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Tuesday Open Thread

by afew Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 10:07:29 AM EST

It's definitely Tuesday


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Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 11:25:23 AM EST
Guardian - Suction bucket' lays new foundation for offshore wind

A gigantic steel bucket will be lowered upside-down through the deep, murky waters of the North Sea within the next few days, and, through a smart engineering trick, it will sink rapidly into the sandy sediment on the sea floor. Once nestled into place, it will become stuck fast and form a rock-solid foundation for a structure towering far above the waves.

If all goes well, the technology may also provide a secure basis for the thousands of giant offshore wind turbines planned for UK waters: the most ambitious offshore wind rollout in the world, potentially providing electricity for 26m homes by 2030. The foundation could help calm the war being waged over the building of turbines in the countryside by significantly cutting the extra cost of placing them out to sea and out of sight.

"The 'suction bucket' foundation is a really great innovation for the industry as you can install it faster and at lower costs than conventional foundations," said Phil de Villiers, of the Carbon Trust, which has supported its development. "That is good for everyone as it brings down costs."



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 12:40:18 PM EST
This from over at the big Orange would perhaps complement your post.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 02:38:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yer suction cup foundation is gonna fail when hurricanes start hitting in the North Sea...
by asdf on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 03:14:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's what me wrote when helen posted on facecrack:

Thanks for posting. The first suction bucket installed was here in Germany around 2005, for a nearshore Enercon. The bucket failed (buckled under pressure). None have been used since (TMK), though there remain several designs "floating" around. On paper they work (in proper subsea soils), but no one actually knows for sure. The ones in the article are only for meteorological masts placed out in the sea, sort of a trial, as the masts have nothing like the weight and loads of a turbine.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 04:21:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian - George Monbiot - I agree with Churchill: let's get stuck into the real shirkers

In 1909 a dangerous subversive explained the issue thus. "Roads are made, streets are made, services are improved, electric light turns night into day, water is brought from reservoirs a hundred miles off in the mountains - and all the while the landlord sits still. Every one of those improvements is effected by the labour and cost of other people and the taxpayers. To not one of those improvements does the land monopolist, as a land monopolist, contribute, and yet by every one of them the value of his land is enhanced. He renders no service to the community, he contributes nothing to the general welfare, he contributes nothing to the process from which his own enrichment is derived ... the unearned increment on the land is reaped by the land monopolist in exact proportion, not to the service, but to the disservice done."

Who was this firebrand? Winston Churchill. As Churchill, Adam Smith and many others have pointed out, those who own the land skim wealth from everyone else, without exertion or enterprise. They "levy a toll upon all other forms of wealth and every form of industry". A land value tax would recoup this toll.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 12:42:21 PM EST
Guardian - Peter Hain - Why Labour should put the Robin Hood tax centre stage


Great government policy rarely enjoys an easy ride. Challenging the status quo will always ruffle the feathers of vested interests. So 11 European countries should be congratulated for taking on the titans of finance and agreeing to implement a financial transaction tax (popularly known in the UK as a Robin Hood tax).

Today, their proposal for a micro tax of 0.1-0.01% on stocks, bonds and derivatives received the thumbs-up from EU member states at the Economic and Financial Affairs Council meeting in Brussels, meaning they can plough on to implementation, possibly as early as next year. Europe's largest economies - Germany, France, Italy and Spain - are signed up. IMF chief Christine Lagarde recently gave her blessing. It will help ensure the financial sector plays its part for the damage caused to our economies. Yet there is one notable refusenik: the UK. Our government opted out, choosing instead to dance to the City of London's tune.

The social justice arguments for an FTT are incontrovertible: the City's financial elite may have sparked the financial crisis, but it is the rest of society, especially the poor, who are paying the price with the harshest programme of austerity since world war two. Yet amid the 2.5 million unemployed and the threat of a triple dip recession, the financial sector has over the past year enjoyed one of the strongest performances of any sector on the FTSE 100. But it is the economic common sense, the potential to raise billions in additional revenue, that has led the centre-right in Angela Merkel's Germany, Mariano Rajoy's Spain and Mario Monti's Italy to back this tax. It will collectively raise the 11 countries involved £30bn a year - no small beer.

At last someone in the Labour party is talking about it, just a shame it's a discredited man who has announced he will be standing down at the next election

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 12:47:05 PM EST
That's why he can talk about it.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 04:30:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
News in Brief: Chemical tied to intergenerational obesity    Science News
Mice ingesting the compound tributyltin pass effects to grandchildren


Exposure in the womb to a chemical used in PVC and ship paint promotes obesity in mice. And the effect is long-lasting: The mice's grandchildren were also fat despite no exposure to the chemical.

The work shows that the effects of an obesogen -- a chemical that encourages fat accumulation -- can be passed on to future generations not exposed to the chemical, researchers report online January 15 in Environmental Health Perspectives.

