Long debate ended over cause, demise of ice ages – solar and earth wobble

In a publication to be released Friday in the journal Science, researchers from Oregon State University and other institutions conclude that the known wobbles in Earth’s rotation caused global ice levels to reach their peak about 26,000 years ago, stabilize for 7,000 years and then begin melting 19,000 years ago, eventually bringing to an end the last ice age.

“We can calculate changes in the Earth’s axis and rotation that go back 50 million years,” Clark said. “These are caused primarily by the gravitational influences of the larger planets, such as Jupiter and Saturn, which pull and tug on the Earth in slightly different ways over periods of thousands of years.”

That, in turn, can change the Earth’s axis – the way it tilts towards the sun – about two degrees over long periods of time, which changes the way sunlight strikes the planet. And those small shifts in solar radiation were all it took to cause multiple ice ages during about the past 2.5 million years on Earth, which reach their extremes every 100,000 years or so.

Sometime around now, scientists say, the Earth should be changing from a long interglacial period that has lasted the past 10,000 years and shifting back towards conditions that will ultimately lead to another ice age – unless some other forces stop or slow it.

via Long debate ended over cause, demise of ice ages – solar and earth wobble – CO2 not main driver « Watts Up With That?.

As the World Turns

Even though the waning of American hegemony can be clearly seen on the horizon, the fundamental reality is that it’s a long way off. China’s economy is basically only Japan-sized, and the country faces massive challenges starting with the fact that the majority of the population is still impoverished peasant farmers. India is even worse off. Japan is in demographic decline. Europe isn’t an actual country and can’t really make foreign-policy decisions.

In other words, our power is slipping away, but only very slowly.

via As the World Turns | The American Prospect.

It’s Always About Sex – Jihad That Is

It is no coincidence that the Arabic word “fitna” has two meanings – beautiful woman and social chaos.

Glazov writes that in many Islamic societies, “women are supposed to dehumanise themselves in order to be tolerated … Women are considered to be the incarnation of shahwa [desire] which comes from the devil. In this environment the pathological notion arises that a man and a woman cannot be alone without the ominous threat of evil in their midst.

“The men denigrate the object of their lust so as to diminish their own shame. In this dynamic of sexual repression and misogyny, love is reduced to violent domination which becomes directly intertwined with terrorism against societies that allow women freedom, especially sexual freedom.”

viaFrustration fuels acts of hatred. Continue reading “It’s Always About Sex – Jihad That Is”

253mph is New World Record Wind Gust

The concession came three days after the World Meteorological Organization posted a snippet on its Web site saying a panel of experts reviewing extreme weather and climate data turned up a 253 mph gust on Australia’s Barrow Island during Cyclone Olivia in 1996.

That tops the 231 mph record set atop Mount Washington on April 12, 1934. “Somehow it fell through the cracks and the Australians didn’t think it was a big deal,” he said. “We hear that, and it kinds of blows our minds, but of course, we’re weather fans and we’re tuned into that sort of thing.” http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100126/ap_on_sc/us_wind_record_toppled

“Pants on the Ground” Vs. Susan Boyle

I just find it interesting that what goes viral from England is Susan Boyle singing a lament about their Lost Empire, while Brett Favre is celebrating a football play-off win with his teammates with a round of this viral song from the American version of Idol. 

China – Land of Dinosaur Discovery

What killed the dinosaurs? Scientist Wang Haijun thinks the answer may be buried inside a 980-foot-long ravine in the Chinese countryside 415 miles southeast of Beijing where hundreds of the creatures may have huddled in the final moments before their extinction.

The fossils here — more than 15,000 fractured, mangled and blackened bones from about 65 million years ago in the late Cretaceous period right before they went extinct — support theories of a catastrophe.

What’s even more intriguing is that there are seven distinctive “floors” of dead dinosaurs in the pit. Some of the soil is yellow, other layers are red clay, which Xu said seems to show that “there wasn’t just one event. The dinosaur bones are preserved in different layers, suggesting they were killed in several different times,” he said.

via China spends billions to study dinosaur fossils at sites of major discoveries – washingtonpost.com.

Avatar Banned in China

Hong Kong’s Apple Daily reported that the state-run China Film Group had instructed cinemas nationwide to stop showing the 2-D version of Avatar from January 23 on orders from Beijing’s propaganda chiefs.

The newspaper said: “Reportedly, the authorities have two reasons for this check on Avatar: first, it has taken in too much money and has seized market share from domestic films, and second, it may lead audiences to think about forced removal, and may possibly incite violence.”

via Avatar on road to Oscars after Golden Globe wins (contains video).

The War on Spam & Cybercrime

While Western governments debate the efficacy, or legality, of going on the offensive against Internet spies and criminals, more Internet security companies, and academic researchers, are taking the initiative. The most recent victory was the elimination of the Neustar of Lethic botnet, which represented about ten percent of all spam email sent.

The biggest victory took place in 2008, when a small ISP, McColo Corporation, was taken off line. This caused worldwide spam traffic to decline by over 50 percent in one day. Before that, two similar ISPs, the Russian Business Network and Intercage, had a less dramatic impact on spam traffic, and Internet based criminal activity in general, when they were shut down.

Internet crime, particularly spam (unsolicited email) has become a big money maker. Because of the very low cost of sending it, you need only one response for several million spam messages, to make lots of money. But the same ISPs that host the spammers, also host operations that try to sneak into business, government and personal computers to steal stuff (bank account information, trade secrets, classified military information).

via Information Warfare: The War Below.

History of Violence in Buddhism

Armed Buddhist monks in Thailand are not an exception to the rule; they are contemporary examples of a long historical precedence. For centuries monks have been at the helm, or armed in the ranks, of wars. How could this be the case? But more importantly, why did I (and many others) hold the belief that Buddhism=Peace (and that other religions, such as Islam, are more prone to violence)?

It was then that I realized that I was a consumer of a very successful form of propaganda. Since the early 1900s, Buddhist monastic intellectuals such as Walpola Rahula, D. T. Suzuki, and Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, have labored to raise Western awareness of their cultures and traditions. In doing so, they presented specific aspects of their Buddhist traditions while leaving out others.

You have monks taking up arms and marching in the Russo-Japanese War, or earlier messianic battles in China when they thought killing people would bring them closer to enlightenment (a Ten Stage Process). Buddhists have fought against non-Buddhists, or other Buddhists. Japanese Buddhists fought to cleanse the impure Buddhist lands in China and Korea. Thai and Burmese fought for centuries against each other, each claiming religious authority as Cakravartins. This is what the book covers.

via Monks With Guns: Discovering Buddhist Violence | RDBook | ReligionDispatches. Continue reading “History of Violence in Buddhism”

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