Van Smith

I am best known as a writer and analyst on computer technology topics. One of my articles was widely credited with causing Rambus stock to plunge $150 per share in a single day. In that article, I showed that the performance claims the company made did not hold up under testing. That article and a few others were used in the FTC case against that company which eventually led to conviction. I have covered computer benchmarks for many years. Computer benchmarks are typically software programs that are used to measure how fast computer systems are. I am probably one of the world’s foremost authorities on consumer and business level computer benchmarks. I have influenced or directly contributed to many of the most widely used computer industry benchmarks. For instance, I wrote the cryptography benchmarks in SiSoftware Sandra. Information I uncovered on Intel’s influence over industry benchmarks is now being investigated in FTC's current case against Intel. I was the only analyst in the computing industry to identify the shortcomings of Intel’s NetBurst architecture used in the now defunct Pentium 4 line of microprocessors. The flaws I identified eventually caused Intel to lose market share to its rival AMD. These flaws eventually led to Intel’s abandonment of NetBurst many years ahead of initial expectations. I am less proud of the fact that I was instrumental in the demise of x86 microprocessor designer Transmeta. Representatives from one of Transmeta’s most important customers told me that they dropped Transmeta products after reading my articles on Transmeta CPUs. Additionally, I created the performance message that allowed VIA Technologies to become the world’s leading supplier of x86 thin client CPUs. VIA took this crown away from Transmeta. For about eight years I was head of benchmarking for Centaur Technology, one of three remaining x86 microprocessor designers. I recently resigned from Centaur to form my own company, Cossatot Analytics Laboratories – Cana Labs for short. My company provides validation, performance testing, energy consumption characterization and software development services. We also write software tools for benchmarking and validation testing.

Dec 152011
 

In what could become the most spectacular solar event of an already eventful year, Comet Lovejoy (C/2011 W3) is racing towards solar doom today. With a coma that appears to be larger than Jupiter and with a tail stretching for tens of millions of miles, Comet Lovejoy is the first sungrazing comet observed directly from earth in over forty years. Discovered using a CCD-equipped telescope by Terry Lovejoy on November 27, Comet Lovejoy appears to be a member of the Kreutz group of sungrazing comets that have put on some of the most magnificent shows in recorded history.

There is even a possibility that Comet Lovejoy will be visible for a short time in broad daylight.

Technically, Comet Lovejoy is projected to come about 0.1 solar diameters from the Sun’s plasma surface (photoshere) at about 6 PM Central, but in reality the comet will almost certainly perish, perhaps spectacularly. In any case, Comet Lovejoy will likely outdo October’s amazing cometary solar impact event.

As with the October event, look for a resulting coronal mass ejection (CME). Quoting our October blurb:

Conventional astronomical theories cannot account for the violent solar reactions to these two impacts because neither body had sufficient mass or speed to violently blast significant amounts of ejecta millions of miles away from the sun’s surface. However, proponents of the Electric Universe predicted such behavior. According to them, comets are like giant capacitors that become highly electrically charged due to their eccentric orbits around the sun. When they plunge through the inner solar system, the dense solar winds trigger plasma discharges resulting in the tail and coma of the comet. If there is any truth to this idea, it is easy to imagine how a comet impact could disrupt the local magnetic field of the sun and result in a CME.

And if the CME is big and earth directed, be on the lookout for earthly consequences like auroral displays and even earthquakes.

Comet Lovejoy

Comet Lovejoy

UPDATE: Wow!

Comet Lovejoy from LASCO C3

Comet Lovejoy from LASCO C3

Oct 202011
 

Deposed Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was reportedly killed today. While members of the United States Government celebrate his killing, this video depicts a very different man and a very different Libya than the demonized images seen in mainstream media over the last year.

The simple fact is that we do not have to struggle and suffer the way we do today in most modern countries. The costs of goods and services necessary for living are artificial constructs. Through inaction and tacit acceptance of these illusions, we are complicit with our own enslavement. While many people mumble protestations at the news, through our inaction we also share in the sins of our nations.

Our country has lost her way. We have been overtaken by greed, a thirst for blood and carnal distractions. We have long since abandoned the high moral ground we once proudly held. We have turned our back on God.

