A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



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They Thought They Were Free — Living in Nazi Germany during the transition

Thousands were asleep at the wheel, occupied with busywork, and an endless trail of minor crises. Each little step was worse than the one before, inexorably, but only a little worse. Like a field of corn that we never see growing — but one day it is over our head.

There is no time when everyone realizes together and lifts in mass protest. Instead, little moments tip the balance, one person at a time. And once awake, good people don’t want to be troublemakers. They are afraid to stand out.

Its all so human while it becomes something so horribly inhumane.

The form of the nation stays the same but the spirit changes to become something people would never have accepted even five years earlier. Like perhaps the idea that people who committed, at most, a minor misdemeanor, a trespass, could be kept without charges in solitary confinement for months on end.

We are a gregarious species. It is hardwired. Our great strength is also our greatest vulnerability…

So many wait for someone else to speak up.


Excerpt from pages 166-73 of They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45. They interviewed 10 Germans who talked about what it was like during the transition from normal to crazy Nazi nightmare.  How it happened and how so many people went along with it.

UPDATE: The youtube contains a few MAGA type snippets at the end in a cheap attempt to conflate Nazism with Trump. They’re short, but a naked attempt to fog the meme. If anyone can find a better edit, I’ll replace it.

hat tip Another Ian and to Small Dead Animals

PS: If someone can find this on not-youtube, I’ll change the video.

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Weekend Unthreaded

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Arizona Audit finds thousands of dodgy votes, Senator says “decertify the election”

US Flag, Flying.Biden won Arizona (theoretically anyway) by 10,457 votes.  But mail-in ballots went forth and must have multiplied because 74,000 baby new ballots appeared in the final count that were never posted out. Strangely – after the election was over, 18,000 voters just disappeared off the rolls while 11,000 appeared from nowhere. The latter were people who weren’t on the rolls on November 7th, yet they voted, and then were on the rolls on by December 4th.

Despite Biden winning he’s had the most dreadful luck — the voting software was old and easily breached, and all the access logs showing the Democrat’s complete innocence were somehow completely wiped in March — just like that, poof? Then there were the ballots that were printed on different paper that bled, even though all votes were meant to be on bleedproof Votesecure paper?

And some  people wonder why doubts about the Biden Government don’t go away…

Final results are coming soon:

Arizona Audit Finds Massive Irregularities, Including More Than 74,000 Mail-In Ballots Counted Than Mailed Out


More than 74,000 mail-in ballots were received in Maricopa County, Arizona than appear to have been mailed out, a forensic audit has determined. According to the auditors, 74,243 mail-in ballots were counted with “no clear record of them being sent.”

18,000 voters disappeared, 11,326 voters appeared — after the election

Logan went on to say they found around 18,000 voters who participated in the election, but were removed from the rolls soon after.

“They were on the voter rolls, they showed as voted, and then they were removed,” he said. “There could be a good logical explanation for that, but it seems like a large number to me.”

Another 11,326 voters in Maricopa County were not on voter rolls on Nov. 7 but mysteriously appeared on voter rolls on Dec. 4 and were marked as having voted in the Nov. 3 election, Logan said.

Strange poor quality paper

The auditors also found that large numbers of ballots bled through to the other side, potentially impacting votes. Maricopa County, Logan explained, announced before the election that it would be using special “VoteSecure” paper that that did not allow ink to bleed through to the other side of the ballot, yet they found thousands of ballots that were not on VoteSecure paper.

Trump says:

The irregularities revealed at the hearing today amount to hundreds of thousands of votes or, many times what is necessary for us to have won. Despite these massive numbers, this is the State that Fox News called early for a Biden victory. There was no victory here, or in any other of the Swing States either.

 The highly respected State Senator Wendy Rogers said in a tweet the hearing today means we must decertify the election.

Tucker Carlson  on Georgia: “how is that not flat out criminal ballots?”

So its been a long time coming, but Carlson is now asking excellent questions about elections.

Kyle Becker reports that Dominion Voting System’s Website has now gone offline right after Tucker’s Report & the Arizona Audit Findings.

It follows Tucker Carlson’s bombshell report on Fulton County, Georgia that shows the voter integrity group VoterGA revealing thousands of votes appeared to have been erroneously marked in ballot tallies for Joe Biden.

“At least 36 batches of mail-in ballots from the November election were double-counted in Fulton County, that is a total of at least 4,000 votes,” he said.

Trump lost Georgia by 12,284 votes.


ht RossP,  V,  Wokebuster

PS: I just got out of hospital today. Feeling OK but very tired. I’m the all new metallic woman with a plate screwed into her bones (like so many other people). Thanks for all the shared stories and information. I feel lucky to have straight bones today when so many didn’t get that chance.

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Thursday Open Thread

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58% percent of Americans say the Media Are the ‘Enemy of the People’

Media Bias, voting behaviour of journalists.Good news: it’s quite an extraordinary result — six out of ten Americans are saying in the most blunt possible terms, that the media is not only biased, but actively working against the people and with hostile intent.

From this far down, there is no bounce. Only a full about-face with mea culpa and an Augean cleanout would even start to unwind this toxic position. And the Media puppets are not even close to that razing day.

The propaganda is falling on deaf ears and at this point, the harder they push, the worse it gets.

Trust is a precious and fragile thing

58% Of Voters Agree: Media Are ‘Enemy of the People’

Rassmussen Reports

Voters overwhelmingly believe “fake news” is a problem, and a majority agree with former President Donald Trump that the media have become “the enemy of the people.”

