Tag Archive: energy

Tony Benn in Bing Top 3 – BBC Hide Tony Benn Funeral

Bing Search Shows True Popularity of Tony Benn

Benn Funeral

Benn Funeral

I’ve seen the Bing search engine promote Tony Benn’s funeral to the top 3 searches, while the BBC coverage almost hide’s the funeral!  For god’s sake, people cheered and applauded with gratitude in the streets as the coffin went past!  There was NO jeering.

Many people on social media have commented that the Tory government is manipulating the news output through changing the hire & fire of those that run the corporation to tory supporters and lobby groups.  This is readily apparent today, when comparing the BBC output for the funeral of a revered MP, Tony Benn, to that of Thatcher, the former leader, loathed and derided my millions.  See Mike, for instance.

Benn, top 3 on Bing!

Benn, top 3 on Bing!

Many on Facebook and Twitter have pointed out this difference.  So I checked an alternate stream…. the load page of Bing (Microsoft’s search engine).  That’s it here.

You will see that the top 3 web searches are (were):

  • Ukraine IMF Bailout
  • Tony Benn Funeral
  • Obama meets Pope

BBC Hide, BBC Change?

BBC Shove It

BBC Shove It

I was hoping to get some screenshots of the search results, but since I started typing, the results are now driving the BBC up the rankings! (Initially, the BBC was not to be seen!)

I can only assume that this is due to some BBC editorial decisions following on from a myriad of postings onto the BBC FB and Twitter pages of photo memes and comments like this one.

Key Differences?

Comparing the military coldness Thatcher funeral, where the police outnumbered the spectators 3 to 1, where the BBC really struggles to show any pictures of anyone or anything that is not part of the establishment, where the thin crowds are strung out and kept back like kids at the zoo, Benn’s funeral was a large, well attended, peaceful affair, where politicos and commentators from all sides paid due respect to a man who always spoke his mind, and was for the most part, consistent.  There was a warmth and closeness at Benn’s which was noticeably lacking at Thatcher’s send off.

BBC Funeral of Thatcher

BBC Funeral of Thatcher

Here’s Benn’s summarised.  Follow the links through.  Thick crowds, not the thin cold lines at Thatchers, all guarded and marshalled by thousands of police.

You have to ask, why such a difference?  The answer is obvious, but you won’t find the BBC expanding on it.  Only latterly has this belated report come out, now snuggled down and buried under the 2 year fudge of an enquiry into energy business prices.  It says,

A large crowd holding trade union and anti-war banners lined the route of his funeral cortege.

There were tears and sustained applause as the procession arrived at St Margaret’s Church, yards from the House of Commons.

Benn's Funeral

Benn’s Funeral

So why the subterfuge?  Matt Cole in small print says,

You could tell Tony Benn’s coffin had arrived at St Margaret’s before you could see it – because loud spontaneous applause broke out.

Yeah right.  Too late Matt.  Just too damned late.  You should have less fear.  They cannot hurt you by speaking the truth out loud right from the off.  Now’s the time to take a hold of the BBC and make it what it should be – after all – we all pay for it.

 

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Skaill 2012

Skaill by Crawling Chaos (reworked)

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Bay of Skaill

Bay of Skaill

I’ve been playing with a digital extraction of Skaill on Reaper.  Have a listen.  Guess what’s been done….

A video is to follow (slow encoding to get the quality I need) which is highly appropriate given my partly Orcadian roots and the track title.  Skaill is the final track from “C” – “The Big C”, by Crawling Chaos.  It is Jeff Crowe and myself jamming with some post recording tape twiddling.  Skara Brae which we both fascinated by is nearby and is why we chose the track title after getting the Ordnance Survey map out!  Thanks to Jeff Lynne on TV the other night for some inspiration to get this project started.

This is the video on the Crawling Chaos website, though the sound hasn’t encoded as well as I’d liked.  The link above has better sound with the forthcoming CD even better (natch).

