Tag Archive: machinery

Google Gagarin

It Was 50 Years Ago, Today

…when mankind left the gravitational confines of our Earth.

Google Gagarin

Google Gagarin

Yuri Gagarin

Yuri Gagarin

A poor boy from the steppes, Yuri Gagarin, simultaneously became the first man in space and the first man to leave Earth and orbit it completely.  (This is something that took NASA several steps before John Glenn finally emulated the feat).

While of humble background (like Jesus), his father was a carpenter (like Jesus) and his mother read voraciously (as Jesus knew the scriptures).  Obviously, Gagarin wasn’t Jesus, but he did die in his mid-thirties which parallels Jesus’s early death.

Gagarin Launch

Gagarin Launch

I was alive when Gagarin stunned the world by being shot into space.  I remember very few photos of the man or the event.  The West was naturally very embarrassed by being overshadowed by a dictator-led communist state.  Most scientists were just astonished.  Most politicians and the mainstream media were extremely alarmist in public (and fully actioned in private) because the inter-continental aspect of chucking a nuclear weapon sized piece of machinery aloft at the height of the cold war was paramount in their minds.

What struck me then and since was the fact that Gagarin always seemed to have a happy cheeriness about him.  When we now see his pre-flight pictures, his confidence is astounding, because remember, before the voyage, mankind had conflicting ideas about the very survivability for a man in the entirely hostile and unforgiving environment of space.  Some said that a man would die within half and hour from radiation….

Of course, the Soviet scientists had tested these theories with mammals (dogs & ape) and knew that even though the animals died on their space-flights (and were destined to die, by design), they knew that a man could survive the flight and if a return to Earth could be made, he’d live to see another day.  They’d also done a small step-by-step approach to their rocketry so even though the rocket was made primarily as an ICBM, its designer was actually more interested in getting men into space and had designed accordingly.  (see this article on Sergei Korolev and his space-flight dreams).

This, Gagarin duly did, by re-entering the atmosphere in his capsule and then, when the speed had sufficiently reduced, by opening his capsule and leaping from it to then descend on a conventional parachute.

Amazingly, this all worked, perfectly.

International Space Station

International Space Station

We now see the benefits of this early Soviet work because for the next few years, transport of people to the International Space Station (ISS) will be done by the Russian Soyuz spacecraft alone now that the NASA Space Shuttle is grounded for good.

The Soyuz is a direct descendant of Gagarin’s early capsule and the subsequent work and deaths of Soviet cosmonauts.  Later joint work with NASA and their own accidents and astronaut deaths have made the Soyuz platform very reliable, in space flight terms.  See this Wikipedia article for a full introduction to space-flight of all kinds.

Google Celebration

Google, characteristically, have celebrated Gagarin’s achievement (and that it was, make no mistake, he was a very, very, brave man), with a decorated main page which I’ve copied for posterity above.

Hooray For Gagarin.

So it was 50 years ago today.  An event that changed the world and our perception of it and ourselves  in the universe.

It’s only people some years older than myself who actually remember the previous world where people remained fixed to the planet and could only dream and wonder about the reality beyond.  For myself and folks younger than me, we can only to imagine what that world was like because we are part of the world that Gagarin’s bravery opened up for us..

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Long Live Wikileaks!

Long Live Wikileaks!

Wikileaks at 213.251.145.96 Wikileaks at 213.251.145.96

These images will take you to the current IP addresses of Wikileaks. It follows on from my earlier help to the organisation here when a bunch of Swiss bankers mysteriously managed to influence “independent” judicial decisions in America.

The fact that I even have to do this is an abomination on the face of our so-called freedoms.

Governments: Unfit for purpose.

The Wikileaks “Cablegate” revelations have ensured that the vested interests of non-elected mad Arabs (UAE, Saudis) insisting that the US should bomb an elected group of mad Arabs (Iran) are plain for all to see.

They’ve also have ensured that a whole raft of dirty tricks are now afoot. Coincidentally (not), as soon as Wikileaks released all the”Cablegate” stuff into a full download, the US Gov could then see what was coming and the dirty tricks have become even deadlier, nastier, and even less freedom-loving. It obviously proves that worse revelations are to come.

The Obamas/Clinton democrats are now joined in unison with the US republicans bellowing for instant executions without trial, Israelis, Arabs, Chinese and a host of other countries in an amazingly eclectic unholy alliance that proves that the whole diplomatic world is a very unhealthy cabal of back-scratching plebian egoists with the safety and reputation of their own peoples far below that of the maintenance of their own expanding clique of free-loading arse-lickers.

The fact that they can get the tiny oligarchy of the DNS servers to pull the website index globally on whistle-blowers says it all about internet freedom and even the Internet’s resilience to nuclear attack (yes – its first purpose was to ensure that all nukes got released and that there would be some vestige of command and control, when invented by DARPA).

The fact that normal journalism is now so economically cow-towed that they are for the most part meekishly submissive to the authoritarian demands of various states and multi-national corporations, also says it all.

