Archive for June, 2007
Edward Burtinsky is a Canadian Photographer, who gained some fame through his work he called “manufactured landscapes”. These include glowing orange-red rivers originating in mine waste piles flowing through some of the most beautiful fractured limestone.
Burtinsky has recently been to China and his latest movie, also called “Manufactured Landscapes” opened a few days ago in New York City according to J-Walk, however rottentomatoes says it was released in 2006. The photographs are stunning, so I bet the moving pictures are worth it too!
There has been considerable uproar in Germany, especially in the blogging community, that flickr is censoring. Examples include “Sprechblase” and “e-ality“. Admittedly, this has nothing to do with water, but it is important for society in general and for the blogging community in general.
The newsweek has a report on a little device that is really cheap and supposedly can produce small amounts of clean water.
The Loetschberg Basis Tunnel is completed and the first train rode through it. This tunnel together with the Gotthard tunnel are the two main tunnels through the Alps in Switzerland, connecting the north (Germany) with the south (Italy). The Gotthard tunnel is still under construction and will not be completed for another few more years.
The Loetschberg tunnel is about 35 kilometers long, and will be used for cargo trains putting trucks on the train, and for high speed passenger trains. Cars will still go over the mountains. Before the construction about 1.5 million trucks travelled through Switzerland in north-south direction. After completion, the number is expected to drop to 650,000. Besides these environmental savings, the ride through the tunnel will save time as it is twice as fast as the ride over the mountain and will be cheaper than the truck prices for truck companies
How is this related to water? — As any tunnel they had huge water inflows at various stages of drilling, and there is a pretty neat water collection system in place now for the normally infiltrating groundwater.
In 2003 I was part of a field trip to the south portal in Raron, Switzerland. We saw the drilling machine in action, and the geotechnical lab and the rock-recycling facility.
According to the New Scientist, the Amish are very fast in adapting solar power. By now, 80% of the Amish families in the largest Amish community in the world in Ohio, own solar power. Reasons for the quick adoption include:
- safety concerns (gas lamps were a fire hazard)
- legal requirements (transportation code requires horse buggies to be lit)
- remain separated from the rest of American society by not hooking on to the electricity grid
After having lived in close proximity to Mennonites for a few years, and having enjoyed their agricultural products, and missing those products now that they are not available to me anymore, I do acknowledge the importance of such communities. In Waterloo they live peacefully together with the rest of the community, everybody chuckles about their horse buggies, but everybody is delighted by their fine potatoes, their fine produce, and their fine work.
Measuring how much rain falls during a given time, the meteorological parameter “rainfall intensity”, is difficult to measure. It gets even more difficult if the goal is to measure the spatial distribution of rainfall, and how it changes over time.
The Convective and Orographically-induced Precipitation Study (COPS) will try and use different new remote sensing techniques and proven ground based or air borne techniques such as lidars, radars, precipitation detectors. Obviously over a large are, the Black Forrest in south-west Germany. The german news station ZDF has quite an enthusiastic report on this measurement-campaign and the improvement the scientists will gain for mathematical weather forecasting.