Thursday, 30 September 2010

debts? paying back!? joking?!

Peter Schiff about everything and the US debts in particular which are not expected to be paid back, ever! Even China knows!

So how strong will that bill be that the Senate now has to pass on the Yuan and it needing appreciated? It's old news, both, the video and the Yuan but China today is really shivering, hardly laughing like the audience in the above Peter Schiff video, about 40 minutes into the talk, when Peter makes jokes about good old Madoff and the Government's' Ponzi schemes versus what seems like naive China. Seems!

Go and talk to your bank and tell them "You must be joking! You - want your money back?! Kidding me??"

Carpe diem!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

the biggest nonsens in monetary history

Last weekend a conference was held in Berlin: "The EURO ante collapse"; it was completely ignored by the German, the European media; "Russia Today" odd enough, was the only programme reporting about it; here are two videos which will tell you why mainstream was switched off. On the conference's website you find more details.

Here is Professor Wilhelm Hankel explaining the problem, again, only covered by "Russia Today":

No coverage avoids disruption; mainstream is under total control, any and everywhere; a modern and more sophisticated form of what needed a Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda in former times!

Carpe diem!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010


This is beyond any believe; we write the year 2010 in some places of this world.

I feel sorry for them, you and me!

Carpe diem!

Sunday, 26 September 2010

it's either out ... or out ...

... but who, how and when?

Nigel Farage in an interview with Michael Mross on the EURO, it having been a mistake, the timing of its exodus and the undemocratic European Union:

Carpe diem!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

san quentin...

... have a nice weekend, and if you don't know what to do to stop thinking about crap replace smokes and drinks by good music!

Carpe diem!

Ohhh, ...

San Quentin, you've been livin' hell to me
You've hosted me since nineteen sixty three
I've seen 'em come and go and I've seen them die
And long ago I stopped askin' why

San Quentin, I hate every inch of you.
You've cut me and have scarred me thru an' thru.
And I'll walk out a wiser weaker man;
Mister Congressman why can't you understand.

San Quentin, what good do you think you do?
Do you think I'll be different when you're through?
You bent my heart and mind and you may my soul,
And your stone walls turn my blood a little cold.

San Quentin, may you rot and burn in hell.
May your walls fall and may I live to tell.
May all the world forget you ever stood.
And may all the world regret you did no good.

San Quentin, you've been livin' hell to me.

Monday, 20 September 2010

unprecedented pressure

on planet Earth ... but why it is good news as well!

Johan Rockstrom, Executive Director of the Stockholm Environment Institute and the Stockholm Resilience Centre, gave a TED talk in July 2010:

The drama is, of course, that 200 countries on this planet have to simultaneously start moving in the same direction!

Carpe diem!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

the american dream has turned into a nightmare...

...what about (y)our dreams?

From self love to the Tea Party (19-07-2010):

Carpe diem!

Friday, 17 September 2010

was it not us to be(come) world market leader...?

I do remember, it was Gordon Brown's idea, see the Telegraph here. Another one of those brilliant examples of politicians' talk the talk never getting into walk the walk. Another example? CCS!

I am very sure China runs a number of think tanks, this morning one decided to shake up the automobile industry, the one outside PRoC, here is the WSJ article:

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is preparing a 10-year plan aimed at turning China into "the world's leader" in developing and producing battery-powered cars and hybrids, according to executives at four foreign car companies who are familiar with the ministry's proposal.
The draft suggests that the government could compel foreign auto makers that want to produce electric vehicles in China to share critical technologies by requiring the companies to enter joint ventures in which they are limited to a minority stake, the executives say.

So they do it again like they did it with trains, airplanes, ships, lawnmowers, chainsaws, computers, mobiles, toys, clothes and so on and "we" again don't like it...

The plan is "tantamount to China strong-arming foreign auto makers to give up battery, electric-motor, and control technology in exchange for market access," says a senior executive at one foreign car maker. "We don't like it."

Hey, you senior executive, that won't make any difference! We all know that none of these vast Chinese markets ever was meant to be a free market for all to join in under equal rights, conditions and options! The Red Party and the Renminbi will ensure that this is a proper regulated cul-de-sac like so many before and you do what you are told!

Nice, you could almost become jealous of such a strong government and those red cars.

