Sunday, January 12, 2014

Open letter to Adrienne Loska, 2014

Happy New Year, Adrienne!!

        Let's see -- are you still Mike Bara's manager? He hasn't mentioned you for a while, so it's possible he fired you for not getting him on George Noory's misinformation radio show often enough. It's even more likely that you, being a woman of some intelligence, decided you couldn't continue representing a man who is wrong about practically every scientific fact he writes, and uses the C word to denigrate female critics. But I'll assume you're still "on board" -- or if not, that you can pass these brief comments to your hapless successor.

Another work of unintended fiction?
        As your client sets fingertips to keyboard, creating Ancient Aliens on Mars #2, I think it's your duty to remind him of a few facts.

1. The planetary positions aphelion/perihelion are completely independent of conjunction/opposition. The former describe the farthest/nearest approaches to the Sun, and the latter describe the position relative to the Sun as seen from Earth. Mars could, for example, be at aphelion and conjunction, but it could equally well be at aphelion and opposition. They have nothing to do with each other, Adrienne. Your client's elementary errors, seen on pp. 42/43 of AAoM #1, make it plain that he doesn't understand this.

2. It is true that there is a very great difference between the closest and furthest approaches of Mars and Earth. However, this is not a measure of the eccentricity of the orbit of Mars. The eccentricity is a rather modest 0.09 -- even if it were zero, there would still be a great difference between the closest and furthest approaches. Again, your client shows a lack of understanding of very simple orbital geometry.

3. Your client esteems the late Tom Van Flandern, almost to the point of hero-worship. Van Flandern was a highly imaginitive astronomer and there's nothing wrong with acknowledging that. But your client surely owes Van Flandern the courtesy of actually reading what he wrotenote 1 about the theory of solar fission. He wrote that proto-planets are flung off the Sun in pairs. That's an essential part of the idea. Therefore, for your client to writenote 2 that the discovery of a single exoplanet (of the star GJ 504) "fits the solar fission theory perfectly" is incorrect. It's like watching the Moon rise and remarking that this phenomenon supports the theory that there are really two moons. Sure, Adrienne, a second Moon could be along later, but until it appears, two-moon theorists are best advised to keep their cake-holes shut.

4. Speaking of the solar fission hypothesis, your client strays into the realm of fiction when he attempts to falsify the alternative hypothesis, accretion from a circumstellar disk. By the way, Adrienne, perhaps you know that accretion is accepted by 100% of the planetary astronomy community, and has actually been observed in the Orion nebula. Anyway, your client wrote on p.61 of AAoM#1, "The accretion model ... requires the planets to have highly eccentric (elliptical) orbits during their proto-planet phase." That's simply not true.

5. Please tell your client to stop saying and writing that "NASA suppressed the positive results of the Viking biology experiment." Again, simply not true. The results he says were suppressed have been available on a NASA-sponsored web site all this time.

6. Please give your client a refresher course in digital photography. Spend extra time on the part where gray levels are discussed. Make sure he understands that not all the 256 gray levels in a monochrome image need have values greater than zero for the image to be a faithful representation of the scene. Hopefully that will stop him from making an utter ass of himself as he did on p.177 of AAoM#1 by complaining that the 1998 MGS image of Owen Mesa "contained only about 50% of the data it should have" because 214 gray levels had a value of zero. It was an ultra-low contrast scene, that's all.

Keeping aliens covered, apparently
        That'll do for now, Adrienne. What did you think of the pilot of Uncovering Aliens? I thought your client did a fairly good job of following the SCRIPT that was faked to simulate a documentary show, and didn't obviously giggle when confronted with a TOTALLY FAKED "town meeting." I do kind-of wish that a show called Uncovering Aliens had uncovered an alien or two. Perhaps next time.

Regards, expat

P.S. Adrienne, I'd copy this to you personally, as a courtesy, but I know you have me on auto-reply with this message:

"Unfortunately, Mike has informed me that you are too stupid to converse with, and in fact that the entire Universe is dumber for having you in it. Please take a moment to thin the heard and improve the quality of the gene pool by removing yourself from it."

er... it's "herd," not "heard" Adrienne dear.



Robert Ghostwolf's Ghost said...

According to Mike's, "Mike Bara (Author)" Facebook page, Animal Planet is airing the next three episodes of "Uncovering Aliens" in "prime-time back-to-back-to-back," and then immediately will repeat them. He calls it a "marathon," but it smells more like a contractual obligation episode dump. The head of programming probably figured let's just air 'em, get it over with, and then never speak of this ever again.

expat said...

I totally agree.

Robert Ghostwolf's Ghost said...

I wonder if he'll still refer to it as "my show" after the axe falls, or if he'll pretend it never happened.

Anonymous said...

They bill Bara as an Aeronautical Engineer! So much for the "reality" in the reality show. Another hoot is Bara is the main skeptic! It is so unintentionally funny and borders on accidental satire to the point where it is almost watchable for the laughs. Almost. Its a cringe a minute.

expat said...

Here's another belly-laugh. Remember that long sequence at the end of the first ep, with the guy showing his precious file of SEEKRIT government documents?

Check They're all there.