29 October, 2014
19 October, 2014
October 19, 2014. I must admit, this post is a few days late... but this past Wednesday, Google unveiled not just the two rumored Nexus devices (the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9), but three — if you count the Nexus Player, that is. Since I've got a Chromecast and a cable box, along with only two HDMI ports, well, they're all in use... but the fact that the Nexus Player is Google Cast Ready AND supports Android TV apps as well should be a good selling point. Anyhow, in 2012, we had the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10. In 2013, the Nexus 5 replaced the Nexus 4... ah, but the Nexus 7 was simply replaced with another Nexus 7, and the Nexus 5 came on board, replacing the Nexus 4. Now, in 2014, the Nexus line-up got a total makeover, with the Nexus 6 replacing the Nexus 5 and the Nexus 9 replacing both the Nexus 7 and the Nexus 10, respectively.
For 2015, however, this poses a bit of a dilemma. If Google decides to simply replace the Nexus 6 with another Nexus 6 the way they did with the Nexus 7, then there won't be any problems... but if they decide to actually increment the number once again, they would end up reusing the Nexus 7 name... for a phone!
This presents a myriad of problems. For starters, just like the title states, it would confuse customers a whole lot... and confused customers hurt business. Beyond that, however, there's also the size factor: sure, a tablet with a 7-inch screen is fine, but a phone with a 7-inch screen?!?! Talk about something that just can't be handled. You couldn't put a phone that big in your front pockets at all (only your back ones), and what's more, you can't pick up a phone that big to make phone calls without using two hands either, which means, nope, if you're in a dire emergency and need to make a phone call quickly with one hand, good luck.
Even something like a Nexus 6.5 would be problematic. Why? Because the names in the line are often rounded down or up to the nearest whole number... which in that case is also 7. That leaves Google with only two options: Either go Apple-style and treat the generations of Nexus 6 like the generations of iPod Touch, releasing three, four, even 5 generations of phones with the same name (which is a good one IMHO) or simply replace the Nexus line altogether with a turnkey solution for OEMs and carriers in the US the way they already did with Android One in India — or, in other words, Project Silver redux, which would seriously increase the adoption rates of new Android releases on a prompt basis, which is the holy grail of fragmentation reduction.
Let's hope this worst case scenario doesn't happen, shall we? Of the two above options, however, I personally would love to see Project Silver manifest itself much more so than I would multiple generations of Nexus 6. Why? Because of the crushing impact it would have on Android fragmentation: by forcing all the phones on the market to stay on the latest version of Android and get updated on a prompt basis, version fragmentation would be, for the most part, a thing of the past. Then again, I need more opinions here. Would you rather want multiple versions of Nexus 6, or would you be fine with every Android phone on the market being updated on a prompt Nexus-like basis?
17 October, 2014
It's definitely human nature for some Christians to bring climate change down to the level of evolution or claim that they're studying it because they don't have anything else to study in an attempt to demonize the atheistic science community... but in all actuality, the amount of CO2 in Earth's atmosphere has increased to a 20-million-year high as a result of human activity. Which, of course, begs the question: What human activity? The fossil fuel industry is definitely one where greed is rampant and widespread, to say the least. By collaborating with the auto and power-generation industries to create dependence on itself, the oil industry is easily one of the wealthiest ― and greediest ― industries in the world, and up until very recently Exxon was #1 in the world in terms of market cap. Until, of course, Apple and Google managed to reach the top... but still, oil greed ― and oil dependence ― continues to persist. What do those oil companies use that vaguely robber-baron-like fortune to do? More often than not, it's to pay politicians to deny climate change, which is to say "I'm going to bribe someone in science/academia to deny the consequences of my sin so I can keep on sinning," and also to send politicians into office that give them tax breaks while going to great lengths to squash competition. Thanks to the fact that CO2 emissions have also gone on to trigger methane release, well, it may already be too late to avoid this particular consequence of greed, but if not, then it's time to let the world know that it's our own sin that's responsible. As for competition-squashing, well, that brings us to our next point.
The "least of these" wanting to rebel
While, I admit, envy is just as much of a sin as greed (will definitely be going over it at a later time), greed in one group of people often triggers envy in another. Remember what the initial cause of the American Revolution was? "Taxation without representation?" Yup, it's the British king's own greed that pissed us off. Think that's always good? Not so fast: The same thing happened in Russia. Tsar Nicholas was notorious for his endless pursuit of material possessions. So too were nearly all the tsars prior to him. The US and Russia were the last two countries in the world to end slavery. In the case of the US, it was the African-Americans who were the slaves. In the case of Russia, it was the common Russians who were the serfs — or, in other words, slaves ― for nearly three centuries. The common people suffered, while the tsars lived in outright luxury... until, of course, the Bolsheviks came along. Little did they realize, communism would be just as bad as tsardom/serfdom... and thanks to the rise of dictator after dictator after dictator that came with the communist regime, it wasn't until the 1990's that Russians began to enjoy the freedoms that us Americans have been enjoying since the 1700's. Think that can't happen in a democracy? Think again. When China's Qing emperors were ousted around the turn of the 20th century, a 50-year democracy ensued. At that time, those who ran for office began to, during the Roaring 20's and what not, amass huge amounts of wealth. The result was something not too dissimilar to the situation we Americans had during the 19th century: a situation where a select few held a large swath of China's wealth. People like Mao Zedong and the gang were obviously fed up with this, and revolted. The democracy was then banished to Taiwan, and now Taiwan is democratic while mainland China is just as communist and freedom-lacking as ever. Speaking of the massive economic inequality gap, that brings us to our third and last point.
