Friday, June 30, 2006

Bad New York times for dis-closing the classified financial program, but wait that was dis-closed years ago!

I love Keith Olberman. I'm getting so sick of the right wing(especially Bush and most importantly Cheney) blaming the Times for dis-closing these programs, especially when the public has a right to know how their freedoms are being infringed upon, and two when the government has already dis-closed programs like this. I really hope the public isn't stupid enough to believe this junk put out by our government. Hopefully they can now see through their lies and cover ups. Also (Steve pointed this out to me earlier) why only the Times? What about the other media outlets and the Wall Street Journal who also dis-closed information like this? Is it because this administration can't take the heat from these generally liberal newspapers that tell it like it is(and tells the public things they should know about), and decides to lie, cheat and steal to get rid of them? Me thinks so.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

No Mention of 9/11 by FBI on bin Laden

Take a look at Osama bin Laden's FBI Most Wanted poster. There is no mention of 9/11. Want to know why? Get the story here. That's extremely disturbing. Can't wait to see what the conspiracy theorists make out of this. I wonder if it will be updated relatively soon when if the MSM catches wind of this.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Review: An Inconvenient Truth

As I said I would, I saw An Inconvenient Truth over the weekend. I have to say I'm a little disappointed, but not surprised. Global warming entails many facets and it would be hard to package all of it, its historic contexts, and future possibilities into an hour and half presentation. You get a glimpse of the situation; a sound bite of what's really going on. In that context, the film gets its point across: Raise awareness about the reality of the situation. I was looking for something a little more meaty, but again, not surprised at what was presented. The presentation is aimed at a general audience.

The comparative photographs were excellent. And there were many slick and impressive graphs and animations. Included in Gore's presentation is this clip from Futurama. There were a few times when Gore would throw up a graph, make his point, then quickly flip to the next graph or image. Part of a presentation or film is time constraints, but I would like to have been able to fully absorb the graphs and their information. I will say that there is one graph that Gore uses where data is extrapolated to predict future CO2 concentrations. At the data point, it stated something to the fact of "if no corrective measures are taken". Excellent! So often that important fact is ignored with prediction models.

Related to imagery, there's part of the film where Gore discusses the melting of the Polar caps and how it's destroying Polar Bear habitat. He states how researchers are discovering dead bears where death has been caused by drowning due to bears drifting out to sea and not having enough suitable ice flows to rest/live on. As he is talking about this, a computer generated animation shows a Polar Bear swimming in a vast ocean with a little chunk of ice that breaks to pieces when the bear tries to climb aboard. As the shot pans out, the bear is swimming in a vast sea with no land or ice in sight, leading to the assumption the bear will drown. That whole scenario and imagery didn't sit well with me. No figures or statistics were given on how many bears had died in this manner. Options were not discussed as to other reasons the bears drowned. Age and experience of the bears was taken into account. It's not that this scenario isn't occuring, it's just a very big leap with little explanation.

The film also delves into politics. It's impossible to discuss remedies to global warming without discussing politics. There are times when it feels a bit like bitter grapes with Gore focusing on the Bush administration. I'm sure the guy is bitter and rightfully so, many people are, but being bitter isn't going to solve anything. These parts of the film seemed to be added to the film for dramatic purposes and don't seem to be part of Gore's normal presentation. They should have been left out. America knows the drama of that dichotamy. America doesn't understand global warming.

CO2 is a major contributer to global warming and Gore focuses the movie around CO2 data. There really isn't much attention paid to any other factors. He touches on Ozone issues and how corrective measures have already improved that situtation. It cites (and most importantly in my eyes) the media's role in propagating the "myth," "debate," and "controversy" of global warming instead of treating it as a reality. He never mentions or attempts to dispell the concept of global cooling that was popular in the 80's, rather he cites how the data always pointed to warming trends. I'm almost certain global cooling was media hype as well, but he should have eradicated the concept since so many opponents to global warming continually cite it.

As the credits role, some corrective actions citizens can take are scrolled. The film doesn't really dwell on how we got into the mess or the major causes other than fuel consumption. It targets data to prove global warming is occuring. The movie isn't just about global warming but also Gore's crusade to bring awareness. My conclusion: Wait for the DVD. If you're up on the subject, there really won't be anything new here for you.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

New Species and Cave Discovered

"Scientists say they have discovered eight previously unknown species of crustaceans and scorpion-like invertebrates living in an underground cave that has been sealed off for millions of years.

Geologists from Jerusalem's Hebrew university made the discovery at a quarry near Ramla in central Israel. They opened passages to a cave with a lake and a unique ecosystem 100 metres underground. Biologists discovered white crustaceans resembling shrimps and invertebrates looking like scorpions. Also in the cave were bacteria that serve as a food source.

"So far eight species were found in the cave, all of them unknown to science," said biologist Hanan Dimantman. "Every species examined had no eyes, so they lost their sight due to evolution. Apart from the scorpions, all are alive. The scorpions are dead but we are sure live scorpions are to be found under boulders.
Another truly amazing find for science. There is still so much on (and under) the face of Earth that we don't know about. Nasa was extremely important during the cold war and many, many products and inventions have stemmed from NASA. In recent decades, NASA has not been producing nearly the same results as it used to compared to the enourmous funding it recieves.

A new scientific branch with the sole purpose of discovery of our own planet is greatly needed. Will it ever happen? I highly doubt it. A small amount of federal funding reaches our universities, but it pales in comparison to the scope of NASA. Not to pick on NASA, there are many bloated agencies operating within the federal umbrella and its bureaucracy. It's not hard to recognize the possibilities and abilities of discovery from a federally funded research corp versus a professor or two and a handful of students. With scientists and a few corporations already scouring a few nooks and crannies of the globe for new compounds to benefit mankind, one would think a politician or two could see the merit in such an endeavor.