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A festive sun in green wavelengths. (Image courtesy of SoHo NASA/JPL/ESO)
Science marches on! Will this be the decade of solar power? Only time will tell:
“When other solar companies saw Solyndra get $530 million from the government, investors pulled back in that industry,” he said. “So instead of encouraging solar development, the Obama administration hurt it.”

Actually, the statement wasn’t just odd. It was a flat out lie. In reality, the U.S. solar industry installed record amounts of solar in 2011 while bringing in nearly $2 billion in venture capital. And moving into 2012, that trend continued. In the second quarter of this year, U.S. solar installations jumped 116 percent over the same period in 2011, partly driven by large installations supported by the very loan guarantee program that Romney claimed was killing solar.

  • Da Nile ain't just a river on Titan!
  • A poisonous primate? If so, these particular cuties have reason for revenge on its larger cousin, man:
    They are also used in Asian traditional medicines. Ms. Nekaris posits that the extraction of medicines from slow lorises can be extremely painful. For instance, skewers are inserted into slow lorises’ anuses and run through their bodies to obtain their tears. The still-living animal is then roasted over a fire and the tears that stream from their eyes are collected.
  • What if we all took the blue pill?
  • Superatural mumbo jumbo, angels and demons, hobbits and dragons, they're all good wholesome fun at the movies. But believing that stuff is real can have terrible consequences for innocent people:
    Police arrived at the Bartel home and found the boy shirtless and shivering, with a large pentagram carved on his back. Officers also found a box cutter at the house, which is believed to have been used in the attack, police said.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Great to see solar generation growing. (7+ / 0-)

    Nicer still to see it growing in spite of major cutbacks in government subsidies.

    The big question:

    How much of that capacity is being built with Chinese equipment while millions of Americans remain unable to find work?

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:05:37 AM PST

    •  That it is being built is the more important part, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dinotrac

      but I certainly agree that it shouldd happen here whenever possible.

      •  More important if you already have a job, and that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bythesea

        may be arguable.

        One impediment to people accepting the need to move away from fossil fuels is fear of losing jobs, either directly or indirectly.

        Make jobs a priority -- and convince people that you mean it -- and some resistance will go away.

        Not to mention -- the economy will be stronger and we'll have more sustainable energy.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 12:39:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Did you really need to include the monkey torture? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David54, Aunt Pat, Ender

    Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

    by Boundegar on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:08:52 AM PST

  •  Last Wednesday? Figures. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, SueDe

    Last Tuesday, I was rich, tall, thin, good-looking, and 35 years younger.

    Stupid universe.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:10:27 AM PST

    •  I was independently wealthy with big boobs. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dinotrac

      This, and most people's propensity to do or say things that they then regret is why we need "undo" and "restore" buttons.  If Microsoft programmers could supply us with those abilities, why couldn't the creator of the universe figure out how to provide those?

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:15:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ah -- my life could be so much better. I think. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SueDe

        On the other hand, I'd like to think (against the weight of more than a little evidence) that all those mistakes and regrets have taught me a thing or two and made me a better person.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:27:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Surely a truly omnipotent creator (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gooserock

          could have supplied us with a less detrimental way of learning than a system of "commit and regret."  Another reason why I can't bring myself to accept the idea of an omnipotent creator.

          "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

          by SueDe on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:47:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  As a pagan, I say fuck you (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sk4p, gene s, SouthernLiberalinMD

    and the horse you rode in on.  Just because someone believes in the supernatural doesn't mean we go around carving pentagrams into children.  Being a witch, I put up with all the witch jokes with good humor, but this is really beyond the pale.  A pentagram is a holy symbol in my religion.

    Saying that belief in the supernatural leads to such cruelty is like saying that atheism leads to a person acting like Stalin, Mao Zedong and Pol Pot (which, by the way, some offensive fundamentalist Christians do).

    •  small note on Stalin: he was a seminary student (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat

      http://www.sparknotes.com/...
      and it may have been his years as a seminarian which radicalized him (insofar as he was a radical)

    •  In some cases atheism has been used (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gene s, cordgrass

      as a religion or as a substitute for religion, and like every religion, that power has been misused.

