jeudi 31 décembre 2015

Best Conspiracy Theory Ever?

What's the most interesting or entertaining conspiracy theory you've ever heard? It doesn't have to be the cleverest, most plausible or best researched.

I personally have a great weakness for David Icke's reptile people stuff. For several weeks I just couldn't get enough of it. I also think the phantom time hypothesis is a first-rate conspiracy theory, but I haven't read as much about it.

via International Skeptics Forum

My Philosophy of Life

Over the past few years, I have formulated my philosophy of life, a 14-page document that may be downloaded from this webpage:

In the first half of the document, I present and defend a number of philosophical positions, beginning with atheism and culminating with negative hedonism.

The second half of the document is devoted primarily to methods for achieving and maintaining peace of mind. I have found these methods to be invaluable in practice.

I am sharing my philosophy here in order to solicit feedback so that it may be improved. I look forward to a constructive discussion.

via International Skeptics Forum

Company Perks for Employees

A friend of mine recently got the Coffee Master black apron and I was wondering if he got some sort of perk along with it, considering that the salary is not that great. It reminded me of when I was younger and managed a movie theater. Although managed was an exaggeration of what I did. I basically did everything for $3 an hour. I spliced the movies together, ran the ticket booth, ran the refreshment stand and cleaned out the theaters.

It was a small theater so the actual manager would sometimes be passed out drunk in his office and I would run around doing it all by myself using the ropes to cordon off the groups. So keep 'em in the lobby buying the tickets.

Then letting them in to get the refreshements, then running up to start the movie.

Even though it was a crappy job I got some perks like, obviously free movies, but also whatever I found on the floors in the theater. (I never kept anything important)

But I also got to crank the stereos in the theater when I cleaned up which was pretty awesome.

Just curious what kind of perks you get at your jobs that the average person doesn't know about?

For example if you work in a phone store do you get free phones? If you work in a gamestop do you get free games?

This article is fun to read.

Hopefully now we can stay on topic! :thumbsup::D

via International Skeptics Forum

Feds suspends civil forfeiture sharing with local agencies

The PTB glommed more than $1.2 billion from the federal Assets Forfeiture Fund (AFF) and are telling the local agencies that seized the money and/or property in the first place that future payments to the agencies under the revenue sharing arrangement that the local agencies entered into with the feds are being "deferred" and the program itself is suspended.

Unfortunately I don't believe that civil forfeitures are going to disappear because of this, but if local agencies don't have the luxury of getting the feds involved (w/ a looser interpretation of acceptable methods of seizing cash or property) they'll be forced to comply with various state laws controlling asset forfeiture and that may cut down a little on the asset seizure madness that goes on in some jurisdictions.

In my agency, forfeitures only occurred after actual convictions, and were carried out in accordance with state law - the feds only stepped in when they had some sort of interest in the person(s) or criminal act involved, and it usually involved a particular CCE and narcotics sales.

via International Skeptics Forum

Nearly $2 Million Embezzled From A Credit Union

She got away with it for HOW LONG!?!?

There are several points that just hack me off. The big one is she was ripping off a low income community, which could ill-afford this kind of crap. She screwed over her friends, and then tried to throw her son and daughter-in-law under the bus. Seriously? I'll be surprised if these kids are even talking to mom when she gets out of prison.

But on top of that, consider how long it happened. It was only recently that she was busted. I don't give a damn how good you are at fooling the auditors, I question that she was actually that good. How the hell did the auditors miss all of this, unless they weren't really looking?

I don't have the financial background to understand this. Could someone explain this one to me?

via International Skeptics Forum

White People Must Take Responsibility for Donald Trump

Can you imagine what the response would be if a major newspaper published an opinion piece titled:
Black People Must Take Responsibility for Michael Brown

Racism for me, but not for thee, I guess.

via International Skeptics Forum

Lonely People's Brains Wired Differently

This article talks about the way lonely people tend to create situations and maintain their loneliness by seeking out conflict and trying to get attention. I guess to them even "negative attention" is better than 'no attention."


In a real-world context, this is a troubling finding. When people feel most alone, these results suggest their brains are not tuned in to smiles and laughter, they’re switched on to frowns and snarls — they’re vigilantly looking out for negativity without really knowing it

I'm curious how they distinguish between loneliness and an introvert?

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Huge Fire In Downtown Dubai High-Rise Hotel

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Dubai Address hotel fire

I have no idea where this post should go, so I started a new thread. Regardless of where it should go, this is relevant to the collapses of WTC 1, 2 and 7 because they are all steel-framed high-rise buildings.

So, right now the building is on fire. It appears the fire is spreading rapidly. It is dark, but the flames are highlighting the structure. Although the pictures are limited, it does not appear that any of the supporting structure is melting, sagging, or weakening. It does not look like there is any deformation of any kind.

Let's just see how long the fire lasts, what it takes to put it out, and what the building looks like after this is over.

Listen to eyewitness reports. Watch closely. Listen for the sounds of explosions. Observe everything.

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The Observer Delusion

Richard Dawkins' provocatively titled book of 2006 seems to have put a stake through the heart of belief in God. Science most certainly seems to have God on the ropes, so to speak. Personally, I think that's great and very healthy for all concerned. Too many wars and too much nonsense down to this "God."

Some scientific minds can nowadays often be found ridiculing God affirmers and enjoying themselves at the expense of these believers. Well, so what?

But wait, could it be true that these same scientists actually have themselves a deeply held untested belief within them? One that they will try to convince themselves is true despite a massive lack of physical evidence? Surely not! Well, actually, yes they do!

It's called The Observer. It is the scientists' own personal God Delusion - an inner watcher of all that happens. The outer watcher (God) might be on the ropes but the inner version is still going great guns. Belief in this mysterious apparition afflicts many scientists, academics, philosophers, and other interested parties studying consciousness.

Materialist theories of consciousness usually come down these days to either neuronal or quantum theories, the former generally taken much more seriously. Neural processing creates representations of external reality and these are acted upon by the brain. There is no need for any observer of any of this. And there's not one shred of physical evidence for an observer. Yet, try as they might, these Ph.D.s struggle to just let the Observer go.

Giulio Tononi starts his second paragraph for the abstract for his much-vaunted Integrated Information Theory with the sentence - "I know I am conscious: I am seeing, hearing, feeling something here, inside my own head." In the first paragraph he notes that neural activity in the cerebellum is unconscious whereas that in the cerebral cortex can give rise to consciousness. What is he saying here? That there is some Observer inside the brain? Someone that can see conscious processing but not unconscious? Surely not. And he is not the only one. Don Hoffman, Dave Chalmers, John Searle, even Mike Graziano, and many many others all apparently believe that there is someone who witnesses conscious neural processing.

They are suffering from the Observer Delusion.

And it creates so many problems. Researchers are trying to find secondary and even tertiary neural transduction to account for processing turning into representations and then back again after they've been acted upon by this mysterious observer. Even though there's no known way this could happen. A recent straw poll of consciousness researchers showed that some 75% still believed that there was a paradigm-sized explanatory gap between neural processing and conscious experience, something which I submit can only come about because they're obsessively believing in an observer of consciousness.

Now don't get me wrong. Letting go of the observer does not clear everything up and mean that we can now immediately understand consciousness. In fact it raises as many questions as it does answer them, if not more. And of course it is needed to admit to and discuss the illusion, if it is to be materialistically accounted for. Maybe that was even Tononi's reason for making those statements. But surely now it's time to put this illusion to rest and see what neural reality would look like if we were not driven to try and factor in or model an observer into the equation. If no one sees consciousness, what does this say about so-called unconscious processing, for example?

Are you willing to take that step and investigate?

via International Skeptics Forum

Need suggestions for an exotic fabric.

We're talking about the characteristics of certain textiles here, so it's sciency.

For a short story I need the protagonist to be able to identify an "exotic" bit of cloth. It shouldn't be well-known or easily obtained and should have a distinctive tactile reference, so he can ID it by touch alone. It should be thin enough that he can read slightly raised areas underneath it. And it should be attractive enough that someone would spend a lot of money making an article of clothing from it.

