Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Meet the establishment. It is you.

I have been hearing a lot to do about Establishment cover ups and how they all got together to conceal the facts about the Hillsborough disaster, but who are they, how did they come to be members and what is the command structure like?
Well after some carefully though I've come to the conclusion that we are all members of the Establishment. If you support a team and swear to the end of time that a particular goal was not offside or are a fan of a band or singer and will not admit that a couple of the songs on the second album are a bit dodgy, the you are showing your Establishment side. Same as if you conveniently ignore the laws of physics to make your Illuminati/NWO/Bilderberg story hang together better.
If at work you have casually disposed of a complaint into the bin because it was just easier that way and perhaps claimed never to have seen it when a complaint is made about the lack of response then, welcome to the Establishment. You are a member of a political part and don't ever mention that the MP for Dunny-on-the-Wold is a waste of space, then welcome to the Establishment. If you are a journalist and you decided to spice something up a bit for some extra sales or because you don't like the person it is about then, I am afraid you have just joined the Establishment.
Admittedly there is some truth in the claim that UKIP is not part of the Establishment, well not part of the current Establishment anyway, they in fact part of the late 1940s Establishment.
Every time you let something slip, don't tell the truth, do something that is purely self-serving and not honest, then you do exactly the same as the Establishment does when it comes to all sorts of things. It not a matter of just of action, though, when you fail to correct someone's mistake when you lie by omission or turn a blind eye when it suits you the membership card is on the way.
The Establishment isn't a club with a membership it people doing what is best for them and their views, it doesn't have a membership list, it doesn't have an entry exam, every time your integrity fails, even a little bit, and it has then, you have joined.
So there isn't some club or cabal that has failed these are a group of people who self-interest and sometimes very petty self-interest led them to not act with the greatest level of integrity. For some, the level may well be criminal but for others, it will just be omissions because they don't need the hassle.
There but for the grace of god (a none existent allegorical being) go us all.

Friday, 22 April 2016

3d unprinting

3d printing, or as NASA calls it, additive manufacturing is destined to play a big part in future space work, test work has already been done building complex metal parts on earth and plastic parts have been manufactured in space. The next big launcher the SLS will use 3d manufactured parts to allow it to be lighter, complex geometries can be created in a single piece, removing the need for joining. See here.
Plans have been made and experiments have taken place, about using lunar or martian regolith+
 to construct habitats. I would expect experiments to take place on the moon with the next 5 to 10 years. See here. In 2015, NASA ran a habitat design challenge see here.
The return to the moon is a staging post and practice for going to mars, there is little point simply repeating the Apollo mission, with the advance in robotics in the intervening 50 years the work of Apollo could be added to with a single human going. The only real justification for sending people is the practice for Mars, to see how bodies cope with long-term low gravity and high radiation.
If I was going to Mars, I would want a lot of infrastructure in pace both in mars orbit and on the surface. Enough to extend a mission almost indefinitely, in the event of a great discovery or failure of one part of the  return system, some have even planned one way missions, which there would be no lack of volunteers for. While with the SLS it should be possible to launch a lot of equipment and with Bigelow's inflatable system get a lot of space out of it, it would be costly. So 3D construction of some of the habitats, even if it is only unpressurised shelters for equipment is almost a requirement. You have to launch the 3d printer and any the equipment to fit out the structure but that is all.
Or is it.
A large part of what lands on either the moon or mars will stop being useful the minute it hits the ground, other bits like heat shields etc will stop being useful before even then and will have been ejected along with other parts. Some of the parts like tankage might be useful but unless it is for spares the majority of the mass, engines, control system etc will be waste.
Unless of course in addition to the 3d printer, a 3d dismantle is taken along, capable of disassembling the redundant decent stage into materials suitable for 3d printing, not perhaps by the construction robot, but doors, wiring etc. Large chunks of a metal descent stage would be recyclable but a little extra care could increase the reprocessed percentage. Plastics could be recycled via Thermal depolymerization, metals by simply sorting, as the recycler is grinding them with a very low energy budget and of course as little mass as possible.
Using similar equipment on earth the could allow the removal of complex equipment from confined spaces or the energy efficient recycling of used aircraft or cars without a complex separation process.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Why writers have it easy