Let's be honest: Would you rather hang out with only 1% of the population or with 99% of it? Hmmm? I don't know about you, but I'd definitely choose my time with other people ― and with fellow Christians ― over my time with material possessions hands-down. Unfortunately, greed is a sin that tends to cut off its victims from the rest of the world. Unless the greedy start using some of that money to help their friends and family out, they're going to find themselves in a pickle. That is, a pickle where everyone they used to love suddenly hates them for enjoying all the wealth in the world while letting their own friends and family suffer. Thankfully, most of us who aren't compulsive hoarders (or disposophobes) aren't that dumb... but for those who are, this consequence is clearly one that's bound to affect them.
Then again, as early Christian monk Evagrius Ponticus has clearly stated, it's disposophobia that often results in greed. Greed is a sin of fear. It's a sin that's born out of uncertainty, of not knowing what the future holds. Because the greedy are often disposophobic (or, technically, phtocheiophobic ― irrationally fearful of poverty) when it comes to the future, their response is to want all the money and possessions in the world. Little do they realize, when it comes to only wanting more and more, the risks clearly outweigh the benefits.
16 October, 2014
It's no debate. It's a scientific fact: Sex spreads disease. It spreads chlamydia. It spreads Hep-C. It spreads HIV/AIDS. This is especially true if it goes unchecked. When people have sex, they exchange bodily fluids like saliva, breast milk, semen, feces (!), uterine fluid, and what not... and of course, those fluids all contain bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi, yes, and toxins to top it all off. Of those bodily fluids, the one that contains the most pathogens, by far, is obviously feces (which have something like 50 times the concentration and diversity of pathogens compared to that found in urine, semen, and vaginal discharge combined) ― that's why homosexual males tend to be 20 times more likely to contract, not to mention fall to, STDs than anyone else ― but that's another topic for another post. Anyhow, when you have sex out of wedlock, you're going to get sick, and, if that sickness is left untreated, you're likely to die. Then, of course, any offspring you may have may also get that disease... and if the disease you give them is something other than AIDS (which they build up natural immunity to in the womb), they're lucky if they live to be 5. Speaking of offspring, that brings us to our next section.
There are indeed plenty of birth control products out there. Everything from birth control pills to condoms to surgically implanted birth control devices have been put out there as means of keeping the possibility of having an illegitimate child to a minimum. However, there's a clear issue here: None of those methods are ever 100% accurate at preventing illegitimate pregnancies. The only way to be 100% sure you're never going to have a child out of wedlock is to not have sex until wedlock. Condoms can tear, and when they tear, yup, you've just given semen free reign to leak into the vaginal cavity and merge with an egg to form a child. Likewise, birth control pills can wear off... and they only really stop about 50% of the hormones responsible for ovulation anyway. Surgically implanted devices, although they are 99% accurate, are still costly and there's still a chance they can come loose, causing extreme pain, yes, and pregnancy. When that does happen, there's a financial burden: how is that child going to be fed? How many diapers are you going to need to buy? A whole lot... which can total thousands of dollars per child. You say you have a choice to abort that child? That's tantamount to saying that you have a choice to commit genocide: it's not a democratic choice, it's a totalitarian one, committed out of, yes, terminological hypocrisy all around. Don't have sex in the first place, and you won't feel a need to make that choice.
Ever wonder what makes stimulant drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine so addictive? They inhibit the enzymes that break dopamine down, resulting in excess dopamine being released throughout the nervous system. Well, guess what? Excess dopamine is also released during sexual arousal, according to a scientific study. Excess dopamine overwhelms ― and decreases the number of ― dopamine receptors. Regardless of what the source of that excess dopamine is, there's still excess dopamine. The result? You create a scenario that makes sex just as addictive as cocaine. Once you start, you can't stop. It becomes a habit... a habit that spreads STDs, gets people illegitimately pregnant, and, yes, kills.
So, that's it for the consequences of lust ― which is clearly the sin behind abortion/gay activism all around. The driving force is clearly the sin of lust, just lurking, waiting to corrupt the world and bring it to its doom. Treating it with activist mentality is treating it with the absolute wrong light, besides: instead of getting rid of the problem, they go and make the problem worse. Little do they realize, lust has a way of striking back, like a mousetrap with bait on it, just waiting to spring on them.
02 October, 2014
29 September, 2014
Original post commences below.
Normally I don't call out people's names, but this name is one of particular interest: As many of you have heard, I successfully got YouVersion's Android app working on my Chromebook... and, of course, posted about it. This morning. A full 8 hours ago. After the whole day was nearly spent and it was almost midnight, some atheist bigot by the name of Tanner Hoyt (possibly a college student from the UK ― go figure) commented on that post in an attempt to start a fight. Well, no surprise: He couldn't even say one sentence without using a profane word to describe my accomplishment. So, I responded with copied text from this post along with a link to it. Again, no dice: A second reply was made, and this time, the entire paragraph he posted was literally 50% profanity... and ironically enough, the last words of this comment, directed towards a person whose vocabulary is 10 times as educated as his, was "get an education." Get the hypocritical picture here?
