Mail 837 Sunday, August 03, 2014
Nasa validates ‘impossible’ space drive
31 July 14 by David Hambling
Nasa is a major player in space science, so when a team from the agency this week presents evidence that "impossible" microwave thrusters seem to work, something strange is definitely going on. Either the results are completely wrong, or Nasa has confirmed a major breakthrough in space propulsion.
British scientist Roger Shawyer has been trying to interest people in his EmDrive for some years through his company SPR Ltd. Shawyer claims the EmDrive converts electric power into thrust, without the need for any propellant by bouncing microwaves around in a closed container. He has built a number of demonstration systems, but critics reject his relativity-based theory and insist that, according to the law of conservation of momentum, it cannot work.
According to good scientific practice, an independent third party needed to replicate Shawyer’s results. As Wired.co.uk reported, this happened last year when a Chinese team built its own EmDrive and confirmed that it produced 720 mN (about 72 grams) of thrust, enough for a practical satellite thruster. Such a thruster could be powered by solar electricity, eliminating the need for the supply of propellant that occupies up to half the launch mass of many satellites. The Chinese work attracted little attention; it seems that nobody in the West believed in it.
However, a US scientist, Guido Fetta, has built his own propellant-less microwave thruster, and managed to persuade Nasa to test it out. The test results were presented on July 30 at the 50th Joint Propulsion Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. Astonishingly enough, they are positive.
The Nasa team based at the Johnson Space Centre gave its paper the title "Anomalous Thrust Production from an RF [radio frequency] Test Device Measured on a Low-Thrust Torsion Pendulum". The five researchers spent six days setting up test equipment followed by two days of experiments with various configurations. These tests included using a "null drive" similar to the live version but modified so it would not work, and using a device which would produce the same load on the apparatus to establish whether the effect might be produced by some effect unrelated to the actual drive. They also turned the drive around the other way to check whether that had any effect.
This is big news: Science Magazine, the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is publishing stories about a new Dean Drive and that generates a lot of hope. It is the first time I know of that Big Science has published stories implying that a reactionless drive is possible. I have far more mail on this than we can publish; one dialog will have to suffice. If you don’t know what a Dean Drive is, see http://www.jerrypournelle.com/sciences/dean.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean_Drive
Subject: On the new ‘Dean Drive’ and similar impossible devices
I think I have sent stuff about the EmDrive before but given your last post on the new impossible (Cannae) drive and the fact that
there are apparently developments on the EmDrive front I thought I would ‘re-submit’:
First, the EmDrive website: http://emdrive.com
Second, the link to the 2012 Chinese paper (English translation) with some experimental data:
http://www.emdrive.com/yang-juan-paper-2012.pdf The Chinese paper claims experimental verification of the Shawyer’s theoretical
Third, talk by Roger Shawyer, inventor of the EmDrive, with accompanying slides: http://www.emdrive.com/interview.html Shawyer
actually mentions, with approval, the ‘Cannae’ device, which apparently uses a different approach to applying the idea and gives
(currently) at least an order of magnitude less thrust than the EmDrive.
Thought you may be interested because the talk heavily emphasizes the applicability of EmDrive technology to the development of
Space Solar Power satellites.
I, of course, know nothing first hand about these devices, other than they apparently do something that I have been told,
repeatedly, by very smart people, can’t be done.
On the other hand, these folks claim to have hardware which does it anyway.
Bottom line, the team at the Chinese university built a test model, tested it, confirmed to their satisfaction that the device produced thrust and no exhaust, per theory, and wrote a paper on their efforts, which was published under the auspices of the university.
I have no independent confirmation, nor do I have any idea what the Chinese are going to ‘do next’.
I know if I were the Chinese and had any faith in the test results as reported, I would keep pretty mum about it and make a serious effort to produce operational hardware based on the principle. A working system would allow them to do ‘space things’ that we can only dream about.
If you want to read their paper, it isn’t very long and here is the link:
Of course the paper itself could be a hoax; I have no way of knowing, although some enterprising reporter contacted the principle investigator and received a ‘We would prefer not to comment until we have done more work.’ for his trouble.
