The $20bn plan to power Singapore with Australian solar

There are ambitious solar and wind projects planned for both the Northern Territory and the Pilbara in Western Australia. Photograph: Alice Solar City/AAP

 

 

 

 

 

 

The desert outside Tennant Creek, deep in the Northern Territory, is not the most obvious place to build and transmit Singapore’s future electricity supply. Though few in the southern states are yet to take notice, a group of Australian developers are betting that will change.

If they are right, it could have far-reaching consequences for Australia’s energy industry and what the country sells to the world.

Known as Sun Cable, it is promised to be the world’s largest solar farm. If developed as planned, a 10-gigawatt-capacity array of panels will be spread across 15,000 hectares and be backed by battery storage to ensure it can supply power around the clock.

Overhead transmission lines will send electricity to Darwin and plug into the NT grid. But the bulk would be exported via a high-voltage direct-current submarine cable snaking through the Indonesian archipelago to Singapore. The developers say it will be able to provide one-fifth of the island city-state’s electricity needs, replacing its increasingly expensive gas-fired power.

After 18 months in development, the $20bn Sun Cable development had a quiet coming out party in the Top End three weeks ago at a series of events held to highlight the NT’s solar potential. The idea has been embraced by the NT government and attracted the attention of the software billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes, who is considering involvement through his Grok Ventures private investment firm.

The NT plan follows a similarly ambitious proposal for the Pilbara, where another group of developers are working on an even bigger wind and solar hybrid plant to power local industry and develop a green hydrogen manufacturing hub. On Friday, project developer Andrew Dickson announced the scale of the proposed Asian Renewable Energy Hub had grown by more than a third, from 11GW to 15GW. “To our knowledge, it’s the largest wind-solar hybrid in the world,” he says.

Ross Garnaut, former advisor to Labor governments who is now professor of economics at the University of Melbourne and chairman of the Australian-German Energy Transition Hub, makes the case that there is another way ahead. In a recent lecture series that is being turned into a book, he lays out his analysis of how Australia, with the best renewable energy resource in the developed world, could expand its energy production while significantly reducing global emissions.

“If you have the transmission of electricity over very large distances between countries, then the flow of energy changes from liquid fuels – oil and LNG – to electrons. Ultimately, that’s a vastly more efficient way to transport energy. The incumbents just won’t be able to compete.”

Read the  complete article on  The Guardian newspaper here.

0

Prickly Jigsaw Puzzle

00:00
Completed:
0

Tagalog Word Search Puzzle

Words in this word search puzzle come from the Tagalog language.

Here is a small word search you should be able to play/solve on cellphones and tablets. Click on your browsers Reload Page button and words in puzzle will be rearranged for you. Click on Title to open page with puzzle.
Click on first or last letter of a word in word find puzzle. Move mouse across letters until the beginning or end of the word and click to highlight word in puzzle. Words may be in any direction and thus Hard level, unless specified otherwise.

Select Level:
{{ currentLevel.width }}x{{ currentLevel.height }}
{{cell.letter}}

 

0

Online Crossword July 12, 2019

Have fun solving this online Crossword Puzzle. Click on your browsers’ Reload Page icon to change crossword design.

If puzzle grid does not appear then click on Title to open puzzle page. For larger Crossword grids you may have to click on Reload Page to create another grid.

Click on Title to open page containing puzzle.


1. TexasMexico measure of land
2. Rocks
3. Snowy bird
4. I problem
5. Cashmere, e.g.
6. Modern workout system; two words
7. Clobber

0

To Delay Death, Lift Weights

Strength training is good for you. Photo from Studio Firma/Stocksy.

 

 

 

 

 

Two relatively new papers offer some eye-opening insights into the benefits of strength training, even for people who consistently blow the aerobic exercise guidelines out of the water.

The first is an analysis of the link between strength, muscle mass, and mortality, from a team at Indiana University using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The design was pretty straightforward: They assessed 4,440 adults ages 50 or up who had their strength and muscle mass assessed between 1999 and 2002. The researchers checked back in 2011 to see who had died.

For muscle mass, they used a DEXA scanner to determine that 23 percent of the subjects met one definition of “low muscle mass,” with total muscle in the arms and legs adding up to less than 43.5 pounds in men or 33 pounds in women. For strength, they used a device that measures maximum force of the knee extensors (the muscles that allow you to straighten your knee) and found that 19 percent of the subjects had low muscle strength.

The results, published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, found that those with low muscle strength were more than twice as likely to have died during the follow-up period than those with normal muscle strength. In contrast, having low muscle mass didn’t seem to matter as much

The message here? Function matters more than what you look like. That doesn’t mean you can afford to let your muscle melt away as you age; having a good reserve of muscle mass may be important, for example, if you end up having to spend time in the hospital at some point. But it’s good news for those of us who struggle to put on muscle but persist in slogging through a reasonable number of pull-ups and other strength exercises.

