Rick Perry and Al Franken on Cimate Change


I think this short video demonstrates the current situation in climate science better than anything else I’ve seen: “Get the politicians out of the room and let the scientists (do their jobs).” At least, I think that’s what Rick Perry was trying to say.  Good idea, Rick.  But it’s already been done. As Al Franken says, “That’s what scientists do all the time.”

Anthropocentric climate change is real. Climate scientists agree on it almost hundred percent. The only question now is, what are we going to do about it? And that’s the truth.

No Ordinary Octopus

This extraordinary creature is one of the few octopuses adapted to move about on land. The clip does not identify the species, but it is probably Abdopus aculeatus.

According to Wikipedia, A. aculeatus is about the size of a small orange and is referred to  as “algae octopus,” due to its typical resting camouflage, which looks as if it is overgrown with algae.  It is also adept at mimicking its surroundings.

(This octopus) is found throughout intertidal zones along the Indonesian, Philippine, and Northern Australian coastlines. They primarily live in areas with abundant sea grass coverage and occupy dens built into the sandy seafloor, which they line with small pebbles. In its resting camouflage, A. aculeatus displays mottled ochre, gray, and brown colors that resemble a shell overgrown with algae, and dark arm bars reminiscent of hermit crab legs.

Wikipedia

Mating Octopuses (Abdopus-aculeatus)
Mating Octopuses (Abdopus-aculeatus)

They forage during the day, feeding mostly on small crustaceans, and return to their dens at night. They chase their prey by jetting to propel their body forward, head first. When they catch their prey they use their sharp beak to “drill” into its exoskeleton and reach the muscle within, most often eating their prey on site.

To the right are a pair of them mating, from The Octopus News Magazine Online.

Nature is often extraordinary, and that’s the truth.

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In America, We Worship . . .

Pres. Donald Trump will undoubtedly go down in history as The Tweeting President. His tweets are by far the best indicator of what’s on his tiny mind at any one particular time.

A few days ago he tweeted that, “In America we don’t worship government. We worship God.” He got it half right.

The truth is that in America, we worship any god we please — or no god at all — and our President doesn’t make the decision for us. The Constitution of the United States guarantees us freedom of and from religion.

And that’s the truth.

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Truth about everything of importance

truthAs of today, July 30, 2017, this blog has a renewed focus to searching for and telling truth about everything of importance. Truth about ‘science stuff’ (a term I use to include science, the stuff it studies [nature], and the stuff it produces [technology]), which I love, but also truth about politics (which I often abhor), about everyday life, and (as just mentioned) about everything of importance. And never any intentional untruth about anything, of course, regardless of importance or unimportance. I’ll often, conclude a post with the statement, “This is the truth about …”, or something very similar.

Actually, you’ll notice little difference, because I always try to say the truth anyway.

An important thing for us to remember as we search for important truths will be that It is very difficult to determine that any truth is unimportant, and a truth that seems unimportant today may be important tomorrow.

While I’ll continue to post mostly about science stuff, I also want to post the truth as I see it about many things that seem important, including current national and world events, politics, and anything else I consider important. Whenever possible, I’ll include quotes, graphics, or videos from other sources to illustrate my point. Sometimes, in fact, the quoted material may be the whole post.

Tell the Truth

In some cases, we may disagree about what the truth is. I have seldom hesitated to express my opinions about controversial subjects, assuming I have what I consider an informed or educated opinion. I don’t always, of course. I have never pretended to know everything.

Whether you agree or disagree with me, be sure to leave your comments below each post. I expect to make so many controversial statements that I’ll probably provoke quite a bit of disagreement. That’s OK. Just be honest, brief, and courteous, and I’ll publish your comments. No foul language, please. Abusive comments may or may not be published, solely at my discretion.

While I expect to provoke disagreement, this is not my purpose. Stating truth as I see it is. Truth about virtually anything and everything. I have very strong opinions about many things, and I expect to write about many of them.

This refocusing of the search for truth on this blog is a result of major changes in my life. I have very recently become further disabled and have entered a nursing home, where I’ll probably spend the rest of my life. While it’s not like being at home, there are actually certain advantages.

Truth Is TruthFor one, I get to sit here in bed all day with my notebook computer in my lap, searching the Internet for information, reading some great blogs, writing an ebook or two, and occasionally making a post on my own blog. (And struggling with bedsores on my bottom, of course. But that’s another subject.)

As long as I am able, I intend to make good use of what time I have left, learning and telling truth as best I can determine it.

While I’ll continue to post mostly about science stuff, I also want to post the truth as I see it about many thing that seem important, including current national and world events, politics, and anything else I consider important. Whenever possible, I’ll include quotes, graphics, or videos from other sources to illustrate my point. Sometimes, in fact, the quoted material may be the whole post.

In some cases, we may disagree about what the truth is. I have seldom hesitated to express my opinions about controversial subjects, assuming I have what I consider an informed or educated opinion. I don’t always, of course. I have never pretended to know everything.

Wrong for 5,500 years? And wrong about that!

Anthony Scaramucci - Trump’s New Communications Chief Anti-Science Climate Change Denier
Anthony Scaramucci – Trump’s New Communications Chief Anti-Science Climate Change Denier

Anthony Scaramucci, Pres. Trump’s new appointee for White House communications director, is the very epitome of ignorance. He claims civilization on earth is only 5500 years old. It is far older. I don’t know for sure where this number came from, but I assume it came from the approximate 6000 year figure calculated by students of the Bible, based on adding up all the “begats” in the Old Testament. This implies a religious reason for his willful ignorance.