Shawyer also said in his talk that Boeing was given (sold?) his work on the EmDrive after going through all the hoops to obtain an official export license, but anything that Boeing is doing with it is not publicly accessible. He continues to work on advanced hardware and showed what he said was a demonstration of the device causing a 100kg test device to rotate on an air bearing. It in fact rotated, but I have no way of knowing what made it rotate.
Shawyer DOES have a long history in spacecraft engineering as a senior engineer on several programs, so he knows something about space operations.
The Wikipedia article on the subject boils down to two basic sides: The experts agree that the device is impossible because it violates the conservation of momentum, but can’t agree whether the reports of working experiments represent incompetence, fraud, or some combination of both; Shawyer and the Chinese say ’That is all well and good, but we have each, independently, built and tested devices based on the ‘EmDrive’ principle, they work as predicted, and nothing comes out the back.’.
I’m suspicious (chucking the conservation of momentum is not to be undertaken lightly), but I am darn sure rooting for Shawyer and/or the Chinese. And as Mr. Feynman says, “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is. It doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it is wrong.” The question is: Do Shawyer and the Chinese have experiments?
I fear I have over the years seen many of these papers with charts and equations and diagrams, but until I see an actual demonstration of inexplicable thrust I will wait to celebrate – and even then I suspect it is more likely that they have discovered a flaw in the testing procedure.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. By Laplace by way of Carl Sagan.
"I await demonstrations of effects, not more claims to be just about ready for public viewing."
Re: On the new ‘Dean Drive’ and similar impossible devices
The Chinese said nothing about public viewing but actually (claimed to have) built and tested a working model. The paper describes the test setup and plots the measured thrust vs applied power.
The measured thrust vs microwave power deviated from the theoretical thrust vs microwave power, but the Chinese test equipment traced the deviation as due to the frequency shift of the magnetron as the power was varied. Once the curve was corrected to plot thrust vs power in the cavity bandwidth the thrust vs power tracked theory pretty well.
Here is a description of the test setup from the Chinese paper, along with measured test results. They didn’t provide make/model of the test source or measurement equipment, but presumably it was actual hardware with functionality as described. I apologize for the fact that during my ‘cut and paste’ from the paper, some of the graphs were truncated. If you want to review them, they are fine (although the annotation was not translated) in the actual paper.:
[A lot of stuff deleted by JEP]
Indifferent equilibrium thrust measurement devices verify that, based on classical electromagnetic theory, creating a propellantless microwave propulsion system can produce a net thrust; Net thrust measurement of propellantless microwave thruster experimentation shows that the direction of net thrust produced by the propellantless microwave thruster is from the frustum microwave resonator big end to the small end. The results are consistent with theoretical calculations."
I agree with you: everything that I have been taught says that you can’t obtain thrust without throwing something out the back. On the other hand, we have a paper produced by students/faculty of a real university (in China, translated) that says that they built and tested a device that produced thrust without throwing anything out the back and that the measured thrust produced tracked their theoretical calculations within the experimental error.
I have no way of knowing the truth or falsity of Shawyer’s or the Chinese claims. Shawyer shows his hardware and (somewhere, I think) shows a demo of it working. The Chinese describe their hardware, their test setup, and their test results. Are they lying or incompetent? I have no way of knowing, but I admit that I am a ’sucker’ for these types of things (Ecat/LENR, aka cold fusion is another example) because I WANT them to be true. Maybe this time, just this once, it is. I hope.
If they have hardware that does it, why is it not on the front page? It isn’t that hard to demonstrate actual thrust, and theories and equations are not needed. Just a demonstration.
Especially if it’s dramatically greater than what NASA was testing. A gizmo that hangs off vertical when the power is on, and comes to a vertical rest when it is off would do as a first phase and is very photogenic. I’ve got about nine invitations to come see one "when it’s ready" — one in Edinburgh has been in that state for eleven years. Real Soon Now….
It is not often that I envy the ‘super rich’. I live in my world; they live in theirs. In the Venn diagram of our lives there is little to no union of theirs and mine. I have ‘enough’ to be happy, and am. I assume that if happiness is proportional to wealth they are very happy.
