Category: Earth and cosmos

green issues, geology, geography, space, astronomy

England and Britain

This is written in response to reader Toodles bringing it up the other day but also for our other non-Brit/Englanders.

The confusion is because so many have got the wrong end of the stick or have local colouring to their view or do know or there is more than one truth at the same time, sometimes clashing.

What makes it worse is that people are so vehement about it – they’ll roll in and say bollox, it was never that, it was always this – so categorical. They’ll even be terribly offended, especially the Scots called English and the English called Brits.  I am currently quite unhappy about our national anthem, Jerusalem, not being played at the football.

So, in a humble, gentle way [unusual for me], I submit the following with trepidation:

Thank goodness that company still uses miles but sadly, not furlongs.

Collins is quite clear about what Britain is – it is the larger of the two “big” islands within the British Isles – it is a geographical term and the Celts are not unhappy with that because Britons preceded the Anglo-Saxons. … More here ...

Rampant wrongheadedness [3]

This is the last in the mini-series, I’ve run this before.  It’s from my book and it’s a conversation between a security section leader and her partner.

They are discussing security measures but the discussion really became about what people think is acceptable behaviour, ethics today and those things are indicators of lack of reliability.  Naturally, I had to have a Millennial foil in there to disagree.

Here ’tis [it’s not necessary to know all the characters and the whats and wherefores]:

‘Yes, yes, that’s what worries me. We need better procedures,’ [said head of the section Geneviève]

Nadine put in her contribution. ‘We need to check records better and check the checkers as well. Expand our database.’

‘That’s so but you weren’t selected solely on your record, Nadine – it was Geneviève here who decided to take a chance with you. The ability to sniff out talent and danger is everything in the final analysis – data goes only so far.’

‘But that’s unreliable and it makes one person indispensable,’ protested Nadine.More here ...

Rampant wrongheadedness [2]

Try this one:

Last Monday, University of Toronto psychologist Jordan Peterson came to Portland as part of his tour to promote “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.” Some 50 protesters stood outside the theater accusing him of “transphobia” and misogyny. Their signs—one of them read “infinite genders”—reminded me of the bookstore.

One protester told me she was shocked that so many women came to hear Mr. Peterson speak: “It’s just disgusting!” Sure enough, inside were many women, including women of color.

Mr. Peterson has 12 rules, compared with In Other Words’ seven. Perhaps the bookstore would have survived if it had followed Mr. Peterson’s Rule No. 6: “Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world.”

The WSJ [unreadable to many, including me], also ran it.

Or this:… More here ...

Rampant wrongheadedness [1]

There’s so much of it coming at us that it’s difficult to know where to start.

Let’s start in the middle:

Heather wants cochlear implants so she can talk to people and hear lions. Her mother, too, opts for the implants. But when she discovers the implant will not be as effective for her, she changes her mind, and, without consulting her daughter, decrees that neither of them will be undergoing the procedure.

After the film ended, our professor asked students for their thoughts. When called on, I said that parents should try to make their children’s lives easier. If I remember my words correctly, I added: “They shouldn’t hold their children back from something that will help them grow.”

“You just feel that way because you’re white, cisgendered, abled, and privileged,” came the snarl from somewhere below. I looked down a few aisles to the front of the dark screening room.

More here ...

Gotta save Gaia

https://www.eater.com/2018/7/3/17531192/vertical-farming-agriculture-hydroponic-greens

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17467498

Other than the usual fanbois, two standout HN comments –

“There’s a lot of misunderstanding of agriculture in this thread.

1) No, land is not expensive. In agricultural areas, land is quite cheap. Organizing shelves of crops vertically solves for a problem that isn’t actually a problem.

2) The sun is free and electricity isn’t cheap. Putting plants indoors and then buying electricity to create light is going to be expensive compared to using the free sun. (The absurdity of putting solar panels on a roof to make electricity to beam LEDs on plants, losing 90% of the energy along the way, shouldn’t be lost on anyone.)

3) Shipping is cheap. It may make us feel good that a salad’s greens were created on a roof-top in Brooklyn, but using some of the most expensive real-estate on Earth to save a few cents on shipping is beyond economically irrational.… More here ...

Hottest coldest

In the light of the hot weather we’ve been having, these record temperatures:

http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/highest-recorded-temperature/

https://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/06/30/scientists-observe-coldest-temperatures-ever-on-earths-surface/

The highest temperature they’ll accept is around 57C [135F] although there’ve been middle-eastern claims of 67C [153F]. The highest I’ve been in was 52C [127F] in the NW of Australia – from car to hospital door was mighty warm. Also warm was Palm Springs in summer 122F [50C] – they had outside sprinklers spraying from the sidewalk roofs. naturally, all vehicles had air-conditioning.… More here ...