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Posts posted by BaalChatzaf

  1. 3 hours ago, Ed Hudgins said:

    Is Space Still an Awe-Inspiring Frontier?
    By Edward Hudgins

    Rather than continuing to be awe-inspiring, has the prospect of space exploration become boring to most Americans?

    On New Year’s Day 2019, NASA’s New Horizon probe, which gave us spectacular photos of Pluto back in 2015, sent back images of a snowman-shaped asteroid named Ultima Thule. That object sits at the edge of the solar system and is the farthest ever photographed by a space probe.

    Soon thereafter, China landed its Queqiao rover on the far side of the Moon. Just as remarkable was the communications satellite parked at a gravitationally stable location in space beyond the Moon that allows the rover to communicate with scientists on Earth.

    Generations of Americans have found space, both the place and our efforts to explore and understand it, awe-inspiring. NASA landed Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the Moon in 1969. Our robots now roam the Martian deserts. Probes gave us close-ups of giant Jupiter and of Saturn’s rings. The Hubble telescope imaged breathtakingly beautiful star clusters, nebulae and the most distant galaxies.

    Has interest waned? For some, fiction is more fun than fact. CGI sci-fi flicks give us spaceships and alien worlds that, as eye-candy, beat out yet another picture of an actual dusty crater or astronaut floating in the International Space Station. For others, it might be that they’ve seen those craters and astronauts for years.

    Familiarity breeds ho-hum.

    The knowledge we gain from our space efforts will always be a source of awe and inspiration because, as Aristotle said ... (continue reading here.)

    We didn't follow up our Lunar Landings partially because JFK  framed the space race  as a pissing context between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.  Well  we won, right?  The Soviets lost.  And eventually the Soviets folded.  We won't get back in  Go To The Moon (or Mars)  mode until the  PRC  does.


  2. 5 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:


    I can imagine a worse scenario for ya'.

    How about RBG not being mentally fit anymore, like in a coma or after a stroke?

    The Progressives do not have a habit of hiding a deceased politician from the public, but there are cases of where they hid incapacitated ones. Think Woodrow Wilson.

    If RBG is dead, President Trump gets to choose her replacement. To the Progressives, this is the end of the world because he will definitely not choose one who thinks like her, but instead a conservative leaning constitutionalist.

    But imagine if she were incapacitated. I don't know what the procedure is for determining removal of office, but to the Progressives, this would be the supreme humiliation. Not only would their idol get replaced by someone they loathe, his administration would take her power away from her while she was still living and she would not be in a position to fight back. It would be like spitting on her grave to them, but worse. It would be like President Trump spitting in the hole where she is to be buried right before putting the body in.

    I don't know why that thought brings me pleasure--not the spitting part or even the disrespecting of RNG part, but instead the suffering of the Progressive soul from stewing in its own poison...

    That brings a smile to my lips. I guess I'm damaged goods...



    Teo Absolvo  (thou are absolved).   I fully understand your feelings. Schadenfreude is my third favorite hobby.  It is well I do not know where the people I despise are buried.  If I did, I would pee on their graves.

  3. 2 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

    The planet doesn't have to worry about me.


    I took the pledge

    No, but what happens in the next 100,000 may be affected by human tinkering.  My inclination is to be cautious about  entering positive feedback loops in systems whose dynamics we are ignorant of.  

    A good example of a runaway feedback loop is snow avalanches and landslide.  What starts of as little balls of snow or rock sliding/rolling downhill can expand to a massive movement of snow or land.  This is  rather straightforward  physics  in action.  You don't need quantum theory  to understand it. 

  4. On 1/30/2019 at 1:56 PM, Peter said:

    “We begin as philosophers where we began as babies, at the only place there is to begin: by looking at the world.” Ayn Rand



    Michael rocks the objectivist world. 

    I wrote some of the following several years ago after reading, "Heaven and Earth, Global Warming, the Missing Science," by Australian geologist and climate expert, Ian Plimer.


    The Roman Warming. (500BC to 535AD) “Good for humans!” Then the Dark Ages. (535 to 900)  “Cold is bad for us.” Medieval Warming. (900 to 1300)  “Good!” The Little Ice Age. (1300 to 1850)  “Bad.” Modern Warming. (1850 to Present)  “Good for us!”


