Racefan’s Ramblings

Collecting my thoughts, news and inspirations on Tech, Psychology, Motorsport and … well anything!! . . . . . . . . . STILL UNDER DEVELOPMENT IN LIMITED SPARE TIME!

Archive for November, 2006

SE Qld to vote on water recycling

Posted by Pat Kershaw on November 30, 2006

From the ABC today,

I will get into this in the next few days, but spent hours today sitting in hospital waiting rooms, and don’t feel very ‘focussed’. Good news though is I may finally get my operation…
PURE WaterToowoomba had a referendum on this a few months ago, followed by a state election, then a council by-election, and now a state referendum… Good to see the taxpayers dollars being put to such good use.
Approximately 90% of the states population live in this corner, and all are on strict water restrictions after 7 years of drought. We are running out of water, I don’t see why it should go to a referendum, Just Do IT!
The technology is there, but the anti-everything brigade will run a scare campaign. If they don’t want to drink it, DON’T. Most of them wouldn’t if they saw what swam, died, excreted and run-off into the catchments now! But this is supposed to be different. If I hear one more comparison to Asbestos I will tear someone a new …. orifice. I pity the next generation who will still be watching that recoverable 30-40% of water consumption going into the sea, or onto crops they eat,… Whoops.

 The Queensland Government has announced that residents of the state’s
south-east will have a vote on recycled drinking water on March 17. Read the rest of this entry »


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Bees sniff bombs on the breeze

Posted by Pat Kershaw on November 30, 2006

I know this is a serious scientific … um … breakthrough, but I laughed out loud!

Guess there are some cheap sniffer dogs on the early retirement market?

From ABC Online News in Science

Bees have been trained to sniff out explosives in a project scientists say could have far-reaching applications for security and the Iraq war.Scientists at a US weapons laboratory say they trained honey bees to stick out their proboscis, the tube they use to feed on nectar, when they smell explosives in anything from cars and roadside bombs to belts similar to those used by suicide bombers.

At least they have a sense of humor, the project title? … Stealthy Insect Sensor Project.

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Stingray stabs fisherman in chest off SA

Posted by Pat Kershaw on November 29, 2006

I saw This on the ABC Online earlier today

What is going on? Is the stingray population feeling guilty and trying to even the score?
They, who “apparently” have only killed 1 person in history, until they got the Croc Hunter, have now struck 3 people in the chest since that world famous incident.
For mine, I think they are trying to show Steve it was an accident…

A fisherman is recovering in hospital after being stabbed in the chest by a stingray off the South Australian coast.

Police received a call from a prawn trawler just before 10:00pm ACDT last night.

The crew member had been working on the boat seven nautical miles
north-west of Wallaroo when it is believed he was stabbed by the ray.

Ambulance crews met the trawler at Wallaroo and rushed the man to the local hospital.

Police say the barb pierced the man’s chest but did not lodge.

Conservationist Steve Irwin was killed when a stingray barb pierced his chest in September.

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CSIRO slams carbon reduction strategies

Posted by Pat Kershaw on November 29, 2006

I don’t supose they have ever pulled thier punches, but this article helps to compile “the state of the game’ as far as the green house gas emissions is concerned. It highlights why this stupid carbon credits idea will never work.

  1. China won’t join
  2. How to police/register/monitor automobiles, stoves, furnaces… every driver has credits/debits?
  3. Who pays (say a nation like Canada, or a person like me when we successfully reduce emissions.)
  4. Or if you draw a line under say power-stations, where do you draw the line, and how do you compensate those above the line?

Heres a quote, I encourage you to read the article, and post any others in the comments. I will highlight them down the track.

Monday, 27 November 2006 Cosmos Online  SYDNEY: The rate of increase in carbon dioxide emissions has more than doubled since the 1990s, according to a new Australian study, raising fears that the rising levels of carbon dioxide may be unstoppable.


Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station in Tasmania. Air samples collected here indicate that carbon emissions have more than doubled since the 1990s

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Blogroll, In The News, Learning resourses, Ramblings, Science | Leave a Comment »

Why do all our gadgets break?

Posted by Pat Kershaw on November 29, 2006

I agree 100% with this story on Crave (Cnet.com). I have been through so many mobiles, they make them with the screens easily scratch, weak pivots, and electronics that break when you drop them in your pocket!!
From the article

Why do all our gadgets break?“Of course, we live in an upgrade culture, in which mobile phones, laptops and iPods are discarded for cosmetic reasons as much as technical. But there is a
splinter cell whose members don’t want to upgrade their current product, yet is forced to by the increasingly poor build quality of many modern consumer electronics.

