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Martin Hempfling

KandyPens Black Edition Personal Vaporizer Review

The last vaporizer you’ll ever need to buy

For anyone looking to own the highest quality, most affordable personal vaporizer on the market, KandyPens has created the Black Edition, the last vaporizer you’ll ever need. They have engineered an advanced, powerful weapon that any self-respecting cannabis connoisseur must add to their arsenal of herb combustion technology. It has no unnecessary flare, no gimmicks or pageantry; it is tastefully low-key with a sleek, elegant design. This device, this revolutionary piece of machinery, that is perfectly balanced between function and art, epitomizes what it means to legally medicate. Simply apply the desired amount of concentrated herb nectar to the inside of the atomizer (which is covered by a lifetime warranty, by the way), push the cool blue button, inhale, and experience a seamless transition to your healed state of mind.

The thing that struck me upon opening the box of the Black Edition was the sheer quality of the product. It will turn heads and spark conversations. Its cool, matte black finish compliments the almost futuristic feel of the device, and you can be sure it will feel like you have entered into the next generation of personal vaporizing. But the quality of the KandyPens Black Edition does not stop with mere aesthetics; its functionality is nearly unparalleled. As mentioned earlier, this is the last vaporizer you’ll ever need. Of course we all want more to expand our collections and sample the varieties. But in terms of what an herb enthusiast needs out of a vaporizer, the Black Edition satisfies all of them. It has a lifetime warranty on atomizers, which as we all know is the single most fragile element of a vaporizer, and has to be replaced frequently. This product will save you significant amounts of money in the long run, but the good news doesn’t stop there. KandyPens offers a lifetime warranty on batteries for the Black Edition as well. Think about what kind of deal this is. For less than a hundred bucks, you can own one of the highest quality personal vaporizers on the market that includes lifetime warranties on both batteries and atomizers, which are of course the two most expensive elements of owning a vaporizer. You can’t find a deal as good as this anywhere else.

So would I recommend the Black Edition as your go-to personal vape? The answer is a resounding yes. Lifetime replacement atomizers and batteries, sleek, low-key aesthetics, highest quality materials and smooth functionality, combined with extra goodies like a stainless steel applicator tool, a cleaning brush, replacement mouthpieces, and a mini USB charger that can plug in through the wall or your laptop… what else could you possibly want or need? Visit KandyPens.com to get the most elite personal vaporizer there is.    

Science vs Scientism: Testing the Boundaries of Scientific Inquiry

Are there limits to what we can understand about the universe and nature using the scientific method?

“The Cosmos is all there is, all there was, and all there ever will be.”

This quote by Carl Sagan is often cited as a clear example of Scientism, or the belief that the characteristic inductive methods of the natural sciences are the only source of genuine factual knowledge and, in particular, that they alone can yield true knowledge about man and nature. Or in simple pop culture internet terms: the view that science is the only reliable source of knowledge. (wikipedia)

The term more or less refers to using science in excess, or, “in contexts where science might not apply, such as when the topic is perceived to be beyond the scope of scientific inquiry, and in contexts where there is insufficient empirical evidence to justify a scientific conclusion.”
Scientism is usually only used in a negative connotation, as it is considered a regressive world-view that diminishes all other forms of knowledge.

Interesting stuff. While it definitely doesn’t sound like a good thing to “diminish other forms of knowledge,” what we ultimately have here is a way to legitimize magic, supernatural bullcrap, and new age mysticism all while sounding educated and not completely crazy. I’d be very interested in some examples of “contexts where science might not apply”. How does one determine when the context is applicable to science and when it is not? Virtually any context can be said to be not applicable to science and any scientist can be said to be a ..scientism-ist(?) simply by doing good, diligent science.

Mikael Stenmark writes, “[Scientism] is the idea that the boundaries of science (that is, typically the natural sciences) could and should be expanded so that something that has not been previously considered as a subject pertinent to science can now be understood as part of science.”

Why, yes. Of course. That’s the point of science. To better understand the world around us. To expand our understanding. Prior to the scientific revolution, everything we knew was “not pertinent to science” since it had not been invented yet. Once upon a time, disease was caused by demons, curses, or witches, and it was up to the witchdoctor to diagnose the ailment and prescribe the necessary treatment–which often included fire, leeches, exorcisms, and pretty much anything that didn’t work. Practitioners of spiritual healing back then obviously fought vigorously against the idea of germ theory when it was first proposed, saying it was beyond the scope of this so called “science”.

The rhetoric used throughout this topic is thematically vague. What are the boundaries? How does one determine where to draw the line between “applicable to science,” and, “not applicable to science”? Who is sufficiently qualified to draw these boundaries, and why?

The most prominent subjects that come to mind are those of morality, ethics, and of course religion. When “the theories and methods of one (scientific) discipline are inappropriately applied to another (scientific or non-scientific) discipline and its domain” it signifies a “border-crossing violation” between world-views. In the minds of those who feel threatened by “scientism”, this sort of encroachment into the domain of religion by science obviously can’t be allowed. 

“…There must be a separation of state and science just as there is a separation between state and religious institutions, and science should be taught as one view among many and not as the one and only road to truth and reality.”

This quote by Paul Feyerabend screams of a fundamental misunderstanding of what science actually is. “One view among many” is key in articulating his confusion. Science is not a view, an outlook, or a belief–certainly not one among many. Science is the only one of its kind. There have been societies with similar methods of problem solving and ingenuity in the past (from which science ultimately emerged), but they weren’t quite there. For the first time in human history, we are solving problems using a specific, tried and true process that utilizes evidence instead of faith, belief, or introspection. “Not the one and only road to truth and reality” perhaps not, but it’s the one and only road to truth and reality that actually follows the evidence nature leaves behind, and not what our thoughts and imaginations create and/or desire for us. It is outright mistaken and intellectually dishonest to use the “one view among many” argument to put science on the same shelf as ideologies that do not emphasize skepticism, evidence, and objectivity. But above all else, science utilizes the language of mathematics to demonstrate our understanding of nature and to predict, with accuracy untouched by any other “world-view”, the patterns of nature.  

Again, extremely vague/somewhat biased rhetoric on the wikipedia page but this quote, “The epistemological approach, the assumption that the scientific method trumps other ways of knowing, and the ontological approach, that the rational mind reflects the world and both operate in knowable ways…” exemplifies how scientism-alarmists I guess you’d call them (people who accuse scientists of scientism) weirdly fail to grasp how truly complex the natural world is. The myriad ways in which the world is unknowable to even the calmest rational mind without the benefit of the scientific method and the knowledge it has yielded over the course of many generations is hard to illustrate.

Science is a means by which humans can understand the universe and nature. If it is a part of the universe, part of nature, then it can be known to science and understood in scientific terms. To say science has a monopoly on truth is not accurate; just truth about the constituents of the natural world and their interactions.
If someone truly believes their god gave them our moral code… well obviously that’s beyond the boundaries of science! That’s clearly one context not applicable to scientific inquiry—his/her personal truth is that god gave us our moral code and meaning to our lives, so who are we “scientists” to say no that’s clearly fuckin bullshit, I don’t believe in god and humans are intelligent apes that evolved from protien-replicating molecules over the course of about 3.8 billion years through extinction, famine, drought, disease, genocide, slavery, colonialism, and innumerable holy wars and I’m a perfectly decent, moral person at most times in most situations.

