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Dr. P. R. Lewis "truth hound" (England)
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Failure of Plastics and Rubber Products: Causes, Effects and Case Studies Involving Degradation
Failure of Plastics and Rubber Products: Causes, Effects and Case Studies Involving Degradation
by David Wright
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Failed plastic, 27 May 2012
The publication of this work marks a watershed in failure analysis. While most engineering failure books have been largely theoretical with occasional cases to illustrate the principles, it is rare to see that approach reversed, with cases coming first and lessons drawn from them afterwards. With polymer products, failure was even less considered as a subject worth writing about than metals. It is certainly true that major events like the Tay bridge, Titanic and Comet disasters have stimulate a much greater awareness of product and material failure with metals, and polymers have taken a rear seat in public as well as professional awareness of any problems. However, there have been some spectacular disasters such as the Challenger explosion, in which polymers have directly caused the accident. In that case, it was the infamous Viton rubber O ring seals on one of the booster rockets which burnt away, and so released explosive gases into the air. On the other hand, the general public is only too aware of the failure of plastic and elastomeric products, such as packaging failures (shopping bag fails under weight, and shopping falls to the pavement, etc). So David Wright's book is very welcome for it provides a large compendium of case studies to assist other investigators considering specific failures or accidents caused by those failures. There is a large number of failures caused by polymer degradation such as polyethylene pipe by sunlight, and contact with organic fluids, a well known cause of ESC (environmental stress cracking). They must however, be distinguished from chemical attack, such as the degradation of polycarbonate by alkali liquids (SCC). Other amorphous polymers such as ABS are also sensitive to ESC and SCC, and most polymers are oxidised more or less easily, but especially at high temperatures (such as those used to mould or extrude the products). The book also discusses failure of rubber products, and there is an especially valuable section on the effects of ionizing radiation, a topic of direct relevance to medical polymers since irradiation is one way of sterilizing them at the end of the product manufacturing cycle. We have also been active in publishing our own case studies, most of which complement those of Wright, in Forensic Materials Engineering: Case Studies and Forensic Polymer Engineering: Why Polymer Products Fail in Service. Such case stud compilations should prove invaluable to practising engineers.


The Rough Guide To Climate Change (Rough Guides Reference Titles)
The Rough Guide To Climate Change (Rough Guides Reference Titles)
by Bob Henson
Edition: Paperback

0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars flawed science, 26 May 2012
The title of this book is misleading: it should read Global Warming, because this is what the author promotes in an unambiguous fashion. He says it is the biggest issue facing Mankind, but I think there are many more pressing problems (poverty, inequality, economic depression, war and terrorism, for example). He follows the dubious advice of the various IPCC reports, but is honest enough to admit their well-known failings. Most serious of all, it is the computer models of world climate which have been criticized for their inbuilt bias and neglect of the very large effects of water vapour and aerosols (or clouds). It is these models which are at the very heart of the poor science used by Henson and the IPCC and others to justify absurd and regressive carbon taxes which will affect energy prices if they are allowed to proceed unchecked. The same or similar computer models are used for weather forecasting and we all know how unreliable they can be. Moreover, misuse of computer models lie at the heart of the ongoing financial crisis for their abuse in derivatives trading and elsewhere in the economy. The Chinese revolution is based on cheap coal, and the warmists allege that C02 is the culprit in warming the planet. The theory is quite unproven and based on a string of unverified assumptions, such as the alleged long residence time of about 100 years of the gas in the atmosphere, and the rates of production of the gas from natural and artificial sources. Other climatologists (Carter for example) argue a much shorter residence time, as one might expect since the gas is very water soluble and washed from the air very quickly. It is a greenhouse gas but much less important than water vapour, as any infra-red spectrum of air shows. On flimsy evidence, the warmists propose a drastic reduction in fossil fuel usage using carbon taxes as the preferred mechanism, despite the fact that there is no worldwide agreement. The largest countries are against it, including his own country the USA as well as most developing countries. Instead he suggest renewable energy, but they are very expensive and produce very costly power. Thus wind power is so costly that it needs vast subsidies to survive at all and is dependent on the wind blowing at specific speeds. The reader should seek help elsewhere such as in the books by Plimer Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science and Carter Climate: the Counter-consensus (Independent Minds) if he or she wants a balanced view of climate change.
Comment Comments (15) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 19, 2015 3:33 PM GMT


