Thursday, January 02, 2014
Big Engineering 58 - Mobile Cubesats
There are also plans to produce even smaller cubes.
Cubes are only this useful for handling data - moving man sized material is going to keep needing something approaching man size - but data is an awful lot of what we do.
Then there was this on Next Big Future.
A tiny sunlight and water powered rocket is being designed which will be able to fly a cubesat from Earth orbit to Mars or Europa, which also means the asteroids and anywhere in interesting bits of the solar system, for $1 million.
That makes examination and therefore raising money for commercial development, very much a commercial rather than governmental project.
Incidentally Scots, indeed largely Glasgow firms are in the forefront of the cubesat industry, with up to 40% of the world's cubesats being made or partly worked on here. Theoretically that is potentially comparable to the time at the beginning of the 20thC when 90% of all the world's metal hulled shipping tonnage had been built on Britain and 90% on the Clyde. That was when such shipping was at the technological cutting edge.
Glasgow space links:
Wednesday, January 01, 2014
28 Gate Revisited - 1,000 Letters On The Subject Censored
Zero in 1,000, when the letters are written moderately competently is not a record even the North Korean media could exceed. It is obviously statistically impossible without massive de facto censorship across our entire mainstream media.
The extent to which 28 Gate has been made, in an entirely Orwellian way, has been deleted from the news record is frankly scary.
We have just passed the 1st anniversary of it being proven that the BBC had, for 6 years, then, continuously and repeatedly lied to promote their censorship of any dissent over the alleged catastrophic global warming consensus. The BBC had claimed to have the support for this of "28 leading scientists", from across the world at a symposium held by them. Helen Boaden, then on suspension over the Saville affair but since promoted to be head of BBC Radio, said under oath, in a court case brought because the BBC refused to identify them, even testified that they were not only leading scientists but that they had been selected for their "multiplicity of views".
Then the list of names came out and it was revealed they were not 28 of the world's leading scientists. 26 of them weren't scientists at all. Nor were they selected for "multiplicity of views". Every one was an activist, almost all paid by the state. Climate activists, renewables salespeople, 3rd world "aid" activists, and for higher authority a Church of England cleric and a psychological warfare expert from the US embassy.
The news of this fraud was, obviously, never reported by the BBC. It still hasn't been. More ominously it got little coverage in newspapers, and what there was being almost all by the more trustworthy commenters, who get to choose what they write, rather than in "news" pages.
And our police, who spend many millions building cases against NOTW reporters and Tommy Sheriden, not only refuse to investigate what appears to be an open and shut case of perjury by Helen Boaden, they refuse even to say why not.
We may read, in our papers the scandals, lies and airbrushing by the North Korean regime. Would it not be desirable for us to learn of what must be assumed to be worse lies and atrocities of western powers?
Links for 28 Gate
Initial report http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/principia-scientific-has-interesting.html
ThinkScotland article http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/to-bbc-director-general-tony-hall-open.html
Boaden's perjury reported to police - forwarded to the Met who refuse to comment http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/bbc-perjury-case-for-28-gate-police.html
How Red Nose Day charitable funding was used to promote the fraud http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/principia-scientific-has-interesting.html
Reaches 864 letters http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/unpublished-letters-proof-of-deliberate.html
Last letter to another 40 http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/letters-unpublished-in-septemberearly.html
Censorship worse than NK
Genuine, atrocities carried out by NATO worse than North Korea's and unreported by our media - dissection thousands of living people to steal body organs
and massacre of at least 210 by our "police" http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.co.uk/2008/01/dragodan-massacre-freedom-of_23.html
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Mass Immigation - Supporters Figures Show In Fact It Impoverishes Us
This is from one of these quangos that the state uses to produce "research" for the obedient media to repeat as if it were news rather than propaganda. In this case they have come out with a report on how important it is we keep up the ruling classes policy of massive immigration for "social reasons".
"Britain's economy would pay a big price if the Conservatives meet their target of getting annual net immigration down below 100,000 in the next 50 years, a report from a leading think-tank has warned.
National finances would be hit because immigrants tend to be younger than the national average and are able to fill gaps in the labour force left by Britain's ageing population, boosting productivity and tax revenues, while consuming less than the average Briton in public services like healthcare, welfare and education.
NIESR calculated that bringing annual net migration just below 100,000 - rather than the 200,000 estimate used by the Office for National Statistics in its population forecasts - would increase Government spending as a share of GDP by 1.4 percentage points by 2060 and require an increase of 2.2 percentage points in income tax rates."
Except that even taking NIESR's figures at face value they don't show immigration making us better off. 200, 000 immigrants a year is 0.32% annual growth just now (& their arguments assume that proportion will be kept up even as population rises. Over 47 years that is a simple increase [1.0032^47] of 16.2%. Actually, since immigrants, at all times and places, are much more likely to be of child raising age their effect on population growth is going to be at least twice that [1.0064 ^ 47] ie 35%.
