Jardim Botânico

When, many years ago, I lived in Rio de Janeiro, I spent many hours wandering around its botanical gardens.

It’s a pleasure to revisit.

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Why No Parachutes On 9/11?

The 20th anniversary of 9/11, when about 3000 people died trapped in the World Trade Centre, prompts a question that I’ve never heard asked or answered:

Why didn’t they use parachutes to escape?

Were they high enough above the ground to use parachutes? Yes they were.

While soldiers of the parachute regiment balk at exiting a plane below 250ft, those involved in an extreme form of parachuting called “base jumping” regularly leap from further down. In 1999 a base jumper (base stands for building, antennae, span and earth) parachuted from the 100ft statue of Christ that overlooks Rio de Janeiro.

The WTC North tower was 1368 feet high: they had plenty of height.

Could they get out of the windows? Yes, they could: many were standing on the window ledges. And many jumped to their deaths.

Could they have had enough time to don a parachute? I don’t know the answer to this, but if the parachute is already packed it can’t take more than a couple of minutes to strap one on. And anyway, in principle, people could have worn them all the time. The South Tower stood for 56 minutes, and the North Tower for 102 minutes.

Two main dangers come to mind. First, parachutes (35 foot diameter) may have collided with the building as they opened. It would probably have been best to jump 20 feet out on the downwind side of the buildings to prevent his happening. Second,  parachutes may have collided with other buildings or cables in New York City. But parachutes can be steered, and so, in principle, safe landings could be achieved.

What if unskilled parachutists jumped? Assuming their parachutes opened, they would have drifted on the wind, slowly descending, landing wherever they might.. In Manhattan you’d have about one chance in three to land in a street rather than than on top of a building.

It would have helped a lot if it had all been pre-planned, with parachute drills in which people put on parachutes and simulated jumping out in rapid succession. They had regular fire drills for using the stairs.

So, assuming that only about 10% of 3000 occupants were killed by plane impacts, and the rest parachuted out, some 2500 people could have been saved. And there would have been no need for firefighters (343 killed) to climb the buildings to try to save people. 9/11 movies would show a cascade of parachutes falling from the towers, and several parachutes hanging from street lamp posts.

But none of this happened. Nobody jumped out of the WTC with a parachute. Why not? Did nobody ever think of doing this?

Perhaps they thought that they could easily escape down the stairs. But at about 10 seconds per floor it would have taken 18 minutes to descend 110 floors. And the 44-inch-wide stairs soon got crowded, and a lot of people were still on the stairs when the buildings fell, It would have taken less than a minute to descend 110 floors by parachute.

Perhaps it was simply unthinkable to jump out of a 110 storey tower. And it still seems to be unthinkable. But some people have thought about it:

Having been a skydiver in the past, I can tell you that perhaps some people might have been saved but many more would probably have been killed horribly in accidents resulting from putting the thing on improperly; chutes that didn’t open (chutes aren’t supposed to sit indefinitely for months of years and then be expected to open), the inability of the untrained to actually pull the rip cord; the inability of some people to actually jump; the lack of a reserve chute or the time to deploy it; the possibility of a parachute malfunction; the minimum height requirements for using them might have driven more people upwards to get the chutes, only to die using them; the possibility of being driven into other buildings by wind and currents, or wires, or other obstructions.

These are all good objections. But I’ve answered some already. They had plenty of height. Sure, some would have hit other buildings, but many would have survived. If pre-planned, chutes could have been opened by fixed wires, with no need to pull the rip cord. Regular rehearsals would have obviated other problems,

The best objection seems to be that parachutes aren’t supposed to sit indefinitely for months of years and then be expected to open. But if they were regularly replaced or repacked? Or designed to open easily? Why store them in folded packs, if they’re not going to be carried anywhere?

Others are more positive:

I realise this seems to be an easy target for naysayers, but you certainly wouldn’t be in a position to naysay this idea if you were in such a position yourself. Even something that MIGHT save your life would be welcomed with extreme positivity at this point. I therefore think that this idea is very viable.

What servicing is needed?

The parachute has a combined service life of 16.5 years; service life is 12 years and shelf life is 4.5 years. The T-10D Parachute must be repacked every 120 days.

If parachutes are kept ready-opened in 60 foot lengths, they could be slid out from tubes and deployed with fixed cables.

Other ideas. Why not stairs like helter-skelters to slide down at 2 seconds per floor?



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Crazier and Crazier

It gets crazier and crazier

During his speech at the White House on Thursday, President Biden announced that he will have the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandate that private companies with 100 or more employees implement vaccine mandates or require negative tests. When announcing his mandate, the president frequently characterized the unvaccinated as selfish people who have made the pandemic worse, granting no exceptions to people who have been previously infected (natural immunity) or people in low-risk demographics:

    • “We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin.”

