Monday, February 14, 2011

Good Internet Monday: Put It to the Test

l bought TMBG's "Here Comes Science!" album for my (at the time) 2-year old daughter only to find that there are a number of songs that should be required listening for adults. Case in point: a song that reminds us that we do not need to rely on intuition, gut reaction, or that most loathsome phrase, "common sense", in order to evaluate things. Science gives us a framework to test ideas in a detailed, conclusive fashion.

If more people tested the beliefs they hold concerning science, religion, and politics, I would have a lot less material for this blog.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Whiskey Tango Friday - Orbs That Are Totally Not Dust Particles Reflecting Light From Your Camera Flash

Whoa, where did Friday go? Oh yeah, it went snowboarding. That's why there was no on-time WTF post (which is too bad, because I have a good one!)

I received this from my grad school advisor; he found it by googling "magnetosphere images".

What are these energy orbs? Well, a less informed person would say, "looks like you need to clean the lens and hold the camera still when you're taking pictures." HA! Wrong! They're actually energy... things... that do... stuff. Yeah. Just look at the picture:

Look, I read the site ten times, and I don't know what the author thinks these things are supposed to be. Seriously, what do these words mean?

Space is a fluid ..Hence a field of plasma..Hence a 'plasma field'. . Its motion or state of being is 'Guided by Matter'
. Thus an orb or space craft or other type of matter going through it would affect its field. Think of a boat propelling
itself through water - the faster and larger the boat - the more distortion of the water it is going through .

Yeah, I don't know either.

No Haven for Science, Part 2

When I receive an email like the one I shared in my previous post, I can't help but reply to it in some capacity. The difficulty with this particular message is that I don't know what the person who shared the doomsday story (from here on out, I'll refer to him as "Carl") is looking for -- is he just whipping up trouble on LANL's climate mailing list, or does he want a serious answer? After contemplating possible intents, I realized there was only one way to respond!
And yes, that was a "reply-all".

The next day, I received his response to my rather brash inquiry. Here it is in all its verbatim, sic glory:

I don't know [Spacecataz] it sounds as reasonable a cause for the storm changes as saying "CO2 did it." What if it is a mixture of both. Changes in magnetic flux causing increases and decreases in solar energy. Could it be the reason for the model and reality differences. What if the the global warming science and NASA sciences are stuck in own little boxes and neither can look at the forest.

Just saying! I am a cause and affect Engineer and maybe we are just experiencing something that happens. Just think what the knee jerk reaction would be of our government, and our science today if we around during the dust bowl years of the 30's. We would still be riding horses, no power plants would be built, no industry. This is what I'm seeing happening. Something less happens today and we (well China does anyway) build wind turbines and solar collectors, and ridicules light bulbs to fix it. Like riding horses neither of these industries will do anything to help and history will show that we were enlightened fools.

I will let get back to work. I've got to continue making sure there is a [job related stuff about vacuum chambers]. Just with that little bit of energy we move oceans of air. It is amazing why the earth atmosphere is just not in a huge storm.

TL:DR -- Yes, he is quite serious.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

No Haven for Science, Part 1

Working at a renowned science laboratory, one would hope that there would be a heightened understanding and respect for the scientific process and the great insights gleaned from those who toil in scientific inquiry on a daily basis.

Oh, how naive I am.

The following email was sent to the climate mailing list within the Lab - note that all personal and otherwise sensitive information has been scrubbed. The upcoming posts will chronicle my ongoing experience in dealing with... well, just read the thing.

What If??? Is there any truth in this?

[Begin Forwarded Message]

Magnetic Polar Shifts Causing Massive Global Superstorms

Terrence Aym

Superstorms can also cause certain societies, cultures or whole countries to collapse. Others may go to war with each other.

Courtesy: Weather Snob

(CHICAGO) - NASA has been warning about it…scientific papers have been written about it…geologists have seen its traces in rock strata and ice core samples…

Now "it" is here: an unstoppable magnetic pole shift that has sped up and is causing life-threatening havoc with the world's weather.

Forget about global warming man-made or natural what drives planetary weather patterns is the climate and what drives the climate is the sun's magnetosphere and its electromagnetic interaction with a planet's own magnetic field.

When the field shifts, when it fluctuates, when it goes into flux and begins to become unstable anything can happen. And what normally happens is that all hell breaks loose.

Magnetic polar shifts have occurred many times in Earth's history. It's happening again now to every planet in the solar system including Earth.

The magnetic field drives weather to a significant degree and when that field starts migrating superstorms start erupting.

The superstorms have arrived

The first evidence we have that the dangerous superstorm cycle has started is the devastating series of storms that pounded the UK during late 2010.

