Daily archives: May 23, 2006

Heavensent 3.9

Five Corkscrews acted as escorts, their push-pull propellers working hard to keep darting ahead of the wing. All six planes were operating at a few thousand spans, practically on the ground compared to the wing’s maximum altitude. They could see farm buildings and occasional small towns, but very few military installations. So far their intelligence had been excellent, but the ‘screws stayed on fighter cover or ahead ready to strafe.

Harren decided to forgo his usual mid flight tour of the craft, there just wasn’t the room for it today. Instead he turned on the remote talker, “All stations report.”

They replied in the determined order- light gunnery, heavy gunnery, bombs, engineering and navigation. “We are on schedule, and have yet to face opposition. The drop to attack altitude begins soon. Gentlemen, I look forward to fighting alongside you.”

The navigator announced, “Point Bella reached, drop to a thousand counts.” Harren pushed the stick forward. “Come right to Oh Three Four.”

The wing wasn’t as agile with a full load of weapons, but still made the turn with the minimum of fuss. They were very close to the target now, and ahead there was a military convoy heading diagonally across their path. “Fighting faces everyone. Stereo, do you want to clear the way?”

“Smite, this is Stereo One. We shall clear the leaves from the road.”

The corkscrews formed up in a V and accelerated toward the convoy. They only made one pass, leaving fires and explosions in their wake, before climbing back to air support.

“Heavy weapons, the target is in view. Time to deploy.” Harren turned on the optics and studied the airfield. There was some movement, but not the complete panic of realisation. The wing shook as the front bomb bay opened and the guns were lowered into position. The four low recoil cannons, or stonks as they were called for the noise they made, rotated about a shaft. In the lower position they fired, in the upper they reloaded. The view on the optic shifted left and right as the gunner chose likely targets. Then he started firing.

Twelve rounds were fired in as many counts and the bomb bay was closing before the third one had even hit. Harren kept the plane steady, snatching glimpses of the destruction. The blister bays on the outer edges of the wing opened, dropping rockets that ignited when they had dropped twelve spans.

The line of planes on the runway exploded one after the other. Now there was movement, panicked running for cover, or to anti air defences. The two digit cannons in the leading edge of the wing opened up, cutting down the fleeing figures and splitting open soft skins. The rear bomb bay opened. As the wing cut low across the airfield it scattered the first load of bomblets and mines across the runway and ammunition sheds. A great explosion levelled most of the buildings on the northern side of the runway.

While the wing made a long, lazy turn to approach from the west, the Corkscrews attacked any of the anti airs they could see. A pair of tripod mounted autoguns caught one of the attackers in a cross fire, punching holes in the wing. As the Corkscrew tried to bank away, the wing collapsed around the damage and it began a slow death roll. The remaining four Corkscrews hammered the autogun positions.

The low recoil cannons were deployed again for the wing’s second pass, only fours shots this time. Aiming for the smoke of the shattered armoury, the second load of bomblets and mines were spread the length of the runway. There was enough loaded for a third run, but there was nothing left to destroy. The wing began ascending to cruising height. Ahead, the Corkscrews formed their flying V. The position of their fallen comrade, second from the right, was left empty.

Heavensent 4.1
Heavensent 3.8
Heavensent 1.1

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Exhibit 1- Wayne Rooney

Early humans may have interbred with chimps, leading to hybridisation before the two genetic lines fully split.

We can observe the traces of this complex history in the human genome today, says David Reich, a population geneticist at the Broad Institute and Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Reich and his colleagues compared the genomes of humans, chimps and gorillas using a “molecular clock” to estimate how long ago the three groups diverged. The further back two species diverged, the more differences will have accumulated between their genome sequences.

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I'm feeling safer already

A leaked document says that the new type of fast breeder reactor likely to be used in Blair’s next generation of nuclear probably couldn’t withstand a September 11th style attack with an airliner. The European pressurised water reactor (EPR) has been designed to withstand a collision by a military jet, but assurances about airliners are based upon extrapolation.

This assumption, according to independent nuclear engineer, John Large, is “entirely unjustified”. This “reflects what seems to be an almost total lack of preparation to defend against the inevitability of terrorist attack,” he says.

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Yet another Chav headline- "Sexual ornaments grow out of all proportion"

You knew there was a reason those earrings kept getting bigger didn’t you. Though the New Scientist article seems to be all about males. Bigger baseball caps anyone?

Most body parts grow proportionally with the rest of the body as individuals of a species become larger, although scientists have long known that visual cues of reproductive prowess are a special case.

Now, in the largest survey to date, James Brown at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, US, and his colleagues have examined the proportions of 284 ornament-bearing species to see whether the tendency was truly universal. They found that in virtually every case, ornament size grew by roughly the square of the overall growth rate.

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MPs' Green press releases

Heath Bemused By Blair’s Fixation With Nuclear

Local MP David Heath has raised concerns about Tony Blair’s embrace of nuclear energy.

“Tony Blair is again making up policy as he goes along. He has already disregarded the view of one energy review and is now pre-empting a second. The Prime Minister pays lip service to renewables and energy efficiency but it seems clear where his preference lies. The issues of climate change and energy security are fundamentally important and after too much inaction it is essential that the right decisions are made.

