Generatrix 2019

Captain Black's picture

Greetings :-

"The bizarre space object Oumuamua has scientists completely baffled. It’s possible we may have just missed first contact with aliens."

"It may be an asteroid. It could be a comet. Perhaps it is … something else. But ever since humanity spotted it last year, I/2017 U1 ‘Oumuamua — the elongated chunk of something shiny spinning through our Solar System — has managed to give us the slip.   'Oumuamua means “scout” or “messenger” from the past, in Hawaiian.  It may be a very appropriate name.  There’s reason to suspect it could have an alien origin.

It’s behaving weirdly: flying through our Solar System on an open-ended parabola, proving it must have come from deep interstellar space. Its eerie red hue is shinier than a typical comet.  It’s accelerating: admittedly by only a tiny amount, but something is giving 'Oumuamua a push. It could be comet-like ‘outgassing’. But at no point has the mysterious object been seen to have a comet’s tail.

It has a weird shape. Based on its erratic flashing, astronomers have inferred 'Oumuamua must be long and thin. Few known asteroids and comets are like that.  But … for it to be an alien artefact would be extraordinary. And to prove that would require some extraordinary evidence.  However, our chances of learning anything more from our first known interstellar visitor are very slim. It’s racing away — back into deep space — at some 95,000km/h. There are, however, other possible — and more probable — alternatives..."

"The Spitzer Space Telescope — despite not seeing 'Oumuamua — reveals it is small enough for such acceleration to take place. “That determination was dependent on 'Oumuamua being relatively smaller than typical solar system comets,”..

"After crunching the probabilities, the researchers found that there should be at least 66 other interstellar objects, ranging in diameter from roughly 100 meters to 10 kilometres in size, captured in the Sun’s gravitational well. “We find that there should be hundreds of 'Oumuamua-size interstellar objects identifiable by Centaur-like orbits,” the study reports. A Centaur a small body that orbits the Sun between Jupiter and Neptune, but cuts across the path of one or more of the giant planets.

"“A more exotic scenario is that 'Oumuamua may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilisation,”...  But this was pure speculation, based solely on the object’s surprising speed and course. That it was so reflective could, however, add fuel to the ‘alien space probe’ idea. Light sails work in a similar way wind sails do — harnessing the energy of solar winds by reflecting them in another direction to generate thrust.

"“No scientist has claimed 'Oumuamua is alien in this discussion — they have just raised questions and explored answers. There is no point in shying away from a proper discussion on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or in being personally critical of colleagues … If aliens are claimed, direct and robust evidence is required — not a conclusion based on a few observations that are difficult to explain, plus a bunch of assumptions.”

What has been seen makes it most likely that 'Oumuamua is, in fact, a dirty interstellar comet, crusted by deposits and turned red by thousands of years of exposure to cosmic rays in interstellar space. Once close enough to the Sun to boil this away, the shiny inner core was exposed — changing its characteristics in such a way as to alter its orbit."




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Apollo ...

Capt. 'Bob''s picture

Tickety Tock

"The tickets were bought through “reconnection policies” that aim to encourage rough sleepers to voluntarily return to areas where they have family and support networks. It has been described as “street cleansing” and an abdication of responsibility by some campaigners and MPs."

One for the Odd Bods ;-)


tis like the three blind mice, innit...

Capt. 'Bob''s picture

Third Time Ducky

"Halo said it had taken a “huge step” in the implementation of its strategic focus on lower risk, natural gas development and appraisal opportunities in the southern North Sea.

The acquisition, first announced in September, gives Halo stakes in a number of southern North Sea fields, including 45% of the Greater Pegasus Area and the high-impact Andromeda prospect.

Halo agreed to exchange 19.25% of the post-completion share capital as part of a deal which has now been sanctioned by the Oil and Gas Authority.

Operator Spirit Energy submitted development plans for the Pegasus West field in November.

The asset lies 66 miles off the North Yorkshire coast and could be tied back to the Cygnus Alpha complex.

