You would not think

Albert Einstein, disguised as Robin Hood–
Keeps his memories in a trunk
He passed this way, about an hour ago
With his friend, some jealous monk

He looked immaculately frightful
As he bummed a cigarette
Then he went off, sniffing drainpipes,
And reciting the alphabet

And you would not think, just to look at him
But he was famous, long ago
For playing the electric violin
On Desolation Row

Bob Dylan, Desolation Row

Meant to be sung

We sailed up a river, wide as the sea
We slept on the bank, on leaves of a banyan tree
And all of these spirit voices rule the night

Some stories are magical, meant to be sung
Songs from the mouth of the river, when the world was young
And all of these spirit voices rule the night

The candlelight flickers, the falcon calls
A lime-green lizard scuttles down the cabin wall
And all of these spirit voices…

Sing rain water, sea water, river water, holy water
Wrap this child in mercy; heal her–heaven’s only daughter
And all of these spirit voices rule the night

The lord of the earthquake, my trembling bed
The spider resumes the rhythm of its golden thread
And all of these spirit voices rule the night
And all of these spirit voices rule the night
And all of these spirit voices rule the night

Paul Simon, Spirit Voices

That is worth some money

This is a lonely life
Sorrow is everywhere you turn
And that is worth something when you think about it
That is worth some money
That is worth something when you think about it
That is worth some money

We are standing in the sunlight
The early morning sunlight
In the harbor church of St. Cecilia
To praise a soul’s returning to the earth
To the Rose of Jericho and the bougainvillea

This is the only life
Now that is worth something when you think about it
That is worth some money
That is worth something when you think about it
That is worth some money

Paul Simon


Been reading history lately, a long lingering interest.

Specifically, the history of the encounters of Europeans, and then Americans following 1783, with the various native tribes of North America, a vast, complex, and highly interesting (and important) topic. I’ve dipped into this from time to time, mostly with respect to the far western states, especially California and Nevada, but the crucial time period for the United States generally, i.e. when national attitudes and policies were first being formed, occurred in the few decades following the Treaty of Paris. All the major issues came to the front immediately, when the Northwest Territory was officially declared part of the United States, in 1787, via the Northwest Ordinance. This area was “northwest”, relative to the defining western boundary of a fair chunk of the country at the time–the Ohio River—and encompassed the large area between the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, including the all the Great Lakes other than Lake Ontario.

There’s a vast literature on European–Native relations, and some tremendous reading therein, but I’ve yet to see any concise statement as pointed and indicting as this one. It is the (reported) official response to a group of American Commissioners, by a group of tribes formally at war with the United States–the first American war after the Revolution, declared by President Washington just about a year into his first term, in 1790. Lasting until 1794, it produced some highly noteworthy events and people. The events including what was, by far, the most severe defeat ever suffered by the American military at the hands of native peoples (including the infamous Little Bighorn), which occurred two years previous, at a remote wilderness site on what is now the Indiana-Ohio border about half way between Cincinnati and Fort Wayne. Along with a prolonged series of attacks on settlers, this drove the vast majority of the settlers from the area, and left the natives in undisputed control of the Territory. The people produced included two of the most powerful Native American leaders ever known–Little Turtle and Tecumseh, as well as a future president, William Henry Harrison.

The context of their response (below) is as follows. The American Commissioners had argued that, via the Treaty of Paris, all lands formerly claimed by the British (and by the French before 1763), north of the Ohio River and south of the Canadian boundary, had formally been transferred to US control. Upshot: the native tribes were expected/requested to cede control of the area, to the United States, for a stipulated sum of money. Having just defeated two American armies, including completely destroying one, and having formed a confederacy of affiliated tribes exceeding the power of even the infamous Iroquois confederacy, we can imagine what their response to this was. The exchange occurred “at the foot of the rapids” of the Maumee River, in what is now Maumee Ohio, a suburb of Toledo. Maumee is a derivation of Miami, a leading tribe in the confederation that included several large and significant tribes, including Pottawattamies, Ottawas, Chippewas, Shawnees, Wyandots, Delawares, Kickapoos and some others. The Commissioners had also argued there were now numerous settlers in the NW Territory, such that Indian control was just not feasible.

