Tuesday Evening Open Thread

Evening Y’all

I have just a few links for you tonight, starting with the latest shark attack in Australia. This Great White sounds like something out of the movie Jaws. Western Australia Shark Attack: Great White Bites Surfer Benjamin Charles Linden In Half

According to the Examiner, locals have nicknamed the large shark Brutus. Witnesses have described Brutus as being between 16 and 24-feet long.

The Western Australia Department of Fisheries set up baited traps near the attack site in an attempt to catch the shark, according to the Australian. A helicopter and boat search was also launched in an effort to recover the body, but it has not been found.

Although the gruesome incident was the fifth deadly shark attack reported off the coast of Western Australia in the past 10 months, some local surfers aren’t likely to be deterred.

“Once you are a surfer — and only a surfer knows the feeling — we cannot stop surfing. We are addicted,” surfing competition organizer Peter Dunn told Fox News, calling the attack a “tragic loss.”

According to the International Shark Attack File, there were 12 deaths from unprovoked shark attacks around the world in 2011. But although shark attacks often make news, some activists point out that humans are a greater threat to sharks than sharks are to humans.

I still think it is crazy to go surfing when there is such a threat out there. The reason I put this link up anyway is because at the bottom of the page there are pictures of various kinds of sharks. Some of them look extra-terrestrial.

On to another link that may make some of you cringe as well: US geoengineers to spray sun-reflecting chemicals from balloon

Two Harvard engineers are to spray sun-reflecting chemical particles into the atmosphere to artificially cool the planet, using a balloon flying 80,000 feet over Fort Sumner, New Mexico.

The field experiment in solar geoengineering aims to ultimately create a technology to replicate the observed effects of volcanoes that spew sulphates into the stratosphere, using sulphate aerosols to bounce sunlight back to space and decrease the temperature of the Earth.

David Keith, one of the investigators, has argued that solar geoengineering could be an inexpensive method to slow down global warming, but other scientists warn that it could have unpredictable, disastrous consequences for the Earth’s weather systems and food supplies. Environmental groups fear that the push to make geoengineering a “plan B” for climate change will undermine efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

Keith, who manages a multimillion dollar geoengineering research fund provided by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, previously commissioned a study by a US aerospace company that made the case for the feasibility of large-scale deployment of solar geoengineering technologies.

Please go to the link to read the rest. It makes me think of those science fiction films from the fifties and sixties.

Speaking of going backwards, to a different time. Check it out…we aren’t the only ones with the christian fundamentalist wrecking out schools: Creationist groups win Michael Gove’s approval to open free schools

Michael Gove

Michael Gove has backed creationists’ proposals for free schools in Sunderland, Sevenoaks and Nottinghamshire. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

The education secretary, Michael Gove, has approved three free schools run by groups with creationist views, including one with a document on its website declaring that it teaches “creation as a scientific theory”.

Grindon Hall Christian school in Sunderland, a private school due to reopen in September with state funding, says on its website that it will present creationism as science and affirm the position that Christians believe God’s creation of the world is “not just a theory but a fact”.

Ministers have also approved a free school in Sevenoaks, Kent, that says on its website it will teach in RE classes that “God made the world”, while a third free school, in Nottinghamshire, is a fresh proposal from a group initially turned down over creationism.

In the US, where the campaign for creationism has been stronger, the states of Louisiana and Tennessee have recently passed laws allowing the science underpinning evolution to be critiqued in the classroom. But the creationist lobby has been less successful in gaining a foothold in Britain.

Secular groups have been concerned that the free schools policy – which allows parents, charities or faith groups to set up new schools – would allow the state-funded teaching of creationism.

Ugh, I feel sick. What the hell is happening to us? One of the free schools has this on its website:

Grindon Hall says it teaches evolution as “an established scientific principle, as far as it goes”. However, the school’s policy document adds: “We believe no scientific theory provides – or ever will provide – a satisfactory explanation of origins, ie why the world appeared, and how nothing became something in the first place.”

The principal says that document is “obsolete” and that they would not teach creationism in science….personally the whole idea of creationism is obsolete. These extremist are taking over everywhere!

So, this is an open thread, have at it!

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16 Comments on “Tuesday Evening Open Thread”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Wow, what a post! The shark attacks are scary. But that idea of spraying sun-reflecting chemicals might be even scarier. Gee, what could go wrong with something like that? I remember when DDT was seen as a miraculous chemical.

  2. dakinikat says:

    I wonder why creationists always pick ONE creation myth as science. Hmmmm… could it be SATAN?

    • northwestrain says:

      My personal creation myth is that of the ancient Hawaiians. They had more of the details and their view of the after life was also very complex and somewhat logical.

      On the other hand the Christian’s creation myth is plagiarizer from earlier cultures — and besides there are several versions — so which Christian myth will be the real “scientific” myth?

      By the way the Mormon form of genealogy can trace their founders through to Jesus and then back to Adam and Eve!! Amazing what a hold some prehistoric mythology still has on millions of illiterate humans. (Oops you mean some of those myth believers can actually read?)

      • northwestrain says:

        That should read — my personal favorite creation myth.

        So many indigenous cultures have wonderful creation myths — Native Americans — each tribe seems to have different myths — no wonder since there were are least three major migrations from Asia to North America. And how did the Indigenous people get to South America — perhaps before the North American migration??????????

