Friday, July 25, 2014


        Quite early during Mike Bara's delusional two hours on the woo-woo radio show last Wednesday, he admitted that -- gasp! -- he isn't perfect.
MB: "Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody makes minor errors. I've written -- what? -- five books now, gonna be six next year..."

GN: "You made mistakes? YOU?"

MB: "I actually have made, I think, a couple of errors. A couple of transpositions, a couple of typos. Maybe even an immaterial technical error, in my description of something. It does happen."
        "A couple of typos"???  Pardon me while I fall off my chair laughing. Bara's books are absolutely stuffed with errors both minor and major. After the first edition of Dark Mission, an official list of errata was provided -- 29 items, not too bad for a work of over 500 pages. But second editions are the opportunity to make these good, and in this respect the publisher Adam Parfrey was a dismal failure. There are uncorrected errata on pages 131, 145, 178, 215, 278, 286, 312, 320, 386(2), 430 (all using 2nd edition pagination.) This is inexcusable.

        AAoM2 has, for example, "west and rast" for "west and east" (p.122), "Fortunatley" (p.170), "poured over" for "pored over" (p.183), "side by- ide" (p.186). The latter looks like a copy edit screw-up rather than an author's.

        As I've written before, "typo" is short for "typographical error." Since there are no typographers in modern publishing, a better word for "typo" is "error."

        Well, OK, no author is immune from minor errors. I don't expect Bara's books to be totally free of them, and I assume he wouldn't expect mine to be. However, his estimate of "a couple" in all five books is prevarication in the extreme. Much more serious are the calamitous technical errors that totally mislead the readership. Nor are these just "immaterial technical errors." Let's remind ourselves of some really bad Barrors, just restricting ourselves to one per book:

Dark Mission
 "[O]n the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Apollo 11 ... [Neil] Armstrong himself had seemed frustrated. He started his highly emotional address by first comparing himself to a parrot--saying only what he had been told to say." (Armstrong actually said the exact opposite.)

The Choice
"Without the Moon's calming influence, the Earth would spin so fast that the centrifugal force would most likely flatten us all like pancakes." (No, other way round.)

(Writing of images of Earth from space)  "the clouds are the highest in the atmosphere, meaning that they are reflecting more light back to the camera and at a faster rate. Since they are returning more light, the clouds are the lightest. The surface areas ... are darker, because they are a bit further away from the camera than the clouds and therefore the light has to travel further before it is reflected back. The deep blue oceans are therefore the darkest, because the light has to travel all the way to the ocean floor before it is reflected back to the camera." (Wrong in so many ways that I don't know where to start.)

"Because of its highly "eccentric" ... orbit ... Mars' distance relative to Earth varies a great deal. In fact, Mars' orbit is so elliptical that its distance to the Earth can be as much as 249 million miles at its farthest to as little as about 34 million miles at its theoretical closest approach." (The difference is due to their different orbits, not to eccentricity.)

"Allow me to translate for you. If Phobos is not a captured asteroid ... then it by definition must be an artificial satellite." (There is no such "definition." The consensus is that Phobos was formed by re-accretion of orbital debris.)

Plus, of course, every one of Bara's ridiculous Mars images, purportedly showing "unmistakably artificial" things, is a lie. Moreover, Bara doesn't even have the honesty to cite catalog references so we could go to the NASA sources and find out what they really show.


1 comment:

Binaryspellbook said...

The Baranator is yet again accusing us of sexually harassing his floozies, and making threats of physical violence against himself.

Unbelievable. Check his latest bloggery.