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Comment: Re:FUD filled.... (Score 5, Interesting) 201

by Lumpy (#47531099) Attached to: How a Solar Storm Two Years Ago Nearly Caused a Catastrophe On Earth

"You need Air, Fuel and Spark"

You must not work on many engines then....

Diesel does not need spark.

"but more importantly, neatly all the valves in those plants are controlled by electricity. " And they have geared handwheels on them for emergency backup.. Have you ever been in a Water filtration plant? I worked in one for over 7 years, during that time I had to operate the whole place by myself during two extended power outages, one actually blew up the main transformers on the premise and melted the 7200 volt power lines coming in to run our 350hp electric motors. I had a very hectic 30 minutes to run the 1/2 mile to the other end of the facility during a major thunderstorm to start the generators manually as we did not have auto start back then. Then run all the way back and manually close 4 60" gate valves by hand to shut down half of the water plant as water consumption dropped way down as most of the town was out of power. By the time the emergency response guys showed up and I opened the gates I had the 500,000 Gallon per day pumps running and the water towers in the city above a 75% full point.

What is fun is when you are in a pumphouse and the check valve fails and a 350hp motor is running backwards at full speed and someone does not answer the radio up at the control house and hits START on that motor. the smell of vaporized copper and ozone in the air when the breaker arms exploded and vaporized because 7200 volts at insane amps met a motor running backwards and acting like a direct short. My ears were ringing for a week.

Comment: Re:FUD filled.... (Score 4, Insightful) 201

by Lumpy (#47530785) Attached to: How a Solar Storm Two Years Ago Nearly Caused a Catastrophe On Earth

Not hard at all. EMP does not blow up starter motors and does not blow up lead acid batteries. Hell all I have to do is connect jumper cables from the battery to the starter lugs to start the generator.

Granted that's far more difficult for the typical person that cant get past the "I pushed the button, it most be broke" thought process, but that is why most places actually hire competent employees to manage that stuff.

Comment: FUD filled.... (Score 4, Insightful) 201

by Lumpy (#47530197) Attached to: How a Solar Storm Two Years Ago Nearly Caused a Catastrophe On Earth

" disabling everything that plugs into a wall socket. Most people wouldn't even be able to flush their toilet because urban water supplies largely rely on electric pumps"

Every single water filtration plant has very large diesel generators that can run the place for months without electrical power. And no, a solar flare can not burn out giant motors and generators, all that can be ran easily without the SCADA system. In fact we used to run drills operating the place by hand, as most of the guys that did it from 1940 until 1990 did it mostly by hand.

Comment: Death bell tolling for thee.... (Score 4, Insightful) 318

by Lumpy (#47519467) Attached to: Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

People HATE windows 8 because they are trying to force a touch interface on it, most people do not buy touch montiors so it is less than intuitive.. now they want to make it even more touch oriented? unless they are going to send me FREE 27" and 40" 4K touchscreen monitors it's not going to be worth a damn.

STOP TRYING TO UNIFY THE PC AND TABLET/PHONE WORLDS! I am so sick of companies trying to do this, it's a failure an utter failure.

Comment: Re:a question.... (Score 1) 64

by Rei (#47516505) Attached to: Oso Disaster Had Its Roots In Earlier Landslides

That's not what everything I've read about the disaster has said. The mountain has gone through cycles - whenever it collapses, the river gets moved away, and the slides stop for a time, but eventually it wears away the footings enough that it falls again. They'd even tried to prevent landslides there by manually shoring up the base back in the 1960s, but it just flowed over their reinforcements.

The waterlogging of the soil is also a necessary factor too, mind you - not saying otherwise. :)

Comment: Re:a question.... (Score 1) 64

by Rei (#47516433) Attached to: Oso Disaster Had Its Roots In Earlier Landslides

I had paperbark birch seeds, which are also pretty water tolerant (though not as much as river birch), but none sprouted - ironically I think the seeds were too wet when I stratified them (same with my maples). Isn't river birch (B. nigra) a warm-weather birch species? I've got some cuttings of random local birches from a neighbor but I have no clue whether any of them are water tolerant enough to take swampy ground. Also birches don't usually get that tall so I don't know how expansive of a root system they'll put down. The abundant local species B. nana (dwarf birch) grows (nay, volunteers) readily here almost anywhere that sheep don't graze, but it's just a shrub, I doubt it'd do the trick (though it's probably better than just grass). It can take wet soil, although not totally swampy conditions.

For the wetter areas I also have about a dozen or so western redcedar seedlings - they're not as swamp-tolerant as dawn redwood and western recedar, but they're still reportedly quite tolerant of wet or even waterlogged soils, and they should be more cold/wind hardy than those two (wind is actually the big issue, it doesn't really get that cold here). I've also got a number of other pacific northwest trees with varying degrees of standing water tolerance. Oh, and a species or two of tasmanian mountain eucalyptus (don't remember which ones) that tolerate fairly swampy ground and should at least stand a fighting chance against our winds.

Basically, I'm just going to plant a ton of stuff and see what survives. ;)

One plus is that where the ground is persistently wet and at landslide risk, it is slowly flowing water, it's not standing. It's constantly replaced by fresh, cold ground-filtered water, so there's probably not as much risk of root rot as might be common otherwise. But there's still the oxygen issue. That and the damned sheep, but I'm working to fix that issue once and for all...

There is never time to do it right, but always time to do it over.

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