Friday, September 30, 2011 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Nir Shaviv: Why don't I believe that neutrinos travel faster than the speed of light?

Guest blog by Prof Nir Shaviv (HUJI), astrophysicist

Reprinted from with author's permission

Three weeks ago I visited the underground laboratory of Gran Sasso near l'Aquila. Little did I know that it would make headline news so soon, for "discovering" particles moving faster than the speed of light. Since a few people asked me what did I think of it, I decided to write something about it here.

Before I get into the details, here's a recap of the news item.

The OPERA experiment, which is one of a dozen or so running at the underground laboratory at Gran Sasso in Italy (the largest underground laboratory), came out with sensational results: they measured neutrinos traveling faster than the speed of light. Now the details.

The OPERA experiment was built to detect 17 GeV or so neutrinos which are produced at CERN, and aimed towards Gran Sasso 700 km's away. The idea is to try and find muon neutrinos that "oscillated" and changed into tau neutrinos. This can be expected because neutrinos appear to have a small mass. (For the physicists of you, this is a consequence of the fact that the "flavor" eigenstates are not the mass eigenstates – this is akin to two pendula coupled with a very week spring, as a consequence, if one perturbs one pendulum, eventually the oscillation passes to the other pendulum and back). Anyway, they have thus far detected one(!) such event (see

Nature: carbon trading is a farce

Nature News published an unusually candid article about the carbon trading scheme:

Clean-energy credits tarnished
The text discusses diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks last week. In those cables, diplomats reveal that they have understood that most of the CDM (Clean Development Mechanism under the U.N.) projects in India don't reduce the greenhouse-gas emissions at all. We learn that the very idea of a greenhouse-gas emissions trading scheme is "seriously flawed", "farce", and so on.

These bugs affect hundreds of millions of tons of CO2 emissions that someone got paid for: that's billions of dollars. However, no CO2 emissions were even reduced (and we don't even have to discuss whether such reductions would have any impact on the environment: surely not a detectable positive one). India only witnessed reductions that would be "achieved" even if the Europeans didn't participate at all.

Greek century bonds

Škoda Pythagoras, a Greek-made magnet-powered vehicle, helped Greece to repay 1/3 of its €30-trillion debt around 2011. Or did it? Or will it? The man on the picture who introduced the new model in 2095 is Nicolaos Papandreou, a Greek prime minister.

Two weeks, I proposed a scenario

How to save Greece.
The basic goal was to liquidate the short-term and medium-term debt and replace it by some very long-term obligations: something that Greece has to do for nearly a century or so – and especially in a distant future that is 50+ years away. A few hours ago, Reuters announced that
Greece adds century bond to debt options-source
so you might think that BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, and HSBC who are advising Greece and who developed this idea have pretty much reproduced your humble correspondent's idea. But you would only be half-right.

Thursday, September 29, 2011 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Ig Nobel Prizes tonight

Plus comments on Nobel prizes and Tevatron's retirement

As Phil Gibbs reminded us, Nobel prizes for medicine, physics, chemistry, nothing, and peace will be distributed next week on Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, and Fri, respectively. The last two prizes out of five that I mentioned displayed a very similar degree of credibility recently and it was not only because of Manbearpig and the bystander in the Oval Office.

Economics (recently rewarding far-left zealot and economics crank Paul Krugman) will be saved for the week afterwords; the D day for literature (going mostly to Marxist and homosexual writers but there were some recent exceptions) is traditionally undecided in advance. In my opinion, physics, chemistry, and medicine Nobel prizes still preserve some kind of credibility.

Meanwhile, the funny Ig Nobel Prizes (for magnetically levitating frogs and similar cool things) will learn about their winners in Harvard's Memorial Hall tonight, at 1 am, Prague Summer Time.

This video is the trailer for these prizes. Many laureates of the boring, serious Nobel prizes are participating at the Sanders Theater event. There are already people who first won an Ig Nobel prize and then they won the ordinary Nobel prize. Well, I mean Andre Geim who won the 2000 Ig Nobel prize for the levitating frog as well as the most recent 2010 physics Nobel prize for graphene.

The only other example of such a "double win" is a member of an international nuclear panel that won the ordinary Nobel prize as a member of the group.

Why a small cylinder buried in Prague radiates 500 μSv/h?

Related story (Dec 2013): Thieves of cobalt-60 in Mexico are likely to die
A small 2 mm × 2 cm cylinder with radium-226 buried in kids' place in Prague

Was the excavator that was digging a hugely radioactive material in the Czech capital caught by the Google StreetView minivan?

Did Marie Curie Sklodowski dig her first radium obtained in 1898 from the Bohemian Jáchymov pitchblende in Prague-Podolí? ;-)

Or did they sell exactly these lethally toxic metallic pieces as "universal cures" in the 1920s and 1930s, as a TRF reader remembers?

Hungarian (click for autom. translation)

A "random passer-by" (as he was identified by the Czech media), the Verizon network engineer Pavel Bykov, was just passing by a children's playground in Sinkulova St, near the crossing with Lopatecká St in Prague-Podolí (not too far from Vyšehrad: I was walking through this street as well in June: it's fun to see those things via Google Earth again), together with his son yesterday, when his wristwatch (picture!) suddenly started to beep.

I think that this is the relevant crossing: via Google Earth and L.M.

