Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday Fat Jet, Friday Flat Jet

You could just about reach up and tickle her tummy...
...Or look over her shoulder.
(Look at this for a USAF C-17 at Avalon. And here for one at Richmond - look carefully for what I think is a compressor stall on the backup!)
...And a Pig producing about equal amounts of thrust and noise on full AB. (More here).

All photos courtesy of Alex.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Base data on Global Warming

[Data Origin- Hadley Climate Research Unit Temperature anomaly (HadCRUT) - UK - sourced from this site]

The blog gets traffic based on 'Global Warming & Stefan-Boltzmann related searches. Seems a lot of folk are taking the trouble to do some research for themselves into the subject. That has to be a positive thing.

This site and this one, had some comments that made for interesting reading. But more to the point, it referenced the sources of the most basic data - the monitoring points for measuring the Earth's temperature. It is THAT data which should drive comment and debate, not the politics and fashion of a bandwagon effect for those who let others do their thinking for them.

So what are those sites, and what do they say.

Visit them for yourself. They are; The Hadley Center for Climate Prediction (UK Met Office), data here; NASA's GISS (Goddard Institute), data here; UAH (University of Alabama in Huntsville), (data) (A really good background article here); and RSS (Remote Sensing Systems), (data).
[NB - I'll update this with more information in days to come - but this is an interesting start - please look critically and don't just look for data that supports your perceptions].

(A UAH Newsletter had this interesting observation;
"All leading climate models forecast that as the atmosphere warms there should be an increase in high altitude cirrus clouds, which would amplify any warming caused by manmade greenhouse gases," he said. "That amplification is a positive feedback. What we found in month-to-month fluctuations of the tropical climate system was a strongly negative feedback. As the tropical atmosphere warms, cirrus clouds decrease. That allows more infrared heat to escape from the atmosphere to outer space." [Dr Roy Spencer].


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tuesday Thin Jet

Another great pic from Alex's portfolio. RAAF 707 Tanker/Transport.

Not many left. To be replaced by these, A330 based MRTTs - Multi Role Tanker Transport aircraft.

The farewell art work on the tail is impressive. And those turbojets sound pretty impressive on full song too.

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Wednesday Bugsmasher. (Isn't she boo'ful?).

Fighters, and newer aircraft like the C-17 get a lot of attention, but these lovely ladies have long been the true workhorses and often unsung heroes for the RAAF. This is an 'H' model, we also have the 'J' variant in service.
(From the camera of Alex).
My time in the RAAF was spent first on these, and later these as well (11 Sqn and later 492 Sqn. - great aircraft for a tech - several tonnes of electronics to keep you interested).

[Update 21May08: Image re-uploaded - link to Alex's album didn't work too well!]

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Monday, May 05, 2008

Zorba meets the Dreamtime

This is a bit of a Youtube hit apparently, some Aboriginal dancers doing 'Zorba';

...and not to forget the original.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Getting better - sans Appendix.

Hi All. Thought I should get back to posting again and try to explain my absence of the last few weeks from the blogosphere.

The quick story is that I suffered a ruptured appendix, which was (eventually) detected, removed, and I'm now recovering.

Want a longer explanation?
I first presented to the local Medical Centre thinking I had food poisoning or something in late March, had blood tests (which showed an elevated blood white cell count), and then an ultrasound (to cross off appendicitis as the problem).
The ultrasound didn't find anything wrong with the appendix (though I'm now told ultrasound is not the best tool for checking the appendix - a CT scan is). It did find a few other problems, including a hernia in the 'area of pain'. Aha! I was then referred to a surgeon for a hernia op. Sorted (or so we thought). Trouble is - I continued to feel progressively more and more unwell, becoming 'profoundly unwell' (I put it down to a virus or something, and tried to 'work through it').
Eventually, at work a week or 2 later, I ran into the proverbial brick wall, utterly fatigued, and feeling the worst I can recall feeling , ever. I went home early (1 1/2 hr drive), and rested. I think that is the day my appendix ruptured.
Next day, felt substantially better (I'm now told that is common after the appendix 'lets go') went to work, but again cut the work day short - not due to pain - which strangely, I didn't have a lot of - but fatigue. I just ran out of puff. That was Friday, tried to make a medical appointment, but none available until Monday. Spent the weekend resting, but feeling worse, and worse.
As this site puts it, I was VERY fortunate (perhaps someone is looking after me?). The body has a defence mechanism, which thankfully kicked in and saved me from septis, and probably saved my life;
"...Occasionally the body is able to control an appendiceal perforation by forming an abscess. An abscess occurs when an infection is walled off in one part of the body....
...The most serious complication of appendicitis is rupture. The appendix bursts or tears if appendicitis is not diagnosed quickly and goes untreated. Infants, young children, and older adults are at highest risk. A ruptured appendix can lead to peritonitis and abscess. Peritonitis is a dangerous infection that happens when bacteria and other contents of the torn appendix leak into the abdomen. In people with appendicitis, an abscess usually takes the form of a swollen mass filled with fluid and bacteria...".
Monday, saw doctor, who packed me off to the Hospital Emergency Department. Things moved quickly from there, blood tests, CT scan, admission to hospital.
They didn't operate immediately, I was 'stabilised' first (which seemed to involve nuking my system with several antibiotics and 'stuff'). I was operated on on the Tuesday (my first ever general anesthetic).
I woke up in recovery with canulas, drips, catheters, drains, oxygen hoses in my nose, and, surprisingly, not feeling bad at all (Due it seems to 4 hourly morphine shots for the next few days - that worried me, as I didn't want ANY chance of getting too dependent on that particular medication. They wound it back for me).
Spent the next week or so in hospital (the nurses at Bowral Hospital are GREAT! - as was the emergency staff and my surgeon and anesthetist, who explained everything that had happened, or was about to).
I'm now back at home, slowly recovering (getting looked after by wife and daughter). I've lost (besides an appendix), about 10kg. Still very wobbly and fatigued, but improving daily. Hopefully back to sort of normal (and work), soon.