Daily archives: June 6, 2006

Heavensent 5.1

The ship made straight for the cliff wall, nudged along by tugs. From this vantage point it was impossible for Boran to see the cave mouth he knew was there. He braced against the railings for the sound of rending metal.

The ship disappeared and the tugs zipped back into the fjord, tooting excitedly at their achievement. Boran set off for The Shaft. His guard was closer than normal, he noticed, and some of the workers were eyeing him. A thousand spans straight down would be too tempting an accident to happen to an important official. Away from the cluster of buildings, he could hear the roar of the Tyalin falls again, where the great river of the Plains plummeted into the fjord.

Some of that water was being redirected. Sluice gates were being opened to start turning the gears that closed the huge gates across the cave entrance. The three pressure locks would begin filling when the doors were locked into place. The Shaft filled slightly faster than the tide rose, but the conjunction did help to equalise pressures.

Water was being redirected from the river to The Shaft now, flowing into grooves in the wall and hardly sloshing on the way down. Far below were the lights of the ship, its bulk lost in the shadows. Boran wanted to stay to see the ship raised and released into the river. He had never been allowed out here as a child, never known anyone with connection to this fascinating piece of engineering. But the transfer would take until high tide and he wasn’t allowed to spare that much time.

The Shaft master was waiting at the control cabin with the log of ships through the system. One up and one down was the usual way of things, but in the docks above and below The Shaft were three days backlog of ships. Boran checked the manifests. “You can get smaller barges in the empty space?”

“It is complicated, but yes sir.”

“Then that is what you do. The Maneet can offload and head back upstream, carrying what little the Shinto has aboard. Shinto takes on Maneet’s load and returns down the coast.”

“Yes sir.”

The crew of the Maneet would not be happy, no-one was attacked sailing down the coast to the warm thighs of their wives. They could take it up with Janssen, and Boran would ensure a rota so each ship had its tour up the river.

There was nothing else to do here. “Someone bring my motor around. I must get back to my office.”

Heavensent 5.2
Heavensent 4.9
Heavensent 1.1

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World Cup widows?

Okay, I’m insulted by the first paragraph of this article, and they just go on to compound their errors in the second. The people I know who “have no desire to distinguish a Mirzapour from a Schwarzer” are not a minority and are equally male and female. I am bored to death of the assumption that all men are fascinated by 22 blokes kicking a bladder around and insulted by lazy articles aimed at “the laydeez”.

Despite the rant, here’s links to-

Stop the World Cup

World Cup Widows Club

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Causing chaos and delay on the Underground

I was a bit nervous on Saturday whilst riding the rails under London. Not because I was afraid of anything going kaboom, but because I was carrying a backpack around. The Met’s reputation for shooting the wrong people is further reinforced by the news that Friday’s terror raid in London was based on bad intelligence.

Update The, likely innocent, injured suspect was shot by a cop in a CBRN suit with gloves so thick he couldn’t even tell he’d pulled the trigger.

(Not entirely related song lyric- Lean On Me, I Won’t Fall Over, Carter USM, Straw Donkey: the singles)

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We will laugh the day that Thatcher dies, Even though we know it's not right, We will dance and sing all night.

Downing Street is planning a state funeral for former prime minister Baroness Thatcher, according to reports.

I’m planning a big party, maybe including burning her in effigy.

Labour MP and former defence minister Peter Kilfoyle said the idea was wrong.

“I know that she has been a keen admirer in the present prime minister, but how could such an accolade be justified?” he asked.

“Despite her obvious inclinations, she was not head of state – head of government it is true, but without the historic triumphs and popular acclaim which led to Churchill’s unique distinction.

“He brought the country together in its time of need; she split the country asunder.”

(The Day Thatcher Dies, Hefner, We Love the City)

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The African Humid Period and its lessons on Global Warming

Between 8,000 to 5,500 years ago the Earth was as warm as it is now, and the Sahara was a rainforest. Much of this was down to the Earth’s tilt, or precession, the stronger sun on the greenery driving water further inland to keep even the heart of the area moist. Over the course of a century the Sahara’s ecosystem collapsed as the precession continued and changed sunlight levels and localised browning reduced the amount of moisture to be transferred. Now the dust that used to be the bed of lake Megachad is picked up by the wind and carried across the Atlantic to fertilise the Amazon.

It’s possible that global warming could see a return of heavy rains to the Sahara and a regreening of the arid zone. However this isn’t such good news on the global scale as other areas, notably prosperous zones like the west of North America, suffer ever longer drought periods. The Amazon could collapse as the Sahara blooms.

The Independent article linked to is an edited extract from The Last Generation by Fred Pearce.

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Tycoons against CO2

A dozen representatives of big business will today meet with Tony Blair to urge him to take stronger action against CO2 emmissions and do more to combat climate change. They, rightly, argue that forcing British industries to innovate will make them more efficient and give them a lead in what is going to be a major field.

Other industry groups, of course, have argued the opposite. I think it’s time to close down the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) because they obviously don’t have their members’ best interests at heart. Every time I hear Sir Digby Jones on Today he sounds like an arrogant buffoon. I know I wouldn’t want him speaking for me.

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Green Transport Week

Next week is Green Transport Week. Check out the events list to see what’s going on in your area.

Green Transport Week aims to:

* Raise awareness of transport impact on the environment.
* Highlight transport alternatives.
* Make people stop and think before they go somewhere.
* Send a message to the government on green transport and environmental issues.

via Mancubist, who’s looking forward to going on a few journeys with his free DayRider ticket.

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