You know, this random passer-by had installed a dosimeter in his timepiece: that's apparently what passers-by in Prague routinely do. Well, more precisely, some of their watches have dosimeters, others have a fountain. Mr Bykov thought it was a mistake of the device so he returned home to pick several other dosimeters and Geiger-Müller counters that this random passer-by keeps in his living room (picture!). And indeed, all of them confirmed that the radiation near a trash bin was significantly elevated.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Superluminal neutrinos vs global warming

Walker White of Washington (WWW) wrote the following letter to the editor of Washington Post:

‘Faster than light’ vs. climate change
Because it's short and the message is important, I will reproduce it here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Mother Jones: climate skeptics have won

Blue Marble, an environmentalist blog at Mother Jones, has finally admitted that the debate is over:

Chart: How the Climate Change Deniers Won
Josh Harkinson has complained that global warming has fallen off the political radar. It has fallen so far that no one has screamed that it was important to throw half a billion dollars for Solyndra (solar company that went bust) not only because it's great economics to throw so much money but also because it's a symptom of great climatology to throw billions for ludicrous, carbon-free sources of energy.

Where are we in extra dimensions?

Basic scenarios of string theory

Gordon has assured me that (almost) no non-expert has understood advanced basics of string phenomenology, despite dozens if not hundreds of blog entries about these topics that have been written on this blog during the years.

So I would like to be a little bit (but not too much) more comprehensible and address this text to some of the readers who have never studied any string theory at a technical level but who have some idea about quantum field theory and the concept of extra dimensions. I will review the basic vacua of string/M-theory in 10-11 spacetime dimensions and their basic relationships.

It turns out that almost each of them may give rise to a particular, idiosyncratic class of realistic universes with 3+1 large dimensions that we may inhabit.

CMS diphoton Higgs search: 119 GeV favored

I am checking lots of new papers that appear on the CERN website. Session III of the LHC-HCG working meeting is underway right now, on Tuesday morning (September 27th). I believe that this graph is the most interesting one.

Click to zoom in.

The chart shows the digamma (two photons) signals measured at CMS after 1.66/fb. A simple decay of the Higgs boson to two particles of light may arguably give the most accurate information about the Higgs mass.

Monday, September 26, 2011 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Superluminal neutrinos from noncommutative geometry

In two previous blog entries, I discussed possible mistakes in the Opera experiment and theoretical reasons why they probably exist.

But it seems pretty likely to me that a Fermilab experiment will confirm the Opera result – either because there is new physics or, more likely, because it will be affected by the same glitch in the GPS system ;-) – and theorists will be increasingly pushed to give an explanation. Imagine that we're really forced to admit that the neutrinos are faster than the photons.

What changes will we apply to our theoretical picture of the world? What's the most sensible setup to rebuild our understanding of the reality? Does string theory offer some semi-natural tools to account for the different speeds? Well, I will mostly promote the famous 3,000-citation 1999 article by Nathan Seiberg and Edward Witten,

String Theory and Noncommutative Geometry
to get a flavor of some semi-realistic attempts to assign different speeds to the massless and very light particles. If you want to see how such a Cyber Witten looks like, see the picture above. But let me begin at the beginning:

Lindzen-Choi 2011: paper, data, scripts

Steve McIntyre was initially slightly dissatisfied with the access to the data and code used by Richard Lindzen and Yong-Sang Choi in their 2011 paper; see TRF for texts on improvements relatively to LC09 and the publication in the Asia-Pacific journal.

However, Steve just announced via Climate Audit that he was given all the files by Richard and his colleague and you may download the data files as well as the scripts in IDL. Here is my concise, compact, and clear zipped copy of the folder:

Lindzen Choi 2011: paper in PDF, data as DAT, scripts PRO in IDL

Unzipped folder (at Steve's server)
If you download the 767 kB ZIP file from the first link above and unpack it, you will see the full Lindzen Choi 2011 paper, scripts, and data. This is pretty much the format in which all papers in (not only) climate science should be accessible, I think.

You got an "A" in transparency from me, Dick. And Yong-Sang, too. ;-)

Saturday, September 24, 2011 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Climate alarmists launch terror, bloodshed against Uganda

Over 20,000 people made homeless, replaced by carbon sinks in fight against AGW

People often talk about colonial masters, capitalists, and politicians as the sources of evil and inhuman acts. But most of us are not told that such things are happening today and their culprits are sometimes the same people who paint themselves as symbols of morality in the Western societies.

Prison Planet and the New York Times bring a heartbreaking story:

Armed Troops Burn Down Homes, Kill Children To Evict Ugandans In Name Of Global Warming

In Scramble for Land, Group Says, Company Pushed Ugandans Out
Armed individuals acting on behalf of the "New Forests Company" trying to earn carbon credits – which are being routinely changed to cash through fraudulent schemes in many countries of the world – came to a village in Uganda, shot a couple of children, and flattened the village. If you have the nerves, read the article to see details.

Potential mistakes in the Opera research

Almost all theoretical oriented physicists including myself seem to feel almost certain that there is a mistake in the Opera paper (previously discussed by TRF; see also a video of the lecture) and the claimed violation of the relativistic speed limit will go away. See also why Nir Shaviv, Andy Cohen, and Shelly Glashow don't believe the superluminal claim.

If there's no mistake, and it is a big If, see Superluminal neutrinos from noncommutative geometry.

On the other hand, I think that many people who like technology etc. were impressed by the precision work that the Opera folks have demonstrated. It's a complex piece of work in which particle physicists became top metrologists – their work was endorsed by two teams of professional metrologists, too. In some sense, their measurement is also a pioneering work: as far as I know, the propagation of speed-of-light-in-the-vacuum signals between very distant places on Earth has never been tested against GPS metrology before so it shouldn't be shocking that one gets a 18-meter discrepancy when he tries it for the first time.

