Symmetry of the Lough Foyle Sonar Illusion

Diagram of the symmetry lines of  the Lough Foyle sonar illusion

Sonar illusion symmetry

The RTE TV News story of Friday 27th April 2012 about the Lough Foyle sonar illusion struck me as being rather strange. There seemed to be far too much of the symmetry of some sort of ship in the sonar image for it to be an ‘illusion.’ Symmetry in an image of the sea bed implies the same symmetry on the sea bed. I would find it difficult to believe that this symmetry is just an illusion or that it is not in some way related to the shape of a ship-shaped object, or collection of objects, of sleek proportions. My curiosity is aroused and I would be very interested in a plausible explanation. The diagram above is a quick trace I made of the main symmetry lines I could see in the image on the RTE News web site.

Dereliction Disrupts Dublin’s LUAS

Photo of temporary fencing in front of damaged building

Work on derelict buildings disrupts LUAS

Amazingly, a fire in derelict buildings in Benburb Street has disrupted Dublin’s LUAS light rail system for what will be a week tomorrow, Saturday 24th March 2012. Apparently, some of these building are listed for preservation. Therefore thousands of commuters and other public transport users are discommoded for a week and enormous costs are being incurred. There appear to be dozens of staff from the company that operates LUAS on duty to manage the disruption as well as possible. Very expensive and painstaking work is being done to make the buildings safe, while dismantling them to the minimum extent possible. These derelict buildings could probably have been leveled in a few days and huge unnecessary costs (direct and indirect) could have been avoided. Based on experience, the likelihood is that once made safe, the unoccupied derelict and buttressed buildings will be left indefinitely to grace the sub-skyline of Dublin city. Business cannot thrive in such an environment, valuable space is being wasted and a derelict area is unlikely to be safe for those who might wish to pass through.
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Platform Shelter and Safety at Newbridge Railway Station

Photo of canopy shelter in the rain, Newbridge railway station, Co. Kildare

Canopy shelter in the rain, Newbridge railway station, Co. Kildare

Currently works are underway at Newbridge railway station, Co. Kildare, to improve access. This is to be welcomed. Temporarily, the already inadequately sized canopy shelter on the platform for Dublin bound trains is partially fenced off, leaving a band near the platform edge. On a wet and windy morning, like this morning was, passengers have a stark choice. They can advance further down the platform to where the train will stop, where there is no shelter, or they can stand under the shelter with their backs against the temporary fence. Once passengers are standing in this manner any additional passengers who arrive and wish to advance down the platform are almost obliged to walk outside the yellow line. This situation could be dangerous or unsafe.

I Believe Torture is Wrong

I was shocked by reports last week, e.g. Lara Marlowe’s article in the Irish Times, of George W Bush’s admission that he approved of and, indeed, ordered torture. Torture is wrong. Not to be tortured, physically or mentally, is a fundamental human right. When things are totally wrong there is no point trying to compare magnitudes. The magnitudes of the impacts of wrongness may vary or may be immeasurable, but all things that are totally wrong are equally totally wrong.
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Lack of Shelter for Commuters

Photo of canopy shelter, Newbridge railway station, Co. Kildare

Canopy shelter, Newbridge railway station, Co. Kildare

The railway station in Newbridge is beautiful and quaint, persisting from another time. I appreciate beauty and form and function. However, I am an engineer of today, who is keen to address the needs of today’s society. I believe it is right and proper to dismantle (let me be blunt, destroy) beauty that has outlived its era. Let’s log it, digitize it or store samples of it in heritage parks or museums. The Earth is not big enough to leave our former built environment in place as we continue our development.
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How to Capture Suds on a River

Photo of suds on the River Liffey

Suds on the River Liffey

I had been thinking about how one might take a sample of suds floating on the surface of a river. The photo to the left shows suds on the Liffey at Newbridge, Co. Kildare, Ireland. It was taken on my mobile phone from the upstream side of the bridge at Newbridge, looking down on the water. The water level and the rate of flow on the river were quite low at the time: 16:53 24 September 2010.
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Suds on the beautiful River Liffey and a dog

Photo of bridge, Newbridge, Co. Kildare

Bridge, Newbridge, Co. Kildare

‘Suds on the beautiful River Liffey and a dog’ is a 39-second-long movie on YouTube with a wonderful actor in the starring role that highlights, presumably mild, pollution consisting of suds on the River Liffey at Newbridge, Co. Kildare, Ireland. Continue reading