        Satan is a creation of the west — there isn’t a Satan in the New World nor in the Pacific oceanic cultures. Bad people/gods but not any Satan.

  3. Pat Johnson says:

    Mink, your post revealing the “Creationism” schools follows some of what was being discussed on the last thread.

    It is a sign of some form of mental illness when people outright refuse to accept the facts as they are. How many scientist have established that the world is billions of years old yet these people insist that it is only about 10 thousand years old and that dinosaurs and people romped together in the backyard?

    Science goes on to suggest that climate temps are rising along with the ocean level but they deny this study and point to an “angry god” as reasons for the natural disasters which seem to be coming more rapidly than ever.

    Science has also determined, much through the study of DNA, that biology determines sexual behavior. Again, an outright denial as they choose to believe a book written over 2,000 yrs ago as factual proof instead. Like we all descended from that popular dysfunctional family known as Adam and Eve.

    To continue to deny “facts” has to be a form of mental instabilty when those facts have been proven over and over again.

    If normal society today has any interest in existence in decades to come it must sever itself from these fantasies and the fanaticists who say differently.

    Unless you are interested in beachfront property in landlocked Idaho then these are the very people who will get you the best deal.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Bain is in the process of outsourcing 170 jobs from a plant in Illinois to China. The employees are begging Romney to help them save their jobs. The layoffs are scheduled for November. That’s going to look good right near the election, isn’t it?

    Plus the article says Romney still owns a controlling interest in Bain.

  5. northwestrain says:

    If you are wondering where people are getting some of their religious indoctrination — check this link from time to time. I can only stand to read just a bit of the right wing’s alternative reality.

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/

  6. NW Luna says:

    I just don’t understand how people can believe this shit.

    …it will present creationism as science and affirm the position that Christians believe God’s creation of the world is “not just a theory but a fact”.

    Never mind that creationism meets none of the criteria for science. And if Xians believe their deity created the world, that’s an opinion, not science.

    I’m surprised that the UK is allowing this. It’s usually far less wacko than the US.

    • bostonboomer says:

      They are getting nuttier over there. They’ve got the anti-birth control crowd now too.

  7. NW Luna says:

    From PubMed:
    Philos Transact A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2008 Nov 13;366(1882):4007-37.
    An overview of geoengineering of climate using stratospheric sulphate aerosols.
    Rasch PJ, Tilmes S, Turco RP, Robock A, Oman L, Chen CC, Stenchikov GL, Garcia RR. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO

    The delivery of sulphur species to the stratosphere in a way that will produce particles of the right size is shown to be a complex and potentially very difficult task. … While the introduction of the geoengineering source of sulphate aerosol will perturb the sulphur cycle of the stratosphere signicantly, it is a small perturbation to the total (stratosphere and troposphere) sulphur cycle. The geoengineering source would thus be a small contributor to the total global source of ‘acid rain’ that could be compensated for through improved pollution control of anthropogenic tropospheric sources. Some areas of research remain unexplored. [my comment: No shit!] … The aerosol will also change the ratio of diffuse to direct energy reaching the surface, and this may influence ecosystems. The impact of geoengineering on these components of the Earth system has not yet been studied. Representations for the formation, evolution and removal of aerosol and distribution of particle size are still very crude, and more work will be needed to gain confidence in our understanding of the deliberate production of this class of aerosols and their role in the climate system.

  8. RalphB says:

    From The Australian. Definitely a lot more now than when I lived in Sydney some years ago. Though the number of people killed by shark attacks is probably not near the count from Box Jellyfish encounters.

    Surfer killed by shark off Wedge Island near Perth

    It was the fifth fatal shark incident off Western Australia since September – an unprecedented number that sparked calls earlier this year for a cull.

    On March 31, 33-year-old diver Peter Kurmann was taken by a shark in waters near Busselton in the state’s south west.

    A 32-year-old American, George Wainwright, died after being bitten by a great white shark on October 22 last year while diving off the tourist destination of Rottnest Island offshore Perth.

    Only 12 days earlier, 64-year-old Bryn Martin disappeared while taking his daily swim at Perth’s popular Cottesloe Beach. His Speedos were later found, with experts saying that damage was consistent with a shark attack.

    On September 4 last year, Kyle James Burden was attacked while bodyboarding at Bunker Bay, about 300km south of Perth.

    Mr McAuley recently said that the state was the deadliest place in the world for shark attacks. He said there had been an unprecedented number of fatal shark attacks off WA in the past two years.

    Last month, 62-year-old surf life saver Martin Kane was rescued by one of his fellow paddlers when a shark attacked his surf ski at Mullaloo beach in Perth’s northern suburbs.

    That attack came just hours after another great white, thought to be five metres long, lunged from the water at a crab fisherman at a dive park south of Perth.

    Sharks are common in Australian waters but deadly attacks are rare, with only one of the average 15 incidents a year typically proving fatal.

    Experts say the average number of attacks in the country has increased in line with population growth and the popularity of water sports.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      Sharks (along with other predators) have to eat too. When humans decimate the prey species of these predators, the predators have to adapt to hunt/kill/eat anything that looks edible. This seems like at least one contributing factor to increased attacks. Add to that the changing temperatures in the oceans, which is causing critters to appear in new areas in larger numbers. But then, that’s using scientific thinking. Novel concept these days.