Rees

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Disappearing Bees? Re-appearing Karma

Neonicotinoid pesticides and Colony Collapse Disorder

 

Honeycomb of Western honey bees (Apis mellifer...

Honeycomb of Western honey bees (Apis mellifera) with eggs and larvae. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Register reports on what seems to be a pretty good study from some guys at Stirling and Lancaster Universities in the UK.  The “boffin-years” worked (as The Register puts it) by them and another French team now have very good proof that it’s a group of pesticides, very lethal to insects but no-so-bad for mammals (like us) that are the cause of:

  • 85% reduction in queen (and thus new hive) production
  • 10% smaller hives
  • Disorientated bees – the bees can’t find their hive and die…
US migratory beekeepers loading tractor-traile...

US migratory beekeepers loading tractor-trailer load of bees for transport from South Carolina to Maine to pollinate blueberries.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) means for us, as humans, can be found in this information on bee economics which details a few major crops recently hit by declining bee numbers.  Further, this is a list of essential plants which are bee pollinated.  The ones which are marked as “Essential – can’t do without bees” are these highly important cash crops:

  • Squash (plant), Pumpkin, Gourd, Marrow, Zuchini Cucurbita spp. Honey bees, Squash bees, Bumblebees, Solitary bees
  • Cantaloupe, Melon Cucumis melo L. Honey bees, Squash bees, Bumblebees, Solitary bees (Ceratina spp.)
  • American Pawpaw Asimina triloba Carrion Flies, Dung Flies
  • Brazil nut Bertholletia excelsa Bumblebees, Orchid bees (Euglossini), Carpenter bees
  • Kiwifruit Actinidia deliciosa Honey bees, Bumblebees, Solitary bees
  • Atemoya, Cherimoya, Custard apple Annona squamosa Nitidulid Beetles
  • Watermelon Citrullus lanatus Honey bees, Bumblebees, Solitary bees
  • Passion fruit. Maracuja Passiflora edulis Carpenter bees, Solitary bees, Bumblebees,
  • Macadamia Macadamia ternifolia Honey bees, Stingless bees (Trigona carbonaria), Solitary bees (Homalictus spp.), Wasps,Butterflies
  • Sapodilla Manikara zapotilla Thrips
  • Cocoa Theobroma cacao Midges
  • Rowanberry Sorbus aucuparia Honey bees, Solitary bees, Bumblebees, Hover flies
  • Vanilla Vanilla planifolia, Vanilla pompona Solitary bees

Reasons, Nazis and Jews – What are Neonicotinoid Pesticides?

IG Farben

IG Farben (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are many candidates for CCD and pesticides are just one possible or contributory factor.  Things like bee predators, mites, electromagnetic radiation, loss of habitat…. it’s quite a long list.

However, the two studies above seem to be pretty secure controlled studies that looked at one factor (the neonicotinoid pesticides), examining the bees in isolation both with and without the expected non-lethal local dosage of the chemicals so as to eliminate the other possible causes.

Wikipedia lists the major neonicotinoid pesticides, and below I match them to their inventor and/or current manufacturer:

  • Acetamiprid – Aventis (French conglomerate inc. Rhône-Poulenc, Hoechst and others)
  • Clothianidin – Bayer, Takeda
  • Dinotefuran – Mitsui
  • Imidacloprid (the most widely used insecticide in the world) – Bayer
  • Nitenpyram – Novartis (formed from Zeneca, Ciba-Geigy, Sandoz)
  • Thiacloprid – Bayer
  • Thiamethoxam- Bayer, Syngenta (another entity formed from Zeneca, Ciba-Geigy, Sandoz)
Fritz ter Meer (1884-1967) at the Nuremberg Tr...

Fritz ter Meer (1884-1967) at the Nuremberg Trials. Ter Meer was I.G. Farben official, member of NSDAP. This photograph of ter Meer (probably as a defendant) was taken by US Army photographers on behalf of the Office of the U.S. Chief of Counsel for the Prosecution of Axis Criminality (OUSCCPAC, May 1945 – Oct. 1946) or its successor organization, the Office of Chief of Counsel for War Crimes (OCCWC, Oct. 1946 – June 1949). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bayer

What’s interesting from this list is how often Bayer pops up in the neonicotinoid (a neuro-toxin) story.

