What I learnt from KPOP

Korean Pop is very educational, I didn’t know that South Korea has a female President (Park Geun-hye).

Female President — Girl’s Day 여자대통령

We have a female president
Why so timid? What’s the problem?
If a girl kisses first, she gets arrested or what?

Running on Straight Rails

Boffins in Austria have been studying railway tracks to better understand the residual stresses that result from straightening them during processing.

Roller straightening is the final step in production of the rails, after hot rolling is performed at around 1000&degree;C cooling (presumably with water spray) results in curvature of the rails. This varies depending on the rail geometry and cooling conditions.

Results from finite element modelling, and measurement of stresses using the contour method and neutron diffraction were compared. The model matches the trends of the measurements in the vertical plane (possibly the mode important since it has the largest residual stresses). In the paper comparison of neutron results for triaxial stresses shows there are residual stresses in the plane perpendicular to the vertical through the rail tool, although these were not predicted by the FEM model.

Residual Stresses

Residual Stresses along vertical symmetry axis


  1. http://phys.org/news/2015-01-rails-straight.html#nRlv
  2. R. Kaiser, M. Stefenelli, T. Hatzenbichler, T. Antretter, J. Keckes and B. Buchmayr (2014) “Experimental characterization and modelling of triaxial residual stresses in straightened railway rails,” The Journal of Strain Analysis for Engineering Design, 1-9 DOI: 10.1177/0309324714560040

Metal working machines

Hebo machines have posted a nice video showing various machines for cold forming steel.

Completely unrelated, this is beautiful machine too, desktop injection moulding:

Laser engineering to produce hydrophobic surfaces

TheEngineer has an article covering work by scientists at the University of Rochester who have achieved the surface modification of metals, by treatment with lasers, to make the surfaces hydrophilic or super-hydrophobic. In their study they used titanium, brass and platinum.

Bouncing water drops

Bouncing water drops from modified metal surface

Original paper: http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/journal/jap/117/3/10.1063/1.4905616

Friends of Ditton Meadows

Friends of Ditton Meadows group has been formed in response to the councils plans to build a bridge on the Ditton Meadows side of the railway bridge along The Reach. The bridge is to connect the new railway station for pedestrians and cyclists.

Friends of Ditton Meadows being introduced. Formed to defend meadows from threats of development.

— Richard Taylor (Twitter)


Local government plans showing site of new railway station to serve science park, and planned extension to the guided-bus-way.


Modelling Climate Successfully by Time Travel?

I saw on phys.org website new that Monckton et al have published a paper “Why models run hot: results from an irreducibly simple climate model” about climate modelling, and why previous models ‘run hot’.

Monkton etal Climate Model

Monckton et al Climate Model

As seen in their figure 6, their model matches very well with the observations. One strange thing to me, is that they have observations of the temperature change until the year 2050, although currently the start of 2015. Does this mean that Monckton et al are able to get information from the future, maybe they have a time machine? It seems more likely that they made a serious mistake in the presentation of their results. Since this paper should have been subject to much scrutiny before publishing (given the controversy of the subject) it seems probable to me that the figure purposefully misleads the reader.

As can reported at skeptical science, in 2012, Christopher Monckton has been using this graph for some time. It seems that the error is to compare data from two different periods of time. The graph presented in the recent paper is less carefully presented than the version used in a 2012 presentation. If we look at the old graph we can understand that the data is not from the future, it’s actually the previous trend.


Credibility gap

Monckton’s credibility gap

They also suggest a parallel with another UK time travelling Lord, could it be that Christopher Monckton is  a Time Lord?



Page 3 Gotcha

After the Murdoch (News Corp) owned times reported on the end of ‘page 3’ topless models in the Murdoch owned Sun newspaper (News Corp), the story has received much coverage by other newspapers.

It was reported that the practise was being phased out because it was regarded as anachronistic (after Murdoch tweeted it was old-fashioned in September 2014), and would only return if publishing without ‘page 3’ resulted in lower sales.

However, today the Sun included a topless model on page 3 model saying that the news of the demise was premature.

Further to recent reports in all other media outlets, we would like to clarify that this is Page 3 and this is a picture of Nicole, 22, from Bournemouth. We would like to apologise on behalf of the print and broadcast journalists who have spent the last two days talking and writing about us.

So this must be a slow news week, and good for News Corp to generate a lot of it’s own news. Last week you will remember that News Corp owned Fox news stupidly stated that Birmingham was a no go area for non-Muslims.

Controversy Timesline

  • 16 January – supposedly the last to carry the feature.
  • 20 January  -article in The Times strongly implies that a decision had been made to end ‘Page 3’.
  • 22 January – The Sun returns to publishing shots of topless female models.

So the question remains, would it be better for those campaigning against the practise of ‘page 3’ be better just ignoring the Sun newspaper until it goes away?