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Member since: Thu Sep 25, 2008, 03:38 PM
Number of posts: 1,782

Journal Archives

Some Good News: BBC to stop counterweighting scientific consensus with lunatical idiocy...

Stop Giving Airtime to Crackpots
By Phil Plait

In very welcome news, BBC journalists have been told to stop inviting crackpots on news shows in the name of balance.

Oh, I do so love this. It’s precisely the right thing to do, sorely needed and sorely overdue. In this specific case, back in 2012 the BBC was criticized for news shows inviting on people with fringe views, especially when the science being discussed was solidly understood.

Obviously, the topic most abused in this way was the reality of global warming. That should come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying any attention at all.

But more broadly, most TV news shows do this, especially when they are done with a talk show format. It’s all too easy for a news program or other venue with a biased ideological objective (cough cough Fox News cough Wall Street Journal cough) to bring on people who sound authoritative, but who are in fact simply cranks or contrarians with outlandish claims. This sort of bias sows doubt, which is far easier to do than to debunk it.



A screen-captured 'sunset' from space - thanks to the ISS HD EVE (http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/HDEV/) :

Thanks for the link to the ISS HD Earth Viewing Experiment's video stream...

Here is an image of a sunset - the image was captured from the ISS HD Earth Viewing Experiment's video stream:

ERB: Nye vs. Newton

Given that integral(sec(x), dx) = ln( abs( sec(x) + tan(x) ) ) + C

One finds

integral(sec(x), dx, {0, Pi/6}) = ln( abs( sec(Pi/6) + tan(Pi/6) ) ) - ln( abs( sec(0) + tan(0) ) )

sec(0) = 1
tan(0) = 0

integral(sec(x), dx, {0, Pi/6}) = ln( abs( sec(Pi/6) + tan(Pi/6) ) ) - ln( abs( 1 + 0 ) )

abs( 1 + 0 ) = 1

integral(sec(x), dx, {0, Pi/6}) = ln( abs( sec(Pi/6) + tan(Pi/6) ) ) - ln( 1 )

ln( 1 ) = 0

integral(sec(x), dx, {0, Pi/6}) = ln( abs( sec(Pi/6) + tan(Pi/6) ) ) - 0

sec(Pi/6) = 1/( cos(Pi/6) ) = 2 /((3)^(1/2))
tan(Pi/6) = 1/((3)^(1/2))

integral(sec(x), dx, {0, Pi/6}) = ln( abs( sec(Pi/6) + tan(Pi/6) ) ) = ln( abs( (2/((3)^(1/2))) + (1/((3)^(1/2))) ) )

integral(sec(x), dx, {0, Pi/6}) = ln ( ((3)^(1/2)) ) = ln( (3)^(1/2) ) * 1

Since ln( (3)^(1/2) ) * 1 = ln( (3)^(1/2) ) * ((k)^64) implies 1 = k^64 or k^64 = 1, one must find the sixty-fourth roots of unity.

The sixty-fourth roots of unity are the elements of the set {e^((2*Pi*i*n)/64)} with n being an element of the set {0, 1, 2, 3, ..., 63}.

Euler's formula states that e^(i*m) = cos(m) + i*sin(m). If n = 16, (2*Pi*i*16)/64 = i*Pi/2 and m = Pi/2.

cos(Pi/2) = 0 and sin(Pi/2) = 1, so e^((2*Pi*i*16)/64) = 0 + i*1 = i.

Thus, the solution in the video corresponds to the 17th of the sixty-fourth roots of unity -i.e., the one that has the value n = 16.

Would anyone care to analyze the prism's refraction of light (i.e., the displayed order of colors) relative to the orientation of the prism? It is difficult to tell, but the intended refracted beam looks a lot like it is reflecting off one of the lateral faces or lateral edges of the prism.

This is a really neat video and a cool rap.

On Iraq, the TAZ Mission Accomplished Photo and the Content of the Subsequent Commentary....

