* Posts by Mike Richards

3615 posts • joined 28 Feb 2007

One of the world's oldest experiments crawls towards a fall

Mike Richards

Re: A long time but...

There are some field experiments at Rothamsted which go back to the 1840s.

And of course Britain's ongoing experiment of the American colonies seems to be going nicely after more than 250 years. There is even some evidence you will soon be able to get a decent cup of tea on the other side of the Atlantic.

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Mike Richards

Re: Glass is not a liquid

Or indeed the Earth's Mantle which is a solid so far as an earthquake is concerned, but loses heat through fluid convection.

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Oz volcano's lava lake spills from crater

Mike Richards

Krakatau.

The earliest mention of Krakatoa is a misspelling in a telegraph message conveyed to the British press.

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Mike Richards

Lava lakes are very rare and there are only four persistent lava lakes on Earth (Nyragongo, Erta Ale, Erebus and Kilauea), so it is quite possible the lava lake has drained back into the volcano and this is erupting through a vent at or around the crater rim. Bearing in mind just where Big Ben is located and the low risk it presents, I doubt any geologists will be hot-footing it there to take a better look.

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Mike Richards

2 volcanoes

Australia has two active volcanoes. The nearby McDonald Islands had a series of eruptions between 1992 and 2005.

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Brits on benefits: 'Dole office site only works on PCs over 10 YEARS OLD'

Mike Richards

Re: Do you know anyone on benefits? No, didn't think so

Because you might have bought your smartphone or iMac a while back but found yourself disabled, with a chronic illness or unemployed. I know it's hard to believe in the current Wirtschaftswunder, but people lose their jobs and are entitled to benefits.

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Another negative climate feedback: Warmer plants cool the planet

Mike Richards

Re: Also, don't forget

Average heat from the Sun 340W/m2; from the Earth's interior 0.09W/m2.

The Earth radiates an enormous amount of heat, but it is utterly dwarfed by the mind-buggering amount of energy arriving from the Sun.

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Mike Richards

Re: Fossil fuels are being used faster than they are being discovered

There's a difference between total fossil fuel reserves and economic fossil fuel reserves. The new reserves are almost all at the very high end of the price spectrum and would have been completely uneconomic even ten years ago. We have adapted to a world where oil costs $75-100 a barrel, we might be prepared to go even higher.

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Bogus gov online test tells people on dole they're just SO employable

Mike Richards

Re: I think we should all email them the link to the picture of the cock on Mars

Are you proposing to put Iain Duncan Smith on Mars?

I'm good for a tenner.

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Fried-egg sarnies kick off Reg man's quid-a-day nosh challenge

Mike Richards

'So, I'm in business, but one question remains: will the challenge prove harder on me or on my local bar owners, who greeted the news I'd be off the booze for a week with a mixture of disbelief and dismay.'

Well that's killed off the last part of the Spanish economy.

This isn't an elaborate scheme to have soft-hearted Reg readers bombard you with food parcels is it?

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Pirate Party wins seats in Icelandic election

Mike Richards

Re: What exactly do they think they are going to change?

Birgitta has experience in politics as she was elected in the previous general election. She led the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative's work with the Alþingi to introduce constitutional protections for human rights regarding the media, especially protecting whistleblowers. Not just WikiLeaks, but in Icelandic society as a whole, where tight interconnections between families and businesses allowed politicians and bankers to run riot in the runup to the crash. A large chunk of her work was agreed with all of the parties in the parliament which is generally more consensual than the nightmare at Westminster.

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Climate-cooling effect 'stronger than volcanoes' is looking solid

Mike Richards

Re: So in other words (warning, Heretical thinking within)

'Given that it survived the creation of the moon (assuming that impact theory is correct) and the Chixculub (sp?) extinction impact and still balanced itself back out, who'da thunkit.'

The Earth survived just fine. The dominant lifeforms (or organic molecules) didn't come out of it quite so well.

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Reddit: So very sorry for naming innocent man as Boston bomber

Mike Richards

Re: Call me sceptical if you will, but...

In America, celebrity 'I'm sorry's are usually followed by 'God has forgiven me, so why can't you?'

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New poll says Assange could win Australian Senate seat

Mike Richards

Re: The power of memes

'At the right moment, an accomplice can distract the guards by driving up in a flatbed truck bearing a cat playing a piano.'

Oh for that to happen, not just because the sight of the Home Secretary explaining that to the Commons would never get old, but for the gloriously po-faced Crimewatch reconstruction that would follow.

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Angry Birds fire back: Vulture cousins menace UK city's mobiles

Mike Richards

If it's that bad

Don't Vodafone have any of those temporary phone masts that are put up in disaster areas?

Judging by the state of the O2 network round here, there's a hell of a lot of peregrine falcons nesting nearby.

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Flexible flywheel offers cheap energy storage

Mike Richards

Re: You want to know if it'll work?

Didn't British Rail used to have some electric locomotives that used flywheels to carry them over gaps in the conductor? Or am I imagining something much cooler?

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Wales slams Amazon over lack of Kindle support

Mike Richards

Re: The problem with WRITTEN Welsh is...

The article mentions books being available in Cornish. Well that language is even more fragmented and marginal than Welsh.

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Maggie Thatcher: The Iron Lady who saved us from drab Post Office mobes

Mike Richards

One undeniably good thing

She met Mikhail Gorbachev in 1984 before he became Premier of the Soviet Union. They spoke, got on and she saw he was different from his predecessors. She persuaded President Reagan that this was someone the West could do business with. The rest followed. That's a huge achievement on her part.

She was also the first senior politician (and a scientist at that) to point out that pouring carbon dioxide into the atmosphere was not a good thing.

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The ten SEXIEST computers of ALL TIME

Mike Richards

Re: you forgot!

And plastic - just like Paris H.

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US Navy blasts drones with ship-mounted LASER CANNON

Mike Richards

Unanswered question

Does it make a really, really cool noise?

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MISSING LINK between HUMANS and MONKEYS FOUND

Mike Richards

The next experiment

Has to be giving beer to baboons to see if they then claim to be able to fix all the world's problems before throwing an arm around the nearest primatologist, slurring 'I luv you - I do!' and toppling gently into the nearest mangrove swamp singing the song about the pixies.

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Pyongyang to unleash NUKULAR horsemen of the Norkocalypse?

Mike Richards

Re: Missile fuels and testing

UDMH is the stuff that's so nasty it resulted in a series of fires and explosions of Titan missiles in their silos. One exploded when a technician dropped a spanner on to the rocket's skin. It was armed at the time. The warhead was blown out of the silo and landed almost intact nearby.

Nitrogen tetroxide also nearly killed the crew of the Apollo half of the Apollo-Soyuz test mission when a reaction control system malfunctioned during re-entry and bled fumes into the capsule. I seem to recall the crew suffered 'bleached lungs'.

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Norkoshop: How Pyongyang well and truly forked Adobe

Mike Richards

Is anyone sure that Lester's Special Projects Bureau isn't actually a front for the North Koreans? We've been worried about ICBMs, but perhaps the Register's very own Werhner von Braun has been working on a burro-bomb that can be sneaked into a perfectly innocent donkey sanctuary on the south coast of England.

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Disney shutters Star Wars game unit with 200 layoffs

Mike Richards

Re: Shame...

Some of those folks are still working. 'The Cave' from Double Fine is written by some of the people behind the LucasArts originals and has some of the same humour.

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Zynga bets the farm (ville) on UK poker, roulette web den

Mike Richards

'The e-gambling den will be run in partnership with operator bwin.party under a Gibraltar gaming licence.'

So lots of free advertising on Wikipedia then.

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ANCIENT CURSED RING known to TOLKIEN goes on display

Mike Richards

Re: "The only similarity is that both rings are round!"

The ring of power is also inspired by Norse mythology; especially Odinn's ring Draupnir which granted its owner control over the Nine Worlds. It's safe to say that Tolkein was an expert in many cultures and combined them with his own imagination to produce Middle Earth.

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US funds Europa mission

Mike Richards

'Why send probes, send people.....'

Because Jupiter's radiation belts would cook you.

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Rocket boffinry in pictures: Gulp the Devil's venom and light a match

Mike Richards

Re: Anybody working on superguns?

Not since supergun genius Gerald Bull met a nasty end at the hands of the Israeli secret service (allegedly).

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Mike Richards

Re: Kerbal Space Programme....

And Konstantin Tsiolkovsky.

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WTF is... the Quantified Self?

Mike Richards

Get up! Go to bed! Go faster! Stop! Eat this! Don't eat that!

Dude - save money and join the Marine Corps.

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Lost CASSiE search moves up a gear

Mike Richards

Can I raise the dread possibility that CASSIE has defected and is even now supplying North Korea with the necessary technology to bombard America with stratospheric Kinder eggs and soft toys?

