Broadcast TV needs to realize “We have Choices”.

Just a modest bit of snark…

So I’m trying desperately to have a shared time with the spouse. We are watching a bit of TV between washing the car (and my BBQ of dinner) and whatever is later in the evening. We have “Cable” (DISH TV) that is not significantly different from broadcast TV.

After a couple of cycles around the dial, (earlier in the day, it was an infomercial for Ed Sullivan DVDs that was the best thing on. Honest…) we decided that it was a toss up between a poor Robin Williams movie (that we’d never seen about being the father of some kids from a ‘single mom’ ) and some relatively boring ice skating. (Can you think of much LESS interesting that watching folks doing the same formal program of movements a dozen times on ice? The only real change being the costume and who falls down when?) Really, it was a stark dry boring wasteland.

So, I’m now back at the computer composing an article on WAP (West Antarctic Peninsula) and she has decided that a shower is more interesting than anything on TV. Sigh.

Television has become a wasteland of empty when it is more interesting to take a shower or leave it behind entirely and head for the computer (as a guy who must be paid to use a computer 40 hours a week…)

But “Reality Just Is. -E.M.Smith”, so we are ‘going with it’.

Still, I really must question the astounding stupidity that has ‘reality TV’ (that is universally anything BUT reality) and not-quite-news repeats of the same old same old political nattering as nearly the BEST things on; with watching ice melt… oh, pardon, watching ice skating… and infomercials with snippets of Ed Sullivan as absolutely THE best choices out of 50? some channels. Sigh….

OK, I’m going to take a bit of solace in some Tequila (and home grown Meyers Lemons… yum!) and make a posting about why the WAP is WARM….

Maybe I can find some paint to watch dry…

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Posted in Human Interest | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

New Yorkers and New Jersey not dumb…

NEW YORK (AP) — Alarmed by the case of an Ebola-infected New York doctor, the governors of New Jersey and New York on Friday ordered a mandatory, 21-day quarantine for all medical workers and other arriving travelers who have had contact with victims of the deadly disease in West Africa.

The move came after a New York City physician who returned to the U.S. a week ago from treating Ebola patients in Guinea fell ill with the virus. Many New Yorkers were dismayed to learn that after he came home, Dr. Craig Spencer rode the subway, took a cab, went bowling, visited a coffee shop and ate at a restaurant in the city of 8 million.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the case led them to conclude that the two states need precautions more rigorous than those of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends monitoring of exposed people for 21 days but doesn’t require quarantine, in which they are kept away from others.

“It’s too serious a situation to leave it to the honor system of compliance,” Cuomo said.

Those who are forcibly quarantined will be confined either to their homes or, if they live in other states, to some other place, most likely a medical facility, the governors said. Those quarantined at home will receive house calls from health officials. Twenty-one days is the incubation period for the Ebola virus.

Dr. Howard Zucker, acting New York state health commissioner, said any medical personnel who have treated Ebola patients in the three Ebola-ravaged West African countries — Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia — will be automatically quarantined.

Cuomo said anyone arriving from the three countries will be questioned at the airport about their contact with Ebola patients.

The two governors gave no estimate of how many travelers would be subject to quarantine, but Cuomo said “we’re not talking about a tremendous volume of people coming in from these areas,” and added that there are no plans to hire more screeners at airports.

The two states are home to Kennedy Airport and Newark Liberty in New Jersey, both major international portals.

Spencer’s illness led lawmakers on Capitol Hill, scientists and ordinary New Yorkers to wonder why he was out on the town after his return from West Africa — and why stronger steps weren’t being taken to quarantine medical workers.

Health officials said that he followed U.S. and international guidelines in checking his temperature every day and watching for symptoms, and that he put no one at risk. But others said he should have been quarantined — either voluntarily or by the government — during the incubation period.

