In massive Tahitian waves, the most incredible day of surfing ever?

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Waves at Teahupoo, which break over an extremely shallow reef, were peaking at 25-plus feet. What makes this break unique is the incredible thickness of the waves and the resulting force that smashes a nasty wipe-out into a shallow coral reef.

Video -The 28-cylinder radial engine of a Korean War era Corsair

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Pratt & Whitney R-4360-20 first start on Vimeo, posted with vodpod thanks to motor-head  Carlton Palmer, who included these comments:

            Hydrocarbon combustion at it’s finest. Perhaps the pinnacle of gasoline fueled piston aircraft engine technology. 28 pistons going up and down with 7 magneto’s and 56 spark plugs. Notice how the smoke begins to drop off as the piston rings bed in (Wear) with the resulting improved oil control, less smoke . Appears to have been be a very good initial test run.

Ice Island Breaks off Greenland; Bigger Than Manhattan

No this video isn’t of this arctic event, but shows the force unleashed just by a large chunk. One piece flew off and broke womans leg – you can see a piece of ice whistle by the cameraman.

An ice chunk four times the size of Manhattan has broken off of Greenland’s Petermann glacier—possibly the biggest glacier collapse in recorded history, scientists announced Friday.(Greenland map).

via Ice Island Breaks off Greenland; Bigger Than Manhattan.


Why China Still Buy US Debt

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) accumulated its forex reserves by borrowing yuan from the Chinese people. The U.S. dollar assets and yuan liabilities are roughly balanced on the central bank’s balance sheet. If the U.S. government is addicted to debt, so is China’s.

The purpose of that precarious balance sheet is to subsidize exports by keeping the yuan’s value low and deferring inflation. An economy like China’s that is enjoying rapid productivity growth would normally see rising real wages and hence benign inflation that would increase the cost of its exports. Because that process has been stopped, China’s exporters remain competitive across a range of labor-intensive products such as shoes and garments in which the country no longer has a true comparative advantage.

Were the PBoC to stop buying U.S. Treasurys and other dollar assets, the result would be an immediate increase in the yuan’s value. The losses on U.S. investments as the yuan slowly appreciates are one part of the cost for the export-subsidy policy.

In the short term Chinese threats to stop buying U.S. debt are empty, since there are no other asset markets deep and liquid enough to absorb the purchases needed to keep the yuan stable. Were China to buy euros or yen in sufficiently large quantities, it would soon run into a protectionist backlash in Europe and Japan as those nations ran trade deficits. The U.S. willingness to run a persistent trade deficit is key to the dollar’s status as a reserve currency.

via Review & Outlook: China’s Debt Addiction –

Big Rare Earth Discovery in Nebraska

China has emerged as the world’s predominant supplier, controlling 97 percent of the global market for rare earths. In recent years, lawmakers have expressed concerns about China’s “rare earth” dominance, and these concerns were heightened when Beijing temporarily halted exports to Japan last year during a territorial dispute. Despite having such obscure names as praseodymium, promethium and samarium – no copper or zinc here – they are necessary for such routine contemporary technologies as magnets, laser pointers and miniature electronics, such as iPods.

Quantum acquired a circular piece of land – a bit more than 4 miles in diameter – near Elk Creek late last year. The land, which the U.S. Geological Survey projects may have one of the world’s largest deposits of niobium and rare earths, has since been poked, prodded and drilled to determine whether it held any niobium, which has never been mined in the U.S., or rare earths, which the U.S. has not mined in almost 10 years

via Neb. mine find to challenge China’s dominance of vital rare minerals – Washington Times.

Arctic ‘tipping point’ Unlikely Soon

Danish researchers analyzed ancient pieces of driftwood in north Greenland which they say is an accurate way to measure the extent of ancient ice loss. Writing in the journal Science, the team found evidence that ice levels were about 50% lower 5,000 years ago. They say changes to wind systems can slow down the rate of melting. They argue, therefore, that a tipping point under current scenarios is unlikely.

A Danish team believes it has found an indirect method that gives a clear picture of the ice loss dating back 11,000 years.Dr Svend Funder from the Natural History Museum of Denmark led several expeditions to inhospitable regions of Northern Greenland. On these frozen shores the Danish team noticed several pieces of ancient driftwood. They concluded that it could be an important method of unlocking the secrets of the ancient ice.

“Driftwood cannot float across the water, it has to be ferried across the ocean on ice, and this voyage takes several years, which means that driftwood is actually a signal of multi-year sea ice in the ocean and it is this ice that is at risk at the moment” said Dr Funder.

Carbon dating was used to determine the age of the wood. And figuring out its origins also yielded important information.

“It’s so lovely that drift wood from Siberia is mainly larch and from North America is mainly spruce. So if we see there was more larch or spruce we can see that the wind system had changed and in some periods there was little spruce and in other periods there was lots,” he said.

via BBC News – Arctic ‘tipping point’ may not be reached.

Terrifying Cloud Threatens Neighborhood

The father-of-three said: ‘It was a nice evening and the sun was shining when I suddenly heard claps of thunder, which was strange.

‘My wife went to look out the front door and saw the clouds blowing up from the south.

‘I took one look and headed back into the house to get my camera.

‘We watched the storm for a few minutes when I noticed that the cloud was starting to spin.

‘I got my ladder and climbed up on my roof to get a better view.

‘It never got the momentum to create a tornado, but it did look like it was going to happen before out eyes.

‘We watched for 45 minutes as it slowly moved back into cloud formation.’

via Terrifying moment vast cloud threatened to engulf whole street | Mail Online.

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