just say that it's "somewhat more likely than not" that they have observed a (WIMP) signal in at least one of the events. The Yes/No conclusion is completely undetermined and even if you assume that they have seen a signal, the WIMP mass can only be said to be higher than 0.5 GeV which is not too useful information.

On the other hand, they can also interpret the observations as a not-too-stringent upper bound, 3.8*10^{-48} m^2, for WIMP cross section assuming WIMP mass of 70 GeV (at 90% CL). Interestingly enough, JoAnne Hewett has heard rumors about 0,1,3,4 events which are exactly all the numbers between 0 and 4 that are different than two. ;-) You must take Cosmic Variance with a grain of salt: it's no Reference Frame.

Why naturalness should be expected

Sabine Hossenfelder has revealed another incredible fact - namely that she doesn't understand why parameters of theories should be expected to be natural.

Holy cow!

She correctly explains that naturalness means that parameters are expected to be of order one (e.g. 3.14 or 1 or 0.618 but not 19171107 or 0.00000025021948) and that this rule can only be applied to dimensionless parameters because the numerical magnitude of dimensionful quantities depends on the choice of units and in various units, it can be much greater than one, much smaller than one, comparable to one, or equal to one, according to your choice of units.

But everything else she writes is just unbelievably dumb.

A technical glitch: thanks to Brett W.!

A "detail" happened to this blog at 2 p.m. today, Central European Time. It died. I received an e-mail saying that The Reference Frame was deleted because of the presence of malware which would obviously violate the terms and conditions. Thank you, bye, that's it. ;-)

The official Google's detection tool and database always said that the site was clean, i.e. free of malware, rather than suspicious, and although I have many slow gadgets that some of you dislike (and I like them, otherwise they would have been gone), I check each new one very carefully and I have always believed that the deletion was just a technical glitch.

Let me return to the past by one year.

Climate: James Randi vs mindless consensus pseudoscientists

Error! Chances are that you came to this blog from "Pharyngula". If it is the case, I urge you to instantly go away because your presence violates the very basic rules of hygiene. After two showers and five prayers following your recent "Pharyngula" visit, you may slowly start tofa consider walking among decent people once again.

(And believe me, this condition means something because I am an atheist, too.)

BTW the self-described godless ejaculating scumbag P.Z. Myers who calls me names only has 137 citations for his 4th article, less than my figure (one missing) - that's despite his being a very old zombie who is still a parasite upon the establishment we call Academia, unlike your humble correspondent. Aggressive left-wing activists of Pharyngula's caliber have thoroughly contaminated the Academia - so that no fine person can breath there any longer.

Jorge P. has brought my attention to an essay about climate change written by James Randi:
James Randi Educational Foundation: AGW, Revisited
Randi who may be the world's #1 symbol of skepticism towards pseudoscientific charlatans (and magicians claiming to have special abilities: he reproduced lots of their tricks without any paranormal abilities) turns out to be consistent in his skepticism: he is skeptical towards the climate judgement day pseudoscience, too.

Randi's arguments are kind of obviously valid. He enumerates many solar, galactic, geomagnetic, lunar, and other influences that change the temperature by quantities comparable to 1 °C per century and that are not under theoretical control. It follows that the climate "equation" that would reliably predict a century of temperature changes with such an accuracy or a better one cannot be written down at present which is a reason why sensible people shouldn't make far-reaching claims about the future temperature.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Johnny Ball booed by an aggressive audience

Johnny Ball, a TV legend from BBC of the 1970s and 1980s who popularized mathematics and science - see e.g. The Red Planet - was booed by a far-left audience during a Christmas party of the fans of science and atheism. The reason? His AGW skepticism. See The Telegraph:

Johnny Ball booed by atheists over climate change denial
Balls to Johnny (Chortle)
Johnny Ball on BBC Radio, March 09
Shame on you, these people - if you deserve this name at all. You're just pathetic, folks.

You're members of a gang of narrow-minded idiots who seem to believe that the more obnoxious left-wing fanatics you are, the more scientific you become. Or at least you successfully pretend that you believe that. Except that it is not true at all. Science has no permanent correlation with politics and if there exists a correlation today, left-wing politics and science are on the opposite sides of the barricade.

String theory and turbulence

The first hep-th paper today is called

String Theory and Turbulence (PDF)
and it was written by Jejjala, Minic, Ng, and Tze. Turbulence is a very complex set of phenomena with various scaling laws. Some of them look like having a holographic, string-theoretical origin. And the authors claim that it is indeed the case.

