December 30, 2009

It's been a decade

Jan. 1, 2000
- Job = Technical Editor, IBM redbooks; humor columnist
- Single
- Hobbies = golf, computer games, running

Jan. 1, 2001
- Job = Technical Editor, IBM redbooks; humor columnist
- Single
- Hobbies = golf, computer games, running

Jan. 1, 2002
- Job = Technical Editor, IBM redbooks; humor columnist
- Single
- Hobbies = golf, computer games, hapkido, running

Jan. 1, 2003
- Job = News Editor, IBM iSeries magazine; humor columnist
- Serious relationship
- Hobbies = golf, computer games, hapkido, rollerblading, blogging, running

Jan. 1, 2004
- Job = News Editor, IBM eServer magazine, iSeries, pSeries and zSeries editions; humor columnist
- Serious relationship
- Hobbies = golf, computer games, hapkido, rollerblading, blogging, running

Jan. 1, 2005
- Job = News Editor, IBM eServer magazine, iSeries, pSeries and zSeries editions; humor columnist
- Serious relationship
- Homeowner
- Hobbies = golf, computer games, hapkido, rollerblading, blogging

Jan. 1, 2006
- Job = Managing Editor, IBM Systems Magazine, zSeries edition; humor columnist
- Serious Relationship
- Homeowner
- Hobbies = golf, computer games, rollerblading, blogging, Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu

Jan. 1, 2007
- Job = Managing Editor, IBM Systems Magazine, zSeries and pSeries editions; freelance writer; humor columnist
- Serious Relationship
- Homeowner
- Hobbies = golf, computer games, rollerblading, blogging, Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu

Jan. 1, 2008
- Job = Managing Editor, CompTIA newsletter; News Editor, IBM zSeries and pSeries editions; freelance writer; humor columnist
- Serious Relationship
- Homeowner
- Hobbies = golf, computer games, rollerblading, blogging, Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu

Jan. 1, 2009
- Job = Web content producer, Large Medical Thingee; freelance writer; humor columnist
- Married (wife: pregnant)
- Homeowner
- Hobbies = golf, computer games, blogging, Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu

As for all the other details, this blog is a treasure trove of memories and experiences.

Posted by Ryan at 03:04 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 27, 2009

Sesame Street Versus Mr. Rogers

I'm a bit late to the party here, but November 10 marked the 40th anniversary of "Sesame Street," and I'm just now finding the time to adequately appreciate that noteworthy milestone.

You see, like countless millions, I'm an adult product of Sesame Street. My formative daycare years consisted of daily morning doses of Sesame Street. My fellow daycare peeps and I would gather around the warm, chromosome-altering glow of the television and learn such valuable life lessons as "near versus far," how to identify the "people in our neighborhood," and correctly determine "which one of those things just doesn't belong there."

In retrospect, Sesame Street was all about teaching us how to prepare for a career in airline security.

Back in my day, an age now referred to as B.E. (Before Elmo), the most beloved Sesame Street character was Grover, who I now think of as Smurf Elmo; although Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Bert and Ernie and the Cookie Monster all held places of honor in the pantheon of Sesame Street muppets.

In the B.E. era of PBS morning broadcasting, Sesame Street was followed by Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, which almost all of us viewed as a colossal disappointment. It was generally understood the only kids who watched Mr. Rogers were those who couldn't keep up with the fast pace of Sesame Street. Sesame Street was the Miami Vice of children's television. Mr. Rogers, on the other hand, was basically The Waltons as a one man show.

Mr. Rogers was the ultimate bureaucrat policy wonk. Every day, the man would enter his house, PUT ON A CARDIGAN and CHANGE HIS SHOES. Those two acts alone told you he didn't like paying for heat and his floors were probably too dangerous to trod upon wearing socks or to risk going barefoot. The man had a stoplight in his home, for crying out loud, which indicated he was a major stickler when it came to rules and regulations.

There was an entertaining rumor whispered eagerly between myself and my daycare colleagues that Mr. Rogers was an ex-marine sniper with over 100 confirmed kills in Vietnam. That rumor fascinated me, and I imagined Mr. Rogers in his cardigan and sneakers (standard jungle wear), drawing the crosshairs on Charlie from half a mile away, and whispering "Boomerang! Toomerang! Zoomerang!" before pulling the trigger.

Alas, the rumor eventually proved to be ridiculously false, so Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood morphed back into the boring, plodding show I always secretly knew it to be.

