Germany’s phaseout of nuclear power is causing an increase in the use of fossil fuels, which is causing more than 1,100 additional deaths each year

This is a quote from a scientific paper on Germany’s phaseout of nuclear power:

“Put another way, the phase-out resulted in more than 1,100 additional deaths per year from increased concentrations of SO2, NOx, and PM. The increase in production from hard coal plants is again the key driver here, making up roughly 80% of the increase in mortality impacts.”

Source: Page 25 at this link https://www.nber.org/system/files/working_papers/w26598/w26598.pdf

Either the people who support this phaseout are extremely illiterate when it comes to science, or they are deliberately killing these people. I wonder which one it is.

September 29, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Science, Technology. Leave a comment.

I think the COVID-19 lockdown is killing more people than it is saving. Here are my many reasons for thinking such a thing. Updated for March 26, 2021.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

March 26, 2021

I think the COVIOD-19 lockdown is killing more people than it is saving.

I’m going to start out by posting the CDC’s estimated survival rates, by age, for people who contract COVID-19:

(more…)

March 26, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . COVID-19, Health care, Math, Science. Leave a comment.

I think the COVID-19 lockdown is killing more people than it is saving. Here are my many reasons for thinking such a thing.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

September 24, 2020

I think the COVIOD-19 lockdown is killing more people than it is saving.

I’m going to start out by posting the CDC’s estimated survival rates, by age, for people who contract COVID-19:

Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20200923185857/https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/planning-scenarios.html

0 to 19: 99.997%

20 to 49: 99.98%

50 to 69: 99.5%

70+: 94.6%

For most age groups, the survival rate is quite high. In my opinion, this does not justify a lockdown of the general population.

Now let’s take a look at my many reasons for thinking that the lockdown is killing more people than it is saving:

The National Cancer Institute estimates that there could be 10,000 additional breast and colorectal deaths over the next decade as a result of missed screenings and delayed diagnoses

Source: https://www.wjhg.com/2020/09/08/cancer-screenings-down-nationwide-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

Cancer surgeries and organ transplants are being put off for coronavirus

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/08/op-ed-cancer-surgeries-and-organ-transplants-are-being-put-off-for-coronavirus.html

Higher rates of unemployment correlate very strongly with higher rates of suicide and drug overdoses

Source: https://thefederalist.com/2020/03/30/how-shutting-down-the-economy-much-longer-could-kill-tens-of-thousands-of-americans/

A report by the United Nations cites the predicted harm that will happen to tens of millions of children in low income countries as a result of the COVID-19 global wide shutdown.

Examples of this harm to children include increases in malnutrition, loss of education, increased rates of teen pregnancy, reduced access to health care, reduced rates of vaccination, increased rates of infectious disease, increased rates of water borne illness, and increased rates of death:

Source: https://unsdg.un.org/sites/default/files/2020-04/160420_Covid_Children_Policy_Brief.pdf

Anxiety from reactions to Covid-19 will destroy at least seven times more years of life than can be saved by lockdowns

Source: https://www.justfacts.com/news_covid-19_anxiety_lockdowns_life_destroyed_saved

Childhood vaccine rates for preventable diseases like measles and whooping cough have fallen during the COVID-19 pandemic, raising the possibility of an additional health crisis.

In New York City… the number of vaccine doses administered from March 23 to May 9 fell 63 percent compared with the same period last year.

In children older than 2 years, it fell 91 percent…

… Doctors offices have been closed…

… The numbers in New York match a national trend…

… from mid-March to mid-April, doctors in the federally funded Vaccines for Children program for the uninsured ordered about 2.5 million fewer doses of all routine non-influenza vaccines and 250,000 fewer doses of measles-containing vaccines compared to the same period in 2019…

Source: https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/498797-childhood-vaccine-rates-plummet-amid-coronavirus-pandemic-risking-new

Polio and measles could surge after disruption of vaccine programs. A new study of 129 countries found that the interruption of inoculation efforts could put 80 million babies at risk of getting deadly, preventable diseases.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/22/health/coronavirus-polio-measles-immunizations.html

Why most Covid-19 deaths won’t be from the virus

Source: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200528-why-most-covid-19-deaths-wont-be-from-the-virus

The global lockdown was put into place based on the bogus, false, and extremely inaccurate Imperial College model.

Sweden did not have a lockdown.

Experts, who cited the Imperial College model, predicted that Sweden would have 40,000 COVID-19 deaths by May 1.

The actual number was 2,769.

The same bogus Imperial College model was used to implement the lockdowns for the rest of the world.

Sources: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/05/05/sweden-suppressed-infection-rates-without-lockdown/

https://www.aier.org/article/imperial-college-model-applied-to-sweden-yields-preposterous-results/

Nobel Prize-winning scientist: “the damage done by lockdown will exceed any saving of lives by a huge factor”

Source: https://www.theblaze.com/news/nobel-prize-winning-scientist-shares-covid-19-data-showing-strict-lockdowns-were-an-overreaction

This is a scientific paper called “Full lockdown policies in Western Europe countries have no evident impacts on the COVID-19 epidemic.”

Source: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.24.20078717v1.full.pdf

Do lockdowns save many lives? In most places, the data say no.

Source: https://www.wsj.com/articles/do-lockdowns-save-many-lives-is-most-places-the-data-say-no-11587930911?mod=opinion_lead_pos5

U.S. medical testing, cancer screenings plunge during coronavirus outbreak – data firm analysis

Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-screenings-exc/exclusive-u-s-medical-testing-cancer-screenings-plunge-during-coronavirus-outbreak-data-firm-analysis-idUSKCN22A0DY

Some medical experts fear more people are dying from untreated emergencies than from the coronavirus

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/25/health/coronavirus-heart-stroke.html

How the COVID-19 lockdown will take its own toll on health

Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-cost-special-r/special-report-how-the-covid-19-lockdown-will-take-its-own-toll-on-health-idUSKBN21L20C

A study of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in New York showed that 66% of them were people who stayed home

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisettevoytko/2020/05/06/majority-of-new-coronavirus-cases-in-new-york-are-from-people-staying-at-home-not-traveling-or-working

End all restrictions, they were unnecessary, Hebrew University researchers say

Source: https://www.timesofisrael.com/end-all-restrictions-they-were-unnecessary-hebrew-university-researchers-say/

A scientific paper states:

Background: The pandemic caused by COVID-19 has forced governments to implement strict social mitigation strategies to reduce the morbidity and mortality from acute infections. These strategies however carry a significant risk for mental health which can lead to increased short-term and long-term mortality and is currently not included in modelling the impact of the pandemic. Methods: We used years of life lost (YLL) as the main outcome measure as applied to Switzerland as an exemplar. We focused on suicide, depression, alcohol use disorder, childhood trauma due to domestic violence, changes in marital status and social isolation as these are known to increase YLL in the context of imposed restriction in social contact and freedom of movement. We stipulated a minimum duration of mitigation of 3 months based on current public health plans. Results: The study projects that the average person would suffer 0.205 YLL due to psychosocial consequence of COVID-19 mitigation measures. However, this loss would be entirely borne by 2.1% of the population, who will suffer an average 9.79 YLL. Conclusions: The results presented here are likely to underestimate the true impact of the mitigation strategies on YLL. However, they highlight the need for public health models to expand their scope in order to provide better estimates of the risks and benefits of mitigation.

