Scientific Accuracy

Scientists OK Gore’s movie for accuracy – Yahoo! News

Will this end the frustrations of the scientists and activists who have dedicated entire careers to learn about the planet, about its climate and about man’s role as the sole steward of the environment?

With knowledge comes responsibility. Those who shun knowledge shun responsibility. Anyone who can understand this truth will understand the difference between George Bush and Al Gore (or any rational human being, for that matter.)

Mortality Rates for Journalists and British Soldiers in Iraq

The Guardian blog has a poignant piece about the number of dead journalists in Iraq.
The fact of the matter from Guardian Unlimited: News blog

What is striking is that the number of dead journalists, 127, is lower than the number of British military casualties in Iraq, 113. This number, 113, is shockingly lower than the more than 2500 for the American military (at the time of the article’s writing). Hence, the number of British casualties is roughly 5% of the number of American casualties.

This may sound reasonable, but looking at some estimates of numbers–like this one in Washington Post National Weekly Edition–the number of British troops is roughly 10% of that of American troops. Hence, assuming that the number of contingents from each country has not changed much, the American casualty rate is about 2500/135000, or 1.8%, while the British rate is 113/10000, or 1.1%. This means that the British casualty rate is almost 40% lower.

Could this be because the British are administering more “peaceful” areas? Hardly. After all, Basra is hardly a calm place. Certainly, the American contingent is administering larger, more violent regions like Baghdad, but this alone cannot explain why the casualty rate is so much higher. American and British forces are partners in this campaign, but the British troops have not been targeted as avidly as the American troops. This is indubitably due to the fact that they have not committed as many stupid acts like Abu Ghraib to invite anger and violence.

It is possible that British troops are better equipped than their American counterparts. Rather, that they have armored vehicles at all.

Crooks and Liars

Crooks and Liars

Metals are conductors of electricity. They sometimes conduct heat very well, also. Graphite is a metal that conducts electricity well, but heat poorly. If one were to view mankind as a similar medium that can conduct a current, what would be that substance that mankind conducts? What would it be that it does not conduct, or the substance that it insulates? Judging by the stupidity of this US Representative, one is reminded again that humanity is often a superb conveyor of ignorance and moral depravity.

Global Warming is Still True

National panel supports ’98 global warming evidence – The Boston Globe

Yes, yet another scientific panel has concluded that global warming is real and man made. Whether this will place pressure on politicians to speed up the glacial pace at which they address environmental issues is unknown.

The following graph, published in the Boston Globe, ought to relieve any doubts that people harbored about the reality of global warming. This single graph represents 10,000 years of data. It would be so nice for the doubters of global warming to produce a single graph that either corrects or contradicts this valuable graph.

Mean Global Temperature 1000-1998 A.D.

Lower Standards = Better Performance

More than any other mantra, this one perhaps captures the essence of all George W Bush endeavors. Not a single company he has headed has outperformed its competitors. If you read the rest of the posts in the Politics category on this blog, you will see a nice sampling of all the standards that George W Bush has sought to lower: environmental and educational (read the saga of the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) test).

Now, a new category in which W has lowered standards: moral standards.

Army Manual to Skip Geneva Detainee Rule – Los Angeles Times

Character and strength are reflected in the ability to maintain one’s composure in the face of adversity. That is the essence of the Geneva Convention, to which the US was the first signatory. This signature was a promise that we would maintain our poise in the face of adversity; that we would not act like Nazis when confronted with Nazis; that we would not react like barbarians even confronted with barbarians. Now, we are explicitly stating that we are weak enough to react like barbarians when confronted with barbarians. Not only are we too weak to define our role in this conflict, but we lack the strength to prevent our enemy from defining us in the conflict.

If only people could realize that these are George W Bush’s defining moments, the milestones of a legacy of corruption and barbarism that will be recognized as a gross insult to humanity.

Trash Man Army Exhibit in Cologne (Köln), Germany

Some cities are cool. They just are. Cologne (Köln) is one of them. It seems as if there is always something cool happening there. There are the regular events, like the Karneval and the Christopher Street Day (gay pride event), but there are cool events like this massive art exhibit at one of the open spaces by the magnificent cathedral in Cologne.

Click here for a gallery of pretty nifty photos.

The exhibit consists of over 1000 statues standing in perfect formation. They are all painstakingly made out of trash. Some entirely out of Coke cans, others from waste computer parts, and others from waste cannisters of food and household improvement products. The sheer size of the installation and the level details were striking. The location next to one of the most magnificent structures on continental Europe was breathtaking. For what it means, read this article about the exhibit and the artist, HA Schult.

George W Bush Wants to Kill Americans and Waste Money, Part II

When you recklessly increase Defense spending, it makes sense to cut programs that generate money and that save lives, of course!

Christian Science Monitor: Bush energy plan whacks conservation

The competition between ignorance and evil continues. Ignorance has struck some staggering blows since evil struck on 9/11.