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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted -  15/12/2007  :  07:03
I thought it might be a good thing to have a topic devoted to this important subject.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 28/08/2009 : 15:34
Sue, you've reminded me of us splitting dandelion stalks in half and the one we put in fresh water went limp while the one in salt water went rigid.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Posted - 29/08/2009 : 10:52
That sounds the wrong way around, Stanley. The saltwater has less water molecules in it and will draw them out of the stalk making it limp. The stalk in freshwater gains water molecules and becomes turgid. Another common experiment uses a piece of potato instead of the dandelion stalk. Sue will correct me if I'm wrong.

Sue, Mrs Tiz use to teach osmosis too. My science is biology and chemistry and I think anyone with a biology background tends to describe osmosis in terms of cells. Physicists have a different take on it and like to discuss it as all to do with entropy. I find it easiest to think of like molecules repelling each other regardless of any other types of molecule present, so the water molecules try to be as far from each other as possible. This then results in water molecules moving into the salt solution because it's too crowded out there on the water side of the membrane. I'm sure the physicists wouldn't like my world view!

And that reminds me of one of my favourite cartoons. It showed two prisoners looking out through the barred window of their cell. One is saying to the other: "I'd escape but there are too many people out there already."


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frankwilk
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3975 Posts
Posted - 29/08/2009 : 13:16
Was it the Reverse Osmosis system,  that was used to turn Brackish Water into Drinking Water  ??



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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 29/08/2009 : 16:58
The model they showed was producing a flow of water from a battery of osmotic cells sufficient to turn a small turbine. They made no mention of desalination.

I've just become aware of the Solar Storm of 1859. Must learn more!

http://www.geomag.bgs.ac.uk/carrington.html


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Posted - 30/08/2009 : 11:45
Reverse osmosis is one of the ways of producing drinking water from salty water but I didn't know of this concept that Stanley is writing about. I guess it must be `salinity gradient power' which is described on this Wikipedia page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osmotic_power

I know there is a difference in pressure resulting from osmosis but I'm not clear how this potential energy is used to run the turbine. Perhaps it's more clear to you engineering folk?


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panbiker
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2300 Posts
Posted - 30/08/2009 : 15:55


quote:
Stanley wrote:

I've just become aware of the Solar Storm of 1859. Must learn more!

http://www.geomag.bgs.ac.uk/carrington.html

These sites may be of interest Stanley, it's a fascinating subject.

http://spaceweather.com/

http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/today.html

When I was active on the VHF Amateur Radio bands chasing auroral propagation, I used to maintain a sunspot calendar based on a 28.25 day cycle to track potential auroral activity. Sunspot activity and solar flares trigger aurora in the upper atmosphere and can be used to propagate radio signals vast distances. Space weather sites such as these are a fantastic resource to monitor what's happening out there. It should be a lot easier to predict with resources like these.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 31/08/2009 : 07:00
That's the one Peter. The water in the fresher cells rose and thew salt water dropped. The point of the experiment was that the pressure generated in the cell if you blocked egress of the brackish water when full rose rapidly and they think that on a commercial scale this could generate enough pressurised water to run a turbine. I still don't understand where the energy comes from as there is no input.

I've dug a bit further into the Carrington event in 1859 and there are reports of telegraph systems being knocked out by induced current surges. Make you wonder what a similar even would do now for a computerised world! My interest is to look at these events (like Tamboura) and see if there was any detectable sign in our local history. We sometimes fail to appreciate that things we see in the history are a result of great natural events. We get bad harvests reported but no mention of what caused the localised climate change.

On the subject of radio waves, I heard a discussion the other day about a NASA experiment where they injected millions of copper needles into the upper atmosphere to try to improve radio performance. Evidently about 50% of the needles are still out there and a worry because of the increase in space debris.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Posted - 31/08/2009 : 12:11
On what drives osmosis, you are in good company. See this link:

http://www.springerlink.com/content/h4682w7366825p22/

On historical events that follow on from natural events, wasn't there such a case coinciding with the end of the Napolenoic War which made life much worse? Poor weather causing famine at a time when soldiers were returning to civilian life and looking for work? I guess it was the Tambora eruption.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 01/09/2009 : 07:12
Yup, I did an article about it and sent it to my mate Bob in St Louis, here's what I wrote and his reply.

I wrote:

FURTHER EDUCATION APRIL 2009

As I have always said, never take anything I tell you as a final truth, all I can do is give you my best shot and further research always modifies my thinking. You may remember me telling you about the eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia on the 5th of April 1815. This was the biggest volcanic event in recorded history. As far as we can tell, the only one that ever exceeded Tambora was in 181AD when the Hatepe or Lake Taupo eruption in New Zealand had effects all over the globe. We know this happened and have an idea of the scale but as far as I know there are no records apart from the archaeology. The reason I was interested in Tambora was because we know it affected us in Barlick. There was ‘The Year Without a Summer’ because debris from the eruption in the upper atmosphere blocked out the sun, altered climate and produced major famine all over Europe. This was the year of Waterloo and Napoleon’s final defeat and this event takes precedence in the history books. I’ve always wondered whether the economic depression that followed the wars in Europe was wholly caused by the disruption caused by the fighting. It seems to me that the failure of the harvests and famine could have had major effects. During my digging into the climate record I found hints that the period 1850 to 1860 was notable for low rainfall in Europe. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find any concrete rainfall records to bolster my impression. However, it got me to thinking about the effects of climate change around 1850.