Source: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.17.20069716v3

In the U.S., the lockdown caused 1.4 million health care workers to be laid off:

Source: https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/496816-health-care-industry-decimated-by-coronavirus-loses-14-million-jobs

Take the Shutdown Skeptics Seriously

Americans should carefully consider the potential costs of prolonged shutdowns lest they cause more deaths or harm to the vulnerable than they spare…

… minimizing the number of COVID-19 deaths today or a month from now or six months from now may or may not minimize the human costs of the pandemic when the full spectrum of human consequences is considered…

… the warnings of thoughtful shutdown skeptics warrant careful study…

Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/05/take-shutdown-skeptics-seriously/611419/

Cyril H. Wecht, one of the country’s most well regarded doctors, made this excellent argument against the lockdown

Source: https://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/Op-Ed/2020/05/14/Cyril-H-Wecht-Time-to-end-the-COVID-19-hysteria/stories/202005140031

Stanford University doctor: ‘You are mistaken’ if you think coronavirus lockdowns provide safety”

Source: https://www.theblaze.com/news/stanford-university-doctor-mistaken-coronavirus-lockdowns

Relapses are through the roof, overdoses are through the roof: How the pandemic is upping substance abuse

… They can’t go to a 12-step based meeting…

… People are self-medicating due to the quarantine. And they’re drinking more, and abusing more, and relapses are through the roof right now.

Source: https://thefederalist.com/2020/05/19/relapses-are-through-the-roof-overdoses-are-through-the-roof-how-the-pandemic-is-upping-substance-abuse/

Neil Ferguson’s Imperial model “could go down in history as the most devastating software mistake of all time, in terms of economic costs and lives lost”

Source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2020/05/16/neil-fergusons-imperial-model-could-devastating-software-mistake/

Rise in female genital mutilation in Somalia linked to coronavirus shutdown

Somali girls out of school and stuck at home have been subject to a “massive rise” in female genital mutilation…

“It’s a lifetime torture for girls. The pain continues … until the girl goes to the grave. It impacts her education, ambition … everything.”

… the UNFPA has warned that globally 2 million more girls could be cut over the next decade because of how the global pandemic has disrupted efforts to end the practice.

Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20200519232914/https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/05/19/coronavirus-update-us/

More than 500 doctors signed this letter, which is says, “In medical terms, the shutdown was a mass casualty incident.”

Source: https://www.scribd.com/document/462319362/A-Doctor-a-Day-Letter-Signed#fullscreen&from_embed

Dr. Mike deBoisblanc, head of the trauma department at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, California, said, “… we’ve seen a year’s worth of suicide attempts in the last four weeks…”

Source: https://abc7news.com/suicide-covid-19-coronavirus-rates-during-pandemic-death-by/6201962/

Rampant unemployment, isolation and an uncertain future – could lead to 75,000 deaths from drug or alcohol abuse and suicide

Source: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-deaths-suicides-drugs-alcohol-pandemic-75000/

In the U.S., the first nine weeks of the lockdown caused 38 million people to lose their jobs

Source: https://thefederalist.com/2020/05/21/another-2-4-million-americans-filed-for-unemployment-last-week-38-million-since-march/

The fatality rate of COVID-19 “would probably be 0.13 percent for people outside nursing homes”

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/tell-me-what-to-do-please-even-experts-struggle-with-coronavirus-unknowns/2020/05/25/e11f9870-9d08-11ea-ad09-8da7ec214672_story.html

A scientific study said, “Home outbreaks were the dominant category (254 of 318 outbreaks; 79.9%)”

Source: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.04.20053058v1.full.pdf

New England Journal of Medicine: “We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection”

Source: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2006372

Knut Wittkowski, former head of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design at The Rockefeller University’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science, said the lockdown “most likely made the situation worse”

Source: https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/05/15/we-could-open-up-again-and-forget-the-whole-thing/

Denmark, Finland say they saw no increase in coronavirus after schools re-opened

Source: https://justthenews.com/world/europe/denmark-finland-say-they-saw-no-increase-coronavirus-after-schools-re-opened

Kanchan Soni, who lived in India, died because the lockdown prevented her from getting dialysis

Source: https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/delhi/2020/apr/16/dialysis-patient-denied-treatment-dies-2130804.html

Chewing gum, wire-cutters, and superglue: the alarming rise of DIY Dentistry under coronavirus

Source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/body/chewing-gum-wire-cutters-superglue-alarming-rise-diy-dentistry/

A scientific paper on the lockdown states, “In high burden settings, HIV, TB and malaria related deaths over 5 years may be increased by up to 10%, 20% and 36%, respectively”

Source: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/medicine/mrc-gida/2020-05-01-COVID19-Report-19.pdf

Polio and measles could surge after disruption of vaccine programs. A new study of 129 countries found that the interruption of inoculation efforts could put 80 million babies at risk of getting deadly, preventable diseases.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/22/health/coronavirus-polio-measles-immunizations.html

World Health Organization: “If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with COVID-19”

Source: https://abcnews.go.com/Health/cdc-offer-conflicting-advice-masks-expert-tells-us/story?id=70958380

Reopening schools in Denmark did not worsen outbreak, data shows

Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-denmark-reopening-idUSKBN2341N7

One month later: top Israeli mathematician predicted COVID-19 peaks after 40 days with or without economic lockdowns – and he was right!

Source: https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/05/one-month-later-top-israeli-mathematician-predicted-covid-19-peaks-40-days-without-economic-lockdowns-right/

Dr. Kelly Fradin: “I’m a pediatrician and I think we should reopen schools, even with the risk of coronavirus outbreaks”

Source: https://www.insider.com/pediatrician-reopen-schools-even-if-it-leads-coronavirus-outbreaks-2020-6

This video shows Dr. Anthony Fauci removing his mask when he thought he was no longer being filmed

https://twitter.com/CHIZMAGA/status/1278029614070153217

Slowing the coronavirus is speeding the spread of other diseases. Many mass immunization efforts worldwide were halted this spring to prevent spread of the virus at crowded inoculation sites. The consequences have been alarming… cargo flights with vaccine supplies were halted… Now, diphtheria is appearing in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. Cholera is in South Sudan, Cameroon, Mozambique, Yemen and Bangladesh. A mutated strain of poliovirus has been reported in more than 30 countries. And measles is flaring around the globe, including in Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Nigeria and Uzbekistan.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/14/health/coronavirus-vaccines-measles.html

Norway health chief: lockdown was not needed to tame Covid

Source: https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/norway-health-chief-lockdown-was-not-needed-to-tame-covid

Antibody tests point to lower death rate for the coronavirus than first thought

Mounting evidence suggests the coronavirus is more common and less deadly than it first appeared.

Source: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/05/28/863944333/antibody-tests-point-to-lower-death-rate-for-the-coronavirus-than-first-thought

Coronavirus pandemic could push 122 million to brink of starvation: Oxfam

Source: https://globalnews.ca/news/7155931/coronavirus-starvation-oxfam/

Dr. Dan Wohlgelernter said, “What we needed to do was not lock down all of society. Not shut down schools. Not shut down all businesses. You needed to protect the elderly. Particularly the elderly in the nursing homes. It’s a small segment of our population. We could have allowed the rest of the population to continue with their lives, take adequate precautions but not be completely shut down. The cost of the shut down in terms of the physical, emotional, and psychological health of people is enormous. We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg of people who have been shut-in. Who’ve lost their businesses. Who are facing depression. Who are facing issues of mental health because of the consequences. This should never happen again. If we ever face this situation again we need to learn the lessons from the mistakes and policies that were implemented.”

