Washing the lions

A ticket to the washing of the lion, a traditi...

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I had planned quite an entertaining and elaborate April Fools post this year, on par with the one I did last year.

Given what happened yesterday in Congress, I think we’ve seen enough tomfoolery. But more importantly, is the fact that most readers had no idea about the behind the scenes events and work that went on the last couple of weeks.

The effort was almost like washing the lions if you can imagine the scene.

So to sum it up, the entertaining April Fools post I planned got sucked into the time hole.

In retrospect, the April fools post would have been the BEST use of my time.

Therefore, so as to not break tradition, I’m offering this story about my town installing eco-friendly low flow fire hydrants from last year, still a good read, even though recycled.

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36 thoughts on “Washing the lions

  1. Scientists Discover why wet soil is dark
    In a major breakthrough Associate Profession William Philpot of Cornell School of Civil & Environmental Engineering has cracked the secret of wet soil. He has now produced a simple theoretical model describing the reflectance from wetted soils which describes the major variations of changes in the spectral reflectance which lead to soil getting darker when wet.
    This is hugely encouraging as previous cutting edge research on the darkening
    of soil have suggested very distinct theoretical hyppotheses. Whilst Ångström (1925)
    attributed the reduction to total internal reflection within the film of water coating soil particles, later authors have expanded on this idea in a variety of ways, modifying Ångström’s formula to account for light that is not totally internally reflected (Lekner and Dorf, 1988) and incorporating the effect of spectral absorption by the water itself
    (Bach and Mauser, 1994), a necessity when considering spectral reflectance through the short wave infrared (SWIR).
    Philpot’s work whilst theoretical is grounded in good basic experimentation. However Philpot strangeley modest over his groundbreaking discovery:
    “the model should be regarded with skepticism and used with great care, if at all. On the other hand, while the conceptual design of this model leaves much to be desired, its success suggests that there is some truth captured by the model structure. “
    For those of a scientific mind, there are at least three general conclusions that can be drawn from this research:
    1. The darkening effect appears to be spectrally bland and largely independent of absorption effects of the water.
    2. Absorption by water is significant in the infrared suggesting that there is a substantial optical path in the pore water.
    3. The absorption spectrum of water is modified, probably due to absorption by substances dissolved in the water and/or as a result of water being partially bound to the soil.
    http://www.asdi.com/documents/spectral-reflectance-of-wetted-soils.pdf

  2. Love the ‘low flow’ hydrants, which ranks right up there with the silliest of elf ‘n safety that goes hand in hand with the Green nonsense.
    My favourite story is true; a new migrant to NZ, who had been a major cog in the safety industry in the UK, had taken early retirement and emigrated to our country. He soon became bored with retirement and set himself up in business as a Health and Safety Inspector. To get the business rolling, he offered free site inspections for the first month. On his first inspection, he marched around the prospective client’s wood-working factory, clip-board in hand, ticking boxes as he went. He needed to access some tall windows, so he raced out to his car and retrieved his aluminium step ladder, from the roof-rack, erected it in the factory and climbed smartly to the top. Immediately he reached it, the ladder spread its legs on the smooth concrete floor and the tyro inspector hit the floor standing up, still standing on the top of the ladder, fracturing both ankles and a wrist.
    He had forgotten to clip his own ladder’s leg locking-brace into position.
    No more was said about a Health and Safety business and he became a passionate golfer.

  3. “Chico has a city ordinance preventing storing or testing of a nuclear device within city limits, punishable by a $1000 fine and jail time.”
    Alas, no “future” Dr. Emmett Brown’s will be coming from the city of Chico.

  4. News flash!! Australian Scientist believes neuron connections in the brain associated with breathing and swallowing could be the cause of Cot Death. “If I can understand how this all works we can reduce cot death” says lead scientist.”
    This is typical of science reporting today, scientists using the media to promote their research.

  5. We used to send apprentices to the joinery shop for a long weight
    Worked every time 🙂
    /Mango
    I don’t deny climate change, I know climate changes

  6. Phil Jones attended the Spectator Debate last Tuesday, and next day rang up Sir David King to say he’d changed his ming about all this CO2 nonsense. But he would still like to work in climate science. King said he’d chat to the Prime Minister, and get back him. The next day he rings Jones and says that he will be offered the post of coordinating the construction of 10 new coal fired power stations, replacing the 10 nuclear ones that had been planned. Jones says “come off it, you’re just taking the piss”. whereupon King says “don’t blame me, you started it”.

  7. If you were prepared to keep a nuclear device inside city limits, would a $1000 fine deter you? This mob sound as mentally deranged as Fitzroy Coucil in Melbourne who had “Fitzroy is a nuclear free city” signs everywhere. I used to think to myself, not if some bastard drops a bomb on you, it won’t.

  8. .
    .
    With all the left-winged lunacy these days it’s almost impossible to tell what is a joke or not. Who would have believed, just short years ago that a regime in the WH would make war with “kinetic” maneuvers? – not really wanting to attack their friends who plot to kill with “statics”.
    They lack the imagination of their neighbours to the North…
    The National Research Council of Canada has shelved its plans to build a big aircraft carrier. “Big” in this case means about 2000 feet long and 300 feet wide, and displacing almost 2 million tons. Really big! Believe it or not, the name of the project was ” Havakook” or something like that.
    Believing that steel would have been much too costly, and not readily available in that amount for reasonable delivery, they settled on ice. That’s right, Canadian ice. Obviously, the designers had not heeded the warnings of imminent global-warming “experts” as part of the lifetime/melting-ratio analysis for ice boat-bergs in Arctic, or near Arctic, locations. 
    Alas, as with the Avro-Arrow, friendly neighbors to the South were instrumental in its demise. And to think Canadians were about to break the sound-barrier going straight up, or the ice-barrier going straight down.
    .
    .

