Kary Mullis at Teds, how to tie a shoe, and a squirrel saga

Not much will be coming from me over the next week or ten days, but I did throw together some assorted odds and ends below. Stay safe. Be well. Be smart. Be brave, all of us.

Mullis here is talking about surfing and the 17th century, very interesting. He then talks about how he invented the PCR machine, and did so by not listening to authority figures, instead relying on himself. Most importantly, at 19:40 he talks about the nature of scientific research and how it was co-opted by money after WWII. Better yet, at 21:40, he completely blows climate change out of the water. Well worth a listen.

Even as he does this, the Wikipedia banner is laced across the page as follows:

They cannot let an opportunity to spew their propaganda go by. [See PS]

I don’t much truck at TED TALKS, especially since seeing lifetime actor Sue Klebold go on there about her (fictitious) son, Dylan, one of the two Columbine ghosts who supposedly shot up the place in 1999. But, below the fold here, is one of the most useful TED Talks I’ve ever seen. I was constantly annoyed by shoelaces on hiking boots coming unraveled while hiking and walking. This video put an end to the problem. Decide for yourself. It is 3:00 minutes.

This really happened:

I have bird feeding platforms strung from a wire from our deck to a nearby tree. Yesterday there was a squirrel in one, and as usual, I went to spray some water on it. I don’t want to hurt it, as it’s food and we put it there, but the water does discourage them. I picked up the hose and put the nozzle on ‘jet’ and opened it up but the water was turned off. Usually by the time I have hose in hand the squirrel has flown away, literally*, but this time it stayed. Then I saw movement below and saw that there was a fox stalking the squirrel. Rocky was in a big bind – if I had doused him, he would have had to stay put, as the fox was waiting for him to come on down and be dinner.

I went in the house to get my camera (too late as it turns out) and when I returned, the fox was on the railing of the deck, but was unable to get to the feeding platform as it was out of his reach. While this was going on, the squirrel went into an unusual posture, standing straight up and looking at the sky. All I can figure is that this is a camouflage move that it would use if in a tree and seeing a hawk or other predator overhead.

Anyway, I would have felt like s*** had I led the squirrel to an early death, and, of course, I have no photos.

*Our squirrels, when caught on the platform, will usually depart by jumping from the platform to the ground (about 12 feet), rather than crawling on the wire. They spread their front paws, and land on their chest and extended paws, spreading the impact. It makes a small thump, and they are fine after.

PS: I have here in my office a book compiled by Bob Tisdale called Extremes and Averages in Contiguous U.S. Climate, which graphs 100 years of climate data (published in 2018) for the lower 48. As Tisdale notes, this is a book that NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) itself should have published. All of the data therein are hidden in open sight. For instance, for Colorado, the highest high temperatures each month are recorded since 1918, and have risen .156 Deg /F per decade during that time. As Mullis notes, nighttime temperatures have risen slightly faster, .504 Deg F/Decade, this attributable to placement of monitoring stations, and not due to global warming. The average, .231 Deg F/Decade, is minuscule. hardly something to be wringing our hands about, in fact, beneficial. Civilization thrives during warm periods such as Minoan, Roman, Medieval, and the current Modern Warm period, the latter occurring as we near the end of the current inter-glacial period.

Similarly, precipitation data shows a slight upward trend (.016 inches/Decade) during that 100 year period, while the Palmer Drought Severity Index data shows fewer and milder droughts.

In other words, climate scientists, news readers and politicians are lying about the most basic and easily discoverable data. Anyone seeking data for their own state (it is very similar everywhere) let me know, and I will supply data upon return from our trip. The planet is not warming, and the manufactured scare is for some other unstated purpose.

16 thoughts on “Kary Mullis at Teds, how to tie a shoe, and a squirrel saga

    1. I once predicted (I normally avoid doing that) that Jim Fetzer would one day die in the middle of a sentence. That seems safe. But there you have it, the ’33’ dangling right in front of him, and he’s mum. The guy is a spook.


  1. Mark- I guess you’re off hiking, but wondering what your take is on the whole Global Munchausens Syndrome idea that Ab referenced.. Via IPS… And more recently northerntracey (another Ab link) had a piece talking about the enjoyment and attention-seeking/ self-dramatizing of covidians.

    It reminded me: I recently watched the HBO miniseries Sharp Objects – all about a dysfunctional family where the mother suffers from this – “treats” her daughters with poison. I didn’t quite make the connection while watching, but in retrospect, it must be allegorical wrt covid – tho predating it by a few years. Based on a book by Gillian Flynn – didn’t this blog cover her once.


    1. The daughters have their own dysfunction – they try to please the mother by taking their “medicine”, even though they sense/ know it’s poison.


      1. One note if anyone is curious – the final climax is absolutely ridiculous and over the top. BUT all the rest is very well done imo – acting, cinematography, editing, script, etc.


    2. TimR, haven’t seen Sharp Objects–Better Call Saul is the only TV series I care about these days. But in the first three seasons of BCS, Michael McKean plays a character who believes he’s allergic to electricity, and suffers symptoms that everyone else believes are psychosomatic and a sign of mental illness, though they’re very real to him. There are a few episodes where McKean’s character, Charles McGill, describes his symptoms, and McKean perfectly captures the almost child-like wonder, the self-glorifying fascination, the borderline reverence that I’ve seen in the faces and heard in the voices of friends and family when they talk about their brave, brave battle with Covid. It’s such a specific manifestation of neurosis, and it certainly does seem common among the covidians.

      Unfortunately, McKean is an obnoxious Good Liberal cheerleader for the vaccines on Twitter. But man, his performance on that show is brilliant.


      1. Interesting, thanks. I never saw Breaking Bad, so was kind of hesitant to start BCS, despite all the raves (and sometimes raves keep me away.) But might have to give it a look.


        1. I know a few people, including a nephew who has good taste, who became fans of Better Call Saul without seeing Breaking Bad. I think it’s a better show than BB… but I’ll cease with the praise, because too much hype tends to make me avoid shows, movies and books too.


          1. Well your rec counts for a lot, so I’ll definitely check it out. “Normie” raves one takes with a grain of salt…

            Generally speaking though, our local library system has a TON of movies/ shows… More than anyone could possibly watch. Dozens of things that never even get talked about. And I like to browse those, taking a chance based just on the box copy. Every now and then I find a gem in the rough that I wouldn’t have otherwise.


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