Wednesday, July 01, 2015


Once more: Climate was highly variable in prehistory too

Findings from Finland yesterday, South America today.  Another finding of big climate swings.  Also found below: Insolation (the sun) was primary driver of tropical S. American climate in the past 120,000 years.  Just the first half of the unusually long abstract below.  The second half deals with models

Nature and causes of Quaternary climate variation of tropical South America

Paul A. Baker et al.

Abstract

This selective review of the Quaternary paleoclimate of the South American summer monsoon (SASM) domain presents viewpoints regarding a range of key issues in the field, many of which are unresolved and some of which are controversial. (1) El NiƱo-Southern Oscillation variability, while the most important global-scale mode of interannual climate variation, is insufficient to explain most of the variation of tropical South American climate observed in both the instrumental and the paleoclimate records. (2) Significant climate variation in tropical South America occurs on seasonal to orbital (i.e. multi-millennial) time scales as a result of sea-surface temperature (SST) variation and ocean–atmosphere interactions of the tropical Atlantic. (3) Decadal-scale climate variability, linked with this tropical Atlantic variability, has been a persistent characteristic of climate in tropical South America for at least the past half millennium, and likely, far beyond. (4) Centennial-to-millennial climate events in tropical South America were of longer duration and, perhaps, larger amplitude than any observed in the instrumental period, which is little more than a century long in tropical South America. These were superimposed upon both precession-paced insolation changes that caused significant variation in SASM precipitation and eccentricity-paced global glacial boundary conditions that caused significant changes in the tropical South American moisture balance. As a result, river sediment and water discharge increased and decreased across tropical South America, lake levels rose and fell, paleolakes arose and disappeared on the Altiplano, glaciers waxed and waned in the tropical Andes, and the tropical rainforest underwent significant changes in composition and extent.

Quaternary Science Reviews. Volume 124, 15 September 2015, Pages 31–47




There's nothing unusual about current levels of CO2

Even though there were no coal-burning power stations in the Eocene. The late Eocene interglacial was ~100,000 years ago. Data from China

The pCO2 estimates of the late Eocene in South China based on stomatal density of Nageia Gaertner leaves

X.-Y. Liu et al.

Abstract.

Late Eocene pCO2 concentration is estimated based on the species of Nageia maomingensis Jin et Liu from the late Eocene of Maoming Basin, Guangdong Province. This is the first paleoatmospheric estimates for the late Eocene of South China using stomatal data. Studies of stomatal density (SD) and stomatal index (SI) with N. motleyi (Parl.) De Laub., the nearest living equivalent species of the fossil, indicate that the SD inversely responds to atmospheric CO2 concentration, while SI has almost no relationships with atmospheric CO2 concentration. Therefore, the pCO2 concentration is reconstructed based on the SD of the fossil leaves in comparison with N. motleyi. Results suggest that the mean CO2 concentration was 391.0 ± 41.1 ppmv or 386.5 ± 27.8 ppmv during the late Eocene, which is significantly higher than the CO2 concentrations documented from 1968 to 1955 but similar to the values for current atmosphere indicating that the Carbon Dioxide levels during that the late Eocene at that time may have been similar to today.

Clim. Past Discuss., 11, 2615-2647, 2015

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).


Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Women With Troubles - June 2015

Here is a compilation of women with troubles reported in news stories during June 2015. Each name is linked to an Interested-Participant blog entry displaying details.

For a more comprehensive listing, check the Women With Troubles category link.
(AK) Tricia L. Maleck, 42,
neighbor - Charged with forging signature to steal money from church,

(AR) Shawanda Shante Pam, 32,
neighbor - Arrested for multiple drug crimes,

(AZ) Lindsey Radomski, 33,
yoga instructor - Accused of performing sex act on boy, 15,

(CA) Sara Rizo, 39,
neighbor - Arrested for attack on tourist,

(DE) Molly Shattuck, 48,
former NFL cheerleader - Pleaded guilty to rape of boy, 15. Sentencing TBD,

