Reimagined and Revamped. Fighting the spread of nonsense often feels like a Sisyphean task. However, the joy is in making the information available, not the hope of conversion.

New Batteries

Toshiba has a new battery coming out next year. And you can already see all the hyperbole like form their data sheet

"a breakthrough rechargeable battery"

or from Engadget

"How does this sound: a battery capable of recharging to 90% in under 5 minutes while remaining useful (i.e., 5,000+ recharges) for 10 years or more? Sounds like the stuff of jetpacks and food replicators right?" [my bold]
Well lets get the story straight for a second. When a company says "Better" your first question should be "than what?". There is no doubt that this battery technology has some really great properties, however does it solve the problems associated with the normal consumer in terms of battery life? Lets see.

The major benefit that they are touting is the ability to charge quickly. Very quickly. The graph they are showing in the data sheet makes the following comparison: The SCiB battery can charge 6-24 times faster than other Li+ batteries.

There are two major applications that would love to see this benefit, handheld devices and electric cars. The technology, according to their data sheet says it can charge at 50 amps. They do not relate this statistic to the size of the battery, so I think it is suspect, but lets just take it at face value.

For handheld devices you will not be able to get the full benefit of this feature because most homes do not have circuits with 50 amp breakers on it (there are exceptions, but in general, trying to get 50 amps through a normal outlet will make the circuit breaker go). There are other reasons why this is not a good technology for handheld, but we will get to that later. The idea that you may go to an airport and plug in for 5 minutes to charge your laptop, doesn't seem likely.

For electric cars, that have large batteries, this is truly a boon. The possibility of having electric-only service stations are possible. Installing a 50 amp circuit in your garage is completely viable, and you may already be wired that way since many people have big tools like air compressors, saws and so forth in there.

But alas, while they have solved one issue, other features of have been made worse. Take a look at the chart to the right. The energy density of the new SCiB is far worse than current Li+ technology for handhelds. So while this may not be so much of an issue for weight and space insensitive applications, like cars, its pretty much a death knell for handheld and portable applications.

Lets examine a hypothetical device that uses this technology as a portable power supply like other ones that are currently available. From teh SCiB data sheet, we see that a single battery has the following specs

4.2 Ah
76.6 cubic centimeters
150 grams

This leads to volumetric energy density of 130 Wh/l (without any sort of enclosure) and 67 Wh/Kg. Just to take a reality check, lets compare to a product that we already know is bunk, the Medis 24/7. It has an energy density of 85 Wh/L and 130 Wh/Kg. So the SCiB is still better volumetrically (important for integration into handheld devices) but the Medis power pack, is better in a weight basis.

Of course using normal Li+ beats both by factor 2x. Regardless, other features that help this new technology is the low life cycle degradation, one of the key deficiencies of traditional Li+ batteries.

All in all, this new technology is not a boon to consumer electronics and hand held or computer applications, but looks quite good as a energy source for cars. To the credit of Toshiba, they acknowledge this and make no claims about handhelds:

In addition to applications that include battery-powered bicycles, motorcycles, automated guided vehicles, electric forklift trucks and construction machinery, which already use rechargeable batteries, the SCiB is also a promising candidate for emergency power sources, electric power regeneration in wind power systems and stabilization of electric power supply. Application in hybrid cars is also planned, with the intent of extending application to electric cars in the future, after advancing development of a high-performance SCiB cell.
And I fully agree with this assessment. Apparently its just the media and bloggers that are getting ga ga over it for handhelds.

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Atheist Charities

This is the season of giving, as they say. There are a lot of religions who use this time of year for reflection, charity and general goodwill. I dont see why atheists can't also use this time of year to be benevolent. Any time of year is good of course, but personally I find winter solstice to be one of the most uplifting days of the year, so why not?

I've been asked often why there aren't any atheist charities. Of course, as usual, people are just presuming or parroting things they heard. Of course there are atheist charities. And like in my videos post, I am considering charities that do not promote a specific religion to be an atheist charity.

I found most of these at the Internet Infidels discussion board (and copied descriptive text from there, apologies if that was a problem). But I thought a nice list would be better, plus I added a few more. There are useful sites like CharityNavigator to help you sort through all the charities out there. If there are comments proposing ones that I missed (and surely there are plenty), I will add them to this list, if they are highly rated (not that all of these are). So here goes:

UPDATE 2009: I apologize for not refreshing this list. No time this year. Please feel free to leave some more a-theist charities for me to include in future versions in the comments.Please read the comments for more and add your own! I know there are more good secular charities out there that I have missed. I also recommend donating so some of the excellent critical thinking podcasts out there.

Secular Charities and Aid groups:
a simple way to provide students in need with resources that our public schools often lack.
lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world.

The Union of Concerned Scientists
The leading science-based non-profit working for a healthy environment and safer world.

American Red Cross
The American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization led by volunteers, guided by its Congressional Charter and the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross Movement, will provide relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. The USA's premier emergency response organization, over 91% of Red Cross spending is on charitable services.

American Civil Liberties Union
The mission of the ACLU is to preserve all of constitutional protections and guarantees relating to First Amendment rights, including the freedom to practice religion and the freedom not to have religion rammed down our throats, equal protection, due process, and right to privacy.

United Nations Children's Fund
UNICEF mobilizes political will and material resources to help countries, particularly developing countries, ensure a "first call for children" and to build their capacity to form appropriate policies and deliver services for children and their families. UNICEF provides emergency and disaster relief.

Doctors without Borders
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international independent medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural and man-made disasters, and exclusion from health care in nearly 70 countries.

Amnesty International
AI’s vision is of a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards.
In pursuit of this vision, AI’s mission is to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from discrimination, within the context of its work to promote all human rights.

Oxfam International
Oxfam International is a confederation of 12 organizations working together with over 3,000 partners in more than 100 countries to find lasting solutions to poverty, suffering and injustice. The Oxfams operate in over 100 countries worldwide working with local partners to alleviate poverty and injustice.

The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy is a leading international, nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the diversity of life on Earth. An environmental group that protects natural habitats and the wildlife within them. Focuses on "science-based" initiatives.

Population Connection
Population Connection is the national grassroots population organization that educates young people and advocates progressive action to stabilize world population at a level that can be sustained by Earth's resources. Works against faith-based policies that are supported by the Religious Right.

DefCon: Campaign to Defend the Constitution
DefCon is an online grassroots movement combating the growing power of the religious right. It includes a blog on religious freedom issues, action alerts, and in-depth articles on scientific, religious, and legal issues of the day.

The SEED foundation
National nonprofit that establishes urban public boarding schools to prepare students from underserved communities for success in college.