      Everybody is entitled to their opinion about religion in our country.

      I tend to believe in doubt. If God exists, he obviously doesn't want us to be certain about his existence, and he endowed us with an important survival tool which is partly responsible for most of human civilization and culture: doubt.

      I stop short of atheism because I doubt. I do know even fundamentalist Christians who are very nurturing and caring, wonderful people. Then there are the other kinds.

      In this case, the guy was probably psychotic. Not a good mix with lore about human sacrifice, box cutters and an available child.

      Most pagans are peaceniks, in my experience. May there be more peaceniks of all religions.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:52:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm a Pagan too, and would like to point out that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cordgrass, SouthernLiberalinMD

      what the crazy person did in no way reflects the beliefs or practices of Wiccans or modern Pagans. For that matter, although I only know one or two real Satanists ('real' being not the horror movie fan, animal torturing,  crack smoking type), nothing they do would lead to such a crime. Hanging what this person did around our necks is a horrible thing to do, and resembles how early (and some modern) Christians demonized our beliefs.

      You are of course correct in pointing out the atrocities committed in Atheistic City-States (such as torture, mass murder, and genocide). However, you will find that some people do a good job of rationalizing such uncomfortable factoids away.

      •  btw, I was replying to cordgrass (0+ / 0-)
      •  agreed! I hope progressives have a big tent (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SouthernLiberalinMD, gene s

        allowing for different religious beliefs on this site.  I phonebank, hold signs, donate and am in other ways active in getting more and better Democrats elected and progressive laws put in place.

        It is wrong to inflict one's religious beliefs on others through law or trying to remove the separation of church and state.  I'm 100% in favor of employers being required to provide contraception with their health insurance plans and getting religious influence out of the purchase of public school textbooks, etc.  But I think that if someone wants to believe in the FSM (bless His Noodly Appendages) there is no need to say this will lead to atrocity.  I would hope progressives could respect differences in private religious opinion

    •  Not that it's any type of excuse, but ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cordgrass

      The father who carved his son had problems.  While it is no excuse, it appears that he was living in excruciating physical pain for months with an abdominal hernia.  He was unable to get medical care due to a lack of health insurance.  At least that's what our local paper says.  

      They claim he became an avid reader of the Old Testament of the Bible.  But that certainly doesn't explain the Pentagram.  

      We all hope the boy is ok and that he recovers.  But this is Texas and his family has no insurance.  How he will get the plastic surgery necessary to repair his back is a question that will have to be answered in the future.

      If you want to know the real answer: Just ask a Mom.

      by tacklelady on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:11:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hi. I'm here and pagan too. Didn't expect to find (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gene s, cordgrass

      crap like that here, though this is an ultra-rationalist site. Still, it would be nice if people here would respect my rights to worship/believe as I please.

      and btw, I'm not a child abuser. Thanks. Please move along.

      A thousand Sharkeys are invading a thousand Shires every day across our country.--James Wells

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:56:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hey, St. Patrick's day is still months away (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, Aunt Pat, marsanges

    Who painted the sun green and how will this affect John Boehner's tan? Is this another one of those Irish-liberal tricks to turn America shamrock green?

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:10:48 AM PST

  •  I think religion should be classified (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, agnostic

    As a mental illness in the DSM-V. At least the rabid listening to voices, speaking in tongues and doing stupid shit like kissing rattlesnakes and carving up your children, kinds of religion should be.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:12:38 AM PST

  •  Taking the Blue Pill (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock

    If your reality lasts for more than 4 hours seek immediate medical attention

    The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

    by JML9999 on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:13:28 AM PST

    •  watching dueling adverts (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JML9999

      where one claims aging is all due to the loss of hormones while the other claims that it is due to the sun's effects alone.

      I suppose I should turn back to the one with the pill that leads to weight loss in a matter of weeks with no change in what is eaten or in what quantities and requires absolutely no exercise or lifestyle changes.  Seems the pills contain tapeworm eggs...................

    •  I thought the "blue pill" link to the article (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JML9999

      referred to Viagra - until I followed the link and read the article.  Now I have no idea what the blue pill is - something from a movie maybe?

