Went to the movies on Monday. Overall I’d describe it as a bittersweet experience. Apart from the still-bizarre experience of having to prove one has had the double jab to go see a film in a deserted (Apart from Mrs S and I) auditorium. The popcorn machine was down too.
Now I grew up watching Bond movies, from the dire (Woody Allen’s Casino Royale) from Sean Connery in Dr No and Roger Moore through George Lazenby, Pierce Brosnan and Timothy Dalton to the latest and (I think) best Bond, Daniel Craig.
If you go to see No time to Die you will note there’s a strong connection with the Lazenby film, from the premise (Megalomaniacal nutcase intent on poisoning the world) to some of the sound track, featuring good old Satchmo himself, Louis Armstrong. The poison garden idea is a direct steal from Fleming’s book (But not the movie) ‘You only live twice’ but overall I found it a good, well put together movie, well paced and entertaining. One for the video collection. I’ll happily watch it several times. Your 167 minutes will not feel like a waste of time or money.
The introduction of a black female 007, which some have taken as a tokenistic affront to the franchise, I consider a mere bagatelle. The actress concerned, Lashana Lynch, put in a workmanlike performance but was always going to be overshadowed.
Is it a good movie? All I’ll tell you is this; I left the movie theatre with a profound sense of sadness. Do I regret going to see it? Definitely not. Would I recommend it? Oh yes. From my point of view I’d give it two thumbs up. However, it is the last of a venerable line of action thrillers.
Even before entering the theatre I knew this movie was going to be a franchise killer. The last ever Bond movie, which incidentally, goes out with a serious bang, but apart from that I’m not giving anything away. You’ll have to watch it to find out the ending. No spoilers here.
I have the sense that I’ve just witnessed the end of an era.
Still in ‘hurry up and wait’ mode and can’t be bothered any more to comment much on the COVID idiocy that Boris the henpecked clown and cohorts are inflicting on the UK. It’s just a shame there’s no opposition worthy of the name. Labour are so wokely unelectable it’s untrue, and the flaccid Limp Dems and Greens just as bad. Across the political spectrum they’re all heavily invested in the “Carbon Dioxide is evil” meme. Dozy lot.
While we’re waiting for the go from the lawyers, I took some time out to think about heating and lighting, two things I am very much in favour of, having grown up in a series of cold and draughty building sites my parents chose as homes. Ever woken up with ice cubes in your beard? I bloody well have and I’m not in favour of it. Building regs be damned.
It has always created a sense of slack jawed amazement in yours truly about electrickery and the cognitive dissonance surrounding energy policies from all mainstream political factions. The end result of decades of muddled ‘green’ thinking has led to an energy crisis in the offing. Across continental and island Europe (Including Ireland and the UK) we are going to run short of electrickery because we’ll be relying upon big silly propeller driven generators to provide all our energy needs, all the while shutting down working power stations, which will be a bit of an own goal when the wind stops blowing, as it has been known to do during the coldest months of the year. The Russians haven’t stopped laughing at us since 2010.
Frankly, with huge, energy gobbling data centres being planned across the Emerald Isle, this situation promises to create interesting* power shortages, because no-one seems to have done some fairly simple sums or bothered to ask some basic but pertinent questions about power supply.
Here’s a couple of interesting topics to look up; fracking and Small Modular Reactors.
Fracking could provide a quick and dirty interim solution because an area called the Northwest Ireland Carboniferous Basin has been identified as shale rich, this comprises parts of Fermanagh, Cavan, Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal and Roscommon. There are also deposits in the West Limerick and North Kerry areas.
However, the Eejits who think we’ll all burn alive if anyone so much as lights a cigarette have the people in power by the lugholes. Ergo, fracking is currently banned in Ireland.
Small Modular Reactors are based on a simple and very safe nuclear technology, proven in nuclear powered ships for over forty years, which would supply serious baseload electricity supply. Rolls Royce do a good series. Yes, series. Not just one type but several. Not to mention the major players in the global market like NuScale Power (US), Westinghouse Electric (US), General Electric-Hitachi Nuclear Energy (US), Terrestial Energy (Canada), and Moltex Energy (Canada). The projected footprint for such sites is no more than twenty five acres. About half the size of a small family farm. Yet such a reactors output can be as much as the plated capacity of a hundred and fifty 2MW wind turbines, each of which needs 40 to 70 acres of land each. Nor do SMR’s hold any risk for wildlife, unlike wind farms, which are known to kill bats (Many of which are endangered species) and birds (Specifically Hawks and Eagles) alike.