    • “Many of us are frustrated with the nearly 80 million Americans who are still not vaccinated.”

    • “I understand your anger at those who haven’t gotten vaccinated.”

    • “We’re going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers.”

First obvious question: Aren’t vaccinated workers already protected? Isn’t that what vaccination means? Why should anyone be worried about Covid if they’re vaccinated against it?

Second question: Why should vaccinated workers be angry or frustrated or impatient at those who haven’t gotten vaccinated? They’re protected, aren’t they?.It’s going to be the vaccinated workers funerals, not theirs.

One simple answer seems to be: vaccination doesn’t work. In Israel 95% of people over 80 are vaccinated, but…

The number of infections in Israel has increased more than tenfold in the last month. There are 3,000 to 4,000 a day. This is a country of nine million people,

But does it matter anyway? It’s not like this is the Black Death that killed some 30% of Europe’s population. Something like 99.9% of people survive Covid.

This looks like yet another exaggerated health threat. Just like smoking.

We might even suggest that all health threats are exaggerated health threats these days, And if all health threats are exaggerated health threats, pretty soon people will stop worrying about all health threats. It’s what happens when people cry wolf too much. It’s what’s bound to happen.

So I predict a collapse in faith in Public Health.

In my case I already have no faith in Public Health: I’m a smoker who has already been expelled from society by smoking bans. I don’t belong to their society any more. And I don’t want to belong to their society. Us smokers just got their a bit earlier than them.

Health has become a new religion. Health has become the only thing that matters. Not truth or justice or peace or honour or decency or anything else: just Health. Which is why truth and justice and peace and honour and decency have all gone out the window. Which is why Public Health tells monstrous lies about everything, as long as it serves their purposes.

Maybe health doesn’t matter to them either, and what they really want is power or money.

They say they’re Saving Lives. But we all die one day anyway. The best they can do is to delay death a little while. And now maybe not even that. Because Joe Biden is now setting Americans against each other, and that can’t end well. Everyone is being set against everyone else. Smokers against non-smokers, vaccinated against unvaccinated, climate alarmists against climate sceptics.

Perhaps it’s that now that most of us no longer believe in life after death, we’re frantically trying to stave off death. Hence the modern obsession with health. It’s not love of life that drives it, but fear of death. Hence all the fear-mongering – about tobacco and alcohol and sugar and Covid and climate and asteroid impacts.

Ignore it all. It’s all bad craziness.

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The Vaccinated and the Unvaccinated


Society is rapidly turning into a two-tier culture of the vaccinated and the unvaccinated.

It’s just like smokers and non-smokers all over again.

I’m one of the unvaccinated, It’s not that I’m anti-vax. It’s just that I never go out anywhere (thanks to the smoking ban), so I’m very unlikely to be infected.

It’s just yet another division in an already divided society.


…more and more people have come to see it for what it is, not “insanity” or “an overreaction,” but, in fact, a new form of totalitarianism, a globalized, pathologized, depoliticized form, which is being systematically implemented under the guise of “protecting the public health.”

It’ll be the death of Public Health.

Which will be a good thing.

We’ll carry on smoking anyway.

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The Demonisers Will Be Demonised

The Mail’s shameful witch-hunt of ‘selfish’ vaccine refusers

In his Ten Stages of Genocide Professor Gregory H Stanton presented a process of steps which lead to a final solution: a division of the population into ‘them and us’; the passing of laws which exclude one group from all areas of society; people are no longer individuals but are ‘the Jews’, ‘the Gypsies’, ‘the Unvaccinated’; dehumanisation equates the group with animals, disease, vermin, filth. Stanton placed dehumanisation at number four in his ten stages. We are almost halfway there.

Smokers have had this experience for years. They’re reviled. They’re regarded as diseased and filthy. They’re excluded from society: There are smoking bans almost everywhere.

The article isn’t about smokers, of course. It never is. It’s about the demonisation of the Covid-Unvaccinated.

I’ve not been vaccinated either, so I guess I’m now twice-demonised.

I don’t care. They can demonise me all they like.

I’m a climate change denier. Or at least a global warming supporter: I think we need more global warming to delay the impending next ice age. So really I’m thrice-demonised.

At this rate, pretty much everybody is going to wind up demonised for one reason or other.

There’ll just be a few pundits and health experts left who’re doing all the demonising.

And then they’ll get demonised in their turn. The moving finger will settle on them one day.

Oh yes it will.

