UNPRECEDENTED!!! THE GROUNDHOG DIED!

Sad news has come from Canada. The cute and cuddly woodchuck “Winnipeg Willow” expired early on Saturday, January 30. Groundhog Day willow-groundhog

Unconfirmed reports state that Winnipeg Willow was seen drinking heavily on Friday night, and was heard screaming, “I can’t take it any more, I tell you! I’m vermin! I break horses legs with my holes, and can demolish an entire vegetable garden’s worth of spring seedlings in one night! My Momma didn’t raise me to be no teddy bear! But for five years I’ve had to put up with this @%$#&^%,  @#(**&  @#$$^%. I can’t take it! Don’t they know the only time a woodchuck is ever good is in a stew?”

The caretaker could not be reached for comment.

The news that the groundhog died apparently set off panic in Canada’s large community of Global  Warming Alarmists, who have stampeded to the southern border, making it hard for our reporter to get north for interviews (and to see if they wanted the yummy woodchuck meat, which is hard to come by in February.)

Groundhog 2 traffic-jam

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/winnipeg-willow-dies-groundhog-day-1.3426922

BREAKING NEWS

Government officials, speaking under conditions of anonymity, state there is no truth to the leaks that suggest Willow was driven to drink by government pressures that she only forecast warming winters, when she wanted to forecast six bad weeks coming after the current thaw. Copies of emails suggest Willow was offered a 100,000 carrot scientific grant to see no shadow, but the emails have since been erased and Willow’s laptop has mysteriously disappeared, asserted an anonymous source speaking at an undisclosed site to an under-educated reporter.

Further government statements from multitudinous leaks leaking under a guarantee of strict secrecy absolutely deny that Willow was assassinated, which is odd, because no one ever suggested that.

/sarc

Nipigon Bridge Failure —Social Vs Real Engineering—

“Murphy’s Law” kicked in up in Canada, as a brand new bridge on the Trans-Canada Highway buckled. Nipigon 1 1297792332567_ORIGINAL

This obviously is due to a mistake in the engineering of the bridge. There is discussion about whether the buckling was caused by a storm’s high winds, or very cold temperatures causing cables to contract more than expected, or both, but it really doesn’t matter. Problems such as these are suppose to be discussed and solved before construction even begins. It is a bit late to be heading back to the old drawing board.Peter Arno drawing board cartoon, New Yorker 1941-8x6

It is at this point that the wonders of tracing down the reasons for the SNAFU start to appear. This is also known as “The Blame Game,” and involves the absurdity of politicians, and a sort of engineering that has very little to do with real engineering: Social Engineering. Call it “spin” if you will, but it involves attempting to warp reality in such a manner as to benefit some, and to basically crucify others.  It departs from firm foundations and launches into a sort of false reality which often creates the very engineering mistakes it later is in such a hurry to cover-up, or excuse, or blame on others, or in some way, shape or form deny responsibility for.

Already I’ve seen the “Blame Game” regarding the Nipigon Bridge blame Spain. I didn’t bother to dig into the details, but I gathered some thought the mystery of Canadian politics had involved employing a Spanish construction company, which had less-than-usual experience with arctic cold and what such cold can do to construction materials, in the building of the Nipigon Bridge. Others blamed China, because some of the materials had been obtained more cheaply abroad. It all struck me as somehow splendid. One can only marvel at the ability of some people to blame disaster, occurring on their own doorstep, on nations and peoples thousands of miles away.

This is not to say politics isn’t to blame, for often it is. Rather than the best engineer, some brother-in-law of a person who donated to the party-in-power’s election gets the job, though he happens to be a complete doophus. The result is then a doophus’s debacle, such as the buckling of a brand new bridge.

The buckling of the Nipigon Bridge was due to real problems with real engineering, and created a whole new set of real problems for Canada, as Canada’s major cross-country highway was cut. On one hand real engineers set to work coming up with real answers, to open at least one lane of the bridge. Nipigon 2 nipigonbridge02jpg.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterbox

However these real solutions to real problems swiftly began to overlap the world of unreality created by social engineering. For example, the real engineers stated the most heavy loads could not cross the bridge, and this includes the super-heavy engines for wind-turbines, (which happen to be an unreal solution to the unreal problem of Global Warming). Those in charge of the real problem of wind turbine logistics then began to seek alternate routes down through the United States, but this of course involved crossing a border, which is an imaginary line involving passports, paperwork, and all sorts of complications involving paying politicians what are basically bribes, but is excused by calling them “fees”, or perhaps “tariffs”, or some other fancy-pants word.