Project Peanut Butter
Project Peanut Butter is a therapeutic feeding program for malnourished children in Malawi and Sierra Leone, on the continent of Africa. It was founded by Professor Mark Manary, M.D., a pediatrician at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and a professor of pediatric medicine at Washington University School of Medicine.

Electronic Frontiers Foundation
When our freedoms in the networked world come under attack, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the first line of defense. Blending the expertise of lawyers, policy analysts, activists, and technologists, EFF achieves significant victories on behalf of consumers and the general public. EFF fights for freedom primarily in the courts, bringing and defending lawsuits even when that means taking on the US government or large corporations.

Mercy corps
Mercy Corps exists to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities.

Our programs serve people who have been economically, politically, or otherwise marginalized. We change our program approach to relate to their culture and circumstances, reaching out in very different ways, for example, to nomads in Tibet, women in Tanzania, or indigenous Mayans in Guatemala. Our aim is to build a bridge of compassion between our donors and the people we serve — people around the world who have the fewest resources.

International Peace Institute
The International Peace Institute (IPI) formerly International Peace Academy is an independent, international institution dedicated to promoting the prevention and settlement of armed conflict between and within states through policy research and development.

Issue-Specific Secularist Organizations

The ADSN Project.
The Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia's Anti-Discrimination support network (ADSN) is collecting narratives highlighting instances of bigotry against the nontheist community.

Southern Poverty Law Center
SPLC is internationally known for its tolerance education programs, its legal victories against white supremacists and its tracking of hate groups.

The Alternatives to Marriage Project
The Alternatives to Marriage Project (AtMP) advocates for equality and fairness for unmarried people, including people who are single, choose not to marry, cannot marry, or live together before marriage.

Pro-choice organizations
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Provides reproductive health care services, advocates for women's reproductive rights, and offers educational services for women.

NARAL Pro-choice America
Focuses mostly on the social and legal activism for women's abortion rights.

Womens Health Organizations
an international nonprofit organization that has been working for 60 years to make reproductive health services safe, available, and sustainable for women and men worldwide.

an international organization that works around the world to increase women's ability to exercise their sexual and reproductive rights, and to reduce abortion-related deaths and injuries.

Teen Pregnancy Reduction
National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
Sadly this charity is rated with only 2 stars due to low efficiency. However their goal is highly respectable and needed, to prevent teen pregnancy and unplanned pregnancy among single, young adults.

Treatment Action Campaign
campaign for treatment for people with HIV and to reduce new HIV infections. Our efforts have resulted in many life-saving interventions, including the implementation of country-wide mother-to-child transmission prevention and antiretroviral treatment programes.

U.S. Military
Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers
Challenging the myth that "there are no atheists in foxholes." There certainly are.

Gay rights
A national non-profit gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender (GLBT) agency dedicated to reducing homophobia, inequality, hate crimes, and discrimination by encouraging self-acceptance, cooperation, and non-violence.

Lambda Legal
The legal arm of the Lambda organization that protects GLBT civil rights through impact litigation, education and public policy work.

Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
Dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

Human Rights Campaign
Large organization working for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equal rights.

School vouchers
National Education Association (NEA) on school vouchers
Provides several arguments for the case against private school vouchers.

Pledge of Allegiance
Restore the Pledge
Support Michael Newdow in his quest to remove the phrase "under God" from the official Pledge of Allegiance, coercively recited by millions of schoolchildren every day.

Evolution/Creationism in the science classroom
National Center for Science Education
Great resource with current news and resources (including the famous "Project Steve" list!) on defending evolution and science against pseudoscience advocates.

Texas Freedom Network
The Texas Freedom Network advances a mainstream agenda of religious freedom and individual liberties to counter the religious right

Boy Scouts of America discrimination against atheists, gays
Scouting For All
Composed of mostly former Boy Scouts, it is working to influence the BSA to include all participating youth members and leaders regardless of religious beliefs or sexual orientation.

Children in Poor countries
an organization committed to helping children, their families and communities in 49 developing countries around the world.

Internet tools
a multilingual, Web-based, free-content encyclopedia project. The name "Wikipedia" is a portmanteau (a combination of portions of two words and their meanings) of the words wiki (a type of collaborative Web site) and encyclopedia. Wikipedia's articles provide links to guide the user to related pages with additional information.

Church/state separation and secularist organizations

Americans United for Separation of Church and State
A national watchdog organization (with local chapters all around the U.S.---find one near you!) dedicated to preserving religious liberty. It is open to theists and nontheists of all kinds, and is headed by a minister with the United Church of Christ (Rev. Barry Lynn) who can be seen often in the national media and news stories centering on church/state separation issues.

American Civil Liberties Union (click on the "Religious Liberty" link)
A favorite target of the Religious Right. The ACLU defends civil liberties on many fronts including church/state separation, personal privacy, and legal protection through due process. Look for a local chapter in your area to join.

People for the American Way
Progressive group that supports secular values in government. PFAW is an activist organization and PAC (political action committee) working to battle such groups as the Christian Coalition. Click the "Religious Freedom" link for action alerts and information.

Freedom from Religion Foundation
Great organization that defends the rights of nontheists in courtrooms, sponsors a fun-filled annual national convention, and publishes the popular "Freethought Today" (magazine written by and for freethinkers).

Godless Americans Political Action Committee
Endorses and supports U.S. political candidates that support secular values in government and the rights of "godless Americans." We will have our "seat at the table" in formulating public policy.

Atheist Alliance
Democratic association of various individual atheists and atheist organizations. It is a great all-around resource for all-things atheist.

Interfaith Alliance
Alliance of leaders of various religions, worldviews, and beliefs that includes Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, agnostics, atheists, et al. It works to promote religious freedom for everyone regardless of religious beliefs as well as civic participation and civility. Nontheists can find theist allies here.

American Atheists
Controversial atheist organization started by the infamous Madalyn Murray O'Hair. Today it fights for the complete separation of church and state, as well as for the rights of atheists in America.

Secular Coalition for America
Vast coalition of secular and freethought organizations (including the Internet Infidels!) dedicated to sending lobbyists to Washington, D.C. to gain support for protecting the rights of nontheist Americans.

Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science
Explores the causes of religious belief, promotes science in public schools, maintains a list of public lecturers, sells pro-secularist books and other media, and facilitates the giving of humanitarian aid to organizations that are completely secular in nature.


National Secular Society
Supports secularism in the UK, as well as church-state separation.

Rationalist Association
The Rationalist Association is a focus for rationalist thought and debate in the UK and worldwide. The RA is the UK's leading freethought and rationalist book publisher.


Atheist Foundation of Australia, Inc.
Something for our friends Down Under -- lots of good information, book lists, humor, etc.

Organizations that promote humanism/Atheism

Center For Inquiry
The purpose of the Center for Inquiry is to contribute to the public understanding and appreciation of science and reason, and their applications to human conduct.

