Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My attempt at an unbiased analysis of Anthropogenic Global Warming

I think my past opinions over the whole AGW debate has probably been a matter of public record. Anyone who is familiar with my behavior would know I held nothing back when expressing my disdain over what I termed "Global Warming Alarmists". I felt that these people were much akin to a hybrid of Chicken Little, the Boy Who Cried "Wolf!", and random political fanboys. All of them singing the same song in lock-step while simultaneously spewing hatred and accusations of anyone who dared disagree with them. I think their attitude is what kept me from analyzing the AGW to the depth I should have. Their attitude is very similar to those of political party advocates, religious nutjobs, and AGW denialists.

Over the past month, I'm sure most of you have seen a lot of news coming out of the Copenhagen climate summit. The emails released to the public by an anonymous hacker caused a huge uproar on both sides making the debate over the issue even more aggressive than it already was. I always try to keep a clear head when analyzing different subjects. My thoughts on life, religion, and general happiness are all firmly grounded upon the idea of keeping away from the my-team vs your-team mentality. In my opinion, AGW debate, like politics and religion before it, has become this team-based monstrosity which drowns out the cooler heads and saner voices.

In my reading of the emails and various articles pertaining to, I could see many discrepancies. Both sides attempted to twist excerpts from the emails into something they weren't. While I don't think there is some global conspiracy to falsify data (which is just as preposterous as believing in the New World Order, the Illuminati, or Intelligent Design), I do think there were attempts to supress publications of differing opinions. Scientists are SUPPOSED to stay impartial. Sometimes theories are disproven by better evidence, but sometimes they are made even stronger through better understanding. It is unforgivable that someone in that kind of position allowed their own personal agenda cloud their normally sound and fair judgement. The issues with 'Climategate' aside, the data is still sound and there are many more research institutes than just this one.

In the AGW skeptic group, there is a key list of items for which it is assumed that the alarmists have no answer for. I, and nearly all other skeptics/deniers, never bothered to fully research these items. Several of which were fudged data or misunderstood processes. After my in-depth reading, I've come to the conclusion that each one of these items can and has been debunked much like the moon-landing denialists. Unfortunately, the scientists have not been the ones speaking to the public as a whole. That message has to go through a scientifically-stupid media, be filtered for ratings-potential, and finally handed down to the even-more-scientifically-stupid public--50% of whom think Intelligent Design is an acceptable scientific alternative to the Theory of Evolution. We don't have any great speakers like Carl Sagan out there anymore. Everyday-scientists are just very bad at making explanations that the public can understand. This is a huge disconnect and is, in my opinion, the biggest reason for a decreased interest in science and engineering by the general populace. Science gets filtered down into a pseudo-science that people watch on garbage shows like CSI, movies like the Core and The Day After Tomorrow. I'm not even a scientist--I'm an engineer. If the general public's ignorance and misunderstanding in the realm of computers is any indicator, I can't even imagine how badly misunderstood things like quantum mechanics, climatology, and evolution are to people who do not have a rich background of math and science.

I'm not going to go into details here as this is a personal blog post and not an article. But after analyzing the evidence via article readings, data analysis, and combing through large debates in various comment sections; I have to conclude that AGW is very real and while skepticism in almost any situation is a good thing, we must attempt to resolve that skepticism by learning for ourselves. Otherwise the skeptic becomes useless in function and ends up just being an annoying nay-sayer.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My puppy tries my patience

So my dog has decided to eat the faux-tile in the house. I walked in from work yesterday and stood in shock as there was a huge section of the floor missing and showing nothing but foundation. So needless to say, Hans is primarily an outside puppy during the day.

And now he's dug a hole on top of the sprinkler system piping; I'm going to have to fill it and figure out how to keep him from digging there in the future.

Work finally got exciting today as I received my loaner laptop for the project that I'm working on. I already had a lot of code done free-hand, but now have finished a lot more and have the program decoding the GPS data. Tomorrow I should be able to refine the code and also get a more advanced (and better looking) GUI setup. What I've got in mind is pretty awesome and it shouldn't be too hard to code. I may not even need the mathematics that my program manager claims. We will see.

I found out today that my niece Reagan has gotten a bit sick over the past few days and I'm pretty worried about her. I hope she's ok. Also, Julie gets here tomorrow! I'm super excited as I've really missed her being around. We're also probably going to go out and get christmas presents for each other and our families. Its going to be an AWESOME weekend, especially since I have Friday off too.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Productive Weekend

Well this weekend was very productive. I had boxes of dishes and hampers full of dirty clothes piling up. I've got just about everything unpacked now and finishing up the last set of dishes. The garage was also cluttered so I got much of that brought into the house and the rest packed into the corners. Now I can pull the truck into the garage at night, at leasst until Julie movies in :)

My bike has a front-end wobble at lower speeds. I took a look at the front fork and it looks possibly messed up. The only thing I can see as evidence is the fork brace that resides over the front wheel fender has a crack on one of the corners. I guess I can replace that first to see if that fixes the problem, but I'm pretty sure I may have to replace the entire fork.

