Sarah Palin's image already appears on the newer nickels.

calendar   Sunday - December 09, 2012

so then, has the usa been missed by the bullet or are we joining the greens and urope?

I heard on the radio that the US didn’t sign on to this.  Hope that’s all there is to it but, being somewhat cynical and not having much faith in the word of politicians and especially this administration, I really don’t know.  In other words, I should say little as I clearly would not know what the hell I was talking about when it comes to the deeply scientific stuff.  Mostly I hear from the folks who want to ban cars from downtown and make all sorts of claims with regard to planet poisoning and of course, saving the children of the next generation from choking to death on carbon fumes.  Locally, they may be small in number but they make far more noise than they deserve. And they are very quick to shout down opposition cos we all know folks on the other side of this argument are Nazis and anti social types and money ppl who are not interested in anything but profit. 

So anyway, I caught this article and wondered if by chance America has missed being hit by this left wing bullet. But reading further I found this disquieting quote.

vital step towards a new global pact meant to be agreed in 2015 and enter force five years later, which will for the first time set legally-binding targets for every nation, including China, India and the US.

AND the USA? 
So, we’ve joined or on the brink of joining the EU?  OK not that and yeah, that is meant with extreme unpleasantness and in a snide manner.

Britain poised to sign costly climate deal that could tie us into stringent new emissions targets

By Nick McDermott

Britain is set to sign a new international climate treaty which could require us to meet stringent — and expensive — new emission targets.

After a fortnight of fraught negotiations between 194 nations at the UN climate talks, which are expected to conclude in the early hours of today, a deal to replace the historic Kyoto Protocol is almost on the table.

Under the deal, Europe is committed to cutting its emissions by a fifth by 2020, with each member state set an individual target. But Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary Ed Davey is supporting a bid to raise that pledge even further later this decade, which would force Britain’s to reduce greenhouse gases by up to a quarter more than the current ambitious level of 34 per cent.

The UK has already pledged £2.9 billion to support windfarms in Africa and greener agriculture in Colombia, known as climate aid, over a four-year period ending in 2015.

And only last month, the Government announced a green energy strategy which will treble the costs levied on power bills from £2.35billion a year to £7.6billion. So any further environmental pledges would likely prove unpopular at home.

Peter Bone, Conservative MP for Wellingborough, said: ‘We need to expand our economy and focus on growth, and we won’t do that by increasing the cost of power and signing up to increased targets.

Can it get any dumber?  Can it get any more crazy? What’s with this govt.?  Windfarms where? And is that figure right? Almost $4 BILLION. And “climate aid” for who?  They are cutting services left and right and falsely claiming that, “We are all in this together.” Oh come on. There isn’t one single solitary person anywhere in the UK who actually believes that BS.  Not even the left are that stupid and self delusional. As usual, the bureaucrats are telling lies.
Sure thing England. Tighten your belts some more so that the govt. can grab the cash to make friends in Africa and Columbia. What utter tosh. Rubbish.

‘A lot of carbon targets could be met in the future with new technologies, so by signing this deal we are just handicapping ourselves and hard-working families.’

The new pact has already come under fire for lacking any real ambition as it is only expected to cover a mere sixth of the world’s polluters — Europe, Australia, Norway, Switzerland, Ukraine and tiny Lichtenstein — but does not require action from the biggest emitters, the US and China.

To fulfil Europe’s commitment to reduce emissions by a fifth by 2020 compared to 1990, the UK must produce 34 per cent less carbon dioxide. This is the same figure set out under British domestic law.

A clause within the new agreement will allow signatories to set tougher legally-binding targets for 2020 later this decade.

If Europe raises its ambition to a 30 per cent reduction — a pledge supported by Mr Davey — Britain would face much tougher and more expensive green commitments, with estimated emission cuts of 42 per cent needed.

A DECC spokesperson said: ‘This is speculation as the final text of the agreement has not yet been decided.

‘If this scenario does occur, it would commit all parties in the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol to review their level of ambition by a set date. This date has not yet been finalised.’

Speaking yesterday between negotiations, Mr Davey said: ‘That money has actually helped change the dynamics of these negotiations. Our early pledging of that money has catalysed others.’

The new deal is seen as a vital step towards a new global pact meant to be agreed in 2015 and enter force five years later, which will for the first time set legally-binding targets for every nation, including China, India and the US.

The goal of the UN talks in Doha, Qatar, is to keep temperatures from rising more than 2C, compared with pre-industrial times — the level scientists say is needed to prevent dangerous climate change.

I found this photo caption amusing.

Qatar has come in for criticism as it has so far failed to set clear targets for reducing its own emissions, despite having the world’s highest per capita carbon footprint

Right. Go after those Arabs you gween activists.


On the other side of things there was this. I’ve done a lot of editing for space so see link for all. Pretty interesting stuff.

