Wednesday, February 29, 2012 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Fred Singer and skeptics vs deniers

American Thinker and Anthony Watts' blog published an essay by Fred Singer,

Climate Deniers Are Giving Us Skeptics a Bad Name.
Fred says that when it comes to the climate debate, the people are divided into three groups, warmistas, skeptics, and deniers, and he considers himself a skeptic. I am not sure whether he has defined the groups sharply enough in his article but my understanding is that the warmistas are the only ones who think it's a good idea to regulate CO2 while the deniers are those who deny that CO2 absorbs infrared radiation and/or (?) similar physics facts.

What do I think about his views?

Well, first of all, I am confused by the motivation for this division of people into three boxes. Why exactly three? There are dozens of questions in which various people disagree with each other and we could divide the population into dozens or hundreds of groups if we wanted. We may need an even higher number of groups if we started to discuss about the relative importance of the Sun, cosmic rays, oceans, volcanoes etc. in climate change. Still, the most far-reaching and general question in the climate debate is whether or not there exists a scientific justification for an urgent struggle against the fossil fuels.

Almost everyone answers either Yes or No. People have different intermediate thinking that leads them to one answer or another and I also believe that various people on both sides make many errors – sometimes very basic errors and omissions – and people on both sides are sometimes prejudiced if not dishonest. However, this is just a trivial tautology. People are just humans. No large enough group of people may really be "perfect". Despite this imperfection, one may still ask whether we're facing a climatic Armageddon in the next 100 years or not and whether the elimination of the fossil fuels from our lives can save us. There are basically two possible answers, Yes or No, but only one of them – No – is the right answer.

Quite generally, I am surprised that Fred buys this separation of the climatic cool heads into skeptics and deniers. As far as I can say, the term "denier" is just a synonym for a "skeptic" that was invented by alarmists to offend skeptics and compare them to the Holocaust deniers. Should you call yourself a denier? It depends on "denier of what" you are supposed to be.

My understanding is that what we're mainly supposed to believe or deny is the "composite" proposition that there exists an important climatic problem caused by the rising CO2 concentrations. I deny this proposition – because of the evidence, it seems self-evidently invalid to me – which is why I consider myself a denier. A skeptic is a synonym that may be used in a more serious context. Richard Lindzen likes to call himself a proud denier, too. I surely see his point. Czech President Klaus sometimes offers a reasoning that is very similar to Lindzen's.

Much like many alarmists, Fred tries to define himself as a centrist or moderate – the strategy may be that "many people love to be in the middle so it's great to hijack the center". In both cases, I find it bizarre. We're still talking about very tangible tens of trillions of dollars that some people want to "invest" while others don't. I don't understand in what sense one may be a centrist here. One-half of trillions of dollars are still equal to trillions of dollars, or at least one trillion and if you want to invest this amount, you're still a full-fledged alarmist in my eyes. ;-)

Quantum computers: intro

Classical computers operate with classical information, e.g. bits encoded in the voltage of a capacitor. \(5 = 00000101\). Their working should be deterministic.

Additional reading if you wish: recent books such as "The Physics of Quantum Information" by Bouwmeester, Ekert, Zeilinger

Richard Feynman was the first one to propose that there could also be computers that follow the laws of quantum mechanics instead of classical physics. A practical construction of a useful quantum computer remains a dream for the future, nevertheless a lot has been learned about the theory and the algorithms and some preliminary steps to overcome the technical difficulties and realize the idea have been made.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Debate with a chief economist

I just returned from a 2-hour public debate with Dr Tomáš Sedláček [Thomas Little Farmer], the chief economist of the Czechoslovak Business Bank (ČSOB), a member of the government advisory committee called "NERV[e]", which is a well-constructed acronym, and the only Czech who was invited to the 2012 economics conference in Davos.

The room was only half-full, less crowded than during a similar event featuring Mr Jakub Vágner, the fisher. Most people don't like these political and economical topics and/or find the fisher more charming. But the event today was fun, anyway. Mr Sedláček is a very talkative and intellectually stimulating economist.

Still, at the end, I found myself disagreeing with a large majority of his opinions.

OPERA and Italian comrades

Physics-related: I recommend you an enthusiastic interview with Sven Heinemeyer on supersymmetry.
Yesterday, I summarized the current situation with the OPERA experiment in Lidovky, a leading Czech daily. A copy of the Czech text appeared on The Invisible Dog two days later.

All the people who responded to my article by e-mail included the term "Italian comrades" in the subject line of their e-mails. And all the people wrote me about units – people, including engineers, are not used to the units used in particle physics.

Monday, February 27, 2012 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Xena and Greenpeace pals arrested

Xena, the warrior princess, thinks that the defense of the Arctic starts here, on a ship in New Zealand.

Together with six other less memorable faces, Xena occupied a drillship that belongs to Shell.

Their happening has encouraged 133,000 people to send hate mail to Shell, a company accused of "climate change profiteering"; see also the #SaveTheArctic twitter magic word mentioned in the video. In other words, there are at least 100,000 brainwashed idiots in New Zealand who can't distinguish the real world from the world of Hollywood. Imagine; how stupid do you have to be to believe that the defense of the Arctic begins on a ship in New Zealand?

Lucy Lawless has also confused the reality with her movies in another respect aside from Xena-centrism. She apparently thinks that she can't be defeated. However, the New Zealand police found her behavior lawless.