So an increase of gdp of 11% doesn't look so good does it? In fact that means average income goes down to 82.2% of what it otherwise would be. Rather than £2,600 extra per person that comes to 17.8% less or £4,700 per person. This takes no account of the proportion of gdp that goes on investment and even less of growth, or inflation, by 2060 but since the quango has been equally careless that is how we must compare them.
Now to Machiavelli that might be allowable - he liked the idea of states growing into empires, but in a more democratic age I care more about the individual citizen being better off not just the state as a whole.
Also in Machiavelli's day there were not as great disparencies between national wealth the straight population = wealth held good, but nowadays the fact that Singapore is 200 times better off per capita than Zimbabwe shows numbers are of little advantage & that social capital is much more important.
Which also brings us the benefit of social heterogeneity. Steve Sailer's blog regularly attests to the advantage of ethnic homogeneity, in that a society where, due to thousands of years of interrelationships, we are all about as closely genetically related as 2nd cousins, we tend to be more interested in helping our neighbours.
"The main reason that America cannot be Sweden is that, unlike Sweden, America is not full of Swedes. We worship diversity in this country, but Sweden has been pretty much a textbook example of the blessings of homogeneity. Of course if Sweden continues with its current immigration policy, pretty soon it will no longer be full of Swedes either. Check out the recent (and under-reported) Stockholm riots to see where this is going."
Though the example of Singapore, above, shows you can use the melting pot to hold an ethnically diverse society together, there clearly is some advantage to such heterogeneity, which immigration dilutes. Equally some immigration helps bring in new ideas, though Japan is another counter example showing ideas can be brought in if a society is simply keen to learn.
But even the cultural swings and roundabouts this result proves that even an organisation so actively trying to make the case for mass immigration that they were willing to fiddle their own figures, has shown that it is, net, undesirable.
Monday, December 30, 2013
A Few Facts
UKIP on the EU:
- The EU’s accounts have not been signed off by the European Court of Auditors for 19 years in a row.
- Germany exported almost half a million (474,000) more cars to the UK in 2011 than she imported from the UK, exporting 3.7 times as many cars to the UK than she imported from the UK. It’s not in Germany’s interest to see tariff’s go up on German cars when we leave the EU – there will be a free trade deal.
- In September 2013 the overall trade in goods balance with the EU reached a record deficit of £6.0 billion. They sell so much more to us than we do to them.
- Professor Tim Congdon has calculated in his 2013 Costs of the EU to be 11% of GDP, roughly £170bn to the whole economy. This includes:
- Direct Fiscal cost of the EU 1.25% of GDP.
- Cost of Regulation 5.5% of GDP.
- Cost of misallocating EU resources/grants etc 3.25% of GDP.
- The EU spends £2bn on advertising, more than Coca Cola did in 2008.
- The EU lost £1.2bn of foreign aid last year
- The Common Fisheries Policy has cost the UK economy £2.8bn. In 1970, there were 21,443 fishermen in the UK, about one in seven working part time. As of 2008, there were 12,700.
- The EU Large Combustion Plant Directive is forcing the closure of a third of our coal and oil fired power stations in 2015.
- The Government admits its policies (and the EU) add 14% to energy bills.
- MEPs earn 740% more than the average EU citizen. In the UK it’s 695% more.
- Baroness Ashton’s EU External Action Service was set up with a £5.8m budget, employing over 7,000 people.
WORLD ENERGY USE %
Global energy consumption grew strongly by 5.6% in 2010 – the latest figures available – to 12bn tonnes of oil equivalent (toe). It was the biggest annual growth since 1973 and took consumption to well beyond its 2008 peak. (5.6% is within random variability of the 4.8% world economic gtowth, confirming how closely they are related)The contributions were: oil 33.5%; coal 29.5%, natural gas 23.8%; hydroelectricity 6.5%; nuclear 5.2%; and renewables 1.3%. Less useful energy was delivered because of losses in converting fossil fuels to heat and light. The main shares were: oil 28%; coal 23.8%, natural gas 19.2%, hydro 16% and nuclear 13%.
UK ENERGY SOURCES %The UK now has to import coal, oil, gas and even biomass (wood) and within a decade could become dependent on gas imports for 80-90% of demand. In 2010 we used 227.5mtoe, up 3.4% on 2009. The useful energy supplied came from natural gas 38%; oil 32%, nuclear 14%; coal 13% and renewables 3%.
UK ELECTRICITY DEMAND %UK electricity demand varies from around 24,000MW in summer to 61,000MW in winter. Its peak was 60,893MW in the middle of a cold spell in December 2010. Electricity generation, including pumped storage, rose 1.2% on 2009 to 381TWh and total supply, including net imports, by 1.1%. It was generated by natural gas (46%); coal (up 1% to 28%);. nuclear 16% (down 2% because of maintenance) and renewables marginally up at 6.8%. Households accounted for 31% of total demand; industry 27% and transport and services 27%; fuel industry 7% and losses 7%.
