Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Montreal pot banging

So, here I am in Montreal and the pot banging has just started.  I'm in this typical neighbourhood, staying in a nice 2nd floor walk-up that is an apartment hotel.  I feel I'm in a Richler novel!  I was staying well out of the downtown.  Now the pot banging has stopped, didn't last long.

Update:  I'm back now.  It was like living in the 50's.  Much like the US psyche is defined by toilet seat covers, these brownstones define Montreal.  I have many new insights, none of which I am sharing.  :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Permian Extinction


The disaster, known as the Permian-Triassic extinction event and referred to by Nasa as "The Great Dying", occurred when the Earth's continents were mashed-up into one landmass, known as Pangaea. It's thought to have been triggered by a combination of climate change, acid rain, ocean acidification and anoxia.

I am impressed.  This is the first time that I've seen plate tectonics mentioned with extinction.  This what I've always pushed.  All sorts of atmospheric change and the rise of the big flightless birds (dinosaurs).  Are they ever going to mention what happens when the continents break up again?  Are they always going to go with the meteor theory?  I can only wait, and fish off my dock.  :)

Northern Italy Crumbles

This is where I so want the quality of seismic maps I get for the States.  I look at this area, and it reminds me of Christchurch.  Basically, it is a lowland where there shouldn't be one, a bit of an anomaly.  It is topography that must be defined and formed by earthquakes.  The mountains are also formed by earthquakes, and the trick is to see whether it is still an active process.  In Japan, the big earthquake reinforced the topography, the lowlands went down and the highlands went up.

Now, I suspect these lowlands are perfectly stable for hundreds of years, and then they start to move in a series of earthquakes.  This is different from many places where all the land moving is done with a big M9.  Here, the geometry constrains having a single big earthquake (fractal scale limits), and all the action must be done with M6's.

Unfortunately I don't have any access to better data, either for Christchurch or here.  We shall just have to wait.

Update:  You can see here what they would call the 'foredeep' of the Alps.  It has very little seismicity, but that must fill in one day.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Summary

No big earthquakes.  Weekend was cool and a bit more seasonal.  We actually used the sauna at the cottage.

Big cottage toy is the new Off clip-on repellent.  Some people think it is ultrasonic, but it has a little fan for diffusing a micro-vial of some chemical.  I can't read the fine print so I assume it is as harmless as Deet, since you are breathing it.  :)

Testing it was tough as there are NO BUGS!  Even then, we couldn't find anybody to be the 'control', and go into the bush naked.  Finally, I took it to the ultimate test -- the overflow pooper in the back.  Only one mosquito came drifting in and I kept blowing the vapours at it.  Every time it sniffed, it took a shot back, like it was shocked.  "Ha, Gotcha again!  Coming back for more, eh!  Ha - Take that!"  Much more fun than the bug zapper, which would be over way too fast.  Finally, she left.

The good thing is the vial and batteries last for 11 hours straight, or for 2 weeks off and on.  Thus, you can use it 2 hours a day, turn it off when not needed, and it should last for the 2 weeks.  It is useless for walking through the bush, since the vapour would stream behind you, but I might want to strap it inside the canoe when I'm doing the Mr. Canoe-head for portaging.

Jam one up in there!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Not going to Montreal for a while


I've used all my whining, for not being dragged to Montreal with the other's business.  Noisy pots give me a headache!  Anybody who's been involved in this area for years, knows that this 'Greek Tragedy' was inevitable.  No money and everybody expects something.  :(

Update:  AAAAHH!  I'm being forced to go to Montreal, acting as bodyguard to the wife!  We'll stay way up in the horribly boring boonies, just to stay away from the pots.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

CANDU Down the Tubes


"SNC-Lavalin is acting more like Montgomery Burns of Simpsons' fame and if they keep this up in future they will only be able to recruit Homer Simpsons." said White. "Our members have built CANDU into a leader in the nuclear industry and now SNC-Lavalin is prepared to throw that away in one fell swoop."