The other study took aim at the perception that strength training is an afterthought in public health guidelines. Most of us remember that we’re supposed to get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. Reams of data support the beneficial health effects of hitting this goal.

But the guidelines also suggest doing “strength-promoting exercise” at least twice a week—a clause that’s often forgotten and the benefits of which are usually framed in terms of avoiding frailty and improving quality of life, rather than actually extending it.

Researchers in Australia analyzed data from 80,000 adults in England and Scotland who completed surveys about their physical activity patterns starting in the 1990s. The headline result was that those who reported doing any strength training were 23 percent less likely to die during the study period and 31 percent less likely to die of cancer. Meeting the guidelines by strength training twice a week offered a little extra benefit.

One interesting (and, for me, reassuring) detail: Strength training in a gym and doing body weight exercises seemed to confer roughly equivalent benefits. So you don’t necessarily need to heave around large quantities of iron.

There’s some evidence that strength training may reduce blood pressure but increase artery stiffness, effectively canceling out the heart benefits. This study can’t answer that question, but the findings do suggest that ditching aerobic exercise entirely may not be optimal. And indeed, the best outcomes of all—a 29 percent reduction in mortality risk during the study—accrued to those who met both the aerobic and strength-training guidelines.

So, in summary, strength training is good for you. Does that really tell you anything you didn’t know? Perhaps not.

Read the complete article in Outside here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

Home from hospital

I’m back home after another short stay in hospital. Doctors seem to have gotten proper medication now and confirmed earlier suspicions regarding a new problem with my health. Sheesh. Getting old is a pain in the arse.

I’ll be getting back to making more puzzles as I regain my strength. Nice to be back home.

A bed by a window

0

Just Another Crossword

Have fun solving this online Crossword Puzzle. Click on your browsers’ Reload Page icon to change crossword design.

If puzzle grid does not appear then click on Title to open puzzle page. For larger Crossword grids you may have to click on Reload Page to create another grid.

Click on Title to open page containing puzzle.


1. Handgun alternative
2. Female animal
3. Holland
4. Opposed
5. Deck
6. Opium
7. Negation

0

Global Warming Jigsaw Puzzle

Use mouse to move jigsaw pieces so they form a completed image.

Click your Browser Reload Page icon to change puzzle layout.

Click on Title of puzzle to open its own page with playable puzzle.

00:00
Completed:

0

Music Jigsaw Puzzle

Use mouse to move jigsaw pieces so they form a completed image.

Click your Browser Reload Page icon to change puzzle layout.

Click on Title of puzzle to open its own page with playable puzzle.

00:00
Completed:

 

0

China v America; A new kind of cold war

 

 

 

 

Source: The Economist magazine.

FIGHTING OVER trade is not the half of it. The United States and China are contesting every domain, from semiconductors to submarines and from blockbuster films to lunar exploration. The two superpowers used to seek a win-win world. Today winning seems to involve the other lot’s defeat—a collapse that permanently subordinates China to the American order; or a humbled America that retreats from the western Pacific. It is a new kind of cold war that could leave no winners at all.

As our special report in this week’s issue explains, superpower relations have soured. America complains that China is cheating its way to the top by stealing technology, and that by muscling into the South China Sea and bullying democracies like Canada and Sweden it is becoming a threat to global peace. China is caught between the dream of regaining its rightful place in Asia and the fear that tired, jealous America will block its rise because it cannot accept its own decline.

The temptation is to shut China out, as America successfully shut out the Soviet Union—not just Huawei, which supplies 5G telecoms kit and was this week blocked by a pair of orders, but almost all Chinese technology. Yet, with China, that risks bringing about the very ruin policymakers are seeking to avoid. Global supply chains can be made to bypass China, but only at huge cost. In nominal terms Soviet-American trade in the late 1980s was $2bn a year; trade between America and China is now $2bn a day. In crucial technologies such as chipmaking and 5G, it is hard to say where commerce ends and national security begins. The economies of America’s allies in Asia and Europe depend on trade with China. Only an unambiguous threat could persuade them to cut their links with it.

It would be just as unwise for America to sit back. No law of physics says that quantum computing, artificial intelligence and other technologies must be cracked by scientists who are free to vote. Even if dictatorships tend to be more brittle than democracies, President Xi Jinping has reasserted party control and begun to project Chinese power around the world. Partly because of this, one of the very few beliefs which unite Republicans and Democrats is that America must act against China. But how?

For a start America needs to stop undermining its own strengths and build on them instead. Given that migrants are vital to innovation, the Trump administration’s hurdles to legal immigration are self-defeating. So are its frequent denigration of any science that does not suit its agenda and its attempts to cut science funding (reversed by Congress, fortunately).

