writes "A touch-screen voting machine in Chicago suburb Schaumburg has been found to repeatedly convert votes for several Republican candidates into votes for their Democrat counterparts. The problem has been blamed on a "calibration error of the touch-screen on the machine.” Of course, Chicago has long been notorious for voting hijinks, mostly of the Democrat flavor.
Do touch-screens need such a gross calibration, or for that matter, any calibration at all? If so, what are the chances that an uncalibrated screen would reliably convert all or several votes for one party into votes for the other party?"Link to Original Source
writes "These articles announce the disappearance of tiny New Moore Island (aka South Talpatti) under the waters of the Bay of Bengal. An expert blames it on rising sea level due to global warming. Could be. But consider that the island is said to have once reached 2 meters above sea level. Sea levels are said (by the same expert) to have risen 5 mm/year since 2000 and 3 mm/year before that. That means that the island's elevation was mapped 650 years ago, in 1360, a tenuous claim at best. Also consider that volcanic activity and plate tectonics are constantly make new and higher mountains. Unless matter is being created out of nothing, the material making up new mountains has to come from somewhere, which means that the earth's crust has to be falling someplace, possibly many places.
This story appears to be appearing in various media as solid evidence of global warming. But isn't is possible that the Bay of Bengal is sinking? Or that the sea level is rising at the same time? It seems to me that uncritical analysis of data which "obviously" supports a foregone conclusion is the hallmark of groupthink.
[Editor: I can't figure out how to set links to the two articles referenced by "These articles." The links are: ]
writes "From the PLplot development team is the announcement of their 10,000th commit:
PLplot is a cross-platform software package for creating scientific plots that has been in continuous development since its inception 17 years ago. On May 23, 2009 the PLplot developers quietly celebrated our ten thousandth commit since our initial software repository was populated back in May 1992.
This longevity puts PLplot in some select company amongst open-source software projects. We may even be unique within this group because all PLplot development has been done by volunteers in their spare time.
The enthusiasm for PLplot development continues; we have averaged more than 100 commits per month over the last year which is double our 17-year average, and we are looking forward to the celebration of our next ten thousand commits!"Link to Original Source