Friday Linkzookery – 07 Mar 2008

In California, it’s solar panels vs. redwoods
A man asked prosecutors to file charges against his neighbors because their towering redwoods blocked sunlight to his backyard solar panels.

A complete list of things caused by global warming
All that on only .006 degrees C per year.

Mauser Broomhandle: First Assault Pistol Ever
The nickname –Broomhandle” refers to the devastating wounds it produces. It served as the inspiration for all other assault pistols, such as the MAC-10, TEC-9, and Glock.

Medium Image

The Battle of Midway: The Destruction of the Japanese Fleet (Graphic Battles of World War II)
Graphic Novel of the turning point in the Pacific War.

Corps Suspends Flak Jacket Order
USMC Modular Tactical Vests are too heavy and cumbersome, troops say.

Navy destroys Japanese mine from WWII
Guam EOD detachment does this about 100 times per year according to the story.

Michigan prisons to ban smoking by inmates, staff
I’m sure the inmates will be thankful for the health benefits this will bring and express their gratitude in an appropriate manner.

Oil Bubble About to Pop?
Speculation, not demand, driving higher prices?

UPDATE: Day job keeps interfering with Linkzookery. Something must be done. Anyway:

When the bullet hits the bone
Friday Night Video on GunPundit: Golden Earring: “Twilight Zone” Uncensored

Better Living Through Chemistry
One of the Brickmuppet’s Crack Team of Science Babes(tm) points the way to better living through chemistry with this report from Brian Wang on recent carbon nanotube developments.

Boeing reassessing schedule for new 787
Aircraft may face further delays; company hopes to deliver planes in 2009. Nice.

Carnival of Space #44: The Angry Red Planet Edition
To Mars! And a wee bit beyond.

Coast Guard’s Clean Slate
Axe on the NSC and such.

Northrop, Oshkosh Unveil 2nd JLTV Prototype
Built to accommodate a lightweight active protection system for thin-skinned vehicles.

For the Record: U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Are Down
Yeah, but campaign season is heating up.

Be careful what you wish for, Rush
Bob Krumm: I’ve long been of the belief that Hillary Clinton would be the much easier Democratic candidate for a Republican to beat next November. Now I’m not so sure. I’ve never thought that. Against Obama, HIllary is having it tough. Against an old white guy, she can play her ‘A’ game.


  1. Oil bubble about to pop? Isn’t that the kind of self serving rumor we hear every time oil goes up in price? The price of oil is going up at about the same rate the value of the dollar is declining, or slightly slower. Doesn’t seem like a bubble to me. What does seem like a bubble is the borrow and spend economic lie we’ve been living for the past 15 years, or maybe house of cards would be a better description. The sad thing is, our children will be paying the bills for our excesses for a long time after we’re gone. Anyone want to lay odds on whether or not this will ever be called ‘the greatest generation’? I’m thinking they’re pretty damn steep.

  2. Boeing is being burned twice by outsourcing. You’d think they’d learn a lesson. They probably will. They’ll become the domestic sales retailer for Airbus. You’ll be able to pick one up off their lot just like you can buy a Toyota. Of course, they’ll be assembled in Alabama for a small fee, or you can have the components shipped directly to your hangar for those handy with a screwdriver and wrench, who don’t mind instructions poorly translated from the original French.

  3. I know Boeing’s had a serious supply issue with both carbon fiber and titanium rod. The latter is especially dire because they need to custom machine fasteners which has a long lead time to begin with, and it doesn’t help that the worldwide Titanium industry is basically running at capacity already. The 787 program has created world-wide carbon fiber shortages and hasn’t done much better for the supply of wrought Ti products, either.

