Sunless, Squidless.

So apparently I’m attending The Waterloo Festival For Animated Cinema this weekend. I’m there right now, in fact.

I am surprised to learn this, since I haven’t left Toronto today. I haven’t even left the Magic Bungalow. In fact I haven’t even got out of bed, except to feed the fur and the fins, and to put Bailey’s in the morning coffee. I actually did get an e-mail from these Waterloo folks a few weeks back, asking if they could call me up and discuss the prospect of my appearance, and I said sure; but I never heard from them after that. So here I am, at three in the afternoon, in Bed with BOG and BUG and Bailey’s. Just as happy as I’d be in Waterloo, probably.

Also, I know this whole rogue planet thing is yesterday’s news and has already been all over the Internet, but I thought I’d mention it in passing for its obvious personal relevance. And also because I think they should be looking a lot closer to home.

From Phys.org

This entry was written by Peter Watts , posted on Saturday November 17 2012at 12:11 pm , filed under astronomy/cosmology, public interface . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

9 Responses to “Sunless, Squidless.”

  1. @Peter: I guess you’ve seen the film “Melancholia”. ;)

    Noted in passing: “Study Says Human Beings Are Getting Dumber“.

  2. Sorry to follow myself, but the World Bank has just released “Turn Down the Heat: Why a Four Degree C Warmer World Must Be Avoided” (PDF). That link is to the summary, prepared for World Bank by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics.

    World Bank is taking an alarmingly deep new interest in climate change, and has gone so far as to create a website dedicated to looking at it from a international banker and development organization’s viewpoint. It’s at http://climatechange.worldbank.org/.

    From the report’s executive summary:

    This report spells out what the world would be like
    if it warmed by 4 degrees Celsius, which is what scientists
    are nearly unanimously predicting by the end of the century,
    without serious policy changes.

    The 4°C scenarios are devastating: the inundation of coastal cities;
    increasing risks for food production potentially leading
    to higher malnutrition rates; many dry regions becoming dryer,
    wet regions wetter; unprecedented heat waves in many regions,
    especially in the tropics; substantially exacerbated water scarcity
    in many regions; increased frequency of high-intensity
    tropical cyclones; and irreversible loss of biodiversity,
    including coral reef systems.

    And most importantly, a 4°C world is so different
    from the current one that it comes with high uncertainty and
    new risks that threaten our ability to anticipate and plan
    for future adaptation needs.

    The lack of action on climate change not only risks
    putting prosperity out of reach of millions of people
    in the developing world, it threatens to roll back
    decades of sustainable development.

    It is clear that we already know a great deal about
    the threat before us. The science is unequivocal
    that humans are the cause of global warming,
    and major changes are already being observed:
    global mean warming is 0.8°C above pre-industrial levels;
    oceans have warmed by 0.09°C since the 1950s
    and are acidifying; sea levels rose by about 20 cm
    since pre-industrial times and are now rising at 3.2 cm per decade;
    an exceptional number of extreme heat waves occurred
    in the last decade; major food crop growing areas
    are increasingly affected by drought.

    Despite the global community’s best intentions to
    keep global warming below a 2°C increase above
    pre-industrial climate, higher levels of warming are
    increasingly likely. Scientists agree that countries’ current
    United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
    emission pledges and commitments would most likely result in
    3.5 to 4°C warming. And the longer those pledges remain unmet,
    the more likely a 4°C world becomes.

    Data and evidence drive the work of the World Bank Group.
    Science reports, including those produced by the
    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, informed
    our decision to ramp up work on these issues, leading to:
    a World Development Report on climate change designed
    to improve our understanding of the implications of a warming planet;
    a Strategic Framework on Development and Climate Change,
    and a report on Inclusive Green Growth. The World Bank
    is a leading advocate for ambitious action on climate change,
    not only because it is a moral imperative, but because
    it makes good economic sense.

    It’s always nice to have a large pile of heavily footnoted peer-reviewed documents handy with which to thump the politicians about the head and shoulders.

    It’s even better when it’s published by a transnational dev org with extremely deep pockets and a big stick.

  3. Fascinating! Would probably be a terrible place to live, though. Reminds me of that quote by Lovecraft about humanity’s fear of mass extinction. Way to stick it to that Anime festival btw. Nerds!

  4. I come back to rifters to see a new comment in another thread, and notice in the side bar some more activity in this thread. which at first looked like some long poem, woa kick ass…. no,wait, it’s just how my small screen is formatting blockquotes. oh well, was expecting something like a scientific report in verse. where does that secondary world live?

    so this rambling has me a request. would our host’s web monster enable a general rss feed for comments rather than or in addition to per-post rss feeds?

  5. Sheila: so this rambling has me a request. would our host’s web monster enable a general rss feed for comments rather than or in addition to per-post rss feeds?

    Sure, if I can do that in three steps/five minutes or less. Is there some tag or pointer I can sub into the general crawl link that connects to all comments from any post? I’m not seeing it on the tutorial, and I don’t have time to to start hunting further afield.

  6. Peter Watts: Sure, if I can do that in three steps/five minutes or less.Is there some tag or pointer I can sub into the general crawl link that connects to all comments from any post? I’m not seeing it on the tutorial, and I don’t have time to to start hunting further afield.

    I am the wrong person to answer that. as far as I’m concerned blog software is bad magic that I will pay someone else to do for me. I’d probably know just enough to shoot myself in the foot.

    let me see if I can find some nice tutorial in a few minutes

  7. woa, you don’t have to do anything. It’s already part of wordpress.

    https://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Feeds

    http://www.rifters.com/crawl/?feed=comments-rss2

    I should have rubber ducked more.

  8. @Sheila, who wrote in-part: [...] was expecting something like a scientific report in verse. where does that secondary world live?

    When resorting to blockquote tags, and never knowing how people’s browsers and/or screen/font settings might alter it, I do go out of my way to break up the lines in a way that’s intended to parse a meaningful phrase per line without going over 80 characters wide. Doesn’t exactly scan, but WTF.

    For a while back there before I finally gave up on UseNet,
    I resorted to explaining things to people in what I thought
    would make me look all full of Zen and Wisdom.

    The theory was that if you explained things to people
    in easily parsed and intellectually digestible bites
    they’d have less trouble understanding, and would be
    more easily convinced.

    :)

  9. Mr Non-Entity:
    When resorting to blockquote tags, and never knowing how people’s browsers and/or screen/font settings might alter it, I do go out of my way to break up the lines in a way that’s intended to parse a meaningful phrase per line without going over 80 characters wide. Doesn’t exactly scan, but WTF. [...]

    These days I only hard-return in bug reports where we insert log excerpts. Those excerpts can have seriously long lines that go way way past a gazillion columns. The bug tracking tool at one point could not handle the formatting gracefully when they weren’t broken up. It drove me bat shit insane with annoyance. I opened up a bug report titled: Stop the horizontal scrolling madness!

    anyway, oh here we go Put In Another Methyl Group: A Villanelle. With a link to a famous rhyming organic chemistry journal article, Comparative mobility of halogens in reactions of dihalobenzenes with potassium amide in ammonia.

    I hope this inspires people.