Council for Secular Humanism
Large organization that offers support for secular humanists through activities such as magazine publishing, conducting secular ceremonies (weddings, funerals, etc.), educational courses, and summer camps for kids that teach critical thinking skills and secular ethical values.

American Humanist Association
Promotes the spread of humanism and furthering of the humanist philosophy in the U.S. by working with and/or establishing like-minded organizations.

The Continuum of Humanist Education
Online courses available for humanists in areas such as law, science, ethics, and secular humanist philosophy.

The Institute for Humanist Studies (IHS)
A think-tank that offers news, opinions, information, and humor relating to humanism. It works to spread public awareness and acceptance of humanist principles.

British Humanist Association
The largest provider of humanist ceremonies in England and Wales. Offers services for weddings, funerals, and baby-namings as well as general resources on humanism and support for humanist organizations.

Humanist Association of Canada
Provides secular officiants, information, services, and support for humanists in Canada.

Positive Atheism
Comprehensive resource for positive atheists to learn about atheism, history, philosophy, religious freedom, and responsibility.

Unitarian Universalist Assocation
A popular "church" for atheists, agnostics, deists, very liberal Christians, etc. Check your local yellow pages for one in your community or use this website's handy Congregation locator.

The Brights
A movement endorsed by several prominent nontheists to adopt a new term ("Brights") with an accompanying philosophy to describe secularists, freethinkers, atheists, naturalists, etc. with the intent of putting forth a positive, and less-stigmatized, perception of ourselves. Many nontheists have encouraged its use, while many others reject it.

The Objectivist Center
A controversial philosophy founded by Ayn Rand that embodies particular principles on various philosophical, political, economic, and religious issues. Objectivists generally are atheists, but atheists are generally not Objectivists.

Skeptic Society
Learn how to live life free of nonsensical beliefs, and develop your own scientific and critical thinking skills. Also publishes a popular monthly magazine, SKEPTIC, which can be found in major bookstores.

Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP)
Investigates extraordinary claims from a scientific and rational perspective. CSICOP also puts out a popular monthly magazine, Skeptical Inquirer, found in major bookstores.

American Ethical Union (AEU)
The American Ethical Union (AEU) describes "Ethical Culture" as a humanistic religious and educational movement inspired by the ideal that the supreme aim of human life is working to create a more humane society.

International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU)
IHEU is the sole world umbrella organization for humanist, atheist, rationalist, secularist, skeptic, laique, ethical cultural, freethought and similar organizations world-wide.

Internet Infidels
A nonprofit educational organization dedicated to defending and promoting a naturalistic worldview on the Internet. They offer thousands of outstanding essays, reviews, and critiques, covering everything from articles of general interest to scholarly papers by prominent nontheistic philosophers, scientists, historians, and others. Unlike most of our opponents, we even publish responses to our own pieces to encourage readers to make up their own minds. In addition to such encyclopedic resources, other features of the site are outlined in the Secular Web pamphlet, which readers may download, print out, and distribute, as desired.

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Ancient Chinese Secret

How many times have you heard:

"They've been doing this in China for thousands of years"
"My healer is trained in Ancient Medicine"
"This have been practiced by millions of people for thousands of years"

This is the exact sort of thing you hear with respect to CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine), astrology, homeopathy and so forth. Yes, its an appeal to ancient ways. But when discussing health its so much more than some fallacious arguement, its bad for the health of a society as a whole, never mind being bad for the individual. Let me explain.

It is true that Dawkins addressed this a little bit in his "Enemies of Reason" series. but I wanted to address on little bit of evidence that I dont think he made quite clear and didn't emphasise enough.

Both China and India are credited with the development of most of CAM. Acupuncture, Ayurvedic Healing, and a number of other "ancient medicines". Panda Bear M.D. has already posted some great info about homeopathy. Some folks have also include shamanistic indian rituals, drug use, and a number of other practices.

More recently, people have been simply justifying these practices by pretending to understand quantum mechanics, and saying that is the reason it works.

None of this is new or original. I really have nothing to add to the specifics of each piece of CAM, just something more general. My question when I hear a statement like those I started out this post with is:

Why would you do something that has already been shown to only allow you to live 1/2 as long?

Here is what I mean.

I took life expectancy data from the US from 1900 to 2004 and plotted it against what I could find for that same year range for China and India.(1,2,3,4)

Some notes about this:

By 1900, our lifespan doubled that of China and India. by this time we had worked out vaccinations, germ theory, hand washing, among a variety of other things.

By 1940 we had worked out the use of pennicillin, which lead to a variety of other, more broad spectrum antibiotics.
1950's we were learning to make and use pacemakers. In the '60s we were learning to transplant hearts and spinning up our abilities to fight viruses. In the 70s we started learning IVF and other fertilization techniques. I dont think I can even summarize our progress in the last 3 decades in imagining, genetics, artificial organs , etc.

An interesting overview of the introduction of western medicine into china is presented here. There we find strong resistance to the influx of western medicine in spite of various places where the western medicine was recognized as superior. Even the smallpox vaccine was still making rounds in the twentieth century.

in 1881 the very first school was made to teach western style medicine. It was quickly run down during the Boxer Rebellion, so once again western medicine was prevented from becoming pervasive in China. Even western sanitation (which goes hand in hand with medicine) was looked down upon.

Around the turn of the century there were a group of Chinese who did acknowledge that China was crumbling and needed modernization badly.

Only around 1920 did China start to require medical licenses, however both traditional Chinese medicine and western medicine were still practiced, with traditional medicine still being favored. enforcement was severely lacking.

It was not until near 1940 did western medicine start to truly penetrate Chinese society, with the obvious benefits seen in the graph.

Folks, science is supposed to change what we know. When it changes it is becoming more accurate, more informative, and a better predictor. It does this by testing hypotheses, keeping the good ones and throwing away the bad ones. Ayurvedic medicine, acupuncture, and other 'medical' treatments that have not changed in 2000 years should be viewed with intense skepticism. Anything claiming to be a science that has not changed in decades, much less centuries or millenia is bad, and not something to admire.

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Nonsense Products

Wired has a great article on a bunch of nonsense products you can waste you money on. I applaud their efforts and showing this nonsense to the world, I could only dream of having the exposure the author of that article has though Wired. I am a little disappointed the Purple Tesla energy Shield didn't make the list, although the Q-Ray was first.... good enough.

My favorite part is the comments. These folks focus on the calling out of water dowsing. They insist that it works, or that they saw it working, etc etc.

Folks..... there is always water. If the dowser 'found' water in one place, you can bet its all around the area also. Its all a matter of how near the surface the water is, something the dowser will never tell you. The confirmation bias is so strong on this its unbelievable. No homeowner is going to dig another hole after they already found water! No matter where the dowser tells you, he is going to be right. That is why we study this sort of thing, and of course, every time, water dowsers do no better than chance.

