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  • Talk Rational: A republic of lutz.

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TR Embassy and Animal Shelter / Rare bird sighting.
Well, look who I found in the middle of suburban Adelaide, where they aren't supposed to exist. Osprey are rare and endangered in South Australia, with a small number along the west coast, and around KI. Having one fly up to me in the suburbs was.............surprising!

Arts and Entertainment / Black Panther (Spoilers)
I went and saw Black Panther. Liked it a lot. Lots of good stuff in that film.
Acting and dialogue was excellent as expected.
I really, really wanted it to end with T'Challa sitting down with his court and saying "Right. Along with building bridges to other nations in the world, we might also have a look at this whole hereditary monarchy thing and see if that's a sensible system of government.
One weird plot point. Knowing Marvel I expect it was explained, but I missed it, but why did Killmonger work with Klaue, get him the vibranium, then kill him so he could get into Wakanda. It did give us a great Bond style trip to Korea, but I couldn't see why Killmonger didn't just kill him and rock up on Wakanda's doorstep. There is one convoluted explanation that his plan and entrance to Wakanda required T'Challa to fail to capture Klaue, but it's a bit of a stretch.
Best Pun for the movie: This movie has some Tolkien white guys.
Dave likes reading, and considers it an essential skill (good :D).

Here's a well timed and fun article on some of the work that goes into making readable things.
Politics and Current Events / More guns...
Well, Elon musk has decided to be the anti-Iron Man, by moving into the weapons (flamethrowers) industry after giant tunnels, batteries and electric cars.

Meanwhile our Australian government has decided to try and be one of the top ten arms exporters.

I can see a synergy between climate change denial and arms manufacturing, but that's not really a good thing.
Arts and Entertainment / Christmas Movie time
Everyone else might be busting out Die Hard, but I'm chucking this on my Blu-Ray player. :D
Arts and Entertainment / Star Wars spoilers and opinions
I saw it.

I didn't mind it, but ended up disappointed. It felt cluttered, like the movie was lacking a chance to breathe. I would have liked to have spent less time on random chases and a bit more on character development.

• I didn't like the Leia magic floating Jedi routine. It could have easily been pared back, freeing up a few minutes for other things. Also raises the question of where Leia's Jedi skills have been all this time. It was used as an opportunity for Emoboy to emote a bit, but that never went anywhere.
• The hot headed flyboy is an old cliche. However, it felt very heavy handed and made Poe Dameron come across as a bit of an idiot. I don't have a problem with useful idiots in film, but if Poe's an idiot, it makes it difficult to use him for any future stories that require a bit of tact or intelligence (like, perhaps, retrieving plans for star killer base)
• The entire sequence on the casino planet. This struck me as such a missed opportunity. At that stage we'd had the escape from the rebel base, the dreadnought battle, and the lightspeed chase, setting up the (very nice and tense) out-of-fuel chase sequence. Then we get a second chase/pratfall sequence on the casino planet, which simply bounces Finn and Rose from scenario to scenario without any chance for them to show any self determination. An alternative would be to treat that sequence as an opportunity for Finn and Rose to push themselves, and to solve the problem ( perhaps in a classic heist/subterfuge fashion). This would have provided a gap for the audience to change gears, and to give both those characters a chance to develop.

Another issue I have is that Star Wars has lots of characters, but rather than letting the characters evolve (as may be seen in the MCU), they are instead often moved around the galaxy, not by character motivation, but by the sequence on the casino planet. I have a similar gripe with Hitchcock films, where characters are pushed around by script/director, without heed of any character driven motivation.

