Random Subject Line #1

Notice anything new? To the right is poll. Take it!

Further to yesterday’s post, I found a new review of Toronto Noir. Read it here.

From EK Hornbeck: a man dies after eating a very hot chili pepper.

Remember stories about Sarah Palin’s email being hacked? Well, why not read it?

And here’s a nice documentary about the wilds of Guyana, where I am off to again next month:

Now here’s a bit of retardedness. That bastion of reasoned thought, the Western Standard Blogs (I hope you sense the sarcasm) republished a snippet from the National Review, which stated:

“The four major agencies tracking Earth’s temperature, including NASA’s Goddard Institute, report that the Earth cooled 0.7 degree Celsius in 2007, the fastest decline in the age of instrumentation, putting us back to where the Earth was in 1930. The climate is changing, but not in the direction Al Gore thinks.”

On the face of it, this seems like strong evidence that the Climate Change deniers might finally have some science to back up their ideology and dogma. But, as one reader, “Fact Check”, wrote:

“So the Western Standard reports that the National Review says that some business magazine claims that NASA says the earth is cooling fast and down to 1903 levels. Sound like the right-wing global warming deniers version of the telephone game? Perhaps it is.”

He then went to the source, the Godard Institute’s website, and got this:

“The year 2007 tied for second warmest in the period of instrumental data, behind the record warmth of 2005, in the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) analysis. 2007 tied 1998, which had leapt a remarkable 0.2°C above the prior record with the help of the ‘El Niño of the century’. The unusual warmth in 2007 is noteworthy because it occurs at a time when solar irradiance is at a minimum and the equatorial Pacific Ocean is in the cool phase of its natural El Niño-La Niña cycle.”

What a surprise. A right wing, pro-business publication blatantly misrepresents published data. Another right wing, pro-business website reprints the misrepresentation. A series of right wing, pro-business blogs amplify the lie in the fabled “echo chamber” of conservative online repetition. And even when the error of their propagation has been shown to them, they refuse to accept the fiction of their claim. Unbelievable.

In other news, I got to meet former Premier David Peterson last week, when he dropped by Ottawa to push the glory of the University of Toronto at one of their swanky alumni affairs. Here’s me and a friend (Julia) enjoying the free goodies:

Man, I’m looking old and fat these days. Peterson gave an excellent speech about how wonderful and perfect my alma mater is. (All university Chancellors give the same speech, after all). Here he is, courtesy of the U of T alumni office:

Funny thing is, he actually said: “25% of all Ontario high school graduates who go to University, go to the University of Toronto.”

I then muttered to Julia: “Yeah, but that means that 75% don’t go to the University of Toronto. How is that good?”

Sometimes being a numbers guy sucks the fun out of things.