Sunday, February 17, 2013

Falling Rocks and Ignorance

Cartoon by BALOO
“Preparing for a rainy day is terminally uncool. It’s as white-bread as being Swiss or joining the Boy Scouts.” — Greg Cochran

Journalists are an ignorant bunch.  I think that many years ago, before they had degrees in journalism, reporters had more time to learn about actual reality, because they could get a degree in real stuff instead of journalism, or not get a degree at all, but just learn things like people used to do before they had tenured idiots teaching.

So, yes, despite some exceptions, journalists are breathtakingly ignorant, and two of the the areas in which their ignorance is unassailable is the military and science.  Despite my pseudonym, all I did was spend three years in the Army forty-some years ago, sitting at a desk, reading and rewriting documents.  But even that much experience was enough to make journalists really appear idiotic, and obviously so, to me.  Remember the attack on the USS Cole back in 2000?  I vividly remember some newsditz announcing that "several soldiers were killed."  Generally speaking, US Navy ships don't carry soldiers.  They carry sailors and marines.  But most journalistic ignorance is more subtle than that.  Some of it is their uncritical acceptance of absolute nonsense the Government puts out about the military, like, for example, how wonderfully well it's working to integrate female personnel into military units.  Anybody with any military experience at all knows how idiotically bogus that is.

But there's also the science ignorance.  Oh, they obediently parrot the liberal party line on global warming, never bothering to check with actual scientists. (Most journalists think that Al Gore is a scientist.)  But when it comes to asteroids and meteors, journalists are more ignorant than the average 12-year-old boy.  Don't they ever look up?  Here's an example from Limbaugh.  If you don't believe him, go to any of these other links.  Another example from Forbes shows journalistic scientific and economic ignorance.

Consequently, I decided not to blog much about the asteroid or the meteor because I'm not a scientist, and there's not much use in riffing off the news stories.  Instead, I waited till and actual scientist had something to say.  And, lo and behold, my favorite scientist, Greg Cochran, wrote this:

Paranoid About Asteroids

A meteor exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk around 9:20AM local time Friday. First there was a fireball brighter than the sun, followed by a blast wave that blew down doors and smashed windows. More than 1,000 people were injured, mostly from flying glass.

Chelyabinsk is a tough town; it makes Chicago look like Fire Island. In Russia they make Chuck Norris-style jokes about its inhabitants.

The city grew when Uncle Joe relocated heavy industries there back in the Great Patriotic War—people used to call it Tankograd. Later it became a center for nuclear weapons development. In 1957, a chemical explosion in a plutonium plant in nearby Kyshtym released vast amounts of radioactivity that just missed Chelyabinsk. For years there were minimum speed limits on the highways going through the contaminated zone. You had to go faster than that minimum—because the area was so radioactive, you see. I doubt a mere meteorite will leave much of an impression on Chelyabinsk.

Friday’s explosion was powerful—perhaps 25 times stronger than the Hiroshima bomb, judging from sonic data. Damage was limited because it occurred at a very high altitude. It appears to be the largest since the Tunguska impact, which exploded over a remote region of Siberia in 1908. That earlier explosion was even more powerful, a thousand times greater than Hiroshima. It leveled about a thousand square miles of forest, but there seem to have been no casualties since the region was uninhabited.
(Keep reading HERE.)


  1. I have said many prayers of thanks in many languages that something like this did not happen during the Cold War. And yeah, it is funny watching CNN talking head demonstrate degree of unimaginable ignorance.

  2. My experience with "journalists" is that their ignorance is exceeded only by their arrogance and laziness.

  3. My interactions with "journalists" has lead me to believe that their ignorance is exceeded only by their arrogance and laziness.