At some point we are forced to stop and scratch our heads, and wonder why on earth we put up with Social Engineering.  All Social Engineering seems to do is to get in the way of doing jobs correctly in the first place, and then gets in the way of fixing the mistakes that Murphy’s Law makes all too common, even when we strive to do things correctly in the first place. Why don’t we strive to stick to what is real? Real Engineering seems to trump Social Engineering every day in every way.

I have thought long and hard about this subject, likely because as a schoolboy I was guilty of being a bald-faced liar, when it came to telling the teachers the truth regarding the whereabouts of my homework. The reality was too stark for me, and I sought to avoid facing reality. Had I been a true engineer I would have faced the facts, and the facts were I hadn’t done my homework and must bear the punishment. However I didn’t like those facts. I wanted to change the facts. And therefore I made up some of the most amazing stories teachers have ever heard. So incredible were my tales that teachers gaped, their jaws hanging in total astonishment, and they were unable to act. I paralyzed them with my bull, and then the bell rang, and I made a beeline out the door thinking I had escaped punishment.

Of course I didn’t escape punishment. You can’t escape reality, as real engineers know. A day comes when the bridge you built simply falls down, like the gorgeous structure over Tacoma Narrows known as “Galloping Gertie”.

In my case the punishment wasn’t quite so dire. It was basically a test I sat down to take, and then flunked because I’d never done any homework. This led to further punishment, because if you get poor grades then doors that are open to others are closed to you. The only doors open to me were the doors that open if you call tell a tale so amazing it makes teachers gape.

Obviously I should have gone into politics. I was such an excellent liar I likely could have gone far. The problem was that the real reason my bull could be spell-binding, and enchant teachers to a point where they forgot to punish, was because, as strange as it sounds, my fabrications were founded on Truth.

The Truth was that I hadn’t done my homework because I’d found something better, and finer, and higher than homework. It is something most boys know about but many forget as they grow up, and it isn’t politics. It is something Mark Twain attempted to describe when he wrote “Tom Sawyer” and “Huckleberry Finn”, and is every bit as much a Truth as the Truths incorporated by the best engineers. It is in some ways crucial to life, and is spiritual, and therefore is about as far from modern politics as one can get.

(I hope that explains why I was repelled from politics, despite apparently being an excellent liar. It is the best I can do.)

Now, when I start to speak of Higher Truths, I warn you I am starting to weave my enchantment, and you are in danger of becoming as spell-bound as my teachers once were. Keep in mind that Truth is Truth, and there is no way around it. Be firm, even grim. Remember that if a bridge isn’t built correctly it will buckle and sway, and that many more people than the stockholders in the shamed construction company will have to pay a price, to fix the mess made by incorrectness.

The point I wish to make is that there is a reason behind the bull of Social Engineering. Unfortunately it hidden from, and even called incorrect by, the politically-correct. The problem with political-correctness is that it seeks to profit from spirituality, which is basically ludicrous, and is in a sense like trying to make money off giving to the poor.

Suppose your brother-in-law is a complete doophus. The spiritual instinct is not to damn him, but rather to uplift him. The problem with the politically correct is that they assume uplifting the fellow means you should practice blatant nepotism, and give him the job of engineering a bridge that he will likely turn into a doophus’s debacle, meanwhile ignoring a far more qualified engineer who happens to be a total stranger, and unlikely to ever offer you any personal kick-back if you give him the job. And the problem with this political correctness is becoming increasing apparent, as brand new bridges fail, or major waterways silt up causing floods in England, or the US Navy’s latest high-speed troop transport is exposed as having a bow that crumples in gales.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-14/navy-s-fast-sealift-ships-can-t-stand-buffeting-from-high-seas

However we should not blame the instinct to upraise doophuses for these increasingly common examples of doophus’s debacles. Rather we should blame the selfishness attached to politically-correct nepotism and cronyism.

The distinction between the Social Engineering that seeks to uplift a doophus even at our own expense, and the Political Correctness that seeks to profit off a doophus, should be blatantly obvious, but tends to be hidden in a haze of economic uncertainty, wherein fewer and fewer are self-reliant farmers, and more and more are holders of government jobs or government pensions or government welfare, and are completely reliant on so-called benefactors who are in fact beneficiaries of reliance. In this haze it is only when a bridge buckles that we are abruptly faced with the facts.

