More on global floods and climate change

Better measurements are needed to know where we are with climate change.  A big factor here is ocean temperatures, that traditionally are not tracked very well.  Oceans being fluids they have an ability to store heat for quite some ways and there can be exchange of fluids from one layer to another and changes in temperature can gradually be transferred even miles deep.
 
On solid land there is a point, either 15 feet or 15 meters, I forget which, which doesn’t change temperature all year under normal conditions.
 
Water has nine times the heat capacity of land on average.  I’ve recently also seen the figure of 7 times used.
 
70% of the earth’s surface is water.
 
The result is that the overwhelming majority of the capacity of the earth’s surface to store heat energy is in the large bodies of water. 
 
Most temperature readings are for air, and air has less heat capacity than solid ground.
 
We live on the surface of the planet in the air and so that is our focus however it should be recognized that air temperatures alone give limited information about the big picture of how much heat the earth’s surface is storing.
 
The ice packs connected to the oceans are eroding away more rapidly than expected, apparently being eaten away rapidly by water.  That needs to be looked at.  We also need to be mindful that, apart from energy coming in from the sun, that the earth itself has internal heat and the amount of that may change and that could affect the surface.  The spinning of the earth’s core for example has been increasing which could lead to increased heat due to friction.  That could be related to magnetic fields that the planet goes through.
 
We need to look at the historic geologic records to see what has happened at other times when sea levels rose. 
 
During previous runaway climate change, there were very sharp spikes in sea level with a rise of about 6.5 meters around 7600 years ago, 7.5 meters 11500 years ago and 13.5 meters 14,200 years ago. 
 
The abrupt changes in pressures on the earth due to shifting weight from ice caps to pressure on the oceans is thought to have had an additional effect of increasing earthquakes and volcanic activity.
 
I have read recently that if all of the current ice caps melted that the oceans would rise a further 60 meters.  I don’t know that the figure is accurate given that I’ve also read recently that scientists are finding that many of the ice sheets are much thinner than was thought.
 
There is supporting evidence for some of these increases coming in sudden spurts of a few meters, which would be consistent with the original biblical flood story describing floods of 7 cubits deep, about 15 feet.
 
While there is no reason to think that a flood of that magnitude would occur now in a sudden event, an event serious enough to raise sea levels even a foot all at once would be quite serious.
 
 
 
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Political Meddling in Prosecution Fizzles in British Columbia

A politically motivated prosecution of polygamists in British Columbia has gone kaput.  There is a certain polygamist clan in BC that is affiliated with the one in Texas that the Texas authorities so bitterly hate.
 
It should be borne in mind that with the illegal raid in Texas, various allegations of sexual misconduct with minors were found to be unfounded in the vast majority of cases even after the authorities got to turn over every rock looking for evidence.  When you are getting most of your information from runaways that have learned that they get attention and possibly social services by making various allegations and may have gone to the dark side in illicit trades to make their way, you have to be very careful that this one sided diet for information does not lead to prejudice. 
 
Under Canada’s constitution, the criminal law against polygamy is obviously unconstitutional as an unwarranted restriction on religious rights.  Regular prosecutors know this so nobody has bothered to run a trial on it since the enactment of the constitution because it is a waste of time. 
 
The British Columbia government, following the receipt of several opinions that a prosecution should not proceed, directed the appointment of a special prosecutor to contradict the previous special prosecutors.  This was struck down by the court.  Once a special prosecutor directs that there should not be a charge that is final under BC law.
 
The situation is quite odd, especially with this idea that polygamists are somehow worse with women’s rights.  All fundamentalist or extreme religious nuts are terrible with women’s rights.  The problem doesn’t come from polygamy, it comes from the attitude that god tells me that I can do what I want and that women are to be subjugated to men.
 
Of course polygamist societies do have the problem of lots of unattached men that will probably have to leave because they can’t get brides due to their social status and the hoarding of women.
 
There are definitely problems with the arrangement.  However:
 
While spreading the women around so that every man has a greater opportunity to abuse and subjugate a woman may seem more egalitarian from a certain twisted mindset, from the standpoint of a woman in such a situation I don’t know that having the undivided attentions of somebody that doesn’t think that you have rights is an improvement. 
 
There is a certain irony that some religious groups that are against polygamy are quite judgmental although from an objective standpoint with some of these groups there isn’t objectively much to choose between them.
 
Live somebody once said, let he who is without sin cast the first stone. 
 
