Stump the Meteorologist

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Re: Stump the Meteorologist

Post by Ally on Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:19 am

Let's talk about Luna and how Bewitched is maybe the greatest album of all time. #CaliforniaAllTheWay

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Re: Stump the Meteorologist

Post by leelee on Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:55 am

halfwise wrote:Yep, wide swings in historical weather is a big reason why people are skeptical that we are causing modern trends.  But the ice cores do indeed show that temperature swings track well with carbon dioxide, and we have well cataloged that something like 90% of the current trend in CO2 is caused by us. Exclamation  Al Gore showed it very dramatically in An Inconvenient Truth, which was astonishing for just how few scientific inaccuracies it had.

Wait a minute, is not Al Gore the fellow who said he invented the internet or computer or something. Maybe everything you read about this is written by Al Gore.Shocked
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Re: Stump the Meteorologist

Post by David H on Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:04 pm

When Al Gore was a congressman in the 1970's and 80's he was chairman of the House Science and Technology committee.  What a cool job for a nerd! He got to see all the exciting research before it was published, meet all the top scientists and researchers, and get paid for it!
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Re: Stump the Meteorologist

Post by Mrs Figg on Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:34 pm

he should have been President. But Polar Bears cant vote.

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Re: Stump the Meteorologist

Post by David H on Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:58 pm

If we'd had Gore instead of Bush, I expect we'd have had McCain and Palin instead of Obama. That's just the way the pendulum swings. Not much better for the arctic creatures I'm afraid. (Unless the Polar Bears and Caribou did get to vote of course.)
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Re: Stump the Meteorologist

Post by halfwise on Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:57 pm

I believe at least some of the credit for the balanced budget goes to Gore, who was put in charge of finding government waste to trim.

He overblew some of the stories in an Inconvenient Truth, such as blaming the shrinkage of Lake Chad on Global Warming and in fact most of the anecdotes, as he did when "inventing" the internet; but i think he would tend to get the big picture right.

Does anyone remember the vaudeville act when as president of the senate he was in charge of shooting down all the democratic petitions to overturn the vote that elected Bush?  He managed to keep his composure and follow the book as motion after motion was brought to the floor and had to be shot down for procedural reasons.  When he dismissed the last attempt to make him president, (droning out once more with a hint of weariness : "does the petition have the requisite number of signatories?  has it been notarized by the state legislature" or something like that) Chuck Rangel blurted out "Well, sir, we tried!"  It was really quite delightful.

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Re: Stump the Meteorologist

Post by David H on Tue Jun 18, 2013 1:39 am

Yeah, I remember when that happened. Not the details, just that it was excruciatingly painful.

On the internet strawman, I'd remembered that Gore hadn't actually exaggerated anything (at least by campaign standards,) so I just googled it. The quote that created all the drama was a single throwaway line form a late night interview with CNN:

Transcript: Vice President Gore on CNN's 'Late Edition'
BLITZER: I want to get to some of the substance of domestic and international issues in a minute, but let's just wrap up a little bit of the politics right now.
Why should Democrats, looking at the Democratic nomination process, support you instead of Bill Bradley, a friend of yours, a former colleague in the Senate? What do you have to bring to this that he doesn't necessarily bring to this process?
GORE: Well, I will be offering -- I'll be offering my vision when my campaign begins. And it will be comprehensive and sweeping. And I hope that it will be compelling enough to draw people toward it. I feel that it will be.
But it will emerge from my dialogue with the American people. I've traveled to every part of this country during the last six years. During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country's economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system.
And from Wikipedia:
Internet pioneers Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn noted that,
"as far back as the 1970s, Congressman Gore promoted the idea of high speed telecommunications as an engine for both economic growth and the improvement of our educational system. He was the first elected official to grasp the potential of computer communications to have a broader impact than just improving the conduct of science and scholarship [...] the Internet, as we know it today, was not deployed until 1983. When the Internet was still in the early stages of its deployment, Congressman Gore provided intellectual leadership by helping create the vision of the potential benefits of high speed computing and communication."