On the heels of the lashing the British Isles sustained, monster storms began to lash North America. The latest superstorm as of this writing is a monster over the U.S. that stretched across 2,000 miles affecting more than 150 million people.

Yet even as that storm wreaked havoc across the Western, Southern, Midwestern and Northeastern states, another superstorm broke out in the Pacific and closed in on Australia.

The southern continent had already dealt with the disaster of historic superstorm flooding from rains that dropped as much as several feet in a matter of hours. Tens of thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed. After the deluge tiger sharks were spotted swimming between houses in what was once a quiet suburban neighborhood.

Shocked authorities now numbly concede that much of the water may never dissipate and have wearily resigned themselves to the possibility that region will now contain a new inland sea.

But then only a handful of weeks later another superstorm the megamonster cyclone Yasi struck northeastern Australia. The damage it left in its wake is being called by rescue workers a war zone.

The incredible superstorm packed winds near 190mph. Although labeled as a category-5 cyclone, it was theoretically a category-6. The reason for that is storms with winds of 155mph are considered category-5, yet Yasi was almost 22 percent stronger than that.

A cat's cradle

Yet Yasi may only be a foretaste of future superstorms. Some climate researchers, monitoring the rapidly shifting magnetic field, are predicting superstorms in the future with winds as high as 300 to 400mph.

Such storms would totally destroy anything they came into contact with on land.

The possibility more storms like Yasi or worse will wreak havoc on our civilization and resources is found in the complicated electromagnetic relationship between the sun and Earth. The synergistic tug-of-war has been compared by some to an intricately constructed cat's cradle. And it's in a constant state of flux.

The sun's dynamic, ever-changing electric magnetosphere interfaces with the Earth's own magnetic field affecting, to a degree, the Earth's rotation, precessional wobble, dynamics of the planet's core, its ocean currents and above all else the weather.

Cracks in Earth's Magnetic Shield

The Earth's northern magnetic pole was moving towards Russia at a rate of about five miles annually. That progression to the East had been happening for decades.

Suddenly, in the past decade the rate sped up. Now the magnetic pole is shifting East at a rate of 40 miles annually, an increase of 800 percent. And it continues to accelerate.

Recently, as the magnetic field fluctuates, NASA has discovered "cracks" in it. This is worrisome as it significantly affects the ionosphere, troposphere wind patterns, and atmospheric moisture. All three things have an effect on the weather.

Worse, what shields the planet from cancer-causing radiation is the magnetic field. It acts as a shield deflecting harmful ultra-violet, X-rays and other life-threatening radiation from bathing the surface of the Earth. With the field weakening and cracks emerging, the death rate from cancer could skyrocket and mutations of DNA can become rampant.

Another federal agency, NOAA, issued a report caused a flurry of panic when they predicted that mammoth superstorms in the future could wipe out most of California. The NOAA scientists said it's a plausible scenario and would be driven by an "atmospheric river" moving water at the same rate as 50 Mississippi rivers flowing into the Gulf of Mexico.

Magnetic field may dip, flip and disappear

The Economist wrote a detailed article about the magnetic field and what's happening to it. In the article they noted:

"There is, however, a growing body of evidence that the Earth's magnetic field is about to disappear, at least for a while. The geological record shows that it flips from time to time, with the south pole becoming the north, and vice versa. On average, such reversals take place every 500,000 years, but there is no discernible pattern. Flips have happened as close together as 50,000 years, though the last one was 780,000 years ago. But, as discussed at the Greenland Space Science Symposium, held in Kangerlussuaq this week, the signs are that another flip is coming soon."

Discussing the magnetic polar shift and the impact on weather, the scholarly paper "Weather and the Earth's magnetic field" was published in the journal Nature. Scientists too are very concerned about the increasing danger of superstorms and the impact on humanity.

Superstorms will not only damage agriculture across the planet leading to famines and mass starvation, they will also change coastlines, destroy cities and create tens of millions of homeless.

Superstorms can also cause certain societies, cultures or whole countries to collapse. Others may go to war with each other.

A Danish study published in the scientific journal Geology, found strong correlation between climate change, weather patterns and the magnetic field.

"The earth's climate has been significantly affected by the planet's magnetic field, according to a Danish study published Monday that could challenge the notion that human emissions are responsible for global warming.

"'Our results show a strong correlation between the strength of the earth's magnetic field and the amount of precipitation in the tropics,' one of the two Danish geophysicists behind the study, Mads Faurschou Knudsen of the geology department at Aarhus University in western Denmark, told the Videnskab journal.