Following this brief introduction is a rough translation of the first four paragraphs of the TAZ commentary that accompanied the altered picture of Bush's mission accomplished speech. That commentary's message is different than one that merely goes after President Bush. It is a piece regarding the practical realities of the current situation in Iraq - even though it followed a picture that damned Bush by highlighting his folly. The untranslated remainder (3 paragraphs) of the commentary focuses on the part of the title that is in italics and underlined:

June 12, 2014
ISIS Must Not (Be Allowed to) Achieve Victory
What is happening in Iraq is a catastrophe for the world community. New strategic partnerships must be considered.
by Ines Pohl

It is difficult to say which was the greater mistake: the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 or the withdrawal of 2011 - a withdrawal from a country whose government order appeared to lay in total disarray after, during and in spite of the eight-year American occupation?

In the final analysis, it is idle to argue whether President Bush is more responsible for the current situation than President Obama who ordered the final military withdrawal three years ago. What now counts - and what must be of the greatest concern - are the reports that reach us: hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing before the apparently inexorably advancing ISIS militias, a radical Islamic terrorist organization which is so brutal that even Al Qaeda declines to cooperate with it.

One city after the other take the terrorists in without any noteworthy resistance from the Iraqi army. On the contrary, it (the Iraqi army) surrenders and leaves behind the most modern undamaged American weapons of war: this further strengthens the mob's (ISIS's) military striking power.

What is happening here is not only a catastrophe for the people of the region but a catastrophe for all people who believe in democracy (original word: Demokraten) - indeed, the world community. This catastrophe is also the result of western military interventions that simply do not lead to the transfer of freedom and democracy, but instead to the disintegration of countries.



Here is the altered mission accomplished photograph:

The Guardian: A eulogy to the NHS...

Here is an article that describes access to healthcare before the creation of and after the creation of the NHS in the UK - the article goes on to speak of some current changes in healthcare in the UK:

A eulogy to the NHS: What happened to the world my generation built?
In 1926, Harry Leslie Smith's sister died of TB in a workhouse infirmary, too poor for proper medical care. In 1948, the creation of the NHS put a stop to all that. In an extract from his new book, Harry's Last Stand, he describes his despair at the coalition's dismantling of the welfare state

Harry Leslie Smith
The Guardian, Wednesday 4 June 2014 14.03 EDT


As I convalesced, I was gobsmacked at the great consequences of free health care and the potential it offered to improve our society. It was a transformational shift in how we as a country viewed our fellow citizens. The creation of the NHS made us understand that we were in truth our brother's keeper, and that taxation benefits everyone through maintaining not just our roads and sewers but the health of our children, workers and elderly.

To me, the introduction of free health care was the first brick laid on the road to the social welfare state. So it has always been difficult for me to listen to politicians, proud possessors of health insurance and shares in private health care companies, when they talk about how the health service that we fought so hard to build must change. The coalition government's Health and Social Care Act will create a two-tier health care system. This act will see the NHS stripped down like a derelict house is by criminals for copper wiring.

Ukip has even proposed that A&E patients should have the right to buy their way to the front of the queue, while in Merseyside a private for-profit cancer clinic has set up shop under the NHS umbrella. Where will all of this end? What will be given the greatest priority in a new health care system that sends every service, from blood work to chemotherapy, out to the lowest bid tender?

It ends where I began my life – in a Britain that believed health care depended on your social status. So if you were rich and insured you received timely medical treatment, while the rest of the country got the drippings. One-fifth of the lords who voted in the controversial act – which provides a gateway to privatise our health care system – were found to have connections to private health care companies. If that doesn't make you angry, nothing will.



Ernst Wins Iowa Republican Primary for US Senate

Source: Associated Press

Joni Ernst, an Iowa state legislator whose ads about guns and hog castration helped her shore up support among conservatives, won the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate Tuesday to set up a fall matchup that Republicans are eyeing as a prime opportunity to pick up a seat.

