Sunday, January 28, 2007

Recycling Water is only a matter of time. NOT!

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie is telling other Australian cities they too will need to recycle their urine, as he eliminates the planned plebiscite on the "Urine Recycling" decision for Queensland, apparently there is now no choice. The really amazing thing was that the plebiscite was going to cost $10M.

Someone really has to tell these antipodean folks, that it is in fact, NOT a question of time, in the sense of when in the future will it occur, as it plainly already has been since the formation of the water molecule. It is porbably also important to record here that less than 1% of the worlds water is readily accessible and fresh, ie not saline.

So lets explore the perceptual reality here; the issue is not whether a human unit, will in their lifetime consume a water molecule that has ever passed through the digestive tract of another human unit or any of the many animal units on this greeny blue planet. Let us assume that can be reasonably established as a high probability.

I posit that the underlying driver is not actually the "Everyone Else's Waste Water" factor commonly known as the EEWW! factor.

It is more likely to be that well known saying, translated by the Russian Linguistic Program as "Invisible Idiots" or in the original..."Out of sight, out of mind!"

Even if the water has been treated, the human units need the water to pass (oops!, sorry) conceptually out of sight, for them to get out of their minds that they have just passed it! In short, they do not like the idea of drinking their own urine!!! This is a very positive and natural survival instinct, as the urine is a waste product that contains compounds and elements that should not be reintroduced back into their bodies, while their systems can cope with a little short term urine recycling, not to be confused with the term "taking the piss", however that is another thing entirely! (Imagine what the Russian Linguistic Program would have made of that phrase) But I digresss... the simple matter is: long term urine drinking is bad for human units... and they naturally avoid doing it. Apart,of course, from the special case of the "Magic Mushrooms". So, apart from the sublime? benefits of magic mushrooms, how to make it good for the human units??

Any one of you read DUNE? if you have you will understand that the question is not so much a matter of time, but of distance. The Fremen stillsuit brought the recycling distance down to a matter of feet!
There are species on this greeny blue planet that have a more intimate means of recyling their own waste, take for example terrestrial crabs, or the macaque monkeys. It is clearly efficient survival capability when resources are in short supply, to hang onto as much of them as possible.

So here is a proposal!
Let City A, in addition to the rainfall they manage to capture, receive top up water from City B, and City B receive their water from City C, and City C from A, whereas City A feeds the water it does not need along with some "super refreshed water molecules" from their water treatment plants, (OK "Recycled if you like!") to City C, who,, etc....

Sort of like what the folks in Windsor Castle have been doing to Londoners via the Thames, for as long as I can remember! Amazing how the royalty always prefer to be upwind and upstream of the plebs! Of course Slough did not exist back then, it was all verdant countryside with just cows and sheep urinating into the river! And Reading was far enough up the Thames not to be visible, back to those "Invisble Idiots", and of course the academics chose to stay even further up the river in Oxford.

In a funny sort of way this is similar to my last blog the trick seems to be, for the unit in question to get resources from outside the unit if possible, and the closer to the unit centre the more efficient, in this instance the resource was H20, the prior example involved cellular energy. Feels like a principle of nature don't you think? More proof needed?, well the Danes have a different approach, than drinking the urine in the recyling process, greener in many ways more than one! For urine contains nutrients that are good for plants!! They eat their urine!, it's all just a question of perspective. Which this Taiwanese toilet restaurant tests to perfection.

Before you think that I do not understand just how serious this situation is I have read this Special Report

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Energy Crisis was "solved" in 1930!

The question was;
Is it Cause or Effect?

Unfortunately a leading scientist, the famous Hans Krebs (right), denounced the Warburg Hypothesis, and the older Otto Warburg (left) never did manage to have his idea taken seriously. Interestingly Hans was Otto's assistant at the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft (now renamed the Max Planck Institute) until 1930, which is the time when Otto was developing his ground breaking concept. Later in his life Hans would continue to denounce the hypothesis. (I wonder was there a falling out?) Otto's idea was simple; The source of energy is the Cause! I am of course referring to Cancer. Otto was proposing that the fact that cancer cells switch to glycolosis from their normal energy source provided by the mitochondria was a defining property of the cancer cell. Had this idea been accepted back in the 1930's, perhaps we would already have the cure! As the key trick, lies in the fact that another function of the Mitochondria is to trigger an abnormal cells self destruction (an activity known as Apoptosis).

