Friday Funny: Nutball science on steroids

I don’t actually have this title category, I just invented the title in honor of what I just stumbled across flipping through channels on DirecTV. I landed on the History Channel. Egads! Some diving guys on a boat haul around some scientist with a “magnetic anomaly detector”, which looks like a Radio Shack electronics kit gone bad, and are looking for black holes (yes the gravitational kind) in the Bermuda Triangle. Yes, really.

Here’s the DVD you can buy from the History Channel.

And here’s the program description:

Explore with us the wonders and mysteries of the Black Holes in our universe. Is it possible that areas on earth might, in fact, show black hole like tendencies?

We take a hard scientific look at an area known as the Bermuda Triangle to see if there are indeed any similarities between the supposed forces in the triangle and the destructive force of a black hole.

From a research boat trip through the triangle to interviews with scientists at the US Geological Survey, Harvard University, and the UK’s Cardiff University, we go far beyond the event horizon to explore the dangers in this area and what relation they might indeed have with its counterpoint in space.

===================================

There’s a line in the TV show where they say “…there’s no question that the climate can change suddenly around the Bermuda triangle”…so for these folks, I guess weather is climate. *Sigh* God help us.

The poor chumps at these prestigious organizations they brought in as experts probably had no idea that they’d appear in a dreckumentary that has the crew of the Minnow looking for black holes under the sea in the Bermuda triangle.

Of course the History Channel also shows “Life after people” and Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth“…so I suppose crap like black hole hunting in the Bermuda Triangle fits right in.

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77 Responses to Friday Funny: Nutball science on steroids

  1. Yes, of course. Pure dreck. They should have been seeking magnetic anomalies that suck things down into the bowels of the Earth like tractor beams from hell.

  2. ImranCan says:

    The truth is almost always so much more boring than the fantasy. I seem to remember an analysis of shipping and air travel ‘anomalies’ that indicated that the Bermuda triangle area did not have significantly higher numbers of disappearances or irregularities than any other part of the ocean. And now its actually a ‘black hole’.

    What is it about the human race that needs to invent the ‘fantastic’ to explain the ‘mundane’ ? Sometimes I wonder if Nigel Lawson was correct when he said that a large part of the AGW scare came about due to the drop of conventional religious belief in Western Europe. When people stop believing in God they don’t believe in ‘nothing’ …… they’ll believe in ANYTHING.

  3. Lonnie Schubert says:

    I just Googled “dreckumentary” and this article was the first hit. Cool!

    REPLY: I think I may have coined the first usage…we’ll have to check – A

  4. Vorlath says:

    Frakin’ magnets. How do they work?

  5. Daniel H says:

    He’s looking in the wrong place. The black hole is located in New York City, above Tom’s Restaurant.

    REPLY: LOL LOL LOL! – Anthony

  6. jorgekafkazar says:

    Lonnie Schubert says: “I just Googled “dreckumentary” and this article was the first hit. Cool!”

    REPLY: I think I may have coined the first usage…we’ll have to check – A

    Dibs on ‘drivelogue.’

  7. NovaReason says:

    Found some other uses of it… cei la vie.

    http://www.bing.com/search?q=dreckumentary&src=IE-SearchBox

    REPLY: Oh well, no worries. I also found other usages. It seemed novel for the moment. – Anthony

  8. Andrew30 says:

    I understood that the cause of the ‘issues’ with the Bermuda triangle was methane hydrates and undersea earthquakes.
    During an earthquake the methane is released and creates a mass of bubbles, if a ship happens to be on top of where the bubbles come to the surface then the ship sinks instantly (less than one second), like a block of wood on foam.
    Likewise for planes, the methane cloud in the air will cause a flame out or engine stall due to either insufficient oxygen or too rich (dense) a fuel mixture.
    A large earthquake that releases enough methane would create a surface cloud large enough to suffocate and entire ships company on a still day if the ship was in the wrong place.
    Are their any other ‘issues’ besides, instantly sinking ships, planes dropping out of the sky of ships found with all the crew dead?
    No mystery.

