The Lower Quote, As If You Didn't Know, Is By Richard Dawkins, Son.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Dear "Little Juice" - Thanks, Captain Obvious

I really have to comment on this article I saw over at King Aardvark's place. He seemed to think I'd have something to say, and he knows me quite well.

The gist of the article is that some Brazilian "psychic" wrote a letter to some folks in Indonesia and said that they'd have an 8.5 magnitude earthquake on December 23 of this year. Antara, the state-run newspaper there, said this fella, Jucelino ("Little Juice") Nobrega da Luz, had predicted in 1998 the 2004 tsunami. Funny no one knows this guy's name when that killed a quarter of a million people....

Oh, wait, people do know his name because he claims to have told the U.S. goobernment where Saddam Hussein was hiding and he still wants to get paid the $25,000,000 reward. You want proof? He wrote it in his diary and supposedly sent a couple letters (oddly, some other letters and predictions were outright wrong or seemingly changed after-the-fact). He really seems like just another wannabe "psychic" who twists the facts to fit his vague predictions or waits until after something happens and then "retrodicts".

I find it odd now though that he sends a letter to Indonesia warning them of seismic activity, but if you look here you'll see just how many earthquakes occur in that area (look pretty much dead centre). In case you have trouble looking at dense collections of dots, here's the world earthquake report for the last seven days, and from that, here's the specific results for just Indonesia (results are by date and Richter Scale rating:
Nov. 14 - 5.4
Nov. 14 - 4.9
Nov. 14 - 4.8
Nov. 15 - 4.8
Nov. 16 - 4.9
Nov. 16 - 5.1
Nov. 17 - 4.9
Nov. 18 - 5.0
So they're averaging damn near a 5.0 quake every day. Gee, what a stretch to predict an earthquake. Sure sure, he said they'd have an 8.5 mag. but if they just get a quake, he can claim to be correct - just off by a bit in the magnitude. Not to mention they had an 8.4 on Sept. 12 of this year (4th listing down). Jesus, that's like "predicting" that a tornado will hit Kansas next year. See, he really can't be wrong. Must be nice to have that job.

If he really wants people to take his predictions seriously, he should make them on videotape with a current day's paper held to his chest. Or, to go another route, predict that Ron Jeremy will win a Best Actor Academy Award. If that came true, I'd start to pay attention to him.

Edited to add resources:
Earthquakes Data Magnitude 5.0 and Over 2005 - 2014
http://krilloil.com/blog/earthquake-data/

Seismic Monitor
http://www.iris.edu/seismon/

Quakes - Live Earthquakes Map
http://quakes.globalincidentmap.com/

Thanks to Sharon Thornton of The International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics for the links.

2 Barbaric Yawps:

At 21/11/07 7:41 pm, Anonymous JFlav said...

But couldn't he just save papers from every day, then when a major event happens pull up a paper from a week before and retrodict on video?

 
At 21/11/07 8:16 pm, Blogger BigHeathenMike said...

Yeah, point taken.

 

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