And there are more choice words!  I like the bit about 'tarnished reputation'!  I really haven't thought much of this team after the Maple disaster, but I will say that we'll never see another Candu successfully built.  They may try in Ontario, but it won't work!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Italy earthquake shallow thrust


Ok, they are calling this earthquake 'weird', but it is the main mechanism for us in ENA.  A shallow thrust comes as a result of high horizontal stresses.  In this geology, Italy is jamming into the Alps.  It should have high stresses and earthquakes, unless it is jam, which is like North India.

If you were right on top of the 'Hammer Zone', then you would have experienced a very high PGV (peak ground velocity).  That zone would be quite small for an M6, so we may not have readings for it.  The area has been quiet for hundreds of years.  I suspect this will be the start of a series, much like Christchurch, but I'm not recommending an investment in cheese futures!  (They'll probably stink, much like FB). :)

Protecting the Cheese


Here's an argument to beef up seismic capacity anywhere in the world.  As we know from Italy and Texas, an M6 can happen almost anywhere at any time.  For this type of earthquake, we can expect a ground motion (PGV) of 20 cm/s.  You need medium robustness to hold out here.  You look at these cheese racks and they were ready to bust on their own, without an earthquake.

And here's an interesting article from the Clueless Swiss.  They are beefing things up, but I hate that idea of cutting out columns and putting in bearings.

Can't wait to see how that pans out!

Monday, May 21, 2012

The East Texas Earthquake Progression

I love this one most of all, because of all the witty put-downs on injection earthquakes!  Every earthquake gets bigger, and they keep injecting, because the Bible tells them so!  No small earthquakes, so I suspect piss-poor seismic monitoring, or the fault is extra smooth.  That means we could get the M6 any time now.

Blackfly Report - 2

Ok, so I was away on the long weekend for that big East Texas M4.8.  So shoot me!

Wow, what a tropical May long weekend!  Hot, with cold water, so I regularly jumped in for 2 seconds.  But the big news is that on Friday, we saw the first biplane airforce - the Dragonflies!

Love these guys!  Here they are in their Sopwith-Camels charging after the Bloody Black Barons.  A few on Friday, then a whole bunch.  Another few days, and the blackflies are toast.  This is just our area, some places on the lake have them for another month.  Now we get the mosquitoes, and WWII - heavy horseflies!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Texas calm about injection earthquakes


Ramona Nye, spokesperson for the railroad commission, said there are three permitted injection wells within a five-mile radius of the epicenters of the earthquakes. Two are active, she said.
Nye said railroad commission inspectors checked each of the wells Friday, the day after the first earthquake.
“They found no violation of any rules,” Nye said of the well inspections. “They were operating under their permitted conditions.”
Nye said the wells are permitted at 6,000 feet, while the depth of each earthquake was about 15,000 feet.

They are very calm about their injection earthquakes.  West Texas regularly spits out M6's, so I expect that this might become similar.  I would like more info about the injection rate, though.

Addition:  OMG, they still pushing the 'little earthquakes are wonderful' thing!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Injection earthquakes wittily dismissed


"If earthquakes are caused by fracking, then were those earthquakes in the 1800's preemptive earthquakes because they knew fracking was coming? It's a silly comparison," says Ragan Dickens with LOGA.

Ha, ha.  That's that!  No possibility!

Of course, nobody has a list of the injection wells or their rates and volumes.  My guess is that somebody is making out like bandits with a 'negative gusher'.  :)

LInux transcoding for Serviio

I had to give up on my old media server since it was causing problems.  Serviio is a Java application that runs on anything.  Still, it turns out to be quite a mess when transcoding on Linux.  Transcoding is necessary if your media player (such as my new WDTV Live) does not want to play certain formats.

All of the instructions are here.  I followed them blindly and they work.  As a test I was able to play mkv on a ps3.