Sesame Street, by comparison, was a place where you could "come and play" and "everything's A-Okay." I had no idea what the "A" in "A-Okay" even meant, and I STILL don't, but it seemed like a definite improvement over plain old "Okay." It was like adding the "e" to "e-mail." Nowadays, I suppose it's not even "A-Okay;" it's no doubt been upgraded to "everything's @-Okay." That's just how innovative Sesame Street is.

The point is, Sesame Street was, and continues to be, cutting-edge children's entertainment, and I've discovered I'm woefullly behind the Sesame Street times as I try to re-educate myself in preparation for my son's upcoming formative years. By the time he's absorbing all things Sesame Street, "Open Heart Surgery Elmo" will be the holiday gift item I simply HAVE to obtain for my child.

Now that I think about it, maybe I should try to hook my son on Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. Then I'd only have to worry about buying my boy a new cardigan each Christmas. There's a certain peace of mind to that.

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December 25, 2009

Christmas Moooooorafternoon

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December 23, 2009

Eclipsing the Tard

Ryan: Overheard yesterday: "Sometimes, I really miss the show 'The West Wing.' But, I suppose now we have our own Jed Bartlett in the White House."

Carolinevitse: goo

Ryan: Does not compute, right?

Caroline: Not exactly

Ryan: Maybe if Dule Hill were prez.

Caroline: That'd be awesome.

Ryan: The West Wing meets Psyche! Shawn doing the whole "I'm getting something" when it comes to reforming healthcare.

Caroline: Well, the theme song certainly fits. "I know you know that I'm not telling the truuuuuuuuth"

Ryan: Ooh, ooh! Keep the same visual opening sequence from The West Wing, but play the Psyche theme music. This could eclipse TotalTard Magazine in sheer awesomeness!

Caroline: Don't get TOO carried away, there. Total eclipse of the TotalTard Magazine would be tough

Ryan: Cue Bonnie Tyler: "Total eclipse of the tard. . . "

Caroline: Turn around, bright eyes

Ryan: Wait for it. . .

Ryan: "Turn around, oblique eyes!"

Caroline: Sweet heavenly father christmas.

Ryan: LOLO! Ding the fries, man. They're done.

Ryan: Sometimes, I amaze myself with how happily and unashamedly I pilot my handbasket to hell. That oblique eyes thing could very well go down in history as one of my most inspired, hilarious, yet completely inappropriate jokes of all time.

Caroline: Which says A LOT because you've said some pret-ty awful things.

Ryan: Oh, I'm a treasure trove of inappropriate things.

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December 18, 2009

The Impending Pop of the Web 2.0 Bubble

Someone I follow on Twitter posted a link to this Wired article. As I read the piece, more and more I started to see a lot of similarity to the Internet environment of the Dot.Com bubble burst we all enjoyed so much at the turn of the Milennium.

Whereas the Dot.Com era was awash with everyone and their cousins establishing Web sites designed to sell things, and then investors suddenly asking "where's the value in this," and the whole thing falling apart like toys made in China, now we're seeing something similar with crappy Web ads and junk content being uploaded to YouTube by the buttload. I just don't think it's a viable financial model in the long run.

I mean, with a lot of Internet ads, the basic premise seems to be to try to trick people to click them. There are pop-up ads, pop-under ads, expandable ads, roll-over ads, and they're all basically designed to A) Annoy the living hell out of you and B) Get you to click them, intentionally or not. It's the click that counts, although I've read there's some effort to track activity after a click to determine whether a click originated from an actual, interested person.

Regardless, it all seems like an advertising strategy that's largely built on a ridiculously shaky house of cards. At some point, someone is going to figure it out, too.

Say what you will about print advertising, when it comes right down to it, people aren't going to "accidentally" or "unintentionally" call a company after seeing a hardcopy advertisement. When someone calls a business after seeing a hardcopy ad, you can be reasonably sure they're an interested potential customer.

While I don't doubt there are some online ads that get clicked out of genuine interest for the product or service being touted, I don't think that percentage is very high. In fact, I imagine that percentage is so small, you need a scientific calculator to determine exactly what that tiny percentage is.

When you have a company devoted to creating buttloads of crappy video and content so as to run that content alongside similarly crappy and annoying online advertising, you've reached the point where something's gotta give.

2010 could be an interesting year for Web 2.0. Excuse me while I take cover now.