Once a long shot when better-known party leaders passed on the race, the state senator and Iraq War veteran received enough votes to avoid a nominating convention in the five-way race. Most of the voting in the primary came ahead of severe storms, which curbed turnout and forced some precincts to suspend voting temporarily.

Ernst moves on to face Democratic U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley in a race expected to play a key role in the battle for Senate control.

Five-term Democratic U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin announced last year that he would forego another term, leaving a Senate seat open in Iowa for the first time in 40 years. Republicans have made the traditional swing state one of their top targets.

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/ernst-wins-iowa-republican-primary-us-senate-23983684

An Honest Man: Sec. Shinseki (Gen.-Ret.) Versus the GOP

Sec. Shinseki appears to be quite an honest man who deserves support. On the other hand, the GOP continually refuses to "support the troops" whom they so love to thank:

U.S. Senate Republicans block veterans' health bill on budget worry
By Richard Cowan
WASHINGTON Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:50pm EST

(Reuters) - U.S. Senate Republicans blocked legislation on Thursday that would have expanded federal healthcare and education programs for veterans, saying the $24 billion bill would bust the budget.

Even though the legislation cleared a procedural vote on Tuesday by a 99-0 vote, the measure quickly got bogged down in partisan fighting.

Supporters said the measure would have brought the most significant changes in decades to U.S. veterans' programs. For example, it called for 27 new medical facilities to help a healthcare system that is strained by veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

With Democrats pressing for passage this week, Senate Republicans, backed by their leader, Mitch McConnell, attempted to attach controversial legislation calling for possible new sanctions on Iran that President Barack Obama opposes.



Were these funding levels sufficient?

Veterans Affairs: Historical Budget Authority, FY1940-FY2012
Veterans Affairs: Historical Budget Authority, FY1940-FY2012
Congressional Research Service

Table 1. Historical Budget Authority for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in
Current and Constant (FY2011) Dollars, FY1940-FY2012 (dollars in millions)


2000 44,818.9 58,531.5
2001 48,665.2 61,449.3
2002 53,495.0 66,372.7
2003 59,673.1 72,445.7
2004 63,824.8 75,827.4
2005 69,436.4 80,084.3
2006 73,736.8 81,924.4
2007 82,013.8 88,823.3
2008 90,525.5 94,538.6
2009 99,447.3 102,425.9
2010 112,694.6 114,957.6
2011 124,383.5 124,383.5
2012 125,304.3 125,304.3



Speaker Boehner and Senator Mcconnell - simply saying thank you without supporting proper funding is false gratitude - no matter how floridly, frequently or profusely you intone the words 'thank you':

Speaker Boehner's Veterans Day Message from Nov. 12, 2012:

Senator Mcconnell's Veterans Day Message from Nov. 11, 2013:

Bush et al and the GOP wanted the war in Iraq - now the GOP needs to agree to pay for the consequences of its warmongering.

It is time for the GOP to consent to proper funding for the support of US veterans instead of playing political games with that funding. It is time for the GOP to stop treating veterans like throw-away rag dolls who may be summarily thanked and then discarded at the end of their service.

Sen. McConnell and Speaker Boehner, either you truly support the troops or you do not. Which is it?

Drinking Harmonized H20 as a Sunscreen...How far does one need to read to find complete idiocy?

It only takes one sentence on their about page to reveal idiocy that is contrary to any reasonable empirical understanding of modern physics (please do continue down the rabbit hole though):

About Harmonized Water

There is growing recognition in the scientific community that the body is better described as a hologram than "matter". These revelations have empowered energy medicine advocates and give credence to existing energetic strategies like acupuncture, frequency medicine, and other researched medicinal practices. Harmonized Water works because it shares Hundreds of Thousands of beneficial vibrational messages (frequencies) with the body that restore a harmonious environment.



So, the human body is not really best thought of as matter, but instead as a hologram? Clearly, they mistook "Red Dwarf" for a series of scientific lectures.

Is this company potentially dangerous? Will ignorant and gullible people believe their marketing and use their "product" in lieu of sunscreen?