Migdal's loop variables and various solutions to their equations are players in their derivations and various "2/3"-th powers of the volume etc. are generated as the results. Quite interesting.

Open science & Climategate

Gary Richmond wrote a very nice essay about the Climategate and the poor standards in climate science:

Open Science and Climategate: The IPCC/CRU needs to take a leaf out of CERN's Book (click)
He argues that the IPCC and friends should imitate CERN - which Richmond has enthusiastically written about previously - and adopt the philosophy of open source software etc.

There's a lot of wisdom about the essence of science (and the importance of skepticism and verification), peer review (and how it was devastated), the Harry file in the hacked/leaked CRU documents (and what software standards have been violated according to this file), comparisons with sub prime coding and other things in the software industry (and some promotion of the free software framework - well, I would stay skeptical), questions why professional IT guys were not hired in the climate science (who would also choose different programming languages to deal with the formatting issues), interactions with politics (which partly provide the answer to the previous point), and other things. Recommended.

Gore and ice-free Arctic

Tuesday, December 15, 2009 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Micronesia will be sunk by a Czech coal plant, wrote a protest memo

This story seems to be beyond parody. You couldn't make it up except that Michael Crichton was able to predict the story in his State of Fear which included a class action lawsuit on behalf of the people of the island nation Vanutu:

7th space: Climate victims fight back
Irish Times: Small Pacific island challenges Czech plans to extend power station
Radio Prague (in English)
Google News in Czech
The Czech ministry of environment has received a request from the Federated States of Micronesia for a transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment of our biggest coal-burning power plant in Prunéřov ["proo-neh-rzoff", Google Maps], the 18th largest institutional producer of CO2 in the world whose further expansion has been scheduled.

It may be the first time in the human history when such a transboundary, 13,000-kilometer (along the surface) lawsuit occurred.

The idea is that the carbon dioxide emissions from our power plant will lead to a sea level rise that will sink the islands of our Micronesian friends. So let me perform the Environmental Impact Assessment for them.

Fermi might discover the Higgs before the LHC

Fermi, the telescope formerly known as GLAST, has been used to bring us many new insights, confirmations, and perspectives on physical phenomena. It turned out that it was a damn good idea to look at our cosmic environment using new eyes that are sensitive to gamma rays.

You must realize that the gamma rays heavily interact with the atmosphere which pollutes the message they carry in space which is why it was such a new idea to look for gamma rays in outer space. A great investment of $0.69 billion dollars: compare with various bailouts or hundreds of billions wasted for a "fight against climate change".

Among the jobs done by Fermi, recall that we have discussed the positrons produced by lightnings, falsification of Lorentz-breaking theories, new hints for a hypothetical yet speculative WMAP haze. And I haven't even discussed many details about the gamma ray bursts that the astrophysicists surely find useful.

However, Softpedia presents a hep-ph preprint that offers a possible future job to Fermi. It connects the telescope with another, seemingly unrelated player in physics: the Higgs boson:

Jackson, Servant, Shaughnessy, Tait, Taoso: Higgs in space!
The five authors discuss the possibility that the Fermi telescope could actually discover the God particle before the LHC will! If the dark matter WIMP particle is linked to the electroweak symmetry breaking (and it's the case e.g. in the Randall-Sundrum inspired models where WIMP is a kind of a relatively light right-handed neutrino), and it's the main "If" in this argument, its annihilation could produce a new virtual Z^prime-boson that could decay either to two photons or, via a top-quark loop, to a photon and a Higgs boson! Such channels would leave pretty discernible patterns in the observed gamma ray spectrum, as seen by Fermi. (Parts of the parameter space of this possibility have already been excluded by Fermi.) The preprint is mostly dedicated to these fingerprints.

I find the conditions needed for these fingerprints to materialize in reality to be "less likely than yes" (or whatever is the opposite to "more likely than not": I want to say that the probability is below 50%) but such a scenario is not quite inconceivable and it would surely be fascinating to see the God particle in the skies although most of us expect Him to reside deeply in the souls of ourselves and of our terrestrial colliders. ;-)

Monday, December 14, 2009 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Lots of climate news

There are way too many events related to the climate to describe all of them, especially when I am a bit busy. So just a few of them.

Henrik Svensmark - who gave an excellent talk on December 4th in Berlin during a conference I attended - had a heart attack on live Danish TV - or a malfunction of his pacemaker. Lomborg was standing nearby. A very worrisome video. Think twice whether you want to watch it. An excellent scientist like Svensmark is the last one who deserves such things. He's doing OK now, they say, and I wish him a full recovery.

