Thursday, March 27, 2008

of Podcasts

Last summer while out cycling my wife found this mp3 player.

It's an innovage with 256k memory. as far as mp3 players goes it is LOW end and the reviews for it are suck city. but free is free and the 60$ or so it cost didn't come out of my wallet so that's good. I do feel a little sorry for the parents of the kid who lost it. I'm sure they paid for it. Just not enough to hunt down an owner.

So for the past year I have been using it to listen mostly to my own music. Stuff i ripped from CDs. Yeah, i still buy cds.
But recently I have started to put podcasts on it. I have been using the Digital Podcast web site to find things that may interest and entertain me during my lunch time walks.
I gotta say. Podcasts are pretty cool. I can see how city people and sub-way riders really benefit the most of these things. I find my self lost in the both the music and show I listen to, Occasionally talking out loud to myself in response to the show.
I find it is also good at helping you ignore bums asking you for spare change. Just keep on walking.......
For the time being this is my newest electronic device. and like I said, it only has like 256k of memory but for now I find it covers the bases. Perhaps one day I will crank up my inner nerd and go for the actual iPod.
But at the rate I usually do things I'm more likely to find another one.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Art Monday

Ahh, art days. the easiest blogs to post when you really don't have much to say. Todays art was spawned from too many years of telephone customer service.

How many CSRs can relate to this?

Please leave a comment if you are so inclined.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

GeoEngineering: Soultion or Risk? 4

prev. posts.

GeoEngineering is without a doubt a very complex venture. I completely read each story, report or whathave you that I posted links to in the earlier posts. I have had time to think about them. In the end I think that it is like a game of billards. Imagine scientists represent the cue ball and geoengineering the 9 ball.

Here are some ideas and lines that stick in my head as I walk out of this cloud (pun intended) of a subject and on to a decision:

  • That, If we only combat global climate change by lowering atmospheric emissions we doomed to fail.
  • That, in 300-to 1000 years (+/- 300 years) Greenland will melt. Take a good look at that again...some time between NOW and .....whatever, the time scale dosen't matter after NOW.
  • The ocean level will rise between 35-45 feet. Think of how much real estate that is. Imagine NYC like Venice. And Venice it self will be gone.
  • New ecosystems will develop as water level rises.
  • That, scientists are claiming(my words) to have nearly 100% certainty of the result of each geoengineering method.
  • GeoEngineeing is really really cheap. For instance the Department of Defense budget for 2007 was $439.3 billion. Geo Engineering = between 0.30 -to- 1 billion. That is like less than 1/400th the cost.
  • Mt. Pinatubo eruption of sulfur dioxide gas gave us excellent data.
  • A tread lightly but continuously is the best method.
  • That there are a lot of balls on the table.
  • A Butterfly Effect is the biggest global risk.
  • The population in 2050 will be 9 Billion. It is about 6 billion now, another 33% to add.
  • People maybe getting ill from experimentation fallout. (lo street cred.)
  • Experiments will need to monitor and minimize human health exposures but that some exposure maybe inevitable in order to be effective at such a huge scale.
  • Ultimately, We are damned if we do
  • and damned if we don't.
Nature will take care of it self but that natural processes might not be best in consideration of the human factor. ...I feel like I have talked my self in a circle like a philosophical argument. Perhaps that is why they have of philosophy.
But I digress, as humans who want human life to continue on earth we have no choice...


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

GeoEngineering: Soultion or Risk? 3

I really feel energized with this subject. I hope it's being read.
prev. posts.

In the Time Magazine cover article this week ("10 Ideas that are changing the world" -3-24-08) GeoEngineering was idea#6. In the hardcopy version they also present a time line:

1969 - Soviet Science. Russian Mikhail Budyko shows that the ice-albedo effect cools the earth.
1991- Natural Engineering. Mount Pinatubo erupts, releasing sulfur, which lowers world temps.
1997 Teller's Bombshell. Atomic scientist Edward Teller writes an editorial hyping geoengineering
2006- Nobel name-check. Paul Crutzen's paper pushes geoengineering into the mainstream.
2008- Funding the future. The geoengineering start-up Climos secures $3.5-million in initial funding.
2008- GeologyJoe is hired by the EPA to monitor the situation from his that one's a wish. I'm just seeing if you were paying attention.