Halo said it would now look to fund its share of the project, paving the way for a final investment decision early next year.

Andromeda should be drilled in 2019.

Third Energy Offshore, which is controlled by Cayman registered Third Energy holdings, also has onshore fields in Yorkshire.

Halo interim chief executive Andrew Cochran said: “We wish to sincerely thank the UK’s Oil & Gas Authority for its consent of Halo’s acquisition of Third Energy Offshore by maintaining title to its offshore licences in the UK sector of the southern North Sea after the change of control.

“This is a new country entry and a material expansion of our portfolio with respect to reserves, resources and, eventually, production; all of which fully complement our existing natural gas operations in the Dutch sector.

“Virtually all conditions of the transaction have now been met or waived to conclude the acquisition of Third Energy.

“Halo can now turn its attentions to other, corporate, matters and will formally close the acquisition, organise a shareholder meeting and seek to fund the development of Pegasus West in anticipation of project sanction in the first half of 2019.

Halo has 2P reserves in excess of 10 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe), more than 20 mboe in contingent resource, with interests in 17 different licenses offshore Netherlands as well as associated pipelines and infrastructure.

The company was formed in 2014 through a combination of Hague and London Oil BV, and Wessex Exploration, which became Hague and London Oil Plc afterwards."

Oh, OK:

G' Night

Captain Qahn's picture

Awl Things Being Equal

"While Noah had to count his animals into the ark two by two, zookeepers at London Zoo will be counting a little higher in their annual stocktake.

ZSL London Zoo is home to about 19,000 animals and 600 different species and every year the keepers dust off their clipboards and make sure everyone is present and correct.

New animals at the zoo this year include Paco and Poco the tamanduas, born in the rainforest exhibit, 12 Humbolt penguin chicks which hatched at the zoo's penguin beach, and rescued leeches Buffy, Angel and Spike.

Some of the zoo's keepers will have an easy task, particularly if they only need to count a handful of animals, but others have to employ some creative tactics.

The team looking after the bees have to cheat a little and count each colony as one bee rather than the hundreds of individual bees.

ZSL's animal operations manager Angela Ryan said: "With more than 19,000 animals to count at ZSL London Zoo, our keepers all have their own ways of tallying up the animals in their care - from taking pictures of the tanks in the aquarium to avoid counting the same fish twice, to using training and rewards to count larger groups such as our squirrel monkeys and Humboldt penguins.

"It always makes for a busy start to the year."

The annual stocktake is part of the zoo's requirement to retain its license and takes about a week to complete.

The information is shared around the world with other zoos, and helps to manage the worldwide conservation breeding programme for endangered animals."

I don't know.


"That would be rather ambitious of me" ;-))


“To be fair, that is a wide field.”

Captain Black's picture

The Glimmer Man

"As if battered post-Christmas finances, a looming disorderly Brexit and the prospect of a fresh nuclear arns race were not enough to dampen spirits, astronomers have declared that a nearby galaxy will slam into the Milky Way and could knock our solar system far into the cosmic void.

The unfortunate discovery was made after scientists ran computer simulations on the movement of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), one of the many satellite galaxies that orbits the Milky Way. Rather than circling at a safe distance, or breaking free of the Milky Way’s gravitational pull, the researchers found the LMC is destined to clatter into the galaxy we call home.

At the moment, the LMC is estimated to be about 163,000 light years from the Milky Way and speeding away at 250 miles per second. But simulations by astrophysicists at Durham University show that the LMC will eventually slow down and turn back towards us, ultimately smashing into the Milky Way in about 2.5 billion years’ time."


"Within the first bar, you know you're into familiar Depeche Mode territory. A stentorian, commanding voice, a skeletal modular synth pattern and scratchy rhythm evolving into a electro-glam beat overlaid with bluesy processed guitar. ‘Where's The Revolution?’ literally could have appeared on any Depeche Mode album since 1997’s ‘Ultra’. I said more or less the same about ‘Delta Machine’, their 2013 album – no-one expects this band to deliver anything especially new thirty-six years into their career, and for the most part, if you're a long-standing fan, you probably don't especially want them to.

