Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Celebrity Rehabing

I've been arguing with a friend about addiction being difficult (mostly for celebs) to deal with.

My solution?
For £100,000 per year, I will follow you around 24 hours a day, and if you take drugs or whatever, I will beat you unconscious with a baseball bat and drag you back to your hotel for sleepy time.


No super rich person has an excuse for indulging their drug habit.

If you have a nice car I'll double as a driver.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Goose Green.

Goose Green is one of those things that I just dont understand on any level.

Argentina deployed nearly a  thousand men to block the bridge between the north and south of East Falkland.  This force was rendered pointless, because the UK landed on the north, rather than the south.

The UK, for reasons I have yet to grasp any sensible justification for, sent a force two thirds of the size* of the defenders, to attack an utterly immobile and completely nonthreatening enemy position.

I periodically try and find some further about this.
I got lucky, and found Major Croslands account.

We stayed at Camilla Creek House for a period of time. While we were there a breach of security happened when, for some inexplicable reason, the World Service told the world and his wife where we were. That involved 400 of the enemy being flown in and positions being turned round to meet our likely advance.
We then heard that six helicopters had landed to my south with reinforcements but we managed to get a few rounds of ammunition off which landed right on top of them and dispersed them. There was still the thought in the back of my mind that there were one or two hundred blokes who had been landed fresh and could catch us with a possible counter-attack.

Now, that changes a bit.
There still seems little to no reason to attack the point, although the force sent seems a little more reasonable.  Which of course throws up further questions about Argentine Strategy.
The moment the UK decided to attack, Goose Green was doomed, eventually.  No matter how valiantly its defenders fought, naval bombardment, expenditure of ammunition and logistics meant it was only ever going to end one way.

So, why double their losses?  The equipment was lost, but they could have sent the helicopters to retrieve the soldiers for the defence of Stanley

*3:1 needed for a successful attack right?

Has the US overstepped on sanctions?

The US is stepping up sanctions against Russia, targeting debt over 90days.

According to ambrose, Russia needs to roll over 715bn in dollar debt owed to EU banks.
That is conventional wisdom.

But as the maxim goes, if you owe the bank 715bn dollars the bank has a problem.

Russia doesn't 'need' to rollover that debt, what's EUrope going to do if it just defaults?  Threaten to lock it out of markets its already locked out of?  Invade?  Or roll over the debt in defiance of US sanctions?

Its easy to bully nk, they never traded anyway, bullying Iran was harder, the weaker EU states skirted the law because Iran was the only state willing to provide oil on credit to them.

The US is gambling that France and Germany will take the pain for US policy.
Not sure I see that happening

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Does Russia want intervention?

A NATOish intervention in Ukraine could be of great practical help to Putin.

By political reality, it would be air strikes
By political reality, montreux, the US cant send Carriers in to the Black Sea

We can also expect Belarus to deny use of its airspace.

So that leaves airstrikes coming from Turkey, Romania, or Poland.
Russian Radar and Signint based in Belarus and Transnistria would be able to forwarn the rebels about incoming strikes from Poland, and the Black Sea Fleet do the same from Turkey and Romania.

And of course, any Russian systems on the Russian side of the border.

Information wins wars, and intervention in Ukraine would give Russia bucket loads of it.  They dont even have to hide, we could hardly shoot at a Russian ship tracking a strike package, or a Russian S400 in Belarus or Russia, Jamming wouldnt help either, we might as well send them the technical manuals for how we intend to jam their radar in future

But we couldnt afford not to either, but the rebels can quite easily plug in to the wider Russian net, and shoot using their targettng data.

The Rebels cant win, but Putin would happily sacrifice them to gain the opportunity to scan the best of the west.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Not be a dick but, wtf was it doing flying there in the first place?

Civies shouldnt fly over shooting wars...

you're all ****ed now!

The fed is beginning to end QE.
Four And a Half TRILLION dollars are being yanked from the system.
The currency defence pool of the BRICS bank stands at 1/45th of that.

The developing world that accepted asset bubbles over currency appreciation is about to see those bubbles popped painfully in a wave of defaults.  EUrope that pinned its hopes on a second 95-05 to save the day is in for a surprise.

And the UK, who allowed sterling to climb to over 1.7 to the dollar (I remember the days of 1.3) has to my mind the biggest currency buffer in the world.  When the world immolates, you can't help getting burnt, but expect those who soaked themselves in petrol to fall.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

BRICS Bank - Game Changer, we've just gone from Rugby League to Rugby Union...