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File Under:

Sex as a prime motivator

Peer pressure is a topic that any parent and high school student is familiar with.

José Halloy, a biology researcher at the Free University of Brussels seems to think that he has been able to influence behavior of cockroaches through the use of peer pressure. The information is terse, but here is what I was able to discern:

They made some little robots that had swarm intelligence programming. This is a type of programming that gives very few and simple rules to a robot. The rules usually are goal related and consist of interaction between the robot and other similar robots around it.

For example, in this case the robots were given two rules: "Get near other robots" and "go to darker places". The evaluation of each rule may be weighted (for example, if the actions contradict each other, one may be given more weight).

So they ran these tests, and the robots huddled together under a light blocking disc. So did the cockroaches. Then after doing this, they changed the programming so that the robots would prefer lighter places instead. In most of the cases (60%), the roaches followed the robots, uncharacteristically into the light areas.

Oh... and by the way...the robots were smeared with cockroach sex hormone.

Hello? Did we learn anything by this test? What happens if I put a bunny in the ring smeared with sex hormone, wouldn't I expect the cockroaches to try to hump the bunny in a big entomological gang rape in broad daylight?

While I think the little robots are cool, and swarm programming is neat (ever watch a flock of birds, its beautiful), I can't figure out what this test does except show how strong a motivator sex hormone is. I don't know what the rest of it had to do with cockroach behavior.

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File Under:

Verizon makes me get an iPhone

I don't write personal stories here very often, and once again I am going away from presenting data about something (its really quite a project for each item) in order to write a little blurb. But this recently happened and I thought I would write about it.

I have been a faithful Verizon wireless subscriber for about a decade. We had a great relationship. I paid them and they gave me a cool cell phone and good service for me and my family. After years of automatically paying them the same amount every month (thank you billpay), I was pretty content. I didn't bother them, and they didn't bother me.

Enter: The Land Line....

We recently got a house out in Nowhereville. None of our Verizon phones worked out there. however as we were building the house, we noticed that some of the workers phones worked perfectly. That was pretty annoying.

Because of our fear of the 175 dollar cancellati0n fee per phone, we decided to get a land line to the house instead of switching service.

  • 200+ dollars installation fee
  • 22 dollars per month for dial tone
  • 9 cents per local call
  • 7 cents a minute for regional calls
  • No long distance
  • This ended up being about 35 dollars per month.
  • they send someone out to attach it, only to have him leave after 'assessing' the area. I had previously told them that there is no phone line to the house, and the nearest active pole is on the road about 300 years away.
  • a week later they come out and attach power to the nearest pole and not to the house
  • a few days later they actually attach the phone to the house
  • happily I am an engineer, so instead of them charging me yet another 200 bucks because they found a short in the internally connected phone wiring because the electrician messed up, i spent all of 5 minutes looking at each of the phone jacks and found the short myself.
  • They left, considering the job done
  • They left 'underground' cable on the ground lying, and snaking in random directions generally leading to one of the poles (it was a lot of line, which I am sure to mow over one day).
I have called them 5 times to have them dig down this line, its their line, not only should they be doing it, I'm not supposed to do it at all since they own it. aLl this waiting and stalling between the time I ordered it (May) to the time we had a dial tone (july) happened while my aging mother was out there without a way to communicate (something I mentioned to them more than once).

OK we got a phone. Next step was to try to get one bill. So I had them add the land line to my wireless bill. So here was my big mistake. I admit it, I screwed up, I told them I screwed up, and would happily correct it.

I had assumed that they added the land line to my cell phone bill. What they had in fact done was add my cell phone to my land line bill. They even kept referring to this little used as my Home line (my cell phone is my home line). So my automatic payments went to the wrong place. They told me to stop paying wireless, and to make it into one bill the wireless balance had to get to zero (no credit, no debit). so I did that..... and I forgot to restart my automatic bill pay to the new account.

So months later, while I thought my phone bills were being paid, they weren't. Between June and October I racked up about 850 dollars in bills from them (no, I don't check the statements from people I pay automatically, I know I should, I just hate paperwork).

So here is the problem... Instead of recognizing our wonderful, cozy relationship for the past 10 years, and my very high credit score, the lady decided to be a snippy bitch on the phone. I was speechless, and of course thought of exactly the correct things to say 15 minutes after I hung up. I called back to see if there were some other solutions to the costs of the land line, the billing methods, and the wire that just lays there. Their only responses were "where's my money?"

The next day, I paid off my bill and canceled my land line. They asked me why, and the guy on the phone was all apologetic, and told me that one representative doesn't represent the whole company and tried to justify the cost of the land line, and make everything sound nice-nice. I told him there was nothing he could say to prevent this line from being canceled, and that if he wanted to talk to someone about it, he should talk to the snippy bitch in financial services.

But now there was no service at the house. So I went to Sprint and Cingular (AT&T), got a cheap shit phone from each, went out to the house, and found that while the Sprint phone didn't work at all, the Cingular phone worked perfectly. I went back, canceled the Sprint account, and got my mother a cool Cingular phone.

While getting the Cingular phone I had to call Verizon to get my account number. The guy on the phone caught on that I was switching a phone number away from Verizon, and started in with the 175 dollar fee. I told him that this was ridiculous since Verizon had no coverage where the phone was being used. He told me that they go by billing location. So I switched my billing location to the house in the sticks. This avoided my 175 dollar fee. Realizing this....

I switched over all the phones and got an extra phone for our au pair. Goodbye Verizon. You did everything in your power to get rid of me, and I have no qualms about dumping you like a sack of shit and writing about it.

Enter the iPhone...
Well now I had the useless treo 700p. I needed a new phone, and Cingular does offer the treo also, and pretty much all the same phones Verizon had. But they also have the iPhone. Treo...iPhone...Treo...iPhone.... The choice is pretty obvious...

I've been playing with the iPhone for 3 days now. I have to admit, it really is most of what it is cracked up to be. However you have to like or "not mind" certain things to be happy with it.

