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Having watched the evidence roll in over the past 37 years or so it’s no surprise to me that the world is warming or that sea levels are rising. That was settled 20 years ago. Nor is it surprising that anthropogenic carbon emission is the likely cause. That became obvious enough 15 years ago. So as each new report comes in my surprise diminishes exponentially. After all, what is more likely? That we can extract and burn increasingly massive quantities of fossil fuels without any consequences, or that there is indeed a negative side-effect of some kind? To believe that we can burn away these resources (whilst simultaneously clearing and burning forests and disrupting food chains) and expect that the planet’s “automatic stabilisers” will just deal with it is a big, big gamble resting on nothing more than hope. Time to deal with root causes and stop frittering away time.
The world’s climate is not only continuing to warm, it’s adding heat-trapping greenhouse gases even faster than in the past, researchers said Tuesday.
Indeed, the global temperature has been warmer than the 20th century average every month for more than 25 years, they said at a teleconference.
“The indicators show unequivocally that the world continues to warm,” Thomas R. Karl, director of the National Climatic Data Center, said in releasing the annual State of the Climate report for 2010.
“There is a clear and unmistakable signal from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans,” added Peter Thorne of the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites, North Carolina State University.
Carbon dioxide increased by 2.60 parts per million in the atmosphere in 2010, which is more than the average annual increase seen from 1980-2010, Karl added. Carbon dioxide is the major greenhouse gas accumulating in the air that atmospheric scientists blame for warming the climate.
Why has this pic of Sydney’s Camperdown Velodrome suddenly taken lots of hits on Flickr? Don’t know.
This is the Sydney 1000 final in 1982. It was a warm day during a dry spell. The riders, officials and spectators are all (obviously!) much older now – and the velodrome is gone.
The advertising is interesting. Last time I Iooked Cyclesport was still a shop at Thornleigh – but I’m not so sure that Bennett Bicycles is still with us. Fortunately we do still have Tempe and Bass Hill velodromes to play on, and the rest… but a lot of memories went with this track.
I suppose I should mention that Camperdown velodrome replaced my local velodrome at Henson Park in the late 60s/early 70s. It was a massive, shallow saucer around the then Newtown RLFC home ground. Luckily I rode my (road) bike on it before the council ripped up the old track to put in better floodlighting. (Not that it did any good for Newtown, which was relegated anyway). Dulwich Hill bike club got the more compact Camperdown in exchange, at least until about 10 years ago when it was closed down, cleansed and remediated as parkland (apparently the previous use as a tip had left an excess of toxins).
Last one on Kenso, and it’s the racecourse that became a university – of NSW, to be precise. Kensington racetrack was a pony course adjacent – probably too close – to the Randwick horse racing track. Randwick won out politically and the Kensington ponies were shifted south to Ascot (or Mascot, if you like). The Old Tote building became a theatre under NIDA and the rest of the land became the UNSW.
There are also some interesting tram formations on this 1926 map, including the Dacey Ave line and the loop on the other side of Anzac Parade from the racetracks.
Lots of changes here since 1926. Long Bay Road becomes today’s Malabar Road and the trams have gone, of course. What is now Heffron Park is not yet split by Fitzgerald Ave and plenty of houses are missing. Also the old Randwick rifle range has yet to shrink or lose its tram link (along Araluen Street, below).
Nice advert for a dream home in Randwick… wonder if that house still exists?
Also noted is the tram line up Perry Street, right onto Bunnerong Road, keeping well to the left before crossing the road onto the right side and finally enjoying some reserved track. I guess the road traffic was fairly light in any case but it seems odd to cross sides like that….
OK, point is that it’s a new version of Final Cut Pro. That’s cool, in a way, but I don’t use it. And I’m not altogether sure what Matthew Lentini is on about with his choice of words here. Surely one can choose to flaunt something “good” that you yourself have (should you be so ungracious as to do so, of course) but how can you (or a company such as Apple) be “flaunted” for some apparent quality? Know what I mean, Matthew? Steve Jobs or Apple may choose to flaunt their software’s simplicity in some ostentatious display of Apple-ness but you can’t say that Apple (or Jobs) is ‘flaunted for it‘. At least not in my book!