Well, one State at a time is better than nothing…

A Modest Suggestion:

Medical staff returning from Ebola regions are given an all expenses paid Cruise home on a very nice cruise ship. Fine dining. Pool and sun deck. The works. Just have it take 30 days to make the voyage…

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F*#king Hubris of Ebola Doctors and Loony Left

Please forgive my somewhat out of character bluntness, but the “stakes” here are no less than about 1/2 of the total human population.  Call it 4 Billion souls.

So we’ve already dodged the bullet once (maybe – we still have about 3 weeks to know) in Dallas.  So what happens?  ANOTHER brilliantly clueless idiot who is enamored of his own specialness and noble cause manages to put all of NYC (and through it all of the globe) at risk of a disease that has a 70% mortality and no proven treatment.

Yes, there are a few speculative treatments.  I hardly find it comforting to think of a few speculative treatments as how to ‘bet the future of humanity’ in a prudent way.

Also, against my will, I’ve been afflicted with MSNBC.   It would seem that the ratings of CNN became so dismal that the local “mix” of DISH TV has swapped MSNBC for CNN.  OK, I need some alternative to Fox (that I watch most) as the “loyal opposition” to get my balance of new feeds… but really, MBSNC?  (That’s Mostly BS No Content /snark)

At any rate, I was watching it during commercials on Castle and Fox…   And they are all oozing with endorsement for how courageous this doctor was for running off to Africa to treat Ebola.   And the usual mantra of “must have a fever, and only direct wet contact” and all makes it Just Fine that this irresponsible Dr. was out bowling with friends and riding cabs and subways “prior to being symptomatic”.   Completely clueless that “wet contact” includes sneezing within a yard or two and that “symptomatic” might have included the prior two days of feeling unwell….   (While Fox was fixated on some jerk attacking police with an ax, as though that mattered…)

How may people have to die?  How many $Millions need to be spent on “contact tracing”?  How many cities need to be put into fear and panic?  How much crap has to be recorded before folks realize that Hubris, that the belief that we actually know this disease and can control it, that this arrogance is just giving this virus exactly what it wants?  Free passage globally and wide exposure.

As I’ve pointed out a few times now, the 21 days in NOT a bright line.  It is a 95% level.  The other 5% take longer to show symptoms.  That the “wet contact” is a ‘kinda sorta’ with aerosol working fine (think sneeze or cough) and that dry contact also works as it can live on things like door knobs for several hours.  Oh, and not to mention that dogs can be asymptomatic carriers and that rats and other animals can get the disease as well…   So here was MSNBC specifically stressing that it was EXACTLY 21 days and then you are perfectly safe and that it was ENTIRELY wet contact or you had no risk.  Never mind that Infected Doctor on the subway (coughing?  sneezing?  grabbing the hang rail?), you didn’t kiss him, so what’s the worry?

Look, I’m glad he went and helped those folks.  But really… think about it.  For the $Million or so that will be flushed down the toilet just from his sickness and contact tracing everyone on his travel route, we could have built a Very Nice (perhaps even world class) resort area in Africa.  All those MSF (Doctors Without Borders) folks and anyone else wanting to return to home ports could spend a month (or more) in a nice hotel, with pool, fine dining, and more.   On a nice African coastal area complete with beach and bar.   Reducing the risk to the rest of the world to “near zero”.  Hell, if he wants to have a ‘booty call’ to the spouse or betrothed, send her over for free on the next flight (to stay for 30 days all expenses paid…)   I’m fine with that.  BTW, this Dr.s GF is now in quarantine… I’m sure that’s going to make him look like a ‘good catch’….

So instead we have this “drag folks who were maximally exposed all over the world THEN find out if they are packing virus” strategy?  Really?  That is the BEST we can do?

Given enough trials, one of these times the ‘bug’ will escape to the general public.  Some returning guy will spend the night with a hooker who has a dozen clients in the next dozen days (who did not give their names) and it’s “off to the races”.   During flu season, those dozen will not be diagnosed as Ebola until AFTER they have infected another 2 or 3 each.  At that point, in a dense urban place like NYC, this ends when 100% are dead, recovered, or naturally immune.  The present mortality rate has at least 1/2 and up to 70% of NYC dead.  Maybe not this time, but soon enough….

