Friday, July 29, 2011

Apple patents the colour white


I can understand a bit of a problem with fake Apple stores, but this is a bit much.  :)

US nuclear review gets delayed


I think this is for the best.  They really don't know what they are doing.  It's fine to be all hot and heavy, full steam ahead, and all that.  But how are you going to do it?  Nuclear seismic physics is 30 years old, and they've never done decent seismic monitoring.  We have ridiculous fragility in the old reactors, but what really snapped in Japan?

Now, I'm not saying they are going to do anything useful with the delay, yet it is probably better not to rush.  Here in Canada, we don't have to worry about such things as real reviews.  :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Blackberry really sad now

Other half got a new bb torch, and it went all scrambly after a few days. (memory leak??)  Had to do the old bb reset by taking the battery out.  Used to have to do that a lot on the old bb.  A sign perhaps of rapid exponential decline, the browser is terrible, and no angry birds!

Ontario new nuclear fading.......fading


“Two things have happened in the past six months which have not made the price of nuclear any cheaper. One was Fukushima and the other was the federal government selling AECL,” a government source said.
“The price of renewables keeps dropping,” the source said.

I think they will wait until the last minute, when Pickering is totally destroyed by an earthquake, or when it just falls on its own, like something in Montreal.  Coal forever!

I like the part about prices dropping...   :)

Checking for foundation soup


Yeah, a positive article!  I like this, and they should do more of it.  You can actually just forget the slamming, and do a seismic noise survey.  They used my 'soup' term!  Maybe they are reading me!  :)

Unfortunately, they are pissing in the wind, since nobody knows how to properly treat foundation conditions in building design (bad physics).  We await far more destruction in future earthquakes before that one is solved.

Arkansas gets tough on injection wells


Haydar al-Shukri, director of the Arkansas Earthquake Center at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, testified Wednesday that his testing recorded nearly 10,000 small seismic events near the Deep-Six well. Most were too small for humans to notice.
But only 280 of those seismic events happened within three miles of the well, a sign that the well wasn't the cause of most of them, al-Shukri said.
"Because of this, I believe at this point, with this data, that there is no correlation," al-Shukri said.

Oh well, this had to come at some point.  The red devil on my right shoulder wanted it to go on longer, and see how big we could get.   :)  

Arkansas reminds me of Georgia, and how poorly educated a state can get if it pushes its own tea-parties down into education and gov't.  In Georgia, they got all nazi on migrant farm workers, and now these workers are passing the whole state and letting their onions rot.  The local bignazi is demanding that welfare mothers pick onions!  Can these people really deal with earthquakes?  :)

California N-plant starts blowing the seismic smoke


“We don’t want to make the same mistakes as Japan,” Nishenko said about the need for the studies.
The onshore studies will involve the use of large Vibreoseis trucks, which will create seismic sound waves that are relatively subtle but can penetrate deep into the earth’s crust. 
“It doesn’t really cause that much ground vibration,” Nishenko said. “If we do our jobs right, you shouldn’t even know we are there. (The trucks) have about the same level of sound as a street sweeper.”

The lesson of Japan is the ridiculous seismic fragility of nuclear plants because of bad physics.  This is the same problem that has allowed fragile transfer-slab condos.  

Those vibroseis trucks can rattle your teeth out if you stand near them.  They destroy shoddy windows.  

BC Earthquake Doom


I just put this in because everybody is so hot about it.  I can't see it makes much difference.  Is the PGV going to increase?  Will we see Chilean 70 cm/sec?  All we know is all those modern condos are going down, no matter what.  :)

Not much posting because of cottage days.  I saw somebody catch a 10 pound lake trout right in front of us.  They measured it and let it go.  Nobody should eat those things because they live a long time, and feed on fish that eat other fish.  They have a good dose of natural mercury.

My fun trying to order from sleazy US vendors is over.  Those people at are a disappointment.  (10 bucks lost!)  Back to 2-times-more-expensive Canadian suppliers.  :(

Friday, July 22, 2011

SAD - Seasonal Affective Disorder loves the heat


I don't really have pure SAD, I have unipolar depression with a strong seasonal cycle.  Still, the summer is great for me.  I can drink beer and wine, all the things I'm not supposed to touch.  Come September, I don't touch alcohol because I can feel just the sniff of it.  Lucky for us, there is Cipralex, and my light treatment.  I do ok, but I miss my wine.  :)

Bad Tsunami Physics


After the twin earthquake and tsunami disaster, Chubu Electric planned to build a more than 12-metre-high seawall at the Hamaoka plant.
But it revised that and decided to build an 18-metre-high wall, taking into consideration that 15 metre-high tsunami waves tore into the Fukushima Daiichi plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co.

