Day 1

Dicky Beach in the late afternoon. I haven’t been down here for a very long time. As I approached the beach I saw the Dicky Beach surf club. I remember playing a gig there when I was in high school. I was never a surfie, and my connection with the skegs (slang for surfie when I was growing up) was music. I used to feel that I was “tolerated”, although not fully accepted, in that group because I was a good bass player, in fact at the time I think I was one of three bass players around my age in Caloundra. The drummer in my first band lived in the caravan park adjoining the beach.

dickybeach2003_10_31.jpg

I got drunk for the first time at this beach; polished off half a bottle of scotch. Needless to say I didn’t hold my drink real well. Abused someone, got beaten up for my efforts, and tried to pretend I was sober talking to my friend’s parents on the way home. Crashed and burned at another friends house until I was able to bluff my way back into my own house.

Just after I took this photo, the local surf club’s “little nippers” – young kids that want to learn what’s involved in being surf lifesaver, started their training. There was a cold wind blowing, but it didn’t stop the ten kids from jumping into the surf for their training. Madder than me!

Global warning not happening?

NASA’s Earth Observatory: Dwindling Arctic Sea Ice.

“According to a new NASA study, Arctic perennial sea ice has been decreasing at a rate of 9 percent per decade since the 1970s. The changes in Arctic ice may be a harbinger of global climate change, says Josefino Comiso, researcher at Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Maryland. In a recent Journal of Climate paper, Comiso notes that most of the recent global warming occurred over the last decade, with the largest temperature increase occurring over North America. Researchers suspect the loss of Arctic sea ice may be caused by changing atmospheric pressure patterns over the Arctic that move sea ice around, and by warming Arctic temperatures that result from the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”

The pictures on the site are startling. And yet the oil companies and their cronies (like Bush and Cheney, and by extension Howard) continue to claim that it’s a figment of the scientific community’s imagination. And think, China’s use of cars is increasing dramatically as we speak.

As Sting paraphrases eloquently: What good is a used up world and how could it be worth having?

BBC: US global warming bill rejected.

WiFi in Qld

Just found out that the Xone WiFi network has a public hotspot in Mooloolaba – close to where I’ll be on the weekend.

Cool! I’ll be sure to post a piccy of the beach I’ll be sitting next to 😉

Magnetic Storms

BBC: Earth buffeted by big solar flare.

I was first made aware of magnetic flares, or solar storms, a few years ago when I was working on a job that involved satellite internet transfers. The concern was that a solar storm could knock out comms for a period of time, or in a rare circumstance could take out a satellite itself.

The article mentions “A less powerful flare, also in 1989, caused disruption of power grids in Canada.”, “The geomagnetic storm has caused compasses to swing wildly.” and “Japan’s space agency has announced that its Kodama communications satellite has been affected by the flare. It has been shut down with the hope it can be reactivated when the storm has passed.”

Devastating possibilities…

ICRC reducing Iraq Presence

BBC: Red Cross to cut Iraq staff.

“The ICRC has an essential role to play in Iraq while the country is under occupation, our correspondent adds.

One of its main functions is monitoring the treatment of detainees, acting as an independent watchdog to make sure the coalition does not violate international humanitarian law.”

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