The press has generally reported on what President Obama is up to over in Europe with some minor carping coming from his giving the Queen of England an ipod with some of the material downloaded being video of his own inauguration. Some question whether he breeched etiquette with the Queen in spite of an apparent effort to brush up on etiquette with royalty and an effort to pick out a gift that reflects “her long standing ties with the US.” Some have even suggested that the President is on an “apology tour” of Europe, criticizing his referencing America’s arrogance and also America’s use of the atomic bomb in World War II. One may argue over those accusations at will. But, I was under the impression from the media that the President was beloved across the pond. But, I snooped and found that the UK Telegraph has an editorial that suggests its time for President Obama to go home. Now, that is a pretty conservative media outlet so it may be expected. However, it is rather surprising to find an op-ed from the left leaning UK Guardian mocking President Obama’s performance at a recent press conference. I’m wondering if President Clinton or President Bush had gotten such treatment in Britain, would the US press corps have been silent and pretend that dissent does not exist? Just askin.
On This Date In History: Fabio Chigi had been serving as the Cardinal Secretary of State and helped negotiate a peace treaty following Europe’s 30 year war that pretty much kept the Old World pretty quiet from the mid 17th century until the late 18th century with the outset of the French Revolution. It would seem that Pope Innocent X was grooming Fabio for the papacy. Sure enough, when Innocent meets his demise, Fabio gets named Pope and he took the name of Alexander VII on this date in 1655. Chigi was elected pope after 80 days of the conclave and it was widely assumed that Chigi was against the practice of nepotism in the Papacy. It had become common for popes to appoint relatives to positions of power that paid pretty well. And for the first year, that seemed to be the case as he forbade relatives from visiting him in Rome. But, he jumped on the bandwagon of helping out the kinfolk the next year. In 1656 he suddenly announced that his nephews and brothers would be joining his regime and relatives quickly took charge of his administration and nabbed all of the lucrative ecclesiastical and civil jobs. They also received grand palaces and estates. Anyway, perhaps the best decision Alexander the VII made was that he kept the new name bestowed until he died on May 22, 1667. I mean, can you imagine a Pope Fabio?
Research Note…Do Your Own Work: I often get emails and, when I had a job, inquiries from students. When students called the tv station I always told them not to use the internet for research. That is the general practice in academia because the internet is so easily manipulated to provide either false citations or just plain old false information. There is no system in place to review the material to check for its veracity. Even in publishing, editors and publishers often just assume an author of note would not be guilty of plagiarism. Yet, in the past several years such luminaries as Stephen Ambrose and Doris Kearns Goodwin were found to have other people’s work within their works without the proper citation. In graduate school, I found a clear case of plagiarism by a full professor of another school. It came to my attention because I had read so much of the historiography of the subject that I was researching that I recognized the verbiage of over a dozen consecutive pages. Nothing came of it though because a mere graduate student can’t go around charging full professors of such unseemly ethics. In any event, I’ve told people who ask if they can use my work as a citation for their work to not use it because they have no way of knowing the veracity of my work nor any citations of sources since I don’t generally do so. If this were an academic work, I would do so. But, there is no peer review of this site, no editor, no publisher…no one but me. Now, my sources are almost exclusively traditionally published work. I will link to sites that either appear to be credible or do have credibility as the origin is an academic institution. It’s pretty safe to use news items from the media outlet website.
While I was snooping about regarding Alexander VII, I came across his involvement in the centuries long debate about the heliocentric system vs the geocentric system and its relation to the teaching of the Catholic Church. What I found is an example of why the internet is no good. Wikipedia, Absolute Astronomy, Answers.com , New Universe and dic.academic.ru all have almost exactly the same entries…word for word. Now, the academic.ru site looks like it’s credible by its name but, very inconspicusly there is a citation for wikipedia. Answers.com contains the entire first paragaph found in the other sites but then says to go and visit Brittanica. This leads me to believe that whomever posted the Wikipedia material got it from Brittanica and the other sites simply went to Wikipedia, which is hardly a credible source because, from what I understand, anyone can post on there. Bottom line is….don’t be lazy. Get off your duff and get to the library. Develop library skills and use them for proper academic work. You’ll save yourself some embarrassment, avoid academic fraud and have a more complete and accurate work that is more likely to get a good grade…that is unless the teacher doesn’t use the internet as a source. It always baffles me how teachers in the grade schools can encourage the use of the internet.
Weather Bottom Line: I think only two of the warned areas on Sunday actually verified for any severe damage, which is fine for property owners and the electric company. But, if you are a forecaster or the SPC who put out two tornado watches and the NWS that put out numerous t’storm warnings. What I’m seeing here is a trend this season of the GFS going a bit overboard. With that in mind, next Friday the GFS goes bonkers again and if it were to come about, we’d get a bunch of tough storms. It’s a long way off and given the GFS track record so far, its probably best to just sit back and wait for more data. The boys at the SPC are of the opinion that the short wave responsible for the supposed trouble will get squashed out as it runs into a ridge. Now, there is a system west of Japan right now that looks pretty formidable. The SPC is more interested in that but is not putting any discussion worthwhile because it’s so far out and because the data that is there is inconsisten. If you look at the GFS and the ECMWF (european) models, you see the feature on Monday morning but see it in two very different places. The thing about this guy that was different from this past Sunday is that it will have several days of a wide open Gulf to bring
ample warmth, moisture and instability out ahead of the system which will enhance severe potential. I suspect that it’s a pretty decent assumption that we will have a severe event in the nation from the latter part of the weekend into the first part of next week. The question will be where and when.
Look for temps down to the upper 20’s and low 30’s. I covered up Kelsaroo that is starting to awaken from its winter slumber. Horton is already putting out new limbs but should be fine since he is, after all, a tree and a hydrangia like Kelsaroo. We’ll only be in the low 40’s on Tuesday for afternoon highs but begin to moderate on Wednesday and continue through Thursday. The moisture will be slow to come around which is why the GFS is probably way too aggressive with severe chances on Friday…there simply won’t be an adequate opportunity for the atmosphere to reload. Next weekend should feature generally seasonal temperatures.