Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Milky Way in the night sky over Black Rock Desert, Nevada [image credit: Steve Jurvetson / Wikipedia]

The Milky Way in the night sky over Black Rock Desert, Nevada [image credit: Steve Jurvetson / Wikipedia]

What do we see when we look at the night sky? For a lot of people the answer is ‘light pollution’. Another effect of the ever-increasing urbanisation of the world.

The Milky Way, the brilliant river of stars that has dominated the night sky and human imaginations since time immemorial, is but a faded memory to one third of humanity and 80 percent of Americans, according to a new global atlas of light pollution produced by Italian and American scientists.

Light pollution is one of the most pervasive forms of environmental alteration. In most developed countries, the ubiquitous presence of artificial lights creates a luminous fog that swamps the stars and constellations of the night sky.

“We’ve got whole generations of people in the United States who have never seen the Milky Way,” said Chris Elvidge, a scientist with NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information in Boulder, Colorado. “It’s a big part of our connection to the cosmos — and it’s been lost.”


Devil's Kettle at Judge C. R. Magney State Park [image credit: Chris857 / Wikipedia]

Devil’s Kettle at Judge C. R. Magney State Park [image credit: Chris857 / Wikipedia]

OK, slight exaggeration – Wikipedia says: ‘Judge C. R. Magney State Park is a state park of Minnesota, USA, on the North Shore of Lake Superior…best known for the Devil’s Kettle, an unusual waterfall and rock formation in which half of the Brule River disappears into a pothole.’
So where does it go?

The river splits in two to flow around a mass of rhyolite rock. The eastern flow goes over a two-step, 50-foot (15 m) waterfall and continues downstream. The western flow surges into a pothole, falling at least 10 feet (3.0 m), and disappears underground.

It is believed the water rejoins the main channel of the river or has a separate outlet into Lake Superior, but it has never been located. Researchers have dropped brightly colored dyes, ping pong balls, and other objects into the Devil’s Kettle without result.


Breaking news of yet another air show crash.

Recently we seem to have had a spate of minor fixed and rotary wing crashes in this country.

This will be rated very serious.

I picked up on this as complementary to a very serious dispute which has been brewing for years between the blame game government services and the government air accident investigators who specifically stick to unearthing what happened. Personally I consider the latter do not go far enough, fail to also drive upwards to the regime, managerial.

“Insight – MH370 debris exposes divisions over air crash investigations”


Ouch! Heavy lift over Rhine goes wrong

Posted: August 3, 2015 by tchannon in Uncategorized

Cranes on a pontoon lfiting a road section toppled, flattening residential housing in Alphen aan den Rijn

Video footage.

I hope there was no injury or death, too early to know.


Wind powered electric car?

Posted: July 24, 2015 by tchannon in Uncategorized

Engage brain and funny bone.

Some time ago an anonymous, a newbie, asked a question in a physics discussion forum, fully admitting they didn’t know the answer. Went along the lines of wind turbines on a car ought to be able to fully power it from wind and would carry on for hundereds of miles.


Image credit given later.

To the forum’s great credit this question was treated sensibly, if obviously with tongue biting about laws of thermodynamics, perpetual motions machines, yada yada. Boats came up too, they use sails.

I recall the boat with an airscrew instead of sails, worked fine if not really practical for everyday use.

Quite naturally the next tack (sic) was, well it can’t sail into the wind. Of course it can. Right into the wind. Just a matter of forces and efficiencies.

This is all about losses, efficiency, getting the sums right.



What's this? [image credit: mendonews]

What’s this? [image credit: mendonews]

What effect does pot-smoking have on green energy fantasies?

Scope for a government-funded survey there perhaps 😉

American Elephants

Steven Hayward noted a recent story from the Denver Post at Powerline. It seems that surging electricity consumption by Colorado’s new marijuana industry is sabotaging Denver’s push to use less energy—as urged  by the White House’s Clean Power Plan to shut down coal-fired power plants because carbon pollution.

Citywide electricity use has been rising at the rate of 1.2 percent a year, and 45 percent of that increase comes from marijuana-growing facilities, Denver officials said Wednesday.

Denver has a goal of capping energy use at 2012 levels. Electricity is a big part of that.