East Texas earthquakes getting bigger - M4.3


Very interesting action with an M4.3 right on top of the M3.9.  Nobody mentions injection since it is probably all around.  So far these are couplets and not showing any pattern, but if they keep it up I'm sure they can do the Oklahoma!  :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

High level nuclear waste - people get upset over nothing


“Surely there must be a better place for a DGR, for a nuclear dump, than in Saugeen Shores,” Robertson pleaded. “Council is rushing this decision and it is a critical decision. There are real risks to property values, the economy and to tourism here in Saugeen Shores.”

Do you remember when Bruce made it's phoney plays for new nuclear plants, just to support Candu?  I remember everybody getting upset over the ridiculous plans to put one on Lake Erie.  And these senior guys are all cloned from the same hive-mind!  So, there's going to be no nuclear waste repository here.

Once they totally crap out with the nuclear thing at Bruce, everybody will forget locating in karst on an active fault.  But for places with proper geology, this facility will just look like a factory.  And believe me, there are worse factories than such a facility!  There's not a chance of any nuclear contamination because that stuff is so easily tracked.  Try saying that about lead!

So relax everybody!  Take it easy on the beach.  Put on your nano-particle sunscreen.  Breathe in those agricultural pesticides.  Imbibe lots of ethanol, and don't forget your Deet for the blackflies!  :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Asus O Play Bricked

We love you Asus, but man, was that a stinky product!  It should live forever in your Hall of Shame.

It was a brave product at the time, and ran on embedded Linux.  The only good thing about it was really great Wireless N reception.  The software was written by the President's Idiot Cousin, and the hardware was cobbled together by another relative.  There were countless firmware upgrades, and you always crossed your fingers when upgrading.  It usually was worse, or you risked Total Bricking.

It never worked right, but I tolerated its flashing menu screen, and it's problem with media servers.  Finally I hit the bullet in my Firmware Russian Roulette.  That's right, it is totally bricked.  Seems it happens a lot, and some people have gone to extreme lengths to recover, including taking it apart and attaching wires for a Linux console.  Even then, they eventually Super Bricked it.

Off to get something else...

Update:  Got a wdtv live from Costco.  They have a tendency to brick, as well.  Anyway, the wireless n is good, and streams well from the basement to the 2nd story.

Nothing new about Pickering


Pickering nuclear units among the most expensive, least reliable in the world

This is like picking at a scab.  No comment

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ontario nuclear plants ready for "That Which Cannot be Named"


He noted the plants remained operating safely during the blackout of 2003, when all incoming power was cut off. Massive flooding is another scenario the plants have shown they can withstand, he said.

Yeah!  Let's rewrite history!  They made it through by the skin of their teeth.  Afterward they put in this huge, low seismic capacity, extra generator.

But really, this article is hilarious.  They talk about the 'unthinkable', debris and other things, but they simply cannot utter the word 'earthquake'.  It's ingrained down to their socks!  I should know, and they have a very weird view of what an earthquake can actually do.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Blackfly Report

Another beautiful hot weekend at the cottage!  And for all of you who are upset about Global Gorming, and the fact that the Sahara was once a green paradise, and that all these Canadians are whooping it up, I have but one word for you - Blackflies!

Hot and blackflies do not go together.  You wear this big net thingies, and you start to sweat, and it gets into your eyes, and you take off the net, and WHAP!  You are breathing blackflies!

As well, the water is freezing.  I put my feet in for a whole few seconds, and I still feel it.  :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

US Injection Earthquakes Running Riot

After weeks of not doing anything, the whole central US is ablaze in red!  These earthquakes in Oklahoma were M2.9 and 2.7.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Indiana gets in on the injection earthquake action - M3.1 & 2.7

I always said that Indiana was behind on the action, and now's here's two of them, right on top of each other.  That is 100% - sure thing - injection action.  Being on the megathrust line, it is probably another 'super winner' hole.  Can't wait to see more!

