Sunday, January 10, 2010

Snark attractant

As a celebration of the CRU hacking, Eli is going to publish some of the better Emails he has received. In his INBOX, good snark is a valued commodity and respect for administrators somewhat lacking. Let the tutt tutting begin.

I. Gell-Mann established the Santa Fe Institute to examine emergent patterns from seeming chaos. Emergence probably includes biological behaviors that establish themselves and get repeated in various differing branches of the collection of all life on the planet.

II. I got to see Denali National Park in Alaska at the very end of fall. I got within 5 foot of a momma grizzly with two cubs. Grizzly bears hibernate to survive the intense cold of the interior Alaska winter. This is one impressive species of life. One that will have its way to the detriment of all other life forms.

III. Bears are not incredibly intelligent and hold no patents or intellectual property. They produce nothing much beyond more bears and a lot of dung. They are big, however, and cannot be easily stopped when they set their mind to something.

IV. While not overly intelligent, they can sense the onset of a long cold spell. When winter is near, these bears will become "hyperphagic" and will go on impressive feeding frenzies that make sharks seem picky. This, of course, is an emergent behavior allowing the bears to survive the cold winter at the expense of any other useful but weaker life forms.

V. The economic climate is going into a deep freeze, and Grizzly Deans are getting hyperphagic. Run, Faculty. Run!

VI. Its time to write a paper on emergent Grizzly Dean biomemetic behavior for the Santa Fe Institute.

VII. We will be famous. That is, if not eaten by a dean first
This explains much. Audit starts on Friday.


Anonymous said...

What were you smoking while you wrote this post?


carrot eater said...

Are rabbits affected by catnip?

EliRabett said...

Hey, this was written by one of Eli's saner buddies.

guthrie said...

Makes a little less sense than this concatenation of lies, misdirection, propaganda and politics from the daily mail.
It is worth checking out simply because you'll see exactly these arguments again and again in the next few months:

It has hyperbolic language,Mojib Latif, whom last I knew was a little out of touch, Tsonis, who has similar problems, and a the 1974 Times magazine front cover.

guthrie said...

It would be nice to edit the previous post, having done alittle more digging it seem Latif is certainly more upto date and thus undeserving o my description. Tsonis on the other hand is quoted in a way which makes him a denialist, one wonders if that is the case or not.

carrot eater said...

guthrie: Latif is fine, he's just going out on a bit of a limb with near term predictions, using (if I understand and remember it correctly) a model that tries to start with a more accurate initialisation.

A new line of modeling study is interesting, but will go through stages of development. I think it's important for people in the field to underscore that there isn't yet any consensus on the robustness of the method. Otherwise, confusion will reign in the general media, spurred by distortions from the sceptics. In fact, several authors joined together at RC to emphasize that they don't necessarily agree, and think the projection is already wrong.

Anonymous said...

Do not fear audits, as long as the postage stamps add up. Nothing else matters.

Missing assett stickers can be a minor problem. But if the postage stamps do not add up all hell will break loose.

Little Mouse

guthrie said...

Its even better if you know the auditor. The place I used to work had its ISO 14001 audit a few months after I got a new manager. The auditor walked in and immediately recognised the new manager from 10 years earlier. Funnily enough it went well after that.

EliRabett said...

Ms. Rabett's sister is a bank auditor. Got that covered.

Truth about emails said...

Now post those from Al Gore! :)

Jim Bouldin said...

I got to see Denali National Park in Alaska at the very end of fall. I got within 5 foot of a momma grizzly with two cubs.

Sure ya did. In your SUV maybe.

EliRabett said...

See picture:)

John Mashey said...

I've saw a mother Grizzly and two younger ones chasing a snack in Denali once. Those things are *fast*.

Are Deans that fast?

Rattus Norvegicus said...

I had a friend who worked in the manufacturing department at a major computer manufacturer. He described the ISO 9000 process as figuring out how many European butts had to be kissed.

Brian said...

From 1991 through 1995, I was a tour bus driver at Denali. Seeing grizzlies was common, although that pic is presumably from the eastern end of the park (paved road), where they are a little less common.

Grizzlies are pretty much hyperphagic all the time they're awake, but in the fall (August, maybe September), they have a ready supply of berries to make them use their time efficiently.

Not sure whether Deans are similarly hyperphagic on a non-climatic basis. Might be worth careful research.

Marion Delgado said...

Bears are smart, really. I say that as an Alaskan who's lived near grizzlies and had big browns in our back yard and accidentally lived right among a bunch of black bears.