Our airwaves are filled with frothing hate, increasingly ridiculous propaganda, examples of cowering impotence and shameful immorality. Simultaneously, we have allowed our government to constrict a police state serpent around our land, constricting all American citizens into virtual prisons.

But change is in the air, albeit woeful and painful transformation. The slaying of Gadhafi only a few days after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that we look forward to his “killing” inextricably ties our country with his death. With ghoulish laughter, she proudly pronounced today, “We came, we saw, he died!”

And with the same voices clamoring for the toppling of Yemen, Syria and Iran, we are on the cusp of global war. Indeed, the slaying of Moammar Gadhafi might be the ember that lights the fuse for World War III.

Oct 042011
 

The largest cometary impact of the sun that I have ever witnessed occurred this weekend triggering a significant coronal mass ejection (CME).  The animated GIF below shows the event.

A significant comet impacts the sun triggering a CME.

A significant comet impacts the sun triggering a CME.

The coma of the comet was bigger than the earth (although the nucleus was certainly much less massive) and its tail stretched for several million miles. The comet streaked towards the sun at terrific speeds indicating a large, eccentric orbit. Further analysis of the comet’s motion shows an apparent slowdown as the comet neared the sun. In actuality, the comet continued to speed up as it swung around the sun, but did not quite clear the solar disk and smacked the sun on the far side, triggering the CME that erupted on the opposite side from the comet’s apparent approach in the animated GIF.

While some, like the bloggers at SpaceWeather, have expressed surprise in seeing the associated CME, this is not the first time that a comet has triggered a coronal mass ejection. A much smaller impact event occurred last May and can be seen in the YouTube video on our site here. Another similar collision that resulted in a more ambiguous CME can be seen on our site here.

Conventional astronomical theories cannot account for the violent solar reactions to these two impacts because neither body had sufficient mass or speed to violently blast significant amounts of ejecta millions of miles away from the sun’s surface. However, proponents of the Electric Universe predicted such behavior. According to them, comets are like giant capacitors that become highly electrically charged due to their eccentric orbits around the sun. When they plunge through the inner solar system, the dense solar winds trigger plasma discharges resulting in the tail and coma of the comet. If there is any truth to this idea, it is easy to imagine how a comet impact could disrupt the local magnetic field of the sun and result in a CME.

Sep 232011
 

This is the second installment of a series of informal blog posts about these eminently important topics. You can read the first post here.

From all available scientific information, Comet Elenin is nothing special. In fact, it looks to be a boring, barely observable fizzy little conglomeration of rock and ice hurtling quickly through the inner solar system before vanishing beyond Pluto for another 11,800 years.

Certainly, Comet Elenin has not demonstrated any qualities that warrant the gushing torrent of panic that has flooded the Internet since the little comet’s official discovery last December 10th.

But one strange bit of evidence on the flip side of a bill of cash is so unambiguous that I have to admit that Comet Elenin might be worth an ocean of anxiety after all.

Towards the end of the last century, Switzerland distributed a peculiar ten Franc bill that honored the celebrated physicist, mathematician and defender of Christianity, Leonard Euler. The front of the bill looks typical of European denominations of the time, with Euler’s grinning mug offset to the right and a variety of esoteric, presumably anti-counterfeiting markings sprinkled elsewhere. Here’s an image of the front side of the note courtesy of Wikipedia.

10 Franc Swiss note honoring Leonard Euler

10 Franc Swiss note honoring Leonard Euler

However, like the rapidly shrinking U.S. One Dollar slip of fiat currency, the obverse side is odd and contains much more information than first meets the eye. The back of the Euler note is dominated by a diagram of the Solar System with a comet streaking through it. That alone is not really peculiar because Euler drew a chart quite similar to it. However, the positions of the planets are very interesting. Take a look at this image that came from the University of Princeton.

