Image of the Week is Back!

Supercell Sundown on the High Plains“, posted 2019

Image of the Week is back! Thanks to the adroit, expert work of my wife and marvelous web designer Elke, IOTW now is a WordPress site, instead and as before, with one new photo from my portfolio (and accompanying brief narrative) added every week. This post contains a few examples, with links from the captions.

Sailing Schooners off Key West“, posted 2009

Every week for ten years, IOTW has brought you the best of my three-plus decade photographic portfolio: images revealing the majesty and beauty of our outdoors, or splendor of architecture, or evocative wonder of the abandoned structure, or fascinating eccentricities of both the natural and built world all around us. It’s a medium through which to share beauty I’ve found, simple as that.

Convergence at Coffee Creek“, posted 2016

When I first started this photo-blog, at Elke’s persuasion, I didn’t know if I could come up with enough to fulfill a weekly “obligation” (more like labor of love) for years on end. Little did I know that, between the amazing things I had seen and shot before 2009, and everything since, the harder part is to leave something out!

Cracks on the Cauldron“, posted 2018

From slides of the ’80s to high-res digitals of today, still photography is my long-chosen favorite medium through which to convey God’s inspiration in the sky, and all other kinds of interesting images from travels hither and yon. Whether the mood evoked is wonderment, peace, curiosity, befuddlement, awe, or even dangerous menace (see below), the aim is always to inspire a mood and enlighten the reader at the same time.

Massive Tornado near Piedmont, Oklahoma“, posted 2011

Back in late April, the old site (using great photo-BLOG software called PixelPost that had gone extinct, and which didn’t support newer versions of PHP) went dead. We were able to resurrect it temporarily and keep it on life support for a couple months by having the server manager revert PHP for its place on the machine, but on deadline. Time was short to figure out a new medium.

Red Bird in a Redbud“, posted 2010

Elke somehow found a PixelPost to WordPress converter that imported and properly dated all the old stories, categories and images. All it lost were tags (which I’ll reassign for previous years’ images, gradually over time). What this means is that Image of the Week goes back through its entire decade again, with every weekly entry still there. This was very fortunate!

Cold Wash Cycle“, posted 2014

IOTW has been up and running again, but in WordPress, since sometime near the end of July. I had made PixelPost entries in the meantime for continuity, and copied them over to the new site as it was being built and internally beta-tested. Now that it has been up and stable for a couple months, I can securely announce it. [I have been posting links to individual entries on social media.]

Snow Geese in the Rain“, posted 2017

I hope you’ll visit the new IOTW and walk back in time through the latest and greatest photographic experiences, and the stories and imagery of years of yore, then check back weekly for more and more.

Twisted Perspective“, posted 2013

Scattershooting 191022

Scattershooting while wondering what happened to sanity and common sense…

“PHOTOGRAPHY” GAME FARMS: “Photography game farms” are unethical and dishonest. I refuse to participate in staged “wildlife” shots, and those who are (without complete disclosure) are being dishonest, greedy, and unethical. A nasty pox with a thousand chiggers on any photographer who sells images of these captive wild animals, without full and open disclosure of the circumstances.

FASCINATING INSIGHTS on SOCIOPATHS: This article, about a self-professed and supposedly professionally diagnosed case, offers a fascinating peek into the mentality of a sociopathic woman. In the spirit of her own mentality, I might have to read the book at a library, bookstore, borrowed, or other medium where I won’t have to pay.

SUCKERS for POP-CULTURAL OCCULT: Going through my “Groupon” offers, the above shows up. Here it is 2019, and enough gullible suckers (over a thousand bought!) clearly still exist to fulfill a consumer demand for pop-occult rubbish. In the ’70s it was mail-order psychic readings…in the ’80s and ’90s, 1-900 scams and Miss Cleo on TV, in the 2000s, interactive websites…and all the while, in-person shops for palm readings, tarot, crystal energy, and other such rectally manufactured hocus-pocus crapola. Today…Groupons. I suppose people really enjoy being ripped off while duped into feeling good about it. If Groupon is right, Miss Francine has raked in over $69,000 gross just from this ad alone. Talk about voodoo economics!

BIG CORPORATE MEDIA DETACHMENT from REAL AMERICA:
ABC corporate HQ: Upper West Side of Manhattan.
NBC corporate HQ: GE Building, Rockefeller Center, NYC
CBS corporate HQ: Midtown Manhattan.
CNN HQ: Atlanta (not coastal, but close).
Microsoft (MS in MSNBC): Seattle
Gannett (USA Today, et al.): McLean VA
NY Times: NYC
LA Times: Los Angeles
Knowing this, is it any wonder that the sheltered, insular, professionally incestuous and mutually sycophantic “journalists” of leftist coastal media are so woefully clueless about what matters to real, everyday, working Americans in our towns and on our land? We conservative folk in Middle America apparently are just backward, ill-educated, tobacco-chewing, rodeo-riding, meth-sucking, toothless rednecks in need of shame, ostracism and ridicule. O how the “woke” are so comatose in their blissful ignorance…