This however is one of the times that I wish that I, like the rich who casually purchase huge yachts and expensive cars, had a few million dollars of ‘If it goes down the rathole, I don’t care.’ money. If I did, I would be happy to pour it down the EmDrive rathole to either confirm that it works. Or that it doesn’t. I would rather have absolute confirmation that EmDrive works than any yacht or car ever made. I would even like to have absolute confirmation that the experiments run were faulty and that the conservation of momentum was in fact humming along happy as a bug in a rug. Knowing that there is NO cookie is actually ‘better’ than having a cookie in sight but just tantalizingly out of reach.
For me, a confirmed, operational EmDrive would be close to the ‘ultimate cookie’. And if I had the money I would try to purchase it.
We can agree on that. I would very much like to see a proof of principle for a reactionless drive: a way to convert angular momentum into linear momentum, angular acceleration into linear acceleration, some new cosmic principle that requires energy conservation but does not require equal and opposite reaction; and indeed I applaud NASA for doing the tests.
However, it is my understanding that the current tests have been done in air, using torsion to measure acceleration, and that is suspect to me: I’d prefer they used gravity (a swing) and a vacuum chamber. If that’s too hard to arrange, put a garbage bag around the entire apparatus.
Complex electronics produce complex force fields; it’s quite possible for a torsion spring to be affected by such a field. That’s not mysterious; but if gravity is affected I’d call it extraordinary evidence.
We can only wait for more results. But I I had to bet, so far I’d still bet that they have found a demonstration of flawed testing principles, rather than disproving Newton.
NASA Looking to EmDrive to Revolutionize Space Travel
"In short, the problem of how to improve Iraqi military capacity without undermining civilian control won’t go away when Maliki leaves office. It will persist until norms of democratic and civilian rule become entrenched in Iraq — a process that could take decades, if not longer. "
Famously, in recent history, the US does not have the patience (despite having the wherewithal, treasure, and expertise) to carry through efforts at true change. Americans arrogantly refuse to acknowledge that our own path our current (-ly imperfect) state has taken 240 years.
Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Retired.; Former Governor of Wasit Province, Iraq; Righter of Wrongs; Wrong most of the time; Distinguished Expert, TV remote control; Chef de Hot Dog Excellance; Avoider of Yard Work
Poverty in America"
You mentioned you are working on an essay about income discrepancy.
Those interested in poverty in America should become familiar with census data showing just how well the poor live. The typical household classified as "poor" has a car, air conditioning, two color TVs with cable or satellite, an Xbox or PlayStation, clothes washer and dryer, and the usual middle class kitchen appliances. The typical "poor American" has more living space than the average European and lives in a three-bedroom house with garage and patio. My grandparents lacked almost all of these things, and I lacked about half of them when I was a child.
A couple of articles summarizing these facts can be found at http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/09/understanding-poverty-in-the-united-states-surprising-facts-about-americas-poor
The relative prosperity of the "poor" has been the case for a long time.
Thomas Sowell pointed out the failure of the "war on poverty", which was aimed at reducing government dependency. Instead the opposite occurred.
Some simple steps can be taken by individuals who choose not to be
"poor." The Brookings Institution reports that three factors are
directly linked to poverty and under the control of individual
Americans: education, family composition, and work.
Commentators point out you have a very small chance of being poor if
you do just three things: 1.) Graduate from high school, 2.) wait
until you are 21 to get married and don’t have children out of
wedlock, 3.) get a full-time job.
But the facts about poverty are usually ignored in service of some
As I mentioned in my e-mail to you that you posted on November 20,
2013, the federal government seems to believe that men and women, far
from being volitional creatures made in the image of God and charged
with getting wisdom, are instead no more than mice, slaves to their
desires and appetites.
The government imagines that such citizens can be saved from their
bad decisions by means of bureaucratically-imposed techniques rather
than through the development of moral behavior.
Bill Cosby, Walter Williams, and more recently Dr. Ben Carson have
spoken courageously in favor of taking personal responsibility to
avoid making bad decisions. They are regularly attacked for this in
the liberal press.
Facts about income mobility are suppressed by the mainstream press
and liberal politicians.