UK CARBON EMISSIONS BY FUELNuclear is the cleanest fuel used in the UK today. It emits next to no CO2, taking account of uranium mining and decommissioning and waste management. Expressed in terms of grams per unit of electricity (kWh) the score is nuclear 4gm; wind 8; hydro 8-9; energy crops 17; geothermal 79; solar 133; gas 430; diesel 772; oil 828; and coal 955gpkWh.
Nuclear is 200 and 100 times “cleaner” than coal and gas respectively. It is crucial to achieving the Governmentʼs ambitious carbon reduction emissions targets.
NUCLEAR ACROSS THE WORLDBritain led the world into the nuclear power age at Calder Hall in Cumbria 55 years ago. Now there are 440 reactors in operation in 30 countries, another 61 are under construction, 156 are planned (for the next 8-10 years) and another 343 proposed longer term. Current total capacity is 377,000MW, roughly equivalent to 370 large power stations. Sixty-one new reactors are under construction in 13 countries – 26 of them in China – and 156 are planned in 27 countries. Of these the leaders are China 51 reactors, India 17 and Russia 14. Longer term another 343 reactors are proposed in 37 countries with the same nations leading the way – China 120, India 40, Russia 30 and USA 27.
The vast bulk of global nuclear generation is still in Europe and North America – Europe 44%; North America (USA and Canada) 34%; Asia Pacific 21%; South America and Africa 1%. In 2010 nuclear generation across the world saved the equivalent of 620m tonnes of oil and 5bn tonnes of CO2 emissions.
Uranium is as prevalent in the worldʼs crust as tin and there is no shortage. With recycling of so-called “spent fuel” and the fast reactor, now being revived, it is estimated there is enough nuclear fuel to last for 1,000 years.
NUCLEAR IN THE UKThe UK has 19 commercial reactors in operation at ten power stations – two Magnox, seven AGR and one PWR (at Sizewell, Suffolk). Nuclear power station sites (going round the coast anti-clockwise ) are Dungeness, Sizewell, Hartlepool, Torness, Hunterston, Heysham, Wylfa, Oldbury and Hinkley Point.
The Government has identified 8 potential sites for use up to 2025 – all the above, apart from Torness, Hunterston and Dungeness, plus Bradwell (Essex) where the power station has closed.
NUCLEAR WASTENuclear power puts into the environment only about one-thousandth of the radiation dose received each year by the public. Some 85% comes from natural background radiation – from the soil, rocks, the sun and chemicals within our bodies. Medical X-rays are responsible for 140 times more radiation in the environment than nuclear power.
The nuclear industry has been handling its waste for 55 years and produces only about one-thousandth of the UKʼs annual toxic waste. It comes in three categories: low-level, intermediate and high-level waste. Ninety per cent of it is low level and is disposed of at Drigg in Cumbria. The remaining 10% needs treatment. but the annual amount of high level waste produced by a large nuclear station would only fill a London taxi. New designs of reactor will generate only one-tenth of the amount of the intermediate and high level waste from todayʼs reactors
And a "Factcheck" on Osborne and other's recent claims that Britain is the "fastest growing country in the developed world":
"depends upon the time frame we look at.
If by 'major advanced economies' the Chancellor meant the G7 group of nations, then it is certainly true that the UK's growth of 0.8% in the most recent quarter was faster than any of its competitors, pipping the US, whose economy grew by 0.7%. The economies of both France and Italy contracted over this period.
However the opposition claims that this isn't very revealing, arguing that the fact that the economy is growing swiftly now owes much to the low baseline set by "three damaging years of flatlining".
In total, the UK economy has grown by just under 3% since the Coalition took office in the second quarter of 2010, and this compares rather less favourably to other G7 countries: only France (which has grown 2.5%) and Italy (which has shrunk by nearly 4%) have fared worse, while the US has clocked growth of 6.7% over the same period.
To put these figures into context, the OECD data suggests that over the course of 2013 so far, China has seen growth of over 9%, while other developing economies such as Argentina and Indonesia have seen growth of over 6%."
So it isn't for the developed world, merely for 7 slow growing countries, 4 of them in the EU and only for 3 months and to a level of 0.1% which is far below the accuracy, let alone meaningfulness of the figures.
I find the medium and long term trend, that we are the slowest growing English speaking nation in the world (though that requires saying that a couple of Caribbean islands with populations in the 10s of thousands aren't really a nation).
Daily Mail Xmas Eve Letter On X-Prizes
The Chinese automated Moon Lander has been generally described as 40 years late.
Well it is 40 years after Apollo perhaps but NASA couldn't do it now and it seems likely that it will be of more scientific use than the Apollo landings because the lander has ground penetrating radar and it will work for several months.
Remarkably China's space budget just £320 million (or £800 million if you're guided by Euroconsult) By comparison Britain's space budget is £330 million, almost all simply handed over to ESA, whose total budget in turn is about half of the $20 billion NASA spends.
This makes China's space efforts remarkably small and remarkably successful or NASA & ESA remarkably useless which is probably more likely.
This reinforces UKIP's belief that if instead Britain's space budget were pledged as a prize in a space travel competition such as the X-Prize Foundation, we could soon become a world leader in commercial space development.