Because it is important to highlight the distinction between uplift and personal profit, I searched about through the history of mankind for examples I could use, and quite by accident chanced upon an example involving the Father of my Country, George Washington. Of course, as soon as his name is evoked one is looked upon as being a bit maudlin, but this example was too perfect to ignore.

The year 1776 had pretty much seen Washington fall from the heights of popularity to the pits of what was close to ignominy. He’d moved from driving the British from an untenable position in Boston to attempting to defend an untenable position in New York, being driven from New York, and being driven in retreat across New Jersey. What was left of his army was half starved and in rags. 2000 troops had walked away simply because their enlistment was up. He was very nearly completely defeated. It was the black night that Tomas Paine described by stating, “These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman“.

It is all well and good to talk in that grand manner, but without any evidence besides retreats and defeats, the politically-correct “sunshine patriot” tends to shun the loser, even if he once was a winner. Even one of Washington’s most steadfast and loyal friends, Joseph Reed, was starting to feel Washington might be too “indecisive”.  Washington relied so heavily on Reed that he once pleaded for Reed to return to service because Washington needed someone who could do more than follow him; Washington needed someone could think for him, but now Reed apparently didn’t think much of him,  and said as much in a letter to Washington’s second in command, Charles Lee.General_Charles_Lee

Meanwhile Charles Lee, despite Washington’s clear requests for reinforcements, was very slow leading his forces south, as he apparently thought joining Washington was likely a lose-lose proposition, and also apparently felt he should replace rather than assist Washington. He sent a letter back to Reed, who Washington had sent south to enlist reinforcements, but this letter happened to pass through Washington’s camp. Washington, desperate to learn how close Lee’s reinforcements were, opened the letter, and the opinions of the two men became glaringly obvious.

One can only imagine how Washington must have felt. Rather than reinforcements and rescue coming from north and from south there was basically conspiracy and collusion. It was a position where other desperadoes in other lands, and where other dictators in other times, would have have lopped off the heads of their opposition, calling them traitors. What Washington did was somewhat amazing. He resealed the letter and sent its on its way, including an apology to Joseph Reed for having opened another man’s mail.

That’s the end of the story, because right there you have an example of a man living on a different and higher level than your ordinary dictator or desperado. Despite Lee behaving like a doophus, and Reed behaving like a doophus, Washington uplifted, apparently gaining nothing but self-respect.

Of course, you likely want the story to go on, so I will mention that Lee, leading an army of over 2000, managed to get captured in his nightgown by 25 English soldiers on horses, because he was lollygagging three miles behind his troops, writing letters in a tavern. His second-in-command promptly led his troops south more than three times faster than Lee had planned. They were as haggard as Washington’s troops, and many lacked boots and, with their feet wrapped in rags, left the famous bloody footprints in the snow. Meanwhile Joseph Reed was writing Washington that he should consider a counterattack, which Washington was already in the final stages of undertaking, and which is remembered as the “Crossing of the Delaware” which resulted in the victory at Trenton on Christmas morning 1776. That victory was like a bolt from the blue to many who deemed Washington already defeated, and was such a huge boost to the moral of the Revolution that it is seen as the point when a pendulum swinging one way started to swing the other way.

I, however, see the swing as occurring when Washington opened the letter he was never intended to see. Why? Because if you want proof your fellow man sucks and isn’t worth the time of day, that letter supplied proof. However Washington apparently didn’t need proof. He already knew his fellow man sucked and wasn’t worth the time of day, but he didn’t use that as an excuse to behave like low-life himself.

This is something worth musing upon, as we have to deal with buckling bridges, and likely other signs of bad engineering. There is bad engineering of many sorts, and that includes bad “Social Engineering”. Even as we strive to be clear about the distinction between Real Engineering, (which deals with that which is), and Social Engineering, (which deals with how that is viewed), we should also strive to see the distinction between Social Engineering that is spiritual and uplifts, and Social Engineering that is basically selfish, politically-correct greed.

PS  —GREEK ENGINEERS ALSO NEED TO BRUSH UP THEIR BRIDGE WORK–Greek Bridge downloadThis is after a nasty winter storm this week.

“Winter shows teeth” in Greece – Video

 

 

 

 

 

CROSS POLAR FLOW —OR, HOW TO MESS UP COMPUTER MODELS—

I am very ignorant concerning computers, and I only mention this as a ignorant soul telling a Rembrandt his shoelace is untied.

The models amaze me with their accuracy five days into the future, most of the time. I have a hard time forecasting tomorrow. Therefore I rely on models, and notice when they are not amazing, five days into the future. Recently they have been spectacularly wrong, especially as you get up into northern latitudes.

