Insectologists Swat Insects-Are-Doomed Paper


It’s actually rare for scientists to dump on a politically correct prophecy of an eco-apocalypse. But entomologists were, um, bugged by the data errors, data-gathering methods, and editorializing tone in the paper:

To a trio of UK-based biologists at the University of York and Cardiff University, this doesn’t pass the smell test. “Trying to extrapolate from population or biomass declines over several decades, or from threatened species lists, in ‘developed’ temperate zone countries to, say, 100 year species level extinctions of undescribed endemics confined to the precipitous eastern flanks of the Andes does not wash,” these critics wrote in Global Change Biology earlier this month.

Finnish biologists at the University of Jyväskylä, writing in Rethinking Ecology this week, called out other issues, including the fact that local extinctions reported in some of the studies aren’t easily extrapolated to a broader scale, and at least one instance in which insects with the conservation designation “data deficient” were lumped in with those designated “vulnerable” and thus assumed to be declining when we can’t be sure.Maddie Stone, “Bug Scientists Squash ‘Insect Apocalypse’ Paper” at Gizmodo

The strongest point was made by the ecologist who said, “We don’t know anything about most insect species on Earth.”(Maddie Stone, Gizmodo)

The temptation for some seems to be to resort to apocalypse voodoo to demonstrate a crisis, at the expense of the methods that make scientists, as an alternative to supermarket tabloids, worth listening to. File this one with: The real reasons people don’t “trust science” with a special note: Ways we could start to trust science again, if we start to see crackpot prophets of doom called out.

Just because he’s wearing a lab coat instead of a hair shirt…

See also: Insects In Decline? Science Writer Says It’s Myth


Alfred Russel Wallace’s Giant Bee Turns Out Not To Be Extinct


Not The Onion: Soldier charged after ‘going rogue’ during computer game on virtual battlefield

A soldier has been formally charged after “losing his rag” during a virtual battlefield exercise and killing his comrades.

The Edinburgh-based Army rifleman is believed to be the first soldier to be punished under UK military law for offences in a virtual scenario rather than in real life.

He is said to have been fed up with being stuck at a computer rather than training outside.


Planned Parenthood staffer driven to alcoholism, quits, is now pro-life

From Micaiah Bilger at Life News:

As a health center manager, her duties included scheduling, hiring and training, maintaining compliance with state laws and taking inventory. It also meant helping with ultrasounds during abortions.

“You go from things that you would never, ever do, things that you had vowed to yourself and to friends and family that you would never do, to being taught, slowly but surely … this legal, so this is ok,” she remembered.

Lancaster said the work hours were demanding, and the job was intensely emotional. She said she began to drink heavily and become dependent on alcohol to work. More.

Reality check: Whoa! If she’s talking alcohol abuse, let’s get one thing straight: One life she is for sure saving is her own. And good for her.

See also: Planned Parenthood opposes bill to stop infanticide


In Letter To Congress, Attorney General Confirms Mueller Found No Evidence Of Collusion By Trump

In a four-page letter provided to Congress on Sunday, Attorney General William Barr officially revealed that Special Counsel Robert Mueller did not find any evidence that President Donald Trump or members of his campaign treasonously colluded with the Russian government to steal the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton.

Barr’s disclosure of Mueller’s ultimate findings bring to a close more than two years’ worth of allegations, fueled by opposition research funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign, that Trump was a secret Russian agent working on behalf of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Breitbart ***LIVE WIRE*** Mueller Probe Finds No Trump Campaign-Russia Collusion

Trump calls Russia probe ‘an illegal takedown that failed’ after Mueller report summary released

Trump supporters roast Democrats over the Mueller report on social media, comparing the special counsel’s investigation to the Fyre Festival disaster


Why would anyone other than an upper-class twit read the Times of London?

From editor John Witherow  in a mailing I received:

The Times has had many tough and talented foreign correspondents, and none more so than Martin Fletcher. He’s hung up his flak jacket now and taken on a new challenge – caring for his baby grandson. A bit of him yearns for the front line again.

We constantly get conflicting medical advice on what is good to eat. One new study says eating just three eggs a week is unhealthy. But Peta Bee found that several experts disagree: eggs can fend off all sorts of diseases.

Now for Brexit. Theresa May was given two new dates after the March 29 deadline was postponed on Thursday night at a summit in Brussels. (As one European leader said, she now has more dates than Tinder). Max Hastings, the historian and columnist who is a Remainer, laments that it is the Brexiteers who have had all the best tunes and most charismatic leaders. And Philip Collins, who has little sympathy for Mrs May, says she had a point when she blamed feuding members of parliament for the stalemate. More.

Reality check: I wonder when Theresa May will start sending them money to stay afloat. The thing is, The Times seems to want to avoid being “about” anything except itself any more.

See also: Decline of the legacy media captured in a stat


“The apparent we see eventually, the obvious takes a little longer.”