I would much rather we had that Taj Mahal resort built and the folks stayed in it for 30 days, on the taxpayer dime.  It would be cheaper, and it would remove the global risk from sending Ebola by express air all over the globe.

Frankly, given the MSNBC coverage, I’m really beginning to wonder if Progressives have some kind of brain disorder.   A need for ‘absolutes’ when there are none.  A need to feel superior (despite not thinking as well as the average bear…)   Some kind of need to hurt others with personal attacks.   And more.   Look folks, this NOT a partisan issue.  NOT AT ALL.   It is entirely a question of exponential growth of infection, 70% mortality, 100:1 contact expansion in western urban areas, and no effective vaccine nor preventative.  (Yes, the MSNBC folks extolled the virtue of bunny suits… all the time not mentioning the number of medical folks who have used ‘protection’ and still got sick.  Sheer hubris…)

So how many must die before folks on The Loony Side Of Left realize that:

1)  This disease does not do what you expect.  It does not care that you are wrong.

2)  It spreads by “moist enough and sometimes dry” paths.  Occasionally a dog or other animal.  Life is not a bright line, it is a bell curve of variations.

3)  Virus is shed even before your temperature reaches 101.5 F and sometimes folks are asymptomatic carriers for a while.

4)  It can, and does, move into animal vectors (dogs, rodents) and you have no clue how to stop that mode of spread.

5)  An exponential growth curve of infection looks like “not much” until just after it has exceeded all possible ways to contain it.   Then you lose all the cities in contact with that spot.  In the western world, that’s 100% of the cities with airports.

6)  You are not good enough to beat that virus in 100% of “trials”.  One failure costs up to 4 Billion dead.  In that context, it is better to inconvenience some doctors and nurses by having them stay (all expenses paid) in a nice hotel resort in Africa rather then having R&R all over the globe.  (Or heck, send over a Cruise Ship and let them spend a month at sea getting home.)

7) This is exactly the wrong place to make it a partisan issue. This is a 100% all hands and all resources on deck right now, no waiting, politics be damned issue. Stop being all ‘in your grill attitude’ and ‘faux offended’ about things like a travel ban. (And certainly lose your white guilt induced racial attitudes about Africa. This virus does not care what color you are, and your family is just as ‘at risk’ as those folks in Liberia.) We need a maximal response NOW, with 100% containment (that needs a travel ban) along with a 100% ‘resources in’ to Africa. And that may well mean a bunch of lily white doctors and nurses being quarantined in Africa for months before leaving. C140 military cargo planes and LCAC delivery of all we have (stuff can go in, even if people out are restricted).

I just don’t know how to make this point clear to the brain dead folks repeating that “what? me worry?” mantra.  They are betting the lives of millions of people and they just do not have that right, nor the skill at prevention they think they have.  We already have a large number of medical professionals using the prescribed protective measures who are dead, sick, or recovering from Ebola.  That is what is called an existence proof.   At this point, to not recognize that fact and prevent further movement of exposed people out of the hot zone is deliberate criminal negligence.

Once again, my prescription would include setting up one (or a few) CBW Military Hospitals in Africa.  We have them ‘in mothballs’ waiting for a war.  Use them.  Now.   One for anyone on the medical staff in Africa who becomes infected.  The rest for everyone else.  Send all of them we have, if needed.  We ought to be able to give the same care in them as we can give in Dallas… or better.

Set up an R&R area in the Hot Zone.  Make it very pleasant to stay there.  Fund it on the taxpayer.  I’m fine with that.  Just nobody leaves by air until 30 days after last exposure and no Ebola in a blood test.

Send all the medical and other aid needed to quench this outbreak as rapidly as possible in Africa.  It’s an exponential growth curve, and that means send all you have as soon as you know you have an ‘issue’.  Any delay means a massive increase in costs and risks.  Do not wait, send it all in now.

