Thursday, June 30, 2016

Poor Britain joins Japan and Quebec


Poor Britain, now it just becomes a tourist destination.  I don't know if I want to visit it again, though.

Dear Canada,

Now is the time for action.  All those ads to Americans to flee Trump should now be focused on Britain.  They're stuck with Trumpism now.  Soon the brownshirts will come out beating up anybody who is brown***.  We'll take gays as well.

These islands of tribalism don't realize that the future wealth is in brains, not ageing factories.  Britain had a spurt with the Raspberry Pi, but those people can come here.  You'll never get your green card in Trumpland.  

Most of all, I want the brains of the traders of London, the last brains in Britain.  Nobody will touch a 'purist' island.  Frankfurt will suck up fading Europe trades while all those countries go Trumpist.  We expect France to go next.  

Toronto house prices will double again, but, really, it would be better for the country if decaying Montreal took the traders.  They need something to use up their empty housing.  They have room for 600,000 brains who left the place.  Unfortunately they would have to abandon tribalism and put up "We love English" signs, (English first).  Never going to happen.  Quebec will just have to go on being the brains 'Farm Team' for the rest of us.

**Dear Humourless Quebekies, if you can translate this, please realize it is satire and do not kill me.

*** I wrote this before I read that the Mo-real police are already doing this in  Nelson Mandela Square.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Oklahoma earthquakes now extend south of OK City

This is great.  I always told these guys to just extend the NE lines up and down.  Trouble is that they are afraid of 'wild catting'.  A dry hole is very expensive, so they stick with what they know.  Nobody down there knows a speck about the Precambrian, but the fracture zones are on very straight lines.

This shows the latest shallow thrust relative to the city.  It was only an m2.8 but with an intensity 4, which is quite something.  Now I have a whole new audience for my accelerometers, if any of them went with Science.  Unfortunately, they are all white-backlash fundamentalist Trump supporters.  :)

And this shows the new zone opening up.  They got rid of anybody intelligent in the OK geological survey, and the busgus is shivering in its boots over the Trump thing.  So everybody has the green light to go.  The shallow thrusts are the first things.  Then the zone will get bigger and we'll get the deep ones.  Once it is done, the M7 can zip right through the city.

ps. right after this earthquake there was a deep m3 right underneath it.  The deep earthquakes have begun.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Cottage Report

Finally getting pleasant.  We've been getting rain that has missed Toronto, so no big drought alert.  I remember the last time we had fires all over the place.  Those twin turbo water bombers are the bomb!

Now is horrendous deer fly time.  So many and so many varieties that you scarcely notice the horseflies.  Like all the bug cycles, this lasts for a week or two.  Horseflies pack a wallop, but are easy to kill on the dock.  Never be without your fly swatter at this time!  It was horrible to fish or talk to people on the dock, because Roxie the wonder dog would stand faithfully right beside me and be covered black with flies.  Made it good for me, but soon I felt sorry for her and go upstairs where I had two bug lamps going.  That would just slow them down a bit.

The water is now swimable, even for me.  :)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Oklahoma Earthquake Summary

I do this once in a while for new people to my 'Earthquakes' g+ collection.

Up here in Canada, we have the Precambrian rock emerging, and we have studied it a lot.  It plunges to be below all the sediments of the US.  There hasn't been one speck of study for the 'basement' in the US, yet that is where the earthquakes are.  The pc isn't one huge slab of solid rock, but has a complex structure, namely long NE trending 'megathrusts'.  This is how the pc formed, by continental collisions, and now these faults are the focus for earthquakes.

At the pc level, the whole continent is under very high horizontal stress, due to plate tectonic motions, and mainly by sinking into a cold zone.  In fact, the continent is at the 'limiting' stress, and excess stress has been relieved by motion along the megathrusts.  All the Paleozoic rock above these features is fractured.

All would be calm and peaceful, if they left the rock alone.  Unfortunately, this is not the case, either naturally, or man-made.  The New Madrid zone was created by a natural seep of river water.  It took thousands of years, and ended up with 3 huge earthquakes in 1811-12.

Now they are 'emulating' the same thing in Oklahoma with injection, at a thousand times faster than New Madrid.  The current rate is 3-4 M3's a day, with one m4 once a week.  Another m5 should come in a few months.  I predict that they will stop injection with an m6 shallow thrust either at Cushing or the city.  At any time, it could all skip to an M7.

