Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Census tale

Talking with Youngest via Skype this morning. She recounted her experience with a Census official at her student dwelling.

FX: Knock knock. Front door of house shared by five Students is opened by Youngest, shivering in the cold. Outside is a Census Official.
CO: "Have you filled out your Census form yet? You have to you know, you can be fined if you don't."
Youngest: "Yes."
CO: "It's a criminal offence not to fill it in and return it you know."
Youngest: "Yes we filled it in. Yes we posted it."
CO: "Fines of up to a thousand pounds."
Youngest: "I know."
CO: "You have to do it properly you know, or you can be fined."
Youngest: "What?"
CO: "It's a criminal offence you know."
Youngest: "I know. We filled it in, we posted it."
CO: "Oh." Apparently having delivered the supposedly intimidating spiel, said Official was apparently quite crestfallen at having delivered it to someone who'd actually filled the wretched thing in. Door is firmly shut in said Officials face.

Mind you, she told us with a knowing smirk, she didn't actually tell him what answers they'd given. Tsk. Students, eh? No respect for overweening authority. I blame the parents.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Very well then...

Howls of derisive laughter about the Cleggeron saying that because of fears highlighted over the problems at the Japanese Fukushima Nuclear power plant, more modern nuclear power stations will possibly not be built in Britain. Oh my giddy aunt! Where do my ex-compatriots find these people?

Is Britain on a the edge of a major subduction zone like Japan? No.

Does Britain need more generating capacity over the next five to ten years? Yes.

Can Britains current power needs be met solely by 'renewables' like wind or solar, or will they ever be? No.

Very well, you'll freeze.

As elder sibling reminds me every time we talk - "The lunatics are in charge of the Asylum." I cannot but help but agree.

Cartoon adapted from the famous original by Low.

Monday, 28 March 2011


There is a trite little aphorism that states "The future is a journey". Our futures are always journeys of one sort or another, from simply walking down the street, to stepping onto a flight to a new way of life in a new country.

This article in the Tellytubbygraph annoyed me with its patronising assertion that satellites or robotic probes could do everything mankind needed outside of this thin little biosphere we call home, and that manned spaceflight is simply showmanship and hubris.

I felt moved to leave the following;
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky once said; 'The Earth is the cradle of mankind, but mankind cannot live in the cradle forever'.

This was the promise of those early orbital flights. It is also said that "The future is a journey". This rather begs the corollary that "If you don't try, you won't ever go anywhere." Satellites alone won't do that.

At least China and India are trying.
Although I may have warped the original Tsiolkovsky quote slightly. Nonetheless, the truth of it remains.

This is what occasionally gets under my skin when talking to people who think we should 'take care of problems here on earth first'. To me, the people who trot out such sayings are short sighted, narrow minded, and don't understand much about the nature of humanity at all. They're not very historically astute, either.

Voices from the anti manned space flight faction would have you think that mankind will, or can actually deal with things like world poverty, famine, and the other excuses they trot out. They don't seem to get that the main drivers of poverty and famine are the self same people they claim will provide the 'answers'. This is the lesson of History, and gets repeated rather too often for my liking.

I've said it before, and I'll keep on saying it as long as I have breath; we are an expansionist species. It comes from our hunter / gatherer heritage. Humans need space to expand into and exploit, because if they didn't, well they wouldn't be human for a start. Manned space flight isn't a luxury item, it's an essential. Because if we don't at least try to get off this rolling ball of rock and take a look around, then we as a species are just marking time to extinction.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

E Books

Over the past few days I've been looking at various means of expanding my library without choking up the house with bookshelves. Enamoured as I am with the sheer pleasure of handling words on good old low tech paper, I've got to thinking that my addiction for the printed word might need some modification. Whilst a good book is like a solid single malt, a good meal or a fine wine, there is something to be said for more workaday reading (Classed in my eyes like a reasonable plonk, a solid bacon butty, or a Jamesons) reduced in its physical bookshelf size.

My reading rate has been clocked around the 1200 Words per minute rate on average, although my typing remains at a lowly 15 words per minute max, despite all efforts to teach myself touch typing. This means I read. A lot. Always have done, from pulp Sci-Fi to Camus, Kafka and Voltaire and all stations in between. Including technical manuals. My parents were always critical of this need to read, but the more I got scolded, the more I wanted to curl up with whatever I happen to be reading in a cosy little corner. As a child I used to read underneath the blankets with a torch, hiding in the back seat of the car in the garage, while walking the dog, in bed, wherever. To me, part of heaven is an entire library all to myself with no chucking out time.

Ergo, one of the things I've been considering is a E-reader like a Kindle or similar for general leisure time reading. There's something called a Kobo which I found interesting, and a whole bunch of other E-readers from the petite and basic to Netbook size, many of them with their own web browsers built in. The only real issue is catalogue and flexibility. The last thing I want is a 'content incompatible' type warning when loading a pdf or similar from outside the e-readers host catalogue. If Barnes and Noble have what I want, but Amazon don't, I want to be able to read content from multiple suppliers. As an aside, I find all these 'locked down' formats a big turn off, I mean what's the point of buying something you can't port across to another media for your own private use? Whoever comes up with the closest thing to a multi-format reader may find a ready market in me. Expandable content is also a must, so I can dump stuff I'm really not interested in onto an SD card or via a Mini USB link to make room for others.