UV Neutralizer Assists with Sun Exposure

Achieve UV protection before the sun even hits you with our innovative new technology that isolates the precise frequencies needed to neutralize UVA and UVB.



  • Neutralizes UV radiation
  • Allows for increased sun exposure (30x more than normal)
  • Enhances tanning effect from the sun


Take 2ml every 4 hours while in the sun (preferably with 2+ oz of water). Wait 1 hour before exposure to the sun. Monitor sun exposure carefully. Take second dose if still in sun 3 hours after first dose. For extended intense exercise outdoors, use alternate protection after 30-40 minutes.



So, what does "Neutralizes UV radiation" mean? Beyond that, what does "Allows for increased sun exposure (30x more than normal)" mean exactly? Does the latter mean that if one uses this product, one will be subjected to greater (unprotected) exposure than if one actually were protected by a sunscreen? Is their latter statement a veiled, cynical admission that their product has no effect at all?

On the Harmonized Water facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/HarmonizedWater), they link to an article that helps them hawk their product:

Drinking Up for Sun Safety
Posted: May 2, 2014

As the multifunctional trend continues to grow and branch out, innovative companies and brands are looking for new ways to bring multiple benefits to consumers through just one product. As Mintel’s senior beauty analyst Charlotte Libby discusses in her blog post “Inside Out Beauty: The launch of a UV protection water supplement,” this has brought the trend of nutricosmetics back around.

Libby writes in her post, “With the promise of summer just around the corner, many will be stocking up on bottled water and sunscreen to safely enjoy the hot weather. Looking to combine these two summer essentials is a new sun protection product, Osmosis Harmonized H20. Developed in the United States, it has a defense comparable to an SPF 30 and is one of the first drinkable waters with sunscreen properties.”

More and more, beauty is working to align itself with healthy living, and this type of product targets that marketing aspect perfect—and it’s likely going to take off even further. “This trend for inside-out beauty is now moving into other areas of beauty and personal care, such as sun protection. While supplement innovation has existed in the sun care market before, with products such as Nurture Protect Skin Nourishment Supplements claiming to protect the skin from UV damage as well as improving general skin health, the new Osmosis Harmonized H20 is one of the first drinkable waters with sunscreen properties. The company claims that after drinking, molecules vibrate on the skin in a unique way which cancels 97% of UVA and UVB rays, giving a comparable SPF protection rating of 30,” Libby writes.



This - in turn - links to another "article" on their product:

Inside Out Beauty: The launch of a UV protection water supplement
Author: Charlotte Libby. Published on May 2nd, 2014

With the promise of summer just around the corner, many will be stocking up on bottled water and sunscreen to safely enjoy the hot weather. Looking to combine these two summer essentials is a new sun protection product, Osmosis Harmonized H20. Developed in the US, it has a defense comparable to an SPF 30 and is one of the first drinkable waters with sunscreen properties.

BPC markets move toward an ’inside out’ approach

In the UK, we have seen product launches in the beauty and personal care markets move toward a more ‘inside out’ approach.

This trend for inside-out beauty is now moving into other areas of beauty and personal care, such as sun protection. While supplement innovation has existed in the suncare market before, with products such as Nurture Protect Skin Nourishment Supplements claiming to protect the skin from UV damage as well as improving general skin health, the new Osmosis Harmonized H20 is one of the first drinkable waters with sunscreen properties. The company claims that after drinking, molecules vibrate on the skin in a unique way which cancels 97% of UVA and UVB rays, giving a comparable SPF protection rating of 30.



If one wants to contact, Harmonized Water, one has a contact address from their webpage:

Harmonized Water

30746 Bryant Ave
Ste 410




One may also look to their facebook page for an address:

Harmonized Water

30746 Bryant St. Unit 410
Evergreen, Colorado 80439

(877) 819-2837



But - wait - on the Harmonized Water facebook page, they do have one who 'likes' them, an organization named - Osmosis Pür Medical Skincare. This company likes Harmonized Water. How does one contact Osmosis Pür Medical Skincare?