(FL) Tarakiki Dozier, 39,
teacher - Guilty of conspiring to import marijuana,

(FL) Lily Karolyi, 20,
neighbor - Accused of luring runaway into life of prostitution,

(GA) Amanda Gwaltney, 33,
neighbor - Accused of performing oral sex on boy, 14,

(GA) Mary Katherine Pursley,
teacher - Accused of lowering autistic boy into a trash can,

(IA) Jennifer Lynn Rich, 40,
teacher - Accused of being intoxicated at school,

(ID) Marie Donaldson, 35,
teacher - Guilty of sex with boy, 16. Sentencing in August,

(KS) Kourtnie A. Sanchez, 25,
teacher - Charged with multiple counts of sex crimes with students,

(LA) Kerrian Javana Clofer, 26,
neighbor - Indicted for cruelty to a juvenile,

(LA) Ronda Giroir, 43,
neighbor - Accused of shooting her husband in the chest,

(MA) Heather Salines, 39,
neighbor - Accused of raping boy, 15, and his brother,

(ND) Michelle Wounded Face, 25,
neighbor - Accused of leaving kids to die,

(NJ) Lauren H. Mitchell, 33,
teacher - Accused of sex with girl, 15,

(OH) Melissa Harris, 37,
neighbor - Accused of sex with middle school student,

(OH) Jennifer Kuhlman, 30,
teacher - Sentenced to community control for attempted sexual battery,

(OH) Stacy L. McConoughey, 36,
teacher - Accused of sex with male student,

(OK) Kristen Betz,
teacher - Accused of raping student, 17,

(OK) Jennifer Caswell, formerly Jennifer Sexton, 29,
teacher - Pleaded guilty to rape and sodomy. Sentencing in August,

(PA) Megan Clough, 29,
teacher - Accused of improper contact with student,

(PA) Iris Gibney, 42,
neighbor - Sentenced to 5 years probation for sex with minor in back of car,

(PA) Crystal Shroyer, 32,
neighbor - Accused of sex with boy, 14,

(PA) Bridgett Szychulski, 32,
teacher - Gets prison for sex with student,

(SC) Nicole Prado Bates, 22,
neighbor - Accused of sex with boy, 14,

(TX) Amber Denise Witte, 29,
teacher - Accused of sex with male student,

(WI) Monica L. Sanchez, 27,
neighbor - Gets 3 years prison for homicide and delivery of heroin,

(WV) Penny Snodgrass, 54,
neighbor - Accused of stealing headstones and grave decorations from cemetery,

(WV) Lateesha Laneil Ward, 26,
neighbor - Accused of infecting minor with multiple sexually transmitted diseases.

Thanks to the tipsters.

That evil diabetes

The prime whipping boy for the "war on obesity" is diabetes.  Being fat is supposed to give you diabetes, never mind that most fat people are not diabetic! So it is interesting to see what pops up in the research about diabetes.  And the latest study is an unusually strong one.  The researchers had data on both income and education, which makes it quite a rarity and worth mentioning for that alone. So the results can be accepted without the most usual caveat about the influence of social class.

Another usual caveat is however not excluded. By basing their conclusions on interquartile range they threw away half their data.  At least they did not use extreme quintiles, I suppose. So they are a bit up on a lot of other studies in that regard.  The bottom line, however, is that the effects they observed were weak.

So what did they find, albeit weakly?  The most interesting finding was a negative.  Neighborhood social environment was not associated with diabetes.  Bear in mind, however that race/ethnicity was controlled for.  Without that control, inner city environments would have been found to be bad for you.  So having congenial neighbors is nice but it doesn't protect you from diabetes. Not terribly surprising, I suppose, but with their tendency to blame everything on external factors, Leftists might not like it

The positive effects were that a neighborhood with good opportunities for exercise helped stave off diabetes and a neighborhood with more fresh food available helped a little too.  So having nearby parks to jog around was good for you and a less fat-intensive diet gave your pancreas a bit of a rest.