The only nagging doubt you feel is the overt political message in the first single to be taken from ‘Spirit’. That feels new, right? In the lyrics here, Dave Gahan gives voice to the same disenfranchisement with governments / society / the inequality gap that have given us Brexit, Trump, possibly will give us Le Pen and all manner of supposedly ‘populist’ movements elsewhere round the world. The delivery is a little clumsy at times, and maybe the train that Gahan and Martin Gore claim is coming arrived a short while ago, but the message is mostly coherent, if not especially original – it's time to take action, you're not doing enough with your passive-aggressive stance, rise up, revolt etc. It's not exactly Bob Dylan in the 1960s, for sure, but it is at least a new side to the band.

Or is it? ..."

Captain Black's picture

Spark Life

"“It’s about embracing the future, not the past. Cities like Greater Manchester need to join the group of leading cities on the world stage that are driving fast towards carbon neutrality,” Burnham told the Guardian...

"London is finalising a similar scheme and Manchester’s announcement, which comes into force on Monday, comes amid a wave of discontent among local councils – ...

Energy industry analysts havebegun to question the economic feasibility of fracking in the UK. Since 2013, gas prices have fallen sharply and there is no shortage of supply in Europe or around the world. German import prices – the standard European benchmark – are half their 2013 level."


"Drones, trained elephants and traps with live bait are being used to search for a leopard which has escaped from a safari park in India.

Four-year-old Sachin, who has always lived in captivity, broke free from Bengal Safari Park in the foothills of the Himalayas on New Year's Day.

Pugmarks have since been spotted in three locations near a forest, spreading fear among local people.

According to official estimates, there are between 12,000 and 14,000 leopards in India, and experts say they kill hundreds of humans each year.

Sachin was spotted briefly in a tree near the rhino enclosure in the herbivore section of the park on Tuesday night before vanishing from sight.

Officials hope he will approach his enclosure when he gets hungry.

"All his life he has lived in captivity and has never preyed on any animal - he has always been fed by foresters," said Vinod Kumar Yadav from the West Bengal Zoo Authority.

"Two camera-fitted drones, four trained elephants and nearly 100 foresters have been deployed to track the leopard.

"Foresters have also laid 10 traps with live bait but the leopard did not fall prey to (them)."

The park, which is spread over 297 acres near the town of Siliguri, opened to the public only last year.

According to government figures, 431 leopards were killed in India in 2017, mostly by poachers for their hides and other body parts."

Ooh I feel a Mexican wave coming on ...

Yawwwnnn ....

Oh, OK :

Oooh I wonder why they do that ??

Capt. 'Bob''s picture


“The Trans Adriatic Pipeline will set the foundation for an integrated gas market across south-eastern Europe and enhance the region’s strategic status as an energy hub. We believe that gas remains an important transition fuel in this region that can help displace coal and facilitate penetration of renewables.”

Hmmm ...

"In June 1956, the Soviets offered Nasser $1.12 billion at 2% interest for the construction of the dam."

Imagine...  a World without Walls

Captain Qahn's picture

The 'Thought Police'

"The initial take has been cautiously optimistic, but then again a sugar-hit is often far more palatable for markets than dealing with the heartburn of stacking on more debt.

The People's Bank of China (PBOC) injected a net 560 billion yuan ($140 billion) into the economy last Wednesday, and roughly 1.1 trillion yuan ($230 billion) for the week.

Authorities have been loosening restrictions on how much reserve capital banks need to hold, which in turn frees up more money to lend...

"It was just the latest move in series of policy tweaks — including tax cuts and more public spending — announced in recent weeks.

So far it has been a cheaper, more "under-the-radar" tweaking, but things can escalate quickly if activity doesn't pick up in key sectors and jobs are shed.

Social stability is never too far away from such decisions.

"In our view, it will prompt policymakers to further roll out easing measures to buffer the negative growth shocks," the big investment bank told clients.

