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Nick B

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    Hessen, GERMANY

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  1. Interesting NY Times article. I'm sure some would like to respond with, "yeah, but that's from the U.S., what do they know and moreover, who are they to criticise?!" Maybe try to suppress that instinct and play the ball, not the man/woman... Yes, the NY Times might often be perceived as biased (like most large media outlets) but does the article stand on its merits? If it had been published by a UK outlet, it would be discounted by huge numbers just based on its source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/28/world/europe/uk-austerity-poverty.html?action=click&contentCollection=Health&module=Trending&version=Full&region=Marginalia&pgtype=article
  2. Pinatubo's in 1991 was assessed to have brought down global temperatures by 0.5 Deg C from 1991 to 1993 or so. That was a VEI 6 and about 10 times the size of Mt. St. Helens in terms of ejecta, ejecting its ash up to 34km (21 miles) high at its peak, well into the stratosphere. Pretty substantial. Would be nice if nature could display without threatening peoples' lives, homes, livelihoods and also local ecosystems, however, events of this magnitude are always going to leave casualties. Impressive but sadly catastrophic too.
  3. Very unlikely. This would need to be VEI 6 (+) and ejecting the plume well into the stratosphere. Kilauea is not likely to meet those criteria.
  4. The current UK government is on a path towards engineering manufacturing out of existence. So the weak pound then will be as useful as a one legged man in an *rse kicking contest when there's a reduced amount to export. I'm curious whats happening to all the promises the government were making to large foreign multinationals based in the UK (Nissan etc. etc.) about staying in the CU. If that is really not going to be happening, that's a bunch more jobs going, a further collapse in manufacturing in the UK (or, I should say England and Wales) and no coherent plant do anything about it. The link between EU and outside EU investment in research at universities linked with high end manufacturing (something which the UK has been doing very well under the covers - oil, Pharma, chemicals, automotive and more) is now hugely threatened by the backward migration policies in effect. This will drive down this crucial sector, with less talent coming from overseas and much of the overseas talent we have been lucky enough to have quite rightly leaving, since they're being treated like sh*te instead of being welcomed with open arms. No doubt France will see an opportunity here. They're no slouches when it comes to manufacturing and R&D, so our loss will be their gain. Financial services are already known to be leaking over to Europe. You can't run an economy on the construction and service sectors alone. That's like having a shop that isn't bothered about selling anything, as long as it's nicely presented and clean. Still, if it makes a few people feel better - those who don't like seeing people from different ethnic backgrounds on the streets, or worse still talking to each other in a different language which we don't understand, well, that's a price worth paying isn't it?
  5. Oh I don't know. I'm sure they're not entirely incompetent when it comes to feathering their own nests.
  6. No point in moaning about the weather - it's not going to change it. The only thing which can be improved is how you view it. Almost all weathers to extremes can cause harm in some way - heat, cold, not enough sunlight, too much rain, not enough rain, ice, deep impenetrable snow, hard frost, wind etc. etc. Luckily, for our part of the world, few of them last for any really appreciable length of time (up until now in this historical era). Some of them could even be mitigated to some extent if there was a reasonable functioning system of governance in place (fairer system of fuel payments, long term water use planning etc.).
  7. Other possible effects of lead too: http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0050101
  8. As a layperson, I'd say those are both possibilities to some extent, in that several recorded SSW have occurred, however no two are that much alike. So, yes, perhaps a difficulty for those who have to write the programming for the models is how much emphasis to give the myriad of factors when there is limited data from previous events upon which to base those emphases.
  9. On another one from him though, maybe it's better to question rather who is paid to say what... "How does so much [false news] get into the American newspapers, even the good ones? Is it because journalists, as a class, are habitual liars, and prefer what is not true to what is true? I don't think it is. Rather, it is because journalists are, in the main, extremely stupid, sentimental and credulous fellows -- because nothing is easier than to fool them -- because the majority of them lack the sharp intelligence that the proper discharge of their duties demands." Both quotes date back to 1920. The problems are endemic.
  10. From H. L. Mencken, a fellow American... "All of us, if we are of reflective habit, like and admire men whose fundamental beliefs differ radically from our own. But when a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental — men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand. So confronted, the candidate must either bark with the pack or count himself lost. … All the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."
  11. Are you referring to the -24 core some 400 miles east of Moscow?! (just checking!) :-)
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