An amusing thing is that JAMA really liked that study and put up a laudatory commentary on it ("Risk for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus:  Person, Place, and Precision Prevention").  And what the commentary said about it did not surprise me one bit. The commentary disregarded the weaknesses of the effects and even said that the authors found something which they did not.  Academics have a great tendency to draw conclusions they want to draw and damn the evidence.  So when dear little Nancy Adler and Aric Prather said in their commentary that: "physical and social contexts of neighborhood environments matter for disease onset", they were ignoring the fact that the study below found that social environment did NOT matter.  LOL.

We climate skeptics know well how little there is behind Warmist "science" but the same is true of science in other fields too, particularly health science.  And Leftism of course floats on a sea of lies.  The situation is so bad that, even at age 71,  I feel I still have to keep going and keep pointing out the facts. I would rather spend my time watching operetta -- but fortunately I do get some time for that too.  Much more fun than politics and crooked science.

Longitudinal Associations Between Neighborhood Physical and Social Environments and Incident Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA)

By Paul J. Christine et al.

ABSTRACT

Objective:  To determine whether long-term exposures to neighborhood physical and social environments, including the availability of healthy food and physical activity resources and levels of social cohesion and safety, are associated with incident T2DM during a 10-year period.

Design, Setting, and Participants:  We used data from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, a population-based cohort study of adults aged 45 to 84 years at baseline (July 17, 2000, through August 29, 2002). A total of 5124 participants free of T2DM at baseline underwent 5 clinical follow-up examinations from July 17, 2000, through February 4, 2012. Time-varying measurements of neighborhood healthy food and physical activity resources and social environments were linked to individual participant addresses. Neighborhood environments were measured using geographic information system (GIS)– and survey-based methods and combined into a summary score. We estimated hazard ratios (HRs) of incident T2DM associated with cumulative exposure to neighborhood resources using Cox proportional hazards regression models adjusted for age, sex, income, educational level, race/ethnicity, alcohol use, and cigarette smoking. Data were analyzed from December 15, 2013, through September 22, 2014.

Main Outcomes and Measures:  Incident T2DM defined as a fasting glucose level of at least 126 mg/dL or use of insulin or oral antihyperglycemics.

Results:  During a median follow-up of 8.9 years (37 394 person-years), 616 of 5124 participants (12.0%) developed T2DM (crude incidence rate, 16.47 [95% CI, 15.22-17.83] per 1000 person-years). In adjusted models, a lower risk for developing T2DM was associated with greater cumulative exposure to indicators of neighborhood healthy food (12%; HR per interquartile range [IQR] increase in summary score, 0.88 [95% CI, 0.79-0.98]) and physical activity resources (21%; HR per IQR increase in summary score, 0.79 [95% CI, 0.71-0.88]), with associations driven primarily by the survey exposure measures. Neighborhood social environment was not associated with incident T2DM (HR per IQR increase in summary score, 0.96 [95% CI, 0.88-1.07]).

Conclusions and Relevance:  Long-term exposure to residential environments with greater resources to support physical activity and, to a lesser extent, healthy diets was associated with a lower incidence of T2DM, although results varied by measurement method. Modifying neighborhood environments may represent a complementary, population-based approach to prevention of T2DM, although further intervention studies are needed.

JAMA Intern Med. Published online June 29, 2015. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.2691

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).


Monday, June 29, 2015


Wisconsin Woman Gets Prison in Drug Case


Monica L. Sanchez

(Sheboygan, Wisconsin) A 27-year-old local woman, Monica L. Sanchez, has been convicted of first-degree reckless homicide and felony delivery of heroin.

As a result, Sanchez has been sentenced to three years in prison.

The New Testament canon

I think it is axiomatic that Christians accept the Bible as the word of God.  If you don't accept the Bible as the word of God but still claim to be a Christian, you are some sort of hyphenated Christian.  I would call Episcopalians and Anglicans generally, post-Christians. Their adoration of homosexuals flies in the face of explicit Bible teachings in both the Old and New Testaments so they clearly do not accept the Bible as the word of God.

