American Elephants

Get in Touch With Your Inner Child by The Elephant's Child
May 2, 2013, 8:35 pm
Filed under: Entertainment, Humor, Pop Culture, YouTube | Tags: , ,

Are you more apt to buy a company’s product if they make you laugh? This one’s cute and they get additional traffic from blogs like this one for free. That’s worth something.

(h/t: Maggie’s Farm)

Two Hundred and Fifty Years of Global Cooling? by The Elephant's Child

Russian scientists say that a period of global cooling is ahead due to changes in the activity of the sun. Scientists at Russia’s famous Pulkovo Observatory are convinced that the world is in for a period of global cooling that could last for 200-250 years.

Solar activity is waning, so the average yearly temperature will begin to decline as well. Scientists from Britain and the US chime in to say that such forecasts for global cooling are far from groundless.

Yuri Nagovitsyn of the Pulkovo Observatory said:

“Journalists say the entire process is very simple: once solar activity declines, the temperature drops. But besides solar activity, the climate is influenced by other factors, including the lithosphere, the atmosphere, the ocean, the glaciers. The share of solar activity in climate change is only 20%. This means that sun’s activity could trigger certain changes whereas the actual climate changing process takes place on the Earth.”

Solar activity follows different cycles, including an 11-year cycle, a 90-year cycle, and a 200-year cycle. Professor Igor Davidenko comments:

“The Northern Sea Route has never opened so early or closed so late over the past 30 years. Last year saw a cargo transit record – more than five million tons. The first Chinese icebreaker sailed along the Northern Sea Route in 2012. China plans it to handle up to 15% of its exports.”

Prediction of the future is mostly little more than guesswork, but there are trends and there is a past history of cycles. Russia is upgrading its icebreaker  fleet, and new generation icebreakers are set to arrive in the years to come. Russia also has great interest in energy in the Arctic. as well as the Northern Sea Route., so they are preparing for eventualities.

While other nations are considering how to prepare for a possible long period of cooling, ours is desperately trying to save the planet from global warming and free us from our addiction to foreign oil, at the same time that they restrict every possible domestic source of petroleum from drilling.  Go figure.

Illinois’ Mythological Transportation Scheme by The Elephant's Child

If these deadbeat states are expecting the rest of the nation’s taxpayers to bail our the stupidity of their governments, they are going to be out of luck. California, dead broke and utterly unable to stop themselves from digging their hole even more deeply, cannot release its grip on the fantasy of a high speed railroad running from San Francisco to Los Angeles. They’re already in it for millions, nobody wants it, nobody would ride it, and unless they build new track all the way, it won’t be high speed.

Illinois, casting about for “good ideas,” has fixated on a super-fast, super-clean, super-cheap locomotive that has not yet been invented.  The sight of California slowly sinking in the West does not deter them. The Federal Railroad Administration has placed Illinois in charge of buying 35 new “next generation” locomotives to serve the to-be-built-someday high-speed rail lines in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, California and Washington, even though the locomotives do not exist.

“Currently these are not being manufactured,” said Joe Schacter, high-speed rail point man for the Illinois Department of Transportation. “We are fully confident that such a locomotive can be manufactured and will be manufactured.”

Illinois has $175 million to spend. $5 million per locomotive. “It may end up being more expensive, Schacter added.The $175 million comes from federal grants, but Illinois will end-up owning the high-speed trains when they are delivered. Kristina Rasmussen of the Illinois Policy Institute said that should worry anyone who knows anything about Illinois and its current fiscal state.( $9 billion in unpaid bills). If anything, they should be selling off assets.

High Speed Rail

Both the Republican governors of Ohio and Wisconsin have opted out of wasting any more taxpayer money on high speed rail boondoggles. The Obama administration announced they would take those dollars and give them to California, where even Democrat legislators have dubbed the project a Super Train to Nowhere. Some have compared it to chasing Unicorns. I prefer another mythological beast from the Norse Eddas: Odin’s horse Sleipner.

sllepnir 2
This portrait of Odin’s stallion — “the best horse among gods and men:”— is attributed to John Bauer, 1911. You will notice that he has eight legs, and a rather remarkable mane. Like Obama’s high-speed rail network, entirely mythological.

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