Friday, June 1, 2012

Via JMG:

CDC: There Are No Actual Zombies

You may recall that last year the Centers for Disease Control released its well-received Zombie Apocalypse Report, which was actually their cheeky way of encouraging disaster preparedness. However several recent news items forced the CDC to announce today that there are no actual zombies.
"CDC does not know of a virus or condition that would reanimate the dead (or one that would present zombie-like symptoms)," wrote agency spokesman David Daigle in an email to The Huffington Post. Nevertheless, recent incidents in which humans reportedly ate human flesh have the Internet in a firestorm, with "zombie apocalypse" being Google's third most popular search term by Friday morning.
Which takes me back to the warning I found scrawled on the men's room wall of a Hell's Kitchen gay bar back in 2005.
In the event of a zombie crisis:

1. Find a good man who's got your back.
2. Always aim for the brain pan.
3. Save a bullet for yourself, dude.
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Reposted from Joe

Via Jerry Becker: SAYINGS XL

NOTE: The following quotations have been collected from a variety of sources ... from e-mail notes and signatures, bulletin boards, the ASCD SmartBrief and from other sources, as well, over some time.
"The belief that all genuine education comes about through experience does not mean that all experiences are genuinely or equally educative."
(John Dewey (1938; 1997, p. 25) "Experience and Education)

"Why are the fights in academia so vicious? Because the stakes are so small."
(Henry Kissinger)      [From Capitol Fax, Springfield, IL -  a reader commenting on higher education politics]

"All those who believe in psychokinesis, raise my hand."
(Steven Wright)

"Smartness runs in my family. When I went to school I was so smart my teacher was in my class for five years."
(Gracie Allen (1895-1964), comedian)

"The more valid the test for a particular curriculum, in the sense of more perfect conformity to it, the less its usefulness in pointing toward inadequacies in, and illuminating possibilities and completion of, that curriculum."
(Testing and the Curriculum," in Science, Curriculum and Liberal Education, p. 282)    [From Michael Paul Goldenberg]

"He who rides the tiger finds it difficult to dismount."
(Rudyard Kipling)      [From signature of Michael Paul Goldenberg / also a Chinese Proverb]

"OK, so what's the speed of dark?"
(Steven Wright)

"A brother may not be a friend, but a friend will always be a brother."
(Benjamin Franklin)      [From Forbes Magazine]

"This isn't right. It isn't even wrong."
(Wolfgang Pauli)      [From signature of Michael Goldenberg]

"Rule One: Never allow a crisis to go to waste. They are opportunities to do big things."
(Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel -  as told to the New York Times)

"Donald in Mathmagicland" concludes with this quote ascribed to Galileo: "Mathematics is the alphabet with which God has written the universe."
(Galileo / "Donald in Mathmagicland")      [From Christopher M. Freeman]

"Perhaps the greatest of all pedagogical fallacies is the notion that a person learns only the particular thing he is studying at the time."
(John Dewey)

"A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory."
(Steven Wright)

"I had a terrible education. I attended a school for emotionally disturbed teachers."
(Woody Allen (born 1935), film maker, writer, comedian)

"As long as teachers give tests, there will always be prayer in schools."

"If you tell people the same lie long enough, they will believe it. If you tell it even longer, you will believe it."
(Unknown)      [From Bret Taylor on the Mathedcc listserve]

"Access without preparation does not equal opportunity."
(Donald Maxwell)

"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education."

Teachers are expected to reach unattainable goals with inadequate tools. The miracle is that at times they accomplish this impossible task."
(Haim Ginott (1922-1973), teacher and psychologist)      [From Valerie Strauss blog]

"I never did very well in math - I could never seem to persuade the teacher that I hadn't meant my answers literally."
(Calvin Trillin (born 1935), writer, humorist)      [From Valerie Strauss blog]

"I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework."
(Lily Tomlin (born 1939), comedian, actress and writer, speaking in the character of the young "Edith Ann")      [From Valerie Strauss blog]

"What happens if you get scared half to death twice?"
(Steven Wright)

"Wrong name on tombstone is engrave error."
(Confucius)      [From Chip Day]

Via Climate Change:

Posted: 01 Jun 2012 09:16 AM PDT
JR: Has any piece of climate science been more vindicated than the Hockey Stick? This RealClimate piece adds three more independent studies to the ever-growing list (at the end).