Thinking aloud, the text to speech thing I'm not interested in. I can read, so why the hell do I want anyone else to do it for me? Audio books are only for in the car on long road trips, which I'm not doing at the moment. Don't listen to Radio in the car, and have my own music (Mainly prog rock to classical) on a 4Gb data key. This is probably why the latest pop thing (Whatever recycled pap that currently is) kind of passes me by.

Replaceable batteries are also a plus, as the last thing I want is my workaday reading list rendered inaccessible because the e-reader battery has gone down quicker than a cheap hooker on payday, forcing repurchase of a whole new e reader (and catalogue of text). Electronics fail for various reasons, and catch you out even with the best possible backup and restore policies. Something which runs off a replaceable cell phone battery might be a good idea. A capacity of 1100mA sounds more than sufficient. If one can adequately power an ageing Nokia 6310i cell phone after nine years, then maybe I should be looking for one with that kind of option.

Despite my initial resistance to the idea, a quick arithmetical exercise quickly persuades me that an e-reader may be an economical proposition. Book shelves cost to build and fill, never mind the actual cost of the book itself. Say if I want to buy three months reading, say around twenty or so volumes, I need a new half bookcase a year. That's not including all the technical magazines and periodicals I like to browse for various snippets. Cost can ramp up into well over two hundred bucks a quarter just to feed my general reading addiction. That's even with bi-weekly visits to the library for one off reads. A couple of hundred for an e-reader followed by 3-5 bucks per download soon drops the average price of my word fix.

Although there's still a good deal of information sifting to be done based on portability, durability and sheer basic functionality, I found this list a good basic guide.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Pass it on

As an antidote to all those hair short wearing alarmist guilt mongers. Celebrate the human ingenuity that keeps most in the Western world warm and cosy by not turning out the light of the world. Human achievement hour.

Feel free to copy and pass on (Didn't put pictures of the Internet and computing stuff because I couldn't find any images I thought were suitably sexy).

Thursday, 24 March 2011

The next Tolpuddle Martyrs

Back in the real bad old days before protective associations and Trades Unions were allowed to exist. A bunch of 19th Century agricultural labourers in Dorset, so ticked off with their treatment, formed a 'Friendly society', refusing to work for less than a set rate. The leading members of this association were James Brine, James Hammett, George Loveless, James Loveless, Thomas Standfield, and John Standfield. For their 'crime' of standing up for themselves, they were arrested and sentenced to Transportation in 1832. Their trial and sentences were essentially a warping of the law to serve a vested interest, seeing as the legislation forbidding such associations was repealed in 1825 (But what's really new about that, eh?).

History has a tendency to repeat itself in slightly different ways, because the mistakes made have a tendency to be forgotten by those who consider themselves to be in authority. In like fashion I see this 'Lawful rebellion' thing sizing up to be the basis of a similar movement. Of course the Martyrs were only one of many such groups looking to protect themselves from overweening authority, but they put their checkmark in the History box before all others.

In similar fashion, Ranty and his growing band of like minded people are busy using the legal system to fight everything from excessive council tax bills to a parking ticket. Facing arrest, Bankruptcy and other serried consequences, they have picked up the mostly quenched torch of liberty and blown on its embers. I foresee their actions making great changes sometime in the future. So long as they stay on topic and don't alienate people by wittering on about stuff better left in the X-Files.

However, I make this one caveat. It took generations before the Martyrs actions brought about a better life for their heirs and successors. Their beginnings changed the socio economic landscape between employer and employee, master and servant. In some ways for the better. In others, their nascent movement was hijacked by those with a more sinister, destructive political agenda.

To conclude; There is a paradigm shift beginning. Away from the inefficient, incompetent collectivist ideals of the 19th and 20th centuries, perhaps towards a more 'people centric' future where grass roots movements hold the balance of power. I'm not sure where the 'lawful rebellion' movement is going to end up, but I have the distinct feeling that a smart young politician who hitches his coat tails to this particular comet will go far.

Do you believe....?

Seen over at Jo Nova's blog. From her speech to the 'No CO2 tax' protest in Australia.
  • CO2 feeds plants. It’s the only” pollution” pumped onto farms to grow food. Did you know plant life goes dormant if CO2 falls too low? Farmers don’t just pump in an extra 5 or 10% either, they ramp up the concentration 4 or 5 fold in greenhouses. Did the government scientists forget to mention that?
  • Australia is the largest exporter of coal in the world. But did they say that China digs up nearly 10 times more coal than we do?
  • The famous ice core graphs of Al Gore — expanded to 20 meters square — turned out to show the opposite of what he claimed. Temperatures drive carbon and lead it by 800 years. Worse,iIt was well known, and not contested two years before he made his movie.
  • 'Global warming' stopped, and none of the models predicted that.
  • The endless droughts — ended.
  • All that CO2 and Global storms hit their lowest level for 30 years.
  • And you have to wonder: nearly 90% of the thermometers in the US are too close to artificial heat sources. 90%. How much do the climate science team care about the science?
  • 75% of thermometers used in the 1980’s have dropped off the official record. All that money, and less instruments to measure with…
  • They adjust the data — sometimes 50 years after it was recorded. Think about that. The 1970’s kept warming for the next 30 years.
  • 3000 ocean buoys looked and couldn’t find most of the missing heat that our planet is supposed to be storing.
  • 6000 boreholes tell us the world was warmer 1000 years ago, and even warmer again 5000 years ago. None of the models can explain that.
  • all the models predict a hot spot, and 28 million weather balloons can’t find it;
  • 31,500 scientists don’t think we need a carbon tax. That includes 9000 phd’s. There’s a grassroots revolt going on out there. This was done by volunteers, and done twice. There’s never been another petition like it in science, ever. Did the media forget to tell you that too?
  • For every dollar paid to a skeptic, big government paid 3500 to global warmers.
With citations and links to empirical observations. This is not tinfoil hat territory, this is 'Stop taking the piss you bastards' territory.

