mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Forever)
Sure, many of us are not citizens of the USA, but whomever wins the next USA presidential elections will have the ability to affect the planet in significant ways due to their control of USA foreign policy, and their ability to affect USA national internal policy on climate change and human rights.

Whomever wins, they need to be made aware that the the world is watching. To that end Avaaz.org would like your signature on an open letter to the candidates encouraging them to commit to climate protection, to respect human rights, and promote peace. In other words, to reverse the direction the US has been travelling under the incumbent.

Avaaz has already had a significant affect on the world stage, with the presentation of their petition dramatically affecting the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bali, and their continued work to prevent the media from forgetting about the siege of Gaza or the repression in Burma, among other things, so this is not just a wasted gesture. IMO, it is the beginning of what might be called "The People's UN", as the existing UN is more for governments than people.
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
Oh, the trailer for the Dr. Who Christmas Special Voyage of the Damned that just aired on BBC One has lovely visuals! It's so Starship Titanic it can't be unintentional, though the story is probably not the same. But Kylie Minogue as his offsider? I don't know... The trailer ends with a lovely line though, I paraphrase "I'm the Doctor and I'm going to save the world. Got a problem with that?"

Click on the 14 to see it. Only problem is that it seems to need Internet Explorer to work.

Prior to that I was watching the Oceans episode of the series Earth : The Power of the Planet. A lush series, presented by Iain Stewart. The Oceans episode has an effective animation that explains the conveyor, and he also goes into how the failure of the conveyor triggered a mass extinction of 90% of life on the planet at the time. He also talks about how this happened for land creatures (hyrdrogen sulphide) and talks about phytoplankton, which was something I was first exposed to as a risk way back in the late seventies, and have been surprised to see it not mentioned as often as one might expect.

But he also has dwarf elephants from Sicily, he races the tide up an Amazonian river, and explains how waves are formed. So overall a very entertaining and educational program, which has added ideas to my plans. There's a lot energy trundling around the planet, driven by solar heat at the equator, and the radiation of that heat at the poles.
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Morpheus)
I've been reading up on peak oil and energy related matter's, partially because of [livejournal.com profile] bigby_wolf's posts. Everything seems to be doom and gloom, and everyone's trying to convince you that there's no way out. I don't accept that. Thinking that way is a defeatist attitude that will prevent you from finding a solution. It would still be prudent to plan for not finding a solution, but the focus should be on finding a solution, not on retrenchement.

The otherwise seemingly exhaustive coverage at Life After The Oil Crash mentions fusion only in a single paragraph and links to an article that has nothing to do with fusion power, only a nice example of cold fusion as a neutron source.

Fusion power is a reality. It's not a commercial reality, but that's primarily because of lack of funding. The US pulled out of the ITER project because of the political nature of funding international research. Funding for fusion is stupidly low, even though it's the most likely solution to the energy crisis. In fact, the US is spending more per day in Iraq than the year's budget for ITER project. I suppose they don't really want to solve the energy crisis, because that would prevent them from following their doomsday plans. Too many greenies feel the same way it seems. They'd rather go back to the stone age than admit technology can save the day.

There are issues to be resolved, and it costs to solve them, but when the alternative is TEOTWAWKI, why are billions of dollars a day being thrown at controlling oil reserves which we know will run out much more quickly, and not properly funding the most likely potential solution?

Like any energy source , fusion is not infinitely sustainable (including solar, wind, you name it, none of it is infinitely sustainable), but estimates are that with current designs there would be enough deuterium to last us for 150,000 years and enough lithium to last for sixty million years. One presumes that amount of time would give us the opportunity to come up with something else. The safety issues are less than those of a coal or an oil-fired power plant. And that's even without the possibility of aneutronic fusion

I also think that Life After The Oil Crash's dismissal of SPS does not take into account the situation they are themselves describing. They say there are "technical and regulatory hurdles". The technical hurdles are again funding-based, they know how to solve them but they don't have the money to do it. And again, surely a "regulatory issue", which is largely due to people being afraid that SPS systems could be used as orbital weapon platforms (whereas in fact the worse you're likely to get is bad sunburn if someone tries to use one as a weapon) and treaties controlling commercial exploitation of space, would surely be a non-issue in a TEOTWAWKI situation?

I feel the main problem is that science is no longer cool. People would prefer that we were reduced to the stone age and went back to being god-fearing peasants than have those nerdy scientists save them, and I think it's probably the most dangerous appearance of the "tall poppy syndrome" we've experienced.
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Morpheus)
This video is something you must watch. You may not agree with all he says, I know I don't, but it's damn funny, educational, and it's the sort of tactics needed, I think, to get more people moving and to help them understand. His skit of Hugo Chavez standing up to the US is wonderful. It's the first time I've seen someone on camera get across the point that "China is the superpower now" so well.
Thanks for linking to it [livejournal.com profile] bigby_wolf!