Carpe diem!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

smart meter rubbish

BBC:Smart meters 'may not cut energy use'

Research by a University of Oxford scientist found that the devices alone were unlikely to lead to an overall reduction in the demand for energy.

Indeed, who ever expected a meter hanging on a wall, smart or stupid, to reduce demand? Would you safe gas if the pump meter at the gas station was smart, which it most probably is?

Citing Italy and Sweden as exampled, she said: "They are not being rolled out with the aim of giving customers better feedback, except that the households will get an accurate bill whereas in the past they might have got an estimate.

No, they are rolled out to safe somebody being paid to collect data in situ; accurate, in time, remote monitoring of what is consumed simply helps to charge in time and accurately - it helps the supplier and you pay the cost and ensure profit! That's what is smart about the meter; the rest is bullshit.

"But in [the UK], it is part of government policy that smart meters will be rolled out with real-time electricity displays."

Real time displays: if that display besides the consumption figures gave you the on-time price for what you are or are about to consume that would help; however, you would have to watch it when and while you switched on the washing machine or put the kettle on? That could be at one o'clock at night or seven o'clock in the morning, when we all have our tea... during that time the imported electricity will be most expensive anyway, so you might have a cup of water for breakfast which, no doubt, soon will be monitored by a smart water meter. The suppliers are what's smart here, that's for sure.

No, smart meters do not reduce consumption! Who ever believed or believes in that fairy tale fell or falls for another trick of another trade; don't worry, you are in good company, the government does it again and again.

We should understand and know what we get for our money; the rest is just daffing.

Carpe diem!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

the export power house's think tank

...warns the US ... and the rest of the world.

Ding Yifan, a policy guru at the Development Research Centre, said China could respond by selling holdings of US debt, estimated at over $1.5 trillion (£963bn). This would trigger a rise in US interest rates. 

China's authorities seem split over how to respond to moves on Capitol Hill for legislation to punish Beijing for holding down the yuan. The central bank has ruled out use of its "nuclear weapon", insisting that it would not exploit its $2.45 trillion of foreign reserves for political purposes. "The US Treasury market is a very important market for China," it said. 

These lines are part of an article in today's Telegraph on a Chinese think tank warning the US in case of a trade war to be the loser. It is almost as if the author is on a yellow payroll: or just naive: his lines read as if there was a democratic government in place in China right next to a totally independent Central Bank. Both is definitely not the case.

It is also misleading to talk about $1.5 or even $2.45 trillion as if those were stacked in a big bank's  treasury box. China has made extensive use of the huge surplus it worked so hard for by collecting hard currencies and defend its fancy paper money glued to the US currency's heels. Globalism allowed for one of its major participants to pay with rice and paper and suck up $s and €s; no wonder China's foreign investments jumped from $5.5bn in 2004 to $56.5bn in 2009 and is expected to reach $100bn in 2013; beware: those are the official figures not covering what China does not want us to know! And there is plenty of that.

China's path to lead the way  can be phased as follows: phase I, the time when China sucked up labour and offered cheapest products is dealt with, that is not to say it ever ended; phase II was to suck in know how and equipment under the cover of intensifying phase I; the neo-lib masterminds of all continents celebrated their bonanzas of soaring shareholder values by letting Chinese factories manufacture what then was sold with dream margins to the rest of the world. At the same time know how was not only given away, it was thrown at any Chinese face, interested or not!

Now China is entering phase III where the infrastructure and the resources are in place to run the show, become world market leader in producing more or less any of the mass and most of the future relevant products. High tech or low tech, anything. Just one example: railway.

And while Japan is desparate to devalue its currency (BBC) the Yuan is money to play with: play money..

Carpe diem!

Friday, 10 September 2010

the burial of 10 (US) industries

... Huffington Post...

is naming ten US industries that suffer the most and will never be what they were before the crisis started. That's a huge job loss but then we - I include the UK - obviously have too many jobs anyway; how else will one explain the many, many jobs we let go or even actively displaced to China and elsewhere for the sake of some share-holders' benefit.

By the way, a great part of those "ten (US) industries" the UK is about to lose as well, some (>Auto) is gone already, some might not know or only believe, yet.

Carpe diem!

Monday, 6 September 2010

lie the unthruth

My recent blog on the Highland Housing Expo has triggered some strange reactions. Some asked why I would purposely "damage Scotland's and the Scotts' reputation" by criticising Scottish craftsmen, architects and builders so directly and drastically?