But they're pretty good at finding things and opening things, etc. And if you've seen bear behavior films, they have a lot of social games they play.

Black Bears:

-Large brain compared to body size.

-One of the more intelligent mammals.

-Navigation ability superior to humans.

-Excellent long-term memory.

-Can generalize to the simple concept level.

"Bears may be the most intelligent of the North American mammals according to their brain structure, the experience of animal trainers, and tests at the Psychology Department of the University of Tennessee. Grizzly bear mothers spend 1½ to 3½ years showing their cubs where and how to obtain food. The cubs’ ability to form mental maps and remember locations may exceed human ability."

Ben Kilham says bears have intelligence comparable to that of the great apes.

A biologists in British Columbia that has studied bears for 20 years estimates their intelligence to be at about the same level as a 3-year-old human.

EliRabett said...

John Mashey asks if Deans are that fast. Perhaps this simile will explain: Ever have any budgeted money left with a VP on the prowl?

carrot eater said...

OK, I'm stumped. So far as I see, the Santa Fe institute doesn't seem to do much work on climate. Where are we going?

EliRabett said...

no where, it's a goof, like the ads on the left. All climate and no play makes Eli a dull bunny.

dhogaza said...

"Grizzly bear mothers spend 1½ to 3½ years showing their cubs where and how to obtain food. The cubs’ ability to form mental maps and remember locations may exceed human ability."

Black bear mothers in Yosemite (sort like the MIT of bear knowledge of people and people things) have, over the past few years, learned to bash in car windows, and have their cubs crawl inside, rip out the backrest of the back seat, and therefore gain access to the trunk of the car to steal food.

Three decades ago, car trunks were considered a safe place to store food. No longer.

Likewise the method of hanging food so many of us westerners learned while camping and backpacking in our youth - hanging food with a counterbalance from small limb, high enough so you can't reach it without a long stick or similar tool.

Momma black bears in Yosemite now teach their cubs to climb the tree, out on the small limb, and to jump up-and-down until either the counterweight or food bag drops close enough to the ground so momma can snag it.

Treats all around.

And then ... some grizzly bear populatons have learned to open first-generation food canisters used by backpackers and other back-country campers. The manufacturers have been forced to make them more difficult to open.

And first-generation supposed "bear-proof" trash cans and food storage units in formal campgrounds were figured out in a decade or so, forcing redesigns.

Them bears be smarter than your average poster at WUWT, that's for sure.

Horatio Algeranon said...

Bears are not incredibly intelligent

Reminds Horatio of a story told by an old grizzly bear naturalist.

The guy thought he was "tracking" the bear, only to discover that the bear had doubled back and was following him!

Them bears be smarter than your average poster at WUWT, that's for sure. "

Better at stats too, undoubtedly... 'specially on the Bears and Cubs.

TrueSceptic said...


That's not saying much. I've kept (you don't own them) cats that were brighter that the average Watts W***er.

EliRabett said...

Cats have staff

John Mashey said...

Well, while we're in bear turf:

An engineer and a marketeer had gone to a cabin in the woods. The next morning, as the engineer was groggily awakening, the keen marketeer said he was going to go hunting, and went out.

Engineer was finishing his coffee, when the marketeer burst in through one door, chased by enraged grizzly. On the way out the other door, he yelled: "OK, I got the first one. You skin it and and I'll go looking for the next one."

dhogaza said...

"Better at stats too, undoubtedly... 'specially on the Bears and Cubs."

Oof ... so bad ... it's good!

Jim Bouldin said...

You never answered what you were smoking Rabbit.

p.s. California Grizzly by Tracy Storer--one of your better bear books if you ask me. When I learned that mtn lions could hold their own with 'em in battle I became more alert in cat country (which is pretty much everywhere in the West).

EliRabett said...

ChemDog Best Bakersville Carrot Seed


Eli, could you please ask the bears to stop eating our graduate students in Labrador?

The last time there were a lot of forms to fill out, and by the end of the inquest , you could hear the dean's stomach growling

Horatio Algeranon said...


Horatio likes cheesy.

Goofy posts like the one above are Horatio attractant and the intertube to the Rabett hole is well worn.

Horatio Algeranon said...

jim says :" California Grizzly by Tracy Storer--one of your better bear books if you ask me"

"Grizzly Years" by Doug Peacock is very good too.

Peacock is a lot like the bears he has lived with.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

There was a joke going around a while ago amongst Yosemite backpackers about not giving handouts to panhandling bears...

David B. Benson said...

Fortunately the short-faced bears went extinct.

Now those were bears!