‘Vaunted’ wouldn’t work very well either, so perhaps it was “praised” or “lauded” that you were looking for?
v. flaunt·ed, flaunt·ing, flaunts v.tr. 1. To exhibit ostentatiously or shamelessly: flaunts his knowledge. See Synonyms at show. 2. Usage Problem To show contempt for; scorn. v.intr. 1. To parade oneself ostentatiously; show oneself off. 2. To wave grandly: pennants flaunting in the wind.
You’d think they’d have moved on by now but no, the Daily Terrorgraph can’t help itself. Not only is former Premier Keneally cast as an “American” in this shabby piece but they go out of their way to spin it up as some sort of dire dereliction of duty. Sure, she should be in parliament, it’s her job; but she did check first and is in any case keeping a commitment to her family. It’s not as though her vote will be crucial in the coming days. (NSW State Parliament sits this week but is off for the following month.)
She also took leave to pick up her son from a dental appointment – all leading to speculation she could retire from her Heffron seat before her term is out.
It seems that in the Terrorgraph’s world sitting members are precluded from having family. Whilst MPs are definitely a perverse crowd of workaholics, I can’t recall this sort of nonsense having been written about male parliamentarians, so I guess it just never happens with them, does it? Presumably in the Terrorgraph’s world male MPs have wives to do that sort of thing. How will we ever achieve equity for women in our society when the tabloid media actively undermines female MPs like this?
No one wants to be ripped off, but surely it’s a seller’s right to charge what they want? If the price is too high, just look elsewhere. Of course if there are no alternatives – and especially so if the product is something essential in our lives – then the situation becomes more substantial. And that’s why we have set up regulatory bodies to oversee competition and pricing on many things.
We still fret over big oil ‘gouging’ us mere cents on petrol prices (despite having the power to swap to smaller cars or public transport) yet cheerfully ask – and often get – ludicrously high prices when we sell our real estate. All of those home sellers out there gouging the buyers not only get let off without public scrutiny but the highest sales actually get celebrated! Whoopee, another record price! Now housing is even less affordable! Yes!
I can’t talk, I doubled my money in real estate in the late ’80s (and spent it all in the ’90′s). But I don’t whinge about the price of minor consumer items, either.
Why, for example, is setting a recommended price of $129 on a range extender such a big deal that it gets touted as ‘price gouging’? Did someone’s eye get taken out? This is, after all, a recommended price only. I’m sure you could buy one for way less than RRP. It’s just an example – a small one, admittedly – by which we trivialise and demean our language and our lives. It’s exaggeration, and it’s par for the course.
US networking company Netgear is asking Australian customers to pay 54% more for a new consumer home network repeater called the Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender, than what they sell the same device for in the USA.
Made in China, the new device which is designed to boost a Wi Fi signal around the home is being sold in the USA, with a recommended retail price of US $90 (A$84). The same device is being sold by Netgear in Australia for $129.
It’s horrific, avoidable, awful. I’ve ridden after midnight and it can be the weirdest, most beautiful time to ride. With empty streets a bike rider can almost ‘own the road’ – and cars can easily be heard coming, too. It can be unnerving though and I was always hyper-aware and alert forhalf-awake drivers. This bunch – unfortunately stopped – must have realised too late that the driver wasn’t looking ahead. She was just coming, irrespective. I won’t prejudge what’s happened but do hope that the primary cause is pinned squarely on a failure to observe the road and its obstacles, irrespective of what the riders were doing (which seems to have been half on sidewalk, half on road – at 2AM I can imagine this happening). It’s a sad and probably contributing factor that the riders were not mobile (ie they should all have gotten off the road if they were just waiting) but I don’t get the impression that a moving bunch would have been somehow more visible or avoidable. That the driver was suspected as DUIand using her mobile as well as not looking at the road seems a catastrophic combination at any time of day or night. Hope there are some speedy recoveries from this accident. Take care.
BALDWIN VILLAGE, LOS ANGELES (KABC) — A suspected drunken driver was taken into custody after plowing into a large group of bicyclists in Baldwin Village early Thursday morning. Nearly a dozen people were hurt.
“It was as simple as a bowling ball knocking out a few pins,” said witness Fred Armstead. “There was no attempt to stop. So she just went one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and just kept going.”