    If mankind were causing global warming, then we would NOT SEE simultaneous warming on other planets or moons. But we do. If it warms on Earth, it simultaneously warms on Mars and Jupiter at the same time. The sun is the primary driver of climate change. Mankind has little to nothing to do with warming or cooling in a climatic sense. And I wrote that we are in a ten thousand year warming trend inside a much longer cooling trend. So, we are on our way to another ice age if you understand the graphs.


    Ba’al also mentioned we can’t do anything about the weather or the climate but there have been some suggestions from scientists that we might be able to nudge ourselves into a more hospitable climate. I don’t mean that in the Al Gore extremely loony or “The Day After Tomorrow“ movie way, but the most we could do may be in air dropping abundant coal dust periodically onto ice sheets, thereby absorbing more heat from the sun and melting some ice. Peter


    Putting stuff into the atmosphere to block the Sun  could  trigger off another cold spell like the Little Ice Age.  You would get an increase in albedo which would generate weather that decreased the albedo even further.   We are basically ignorant of the complexity  of our climate system.  Pushing our system into a positive feedback loop could produce  unintended consequences and unlooked conditions.  When you are dealing with something of which  you ignorant,  beware what you do.

  5. 19 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:


    Not in propaganda.

    In propaganda, "climate" is a buzzword container for horror stories of universal planetary destruction. The point is to scare the shit out of the public so they will agree with a technocratic elite getting gobs of power over the entire planet, and, of course, all the money and sex that come with it.

    Heat, clouds, rain, ice, atmosphere, the sun, etc., are mere details and of little importance to climate in a propaganda sense. A polar bear on a piece of floating ice is far, far more important. Don't believe me? Look at all the people over the years who pointed and yelled, "See? See? The climate did that!"


    I am only able to process the literal meaning of terms....


  6. 31 minutes ago, Peter said:

    I will put this in the bird brain section. Number 8 is spot on. Enigmas from the Web: (1) Isn't it weird that in America our flag and our culture offend so many people, but our benefits don't?


    (2) How can the federal government ask U.S. citizens to pay back student loans, when illegal aliens are receiving a free education?


    (3) Only in America are legal citizens labeled "racists" and "Nazis" but illegal aliens are called "Dreamers."


    (4) Liberals say, "If confiscating all guns saves just one life, it's worth it!" Well then, if deporting all illegals saves just one life, wouldn't that be worth it?


    (5) I can't quite figure out how you can proudly wave the flag of another country but consider it punishment to be sent back there.


    (6) The Constitution: It doesn't need to be rewritten; it needs to be reread.


    (7) William F. Buckley said: "Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other points of view and are then shocked and offended when they discover there are other points of view."


    (8) Joseph Sobran said: “'Need' now means wanting someone else's money. 'Greed' means wanting to keep your own. 'Compassion' is when a politician arranges the transfer."


    (9) Florida has had 119 hurricanes since 1850, but some people still insist the last one was due to climate change.


    (10) You can’t fix stupid…. I don’t care how much duct tape you use!


    Lawyer joke: One afternoon a lawyer was riding along in his big limousine, when he saw two men along the roadside eating grass. Disturbed, he ordered his driver to stop, and he got out to investigate.


    He asked one man, "Why are you eating grass?"


    "We don't have any money for food," the poor man replied. "We have to eat grass."


    "Well, then, you can come with me to my house and I'll feed you," the lawyer said.


    "But sir, I have a wife and two children with me. They are over there eating grass under that tree."


    "Bring them along," the lawyer replied.


    Turning to the second poor man he stated, "You may come with us, also."


    The other man, in a pitiful voice, then said, "But sir, I also have a wife and six children with me!"


    "Bring them all as well," the lawyer answered.


    They all entered the car, which was no easy task, even for a car as large as the limousine. Once under way, one of the poor fellows turned to the lawyer and said, "Sir, you are too kind. Thank you for taking all of us with you."


    The lawyer replied, "Glad to do it. You'll really love my place. The grass is almost a foot high."


