10400230_575987898473_1201_n The latest crop of links-n-stuff. First up is this superb photo – ht TS’s google reader feed. It won second prize but for my money is far and away better than any of the others (higher-res version – thanks BD). Its tagged as a “condensation rainbow” but it isn’t, I think (wrong shape). It is probably diffraction not refraction – see [[Iridescent cloud]]. Tom said I saw this elsewhere (can’t remember where) and I think the explanation given was that the plane was making a sharp turn and adiabatic expansion resulting low pressure one side of the wing lowered the temperature enough for an ice(?) cloud to form. It seemed a reasonable explanation so I’ll go with that. The same photographer, Bernardo Malfitano, has another good one at here.

[2019 update: gosh, it’s still a gorgeous picture. And I still think it isn’t a rainbow, but my reasons have shifted. I think the not-a-circle-arc is bogus, the region is too small to show that. But, the sun is behind the plane (no?) and rainbows form away from the sun so I still think it’s probably diffraction.]

Meanwhile, on the perennial issue of the costs of GW: A new mechanism to consider when measuring climate impacts on economies.

On the very very silly end of GW, on wiki we’ve been having a Big Argument about [[Climate change alarmism]]. What became really weird was me having to explain (see here) that yes indeed my own paper really wasn’t a good source for what the septics were trying to push (here). This appears to have been so extreme that it has even got through to at least some parts of arbcomm.

[Update: but I forgot to link the the far more amusing spoof PD.]

And for all you physicists out there, an old favourite I ran across again recently How to do physics.

Melting Rate of Icecaps in Greenland and Western Antarctica Lower Than Expected says ScienceDaily but its wrong: what it means is, less than previously measured. The GRACE folk have recalibrated their isostatic rebound, it seems.

Knol is a “new” thingy from google. Actually not very new, but this is the first time I’ve noticed it. Wiki has some ruminations on it. It appears to have the advantage that you can write what you like, untramelled by the trolls. But the disadvantage that the trolls can write what they like, uncontrolled by the sane. And there is no structure.

Heiaheia is yet another track-your-fitness website that AN inveigled me onto, but it is cute and funky and brightly coloured. Hopefully they’ll integrate it to garmin connect sometime.

Down at the scummy end: In particular, any “predictions” and “projections” about the future must be entirely based on observations. A must-read. As are the latest episodes of Harry Potter and the methods of rationality (up to 46 at last count).

Local news: I’ve just done my first erg for ages (7606) and Phoebe is a fleabag.

Finally, and belatedly, the LOLcat bible: Nebuchadnezzar sed: “ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US”

Special bonus pic at the end (saintgasoline via 4chan):

[Update. Oh, and I forgot the ridiculous kerfuffle about Hawking’s latest. See Penrose in the FT (the after-coffee anecdote makes Penrose sound like a twat, which for all I know he may be, but the rest is OK) or Woit rip Hawking to shreds. Just because you’re in a wheelchair doesn’t make you right.

Listening: Martin Carthy: Famous flower of serving men.

More late stuff: Science scorned says Nuture (Volume: 467 ,Page: 133 Date published: (09 September 2010)): There is a growing anti-science streak on the American right that could have tangible societal and political impacts on many fronts… Denialism over global warming has become a scientific cause célèbre within the movement. (ht: Romm).

The Great Lettuce Famine

Apparently we’re all going to die because The Spooky Face means all that healthy foreign-grown lettuce and fine green beans can’t be flown in. Or so said the radio this morning; I wasn’t paying too close attention because I was sleepy, they may have phrased it slightly differently. However, when I got to Waitrose I was disappointed to find no panic-stricken queues – indeed it was quite quiet – and plenty of vegetables. Still nothing at all to see in the sky – well, other than the moon and so on, which remain perfectly clear.

DSC_4355-phoebe While I’m on the misc stuff, I warn you I’m going to blog about our trip to Amsterdam when I get round to it. And the HORR. And I’m going to tell you that I went sculling today for the first time in ages. Andy N had the grace not to shout out to me until I was on the water, otherwise I would have stuffed up taking Joy out. Up to the lock and back, glorious sunshine, I was slow and rubbish (arms-only most of the way) and I’ve rubbed the skin off one thumb, yummy.

Also, we have a cat! I’ve fought against a pet for years but eventually succumbed. She is called Phoebe, say hello, you can look forward to loads of rather poor quality pictures of her sitting on various bits of the house. Also, I warn you, we have a Roomba.