My host, Site5.com, has kindly told me that this site (and others of mine) will be off-line from tonight for 3 hours from 07 Sep 2011 23:00 GMT/UTC until 08 Sep 2011 02:00 GMT/UTC. (I’ve had to convert this from the email which is CDT specific…)
This is due to an upgrade of the MySQL databases to something called Percona, which is a new one on me! Checking it out, it is a custom install of MySQL, with extra management software clagged on.
Following this morning’s (using GMT) earthquake just off Japan (now set at 8.8 on the Richter Scale, but it keeps rising as more information is analysed), I noticed that the Google search page has a Tsunami warning for all to see.
I thought I’d capture it for posterity.
This truly is an enormous event, the TV videos this morning of the wave’s advance making this perfectly clear. How and when it finishes, we can only watch and wait as one of the great forces of nature plays out before us.
Tsunami Transit Time for Japanese Tsunami of 11/3/11
Fortunately, the Tsunami warning system seems to be doing its job, and hopefully, those countries around the Pacific and the small Pacific Islands within have had enough time to warn folks to get to high ground. This image shows how much time they’ve got!
NOAA Tsunami Warning @ 10:30 GMT
This is the state of play a short time ago and the actual alert, showing wave heights and periods out at sea. When they hit the coast, things are very, very different.
WEPA40 PHEB 111030
TSUNAMI BULLETIN NUMBER 006
PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER/NOAA/NWS
ISSUED AT 1030Z 11 MAR 2011
THIS BULLETIN APPLIES TO AREAS WITHIN AND BORDERING THE PACIFIC
OCEAN AND ADJACENT SEAS…EXCEPT ALASKA…BRITISH COLUMBIA…
WASHINGTON…OREGON AND CALIFORNIA.
… A WIDESPREAD TSUNAMI WARNING IS IN EFFECT …
A TSUNAMI WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR
JAPAN / RUSSIA / MARCUS IS. / N. MARIANAS / GUAM / WAKE IS. /
TAIWAN / YAP / PHILIPPINES / MARSHALL IS. / BELAU / MIDWAY IS. /
POHNPEI / CHUUK / KOSRAE / INDONESIA / PAPUA NEW GUINEA /
NAURU / JOHNSTON IS. / SOLOMON IS. / KIRIBATI / HOWLAND-BAKER /
HAWAII / TUVALU / PALMYRA IS. / VANUATU / TOKELAU / JARVIS IS. /
What Brought Down the Air France Jet over the Atlantic?
Flight AF 447 left Rio de Janeiro, bound for Paris, at 1900 local time (2200 GMT) on Sunday 31 May. The aircraft, an Airbus A330-200 with registration F-GZCP, had been in operation since April 2005. Shortly after the aircraft's scheduled arrival time in Paris of 1110 local time (0910 GMT), it was announced that the flight was missing.
Aside from a bomb, which has never been mentioned because the authorities must have had a bit more information than they are letting on to disregard that option, lightning has been bandied around a bit along with big hailstones and updrafts.
A lot is being made about turbulence and thunderstorms in the Intertropical Conversion Zone (ITCZ). As far as I can find, no wings have ever snapped on a modern airliner due to up or down drafts. They may cause the airplane to do something else, but the wings stay on!
So thunderstorms, especially in the tropics, happen all the time. But aircraft can take them routinely nowadays because they are designed to. So let’s eliminate this option. If the airplane had stalled, at normal altitude the crew would have had plenty of time to radio mayday. Even with electrics fused, the airplane has an automatic spinner that pops out to generate new electric for control and comms. Lightning, similarly, because it happens all the time, is planned for and designed against, so eliminate that as well.
However, I remember everything, (on this sort of thing!!), and way back in the 90s I saw a TV show about the recently discovered phenomenon of Blue jets and Red Sprites. There are a host of such upward moving electrical discharges from the top of thunderstorms, nearly always above the ocean. They were postulated by Wilson in the 1920s, physicist inventor of the Cloud Chamber, which, it can easily be argued, helped to bring about the Atomic Bomb. They were discovered in 1989. Wilson knew his stuff.
My emphasis shows that all the factors are in place for a viable method of bringing down a large modern aircraft in open airspace. (also, see Letter to Nature: Gigantic jets between a thundercloud and the ionosphere; Wikipedia: Upper Atmosheric Lightning or TLE). Because of global warming, thunderstorms will be more prevalent and more violent as the Earth seeks to equalise it’s overheated energy balance. So I suggest that in future, it’s probably safer (but more expensive in time and fuel) to fly right round thunderstorms, not over the top or steer through. It’s another example of Karmic Retribution or Lovelock’s Gaia effect of automatic feedback mechanisms.
Enough of that. I think Blue Jets are the most likely cause of the aircraft’s demise. Their origin is at normal flying height.
Now watch the videos. Imagine trying to fly an aircraft right over that lot. The jets are remarkably reminiscent of what could be called a particle beam weapon, or a Star Trek-like phaser or photon bomb-type weapon. The concentration of energy, in my mind, seems perfectly capable of knocking a airplane from the sky either by electrical overload, or physical damage to the structure by pressure force, or electrical corrosion due to plasma ablation. No-one haas been able to study the effects of such a thing because they are so rare.
Although totally natural, I doubt this knowledge will bring much immediate comfort to those affected. If the black box flight recorders are ever found (it’s gonna be tricky, two to four miles down a crack in the ocean floor), they may give some information. They may be completely burnt out by the discharge, of course. I know they have various structural and pressure design limits – I don’t know their electrical resistance to high intensity plasma discharges.?
I’m a born twiddler. Even though something works quite happily, I’ll try something else.
So it was yesterday. In an effort to improve the ‘user experience’ and promote a bit of feedback on this website, I’ve been twiddling with various plugins.