    Did you really think there was such a thing as a heart-warming lawyer story? Look at Congress -- over 300 Lawyers.

    Jolly good!  

  7. 29 minutes ago, Peter said:

    I think the "the sky is falling" people know they are hoaxers even with the sanctimonious looks in their eyes.  Good acting, liars, cheats, and wanna be rulers of the earth!    

    I prefer being charitable and attribute the alarmist outburst as a result of underlying scientific error,  government intervention,  and exacerbation  by the media.  As you know the be basic axiom of the media is "if it bleeds, it leads".  Back in the 70's  the  magazines, newspapers  and t.v.  we broadcasting the coming Ice Age showing New York City covered by a massive glacier. The Statue of Liberty's head and torch arm extended from a massive ice cube. Then warming caught on. So you see New York City well inundated by high sea level with Liberty's head and arm barely above the water line. Combine that with Paul Erlich's  grim predictions over overpopulation with shortages of just about everything   and then add  The Club of Rome's   fatalistic predictions of how the world is going to hell in a handbasket.  The combined pessimism  produces  an image  very much captured in the motion picture "Soylent Green".   Well,  none of this doom occurred.  The models that the pessimist and the alarmists relied on were just plain  wrong.

    However we should keep in mind that human activity  does indeed affect the environment.  Today you can see photographs and t.v. images of Chinese cities with air thick with pollution. The Chinese currently are the world's leading air polluters.  The air in major  Chinese cities looks thick enough that it can be cut into cubes  and shipped abroad.  Here in the U.S there is the infamous atmosphere of Los Angeles.   Not so long ago (60-70 years)  the atmosphere of Pittsburg was grey with coal dust.  Fortunately that problem has been addressed since.  Very effective steps have been taken to reduce air and water pollution caused by the disposal of industrial waste  and  human waste.  Unfortunately the major third world nations such as India and emerging industrial giants such as China have yet to deal with the pollution problems they are causing. 

    Even so, there is nothing that humans could do to turn the Earth into Venus.  Human technology has only the minutest  effect on the world compared to natural effects. The human race is capable of rendering itself extinct, but there is nothing humans can do to sterilize this planet of life.  Natural will do that in about 1.5 billion years and humans will not be around then. 


    • Like 1
  8. 18 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:


    Partially true. But partially false. (They are not totally distinct, but instead, hierarchical parts the same thing. Like a Ford Fiesta is a car. It would be kinda stupid to say Ford Fiesta is not the same as car. :) )

    And in the realm of propaganda, however, the two--weather and climate--are interchangeable.

    And one thing is wholly true. Propaganda is not the same as Science. Neither is humor.

    Don't tell me you read President Trump's tweet as science?




    Climate, roughly speaking is averaged weather.  By convention climate is a sequence of averages taken over a moving 30  year window.  30 years  is small enough to pick up significant  average weather changes.  The idea is to get data of change without be biased by the daily variations.  30 year averaging smooths the daily variation and still picks up longer range trends.


  9. 5 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

    Aaaaaaaand back to our pal big Al...


    Is Climate Opera a thing?



    Climate is, roughly speaking, average weather over a moving 30 year interval.  30 years is considered the smallest interval that can indicate climate conditions.  Several things are averaged;  temperature, humidity, precipitation,  growing season length  etc.  Climate change is  the sequence of climate data points (each computered as stated prior over a 30 year interval).  A sequence of climate data points as a function of time  defines  climate change.  To be more exact that should be regional climate.  There is no One and Only climate for this planet.  There are several concurrent climate regimes acting and  interaction over the planet.  For example,  climate in the polar regions  is colder than climate in the tropics.  That must be for the simple reason that the tropics get direct sunlight  and the polar regions get sunlight at a slant.  

    The various climate regimes must change over time because the Earth is never in thermodynamic equilibrium with the surround space.  Our distance from the sun varies over time,  the earth precesses around its axis of rotation,  the Sun's irradiance varies over time  and cosmic ray impact varies over time. Cosmic Rays!!???.  Yes. Cosmic rays affect how water vapor in the atmosphere condense around dust particles in the air which affects the process of cloud formation.  Clouds  are the Venetian Blinds or the various climate regimes and have a significant effect on temperature. 