I have requests out elsewhere, but this kind of thing calls for widening the pool considerably, and that's ISF.

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Peruvian UFO shootdown

Several articles doing the media rounds this week about a 1980 incident where a Lt Huerta was scrambled in a Peruvian fighter jet to shoot down a UFO.

Some quotes from -


"The object then shot rapidly skywards away from the base, prompting Colonel Huerta to activate the plane’s afterburner to give chase 500m behind. As they reached the city of Camana, 84km from the base, the object came to a sudden stop, forcing him to veer to the side."
"The bottom was a wider circular base, a silver colour, and looked like some kind of metal. It lacked all the typical components of aircraft. It had no wings, propulsion jets, exhausts, windows, antennae, and so forth. It had no visible propulsion system."
The only reference to this incident I can find in skeptical literature is from Skeptical Inquirer in 2011, which dismissed it as a weather balloon without much discussion.

Anyone familiar with a more thorough explanation?

via International Skeptics Forum

What does isis want regarding immigrants?

Here I make the case it is too inflame people into attacking Muslim immigrants...
That way they can convert people to the cause.
Your thoughts?

via International Skeptics Forum

mercredi 30 décembre 2015

Police defend selves against deadly threat...

Cops sic dog on baby who fails to step out of car:

via International Skeptics Forum

the value of Edx, Coursera and Udacity certificates

What are the values of Coursera, edX and Udacity certificates for a resume?
I am from Belgium and I want to follow some free courses on EDx, but I don't know wether the verified certificates have any value in my country. It's always nice to have a certificate from Harvard or MIT, but are these certificates worth the effort?
Thanks for feedback.

via International Skeptics Forum

YouTube response/debate culture

A bunch of the videos I've watched there, in which a person talks about a debated subject, start off by saying they're responding to a video by someone else.

When it's just two people who want to go back & forth at each other like that, it's easy to see how they'd be aware of each other's responses: they can just subscribe to each other's channels and see the responses pop up in their subscriptions, along with all of each other's other videos.

But it sometimes takes a different form: one person puts out a general request or challenge to whoever wants to answer, and then some number of other people answer. Is there a box the responders fill in when uploading telling YouTube that it's a response to another video, so the original person can get a list of response videos? Does the responder just put a link to the response as a comment under the original along with all of its other comments, and possibly not get it seen by the original person if there are too many other comments? Does the responder just expect that the original will never see it, and offer the response only for other people's consumption?

via International Skeptics Forum

Republicans, how do you feel about the fact that your front-runner... a conspiracy theorist (birther), racist, xenophobe, reality TV star billionaire? How do you feel about the fact that the guy that is second won't condeme the front-runner POS and is a first term US Senator who "thought" that he could strong arm President Obama into gutting Obamacare by shutting down the federal government?

bonus points if you don't mention Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders

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Is String Theory a Scientific Theory?

I love this guy's blog, and he's been against String Theory for awhile (he's an inflation-theory proponent). Now he's saying that String Theory isn't a scientific theory. Is he right?

"Although there was an entire conference on it earlier this month, spurred by a controversial opinion piece written a year ago by George Ellis and Joe Silk, the answer is very clear: no, string theory is not a scientific theory. The way people are trying to turn it into science is — as Sabine Hossenfelder and Davide Castelvecchi report — by redefining what “science” is.


If you want to rise to the level of a scientific theory, you have to make a testable — and hence, falsifiable or validatable — predictions. Even a physical state that arises as a consequence of an established theory, such as the multiverse, isn’t a scientific theory until we have a way to confirm or refute it; it’s only a hypothesis, even if it’s a good hypothesis. What’s interesting about string theory is that when it was first proposed, it was called the string hypothesis, as it was recognized this idea hadn’t yet risen to the status of a full-fledged theory.

Siegel seems to be taking a middle-road approach: String Theory could become a scientific theory, but at the moment, it's too much of a stretch to give it the title "theory".

via International Skeptics Forum

Does Obamacare intentionally create denial of service at the end of the year?

Hi, I just got a letter telling me that my wife would be dis enrolled from the state health care program by the 31st of December. This letter was sent the 24th of december and we got it on the 28th. I tried calling the 29th and 30th of december but the lines are down. I went into the local Mnsure office but was turned away saying that I need to go wait at the office at Saint Paul and to not worry about it because it was a mass mailing that was sent to a whole bunch of people.

This leads me to the conspiracy theory part of this. What does MNSure need to send a letter that guarantees that 100% of the people getting will call between the dates of the 28th to 31st of December-the last days of open enrollment. Yeap they creating a denyial of service attack to their own program for whatever mysterious reasons.

The lady at MNSure told me to call after the 1st of January which leads me to the second part of the conspiracy. Apparently if you are dis enrolled you have to pay a special premium even if you are re enrolled.

Thats just a guess. I have no idea why MNSURE wants the phone lines to be essentially down until after open enrollment. Does anybody that knows what I am talking about have any ideas?

via International Skeptics Forum

Fetzer supports Trump, gets fired from Barrett's show

Kevin Barrett has a webcast on called False Flag Weekly Report, which until very recently featured Jim Fetzer as co-host. But...


Note to our loyal viewers from No Lies Radio:
If you have been watching our recent shows it is obvious that Kevin and Jim have developed irreconcilable differences and as a consequence things simply blew up: Kevin fired Jim and Jim quit. They cannot work together anymore. Jim is moving on with some new shows of his own. Kevin will continue to anchor False Flag Weekly news with a variety of national and international guest anchors to give brand new perspectives on the news we report. We at No Lies Radio appreciate the service that Jim gave to this show and wish him well with his new shows.

Their last archived show together was on December 10, with Barrett (a Muslim) reporting from Paris where he was attending a "False Flag Islamophobia Conference" (which he says is a protest to another Islamophobia conference that had rejected his paper on "False Flags and Islamophobia"). Barrett talks about Donald Trump "saying Muslims shouldn't be allowed into the United States. That means, I guess, I'd have to stay here in Paris. I couldn't get back in. I'm gonna have to ask Jim Fetzer to explain what's going on with Donald Trump," It turns out, Fetzer is down with that plan, so things heat up. Then something triggers Fetzer into attacking Barrett for being homophobic and Barrett counters by calling Fetzer a "bombastic loudmouth *******." They managed to finish the show, but apparently continued the discussion later...

via International Skeptics Forum

mardi 29 décembre 2015

Star wars rehashing?

This link claims that the new star wars film is a rehash of the this true? (Note, I haven't seen it yet)

via International Skeptics Forum

Should suicide be more socially acceptable?

I use the term "socially acceptable" in place of legal, because I don't believe there is a criminal statute in the US that prohibits suicide ( although please correct me if I'm wrong).
But it is ethical to attempt to prevent an individual from ending his/her own life if that is their choice?

via International Skeptics Forum

Racial/Ethnic Affinity Housing for colleges

I just read about a recent phenomenon on America's college campuses. Its called "Affinity Housing".

When I was in college, you could select a dormitory floor that was quiter, floors that had more athletes, etc.

No, it seems this has expanded greatly.

I see that Merrimack College let's students select dorm floors that focus on "Faith and Spirituality". And now students at Yale want a floor devoted to black culture.

What does this smell like? It smells like racial/ethnic/religious segregation & balkanization.

How the **** can we allow students elect to live on a floor with only Jews, or only blacks, or only Christians?

We always hear about how we need Affirmative Action due to the inherent benefit to cultural and racial diversity on campus. But no we're going to let students choose to have NO cultural or racial diversity on their dormitory floor?

This nation has gone crazy.


via International Skeptics Forum

The REAL tin foil hat

Oh. Noes!


'The alarming statistics surround cell phone emissions have prompted Shield Headwear founders to investigate methods of protecting society from these inevitable dangers,' according to the firm.

'Studies show that cellular radiation and Wi-Fi emissions are responsible for cell mutations and growth leading to terribly medically complications.'