The compound tributyltin is often added to PVC as a stabilizer and to marine paint as an antifouling agent. Raquel Chamorro-García of the University of California, Irvine and colleagues fed pregnant mice tributyltin in their drinking water at quantities similar to what people might ingest through house dust and other sources. The mice gave birth to pups that developed more and larger fat cells, as well as fattier livers, compared with unexposed pups.

These changes appear to be permanent. The children and grandchildren of these mice also had increased amounts of body and liver fat. The findings confirmed previous work showing that tributyltin affects the function of a gene that regulates body fat production and reprograms certain stem cells to become fat cells rather than bone cells.




As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 01:01:53 PM EST
Scheiße

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 02:27:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I strongly suspect that this is just one of many such chemicals we have allowed into our food chain. BPA is another. It is estrogenic and is found in plastic containers for soft drinks and in the lining of canned goods, among other places. In aquatic systems contaminated with BPA there is a high incidence of male sexual deformity in frogs.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 03:43:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BPA has come up on the radar over here too.

Bisphenol A - Sweden

From March 2011 it is prohibited to manufacture babybottles containing bisphenol A and from July 2011 they can not be bought in stores. On 12 April 2012, the Swedish government announced that Sweden will ban the endocrine disruptor Bisphenol A (BPA) in cans containing food for children under the age of three.[245]


A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 05:52:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EU Directive from a year ago.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 23rd, 2013 at 01:54:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and then there's this (Mail Alert):

the 'toxic' gene hiding in GM crops

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 04:27:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Significantly, the EFSA researchers concluded that the presence of segments of Gene VI 'might result in unintended phenotypic changes'.

Such changes include the creation of proteins that are toxic to humans. They could also trigger changes in the plants themselves, making them more vulnerable to pests.

Critics say the revelations make clear that the GM approvals process, which has been in place for 20 years, is fatally flawed.

They argue the only correct response is to recall all of the crops and food products involved. Director of the campaigning group, GM Freeze, Pete Riley, said the discovery of the gene, 'totally undermines claims that GM technology is safe, precise and predictable'.

He said: 'This is a clear warning the GM is not sufficiently understood to be considered safe. 'Authorisation for these crops must be suspended immediately, and they should be withdrawn from sale, until a full and extended review of their safety has been carried out.'


The Mail seems an excellent vehicle for the dissemination of this information. Good on them.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 09:29:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
West Antarctica warming fast   Science News
Temperature record from high-altitude station shows unexpectedly rapid rise

_    
Red colors indicate parts of Antarctica whose temperatures track closely with those measured at Byrd station (star), where new research shows that temperatures are heating up faster than expected.
Julien Nicolas/Ohio State

While the Arctic melts apace with rising global temperatures, Antarctica is often seen as the literal polar opposite -- frigid, unyielding, impervious to change. But a spot in the heart of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is one of the fastest-warming places on Earth, a new study shows.

From 1958 to 2010, the average temperature at the mile-high Byrd station rose by 2.4 degrees Celsius, researchers report online December 23 in Nature Geoscience. That warming is nearly twice what earlier, indirect studies had suggested.

"It's a big number -- about as big as the most rapidly warming places elsewhere on the planet," says study coauthor David Bromwich, a polar scientist at Ohio State University in Columbus. "We were quite surprised."

Byrd is warming fastest in winter and spring, but Bromwich and his colleagues also say they detect a statistically significant temperature increase during the summer. If so, then even the frozen Antarctic interior is getting closer to melting.

"The impacts of warming here are potentially huge," says David Schneider, a paleoclimatologist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. West Antarctica holds far more water locked up as ice than Greenland does, and melting from both great ice sheets has already raised sea levels 11 millimeters over the past two decades



As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 01:33:50 PM EST
What do you get when you multiply an unexpectedly fast warming in a glacial zone by an unexpectedly fast sea level change response to glacial zone warming?
by asdf on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 04:32:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nothing.

The mean summer temperatures reported at Byrd station are centered around -15 degrees Celsius. You'd need a whole lotta more warming to make that equation interesting at the Antarctic.

But we should try Greenland instead.

by Nomad on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 06:46:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmm, I don't think you caught the point of the article. Here's some more from the authors:

Just two days before Christmas, a report released by the journal Nature Geoscience showed that temperatures at Antarctica's Byrd Research Station are rising twice as fast than previously anticipated.

"There is clear evidence that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is contributing to sea-level rise," said authors David H. Bromwich & Julien P. Nicolas in the report. "We confirm previous reports of West Antarctic warming, in annual average and in austral spring and winter, but find substantially larger temperature increases."

by asdf on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 10:49:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What happens at Byrd doesn't stay at Byrd: Temperatures at the station track closely with temperatures over a wide swath of West Antarctica, Bromwich says. That suggests the ice sheet may approach melting much closer to the coast, where the ice extends onto the ocean as floating ice shelves that can destabilize and break apart, as the Larsen B shelf did in 2002. Such collapses contribute to sea level rise.

