Voice in a box

ai_box_experimentWe recently bought a new piece of technology that answers us when we have questions, or performs certain tasks that we tell it to do. Like the computer in “Star Trek.”

You know. It’s just like this … without the shuttle craft, shields, worm holes or interplanetary travel:

But if I want to hear a certain song, or find out the weather in Los Angeles, this is the interaction we have. And she has a much more pleasant voice.

By the way. Why is it that all the computer voices I’ve been exposed to have been female?

Climate science, GOP style

1207ckCOMIC-weatherology-science

We’re joking, right?

Stockman also said he “can’t get answers” to how long it would take for the sea level to rise two feet. “Think about it, if your ice cube melts in your glass, it doesn’t overflow. It’s displacement. This is some of the things that they’re talking about that mathematically and scientifically don’t make sense.”

Holdren wasn’t given a chance to answer this question, but the answer is pretty simple. Stockman seems to be forgetting that not all melting ice is already in the sea. Melting land ice — glaciers, ice sheets, ice caps, and permafrost — are the major contributors to global sea-level rise as their water flows into the ocean. And even though melting sea ice doesn’t directly contribute to sea level rise, it does cause ocean temperatures to rise. This causes the ocean to expand and rise — a big component of sea level rise — and the added heat can ultimately cause more land ice to melt.

The exchange ends with an awkward silence over the length of ice ages, and Stockman eventually getting interrupted by the committee’s sitting chair to move on with the hearing.