Seems people only react when it is in the centre of town.

Oklahoma M3.9 earthquake

This thing has produced a heck of a lot of aftershocks compared to something like Virginia.  At some point, we can't even call them aftershocks any more.

Happiness is rock mechanics and earthquakes


I can't get a speck of sense out of this article and I don't have any access behind the pay wall.  I'm hoping they are doing something with dynamic friction and water, but I doubt it.  :(

Earthquake physics gets a jiggle


I have no idea why these people are so amazed about this earthquake.  Anyway, it makes for good press.

M3.7 earthquake East Texas


Hansford said he did not know how an earthquake could have hit the area, as there are no significant fault lines.
"It could be fracking issues," he said. "It's just a theory, but we don't have any significant fault lines."

Yeah, I'll go with that idea, too.  It's straight down the megathrust line, so if some happy people decided to inject, they would have found their dreams come true.  The hole would have been able to take all the surplus shale water from Ohio.  We can expect some extra activity in the neighbourhood.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Arkansas M2.5 earthquake

Nothing much has been happening in the US.  I understand there was an earthquake in James Bay, but Canada has the worst earthquake maps ever, and I don't do much with them.  They are happier that way.

If the larger faults were being activated, I would expect the pattern to fill in.  These are probably just local clusters caused by single injection wells.  As I stated earlier, if we want this to be a new-New Madrid, we need the NE and NW lines to fill in.  Then a new NE line from the town of Romance.  I'll let you know when this happens!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Bruce deep silly thing gets more questions


Once a year I look at how the horrible env. ass. is going.  I'm totally with Harper that you might as well cut this whole procedure down to nothing.

We got a few interesting questions, but nothing on grout, and only a slight touch on the Precambrian.

Provide further information on the location, salient features, 
evaluation criteria used, and a summary presentation of the 
comparison and selection process for alternative locations 
considered for the DGR. 

Justify and validate the modelling assumptions used to 
establish the presence or absence of faults or structural 
geological features in the vicinity of the repository footprint in 
a geoscientific validation plan. Include a discussion of the 
methods and their reliability in the response

My prediction is that by the time they sink that shaft a couple of hundred feet, they will have broken every promise.  :)

Update:  This article is popular so a clarification is necessary.  Please see Geofish Clarified for background on the Bruce Deep Waste Respository.  This silliness goes beyond building a reactor in a tsunami zone, building a brick town on a swamp, or a circular tunnel in high horizontal stress.  This has gone to situation where you can't even start building it.

Dinosaur farts warmed the earth


British scientists have calculated the methane output of sauropods, including the species known as Brontosaurus.
By scaling up the digestive wind of cows, they estimate that the population of dinosaurs - as a whole - produced 520 million tonnes of gas annually.

Yeah!  We shall go with this being the silliest article of the year!  Where do you think the dinos got all that vegetation in the first place?  From things being very warm, wet and full of CO2.  As I've said before, the best greenhouse gas is water vapour, which dominates the others by orders of magnitude.  Ask the Amazon basin!  The dinosaur era was initiated by having all the continents jammed together, and ended when the land masses all left the party.

Canada Emergency Preparedness Week


Ok, let's move beyond the usual stuff on this web site.  As we know, except for Vancouver, nobody does anything about the earthquake hazard around here.  Toronto follows a full fractal pattern up to M7, and an M6 is not horribly remote.  We know the odds exactly.

Here are my tips.

Check your foundation.  If you are on the Beaches, High Park, lower Hamilton, then get earthquake insurance.  You can usually tell by looking for settlement damage, or if you felt recent distant earthquakes strongly.  This means you are on on soft ground which can amplify the PGV by a factor of ten.

If you are on a swamp like above, then take your chimney down, or get it fixed.  I've seen so many chimneys without a speck of mortar.  Make sure all your shelves are secured to the wall.  Actually, that goes for everybody, since we only need a few cm/s to knock down shelves.