There's a lot of potential for errors. The measurement may be schematically represented as three steps: "measuring the distance", "bringing the proper universal time to CERN clocks", and "bringing the proper universal time to Gran Sasso clocks". So the mistakes may be divided into three basic groups:

  • timing errors at CERN
  • timing errors in Italy
  • errors in the distance measurement
This is just a very rough, "geographic" separation of the possible mistakes. Various numbers in the calculations depend on each other and one should be more specific about the origin of the error, anyway.

Thursday, September 22, 2011 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Italian out-of-tune superluminal neutrino opera

Update: On Saturday, I added a blog entry discussing possible mistakes in the Opera paper.

Update: On Thursday, AP, BBC (who renamed Opera to Orion: fixed) and Reuters (and all other media) finally leaked the news: the neutrinos are claimed to have arrived 60 nanoseconds before the light (18 meters over c).

Because this is said to be a 6-sigma signal, their total error margin of the timing should be 10 nanoseconds (3 meters over c); recall that the distance is 732 km. I leave it to the reader to decide whether this accuracy is plausible given the messy birth and detection of the particles. One nanosecond is the duration of one cycle of your iPhone microprocessor, among other things. Ten nanoseconds is 40% of the lifetime of the charged pion or 80% of the lifetime of the charged kaon. I can kind of imagine that they're doing something really silly, like imagining that each pion or kaon lives at least for the lifetime and then it dies. But some of them decay immediately; this error could erase most of the 60-nanosecond discrepancy.

Talk on Friday: watch at 4 p.m. Prague Summer Time; Preprint is finally out (click!)

See #MundaneNeutrinoExplanations for some ongoing Twitter fun such as:

Bartender says: "We don't serve neutrinos here." Neutrino enters a Gran Sasso tavern. :-)
Anna has suggested that their GPS-based timing device may have neglected that the electromagnetic waves are moving slower than c through the atmosphere: if the collaboration did an error in this subtlety, they get an error of exactly the same magnitude to explain the "signal". The index of refraction of the air is 1.0003, so light needs to penetrate a 10-km layer of the atmosphere as it would need to get through 10.003 km of the vacuum which would exactly produce the 3-meter delay. Make the atmosphere a bit thicker because the satellites are not right above your head; add the delays from both directions and you may already produce those 18 meters of error (or most of it).

Italian seismological witch hunt began

In June, this blog has informed about the looming trial against 6 Italian seismologists and one public official who were going to be charged with manslaughter (a less serious version of killing than murder). Some victims also demand a modest fee of $67 million from the 6-7 scientists.

The trial started this week.

Gore had 180,000, not 8.6 million, visitors

Only 20,000 or so watched for more than a minute

Al Gore has claimed that the Climate Reality Project received 8.6 million visits on Climate Parody Day between September 14th and September 15th. That's just 0.1% of the world population and the impact was negligible. But we may still ask, is the figure 8.6 million real? What does it exactly mean?

Let's count the unique IP addresses that visited Gore's server. offers us this graph depicting the percentage of Internet users who have gone to

Click to zoom in.

You see that the peak number for 24 hours was 0.043% of Internet users. Let's assume that you could choose a better, shifted 24-hour period and the percentage could jump to 0.05%. How many people it actually is?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

William Happer vs Michael MacCracken

A few months ago, physicist and climate skeptic Prof William Happer of Princeton wrote this article:

The Truth About Greenhouse Gases: The dubious science of the climate crusaders
for First Things. An extensive 42-page reply has just been released. It was written by Dr Michael MacCracken, a fat cat alarmist.
The Real Truth about Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change: Paragraph-by-Paragraph Comments on an Article by Dr. William Happer
The length is impressive, indeed.

Kraken: note how friendly it or he or she is. It only becomes MacKraken once the meat is processed by McDonald's. Sorry, I need this picture to be reminded that his name isn't MacCrackpot. Still, I apologize if I ever misspell the Gentleman's name in the text below. For example, I may misspell his name as MacA****le because these words just look almost indistinguishable to me (when I imagine the content behind them).

iPhone 5

The iPhone 5 will be out on October 4st, introduced by Tim Cook. I wish Steve Jobs that his company won't collapse without him – but it won't forget about him, either.

iPhone 5 will run iOS 5 (which allows synchronization and updates wirelessly and even without a computer), have an 8 megapixel camera, A5 processor from iPad 2, and moreover:

You see some ultra thin design ;-), laser keyboards ;-), holographic display ;-). You will be able to change the shape of extra dimensions of spacetime and your sex. Here are a couple of extra functions:

Maldives trust Delingpole: we will be erased off maps

Maldives president signs a resolution before the Copenhagen 2009 meeting.

This is getting increasingly hilarious or unbelievable. Yesterday, James Delingpole, a well-known and witty climate skeptic writing for a Telegraph blog, made fun out of the Times Atlas' blunder concerning the disappearing ice of Greenland:

Times Atlas To Print New World Map Without Tuvalu, Maldives, Manhattan etc.
The title contains all the important information. If they can say that 15% of Greenland's ice disappeared, they may also print new maps without Tuvalu, Maldives, and, less importantly, Manhattan, too. James Delingpole wrote down a whole self-evidently fake story about the plans to revise the new atlas. Yesterday, you may have accused James Delingpole of an exaggeration: the alarmists would surely not consider printing maps without those islands or believe that this is what the maps will show, would they?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

IPCC: sky will be full in 20 years

And could 15% of Greenland's ice melt in a decade?

It is not only Al Gore who began to jump the shark every day. The most active members of the IPCC are doing the same thing. Be careful: the shark may eventually devour you.

The IPCC's 5th report will calculate that the end of the world (our flat Earth) arrives in 2030 if not earlier.