Climate Change and Energy Insecurity: The Challenge for Peace, Security and Development
Climate Change and Energy Insecurity: The Challenge for Peace, Security and Development
by Achim Steiner
Edition: Paperback
Price: £22.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unlkely scenarios, 26 May 2012
The issue of energy security apparently threatens the world if you accept the AGW agenda touted by the IPCC. In this multi-authored work, the stance of the IPCC is accepted, that Man has polluted, and continues to pollute the planet with CO2. It is apparently threatening human life on earth, and, so they say, we are in a race to save the planet. The message has been repeated endlessly, and as Dr Goebbels would say, if you continuously repeat a big lie, people will come to believe you. The factual evidence however, is against the doomsayers. The world has been cooling in the last decade and all the catastrophic warnings about floods and droughts, rising sea levels, increasing extreme weather such as hurricanes and etc, have failed to appear on cue. Hurricanes have not increased in frequency or intensity, the worst floods have been from tsunamis (caused by earthquakes, not by CO2 in the air) and sea level has been rising at a miniscule rate. Although CO2 levels have risen over the same decade, it is not producing the predicted Armageddon. The reason? The IPCC forecasts are based on deeply flawed computer models which neglect the most important greenhouse gas, water vapour, and the many natural cycles in the output from the sun, thermal lag in the oceans, and so on. If anything, the earth is cooling, and a freezing earth is to be feared much more than a gently warming earth. But our authors persist in their erroneous belief that we must all rely on renewable energy sources such as wind, tide and solar, despite the enormous cost of such sources. It is a pipe dream because countries like China and India are powering ahead in improving the lot of their peoples by using cheap coal to generate electricity, which is why international treaties like Kyoto and Copenhagen are doomed to failure. The largest economy in the world, that of the USA, has also vetoed such treaties, and will continue to do so despite all the spin and propaganda from the greens of this world. We are not going to run out of carbon fuels anytime soon or even in the future owing to the vast resources which still lie undiscovered. International agencies such as UNEP and the IPCC should disband, or start helping countries exploit those reserves, rather than spouting fear and doom if they realy want to help developing countries


How to Cool the Planet
How to Cool the Planet
by Jeff Goodell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.90

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Zombie solutions, 26 May 2012
This review is from: How to Cool the Planet (Hardcover)
The science of global warming is final then: CO2 emissions by man threatens the future of the planet. How wrong can you be? This book by Goodell shows the gullibility of so many journalists in buying into the spin of a small clique of climatologists. To start off with, he claims that computers and the internet were invented in California: in fact the computer was invented at Bletchley Park, England to crack nazi codes during the war, and the internet at Cern in Switzerland. Good start! We are then harangued by second-hand (the author has no technical background) and second-rate opinions on global warming, despite the fact that planet earth has been cooling for the last decade, and the IPCCs predictions of climate catastrophe have not occurred at all. The worst floods have come from tsunamis, not global warming. CO2 is a very weak greenhouse gas and water vapour is far more important in helping keep the earth from freezing up solid. But it cannot be handled easily in the computer programmes used by the IPCC in their silly predictions of gloom and disaster. Climatology is not settled at all, and there is a massive argument about the relative contributions to climate forcing (the sun included). Far form there being a consensus, many eminent climatologists dispute the IPCC models and the few scientists who have developed them, such as Mann and Jones. It was they who developed the misleading and mistaken hockey stick graph which erased from history the well-validated Medieval Warm period and the Little Ice Age. Be that as it may, the author trundles out crazy ideas about deliberating changing the earth's climate by "geo-engineering", by which he means artificial ways of increasing the albedo of the planet. The term is abused, because to engineers like myself, it means foundation support for buildings, for example. Such ideas the author describes include injecting dust into the upper atmosphere to reflect sunlight and so cool the planet. Apart from the fact that there is no problem with the climate or temperature of the earth, no sane person could possible subscribe to the costs of such a scheme. The book is for zombies who cannot think for themselves, and have to copy other zombies.


Geo-Engineering Climate Change: Environmental Necessity or Pandora's Box?
Geo-Engineering Climate Change: Environmental Necessity or Pandora's Box?
by J. Michael T. Thompson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £82.00

3 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Science fiction, 26 May 2012
The myth that global warming is caused by CO2 emissions is repeated endlessly by those who should know better. This book is a collection of articles by scientists who foolishly believe the myth, and propose large scale experiments to modify the climate. Reality check: the earth has been cooling for over a decade now, despite increased CO2 concentration in the air, a not unusual situation since it has occurred many times before in the history of the earth. The Little Ice Age is a famous example. The authors allege that the connection between CO2 levels and global warming is an accepted "fact" and proven scientifically, but the opposite is true. Many scientists dissent from the view and there are numerous books which articulate the arguments and facts which disprove the myth, such as Climate: the Counter-consensus (Independent Minds). There is clearly no consensus on the subject at all. The authors of this work propose changing the climate artificially by for example, putting mirrors in space to reflect the suns rays, or inject aerosols and dust to perform the same role. Such proposals are sheer fantasy, first because such ideas are based on flawed science, and second for the immense cost of performing these experiments. But the authors take themselves very seriously, and indication of how far governments have been deluded by a small and vocal minority. A recent attempt in the UK has actually been funded by public money, but was halted because it transgressed patent rights held for the method. This book should be consigned to the waste bin as irrelevant and wasteful science fiction.