  • The LCD screen is spectacular. I've not seen any other phone with a screen that is the clear, this bright and of course, this big.
  • The main interface is easy. It actually works a bit like the Wii.
  • The setup was easy.
  • The wi-fi works pretty good with no set up problems
  • Having my phone, camera, and music that is compatible with the Pc software I already use (Outlook, iTunes, Picasa), on one unit it truly nice.
  • Using it is just like in the commercial, with the zooming, and flipping through items and so forth. It is very natural and easy to understand.
  • Its strangely thin, but it has a decent weight that makes in seem robust (unlike a RAZR)
  • It has a nice way to correct for mistype, by suggesting words (yeah, I know it is a feature on other phones, so what? its still nice)
  • The battery seems to last as long as they say it will. I've been playing with this thing for 3 days straight. LCD has been on for a lot of time, I have made a few long calls, and the battery just died (I didn't measure the exact amount of time).
  • The camera blows. Its like stepping back in time to when cameras were first put in phones. The update rate is slow, and pictures are fuzzy. I'm sure this will be one of the first things they improve with the next version.
  • Internet access is slow, compared to my desktop (which uses a wi-fi connection). I've not used any phone internet before, even with my treo, so I can't really tell you if its typical or not. Its not so slow as to be useless, just slower. When away from wifi, using the cell network, its even slower.
  • It takes a while to get used to the keyboard, I often mistype. I definitely liked having real keys, like on the treo, better than tapping on a screen.
  • Sometimes, it isn't obvious how to get to where I need to go. For example, I didnt realize that getting from album view back to song view, required that I rotate the whole iPhone. I was looking for a button.
  • When I plug in the phone, Windows asks me what program I want to use for the camera, it does not give me the option to choose nothing and to always choose nothing (I have to click cancel all the time).
  • There is no quick access, and it really requires two hands to use. This is probably a great personal phone, and perhaps not as good for a business phone. I could use most of my treo functionality with one hand.
Well, thats it for now. If you can get to AT&T an have 400 bucks to drop, I do recommend this phone.

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File Under:

I have proof of God

or at least I would if this occurred in nature...

I am often asked what it would take for me to change my view about the existence of an all knowing, all powerful, omnipresent being who can control every single electron in the universe. So here it is, I'm putting it out there. Its really not that much for an entity such as this, I mean, us measly humans can do it.

According to the description, there are no speakers in this demo. The sound is made by the lightning itself. Therefore all the physics are available to God, he doesn't have to affect civilization by moving a mountain, he doesnt have to turn anyone into a frog, he doesn't have to regrow a limb for anyone. Just make some lightning to some music that he also provides.

.... it would also be nice if he could draw, in lightning, some text that indicates which book I'm supposed to follow.

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OT: Great Atheist Videos

Well, I'm side tracking again from looking at various products. Now that I have a little baby girl, the world expands in a whole new way, I have emotions that are more powerful than I have ever experienced, and things that used to not bother me, really bother me now. Law and Order: SVU used to be just entertainment to me, now its hard to watch.

Every once in a while I come across a video that really hits home with me. The folks that produce these videos do a damn good job of explaining the effect of things from a child's point of view (well these first two at least). The great thing about it, and contrary to what many religious folks will have you believe, you don't need to make up a god and refer to a book of legends to get your morality or to teach your children. Its right there in front of us, we just have to realize it.

I'm calling these "atheist videos" only because they make a clear case, and delineate a clear message, without referring to Daddy in the sky. I'll be updating this post as time goes on and I find more vids like these, so check back on it every once in a while.

My wish is that Athiest organizations would adopt these videos and pay for them to get on television. Right now, 74% of republicans and 50% of democrats in this country wouldn't vote for an atheist president. That's more than those who would not for for a pro-choice president, pro-gay, or even a Muslim president. Atheists, need to make clear that we see morality as a function of how to improve and expand humanity, while reducing suffering, increasing happiness, and maintaining or improving free will. We need to make clear that our goal is NOT to take away your religion from you.

We'll start with these two, both I found originally from Back Flipping Forward.

I checked out another Dove Self-Esteem fund vid and found this one... also good

Jeez, you might as well be attracted to a cartoon.

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Microgravity and your drinking water

I recently saw this and was about to write about it. But dammit I was beaten to it by at least two people. Thanks for stealing my thunder guys (if there was any to start).

Well anyway, this silly company is trying to make the claim that their water is better because they sent up the electrolytes (salts) into space where they were exposed to microgravity. They of course make a few vague claims about what constitutes the superiority of their water.

  • Space2O™ is purified water with spaceflight enriched electrolytes to replenish and refresh your body.
  • The result is a one-of-a-kind purified H2O with exclusive spaceflown electrolytes that provide Space2O with an out-of-this world, refreshing taste
  • They also have an energy drink
Well they were pretty savvy on their site. They don't make a claim (they only strongly imply) that the space flight does anything to the electrolyte. They dont claim that the water is purified in space (its purified water with spaceflown electrolyte).

But there are three things I dont like about this. First off, how many studies must there be before people realize drinking bottled water is no better than tap water. Folks, stop wasting your money. Stop filling landfills with plastic bottles. Its true that filtering the tap water may make it taste better, but thats about it, no health benefits (unless you live in an area where the drinking water is not in India or something).

The second part is that they imply that the space flight provides better taste, or makes the water more refreshing. Or affects the electrolytes at all. This is of course total nonsense. How about the initial multi-G the payload feels during launch? Does that affect it to?

If you want to expose your bottled water to weightlessness for an improved taste....drop the bottle. A falling object experiences the same microgravity that things in orbit feel.

Lastly are their claims of other nonsense. Thay say later that they are going to go through a phase II, which includes the follwoing activities

  • Exploit the current microgravity state-of-the-art knowledge base
    • Pharmaceutical products (quality, yield and cost improvements)
    • Nanomaterial bonding and formulations
    • Crystal growth
    • Plant yield and variability with a focus on food products
    • Biotechnology development and testing
  • Apply our existing Phase II business models to create specifically identified products that can effectively compete in their respective markets such as:
    • Antibiotics
    • Cancer treatment
    • Unique materials
    • Space flight-derived food products (only possible in space)

Really? spaceflight derived products are only possible in space? You know rooftop-derived products (tm) are only possible on rooftops, does that make them special too? Sneaker-derived products anyone? The activities they are promising are activities already under way at far greater expense than some small water company with a useless product is going to be able to afford. Basically they are pleading with you to buy their stuff becuase they are going to fix the world with all the money they will be rolling in.

BTW has anyone actually verified that there is a salt package in those rockets?

Its a cute gimmick. Im sure people will fall into your nonsense hype. That is why I write here.

The comments are Braving the Elements are pretty funny. Good for a laugh.

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Father of All Bombs

Russia has a new bomb.

While I have dabbled in the political a little in this blog, I am intending to stay out of it, and focus on technology and data. In particular Im trying to keep the focus on debunking the nonsense that comes from claims of companies, political figures and scientists.

So, I wont write a long blurb about the frightening prospect of a new arms race between us a russia.

Instead, I'll focus on two lines out of the article. The first is this one:
Unlike a nuclear weapon, the bomb doesn't hurt the environment

What?!? So, what you are saying is that the destruction of trees, wildlife, natural resources and so forth do not help to degrade the environment?

Perhaps you mean that the introduction of tons of fine particulate into the air doesnt hurt the environment?