I can’t wait for it to happen.

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The Coming Ice Age

Justin Trudeau:

“What we learned from this COVID crisis, we will be applying to the climate crisis”

There isn’t any real Covid crisis. And there isn’t any climate crisis either.

A year or so back I spent some time building my own simple global climate model. My model differed from most climate models in that it included heat flow from inside the Earth. Most models discount this:

heat energy coming from Earth’s interior is actually only 0.03% of Earth’s total energy budget at the surface, which is dominated by 173,000 TW of incoming solar radiation…

This is true at present, but it isn’t true always.

It’s true at present because we’re 12,000 years into the Earth’s current interglacial period, during which the surface of the Earth has been slowly cooling. Before that, in the ice age when much of the Earth’s land mass was covered in snow and ice, the surface of the Earth was slowly warming. Why? Because several km of snow and ice acts as a thermal insulator – a blanket warming the ground beneath it.

Add insulation, and the Earth’s surface warms up. Remove it, and it cools down.

In my model the Earth experienced a succession of ice ages, punctuated by interglacials. During ice ages the Earth’s surface warmed up beneath the insulating snow and ice, to the point where the snow and ice melted. After that the uninsulated Earth’s surface cooled until snow and ice could once again settle. The cycle repeated indefinitely.

The flip from ice age to interglacial and back can be very fast: a decade or less.

In my view the greatest danger right now is that the Earth is due to begin a new ice age. CO2-driven global atmospheric warming can only delay a new ice age. Far from being a bad thing, global atmospheric warming is a good thing.


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Contradictory Covid News

Various contradictory Covid news reports:

Eric Clapton Releases New Song Pushing Back Against COVID Dictates and Totalitarian Government, “This Has Gotta Stop”

Vitamin D Insufficiency May Account for Almost Nine of Ten COVID-19 Deaths:

Emergency Medicine Docs Will Face Consequences for Spreading COVID Lies

This Ends The Debate’ – Israeli Study Shows Natural Immunity 13x More Effective Than Vaccines At Stopping Delta


Toronto Star — ‘Let the Unvaccinated Die’…: This Kind of Talk is Everywhere Now.

Trying to decode an article about vaccines and COVID breakthrough

The Mask Mandate Farce

Ohio Nurse Goes Viral for Refusing COVID-19 Vaccine

UK Covid deaths surge 27% in a week with more than 30k new cases for 11th day in row

DAVID ICKE: “This is an agenda not to protect health but to kill enormous numbers of people globally”

There’s a lot more like this out there….

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Silver Lining

Smoking surge in young during Covid lockdown

England saw a rise in young adults taking up smoking during the first lockdown, according to a study.

The number of 18 to 34-year-olds who classed themselves as smokers increased by a quarter, from 21.5% to 26.8%, says Cancer Research UK.

The data does not explain why the changes occurred but experts believe many turned to cigarettes in response to stress.

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Remembering Rosa Parks

Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson, author of The Long Slide: Thirty Years in American Journalism, warned that America is becoming a “soviet society” prioritizing conformity and obedience to government over freedom of behavior and thought.

What better example of conformity and obedience to government than smoking bans?

But nobody ever mentions them. Not even Tucker Carlson.

Neither did Rod Liddle, while smoking a cigarette.

It’s a strange silence.

Once smoking was banned, without any protest, the way was open for all the Faucis of the world to invoke new hobgoblins. Like Covid-19.  And climate change. Today’s lockdowns are variants of smoking bans. They’re a new extension of medical tyranny.

“When I was a kid, even the left was always telling us about … Rosa Parks,” Carlson recalled.

Rosa Parks was a black woman who sat on an Alabama whites-only bus seat one day in 1955.

“There was a political agenda in telling us about Rosa Parks, but on the other hand, Rosa Parks was pretty great. Good for Rosa Parks. She didn’t want to sit in the back, and one day, she decided not to, and she was a hero.”

A modern Rosa Parks would have lit a cigarette in a no-smoking compartment. Would she be seen as a hero? Not these days. Nobody speaks up for smokers. They’re the new blacks, the new excluded.

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Blame It All On Trump


Desperate Afghans fall to deaths from plane wheels after packing runway to flee Taliban

You know whose fault this is, of course.


UK Talking to Taliban, Blames Trump, Not Biden, for Afghanistan Chaos

Donald J Trump.

Joe Biden Blames Donald Trump for Afghanistan Collapse — Despite Calling Taliban Takeover ‘Unlikely’ in July

Who else could possibly be to blame?

P.S. Hollywood Celebrities Blame Trump for Biden’s Disastrous Withdrawal from Afghanistan

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