I’ve been wondering if they think in a circular manner. They might see weather patterns going around and around the earth.  It might throw a wrench in the works, and be over-the-top, so to speak, when rather than around and around, cross-polar-flow brings things over the top.

The recent cold that clobbered Europe was unseen by models, even three days ahead of time. I think it may be because the models are based on a nice, “zonal” flow, and have trouble when the Pole is afflicted by what some (me) call a “loopy” flow, and others call “meridianal.”

The best model at handling such cross-polar-flow seems to be the Canadian “JEM” model, likely because Canada gets clobbered by cross-polar-flow more than most other nations. Perhaps the JEM model does not do as well with round-and-round the earth patterns, for it is not the best model overall, however when it does score a “coup” it seems it is because it added over-the-top cold to the mix. (Of course, the JEM model has a habit of creating over-the-normal super-storms, but no one is perfect.)

I thought it might be interesting to see what the JEM model produced, and what follows gives you an idea of the wrenches the Pole can throw into the works of any model that accepts a zonal flow as a basic premise.

(These maps are produced by a Rembrandt of the weather-map-world called Dr. Ryan Maue, of the Weatherbell site, however these maps are blemished by a bit of digital graffiti down the left sides. Likely Dr. Maue was operating on two hours of sleep when he wrote the code for this map, or perhaps the Canadian computers produced the glitch and the graffiti  is beyond Dr. Maue’s control. In any case, it is an untied shoelace, and I hope you will ignore it and enjoy the great art.)

All these maps can be clicked, or opened to a new tab, to enlarge them. Then they can be clicked a second time to enlarge them further.

The first, “initial” map shows a Pacific invasion has nearly reached the Pole, but a tremendously cold airmass in Siberia, (the hottest pink is -70°), is rushing north behind the invasion, cutting it off. (The clash between the the milder and frigid air is creating a decent polar storm.) This northward rush of Siberian air is what I called “the snout of Igor” last year, and makes me worry, though I am off the map and on the far side of the planet.

CPF1 cmc_t2m_arctic_1

The next map shows that a day later the Siberian air has charged right across the Pole. The Pacific invasion is cut off, but an Atlantic invasion is starting north west of Norway. (Notice the cold air has been driven from northern Scandinavia.) Things look bad for Canada, with that thrust of Siberian air charging their way.

CPF2 cmc_t2m_arctic_5

The next map, 48 hours later, makes one say, “But what is this?” A new invasion of Pacific air is attacking the cross-polar-flow from one side, as the Atlantic invasion proceeds from the other. Will the flow be strangled?

CPF3 cmc_t2m_arctic_9

After 72 hours the Pacific invasion seems to be overpowering the Atlantic invasion, and rather than the cross-polar-flow being nipped in the bud, it is developing a curve, or a sort of saddle. Warmth has pushed east of Finland into Russia.

CPF4 cmc_t2m_arctic_13

After 96 hours the curve in the cross-polar flow has become such an oxbow that the air is starting to aim not towards Canada initially, but west towards Scandinavia. Notice that west of Finland, the cold is no longer retreating east in Russia, but starting to advance west.

(I think this is where some models start to lose it.)

CPF5 cmc_t2m_arctic_17

After 120 hours the original cross-polar-flow has collapsed into a surge of cold back towards Scandinavia. However a new cross-polar-flow is starting, and the most-recent Pacific invasion is again being cut off. Northern Scandinavia is much colder.

CPF6 cmc_t2m_arctic_21

Lastly at 144 hours, (which is starting to enter la-la land, for models), we see some bizarre feature north of Greenland throwing mild air up towards the Pole.  (“I’ll believe it when I see it.”)  However what seems a little more reliable is, first of all,  that the new cross-polar-flow has hooked up with Canada, and the air in northern Canada is nearly as cold as Siberia’s.  Secondly, the old cross-polar-flow has sent really cold air crashing into Scandinavia.

(It is sort of like the cross-polar-flow was a meandering river, and cut off an oxbow, but in the atmosphere an oxbow does not just sit stagnant, as an oxbow lake, but is a mobile thing, as Scandinavia may see first hand, 144 hours from the time of the first map.)

CPF7 cmc_t2m_arctic_25

Please remember all of the above is occurring in the virtual world of computer models. It is theory, not reality.  However what is so fascinating to me is how different weather patterns look, when you view the globe from the top, rather than always from one side or another.