Sunday, March 31, 2013
i've been using the excellent google earth, trying to locate the high altitude mining area in tibet where a landslide killed a large number of miners last week
this site is in the right area according to some of the vague news descriptions
the wide valley running along the top of the first picture has surprisingly good roads and the river runs down towards lhasa about forty miles to the west
the narrower mining valley branches off to the southern side of it and then runs up to a ridge at the east
the second picture shows the upper valley that runs from the processing plant up to the open air quarries
the mountain sides here aren't solid rock
they are just a mass of dust and rubble as far as i can see and that will be held together by permafrost
... until it melts
so the whole quarrying process is very risky
the lower processing area looks as if a lot of money has been invested here in plant and buildings
almost due south there is an upper area connected with good roads and there are substantial buildings on that mountainside that might be a drift mine entrance
the main valley runs up to the east from the processing area towards two main open quarries and there are a lot of mountain roads that suggest the whole side of the mountain might be excavated in due course
at the eastern end, near the top of the valley, you can see the two areas where the mountain is being quarried
looking down through the clear air, when i zoomed in on the mountain top quarries, i was astonished at the number of lorries and diggers that could be seen
in this picture you see where terraces are being excavated and the spoil is being dumped at one side
at top left and centre of this last picture are two little compounds where vehicles might have been parked overnight whilst their drivers slept
is this where the landslide happened ?
if so, it will have also blocked the only viable route between the open quarries and the processing plant
production would be threatened
might this explain the alacrity to begin the "rescue operation" ?
STOP PRESS : Next day ... i've only just found the mining company's own website with a full description of their plans for the valley ... http://www.chinagoldintl.com/i/pdf/E-PhaseIIJiamaResource12Nov12.pdf ... which was presented to the world six months ago as a feasibility study for investors.
the schemes for shafts and drifts beneath and beyomd the quarries are shown on pages 77 and 78
From my point of view, very interesting and very instructive.
Friday, March 29, 2013
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Sunday, March 24, 2013
The mind floats free on Sunday mornings now that Foxy has taken his long walk to the stars.
I wake to read the first forty marvellous pages of Orhan Pamuk's Museum Of Innocence, and am seduced by his smooth talk in to a mental quicksand, up to my eyebrows in other people's complexities.
Then I try to finish a letter to Linda but stumble to a halt over this question ...
How will my grandson understand the difference between a non sequitur and an oxymoron if I am not there ?
Then I discover that I can change the settings on my cheap printer to scan postcards in wonderful detail.
... all this before eight o clock.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
just googled "eric morse cornwall" ... because i haven't seen him for several decades ... he was never just a pretty face
... better get your headphones on !
... better get your headphones on !
Friday, March 22, 2013
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Monday, March 11, 2013
Saturday, March 9, 2013
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Winston, a sweet natured gentleman from Jamaica who is still working his night shift when I’m starting my early, too early, morning shift … who I once glimpsed as a shadow dancing around his car and its sound system in the dark before going home from his fifty-something hour week of hard labour … tells me how he was cornered last Sunday evening by a giant colleague with a monologue that had a notoriously predictable course to run …
“you got the complete script then ?”, I asked him, “chapter and verse ?”
And Winston replies … “Yesss sir ! From Genesis to Revelations !” and he roars with laughter.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Saturday, March 2, 2013
Installed in 2002, the windows mark the nine hundredth anniversary of the coming of the Benedictine monks to Tewkesbury in 1102. Their theme is the Benedictine motto ‘Laborare est Orare’ (to work is to pray).