The back of the Euler note

The back of the Euler note

A small part of the Comet Elenin hysteria was discussion about how the planets in the diagram seem to conform with the date September 26, 2011, the very day that Elenin passes between the Earth and the Sun (although a little above the ecliptic). Given how totally wrong the vast majority of insane Comet Elenin jabber has been, I didn’t expect to find much correspondence with reality until I overlaid the September 26 orbital projections of the planets from the JPL Solar System simulator onto the Swiss bill. Take a look:

JPL Solar System projection over the Euler note

JPL Solar System projection over the Euler note

The alignments for Mercury through Mars are spot on. While it looks like Saturn and Jupiter are out of place, the orbits on the bill are drawn close to scale and the two outer orbits align closely to the asteroid belt and Jupiter. Assuming the outer planet is actually Jupiter instead of Saturn, the alignment is only a degree or two off.  (Oddly, the moon is roughly 180 degrees out of place, though.)

I knew immediately that such alignments were very rare, but I wanted to quantify the period between such alignments so I wrote an orbital simulation. To my amazement, it takes about 1,696,039 years for the planets to reach the depicted positions within a margin of error of +-10% for each planet! However, the planets on the back of the Euler note are far more precisely oriented than that.

What this means is that the back of the Euler banknote is an intentional encoding for the date September 26, 2011. Stranger still, it means that the comet depicted on this Swiss note designed decades ago is none other than Elenin, which officially was discovered only last December!

So innocuous, almost invisible Comet Elenin is apparently the return of a celestial body known about from at least the time that the Swiss Euler bill was designed. However, tiny little Comet Elenin would have been far outside the orbit of Pluto even during the late 20th Century where it would be well beyond the ability of any instrument to detect.

This suggests that Elenin was charted long, long ago. Current orbital estimates for Comet Elenin are around 11,800 years meaning that the last time it passed by earth, the eerie, staggeringly ancient Turkish civilization of Göbekli Tepe may have witnessed it. But few ancient civilizations were advanced enough to be able to predict a comet’s return. The Maya produced highly accurate eclipse prediction and planetary orbital projection data, but their civilization came about 10,000 years too late for puny little Elenin.

Frankly, this is both astounding and unsettling. What pushes this information to the alarming level is the synchronicity of Comet Elenin with the Georgia Guidestones-Burj Khalifa-Mahdi-World War III evidence pointing to a global conflagration erupting within weeks and orchestrated by a small cabal of super-rich occultist lunatics.

While wimpy Comet Elenin appears to pose no direct threat to earth, it just might be the occult starting gun for Armageddon.

FEEL FREE TO DISTRIBUTE THIS ARTICLE IN ITS ENTIRETY AS LONG AS YOU INCLUDE PROPER ATTRIBUTION AND A LINK TO THE SITE.

Sep 162011
 

For several months I have needed to write an important article following up on my Georgia Guidestones research. A good introduction to that research is here.

However, my business is keeping me very busy and has made it impossible for me to spare enough time to write a proper article.

Since so little time is left, I will update this site over the next few days with bits and pieces of information that I have meant to share. Please excuse any sloppy editing.

Since the time of my last report on the Georgia Guidestones along with my appearance on the History Channel, I have discovered that the monument’s true purpose is to welcome the arrival of the Mahdi, the great Islamic conqueror prophesied to deliver justice across an unjust world. The Burj Khalifa, which I have irrefutably linked to the Georgia Guidestones, alludes to the global caliphate which the Mahdi is foretold to establish (the word “Khalifa” means “caliphate”). The Caliphate is intended to be a global government ruled by the Mahdi under Islamic law.

However, for the occult puppet-masters pulling his strings, World War III must be waged in order for the Mahdi to ascend to his global throne, with the ultimate resolution being the destruction of the West: the United States, Great Britain, Israel and their closest allies must be toppled, with billions of human lives extinguished.

According to Shiite beliefs, the Mahdi will do battle with the “One-Eyed Antichrist,” a description of the “Eye of Providence,” that familiar emblem on the back of the U.S. One Dollar bill which is widely recognized as a Masonic trademark. In fact, many Muslims believe that the West has been under the control of Freemasonry for centuries. Furthermore, some Shiite leaders have recently been equating the Daǧǧāl, the Islamic Antichrist, with that secret society.

Ironically, the bizarre, controversial Georgia Guidestones monument was built by Freemasons and protected by them over decades when little do the Masons know that the monument celebrates the man who will purportedly destroy them.