A new national telephone and online survey by Rasmussen Reports finds that 58% of Likely U.S. Voters at least somewhat agree that the media are “truly the enemy of the people,” including 34% who Strongly Agree. Thirty-six percent (36%) don’t agree, including 23% who Strongly Disagree. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

So most voting adults don’t want to listen to smug intellectual-babies, or toffee fashionistas tell them how unworthy they are. Civilization is straining at the edges, but the pendulum is swinging back. Resistance is building.

Trump called it Fake News in 2016, and the Media lived up to it. Years ago I remember writing about a survey that seemed astonishing at the time where something like 15% of the USA would describe the UN as “the enemy”. By late November 2020, fully 80% of Republicans described the media as “the enemy”, but now after 8 more months of plastic news, things are even worse. The 40% is nearly 60%.


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Climate change makes Antarctic summers… cooler

Forty years of global warming have made East Antarctic summers even shorter and more miserably colder than they already were. (Save the wilderness — burn coal now?)


Surface Air temperature over East Antarctica (presumably in summer) from Hsu et al 2021.

East Antarctica is the vast mass of the Antarctic plateau which was, in theory, going to melt. If that three kilometer thick block of ice isn’t going to melt in summer, when exactly will it?

Remember when the poles were meant to amplify man-made global warming?


Antarctic summer tempedratures

Not much of Antarctica is warming in summer.

These graphs come from a paper that Kenneth Richard at NoTricksZone found. The authors Hsu et al think the cooling trend has a natural explanation (but if it had been warming, of course,  no one would have asked that question). Hsu at al estimate that 20-40% of the trend is due to the Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO). And maybe it is, but they use climate models we know are broken. Curiously they predict the East Antarctic will keep cooling — which may be a first (for the models).

For what it’s worth the MJO is a massive convective atmospheric blob that rains its way from west to east across the Indian and then into the Pacific travelling east at 20 kilometers per hour or so. Over a couple of months it does a lap of the earth. Apparently it has a profound influence on both sides of the world — driving cold winter spells as far away as Canada and the US, and possibly, who knows, in Antarctica too.

But as it happens, the parts of Antarctica that were warming are mostly in West Antarctica and are sitting on top of a chain of volcanoes. The media never seem to mention that.

Antarctic Volcanoes, map. cooling, warming.

Could it be CO2, or is it volcanoes?


Hsu et al (2021) East Antarctic cooling induced by decadal changes in Madden-Julian oscillation during austral summer, Vol. 7, no. 26, eabf9903
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abf9903

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Tuesday Open Thread

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Big batteries could be bigger bombs than Beirut Fertilizer

Beirut Bomb.

Sudden tragic release of stored chemical energy in Beirut

It turns out storing Megawatts of high density energy in a confined space is “like a bomb”. Who could have seen that coming, apart from everyone who understands what a megawatt is?

Clean, green, noisy and explosive.

And they are “unregulated” in the UK.


UK’s giant battery ‘farms’ spark fears of explosions that can reach temperatures of 660C 

Amy Oliver Mail on Sunday

…according to a troubling new report from leading physicists, these vast batteries amount to electrical bombs with the force of many hundreds of tons of TNT.

With the potential for huge explosions, fires and clouds of toxic gas, they could devastate towns and villages nearby, says Wade Allison, emeritus professor of physics at Oxford University and co-author of the report.

The batteries, designed as reservoirs of spare electricity for when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun fails to shine, are spreading around the British countryside. And this, says Prof Allison and his fellow scientists, could spell catastrophe.

It’s like a potential bomb,’ he says. ‘When batteries catch fire, you can’t just squirt water on them and put out the flames. It’s evident from our research that nothing has been done to tackle this problem.’

Given the size of the proposed plants, Prof Allison says this could, in theory, lead to an explosion several times bigger than the one that destroyed the harbour in Beirut last year.

The threat of fire is not merely theoretical. South Korea saw 23 battery farm fires in just two years. A recent battery fire in Illinois burned for three days and thousands of residents were evacuated.

Such blazes release highly toxic gases. One – hydrogen fluoride – is lethal if inhaled, and causes irreversible health effects after an hour of exposure, according to Public Health England.

Meanwhile 3 – 4,000 people were evacuated in Morris Illinois the week before last, as 100 tons of batteries burned. The fire burned for days. They could not use water or foam, and in the end, the burning batteries were smothered with 28 tons of cement.

These were run of the mill cell-phone and car batteries.


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Weekend Unthreaded

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NOAA puts up a “La Niña” Watch: “The Global Cooling Accelerator” cometh?

Is this the start of a cooler shift?

Cap Allon of Electroverse notes that we may be in for another La Nina:

The La Niña climate pattern is forecast to make a return this fall and last through the winter of 2021-22, according to an official “alert” issued Thursday, July 8 by the Climate Prediction Center (CPC), which suggests further global cooling as we enter the new year.

La Niña –-a natural cycle marked by cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the central Pacific Ocean-– is one of the main drivers of global weather — it is usually associated with colder global temperatures, droughts in the southern U.S., and increased precipitation in Australia.

Entering a La Niña event when global temperatures are already around baseline is significant.

If the climate pattern has the expected affect then we should brace for global temps to continue their overall downward trend –which began in 2016 (see link below)– to levels well below the norm.

We could conceivably be looking at UAH readings some 0.4C below the 30-year average by the spring of 2022.

Read it all:

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