Posted by Ryan at 04:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Everyday Wonders

My wife and I packed up the three-month old this week and took him to Best Buy, and afterwards we went to eat at Carlos O'Kelly's.

Watching the boy absorb all this noise, color, lights, people, smells and motions each and every day is just plain fascinating. He looks like he's taking in everything and none of it at the same time. It simply has to be mentally exhausting to try and process all the crap he's subjected to on a daily basis.

If you were to equate his little brain with a computer operating system, each day must be the equivalent of clicking "Update All." The Daddy App. The Mommy App. The House App. The TV App. Every single little app that's been installed since the day he was born has to be updated, and a boatload of new apps have to be installed, all without virus protection.

It's no evolutionary mistake that babies can't move around on their own for the first seven months or more. If your brain was inundated every day with eight gazillion new things to absorb, consider and file away, AND you had the ability to walk, you'd be an incredible danger to yourself and others. There's a reason natural selection dictates we have to spend the first six months of life lying on our backs, considering the stars.

And filling up a disturbing number of diapers.

Anyway, as the wife drove home from Carlos O'Kelly's that night, I was sitting in the back seat next to the boy, and he was looking intently out at the night sky, with the street lights whipping by overhead, and then all the houses decked out with Christmas decorations and lights. And it occurred to me why kids are so quick to believe in Santa, and the Easter Bunny and all the other fantastic, fictitious characters that live in a child's mind.

I mean, after all, if a simple trip to Best Buy can deliver that kind of magic and wonder, it can't be much of a stretch to imagine a fat man dressed in red, doling out toys and commuting via flying deer.

Posted by Ryan at 01:45 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 16, 2009

Babies Get Praised for Everything

One thing that's become glaringly obvious over the last three months of my unfolding fatherhood is that babies can basically do nothing wrong. In fact, not only can they do nothing wrong, they get ladled with adoring praise for doing things that are often, quite frankly, monumentally disgusting.

Don't get me wrong. I understand the need to encourage children, and particularly babies. For babies, after all, every day is dedicated to the tasks of eating, breathing, digesting, sleeping and growing, which are all activities we in the adult world tend to take for granted. So, you might as well encourage and praise their little ongoing efforts to stay amongst us.

However, I've recently begun to question some of the praise and encouragement my wife has been showering upon our son. I suppose I can chalk some of it up to a slight delirium on her part stemming from a lack of sleep, but I can't help but question the value of singing an encouraging song that goes "Push, push, push out the poopies!" Believe me, he doesn't need a song to help jumpstart that process. He does just fine on his own. Nevertheless, the refrain "Push, push, push out the poopies!" has become extremely popular in our little household. I expect a video of the song to go viral on YouTube any day now.

On a related note, my wife also doles out hefty praise after pretty much every single bowel movement our son embarks upon. No sooner do we hear the sound of a squishy expulsion slam against a diaper, my wife is proclaiming "Good job! Such a good boy!" I can't help but imagine praise like that leading to certain problems in the future. The boy will be 15-years-old and expect to hear wild applause every time he finishes using the bathroom, for example. I just wonder if we may be setting the accomplishment bar a bit low here.

The boy also garners whoops of appreciative glee whenever he burps, spits up, drools, grabs on to something, makes a sound, opens his eyes, yawns, kicks his legs or basically performs any other mundane feat. I mean, let's face it, all these are pretty naturally occurring acts; it's not like the boy is scrawling Einstein's theory of relativity on the floor with a crayon.

I have to admit, now that I really think about it, all this complaining about baby encouragement and praise is an attempt to disguise the fact I'm actually quite jealous.

I mean, you know how awesome it would be if I were in the bathroom, and I heard someone singing "Push, push, push out the poopies!" to me? As it is now, the only thing I hear is "GAH! Close the door and open the window if you're going to do that!" That kind of thing just doesn't instill much in the way of confidence.

Also, I burp loudly and proudly almost every day, and I never hear one word of praise. NOT ONE. No, the only thing I hear is "Yuck, that stinks. Lay off the garlic. Is that really necessary?" Yet when the baby burps loud enough to shake the rafters and the smell of old milk fills the room, you'd think he won Olympic gold or something. It's just not fair, dang it.

I guess it's just tough to admit a three-month-old baby gets far more praise and adoration for accomplishing things I've honed to absolute perfection over the last 34 years.

A little shout out from time to time would be nice, is all I'm saying.

Posted by Ryan at 07:23 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

TotalTard Hot Kool-Aid


Ryan: Is that a video link?