Gore introduced the Supercomputer Network Study Act of 1986. He also sponsored hearings on how advanced technologies might be put to use in areas like coordinating the response of government agencies to natural disasters and other crises."

As a Senator, Gore began to craft the High Performance Computing Act of 1991 (commonly referred to as "The Gore Bill") after hearing the 1988 report Toward a National Research Network submitted to Congress by a group chaired by UCLA professor of computer science, Leonard Kleinrock, one of the central creators of the ARPANET (the ARPANET, first deployed by Kleinrock and others in 1969, is the predecessor of the Internet). The bill was passed on December 9, 1991 and led to the National Information Infrastructure  which Gore referred to as the "information superhighway."

Personally I think this sounds like an informed, effective congressman who actually did something constructive.
Just when and how did that become something to be ashamed of?scratch

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Re: Stump the Meteorologist

Post by David H on Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:01 pm

{{{Hey Halfy, you've gotta check the Seen any Good Films thread! Not only does Norc have a question about ozone and global warming, but there's a sultry HOT new photo Figgy that you don't want to miss!:carrot: }}}
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Re: Stump the Meteorologist

Post by Mrs Figg on Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:47 pm

Embarassed cor blimey.

I still think hairspray causes global warming Suspect 

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Re: Stump the Meteorologist

Post by halfwise on Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:12 am

David H wrote:{{{Hey Halfy, you've gotta check the Seen any Good Films thread! Not only does Norc have a question about ozone and global warming, but there's a sultry HOT new photo Figgy that you don't want to miss!:carrot: }}}

Whoo-hoo! Off I go....

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Re: Stump the Meteorologist

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:22 pm

The Mayans were right all along and we are still doomed!

I always tended to the theory, a I think Mayan mythology, the archeological evidence and applicable common sense all point to it, that the Mayans were very, very interested in what the sun was doing.

We know three things about their thinking that all point to this- they record a massive flood that nearly wiped their civilisation out and they blamed the sun God for it, they then spent a great deal of their societies resources building observatories and recording the movements of everything they could see in the sky, but particularity the sun, and they devised a mathmatical system (including inventing 0 and the decimal point) and a 'long count' calendar to calculate days and dates far in the future long after they would be gone so they could work out the pattern of solar activity to its next disaster point.
Common sense therefore tells us they took this rather seriously at the time.

Forget the 2012 thing, that dates not really theirs- the important thing is not when they thought it might exactly happen, but what did they think was going to happen?

Well they came up with the idea that the sun is cyclic- it is- every 11 years is a solar cycle with peaks of sunspot activity and a flipping of the magnetic poles- we know this to be true today.

But the Mayans also knew things on earth didn't go tits up every 11 years or so, which is where their calendar comes in- they seemed to think that every so many sets of 11 produced much greater effects- a Grand Cycle.

And now this in todays news-

'The whole of the sun's magnetic field is about to "flip", according to NASA - with warning signs being spotted by observatories around the world this year.
This "flip" happens every 11 years, and coincides with the greatest solar activity in the "cycles" of the sun, known as "Solar Maximum" - with sunspots and "coronal mass ejections" on the surface of the sun.
"It looks like we're no more than 3 to 4 months away from a complete field reversal," says solar physicist Todd Hoeksema of Stanford University. "This change will have ripple effects throughout the solar system."


Now its clear from this modern scientists are viewing this as just another one of the 11 year cycles- not some uber cycle as the Mayans seemed to think was due about now, yet-

'Scientists have recorded these "flips" for decades, but the process is still not fully understood. This particular "flip" has already puzzled scientists - with one magnetic pole of the sun appearing to flip "too early" last year.
"Right now, there's an imbalance between the north and the south poles," Jonathan Cirtain, a space scientist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center said last year. "The north is already in transition, well ahead of the south pole, and we don't understand why."