It felt like 'Pirates of the Caribbean' style film-making, with chase, chase, chase, but that doesn't work so well when a film takes itself a more seriously and the chases and action offer limited moments of lightheartedness. Films that relish their own ridiculousness can push things a bit more in terms of deus ex machina and the magic of circumstance.
Anyone here like diatoms? Now you can scrub your rocks without getting soggy. :D

Arts and Entertainment / The Expanse
I see a Stranger Things 2 thread, but nothing on The Expanse. I haven't got heavily into a lot of TV series, but one I have been totally bingeing on is The Expanse. It tickles my sci-fi funny bone in a big way, features some rather epic world building, and is right up there on par with Firefly.
In fact, I'm going to go out there and say it. I prefer The Expanse to Firefly.  :cool:

Also, The Expanse got more than one season. :P :mob:
Arts and Entertainment / Thor: Ragnarok
Most fun I've had in a cinema in a long time. :D

I'm curious to see how it goes in the US, as the humour is very, very antipodean.
Pingu has done a lovely job describing how multiple independent dating methods can be used to validate C14 dating.

From here:,1511.msg117671.html#msg117671

I'm starting this thread to avoid interrupting Pingu's explanation.

Dave ran out of puff and decided that he'd rather just look at a single subject.

I like this idea, and think there's a very simple way to test Brown's C14 proposal, without any of that "reductionist, multiple curves in agreement, independent dating methods, consilience claptrap". :D

I promise not to talk about varves, dendrochronology, ice cores, or other dating methods. I'll focus purely on C14.

So, Dave, you up for this?

Lakes are everywhere, and provide an excellent record of changes in climate. As long as a lake doesn't dry up then it will slowly accumulate sediment over time, providing a nice continuous record of deposition. Not all lakes are ideal for this. Some dry up, some are affected by floods, etc. However, identifying lakes that are likely to form nice clean sediment records is fairly easy and there are many lakes that fit the criteria.

Do you agree with the above?

It appears that both Brown and yourself think C14 dating is adequate back to 3000BP. I am happy to work with that.

Do you agree that C14 is adequate to 3000BP, as per your and Brown's previous writings?

Now, Brown and yourself both propose that C14 dating prior to 3000BP was influenced by the flud and have both posted proposed curves showing the C14 ratio dropping rapidly from 3000BP to 4500/5500BP (or whatever year the flud was supposed to occur).

Do you agree with the curves proposed by Brown and yourself (Brown in his book, you in your varves spreadsheet). I know those curves don't agree precisely. If you like you can nominate whichever one you agree with.


I'll post again once you're happy with the above.

I wanted my own for field titrations and whatnot. Didn't like the cost or features of any of the commercial ones. Mine is USB and battery powered, and includes a little draw for flea/stir bar storage. The draw can be removed and used for cleaning the flea.
Haven't had a good look at this yet. It's an epic project. Following Dave's primitive ramblings on C14 I thought this might be interesting.
Science / We made a sandpit :D
My supervisor, I and a couple of others built an augmented reality sandbox.

Was a rush to get it ready but it all worked nicely on open day.  Maybe in a few years I'll have some free time to delve into the coding of it and implementing a few of the ideas that would be nice to have - eg: isotopic composition of the water represented by colour.
Please be good, please be good, please be good!!!

Has an very lol, "epic" poster.

Just watching the first one again. :D

Chris Pratt thinks it will be good. :D
On May 5th the greatest movie in the history of movies is coming. There has never been and will never again be a movie like this. Seriously. Ever heard of Citizen Kane? We're much better. Seriously. Our movie just tested at over one million points. Rotten tomatoes already has it at 234% fresh. #GotGVol2 will win every movie award AND about 39 Olympic gold medals in swimming, gymnastics, the skiiing event with the gun, x games, snowmobiling and everything. It will win the World Cup and about 7 super bowl rings, sorry TOM Brady. This movie will fry your brains and lift your spirits. James Gunn will be elected president of the world. They will add the faces of the guardians to Mount Rushmore for sure. We're gonna get a planet. May 5th will become a national holiday. Everyone will get pregnant. Candy will fall from the sky. Global warming will stop. Dinosaurs will come back to life. Which unlike some movies might tell you, is actually a really good thing. Because they won't flip out and kill people instead they'll be your awesome pets. So basically get your tickets as soon as you can. Don't be the only person on the planet who doesn't see this movie.
According to Ken Ham:
"If Pope said 'Big Bang is real'-then Pope's wrong. Bible states earth came before sun-not other way round"

Dave, your thoughts? Did the Earth come before the Sun?
Science / Daily rainfall sampler
So, one of the things I'm dabbling with (ostensibly for my PhD project) is a rainfall sampler for investigating the isotopic composition of rainfall. The plan is to have an automatic rainfall sampler, able to sample daily for 60 days at a time near several of my sites.