Source: https://theohiostar.com/2020/07/01/doctors-break-down-covid-response-and-the-demonization-of-hcq-doctors-tell-all/

People are more likely to contract COVID-19 at home, study finds

Source: https://www.yahoo.com/news/people-more-likely-contract-covid-122611396.html

No known case of teacher catching coronavirus from pupils, says scientist. There has been no recorded case of a teacher catching the coronavirus from a pupil anywhere in the world, according to one of the government’s leading scientific advisers. Mark Woolhouse, a leading epidemiologist and member of the government’s Sage committee, told The Times that it may have been a mistake to close schools in March given the limited role children play in spreading the virus.

Source: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/no-known-case-of-teacher-catching-coronavirus-from-pupils-says-scientist-3zk5g2x6z

Coronavirus lockdown ‘made no difference to number of deaths’, study claims

Source: https://www.the-sun.com/news/1190721/coronavirus-lockdown-no-difference/

Stop stealing our children’s youth in the name of their grandparents. Every person I know in his 70s says kids should go back to school. Behind ensuring Americans have food, ensuring our children are well educated is a very close second in societal priorities.

Source: https://thefederalist.com/2020/07/17/stop-stealing-our-childrens-youth-in-the-name-of-their-grandparents/

Citing educational risks, scientific panel urges that schools reopen

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/15/health/coronavirus-schools-reopening.html

Stanford doctor Scott Atlas says the science shows kids should go back to school

Source: https://thefederalist.com/2020/07/15/stanford-doctor-scott-atlas-says-the-science-shows-kids-should-go-back-to-school/

German study finds no evidence coronavirus spreads in schools

Source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/07/13/german-study-finds-no-evidence-coronavirus-spreads-schools/

As of September 2020, Sweden, which never had a lockdown, or a mask mandate, had a lower total, cumulative per capita COVID-19 death rate than the U.S.

Sources: https://web.archive.org/web/20200907000001/https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

https://reason.com/2020/09/11/the-covid-19-death-toll-is-rising-much-faster-in-the-u-s-than-in-sweden-which-now-has-fewer-deaths-per-capita/

https://fortune.com/2020/07/29/no-point-in-wearing-mask-sweden-covid/

https://unherd.com/2020/07/swedens-anders-tegnell-judge-me-in-a-year/

Now this last one is just speculation, as I do not have proof. But I do think it is worth mentioning.

At least since March 2020, and perhaps even earlier, Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, from New York, has been claiming to have successfully treated COVID-19 patients with a triple combination of hydroxychloroquine, zinc, and azithromycin.

Dr. Zelenko’s alleged treatment is different than other treatments (which have been debunked) because of these two things:

First, Dr. Zelenko’s alleged treatment involves a triple combination of hydroxychloroquine, zinc, and azithromycin.

And secondly, Dr. Zelenko’s alleged treatment must be given before the patient has become so sick that they need hospitalization.

Other treatments with hydroxychloroquine have been debunked. But those other treatments do not meet the two above criteria.

I don’t know if Dr. Zelenko’s alleged treatment actually works or not. But I have not seen it debunked.

On July 3, 2020, preprints.org reported the following on Dr. Zelenko’s alleged treatment:

COVID-19 Outpatients – Early Risk-Stratified Treatment with Zinc Plus Low Dose Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin: A Retrospective Case Series Study

Of 335 positively PCR-tested COVID-19 patients, 127 were treated with the triple therapy. 104 of 127 met the defined risk stratification criteria and were included in the analysis. In addition, 37 treated and eligible patients who were confirmed by IgG tests were included in the treatment group (total N=141). 208 of the 335 patients did not meet the risk stratification criteria and were not treated. After 4 days (median, IQR 3-6, available for N=66/141) of onset of symptoms, 141 patients (median age 58 years, IQR 40-60; 73% male) got a prescription for the triple therapy for 5 days. Independent public reference data from 377 confirmed COVID-19 patients of the same community were used as untreated control. 4 of 141 treated patients (2.8%) were hospitalized, which was significantly less (p<0.001) compared with 58 of 377 untreated patients (15.4%) (odds ratio 0.16, 95% CI 0.06-0.5). Therefore, the odds of hospitalization of treated patients were 84% less than in the untreated group. One patient (0.7%) died in the treatment group versus 13 patients (3.5%) in the untreated group (odds ratio 0.2, 95% CI 0.03-1.5; p=0.16). There were no cardiac side effects. Conclusions: Risk stratification-based treatment of COVID-19 outpatients as early as possible after symptom onset with the used triple therapy, including the combination of zinc with low dose hydroxychloroquine, was associated with significantly less hospitalizations and 5 times less all-cause deaths.

Source: https://www.preprints.org/manuscript/202007.0025/v1

 

September 24, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . COVID-19, Health care, Math, Science. 1 comment.

Awaiting disaster, ammonium nitrate was stored at Beirut port for years

https://www.yahoo.com/news/awaiting-disaster-ammonium-nitrate-stored-beirut-port-years-173113469.html

Awaiting disaster, ammonium nitrate was stored at Beirut port for years

By Rouba El Husseini

August 5, 2020

Beirut (AFP) – For at least six years, hundreds of tonnes of ammonium nitrate, which Lebanese authorities say caused Tuesday’s massive blast, were negligently stored in a Beirut port warehouse, waiting for disaster to strike.

The odourless crystalline substance commonly used as a fertiliser has caused numerous industrial explosions over the decades — including the massive one in Beirut that killed at least 113 people, wounded thousands and left 300,000 homeless.

A security source said the explosive power of the stored ammonium nitrate was equivalent to at least 1,200 tonnes of TNT — explaining how the earthquake-strength blast destroyed or damaged so much of the city.

Lebanese port authorities and customs officials knew the chemical was being stored in the port, and one of the country’s top security agencies had called for it to be relocated after launching a probe last year, several security officials told AFP.

But authorities did not heed the warning. Only on the day after the massive blast left much of the capital in ruins did the government say it was seeking house arrest for all officials involved in storing the highly-explosive substance.

With Tuesday’s blast damage extending across half the Lebanese capital, the burning questions on everyone’s mind are: how did so much ammonium nitrate get to Beirut in the first place and why was it stored at the port for so long?

– Shady shipment –

In 2013, around 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate came into Lebanon on board the Rhosus ship, sailing from Georgia and bound for Mozambique, a security official told AFP, asking not to be named because he is not authorised to speak on the issue.

Marine Traffic, a ship tracking platform, said the Moldova-flagged vessel first arrived in Beirut’s port, the country’s busiest, on November 20, 2013 and never left.

According to Lebanese law firm Baroudi & Associates, which represents the vessel’s crew, the Rhosus ship had faced “technical problems”.

“Upon inspection of the vessel by port state control, the vessel was forbidden from sailing,” the firm said in a statement.

Several security officials told AFP that it temporarily docked at the port but was later seized by authorities following a lawsuit filed by a Lebanese company against the shipowner.

Port authorities unloaded the ammonium nitrate and stored it in a rundown port warehouse with cracks in its walls, and the ship sank some time later because of damage, the officials said.

The warehouse started to exude a strange odour, which led security forces to launch a 2019 investigation that concluded that the “dangerous” chemicals needed to be removed from the premises.

The agency also noted the walls of the warehouse were unsound, urging the port authorities to repair them.

It was not until this week that workers were dispatched and began repair works, in what might have possibly triggered the blast.

– Gross negligence –

Shortly after Tuesday’s blast, the director of customs at the port, Badri Daher, published a letter he said he had sent in December 2017 to a Lebanese prosecutor, claiming it was one of many he had sent to the judiciary over the stored chemicals.

In the 2017 letter, he allegedly requested the dangerous chemicals be exported or sold to a local Lebanese company after the army had said it had no use for them, but neither suggestion materialised.

