Category Archives: Adventures

This doth remind me

Credit: Origin Unknown. Arc de Triomph, Paris

“HARK! Hark! on yonder distant shore,
The noisy din of war I hear;
The sword’s unsheath’d—the cannons roar,
And Gallia’s sons in arms appear,
‘Tis France, ’tis France, the people cry,
Fighting for sacred Liberty.”    Thomas Spence, 1794

A truly remarkable image of the Arc De Triomph with a  vast crowd of angry French Yellow Jackets.

Notables on Macron 2017:

  • Osborne: “The leadership that France needs.”
  • D. Miliband: “[The] tribune for modernisation in…Europe.”
  • Freeman: “A French JFK.”
  • Cable: “I can offer the same formula.”
  • Lineker: “Boy we could do with a Macron.”

Oh indeed to be so very wrong, in short a time.

Science supports hydraulic fracturing, moratorium lifted on existing projects

After much lobbying APPEA has announced the Western Australian Government’s decision to lift the hydraulic fracturing moratorium on existing onshore gas projects.

How many studies need to be done to confirm that fracking kilometres beneath the surface of the planet has no material impact on the surface or the near surface waters?  We all know this has nothing to do with actual environmental impact and everything to do with a  small subset of the left that detests Capitalism  – the one “ism” that has made the world a better place as distinct from the others that have merely killed tens of millions.

Buru Energy fracking operation on the Valhalla North well-site in the Kimberley region of Western Australia

“The independent scientific inquiry has confirmed that properly regulated, hydraulic fracturing is a safe practice.  Hydraulic fracturing has been used safely in Western Australia since 1958,” said APPEA Chief Executive Dr Malcolm Roberts.

“The inquiry shows there is no environmental or public health justification for maintaining the moratorium.  The inquiry also rejects claims that onshore projects will mean a significant increase in emissions.

“While the industry would have preferred the removal of the moratorium across the state, this decision will give communities in regional WA the choice to support local projects and jobs.

“More than any other state, WA relies on investment in resource projects to sustain jobs and economic growth.  The government has made the right decision to respect the substantial investments already made by projects in the Kimberley region and the Perth basin.

Dr Roberts said prohibiting hydraulic fracturing would have crushed the viability of some of these projects, damaging WA’s reputation as a safe place for investment.

“The government has added a new regulatory requirement which will only allow these projects to use hydraulic fracturing for producing gas with the approval of the landowner,” Dr Roberts said.

“The industry respects that we operate on someone else’s land to develop a natural resource owned by the community.

“WA producers have close working relationships with traditional owners and pastoralists.

“During the inquiry, many regional communities expressed strong support for local gas projects.  The right of these communities to make their own decisions must be respected, including by anti-gas activists.”

Iceman: A 5,000 Year Old Reflection for Modern times

The Storyline

The Ötztal Alps, more than 5300 years ago. A Neolithic clan has settled nearby a creek. It is their leader Kelab’s responsibility to be the keeper of the group’s holy shrine Tineka. While Kelab is hunting, the settlement is attacked. The members of the tribe are brutally murdered, amongst them Kelab’s wife and son, only one newborn survives and Tineka is gone. Blinded by pain and fury, Kelab is out for one thing alone vengeance. He sets out after the murderers on what turns into a grand odyssey where he must fight constantly for the infant’s survival; against the immense forces of nature; against hunters he encounters; and, amongst the loneliness of the quest, against a growing sense of doubt over the morality of his mission.

Beside the generally engaging storyline –  this film likely quite accurately portrays life well before modern time.  Life was far from easy, childbirth was dangerous and without pain killers, danger was ever-present, be it danger from the environment or danger from fellow-man keen to secure new resources, whatever they may be.  It is a very worthwhile reflection, a reflection on our current abundance, long lives and freedoms.  We live in a world which by comparison is largely devoid of suffering, where  individual rights have supremacy, where long life is almost assured and where the frontiers of human thought can be explored.