So the Freemasons of Elbert County, Georgia, constructed and tirelessly defend an edifice that not only mocks them, but celebrates their planned catastrophic and total decimation. As such, the Georgia Guidestones monument, a gigantic granite cuckoo’s egg laid in the nest of Freemasonry, stands as one of the boldest and most brilliant acts of subterfuge in the history of mankind.

Iran produced a documentary earlier this year claiming that World War III would erupt in the fall, only a few weeks from now. With the ongoing “Arab Spring” setting the stage for the apocalyptic conflagration, there is also another piece of evidence suggesting that Iran might be correct.

On 12/10/2010, the modest comet C/2010 X1 was discovered by the Russian amateur astronomer Leonid Elenin. Strangely, this seemingly innocuous body, better known as Comet Elenin (named after its discoverer), soon triggered rampant hysteria across many Internet websites and message boards.

While much of the Comet Elenin fear mongering is lunacy — and perhaps intentionally fomented lunacy — I have written a computer simulation that very strongly suggests that Comet Elenin is probably much more than meets the eye. In fact, it appears certain that Comet Elenin is the return of a celestial body expected for many years and might be the astrological harbinger of orchestrated global doom.

I will try to expound upon this body of information in the coming days. For now, be alert for important global and perhaps celestial events on September 26.

FEEL FREE TO DISTRIBUTE THIS ARTICLE IN ITS ENTIRETY AS LONG AS YOU INCLUDE PROPER ATTRIBUTION AND A LINK TO THE SITE.

Jul 282011
 

A dear friend of mine, Richard Russell, has passed away. It is a sad day.

Richard is responsible for the most important benchmark on the planet, the Windows Experience Index, a project he managed for Microsoft. Prior to working at Microsoft, Richard worked for AMD.

I worked alongside Richard on the BAPCo consortium where he always fought the good fight.

Richard was a man of strong faith and he carried the awful burden of cancer for years. God, please bless Richard’s soul and give strength and protection to his family and those who will miss him.

Richard’s Facebook page is here:

http://www.facebook.com/foredecker

Richard’s blog is here:

http://foredecker.wordpress.com/

You are missed, Richard.

May 262011
 

Three simultaneous blasts occurred at three different government buildings today in Fuzhou, China.  The explosions were possibly the result of car bombs, according to Aljazeera.

Explosions are reported at three government buildings in an eastern Chinese city, possibly caused by explosions in cars, according to state media.

The nearly simultaneous blasts happened in Fuzhou city, Jiangxi province, on Thursday morning, the official Xinhua news agency reported. It did not give details of the cause or casualties.

A Jiangxi government news website said explosions may have occurred in cars parked in front of the prosecutor’s office, a district-level government office and outside a district drug administration office.

No one was reported killed, but at least five were injured according to the report. The windows were blown out of the nearby government buildings.

No one has been captured for the incidents, but BusinessWeek reports that a disgruntled farmer is suspected for the blasts. It is difficult to believe that a single farmer could afford to carry out three car bombs given that the average annual income in the area is less that $5,000.

May 212011
 

Only a month or two after it was published, a detailed report that I wrote was wiped out during a BrightSideOfNews* hard drive crash. That exhaustive report, praised by many throughout the industry as the finest of its kind yet produced, examined the emerging and inevitable ARM versus x86 clash.

It took a little while and cost BSN* a lot of money to recover the data on the hard drive, but that report is now back up and can be read here.

I’m currently working on a followup to that bit of analysis that will include even more hardware than the initial report.  I’m still waiting on a vendor or two, so I can’t promise an ETA yet, but one thing I can state is that the new report will be very interesting.

The computing landscape is changing rapidly and the war between x86 and ARM microprocessors is now underway.  The competitors have dramatically different strengths and weakness, making for a particularly exciting confrontation.

Most importantly, the results of this war will have profound effects well beyond the CPU market, where several companies will possibly see their fortunes upended.  One thing is absolutely certain: computing will never be the same again.

