What Really Cooled Mars

Mars atmosphere

BBC: A meteorite reveals clues to how Mars lost its thick, carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere and became a cold, rocky desert, researchers say.

The loss of its carbon dioxide cloak is likely to have caused Mars to cool. So understanding how the CO2 was removed “could provide vital clues to how we can limit the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere and so reduce climate change” said Dr Tomkinson.

This article is extremely misleading. They are trying to suggest that Mars lost its carbon dioxide atmosphere, which by implication was what was keeping Mars relatively warm.

But Mars never lost its carbon dioxide “cloak”; it just got thinner. Mars’ atmosphere still is about 95% carbon dioxide. Despite this domination of CO2, there is no greenhouse effect on Mars.

It was the thinning of the atmosphere that cooled Mars. This was most likely caused by the cooling of Mars’ core and subsequent loss of its magnetic field resulting in the solar wind eroding away most of the atmosphere.

Sure, Mars lost an amount of carbon dioxide, but its ratio in the atmosphere remained essentially the same.

Chemical processes eating up a lot of carbon dioxide means little when Mars’ atmosphere, whether thick or thin, is so abundant in CO2. The thickness of its atmosphere is more significant on its surface temperature than any amount of CO2.

The point is that many people would have walked away from the BBC’s article believing that Mars was warm because of CO2, and it then became cold because the “warm” CO2 was then removed from the atmosphere. This is of course misleading and wrong.

Meteorite may explain ‘how Mars turned to stone’


The “Great Game”


A peaceful diplomatic solution to Assad’s possession of chemical weapons would be welcome, but this is not Putin’s true position. Putin wants Assad to continue waging the war unhindered. He has been feeding the Syrian Civil War by supplying Assad with weapons, munitions, and diplomatic support. Putin is now congratulating himself that he has skilfully saved Assad from any serious consequences for the very real and confirmed gassing of innocent people.

What everyone needs to do is look at the track records. Assad, Putin, and Obama. What have they done; what are their motives; who do you trust?

What I want to emphasise is that Putin cannot be trusted. His article is not genuine. He is trying to protect Assad through any manipulative and dirty means necessary. Don’t take him at face value. Putin talks quietly and “reasonably” so as to look well intentioned. Remember how he treats his own people. What he does to those who stand up to him. The people he oppresses. He’s not preaching to you from a high pulpit, but from a dark dungeon. To understand him and to filter his words, you must know the “Great Game” of manipulative diplomacy that the Russians have always played. Right now, the free world is losing this game. Remember; Beowulf: “An astute man must take a measure of two things – words and deeds, and keep the two clear in his mind”.

Right now Putin is playing many naive people in the West by pretending he wants what they want – peace. But he is actually manipulating them for his own ends. Sound familiar? Hitler 1938.

With his article, Putin is trying to stir an isolationist sentiment. One in which he and his fellow dictators will be left alone by the US while they imprison, torture, and kill. This is the “peace” that we see in the world today. A phoney peace. That’s why there are so many political refugees today. When one dictator pushes it even further by waging war on his own people and crossing “red lines” by gassing innocent people, including children, Putin is counting on a disinterested world. A world intimidated into non-action by fear of war.

By not taking the right measure of the man behind the words, understanding his motives, they’re backing – indirectly – an immoral position.

“In an unprecedented move, President Vladimir Putin has written an article for the New York Times, declaring he wants to “speak directly to the American people”. Putin´s reminder of the UN´s purpose and why its power should not be undermined is both logical and diplomatic. Here is his plea for American restraint in full, please tell us what you think in the comments section.”