Bomb, Book and Compass: Joseph Needham and the Great Secrets of China
Bomb, Book and Compass: Joseph Needham and the Great Secrets of China
by Simon Winchester
Edition: Hardcover

2.0 out of 5 stars bombed out, 25 May 2012
Needham's legacy is indeed a great one, but I don't think this biography does him justice. You will not read a great deal about his magnum opus, Science and Civilisation in China: Volume 1, Introductory Orientations: Introductory Orientations Vol 1 in this book, which is a great shame. The work by Needham extends to many volumes, each dealing with a different aspect of science and technology, an effort he pioneered with the help of many other scholars. The work was a revelation when the volumes were slowly published and were a great inspiration to other in the history of science. While focusing on Chinese technology and engineering, the books also compared the state of western technology at the same time. In this area, however, Needham was out of his depth and made many mistakes. For example, he suggests that the water mill was essentially a Chinese innovation (repeating many of the canards of western historians). It was known at the time that in fact the water mill was a Greek invention of ca 250 BC, and was developed and widely exploited in the Roman era. The still standing ruins of the 16 mills at Barbegal in Provence, France are testimony to their exploitation of the overshot mill. It is far more likely that the water mill diffused east to China. Winchester's book misses the target, and he should have devoted much more to this pioneering work by Needham, for which he will be long remembered. We await a definitive biography of this great scientist.


Science and Public Policy: The Virtuous Corruption of Virtual Environmental Science
Science and Public Policy: The Virtuous Corruption of Virtual Environmental Science
by Aynsley Kellow
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £70.16

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Virtuous corruption, 25 May 2012
Why is this excellent book so expensive? It deserves a much wider readership for its scholarly expose of "good cause corruption", a problem well recognised by many police forces, especially in the USA. Typically, it takes the form of a police officer having good cause to suspect and individual, and then manufacturing evidence so as to arrest him or her. The good cause might be a previous conviction, for example. There are many examples from the past of policemen planting incriminating evidence (especially drugs) on perfectly innocent individuals to obtain a conviction, but the problem does not stop there, as Kellow relates to several recent public controversies, especially those involving climate science. Here, the good cause is saving the human race, so it encourages some climatologists to exaggerate and spin their theories to a gullible public. Perhaps the most notorious example is the attempt to delete the Medieval Warm period and the Little Ice age by deliberate manipulation of the data by Mann and Jones. By misusing a computer model of the climate and carefully selecting their data, they produced the so-called Hockey stick graph of the temperature of the earth as a function of time in which both periods strangely disappeared. Though later they recalculated their curve, it still poorly reflects what is know with certainty from other sources. But it is not just climate science which has been infected with this caustic and corrupt virus. Computer models of biodiversity are notorious for their wild predictions of the extinction of species, it is alleged by global warming. We are led to believe that Man has destroyed endless numbers of species, but when questioned, have difficulty in naming many, apart from the Dodo. It is fantasy biology wit large, all propounded by individuals with an environmental axe to grind (especially Greenpeace and fellow travellers). More worrying is its advance into medical science, with at least one notable scandal of the MMR vaccine to its odious credit.

The wider picture of previous scandals is even more concerning, such as Lysenkoism in the USSR, the entirely false theory that traits and behaviour could be passed on to descendants, much like the idea that Giraffes grew long necks to eat high foliage, and passed it on down the hereditary line. Eugenics too is another example of a false theory which was widely accepted at the time in the 1920s and 30s (breeding the fittest humans) but came to an horrific end in the Holocaust. The nazis were themselves keen ecologists and lovers of nature, pursuing their ideas with their usual ruthless fanaticism, much like the ecologists of today, and blind to any criticism. In a final chapter, Kellow outlines the many different ways the fanatics rubbish their opponents by personal attacks, circular arguments and gross exaggeration. We should all be aware of these methods, and continue to fight their many lunacies. This is a must-read book for everyone who cares about our future.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 23, 2015 1:02 PM GMT