MANIFEST EVIL of TRANSGENDERISM:
Transgenderism is nothing short of diabolical, satanic wickedness. You bet I said it, and I absolutely mean it. This deranged practice is being forced upon a small Texas boy by his so-called doctor “mother” who, given her zealous pursuit of legal permission to inflict permanent psychological and physical abuse on her child, probably is possessed by demons. What else can explain such hideous and delusional sadism toward a child? Devout Catholic Matt Walsh, in his two otherwise solid essays on this topic (first, second) doesn’t go there, but I will. The father’s ex is dripping with evil, and the child is at grave mental, physical, and spiritual risk. I would not blame the dad one bit if he took that kid on an overnight flight to a country that doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the U.S. The extremist whack jobs supporting this lunacy have lost sight of one crucial thing: he (yes, he) is a minor child, with immature & undeveloped mind (not to mention brainwashed by that horrendous excuse for a “mom”). Precisely because of that incomplete mental development, he is thoroughly incompetent to make such decisions. Yet a jury has ruled, with sociopathic frigidity only possible through unadulterated devilry, that this innocent little child can be deliberately, deeply abused and scarred for life by being forced into transgenderism. Horrid!

MUTUALLY TRUE STATEMENTS about TRUMP and LEFTISM:
Donald Trump is a bombastic, insufferable, degenerate, unrepentant adulterer and liar, a hideously immoral heathen who, regardless of some positive accomplishments (such as boosting conservative federal judiciary and standing up somewhat to Red China) has soiled the office of the Presidency through his prideful ignorance and repugnantly undignified behavior, damaged Christianity via sellout pastors who have pandered his favor, and set back the cause of conservatism for years to come, simply by association. Leftism is a festering, maggot-ridden, gangrenous ideological rot on the faces of governance and social order, and a “divide and conquer” tool of the evil enemy that will consume this nation’s youth and future in its deviously delusional stench, if unchecked by the forces of sanity. Both statements can be true. Both are. And both truths are why it’s not hard to see the end times approaching. The good news? We who follow the Lord know who wins in the end. Keep the faith.

Lessons: Retraction of Highly Publicized Study on Religious Children

Yet another published social-science/humanities study has been retracted formally. This one got huge attention from secular (of course!) media for supposedly showing that religious children were less generous & altruistic.

Fortunately other scientists, who had been doing similar work with different data, and whose work (along with prior studies) showed much the opposite, didn’t buy it. They suspected something was awry with those results…rightly so! They asked for the study data, got it, reproduced the analyses, and found that the results were indeed bad, due to a simple coding error. See the link I provided above for more details on how this mess happened.

Another festering sore has appeared on the face of peer review as a practice, science as a whole, and on “soft science” humanities in particular. Lessons are many, and include:

  • Peer review is good, but not always good enough. Not just in the “soft sciences” either! It can miss important analytic flaws, as I have seen first-hand in physical (atmospheric) science. I find minor errors in published papers often, and mostly e-mail authors directly about them. Once, however, the problems were so numerous and crucial that I lead-authored a published rebuttal of many points in a formally peer-reviewed work that had appeared in an AMS journal.
  • Peer review in a highly specialized science can be insular, even incestuous. Reviewers are busy, and can slack off details. Reviewers often know the people whose work they’re reviewing, and/or can be awed by admiration for a respected name, and let stuff slide. It helps to have at least one anal-retentive reviewer willing to re-analyze data, or at least question findings that don’t make sense. Obviously this paper’s reviewers did not find anything suspicious—perhaps because their own preconceived biases about religious people clouded their potential to find such results puzzling.
  • Evaluate the biases of the media that promote scientific results, especially in more subjective fields like humanities and social science, but really, any science. What sociopolitical slants are evident in their other stories in general, including choices of subjects about which they publicize scientific results?
  • Don’t count on mass media to promote retractions, to more than a tiny, token, trivial fraction of the extent they pushed forth original, likely agenda-conforming results. Sometimes a retraction will be noted on a deep page (physical or digital) for the purpose of tokenism. Keep up with the latest retraction news on reputable, devoted watchdog sites.
  • In science, reproducibility is paramount! The greatest of alarm bells should go off when relatively recent (less than a decade or so) studies cannot be reproduced, especially if they involve unavailable data. In decades of yore, data were in hardcopy or primitive digital form, and often got lost, burned, flooded, heaved into the dumpster, etc. Today, with data-storage, archival and retrieval capacity smashing new records on a monthly basis, and redundant and cloud storage being common, there’s little, if any, valid excuse for the data not being there. This includes so-called “proprietary” data. Science is about openness, and all research data should be made available upon request, for the fundamental scientific tenet of reproducing analyses and results.

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