Raindrops keep falling on my head. That’s a lot of wasted energy.

May 24, 2015

We, in the North don’t have a lot of Solar energy but we do have a lot of rain.

We are so used to sheltering from the rain that we have ignored it as a source of energy.

One way we could use it is by exploiting its impact.

A raindrop falling on a piezo-electric crystal will produce an electrical impulse.

Admittedly the energy from one small raindrop will not be significant but we’re talking of multitudes of them falling on our rooves.

If the numbers work out, then the solar panels placed, on rooves with a Southern aspect, can be paired with rain panels placed on the Northern side.

60+% of energy from the Sun is reflected back into Space, 30+% is held in The atmosphere (wind and rain) and eventually re-radiated back into Space.

We use about 1% and that is mainly from Fossil fuels.

Energy from zephyrs

May 24, 2015

An item on Facebook mentioned a technique involving vertical, pipelike structures to harvest energy from vortices formed by wind blowing past them.

This reminded me of a SF story I read, back in the ‘sixties.

In that story the explorers found a planet with fields of aeolian harps
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeolian_harp).

They puzzled over the purpose, until they realised that they were connected to piezo-electric crystals and were harvesting wind energy to power a long-gone civilisation.

It occurs to me that, with modern technology, it should be possible to make a sort of artificial skin with hairlike structures, converting even the slightest breeze into electricity.

It might even be possible to overlay solar cells with such a material, so that the same site could harvest both energy sources.

Hitler’s supergun could be a better way to colonise Space

May 24, 2015

A program about Barnes Wallis made mention of how Nazi Germany tried to build a supergun to bombard London.

It only needed to be aimed in one direction, so it could be built in a large underground structure, reducing construction problems.

High velocities were to be achieved by a series of synchronised blasts along the length of the barrel.

It occurs to me that a modern version would be useful fo delivering payloads into Space.

At present, structures, such as the Space Station are built on the ground and taken up as part of the rocket structure.

It’s time that construction took place in Space, and/or on The Moon.
Using the principle of Meccano, or Lego, bricks, tiles, rods, tubes etc. could be put into a Warehouse orbit; available for use and transport by a Space version of fork-lift trucks.

Food, fuel etc. could also be warehoused, maybe at different orbital levels.

The gun itself could be a rail gun, whereby the necessary acceleration is achieved by pulsed inductive fields.

The cost would be minimal, in that energy would only be needed to put the payloads into orbit and the containers would become part of the payload, not needing any return to Earth.

@TheGreenParty Use wind power to re-cycle pure non-ferrous metals.

May 19, 2015

I was looking at some shop shelving and thinking that it was probably made of mixed, non -ferrous metals, like most cheap, metal products, and it occurred to me that the only way to get the pure metals back was by electro-chemical metal deposition.
This would be prohibitively expensive using electricity from fossil fuels but a wonderful way of exploiting wind power.

Suppose we had pure metal reclamation based on remote moors?

Electricity from wind turbines could be fed direct to electolytic cells.

Raw materials could be dropped directly into baths of acid (possibly aqua regia), equipped with carbon electrodes.

Setting at low voltage and stepping up to next voltage (related to each elemental metal), until current dropped.

Replacing electrodes at each stage. Pure metals (including Gold) could be recovered at each stage; at minimal cost: Certainly less than that of obtaining them from ore.
It would make wind power more relevant as alternative energy.

Political notions of Left and Right are lazy thinking and don’t reflect voter views.

May 17, 2015

So the reason Cameron crept in, contrary to the polls, is because of “The shy Tory”. Rubbish!
This is just another “view halloo” for the political chatterati, who have to be able to sound knowledgeable, without having any real insight into the lives of common people.
Cameron got in because of our FPTP system. It wasn’t the issues, so much as the constituency boundaries.