The poor countries got so upset in Copenhagen that the talks were suspended.

Canada's Alberta - Edmonton etc. - is experiencing record cold temperatures up to around -46 °C which often feels like -59 °C in the wind (Edmonton Airport). I am sure that the residents of Edmonton are eager to reduce their usage of fossil fuels in order to cool the planet by additional 0.00001 °C.

Czechia feels like a tropical paradise in comparison. For this week, the meteorologists predicts something like balmy minus 20 °C.

If you want to see what kind of discussions we had with Greenpeace on Friedrichstrasse in Berlin, December 4th, see this Monckton-Greenpeacechick debate in front of the Melia Hotel.

From next Monday, Andy Revkin is leaving the New York Times for Pace University.

Sunday, December 13, 2009 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Paul Samuelson: 1915-2009

Paul Samuelson died at the age of 94. RIP.

Daily Mail: special investigation of Warmergate

We have seen many good op-eds about the climate science. But I think that this fresh article in the Daily Mail is unprecedentedly good among the journalistic investigations.

SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: Climate change emails row deepens as Russians admit they DID come from their Siberian server
They discuss the possible Russian role in the Warmergate, as they call the Climategate, which may or may not go beyond the server in Tomsk.

But they mostly focus on the actual content of the ZIP file and what the two sides think about the flawed hockey stick methodology. The nature of the "hidden decline" is explained pretty well. Steve McIntyre and Richard Lindzen are mentioned. Roger Pielke was an important source.

David Rose who wrote the investigation made this following cute comment about the medieval warm period:

Saturday, December 12, 2009 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

What does "1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels" mean?

The dignified representatives of the world's countries who gathered in Copenhagen enjoy many childish games. But one of the favorite ones was a pissing contest: who can restrict the rise of the global mean temperatures more toughly?

Does Earth on August, 17th, 1773 plus 1.5 °C equal Eta Carinae? Al Gore probably "thinks" it does. Click to zoom in a little bit.

Some primitive tribes from some small Pacific islands - such as Tuvalu and Kiribati - want to improve the previous 2 °C limit proposed by officials from richer countries. They demand that the globe's temperature will never jump more than 1.5 °C above the pre-industrial level: Google News.

Friday, December 11, 2009 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Harvard Allston Science Complex: foundation and that's it

Under Lawrence Summers, Harvard University decided to spread across the river to Allston. Google maps will show you that Allston is on the Southwestern side of the Charles River while Cambridge, the main locus of Harvard, is on the Northeastern side of the same river.

This building by the Behnisch Architekten was supposed to be the Harvard Allston Science Complex, a future center of life sciences at Harvard. The USD 1 billion object on this locus near the Western Avenue would have had 49,000 squared meters of floor area above the ground and 14,000 additional square meters below the ground and all kinds of parking, energy, mechanical, loading facilities.

According to The Associated Press and others, Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust announced that she will only build the foundations, and then terminate the project. Other officials gave the same recommendation. The altered financial landscape was cited as the reason.

EU pledges to repay "climate debt"

The Financial Times and others report that the EU has promised to pay EUR 2.4 billion per year to the third world. This amount should be repeated thrice, between 2010 and 2012, to give them a total of EUR 7.2 or 7.3 billion.

That is pretty much equal to the amount promised by Obama, USD 10 billion, on behalf of the U.S.

Many people in Africa are using cars efficiently. ;-)

For some of the poor countries, this modest amount could be a welcome contribution to their funds. Except that they will have to waste these funds instantly - for a "fight against climate change". Consequently, the help may actually end up being a negative one because the money is going to be used to suppress their industry.

Did the hockey stick ever matter?

Climate alarmist Stephen Schneider wrote an article for the Huffington Post where he argues that the hockey stick graph

  • has never been disproved
  • was never a basis for AGW likelihood assessments
Holy cow. These people usually rely on the stupidity of the laymen - after all, they are severely limited themselves, or at least they try to be - but I think that if they rely on too huge stupidity of the laymen, their expectations are likely to drag them into trouble.

It's because this story is really not difficult and many people fail to be sufficiently stupid. See also Roger Pielke Jr's blog.

Hockey stick methodology is flawed

First, the hockey stick graphs are known to be wrong beyond any reasonable doubt today and I am confident that even a majority of the "neutral" readers of this blog have either understood the reason, or they will understand it now.

