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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Melting Arctic Ice Linked to Bad Winter Weather in Europe, Northern Hemisphere

The harsh winter in Europe caused a rare event of Venice freezing over.
The harsh winter in Europe caused a rare event of Venice freezing over.

As global temperatures have risen, the area of Arctic Ocean covered by ice in summer and autumn has been falling.

Writing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), a US/China-based team show this affects the jet stream and brings cold, snowy weather. From 2007 to 2011, large parts of the U.S., northwestern Europe, and northern and central China experienced early or abnormally heavy snowfall. A climate model created by the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research pinpointed two mechanisms for how a decline in sea ice could lead to more snowfall.

The paper, published on February 27th, demonstrates a link between the decline of arctic ice and Winter weather. While still early in research, and this is not the only factor affecting winter weather, it is the only one showing a consistent downward trend. You can find the supplemental data for the paper here.

BBC News Describes how the link works:

If less of the ocean is ice-covered in autumn, it releases more heat, warming the atmosphere.

This reduces the air temperature difference between the Arctic and latitudes further south, over the Atlantic Ocean.

n turn, this reduces the strength of the northern jet stream, which usually brings milder, wetter weather to Europe from the west.

It is these “blocking” conditions that keep the UK and the other affected regions supplied with cold air.

The researchers also found that the extra evaporation from the Arctic Ocean makes the air more humid, with some of the additional water content falling out as snow.

According to David Rind, a climate scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City told National Geographic:

The atmospheric dynamic is so variable, and the basic equations of motion on the time scale that we’re discussing have so much inherent variability in them that you can have the same situations next time but everything is different. This year also has very little Arctic sea ice, but it’s going to be one of the warmest winters on record in the United States. The snowfall totals have been abysmal. … And in Europe the cold air did not come in the beginning of winter, but later

The challenge is to determine how much of these anomalies are caused by global warming.

I think the only thing that will ultimately answer that is the durability of the effect. If, year after year, we’re getting the same type of effect, that then looks like it’s not a variability issue but a climate change issue.


U.S. Court Rules Part of DOMA Unconstitutional

Gay Marriage
What do you think the relirious right finds scarier. That they're gay or that they're interracial?

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White, a Bush appointee judge, has rules a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. The ruling came down Wednesday in San Francisco in the case Golinski v. United States Office of Personnel Management. Karen Golinski, the Plaintiff in the case is a staff attorney for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Karen had tried to enroll her spouse, Amy Cunninghis, in her health insurance plan but was refused. Karen and Amy had married during the 5 month window in 2008 when gay marriage was allowed in California. That window was closed with the passing of Proposition 8.

The Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionally defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. It also bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages for all purposes, including social security, inheritance, and health benefits. The law passed the House and Senate by a wide margin in 1996 and was signed into law by Bill Clinton on September 21st that same year.

The legal suit, filed on January 20th, 2010 (it was re-filed on April 14th 2011 as a direct challenge to the constitutionality of DOMA) received national notoriety last year when U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barak Obama declared DOMA unconstitutional and while they would continue to enforce it, they would no longer defend it.

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The March Get Together will be Nuclear Powered

Dr. Ronald Fleming
Dr. Ronald Fleming

Our March Get Together will have a special guest.

Dr. Ron Fleming is a Professor Emeritus of Nuclear Engineering & Radiological Sciences.

He will be speaking with us about nuclear energy. Not only will he be speaking about current nuclear technology, he will also tell us about Molten Salt (Thorium) Reactors which have been buzzing around the Internet lately.

We will be be recording this for the podcast so bring your best questions!

Come and join us for lively discussion, drinks, dinner and debate! This is a good event for Skeptics of Michigan to come together and discuss local, national, worldwide items affecting skeptics. All are welcome to listen and participate.

We also have special guests and speakers that contribute to the conversation and/or debate.

Please be sure to RSVP so I know how many are coming. That way I can modify the reservation if necessary.

