Daily Archives: May 6, 2014

Pseudoscience in the news

A thin Al Gore on the food line, before he discovered the fun and profit in global warming

A thin Al Gore on the food line, before he discovered the fun and profit in global warming

Obama comes out with his latest doomsday global warming report, which is met with hosannahs by the many and jeers by the few.

“This National Assessment is much closer to pseudoscience than it is to science,” wrote scientists Patrick Michaels and Paul Knappenberger of the libertarian Cato Institute in their comments submitted to the Obama administration.

“It clearly believes that virtually everything in our society is tremendously dependent on the surface temperature, and, because of that, we are headed towards certain and inescapable destruction, unless we take its advice and decarbonize our economy, pronto,” Michaels and Knappenberger added.

The NCA says that the U.S. average temperature has risen between 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit to 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit since 1895, with most of that increase occurring since 1980. This temperature rise, the report argues, has been linked to increased extreme weather, like hurricanes and droughts, as well as ecosystem imbalance across the country.

The NCA warns that the average temperature could increase another 4 degrees Fahrenheit in the coming decades, causing more extreme weather, sea level rises and deaths. The NCA suggests a slew of regulatory solutions from cap-and-trade to green energy subsidies to mitigate global warming.

“It is to provide cover for a massive regulatory intrusion, and concomitant enormous costs in resources and individual liberty,” Michaels and Knappenberger wrote. “History tells us that when scientists willingly endorse sweeping governmental agendas fueled by dodgy science, bad things soon happen.”

 

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Sounds like radon, to me

Mention of feng shui below inspired Chris R, as always, to come up with a video on the subject, in this case, an episode of Penn & Teller’s show, “Bullshit” (did I give away their take on the topic?). Listen to the bit on the color of red beginning at 7:17: increased accidents, rotting teeth, poverty, all caused by the wrong color in the wrong place. Then read up on radon’s dangers, as articulated by the EPA. More pseudo-science.

Of course, we’ll always have global warming to kill us.

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Snubbed by Ron Howard’s brokers

Oh no, not YOU!

Oh no, not YOU!

No invite to the “exclusive” open house for agents at Ron Howard’s place up on Conyers Lake today. I can live with the shunning (quite well, actually) and in fact, one of the hosts, Sotheby’s, wouldn’t even invite most of its own agents. But if I were an agent courting publicity, I’d have brought in the evil blogger from Greenwich. Heck, you never know. Brad Hvolbeck thanked me today at his open house at 41 Alpine Road ($16.5 million, pretty spectacular)  for writing about 202 Guinea Road yesterday. They got a call and a deal, all in eight hours. Brad’s one of the few brokers in town who, besides whining when I say mean things about his listings, takes the time to acknowledge when I praise one – the other agents mostly just bitch about the bad and ignore the rest.

In any event, you want a $26 million mansion in the back country, Lyn Stevens, Sotheby’s, or Tamar Lurie, Coldwell Banker, are the people to call. Apparently, neither brokerage firm was up to handling an estate of this size on their own, so they’ve teamed up to help each other up.

How nice.

 

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Changing times

 

Make way for Teslas

Make way for Teslas

Ox Ridge horse show cancelled due, it’s claimed, to a rough winter but, reading between the lines, a lack of sponsorship.

There also has been a “serious lack of sponsorship this year,” [Club manager Alan] Griffin added, noting that several shows across the country have been canceled for similar reasons.

“Corporate sponsorship has fallen off a lot,” Potter said. “It’s not an easy sale to make. Maybe 10 years ago it was, or even five. Now it’s a small group of people who ride that competitively.”

The Ox Ridge Hunt Club, in Darien, was founded in 1914. The first horse show took place in summer 1926.

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Pending Sale

 

96 Meadow Road

96 Meadow Road

96 Meadow Road, Riverside, asking $3.875 million. Great street, nice house, but to my taste, it remained what it was, which was an older, not-necessarily-classic home, albeit a well renovated one. I’d pegged it for an eventual sale price of perhaps $3.45-$3.55, but that was before this spring saw Bramble Lane houses sell for stratospheric prices. Meadow is very much not Bramble, and I mean that in a positive way.