The basic point of Mann's methodology is that he chooses proxies (trees etc.) - or gives them weight - according to their agreement with the 20th century temperatures measured by the thermometers (which have been mostly increasing).

The logic behind this selection (or bias) is that the trees that show the correlation with the 20th century temperature are more likely to be sensitive to temperature.

Thursday, December 10, 2009 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Czech-German cure for AIDS

A team from four institutes in Prague and one university in Heidelberg has prepared a compound of boron, hydrogen, carbon and cobalt that is capable of blocking the protein responsible for the virus multiplication that liquidates leucocytes in a way that completely differs from the existing medicines.

It's a ClimateGate Christmas

CERN: 50 years of high-energy physics, a conference

A week ago, the CERN was celebrating 50 years of high-energy physics - which really means 50 years of the 28 GeV Proton Synchrotron - by a conference where only Nobel prize winners were allowed to speak:

From the Proton Synchrotron to the Large Hadron Collider - 50 Years of Nobel Memories in High-Energy Physics (hours of video, click)
So you may watch technically historical lectures by Glashow, Weinberg (remotely), 't Hooft, Veltman, Gross, Wilczek, Rubbia, Lederman, and many others.

Via Symmetry Magazine.

Exceptional E10 group and M-theory

Exceptional groups are undoubtedly important in M-theory. They appear in many contexts and many ways.

Exceptional structures even play an important role in the anti-anthropic carol, Single Vevs. ;-) See also the pro-anthropic carol, We Wish You a Tiny CC.

However, one must go way beyond this general statement in order to understand whether the role of exceptional symmetries in M-theory is purely technical or whether it is linked to the deepest mysteries about M-theory. Jakob Palmkvist wrote a PhD thesis,

Exceptional Lie algebras and M-theory,
that may be helpful for the readers to understand the exceptional E_{k} groups linked to the U-duality in M-theory.

He reviews the 11-dimensional supergravity and the reason why cosets appear as configuration spaces in its compactifications. The crowning achievement he studies - and describes on just 5 pages of Chapter 6 - is that at least after some truncations on both sides,
eleven-dimensional supergravity is equivalent to a geodesic sigma-model on E10/K(E10).
Now, E_{10} is a notoriously difficult group. While E_{9} is just an affine E_{8} and can be written as a current algebra for E_{8} generators on an additional circle, E_{10} is a hyperbolic algebra whose complexity - and number of generators - exponentially increases as we build new ones with higher weights.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

James Hansen vs Marc Morano: a debate

There will be a Morano-Hansen debate on (just the website) tomorrow, i.e. on Thursday! Let's admit, Hansen is pretty courageous - or suicidal - to try to debate a brighter, more informed, faster, more articulate, more balanced, trained, younger, professional skeptic.

Update: Hansen has returned to his senses and chickened out. They will have to find an alternative guest. Or no guest. See this page for the final Morano's appearance.

So far, I will offer you this Christmas video. Ann has noticed that the Copenhagen summit takes twelve days - an incredibly long time for such a nonsense. ;-)

That's a great opportunity for Twelve Days of Global Warming by the Minnesotans for Global Warming.

Wind turbines in Germany: possible blackouts

When I was going through Germany a week ago (the train is mostly moving along the Moldau and Elbe rivers, both in Czechia and Germany), it was impossible not to notice the huge number of wind turbines over there (something that I noticed in France half a year earlier, too).

The number is said to be even higher in Northern Germany.

Germany has brought the percentage of the wind-generated electricity to 7 percent (still below Spain which is above 10%) and this fraction is so large that problems inevitably follow. As the Czech radio reported,

German "pinwheels" overload the Czech power grid (EN)
Every year, a huge excess of wind-generated electricity from Northern Germany causes problems to the grids in Czechia, Poland, Austria, Slovenia, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Switzerland.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Danish text: changing the third world to permanently impoverished PC colonies

The Guardian and others report a political nuke that has exploded in Copenhagen and which has been added to the ClimateGate:

The Danish text (13 pages, full)
This newly leaked document - penned by various American, British, Danish, and other socialist politicians - was supposed to be the "draft agreement" to be agreed upon in Copenhagen (pretty unlikely). The document was meant to liquidate some basic "Kyoto"-like qualities cherished by the poor countries. Its main principles are the following:

The Gorilla Experiment

Penny needs to be taught some physics by Sheldon. ;-) Meanwhile, Howard enjoys his new GF who enjoys Leonard's experiments.