Caroline: It's a link to a Web site that has a video on it.

Ryan: OK, first off. It's pretty funny. Second. When I first read "hot kool aid," I thought it was going to be a video of a bunch of people unwittingly drinking hot Kool-Aid, which would have been monumentally funnier.

Caroline: Now that you mention it, yes.

Ryan: Which tells you I'm pretty much awesome.

Caroline: That tells me nothing of the sort.

Ryan: The online version of TotalTard Magazine should totally include a YouTube video of people unwittingly drinking hot Kool-Aid.

DISCLAIMER: "TotalTard Magazine" is the mental creation of my geode twin, Caroline, and myself. Any attempt to print an actual hardcopy or digital version of TotalTard Magazine will be viewed as an act of intellectual theft, which is saying something, since Caroline and I are about as intellectual as dust mites.

Posted by Ryan at 09:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 07, 2009

Don't Count Hardcopy Content Out Quite Yet

When people ask me why I don't ENTIRELY believe the Internet will put the final nail in the coffin of hardcopy deliverables like newspapers and magazines, I point them to this:


Look at that thing. At least with newspaper and magazine advertisements (hardcopy, not online), you get something that ATTEMPTS to make sense. You get something someone at least tried to make genuinely interesting, rather than throwing Obama's name out there alongside a picture of Snaggletooth McGraw.

I get the reason WHY online ads have reached this level of craplisciousness. Generating online revenue is all about creating ads people will click, and it doesn't matter if the person clicking is genuinely interested in the product, or they're simply sadly curious whether GravelMouth Nostrilflare has been named the latest Obama czar.

Ads like these are a huge reason why I seriously question the advertising business model that drives the online world. At some point, a CEO who is just somewhat savvy will raise his or her hand and ask some very pointed questions about the effectiveness of these nonsensical online eye forks and be forced to conclude hardcopy advertising is just far more cost efficient when it comes to enticing actual paying customers.

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December 06, 2009

The New Dancing Baby

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December 04, 2009

The Handicapped Button

For some reason, it annoys me when perfectly non-handicapped people push the automatic door openers intended for people in wheelchairs. Admittedly, it's only a minor annoyance, and in the total scheme of things, I don't suppose any real harm comes from the practice.

Still, I can't help but wonder what actual handicapped people think when they see a non-handicapped person push the handicapped button. If I were handicapped, for example, I'd think "Hey! That's MY button!"

Therefore, I think there should be some sort of penalty for non-handicapped people pushing the handicapped button; perhaps a mild electric shock, or the equivalent of the shoulder punch.

I'm not saying non-handicapped people should not be allowed to push the handicapped button at all. If you're carrying a bag of groceries or your child, or if you're drafting a super-important text to your BFF, Jill, I can understand the need to use the handicapped button. However, I still think all non-handicapped persons opting to use the handicapped button should be sternly reminded that they're not, in fact, handicapped.

Besides, if I know my human nature -- and I think I do -- I imagine people will just accept being zapped as the price they have to pay to avoid manually opening a door. How sad is that? "Well, I know I'm going to feel this shock all the way in my fillings, but at least I won't have to inconvenience myself by having to PUSH or PULL that danged door open."

Therefore, instead of receiving a moderate shock, it would be the total height of awesome if someone could figure out a way to make it so that, if a non-handicapped person were to push the handicapped button, that person would immediately become handicapped in some way for about 20 seconds or so.

Can you imagine how shocked someone would be if they pushed the handicapped button and suddenly fell into a helpless heap on the floor, completely incapacitated, for half a minute? I'd just camp out near the handicapped button with a bowl of popcorn and watch that show all day long.

In fact, after each person pushes the button and crumples to the floor, I'd happily point out, "Well, what did you expect? It's a handicapped button! When you push the Diet Pepsi button, you get Diet Pepsi, don't you? Well, you just pushed the handicapped button, Einstein."

In fact, you know what? The handicapped button shouldn't be limited to bodily incapacitation. The handicapped button should be capable of dealing out all sorts of physical and mental disabilities for a brief amount of time.

It would be simply fantastic if some pompous blowhard pushed the handicapped button and suddenly he was mentally compelled to pet people's heads and call everyone "My favoritest doggie in the whole wide world," in Lennie's voice from "Of Mice and Men."