May 202011
 

Two different European earthquake monitoring sites (here and here) reported an 8.4 earthquake deep inside the Libyan desert about 30 miles southeast of Sinawin on May 19. The epicenter was approximately 120 miles south of the Mediterranean coast and roughly 200 miles southwest of Tripoli. Here are the earthquake details:

Date: Thu, 19 May 2011 14:57:19 +0000 UTC

Antelope  Auto - Event     7699  NEAR COAST OF LIBYA

Date          Time        Err   RMS Latitude Longitude  Smaj  Smin  Az Depth   Err Ndef Nsta Gap  mdist  Mdist Qual   Author      OrigID

2011/05/19 14:49:02.48  -1.00  0.72  30.7220   10.7871  -1.0  -1.0  -1  30.0  -1.0    7    7 345  11.02  21.96 a i ke orMb          7984
Magnitude   Err Nsta Author      OrigID

mb   8.4  0.00     1 orbevproc     7984
Sta     Dist  EvAz Phase        Time      TRes  Azim AzRes   Slow   SRes Def   SNR       Amp   Per Qual Magnitude    ArrID

MATE   11.02  24.1 P        14:51:38.495   0.4                           T__  49.0                 m__         0.0   106669

TIR    12.90  32.0 P        14:52:03.485  -0.2                           T__  15.9                 m__         0.0   106670

MTUR   18.31  33.6 P        14:53:14.738   0.7                           T__  12.4                 m__         0.0   106655

VOIR   18.45  33.1 P        14:53:16.368   0.8                           T__  25.1                 m__         0.0   106657

CFR    19.82  38.3 P        14:53:30.958   0.4                           T__  41.6                 m__         0.0   106671

MILM   21.33  35.5 P        14:53:45.818  -1.2                           T__  12.8                 m__         0.0   106672

SORM   21.96  32.6 P        14:53:52.818  -0.9                           T__  25.3    1001.5  0.40 m__ mb      8.4   106673

Oddly, this earthquake does not appear on the USGS website or any other earthquake reporting site.

Interestingly, the largest nuclear device ever detonated, the 50 megaton Soviet-made Tsar Bomba, would have been capable of producing almost exactly an 8.4 earthquake on the Richter Scale if it had been detonated deep underground.

Is this earthquake being censored?  If so, was it a subterranean detonation in a remote desert location to safely demonstrate Libya’s nuclear capabilities to its Western attackers?  The West would certainly want to contain that information to prevent widespread panic since a 50 megaton nuke could utterly wipe out an entire metropolis.  Was the earthquake the result of a NATO attack?  Or was the earthquake a real, natural event or simply a strange glitch on a pair of seismic instruments?

 

May 102011
 

An unnamed comet appears to be on an impact course with the sun. It should strike the sun within the next two or three hours.

An unnamed comet streaks towards the sun from the left

An unnamed comet streaks towards the sun from the right

Lasko C2 Image of comet streaking towards sun.

Lasko C2 Image of comet streaking towards sun.

Here is a video showing the comet plummeting into the sun with a CME erupting roughly simultaneously on the opposite, earth facing side.

The following YouTube video gives an even better view of the event:

May 072011
 

The Russian news service RT reports that besieged Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was targeted by Western powers not for humanitarian reasons or even for oil. Instead, Gaddafi is in NATO’s crosshairs because of his push to abandon the U.S. dollar to unite Africa and Muslim countries with a gold-backed currency.

“It’s one of these things that you have to plan almost in secret, because as soon as you say you’re going to change over from the dollar to something else, you’re going to be targeted,” says Ministry of Peace founder Dr James Thring. “There were two conferences on this, in 1986 and 2000, organized by Gaddafi. Everybody was interested, most countries in Africa were keen.”

Gaddafi did not give up. In the months leading up to the military intervention, he called on African and Muslim nations to join together to create this new currency that would rival the dollar and euro. They would sell oil and other resources around the world only for gold dinars.

It is an idea that would shift the economic balance of the world.

While the struggling U.S. Dollar has rebounded strongly with the announcement of Osama bin Laden’s assassination, precedence for this theory comes from Iraq which was invaded soon after Saddam Hussein announced that Iraqi oil would be traded in euros, not dollars.

Despite recent demonization in Western media, Gaddfi is widely respected throughout the African continent. For example, in 2008 over 200 traditional African rulers and kings conferred upon Muammar Gaddafi the title “King of Kings of Africa.”

