Another snake oil salesman at work

In case you missed it, Ars Technica has a breathless article about the claims of a ‘researcher’ that offshore wind farms may help to protect us from hurricanes. Wind power plays a very significant role in Jacobson’s plan, and many states don’t have extensive on-shore wind resources. As a result, going entirely renewable involves building offshore wind on a truly massive scale, with many individual states sporting tens of thousands of turbines on the continental shelf. And that will unsurprisingly have an effect on how winds propagate. Jacobson modeled three different hurricanes—Isaac, Katrina, and Sandy—plowing into a massive field of

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Decoding the Voynich Manuscript?

I’m intrigued to read about a claim by an English professor that he’s decoded at least some of the words and figures in the Voynich Manuscript.  (If you don’t know much about it, the Boston Globe has a very good background article with lots of information.) As Extreme Tech points out: Through carbon dating, the Voynich Manuscript — named after book dealer Wilfrid Voynich who purchased it in 1912 — was found to have been created sometime in the early 1400s, and possibly created in Northern Italy during the Italian Renaissance. The manuscript has never been even slightly decoded —

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PBS Frontline’s ‘Inside The Vatican’

I’m sure many readers caught PBS Frontline’s documentary program on the Vatican, broadcast on Tuesday evening.  Here’s the preview. You can watch a few minutes of excerpts here. Yahoo News had this to say in its review of the documentary. The Roman Catholic Church is enjoying some of its best press in decades, and hundreds of thousands of alienated Catholics are returning, thanks in large part to the new, and in some cases revolutionary, leadership of Pope Francis. But, says a new documentary by PBS’ “Frontline,” “Secrets of the Vatican,” the morally wrenching controversies that threatened to destroy the church’s

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Are we seeing the grooming of the next Barack Obama?

I’m sure readers remember the disgust that erupted in all right-thinking circles when President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009.  It had most emphatically not been justified by his life or conduct to date.  As former winner Lech Walesa said at the time, “So soon? Too early. He has no contribution so far. He is only beginning to act.”  The Von Mises Institute was even more scathing. The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama is further confirmation … that the prize has degenerated into politically motivated rubbish. . . . The awarding of the

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An anniversary artwork with a difference

This year marks the 450th anniversary of Michelangelo‘s death.  As part of the celebrations in England, a cake decorator, Michelle Wibowo, decided to reproduce God’s creation of Adam from Michelangelo’s painted ceiling of the Sistine Chapel – in icing and sprinkles! Here’s how she did it, in time-lapse photography.  I recommend watching it in full-screen mode. You know, I can’t help feeling that Michelangelo would have been pleased . . . Peter

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So was the stimulus worth it?

According to Reason magazine, it’s hard to tell. In theory, fiscal stimulus juices the economy through a multiplier effect, in which one dollar of borrowed government spending produces more than a dollar of overall economic gain. With a multiplier of 1.5, a stimulus of $100 million would produce $150 million in economic activity. A multiplier of 2.0 would result in double the economic jolt of the initial cash infusion. The higher the multiplier, the bigger the boost. The problem, as I noted in my April 2013 story on the stimulus, is that no one really knows what multiplier effect of

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So why isn’t it standard equipment today?

This video clip shows a Cadillac innovation from the early 1950’s that seems to have worked just fine back then.  My question is, if it was so useful, why was it dropped?  In today’s crowded city streets, seems to me it’d still be very useful. Of course, they probably couldn’t make it work with space-saver spare tires . . . Peter

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Karl Denninger bows out

I’ve quoted Karl Denninger many times in these pages, but it looks like opportunities to do so will be severely limited in future.  He’s closed down most of his online activities, providing a long farewell essay in which he makes clear his disgust, almost his despair at the way things are going. I began to write, and ultimately set up the forum as well as a place for people to congregate, trade ideas, and hopefully get something of value — and perhaps, just perhaps, coalesce into something worthwhile that might put a stop to this sort of garbage in the

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So much for an ‘arsenal’ . . .

Radar Online reports with bated breath and ZOMG! hysteria about ‘George Zimmerman’s Deadly Firearms Arsenal‘. During a domestic incident with his live-in girlfriend Samantha Scheibe, police uncovered a chilling arsenal of weapons and ammunition inside Zimmerman’s home, the full extent of which has never been pictured — until now. According to police documents and new photos obtained by Radar, Zimmerman was found to be hiding the following deadly weapons inside his Florida home: One Keltec 12-gauge shotgun One Walther .380 handgun with seven rounds of live ammunition in the magazine One Taurus 9 mm handgun with live rounds in the

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