Wednesday, November 25, 2009
FURTHER MUSINGS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING, SCIENCE AND RELIGION
Okay, zero for one on my predictions of November 23, as President Obama is, indeed, planning to show up in Copenhagen for the Climate Change Summit. Of course, what real choice did he really have, for he has to be in Stockholm on December 9 to pick up his Nobel Prize, and that gathering will go on from December 7 through the 18th. His word spinners will have him say he had to come because this is the meeting that will initiate the process for saving Planet Earth, and he will do everything in his power (which will not be much because there are too many Democrats from fossil fuel states, and Republicans...well, read my HuffPo on this subject) to remediate global climate warming.
The Large Hadron Collider (LHD) had a re-birth this past week. Hawaii was in the spotlight last year on the LHD, for Walter Wagner of Pepeekeo, a retired nuclear safety officer, with Luis Sancho, a Spanish writer, sued CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) because they feared the prospects of black holes, strangelets and magnetic monopoles. Kind of reminds you of the Man from La Mancha, with his trusty sidekick, Sancho Panza. They were supported by University of Hawaii Hilo psychology professor Paul Dixon. Now, where is Sophia Loren? However, the lawsuit was summarily dismissed by Judge Helen Gillmor.
What is the LHD? It is only the most expensive scientific experiment ever, located 570 feet underground at the Swiss-French border, 17 miles in circumference, and built at a cost of $9 billion over 15 years. It is expected to prove or disprove the existence of the Higgs Boson, something to do with matter and the Standard Model. But since you won't understand the science, and I don't too, let's skip this part.
On 19September08, nine days after first flash, it went kaput, and took 14 months to repair. Yesterday, LHD experienced its first collision. Whew, Planet Earth survived. Judge Gillmor was right.
Timed photo of the Hajj, which began today, and goes on until Sunday. This the annual pilgrimage that has been going on for 4000 years all Muslims make once in their life if they can afford it. The ritual is a lot more involved than merely walking counterclockwise seven times around the Kabah (cubed shaped building above). You must run between hills, pray, stand in vigil in the desert, drink from a sacred well, throw stones, pray, shave your head and perform an animal sacrifice (or you can have someone do this for you). Three million or so will so do this year. A website says, "Be Peaceful, Orderly and Kind. No Crushing!" Huh? In 2006, 600 were killed through people falling over each other. That same year, 362 Hajjis (these pilgrims) also died during the stoning process.
If you still wish this experience, the dates next year are from November 14-18. Oh, if you're not a Muslim, don't even try, for, first, you need a visa with a purpose for visiting Saudi Arabia, then, there are check points. You won't be arrested, but deported. On the other hand, if only Mecca is your goal, find a way to get into Saudi Arabia during the non-Ramadan, non-Hajj period, have a local dress you and suggest how to walk, don't talk and be as unobstrusive as possible.
The Dow Jones Industrials hit a high for the year, up 31 to 10,464. The peak was 14, 164 on October 9 of 2007. World markets were mostly up. Gold surged to another all-time pinnacle, +$23/toz to $1192, while crude oil is now just under $78/barrel.
Wow, Nida is now a SUPER TYPHOON at 185 MPH.
Nida will move sufficiently west of Guam and appears still headed for Japan. However, what an incredible goof, as NASA today showed the following satellite shot, and superimposed the Philippines...
...and I quote:
The MODIS instrument onboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image of Super Typhoon Nida churning through the Philippine Islands. Packing winds of 100 mph and gusts of up to 122 mph, the typhoon caused floods and landslides in the Bicol region of the main island of Luzon. Nida has been responsible for at least six deaths in the Philippines and has displaced thousands as it skirted the eastern part of the country before moving towards southern Japan.
The country certainly doesn't deserve any more of this. There have been too many super typhoons hammering the Philippines, and several were named Nina, but Nida?