Gergis et al. Figure 4, showing Australian mean temperatures over the last millennium, with 95% confidence levels.
By Eric Steig
In the Northern Hemisphere, the late 20th / early 21st century has been the hottest time period in the last 400 years at very high confidence, and likely in the last 1000 – 2000 years (or more). It has been unclear whether this is also true in the Southern Hemisphere. Three studies out this week shed considerable new light on this question. This post provides just brief summaries; we’ll have more to say about these studies in the coming weeks.
First, a study by Gergis et al., in the Journal of Climate uses a proxy network from the Australasian region to reconstruct temperature over the last millennium, and finds what can only be described as an Australian hockey stick. They use an ensemble of 3000 different reconstructions, using different methods and different subsets of the proxy network. Worth noting is that while some tree rings are used (which can’t be avoided, as there simply aren’t any other data for some time periods), the reconstruction relies equally on coral records, which are not subject to the same potential (though often-overstated) issues at low frequencies. The conclusion reached is that summer temperatures in the post-1950 period were warmer than anything else in the last 1000 years at high confidence, and in the last ~400 years at very high confidence.
Second, Orsi et al., writing in Geophysical Research Letters, use borehole temperature measurements from the WAIS Divide site in central West Antarctica, a region where the magnitude of recent temperature trends has been subject of considerable controversy. The results show that the mean warming of the last 50 years has been 0.23°C/decade. This result is in essentially perfect agreement with that of Steig et al. (2009) and reasonable agreement with Monaghan (whose reconstruction for nearby Byrd Station was used in Schneider et al., 2012). The result is totally incompatible (at >95%>80% confidence) with that of O’Donnell et al. (2010).

Probability histograms of temperature trends for central West Antarctica (Byrd Station [80°S, 120°W; Monaghan] and WAIS Divide [79.5°S, 112°W; Orsi, Steig, O'Donnell]), using published means and uncertainties. Note that the histograms are normalized to have equal areas; hence the greater height where the published uncertainties are smaller.
This result shouldn’t really surprise anyone: we have previously noted the incompatibility of O’Donnell et al. with independent data. What is surprising, however, is that Orsi et al. find that warming in central West Antarctica has actually accelerated in the last 20 years, to about 0.8°C/decade. This is considerably greater than reported in most previous work (though it does agree well with the reconstruction for Byrd, which is based entirely on weather station data). Although twenty years is a short time period, the 1987-2007 trend is statistically significant (at p<.1), putting West Antarctica definitively among the fastest-warming areas of the Southern Hemisphere — more rapid than the Antarctic Peninsula over the same time period.
We and others have shown (e.g. Ding et al., 2011), that the rapid warming of West Antarctica is intimately tied to the remarkable changes that have also occurred in the tropics in the last two decades. Note that the Orsi et al. paper actually focuses very little on the recent temperature rise; it is mostly about the “Little-ice-age-like” signal of temperature in West Antarctica. Also, these results cannot address the question of whether the recent warming is exceptional over the long term — borehole temperatures are highly smoothed by diffusion, and the farther back in time, the greater the diffusion. We’ll discuss both these aspects of the Orsi et al. study at greater length in a future post.
Last but not least, a new paper by Zagorodnov et al. in The Cryosphere, uses temperature measurements from two new boreholes on the Antarctic Peninsula to show that the decade of the 1990s (the paper state “1995+/-5 years”) was the warmest of at least the last 70 years. This is not at all a surprising result from the Peninsula — it was already well known the Peninsula has been warming rapidly, but these new results add considerable confidence to the assumption that that warming is not just a recent event. Note that the “last 70 years” conclusion reflects the relatively shallow depth of the boreholes, and the fact that diffusive damping of the temperature signal means that one cannot say anything about high frequency variability prior to that. The inference cannot be made that it was warmer than present, >70 years ago. In the one and only century-long meteorological record from the region — on the Island of Orcadas, just north of the Antarctica Peninsula — warming has been pretty much monotonic since the 1950s, and the period from 1903 to 1950 was cooler than anything after about 1970 (see e.g. Zazulie et al., 2010). Whether recent warming on the Peninsula is exceptional over a longer time frame will have to await new data from ice cores.
Eric Steig is an isotope geochemist at the University of Washington in Seattle. His primary research interest is use of ice core records to document climate variability in the pas This piece was originally published at Real Climate and was reprinted with permission.
Related Hockey Stick Posts:
GRL:  “We conclude that the 20th century warming of the incoming intermediate North Atlantic water has had no equivalent during the last thousand years.
JGR:  “The last decades of the past millennium are characterized again by warm temperatures that seem to be unprecedented in the context of the last 1600 years.