Thought we were running out of fossil fuels? New technology means Britain and the U.S. could tap undreamed reserves of gas and oil

By Nigel Lawson

Blackpool is sitting on one of the biggest shale gas fields in the world with a reserve of 200 trillion cubic feet lying under the Lancastrian countryside.

sections of U.S. manufacturing are even repatriating their activities from China.

Sadly, however, Europe’s leaders have wholly failed to face up to this energy revolution and many European policy-makers are blocking shale gas developments.

There are a mere two dozen test drills around Europe, compared with an estimated 35,000 fracturing sites in the U.S.

As a result, instead of benefiting from cheap shale gas, new industries and hundreds of thousands of new jobs, Europe is constraining itself with self-imposed green limits to growth.

This is despite the fact that gas-fired power stations emit roughly half the carbon dioxide that coal-fired power stations do, which is why the U.S. is the only country to have significantly reduced its CO2 emissions in recent years.

By going for those green energy targets, countries such as France and Germany are making their energy-intensive industries increasingly uncompetitive. Germany’s largest companies have warned that they are already losing out against their U.S. competitors thanks to rising energy costs.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 12/09/2012 at 07:13 AM   
Filed Under: • EnvironmentInternationalOil, Alternative Energy, and Gas PricesScience-Technology •  
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calendar   Monday - September 10, 2012

Getting Positive

Word of the Day: Anodic

It means “pertaining to an anode or the phenomena in its vicinity”.

Outside of remembering that the anode is the Plus one, and a cathode is the Minus one in an old television set or an X-ray machine, or that it also means the plate if you’re into old-school tube radios, we don’t have much to do with anodes. But perhaps we ought to.

Because anodic also means “deliberately sacrificial”; the skeg underneath your motorboat is made out of zinc, and the electrolytic action of driving your boat over the water eats away the skeg before it eats away the metal propeller. It was made to be self-sacrificing. In a very similar way, your hot water heater has an anode in it too; it’s a cheap part and a new one every 4-5 years will extend the life of your heater quite a bit. And in their own way, bodyguards are anodic, as are soldiers, airbags in your car, and so forth. Anything that has the job of sacrificing itself to protect something else.

Plus it’s a good Scrabble word. Not all that high scoring but unusual enough to perhaps generate a challenge.

So where does this one come from Drew?  Why, from bridges of course. And from a bit of state pride.

I’ve been noticing these silver bridges from time to time. Or at least the silver joists, diaphragms, and floor beams underneath. And I figured they were galvanized steel. And I was probably wrong.

Galvanizing steel is a multi-step rust proofing process that deposits a layer of zinc. Originally this was a straight electrical process, but the term has for a long time also embraced the more effective hot dip process, in which a part made of steel or iron is dipped in molten zinc.  The zinc coating is anodic and will deplete itself before the ferrous metal will rust. Even if the coating is scratched through! Pretty awesome stuff ( recall the Simpsons episode with the “a world without zinc” scholastic film ).  But you can almost always spot actual dipped galvanized steel by its unusual and slightly mottled appearance, known as spangles ... and I wasn’t seeing this on the steel I was looking at. Everything was a uniform, even, gray.

Turns out what I’ve been seeing is “galvanic paint”, a sprayable coating made with zinc silicate, Zn2SiO4. The paint, often made by Dulux as a primer, is actually more sacrificial than standard galvanizing, and can be reapplied on site as necessary. And it does not have spangles. The stuff looks uniformly gray, and not at all thick like paint or even powder coating. If anything, it makes steel look like aluminum.


Neat. Or batshit boring, depending on your worldview. And the stuff comes from New Jersey. Mineralogists know this one as Willemite, and it comes from the mines in Franklin, Sterling Hill, and Paterson NJ. Ok, it also comes from Arizona, Namibia, and Belgium. And Greenland. But the stuff was discovered in NJ first. And what makes it a bit more interesting is that not only is it highly fluorescent, it’s also sometimes phosphorescent. Which could make for some trippy after dark bridge experiences if you happened to have a big enough black light with you, because you could make one glow in the dark a bit. Neater!

Ok, daily knowledge infusion over. Now back to our regularly scheduled cover of politics, injustice, Travelers, racism, whacked out leftists, and the pisslamic menace. And an occasional pretty girl to look at.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/10/2012 at 09:46 AM   
Filed Under: • Science-Technology •  
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calendar   Friday - May 11, 2012

some tech stuff

This is for you guys and gals that are up to date on this new fangled tech thingy stuff. I take it an iPad is also a phone. Is that correct? Why would I want one? That’d be assuming I could afford the costs I’ve seen for this product.  Which is even higher over here.
Maybe the question I should ask is, what influences you to make the choice you have or will make on these products?

I’ve been looking at Kindle a bit but not sure which would be best. I’ve seen ads that claim you can be online for things like email with no extra charge.
Online?  I thought they were electronic books. ??