Money to us is of no value, and to most of us, unknown. And, as no consideration whatever can induce us to sell the lands on which we get sustenance for our women and children, we hope we may be allowed to point out a mode by which your settlers may be very easily removed, and peace thereby obtained. We know [as the Commissioners had stated] that these settlers are poor, or they would never have ventured to live in a country which has been in continual trouble ever since they crossed the Ohio. Divide, therefore, this large sum of money which you have offered us, among these people. Give to each, also, a portion of what you say you would give to us annually, over and above this very large sum of money; and, as we are persuaded, they would most readily accept it in lieu of the land you sold them. If you add, also, the great sum of money you must expend in raising and paying armies, with a view to force us to yield to you our country, you will certainly have more than sufficient for the purpose of repaying these settlers for all their labor and their improvements.

You have talked to us about concessions. It appears strange that you should expect any from us, who have only been defending our rights against your invasions. We want peace. Restore to us our country, and we shall be enemies no longer. You make one concession to us by offering us your money, and another, by having agreed to do us justice, after having long and injuriously withheld it; we mean, in the acknowledgment you now make, that the King of England never did, and never had a right to give you our country, by the treaty of peace. And you want to make this act of justice a part of your concessions; and you seem to expect that because you have at last acknowledged our independence, we should for such favor surrender to you our country. You have talked, also, a great deal about pre-emption, and your exclusive right to purchase Indian lands, as ceded to you by the King at the treaty of peace. We never made any agreement with this King, nor with any other nation, that we would give to either the exclusive right of purchasing our lands; and we declare to you that we consider ourselves free to make any bargain or cession of lands whenever, or to whomsoever, we please. If the White people, as you say, made a treaty that none of them but the King should purchase of us, and that he had given that right to the United States, it is an affair that concerns you and him, and not us. We have never parted with such power.

We desire you to consider that our only demand is the peaceable possession of a small part of our once great country. Look back and review the lands from whence we have been driven to this spot. We can retreat no further, because the country behind hardly affords food for its inhabitants; and we have, therefore, to leave our bones in this small place to which we are now confined. We shall be persuaded that you mean to do us justice when you agree that the Ohio [river] shall remain the boundary line between us. If you will not consent thereto, our meeting would be altogether unnecessary. This is the great point which we hoped would have been explained before you left your homes, as our message, last fall, was principally directed to obtain that information.

Done at the Foot of the Maumee Rapids, the 10th day of August, 1793.


Source, (p. 38)

Winter time

A fair bit of the whitish water emanated from the sky yesterday. So, decided to head out with the old camera and see what I could see. Well, lots of the usual, but certainly more beautiful, and in at least one case, some somewhat unexpected goings on in the neighborhood.

The old lighthouse–and I do mean old–is still there:

The ice machine, thank goodness, is operating:

White house, white fence, white, white white:

Continue reading

I hear them all

I hear the crying of the hungry
In the deserts where they’re wandering
Hear them crying out for Heaven’s own
Benevolence upon them
Hear destructive power prevailing
I hear fools falsely hailing
To the crooked words of tyrants when they call
I hear them all
I hear them all
I hear them all

I hear the sound of tearing pages
And the roar of burning paper
All the crimes in acquisition
Turn to air and ash and vapor
In the rattle of the shackles
Far beyond emancipators
Where the lowliest, they gather in their stalls
I hear them all
I hear them all
I hear them all

I hear the drilling of the armies
And the firing of their vollies
As the shots ring out relentless
With absurdity and folly
Though the smoke is thick with anguish
And the body counts are endless
Songs of peace will rise, above the cannonballs
I hear them all
I hear them all
I hear them all

So, while you sit and whistle Dixie
With your money and your power
I can hear the flowers a-growing
In the rubble of the towers
I hear leaders quit their lyin’
I hear babies quit their cryin’
I hear soldiers quit their dyin’, one and all
I hear them all
I hear them all
I hear them all

I hear a tender word from Zion
I hear Noah’s waterfall
Hear the gentle lamb of Judah
Sleeping at the feet of Buddha
And the prophets from Elijah
To the old Paiute Wovoka
Take their places at the table when they’re called
I hear them all
I hear them all
I hear them all

Old Crow Medicine Show and David Rawlings

Needless to say, this one goes into the set list, pronto. It’s all C, G, and D shapes with an E minor here and there (D, A and E at capo 2, key of D). Done as only Old Crow can.