Despite all the evidence to the contrary, 'Western' nations are still pursuing the weird idée fixe that a reduction in atmospheric Carbon Dioxide will somehow 'save the world'.

This begs the question; is a warmer world better or worse? I think that colder is worse, and in spite of all the predictions, the 'warming' isn't happening as predicted. At this juncture one is tempted to ask; "What do they know that we don't?" or more likely; "What the fuck are they on?"

It's quite plain to see that the models upon which Green policies are based don't mesh with reality. Every time one of these half-assed postulations bites the dust it's because 'It's getting warmer'. Well it isn't. The Winters aren't warmer. Neither are the Summers, despite the hogwash pumped out by much of the lamestream and various pressure groups. It still snows - despite assurances to the contrary there is snow in places it doesn't normally snow. There are no more Hurricanes or typhoons. Fewer than 'normal' in fact. Everything points to a cooling planet. Atmospheric ice crystal phenomena like Sundogs are growing more common in lower latitudes than we're used to. Certainly more often observed. Heavy and prolonged frosts in subtropical growing areas like Florida.

People are beginning to notice, and it's only a matter of time before the money hurled over the beached dead whale of 'Green' policies forever condemns the Western Nations to a historical footnote. Mind you, I think we're due for a major economic upset anyway. Money is being spent on Green policies that the West hasn't a hope in hell of repaying, and the only door at the end of that particular path is bankruptcy. This means no more money for new infrastructure, which means a decaying return on basics like water, sewage and power. Real poverty. Real people starving. Real population dieback. But that won't matter, as it will only be the 'little people' who will suffer because their 'leaders' got it completely, magnificently and utterly wrong.

Writing as one of the 'little people', I'm not impressed.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Yeah...... tools

To help ameliorate that yawning feeling of despair many in the UK may be feeling after finding out that the latest budget was more of the same pain repackaged, here is a great song and an amusing video. Oh, and great tools, yeah?

Even if it does get cut a bit short at the end. Now I need a lie down in a darkened room.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Fear and loathing

Now I've been drinking, so the following post may be even less lucid than my usual febrile ravings. However, I think I'm at that nexus that falls under the category of 'in vino veritas'

One of the problems I currently see with humanity in general is that we live in a near perpetual state of fear. We're trouser fillingly terrified about everything. There are some folk so scared that they can't set foot outside their own front door. We're scared of what the neighbours think of us, what our parents or family think. We're petrified for future generations or shitting ourselves about the state of the planet, which incidentally can do quite well without us.

Well the Bill Sticker take on it is; "Auchtahellweit!" Mind you, that's easy for me to say. I've faced my fear and stepped on its twinkling little toes. Not that I'd readily do it often - jeez louise - I'm not bloody stupid. Had I been an old scaredy puss, me and Mrs S would never have even considered emigration.

The problem is that we let irrational fears rule our lives. Fear of strangers; most surprisingly nice - providing you aren't going to try and be all huggy with the weapon toting basket case from the bad neighbourhood. Fear of the future? Well, you know; the future is the end result of good or bad decisions. Good or bad can come from both - depending upon how you as a person are willing to look at the outcomes. As far as irrational fears go, my two biggies are spiders bigger than my fist, and sheer drops over two hundred metres straight down. Also not terribly chuffed about people sticking guns or knives in my face with menaces. Not scared about media driven scare stories like Bird / Swine / Whatever Influenza, Cancer (Been there, done that), Pain (Likewise) and big earthquakes. I've trained myself to be competent in various survival techniques if everything goes pear shaped, and if pressured into a real scrap I'm no pushover.

This is not to say I wouldn't be scared, this isn't about the fear, it's about how you react to any given problem. You 'pull your big girl panties on and deal with it'. So instructs one of those amusing motivational sayings my Sister in law has posted on the wall at her place up in town. Anything new can be scary, but if you're going to do the old Rabbit staring at headlights trick, then unfortunately (For you) you might be bucking for a Darwin Award. From whatever standpoint.

Fear makes you vulnerable. Mostly to the next Snake Oil Salesman who says his / her product is the answer to all your ills, real or imagined. Understanding your fear makes you capable of kicking said Snake Oil Salesman in the metaphorical crotch and walking away whistling a happy tune.

As I said, I've been drinking.

Time for bed.

Monday, 21 March 2011


Recently heard the word Syzygy referred to in the context of the close approach of Earth's moon, or 'Perigee Syzygy'. The only other time I'd come across this word (No, I don't follow the X-Files) was in Joe Haldeman's 'All my sins remembered', so I did a little digging.