‘The stark reality is that, once labor costs reach a tipping point, automation becomes a practical, efficient, and economical alternative, especially for low-skilled jobs. Once implemented, there is no going back, and today automation is more accessible than ever.’
Precisely as I have said many times over the years. With low costs of capital – artificially low interest rates imposed by the Fed – and rising labor costs – Minimum Wages raised by both federal and state governments – the incentive is to invest in robots, not in training new skilled workers. The result is predictable and has often been predicted. Lower unemployment rates because more and more people give up looking for work and thus are not part of the officially unemployed; lower numbers of people employed; higher wages for those who are employed, as for example in unionized government jobs which cannot be mechanized (or electroncized) for political reason; and rising numbers of people out of work but who are not officially unemployed.
This doesn’t appear to be a stable situation.
Diversity in academia
I noticed this in your commentary for 30 July, which I didn’t get around to reading until this morning:
"The American melting pot worked very well, but we have abandoned it for ‘diversity’; the result was predictable and in fact was predicted by many, including me."
It reminded me of the email that I sent to my daughter (science teacher in local high school) and daughter-in-law (program director at local university) earlier this morning:
"Dr. Mike Adams, Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminology (with tenure, fortunately for him) at UNC Wilmington, comments on his university’s recent effort to recruit a new Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) to manage the campus’ five separate Diversity Offices and their administrative support staff. He provides some background, quotes from the job description, and translates those quotes into ordinary English so that it is understandable by the hoi polloi.
Great work, if you can get it.
And it sure beats hunting around for actual illegal immigrants at the actual border and doing something about them.
It’s nice work if you can get it, but you can’t get it if you try…
DMV is the exception to the rule
I, too, have had pleasant and efficient experiences with the motor vehicle bureaucracy, however the opposite was true every time I had to interact with the Social Security Administration.
Each time I had to visit the SSA office, it was filled to SRO. Random alpha-numerics were assigned to those waiting so no one could get an idea of where they stood in the queue. With more than 50 people waiting, only two service windows [of the 10 available] were manned at any time. Often, someone walking in would jump the queue for a "short" question that lasted more than 10 minutes.
There was an armed guard in the waiting room [unlike my bank’s local branch].
It actually took two months for the SSA to correct their errors in my case — I needed to qualify for Medicare disability because of end-stage renal disease, yet keep some independent health insurance coverage under my working wife’s benefits. Everyone in the bureaucracy acted as if this situation had never occurred before.
From the way the bureaucracy fouled up both coverage and start dates, I fear coverage under the Affordable Care Act will be even worse. I suppose if I wanted to die quickly, I’d apply for my VA health coverage.
Most federal bureaucracies are like a toxic tar baby.
"It ain’t ‘fair?’ Hey pal, ‘fair’ is where you buy funnel cakes."
Dog bites man isn’t a story….
America’s current genteel ‘poverty’
I read your comments on America’s current genteel ‘poverty’, where ‘poor’ people have medical care and access to information etc. that until about 50 years ago not even kings could dream of. Yes indeed, that should not be forgotten.
However, we need to remember that progress is not guaranteed. God does not come down from the heavens and grant Americans prosperity. It was built up by hard work over a long period of time, and if we fail to defend it, it can and will be taken away.
Consider that in India today there are about a half billion people who are chronically malnourished (and most of the rest aren’t doing much better). Indeed, recent research has shown that in post-Black Death Europe, the standard of living was considerably higher than modern third-world countries! (see â€œBritish Economic Growth 1270-1870â€, by S. Broadberry, B. Campbell, A, Klein, M. Overton, and B. van Leeuwen, 2010).
Real poverty still exists in the world. Technology, as wonderful as it is, cannot keep up with a population explosion. Consider that India, with the technological fruits of 500 years of western progress, with the fifth largest economy in the world and chemical fertilizers and computers and free trade and satellites etc., and things are WORSE than before the Western renaissance began. There is no technology so advanced that it cannot be overwhelmed by ever more people. That is an established fact.
So yes, for now Americans are still lucky. For now. But we must beware the downwards trend. Every extra dollar an hour that median wages decline is that much more in the pockets of the oligarchs – and they have no reason to stop at just driving wages down by only one dollar. What is today a modest downturn in living standards could easily continue down to feudal european levels, if we are so stupid as to assume that progress is automatic, that technology is an unlimited cornucopia, or that our leaders always have our best interests at heart – because they don’t.