Reuters just released the following story:

Analysis: Extreme steps needed to meet climate target
They inform about some paper to be published in "Climatic Change". Reuters clarifies that regardless of the fact that the paper is self-evident crackpottery, it has already been decided that this paper will be the basis of the fifth IPCC report in the case that the IPCC members won't be arrested before the expected publication date. A lead author of the paper gives us a cute summary:
At present emissions levels, in less than 20 years the sky would effectively be full, meaning every extra tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted would have to be removed to stay within safer climate limits.
No typo. The classical alarmists were saying that the sky was warming. Then it was changing. Disrupting. Weirding. The Chicken Little has been saying that the sky was falling. All those verbs have been rendered obsolete. According to the IPCC 5th report, the sky is getting full and it will be effectively full by the year 2030.

My new book's reference frames

The author, Lisa Randall (see also Twitter), is a professor of physics at Harvard

Knocking on Heaven’s Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World is out and I’m excited. Lubos asked me to write a guest blog, so I am doing just that.

Of course I’m hoping that you will like this book, which is about physics and the nature of science. It’s based in large part on questions I was given or misunderstandings people expressed when I was talking about the science in my previous book Warped Passages.

In this new book I try to weave in two strands of thinking. One is about the physics itself that I work on—currently the ideas being tested at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and at dark matter detectors. I present in detail the experiments as well as the theory that underlies them.

Monday, September 19, 2011 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Summer snow cripples Austria

While global warming is threatening the life of our planet if not the Milky Way, Austria woke up to something that mavericks like to enjoy at the end of the summer: snow.

It's been pretty intense and some ski resorts (which were predicted not to see any snow again a few years ago) received as much as 50 centimeters of new snow. In the summer.

Regardless of their skin color, two Austrian citizens relax at the snow-covered pastures above the Furggels Valley. Click for more photos.

An unexpected summer snowstorm has covered pretty much all places of Tyrol that are above 700 meters above the sea level, including its capital Innsbruck which is just 574 meters above the sea level. Many children were made happy; many drivers were made unhappy. Children who like to drive had mixed feelings.

Ultimatum for Greece, Geithner, millionaire tax

Obama and Buffett: Marx and Engels reloaded

Today, on Monday, the International Monetary Fund gave an ultimatum to Greece. The parasitic communist country should increase the cuts; otherwise it should go bankrupt in early October when it runs out of money.

This is, of course, not the first ultimatum to Greece: some of us remember a similar one on June 21st. As far as I know, Greece failed to obey the conditions but nothing had happened. So this new ultimatum could be just empty words that are gradually losing their value. However, the will to direct Greece towards bankruptcy has arguably strengthened over the summer so it could be different this time.

Sheldon Cooper wins another Emmy

Jim Parsons has defended his Emmy for best comedy actor: Reuters.

Sunday, September 18, 2011 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

The Dutch plan to build a mountain

A few weeks ago, Thijs Zonneveld, a young journalist and former professional bicyclist, revealed that he had always been frustrated by his country's flatness. His sentiment is apparently shared by millions of people in the Netherlands who feel just like a physically oriented, self-watching woman who is not busty.

When he was a kid, Zonneveld would be drawing extra hills on the maps of Holland whose highest mountain, peak, or bump, Vaalserberg, about 323 meters above the sea level, is lower than many hills on the territory of Pilsen. ;-) In an interview, he was dreaming about a man-made mountain that could be used by alpine skiers, bikers, and many others.

Mr Zonneveld originally thought that what he said was just a joke. But his flat nation that got excited abruptly has proved him wrong: it wasn't a joke what you said, Mr Zonneveld, it was damn serious and ingenious, too! And Mr Zonneveld already agrees: I was being serious and ingenious, indeed.

Saturday, September 17, 2011 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Solyndra: a textbook example of green economic insanity

Solyndra was a solar panel company founded in 2005 which went recently bankrupt, despite half a billion of subsidies from the Obama White House.

An excellent idea – cylindrical panels surrounded by mirrors – but its prize is not infinite.

In early 2009, they would ask Bush Jr White House for a donation. He told them "wait, I still have to study your proposal" which is a diplomatic version of "f*ck off". It would have been much better if the undiplomatic but much more accurate reaction were used but at least, Bush Jr didn't pay a penny. The pampered parasitic solar as**ole CEOs went ballistic: how arrogant George W. Bush has to be not to simply pour a billion of dollars into their solar throats!?

NASA: Webb will probably go on

SLS to launch in 2017, bring Yankees to Mars later

Space News and many others disuss the 2012 budget for NASA. The money is going down by 3% or so but I find most of the other news positive.

First of all, it seems likely that the JWST, the James Webb Space Telescope which is the planned successor of Hubble, will keep on going even though it got more expensive than previously advertised.

Friday, September 16, 2011 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Al Gore has depleted all of his political capital

A few days ago, I was somewhat excited by Al Gore's Climate Parody Day because I was sure that it would be harmful for global warming alarmism – this assumption was correct – but I also hoped that it would be a big enough event so that it would be seriously harmful and maybe lethal: the latter hope turned out to be completely and utterly unrealistic.

This lady seems busty rather than fat. At any rate, Al Gore has negated the proverb about her. The proverb wants to say that you shouldn't say "it's over" prematurely; Al Gore disagrees and thinks you should scream "the world is over" billions of years in advance.

Climate Parody Day turned out to be such a complete non-event and big yawn (and, according to Fox News' title, "just as boring as ever": no other media even wrote about it), that I think it's incorrect that it has ever received any space on this blog because when it's over, we may see that it clearly didn't deserve it.