Moreover, the neurosciences have yielded knowledge about how our brains work that people not even a hundred years ago would be unable to even comprehend. Through various methods of imaging (http://psychcentral.com/lib/types-of-brain-imaging-techniques/0001057) we have been able to see the mechanisms that make us tick more clearly than ever before. Morality is in no way off-limits to science; nor is creation itself. These two elements are linked in science just as they are in religion–but instead of an omnipotent magician creating a planet in five days and a universe in one and paradoxically endowing us with free will and 10 commandments punishable by eternal damnation if violated, it’s the theory of evolution working under the natural laws of the universe over the course of billions of years. From particle physics, to chemistry, to biology, to psychology… The gaps in which god may hide are getting smaller and smaller as one year passes to another.

Accusing someone of “scientism” is not a means of legitimizing a non-scientific claim, nor is it a way to prevent a hypothesis/idea from being tested scientifically on the grounds that the tester is “expanding the boundaries of science” beyond the scope of scientific inquiry. Accusing someone of “scientism” is nothing more than a somewhat clever, somewhat intelligent-sounding way to say, “you’re not allowed to use science to test my beliefs.”

Scientism is bullshit.

The Ascent Portable Vaporizer Is Perfect For On-The-Go Vaping

The Ascent by Da Vinci is quite an impressive piece. It has a sleek, eye-catching design that’s almost sure to be a topic of conversation. One of the first things I noticed about it during my many hours spent investigating its capabilities was the weight. It felt heavy in my hands, which is something I actually prefer. Generally speaking with these kinds of products, if it’s lightweight, it’s probably cheaply made. The Ascent feels nice and sturdy, like you’ve just purchased something made to work. But at the same time, it’s not so bulky that it’d be a hassle to take on the go. It’s designed for portability and built to last.

I was also pleased with the quality of the materials used in its construction. For instance, the all-glass vapor pathway, and glass mouthpiece that extends out from the top of the unit, both of which provide that smooth, authentic glass feel. Right next to/below it is the digital temperature display—a much-coveted feature in the portable vaporizer industry. Not only is it striking in appearance, but it’s the most convenient, useful feature a portable vape can have. Once the unit is turned on, the temperature can be adjusted up to 430 degrees F using the three-button user interface and the OLED screen itself.

One very slight downside to the Ascent is the manner in which the contents of the heating chamber must be changed and re-packed. It’s only a minor inconvenience when considering everything else, but it can nonetheless be awkward since it doesn’t stand on its own and the unit must be held vertically with the chamber open in order to be loaded.

The Ascent handles ground up herb fantastically, but can also be used with hash and oil cartridges. The flavor it delivers is clear and satisfying. When all is said and done, what matters is the vaping experience, and the Ascent by Da Vinci certainly delivers an enjoyable one. On top of that, it’s well-priced for a good quality, high-end portable vaporizer, at $249. You can get the Ascent or any other vaporzing materials and accessories at Vapor Nation. This is undoubtedly a must-have addition to any herb connoisseur’s essential gear.

Solar Freakin' Roadways: Fact or Fiction

Are solar roadways the future of alternative energy? Here’s the science behind driving on solar panels

“Solar Roadways” is not a terribly recent project, having begun several years ago, but it has been a somewhat viral story on the internet for the past few months–with hardly any scrutiny.  The results page on Google after typing in “solar roadways” is dominated by scientifically illiterate “journalists” who obsess over it without even bothering to do the most rudimentary research. At first, the idea of solar roadways does sound revolutionary—it’d be a brilliant way to solve our ever-increasing energy crisis and provide us with a surplus of energy on a scale that humans have never before seen. But unfortunately for anyone who donated money to Solar Roadways Inc., adding a moment’s thought to the equation makes the flaws of this proposal become abundantly clear. As with most matters in life and the internet: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
 

 

Very briefly—before I get into exposing “solar roadways” for the bullshit that it really is—I must call attention to the website itself, wherein an attempt is made to preemptively discredit those who “reflexively dismiss [their] concept”. Solar Roadways Inc. poisons the well (a very commonly used fallacy) by saying, “there have always been people against change,” that they, “must be descendants of those who argued that the earth was flat,” or said, “we don’t need cars because horses work just fine”. Obviously, we don’t know which of us are descended from the people who argued Earth was flat. The creators of solar roadways, Julie and Scott Brusaw, could very well be the descendents of a person who thought the earth was flat. This argument is laughable at best. So no, this has nothing to do with anyone being against change. Solar roadways are fundamentally unviable, and this article will explain why.
 

Let’s first go through and examine what these people promise solar roadways will do. From their video, “Solar Freakin’ Roadways,” we are told the following:
 

  • 0:12 “It’s technology that replaces all roadways, parking lots, sidewalks, driveways, tarmacs, bike paths, and outdoor recreation surfaces with solar panels—and not just lifeless, boring solar panels! Smart, microprocessing, interlocking, hexagonal solar units.”
  • 0:34 “These are intelligent solar panels, replaced a panel at a time if damaged or malfunctioning. They’re covered with a new tempered glass material that has been designed and tested to meet all impact, load, and traction requirements.”
     
  • 1:17 “For those in the north, the panels use energy they collect to power elements that keep the surface temperature a few degrees above freezing. They’re heated! No more ice and snow on roads causing traffic delays, accidents, and injury. No more shoveling your driveway or sidewalk, no more salt corroding your car, and no more wasting tax money on snow removal.”

 

  • 1:37 “Every panel has a series of LED lights on the circuit board that can be programmed to make lanescape designs, warning signs, parking lot configurations, whatever. These roads never have to have lanes repainted; just reprogrammed to whatever we choose or whatever works best…. With LED lights under your feet, it’s gonna look like freakin’ Tron out there!”
     
  • 2:12 “These panels are also pressure-sensitive, so they can detect when large debris like branches or boulders have fallen onto the road. Or if an animal is crossing, it can warn drivers with LED text to slow down for an obstruction.”
     
  • 2:26 “Solar roadways use as much recycled material in their production as possible” with a “cable corridor that runs concurrently with the roadways themselves. One part houses electrical cables [including] high speed internet…. (2:50) The other channel captures and filters storm water and melted snow, moving them either to a treatment facility or treating them on-site.”
  • 3:04 “Do you realize how many thousands of jobs this could create and sustain? …And it pays for itself! They’re solar freakin’ roadways!”
  • 3:17 “Is this even possible? I told you, YES.”
     

No. It isn’t. I hate to be a buzzkill for anyone who might’ve been looking forward to living in “Tron,” but there are much better ways to solve the energy crisis. I will definitely concede that the idea is extremely cool. It’d be great if all the roads in America generated electricity and lit up with different patterns and melted the snow and filtered the rainwater and warned us of hazards. But in reality, accomplishing all those tasks at once turns out to be a pretty demanding job. Then factor in the tasks a road must accomplish normally, which is provide traction for heavy vehicles in all types of weather all year round, and it doesn’t take a keen eye to notice the logistical nightmare involved with this project.
 

COOL NEW REVOLUTIONARY DESIGN!

Lets begin with this stylish-looking hexagonal shape. If hexagonal tiles were a more efficient design than paved roads, surely we’d have figured that out by now and all our roads would’ve been laid using hexagons. As it happens, hexagons (or any shape of large tile) are terrible for constructing roads. The larger a tile or tile-like unit is, the more susceptible it is to breaking or cracking through the middle when under pressure. As vehicles roll across these units, it results in differential loading, which means there’s more weight on one side of the tile than the other. Over time, this causes the tile to come loose or break all together.

The solar units would likely need to be swapped out and replaced regularly, and if anyone thought

highway repair was pricey before, think of how much more expensive replacing miles of technology would be instead of asphalt. But let’s get into the economics a little later.  