Here are the main definitions;
  1. (astronomy) A kind of unity, namely an alignment of three celestial bodies (for example, the Sun, Earth, and Moon) such that one body is directly between the other two, such as occurs at an eclipse
  2. (psychology) An archetypal pairing of contrasexual opposites, symbolizing the communication of the conscious and unconscious minds
  3. (mathematics) A relation between generators of a module
  4. (medicine) The fusion of some or all of the organs
  5. (zoology) The association of two protozoa end-to-end or laterally for the purpose of asexual exchange of genetic material
  6. (zoology) The pairing of chromosomes in meiosis
  7. (Literature) In ancient prosody, a group or combination of two feet. Ancient metricians varied in their use of this term. Some use it regularly for a dipody or (dipodic) measure. Others call a tautopody, or double foot, a dipody, but a combination of two different feet a syzygy. Some, accordingly, giving the name syzygy to tetrasyllabic feet (regarded by them as composed of two dissyllabic feet), speak of an iambic or a trochaic line as measured by dipodies, but an Ionic line as measured by syzygies—that is, by single Ionics considered as combinations of trochees and pyrrhics. A peculiar use is the restriction of the term syzygy to compound feet of five or six syllables.

Yes, it's a good ten dollar word, but not one I'd care to use.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Radiation poisoning

Locally, there have been items in the press about people rushing out to their local pharmacy for doses of Potassium Iodide, and getting very cross when told there isn't any.

Said persons would be well advised to examine this chart before going into headless chicken mode.

Latest on the stricken plant has issues with Fukushima's No4 reactor, which like 5 and 6 was supposed to have been shut down for maintenance and refuelling at the time the Tsunami hit. Containment 1 and 3 buildings have had the roofs blown off by Hydrogen gas build up and ignition, and there has been some radiation release. Although when you compare the doses recorded so far to the exposure from a single Computerised Tomography scan, I think those concerned about Radiation exposure over here in BC might justifiably be accused of over-reacting. What the hell, it's their money.

Warning: Large doses of Potassium Iodide during pregnancy can harm a developing foetus. Also acts as a skin and eye irritant.

Hyper and Super Injunctions?

What sort of legal process is at work here? Picked up at Anna Racoons, this nasty little snippet, where legal injunctions have been granted that not only forbid the injunctee from mentioning it, but also forbid them from asking their Member of Parliament for help? Even to the point where a threat has been made to take the injunctee's children into 'care' if the injunction is breached. Isn't such a threat in itself illegal, no matter who makes it? Not only under the old Common law statue, but also under European Human Rights Law?

It's only over the past few years that we've heard about 'Super' injunctions which forbid mention in the Mainstream (Mostly to do with where idiot footballers are reputed to have parked their willies). Yet forbidding mention in the Houses of Parliament? Is that legal? Surely such an injunction would be a clear breach of Parliamentary Privilege, as we are led to understand it.

This speech by John Hemming MP is most enlightening. Clearly there are some UK 'Limp Dems', who are less limp than others.

Popcorn ready. Another one to watch.

Not that anyone will have noticed, but..

Life has been rather busy and self absorbed here at Maison Sticker. Mrs S, as I may have mentioned, has been quite poorly and as a result I've been doing my best blue arsed fly impersonation. Ergo, the blog has taken about fifth place in my list of priorities. It's been;
William this, and William that, and William where's my book?
And can you help me shower dear, if you promise not to look.
With many and deep apologies to this little ballad from Rudyard Kipling.

Those who have to care for an indisposed loved one will understand what I mean. I'm also on the home stretch of a Novel project, which should be finished in two weeks. Followed by attempts to sell same. Providing of course that I'm not still full time Nurse, Taxi Driver, Cook, Home Help, Personal Shopper and Majordomo as well as shift work.

The good news is that my better half is well on the mend and will be fully independent in another three to four weeks. Will catch up on comments and seismic stuff as domestic disruptions return to their normal level. Although I did pick up on this item on the Russian news service. The original vid is in Russian, but there is translation and a transcript.An interesting eight minutes and forty seconds. The Russians have an experimental Seismic Prediction system? Who knew?

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Why Corbyn gets it right

One of the most risible suggestions from the pro-CAGW crowd is the assertion that changes in the weather, or rises in atmospheric CO2 are responsible for Earthquakes. In précis their explanation goes; More CO2 in Atmosphere - Atmosphere heats up - ice melts - more volcanoes and Earthquakes (You're alll doooooommed! - give us your money). Even under the scantiest of scrutiny this postulation falls down and bangs its head on a rock. Let me explain a few reasons why.

First; 'rebound' Quakes need to lose a lot of ice before they happen. Ice is a comparatively light material (919kg per Cubic metre) as opposed to water (Pure 1000kg per cubic metre). They also take a long time post de-glaciation to happen. In addition, unlike quakes in subduction and active fault zones they tend to be lower intensity. Also, ice loss is not thought to affect plate tectonics. Not that we're going to have a problem with less terrestrial ice if the current nascent (Early days at present) cooling trend continues for another few decades. Likewise the catastrophic claims of sea level rise don't (Ahem) hold water.

At the moment we are, despite claims of 'The hottest decade - ever' in the beginning of a cooling phase of the Earth's climate. The 'warmest decade ever' is a false claim. Historically it has been warmer - this is proven by clues scattered throughout historical records of the Medieval and Roman Warm periods, and that's just within recorded history. The extended Northern range of various settlements / cultivated crops like vineyards up near the Scottish border, and Medieval Norse settlements in Greenland. Other clues can be found within overlooked / ignored Chinese records still which range back up to 5000 years. No citations as my Mandarin extends to 'Good Morning' and 'Happy new year'. I'm as dependent on translations as the next Westerner. Mind you, Medieval Chinese records can be just as incomprehensible to the average Modern Chinese as Medieval Church Latin to the average current English speaker.