Based on my observations that covered, with some interruptions, three hours (as a climate blogger, I considered it my duty to know what the event actually was even though it was a painful experience to waste time with that), I think that the event boiled down to the following. A live video stream on the main server of the event was pretty much repeating a one-hour slide show that was mindlessly and shamelessly linking any unpleasant weather event to CO2 emissions 24 times – over and over and over again. Indeed, that was the climate science for the least demanding audiences only. This one-hour presentation was being mixed with words spoken by the most average random people (sometimes manifestly stupid, emotional, and still "authoritatively preaching" people) picked across the globe who have been personally trained and paid by Al Gore to parrot his scientifically nonsensical proclamations.

Lisa Randall on Charlie Rose tonight

Top particle physicist Lisa Randall's second popular book, Knocking on Heaven's Door, will be available on Tuesday. offers you a huge discount.

While providing the author with some feedback, your humble correspondent has read this excellent book on particle physics, the LHC, and philosophy of science in general, about thrice.

The most recent positive review appeared in The Independent.

Thursday, September 15, 2011 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Why is there energy and what it isn't

Not only spiritual roots of conservation laws

Energy has been talked about for a very long time, thousands of years before the scientific method was born. The word "ἐνέργεια" [energeia] was used by the Greeks long before they became a socialist nation and acquired the debt of 150% of their GDP. In their language, the word really means "activity" or "operation". You could say that linguistically, it's the same word as "work".

However, in physics, energy isn't the work itself but either the motion betraying that some work is underway, or "something" that you may "store" if you want to do some work later. I don't want to get to the technically accurate scientific stuff too quickly, so let us first look how the non-scientists are using the word "energy".

Ghosts and energy

By non-scientists, I don't mean engineers who design power plants or cars. I mean real non-scientists. Non-scientist non-scientists. Most of them believe in various religious, spiritual, or assorted superstitions in which the concept of "energy" plays an important role.

For example, there's a consensus among 97%-98% of treehuggers and religious people from a list of 10 churches I may enumerate that if you hug a tree, you may extract some of the living "energy" out of the tree which will make you healthier, happier, and more productive. ;-)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Nobel prize winner Ivar Giaever resigns from APS

Yes, global warming propaganda penetrating into APS is the reason

Ivar Giaever, the Norwegian American 1973 physics Nobel prize winner for superconductivity and a 2008 Obama supporter, silently and modestly avoided the renewal of his membership in the American Physical Society.

Some APS officials investigated what was going on and he replied by this e-mail that was sent yesterday:

From: Ivar Giaever []
Sent: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 3:42 PM
Cc: 'Robert H. Austin'; 'William Happer'; 'Larry Gould'; 'S. Fred Singer'; 'Roger Cohen'
Subject: I resign from APS

Dear Ms. Kirby

Gore effect on Climate Parody Day

It's September 14th and Climate Parody Day or 24 hours of Manbearpig, a big yawn organized by Al Gore, has begun. Dozens of people in the world, including David Suzuki, will be watching Al Gore how he invents his own reality much like he invented the Internet.

Related: Only 2% of the consumers approve Gore's Facebook & Twitter-based malware methods to spread (or to delay the death of) the global warming panic.
But what's happening in the reality inhabited by the remaining 7 billion people?

Well, you could guess: as we have gotten used to, the rest of the reality is affected by the Gore effect. Here is a screenshot of that was taken a few minutes ago, on 8 a.m. Prague Summer Time, September 14th, 2011 (it's a prediction of lows for September 15th):

Yes, the first freeze of 2011 is coming to the United States on Climate Reality Day! Meanwhile, a similar below-average or average weather exists in the whole world. In the Atlantic, there is one weak tropical storm called Maria with zero chance of becoming hurricane and zero chance of hitting the U.S. land.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

How to save Greece

Some of the current Western European leaders try to pretend that they're very important and very creative but they haven't really solved anything. The comparison with those who had to defeat the Soviet bloc or unify Germany seems truly pathetic.

Despite its being a small and irrelevant country, Greece continues to make the global capitalism nervous all the time. The frequency of the hysteria used to be "once per year". We just learned that it has been raised to "once per 3 months": Greece will run out of money in October.

It's becoming really annoying. At the same moment, there doesn't seem to be a consensus yet that a full-fledged old-fashioned bankruptcy is what should be encouraged. So let me propose a new restructuralization policy that could be interpreted as a "non-bankruptcy". The basic ideas are:

Ten new things that science has learned about matter

This blog entry is somewhat analogous to the text about Ten new things modern physics has learned about time.

Monday, September 12, 2011 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Austin, Texas: all daily trends since 1938

The average trend is a cooling one

The American prophets of the climate apocalypse are telling us that Rick Perry is witnessing a frying death of his state of Texas that is suffering from global warming: the theory of anthropogenic climate change exactly predicts a higher number of TX arsons in 2011, too. They have used the warm Texan summer days of 2011 as another argument.

So I decided to look how the temperature trends look like in the capital of Texas, Austin, since the beginning of the records available to Mathematica. And I wanted to know the trends for each of the 366 days of the (leap) year. First, I imported the data by this command:

austindata = WeatherData["Austin", "MeanTemperature", {{1900, 1, 1}, {2011, 12, 31}, "Day"}]
All other operations I did are self-evident to the readers with some knowledge of statistics so I don't need to include the source code in Mathematica.

It turns out that the command above produces 25,965 daily temperature readings that start on April 1st, 1938: Austin provides us with a longer record than e.g. Dallas, Houston, and others which is why I chose it. This number of days is equivalent to 71.1 years which is about what you would expect because 2 years of data – somewhere between 1971 and 1973 or so (which is almost exactly in the middle of the interval 1938-2011, so the gap won't detectably affect the trends) – are missing.