The mechanism is 'stress corrosion' of the deep quartz due to surface water injection.  They have been injecting deep salt water for years without an effect.  This water comes from fracking, either for natural gas or oil.

ps. After writing this, I saw that the Atlantic wants to outdo the New Yorker in earthquake scare stories.  This is the New Madrid, think of Oklahoma instead.

Monday, June 20, 2016

New York City Report

We had a weekend in the Big Apple.  It was our big Asmis family reunion, 31 people including lots of little kids.

Our branch stayed in this great airb&b brownstone walk-up that was all redone and had two levels.  Very economical for 6 people.  It was right in the middle of the resurgent Harlem.  Very nice.  We ended up walking about 20 miles according to the fitbit.  Fun.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Memories of the Dawn of Internet

Somebody my daughter met had known me during one of my famous episodes, and this brought things up out of the brain sludge.

This was more than twenty years ago at the old company.  The NDP had just been elected and we were ordered to destroy all the geophysics for the new sites.  I never did, but it go into the black hole of the Atlantic geophysics centre, and various other federal places.  That's why I know all about the megathrusts, and nobody else does.  I have wonderful images of the bottom of Lake Ontario, and the full geology of the North Channel.  Also some nice stuff off Bruce, which made me oppose the Wasted Black Hole so much.

That was our 'Golden Era'.  Little did we know it was all going to Hell in a wastebasket real soon.  With the geophysics I got a brand new Sun Microsystems machine, the famous 'pizza box'.  My friend and I jumped into Unix with a passion.  I really didn't have anything to do, so I was interested in using it for analysis.

We had a bunch of brilliant people then, soon to be all dispersed to the winds, except little old me.  One guy was doing the firewall, and we had an email domain.  That was all I needed to set up Usenet, which was the communication network of the day.  We had so many enemies -- the mainframe people, the mini-computer people, and the Apollo workstation people.

Usenet was great at the time.  Only a very few people knew how to get it.  I set it up and decided to give everybody in the division access and an internet email address.  For our work it was essential, and everybody was enthusiastic.  I eventually had hundreds of people up.

It was not to last.  Our enthusiastic general manager was kicked out when a tube busted at Pickering.  Our president brought in a bunch of insidious Americans who published a report that we were all garbage, and then proceeded to make themselves in charge.  They were scummy party people, and put up a Stalinist management, and started firing as many people as they could.  Every one of my brilliant buddies left.

My memories have been wiped out of all the horrible things that happened to me, but I stayed under union protection.  All my internet efforts were wiped out and the internet was banned for some time, until people started to get it again, citing the usual emergency things.  I slowly emerged, and used the internet to get hundreds of classical novels, which I printed out in a report format and read.  There was a major seismic issue and I emerged triumphant.  

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Cottage Report

Cloudy and miserable.  Some warmth on Sat and then Sun had brutal NW wind straight from the land where everybody is worried about ice.  I had a sauna, and this is resembling our 'normal' weather of Winter and July.  I hope we aren't into the death of El Nino yet.  I expect that to be horrible.  Bug News - lots of deerflies Sat, and then nothing.  No mossies at all.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Top brains to set up in Oshawa, right by all the truckyards and factories


Can they do it?  I hope they don't set up in a horrible hole like my old company did.  Gone is the day you can attract top people to horrible places.  There must be a nice place in Oshawa.

I find there is huge disconnect between the people dominating the old bureaucracies and the bright young intellectual depressives like I used to be.  At the last (when I left) old company could only hire the bottom third of the bottom third schools.  Any bright people I talked to seemed to wish to blow out their brains, and were in the process of leaving.

Old school bureaucracies were formed for very narrow people.  GM and Coke started it in the 40's, modelled after the successful military.  The people now in charge love it.  But the new young bright people have 'evolved' much too fast for normal generational turn-over.  They can't be told to 'shut up and mind your own beeswax', like the old days.  They are too broad in their interests.

I say to the bright engineers of UofT.  Don't go there!  You will die.  All your mentors are down in Palo Alto.  Follow them to the stars.  :)

For the bottom thirds, this is great job with a pension and union benefits.  Go there.

Generally Useless Seismic Upgrading


Fastening the walls to the foundation is a great idea, but only for single-story totally wood houses.  These are the cases where the foundation slip was the main cause of damage.  So, if you have a shack, then do it by all means.