Doesn't look good for Japan if they can't do basic physics.  That 15 m was on open unobstructed sea.  If they put in a long seawall, you must take into account the momentum of the water.  That runup is many times this level.  The water literally jumps over the seawall.  Better they take the backup generators out of the basement!

Besides, these old reactors will never survive the seismic shaking.  If they go ahead with their stress testing (and they are honest) none of these reactors can operate.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ontario cottage country gets empty


This happened before when gas spiked, or housing crashed, or stagflation, whatever.  Cottage country became emptier on the weekends.  I've noticed this now, with the lake fairly empty, and no traffic on the roads.  I suppose that people will still try to get in their 2 weeks.  Last weekend was the first time I saw a super boat doing it's 30 second run.  This type of boat has such a huge motor, it sounds like an airplane, and all you see it do is cover the north half of the lake in 30 seconds, then it does the south half, then it pays $100 for gas.  Not many of those any more, and no float planes.

This usually indicates a cottage and housing crash.  Hold on to your hats!  :)

Drilling for Carbon Dioxide


Well, (ha!), I certainly find this interesting.  Some people look to dig a hole and bury it, while others look to dig it up again.

Still, it looks like a nifty urban vibroseis survey.  I must warn them that when we did it on poor roads, they sunk, and we had to pay for repairs.

Steam generators have to move


All right all you weebly mayors, complaining about putting these things on a ship.  How would you like them to be trucked through the country?  Here they are going to a big pit in Utah.  Isn't it better to recycle most of that steel?

Bad economy saves Ontario in the heat


Today we'll hit 100 degrees F with high humidity.  But the electricity grid will be fine because heavy industry has gone from these lands, gone to the land of fake Apple stores.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wind power craps out in the heat


We are totally roasted, and not a speck of wind!  No big surprise here.  When I used to work, there was this big wind turbine at Pickering, and it never moved all summer.  Tomorrow it's supposed to hit 37, and I hope the grid holds.

In fact, here in Ontario, the wind only blows when nobody wants the electricity.  If you matched true earnings (based on the spot price), I'm sure that wind farms have the highest price/earnings ratio in the world, even higher than Apple!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The 'Stupidity Defence' at its highest


I'm just looking at this, in the context of my association with evil companies.  When the shit hits the fan, everybody will say they didn't know nothing.  Only Martha Stuie failed in this defence because nobody could believe she wasn't controlling everything down to a single staple.  All these evil old men can say they were unaware of the prostitutes dancing in the hallway (one famous company).

Of course, they plan their stupidity defence in advance.  They do everything verbally (like the old company), and say things like "Just do it, or I'll fire you".  They don't accept any feedback, they don't sign off on anything.  One guy at the old company had the saying "If you have to come back to me, you've failed."  And naturally, these 'failed' people would be screwed, since all promotions were done in secret.

Of course, some low-down person will be the scapegoat.  They always make sure these people are lined up.  At  the old company, a hot-shot project manager would keep everything secret, and would be the only one to know the exact timing when everything would blow up in total failure.  Just before, he would hop off, and give it to some poor girl.  Ah, the good old days.

So, although it is obvious that this entire news organization is corrupt (how else could they survive in this day and age?), it will be the designated scapegoats who take the blame.

Tired of Google+ already

Ho, hum.  I'm generally antisocial, and everybody I know is the same.  This is just another Facebook, and it's for overly cheery people.  So, I've been there, done that, and it's on to the next!  :)

Long nuclear seismic safety article says nothing


Concerns about seismic risks around the world began mounting back in 2007, after a magnitude 6.6 earthquake struck close to another major Japanese nuclear complex, unleashing ground shaking greater than the plant was designed to handle. The quake set off flooding and a fire that the local fire department had to extinguish, but didn't cause any radioactive release. Several reactors still were shut down when the giant quake struck off Japan's coast in March.
The 2007 event "was a big wakeup call," said Antonio Godoy, who at the time headed the International Atomic Energy Agency's seismic safety center. "It was clear there was an underestimation of the risk." He said around the world there was a "wave of interest" in re-evaluating the seismic risk to nuclear plants.

Read this article quickly because there is a chance they'll yank it.  They always think that people will pay money for these things.  Where's my money?  :)

In summary, there is some unease that seismic risk has been underestimated for US plants.  Thank goodness this feeling doesn't cross the smug border!  :)   But really, they still talk about PGA, and 30 year old seismic analysis techniques.  The USNRC wants to go full steam ahead and issue new rules.  What physics are they using here?

