Thursday, June 5, 2008

Having Been Doing A Little Research on a Painted Turtle We Aquired: Here's their life cycle

More here.

Bloody Orkney, Never Been, Probably Now Never Will

Bloody Orkney

Bloody Orkney

This bloody town's a bloody cuss
No bloody trains, no bloody bus
And no one thinks of bloody us
In bloody Orkney.

The bloody folk are bloody mad
The bloody roads are bloody bad
Good night the bright is bloody sad
In bloody Orkney.

Oh bloody crows, Oh bloody rain
No bloody kerbs, no bloody drains
The council's got no bloody brains
In bloody Orkney.

The bloody things are bloody dear
A bloody bob for a bloody beer
And is it good? No bloody fear
In bloody Orkney.

The bloody dances make you smile
The bloody bands are bloody vile
It only cramps your bloody style
In bloody Orkney.

The bloody flicks are bloody old
The bloody seats are bloody cold,
You can't get in for bloody gold
In bloody Orkney.

No bloody fun, no bloody games
No bloody times. The bloody dames
Won't even give their bloody names
In bloody Orkney.

There's nothing greets your bloody eye
But bloody sea and bloody sky
Roll on the mob! we bloody cry
In bloody Orkney.

It's Amazing What You Can Find When You're Really Looking for Two Sunken Nuclear Subs

The story is here.

The 1985 discovery of the Titanic stemmed from a secret United States Navy investigation of two wrecked nuclear submarines, according to the oceanographer who found the infamous ocean liner.

Pieces of this Cold War tale have been known since the mid-1990s, but more complete details are now coming to light, said Titanic's discoverer, Robert Ballard.

"The Navy is finally discussing it," said Ballard, an oceanographer at the University of Rhode Island in Narragansett and the Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration in Connecticut.

Ballard met with the Navy in 1982 to request funding to develop the robotic submersible technology he needed to find the Titanic.


Ronald Thunman, then the deputy chief of naval operations for submarine warfare, told Ballard the military was interested in the technology—but for the purpose of investigating the wreckage of the U.S.S. Thresher and U.S.S. Scorpion.

Since Ballard's technology would be able to reach the sunken subs and take pictures, the oceanographer agreed to help out.

He then asked the Navy if he could search for the Titanic, which was located between the two wrecks.

Once Ballard had completed his mission—if time was left—Thunman said, Ballard could do what he wanted, but never gave him explicit permission to search for the Titanic.

The Thresher and Scorpion had sunk in the North Atlantic Ocean at depths of between 10,000 and 15,000 feet (3,000 and 4,600 meters).

The military wanted to know the fate of the nuclear reactors that powered the ships, Ballard said.

This knowledge was to help determine the environmental safety of disposing of additional nuclear materials in the oceans.

The Navy also wanted to find out if there was any evidence to support the theory that the Scorpion had been shot down by the Soviets.

Ballard's data showed that the nuclear reactors were safe on the ocean bottom and were having no impact on the environment, according to Thunman.

The data also confirmed that Thresher likely had sunk after a piping failure led to a nuclear power collapse, he added. Details surrounding the Scorpion are less certain.

A catastrophic mishap of some sort led to a flooding of the forward end of the submarine, Thunman said. The rear end remained sealed and imploded once the sub sank beneath a certain depth.

"We saw no indication of some sort of external weapon that caused the ship to go down," Thunman said—dismissing the theory that the Russians torpedoed the submarine in retaliation for spying.


With just 12 days left over in his mission, Ballard began searching for the Titanic, using this information to track down the ocean liner. He speculated that the ship had broken in half and left a debris trail as it sank.

"That's what saved our butts," Ballard said. "It turned out to be true."


"The Cold War is over," Ballard said. "I'm no longer in the Navy."

And Atlee Would Know?

"Democracy means government by discussion, but it is only effective if you can stop people talking."
--Clement Atlee

Tagging Snails

From the innercitysnail blog.

Hitch v. The Rabbi

Julia Neuberger, rabbi and Lib Dem peer asks Christopher Hitchens, journalist, critic and author
Q Why are you so angry about religion? Don't you think your very fervour - and certainty - make you just like the religious extremists you profess to despise. And where's the room for doubt in your analysis?
A Oh Christ, not this one again. Anthony Grayling puts it definitively out of its misery in Against All Gods, reprinted as his contribution to The Portable Atheist (ed. C Hitchens) entitled Can an Atheist be a Fundamentalist?
If I may, I will borrow his conclusion: "Any view of the world which does not premise the existence of something supernatural is a philosophy, or a theory or, at worst, an ideology. If it is either of the first two, at its best it proportions what it accepts to the evidence for accepting it, knows what would refute it, and stands ready to revise itself in the light of new evidence. This is the essence of science. It comes as no surprise that no wars have been fought, pogroms carried out or burnings conducted at the stake over rival theories in biology or astrophysics."
Clear? It's not a matter of "room" for doubt. The whole analytical method of humanist materialism is based on scepticism. We take nothing on faith. Imagine what a fortune could be made by a palaeontologist who unearthed human bones and dinosaur bones in the same layer of sediment. I will bet my house that this discovery will not be made, but my bet is not entirely, or at all, an article of belief. It is, rather, a conviction based on the study of evidence.
As to the manner in which I express myself, it rather depends on the antagonist. I'm normally renowned for my patience and good humour, but I admit to being easily bored and, when I come up against, say, a self-righteous rabbi, can be tempted to succumb to sarcasm. I think that may be where your confusion arises. Oh, and I do not "profess" to despise religious extremists. I really do despise them.