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Archive for the ‘Demotivation’ Category

A Finnish largish amateur hybrid rocket project, Iso-Haisu (Large Stinky or Big Skunk, the successor of the smaller Haisunäätä, Skunk, the first Finnish hybrid) was flown today at a military artillery range. Reports say it disappeared into the clouds but it has not yet been located. The flight computer logger was onboard so the altitude is unverified. And no onboard video / pictures yet either!

The rocket radioed furiously after landing but failed to get found. It apparently landed about a kilometer from the launch site when the GPS data was deciphered.

It’s a heavy rocket with considerable overbuilding and lots of electronics. Better not try to reach all the goals at the same time.
Hope it gets found tomorrow!

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BEGIN EDIT: I think I misread the Britannica part. Netherlands has half of it’s area highly developed and half of that highly developed area is low lying, so a quarter of the total. END EDIT

The Netherlands is an example of a country highly susceptible to both sea-level rise and river flooding because 55% of its territory is below sea level where 60% of its population lives and 65% of its Gross National Product (GNP) is produced

IPCC AR4 Working group II Chapter 12.2.3.

If this too is wrong, you bet the WG1 people are pissed off.  (WG1 is the scientific basis, WG2 the effects and WG3 is the mitigation ways working group of IPCC.)

But it seems Britannica has information in similar vein:

The Netherlands is bounded by the North Sea to the north and west, Germany to the east, and Belgium to the south. If the Netherlands were to lose the protection of its dunes and dikes, the most densely populated part of the country would be inundated (largely by the sea but also in part by the rivers). This highly developed part of the Netherlands, which generally does not lie higher than about three feet (one metre) above sea level, covers more than half the total area of the country. About half of this area (more than one-fourth of the total area of the country) actually lies below sea level.

So, the question becomes tides and how sea level is measured: if it’s the mean sea level, then even low stuff over sea level is unlivable because of the tides (unless you put dikes and pump it dry of course).

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Gate N

This time seems a sloppy reference to Amazon droughts in IPCC AR4 WG2 that turns out to be correct in the end. Scruffy Dan:

Sounds, like the same type of issue as the Himalayan glacier error, citing the grey-literature, rather than the peer-reviewed literature. But on closer inspection the text of the IPCC is correct, and consistent with the science. The error was lazy citation.They should have cited the peer-reviewed literature, rather than a report from WWF.

So this is Amazongate. Awaiting for the next gate.

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NASA’s plans to return astronauts to the moon are dead. So are the rockets being designed to take them there — that is, if President Barack Obama gets his way.

Sayeth Orlando Sentinel.

Haven’t followed NASA’s latest movements. The Augustine panel had some potential but stuff seems to have withered down. The organization seems to be a wannabe monument builder without a job. People might want something more practical than monuments, at least I hope they would. Even when NASA has such huge talent and competence in many areas, it fails to function as a sensible whole in defining strategic human space flight. And then there are the legacy issues. One of which is that of Mike Griffin.

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However, the oft quoted the Himalayan glacier may be gone by 2035 is still not a realistic conclusion based on the recent ongoing significant retreat of the many still large Himalayan glaciers.

Glaciologist Mauri Pelto commenting in November 2009. What’s ironic is that the main subject of Nature’s Climate Feedback’s blog post was some random offhand claim of no global warming glacier melt from an Indian geologist that made headlines. And Mauri was complaining why something like that gets the headlines and not real methodically prepared papers.

So why is this non-peer reviewed Himalayan report by another worth commenting upon, when many very important peer reviewed papers on glacier change are ignored? A read of this Ramesh report indicates the widespread and significant glacier retreat. The report also notes that all the glaciers observed have negative mass balance. After observing the significant and widespread retreat and mass loss the author deems it to slow to be due to global warming, without any real analysis of the climate data or what could be causing the loss. This simply does not warrant our attention. However, the oft quoted the Himalayan glacier may be gone by 2035 is still not a realistic conclusion based on the recent ongoing significant retreat of the many still large Himalayan glaciers. Can we stick to covering better material?

He was proven not only doubly but triply right. IPCC, the Indian geologist and the media representative – all three could be observed not holding the ball at that instant in time and subject by the astute commenter. I remember reading that.

There are probably more mistakes in the IPCC reports that are yet to be found, that’s how it is. This one was pretty bad though. Though no matter the exact subject, there will be a gate on every possible subject in rapid succession for months until people are numbed to the whole word. It brings hits. 2035 Gate. Himalayagate. Glaciergate. Pachaurigate. Sad.

