Sunday, 8 November 2009

The Sunday Section part deux

Too windy wind farm: Crap art: To boldly go...and crash: Tokyo blues; and Google gems




Back from the service. It managed to rain but was worth it.

BF 7 during the dark thing, loonies letting off fireworks till after midnight, hope they enjoyed it.








It seems that Gord is in the “Brown” runny stuff over his proposal for a tax on financial transactions to raise hundreds of billions of pounds.

Within hours of his speech, both the US and Canada rejected the plan. Timothy Geithner, the US Treasury Secretary, said: "That's not something that we're prepared to support."

Why am I not surprised.

And;

David Haye was crowned WBA world heavyweight champion in Nuremberg after delivering his promise to slay the most gargantuan champion the sport has seen.

Nice one Dave.




First up:








Over in Maine: A wind-power company says a western Maine site it's been looking at is too windy for turbines. First Wind's Matthew Kearns told a public meeting in Rumford on Thursday that its proposed Longfellow wind farm on Black Mountain and North and South Twin mountains may not be viable.

The Sun Journal of Lewiston quotes Kearns as saying First Wind's studies so far show that gusts atop Black Mountain are too strong for turbine engineering to handle, and that's a problem for wind turbine bearings.

A separate wind power project is under construction on Record Hill in Roxbury, also near Rumford.


Weird thing is that the company comes from Massachusetts, where the light went out (Bee Gees)











From the land of lord of the Rings: A sculpture of a New Zealand government minister crafted from cow manure sold for New Zealand dollars 3,080 ($2,220) on an auction Web site. The bust of New Zealand Environment Minister Nick Smith, sculpted as a protest by artist Sam Mahon, attracted 112 bids before being picked up by an anonymous buyer on Friday.

Mahon said he created the sculpture, and chose the medium, to protest what he considers Smith's too-soft stance on pollution created by dairy farms. He said the bust did not smell and would last forever.

"The sculpture has a hollow head, which is very fitting. It is highly polished and sits on the stand slightly to the right of centre," Mahon said.

Mahon gathered cow dung from an organic dairy farm, ground it in a coffee grinder, mixed it with a polymer resin and pressed it into a mold. He polished the sculpture with beeswax to create a finish that resembles bronze.

Mahon's said he will use the proceeds from the auction to help clean up waterways polluted by effluent from dairy farms near his home.

Smokin....or maybe steamin.









Space crashes are becoming increasingly likely as more and more debris is left floating in our orbit, scientists have warned.

Defunct satellites, fragments of spacecraft and even dust and paint are all adding to the risk of collisions.

These "close encounters" could rise 50% in the next 10 years and potentially to more than 50,000 a week by 2059, Southampton University researchers predicts.

But Dr Hugh Lewis, who headed the study, said the crashes themselves are less of a problem than the number and cost of steps to avoid them.

He is unable to predict exactly how costly avoiding crashes might be but said it would be high on the list of priorities for future space budgets.

During the first part of the space race the amount of debris was reasonably manageable but in recent years two major events have changed everything, Dr Lewis said.

China spewed a shower of debris when it destroyed one of its own defunct satellites with a missile in 2007.

And in February two large satellites - a telecoms satellite owned by Iridium and a defunct Russian military satellite - collided above the Russian Arctic and were destroyed.

"Those two events generated an enormous number of fragments, contributing about 40% to the total number of objects in orbit now," Dr Lewis explained.

In March a tiny piece of space junk about one centimetre long briefly forced astronauts to evacuate the International Space Station when it came too close.

"It's all about speed," Dr Lewis said. "For things to be in orbit, typically they are moving at speeds of around 7.5 km per second - that's relative speed of 15 km per second for things heading towards each other.

"So you only need something the size of a marble to completely destroy a spacecraft."

Given the number of collisions predicted and the amount of particles this could break up, Dr Lewis warns we must begin anticipating crashes and planning for a future of safe space exploration.


Should make a nice firework display, without the fireworks of course.









Tokyo train operators alarmed at a rise in station suicides have bathed the city's platforms in blue light in a bid to calm passengers.

The lights hang above the end of the platform, where most suicides occur

East Japan Railway Co. has spent £100,000 fitting out all 29 stations on the capital's central train loop, the Yamanote Line, with the strong bulbs.

The operators believe they will emit a soothing glow, despite the absence of any scientific proof that the method reduces suicides.

Mizuki Takahashi, a therapist involved with the project, said: "We associate the colour with the sky and the sea.

"It has a calming effect on agitated people, or people obsessed with one particular thing, which in this case is committing suicide."

A total of 68 people threw themselves in front of trains in the 12 months until March, up from 42 in the same period the year before.

Suicide rates across the country have risen amid economic strife.

The lights will be hung at the end of each platform, a spot where people are most likely to jump to their deaths.

Shinji Hira, a psychology professor, said while the blue lights could make people pause and reflect, the railways were better off following Tokyo's underground network in installing fences on its platforms.

East Japan Railway said the funds for such a project on the Yamanote Line - used by up to eight million passengers each day - would not be available until at least 2017.

Blue just makes me feel cold.




And finally:







A collection of Google images to make you gasp, or not.

You will need to click the link to see the pics.





Angus

AnglishLit

Angus Dei-NHS-THE OTHER SIDE

Angus Dei politico

3 comments:

CherryPie said...

It seems with google earth nothing is sacred any more LOL

James Higham said...

You mean Gordo's really not going to save the world, after all?

angus said...

Was it ever CherryPie:)



Was he ever James:)