Our Final Hour: A Scientist's Warning
Our Final Hour: A Scientist's Warning
by Martin J. Rees
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars doomsday machine, 23 May 2012
Rees is an eminent astronomer, but fails miserably in every other science he talks about. This very brief book is short on clear reasoning, rational argument and common sense. It alleges that we are choking ourselves to death on CO2 emissions, a familiar topic imported from the IPCC, without any questioning or debate. As a scientist he should know that debate and skeptisicm lie at the heart of good science, but it is thrown to the winds in this dreadful potboiler. He has written like this before, and all are at a similar trivial level. He raises the possibility of a meteororite destroying earth but it is in the realm of Hollywood rather than we poor mortals. The same applies to global warming: the earth has been cooling for the last decade, and all those catastrophes predicted by the IPCC have not transpired at all. Give it a miss, there are much more important subjects worth writing about.


Economics and Management of Climate Change: Risks, Mitigation and Adaptation
Economics and Management of Climate Change: Risks, Mitigation and Adaptation
by Bernd Hansjürgens
Edition: Paperback
Price: £126.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Economic madhouse, 23 May 2012
Economists have not had a good press of late, and this book shows why in the area of "climate economics". The first chapter starts ominously with the statement that "climate change is a fact", meaning that it is changing for the worse. The author proceeds to repeat the dire warnings of the latest IPCC report of 2007 that the warming is created by human influence, and resulting in higher sea levels, temperatures etc. We will have to face increased extreme weather such as floods, hurricanes, droughts, heatwaves and so on. That they may be wrong doesn't even cross the mind of our academic write, but events of the past few yaers has failed to confirm the awful future we face. Sea level is increasing at a snails pace (measure in millimeters per decade), the only serious floods have come from tsunamis, and hurricanes have decreased in frequency and intensity. Since the conference at which this papers were delivered was funded by an insurance giant Munich RE, there are papers which discuss the increasing cost of compensation for disaster victims, but that is probably just reflects the inflation of the last few years (especially in house prices in the USA and Europe, although that bubble collapsed in 2008 when Lehman Bros went bust). Other papers discuss the carbon tax system introduced in euroland, a tax which is penalising industry at the time of a severe recession, and which makes industry less competitive on the world stage. They bemoan the failure of successive treaties from Kyoto onwards, without mentioning that it is the likes of China that are dragging the world economy along (thanks to cheap coal used to generate electricity). The rest of the papers are of the same dreary tone. It may be of interest to note that Fritz Vahrenholt, the German environmentalist, has just written a book called "Cold Sun", in which he has reversed his views on global warming, and I would refer the contributors of this book to read and reflect on the contents. This book would perhaps make a good doorstop or prop for a wonky table, although much cheaper alternatives are readily available.


Trace Evidence Analysis: More Cases in Forensic Microscopy and Mute Witnesses
Trace Evidence Analysis: More Cases in Forensic Microscopy and Mute Witnesses
by Max M. Houck
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £72.00

5.0 out of 5 stars More revelations, 23 May 2012
Trace evidence is a game-changer in many forensic cases, as this second volume of analysis by Houck shows. With a number of expert contributors, the volume presents studies where material traces transferred during contact between products has solved difficult criminal cases. The introduction to the book reviews the methods of microscopy and spectroscopy in identifying traces of fibre and paint and other trace and bulk materials from crime scenes. The first substantial case discussed in the following involved identification of animal hairs, and being able to distinguish between dog, cat and human hair found at the crime scene and at the suspects house. The case turned on the circumstantial evidence in which a son murdered his mother and her partner. A following chapter discusses the importance of trace evidence in vehicles involved in crashes, where the very high loads from the impact causes transfers of fibres to contact surfaces such as plastic dashboards, allowing personal identification to be established, with several cases described. Hair and fibres found on a paper gag found in the mouth of a body washed up on an English beach proved critical when compared with hairs and fibres found in the suspects homes, those of the wife and brother-in-law. Since they were very similar if not identical, the pair were accused and then confessed to the murder. Traces of soil debris on shoes and tyres is often also crucial in forensic analysis since soils may be unique and tie down the presence of a suspect at a particular location, as several cases in a subsequent chapter describes. Elemental analysis and mineral identification are the methods of choice for the investigator in such cases. The most unusual types of evidence includes vomit in murder victims, as well as soil and fibre traces, analysis of which can help solve crimes. If fibres are often crucial, then rope and cord are also an important type of trace evidence, as the final case discusses, in the case of a body found in a refrigerator. All the cases described in the book are accompanied by excellent colour photographs of the crime scenes and the trace evidence used at the trial, and this book will be of inestimable use to future investigations for the methods used, and the way trace evidence is used to convict criminals.


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