A judicial source said prosecutors were only involved in ruling whether or not the ammonium nitrate-carrying vessel should be released and were not involved in issues pertaining to the substance’s storage.

Riad Kobaissi, an investigative reporter who specialises in port corruption, charged that Daher was only trying to deflect blame by publishing the letter.

He said what has happened shows “the extent of corruption in Lebanese port customs, which is among the main bodies that bear responsibility” for the blast.

Ammong many, the disaster has only fuelled anger at a government already widely seen as inept, corrupt and beholden to sectarian interests.

On Twitter, users blamed authorities, using the hashtag “hang them from the gallows”.

One user posted a photo showing several prominent Lebanese politicians with the caption: “You have to pay for burning the hearts of mothers and the future of the youth and terrorising children.”

August 6, 2020. Tags: , , , . Science. 1 comment.

R.I.P. Grant Imahara

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/grant-imahara-dead-mythbusters-host-was-49-1303101

Grant Imahara, Host of ‘MythBusters’ and ‘White Rabbit Project,’ Dies at 49

July 13, 2020

An electrical engineer and roboticist by training, he worked for a long time at Lucasfilm’s THX and Industrial Light and Magic divisions.

Grant Imahara, an electrical engineer and roboticist who hosted the popular science show MythBusters and Netflix’s White Rabbit Project, has died. He was 49.

Imahara died suddenly following a brain aneurysm, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. “We are heartbroken to hear this sad news about Grant. He was an important part of our Discovery family and a really wonderful man. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family,” a representative for Discovery said in a statement on Monday.

An electrical engineer and roboticist by training, he joined Discovery’s MythBusters in its third season, replacing Scottie Chapman and was with the show until 2014 when he left with co-hosts Kari Byron and Tory Belleci. The trio would reunite in 2016 for Netflix’s White Rabbit Project which lasted for one season. On MythBusters, Imahara used his technical expertise to design and build robots for the show and also operated the computers and electronics needed to test myths.

While part of the Mythbusters team, he sky-dived and drove stunt cars, on film sets he came into contact with some of the most iconic characters in screen history, installing lights onto Star Wars’ R2-D2, creating the robot Geoff Peterson for The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson and working on the Energizer Bunny.

On Monday evening, Imahara’s MythBusters and White Rabbit Project co-host Byron tweeted, “Sometimes I wish I had a time machine,” and included a picture with Imahara and Belleci.

Later on Monday, Mythbusters co-host Adam Savage also tweeted: “I’m at a loss. No words. I’ve been part of two big families with Grant Imahara over the last 22 years. Grant was a truly brilliant engineer, artist and performer, but also just such a generous, easygoing, and gentle PERSON. Working with Grant was so much fun. I’ll miss my friend.”

Born in Los Angeles, Imahara studied electrical engineering at the University of Southern California (though he briefly had doubts and wanted to become a screenwriter) before combining the two passions and landing a post-graduation gig at Lucasfilm-associated THX labs. In his nine years at Lucasfilm, he worked for the company’s THX and Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) divisions. In his years at ILM he became chief model maker specializing in animatronics and worked on George Lucas’ Star Wars prequels, as well as The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, Galaxy Quest, XXX: State of the Union, Van Helsing, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, A.I. Artificial Intelligence and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.

In 2000, Imahara also competed in Comedy Central’s BattleBots with a robot he built himself called “Deadblow” that won two Middleweight Rumbles, was the first season’s Middleweight runner-up and became the third season’s first-ranked robot.

As computer graphics began to supplant model-making in the aughts, former ILM colleague Tony Belleci suggested Imahara come aboard Mythbusters, the Discovery show Belleci co-hosted. As a co-host, he became a self-described “human guinea pig,” though if they determined a situation unfit for humans, they created machines to test them in their place.

Imahara also starred in several episodes of the fan-made web series Star Trek Continues. He played Hikaru Sulu, a lieutenant, helmsman and third officer on the USS Enterprise, in the show that was an unofficial continuation of Star Trek: The Original Series.

In a 2008 interview with Machine Design, Imahara told the publication that he wanted to be an engineer because “I liked the challenge of designing and building things, figuring out how something works and how to make it better or apply it in a different way. When I was a kid, I never wanted to be James Bond. I wanted to be Q, because he was the guy who made all the gadgets. I guess you could say that engineering came naturally.”

July 14, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , . Science, Science fiction, Star Wars, Technology, Television. Leave a comment.

This video is called “Schoolhouse Rock – A Victim Of Gravity.” I dedicate it to the Black Lives Matter protestors who dropped a heavy statue on the skull of one of their own members.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

June 11, 2020

I’m posting two videos here.

This first video is from the NBC New channel at YouTube. It shows Black Lives Matter protestors dropping a heavy statue on the skull of one of their own members. The point of impact is at approximately 0:33

At first, the protestors cheer and applaud. But then their expressions switch to ones of shock and horror when they realize that there is something called gravity:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIEe3uKlUvo

To all of these ignoramuses, I dedicate this second video, which is called “Schoolhouse Rock – A Victim Of Gravity.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHFtk6Si0Fk

Note from Daniel Alman: If you like this blog post that I wrote, you can buy my books from amazon, and/or donate to me via PayPal, using the links below:

amazon logo

Note from Daniel Alman: I’d like to recommend that you visit Whatfinger News. It’s a really awesome website.

June 11, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Black lives matter, Rioting looting and arson, Social justice warriors. 5 comments.

A scientific paper claims that humans acquired COVID-19 from a Chinese research lab, and not a food market. But instead of having the paper peer reviewed, they are trying to suppress it.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

April 3, 2020

One of the great things about science is the peer review process. When one group of scientists comes to a conclusion, other groups of scientists are allowed to peer review the work of the original group, to try to determine whether or not the original research has merit.

This link, which no longer works, used to show a scientific paper: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339070128_The_possible_origins_of_2019-nCoV_coronavirus

Fortunately, the internet archive still has the paper at this link: https://web.archive.org/web/20200214144447/https:/www.researchgate.net/publication/339070128_The_possible_origins_of_2019-nCoV_coronavirus

The paper is titled, “The possible origins of 2019-nCoV coronavirus.”

The paper’s lead author is Botao Xiao, from the South China University of Technology.

The paper’s publication month is February 2020.

The paper states:

“An article published on The Lancet reported that 27 of 41 infected patients were found to have contact with the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan. We noted two laboratories conducting research on bat coronavirus in Wuhan, one of which was only 280 meters from the seafood market. We briefly examined the histories of the laboratories and proposed that the coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory…”

“… The bats carrying CoV ZC45 were originally found in Yunnan or Zhejiang province, both of which were more than 900 kilometers away from the seafood market. Bats were normally found to live in caves and trees. But the seafood market is in a densely-populated district of Wuhan, a metropolitan of ~15 million people. The probability was very low for the bats to fly to the market. According to municipal reports and the testimonies of 31 residents and 28 visitors, the bat was never a food source in the city, and no bat was traded in the market.”

This paper has not been peer reviewed. I hope it will be.

If the statistics cited in the paper are true, then which of these two scenarios is more likely:

a) Humans contracted COVID-19 from a food market that is more than 900,000 meters away from the wild population of this bat species

or

b) Humans contracted COVID-19 from a lab that was doing research on bats and on coronavirus, and the lab is located only 280 meters from this food market

I’m curious to read of any peer reviews that get published.

And I’m curious to know why no peer reviews have been published so far.

And I’m also curious to know why the original link no longer works.

Note from Daniel Alman: If you like this blog post that I wrote, you can buy my books from amazon, and/or donate to me via PayPal, using the links below:

amazon logo

April 3, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Animals, COVID-19, Health care, Science. 3 comments.