There seems to be some minor problem with the facade of the new building at the junction of Hope Street and Myrtle Street.  Over the next few days, we will see the bile of Liverpool's chattering class.
There is nothing more pathetic than people who write for a living commenting on science or engineering problems. They have never had their work subject to any objective tests, when a journalist puts a spelling mistake in an article and a sub faisl to spot it, it's no biggy it can just be redone. When a slight problem occurs in a building they didn't like it is a horrendous failing but let us think about what they do. They write a series of words then claim them meaningful, they rely only on the analysis of their friends, colleagues, critics, and enemies.
If you actually build a building, it is subject to the unbending laws of the universe you can't sweet talk the laws of physics into ignoring some problem, you can't rely on the laws of physics working out what you mean or making allowances for you. If a sub-editor makes a mistake with your instructions you can always get it fixed, none of your mates will think any of the worse than you. However should some bricky or building site worker make a mistake that needs to be corrected, then oh in your world this is a disaster not just for the bricky but it casts doubt on the ability of everyone and everything that took part in the design and approval process.
These are people whose stock in trade is to complain about how difficult it is to put together a piece of Ikea furniture, they could never actually manage to build something from the raw materials, even with a plan.
I've worked on pieces of software over 100,000 lines long, the computer doesn't do what you want, it does exactly what you have told it and at the programming level you have to set out the steps at a detail that is mind bogglingly. The same with buildings but with the added problem that instead of a CPU which does what you tell it, you have a person actually doing the building who may do what you said or they may do something a bit different, they may do it better but in a different way, they may also introduce a slight problem. The equipment and materials may even have a problem, which is impossible to detect, but any flaw no matter how subtle will be explored and fully exploited by the weather, chemistry and every single second gravity and of course humanity and all it activities.
What it looks like to me at the moment is that some post-build inspection has found some problem, I'm sure if anything had already fallen off we would have massive headlines in the echo about the danger, plus the closure of the outdoor parts of the Refinery.
The level of this building fault is that of a punctuation error, however, much scorn they pour on this building and it builders, should be poured on them every time a live article has to be slightly fixed.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Echo talks crap.

First, compare these 2 articles in the Liverpool Echo http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/showbiz-news/wirral-page-3-model-who-11058725 and //www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/news-opinion/dawn-collinson-its-time-aintree-11167627.

There is a lot of hypocrisy between the two, even worse is on twitter the echo uses the lead picture of the second while in the article complaining about click bate. Criticising the article produces the normal half thought out 6th form feminism.
No one has asked the woman in this picture how she feels about it, there is an assumption that she is upset, there is also no questioning of her motives for wearing such a risqué/risky dress. The uniform assumption is she likes it and that is enough, but of course, human being come in psychologically in all shapes and forms, for anyone to make assumptions about this woman's motivation based on here sex is of course sexist. To assume that she will feel the same as you because she is the same sex as you is also sexist, this is however that stock in trade of the 6th form feminist. It substitutes, what they will inevitably call the patricidal view, with their own monolithic view, thereby substituting one hegemony with another, This rather sad half baked idea which just happens to make them typical, and allow them to use we.
People get thrills of all sorts in all sorts of ways, exhibitionism is one way , it might not be everyone’s cup of tea but is this woman happens to be an exhibitionism then she probably enjoyed the entire experience. To assume she didn't because women don't enjoy that kind of things is usually what we here about Queen Victoria and lesbianism.
I have seen pictures of people on the tube in full gimp gear, would people so easily dismiss the sexual motive behind that with, perhaps they like the look? Freud & Jung and the subconscious seem to be nothing in the world of the Echo, we are all little automata all acting consciously, knowing all our inputs, all out triggers and all out motives.
Deep down the subconscious motives for why we do anything are rather strange and complex, vast books have been written on them, probe the psyche and you get all sorts of weird motivations to assume, as the author of this article does in her defence of it, that this doesn't apply to women is both foolish, ignorant and sexists.
The Echo happily supports Homotopia, LGBT campaigns but its authors are as blind to the variety of sexualities as those of a retired interwar colonel in Surrey. Their support is for LGBT rights, is not born out of some educated point of view, but out of simply following the fashion. The only difference is they are making different bigoted assumptions’ about sexuality and set it within limits that they are happy with.
The other question is responsibility, the claim is that in one the girl deliberately flashed in the other it was accidental, but people are responsible for, not only the inevitable consequences of their actions but also the likely consequence. You do not get out of responsibility by saying that is not what I intended. The test in law regarding public indecency is, did the person have a "reasonable expectation of privacy", in this case, you have to ask did the person have a reasonable expectation her dress would not fly up, and the answer is no, not simply because it is a dress but because of the nature and design of the dress.
This is the pic that the Echo was using to illustrate the article on its website, it seems to have changed now. It is still the click bait it still uses on twitter. Even with the skirt not blown up, the picture would look the same. It not that I have looked at some other papers coverage but that I saw the skirt and its owner on Dale Street on Thursday, early afternoon. My first though was that they'd been in the papers over the weekend.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Liverpool HS2/HS3 Junction