 

Empiricism

 
Amazing things happen when scientists go out and look at what is happening in the world.  Ice sheets are retreating faster than expected by theories, which I don’t find surprising at all.   When you develop a theory in your armchair about a complex system with incomplete data the result will almost inevitably be wrong.  Given the changes in the world the proposed changes in the ice sheets projected by scientists sounded surprisingly conservative too.    I still haven’t heard anything about the effects of pollution on melting ice and that is surprising since we know that you can get ice to melt by changing composition or lowering its reflectivity. 
 
There is a worse concern that we should be looking at than the gradual melt, that being the manner in which sea levels have actually increased historically.   There is evidence of three great floods since the last glacial maximum 21,000 years ago, with at least two of these connected with the bursting of enormous lakes that had formed on glaciers, which apparently burst out quite quickly.  
 
It is important to track this and ensure that any lakes of meltwater be allowed to continuously drain.
 
Meltwater under ice could potentially free up large glaciers and lubricate their movements.  If ice sheets start trundling down to the ocean at significant speed the results could be disasterous.
 
Much of the increase in sea level historically has resulted from a few sudden and disasterous spurts accompanied during some events  by enormous Tsunamis when there has been a sudden dumping of water and/or ice into the ocean.  We don’t need that kind of trouble. 
 
 
 

Heat therapy and cancer

It is interesting that warming up the area in which a cancer is located has recently been found to help fight it.
 
I’ve suspected for a while that poor circulation of fluids and dissolved gasses through the tissues plays a significant role in at least some cancers.  That could lead to toxins and waste products building up, possibly inadequate oxygen and other nutrients, problems supplying immune system reinforcements, etc.
 
If an area is warmed up there will be greater circulation to it.  That is probably why the treatment works.
 
I think that the so called "oxygen therapy" may have been somewhat misconceived by both sides of the debate.  Some people believe that oxygen kills cancer, which if taken to mean that oxygen kills cancer cells by itself doesn’t appear to be true.   The proponents of oxygen therapy use frankly silly therapies with ozone and hydrogen peroxide.  In science and life generally the disingenuous solution is more likely to be right than the ingenious one and here the disingenuous solution is to use ordinary oxygen. 
 
It doesn’t have to literally kill cancer cells for oxygen to be effective.  Providing energy to the body’s defences is useful. 
 
The vitamin Niacin has some interesting qualities.  In studies of Niacin supplementation in men with high cholesterol, there was an increased risk of death for the men taking Niacin during the course of the study.   This was followed by a curious result that, following the study, when the supplementation was discontinued, those who had used the large Niacin doses had a decreased risk of death following the end of the supplementation, resulting in a net improvement in longevity for those who had used Niacin for a lengthy period and then stopped. 
 
Niacin in large doses such as those used to combat cholesterol notoriously causes a "Niacin Flush" in which the user may become very red in some areas. It appears to have some role in, or at least a profound effect on, circulation and perfusion.
 
My hypothesis for why Niacin use causes in increased risk of death while in active use is that it causes the circulation to be unstable and it may reduce good cholesterol.
 
The longevity may be connected with increased tissue perfusion.  Conditions favorable to cancer and other problems may be less likely to arise.
 
One of the criticisms of oxygen therapy appears to be superficially strong but has a few key weaknesses.  That is that even if you saturated all of the blood with oxygen, it would only be about 20 ml of oxygen for all of the body’s plasma whereas the body needs something over 200 ml per minute.
 
While that argument has some superficial appeal it is misses the point and is something in the way of an emotive or political appeal. 
 
Small differences in oxygen saturation can make a big difference in health.  The blood leaving the lungs is 98-99 % saturated under normal conditions. That sounds pretty good and not capable of much improvement.  On the other hand, oxygenation of less than 95% in that blood is considered dangerous in an individual at rest and oxygenation less than 90% is considered dangerous, according to Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood
 
In that context 1-2% increased saturation could easily be significant.
 
It is also notorious that hypobaric chamber therapy helps people heal faster in other contexts.
 
There is also a conflation between oxygen entering the body and the oxygen reaching a given destination.   Consider this analogy- if there are 10,000 cars on a given road per hour it doesn’t follow that the local cinema will have enough customers to stay open. 
 
That gets us back to perfusion, as even with extra oxygen is present it isn’t necessarily helpful unless it gets to the target.  Increased saturation might mean more oxygen for out of the way tissues or it might not.  That is a question of fact and may vary from case to case.
 
Perfusion is also broader than the issue of oxygen alone.  The availability of other nutrients is likely important as is the removal of toxins and cellular waste products.
 
There may be a complicating factor regarding the spread of cancers.  Increased perfusion may increase the risk of an advanced tumor spreading.  On the other hand it could nip a cancer that is not at that stage in the bud before it gets to that stage.  This issue should be monitored closely for long term outcomes with therapies such as the heat therapy to see if there is any increase in problems arising later and elsewhere.  
 