Shield Headwear is running a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of $19,628.

As of right now, it has attracted 235 backers who have pledged a total of $17,218.
"A Fool and His Money are soon Parted." Anon

via International Skeptics Forum

Bernie wants to raise taxes

According to the following article, Bernie wants to raise income taxes on the richest 90%!!!!

rates haven't been that high on the rich since 1961.

there is no way, under any circumstances, such a plan would pass Congress.

plus the fact that most of the wealthy make their money from Long-Term Capital Gains, and not salaries, so unless Bernie is willing to also raise capital gains tax rates to 90%, his plan to raise another $1 trillion in taxes every year is dead in the water.

via International Skeptics Forum

California Woman Asking About "Bulk" Ammo Purchase Results In Visit From Police.

tl,dr version:

Brown skinned woman hassled by cops over a question about a bulk ammo purchase:

What a bunch of Dicks.

I don't know about the other gun enthusiasts / haters here, but I don't consider 8 boxes of 556 a bulk ammo purchase, not that she even attempted to purchase it in the first place. And that's just one level of wrong here.

Welcome to California y'all.


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Israel ex pm to go to prison.

How come this prick gets to wait till 15 feb before going to prison?

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HappY Birthday

Being my BIrthday today(no please dont!)the old JREF forum used to send their wishes via email and the forum displayed appropriate dancing smileys, sadly today this didnt happen.

I mourn for the old days. :(

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Is this the scientific method?

You get an idea. You gather the facts. You put these facts to work in a laboratory or other environment and test your theory. If your idea truns out to be right then your idea becomes a fact.

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Jerry Lewis supports Trump but not refugees

“Refugees should stay where the hell they are,” said Lewis bluntly. “Hey, no one has worked harder for the human condition than I have, but they’re not part of the human condition. If 11 guys in the group of 10,000 are ISIS—how can I take that chance?”

:( Hey Lady!!!

via International Skeptics Forum

Comet Passes Near Arcturus - Early January 1

The magnitude +7.0 comet C/2013 US 10 Catalina will appear to pass the magnitude -0.0 star Arcturus by 0.4° during the morning of 2016 JAN 01 at 11:30 UT (05:30 CST). For almost all of North America this will occur before sunrise with the comet and star above the horizon. A telescope or binoculars will be necessary.

The comet will then be virtually at its peak brilliance which is expected on January 7. It will be closest to Earth on January 17 at 0.7244 AU.

I’ve created several preview graphics and an ephemeris. They can be viewed at

Photos and descriptions of the comet would be welcome additions to this thread.

via International Skeptics Forum

Guess who is Muslim of the year

In the back of a Chuck E Cheese the great minds behind WorldNetDaily shared a conference table with a birthday party for a ten year old named Jimmy and discussed at length who they would declare as "Muslim Of The Year". This was not a decision to be made lightly. They knew that all over America that one really annoying guy in your facebook feed would be counting on this for a headline grabbing status share.


As we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and rejoice in the greatness of His and the Father’s universe, we turn to the New Year. A traditional ritual is reflecting on the past year, and as Time Magazine does, anointing the most prominent person of 2015. Indeed, 2015 has been for all practical purposes the “Year of the Muslim.” So I will satirically recognize the most influential “Muslim of the Year,” someone who has cleverly through various means, radically changed the world order and most furthered the Islamic caliphate based on the death of all infidels to Allah.
Naturally they went with the obvious decision to name Barack Obama as "Muslim Of The Year" then stole a slice of Jimmy's pizza. Who could argue against this?


No other Muslim has done as much, particularly given his power as president of the United States, to further Allah’s goal of a Christian and Jew-free world.
I knew all those executive orders demanding Jews and Christians report for "resettlement" were fishy. In fact when you look down the list of Obama policy objectives it is clear they were all ever intended to lead to a world of Muslim domination. Obamacare? More like Islamacare! ARRA? Definitely code for something Arabic and unholy. High speed trains? Sure, straight into the FEMA extermination camps!


The Holy Quran, as Obama likes to call it, teaches that this false god’s will must be obeyed and that all infidels must perish from the earth.
And we know that all people of a faith must always obey the entirety of their holy books without deviation.


As the inscription reads on a ring the “Muslim of the Year” has worn since college, “There is no god but Allah,” his actions and non-actions have paid homage to his real and only “deity.”
You didn't know that Obama wears an Islamic ring of power? Don't worry. Seems no one but WND knows of this.


Indeed, Obama can issue all the Christmas messages he falsely utters to the American people and the world – pretending to be a Christian for political expediency, subterfuge and dastardly cover – but after seven years of his presidency, “We the People” are no longer fooled. You do not have to be Donald Trump to see reality at this point…
Of course Trump was right....wait....has Trump accused Obama of being a secret Muslim?

So, there you have it. Obama, Muslim of the year.

via International Skeptics Forum

lundi 28 décembre 2015

Steven Avery: Making of a Murderer

Anyone else watching this Netflix doc? I'm a few episodes in. I really want to believe this guy is innocent. But right now I can't come up with a plausible case for innocence. Anyone?

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Kim Dotcom

Kim Dotcom has lost the first round of his battle to avoid extradition from New Zealand to the USA to face charges of internet piracy, and the chance for "decades in jail". Two opinion pieces with contrary views have been published in the NZ herald in the last few days. The herald website has countless articles on this four year saga to peruse.


It may be that these sort of practices are technically legal but it is in the interests of content providers and users that we find out. We cannot find out until Dotcom goes to the US and faces trial. He should go now.

Paul Little

But I have my suspicions. Now the courts say we can send the German to the US to face charges over acts that better-established corporates are performing with impunity.

The irony is that if Dotcom, whom the authorities worked very hard to allow in here in the first place, had the foresight to be born in Saudi Arabia rather than Germany, we would have taken a firm stand on a matter of principle, withstood any outside pressure and defended to our last breaths his inviolable right to bring his fortune here.

I would be interested in thoughts here unravelling the various issues.

via International Skeptics Forum

Scientist Concerts or Shows or Live Discussions

So I thought I'd start a thread to get some feedback. I want to take my son to see Neil deGrasse Tyson. I figured I'd wait until he showed up at the Hayen Planetarium because it would be a better show, but it turns out it would take a while.

Meanwhile a friend of mine recently saw him at the Kings Theater in Brooklyn. He was less than impressed and called Tyson 101 for dummies. He pointed out that if my son had watched any of his documentaries that he'd be bored. He also said he felt like $100 was a rip off.

So I figured I'd start a thread where people can share who they've seen live at shows, where. Feedback who was good?

I want to inspire my kid this year and I figured that taking him to live shows of famous scientists would do it.

Or do any of you have suggestions about other shows? He's about 15 years old.

via International Skeptics Forum


I intend on drinking a toast on New Years Eve to all the debunkers who have come and gone.
Who's with me, to TAM and Gravy.

via International Skeptics Forum

intelligent evolution

Evolution may be more intelligent than we thought, according to a University of Southampton professor. Professor Richard Watson says new research shows that evolution is able to learn from previous experience, which could provide a better explanation of how evolution by natural selection produces such apparently intelligent designs.

via International Skeptics Forum

WTC7 sim: Applying ALL failures, not just G79-44 on floor 13

NIST-reports - decrypted version from which you can copy&paste can be found here:
(Thanks to MrKoenig from The911Forum.)

The short story of the NIST's collapse initiation is that the fire-induced failure of G79-44 on floor 13 triggered progressive floor collapses, leaving column 79 critically unbraced.

NIST arrived at this by the following sequence of models and their results:
  1. They modeled fire progression through floors 5-16 to get a couple of heating regimes
  2. They applied those heating regimes to a 16-story model in ANSYS
  3. ANSYS
  4. They found that fire Case B best fit observations
  5. After 4 hours of Case B fires, ANSYS had identified which girders, beams and connections were damaged and failed
  6. In a separate LS-DYNA model of 47 floors, they first applied gravity loads, then external damage, then temperatures prevalent after 4 hours of the ANSYS model, then, suddenly and at the same time, all damages that ANSYS found.
  7. Girder and beam connections determined to have "failed" started to fall in that model.
  8. The dynamic impact of falling masses on floors below was computed by LS-DYNA and found to punch out floor slabs below, such that after a few seconds, column 79 (and 80, 81) were unbraced over several stories and failed
  9. Total progressive collapse followed.