But what is meant by "word of God"?  Did God use the Bible writers as some sort of stenographers -- dictating precisely every word they wrote?  People who believe that are said to be "verbal inspiration" believers.  The verbal inspiration doctrine has great difficulties, however.  Take the account of what happened at Christ's tomb when his followers found his body no longer there. The four gospels give rather different accounts of what happened.

In Matthew 28 for instance, we read that when the two Marys approached the tomb, a glorious  angel came down and rolled away the stone.

In Mark 16 however we find that the stone had already been rolled away before they got there.  So they went into the tomb and met a young man sitting in it who told them Christ was risen.

And in Luke 24 we find that the women went into the tomb and were puzzled to find it empty.  But then two men in shining garments suddenly appeared beside them. And it was only after they had bowed to the men did the men tell them that Christ is risen.

And John 20 is different again.  This time it was just Mary Magdalene who came to the tomb and found it empty. This time nobody appeared to her so she ran away to tell some of the disciples.  So the disciples came to the tomb and examined its contents.  Then the disciples just went home.  But Mary stayed on.  And then two angels in white appeared and told her that Christ was risen

So we have four different accounts.  Was there one angel or two, for instance?  The accounts are not necessarily wrong.  They are about as consistent as what you get in court when different eye-witnesses to a crime are being examined.  So is God as scatterbrained as four human witnesses?  Surely not.  If he had dictated every word he would just have given the actual events, not what looks like a set of wobbly recollections.

So few Christians now believe in verbal inspiration.  They believe that the Bible writers wrote their own thoughts in their own way  but God was behind those thoughts, gently guiding them in the right direction.  

But then another problem arises.  How do we know who had God behind their thoughts?  There were many documents around in the early days which contained accounts of Christ's history and teachings.  Why did they all not make it into the New Testament?

The Roman Catholic church has an answer to that.  They say that the church made the pick.  They say that the church knew which document was divine and knocked back the others:  It was the church that assembled the NT.

That is not much of an answer however.  For a start, the church at that time was almost entirely located in the Greek-speaking cities of the Eastern Mediterranean lands.  Rome was a distant offshoot.  So the discussion about which documents were divine occurred in the Greek churches, not in Rome.  And the Greek Orthodox church does to this day with some justice regard itself as the lineal descendant of the original Christian church and say that authority about the canon belongs to them

Even if we accept the Roman claim, however, it just pushes the question back one step.  How did the church know which books were divine?  The only reasonable answer to that is that God influenced the minds of the men of the church to make the right decisions.

But if God was working through the minds of men, why did it have to be just one group of men?  Surely it could have been men anywhere in the Christian world and not merely a few big shots in Rome! So, broadly, the answer to the question of what formed the canon is a simple one from a Christian viewpoint:  If God inspired the writing of the various books, he could surely also see to it that the right ones were selected as holy!

Anne, the lady in my life is, like me, an ex-Christian and our Christian past is still influential with us both.  She doesn't like the apostle Paul's view of the place of women, however -- as in Paul's first epistle to the Corinthians, chapter 11, for instance.  Being a born tease, however, I enjoy pointing out that according to the NT, women should be submissive to their men.  Anne is no feminist but she is a pretty independent lady so she doesn't like Paul at all and why is he in in the Bible anyhow?

I replied that if God inspired the Bible writings, surely he could also make sure that the right documents were included in it.  On hearing that she burst into peals of laughter.  I am not totally sure why but I think she saw the logic in it and realized that you could not arbitrarily exclude Paul from being a divine messenger.

So how do I think the books of the Bible were chosen?  I do actually lean to an explanation that would fit in with God's guidance.  The history of the matter is that there was a considerable debate in the early days about which books were new revelation -- and various collections were made which embodied particular people's view of what was divine.  But after a while a consensus did emerge.  And it was an inclusive consensus:  Enough books were included to keep most people happy.

So was God behind that consensus?  Since I am an atheist I think not but a Christian could reasonably think so.  What I think happened is that those books which made most sense and sounded good at the time gradually, amid debate, came to be generally accepted as holy.

