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Odd Lots


  1. TRX says:

    I used to happily sleep until near noon. Then I spent three months getting up before dawn when I had to do something that required it. After that, my internal clock somehow decided I should wake up at 0500, no matter if I went to sleep at 2000 or 0300. It’s still that way thirty years on.

    The “going to sleep” part seems to be mostly independent of the “waking up” part…

  2. Tom Roderick says:

    I had a high school chemistry teacher who would drop a small piece of sodium in a large battery jar full of water at the back of the class room during exams. He did it until he used a piece a bit too large and the entire glass battery jar exploded and showered the class with water and glass fragments. Fortunately nobody was hurt. Who says high school science is not exiting. Oh, this was over 50 years ago so neither he nor anyone else got in trouble or even made much of a fuss.

  3. Oleg Panczenko says:

    Regarding your item “[a] new model … suggests that solar activity may fall as much as 60% by 2030” where you remark “t]hat number is misleading for a number of technnical reasons …”

    Could you explicate some of the technical reasons or point us to (simple) explications?

    1. It’s mostly misleading for people with only a casual interest in solar astronomy. Basically and from a height, “solar activity” is not the same as “solar output.” People who haven’t done much reading about the Sun often get them confused.

      Solar output is extremely uniform, and from what I’ve read varies by only one part in about 1200. This is a damned good thing; otherwise, we’d by turns freeze or fry. Solar activity has to do with sunspots, flares, changing lengths of sunspot cycles, coronal holes, influence on solar wind, and so on. That stuff changes a lot over time. It’s difficult to hang a number on solar activity as a whole, and mostly we use sunspot counts as a proxy for overall solar activity. There’s good correlation down the centuries between global temperature and sunspot counts.

      Causation is still a matter of enormous dispute, and the toxic politics of climate science makes it all but impossible to conduct research as science really should be conducted. The vast majority of climate research studies these days are done basically to provide a rationale for carbon taxes. Researchers who don’t parrot the government line tend not to get funding, and those who persist are demonized. It is to pewk.

      1. Rich Rostrom says:

        Not so much carbon taxes, as subsidies and mandates for “green” power and associated manufacturing, and other wealth transfers.

        A few years ago, European authorities busted a windpower scam run by the Sicilian Mafia, and seized over a billion euros in illicit profits. Tesla Motors scammed about $70 million in “carbon credits” from California by claiming (fraudulently) that their cars were “fast recharge”.

        These are just some of the fraud pieces of the pie. Ex pede herculem, imagine the scale of the whole thing.

        As is so often said, follow the money. Nobody gains directly from carbon taxes, but these deals all put money in pockets – lots of money.

  4. jon spencer says:

    This story reminded me of this,

  5. Carrington Dixon says:

    I wish I could remember where I first saw this:

    Climate is what you expect; weather is what you get.

  6. Don Doerres says:

    Since you are here in Scottsdale here is an odd lot for you, a free and fun thing:

    Science Fiction TV Dinner.

    Comes from Arizona State University Center for Science and the Imagination. Yes, it comes with a free dinner. Your only cost is parking. It is an old scifi TV show followed by a panel discussion. Quality overall is about what you would expect at a scifi con.

    Location varies around metro Phoenix, often at ASU.

    Have a look at

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