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Pyongyang Photoshop tomfoolery shows wet Norks, skirts blown up

Mike Richards

Re: Good effort

The UK's best effort is the frankly pitiful faking of James Purnell's presence at a hospital opening:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/7018729.stm

Maybe that would read better as 'the faking of the frankly pitiful James Purnell'?

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Roomba dust-bust bot bods one step closer to ROBOBUTLERS

Mike Richards

Well just as long as they can make a Roomba that doesn't have a preternatural attraction for cables. No matter how I arrange them, I can be sure that I'll come home to find a guilty looking robot hiding under the sofa sucking on a mains lead like that scene in Lady and the Tramp.

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Watch the skies: SPACE HEDGEHOG plunges to Earth in Oxfordshire

Mike Richards

It'll be tragically ironic if CASSIE landed on a dual carriageway.

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Reg man goes time travelling at iconic observatory

Mike Richards

Is there a physicist in the house?

Okay MERLIN is a whacking great long line of radio telescopes which thanks to maths way beyond my level lets you pretend you have a dish a couple of hundred kilometres across. So what's better about a virtual dish one square kilometre in size?

Please try to be gentle.

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Japan's rare earth discovery bad news for China's monopoly plans

Mike Richards

Re: China only has a monopoly on willingness to pollute

Lighter REE are more common than the heavy ones such as dysprosium, terbium, europium, and ytterbium. Many of the reserves being brought online in the last couple of years have not added much to the supply of the heavy REE whilst reducing China's grip on the light elements.

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The UK Energy Crisis in 3 simple awareness-raising pictures

Mike Richards

Re: Maybe not quite as bad as it's being painted

'Who knew Trinidad was a player in the Gas industry?'

Trinidad has lots of hydrocarbons; including a groovy asphalt lake and mud volcanoes.

http://www.richard-seaman.com/Travel/TrinidadAndTobago/Trinidad/PitchLake/

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Mike Richards

Re: Gas-based energy policy for a country with no (more) natives reserves?

You mean the 200 trillion cubic feet that may, or may not, actually exist?

Drilling two wells and claiming 200 trillion cubic feet of gas is a good way of propping up a share price; but it is a long way from proving there is actually 200 trillion cubic feet of gas (for which you need hundreds of wells) and even further from proving there is 200 trillion cubic feet (or even a tiny proportion of that) that is economically viable and can be recovered in a reasonable time.

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Mike Richards

This privatised energy market really is delivering isn't it?

They've had decades to build gas storage facilities and instead spunked money and effort on developing credit cards, buying the AA and DynoRod only to sell them off shortly after.

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Goblinproofing One's Chicken Coop hailed oddest book title

Mike Richards

'How to avoid huge ships'

Another great title with something of a cult following on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Avoid-Huge-Ships-John-Trimmer/dp/0870334336

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Space probe spies MYSTERY 'Cold Spot' in very fabric of cosmos itself

Mike Richards

Re: Uneven expansion?

Your first explanation.

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Mike Richards

Easy

God's left the fridge door open.

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Dragons' Den badboy's Expansys burns sales, profits up in smoke

Mike Richards

Re: Well, they could try a competitive pricing policy

Selling things with UK plugs and English instructions would also be welcome.

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Paying a TV tax makes you happy - BBC

Mike Richards

Re: money handed to it on a plate

'Don't pensioners get free TV licences?'

I think it's only those 80+.

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Mike Richards

Re: I want to like the BBC

Re: back catalogues.

In most cases it is to do with licensing of music, video or pictures from other rights holders. The BBC licensed them for original broadcast only and they would need to be relicensed. An even worse situation exists for older dramas where they would need to clear the rights with the agents or estates of the performers.

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Review: Sony Xperia Z

Mike Richards

Re: I like the waterproof feature

Agree entirely about covers on charging ports. That was pretty much the one thing Nokia got wrong with the Lumia 800 whose cover was fiddly and fragile.

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Software bug halts Curiosity: Nuke lab bot in safe mode

Mike Richards

Re: Cursed Sun

It's not been the same since it was taken over by Oracle.

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World's largest solar collection plant opened in Abu Dhabi

Mike Richards

Re: space mirrors etc

You can store the heat of a solar thermal plant in oil, molten salt or supersaturated salty wate and draw the heat from them to keep turbines spinning.

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Elon Musk's 'Grasshopper' hover rocket scores another test success

Mike Richards

Not retro-futuristic enough

Do you think we can persuade Elon Musk to redesign it so as to more closely resemble Thunderbird 3?

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En Garde! Villagers FIGHT OFF FRENCH INVASION MENACE

Mike Richards

Signal strength

To rub things in, they're probably getting a better signal from the French network.

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