Further thoughts on environmental impact come from this quote:
Channel One said that while the Russian bomb contains 7.8 tons of high explosives compared to more than 8 tons of explosives in the U.S. bomb, it's four times more powerful because it uses a new, highly efficient type of explosives that the report didn't identify.

7.8 tons of explosives.. and explosion is the conversion of matter to gas and heat. While it doesnt say what the explosive is.... you can be damn sure the gas and particulate that it emits are not good for the environment. The gas will be one oxide or another (CO2, SO2, NOx, etc etc) most of which are bad for the environment.

Can anyone think of a bomb that is not bad for the environment? Perhaps a bath bomb?

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File Under:

Oh come on!

Clearly, this sort of thing really ticks me off.
It is all over the news and YouTube

Is there no important news in the world that we have to cover obvious nonsense such as this? Look folks, no matter what, it takes more energy to split water than you get from splitting that water. It doesnt matter what you mix into the water. I'll show some chemistries later that seem to defy this rule (but in fact do not).

Chalk this up to any of the perpetual motion machines that people have tried to fool investors with for hundreds of years.

The video shows how safe you hand is in there....really? considering your body is mostly made up of water and salts, that is hard to believe! Could there be more to it????? (duh)

This is probably not a hoax. By that I mean, I am quite fine with the idea that if you send enough energy into a conducting media (like salt water), that energy will get released. Did you notice the color of the flame? Its the same color as when you burn sodium. Remember in high school that different elements burn giving off unique spectra? (BTW, since there is a burn, any hydrogen that is released - if any- is burning also)

Not one of the articles above tell you how much energy is required to induce this reaction. Not one. Why? Because I'm willing to bet that its over 100x the amount of energy you are capable of capturing from the energy released.

Dear News Organizations,
As a request from one of your viewers, your truly, when you are reporting on possible new sources of energy, could you please ask one simple question:

How much energy does it take to make the process work?

If this amount of energy is more than the amount of energy you can get from the process (ok you can ask that too, so perhaps its two questions) could you please explain that part too? Otherwise you are wasting everyone's time. This goes for ethanol production too!

You want to use salt water as fuel in the car? What will power the RF transmitter that requires more energy than the sodium will gives? Why not use this power source directly for better energy savings?

There ARE chemicals (just one of many) that do in fact steal the oxygen directly out of the water and then release the hydrogen. These are pretty cool for specific uses. The key requirement is that water is plentiful nearby. For example, if I have a remote sensor, I could collect rain and use that water in combination with this chemical to create hydrogen (which I could burn, or use in a fuel cell). Fuel cells burn hydrogen and create water, but you would still need to keep a small tank of water to get started, but they are a possible application.

But this chemical is still not useful for cars or big applications because gasoline stores far more hydrogen per liter than water does. The energy density or hydrogen content for gasoline or deisel is far higher than water. To see that, just remember that the mixture of molecules (mostly benzene) that make up petroleum fuels have many hydrogen atoms per molecule while water has only two and they are very stable (the reason water doesnt burn and gasoline does). Then remember that aside from small differences in density among liquids, the number of molecules per liter of liquid is about the same, i.e. way more hydrogen per liter for gasoline.

Similar nonsense here.

The team calculates that a car would have to carry just 18 kilograms of boron and 45 litres of water to produce 5 kilograms of hydrogen, which has the same energy content as a 40-litre tank of conventional fuel

I see, so with well over 50 liters of the water and the new materials, plus the equipment required to generate the hydrogen, plus the safety requirements for moving hydrogen through as system I can do as well as a vehicle with a 40 liter tank of conventional fuel. Perhaps you can tell me how much energy it takes to ship and recycle the Boron?

sounds cheap, sign me up (sarcasm).

Folks, there ARE applications where hydrogen taken from water is useful, but they require abundant renewable energy resources (sun, wind and geothermal). Most often its just better to take the energy directly without the water at all. Using limited resources (coal, oil, nuclear) to crack water.... well its just stupid.

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Atheists Perspective

As many of you know, I have no belief in God, or any god or gods. I spent many years, not struggling with this, but instead becoming comfortable in my realization that I am part of a very small minority of the American (and the Worlds!) population. For me, it was truly strange to see that theists can sway a vote in America, not based on someones ideas or experience, but instead, simply due to what he believes in without evidence, whether it is the god of one religion or another. Frankly, I found this situation appalling and am truly glad that recently, the atheists have decided to start making a stand.

There are two great books that I have read that really let me define and be able to explain my view better. These are End of Faith by Sam Harris and The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. further, in my quest to truly understand how it is that people can read a book and think it was written by an almighty being, I also read Misquoting Jesus, by Bart D. Ehrman, which is a primer on textual criticism and truly a good read.

In my blogosphere wanderings I came across this set of questions from the friendly atheist. If you read through the answers I think they capture an atheists perspective pretty well. Hurrah to
Hemant Mehta for compiling the list. I followed Berlezebub's lead and posted my answers at my own blog. Here goes:

