Posts Tagged ‘Colchester’
Hardly seems necessary to say this but natural forces are ‘top of the pyramid‘!
As is so often the case, a few outwardly disconnected events offered a deeper picture; well they did for me!
The first was a recently published post by Alex Jones over on his blog The Liberated Way. Alex lives in Colchester, Essex, North-East of London, a place where I ran a business way back in the ’80’s’ and lived not far away in the village of Great Horkesley. Many people, including many Brits are unaware that Colchester, or Camulodunon as the Celtics called it, meaning “the Fortress of Camulos” (Camulos was the Celtic god of war), was the Capitol city in Roman days and that evidence of man’s settlement goes back 3,000 years.
Anyway, back to the thread of today’s post.
That first post from Alex. A post under the title of Catching a fox. Alex has generously given me permission to republish it.
Catching a fox.
After two years of hunting I catch a fox with my camera.
Nature is a shifting tapestry of life, often catching me by surprise with magical manifestations of wildlife that abruptly vanish before I can catch a brief record of its passing through my life. It is a matter of chance that I get lucky with my camera, and I was in luck today.
This morning a fox manifested in my garden. The fox sat looking at me, it had a forlorn look about it, but the fox was content to sit and watch me as it sun bathed in the warmth of a tranquil garden. I had my camera with me, so I made up for two years of frustration by firing off dozens of photographs of my elusive wary model. The fox made my day.
The second event was a chance photograph of a vulture taken two days ago here at home.
Now I’m sure that readers so far will find these three photographs, of the fox and the vulture, are producing feelings of pleasure; feelings of wonderment about the natural world around us.
That world of nature ‘speaks’ to us. If we are prepared to listen.
It spoke to South-West England in February earlier this year:
There are signs that Mother Nature will be speaking to us again; fairly soon. From EarthSky:
Warm water in Pacific could spark a monster El Nino in 2014
The giant red blob in this image is a huge, unusual mass of warm water that currently spans the tropical Pacific Ocean. Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist who writes about weather and climate for Slate, says the volume of water is big enough to cover the United States 300 feet deep. And that’s a lot of warm water, he says. Holthaus also says that, as the sub-surface warm water in the Pacific moves eastward – propelled by anomalous trade winds – it’s getting closer to the ocean’s surface. Once the warm water hits the sea surface, it will begin to interact with the atmosphere. Why? Because Earth’s oceans and atmosphere are always interacting. In this case, the warm water will likely boost temperatures and change weather patterns … and possibly bring on a monster El Nino in 2014. There are signs this is already beginning to happen. Read more at Slate.
If one clicks on the link to that Slate article, one then reads:
By Eric Holthaus
The odds are increasing that an El Niño is in the works for 2014—and recent forecasts show it might be a big one.
As we learned from Chris Farley, El Niños can boost the odds of extreme weather (droughts, typhoons, heat waves) across much of the planet. But the most important thing about El Niño is that it is predictable, sometimes six months to a year in advance.
That’s an incredibly powerful tool, especially if you are one of the billions who live where El Niño tends to hit hardest—Asia and the Americas. If current forecasts stay on track, El Niño might end up being the biggest global weather story of 2014.
The most commonly accepted definition of an El Niño is a persistent warming of the so-called “Niño3.4” region of the tropical Pacific Ocean south of Hawaii, lasting for at least five consecutive three-month “seasons.” A recent reversal in the direction of the Pacific trade winds appears to have kicked off a warming trend during the last month or two. That was enough to prompt U.S. government forecasters to issue an El Niño watch last month.
Forecasters are increasingly confident in a particularly big El Niño this time around because, deep below the Pacific Ocean’s surface, off-the-charts warm water is lurking:
Now I’m not going to post the whole of that article so for that reason strongly recommend you read the rest here. However, I am going to offer a couple more extracts.
The warm water just below the ocean’s surface is on par with that of the biggest El Niño ever recorded, in 1997-98. That event caused $35 billion in damages and was blamed for around 23,000 deaths worldwide, according to the University of New South Wales. The 1997-98 El Niño is also the only other time since records begin in 1980 that sub-surface Pacific Ocean water has been this warm in April.
