Richard Dawkins, Admirals, Climate Change, and Krugman’s LOLZ…

Hot Yoga At Home has posted another video (after a hiatus)

Screen shot 2013-03-11 at 9.35.50 AM

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Click on either screenshot to see the 2:45 video. It lifted my spirits.

Science When Admiral Locklear was asked about the “top threat” in the Pacific, he said(Will Rogers in National Security Blog):

Bryan Bender of the Boston Globe reported the statements on Saturday. Here is an excerpt from his article:

Navy Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, in an interview at a Cambridge hotel Friday after he met with scholars at Harvard and Tufts universities, said significant upheaval related to the warming planet “is probably the most likely thing that is going to happen . . . that will cripple the security environment, probably more likely than the other scenarios we all often talk about.’’

“People are surprised sometimes,” he added, describing the reaction to his assessment. “You have the real potential here in the not-too-distant future of nations displaced by rising sea level. Certainly weather patterns are more severe than they have been in the past. We are on super typhoon 27 or 28 this year in the Western Pacific. The average is about 17.”

Locklear said his Hawaii-based headquarters — which is assigned more than 400,00 military and civilian personnel and is responsible for operations from California to India, is working with Asian nations to stockpile supplies in strategic locations and planning a major exercise for May with nearly two dozen countries to practice the “what-ifs.”

[W]hen it comes to pragmatic military planning, Locklear said he is increasingly focused on another highly destabilizing force.

“The ice is melting and sea is getting higher,” Locklear said, noting that 80 percent of the world’s population lives within 200 miles of the coast. “I’m into the consequence management side of it. I’m not a scientist, but the island of Tarawa in Kiribati, they’re contemplating moving their entire population to another country because [it] is not going to exist anymore.”

Then there is this from NASA (via Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub)

WASHINGTON — Vegetation growth at Earth’s northern latitudes increasingly resembles lusher latitudes to the south, according to a NASA-funded study based on a 30-year record of land surface and newly improved satellite data sets.

An international team of university and NASA scientists examined the relationship between changes in surface temperature and vegetation growth from 45 degrees north latitude to the Arctic Ocean. Results show temperature and vegetation growth at northern latitudes now resemble those found 4 degrees to 6 degrees of latitude farther south as recently as 1982.

“Higher northern latitudes are getting warmer, Arctic sea ice and the duration of snow cover are diminishing, the growing season is getting longer and plants are growing more,” said Ranga Myneni of Boston University’s Department of Earth and Environment. “In the north’s Arctic and boreal areas, the characteristics of the seasons are changing, leading to great disruptions for plants and related ecosystems.”

The study was published Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change.

The weather here: wetter than normal, and warmer than normal. We had snow toward the end of February but not much during January. We have fewer snowstorms, but heavier ones along with more total moisture (due to rain).

Education Michelle Rhee goes on and on about the need for “great teachers”. I’ll have to read her book to see if she provides any actual evidence. The review that I linked to doesn’t say whether it does or whether it doesn’t; it does say that she neglects the argument about poverty and early childhood intervention in programs such as Head Start.

I can say this: there is such a thing as talent. For example: the best track coach in the world would have never been able to make a runner out of me; I just don’t have the ability. And I wonder: if kids show up to school after being neglected (in terms of nutrition, parental attention, being read to, etc.), are they all but doomed? I don’t know; I haven’t read the evidence. I have read studies that show things like Head Start make a difference in poor areas. There is more here.

Richard Dawkins: gets a shout out on The Simpsons as a “Devil” character in Ned Flanders’ nightmare (via Friendly Atheist):
Screen shot 2013-03-11 at 9.49.53 AM

Paul Krugman: LOLZ
This is too good to be true. The Dailycurrant published a satire story about Paul Krugman filing for personal bankruptcy: the idea was that he tried to “spend his way out of personal debt”. Most of us know that Dailycurrant is satire (e. g., it had Sarah Palin being appointed to the faculty at Harvard University). But evidently, some right wing outlets DON’T know that it is satire and ran with the story. Paul Krugman stayed silent until one of these “media” outlets bit…and then had LOLZ.


March 11, 2013 - Posted by | atheism, big butts, bikinis, education, environment, politics, politics/social, republicans, science, social/political, spandex, yoga | , , ,

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