Piers makes the claim that the Earth is in the first stages of a cooling phase which will cover thirty years, and then stay cooler for around a century or so. He bases his claims on his understanding of the Lunar and Solar cycles. "Don't be silly!" The pro CAGW crowd scoff. "How can the Moon or the Sun affect the weather? What utter rot!" They tend to dismiss his work out of hand. To them he's a crazy old crank with untidy 'mad scientist' hair. How wrong they are. Which I will try, in my idiosyncratic laymans fashion, to explain.

Meteorology is a minor study of mine. Having been an outdoorsman most of my life, I like to know when to head for cover or leave the heavy raincoat at home. I've also worked with pilots, who have to make an in depth study of the weather, as their (and their passengers) safe passage depends upon their understanding of the weather. My understanding covers things like what a cold or occluded front is, and what it means. Why high pressure in certain areas means get out the sun tan lotion, and in others, put another log on the fire. Katabatic and Anabatic winds, all that sort of stuff. As for the Moon not affecting the Earth's weather? Erm, what about the Tides? Tidal changes are mostly lunar influenced and with variations due to various tricks of geography, circle the planet twice a day. Although the Sun is also well known to affect tides.

Now what many people don't seem to appreciate is that the figures given for the Earth / Moon's system orbit around the sun, which is a known variable star, fluctuate within a given range. Now here's a little thought experiment for you, a small demonstration of how heat diminishes rapidly as you move away from its source. Put your hand near a heat source, say an incandescent light bulb or fire. Move your hand away and notice how rapidly the sensed radiant heat diminishes. This is not a straight line relationship. Nature may abhor a vacuum, but it's not that keen on straight lines, either.

In a near vaccuum, such as our solar system, this radiant heat is, within an area often referred to as the 'Cinderella zone', sufficient to support life as we know it. This zone or orbital path is not all that wide, in astronomical terms. When you take into consideration the fact that the Moon does not only orbit the Earth, it influences the Earth's solar orbit. The laws of motion tell us it could not be any other way with two masses circling each other. The Earth does not follow a true smooth elliptical curve around the Sun, it wavers or oscillates in a pattern that can be plotted mathematically, a sort of elliptical shallow sine wave. Take into account the slight variability of the Sun's heat energy, and we can work out how much energy will be falling onto the Earth at any given time. With a little knowledge of Meteorology, any net variations can be plotted for to predict possible major events due to a greater of lesser amount of energy within the parameters of Earth's 'Cinderella zone'. Although compensations such as the known current weakening of the Earth's Magnetosphere will also need to be plotted.

Furthermore, a weakening of the Earth's Magnetospere, or magnetic shield may also allow more energy in, it also allows a greater influence of cosmic rays on cloud formation. Read up on the work of Henrik Svensmark, whose research has a known correlation with the well established cloud formation effect of 'cosmic rays' first observed by Wilson in the early 1900's. More cloud formation and cloud cover increase Earth's albedo, which reflects the sun's light away from the Earth, thus reducing the energy received at ground level. Doesn't have to be much, a tenth of a percentage point can affect weather / climatic patterns.

This is why any net effect of CO2 induced temperature variation will be lost. Whilst CO2, and more importantly methane and water vapour, form an insulating blanket as part of Earth's atmosphere. Major Climate variations also appear more influenced by orbital and until recently relatively overlooked Solar / Earth electromagnetic interaction. Which is another factor we don't understand the full climatic ramifications of.

Piers Corbyn so often gets his forecasts right because he understands the cycles of our planet as it wobbles and precesses around the solar system, and their net effect within the thin skin of Earth's biosphere.

Furthermore, the suggestions that there are positive climatic related feedbacks which mean a hundred or so parts per million of CO2 will turn the Earth's climate into a raging volcanic soup like Venus. These are demonstrably so far fetched they veer into serious tinfoil hat territory along with 'Chemtrails', crop circles, the Flat Earth society, 'born again' creationists and UFO's. There are few observable positive feedbacks in nature. Energy follows the laws of thermodynamics. The 'It's all CO2' assertions tapdance merrily all over established observable principles. The CO2 led models consistently fail to predict warming or cooling. Therefore I'm led to the conclusion that said postulation is too two dimensional an answer to a far more complex question.

In light of the above, I respectfully submit that the CO2 based hypothesis of Climatic variation is deader than a doornail that's just had the last rites following a surgical autopsy. I further submit that taxing 'Carbon' emissions is about as pointless as rearranging deckchairs on a sinking ship. For the sakes of the future economic well being of the world, we should stop. Now. Unless of course you're happy to see your great grandchildren growing up in a new self imposed medieval period. Although that might depend upon whether you see them as one of the Serfs or not.

* Please note that there are no references within this entry to either side of the 'Climate war' of words waged in Desmogblog, Wattsupwiththat, Realclimate or any affiliated web site. They were considered too partisan for the purposes of this blog. Wikipedia sources have likewise only been linked to if they were on non-partisan topics not directly related to climate, and therefore held as suspect.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Christchurch NZ subsidence

One of the things I've been thinking about regarding the recent February 22nd Earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, is if there was any collapse of an old magma chamber, surely there should be associated subsidence.