Authorities said the female driver, 27-year-old Christine Dahab, told police she was looking down at her phone when she crashed into the bike riders on the 5900 block of West Jefferson Place just before 2 a.m.
The bicyclists, organized by Midnight Ridazz, ride together regularly and were on a routine ride. The group of bicyclists was waiting for friends below the Baldwin Hills scenic overlook at the time of the accident.
I’m not so sure about the business case for intercity high speed rail. My heart says “yes” but my head says “whoa”. For example I’d like to see a fast train service from Sydney to Newcastle via Gosford – that route just about looks do-able and makes sense on several fronts, even allowing for the inevitably massive on-going subsidy. Plus I’d probably use it. But adding on Canberra, later? Hmm, not so likely. Melbourne? Well I can smell a white elephant in the room somewhere I’m afraid.
The positives sound good indeed. Rail is fast yet greener than even faster, higher-flying airline operations that drop their particulates and condensates at high altitudes, doing bad things (and maybe some good things, it depends) to our atmosphere. One imagines that greener must be cheaper, too, but maybe not for a while given construction costs. And fast new trains are obviously better than slow old trains, so clinging to 19th century infrastructure and ideas just looks old fashioned and silly. We don’t want to look silly and old fashioned, do we?
OTOH fast new trains need a whole new track. A straighter, flatter track, too. Yes, they have more momentum and can climb really well but we are doing this to save energy, not prove ourselves masters of our planet, so the less climbing the better. Which means a sensibly straighter new rail line – or 2, really, as we’d surely double track it – plus new stations and maintenance yards and sidings and whatnot is on the menu. Lots of construction work to drive-up the cost of labour, too. And fast things are noisy, even if they are ‘only’ trains, so noise amelioration will mean sub-optimal deviations and noise containment, massive tunnels and a decent amount of reservation either side. For the whole distance. That’s a lot of land resumption just to go “green”. We may even have to use national parks, or go under them. And wildlife will need plenty of concrete tunnels through which to pass under the fast rail. If you imagined a 150m wide strip of land from Sydney to Melbourne taken over for green infrastructure you wouldn’t be too far off the mark. It may be narrower in one place and wider in another. It may be a tunnel from (say) Liverpool to Sydney’s Central Station and something similar in Melbourne.
Remember, this is just so we can still go fast (for that’s the point, right?) yet feel a bit better about it ’cause it’s “greener” than flying.
It’ll still need electricity, of course (from coal-burning power stations or maybe – just maybe – huge solar arrays) and maintenance crews and all the rest. Plus lots and lots of really green and lovely (not) concrete and steel. Yet it remains somehow a no-brainer “green” project, at least in certain media eyes. Personally I mildly (not wildly) support it as a national project that potentially offers a long-term alternative to air travel in a changing world, but I think the downsides should be thoroughly explored and understood. For instance I’m uncertain that people would actually use it unless it was highly subsidised – and I don’t think that it’s as green as it could be (that may not surprise you if you’ve read this far). Simply going slower would be greener.
What if we revamped existing rail lines, starting with those high-usage commuter routes? Would that make more bang-for-buck sense? Why obsess about the big picture and looking good when what is under our noses hardly smells of roses.
Yet other people leap at the idea, as I suppose I did once as well, 20 or so years ago. Indeed I’d still love to see it in a way; but I doubt I’d use it. I may have used it 20 years ago, and maybe if I had a pressing need to go to Melbourne (which I currently don’t) I’d consider it in the future. Especially so if petrol prices soar – as they will. So there’s some demand in the future, sure, if it is priced – read subsidised – right. Otherwise airlines will just win, again and again. Faster, cheaper, less infrastructure needed. Or why not just use the even-faster NBN-provided internet and stay at home? Surely virtual travel is even greener.
With all of that in mind, this piece on the US right-wing knocking back “green funding” on ideological grounds only is probably more truth than fiction. But there may be big, bad business cases out there that we just don’t see… until we look!
Other than unions, possibly the biggest black mark against rail travel here – if you have a Republican world view – is its greenness. Politicians influenced by the Tea Party like to bundle rail subsidy with action on climate change, renewable energy support and the introduction of electric cars. Their ideological reasoning is that rail will increase the deficit or lead to higher taxes.