That right there is probably the single worst example of atheist hypocrisy I can possibly use. Do educated people use profanity? EVER? No. Profanity is from the streets, not from science or academia. What scientists and professors use are large, complex words and acronyms like the ones I often, if not always, use. We're talking about some gang-banger here who has the nerve to call someone out, and seeing this guy's profanity, you can be darn sure I was laughing my head off at him the whole time. Had this guy been using the same common sense that academics and scientists actually use, well, this discussion would have never gotten to the point of blocking. Anyhow, that's just what happened: those atheists who call people fools and yet hypocritically act immaturely, using street language instead of academic language, are those who are, when they cross my path, most likely to get reported to Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and just about every other social network I have an account on as hate speech accounts. So, it's done. Problem solved.
Then again, even if this idiot is banned from every social network in the world, well, he's still the same person. He kept calling the Holy Spirit this "imaginary deity" in a circular fashion (ah, circular reasoning... another thing academic atheists call fallacious, and yet look at this idiocy) and of course lacing those statements with more profanity to make himself look even more immature. While the Judeo-Christian God certainly cannot be seen nor heard, you can be 100% sure, from personal experience, His presence can be felt. I had just such an experience with fellow believers on a church retreat this past summer.
Saturday, June 28, 2014. Big Bear Lake, CA. Activity: Action Zipline. This was my first time being on any ziplining adventure... and of course, being a first-timer, I was indeed freaking out. There was a sway bridge at the top, with planks spaced 6 inches apart, draped 200 feet above the already 9000-foot-high mountain slope, that was indeed enough to freak anyone out... but of course, that was the least of my worries. The only brakes we had, for slowing down so we don't crash into the poles when we transitioned from one platform to the next, were a pair of thick leather gloves. Tap too lightly and you won't stop in time. Tap (or grab) too hard, and you come to an abrupt stop so quickly that your arm feels like it's coming off. It was risky business, and of course, it was enough to freak any first-timer out. So, wait, what went on? Instead of getting too agitated, I began to pray.
That's when everything changed: The minute, the MINUTE I started praying, a slight breeze began to blow. Hello! If this were only a "natural" breeze without any divine intervention, the wind would have free reign to blow whenever it felt like it. Instead, here's the key point: it was blowing as I was praying! The fact that I pray and as my prayer is being said, the wind happily dances to my prayer's tune cannot possibly be mere coincidence, not in the least bit. In the Pentecost story (Acts 2:1-4), before any "tongues of fire" appear, there's that very same phenomenon: a wind picks up. It's far more violent in that account, but it's still the same thing: that wind, that's the very presence of the Holy Spirit comforting me in that environment of fear as I was praying. If it weren't for that soft, gentle, divine whisper of encouragement, which motivated me to finish the job, it's likely I wouldn't have made it down without needing to be airlifted. Well, all I've got to say is, thank the Father, thank the Son, and thank the Holy Spirit that it didn't get that far.
As another example, during the winter of 2011-12, there was a time when I was in a similarly wild area: a two-lane road, which happened to pass right near the Serrano Creek wilderness trail in Lake Forest, CA. I was living in an apartment complex very close to the wildland-urban interface at the time (didn't move to Mission Viejo until the following fall), and to walk to the OCTA bus stop to go to school, I had to walk down a stretch of that two-lane road that runs right through a section of the protected wilderness area that Serrano Creek runs through. That winter, however, I was being given mixed messages about the educational situation I was in, and the only thing I could do at the time was pray about it as I walked. So I did.
As I was praying, I must admit, I tried my absolute hardest not to break down in tears, being a guy (and as the whole "philosophy of the world", as my pastor puts it, says, men never cry... ah, but then again, Jesus sure did, and that tends to throw that claim right out the window), yet still came dangerously close to doing so. Well, suddenly, those tears of sorrow were about to become tears of joy. Why? What I was praying for was guidance. I was praying out of gratitude, that because of Him, I wasn't that angry, emotional short-fuse I used to be... and as soon as those tears of joy came out, so too did the rain fall.
Again, there's a pattern here: if the God I was praying to wasn't real, would He be crying those same tears of joy that I was? No! Yet that's exactly what was happening. It was Romans 12:15 in action... from the divine perspective, of course. And as I continued to rejoice and those tears of joy continued to come out, the rain fell harder, and harder, and harder, until suddenly it became an outright downpour of this water from the heavens. Eventually, this downpour, which I was constantly rejoicing in, knowing that it was indeed divine intervention that was causing it, got so powerful that it caused some mud to slide down the hill behind me... at which point I was already high up the hill, almost at the bus stop, and of course, the rain let up as I got on the bus... so when I finally got back home, the mudslide failed to cross the road, and thus failed to cause any road hazards. It was a never-ending feedback of this awesome experience of feeling the presence of the God that the atheists would rather deny than experience for themselves. Talk about missing out on what true fun really is.