 

Flu and heart attack connection

Apparently somebody has found a connection between flu and heart attacks. 
 
I’m surprised that this is a surprise. 
 
The use of blood thinners and anti-inflammatory medications can cause viral counts in the blood to release when someone is infected.  That is probably because when the blood is flowing more freely it is more difficult to keep the infection under control and isolated. 
 
Blood thinners and anti-inflammatory agents can also make a person less vulnerable to heart attacks.
 
It would seem reasonable that if the body is defending and containing infection that it would be desirable on that health front to have the opposite effect from that given by an aspirin or ibuprofen. 
 
If the body is shifted in a direction opposite to what an aspirin does then the natural hypothesis would be that it would increase heart attacks. 

Plexico Burress jailed for accidentally shooting himself

After Obama is  elected the US takes a step back and gives a reality check to anybody that thought that blacks had achieved true equality.
 
Does anybody for a minute believe that if Brett Favre had done the same thing he would have spent a day in jail?
 
The incident needs to be taken in the context that the weapon in question had been duly registered in another jurisdiction although that registration had lapsed.  Why had it lapsed? Who knows.  Maybe the renewal form got lost in the mail.  Given that it was registered, and I doubt if governments destroy information about registration when it lapses, it is misleading to describe it as unregistered.   A fee may not have been paid to the bureaucrats but that isn’t the same thing.
 
The case highlights another huge issue, the problems of differences between state laws.  Ordinary citizens can’t always be expected to navigate the differences in laws between the laws of different states and allowances ought to be made for that.   It does not follow as a matter of common sense that different licences must be carried for each jurisdiction.   When you drive through different jurisdictions for example you don’t have to register your car unless you take up residence. 
 
It is often said that ignorance of the law is no excuse, but that misses the point.  Jail should be for people that have criminal intent. 
 
Carrying a gun that isn’t properly secured with the safety on is pretty reckless and stupid and that should cause more concern than the possession, in a nation where lots of people are permitted to carry concealed weapons with permits.  New York is one of the areas where that is permitted.  On the other hand, he could have hit somebody else by accident and for that he should have had probation and a maximum fine, if there is no maximum then a million dollars would probably send the message. 
 
Plexico had done paperwork elsewhere.  He hadn’t done all of the paperwork that was expected and didn’t renew his Florida licence to carry a concealed weapon.  I see this as being convicted on a technicality.   Nobody is happy when there is an acquittal on a technicality but sometimes that has to be tolerated for the greater good.   We ought to be ten times as mad when there is a conviction on a techicality.   Jail sentences should be connected with criminal intentions as a matter of principle. 
 
Jail is for crooks, not for morons.
 
 
That he had been held up before when unarmed should have also been seen as a mitigating factor.

Killed over mouse poop?

In the Yale saga which is the most interesting thing going on in the news lately, some reports have the lab tech, now charged, as a control freak who conflicted with people over protocols and cleanliness in the lab building.  He supposedly texted the victim the day of the killing. 
 
The defensive wounds throw an interesting twist into things if that report is also true.  Bloody lab clothes are found when the mode of killing was strangulation.  That’s interesting.  Makes me wonder if there may be a self defence claim. 
 
The wedding still probably plays out as a key stressor in the incident.  If it is workplace violence as the police are suggesting, people can get stressed out and act out close to weddings.  Control freak calls down sociopathic princess type, she makes a scene and one thing leads to another maybe.   He’s the hired help acting like he owns the place.  Princess won’t take that from the help.  She puts him down and maybe does something stupid to set him off.   He didn’t go around killing everybody he disagreed with…well, not that we know of, anyways.  There was a little something extra.
 
If it was workplace violence…like I said, an unusual profile.   It would be an interesting conversation piece on the cell block. 
 
"What are you in for?"
"Murder."
"Was it over a woman? Or did you get ripped off?"
"No, it was over mouse poop.  I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time."
 
If that’s the case, what a tragic waste of the futures of two bright young sociopaths. 
 
Of course we don’t know what he has to say yet.  If the police can prove he’s involved he could still be an accessory, e.g. in hiding a body, and then also one defence theory that I can see coming is self defence and panic.  The size difference doesn’t mean as much if the victim had a weapon.   Then the argument would be that he panicked and hid the body instead of calling it in. 
 
Of course we may never know but speculating about all this is a lot more interesting than the other headline news, that Kate Gosselin, who for some reason is famous for having been pregnant, has a new hairdo.    The web has been pretty dismal lately.