Putin speaks directly to the American people: and what he says makes perfect sense

They’ve been played:

Putin — Saruman Come Alive

Every Tyranny Is Paranoid

Mars One


Click image for Mars One link

This project just doesn’t look serious – especially with its ‘reality TV’ component. Their mission is overly optimistic to the point of being delusional. The technologies do not exist yet, particularly to shield against radiation. Ten years to establish a settlement (with a 2022 launch) is simply not possible. Even a massive increase in NASA’s budget, for example, could not do it within that timeframe. Whole industries need to be started up to support the project, and be maintained, to ensure its success. And addressing all the safety issues will cost a lot more than $6 billion. Frankly, any space exploration or colonisation on the cheap is criminal. Full trials of crafts, test flights, and testing of concepts/theories and materials on Mars would be essential. If you want a realistic vision of how we can colonise Mars read Buzz Aldrin’s Mission to Mars.

“More than 2500 Australians have applied for the one-way trip to Mars, which will double as a reality TV show.

The Mars One project, which aims to create the first human settlement on the Solar System’s second-smallest planet, has received 165,000 applications from astronaut hopefuls from 140 different countries.

“We now have a large group of applicants from where we can start our search,” Mars One chief medical officer Dr Norbert Kraft said.

“Finding the best crews of qualified and compatible individuals is crucial to the success of our mission.”

Successful applicants will have to say goodbye to Earth forever, with the first crew of four people expected to launch into space for their seven months journey to Mars in 2022.”

Australians apply to be part of the Mars One project

“The Martian surface is therefore extremely hostile to life, says Dr Veronica Bray, from the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, who is sceptical about the project.

There’s no liquid water, the atmospheric pressure is “practically a vacuum”, radiation levels are higher and temperatures vary wildly, she says.

“Radiation exposure is a concern, especially during the trip. This can lead to increased cancer risk, a lowered immune system and possibly infertility.”

To minimise radiation, the project team will cover the domes with several metres of soil, which the colonists will have to dig up.

“I have no doubt that we could physically place a human being on Mars. Whether they’d be able to survive for an extended period of time is much more doubtful,” adds Dr Bray.”

Applicants wanted for a one-way ticket to Mars

Is Cloning A Mammoth Worthwhile?

A researcher working near a carcass of a female mammoth found on a remote island in the Arctic Ocean. (AFP / NORTHEASTERN FEDERAL UNIVERSITY)

A researcher working near a carcass of a female mammoth found on a remote island in the Arctic Ocean. (AFP / NORTHEASTERN FEDERAL UNIVERSITY)

We cannot expect a cloned mammoth (even one that isn’t a hybrid with an elephant, but is 100% mammoth DNA) to be exactly like a genuine wild mammoth from prehistoric times. That animal is extinct and gone forever, along with its Ice Age environment. But that doesn’t mean the experiment is not worthwhile. We could still gain useful knowledge of mammoth physiology, as well as some instinctive behaviour.

If they created a whole herd and placed them in a similar environment –which has been suggested as a possibility– we could get certain clues as to their original behaviour during the Pleistocene.

A researcher holding a test tube with what the scientists called a sample of well-preserved blood they found in a carcass of a female mammoth discovered on a remote island in the Arctic Ocean. (AFP / NORTHEASTERN FEDERAL UNIVERSITY)

A researcher holding a test tube with what the scientists called a sample of well-preserved blood they found in a carcass of a female mammoth discovered on a remote island in the Arctic Ocean. (AFP / NORTHEASTERN FEDERAL UNIVERSITY)

Obviously, it can’t be exactly the way a mammoth would have lived. There would have been certain learned behaviour within the herd and in response to the Ice Age ecology that we will probably never know.

It won’t be a wild mammoth, so we won’t get an understanding of how a prehistoric mammoth would have behaved. However, just like an elephant born in captivity is still an elephant, this would still be technically a mammoth.

Woolly mammoth DNA may lead to a resurrection of the ancient beast

Return of the mammoth? Dolly scientist says beast should be cloned

The Correct True Origins Of Easter


Ishtar’s name and mythology has absolutely nothing to do with Easter. Ishtar (pronounced ‘ˈi sh ˌtär’) is a Babylonian goddess who ceased to be worshiped over a thousand years before Christ. The long dead Babylonian religion had zero influence on early Christianity.