  9. rbateman says:

    Some diving guys on a boat haul around some scientist with a “magnetic anomaly detector”, which looks like a Radio Shack electronics kit gone bad,

    I knew it !!
    There really is an anomalymometer. It can detect anything, including cherrypicking a needle in a haystack.

  10. a jones says:

    Many years ago one of the more amusing calculations I used to set my students was to determine the period of oscillation of a small black hole as it passed to and fro through the earth. There were extra marks for calculating the loss in the earth’s mass and much bigger credits if you could say why and how the process would become disrupted by the gravitational forces of the other heavenly bodies.

    Kindest Regards

  11. Cassandra King says:

    Is it possible that a small part of the earths core is some of the super heavy material left over from the big bang/brane bump/ pre solar system super novae? The known universe contains lots of super heavy material with quasars/black holes forming the bulk of it.
    If the big bang/brane bump spread tiny lumps far and wide through the universe it makes sense that these could form the core of planets and suns as lighter material is attracted to those gravitational focal points. Its possible that a teaspoon of super heavy detritus could form the very centre of our planet. We still do not know for sure the composition of the earths core and until we do then all possibilities should be explored, its what science is all about isnt it?

  12. Jimmy Haigh says:

    I saw something similar recently on Discovery or National Geographic with Kerry Emmanuel (he still reminds me of nurse Gladys…) wittering on about ‘hypercanes’ causing the extinction of the dinosaurs.

    The bottom line was: “can we have more money for atmospheric research please?”

  13. Leon Brozyna says:

    Interesting.

    Scientists enter the area of the Bermuda Triangle and nothing untoward happens. How odd they didn’t disappear. Their timing must be off; it’s a well known fact that the Bermuda Triangle causes people, airplanes, and boats to disappear on a regular basis. Maybe next time …

  14. DesertYote says:

    Hey, can I get funding to vacation in Bermuda too?

  15. DesertYote says:

    BTW, any black hole would have to really tiny to not yank the earth about, which I think we would have noticed by now. It would be so small that normal matter might as well be empty space. The thing would just go on orbiting the center of the earths mass tacking with it an atom or two ever once in a while. The chances of it effecting Bermuda is approximately zero.

  16. Doug in Seattle says:

    Leon Brozyna says:
    October 29, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    Best chuckle of the day!

  17. I have my Interocitor warmed up and ready to receive their findings.

  18. Ben D. says:

    Daniel H says:
    October 29, 2010 at 8:58 pm
    He’s looking in the wrong place. The black hole is located in New York City, above Tom’s Restaurant.

    Repeated for truth…Thanks, that made my evening.

  19. evanmjones says:

    Have you tried Calcutta?

  20. Brian Johnson uk says:

    If any of the “Triangle Terrors” existed every Insurance Company would have made massive payouts and increased premiums accordingly.

    “Data from Lloyd’s of London records show 428 vessels were reported missing throughout the world between 1955 and 1975, and there was no greater incidence of events occurring in the Bermuda Triangle than anywhere else in the world.”

  21. Glenys says:

    The Black Hole of Bermuda is the ghostly hunting ground of the ‘Flying Dutchman’ – and of course any ‘real’ spook knows how to avoid ‘real’ scientists! (LOL)

  22. JeffT says:

    “Marty McFly lives”
    The floating scientists were just looking for the plot to fit the storyline
    – as they went past the event horizon.

  23. Sleepalot says:

    My extensive research of Scooby doo tells me it’s usually the old oil well
    owner who’s behind any spooky anomalies.

  24. UK Sceptic says:

    The only black hole I can detect is in their collective IQ. It seems that singularities are comprised of pure stupidity. Who’da thunk it?

  25. James Bull says:

    Sounds like something the Goons would have done if you ask me. They wanted to climb the highest mountain in the world by diving off a boat? One of them had a mole hill in a box from which he was going to make a mountain, sound familiar (CO2 ). They were way ahead of the History Channel and the IPCC for nutty ideas although you knew you could laugh at them without getting blown up (unless your name was Bluebottle).

