June 03, 2010

Apollo 17 Astronaut (and Geologist) Dr. Harrison Schmitt refutes the Obama Administration’s Comparison of the Gulf Oil Leak with Apollo 13!

A great editorial by Harrison Schmitt over at “Watts Up With That?”:

President Obama’s Administration and its supportive media repeatedly say our 1970 Apollo 13 experience is analogous to the effort to contain and cap the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Not hardly!

The rescue of Astronauts Jim Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert, after an oxygen tank explosion on their spacecraft, illustrates how complex technical accidents should be handled, in contrast to the Gulf fiasco. Nothing in the government’s response to the blowout and explosion on the Deepwater Horizon and its aftermath bears any resemblance to the response to the Apollo 13 situation by the National Aeronautic and Space Administration and its Mission Control team at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston.

“Failure was not an option” for Gene Kranz and his Apollo 13 flight controllers and engineers. In contrast, failure clearly has been an option for President Obama and those claiming to have been on top of this situation “from day one” in his White House and in the Departments of Interior, Energy and Homeland Security. With no single, competent, courageous and knowledgeable leader in charge of a comparably competent, courageous and knowledgeable team as we had with Apollo 13, the Administration has been doomed to failure from the start. The President, without any experience in real-world management of anything, much less a crisis, has no idea how to deal with a situation as technically complex as the Gulf oil spill.

Much more here [LINK]

June 3, 2010 in Current Affairs, Science | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack


May 16, 2010

Moon Shadow

Took a few more attempts at the sliver moon tonight.  This time with the big lens and the tripod.

This first one is a combination of 2 shots, one at very high ISO to capture the shadow of the moon, the second a very low ISO to capture the detail of the sun reflecting albino.


And this one was simply a long exposure over one of my neighbors houses capturing a passing airplane against the blurred stars (earth’s rotation) in the background. (If you are having trouble seeing either image, just click on it and go to the larger version.)


May 16, 2010 in Photo, Science | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack


April 14, 2010

Smug… even in the presence of an American Hero


Granted, as a photographer I am well aware that an instant in time is no measure of the whole, and often these instantaneous snaps can be as misleading as a campaign promise.  But to me and millions of Americans this image sums up our opinion of the President of the United States. 

In the Bush years we were barraged with quips comments and imagery of GWB’s arrogance and “Cowboy” attitude.  The outrage of the left was palpable, as they felt that President’s attitude posed a danger to the World.

Today, the right is outraged by the arrogance of the “Community Organizer – Pop-culture Iconic – City Slicker – socialist” as they feel this President’s attitude poses a danger to the United States. 

In case you do not recognize the better man in this image, because he is notorious for keeping a humbly low profile, it is Neil Armstrong, the first man on the Moon.

Well it turns out Neil along with Jim Lovell, and Gene Cernan are not happy with the President’s new policy of emasculation of the US Manned Space Program.

"…It appears that we will have wasted our current ten plus billion dollar investment in Constellation and, equally importantly, we will have lost the many years required to recreate the equivalent of what we will have discarded.

For The United States, the leading space faring nation for nearly half a century, to be without carriage to low Earth orbit and with no human exploration capability to go beyond Earth orbit for an indeterminate time into the future, destines our nation to become one of second or even third rate stature. While the President's plan envisages humans traveling away from Earth and perhaps toward Mars at some time in the future, the lack of developed rockets and spacecraft will assure that ability will not be available for many years.

Without the skill and experience that actual spacecraft operation provides, the USA is far too likely to be on a long downhill slide to mediocrity. America must decide if it wishes to remain a leader in space. If it does, we should institute a program which will give us the very best chance of achieving that goal.

Neil Armstrong ,Commander, Apollo 11

James Lovell, Commander, Apollo 13

Eugene Cernan, Commander, Apollo 17

Couldn’t agree more!  Yep that’s right, by the end of this year, the United States will be 100% beholden to the Russians to transport any of our Astronauts and or supplies to the ISS (International Space Station).  We have ZERO! capability to get there on our own!  I am left to wonder what John F. Kennedy would think of this development…

April 14, 2010 in Aviation, Idiots on Parade, Science | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack


March 05, 2010

SDI – Skeeter Defense Initiative

A friend of mind commented that he likes visiting Carmichael’s Position simply because he never knows what I’m going to write about next.

His friendly way of saying I am all over the map… A.D.D Extraordinaire

Today’s post is no exception.  Thanks to the “day job” I find myself perusing any number of Energy, Financial, and Climatological websites.  Today I was over at “Watts Up With That?” a very science based view of everything from “Global Warming Claims” to new technology to help the world. 

Today’s article focused on the latter. …And piqued my interest from both a scientifically curious and a “redneck-beer-swillin’-entertained-by-the-bug-zapper-on-a-summer-night” point of view.

It turns out that a program is well under way… and tested, that will kill flying mosquitoes using lasers, much in a similar fashion to the way we propose to shoot down missiles using lasers.

The anti-mosquito laser system is being funded by Intellectual Ventures, a company run by Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft's former CTO.