Contain, and maximally treat.  Do not, under any circumstance, think you know this disease and can control it.  You do not, and can not.  “Best Guess” is all you have.  It is already mutating and changing.

The ‘stakes’ really are about 70% of 8 Billion or so people.  Do not lose sight of that.  Forget politics.  Forget party.  Forget what you want, and what you believe.   Do put out all you can to prevent spread and effect cure as rapidly has possible.  Yes, that means travel bans.  Yes, it also means sending every and all possible aid into the hot zone.  (Heck, if someone actually institutes this, I’d say send me too.   I’ve worked in hospitals and I believe in eating your own cooking.  I am not prescribing for others what I would not do myself.)

At present what we are doing is “exactly wrong”.   Incremental aid.  Incremental staff (and them with ‘rotation’ for R&R back ‘home’ all over the planet) knowing that many will get sick.   Shipping the virus air express to all sorts of otherwise non-exposed regions.  Then trying to reel back in the virus after it has left the barn.

What will it take to get folks realizing the risk they face?  Perhaps some cases breaking out in Washington D.C.?  A few counties (or States?) in the USA under lock down?  Loss of, oh, I don’t know, maybe Paris?  A 2000 point loss on the Dow after folks realize what happens to profits once all air traffic halts as folks hunker down at home and don’t buy anything?

Those outrageous possibles are not all that unlikely.   At present we are hoping that we will only get ‘one or two’ cases at at time and that spread is under 1 to 1.   That is ONLY a hope.  We had one in Dallas, that infected 2 (so far), that may or may not have infected more (we find out in a couple of weeks…).   Now we’ve had a second spot in NYC where Herr Doctor wandered around the city for a day or two prior to a 100.3 F fever (originally reported as 103 F in the news).  How many will become ill from him?  1, so the chain continues?  2 so we have a double?   Maybe a dozen, so we start the end of NYC?   We will know about mid November….

How many times do we get to roll these “double or nothing” dice before we roll crap dice?

Nobody knows.

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Gonzo Gonzalo and Cyclone Up, Vortex Down

I was exploring the fascinating visuals at nullschool.   Being the sort I am, I looked at, and saved, a full series of each hP step (roughly millibars) from surface, to 1000, to 850, then 700 and 500 and 250 and 70 and 10…  for each of temperature, wind speed, relative humidity, and currents in the ocean with temperatures and on…

You can see it here live:,48.09,251

Now I’d started because I wanted to see what a Hurricane looked like.  Especially how the winds around it sucked up all the surface heat.    You can see Gonzalo off to the lower right, about over Bermuda.

N. Hemisphere wind with Gonzalo

N. Hemisphere wind with Gonzalo

So that’s what I set out to do.  Look at the little wound up spot off the coast of Florida.   But what I noticed was those three much larger low pressure rotation zones up near the North edge of the oceans.    While rotating slower (so not in the news as a hurricane), they are sucking up way more total mass of air, and cooling far more ocean surface.    Also (it is easier to see in the live animation than this static picture, but look for the fatter ends on the wind lines to show direction of rotation):  The N. Polar vortex is visible in the middle of it all, rotating the other way.  (That matters… as it indicates heat up / cold down and out)

Now a polar vortex has descending cold air, thinks I…  and cyclones have rising hot air.   In between?   Wait a minute, I think:   We’ve got cyclones up and vortex down.   It’s a giant heat engine sucking the heat out of the surface, dumping it up high, and then shoving the frigid air back down again.  (Yes, it compression heats on the way back down, but only to about -15 C which nullshool shows you if you click on a spot on the surface in an animation).   So it can be -50 C or so at altitude, and heats up to damn cold at the surface.