Or like this:
One of the theories put forth by the mainstream scientific community to explain the slow-down since 1998 has been increased storage of warm water in the Pacific Ocean. If that theory is true, and if a major El Niño is indeed in the works, the previously rapid rate of global warming could resume, with dramatic consequences.
As I wrote last fall, the coming El Niño could be enough to make 2014 the hottest year in recorded history, and 2015 could be even warmer than that. The 1997-98 super El Niño was enough to boost global temperatures by nearly a quarter of a degree Celsius. If that scale of warming happens again, the world could approach a 1ºC departure from pre-industrial times as early as next year. As climate scientist James Hansen has warned, that’s around the highest that temperatures have ever been since human civilization began.
Now I’m not trying to be a ‘drama queen’ but there are times when one does wonder what it will take for those who govern us to wake up to the fact that Mother Nature is getting more and more restless.
I shall return to this theme tomorrow.
Sometimes life has a way of offering a new path.
*** If you are not into introspection, then look away and come back tomorrow! ;-) ***
Regular readers will know that quite frequently I write under a topic heading that could be regarded as within the classification of key subjects of our time. You know, such subjects as big government, big money, big power, and even climate change! ;-)
Why has this been the case?
Well, because, a) most of my life I’ve tried to stay abreast of ‘current affairs’ and, b) within the broad label of ‘integrity’ it’s relevant to this blog. The sub-heading of the blog is after all: “Dogs are integrous animals. We have much to learn from them.” (Yes, I do know ‘integrous’ isn’t grammatically accurate! – Any suggestions for an alternative word?)
Stay with that while I go elsewhere.
Yesterday (Tuesday) a number of events ended up having a profound effect on me. On the face of it, utterly disconnected events.
The first was a post from Alex Jones on his blog The Liberated Way. The only common ground between Alex and me is that we both know Colchester in Essex, England. Alex because he lives there today, me because I used to have a business in Colchester in previous times. Other than that just a couple of bloggers separated by thousands of miles.
Anyway, the post was this one: Cycle of Life. Alex wrote:
Life seems like a cycle of birth, living and death.
I have the honour of following awesome bloggers on WordPress. I learn inspirational teachings from their intimate life experiences that they share with their readers. The cycle, for in my belief everything moves in cycles, of birth, life and death is if we are attentive to living life something we will often be reminded of in our interactions with others and nature.
Then later, adding:
Lijiun is a Buddhist who shares daily experiences from their own life with a Buddhist theme running through their blog. Lijiun has a cat called Little White who often acts as a teacher to them about the meaning of life and a reminder of Buddhist teachings. Little White two weeks ago brought home a stray kitten, which it adopted as like a surrogate parent. Yesterday Adik the kitten died, and a beautiful blog post by Lijiun in memory of Adik reminds us life is impermanent.
Almost absent-mindedly, I clicked on the link about the death of Adik and …… was shaken to my core; shaken by the power of the truth. I want to give you more than a link to the post – want to share some of the beautiful words.
IN MEMORY OF “ADIK”…
Every moment in life is full of changes, this is a law of nature.
However, sometimes we might assume that everything unchanged.
“Adik”- Our stray kitten, so far, she was not showing a sign of sickness. Yesterday, in the evening, I discovered she was laid down under my neighbor car, not moving at all and look severe sick. We checked through her little body, no physical injuries and we tried our best to feed her water and Cat food. She refuse to take.
We need to send her to Veterinarian immediately as her condition was critical, however during Sunday, especially evening time. Most of the Veterinarian clinic is closed. We did our best to check through internet, we were able to locate one of the Vet and we rushed over.
In the journey, we played Mantra Chanting to our little kitten, We reached to the vet clinic, “Adik” was alive but in agony…. she was struggling for life. The only thing we can help was to keep chanting mantra, our only aspiration are for her to relieve from suffering, not to reborn in 3 lower realm, able to follow spiritual practice and attain enlightenment in the coming life.