During the quake, according to the satellite image embedded in this article, the ground literally bounced half a metre. The soil underneath parts of the city briefly turned into a virtual liquid, leading to reported subsidence in the area of up to 300mm (1ft). This phenomena is not uncommon during large earthquakes.

Now having looked at the Quake distribution since the first 7.3 and the discovery (Reactivation?) of the Greendale Fault, my thought is that this fault is extending, and that the next 'big one' will occur either off shore or further towards the mountains as part of a more active fault system. Note the depth of the fault on the snagged graphic from the Christchurch Earthquake map site (You have to run the full sequence from Sept 4th). Most of the dots indicate a consistent fault depth of around 5-7.5 km, with a bias pointing towards the end of the Hikurangi trough subduction zone. See this page from the University of Canterbury Geology department.

Geologists of the British Geological Survey discuss the Christchurch Quake distribution in the video below.


Just as an aside; we've been having a lot of Solar flare activity over the past few months. Which allowing for a certain latency in any possible internal heating process, starts to look like there is a degree of real life correlation in the hypothesis. I think there may well be more large seismic events / Volcanic Eruptions to come in the next few months, globally speaking. As we keep on being told, we're in for a 'big one' over here in Southwestern BC, it may be a good idea to keep the old disaster kit on standby. It won't hurt if I'm wrong. Although we've been getting a steady trickle of small seismic shocks which relieve some of the stress building up down below. It could continue like this for another century. On the other hand......

Nuclear Power station panicmongering

There has been a minor issue with a two Japanese nuclear power plants, which the mainstream are milking for all they're worth. It's headless chicken time again folks!

What actually has happened at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant number one:

The 'explosion' and fire was in a turbine hall, not a reactor or within a containment building or vessel.

Two employees and two subcontractors were injured at the time of the big Honshu Quake yesterday. One employee received a years 'safe' dose of radiation. Which was probably around the same figure as some Medical Tomography scans deliver (Around 1-2Rem, with 0.5Rem dose for a standard X-ray).

The backup diesel generators for the reactor circulation got swamped by the Tsunami and stopped working. At the time of writing, replacements are being installed.

Speculation in the lamestream is rampant about Meltdowns and 'Chernobyls', but the Japanese reactors are Boiling Water reactors, which once shut down begin the long slow process of cooling. They don't melt down.

Oh. No more panic there then. Hi ho, time for morning coffee.

Updated midnight PST 12th/13th March 2011.

Lots of speculation still about 'meltdowns', but as the reactors have been shut down, the slow cooling of reactor cores has begun. Yes, according to the press releases, there have been some problems with getting water into the reactors, but considering they've just had a massive tranche of seawater sloshing about after a Tsunami and major earthquake, I'd say the Engineers had everything at reactors one and two under at least some sort of control.

Update: H/T Depleted Cranium. Explosion at Number 3 reactor (Not in the containment structure) Possibly due to unvented Hydrogen. As an aside; to the commenter who told me I didn't know what a containment building looks like, I spent part of my early career working in and around Coal, Gas and Nuclear power stations on fire alarm / suppression systems. FYI; I do know the difference between a turbine hall and a containment building. Also between main breakers and transformers, smoke stacks and cooling towers. Funny how so many people don't, eh?

Friday, 11 March 2011

West Coast BC Tsunami watch

In the wake of the big Japanese Earthquake. Environment Canada has issued the following Tsunami warning for the Western BC coast (Their caps);




Here on the Eastern shore of Vancouver Island we shouldn't notice anything, rather like the last Tsunami alert. The people who should pay close attention to the bulletins are those around Port Alberni, Tofino, Uclulet, and Port Renfrew. I can hear those surfboards being waxed from here.

Did go looking for Japanese webcams on the big Japanese quake last night, but the only one I could find was an out of focus view of someone's office wall in the Miyagi district.

Update: Tsunamis of 5-6 ft (1.5-1.8m) high have been reported at the Alaskan end of the Aleutian Islands and at Crescent City, California. Nothing reported from the west coast of Vancouver Island at the time of writing. For Canadian citizens in Japan, there is help available via this site.

Update: As of March 11th at 20:00, the West Coast Tsunami advisory is cancelled.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Money for nothing

By their own admission, the Ministers and high up panjandrums in charge of taxing future generations into slavery mitigating 'Climate Change' really haven't a fucking clue are unsure of the effect, spending $280 billion of taxpayer dollar on policies that don't and can't work decisions to prevent a highly disputed predicted global temperature rise based on fucking useless climate models.

Now we hear that one such in England is having a steel wire fence put around his property to prevent angry members of the public and disaffected party members storming his house and doing him harm. Personally I am in great favour of this high level protection; it is my deeply held conviction that all UK politicians and personnel in charge of climate mitigation measures (Of whatever stripe, let's not be partisan about this) should have this level of protection. They should have the 'right' to be free from violence.

Now I'm not for a moment suggesting that perhaps if some clever dicky were to say, wire the new security fence to the mains and drop an extra secure extra padlock with a crop resistant shackle on the gate (or even weld the gate shut), the politician in question would have to stay in the warmth and comfort of their own delightful home, safe within the bosom of their nearest and dearest. Safe from the angry majority of the population, and not being able to make any half assed decisions that further messed up said populations lives. A small jammer would might stop his cellphone and Internet access and stop the bleeder person in question doing any more economic damage. However, this is just my idle speculation, and in no way an incitement for anyone to actually do this. Although I'd be laughing like a drain if they did.

