You can’t give them away

How do you put a value on things that have no price? …

I was looking in the local charity or good-will shops last Monday and came across a couple of atlases in the bargain bin of one of them.

Everything in it was 20 pence.

There isn't much yo can buy in Britain these days for 20p. Except for what else you might pick up in a charity shop, I don't think you can find anything.

Back in the day when a 20p coin was called 2 shillings it would have bought you a pint of beer or a loaf and more.

Back when itr was called a florin, it might have been a workman's wages for the day and been made with silver. Adulterated but even so…

You know when you examne an opld book, the corners tend to be banged a bit and often as not the spine will be a bit ropey. These things didn't look like they had even been used.
Some dickhead had written their mark inside: X 3, in small "letters" that just spoiled it. Apart from that the pages hadn't been opened.

Nobody wants huge text books these days. The quality of the paper and the production of the plates as first class buit compared to what you can find on any old computer…


Don't you think that is a shame.

If you offered a person an unused computer that cost as much as a thousand pounds back in the early 1990's they would just laugh at you.
What would you expect them to do with a computer that came with 4 megabytes of RAM?

And yet in its day this was cutting edge technology already replacing encyclopaedias. It was possible to get a collection of books on CD that would tak a town's public library to house.

These days with 4 core chips common and the 64 bit operating system architceture, computers are so fast that any further development of them for the home or office desktop is pointless. What is holding them back now in Britain is the development of the networking side of thinkgs. Internet connection.

But even relatively slow copper connections are astounding. Nobody bothers with books these days because if you want to know something ANYTHING you just tap it into your computer and you have the answer on tap.

And these days it is taking its toll on the public library system.
Nobody goes to libraries these days.

Only old people like me and the very young.
It's the end of a culture.
It's sad.

I feel sorry for the way things are but an hundred years ago when Andrew Carnegie gave his fortuneto set them up, what sort pof life style did it replace?

Was a more vibrant culture that learned everything at the cutting edge; turned soft by a generation taught at desks?
Boys brought up with silly ideas gained from pedlars of literature?
Softened with learned reasonings?

And thinking themselves more clever than their fathers?


Was it ever any different?

Who can tell?

The world Atlas I got is a very old book.

It calls the north west of Asia the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics. The Soviet Union was replaced in the late 1990'2 by a new breed of Russians and newly freed eastern European surfs.

A lot of them came over here to make the most of our version of socialism and do the sorts of jobs nobody was willing to do, until they were populous enough to change our economy.

Which was in any case corrupt enough to fall on its own, which it did 20 years after Russia.
And here I am now treasuring a text book that was cutting edge in the mid 1980's an era when the President of the Russian Empire Mikhail Gorbachev was talking about Perestroika

It must have been a glorious heartbreak for the makers of this Atlas to see it go so quickly out of date. I wonder how long it lingered on which bookshelves unopened all those years until it was given to a shop run by a chartable trust.

I suppose I will never know.

But I am not interested in Russia. I am not interested in North America come to that.

I want to know what the places on the coast of Antarctica are called and I am interestd in the shape of the oceans. And this is the book for me.


6 thoughts on “You can’t give them away

  1. How the world works.Who is going to tell you that?God has not instructed you and you can't find it on the internet. The history of the planet is called politics. ho could believe anything about politicians?And who would waant to?Who would want anything to do with the prominent families of Earth?Their only claim to fame is the terrorism the spread on the lands they fought over as the chose to kill each other for the benefit of mankind.The natural history of the planet has been pillaged in one way or another in the annals of the 4 to 6 thousand years we have chronology for.In the era of mass communication and a wprd wide educational facility that is the Internet, we are racing to destroy out seas and our forests.Rivers and lakes are choked and arid. What is left of some of them are deadly poisons.But ther is one continent that remains unspoiled until now. Antarctica.It's regions have horrible names like Queen Maud Lnad and Marie Byrd Land.Places named for people who had never heard of Antarctica and wouldn't want to go there for more than a sightseeing trip it that had been possible.It is divided among the rich nations of the world by geometric rotations from the South Pole. That segment claimed by Australia is well over 90 degrees split by a wedge that France hold.That which Britain claims is also claimed by Argentina in one part and Chile in another. So that is a stage set for some serious politics in a time yet to come.Norway lays a claim to a large segment as does everybody else that matters in a land of scientific make believe.It is a place full of riches too barren to support industrial piracy yet. Slowly all the life that exists there is being destroyed.The big whales and the like are in danger. Soon much worse will occur there as new golds are saught.I won't say care about any of that. The world is filled with suicidal environmentalists who will do their damnedest to fight pillagers when the time comes.They won't stop the casual destruction of locals or non locals of the type that is destroying the corals and the sea life in warmer climes. But they will try.There is nothing in our history for me to take hope from so I am not going to go there. There are plenty of horrid things in my own back yard that could keep me occupied enough.What I want from the Antarctic is the key to the weather. It is the weathercock that will unlock the heart of the solar system.