“Adik” passed away in peace even before the Veterinarian came to treat her.
Then Lijiun went on to write that “This incident gave me a very clear insight on “death” and offered more of that insight: (These are extracts: Please read the full post.)
1. Impermanence Of life
Nothing is permanence , we need to live at now, not past or future.
When Death approached, no bargain time at all whether you are rich or poor, you are ready or not, you are healthy or sick, …
Do all good deeds when you are still alive, Follow spiritual path whenever you can, don’t give excuses that “I’ve plenty of time, I’ll do it when I am “FREE”? When You are Free, you might not able to do it…
2. Young or old…
Some of us, might assume that people died in old age. As such, we’ve a long journey in life.
Is It true???
I learned from “Adik” Sudden death – that death will happen in any age.
“Coffin is not meant for elderly people….” This is so profound.
Spend time with your family members, be filial piety to your parent, Pursuit your dream, Don’t wait until later day…. We are unsure we can survive until later day!
3. Breathing in & Out
Treasure every breath in & breath out…
Life is just in between Breath in & out.
Be Mindfulness in life!
4. What Can you bring???
What can you bring after death, “NOTHING”.
No matter, how much wealth, how much money, how many cars, how many bungalow, how high is your position, how lovely is your family… you can’t bring anything..
Ask yourself, “What is the purpose of life?”, “What do you want?”
You, yourself need to face the death moment…
Nobody can help you… Don’t avoid the topic and say, “It’ll not happen to me so soon”..
Just get ready.
“Adik” passed away at 8:30 pm.. according to my mom, Little White, Our lovely cat was “Meowing” loudly at home. He can sense that “Adik” was not longer around. Animals are just like us, they are loving. Please treat all beings well, no differentiation on form.
We are so touched that “Adik” came home before her death and spend her last moment with us.
Before we sent “Adik” to Vet, She “Meow” loudly to my mom as a good-bye & gratitude to my mom for taking care of her. It’s so touching!
Thank you to “Adik” for celebrating 16 happy day with us and leave behind a great lesson to us.
May “Adik” be relieved from suffering, not reborn in 3 lower realm and find the lasting happiness!
May all beings be Well and Happy!
Then also yesterday, I was chatting to someone who lives close to us; he and his partner-lady have become good friends. He was bemoaning the corruption of so much of his fine country and went on to say that the only way that he could function was to turn away from the big stuff, have no TV, ignore the constant news of this and that, the endless trials and tribulations in this world of ours. I listened in silence, only to find later that the words must have left a mark on me.
My dear friend, Dan Gomez, has known me for over 40 years. He was my Best Man at my wedding to Jean in November, 2010. He and I have been exchanging emails about the truth of the role of man in the raising of the temperature of the planet. I sent Dan the link to the death of Adik, the kitten. It seemed so much more important than the emails we had been exchanging about the ‘big’ subjects in life.
Then something happened overnight (Tuesday/Wednesday) because not long after I got to my PC this morning, I sent this email to Dan.
Yesterday was one of those days, one of those rare days I should have said, where my view of life was radically changed.
Partly because I’m still adjusting to Corinne’s death [my sister], partly because of something I read elsewhere, and other stuff best left for a phone call.
In essence, despite my anger at what is going on around us (big government, big money, big power, even climate change!) I want to retreat from these areas and focus on what is most valuable to me.
Aspects of my life such as love, friendship with ‘old’ travelers, the natural world, being in the present, community, our animals (especially Pharaoh who is over 10), my writings, my book, our small world here at 4000 Hugo; you get my drift!
I’m 70 in November, 2014. Corinne died in her 80th year. Time goes so quickly. No, life goes so quickly. Jean and I met 6 years ago this next December. I must turn away from the things over which I have little or no control and embrace the present. Just what dogs do so well. Live in the present.
It’s all about endeavouring to come to the end of one’s life hearing those immortal words of Edith Piaf, “Je regret rien.”
So dear reader of Learning from Dogs, if you are still ‘on frequency’ – Well done! You have stuck with my very long ramble!