May 022011
 

Sixty-six years after the official announcement of Adolf Hitler’s death, the President of the United States celebrated the successful assassination of Osama bin Laden on the Pagan holiday of Maypole day.

Ignoring the guilt or innocence of Osama bin Laden or whether or not he actually died years ago as some allege, deliberately slaying a man without a trial for a crime that he officially denied is wrong.

America, your heart has been turned. Not only do we officially accept the common application of torture, but now we celebrate when our government deliberately kills a specific person only on a suspicion of guilt.

Dear reader, God forbid that our government should ever suspect you similarly.

God, please forgive our nation’s people. We have turned away from Christ.

Apr 072011
 

While not nearly as large as last weekend’s event, a coronal mass ejection (CME) occurred today and the ejecta appears to be earthbound. According to government simulations, a portion of the CME wavefront is expected to hit our planet on Sunday, April 10, 2011, around 10:40AM Central time.

According to data from the same site, the last time the earth was struck with CME ejecta was March 11, the date of the destructive, magnitude 9.0 Japanese earthquake. Additionally, the 8.8 Chilean earthquake that occurred about a year earlier was predicted based upon a CME that had preceded it

There are formal studies supporting the notion that the sun’s weather is linked to earthquakes. For instance, an investigation of 16 years of seismic and solar activity claims that all 682 earthquakes of magnitude 4 and greater that occurred during this time were preceded by solar flares. However, the study also admits that not all solar flares resulted in earthquakes. It is widely believed that solar flares and CMEs are closely linked, with the former triggering the latter.

We present the study of 682 earthquakes of ¡Ý4.0 magnitude observed during January 1991 to January 2007 in the light of solar flares observed by GOES and SOXS missions in order to explore the possibility of any association between solar flares and earthquakes. Our investigation preliminarily shows that each earthquake under study was preceded by a solar flare of GOES importance B to X class by 10-100 hrs. However, each flare was not found followed by earthquake of magnitude ¡Ý4.0. We classified the earthquake events with respect to their magnitude and further attempted to look for their correlation with GOES importance class and delay time. We found that with the increasing importance of flares the delay in the onset of earthquake reduces. The critical X-ray intensity of the flare to be associated with earthquake is found to be ~10-6 Watts/m2. On the other hand no clear evidence could be established that higher importance flares precede high magnitude earthquakes. Our detailed study of 50 earthquakes associated with solar flares observed by SOXS mission and other wavebands revealed many interesting results such as the location of the flare on the Sun and the delay time in the earthquake and its magnitude. We propose a model explaining the charged particles accelerated during the solar flare and released in the space that undergone further acceleration by interplanetary shocks and produce the ring current in the earth’s magnetosphere, which may enhance the process of tectonics plates motion abruptly at fault zones. It is further proposed that such sudden enhancement in the process of tectonic motion of plates in fault zones may increase abruptly the heat gradients on spatial (dT/dx) and temporal (dT/dt) scales responsible for earthquakes.

Apr 032011
 
CME of April 3, 2011

CME of April 3, 2011

An ongoing coronal mass ejection (CME) has been captured on the COR2 Ahead solar satellite. The CME appears to be even larger than the solar eruption occurring on March 8 that preceded by a few days the magnitude 9.0 Tōhoku, Japan, earthquake and resulting tsunami.

The relative size of the sun is shown as the circle on the occlusion disk at the center of the image.

Mar 202011
 

According to American television station KIRO, 200,000 U.S. personnel are currently being evacuated from Japan to cites along the U.S. West Coast. The Seattle, Washington, based broadcaster states on its website:

The USO said about 200,000 U.S. personnel are being evacuated from Japan to U.S. West Coast cities including San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle/JBLM.

The voluntary evacuation is in response to growing concerns over the ongoing Fukushima nuclear power plant catastrophe.

As we recently reported, barring a nuclear detonation at the site, the Fukushima disaster should have little direct impact on the United States mainland.

Mar 172011
 

I have been very concerned about the fear mongering and outright hysteria that has erupted as a result of the ongoing Japanese nuclear catastrophes. I have attempted, through mostly anonymous channels, to dispel and debunk some of the most egregious hoaxes, misconceptions, misinformation and profiteering that have exploded since the tragic March 11th Japanese earthquake that has since been upgraded from 8.9 to 9.0 on the Richter Scale.