  26. Judd says:

    I’m surprised they didn’t bring in NASA’s Goddard Space Center’s deputy news chief Rob Gutro to determine if there’s some special properties in those earthbound black holes that may allow better communication with the dead. After all, they’d only need to apply for a couple mil or so in stimulus funding. I mean Michael Mann got 500K in stimulus. So think of what you could do if you could talk to, and thence make the dead finally productive. Whew, would this moribund economy take off like a rocket.

  27. Adam Gallon says:

    Life After People is very entertaining and quite possible in parts. Also a good excuse for some nifty CGI!
    I’m not quite sure what a MAD will show, if a mini black hole is actually detected! It sounds more like a treasure hunt (Nice big cannon should show up on a trace!) disguised as a black hole search!
    Still, there are those who’ve theorised about the Tunguska Event being a mini black hole hitting the earth!

  28. ROM says:

    Must keep an eye on the next few editions of New Scientist.
    Sounds like this is right down their wacko editorial alley these days.

    Why they have to go all the way to the Bermuda Triangle for their research I really don’t know as there are plenty of corporations around with resident black holes as their shareholders will readily tell you.

    Sigh!
    How I would love a series of nice all expenses paid part time working holidays in some exotic locations and all on OPM.
    Should have taken up some sort of science all those years ago instead of going farming.
    Foolish me!

    [ OPM = Other People's Money]

  29. rbateman says:

    Cassandra King says:
    October 29, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Might as well have a inner inner core of pure gold, or maybe even platinum.
    There was once a project called the Moho Discontinuity, where they were going to drill down to the layer separating the crust from the mantle and use a nuclear device to blast through it. Just to see what was on the other side, mind you.

  30. Tenuc says:

    Not black holes, but something far more difficult to understand?

    “The Marques was one of 39 tall ships that took part in a transatlantic race in 1984. Shortly before dawn on Sunday, June 3, the ship sailed into a fierce squall north of Bermuda. The gusty weather was not unusual, but the wave that slammed the vessel broadside was. Crew member Philip Sefton, 22, described it as “a freakish wave of incredible force and size.” As the ship tipped over, a second monster wave filled the Marques with water, sinking it in less than a minute. Out of a crew of 28, only Sefton and eight others survived.”

    http://www.seadercraft.com/sea-sci.html

    Here’s a video clip of a freak of rogue wave in action:-

    The most plausible theory to explain how these 100ft monster waves can suddenly appear out of the blue lies in the realm of deterministic chaos:-

    “Instability and Evolution of Nonlinearly Interacting Water Waves” – 2006 – P. K. Shukla, I. Kourakis, B Eliasson, M Marklund and L Stenflo.

    “We consider the modulational instability of nonlinearly interacting two-dimensional waves in deep water, which are described by a pair of two-dimensional coupled nonlinear Schrödinger equations. We derive a nonlinear dispersion relation. The latter is numerically analyzed to obtain the regions and the associated growth rates of the modulational instability. Furthermore, we follow the long term evolution of the latter by means of computer simulations of the governing nonlinear equations and demonstrate the formation of localized coherent wave envelopes. Our results should be useful for understanding the formation and nonlinear propagation characteristics of large-amplitude freak waves in deep water.”

    Full paper here:-
    http://www.pm.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/imperia/md/content/pressestelle/freak_waves.pdf

    However, climatologists still seem to want to deny that deterministic chaos can change weather regime/climate, without the need to invoke the effects of CO2.

  31. Marcus25 says:

    Jimmy Haigh says:
    “(he still reminds me of nurse Gladys…) ”

    Oh the good old days eh?
    Not many of the subtle comedic calibre of Mr Baker around any more.
    More the pity.

  32. Bryan says:

    These findings will be incorporated in the next IPCC report.
    Deniers and and followers of “voodoo science” can sneer if they like – if effects nothing.
    Ongoing research at UEA is investigating the link between CO2 , Black Holes and the Bermuda Triangle!

  33. FrankK says:

    Sometime I wonder about the c**p that some people are serious about.
    Tonite on our dearly beloved Ozzie ABC was a “news” item on the 7 O’clock News about methane f**ting cows and how we could possibly put a stop to this flatulence – Yes you guess it AGW. Put a sock in it I say. What are the folks in 30 years time going to think about all of this rubbish.