He thinks science cannot be trusted because, “People have gotten things wrong throughout the 5500 year history of our planet.” And because of “overwhelming scientific consensus that the earth was flat and that we were at the center of the world.” Even assuming he meant to say universe, instead of world, this is still amazing Ignorance. It was never scientists who claimed the earth was flat and that it was the center of the universe. It was religion. It was the Church. More specifically, it was the Papacy. Remember Galileo?

Scaramucci repeatedly questioned anthropogenic — man made — climate change with the excuse, “I honestly don’t know. I’m not a scientist.” He claims to have no idea whether or not climate change Is real. This is possibly the most important question we face about the long-term future of our planet. (Assuming we don’t blow ourselves up or succumb to chemicals or biological weapons.) For the President’s spokesman not to have  even an opinion — much less genuine knowledge of the truth — about climate change is inexcusable!

More than 97% of scientists polled recently said anthropogenic climate change is real. If we limit our poll to scientists actually involved in studying climate, the number climbs to way over 99%. There is no longer any serious question among scientists that anthropogenic climate change is both real and deadly serious. The argument is among laymen who do not understand the science. For the President spokesman to say, “I don’t know. I’m not a scientist,” is embarrassing. Scientists are still studying the details, but they agree that climate change is real. Everybody on earth should know that.

Pres. Trump recently named Scaramucci to be the White House communications director. It is obsurd that the greatest country in the world — the most powerful scientific force on earth — should have such an ignorant man In such a high office for communication. From this position, he’ll undoubtedly spread his ignorance to the world.

In the short video below alone, he makes several incorrect statements and Indicates his disdain for science.

There were several other mistakes In the video. For example, interviewer Chris Cuomo said “science” one time when he evidently meant to say “climate.” Scaramucci referred to somebody — presumably Pres. Trump — as the President-elect. These were obviously slips of the tongue, not indications of ignorance. But when did we start governing our country from from the Trump Tower?

This grossly ignorant man wants the names of those who worked on global warming at the Department of Energy, and refuses to say why, claiming “it’s about intellectual curiosity.” Well, I agree he seems pretty curious, But I wouldn’t want him knowing anything about me. I wouldn’t feel safe.

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Clearly Confused Kitty

My late wife, Betty, and I used to wonder whether or not our four dogs and our old cat, John, could see the television shows we watched. We didn’t expect them to understand the shows. We just wondered if they could even see the pictures. After all, we understood there were really no pictures on the screen. There were just repeating lines of dark and light and color, changing 30 times a second, that our eyes registered and our brains interpreted as moving pictures.

Would the eyes and brains of our pets recognize the same pictures we saw, we wondered?

We saw little indication at the time that our animals were aware anything was happening. They almost never noticed the sounds from the set, either. There was only one exception that we were aware of to that. One time, we noticed our long-haired, silver bitch’s ears perk up when a dog on television barked; but her interest was gone in an instant. Lady, Sheila, Taka, and John didn’t seem to hear it.

Since then I have become aware that not all animals are as insensitive to television as ours were. I still don’t know why ours never seemed to notice anything on the screen.

Well, it doesn’t matter. This video shows a computer monitor; not a television screen. I realize the details are different, but the principle is the same.

In this short video, the cat appears to recognize a toy ball on the screen. She paws the screen as if to play with it, not recognizing the picture of her younger self playing with the ball in real life.

When she can’t touch the ball, but the kitten on the screen tosses it around, she quickly looks up as if to ask, “What’s going on here? Are you playing tricks on me?” Then she examines the back of the screen, apparently trying to find the ball.

I believe it was Aristotle (Or was it Socrates? No, Aristotle, I think.) who wrote that animals are like automatons, moving in a fog, and having no thought of what is actually happening around them. For almost the next 2000 years, philosophers and naturalists accepted this is as fact, just because Aristotle said so. Thankfully, modern scientists don’t do that. They make observations and they experiment to find out the truth. They have finally begun to realize what animal lovers knew long-ago — that mammals, birds, and at least some other animals are indeed intelligent and aware.

Nevertheless, their brains are not the same as ours, and their intelligence and awareness are not the same as ours. It is very difficult to understand their minds without anthropomorphizing them. That is, assuming that they are like our own.

Videos like this show us some of the similarities and some of the differences between their minds and ours.

Aiden: Future Zoologist

This young man’s name is Aiden. I don’t know anything else about him except the very little I was able to glean from Yotube and Go Fund Me. I just found the video on Youtube a few hours ago.

According to his Go  Fund Me page, his older sister is accepting contributions for his college fund. I cannot vouch for this. I have no  idea whether or not it is legitimate. For what it’s worth, here’s the text from there.

Aiden has a passion for animals and nature and dreams of being a zoologist in the future. I noticed all the support and love he’s getting from the video, so I decided to start a college fund for him early so that he can be set in the future and choose from whatever college he dreams of attending! This is a college fund for Aiden being raised by his older sister, donors are those he has inspired with his nature videos on YouTube and Twitter.

It mentions Miramar, Florida,  so I assume that’s where he lives.

Aiden’s knowledge of backyard wildlife is phenomenal, as well as his language skills and vocabulary and the ease with which he shows us the things most of us always missed in our own backyards.

He wants to be a zoologist. He might be the Richard Dawkins of his generation. In fact, now that I think of it. Dawkins says he wasn’t even unusually Interested in nature until he was in college, so this young man has a big head start on him.

With George Bush’s awesome sounding No Child Left Behind Program, we’ve spent so many resources trying to educate kids that will wear diapers all their lives and never learn to read–kids who perhaps should indeed have been left behind–that we have little left for  kids like Aiden. Our public school system can’t even begin to meet their educational needs. (And now our President and his Education Secretary want to gut the system instead of improving it. But that’s another story for another day.)

I hope, for the future of humanity, that Aiden is able to get the education he needs. It is young people like him who will build our tomorrows.

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