Caching for Speed
Some time ago I changed caching methods from Donncha’s WP Supercache to Dmitry’s Db Cache. To be fair, there wasn’t much in it, especially then.
One reason was probably my sympathy for the little man! Donncha’s plugin is heavily plugged (pun intended), and even though that’s because he’s a good programmer and the tool has super ratings, I still thought I’d give something else a go.
Another reason is the “emperor’s new clothes” effect! Donncha is part of the core WP personnel and in my long and flawed life I’ve come to observe the obsequious nature of people in the most unlikely of places! So to eliminate that, it seemed fair to try alternatives. This is something I continue to do – i.e. not trust anyone’s word fully until I’ve tried or observed it myself. (Heroin is like this – it’s obviously crap by observation; I can see the effect on lives and society so I don’t need to test it. Beer is a different matter though…)
I’m not an expert, but I understand the arguments behind the two methods of caching. The query caching has actually worked very well, until yesterday. Then, all the plugin twiddling I was doing coincided with a big pile of hits (for me!) at about 21:00 GMT, mainly sourced from http://whatreallyhappened.com/ and other linked pages. I was getting about one every 3 secs at one point.
Then the website fell over.
I struggled to turn off plugins – my plugin permutation testing strategy now being consigned to a future date – and wondered what was happening. The database was alive but returning failed access. So I eventually went to bed!!
Today, I’ve gone back to WP Super Cache, cleaned out all duff caches I can find, turned off a few plugins and tested using http://ismyblogworking.com/. Well it is!
And very nippy it is too! (for me that is… as I said, I love twiddling and I love gadgets, and I’ve probably got way too many running for dedicated web purists – but that’s me!)
Never, ever, be afraid to experiment. All I’ve lost is few hits which in the scheme of the wider universe is pretty pathetic. But I’ve learned so much more. I’ll possibly go into this another time. But for now, it appears that Donncha’s WP Super Cache is super! The problems I had some months back were a combination of other things, and to some extent they are on-going. I’m not the first person, and I know I won’t be the last to be drawn down the wrong path when troubleshooting. The issue of my webhost is starting to come back again. I’ve checked out different hosts in my price band (actually that means as cheap as it’ll go…!) and they are all much the same. People are actually having much worse downtime rates than me among all the major players in this part of the market when I’ve checked forums etc. So that’s still to be looked at and decided upon…hmmm. Should I pay (a lot) more for a better service or just sit…..?
The Wikileaks site went a bit awry earlier today and then fell over completely (as of 20081119 20:31 GMT). There sure are a lot of people who want to know lives round the corner! ;-) It’s back up now (20081120 20:24)
Wikileaks never went down because of hit volume for the Baer Bank scandal , the reIevant docs of which I made available from this website when it was brought down by a US judge. In pure terms of deadly effect, the Baer one is much more insidious and much more dangerous. It’s ramifications I think, will still be happening long after Giffengate is closed.
In a Nicky Campbell interview on Radio Five this morning, Nick Griffin’s comment that the BNP aren’t bonehead knuckle-scraping neo-nazis and are actually hated by them for being too soft, is like saying one nail through your foot is better than two nails through your foot.
They both hurt just the same!
He also blamed his problems on the “liberal elite”, a phrase he used as an expletive with some venom. This means that being liberal (one who enjoys or promotes liberty) is a bad thing in the BNP book. Liberty is “the quality or state of being free”, a very old concept. So Griffen is wholly against Liberty, of that you can be sure. He & people like him prefer a life of non-freedom to one of liberty.
However, the very idea that he thinks our government is liberal shows how devilishly authoritarian he’d like our country to be. IMHO, these are already very dangerous, divisive, authoritarian times we live in. The UK’s draconian curtailment of personal freedom under the auspices of anti-terror and the continuing plans for ID Cards have seen to that.
To emphasise this point, this is what I said some months ago here:
If someone can get someone else locked away on their say-so for an increasingly indeterminate period, we have a police state.
If that person is a policeman, we have a police state.
If it’s against the law to tell anyone that someone has been locked up under these laws, we have a police state.
If the police pick and choose which laws to enforce, we have a police state.
That’s what it’s like now. The powers aren’t used much – but how would we know. If you hadn’t seen your friend for a year and no-one knew where he was, then who could you ask?
It’s unfortunate that the data release has increased the chances of identity theft for those people on the list. It’s a modern phenomenon that governments and organisations of all shades seem to do with reckless abandon. Everyone deserves peace and freedom, something that Giffen et al are obviously at pains to stifle. – It’s not for nothing that the French motto is Liberté, égalité, fraternité – it’s also not for nothing that they chopped the heads of everyone who was against that ideal! It’s unfortunate for those people on the list that the Buddhist law of cause and effect will be played out also.
But the argument that everyone is entitled to privacy with regard to their political affiliations wears a bit thin when one considers the fact that this reason was used when Lord Ecclestone of the Grand Pricks gave shed loads of hidden money to Labour and then fag advertising mysteriously continued for years incongruously slapped on the side of racing cars.
This single event wiped all the gloss from the astonishing 1997 Labour win.
(Since then, of course, Ecclestone has pulled and pushed to get all GP racing pulled from Britain….people actually begging him to keep Brand’s Hatch, Donnington, Silverstone…But that’s for another day)
So freedom, liberty, money, corruption, power. They’re all connected and keep going round and round as one tries to curtail the other.
My thoughts on anonymous dealings of a scurrilous nature are well versed on this website. I’ve nothing to hide and nothing to be ashamed of – so why should anyone else be ashamed, except if they know their ideas are unlawful in either the actual or moral sense? Me? I used to be in the Labour Party. Why not now? See here: goodbye-labour-party
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