Sunday, January 18, 2015

H3: The Chinese Lunar Takeaway

The Chinese see things long-term.
And I mean REALLY looooooooooooong-term!
China used to be regarded as a source of laughable-quality novelty products made by impossibly cheap labourers who worked 20 hours a day for a cup of rice. But then China embraced capitalism 30yrs ago...and never regretted it. Just check the items around you for their production source – the vast majority will say 'Made In China'. China has grabbed the West by the proverbials, and just about torn
'em completely off!
Westerners say "the sky's the limit", but China is looking BEYOND the sky. It's eyeing up the Moon! It landed its first vehicle on the Moon last month, and says it wants to carry out mining operations there!
Why, grasshopper? Because the Moon has H3, a helium isotope with two protons and one neutron. It's rare on Earth but common on the Moon and can produce LOTS of energy! One wheelbarrow of H3 will keep the whole US economy going for a week.
Mining on the Moon…a helluva challenge. Well, don't write off the rice-munching novelty makers: if anyone can do it, these long-term visionaries can! And as the stuff's worth US$5 billion per ton, it's worth the challenge.
There's the slight stumbling block of the 1979 UN Moon Treaty, saying no state has Moon ownership or mining rights and all decisions concerning the Moon and other celestial bodies must be referred to the international community. But surprise, China hasn't signed it. Neither has US…or any of the other countries that've actually sent anything into space!
They're not bound by the treaty, so when it comes to mining the H3, it'll be first-in first-served. And let's face it, when the mining's going on nearly 390,000kms away on a desolate grey dusty rock, who'll be there to complain?
Pass the moon cakes please, Chang.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Pirates Prove Politicos Are Pussies

Rough and dangerous conditions...? Riiiggghhhttt!!!
What do two of the three objects in this pic have in common?
If there's an answer, it's probably something like "they go wherever the winds blow them." It's certainly NOT that they abide by any global rules.
Here's the Royal New Zealand Navy - its offshore patrol vessel HMNZS Wellington, armed and supposedly dangerous - chasing rusting old poaching ships in the Southern Ocean. But WTF? The captains of these pirates stop said naval vessel from boarding, and then manage to ESCAPE?!!!
Yeup, the navy was wanting to gather evidence to use in any future prosecution, after filming fishermen hauling their illegal toothfish catch aboard. But the captains of the Yongding, the Kunlun and the Songhua refused to let the crew board, and did a runner!
Our fumbling Foreign Munster Womble McCully explains that "...due to the conditions and the evasive tactics of the masters it was not possible to safely board these vessels. While disappointing, it's important that we keep the safety of the NZ crew as our paramount consideration."
Disappointing? It's downright embarrassing!
Asked how these DOGS of fishing boats managed to evade the military might of our navy, a defence spokesman passed the buck: "Ask MFAT [Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade]." And from MFAT: "It was an operational decision made for safety reasons." What crap! It reeks of politico gutlessness!
What's wrong with a couple of bursts of 25mm Bushmaster across their bows? In those circumstances, pirate suddenly understand the words "Heave to!" For crissake, when will back-room PC limpdicks step aside and let the military DO THEIR JOB!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Oh, MOW You Don't!

Ohhhh, the joys of a Council blow-out!
Christchurch City Council is considering asking residents to do the very jobs that the Council is charging rates for!!
Council has reduced the maintenance frequency for over a thousand parks and reserves to save costs, and is thinking about
getting ratepayers to mow their local park or reserve instead!
Naturally the peasants are revolting!
Cr Phil Clearwater says "People already mow their berms outside their houses. It's really just an extension of that"…but adds that the brilliant brain fart has not gone further than a discussion at this stage.
Cr Pauline Cotter adds "We're not talking about the big ones" (what, y'mean like Hagley Park, for instance?) "…just pocket parks and green spaces. It wouldn't be letting the city get to rack-and-ruin. It's to try and get people to take ownership. We've all got to step up and save some money here if we want our city fixed."
Fire Service Canterbury area commander David Berry says any long grass is a potential fire risk.
The council will spend $7.3 million this financial year maintaining its parks and reserves…and that's on the REDUCED mowing schedule!
But what do ratepayers think? Not at all surprisingly, 79% of those in The Press's strawpoll say NO F***ING WAY!!!
But I'm sure there'd be plenty of qualified ratepayers prepared to help Council with its book-keeping!