Archive for January, 2008

ECOSTAR

Posted in Envrionment view, water with tags , on 31/01/2008 by bimbo78

I went to this flooding conference thingy with work back last year. The theme of the conference was climate change. It was quite terrifying hearing about what could happen. Not just the incredible sea level rise, (up to 21 m if all the Greenland Ice Sheet melts) but also the social aspect. We could have Environmental Refugees clambering to get into areas that are still habitable, nameley here. Most of the middle bit of Africa will be rubbish as the increase in temperature will mean that the already difficult to farm areas will just be useless.

Anyway, there was this dude at the conference called Dr Stuart Anderson who was possibly the only postive person there. He was talking about the Severn Barrage. His crazy research company have made some amendments to the original plan (which has been lurking around for years but not getting anywhere). It’s called Energy Capture Obtainable by Storage For Tidally Amplified Release or ECOSTAR!!

The amendements involve using two way turbines that can opearte when the tide comes in and back out again. This could generate up to 20% of the UKs energy demand. Which is just huge. The turbines will be more expensive to construct than the original plans but they will generate upto 4 times the amount of elastictrickery. Anyway take a look.

http://www.marinet.org.uk/refts/7ecostar2.pdf

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Wombling Free

Posted in Envrionment view on 28/01/2008 by bimbo78

We got a free DVD with the Times a couple of weeks ago. It was the Wombles, and last night we finally had time to watch it. I loved the Wombles as a child but saw it in a completly new light last night. These scruffy little creatures going around and picking up peoples rubbish and sticking it in thier ‘Tidy Bags’. Then dragging back their finds to Tobermory who would fix what ever it was up or turn it into someting useful. In one of th episodes he turned an old grandfather clock into a weighing machine. They are Reducing, Reusing and Recycling. YAY for the Wombles. And I did happen to notice that thier ‘Tidy bags’ were resusable too.

The first victims of sea level rise?

Posted in Envrionment view with tags on 23/01/2008 by bimbo78

Yet another one for the green room but I’ll leave it here for a bit first.

I watched on the news last night about the beautiful island of Tuvalu in the south Pacific. It seems that the King Tide, (what they call the highest tides of the year) are now beginning to breach the island. And it’s not just a case of the tides coming up the beaches, as the islands are atolls, (which means they have formed on top of coral reefs) the sea level is beginning to come up through the coral and flood the interior of the island too. Now that’s just cheating! Locals on the island have never seen the tides so high.

Now, we obviously shouldn’t use anecdotal evidence to prove the sea level has risen. Say the oldest islander is 80 and he/she can remember 75 years back, if the King Tide hasn’t been as high as it is now in the last 75 years it doesn’t really prove owt. I don’t really deal with coastal flooding that much but I have been working on a project recently. In this country New build is not allowed on land that is below the 1 in 200 year tidal flood, (this is the flood that occurs in average every 200 year) On top of that depending on what area in the country you are in and what type of development you need to add on the predicted sea level rise. In the south east on England this is expected to be over 1 m in the next 100 years. It’s just staggering.

The highest point on Tuvalu is 4.5 m above the current highest King Tide. The IPCC, (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) have predicted another 0.5 m rise. The Tuvaluans are demanding aid to build some sort of defence. The trouble is as the water comes up through the coral there really is no technological fix, (except maybe some sort of giant pond liner). This leaves the farm land covered in salt and useless.

It will be the poorer places that are effected first as this demonstrates. Places like Holland are very much at risk but have the cash to throw at building larger defences, Tuvalu doesn’t. Bangladesh maybe next, I think I read somewhere that it’s highest point is 4 m above current sea level. There are 123 million people, (estimated) in Bangladesh and this is rising rapidly. It is one of the most densely populated countries in the world and also one of the poorest. What’s going to happen to them? It’s a catastrophe waiting to happen.

Bag Lady

Posted in Envrionment view on 22/01/2008 by bimbo78

This should probably be in ‘The Green Room’; I’ll move it in there eventually.
Upton Upon Severn in Worcestershire is about to ban plastic bags from it’s town centre. Hay on Wye has already accomplished this as well as several other towns around the country. Well done!! It is obviously for financial benefits but hey I don’t care.

For those of you who don’t have a ‘bag for life’ they can purchased quite cheaply at all good shops, (seriously they seem to sell them everywhere now). And remember the reason you are doing this because:

1) What happens to the bags, they go to land fill. Landfill is filling up fast and as they don’t degrade very quickly, (see point 2) this is just asking for trouble.

2) Plastic doesn’t degrade properly in fact it just breaks up into smaller pieces over time but it’s still there lurking around in the soil. And this is how it enters the food chain. Plastic bags aren’t really any use for recycling, (I am always dubious of plastic bag recycling you see at supermarkets, I reckon they melt them down and make cheap sausages out of them) plastic bags are made out of low grade plastic so can’t be melted down and reused for anything useful.

3) Bags are made out of oil, we aint got much left so just stop using them. Also they have to be transported to where ever you are making your purchases from so it’s a double whammy on the carbon emissions front.

4) Plastic bags end up as litter which gets blown into rivers and the sea. Wildlife mistake the bags for food and scoff them and then die.