Brian Cox misunderstands locality, Pauli exclusion principle

Update: See a wonderful Twitter confrontation between Carroll and Cox, as storified by – thanks to Jon Butterworth and Twistor 59

Update: See a treatment of the two-electron double-well energy measurements

Update: See Brian Cox and lunar phases
It's very refreshing to agree with Sean Carroll (and a guy named Tom Swanson) on something.

Brian Cox – who has previously ignited both positive and negative responses on TRF – wanted to use quantum mechanics to defend the Gaia religious proposition that "everything is connected with everything else" (the last sentence of the video above). I am convinced that this main "punch line" he wanted to prove was predetermined by ideological prejudices and goals.

The vague misconception that "everything is connected with everything else" is a pillar of the broader environmentalist movement into which Cox indisputably belongs. Of course, when you say this sentence in general, it may be right or wrong: it's hard to say whether the general thesis is correct. However, when you make a more specific statement of this kind, one may usually see whether it's correct or not.

To "prove" that everything is connected with everything else, he said that when he does something to a piece of diamond, i.e. heats it by friction, the electrons in the whole Universe must immediately change their energy a little bit in order to protect the Pauli exclusions principle which, according to Cox, requires that two electrons can't have the same energy.

The statements are fundamentally wrong at many levels.

Sunday, February 26, 2012 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

German interior minister: let's squeeze Greece out of the eurozone

On Saturday, the German minister of interior, Mr Hans-Peter Friedrich, became the first member of Merkel's government who began to publicly defend the removal of Greece from the eurozone. It's not too long a time ago when Merkel herself warned that the decay of the eurozone would mean the eruption of a continental warfare. I've been hearing similar alarmist rubbish just months before Czechoslovakia was split without a single broken window.

Elli Paspala: Summertime in Prague. Years ago, Greeks used to be happy, loving, and rich without a dime when they could only afford the cheapest wine and hotels in Prague. Frankly speaking, most Czechs can't afford to live even in cheap hotels. ;-) After decades of a welfare state, Greeks are generally hated fat pigs who live in expensive hotels but they keep on complaining.

Herr Friedrich denied that he demanded that Greece had to be removed from the eurozone. He only said that others have to create the kind of incentives for Greece to leave that Greece won't be able to refuse. What can the incentives be? For example, I answer, Greece may be promised that there won't be any football boots imprinted in their lazy and pushy buttocks and there won't be any war conflict against Greece that Greece would be guaranteed to lose.

Hans-Peter Friedrich is a member of CSU, the Christian Social Union, the smaller and more conservative (despite the name) Bavarian sister of CDU, the Christian Democratic Union; the latter operates in the rest of Germany.

Of course, Bavaria is the Bundesland that most Czechs are most familiar with – at least among the Bundesländer of West Germany. We drink the same kinds (and amounts) of beer and some of the old people listen to the same traditional Volksliede. My uncle and lots of other emigrants lived in Bavaria (Nuremberg in his case) etc. Before the German Empire was established, the interactions between Bavaria and our empire, Austria-Hungary, were intense. Finally, the word "Bavaria" probably boils down to "the home of Boii" [Celtic tribe], the very same definition as "Bohemia". There is some uncertainty about the exact location of the Boii's home but it was somewhere here. ;-)

Saturday, February 25, 2012 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Rudd vs Gillard: a bizarre biological warfare in the Labor Party

I think that most of us in Europe are confused by the Australian politics. The same thing could be true for most Americans.

Former Labor Party leader and former prime minister Kevin Rudd who was fired in 2010 wants to destroy and replace the current Labor Party leader and prime minister Julia Gillard. She wants to do the same thing to him. The deep differences, as I understand them, are the following ones:

  • Kevin Rudd often wants a harmful carbon tax to be established. On the contrary, Julia Gillard wants to enforce a harmful carbon tax.
  • Kevin Rudd wanted to get rid of the ill-conceived carbon tax in Spring 2010 while Julia Gillard promised there would be no carbon tax in August 2010.
  • Kevin Rudd's government designed a carbon tax that Julia Gillard didn't like but nevertheless adopted. On the contrary, Kevin Rudd doesn't like Julia Gillard's carbon tax, which used to be his tax, but nevertheless wants to adopt it later as Kevin Rudd's carbon tax.
  • Julia Gillard is protecting a Labor Party lawmaker and apparatchik who used his union credit card to pay in a brothel. On the contrary, Kevin Rudd plans to protect a Labor Party apparatchik and lawmaker who will pay money to a brothel with his union credit card.
  • Julia Gillard was sitting with Bob Brown and they happily planned a common government. Kevin Rudd wasn't sitting with Bob Brown, planning a government, so Gillard is more friendly towards the Greens than Kevin Rudd.
  • Julia Gillard recently attacked the Green Party while Kevin Rudd didn't, so Kevin Rudd is more friendly towards the Greens than Gillard.
  • Julia Gillard and her backers claim that Kevin Rudd is carried away with himself. On the contrary, Kevin Rudd thinks that she is carried away with herself.
You see that all the differences are fundamental and the Labor Party politics is all about the policies and intellectual values. ;-) More seriously, ...