Sunday, September 11, 2011 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Serbian evidence for cosmoclimatology: Forbush events affect day-night differences

Nigel Calder spreads some interesting news about cosmoclimatology:

Do clouds disappear? Fourth part (Calder's blog)

Forbush decreases – clouds relation in the neutron monitor era (full text PDF in Astrophysics and Space Science Transactions)

New paper links cosmic rays, clouds, and temperature (WUWT)
A. Dragić and his six equally Serbian collaborators have studied how the Forbush decreases affect the day-night temperature differences – especially in Belgrade which I visited a year ago or so.

Saturday, September 10, 2011 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

What Al Gore has learned from No Pressure

Last October, on 10/10/10, the activist group 10:10 has become notorious for their No Pressure video in which the lives of climate skeptics and even the lives of insufficiently excited alarmists (including two schoolkids, three secretaries, a soccer star, and an X-Files actress) were ended.

The video opened the eyes of many viewers who hadn't previously understood that global warming alarmism was the Nazism of our time. What has Al Gore learned from this event? 76% of the people consider Gore a non-expert on climate change but they haven't been asked whether Gore dreams about homicide yet.

A confused decade after 9/11

Tomorrow, it will have been 10 years since my PhD defense in New Jersey i.e. 10 years from the terrorist attacks on New York and D.C.

Video via Gene

My condolences to everyone who has suffered more than I did.

Friday, September 09, 2011 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

RSS AMSU, Jan-Aug: 2011 second coldest in this century

This text is just a tiny update of what I wrote a month ago. The results are almost unchanged. The La Niña odds have considerably strengthened.

According to RSS AMSU, the first 8 months were the 2nd coldest January-August period in this century so far (second among 11 candidate years).

Are all climate skeptics theocratic?

Newsbusters discuss comments by former Newsweek editor Howard Fineman who says that the climate skeptics must be religious, so the climate wars represent a conflict between the "nice atheist alarmists" and "evil religious skeptics".

This is, of course, just a heavily oversimplified label, much like other propagandistic labels whose goal is to demonize various groups of people and replace them by silly caricatures. Your humble correspondent is de facto as big an atheist as you can get – although I have called myself a Christian atheist because of certain values I cherish – and he is (I am) a non-smoker and evolutionist, too. ;-)

Not to mention that my only link to oil and energy companies is that I must pay my monthly electricity and natural gas bills for their important services. :-)

Thursday, September 08, 2011 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Is there too much theory in science?

That's the question that Jon Butterworth asked on his Guardian blog four days ago:

The laws of physics. Or are they more like guidelines?
Make no doubts about it. I think that there is too little theory in science. This gap is one of the things that ultimately make the contemporary science slow, inefficient, and vulnerable when it comes to politicization and the propagation of superstitions. Lots of theory is needed.

Michael Mann goes hysterical: I can't show you my dirty laundry!

The American Tradition Institute (including people like Chris Horner) is so far successfully trying to publicize Michael Mann's documents from the era when he was an employee of University of Virginia because there are already good reasons (such as the partial data from the University of East Anglia) to conclude that the "global warming" research around Michael Mann has been lacking scientific integrity and it was arguably also illegal under the U.S. law.

Michael Mann himself has just strengthened the suspicion. He decided to do everything he can to hide the decline of ethics at the University of Virginia:

Climate change prof tries to freeze open records request (WatchDog.ORG)

Professor turns to law to protect climate-change work (Washington Times)

Mann pursues legal action (The Cavalier Daily at Univ. of VA)

Related: Hearing set on AG's quest for researcher's records (Houston Chronicle)
Even though he apparently has no standing, he claims that he is standing above the law because he has done a greater amount of the dirty work to suppress proper science and proper scientific standards in the field of climatology than pretty much any other living human with the exception of Al Gore, so no ordinary mortals and no laws about FOIA have the right to look into his work funded by the American taxpayers.

GOP presidential debate

If you haven't watched it, I recommend you to give a try:

YouTube: 8 parts, 15 minutes each (in Reagan's Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California)
It seems to me that Rick Perry has defended his frontrunner status – and the left-wing alarmist Guardian recommends the world to prepare for a climate skeptic in the White House – but exactly when I wanted to say that Romney is the new Kerry in this primarily Perry-Kerry battle, he made a pretty funny comment.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

International Lumo keyboard 2011 f/g

The file offered below may be specifically useful for Czech readers – only 7% of the TRF visitors – but also for others.

Did you ever find your keyboard layout incredibly limited? Haven't you ever been upset that you can't write François with the funny French accent beneath "c" or El Niño with the funny Spanish accent above "n"?

What about the annoying "minus sign" that always produces a small hyphen, like in "high-school students", but it never types a longer dash – such as this one – or an even longer dash — such as this one? ☺ And why can't you just type the smiling from the beginning of this sentence? ☻ Or a reverted one?

(Press CTRL/+ or CTRL/– to get a higher resolution if you need to see some fine symbols more clearly.)

WSJ on politics of cosmoclimatology

Update: Washington Examiner wrote an article on similar topic,

New climate science vindicates global warming skeptics
Willie sent me a pretty insightful article in the Wall Street Journal. Anne Jolis (see the picture) wrote about
The Other Climate Theory,
namely cosmoclimatology. It remarkably seems to go beneath the surface. The modern theory began with a 1975 paper by Robert Dickinson (even though Sir William Herschel noticed a possible impact of the solar activity on the agriculture centuries before that) but it was only made quantitative and supported by the real-world data and experiments by Henrik Svensmark.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

TRF prediction came true: John Cook won the Eureka Prize

On Wednesday, August 24th, I wrote the following blog entry:

John Cook will receive lots of money for climate propaganda
In that text, I claimed that a hardcore crackpot and one of the numerous redundant tiny stalking appendices of your humble correspondent (and of a few others) will win the (Australian) Eureka Prize for Advancement of Climate Change Knowledge even though he was known to be "just a finalist" at that time.