Still haven’t got a mobile phone. Trying to justify one but can’t. I get caught up in all the ads I see and a few ppl I know who have these phones that do all sorts of things and one of my friends back in the states is in love with her Samsung which she says has voice recognition. Seems a bit overwhelming with all the bells and whistles. So anyway, looks here like Apple is declaring war on the competition.

Anyway, the price is expected to be about 200 to 250 American dollars.

But I also see it says “Mini” so maybe it isn’t any big deal at all. But I wouldn’t know and so I’m asking.

Any answers?

Apple ‘planning to sell £150 iPad Mini AT A LOSS in order to kill off Android tablets’

Claims suggest Apple will launch iPad Mini this October for between $200-$250

Dramatic price-point will help Apple compete with cheaper Android tablets

Apple’s $100billion cash reserves may soften blow of loss-making device


Apple is planning to launch an assault against the burgeoning Android tablet market by releasing an ‘iPad Mini’ - at a loss-making price of around £150, according to new claims.

The bargain-basement priced tablet will even feature the same ‘Retina’ display featured on its big brother, bringing the same 3.1million pixels to a smaller 7-8” display.

Sources told Apple fansite iMore that the aggressively-priced tablet will launch in October this year, with Apple potentially selling the sub-$250 tablet at a loss in order to leave no room for competition.

With Apple sitting on cash reserves of $100bn, the tech giant should at least be able to stomach such a move financially.

iMore reported: ‘Today’s claim says that Apple is going to step-up the pressure on Android tablet manufacturers with an iPad mini that will sell for a surprisingly low $200-250.

‘That’s a bit hard to accept in the light of the other major claim this rumor makes, that the iPad mini will keep the full-sized iPad’s 2048x1536 resolution.

‘If this is true, Apple might have to take a serious cut to its margins, if not sell the mini at a loss. Considering the kind of cash Apple has on hand, though, it might be willing to take the hit just to help kill-off competition from Android tablets.’

If the iPad sells for $250 in the States, that would translate to £150 in the UK, although whether Apple would respect currency rates is up for debate.

With the screen as a premium feature, it is likely sacrifices will be made in other parts of the tablet, such as reduced storage space of, for instance, 8GB for your apps, videos and music.

This will likely cause issues for users as that amount of space will be used up quickly, marking this out as very much a budget tablet.

However, it will also appeal to people who want an iPad for casual browsing and occasional use of apps and movies, but who are not willing to shell out £400 for the bigger brother.

iMore and another website, Daring Fireball, have separately heard that Apple has already built the seven-inch device, and the only decision left is whether to ‘go to market’.

Both iMore and Daring Fireball have proven to be reliable sources of internal Apple discussions in the past.

Steve Jobs hated the thought of a smaller iPad, calling them ‘dead on arrival’. He said people did not wish to use smaller tablets for video-playback, and feared a smaller tablet would serve as a bridge between the iPad and the iPhone, resulting in app-makers simply ‘stretching’ their phone apps for the tablet.

In a 2010 earnings call, he said: ‘One naturally thinks that a seven-inch screen would offer 70 percent of the benefits of a ten-inch screen.

‘Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. … The reason we won’t make a seven-inch tablet isn’t because we don’t want to hit a lower price point, it’s because we think the screen is too small to express the software.’

Another big problem - which Android is struggling to deal with - would be the resulting fragmentation, with app-makers having to invest more money for coding different versions of their apps for different devices, something Apple has almost entirely succeeded at avoiding so far.

With the Android tablet market maturing, and competitors like Amazon launching their own tablets such as the Kindle Fire at less than $200, it would make sense for Apple to join the burgeoning cheaper market, although the company may be concerned about devaluing their premium brand, which is associated with high prices but also high quality.

However the company has previous form with cheaper models. The iPod music player was released in 2001, and in 2004 and 2005 the iPod Minis and Nanos were released, bringing elements of Apple’s flagship device to a cheaper market.

In March, a source from within competitor Samsung made a ‘mini’ indescretion while talking to the Korea Times.

While discussing Apple and Samsung’s $9.7billion deal for Samsung to manufacturer parts of the iPad, an official said: ‘The contract is expected to rise to $11billion by the end of this year as Apple is planning to release a smaller iPad, probably with a 7.85-inch screen, and to sell more of its MacBook Air PCs using Samsung’s faster solid state drive storage.’



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/11/2012 at 12:43 PM   
Filed Under: • Science-Technology •  
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calendar   Tuesday - January 03, 2012

More Than Just Another Fish Story

Hybrid Sharks, Oh Noes!!!


Whatever happened to actual scientific research? You know, the “Gosh the ocean is a huge place. Here’s a cross-breed fish we’ve never seen before, wonder if they’re lots of them about?”

“This is evolution in action.” [Somebody call Ann Coulter, quick.]