Friday, February 24, 2012 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Clouds falling by 44 ± 22 meters per decade

Dozens of media outlets (let me pick IB Times as an example of a good story) inform us about a new paper by Roger Davies and Matthew Molloy of New Zealand,

Global cloud height fluctuations measured by MISR on Terra from 2000 to 2010 (Geophysical Research Letters, abstract)
A satellite uses stereo images in the radio spectrum to measure the distance – and therefore height – of the clouds. For the first time, we may study its dynamics quantitatively. Does it change?

Well, it does. It goes up in some regions, it goes down in other regions, it shows some remote relationships with the El Niño and La Niña conditions, but there's still an overall trend one can see between 2000 and 2010 which is 44 ± 22 meters per decade. It's a lot but the error is large, too.

So the claim that the "trend is nonzero" is only demonstrated at a 2-sigma level i.e. 95 percent confidence level. And it still depends on the assumption that the measured height follows a trend superposed with a white noise, a model that is surely inaccurate but that may be vastly inaccurate and misleading, too.

Thursday, February 23, 2012 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

RSS: temperature trend in the last 15 years is negative

We've been emphasizing for a few years that in the last decade, the global warming trend wasn't statistically significant and according to most datasets, it was actually negative: linear regression produces a cooling result.

Global warming as seen in Versoix, Switzerland in James Hansen's hottest year ever, 2005

However, aside from 10 years, there's always been an interesting discussion about the last 15 years. Some skeptics were happy when Phil Jones admitted that there was no statistically significant warming trend in the last 15 years.

Now, the times are changing. The debates about the statistical significance of the 15-year warming trend are gradually becoming irrelevant. Even when we talk about 15 years, the trend has actually been a cooling one!

CDF: W-boson mass is 80.387 GeV

Speedy neutrinos are so yesterday, as Katie Yurkewicz said. What is hot today is the new accurate W-boson mass as measured by the CDF at the Tevatron.

A special seminar is beginning right now, at 10 a.m. Chicago Winter Time. Watch it live here. Direct link to Flash. However, you may already see some texts:

Higgs Boson Gets New Mass Limit (Duke Today)

World's best measurement of W boson mass tests Standard Model, Higgs boson limits (Fermilab Today)
The new accurate value of the W-boson rest mass/energy is
\( m_W c^2 = 80.387 \pm 0.019 \,\,{\rm GeV} \)
Here is a graph...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

OPERA: GPS mistake found, neutrinos slower than light again

Update: CERN/OPERA press release (Thursday)

Of course, your humble correspondent wasn't the only one who was saying that the apparently faster-than-light neutrinos detected by the OPERA experiment were due to a mistake: see Italian out-of-tune superluminal neutrino opera.

However, I may have been the only pundit who always repeated that the mistake was probably due to a mistake in their usage of the GPS system.

A majority of my potential mistakes in the experiment was dedicated to the GPS system. This guess was even stronger in the interviews I was giving to the Czech media. I always said that the mistake would be found in the way how they use the GPS system even though many "experts" were talking nonsense e.g. about the shape of impulses etc. that couldn't have possibly played the crucial role.

The Science Magazine just brought us:
BREAKING NEWS: Error Undoes Faster-Than-Light Neutrino Results
The precise location of the mistake was somewhat different than my expectations but it was due to the GPS unit. More precisely, there was a bad (loosened) connection between a computer (an electronic card in it, to be specific) and the GPS unit (more precisely a fiber cable leading to the GPS unit).

In Nature,
Flaws found in faster-than-light neutrino measurement
it is being claimed by another OPERA person that two flaws have been found. Aside from the faulty connection, an interpolation procedure to calculate the arrival of the GPS synchronizing signal wasn't done properly. (This flaw is even closer to what I used to expect.) The two flaws are claimed to have the opposite sign when it comes to their effect on the measured speed and Nature is very ambiguous about the sum/difference of them.

However, I tend to think that the original sources behind Science have already done the arithmetics because it can't be that difficult and there's not just a potential explanation of the anomaly, but the numbers actually match. Waiting is enough to see more details.

Sean Carroll, money, and science

Off-topic rumor via @thphysnews at Twitter: In Moriond, both ATLAS and CMS will claim a 3-sigma Higgs signal in a new, 2-photon and 2-jet channel...

Anniversary: Google's wavy logo celebrates the 155th birthday of Heinrich Hertz, also known as Herr Two Pi Per Second. Although he died at age of 36, he managed to become a key person in the electromagnetic description of light and other EM waves, and the experimental discoverer of the photoelectric effect. He was a keen meteorologist who criticized the global warming hysteria and he spoke Arabic and Sanskrit, too.
Sean Carroll offers his "wisdom" on the "anti-scientific movement". We are told that people always liked the anti-intellectual populism (which I could confirm to a large extent) but something else is going on now: corporations fight against science because capitalism is evil.


He has three proofs that corporations are the problem: an interview with an annoyed left-wing female biologist, the $10,000 award that a think tank offered for a good published climate article a few years ago, and a woman fighting against corporations' freedom of speech.

Holy cow, the hypocrisy behind Sean Carroll's choice of arguments and data is just breathtaking. You know, during communism, we would see lots of people with a similar style and low level of morality on a daily basis – let me mention Mr Vasil Mohorita, a top slick Czechoslovak Komsomol apparatchik (he's been washing dishes in a London restaurant for years) - but they have never quite had the degree of chutzpah that Sean Carroll embodies. etc.: how to prevent redirecting

Google began to redirect the traffic to specific national locations. So far, three nations are affected:

New Zealand:

New countries are likely to be added into this list soon.