An interesting item from 2014 by Patrick Keeney at C2C Journal:

The stubborn refusal of the west to acknowledge that the violence that is daily perpetrated in the name of Islam arises from religious zeal is, frankly, mystifying. The media denies this by evoking platitudes (“Islam is a religion of peace”), while the political class engages in either outright lies or euphemisms to evade uncomfortable truths. Both Barack Obama and David Cameron have engaged in such absurdities as “ISIS is not Islamic,” or that ISIS “has nothing to do with religion.” When a jihadi kills innocents, such as occurred in Canada with the murders of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo, the political class falls back on one of two explanations: either such violence is the result of psychopathy and mental illness, or else it is because the individual subscribes to a perverse version of his religion. As Justin Trudeau opined after the attack in Ottawa, “…this is not the real Islam.” Politicians are unwilling to acknowledge the politically awkward truth that such violence can be motivated by an authentic and sincere religiosity. Hiding behind a veil of falsehoods, platitudes and euphemisms, we avoid acknowledging the obvious: that the world contains a great many jihadis who are willing to kill and die for their religion. As Edward R. Murrow observed, “The apparent we see eventually, the obvious takes a little longer.”More.

Reality check: What’s changed in the meantime? Other than bailouts for media people don’t bother with anymore and threats of censorship?

See also: Trudeau’s Dial an Op Ed Writer program


Germany: Worst Far-right revellers ever attack police and reporters at rock festival

A “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” crest, an “Anarchist” symbol and a crest depicting a Swastika being thrown into a trash can? These are the worst Far Right Nazis ever!

Crowds at a far-right rock concert in eastern Germany threw cups of beer at police and journalists and sprayed them with a fire extinguisher, police said on Sunday.

The journalists wanted to report on the event in the town of Ostritz and had initially been refused access. When they returned with a group of police officers, they were attacked by some of the concertgoers.

The German constitution states that “representatives from the press cannot not be excluded” from such public gatherings.


‘He’s not a bad person, but …’ scandal-hit Justin Trudeau turns voters off

Nicola Papadakis says he is done voting for Justin Trudeau.

The decision clearly bothers the retired cleaner, 76. Like many Greeks in the Montreal neighbourhood of Park Extension, Papadakis has a nearly unshakable loyalty to Trudeau’s father, former prime minister Pierre Trudeau. “He gave us hope, he kept us together,” says Papadakis of the elder Trudeau.

But his son? Perched on a stool in a tobacco-tinged community centre, Papadakis flips a set of worry beads and considers his answer. “He is a movie star,” Papadakis says. “I voted for him before. He’s not a bad person, but he’s just not ready to be leader.”

Actually he is a bad person.


How Pope Francis could shape the future of robotics

Will robot priests be programmed not to molest?

It might not be the first place you imagine when you think about robots.

But in the Renaissance splendour of the Vatican, thousands of miles from Silicon Valley, scientists, ethicists and theologians gather to discuss the future of robotics.

The ideas go to the heart of what it means to be human and could define future generations on the planet.

The workshop, Roboethics: Humans, Machines and Health was hosted by The Pontifical Academy for Life.


Bringing ISIS masses to justice poses quandaries

With the battle against the terror group “Islamic State” (IS) in Syria now reportedly over, more than 65,000 of its members, among them thousands of foreigners, are detained in camps run by Syrian Kurds. Since Syria’s informal Kurdish region is unequipped to try them, and Western countries are not willing to take them back, Iraq has been asked for help.

The Syrian Kurds, who have been fighting IS as part of a coalition with the United States, are overwhelmed by the huge number of fighters who are now in their custody. They have warned that they cannot guarantee their continued imprisonment in case of an expected Turkish assault on their region.


Catholic Churches Desecrated Across France

At least 10 incidents of vandalism and desecration of Catholic churches have been reported across France since the beginning of February, according to media reports.

The actions included the desecration of altars, the defacing of Christ on the cross, arson attacks and an extreme case of human excrement being spread across the walls.

Cross drawn in excrement. Churches are vandalized on such a regular basis in the US and Canada that it rarely makes the news. Even more rare are such instances being considered a hate crime.


New Zealand’s over-reaction to mosque shooting: ‘The Kiwi Caliphate’?

One of the weirdest features of our current age is the eagerness of many westerners to embrace a sense of guilt toward Islam, even as Islamic terror dwarfs the few instances of anti-Islam terror, such as the detestable massacre at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. New Zealand is a beautiful country inhabited by people who, for the most part, are very nice. (Still, when I visited Auckland about 30 years ago in business, my Kiwi hosts cautioned me never to go out on the streets after dark because roaming gangs of Pacific Islanders were robbing and beating white people at the time. I do not know if this situation remains the same.)

The Prime Minister of New Zealand donned a hijab. And she had plenty of company among Kiwi females.


German ministry under fire over ‘sexist’ bike safety ad

An advertising campaign by Germany’s transport ministry to persuade cyclists to wear helmets has sparked accusations of sexism, as it features a model wearing just a helmet and underwear.

With the slogan: “Looks like shit. But saves my life,” the advert features a profile-shot of Alicija Köhler, a competitor in the gameshow Germany’s Next Topmodel, sporting a violet coloured helmet and a lacy bra.

Oh Yea? Wait till you see Russian Hockey…