This is a remarkable film not for its entertainment value but as a reflection on our forebears, the suffering they experienced, the challenges they faced and modern abundance, accepted simply as an entitlement by the vast majority.  There can be no guarantee that we will not revert to such times and we likely will.

The lead character is based upon Otzi- the Iceman discovered in the Swiss alps, now a 5,000 year old fully preserved human, the oldest preserved human ever discovered.

A remarkable film and not a single word of a spoken modern language.  Strongly recommended.

Despicable Research – Reprehensible Conclusions

A considered work by Alessandro Strumia, but one that is so politically incorrect and despicable that it requires censure, sanction for the author and dismissal.  What do you think?

Credit: Ananya Kumar

If the presentation had been about the other end of the IQ curve would anyone have objected.  Would anyone have disputed that there are a greater proportion of men with a lower IQ than women? Would anyone a have disputed that there are a higher proportion of low IQ individuals in prisons?  Would anyone have disputed that there are more men in prison than women because more men commit more crimes? Would anyone have called for convicting more women to even up the demographic?

Men and women have similar mean IQs with a  quite different standard deviation.  That is there are longer tails at the low and high ends of the curve for men.  Likely there is a good evolutionary reason for this disparity.

Strumia-CERN-Talk

A Feminist Version of Mein Kampf

Feminist journal Affilia: Journal of Women & Social Work, has published a fake research article titled:

Our Struggle Is My Struggle: Solidarity Feminism as an Intersectional Reply to Neoliberal and Choice Feminism

The last 3,600 words is Mein Kampf (Vol. 1., Chapter 12) rewritten from the perspective of intersectional feminism, using peer-reviewed references and terminology.  The paper received praise from its academic reviewers  “The reviewers are supportive of the work and noted its potential to generate important dialogue for social workers and feminist scholars.” 

James A. Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose and Peter Boghossian wrote 20 fake scholarly papers and had several accepted and published in journals. Credit: New York Times, Mike Nayna

Peer-reviewed literature has an important impact on society.  This paper received approval for publication because to nicely fitted the ideological position of the reviewers, despite the evocative title.   It says a great deal about the standards of academic research in certain portions of the social “studies” disciplines and the corruption of academic principles that has occurred on campus.

It would seem that all research is not created equal and the same must apply to post-graduate degrees in general.

You can watch the authors response to the acceptance of an earlier published research paper on dog rape culture published in Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography

390022198

The Benefits of a Standup Desk

New Standup Desk

Just got a new Standup Desk.    If you are spending all day sitting you might consider this –  it is a lot healthier and far better for blood circulation and general physical fitness.  It is not so easy to stand all day and I have added 15 cms of foam to the floor and a nice red bar-stool.  Strongly recommended.  Beware –  it does change the way you work but it makes it far more productive on telephone calls as I can easily walk to the white board for note taking etc.  At sunset the barstool also comes in useful 🙂You might note the wall map,  we reprocessed 6 million km2 of gravity data to better understand Tertiray basin structures and to assist in a regional geological and structural interpretation.

What is Your Real Age?

How old are you?  Before you respond, there might be more than one answer.  We have all noticed that there are always some individuals who seem to age slowly, have plenty of energy and vitality and don’t suffer from too many diseases.  There is a reason for this.

Heart Rate during exercise

The first answer to this question is of course your astronomical age, the number of times the Earth has rotated on its axis or around Sol.  If this metric was relevant then we might all age in precisely the same manner.  There is another metric that likely offers a more realistic measure of biological age and offers some indication about your likely longevity.  Fitness Age!

Exercise Analysis by Zone

This measure was created by Ulrik Wisloff and his team  from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.  It takes into account your  respiratory health with such measures as heart rate and weight, bodily dimensions, exercise routine and little more.  

This test is hosted by and managed by the university and has no advertising or “payment options”.

There are a  number of reasons why this test is significant.  The lower your Fitness Age relative to your astronomical age, the lower your mortality risk and that has to be a good thing.  Secondly you can use the “Back” key to alter the inputs and see what changes to your lifestyle mean to your effective mortality risk.

