Showing posts from August 27, 2017

Today's Trumpery

[Welcome to the monkey house. A daily pastiche of Trumpisms and responses thereto. *RON*]

Things are going to get much, much worse, The Week [Impossible to say where things are headed; but I have to say I agree with this]
The President of Blank Sucking Nullity, The Baffler [Simply a screed, but a good one!]
RNC votes to condemn white supremacists, PBS News Hour
The Trump administration will check people’s papers as they evacuate from Hurricane Harvey, Quartz [Classy]
The military-industrial complex is booming in Trump's America, CBC News [Why else Afghanistan? Venezuela threats? Et cetera, et cetera]
Trump likely to rescind Obama 'Dreamer' program: media reports, Reuters

McKenna gets advice from scientist muzzled by Harper

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[Tarasick's "advice to his superiors that Canada isn't meeting scientific objectives when it comes to emerging climate research is still being 'considered' two years later by the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau." Trudeau "campaigned on restoring evidence-based decision-making in government." The Trudeau government's spin is to say 'Well, none of the other do-nothing nations are complaining about Canada's approach!' *RON*]
Carl Meyer, National Observer, 24 August 2017
#705 of 706 articles from the Special Report:Race Against Climate ChangePrevious story
David Tarasick became a poster boy of government muzzling in the Harper era.

In 2011, he was blocked by the Harper government from talking to journalists about his co-discovery of the Arctic ozone hole.

He has spent over 30 years in the department, written over 75 scientific papers, represented Canada at science summits abro…

I Was An Exxon-Funded Climate Scientist

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[Exxon was funding the research and getting the standard findings while denying they were the cause of climate change and arguing about the science. *RON*]

Katharine Hayhoe, DeSmog Blog, 26 August 2017
ExxonMobil’s deliberate attempts to sow doubt on the reality and urgency of climate change and their donations to front groups to disseminate false information about climate change have been public knowledge for a long time, now.

Investigativereports in 2015 revealed that Exxon had its own scientists doing its own climate modeling as far back as the 1970s: science and modeling that was not only accurate, but that was being used to plan for the company’s future.

Now, a peer-reviewed study published August 23 has confirmed that what Exxon was saying internally about climate change was quantitatively very different from their public statements. Specifically, researchers Geoffrey Supran and Naomi Oreskes found that at least 80 percent of the internal do…

Mathematical secrets of ancient tablet unlocked after nearly a century of study

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[I just got around to reading this piece. Wow. Very cool. Dating from 1,000 years before Pythagoras’s theorem, the Babylonian clay tablet is a trigonometric table more accurate than any today, say researchers. *RON*]

Maev Kennedy, The Guardian, 24 August 2017
At least 1,000 years before the Greek mathematician Pythagoras looked at a right angled triangle and worked out that the square of the longest side is always equal to the sum of the squares of the other two, an unknown Babylonian genius took a clay tablet and a reed pen and marked out not just the same theorem, but a series of trigonometry tables which scientists claim are more accurate than any available today.

The 3,700-year-old broken clay tablet survives in the collections of Columbia University, and scientists now believe they have cracked its secrets.

The team from the University of New South Wales in Sydney believe that the four columns and 15 rows of cuneiform – wedge shaped indentatio…

Fiscal stimulus in downturns is safe even when debt is high: researchers

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[This has been known for a while, but it's important for it to be re-confirmed publicly now and again. Will politicians listen past their ideologies, though? *RON*]

Reuters Staff, Reuters, 26 August 2017

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Government spending in a recession can boost a country’s economy without permanently bloating its public debt, even if the debt is already quite large, researchers told an influential group of central bankers in Jackson, Wyoming, on Saturday.

“Expansionary fiscal policies adopted when the economy is weak may not only stimulate output but also reduce debt-to-GDP ratios,” University of California, Berkeley, professors Alan Auerbach and Yuriy Gorodnichenko said in a paper presented at the Kansas City Federal Reserve’s annual economic symposium.

The symposium’s focus this year is on how best to foster a stronger global economy.

After the 2007-2009 global financial crisis, fear of ballooning public debt pushed fiscal authori…

Income disparity within neighbourhoods can affect development of girls’ brains: study

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[Their findings make sense, but it is also a prime example of the nostrum, "Correlation does not equal causation." Could not girls with cortical thinning and a propensity to mental illness grow up to be poor? *RON*]

Scott Wheeler, The Star, 25 August 2017

The brains of teenaged girls from low-income households in wealthy areas mature more slowly than those of girls who live in neighbourhoods characterized by equality of income, a new study says.

The study, led by Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute and the University of Toronto, found that lower-income adolescent females from neighbourhoods with income inequality develop “negative social comparisons” that lead to higher risks of mental illness in adulthood.

With contributions from Canadian researchers at the University of Quebec, McGill University and the University of Calgary, RRI senior scientist and chair of population neuroscience Dr. Tomas Paus studied the brains of nearly 1,000 te…