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Posts Made By: George Blahun

January 31, 2012 07:58 PM Forum: Global Warming - REAL or NOT

Newly Released 2011 NOAA Report

Posted By George Blahun

I've noticed the opposition to these claims, like the climate itself, is also getting warmer. A few years ago the the denialists would at least submit data, flawed as it may have been, to support their claims. Recently, as more of this data in support of global warming is released, their attacks are on the ideology of supporters or the financial cost associated with mitigation attempts.
This is the first year my strawberry plants (here in SE CT) have remained green into February. Each year I plant a couple more palm trees on my property and the ones from previous years have lived through the winters. I am preparing for what is inevitable and it's not all good as it is with longer growing seasons and warmer USDA zones. I have seen insects flying and crawling outside nearly everyday this winter. I am fortunate to have my property between 90 and 140 ft above sea level on the west bank of the Thames River. Some of my friends who live below 15 ft elevation have moved or are about to do so.
Thanks for the link to the animated map.


February 9, 2012 07:48 AM Forum: Telescope Making

16" mirror blank

Posted By George Blahun

Joe, join the ATM email list and take a look at the Stellafane website. You Tube has some videos as well. I'm currently fine grinding a 12.5 inch quartz blank (f/3.7). Got Grit is a nice place to get grinding material. That 16 incher is a bit thin for its diameter, but with proper support it would work for visual use. Mel Bartels and others have made thin mirrors, and it can be done. f/8 would probably be best for this blank, but that would mean a 108 inch focal length, requiring a small step ladder to view near the zenith. I say go for it, at that price you really can't go wrong.


February 11, 2012 12:34 PM Forum: Off Topic Discussions

Tejon Ranch Fined

Posted By George Blahun

Some of those dirt bags should do jail time. The monetary fines aren't big motivators.

February 17, 2012 04:37 PM Forum: Deep Sky Observing

What are your most unforgettable telescopic sights

Posted By George Blahun

In 1963 when "I discovered" NGC 884 and 869 (Double Cluster of Perseus). I was taking an Earth Science class while a freshman in high school. At one of our evening sessions the upperclassmen were clustered around the Edmund 6 inch reflector and I found the diminutive Questar 3.5 appealing and unused. I scanned the northern sky and found the cluster. When my instructor, Mr. Rousseau asked me what I was looking at, I told him I didn't know what it was but it was certainly interesting. After he looked in the eyepiece for a moment he said, "I think you've discovered the Double Cluster of Perseus". I think of that moment every time I look at it now.

February 26, 2012 07:11 PM Forum: After Dark

Not dark yet -- Venus in daylight

Posted By George Blahun

It was an easy catch today here en SE CT. In fact I was able to get Jupiter as well, although it was in and out with seeing conditions. Here's a photo of Venus today with my TV antenna in the foreground, taken about 2:45 PM.

March 2, 2012 03:57 PM Forum: Global Warming - REAL or NOT

Why The Skeptics Are Wrong

Posted By George Blahun

Interesting article Rod. I see the AM representatives from the flat earth society have chimed in as expected. BTW, Marc Sheppard (link supplied by Richard) is a far right blogger, hardly objective or decisive.

March 6, 2012 08:52 AM Forum: Global Warming - REAL or NOT

GW & Northern Latitudes/Sea Level Rises

Posted By George Blahun

What I find really interesting is the global temps during the last Ice Age were only about 5 degrees warmer. As I read more of these opinions and data it's difficult to dismiss the changes many of us are actually seeing and experiencing. As a surfer and open water swimmer, I have always paid close attention to the water temperature in Long Island Sound and this year it looks to be warmer than at any time I started keeping track. Many of my observations are admittedly anecdotal and are not meant to infer scientific proof, I present them as only being consistent with the predictions of the models for global warming. I live in one of those areas (SE, CT) where we have moved, over the last couple decades, to a warmer USDA zone. Perhaps many of those who deny AGW are not in an area where they can experience these shifts. I live, literally, on the west bank of the Thames River several miles from the mouth in Long Island Sound. With family ties on Long Island, I visit there regularly and have seen how just a few miles off the CT shore enables the growing season to be considerably longer than here. We have always known that a few miles one way or the other means the difference between a heavy snow or heavy rain event along the coast. Ask any farmer along the coast and they will confirm these slow, steady shifts toward a longer growing season. As an experiment, I began planting Chinese Windmill Palms on my property several years ago and they have all (10 of them) survived. These palms survive down to about +5 degrees F and historically we get to 0F occasionally. The move to the next higher USDA zone in 2006 caused me to undertake this experiment. I'm normally an optimist, but while I'll continue to drive a Prius and use Green technologies, I thought I'd better make plans for what is likely to come and hopefully the palm trees will show people visually what is happening.


March 6, 2012 12:25 PM Forum: Global Warming - REAL or NOT

Is Greenland's current warming unusual? No.

Posted By George Blahun

This is obviously a well written and performed study. However, in the final sections of the report, the researchers make it clear the data is subject to a number of variables and they make no claim this data counters the generally accepted AGW view. The bottom line is, while Greenland's experience may not be unheard of, it doesn't counter observations of global changes. The data is consistent with AGW, but not proof of it.

March 6, 2012 02:29 PM Forum: Politics

Math Test

Posted By George Blahun

I think I found an error in the math, shouldn't it be 2017?


March 6, 2012 06:23 PM Forum: No Holds Barred

I guess we are okay with this...?

Posted By George Blahun

OK Herb, I'll bite on this. Firstly, I'm sure my opinion is not at all typical, I've been an ACLU member for many years. Personally, I have no problem with what either of them said. They were both offensive, but that's what we get under the 1st Amendment. The difference is, Maher is primarily a comedian who makes political statements. Rush is primarily a political commentator who tries to be funny. BTW, Maher was kicked off of ABC for offending too many advertisers, which is why he's on HBO. Yes, there is a lot of hypocrisy in politics. I get into arguments with "pseudo liberals" often, they are the people who think it's OK to say anything you want as long as you don't offend them. I'm not sure I'd put my advertising dollars on either of them, but they both have the right to say anything they want and donate to whatever politician they care to.