    Cheers.

  34. thingadonta says:

    Don’t they have some editor who is supposed to actually check what programs are being produced, ie that they are somehow related to actual “history”, and not fantasy? And aren’t they partly funded by the taxpayer? I have seen privately funded organisations do this kind of thing, but at least then it’s their own money they are losing.

  35. Robert says:

    Daniel H says:
    October 29, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    He’s looking in the wrong place. The black hole is located in New York City, above Tom’s Restaurant.

    Well i sure fits the description of a black-hole, lots of stuff like grants and data flows in, but hardly anything gets out, only Hawking radiation gets out but wich by its nature does not contain information of that what flowed in.

    And then, these black-holes keep gaining mass because the current universe is still to warm, its only when the universe has cooled enough that these massive black holes start to evaporate.

    Looks like climatology to me :)

  36. Anthea Collins says:

    Slightly off topic: “Life after people” … if anyone wants some real, thoughtful fun on this I recommend Dougal Dixon’s “After Man” and , even more interesting, “Man after Man”.

  37. Disastrous man made environmental pollution of the intellectual kind is lurking beyond the event horizon. Worse than we thought.

  38. Mike McMillan says:

    What about barycentrism? Or air pockets? Do we really know what’s in those “black boxes?” Roswell!

    A few years ago, as I recall, Phillip Klass of Aviation Week did a study and determined that more aircraft disappeared over the continental US than in the Bermuda Triangle.

  39. John Silver says:

    The inappropriate innuendos are overwhelming.

  40. Charlie Barnes says:

    Thirty or more years ago, I read a paperback called something like “The Bermuda Triangle – the mystery explained”. Of course, although I’m sure I still have it, I can’t locate it right now so can’t give the reference.

    As I recall, the author was a librarian who researched all the reports of then recent incidents and concluded that there was a rational explanation for all of them. He summed up by saying, and I paraphrase, that “the paradox of the Bermuda Triangle consists in presuming that there is a paradox”.

    Spookily, I was only saying to someone in the pub the other night that we don’t seem to have heard anything about the Bermuda Triangle for what seems like years now – and see what happens!

  41. Vuk etc. says:

    rbateman says: October 30, 2010 at 12:46 am
    ….There was once a project called the Moho Discontinuity……..

    Moho discontinuity was first defined by Croatian scientist Andrija Mohorovičić (in this case male not female). This layer is called the Mohorovičić discontinuity but because of the complexity of his name’s pronunciation abbreviated to Moho.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohorovi%C4%8Di%C4%87_discontinuity
    (vukcevic)

  42. North of 43 and south of 44 says:

    But, but, what about the Vogon hyperspace bypasses. That is what the triangle is.

  43. Ric Werme says:

    The most amazing thing? You have time to watch TV!

  44. Paul Coppin says:

    History – that’d be the antidiscipline whose tagline is: “We can tailor whatever you want to remember to fit any view”, right?

  45. wws says:

    this is what happens when “science” turns into nothing but an opportunity for any promoter with a gadget and a video camera. My wife watches every ghost and haunted house show out there, and every wannabe Egon , Stantz, and Venkman has a got a boatload of gadgets to “prove” how “scientific” they are.

    Sigh – no wonder so few people anymore can tell the difference between that and honest scientific work – so little of the honest work is on display today that no one even knows what it looks like.

  46. Jimmy Haigh says:

    Charlie Barnes says:
    October 30, 2010 at 4:17 am
    “Spookily, I was only saying to someone in the pub the other night that we don’t seem to have heard anything about the Bermuda Triangle for what seems like years now – and see what happens!”

    That’s what you get for going to the pub Charlie! (I’m just jealous – stuck on a bleedin’ oil rig in the middle of the bleedin’ South China Sea a billion miles, and 3 weeks, away from the nearest bleedin’ pub…)

  47. artwest says:

    Brian Johnson uk says:
    “Data from Lloyd’s of London records show 428 vessels were reported missing throughout the world between 1955 and 1975, and there was no greater incidence of events occurring in the Bermuda Triangle than anywhere else in the world.”