While we’re still on the topic of flawed road designs, let’s take a minute to think about the prospect of driving on glass. The video shows the Brusaws shoveling a small pile of multi-colored glass shards into a wheelbarrow, as we are told solar roadways use as much recycled material as possible in production. I’m all for being ‘green’, but melting down differently colored glass and turning it into the clear glass used on the solar units is just not possible. Even if they did melt it down it’d just end up being a blend of all the colors, which would obviously hinder the panel’s light-collecting abilities. Besides that, it’s clear the Brusaws aren’t even close to having the assets required to operate the type of facility for large-scale glass melting and recasting. I can’t be the only one who thinks it’s completely absurd that they’re shoveling a tiny pile of glass shards into a wheelbarrow. It’s obvious they can’t melt it down, so why are they filming themselves doing a pointless task? (Fun fact: asphalt is one of the most commonly recycled materials ever, with up to 99% of it being reused).

The video also claims the panels meet all “impact, load, and traction requirements,” and shows a tractor driving over the prototype solar roadway. Call me skeptical, but I don’t think a tiny tractor driving 5 mph over maybe 50 ft of roadway would satisfy any such impact, load, or traction requirements they were referring to. But rubber on glass does produce a significant amount of traction, right? Yes, it does, but pretty much only when conditions are clean and dry. Driving on glass roads might be a little less absurd in a region that doesn’t ever rain or snow (yet is still somehow habitable) but most cities in the U.S. will get, at the very least, several inches of precipitation every year. I wonder how an 80,000 lb cargo truck driving at 60 mph in the rain would fare if it needed to stop abruptly going downhill on one of these roads. My guess is not well.

The brail bumps on the surface of the glass would not necessarily help traction, either. For one, the mechanisms that produce traction between a car tire and asphalt occur at a much smaller level than the macroscopic pattern of aberrations designed on the glass. For another, glass is a relatively soft material and tends to erode quickly. Sea glass is a perfect example of what happens to glass when exposed to continuous friction and pressure over the course of years and decades. Moreover, as glass further erodes, it becomes opaque, which defeates the entire purpose of the solar unit to begin with. But—but it’s tempered glass! 

Yes, tempered glass is indeed stronger than non-tempered glass, but it isn’t any harder, nor is it less susceptible to erosion. It’s great for resisting blows from large, blunt objects, but it’ll shatter if struck by a tiny point, which are common among debris found outdoors. Tempered glass can be shattered simply by throwing a small piece of porcelain at it, as demonstrated in the below video.

 

The solar roadways website also makes a point out of the fact that glass is harder than steel, and says that asphalt is therefore softer than glass. It’s true that glass is harder than steel according to Mohs Scale of Hardness, but whoever made this claim is confusing steel’s hardness with some of its other properties, namely, its tensile strength. Steel is great for resisting tension, which is why suspension bridges are made out of steel and not glass. Similarly, the claim also confuses the terms “asphalt” with “blacktop”. The terms are used interchangeably in everyday conversation, but technically speaking they are entirely distinct. Asphalt is the pitch black gooey, malleable stuff you sometimes see used to repair cracks in the road—obviously glass is harder than malleable goo. Blacktop, on the other hand, is the combination of that, plus small pieces of gravel and rock—asphalt is heated and mixed with gravel to create blacktop, which is then called “asphalt” in everyday context. Normal, old fashioned, out-of-date roads are basically gravel glued together by asphalt. The asphalt creates a semi-waterproof seal, and the gravel produces tiny ridges and imperfections in the road that produce far better traction for a rubber tire than glass ever could. And, as mentioned earlier, it’s up to 99% recycled.

 

IT’S GONNA BE LIKE FREAKIN’ TRON OUT THERE!

Now that most of the seemingly obvious issues with design and building materials have been exposed, let’s move on to the absurdity of solar roadways’ proposed function.

First of all, I don’t want it to be like “freakin’ Tron out there”. The light pollution is disturbing enough as it is and I’d much rather see the stars shine above my head at night than feel like I’m living in a nauseatingly cheesy replica of an 80’s video game. However, fortunately for the stars, there won’t be any LED light pollution, because there won’t be any LED lights, because there won’t be any solar freakin’ roadways. We can know this for a fact thanks to this little thing called conservation of energy.

I know it’s scary, but we’re going to have to do something no one wants to do… MATH. But we need to expose some bullshit so let’s just get it over with. If we use the figure stated in the video, there are 25,000 square miles of roadway in the United States. This is roughly equal to 60 billion square meters (64.75 billion, but 60 billion for simplicity).
“If we covered that in solar panels with just a 15% efficiency, we’d produce three times as much electricity as this country uses on an annual basis.”
Nothing wrong with the math here, at least in principal. Yes, if 25,000 square miles of roadway were covered in solar panels with a 15% efficiency, we would produce three times as much energy as this country uses annually, if the panels collected solar energy 24 hours a day.

But recall that the solar units have LED lighs on them to produce road markings. So how exactly would they produce this much energy when the sun is down, while the LED lights need to be powered? Where is that energy coming from?   

Now here’s where the math comes in. I know, it sucks but just stay with me.

It takes about four of these panels to make one square meter. We know there are 25,000 square miles of roadway, equal to roughly 60 billion square meters that need to be covered. Four panels = 1 m squared, thus we would need about 240 billion panels, or just under two and a half times the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy, or 800 panels for every person in America, or 34 panels for every person in the world.

Each one of these solar units has fifty LED’s on them (which aren’t even formatted to create the designs depicted in the renderings, by the way), and with 240 billion panels covering 25,000 sqare miles of roadway, that gives us a whoppong 12 trillion LED lights. To put that number in perspective, it’s over twice the distance to the sun—in inches.

 
Now, a string of 300 LED’s runs on about 60 watts. So 60w =  0.06 kW and 0.06 kW @ 7 cents /kHW = 0.06 x 0.07 = $0.0042. In other words, the cost of running 300 LED’s for 1 hour is less than half a cent. However, when all 12 trillion of them are running, it’ll cost $1.4 trillion per year, $4 billion per day, and $168 million per hour. That’s an extra $5,000 burden on all 300 million Americans every year.

However, if we did light up the roads like an obnixious LED billboard, it would require them to consume more energy than is actually available in the direct sunlight. Obvious, since otherwise they would not be visible in direct sunlight. An LED billboard can run at up to 1000w/sq. meter, while an average sqare meter of the earth’s surface recieves about 340w/m^2. Therefore, in order to live in “Tron,” we’ll say the roads consume about 500w/m^2. Let’s calculate the energy bill, should this fantasy be turned into reality. 65,000,000,000/m^2 x 500w @ $0.07/kW/hr = 2 billion dollars per hour. The electricity bill alone would cost upwards of 20 trillion dollars per year. 

 
Additionally, LED lights are only good for five to seven years in normal conditions that don’t involve being constantly rolled over by trucks and exposure to natural elements. Think about this: the decision to put lights in the roads means that every time the panel needs to be repaired or replaced, traffic must be stopped in order to put the new panel in, which is of course readily on-hand at all times somehow. This means 240 billion panels would need to be replaced every five to seven years. And what if the solar panels still work but the bulbs don’t? What sort of mechanism is there to replace just the 12 trillion bulbs and not the 240 billion panels every seven years amid rush hour traffic?

Furthermore, LED lights have terrible visibility in direct sunlight and at shallow angles. That’s why a shade is placed over traffic lights to keep the direct sunlight off them. LED billboards, like traffic lights, are at near-right angles to our line of sight, which vastly improves its visibility. It’s practically impossible to see an LED light at a shallow angle (as it would be to a driver) in direct sunlight. View more in the video below from 11:45 to 12:40.