Attention Saturday Night Live! Air is mostly nitrogen, not oxygen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCbYtKW2BNo

February 12, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , . Science, Television. Leave a comment.

Save the World with Nuclear Power – Leslie Dewan – TEDxUniversityofRochester

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoAcntoAVXE

December 14, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Science, Technology. Leave a comment.

Rebecca Watson: Facebook Deletes Science Fact Check at Ted Cruz’s Request

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gwinZO8J0I

October 7, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , . Abortion, Health care, Media bias, Science. Leave a comment.

Scott Adams: A Message for Children About Climate Change

https://www.scottadamssays.com/2019/09/23/a-message-for-children-about-climate-change/

A Message for Children About Climate Change

By Scott Adams

September 23, 2019

Dear Children,

I’m sorry adults have frightened you about climate change and how it might affect your future. You might be less afraid if you knew some facts that adults intentionally do not explain to you. I’ll tell you here.

The news was once a source of real information, or so we thought. But in the modern world, the news people discovered they can make more money by presenting scary news regardless of whether it is true or not. Today, much of the news on the right and the left is opinion that is meant to scare you, not inform you, because scary things get more attention, and that makes the news business more profitable. The same is true for people who write books; authors often make books scary so you will buy them. Most adults know all the scariness is not real. Most kids do not. You just learned it.

Nuclear energy used to be dangerous, back in the olden days. Today’s nuclear power plants (the ones built in the past 20 years all over the world) have killed zero people, and are considered the safest form of energy in the world. More people have died installing solar panels and falling off roofs than have died from nuclear power problems anywhere in the world for the past few decades. And nuclear energy is the obvious way to address climate change, say most of the smartest adults in the world, because it can provide abundant, cheap, clean energy with zero carbon emissions.

Nuclear energy as a solution to climate change is one of the rare solutions backed by several Democrats running for president and nearly all Republicans. Please note that two Democrats in favor of nuclear energy (Corey Booker and Andrew Yang) are among the youngest and smartest in the game. To be fair, the oldest Democrat running for president, Joe Biden, also supports nuclear energy because he is well-informed.

If you are worried about nuclear waste, you probably should not be. Every country with nuclear energy (and there are lots of them) successfully stores their nuclear waste. If you put all the nuclear waste in the world in one place, it would fit on one football field. It isn’t a big problem. And new nuclear power designs will actually eat that nuclear waste and turn it into electricity, so the total amount of waste could come way down.

The United Nations estimates that the economic impact of climate change will reduce the economy by 10% in eighty years. What they don’t tell you is that the economy will be about five times bigger and better by then, so you won’t even notice the 10% that didn’t happen. And that worst case is only if we do nothing to address climate change, which is not the case.

A number of companies have recently built machines that can suck CO2 right out of the air. At the moment, using those machines would be too expensive. But as they come down in cost and improve in efficiency, we have a solution already in hand should it ever be needed. It would be expensive, but there is no real risk of CO2 ruining the world now that we know how to remove any excess from the atmosphere. (Plants need CO2 to thrive, so we don’t want to remove too much. Greenhouses actually pump in CO2 to make plants grow better.)

Scientists tell us that we could reduce climate risks by planting more trees. (A lot more.) That’s all doable, should the world decide it is necessary. There are a number of other companies and technologies that also address climate change in a variety of ways. Any one of the approaches I mentioned (nuclear energy, CO2 scrubbers, planting trees) could be enough to address any climate risks, but there are dozens of ways of dealing with climate change, and more coming every day.

Throughout all modern history, when we humans see a problem coming from far away, we have a 100% success rate in solving it. Climate change is no different. All the right people are working hard at a wide variety of solutions and already know how to get there, meaning more nuclear power plus CO2 scrubbers, plus lots of green power from solar, wind, and more.

If you are worried about rising sea levels, don’t be. The smartest and richest people in the world are still buying property on the beach. They don’t see the problem. And if sea levels do rise, it will happen slowly enough for people to adjust.

Adults sometimes like to use children to carry their messages because it makes it hard for the other side to criticize them without seeming like monsters. If adults have encouraged you to panic about climate change without telling you what I am telling you here, they do not have your best interests at heart. They are using you.

When you ask adults about nuclear energy, expect them to have old understanding about it, meaning they don’t know the newer nuclear energy technologies are the safest energy on the planet.

What I told you today is not always understood even by adults. You are now smarter than most adults on the topic of climate.

My generation has a lot of faith in your generation. You will be the most educated and effective humans of all time. My generation (and a few generations younger than me) already has the fixes to address climate risks coming online. Your generation will finish the job.

We adults respect your passion and your energy on the topic of climate. But it isn’t fair for us to deny you the basic facts while at the same time scaring you into action. I hope this letter helps you sleep better. We adults have this problem under control, or will soon, and you’ll help us finish the job. So get some good sleep tonight. Together, we got this.

Scott Adams

September 26, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Science, Technology. Leave a comment.

TED Talk: Michael Shellenberger explains why he switched from being anti-nuclear power to pro-nuclear power

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciStnd9Y2ak

September 14, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Science, Technology. Leave a comment.

Here’s my response to a Washington Post article called “Ocasio-Cortez says the world will end in 12 years. She is absolutely right.”

I know that manmade global warming is real.

I know that as we burn fossil fuels, we increase the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and this makes the atmosphere’s temperature increase.

I am not a denier of global warming.

But I am someone who rejects the ridiculous scaremongering that is going on regarding global warming.

The Washington Post recently published this article, which is called, “Ocasio-Cortez says the world will end in 12 years. She is absolutely right.”

Here’s video of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez making her statement:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHk8nn0nw18

I would now like to propose my own hypothesis: Even if we were to do absolutely nothing to reduce our emissions of carbon dioxide in the next 12 years, our release of carbon dioxide will not cause the world to end in 12 years.

My hypothesis is based on the following four scientific observations:

1) According to this article from Live Science, back when the dinosaurs were alive, carbon dioxide levels in the air were five times as high as they are today. But the world did not end. On the contrary, life thrived, and the world had its biggest land animals of all time.

2) According to this article from the BBC, back when the dinosaurs were alive, global temperatures were so high that there were no polar ice caps. But the world did not end. On the contrary, life thrived, and the world had its biggest land animals of all time.

3) According to this article from the Ontario Ministry of Agricultural, Food, and Rural Affairs, the owners of commercial greenhouses deliberately pump extra carbon dioxide into the air inside their greenhouses. But this has not caused the world to end. On the contrary, it makes the plants inside the greenhouses grow better.

4) According to this article from NASA, humans’ burning of fossil fuels has caused an increase in the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. But the world did not end. On the contrary, the title of the NASA article is “Carbon Dioxide Fertilization Greening Earth, Study Finds.”

So there we have four different real world examples – all verified by scientists – that show that having higher levels of carbon dioxide causes an increase, not a decrease, in plant life.

Animals eat plants.

And other animals eat the animals that eat plants.

Carbon dioxide is plant food.

Carbon dioxide if the bottom of the food chain.

Therefore, to repeat my hypothesis: Even if we were to do absolutely nothing to reduce our emissions of carbon dioxide in the next 12 years, our release of carbon dioxide will not cause the world to end in 12 years.

One of the great things that we learn from the scientific method is that if an event is based on science, then that event can be repeated. Given the four scientific observations that I have posted above, science tells us that having more carbon dioxide in the air makes things better for life, not worse.

Another great thing about the scientific method is that over time, we can find out if our hypothesis turns out to be true or false.

