Daily archives: December 6, 2005

Biodiesel's big bad

Biodiesel could be more carbon intensive than the fossil fuels it replaces. Specifically if it’s made from palm oil, the most popular source at present.

Before oil palms, which are small and scrubby, are planted, vast forest trees, containing a much greater store of carbon, must be felled and burnt. Having used up the drier lands, the plantations are moving into the swamp forests, which grow on peat. When they’ve cut the trees, the planters drain the ground. As the peat dries it oxidises, releasing even more carbon dioxide than the trees. In terms of its impact on both the local and global environments, palm biodiesel is more destructive than crude oil from Nigeria.

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British Films, for British People

I think the French already do something like this. Films are to be assessed for their “Britishness” to see if they qualify for tax breaks.

To qualify as British, and be eligible for tax breaks, film projects must score enough points across three categories: cultural hubs; cultural practitioners; and cultural content.

“Cultural hubs” determines whether the production and filming will take place in the UK; to qualify in the “cultural practitioners” category, a project will have to show that its cast, crew and/or producers come from within the European Economic Area; and “cultural content” looks at whether the film is set in the UK and has British characters.

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Renault FT 17s in Afghanistan

This review of the new HaT models of the Renault FT 17 WW1 tank mentions that a couple were recently found in Afghanistan by US troops. I had visions of the little beasts puttering around the streets of Kabul with Talibanis in them, but the truth is they were found in a field of scrap.

One or both of the tanks were sent back to the States to be restored and displayed. I think the discovery of the little treasures amidst so much rubbish is worthy of a diorama. It would probably require the more detailed RPM versions (1, 2) and could utilise Preiser’s modern US infantry.

More information on the find, and other Afghan FT 17s here (bottom of the page, but the other stuff’s interesting as well.

Some FT 17 photo reference

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my thoughts exactly

my thoughts exactly
my thoughts exactly,
originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

Feeling a bit wierd. Too much thinking about careers or the lack of them. A walk around the northern quarter is good for clearing the head and, when i set off, we were having one of those beautiful clear days.

Despite picking up my shiny new camera yesterday i’ve been using my old aps. I have to finish the film in it or it’ll sit there for a year until i get round to it.
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ghost town

The rest of the team are away for the day getting marriage counselling (or, at least, the business equivalent from someone who also specialises in marital strife) leaving me all alone in an open plan sea of empty desks. Maybe i should have gone along. I thought i was going to be busy today but it looks like i misread the timetable for this week’s job and i’ve actually got nothing to do.

I could probably do with some career counselling given that i’ve reached the age of thirty five and never had a real job. All the headlines about looming pension crises have me worrying about the uncertain future.

I’m quite good at something that pays well but only offers career advancement into management, which i’d hate and be bad at. Sadly i’m not specialised enough. I’d love to spend my time data wrangling, spotting trends and producing pretty geo-demographic maps, but noone’s going to ask me to. Plus there’s the whole thing with me not being built for office life, which makes even a good day more stressful than necessary.

The spinneyhead weblog empire is an attempt to escape the office, but it’s not yet generating enough income to be called anything other than a self financing hobby. I keep a graph of the rolling thirty day average income for the last year. The trend line is currently climbing quite spectacularly, and looks great until you check the peak values. On the one hand two dollars a day buys me the americano i wired myself with this morning. On the other, if the trendline continues on its current trajectory i’ll be into double figures by the end of january and able to call myself a pro blogger by march. I can dream.

Today is going to drag horribly. I think i’ll try to leave early.

Triumph drivers are the best!

Ickle will be pleased-

Bentley owners – who include England captain Becks, Jennifer Lopez and Paris Hilton – proved themselves to be driving dunces.

Owners of classic Triumph cars proved themselves to be the best drivers.

Other bad drivers include owners of Hyundai, Lamborghini, Ford and Rover cars.

Oldham is the British town with the best drivers – while neighbouring Rochdale has the worst.

via Jalopnik

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