When solar physicists talk about solar field reversals, their conversation often centers on the "current sheet."
The current sheet is a sprawling surface jutting outward from the sun's equator where the sun's slowly-rotating magnetic field induces an electrical current.
During field reversals, the current sheet becomes very wavy.  As Earth orbits the sun, we dip in and out of the current sheet. Transitions from one side to another can stir up stormy space weather around our planet.
As the field reversal approaches, data from Wilcox show that the sun's two hemispheres are out of synch. "- Yahoo news


Maybe the Mayans did know something about this we dont after all!

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Re: Stump the Meteorologist

Post by Eldorion on Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:42 pm

I'm pretty sure the Mayans did not understand magnetic fields or the inner workings of stars better than modern science, even though (especially since) it's something that modern science is still working on fully understanding.
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Re: Stump the Meteorologist

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:48 pm

The assumption that our ancestors were more stupid than us is a dangerous one- information is sometimes discovered and lost an rediscovered- they certainly knew about the 11 year cycle- and that means they knew about sunspots- how no one is quite sure how but as they clearly recorded them they must have had the means- in what terms they understood it is a different question- did they talk about magnetic fields ect, no, they talked about it in the context of their own theology.
Their calendar is a work of genius by any estimations- up until very recently it was the most accurate long term calendar every devised by humans.
Their observatories also bear a remarkable similarity to modern observatories-



The resources, work load ect required to make these observatories instead of say agriculture, housing or drainage indicates how serious they were about it. They werent just mucking about.


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Re: Stump the Meteorologist

Post by Amarië on Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:55 pm

I think the fact that humans haven't evolved much the stone age is a bit hard to accept, so "logically" people in the past has to be dumber than we are now.

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Re: Stump the Meteorologist

Post by Eldorion on Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:56 pm

I don't think they were stupid, I'm just not aware of any evidence that they had developed the science of magnetism or that they knew what the sun/stars are. There's a limitation to what even the most brilliant person can do without the technology and/or the prior discoveries to build upon.
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Re: Stump the Meteorologist

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:03 pm

They thought the sun was a God- but they also charted it movements very closely, worked out the 11 year solar cycle and extrapolated that out in their long count calendar in the belief that the disaster that befell them would reoccur and the the Sun God was the source of it- to this end they expended a great deal of intellectual and physical power to trying to work out what had happened, if it would happen again, and if so, when.

Humans have not got smarter- we are better at collectively keeping information so we have a cumulative effect of knowledge that was lacking- if a tribe has a genius born into it who works out say, the principles of optics- if he dies, or the tribe dies out- so to does the knowledge.

This has happened even in reletavile modern times- we still dont know how half the stuff Archimedes made actually worked- including his boat hook, or the fire weapon that worked underwater- the information was lost.
We now know Romans invented the vending machine- you put in a coin, it tripped a mechanism an the machine dispensed water- their were 'automatons' used in Greek plays that are now completely unknown- including a giant dung beetle that flew over the audience.


Nowadays his knowledge would be the inspiration for others to take the ideas further and develop them- that for me is the only real difference- people were not stupider in the past.
How many of us could have worked out from scratch how to build a stone circle to accurately predict solar eclipses and the times of year to plant harvests?
I couldnt.

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Re: Stump the Meteorologist

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:16 pm

I good example of a case where technology might have been discovered and lost again is the Bagdad Battery- the official line is that yes it does work as a battery- but thats a coincidence- and they are perfectly ordinary storage containers and the contents have corroded leaving, again coincidentally,  the perfect substance behind to power a battery.

However there is this apparent hieroglyph of a lightbulb being powered by such batteries-



And here are two examples of working recreations of them-





It would also explain a bit of a mystery- how they carved all the designs and stuff inside pitch black pyramids without leaving any evidence anywhere at all of carbon from burning to provide the light.
Previous theories trying to account for this had suggested a series of mirrors reflecting the light from outside in- but perhaps they didnt need to do that.