In an essay in Seed Magazine last month, Myhrvold wrote, "Our current approaches to combat the disease are low-tech: bed nets, sold or freely given; spraying or soaking bed nets in insecticide; spraying and draining water in breeding sites. Although these approaches work, they could work better with new technology."

But the coolest thing is that there is VIDEO!!! of it!

How cool is this!  And for you PETA folks out there who are disgusted by the violence… Uh… you know… talk among yourselves, cuz most of my readership doesn’t give a sh!t what y’all think anyway.  (Except when you supermodel dings go out and protest nekkid and all… but then again… we ain’t listening then either.)

March 5, 2010 in Just Plain Cool, Science | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack


November 18, 2009

This is Your Climate Warming God?

Al “the sky is falling’ Gore, may not be an idiot, but he certainly plays one on TV.

In a “Tonight Show” interview with Conan O’Brian, Al is on his usual save the planet with efficient energy sources soapbox… actually a noble cause… when he makes a claim that the earth’s mantle is “Several Million Degrees… at 2 kilometers or so down.” (tolerate the video below for about 40 seconds and hear it for yourself).

This is POWERPOINT AL GORE!  This is the spokes-model for the Green Generation!  “Several million degrees!”??? 

Really?  Several?  (several being more than 2 usually…)

Million?  (that’s like a hundred thousand 10’s!)

Even using the Kelvin scale the earth’s mantle is estimated between 773 to 1173 degrees.  I’d go on to express that “any 8th grader could tell you that” but that just ain’t true, knowing the state of our public education system.  Which is all the worse, most of the American public is clueless when it comes to science, the scientific method, and quantifiable facts, and wouldn’t begin to realize when they were being manipulated by self-serving charlatans.

God, we’re a bunch of dolts!


Hell, the innermost core of the Earth is estimated at only 7,000 degrees K! Ya know, like only a tenth the temperature of a cup of Starbucks coffee.

Al wasn’t generalizing, in a humorous way, like saying GaZillions of degrees implying it’s “Really really hot!” he was trying to issue a persuasive argument.  This is precisely why Al refuses all invitations by legitimate man-made-global-warming scientific skeptics, he would lose… terribly…  first the arguments, then his perceived credibility, then his speaking tours (where he charges GaZillions of dollars each time!), and then his financing.  Then who would pay his electric bill?

Look, I’m all for alternative forms of energy being investigated and utilized, and the cleaner the better.  And the less dependent we are on the Middle East and other Countries for our supply the better too.  But if you are going to make claims, any claims as an “expert” you better damn well have your FACTS right!  It lends credibility to your argument.  But then again, considering your audience… I guess facts are just an Inconvenient Truth.

November 18, 2009 in Current Affairs, Idiots on Parade, Politics, Science, Weather | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack


October 27, 2009

Apparently Artists Ain’t Just “Right Brained”

How cool is this?

This guy using wood, rope, cams, pulleys, levers, a scientific calculator, and his mind comes up with this stuff.

HT Rex.

October 27, 2009 in Just Plain Cool, Science | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


September 15, 2008

The Harvest Moon

This beautiful, just past full, moon this evening is officially the "Harvest Moon" as it is the nearest full moon to the Autumnal Equinox.


Thought I'd try again with the new camera and lens.  The above image is taken with a Nikon D80 on a tripod (target special) with a Nikkor AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED lens at full zoom (all 300mm of it!)  1/125- f5.6.  I then, using Adobe Raw flooded the vibrancies and bumped the saturation to get the above image. 

imageThis treatment really brought out the Mare and some of the more prominent craters.  That big splatter crater in the 5:46 position is Tycho, and the one  almost in the center (just to the 9:00 position) is Copernicus.  Just to the south of Copernicus, along the Moon's Equator, on 19 November 1969, one of my favorite crews, Pete Conrad and Al Bean of Apollo 12 landed in an area known as Oceanus Procellarum or the Ocean of Storms.  That's Al in the NASA image above.

The famous Apollo 11 astronauts landed in the "Sea of Tranquility" or Mare Tranquilitatis about the 1:00 or 2:00 position from the center... then in the lower left corner of that darker bluish sea.

I've always been fascinated by the moon.  Growing up I remember a number of the Moon landings and watching live as Shepard, Young, Cernan, Scott and numerous others explored the surface of this desolate yet beautiful companion. It is too bad that we stopped and now have to start over again.  I would have welcomed the opportunity to be one who would colonize the moon.  Now I guess I, and all the rest of us have to leave it up to Stu's kids.  More about the Apollo Missions can be found here: http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/history/apollo/apollo.html 

image imageimage image image image image

If you would like to briefly explore the moon I've included the image below that maps out the more prominent locations on the surface, it even includes where the various Apollo landings were.  (Note in my image above the axis is tilted counter-clockwise approximately 26 degrees). [Full Size Here]



September 15, 2008 in Aviation, Just Plain Cool, Photo, Science | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack


July 28, 2008

Wow! The Things You Find Outside Your Front Door!


Walked outside my hotel room this morning to find this lovely piece of art in the tree next to me.  Not only that, but "The Artist" was still working on this masterpiece!

And what is it that artists have to look so weird?  Here's a close up of this particular one.