"The recent Central Economic Work Conference confirmed top policymakers fully recognised the need to prioritise growth stability with more countercyclical easing measures.

"Going forward, faster credit expansion and property policy easing would be crucial to economic cycle rebooting in the coming months."

Given the massive size of the Chinese economy, it won't be an easy, quick or cheap fix to turn things around.

If the central planners hear the echoes of the 2015 "hard landing", the floodgates may again be opened and a massive new wave of indebtedness could be unleashed."

Erm .. thats obviously good news depending whatside of the fence your sitting on :-)

"This, the 30th anniversary (of the release of the first star wars film), will witness the largest Imperial invasion of Whitby to date."

"Members of the Garrison are immensely proud of the fact the 501st is the only group in the UK which is approved by Lucasfilm. All the costumes are 100% authentic."

"due to privacy and secrecy reasons, we are unable to comment on the tax affairs of individuals or entities".

Baldrick!!!  They have a cunning plan ...

"a marketplace where entropy reigns supreme"


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The Mice Times

Captain Qahn's picture

The Not Written Off

Chang'e 5 will be digging on the moon ....



"ilmenite is the most important ore of titanium"

One In One Out.

Thorium an anomoly on the nearside in the SPA area ie radioactive - produces heat 

Moon Samples six US + 382kg, three Luna 0.3kg

The Moon was a third closer to the Earth 400mil years ago

The Earth's mantel ranges 20km ie Everest to the Trench

The visible dark spots of the moon are caused by lava flow

The Far Side of the moon has a lower mantel ie the thick mantel has been removed leaving a GRAIL of olivine rich exposures

Water on the moon was discovered in 2009  Yutu 2

A paradim shift to the Global Exploration Roadmap.

Musk, Branson & Bezos engaged in a Lunar Platform Gateway

Living on the Moon Jul 1 - 7 London

Apollo 8 was the first time humans saw the far side of the moon.

Killing Time.

Oddly enuff they were going to pull the 'plugs' last night  and whilst the outlaws are planning the 'caskets' today he was watching 'come dine with me'

And you think I am crazy ..



Captain Black's picture

Green Washing

"The chemical company that will take over Team Sky has been accused of ‘greenwashing’ with their cycling sponsorship.

Ineos, the British firm run by billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, has stepped in to sponsor the WorldTour outfit from the start of May.

News that Britain’s only top tier team will continue has been met with praise, but critics have raised concerns about the environmental impacts of the work Ineos does.

Friends of the Earth, an international network of environmental organisations, highlighted the campaigning done by Team Sky through their Ocean Rescue project."

"Tony Bosworth from Friends of the Earth said: “Cycling is one of the UK’s most successful and popular sports, but do the likes of Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome really want to be associated with a planet-wrecking company like Ineos?

“Taking over Team Sky is the latest blatant attempt at greenwashing by Ineos.

“It’s a harsh change of tone that may see Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign to clear plastic pollution from our oceans ditched from the team jersey in favour of Ineos – one of the biggest plastic producers in Europe.”

Team Sky was closely linked with the Ocean Rescue campaign of parent company Sky, which aimed to raise awareness of single-use plastics and their impact on the seas.

The team unveiled a new Tour de France kit in 2018 that featured images of Orcas, while also vowing to eliminate single-use plastics from the outfit by 2020...."

"Earlier this year he said: “The government’s position is unworkable and unhelpful.

“They are playing politics with the future of the country.

“We have a non-existent energy strategy and are heading towards and energy crisis that will do long-term and irreparable damage to the economy and the government needs to decide whether they are finally going to put the country first and develop a workable UK onshore gas industry.”

Fracking is strongly opposed by environmental campaigners because of the impact of transferring the huge amounts of water needed, and the risk of earth tremors.

Team Sky declined to comment, while Ineos said it could not make a statement until the takeover in May is complete."

"Anti-fracking campaigners say there will be protests against chemicals firm Ineos' takeover of Team Sky at this year's Tour de Yorkshire.

