Creating a timeline

Cato’s David Boaz had a good idea . He put together a timeline that shows how the private sector started to act on the virus before the government did. I would like to expand the timeline, particularly to contrast the CDC, the FDA, WHO and officials in New York with the private sector actions.

Source: Creating a timeline

It’s Too Darn Hot

I’ve been slowly collecting notes on the science that science fiction writers get wrong. I have this idea of using them for the basis of a high school level science class. In fairness, I don’t count things like the swamps of Venus or the notion that Mercury’s dark side never faced the sun and was perhaps colder than Pluto. I intend to focus on things that were known at the time a story was written. For example, the notion that gravity would hold structures and an atmosphere against the inside surface of a Dyson sphere.

One thing that crops up from time to time in science fiction stories is helium-II on very cold planets. Pluto is one target. Or imagine a planet that’s tide-locked with its sun, with the dark side near absolute zero. You could imagine streams of superfluid helium flowing uphill because that’s what superfluids do.

Well, it occurred to me to look up the temperature at which liquid helium transitions to superfluid helium-II. This temperature, the so-called lambda point, is 2.1768K, or 2.1768 Celsius degrees above absolute zero.

The cosmic microwave background corresponds to a temperature of 2.7255K, or nearly half a degree above the lambda point for liquid helium. That means a body floating in interstellar space will exchange heat with the surrounding sky by radiation until its temperature is equal to the microwave background temperature. As a result, the planet will remain too hot for superfluid liquid helium to exist.

So good-by superfluid helium based life forms.

Since then, I’ve read that the temperature can be lower inside dust clouds, where the energy from the microwave background hasn’t had time to penetrate into its depths. And that could be the basis for an interesting story.


It’s too darn hot.

It’s too darn hot.

I’d like to go superfluid tonight,

And flow against gravitation tonight,

I’d like to be superfluid tonight,

And flow uphill over walls in the night,

But I ain’t down to transition tonight,

‘Cause it’s too darn hot

Failures of Epidemic Models

Michael Fumento on the failures of epidemic models:

The … crisis we face is unparalleled in modern times,” said the World Health Organization’s assistant director, while its director general proclaimed it “likely the greatest peacetime challenge that the United Nations and its agencies have ever faced.” This was based on a CDC computer model projection predicting as many as 1.4 million deaths from just two countries. 

So when did they say this about COVID-19? Trick question: It was actually about the Ebola virus in Liberia and Sierra Leone five years ago, and the ultimate death toll was under 8,000.

After Repeated Failures, It’s Time To Permanently Dump Epidemic Models

Heartland Launches 22 Climate Science “Gatebreakers”

Of course, since it’s from the Heartland Institute, many will consider it tainted.

“Gatebreaker” is a word I use to describe a special kind of document that until recently has been few and far between. It is a one or two page nontechnical refutation of a specific alarmist argument. It is something a student or citizen can use to confront an alarmist gatekeeper, hence the name gatebreaker.

Source: Heartland Launches 22 Climate Science “Gatebreakers”