Similarly, those surface cyclones are whipping up the ocean surface, mixing cold water to the surface, evaporating tons of water, lofting it to altitude where it condenses (and freezes) and falls as cold rain, hail, and snow.   Moving massive amounts of heat to above the troposphere.  You can even see the cold polar air mass drifting down over Canada and the USA bringing us a nice cold winter… in fall…

Note that nowhere in this story is radiative physics involved in the troposphere.  The only place IR radiation is doing anything at all is in the stratosphere.  And there, CO2 is a cooling agent, radiating heat to space.

That, in a nutshell, is the problem with the AGW Global Warming theory.  It ignores all those giant cyclones, polar vortex, clouds, rain, snow, hail, ocean surface churning and cold water mixing.   All the dynamic ‘hard bits’ are ignored in favor of a ‘one size fits all’ infrared model.   So how much infrared warms you in a snow storm?  A hail storm?  During a downpour of rain?  At the pole with a frozen stratospheric funnel draining onto your head?   It just is not in the picture.

Speaking of which, some more pictures:

Gonzalo and Surface Temperatures

Gonzalo and Surface Temperatures

What fascinated me about this one was that Gonzalo did not show much surface cooling.  We know it happens by a degree or two, but not visible in this data.   Yet those larger cyclones are sitting right at the hot / cold interface and moving mass back and forth between them.  Picking up heat on the hot side, dumping it on the cold side.  (If you look at altitude slices, you can see the loft / descent happening too).

Gonzalo temp at 500 hP altitude with polar cold

Gonzalo temp at 500 hP altitude with polar cold

Half way up the atmosphere, things are colder, but the structure remains.  Cyclones up, vortex down, and warmer to colder bridging by those cyclones.   Gonzalo now barely shows up a at all.  As big as hurricanes are, they are small fry compared to major lows.

Gonzalo temps and the Stratosphere at 70 hP

Gonzalo temps and the Stratosphere at 70 hP

By the time we are at 70 hP (or mb) we are well into the stratosphere.  At this level, it is all cold polar vortex.   The intermediate layers (worth looking at, but a bit much to put in one posting) show the transition, and some of the changing directions and flow).   So here we have all the lofted air, radiating like mad to space, becoming incredibly cold, then going down the plug hole to the pole.    Notice that you can’t see the surface artifacts at all ( no cyclones, no surface IR making hot spots…)

Gonzalo wave and wind map with N. Atlantic Cyclone

Gonzalo wave and wind map with N. Atlantic Cyclone

Gonzalo is clearly a big deal, with 42 foot waves and low pressures.   But look at the low in the upper right.  30 foot waves.   And active over a much larger area.  What does all that do?  Maybe suck the heat right out?

SST Anomaly Ganzalo and N. Hemisphere Cyclones

SST Anomaly Ganzalo and N. Hemisphere Cyclones

Notice how those cold spots are very nearly under those large heat sucking cyclones.   Gonzalo not so much.  (Then again, getting data through a hurricane might be a bit hard


So that’s the thesis for this posting.   It isn’t at all about radiative physics.  The troposphere is all about circular air flows.  Cyclones up and vortex down.   All the radiation happens in the Stratosphere and above.   Now ask yourself:  With a sleepy sun putting out dramatically lower UV; so low that the thermosphere has shrunk and cooled, think maybe, just maybe that stratosphere ‘looking up’ has an easier time getting to space than back when the thermosphere was piping hot?   IMHO, that’s what the Warmers have missed. That their physics of radiation approach matters to the Stratopause, but not to the Tropopause.

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Posted in AGW and Weather News Events, AGW Science and Background, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 37 Comments

The Exponential of Ebola Rolls On

There’s an interesting BBC article with some decent graphics in it here:

The basic problem is in the graph of the growth of Ebola over time.  They have it by country, and in total.   THE major issue is a simple one.   All the curves continue to be upward sloping.    The exponential continues.   Until one of them (preferably the total as well) rolls over to flatten and then downward, we have a completely out of control and expanding plague.    Quarantine is NOT a ‘dirty word’.   It is a crude but effective tool to stop planting new weed patches and new sources of trouble in areas that are healthy refuges.  Places from which a response can be raised.   First, wall off the ‘bad thing’ (be it a virus, chemical contamination, nuclear contamination, whatever), then from your secure and clean base, provide a load of corrective / curative effort into the (now limited) area of involvement.

