planetwater

ground- water, geo- statistics, environmental- engineering, earth- science

Archive for November, 2009

Identi.ca Updates for 2009-11-30

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  • Stuttgart wants to buy infrastructure back; was cross-border-leased. Losses in the order of millions euros expected http://twiturl.de/pomes #

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November 30th, 2009 at 9:00 am

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Identi.ca Updates for 2009-11-29

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November 29th, 2009 at 9:00 am

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A Virus Walks Into A Bar

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This is a science blog, somehow. This is a great science video:

via 3quarksdaily

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November 25th, 2009 at 7:18 pm

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Identi.ca Updates for 2009-11-25

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November 25th, 2009 at 9:00 am

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Garbage in the Oceans

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I have written in the past about garbage in the world’s oceans (here and here).

About a week ago, the New York Times has a story that is extremely moving in my opinion on that topic. In short, two thoughts just blow my mind:

  • “the Pacific garbage patch, an area of widely dispersed trash that doubles in size every decade and is now believed to be roughly twice the size of Texas“.
  • The biggest problem of the garbage is plastic: “… when a predator — a larger fish or a person — eats the fish that eats the plastic, that predator may be transferring toxins to its own tissues, and in greater concentrations since toxins from multiple food sources can accumulate in the body”.

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November 17th, 2009 at 8:37 pm

Identi.ca Updates for 2009-11-15

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November 15th, 2009 at 9:00 am

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Identi.ca Updates for 2009-11-09

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November 9th, 2009 at 9:00 am

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Bohrunfall in Wiesbaden

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Bei Bauarbeiten am Finanzministerium in Wiesbaden ist es zu einem spektakulären Unfall gekommen: unerwartet wurde ein gespannter Grundwasserleiter angebohrt. Das unter Druck stehende Wasser bahnte sich seinen Weg durch das Bohrloch nach oben, was in einer relativ imposanten Fontäne resultierte:

Alternative Text

Das Wiesbadener Tagblatt berichtet hier und hier. Siehe auch Berichte in der Sueddeutschen und vom Hessischen Rundfunk. Interessant ist dass bei spaeteren Meldungen von einer “Wasserblase” die Rede ist, und nicht mehr von einem gespannten Grundwasserleiter.

Hier ist eine Fotostrecke.

Ist jemand vor Ort und kann Erfahrungen schildern?

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November 6th, 2009 at 8:50 am

Identi.ca Updates for 2009-11-05

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November 5th, 2009 at 9:00 am

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Design

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This is the story of a designer, who worked at google. He explains how design at google is extremely data driven.

Yes, it’s true that a team at Google couldn’t decide between two blues, so they’re testing 41 shades between each blue to see which one performs better. I had a recent debate over whether a border should be 3, 4 or 5 pixels wide, and was asked to prove my case.

Picking up the google story, Scott Stevenson argues in this mini-pamphlet how important designers’ judgments in software design are.

How does this relate to planetwater.org or my work? I am obviously not mainly in software design. What I have done recently is I have been going through a lot of iterations of one problem with a master’s level student of mine. It has been a lot of fun at times and it has been frustrating at times. We could have tackled the problem by “just do it”. However, we took a lot of paths away from the main path, and we did learn a lot. Maybe it was not the most direct way, maybe we also created a lot of “failures”, maybe we could have been quicker. We did learn a lot, and our end-result is very good.

It remains, generally, that the boundary between design, statistics, environmental modelling, and even art is very interesting. It might be an art by itself. And dreaming is a big part of it.

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November 4th, 2009 at 4:38 pm

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