A warning though, it's 45 minutes long!.
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
It may be Friday morning back home, but it's Thursday night here so seeing as I haven't had an actual dinner meal since G left last Thursday, I thought I'd be with TNC in spirit, and went had my normal murgh tikka masala at The Saffron Club. It has to be the least Indian Indian restaurant I've eaten at, with sparkly colour-changing lights and music that sounds like it would be at home on Rise FM from GTA.

The food was OK, though like most English curries, not very hot. The garlic naan was special, I;m sure the naan's in the UK here are bigger and thicker than elsewhere. Their mango lassi made a nice dessert. The main problem was my stomach. It has shrunk. I feel totally bloated after only a single naan, MTM, & rice. When Ii got back I crashed on the couch for many minutes trying to deal with the bloat

I am currently ROFL about Whose Line Is It Anyway?. Colin Mockery doing a tyrannosaurus is just hilarious.

It seems that it's primarily the US, Canada, and Japan, that are the prime blockers in Bali. So people are saying that they should ignore them, because all those countries will be facing government changes very soon and the new governments will be forced to into line by the voters, like Australia was. Unfortunately I don't believe it, neither the US nor Japan have a credible green or liberal party. But anyway, Avaaz wants a large dynamic response in the next 24hrs from you and anyone else who thinks the US and it's allies should stop procrastinating, to take to the talks and help shame those three into an agreement.

Meanwhile, via Daily Kos, a Florida jet that ran out of fuel and crashed on the Yucatan Peninsula in September with 3.6 tons of cocaine on board has been identified as one of the jets used by the CIA for their extraordinary rendition program

And has anyone back home heard about this Reuters story ?
A New Zealand woman who sent a naked man to the wrong house on the promise of a good time has been charged with misusing a telephone.
The 17-year-old woman sent the man an enticing text message offering him an early Christmas present in the shape of two friendly women and suggested he take off his clothes to save time...
But it was the wrong house and the householder did not see the funny side. The police were called and the man arrested...
And finally a review of the XO laptop, the one that is being built for $100 by Nicholas Negroponte's OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) project in places like Nigeria.
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
Just saw a clip on Sky News of a protest against the murder of sentient cetaceans in Taiji, Japan which included Hayden Panettiere(Claire from Heroes).

From Brietbart.com :
She was clearly distressed by the experience and is shown in floods of tears. Panettiere recounts seeing the dolphins bobbing their heads out of the water in distress and breaks down when remembering the sight of one of the baby dolphins.

The group of young activists fled the village before the police arrived. The Sky News crew, however, was later stopped by police and quizzed on their activities.
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Jet Black)
Passing on from [livejournal.com profile] repton_infinity:

Save energy, reduce greenhouse emissions, be an all-round good person and use Blackle instead of Google. Click on the "About" button to find out why.

Actually, I just thought, for those of us using Firefox and GreaeMonkey, we could theoretically write a script that automatically overwrote incoming style sheets and colour attributes to make pages go black.... scratches head... ponders...

Edit : I've just created a search plugin over at searchplugins.net that utilizes Blackle automatically! Have Fun :)

Frog Week

Sep. 9th, 2006 12:33 pm
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
To follow up from my posting yesterday, I've investigated the Department of Conservation website, and last year they ran Frog Week in October, this year's Frog Week is being organized by Otago University. I'm also trying to find out if there is any other way we can assist DoC to "save our frogs"!

In the meantime, they have a good article on our native frogs. Go read it, so you at least know what our frogs look like before they all disappear!

And have a look at the Herpetofauna Database, covering sightings of frogs, lizards, turtles and snakes! See, this all ties into SOAP!
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Tsume2)
[livejournal.com profile] meesto brought this to my attention. Apologies to all those my f-list who have therefore already seen it, but I thought it should be passed on.

We may be on the verge of losing all amphibians (frogs, toads, salamanders). And not in geological time frames either, potentially, in just six months!!!

Think about that. Not just a species. An entire class. Next year.

Anyone who understands the interconnectedness of things should realize the potential for things to get ugly real fast if that sort of thing is going on. To begin with there's going to be a lot of very hungry frog predators, like snakes and crocodiles, around. Lets hope phyto-plankton are hardier than frogs!

Saw Snakes On A Plane this evening. It really does rock, all the major cliches of horror movies and disaster movies were tweeked well, and it was exceedingly funny!.

In keeping with the humour, here's a couple of Snakes On A Plane images for your delectation : )

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