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Re: Stump the Meteorologist

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:32 pm

And then there is the Antikythera mechanism- sometimes referred to as the first analog computer- invented in approx 100bc and not replicated in knowledge or workmanship again until the 14th Century.

'The Antikythera mechanism  is an ancient analog computer designed to calculate astronomical positions.



The mechanism was housed in a wooden box approximately 340 × 180 × 90 mm in size and comprised 30 bronze gears (although more could have been lost). The largest gear, clearly visible in fragment A, was approximately 140 mm in diameter and had 223 teeth.
The mechanism was operated by turning a small hand crank (now lost) which was linked via a crown gear to the largest gear (the 4 spoked gear visible on the front of fragment A (named b1)). This allowed setting of the date on the front dial. The action of turning the hand crank would also cause all interlocked gears within the mechanism to rotate, resulting in the calculation of the position of the Sun and Moon and other astronomical information, such as moon phases, eclipse cycles, and theoretically the locations of planets.
The mechanism is remarkable for the level of miniaturisation and the complexity of its parts, which is comparable to that of 14th-century astronomical clocks. It has at least 30 gears, although Michael Wright has suggested that the Greeks of this period were capable of implementing a system with many more gears. There is much debate that the mechanism may have had indicators for all five of the planets known to the ancient Greeks.
It is thought that the purpose of this device was to predict lunar and solar eclipses based on Babylonian arithmetic-progression cycles. The inscriptions on the device also support suggestions of mechanical display of planetary positions.- wiki



And whilst on the subject of ancient technology-

'When his (Hero of Alexandria) writings on hydraulics, pneumatics, and mechanics were translated into Latin in the 16th century, Hero’s readers initiated reconstruction of his machines, which included siphons, a fire engine, a water organ, the aeolipile, and a programmable cart.
It is thought to have come originally from Rhodes, where there was apparently a tradition of mechanical engineering; the island was renowned for its automata; to quote Pindar's seventh Olympic Ode:

   The animated figures stand
   Adorning every public street
   And seem to breathe in stone, or
   move their marble feet.

And then there was ancient China-

'a curious account of automata is found in the Lie Zi text, written in the 3rd century BC. Within it there is a description of a much earlier encounter between King Mu of Zhou (1023-957 BC) and a mechanical engineer known as Yan Shi, an 'artificer'. The latter proudly presented the king with a life-size, human-shaped figure of his mechanical handiwork (Wade-Giles spelling):

   The king stared at the figure in astonishment. It walked with rapid strides, moving its head up and down, so that anyone would have taken it for a live human being. The artificer touched its chin, and it began singing, perfectly in tune. He touched its hand, and it began posturing, keeping perfect time...As the performance was drawing to an end, the robot winked its eye and made advances to the ladies in attendance, whereupon the king became incensed and would have had Yen Shih [Yan Shi] executed on the spot had not the latter, in mortal fear, instantly taken the robot to pieces to let him see what it really was. And, indeed, it turned out to be only a construction of leather, wood, glue and lacquer, variously coloured white, black, red and blue. Examining it closely, the king found all the internal organs complete—liver, gall, heart, lungs, spleen, kidneys, stomach and intestines; and over these again, muscles, bones and limbs with their joints, skin, teeth and hair, all of them artificial...The king tried the effect of taking away the heart, and found that the mouth could no longer speak; he took away the liver and the eyes could no longer see; he took away the kidneys and the legs lost their power of locomotion. The king was delighted.[5]

Other notable examples of automata include Archytas's dove, mentioned by Aulus Gellius.[6] Similar Chinese accounts of flying automata are written of the 5th century BC Mohist philosopher Mozi and his contemporary Lu Ban, who made artificial wooden birds (ma yuan) that could successfully fly according to the Han Fei Zi and other texts.'- wiki

The truth is we have forgotten more in our very long history on this planet than we remember- assuming our ancestors were stupid in some way is nt only in my view wilfully wrong, its potentially dangerous in our ego and ignorance to act as if we are the fist to discover stuff..

