I’m sure Dr Lewis deserves some respect. But his opinion on climate science does not. Let’s move along

Wise words from David Appell. But this is the blogosphere, so that isn’t going to happen. And Hal Lewis would be disappointed if we did; after all, he is trying to make a splash with his nonsense. As DA puts it So someone named Hal Lewis has resigned from the American Physical Society in a snit over their position on climate change, and this is supposedly “fracturing” the scientific community. Who is Hal Lewis? I’ve been studying physics for 30 years, and I’ve never heard of him. In the unlikely event that you want to read what HL has to say, the usual idiots have it all laid out.

And so the game is: who is Hal Lewis? Almost as amusing as Who is William A. Sprigg, Ph.D.? who was the last mold-breaking Absolutely Key Scientific Figure dredged up by the septics. Anyway, that one is long forgotten, so we need to find HL. He doesn’t have a wikipedia entry as I write this: HL redirects to [[Hal Lewis (Aku)]] (ha, I spoke too soon. [[Harold Lewis]] now exists. And is rubbish. Sigh).

He has written a book: Technological risk (1992): Risks seem to abound in our everyday lives, especially the risks flowing from the explosion of our modern technology, with its pesticides, pollution, nuclear power, microwave radiation and chemical trace elements in food of all kinds. Two questions face all of us: how real are these risks and, if real, how do we manage our lives in order to avoid personal damage from them? The book examines these questions, delving into the nature and true seriousness of risk (as opposed to how bad the risk seems to be), into how we measure risk and how we regulate it. Lewis includes the latest scientific information on carcinogens and the greenhouse effect (my bold). W00t. That sounds nicely relevant. Why Flip a Coin is less so. Anyway, I’ve ordered a copy of the Risk book, so we can have fun with that.

So, where are the papers? You can’t have a scientific career without papers. There are some early ones – The Multiple Production of Mesons from 1948 with Oppenheimer, no less. Or Multiple Scattering in an Infinite Medium, 1950 – worthy maths-ish thing, I’d guess. But past the late-50’s early 60’s it suddenly gets very thin indeed. I’d guess, without knowing more, that he gave up science and moved into admin.

Eli is good at this stuff. Perhaps he’ll chime in. Which reminds me: Lewis was spotted earlier. But back then he was just one sig of several, and no-one cared that they didn’t know who he was.


* Romm getting it right.
* Darth Data Destroyer – Eli poking fun.
* Andy Revkin

We did it

Well, the yanks did. Or maybe not, it really isn’t clear. But what *is* clear is that initial reports that Linda Norgrove was killed by the Taliban were at best unreliable and probably made up. Apparently Cameroon still insists that the reports were “in good faith” which I think is code for “inexplicably wrong but we don’t want to criticise the US in public”. And indeed the entire rescue may have been pointless. That nice Mr Obama says he’ll find out what happened, though.

More random

visual6502.org. For all those who used to play with it in their bedrooms.

B-52’s: Roam. Beautiful song, though they wouldn’t last 5 minutes outside the coccoon.

RMG shreds someone who thinks Lake Superior is cold because of the last ice age. But he doess so politely and informatively, so it is well worth reading.

Things you find on wikipedia: [[Fuck for forest]], or FFF, is a non-profit environmental organisation founded in Norway by Leona Johansson and Tommy Hol Ellingsen, which raises money for rescuing the world’s rainforests by producing pornographic material or having sex in public. Or even The flying saucer originally started as a proposal for a raiseable platform. However, the project was revised and edited, and by the time the patent was filed had become a large passenger craft for interplanetary travel. Talk about feature creep!

Speaking very vaguely of software, one div zero shares his tips for estimating software timescales. I went on a Scrum course recently; if anyone cares, I’ll write it up.

The Wegman plagiarism stuff is slowly coming out; see e.g. the Wabbit, Coby or DC. Or the WAPO blog or USAtoday. Oddly, by wiki-world’s somewhat mad standards, only the latter is a useable source. I don’t have much new to say, so it doesn’t get a post of its own.