Continuing to haul thousands of folks all over the planet from infected areas is insanity.   Yes, IMHO, that includes Dallas now too.

Growth of Ebola

Growth of Ebola to date 14 Oct 2014

In the article they point out two very important things:

1) The counts are likely to be low. Perhaps as much as 50% low.
2) That sudden turn up at the end for Sierra Leone was due to a review of hospital records.

That curve is what we are ‘up against’. It will get a lot worse before it gets better.

In earlier postings I’d pointed to some positive news.

A CNN report on a retro-viral that looked to be curative. Other folks posted links that also pointed to potential “good things”. One was to an article on using massive intravenous Vitamin C (as the sodium salt) that had very good antiviral impact. Another was about Selenium, and that showed a very interesting thing. The symptoms of severe selenium deficiency include things, like hemorrhage, that are signatures of Ebola. And… The Ebola genome codes for sequences that would use a lot of the host selenium. The virus may be sucking up your selenium as a way of making you weak / sick. Large doses of Selenium would prevent that sequence. There was also some evidence for using nano particle silver as a virus killer. There was also a link to a Chinese drug with promise.

So, as a bare minimum, I’d propose the following:

1) Land a mobile CBW hospital with complete hazmat gear in Africa. Use THAT as the place to treat, and quarantine, any health care workers and missionaries and such that get Ebola while working there. Do not take them off the continent until 30 days after recovery from infection, or 30 days after last exposure to infection in others.

2) Put the quarantine outer border outside the known exposed areas. (At present, cases are known from outside the presently closed boarders. See the map in the article at BBC.) Folks can go in, but nobody comes out. Set up a 30 day quarantine facility at the border. Folks can enter it from the sick area, and if healthy 30 days later, can exit to the healthy side. IF that facility has a case of Ebola, everybody has a reset on their quarantine time. Yes, it’s a ‘lock box’ for limiting who gets out and that they have proven to not have the disease (i.e. incubation has passed).

3) Start trials of each proposed treatment. There are plenty of desperate patients who would benefit from anything, even just a bit of hope. Also try combinations. (So selenium with anti-virals for example). As soon as something is shown to work, use it in a whole country (if enough drug is available). As soon as something is shown to work really really well, use it everywhere.

4) Since a load of the cases are health care workers, drop the hubris that we have a clue just what this virus can, and can not, do. At least one variation (Reston) has evidence for limited airborne spread. With 10,000 to 20,000 infected, the mutation rate will be creating new sub-types right now. What it was, is not what it now is, and what it will be. Expect to be surprised. So health care workers ought to be assigned to the treatment of Ebola cases in the smallest number possible. Those folks get a room in the hospital and stay 24 x 7 (also pay them 24 x 7 for the duration). They leave when the outbreak ends, and go into 30 day quarantine then. Paid. Nobody who works an Ebola ward travels. (Use video conferencing if you need to ‘attend’ a meeting…)

Until those growth curves flatten, we are demonstrably clueless and doing the wrong things.

Now, with one case in Dallas leading to 2 nurses sick, and with a couple of weeks left in the incubation period for the other healthcare workers, and with unknown 100s of folks exposed to the nurses; the USA is also on that exponential growth curve. Yes, we are down at the toe of it, but on it we are. It will be 20 days before we know how far on it we go. That’s about November 6 or so. We can make no statement at all about how many Ebola cases are in the USA until then. Only if we get no more at all can we then say how many there are… Until that time, we must assume we are on that exponential curve and act accordingly.

We know the ‘protective measures’ didn’t work for those nurses. We know that exposures have happened. We know that cases have doubled. We know that we don’t know how to stop it. Yet.

So the right thing to do is to act as aggressively as possible. Assume the worst and assume you do not know how to prevent spread nor treat the disease. So far that looks to be accurate.

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