People in the big condos should pray.  :)  There will be no power for a week, and some condos will tilt.  Nobody will get killed.  In fact, the whole earthquake scenario is solely one of economic damage, which could be solved with lots of insurance.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Candu Whine Requires Squeezed Engineers


Now that the money from Libya has dried up, they must go after the few remaining Candu engineers.  Now, I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to buy a reactor from such people!  Maybe they'll all jump off buildings like those Apple serfs.

Anyway, Conrad Black is back to bash these people back into line!  Although the former AECL engineers have gone on strike lots of times, I have a feeling that this current 'squeeze' will really pop out the bright ones.  Of course, I've been saying that for a long time, since I never found any such people when I was around.  I think we lost all the bright people in the Canadian nuclear biz in 1993.  After that, the only stimulating intellectual discussion for me about nuclear, was with myself!!  :)

Glorious Cottage Weekend

Yeah for Gory Warming!  It was beautiful at the cottage, and this weather has really confused the hell out of the blackflies!  Earliest opening ever!  Used to be that the ice wasn't even gone yet.

The old pump foot valve-jet was rusted through.  Yuck!  The local Apsley Home Hardware saved me by constructing a new assembly.  Yeah!  Water was ice.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Armchair Thailand

For those that want to see Thailand, but don't want the 36 degree, 100% humidity heat, you can view my daughter's travel blog.

Unknown reactors approved for Darlington


OPG wants to build two reactors, with a combined capacity of about 2,000 megawatts. That’s enough to supply about 10 per cent of Ontario’s power needs on a day with moderate weather.

Ok, so that statement is a bit of Murdochian 'Wilful Blindness' but if everybody is happy with it, what the hey!

*Spoiler Alert*

The truth is that it's 2 Westinghouse AP1000's (Yeah!) or FOUR Candu little buggers.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Vancouver earthquake swarm: DON'T PANIC!


This is very much like a 'don't panic' article.  Why?  Are people panicking?

You can see that the available segment for a subduction earthquake is rather small, and tightly curved.  Most likely it is 2 segments, each the size of the recent Japan M9.  The whole thing would be an M9.2.  I think the big one would start with an M7 in the southern section, but who knows?  :)

Dinosaurs weren't feeling so hot


I've always said that were the dinosaurs in fine fettle, they would have recovered from 'whatever' global events.  They always did before.

But they had a lot of problems:  egg stealing mammals, and they were getting cold (not so hot, get it, huh?). Sooner or later, people will understand what I've been pushing over the last umpteen years, which is that we get massive climate changes when all the plates jam together.  The plates act as a giant thermal blanket, and heat up all the subducted ocean crust segments.  This pumps out lots of carbon dioxide, but infinitely more important (by orders of magnitude), lots of water vapour.  The world becomes hot and steamy, and the plants love the extra carbon.

The dinos are basically just giant flightless birds, like the dodo.  They love the heat and get huge.  Mammals hate the heat and get small.  My huge son is about to take an internship in the Philippines, and he will learn why the tropics don't generally grow huge Viking Barbarians!

When it gets colder, the birds get small, and the mammals get huge.  and vice versa.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012



I am sooo afraid of him!  He's going to sue me for everything I didn't say about him.  I'm hiding.

Mexico M5.7 earthquake

I'm only throwing this in because I got spikes in my readership, and that is my first alert that there is an earthquake of some interest.  I looked around and came up with this one.

This gives us a fine lesson in subduction earthquakes.  Note that the quake is quite far inland (marked A).  But on a subduction zone, that means it is deeper the more you go in.  In this case it is 80 km deep.  Like I've said before that whole straight section is eventually due to go in one M9+.  It has been farting around for some time now with M8's.  When that happens, the City won't know what hit it!  It's probably on some 1200 year return cycle, much like Japan, but we don't know where it is in the cycle.