That this is also true for roads, bridges, ports and huge government subsidies to the oil and agriculture industries, is something they conveniently ignore.
What is so sad about the dominant anti-green political mood is how it is aiding and abetting this great country’s technological decline. If I were a conspiracy theorist I’d say that China is funding the Tea Party and fiscal conservatives who now sing the dominant political tune in Washington.
I initially thought “ridiculous” but then warmed to the idea. There were somewhat larger but still small indoor velodromes during cycling’s hey-day in Sydney early in the 20th Century, like the (140m?) Surry Hills board track (later moved to Canterbury before being added to the current horse racing reserve). And reportedly an even shorter and steeper(100m?)track in an old shed at Carlton near Hurstville. Some people believe that the shed still exists as an art supplies shop – and whilst I can visualise it (I’ve been there to check it out) it can’t have been even 100 around, surely, and it must have reached the roof to get enough banking… perhaps it was just a bit bigger than this new London one… which is 25m!!
A hot lap is around 3.2 seconds or so… and the trick is to ride smooth with constant pedal pressure and stay low on the banking.
I can understand Armstrong’s position – he has a lot a stake and only one small (annulled) doping violation to his name (for topical cortisol, if memory serves) – yet here he is getting all “awkward” with a doubly-busted-for doping ex-team-mate who has gone public with a bit of a lively story. Be the yarn true or not, why bother talking with the guy? Let alone getting awkward about it. Was he just stilted in his conversation, or was there a bit more aggro there?
Tyler Hamilton, who recently went public with his claim that Lance Armstrong doped, had an awkward encounter with the seven-time Tour de France champion at a Colorado restaurant at the weekend, US media reports.
ESPN.com reports Hamilton was unnerved enough by the incident to inform his lawyers, who told the sports website they had formally notified US authorities of what they consider “aggressive contact” initiated by Armstrong.
A snaky tale of ships and sea… well, in part, anyway. In summary, “Narara” appears to mean “black snake” in local Aboriginal language and it is a name that has adorned a ship that sank off Barrenjoey as well as the Gosford suburb. I note that Wikipedia hasn’t updated its spelling of Barrenjoey since 1909… perhaps that is the preferred spelling?
The Narara was a wooden carvel screw steamer built in 1900 at Jervis Bay, that was wrecked when it sprang a leak whilst carrying general cargo between Sydney and the Hawkesbury River and was lost at 2 ml SE off Little Reef Newport near, Barranjoey, New South Wales on the 29 May 1909. The vessel commenced her runs from Sydney Harbour to the Hawkesbury River in January 1900 and continued on this run till the time of her final 1909 sinking. During 1903 the vessel was burned to the water line and sank at its mooring only to be refloated and rebuilt and started back on the same run.
Narara largely consisted of orchards and small mixed farms. Water from the small dams that used to be accessible from Narara Creek Road was piped in wooden piping across Narara Creek to the Railway station to supply steam trains. The dams were also a popular swimming spot especially when the ladder and walkway still existed on the lower dam wall.
It’s only an opinion overlaid with appropriate images, and in some ways the “facts” are arranged and exaggerated for impact, but as someone who has been watching the science unfold over the last 35-odd years I can only agree that it’s both a compelling argument and more reality-based than most denialist diatribes. If you disbelieve that anthropogenic carbon pollution is impacting the Earth’s climate then it won’t sway you, unfortunately. But if we continue to wait and delay acting to change our habits then we do so at great risk. I don’t like the odds myself. I’d rather act.
OK, so it’s not a drug. It’s not ingested. And it’s “natural”, as in you could achieve a similar effect with ice. But is it ethical?
In a “perfect” sporting world there would only be sports-specific training and nutrition that brought you to your peak condition and fitness to race. There would be no difference between brands of clothing or bicycle, or no difference that offered a measurable performance advantage, anyway. There would be no adjunct treatment that modified your body, and thus your performance. There would be no oxygen tent to assist in acclimatising to altitude without having to actually train at altitude. There would be no performance enhancing drugs to boost (or perhaps restrain) specific physiological processes. There would just be you and the work you do to make yourself “peak”. Simple, but do you agree?
