800,000 Years seems like a long time to me…

Carbon dioxide levels are substantially higher now than at any time in the last 800,000 years, the latest study of ice drilled out of Antarctica confirms.

The in-depth analysis of air bubbles trapped in a 3.2km-long core of frozen snow shows current greenhouse gas concentrations are unprecedented.


It really seems to me that it’s time to ‘wake up’ to climate change. We have evidence all around us that it is actually happening. Temperatures are on the rise, storms are getting more violent and the world is going to end. Was this caused by Humans? We don’t know for sure, but the evidence points that way.

Does it really matter? No. We need to batten down the hatches, because we are coming out of a very peaceful time, according to the past climatological evidence. The estimated 6500 million tonnes of carbon that we put into the air per year cannot be helping. Just think about this: “Volcanic releases are about 1% of the amount which is released by human activities“. And then we go and deforest large parts of the world. Trees eat CO2

Another major concern is the speed of the change

The “scary thing”, he added, was the rate of change now occurring in CO2 concentrations. In the core, the fastest increase seen was of the order of 30 parts per million (ppm) by volume over a period of roughly 1,000 years.

“The last 30 ppm of increase has occurred in just 17 years. We really are in the situation where we don’t have an analogue in our records,” he said.


1,000 years of CO2 in 17 years. That cannot be a good thing.

Can I have one?

Martin Eberhard holds the brake down with his left foot and presses on the accelerator with his right. The motor revs, the car strains against the brake. I hear … almost nothing. Just a quiet whine like the sound of a jet preparing for takeoff 5 miles away. We’re belted into a shimmering black sports car on a quiet, tree-lined street in San Carlos, California, 23 miles south of San Francisco. It has taken Eberhard three years to get this prototype ready for mass production, but with the backing of PayPal cofounder Elon Musk, Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and ex-eBay chief Jeff Skoll, he has created Silicon Valley’s first real auto company.


It’s a interesting mash-up of IT smarts and Detroit muscle. These sort of synergistic effects are what are really needed. People sometimes get blinders and only see the ground in front of their feet. We need to look beyond our self induced horizons to see the real world…

Cool stuff!

The Theban Mapping Project has some really cool maps and 3d walk throughs of the tombs in Thebes and the Valley of the Kings.

Since its inception in 1978, the Theban Mapping Project (TMP, now based at the American University in Cairo) has been working to prepare a comprehensive archaeological database of Thebes. With its thousands of tombs and temples, Thebes is one of the world’s most important archaeological zones. Sadly, however, it has not fared well over the years. Treasure-hunters and curio-seekers plundered it in the past; pollution, rising ground water, and mass-tourism threaten it in the present. Even early archaeologists destroyed valuable information in their search for museum-quality pieces.

I just blew about an hour there. :)

Stellar Size

Size some times really does matter.

One of the things that I pass the time with is Traveller, especially G:Traveller, and the new G:Traveller Interstellar Wars. ‘Hard’ Science fiction has always been a favorite read for me, and Traveller brought it to the gaming table. I think that I got my first Traveller book in ’82. It’s been a non-stop obsession ever since. I own a copy of the basic rules of every iteration of the game – Classic Traveller, Mega Traveller, Traveller: The New Era, Traveller 4, Gurps Traveller and Gurps Traveller 4th edition.

So, I guess that you could call me a traveller geek!

One of the basic technologies of Traveller is the Jump Drive. It allows you to leave ‘normal space’ at point A and emerge at point B in about a week. Depending on the ship, point B could be as much as 6 parsecs (18 light years) away. There are a few caveats, however. The most important is that you do not want to start or end your jump with in 100 diameters of a massive object. For some reason, stellar objects have been ignored in this calculation.

Enter my quick and dirty Stellar Data Tables! (v2:Stellar Data)

If fryer biodiesel smells like fries…

Marlborough Company Produces World’s First Sample Of Bio-Diesel From Algae Extracted From Region’s Sewerage Ponds

Marlborough-based Aquaflow Bionomic Corporation announced today that it had produced its first sample of home-grown bio-diesel fuel with algae sourced from local sewerage ponds.

‘We believe this is the world’s first commercial production of bio-diesel from algae outside the laboratory, in ‘wild’ conditions. To date, bio-diesel from algae has only been tested under controlled laboratory conditions with specially selected and grown algae crops,” explains Aquaflow spokesperson Barrie Leay