Loss of Chandrayann-1

I am disappointed by the sudden loss of Chandrayaan-1 the Indian moon probe.

There is some talk in the press about whether this was worth it, was there any science done.

The whole thing was great. It was nice to see another nation join the moon club, and being somewhat independent and based on the skills of its own scientists.

70,000 photo’s is plenty and I we get to see more (esp of the moon landing sites and far side of the moon -> this will help with the conspiracy theories out there).

Also a really interesting study on radiation going to the moon, from the Van Allen belts.

It looks like it peaks from 130,000 microGray per hour, down to around 4,000 per hour (and probably lower say 600 ph further out)

I think this is the first time I have seen actual data on this (although it is somewhat small and hard to read). It brings up the interesting topic of estimating the radiation does for the Apollo astronauts.

Take Apollo 11, and 8 day mission to the moon.

This would have been

  • Twice through the proton belt – 2x 130K = 260K
  • Twice through the electron belt – 2x2x 4K =16K

With the rest of the time outside of the belts at background of say 600 (for 186hrs)

  • 186hrs x 0.6 = 112K

This would calcualte the total radiation exposure at around 387K microGrays or around 0.4 Sieverts.

This does not assume any protection from the spacecraft so is an upper limit I would think. It is a relatively high dose, but is still below the limits for radiation sickness.

Based off this, could they have made it too the moon and back; yes from a radiation point of view this seems to confirm it is possible. (however would recommend flying direct!)

Sorry to see this probe go, I think there is some interesting science here, and look forward to the pictures!

"The Five Stages of Panic Buying" « naked capitalism

“The Five Stages of Panic Buying” « naked capitalism: “The Five Stages of Panic Buying!

1. Denial (Late March/ Early April)

“Ha, another Bear Market rally…wait til the foreclosure/ new home sales/ confidence data comes in! Right back to 6500, maybe lower…bagholders”

“Dude, the stress tests are coming out next month. B of A may be done-ski. Sell the May 10 calls, you’ll never have to cover.”

2. Anger (Mid-April)

“What the f@&% do you mean the goddamn banks are cheap based on normalized earnings? They will never ever earn anything again, ever! Idiot!”

“You gotta be kidding me with these retailers running now. RETAILERS? Are you nuts? They’re FINISHED!”

“If one more consumer discretionary name rallies on a less-than-expected loss, I’m gonna kick this Bloomberg down a flight of stairs.”

3. Bargaining (May-June)

“Okay, I can stomach picking up some large cap tech and I’ll nibble – NIBBLE! – at discount retailers, but I will absolutely NOT buy Goldman Sachs at 130.”

If China would just pull back 5 to 7% I’d get in, but I can’t chase it here…except Sohu, and I guess a little Baidu and I’ll just take a quarter position in China Mobile just in case. But I’m not chasing here.”

“(whispered) Dear market god, please stop the tape. Just give me one crack at the Nazz and some banks and I will never doubt the solvency of the US balance sheet or the wisdom of the Troubled Asset Relief Program ever again.”

4. Depression (July)

“I can’t believe I missed it. Those D-bags next to me are high-fiving after every earnings report. Hate those f@&%ing guys.”

“How could Las Vegas Sands do this to me? I’ve been watching this stock go up for 900% now. Couldn’t just give me one chance to get in. I suck.”

5. Acceptance (Early August)

“That’s it! I don’t give a damn anymore, GET ME IN NOW! Forget the big ones, they’re already up too much, are there any $5 stocks left that haven’t done anything yet?

“I gotta blow out this stupid GLD, it does nothing, sick of it and sick of hearing about inflation. Even Paulson blew it out. Get me some $2 biotechs and some midwest regional bank stocks, I gotta get poppin’ over here! We’re going to 10,000 baby!””

Transition From Financial Crisis to Stagflation :: The Market Oracle :: Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting Free Website

Transition From Financial Crisis to Stagflation :: The Market Oracle :: Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting Free Website: “Another food shortage
Right now, the world economy is battling deflationary forces. I do not see a great deal of inflation, except perhaps food and energy and related commodities. Energy is more manageable, but food production is basically peaking and the world is running out of stocks of grains. Necessities need to be considered separate from the general commodity complex. Obviously if there is any food shortage worldwide, we have a totally new ballgame in many areas. A food price escalation would not be good for an economy struggling to recover. Likely oil speculators would jump in more and do a repeat of the oil and grains speculation bubble of 08 that later collapsed. In fact, if you want one area that can easily do well in 2010, its Potash stocks.”

naked capitalism: Credit Card Defaults Stabilizing?

naked capitalism: Credit Card Defaults Stabilizing?: “Reuters reports that a number of credit card issuers reported modest improvement in their chargeoff rates for July. While any improvement is good news, it is way too early to break out the champagne. First, some of the improvement may be related to tax refunds being used to pay down debt, a strictly seasonal affair. Second, the chargeoff rates are so elevated and the reduction so mild that the fundamentals still look pretty bad. The one bit of supposed cheer is that American Express posted a second month of improvement and contended that the result was not seasonal. However, readers have also told me that Amex is offering very hefty balance reductions (20%) to business accounts who pay off balances early on credit line products that Amex has discontinued. Being willing to take a 20% loss (with guaranteed adverse selection’ the best credit quality customers will take up this offer, leaving Amex with weaker credits on balance) is not a sign of optimism, at least as far as those accounts are concerned.

From Reuters:

Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) in a regulatory filing on Monday said credit card default rates dropped in July after several months of a steep deterioration. JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), Citigroup Inc (C.N), and Discover Financial Services (DFS.N) also said bad-loan levels fell.