The fact that sexual allegations against Wikileaks founder coincided with the start of the leak about helicopter gunships mowing down unarmed civilians in broad daylight and have since been expanded to continue with the recent shut-down of the site following an unprecedented DDoS website attack says it all.

The fact that Wikileaks has upset all sides of all governments says it all and reveals them all to be unfit for purpose.

It makes me wonder if my father should’ve bothered turning up at D-Day or Okinawa. What was he fighting for, or against?

Buddhism, Ikeda, Mandela and Education

Today (coincidentally!), Daisaku Ikeda in his Daily Encouragement address to the world, said;

Monday, December 6th, 2010

—- DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT —-

“It has been more than 20 years since I first had the privilege of meeting with Nelson Mandela, the lionlike champion of human rights. Recently, former President Mandela, who had just turned 92, sent me an inscribed copy of his latest book. …I wish to share these words…as an expression of my deepest respect: ‘To the youth of today I also have a wish to make: ‘Be the script writers of your destiny and feature yourselves as the stars that show the way towards a brighter future–for our country, our continent and the world.’ ‘Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.‘”

What we see with the attacks upon Wikileaks, is an attack on freedom as it attacks the open knowledge base with which people need to be informed and thus educated. Without knowledge we are nothing.

We are like the women of Afghanistan, shackled by their surroundings of a male hierarchy and ignorant of everything except that which they’re told – except in our case, it’s our elected representatives who choose to hide the truth from us. And in the USA, with over 850,000 people now holding “top secret” status, (which is 1.5 times the population of Washington), we see that the weight of state machinery now devoted to hiding the truth, is immense.

What must be remembered, is that in nearly every single prominent Wikileak, the government has been found out to be doing bad things in our name. It’s nothing to do with national security as they claim, and everything to do with protecting those with comfy state jobs and a falsely clean reputation, no matter what they do.

Further Reading:

This is a copy of the main page entry.

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Wikileaks

Long Live Wikileaks!

 

Wikileaks

Wikileaks

The image will take you to the current IP address of Wikileaks.  It follows on from my earlier help to the organisation here when a bunch of Swiss bankers mysteriously managed to influence “independent”  judicial decisions in America.

The fact that I even have to do this is an abomination on the face of our so-called freedoms.

Governments: Unfit for purpose.

The Wikileaks “Cablegate” revelations have ensured that the vested interests of non-elected mad Arabs (UAE, Saudis) insisting that the US should bomb an elected group of mad Arabs (Iran) are plain for all to see.

They’ve also have ensured that a whole raft of dirty tricks are now afoot.  Coincidentally (not), as soon as Wikileaks released all the”Cablegate” stuff into a full download, the US Gov could then see what was coming and the dirty tricks have become even deadlier, nastier, and even less freedom-loving.  It obviously proves that worse revelations are to come.

The Obamas/Clinton democrats are now joined in unison with the US republicans bellowing for instant executions without trial, Israelis, Arabs, Chinese and a host of other countries in an amazingly eclectic unholy alliance  that proves that the whole diplomatic world is a very unhealthy cabal of back-scratching plebeian egoists with the safety and reputation of their own peoples far below that of the maintenance of their own expanding clique of free-loading arse-lickers.

The fact that they can get the tiny oligarchy of the DNS servers to pull the website index globally on whistle-blowers says it all about internet freedom and even the Internet’s resilience to nuclear attack (yes – its first purpose was to ensure that all nukes got released and that there would be some vestige of command and control, when invented by DARPA).

The fact that normal journalism is now so economically cow-towed that they are for the most part meekishly submissive to the authoritarian demands of various states and multi-national corporations, also says it all.

The fact that sexual allegations against Wikileaks founder coincided with the start of the leak about helicopter gunships mowing down unarmed civilians in broad daylight and have since been expanded to continue with the recent shut-down of the site following an unprecedented DDoS website attack says it all.

The fact that Wikileaks has upset all sides of all governments says it all and reveals them all to be unfit for purpose.

It makes me wonder if my father should’ve bothered turning up at D-Day or Okinawa.  What was he fighting for, or against?

Buddhism, Ikeda, Mandela and Education

Today (coincidentally!), Daisaku Ikeda in his Daily Encouragement address to the world, said;

Monday, December 6th, 2010

—- DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT —-

“It has been more than 20 years since I first had the privilege of meeting with Nelson Mandela, the lion-like champion of human rights. Recently, former President Mandela, who had just turned 92, sent me an inscribed copy of his latest book. …I wish to share these words…as an expression of my deepest respect: ‘To the youth of today I also have a wish to make: ‘Be the script writers of your destiny and feature yourselves as the stars that show the way towards a brighter future–for our country, our continent and the world.’ ‘Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.‘”

What we see with the attacks upon Wikileaks, is an attack on freedom as it attacks the open knowledge base with which people need to be informed and thus educated.  Without knowledge we are nothing.

We are like the women of Afghanistan, shackled by their surroundings of a male hierarchy and ignorant of everything except that which they’re told – except in our case, it’s our elected representatives who choose to hide the truth from us.  And in the USA, with over 850,000 people now holding “top secret” status, (which is 1.5 times the population of Washington), we see that the weight of state machinery now devoted to hiding the truth, is immense.