  • Why do you not believe in God?
I cant find evidence of any god. The hypothesis is that an all knowing being out there who is capable of manipulating every single electron in the universe, but is not part of the universe and is in fact outside of space and time, is so complex, so outrageous, so huge, that it requires REALLY big evidence to support. I would take a giant hand coming out of the sky (with the correct Gods name on it) that comes down and crushes a mountain. If I saw that I would change my mind (and if there is a god, and he REALLY needs me to believe in him, now he knows how to get my faith).
  • Where do your morals come from?
Morals are generally innate. We have developed as a species and as a society because our base morals are part of our genetics (where else could they be?) Or if not ingrained in us biologically, then tendencies to create morals are ingrained in us genetically, for example, the will to listen to our parents. We do the things we do to survive and grow as a species. We know this because tests of moral dilemmas have been given to people of various religions, backgrounds and atheists.... we all score the same (statistically). So it really doesn't matter which book you read, you have the morals first.
  • What is the meaning of life?
What meaning? This question implies that there is a goal defined by someone.
  • Is atheism a religion?
Is NOT playing baseball a sport?
Is NOT collecting stamps a hobby?
Not believing in a god is not a religion.
  • If you don’t pray, what do you do during troubling times?
Try to figure out how to fix my problem. Talk with people, in particular my wife, about it. If there is nothing to be done about it (i.e. someone died), then I mourn and move on.
  • Should atheists be trying to convince others to stop believing in God?
No, however critical thinking and actual data collection should be taught far more than it is. Believing in god delineates a distinct lack of critical thinking skills. The debate is old, if theists actually had critical thinking skills they could make a better case, besides "God did it".
  • Weren’t some of the worst atrocities in the 20th century committed by atheists?
Actually, they were committed by people who didn't believe in the tooth fairy. These atrocities were not done in the name of atheism, they were done in the name of national pride or personal zeal for power. Shall I list the details of various of abortion clinic atrocities, or world wide suicide bombings, or a particular incident in New York on 9/11 that WERE, in fact, done in the name of religion?
  • How could billions of people be wrong when it comes to belief in God?
Yeah, its hard being in the minority. I think Copernicus, Galileo, Einstein, Bohr, Snow and a variety of others can feel my pain.
  • Why does the universe exist?
'Why' is irrelevant. 'How' is far more interesting and pertinent.
  • How did life originate?
I wish I were there for the first complex organic molecule to describe it. But alas, I was not, However we sure see a lot of complex organic molecules around. They all came from somewhere. A billion years is truly a long time for them to come together for the first time. 3.5 billion is certainly long enough to get where we are.
  • Is all religion harmful?
To whom? The people in the majority religion certainly benefit from being there. But ask the jews in the south (of America) how things go for them. Ask the Muslims in America how things are going? Or the Christians in Iraq. Plus all religions teach to have faith without evidence. This is totally different than prediction based on evidence (like the sun will rise tomorrow). This fundamental lack of critical thinking education simply puts religious people at a distinct disadvantage to those that employ these skills.
  • What’s so bad about religious moderates?
They validate the extremists. They can say trite things like "Well he isn't a REAL Christian", but that abortion clinic bomber thinks he is a Christian, even a better one than the moderate.
  • Is there anything redeeming about religion?
Religion has one significant trait that I admire. Sense of community. If I were catholic (for example) I could go virtually anywhere in the world, find a church and have a sense of community immediately. Clubs and so forth dont do this in the same way since there isnt a common set of beliefs that are common to say, all hikers or poker players. Other than that, I dont really see a need for it, it just takes rational conversation off to never never land.
  • What if you’re wrong about God (and He does exist)?
Im not worried about this at all. If he is a just God, then he will know that my belief arose from the lack of data he provided to me and he will know that I am a good person and that go out of my way to help others and so forth. If he is a petty and unjust god, then he wouldn't have been my god and either way I would be condemned to hell regardless. Besides how good can a heaven made by an unjust god really be?
  • Shouldn’t all religious beliefs be respected?
Oh yeah? We should respect the Raelians? Branch Davidians? Fundamentalist Islam? No, all religions base their foundation in the gullibility of most people and the pursuit of power. This is not a respectable endeavor.
  • Are atheists smarter than theists?
We are less gullible because we require proof before we believe things. That does not make us smarter, per se, we just have a smarter method of going through life.
  • How do you deal with the historical Jesus if you don’t believe in his divinity?
What is there to deal with? He is dead. He had a few laughs, hung out with the guys, told some good stories. So did Ghandi, MLK, and all of the Dalai Lamas.
  • Would the world be better off without any religion?
Only if we were able to teach critical thinking better. Otherwise most of the population will simply replace religion with other nonsense like The Secret, space aliens, or anything Deepak Chopra has to offer.
  • What happens when we die?
Worm Food! Enjoy your life, you have only 70 years to do everything and make your mark!

There are many other answers at the friendly atheists site. I think taken together you may get a good feeling of the general mindset of many atheists.

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I just spent 691 dollars at the vet. My two dogs needed boosters for their shots. We have a lyme disease problem here so they got that. Then there is rabies (lots of bats have rabies around here). Then there was distemper, which I bailed on for one dog as it is a dog-dog transmitted disease and getting 3 shots at once can have some bad side effects. We'll get that one later.

This all cost about 270 bucks. I then bought enough heartworm preventative medicine (interceptor) to last 2 years for both dogs. 320 bucks (or so) for this. Ow!!!!

According to this site in my area (north east US) there is a very low incidence rate of heartworm, between 1 and 5 cases per clinic per year.

Here is a pretty comprehensive description of heartworms, symptoms and treatment. The little worms are delivered into your dog by mosquito (damn things). But the symptoms are visible and treatment costs around 300 dollars.

Why the hell would you spend 80 bucks per year per dog to prevent heartworm? First off, in the northeast, where we have lyme disease, we use advantix (unless you also have cats!), that keeps off ticks, fleas AND mosquitos!

While I wont tell you what you should be doing... I'm going to return my 320 dollars worth of heartworm medicine.

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File Under:

Bush taking credit where none is due

Now back to what is pissing me off:
Looks like the EPA is following suit

"White House spokesman Tony Snow said, adding that 'We are doing a better job of reducing emissions' than Europe."

This is what he is basing that on: "The White House said Snow was referring to figures from the International Energy Agency that from 2000 to 2004, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion grew by 1.7 percent, while in the European Union such emissions grew by 5 percent."

Here is an analogy: Gas prices in Lapland are 10 dollars per gallon. While in Elbonia they are only 6 dollars per gallon. Lapland raises their gas prices by 'only' 1.7%, while in Elbonia they have risen a whopping 5%. Can it truly be said that Lapland has done a better job of controlling their gas prices? No! of course not. What a stupid thing to say!

The White house has decided to totally ignore the fact that were are pumping 40% more CO2 into the air than all of the EU! Keep in mind that the EU has over twice the population and a higher GDP. So each person is doing a better job of controlling their energy consumption and the economy doesn't suffer due to CO2 controls.

The right wing nuts will repeat their mantra over and over again. "The economy will be ruined if we start limiting greenhouse gas emissions". They contend that the the economy is so good (is it really?) only because we allow our corporations energy companies to pollute without regard to the effects of CO2.

If this was the case then we would expect to see that the economies of countries that try to take care of their emissions (like those using a carbon trading scheme, and those who signed up for the Kytoto Protocol) to have worse economies than ours. Well this is clearly simply not the case as we will see.

Here is a table I made (from WTO and IMF data) of various countries GDP. I also found the CO2 emissions by country (for as late as only 2003).


CO2 Emmisions


Clearly those countries that have decided to be responsible for their CO2 emissions have not had a bad impact to their economies, even when you take an economic powerhouse like the EU as a whole.

Turns out someone did this exact exercise on Wikipedia. Similar results. The point is: It is a total farce to claim that capping CO2 emissions will hurt the economy. The data is against that argument.

It is clear that we need to start thinking about getting power of alternative sources. I'm all for solar, waves and wind. But I am also all for nuclear. Best yet, lets start getting biodeisel from algae and refining it with this process.

Here is some further discussion of this that I found entertaining.

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Tech's post on global warming.

This is what pissed me off:
Bush claiming credit where none is due

But before I get to that, please bear with me. I'll get back to it in the next post.

No blog is complete without it's mention of global warming. I'm not going to bother linking the thousands of sites that discuss global warming. Clearly the Earth is heating. I don't think this is disputed any more.

The dispute is about whether or not people are causing that by dumping CO2 into the atmosphere or if our CO2 dumping is just a drop in the ocean in terms of atmospheric content. There is plenty of data out there to describe this pro and con.

