Friday Linkzookery – 04 Sep 2009

Soul of a People: Writing America’s Story
Smithsonian Channel 2-parter about a WPA project to create state guidebooks. It premiers this Sunday.

In Revolutionary Color
Amazing 100-year-old color photos from Russia.

School speech backlash builds
No backlash here. Murdoc’s kids are homeschooled.

At Last, A Graph That Explains Scifi TV After Star Trek
Not sure about accuracy but is certainly interesting to look at and think about.

Solar Panels Built Into Roads Could Be the Future of Energy
Each mile of interstate could take 500 homes off the grid.

Telegraphs Ran on Electric Air in Crazy 1859 Magnetic Storm
Auroral Current. Cool.

Feral Houses
Overgrown abandoned houses in Detroit.

Canned Tactical Bacon
Yes. Canned Tactical Bacon.

Global Warming Could Forestall Ice Age
I can never keep up with whether we’re saved or doomed.


  1. Methinks keeping the solar panels clean enough to generate power would be a problem. I like the idea about having stairs, sidewalks etc., generating power from the up and down motion created by walking or driving on it.

  2. “Amazing 100-year-old color photos from Russia.”

    You know it’s kinda scary.

    I was born in 1942 and 100-years seems so long ago till I do the math!

  3. Personally, the idea of a road based solar power sounds to good to be true, but if they could at least heat the roads to prevent ice & snow build up I would gladly support a gas tax increase… and so would the bridge I hit doing the ice dance.

  4. The NY Times article (last link) is based on what at this stage seems to be a highly flawed study (not all the data and methods are available to fully check yet) so I wouldn’t place too much weight on it. Among other problems, they used some data series upside-down, they used obsolete versions of some series, many of the series are truncated or incomplete, some of the series are definitely not temperature proxies and others arguably aren’t. So I would just ignore it.

    See for details.

    This is just “Business as usual”, the same group of people putting out flawed studies with biased conclusions and having them plastered all over the media before they can be properly checked. After they’re checked and found invalid, we won’t hear a peep out of the media about it.

    As for the solar panels in the road, what happens at night or on a cloudy day? Are there going to be huge battery banks somewhere to store the energy from the day time? If not all they can do is replace peaking power some of the time.

  5. Those 100 year old photos are amazing. I think this is the second time you have linked to a collection of pre-Bolshevik color photos. The bridges and buildings appear more advanced than what is in a lot of nations today.

  6. The Global Warming saving us from the ice age was funny. Though I don’t know which way to run now, as far as buying end of the world supplies (a life raft and swim suits vs thermal under wear and lots of fuel for the heater).

    I’ll have to bring this up with my left wing stoner friends. 🙂

  7. Flanker, there is a serious possibility that human activities have prolonged the current interglacial. As I understand it, this interglacial period (the “Holocene”) is the longest such period during the current ice age (yes, we are in an ice age, there are significant amounts of ice at the poles).

    There is serious research that suggests that agriculture may be responsible. Or it could just be random variations in climate. It’s hard to know…

    I don’t think the particular study has anything to say about it one way or the other though, for the reasons I mentioned above.

  8. Hey Toejam, (youngster to me)

    Your link on the missing Russian ship sounds like it was written by some of the loony tunes of the “9-11 Truthers” and/or those who wear their little Tin Hats and talk to life forms from far, far out in space.

  9. Nicholas:
    The historical agricultural influence (early anthropocene) theory is being pushed by William Ruddiman and some of his mates. It’s a neat theory, but as of yet can’t be falsified. With luck the new ice cores will have enough resolution to tell us more about the last few millennia!

    bit of a classic golden mean fallacy there, eh old chap?

    don’t bother getting climate research papers from the press or bloggers. They misquote, misinterpret, and only report the few headline-grabbing ‘sexy’ studies. Go for some climate science digests if you want an unbiased sample. A good rule is that if policy is ever suggested, it’s not something that showed up in a peer-reviewed journal (unless it’s about geo-engineering). Lefties and righties misquoting the “other side’s” poor interpretation of research results has fueled most of the foolish public “debate” over climate change.

    Oh, and Obama’s speech seems like the only positive thing US schools have seen in awhile. Wouldn’t catch my kids in those mc-job training factories. Congrats on the homeschooling.

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