Archive for January, 2017

Giant Pterosaurs 

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

 

How did they fly? (or did they always have strong winds or cliffs to jump off?)

And why do they have beak-like snouts like birds? (while bats do not)Source: Fossils of giant pterosaurs found in Transylvania

The Science is Clear?

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

Anyone distressed by the amount of distrust of real science in the world today need only look at the overstated (and actually false) headline in this bit of “science” journalism to find an explanation.

Of course torture doesn’t always work. And it very likely would only rarely be the most effective way of getting information. But I can tell you for sure that it can sometimes work because I know that there are circumstances in which it would work on me.

What’s in the article is mostly not false

Enhanced interrogation techniques often lead to unreliable information; instead, we might want to follow the lead of a noted “nice-guy” Nazi.

but it does not support the headline. And regardless of what the authors intended, that headline stands as the position of a self-styled “science” magazine.

Source: The Science is Clear, Torture Doesn’t Work – D-brief

Robert Reich (Trump’s Plan to Neuter the White House Press Corps)

Sunday, January 15th, 2017

And he repeatedly lied. But the media in attendance weren’t allowed to follow up or to question him on his lies.For example, Trump wrongly stated that “the Democratic National Committee was totally open to be hacked. They did a very poor job. … And they tried to hack the Republican National Committee, and they were unable to break through.” Baloney.FBI Director James B. Comey said there was evidence that Republican National Committee computers were also targeted. The critical difference, according to Comey, was that none of the information obtained from the RNC was leaked. Also, according to Comey, the Russians “got far deeper and wider into the [DNC] than the RNC,” adding that “similar techniques were used in both cases.”

Source: Robert Reich (Trump’s Plan to Neuter the White House Press Corps)

Unfortunately this is a poor example. The DNC was hooked by a very simple phishing operation and whoever was responsible for advising Podesta did indeed do a “very poor job” (and so by implication did whoever hired him right up to Podesta and the DNC leadership themselves). Almost cetainly the RNC was “also targeted” by “similar techniques” but as Comey said, the Russians  “got far deeper and wider into the [DNC] than the RNC.” This is totally consistent with Trump’s claim that “they tried to hack the Republican National Committee, and they were unable to break through.” That claim may be “Baloney”, in that other techniques did get in to the Republicans and the discovered embarassing information was not released, but there is nothing in Reich’s rebuttal to justify that counter-claim.