The latest Xcel Energy data show cannabis grow facilities statewide, the bulk of which are in Denver, used as much as 200 million kilowatt hours of electricity in 2014, utility officials said. City officials said 354 grow facilities in Denver used about 121 million kwh in 2013, up from 86 million kwh at 351 facilities in…

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Sodium gas tail, image from

Executes Last Orbit-Correction Maneuver, Prepares for Impact
MESSENGER mission controllers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., conducted the last of six planned maneuvers on April 24 to raise the spacecraft’s minimum altitude sufficiently to extend orbital operations and further delay the probe’s inevitable impact onto Mercury’s surface.

With the usable on-board fuel consumed, this maneuver expelled gaseous helium — originally carried to pressurize the fuel, but re-purposed as a propellant. Without a means of boosting the spacecraft’s altitude, the tug of the Sun’s gravity will draw the craft in to impact the planet on April 30, at about 8,750 miles per hour (3.91 kilometers per second), creating a crater as wide as 52 feet (16 meters).

At the start of yesterday’s maneuver, at 1:23 p.m. EDT, MESSENGER was in an orbit with a closest approach of 8.3 kilometers (5.1 miles) above the surface of Mercury. With a velocity change of 1.53 meters per second (3.43 miles per hour), the spacecraft’s four largest monopropellant thrusters released gaseous helium to nudge the spacecraft to an orbit with a closest approach altitude of 18.2 kilometers (11.3miles).


A five-mile "Hyperloop" test project is planned for Quay Valley

A five-mile “Hyperloop” test project is planned for Quay Valley

Couldn’t see anything about energy storage in this report, so we don’t know where the power is supposed to come from at night when solar has stopped working. Maybe it’s in the small print somewhere. More about the hyperloop here.

Roy Higgs reports:
While California’s verdant Central Valley is the fastest growing area in the state, the entire population of the 22,500-square-mile region is a comparatively modest 6.5 million people — Los Angeles County alone boasts over 50% more residents. However, this single region, which is responsible for producing 25% of all of the food consumed in the United States, is expected to absorb many of the 10 million people the state is projected to grow by over the next few decades. It is also home to one of the most ambitious and distinctive new developments in modern American history: Quay Valley.


Jodrell Bank radio telescope, Cheshire (UK) [credit: Mike Peel / Wikipedia]

Jodrell Bank radio telescope, Cheshire (UK)
[credit: Mike Peel / Wikipedia]

This is a new (to us) angle on certain lines of enquiry re. planetary theory in Talkshop blog posts.

John H. Nelson’s theory of propagation: Is there anything to it? – By David Dalton, K9WQ

In March 1951, John H. Nelson, an engineer for the RCA Communications Co. in New York, published an article in RCA Review describing a theory for predicting shortwave radio propagation over the North Atlantic. Nelson developed the theory by comparing planetary positions relative to the sun with logs of propagation conditions maintained at RCA’s receiving station at Riverhead, Long Island.

The article said that certain configurations of the six inner planets correlated with degraded propagation conditions. Nelson was not dogmatic about his theory. Rather, in the article and in a follow-up article published in May 1952, he encouraged further study [see footnote]. Nelson believed that his theory was about 85 percent accurate in its predictions.


Solved, wandering rocks

Posted: August 30, 2014 by tchannon in Uncategorized, wind

Spooky, the moving Death Valley rocks.


Image Jon Sullivan, marked PD


Jennifer Marohasy has a new post “Revisionist Approach Destroys Information About Natural Cycles Embedded in Climate Data” where there is underlying interest for Talkshop readers. Mention of Ken Ring is perhaps not so good given a reputation for excessive claims, caveat emptor.

Her take is from an Australian perspective mentioning a Senator and the lead author is Australian.

Periodicities in mean sea-level fluctuations and climate change proxies: Lessons from the modelling for coastal management
R.G.V. Baker, , S.A. McGowan
BCSS, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia
Available online 12 July 2014

Elsevier so it is paywalled


Ebola breaking news, US patients respond

Posted: August 6, 2014 by tchannon in Uncategorized

From live broadcast voice interview BBC R5

Infected US nationals have been given in-development via IV experimental ex-mouse and ex-tobacco plant anti-bodies of some kind, binds to blood circulating Ebola virus, body recognises bound combination as bad, removes from bloodstream, response inside hour.

To do this an official must have given permission or perhaps unlawfully, patients (medically qualified) apparently assented.