I hope to see you all there!

Evidence Found for Alan Turing’s 1950s Tiger Stripe Theory


Photo of Alan Mathison Turing at the time of his election to a Fellowship of the Royal Society. Photograph was taken at the Elliott & Fry studio on 29 March 1951. There is another photograph taken at the same session where he is not looking directly at the camera.
Alan Mathison Turing at the time of his election to a Fellowship of the Royal Society. Copyright National Portrait Gallery is reporting on an online posting in the Nature Genetics journal that Alan Turing’s 1952 theory of Morphogenesis.

The study, funded by the Medical Research Council and to be published online in , not only demonstrates a mechanism which is likely to be widely relevant in vertebrate development, but also provides confidence that chemicals called morphogens, which control these patterns, can be used in regenerative medicine to differentiate stem cells into tissue.

The findings provide evidence to support a theory first suggested in the 1950s by famous code-breaker and mathematician Alan Turing, whose centenary falls this year. He put forward the idea that regular  in biological are generated by a pair of morphogens that work together as an ‘activator’ and ‘inhibitor’.

The tests involved identifying the morphogens used during the formation of ridges found on the roof of the mouths of lab mice. The morphogens were identified as  FGF (Fibroblast Growth Factor) and Shh (Sonic Hedgehog – given that name because apparently laboratory fruit flies lacking the fly version have extra bristles on their bodies).

They showed that when these morphogens’ activity is increased or decreased, the pattern of the ridges in the mouth palate are affected in ways predicted by Turing’s equations. For the first time the actual morphogens involved in this process have been identified and the team were able to see exactly the effects predicted by Turing’s 60-year-old speculative theory.

While the ridges in the roof of the mouth are not very important to biology, the finding does give significant evidence to Turning’s theory.

‘Not only does this show us how patterns such as stripes are formed, but it provides confidence that these morphogens (chemicals) can be used in future regenerative medicine to regenerate structure and pattern when differentiating  into other tissues.

‘As this year marks Turing’s centenary, it is a fitting tribute to this great mathematician and computer scientist that we should now be able to prove that his theory was right all along!’

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Professional Debate: Does God Exist?

Rackham Auditorium
The debate will ne held at Rackham Auditorium

The Secular Student Alliance Michigan Chapter is hosting a debate.

It will be focused on the question: Does God Exist?

The debate will be between SSA organizer JT Eberhard and Campus Minister for New Life Church John Allen.

The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor chapter of the Secular Student Alliance is dedicated to improving the public image of non-religious people and providing community for our members. We’re especially for secularists, atheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers, and non-theists, but we’re open to anyone who would like to see Church and State remain separated.

The New Life Church is focused on helping University of Michigan students become fully devoted disciples of Jesus Christ. They also list working to convert unbelievers as a core value.

If you can make it, please come out and support the SSA!

The Latest Conspiracy Theory: Whitney Houston’s Death Was an Occult Sacrifice

Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston

This new conspiracy theory is a very good example of just how detached it’s believers can be. The author goes through a long and convoluted story on how the music industry is, in fact, a secret society of  Illuminati and Satan worshipers. The music industry’s goal is simple. They lure innocent people with talent to Hollywood, convince them to sign a contract, then drain their life force until such a time that they are no longer useful. They then sacrifice then to their demon overlords.  Makes perfect sense, right?