No, of course not everyone agrees. It’s rare to find agreement on any of this in any sport – and we often find huge variations between neighbouring nations and their attitudes to specific performance-enhancers. Often it’s pragmatism that gets in the way of a global agreement. Perhaps for some it’s expensive and inconvenient to travel to a mountainous region so we relax our “perfect” attitude to allow for artificial oxygen-reduced simulations of altitude training. Whereas a nation that has plenty of high mountain passes may take a dimmer view of altitude simulation and ban it. And we may thus allow ice-baths and compression clothing and a myriad of small but significant variations in technology for reasons of self-interest or pragmatism. We accept that it may make our sport more expensive and lock out some competition, at least until they can reproduce the effect.
In some ways we (and that means the UCI in this instance) take arms against this sea of trouble and restrict the design envelope; and yet some people – quite reasonably – say that these very restrictions hold back much-wanted technological advances. So there’s a constant tension between increasing the cost, complexity and technology involved through performance-related innovation and that opposing need to keep the sporting playing field somewhat “level”.
Thus it is with PEDs – the drugs that may allow you to boost performance in specific ways and work-around the limitations of our bodies. Now we allow some PEDs as a social necessity (eg caffeine) and others for health reasons (eg drugs to provide limited relief from inflammation or pain) but others we just ban outright without a threshold. Ostensibly we do this to control the practice and limit potentially dangerous overuse, and to avoid “cheating”, where an athlete unnaturally boosts their abilities beyond the “natural” threshold and gains a secret advantage over their competitors. It’s deemed unfair.
It’s that “unfairness” around which the whole argument swings. We either ban unfair practices or accept them, depending upon our judgement of the facts as they are perceived.
Of course by announcing openly that you are investing in cryotherapy you remove the secrecy, but does it make it ethical? Is it fair? Or is it just another thread in our expensive cycle-sport arms race?
The French team AG2R-La Mondiale will use cryotherapy to help enhance recovery during the Tour de France, the squad announced today.
Riders will endure three minutes in a special whole body suit, pioneered by Tec4H, which is filled with liquid nitrogen at -150 degrees Celsius.
Cold is said to aid recovery and reduce inflammation, and riders have traditionally taken ice baths to help recuperate from intense efforts. However, the short blast of extreme cold in the new suits, which cover the entire body from neck to ankle, has other benefits, explained the team’s medical director Eric Bouvat.
Can’t tell you how fascinated I am with this… but maybe that’s just me. Why is it important? Well first of all we may discover where much of the anti-matter went and hid after the big bang, which would be useful to know; and secondly if anti-matter behaves in the symmetrically theorised way suggested then we’ll have confirmed something about the arrow of time and its relationship to matter that we have been uncertain of, which could be of use when we invent a machine that reverses time. Or it may open up a new can of worms. Who knows?
Researchers involved in the ALPHA experiment at Switzerland’s CERN complex announced yesterday (June 5) that they have succeeded in using the facility’s antiproton decelerator to trap antimatter atoms for 1,000 seconds – or just over 16 minutes. This was reportedly enough time to begin studying their properties in detail, which has been the goal of ALPHA since the project began in 2005.
Consider a Lorentz boost in a fixed direction z. This can be interpreted as a rotation of the time axis into the z axis, with an imaginary rotation parameter. If this rotation parameter were real, it would be possible for a 180° rotation to reverse the direction of time and of z. Reversing the direction of one axis is a reflection of space in any number of dimensions. If space has 3 dimensions, it is equivalent to reflecting all the coordinates, because an additional rotation of 180° in the x-y plane could be included.
This defines a CPT transformation if we adopt the Feynman-Stueckelberg interpretation of antiparticles as the corresponding particles traveling backwards in time. This interpretation requires a slight analytic continuation, which is well-defined only under the following assumptions:
The theory is Lorentz invariant; The vacuum is Lorentz invariant; The energy is bounded below.
When the above hold, quantum theory can be extended to a Euclidean theory, defined by translating all the operators to imaginary time using the Hamiltonian. The commutation relations of the Hamiltonian, and the Lorentz generators, guarantee that Lorentz invariance implies rotational invariance, so that any state can be rotated by 180 degrees.
Since a sequence of two CPT reflections is equivalent to a 360-degree rotation, fermions change by a sign under two CPT reflections, while bosons do not. This fact can be used to prove the spin-statistics theorem.