That brings us right back to the profanity. I can talk about these experiences, why? Because they are indeed ones I had first-hand. And notice how I don't use a single shred of profanity to describe the atheists the way they describe the God I worship? By abstaining from profanity use and resorting to the off-the-chart vocabulary, which was at college-level when I was a mere freshman in high school, I am not only claiming to be more educated than the person I'm arguing with, but also, here's the key, acting just as professional as I claim to be. I, along with nearly all truly moral Christians, clearly have an advantage over these immature bigots, by actually walking the walk in the argument and setting an example of how an educated person should act. That's something that someone who uses profanity-laced ad hominem attacking someone's perceived education level can absolutely never do. So, let's ignore, block, and report them, shall we? They're absolutely not worth the trouble... even if they end up rotting in hell because of the trouble they often put us through.
Speaking of hell, there was an atheist of the same type as Tanner ― you know, that immature, dirty-mouthed type ― who, according to a near-death experience that he claims he had, literally went to hell and back. His name? Howard Storm, a graduate art professor, and, yes, devout atheist. He was a man who was always willing to let his anger get the better of him instead of learn how to control it... and being an atheist, he thought he could make up whatever morals he wanted to. Then, he took a trip to Paris in 1985. He downed a bunch of alcohol and food, and what did he end up with? A gastrointestinal perforation, spilling stomach acid into his abdominal cavity, that ended up making him temporarily flatline. He claims he felt his spirit literally lifting away from his body, and, perhaps most significantly, he claims he saw the body that he was being pulled away from, along with his crying ex-wife next to his bed. Then, he claims to have heard voices calling his name. They kept calling him forth, and he thought they were surgeons... but there was no surgery; all they got to was a cold, damp space, and he refused. That's when he claims there was a hellishly multiplied version of an MS-13 initiation ritual: biting, kicking, punching, every possible attack from all sides that he could have imagined... until he thought back to his childhood, and prayed.
Suddenly, he claims a bright beam of light dispersed those demonic attacking beings, and in an instant, he begins to get a lesson. He claims to have gone on to meet Him who he prayed to, and claims that guardian angels began to reveal to him that his achievements on Earth meant absolutely nothing. He was, according to his claims, commanded to go back and change people's lives and love them unconditionally. Suddenly, he ended up back in the hospital bed, alive and well... literally almost the equivalent of a modern-day resurrection story. Well, I've got news for those who direct anger at Christians: Do you want to end up in hell like Professor Storm? No? Then get your act together. Because dirty mouths directed against Christians in an ad hominem fashion deserve dirty punishment.
22 September, 2014
So, there you have it. Climate change is a warning. It's divine punishment for greed. Actually, wait, it's not even that, it's the very "self-imposed punishment" that our Eastern Orthodox brothers and sisters have been talking about all along. It's hard scientific evidence that without God, without moral order, without a law above all laws, without a king above all kings, we're nothing. Hopefully it's not too late for that, but even if it is too late, well, might as well brace yourselves for what kind of tribulation will follow this pursuit of materialism. These are the last days, my friends...
28 August, 2014
Hurricane Marie: The El-Niño-Amplifying, Trade-Wind-Disrupting, Monsoon-Trough-Diverting Wave Machine
I was watching those effects at Strands Beach in Dana Point yesterday, Wednesday, August 27, 2014. Even on Strands, a west-facing beach, mind you, the waves were STILL powerful enough to cause beach flooding, transforming a good 20-foot-by-10-foot section of sandy beach shelf into a swamp. I watched as wads of giant kelp drifted from south to north at 5, 10, even as fast as 15mph at times with the Marie-driven longshore current. At The Wedge, a famous surfing spot in Newport Beach that amplifies incoming surf, 35-foot waves were reported... and that was also a west-facing beach (well, technically, SW-facing). Thanks to the west-facing nature of both Newport and (especially) Huntington Beaches, another powerful longshore current stretched from there, past Huntington, and shoved water into the shallow Palos Verdes Bight. The powerful longshore current, combined with a rising tide, a broad continental shelf, and 20-plus-foot waves which in that south-facing area were straight on, created a far-field storm surge that inundated low-lying Seal Beach, up to several miles inland. Further north, Malibu Pier suffered extensive support pylon damage and still remains closed... and beyond that, in Point Mugu, a historic lifeguard headquarters building ― the Cove House ― was literally washed into the ocean by the massive waves.
The longshore current dragged north by those waves also dragged massive amounts of warm El Niño waters with it. Enough to easily increase the sea surface temperatures off SoCal by several degrees. On top of that, at peak intensity, Marie also did a lot to re-boost the El Niño development. Here, see if this picture is telling enough:
That's an atmospheric river, feeding into Marie from the west-southwest, when the storm was at peak intensity, on Sunday. One powerful enough to disrupt 2000+ miles of trade winds, allowing more warm El Niño waters to make their way eastward toward Mexico ― yes, and also California. On top of that, Marie also ― naturally ― strengthened the Tehuantepecer, but due to Marie's blocking mechanism, the convergence zone created by the Tehuantepecer couldn't flow due west the way it normally wants to. No, it was forced to curve north and shove even more warm water into southern California:
The evidence for that can be found in the way the convergence zone manifests itself: Note how instead of converging further to the south the way they normally do, the storms ― and, by extension, winds ― of the American Monsoon Trough are abnormally converging very close to land masses and squirting more warm water northward. The Monsoon Trough, let's be clear, is absolutely critical to the strength of the Pacific Trade Winds as they are normally. Now, however, it's being diverted up the coast, and we Californians are now directly in its path.