A handicapped button capable of bestowing a brief spell of Tourette's syndrome would also yield a treasure trove of confusion and laughter alike. A normally-quiet and reserved woman would push the handicapped button and would immediately be spewing a string of forceful expletives, to the total shock and bemusement of those around her.

Alas, now that I think about it, such a handicapped button would be too much of a temptation for some people to resist. I, for one, would gladly hang out around the handicapped button, waiting for the chance to shove somebody into it. I can think of some people in my life who deserve a good 20 seconds of disablement. More nefarious people than myself would probably use the handicapped button to make pickpocketing and other theft far easier -- except in those cases when they push someone into a handicapped button that deals out Tourette's.

In the end, I suppose a handicapped button that actually makes people briefly handicapped just isn't feasible. Human nature dictates people would abuse a handicapped button equipped with that particular feature.

Regardless, a decent electric shock is still a good idea, I think. Make non-handicapped people pause and consider how good they have it, before they just go and push the button anyway.


Posted by Ryan at 07:07 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 01, 2009

So, now it's just down to the polar caps

Well, it's been awhile since I've tackled anything of any substance here, so I may as well crackle the old joints and blow the dust off the old fisking machine. This thing just begs to be torn apart.

WASHINGTON -- Stop hyperventilating, all you climate change deniers.

I'm sorry, was someone denying climate change? Was someone denying the earth has had an ever-changing climate since it first started clumping together into a spherical mass some 4.3 billion years ago? Of COURSE the climate changes! That's what the climate does. What anyone with a memory going back just five years ago will notice is "global warming" has quietly exited the stage and "climate change" has been introduced as the new undeniable bogeyman which we all must fear and dread.

The purloined e-mail correspondence published by skeptics last week -- portraying some leading climate researchers as petty, vindictive and tremendously eager to make their data fit accepted theories -- does not prove that global warming is a fraud.

Excuse me? The e-mail correspondence was published by "skeptics?" Last I heard, no one knows for sure who even pilfered and published the e-mails and other documents. But, hey, who am I to question the credentialed authority of a Pulitzer Prize winning member of the media commentariat.

If I'm wrong, somebody ought to tell the polar ice caps that they're free to stop melting.

Ah, the polar ice caps. That last bastion of retreat for warmlarmists (my word, but you can use it). Of course, they always seem to focus on the arctic ice cap, while ignoring the fresh body in the corner of the room that is the growing Antarctic ice cap. Or the fact the arctic has also been warmer in the not-too-distant past, warm enough for the Vikings to grow and harvest crops during the Medieval warm period. But, never mind all that.

That said, the e-mail episode is more than a major embarrassment for the scientists involved. Most Americans are convinced that climate change is real -- a necessary prerequisite for the kinds of huge economic and behavioral adjustments we would have to make to begin seriously limiting carbon emissions. But consensus on the nature and scope of the problem will dissipate, and fast, if experts try to obscure the fact that there's much about the climate they still don't know.

Oh, yes, by all means, let's admit the earth's climate has been in flux for 4.3 billion years, and then dedicate trillions of dollars from the global economy to address the "problem," a problem even Mr. Pulitzer agrees is so ridiculously complex, we basically don't have the first clue as to how the climate even actually works.

Here's what happened: Someone hacked into the servers at one of the leading academic centers in the field -- the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England -- and filched a trove of e-mails and documents, which have been posted on numerous Web sites maintained by climate skeptics.

You'll just have to excuse those dastardly "skeptics" for posting what amounts to a smoking truth gun vindicating what they've been trying to tell people for the last two decades or so. Namely: climate scientists on the "anthropogenic global warming (AGW)" side of the fence are largely a bunch of fraudulent Chicken Littles.

Phil Jones, the head of the Climatic Research Unit, released a statement Wednesday saying, "My colleagues and I accept that some of the published e-mails do not read well." That would be an example of British understatement.

How MUCH of an understatement?

In one message sent to a long list of colleagues, Jones speaks of having completed a "trick" with recent temperature data to "hide the decline."

Really? Using a "trick" to "hide the decline" doesn't read well? That's like saying "I killed my wife, and buried her in the backyard," could be read by SOME people -- we'll call them "skeptics" -- to mean "I may have committed murder, and then tried to cover it up." Not to worry though, Mr. Pulitzer can easily explain this away.

The word "trick" is hardly a smoking gun -- scientists use it to refer to clever but perfectly legitimate ways of handling data.