 

Fantastic Oatmeal Muffins

Healthy Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins

We all love muffins, but they are not the healthiest of snacks.  Here is an alternative, which is free of flour, refined sugars and added oils.  For those that believe they are gluten intolerant these contain no wheat flour!  This is a genuinely healthy alternative, high in fibre and essential nutrients.

In this recipe minimally processed rolled oats replaces refined flour, bananas or mangoes replaces oil or butter and a little honey sweetens the recipe and replaces refined sugar.  To take this a step further you can replace the eggs with chia seeds, just soak I tablespoon of chia in three tablespoons of water and allow to stand for 30 minutes.  I usually replace the banana with a large ripe mango for a different flavour and Rhum Clements 1952.

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups rolled-oats
  • 2 overripe bananas
  • 2 large eggs (beaten)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup sultanas
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • ½ cup Pumpkin seeds

Step I (30 minutes)

  • Preheat the oven to 170°C
  • Place all the oats on a baking sheet or whatever and toast until very lightly brown – but no more than 6 minutes.  Let them cool to room temperature.  This gives a slightly nutty taste.
  • Put 1 ½ cups of toasted oats into a blender – and blend to a fine flour
  • Place bananas or mango (yes take the skin off!) in the food blender with milk and honey and vanilla and – blend until smooth.  No not 30 minutes!
  • Mix the dry ingredients, oats and your blended oat meal, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon in a large bowl
  • Add the sultanas and pumpkin seeds and lightly mix (its about time for a little Rum, we strongly recommend the Rhum Clement 1952 – you deserve it)
  • Fold in the dry ingredients and allow to soak for 10 minutes (the unprocessed oats will absorb some of the fluids)
  • Fold in the blueberries lightly
  • Spray a 12-pot muffin tray with olive oil
  • Spoon a generous portion of the mix into the muffin tins
  • Bake at 170° C for 20 minutes. Insert a tooth pick into the centre of a muffin –  if cooked it should come out clean.

Step 2

  • Allow to cool
  • Best served with anything cold and accompanied by tea or of course more the of the Clements.
Rhum Clements 1952

Alternatives

You can replace the eggs with Chia –  see above.  You can replace the blueberries with, dried cranberries, apple and walnuts, frozen raspberries, diced dried apricots, pecans or virtually anything else you must hand.

Cost

Likely about 50 cents per muffin and US$1,000 for the Rhum Clements 1952.

If this recipe results in a hangover –  Enjoy!

SWARM Tracks Oceanic Flow Magnetism

Remarkably the ESA Swarm satellite constellation data has yielded evidence of a very weak but not unsurprising magnetic field generated by the movement of planetary scale oceanic currents.  The signal strength is however exceedingly weak and being 20,000 times less than the lithospheric signature took four years of data to elucidate.

When salty ocean water flows through Earth’s magnetic field, an electric current is generated, and this, in turn, induces a magnetic signal.  However, the field generated by tides is tiny and extremely difficult to measure – but Swarm has done just this in remarkable detail. (see the above video).

Nils Olsen, from the Technical University of Denmark, said, “We have used Swarm to measure the magnetic signals of tides from the ocean surface to the seabed, which gives us a truly global picture of how the ocean flows at all depths – and this is new.

“Since oceans absorb heat from the air, tracking how this heat is being distributed and stored, particularly at depth, is important for understanding our changing climate.

“In addition, because this tidal magnetic signal also induces a weak magnetic response deep under the seabed, these results will be used to learn more about the electrical properties of Earth’s lithosphere and upper mantle.”

Read More

Olsen, N., D. Ravat, C. C. Finlay, and L. K. Kother
LCS-1: A high-resolution global model of the lithospheric magnetic field derived from CHAMP and Swarm satellite observations
Geophys. J. Int.211, 1461–1477, doi:10.1093/gji/ggx381 2017