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But let’s just ignore all that for now and say LED’s in the roads is a good idea. Remember that whole conservation of energy thing? Well, as it turns out, a half meter by half meter solar unit completely covered in solar cells at 20% efficiency puts out roughly 40w when in direct sunlight and angled toward the sun. The hexagonal units appear to be about 60% covered in solar cells and run at 15% efficiency, but let’s just say they run at 20% and put out 40w for now.

Since there are 50 LED’s on one panel, it takes about 10w to power them. No conflict there, but recall the panel is in direct sunlight and angled toward the sun. Solar panels at solar farms track the sun, which means they’re pointed directly at it the entire day. When the panel is laid flat on the road and does not track the sun, it loses about 2/3 of its efficiency, at which point a panel that would put out 40w would only put out 13w.

Then, subtracting the 10w to power the LED’s we are left with a measly 3w… and yet these lights must be left on at night, when the panel isn’t collecting any energy.

In addition, every time you convert sunlight into electricity and then into LED light, you’re going to lose energy along the way. These panels could power maybe ten LED’s 24/7. How do these people expect to power all 12 trillion LED lights when the energy required to power them exceeds the amount of energy collected by the solar cells? And if LED’s are best visible in the shade, and solar cells function best in direct sunlight, how exactly is this magical piece of technology supposed to work?

But recall that I used very generous figures. The actual solar roadway panel is about 60% covered in solar cells at 15% efficiency, does not track the sun, and is covered in thick, tempered glass—and they’re heated!

NO MORE ICE AND SNOW ON ROADS?!

That’s right, they’ve still got enough energy laying around to turn ice into water! Admittedly, to laypeople this may not sound like a big deal, but it really is.

From the Solar Roadways website:

Over 70 percent of the nations roads are located in snowy regions, which receive more than five inches (or 13 cm) average snowfall annually…. Each year, 24 percent of weather-related vehicle crashes occur on snowy, slushy or icy pavement. Over 1,300 people are killed and more than 116,800 people are injured in vehicle crashes on snowy, slushy or icy pavement annually. Snow and ice increase road maintenance costs. Winter road maintenance accounts for roughly 20 percent of state DOT maintenance budgets. State and local agencies spend more than 2.3 billion dollars on snow and ice control operations annually…. Does the current system of snow removal sound cheap to anyone? What would saving over 1300 lives and preventing over 115,000 injuries per year be worth?”

You read that correctly; their entire argument is, “Does the current system of snow removal sound cheap to anyone?” Seriously, I almost can’t believe it’s this easy. Let us once again call upon our old friend, MATH.

First of all, this idea can be refuted with just a moment’s thought—that being, if it were cheaper to melt snow rather than move it to the side of the road, why aren’t snow removal trucks fitted with flamethrowers? But some people see that as facetious so let’s get practical and do the calculations.

Thanks to our other old friend, thermodynamics, we know that it requires 334 kilojoules per kilogram to turn ice at freezing point into water at freezing point. To put it into perspective, that same amount of energy will heat water at 0*C to 70*C, or just over 2/3 of the way to boiling. The average snowfall cited is 13 cm, which is roughly equivalent to 1.3 cm of ice. Factor in the road area, 65 billion/m^2, and we get 0.85 billion/m^3 = 0.85 trillion kg of ice to melt. Roughly 330 kJ per kg to melt ice = 75 billion kW hrs @ $0.07/hr = 5 billion dollars per year. So instead of spending all this money on snow removal, they propose an idea to save money by doing something that would cost twice as much even if it worked at 100% efficiency: they propose using as much energy to heat water from 0*C to almost boiling over the entire continental US road system.

Let me also point out that these panels will be in the northern regions of America—regions that receive far less sunlight on average. These panels, located in regions with little sunlight, are expected to melt the snow that’s covering them? How would a solar panel collect sunlight to produce energy to melt snow when the snow is blocking the sunlight necessary for collecting energy?

And remember these magic ice-melting solar panels are also supposed to light up the road like “Tron” 24 hours a day. Is the ridiculousness of this concept not becoming abundantly clear? The idea is fundamentally and demonstrably impossible, but the website isn’t through with making absurd claims yet.

OH YEAH, THEY’RE PRESSURE-SENSITIVE!

Alright, so not only are these 240 billion hexagonal, programmable LED, tempered glass-covered, load-bearing solar units going to be heated, they’re going to be pressure-sensitive, too! Yeah, they’re going to light up if a deer walks on it or if a tree falls or if boulders obstruct a mountain roadway. So anything from a 200-lb animal to a several-tons boulder will be visible to drivers. They’re also going to display text warning drivers of any hazards ahead of time. Isn’t this just the most ingenius idea ever?!

One question: why didn’t the road light up when the tracktor was driving on it? Should there not have been LED’s lighting up beneath the tires of the tracktor since the road is pressure-sensitive? Plus, there are a lot of cars out there. Roads are pretty much driven on 24 hrs a day, which means these pressure-sensitive solar-powered roads are going to have the additional task of lighting up beneath vehicles in conjunction with the basic road markings. The road would stay lit-up beneath parked cars, defeating the entire purpose of covering parking lots in solar panels. Cars parked on these things will block the sunlight from reaching the cells, while the road uses energy to light-up under the weight of the car.

Obviously this would require each of the 240 billion panels to be fitted with the electrical circuitry of a digital scale with a range of several pounds to several tens of thousands of pounds. To give an idea of the scope of this proposal, let’s calculate the cost of the cheapest part required: the glass.

As previously mentioned, the panels are roughly one square meter. According to the internet, the going price for one square meter of 1/2” thick tempered glass goes for between $300 – $350. Therefore, since we know the area intended to be covered (65 billion/m^2) we can know the total cost of the glass. This does not include the cost of the circuitry, microprocessors, silicon, high-speed internet, pressure-sensitive electronics, and LED lights. This excludes the cost of the power system this project demands; the steel and concrete used for the buried cables; nor does this include the cost of the heating elements, nor does it include the cost of the solar cells themselves. Ignoring even the manpower required to bring this vision to life, the price tag on the glass alone comes out to: 65 billion/m^2 x $300/m^2 = 19,500,000,000,000 or 20 trillion dollars with tax, or approximately 10 times the federal budget.

MILITARY APPLICATIONS

I’ve saved the best for last. These people have even proposed military applications for their ridiculous solar roadway. Check out what they say on their website:

“Imagine being able to put “eyes and ears” on the ground anywhere in the world without putting human lives in danger. Drop a Solar Road Panel into the hills of Afghanistan via parachute. The parachute detaches upon impact and is retracted beneath the panel. Camera modules open and aim in every direction. A satellite dish configures itself for communications to anywhere in the world. Marines at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina control the direction of the infrared cameras and watch the images on their computer screens and call in strikes when needed.”

Seriously? This is a solar panel working at 15% efficiency and they want it to power infared camera modules that aim in every direction and are controlled remotely via satellite?! And this roadway panel is supposed to be air-dropped into the hills of Afghanistan, after which its parachute retracts beneath it into some pocket dimension of extra space. It’s curiously similar to the features of the Mars rover, though. But that’s obviously pure coincidence.

They go on:

“Unlike a conventional generator, the Solar Road Panel makes no noise and leaves no thermal footprint for the enemy combatants to detect. No refueling is ever needed, keeping our troops out of harm’s way.”