Although some early quotes resembling Sheldon's own analyses indicated that there was a chance for her, "F=ma" turned out to be well above her head already. ;-)

Václav Klaus about Ronald Reagan et al.

Via the Reagan Foundation.

Monday, December 07, 2009 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Copenhagen begins: interview with Lord Monckton

The 2009 U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen has begun. So far, it's the largest conference of this kind ever organized. Thousands of people will try to reduce the mankind's carbon footprint.

Meanwhile, the Copenhagen prostitutes offered their services to the climate negotiators for free, as a protest against some planned anti-prostitution regulations.

Andy Revkin has mentioned this innocent story on his blog. He hasn't even explicitly explained the obvious fact that the carbon regulators are corrupt prostitutes themselves - but his article was enough for the big alarmist bullies to promise him a big cutoff from those who no longer believe that they can trust him. ;-)

Saturday, December 05, 2009 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

ClimateGate after 3 days

Update: Eduardo Zorita and Hans von Storch, mainstream yet not hysterical climatologists, have a new climate blog, Klimazwiebel (Climate Onion). Try it.
I was away from the Internet for 2.5 days. The conference in Berlin was great fun, the participants except for your humble correspondent were fascinating (other speakers included Lord Monckton, Fred Singer, Henrik Svensmark, Nils-Axel Mörner, and others) and I have neither time nor energy to report everything that happened although there would be a great deal to report.

The discussions with the other famous skeptics were very interesting, too.

The trip was tiring especially because of my broken rib 12 days ago (by a tip of a hockey stick: I am sure that Mann is ultimately going to be punished for this one, too), very cool temperatures on Friday (the Greenpeace protesters against us were quite brave because they had to be freezing), and various small glitches.

Of course, lots of e-mails were waiting for me at home etc. It was also important to see how "qualitatively" the ClimateGate has jumped in those 2.5 days. BBC (U.K.) and CBC (Canada) did some great pieces, Michael Mann has thrown Phil Jones under the bus, waiting for a truck.

Please feel free to discuss about anything here.

Thursday, December 03, 2009 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

U(1)_{PQ} non-GUT exotics restore unification in F-theory

In the first hep-th paper today, Joe Marsano, Natalia Saulina, and Sakura Schafer-Nameki study the detailed impact of the Peccei-Quinn U(1) symmetry in the realistic bottom-up F-theoretical models of string phenomenology.

In a previous paper, they appreciated that a new U(1)_{PQ} symmetry is almost necessary to ban the dimension-four proton decay: the new U(1) charges prohibit a tree-level mu-term. However, with such a new symmetry, one also obtains some non-GUT "incomplete" multiplets that may spoil the gauge coupling unification if the low-energy spectrum contains MSSM fields only.

However, there has been another problem that some of us have kind of missed. Even without such U(1)_{PQ}, the gauge coupling unification is distorted in the F-theory models because of an extra term, "int C_0 tr(F^4)", integrated over the GUT 7-brane.

So there are actually two similar problems that destroy the gauge coupling unification. Now, you may be able to guess how the gospel is going to continue. ;-) The authors make detailed calculations of the impact on the unification and find out that the two distortions of the unification exactly cancel!

Building on their April 2009 geometry, they find a handful of three-generation models, including some of those where anti-D3-branes are not needed to cancel the tadpole (and such models are arguably prettier and more likely to be stable and healthy). The new non-GUT matter may be good not only for preventing unwanted interactions but also for communication of SUSY breaking although the latter statement may contain some wishful thinking because the detailed mechanism of these would-be messenger fields has not yet been analyzed.

Some SU(5) singlets may be good as right-handed neutrinos or as tools to lift the exotics and the authors explain a method to count their zero mode in the semi-local framework.

By the way, Marc Henneaux, Axel Kleinschmidt, Gustavo Lucena Gómez just wrote the most comprehensive paper yet explaining why the Hořava gravity is inconsistent. So far, the people who were looking at various solutions always focused on symmetric or otherwise special solutions.

But the present authors show that if one considers generic configurations, it's possible to prove that the lapse equals zero at infinity. For some coupling constants, they can solve much more about the system. They find out that the lapse must actually vanish everywhere. In other words, all constraints are second-class (and the time-reparameterization symmetry is a "trivial gauge symmetry"). Consequently, "everything" must dynamically equal to zero. The theory can contain no interesting physics.