Back to what gets written about in this place. If integrity means anything, it means I’m going to drop all the ‘big’ topics and focus entirely on what man can learn, nay, has to learn from dogs. Indeed, will close by republishing the full ‘home’ page below.
Dogs live in the present – they just are! Dogs make the best of each moment uncluttered by the sorts of complex fears and feelings that we humans have. They don’t judge, they simply take the world around them at face value. Yet they have been part of man’s world for an unimaginable time, at least 30,000 years. That makes the domesticated dog the longest animal companion to man, by far!
As man’s companion, protector and helper, history suggests that dogs were critically important in man achieving success as a hunter-gatherer. Dogs ‘teaching’ man to be so successful a hunter enabled evolution, some 20,000 years later, to farming, thence the long journey to modern man. But in the last, say 100 years, that farming spirit has become corrupted to the point where we see the planet’s plant and mineral resources as infinite. Mankind is close to the edge of extinction, literally and spiritually.
Dogs know better, much better! Time again for man to learn from dogs!
Welcome to Learning from Dogs
The amazing development of electronics over 50 years.
(A republication of a post first shown on the 13th August, 2009)
The calendar reliably informs me that this is my 65th year. My brain, of course, lags somewhat in accepting this!
My step-father during my early teenage years worked for Elliott Brothers (the link goes to an interesting history of the firm that started in 1804) in Borehamwood, just north of London. He encouraged me to fiddle with ‘steam’ radios and
try and understand how these basic circuits worked. It was then a small step to deciding to become a radio amateur, popularly known as a radio ham! In those days it was a case of some pretty intensive studying to pass a Theory exam as well as being able to pass an exam in sending and receiving Morse code.
So joining the local radio society seemed like a sensible idea. That was (and still is!) called the Radio Society of Harrow. That it is still in existence after all these years is truly delightful. Those Friday night sessions at the Society and extra-curricular classes on Sunday morning at Ron Ray’s (G2TA) house, an hour’s bicycle ride away from home, ensured that shortly after my 16th birthday I was granted a Licence, G3PUK. It was a very proud moment.
Anyway, once granted a licence it was time to build my own radio transmitter. Most of the details have been lost in the mists of time but what is recalled was that the final amplifier was a pair of 803s driving an 813 (These are radio valve numbers). It sounds like something from the ark! But again ploughing the inexhaustible files of the Web, it’s possible to see what these radio valves looked like. Thanks to the National Valve Museum.
Here are pictures, courtesy of the National Valve Museum of those two radio valves:
803 – The substantial wide glass tube envelope is 58 mm in diameter (2 1/4 in) and, excluding the special five pin base pins, is 216 mm tall (8 1/2 in).
813 The classic envelope is substantial at 60 mm diameter (2 1/3 in) and 170 mm (6 2/3 in) long excluding the special base pins. The anode is 53 mm long and 48 mm wide. The metal is 1 mm thick.
It’s difficult, today, to imagine devices which are essentially diodes (well, technically the 803 was a pentode and the 813 a tetrode) being between 6 and 8 inches tall!
My own self-build transmitter had not really been successful emitting more heat than light, so to speak. Literally, in the sense that these large radio valves kept me warm in my converted garden shed at the bottom of the garden. They also completely wiped out TV reception for those households with a 1/4 mile range that had invested in early television sets! It was time to move on to the R1155.
Around this era, less than 20 years after the end of the War in Europe in 1945, war-surplus equipment was widely available including ‘compact’ transmitter-receiver units.
One popular one was the RAF R1155 which had been fitted to RAF Lancaster bombers and RAF marine craft. It was also fitted to the Sunderland flying boat. This information plus the photos below is from this fascinating web site for those wishing to be ‘geeky’ about this.
Just compare the view on the right to the inside of your domestic radio or your cell phone.
A lot happens in 50 years!
My personal journey now leaps to 1978 and I have just left IBM UK having had 8 fabulous years with them as an Office Products salesman. My fledging company, Dataview Ltd, has just become the 8th Commodore Computer (CBM) dealer in the UK, based in a small office in Colchester, Essex, about 50 miles north-east of London.