One thing that has always struck me about this period in Barlick is that the water supply for Billycock Bracewell’s new mills at Butts (1846) and Wellhouse (1854) is a recurring topic in the contemporary accounts. Atkinson mentions it in his history of Barlick. It was during this period that Bracewell bought Ouzledale Mill, no doubt with ideas of exploiting its water resource but he was thwarted by Mitchell and the Slaters at what became Clough Mill. His next attempt to improve the water supply at Butts was to build Springs Dam to help manage the available water more efficiently. At the same time he made some very contentious alterations to the drainage on the hillside above Springs to divert water into his dam which should really have been flowing into Dark Well which he didn’t control.

Then there is the matter of the Corn Mill. In the 1851 census, Robert Waite is recorded as the corn miller and he employed two men. This doesn’t necessarily mean he owned the mill but was certainly working it. I think that William Bracewell of Newfield Edge rented and certainly owned it later. It was most likely Billycock who enlarged the dam in 1850 making it the biggest and best managed water resource in the town. This dam is now filled in and is the garage site that runs alongside the beck from Gisburn Road to the mill. This was four years before he built what is now Wellhouse Mill and I have an idea he was thinking about water for Wellhouse as well as the Corn Mill when he bought the mill and made these improvements. What is certain is that he installed a six inch cast iron pipe from the Corn Mill Dam down to Wellhouse dams. There are hints of this in Atkinson but positive proof in the Calf Hall Shed Company records because they considered using this supply 50 years later and tested the flow. They never actually took advantage of it, I suspect that the BUDC who owned the mill by then wanted too much for water rate.

Once the water left the Corn Mill it fed Old Coates Mill which was on the site of the present Rolls Royce car park at the bottom of Crow Nest Road. There is a further complication because Bracewell controlled the Bowker Drain which runs from Salterforth to the Butts Beck at the bottom of the Rolls car park. I have little doubt that Billycock did his cousins at Old Coates no favours by how he managed the water flow from the Corn Mill but there is no written proof. However, at that time Wellhouse Mill was taking all the water from the Bowker drain into its dams and they were overflowing night and day. Left to its own devices, this water would have drained back into the Crow Nest Syke and augmented the supply for Old Coates. I am not the only one who has puzzled over this, Harold Duxbury as manager of the Calf Hall company was interested in it as well. While the dams were still operational and overflowing he dyed the water and found that the overflow was piped directly to Butts Beck below the level of the Old Cates dam by a large cast iron pipe. I can see only one reason for going to this significant cost, to deprive the Bracewell Brothers at Old Coates of the water which could have served their mill. There is one further clue. When the Bracewell Brothers went bankrupt in 1860 and vacated the mill it was bought by a man called Nuttall who had assumed he could divert the water from the Bowker Drain into his dam. Billycock fought a lawsuit against this in the Chancery Court and won. Nuttall had to abandon the Old Coates Mill and seven years later built New Coates Mill which was demolished in 2008. Not surprisingly, the condenser water for this mill came from the canal and couldn’t be blocked by Bracewell.

Looking at all this evidence I have made the assumption over the years that all this manipulation and fighting for control over the water was down to one thing, the almost megomaniacal streak in Billycock which drove him to try to get total control. I still think that this is a major motive but I’m beginning to wonder now whether there was a contributory factor, was there a ten year period of lower rainfall around 1850 and was this the first reason driving Bracewell to acquire more water?

On balance I think it was. Building Springs Dam, diverting water and buying Ouzledale Mill could not have helped him to damage his cousins. These major expenses effected with bank loans can only have been done to improve water supplies at Butts. Indeed, better management of the headwaters of the Butts Beck can only have helped Old Coates. Buying the Corn Mill around 1850, installing the pipe to his new mill and making sure the overflow from the Bowker Drain went directly into Butts Beck can only be explained by a desire to serve Wellhouse and in the process damage his cousin’s operations.

So, whilst I still think that Bracewell was actively trying to damage his cousins business, I no longer think that this was the only motive. In the early years he had a water shortage problem and it seems as though this could have been caused by a succession of low rainfall years. I have always said that Billycock was a control freak and in both cases he is acting true to character. However, it looks as though it might be more complicated than I originally thought. (Mind you, who knows what more research will throw up? Tricky stuff this history!)