From the Osmosis Pür Medical Skincare facebook page, one obtains:

Osmosis Pür Medical Skincare

Location: 30746 Bryant Dr. Unit 410, Evergreen, Colorado 80439

Phone: (877) 777-2305

Email: info@osmosisskincare.com


From the Osmosis Pür Medical Skincare webpage, one obtains:

Osmosis Pür Medical Skincare


30746 Bryant Dr. Unit 410

E-mail: info@osmosisskincare.com

Telephone: 1-877-777-2305 / 303-674-7660

Are these organizations closely related? Let's see if Osmosis Pür Medical Skincare's YouTube videos shed any light on this question:

Osmosis Pür Medical Skincare offers this 'helpful' video on YouTube which eventually offers a link back to harmonizedwater.com:

Further, Osmosis Pür Medical Skincare also offers another truly helpful video that truly illustrates the quality of their understanding of water molecules:

To cut to the chase as it were, here is the frame whereby they put their advanced knowledge on display.

Behold the "water molecule" as it is subjected to "imprinting" with radio frequency energy:

Spectacular in its glory, is it not? Good old HO2!

With that molecular beauty occupying center stage, let's shift over to some uncritical news coverage:

One wonders if news anchors ever actually check out the qualifications of their guests.

Circumzenithal Arc Photographed in UK

A nice photograph of a circumzenithal arc accompanies this story. Unfortunately, the explanation of the phenomenon is given as "sunlight bouncing off ice crystals...."

'Rare' upside down rainbow spotted in Wiltshire
19 May 2014 Last updated at 07:04 ET

A "rare" upside down rainbow has been spotted in the sky over Wiltshire.
The circumzenithal arc, or Bravais' arc, was photographed at Bowood Golf Club near Calne early on Saturday.

Created by sunlight bouncing off ice crystals high in the atmosphere, it is hard to spot inverted rainbows as they appear so high in the sky.

A Met Office spokesman said: "They are seen relatively rarely in the UK but the more defined they are, the rarer they are."

The phenomenon or "smile in the sky" only occurs when thin wispy cirrus clouds - made of ice crystals - are at a specific angle to the sun, according to the Met Office.



A better explanation would have explicitly mentioned or illustrated the refraction of light and not implied reflection. Here is a site that provides a such an explanation of this phenomenon along with several others:

Circumzenithal Arc

The CZA is produced by oriented plate crystals, the same crystals that form sundogs.

Downcoming sunrays enter the uppermost horizontal face and leave through a vertical side face.

The refraction of rays nearly parallel rays through faces inclined at 90° produces very pure and well separated prismatic colours. The colours of the circumzenithal arc are purer than those of the rainbow.



This site is a nice one, but the description of the colors that are produced as "purer" and "well separated" is straying far into the subjective unless there is some quantitative measure of color purity and separation of which I am unaware.

"Landlocked" in the Camps by Flooding: Teabaggers unable to Attend Operation American Spring

At 0:55 in the video, one discovers one of the purported reasons for so few attendees to Operation American Spring:

No, she doesn't mean the FEMA camps: those are undoubtedly for after Operation American Spring - after the "true" patriots and "real" Americans have made themselves known...

Here is an updated definition of landlocked, one that takes into account the teabag vernacular:

landlocked (ˈlændˌlɒkt)

— adj
0. (of a teabagger) completely surrounded by water
1. (of a country) completely surrounded by land
2. (esp of lakes) completely or almost completely surrounded by land
3. (esp of certain salmon) living in fresh water that is permanently isolated from the sea

"landlocked." Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins Publishers. 16 May. 2014. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/landlocked>.

It is interesting to note how words seem to take on opposite meanings when used by teabaggers. If one were ambitious, one could compile examples of this and author "Definition Zero: The Teabag Vernacular".

However, in the meantime: "Where you at!? WHERE ARE YOU AT!1!1??!?..."
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