Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Everything You Know Is Wrong

New paper: Modulation of Ice Ages via Precession and Dust-Albedo Feedbacks | Watts Up With That?: "And so now we have the entire ice age forcing and feedback mechanism, laid out and plain for all to see. It begins when a Great Summer turns into a Great Winter, which reduces the sun-strength in the northern hemisphere and allows ice sheets to grow. This is a slow process that takes tens of thousands of years, and appears destined to turn the world into a complete snowball. However, the high albedo polar ice sheets have an Achilles heel – dust. As the ice sheets grow and the seas cool, CO2 also reduces. The concentration finally reaches the critical 190 ppm level where world flora begins to die, especially at higher altitude, and the Gobi steppe-lands turn into a true sand desert. This turns northern China into the equivalent of 1930s Dust Bowl America, and the ensuing dust storms dump thousands of tonnes of dust onto the northern ice sheets each year. And so when the next Great Summer comes along, the dusty polar ice sheets can warm and melt and the next interglacial is born. So CO2 can indeed cause global warming but its effect is much more pronounced at low concentrations, rather than high concentrations."

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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Modern Medinans

A Real Islam Policy for a Real America: "I repeat that I have no ill will against you as people. I act with no animosity. I act in recognition of reality. And the reality is—and you know it, and now you know that we know it—that your religion commands you to make all peoples and societies submit to the Islamic law, wherever and whenever you have the power and opportunity to do so.

And one of the opportunities that have been presented to you is immigration. A half century ago, when we of the West began to admit large numbers of Muslim immigrants, we were, though we did not realize it, replicating what the city of Medina did in the year 622 when it invited Muhammad and his followers to emigrate there from Mecca. The most famous event in the history of Islam, the event with which the Islamic calendar begins, was an act of immigration. Muhammad and his followers moved to Medina, and within two years he had become the dictator of Medina, and Islamic law ruled in that city. That is a paradigm of Islamic expansion.

When we invited you Muslims into the West, we were, without knowing it, imitating what the Medinans did 1,400 years ago. You saw the significance of what we were doing, and you couldn’t believe the opportunity that we had handed to you. You had never imagined that we would do this. But we did it, we gave you the opportunity. And now we have to close off that opportunity by reversing the policies that brought you here."

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Effective In Context

Science suggests genes can hugely influence academic performance — Quartz: "Some teachers have been reluctant to acknowledge the role of genes in school performance, perhaps because of an aversion to biological explanations—so-called “biological determinism“—and perhaps because of the false impression that if genes matter, teachers don’t.

Among other consequences, this has meant an overemphasis on the role of teacher skill and dedication in determining why some students thrive while others struggle.

There is direct evidence from twins that teacher differences are not responsible for much in the way of student differences in literacy. So teachers do matter in that they are the reasons why children know more at the end of the year or even the day. But our teachers are more uniformly effective than many give them credit for.

The Colorado story

It is unfortunate that in some education systems, such as in Colorado in the US, teacher employment and remuneration are tied to evaluations that give undue weight to student progress. This ignores the fact that some students struggle because of biological constraints on learning that can be overcome to an encouraging degree, but only with special and adequate resources."
Agreed that teachers on average do better than they are given credit for.

And the untold story that this article glosses over is that teachers also can't change or even much affect the parents, extended family and friends and culture which -- regardless of the nature vs nurture debate -- can absolutely overwhelm the efforts of even the most saintly teachers.

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Gutfield on Fruit Fly Minds

Ace of Spades HQ: "1. media freaking out about Great Britain's vote as Venezuela is in free fall. it seems the ire should be reversed.

2. seems to me predicted outcomes from Brexit comes nowhere close to Venezuela's hell that's going on in front of our jaded eyes.

3. how is a country voting to exit some bureaucracy worse than a country imploding into a scavenging Lord of the Flies in supermarkets

4. Yes, temporarily your chorizo will be more expensive, but there's a country where people now fight over toilet paper.

5. the media are hypocrites. Playing Brexit as apocalyptic. As Venezuela is edging closer to Soylent Green.

6. screw all these celebrity assholes expressing fear for a future dark age, while the dark ages rage right now because people have NO VOTE.

7. Did any of these fruit fly minds - the James Cordons, the lindsey lohans - ever give a damn about Venezuela?

8. A popular vote in England is mild compared to the top-down, reinforced suffering of a desperate people in Venezuela, you idiots.

9. Note: in the previous tweet i said "idiots" in place of many other terms that i decided to omit. Carry on."

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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Why did agriculture start 13,000 years ago?

Why did agriculture start 13,000 years ago? | Watts Up With That?: "But It is simple: it occurred because it Started Working.. 13,000 years ago."

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A Close Run Thing

Immigration and Brexit: How a rising tide of European immigrants fueled the Leave vote.: "As opposition leader, and later as prime minister, Cameron did much to legitimize doubts about mass immigration. He also pledged to drastically reduce net migration to the U.K. on explicitly nonracial grounds. The trouble is that while Britain could restrict non-European immigration, it could not limit European immigration without flouting EU rules. Since Cameron came to power in 2010, European immigration as a share of total immigration has crept upward for precisely this reason. Europe’s economic malaise and Britain’s robust labor market recovery has made it all but impossible for Cameron to hit his overly ambitious immigration targets.

Recognizing that his failure on immigration made him vulnerable, Cameron tried desperately to persuade other member states to allow Britain to change the rules. But he met with implacable resistance from the leaders of newer member states in central and Eastern Europe, who resented the suggestion that their citizens be treated any differently than Britons. This left Cameron dangerously exposed: Having made the case for why Britain should have more control over European immigration, Cameron’s failure to actually wrest that control from his European partners made him look more than a little ridiculous. All leading Brexiteers like Boris Johnson and Michael Gove had to do was point out that Cameron had failed to deliver.

Right now, the partisans of “Remain” are damning the likes of Johnson and Gove for Brexit. However, it is not at all clear if they are the ones to blame for Remain’s defeat. Had Cameron managed to secure a solid commitment from the European Union to do something as simple as limit the access European immigrants had to British welfare state benefits for, say, two or three years, Remain almost certainly would have won.* Instead, Cameron’s friends and allies in Europe left him out to dry."

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The AR-15: Americans' Best Defense Against Terror and Crime

The AR-15: Americans' Best Defense Against Terror and Crime - YouTube: "The AR-15: Americans' Best Defense Against Terror and Crime"

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