World-first hybrid shark found off Australia

Scientists said on Tuesday that they had discovered the world’s first hybrid sharks in Australian waters, a potential sign the predators were adapting to cope with climate change.

The mating of the local Australian black-tip shark with its global counterpart, the common black-tip, was an unprecedented discovery with implications for the entire shark world, said lead researcher Jess Morgan.

“It’s very surprising because no one’s ever seen shark hybrids before, this is not a common occurrence by any stretch of the imagination,” Morgan, from the University of Queensland, told AFP.

“This is evolution in action.”

Colin Simpfendorfer, a partner in Morgan’s research from James Cook University, said initial studies suggested the hybrid species was relatively robust, with a number of generations discovered across 57 specimens.

The find was made during cataloguing work off Australia’s east coast when Morgan said genetic testing showed certain sharks to be one species when physically they looked to be another.

The Australian black-tip is slightly smaller than its common cousin and can only live in tropical waters, but its hybrid offspring have been found 2,000 kilometres down the coast, in cooler seas.

It means the Australian black-tip could be adapting to ensure its survival as sea temperatures change because of global warming.

Let’s see ... sharks have been around for how long? Oh right. Sharks have been around for HALF A BILLION YEARS, and the ones we see today have been in their current form for about 100 million years, give or take a millenium. And in all that time the oceans must have never warmed up or cooled down even a degree, how many ice ages be damned, because now, when one bunch of dorks in dinghies finds the results of an aquatic redneck family get-together, suddenly it’s emergency evolution driven by one and only one possible reason. rolleyes  rolleyes 

Climate change and human fishing are some of the potential triggers being investigated by the team, with further genetic mapping also planned to examine whether it was an ancient process just discovered or a more recent phenomenon.

If the hybrid was found to be stronger than its parent species—a literal survival of the fittestSimpfendorfer said it may eventually outlast its so-called pure-bred predecessors. [Drew: wouldn’t that be a littoral survival of the fittest? Or is that too shallow a jest?]

“We don’t know whether that’s the case here, but certainly we know that they are viable, they reproduce and that there are multiple generations of hybrids now that we can see from the genetic roadmap that we’ve generated from these animals,” he said.

“Certainly it appears that they are fairly fit individuals.”

The hybrids were extraordinarily abundant, accounting for up to 20 percent of black-tip populations in some areas, but Morgan said that didn’t appear to be at the expense of their single-breed parents, adding to the mystery.

In other words, this kind of shark, long considered to be several different species, has always interbred - that would cover the “multiple generations” part and the “extraordinarily abundant” part - but Science (cue Heavenly Trumpets) just never noticed it before. But WTF, let’s not admit that, and instead blame Global Warming. And probably George Bush, by next week.

Dorks in dinghies ... chum, but with pocket protectors.

PS - Simpfendorfer??? Sounds like some kind of 4 1/2 string electric guitar for that special musician in your life. Yeah, my sense of humor is that bass.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/03/2012 at 03:52 PM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsClimate-WeatherScience-Technology •  
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calendar   Friday - December 09, 2011

Abandoned technology.

Whilst rooting around an hour ago to find a setting error that was the cause of some grief, I ran across this bit of amusement.
It isn’t rolling on the floor funny but there is something fun about it.  It’s clever but we have to take into consideration that the people in it are not professional actors.  But I think it’s worth it.
Have fun. I hope.


Abandoned technology speaks out in our chilling video
By Luke Westaway

CNET,UK read more


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 12/09/2011 at 08:49 AM   
Filed Under: • Science-Technology •  
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calendar   Thursday - December 01, 2011



HERE FIRST Then click on the link there for all the rest including the test. Have fun Drew.

iSpy: Government intelligence agency launches online code-cracking puzzle to recruit future stars of cyber-savvy espionage
GCHQ looks beyond its traditional recruitment pool of Oxbridge to answer the threat of cyber crime
Those who unscramble the code could be fast-tracked to a secret service career
‘A number of people’ solved the code in just a few hours



When it comes to the secretive business of recruiting spies, images of shadowy figures and covert meetings at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge spring to mind.
However in response to increased threats from cyber crime, a Government agency is throwing open its recruitment process to self-taught hackers and mathematical geniuses who have not been educated at Oxbridge.
The UK intelligence agency GCHQ has launched an online code-cracking competition in a bid to seek out the next generation of internet-savvy spies with the hope they can help protect the country from the growing problem of cyber crime.


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 12/01/2011 at 04:04 PM   
Filed Under: • Science-Technology •  
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calendar   Monday - November 21, 2011

Another Inconvenient Truth

I Once Was Lost But Now I’m Found


Alarmist scientists jumped the gun in 2009 when they couldn’t find a whole herd of caribou. “Global Warming killing the caribou herds!” they screamed. If they’d only bothered to ask the locals ...