Now everybody always focuses on the G79-44 girder on floor 13, that "walked off" to the west, in NIST's story, being pushed off its seat by epanding secondary beams to its east.
Much debate ensues over whether such a "walk off" to west is plausible, with ARUP finding a "pull off" to either east or north plausible as well, and Truthers denying whatever they can.


What everybody seems to be ignoring is that this G79-44 girder on floor 13 wasn't the only girder or beam falling!

NIST also reports on a failure on the 14th floor of the connection of the G77-80 girder at column 79, which fell onto floor 13 and also apparently cascaded down.

To verify this is true, turn to Figure 11–36 of NIST NCSTAR 1-9 (see link at the beginning of the post) on page 512 (p578 of the PDF):

Column 80 is the center column of the three right-most core columns, and the G77-80 girder is the one to its left (west). Its connection on column 80 is drawn as a black dot, black meaning it has failed completely. The girder is drawn red, meaning it has lost vertical support. The secondary floor beams extending to both sides (north and south) are also drawn red, as their vertical support depends on G77-80 being vertically supported, which it isn't.

The LS-DYNA model starts running at a time t=0 without loads and damages. During the first 8.5 seconds, NIST applies gravity, external damage and temperatures and allows for the structure to settle. This is described in Section 12.3.2 on page 563 (p629 of the PDF) and following.

Then, at 8.5 s, NIST applies all the Case B fire damage that ANSYS determined after 4 h (Section 11.3.2, start at page 503), to the LS-DYNA model.
Failed connections are let fall.

Figure 12-42 shows the result at 9.5 seconds - 1 s later:

Note that this Figure shows floor structures from both floor 13 and floor 14 dropping on the respective floor below inside the area circled red on the right.

Figure 12-43 then shows the situation another 6 seconds later:

(Note that this image is only a PART of Figure 12-43 - the rest of the Figure has plots with the vertical stress and displacement of columns 79, 80 and 81).

In this image, the floor failures on floor 13 and floor 14 have already reached floor 5.

I am wondering:
  • What if only floor 14 had collapsed - or had collapsed ahead of the floor 13 G79-44? Could this have triggered the fl13 G79-44 collapse even if that girder had not walked off?
  • Has NIST, or anyone, considered this?
  • Is that a scenario that we could ask Dr. Hulsey to check out?
  • How appropriate was if of NIST to let all ANSYS failures occur at the same time in LS-DYNA, given that they most likely would have occurred at different points in time?

via International Skeptics Forum

Disneyland deported Muslims
Apparently the muslim family banned from Disneyland checks for terrorists...discrimination?

via International Skeptics Forum

dimanche 27 décembre 2015

Did Trump read my two year old tax plan post before he ran?

Dear Reader,

Trumps tax plan Looks identical to what I wrote years back including the cut offs. I havent read it in some years but think I came up with the 15% small business tax and the one time 15% seizure of assets from the top earners.

What he didn't grab on to was my idea of a top tax rate of 25% of both earned and unearned income. Maybe he was saving that for his next term.

Anyways theres billions of people out there is is quite possible that he came up with his great tax plan on his own; or read mine and forgot about it, Thanks Brant

via International Skeptics Forum

ebay scams

I guess I have mostly benefited from the item not as described loophole that ebay has that allows sellers to return items for a full refund including shipping though I personally usually pay for the shipping. Often items don't work out the way you think they will and you get your money back on that expensive item. There have been occasions where the seller will provide the tracking for the wrong place (wrong country even), wrong item, broken piece of an item and those are the hardest to get your money back from probably because Ebay makes the most money from them.
Dear Reader

I haven't sold much on ebay but I have been scammed a few times as a seller with the item not as described refund exploit. Like right now, I sold a new item but took it out of the package to save shipping, guy got item and filed a complaint that he got but it it wasn't in the box. Its an medical item that didn't anymore use that I sold for a discount and a box doesn't enhance its usefulness one bit. the person has 100% rating but probably 20% of his feedback is blank green dots. Its weird they hold your money in papal. They were supposed to not charge me for return postage til the guy sent it but they did anyway. I am guessing Amazon treats the seller like a criminal too. Anyways I am not too burned up about this. the postage costs 2 bucks each way. From what I heard, paypal still charges you fees so this experience is going to cost me about 10 bucks. I GUESS I WILL CALL EBAY TOMORROW TO ASK ABOUT THE MAILING LABEL I BOUGHT SINCE I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE THAT WENT TO. ALSO INQUIRE WHY 20% OF THE GUYS FEEDBACK IS BLANK SPACES WITH GREEN DOTS., THANKS BRANT

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Do we need a President?

An account of Ronald Reagan's ignorance and cluelessness leaves one wondering if we need a President at all.

His mind, said the well-disposed Peggy Noonan, was “barren terrain.”

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Question for those smarter than me,

I am just a little worried, are Iron (not iron oxide) micro spheres toxic, because I was covered in them?
With a little soot to.

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An homage to Douglas Tompkins (and a discussion of his ideas)

Douglas Tompkins, the U.S.A. born conservationist and philanthropist, died last December 8th in a kayaking accident at Coyhaique, Chilean Patagonia, at a young age of 72.

He is well known as the founder of The North Face and Esprit clothing companies, and having sold his shares in them, devoted most of his money to conservationism. He and his wife purchased almost 2 million acres of land in Argentina and Chile to that effect (equivalent to 40% of the area of Wales or Israel, almost 30% of Belgium or almost as large as Delaware and Rhode Island together).

The vast array of his activities can be explored in the website of Tompkins Conservation. I'm particularly interested in his take on agriculture and the experiences he was developing in different ranches in Argentina.

To start with, Laguna Blanca, in Entre Rios province, located at 30°S (a similar latitude as Houston or New Orleans, for reference). In this long video, he explains the project:

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.

(two factual mistakes in it: there's no River San Feliciano, but a stream called Feliciano; and the previous owners surely left isolated trees to have bees and shadow when the lands were devoted to grains and cattle, alternatively)

(The Spanish version -also narrated by him in pretty fluent Spanish- is more complete -seven minutes longer-)

The matter is, besides the commercial model of the ranch, which may be or not a success, can mankind feed itself from solely using that model or integrating it with other more traditional approaches but in a large scale? I want the answer to be yes, but I'm afraid it's a no. What do you know about it? What you can share?

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A challenge for you Youtube film group people.

There were several events left out of the movie "Martian" because of time restraints. Why not dramatize those and make them available online?

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Iran President says Muslims must improve image

This is really great. The President of Iran, who the USA considers to be a sponsor of terrorism, says the Muslims of the world need to do a better job of opposing terrorism, opposing terrorist groups, and improving the image of Muslims.

"It is our greatest duty today to correct the image of Islam in world public opinion," Rouhani told a conference on Islamic unity in Tehran in a speech broadcast by state television.

Rouhani criticized Muslim countries for "being silent in the face of all the killing and bloodshed" in Syria, Iraq and Yemen - conflicts in which Iran plays a role.

Now, if the President of Iran can criticize Muslims for not standing up enough against terrorism and extremism from other Muslims, so can the rest of humanity.

via International Skeptics Forum

What to look for when swapping power supplies.

I have a few dozen orphan power supply units lying around. Besides making sure the hardware matches up, what numbers/info should I compare to make sure that I'm using a proper replacement unit? TIA

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Should ISIS members be taken prisoner or shot without trial?

Observing the atrocities these murderers are committing I would have no problem putting a captured ISIS member to death without a trial.

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SpaceX stage landing.

Few days ago private space company SpaceX pulled off pretty important technological feat - landing of first stage from their rocket. This is widely considered important step in development of reusable rockets.

