Invasion of Libya and Gadaffi

The removal of Gadafi seems a bit strange after he seemed to become closer to the western countries.

It’s so depressing to see that nothing ever changes. It seems like the Gadafi regime became no longer he most useful to the western powers, and we have started processes to produce a new one. It would be very interesting to know all the deals that were made in the previous couple of years, Gadafi made deals with British and French about Oil and nuclear technologies. He demonstrated that he wasn’t producing WMD and US shipped out 25 tonnes of centrifuge equipment, uranium and documentation of their nuclear programme in 2004. What is the outcome? Same as for Saddam Hussein or anyone else that doesn’t have WMD it seems. It is difficult to imagine that Libya would be having their military destroyed by airstrikes if they had a nuclear capability (or if their capability was an unknown). Yet a US states department spokesman commented “Where they’re at today has absolutely no connection with them renouncing their nuclear program or nuclear weapons,”. This might be difficult to believe for the North Koreans who may feel their policy is vindicated by this outome.

Too bad for Libya, it seems they not only have oil and gas but also sunshine and a little iron ore.
Libya Land Use

Libya was the first place to be bombed from the air when more than 100 years ago Italian forces dropped bombs from the cockpit of fighter planes onto Tripoli. The UN recently investigated removing mines from the Libyan borders with Chad and with Egypt as reported by the telegraph and wikileaks.

How to spell Quadaffi name is summarised by flowchart available at wikipedia.


Zero Carbon

Hehe, this is a draft post I made six years ago, slightly amended. I note that recently the UK has paid energy companies for providing electricity to the UK market, and we have also agreed the building of a new nuclear power station Hinkley point C, built by French and Chinese governments (I mean EDF, China General Nuclear and China National Nuclear Corporation). I should search for some numbers about CO2 released in different countries of Europe and also how they produce their power.

Just want to make a quick post, pointing out one method to stop CO2 emission. Inspired by those who are calling for a zero carbon. If we all just stop breathing this will eliminate nearly all our emissions. If you don’t believe me it’s possible you can try to just stop breathing for a few minutes first.

The leading country at solving this problem in a practical way may well be Germany, where everyone had a chance to help solve the problem, after the German Government has made sure that everyone has the opportunity to generate electricity which will be distributed on their national grid. I don’t know how much of a practical solution this is, but it makes sense that solar generators and wind power has to be in a distributed network — rather than centralised like a conventional power station. This shifts power away from a dependence on central distribution, and means that appropriate technologies can be quickly developed. This is due to the strength of the green party which has been decisive in forming coalition governments.

Oxymoron of the Year Award 2014 (OOTYA 2014)

Rectal Feeding – OOTYA 2014.

Congratulations to the CIA, who have been awarded the Oxymoron of the Year Award 2014 (OOTYA 2014) for their use of “Rectal Feeding”. The rape of prisoners (and the English language) by CIA officials was revealed when the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence issued it’s report on CIA torture — actually the “Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program”.

In the program interrogation techniques were used such as depriving prisoners (remember held without charge) of sleep for as long as a week, being told they would be killed while in American custody, and repeatedly being drowned.  Some prisoners were subjected to medically unnecessary “rectal feeding” or “rectal hydration” a technique the CIA chef of interrogation described   as exerting “total control over the detainee”.

Oxymoron of the Year Award 2014. Congratulations to Rectal Feeding and the CIA.

Oxymoron of the Year Award 2014. Congratulations to Rectal Feeding and the CIA.

Rectal Feeding can be used as a medical treatment when liquids containing nutrients that can be absorbed by the lower intestines are used, such as sugars or saline solution. However the report reportedly contains the statement that  “Majid Khan’s lunch tray, consisting of hummus, pasta with sauce, nuts, and raisins was ‘puréed’ and rectally infused”.

Dalai Lama threatens not to reincarnate

There is a news story that the Dalai Lama says he could be the last reincarnation – due to pressure from the Chinese Government. This is because the Chinese Government saying they will ‘find’ the next reincarnation on the death of the current Dalai Lama.The Chinese Communist Party has produced legislation to control reincarnation. Order No. Five, concerning the control and recognition of reincarnations came into force on 1st September 2007. There are historical parallel between the current Chinese Government and former Governments which have attempted to do the same.

Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso as a boy.

Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso as a boy.

Test of Reincarnation Claim
I would like to ask the Chinese Government and the Dalai Lama to participate in James Randi’s million dollar challenge, the James Randi foundation can design a protocol to test the claims about reincarnation, from a sceptical point of view, and possibly provide evidence to support the supernatural claims of either party. Of course this depends on the claims made, and would need cooperation from the current Dalai Lama, but if the new incarnation can remember their past life it should be easy to design a confirmatory test (for example memorising the contents of a sealed envelope).