Aesculus glabra!

Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State

Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State, breaks through the line in Ohio State’s NCAA football championship game victory over Oregon Monday night, capping an improbable run to the title in the first year of the college football playoff. Photo by Kirby Lee, USA TODAY sports

Awesome Buckeyes, just plain awesome.
Enough said.

Christmas, on the run

Hey has anybody seen Eddie lately?
I haven’t seen him since the weather turned cold
He had just found a couple of coats for his daughters–
He said they were five and six years old

He’d said he might hop a freight back toward Memphis
Get them in school, find work, cut his hair
He knows in his sleep the best spots on the mighty river
Craves the power of it; loves the air

Merry Christmas everybody
Merry Christmas everyone
Merry Chrismas to you squirrels and pigeons
Merry Christmas on the run

He believes his older sister is still in Utah
He’d give anything to see her again
Been fifteen years since he left the foster home at fourteen
With his dreams, a compass and a gun

Had never believed the stupid story of Santa
Nor the one about a mom and dad
He’s mute regarding trust and love; agnostic
But has a hundred definitions of sad

Christmas Eve, out beyond, in the random
Under bridges, or in the open air
Edges of trainyards, beyond the watchmen
Vacant houses, park benches, city squares

Merry Christmas everybody
Merry Christmas everyone
Merry Chrismas to you stray cats and dogs
Merry Christmas, you gypsies on the run

Merry Christmas to the the scared, the broken, and the lonely
Merry Christmas to the trees, the clouds and the sun
Merry Christmas everybody
Merry Christmas everyone

Peace on earth, good-will to men


Here’s a beauty, my favorite for the season, courtesy of Henry W. Longfellow, with music by John Gorka. Can it really be almost 25 years since John recorded this for Windham Hill? There’s also this excellent cover by John Elrod that I just found.

Christmas Bells, John Gorka

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
Peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
Peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”
Peace on earth, good-will to men.”

Abridged, Henry W. Longfellow, 1864

Well, how ’bout that

The blog known as “RealClimate” has put up a couple of posts on its first ten years this week, here and here. Surprisingly, they state that they’ve “done well” and honor themselves for their ability to do what others couldn’t or wouldn’t 10 yrs back. Well, this is good stuff indeed.

In the interest of public education I’ll be providing a little additional insight when time and energy allow. Just a little, say 4/10 = 40% or so maybe.

They wrote it all down as the progress of man

Somebody played this great old John Prine song at our local bluegrass jam the other night. I’d forgotten it completely, even though it’s been covered by everyone and their brother since it was written. I added it to my set list immediately. The man’s an American legend as far as I’m concerned.

When I was a child my family would travel
Down to Western Kentucky where my parents were born
There was a backwards old town there I’ve often remembered
So many times that my memories are worn.

Then the coal company came with the world’s largest shovel
And they tortured the timber and stripped all the land
They dug for their coal till the land was forsaken
Then they wrote it all down as the progress of man

Daddy won’t you take me back to Muhlenberg County
Down by the Green River where Paradise lay
Well, I’m sorry my son, but you’re too late in asking
Mister Peabody’s coal train has hauled it away

Paradise, John Prine

Transient temperature change estimation under varying radiative forcing scenarios, part three

In this third post of this series, I’ll demonstrate various outputs of the method/approach described in parts one and two of this series. You may need to look at those to follow this. The key point is that the methods described there allow one to estimate the model-predicted, global mean surface temperature (GMST) at any point in time, if one knows the equilibrium climate sensitivity and the temperature trajectory (i.e. response and lag) of a pulsed increase in radiative forcing. Both of these are obtained from CMIP5 climate model output.  This can be used to both look at future temperature predictions, and also to examine historic temperature changes in light of estimated RFs for various agents. This post concentrates on the former, the next one on the latter.