SCG/02 May 2009  Bob replied:
 

That eruption caused severe economic hardship in rural New England, suffering anyway because of overcrowding and farmed out, thin soils.    The Smith family suffered very badly in the “Summer of 18 and froze to death”, as 1816 was known.     So, by the way, did the Bliss family, but it was further up the socio-economic tree and had a competent patriarch, my great-great-great grandfather, who moved his large family from Bliss Pond, Vermont, across New York State, then Pennsylvania, then Ohio, before finally settling in Libertyville, Iowa.    But he was always able to sell when he moved, and he thus settled an adult child at each stop, on a freehold family farm, but by the time he crossed the Mississippi he was all wore out (speaking of age), and it was all he could do, I gather, to get himself buried by his oldest son, who had made every move with him, and then made one more without him, to Diagonal, Iowa, where my grandfather Ralph was born in 1881.     It’s interesting that John, born in about 1805, named all his children with classical names (my great-grandfather was Horace Bliss, one of his sisters Leonora, etc.), after two centuries of biblical ones.     Still, the family stuck with the Congregational Church and never joined any rabble-rouser sect.    Solid, respectable Whigs, they were.   

The Smiths, on the other hand, were foreclosed after the eruption, left Vermont, and straggled on to some poor land in New York, near Elmira, where Joseph—one of several children who moved along with the tribe—suffered a good deal and began to have doubts about all the religious revivals going on about him in the depressed, cold farming region.   Not doubts about religion mind you, for he was beginning to have visions himself, but about the multiplicity of religious voices he heard.    So it was in the 1820s that Joe found the gold tablets in a field outside of Elmira, New York. .   And not only that, but also found the seer stones, ummim and thummim, that allowed him to translate said tablets.   

I say nothing about their genuineness, of course, but I do venture to say that they might not have been found had it not been for the eruption at Tambora.

Cheers.

Bob 

 


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 01/09/2009 : 07:12
So, put the Mormons down to Tambora as well!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Posted - 01/09/2009 : 20:30
The beginning of the so-called `Little Ice Age' coincides with the movement of herring shoals from higher latitudes down into the seas around Britain, which then encouraged the development and spread of sea fishing, and improved construction of boats for sea-going instead of coastal fishing and a big rise in the number of men familiar with the sea and ships. This then made possible the great voyages of discovery and the establishment of navies, merchant fleets and empires!


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 02/09/2009 : 08:15
If nothing else, we are uncovering some of the results of natural events on the human race. I wonder what the next lot will bring. Perhaps an increase in old farts like me digging into solar flares and ice movements!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Posted - 02/09/2009 : 12:23
The Al Megrahi affair is generating much heat and light but meanwhile we have a much more important problem - slowing climate change.

Every time I look at reputable information on climate change I come away with yet another stark fact that seems to be ignored. I've just been looking at an Information Sheet from the United Nations Environment Programme and the Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC). One such fact that strikes me is that during the ice ages the global temperature fell by 5 degrees C. This is a useful number to keep in mind because people often have trouble understanding how a rise of 2 to 5 degrees due to climate change can cause much trouble for us - "won't it mean that we'll all have lovely Mediterranean weather?". Well, no. If a 5 degree drop in the ice ages caused ice sheets to cover much of Europe and North America, just think what a 5 degree rise now would do.

Another fact is shown by this statement: "The climate seems to have been remarkably stable since the last ice age ended 10,000 years ago. As far as scientists can tell, global temperatures have varied by less than one degree since the dawn of human civilisation." Less than one degree, and now we are faced with an unavoidable rise of two degrees, and more if we do not act today. It continues: "Over the next 100 years we may experience conditions unknown since before the ice ages began many millions of years ago."

Yet another fact that seems to escape many people. We cannot turn around climate change quickly. Even if we start with a massive decrease in energy use and carbon emissions now, we are already committed to significant change because it will be a long time before they have much effect. Politicians don't like to admit this fact; in fact, climate change campaigners don't like to speak about it because they are worried we will become apathetic about the issue.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 03/09/2009 : 07:08
I share your feelings Peter. I have this horrible feeling that we are too late and the consequences are inevitable. I note that the latest actions proposed are nothing to do with reducing emissions but blocking sunlight. Are they mad?

Meanwhile we celebrate new oil discoveries, encourage industrial development and ignore the undeniable signs of impending disaster. We mortgage our future to pour trillions into war and supporting a broken banking system when it's quite obvious this money should be put into serious mitigation of emissions. Notice I say mitigation, that's all we can do to hold back the consequences of 300 years of industrialisation. It might give us time to work out how the human race can survive the inevitable. Could it be that this is why the politicians fail to do anything to restrict the sale of cheap alcohol?  Anaesthetic? Oz reports the hottest winter on record this morning....


Stanley Challenger Graham




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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 03/09/2009 : 08:14
 If we stopped some of the experts from going to the Artic  to tell it's changing,  and put them to some good use working out ways to avoid it would do much for the planet.
 We can manage this situation we do have time all we need is the political will. Are we working out a way to replace Drax , or West Burton etc ??. Are we investing billions into India or China for Nuclear Power station instead of them burning coal ?? Don't think so. Everyone needs Power we are not going back to caves, so we have to manage it.



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