Yeah, that’s category 5 bullshit. Even if one square meter of solar cells at 15% efficiency could power a satellite dish and infared cameras and a retractable parachute, and LED lights, it most certainly wouldn’t be doing so without generating any heat signature. Electricity generates heat, plain and simple.   

I honestly feel as though these claims are so ridiculous that ultimately they’re their own refutation. It just comes down to the materials. In order for this to be even remotely possible, there needs to be a material as transparent as glass, yet as hard and rough as asphalt that can be mass-produced in a cost-effective way. This material simply does not exist. It’s like a piece of technology straight out of a Marvel comic book

A FEW OTHER THINGS

Here’s just a list of a few other things that I wonder about:

  • What purpose does changing the patterns on the roads even serve in the first place? How often is it really necessary to change the patterns on the roads? It reminds me of the Dane Cook bit about changing the roads before he began to completely suck.
  • Where is the energy being stored once it’s collected? How is the energy being transported? Are they suggesting high-voltage AC power lines (those enormous power lines propped up by those gigantic metal things) are to be stored in the cable corridor as well?
  • How do they propose to convert the few volts generated by the photovoltaics into high-voltage alternating current for transport? Is there to be a high-voltage AC transport system along every road in America?
  • Where do they propose to get all this material? The glass, lights, photocells, metal for the wiring, etc? How do they expect to be able to maintain an infastructure of this magnitude?
  • Where, exactly, is stormwater going to be filtered? On-site? Where then is this filtered stormwater going to be stored once it’s processed in the secret pocket dimension next to the parachute?
  • How do they propose to pay for all this stuff? The 2 million dollars they raised on IndieGoGo? Using math: $20 trillion (glass alone) + $20 trillion (power to actually see it in daylight) + $800 billion (LED lights) = $40.8 trillion dollars. The amount of money they raised is only enough to heat one 370 km-long highway for a single year. In other words, including the $750,000 of taxpayer money they got from the Department of Transportation, they’ve raised a staggering 0.0000000735% of the rough total annual cost of this project. 

As I said in the beginning of this article, there are far better ways to solve the energy crisis. Solar is probably the best and most promising way, but putting the panels under the roads is just plain idiotic. The best place to put solar panels, if not above the roads or next to them, is in space. Building solar panels in space that can track the sun 24 hrs a day, that are unimpeded by earth’s atmosphere, that are up to a square kilometer in size, that will be the most efficient solar panels yet produced, that won’t require constant maintainence and that won’t waste energy lighting up like a solar freakin’ disco, will also cost a good amount of money, but it’ll be a tiny fraction of $41 trillion dollars.

 

But why is this such a big deal? Why is so important that I write almost ten pages debunking this nonsense? The reasons are four-fold: first, Scott and Julie Brusaw duped 50,000 people out of over 2 million dollars by producing a bogus video saturated with pseudo-science. Second, the Brusaws received a $750,000 grant of taxpayer money from the Department of Transportation to fund this project, which can be shown to be fundamentally unviable and demonstrably impractical with just a few calculations and background research. Third, this undermines the credibility of real scientists in public perception. Years from now, when there are no solar roadways, people are liable to say, “why should we believe scientists about _______? [climate change/vaccines/evolution etc.] They told us there’d be solar roads and it’d be like freakin’ Tron out here! But it’s not! WTF!” Fourth, the success of this bogus project shows the patheticly and disturbingly low current science-literacy of our society. It’s understandable that most people can’t be bothered to know things like the relative efficiencies of solar panels, or the properties of tempered glass, or what goes into transporting energy; these things are not common knowledge. But I really don’t understand how at no point along the way did anyone scrutinize this project enough to do the basic calculations before handing these people $750,000 of taxpayer money. At no point along the way did anyone think, “hm, glass roads… I wonder if that’s a good idea…”? Or, “where is all this material going to come from?” No, they just sit and nod and praise its genius. Listen to U.S. Senator Mike Crapo talk about the “over-the-horizon thinking” of solar roadways:

And yet it takes all of maybe one hour to do the calculations and proper research to show that this project is fundamentally unviable. It’s extremely important to expose any and all pseudo-scientific claims that manage to gain this much support and money as quickly as possible because it preserves the integrity of real scientists in public perception. This is in turn vitally important because public perception has a direct effect on our ability to implement future policies based on scientific research that would greatly improve the quality of life in the U. S.

Solar roadways, and other such claims or projects based on pseudo-science like it, muddy the waters in terms of what science actually is to anyone who isn’t already scientifically literate or formally educated in science. The backers of this project will dupe many more people into giving their hard-earned money to fund nonsense before this whole idea finally fizzles out for good, and many more will be disheartened or even upset that it was a scam, but through all of that we can say the one group of people who saw through the smoke and mirrors, and smelled the bullshit from the very start, were the real scientists.

For more information please visit the Thunderf00t YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/user/Thunderf00t/search?query=solar

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmb8hO2ilV9vRa8cilis88A
 

 

"Earth to Echo" and the Real-Life Search for ET (feat Dr Seth Shostak)

How scientifically plausible is the adorable-looking cybernetic intelligence from the upcoming movie “Earth to Echo”? The answer may surprise you.

It’s strange to think about, but there hasn’t really been a decent kids movie about aliens (or an alien movie about kids?) since “ET” came out. The space-invaders/visitors from space genres, nowadays, are almost exclusively aimed at older audiences, even though children are probably more fascinated by the concept of aliens than most of us. Hollywood’s certainly overdue for another alien movie geared towards younger audiences, and “Earth to Echo” is that movie. But in what ways is this movie going to be different than “ET”? What information is available to draw from when creating a fictional alien intelligence, and where do these concepts stand in terms of our current knowledge about extraterrestrial life?

“Earth to Echo” follows the lives of three childhood best friends: Tuck (played by Astro), Alex (Teo Halm), and Munch (Reese Hartwig). While Alex is in the throes of constant relocation due to “highway construction,” the three friends decide to go on an epic adventure to celebrate his last day in the neighborhood before he is forced to move yet again. Prior to this, and seemingly unrelated, cell phones across the country start going crazy, as if the screen “barfs,” and no one can figure out why. Tuck discovers that this anomaly is actually some form of map, which the trio then decides to follow. They set out at sundown, and after riding bikes for hours through the dark Nevada desert, they eventually discover something truly amazing: the source of the map.

What initially appears to be no more than a piece of junk metal soon reveals itself to be much, much more. Scared and startled at first, Tuck, Alex, and Munch begin to realize that this advanced piece of technology is actually a form of life; alien in its origin and non-organic in its nature, which they call “Echo”. They learn much from the cybernetic ET, but most importantly, that (it?) crash landed and needed to be repaired.

But powerful forces are at work that aim to confiscate Echo from the three boys and prevent any such repairs. Perhaps this has something to do with all that construction. Perhaps they weren’t building a highway after all…

Things get intense along the way, and it almost seems as if Echo and the boys are done for. But thankfully, their problems were solved, in part, thanks to a little female ingenuity. While helping Echo repair itself, the boys run into Emma (played by Ella Wahlstedt)—the  pretty girl at school who every boy is scared to talk to. She is denied participation in their journey, but proves herself after chasing them down just in time to get them out of hot water.

From that point, the adventure only continues to build. I was impressed by how accurately childhood friendships and relationships were portrayed in the writing and direction. There was a natural chemistry among the four characters as well, which definitely draws the audience in and almost makes them forget they’re watching a kids movie. There was a good amount of humor also, provided mostly by Munch, who was just fantastic.