"He and his colleague Peter Riisager, of the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), compared a reconstruction of the prehistoric magnetic field 5,000 years ago based on data drawn from stalagmites and stalactites found in China and Oman."

In the scientific paper " Midday magnetopause shifts earthward of geosynchronous orbit during geomagnetic superstorms with Dst = -300 nT" the magnetic intensity of solar storms impacting Earth can intensify the effects of the polar shift and also speed up the frequency of the emerging superstorms.

Pole reversal may also be initiating new Ice Age

According to some geologists and scientists, we have left the last interglacial period behind us. Those periods are lengths of time about 11,500 years between major Ice Ages.

One of the most stunning signs of the approaching Ice Age is what's happened to the world's precessional wobble.

The Earth's wobble has stopped

As explained in the geology and space science website, "The Chandler wobble was first discovered back in 1891 by Seth Carlo Chandler an American astronomer.

The effect causes the Earth's poles to move in an irregular circle of 3 to 15 meters in diameter in an oscillation. The Earth's Wobble has a 7-year cycle which produces two extremes, a small spiraling wobble circle and a large spiraling wobble circle, about 3.5 years apart.

For the conclusion of this article, visit:

Also, as a response to comments, Terrence added this:
2002 - Scientists may have detected the beginning of the field's next such reversal:
[ ]
2005 - Movement of North Magnetic Pole is accelerating:
2008 - Earth's Core, Magnetic Field Changing Fast, Study Says
[ ]
2008 - Magnetic Portals Connect Earth to Sun
[ ]
2009 - North Magnetic Pole Moving Due to Core Flux
[ ]
2009 - The earth's climate is significantly affected by the planet's magnetic field:
[ ]
Jan 2011 - British Geological Survey *Possible Pole Shift Occurring* South Atlantic Anomaly is Growing:
2009 - A strong, highly-tilted interstellar magnetic field near the Solar System:
[ ]
2009 - The solar system is passing through an interstellar cloud that physics says should not exist:
[ ]

Find this interesting? Here is the link to Terrence Aym's brand new article published 4 Feb. 2011: Egypt 2011: Preview of America in 2015 - Terrence Aym

Terrence Aym is a Contributor based in Chicago, who is well known nationally for his stirring reports on the top ranked site, Born in Minnesota, Terrence Aym grew up in the Chicagoland suburbs. Having traveled to 40 of the 50 states and lived in 7 of them, Aym is no stranger to travel. He's also spent time in Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Western Africa. An executive for many years with Wall Street broker-dealer firms, Aym has also had a life-long interest in science, technology, the arts, philosophy and history. If it's still possible to be a 'Renaissance man' in the 21st Century, Aym is working hard to be one.

Aym has several book projects in the works. Media sites that have recently featured Aym, and/or discussed his articles, include ABC News, TIME Magazine, Business Insider,, Discover, Dvice, Benzinga and more recently, his work has been showing up in South Africa and Russia.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Your Move, Creep.

Anyone who knew Detroit when Robocop first hit the silver screen understood how the movie hit a little too close to home for Michiganders. For years, I've referred to the flick as frighteningly prophetic, and was only half-joking. As a satire that glances oh-so-close to the truth, they nailed it -- right down to the 6000 SUX commercial.

Apparently, some people have grown either too sentimental about Detroit's fictional hero or are awesome IRL trolls. The mayor of Detroit has had to quash a proposal to erect a statue of our half-human, half-machine benefactor. Since starting to type this post, I've been invited to rallies and Facebook groups in support of the effort.

Truly, today is a great day for freedom.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

SamKnows Better Than I Do.

Some time ago, I volunteered to be part of the SamKnows project- an FCC sponsored study of actual versus advertised broadband speeds. I did this for several reasons. First, studies such as this are essential if we are to address the poor state of broadband availability, speed, and cost in the United States. Secondly, it is a powerful tool for the consumer to have a constant quality monitor of a product that you otherwise cannot track.

Last week, the "white box" (it's black) came in the mail. It's a replacement router that sends information about my connection to the SamKnows project. In return, I have a personalized website that tracks upstream and downstream bandwidth, latency, and more. I can finally see if I'm getting what I pay for from Kabletown Comcast.

After seeing the first week's worth numbers, I must admit- I'm definitely getting what I pay for, which is 1.5 Mbs download speeds (I'm poor, don't judge my choice of economy internet!!!) For now, I must contain the rage.

You win this round, Comcast. But I'll be back...

I recommend my 3 readers to jump on the SamKnows project. It's free, they don't track any traffic content, and it is, if nothing else, extremely interesting to see your internet connection broken down into hard numbers and plots.