    And many accidents and disappearances are dragged in to bolster the myth from many miles away from the “Bermuda Triangle” – on odd occasions not even from the same ocean!

  48. JimK says:

    This is typical of the History Channel. They are warmists over there. Any good alarmist story will get airplay.

  49. Paul Jackson says:

    I love this stuff, nothing better than watching a good snipe hunt.

  50. DirkH says:

    There cannot be a black hole in the Bermuda triangle because then this would happen…

  51. David Thomas Bronzich says:

    The Revisionist History Channel strikes again! They’ve become a gross form of popular entertainment, eyecandy, if you will, similar to the National Enquirer.

  52. kramer says:

    I saw part of a History Channel show a while ago that was talking about how the Government was using some kind of waves (I think they called them ELF waves) to change the direction of the Jet Stream in order to affect weather.

    I have no idea if this is true or pure bunk, just noting a show that I saw part of…

  53. JudyW says:

    I’m not saying that I believe it, but there are many articles and books by the New Agers that the myth of Atlantis is true and that there were many other civilizations that have vanished without leaving historal records of their existance. The supposed continent extended from eastern Europe across the Sargasso Sea and down through the Bermuda triangle. According to myth, a large crystal, like the images on several ancient cliff carvings, was developed that provided unlimited energy for aircraft travel, domestic use and for military use at the end.

    The crystal was more powerful than laser beams and is said to still exist somewhere in the Bermuda triangle. The stories state that Atlantans were a technologically advanced society that accomplished great things but eventually tried to dominate other cultures with the threat of vaporization via the crystal. They blew themselves up when they tried to direct the beam through the center of the earth in an effort to extend the area of control that was available to the crystal..

    Maybe these guys are looking for the crystal but don’t want the ridicule of being New Age believers. I believe some of the current crop of environmentalists have been influenced by these Ruth Montgomery, Edgar Cayce and other psychics writings.

    There would be nothing like having a new alternative energy source that could vaporize nonbelievers.

  54. kramer says:

    Here’s a youtube video with part of the history channel show on the government trying to manipulate the weather. Here it is:

  55. Golf Charley says:

    If they fail to find the Black Hole, maybe they should set forth simultaneously, in search of the East and West Poles instead, and see if meet up

  56. cotwome says:

    Maybe the History Channel can tie this show in with an episode of Ancient Aliens. Now that would be a ‘hard scientific look’ into reality.

  57. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

    If you interpret Nostradamus correctly you’ll see he talked about those black holes.

    ;o)

    p.s., Ice Road Truckers is on History Channel exactly why?

  58. mkelly says:

    I served in the US Navy for 24 years flying in P3 and S3 antisubmarine aircraft in various places aroung the world. Over 5000hrs of flight time. I did several stints in Bermuda. ASW aircraft have MAD (magnetic anomoly detectors) attached to the rear of the plane. On the P3 it looks like a stinger. The range of detection is about 1200 feet. We flew hundreds of hours hunting submarines with the MAD and if it could have detected black holes the Navy would have found them already.

  59. @mkelly

    Knock it off. We all know you’re involved in a mass conspiracy to hide the truth. The navy probably found the black holes years ago and have been using them as an experimental energy source resulting in massive global warming.

    Of course, having publicly said this, my life is probably now in danger.

  60. Douglas DC says:

    Mike McMillan says:
    October 30, 2010 at 3:00 am

    “A few years ago, as I recall, Phillip Klass of Aviation Week did a study and determined that more aircraft disappeared over the continental US than in the Bermuda Triangle.”
    That study and a few others showed that the Washington/Oregon Cascades have a higher rate of aircraft disappearances. Even today wrecks from WW2 are still found.

  61. D Johnson says:

    I spend considerable time watching the History Channel, and its HCI counterpart. But you certainly have to pick and choose, since utter superstition and pseudoscience is interspersed with actual ancient and modern history, and real-life shows such as Pawn Stars. I often wonder why they try to be so eclectic.

  62. rbateman says:

    Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
    October 30, 2010 at 7:27 am
    If you interpret Nostradamus correctly you’ll see he talked about those black holes.