In my previous post, I received a comment signed by David Schnare, PhD. So obviously I check him in Google...woah. Look here. I can't believe that I was able to catch his attention and elicit a comment. After further websearch I found a copy of his testimony on Climate Change that he gave to the United States Senate Committee on Environment and public works. I read the whole thing. Copy Here.
I next want to take a peak at RISK of geoengineeing projects. There seem to be quite a few but I will keep this discussion to the barium oxide (BaO) and aluminum mentioned in the videos posted earlier. They were mentioned as contaminants from suspected geoengineering experimentation. In a television news report they got a doctor to say the symptoms were: eye irritation, upper respiratory problems and nose bleeds.
  • What are the health effects of barium oxide exposure? (from a MSDS I found here.)
Causes irritation to the respiratory tract. Symptoms may include coughing, shortness of breath. May be absorbed into the bloodstream with symptoms similar to ingestion.
Eye Contact:
Causes irritation, redness, pain, and burns.
Chronic Exposure:
Chronic exposure may cause respiratory system effects.

What are the health effects of aluminum? source.
- Damage to the central nervous system
- Dementia
- Loss of memory
- Listlessness
- Severe trembling
In my NIOSH pocket guide to chemical hazards aluminum exposure symptoms are eye irritation, skin and respiratory symptoms.

So by my count that a possible yes to barium oxide exposure and a possible YES to aluminum exposure. Though aluminum could take long term exposure before health effects show and the BaO could also be from severe allergies.
We also do not know the degree of barium oxide and aluminum concentrations addressed in the video. An important piece of information.

**divergence**I am reminded of a Star Trek quote; something about the good of a few versus the good of many.

I will post my conclusions of my open-blog-thought process on geoengineering next.

Monday, March 17, 2008

14 down-->~26 and life to go

Here (s)he is making a debut to the world on this St. Patrick's Day:

What else could I possibly say?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

GeoEngineering: Soultion or Risk? 2

In the first Carlin document (here) that I posted last time the paper starts off assuming that geoengineering IS the most efficient solution to the climate change issue. That I question immediately, but let's accept that statement.
A few of the Solutions on the table are:
  • Add Iron to the Oceans (will increase plankton growth and suck up CO2. tried it doesn't work.)
  • Sulfur Dioxide injection to the the stratosphere (think volcano eruption. wicked expensive, could damage ozone. nope.)
  • Put mirrors into orbit and reflect the sun light energy back. (is this even financially feasible, or is it?)
Patrick Huyghe from Columbia has a good discussion (here). He smartly brings up Biosphere 2. That project is a well know example for the problems that developed with the atmosphere. The more the scientists tried to adjust it, the more things got worse. Biosphere 2 was abandoned. In that write up Huyghe quotes from the curriculum coordinator for Biosphere 2 Josh Tosteson:

"Do we have the capacity intellectually to understand complex systems at the level of the globe well enough to make intelligently thought-through conscious perturbations that result in only the consequences that we want, and nothing else? My intuitive answer to that question is: No, we don't."
No we don't. Yeah, thats what I'm thinking too.

However, the experimentation will continue. So, two methods down, one to go. That brings me back to "Put mirrors into orbit and reflect the sun light energy back. (is this even financially feasible, or is it?)"
It would seem to me that, of those three, this method would be the least expensive and technologically most feasible, but not by putting 1000's of acres of mirrors in orbit.

hat else reflects light back to space? How about clouds? How about we make a cloud shade? We can add elements and chemicals to make the cloud reflect more effectively? (Anyone know what these may be?....barium and aluminum maybe.)

k... so it's apparently being done. This news story is reporting on GeoEngineering experimentation in action:

There are actually quite a lot of these videos. There is an air of super paranoia, conspiracy theory to it them but I'm sure that if I were on the other end of the camera and lived where they did I might come off in the same manner.

I would like to see some journal articles documenting the studies. If a readers knows of some please link them for me.

s I like to keep my posts short and fit within the 1..maybe 2 minutes of attention that google analytics tells me that I have of yours, Please come back for my post on RISKs.

Friday, March 14, 2008

GeoEngineeing. Solution or Risk?

The first time I ever thought about geoengineering I was about 11. It was 1984. It was science class and carbon dioxide was the topic.
"How should we clean the air?" was the question.
My response was to put large filters in the sky, suck air in, clean it and put it back out. I had a grand vision of a large square filter on two legs standing 100's of feet in the air.
"How about planting tress? the teacher responds.
Damn, stymied.