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:20:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So much cognitive dissonance... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare, Gooserock
    “When other solar companies saw Solyndra get $530 million from the government, investors pulled back in that industry,” he said. “So instead of encouraging solar development, the Obama administration hurt it.”
    No one in the business of venture capital and investments can plausibly believe a statement this absurd. Money follows money. Investors invest in where the money is. If a business gets a federally secured loan, that business has SAFE money with which to grow, and a growing company is a good bet.

    I don't get the mental gymnastics these rational expectations people go through to convince themselves that government investment (whether loans or grants) makes private investment pull back. It is IRRATIONAL to NOT invest in these ventures - their overall debts and risk of default will be lower compared to businesses built on bank loans.

    •  yeh that is why the defense industry cannot (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Egalitare, Gooserock

      find private investors; they receive too much money from the government to attract outside capital

    •  In a country that is operating (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Egalitare

      at full capacity, federal funding of private enterprise does tend to lower private capital investment - it's called "crowding out."  But the economy is far from operating at full capacity now, and since 2007 private investment in new companies has been falling, especially R&D investment.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:30:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Solyndra & govt. loan program go back to Bush (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jim in IA

    It's a flat out lie.

    Investors have flocked to solar power. Solyndra failed because cheaper technologies won. Solar is succeeding because scientists and engineers have been aggressively competing with new ideas and technologies to improve performance and cut costs.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:20:47 AM PST

  •  It's like this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bythesea


    Slow thinkers - keep right

    by Dave the Wave on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:23:11 AM PST

  •  it's like this (0+ / 0-)


    Slow thinkers - keep right

    by Dave the Wave on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:29:31 AM PST

  •  Given that Jindal supposedly has participated (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, bythesea, Aquarius40

    in an exorcism and Palin has ties to a witch hunter
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... why be surprised that the general public also embraces the supernatural?

    It is seductive as I do a quick surf through the religious channels and find a half dozen evangelists touting Prosperity Theology where all True Believers get their bank accounts and credit ratings resurrected along with the standard fare of mental illness being demon possession, the existence of resurrection and other modern miracles and all sorts of other wonders  

  •  I did NOT want to know that living slow lorises (5+ / 0-)

    are roasted over fires to collect the tears of anguish and pain that they shed.

    This is so horrible.  Poor slow lorises!  Cruel human beings!

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:39:27 AM PST

  •  Loris (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian S, bythesea, Aquarius40, Taget

    That bit about the Loris treatment is quite literally the most sickening thing I've read in [perhaps forever].  WTF is wrong w/ homo sapiens?  Seriously, the very best thing that could happen for this planet would be for somebody to create a 100% effective contraceptive "virus" and make sure everybody on this planet was innocculated.

    (-6.25, -7.13) Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by bamage on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:41:10 AM PST

    •  Considering there are some who of us... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bythesea, SueDe

      capable of massacring kindergartners, that hideous torture of the Loris and apparent acceptance of it in certain cultures should not come as much of a surprise. Perhaps it will be through climate change that Mother Nature will teach us humans a karmic lesson we won't forget.

      Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

      by Ian S on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:04:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I fear it will take more than climate (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ian S, Aquarius40

        change to rid us of atrocities based on cultural beliefs and traditions (I include female circumcision in that list), unless Mother Nature can somehow be convinced to target those cultures specifically.  The "civilized" and empathetic among us shouldn't have to be destroyed at the same time.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:38:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Ah yes, THE SCREWFLY SOLUTION (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aquarius40

      a short story by James Tiptree Jr, also a segment of the MASTERS OF HORROR series on SHOWTIME. In which some aliens get much the same idea to 'fix' the world

    •  Margaret Atwood got there first... (0+ / 0-)

      Read Oryx and Crake. Depressing, but well-written and thought provoking. :(

      And agreed re homo sapiens. This reminds me of those parasitic wasps that lay their eggs inside still-living caterpillars, which the growing young then eat. Except it's us, and we know better. Or should.