Back then:

Mighty caribou herds dwindle, warming blamed

ON THE PORCUPINE RIVER TUNDRA, Yukon Territory — Here on the endlessly rolling and tussocky terrain of northwest Canada, where man has hunted caribou since the Stone Age, the vast antlered herds are fast growing thin. And it’s not just here. Across the tundra 1,500 kilometers (1,000 miles) to the east, Canada’s Beverly herd, numbering more than 200,000 a decade ago, can barely be found today.

Halfway around the world in Siberia, the biggest aggregation of these migratory animals, of the dun-colored herds whose sweep across the Arctic’s white canvas is one of nature’s matchless wonders, has shrunk by hundreds of thousands in a few short years. From wildlife spectacle to wildlife mystery, the decline of the caribou — called reindeer in the Eurasian Arctic — has biologists searching for clues, and finding them.

They believe the insidious impact of climate change, its tipping of natural balances and disruption of feeding habits, is decimating a species that has long numbered in the millions and supported human life in Earth’s most inhuman climate. Many herds have lost more than half their number from the maximums of recent decades, a global survey finds. They “hover on the precipice of a major decline,” it says.

But today:

Canadian elders right all along, ‘lost’ caribou herd had just moved

A vast herd of northern caribou that scientists feared had vanished from the face of the Earth has been found, safe and sound — pretty much where aboriginal elders said it would be all along.

“The Beverly herd has not disappeared,” said John Nagy, lead author of a recently published study that has biologists across the North relieved.

Those scientists were shaken by a 2009 survey on the traditional calving grounds of the Beverly herd, which ranges over a huge swath of tundra from northern Saskatchewan to the Arctic coast. A herd that once numbered 276,000 animals seemed to have completely disappeared, the most dramatic and chilling example of a general decline in barren-ground caribou.

But Nagy’s research — and consultation with the communities that live with the animals — concludes differently. His work springs from recent studies that question the long-held theory that caribou always return to the same calving ground. It holds that different herds use different grounds, and that’s what sets them apart.

“In the past, herds have been defined based on their calving grounds,” said Nagy. “However, it’s been shown that not all herds maintain fidelity to their calving grounds.”

Herds are now defined by which animals hang out together, not by where they give birth.

“It’s actually behaviour that structures these herds, not calving grounds.”

It turns out that the Beverly herd has simply shifted its calving grounds north from the central barrens near Baker Lake, Nunavut, to the coastal regions around Queen Maud Gulf. Nagy’s analysis of radio-tracking data showed caribou in the region once thought to belong to the Ahiak herd are, in fact, Beverly animals.

Said Campbell: “When the initial alarm bells were ringing about the Beverly herd disappearing, right away we went in to talk to the communities and they said: ‘No, no, no. These caribou have moved north and we’ve been told by our elders that they do that.’”

Thompson heard the same. “Many of the community people reported that elders think this is nothing new. Caribou move.”

Next time, said Campbell, scientists should pay them a little more mind.

What would the stupid locals know? They aren’t PHDs. They’re just stupid Indians. Icebound flyover rednecks. And I’m sure the sciencey dorks figured that with the herds gone, the polar bears (caribou’s natural predator) were drowning themselves in fits of depression.

Stupid alarmist scientists, going off half-cocked.  I think a 9 iron to the nutz is called for, so that in the future they’ll go off completely de-cocked if they can go off at all.

h/t to the Daily Bayonet


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 11/21/2011 at 02:56 PM   
Filed Under: • Climate-WeatherScience-TechnologyStoopid-People •  
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calendar   Wednesday - October 12, 2011

It’s a Whopper!

PNAS Magazine Shows Us The Biggest One Yet!

Story and picture of the monster, with it’s own special oversize Trojans, below the fold to protect the innocent.

Read about it here first, before the story goes completely viral!

See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/12/2011 at 04:34 PM   
Filed Under: • Fun-StuffScience-Technology •  
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calendar   Friday - September 23, 2011

All That Is Old Is New Again

I have Doc Jeff to thank in part for this one. Thanks for the link Doc!
Ever since TinEye and Google Image Search came on the scene, it’s been pretty much impossible to do a WhatsIt. No matter what picture I put up, unless it’s one I photograph myself, you can find it in a second. Grrr.  But if you’d like to play along and can resist the temptation to use an image search tool, here’s a really neat thing.

WhatsIt #19


a green one

It’s a hexagon pyramid of glass that measures about 4” across. This one is green, but most of them were clear. The pyramid could have 4, 6, 8, or more sides, but 6 was fairly common. Some of them were as small as 2” across, but almost none of them was larger than 6” across because that would make the pyramid too tall.

As a very small child, I stood on several of these without injury. Heck, I probably jumped up and down on them, since I was that kind of boy.