    The major flaw in the premise of the Warmists is that there is an Ideal Climate from which our planet is forced to diverge because of CO2 production (mostly from burning hydrocarbon fuels).  There is no Ideal Climate and there never was.  Our general  climate  is a succession of ice ages separated by warmer interglacial periods.  The last major ice age started about three million years ago  and we are still in that ice age, enjoying one of several mild interglacial periods.  Technically (this is a technical definition)  we are in an ice age as long as there is permanent ice at the poles.  Even our current interglacial period is marked by periods of warming a cooling.  That last freeze-you-ass-off cooling was the (so-called)  Little Ice Age which was in reality a cool periods that lasted from 1300 c.e. to 1815 c.e.  (roughly).  Since 1815 the world has been warming a few degrees from purely natural causes.  Since 1850 the rate of increase of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has risen rapidly.  That is because humans are burning stuff and producing CO2  faster than it can be absorbed by plants, weather of limestone rocks and dissolution of CO2 in the oceans.  Since this rise in CO2 is concurrent with an already existing rise in temperature the alarmists have decided it is our fault because of the concurrent rise in CO2 concentration.  In fact the most powerful greenhouse gas (so-called)  is water vapor,  not CO2 or methane  (CH4).  Of a 1.5 deg rise in temperature since 1815  humans may have cause a 0.5 deg. rise portion of the 1.5 deg rise.  The alarmists are alarmed (alarmists are always alarmed by one thing or another)  because of the rate CO2 addition to the atmosphere. 

    So climate is changing.  It is always changing and will continue to change for the next 1.5 billion years until the Sun becomes so hot it evaporates the oceans.  Our vast oceans are why the Earth has not become Venus.  The Sun will burn hotter and hotter as the hydrogen in the Sun is fused into  helium and the helium is fused into carbon.  The earth will eventually be baked dry and life will cease to exist on the surface as the oceans are evaporated  into space.  This will occur several  billion years before the Earth itself is gasified by an expanding Sun (the Red Giant phase).  That will be about 5 billion years from now. 

    Our last 3 million years has ben a succession of ice age  glaciation  with intermediate mild periods.  The next several million years should be about the same.  Here is a graph:


    • Like 1
  10. 10 minutes ago, Brant Gaede said:

    The human race is made for this planet, now pushing eight billion people. It took the planet over 4 billion years to make it to the rendezvous.


    But it won't last.  Mammalian species have a relatively short shelf life compared to insects and single cell organisms.



  11. On 1/3/2019 at 5:47 PM, Jonathan said:



    The pins are rigidly affixed to the rod. They cannot slide along the rod, nor can it slide through them. The crayon is held by a cylinder welded to the end of the rod. One pin is closer to the crayon than the other.

    The pins are mounted to the sleds via the sleds’ collars. The pins are limited to rotating in the collars on their vertical axes.

    Grooves X and Y are perpendicular to each other. Sled 1 is limited to sliding in groove X, and sled 2 is limited to sliding in groove Y.

    The crayon is in constant contact with the surface beneath its tip.

    When horizontal force is applied to the crayon’s holding cylinder, perpendicular to the rod, what shape will be created by the crayon’s path once it has completed a full cycle?

    The same thing can be done with a string and two thumbtacks.   Please see 


  12. On 3/8/2011 at 9:42 PM, Selene said:

    Right now, The John Batchelor Radio Show is discussing the Quisling, Alan Greenspan's article and then by reference, they are discussing Ayn Rand and just mentioned that the movie which emphasizes the strike is opening next month.

    They are making a reference to the withholding of cash by cur present corporation as a "capital strike" a la Ayn Rand's Strike in Atlas Shrugged.


    Amity Schales and Alan Kudlow are in the discussion with Batchelor.


    Quisling!  That is just about right. 


  13. 3 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:


    Mention Ayn Rand and Bob spits.


    not true.  She provided a good expression of what I  was thinking about (ugh!)  government, politics and the state.  On scientific and mathematical issues  she was a great Hollywood script writer.