Team Sky announced on Tuesday it will become Team Ineos from 1 May, with the new team's launch at the first stage of the Tour de Yorkshire on 2 May.

Ineos, owned by Britain's richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe, has rights to frack in sites in Yorkshire.

"No doubt there will be protests," said Steve Mason of Free Frack United.

Ineos has rights to explore for shale gas in sites in Cheshire, Yorkshire and the Midlands, but has yet to start because of planning disputes  ... "

May the Force be with you ...

Captain Black's picture

Magnet O Sphere

"While we have long known the protective magnetic bubble we live in resonates in a similar way to string and wood instruments, proving it also oscillates like a drum has been much harder.

"The first paper that really discusses the idea was 45 years ago … but we didn't have the observational evidence to prove that was going on," Dr Archer said.

The idea is that as a jet of plasma hits the boundary of the magnetosphere (called the magnetopause), waves ripple across the surface towards the magnetic poles, where they bounce back to the centre.

When the original and reflected waves crash into each other they create a pattern that makes the magnetopause vibrate, just like a ripple from a drumbeat..."

"Aside from trying to figure out what dark matter is made of, tracking its interactions in old rocks could also paint a picture of dark matter within our galaxy, the Milky Way.

It takes around 230 million years for our solar system to circle the galaxy once.

"One of the really cool things with this, that no other technique can do, is that you can use rocks of different ages to probe the history of the Earth's exposure to dark matter," Dr Bignell said.

"Then we could retrace where dark matter has been on our journey around the Milky Way."

Trains in the Sky ?

Another day ...

Thats not how ducks fly.

Little Bears ask daft questions ...

A Badge of Honour.


Captain Black's picture

Darcy's Law

"THE energy firm Third Energy Holdings Limited has sold its Knapton-based onshore company, it has revealed.

In a statement, Third Energy said it has signed a sale and purchase agreement with York Energy (UK) Holdings Ltd to "divest the entire share capital of Third Energy Onshore Limited".

This sale includes the onshore gas exploration, appraisal and production company Third Energy UK Gas Limited, and Third Energy Trading Limited, which owns the power generating station at East Knapton.

Tom Reed, CEO of a firm called Alpha Energy, said: “We are pleased to be working with the Third Energy team to develop the group’s energy and generation business, and look forward to constructive engagement with all stakeholders in Third Energy’s next stage of development.”

York Energy (UK) Holdings Ltd is an affiliated company of Alpha Energy, a US-based energy company focused on acquiring and operating oil and gas assets.

Closing of the sale is subject to satisfaction of agreed conditions precedent, including regulatory review.

A Third Energy spokesperson confirmed that the sale wouldn't affect jobs at Knapton; as a company and not an asset sale, the people, contracts and responsibilities associated with the business are an integral part of the transaction, they said.

Third Energy is the company that grew close to fracking a site at Kirby Misperton in 2017 but, following large protests and calls for a financial resilience review by the Government, eventually withdrew the bulk of its fracking equipment."

"Darcy's law is the equation that defines the ability of a fluid to flow through a porous media such as rock. ... Put another way, Darcy's law is a simple proportional relationship between the instantaneous discharge rate through a porous medium and the pressure drop over a given distance."

"Eoin, 54, said: “The object appeared on the surface before submerging. It was gone for five seconds – then up again going in another direction, turning about and leaving a wake and splashes.

“It then then submerged and disappeared. To see Nessie once is unbelievable but twice in a month is fantastic.

“It’s the luck of the Irish, I suppose. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It had some power underneath it.”"

"“It’s clear that community pressure and the record-setting number of objections are having an effect on Flamingo Land and Scottish Enterprise.

“You can’t expect to hand public land at Loch Lomond over to a private company to profit from without intense public scrutiny.

“The frustration many residents feel and which I share is that the exclusivity agreement can be used to prevent any discussion of a community buyout, an idea which has been gaining momentum as opposition to Flamingo Land grows.

“We need a proper public consideration of how Loch Lomond should be showcased in a way that puts the local environment and community first, not constrained by backroom deals and exclusivity agreements.”"

