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Ice Ice Baby

2009-02-25 - 8:38 a.m.

Went to bed at a reasonable hour, and then was awakened by the trash collectors...and couldn't go back to sleep.

So here I am writing at way-too-early-in-the-morning (at least for me).

===

From the Your Tax Dollars At Work Dept.:

A middle school near San Diego is spending $10,000/yr for an Advanced Placement Spanish class.

Okay, fine...except that most of the students in that class are from Mexico and speak fluent Spanish already.

Maybe the kids (and their parents) figure it's an easy way to get school credits. And, the story notes, an AP grade usually carries more weight for college applications. Yes, that's a few years away for these kids. But picture the applications boards: "Hey, this applicant was in AP classes in middle school, so he must be intelligent."

And a library in Lincoln, NE answers the age-old question: How many employees does it take to assemble a PlayStation? The answer is five.

Five? Hell, they could have gone up into the library and found a kid who would've done it for free.

But then, we knew these employees were fools - they videotaped themselves setting up the system and playing games (all on taxpayer time, of course), and then posted the video on YouTube.

===

From Hud's blog comes this global warming Moment of Zen (emphasis mine):

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- A glitch in satellite sensors caused scientists to underestimate the extent of Arctic sea ice by 500,000 square kilometers (193,000 square miles), a California- size area, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center said.

The error, due to a problem called "sensor drift," began in early January and caused a slowly growing underestimation of sea ice extent until mid-February. Thatís when "puzzled readers" alerted the NSIDC about data showing ice-covered areas as stretches of open ocean, the Boulder, Colorado-based group said on its Web site.

"Sensor drift, although infrequent, does occasionally occur and it is one of the things that we account for during quality-control measures prior to archiving the data," the center said. "Although we believe that data prior to early January are reliable, we will conduct a full quality check."

The extent of Arctic sea ice is seen as a key measure of how rising temperatures are affecting the Earth. The cap retreated in 2007 to its lowest extent ever and last year posted its second-lowest annual minimum at the end of the yearly melt season. The recent error doesnít change findings that Arctic ice is retreating, the NSIDC said.

So there's far more Arctic ice than they thought, but it's still retreating. They made a California-sized error, but we should still believe them.

Uh HUH.

===

So I'm up way too early.

Breakfast at River Belle, maybe?

Be seeing you.



===

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