So all we have to do now is to wait 12 years, and we’ll find out who is right and who is wrong about the world ending in 12 years due to our emissions of carbon dioxide.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/01/24/ocasio-cortez-says-world-will-end-years-she-is-absolutely-right/

Ocasio-Cortez says the world will end in 12 years. She is absolutely right.

January 24, 2019

Apparently all anyone has any strength or enthusiasm for is applying a literalism test on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)’s all-too-accurate warnings. She said recently that if we don’t start to address climate change aggressively right now, the world will end in 12 years. I know, let’s feign alarm that she has exaggerated instead of having genuine alarm about the genuine problem she is raising the red flags over.

Here’s another idea. Why don’t we apply the same exactitude of judgment on some other things that have been said about climate change? Here’s a sampler:

“Climate change is a hoax.” “The science is unclear.” “If there were warming, we’d see it.” “If we saw it, we’d do something.” “Maybe it’s cooling.” “It’s too soon to act.” “There’s nothing we can do.” “If this is climate change, I’ll take it!” “It’s arrogant to think humans could change the climate.” “It’s cold today, so climate science is wrong.” “Yes, there’s a problem but hardly a crisis.”

That last position is where the Washington consensus currently resides (President Sir Lies-a-Lot notwithstanding), and it is that position that is dangerously wrong, and what AOC is (correctly) fighting against. The last word on the subject from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change could not have been more dire.

We need to start NOW, to cut carbon emissions aggressively, or by 2030 we may have passed a tipping point beyond which the planet, and yes you people living on it, is in for a world of possibly permanent hurt. So let’s quibble that AOC said the world will end instead of the world as humans and current species have known it and depended on it will end, forever.

Meanwhile, your friendly corporations believe in climate change, all right. They are planning to bleed your last coins into their pockets selling you generators when the climate disasters wipe out your power grid.

Now tell me who is getting this crisis right and in your best interests.

February 2, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Environmentalism, Science. 3 comments.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t seem to know that there is actually an INVERSE correlation between billionaires and dangerous intestinal parasites

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently said that it was immoral to allow billionaires to exist when there are people who have ringworm.

She later said that she had meant hookworm, not ringworm.

Hookworm is transmitted to people when they walk barefoot in the feces of other people who are infected with hookworm.

And in the real world, there is actually an inverse correlation between the existence of billionaires, and the rate of hookworm infection.

According to wikipedia, this is how to prevent hookworm:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hookworm_infection

Hookworm infection

Prevention

The main lines of precaution are those dictated by good hygiene behaviors:

Do not defecate in the open, but rather in toilets.

Do not use untreated human excreta or raw sewage as fertilizer in agriculture.

Do not walk barefoot in known infected areas.

The places with the highest concentrations of billionaires, such as Manhattan, Silicon Valley, and Singapore, have very few or even zero cases of hookworm. (Although I will admit that San Francisco may be an exception to this trend, as an expert on global public health recently stated that the city’s high rate and tolerance of open defecation actually makes the city dirtier than third world countries. San Francisco is run so badly that the government spends $37,000 on each homeless person per year, and yet they still somehow manage to remain homeless. Can you imagine how much housing any city that wasn’t run by idiots could rent or buy for that much money?)

A long time ago, when there were no billionaires anywhere in the world, hookworm was very common all over the world.

Anyone who is truly against hookworm would be in favor of the existence of billionaires, not against it.

And that’s not even taking into account the charitable work of billionaires such as Bill Gates, which has saved huge numbers of lives.

And that also doesn’t take into account all the jobs that these billionaires provide, as well as the goods and services that these billionaires provide. For example, think of LEGO billionaire Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen and IKEA billionaire Ingvar Kamprad. Does anyone seriously want to argue that the world would be better off if the countries of western Europe had not allowed these two people to become billionaires?

January 27, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Animals, Economics, Environmentalism, Health care, Science. Leave a comment.

Something called the “Good Country Index” ranks the U.S. at #38 in “Science and Technology,” while the #1 country in that category is the Ukraine

This is the link to wikipedia’s article on something called the “Good Country Index.”

For the year 2017 (the most recent year available), in the category called “Science and Technology,” the U.S. is ranked all the way down at #38.

Meanwhile, the #1 country in that same category is the Ukraine.

Those two facts are enough to tell me that the “Good Country Index” has no credibility whatsoever.

If you’re interested in other indexes that do have a lot of credibility, I recommend these three:

Index of Economic Freedom

Freedom in the World

Corruption Perceptions Index

December 29, 2018. Tags: , , , , , , , . Economics, Politics, Science, Technology. 2 comments.

Woman takes mitochondrial DNA test to find out which African tribe she descends from, and is horrified to find out that her mitochondrial DNA is of “non-African lineage”

In the first five minutes of this video, this woman goes on and on about how happy and excited she is because she just got back the results of her mitochondrial DNA test. She took the test because she wanted to find out which African tribe or tribes she is descended from. A person (male or female) inherits Mitochondrial DNA solely from their mother.

After five minutes of joyous anticipation, she finally opens the envelope and looks at the results.

She is absolutely devastated to find out that her mitochondrial DNA is of “non-African lineage.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5u_jTzwbL0

December 17, 2018. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Racism, Science. 5 comments.

Academic journal caves in to social justice warriors who demanded censorship of a scientific paper

This is first paragraph of wikipedia’s article on something known as the “variability hypothesis”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variability_hypothesis

Variability hypothesis

The variability hypothesis , also the Greater Male Variability Hypothesis, is the hypothesis that males display greater variability in traits than females do. It has often been discussed in relation to cognitive ability, where it has been observed that human males are more likely than females to have very high or very low intelligence. The sex-difference in the variability of intelligence has been discussed since at least Charles Darwin. Sex-differences in variability are present in many abilities and traits – including physical, psychological and genetic ones. It is not only found in humans but in other sexually-selected species as well.

Either the variability hypothesis is true, or it is false.

The only way to know is to do research.

On August 28, 2018, Theodore P. Hill, a retired professor of mathematics at Georgia Institute of Technology, published a scientific paper titled “An Evolutionary Theory for the Variability Hypothesis,” which supported the variability hypothesis.

The paper has been put online here: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1703.04184.pdf

And here is an archive of that same link: https://web.archive.org/web/20180910143245/https://arxiv.org/pdf/1703.04184.pdf

Social justice accused an academic journal of sexism for publishing the paper. The journal acted very cowardly and has since rescinded the publication. Since the journal still owns the copyright, other academic journals are not allowed to publish it.

Censoring the paper has caused it to become far more popular than it otherwise would have been. Apparently, social justice warriors either don’t know about, don’t care about, or don’t understand the Streisand effect.

September 11, 2018. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Education, Math, Political correctness, Science, Sexism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Miami bridge that collapsed lifted into place without suspension cables, support tower

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/03/16/miami-bridge-collapse-suspension-cables-support-tower/431418002/

Miami bridge that collapsed lifted into place without suspension cables, support tower

March 16, 2018

The pedestrian bridge that collapsed in Miami was designed as a suspension bridge, but the central tower typical of such a structure wasn’t in place when the main span was lifted into place Saturday.

Florida International University posted pictures of the bridge as envisioned, with a tall central column and cables stretching down to hold the bridge, shaped like a sailboat. The design is called a cable-stayed bridge, which is a type of suspension bridge.

Cable-stayed bridges have cables attached directly from the column to the span, while suspension bridges string cables between towers and have other cables descend to the span.

