This is the link to the new home of “Omnologos“.
The old site will remain up and running.
NASAGoddard has just celebrated on Twitter the fact that “Blue Marble 2012 with nearly 3.2 million views is now “one of the all time most viewed images” on @flickr http://bit.ly/xBOuD8“. That’s nice apart from the fact that it is a fake.
Even the Bad Astronomer was half-fooled initially, perhaps by the enthusiastic caption that still refers to a “hemisphere“. However, as it should be clear given the relative size of the USA to the rest of the world, the “blue marble” does not show a hemisphere, and should be considered as “a picture taken with a huge huge fish-eye lens“.
A quick trip to Google Earth shows how a real Blue Marble would have looked like, minus the clouds:
This story has however a happier ending in the newst “Blue Marble”, the one showing Africa.
I can happily report it is the way it should’ve been . See Google Earth again:
Nice to see somebody at NASA still interested in the real world.
In the London Review of Books, reader Anthony Buckley (“God and Human Behaviour”, Letters, LRB, 30 June 2011) wonders what “would constitute evidence” for or against the statement that “religious people…are more likely to behave in virtuous ways than non-religious people“.
That is an interesting question. And it can be easily answered in Christianity. The Gospel of Luke (chapter 5, verses 30-32) says:
“But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples,saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners? And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
It seems logical to conclude that, according to the Messiah Himself, “people who have [Christian] religious convictions” will be “on the whole morally worse than people who lack them“.
NOTE TO ALL READERS
If you see strange trackbacks on websites from “Ocasapiens” in Italian after I post a comment, there is this feckless Italian journalist whose main activity appears to be following me on Google in order to post abysmal bullying attempts at her blog.
I would feel proud of being an inspiration of anything, however if a blog is measured by the quality of its content, a blog where I am the content can’t be that good.
The issue of offensiveness has meaning only when people try to communicate with each other. The meaning of a word in that case is not established by a third-party such as a dictionary or even common usage, but by the people that are trying to communicate.
Hence it makes no sense to ask that refusal of a word be based on this or that reason. If a friend of mine asks me to stop using the word “negro” in Italian, as it happened >20 years ago, I don’t even try to probe the reasons, even if the dictionary says otherwise. After all I’m talking to a person, not a dictionary.
Likewise in a climate discussion if somebody says they don’t like “denier” or “warmist” or “Minion of the House of Mann and Gore”, all references should be stopped, and all attempts to reintroduce them be considered an attempt at killing communication.
Doesn’t sound too hard to comprehend.
And before anybody complains about my SS jokes, well, I wasn’t exactly trying to communicate with dana1981 and Skeptical Science was I?
(letter sent to the Editors of the International Herald Tribune)
Say what you will of Italy and its Prime Minister, there remains one powerful counterpoint to Silvio Berlusconi, resolutely bringing him a large amount of support: the intolerable pseudo-intellectualism that makes Frank Bruni and his (selected) Italian sources believe there is any correlation between “having a higher education” and “voting Left” (see Frank Bruni’s “The Affliction of Comfort”, IHT, 19 Sep 2011 ).
It doesn’t take much really to understand the utter inability to govern of a political side (such as the Italian Leftists) incapable for two decades of overcoming Mr Berlusconi and his supporters. To consistently lose against people despised as mentally inferior, it is the best evidence of being even more intellectually challenged than them.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with eating bluefin tuna.
Bluefin is a delicacy, not usually eaten as steaks. It is usually three small slices, certainly no more than five or six, on a plate containing three or four species of fish.
In the controversies surrounding fishery management and questions of species abundance in the US and Europe, environmental organizations may tend to overstate the issues, and for very good reason: Environmental organizations are essentially lobbyists and mostly depend on public donations for their livelihood. Therefore, they tend to overstate in order to attract the attention of the public to a given issue. And that is precisely how public opinion has been shaped on the issue of bluefin.
Anyone who reads the news knows that these days NOAA is not considered a compliant partner of US fishermen. NOAA’s decision to not place Atlantic bluefin under protection of the Endangered Species Act at the end of May 2011, was not a capitulation to the bluefin fishermen, but an historic decision based upon exhaustive study undertaken over 12 months and involving US and European scientists and fishery management specialists both inside and outside of government. Some of the best minds in bluefin science had input into this exhaustive process. There is no doubt that if NOAA had any way of validating the probability of extinction or even the threat of extinction, they would have listed the bluefin under ESA. The simple fact is that there is no creditable pelagic scientist who will sign their name to a statement saying that Atlantic bluefin is, 1/ endangered with extinction, 2/ threatened with extinction or, 3/ near [or “on the edge of..”] extinction.
As to the issue of commerce driving the bluefin to extinction, we can thank the media for this misunderstanding. There are no US bluefin fishermen who have Mercedes parked in front of their homes. Practically every article written on bluefin never fails to mention that bluefin sells in Tokyo for upwards of $150,000 “for one fish”. It is amazing to me that journalists have never even bothered to check on this. Auction data from Tsukiji Market for bluefin is available every day online. US bluefin fishermen receive approximately $4-8/lb for their fish, less than they would get if they fished for scallops. The US bluefin fishery is a small, artisanal fishery in which the fish are caught sustainably using hand techniques. The Pew has recently validated this statement. No industrialized fishing methods are allowed. Each vessel is a sole proprietorship, owned by its captain. The US bluefin artisanal fishery is the most highly regulated bluefin fishery in the world. The limit per day in season is three fish and the minimum size must be 73”. A fisherman would be very lucky to catch three fish in one day. It is true, however, that once every year or so, usually in Dec or Jan, an Asian restauranteur dramatically bids up the price of one bluefin at Tsukiji Market as a publicity stunt and this is what finds its way into the media.