Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Science Stories below the fold

Is the Universe infinite?


an aurora named Steve.

Astrophotographer Paul Zizka shared this photo of the aurora phenomenon "Steve" — then called a potential proton arc — with Space.com in October 2015. He took the photo in Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies on May 10, 2015.
Credit: Paul Zizka/zizka.ca

well it's a catchier phrase than "a potential proton arc"

Greg reports on the Minnesota march for science 

he is a scientist, but this march had all the stuff of professional protesters: signs, young people and aging hippies, and chants.

Chants? Really?

 Real scientists write articles, letters to the editor, or blog posts with scientific details and logic...and Greg's blog does this well, as opposed to bozos who only quote memes or use emotional or straw man arguments to try to persuade you, while trying to silence the opposition by yelling "SCIENCE".

but this march was so politically correct that they had their own Lactation station.

NASA has a photo showing the cause of global warming: Prosperity.

compare and contrast: Green NorthKorea vs tech savvy South Korea.

photo source


it has been very hot here (it is "tag-init", i.e. the hot season before the monsoon starts in June). One problem is that we have had deaths in our poorer neighborhoods: often the elderly or those with high blood pressure...So do I obey the Pope and turn off my air conditioner, and maybe end up in the emergency room with heat exhaustion and dehydration?

there are free clinics and a local city hospital, but they are very crowded, so often I get asked for money to go to the private hospital nearby.

for example, our maid had stomach flu. No problem, except that she is diabetic and needed IV fluids in the ER because she was vomiting and dehydrated. IV fluids cost 800 pesos, and her daily salary is 300 pesos, so I gave her the money for this.

So, to slow down (not stop) global warming, do we try to forbid modern appliances, or do we make folks rich enough to afford electricity and airconditioners?

Here is a WAPo article from last years about the huge increase in the use of Airconditioning in Chinese cities.

In just 15 years, urban areas of China went from just a few percentage points of air conditioning penetration to exceeding 100 percent — “i.e. more than one room air conditioner (AC) per urban household,” according to a recent report on the global AC boom by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
dang those Chinese. I am old enough to remember when they were communists and lauded living a primitive life, and were too busy starving to buy air conditioners.

It's the fault of allowing Capitalism, of course.
And air conditioner sales are now increasing in India, Indonesia and Brazil by between 10 and 15 percent per year, the research noted. India, a nation of 1.25 billion people, had just 5 percent air conditioning penetration in the year 2011.
Much of the article discusses how increasing efficiency is important, since one doubts a ban on air conditioning would work.

This article reminds you: It's not just people, but food that needs to be kept cool (less food waste thanks to refrigeration).

and it's not just using energy:
it has a long discussion of eliminating refrigerant gases.

And yes, we have a "swamp cooler" for our dining room/living room area, which is large and would take a huge airconditioner. But we mainly used it for Lolo, who read the paper and watched TV there. Since he died, we moved it into our meeting area, which is usually cool thanks to having bedrooms above and the only windows are open to the fountain in the center of our complex, which is cooler than if it faced the busy and dirty street (as does our bedroom, which faces east and turns hot at sunrise). The good news is that the bedroom is small so doesn't take a lot of electricity to cool when we need to use the air conditioner.

the shade in the central area, plus the fountain, means we can sit there comfortably, and makes it fairly cool in our nearby kitchen and dining areas.

So, like my rants about the green agenda are more about politics and pushing a utopian agenda... we actually try to live a green lifestyle, not just in our growing of organic rice but in our home.

as for pollution: Well, maybe if there weren't so many trafic jams in Manila that could improve (we already limit traffic by colorcoding). And Ruby reports that the MRT is expanding closer to our area, which would mean faster travel.

and, of course, Duterte's war on crime might make train travel more popular: drudge's headline today is about a gang in Oakland attacking and robbing passengers in Oakland California. Uh, that is onereason a lot of people prefer to drive.

Charles Bronson, call your office.

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