The goals are:
• Cheap
• Must be build-able out of common materials, that are easy to acquire.
• Must use techniques that are commonly available.

After a few ponderings, I've come up with this.
• Outer casing - Half a HDPE plastic drum (like a 44gal drum). Common and easily available. Mine cost $11. This gives me a usable inside diameter of around 56cm. On top of the outer casing will be two funnels - one for each bottle ring (see below).
• Inside the casing a plywood and acrylic turntable, containing two rings of 125ml HDPE bottles. (I'd love 250ml, but with 56cm available diameter, I'm limited to around 44mm max diameter bottles to fit 60. Therefore, I'm stuck with 125ml bottles, at least until I find some skinny 250ml bottles.
• The turntable rotates once each day by 12º to access a new bottle. Rotation is driven by an outer ring gear, and a 1:5 reduction gear to a cheap arduino controlled 5v stepper motor. I'll probably use a hall sensor to zero the stepper once each rotation.
• Each full turntable rotation accesses 30 bottles, allowing 30 days of sampling per ring.
• To fill the second ring, and divert water from the unused ring, is a y-shaped tube, which catches water from whichever funnel is inactive and diverts it out through the centre of the sampler. This water can then be collected in an integrator bottle.

Equipment and materials
2 x 600x400x6 acrylic sheets, cut on a laser cutter.
1 x 700x400x6 acetal (for gears. 4 sets of gears per sheet, so you'd want to build a few samplers)
1 x 1200x600x12 marine ply (for turntable and base)
1 x 100x50x1200 or similar for legs. Ideally we want legs that can be weighted down or spiked to the ground
2 x 608 bearings (roller skate bearings) for gears.
Some 50x20 mm wood for internal framing.
3d printing for funnels and Y-junction.
205L plastic drum (or similar) for outer casing.
50mm PVC for funnel holders (300mm above outer casing to stop splashes).
15mm PVC for Y-tube and funnel to bottle tubes.
Couple of softdrink bottles for funnels (70mmØ)
Some screws, 8mm bolt.
Arduino, stepper motor, magnet, hall sensor, battery pack.
Solar panel

To prevent evaporation I'll be stuck using paraffin oil. I'd love another option, but I haven't found any that will work in that amount of space. I'll probably use the dipped tube method (Groning 2012) if I decide to catch an integrated sample from the Y-tube.

Laser cutting is the one thing that people may have trouble accessing. I use Fab Lab, which is a community run fabrication laboratory, giving people access to 3d printing and laser cutting.

Anyone have any thoughts. Suggestions?
Science / Anyone here familiar with Modflow?
If so, are there any common hacks to get an unconfined layer to avoid using height to water table to determine transmissivity for the cells that lie under a reservoir (using the RES1 package)?
Politics and Current Events / I can't help it
Every time I see this:

I see this:

I'm not going to read the huge thread to find out.

What stage are you up to now? Did you end up tyveking the walls?
Introductions / Hi people.
Hail citizens!!

I think most of you know me, but here's the summary.

• Used to be a surveyor, specialising in mining, engineering and laser scanning work.
• Got bored and did my undergraduate in Geology and Geophysics and Applied Geology.
• Then did Honours. Thesis was "Quantifying lake hydrological and isotopic responses to climate change: A coupled hydrologic-isotopic mass balance model applied to two Australian maar lakes"
• Now working on my PhD, continuing on from my honours project.

And I take photos sometimes.