To sum up the 'other side' is a nice video. [EDIT: this link is dead now, it seems that The Great Global Warming Video is no longer viewable for free] It nicely summarizes all the aspects of the naysayers. The science is only 38 minutes of the entire video. The rest of it is nonsense about conspiracy theories about funding and a truly offensive implication that GW advocates are causing strife in Africa, which I just have to answer like this: Please show me a single bill from any 1st world nation requiring African Nations to get energy from renewable resources instead of fossil fuels. Secondly, the reason a clinic in the bush has a solar panel is because its incredibly expensive to run a power line out to it. If they don't have enough power with that panel, it is still cheaper to get another panel than to run a power line out to it. The implication in this movie is truly sinister. One more dumb thing in the video. they try to connect Temperature with economy. No climatologist says economy causes GW, its CO2, and there has never been a drop in CO2 production in 150 years.

to summarize the video and the 'other side':

  • The earth heats due to the suns cycles (not disputed)
    • some say sun cycles are the sole cause of our current heating (very disputed)
  • The earth cools, when cosmic rays makes clouds and reflects the sun (and the solar input recedes at the same time)
  • CO2 is a result of rising Earth temperatures, not a cause
  • Satellite data does not support CO2-GHG theories
  • Adding a tiny bit extra (not defined) of anthropomorphic CO2 to the natural sources is not significant. Natural sources being the ocean, permafrost, volcanoes and cow farts.
  • Water is the most pervasive green house gas, and compared to that, CO2 is nothing
OK, Nay Sayers have I got that right? These are the same points brought up 10-20 years ago and are truly unchanged and tired. They were excellent points back then. However anyone still using these points are sadly and terribly not up to date with their data.

I am on the side that humans cause global warming. Here is why. Lets start with why CO2 has lagged temperature in the past.
  1. The earth gets heated by a variety of cosmic events, solar cycles, cosmic rays, cow farts or whatever. These are natural forcing functions and have always been there and will always be there. some are cyclical some are not.
  2. For the past 650,000 years (unless you are a bible thumper in which case its for the past 6000 years), the earth has heated due to these forcing functions. This heating releases CO2 from the ocean and other CO2 sinks.
  3. CO2 goes into the atmosphere and what can be seen is that the cooling (presumably once the forcing function is over) is far slower than the heating. Every Single Time. (historical temperatures go backward to the right on this graph). It's also why GHG theory allows for the earth to cool when solar input diminishes, it just doesn't cool as fast or as much as it would have without the CO2
So... the question is: where is the lag now? It is critical to note that there is no lag between CO2 levels and earths average temperature any more. If fact, for the first time in the history of the human species, CO2 is now leading temperature rise.

Second question: If CO2 does not effect the temperature, why does the earth cool slower when the CO2 concentration is higher after the forcing function is gone?

Third question: if CO2 is leaving the oceans like it always has, why is the CO2 content in the oceans increasing even though the temperature of the Earth is rising? (if CO2 leaves the ocean when the temp rises the Ph should rise too)

Fourth question: why don't you know that the previous satellite data was wrong and the newest data actually shows that the CO2-GW theory is actually supported by satellite data (because the troposphere is actually heating, while the stratosphere is cooling)?

Fifth Question: For as long as we have been measuring cosmic rays, why has there been no correlation between them and earths temperature?

Sixth Question: if sun cycles are causing our current heating why is there no correlation between the sun cycles and the earth temperature and why is the earth heating when the solar input is currently decreasing?

Last question: If human activity adds so little CO2 to the natural sources (actually the amount is an extra 5%), why are the current CO2 levels higher than at any time in history even though the earths temperature is not as high as it has ever been?

Further, and to me the most important. At no time in the history of earth has the temperature risen as quickly as it has in the last few decades. It is not really scary that the average temperature of the globe is hotter than it has been since we have been recording temperature. The earth has been this hot lots of times. The scary part is that it has never risen this fast. So in all the cycles, cosmic rays, sun spots and whatever other theories that right wingnuts want to put out there, there is no getting around the fact that this rate of temperature rise has never been seen before.

And finally, you cant expect to dump 14 000 000 000 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere every single year and not expect some sort of negative response.

Of course the GHG theory explains all the data that is inconsistent with the movie.

One more quick note on water. Yes it is true it is a green house gas. however the atmosphere is 99.99% saturated naturally with it. Human beings literally can not add to this amount of water in the atmosphere even if we burned all the fossil fuel on the planet. However, we easily can add to the CO2 in the atmosphere (and we have). Further, this saturation has always been there, it doesn't explain atmospheric temperature shifts. However, not all greenhouse gases are the same. CO2 absorbs light at a different wavelength than water does. So by changing the amount of CO2 in the air, we are actually absorbing a different set of wavelengths than water alone. Its important because its the same set of wavelengths that radiate off the earth when the light hits it an heats.

These things lead me to believe that CO2 is causing the current temperature rise. Think of this: If I put a wire in a box filled with something thermally conductive, lets say water, the heating elements will rise to some temperature X, perhaps a few degrees. but if I change the media around the wire to something far more insulating like air, the wire will heat to potentially thousands of degrees! The element in a 20 watt bulb is thousands of degrees not because 20 watts is a lot, but because the vacuum it is in is a great insulator.

We have added 37% more CO2 insulation to our atmosphere in the last 150 years. This is not disputable. There does not need to be a change in the heat input to make the global temperature rise. Any changes in the heat inputs (say a solar cycles) will be exaggerated (in the hotter direction) due to the increased insulation.

There is tons more data out there about how CO2 and other GHGs are warming the earth. Most of the nay sayers arguments have been put to rest (cosmic rays causing clouding, solar activity, troposphere temperatures, etc etc). Don't bother posting these tired 'alternate theories' in the comments (if anyone reads this at all).

Here is a nice little remark on the outdated information in the video. Its sad that the naysayers have to keep their data restricted to before 1980, in order for it to be cohesive. Here is another point by point argument against the movie. And here is another nice rebuttal.

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Looking for companies

I like to get through the hype of companies. I spent most of my time with fuel cell companies recently. You can see what I have for data concerning the Medis junk. Mechanical Technology (MTI microfuel cells) has also made news about focusing on a low power system. At some point in the future I will go about showing how a fuel cell in a portable device is a dumb idea. Im not alone. not alone here either.

Creating a model that shows this is a big task and it may take me a while to do it. Until then, I'm hoping for some suggestions on some companies to analyze. For example, my attention was recently pointed at some ridiculous claims made by Eagle Coatings (in particular the last page has a truly misleading diagram). So I will do an entry on that. So please, if you would like a quick analysis on some hype that a company puts out, please forward it to me in the comments section.

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