Everyone knows that the Christian festival of Easter is the celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection. There have been many modern myths circulating around about Easter’s real origin, but these are a muddied mixture of half-truths and outright fiction.

The true origin of the Christian festival of Easter lies in the pre-existing Jewish festival of Passover, which celebrates the Jewish people’s escape from Egypt into the Promised Land. Christ’s last supper was a Passover meal, and his death and resurrection occurred during the Passover week. So naturally, the early Christians celebrated these events in line with the Jewish Passover.

It was when the Roman empire became Christianized that the Roman authorities sought to formalize it as a common religious festival. In AD 325 the Roman church stopped using the Jewish calendar, and calculated their own date for Easter as the first Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon. This year’s Passover occurs from the 25th of March to the 2nd of April, whilst Easter is the 31st of March. The eastern Orthodox Church celebrates Easter on the 5th of May, due to their use of the Julian calendar rather than our Gregorian calendar.

So why the claim that Easter has pagan origins? This is mainly the result of an Anglo-centric view of Easter. The English word for Easter is taken from the pagan spring festival of Eostre, which occurred around the same time, following the northern spring equinox. This is a phenomenon limited to the English speaking world, since non-English names for Easter are more representative of its origins. The name for Easter among the early Christians was Pascha, which is derived from the Hebrew Pesach, meaning Passover. Most languages derive their names for Easter from this, such as the Spanish Pascua, the Italian Pasqua, the French Paques, the Dutch Pasen, the Scandinavian Paske, the Russian Pascha, and the Middle Eastern Pesah. The original English names were Pash or Pace, but the name of the defunct pagan festival proved more popular. Most Slavic names mean “great night”, but the Croatian Uskrs and the Romanian Inviere mean resurrection.

Another reason for the pagan origin belief is that northern European nations have preserved some of the old spring festival traditions and fertility symbolism, such as eggs and rabbits. Other Christians do not have these pagan-origin elements in their celebration of Easter. It is a coincidence that the traditional pagan European spring festival takes place at the same time as the Jewish Passover and consequently Easter.

“God of the week

Once again, christianity shows why it is the “Borg” of religions. COMPLETELY incapable of coming up with original content, (this page comes up with a new God each and every week, how hard can it be?) christianity assimilates other religions holidays and then claims it as their own.

The funny and sad part is, the christards eat this plagiarism up and then go batshit crazy if you dare to point these FACTS out to them.

Thank you WEEKling Hanchen for this.

(PS, I apologize for the multiple posts this morning, but Facebook is glitchy again, and scheduled posts are not working right now.)

~PSIV — with Chuck King.”

God of the week – Timeline Photos

Every Tyranny Is Paranoid

A Little War That Shook The World

Click image for amazon.com link

UPDATE: July 31, 2013 President Vladimir Putin’s cruel tyranny is driven by paranoia

Tyrannies are always paranoid about threats to their regimes and so, naturally, Russia views every U.S. action as part of a grand game of chess.

David Goldman: “It’s instructive to view ourselves through a Russian mirror. The term “paranoid Russian” is a pleonasm. “The fact is that all Russian politicians are clever. The stupid ones are all dead. By contrast, America in its complacency promotes dullards. A deadly miscommunication arises from this asymmetry. The Russians cannot believe that the Americans are as stupid as they look, and conclude that Washington wants to destroy them,” I wrote in 2008 under the title “Americans play monopoly, Russians chess.” Russians have dominated chess most of the past century, for good reason: it is the ultimate exercise in paranoia. All the pieces on the board are guided by a single combative mind, and every move is significant. In the real world, human beings flail and blunder. For Russian officials who climbed the greasy pole in the intelligence services, mistakes are unthinkable, for those who made mistakes are long since buried.”

The Russians Think We’re Wrecking the World on Purpose

“Ronald Asmus: This war [The Russia–Georgia war of 2008] is all about the rules of the game in European security. And I think most Americans, perhaps even including people like me, thought five years ago that we had successfully all but completed a post-Cold War European security architecture that had rendered war in Europe impossible and had allowed the United States to shift its strategic focus away from Europe to new hotspots in the wider Middle East.