Seriously, this is the biggest none story ever.

The BRICS have opened a bank, billed as a $200bn mega bank, which it would be, if this was 1870, and $200bn was a lot of money.  Its not, but even if it was, $200bn is just the headline grabbing number.

The reality is, half of that, is, "a reserve currency pool", an empty pool, of the rest, it looks like only $10bn is actually committed, and that paltry sum, over SEVEN years.

This is so unimportant, Market Oracle and Zero Hedge have ignored it.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Wet Shaving

I cant believe I haven't posted about this yet?

I switched to Wet Shaving in November 2012.

Partly, because I was getting two days out of a Mach3, and it was near bankrupting me (even buying trade packs thats a pound a day!) and partly because, lets be honest, it looks manly as hell.

I started off with, well, some pretty low cost gear.  A "starter pack" of a stand, brush, cheap soap in bowl, a mixer pack of half a dozen brands of blade, and my one upgrade, the Merkur 34c, a budget handle, but a nice one none the less.

First impressions were positive, its a new skill to learn, and if you mess up, you will peel your face, but you could "accidentally" nick your face, if you cut yourself, you new exactly what you have done wrong, and you dont do it again.  The difference between a 20p blade and a 40p blade is about £400, the difference is just unbelievable, and yes, a 40p feather is head, shoulders and balls above a £2 Mach3.  Finally, Sandlewood, is talcum power flavour, its not a cool grown up smell, its baby powder.

Step Two.
I ordered a few more soaps, lavender and almond, nicer smells, but they were still cheap soaps, which I regret, shaving soap lasts a long arse time, at least a year to use a bowl I think.

Step Three
Just received an aftershave balm, Geo F Trumper Skin Food, in a 500ml bottle that should last two years I figure, and 50 more Feathers, laugh all you want, but thats 50-100days at most,
The balm is actually really handy.

Cost Benefit.
"Modern" Shaving for a year cost me £365, plus face gloop, which I never really tracked.

Wet shaving blades for a year cost me £73, leaving, if you want a one year payback, £292
£40 gets you a proper top end soap
£95 gets you a much better brush than I own
£30 gets you a quality handle
£38 gets you a big arse bottle of balm

That still leaves a big chunk of change for a nice cologne, perhaps some matching shower soap.

A Nuclear Carrier - Nuclear CVF, politicallity

Rightly or Wrongly, wrongly, nuclear power is perceived to be dangerous.
If we rule out the USSR, there are ten deaths caused by nuclear accidents, according to wikipedia, more than that died on the deepwater horizon rig.

But, wrong people are sadly allowed to be wrong, and a nuclear QE would face a lot of issues, Docking in Australia would be off the cards, possibly any German ports, and well, its just a logistical nightmare.
The US gets away with it because their Carriers are virtual towns

This ones a bit shit, but basically, our allies, and even many of our own ports, are bat shit crazy and would make docking a nuclear CVF a hassle, if not downright impossible.

A Nuclear Carrier - Nuclear CVF, practicality

Is nuclear power even practical.
The power requirements of a ship are variable, at port, or trying to avoid notice, power use is minimal, making maximum speed, radar running at full whack, elevators lifting a pair of fully loaded F35s on to the deck for launch, fuel pumps at max to ready more, automated armories shifting pallets of heavy missile, the power usage could best be described as immense. 

As I touched on in the costs section, conventional engines are cheap, and can be turned on and off, its perfectly acceptable to have banks and banks of engines that are ran in shifts to power the low end, and that all run at once to power the high end.  And thats exactly what the QE does, between 9mw and 112mw.  There are of course other steps that can be taken via demand management, heating and cooling the ship, heating and cooling water, desalinating water, all things that can be done one a fairly flexible schedule.

On a nuclear carrier, thats a great deal harder.
The CgD and the US carriers all carry two reactors, which if we stick with the 20% throttling capability away from nominal, limits our scaling from 9-112 to 74-112, which seems like a phenomenal waste of power
Or, you could go with a single 36-55 reactor and keep the gas turbines, losing a lot of the benefits of nuclear in the first place.
Power output for the PWR2 and PWR3 doesnt appear to be publicly known, but the US Virginia class reactor outputs 30mw

It easy to say, it should be nuclear, but its actually a pretty tricky issue.