#DidYouKnow the new pedestrian bridge that will connect our FIU and the @CitySweetwater is the first in the world to be constructed entirely of self-cleaning concrete? #WorldsAheadpic.twitter.com/lQVJh09Pv2
— FIU News (@FIUnews) March 10, 2018

Amjad Aref, a professor at University of Buffalo’s Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, said a suspended bridge is typically built gradually, with the center tower or towers erected early.

Pictures from the scene of the collapse don’t show a central tower.

“Whoever is going to investigate, they will ask the fundamental question: shouldn’t the tower be there, and the cables ready to connect to the structure, when you lift it?” Aref said. “That’s a question for them to answer.”

Andrew Hermann, past president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, said cable-stayed bridges are built in stages, with pieces of roadbed placed on piers before the cables are attached. At each phase in the project, the supports such as piers are designed to hold the entire weight placed on them, he said.

“When you’re doing staged construction like this, what you have to make sure is that at each stage that the structure is strong enough for the loads that are on the bridge,” Hermann said. “The engineering, both design and the construction engineering, should have taken that into account with the bridge in that condition.”


National Transportation Safety Board chairman Robert Sumwalt led a team of investigators Thursday to determine what went wrong and what could prevent similar collapses in the future.

“That’s part of our investigation,” Sumwalt said of the lack of central column.

Suspension bridges are popular across the country — from the George Washington Bridge in New York to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco— because the way they are built allows for construction across rivers.

The Kosciuszko Bridge, which carries Interstate 278 called the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway over Newtown Creek in New York City is a cable-stayed bridge. So is the John James Audubon Bridge across the Mississippi River in Louisiana and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Tampa.

Those bridges are much longer and heavier than the bridge at Florida International University, which was built to only handle pedestrians, not cars and trucks.

“I wish I would be on that kind of investigation, to be honest with you, because in this country we build so many cable-stay bridges for carrying trucks, not pedestrians, and all of them work fine,” Aref said. “The spans, from one end to the other, is much larger than that.”

Typically on such bridges, the central tower or towers are erected first, Aref said. Then slabs of pavement are lifted into place, alternated from each end and connected to the shortest cables closest to the span connected to the main tower, he said.

“When they cross rivers, you don’t have the luxury of having a big bridge in one piece and moving it in place like this,” Aref said.

Robert Bea, a professor of engineering and construction management at the University of California, Berkeley, told the Associated Press that without knowing precisely what happened, the “innovative installation” was risky because the bridge spanned a heavily traveled thoroughfare.

“Innovations take a design firm into an area where they don’t have applicable experience, and then we have another unexpected failure on our hands,” Bea said after reviewing the bridge’s design and photos of the collapse.

The $14.2 million FIU bridge was designed under a process called “accelerated bridge construction” that allowed for larger sections to be built and then lifted into place. A 174-foot section weighing 950 tons was hoisted and rotated into place across the six-lane road Saturday. When finished, the bridge would have been 289 feet long and 109 feet tall.

Aref said he was unaware of such a large section of bridge being put in place without supporting cables.

“I don’t want to speculate. From a structural-engineering point of view, the forensic engineers won’t take long to figure out what happened,” Aref said. “I think it is not a long investigation. There are glaring things.”

Munilla Construction Management, a Miami-based construction management firm, won the bridge contract with FIGG Bridge Engineers of Tallahassee. Munilla said it would cooperate with the investigation. FIGG said in a statement “in our 40-year history, nothing like this has ever happened before.”

But FIGG was fined in 2012 after a 90-ton section of bridge collapsed on railroad tracks in Virginia. Munilla was accused of substandard work in a lawsuit filed this month after a makeshift bridge collapsed at Fort Lauderdale International Airport.

Occupational Safety Health Administration records show fines totaling more than $50,000 against Munilla for 11 safety violations in the past five years for complaints about unsafe trenches, cement dust and other problems.

March 16, 2018. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Science, Technology. 1 comment.

R.I.P. Stephen Hawking

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43396008

Stephen Hawking dies aged 76

March 14, 2018

World renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76.

He died peacefully at his home in Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday, his family said.

The Briton was known for his work with black holes and relativity, and wrote several popular science books including A Brief History of Time.

At the age of 22 Prof Hawking was given only a few years to live after being diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease.

The illness left him in a wheelchair and largely unable to speak except through a voice synthesiser.

In a statement his children, Lucy, Robert and Tim, said: “We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today.

“He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years.”

They praised his “courage and persistence” and said his “brilliance and humour” inspired people across the world.

“He once said, ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.’ We will miss him forever.”

A book of condolence is due to be opened at Gonville and Caius College in Cambridge, where Prof Hawking was a fellow.

Prof Hawking was the first to set out a theory of cosmology as a union of relativity and quantum mechanics.

He also discovered that black holes leak energy and fade to nothing – a phenomenon that would later become known as Hawking radiation.

Through his work with mathematician Sir Roger Penrose he demonstrated that Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity implies space and time would have a beginning in the Big Bang and an end in black holes.

The scientist gained popularity outside the academic world and appeared in several TV shows including The Simpsons, Red Dwarf and The Big Bang Theory.

He was portrayed in both TV and film – recently by Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything, which charted his rise to fame and relationship with his first wife, Jane.

Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the web, was one of the first people to pay tribute to Prof Hawking.

“We have lost a colossal mind and a wonderful spirit. Rest in peace, Stephen Hawking,” he said.

The vice chancellor of the University of Cambridge – where Prof Hawking had studied and worked – Professor Stephen Toope, said he was a “unique individual” who would be remembered with “warmth and affection”.

He added: “His exceptional contributions to scientific knowledge and the popularisation of science and mathematics have left an indelible legacy. His character was an inspiration to millions.”

Prof James Hartle, who worked with him to create the Hartle-Hawking wavefunction to explain the Big Bang, said Prof Hawking had a “unique” ability to “see through all the clutter in physics” and get to the point.

He told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme: “My memory of him would be… first our work together as scientists and, second, as a human being whose whole story is a triumph over adversity [and] who inspired a lot of people, including me.”

American astrophysicist Prof George Smoot, who knew and worked with Prof Hawking, described him as “very competitive”.

He told Today: “Whenever I did something, he wanted to do it better.

“The one thing he was jealous of was I got the Nobel Prize before he did.”

Prof Lord Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal, who was at university with Prof Hawking when he was diagnosed, said his friend had “amazing willpower and determination”.

“Even mere survival would have been a medical marvel, but of course he didn’t just survive,” he said. “He became one of the most famous scientists in the world.”

British astronaut Tim Peake said Prof Hawking “inspired generations to look beyond our own blue planet and expand our understanding of the universe”.

He added: “His personality and genius will be sorely missed. My thoughts are with his family.”

Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood said Prof Hawking was “an inspiration to us all, whatever our station in life, to reach for the stars”.

He tweeted: “RIP Sir. You epitomised true courage over adversity as you explained the wonders of the universe to the world. Your achievements symbolise the pwr (sic) of the human mind.”

Local government minister Sajid Javid said: “One of most inspirational people throughout my life. A brief history on earth, an eternity in the stars.”

Labour’s Chuka Umunna tweeted: “What a wonderful and extraordinary man. A huge loss for the world, not just our country. Thinking of his family today.”

Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak said: “Stephen Hawking’s integrity and scientific dedication placed him above pure brilliance,”

Satya Nadella, Microsoft chief executive, said: “We lost a great one today. Stephen Hawking will be remembered for his incredible contributions to science – making complex theories and concepts more accessible to the masses.

“He’ll also be remembered for his spirit and unbounded pursuit to gain a complete understanding of the universe, despite the obstacles he faced.”

In his 2013 memoir he described how he felt when first diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

“I felt it was very unfair – why should this happen to me,” he wrote.