Well I'm headed to bed.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Finally a paycheck comes

Well after a long ordeal of not having cash and having to borrow it from seemingly everyone to get by, I'll have my first paycheck tomorrow. It will only be a half paycheck, but since everything is taken care of for the moment, I should be ok for the time being. It will even be enough to get some Christmas presents for everyone back home! :)

Hans seems to be chewing his fur off again, I have no idea why. I'm wondering if this is a food allergy or something. Speaking of allergies, it appears that Tyler's problem with ear fluid is going away. He repeatedly has sliced his head open by scratching his ear too hard. He literally pulled off a layer of skin. He's had some issues with getting this black crap built up in his ear and it only began (and apparently ended) when I began living at that house near USA campus (the one owned by the psycho landlady). Well his ear is healing well now. When I came back to Mobile for Lisa's convocation ceremony, I left him and Checkers by themselves. I fully expected to see his ear cut open again, but I arrived at home to find the scabs untouched and it healing. So far he's doing well and it looks like some fur is started to come back. A vet told me it might be an allergy to something and it appears that he was correct. Either way I'm glad, Tyler is a much more friendly and happy kitty lately. He and his sister have got a TON of room to sneak around and play in.

One thing I've noticed around here while driving is that Florida drivers for the most part are better than Alabama drivers. They actually pay attention to what they're doing. However, they are much more rude. I can't count how many times I've witnessed someone needing to get over and watching someone else block them from moving for no apparent reason. Honestly there's no real reason to act that way. I've also had to learn the traffic patterns around town. The patterns change depending on the time of day; its very odd. When leaving for work it is fastest for me to head down US1 and turn onto Palm Bay Rd. But when going home, I can only go up US1 about halfway before I run into gridlock traffic. It blows my mind why it works out this way, but traffic will block for a full mile around Eau Gallie Blvd around 5:30.

As far as hobby projects, I think I'm going to work on two projects for the next 6 months. Once I get the Lexus here, I plan on finishing that up. I didn't have much farther to go and only needed to spend a couple hundred more dollars. The second project is to build a tabletop gaming table. I've had a couple ideas in the past and I'm now inspired by some stuff I've seen on a few blogs.

Anywho, I'm headed to bed in a bit.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Updates and hopefully catching up

Well here's an update:

Relationship with my previous gf ended, now dating a new girl named Julie whom I have known for an even longer period of time. She's a Computer Engineer too!

I've recently moved out to Melbourne, FL to pursue a career with Harris Corporation. Harris is a major player with the DoD in the realm of communications. They make top-notch battle-tested communications equipment for quite a few government branches including the military. They have about 6500 employees in this area alone and 4 separate, major campuses. I've got a huge opportunity here to work with some really high tech stuff. They've given me a signing bonus and paid moving expenses, so everything is working well so far!

Unfortunately I had to move away from Mobile, AL. I didn't have too many friends left in the city as I stopped working in and hanging out with the food service crowd once I returned to school. I do have a niece there though and I'm sure gonna miss her. I guess I'll miss the rest of the family too. :)

I'm hoping I can keep this as an update for anyone curious as to what I'm doing.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Movin' On Up

One of the great things I achieved with finishing school was the means to get a lease on a house. Why a lease? Well at this moment I don't think I'm going to be in town for too many years; the apartment was WAY too small; and this house is within 1 minute of school since I've decided to take a few grad courses to keep the grant money rolling in.

Its a 2150 sq ft 2 bed, 1 study, and 2.5 bath. The rooms are all very large. The house seems a perfect place for me and the gf to move everything we own into it. The cats have much more room to play and to sleep.

Currently, the job prospect at Austal fell through. They seem to need more Mechanical Engineers. My talents allow me to play in a lot of different fields and hold hybrid positions (and this is what they were discussing with me), but they need more specifics at the moment. There are other opportunities around at the moment so not all hope is lost. I have not negotiated a salary at my current place of employment and there are a few places I will be applying to within the next few weeks. I hope by mid-January to be settled in for whatever job I end up at.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Closing Arguments

An era ends on Saturday the 6th at 2:00pm. I finally graduate college and enter into unknown territory. Its unknown territory because I really don't know how things are supposed to go nor what I'm supposed to do now that this phase is over. In a way, school was pretty simple for me in that I always knew what I had to do.

Graduate school is there on the horizon, but now it has become one of those "do it soon" things. I'm deathly afraid that I'll grow satisfied with life and settle for a Masters degree from South Alabama. Not that its a BAD school, but I feel that I've proven to myself that I can hang and succeed in a much more challenging environment. Something challenging in the Computer Engineering field gets me very excited and psyched-up. And I think that sums up my displeasure with USA; because it courses are mostly of a simplistic nature and do not challenge me. I don't feel the panicky need for cramming or ceaseless studying anymore like I used to. I don't think its just "coasting" either; I REALLY feel let down by most of my senior-level classes. The Computer Engineering-specific courses have been VERY disappointing for a variety of reasons. Those reasons mostly because of tenured professors seemingly stuck in the 1980s. Its quite possible that I expected too much when going into this semester; I had fully expected these courses to be the culmination of everything else. I expected them to be the explanation of the unexplained. But all they were was just a continuation, a repeat, or a huge waste of time.

I hope I never get satisfied with what I have accomplished. In my life's experience, I KNOW for a fact that I am at my best when I am challenged and forced to adapt or fail. I absolutely must never forget that doctoral work waits for me in the field of my choice and that it awaits me as the ultimate challenge. I'd like to believe I'll get my PhD before I turn 35; but its going to take some effort on my part not to give in like I did back then.

The next 6 days are going to be pure hell on earth and I'm glad I had a bit of vacation time before it all comes to an end.