What are you in for?
31 posts • joined 29 Feb 2008
I know it is a *little* premature, but I've been pondering post-LOHAN life, and wondering "What next?".
Then I remembered a little bit of model rocketry folklore. There was one fellow who claims to have put a model (high-power) rocket into orbit, with the aid of a balloon. This was never confirmed, although the physics checked out - just.
My biggest problem at the moment is coming up with a suitable backronym,
So, howabout it?
Thing is, if they sought permission they may have got it in certain limited ways. CASA are actaully pretty easy to work with (I have had frequent dealings with them as RSO (Range Safety Officer) for the local rocketry club - albeit some years ago), and will often even give you permission to fly in all sorts of restricted airspaces provided you confirm each flight with the local ATCs and/or towers.
On the other hand, provided they kept below 300'AGL, they were below controlled airspace, and so mostly out of CASAs control - but not their authority. (Incidentally, did you know that you are not allowed to fly a kite above 300'AGL without clearance? For that reason kite lines are sold with a maximum length of 50M to ensure a reasonable margin. You can buy longer ones, but they will be custom supplied.)
On the gripping hand, in the presence of water bombers and similar aircraft (crop dusters, aircraft on approach, etc), CASA's controlled space can extend all the way to the ground, so always check the current NOTAMs (NOtice To AirMen) before flying anything.
In short, they screwed up, broke air safety regs, and were berks. Further, judging from the dust kickups, the copter they were flying was not a small beast, and I would have not wanted anything to run into it. Yes they got good footage, but only by doing something dangerous and illegal. As I said. Berks.
Nope, the opt-out is to be *in* the ads. Like the orginial article said. And under-18s are automatically excluded (even if they try to opt-in).
So potentially annoying, yes, but you get to control if you are going to be annoying to others.
Simple solution? Anytime you see someone in one of your circles come up in an ad, remove them, block them, and report them as spammers. Problem quickly goes away. (Of course you could always gently suggest to them that they opt-out too, but where's the fun in that?)
I get the gist of your argument ... but wind and coal can co-exist, just not very well. On the other hand, wind and gas co-exist very nicely indeed. Wind, PV, and tidal/wave systems also co-exist and make for a very sweet combination - but still do not complete the picture. To complete it you need to add one or more of fossil fuel, geothermal, nuclear, and/or hydroelectric. A broad mixed-mode supply provides the lowest carbon footprint, and the greatest flexibility.
As for the argument that wind-power cannot be stored, it depends. "What?" I hear you ask. Wind power, or more specifically, the potential energy of wind power can be stored, and quite economically - if you have the right geographical conditions.
Here in West Oz, we do not, as a rule, have those conditions, but in Tasmania and in the Snowy Mountains we do.
How? You take your excess wind generation capacity, and use it to pump water back up into catchment areas to power hydro systems. The Swiss and Japanese have been doing this for some years.
Alas, cross-TZ solar just is not going to cut it in OZ. The transmission losses would make it hideously expensive. Heck, we don't even have a fully integrated grid on the West Coast! No so sure about the barbarian East, but I think they have it integrated in the southern half, due to higher settlement density.
You cover off a good amount of this - but I will (again) point out that it is horses for courses. In some regions, wind makes sense (particularly where there is extensive consistent wind and high fuel transport costs). In others it does not (where you have short transmission runs and/or low basic wind levels and/or low fuel transport costs).
Also, the maintenance issue depends on the tower/nacelle design. The ones here in Oz are designed to be non-crane serviced, with ground-level access to the nacelle via a staircase inside the tower, and a hoist hatch within the nacelle for replacement equipment. The only thing that requires a crane or an extended outage is blade replacement.
OK, now I'm angry.
The ELF sound issue was proven false. The health impacts on farmers were proven to be psychosomantic. The birdstrike issue was likewise proven so limited as to be negligible compared to city buildings. The carbon payback finding applied to micro-generators on suburban roofs.
The only thing you've got at all right is base load issue, and you will see (above) that there are already ways to deal with it.
One the things often overlooked in the "what is the best power source for Australia?" debate is the matter of distance.
Whilst our major cities are the principal sinks for power generation, we also have a large number of high-drain regional sites, many of them beyond the reach of conventional transmission techniques. This has spawned a large number of regional power generation plants. The combined output of these smaller and less efficient plants at least equal the combined output of the major cities, due to the presence of high-drain industries in many of these regional centres.
It would not be economically feasible to build nuclear plants for each of these sites (conventional ones, anyway - get back to me when the replaceable single-core units start working), so what to do?
To give the example of Esperance, they have a four gas turbine plant, supplemented by unsubsidised wind-farms capable of providing up to 50% of the output of the gas-fired plant. This means that at any one time, there are two turbines running, one of hot standby (heated and spun by exhaust gasses from the other two), and a third in cold standby.
This has cut power costs in the town by over 50%, through a combination of reduced fuel costs and reduced maintenance costs. And reduced their fossil fuel use, not only for the power for for the shipping of the fuel to the town to make the power.
Similar stories exist throughout that region, and continue north of Perth up into the mining regions.
It is not for everyone. W.A. has abundant and relatively predictable winds. But when considering Australia as a whole, the correct solution is a diversified power generation plan. Should nuclear be a part of that? Maybe, if we can build the right sort of plant. But don't forget that nuclear plants have a lifetime, just like wind-farms and coal plants, and they can (if built wrong) fail catastrophically.
Senator Ludlum undertook this trip *using his own money*, not dipping into the public purse.
Either of the major parties undertaking a similar trip for a different case (with, no doubt similar results and actions - were they minded to) would (and have) utilised public monies and taken an extensive entourage.
So go ahead and call them names, but at least they show more financial restraint than the alternatives.
As an aside, I miss Screaming Lord Such. The world needs people like that to show off how shallow politics is.
The Martian Defence System, that is.
Nice to see that the recent upgrades, following several notable failures, have not only improved the accuracy, but have also resulted in unprecedented range.
In time we look forward to being able to deploy the MDS directly against the hostile blue planetarians, rather than simply stopping their invasion craft.
Flurztgrab 23rd, Technology Development Sub-Emperor (inner systems).
And before Palm was the Newton. Persistant coding, all data is structured and serialised... we've seen it all...
Called 'em soups in my day, they did. Made 'em do everything. Even had one that would work underwater. And had wireless. Could read the screen in daylight, too. Not like these modern lumps of dingoes kidneys.
I don't know, kids of today, thinking they have new ideas. "Too late!" I says to them, "We've already invented everything." And then they laugh at me. Me! I'll show them! Right after me custard.
Mine's the tatty one next to the walking stick.
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