… Engineers have built obsolescence into mass-produced technology since the 1920s. There are two kinds of planned deterioration in a product: one is technical, the other is stylistic.
The fashion industry relies on your eagerness to keep up with changes in style to keep their new products selling, while the technology industry used to rely on the simple fact that computers were never
quite fast enough for the average user.

And the kicker

The electronics industry has clearly spotted this problem, [how to get people to keep buying their products when they havn’t improved much] and has worked out a simple way to make you upgrade even if you’re not a slave to fashion: your gadgets will simply break within the year. The evolution of the microchip to a point where the average consumer cannot tax it technically has ushered in The Age of the Flimsy — delicate, beautiful supermodels that can’t go the distance.

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Absolutly useless trivia — No l

Posted by Pat Kershaw on November 29, 2006

Trivia LogoI don’t remember where I read this, But it is a real statistic, there are over 1500 people killed EVERY YEAR mining COAL. So how old is the nuclear industry?

From reccolection the same story said that even post Chenoble, there is less than 2000 people who have been HURT or effected negatively by nuclear accidents…

Now I ask you

  Is Coal safer? Who For?

Posted in Blogroll, Cool and quirky stuff, Idle thoughts, In The News, Ramblings, Science, Technology and Gadgets | 2 Comments »

Genes, Experiences Determine a Person’s Ability to Bounce Back

Posted by Pat Kershaw on November 29, 2006

Interesting that the thinking that has linked peoples contrasting reactions under stress, is now going back, to where people used to believe that what you see under stress is the “real” personality. Unfortunately I feel both views are a little simplistic, as some people act totally calm and totally different in stressful situations, but fall to pieces over time, and others are the exact opposite. I fear the truth is closer to a cognitive-emotional-logical “override” mode that works in some, and possibly not in others, as otherwise, (like most of psychology), this study actually generates more questions than the science answers…

Why do we always expect one little titbit to be able to explain the worlds most complex organism, and the “only” (for the purposes of this debate) one with free will and imagination to complicate even the simplest cognitive theories…

Long-term studies of child
development indicate that some people remain psychologically healthy despite
years of severe deprivation and trauma. Researchers are now studying the
characteristics and circumstances surrounding the ability to endure stress and
bounce back-a quality they call resilience, reports the December 2006 issue of
the Harvard Mental Health Letter.

Ok so that is common sense so far Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Blogroll, Healthcare, Mental disorders/ Health Issues, Popular Psychology, Psychology | 2 Comments »

Absolutly useless trivia — No l

Posted by Pat Kershaw on November 25, 2006

Trivia    Most people assume that we sear steaks in order to “seal in thejuices”. This is completely false.         Technically speaking, a steak cooked at high temperatures contains less of its own juice, as that
alluring sizzling noise is actually the sound of the meat’s own liquid evaporating into thin air. (For maximum retention of natural juices, cook the steak slow and steady, and don’t salt until the end).
Nevertheless, our intuitions aren’t compelety crazy: even if a well-seared steak is literally drier, it still tastes juicier. The disquieting explanation of this culinary illusion is that a well-seared steak – its Maillard crust crisp and crackling, its interior plush and bloody – makes us drool in anticipation. As a result, when we eat the more appetizing – yet less juicy – steak, the meat seems to be juicier. However, what we are actually sensing is our own saliva, which the brain induced our salivary glands to release.

Our personal decision to drool warps our sensory experience of the steak!

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V8 Supercars make the World Stage!!

Posted by Pat Kershaw on November 25, 2006

phitp_6333_th.jpgLooking through my V8 super car and Motorsport Google links and blogs.

So What??

Well I constantly hear and read the local media regarding V8’s as a “Domestic” series, and speaking of it as a minor cousin to “international” series. As a result Tony Cochran and his team are seen as pushy, money oriented and even a bit pig headed.

But we have one of the most successful series in the world, making money hand over fist, and traveling overseas for two races, (Three if you count going to Tasmania!!). This weekend they have traveled 12,000 Km to Bahrain in the middle east for the penultimate round. These are not F1 cars that can be disassembled and packed into shoe boxes. They are BIG, and they are heavy, they use lots of tyres and fuel, and panels…

So I come to my point. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nuclear power industry won’t drive tourists away: Bailey

Posted by Pat Kershaw on November 24, 2006

coolingtowers221106.jpgAn interesting statistic. And how many accidents? How many injuries? how much environmental pollution? It is time Australians realized that this is the way forward. We can still sell coal if we must, but eventually we need to think of future generations, and not the next election!

From ABC News online, Federal Tourism Minister Fran Bailey:

“France is a country that’s 14 times smaller than Australia, it has 59 nuclear generators and yet … it’s the most visited country in the world, attracting more than 76 million tourists a year,” she said. Read the rest of this entry »

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