  • almost all rockets have two or more parts, called stages. Actual stuff to send in space, called payload, is at top, usually covered by fairing.
  • almost all rockets are one-use and are wasted away after launch. Notable exception was Space Shuttle, but its reuse failed to achieve stated goal (lowering cost of launching stuff to space).

Movie of landing: here.
Entire webcast: here.
There are also dozen of amateur movies made from distance by public.

Of course, there are people that call it hoax, like here, here or here.

First one is my favourite: short, concise and shows blatant and deliberate attempt to deceive (there IS reason why this nutter cropped out landing pad - to hide unnatural behaviour of cloud in reversed movie).

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Should women pay more for medical insurance than men?

I recently watched a video by John Stossel where he made the case that women should pay more fore health coverage than men because they use it more.

I thought this was an interesting discussion. It's something I have never considered before. Is this a form of gender discrimination to just expect men to pay an equal amount of health care costs even though they use it less?

Some data to consider


Women had significantly lower self-reported health status and lower mean education and income than men. Women had a significantly higher mean number of visits to their primary care clinic and diagnostic services than men. Mean charges for primary care, specialty care, emergency treatment, diagnostic services, and annual total charges were all significantly higher for women than men; however, there were no differences for mean hospitalizations or hospital charges. After controlling for health status, sociodemographics, and clinic assignment, women still had higher medical charges for all categories of charges except hospitalizations.

Women have higher medical care service utilization and higher associated charges than men. Although the appropriateness of these differences was not determined, these findings have implications for health care.

via International Skeptics Forum

samedi 26 décembre 2015

Completely reasonable people demand deputy be fired then deported

Being Sheriff can be tough. You are in charge of a large crime fighting organization which requires your attention to detail. Sheriff Scott Israel of Broward County in Florida thought he had paid attention to details when he hired a new deputy. He seemed qualified and a year into the job seems to be doing well. Which is why it is weird he has a huge gaggle of protesters harassing his office demanding not only the firing of the deputy but the resignation of the Sheriff for hiring him. Did this deputy shoot an unarmed mentally challenged transgendered black child? No. In fact the deputy has shot no one or been accused of any sort of crime. Unless you count the whole being a Muslim thing.

Boy the Sheriff really stepped in it. Not only did he hire a Muslim he hired one that is president of the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations which two out of three uneducated bigots will tell you is clearly a terrorist organization (the third one is drunk and couldn't be bothered).

Head of the cub scout pack of hate is speaking boiled turnip David Rosenthal who says he has been very reasonable with his unreasonable crusade of intolerance. He even went the extra step of simply demanding that the deputy publicly renounce Sharia, the final season of Dexter and implore Blake to get back together with Miranda. Or anything else that random unhinged citizens can just demand random deputies yell into a megaphone.

Before returning to slumber in his coffin Rosenthal was challenged by a reporter and seemed to think that doubling down and saying that the deputy should not only be fired for being the wrong religion but should be removed from America “to some country that’s Sharia-compliant.”

To read more ignorant fear baiting crap click here. It seems Frontpage Magazine, in particular, have been all over the dangers of deputies not being Christian.

via International Skeptics Forum


So this gadget was featured in a "weird and wacky" article in my local paper.

1) Does it could it work? (I think the answer is yes, but I am not an expert).

2) Is it needed? Is this something that could actually improve our lives? (My dad has no sense of smell, so I can see where he could use it, but is consumption of spoiled food really an issue with refrigeration?

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Are humans D-evolving?

I'll keep it simple, to two points.

Do least intelligent people have the most children?

Is that causing the human race to D-evolve?

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Best internet radio station?

Any recommendations for MrsB's new internet radio?

It's a Pure One Flow (whatever that is) and she's mainly interested in the routine BBC stations, classical, jazz and rock. No specialist stuff required.

Cheers and happy leftovers! :)

eta: we'll be listening from Greece, so I don't know if geographical restrictions might apply to BBC channels - they get pissy about me listening to sport on BBC Radio 5 live on the computer, but other BBC stations seem fine.

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vendredi 25 décembre 2015

Only 32% of Americans Believe in Evolution?

I came across this article while looking for something else.

What struck me was this paragraph:
A minority of Americans fully accept the scientific explanation for the origins of human life. According to a 2013 Pew Research Center survey, 60% of Americans say humans have evolved over time, but only about half of that group (32% of U.S. adults overall) believes that humans and other living things evolved solely due to natural processes, the explanation accepted by the vast majority of scientists. About a quarter of U.S. adults (24%) say that humans and other life evolved, but that this evolution was guided by a supreme being. The same survey found that a third of Americans (33%) reject evolution entirely, saying humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.
Highlight mine.

So my question is not why do some people reject evolution entirely, I know the answer to that. My question is, why do so many people reject the idea of solely natural evolution?

(I apologize if this is in the wrong forum category, please move it if it seemed to fit in several different places.)

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Ancient Roman's In America?

It's not April 1st, otherwise I would post this in Humor, but . . .


Historians claim evidence about Roman discovery of United States even before Columbus


A group of historians has claimed that they have found proof that may ‘rewrite the history’ of America by proving that its discovery wasn’t done by Christopher Columbus, but by the Romans.
Sounding good . . . but oh ho . . .


The sensational latest study has revealed that ancient mariners went to the New World over a thousand years before Columbus set foot there. Boffins from the Ancient Artifact Preservation Society (AAPS) said that a Roman sword has been found in a shipwreck off Oak Island on Nova Scotia’s south shore, Canada.
Oh dear . . .


However, lead historian Jovan Hutton Pulitzer has insisted that the haul is solid evidence that the Romans were the first ones to land there. Pulitzer said that it is the ‘single most important discovery’ ever for the Americas.
I cannot do justice to Mr Pulitzer. Try a Google for the details of his absolute nuttiness and/or qualifications!


via International Skeptics Forum

Why 911 conspiracy deniers are mad at Santa Claus

because they got the ARUP analysis for Christmas and it shows that WTC 7 could not have collapsed due to column 79 buckling.

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Extremely scientific survey for hetros - Which sex does the driving together?

Was going to have a poll but can't on mobile.

With us it is me.

Like driving the car

Don't think it was even a conscious thing. The wife just didn't really like it

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jeudi 24 décembre 2015

Jerry Brown Pardons Robert Downey Jr.

I was unaware that Downey spent time in jail.. but then I never watch Entertainment Tonight and don't read People magazine.

California Governor Pardons Robert Downey Jr. for 1990s Drug Offenses


Actor Robert Downey Jr., who spent time behind bars in the late 1990s on drug convictions, received a Christmas Eve pardon from California Gov. Jerry Brown, effectively scrubbing his criminal record clean.

The actor was one of 91 people to whom the Democratic governor granted clemency for past crimes, most of them minor drug offenses that are no longer felonies under California law. It has become an annual Christmas Eve tradition: official proclamations for men and women who previously served time for mostly nonviolent crimes.

Downey had a long history of problems with drugs and the law, including repeated arrests in 1996. In total, the actor served two years, eight months, and in 2002 he completed his parole.
ETA: The pardon cleared Downey's record and was a nice gesture, but it's not like Downey has had any trouble getting work since he got out of the hoosegow.

via International Skeptics Forum

Obama Administration Plans Nationwide Deportation Raids

Weird. Did someone just replace our president with a Republican doppelganger while nobody was looking?

Some headlines on my Google News feed atm:


US Plans Raids in New Year to Fight Surge in Border Crossings

New York Times - ‎3 hours ago‎

WASHINGTON — The federal government is planning a series of raids beginning in January to round up and deport hundreds of undocumented families, hoping to discourage a renewed surge in illegal border crossings but risking a firestorm in an election year when immigration is again a dominant topic.

The raids in communities across the country will begin almost two years after nearly 100,000 families and tens of thousands of unaccompanied children started illegally crossing the southern border with Mexico, mostly from Central America.