“At the time, I thought my life was over and that I would never realise the potential I felt I had. But now, 50 years later, I can be quietly satisfied with my life.”

Speaking to the BBC in 2002, his mother, Isobelle, described him as a “very normal young man”.

She said: “He liked parties. He liked pretty girls – only pretty ones. He liked adventure and he did, to some extent, like work.”

 

March 14, 2018. Tags: , . Science. Leave a comment.

These drones with super bright lights could easily be mistaken for UFOs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhOeky8yEow

February 24, 2018. Tags: , , , , . Science, Technology. Leave a comment.

Nuclear scientist wins Miss USA pageant

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2017/05/14/miss-d-c-kara-mccullough-a-25-year-old-scientist-wins-the-miss-usa-pageant/?utm_term=.cc51c10ff483

Miss D.C. Kára McCullough, a 25-year-old scientist, wins the Miss USA pageant

May 14, 2017


Miss District of Columbia USA Kara McCullough reacts after being crowned the new Miss USA in Las Vegas.

For the second year in a row, Miss D.C. won the crown at the Miss USA pageant.

Kára McCullough, a 25-year-old scientist who works at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, won the top prize Sunday night over the runner-up, Miss New Jersey Chhavi Verg, and the third-place finisher, Miss Minnesota, Meridith Gould.

McCullough — born in Italy and raised in Virginia Beach — studied nuclear chemistry at South Carolina State University. She wowed the judges early on (producers dubbed her “one of the most intelligent contestants in recent memory”), explaining that she hosts a community outreach program that helps children learn about science. She added that she hopes to inspire women who are interested in technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

“If you would have been my science teacher, I would have paid more attention in class!” declared actor Terrence Jenkins, who co-hosted the pageant along with “Dancing With the Stars” judge Julianne Hough.

In typical beauty pageant fashion, the Q&A portion required contestants to address controversial issues. McCullough’s answers to both questions — about health-care and feminism — sparked debate on social media. The first query: “Do you think affordable health-care for all U.S. citizens is a right or a privilege and why?”

“I’m definitely going to say it’s a privilege,” McCullough responded. “As a government employee, I am granted health-care. And I see firsthand that for one to have health-care, you need to have jobs. So therefore, we need to continue to cultivate this environment that we’re given the opportunities to have health-care as well as jobs to all the American citizens worldwide.”

The reaction on Twitter was immediate. Same with her second question: “What do you consider feminism to be, and do you consider yourself a feminist?”

“So as a woman scientist in the government, I’d like to lately transpose the word feminism to equalism,” McCullough said as members of the audience cheered. “I don’t really want to consider myself — try not to consider myself like this die-hard, you know, like, ‘Oh, I don’t really care about men.’ But one thing I’m gonna say, though, is women, we are just as equal as men when it comes to opportunity in the workplace.”

“And I say firsthand: I have witnessed the impact that women have in leadership in the medical sciences, as well as just in the office environment,” she added. “So as Miss USA, I would hope to promote that type of leadership responsibility globally to so many women worldwide.”

In a video posted on the Miss USA Twitter account after the competition, McCullough wept backstage as she said she was feeling “extremely overwhelmed with joy,” given that she had just entered the pageant for fun. “I decided to take life as it comes, and if I could encourage anyone else in the world to do that, please — just take your time. Understand the process is so much more important to focus on than just looking toward the outcome,” she said.

McCullough takes the crown from the reigning Miss USA, Miss D.C. Deshauna Barber. A former Army Reserve officer and IT analyst for the U.S. Commerce Department, Barber, 27, said she’s now embarking on a career as a motivational speaker.

May 15, 2017. Tags: , , , , , , . Science. Leave a comment.

Here’s the 1996 clip from “Bill Nye the Science Guy” which is currently being censored on Netflix

During the original 1996 broadcast of the “Probability” episode of the TV program “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” there was a segment that explained how a person’s gender is determined by genetics.

In 2017, Netflix aired a version of this episode in which this segment had been removed.

I don’t know if it was Netflix, Nye himself, or some other party that instigated this censorship.

Since YouTube has a nasty habit of removing politically incorrect videos, I’m including links to four videos, all of which have the clip.

The censored footage consists entirely and exclusively of the part where the young lady is talking about how gender is determined by genetics. Some of these videos also contain additional content which was not censored:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5z9s_bimnw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PArom6CRB0Q

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNpac2TYX5Y

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sV_W5nFmjA

May 3, 2017. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Education, LGBT, Political correctness, Science, Social justice warriors, Television. 1 comment.

The robotic brain surgeon will see you now: drill can perform complex procedures 50 times faster

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/05/01/robotic-brain-surgeon-will-see-now-drill-can-perform-complex/

The robotic brain surgeon will see you now: drill can perform complex procedures 50 times faster

May 1, 2017

Scientists have revealed a robotic drill that can cut the most sensitive brain surgery down from two hours to two and a half minutes.

The machine, developed at the University of Utah, is being hailed as a potential breakthrough in survival for brain patients as the reduced time they spend in surgery will drastically cut the chances of infection.

Researchers say can make one type of complex cranial surgery 50 times faster than standard procedures.

They say the drill produces fast, clean, and safe cuts, reducing the time the wound is open and the patient anaesthetized, which also decreases the chances of human error, as well as the cost of surgery.

In complex surgeries, especially cranial surgeries, surgeons typically use hand drills to make intricate openings, adding hours to a procedure.

Dr William Couldwell, neurosurgeon at University of Utah, she said: “It was like doing archaeology. We had to slowly take away the bone to avoid sensitive structures.

“We knew the technology was already available in the machine world, but no one ever applied it to medical applications.”

Under the new system, patients will undergo CT scans to establish the exact location of sensitive structures such as nerves, major veins and arteries that must be avoided.

Surgeons use this information to program the cutting path of the drill and the surgeon can program safety barriers along the cutting path within 1 mm of sensitive structures.

Dr A.K. Balaji, who also worked on the drill, said: “The software lets the surgeon choose the optimum path from point A to point B, like Google Maps.

“Think of the barriers like a construction zone. You slow down to navigate it safely.”

The drill does the heavy lifting by removing most of the bone, similar to a mill, accurately and rapidly.

It has so far not been tested on a human patient.

The research was published in the journal Neurosurgical Focus.

May 1, 2017. Tags: , , , , . Health care, Science, Technology. Leave a comment.

These fourth grade black and Latino students’ reaction to racism is far more mature than the behavior of college aged social justice warriors

My blog has a category called “social justice warriors,” which includes a huge number of examples – many with videos – of the immature, irrational, and absurd behavior of college aged social justice warriors, who oftentimes act like spoiled, crybaby toddlers throwing temper tantrums.

By comparison, take a look at the mature, dignified, and psychologically healthy way that these fourth grade black and Latino students, whose “Panther Bots” robotics team had just won a competition, reacted to the racist taunts that were hurled at them. After these fourth grade students from Indianapolis’ Pleasant Run Elementary School had racial slurs thrown at them, they responded by saying

“I feel like what they say doesn’t affect us.”

and

“When you are a good team, people are going to hate you for being good and I think what people say can make you greater.”

I hope the social justice warriors on college campuses will learn a lesson from these fourth graders.

Here’s a picture of the happy champions (image taken form here, used under fair use):



March 20, 2017. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Education, Racism, Science, Social justice warriors, Technology. 1 comment.

Heroic dog saves friend from river! Or he just wants a stick.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6xJIw0V2Fk

February 5, 2017. Tags: , , , , , . Animals, Science. 1 comment.

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