Squishy stuff, so not my bag: Dillon, M. E.; Wang, G.; Huey, R. B. (2010). “Global metabolic impacts of recent climate warming“. Nature 467 (7316): 704-706. doi:10.1038/nature09407

Auferre trucidare rapere falsis nominibus imperium, atque ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant.

Sea ice: and the winner is… no-one!

Hurrah. That saves lots of effort paying :-). Not long ago it was looking bad for the good guys (i.e., me) with a “douple dip” recession of sea ice. But a strong perforcance from the boys up north in the mushy white stuff stakes saw a sharp rebound at the end of the month, leading to a monthly average for september of 4.90 (thanks for C for vigilance). As a reminder, recent years have been:

2000  9      Goddard      N   6.32   4.31
2001  9      Goddard      N   6.75   4.55
2002  9      Goddard      N   5.96   3.98
2003  9      Goddard      N   6.15   4.01
2004  9      Goddard      N   6.05   4.35
2005  9      Goddard      N   5.57   4.03
2006  9      Goddard      N   5.92   3.97
2007  9      Goddard      N   4.30   2.78
2008  9       PRELIM      N   4.68   2.93
2009  9      NRTSI-G      N   5.36   3.42
2010  9      NRTSI-G      N   4.90   3.02

Or so says ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02135/Sep/N_09_area.txt. Other datasets will give you slightly different answers, of course. Note taht 2010 gets the coveted number 3 spot in terms of both September average and absolute minimum.


The bet for this year was (from Three views of sea ice).

That the september mean ice *extent* be below 4.835; but with a “buffer” where we call it a draw: between 4.735 and 4.935, no one wins. I’m taking the “high” side of this; anyone interested in the “low” side let me know. For my part, 4.835 is arrived at as the 1979-2009 trend extrapolated, minus 0.5 which is the SD. It seems to have become tradiational for people to bet small amounts, which is fair enough if we’re just playing. But this was intended to flush out the “the sea ice is in catastrophic decline” people. OTOH, if there are any “the sea ice will certainly recover this year” people then you can get odds on trend-plus-SD, i.e. ice being above 5.835 if you like (note that those are all spuriously precise but never mind)]

So, if we’d played for just-the-number (without the buffer) I’d have won; but I agree, it is better to include the buffer. Assuming I (or ws it C?) did the calcs right, the trend line was for 5.335, and we’re clearly below that, but by less than the SD, so it doesn’t matter.


* Three views of sea ice – defn of this years contest.
* 2009
* 2008
* Lab Lemming’s pool (I think I’m the very broad green line)
* Tamino got lucky

Update: pressed by C in the comments, I’ve now calculated the trend for myself, and so I’ve added this pic:


which shows the extents, the trend-to-2010 calculated using all previous years, the trend-to-year using all previous years, and the trend-to-2010 only using 10 previous years. I make the baseline prediction for next year 5.235, which agrees with NB, so all is well.

CSR ships its two billionth chip

I’m hoping that reproducing the Company’s own press releases won’t get me into too much trouble.

CSR is today marking a major landmark in the company’s 12 year history; the production of its two billionth chip on 30 September 2010.

Having celebrated the production of its billionth chip rollout in only April 2008, CSR continues to enjoy healthy growth and continues to lead the Bluetooth market in terms of both innovation and designs. It took eight years for CSR to achieve the milestone of shipping one billion chips to its customers, but only a little over two years to reach the two billion figure. During the summer of 2010, CSR shipped at a rate of around 1.6 million units per day. This figure marks CSR’s continuing popularity amongst OEMs, which is down to a combination of leading, space-saving, power efficient OEM-led designs, low prices and close engagement with partners.

And here is the 2 billionth cake:


The nice plexiglass thingy was given for the 50 millionth chip. That was ages ago, long before I joined. I’m not quite sure how I ended up with that.