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The fourth year’s the charm?

 

636 Lake Avenue

636 Lake Avenue

636 Lake Avenue, a “Warren Platner Home” that has been on the market since 2010, is now listed with a new broker and a new price:$10.5 million – it started at $18.5 million oh so long ago. Given the pending sale of 2 Wooddale across the street for something in the $11s, the neighborhood would seem to support this price level,if not this house.

The seller claims it was built in accordance with the principles of Feng Shui, so perhaps that will help. My own guess is that the right price is more powerful than an upside-down St.Joseph, Lao Tzu and Mao Tse Tung combined, but your results may differ.

 

Unless it's just blueberry Jello (Dye-job credit: Sotheby's)

Unless it’s just blueberry Jello
(Dye-job credit: Sotheby’s)

UPDATE: Someone call out the Haz-Mat team: looks like there’s been a serious chemical spill in the pond behind this property.

UPDATE II: I hate to be mean, but an AOL “Real Estate Expert” had this to say about the house back in 2011, when it was listed a higher price: “Warren Platner aficionados will likely line up for this Connecticut estate that he designed and furnished. Considered his signature house, it is listed for $16.495 million.”

Guess the number of aficionados was slimmer than was hoped.

 

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One of us is wrong

43 Bramble Lane

43 Bramble Lane

A spec builder from Plainfield (it’s up past Norwich; I looked it up) bought 43 Bramble Lane, Riverside, in August, 2012, paying $1.595 for a property that asked $1.4 million. Now he’s offering a new house on the site for $4.395. The listing itself describes the existing, 1950 home, but the copy suggests a 6,000sq.ft. (surely 2,000 of that will be found below ground – the lot is just 1/3 of an acre), what looks to be a detached garage and a “potential” pool site, all on what is described as “a premier neighborhood in Riverside”  – others among us might call it a busy cut-through to Lockwood.

$4.4 million on Bramble Lane? Sooner or later the music is going to stop in this three-street neighborhood of Hearthstone, Druid and Bramble. So far, it hasn’t, and this builder is guessing that it’s got a few more turns. Good for him.

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I suspect this will be standard fare in twenty years; or sooner

Per order of Eisenhower, German civilians forced to tour Buchenwald crematoria. As he explained to General Marshall, “I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in a position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to ‘propaganda.’

Per order of Eisenhower, German civilians forced to tour Buchenwald crematoria. As he explained to General Marshall, “I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in a position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to ‘propaganda.’

California: School district to revise writing assignment that asked students to consider relative merits of holocaust “story”.

The Rialto school district planned to revise an eighth-grade assignment that raised red flags by asking students to consider arguments about whether the Holocaust — the systematic killing by the Nazis of some 6 million Jews and millions of others — was not an “actual event” but instead a “propaganda tool that was used for political and monetary gain.” The 18-page assignment instructions included three sources that students were told to use, including one that stated gassings in concentration camps were a “hoax” and that no evidence has shown Jews died in gas chambers. “With all this money at stake for Israel, it is easy to comprehend why this Holocaust hoax is so secretly guarded,” states the source, which is a attributed to a webpage on biblebelievers.org.au. “In whatever way you can, please help shatter this profitable myth. It is time we stop sacrificing America’s welfare for the sake of Israel and spend our hard-earned dollars on Americans.” The other sources were from the websites history.com and about.com. In an interview, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, noted a section in the assignment that stated Anne Frank was a fraud. “Pedagogically, socially, morally — an F,” Cooper said of the assignment.

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No rest for the weary

Preparing for the Presidential foursome

Preparing for the Presidential foursome

Cutting short his vacation, Obama is heading back to work. Golf today, then off for a grueling fund-raising marathon in California, where he’ll meet victims of income inequality in Hollywood, Beverly Hills  and Silicon Valley- five gatherings in just three days.

Then more golf. “You may work from sun to sun”, White House spokesman Jay Carney pointed out to the masses gathered outside the Presidential Balcony, “but Obama’s work is never done.”

Poor guy.

Michelle, by the way, was up at NYC’s fashion show yesterday, courtesy of your tax dollars. She came back the same day, so at least we saved on lodging.

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