We are in a race between increased productivity and disaster. It’s not entirely clear which will win. Either way there will be far more discrepancy between rich and poor. It will be interesting when more than half the citizens of the Republic simply cannot do anything that someone will pay them money to do—at least more money than they are entitled to simply by having been born.
The Gods of the Copybook Headings
by Rudyard Kipling
AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.
We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.
We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.
With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.
When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."
On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."
In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don’t work you die."
Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.
As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wobbling back to the Fire;
And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will bum,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return.
"Obama’s brief statement, issued earlier this week to send best wishes to Muslims during the Eid al-Fitr celebration, said that the observance reminds him and wife Michelle "of the many achievements and contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy."
I am fairly familiar with American history but find myself at a loss to come up with any such achievements. Apparently, I am not alone, since a quick search of the Internet revealed only others asking the same question. Now, it is quite possible, even likely, that I am missing something. Does anyone know of any or is this list kept in the same vault as Obama’s college transcipts and other related personal papers?
As with most of his speeches, Obama speaks in vague generalities while avoiding saying anything specific.
I was on TWIT last Sunday http://twit.tv/show/this-week-in-tech/468 and at some point it was mentioned that modern technology and computer games seem to be reducing the size of kids vocabularies. It was speculated that this would do no harm, but I brought up New Caledonia where one official language is Pidgin, a trade language with a very restricted vocabulary . I have a newspaper election issue written in pijin. It’s a bit deficient in abstract terms for anything…
musings after your recent guest spot on Twit
Using less vocabulary is certainly a danger to expressing ideas and philosophies. At least the more complex ones.
Try this: http://splasho.com/upgoer5/
inspired by http://xkcd.com/1133/
Years ago I read about the situation in the outskirt quarters of Paris, the banlieus.
This area of Paris is mostly inhabitated by immigrants and first to third generation decendants. As the immigrants come from a diversity of former French colonies and have an even bigger diversity of native languages, the communication took place in a lingua franca of a French with only a few hundred words. The bare minimum. As far as I remember, studies showed that the mere limit of the used language limited again the exchange of ideas, the general interest of the community to strive towards improvement and a content of the individual to strive towards better living conditions, as if the idea of having a better live died with the possibility to express it in words.
I bet there is a novel in it
My best wishes to you from Munich, Germany Manuel
I ran across a condemnation of democracy on a political site that I occasionally visit, that went something like this:
"Democracy is when 200 million Americans decided that 80,000 of their native-born neighbors and their aging parents should be sent to concentration camps because of their choice of ancestors."
The reference, of course, is to Executive Order 9066, signed by FDR, the hero of democrats and Progressives, which resulted in 120,000 Japanese Americans being torn from their homes in the cities of California and shipped off to camps in desolate parts of the country. All it took was "one drop of Japanese blood" to be sent to the camps, no matter the age
— one camp even had a "Children’s Village" for young orphans, who were in some cases pried out of the arms of their (non-Japanese) foster parents. This makes the United States one of only two countries ever to have a special "children’s prison," the other being Iraq under Hussein.
The denial of their most basic rights met the approval of most of the rest of the country, including all but a small handful of ACLU members.
If not for the fact that this is a REPUBLIC, there would have been no Supreme Court to free them (and even then, it took several years).
The Framers wanted nothing to do with Democracy. They were interested in freedom and rule of law, which are usually threatened by Democracy…
No appreciable attention paid to Cyclical Analysis of Weather
you may find this interesting
University of Washington <http://yly-mac.gps.caltech.edu/AGU/AGU_2008/Zz_Others/Li_agu08/Mayewski2004.pdf> paper
Violating Niven’s first Law
1. Never throw organic fertilizer at an armed man. Never stand next to someone throwing organic fertilizer at an armed man.
OR… throw organic fertilizer at an armed man while standing next to your son, hoping he’ll be killed for the glory of Islam while you escape to find someone else’s son to stand next to when you throw organic fertilizer again.