  2. The chart of Australia sitting in a circle made up of both the Indian and Pacific oceans caused me to get out my globe again. There is no doubt but that the Pacific is exactly half the globe, touching at it's extremes:Los Angeles; Nunivak and Vladivostok in the north and in the south:Punta Arenas; Perth and somewhere just the other side of the South Pole.On the chart showing Australia and the two oceans, Eastern Australia is just west of the centre of the planet's major geological features:A ring of mountains runs from Southern Chile up through western Canada and out into Siberia down past Mongolia and out to Karachi. They are picked up again in Africa at AEthiopia and continue to South Africa.The ocean ridges next form an inner circle with the Maldives south of India, joining the Chagos Laccadives Platteau, which becomes the Mid Indian and South East Indian Ridges.There are ridges running either side of this construction -but you can see where this is going:To the Pacific Antarctic Ridge and East Pacific Rise.The next obvious "circle" isn't so much the shape of the land as much as its absence.The circle of ocean depths:The Mid Indian; Wharton and Perth Basins of the Indian Ocean and the South West Pacific Basin. It gets a little deep and unspecific in the depths off Hawaii.Or maybe I should look closer?The North West Pacific Basin is Mentioned but we don't appear to have named the North East one.Ah wheel, not to worry. It's all there in primary colours. (Not a bad bargain for 20p.)The inner circle is made up of Sumaterra, Australia and New Zealand… where it goes to seed somewhat. It basically runs along the Kermadek and Tonga Ridges up to Western Samoa and disperses on the Central Pacific Basin.The central feature of all of these coincidenta are the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and a depth off Tuvalu.All apparent sinks where any series of earthquakes generated from any one spell (or of any adjacent series of spells) tend to converge:Vanuatu.

  3. And now for something to tie all this into the phenomenon called SuperQuakes: NASA's EarthObservatory were kind enough to send me tha above. It came with this week's news letter that also contained a lot of stuff germain to my OP:Latest Images:* Fire in Kuwait* North America Swelters in March Heat* Shanghai At Night: A Growing City* Lakshadweep Islands* New View of the Deepest Trench* Global Forest Heights: Take Two* The Hottest Spot on Earth <<< This was a good one.* Linear Dunes of the Caprivi Strip <<<< I found that boring. I will live to regret that. link?Try this: posted by Some NASA PR droid:

    First they called it the year without a winter. Then springtime began to feel more like summer…. March 2012 saw thousands of daily temperature records fall… in a temperature record that dates back to 1895.The map shows global temperature anomalies for March 2012, based on an ongoing analysis by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. It shows changes from the norm, not absolute temperatures [but] how temperatures rose above or below the average… compared to the base period of 1951-1980.For the month, the eastern two-thirds of the United States, as well as the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Quebec, and Manitoba, saw temperatures in the GISS map approaching as much as 10 degrees Celsius above normal (deep reds).Temperatures were extreme in the Arctic Ocean around Svalbard, the Barents Sea, and the Kara Sea. Far eastern Siberia, Alaska, and north western North America were >>>>significantly colder<<<< while much of Europe and western Russia were warmer than normal (following a much colder February).[This is satellite data of course. Imagery that is corrected to 2 meters above ground in line with data from Stephenson screens.]According to an analysis by NOAA, the average March temperature was 10.6 degrees C (for the 48 contiguous states, which was 4.8 degrees C above the 20th century average for March.“Of the more than 1,400 months that have passed since the U.S. record began, only one month (January 2006) has seen a larger departure from its average temperature than March 2012.”You can view and download global temperature anomaly images (updated monthly) on NASA Earth Observations. To see the trends in global temperatures over the past 130 years, visit World of Change: Global Temperatures.Related ReadingNASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (n.d.) GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP). Accessed April 16, 2012.NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory (2012, April 9) Meteorological March Madness 2012. Accessed April 16, 2012.NOAA National Climatic Data Center (2012, April 9) State of the Climate: National Overview. Accessed April 16, 2012.The Washington Post (2012, April 9) Warmest January to March period on record in U.S., including Washington, D.C., Chicago, Boston. Accessed April 16, 2012.NASA image by Robert Simmon, based on data from the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Caption by Michael Carlowicz.

  4. Originally posted by Weatherlawyer:

    “Of the more than 1,400 months that have passed since the U.S. record began, only one month (January 2006) has seen a larger departure from its average temperature than March 2012.”