A recent article in New Scientist 20th January has highlighted that a very simple compound, namely dichloroethanoic acid (aka Dichloroacetate (DCA)) has the potential of switching a cells energy source back to the Mitochondria, resulting in the other Mitochondrial function of apoptosis operating.


The problem is that the capitalistic system of Invention-Patent-Reward will not work with a compound already known to exist and thus not patentable. Yet the clinical trials do need to occur as this is after all an acid, and earlier trials have shown that DCA is corrosive and destroys the tissue of mucous membrane and upper respiratory tract.

Any one care to invent a new disease eradication model other than the standard selfish/greed based model we use today?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Gnephngh! (or some such gnarley expletive)

He just can't be!! Can he?? But then again I did shave 30 years off my mental age... and TMO before you comment, NO that does not result in either an imaginary number nor a negative one!!

If you have thus far avoided this accursed time eraser, congratulations.... NOW...RUN, RUN as fast as you can! Don't look back...

Especially if you are competitive, and like the idea of practising to get your mental age lower. OK Brain age isn't the same as Mental Age.... but you get my point.

Any how, back to the Gnephngh! .... My youngest just sent me a multimedia message to my mobile phone that I had to pick up at an O2 web site!!

Facts you need to know:
He has been consistently older than his actual age,
You cannot get lower than 20,
So he wins!!! >:-(
I am a sore loser especially when I can't even play being 1,000's of miles from the accursed device.
(And NO there was not one at the Airport !!!)

My gallantry (I erased their scores and their real names to protect both their pride and their identity) got me to thinking about HWA (Her Without Acronym) and in a flash it came to me! SWDNFT, so now she has one! I'll give her about 10 minutes to guess it, she's that bright!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Official Name Change!

WFBOJ will henceforth be known as WFT, after the terror she causes TMTDUB! Given her tiny legs, it is really quite amusing watching her run rings round TMTDUB. His barks are very easy to translate: "Respect Your Elders!" and "If I ever catch you!". Her yaps clearly mean "Fat Chance!" As a quick squint at the TMTDUB photo, it will be seen that he has less of a chance to catch her than she realises...cataracts can really mess up one's aim.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Galatte du Roi, Twelfth Night, or What You Will

Today is the day that the decorations come down!
SWHAND reliably informed me that we need to take them down on the Saturday which is after all the 12th day as they don't need to be down until the 12th night. Unfortunately she was WRONG! Happily our Xmas tree is fake. So I vote we can take it and the lights down late! Otherwise they need to stay up all year!
Ever since the unfortunate accident with the Xmas Tree and a saw, I haven't been allowed to have a real one. Just as well really as I don't have the requisite baby elephant to dispose of it! The human units have some quaint customs related to the end of the Christmas Period: from chasing and killing Wrens, Lewd behaviour on the Feast of Fools, to the rather more gruesome custom of the Celtic Queens who had their new consort kill her old one on the 12th Night. (Some let them last 7 years others just the one! But that's pagans for you!) Incidentally, anyone know where in the bible the three kings arrive? The closest I can get is three gifts delivered by an unspecified number of Zoroastrian sorcerers, wise in the ways of astrology. I have found at least 6 names for them...

Wonder if the Gremlins will strike during the dismantling phase? Watch this space...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Well the Lambs Legs were not wasted!

It was great to move on from Turkey, with what I consider to be the second best English meal that ever existed, (yes it even beats that traditional 14th Century English dish Loseyns (pronounced Lasan)). In this case, I refer of course to Shepherds' Pie, and as a reminder to those that misuse the term; if one uses left over beef rather than lamb it is called "Cottage Pie".

I can remember as a child the pleasure of anticipation that came from helping my Nan mince the left over lamb from the Sunday roast. For me at the time, Shepherds' Pie and it's beef variant were the only reason to submit to eating a roast Dinner.

