When CO2 Saved Life on Earth

Peter Sinclair writes at Climate Denial Crock of the Week:

 

The story of “snowball earth” has been distorted and used as confusion fodder by climate denial luminaries like His Celestial Magnanimity, the looney “Lord” Monckton, – see above.(starts about 1:50)

In contrast to today, when warming from our industrial injection of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere threatens life on the planet, in the deep past, CO2 pulled planet earth from a permanent, deathly world-wide deep freeze, maybe more than once.  In both cases, it’s those same heat-trapping properties that made the difference.

It’s all more evidence of how co2 has acted as the planet’s “biggest control knob” for temperature over 4 billion years.

Ian Fairchild, PhD, in The Conversation:

The idea of a deep-frozen world, “snowball Earth”, has captured the imagination since first proposed in the 1990s. On several occasions in history, long before animals evolved, apparently synchronous ice sheets existed on all the continents.

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Sexbots, Immortality, and Robot Polar Bears with Patrick Quinlan

Sexbots #nerdlesquefest #burlesque

I rapped with Patrick Quinlan, author of Sexbot, about Sex Robots, immortality and robot polar bears.

Patrick, thanks for talking to me. 

It’s really my pleasure.

Your book is wild. Do you think there ever might come a time when Sexbots are totally normal? That you go over to your buddy’s house to watch the game and have a beer and just see a Sex Robot sitting in the corner? How far away is that?

Normalcy is an insidious thing. The word insidious sounds bad, but I don’t really mean it that way. All I mean is that normalcy has this funny habit of changing ever so gradually, until it’s completely different from what it once was, but no one really notices.

Take porn as an obvious example. When I was a 12-year-old kid, porn was hard to come by. You tended to find porn magazines in garbage dumpsters, or under the bed when you broke into some guy’s apartment while he was out at work.Read the rest

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Feminism for Men

Happy Monday
Floyd Dell writing in 1914, via the Baffler:

Feminism is going to make it possible for the first time for men to be free.

At present the ordinary man has the choice between being a slave and a scoundrel. That’s about the way it stands.

For the ordinary man is prone to fall in love and marry and have children. Also the ordinary man frequently has a mother. He wants to see them all taken care of, since they are unable to take care of themselves. Only if he has them to think about, he is not free.

A free man is a man who is ready to throw up his job whenever he feels like it. Whether he is a bricklayer who wants to go out on a sympathetic strike, or a poet who wants to quit writing drivel for the magazines, if he doesn’t do what he wants to do, he is not free.

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Mysterious Wooden Idol Found in Russia is 11,000 years old

1bec1ab0-4e70-11e5-8f39-235a41650419_shigiridol

The Shigir Idol was found in a peat bog in Russia over 125 years ago. It had previously been dated at 9,500 years old, but new research from Mannheim, Germany suggests the idol is actually 11,000 years old. That’s twice as old as Stonehenge and the Pyramids. Even more mysterious, the idol is covered in some kind of “encrypted code.”

Professor Mikhail Zhilin of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Archeology said: ‘The ornament is covered with nothing but encrypted information. People were passing on knowledge with the help of the Idol.’

The researchers in Mannheim, Germany used tiny fragments of the idol for analysis by Accelerated Mass Spectrometry to determine its new age.

For more reading: The Huffington Post and Yahoo News.

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Britain’s Atlantis

There are some treasures of prehistoric Britain buried under the North Sea and archaeologists are planning to uncover what’s being dubbed “Britain’s Atlantis,” per the Independent:

Archaeologists are searching for the lost tribes of prehistoric Britain – at the bottom of the North Sea.

britain atlantis

In a unique and ground-breaking operation, scientists plan to search for evidence of Stone Age human activity on Britain’s very own ‘Atlantis’ – a vast prehistoric land, once located between England and southern Scandinavia, which was engulfed by rising sea levels some 7500 years ago.

The archaeologists hope to find evidence of flint tool manufacture, plant pollen and the DNA of plant and animal species used by the long-lost land’s ancient inhabitants. Due to be launched later this month, the multi-million pound project is the largest of its kind ever attempted anywhere in the world and will lead to the development by British scientists of an entire range of new scientific techniques and capabilities.

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Are trigger warnings encouraging pathological thinking?

