You are old father William

‘You are old’, said the youth, ‘and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak –
Pray, how did you manage to do it?’

‘In my youth’, said his father, ‘I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw,
Has lasted the rest of my life.’ [1]

Yes, yet another post with zero science but don’t go away – there is some rowing later after the tedious bits. And so: exhibit 1 is the glasses, which you’ll immeadiately note are varifocals. I have spent the past 2 years gradually learning to peer over the top of my spectacles like a headmaster and now have to learn to look down instead. Incidentally, did I slag off the last Dr Who yet? Shamelessly self-indulgent and insufficiently inventive.

And another part of growing old is attending your son’s first Speech Day / Prizegiving. I’ve forgotten what they were like at my school, probably due to the extreme tedium. This one too was fairly dull but could have been a lot worse. Highpoint was, oddly enough, D getting his prize the “SIO technology prize”, possibly for doing well in exams, we are a little unsure. Must ask the school. Meanwhile Miranda took her Grade One piano exam today, with a result eagerly anticipated.

DSC_5007-mystery-pink-flower Oh yes, the rowing: sorry to leave you in suspense so long. Today was my first Double outing (which is to say, an outing in a double, as in double scull), thanks to Dave. We sneaked in a lock in the cool of the early morning before the speechifying. I don’t scull much, and not terribly well, so it was an experience to be in a more balanced version and actually able to reach fully at the catch. We were both natural bowsiders and found the boat had a tendency to pull round to bowside (there is no rudder – you steer by pulling harder one side ot the other (well ideally you steer by reaching just a little further on one side rather than by hauling the finish, and I started to get the hang of that by the end)). We didn’t hit anything (apart from a very rude City IV that came steaming up the Reach and tried to go through a gap that was clearly too small for it). Dave was in the bows and did the watching-for-steering-direction and indeed most of the steering. We didn’t manage to hold off any VIII’s for long – nor should we have been able to, really, but I was hopeful. The familar when-pushed-speed-up-the-slide-and-slow-down-the-boat-speed came up. Must try to learn.

I gave you the flower as a special free gift, it was that to us, having appeared by the front as if by magic. I must have planted it – possibly a corm, I’m no longer sure what it might be – last year.

Quick Links:

* David Appell tries to get Roy “Dr” Spencer to say what *would* make him believe GW. It turns out that nothing short of 5 oC will do. This is vaguely like the mental maps of invisible dragons that Paul has mentioned, though not in that post.
* Harry Potter is up to chapter 27.
* If you haven’t met if before, The Euthyphro Dilemma is worth pondering.
* BP share price is down to 305. Ouch, that is painful. Or is it a buy signal?
* Sea ice: still too close to call. Still interesting.

Currygate, part 3: the key papers exposed

DSC_3876-e-pensive-against-light Oh well, everyone else has a gate, perhaps I can have one too. Incidentally the picture is there for two reasons: firstly I have far too many pix of Darling Daugther and no-one looks at them. If Jules can put up huts, I can do children. And second, it is a cunning attempt to make me a human bean rather than just a face on the internet, so my enemies will find it harder to attack me. Clever eh?

So, the story so far (pay attention at the back!): I wondered about the list of 3 “key” papers that Curry was proposing should have been considered by the Oxburgh inquiry. Or perhaps by the parliamentary inquiry (Curry quite specifically says my source for the specific papers and why i think they are relevant to the UEA investigation is the documents submitted to the Parliamentary Select Committee). And the question was, in what sense were they key? Well, in this there is no secret that she is quoting McI, because she has said as much. So we should look at McI’s evidence to the Parliamentary inquiry. Which contains a helpful reference list at the end. And I don’t see the key papers on that list. Or you could read the evidence form Andrew Montford. Again, no hint of these so-called “key” papers.

So the answer is: the papers are key, post hoc, because they were not considered by Oxburgh. Had Oxburgh considered them, a different set of papers would have become key.

And once again, Curry simply hasn’t done her homework properly. she got muddled over Wegman and withdrew jsut ab out everything she said; I think she now needs to look very carefully at what she has said about “key papers” and consider whether she is just acting as a mouthpiece for the septics rather than doing what she can and should, which is using her expertise to add something new to the debate.

Incidentally: IMHO Curry’s motivations in all this remain somewhat obscure, and I’m interersted in what they might be. KK seems to have gone from chiding people about speculating to inquiring himself, and there is an interesting post: Curry: The Backstory at c-a-s. Which does demonstrate one thing, that journalists do at least have the virtue of asking people questions and some times they reply.

[Update. Oh no, this is going to turn into one of those eternally expanding posts. Over a c-a-s comment 355 (yes really) KK quotes Romm as saying She has joined the WUWT and McIntyre tribe (note my appearance as a side-dish, perhaps at one of JA’s feasts). Well, critical as I am of what Curry has actually said, I don’t think that comment is either true or helpful. And indeed, Curry has no problem demolishing it. There is enough tribalism around without trying to push it futher. Incidentally, the comment that Romm is responding to has misunderstood Curry, though she makes it very easy to do so: she is *not* saying that IPCC is on a level with NIPCC; she (like all sane folk) regards NIPCC as a joke. She is trying to say (but alas saying it very poorly) that the IPCC needs to retain the features that clearly distinguish it from the NIPCC. Like not being crap. My difference with Curry is that I think it is still doing this well, though like all things on this earth it could be better.]

[And another. Speculating on Curry’s motives is the game of the day, but I have no new ideas on that, so instead I’ll offer an analogy. Curry is like the outsider who looks at the two parties fighting over politics and decides to stand as a “clean-up” candidate (no, remember, this is an analogy; I’m not saying that climate is like politics). So she says a number of things, and garners a lot of media attention, and then either doesn’t get elected because the two-party system exists for a reason… or gets elected, and is then either useless or gets dragged into the system anyway.

This musing was brought on by HR drawing out her quote: “… I have been extremely critical of the NIPCC, it is basically a joke ….”. As I said in reply: you won’t find Watt, or McI, or *any* of the sceptics say that – they are, as she says, too tribal. Curry is *not* one of their tribe. Curry is fundamentally a scientist, and a sane one, and wandering off into attacks on her (which I hope I haven’t done) isn’t good -W]

[Also, another note on the paper-selection issue (DS notes): the initial announcement states: The University, in consultation with the Royal Society, has suggested that the panel looks in particular at key publications, from the body of CRU’s research referred to in the UEA submission to the Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee.]