As conditions exist at the moment, the fallout from the Fukushima reactors does not directly pose a threat of any significance to the United States with the possible exceptions of some areas of Alaska.

I served as a Nuclear Weapons Maintenance Specialist in the U.S. Army where I attained the highest average score in the history of that school. I was in West Germany during the Chernobyl disaster and I took measurements to detect fallout in that area. I have a degree in physics. Consequently, I have some perspective on nuclear fallout.

Certain radioactive isotopes that are the products of nuclear fission will likely become detectable in the United States over the next week using specialized equipment. However, the diffuse levels of these isotopes will be so low that, like during the similar Chernobyl disaster, the American fallout will be more of a curiosity than a threat.

The only way that the United States mainland can become directly and measurably impacted by the Fukushima nuclear plume is if the power plant suffers an atomic detonation that disperses many tons of radioactive material high into the atmosphere. This is unlikely, but it would devastate Japan with fallout, poison the northern Pacific Ocean for many years and contaminate large areas of the Northern Hemisphere to levels high enough to appreciably increase cancer and birth defect rates.

However, I do not mean to downplay the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, which will likely eclipse Chernobyl, perhaps by a large margin. It is increasingly apparent that large areas surrounding the afflicted Fukushima nuclear power plant will have to be permanently evacuated. If the situation continues to worsen, hundreds of thousands and perhaps even millions of Japanese will have to be relocated. Tens-of-thousands of Japanese casualties are possible. Ocean life in the surrounding waters will become contaminated. Many square miles of farmland may have to be abandoned for decades.

The Fukushima nuclear plant crisis might well become the largest human initiated disaster outside of war, but the United States mainland is currently safe from the resultant fallout.

Mar 112011
 

One of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded struck 230 miles east off the coast of Tokyo earlier today. The most powerful quake to hit Japan in over 100 years, the massive shock has triggered tidal waves that are racing across the Pacific and that have already wrecked devastation onto many areas of Japan.

At least 32 people have been killed and destruction is widespread. The earthquake struck at 2:46 PM local time.

The earthquake’s timing so soon after the sun’s recent bought of volatility may suggest a connection between the two.

The catastrophic 8.8 earthquake that struck Chile around this same time last year was predicted based upon incoming solar coronal mass ejections (CME’s).

The sun’s recent activity triggered rampant speculation among sun watchers that a large earthquake was imminent. A direct prediction of a Japanese earthquake made about two weeks ago can be found here.

Mar 082011
 

UPDATE: Below is a video of the recent and impressive solar activity. It’s worth watching all the way to the end.

A very large coronal mass ejection (CME) was caught today on cameras from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO).  The sun’s relative size can be seen by the white outline on the occlusion disk in the center of the picture.

March 8, 2011, CME

March 8, 2011, CME

This eruption follows a warning issued yesterday by South Africa of a large solar flare triggering high radiation levels and possibly impacting the power grid.

Mar 082011
 

Several NASA scientists have openly refuted claims made last week by fellow NASA scientist Richard B. Hoover of discovering extraterrestrial fossils within a sample of French stony meteorites.

In an apparently condescending and dismissive remark, NASA’s Carl Pitcher is quoted as saying, “He [Hoover] clearly does some very interesting microscopy. The actual measurements on these meteorites are very nice measurements, but I am not aware of any other qualification that Mr Hoover has in analysis of meteorites or in astrobiology.”

However, Hoover’s paper has more than a few scholarly supporters.

This cat-fight reminds me of several that I have directly witnessed (and even instigated) during my career. The sundry scientific fields have more than their fair share of socially stunted, territorial, insecure and emotionally volatile (and even unstable) people.

Mar 062011
 

A NASA scientist claims to have discovered fossil evidence of microscopic extraterrestrial lifeforms. Like earlier, similar claims from NASA involving Martian life, this evidence originates within rare types of meteorites.

The evidential image below is taken from a report by NASA’s Richard B. Hoover.

Photograph of purported microscopic Martians

Photograph of purported microscopic extraterrestrial life