I do wonder how much shops would have to charge for plastic bags to make people stop using them. Maybe I’ll do a study. I get really annoyed that some shop assistants automatically put your stuff in a bag without even asking. Your there going I don’t need a bag thanks and they are too busy chatting to someone else to hear you so when you take your 1 bottle of wine out of the bag and put it in your rucksack or bag for life and leave the bag sitting on the counter they tut at you like you have just been really rude. You would think it would be in their interest to save the company money by not using bags but no it doesn’t seem so.

ADDITIONAL I just found this site
http://www.morsbags.com/
Basically this chick and her mates make cloth bags out of old scraps of material and then go and swoop, (guerilla style aparently) and hand them out outside supermarkets. Well done mate. Maybe I should try it in Worcester.

Musical dross

Posted in Music on 22/01/2008 by bimbo78

I went to Ella’s first Birthday party on Sunday, it was great. We got to eat proper party food, cheese and pineapple on sticks and jelly. I would eat party food for every meal if I could. Anyway I’m digressing before I have even started the story. On the way back from the party we happened to be listening to the charts on Radio1. It’s not something I make a habit of but if I happened to be in the car on a Sunday I’ll tune in to see what the masses are buying. We only caught the top 2 songs. Number 2 was Adele: Chasing Pavements. It’s quite a sweet little song, (Lord how patronising does that sound!!?). To be honest I am fed up of hearing the hype about Adele though, I don’t care if she is going to be the next big thing in 2008. I’ll make my own mind up who I like and not listen to all the freaking record companies opinions or those that are considered ‘cool’, that’s aimed at YOU NME!!! As Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip says,
Thou shalt not read NME.
And he know what he is talking about.

Anyway once again I am digressing. The whole point of this little story was to show my absolute shock and incomprehension at what is at number 1. I’ve had to look it up to get the name right. Basehunter Ft DJ Mental Theo with the beautifully named Now You’re Gone. Apparently it is it’s second week at number 1. Well the radio stations I listen to don’t play it so this was the first time I had heard the delights of the aforementioned. Oh my god, who the hell has bought this absolute crap?! I’m used to not liking what’s at number 1 but this is possibly the worst ever. After the ‘song’ had finished the presenter Fern and Reggie discussed with Annie Mack how it had managed to get to number 1. All 3 drew a blank.

Floody

Posted in Envrionment view, water with tags , on 16/01/2008 by bimbo78

So the Severn is on it’s way out again, it is due to peak at some point today but with all the rain forecsat tomorrrow I wouldn’t be suprised if there was a secondary peak, well actually it will be a tertiary peak as it peaked onec on Saturday too. The barriers in Worcester have been up since Friday, well done Environment Agency for actually managing to get them up this time. I’ve noticed everytime I have been to have a look at the barriers, (what can I say I’m a hydro-geek) there is a at least 1 EA landrover parked up on BBC Hereford and Worcesters car park with someone sat there lookimg tathe barriers. Presuambly to make sure nobody interferes with them, but what a boring job.

The Teme was really high this morning on my way to work, I’ll try and get a level to compare to the July flood. Our monitor topped out at 7 metres in July when the water submereged the enclosure.

ED’s R us

Posted in Dark, Health with tags on 08/01/2008 by bimbo78

I just heard a news story on the BBC about eating disorders. Apparently the special NHS clinics where people are sent when they are really poorly are busier than ever. Well in my opinion there are several reasons for this.

Firstly there is so much more publicity surrounding eating disorders than there used to be. When I was at my worst people said I was skinny and she’s a bit funny with her food but there was NEVER any mention of eating disorders. I suffered in silence, literally I didn’t tell a soul. This was 14 years ago, people had heard of ED’s but it wasn’t exactly high profile. Well that was until the waif came along. People complained about Kate Moss but then Jodie Kidd came long, all 6 stone of her, (she’s 6 foot tall!!). Suddenly anorexia was all over the papers. People were suddenly aware and everything was done to stop it from happening. I had sorted myself out in the meantime, (well as best you can ever recover).

Now it seems having an eating disorder is a pre-requisite for being a teenage girl. And with soooo many celebrities sporting visible rib cages it seems it has been accepted.

Portia de Rosi, Nicole Richie, Victoria Beckham, Claissa Flockhart virtually any girl signed up to a modelling agency!!

Let me use Victoria Beckham as an example here. Would she be as famous as she is if she wasn’t so skinny. I think not. She has no talent, she is married to a very famous footballer but you don’t see Christiano Ronaldo’s bird all over the papers do you?! She is famous for looking like a lolly stick with boobs. The size 4 was invented for these stick thin women and that is now used as motivation for some girls, they will keep going until they can fit into a pair of jeans with a 23 inch waist, which by the way is the same as an 8 year old girl. They are de-feminising themselves. Their boobs go and their periods stop. My hatred was of my larger than average hips and butt when I was at my worst, it’s a family trait I can’t do anything about it. Now I love my ass, and so does my bloke. To me a woman should have a shape not look like a bean pole, (I’m aiming this section of the rant at a particular person). Obviously some women can’t help being straight up and down but if that isn’t your natural shape don’t try and fight it EMBRACE IT!! If he wants you different then maybe you should question his motives.

And obviously there are pro-anorexia websites too, these can act as a trigger for those that are that way inclined. I visit a few of these sometimes, not to get tips but just to remind myself of the hell. I don’t want to go back there but sometimes I do slip and fall. I’m probably at a very sensitive time at the moment as I put on so much weight in the last year. I could lose it in a few days if I wanted but I won’t I’ll do it the hard way.