IMG_6384d IMG_6384e

Very cool!

July 28, 2008 in Just Plain Cool, Photo, Science, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


July 03, 2008

Example of Why I Find it Difficult to Believe Anything I Hear From the "Sky Is Falling Global Warming Alarmists"

This kind of reporting is nothing but irresponsible...From Australian ABC News:

Plasma, LCDs blamed for accelerating global warming...

image Crap!  And I was going soooo green, watching Discovery HD channel and now the Green Channel in HD about how terrible we humans are for the the future of the planet.  See... If you all would have just let Ronald Reagan Nuke the Crap out of the world back in the 80's we wouldn't have any humans to mess things up for... uh... the cockroaches!

Sorry propensity for digression... Back to the article.  They are not happy enough with the headline... no they have to elaborate their sensationalistic BS with a sub-line:

A gas used in the making of flat screen televisions, nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), is being blamed for damaging the atmosphere and accelerating global warming. 

Oh no!  Not Nitrogen Triflouride!  Damn! General Ripper in "Dr. Strangelove" may have been on to something!  Albiet he missed his chemistry by a Nitrogen atom and 2 more fluoride atoms. for those of you who need a refresher on General Ripper's concerns, I provide the following dialogue from the Kubrik film Dr. Strangelove:

image Ripper: Mandrake?
Mandrake: Yes, Jack?
Ripper: Have you ever seen a Commie drink a glass of water?
Mandrake: Well, I can't say I have.
Ripper: Vodka, that's what they drink, isn't it? Never water?
Mandrake: Well, I-I believe that's what they drink, Jack, yes.
Ripper: On no account will a Commie ever drink water, and not without good reason.
Mandrake: Oh, eh, yes. I, uhm, can't quite see what you're getting at, Jack.
Ripper: Water, that's what I'm getting at, water. Mandrake, water is the source of all life. Seven-tenths of this earth's surface is water. Why, do you realize that seventy percent of you is water?
Mandrake: Uh, uh, Good Lord!
Ripper: And as human beings, you and I need fresh, pure water to replenish our precious bodily fluids.
Mandrake: Yes. (he begins to chuckle nervously)
Ripper: Are you beginning to understand?
Mandrake: Yes. (more laughter)
Ripper: Mandrake. Mandrake, have you never wondered why I drink only distilled water, or rain water, and only pure-grain alcohol?
Mandrake: Well, it did occur to me, Jack, yes.
Ripper: Have you ever heard of a thing called fluoridation. Fluoridation of water?
Mandrake: Uh? Yes, I-I have heard of that, Jack, yes. Yes.
Ripper: Well, do you know what it is?
Mandrake: No, no I don't know what it is, no.
Ripper: Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face?

Damn digression again... Back to the article.  If you stop at the headlines like most of our MTV generation is wont to do, you will obviously do the right thing and go back to watching TV on your RCA Black and White!  However reading the article to it's conclusion I am troubled by the lack of ANY SCIENTIFIC support for this sensationalistic Headline and Sub-line... Note the absolute nature of both using the term "IS being blamed..." 

However, reading further... I run across this:

Dr Paul Fraser is the chief research scientist at the CSIRO's marine and atmospheric research centre, and an IPCC author.

He says without measuring the quantity of NF3 in the atmosphere it is unclear what impact it will have on the climate.

"We haven't observed it in the atmosphere. It's probably there in very low concentrations," he said.

"The key to whether it's a problem or not is how much is released to the atmosphere."

So I fail to see the supportive argument for the major premise "Plasma, LCDs blamed for accelerating global warming..." When a specific fact of the matter is "...without measuring the quantity of NF3 in the atmosphere it is unclear what impact it will have on the climate. "We haven't observed it in the atmosphere. It's probably there in very low concentrations..."

Y'all getting this?  Scientific evidence has not even been being collected as to the effect NF3 has on the environment, it is not even being measured!!!!  Should it be? Probably... but to make an irresponsible unknown claim like  "Plasma, LCDs blamed for accelerating global warming..."  Is completely and utterly baseless and equates to nothing more than the continued incestuous relationship between the "Global Climate Change/Global Warming" as a religion freaks and the "mainstream responsible, J-school educated Media!" 

imageWhat a bunch of WONKS!

I'm going to put my Dr. Strangelove DVD in my high heat emitting Denon  Up-Convert DVD player and watch it on my 42" 1080P LCD flat screen!  Just on General principle!

July 3, 2008 in Current Affairs, Idiots on Parade, Media, Politics, Science, The Press, Weather | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack


June 16, 2008

Oooh! I think I Found a New Hobby! Thanks to XKCD!

People who know me, know my pension for challenging the macramé heads on the "Overboard" nature of Green and GHG's etc...

MODERATION! is a term obviously long forgotten!  But either way... this looks like just too much fun!  From one of my favorite reads XKCD!


Haw!  I don't even have to rent one... I'm thinking I'm due for a road trip to Boulder in my GMC Envoy!  Hell it'll be worth the $100.00 in gas it will take me to drive the 60 miles!

June 16, 2008 in Funny as Hell!, Politics, Science | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack