Archive for December, 2006


Latest report from Pakistan

Wednesday, December 27th, 2006

This comment was placed on the “about us” page of the blog, and I thought it deserved more prominent display.

It was June 2006 when ,Flaming Grasshopper,published my first article. Now i am submitting another article that is about “Melting of Siachen glacier”
Melting Of glaciers is not a regional issue now, as according to latest research reports (2006) on TSUNAMI 2004, and Katrina, Rita hurricanes, the fundamental cause of these calamities was Sea-Level-Rise due glaciers melting.

When the glaciers melt, it unleashes pent-up pressures in the Earth’s crust, causing extreme geological events such as earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. According to new research reports the reliquified water causes sea levels to rise and increases the weight on the ocean floor, which can also have an effect on the grinding tectonic plates deep below the surface and rebalancing ocean floor.

Please published this research based article for comments and to save Siachen Glacier as result of war over this glacier is noting but its rapid melting thus causing sea level rise.

regard

Arshad H Abbasi
Cell No.92-333-5144405

Revenge of the ‘Wild Roses’
The News International
By Arshad H Abbasi
The present debate is not over the war or ceasefire on the longest glacier known as ‘Wild Roses” in the local language but on the concern over the melting of the Siachen Glacier , Known as the world’s longest glacier in the non-polar regions, its melting process has now been bracketed amongst the fastest in the world. ……Read full research based article
http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=35881

Podcasts

Friday, December 22nd, 2006

Apparently I’m an old fart, because I can’t figure out how to listen to them, but Permafrog aka Growing Green’s is podcasting along our lines (the rumor has it), with things like reviews of Food Not Lawns and The Relolution Will Not Be Microwaved, among other things. Permafrog’s older casts seem to be available as .wav downloads. Maybe you already have to be subscribed to get the more recent ones delivered to you? A little patience and maybe the December casts will become downloadable too.

On the radio last night I heard about a survey of kids and internet stuff, and the young tykes nowadays think of email as an aged, old skool technology. They use chat/IM and text messaging almost to exclusion. It’s a brave new world. I expect something new will come along and make instant messaging obsolete by–what do you think–August? Where’s a little good old fashioned ESP when you need it.

Credit where credit is due: Limits to Growth

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

Something’s in the air: Peter Madden of Forum for the Future writes at Gristmill that he’s surveyed the UK scene on the most important environmental books of all time, and Limits to Growth gets an honorable mention (didn’t quite make the “Top 10″ cut). And in Salzburg, Austria, the Robert Jungk Bibliothek fur Zukunftsfragen (Robert Jungk Library for Future Matters [Google translation to English]) has named Limits to Growth as the number 1 top book of the year in the German speaking world. [List translated to English by Google; list in original German]

Edens on the air

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

Happy days are here again–PBS has set air dates for two more episodes of the Edens Lost and Found documentaries:

Air Dates Set: It is a thrill for all of us at Edens to have finalized broadcast slots on the PBS calendar for two exciting new segments in early January: Seattle, The Future is Now (Jan. 4) and Los Angeles, Dream a Different City (Jan. 11) . We are on the schedule for the first time in many new communities, and others are showing the entire four-part series. Check local listings at www.pbs.org.

Playing scratch

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

There’s been a secret Santa, maybe more than one, busy around the Chelsea Green offices the past week. Every morning we arrive at work to discover some little treat at our desks. The first few mornings it was candy, then yesterday a pencil, and today a “Bah Humbucks” scratch ticket from the Vermont Lottery. I won $10!

Sandi asked me if I was going to take the cash or turn my ticket in for more tickets. Being an irredeemable nerd, I decided to calculate the expected return on the game before choosing how to take my winnings.

So at least for this particular scratch game, the expected return on a $2 ticket is an average of $1.50215825. Meaning, if you play it over and over, you will win an average of a buck fifty for every two bucks you spend (aka, 75 cents back for each dollar spent). Of course, those winnings come in lumps, so the thrill can be pretty cool and maybe well worth the price of admission.

Now historically I’ve been more of a Powerball type player than a scratch player. So now I’m wondering what the expected return is on a Powerball ticket. Let’s mosey on over to their website and see… This is a little tricky, because the grand prize is always changing day to day, and it turns out to have a pretty major effect on your expected return. For example, today’s listed grand prize is $53 million. In that case, the expected return on a $1 ticket is 55.9 cents. (I’m including the odds of winning the grand prize as well as the odds of winning the lesser prizes.) If the grand prize gets up to $100 million, your expected return rises to 88.1 cents. The break even point relative to the Bah Humbucks scratch ticket is when the Powerball grand prize is $80,938,548 — that’s the point at which the scratch ticket is (statistically speaking) worth exactly as much as the Powerball ticket. If the Powerball grand prize falls below that amount, your best bet is the scratch ticket; if Powerball goes over that amount, it is your best bet.

But all that is based on the Statistics 101 rule of “an infinite number of plays.” A person can’t play these games an infinite number of times. So the real odds are a little different. And given that the Powerball game sucks in its customers with the promise of an otherwordly huge grand prize (that comes with such impossible odds) yet is very stingy with its lesser prizes, while the scratch has a lower grand prize but is more generous with its lesser prizes… um, this sentence is getting too complicated for me; I’ve gotten lost in my grammar. In other words, Powerball is a sucker’s game. While the overall expected return is roughly equivalent to the scratch, its expected return is heavily tilted towards the grand prize, which, quite simply, you and I are never going to win. The odds of winning the grand prize are 1 in 146,107,962. (The expected return of Powerball excluding the grand prize is a measely 19.7 cents on the dollar; the expected return on the scratch ticket excluding the top prize is still a relatively respectable 73.4 cents on the dollar.) If you bought 10 Powerball tickets every day for 50 years, you’d have bought a total of 182,500 tickets (costing you $182,500). You’re odds of winning the grand prize in all that time would be 1 in 800. That’s not very good.

I guess the moral of the story is that I’m a rube just like everyone else who gets impressed with a big shiny thing like a huge Powerball payoff. It’s time for me to start playing scratch.

Which brings up another question I’ve had for a long time: how does the lottery compare to buying life insurance? Well, I can’t find useful numbers in my quick Google search, and I really do have other work to do, so we’ll have to leave that question for another time. Stay tuned!

Review of NOT IN HIS IMAGE

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

Did they like it? Did they hate it? If it were Halloween, I’d let the suspense linger a little longer, but seeing as it’s the happy holidays time I won’t be so cruel. The word from Traditional Yoga Studies is, “this passionate book is a vigorous re-telling of the historical play between so-called Paganism and Christianity, containing any number of striking insights and felicitous formulations.”

“Felicitous formlations”? Now that’s pretty cool.

EBR gives Animate Earth the big thumbs up

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

And I quote, “for… the best source for a full grounding in Gaian science… one can now refer to Stephan Harding’s Animate Earth.” This is from Electronic Book Review’s lengthy review of Animate Earth and Lovelock’s Revenge of Gaia.

Tunbridge-Powered Energy Handbook

Monday, December 18th, 2006

One of my favorite books on the upcoming Spring list is Greg Pahl’s Citzen-Powered Energy Handbook. It surveys the various renewable energy sources, explaining the basics of how they work, what the pros and cons are of each, and profiling examples of use. What’s most interesting to me is that Pahl also emphasizes the ways that local community groups (or official town organizations) can implement local energy projects at the medium scale. That is, larger than just for a single home, but smaller than a utility-scale system intended for tens of thousands of users. He’s got in mind energy co-ops, and collectives, and that kind of thing; projects that provide local renewable energy in a way that brings a community together, keeps energy dollars circulating within the community, and provides the community with energy insurance against the problems of peak oil and global warming (and the likely increases in fossil energy costs that will come with each).

Then lo and behold, in yesterday’s Valley News [article not online], I read an op-ed by Henry Swayze of Tunbridge, VT, on the local energy group that he’s a part of there, the First Branch Sustainability Project. They are interested in more than just energy, though concern over energy issues is the unifiying issue for members. I Googled the First Branch, and here’s an article from The (Randolph) Herald on the group’s founding recently:

First Branch Sustainability Project Is Getting Started
By Emily Marshia

“A combination of rising fuel costs, international politics and global climate change has prompted a group of concerned citizens to form The First Branch Sustainability Project,” reads the introduction of an email circulating around central Vermont from Chelsea resident Phillip Mulligan.

One of this project’s first initiatives is called the Solar Hot Water Challenge. Mulligan and a small group of area residents have set a goal to steward the purchase of 50 solar hot water heaters in the area by May 1, 2007. So far, they have received 85 inquiries from people interested in the project.

The group evolved out of some Tunbridge planning sessions based on a call to action around society’s dependence on fossil fuels and global climate change. Ideally, members would like to “reinvent life without fossil fuels. In doing so we think we will strengthen our community’s economy, air and water quality and quality of life.”

Group members Kathryn Parlin of Chelsea, Rob Benson of Vershire, Hannah Dennison of Washington, Chris Wood of Strafford, and Dan Retz of Hartford are curseeking affiliation with an established organization to acquire non-profit status.

Most recently, there is an effort underway to assist people with constructing their own solar hot water heaters, as opposed to purchasing a pre-made unit, to help save money. The committee estimates that in Vermont, a solar hot water system can supply 95% of a household’s hot water needs in the summer and 50% in the winter.

For more information, contact Phillip Mulligan at 685-7784 or phillip@ sover. net.

Nice. I think the First Branchers might want to hook up with the Relocalization Network that’s grown out of the Post Carbon Institute. Hmmm, now that I browse the network, it looks like First Branch might already have made the link, only under the name “Post Carbon Tunbridge Vermont.” Well, if you are in the greater Tunbridge metropolitan area, consider
getting involved. Since Henry listed his email address in the op-ed, I hope he won’t mind if I also post it here: swayze@ pngusa. net.

Missions Rejected galore

Friday, December 15th, 2006

It’s like some kind of open floodgate. Marc Cooper reports at The Nation online that

After appearing only seven weeks ago on the Internet, the Appeal for Redress, brainchild of 29-year-old Navy seaman Jonathan Hutto, has already been signed by nearly 1,000 US soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen, including dozens of officers–most of whom are on active duty. Not since 1969, when some 1,300 active-duty military personnel signed an open letter in the New York Times opposing the war in Vietnam, has there been such a dramatic barometer of rising military dissent.

You’d think someone would want to write a book about this kind of thing.

(Thanks to Jeralyn at TalkLeft for the tip.)

Tip of the day: use a plunger on a slow drain

Friday, December 15th, 2006

I got the idea from Consumer Reports, which was rating the various chemical drain un-cloggers. None of them got high marks (something I can attest to in my personal experience). One of CR’s nontoxic suggestions–use a plunger. And by golly, it really works!


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