To quote the wise words of the fictional General Tacticus (From Terry Pratchett's Jingo); "If your enemy retreats into an impregnable fortress - see that he stays there."

Then, with the benefit of some inadvertent but perhaps welcome purgatory 'quality' time spent with their demanding children and impatient spouses lovely families perhaps they might think twice about spending money the taxpayer doesn't have.

It's not a home it's a whole party conference. Still, the same principles apply. 'Rings of steel' work both ways.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Dessert is on me

It's been one of those days. Slept badly last night. Mrs S's illness has meant I'm holding down a new shift job, acting as her chief carer, and losing much sleep in the process.

Our landlord, who is pure diamond, pokes his nose around the door to keep an eye on her when I'm working, and Mrs S has me on speed dial in case of serious problems. However, this has led to a few catering issues. The irregular hours I'm now working mean I'm not home on time to cook and clean up. However, I do try, and in the spirit of the new diet my wife wants to go on, I've been trying out new recipes. One of which is Coconut milk ice cream. You can see where this is going already can't you?

I got back from work later than normal, having done the shopping and loaded up on goodies to cheer her up. I got the mixture into the freezer, and as we don't have an ice cream maker, got into a routine of whisking every ten minutes while cooking the evenings

All went well, the ice cream began to solidify, and I seemed to be heading in the right culinary direction when tiredness caught up with me. I didn't mean to, but fumbled the dish in mid stir, the dish dropped vertically onto the floor, base first, the impact splashing big splodges of melting coconut milk and honey mixture liberally all over me, the kitchen floor and the dog, who ran for cover. I swore loudly. Thinking Mrs S had fallen, Landlord came running to help, but I managed to keep everyone out of the newly blodged kitchen before we all went for an impromptu skating session.

Fortunately only a third of the mixture was spilled, and I was able to complete the batch without contamination of the remainder. As far as Coconut ice cream is concerned; next time I'm going to buy the bloody stuff. Although having said that, I'm not so sure anyone makes Honey and Peanut Butter flavour Coconut ice cream outside of Thailand.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

9.3 degree cooling trend?

From this site: contiguous USA figures supposedly demonstrating a 9.3 degree per century cooling trend. Kind of makes all those predictions of a warmer world look a bit silly, don't it?

Figures apparently culled from the NOAA, although the site provides no direct link to source data.

All right, I've been saying that the whole warming thing was poor science since 2006, but this is a short term average, and those frequently seesaw up and down. Besides, it's still Winter.

Still, the investment package in Winter sports goods and Snowmobiles looks like coming good. I'm thinking positive. Although not necessarily in temperature.

Wrapping up warm. Log fire blazing. Larder full.



A very English revolution

Seen last night via EU referendum, but I was too tired to comment on: The real English rebellion begins. Albeit a 'lawful' one. 'Arresting' a judge for not confirming that he was 'serving under his oath of office'? What a super wheeze.

I've been getting a lot of traffic from the good Captains site for some time because we share some common ground, ideologically speaking.

Essentially the Captain and his mates are as ticked off as a lot of ex-pats like me (Or should I call myself a refugee?) with the UK political antics of the last twenty years. Yet they have decided to act, and I wish them well. Although my natural cynic looks sidelong at things like the evil civil contingencies act, and the repression it could be used for. Though Ranty and friends are in a state of 'Lawful (not legal) rebellion', the legitimacy of their protest under law may be considered a mere administrative detail when the live ammo is handed out.

Notwithstanding, my own understanding of the state of 'Lawful rebellion' is this; Your sovereign and government repeatedly ignore you, and overturn the law to their own advantage. They perform acts of effective treason against their legal offices; ignore sworn oaths, sign over sovereignty, that sort of thing. Which leaves the dissenting subject one of four options; leave, knuckle under, open revolt, or the more obscure state of 'lawful rebel'.

To become a lawful rebel, there is an old, I think medieval, provision within the law saying that a subject may in protest transfer their alleigence to a 'committee of barons' by serving three affidavits properly witnessed and served. The rest is knowing the difference between a 'law' and a 'statute'. Laws must be observed, but as a 'lawful rebel' you do not have to observe statues. As EU and local authority powers are based in statute, there lies the lawful rebels power. Ranty and friends have all the details.

The knowledge base required to be a lawful rebel is quite extensive, and from what I can see, you have to be pretty sure of your ground. Migraines beckon, methinks. This is an area where even lawyers may fear to tread.

While Mrs S is indisposed, we have got the popcorn out on this one. Being history buffs and very aware of the context of what Ranty and friends are up to, we will be watching with keen interest from the other side of the Atlantic.

I'm given to understand that there are a few folk around Vancouver Island who are giving the 'lawful rebel' thing a try, but the law is a trifle different over here, and the RCMP will have no truck with people drinking and driving, then claiming to be 'lawful rebels' when pulled over. Disregarding Statutes of Contract law is one thing; using it as a license for anti-social behaviour another.