Not that it means anything at all, as why would a shrinking ice cap concern anyone? Who lives there anyway? Hmmm. Of course this is all part of a natural cycle we can’t do anything about, isn’t it? Despite that fact that all other evidence (solar cycle, ice cores, pollen analysis you-name-it) points to what should be a cooling trend, we are magically going in the other direction. Now it may be that we just don’t understand natural cycles well enough, or it could be that we are burning lots and lots (and lots) of fossil fuels and clearing lots of land and releasing lots of carbon via primary production. But we are too puny and the Earth too vast, surely? Gosh, how could 7 billion human beings possibly alter a whole planet’s climate? Who could imagine that. Gosh indeed.
I live on high ground, I suggest you think about it.
Hydrogen is a great fuel, as fuels go, and fuel cells hold tremendous promise for many uses – but I do wonder why the mass media keep on spruiking the advantages of H over EVs, even when the technology and infrastructure falls way short of the mark. Yes, it sounds great – just water out of the tailpipe, as it were – but what’s actually in it for the car industry? Why not just improve EVs?
It’s plain that no one thing will replace fossil fuels. What will probably happen is that different niches will be filled by different solutions. And on top of that we will change our behaviours over time, nudged along by availability and price. Where today we just jump in a car and expect to go at least 500km before topping the tank, tomorrow our expectation for a refuel or recharge could be somewhat less. We will adapt, as we have always done. In the medium term oil will still be around, so long trips may be performed in a traditionally-driven (or hybrid) car and shorter journeys by EV. Or EV battery technology will improve and the limitation will go away. Indeed there are so many variables – including the cost of oil – that the timescale could vary enormously. And somewhere in the mix of possible futures s is H.
You’ll note in the lengthy story at the link below that little attention is paid to the downsides of H. It’s a positive piece that puts EVs in an unchanging capability box and presses home its point about a renewed “trend” towards improving H-cars. Whilst it’s largely true, in a sense, it doesn’t give a full account either. The article glosses over the fact that it takes energy to make H, just as it takes energy to compress, store and distribute it. It doesn’t gush out of the ground like oil, it has to be made. Be that by current, energy-rich methods or by solar and biomass innovation, it still has to be made, stored and shipped around. So you are using a lot of energy just to make, umm, energy. Whilst EVs have an energy cost, too, they remove some of these penalties and make savings by simplicity, re-use of existing (but revamped) infrastructure and lower ongoing maintenance cost.
Whereas for H just about every part of the current petrol delivery system would need to be upgraded – read 100% replaced – to cope. Whilst it’s do-able it doesn’t sound cheap, either. Even after having been made it needs to be compressed into a denser, more transportable liquid form. We may be used to the idea of pipes, pumps and tanks but that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t like to be free of them, too. Let alone beefing them up to cope with compressed H.
Nevertheless H production cost (ie energy input) will definitely improve over time; but right now – and into the medium term – it still carries multiple – and crippling – energy efficiency penalties. So why do car companies – and perhaps the oil industry as well – keep on at it? Well my best theory is that it casts a “greener glow” over the industry, something they need desperately. H is also a palatable prospect in that it doesn’t change much of the scenery – the car companies keep their competitive advantages largely intact and new entrants are discouraged. Oil companies can upgrade their distribution infrastructure and offer H side-by-side with petrol. And being a (admittedly highly compressed) liquid kept in tanks we remain “familiar” and “comfortable” with the whole idea. It’s a behaviour-change minimisation strategy, in a nutshell.
So for the incumbents they basically keep things as they are. Liquid fuel burnt in an engine – that’s what they know best. They continue to build a complicated beast that needs to be fed, cooled and lubricated under a strict maintenance schedule. It will run cleaner and last longer but the whole model remains intact. Whereas an EV is a simpler alternative that needs next to no maintenance, engine-wise. The parts list is more than halved and the maintenance requirements shift mainly to battery replacement and wear and tear on the tyres, bearings and electronics. And crucially – with the high-tech combustion technology no longer required – it opens up the car game to new entrants. And why would they want that?
Not so surprising then that the incumbents want to sell H-cars. And once again the entrenched, old guard mass media just lap up the gushing press releases about H taking on EV. Well, there’s some truth there – and a heck of a lot of spin.
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