Now it is 2008. and Climate change is all the rage in the scientific community and geoengineering plans are not just being developed but experimentation is underway. At the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website and search for 'geoengineering' I was able to find two pdf documents (1, 2) with Alan Carlin is the author to both papers. Below are the abstracts to the report as I think they are the best and most fair snapshot I could give:

If, as argued elsewhere, geoengineering represents the most efficient and effective first steptowards a solution of the global climate change problem, it is important to analyze how such a geoengineering effort might best be organized. A number of possible organizations are discussed and criteria are proposed for judging between them. The paper concludes that since different phases of the program can be carried on by different organizations, involving one or a possibly only a few countries would appear to offer advantages for the early and less politically sensitive research and plan development while international organizations would appear to offer important advantages for the later implementation and maintenance phases. An important question is whether the international organization should be very broadly representative of all nations, such as the United Nations, or have a narrower membership, say of developed countries willing to contribute resources towards actually implementing a plan once it has been agreed to.
and the second;
Proponents of greenhouse gas emissions reductions have long assumed that such reductions are the best approach to global climate change control and sometimes argued that they are the least risky approach. It is now generally understood that to be effective such reductions would have to involve most of the world and be very extensive and rapidly implemented. This paper examines the question of whether it is feasible to use only this approach to control dangerous global climate changes, the most critical of the climate change control objectives. I show that in one of two critical cases analyzed recent papers provide evidence that such an approach is not a feasible single approach to avoiding the dangerous climate changes predicted by a very prominent group of US climate change researchers. In the other case using a widely accepted international standard I show that such an approach appears to be very risky and much more expensive than previously thought. These conclusions further reinforce previous research that
emissions reductions alone do not appear to be an effective and efficient single strategy for climate change control. So although emissions reductions can play a useful role in climate change control, other approaches would appear to be needed if dangerous climate changes are to be avoided. This conclusion suggests that the current proposals in a number of Western European countries and the United States to use emissions reductions as the sole means to control global warming may be doomed to failure in terms of avoiding such dangerous changes. An alternative approach is briefly discussed that would be more effective and efficient, and could avoid the perilous risks and high costs inherent in an emissions reduction only approach.
So Carlin is laying out the thought processes of environmental remediation (ill call it). This is good and necessary as the planet struggles with the anthropogenic (20$ college boy word) effects to our planet.

But the question I know have, even after reading Carlins papers is:
Is this the right thing to do?

I end this post with that question. As there is too much information for anyone to choke down in one go, my self included.
I will not try to answer this question directly but attempt to think it through for my self and any readers that I may have.
If any readers have links to sites, reports, or anything else I should take into consideration please leave a comment and link.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Peugeot update

Back in June 2007 I put up a post of a Peugeot I picked up at a yard sale. The appearance of the bike was in pretty rough condition. I immediately stripped the off the parts, removed the bottom bracket and head set to leave myself with just a frame.

In August I picked up a wire wheel brush and stripped the frame down to bare steel. It took me about two hours.

September comes and I finally got around to painting the frame. I hung the frame by the head tube from a tree with a wire and began my first frame painting. I lightly sprayed two coats of flat gray primer over the whole bike. With time between each coat to dry. I then followed that up with two coats of a gray metallic spray paint. Again, letting each coat dry before applying the next. Finally I topped off that with two coats of a clear coating that was also came from rattle can. I gotta say I did a pretty fucking good job.

As you could probably tell I am not working quickly on this bike project and I still have the fork to strip and paint. Hopefully this summer I will have a new post to add about getting the bike completed.

Whaddya think so far?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Kinetic Cycle Trainer

I got Wife into cycling at the end of 2006. January 2007 rolls around and she is dyin' to keep riding and improve herself. So to make a long story short, we got a trainer. A Kinetic to be exact. {That's a picture of it to the left}

Well, we both have ridden the thing a lot. She much more than I. I prefer roads to hamster wheels and I have a fleet of bikes for the job. She just has the one and crappy snowy, wet roads are more of an issue for her.
So, she has been riding this thing during the off season like 3-6 times per week for and hour or so each time. Finally, something broke...well, broke is too hard a word, WORE OUT is more accurate. The threads on the L-bolt that keep tension on the wheel stripped. Too much loosening and re-tightening of the device...something we were recommended to do to keep tension off the wheel and device while not in use.

{This is the old L-bolt and knob}
Fortunately Kinetic has an AWESOME lifetime warranty. Wife called up Kinetic directly, described the problem and part on Wednesday afternoon. In the Saturday mail the new part had arrived. Only 3 DAYS!. Sweet.
I put the new part right in and she was on it a short while later. Lovin' it. And it was even more important this year because we currently have 42" of snow pack in the yard.

I would definitely recommend this trainer. The performance of the trainer is great and the customer service and response to our problem was super. If your interested, go to the Kinetic web site.