Not only can this prolong the El Niño to lengths never before seen, but it may end up completely changing the entire climate of the East Pacific basin on a permanent basis, by disrupting the already-weak California Current and even, in the worst case, completely circumnavigating the Pacific and reversing the equatorial currents entirely. It would be pretty disastrous if that actually happens, to say the least...
26 August, 2014
Then, on Sunday (go figure), August 24, 2014 at 3AM, the heart of wine country ― Napa ― experiences a magnitude-6.0 earthquake. The ground shaking lasts 20 seconds, mostly as a result of the deep soils that give Napa its awesome grape-growing ability. Scores of unreinforced masonry wineries collapse. Downtown Napa ― which happened to have hosted a wine festival the night before, in which I'm pretty darn sure a lot of people got drunk because of ― suffers extensive damage, since downtown Napa, with its historic buildings built in the 1920's and 1930's, is loaded with quake-prone unreinforced masonry construction practices. Grocery stores loaded with ― no surprise ― scores of fragile wine bottles have aisle collapses and become littered with alcoholic beverages all over the floor. Wine barrels fall onto floors and become crushed by collapsing URMs, at which point millions of gallons of wine spill. Fires break out at ruptured gas mains, and broken water mains hinder efforts to fight them. Governor Jerry Brown declares a state of emergency in Napa, and as of Tuesday, August 26, 2014, aftershocks continue to rattle the area.
Let's hope people realize what the stakes are here. They can deny God all they want, they can keep complaining that religion is the opium of the masses, that Christians, Jews, Muslims, etc. are responsible for all the violence in the world... but just as it came back to bite Howard Storm in the liver, kidneys, yes, and, temporarily, soul, you can be darn sure it's going to bite the rest of the atheist world in places they sure don't want it either. It happened in Indonesia. It's happening right now, right here in California. What's next?
19 August, 2014
2014-15 El Niño: 'Supermoon' + eclipses + 'King Tides' + unstable Pacific sea level imbalance = recipe for a big one
In 1997, the same thing happened: all the Atlantic hurricanes stopped forming in August. Nothing. Meanwhile, the East Pacific hurricane season continued well past that. It was in September when the most powerful product of the season occurred, one that was, so far, our closest modern call to a repeat of 1939: Hurricane Linda. At peak intensity, Hurricane Linda's sustained winds were clocked at a whopping 185mph ― the strongest hurricane in East Pacific history, and it too was fueled by warm El Niño waters. Most importantly, however, Linda, Rick, Amanda, Cristina, Norman, Kathleen, yes, and Marie all took similar paths through the same rapid deepening keyhole, one that puts the storms dangerously close to a jet that, if aimed at California the way it was with Norman (and again with Marie, by the looks of it), can easily turn near-misses into direct hits.
08 August, 2014
2014-15 (and possibly beyond) El Niño: Eddies of Superheated Water Are Evidence of Weakening California Current
Looking at the SST anomaly map (that is, the departure from average SST), we find that these swirling masses of storm food start to get progressively more striking the closer to this side of the Pacific they get:
Those whirling vortices of superheated seawater, should I say it again, are by far the biggest piece of evidence I can possibly find and throw out there that can possibly support my explanation of why the scientists think the El Niño is weakening when it really isn't: that the El Niño waters have simply found a back door around the trade winds, instead of being forced to bore into them the way they normally would. Wait, there's got to be a reason why the waters have found this back door, right? In fact, there is: That back door for the El Niño is even more evidence to add to that which I found back in February that seemed to suggest the unthinkable: a weakening California Current due to none other than climate change.
So, wait, how can climate change do that? The ocean currents are all technically density currents. Warm water floats, less-saline water floats, cold water sinks, more saline water sinks, and the Coriolis effect does a profound job at affecting the oceans just as much as it does the air, thus making the currents stronger. That effect is called the thermohaline circulation. Some currents ― for example, the Gulf Stream, the Kuroshio Current, the Mediterranean density current, and the Gulf of California density outflow — are comprised of warm water that is, thanks to evaporation, more saline ― and, thus, denser ― than the surrounding water. This causes it to downwell when it reaches its target, sucking more warm water in from behind.
Cold currents, like the California and Labrador Currents, have the exact opposite effect: icebergs break off Alaskan and Greenlandic glaciers, supercooling and, most importantly, desalinating the water. By desalinating the water, you make it less dense and more buoyant. This coaxes the water to upwell toward the surface, and, by extension, forces it to flow southward towards the saltier, denser, and warmer tropical waters, dragging more cold, buoyant, less-saline subsurface water toward the surface as it flows southward. Recently, however, the glaciers that once broke apart as icebergs off Alaska, the heart of the California Current's cold, buoyant water, have retreated to almost nothing. Remember, those pics are from over a year ago. Since then, we saw even more evidence that seems to suggest that it may already be too late to stop the inevitable. It definitely seems a critical point has been reached.