  9. Thanks MangoChutney, you’ve just reminded me that 35 years ago as a printing apprentice I too was sent down to maintenance to fetch a long weight. On arrival I was asked to sit down. After half an hour or so somebody came out with a 20-inch bar of lead used in the hot-metal typesetting machines for me to take back. It was years before it dawned on me what had happened!

  10. I started writing an April Fool post, but decided it wasn’t good enough and wasn’t going to get good enough. I was comparing it against my http://wermenh.com/deimos.html which I’ve never been able to equal.
    However, as a comment to an April Fools thread, it’ll do fine and doesn’t need to be run by Anthony, Joe, and Joe first:
    ——————————
    A Proactive Rumor Identifying Languishing Files On Overloaded Library Systems.
    A Proactive Rumor Identifying Laziness Finding Out Overlooked L
    A Proactive Rumor Inquiringly Looking For Overlooked Observational Logistics
    [See what I mean – Even the title doesn’t come close to “A Pretty Realistic & Informative Look Focused On Olympic Leaps.”]
    It has been heard on good authority that Joe Romm is joining the forecasting team of two other Joes – D’Aleo and Bastardi. At first blush this appears to be an odd trio, but apparently the two Joes are interested in influencing the new Joe, and vice versa.
    “They say ‘If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” noted JoeR. “It was hard enough taking them on separately, but now that they’re a tag team, it would be more exasperating. By joining them I hope I can get earlier access to their blogs and find someone to write up a critique for me. With luck, I can run by that other blog (the one that likes to be mentioned by name), and they can identify the weak spots for me.”
    “I just hope I don’t become a punching bag for them.”
    “We occasionally forgot to check up on JoeR’s blog to see which of us he’s attacking today,” explained JoeD. “This way we’ll be able to correct some of his misconceptions before he publishes them. He’ll probably add some real doozies when he makes changes after our review, but that will be a good way for him to keep his readership up.”
    “No, JoeR won’t become a punching bag,” jabbed JoeB. “I thought everyone knew by now I’m a wrestler. If we need a boxer, we’ll hire a boxer. Until then I can take down JoeR myself when necessary.”
    “We’ll try to send JoeR to verify some of the data we’re using and to look for data that doesn’t support our forecasts,” according to JoeD.
    That prompted JoeB to note “and if he keeps coming back with tree ring data we’ll change his cell phone directory for Michael Mann to have Steve McIntyre’s number.”

  11. I can’t find a link, but the National Post has a funny spoof on the benefits of AGW on page 2 of their April 1st edition.

  12. Your 2010 joke was an absolute classic. don’t sell yourself short.
    REPLY: Well then you would have loved the one I had planned for today, but alas, the opportunity got lost in the time hole. – A

  13. Stop Common Purpose says: “Global warming has destroyed the spaghetti harvest:”
    Actually, the warmer weather helps to create an earlier and more plentiful crop, that combined with the effects of CO2 on the spaghetti weevil and it’s been a great time for pasta.

  14. Loved the 2010 April fools day post and humerous comments by Cap’n Jack, especially the one about the scientist in the shower 🙂

  15. Interesting detail in the Wiki link on the long history of lion washing:
    “Animals, including lions, actually were kept at the Tower of London for many centuries. The tradition of keeping animals there began in the 13th century, when Emperor Frederic II sent three leopards to King Henry III. In subsequent years, elephants, lions, and even a polar bear were added to the collection.
    The polar bear was trained to catch fish in the Thames.”

  16. I’m waiting for James Hansen to somehow take credit for AGW saving us from the coming Ice Age, while at the same time declaring we must prepare to stop producing CO2 once the ice age is over. For the children.

  17. I modified your low flow fire hydrant to $100,000,000 stimulus for San Diego’s new downtown project. I’ve got my whole shop ranting on the S.D. councel. Their so pissed off I’m afraid to give little more than hints as to the day it is. It’s come to the point that everybody just expects government at all levels to waste money on stupid projects.

  18. I think you can take a great deal of solace in knowing that many millions consider you a fine and honest man. Your integrity remains intact. I’m certain this latest BESTing will prove yet another blot on the reputation of those that perpetrated it.
    Arise Sir Anthony! Duke of Honesty.

  19. Thanks, Anthony, and many more April 1 to you! I remember the low-flow hydrant bit, it was a scream!
    When I need a laugh these days, I read the comments over at Real Climate. Not much going on over there lately.

  20. I for one am grateful that you did not post another April fool’s article. My blood pressure has yet to recover from last year’s, which completely gulled me. It was a classic! Sorry about the reason for the lack of such a post, though.

  21. Well I was thinking of a story that involved a bill in Canadian Parliament that would mandate an ice maker and zamboni follow every ice breaker operating in the arctic regions to minimize loss of arctic ice.

  22. Thanks for the “Washing the Lions” link, Anthony. It’s a hilarious story. The thought of someone phoning the zoo, asking to speak with Jim Panzie or Ellie Font had me laughing outright. 🙂

  23. Where i work they sent an apprentice to the shop superintendent for a long weight. also being an apprentice, i was glad to discover they had only pinned a tail to me, and attached a greasefilled styrofoam cup to the hardhat of my mate.

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