Saturday, June 30, 2007


Live Free (of physics) or Die Hard

We went to see the new Die Hard movie with Bruce Willis last night - "Live Free or Die Hard" and while it was an enjoyable movie, the scientist in me was cringing at abuot every action scene because of the Cartoon Physics that this movie employed liberally.

The left and right halves of my brain were battling each other - one half was enjoying the action and adventure. The other half was saying "No! That can't work! He'd be killed!" The first half would reply "But it's Bruce Willis - give me more! Explosions, gunfire, crashes, helicopters!"

I won't put any spoilers in here - assuming you know it's a Die Hard film and that there are always explosions, gunfire, crashes, etc. in a Die Hard film....

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Thursday, June 14, 2007


Anthropogenic Global Warming

I am really tired of the Global Warming debate. I'm not talking about the debate over whether it is really happening. There clearly is some global warming. I'm just tired of the "religious" beliefs in the subject on the extremes of both sides. I'm not talking about Jesus here. I'm talking about belief for the sake of belief and digging for facts to support your notion of the "truth" regardless of what an unbiased examination of the evidence would indicate.

The one thing I think we can say about the climate on Earth is that it changes. Both external affects such as variability of the energy output of the Sun and Earthly affects such as volcanic activity and of course human activity affect the amount of energy Earth's climate takes in. To me, it's not clear which are really the dominant affects on climate and I'm not convinced particularly of the dire predictions that are coming out of the global warming extremists. To me, it appears that they are cherry picking from the data, selecting a subset of the evidence that supports their dire predictions while ignoring evidence that does not support their claims, as well as using unreasonable extrapolations of the various influences on the environment.

It troubles me particularly to see otherwise reasonable people, even fellow scientists, who jump to conclusions about a claim or something said which does not fit in with what is now the "consensus opinion" which now is that Global Warming is caused by humans and we will suffer dire affects in the not-too-distant future because of it. I've even seen otherwise reasonable folks resort to political name calling over the issue and claiming that someone whose opinion differs from theirs is an idiot. That is just not right!

And of course, the extremists on the other side of the debate are not doing their cause any justice either.....

We need to reset the entire subject and remove the religious and political motivations from it and put it firmly back into a scientifically unbiased and objective study. Yeah, that's probably asking too much.


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