Another of those strengths lies in America’s alliances and the institutions and norms it set up after the second world war. Team Trump has rubbished norms instead of buttressing institutions and attacked the European Union and Japan over trade rather than working with them to press China to change. American hard power in Asia reassures its allies, but President Donald Trump tends to ignore how soft power cements alliances, too. Rather than cast doubt on the rule of law at home and bargain over the extradition of a Huawei executive from Canada, he should be pointing to the surveillance state China has erected against the Uighur minority in the western province of Xinjiang.

Read the complete article on The Economist magazine site here.

0

Australia Jigsaw Puzzle

Use mouse to move jigsaw pieces so they form a completed image.

Click your Browser Reload Page icon to change puzzle layout.

Click on Title to view puzzle page.

00:00
Completed:

0

Online Biology Wordsearch Puzzle. Easy

Here is a small word search you should be able to play/solve on cellphones and tablets. Click on your browsers Reload Page button and words in puzzle will be rearranged for you. Click on Title to open page with puzzle.
Click on first or last letter of a word in word find puzzle. Move mouse across letters until the beginning or end of the word and click to highlight word in puzzle. Words may be in any direction and thus Hard level, unless specified otherwise.

Select Level:
{{ currentLevel.width }}x{{ currentLevel.height }}
{{cell.letter}}

0

The future of housing looks nothing like today’s

When Lisa Cini and her husband, kids, and rescue dog moved in with her parents and grandmother a few years ago, the Ohio-based architect pored over the design of her 94-year-old grandma’s bedroom “apartment.” An Alzheimer’s diagnosis made security and mobility important, but her ideas went beyond extra locks and grab-bars; she felt it was crucial that she have her own living room within the family home.

“It’s interesting, when we’re younger and full of life, when we’re just doing life so hard, we have to find time to sleep. But when we get old, when we’re slowing down so much, we have to work to find ways to do more life and less sleep,” Cini recalls in her book about living with four generations under one roof. Designing a separate living room gave her grandma a space to hang out, engage, and entertain visitors outside of her bedroom, a subtle but important distinction. “Her living room really helps her keep living life,” Cini observes.

Cini’s situation–four generations under one roof–was an unusual one, compared to the way most Americans have lived over the past century, when socioeconomic forces have made it normal for Americans to live as nuclear families, in contrast to the last few thousand years of human history.

But for complex reasons that still puzzle researchers, multigenerational households are now on the rise once more. As many as 41% of Americans buying a home are considering accommodating an elderly parent or an adult child, according to a survey conducted by John Burns Real Estate Consulting. Living with your parents (or your adult children) has plenty of potential benefits–everyone tends to save money, it can potentially benefit health outcomes, and you get to spend more time together.

The emphasis on physical and financial independence at every stage of adulthood has high incurred costs, though. The first is the massive accumulation of capital, from money to land to natural resources to labor, necessary to supply the cars, airports, fuel, roads, land, and housing for a country of 327 million people who want to live conspicuously apart.

The second is social isolation. The idea that it’s normal for each nuclear family to own a single-family home, connected to other people only by cars, is actually “radical,” as architect and cohousing development consultant Katie McCamant puts it. “It’s held up this great dream that not only Americans should strive so hard for, but the whole rest of the world looks to as a model now,” she says. “There’s been so much emphasis on independence and on privacy that we really designed community right out of our lives without knowing it.”

In short, for complex economic, social, and cultural reasons, what constitutes “normal” housing for seniors in America is changing. Culture may also play a role. “I think there’s a tighter connection just generationally between young adults and their parents,” says Chris Porter, an analyst at John Burns Real Estate Consulting who tracks housing trends. That closeness is influencing the senior housing market, as well as the way senior-focused housing is marketed. “We’re seeing the golf course as less of an amenity these days for senior housing,” says Porter, who has worked with several developers to redevelop golf courses as housing. “The real amenity for seniors is being near their kids and grandkids. I think that comes back to that connection between the boomers and their kids.”

Cini’s grandmother passed last year, and looking back, she has a few things she would do differently. Some have to do with small quality-of-life details: She wishes she would have added heated flooring to her grandma’s bathroom and a light under every stair. Others underline the challenges of designing for four generations with different expectations about technology. Even though she and her husband could control their Philips Hue lights from their phones, her dad missed the light switch. “It’s still about choice. I think we forget that that should be an option,” she says.

According to research by the AARP, almost 90% of seniors want to remain in their own homes as they age, also known as aging in place. That can be complex. For a multitude of reasons, living with your adult children, if you have them, isn’t always an option. Caregivers are increasingly hard to come by, and not all homes are designed for aging bodies.