What must be remembered, is that in nearly every single prominent Wikileak, the government has been found out to be doing bad things in our name.  It’s nothing to do with national security as they claim, and everything to do with protecting those with comfy state jobs and a falsely clean reputation, no matter what they do.

Further Reading:

Related Posts:

Rubber Dingies beat Flying Metal in War on Pirates

This is not a rant comparing the US military against others for effectiveness.  It’s purely my observation of events and appearances surrounding the current (10 years!) piracy problem on the high seas.

US5thFleetHomePage.jpg

This is the homepage of the US 5th Fleet above. All clean and big and modern and powerful and heroic (Take My Breath Away, Tom).   Well, that’s the impression I see it as trying to project. It’s purpose (apart from the usual political puff ) is to ensure Arab oil reaches America and Western Europe.

This weeks events with the hijacking of 300,000 tonnes of the stuff wrapped up inside a tanker prove that either hi-tech doesn’t work or isn’t being used properly.

RN Dingies capture piratesContrast this with another attempted hijack by the pirates last week.  The attempt on a Danish ship was rebuffed and some pirates killed, the rest surrendering under “intense and surprisingly accurate fire”.  This fire was delivered by some Royal Navy Marines, sat in rubber dingies!

Neustrashimy - report on TASSThey had been sent to interrogate the small pirate dhow from one of two small military vessels, HMS Cumberland  and the Russian Neustrashimy.  The BBC story and one from TASS both corroborate (click photos to view stories).

The “success”, if that’s what people’s death is, is that getting stuck in at ground level is the way forward.  Floating around in zillion dollar machinery does nothing.  The capture of the Sirius Star demonstrates the triumph of mismanaged resources over common sense pragmatism.

Sirius StarAs a reminder, this is a picture of the supertanker, just captured by men in wooden dhows!

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We Now Have A Fantastic Opportunity to be Free from Foreign Energy Ties!

It’s True! Record profits at Gazprom as it forms Opec-style gas cartel

The news that yesterday,…

(new bad guy?) Russia (aka Putin Inc), Iran (axis of evil?) and (our friend?) Qatar have decided to collude together like OPEC to drive up gas prices (sorry, control the market in a uniform way beneficial to suppliers and consumers),

…should be seen as a masterful stroke of luck to free ourselves from the hegemony of foreign energy control.

Sorry about the heavy dose of sarcastic irony above, but it really is true.  It’s up to us!

Now that the UK government has shown it’s willing to spend billions of our quids ensuring the gambling bankers get their bonuses, it should now also show it’s willingness to invest NOW in alternative energy sources and divest NOW our reliance on dodgy places.

And NOT those stupid Wind Farms!

The only way to satisfy our energy needs is to harness the power of the ocean that we most fortuitously sit in.  Simple schoolboy physics says so, not me!  It’s all in the equation for kinetic energy that defines how much “energy” something that’s moving actually has relative to something else – like the ground we sit on!

These are some base specs for air and water from Wikipedia.

Look at air.

UK Mean annual wind speed

UK Mean annual wind speed

Density and Mass: 1.2 kg/m³

Average wind speeds.~5-6 m/s  (not as much as what you’d think, eh?)

Now look at water:

Density and mass: ~1000 kg/m³

Average water speeds:  ~1-2 m/s  (about right, I suppose)

Consider the difference between being smacked in the face with a cubic metre of air and a cubic metre of water both travelling at walking speed…..ouch!

The actual speeds of the air and the sea are very variable.  The tides, on the other hand are very predictable, but,  it’s estimated the UK only has about 5% of it’s energy needs sat there in the twice daily tides we experience.

But for the sea, tides aren’t the only resource.  We are all familiar with the crashing waves of winter and the pleasing waves of summer.  This is a constant but variable resource.  But compare it to the wind.

It has about the same sort of speed but is >800 times heavier!

If we plug these numbers into the formula for Kinetic Energy, because the average speeds of air and water are about the same,  it means that for each cubic metre of water hitting our wave energy device, it has the potential to extract over 800 times the energy that our wind energy extraction device can get from each cubic metre of air!.

Or to put it another way, the machinery we’d need would be an awful lot smaller and an awful lot less visually intrusive.

Now let’s kick out the jams and get this show on the road before it’s far, far, too late.

As an aside, the comment from an EU spokesperson was just bluster and totally without validity in a free world of independent states. Here’s what was said in the Telegraph article at the bottom;

The European commission has pledged to fight the creation of any organisation that could restrict competition. “The European commission feels that energy supplies have to be sold in a free market,” a spokesman said.

Exactly how they intend to fight isn’t made clear.  The truth is that Russia, Iran and Qatar are independent sovereign states, mostly with substantial arsenals of weapons that they have previously demonstrated their willingness to use.  In fact the EU, and anyone else for that matter, can do fuck all and they know it.

This is why we now have such a golden moment in out history to act positively for our futures.  We have no other choice; but we do have the technological and financial capability!  We just need the political will to act now!

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