As an aside; the average RCMP Constable has a battery of legal powers which might make the average despot drool; but there are a lot of checks and balances in the system here, which makes abuse of those powers a risky business. Besides, they still command the respect of many Canadians, and if you have that, keeping the law and 'maintaining the right' is a lot easier.

This revolution thing seems to be the meme for 2011. Gadaffi is being offered an out by his rebels, and all across the Middle East a seismic political shift is underway. In all colours of regime; from Theocracy to nascent democracy, changes are afoot. The world will be a very different place, politically speaking, when the dust settles, and the Western powers would be best advised to stay out of it, or be mightily embarrassed. We can do deals to keep the oil flowing, but not use military force, which will annoy the locals, and make them less amenable to doing business in the future. This ain't the late 1800's or early 1900's and gunboat diplomacy won't work there. We (and the Russians, and the Chinese) sold them the weapons, remember?

Hi ho, back to watching volcanoes and seismic shifts, of one sort or another.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Christchurch NZ since 22nd February 2011

Just ran the sequence of quakes since 22nd February and watched the following pattern emerging. Whilst the number of quakes has tailed off, aftershocks are still coming in at 3-4 magnitude, many at between the 5 and 8km depth level. At this point I'm wondering whether the current tremors indicate the formation of a new extension to the Greendale fault.

Webcams are still down in the centre of Christchurch, although most of the local traffic cams seem to be operative.

I'm still waiting for some moron highly qualified non-scientist / government adviser to blame the Christchurch quakes on 'Man made global warming'. Just so I can play 'spot the looney', and I'm not talking about the Canadian one Dollar coin.

Krisuvik comparison

Just been looking at the latest swarm activity around Krisuvik, Iceland. The activity seems to be migrating away from Kleiforvatn under the lava fields to the West. Depth seems to have retreated to the 3-7km level, so for the moment, until any other developments are forthcoming, I'd say the threat of an immediate eruption is receding.

There's been a little shallowish grumbling under Grimsvotn which might indicate a minor eruption will be underway shortly. This is nothing unusual, and generally results in glacial floods as lava melts the ice above.

I'm still hacking away at a post about the planet and electromagnetism, but every time I try, there's been a new development. So, back to the drawing board.

I'm also feeling more tired than usual. Mrs S is back from hospital, and I spend the time I'm not at my new job running errands and generally making sure she's comfortable. It's also playing havoc with my sleep pattern, which isn't too wonderful as I'm currently working in shifts (and very pretty I look, too).

Hi ho. Time for bed. Zzzzzzzzzzz.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

I refuse to answer that question..... can't I?

The right to refuse to incriminate yourself got eroded by this latest ruling from the UK's high court.
The case involved Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator who was jailed in 2007 for his part in the illegal interception of mobile phone messages for the News of the World newspaper. He now faces a number of civil suits related to other instances of alleged hacking.

Football pundit Andy Gray and comic Steve Coogan both claim that Mulcaire intercepted their messages and had asked the High Court to strip him of his right to avoid self-incrimination.
Does anyone else see the law of unforeseen consequences grinning in the shadows and sharpening a blade?

Call me Mr Paranoid, but I'm willing to bet this judgment will be coming to bite an innocent party near you in the not too distant future.

On the plus side, the High court has further ruled that newspapers don't have to identify anonymous commenters. Although I'm sure some ideologically motivated editor will do so.

Friday, 4 March 2011

It's official

Britain just attained Third world status.

This post at Wattsupwiththat about a featured article in the Tellytubbygraph.

I know we get more power outages than average out here in the Canadian boonies, but deliberately running down a power infrastructure for idealogical reasons? Now I know I've said that most UK administrators couldn't run a bath, but this just takes the whole pack of chocolate coated Hob-Nobs. Now they're admitting it in public? I'd be rolling on the floor laughing, but I've still got family back there.

Send that man a straitjacket and a trip to the rubber room. Major league facepalm territory.

Fortunately, not everyone is so stupid.

Thursday, 3 March 2011


Sometimes you get dreams so vivid they seem like reality. Last night was a case in point. I swear I dreamed an entire movie and novel combo; characters, plotlines, the whole nine yards. With a full supporting cast of Zombie like creatures, and various feeders off human life force. A really stonking bad guy, and a cast of all too human heroes and villains. A battle against subtle and not so subtle forces of repression.

The dream almost had the feel of a false memory, but nowhere can I find a record of a similar piece of work in any of my previous reading or viewing. Multiple searches can find nothing even vaguely genre related apart from a couple of early sci-fi disaster type movies from the late 50's.

Where it all began was with Delcatto's question about power generation from the Earth's magnetic field which has had me thinking about various related issues. A decent end result should be done and dusted in ninety days if I buckle down to serious work. A 90,000 word novel, and a cut 'n paste job of dialogue into a screenplay. Everything is so well mapped out I could almost do it in my sleep. Which is ironically where the process got kickstarted.

I'll give it a whirl and see where the thought takes the idea.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Light posting

Mrs S is in hospital and there will be light posting only until she comes home, hopefully tomorrow morning.

Real life is full and busy. Work and life commitments take precedence.

Those Icelandic Volcanoes appear to be playing a game of 'hurry up and wait', although I'm half expecting something interesting within the next 2-3 days. Mind you, I've said that before and nothing's happened. The Krisuvik swarm activity has dampened down to the time being.

Have some ideas I'll put up in a longish post maybe on Friday to see if anyone can be bothered to bite.
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