HWWGTA's profligate purchase of Lamb's Legs created the opportunity to partake of this magnificent meal, last night.

It also gives reason for the existence of that most sublime of all condiments, if that indeed is what it is, namely Worcestershire Sauce (Pronounced "Woos-Tah" Sauce) which is the only way to make a Shepherds' Pie complete!

(The observant amongst you will note that I have tried to be balanced by referring to the dish as English, providing a Scottish recipe, and a Welsh image.)

Finally I did try and consider the punctuation but Google gave me all variants and I could not decide which was correct... your inputs will be gratefully received.
This was my order of preference.
Shepherds' Pie
Shepherd's Pie
Shepherds Pie

Monday, January 01, 2007

That Was The Not So Green Year That Was!

It was the year I discovered just how big "our" Carbon Footprint was. You can calculate yours here. I just could not lie about the fact that I had burned 26 weekends flying the Atlantic.

It was also the year that we spoiled ourselves as well as the planet and had six different vacations, if you don't count the long weekend in the North clebrating SGM's 80th!:

Marrakesh with a medium sized negative carbon impact, but GREAT memories, as much from the smells as from the colours and images that we shared with the PoSDO (looks like we have lost the Marrakesh Photos to technology!!).

Orkney with a small sized negative carbon impact, and this time GREAT repeat memories, from the wildlife, the sea scenery and the amazing hospitality of Jackie and Stewart at Rickla the greatest B&B on the face of the planet.

Birmingham Canals with a smallish sized negative carbon impact, as we drove to Birmingham to pick up the Canal Boat. Brilliant slow down holiday that the whole of the FftS enjoyed. If left to my own devices I would buy one tomorrow.

Cornwall, Lerryn
, a small negative carbon impact with the drive down, and a visit to the Eden Project to remind ourselves what being Green really means.

Indy & Chicago on one of my trips to Indy I took Gill and we spent the weekend in Chicago. Unfortunately a large sized negative Carbon Impact.

and finally....
Moscow and St Petersburg Brilliant Memories! that we shared with TGSWAES and her husband (TREE).
Another large sized negative Carbon Impact which could have been larger had we not taken the train to St Petersburg.

It was also the year that we got delivery of a Toyota Hybrid vehicle a small and virtually insignificant reduced negative impact in comparison to our Carbon driven travels.

In addition it was the year that we installed a very large rain water collection tank, in order to reduce our reliance on tap water for gardening.

And finally it was the year that two special folks from the FftN became a special year older!

Having read this blog, it feels a little wrong, it was great reliving the memories but in the cold light of a blog, could also feel like showing off.... when it was in reality a cathartic way of dealing with the juxtaposition of my Green Guilt and Great Memories. (That I know I would do again in an instant!!) Wonder how long I will leave this up? It also explains how I burnt up all my back log of vacations!!! Nearly didn't have enough for Christmas!!!

unHappy New Year

We arrived home, in the first few hours of this New Year to find, despite the missing script for the murderer (or was that "ess")... the house tidy, no wine stains on the carpet (that I have yet found), and the washing up done! So why "unHappy " I hear you ask! Well, I was just showing HWWGTA the prior blog at 2:30 am and suddenly he clicked and nearly guessed his acronym, so very nearly that the one formerly known as SWWMD, now clearly known as SWHAND! said "surely that counts!". How little, does she know! I told him that he was close... what more does she want!

We had had a brilliant evening at the home of TVBNL, who regaled us with a wondrous recitation of the poem of the Magna Carta by Marriott Edgar. Given it has 19 stanzas, that is no mean achievement! He followed this up with a mean display of fireworks that lasted into the new year. He had the luck of the irish as the weather created a starry moonlit night for the fireworks despite raining like cats and dogs hours before and again as I type this blog. (I just love the English language, the word "mean" can mean so many things!)

TVBNLSSL, TSOAFGF and our very kind Teetotal driver (who did the desserts) had laid on a spread fit for a whole bevy of Kings. I have to admit to being very struck with the Lemon Possett which apparently is far simpler to make than its sublime taste and texture would suggest!

Happy New Year to my reader!