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Hood Robin

February 28, 2008

Hood Robin
Cartoon: Unknown

A cartoon is worth a 1,000 words.

A Case of Over-Engineered

February 28, 2008

Toaster over engineered
Photo: Dailymail Uk

“The Dailymail Uk screams :”Crumbs! The toaster that’s still going 56 years on.” It goes:

When Joan Lopes picked out a shiny silver toaster as a present for her parents, little did she realize it would still be working some 56 years later. Since she bought it in 1951, the simple but stylish two-slicer has browned to perfection thousands of pieces of bread – along with the occasional teacake – serving three generations of the same family.”

This has been a pet hate of mine for years, the sheer waste of making things with built in Planned Obsolescence… just so corporations can keep building more junk, making more money, making consumers work longer hours to pay for more consumer goods that last for still shorter periods, leaving the consumers; that’s you, stressed and depressed, whilst their kids are diagnosed with ADHD; largely because their parents are never there, leading to more consumption, only this time for drugs which don’t seem to work and in the case of antidepressants have side effects that… get this, can cause depression.

Sorry

Website: Geckoandfly

The Convenient Solution

February 27, 2008


Video: YouTube

Nuclear Power is far too expensive, would take far too long and the consequences, if something goes badly wrong, is a major worry. Also the question of waste has not been solved and the idea that vitrification will solve the waste problem is fascicle. For a start at present we have something like 2,000 tons of Plutonium waste, that’s about 2,032,093 kilograms or about 4,480,000 lbs. Now from memory the critical mass of Plutonium is about 5kgs or about 11lbs, which means your going to have to parcel it up into say 1,000,000 lots… mmm that’s a lot of lots to bury and secure for a half a million years or more, a period longer than Man’s been in existence!

Now we have only built 2 or 3 Nuclear power stations in something like 20 years and now ‘they’; want to build probably thousands of plants world wide, to undo the damage that probably the very same corporations who were behind the very energy companies that caused the problems, and after denying those problems both during the polluting and after it became obvious… not unlike the tobacco industry’s ‘I have no knowledge that smoking is injurious to health’ whom ‘they’ one way or another probably own.

It’s about 15 to 20 years to build a nuclear power plant, and if we take the Nuclear industries guesstimates of how many people will be employed building a Nuclear power plant, guess what, they’ve solved the western world’s unemployment problems, that’s if they can find the workers with the necessary skills sets, which I doubt… it’s clearly a case of ‘When your snout’s in the trough the rim’s your horizon’.

Barefoot Solar Engineers

February 26, 2008


Video: YouTube

This is a real ‘feel good’ video… women learning valuable skills and helping their villages by bringing light into their world. Later who knows what else they will go on to learn, perhaps solar water purification or refrigeration. We wish the scheme all the best.

$40 from a 12V battery

February 25, 2008


Video: Metacafe

I just thought this is a cool solution if you use the same type of button battery.

Wong is Wrong

February 24, 2008

Well I just couldn’t resist and whilst in the moment I’ll add, two Wrongs wont make a right either Ms Wong.

This post is regarding Australia’s minister for Climate Change and Water (Penny Wong) and her relative inaction regarding Professor Ross Garnaut’s interim greenhouse review.

The story so far. Australia is dominated by the Banks, the Resource industry and the Industrial Farming sector… they are the ones, who at present with more than a little help of the Rice & Cotton mob in the not so deep north, who justify their greed with the defense of ‘export growth’ & ‘jobs’, whilst the mob in the not so deep north go on butchering our most important Murray Darling waterway.

The Garnaut Climate Change Report is handed in and it tells us what most thinking people already know… like it’s not that hard to realize that to freeze the World’s pollution at sort of 1990’s levels, when there were already signs of climatic arrhythmia, is not unlike closing the barn door after the horse has bolted… to the power of a number just sightly south of infinity.

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I’m back…

February 24, 2008

and my disposition towards my PC is still busily grinding along the ground I walk. Now, despite the fact that Microsoft and Windows per say had possibly little to do with my ‘meltdown’, which in actuality had more to do with my brain injured self being unable to bridge the gap between man ‘n machine… so I had to be helped by a friend, unfortunately unfamiliar with my idiosyncratic way of dealing with the aforementioned ‘bridge’, by applying my novel solution of re-ghosting (supposedly only the C partition) before I’d sorted out my problem with the unreasonably intermittently uncooperative exterior back up drive.

