Site Search


Saturday, 28 February 2009

Debris in space.

When reading this arstechnica article it came as no surprise to learn of the inherent dangers of space  debris. Caused by mainly low orbital satellites, both some still in use and some no longer in use, but both types just floating free around our fragile Earth. NASA probably knows but your average Joe, of which I am one, probably does not, but the questions remain such as, what unknown damage is this space flotsam and jetsam creating for our Earth orbital spin and axis?

It is bad enough to know that the Earths low orbital space area is littered with objects, not just functional and defunct satellites, created after some 50 years since Man first transversed the problems of getting objects to fly outside of Earths atmosphere without having to wonder what problems these things can, and possibly will, cause for us in years to come. What, for example, would be the result of a collision in this area of several satellites at the same time? Would such a thing simply create yet more space debris making life evermore difficult for future space travelers or is it beyond the realms of possibilities that such a thing could cause the Earth to tilt on its axis one way or the other thereby possibly wiping out everything on Earth?

Other questions that should be asked is why after all the years of space travel have we not found a way to enter this area in space and simply hover up all the space junk? I am aware of the inherant dangers of grabbing such fast flying objects can create not to mention the docking of such items but we can do it with the space station so why not for a space refuse collector? I get the feeling that even though we humans have a space station of sorts out in space but we cannot seem to build a simple (yes, I know it is not as simple as just saying it but given what NASA and other space entities such as Russia's version of NASA and even China's flavour know about such things it cannot be that difficult for them) craft that can enter this cluttered area and effectively clean it up of all, if not all then most, space debris. This could then be expanded to cover areas beyond this particularly cluttered area.

Over the years since Man first ventured into space all manner of satellites have been dispatched and it would appear very little thought was given to the problems we have now in this area. Or maybe there was but the warnings were suppressed or simply ignored, whatever the reasons for being in the situation we now find ourselves the current situation is only going to get worse if the worlds space  efforts do not combine to create a better solution than the one touted in the above article. And who knows what dangers lay ahead not just for satellites, defunct or otherwise, but for the Earth itself as the more dense the debris gets the less light we will take in and the less light we take in the more living things will die.

Time for the world's space agencies to find a better solution than one that mimics air traffic control systems.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Next working day?

How often do you see "Next working day" when waiting for a parcel to be delivered? Let us consider those 3 words for a minute then let us consider what they mean in the modern 7 days a week commercial world.

Back in the old days they meant exactly what they say. This being your parcel would arrive on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday but never on a Saturday or a Sunday because those latter two were considered none-working days and, for those who can remember, Sunday was a day when almost no shops where open, save for little corner shops that usually opened for an hour or two.

Over time, big and not so big, shops started opening on a Saturday but Saturday never became part of the working day when taking deliveries into account, unless one paid a much higher price on that delivery.

Move into more recent memory and big, and not so big, shops started opening on a Sunday but still, for deliveries, Saturdays and Sundays are not considered Working days when our 3 words are under consideration. The same rules for a Saturday delivered parcel remains in force but Sunday does not get a look in.

So, we now live and work in a week consisting of the full 7 days, but, if you pay for a  "Standard delivery" option on a Friday you will still need to wait until the following Monday for that parcel to arrive. However, Saturday has been a standard working day for so many for so long it should now be considered a Standard working day and therefore be covered by our 3 little words.

Then again, if this was ever done the bosses  will almost blow a fuse and demand that because Saturday is now considered as part of the standard working week then they should not have to pay their workforce   time and a half, or third as some are still paid. But even there there is a work around. Saturday should only be considered as part of a  standard working week when taking parcel deliveries in to consideration and should not impact on the wages, payment details, of those who are forced to work on a Saturday.

Of course, there will be some winners and some losers in the above but I, and many others no doubt, would like to see Saturday as part of the Next working day delivery option for no other reason than in this 7 days a week world we now live in demands it be so.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

i cannot understand.

The mentality behind such people as this jerk in a BBC report. The guy is 20p short of a pound if he thinks for one second that what he waffles on about is anything close to reality. Sure, there will be some in middle England that would go along with it but those on the various Council owned estates dotted around our cities won't give a hoot.

Take this gem as an example of his bilge.

"And to my mind the really shining example of how far the public have
come in accepting laws to help protect us from self-harm is the huge
support for smoke-free public spaces and workplaces throughout the UK."

Here is another.

"We've been largely successful with the tobacco industry, and now it's time to shift the focus onto alcohol and junk-food."

And one more.

"What next? I would like to see a ban on smoking in cars with a child on
board and a ban on displays of cigarettes in shops. I would like to see
a real hike in tax on alcohol and a ban on deep price-cuts for booze."

That would be the tobacco industry that they are killing. There are so many holes in his spurious comments that it really is not worth poiting them out.

The vast majority of people of this country take no notice whatsoever of what some berk says about being healthy. As i said earlier there will be some who do, mostly from the middle classes but the working class simply will not care and the younger that working class people is the less they care. It is people like that guy who provides us with the laughs that keep us going. He is so high up on his high horse he can't even see what is really happening. Here is a free clue for him.

Just because you say it is so does not make it so. Fool.