What is that critical point, exactly? If all that Alaskan ice disappears (most of it already has, which is likely why the RRR became so well-defined), the warm, highly saline waters of the Kuroshio Current would have free reign to invade Alaska. When that superheated, highly saline water hits land, it gets coaxed to downwell from the surface to the abyss. Since it also flows right past the Gulf of Alaska prior to striking land, when that water flows back around the Gulf of Alaska as it downwells, the cyclonic rotation in the downwelling ends up creating a whirlpool effect that sucks water toward it from the south. Since it is in the Northern Hemisphere and rotates counter-clockwise, this massive whirlpool of warm water begins to actually suck more warm water right up the California coast toward it. The result? You've just created a scenario where the Davidson Current completely replaces the California Current ― a truly perpetual El Niño.
The equatorial currents, meanwhile, are kind of anomalous in the fact that they're pretty much independent of the thermohaline circulation, because they're not driven by salinity or by water temperature. No, they're wind-driven. The Trade Winds (which, ironically enough, are a phenomenon that is also likely to keep weakening as the planet warms: since greenhouse gases superheat the polar regions 6 times faster than they do the equator, they reduce the pressure gradient from the poles to the mid latitudes to the equator, weakening the trade winds) create a kind of setdown effect that shoves all that water westward. Normally, the upwelling outflow associated with the California and Humboldt Currents would be strong enough to help the Trade Winds out and contribute to that shoving, piling up the sea level to unusual highs near Asia and unusual lows near the Americas, until finally, gravity takes over, and all that water rushes back as a Kelvin wave.
That's not what's happening however. By contributing enough to climate change, in the form of CO2 emissions (thanks, oil companies: this is your own sinful, greedy, avaricious, hubristic desire to out-rich everyone that brought us into this climatic hell on earth) that have since gone on to trigger the release of Arctic methane, to allow the California Current to weaken, mankind has inadvertently created a back door for those El Niño waters to simply flow around the Trade Winds and find a more northerly route back across the Pacific. With less upwelling to hold the water back (especially to the north), the water now has free reign to flow towards Mexico and fuel major East Pacific hurricanes like Marie that go on to disrupt the already weak Trade Winds. The result? A double whammy: catastrophic suppression of Alaskan glacial melt-induced upwelling + catastrophic weakening of the trade winds due to global warming (and, by extension, global deepening) = recipe for disaster as far as prolonging El Niño is concerned.
02 August, 2014
One thing that really intrigues me about how tsunamis can be focused, from a fluid dynamics standpoint, into a relatively small area, is the Cascadia earthquake and tsunami of 1700. According to computer models, there's one portion of the wave, as it leaves Cascadia, that's significantly larger and more destructive as it travels across the Pacific than any other part:
Note how that portion of the departing tsunami, which appears to also have a dent in it, almost conforms to the shape of the subduction zone that created it: all that tsunami energy appears to be focused on that one point, where the wave is both longer AND taller than it was in Cascadia. Could explosives do the same when placed in that concave pattern?
Despite how far-fetched it may sound, accidents involving man-made explosives have created tsunamis before. Take the incident in Halifax in 1917, for example. The SS Mont-Blanc, a cargo ship about 1.5 times the size of your average jumbo jet (which is not very big for a cargo ship, let's be clear), sailed across the Atlantic, loaded from bow to stern with military high-explosive cargo, in the form of mostly nitrocellulose, TNT, and picric acid. When the Mont-Blanc got to Halifax Harbor, however, she was broadsided by a Norwegian ship, the SS Imo, and caught fire. That fire then went on to ignite all those explosives at once. The resulting blast had the force of 2.9kt of TNT, which is just about as much explosives as Project Seal would have needed to be effective ― and it generated a 60-foot tsunami that devastated the portions of Halifax not already blasted away by the explosion itself.
Fast-forward to today, and we have technology that absolutely no one dreamed of back then. We have computers that can fit in our pockets. We have cars that drive themselves. We have unmanned, remote-controlled aircraft that use cameras to tell their remote human controllers where they are going ― even ones that can attack. So why not also use that same drone technology to remotely navigate cargo ships the size of the Mont-Blanc filled from bow to stern with explosives ― about 10 of them ― into a V-shaped pattern with overlapping blast-radii, then place remote-controlled detonators on them, along with "Fire" buttons on the remotes?
The overlapping blasts would displace a lot of water, to be sure... but then the water has to rush back into that V-shaped depression (in contrast to the linear depression that the military was thinking of creating off Japan during WWII... and also in contrast to the circular depression that was created by the Halifax blast) that the blasts leave behind. The result? Massive drawback... which is most powerful on the concave side of the shape. The wave follows, refracting into a 200-plus foot monster at the very least, the way the water flows towards it... in fact, if this is done in a very deep section of ocean (even if mostly landlocked), it may reach as high as 1000 feet or more, thus becoming a mega-tsunami as it is focused into that V and directed towards its target, at which point, because of the way it is refracted, it should easily be able to cross an entire ocean (or sea) towards the enemy in just hours, or even minutes if the ships are blown up close enough to the enemy in question.