  •  Thanks DarkSyde (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bythesea

    (R's) take those tired memes and shove 'em, Denise Velez Oliver, 11/7/2012.

    by a2nite on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:30:17 AM PST

  •  12/12/12 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bythesea

    I wonder if he blessed the blade before carving up his son?

    bastard.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:31:39 AM PST

  •  The failure of the solar industry to deliver... (0+ / 0-)

    ...meaningful results despite endless cheering and the absorption of hundreds of billions of dollars, euros etc is indicative of the fact that belief and faith trump reality.

    A little over a months ago, the New York City transit system filled with seawater - and only a fool would believe this will be the last time it does.

    At the end of this month, the Mauna Loa carbon dioxide level increase for the year will be recorded.    If the figures for the week of Dec. 2 2012 compared to early Dec 2011 hold - they may be much worse - 2012 will come in as the fifth worst year over.

    2012.   Fifty eight years after the invention of the solar PV cell.   Right now, the world consumes 520 exajoules of energy per year, and billions of people live without decent sanitation, access to decent schools, medical care, and nutrition.

    And how much energy does the expensive yuppie talisman "solar energy" produce?

    The EIA figures show that not even half an exajoule is produced by solar and tidal energy combined, this on the whole damned dying planet.

    We could have built 5 nuclear plants for one tenth the cost of the solar scam over the years and have done far more for the environment and in fact, far less damage to the environment, and produced far more energy.

    Personally the faith based approach to the solar scam reminds me of Einstein's famous remark that the definition of insanity is to repeat the same experiment over and over and over while expecting a different result.

    At this point, said faith based scam is the most telling evidence that denial and dogma are hardly only the province of the right.   We have plenty of it on the left as well.

    Have a nice weekend.

  •  WORLD ON A WIRE is much closer than THE MATRIX (0+ / 0-)

    to what the computer scientists are proposing in the 'BLUE PILL' article.
    So close, in fact, maybe its proof we're in a simulation in a simulation in a simulation.
    This 70s German TV movie is well worth a look.

  •  Just a small correction from physics mom (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, bythesea, Leo in NJ

    that you smart people already  no doubt know. The photo is the sun in ultraviolet, which of course you couldn't see unless you are a bee or some species of butterfly (don't know which, I'm physics mom not bio mom). SOHO is one of the cool things our tax dollars support http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov And yes, it is festive.

    beam me up Scotty- there's no intelligent life down here

    by ladybug4you on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 07:48:54 AM PST

  •  Titan, so how about life based on liquid hydro- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Leo in NJ, Lonely Liberal in PA

    carbons instead of water? Plausible? Ridiculous?

    •  Isaac Assimov (biochemist) didn't think it ridic (0+ / 0-)

      ulus.

      Read his essay "Not as we know it" for possibilities on planets much colder of hotter than Earth.

      Don't let millionaires steal Social Security.
      I said, "Don't let millionaires steal Social Security!"

      by Leo in NJ on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:15:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Plausible, but seemingly unlikely (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DrTerwilliker

      It's too cold for chemical interactions to happen at any great speed, so evolution would be similarly slow.

      That doesn't mean it didn't happen.  Or if it didn't happen on Titan, one of the trillions of other similar worlds in the Universe.

      (-6.25, -6.77) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

      by Lonely Liberal in PA on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:44:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't even know what to say... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Taget, Aquarius40
    Skewers are inserted into slow lorises’ anuses and run through their bodies to obtain their tears. The still-living animal is then roasted over a fire and the tears that stream from their eyes are collected.
    No words. I think between this and Sandy Hook I nearly just lost hope for humanity.

    Not quite. But nearly.

    We suck.

  •  er, could we not demonize (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gene s

    pagans and others who use the pentagram as a holy symbol, and just acknowledge that it's wrong to take a knife and carve anything into a boy's back?

    A thousand Sharkeys are invading a thousand Shires every day across our country.--James Wells

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:54:27 AM PST

  •  traditional medecines ? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ebohlman

    don't you mean cause the extinction of a large variety of species medicines.

    big badda boom : GRB 090423

    by squarewheel on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 11:24:54 AM PST

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