I have given some thought to the junction that would link my preferred HS2/Liverpool link to
the planned trunk. The requirements I set were a straight through connection to Manchester without using the main north-south trunk, no increase in the set of points on the main trunk and keeping speed as high as possible.
In the end, I came up with 3 options the Option 1 fulfils all these criteria, with minimal changes to the existing HS2 phase 2 plan. Option 2 would require some changes to keep the number of points down, while Option 3 is the simplest and comprises most of the principles, but is the one with the least new land take but also the slowest speeds, due to the tight radii of the curves. In order to keep within HS2 already published acceleration and speed requirements the line around the junction would need to be quaded but this, I believe has been allowed for in the original plans. I have assumed that the route to Liverpool uses the Warrington and Altrincham Junction Railway at least through Warrington.
The maximum speed that seems acceptable on curves is given by the table below, the data is taken from Minimum railway curve radius with the diagrams I have had to approximate the curves.

Curve radius ≤ 33 m/s
= 73mph
≤ 56 m/s
= 125mph
≤ 69 m/s
= 154mph
≤ 83 m/s
= 185mph
≤ 97 m/s
= 216mph
≤ 111 m/s
= 248mph
Cant 160 mm, cant deficiency 100 mm, no tilting trains 630 m 1800 m 2800 m 4000 m 5400 m 7000 m
Cant 160 mm, cant deficiency 200 mm, with tilting trains 450 m 1300 m 2000 m no tilting trains planned for these speeds

North Junction

The existing proposal for phase 2 includes a junction north to east, I am not entirely sure why, given current plans have the GC route finishing before Wigan, any trains from Manchester north would have to be classic compatible and   already some routes north available via those, the same is true for Liverpool northward. So, for the purposes of this blog, I will consider the routes north to be optional though I will leave the existing planned line in red.

Option 1

DIagram of a junction bwteen a reinstated Warrington and Altincham line and HS2. The disused Altrincham line crosses from the west at thetop of the picture. A large chord curves around to the south connecting to the southern spur of the junction proposed in the HS2 phase 2 document, heading south. A reflex chord departs and joins the route into Manchester.
This arrangement fulfils all the criteria keeping to radii of over 5000m allowing running speeds of over 200mph. It would eliminate the north chord suggest for phase 2 and replace it with a longer chord further west. It would, however, entail going through 270 degrees to transit between Liverpool and HS2 north.
It is unlikely that such speeds would be permitted on the section of line from Warrington as it passes through some residential areas making the large radii redundant.

Option 2

A straight line departs from the Alricham line and heased south east crossing the route of HS2 and joing the manchester spur, a chord leaves half way along its lnegth and curves south joing the HS2 trunk heading south.
The simplest way to avoid some of the line speed restrictions would be to leave the Warrington Altrincham route earlier, to the west of Lymm close to the M6, to avoid steep turns it would mean leaving the route before the M6 so the existing under pass could not be used. It would involve taking a new cross country route of some 8km to link to the Manchester spur, with a chord to the south, which could use the same sets of points on the trunk as the Manchester spur.
To the north, the chord would have to be somewhat tighter and may involve adjustments to the north junction proposed for phase 2 in order to keep the points countdown. However,   geometrically it is the simplest junction and involves little change to the routings planned in phase 2.