Now consider this; each wind turbine averages an output of between 20-25% of plated capacity output at peak efficiency. So that means for example that a V120 2.2 Megawatt turbine actually outputs around 400 Kilowatts. From over twice the acreage as required for a single SMR that can put out a steady 300 lovely cosy Megawatts. For the hard of arithmetic among you, that’s 750 times more, I repeat, seven hundred and fifty (Thanks Mick) so you will need 750 wind turbines covering 56,250 acres to equal the output of one Small Modular reactor. Erratically. Intermittently. That’s more than 227 Square kilometres. Enough to wipe out several of Ireland’s larger National Parks.
An SMR can generate a steady 300MW for ten years without reload. With a considerably lower environmental footprint one might add, both in terms of materials and local ecological impacts. Zero emissions, steady output of clean baseload supply. Maybe even enough to power all those electrical fantasy batterymobiles the politicians tell us we all have to purchase by 2030, or is that 2040? What we’re going to buy these things with I have no idea as they’re several times the price of cheap and dependable ICE technology.
Then there is the option of Thorium molten salt reactors, in reality actually Uranium 233, a shorter-lived and less dangerous form of Uranium than Uranium-235. Which has been a workable but neglected technology since the 1960’s. Such power generators have two main advantages. First; they cannot be used to create weapons grade fissile material. Second; any shutdown or system failure carries little or no risk of contamination outside of the reactor vessels. They also produce much less toxic waste, and can, I am informed, burn the fuel from older and more toxic leftovers from older generation nuclear power stations such as the old Magnox power plants.
As for fracking, the claimed environmental hazards of this method, contamination of water table etc aren’t real. A properly sleeved bore means that gas cannot leak into the water table and thus any potable aquifer. The only real ‘evidence’ against fracking was highly localised phenomena where gas naturally leaking from the strata in certain areas of Wyoming, Texas and I believe Louisiana had contaminated the local water supply long before any actual fracking took place. As for the claimed risk of ‘Earthquakes’, the worst attributed to fracking so far have been around 2.1-2.3, which are all but invisible except to seismometers.
As for other means of staying warm in the chill of Winter, regrettably, Fusion power will always be twenty years in the future while the current models of reactor are being used. Even the giant ITER under construction in Southern France will never output the promised power. Why? Because it’s a Tokamak, and like so many other methods of nuclear fusion, the physical design of Tokamaks mean they can only ever produce a ‘bang in a bottle’. I would be delighted to be proven wrong, but I won’t be.
Of course when the idiots in power finally get the memo a good many of the population this side of the Irish sea will have gone back to burning dried peat for heating. Because no-one wants to be wet and cold all the time. Maybe all those currently employed as COVID inspectors will find new ways of making people’s lives miserable by being retasked as smoke spotters. Who knows?
When the power outages hit this January and February coming, just think; when you wake up with ice on your lips and that fancy air source heat pump gives out less heat than a wet fart. Then look at your electrickery bill and wonder who will let you take out a third mortgage to pay it. Consider thus; you could have had warmth and light in abundance. Could have had fracked gas. Could have had small nuclear. Might not be scrabbling down the back of the sofa for coins for the leccy meter.
Here’s an energy spokesperson on the matter.
Oh well, I’m off to buy some shares in the companies that produce thermal underwear. If the prognostications are any guide, it’s going to be a cold Winter. Don’t forget to wrap up warm now. I bloody well will do.
*Interesting as in having to warm one’s hands over a candle during the depths of winter. If of course, candles are still ‘allowed’.
I’ve been digging through my ancestral archives recently, and along the lines of ‘some things never change’ thought I would present the following, adapted for the present day;
Noah in the 2020’s : Ye Grate Fludde.
In the years of pestilence; The Lord came unto Noah, now living in Kidderminster, England and spake thusly; “Once again Noah the earth and all the people therein have become wicked and sinful and it is time to purge the face of my creation, save two of every species of creature and a few virtuous humans, including thyself.” The Lord emailed the CAD drawings to Noah, saying; “Thou hast a year to build this great Ark before I send a grate fludde of forty days and forty nights to purge the world. Now get cracking our kid.”