Everything that takes place in public is first planned in private through secret societies. This is the way the world has always worked and the music industry is no exception to this. Before a entertainer is given a recording contract they must first be a member of a secret society. A so called X member of the Illuminati, who was a music executive in the 70’s spoke about this publicly, his name was John Todd. According to Todd, every musician and entertainer in the music industry and Hollywood, has to be a initiated wizard or witch before they are offered a recording contract. This is what some writers have called the selling of the soul or light to Lucifer. In his speeches John Todd further demonstrates that after the record is cut and the master is finished, it is then given to a coven of witches and wizards who conjure up a demon. Once the demon is conjured the witches and wizards ask the entity to attach itself to every copy or duplicate that is sold to the public, which guarantees the success of the record and also takes control of the listener. If you want to research Todd’s work in full I have all of his recorded material on MP3 and would be glad to send it to you. (Email me at [Email Removed])

The point I am making above is that the music industry is a cult and once one gets a record deal they are now an initiate and are a part of the cult for life. Whitney Houston was no exception to this rule and she took the oath back in the 70’s. Once the oath is pledged you become the property of the record labels and the machines and you can NEVER retire. The only way out of the game is death! If you think I’m lying, please email me with one entertainer who has successfully retired from the industry, never to come back again. There is no way out.

Bobby Brown was her “handler” and controlled her every move for the Music Industry/secret society/satanic cult. In this article, “handler” mean “mind-controller” for some reason…

You see, in the music industry nothing happens without the consent of the label and Whitney meeting and marrying Bobby Brown was no different. The life of an entertainer doesn’t stop when the cameras go off, the entertainment spills over into your personal life, because as I said above, when you sign the deal you are now the property of the labels. The labels allowed Whitney to Marry Bobby Brown and if one does any investigation they will see that her life began to go downhill shortly after. Now I’m not blaming Bobby for Whitney’s fall, because he took the oath and made a deal with the goat just like her, so I believe they used Bobby to make Whitney’s life more interesting and to begin to tarnish her image. Like I said the music industry is not for those who are pure at heart and Whitney was a pure soul indeed! The labels knew what kind of person Bobby was and they knew he would be a good pick for their goals with Whitney. So, the labels began to work rituals based on Bobby and Whitney’s relationship, remember everybody in the game aka the industry plays a part even when the cameras go off.

Whitney Houston stated in her interview with Oprah in 2010 that she was attracted to Bobby because he, “took control of her and their relationship, and she liked that.” In reality Bobby was acting as Whitney’s handler, which is a term used in mind control. A handler is one who is used within a mind control experiment to break another and to get them to do what the controllers of the experiment want, this was Bobby’s role. The labels wanted to spice up Whitney’s life aka destroy her pristine image, which they had been targeting since she got into the industry. You may wonder why they would want to do a thing like this, but if you’re not in the industry then you can’t imagine how diabolical the people are who run the show. These people thrive on drama, sex, violence, and drugs. As they say, sex sales! Entertainers are products of the elite and they are treated as such, they (The Elite) don’t give a shit about human values morals and the likes. The people that are behind the scenes are master witches and wizards and their goals are constant control and power.

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The Drunken Skeptics Episode 11: Expat

Beer mug with the MISkeptics logo
Frost your mugs, it's time for another episode!

The latest Drunken Skeptics is out! Episode 11 is fresh and ready for your aggregators to consume!

In this episode we talk about TEDxDetroit, What Chris and Michelle have been doing with their time and as always we have Whiskey and Shenanigans!

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and join our Meetup group!

You can find our show notes here.

MISkeptics Second Annual Darwin Day Celebration

Darwin: Very gradual change we can believe in
Darwin: Very gradual change we can believe in

Darwin Day falls on February 12th. Which is also  Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. But we decided to celebrate Darwin.

For our second annual Darwin Day, we have a lot of things planned. We’ve got a presentation, possibly a video and our Games Master has a new game that everyone can participate in!

Remember that we are in our new location. We’re meeting at Hayden’s Grill and Bar. It’s not far from Ginger but plan accordingly.

Come and join us for lively discussion, drinks, dinner and debate! This is a good event for Skeptics of Michigan to come together and discuss local, national, worldwide items affecting skeptics. All are welcome to listen and participate.

We also have special guests and speakers that contribute to the conversation and/or debate.

Please be sure to RSVP so I know how many are coming. You can also RSVP on Facebook.  That way I can modify the reservation if necessary.

I hope to see you all there!

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