The purpose of these new domains is for Google to be able to impose legal restrictions of the content on a country-specific basis.

For example, if it were hypothetically illegal in the country of freedom called Iran to post blog entries informing the population that Allah is a silly superstition and the country's political and religious leaders are medieval bigots and jerks who should be shot, Iran may request Google to block a particular blog entry and only allow the rest of this blog which is totally kosher, even for hardcore Muslim bigots who really need everything to be kosher. ;-)

There's almost no problem with the new domains except for one thing: the Echo/JS-Kit "fast" commenting system (previously Haloscan) divides the commenting into different national groups, too. There's a fix:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

EU airline carbon tax: countries rally

EU bureaucrats who are totally detached from the reality have invented an insane carbon trading scheme, the ETS, and they attempted to incorporate the global airline industry into this scheme. Every flight arriving to a EU airport has to pay for CO2 emitted on every mile, whether or not it was above the EU territory.

It is not clear whether someone has already paid this ransom but it has been a law since January 2012.

The BBC reports that Russia wants to become a major player in the anti-EU-loons "coalition of the unwilling", as they cleverly call it. That's why representatives of Russia, America, China, India, and 22 other countries gathered in Moscow to discuss what to do with the European thugs.

CDF at 10/fb sees nothing in diphoton Higgs decays

As I told you on Saturday morning, the CDF Collaboration at the defunct Tevatron collider was going to publish a result on the Higgs physics that is based on 10 inverse femtobarns of their data. Here is the paper:

Search for a Standard Model Higgs Boson Decaying Into Photons at CDF Using 10.0 fb−1 of Data
The Standard Model expectation was a 3-sigma excess near 125 GeV. At least that's what the CDF spokesman Rob Roser has said. Important addition, thanks to commenters: the 3-sigma excess should only occur in a combination of other channels, not in the diphoton channel whose sensitivity is weak at the Tavatron.

Because the LHC indicates an excess of the diphoton events, we could still have been seeing a detectable signal at the Tevatron. Instead...

Peter Gleick: AGW warrior who stole identity

Peter Gleick, a self-described co-founder and president of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security in Oakland, California, is a hardcore climate fearmonger.

This blog has emphasized for years that he is an example of the Nazi-driven jerks without a glimpse of morality for whom the ends – the destruction of the human civilization in a foreseeable future – always justify the means – namely the destruction of the human civilization and people today. For years, some people could have doubted the accuracy of this description. It's no longer the case.

He has confessed that he has obtained the internal Heartland documents by a trick known as an identity theft. Huffington Post and Andrew Revkin's blog posted Gleick's confession:

The Origin of the Heartland Documents

...there has been extensive speculation about the origin of the documents and intense discussion about what they reveal...

...At the beginning of 2012, I received an anonymous document in the mail...

...In an effort to do so, and in a serious lapse of my own and professional judgment and ethics, I solicited and received additional materials directly from the Heartland Institute under someone else’s name...

...Now I confess that I, the chairman of the AGU ethics task force, am a hardcore criminal and a stinky scumbag who should be educated by an electric chair, much like all my fellow warriors against the man-made climate change...
Especially the last paragraph is very accurate which is the reason that it's the only one that Gleick failed to have written. ;-) Well, he's still confessed he's guilty of wire fraud which has been a federal crime in the U.S. since 1872 and carries a sentence of 10 years. Enjoy your stay, Peter.

Unfortunately for Gleick, his identity theft has led to no other results except for an entry in his thickening criminal record. All those documents show that the Heartland Institute only does things that every think tank on the science-policy interface should be doing, with the professionalism we would like to expect.

Sunday, February 19, 2012 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

QC UCSB expert: quantum computing may be 5 years away

Vancouver is hosting the annual meeting of the AAAS, an organization of left-wing scientists whose aim is to promote and politically abuse science. AAAS has also played quite some role in the promotion of the global warming hoax.

Despite the annoying political background of this body, there are some interesting talks. Vancouver Sun writes about a few talks and discussions on quantum computation:

Quantum computing could be five years away, expert suggests
The folks working on quantum computers are still semi-dismissing the D-Wave computer as "something in between" a quantum computer and a classical one. John Preskill of Caltech explained to the journalist that the realization of the full-fledged quantum computers will depend on the taming of the dragon of decoherence.

The guy who offers the bold 5-year timeframe is Dr Martinis of Santa Barbara. Quantum computing may actually be one of the "crisis scenarios" that politicians should think of. Why?

A black hole story of a YouTube millionaire

The silly video above is the first YouTube video posted by your humble correspondent that has surpassed 1 million views. I have no idea why. I don't know where the people come from.

The video was created by NASA. The animation is an artist's creation, based on an actual picture of the black hole taken from a telescope. The sound is based on real information – X-rays coming from the vicinity of the event horizon, transformed to a low-frequency sound.

The black hole is one from GRS 1915+105, an X-ray binary star composed of a star and a black hole. The black hole in the system is the largest stellar black hole we know in the Milky Way.

It is rotating 1,150 times a second, about 10 times faster than the hard disk in your PC. In fact, it is a nearly extremal Kerr black hole (maximally quickly rotating as allowed by the given mass) which is why its entropy may also be calculated by stringy methods, as I mentioned in 2008 etc.