It famously made Zyklon B, which made a poison gas and was one of the main methods of murdering Jews and others by the Nazis during WW2.  It did this under the conglomerate business name of IG Farben which was broken up post war by the allies into the original business entities, Bayer being one, and it’s still around now!

A Bayer (IG Farben) boss, Fritz ter Meer, served 7 years post WW2 for his crimes and then was immediately made supervisory board chairman of Bayer.  His crimes included designing a satellite concentration camp to Auschwitz.  Some Nazi industrialists & businessmen were executed, like Bruno Tesch.  Several other convicted Nazi War Criminals got high-powered jobs following their release, just like ter Meer.

Karmic Retribution

What I see as a reason for the bee decline ultimately relates to our overall karma.

It is not retribution against individuals directly.  The bad karma affects us all, now, because we have continued to allow processes to continue which harm ourselves and our environment.  The disappearing bees are just one manifestation of this.

Ter Meer got his nice job back at Bayer, probably because he was the best person to do it, especially at this critical period of rebuilding Germany.  We could say that he continued his life’s work of creating death by chemicals (which I’ve cunningly yet disingenuously alluded to in order to attract your attention!), but it must be remembered that alongside Zyklon B, the same businesses created many products which are essential to our productive farms and lifestyles.  Aspirin, for instance.  Fertilisers as another.

In fact, Fritz Haber, whose academic work was enthusiastically taken up at IG Farben and others, demonstrates the dichotomy of human nature by inventing chemical warfare while simultaneously inventing a process to fix nitrogen from the air to make fertiliser (or explosive, since it’s the same thing).  One gives life benefit, one removes it completely.  As it says on Wikipedia,

“The food base of half of the current world population is based on the Haber-Bosch process”

Haber’s karmic retribution was swift and fast.  Whether he knew or felt it is beside the point. It happened.

  • His wife shot herself because of her guilt over his personal supervision at the 1st gas release on the Western Front.
  • Their son who found her, was so appalled by this and his father’s actions, that he committed suicide in 1946 (like survivor guilt, I suppose.).
  • Haber was Jewish, rewarded by the Nazis who used his gas Zyklon A, developed into Zyklon B to murder Jews and others during the holocaust.
  • Many members of Haber’s extended family were killed in the Holocaust.

Direct Karmic Attention

A honeybee on an apiary, spreading feromones t...

A honeybee on an apiary, spreading feromones to ‘call back’ her collegues, showing her nassanoff-gland. Location: Tübingen-Hagelloch. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But now we can easily see, that by continuing the bad processes, by continuing the bad ideas, by continuing the bad attitudes of the past, the actions of the past have started to hit us all full in the face.

Bees are just part of it.

Our disjointed energy & food policies of “live today, pay tomorrow” are just larger examples of the wider issue.

To fully understand how we should proceed in our lives and how we interact with others and our environment, we need look no further than some key Buddhist principles, laid out before us a very long time ago by Siddhārtha Gautama.  He said:

  1. right view,
  2. right intention,
  3. right speech,
  4. right action,
  5. right livelihood,
  6. right effort,
  7. right mindfulness,
  8. right concentration.

This is called The Noble Eightfold Path, and if we all paid attention to it and acted sincerely with it, then we’d all be a lot better off.

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What is the Best Backup for Windows in a Small Home or Office?

What is the Best Backup for Windows in a Small Home or Office?

Which Windows Backup?  A History.