    That was disappointing:Originally posted by NEIC:

    Magnitude 8.0 TONGA May 03, 2006 7.6 KORYAKIA, RUSSIA April 20, 2006 6.1 WESTERN IRAN March 31, 2006 6.7 SERAM, INDONESIA March 14, 2006 6.4 SOUTH OF THE FIJI ISLANDS February 26, 20067.0 MOZAMBIQUE February 22, 2006 7.6 BANDA SEA January 27, 2006 fear Weatherlawyer's here.

  5. Originally posted by Weatherlawyer:

    That was disappointing/Never fear Weatherlawyer's here.

    The third historical eruption of Anatahan began on 5 January. Occasional, small long-period events were noted as early as 2 January, followed by harmonic tremor early on 4 January, which increased in size through midday 5 January.No large events or explosion signals were associated with the onset of the eruption, which probably occurred middle to late 5 January. Guam tower reported a low plume of thin ash and gas up to ~150 m above the volcano early on 6 January. The VAAC reported a plume at 1225 on 6 January that was 60 km long and 20 km wide blowing westward.***KVERT raised the Concern Color Code 11 January from Orange to Red (the highest level). According to seismic data, an explosive eruption of the volcano began at 2002 on 11 January and was inferred to have produced an ash column to 8-10 km a.s.l. About 60 earthquakes of magnitude 1.25-2.25, and numerous weaker, shallow events registered during 7-11 January. Intermittent volcanic tremor was recorded on 10 January.***During 9-14 January, the eruption of Anatahan volcano stabilized, as explosion signals became larger and generally less frequent than previously observed, averaging a few explosions per minute. Early on 16 January, the eruption stopped for a couple of hours, then surged to 50 percent above the previous high.16 January, the eruption declined slowly for several hours and stopped for about 8 hours before it returned to the level of 9-14 January. 18 January, activity surged to its second highest level. Then around 10:00 activity declined to the level of 9-14 January.The Emergency Management Office has placed Anatahan Island off limits until further notice and concludes that, although the volcano is not currently dangerous to most aircraft, conditions may change rapidly.***Due to an increase in volcanic activity at Ebeko, on 30 January KVERT raised the Concern Color Code from Green to Yellow. 28-29 January, a plume rose ~300 m above the vent on the on the NE side of the volcano's active crater. Ash deposits that were 2-3 mm thick were found 10 m from the vent. Ash extended about 500 m E.At this time a new 7×12-m turquoise lake emerged in the SW part of the active crater. The lake disappeared on 30 January, and there was intensive fumarolic activity where it had been.***27 January RVO at Manam reported severe eruptions. Debris was voluminous and widespread on the island. RVO's monitoring base at was completely destroyed by a possible pyroclastic flow. One person was killed by volcanic activity and about 14 people in Warisi were injured.***ANATAHAN Mariana Islands, central Pacific Ocean 16.35°N, 145.67°E; summit elev. 788 m30 January Anatahan continued with Strombolian explosions occurring about every minute. Seismicity reached a high on 26 January, 20% above previous levels for the year.27th the explosions became larger but less frequent, a pilot reported ash to ~3 km a.s.l. and satellite imagery also showed a plume of ash and vog trailing 65-90 km downwind.30 January seismicity levels were 15% below values of January 26.***EGON Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia 8.67°S, 122.45°E; 1,703 m; All times are local (= UTC + 8 hours)7 February DVGHM raised the Alert Level to 4 (the highest level.) The eruption was preceded by an increase in tremor, and consisted of the ejection of "glowing lava" and lapilli-sized material deposited on the volcano's S flank.An eruption occurred on 7 February similar in size to the 6 February eruption. Sulfur [I think this should be hydrogen sulphide] in the villages of Hebing and Hale. One villager was knocked unconscious due to the gas. All of the vegetation along a fissure on the volcano's S flank had died, also indicating that there was a strong gas emission.***3-7 February, Strombolian explosions continued at Anatahan. On several days ash plumes rose as high as ~6 km a.s.l. Vog drifted as far as 340 km SSE to Guam, decreasing visibility there to 10 km. Saipan and Rota complained of health problems from the ash and vog.***No new reports were added to the archives.10-13 February, frequent Strombolian explosions continued at Anatathan, but slowly declined to about 5-10% of the peak levels attained during the current eruption. During the report period, ash rose as high as ~6 km***COLIMA western México 19.514°N,103.62°W; summit elev. ~3,850 mDuring 9-15 February, several small explosions at Colima sent ash to low altitudes. An explosion on 12 February was accompanied by a pyroclastic flow that traveled ~2.5 km SE down the Montegrande and San Antonio ravines (Video missing from: stuff from 2005 on here 1:08 in:

    )This is more interesting:

  6. The increased temperatures in January 2006 appear to be focussed at Anatahan in the Marianas.You can guess where that is near can't you?Magnitude 7.6 BANDA SEA January 27, 2006

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