Guess Why Gasket Was Leaking…

The valve cover, inside, at the leak site:

190 E Valve Cover Gasket at Leak Site

190 E Valve Cover Gasket at Leak Site

Yes, I’m off to order a new gasket…

One of the 8 hold down bolts was missing and a grommet with plugging screw was in that hole, so I’ll need a new (“special”) bolt too. It was exactly opposite the leak site, but looks to have had no real effect. Still, it’s just wrong… I’m also thinking I won’t be needing that permatex…

This tells me that my mechanic, in getting the car tuned for smog, never took the valve cover off. He’d have fixed this in a heartbeat and complained about sloppy work. It also tells me the prior owner had maintenance done by a schlock shop…

So, couple of days for parts to get here, then another hour to put it all back together and clean up, and I’m done.

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Posted in Tech Bits | 14 Comments

The Fling Poo Parade!

This morning I turn on the “news”. Reuters leaves town on Friday 5 PM New York Time and doesn’t return until Monday, then has some lag time finding out what happened in the world to report; so they were essentially unchanged from Friday & Saturday. The weekend, BTW, is a great time to check out the foreign news. Not only are they in different time zones (so “Monday” arrives sooner) but they actually keep reporting news over the weekend. So RT, Al Jazeera, France24, Sky, etc.

Sky is all “panties in a bunch” over Brexit and the Theresa May “Brexit with handcuffs and a whip” not-a-Brexit “deal”. What have we got, 8 months? Something like that, then it is “hit the wall” time. From my POV (half my family lives in Britain) just going Hard Brexit with No Deal will likely be the best option at this point. When no catastrophe happens perhaps then the EU Apparatchiks will be chastened a bit. (Are not China, the USA, Australia, Norway, Canada, Turkey all outside the EU and all doing OK on their own? Is not Britain the equal of Finland in their economic ability?)

So it was no surprise today that the “news” was full of T. May (or may not…) and Brexit. Mostly tossing mud at the whole idea and using lots of FUD (Fear Uncertainty & Doubt) about the whole idea. Saying that if the T. May “deal” was not accepted their might be “no Brexit at all”. I’d like to know how that works, since Article 50 (was it?) said you are out in 2 years and there wasn’t any backsies… Of course, they had video of folks having tantrums in the street in a Fling Poo Parade decrying it all.

Then I moved on to ABC news, Trump and the Putin Summit on Monday. (One presumes Finnish Monday which would be late my Sunday). One could not imagine more FUD. Of course, front and center were the “12 indictments” of some Russian military officers. One presumes they just went to the top of the chain of command and wrote down all the names. (Clearly not one of those guys is a hacker, so there is some theory of ‘chain of command responsibility’ in play here.) And my, isn’t it just amazing how Mueller had these indictments hit just in time for the Summit… Just more Fling Poo Parade. Little Chucky Schumer, the camera hound, was shown demanding that the Summit be canceled. The whole coverage spun to claim that Russia tossed the election to Trump. All in keeping with the Color Revolution Playbook of attempting to paint any elected leader they don’t like as illegitimate and then lever that with Street Theatre into a Color Revolution and deposing.

It really hit home when they were showing more of the “protests” against Trump and his European trip that this really is all just one giant Fling Poo Parade. The “media” on side with a more polished snide fling poo, but fling they do.

Is that really all they’ve got? A tactic borrowed from caged monkeys at the zoo?

It would seem so.

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Posted in Political Current Events | 53 Comments

What Is The Surface Area Of A Cloud?

Or what is the surface area of any fractal solid?

This is strongly related to the Coastline Paradox:

Just with the added dimension of a solid.

Clouds are ‘self similar’ in many cases, yet also can have very different forms too. Watching clouds form, they grow, shrink, shift, stretch and connect, or dissipate a connection. So there is a dynamic aspect too. By the time you figure out what the surface area might be, it is different.

Now further consider that the “surface” does not, in fact, exist. Clouds form from water VAPOR transparently dissolved in air. As that vapor finds a “condensation nuclei” it starts to collect and make a droplet. The droplets grow and continue to coalesce. So what we see from the ground as a cloud is, in fact, “Billions and Billions” of water droplets. Each with a surface area and an edge; but each distinct from the next (or surface tension would form them into one bigger drop). So we can see (in a fuzzy way) the boundary where water droplets are big enough to interact with light and look like a cloud; but that is NOT the surface of a cloud. The cloud has no surface, only the droplets doo.

