3558 posts • joined Wednesday 28th February 2007 21:13 GMT
Re: Tectonic activity?
'could the appearance and subsequent non-showing of this 'island' be somehow related to the local tectonics? The surrounding area is part of the 'ring of fire' for a reason so maybe the whole thing was formed, and destroyed by natural processes causing sand to rise and subsequently subside?'
Although the Coral Sea is adjacent to the Pacific 'Ring of Fire' it is a distinct geological body.
The sea appears to have been formed by crustal extension and subsidence of Eastern Australia during the fragmentation of an earlier continent (Zealandia). New Caledonia, (which is in the general region of where Sandy Island isn't) is another part of Zealandia and is depressingly geologically inert. Its north and eastern fringes are marked by the San Cristobal and Vanuatu trenches so volcanic and earthquake activity is concentrated in a sharp band along the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
There is a spreading centre in the middle of the sea but it is now extinct and my bumper map of all the world's geological wobblings shows no atolls or hot spots in that part of the ocean.
So IMHO, tectonism is out.
Re: They'll evolve
'CO2 levels were quite a bit higher (4-8x or more) during the Cretaceous so presumably the oceans were acidic and yet large amounts of chalk and limestone were deposited. '
By plants and animals that had evolved to cope with gradually increasing concentrations of dissolved CO2, not the sudden increase we're seeing now. There's also plenty of geochemical evidence that calcium ion concentrations in ocean water in the Mesozoic were at least twice those of today, so in some respects, carbonate formation was easier.
Re: I always wondered...
'Police dogs have been trained to do this since before anyone ran except criminals and people who were late for a bus. Seriously question. There are a lot more running people these days, often sweaty and smelling of nasty lycra. Doesn't that mess with the dogs?'
That sounds like an EPSRC grant application well worth pursuing. Your deliverables should be a paper, conference presentation, a lawsuit and YourTube video with laugh track.
Call me back
Apple UK now have a 'call me back' system (like Amazon) which gets you a human being within seconds.
Re: OpCapita didn't fail
'Who said Gordon Gecko was dead ?'
Didn't he just stand for the Republicans?
Re: "consumers stay away .. avoid dogged selling of extended and expensive warranties"
It's not just the extended warranties - it's the hard selling of peripherals, such as Monster cables that puts people off. My parents were conned into spending £80 on Monster HDMI cables by Comet staff. When they asked if cheaper cables were available they were told that cheaper cables would ruin the quality of the image on their new HDTV. Sadly, they didn't tell Comet where to stick their cables and walk out of the store. Instead they paid up.
When I found out I hit the roof and got on to Comet HQ - eventually getting to the then CEO. It was only his personal intervention that got a refund for the unwanted cable and an apology. Yet Comet continued to aggressively promote Monster over no-brand cables that were just as good.
'The issue here is resources - especially fossil fuels'
I suspect lack of phosphates and declining access to fresh water will do for us first.
I've got a 2.5 year old Sony Bravia whose remote control also controls a Sony amplifier.
It's not meant to. It just happens to.
Changing to the Blu-Ray input shouldn't mute the sound, switching to teletext shouldn't start the test tones - but it does.
Sony's response - oh that problem was addressed in the updated firmware for your tv (which has never been pumped out to existing sets). But you really should know that amplifier is discontinued, you should get a new one. Have you thought about the Sony....[click]?
Re: The review lost all credibility on line one
'From the photo it appears that the light on the Kobo Glo is less evenly distributed than on a PaperWhite, for example. Is that an artefact of the photography, or a genuine advantage of the Kindle technology ?'
I've got the Glo, a colleague has the Paperwhite, we put them side by side and displaywise they are very similar. Both have a slightly darker band running along the bottom of the screen and in the ones we examined the Kindle seemed to be slightly more even horizontally than the Glo - but it was marginal. The Glo was much brighter on maximum illumination than the Paperwhite, but the contrast suffered.
I've been very happy with my Glo and I can't fault either the construction or comfort in use. For £99 it's a bargain.
Oh and another thing in their favour, the Kobo developers are active participants on the various eBook forums.
That's a shocker of a story. It's hard to believe companies like that still exist.
Tell me things have got better since.
We could just replace that horribly expensive lump of platinum with a bag of sugar.
Whether you agree with him or not
Nielsen is actually reporting research conducted with users. Whether you agree with his opinions he is highlighting issues with products that designers would be wise to consider.
Personally I like not-Metro and haven't found it that difficult to get used to, but then I was one of the three people who bought a Windows Phone 7 handset.
'Labour MP Helen Goodman, who is the shadow culture secretary, recently displayed her woefully inadequate knowledge of installing software on a computer, which makes her brain go "bzzzz", apparently.'
Maybe they need to change the batteries on her New Labour era thought-control chip?