With his background in Greek learning, Paul was quite a good theologian, he wrote very energetically, wrote very extensively and he explicitly claimed divine guidance -- so it would appear that the whole available corpus of his writing was included.

And in the nature of these things, a tradition developed which saw that early consensus as authoritative.

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Sunday, June 28, 2015


Pennsylvania Teacher Gets Prison for Sex with Student - Update


Bridgett Szychulski

(Doylestown, Pennsylvania)
Bridgett Szychulski, 32, of Philadelphia was sentenced to 11½ to 23 months in Bucks County Prison, the Intelligencer reported.

According to the Bucks County District Attorney, Szychulski allegedly had a sexual relationship in 2012 with the student while she taught band at Lenape Middle School.
OK

* * * * *

Pennsylvania Teacher Guilty of Sex with Student - Update
[Previous 1/28/15 post]
(Doylestown, Pennsylvania) Former music teacher at Central Bucks High School South, Bridgett Szychulski, has pleaded guilty to statutory sexual assault and aggravated indecent assault on someone under the age of 16.

Sentencing is scheduled "in about 90 days."

* * * * *

Pennsylvania Teacher Accused of Sex with Student
[Previous 9/16/14 post]
(Doylestown, Pennsylvania) A 31-year-old band teacher formerly at Lenape Middle School, Bridgett Szychulski, has been accused of engaging in sex with a 14-year-old student in 2012.

Szychulski faces counts of deviate sexual intercourse, statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault.
School officials tell Action News that the district received an anonymous tip last week and suspended Szychulski the following day.

The encounters happened in her office, a storage room at the school and in Szychulski's car, investigators say.
Szychulski was booked and released on $500,000 bail.

Saturday, June 27, 2015


Will the Pope follow his own advice and turn off Vatican air-conditioning?

Or is he just another Green/Left hypocrite?

Unlike Pope Francis, I believe that air-conditioning and the capitalists responsible for the technology are blessings to the world.

Perhaps the head of the Catholic Church, who condemned "the increasing use and power of air-conditioning" last week in a market-bashing encyclical, is unaware of the pioneering private company that has donated its time, energy and innovative heating, ventilating and air-conditioning equipment to the Vatican's most famous edifice for more than a decade.

That's right. While the pontiff sanctimoniously attacks "those who are obsessed with maximizing profits," Carrier Corporation — a $13 billion for-profit company with 43,000 employees worldwide (now a unit of U.S.-based United Technologies Corp.) — ensures that the air in the Vatican's Sistine Chapel stays clean and cool.

Last fall, Carrier unveiled a groundbreaking HVAC system for the Vatican to help preserve Michelangelo's masterpieces against pollution caused by the estimated six million visitors who descend on the Sistine Chapel every year to see its famous frescoes.

As the company described it, their new solution "uses two Carrier AquaForce(r) 30XWV water-cooled chillers with Greenspeed(r) intelligence, each with 580 kilowatts of capacity. It leverages specially designed software and components, as well as patented, energy-saving technologies to maintain optimal climate conditions for the protection of the paintings within the chapel." State-of-the-art intelligent controls "anticipate visitor levels and adjust its performance intuitively." It also "delivers twice the efficiency and three times the capacity of the former system, which was built and installed by Carrier in the early 1990s."

Here's the lesson about air-conditioning capitalists that Pope Francis fails to appreciate: Carrier's technological know-how and breakthroughs didn't just descend from the clouds. As I recount in my latest book, "Who Built That," every perfectly chilled home, office, movie theater, mall, factory, hospital, lab and museum owes its existence to the profit-seeking pioneers of manufactured weather: Willis Carrier and Irvine Lyle.

These early 20th-century inventive giants brought air-conditioning to the market and to the masses. Willis Carrier was the scientist-tinkerpreneur whose prolific stream of experiments and epiphanies, beginning in 1902, fueled historic technological advances in heating, refrigeration and air-conditioning. Irvine Lyle was the mechanical engineer-turned-salesman who imagined countless new commercial applications for Carrier's work — and successfully turned those ideas into a multibillion-dollar business through relentless promotion, pitches, networking, advertising and outreach.