Saturday, February 18, 2012 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Tevatron: CDF may reveal 3-sigma 125 GeV Higgs bump

Or its absence

See an update: CDF sees nothing in the diphoton channel

Almost half a year after its demise, the Tevatron still seems to be intellectually alive. The CDF Collaboration plans to publish several papers.

One of them is a new high precision measurement of the W-boson and top-quark masses. Another one might be a 3-sigma evidence supporting a Higgs boson near 125 GeV, as seen by the LHC:

AAAS press release, Cosmic Log at MSNBC, SciAm blogs, Discovery News, Macleans, Vancouver Sun blogs
3 sigma is the predicted strength of the signal of the Standard Model Higgs whose mass is 125 GeV, as applied to the recorded CDF collisions.

America's 19 most charitable corporations

As a part of the "DenierGate", green activists at Think Progress have created a list of 19 most charitable corporations in America (using the Heartland Institute documents). These great companies have donated several pennies and – in some cases even several dollars – to the Heartland Institute.

A fraction of a penny if not whole pennies out of these amounts could have been used to support research and presentations by the folks who actually understand the climate. And that's the huge "DenierGate" scandal, the recipient of $60 billion in climate alarmist grants rightfully tell us.

TRF readers may choose to "fall in love" with some of the companies. The list is the following.

Friday, February 17, 2012 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Google Earth: could not write myplaces.kml

Tons of computer users have experienced the same problem as I did. They installed Google Earth, created lots of bookmarks for places before they exited Google Earth and got the messages that the myplaces.kml file could not be written down; writing to myplaces.kml.tmp instead.

I haven't found a functional fix anywhere on the Internet but it's so simple.

When the captain (pilot) passes away

Commercial aircrafts are usually piloted by two men and it is so for a good reason.

On Wednesday, captain Mr Jaroslav Váňa (58), a great and beloved pilot and a lover of his old Škoda 120 car, almost completed his routine flight from Warsaw to Prague flawlessly. However, when he began to land, he made a mistake that a pilot shouldn't do more than once in his life (except if he is Hindu): he died.

What I find impressive – and it is not the first time – is the discipline and cold attitude that the other pilot obeys.

Heartland Institute and skepticism: is that a scandal?

Some people have obtained several documents from the Heartland Institute, a libertarian/conservative U.S. think tank. These documents show that the folks in the Heartland Institute are climate skeptics who are working to help other climate skeptics, especially among the scientists.

Many alarmist websites claim that it is a scandal. See hundreds of articles available via Google News.

I find it amusing. The Heartland Institute has organized several conferences of climate skeptics and everyone who observes the debate at least at a superficial level must know that the folks in the think tank are skeptics and they have some – modest – amount of money to be used.

The only detailed information that went beyond my – and public – knowledge was the insight that a single generous and wealthy anonymous donor contributed $8.6 million to the Heartland's climate causes (well, at least I guess that the person had to be a bit wealth to give a gift of this magnitude). If she or he happens to be reading these lines, she or he may notice that a piglet to donate via PayPal is at the bottom, so if she or he didn't care that pure science will be strengthened by those $100 or so, wherever it leads, it could turn out to be a more focused investment than those $8.6 million to the Heartland!

Several skeptical weblogs discuss the amusing "skeptics' climategate" here:

Dr Roy Spencer, Australian Climate Madness, Climate Resistance
Some of them discuss the amusing transformation of Andy Revkin who used to deplore the evil criminals who have hacked the University of East Anglia e-mails – but now celebrates those who have obtained some internal Heartland documents. Do you think that you're being ethical or consistent, Andy?

Of course, the Heartland folks may be "homo politicus" who are more likely to reach certain conclusions about this politically polarizing issue. But the number of such politically motivated people is much higher on the alarmism side of the aisle. It's kind of amusing to ask the question: Who is the "true counterpart" of the Heartland Institute on the alarmist side? Is it Gore's Coalition or the World Wildlife Fund? Well, I think that a much more accurate counterpart of the Heartland Institute on the "other side of the political spectrum" is the IPCC.

Thursday, February 16, 2012 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

CMS hangout

The CMS Collaboration organized its first hangout via Google+:

The selection of beverages and babes wasn't too wide. Instead, the event was a video conferencing session with a physicist in the CMS cavern, 110 meters beneath the ground, and laymen on the other side of the cable.

I find such exchanges frustrating.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Some alarmists are waiting for skeptics to die off

Apologies for the severely lowered frequency of blogging. I've been busy with many things including my new notebook (it's amazingly fast) I bought after a decade as well as a new stage of the translation of Brian Greene's latest book.

Willie Soon has pointed out a new conflict in between two groups of climate change alarmists. What do they disagree about?

One group led by David Roberts of Grist argues that the alarmists should wait for all the climate skeptics to die off; another group, represented by Crikey, claims that the alarmists are not waiting for skeptics to die off even though they would be happy if this dream came true:

‘Cohort replacement’: Climate deniers won’t change, but they will die (Grist)

Death isn’t an option: climate change activists aren’t waiting for deniers to die (Crikey)
You may react to these texts in various ways. You may be shocked or scared. Or you don't have to be surprised at all: we may have already heard everything. Most reasonably, you should realize that the folks such as David Roberts are just unhinged impotent ideologues whose words mean absolutely nothing – and you should be as amused as your humble correspondent.