There are other, subtle problems that aging in place can create, as the architect Katie McCamant points out. “What I hear a lot is when people first retire, they often say, ‘I’ve never been busier. I’m involved in all these clubs and these groups and doing this and that and volunteering there,’” she says. But all that activity usually depends entirely on the ability to drive. Take that away, and aging in place gets more complex. “You find out that my connection to all these things I’m so busy with is my car. And if I can’t drive, I’m totally cut off.”

Read the complete article on Fast Company here.

0

The US-China trading relationship will be fraught for years to come

China is happy to buy more American goods, including soyabeans and shale gas, in an effort to cut the bilateral trade deficit, a goal which is economically pointless but close to Mr Trump’s heart. It is willing to relax rules that prevent American firms from controlling their operations in China and to crack down on Chinese firms’ rampant theft of intellectual property. Any deal will also include promises to limit the government’s role in the economy.

The trouble is that it is unlikely—whatever the Oval Office claims—that a signed piece of paper will do much to shift China’s model away from state capitalism. Its vast subsidies for producers will survive. Promises that state-owned companies will be curbed should be taken with a pinch of salt. In any case the government will continue to allocate capital through a state-run banking system with $38trn of assets. Attempts to bind China by requiring it to enact market-friendly legislation are unlikely to work given that the Communist Party is above the law. Almost all companies, including the privately owned tech stars, will continue to have party cells that wield back-room influence. And as China Inc becomes even more technologically sophisticated and expands abroad, tensions over its motives will intensify.

At some point this year Mr Trump and Xi Jinping, his Chinese counterpart, could well proclaim a new era in superpower relations from the White House lawn. If so, don’t believe what you hear. The lesson of the past decade is that stable trade relations between countries require them to have much in common—including a shared sense of how commerce should work and a commitment to enforcing rules. The world now features two superpowers with opposing economic visions, growing geopolitical rivalry and deep mutual suspicion. Regardless of whether today’s trade war is settled, that is not about to change.

Source: The Economist Magazine.

0

Australian $50 note typo: spelling mistake printed 46 million times

bank note mistake

The Reserve Bank has confirmed a spelling mistake has been made on 46 million new Australian $50 notes. The typo misspells the word ‘responsibility’. Photograph: Daniel Pockett/AAP

 

 

 

 

 

 

The “new and improved” $50 banknote was rolled out in October last year, with a host of new technologies designed to improve accessibility and prevent counterfeiting.

But the yellow note also contains a typo that misspells the word “responsibility”.

The note features the Indigenous writer and inventor David Unaipon on one side, and Edith Cowan, Australia’s first female member of parliament, on the other – as it has since 1995.

The RBA has printed “micro-text” on the note with excerpts of Unaipon’s book, Legendary Tales of the Australian Aborigines, and Cowan’s first speech to parliament.

The small error occurred on Cowan’s side, in the text of her speech.

“It is a great responsibilty [sic] to be the only woman here, and I want to emphasise the necessity which exists for other women being here,” it says.

On Thursday, an RBA spokeswoman said the bank was “aware of it and the spelling will be corrected at the next print run”.

Read the complete article on The Guardian here.

0

Huawei CFO seeks halt to extradition after Trump comments

Meng Wanzhou, 47, who faces charges related to Iran sanctions violations, was appearing at a Vancouver courthouse on Wednesday to set a timetable for her upcoming extradition hearing.

“The criminal case against Miss Meng is based on allegations that are simply untrue,” her spokesman Benjamin Howes said outside, telling reporters she would apply for a stay of the proceedings.

He alleged that “political factors” were behind her arrest and said her rights had been violated.

Her lawyers claimed comments by Trump, who said the charges could be dropped if that would help China trade talks, showed the case was politically motivated.

Huawei said in a statement on Wednesday that the criminal case against Meng was “guided by political considerations and tactics, not by the rule of law”.

Read the complete article on The Guardian newspaper here.

0

Trump’s Advisors

Use mouse to move jigsaw pieces so they form a completed image.

Click your Browser Reload Page icon to change puzzle layout.

Click on Title to view puzzle page.

00:00
Completed:

0

Online Flower Puzzle

Click on Tile of puzzle to open playable page. Move pieces as you would in any jigsaw puzzle game.

00:00
Completed:

0

Crossword Puzzle 5

Have fun solving this online Crossword Puzzle. Click on your browsers’ Reload Page icon to change crossword design.

If puzzle grid does not appear then click on Title to open puzzle page. For larger Crossword grids you may have to click on Reload Page to create another grid.

Click on Title to open page containing puzzle.


1. Channelselector position
2. Water park recreation
3. Smeltery
4. Meter connection 7,4
5. Petcock
6. Aviator's guide
0