So, it's the same old.  Maybe they can upgrade their pitiful seismic monitoring, but I doubt it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Love for a non-historic earthquake mechanism


The city of Driggs is roughly 20 miles west of the Teton fault. While this fault has been seismically quiet in recorded historic time, geologists believe it could generate a magnitude 7.2 earthquake at some point in the future.

Ah, some love for a fault zone that might only be a 1 in 500 sparker.  Here in Toronto, if nothing has happened in the past 20 years, it doesn't exist!

Earthquake rubble goes to expand coal


This just strikes me.

Normally earthquake rubble goes to landfill to build more houses on worse ground.  :)

Using a US address to ship to Canada

Ok, I need an electronic sump pump controller and alarm.  Do you think you can find anything in Canada?  And amazonus doesn't ship it here.  So I signed up at and got a US address.  Hope it works!

Bell Blackberry Expensive

My daughter has a blackberry, but only 6 mb a month data useage.  This is the absolute minimum I can get, with a corporate discount.

The total is $80 a month.  I tried to jiggle it, but then you lose call waiting, or you lose browsing, or whatever, since they mix everything up.  This is the minimum charge for having data.  I could make the usual monopoly song and dance, but I won't.  I don't know what the maximum data is, but I'm sure it isn't much.

Diablo Canyon to scare fishies for nothing


California has such a fixation with faults, yet none of the more recent larger earthquakes zoom along mapped faults.  They always find the fault after the fact.  In fact, I would almost propose the working hypothesis that California earthquakes hate dusty old faults, or perhaps there is some quantum effect?  :)

This survey is steeped in politics.  They just want a delay to get away from Japan-panic.  If they are going to do it, at least send out fishie-ships to see if there really is any effect.  Most of the seismic survey panic is based on internet myth.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cottage Hot, Hot, Hot

Wooo, that was some weather this weekend!  The water in the lake is actually warm!  So hot at night that you lie in a puddle of sweat and try to feel the ceiling fan.  We haven't had heat like that for years!  I'm glad those Chinese have stopped cooling the world with their sulfur, they must have totally gone to solar power.  :)

The fishing was great from the dock.  I caught lots of those invasive rock bass, but quite a few young large mouth, which give a tremendous fight with a light drag.  I always put those back.

If you want some fun, read the (miss) adventures of my son in China.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Google kills content farms and referral spam

Wow, they finally got rid of my weird spikes.  I would always get these at regular times, and they pumped up my numbers.  Now I finally know that nobody real reads this....  :(

Just back from Montreal, and I had a very nice time.  No jokes today.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Nuclear Stress Tests

I've been involved in nuclear stress tests.  They are very difficult to design, which brings to mind the great flippancy that everybody is diving into.  Everybody is going to do it!

The Japanese say they are going to design them in advance, and let the utilities run them.  Oh, yeah....   Problem is that the results of these tests are unstable.  Put one parameter a little bit high, and all the reactors fail.  And what physics are you going to use?  The same crap from 30 years ago?

Now, good old Canada will conduct them in total secrecy, and all the plants will pass. :)  Then we don't have the problem of running out of electricity.   Japan will make up some test and they will all fail, so then they will be scrambling to corrupt the results, etc.

All Ontario hot on buying banana reactors


Yeah, we're going to get some banana-republic reactors!  As outlined earlier, only the shunned states, and those that paid in chickens, bought these 'smart car' reactors.  Ontario is going right in and negotiate with the French Knights.

"You're mother is a hamster, Dalton!"

Google+ good for photos

Had a great cottage weekend.  I'm putting the personal stuff on google+ now.  Today I tried out the photo album feature.  This was a little trip.

I wonder if the whole blog goes here one day.  Not many real people read this now.  :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

NZ Earthquake Insurance Goes UP 5 Times!


Actually, there are no new policies, and this is a privilege for existing customers only.

Geotechnical: Ottawa Tunnel Going Shallow


Ah, they cheapen the project by going for shallower rock.  And they are relying on boreholes for this.

The only problem is that the vertical fractures have been disturbed by ancient glaciation.  We found that rock can be disturbed up to 60 m deep.  Obviously, there is less of that the deeper you go.  Now, maybe the rock is all gunked up with Leda clay, so that everything is breezin'.  Or maybe there's sand!

I'm making a prediction that shallow isn't cheaper.  But, then, I thought this whole project would be a rock disaster, even at the deeper depths.  Vertical boreholes are a bitch with vertical fractures!  Have fun!  :)

ps. I would be less gloomy with rock stress measurements!