These have been around ever since mankind had the ability to make fairly clear glass and understood it’s properties. Some of the later ones are not pyramids at all but fluted, which utilizes the same property but in a different way. Some of them also had a rim around the edge, but most didn’t. Wiki thinks they’ve only been around since the 1840s, but Wiki is wrong about lots of things. I think they might date back almost to Roman times.


a late model fluted one with a rimmed edge

They make dandy paperweights. They make decent palm maces; if ever there was a small blunt object to use as a weapon, here it is. They probably also excel at juicing oranges and grapefruit. None of these is what the things were designed to do.

Have at it. And then check below the fold for the answer, and for Doc’s link to a modern zero-cost implementation that is about as “green” a solution to an age old problem as can be found.

See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/23/2011 at 11:44 AM   
Filed Under: • Fun-StuffHistoryScience-Technology •  
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calendar   Friday - September 02, 2011

Less Terminal

TSA: EWR to Get Gingerbread Man Scanners


At Newark Airport, everyone will now be just an outline


Still, concerns remain

TSA to demonstrate new security scanners at Newark Liberty International Airport

Passengers with privacy concerns may soon feel less exposed when flying out of Newark Liberty International Airport, where officials say full-body scanners modified to produce cartoon-like, cookie-cutter images will be unveiled today.

The new images produced by the reprogrammed scanners — which have been likened to a gingerbread man — will replace the specific, anatomically detailed outline of individual passengers that has been criticized by religious groups, civil libertarians and elected officials as an invasion of travelers’ privacy.

All 11 full-body scanners at Newark Liberty have been reprogrammed to produce the new imagery, and will go into use within weeks, once screeners have been trained to use them, said Lisa Farbstein, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration.

The TSA will demonstrate the new technology this morning at Newark’s Terminal B.

“This new software ... auto-detects items that could pose a potential threat using a generic cookie-cutter type of outline of a person for all passengers,” Farbstein said. “It’s the same image whether the person is 17 years old or 47 years old, male or female, tall or short.”

If the technology does not detect an anomaly, it won’t produce any physical image, just a simple “OK” against a green screen. Otherwise, the object’s location will be indicated by a box superimposed on the cookie-cutter image.

The TSA began testing the new software in February, and last month announced it would be installed this fall on all 241 millimeter wave scanners nationwide, including the 11 at Newark. The total cost of the new software is $2.7 million, including research and development, Farbstein said.

The TSA is testing similar privacy enhancing software for the 250 other scanners in use at airports nationwide, so called X-ray backscatter scanners which subject passengers to a small dose of radiation. None are used at Newark.

The ACLU has sued the TSA to learn whether the images produced by the reprogrammed scanners are simply overlays, with the original, detailed images preserved unseen in digital form, with the chance of being leaked or misused.

A earlier ACLU suit revealed the U.S. Marshals Service in Florida had created a database of 35,000 full-body images scanned at a federal courthouse in Orlando.

“These machines are designed to store the images,” Jacobs said. “Even if they don’t show them.”

I think I agree with the ACLU. I don’t trust the TSA and their army of ghetto trash workers. Hey, even a broken clock is right twice a day.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/02/2011 at 01:52 PM   
Filed Under: • Governmentplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobilesScience-Technology •  
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calendar   Monday - April 04, 2011

The oldest TV set in Britain: Built in 1936…

Take a look at this. I think it has a high wow factor considering it still works and will work with modern attachments as described in the article.
But I’m not too impressed that few of them are still around as compared to a violin.  I don’t think too many ppl would have seen a future value in a TV set, and darn few would remain in very good condition anyway.  I think folks have a different view of a rare violin and a box that shows pictures in the home. Maybe people don’t have the same kind of attitude towards something mass produced or that comes from a production line, as opposed to something crafted by hand hundreds of years ago minus modern tools.
Having said all that .... I am impressed by this anyway.

I knew the Brits had a TV system in the late 1920’s and the war got in the way of commercial development. I also knew they were broadcasting something before we were. Or at least I read that.

Too bad our countries aren’t on the same TV system. Brits have something called PAL, USA I think is NTSC. RCA wanted to be first and so rushed out the first really successful units, the Brits wanted better quality with more dots per inch and so came in behind us.  I did notice a better picture on the sets here many years ago, but not enough I don’t think to bother complaining about with regard to our TV back home. It seemed good enough for me. But the pix here is sharper. Or it once was I should say.

Some tech advances are lost on me though. For example, I suppose in classical music there are many who have an ear I lack and so need all the extra stuff in audio to hear each and every little bitty thing that most people never hear anyway.  But my love of old Jazz starting in the teens as in, 1917 and running into the early 40’s doesn’t require any more then a speaker. And mono at that.  And that’s true too of the early R & R as well.  But that’s just my own personal choice.

The oldest TV set in Britain: Built in 1936… and it’s only had two careful owners

By Luke Salkeld

Last updated at 9:20 AM on 4th April 2011

* Only three hours of TV a day, and ONE channel in 1936
* Originally cost half the average British annual wage at £100

For £5,000 you might have expected a bigger, flatter screen.