That surge overwhelmed detention facilities, sending most families into American cities with little more than a court summons. Many failed to appear in court on the appointed days and were ordered deported.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents will fan out across the country to enforce hundreds of those orders, according to immigration officials who refused to be identified because they were not allowed to openly discuss an enforcement program that has yet to begin. When they find the families, agents will detain and immediately deport them, officials said. Plans for the raids were first reported by The Washington Post.

“Our border is not open to illegal immigration, and if individuals come here illegally, do not qualify for asylum or other relief, and have final orders of removal, they will be sent back consistent with our laws and our values,” said Gillian M. Christensen, press secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as ICE.

Democratic Candidates Blast Obama Administration Plan To Deport Families

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK, Dec 24 (Reuters) - The Obama administration on Thursday came under fire from Democratic presidential candidates and human rights groups for plans to intensify deportations of Central American migrants by rounding up undocumented families.

Amid a surge in the arrival of unaccompanied children and families from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, U.S. government sources confirmed preparations to detain and deport, starting next month, families that already have been ordered to leave.
Sanders and O'Malley have condemned the move, but Hillary so far hasn't said anything. I guess she's waiting to see which way the wind blows on this.

Well, I'll just say this: if you don't enforce your laws at all, expect them to be ignored. That goes double if you openly announce that you won't enforce them. This is probably why we had a "surge" in refugees in the first place. People notice these things and act accordingly.

via International Skeptics Forum

44% of Democrats Welcome Refugees from Agrabah

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Bernie and Medicare for all

Bernie wants to expand Medicare to all Americans.

This shounds nice.

But in 2009, the USA spent $2.5 trillion on health care.

That's $2.5 trillion!!!!!

And that was 6 years ago!!!

Today's costs are at least the same or more.

So how does Bernie expect to pay for maybe $3 trillion in healthcare costs per year, by just taxes?

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Nobody for president - Christmas edition

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A Fight for the Soul of Science

This is a fascinating article in Quanta Magizine about:

A Fight for the Soul of Science

String theory, the multiverse and other ideas of modern physics are potentially untestable. At a historic meeting in Munich, scientists and philosophers asked: should we trust them anyway?

I wanted to throw this out for discussion, but I won't be able to contribute
much because I'm just not up to speed on all the math involved with these theories. They fascinate me, but I am only able to just skim the surfaces with little or no depth in the concepts. That's why I'm calling on all the Brainiacs to give me some perspective.

Quotes from article:

Physicists typically think they “need philosophers and historians of science like birds need ornithologists,” the Nobel laureate David Gross told a roomful of philosophers, historians and physicists last week in Munich, Germany, paraphrasing Richard Feynman.

But desperate times call for desperate measures.

Fundamental physics faces a problem, Gross explained — one dire enough to call for outsiders’ perspectives. “I’m not sure that we don’t need each other at this point in time,” he said.

The crisis, as Ellis and Silk tell it, is the wildly speculative nature of modern physics theories, which they say reflects a dangerous departure from the scientific method. Many of today’s theorists — chief among them the proponents of string theory and the multiverse hypothesis — appear convinced of their ideas on the grounds that they are beautiful or logically compelling, despite the impossibility of testing them. Ellis and Silk accused these theorists of “moving the goalposts” of science and blurring the line between physics and pseudoscience. “The imprimatur of science should be awarded only to a theory that is testable,” Ellis and Silk wrote, thereby disqualifying most of the leading theories of the past 40 years. “Only then can we defend science from attack.”

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Awkward Measurement Units

The " U.S. Military and use of the Metric System in WW2" thread got me thinking, that there are still all sorts of measurements we use that are just awkward and confusing.

A few that come to mind:

Tire sizing. A mixture of metric, ratios, and imperial.

Piping. A 1" nominal pipe is not 1" in outer diameter, inner diameter, or between the middle of the walls.

Gauge, whether it's sheet metal, wire, bore, whatever. Sheet metal gauge is not consistent between materials, so a 16GA cold rolled steel will be a different thickness than the same gauge in aluminum. I know gauge is based off of how a certain weight of material can be reformed into different shapes, and the resulting size, but it's cumbersome.


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BLM double standard?

When it comes to black lives matter a common complaint is that no one protests when a black cop kills an innocent white. First this disc true. Why don't whites protest? Second I think black cops are more likely to be found guilty than white cops. Your thoughts?

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February 2016 CNY Skeptics in the Pub

When: February 17, 2016 6:30-8:30 PM EDT

Where: Scotch 'N Sirloin, 3687 Erie Blvd E, Syracuse, New York 13214 USA

Contact for more information: call 1-315-636-6533 or email

Come and enjoy stimulating conversation with tasty adult beverages with CNY Skeptics! Must be 21 years-old and over to attend. No cover, but individuals must pay for their own food and drinks.

Central New York Skeptics (CNY Skeptics) is a community organization dedicated to the promotion of science and reason.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg Scotch_Final1.jpg (121.7 KB)

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January 2016 CNY Skeptics Meeting

"A Big Year For Dwarf Planets - Highlights Of The NASA Missions To Ceres & Pluto”

Presentation by Damian Gregory Allis, Ph.D

Sponsored by CNY Skeptics

Time: Wednesday, January 20, 2016, 7:00 PM

Where: Dewitt Community Library, DCL Friends Room, Shoppingtown Mall, 3649 Erie Blvd. East, DeWitt, NY 13214 USA

Event is Free and Open to the Public

Light refreshments will be served

Please contact 1-315-636-6533 or email for more information

Presentation Summary:

Pluto's demotion to dwarf planet status suddenly made more people aware of its fellow dwarf planet Ceres in the Asteroid Belt. With Ceres a snapshot of a planet that might have been, and Pluto the most famous member of the Kuiper Belt, both are of special interest to scientists studying the history and complexity of our own Solar System as a way to better understand the many extra-Solar Systems now being discovered by professional and amateur astronomers. This lecture will feature some historical background and as-recent-as-the-web-will-allow views and findings from both the New Horizons and Dawn NASA missions.

Presenter Bio:

Damian G. Allis Ph.D. is a Research Professor of Chemistry, Research Fellow with the Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute, bioinformaticist with Aptamatrix, Inc., and High Performance Computing Evangelist, all at Syracuse University. A crazy/overly-optimistic local amateur astronomer, he is a NASA Solar System Ambassador, long-time member of many CNY amateur astronomy clubs, and a founding member and webmaster of CNY Observers ( When/because it’s cloudy, he’s also the drummer for a half-dozen local bands. He is always happy to talk shop and can be found and contacted at

Central New York Skeptics (CNY Skeptics) is a community organization dedicated to the promotion of science and reason, the investigation of paranormal and fringe-science claims, and the improvement of standards for science education and critical-thinking skills.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg nh-stern_1.jpg (88.6 KB)

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More Gun Control Idiocy

Both courtesy of politicians from NYC, who apparently are not even making an effort to cover for the gun control people who claim (meaning lie about) the fears of gun owners are rooted in a slippery slope fallacy.

Idiotic gun control proposal #1:

State lawmakers from Brooklyn announced on Monday new draft legislation aimed at tightly restricting the sale of ammunition in New York.

The Senate and Assembly bills were drafted in an effort to keep potential terrorists from stocking up on ammo, according to sponsors state Sen. Roxanne Persaud and Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon. The twin bills are backed by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who worked with Persaud and Simon to craft them.

The legislation would place a strict limit on the number of bullets a gun owner could purchase over a 90-day time period, and prevent gun dealers from selling ammunition for a firearm to anyone unauthorized to have such a weapon.
So under this proposal it would take you 9 months to accumulate enough ammo for your shotgun to shoot a single round of trap (nearly 2 years if you have an over/under), and forget about ever practicing at the range when you're limited to 20 rounds every 3 months for your handgun.

Not to feel left out, a member of New York's Congressional delegation decided to offer some idiocy of her own. Idiotic gun control proposal #2:

Just hours before the latest tragic shooting death of a teen in Brooklyn on Monday, U.S. Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez unveiled a bill aimed at quashing the flow of guns into big cities and reducing gun violence.