09 July, 2014
Why is Project Ozone so significant? Let's start with the context it was referred to in: as some kind of separate platform. To be even more precise, X11 and Ozone were being referred to in the same context. Snooping through its code revealed some more details. Most notably, there's mention of cursor factories, event factories, native pixmaps (!), display mode proxies, display snapshot proxies, display management, GPU management, oh, yeah, and input device management. These are ALL features typical of not just window managers (like Athena, Ash, Mutter, and Compiz), or widget toolkits (like Aura, Qt, and GTK+). No, these are features of full-fledged display servers like X11, Wayland, and Mir.
Could this mean Google is actually taking something from Canonical's playbook here when it comes to mobile/desktop convergence? Well, let's start with I/O: there was definitely some tight Android/Chrome OS integration demoed there, starting with notifications and making it all the way to, oh, yeah, Android apps running natively on a Chromebook. For now, it's mere integration/continuity between the platforms... but yeah, it's also the start of a long road to complete convergence. As the Ubuntu team noted, X11 is a kind of roadblock to that. Why? Because, well, it is way too bloated with legacy code (due to its age) to run on mobile devices easily, which is clearly why it's stuck on the desktop. So, with that in mind, to get something on both the desktop and mobile devices simultaneously, sleeker, slimmer, less bloated, oh, yeah, and more modern, natively-accelerated display servers are needed.
That's why Canonical started working on Mir in the first place: X was clearly too old. It had 30 years worth of code piled up, which IMHO is way too much to work well on mobile. At the same time, Wayland was too ahead of its time. It depended on the GPU so much that a lot of older computing devices without powerful GPUs are often left in the dust by it. Thus, Mir was born. It's compatible with both accelerated and non-accelerated hardware, and at the same time, is far less bloated than X is. It appears Project Ozone serves a very similar purpose for Google that Mir serves for Canonical: one display server across all mobile and desktop devices, Chrome and Android alike.
If the ability to run Android apps natively on a Chromebook is actually truly seamless and not just some clever Google Cast mirroring, well, then Athena, Ares, and finally Ozone could all be catalysts for complete Ubuntu-style convergence between the two platforms. That probably won't happen until 2015 at the least... ah, but given all that's been revealed now, not to mention all that we'll be seeing this fall, only time will tell.
01 July, 2014
1. Equatorial Solar Output
Contrary to popular belief, the equator isn't always the warmest/hottest area on Earth. That's based on the notion that, oh, yeah, it is indeed 0 degrees latitude... but the Earth's axis has a 23.5-degree tilt to it. So, with that in mind, we come across two 23.5-degree north and south latitude lines: the Tropic of Cancer to the north, and the Tropic of Capricorn to the south. Only during the Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes does the Sun's energy reach the strongest at the equatorial region, and that's because, well, those are the transition zones between spring and fall. At the solstices, however, the Sun's peak energy is furthest away from the Equator. Which puts it, naturally, at either the Tropic of Cancer during the Northern Hemisphere Summer/Southern Hemisphere Winter, or the Tropic of Capricorn during the Southern Hemisphere Summer/Northern Hemisphere Winter. So, technically, the equator has not just one seasonal transition, but rather two summers and two winters that serve as very, very, very subtle transition periods.
Ah, now we're getting somewhere: The Northern Hemisphere summer solstice was, literally, on June 21. It's now July 2, which puts it... only 11 days ago! That means the Sun's peak energy is, at this time, farthest away from the Equator than normal. The result of this ― naturally ― is only a slight decrease in equatorial water temperatures but an increase in water temperatures north of the Equator, whose resulting low atmospheric pressure, due to tropical cyclogenesis, serves to drive runaway migration of warm El Niño waters northward. Ah, but that's not the only factor here.
2. The warm Gulf of California
Many people who talk about a "warm Gulf" often talk about the Gulf of Mexico... ah, but even if fewer people encounter it, the Gulf of California is just as warm. It's where all the American Monsoon's energy comes from, and because it's landlocked, it's often incredibly warm. Being surrounded by deserts, it's also impacted greatly by solar energy, to the point of evaporating faster than its surroundings and, thus, being more saline than the ocean to the south. The resulting evaporative density current, just like the Mediterranean's, has only one way to flow: out into the ocean, which in the case of the G. Cal., means southward.
So, what happens when these extremely warm Gulf waters meet equally warm El Niño waters? They intermingle, doubling the effect that they have north of the Equator, oh, yeah, and adding to the already abnormally low atmospheric pressure that El Niño contributes to this side of the Pacific (that's what's responsible for the El Niño trade winds weakening, mind you: abnormally high pressure over the West Pacific + abnormally low pressure over the East Pacific = weakened Trade Wind pressure gradient = weakened trade winds), which, again, is going to want to manifest itself, especially during the summer months, not on the equator but rather slightly north of it.
3. Disappearing Gulf of Alaska Ice
Back in February, I collected evidence that painted a rather grim picture when it comes to climate change and how it's poised to cause a boatload of problems. However, I'm going to describe that post in a nutshell: There wasn't enough rain last winter because the winter storms were bringing all the rain (surprisingly not all snow either; some of it was indeed actually rain) to Alaska. The reason why the storms were being forced north was because the Jet Stream was always to the north. The Jet Stream was always to the north because the waters off Alaska were abnormally warm. Ah, so why were the waters off Alaska (and particularly in the eastern Gulf of Alaska) abnormally warm? Because of all the disappearing glaciers in that region, glaciers that are crucial to the California Current's overall health.