But this television does come with 75 years of broadcasting history – and you can still hook it up to a Freeview box.

Built in 1936, the Marconi type-702 is the oldest working television set in Britain.

Classic: The 75-year-old set comes with a 12-inch screen and is contained in a walnut and mahogany case with the picture being reflected onto a mirror that opens from the top

It was bought for just under £100 only three weeks after transmissions in Britain began. And with just one channel broadcasting for two hours a day, there wasn’t much need for a remote control.

But what the television lacks in modern technology, it makes up for in reliability. Only 30 per cent of its components have been replaced during its lifetime, all with identical parts.
Rare: There are more 18th century Stradivarius violins in existence that pre-war TVs and this set has only had two owners

Rare: There are more 18th century Stradivarius violins in existence that pre-war TVs and this set has only had two owners

The 75-year-old set has a 12in screen contained in a walnut and mahogany case, with the picture reflected on to a mirror for the viewer to look at.

It is now being auctioned along with its original invoice, made out to a Mr G. B. Davis of Dulwich.

Unfortunately for Mr Davis, his viewing was cut short when the local transmitter burned down just three days after he bought the set on November 26, and his area could not receive pictures again for ten years.

Bonhams specialist Laurence Fisher said: ‘This is being sold by the late owner’s family and is the oldest working TV set in Britain.

‘Its case is made from walnut and mahogany to give a two-tone effect and doesn’t have wheels and is quite a big lump.

‘The picture is reflected on to its lid and at the time it was bought there was only one channel. Unfortunately for the original owner, three days after he bought it the Crystal Palace burned down and that was where the transmitter was.

‘His area did not receive pictures again until after the war. But at least people who visited him would know he had [a television], even if he couldn’t use it.

‘Most programmes at the time would be live and there were plays which were grand productions like you would have at the theatre.’

But as revealed by the listings above, from the day the television was purchased, the same programmes were often shown twice a day – proving that frequent repeats are not a recent invention.




Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/04/2011 at 06:13 AM   
Filed Under: • Science-TechnologyUK •  
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calendar   Thursday - January 13, 2011

Schrödinger’s Penguin

The Daily Bayonet slides a foot of cold steel between the ribs of Climate Change scientists, by reporting on yet another bit of flawed science.

For the past decade or so, these “highly educated” folks have been studying penguins in Antarctica as a way of gathering climate change impact data. Problem is, they’ve been banding the birds with flipper tags instead of the ankle bands almost all other bird research folks use. And the tags themselves have caused the penguins to swim slower, catch less food, mate less, and generally suffer and die much more than regular penguins. So an entire decade’s worth of data is considerably skewed. And thus useless. Total waste of time and money, and half a career down the drain for the scientists involved. Not to mention harmful and abusive to the penguins themselves.

“Our understanding of the effects of climate change on marine ecosystems based on flipper-band data should be reconsidered,” the study says.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/13/2011 at 11:00 AM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsClimate-WeatherScience-TechnologyStoopid-People •  
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calendar   Friday - November 19, 2010

A Star Trek-style device that allows people to disappear.

How’s this for an eye opener? 

Not up to much today, but don’t want to ignore this one. Think of the possibilities.

Star Trek-style cloaking device comes a step nearer

A Star Trek-style device that allows people to disappear and then – in a blink of an eye – reappear in a different location is a step closer to reality, claim British scientists.

By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent

The physicists claim they have proved that it is possible to manipulate space and time so that whole events are hidden from view.

That means eventually that someone could be made to look like they jump from one location to the next – with the journey in-between rendered invisible to the naked eye.

The “space time cloak” uses physics to manipulate light so that “events” in real life are cut just like an editor can cut scenes from a reel of film.

The device sounds like the stuff of fantasy, but scientists at Imperial College London have proved it could work in theory – at least in terms of very short bursts of time.

As well as being a sci-fi fan’s dream, they believe the idea could also be used to make faster and more powerful computers.

Professor Martin McCall, the lead scientist, said that the technique worked by dividing up rays of light that are heading towards the eye.

By speeding up the front part of the ray and then slowing down the rear, you can create a gap which could be filled with an event or action.

Then by reversing the speeds the gap could be closed again before the light reaches the observer making it look nothing has happened.

At the moment it should be possible to cut two thousandth of a millionth of second from time but in future seconds or even minutes could be cut.

“Imagine a camera that is on a time delay watching a safe,” said Prof McCall. “If a thief opens the safe, steals the money and locks it again in between the pictures being taken it will appear as if nothing has happened.

“We have shown that by manipulating the way the light illuminating an event reaches the viewer, it is possible to hide the passage of time in the same way.