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Re: Stump the Meteorologist

Post by Eldorion on Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:34 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Humans have not got smarter

You keep bringing this up. Where did I claim that humans are smarter now than we were centuries ago?
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Re: Stump the Meteorologist

Post by Amarië on Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:36 pm

Didn't the Mythbusters do the Bagdad battery? Hm... Not sure. I have never seen the batteries referred to as being able to produce any useable power. It would have been a sensation.

And the soot is easy to explain. Cleaning.

The MB did try the sun and mirror thing, it only lasts a little while and they you have to readjust the mirrors again because the sun moves.

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Re: Stump the Meteorologist

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:40 pm

I agree that a lot of knowledge has been lost and refound, the Romans had under floor heating and plumbing, but that was all lost during the Dark Ages, when you compare the realism of the frescos in Pompeii and Rome to a stiff primitive looking medieval icon I wonder how in a thousand years that ability had been lost. I sometimes wonder about the great libraries that were burnt what ancient knowledge has been lost forever.

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Re: Stump the Meteorologist

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:44 pm

Yeah the official line Amarie is that the Battery is a coincidence- because you can get them to produce electricity doesnt mean the egyptians knew you could.
Which is a point to be taken into account- however they do work- there are numerous reconstructions that prove that (the bigger pic of a recreation above is in an Egyptian museum)- and combined with a heiroglyph of what does look suspiciously like a lightbulb (and for which there are no other artifacts surviving to explain what else it might be) does make it all seem like a rather large coincidence to me.

And there is no contention about the';analog computer'- it is what it appears to be- a hugely sophisticated machine that requires an immense amount of skill, engineering and mathematical knowledge to even begin conceiving of constructing and whose standards and knowledge was not replicated by humanity again until the 14th century.

Agreed Mrs Figg- we have almost certainly lost and reinvented a ton of stuff. And when you consider modern humans, just like us, just as clever have been on this planet for at least 40,000 years it seems ludicrous to me that this would not be the case.

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Re: Stump the Meteorologist

Post by Eldorion on Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:54 pm

What does the Baghdad Battery have to do with Egypt exactly?  The Ancient Egyptians never controlled Mesopotamia and unless there has been a major discovery in the past few years than no one has ever found any archaeological evidence of light bulbs, electrical wiring, or anything else that would be necessary for the use of electricity in the way that "alternative" historians are fond of implying.

And even if the Baghdad Battery device was used in Egypt (and I don't think any have ever been discovered there, though if there's evidence to the contrary I'd be happy to see it) the Ancient Egyptians were not exactly known for being literal in their artwork, so there's no reason to assume that because something looks like a giant light bulb it must have been one.  Even if you take the theory at face value, there's no reason to assume that Ancient Egyptian electrical devices would look the same as modern ones.

So yes, it's a coincidence as far as anyone knows.
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Re: Stump the Meteorologist

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:58 pm

And the analog computer- or the greek automatons?

If it were one or two dubious bits of archeology I would think you had some ground to stand on- but there is clear evidence of techniques and knowledge being used hundreds, in some cases over a thousand years before it was 'believed' to have been invented.

I think the case that humans have invented things, lost them and reinvented them is incredibly strong.

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Re: Stump the Meteorologist

Post by Eldorion on Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:04 pm

Yeah, dude, you seem to be convinced that I'm on sort of crusade against the idea that ancient humans were smart or could make impressive things.  That's not all what I'm saying.  I'm sick of the Baghdad Battery theory since it has zero evidence to support it (and I'm still wondering if there's any evidence that the Mayans understood magnetism), but that doesn't mean I discount everything else the ancients did.

And an important difference between the Antikythera mechanism and automatons is that, while very impressive achievements, they didn't require an understanding of scientific principles (such as electromagnetism) that were not recorded anywhere else by that civilization.  We know that the Greeks and the Chinese were good at math and naked-eye astronomy so it's not a huge leap to say that they could have built sophisticated analog machines.
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