At the end of twelve months, under darkened skies, The Lord looked down to see Noah in his back yard. There was no great ark, no two of every species, just Noah, weeping. “Noah!” Roared The Lord. “Where is my ark! Where are the two of every species! Come on mate, I’m about to kick off here. I’ve got storms queueing up like Friday afternoon traffic on the M6.”
“Forgive me Lord.” Begged Noah. “But things down here on Earth have changed. Because of COVID there’s no hardwoods to build the hull and I’ve been told by the council that I’ll need planning permission, even though I told them it’s within the regulations for temporary structures. So they forwarded the decision to the secretary of state, so you’ll appreciate the length of time that’s going to take. I was going to cut down a few trees instead and got a permit for that, but then a local environmental group kicked off on FaceBook and now there’s a thousand people chaining themselves to trees.Then there’s building regulations approval and the Fire Brigade Inspector has demanded smoke detectors in all the cabins as well as a sprinkler system. The department of transport have demanded a bond for temporary re-routing of power lines and an excessive load. I’m also in trouble with the Animal Rights activists for imprisoning animals against their will. I said I was gathering the animals to save them, but they said; ho-ho pull the other one chummy and reported me to the RSPCA, who told me the accommodation is too restrictive, then they in turn reported me to DEFRA, who demanded animal movement permits for such a large menagerie. Then the County Council got involved along with the Environment Agency, and Rivers and Waterways Authority who ruled that I couldn’t build the ark until they’d conducted environment impact reports on the forthcoming flood. Not to mention a full risk assessment on shipping movements through built up areas. I’ve also got a diversity team from the Department of Work and pensions who tell me my family is all too Jewish and we have to recruit a more ethnically mixed crew or be in contravention of employment legislation. Not to mention I’m having to wait to get my Masters certificate to pilot the vessel. The Unions are threatening to picket, saying using my sons to build the ark is taking jobs away from skilled ship builders and have reported me to the Health and Safety Inspectorate. Last week border services came calling and rounded up all my animals, saying that I was potentially in breach of the live export regulations. Then Customs and Excise froze all my bank accounts because they thought I was going to leave the country illegally as part of a massive money laundering scam, and the Police broke down my door because they’d had a tip off that I had more than the permitted number of people at my house in breach of the COVID regulations.”
“So forgive me, Lord God, I’m a bit up against it here, and it looks like I’ll need another twenty five years to finish the Ark.” Sniffed Noah, cowering in response to an expected smiting.
Instead the leaden clouds suddenly cleared. A wonderful triple rainbow spanned the sky and the birds all began singing again. Noah looked up in open mouthed wonder. “Does this mean there will be no Grate Fludde of forty days and forty nights and you’re not going to destroy the world oh Lord?” He said.
“No.” Said the Lord God. “The government beat me to it.”
I think I may have just bought a house. Well possibly. Maybe. Providing a thousand details don’t go into TITSUP mode and it all falls over.
At the end of the process Mrs S and I hope to be the proud owner of five acres of land and a reasonable house in a nice area. Whether this happens or not is in the lap of the Gods, our Structural Engineer and the conveyancing solicitors. Who are, surprise, surprise, all on feckin holiday.
Now I don’t resent this because we all need a break from what Mrs S refers to as “All this silliness.” Well, she’s a teacher, what do you expect? These holidays delay the process, but fortunately the Irish, being the sensible people they are, take this into account. Money will move, people will do their job and hopefully we’ll all be golden. Hopefully.
The rest of our global family are planning for a large get together when all these ridiculous COVID restrictions are over. We haven’t had a real gathering of the clan since before my father in law died. Happy days. Maybe when the politicians stop panicking maybe the good times will come again.
In the meantime Mrs S has been bombarding me with questions about what we’re going to do with the land (Erm…Dunno) and what are the regulations (Not A Clue) until my head spins. To which my response is; “That’s what I’m going to learn.” It’s all very well to ask all these damn questions, but if you’re not going to help me find the answers, give me a break already. We haven’t even properly bought the bloody place yet.