"The Arctic is receiving a lot of attention right now, as it should," Bromwich says. "But what we are trying to emphasize here is that we need to pay attention to the other end of the Earth as well."



As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 09:22:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Improving London's Transport - a set on Flickr
The images in this set were taken from ZSPC 11/256: The Railway Gazette: Improving London's Transport (Special Number of the Railway Gazette) dated 1946


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 01:58:57 PM EST
Didn't you just post this ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 02:05:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You are seeing double. It's not the 'flu, it's Scoop magic.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 02:25:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have a friend who is in Davos for the WEF this week with her husband.  She is a manicurist.  I am looking forward to her take on the events.
by stevesim on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 02:46:24 PM EST
Manicurist? Is that college talk for a "nails lady"?


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Wed Jan 23rd, 2013 at 08:14:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ha ha yes.

She is having a great time, it seems.

by stevesim on Wed Jan 23rd, 2013 at 12:41:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gunman reported at Houston college, multiple people shot - CNN.com

(CNN) -- Students at a community college in Houston are taking shelter after reports of a gunman on campus.

Multiple people have been shot at the North Harris Campus of Lone Star College, CNN affiliate KPRC reported, citing law enforcement.

There were more than 10,000 students at the campus, a school spokesman said.

Police and emergency responders swarmed an entrance to the campus, aerial video from KPRC showed.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 02:47:40 PM EST
Just some hicks wounded, one in the butt. Not even any fatalities.
by asdf on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 10:50:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Aw. </disappointed>
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 23rd, 2013 at 02:26:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm really low on hope today. It seems like any kind of progress is a long way off.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 02:50:02 PM EST
LIVE BLOG: Israelis go to the polls, ending three-month election campaign - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper

8.06 P.M. Netanyahu calls on supporters: "The Likud government is in danger, go vote for us for the sake of the country's future."

7.52 P.M. Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu officials are trading accusations, imputing the responsibility for the electoral failure of their joint ticket.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 02:53:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No exit polls?

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 05:56:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the Newsroom. But hope was short-lived.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 23rd, 2013 at 01:56:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 know how you feel, but I tend towards this most of the time



keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 03:08:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Zoidberg: [happily] "Welcome to my life!" [Bursts into tears]


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Wed Jan 23rd, 2013 at 08:16:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Alexis Tsipras, leader of Syriza spoke tonight at an event in the Brookings Institution. This is part of an American tour meant to build bridges with US progressives of various sorts. Next stop a panel at Columbia University, with Weisbrot and others. Apparently he has scheduled meetings with both Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz.

An excerpt from tonight's speech:

Allow me to state this clearly: SYRIZA will keep Greece in the Eurozone. But that does not mean that we will accept stupid and inhuman policies dictated to us by today's self-destructive directors of the Eurozone. No! Indeed I am of the opinion that in order to remain in the long term inside the Eurozone, in fact for the Eurozone to survive, we need a change of plan. We need a rational re-evaluation of our strategy of dealing with the crisis. Not on a Greek level. At an EU level. But this new strategy will never arrive until a party such as ours, shouts at Brussels: That's Enough!


The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2013 at 09:32:33 PM EST
I just read the whole transcript. He is being way too soft on Bernanke, but OK I guess, he's comparing with the ECB...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Wed Jan 23rd, 2013 at 09:00:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Foreign comparisions only purpose is to highlight the contrast with your narrative of what is going on at home. With the evolution of the internet this becomes painfully obvious.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Wed Jan 23rd, 2013 at 09:52:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, this isn't about wind turbines, but a much more serious threat:
Gareth Morgan has a simple dream: a New Zealand free of cats. But the environmentalist's latest anti-feline campaign has triggered a backlash.

Morgan has called on fellow Kiwis to make their current pet cat their last in a bold attempt to save the country's native birds. He set up a website, Cats To Go, which includes an image of a kitten with devil's horns under the heading: "That little ball of fluff you own is a natural born killer".

He does not recommended owners euthanise their cats: "Not necessarily, but that is an option," he admits, but rather neuter them and not replace them when they die. The economist and well-known businessman also suggests cats remain indoors and local governments make registration mandatory.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Jan 23rd, 2013 at 07:58:59 AM EST
Way to pick your fights.


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Wed Jan 23rd, 2013 at 08:18:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bear in mind that NZ is literally the Land that Time Forgot, having separated from the mother continent before the appearance of mammals, or even their Australian or South American prototype versions.

Giving it a specific flora and fauna found nowhere else, which has been retreating since the first mammals arrived a mere thousand years ago (us, accompanied by dogs and rats). The European cultivar of "us" radically worsened the position by bringing in more bird-and-egg-eating warm furries (cats, stoats and possums, in particular) driving most of the ground-living birds to extinction on the main islands.

Extermination of the exotic mammals is therefore desirable, from the viewpoint of biodiversity. But unlikely : the cat is out of the bag.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Jan 23rd, 2013 at 08:29:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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