Over the years I’ve tried many systems for backing up crucial Windows data.  Currently for small-scale backups I use the ubiquitous and almost bullet-proof flash drives, my current one tipping the scales at 8Gb.  But for major backups, as the years have passed, I’ve used;

  1. Floppy discs – 1.4Mb
  2. Iomega Zip discs – 100Mb
  3. CDRW – 650Mb
  4. DVD-R – 4.7Gb
  5. Western Digital My Book Home Edition – 1Tb

They all had their problems and limitations.  The last one looked good with Firewire, USB2, ethernet  & eSATA connections – but it overheated and broke…..

Best Windows Backup!

My current system is from Synology and is a “DS210j – Budget-friendly 2-bay NAS server for Home and Small Business”

See: http://www.synology.com/enu/products/DS210j/index.php

I can heartily recommend the thing.  It has so much gubbins within it and far exceeds my limited expectations.  I installed two green 2Tb drives from Western Digital  in mirrored RAID for security and use the auto-backup software provided as well as Windows’ own.  This is extremely relevant for the large number of hits I’ve had to this posting where a major part of the problem is the time taken to do a backup!  In my case, the 750Gb just takes a few hours to copy across the Gigabit speed ethernet that the unit can use.

Addendum June 2011: The tool is a seriously capable bit of kit and I cannot recommend it enough. Get one!

It does everything it says on the tin, and more!  The whole thing cost me about 200 quid, plus an hour of my time to install.

Even its firewall is more configurable than any router I’ve used!  It can be used as a server for FTP or the web.  It comes with software for a host of things that mimic Flikr etc but without all the privacy or security issues inherent in off-line storage.  It’ll also run with any operating system because it itself is a mini-linux installation as it is,  and includes Windows, Apple and Linux applications.
Check it out, straight from their overview page:

Build Your Entertainment Center

Download Station 2 functions as a 24×7 BitTorrent, FTP, HTTP, eMule, and NZB download center. RapidShare and RSS download are now supported.

DLNA Compliant Media Sever ensures compatibility and interoperability between Disk Station and a wide range of DLNA-certified home devices.

iTunes Server provides an easy way to share music and videos with other iTunes clients within the local network. You can create playlists with songs that match the criteria you specified, and best of all, iTunes will update these playlists automatically as you add or delete songs.

Audio Station supports music, Internet radio stations, and iPod playback with connected USB speakers. Web-streaming mode allows your music to be shared with multiple users over the Internet.

Back Up Your Precious Data

DSM 2.2 offers comprehensive solutions for you to back up data stored on Disk Station or your desktop computer to the Disk Station.

Server backup includes two alternatives: Network Backup and Local Backup. Both allow you to back up data in the shared folders and databases. Incremental backup option and flexible schedules are available. All can be easily configured with a step-by-step wizard.

Desktop backup provides Windows PC users with the Synology Data Replicator 3 for backing up desktop data, Outlook, and Outlook Express emails to their Disk Station by choosing one of the three backup modes: Immediate, Sync, and Scheduled backup, while Mac OS X users can use Apple Time Machine backup application to back up their critical data to Disk Station.

USBCopy allows you to quickly back up your data from an USB storage device such as an USB flash or USB card reader to the Disk Station with just one single touch on the front-panel Copy button.

Enrich Your Web Presence

Photo Station 3 simplifies photo, video, and blog sharing over the Internet. The flexibility of photo theme customization, blog layout arrangement, visitor’s privilege setting, RSS feed, and the dazzling 3-dimentional photo browsing with Cooliris make Photo Station 3 your state-of-the-art lifestyle sharing center on the Internet.

Web Station with built-in PHP+MySQL allows users to publish their own websites or install numerous popular open-source programs.

Access With Your iPhone/Mobile Device

The iPhone App DS audio allows Disk Station users to stream music stored on Disk Station with their iPhone/iPod® touch where Internet access is available, while DS photo allows uploading photos from the iPhone/iPod® touch to their Disk Station.

Users with a mobile device running on Windows Mobile® 6.0, iPhone OS 2.2.1 onward, or Symbian OS 9.1 can log on their Disk Station to view photos with Mobile Photo Station and read supported file formats with Mobile File Station where Internet access is available.