Sigh. A clever, but perfectly legitimate way of handling data? To be fair, I used to do that all the time when playing computer games. For example, I discovered in Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2, that I could blow up the bridges, and the computer AI wasn't smart enough to send engineers to rebuild them, so I could pretty much take over the map at will. Hey, it was a "clever, but perfectly legitimate way of handling data." Sure, SOME people might call that cheating, but so what?

But the "hide the decline" part refers to a real issue among climate researchers called the "divergence problem."

Divergence problem? No, let's call it what it is: a "oh, crap, this data doesn't fit, so let's find a way to cram it under the rug" problem.

To plot temperatures going back hundreds or thousands of years -- long before anyone was taking measurements -- you need a set of data that can serve as an accurate proxy. The width of tree rings correlates well with observed temperature readings, and extrapolating that correlation into the past yields the familiar "hockey stick" graph -- fairly level temperatures for eons, followed by a sharp incline beginning around 1900. This is attributed to human activity, primarily the burning of fossil fuels and the resulting increase in heat-trapping atmospheric carbon dioxide.


Or, maybe not. . .

But beginning around 1960, tree-ring data diverges from observed temperatures. Skeptics say this calls into question whether tree-ring data is valid for earlier periods on the flat portion of the hockey stick -- say 500 or 1,000 years ago.

Lousy skeptics, being skeptical about skeptical things.

Jones and others acknowledge they don't know what the divergence means, but they point to actual temperatures: It's warmer now than it was 100 years ago.

Ah, 100 years ago. Why, that's a eternity! It certainly trumps 4.3 billion years of ongoing change. Yes, obviously we dastardly humans must be the culprits behind less than one degree Celsius of temperature increase over the last 100 years. So, Jones and others don't know what the data is telling them, or even if the data is being collected in any meaningful way, but that questionable data is telling them it's warmer, damnit! Gosh, consider me convinced.

Another e-mail -- from Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. -- is even more heartening to the skeptics. Trenberth wrote last month of the unusually cool autumn that Colorado was experiencing, and went on: "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't."

Now why would that be heartening to those stupid "skeptics?" Possibly because a leading climate researcher is admitting there's no apparent current warming they can account for? How could that POSSIBLY interest a skeptical person?

He appears to be conceding skeptics' claim that over the past decade there has been no observed warming. In truth, though, that wouldn't be much of a concession. At issue is the long-term trend, and one would expect anomalous blips from time to time.

Sooooo, ten years is an "anomalous blip," while 100 years of less than one Celsius of increase (observed through questionable data and filtered through agenda-driven AGW climatologists) is reason for flesh-rending, apocalyptic monkey yammering? Fascinating.

From my reading, the most damning e-mails are those in which scientists seem to be trying to squelch dissent from climate change orthodoxy -- threatening to withhold papers from journals if they publish the work of naysayers, vowing to keep skeptical research out of the official U.N.-sponsored report on climate change.

Not to keep calling back to my Command and Conquer credentials or anything, but that also sounds a lot like blowing up the bridges to keep the computer AI from ever being a serious threat.

In his statement, Jones noted that the e-mail hack occurred just days before the climate summit in Copenhagen. "This may be a concerted attempt to put a question mark over the science of climate change," he said. There's that understatement again.

Yep, the climate summit in Copenhagen, where a bunch of self-important wonks burn through their weight and the weight of 1,000 other people in fossil fuels to jet their way to a cozy conference to discuss the dire need to cut back on the burning of fossil fuels to curtail the effects of the fraudulent man-made faint-fest known as global warming. Heaven forbid there might be a concerted effort to put a question mark on that kind of ridiculous nonsense.

The fact is that climate science is fiendishly hard because of the enormous number of variables that interact in ways no one fully understands. Scientists should welcome contrarian views from respected colleagues, not try to squelch them. They should admit what they don't know.

Wow. Something I agree with. Only took 15 paragraphs to get here.

It would be great if this were all a big misunderstanding. But we know carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas (and that levels were drastically higher during past epochs, epochs when plant and animal life flourished), and we know the planet is hotter than it was a century ago (again, not as hot as when earth harbored its most lush and abundant life). The skeptics might have convinced each other, but so far they haven't gotten through to the vanishing polar ice.

And, with that, we're back down to that last great warmilarmist retreat: polar ice. It's an incomplete retreat, and intellectually lazy, but that's what they're left with.

Eugene Robinson, winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary, is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.

Which is pretty sad, really.

Posted by Ryan at 07:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
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