The CBM PET (Personal Electronic Transactor) released in 1977 initially with a calculator type keyboard was useless for any business application but soon came out with a typewriter sized keyboard, making it a more viable business
machine. Today, as this is typed on an ‘old’ laptop with 2GB RAM, it seems unbelievable that these CBMs were sold with between 4k and 96k of RAM (memory) and no hard disk, although one could purchase an add-on that comprised dual 5 1/2 inch floppy disk drives.
YouTube obligingly finds a short video on the Commodore PET for those really wishing to enjoy the nostalgia!
So to turn to the 21st century and to run out of understanding. We appear to live in a world of multi-later printed circuit boards of unimaginable (to me) component density, assuming that the word ‘component’ is even relevant today.
What an amazing period it has been!
Now let me see was it Pin 920 to Pin 140, or Pin14 to Pin 860 connected to Pin 56 ………?
A plea to those who understand climate science so much better than I do!
Background to this Post.
Among my friends, two go way back. One of them, Dan Gomez, a lively, ebullient Californian, was indirectly responsible for me and Jean meeting in Mexico back on December 17th, 2007. I first met Dan at a dealers’ conference in Boston way back in the early days of Commodore Computers. That was the Spring of 1979 and I had flown to Boston as the owner of the 8th Commodore Computer dealership to be appointed in the UK, based in Colchester, Essex. Later, I became the global distributor of an English word processing program known as Wordcraft, written by Pete Dowson in the UK, and appointed Dan as my US West Coast Wordcraft distributor. It gave me a wonderful reason to come out to Southern California several times a year; on business, of course!
Dan and I therefore go back 33 years! Dan’s sister Suzann has a house down in San Carlos, Mexico. Suzann invited me out to Mexico for Christmas 2007 which is where I first met Jean and, bingo, Jean and I then fell in love with each other! How life flows! (Two years ago yesterday, Jean and I moved into our house in Payson with our, then, 13 dogs and 6 cats!)
OK, to the Post!
Dan has been a climate change skeptic, as in caused by man, for many years. Regular readers of Learning from Dogs will know I see things very differently. But Dan and I agree fundamentally on getting to the truth. This Blog proudly claims to seek “The underlying theme of Learning from Dogs is about truth, integrity, honesty and trust in every way.”
So when the other day Dan sent me a number of links supporting his view that “My point remains that climate change is an enormous, complex process that no computer model is going to predict and no human activity modify significantly. Big money is now at stake here and as the article shows, even trusted scientists will produce fraudulent information to further their goals as well as fill politician’s coffers.” I found my faith in my own views slighted dented. Dan is a smart guy, a good thinker and not beholden to any firm or organisation with a vested interest in denying anthropogenic global warming.
Here are some of the items that Dan referred to,
IPCC Scientist Admits Fake Data Used To Pressure World Leaders
A scientist responsible for a key 2007 United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report warning Himalayan glaciers would be completely melted by 2035 has admitted that the claim was made to put political pressure on world leaders.
Such was revealed by the British Daily Mail Sunday in an article destined to further reduce the credibility of the world’s so-called leading authority on manmade global warming.
As NewsBusters reported Saturday, the IPCC acknowledged earlier this week that its claim concerning these glaciers was based on junk science.
Read it in full here.
Then there was this,
Oregon Chapter American Meteorological Society
Anthropogenic (Human Caused) Global Warming – Is This The Greatest Scientific Myth of our Generation?”
January 25th, 2012, Portland, Oregon
First Speaker – Gordon Fulks, PhD Physics, University of Chicago
Dr. Fulks said: “My thesis tonight is simple: virtually ALL of what climate alarmists put forth as science is not. Some is half correct, some is incorrect, and too much is just plain nonsense or worse.”
This led him into what he called “one of the central problems with Anthropogenic Global Warming,” “the integrity of the data.” He discussed a variety of temperature data from land surface data that shows various manipulations and biases to the best global data from NASA satellites to the excellent ice core temperature proxies going back 450,000 years.