The biggest problem, for these overpaid pundits, is that they were taught that some issues were Left Wing and some were Right Wing. They can’t cope with the concept that individual voters will favour five from column A and six from column B.Like accountants they think that such a voter is slightly right, or left of centre.
So Labour moves towards the Right wing package and Tory moves to the Left wing package, and both claim the centre ground; then tear their hair that they aren’t winning landslide support from the dozy plebiscite, who are both Left of centre and Right of centre; simultaneously.

This is where Farage has been able to pick up support from both Labour and Tory, whilst SNP has been able to gain support from those Scots ex-Labour voters, who’d prefer to stay British.

The problem of uncontrolled immigration (and concomitant issues) isn’t Left or Right, it’s domestic issue, just as opposing Hitler was.
To my way of thinking, reclaiming The Falklands wasn’t Right Wing, whilst Desert Storm was.

Policing, capital punishment, prison conditions and sentencing aren’t Right wing issues, they’re just another set of domestic issues.
Many issues are seen as Left Wing, or Right wing by the political classes but are viewed , by voters, as perhaps for, or against the Nation’s interest. Or viewed as Fair, or Unjust. Christian, or Fascist..

Farage has recognised that the true centre ground is populism and has claimed it.
After the EU referedum, win, or lose, UKIP could become a major force, if it completely sloughs off this Left versus Right mentality and embraces populism (a.k.a, Democracy).
Whilst Labour could find itself without any support, if it listens to the insidious Mandelson and lurches back towards Blairite, “centrist” policies.

 

Full speed ahead with total privatisation, thanks to @Ed_Milliband.

May 17, 2015

Back a bit, when JFK had thrown a tantrum about Russia beating the USA into Space, we had all sorts of mad educationalists given free rein to re-invent Education.

It became a political football.

All sorts of stupidities were forced down the the throats of trainee teachers:

Learning times tables by rote was thrown out, in favour of understanding by counting on your fingers. ITA was brought in with a new alphabet, which only the pupils and especially trained teachers could use. Kids were told to sight read and the concept of phonics almost disappeared.
Worst was the concept of equality, which said it was wrong to label people as failures.

Everybody was to be treated as having equal ability.

The butterballs, like myself, only knew we weren’t superheroes because teacher’s told us so!

The idea of all born equal was taken up by some people, on the Left, who pushed this concept of equality into illogical extremes.
Kids were made to race but all were winners; ignoring the fact the kids knew otherwise. We were told to stop rating kids in terms of positions in class, as if they didn’t know, who was clever, or thick, unless teacher said.

A farce, and rightly ridiculed by the Tories.

But now the Tory education minister, following the lead of Blair, is exploiting the same inanity: this time  by standing the argument on its head.
She is going to privatise schools (turn them into academies) on the excuse that they are “coasting”.

I.e if you are not excelling, then you are failures.

Academies come under a different assessment body (themselves), so State schools, directly overseen by Ofsted, will always have most of their schools “coasting”, being Mediocre, bog standard etc.

By continually grading non-excellent schools as “coasting”, State schools will eventually be completely privatised, until there is just the best one and the worst one.

 

tax loopholes can be avoided by the Treasury not having interns from Goldmann-Sachs.

May 4, 2015

Sent to D.Express (1/5/15)

 

Original:

 

I agree with Stephen Pollard’s berating of Patricia Hodge’s and her apparent hypocrisy, whilst regretting that she has been found to be guilty of such.

I have applauded and even enjoyed her dogged pursuit of those, who have exploited our badly constructed tax laws. Those who evade paying their dues to the governance of our Nation.

I have welcomed her pursuit of those, who, in a sense, are responsible for the dismantling of our armed forces and the politicising of our Police Force.

The latter, being accurately described in Frederick Forsyth’s column.
My problem is that it seems to be a case of set a thief to catch a thief, whereby, there does not seem to be any other politician willing, or competent enough to take on this role.

If we debar Patricia Hodge from future participation in such enquiries, who will replace her.

I, personally have doubts, based on viewing such committee’s, that anyone can be found, who isn’t either equally tainted, or totally incompetent.
The obvious solution is to employ people in The Treasury, who can construct tax laws, which avoid deliberately creating such loopholes but that would seem to be a pipe dream.