Option 3

A very simple junction is provided with tight curves connecting the Warrington and Altrincham route to the HS2 route north and south.
This is by far the simplest option reusing the maximum amount of old right away and adding the minimum new track, it does this by sacrificing speed the curves from the Liverpool route to HS2 are of about 500-600m in radii limiting speed to 70 mph. There would no option but adding points to any northern routing.
However, if the section of line between the northern crossing was quad, all the way to and beyond the southern Manchester Spur, then the points in that direction could be kept the same and the quading would allow acceleration to full track speed. Access to Manchester is via the northern chord proposed for phase 2.


My simple conclusion is that Option 3 is the most likely. I doubt the extra speed of the other 2 could actually be realised. Option 2 may be the option that has to be picked to calm the noise concerns of the residents of Lymm.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016


I would like to write blog entries more often but I cannot really come up with subjects. In the average day I am sure I have thoughts which could be translated into an entry and some people might actually like to read but I don't keep a minute by minute diary of what is going on. I do not attach sufficient significance to the things I think to merit remembering them in half an hour, never mind when I get home.
The reaction to blogs seems to vary greatly I was informed by someone connected with the BBC and a Producer, that the only reason I blog is because I, like all other bloggers, have an over inflated opinion of the value of what I say and think. This struck me as being rather odd for someone who works in the mass media, unless of course his ego believes that his though opinions are for some reason worthy of public broadcast.
I've ever claimed that this blog was anything other than rambling. If it has any conscious purpose it so that in ten years I might be able to point to something and say look I'd thought that years ago. That might seem arrogant but I don't think , if it ever happens, the fact is going to be anything significant, I also don't think I will be unique in having the thought.
I believe most great ideas have been had many time before that make it big, and make someone rich or famous, they were had by lots of people like you and me, who either didn't know the value of them or couldn't make people see the point. Ideas spring up everywhere for random interactions, chance meetings and drunken ramblings. I doubt Einstein was the first to think of the mutability of time or Newton to conceive of gravity, they were simply the first people to have the ability to use the idea, to make sense of it.
Ideas are a product of society not individuals, we walk around bombarded by similar experiences, similar memes, an idea’s moment comes when enough of society has been made fertile to receive it, where the enough people daily lives provide them with the tools to comprehend it and see its value.
Sitting on the edge of a cave, at the dawn of humanity, seeing the moon rise and the sun come up and wondering if all heavy objects attract each other and thinking that that attraction may explain the lights that move is the night sky, is a lonely place to be.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

WW2 and why my dad fought in it.

In late August 1939 my dad joined the RAF, some time later he found himself in North Africa, then Sicily and finally Italy. He was with fighting along side others from the following countries
 United States
 Free France
Poland Poland
 New Zealand
Union of South Africa South Africa
Brazil Brazil
Greece Kingdom of Greece
 Mandatory Palestine

My dad died before I could ask him why he fought, especially as he joined up before the war had started and wasn't conscripted like so many of the troops. I am surprised how many supporters of UKIP, the EDL etc seem to think they know why my father and so many others fought, and want to claim that they are behaving the way they do in support of his goals and the sacrifices of his friends and comrades.
The one thing I am sure about is what the other side was fighting for and that seem to be more in line with the policies of the EDL and UKIP.
One thing that came out of WW2 was the European convention on human rights, which is presided over by the European Court of Human Rights. The leading UK advocate was a Conservative politician, supported by Churchill. See European Convention on Human Rights what UKIP and the Tory right are fighting against is the explicitly expressed wishes of hose who fought and led in WW2. In there racists and xenophobic speeches the are reproducing the the messages not of the Allies but of the Axis powers, the only thing that exceeds their bigotry is their ignorance and stupidity.