  4. Most amusing (of all the links) is the one about the MDOC’s plan to go smokeless at thier prisons (40+ I think). I wonder if they’re going to do this in their minimum security camps too? Anyway………….curently State law requires no smoking within 20 feet of the entrance of any building, or within 100 feet of any building whose entrance the public uses. Of course, there are designated smoking areas with the obligatory butt cans outside all the prison buildings. And, you can smoke anywhere else outside as long as you observe the ‘not within the banned distance from entrances’ restriction. Several MDOC prisons (including the Newberry Correctional Facilty) tried the smokeless plan back in the mid ’90s. That’s right…………..didnt work well at all. Overnight you you transformed a smoking into a mini version of 1920s prohibition and all the bootlegging, speakeasy, dodge the coppers silliness that went with it. I spoke with a collegue from Newbarry, who told me the black market price of cigarettes had immediately jumped to 5-7 bucks (not so shocking now, but pretty pricey in the mid 90s) each or $100-$120/carton. Tobacco immediately became more desireable than marijuana and many other illegal drugs. People were putting tobacco and rolling papers in tennis balls and throwing them over the perimeter fence, and leaving smokes and paraphenalia in wadded up McDonald’s bags in the parking lot and on the grounds as ‘trash’ for minimum security work crews to pick up and smubble back inside. Unlike weed and heroin, tobacco was legal outside, and with the internal pricing, it was very tempting for employees to smuggle smokes or tobacco into the prisoners (if you got stopped by the cops for a busted tail light, and you’ve got a trunk full of cigarettes………it’s not quite the same worry as a trunk full of kilos). Did I mention the staff catching cons trying to stuff smokes into bodily orifices (that weren’t designed for it) in the visiting room? LOL! Anyway………after a few months of this foolishness, the MDOC said bleep it, and let the test prisons go back to the smoking outside regime……………instantly destroying the cigarette black market. Those who don’t remember the past……………..

  5. Where did ‘numberwatch’ get 0.006c/yr? There are a number of contexts which needed to be explained: Surface or Troposphere, and over what Time Period and what kind of averaging to smooth out the bumps and dips from El Nino/La Nina and sun spot cycle? Even highly conservative UAH troposphere satellite record is at 0.14c per decade since the late 70’s That’s .014c/yr Going to a Surface record; over the last 100 years surface temp has on average risen 0.74c, 0.074/decade, or 0.0074/yr. The last 50, 0.13c per decade .013/yr. That’s a big jump in rates; this is because most of the warming has occurred in the last 50 years. The 1995-2005, 0.2/decade or 0.02/year. I suppose if on just looked at the past couple years then one might see 0.006/yr. But this would fail to account for the momentary trough in the sun spot cycle and La Nina…both of which are currently keeping a very temporary lid on the warming trend. I think ‘Numberwatch’ needs some lessons in math and statistics.

  6. Sam, from what I can see the figures you quote include temperature pollution from urban sources (tarmac, cars, electricity, industry, etc.). It may be that figure is derived rather than measured. The source is possibly this review paper which calculates the sensitivity a number of different ways. In other words, the figures you quote are actually the sum of several different things – natural short-term random variations in climate, human biases in the record and any actual long-term change in the climate (regardless of source). However the figure that guy quotes may just be an estimate of the human portion of the contribution.

  7. I guess I should point out that the satellite measurements aren’t UHI-polluted but they’re not surface temperature measurements and they’re too short to draw long term trends. There are still some questions (in my mind anyway) about how the 30s compared to the 90s. We have even less clue about the long term trend when we go back to before the Little Ice Age.

  8. Nicholas, Numberswatch is still unexcused for not supplying it’s own number. And I would disagree that the temperature record is polluted with UHI. Urban heat has added about 0.006c to the total increase in the global record; remember that most of the earth is covered with water, and most of the land is not urbanised, yet all those are still monitored, and land in wild/rural areas are experiencing growing temperatures too. The satellite troposphere measurements were meant to be understood as separate from the surface measurements, which is why it is called troposphere, the near part of the atmosphere. Point being that Numberswatch did not distinguish between the two datasets. ‘Adjusting for Urban Heat Island effect When compiling temperature records, NASA GISS go to great pains to remove any possible influence from Urban Heat Island Effect. They compare urban long term trends to nearby rural trends. They then adjust the urban trend so it matches the rural trend. The process is described in detail on the NASA website (Hansen 2001). They found in most cases, urban warming was small and fell within uncertainty ranges. Surprisingly, 42% of city trends are cooler relative to their country surroundings as weather stations are often sited in cool islands (eg – a park within the city). The point is they’re aware of UHI and rigorously adjust for it when analysing temperature records.’