I hope this news is correct. Hope some more and no dire side effects.

The situation in west Africa essentially out of control, extreme.

Wire news

Sierra Leone, Liberia deploy troops as Ebola toll hits 887


Ferrybridge power station fire

Posted: July 31, 2014 by Andrew in Energy, Uncategorized

imageThe BBC broke the news earlier that the power station near Knottingly, West Yorkshire was on fire. Some fifty firefighters attended the blaze that was centred on one of the flue gas desulphurisation units. The power station is being adapted to generate some electricity from biomass, so was shut down. As of time of publication there are no casualties reported.

When the power station will be able to restart is now in doubt. By winter, now seems doubtful, so will be a test of the generation network

The Bishop Hill blog is running the story HERE



An interesting and provocative post from a newish meteorology blog

Solving Tornadoes

downloadbadsuit twi

A man goes to a tailor to try on a new custom-made suit. The first thing he notices is that the arms are too long.

“No problem,” says the tailor. “Just bend them at the elbow and hold them out in front of you. See, now it’s fine.”

“But the collar is up around my ears!”

“It’s nothing. Just hunch your back up a little… No, a little more… That’s it.”

“But I’m stepping on my cuffs!” the man cries in desperation.

“Just bend you knees a little to take up the slack. There you go. Look in the mirror–the suit fits perfectly.”

So, twisted like a pretzel, the man lurches out onto the street. Reba and Florence see him go by.

“Oh, look,” says Reba, “that poor man!”

“Yes,” says Florence, “but what a beautiful suit.”

It started with Walter James Espy, the Storm King, who, around the 1840s…

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Image from RIA RT web site [belatedly I spotted this serious misattribution, my mistake entirely, sorry. 11th July –Tim]

This story is notable because up until now all the Russian designs originate with a deceased veteran designer. Few technical details seem available. Surprisingly it looks like a single nozzle. Mention of the use of boosters for heavier launch.

RIA RT news site, with youtube video (seen one seen them all).


Sad news: Nigel Calder, 1931-2014

Posted: June 27, 2014 by tchannon in Uncategorized

Nigel Calder

Nigel Calder, 1931-2014

Date: 27/06/14
The Global Warming Policy Foundation
The science writer Nigel Calder has died, aged 82, after a short illness.

[update] Jo Calder has left a comment and provides a link to a lovely family post on Nigel’s blog

I’ve gotta be driftin’ along


Tim writes: No apology for the headline

A little aside has led to a snippet leading to Chilbolton Observatory.


Credit Nimbus227
Rolls-Royce Griffon aero engine (Mk 57/58?) at the Midland Air Museum

The Talkshop moved onto the question of hydrocarbon formation deep inside the earth, from there I brought up manufacture from seawater and a usage harking back to WWII aircraft. A comment mentions the hydrocarbon formation via the German chemical industry, processes used today.



Photo credit: Ken Gregory Friends of Science 2014: Unrestricted use

Rather than hit people, tell them they are bad, a kinder approach, this apparently is a new Friends Of Science billboard. In the snow.

Is this good thinking or is the only way aggression?

Will it change any minds or is it affirmation?


Update on Glasgow police helicopter fatal accident

Posted: February 14, 2014 by tchannon in Uncategorized

AAIB (Air Accident Investigation Branch) have issued a special bulletin dated today 14th February 2014

Valentine’s day, there will be many tears


Comment left at Steve Goddard’s by Mike Sanicola

I’m a professional infrared astronomer who spent his life trying to observe space through the atmosphere’s back-radiation that the environmental activists claim is caused by CO2 and guess what? In all the bands that are responsible for back radiation in the brightness temperatures (color temperatures) related to earth’s surface temperature (between 9 microns and 13 microns for temps of 220K to 320 K) there is no absorption of radiation by CO2 at all. In all the bands between 9 and 9.5 there is mild absorption by H2O, from 9.5 to 10 microns (300 K) the atmosphere is perfectly clear except around 9.6 is a big ozone band that the warmists never mention for some reason.

I’m retired so I don’t need to keep my mouth shut anymore. Kept my mouth shut for 40 years,

Yep. Lots of void, no evidence for the posit. I’m still waiting for the missing primary dataset, if it can be directly measured. Proxy is wiggle matching. Ozone, sure, been known for 100 years. Angstrom reported it from Sweden.