Carrington Event Almost Happened in 2012
Remember all the hype about CMEs in 2012? Some of this centered around the apocalyptic prophets of doom in populist circles, but NASA’s attempts to calm the public made me suspicious that there was actually something to worry about.
If the eruption of July 23, 2012 has happened a week earlier, it would have hit us. And, the cat is out of the bag:
Analysts believe that a direct hit by an extreme CME such as the one that missed Earth in July 2012 could cause widespread power blackouts, disabling everything that plugs into a wall socket. Most people wouldn’t even be able to flush their toilet because urban water supplies largely rely on electric pumps.
A similar storm today could have a catastrophic effect. According to a study by the National Academy of Sciences, the total economic impact could exceed $2 trillion or 20 times greater than the costs of a Hurricane Katrina. Multi-ton transformers damaged by such a storm might take years to repair.
"In my view the July 2012 storm was in all respects at least as strong as the 1859 Carrington event," says Baker. "The only difference is, it missed."
In February 2014, physicist Pete Riley of Predictive Science Inc.
published a paper in Space Weather entitled "On the probability of occurrence of extreme space weather events." In it, he analyzed records of solar storms going back 50+ years. By extrapolating the frequency of ordinary storms to the extreme, he calculated the odds that a Carrington-class storm would hit Earth in the next ten years.
The answer: 12%.
"Initially, I was quite surprised that the odds were so high, but the statistics appear to be correct," says Riley. "It is a sobering figure."
Joshua Jordan, KSC
1) In that week’s time that we supposedly had a near-miss, the Sun rotated so far that the centroid of the CME was angled 135 degrees away from Earth in the plane of the ecliptic. This doesn’t take into account any tilt above or below the ecliptic. Video of the event indicate that it was in fact south-tilted by a substantial amount. I don’t call that a near-miss.
2) No argument whatsoever as to the effects, should one that big hit us. And it is inevitable that it shall, sooner or later. There is also some evidence that may indicate that such events are more probable during the descents into, and ascents out of, extended minima. So if we are indeed going into an extended minimum, then woe betide. (On the other hand, that 2012 event may have been the Carrington going in. The question then becomes, how many of those happen on the "walls" of the minimum? We don’t have enough data to say, since we’d not have noticed THAT one if not for the space-based solar observatories we now have.)
3) Having read the statistical analysis paper that gave that 12% figure (which was published in 2012, not 2014 as stated), the actual values range from 1.1% all the way up to 21%, depending on how he tweaks his initial conditions and what properties he assigns to Richard Carrington’s 1859 event. What the researcher is really trying to accomplish is to link together several databases in an effort to extend the known data back several centuries, to around 1500-1600AD.
The problem with this is twofold: A) it requires different methods of analysis to do so, and B) one of those databases is nitrate spikes in ice cores, and the space physicists and the ice core chemists don’t agree as to the source of the nitrate spikes.
I would, for instance, expect to see NO nitrate spikes during the period of the Maunder Minimum. How can you have flares and CMEs when the Sun’s surface is uniformly blank? But in fact there are several spikes during that time. This leads me to be somewhat skeptical of the nitrate data. There does seem to be some small reflection of the Maunder and Dalton minima in the graphs, and certainly the Carrington event seems to produce a titanic spike, but the evidence is not sufficient for me to say definitively that they match. In fact there is sufficient variance for me to say that I do not think the data can be entirely attributed to CME events. Therefore until the additional source of the nitrate spikes can be determined, I’m not sure it’s valid to use them as an extension of the database for Carrington-level events.
End result is that I am not at all certain of that 12% figure.
And if there is a triggering mechanism in the onset of an extended minimum, it may be sufficient to raise the figure to 100% in any case.
Interstellar Woman of Mystery
It may be time for survivalist movements again…
State Department Propaganda Continues
Put your beverages and snacks to the side or you’ll ruin your screen and possibly your keyboard when you start laughing. This State Department spokesperson is at it again. First let’s look at allegedly invented reports of artillery fire by Russia on Ukraine:
Apparently still laying the groundwork for their own planned military intervention [http://is.gd/WZ3zAV], the US government has invented a narrative of massive Russian artillery strikes against Ukrainian military bases along the border.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf introduced the story to the press at today’s briefing [http://is.gd/bCtZn5], claiming that the US has secret evidence [http://is.gd/Nm8ZQw] from “human intelligence information” that the attacks are taking place. The Pentagon concurred, saying such attacks have been going on “for several days.”
