Archive for 2008
Starting tomorrow, Monday, I will be attending the “Geostatistics 2008” conference. I am already in Santiago, the first time south of the equator. It’s December, and I had breakfast today on the patio. Wow. Yesterday I toured the city and had one of the best fish soups of my life. Today I went up to Cajon del Maipo, touched the Andes for the first time, enjoyed the fantastic scenery.
Now I am looking forward to a great conference, lots of new experiences and ideas. I will give a talk on tuesday afternoon around 4pm. The show is at the Sheraton Hotel in Santiago, if you’re in the area…
Maybe I can even attract some visitors to this site!
- Diesel from Fungus:*http://twiturl.de/cesge #
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For already quite a while doughnut-shaped water bottles are available in Finnish supermarkets. The idea is, to donate 10 cents of each sold bottle for the protection of the Baltic Sea. Is this sensible? The bottle is a disposable one. The water is tap water. It isn’t even sparkling water, because most people don’t like bubbles in water (as long as there isn’t also hop and malt).
In most bars and restaurant in Finland you get tap water for free. There are no additional costs for transport and packaging and you can be sure the water is potable. As long as you don’t live in Nokia, there is absolutely no reason to buy bottled water. Drinking tap water and investing some money in a proper waste water treatment at the summer cottage is probably far more sensible than doughnut-shaped bottles.
Anyway, the advertisement video is nice. Participants are Bam Margera, HIM and Jorma Uotinen, which is a famous Finnish dancer.
I came across the site of charitywater, who put an enormous effort into their website to help and drill wells. If it’s your birthday, you can sign up there and let people give money to those guys.
As a hydrogeologist, I want to point you also to hydrogeologists without border, who work along similar lines, but are trained hydrogeologists. I guess already from their name and the similarity to the probably better known medicines sans frontiers / doctors without borders, you can easily derive what their goal is.
Update Wednesday; April 22, 2009: Drinking Water for Life is another option if you are looking into ways to support people who can’t afford drinking water.
Update Sunday; April 26, 2009: Please check also “charity:water” out
Slideshare announced the winners of their presentation contest. The winning presentation is a cool summary about the importance of drinking water. Check it out:
On Friday I’m leaving for Southampton, UK. From Monday to Wednesday there’s the conference “geoEnv 2008“. I’m quite excited: There are many exciting speakers from the geostatistics community who I have never heard live let alone met. The conference seems to be organized really well. And I am going to give a talk on tuesday afternoon, entitled “Applications of Copulas in Geostatistics”. I would be really surprised if anybody who reads this here would actually be in Southampton, but if this should be the case, I sure would be happy to meet you, and buy you a beer!
It turns out that there is a dinner organized in the evening after my talk on restored classic british sailing ship.
Due to this conference, this blog here will likely be updated less frequently than usually. I hope you guys can understand!
I just found a few interesting links related to Gustav, the Tropical storm that is going to hit the US Gulf Coast:
The Olympics are over. They are still, despite the doping problems, an awesome sports events. I did not get the chance to watch much due to the time difference between China and Germany. But I do have one favorite moment: the team table-tennis semi-finals between Germany and Japan. Such a close game, and so brilliant sports. Pictures connect and I just found this blog by the gang of Newsweek photo-journalists, some exceptional photographers, who covered the Olympics for their magazine. Shown below are some images related to water from those guys blog.
One of these Newsweek photographers, Donald Miralle, writes about one such cool moment, the 100m mens’ final. He describes how such moments remain cool moments, but the main characters fade away very soon:
[...] Peter Reid Miller of Sports Illustrated posed the question to me tonight before the start of the finals, “Do you even remember who won the 100 in Athens?” I was there, I shot it, I remember taking an OK frame of it, but for the life of me I couldn’t remember who won [It was Justin Gatlin of the U.S.--ED]. And you know why, after tonight NOBODY CARES. The athlete, whether it’s one of the Jamaicans or the American, will be on the front cover of every newspaper and Website for the next 24 hours. You won’t see them again in the headlines for another four years. Unless, that is, one of them tests positive for doping…
Besides sports, the Olympic games put the focus on China. Here in Germany, every day there was some report on something in China. This is, I think, how this relates to planetwater: So many people live in China, and there are so many environment-related problems. Some problems were created specifically because of the Olympics — the water for the white water canal had to come from somewhere, whereas everything in this area usually is rather dry. So these are some environmental problems related to the Olympics I am aware of:
- water problems — this is only one example of many. And we will not talk about the Three Gorges Damn now.
- air quality problems do exist (see also here) in Peking, for the Olympics cars were taken from the road (Spiegel a and b), and factories were shut down
- there were health concerns before the start of the Olympics, I haven’t heard, seen, or read any about this after the start of the Olympics
- there were big problems with algae in the water where the sailing and rowing events took place. The algae were removed by manual labour. These problems did not seem to exist during the Olympics
For the course of the Olympics, it seemed like those problems were handled (maybe not exactly solved) fairly well. But what about now? Factories can not be shut down for ever. And I would guess that the cars will push onto the streets again fairly soon. And the eye of the international media will not be there anymore, not to the extent as during the Olympics anyways. The human rights issues that exist in China were not ignored in “Olympic TV coverage”, and human rights are the basis for any human being:
- two old women were sentenced to re-education camp after they tried to protest for not receiving sufficient compensation when their homes were seized for redevelopment. This story was picked up in Germany by the ZDF, and had prominent air time during two news broadcasts.
- before the start of the Olympics people were given the right to speak out their opinions if they apply to do so. After the start of the Olympics it became clear that nobody was granted that right
Some people claim there is a set-back regarding human rights in China due to the Olympics. Who will report, not to speak of control, when the majority of the media is gone and TV time-slots are back to normal and away from China? And what will happen with and in Tibet? Nobody has talked about all those protests when the Olympic fire was in San Francisco and other places. What will happen to the people that wanted to demonstrate during the Olympics? Let’s hope things don’t get worse after the Olympics than they were before. How should human beings care for the environment or clean up environmental pollution, if their individual rights are not existent? I found this picture that captures the point of authors cited in this post here. Along the same lines follows the quote below by Sharon Hom, Executive Director of HRIC.
The carefully orchestrated facade could not conceal a police state that tramples on human rights.
Neataroma.com has a post on “5 really weird things about water”. These 5 points are:
- Hot Water Freezes Faster Than Cold Water
- Supercooling and “Instant” Ice
- Glassy Water
- Quantum Properties of Water
- Does Water Have Memory? Bonus: Ice Spikes Bonus 2: Make Instant Snow with Boiling Water
Item 5 does a fairly good job in explaining how Homeopathy is supposedly working!