    ** Gold & Silver are fused by the Arks devastating power.
    The one is consumed by the other
    ??

  63. wolfwalker says:

    Charlie Barnes: Thirty or more years ago, I read a paperback called something like “The Bermuda Triangle – the mystery explained”.

    Do you mean The Bermuda Triangle Mystery: Solved! by Lawrence Kusche? Excellent book. I’d also recommend The Disappearance of Flight 19, same author, which thoroughly debunks the most famous “Bermuda Triangle” incident, the five Navy Avenger torpedo-bombers that disappeared in December 1945.

    Anyone who still believes in the myth of the Bermuda Triangle should take notice that as the amount of traffic has increased, and the safety factor has also increased, the number of disappearances in the area has fallen precipitously. A brief websearch found no ‘unexplainable’ disappearances in at least the last thirty years.

  64. oakgeo says:

    God, I love this stuff. After weeks in the field of working hard and stressing out, what better way to zone out than to fill my mind with dross like The Bermuda Triangle or UFO mysteries.

    It’s better than Jersey Shore!

  65. Robert says:

    JudyW says:
    October 30, 2010 at 7:05 am

    The crystal was more powerful than laser beams and is said to still exist somewhere in the Bermuda triangle. The stories state that Atlantans were a technologically advanced society that accomplished great things but eventually tried to dominate other cultures with the threat of vaporization via the crystal.

    The mistery of the blue water Crystal (Fushigi no Umi no Nadia) TV-series (^___^)? Nadia of the mysterious seas, and being under the direction of Anno this means that one of the main-characters is a short-tempered and stubborn 14 year old b*tch with suicidal tendencies.

    Nah I guess its more like Fushigi no something for the most of us.

  66. Mike D. says:

    “When will I learn? The answer to life’s problems aren’t at the bottom of a bottle, they’re on TV!” — Homer Simpson

    http://www.homersimpsonquotes.com/

  67. I’m serious: Occam’s Razor: The Bermuda Triangle is the result of magnetic flares known as Tractor-Beams from Hell.

  68. Charlie Barnes says:

    wolfwalker says:
    October 30, 2010 at 9:27 am
    Charlie Barnes: Thirty or more years ago, I read a paperback called something like “The Bermuda Triangle – the mystery explained”.

    “Do you mean The Bermuda Triangle Mystery: Solved! by Lawrence Kusche? Excellent book. I’d also recommend The Disappearance of Flight 19, same author, which thoroughly debunks the most famous “Bermuda Triangle” incident, the five Navy Avenger torpedo-bombers that disappeared in December 1945. ”

    I still haven’t found my book but it is almost certainly the one you quote since it included the Navy Avengers’ disappearance.

  69. Glenn says:

    I think these guys may have it on exactly where the missing heat is – obviously its being sunk in a black hole – and thats why we can’t detect it.

  70. Ed Caryl says:

    I love the new word. Thank you Anthony.

  71. Chris Edwards says:

    It is nice to see the subject matter returning to near science instead of Al Gore warming,

  72. SSam says:

    I’ve seen this episode and was amused by the guy fretting over his beeping box.

    There is a reason that a P-3 Orion has a boom sticking out the back of the aircraft… evidently this guy hasn’t figured that part out yet.

  73. Enneagram says:

    Bermuda Triangle?….Stormy weather?, Electricity anyone?

  74. Kevin_S says:

    If they really want to find “black holes” on Earth, they need to go no further than the offices for the History Channel. No real history has been televised from there in years.

  75. Jeremy says:

    In my visits to various social dance clubs in Los Angeles, I once met a very pretty young girl. She was between jobs when I met her. I asked her what her career is about and she said, “Paranormal Investigator” without blinking. It took just about every ounce of restraint to keep my mouth shut and keep the conversation normal. I eventually discovered that her previous job was as a ghost-tours tour guide for the Queen Mary in Long Beach. She got the job because she was a paranormal investigator.

    I still see her from time to time. I say “Hi.”

  76. mojo says:

    Me, I’m still searching for the volcanic crater that leads down to the cavern in the center of the planet, so I can hitch a ride on one of them flying saucers!

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