The telcos should install the filter
And block the Daily Mail on the grounds that it has an unhealthy obsession with photographs of teenage girls.
Then see how long it is before the Mail changes its tune.
Actually a filter which *only* blocked the Mail would improve the world in so many ways.
Re: I'd vote for NAOMI
Well there you have it. The Reg is wondering what it should add to its review sections; publishing the effect of a well-aimed mobe (ranging from 'ouch!' through to 'quick trip to casualty and police caution') would set you apart from the competition.
'Whilst some would criticise the Lumia 920 for its large size and weight, our ballistics test (video below) shows that the handset is a new benchmark when settling disputes with the domestic help. Recommended.'
You have hit the nail on the head
'Drop starving celebs on the island. Including hairy cornflakes.'
Who wouldn't want to see Nadine Dorries chasing rats around the Galagapos?
'On a somewhat related matter -- I never understood why polygamy isn't allowed. Surely, if it's consenting adults...'
It's also permitted in the Bible.
Re: I'd vote for NAOMI
NAOMI should be reserved for a future project - such as determining the terminal velocity of a mobile phone.
Re: Too obvious?
And another important question.
d) Is it coming our way?
Re: Very strange stuff
It's very young so its going to be generating a lot of internal heat as it compacts under gravity and then differentiates according to density. And we're talking about an enormous amount of energy - the Earth obtained something like 2.5 * 10^32J from compression and another 1 * 10^31J during the formation of the Core.
I think you meant Mondas from 'The Tenth Planet' in which William Hartnell had a lie down and woke up as Patrick Troughton.
Poor old Comet
Having Dixons come to pick over your retail carcass must be like being molested by a syphilitic hyena.
Re: Cambridge Z88
Any chance of a detailed history of the Z88 in a future episode? That was a terrific little machine with so much potential.
Now I can put my PIN on my card so I never forget it!
Re: That's a lot of horn for veggies to support
'Given the expenditure of energy needed to haul around all that plate armor, Xeno C must have found the Canada of its days full of some seriously rough predatorial neighbours.'
They had to deal with the Canadian members of the Tyrannosauridae family, which like modern Canadians are less terrifying than their American neighbours, but still included the delightfully betoothed Gorgosaurus:
It's purely historic. Earth elements got their name from chemists who found it extremely hard to extract the metals from their oxides. The rare earths had similar chemistry but were thought to be rare at a time when chemists were largely confined to looking at what came out of European mines. The majority of the then-known rare earths were extracted from gadolinite which was known only in a single mine in Ytterby not far from Stockholm.
Gadolinite was originally thought to be a tungsten ore but the great Swedish chemist Johan Gadolin discovered it was something else. He was a bit worried he was going to turn chemistry upside down 'It is not without great trepidation I dare speak of a new earth because they are right now becoming far too numerous for it seem to me rather fatal if each of the new earths should only be found in one site or one mineral.' Gadolin discovered four new elements in gadolinite (named after him) - erbium, terbium, ytterbium and yttrium, all named after the town itself. Later, the same ore also revealed holmium (named after Stockholm) and thulium (from Thule), whilst euxenite again from the same mine, was the original source of tantalum/
Remember me if you win on 'Pointless'.
An alternative conclusion can be had by *reading the paper*
In fact you just need the abstract:
'We estimate the potential extent of peatland in Sweden, based on slope properties of possible areas excluding lakes and glaciofluvial deposits. We assume no human presence or anthropic effects, so the calculation is speculative. It may have been relevant for previous interglacials.'
So in other words, Lewis has once again cherry-picked a headline not substantiated by the research.
The paper (an interesting read BTW) suggests that peatlands might be one mechanism by which the Earth tips from interglacial conditions - such as those we've had since the beginning of the Holocene - to glacial conditions.
Re: Cornish sand
'Isn't the sand on some Cornish beaches sufficiently naturally radioactive to be classified as intermediate level waste?'
Cornish granite is enriched in K40, uranium and thorium plus all their delightfully unstable decay products so much of the county does have relatively high background radioactivity. I can't think of anywhere where the sand is especially radioactive, but I could imagine some alluvial deposits of heavy uranium and thorium minerals might exist where the waves have washed away less dense materials.
The average annual exposure to background radiation in West Cornwall is something like 8mSv most of which comes from radon bubbling up from the granite. The average additional annual exposure for nuclear workers is 0.2mSv. A full body CT scan is 10mSv and the annual limit for people working in the nuclear industry is just 20mSv.
I do know that the radioactive sources we had in our physics lectures back at Humphry Davy Grammar School were considerably less powerful than the chunks of uraninite in the walls. We probably had the only cloud chamber that was permanently closed through fog.
Re: High Level Waste
'I'm not sure how one converts the semi-detached family home into the Olympic sized swimming pool unfortunately...'