The “Reducing Gun Violence in Our Neighborhoods Act” would levy a $100 tax on every gun sale to civilians. The money raised – between one and two billion dollars -- would fund anti-violence programs and local mental health services.

The bill would also require that gun owners report stolen or lost firearms within 48 hours, establish a database for missing firearms and require new technology be embedded in guns so they can be traced. Those who don’t report stolen weapons would be slapped with a $10,000 fine. (Currently, many weapons traced to out-of-state owners are classified as stolen.)
More crap aimed solely at the law abiding, and to keep the poor and minorities from exercising a civil right.

"Common sense gun control", right? :rolleyes:

via International Skeptics Forum

mercredi 23 décembre 2015

Post your 2016 Predictions here

Since there does not appear to be a thread on the topic so far, this is it. We have had similar threads every year for at least the last 6 years.

Okay, let's all summon up our psychic powers (the professionals say we ALL have them, and they wouldn't lie, would they?) and let's offer up some predictions for 2016.

My predictions are generally so wrong I should say what I do not want to happen as my predictions.

1. Federal election will happen. Liberals will win easily.
2. SSM will not happen in Australia.
3. IS will still be a major terrorist group.
4. Iraq will still have many foreign soldiers.

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BLM Shuts Down 405, Shoots Themselves in Foot

Nothing, NOTHING, upsets Angelinos more than traffic. It is the number one concern, by far, for L.A. residents:

Closing down a freeway in SoCal is the worst- WORST- possible way to go about spreading your message, short of protesting at Veteran funerals (ala Westboro Baptist Church). Whoever is planning these disruptions needs to be fired.


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The ARUP FEA shows collapse of WTC 7 was not due to column 79 buckling as NIST claims

While there has been significant discussion of the detailed FEA performed by ARUP of WTC 7 it seems many on this forum have either failed to notice, or are loathe to comment on, the fact that the analysis shows that column 79 would have retained lateral support from its girders from the south and west.

This would have prevented column 79 from buckling, as all it needed was orthogonal support from two separate girders.

It does not matter whether the girder to the north, (A2001) between columns 79 and 44, was pulled from its seat, as it was not necessary as long as there was a girder supporting column 79 from either the north or south and one from east or west.

Contrary to what is simply asserted in the NIST WTC 7 report the knife connections of the south and west girders to column 79 remain intact in the results of all four cases shown in the ARUP report.

To see the results attesting to this in the ARUP report one can look at figures 101, 111, 121, and 131 on the left sides of pdf pages 138, 148, 155, and 163 at

The reality is that if column 79 does not lose lateral support, and does not buckle, there could have been no global collapse progression due to it and the fires around it and the collapse had to have another cause. This requires a new investigation as it shows the NIST claim that column 79 buckled to initiate the global collapse is not possible.

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Hillary vs Bernie

Here we shall discuss the differences between Hillary and Bernie, in a polite, mature and professional way.

Here we go:

Hillary is a much better candidate than Bernie. Why? Cause Bernie co-sponsored 355 bills in Congress over 24 years, only 1 passed the House. Hillary co-sponsored 417 bills over 8 years in the Senate, 20 passed.

Bernie voted against the Brady gun control bill and voted against Comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2007.

Bernie flip-flops on military action, by voting against the Gulf War but voting for military action in Serbia, Libya and Somalia.

Bernie has criticized Hillary for minor connections to private prison groups, meanwhile he can't get Vermont to stop shipping their convicts to private prisons.

He voted against a national Amber Alert system, cause he says he opposed minimum sentencing laws, yet he supports them for child molesters.

He voted to send nuclear waste from Vermont to a poor Hispanic community in Texas.

He voted to maintain the crippling sanctions against Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of children were dieing.

He even urged Obama to issue an Executive Order raising taxes, in violation of the Constitution.

Now Bernie wants to repeal the ACA/Obamacare and replace it with Medicare for all, and make all public colleges free.

How will he get the Republicans and Moderate Democrats to approve all this? Bernie's supporters say they will get a Democratic Socialist majority in the House & Senate. Talk about wishful thinking!!!

Look, I admire Bernie's passion and values, but his 24 year track record is big on ideology but very low on productivity. We need a President who can actually work with everyone to get things done, not just bark at the opposition with unachievable goals.

His debate performances speak for themselves. He's like an old broken record, unable & unwilling to adapt to new situations and events.

He declares climate change is our nation's greatest security threat, not ISIS or Al Qaeda.

He thinks $100 billion a year for 10 years will rebuild the middle class. Even though unemployment is at 5%, so its not like we're facing any major economic crisis.

He wants to reinstate Glass-Stegall, even though it was slowly taken apart over decades by court cases and legislation. Many argue that Glass-Stegall today would not stop many financial shenanigans that could get us into more trouble. It appears to be just a good anti-Wall St. catch phrase.

And to show us what he's made of, he's on of only a handful of Senators who voted against the recent compromise budget between the GOP and Democrats. Again he shows he is more about ideology than actually getting things done.

Hillary may not be perfect, she may have her drawbacks and disadvantages, but at least she has a track record of willingness to compromise and and work across the isle to try to make things happen.

Sorry Bernie, but extreme ideology only works on the campaign trail. It doesn't do us **** after Election Day. In fact, it hurts us.

via International Skeptics Forum

U.S. Military and use of the Metric System in WW2

So the US (Government?) Changed it's mind in regards to adopting the Metric System (no problem there I'm on the fence which is best)

But with that in mind WHY did the WW2 Military convert perfectly good Imperial Measurements into Metric ... there are countless example ... but one comes to mind this afternoon, is the 917mm Mortar launcher (Little David) built in WW2

It's EXACTLY 1 yard ... why call it 917 mm?

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Texas governor orders FFRF Bill of Rights Display removed from Capitol


Abbott complains that FFRF's Bill of Rights display is "tasteless sarcasm" and that FFRF mocks "our Nation's Judeo-Christian heritage."

I don't think you can possibly construct a bigger example of irony then this.

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Question for truthers or bystanders

I just took a look at Dave Thomas's website, and was dismayed, Dave do you realize you have a letter from RJ Lee on your sight that describes a chimney effect as the cause of the micro spheres he found at the world trade center?

I can't figure out doing an open barrel burn after that. Sorry Dave just stating the obvious, a chimney effect simply creates a better environment for micro sphere formation.

The Question I have for Cters Truthers, is if given reduction is likely to occurs with carbon to create micro spheres in Chimney effects did Harrit and Jones find energetic chips, or did they create them. By contact heating them in the DSC reducing the Fe 2O3 to Fe Iron?
So were the micro spheres created by the process of hydrogen and carbon reduction in the DSC, as Jones and Harrit heated the chips?

PS. I really don't expect an answer as currently most Cters are ignoring me.

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Restless Leg syndrome

I didn't see a thread on this so figured I'd make one. Anyone else suffer from this, or have a loved one who does? A few years ago I suddenly came down with it. My case is a little different than the common symptoms which makes it a little frustrating to deal with. Here are my symptoms:

- It only happens right as I'm dozing off to sleep. My leg suddenly jolts as if someone is running a mild electrical current through it. It isn't painful, but it isn't a good feeling. No matter how tired I am, it always wakes me up. This will continue happening for hours on end, right as I'm dozing off again. It never happens during the day which is odd compared to most who have this issue.

- It only happens in one leg per night. Seems to be random which leg is affected. I sleep on my side and it always seems to be the leg that is elevated. Sometimes rolling onto the side affected helps make it stop, but that could just be coincidence.

- Most of the time I can feel a build up of energy happening in the leg affected. This is very hard to describe. Imagine you are very slowly starting to tighten the muscles in the leg and that is kind of how it feels. I'm totally relaxed though (and often literally slipping into sleep).

- The restless leg occurs for weeks on end at night, then stops for weeks mercifully. Which is really odd.

- I've cut out the common things that can trigger restless leg, such as caffeine (though I have it again now that I know it wasn't a trigger) and late afternoon exercise.