“If you had someone moving along the corridor, it would appear to a distant observer as if they had relocated instantaneously, creating the illusion of a Star Trek transporter.

“So, theoretically, this person might be able to do something and you wouldn’t notice.”

In previous experiments to create “invisibility cloaks” scientists have shown that light can be curled around objects to make them seem invisible.

The teleporters used in Star Trek are said to have been based on the idea of “quantum entanglement” in an object or person is broken down into photons of light or atoms, transported and then re-materialised in a different place.

This new technology would not actually transport anyone just hide their journey.

Researcher Alberto Favaro said: “It is unlike ordinary cloaking devices because it does not attempt to divert light around an object.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 11/19/2010 at 10:31 AM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesScience-Technology •  
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calendar   Wednesday - December 16, 2009

Mach 6 flying chisel

X-51a test flight is A-OK


clicky clicky on the picy

X-51A WaveRider gets first ride aboard B-52

12/11/2009 - WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio—In a flight test reminiscent of the early days of the historic X-15 program 50 years earlier, the X-51A Waverider was carried aloft for the first time over Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 9 by an Air Force Flight Test Center B-52H Stratofortress.

The “captive carry” test was a key milestone in preparation for the X-51 to light its supersonic combustion ramjet engine and propel the WaverRider at hypersonic speed for about five minutes, before plunging into the Pacific Ocean. That flight test is currently planned in about two months, said Charlie Brink, X-51A program manager with the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patt.

“This was a great day for the program,” Brink said. “The early look is we successfully captured all of our test points without any anomalies. I’m really proud of the AFRL, Air Force Flight Test Center, and Boeing/Pratt Whitney Rocketdyne teams’ efforts to move us toward the big event.”

The Dec. 9 captive carry test launched around 3 p.m. Pacific time and was conducted entirely in the airspace over Edwards Air Force Base while various systems and telemetry were checked out. Flight duration was 1.4 hours.

“After takeoff we climbed to 50,000 feet and verified B-52 aircraft performance, handling qualities with the X-51A attached to the B-52, control room displays and software integration with the X-51A,” said Lt. Col. Daniel Millman, B-52 project pilot.  “The B-52 handled great and the flight preceded as planned.”

The next B-52 /X-51 flight test mission is expected in mid-January, and will be a “full dress rehearsal,” for its first hypersonic test flight, now planned for mid-February, Brink said. The dress rehearsal flight will depart Edwards and head out over the Pacific to Point Mugu Naval Air Warfare Center Sea Range. Both airborne and multiple ground test assets will monitor all X-51A systems, but the X-51 will not be released from the B-52 and its engine will not ignite.

Then, in February, the Air Force Flight Test Center’s B-52 will carry the unmanned X-51A to approximately 50,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean then release it. A solid rocket booster from an Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) will then ignite and accelerate the X-51 to about Mach 4.5. Then the booster will be jettisoned and the X-51A’s SJY61 supersonic combustion ramjet propulsion system will ignite and operate for about 300 seconds, propelling the cruiser to more than six times the speed of sound or Mach 6.

Pretty damn cool. Somehow I thought that these guys had the whole ramjet/scramjet thing figured out back in the 60s. Guess I was wrong. Apparently the scramject is a whole different beastie than the ramjet, though they are quite similar. Both have no moving parts, and make lots of thrust on very little fuel, but only work at supersonic velocities. And here I thought that the not-so-secret Aurora stealth spy plane with it’s pulse-contrail engine had this squared away nearly 2 decades ago. Guess I was wrong.

I am not sure what the plan is for a functional scramjet. Will it be a missile? Will it be a NASA launch vehicle? Who can tell. Anyway, I was going to make this big detailed post, but I’ve been at the Tamdhu tonight, so fuck it.

Here’s a bunch of links so you can look stuff up to your hearts content.

NASA built this SOB and it flies at Mach 10. Same idea. Makes this test flight look kinda lame, don’t it?

This is the X-51a Waverider. Your government dollars at work, courtesy of Pratt & Whitney. Outstanding!

The press release. Glad to know it can hang off the wing of a B-52. Big deal. Fire it off already, let’s see it go!

Wiki stuff

“Beads on a string” contrails - could be from a PDE engine, for all you Aurora conspiracy fans!

Awesome pic, including painter’s tape. Why the tape? I guess it keeps the air intake closed.

NASA explains how jet engines work. With a super Java applet you can screw around with.

Ramjet vs. Scramjet: shades of difference, minus a couple of parts

The BUFF takes off with the X-51a mounted. Damn, that old girl is showing her age. Look at the wrinkles!

WTF. Here’s some info on Tamdhu. For scotch drinkers who don’t like the overly peaty flavor of Talisker and Oban, it’s a nice experience.

Yes, they put this stuff in Famous Grouse too. Best damn blended scotch ever!


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/16/2009 at 09:39 PM   
Filed Under: • Science-Technology •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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