I had described the most obvious which obviously and directly leads to the ones responsible for same! What is wrong with that? The key word here is “responsibility”, which at least in former times, came with every and anything one did. To stick with the subject who ever designed, developed, built, cut, screwed or painted anything was responsible for what and how he did it.

Has that changed? If so, should I say "Sorry, I offended you - I should have lied"??

I had commented elsewhere:

I admire you trying and really managing to say the truth while circumnavigating the obvious which, as in most cases, would include addressing the ones responsible for the disaster. At the same time I doubt whether this helps to improve things, to get better, to learn and train people from craftsmen to architects, engineers to customers per se and in the end to solve problems that we – all and together - need to deal with so desperately.

Not daring to say the truth, being afraid of criticism, of criticizing or simply to may be violate any kind of superstitious law, i.e. a discrimination act or similar … will not help us achieve anything and in the end puts even more responsibility on those hiding behind such excuses as on those not seeing and/or not understanding the real problems.

Tomorrow we will read how great a success it was, all aims achieved, visitors in loads and progress all over, may be next time we add some fireworks; no worries, life goes on and the Affordables will be affordable from now on.

My comment above was "used" against another blogger’s opinion of “how the ideas and buildings shown at the EXPO could be relevant across Scotland” which you will find here.

This opinion, thrown at me by a number of people, is one from a designer’s point of view, something that I had sensibly avoided as a) it is not really my field and b) it definitely is not measurable, hence, no measure for what the Highland Housing Expo was supposed to stand for (if the link doesn’t work here or here might help; I wonder why this website is so slow; will it be shut down a week after the event, already, or do they work on it?

Just to remind us:

Featuring innovative construction and cutting edge sustainable systems the houses will showcase the very latest in product design, landscaping and interiors. Affordability and low running costs are a main part of the design brief.

Any design brief, of course, includes anelement of “art” but the overall majority of the design work would have to be donewith-your-hand-on-the-arm, that’s designing room shapes and sizes, ratios andfunctions, floor plans and elevations, interiors and exteriors.

Today, I am afraid,architects and designers have to include a flood of accurate calculations anddefinitions into their work limiting the artistic elements and forcing those into what might exactly not be what an architect thinks he wants to be doing. But form follows function where function is much more than utilisation like sleeping, working, living or cooking; it does include energy performance and durability ruled by sustainability and – as always - cost. I know, it almost sounds as complicated as a sales pitch for features a’la RV-like slide-outs clad in copper surrounded “by sort-of robust walls” enclosing a Hemingway designed walled garden.

No kidding!

That's a prime example of why I refrain from discussing taste, flavor or design as in “art” and I believe, no arrogance hidden, that is what "designers" and many others should do vice versa. Example? Just one or three… in no relevant order and definitely not to discredit anybody.

While designed to catch one's eye, to make it different, almost unique, think!

Last winter we had 30" of snow, almost three months in a row, so the roof valley above would have been filled with snow, compacting to ice, thawing, freezing, more ice, clogging up the gutters. Is the roof construction made for one, two or three tonnes of ice? In the alps those gutters do have to be heated something which makes efficiency avoiding sustainability! While here design celebrates a form, its primary, most important function has to be questioned, to say the least.

Second example: the hatches (on the photos) were missing, so looking into lofts was easy, as easy as the craftsmen had taken the installation of any type of insulation; that included any pipework in the loft or the underside of any roof. It was explained to me that these were so called "cold roofs", ventilated to avoid condensation...: designed to last and losing heat?!

Well, give me a break. "... cutting edge sustainable systems..."

Apropos cut edges. Click on the next photo to make it larger, please; what you will see is rough, unplained timber, sprayed, it might be called "chalked" but it won't be chalk, it is made from fresh cut wood pieces, just touching, sucking in what should run down.

This clad will be an ongoing subject to maintenance, chemicals and energy, and even with the best intentions it will be hard to keep it up. I won't sing a song for the Scottish timber industry, at least as long the output besides low-grade timber is nothing but hollow words.

Walking with open eyes through and around the expo's houses you could have seen endless examples of how to not do things (another one was to see huge radiator sizes in the smallest rooms - obviously energy demand calculation programmes did not include "designing" the correct radiator surfaces). All that could be regarded as one of the pluses of the expo, at least, as long as customers tried to see and understand; left alone to do so they were! There was also enough material to discuss room sizes and designs or "miniature sinks in family bathrooms behind doors with the hook on the door aiming at the hand washer's skull"; with the majority of comments not really repeatable.