I've seen a wide range of doctors over the issue so far, up to and including one sleep clinic which was mostly a waste of time. They confirmed the issue after strapping some wires up to me and monitoring me overnight in their clinic, but that was it. The test was for my general doctor who turned out to think he could fix me by cracking my back and having me get massages. Needless to say he is no longer my doctor. My current doctor whom I respect far more than the last is having me go to a specialist that is apparently highly rated, but they don't have an opening for 6 months. Ugh.

It doesn't seem to be related to diet as I've changed that around over the years. I've suffered from Ulcerative Colitis for 16 years now, with some of those early years being very damaging. I've been on remission for years after starting a medication called Remicade thankfully, but I clearly don't absorb nutrients as well as I used to. Remicade is the only medication I've introduced around the time of the restless leg, but that isn't one of the listed side effects, and I can't really go off of it. Aside from Ulcerative Colitis, I'm a very healthy person in good shape.

Blood tests have all come back normal with the exception of my ferritin levels often being low. Iron is fine though. My gastrointestinal specialist thinks the ferritin issues are related to my early issues with Ulcerative Colitis. She just had me swallow a camera-in-a-capsule (capsule endoscopy) to be sure to rule out problems in the small intestines. I've had an infusion of InFed (iron) a couple of times to top my ferritin up. At first I thought the restless leg was related to the low ferritin levels as they seemed to be connected, but recent blood tests over the past 6 months have had me at normal ferritin levels, yet my restless leg is as bad as its ever been.

My cooky doctor had prescribed me Ropinirole which is normally used to treat Parkinson's. I responded REALLY well to that at first, even on the smallest dosage you could get from the pharmacy. I knew it worked well because as a test, I'd stop taking it and the restless leg would return the very next night, then I could take the medication and it would stop. I repeated this a few times over a couple of months to reassure me the meds were working (or the placebo effect was at least).

The trouble was that after around 8 months of this, I suddenly developed a really bad reaction to Ropinirole where even half of the smallest dose would have me sprawled out on the floor within an hour, covered in cold sweats and shakes, with me feeling like I was going to die. Again, I repeated this a few times as a test over the course of several weeks to be sure it wasn't just something I ate that day. Sadly, I can no longer take the Ropinirole.

Anyways... I'm not expecting anyone here to provide me medical advice. That is why I'm still actively pursuing treatment through my doctors. I was mostly looking for a place to dump my feelings of what I've been going through and hope to find others who have experienced something similar. It is hard to describe to others what poor sleep (~4 hours a night) over many months can do to a person's psyche. I have a supportive wife. I find myself sometimes laying there at night totally understanding why some people choose to just end it all. I'm totally not anywhere near wanting to do that, but I'm a grown man sometimes breaking down and crying at night. It is pretty awful. I then have to wake up early every morning and try to lead a normal life, hiding what I'm going through from my co-workers and family because I have a job to do, and I don't want my family to worry about something they can do nothing about.

It sucks.

Anyways, thanks for making it this far if you did so.

via International Skeptics Forum

Thinking Deficits

Obviously most people think they use logic and sound arguments to inform their understanding and "beliefs" about the world. We also know that one needs to have some manner of esoteric and sophisticated knowledge about almost any topic to develop a sound/robust understanding of elements of the topic. This is true for everything we do from cooking to sports, arts, science, politics and so on.

What interests me is that most people are not experts in most things... and only a few could be considered experts in anything. We're mostly dilettantes, dabblers and approach things with enough knowledge about the topic to "make sense" and "enjoy it".

9/11 was an interesting phenomena because it involved so many elements and disciplines to have knowledge in... in order to knit together a coherent understanding of what happened. That is to say that the more detailed the understanding, the more esoteric knowledge one truly needs to truly understand the event(s).

I have been struck for years at the seeming contradiction of what appears to be intelligent and educated people coming up with very divergent understanding of 911. I normally would attribute this divergence to lack of technical knowledge... the more you have the better place you should be to understand these events.

But there us also the notion that understanding a complex issue would be analogous regardless of the discipline. You use the same tools and rules to build your understanding upon.

There also appears to be some divergent in the assumptions and basic understanding of mechanics. We can see this in things like what would happen to a jumbo jet which strikes a twin tower facade or a Pentagon wall. What would happen to the walls? One would think that mechanics has these solved. Why is there even divergent thinking about such things?

I think the same issue underlies the divergent thinking about the effect of fire on steel frames. Some would assert that they are invulnerable to collapse from fires... full stop. Others assert that the fire was not hot enough, didn't burn long enough and so on.

And finally why don't or can't truth guys sketch out a complete coherent explanation to the entire event?

Why can't truthers accept that events cascade in somewhat random manner and it's hard to predict the consequences with any reliability. Isn't there basic position that the perps (insiders) staged everything and had complete control and understanding of how the day would unfold. Isn't this absurd on its face? Why can't they see this or why do they think it was possible to plan the whole complex event to the smallest detail?

How do you explain this sort of odd thinking by seemingly intelligent people?

via International Skeptics Forum

Your Fear defines your destiny?

I am intrigued by the quote of author Steven Pressfield:


Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.
Do you all agree/disagree? I kind of see the point he is making, but the language is very vague. we're supposed to grow by getting out of our comfort zones and getting past being fearful, but really, what is Pressfield saying? That if you're sitting at your desk mulling over your fears, and one of them is fear of heights, you should go, "Hmm, I should jump out of a plane"?

For example, "I'm afraid of experiencing combat, should I join the army infantry?" :confused:

"I am afraid of the prospect of being relegated to a dead end job until retirement, should I embrace this fear and stick to working in the dead end job?" :p

Ok, that last example was pretty ridiculous, but it's reasons like this I prefer to use "values clarification" strategies to determine a life path, where I define what I like to do, instead of what all of my fears are. the latter makes for a good plot device like in Batman Begins, but I'm not sure if it's as effective in the real world. thoughts?

via International Skeptics Forum

Merry Christmas and a Happy New year 2016

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2016 to everyone on this forum.

via International Skeptics Forum

mardi 22 décembre 2015

Woman charged after Facebook call to burn down mosques

An Australian woman has been charged by police with "religious vilification" after she made a facebook post calling for "all mosques to be burnt down with the doors locked at prayer time". It received a lot of "like"s which is probably what brought it to the attention of the police.

However, the woman claims she cannot be charged with racial vilification because she does not acknowledge Islam as a religion. She believes it is a "evil, hateful ideology". So far, Fairfax Media has chosen not to name the woman.

What is interesting is that this is a "religious vilification" charge rather than an incitement to violence type charge. That ensures that it is set to be a freedom of speech issue or islam "appeasement" issue.

A quick scan through facebook shows that quite a few posters make calls for the mosques to be burned down while full.

via International Skeptics Forum

Things that go through your mind when your being terminted

My first thoughts were Oh no, back to the old drawing board. Your second impulse is to argue for your job which you know full well isn't going to work.

Then reality sets in. Goodbye salary, goodbye benefits hello job hunting.

After you leave the building the trip home is easier because rush hour hasn't happened yet. Its as if the whole world has opened up to get rid of you. There is no going back.

Once home you ask yourself how this could have happened and how you could have been that stupid if its your fault.

Then you accept what happened and look for work knowing that the stigma of being terminated is going to go against you.

Most people who have been terminated eventually find other work.

I did and so can you.

via International Skeptics Forum

The War on Christmas

The War on Christmas continues.

Cornell University put out the following Fire/Holiday guidelines:

which states:

"Winter Holiday Displays/Decorations that are NOT Consistent with Either University Assembly
Guidelines or the University’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusiveness:

-Nativity scene
-Stars at the top of trees
-Star of David"

Why do they have to be so anti-religious? Don't they understand that as NY's Land Grant university, they sit on publicly owned land and are therefore under the authority of the 1st Amendment to the Constitution, which guaruntees protection for religious speech and practise?

What do these folks have against adults expressing religious views, or merely celebrating religious holidays?

I feel very bad for our society.

via International Skeptics Forum