And the key moment in that was the [2002 NATO] Prague Summit where we completed the so-called “big bang” enlargement of NATO [to] Central and East Europe from the Baltic to the Black Sea.

I think what this war showed was that Russia no longer believes in those rules of the game, because those rules of the game were based, among other things, on the rights of countries to choose their own path and their own alliances.

And as I argued in the book, the fundamental cause of the war was not ethnicity, was not Abkhazia or South Ossetia. This was a war that was fought over Georgia’s desire to go West and Russia’s determination to stop it from going West.”

Interview: Georgia’s ‘Little War’ Raises Big Questions

Syria In Ruins

A man walks past a burnt car and damaged buildings along a street at the al-khalidiya neighbourhood of Homs

UPDATE1: April 5, 2013 Battle of Armageddon

UPDATE2: June 20, 2013 Syria’s Endgame: Prospects Dim, Options Narrow

UPDATE3: July 4, 2014 Obama vetoed British plan to create a 100,000 strong Free Syrian force in 2012

Had Obama intervened with a no fly zone or provided arms to the secular forces last year he could have cut off oxygen to the jihadists and the revolution would be over by now. Syria could have a transitional government favourable to the West and the hope of a friendly regime in the future. Instead, we have mass death, destruction, and the increasing influence of Islamists. A great historical opportunity has been missed to the detriment of the United States and the cost of tens of thousands of Syrian lives.

“The White House rejected the Clinton-Petraeus proposal over concerns it could draw the United States into the Syrian conflict and the arms could fall into the wrong hands, the Times said, citing unnamed Obama administration officials.”

White House rebuffed Clinton-Petraeus plan to arm Syrian rebels: report

“Pentagon leaders told Congress on Thursday that they had supported a recommendation to arm Syrian rebels promoted by the State Department and CIA but which President Barack Obama ultimately decided against.

Obama’s government has limited its support to non-lethal aid for the rebels who, despite receiving weapons from countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia, are poorly armed compared to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s army and loyalist militias.

Syria’s 22-month-long conflict has killed an estimated 60,000 people.

Senator John McCain, a Republican from Arizona, has championed greater U.S. involvement and chided the Obama administration at a hearing, asking Pentagon leaders: “How many more have to die before you recommend military action?” ”

Pentagon backed plan for U.S. to arm Syrian rebels

“Second, the lack of hope for an intervention by the West removed any impetus for maintaining a secular narrative. Many fighters who had pinned their hopes on NATO were greatly disappointed and angered that their suffering was ignored. It is not unusual for Syrian fighters to say something akin to, “What has the West done for us? We now have only God.”

When these ideological factors were combined with the infusion of money and arms that has been channeled to jihadist groups in Syria over the past year, the growth of Syrian jihadist groups accelerated dramatically. Not only are they a factor on the battlefield today, but they also will be a force to be reckoned with in the future.”

The Consequences of Intervening in Syria

Read more of this post

Met Office Adjusts Its Climate Forecast


Only 7 years until 2020 — better start covering their backsides!


BBC: An apparent standstill in global temperatures is used by critics of efforts to tackle climate change as evidence that the threat has been exaggerated.


When recording scientific observations there is no such thing as “apparent” data. The data are either right or they are wrong. The data show there has been no statistically significant warming for about 16 years. The gist of this BBC article is to beg people to ignore all the real world observations, and instead put their faith in a wonderful new computer simulation, purely driven by man-made models based on assumptions — and, indeed, hoped for outcomes.

Climate model forecast is revised

Major change in UK Met Office global warming forecast

Met Office Predictions


Taking On Scientology


For once, a country is seriously taking them on. It’s quite funny when the Scientologists accuse western democracies that have concerns about their behaviour of being “fascistic”.