As the droplets coalesce into larger drops, there are more of them but with less surface area. Held up by Brownian Motion of air molecules. Eventually the drops get big enough that random air motion can’t hold them up, and we get rain. After enough rain, what is left of the cloud dissipates back to water vapor again. Along the way the cloud moved from zero mass / surface area, to some clear mass (measured by total precipitation if nothing else) and large surface area visable, then back to zero mass and surface area again. So if density is mass / volume, and we don’t (can’t?) know the mass or the surface area (and from surface area the volume); if we can’t know those basics, how can we compute the density of the cloud?

I started this ponder in the middle of the Arizona Desert, watching the sun poke though bits of cloud in the rain. How much sun gets to the ground? So what is the density and optical opacity / reflectivity of the clouds? How to compute it? One spot was bright sun. Next to that a patch of solid dark. Some gray in between and around edges. What is the albedo of that? Even the average albedo requires some idea how much is clear and how much “solid” cloud. No surface area. No volume. No density. No mass. How to model that? How to calculate it? How to even measure it? What cell size could even start to capture that? A meter? Maybe 100 meters? A cm?

In the end, it all comes down to parameters. Picking “plug numbers” that you think or guess are close enough to what you think you observed. It is not possible to calculate the surface area of a fractal from first principles. It is not possible to measure it. You must “make a good guess”. Use some kind of “rule of thumb” to shrink the problem (like sailing 200 m off the coastline).

But if all your basic model paraneters for core properties like albedo, solar absorption in clouds, transmission to ground, precipitation, and thermal mass are all essentially “plug numbers” then your model is disconnected from reality. It is a dream (or nightmare) embodied in software guesses.

All this leads me to conclude that any hope of a representative Climate Model is folly. Simply because you can not accurately compute the basics of the water cycle and clouds.

Even the ocean is a fractal surface. What is the surface area of the ocean? First compute all the coastlines of all the land masses and remove that area from the computed surface of the earth… oh, yeah, the coastline problem… Then figure out the ‘roughness’ of the ocean. It changes with the wind. Waves from a few inches to 100 meters high. With swells and ripples on them. With wind blown spray and crashing crests. What is the surface area of the ocean? A “plug number”. Guess well… So what is the heat and water vapor transmission through that surface? W/m^2 with unknown m? Kg/m^2 with unknown m?

It all comes down to the interaction of a bunch of surfaces and volumes with fractal geometry. Good luck with that…

So I’m now trying to figure out some way past this conundrum. How do you weigh a cloud? Without mass, volume, and surface area; how do you compute thermo properties and effects?

I think I see why they say “modeling clouds is hard”. It may be impossible.

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Posted in AGW Science and Background, Earth Sciences, GCM, Global Warming General | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

Tips & Notices July 2018

About “Tips”:

While I’m mostly interested in things having to do with:

Computer stuff, especially small single board computers
Making money, usually via trading
Weather and climate (“Global Warming” & “Climate Change”)
Quakes, Volcanoes, and other Earth Sciences
Current economic and political events
(often as those last three have impact on money and climate things…)
And just about any ‘way cool’ interesting science or technology
Oh, and lately, cars ;-)

If something else is interesting to you, put a “tip” here as you like.

If there is a current Hot Topic for active discussion, try one of the Weekly Occasional Open Discussion pages here:

You can also look at the list of “Categories” on the right hand side and get an idea of any other broad area of interest.

This ought not to be seen as a “limit” on what is “interesting”, more as a “focus list” with other things that are interesting being fair game as well.

The History:

Note that “pages” are the things reached from links on the top bar just under the pretty picture. “Postings” are reached from the listing along the right side of any given article (posting).

Since WordPress has decided that comments on Pages, like the Old Tips Pages, won’t show up in recent comments, it kind of breaks the value of it for me. In response, I shifted from a set of “pages” to a set of “postings”. As any given Tips Posting gets full, I’ll add a new one.

I have kept the same general format, with the T page (top bar) still pointing to both the archive of Tips Pages as well as the series of new Postings via a link to the TIPS category.

This is the next posting from prior Tips postings. Same idea, just a new set of space to put pointers to things of interest. The most immediately preceding Tips posting is:

The generic “T” parent page remains up top, where older copies of the various “Tips” pages can be found archived. The Tips category (see list at right) marks Tips postings for easy location.

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Posted in Tips | Tagged | 43 Comments