You use the standard IOC conversion and multiply through by nine billion quid.
Re: To put it in perspective
'$8m would get burnt through by a big automotive manufacturers R&D department in 4 to 6 weeks.'
It would possibly stretch to a couple of liquid lunches for Silicon Valley patent lawyers.
Oh well done Apple!
You've managed to turn a story about which almost no one understood the detail and which would have been forgotten by now into a long running saga of corporate silly buggers.
Steve may have passed on, but his assholery lingers.
'Personally I'd keep the names in large text, and maybe have a subtitle beneath it that says what is actually in each drink, rather than replace the names of each drink entirely.'
Might as well go the whole McDonalds route and just give the drinks numbers.
Re: Except that a "Tall" coffee often means small coffee
I thought Starbucks applied homeopathy to coffee whilst Costa just set light to the beans rather than roast them?
Re: Tinned Spaghetti
'Tinned spaghetti is an insult in any culture, I imagine it's like a declaration of war to an Italian.'
Yeah, but we usually win those.
Oh look on the bright side - it's not Richard Hammond.
Re: But but...
Awww crap I'm gonna bite (wish me luck folks).
Since I've done radiodating of geological samples I might be speaking with a small amount of (slightly hung over) authority, or I could be part of the evil cabal of earth scientists who are hoping to become infinitely rich by telling people the world is really, really, really old (and very cool - apart from the hot bits obviously).
The age of the Earth isn't solely derived from U->Pb dating (although that was the first method tried). The relative volatility of lead is a real problem with older samples which are likely to have been metamorphosed since original crystallisation. Instead the range of dates for the formation of the Earth is based on various dating methods including Pb -> Pb, Sm -> Nd, Rb -> Sr and Re -> Os, all of which come in around 4.51 - 4.68 Gya with a typical range of +/- 0.15Gy.
Pb -> Pb dates are referenced against a geochron which was taken from meteoritic dates of IIRC three stony meteorites of different compositions and two iron meteorites. If you want detail look up the Holmes-Houtermans method for Pb -> Pb dating. Basic chemistry tells us that the iron-nickel troilite alloy of iron meteorites is depleted in uranium so it will not contain radiogenic lead derived from uranium decay. So the ratios of lead isotopes in iron meteorites are those of the primeval solar system.
C-14 in diamonds? If you're talking about the Baumgardner and RATE work, it has been heavily criticised for not following proper procedures in handling carbon isotopes. Anomalous radiocarbon readings are occasionally found in studies of carbonates, but the fact the vast majority of geological samples do not show radiocarbon forces us to conclude that the problem is either with instrumentation or with the way samples are prepared for analysis.
Ocean salinity? Really? Seriously? You're still using that one. Look Edmond Halley didn't know how evaporite deposits form or how widespread they are. T. Mellard Reade, John Joly and George Becker didn't know about plate tectonics - they didn't know that ocean waters (containing salt) are in intimate contact with magma at mid-ocean ridges; that a volume of water equivalent to the entire ocean passes through the oceanic crust every 10 million years; or that salt water is subducted into the Mantle in ocean plates and sediments.
In short, a lot of science has happened.
'That jellyfish is a terrible design. Not complex enough. Back to the drawing board! ;)'
But it might be immortal...
Re: Evolved from jellyfish?
It means the proteins used in vision evolved first in jellyfish so we probably have common genetics. Our system of vision evolved much later with the first vertebrates. Nautilus has a pin hole eye whilst other cephalopods have a completely different (and in some ways superior) vision system using the same basic chemistry and genetics, the trilobites had yet another and so on...
Re: " Four ABWRs have already been built on time and to budget "
The AGRs were horribly over-budget and had a pretty terrible reputation for reliability when they first came onstream, but they were incredibly ambitious pieces of engineering at a time when Britain was really losing the knack for big projects and industrial relations were in the crapper.
It's a real shame as some of the ideas were good ones, such as producing steam at the same temperature and pressure as a coal-fired plant allowed commonality of equipment between stations. By the time the AGRs were commissioned their price per unit far exceeded that of the PWR which had been churned out by the hundred. So when it came to ordering Britain's third generation stations there was no choice but to go with the PWR. Which was a real shame, because once the AGRs were debugged they turned out to be pretty reliable.
I'm still trying to work out why the Canadians have never tried to sell CANDU in the UK. It addresses all the cooling problems of the PWR and the contamination of coolant in the BWR and is ready to go.
But I won't believe this announcement amounts to anything until the ground is broken. I've lost count of how many times in the last 20 years the UK has announced the go-ahead for new nuclear only for it to be cancelled when the economics intervene. After all, the price per unit and the level of government subsidy that will be required if the cost of electricity falls below the floor required for new nuclear have yet to be agreed.
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