Oh Dear ...


Captain Black's picture

Fracking in Parliament?

"In her resignation letter to Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark, Ms Engel said government was "pandering to what we know to be myths and scare stories" about shale gas extraction.

A spokesman for the department said the government supported the development of the shale industry in the UK "because we believe it could have the potential to be a new domestic energy source, and create thousands of well paid, quality jobs".

"Ms Engel said the result of the over-strict regulations would be difficulty in making those CO2 reductions, lower economic growth, and less energy security - as the UK would need to import gas rather than produce its own.

She continued: "These points have been made repeatedly but ministers ignore them and instead allow campaign groups to drive policy.

"So many local businesses face collapse. They have invested vast amounts to 'get ready for shale' as the government had told them to. There is, therefore, no purpose in this role."

She pointed out that 49 geoscientists had recently called on the government to relax what they called the over-zealous regulations."

"More fundamentally, they said it was madness for the UK to be seeking more gas when firms have already discovered far more fossil fuel than scientists say can be burned without wrecking the climate."

"Also this week, the Teeside MP Simon Clark said the time for fracking in Parliament had come and gone."

Baldrick !!!

Captain Black's picture

Turning Corners

"Ineos will pull its backing if its new cycling team are caught cheating or doping, says owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

Team Sky formally became Team Ineos on Wednesday, having enjoyed unrivalled success with Sky's decade-long backing - winning eight Grand Tours.

But they have also faced several controversies and allegations of cheating.

"We did our due diligence. I have absolutely no interest in cheating or drugs," Ratcliffe told BBC Sport.

"The day that any of that enters our world we'll be exiting that world."...

"What's the point of winning a race if you cheat? There's no point in that really," Ratcliffe told BBC sports editor Dan Roan at the team's launch in Yorkshire.

"Also, I believe that if you have the best athletes in the world and the best training regimes, there's no need for any of those enhancements."

"Ineos owns licenses to conduct fracking at several locations across Yorkshire.

Ratcliffe said he would be disappointed but "wouldn't be totally surprised" if there are protests against the team during the Tour de Yorkshire, which runs from Thursday until Sunday.

He also defended his company's operations, saying Ineos has pioneered new methods of recycling plastic, adding that the majority of environmental groups he has met with are "ignorant" on the facts on fracking.

Environmental group Friends of the Earth said in a statement it was "concerned" over the new sponsorship and cited previous comments by Brailsford which stated the sport has "a special responsibility to the environment"."

"Brailsford said he is "very comfortable" with the ownership of his cycling team and that it did not contradict their previous commitment to Sky's pledge to remove all single-use plastic by 2020.

"Ineos are not dumping the plastic in the ocean, what they are doing is they can change the process of manufacturing to try and make everything more recyclable," he told BBC Sport.

"There is an opportunity with Jim to be part of the solution.

"Is it inappropriate? I don't think it is. We haven't reneged in anyway shape or form on our single-use plastic goals."

He added: "I'm not an expert in chemicals; I'm an expert in trying to make Chris ride his bike faster. But when I did come to educate myself, I realised there's a very simplistic view and when you dive down into it and take the effort you can find out there's a very different view."

Petrochemical companies Total and Gazprom both sponsor professional cycling teams."

Northern Rock ...


Hairy Bobs ...

"Sock face"

Lime Aid.

tis a bit wild out there :

Cote de Rudimental.

Captain Black's picture


Captain Qahn's picture

Pat A Cake

"UK energy firm Ineos is to invest $2bn (£1.6bn) in building its first ever manufacturing plants in Saudi Arabia.

It follows an agreement with the Kingdom's state oil company Saudi Aramco and French energy firm Total.

Ineos said the facilities would produce chemicals for sectors such as automotive, aerospace and electronics...

""We are bringing advanced downstream technology which will add value and create further jobs in The Kingdom."

An Avon catalogue :

"Oh Liberty, Oh Liberty what ..."

Gordon Smithy.