Monday, February 13, 2012 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Cold fusion colloquium at CERN

On Thursday, March 22nd, the CERN Colloquium between 4:30 pm and 5:30 pm will be dedicated to a very, very unusual topic: cold fusion. The title is

Overview of Theoretical and Experimental Progress in Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR): click for description
and the talk will be presented by two folks I've never heard about but they're probably focusing on cold fusion, Francesco Celani and Yogendra Srivastava. This will surely be an event that may elevate the blood pressure of the people in the audience and may be very attractive. And I think it's good that organizers – Antoniadis and Benedetti – have the right to occasionally choose speakers who stand beyond the boundaries of proper science, as understood by most of the active physicists in conventional particle physics.

Still, I think it is unfortunate that invalid claims are allowed to penetrate into official CERN's documents. What do I mean?

Saturday, February 11, 2012 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Gell-Mann on LHC, supersymmetry and SUSY rumors

If you have 16 minutes, you may watch Murray Gell-Mann who was interviewed by CERN's Paola Catapano on January 23rd.

Click here if you see no video above.

Gell-Mann talks about the likelihood of the Higgs mechanism, importance of beauty in physics, the role of it in knowing that his and Feynman's V-A theory was right while 7 experimental papers are wrong, its role in arguing that supersymmetry should also be right.

Magic 4D: a great comedy

Just ten days ago, you could have read about Friedrich Dürrenmatt's "The Physicists". Because this is another blog entry about a play in the Pilsner Chamber Theater, you must start to think that I am the ultimate theater addict. In order to preserve this generous and precious belief of yours, I won't tell you how many times in my life I have been to a theater.

Tonight, it was the world premiere of Mr Antonín Procházka's comedy on extra dimensions and other human stories, "Magic 4D". (AP, Pilsen's Moliere, was the key male actor, playwright, as well as director: and he turned out to be an amazing magician, too.) My job was one of a physics endorser: the physics behind the play was almost entirely accurate. But as a viewer, let me say: I loved it. ;-)

Mr Antonín Procházka as magician Felix.

This is too hot a topic so I won't offer you full spoilers, just an assorted description of some characters, possible events, and technologies employed in the play. If you know someone who influences a foreign theater, your humble correspondent really recommends you to get in touch with the writer (e.g. via me) and import the play because it deserves it.

Jason Mraz, Al Gore's new friend

Jason Mraz is an American singer and songwriter. The music isn't quite my cup of tea but I think it's good. This YouTube video with his song (which I've heard before) has attracted 120 million viewers: that's quite something. I don't remember seeing a number over 100 million for quite some time if ever.

The musician who grew up in Quantum Mechanicsville, Virginia (a good hometown for a physics blog) is a bit of my compatriot, too: his Czech grandfather moved to the U.S. from my homeland, Austria-Hungary :-), in 1915. One could even rewrite his name as Jasoň Mráz which means Shiny Frost in Czech (I am sure that many Czech readers will remember Prince Jasoň from some fairy-tales). :-)

At any rate, Mr Mraz participated in the recent Al Gore trip to Antarctica and Eco Tretas sent me this wonderful photo (thank you!):

Salute to all the fellow warriors against the climate crisis: you should imagine thousands of the green soldiers marching in front of the glorious leaders above

You may check that the room belongs to the same interiors of the National Geographic Explorer: you may compare it with the hottie et al. photograph taken by Sam Pucci one day before he was designing his tomb in an underwear that obviously had to be replaced.

The picture appears at the bottom of Mraz's meditative text,

Did you get my message?
If you're worried that something is jumping inside your brain, don't worry: the landscape in the background image of the page above switches automatically. At any rate, this text tells us many new things we didn't know. What are they?

Friday, February 10, 2012 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Willis Eschenbach and Argo on warmest oceans

It's not shocking that 31 °C is the highest ocean surface temperature you may get

Willis Eschenbach has performed a very interesting analysis of the ocean temperature data from Argo, a system of floating probes.

Jason and the Argo Notes (WUWT)
Here you can see the surface temperatures obtained by averaging at each point and using about 700,000 measurements that have been done as of today:

Note the warmer waters near Northern Europe (and Britain); that's caused by the Gulf Stream. Click the pictures to zoom in.

However, Willis has also produced an interesting histogram.

Greece's bankruptcy loses taboo status

In recent years, Greece has been a major source of negative energy in the world's markets. Greece became a textbook example of the pernicious influence of any left-wing ideology, a proof of an inevitable outcome of any policies that codify well-being as a human right and put it above the principles of market economy. For years, I've argued that the most acceptable solution was to actively help Greece to go bankrupt and to introduce austerity measures because they would become inevitable. They would simply run out of money.

I've argued that Greece is a very special case of a hardcore communist country whose spending has simply run out of any control, that the fiscal irresponsibility and parasitism has become the standard for pretty much the whole nation, that its public sector deserves to be liquidated and has to be eliminated off the Earth's surface, and that virtually no one else will suffer so no one else should be afraid of the looming bankruptcy too much.