During the past several days, there has not been a single report out of Ukraine of an artillery strike against any of their military bases, anywhere in the country. The last such incident was two weeks ago, when rebels fired a BM-21 grad at a military base [http://is.gd/AteqXr].
And this is Ukraine we’re talking about, which comes up with its own dubious stories of Russian attacks on a near daily basis. If Russia was carried out concerted shelling against Ukrainian military targets, Ukraine would be harping on about it constantly. They aren’t even alleging anything close to that is happening.
The latest invented story appears to have been produced primarily as a replacement for Harf’s increasingly debunked allegations surrounding the MH17 shoot-down, a talking point which has gained her no small mocking in the press over the past week, as she directly contradicts the US intelligence community’s own releases on the matter [http://is.gd/XfWT27].
And, second, as you may have read, the Intelligence Community admitted a lack of evidence indicating direct Russian involvement in the MH17 tragedy. Once more 2+2=5:
Determined not to let the US intelligence community’s open admission that they have “no evidence of direct Russian involvement”
[http://is.gd/6rGAJt] in the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines MH17, the State Department has once again insisted Russian President Vladimir Putin is “directly” to blame for it [http://is.gd/l54OFi].
Puzzlingly, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf cited the exact same intelligence community briefing as proving Putin’s guilt, even though the officials delivering that briefing said the exact opposite of it. [http://is.gd/HfeO06] Harf also claimed to be privy to even more secret evidence that had not gone public yet, which also pinned the whole thing on Putin.
I would think that, after the ongoing Iraq debacle that started with Powell’s "facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence", the people are little tired of secret evidence that contradicts open source intelligence. Of course, anytime anyone says they have "facts"
that are "based on intelligence" you should know they’re either (1) deceptive or (2) incompetent. I won’t insult your intelligence by explaining why.
Joshua Jordan, KSC
Russia vs United States
This may be the Russian perception, or it may be an attempt by the kleptocracy to direct animus against the West:
The real reasons that US-Russia acrimony has been inexorably building, they say, is that Russia is at the leading edge of emerging countries that are challenging the US-run global financial and political order.
The US plan, Mr. Markov says, “is to continue tightening the screws over the long term, aiming to increase discontent among Russia’s middle class, and to turn people against Putin. The ultimate goal is regime change, and we would be fools not to see that.”
Although the Kremlin has claimed that sanctions against Russia will “boomerang” against Western economic interests, few analysts believe Russia can win against the overwhelming financial and economic firepower of the US and its allies in any extended showdown. As such, some argue that Russia has no choice but to accept a measure of isolation as its lot.
Matt, at 1913 Intel, offers this:
Russia is at a revolutionary tipping point. Not that there is going to be a revolution today, but things could easily change in the not too distant future. In a couple of years Russia might be staring at a revolution. And that will mean death to the thugs in the Kremlin.
If you are the godfather of a mafia family, and someone is out to get you, what do you do? You get them first. If Russia is given a good enough excuse, there is the potential for a great-power war with the US.
In the end I guess Russian leaders feel the US should just sit back and let Russia change the entire world order while doing nothing to stop it. Seriously, the Russian leaders are delusional. Unfortunately, the West is delusional too. The West has disarmed in the face of two thuggish regimes: Russia and China. While the Russians may be delusional, they have the means and nerve to take out the West (read US).
With our gutted nuclear arsenal, our unfundable navy (such that it is), and the budget cuts in the army, etc., his analysis seems more correct than most Americans want to admit, but — like Matt says — the West is also delusional. And it seems that I have little to say on this matter that is constructive.
Joshua Jordan, KSC
Slate article on failure to replicate in the Voodoo Sciences
I thought you might like this article on Slate:
Psychologists’ Food Fight Over Replication of “Important Findings”
Alas, I do not expect much from the voodoo sciences… http://www.jerrypournelle.com/science/voodoo.html
Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.