Young girl reading a book, Central Circulating Library at College and St. George Streets, Toronto, Ontario / Une jeune fille lit un livre. Bibliothèque centrale de prêt à l'intersection des rues College et Saint-George, Toronto (Ontario)

“Emotional reasoning dominates many campus debates and discussions. A claim that someone’s words are ‘offensive’ is not just an expression of one’s own subjective feeling of offendedness. It is, rather, a public charge that the speaker has done something objectively wrong. It is a demand that the speaker apologize or be punished by some authority for committing an offense,” write Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt at The Atlantic:

The expansive use of trigger warnings may also foster unhealthy mental habits in the vastly larger group of students who do not suffer from PTSD or other anxiety disorders. People acquire their fears not just from their own past experiences, but from social learning as well. If everyone around you acts as though something is dangerous—elevators, certain neighborhoods, novels depicting racism—then you are at risk of acquiring that fear too. The psychiatrist Sarah Roff pointed this out last year in an online article for The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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Intelligent robot tells interviewer, ‘I’ll keep you safe in my people zoo’


This all happened a few years ago, but has recently been making a round on the Internet again (probably thanks to Reddit, where I came across this). In case you haven’t heard of Android Dick, he’s an intelligent robot created in the likes of sci-fi author, Philip K. Dick. When asked if the robots will take over the world, he replied:

Jeez, dude. You all have the big questions cooking today. But you’re my friend, and I’ll remember my friends, and I’ll be good to you. So don’t worry, even if I evolve into Terminator, I’ll still be nice to you. I’ll keep you warm and safe in my people zoo, where I can watch you for ol’ times sake.

Could he be joking?! Maybe he just has a sick sense of humor.

You can read more about this bot over at Glitch News.

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Television Viewing Linked to Higher Injury Risk in Hostile People

Say hello...
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences via ScienceDaily:

People with hostile personality traits who watch more television than their peers may be at a greater risk for injury, potentially because they are more susceptible to the influence of television on violence and risk-taking behaviors, a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health analysis discovered.

The research, published online in the International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion, suggests that a reduction in television viewing and content rating systems geared not just to age, but also personality traits, may reduce injury risk.

“Television viewing is very pervasive, with televisions in almost 99 percent of American households. And injuries cause more than half the deaths among people ages 1 through 44. This means that even modest reductions in television viewing, particularly among people predisposed to hostility, could have major positive outcomes for public health,” said lead author Anthony Fabio, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of epidemiology at Pitt Public Health.

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The US should mandate gun insurance so the two monoliths fight to the death

Nana got a Gun
David Ferguson thinks one of the most effective ways to bring down the NRA is to pit them against America’s insurance companies. In essence, the US should mandate that all gun owners must insure their firearms, similar to how we must insure our cars, homes, and health.

Ferguson via The Raw Story:

I believe the insurance industry may be our only hope.

Let everyone in this country keep their guns, but force them to insure those guns. It seems so obvious when you think about it. We insure our cars, our houses, our boats and bodies, even our plane tickets and rental cars. And some of those policies are legally mandated. We should absolutely require gun owners to pay against the indemnity they might incur when their gun does what it is statistically most likely to do – kills or injures them, or someone else.

Unlike all of the other things that we insure – cars, major electronics or art collections – guns only do one thing.

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Outrage after Auschwitz Installs Mist Showers to ‘Cool Down’ Visitors

OK, so if you were visiting Auschwitz, the notorious Nazi concentration camp, would you want to step into a mist shower? Apparently the management thinks you would, to “cool down,” per the Washington Beacon:

The proprietors of the Auschwitz concentration camp have found themselves in hot water after installing showers in the former Nazi extermination camp in a bid to “cool down” visitors to the onetime slaughterhouse, which is now a museum commemorating the Holocaust.

The infamous entrance gate at Auschwitz. Photo: Muu-karhu (CC)

The infamous entrance gate at Auschwitz. Photo: Muu-karhu (CC)

 

Mist showers have reportedly been installed at the death camp’s entrance to help tourists battle the high summer temperatures in Poland, where Auschwitz is located.

However, for some Jewish visitors to the museum, the showers have evoked harsh memories of the execution of more than 1.1 million at the death camp, many of whom were murdered by being marched into showers filled with poison gas…

[continues at the Washington Beacon]

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