  9. p.s. trudging through the Numberwatch site to find something resembling a source for the 0.006c/yr claim, there was a different claim of 0.0076/yr over a twenty five year period as of 2006. This is more complete in that it includes a time frame and an ending date. But it still lacks clarification on whether this was Tropsphere or Surface or what; and 0.0076 is NOT 0.006. And the Link which purported as much, was broken. But the link suggested a UAH origin. Going again to UAH’s 2006 report (Christy and SPencer) on the Climate, there is no mention of either 0.006 or 0.0076 of anything. And plenty of agreement with basic IPCC statements. Oooh and a map showing most of the worlds troposhpere warming occuring over areas which have nada to do with urban areas at magnitudes much greater than 0.00x.

  10. pps, another important detail when discussing changes in the Tropospheric record, is whether one is discussing Radiosonde balloon data, or satellite data. With the satellite data a distinction needs to be made between UAH data and Remote Sensing Systems data. And even then, a distinction needs to be made among which Channel is being examined, different channels represent different altitudes in the Troposphere. So please, be more specific.

  11. Urban heat has added about 0.006c to the total increase in the global record; remember that most of the earth is covered with water, and most of the land is not urbanised, yet all those are still monitored, and land in wild/rural areas are experiencing growing temperatures too.’ Where do you get that figure? Analyses I have seen show that a large percentage of the temperature sensors are in urban locations. This makes sense, we tend to measure temperature where people live. A lot of the temperature data in unoccupied areas is extrapolated from temperatures measured in populated areas, obviously not a good idea. Many rural stations show no major trend whereas urban stations do. A lot of information on this is available at where Mr. McIntyre is currently involved in going through a lot of temperature records and is finding a lot of inconsistencies. There has been much discussion of how to determine the degree of UHI and most of the conclusions seem to be that we don’t really know the extent of UHI but most analyses I’ve read seem to agree that it’s not being properly accounted for.

  12. A lot of the temperature data in unoccupied areas is extrapolated from temperatures measured in populated areas, obviously not a good idea.’ Let me read that (statement from the link I provided) back to you, this time more clearly: ‘They then adjust the urban trend so it matches the rural trend.’ I don’t think I got it backwards. That and: ‘They found in most cases, urban warming was small and fell within uncertainty ranges. Surprisingly, 42% of city trends are cooler relative to their country surroundings as weather stations are often sited in cool islands (eg – a park within the city).’ …so if anything, adjusters had to increase the temp numbers from the urban stations in order to account for artificially cool biases in those urban areas. Read paragraph 3 after the intro: ‘Where do you get that figure?’ Can’t remember…but in looking for it again, I may have got it wrong. Found this: ‘The Fourth Assessment Report from the IPCC (2007: p.244) says the following. Studies that have looked at hemispheric and global scales conclude that any urban-related trend is an order of magnitude smaller than decadal and longer time-scale trends evident in the series (e.g., Jones et al., 1990; Peterson et al., 1999). This result could partly be attributed to the omission from the gridded data set of a small number of sites (<1%) with clear urban-related warming trends. In a worldwide set of about 270 stations, Parker (2004, 2006) noted that warming trends in night minimum temperatures over the period 1950 to 2000 were not enhanced on calm nights, which would be the time most likely to be affected by urban warming. Thus, the global land warming trend discussed is very unlikely to be influenced significantly by increasing urbanization (Parker, 2006). ... Accordingly, this assessment adds the same level of urban warming uncertainty as in the TAR: 0.006-

  13. Thanks for the link, James. That truely is a great article, befitting the airplane. This paragraph sums up specifically why I think we need a Mach 3 bomber:

    For the first time in two days, the inlet door closes flush and all vibration is gone. We’ve become so used to the constant buzzing that the jet sounds quiet now in comparison. The Mach correspondingly increases slightly and the jet is flying in that confidently smooth and steady style we have so often seen at these speeds. We reach our target altitude and speed, with five miles to spare. Entering the target area, in response to the jet’s new-found vitality, Walt says, ‘That’s amazing’ and with my left hand pushing two throttles farther forward, I think to myself that there is much they don’t teach in engineering school.