Finally and gradually, the politicians and investors are starting to join me. Today, many stock markets crashed again – because of a Greek far-right communist's insane declaration to be discussed below – but I still feel that Europe has begun to act in a tougher, more self-confident and stringent way. Yesterday, it was the European side that demanded more to be done in Greece while the Greek unity government agreed with the conditions.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Higgs signal grew from 3.8 to 4.3 sigma

Well, the newer and higher figure is real: the lower one may be from a silly yet pedagogical calculation of a SuperBowl organizers' anomaly by Sean Carroll but it's not far from the obsolete value (around 4 sigma), anyway

From the first half of December 2011, TRF readers have known that a Higgs at 124-126 GeV is a sure thing, despite some nearly unbelievable skepticism from Prof Matt Strassler and 97% of the particle physicists he talks to. ;-) His skeptical blog entry, religiously referring to an impressive yet enigmatic and anonymous majority :-), was later erased and "superseded" by another article which is still nearly unbelievable to me. ;-) Sorry, Matt, I am just not getting it.

At any rate you – and 97% of the particle physicists that your humble correspondent talks to (and Gordon Kane, David Gross, or Nima Arkani-Hamed are just three "far from anonymous" examples you may remember from recent TRF articles) – won't be surprised that the Higgs (or Higgs-like) signal is facing one kind of a future trend only: it's destined to go up.

Phil Gibbs' Higgs combination chart from December 2011. Click to zoom in.

However, you may still be surprised that the signal has been getting stronger even before new collisions are recorded at the LHC (new collisions at 4 + 4 = 8 TeV will begin at the beginning of April). But that's what has occurred, too. Nature blogs described it by the title

Higgs signal gains strength
The informal combination's confidence level has been raised from 3.8-4.1 (or so...) standard deviations to 4.3 standard deviations, largely because of improvements in the CMS analysis.

Rick Santorum on global warming

If I would be choosing among two otherwise identical candidates, I would choose the evolutionist.

Although it plays a paramount role in our understanding of the pillars of biology and any historical science, for that matter, this topic – and some related topics – is so abstract and unimportant for the decisions made by the U.S. president and for the aspects of the society that the U.S. president affects that it would almost certainly play a marginal role in all conceivable decisions I would have to make if I were a U.S. voter.

Rick Santorum who won in 3 states on Tuesday – and showed that there's nothing inevitable about Mitt Romney as the G.O.P. nominee – is caught to say some general things about the climate change issue.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Andrei Shleifer on transition from communism, a server for Czech investors, published a shortened Czech translation of Andrei Shleifer's essay called

Seven things I learned about transition from communism
Andrei Shleifer co-authored the Russian privatization scheme. However, I know him from Harvard – as a close colleague of Larry Summers. The President of Harvard University helped Shleifer to settle a bizarre $28 million fine that Prof Shleifer had to pay to the U.S. (?) for his apparent financial conflict of interests in Russia. (He bought stocks even though he was a mastermind initiating the privatization in Russia.)

Needless to say, the fanatical anti-market types – and there are very many of these folks at Harvard University, especially but not exclusively in the most inferior humanities such as the Department of Professional Whining Blacks and the Department of Professional Whining Women – were upset and they gave Larry Summers a hard time about this episode, too.

Hogan's holographic noise doesn't exist

In recent years, the name of Craig Hogan – the proponent of the "holographic noise" – appeared several times on TRF. A year ago, I discussed a BBC program that showed Craig Hogan's Holometer or Hoganmeter, a rather large and fancy apparatus given the fact that the effect clearly didn't exist.

Interestingly enough, in 2005, Craig Hogan et al. also took photographs of CSL-1, a celestial object that was conjectured to be a cosmic string, an interpretation that turned out to be invalid. Many of us were kind of excited; I liked to reproduce Joe Polchinski's estimate that the probability of finding a cosmic string in a near future had been around 10 percent. Well, we were still sensible and the object wasn't what people hoped it would be.

But let me return to the Hogan noise. The blog post "Hoganmeter" just told us that some noise from the GEO600 gravitational wave interferometer – which placed Hogan on the BBC show etc. – has disappeared. Not a surprise.

Sunday, February 05, 2012 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Trying to cancel Michael Mann's talks: a poll

Anthony Watts criticizes a cool-headed, rational, pro-coal organization named Choose Common Sense that attempts to convince Penn State University to abolish a planned talk by Michael Mann on February 9th in the Penn Stater, central Pennsylvania's most sophisticated hotel.

I am genuinely interested in the TRF readers' own opinion – and you may be interested, too. So here's the poll; please try to answer before you see what I think (and I hope and guess that my opinion won't distort your own attitudes, anyway).

Is it OK to try to scrap Mann's talk? Do his talks hurt the alarmist cause?
 He has the right to speak and he increases the listeners' belief in AGW
 He has the right to speak and his talks discredit the AGW ideology, anyway
 There's no right to speak at fancy places; talks by liars help to spread lies
 There's no right to speak at fancy places; but his talks don't help AGW, anyway free polls 

It's pretty clear that you either tend to sympathize with Michael Mann or with Choose Common Sense so don't pay too much attention to my wording: you know what I am asking, don't you? ;-)

And here is what I wrote on Anthony's blog.

Friday, February 03, 2012 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Gore's Antarctic friend needs your help with his tomb

There are 116 people participating in Al Gore's expedition to Antarctica (whose goal is to prove that the uninhabited continent has been transformed into another Sahara by the global warming), including this list collected by Eco Tretas (thanks!). One of them is Sam Pucci, a random youngster and a software engineer at Next Big Sound from Boulder, Colorado who has a Twitter account.