It does diddly-squat for a brick house, which you can plainly see in the picture.  Once again, basic physics is being ignored, which is the sad general case.  :(   If you want to protect your house against 'Da Big One', then expect only 10 cm/s on firm ground.  If you are on a swamp, then prepare for 100 cm/s.  The only way to upgrade for that is by using deep screw piles.  This worked in Christchurch and will work for you.  For these old houses it has the added advantage of levelling the house.  A walk in High Park, in Toronto, shows them all tilting with no mortar in the chimneys.  This is the worst level of preparation.

ps.  a proper lift should reduce background seismic noise by a factor of 10.  To make you feel good about spending your life savings to save your life, do a seismic noise test before and after, with my handy-dandy accelerometer kit (not invented yet).  :)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Ottawa Sinkhole - Another badly done geotechnical job


I am familiar with certain companies that may or may not have been involved, and they couldn't geotech themselves out of a paper bag.  Of course, they are all wonderful companies, and big institutions should always hire them (a legal thing).

It's my contention that all the good geotechs are retired.  All contractors pooh-pooh them and go on without.  We'll never know if this was a good job, or a foolish risk, since everything is so secret these days.  We can only see the results.

This section had a displacement sensitivity beyond the norm because of the water main.  The only way to get zero displacement is with a positive-pressure full shield tunnel machine, but you can't really go with that for 30 foot section.  I assume that all the buildings are on deep piles for this section, otherwise it is a horrible seismic risk.  I would have bypassed the water main, and frozen everything.

It has been said that if you don't anything about it then keep your mouth shut.  However, when faced with deliberate secrecy, I have always assumed the worst.  It's much more entertaining that way.  

I predict many more of these failures in the future.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Solar Power for the Home

No need for solar panels that get torn off with the first tornado, you can employ the very heat that tries to turn your house into a sauna.  For everyone I know with an older house, you just can't get the upstairs cool without icicles in the basement.

I'm getting my roof redone with the full enchilada of a competent company (Walker).  It's costing a mint because the house is a dog's breakfast of extensions.  Even now they are having trouble with huge amount of siding that has to be removed for new flashing.  But the best thing is that they upgraded the venting.

I got these huge things now, but you can't see them from the street.  I call them my 'belfries'.  They have a chimney effect, but the most the important is installing soffit vents on the old part of the house.  This can be done by removing the plywood and installing the vents from the top.  It makes the house so much cooler.  The physics is excellent because the soffit vents lay down a layer of cool air, and this draws out air from the top with a powerful chimney effect.  Much better physics than squeaky whirly things and all those useless small vents you see everywhere.  They close up all those small vents, so the physics works.

The convection of hot air is a powerful force that saves our world from all the silly things like 'greenhouse effect'.  I've never seen the cheap roofers in the neighbourhood change the venting.  Do this and be happy.

ps.  with the flat roof, it's amazing how the old roofer didn't have a clue.  It wasn't attached at all, and the membrane just held down by weight.  Still, it did last over 20 years.  Amazing what you find when get somebody competent.

Cottage Report

This weekend the rains finally came, and we bugged out early on Sunday.  Nothing worse than being socked in at the cottage.  The mossies are very light this year, and we can stay out until 8.  This weekend is National Snapping Turtle Egg Laying Time.  They are all on the cottage road, digging into the gravel shoulder and laying their eggs.  I assume that the Turtle Lovers collect the eggs immediately because they release the young in the Fall.  I assume these ugly things have some great role to play.  :)

Thursday, June 2, 2016

The current state of El Nino

For those of us near the poles, all of our 'weather' comes from the equator in the form of plumes.  These are generated by N-S ocean currents which are deflected up by land masses.  Without any land (Waterworld!), our air currents would look like Jupiter, without the red spot.

We'd still have seasons and maybe a little water, but the weather would be boring.

This is wet air.  Thank goodness for N-S ocean currents.  They are also responsible for dumping most of our heat energy into space.  When the continents are all together, we're like Jupiter and it gets dino-hot.  As you can see, these guys dominate in the heat.

Now, this gator and a giant grizzly bear shall never meet, so we wouldn't know who'd win.

Back to the title, this El Nino really disrupted out nice weather patterns.

Horrible thing, it dumped all our heat energy into space.  Fortunately it is still hanging around so Toronto is getting nice hot weather without rain.  We'll need rain some day.  When all that heat is gone, I'm thinking we'll get a heck of a winter.  But for now, all the warmists are ignoring this little phenomenon, and have a heyday.

Geotech #16

It hasn't really rained for a month, so anybody can do anything to a slope.  Without water we'd get no landslides or earthquakes.  Of course, we wouldn't be around to celebrate.  :)

This was yesterday, and today it's exactly the same.  A very nice geological exposure.  I really think they can be done and gone before it rains again.