Their derivation makes some previous observations that the phase space is "odd-dimensional" (and can't be paired) more comprehensible. The only way to fix the problem is to add new brutal constraints that oversimplify the theory and make its agreement with GR at long distances impossible.

I wonder whether all those people who have been producing not-quite-cautious papers with spherically symmetric and/or cosmological and/or black hole solutions will dare to notice that the theory actually doesn't contain any non-special solutions, or whether they will continue to push their increasingly dumb bandwagon and run rats through all kinds of mazes without paying attention to the actual conditions that are critical for the consistency of theories of gravity.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Einstein's puzzle: a step-by-step solution

This solution to Einstein's puzzle was written on Dec 28th, 2009, and retroactively posted elsewhere so that it doesn't distract the TRF readers too much.

Update, Dec 31st 2009 morning

I have written a pretty cool piece of code in Mathematica that finds the solution in less than 1 second, after reviewing the 15 hints less than 6 times. The program remembers the 125 probabilities for the assignments of the type "1st house keeps birds" and adjusts the probabilities cyclically by taking the hints into account. Unfortunately, this program wouldn't converge to the solution if the redundant hint 15 were omitted.

See a PDF preview and the notebook NB file itself.

Draw a 5-by-5 table. Call the columns (houses) 1,2,3,4,5. One is left, five is right.

Call the rows "nation", "color", "drink", "pet", "cigarette". Please, don't consider the labels above the columns or on the left side of the rows to be additional columns. Only the interior of the table - with 5 rows and 5 columns - should be counted.

You will use the table to solve the puzzle.

It's useful to list (and memorize) all the five possible values of all five characteristics.

Now, try to evaluate the 15 hints. It's useful to first focus on the hints that contain "bigger information" and "the most straightforward information".

Clearly, hint 9 is the most obvious one. The Norwegian lives in the left house. Write "Norwegian" in the corresponding place (1st column, 1st row) of your table. Hint 9 is actually not the only hint that directly tells you the location of any characteristics.

Once you know something about the Norwegian guy, all the hints involving "Norwegian" become more useful and straightforward. Look for them. Hint 14 tells you that the house next to the Norwegian one is blue. Because the Norwegian is at the end, only the 2nd column is its neighbor. The 2nd column, 2nd row (color) can therefore be written as "blue".

There was one more hint we could use at the beginning. Hint 8 says that the middle house drinks milk. Write "milk" in the 3rd row, 3rd column.

Saddam planned to attack RFE in Prague

Many people like to say that Saddam Hussein's regime wasn't a threat for the civilized Western world. The following story speaks a different language.

The building above used to be the communist federal Czechoslovak Parliament (The Federal Assembly). After the Velvet Revolution and the Velvet Divorce, the original purpose disappeared and the building became the headquarters of the U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe in 1998. The station focused on various Muslim countries around that time.

It's located near the National Museum at the top of the Wenceslaus Square, the main commercial avenue in Prague: Google StreetView. The main railway station is 400 meters away on the other side and the state opera is 10 meters away, across the street.

As AP and lots of Czech media report, Saddam Hussein ordered the attack against the building in 1999 or 2000. The Iraqi spies have successfully smuggled in weapons for the attack, including an anti-tank (rocket grenade propelled) missile RPG-7, six machine guns (more precisely, four Kalashnikovs and two Heckler-Koch submachine guns), pistols, and 2,000 rounds of ammunition in a diplomatic vehicle. The attack was planned from a particular (rented) apartment window, 80 meters away from the radio building. Lots of money were paid for the plan.

Power like wind and tides: swimming biosphere

The physics arXiv blog summarized an interesting preprint about the impact of swimmers on the oceans,

Stirring by swimming bodies
Jean-Luc Thiffeault and Stephen Childress begin with a rather surprising fact: the motion of all swimming animals and plants transmits the energy of nearly 1 terajoule per second to the ocean, i.e. 1 TW, close to the power of all the wind and tides!

How much are these swimmers actually contributing to the mixing of the oceans and to their diffusivity? The authors' first order-of-magnitude estimate ends up with a huge number that beats the thermodynamic molecular diffusivity by 3 orders of magnitude. On the other hand, their following models suggest that the mixing is negligible. But the result is very sensitive on detailed properties of the models and it can go both ways.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Phil Jones "temporarily" fired: ClimateGate lags behind Velvet Revolution by 4 days

Picture: Daily Express became the first U.K. paper that put the climate change manipulation on the front page. Click the thumbnail for a story.