He has apparently never heard of the Gore effect. As recently as three days ago, he would tweet

If you have any doubts about global warming, don't. [URL]
The video above revolves around an old cigarette commercial. However, his mood changed 10 hours ago when he tweeted the following:
Someone please inscribe something decent on my tomb. [URL]
The link shows the following global warming scenery he is seeing:

Nice. The TRF community is very compassionate so I think we should help Sam to fulfill his wish.

LHC: rumor about stop squark signal

Update: Note that on February 14th, there's been a CERN/ATLAS seminar (webcast was on air) that could have been relevant for the rumor but it wasn't: it only presented results that had already been released which contain no BSM signals

Another update: one of my Massachusetts sources told me that the rumor talked about the results at CMS and the source that was deeper by one step were theoretical physicists at CERN.

Originally posted on February 3rd

A commenter from an unnamed Ivy League University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, West of the Central Square, has pointed out that he or she has also heard the same rumors about the signal hinting at the existence of the stop squarks – the supersymmetric partners of the third-generation top quarks – at the LHC collider.

This 2011 image from Resonaances could become obsolete soon. The traffic sign above is really "do not enter" and not "stop" but relatively to the accuracy expected from a phenomenologist who has betrayed SUSY, it is OK enough. ;-)

I am not able to give you the accurate data now. However, ...

Astrophysicist Grygar on global warming and everything

This blog entry is directly relevant for 3% of the readers only who are Czech; but others may learn something about the intellectual atmosphere in our nation.

Radio Impuls – which I happen to be listening to right now (and sometimes) because it has an OK Vista Sidebar Gadget :-) – is just interviewing Dr Jiří Grygar, who is arguably the most publicly famous scientist in the Czech Republic. I had the pleasure to meet him several times during recent years, at the christening events of "Magpie in the Land of Entropy", Ms Markéta Baňková's award-winning book of physics fables.

His fame rose in the early 1980s when he became the host of a long TV serial about astronomy, "Windows to the Universe Are Wide Open". It was shot in the Slovak TV studios (Bratislava) which were more tolerant than those in Prague. The screenplay was written by Dr Vladimír Železný (who was banned in Prague and) who later became the founder and owner of the post-socialist Europe's largest commercial TV station, TV NOVA.

Grygar was just describing his cooperation with Železný. He was driving him to Slovakia in his Wartburg, a *hitty East German car, and they shared an apartment in Slovakia. Due to Dr Železný's detailed knowledge of TV markets, state-of-the-art video tricks, and other things, many people had predicted that Železný would later become a director of a TV station when the socialist regime collapses; their predictions turned out to be precious. ;-)

I add that unfortunately, Železný was even later robbed by a major and rogue U.S. investor, Ronald Lauder, the son of Estee Lauder, who owns and controls the station today.

Thursday, February 02, 2012 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

LHC lunch

From Utah to CERN's cafeteria

The U.S. LHC network has launched a P.R. project called The LHC Lunch. They catch various members of the set of 1700 U.S. scientists in the CERN's largest cafeteria, the so-called Restaurant I.

Siberia swallows Europe

UAH AMSU has announced that the January 2012 global temperature anomaly was negative, -0.09 °C. The month was cooler than their average January!

However, in some relatively important places on the globe such as Europe and America, it was hard to tell that the globe was relatively cold.

In comparison with some chilly winters in recent years, the 2011-2012 winter could have looked balmy so far, at least in the NATO member states. However, that changed this week when a chilly continental wind brought some cruel frost to most of Europe.

Temperature anomalies across the globe in °C right now, averaged over 8 days. Central Europe is 15 °C colder than the normal for this season; note that even 2 °C of warming – some people with big eyes expect in a century – wouldn't make a difference. A favorite map of Ron de Haan (hat tip); see many other maps by Ryan Maue.

The title contains the word "Siberia" and not "Arctic" because it's actually a wind from the East, and not from the North, that is bringing us the reduced energy per degree of freedom.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

WSJ publishes a collective letter disagreeing with Lindzen et al.

Comparison of dentists, climate scientists, astrologers

The Wall Street Journal just published a letter to the editor

Check With Climate Scientists for Views on Climate
which was signed by a few dozens of climate alarmists. It is meant as a reply to an op-ed by 16 scientists that WSJ previously published.

Ms Katharine Hayhoe, a typical religiously obsessed woman with IQ around 80, is an important co-author of the letter in the Wall Street Journal. Her chapter called "How It Is Crucial for the Survival of the Planet for the Future U.S. Presidents To Sleep With Nancy Pelosi On Al Gore's Couch" has been removed from Newt Gingrich's future book. For years, media would paint a surrealistic picture in which Ms Hayhoe and similar "experts" beat folks like Richard Lindzen.

The new published letter is somewhat less hysterical than the responses by the alarmist blogosphere; but it is arguably even more pretentious than the comments by the alarmist bloggers.


The Physicists: Friedrich Dürrenmatt

I just returned from the theater. They were playing The Physicists by Friedrich Dürrenmatt, a top Swiss playwright. Our Pilsner actors are sort of amazing – and it's a happy coincidence that the EU has agreed that Pilsen is the right city that will become the European Capital of Culture 2015 – but I am afraid that I can't convey these qualities to the dear readers, especially because 97% of them don't speak any Czech. ;-)

Instead, the rest of the text will be dedicated to spoilers and some historical overview.

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