So my drive’s at the doctor and if 3 or 4 months data has gone to data heaven or hell so be it and I will not make the same mistake twice… I hope.

Saving electricity: Standby power, watt a waste

February 24, 2008

Standby power
Image: standby.lbl.gov

Want to save your household some money and help save the environment at the same time?, well here are a few tips that are easy to implement and all it takes is a little discipline on your behalf.

“The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates that standby power accounts for 1.5 percent of OECD member countries’ residential electricity use. This is only an average, though; highly industrialized and wealthy countries like Germany for example have a much higher number, about 4 percent.”

Who needs a digital clock on a microwave ? Why not turn your microwave off at the wall until you need to use it, then once you are finished using it turn it off.

If you don’t use the programmable timer option to tape television shows with your VCR or DVD, then why not turn your whole television / stereo unit off at the wall every night before bed and each day while you are at work. If it is a hassle to get to the back of the unit to turn off the power point you will just need to purchase a longer extension lead so that your power board sits at the end of your unit and is easy to get to.

Have you got a broadband modem/router, we turn ours off each night before bed and if nobody is at home using the internet then it gets turned off as well.

Power adapters for mobile phone chargers, laptops, rechargeable torches, these and any other power adapter will use a certain amount of electricity even if they are not plugged into their respective devices.

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Nuclear Accidents

February 23, 2008

The following list outlines the main nuclear accidents involving fissile material, fission or a nuclear reactor. This list does not show military accidents and it does not show the radioactive accidents outside of nuclear reactors and fission / fissile matter.

My questions will always be roughly the same regarding nuclear.

Why do we need to introduce more nuclear waste into the equation and the obvious problems relating to it’s storage?

Why do we need to increase the risk of more nuclear accidents by building more reactors.

Given some effort we could create a hugely successful alternative industry, firstly to replace coal and gas and eventually phase out the existing nuclear. I know this will require a big effort, but I really believe it could be done without nukes.

Accidents by decade

1950s

December 12, 1952 Chalk River, Ontario Reactor core damaged

A reactor shutoff rod failure, combined with several operator errors, led to a major power excursion of more than double the reactor’s rated output at AECL’s NRX reactor. The operators purged the reactor’s heavy water moderator, and the reaction stopped in under 30 seconds. A cover gas system failure led to hydrogen explosions, which severely damaged the reactor core. The fission products from approximately 30 kg of uranium were released through the reactor stack. Irradiated light-water coolant leaked from the damaged coolant circuit into the reactor building; some 4,000 cubic meters were pumped via pipeline to a disposal area to avoid contamination of the Ottawa River. Subsequent monitoring of surrounding water sources revealed no contamination. No immediate fatalities or injuries resulted from the incident; a 1982 followup study of exposed workers showed no long-term health effects. Future U.S. President Jimmy Carter, then a nuclear engineer in the US Navy, was among the cleanup crew.

May 24, 1958 Chalk River, Ontario Fuel damaged

Due to inadequate cooling a damaged uranium fuel rod caught fire and was torn in two as it was being removed from the core at the NRU reactor. The fire was extinguished, but not before radioactive combustion products contaminated the interior of the reactor building and to a lesser degree, an area surrounding the laboratory site. Over 600 people were employed in the clean-up.

July 26, 1959 Santa Susana Field Laboratory, California Partial meltdown

A partial core meltdown took place when the Sodium Reactor Experiment (SRE) experienced a power excursion that caused severe overheating of the reactor core, resulting in the melting of one-third of the nuclear fuel and significant releases of radioactive gases.

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Beam’s computer has a meltdown, somewhat like Chernobyl

February 21, 2008

Chernobyl meltdown on Beam's computer
Photo: www.weblo.com

Just a quick note to all of you who may have noticed that Beam hasn’t put on a post for a day or two.

Well just like Chernobyl, Beam’s computer has had a major meltdown and we are in the process of getting him some new parts sent down and organising a re-image.

Once he receives the parts he will be back posting quite quickly as we always have our machines imaged using Norton Ghost, so it’s just a matter of getting the parts sent to him from our usual suppliers.

For anyone who is interested in the virtues of using Norton Ghost as a means of recovering your computers in the case of disasters, please let me know via the comments and I will send some details of how we use the program.

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