 

As published:

A very taxing question for red-faced Margaret Hodge

I AGREE with Stephen Pol1ard’s criticism of Margaret Hodge and her apparent hypocrisy, whilst regretting that she has been found to be guilty of such (“Margaret Hodge’s blatant hypocrisy just beggars belief”, May 1).

I have applauded and even enjoyed her dogged pursuit of those who have exploited our badly constructed tax laws.

My problem is there does not seem to be another politician willing, or talented enough, to take on this role. If We debar Margaret Hodge from future participation in such enquiries,who will replace her?

The obvious solution is to employ people in the Treasury who can construct tax laws which avoid deliberately creating such loopholes. But that would seem to be a pipe dream.

@unisdrm plot Earthquakes with a Global GPS system

May 1, 2015

The World is seismically very active; and consequently dangerous.
Consider that almost everyone in the West has GPS devices in sat-navs, smartphones, etc.
Why not use the relative cheapness of these devices to set up a world-wide web of the Earth’s surface?
Devices set at 1 mile intervals along lines of Latitude and Longitude could be used to map the movement of the tectonic plates and build up an accurate record of where earthquakes where occuring.
Those dropped on the sea floor would also help in accurately recording the effects of Tsunami’s.
The potential for understanding such adjustments in The plates would aid understanding and prediction.
If they were tied into temp and pressure devices, it would extend the net to weather-mapping and its economic effects
.

Others could be dropped onto glaciers etc. to accurately record their relative dispositions, or placred in Ocean currents, jet streams etc. to plot such movements, relative to the less mobile plates.

If we are going to have Globalisation, let it at least mean more than a few rich men getting richer.

No coalitions, please. Just drop policies that won’t be accepted. That’s democracy

April 25, 2015

 

Sent to the Daily Express 19/4/15

There’s no need for any coalition’s.
The leader of the majority party forms the next Government and moves into Number 10.
If he/she wants to admit opposition MP’s into the Cabinet room, that can be on an ad-hoc, or honorary basis.
The big issue facing that leader is which policies will obtain support from the majority of MP’s.

If there is a contentious policy in his/her manifesto, then he/she can simply offer a vote of intent.

If it’s voted down, then he/she can either shelve the policy, or face losing a major vote.

How that works with a fixed term Parliament has not been made clear. They don’t have to call a new G.E.
Either way the leader has attempted to honour their manifesto promise and other leader’s will have to consider their own manifesto stance’s.
That’s not a sign of a weak Government but of a strong democratic choice.
Those policies, which he/she can be sure of cross-party support, will be put in the Queen’s speech and should be, not only successful, but popular with the majority of the electorate.
A Government is not strong, when it can impose unpopular policies but when its policies have popular support.
No revolution was, ever, against a popular Government.

The boat people aren’t just our problem. They are Africa’s problem, also

April 25, 2015

Sent to the Daily Express 23/4/15

The Mediterranean boat people are coming from sub-Saharan Africa. i.e. Somalia and Eritrea.

By-passing Egypt and ignoring Saudi-Arabia, they are motivated to negotiate the likes of the Qattara Depression to reach the fartherest part of Libya and then risk a dangerous Sea voyage.

Modern telecommunications means that many must be aware, by now, of events in the Mediterranean.

Such strong motivation means that trying to stem the flow seems as futile as the attempt to prevent Jews reaching Palestine in 1946.

Parceling the migrants out to various European countries may be possible but not necessarily desirable for the countries they are leaving, or the countries they are sent to.

Creating a safe zone in Libya can only be a stop-gap solution, as the Libyan’s may react to such an imposition in the same way as Palestinian’s reacted to a safe zone (Israel) for Europe’s Jewry.

Long term, the solution is to make their own homelands safe.

It can’t be done without the support of The West but the rest of The World needs to play its part, particularly Africa.

Political direction must come from neighbouring African countries, such as Kenya, which is already suffering from the effects of armed incursions.

African countries can’t just shut their borders and expect the West to sort it.


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