A few more points first though.  The key one is that Good et al. (2011) demonstrated that a series of linearly scaled RF pulses (at 1% of the instant 4X CO2 experiment), when continued for 140 years, gave a very good estimate of that produced by the annual 1% CO2 increase experiments, for the nine models’ outputs available in 2011.  Caldeira and Myhrvold (2013) confirm this, and note two and three parameter negative exponential models performed about equally well in this prediction (based on RSMSE criteria; actually these are four- and six-parameter fits–see the paper). Information criteria tell us we should go with the simpler model in such cases, as it will often be a better predictor for cases beyond the original sample range. Note that everything is fully deterministic here–I’m not including any random variation, i.e. systemic variability, measurement error, etc. Also, CO2 is the lone RF evaluated, and thus an important underlying assumption is that the actual RF change is known with high confidence.

First, what do the 20 CMIP5 AOGCM model temperature trajectories of the instant 4X CO2 experiment look like?  For the CM2013 two-parameter model fits, they look like this over 1000 years (starting from 1850, which I take as +/- end of the pre-industrial period):
and like this over the first 50 years:

Continue reading

Scenes at the local library

This post briefly interrupts the TCS prediction posts with a library-related theme, given the overwhelming popularity of these in the past.

For various reasons, I sometimes work at the local public library. It’s a small place, but still the largest one in the county, and a nice place overall. The magazine section looks like your typical sort of situation:

I decided to check it out a little more extensively today, prompted by a recurring failure to find any true scientific journal in most public libraries in small to medium sized towns, and in some cases even in large cities. There are 137 magazine publications total; I tried to break down the topics represented by the current issue’s front cover, into some thematic categories, neither thorough, systematic or mutually exclusive. It came out as:

Humans: 65 (Women: 39; Men: 22; Kids: 4)
Animals/Plants: 10 (Animals: 8; Plants: 2; Deer: 4; Birds: 3; Snails: 1)
Holidays: 13 (Thanksgiving: 2; Christmas: 11)
Food/Cooking: 12
Crafts: 11 (Mostly quilting and sewing)
Health/Nutrition: 9 (e.g. Bicycling, Eat Well, Vegetarian, Yoga)
Homes/Decor: 8
Sports: 9 (Football: 3; Hunting: 3; Golf: 2; Cycling: 1)
Cars: 5
Ships/Sailing: 3
Trains: 2
Gardening: 2
Puzzles: 2
Lighthouses: 1

There were a number of uncategorized others also, like one devoted to autism, one to retirees, one to coin collecting and etc. Three of the four deer-related were pictures of bucks on hunting magazines, while the fourth was a pair of deer on a quilt in a quilting magazine. Two of the three birds were male cardinals, and the third was of a pair of great blue herons.

On what I might term the quasi-academic front, it breaks out this way:
Science- or engineering-related: 10 (Scientific American, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics; Natural History, Audubon, Science News; Sky and Telescope; Smithsonian, Discover, Journal of Inland Seas)
History-related: 6 (World War II, Civil War Times, Timeline, Discover, J of Inland Seas)
Literature: 2 (Ohioana Quarterly; New York Times Book Review; Analog (SciFi))
Journal Format: 3 (J Inland Seas, Ohioana Quarterly, Timeline, with only the first thereof being published by a truly research-oriented group (The Great Lakes Historical Society))

The politically oriented stuff is there too of course, although it’s a small proportion comparatively, and nothing really radical. Whether there was any intention in placing the three on this shelf the way they are is an open question: Library2

For the adult human covers, the (admittedly subjective) interpretation of “overall suggestiveness” fell out as follows. For the 37 with women on the cover, 19 were focused on some aspect of personal appearance, and 8 of those implied sexuality. The typical suspects were involved here (Esquire, Self, etc), including the partially pornographic e.g.: Library1 For the 21 with men on the cover, that breakdown was 2 appearance-oriented and either 0 or 1 sexually suggestive, respectively.

The famous are there but not in huge numbers, and other than Abe Lincoln, Bob Dylan, Oprah Winfrey and JJ Watt, I don’t recognize them. Movie and TV stars probably. JJ Watt and Taylor Swift (?) are on 2 covers each. And no I’m not going to Google to find out who she is, I’m really not.

On the newspaper front, there are the several papers from the county seats of the surrounding counties, but if you want state, national and international news, it’s either the Toledo Blade, Cleveland Plain Dealer, New York Times or Wall Street Journal. All good papers fortunately.