Second Speaker – Chuck Wiese, Meteorologist – Oregon State University
Mr. Wiese finished his presentation with the following conclusions:
1. There is nothing in the REAL atmospheric record that supports the recent temperature rise of the last century to carbon dioxide induced anthropogenic warming.
2. The tropospheric water vapor optical depth is remarkably stable but has declined recently over the last 70 years of record as carbon dioxide rose substantially in the atmosphere during the same period. This is a consistent outcome as expected by the first principle founding physics and inconsistent with atmospheric climate models.
3. Without water vapor acting as a positive feedback ( growth pattern ) to increasing carbon dioxide concentrations, the projected radiative forcing on the earth’s surface is but a grossly exaggerated calculation of what the earth’s temperature will actually do in response to carbon dioxide.
4. The earth’s “greenhouse effect” is NOT controlled by atmospheric carbon dioxide. It is modulated and governed by atmospheric water vapor and clouds, where the warming modulation is controlled by the amount of vapor and optical depth. Clouds with the hydrological cycle act to trim out water vapor into a hydrostatic, convective equilibrium. The stable atmospheric optical depth likes the earth mean temperature of 59 deg F without further solar or planetary modulation.
5. The Anthropogenic warming hypothesis by atmospheric CO2 is falsified by the real record and radiation physics.
Third Speaker – George Taylor, former Oregon State Climatologist
His presentation finished with his conclusions:
1. Human activities DO affect climate, in a variety of ways. Greenhouse gases are just one parameter.
2. Natural variations affect climate. I believe that they have been more significant influences on climate because they do a much better job of explaining observed variations.
3. Effects of future changes in CO2 are likely to be modest and manageable.
4. Many aspects of climate remain poorly understood.
The full transcripts and supporting materials may be seen here.
Then, in stark contrast, this week’s edition of The Economist has a leader about the problem of overfishing. “Of all the sea’s many problems, overfishing should be the most fixable. ” What jumped off the page at me was how that leader article started,
ACIDIFICATION, warming, the destruction of coral reefs: the biggest problems facing the sea are as vast, deep and seemingly intractable as the oceans themselves. So long as the world fails to cut its emissions of greenhouse gases, cause of the global warming behind these troubles, they will grow.
So a newspaper of the standing of The Economist is clear, “So long as the world fails to cut its emissions of greenhouse gases, cause of the global warming behind these troubles“
So if, dear reader, you can offer good supporting evidence as to why the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society seems to contradict what so many now believe, that mankind is changing the Earth’s climate, please comment or, better still, consider writing a guest post.
An amazing find near Colchester in Essex, England
Once again indebted to Naked Capitalism for including a link to a piece on the BBC website about a unique Roman find in that part of England known as East Anglia. It caught my eye because during the 80’s my business was based in Colchester quite close to the Sudbury, the place mentioned in the BBC report.
But before going to that report, yet another compliment from me about Yves’ Blog, Naked Capitalism. Here’s what James Kwak of Baseline Scenario wrote on the 5th explaining that he was going to have to make some other areas of his life a greater priority than the Blog.
In my defense, most of the high-volume economics bloggers are either tenured professors (Cowen, Thoma, DeLong, Krugman) or people whose job is to blog (Salmon, Klein). (Yves Smith is an exception; how she finds the time I don’t know.)
Anyway, I digress somewhat. Here’s an extract from the BBC report:
Rare Roman lantern found in field near Sudbury
A metal detecting enthusiast has found what is believed to be the only intact Roman lantern made out of bronze ever discovered in Britain.
Danny Mills, 21, made the find in a field near Sudbury in Suffolk.
The area was dotted with plush Roman villas and country estates in the second century.
The object, described as a rare example of Roman craftsmanship, has been donated to Ipswich Museum where it is now on display.
In the autumn of 2009, Mr Mills, a metal detector user, found a large bronze object whilst metal detecting in a field near Sudbury.
Read the full report here.
Here’s a picture that the BBC included.
By Paul Handover