Via The Christian Left FB:

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Via Provence - Tour Aromático FB:

Lavandas - Através do desenvolvimento do despertar como 'individuo' é que podemos passar para o segundo estágio do despertamento - a consciência de que Somos Todos Um.

"Consciência de unidade é um estado de iluminação onde penetramos a máscara da ilusão que cria separação e fragmentação. Por trás da aparência de separação está um único campo de totalidade unificado. Aqui o observador e o cenário são um."  - Deepak Chopra

Monday, May 28, 2012

Watch President Obama's Remarks at Arlington National Cemetery

Via Addicting Info:

Look for election fraud and voter suppression to be an overriding theme in this year's Presidential election, even if it's underreported in the mainstream media.
Posted: 28 May 2012 09:23 AM PDT


Even though people keep using the famous simile — “the fatally slow human response to climate change makes us like a slowly boiling frog” — it is not quite right.

As Wikipedia puts it, German physiologist Friedrich Goltz “demonstrated that a frog that has had its brain removed will remain in slowly heated water, but his intact frogs attempted to escape the water.” Other 19th Century studies appeared to have different results, but modern experiments (!) show that frogs with brains are in fact smart enough to leap out of water as it is heated up.

James Fallows of The Atlantic, who I am quite certain holds the world record for boiling frog posts, has one from Michael Jones who cites “Sensation in the Spinal Cord” from Nature, Dec. 4, 1873:
“Goltz observed that a frog, when placed in water the temperature of which is slowly raised towards boiling, manifests uneasiness as soon as the temperature reaches 25° C., and becomes more and more agitated as the heat increases, vainly struggling to get out, and finally at 42° C., dies in a state of rigid tetanus. The evidence of feeling being thus manifested when the frog has its brain, what is the case with a brainless frog? It is absolutely the reverse. Quietly the animal sits through all successions of temperature, never once manifesting uneasiness or pain, never once attempting to escape the impending death.”
Even so, I am inclined to agree with Jones that this should not be fatal to the metaphor.  It just needs to be tweaked.

Technically, we are the subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens, as I’ve said before (see “Is the global economy a Ponzi scheme?“).  Such are the privileges of being the only species that gets to name all the species, so we can call ourselves “wise” twice! But given how we have been destroying the planet’s livability, I think at the very least we should drop one of the “sapiens.” And, perhaps provisionally, we should put the other one in quotes, so we are Homo “sapiens” sapiens at least until we see whether we are smart enough to save ourselves from ourselves.
If we destroy a livable climate, which means “billions of people will be condemned to poverty and much of civilisation will collapse” and are renamed just plain Homo, then in fact we will  have demonstrated we are dumber than frogs (who were, after all, doing just fine until we came along).

At that point, we will be brainless frogs.