Today, Phil Jones was replaced by Peter Liss, the new acting director. Liss studies gases in the sea.

I have used the term "Climate Velvet Revolution" for "ClimateGate" in a newspaper article (EN) of mine that was printed at a few places.

"We Shall Overcome" ("Jednou budem dál") was one of the popular songs sung at the Velvet Revolution rallies in Czechoslovakia. Two weeks ago, Havel was employed as a clamp holder of Joan Baez's guitar when she attended the 20th anniversary concert in Prague. In the talk above (I have no idea how old a talk it is: maybe November 2009 - his "transcendental" but pretty irrelevant topics have really nothing to do with any particular moment), Havel asks how Czechs' and Slovaks' lives would look like in another 20 years.

The analogy is obvious. The Velvet Revolution - the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia - was started when students were beaten by the communist cops. The Climate Velvet Revolution began when it turned out that the key IPCC scientists who pumped the alarmist "consensus" into the reports - East Anglia's CRU climatologists plus a couple of their friends - have been using hopelessly messy datasets, were fraudulently "improving" the data, and were hurting everyone who obtained inconvenient results by behind-the-scenes pogroms.

The timing

The Velvet Revolution began on Friday, November 17th, 1989, when the students were beaten at a rally in Prague. The Climate Velvet Revolution began 20 years and 3 days later, on Friday (the same day of the week), November 20th, 2009, when the world really learned about the leaked documents (which were already posted on the previous day).
Remotely related: the champions of the irrational alarm go ballistic. According to The Guardian, if Australia doesn't silence its skeptics, the continent will become uninhabitable because camels will siege the remaining towns in the country. Well, medical help is recommended here.
The general secretary of the Czechoslovak Communist Party, Mr Milouš Jakeš, a comedian against his will who was also known as a self-described lonely fence post (from his most famous talk given in Greater Pilsen in July 1989), resigned one week after the revolution began, on Friday, November 24th, 1989.

The obvious analogy should imply a resignation of Phil Jones ;-) and my schedule dictated that it should have occurred on Friday, November 27th, 2009. But it only took place today, on December 1st, 2009, i.e. 4 days later than my model predicted. Too bad. ;-) Moreover, they say that the resignation is just temporary, before an "independent investigation" is completed. Let's believe that it will actually be completed.

LHC: ALICE collects data, publishes preprint

The LHC is the largest experiment ever built. The circumference of the tunnel is 27 kilometers. And there are thousands of physicists working on it.

How much time does it take for the physicists to collect a sufficient number of events, evaluate them, calculate the charged particle pseudorapidity density, get the approval of a thousand of collaborators, write a 14-page preprint in LaTeX, and submit it to

The first event counted as a pp-collision at the LHC; the distances are in centimeters. The paper contains a very high-res picture. Click to zoom in.

Recall that for a comparably large collaboration in climate science, the IPCC, a similar task takes 6 years and the result is just a political diatribe without any new quantitative results. So what's the required time scale in particle physics?

The correct answer is actually "five days." Yes, it's kind of incredible. On Wednesday, November 23rd, both beams were running at 0.45 TeV per beam (it was before the energy was raised to 1.18 TeV per beam). They really didn't plan it ;-) but some proton-proton collisions occurred, too.

Scientific American answers to "contrarian nonsense"

Breaking news: Thankfully, Phil Jones "temporarily" steps down as the director of CRU at East Anglia University until an investigation of the ClimateGate is completed: Associated Press.

Michael Mann is being investigated by his university (PSU), too, but I guess that they will be extremely soft on him.
Sadly, Scientific American has been hijacked by aggressive ignorant people with a severely suppressed brain activity. One of them, John Rennie, wrote what he calls
Seven Answers to Climate Contrarian Nonsense.
That's quite a title for a publication that used to be something in between the popular and technical peer-reviewed magazine.

Supernova, a new film by Al Gore. ;-) Hat tip: Olda K. By the way, Al Gore will be sold for $1,209 per asexual intercourse in Copenhagen.

The article starts with a picture of James Inhofe, a "climate contrarian". Rennie argues that the common technical scientific terms for the likes of James Inhofe are "contrarians, naysayers, and denialists". Oh, really? I thought that at least so far, these terms were not used by actual scientists but by unhinged environmentalist zealots. At least, Rennie admits that not all the people are like Inhofe. Some of them are honest ignorants.

Monday, November 30, 2009 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Bad Astronomer on ClimateGate: nothing to see here. Readers: Huh?