“Scientologists may be facing their most daunting court case yet, and all it took was for someone to stop calling them a cult. After a years long legal battle, federal prosecutors in Belgium now believe their investigation is complete enough to charge the Church of Scientology and its leaders as a criminal organization on charges of extortion, fraud, privacy breaches, and the illegal practice of medicine. “The decision follows years of investigation that was triggered by a complaint by the Labour Mediation Service in the Brussels Region. Labour mediators were unhappy with a number of labour contracts,” reads the report from Flanders News. “The matter ended up on the desk of examining magistrate Michel Claise, who ordered raids on Church of Scientology premises in 2008. During the raids police managed to seize a wealth of evidence,” they add. And (with the help of Google translate) Belgian newspapers De Tijd and L’Echo are both reporting that the Belgian federal attorney is now seeking prosecution.”

Could Belgium Bring Down Scientology?


They’re fortunate they started their cult in the 20th century

“There is the public face of an organisation . . . that claims to offer guidance and support to its followers and there is the private face of an organisation that abuses its followers and viciously targets its critics, and seems largely driven by paranoia.

“Scientology is not a religious organisation; it is a criminal organisation that hides behind its so-called religious belief.”

Senator Xenophon tabled a letter from Perth man Aaron Saxton, in which he admits to torture and blackmail while working for the Church of Scientology in Australia and at its American headquarters between 1989 and 1996.

Mr Saxton says he assisted in the “forced confinement and torture” of a female church member who was kept under “house arrest” on a farm in western NSW for a month.

“Several abortions were ordered as well,” his letter states.

“The staff that got pregnant were taken into offices and put under duress.” His letter says the victims were “always in fear” because they were told they could be expelled from the church and “severed” from their family.

“We had one staff member who used a coat hanger and self-aborted her child . . . all her files were destroyed.”

Scientology criminal, says senator Nick Xenophon

Senator Nick Xenophon says Scientology is ‘a criminal organisation’

Obama Retreats, Russia Steps In

UPDATE: December 6, 2012 Expert panel: NASA seems lost in space, needs goal

Despite economic problems, Europeans realise the importance of space exploration.

“Europe and Russia are cementing their plans to explore Mars together.

European Space Agency member states have approved the agreement that would see Russia take significant roles in Red Planet missions in 2016 and 2018.

The former is a satellite that will look for methane and other trace gases in the atmosphere; the latter will be a surface rover.

Russian participation fills a void left by the Americans who pulled back from the projects earlier this year.

For a while, it looked as though the ventures, known as ExoMars, might have to be cancelled. But Russian desire to pick up many of the elements dropped by the US means ExoMars is now on a much surer footing.

Esa member states indicated their happiness with the cooperation text on Monday. All that remains is for the documentation to be signed by both parties.

This is likely to happen before the end of the year.”

Russia and Europe joint Mars bid agreement approved

“European Space Agency (Esa) member states have resolved key issues at their ministerial council and agreed a 10.1bn-euro programme of activities.

The big decisions included a go-ahead for an upgrade on Europe’s Ariane 5 rocket in parallel with design work on a replacement for the early 2020s.

Esa nations also approved the project to provide the propulsion unit for Nasa’s new manned capsule, Orion.

In the surprise of the meeting, even the UK put money into this project.

It has long stayed out of the agency’s human spaceflight activities, but agreed to a one-off, 20m-euro contribution because of the technology development it could enable in a number of British companies.

“We’re confident our interests will be reflected,” UK science minister David Willetts said.

Most of the meeting’s agenda had been worked out in advance. Great uncertainty however had remained over how much the 20 nations could commit to space in the midst of the Eurocrisis.

With that context in mind, Esa director-general Jean Jacques Dordain expressed great satisfaction at the outcome.

“Member states recognise that space is not an expense; it’s an investment,” he said.”

European Space Agency defines Ariane and space station plans

One Giant Leap For Mankind

One Giant Leap Backwards

Obama Hammers The Last Nails Into The Coffin Of NASA

NASA’s “Foremost” Mission Under Obama

The Eagle Is Grounded

Obama To Cut NASA’s Budget