Higher Education: Top 10 Cannabis Colleges

These colleges have the most notable 420 cultures

When it comes to higher education, these colleges will undoubtedly give you the biggest bang per buck in the entire country. It’s no secret that obtaining a degree at one of these fine institutions can cost an arm and a leg, plus interest. Bottom line: if you’re paying the equivalent of a Lexus every year for “higher education,” you’d better be sure you’re getting higher than you’ve ever gotten before. 


You should also read: Alcohol versus Cannabis

 


10. University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign



I can speak from personal experience on this one. While you may not find the absolute dankest, emerald triangle-esque buds here, you’ll certainly find widespread acceptance of the marijuana culture, and plenty of people with access to fairly potent strains. Out-of-towners (especially those bearing bright green gifts) will find friends almost immediately. However, U of I is a very large college with a very large campus, so obviously there will be multiple cultures intermingling from time to time. There are a lot of frat boys and jocks here as well, who may be less into the ‘culture high’ as they are the ‘culture hammered and barf all over your friend’s shoes’. Also, if you’re caught with marijuana you could be expelled. So,that’s no good.



9. Ithaca College (Ithaca, NY)



Ithaca college has essentially equalized its regulations concerning drinking and smoking, meaning you won’t get in any more trouble for pot possession than you would for beer possession. This highly pragmatic approach should relieve at least some of the stress that goes along with studying for and taking a final while completely stoned and/or drunk. Additionally, Ithaca college’s Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) managed to secure “medical amnesty” for weed and other such substances, which was signed by the college president.



8. Bard College



There isn’t much to say about Bard college and its relationship to the herb, other than, in 2008, a professor was busted for growing sixteen pot plants of considerably high quality. With such professorial mastery over the art of growing pot, it’s no wonder he was the most beloved teacher on campus by all the cool kids. I can just picture him giving a “post-lecture wrap up” for any students who “require additional learning”



7. UC Santa Barbara

The University of California at Santa Barbara. The fact that it’s in California already tells you most of what you need to know. Students here get to enjoy a nice ocean breeze off the Pacific, sunny skies pretty much 12/7, and the benefit of being able to purchase medical marijuana for things like back pain, anxiety, or cancer. On top of that, the campus’ substance abuse policy is written in such a way that allows for some wiggle room: 
“[students] Shall not use illegal substances and shall not abuse legal substances in a manner that impairs scholarly activities, job performance, or student life.”
Which is basically saying, “Whatever brah, do all the illegal activities you want just don’t let it interfere with your academic success and ability to relate to other human beings, brah.”



6. Humboldt State University – Arcata, CA  



It’s in Humboldt county. One of the three that comprise the famous emerald triangle. Marijuana produced in this region is among the best in the world—second perhaps to buds produced in the British Columbia in Canada. Moreover, this region produces a significant portion of the United States’ domestically grown marijuana. Humboldt county is basically home to a practically endless supply of the highest quality weed you can get. You’d have to be impossibly, irredeemably stoned to think that a college located right in the middle of all that wouldn’t be 420friendly. 



5. New College of Florida – Sarasota, FL



This cozy little college amongst the palms allows its students to design their own curriculum; to create their course in psychedelic studies and go on to perform experiments using themselves as human guinea pigs. Want to find out, legitimately and academically, what happens in your brain when you smoke weed and drop acid at the same time? Enroll in New College of Florida!



4. Hampshire College – South Amherst, MA



This is an institution that attempted to impose a smoking ban on campus and in dorms, but then later ceased such attempts after giving in to the student body’s very loud, and organized, uproar. It shows that the unity among the students and the influence they exert is greater than the whims of the administrators. Rest assured, pot heads, you are safe here.



3. UC Santa Cruz


Is it really any surprise that so many California universities appear on this list? 
On April, 20th 2013, thousands of students and college-aged men and women lit up in Santa Cruz’s Porter Meadow. The cloud of pot smoke rose and billowed out like a pyroclastic cloud from a massive volcano—and not talking about the Mt. St. Helens kind either. Though the event was not sanctioned by the university, it became an annual holiday: Weed Day. Campus officials estimated around 4,000 participants showed up to get stoned. Pot heads will certainly find themselves in good company here.



2. University of Wisconsin – Madison



Weird, right? I totally didn’t expect this one either. But U of W actually has an extensive history of anti-establishment ideals. In fact, “the Onion,” our nation’s most trusted news source, was founded here. U of W also hosts one of the nation’s largest annual Halloween gatherings. Though the Madison Police  certainly don’t mess around when it comes to Halloween, they are far more lenient when it comes to marijuana. You will most likely be let off on first offense if you possess less than an ounce.

1. University of Colorado – Boulder

Big shocker. Boulder’s reputation as the most weed-friendly campus in the United States is scarcely unknown to anyone. Throw in the fact that Boulder county is the nation’s second marijuana Mecca, with bud production in quality and quantity that rivals (or in some cases even exceeds) that of the emerald triangle, and you have a perfect recipe for the number one spot on this list. 
Moreover, the vibe of the student body couldn’t be more chill. Student life is so enchanting that some students even lose sight of their academic commitment, and fall victim to “the life”. That being, enjoying the company of some awesome people while sharing a dank bowl, taking psychedelics, listening to music, enjoying the gorgeous landscapes, or all of that at the same time; and then going to Red Rocks to see STS9 and getting your mind completely blown. 
That’s what I consider to be a Higher Education.  

You should also read: We reviewed the DaVinci Ascent Vaporizer

The Fall of Justin Bieber: From Douchebag to Racist

Leaked video provides definitive proof that Justin Bieber was a racist douchebag all along.

It is truly difficult to articulate the depths to which the already embarrassing Bieber legacy has sunk over these past few years. From comments like “fuck Bill Clinton,” to actions like egging people’s houses and drag racing his Lamborghini while drunk, this kid continuously pushes the boundary when it comes to being a professional douchebag. But most recently, a video was leaked that provides us with definitive proof that Bieber is not only the worlds most aggravating douchebag, but that he was the world’s most aggravating douchebag and a racist from the very beginning.

The following video shows a 14-year old Justin Bieber singing a racist parody of his song, “One Less Lonely Girl,” which is about joining the KKK and killing black people, as a friend giggles in the background. While some may argue this does not automatically mean Bieber is racist, his language most assuredly represents exactly the type of thing a racist person would say. The video also shows a clip of Justin telling a racist joke. His friend requests that he not even tell it, but of course he does anyway.

 

Racism can be an effective tool for comedy when the bit is set up in the proper context. But there is no comedic effect here. The context in which Justin and his nauseating friend laugh at racism is that of the very real, very problematic legacy of slavery. Hopefully this video will be damning enough to Bieber’s reputation that he’ll finally go away, or at least get deported like he should have been before.

However, despite the ignorance, hate, and negativity underlying Bieber’s comments, this event can be seen as a blessing in disguise. The cat is finally out of the bag, and once it’s out, it does not go back in. Justin Bieber is a world-class racist asshole, which, ipso facto, means any remaining Justin Bieber fans like/support a racist and are therefore probably racist themselves to some degree. But since racist people are about as offended by being labeled ‘a racist’ as are the actual victims of racism, it’s safe to say Bieber’s fan base will decrease dramatically.

It is now readily apparent that Justin Bieber is about as good at being a decent person as he is at making a decent song. There is no apology he can give that will make this embarrassing situation go away. 

 

GOZIRA! (Godzilla) Review

With Bryan Cranston headlining the cast of “Godzilla,” it easily dominated the box office… but was it any good?