The scientists and their core team begged, borrowed and made stock sales to friends and neighbors. Carrier even enlisted his dentist for cash to get Carrier Engineering Corporation up and running in 1915. Carrier, Lyle and five founding engineers together pitched in $32,600 in start-up funds.

The Carrier capitalists risked it all in defiance of an economic depression and amid the tumult of world war. They couldn't afford their own factory and scrounged for made-to-order parts wherever they could find them. They dug into their own pockets to cover salary shortfalls. The wealth wasn't handed to them. Carrier and Lyle, farm boys who both graduated from Cornell, drove their men hard and themselves harder.

The Carrier team sold its products to businesses, large and small, that spanned the spectrum of human needs and wants. The pope should know that in addition to sparing countless lives from death by heat wave, Carrier designed a special system for Jonas Salk that helped maintain constant temperatures in the vats where Salk's poliovirus strains grew. The Salk vaccine saved thousands of lives and spearheaded the vaccine revolution.

From Hollywood to the pharmaceutical industry to textiles to the retail industry to the military to homeowners, there isn't a sector of the American economy that Carrier and Lyle didn't help transform. Their zealous focus on helping businesses provide better products at cheaper costs resulted in the invaluable byproducts of increased health, comfort and happiness.

While the pope blames commercial enterprises and the "global market economy" for causing "environmental degradation," it is a worldwide commercial enterprise made in America that solved the  human-caused degradation of, and environmental damage to, the Vatican's most prized art and assets.

If the pontiff truly believes "excessive consumption" of modern conveniences is causing evil "climate change," will he be shutting down and returning the multimillion-dollar system Carrier generously gifted to the Vatican Museums?

If not, I suggest, with all due respect, that Pope Francis do humanity a favor and refrain from blowing any more hot air unless he's willing to stew in his own.

SOURCE

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).


Friday, June 26, 2015


Louisiana Woman Accused of Starving Child


Kerrian Javana Clofer

(Lake Charles, Louisiana)
Kerrian Javana Clofer, 26, was indicted Thursday on a charge of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile.

Authorities said Clofer held the child's hands over an open flame for punishment, tied her to a bed and wouldn't allow her to eat for days.
Pretty nasty, eh?

Thursday, June 25, 2015


Multi Penis Report




In honor of Reddit's 10th anniversary, the site pulled out its top content ever, . . . a guy with two penises.
OK


Doctors: We were wrong

Below is an excerpt from the latest issue of the "Journal of the American Medical Association".  It is about as close as you can get to an official admission that the official diet advice given to Americans for many decades was totally wrong and probably harmful.

The message from that is a hard one:  Don't rely on official science about anything. You have to look at the evidence for yourself.  I have been reading health and diet advice from the early days of Lelord Kordell (he recommended lots of protein) and my response has always been to eat whatever I like whenever I like it.  So at age 71 I have had a lifetime of good dinners and only iatrogenic health problems.

On my reading of the evidence, I doubt very much that it makes much difference what you put into your mouth. The small differences that medical researchers find in their research results are almost certainly as trivial in their importance as they are trivial in their size. The lessons for global warming believers are obvious. Long live good dinners!  The planet won't notice one way or the other



SOURCE

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).


Teacher Allegedly Abuses Autistic Boy


Mary Katherine Pursley

(Marietta, Georgia)
A Georgia special education teacher who was accused of holding an autistic boy upside-down and lowering him head-first into a trash can while comparing him to Oscar the Grouch says she was trying to calm the boy, not hurt him.

At a school system hearing Monday near Atlanta, Mary Katherine Pursley said the second-grader was screaming and upset April 30, and she was trying to "shake out the grouchy."

"I said I thought we were going to get rid of that trashy behavior," said Pursley.
Pursley also faces a charge of first-degree cruelty to children.
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