Notwithstanding. On the quiet, I have a fancy to retire and take up beekeeping. Become an Apiarist. Plant out the bottom acre furthest from the house with Roses and Fuchsias and a couple of types of fruit tree as a ready source of nectar. Stick the beehives in a little clearing in the middle. It might mean having to wear a Hazmat suit when working at that end of the property, but why not? Might even take up brewing Mead. Work it on a batch production system and perhaps sell my produce once a year to a specialist wholesaler. Or mail order only. Save all the fuss of navigating the byzantine health regulations. Mrs S could make candles from the wax, as I know that’s something she’s likes doing. She’s always liked candles. Again. Mail order or via Amazon marketplace. Or eBay.
The hives would act as their own security, and the site I would choose for them is surrounded by Maythorn and Blackthorn trees a good two hundred metres from any road in mostly livestock country. Very little pesticide spraying. Hell, might even go ‘organic’ and charge twice the price.
Well, I can dream can’t I? Might all fall apart, but that’s no reason not to give it the old rugby try. For the first time in a good long age I’m starting to get fired up over an idea. Well I never.
Ah the gift that never stops on giving, good old man made climate change got a boost from the latest IPCC report which has been touted as ‘code red for humanity’. Now where have I heard that before?
Throughout the 1990’s?
All through the 2000’s?
And so on, and so on. We had “Ten years to save the Earth” back in 1989. Whatever happened to that ‘tipping point’? There was “A hundred months” . Don’t take my word, here’s an article containing a compendium of these hyperbolic claims.
North pole ice still there? Er….. actually yes. Polar Bears? Doing nicely thank you. Antarctica? Still very cold. No real ice loss. Is Iceberg alley still active between Labrador and Newfoundland? Damn straight it is. Even at midsummer, last time I was up atL’Anse Au Meadow. Bergy bits in the harbour and big flat topped bergs you could land light aircraft on off in the distance. Just in case some of you don’t believe me Here are a few pictures from late June 2017.
My first ever berg sighting, a grounded growler, seen in Ste Genevieve Bay. I was so excited I took a picture of our wing mirror.
Then some ‘Bergy bits’ grounded inside St Anthony’s Harbour, south of L’Anse Au Meadow. The smallest are ten feet across.
Oh, and this fifty metre square specimen grounded berg pictured just outside St Anthony’s on the same day. All of these pictures were taken on and around June 22nd, before we beat a hasty retreat southward.
Now this is a thousand miles south of the arctic circle. In late June. A bumper year for wildfires in BC when we arrived home that August. So when anyone guffs off about the world being doomed and it’s all my fault, I will simply ask them how they account for my first hand observations that I can back up with pictures taken by me at a verifiable location.
By way of an observation, over the last few years I have been hearing of cold weather phenomena, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere. Indeed ‘South’ has recently reported temperatures as low as three Celsius in Sydney, Australia. All right, it is Winter down there, but we’re not doing much better here in the wilder west of Ireland. We had a ten day heatwave in July and today our thermometer has struggled to clear sixteen Celsius in early August. To the point where we had to switch the heating on.
So, are we doomed or aren’t we? I don’t think so, because we humans are good at adapting and surviving. We’re even capable of adapting our own environment like building houses to keep us dry and sculpting the landscape to keep us fed. Something the doom addicts don’t seem to be cognisant of. But if they fall for such an obvious con-trick as ‘global warming’ when it’s chucking it down, one might say they deserve all the misery they get. Although I’d rather they simply got on with being unhappy and just left the rest of us well alone.
A new commenter answered my query about why the giver of vaccines covered the AstraZeneca Vaccine phial when I was being given my second vaccination with the following.
IIRC the dose is 10cc, but there is 12cc in a vial. They can carefully use the leftovers to make some additional doses. Once the vial has been breached, they need to keep it clean.
Which at first I found hard to swallow, because when I first did my NHS Deep Subcutaneous and Deep intramuscular injection training (Initially on an Orange would you believe,) all doses we were asked to administer were delivered as single dose only ampoules. The old method of drawing up drugs from multi-use phials (we were told) was potentially unhygienic.