Nice modular home for earthquakes


This is nice, but probably way too expensive.  Why not just put up a pile of bricks?  :)  I like the use of a floating frame on screw piles.  I think NZ needs something like this, since it is truly impossible to put something safe up on their muck.  Standard materials, such as drywall and concrete would require more piles and a heavier frame.

If the foundation is moderately decent, then I would go with integrated foam concrete forms on a pile base.  The roof should be steel.  I once liked concrete dome houses, but those have a very poor living density.

Patent System Corrupt


No great comments on this.  Microsoft is being a gangster, but it's not the first.  I guess it's just a matter of how greedy, and how much is anti-competitive.  My prediction is that this will become more and more corrupt, and more anti-anti-trust.  At that point, the whole thing will tumble.

In the meantime, why not ask for $100 per phone?  What's the diff?  Why not have a patent on the use of fingers, or vocal cords?  And what horrible things are the gangsters going to do with the Nortel patents?  We can  only wonder....

Ontario New Nuclear Clear to Proceed


DURHAM -- The privatization of the company that manufactures the CANDU nuclear reactors used in Durham Region nuclear plants means plans for new reactors at Darlington can move forward, said Canada's finance minister.

This gave me my morning laugh, and I hope it cheers you up as well.  Looks like everybody wants a Banana Reactor!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Fish is Google-plussed!

Oh, yeah.  I'm in it, I'm in it.   I shall soon have live earthquake sessions, as I figure this out.

Doctors and E-Health


All I can say is that this is a bit rich, coming from the doctors.  They want it, and on their terms, which means their software companies, and them in control.  Unfortunately, this is not technically possible.  I was a fly on the wall for some of this, and Alberta did it right, with no doctors.  You just cannot satisfy them and have a working system.

Doctors in Ontario are continuing to put in little incompatible systems, that are geared to get them the most money.  None of this is going to work for a provincial system.  I think it's like having your income tax program having the authority to decide how much you'll pay.

Still, this is funny...  :)

AECL should have been killed in 1972


By the end of the 1970s, U.S. light-water reactors had captured both the U.S. and European markets, leaving Canada to sell its heavy-water reactors to countries either odious or poor. Canada sold a reactor to Argentina, for example, in 1974 – a sale that coincided with the repressive rule of the military junta that left thousands (perhaps 30,000) of Argentines dead or “disappeared.”

If we had killed the thing earlier, we would have saved $20 billion.  Now, they want to sell the banana reactors to Ontario.  :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Toyota leaves earthquakes to No-electricity Ontario


Well, Japan has no electricity, as well.  And we are going to run car plants on wind power!  We could also use a solar-powered Google server farm!

We must realize that Pickering is as much a seismic death trap as any Mark I reactor, and it could give up any time now, what with their rusty heat exchangers.  :)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Nuclear Plants - Ontario to get dribs and drabs

Enhanced Candu 6

A small 700 MW plant designed for banana republics.  No self-respecting bigger grid would want one.  Yet, as AECL has written off the weird and wonderful ACR-1000, this is all we get.  Probably only 2 can fit in the postage-stamp Darlington site.

This is like attaching mouse wheel to the Ontario grid.  We reap what we sow.  :)

Nuclear Stinks, Gov't Stinks, We Stink


Power corrupts; nuclear power corrupts absolutely. The industry developed as a by-product of nuclear weapons research. Its deployment was used to shield the production of weapons from public view. Though the two industries have now been forced apart, in most parts of the world the nuclear operators remain secretive, unaccountable and far too close to government.

But this is a positive opinion, and I like it.  Really, you can't compare a new AP1000 with that old Mark 1, even though there are a heck of a lot of these old stinky things about.  And even Germany is going along with the flow, because it just doesn't have the power, and will soon be dissembling about that nuclear promise.

And if you really want to read about something stinking, just read about Smitherman's Swath of Economic Destruction, and his attempt at Commie Industrial Policy.  We are one entire nuclear station in the hole because of him. Politics and engineering don't mix, but they always try again and again.

I really don't think we'll do anything about nuclear power until we are like the Japanese, and opening factories on weekends, and sweltering in the heat.  With that on them, they approved starting 2 old nuclear reactors. :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011


A really great long weekend, very hot and sunny.  But the horseflies are out with a vengeance this year.  You have half a chance if you are sitting, wrapped in towels, and holding a fly swatter.  Then, when it was very hot, our entertainment was to swat the flies, and throw them in the water, to be snatched up by a fish.  Like I said, it was very hot, and we were all huddled under a small umbrella.

These things are huge, and we killed a hundred of them.  But when you are doing something, like getting out of the water, or windsurfing, they strike!  And it feels like a big electric shock going through you!  Usually, when they bite, you can whap them, but if you don't have a free hand, you are doomed.  :(