Happy B-Day Les Paul

Les Paul would have been 99 years old today.

A few months ago, I made a day trip to the Rock and Roll hall of fame and I spent more time at the (surprisingly extensive) Les Paul display then anywhere else. Not only was the man a technological genius, he was a fantastic musician and great entertainer.

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Here’s Les Paul with Chet Atkins.

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And this beer commercial

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“What’s your name?”… “It’s on your guitar.”

Too cool.

Enviro-nuts are thankful Obama is taking dictatorial approach to global warming

You know how they say the Environmental movement is the new home for displaced communists. This Op-Ed posted at the National Journal confirms that old saw:

In college classes, climate change is taught as a textbook example of where democracy fails. And there are a whole host of reasons to think America will fail on climate change: We’ve waited too long; the consequences aren’t as tangible as in other areas of policy; we’re bad at sacrificing in the short term to achieve in the long term.

President Obama, who on Monday rolled out landmark regulations for coal-fired power plants, has found a way around that age-old political problem posed by climate change and democracies, in part by acting a little bit more like a dictator. This is something he’s been skewered for on the right, with Rush Limbaugh accusing the White House of focusing on global warming just because “it offers the president opportunities to be dictatorial.”

Limbaugh is onto something, but he has it precisely backward: The decision to use executive authority is the means, not the ends. It also makes a lot of sense when it comes to global warming given Congress’s failure to pass the Waxman-Markey energy bill in 2009, and, for decades before that, to pass any sort of comprehensive climate legislation whatsoever.

By ‘climate change’ what environmentalists mean is global warming and, if we’re talking decades, it was less than four decades ago, the scientific community was hyping global cooling and an impending ice age. Remember this?

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Returning to the original point, leftists are resorting to the ‘dictatorial’ rout to consolidate more power within the Federal Government because most Americans aren’t buying the global warming hype. Furthermore, why does every so-called solution to ‘global warming’ involve heavy handed government regulation, punitive taxes and wealth redistribution through the U.N.?

Global warming will increase the variability of weather and most likely result in more extreme weather events. The Munich Re NatCatSERVICE data on loss relevant natural disasters already show such a trend for the last 30 years. The Germanwatch Climate Risk Index, which ranks the countries according to their extreme weather risks, shows that all countries in the top ten of this index are developing countries, led by Bangladesh, Myanmar and Honduras. 95% of fatalities from natural disasters in the last 25 years occurred in developing countries.

Furthermore, indices characterizing the expected range of future changes of climate like the Climate Change Index (Baettig et al., 2007) clearly show that in many developing countries these changes will be most pronounced. Taking into consideration that already today the climate conditions in many of these countries are on the edge of allowing a sustainable livelihood to the people, only small changes can put this at risk.

Developing countries do not have a history of large emissions of green house gases and thus have not contributed significantly to the causes of climate change. So it is in the responsibility of the industrialized countries, which have caused the problem, to support the people in the developing countries to mitigate climate risks and help them to adapt to the changes.

Scientific consensus doesn’t equal scientific proof and furthermore, isn’t it the job of scientists to be skeptical,

antarctica temeratures last 4000 years- vostok ice core

Looking at the above chart (click for a larger version), the 1970′s scientist might have been on to something after all. I wonder if they had consensus?

H/T: The Hockey Schtick 

Fields of Schemes: Brazil’s Nonexistent World Cup Economic Boost

Who could have possibly seen stadium building and hosting a major sporting event not living up to its promise?

Via WSJ:

The explanation goes beyond sports. For many Brazilians, the Cup has become a symbol of the unfulfilled promise of an economic boom for this South American nation. But the boom has fizzled. And now the World Cup’s $11.5 billion price tag—the most expensive ever—and a list of unfinished construction projects have become reminders of the shortcomings that many believe keep Brazil poor: overwhelming bureaucracy, corruption and shortsighted policy-making that prioritizes grand projects over needs like education and health care.

Why people put their faith in government to deliver complicated and critical things such as ‘education’ and ‘healthcare’ when they can’t even deliver a straightforward building projects is baffling.

**** Side-note: Can’t post a “soccer” story without a soccer dive video ****

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If you are interested in non-dives, click here.

Video: A robot that can out run you

OutRunner robot

A robot that can out run you… What could possibly go wrong?

RC cars and helicopters are cool and all, but if you want a combo breaker in your collection, here’s something different: a multi-legged robot that runs. At the moment, you can only get this remote-controlled sprinter called the OutRunner through Kickstarter, where its creators are trying to raise $150,000 to fund its production. It’s available in two different versions that can run on various terrains, including grass, asphalt and dirt. The basic model called the OutRunner Core is a 1.5-foot tall, 3-pound machine that ships with six legs and can move up to 10mph with a battery that lasts up to an hour. Too slow? Well, there’s also the OutRunner Performance, a slightly larger version (2-feet tall and 5 pounds) that ships with 12 legs, an HD camera, and can run up to 20mph for up to two hours.

The concept is very interesting, even though saying the robot is “running” on its “legs” is a bit of a stretch.

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OutRunner reminds me of a movie robot from Terminator: Salvation.

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Like I said, what could go possibly wrong.