Monday, November 29

Duvet and blanket combo

In these chilly times it can be difficult keeping warm in bed, especially if you don't have central heating. An efficient and cheap trick I discovered in the last few years is the discovery of the duvet/blanket combo.

What I do is spread an old blanket (probably circa 1950s/1960s) over the top of the duvet so that the blanket drapes over the sides of the bed and duvet. This creates an additional layer, but more importantly helps weigh down the duvet so it doesn't move around so much and helps to fill gaps between the duvet and mattress that may develop when you move around.
Because the blanket is a more flexible material, when the duvet shifts to one side, the blanket fills any gaps that might let cold air in. It is important that the blanket drapes over the sides of the bed.

The result is that I am usually cozy warm in the morning, instead of waking up with a cold back or bum because the duvet is half hanging off the bed!

A really cheap and efficient solution to a modern problem, assuming you can still get your hands on a blanket!

Wednesday, November 24

Search facility works again!

I had to remove the site Search facility a number of months ago because it suddenly stopped working and it stayed like that for weeks.

But now it seems to work again, possibly because the Blogspot staff have fixed a bug?
So I have put the search box back in the menu column. Should be easier now to find past posts and specific subjects.

Monday, November 22

Is Carbon Dioxide pollution?

There is an (unfounded) debate as to whether CO2 should be called pollution. The common mistake many people make is that pollution must be damaging to human health in order for it to be called pollution.

This of course is incorrect, although skeptics throw out knowledge and go with the common belief as outlined above when they say CO2 is not a pollutant. The meaning of the word pollutant changes as culture changes, so today we have light pollution and noise pollution. Three hundred years ago we didn't have these problems or didn't really bother to much about them.

Today light pollution stops us seeing all the stars and noise pollution interferes with birds living patterns. CO2 is a new pollution problem, its become a problem because it has an impact on our climate and oceans, that in turn has an impact on us and the planet.

So by definition CO2 is a pollutant. We shouldn't be afraid of calling it that, but we should be afraid of the consequences of not controlling how much we emit.

More Climate Science

Friday, November 19

Video time

We haven't had a video for some time, so here is a video/radio show from New Zealand and KiwiFM. It has a lot of interesting stuff, including Naomi Oreskes the author of 'Merchants of Doubt' and John Cook of Skeptical Science:

Tuesday, November 16

Waterlooville Library - meet your local tree wardens

Havant Borough Tree Wardens are holding a 'coffee morning' at Waterlooville library, where members of the public can talk to a local tree warden. Anyone interested in the voluntary work they do, would like to learn about local trees or are interested in becoming a tree warden, go along and check it out.

Date: 17 Dec
Time: 10:00 to 12:00
Location: Waterlooville library, ground floor

Thursday, November 11

Newlands designs look as bland as predicted

Artists impressions of the Newlands homes have appeared in todays 'The News', the local Portsmouth newspaper.

As feared the designs are bland and look like modified council houses that can be found over at Leigh Park, which ironically is what councillor Gwen Blackett didn't want. Having looked at the artists impression the homes look like they have small windows, which will mean a greater dependency on non passive heating systems. Plenty of sunlight coming into the home and substantially thick or insulated walls are what are required to reduce the need for heating using fuels, electricity etc.
This is achieved by appropriate orientation of every home and abandoning traditional street layouts.

At a time when we need a real commitment to cutting carbon emissions and should be building homes that will be around for over hundred years and have a minimum carbon impact, the old school are dominating locally with ridiculously dated and inappropriate designs.

Some basic information about passive design:

An example:

I did post something about this a few months ago, however the post was hijacked by 'interested' parties making comments, a lot of the visits to this blog at the time were from outside Waterlooville, many from the London area and from locations that had not previously visited the blog. Once the interest died down, the traffic from those locations trailed off. I let readers draw their own conclusions from that information.

Sunday, November 7

The Wonders of the Modern Economy - lesson 1

Today we learnt about the crazy world that we live in. Many people do jobs where they sit in front of computers dealing in goods that don't exist and people sale us products that aren't needed, often getting paid 10s or 100s of thousands of pounds for doing those pointless and needless jobs.

In the mean time the people that don't fit in with this worthless culture and are long term unemployed, will be forced to work on essential projects that do have some worth for less than the minimum wage. All because the greater society created a system that does not provide a place for them.

I remember in the 80s, companies employed people that clearly weren't needed, some old bloke would sit in the corner with a broom in a big factory, pretending he was needed. That's the problem, someone has to either employ useless people and suffer the consequences or the state has to keep them going, or is the ultimate government policy euthanasia for the misfits that are unemployable?

I think the proposal announced today for the long term unemployed would be fine if they were paid the national minimum wage for the work they were forced to do.
There is of course the idea that these jobs need doing and if that is the case, then they should be advertised as genuine jobs on minimum wages. Otherwise the Coalition may be accused of using cheap labour, but also having strict rules about the low cost labour black market, where kids from Romania work in our fields.

Society in general has to get to the grips with the fact that the land we live in needs to be maintained, that costs money, which means less money for the pleasurable things in life.

We will have to see how this one pans out.