Archive for December, 2009

I had not known

Monday, December 14th, 2009

that Abebooks keeps a list of weird books. Well, the UK site does, anyway. I actually own copies of this one (although mine isn’t signed) and this one, and I’ve seen a stack of this one in a discount bookstore and in a museum hosting a Franklin exhibit.

I think my daughter would want a copy of this one.

I own other strange books: among them, I have copies of Der Wizard in Ozzenland, a book on the black death to go with the torture book, a cookbook that contains a chapter on cannibalism, and an inscribed copy of The Mason Williams Reading Matter.

Just things to keep busy with on cold winter nights.

Update: And, speaking of weird books, and things with which to keep busy, here’s an article about a horror story you can buy.

An inspirational story

Monday, December 14th, 2009

The man who smuggled himself into Auschwitz.

I read about people such as Denis Avey and their actions, and I am awed and humbled.

Hoist by their own petard (I hope)

Monday, December 14th, 2009

The recording industry has long been pushing for incredibly punitive awards against people who download music. Well, now there is a lawsuit by the artists against the music companies that has the potential to damage their earnings severely. How severely? Try between $50 million and $6 billion severely.

Janis Ian wrote a widely-read article about song downloads in 2002. She was, and is, in favor of them. You should read the whole article; it’s very informative and insightful. Her comments with respect to her personal experiences with the record companies are pertinent to the lawsuit’s claims, to wit:

Again, from personal experience: in 37 years as a recording artist, I’ve created 25+ albums for major labels, and I’ve never once received a royalty check that didn’t show I owed them money.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Via The Devil’s Kitchen.

Today’s AGW post

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Just a couple of links. First, the hockey stick graph was discredited a few years ago. Even if you consider it valid, however, try examining it in longer-term historical context.

Second, the East Anglia CRU records showed an increasing temperature trend for Antarctica. I wonder how that happened. Comments #13 and #26 in the thread are also interesting.

Third, the East Anglia CRU has problems – data that has been online for years is no longer available on their site. They’re either doing a clumsy attempt to cover things up, or their IT department is staffed by incompetents. Or both.

Fourth, the British Met (Meteorology) Office has a long list of scientists who still believe in AGW, and don’t think the current situation detracts from its validity. Bishop Hill found it interesting to note several prominent climate scientists who aren’t signatories.

Fifth, we have one response to awkward questions about the situation – call the guards to prevent more of them being asked:

I got off on a tangent the other day

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

After seeing an episode of How It’s Made that showed them, and remembering seeing reproductions sold at the local Renaissance Festival, I looked up astrolabes online. For a long time, it was the state-of-the-art astronomical instrument. You can duplicate my search without much trouble, but I’ll put two links here that I found interesting:

The Electric Astrolabe is a web app you can use.

This site at the University of Hawaii allows you to generate customized astrolabe templates that you can download.

I don’t have much confidence in this anti-crime measure

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

From the comments: Please God tell me I am not actually living in a Country that sends Christmas cards to burglars.

This is why I don’t ‘get’ modern art

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Thieves steal artist’s £3,000 brick… and replace it with 40p version.

Maybe I’m confused …

Friday, December 4th, 2009

But, isn’t this what Larry Summers lost his job over?

I loves me a snarky movie review

Friday, December 4th, 2009

It’s an article about the movie Avatar, rather than a review, but I enjoyed the reference to it as, “Dances with Smurfs.”

AGW Update

Friday, December 4th, 2009

There’s a lot of good analysis and commentary out there. Bishop Hill is a good place to start.

This guest post at JoNova makes a strong claim, but has some interesting graphs and information.

This post has a lot of good information.

This post isn’t actually about AGW, but it brings up the famous faked “hockey stick” graph in order to introduce another graph that shows a real hockey stick shape. Scary stuff, indeed.