“Nuclear power is being presented as our saviour from climate change which is simply not the case. Nuclear energy suffers from a number of faults which have not yet been solved. By focusing on nuclear power there is a diversion of assets and attention away from renewable sources such as wave and tidal which offer substantial gains and would benefit considerably from added investment. This is an area where the UK could, and should, lead the world.

“It is not enough for people to flout their supposed green credentials. Action is needed to engage with the monumental threat we face from climate change. We must be bold and back a radical alternative, not simply embrace an approach which supports the status quo and stores up serious problems for the future.”

Crispin Blunt welcomes call for law to change and calls for relaxation of regulations on water companies

Crispin Blunt, MP for Reigate, today welcomed the Ten-Minute Rule Motion placed before the House of Commons by former Environment Minister, John Gummer MP. In a speech to the House of Commons Mr Gummer put forward a series of proposals that would oblige developers to assess the impact of new housing on the water supply. The speech came on the day that much of the South-East learnt that it faced the worst drought in decades.

The impact of new housing on the water supply has been consistently over-looked despite contributing to the current water crisis. One of the reasons for this is that whereas rainwater falling in the south would previously have drained into the water table, as more and more of the region has been developed rainwater runs off roads and pavements into drains rather than into the underground water supply. For similar reasons flooding has been worse in times of wet weather as run-off has flowed straight into streams and rivers as development has reduced the number of fields and green spaces.


Alan Whitehead, MP for Southampton Test, is celebrating today as the Climate Change & Sustainable Energy Bill achieves House of Commons acceptance.

The Bill which has had to continually ward off the juvenile tactics of two maverick Tory MPs was successful today in its final stages in the House of Commons and now passes to the House of Lords. This has been hailed as a notable achievement across all the parties and by many interest groups.

The Bill had been adjourned at Third Reading as the Rt Hon Eric Forth had continued to talk thus preventing the Bill from passing to the Lords. Dr Whitehead’s own Private Members Bill (PMB) ‘Management of Energy in Buildings’ was derailed earlier in this parliamentary session by similar tactics – during the Second Reading of Dr Whitehead’s PMB Mr Forth talked his Bill out which effectively meant there was not sufficient parliamentary time to pursue it further.

However, at the Committee stage of the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Bill, Dr Whitehead successfully achieved the incorporation of all the key clauses from his own PMB including;

– the better compliance of building regulations in energy efficiency
– the removal of planning permission for micro-generation in homes
– and new regulations to ensure a minimum energy standard in new homes including micro-generation

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What could you do with £2billion?

The cost of the first is estimated at £2bn and it will take 10 years to put up even if the builders work like the clappers and the Government finds a way to ignore all those pesky protests and legal challenges. To build 10 will take at least two decades. But critics say that blows a hole in Mr Blair’s argument for having them. The severe energy shortage that Britain is facing will occur in the next 10 to 15 years. Environmentalists say spending the same billions on the speedier (and cheaper) harnessing of renewable sources such as wind would be better.

From The Independent

Is that an English billion or American? Either way, in that time frame, with that money, we could do so much better than Blair’s nuclear vision. And, of course, there’s no way something that big and controversial could ever come in on budget and in time.

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The rich are killing the world!

A survey for British Gas into energy usage and pollution has found that the worst polluting parts of the country tend to be athe most affluent.

One conclusion to draw from the figures, which indicate that areas of relative affluence are the worst performers, is that people who have more money, spend more on energy.

This may, for example, be in the heating and lighting of bigger homes. In Reading, at the heart of the Thames Valley commuter belt, it may well indicate that local people have more electrical appliances than in other places.

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Lib-Dems would tax polluters off the roads

At least, that’s what they’re proposing, with a high end rate of £2000 a year for the most polluting vehicles. They also plan to change the way airlines are taxed, transferring the burden from a per-passenger to per-flight basis.

The party’s environmental spokesman Chris Huhne said it was vital “to use green taxes as a lever in order to make our behaviour sustainable”.

He said he wanted to “change the cars that we buy rather than the cars that we’re using at the moment”.

The money raised will supposdly be returned as tax cuts, but I’d rather see it used as rebates and incentives for people buying bikes and low pollution vehicles. I’ve just finished contracting and, whilst charging through an umbrella company, could claim back a mileage allowance of 20p a mile for cycling to work. Admittedly there was also a, much higher, allowance for driving to work, but let’s ignore that and see all workers who commit to cycling or using public transport get an allowance. It could be regulated by their employers removing access to free car parking onsite and fines or points for anyone caught defrauding the system.

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Modec Green vans

Modec builds light commercial vehicles that are zero emission, need no road tax and pay no congestion fee. The vehicles use regenerative braking to make the charge go further as well. Obviously the electricity bill will go up as the fuel bill drops but I can imagine them as part of a policy to cut pollution by councils and businesses, particularly if tied to getting their power from windmills and solar.

via EcoStreet

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Modec Green vans

Modec builds light commercial vehicles that are zero emission, need no road tax and pay no congestion fee. The vehicles use regenerative braking to make the charge go further as well. Obviously the electricity bill will go up as the fuel bill drops but I can imagine them as part of a policy to cut pollution by councils and businesses, particularly if tied to getting their power from windmills and solar.

via EcoStreet

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