  14. 2 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

    Bob's not dumb. It's just as a literalist and physicalist he doesn't do abstract reasoning except, I'd suppose, with mathematics. As a compensation he denigrates philosophy and extols science. Science, however, rests on philosophy even into the ethics, aka integrity.


    Science parted company with metaphysics  over 100 years go.  The only philosopher  that  physicists mention without spitting is Carl Popper. 


  15. On 1/6/2019 at 2:05 PM, Jonathan said:

    The point of my post wasn't to get you to open up about your feelings for your ex-boyfriend, but to get you to recognize that he and others, who are infinitely more intelligent than you, long ago grasped the solutions to the puzzle that you, so far, have been too stupid to grasp.


    which puzzle is that?


  16. 34 minutes ago, Ellen Stuttle said:

    I'm reading consecutively from where I last posted yesterday.  Ninth's post ends a page, so I've had no glimpse of what, if anything, Bob responded.

    If he's responded in true-to-form fashion, he'll have said something along the lines of his having a high IQ, therefore not being a "knucklehead."

    However, Mr. Brilliant - especially at math - doesn't seem to be able to grasp that about .159... miles north of the South Pole, one could circumambulate the globe walking one mile west. (Also on smaller circles the circumference of which is a whole-number fraction of one mile.)


    if he starts out from a pole he will end up back at the same place. Look at case 2 where he starts at at a non polar point.  Unless step 2 of his journey ends at exactly the same point step  1 ended he does not get back because terminates step 2 and a different meridian of longitude  form the meridian he was on at step 1. 


  17. 3 hours ago, Jonathan said:


    Bob, you like Elon Musk, right? In fact, you kind of have a bit of a crush on him, if I recall correctly.

    Anyhoo, did you know that this puzzle is one his favorites, and that he is alleged to have used it in job interviews?

    You won't listen to us because we're common trash dunces, but what about listening to your genius hero Musk?

    It's even in his authorized biography.

    No? Still too stubborn?


    It was a brief infatuation. I have come see that E.M.  is a Crony Capitalist and his management of Tesla Motors is an abomination.  It is true that his is brighter than most old line corporate capitalists,  but his intellectual glitz cannot hide two things   1. He lusts and longs for government funded projects  and 2.  His intellectual reach  exceeds his intellectual grasp.   

    I regard  Captain Bullshit  as an entertainment, not the second coming of John Galt. 

  18. 5 minutes ago, Brant Gaede said:

    According to the original problem Bob is right except for the one mile walk near the South Pole. Everybody is right about the North Pole.

    Some busybody moved the goal posts.


    to make it more interesting


    59 minutes ago, Max said:

    The last leg IS on the same line of longitude as the first leg, because following a line of latitude over its total length brings you back to the point were you started, lines of latitude are circles! If you follow the equator westwards for about 40000 kilometers you'll be back again at where you started. However, the green circle in the picture is very close to the South Pole, so in this case you have only to walk one mile, but the principle is the same.


    1 hour ago, Max said:

    The last leg IS on the same line of longitude as the first leg, because following a line of latitude over its total length brings you back to the point were you started, lines of latitude are circles! If you follow the equator westwards for about 40000 kilometers you'll be back again at where you started. However, the green circle in the picture is very close to the South Pole, so in this case you have only to walk one mile, but the principle is the same.

    The original problem was walk a mile south walk a mile west (was it east -- no matter)  walk a mile north.  The east-west walk  is less than the length of line of latitude  reached by the southword leg so that the return trip is along a  different line of longitude.   Let me give an example.  The coordinates of the north geographic pole  are (90, lon)  where lon can be any angle between 0 and 360.  The north geographic pole and the south geographic pole are the only two points on the earth sphere that do not have unique coordinate.  Now let me widen the problem out   Start at a  point, walk to the equator in a southerly direction, walk east along the equator  the same number of steps that one took to reach the equator  then march in a northerly direction  the same number of step.   