See, the California Current is a density current. Melting glacial ice chills seawater. By chilling the seawater, the melting Alaskan ice also makes it denser. Being denser, it has this tendency to want to flow toward the less dense, and warmer, waters in the Mexican and Central American tropics. The Labrador Current in the Atlantic, in relation to the Gulf Stream, is driven by the same mechanism, only in the LC's case, it's melting Greenlandic ice, which has a much longer way to go to melt completely. So, what happens when all that glacial ice, crucial to keeping the ocean cold, starts disappearing too fast to sustain itself? The California Current weakens. In fact, if there ends up being absolutely no ice left, it can ultimately weaken to the point of shutting down ― which, of course, would give solar output free reign to superheat the waters directly off our coast. That can then go on to A, give the Mojave Desert thermal low more free reign to drag in an Indian Monsoon-style atmospheric river from directly off the Southern California coast (which can then go on to rapidly deepen it ― even this year, we're already feeling much higher humidity than normal due to the unusually high El Niño water temperatures, oh, yeah, and also seeing more powerful thermal low rotation over the Mojave Desert, and that certainly wouldn't go away with this worst-case scenario either), and B, give Mexican tropical cyclones more free reign to intensify and move northward ― perhaps the exact opposite of what the "mega-drought" alarmists once thought.
This isn't the first time an El Niño manifested itself in this fashion either. In 2009, scientists were just as skeptical during the summer months, due to, yeah, similar circumstances. The warm El Niño waters were centered just as far north of the equator as these... but it still ended up being a particularly powerful one. In modern times, the 2009-10 El Niño only came in second to the 1997-98 one in terms of its sheer power, and it was indeed a surprise to scientists. Why? Because again, the scientists were looking in the wrong place with that one as well. It's the case of, if it ain't right, look harder. There was indeed a similar California drought in 2009 as well... one that the El Niño of 2009-10 clearly erased:
I also must admit: seeing the lake that far below normal was indeed inspiration for me to start pulling out my Bible, and, for about an hour, praying that divine strength be given to the El Niño. Guess what? I get back from the trip, and, a day later, lo and behold, another Kelvin wave appeared, and within hours, made it all the way across the Pacific... Goes to show just how much of an ill effect atheism has had on these scientists, doesn't it? Anyhow, that's another topic for another post...
21 June, 2014
On one hand are the Dems. I find it VERY surprising that Obama would claim to be Christian and yet continue to pass up issues like abortion, homosexuality, and radical Islam as if they're either A, okay, or B, something to ignore. That's definitely hypocrisy to say the least... then again, given how many Democrats are atheists to begin with, I'm even surprised there are people like Obama in there at all. Still, however, at least they do also believe in promoting other sane Christian values, like, oh, I don't know, caring for the poor and raising the minimum wage, which are indeed something we Christians should be trying to outdo them with.
On the other hand, what about the GOP? They're the ones who are often pushing for laws banning things like abortion and homosexuality ― which, both biblically AND scientifically, is a good thing ― but wait a minute, aren't they also the same bigots who are continuing to push for financial inequality? The ones who would rather triple their own salaries than keep Americans where they should be ― at work and getting paid ― only to go on to run for public office? Who would rather let our country go into default than give away (at least) their tithe in taxes to help the economy rebound itself? I can easily cite 1 Timothy 6:10, Matthew 6:24, Luke 6:24-26, Matthew 19:21-24, and John 2:15-16 as examples of why that's not only socially but also biblically wrong... and let's not forget all the legalistic judging (Matthew 7:1-5) that they often conduct on top of that, not to mention racism and (!) anti-Semitism in the most extreme of cases. Yeah, good job, you're literally TRYING to be neo-Pharisees!
The ideal Christian political party, from the most fundamental of levels, is one that ends up being both socially conservative AND fiscally liberal ― in fact, I'd go so far as to say democratically socialistic, as C.S. Lewis points out, while still retaining the stance against issues like abortion and homosexuality that make neither scientific nor biblical sense. On that end, however, let's get to the point of this blog post shall we?
Income taxes are often assessed not on flat levels, but on either progressive or proportional ones. The minimum wage, on the other hand, is always flat... ah, but wait, why isn't there a maximum wage? Hmmm? The way proportional income taxes are assessed should be a good clue on calculating it: it should be illegal for a CEO's wage to exceed 10 percent of the sum of payroll of ALL the labor force under the supervision of the CEO in question (in other words, if the company has 30,000 employees, for instance, then the maximum wage would be 0.1*(30,000*w), where w is the wage each employee earns). Which means, of course, that a CEO would have only two options if he or she were to outsource jobs and lay off workers: either reduce his or her own salary or face jail time.
Let's hope people get the message that BOTH parties are in the wrong here... and oh, yeah, let's hope people listen to what's going on. The crooked tactics here are obviously NEVER okay... ah, but it's up to us voters to make a difference, to petition the government, to run for office, and to really make sure we as a country are being the force for freedom that we intend to be.