However, I engaged my cynicism and did a little searching for myself, finding this five page document about phial sizes for the AstraZeneca vaccine. Which says yes, the ampoules are multi-dose. However, the penultimate paragraph (Section 7 Health & Safety) of which makes interesting reading. See quoted portion below:
“There are no special handling requirements for routine handling of Vaxzevria® (AstraZeneca). However, Vaxzevria® (AstraZeneca) contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Should a spillage occur this should be disinfected with an appropriate antiviral disinfectant (active on coronavirus). To note that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) refers to the chimp adenovirus vector system“
Fun fact; the AstraZeneca vaccine is based on GMO’s, (Genetically Modified Organisms). Specifically those cultured from Chimpanzee adenoviruses.
So if you’re one of those people who dislike GMO’s in your foodstuffs and a fervent vaccine advocate; that’s what’s in it. Chimp virus GMO’s to boot. Which makes vaccines doubleplusungood for the Animal rights lobby. Which is amusing as the Greeny-weenies are heavily pro-vaccine, along with all the other ‘Green’ advocacy organisations, including most Western Governments.
Myself, I’m not bothered. The risk of an adverse reaction for me is so small it’s infinitesimal. I’m at more risk of being run down by a tractor crossing the road outside our house. Only had the jab to keep Mrs S quiet. It’s just the thought of all those loud mouthed luvvies and media cheerleaders finding out that their non-organic (Argh! Amputate! Amputate! Get me a CHAINSAW!!!) vaccination was produced from Chimp viruses.
Sorry, but Mrs S is asking me why I’m giggling so much.
For some reason this old favourite flagged up in the memory banks. I have two copies of the original CD set. One for in the car, one for in the house. Mrs S says I play it too often.
All I have to ask is; which characters viewpoint do I represent? The detached cynicism of the journalist? The fanaticism of the crazed preacher or the faith of his wife? I think it’s a little of all three.
Hey, it’s a wonderful piece of aural drama. Phil Lynott stole it completely. Never fails to send a shiver down my spine.
Having just been (Or should that be nagged into going?) for my second SARS/COV-2 jab, I was in the queue for getting the needle yet again, I found my mischievous brain rearranging a popular song lyric into the one below.
Everybody’s doin’ a brand new dance now (Come on baby do the Covid Shuffle) I know you’ll get to hate it if you give it a chance now (Come on baby do the Covid Shuffle)
Your little crabby grandma has forgotten ID She’s here under ten minutes and she needs a pee So come on, come on, do the Covid Shuffle with me
You gotta scuff your toes now Come on baby, step up, step back Well, I think you got the knack, ohh
Now you’re at reception, forget your phone now (Come on baby do the Covid Shuffle) Patting at your pockets like a mindless drone now (Come on baby do the Covid Shuffle)
Do it nice and easy now you ain’t got control You ain’t got no rhythm and you lost your soul So come on, come on, do the Covid Shuffle with me
Come on, do the Covid Shuffle Come on, do the Covid Shuffle Come on, do the Covid Shuffle Come on,…
I’m not here for the rest of the week. Play nice
Just in passing; why did the person giving me the jab feel the need to cover the vaccine phial over with a papier-mâché kidney dish? Answers in recycled grey wood pulp please.
Over here in the Emerald Isle it’s coming up to the one year anniversary of tiers and lockdowns. Notwithstanding; earlier today Mrs S and I were treated to a convoy of about fifty, yes fifty cars sporting the Irish tricolour and balloons honking madly as they drove up our lane, kids sitting in boats on trailers, standing on the dash as Dad’s drove, waving at everyone from out of sun roofs waving flags. Elf and safetee would have had a conniptive fit.
Despite noises in the media about increased Gardai presence to prevent anyone anywhere enjoying themselves, people found a way round. God alive, this is why I love this place.
With all the doom and gloom, virtue signalling etc out there, I have a suggestion to fix the world’s troubles.
Read a book. Go on, find something without pictures in it and read the words. One at a time if that is your reading level but do read one. While reading you will not care about Sparkly Megs specious accusations of “raaaaacism” and TV hosts having a hissy fit over it. Reading will immunise you from the ‘newer, deadlier, more lockdownier’ strain of the dreaded lurgi. Reading is cheap, better for you than telly, the radio or interwebs.
It is also very hard to riot while reading a book. So law and order gets a boost.
Has to be a proper book mind, not one of those e-Readers. Only the real papery thing will do. You will feel better for spending some quality time with your nose in a real book. Reading will make you a better person. Trust me, I’m not an ‘expert’.
That’s where I am at the moment. On a windy Irish beach, with a book. Back in a while.