Also, William has more on how it is, or could be.

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It seems the US is getting onto private aviation bashing. No trailerable aircraft to airports or automobile gasoline for the engines. The former could be seen to be motivated by trying to prevent building bombs into aircraft, the latter is a bit more obscure, probably having to do with ethanol additives that some aircraft engines (or fuel pipes and seals) can’t handle. But it’s peculiar to outright ban auto fuel. The people can deal with this themselves. Probably you could easily produce ethanol kits for most auto fuel engine systems.

I’m reminded of Finnish automobile laws which are probably the strictest in the world. You can’t do this or that and even if you do something out of the ordinary within the very narrow limits, your new vehicle will probably be taxed to death. Even ordinary new or used imported cars have high taxes in Finland and gasoline costs over 1.3 euros per liter. The roads take a lot of effort to build and maintain because the harsh winters cause the ground to freeze, causing bumps in anything but very deeply and thoroughly based roads, the snow has to be plowed and salt is dispensed to melt it, lots of streetlights are used since the winters are dark, frequent repaving is needed because of winter tires grinding the asphalt etc. This money has to be taken from somewhere. That I understand.

But try to bring a used car from say Germany to Finland. It’s a disaster. A friend of mine spent the summer in central Europe and bought a decent smallish German car for 1500 euros. He drove around Europe a few thousand kilometers with it with the temporary registration and everything worked fine. I was on a trip too and joined him in Poland and we drove the car to Finland. It was a well working machine with no problems whatsoever, I’ve driven worse perfectly legal vehicles in Finland. It even had air conditioning which made the trip nice. But when he arrived in Finland, the problems started piling. First lots of customs payments, then he had to bring the car for checkup so it could be registered in Finland. Just that exact model had not been imported to Finland. The inspector demanded some changes to be made at a repair shop (changes that would not affect the car’s function in any way, may I add!), to make the car resemble more its ordinary sibling model. Yet when some were made at a great cost, it was discovered by another inspector the changes were actually wrong. It was made clear that the car could not be registered. My friend contemplated a lawsuit, but here they take so many years and so much money. In the end the perfectly good drivable and safe car ended up to be crushed. All because of stupid overstrict laws and an incompetent inspection system. This is not protecting road safety, it’s protecting local car dealers.

Vehicle changes and registrations are really a complex world here. There’s a group of people working on an “open source hardware” electric conversion of Toyota Corolla, sähköautot.fi. Even the prime minister has promised tax exemptions for electric vehicles but I think at the moment they’re taxed as harshly as diesel vehicles (which is much more than gasoline, but the fuel is cheaper – but for electrics the fuel is cheaper anyway!). Same with a guy who has a home made biogas facility at his cow farm in central Finland. The overregulation is strangling innovation and experimentation. Meanwhile in Sweden they are experimenting with all kinds of alternative fuels and give perks like free parking to less polluting vehicles. The Finnish car factory in Uusikaupunki that used to do Porsche Boxters is now changing over to electric vehicles to be on the leading edge. And none of them will be on sale locally, all for export, because of the tax system and regulations. Someone should wake up!

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A gunman killed four people today in a shopping centre in Espoo, Finland. Maybe 6 kilometers from here. He then travelled some distance, killed a woman there and finally shot himself.

The gunman was Ibrahim Shkupolli, an Alban refugee from Kosovo who had moved to Finland a long time ago. He was working (and had a BMW car), his parents were living here and he had a wife and kids, though apparently he still had had a long affair with the woman he finally murdered.

What can one do? He didn’t have a gun permit and he had been fined some years earlier for possessing some bullets. He also had a restraint order, had a history of threatening behaviour and had done some small bad things for which he had been fined. None of this is reason of putting a person into prison.

Since modern handguns were invented, it’s been relatively easy for someone determined enough to kill quite many people before being killed.

Finns have lots of guns but this doesn’t have much anything to do with that. They are kept at home and are used for hunting and target shooting, not kept with you as personal defence.

It’s also alarming how the noughties have seen so much mass violence and murdering of innocents: the Myyrmäki bombing, the Jokela and Kauhajoki school shootings and now this. It’s a lot for a small country. Many of my friends could have been there. I’ll probably soon hear from someone who was there.

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