The Dalai Lama has a web-page explaining reincarnation here. There are two methods of reincarnation, regular reincarnation in the wheel of life is based on sway of karma and destructive emotions. The alternative for the truly enlightened is rebirth through the power of compassion and prayer – which allows the choice of parents. Presumably the Dalai Lama will seek to reincarnate outside of Chinese jurisdiction.

History of the Dalai Lama’s
The Dalai Lama is the head monk of the Gelug or “Yellow Hat” school of Tibetan Buddhism, founded by Tsongkhapa (1357–1419). There have been 14 Dalai Lama’s including the current incumbent.

The system of reincarnation can be traced back to the time of Kublai Kan. In 1252, Kublai Khan granted an audience to Drogön Chögyal Phagpa and Karma Pakshi, the 2nd Karmapa who also sought the patronage of Möngke Khan. Before his death in 1283, Karma Pakshi wrote a will to protect the established interests of his lineage, the Karma Kagyu, by advising his disciples to locate a boy to inherit the black hat. His instruction was based on the premise that the Buddhist Dharma is eternal, and that the Buddha would send emanations to complete the missions he had initiated. This system was adopted by the other Buddhist schools.

The Dalai Lama is traditionally thought to be the successor in a line of tulkus who are considered to be metaphorical manifestations of Avalokiteśvara (compassion). The name is a combination of the Mongolic word dalai meaning “ocean” and the Tibetan word བླ་མ་ (bla-ma) meaning “guru, teacher, mentor”.

In the 1630s, Tibet became entangled in power struggles between the rising Manchu and various Mongol and Oirat factions. Eventually the Fifth Dalai Lama was able to establish himself as the highest spiritual and political authority in Tibet and destroyed any potential rivals, this was also a period of rich cultural development.

For certain periods between the 17th century and 1962, the Gelug school managed the Tibetan government, which administered portions of Tibet from Lhasa.

A contested Dalai Lama
A contested Dalai Lama came into existence in 1707 when Lha bzang Khan took power (with aid from China’s Kangxi Emperor) from the regent of Lhasa, on the pretence of the excesses of the 6th Dalai Lama. After the defeat of the regent, the Dalai Lama was escorted to Beijing but died on the way, killed on Lha-bzang’s orders (wikipedia) and the Chinese emperor appointed Kangxi appointed Lha-bzang Regent of Tibet.

Lha-bzang appointed a new Dalai Lama enthroned without consulting with the religious authorities, this was rejected by Tibetans and Lha-bzang’s Khoshut rivals. Kangxi recognized Lhazang’s choice, but hedged his bets and also protected Kelzang Gyatso in Kumbum (now the recognised 7th Dalai Lama).

Cost of the Royals

CGP Grey made this video to explain the cost of the British Royal family.

Thomas Forth offered some corrections.

Erdoğan bans tweets

Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdoğan two weeks ago said he was contemplating stopping access to social network sites. The problem was an uncomfortable story for him on social network sites involving wiretapped recordings. Today after he threated today to “root out” Twitter, the sites entry was removed from the DNS of turkish internet providers. Turkish users manage to get access to Twitter by using alternative DNS servers (google, OpenDNS, etc) or adding an entry for the service to the system hosts file (/etc/hosts in unix world).

Twitter posted messages in English and Turkish informing Turkish users they could still tweet on the site using mobile phone texting.

Even the turkish president Abdullah Gul has registered his displeasure at the move by using the twitter service after the ban, tweeting “One cannot approve of the complete closure of social media platforms”. He said such a ban should only be by court order, so it could also be interpretted as supporting the primeminister, although tweet was made during the ‘ban’.

M23 Vs M23C6

Can Metallurgy contribute to understanding of political geography? By analogy we have grain boundaries rather than national boundaries. In metallurgy, thermodynamics is the driving force depending on interaction between atoms, in politics the fundamental interaction is human-to-human. In both cases the details are complex, and difficult to determine. For atoms there is a fundamental theory which explains the interactions, the Schroedinger equation, but it can only be solved by using approximations. There is no fundamental equation for human-to-human interactions (it’s actually the same one but no one even proposed to solve it for such a complex system).

Back to the scale of grains and countries, national boundaries can move as larger countries absorb smaller countries which is the phenomenon of Otswald Ripening. National boundaries are often along geological features such as mountain ranges, there are pinning the boundaries.

In metallurgy we have new phases which nucleate, these usually form on grain boundaries since there regions are more disordered. Here we can see comparison of M23C6 carbide forming on a grain boundary in steel, to the political group M23 formed in the border region of congo.