Eco Friendly

Eco Friendly

Synology Disk Station is designed and developed perpetually with the concept of energy saving. Compared with average PC counterparts, Synology Disk Station consumes a relatively low amount of power and has the HDDs hibernate when not in use. This not only helps to save energy but also extends the lifespan of the hard disk.

Synology Disk Station truly earns the title of “green product” because of the unique Scheduled Power On/Off feature, and the smart fan design effectively cools down the system with minimum power consumption, yet keeps the system quiet on operation.

Finally, all Synology products are produced with RoHS compliant parts and packed with recyclable packing materials. Synology recognizes its responsibility as a global citizen and is continually working to reduce the environmental impact of the products we create.

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Antimatter: The Real Giant Leap

One Small Step for Man, one Giant Leap For Mankind

When Armstrong said those words (except I missed out the ‘a’), it looked like men & women would be walking tall on all sorts of astronomical bodies in a continuation of the Apollo programme.  As we no know, things didn’t quite work out like that though, and the Moon is still the only place we’ve been except our dear Earth – although unmanned and earth-based exploration continues in great leaps and bounds.

CERN Makes Antimatter Last

But although announced with a small fanfare, the news that CERN has made antimatter atoms in the form of anti-hydrogen last for getting on for half a second made me blink twice.  See BBC News item here.

It’s my guess that this is the real “small leap for mankind” that will eventually lead to the real “giant leap”.

We are now talking the Star Trek language that everyone understands;  antimatter, containment fields, annihilation.  Soon we’ll have dilithium crystals and the stock market to sell them in!

Consequences of Antimatter Creation

But seriously, it’s one hell of a leap.  The big puzzle is why matter (and thus ourselves because we are made of it), is here.

Why is there any of it, anyway?

… …  because in every experiment that we’ve done, matter and antimatter cancel each other out!    Exactly!

So the physical laws that we’ve invented or discovered, right back to the Big Bang, all say that we should not be here.  Any of us.

Current physics says that our universe  should only contain the energy from the mutual annihilation of matter & antimatter.  But there is also matter, which is tightly rolled up bits of energy….

Self-evidently, we are here, which means that matter had a slight excess over anti-matter just after the Big Bang.

So I think that somewhere within the physics of our creation of antimatter, lies the answer to the matter/antimatter conundrum, of that I’m sure.

We’ve made a few atoms so far and watched them annihilate with matter on contact.  The next steps will be to make and keep zillions indefinitely until they are needed.  What for?

Starships perhaps?

Animality

Now suppose we make these starships.  Our current selves are very destructive, both towards our environment and ourselves.

  • We live on our Earth, us in the West consuming like locusts while those less well off try a rapid catch-up.
  • We have never had a year without a major loss of life through conflict, disease or other disaster.

In short, though we may well have the technology and explorative urge for interstellar travel in the future, our present state of intense animality leaves us unsuited to such endeavours.  It’s unlikely that any expedition would arrive at its destination intact.  They’d self-destruct.  It’s what people do.

We must change ourselves before we can aspire change our location in the universe, or else our present location (the Earth), will be a blackened desert.  Un-departable.

Soka Gakkai

Today is exactly  the 80th anniversary of the Soka Gakkai.

It’s a Buddhist organisation with its philosophy wrapped up in its name of  “Value Creation Society“.

Let us all use three words as tenets, a true mantra for a civilised survival on Earth for generations to come.

When the time arrives for the Earth’s ultimate destruction, if we haven’t made a “Value Creation Society” that would allow our escape, then we are quite simply, stuffed.

So join the millions of Soka Gakkai Buddhists today as they celebrate their inheritance from one man, then another and another.

Makiguchi was his name and he died for his principles in a Japanese gaol in 1944.  He and his disciple Toda were hounded by the animality of the times and only Toda was left at the end of WW2.

From him, and then Ikeda, the Soka Gakkai  owes its existence, and we all need such principles if the magic of antimatter creation and containment is to mean anything in the future.  It’s a truly wonderful thing.

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