I didn't want to write dozens of posts about the ClimateGate although this event almost certainly deserves them. But there are 12 million pages about the scandal on the Internet and some of them are better than what I could write.

There's much to say but I won't say much. Let me hope that you are watching the developments on Google News and elsewhere. Instead, let me just mention a rather irrelevant non-event. Bad Astronomer, Phil Plait, wrote an article called

The global warming emails non-event (click)
in which he argues that you shouldn't look at the documents because there's nothing to see.

The article became the locus of a huge comment activity on his blog, receiving 100+ comments in a few hours. That's not bad for such a non-event. ;-) And most readers actually disagree with Plait and give him decent and thoughtful arguments why the ClimateGate is something one should be concerned with.

Of course, not all readers are climate realists. The following comment is a good representative of the quality of the opposing side's - the new deniers' - thoughts:
T_U_T says:

holy !$!%f ! What a crop of denialists here. Even the arch-crank Motl crawled out of his fetid sewer. Seems every sorry piece of reality denier comes out of the brushwork now.
The other alarmists' comments are analogous and I think that every single one of them uses the word "denier" or "denialist". ;-)

The gap in the intellectual quality between the two sides couldn't be more stunning.

Of course, I have known Plait's far-left political fanaticism for quite some time. Several years ago, we exchanged a few e-mails, learning that we liked the blog of the other. When I suggested we would trade the links, he answered that it was inconceivable that he would ever link to a blog with right-wing blogs on its blogroll.

I was really surprised that someone who is interested in astronomy - or at least pretends so - may be so blinded by an idiotic ideology and so thoroughly unable to separate politics from science and other parts of life. He looked like a guy who was advised by a new "Stalin" not to do inconvenient things. In reality, he has always been a prototype of the totalitarian atmosphere in the contemporary left-wing scholarly circles.

Well, as environmentalist George Monbiot has said, those who claim that the ClimateGate is no problem are the new deniers.

They think that if they won't look, the problem won't exist. Well, while I feel that the ClimateGate is already evolving at a slower pace than the Velvet Revolution did 20 years ago, it is surely continuing and when the dust settles, people will find out that the majority convinced that the case for AGW is not scientifically reliable will be so huge that any projects to regulate the climate will become politically unrealistic.

However, the dust hasn't yet settled.

P.S. FoxNews just reported that since 2007, the United Nations have wanted to establish UNEP, an environmental watch dog, to push environmentalism as a replacement of religion, "as the only compelling, value-based narrative available to humanity." Whoops.

I wonder how these things are going to be established e.g. in the Czech Republic where religious officials are considered "black asses" ("černoprdelníci") by the overwhelming (atheist) majority of the population and where the environmentalists are indeed going to follow the religious example. ;-) Also, we have a bill that outlaws "movements attempting to suppress basic human rights and freedoms."

The United Nations, come to visit us in Czechia, you will be kicked into your black asses, too. ;-)

Royal Society: 60 historical papers online

The Royal Society was founded in 1660 so it is going to celebrate its 350th birthday next year. One of its new gifts to the public is their new server

Trailblazing (click)
with 60 of their most famous historical papers. For example, I am just looking at an Isaac Newton's letter about light and colors sent to the editor of Cambridge University Press ;-) in February 1671/72. It describes some Newton's basic but fun diffraction experiments and his conclusions.

Sunday, November 29, 2009 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Swiss voters ban new minarets

Two months ago, Muammar Gadaffi used the United Nations to propose his ingenious plan to abolish Switzerland which is a "world mafia". The country should have been divided between France, Germany, and Italy.

David Černý's Entropa. The only things left from the Netherlands after it is submerged in the ocean are the minarets.

Some unrelated news from Switzerland (and France): on Monday, 0:42 am after midnight Swiss time, the LHC has become the world's strongest accelerator, surpassing Fermilab's Tevatron, by having boosted two beams to 1.18 TeV each. They have yet to collide, to give us sqrt(s)=2.36 TeV, above the Tevatron's favorite 1.96 TeV.
Today, the Swiss voters were deciding whether minarets, the tall spires towering above mosques, should be banned in Switzerland. And over 57.5% of them (including majorities in 22 out of 26 cantons) decided that they should be banned, indeed. The turnout was high, 54%. They're symbols of the Islamic and Allah's architectonic arrogance and they are meant to be a tool of a believing majority to intimidate the minorities of infidels (and to call everyone to prayer): Google News.