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Does our Government hate the little guys or just love the big ones more?

We’ve got an ‘economist’ at the helm of the country and it shows.

Between dismantling the Wheat Board and the changes to the way things are in the proposed bill C-18 I guess it’s not surprising that farmers feel the Harper Government of Canada has it in for them. But if you follow the big business way of doing bizniz globally it makes sense because the only farmers that ‘work’ in that plan are ‘customers’ and ‘tenants’. individual farms with small operations ‘make no sense’ in their model and obviously have no pull in Ottawa. Only operations large enough to compete with far away operations are ‘sustainable’ and only if they run their operations with industrial efficiencies. (not my view but theirs)

Provincially the Liberals act like the federal Conservatives.

They’re looking at the Agricultural Land Reserve and it does not appear they are looking at it in a friendly way (unless you are a developer OR want to sell your ALR trapped property to one)

But then what do we need farmers and farms for anyway?

The bulk of most people in the bigger cities never see where or how their food is grown. All they apparently care about is variety and price. More of one and less of the other and they’ll blissfully go along with most anything that big $$ can sell them on.

It’s a shame … that we humans are so easily persuaded to go along and find it hard to find our spines when the real issues show up. But we can be whipped into a frenzy about things that have no real bearing in the big scheme of things.

Where organized sports franchises go and which over-paid ‘athlete’ plays for which billionaire is obviously of much more importance than who makes our food and how much they and their cronies screw with the system.

It’s pathetic really.

The Weapons of Mass Distraction work. And unless you live in Syria or one of the other war torn spots in the world, those are WMD that you will be subjected to and should bother you the most.

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xcience

Asteroids the Reality Game

Remember the arcade game Asteroids?

Remember how it looked when they broke up?

Well for the first time we have gotten to see that happen out there in the asteroid belt. Or at least something like that but without the triangle spitting bullets.

Way back in September a fuzzy mystery object showed up in the Catalina and Pan-STARRS sky surveys. That  got it a look from the Keck telescope to see if it required Hubble. And what Keck saw was dusty envelope nearly the size of earth and inside were 3 bodies. That earned a look-see with Hubble.

To find out more visit this page: http://www.spacetelescope.org/news/heic1405/

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xcience

Big Clouds From Little Forest Particles Grow

Over a decade ago I developed this idea of ‘stories’ to tell the soon-to-be-arriving grandchild about how the world works. And I planned to add a bit of mystery to the mix … my late wife called them little lies that might foster confusion more than elucidation.

One little ‘lie’ was  the idea that mountains grow up just like other things. They are continually being born as smaller rocks in the root balls of trees. The next time you see a freshly knocked over pine tree with an exposed root ball take a peek at it and you will see all these rocks embedded in the dirt and roots … just like little eggs 😉

Another thing born in the trees is clouds … as you drive through the mountains it’s easy to get that impression. The mist seems to rise from the forest and as it climbs it appears to feed the cloud cover.

Well now that particular idea is harder to knock down. Researchers in Finland have discovered aerosol particles apparently appearing from nothing – in mid air in the pine forest. Particles that promote cloud formation. When they looked closer they discovered that this was from vapours that come from the pine trees.

Anything that floats around in the atmosphere is an aerosol.

Knowing this about pine vapours is rather important since airborne aerosols are a big unknown in climate models. (I just realized the pun in that statement – airborne … born in the air) Clouds reflect solar radiation and that’s a cooling effect. Some aerosol particles also reflect but if you don’t know they are there OR are guesstimating how much there is you model may be off. When you’re trying to model climate you need to account (as much as possible) for all the things that go into the mix to get a model that more closely corresponds to reality.

But how do you get from a vapour (gas) to a particle (solid)?

Chemistry.

The thinking was that the vapour molecules combine with ozone molecules and the resulting agglomeration grows and grows with each addition. It starts about 1 nanometer in size and grows to a 3 nanometer particle and these further combine together to become bigger ones of nearly 100 nanometers. So far so good – that explains how you get solids from essentially gases. But the chemistry models predicted a slower growth rate than observation found! Much speedier growth: instead of 3 to 5 Oxygen molecules a day being added what they found is: it is more like 10 to 12. As much as 3 times as fast as they thought.

You can read more about it in the ScienceDaily article here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140226132954.htm

clouds_being_bornSo do those wisps of mist I see rising to the sky come from this process? – or the night’s condensation evaporating with the day’s sunshine and heat?
I know what I’d tell my grandchild first …