Related Post:

Noticis de Greve via ADOFOP:



Última atualização 28-5-2012 - 8:45h
Reunidos em Assembleia Geral de greve nesta quarta feira, 23 de maio, os docentes deliberaram sobre quais serão os procedimentos relativos às atividades consideradas essenciais durante a greve, isto é, atividades que, mesmo parcialmente, não sofrerão solução de descontinuidade durante o período de greve. 
Leia abaixo as resoluções aprovadas na Assembleia (baixe aqui o documento em pdf)

A Assembléia Geral de greve da categoria docente de 23-5-2012, com base nas propostas apresentadas pelo Comando Local de Greve para a definição de atividades consideradas essenciais, isto é, atividades que poderão contar com o envolvimento do corpo docente, mesmo que parcialmente, durante a greve, deliberou o que se segue neste documento. Eventuais dúvidas e esclarecimentos sobre situações não previstas serão objeto de deliberações nas próximas Assembléias Gerais, e, devem ser comunicadas ao Comitê de Ética do Comando Local de Greve através do E-mail:


- Aulas da pós-graduação e graduação;

- Defesas de TCC e atividades de Monografias;
- Reuniões ordinárias de órgãos colegiados;


- Pesquisa: qualificações e defesas de especialização, mestrado e doutorado e atividades de pesquisa de IC; pesquisas envolvendo substâncias perecíveis; que coloquem risco à vida;

- Visitas técnicas: em princípio ficam suspensas, situações caso a caso deverão ser avaliadas em conjunto com o Comitê de Ética do CLG;

- Programa Pró-Ativa: em princípio ficam suspensas, situações caso a caso deverão ser avaliadas em conjunto com o Comitê de Ética do CLG;

- Atividades de extensão: manutenção de algumas dessas atividades, avaliadas caso a caso, como forma de mobilização e sensibilização da comunidade externa para a greve;

- Estágios curriculares obrigatórios e internato: funcionamento em regime de plantão (atendimentos de emergências, dúvidas, assinaturas de documentação, orientações gerais sobre o andamento dos estágios, plano de estágios, relatórios e etc). Mesmo com o estágio em andamento, avaliação e notas serão realizadas apenas com o retorno das aulas;

- Eventos não relacionados com a greve: manutenção dos eventos previamente agendados;

- Reuniões de Conselhos Departamentais, Assembléias de Departamento e Colegiados: somente haveria sentido esse tipo de atividade, isto é, o comparecimento dos docentes à convocação para alguma atividade deste tipo em situações extraordinárias, inadiáveis;

- Reuniões da CPPD: somente haveria sentido esse tipo de atividade, isto é, o comparecimento dos docentes à convocação para alguma atividade desta Comissão em situações extraordinárias, inadiáveis;

- Estágios probatórios: manutenção das comissões relacionadas a este tema somente por questões legais;

Material para que os professores possam se identificar enquanto professores em greve na realização de atividades consideradas essenciais está disponível na sede do sindicato, adesivos e camisetas.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Via Just Saying's FB photo:

Via Being Liberal FB:


While visiting some cemeteries you may notice that headstones marking certain graves have coins on them, left by previous visitors to the grave. These coins have distinct meanings when left on the headstones of those who gave their life while serving in America's military, & these meanings vary depending on the denomination of coin.

A coin left on a headstone
or at the grave site is meant as a message to the deceased soldier's family that someone else has visited the grave to pay respect. Leaving a penny at the grave means simply that you visited.

A nickel indicates that you & the deceased trained at boot camp together,while a dime means you served with him in some capacity. By leaving a quarter at the grave, you are telling the family that you were with the solider when he was killed. According to tradition, the money left at graves in national cemeteries & state veterans cemeteries is eventually collected, & the funds are put toward maintaining the cemetery or paying burial costs for indigent veterans.

In the U.S., this practice became common during the Vietnam war, due to the political divide in the country over the war; leaving a coin was seen as a more practical way to communicate that you had visited the grave than contacting the soldier's family, which could devolve into an uncomfortable argument over politics relating to the war. Some Vietnam veterans would leave coins as a "down payment" to buy their fallen comrades a beer or play a hand of cards when they would finally be reunited.

The tradition of leaving coins on the headstones of military men & women can be traced to as far back as the Roman Empire.


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