We are living in an age of magic, an age of engineering and scientific marvels. What is this? It’s the surface of a comet! It’s the comet Gerasimov from only 6.5Km away, roughly. No-one in history has ever seen anything like this before. We used to think comets were just balls of dirty ice which got partly melted with each sun pass. But this European Space Agency spacecraft has shown that this comet, at least, is much more than just dirty ice. This is history being made!
We’re going to spend $22 billion to obtain 12 submarines. At the same time, we have a huge budget deficit which will require drastic measures to correct.
Well, how about this? There is an alternative. Forget building submarines altogether. Why do we need them? Where’s the justification? They will never fire a shot in anger. They will never be needed, just as the six Collins Class subs have never been blooded.
Submarines are 20th century. There are so many alternatives to kill ships by stealth now. Even if the justification is intelligence gathering, it’s a hugely expensive way to get it. UAV (drone) technology is taking over. Besides, it is very, very difficult to get submarine crews. Very few can tolerate the long periods submerged in such tight living conditions.
If we have $22bn to spend, spend it on 21st century technology such as the US Fast Littoral Combat Ships (built right here in WA by Austal) or small stealthy, but deadly, patrol craft (ditto). For $22bn we could have a hundred of them or more. They could overwhelm an enemy like ants attacking a large prey. Cruise missiles. Forget subs!
I was talking about the wave power experiment in Cockburn Sound yesterday. Well, shazzam, it went on-line today. The pilot installation has been connected to Garden Island and is supplying 720KW to the RAN base there, plus desalinated water. All from only three generator buoys.
I thought the generators were in the buoys, but no, the buoys generate sea water at high pressure which is piped ashore to drive turbines. The desalination is a byproduct, presumably by reverse osmosis.
If only three buoys can generate that much power, imagine what 100 could do.
I had an attack of GAS today. GAS is Gear Acquisition Syndrome, the need to buy one more piece of photographic gear. But I resisted …
I was reading a piece about a new Tamron 150-600mm zoom telephoto lens and getting all gooey about it. Wow, what a lens, I thought. Sigma makes one of the same range in Pentax mount which I could use. $1,497. Ugh.
Then while browsing the lens lists, it suddenly hit me – I’ve got the Olympus 75-300mm lens for micro 4/3rds. That’s equivalent to 150-600mm in full frame. So I’ve already got a lens of that type!! The attack of GAS went away.
In tonight’s Guardian, they show that the lead lawyer for the government in the Trade Union Royal Commission is being paid $3.6 million for less than two years’ work. The government is willigly paying that amount of money in the hope of getting even with trade unions.
At the same time, they’re suggesting we might have to forego the census next year as we can’t afford it.
I think that shows this execrable, disgusting government’s priorities.
Peter Dowding in the West points out that in 1986 the WA Labor government’s move to abolish capital punishment (government sanctioned killing) went close to defeat because nearly all the conservative side (Liberals and Nationals) voted to keep hanging people. If hanging had been kept, John Button and Daryl Beamish, two entirely innocent men, would almost certainly be dead.
And don’t forget it’s the conservatives who want royal honours restored (so they can give each other knighthoods again). Disgusting, revolting people.