    That is exactly it. I had an incompressible flow professor in college who knew at least some of the aerodynamic tricks that went into the design of the SR-71. He’d never tell us about that kind of thing directly. He would allude to things and tell us that ‘if we needed to know them, we would learn more about them when we worked in the industry.’ Little did any of us suspect then that ‘the industry’ was about to go to hell in a handbasket. There are things that true aircraft designers know that odds are no one reading this will ever imagine. Probably only a hand full of people in this world know such things. Things that are passed down from one master designer to his apprentices, if they know enough to pay attention. Of course it’s hard to learn much when it takes 25 years to build a fighter jet. We outsource our president’s helicopter and our latest tanker to Europe, and live in this blissful ignorance of what it is we are destroying. We spend at Cold War levels and get nothing but a swift kick in the ass for it, and all anyone knows to do is say, ‘thank you sir may I have another.’ There are still a few who know. A handful of people who know what we are missing. That handful has no political clout. No power at all, really. They can build airplanes for you that fly higher, farther, and faster than you can even imagine, or not. They don’t owe it to you to build aircraft like the SR-71, even though that seems to be what the US taxpayer believes is true. These people can just as easily take that knowledge to the grave with them as so many have done before, and that’s exactly what will happen if things are not turned around in a hurry.

  14. Several prominent leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention said Monday that Baptists have a moral responsibility to combat climate change — a major shift within a denomination that just last year cast doubt on human responsibility for global warming. Forty-six influential members of the Southern Baptist Convention, including three of its last four presidents, criticized their denomination in a statement Monday for being ‘too timid’ in confronting global warming. ‘Our cautious response to these issues in the face of mounting evidence may be seen by the world as uncaring, reckless and ill-informed,’ the statement says. ‘We can do better.’ – CNN

    Now if they’d stop fighting with scientists on The Theory of Evolution too, it would go a long way toward not making them look like a bunch of morons. Politics substituting for religion is all any of this is.

  15. Boeing is formally protesting the tanker decision, something they haven’t done in over 30 years. Given the ability of the USAF to screw things up lately, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were successful. Check this out:

    ‘There were changes made, frankly, to keep Northrop in the competition because the Air Force had to have competition, but over time that really skewed it in their favor,’ McGraw told Bloomberg Television. ‘We don’t think that was fair to us.’ – Bloomburg

    How’s that for dorked up? The USAF continually changed the rules to keep Scarebus in the competiton, thanks, no doubt, to pressure they were recieving from Republicans like John McCain, the potential next president of the United States. Yeah, buddy, just think of all those great aircraft assembly jobs we will have right here in the good ol’ US of A when McDumbass is president. Those aren’t the low skilled, low wage jobs we used to send overseas. No sir. Not just anyone can stick a bolt in a hole and turn a nut onto it. That takes a special kind of low paid dork right there. You know, the kind that’s just not satisfied saying, ‘do you want fries with that?’

  16. Airbus drove Lockheed and McDonnell-Douglas out of the business of commercial aircraft and almost took down Boeing. And like indolent buffalo munching grass as they are shot one by one, we let it happen. Lost U.S. jobs should not be our primary concern, said McCain, ‘I’ve always felt the best thing to do is to create the best weapons system we can at minimum cost to taxpayers.’ But if McCain thinks cost trumps all in building weapons of war, why not outsource the building of U.S. carriers, cruisers, destroyers, frigates and submarines to the foreign shipyards that constuct America’s merchant ships? Why not hire and train foreign sailors as crews? Why not outsource the scores of thousands of U.S. government jobs handling Social Security checks and tax returns to Bangladesh and India? After all, the neocons want to hire foreign mercenaries to fight America’s wars and reward them with U.S. citizenship, as the Romans did in the last days of the empire. What does it mean to be an American anymore? It took 20 years to wake up blockheaded Republicans to the social insanity of open borders. Only the collapse of his candidacy last summer jolted McCain into realizing that the 80 percent of Americans who reject amnesty and want a border fence are not all ‘bigots,’ as his Tonto, Lindsay Graham, said they were. Is it going to take 20 more years for Republicans to awaken to the economic disaster they have created and the political ruin they are inviting with this fanatic faith in ‘free trade,’ while the rest of the world loots our country through mercantilism? When Europe imposes a 15 percent value-added tax on U.S. imports and rebates the VAT on exports to the United States, that is not free trade. When China devalues its currency 45 percent, as it did in 1994, and bolts it down to suck jobs and factories out of the United States, that is not free trade. When Japan manipulates its currency, preaches economic nationalism to its people, and shelters its market for TVs, autos and steel, while dumping into and capturing ours, that is not free trade. – Pat Buchanan, Human Events

    At least I can say that I did not go quietly, though I might resemble the ‘indolent buffalo’ superficially.