    Two cases:   

    Case 1  the starting point is the north pole.   Assume the first leg is south along the Greenwich meridian, that is to say 0 longitude.  This gets us  down to (0, 0) on the equator.  Walk west the same distance and we get to (0, 90).  Now walk north the same distance and we get to (90,90) which is the same point as (90, 0)   the north pole.

    Case 2.  The starting point  is   (x-lat, x-long)  where x-lat is greater than 0 and less than 90.   Assume  x-long = 0 without loss of generality.   Now leg 1: (x-lat, 0)  to (x1, 0)  where x1 < x-lat  and greater or  equal to 0.   Leg  2  (x1,0)   (x1, y1)  where  y1 > 0  but < 360.   That means leg2 moved us to a different point with the same latitude.  Now leg 3  northward by the same distance.  This gets is to (x2, y1) because going north means following a meridian of longitude.   Notice that x2 not = x1.   The final destination is (x2, y1)  which is different from (x-lat, 0).  So we do not end up at the same place if we started out from a point that was not the pole. 


    Forget drawings.  The proof is abstract and mathematical.  Drawings are crutches for the logically feeble. 


  19. 17 hours ago, Max said:


    In this case the line of longitude "intersects" itself over its whole length, you travel namely twice the same line of longitude. Again: the same line of longitude. When it is the same line, it doesn't have to intersect another line of longitude to arrive at its starting point. That is the point!

    That last leg is NOT on the same line of longitude as the first leg.  Why? Because the second leg  is a traverse along a line of latitude  which changes the longitude.  

  20. 17 hours ago, Jonathan said:

    False. That does not logically follow, and we've shown it to be false with examples.

    Bob, what you need to do is to slow down, actually read and comprehend what we've written and illustrated, and carefully consider what we've said. Our presentations of solutions near the south pole comply with the conditions of the exercise.


    ALL  northbound travel is along a line of longitude.  Any other path or direction is NOT  north or south.  Since the last leg of this three part journey is north along a line of longitude different from the first leg the end point must lie on the intersection of the two lines of longitude, hence it is a pole.  Given the conditions of the problem it is the north pole.  


  21. 2 hours ago, Jonathan said:

    Bob, here's the same image but with longitude lines added.


    Does this make it clearer? Understand now?


    No. The problem state that the traveler started at a point, went a mile south then a mile west and then a mile north and ended where he started. That means his end point had to be on  the intersection of two lines of longitude.   Travelling North-South means travelling on a line of longitude.  Travelling  East West means travelling on a line of latitude parallel to the equator.  


  22. 2 hours ago, Max said:

    Bob, look at the picture in your own post. You start walking at the yellow point at the right, you walk along a meridian (the red line) southwards, to the South Pole (indicated by the barber pole). After 1 mile walking you arrive at the small, green latitude circle. There you start walking to the west, always keeping the South Pole to your left. After walking one mile westwards, you are back at the point where the red line meets the green circle, as the circumference of that latitude circle is exactly 1 mile (a very small latitude circle, you are really very close to the South Pole!). Now you walk back along the red meridian, and after another 1 mile you're back at your starting point. Voilà!

    You have fulfilled all the conditions of the exercise: walked 1 mile southwards, then 1 mile westwards, then 1 mile northwards (along the same meridian as when you went to the south) and you are back again at your starting point. Any questions?

    Since two legs of the walk, the first and the third are along lines of longitude one must end up where the lines of longitude intersect.  Under the conditions of the puzzle that would be the north geographic pole.  The three logs are along a line of longitude, a line of latitude and a line of longitude  the conditions of the puzzle require that the journey begin and end  at a pole. 


  23. 13 hours ago, Mark said:

    Judging from the recent thread “Where are you?” some people here are interested in spherical geometry, so you might be interested in a curious fact about space discovered by the English theoretical physicist P.A.M. Dirac (1902-1984) – specifically the “space” of rotations in three dimensional space.

    At the bottom of the following webpage you’ll find a link to a computer program (Windows) that generates movies illustrating his discovery in various ways:
    How a Spinning Object Can Remain Connected to a Stationary One

    It can also show a movie that illustrates the principle behind the spinning jenny used to twist fiber into thread. 


    A disk mounted on a mathematically thin axle with a bearing one point thick at the center.