As W.S. just told me by e-mail, these predictions of mine came true a few hours ago: see The Sydney Morning Herald.

Andrew Dessler: clouds don't reflect light

The readers who prefer a super-simple, fast, black-on-white design should click at the iPhone icon on the right.
The consensus scientists and Greenpeace members who believe that the judgement day is approaching were not pleased by the publication of a paper by Spencer and Braswell (see a TRF discussion on forcings and feedbacks). In fact, they forced the editor of the journal to resign.

By the way, Mr Alexander Ač of Czech Globe, an ex-student of beetle copulation in the meadows, told us in the fast comments that he has just sent his new paper to the very same journal, Remote Sensing. Good luck! I am sure that his chances to get through are much higher than the chances of any denier. :-)

According to the climate deniers, clouds are white.

The concerned scientists have agreed that Spencer's and Braswell's paper was heretical and inconvenient, and therefore completely wrong and unimportant. But they asked each other: how can we prove to the scientific public (and the broader public) that the paper is wrong and unimportant?

Well, it's easy. The 2,500 best climate scientists in the IPCC, James Hansen, John Holdren, Rajendra Pachauri, and Al Gore gathered at an undisclosed exotic location and they negotiated about the optimum way to show that the paper by Spencer and Braswell was unimportant and not even a mosquito would wake up because of this unimportant paper.

Finally, they found the answer: they decided to publish their own paper, one that rejects the basic assumptions of Spencer and Braswell. And they agreed (and announced in the world's most important news outlet, The Daily Climate) that the paper should be published much more quickly than any other paper – they should circumvent the usual multi-month delays – because it was totally urgent and critical for the survival of life on Earth to show that Spencer's and Braswell's paper was totally unimportant. :-)

NASA 3D app: Eyes on the Solar System

If you want to see how any object in the Solar System looks like from the viewpoint of any probe NASA sent, is sending, or will send in the space, see this 3-minute introduction to a new NASA app.

Attractive American Astronomer Amy (AAAA) on the video above will instruct you to go to and install a plug-in that exists both under PC and for your Mac.

CRESST-II joins dark matter's war on existence

In May 2011, TRF readers were reminded about the ongoing full-fledged war of existence of the dark matter:

CoGeNT sees seasons (and maybe dark matter)
Recall that there are two opposing camps of experimenters, namely DMIS (dark matter is seen) and DMINS (dark matter is not seen). At the end of the article, I mentioned that CRESST-II, another experiment, would join
  • the DMIS coalition of the willing composed of DAMA/LIBRA, PAMELA, and CoGeNT who claim that dark matter has been seen on Earth: the allied powers.
On the other hand, we still have the axis of evil (the central powers) also called
  • the DMINS axis containing CDMS, XENON10, XENON100
– please, don't forget that these are just labels without any emotional associations – that claims that dark matter couldn't have been seen by the axis of good above. The Day D has arrived: CRESST-II joined the DMIS allies by this preprint
Results from 730 kg days of the CRESST-II Dark Matter Search
The main result obtained by dozens of authors using an exotic CaWO crystal is shown by this graph:

NYT promote United States of Eurozone

The New York Times think that the eurozone is moving towards a counterpart of the U.S.:

Reluctantly, Europe Inches Closer to a Fiscal Union
No doubt, the current "neither fish nor fowl" arrangement of the eurozone in which only some features of a common state are shared while others are not isn't optimal.

Blue: seventeen eurozone members; green: countries obliged to join the eurozone in the future, according to current laws; brown Britain: permanent exception; red Denmark: exception that may be revoked by a referendum; violet: non-EU users of the euro; yellow little spots: semi-EU users of the euro.

There is a good reason why you don't find too many separate stomachs living in Nature – or too many separate legs that are just walking.

The usual arrangement that Nature found viable in the process of natural selection involves a stomach that has legs and hands growing out of it, with a brain on top of it. The brain figures out whether it's better to try to manually kill and eat a small bird or a tiger, the legs bring the stomach closer to the bird, the hands kill the bird, and the stomach eats the bird, returning some sugars to the brain, legs, and hands as a compensation for their services. ;-)

Monday, September 05, 2011 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Czech Globe discovers the exact equation of doom

The homeopathic pills for the cows are not the only marvelous thing that the European Union is paying millions of euros for. Last November, the EU has established a center of climate excellence called Czech Globe and it has paid over €25 million ($35 million) for its initial research.

There was no reason to doubt that this investment would quickly upgrade the Czech nation from a hotbed of climate skeptics to the most successful nation of concerned climate researchers. Why? The boss of the Czech Globe, Mr Michal Marek, is a jovial woodman. And their top researcher, Mr Alexander Ač, who has repeatedly honored us with his visit among us, the mortals at TRF, is an undisputed genius who has predicted the collapse of the world at least 1,917 times (James Hansen only has 1,434 successes so far).

The only other candidate to become the top Czech climate scientist has unfortunately forgotten that it's safer to push the tree to the opposite side than the side where you're standing (click the image for the story). This has made Mr Marek unique...

In the spring, we would read about the results of research at Czech Globe at their website every week. They would calculate and announce e.g. that "all rivers in the Czech Republic would evaporate by next Friday". On the following Saturday, their newer and even more accurate paper said that "all the rivers would be gone by Sunday evening'.

