Thursday, 27 November 2008
Alice Springs is to have a modest sized solar power station. The NT government has dressed it up as providing 1800 MW hours of energy per year, but in reality that is but 5MW per day, and not the instant rating more commonly seen when one speaks of a power station, eg 200MW for a conventional power station.
It is very modest..........but a significant step.
The local energy authority has been quite reluctant to move towards alternative or green power, so this seems a positive move.
Full details here: [more spin from Government] http://www.projectlink.com.au/IndustryNews/4015.html
For a city in the centre of Australia with a low rainfall and plenty of sunshine, solar power does seem a natural. Worley Parsons a large engineering company has proposed building a series of large solar thermal power stations for mining projects in remote areas. It is a well thought through concept, and the first one is planned for 2009/2010.
By the way, a solar photovoltaic system is currently being installed on the CrownePlaza Hotel in Alice Springs, and will provide about 85% of all power for the hotel.
Let the sun shine on the Alice!
Sunday, 23 November 2008
There has been a considerable numbers of words written about women who wear the burka, hijab or whatever local name is used. Some are complimentary, many are not. Most observers see it as shapeless. But maybe not.
Wearing the burka often comes to personal choice, unless you live in a country where women may not have that choice. I have no comment on that.
But there are a few cartoonists who think the subject does offer reasonable options in offering an alternate view.
The following cartoon appeared in some Australian papers recently. Many commentators believe there is a revolution occurring among women in those areas, even while wearing continuing to wear the burka!
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
Monday, 17 November 2008
It is just magnificent! This was taken about 2 weeks after it first reached full flower this flowering.
I guess I must be tending it in a right and proper manner!
Sunday, 16 November 2008
Their colourful display is truly awesome. This specimen is in a local suburban street.
Darwin also has a few specimens of the rare orange form. Maybe not as in your face colourful, but still beautiful on large trees. This one even has some purple bougainvillea!
Saturday, 15 November 2008
Now she has become very stroppy!
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
It can be very wet in the Northern Territory. And the rivers can rise to very great heights.
This bridge on the right is relatively new, but still has managed to be submerged for many weeks in several of the last few rainy seasons, including nearly 6 weeks last wet season from late January 2008. The river appears very benign now, in November, at the end of the Dry Season, with a few long waterholes, and little, if any, flow, except maybe after a big storm nearby. But come January and February and that water hole is part of a torrent that can be 3-6 metres above the existing bridge. For weeks at a time!
This is National Highway 1, the main circular road around Australia, and this section provides the main link between northern Australia and Perth. Not having a road connection for many weeks is a bit of a disaster.
The project will build the new bridge, about 10m above the present one, and redevelop a large section of the road, on either side, above flood heights. As you can imagine, the river spreads out almost across the entire Victoria River gorge when in full flood. The new road sections need to be mostly above that datum level.
Early days yet, but the new bridge is making good progress.
Saturday, 8 November 2008
Has not been too much here lately. After a great start in mid October, it stopped raining. That is over three weeks ago!
Hot dry and then hot and dry some more. But tonight it sounds promising.........real thunder nearby.
Maybe we will get some decent rain overnight. Inland, a few places had a big storm around dusk tonight, with Batchelor [ 100km S] receiving over 30mm in about 30 minutes.
The thunder is tantalising close and, as usual, our "fierce" Ridgeback dog has decided that coming into the laundry inside the house is a good option. She loathes thunder and firecrackers [ the noisy bunger types], and is very happy to retire gracefully on a mat.
On the thunder and lightning scene, Darwin is one of the top locations world wide for lightning strikes [ and related thunder]. Neck and neck with some parts of Java, Indonesia for top spot. You can get some fantastic sky shows and spectacular photos are relatively common, both by amateurs and professional photographers.
It sounds promising.......and the weather radar sort of indicates we may have rain. You beauty!
For some fantastic storm photos, including quite a few in Darwin by Ern Mainka - go to www.redbubble.com/search/lightning%20thunderstorm
photo credits - No they are NOT mine. Top one - Joe Holmes. Typical of the view across Darwin Harbour in a good storm!
Lower one - unknown, but publicly available x Flickr.
Tuesday, 4 November 2008
BUT......the trend is to aircondition the whole house all the time. BUT......before we examine the current house designs and issues, lets first go back 50 years or more.
Commonwealth Housing 1950s - 1970s
A range of fantastic and simple designs, in predominantly elevated or split level houses built by the Federal Government to house public servants. They took many of the features of the Burnett houses, and developed them further.
Car parking and outdoor entertaining was downstairs, and the house lot was mostly in the 800 - 1100 square metre range, with 850 - 1000 most common.
Then came Cyclone Tracy.....................a category 4/5 beast and many many homes just blew away. To be truthful though, designing to withstand that level of cyclonic force is difficult, VERY difficult.
David Bridgman. Royal Australian Institute of Architects, 2003. $38.50.