Godzilla. Or as some say, “GOZIRA!” is a worldwide monster icon; the Michael Jordan of giant bipedal lizards; the Charlie Sheen of crazy, blue-plasma breathing reptiles that can crush your house with a single shit. Godzilla is perhaps the most well-known disaster-causing monster ever conceived. But the last recent Hollywood attempt at doing what the Japanese do best was somewhat of a let down, mainly because we didn’t get to see Ferris Bueller run through backyards to escape the baby godzillas. So of course, logically speaking, it’s time for a reboot. And how well did Hollywood recreate Japan’s most iconic monster this time around?

The answer, in my opinion, is pretty well. Obviously the special effects were top-notch; the design and aesthetics of Godzilla (him?)self were representative of the original, and the amount of destruction in the movie rivaled Man of Steel. Moreover, the size was completely accurate. Godzilla is supposed to dwarf battleships and even aircraft carriers, and that was pretty cool to see in the movie. So in all those respects, A-triple-fucking +. However, unfortunately, it’s all downhill from here…

I fully understand that ample and bounteous suspension of disbelief is required for all these types of movies. How could it not? You must suspend your disbelief, otherwise you’re just a buzzkill. It’d be so easy too: ‘Sorry inverse square law, Godzilla’s muscles and bones would be too massive for him to even be able to support his own weight,’ boom Godzilla ruined. But there comes a point when it’s so obvious and in your face, that you just have to ask…

If they (Godzilla, Monarchs) can survive a freaking nuclear blast, how the hell are they getting KO’d by just hitting each other? Yes, they “feed” on radiation (whatever that means) but nonetheless, the blast force alone is strong enough to vaporize any organic material. I’m assuming they’re organic since they bleed when they hit each other with force far less than that of a nuclear blast. But whatever, that’s not such a big deal. Just enjoy the action, right?

Right; when the action happens, I will certainly enjoy it, because so far it’s just been Ken Watanabe saying stuff in cool Last Samurai accent while looking humbled and terrified. Although, there were a number of scenes devoted to giving the U. S. military a decent amount of screen time—while building up to an impeding fight between two colossal beasts, only to show what it was our troops were up to instead.

And speaking of screen time, the main reason I pushed myself out of the house, drove all the way to the movie theater, spent $12.50 on the movie ticket, $4.50 on a drink, and $7.00 on fucking popcorn, was to see Bryan Cranston in Godzilla. Not, “Godzilla,” mind you. No, “Bryan Cranston in Godzilla” was what I came to see. And what did I see? (SPOILER!) I saw, “Bryan Cranston dies within the first 30 minutes of Godzilla.” What?! Seriously? Ok movie people in Hollywood, you’re going to make a trailer filled with images and quotes from Bryan Cranston as if he’s the star of the movie, while showing the real star (his son) for all of two seconds of that trailer, and then kill off Bryan Cranston in the first thirty minutes of the movie?! That, sir, is bullshit.

One more thing—those floppy disks. The culmination of all of Bryan Cranston’s research that he risked life and limb to retrieve because it held keys to filling in the gaps of what he’d been obsessing about over the past 15 years since he had to kill his wife (oops, spoiler!)—what was on those? He died before he could tell his son anything beyond, “they’re talking to each other” and then we’re never told what that important data was! WTF

Despite those costly mistakes by the writers, the movie wasn’t terrible by today’s standards I guess. There could have been more monster violence too, but hey, I only spent thirty bucks to see a movie one time, and have my feet stuck on the floor for two hours while surrounded by a bunch of loud douchebags. But I guess that’s just the movie-going experience. Overall it was a meh, but certainly better than the Matthew Broderick one.

Man-made (Anthropogenic) Climate Change: Reality or Hoax? RE: Preachers of Deception

Just how much do we know about these so called “facts”?

RE: Preachers of Deception (Global Warming “Alarmists” Feeding Us Lies) Original article HERE

Recently, an article was published on the College News website which claims to debunk the man-made climate change “myth”. As a fair and transparent news outlet, it is important to College News that dissenting opinions, differing viewpoints, and alternate takes on controversial topics are presented alongside the majority, and/or conventional wisdom as it currently stands. It is up to rational argument and debate to weed out those dissenting opinions/alternate viewpoints which are not consistent with reality—as well as those that are.

First and foremost, the “climate-change skeptic” philosophy really did not exist until the early 1990’s, prior to which, the republican party actually did acknowledge the reality of man-made (anthropogenic) climate change. But they approached the problem differently: using cap-and-trade, which is actually the democrats’ current approach to the issue.

Over the next decade or so, oil and coal companies would spend almost a hundred million dollars in a massive disinformation campaign that would lead to the current “hoaxer” movement and all its various branches. Among the most common assertions made by climate skeptics (and among the most crucial to sustaining their argument) is that there is no consensus within the scientific community that anthropogenic climate change is real. This is of course blatantly false, for reasons which will be examined a little later on.

But what exactly is the motivation behind the virulent denial of anthropogenic global climate change? There are numerous different reasons; some make more sense than others, such as not wanting to pay environmental fines or not wanting to adhere to ever-increasing regulations… But they all have one thing in common: none of it matters when there’s nothing for us to eat, drink or breathe.

However, in this particular instance, the article I’m responding to offers far more bat-shit absurd reasons. Let’s examine each one, in depth:

“The Lie”

After pointing out that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported an annual increase in CO2 levels since the Civil War era (i. e. industrial revolution), the author then claims the data is accompanied by a “lie” and “imposed guilt”. The lie and imposed guilt being: the well-established fact that releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere will cause a warming, greenhouse effect.
He says, “there is no consistent peer reviewed scientific research that establishes a cause and effect relationship between increased atmospheric CO2 and higher global temperatures.”
This is quite simply incorrect. Not only has the past decade, year, and month all been the hottest on record, but there isn’t even a debate going on—on either side of the aisle—about whether or not releasing CO2 into the air will warm the atmosphere. That’s not even a political issue; that’s well-known science; a fact of physics that has been politicized.
We can see the effect of an exaggerated global warming if we just observe Venus. Its surface temperature is 462* C (864* F), despite being 31.26 million miles further away from the sun than Mercury, which has a surface temperature of 427* C (800* F). Why? Because Venus’ atmosphere is composed of 96% carbon dioxide. The CO2 traps the electromagnetic radiation it receives from the sun, instead of it being able to radiate into space. Mercury, on the other hand, has cooler surface temperatures than Venus whilst orbiting at half the distance because it has barely any atmosphere at all to trap incoming radiation. There doesn’t even need to be a peer-reviewed consensus about the cause and effect relationship between CO2 levels and global temperature (even though there is), since the relationship can be seen and demonstrated already.

“Clever Spin”

A paragraph full of accusations and assertions followed by a supreme lack of any examples to illustrate or verify such claims. The author blithely asserts, “the AGW [anthropogenic warming] hoax lacks any basis in independently verified science.” That’s interesting. So the 97% of the 12,000 or so peer-reviewed papers that take a position in favor of man-made climate change are, “not based in science,” while the 3% not in favor, are based in science? That doesn’t seem very plausible. More about this here: http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus-advanced.htm
He then mistakenly interprets the media as using “strong-arm” tactics to “promote [the ‘alarmists’] agenda” when in reality the media is divided almost down the middle on the issue, or at the most, slightly in favor of anthropogenic climate change. Fox News denounces global warming almost as often as Lindsey Graham obsesses over Benghazi. CNN insists upon having both sides equally represented; inaccurately portraying an even debate within the scientific community. MSNBC can almost be thought of as the occasional fact-checking equal opposite to Fox News, while satirical news shows like the Colbert Report and the Daily Show do regularly mock climate-deniers, as they rightly should. There is not, by any means, unanimous support of anthropogenic global warming throughout the media.