On May 27th, 2011, they wrote their last press release, inviting visitors to a discussion with an amazing, extraordinary personality who is nothing less than a French member of the IPCC! Unfortunately, they didn't realize that the Frenchman wouldn't be able to speak Czech so the event was kind of a bummer. Since the end of May, we haven't heard about any work at the Czech Globe. The comrades in the European Union shouldn't expect to get more than ten kilobytes of research about the end of the world for small amounts of money such as €25 million if they pay these funds to important people such as Mr Marek and Mr Ač. The best woodmen in the world are not that cheap, Mr Barroso.

Joe Polchinski on failure of all Lorentz-breaking theories

In June 2011, Joe Polchinski, the main father of D-branes and other things, clarified some confusion in another June 2011 paper.

(Yes, I took this Wikipedia picture in Santa Barbara. If you think that Joe is a cowboy just like e.g. Rick Perry, yes, he is a cowboy but a left-wing one.)

In his paper, Joe Polchinski re-explained the reason why all theories starting with some Lorentz violation at the Planck scale are born dead. But let us be a bit more chronological.

Saturday, September 03, 2011 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Ten new things modern physics has learned about time

Note that it may take half a minute for your browser to display various formulae in \(\LaTeX\) that are included in the text below.

Here is a somewhat balanced, completed, and corrected version of a Cosmic Variance (CV) summary:

James Hansen plans to arrest Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama

On the same week when CERN has shown that cosmic rays strongly determine the rate of the birth of condensation nuclei and cloud condensation nuclei, and they and the Sun therefore decide about much of the climate change on Earth, the alarmist scientists are not sleeping, either.

So what are the most important recent developments in the catastrophic climate science? Let's look at the newest research by James Hansen of NASA's GISS and Columbia University:

The White House & Tar Sands (turn your antivirus software on: the link points to James Hansen's server)
On these two groundbreaking pages, the top concerned climate researcher has discovered that tar sands contain carbon — the main toxic element that, as children learn at schools today, poses a lethal threat for life on Earth ;-) — and he has proposed an ingenious way to eliminate this element from the surface of North America:
This raises a question: if the Keystone XL pipeline is approved, can we make a citizen's arrest on Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for violating the Security Act? If they were put in the back of a hot paddy wagon in DC and held for at least several hours with their hands tied behind their backs, maybe they would have a chance to think over this matter more clearly.
That's an amazingly good question, Prof Hansen! Note how clever his Al Gore Rhythm is; no skeptic or CERN employee would be able to invent something so smart. He just uses the old principle of the British common law, a citizen's arrest, and he will arrest Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton! He has even identified the legal justification of the citizen's arrest: the pipelines violate the Security Act.

Friday, September 02, 2011 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

EU Parliament votes to spend millions to cure cows by homeopathy

The European Parliament is the intellectual elite on Europe. As we learn from the Daily Mail and other sources, their agriculture committee has decided that the European Union will spend 2 million euros for homeopathical treatment of farm animals.

Klaus, Papandreou, and ouzo

Last Saturday, Czech president Václav Klaus was explaining why the common currency isn't a good idea under certain circumstances - e.g. those that exist in the EU today. On the pages of Právo, a center-left daily that has evolved from the official communist newspapers before 1989, he said the following during an interview:

Q: ... You said yourself that you didn't recommend a spontaneous solution of the problems [in PIGS countries]. How can we avoid it?

A: The dominant issue should be the responsibility of the individual countries. The fact that these countries are hiding behind the curtain of the European Union and that they blame Europe for the problems seems terribly unfortunate to me. I don't like that the Greek politicians aren't able to say that we should adopt certain policies not because the EU is forcing us to do so but because we should do it even if the Brussels were not recommending it. Of course that the sparrows on the roofs were tweeting that Greece was deliberately playing with the statistics. Nevertheless, everyone exerted all of his power to lure Greece into the eurozone. And the result is what we are seeing.

In this sense, I do not blame the Greeks. Any country should have the choice whether to live with half, a quarter or full determination. It should be able to decide itself: we want to sit for more hours in a shadow under cypresses, drinking ouzo, or we want to work more. If Greece decides to devote more hours to ouzo or cypresses, it is absolutely all right. Nevertheless, it cannot enter a currency union with Germany.
I would mention that a big problem is that even when some people sit outside the shadows of cypresses, e.g. in a PIGS tax office, their behavior looks similar as it does under the shadow of cypresses - which is, as the blonde chick entrepreneur may surely confirm, highly counterproductive for the business. ;-)

It took five full days for the Greek translators to translate these five sentences and to deliver this information to the Greek Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou. So on Thursday, i.e. yesterday, Papandreou could finally pick the fruits of 120 hours of some hard work of his government bureaucracy: he could finally get very angry! ;-)

Thursday, September 01, 2011 ... Français/Deutsch/Español/Česky/Japanese/Related posts from blogosphere

Does the melting Petermann glacier render you speechless?

Imagine that you were hired to find some evidence that there is something unusual going on with the climate. There is nothing obviously unusual so you have to search intensely. Finally, you figure out that something marginally interesting - something that could look anomalous to an observer - could be going on in Greenland.

Kayaking near the Petermann Glacier: click to zoom in.

And I don't mean the whole territory of Greenland. We are talking about the Petermann glacier on the Northwestern coast of Greenland, next to Nares Strait. Just hundreds of square miles of ice on the boundary between the Arctic Ocean and Greenland.

PBS: Albert Einstein: How I see the world

This is a PBS documentary about Einstein's life.

Well, it's mostly about the political background, the violin, his relatives, Einstein as a self-described Jew, Zionist, and - in the last of the 6 parts - a candidate to become the president of Israel.