‘It just seems to bear out what we heard in the second-quarter calls, that things seem to be getting marginally better — and I would stress marginally — on the consumer side,’ Nancy Bush, founder of NAB Research, said of Bank of America.

Bank of America, the bank with the highest default and delinquency rates among the top credit card issuers, said its charge-off rate — debt the company believes it will never collect on — inched down to 13.81 percent in July from 13.86 percent in June….

Even more encouraging was JPMorgan’s report that defaults fell to 7.92 percent from 8.04 percent for second straight month, while Citigroup’s default rate declined to 10.03 percent from 10.51 percent.

Discover’s charge-off rate fell to 8.43 percent from 8.75 percent.

Capital One Financial Corp (COF.N) bucked the trend, however, as its annualized net charge-off rate rose to 9.83 percent in July from 9.73 percent in June, but beat analysts expectations…

Analysts were also pleased by a continuation of the decline in delinquencies — an indicator of future defaults — in American Express, Bank of America, and JPMorgan….

Credit card defaults usually track unemployment, which is expected to peak at more than 10 percent by year-end. It was at 9.4 percent in July.”

Compress Liferea VACUUM

This is such a useful page I didn’t want to lose it as I use Liferea as my RSS reader

Liferea Blog: How to run VACUUM: “How to run VACUUM

As explained in the last post I see no way to automatically run the ‘VACUUM’ command of sqlite which more or less defragments the DB structure. Nonetheless for everyone who wants to run it manually here is how to do it:

1. Shutdown Liferea
2. Start the sqlite client by running: ‘sqlite3 ~/.liferea_1.4/liferea.db’
3. At the prompt enter: ‘VACUUM;’
4. Wait until the prompt reappears.
5. Restart Liferea

Situations when you might want to VACUUM

* When the DB file (~/.liferea_1.4/liferea.db) is very large (e.g. >50MB)
* When you have only a few feeds with a low cache setting (e.g. 30 feeds and 100 items) and believe Liferea to be unreasonably slow.
* When you have run Liferea for ages.

If you don’t know what this is all about: please do not worry about it. In many cases you might not need to do anything.”

As Budget Deficit Grows, So Do Doubts on Dollar – WSJ.com

As Budget Deficit Grows, So Do Doubts on Dollar – WSJ.com: “The U.S. economy may be showing signs of recovering from the financial crisis, but the jury is still out on the future of the U.S. dollar.

While many analysts expect the dollar to strengthen in coming months as the crisis fades and the U.S. economy turns toward growth, a growing chorus of investors is expressing concern about the longer-term outlook for the greenback.”

More great uses of Vinegar

I think I only wrote about this on Twitter…. to much derision about the pots and pans smelling like fish and chips!!

However, vinegar is cheap and safe (as you can eat it).
Uses are

  • Use instead of rinse aid in the dishwasher
  • Use instead of fabric softener in the washing machine (this one is good)
  • As a cleaning agent for kitchen surfaces

And yes on fish and chips…!

How to restore rusty hinges?

This is another in the series of the amazing power of vinegar series.

We had some rusty iron hinges from an old table. We were looking for a replacement set, but in these things nothing quite fits like the originals.

They were rusty and seized.
Some research on the process and this really did work

  • Soak in pure vinegar overnight
  • Brush with a wire brush and the rust falls away
  • Work hinges to loosen further and work in the vinegar
  • Soak again overnight
  • Dry and then drop in Oil (we used cheap motor oil)
  • Dry and then are ready to go

It really does work!

Where to buy Oregon Scientific in Canada

I bought some Oregon Scientific equipment the other day.

As I live in Canada the US site (which supports Canada) was going to charge me UPS shipping and there would be customs fees on top.

However I found you can buy through Radioworld. Canada post shipping, no customs fees and a good price. Arrived the next day.

Really recommend RadioWorld if you are in Canada, they are a good professional setup.

The China Bubble’s Coming — But Not the One You Think | Foreign Policy

This is an interesting article

The China Bubble’s Coming — But Not the One You Think | Foreign Policy: “Is the Chinese economy operating in a different economic reality? Will it continue to grow, no matter what the global economy is doing?

The answer to both questions is no. China’s fortunes over the past decade are reminiscent of Lucent Technologies in the 1990s. Lucent sold computer equipment to dot-coms. At first, its growth was natural, the result of selling goods to traditional, cash-generating companies. After opportunities with cash-generating customers dried out, it moved to start-ups — and its growth became slightly artificial. These dot-coms were able to buy Lucent’s equipment only by raising money through private equity and equity markets, since their business models didn’t factor in the necessity of cash-flow generation.

Funds to buy Lucent’s equipment quickly dried up, and its growth should have decelerated or declined. Instead, Lucent offered its own financing to dot-coms by borrowing and lending money on the cheap to finance the purchase of its own equipment. This worked well enough, until it came time to pay back the loans.”

Orbiting Toolbag Will Enter Atmosphere Aug. 3 | Universe Today

You wonder what happens to these, and now you know

Orbiting Toolbag Will Enter Atmosphere Aug. 3 | Universe Today: “The most famous toolbag in the world (and space) will soon be no more. The ISS Toolbag will enter Earth’s atmosphere and completely burn up. Current estimates say the toolbag should become a fireball on August 3 around 1316 Universal Time. It should be visible over the Pacific Ocean west of Mexico (12.7° N, 257.1° E). Astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper dropped the backpack-sized kit on Nov. 18, 2008, while she was working outside the International Space Station. Since then the toolbag has circled Earth over 4,000 times, and has even been visible from the ground. Keep track of the toolbag at Heaven’s Above or on SpaceWeather.com’s Satellite Tracker.”