For sure the overall designs must have been a challenge for the Planners; I doubt whether it will be easy to take the vast majority of the designs and copy them elsewhere, at least in the Highlands, without major fights with Planning and neighbours; to go beyond tradition or only push traditional design a wee bit into future will be a challenge. In this respect the expo houses offer a brilliant opportunity for those who want to live in one. By the way, here you will find prices of some of the homes for sale.

Hopefully the area won't end up like somebody commented:

...who's paying him... ? ... those who knit their own yogurt or are placed there due to having nowhere else to live would want to live in the "Goldfish Bowl" that is the development at Highland Expo. Wait to see it in a few years, it will either have been bulldozed or be a very sorry sight of weathered wood and peeling paint.

While the organizers did what they had to do builders, architects, landscapers, bathroom and kitchen designers, even garden and furniture suppliers could have made a difference.

Carpe diem!

addendum: an Inverness Courier article on the energy efficiency of the HHExpo homes (07-092010) in general; somebody not lying the untruth!

greece is paradise...

This is the other side of the Greek coin, the weakest link in what is paradise for those coming from outside the EU:

From Alles Schall und Rauch.

Carpe diem!

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Loch Ness closed

A tourist approaching Loch Ness on A82, the main road wonders whether the next layby is closed or rather 1/2 mile away - or both? Adding to the confusion is the fact that unlike all the other traffic signs those two are lacking the Gaelic translation?!

For close to two years the most prominent and first stop on the shores of Loch Ness has been closed: no money and the bins are full!

Carpe diem!


Wednesday, 1 September 2010

carbon for the winter last

are you getting ready for a cold winter?

no! for the last!

No, I won't discuss this stupid "wood is carbon neutral again" while my nose is still full of those fossil fumes from the chainsaw, the tractor and the hydraulic splitter from yesterday's workout in the forest.

Last Winter we ran out of gas (LPG) which fires our CHP Island solution (i.e. off-grid); producing electricity and thermal energy (i.e. heat). The gas tanker - a high-tech-one-wheel-drive (1WD) with no locks but on Formula 1 slick-like tyres, what else would you expect North of Loch Ness - wouldn't make it up for weeks. So we installed two 48kg bottles and had the complex of 22,000 sqft run on bottled gas, one lasting two days! Hard to believe it worked, electricity-wise and for some of the thermal energy we need; for the additional heat we started up the good old 110kW wood-chip boiler which we hadn't used for three or four years. Worked so-so and we had to chip more wood to fill the hopper; at minus five feeling rather like -18°, a solidly frozen chipper and horizontal snowstorms not really my favourite amusement; but again, and lucky us it worked.

This year, surprise, we want to be prepared and with this crazy weather all around the globe who knows what this coming Winter or the next will have in mind for us.

So we cut about 30 stacked cubic metres of wood; that's more than what 4 to 5 hectare of matured woodland reproduce every year. 0.7 kg CO2 are stored per square meter and year, so, once fired we will have emitted what CO2 the 45,000m² have not stored in one year, i.e. 31,5 tonnes! That's a load - and a nice plot of land, isn't it?

I don't know in detail how long it will last us; in theory this depends very much on the quality of the wood, humidity and how old it is and in practice, how cold it will be; as we cleaned up wind fallen trees as well the moisture content and quality defer very much. I will monitor the figures - however, theory would calculate about 1 cubic metre spruce weighing app. 350 kg, the equivalent of 1.400 kw/h, so we stacked 42,000 kWh.

So far so easy; but we are replacing LPG; 1 kg LPG equals 12.4kw/h, so in theory we will then not burn about 3,390 kg of LPG which are about 6,600 litres and not emit about 9.3 tonnes of CO2 but then, surprise, surprise, 31.5 tonnes while burning that wood will not be stored.

Understood? It just tells us how difficult and complicated the process of replacing fossil fuels with any renewables is and will be... it also tells us all that every single step, theory, material and technology will have to be thoroughly analysed and it tells you that burning wood emits more CO2 than using gas! Why?

... and still the forest needs replanting, managing, protecting, harvesting...

The proof is in the pudding - and in lots of muscles.

Carpe diem!