Monday, November 23, 2009

Herons, an eagle, ducks and a cat

It's November and the minds of great blue herons turn to thoughts of love, or maybe to thoughts of squabbling over territory. One of them has been persistently chasing another one, or else two of them are persistently chasing one another, back and forth across the property between here and the pond. Who but a heron can tell the difference between one and another? If this was a nature show on PBS or The Discovery Channel the scene would now shift to graphic heron porn; but this is an unscripted nature show so they'll probably retreat out of sight if they get down to making new herons.

But enough of the doings of herons. Last evening Linda and I went to Benny's 70th birthday party down in Kimberton. Benny put out quite a spread at the Kimberton Arts Center for about a hundred people. A bunch of folks from the Ballroom on High were there, along with Benny's family and others that he's met over the years. A real Italian event. Much of the dance music was from the Mob Hits CD, it seemed. Perhaps Benny grew up in South Philly. They have a nice dance floor at that place.

Afterwards we called Alex up in Boston and learned that Christina has had the flu for the past few days. One of her co-workers was diagnosed with Swine Flu, so that may have been the variant.

Now there's a golden eagle cruising around out there. Those herons had better not get too caught up in what they're doing. The ducks on the pond don't like that eagle circling, or maybe they've noticed the black cat stalking around. A lot of excitement over there but the ducks did not take flight the way they do when I walk over to the pond. Perhaps the eagle wants them to take off so he can get one on the wing?

Where was I? This has been quite a dancing weekend. Besides Benny's party we went to the ballroom on Saturday evening for another Samba class and then the dance party. There's clearly a trick to the Samba because older and fatter guys than me do it without getting exhausted. Heck, Vince does it and he's about a ninety years old; yet it wears me out. His secret seems to be that he just shuffles his feet a bit and lets the woman do all the fast moving; but that's hard to do.

A mob of crows just got cued to join in the nature show. About ten of them just chased the eagle away.

Linda and I took a walk around the new shopping center up on 29 the other day and found a store the size of an old time supermarket that sells nothing but cosmetics. It's a very strange movie we humans are acting in. Ten percent unemployment while a dozen stores over there are hiring staff at $8 an hour, and someone thinks there will be enough demand for cosmetics to paint and putty up a thousand Cleopatras for a barge trip down the Nile.

Before I forget, Sam and I talked with Al and Jas down in Florida on Saturday. The Villages is building over a hundred houses a month in new clusters that are stretching for more miles. Jas said his house will be equidistant between Spanish Springs and the new town center that they're planning. He met a couple of guys who drove about 45 minutes in their golf carts to get to the course he played with them. He and Kathy are flying up today (Monday) and they'll be staying until after Christmas.

Alex mentioned seeing the news that someone has hacked the computer system of one of the biggest science centers that has been promoting global warming "evidence." Quite a controversy building there if all those emails are real. According to the hacked and published emails those "scientists" have been tampering with the data for years in attempts to hide the lack of global warming for the past decade. That's the same group that has refused to release their raw data for analysis by others. And the same group that claimed to have "lost" or deleted data because they didn't have enough storage capacity on their computers when it appeared they would be forced to release the data because it was accumulated using government funding.

It appears some supposed scientists have been acting like predatory cats and eagles stalking around and hovering over ducks on a pond. We're the ducks.

Here are some samples from those emails:

Manipulation of evidence:

"I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline."

Private doubts about whether the world really is heating up:

"The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate."

Suppression of evidence:

"Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?
Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment — minor family crisis.
Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address.
We will be getting Caspar to do likewise."

From National Review's blog Planet Gore -

The BBC has reported that the emails are real. And it offers the suggestion that the "scientists" at that lab improve their computer security so they can manipulate data in the future without fear that their shenanigans will be embarrassingly revealed.

"I trust that they will now be looking at the systems, and investigating how this happened and ensuring that something like this does not happen again."

Much better if the ducks never learn about the cat.

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