“Taken Advantage”

This is where the talking points get too Alex Jones-ey for even the most steadfast anti-global-warming politician holding public office. According to the article, the environmentalists are tools of the unseen globalist elite, who have been deceived and subconsciously coerced into working for and advancing their agenda of: you guessed it, imposing a one-world Marxist socialist government. Yes, that’s correct. Environmentalism leads to despotic, big brother-esque, one world Marxist socialist governments. Need I say more?

“The Hidden Agenda is Global Government”

This section essentially expands upon the theme of the previous paragraph, but it deals more with the role of the scientists in this ‘Whole New World’ (or is it New World Order?) narrative.
False claim number one: “Some of the key scientists in the AGW movement falsify historical temperature data to make it conform to their agenda.” Again, an assertion made with no supporting context. Moreover, historical data really isn’t essential to demonstrating that earth’s global temperature is rising. If you’re really determined not to believe the scientists, you can simply take cues from nature. Animals are migrating at different rates and their paths have shifted; plants are sprouting further north than ever before because they can now sustain the warmth; polar ice caps and glaciers are melting—the latest and most damning of which, the west antarctic ice sheet, has been found to be “unstable” (http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/news/antarctic-ice-sheet-20140512/#.U3rJvV60Zg0); ocean levels are rising, heat waves are becoming more common, and hurricanes and tropical storms are growing in intensity.   
False claim number two: “Global warming alarmists silence climate change critics.” As a matter of fact, open debate on this subject is welcomed, since there are mountains of evidence on our side and we know we’ll win pretty much every single debate. The problem arises when big oil injects propaganda and disinformation into the general public’s sphere of limited-information reality, while lobbying for fewer and more lenient regulations, resulting in an ever-increasing rate of CO2 emissions alongside a mass-delusion that we aren’t the cause of global climate change—or that it’s not even happening at all. This delays our ability to do something about it and that’s why continuing to debate this subject is a costly waste of time. There comes a point when the debate is just over.  

I’m going to skip over “Who are the supporters” because it’s pretty much more of the same NWO conspiracy globalist elite nonsense from the “taken advantage” section.

“Science of Fear” and “Two Reasons to Use Fear”

The author contends that scientists and “global warming alarmists” use fear tactics such as, “putting images in our mind of melting polar icecaps, dramatic rises in sea levels, increasing global temperatures,” you know, the exact stuff that we’ve observed happening over the past 20-30 years. There is no doubt that the implications are frightening. But that is no reason to buy into an overly-complicated story about powerful men who have engineered a crisis to exploit a fearful population. The idea is that scientists and the media would cultivate the public’s fear in the end of the world to allow those evil totalitarian liberals to impose a carbon tax on us all, which would then be expanded to apply to anything that emits even the smallest amount of CO2 (meaning virtually everything), thus making our very bodies taxable. Add one world bank, add one world government, add a tax on every living human, globalist elite laugh all the way to the bank, etc, etc, you get the idea.

“Where does the money come from?”

In his final paragraph, the author attempts to put the final nail in the coffin for supporters of anthropogenic climate change, when he says, “While the globalist elite control the money, the pseudo-science, the numbers involved can be made to say anything they want.” Ah, so my numbers aren’t legitimate, but your numbers are air-tight! And it doesn’t even matter what new data or evidence comes in because all that “research” is just manipulated by the globalist elite to say whatever they want it to, right? Actually sir, all that amounts to is an unfalsifiable hypothesis. Just one more drop in an ocean full of other ridiculous drops, like denial of the holocaust, the faked moon landing, bigfoot, 9/11 demolition theory, and god(s) and goddesses from any time period.

 

In Summary, the effect of burning coal and oil is not a political issue; it’s physics that has been made political in order to serve the interests of the oil companies. Occam’s Razor, ‘entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity’, or in simple terms: the simplest outcome is the most plausible. Does it not make perfect sense that the people who would lose billions of dollars to clean energy and environmental regulations in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence in favor of climate change would seek to discredit that theory at great cost? It’s so simple and straight forward; ‘we have to discredit this, otherwise we lose money’. As opposed to: the climate is actually not dramatically changing—and 97.1% of scientists from 1991-2011 have been paid off by the globalist elite to falsify that heaping mountain of evidence intended for creating mass public terror, to get public support for a carbon tax, which would be imposed using a Marxist socialist world government that will have taken over the entire earth thanks to the power of environmentalism. Meanwhile, the actual observed melting glaciers and frequent heat waves and prolonged droughts and shortage of the world’s grain production are just all completely normal.

Right, I think this article is pretty much debunked.  

Donald Sterling Brings Further Ruin to his Public Image in an Interview with Anderson Cooper

In a failed attempted to explain his actions, Donald Sterling ends up confirming what we all already knew. He’s racist.

Monday night saw a different kind of sporting event than the usual spectacle of grown men giving each other brain damage. CNN’s Anderson Cooper conducted an interview with the now infamous Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, in which he attempted to explain away his racist remarks, but instead just ended up making a complete fool out of himself.

There are plenty of noteworthy moments throughout the three-minute video, so let’s not waste any time on any unnecessary secondary clauses.

The video starts off with a rambling, whining, bullshit, feel-sorry-for-me tale from Sterling about how his granddaughter goes to a Catholic nursery, where unfortunately, she was… gasp! Denied candy! Yes, Donald Sterling, a grown man, sat in front of Anderson Cooper and sobbed on live TV because his granddaughter was denied candy at her nursery, which, “doesn’t give candy to racists.” Oh, boo fucking hoo, Donald. You make racist remarks, people call you racist, you act like your feelings are all hurt, and we’re supposed to feel sorry for you? PUH-lease bro.

Next, Sterling’s determination to bring further ruin to his already failed public image becomes readily apparent, after having posed the question to the openly-gay Anderson Cooper, “did you ever like a girl, and were you ever jealous of her a little bit if she was with other guys?” (because, naturally, jealousy is the seed from which racist remarks sprout). After Sterling attributed what he said to being jealous of his girlfriend, Cooper points out a certain flaw in his reasoning: “The thing is though, what you were saying wasn’t ‘I don’t want you seen with other guys’, you were saying ‘I don’t want you seen with black guys’.”

Not long after that, Cooper brings up a point that has been circulating around the media about Sterling’s alleged ‘plantation mentality’, which in the spirit of all closet racists, causes him to become highly defensive, and vehemently deny being racist nor having ever been a racist. He even accuses Anderson Cooper of being the one with the plantation mentality—which basically amounts to the whole, “I know you are but what am I,” playground tactic.  

Sterling continues to ramble throughout the rest of the interview in the same pseudo-pitiable, “feel sorry for me” tone of voice. He accused Magic Johnson of “not giving back [like I do],” and, “not doing anything for black people.” He continues on to say, “Jews, when they get successful, they will help their people.”

Near the end of the interview Sterling hits us with one last sob story about how he, “thought [his girlfriend] cared for [him]” but, “she didn’t, otherwise she wouldn’t have released those tapes” all while sniffling and crying as if we’re supposed to give a shit.

The only suitable response to this Sarah Mclachlan-esque attempt at fishing for pity is our collective epic facepalm.

Check out the video here: http://deadspin.com/donald-sterlings-ac360-interview-went-worse-than-you-th-1575431231?utm_campaign=socialflow_deadspin_facebook&utm_source=deadspin_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow