New Year Resolution

There are only a few hours in year 2010. Before the new year begins, I am going to make new year’s resolutions here.

1. Finishing my PhD study.

2. Finding a job.

3. Publishing at least one paper of my work.

4. Practicing writing skills through blogging every week.

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Snowstorm is Hitting East Coast of America

This winter was predicted as the coldest winter ever because of global warming1~3. Snowstorms have hit Europe4, and Asia5, even the Oceania which is on another hot hemisphere6. Now the snowstorm is approaching to east coast of America7. Weather “pros” announced a blizzard warning for New York City from early Sunday morning till 6PM on Monday, with a forecast of 11 to 16 inches of snow and strong winds that will make visibility to near zero at times8. Government prepared salt for this snowstorm, and transportation administrative shut off the railway and cancelled hundreds of flights already8.

Fig. 1 Snow Began Hitting on the Grass

Fig. 2 Snow at 11AM on Dec. 26, 2010

Fig. 3 Snow at 6PM on Dec. 26, 2010

Fig. 4 Blizzard Around My Apt At 6PM on Dec. 26, 2010

Fig. 5 Footprint of Mine on Accumulated Snow at 6PM on Dec. 26, 2010

Fig. 6 Accumulated Snow at 10PM on Dec. 27th, 2010

Fig. 7 Channel through Snow Pile that Near the Window

Initially weather.com showed the snow would begin at 6AM, actually I checked the outside at 11:15 (15 minutes after the corrected time) and found there was snow on the ground9. I took several pictures of the snow for memory. I guess that is the first time for me to witness the very beginning of a snow. I still remember the white Christmas on the Junior High School English textbook. Three years ago, I went to see my cousin in Boston. To be honest, I love New England so much. As you know, the trees, the lake, and the snow, since I had to help my cousin to dig a driveway for my brother-in-law. Last night I sent a message to my cousin to express that I miss them very much, also the time that her daughters and I played with snow.

Fig. 8 Local Weather Report on 2010 December 26(www.weather.com)

References:

1. THE COLDEST WINTER FOR 100 YEARS – SO WHERE ARE THE GRITTERS.

2. Another Record Breaking Winter, What Happened to Global Warming?

3. It’s official, coldest winter in 130 years in Ireland.

4. Europe Is Off To A Flying Start.

5. La Niña, Strong St. Baby Girl (in Chinese, “拉尼娜”:“强壮的圣女婴”).

6. Australia Summer Marked By Snow, Heavy Flooding (VIDEO).

7. Snow storm bears down on Mid-Atlantic, Northeast.

8. Blizzard Warning for New York as Storm Heads Up East Coast.

9. Blizzard Warning for Richmond (staten Is.), NY.

Will China’s Economy Back 100 Years if Involved the Korean Conflicts?

Ten days ago, it was reported that Gernal Burwell Baxter Bell, the former commander of the United States Forces Korea (USFK) on Friday called for powerful military retaliation to future provocations by North Korea and a temporary ban on all engagements with the regime to punish it for its recent deadly attack on a South Korean island1. He also emphasized that six-party talks as a way of taming the belligerency of North Korea have failed and should be replaced by tougher military responses and economic embargoes and hard stand should be the only option2. But in a report in Chinese and Korean, General Bell once said that if China took part in the war on the Korean peninsula, China will back to 100 years ago3~5. Shortly after, the news propagated over Chinese websites, especially a famous Chinese media Global Times6. The response from Chinese netizens is quick and strong. Also, some personnel related to PLA or belong to PLA strongly criticized the warning7,8. General Peng responded that if China falls back to 100 years ago, the U.S. should be prepared to fall back 200 years9. Now Korean media began talking about Peng’s words10.

Former USFK commander Burwell Bell speaks at a security forum in Seoul on Dec. 3. (Yonhap1)

I have no comments on Generals words, but I think it is very strange that General Bell’s warning on China’s involvement in Korean conflicts started from Korean media in Korean and Chinese. I could not find any English version of his words. Also, no video could be found on the internet. I guess that is a rumor created by Korean media. It is not very difficult to find out why they did that. But I cannot understand why US would allow they do such a stupid thing. It is time for US to do something to rein South Korea.

BTW, one more funny thing is that Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan plans to send troops to the Korean Peninsula if a war break out, which has been dismissed by South Korea11. Japan government is insistently over warmhearted on others’ land.  At the end of this post, I wanna say please do not forget from Dec.13, 1937, Imperial Japanese Army killed more than 300,000 Chinese civilians and POWs, and raped thousands of women, which is called Nanking Massacre.

References:

1. Former USFK chief urges ‘asymmetric’ retaliation for future N.K. provocations.
2. Bell: hard stand is only option.
3. The only option, powerful military retaliation to future provocations by North Korea(in Chinese, 应对朝鲜挑衅 除了武力报复之外别无他途).
4. Bell, the former commander of United States Forces Korea, said, use of forces as a solution to North’s provocations(in Korean, “北 도발 해법은 무력사용뿐” 벨 前주한미군사령관 ).
5. No alternative options other than military retaliation to North’s further provocations(in Korean, “北 추가도발시 무력보복외 대안없어”).
6. The former commander of USFK told Korean media, If China involved the Korean conflicts, it will back to 100 years ago (in Chinese, 驻韩美军前司令答韩媒:中国参战将被打回100年前).
7. Luo Yuan: China’s involvement in the Korean conflict if the U.S. would be “100-year nightmare”.
8. General Peng Guangqian talked the US-Japan joint military drills and the security situations in northeast Asia(in Chinese, 彭光谦谈美日联合军演及东北亚安全局势).
9. Chinese Envoy Rejects Call to Rein in N.Korea .
10. After North’s provocation on Yeongpyeong Island, if China retreated 100 years, its opponent should retreat 200 years(in Korean, <北 연평도 도발 이후>“전쟁으로 中 100년 후퇴땐 상대방은 200년 후퇴할 것”).
11. Seoul dismisses Japan PM’s comment on troop dispatch .

Shale Gas

When we talk about shale gas, we need to know what is shale gas. Simply speaking, shale gas refers to the natural gas produced from shale, sedimentary rocks of laminated structure formed by the deposition of successive layers of clay1, 2. The shale looks like the pages of a book, very thin (formed by compaction) and brittle (due to its composition of clay). Also the porosity and permeability of shale rocks are very low, which make it difficult and uneconomical to produce natural gas locked in tight, impermeable shale1. Thus, shale gas is regarded as unconventional gas resources which also include tight gas, coal-bed methane, and gas hydrates3. With the advancement of horizontal well drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies, production of shale gas became technically and economically possible, even a hot topic in oil and gas industry, especially in United States4. Mr. Fred Julander, the president of Julander Energy, said that shale gas was the most important energy development since the discovery of oil5. Major gas shale basins exist throughout the lower-48 United States. There are at least 21 shale basins in more than 20 states6.

Fig. 1 Major US Shale Basins7

The Barnett Shale play is reportedly the most active natural gas play in the United States with as many as 182 drilling rigs at work in 20086, 8. According to the Railroad Commission of Texas’s statistic data, as of September 22, 2010, there are total of gas wells 14401 entered on RRC recrods since the discovery of Newark, East (Barnett Shale) Field on October 15, 19819. For January through July 2010, gas well gas production accumulated for 1025 Bcf, which accounts for 27% of Texas production9. Total natural gas production in North Texas’ Barnett Shale has passed a milestone level of 8 TCF10. Until January 1, 2009, as the biggest Barnett Shale producer, XTO Energy Inc.’s Well TRWD #H 2H in Tarrant County has produced 4.4 Bcf gas in 43 months11. While EOG Resources, Inc.’s Well Fowler $4H in Johnson County had a record of 8.6 MMCFGPD peak month as the biggest Barnett Shale well based on peak month daily average11. There are a total of 234 operators in the Newark, East (Barnett Shale) Field now9. In 2002, Devon Energy Production Co., L.P. Purchased Mitchell Energy & Development for $3.5 billion in cash and stock from Mr. George Mitchell, the father of the Barnett Shale, and has established itself as the leading producer from the Barnett Shale9, 12. Not only the advancement of technologies, but also the increased price and gas demand drove the development of shale gas. In another hand, the development of shale gas lower the price of natural gas13.

Now water issue has become the biggest problem despite of the economic downturn and resulting lower natural gas prices14. Hydraulic fracturing needs tremendous water to crack the formation thousands of feet under the ground, especially in the water lack area, such as Texas. For a typical horizontal well frac, it needs more than 3 million gallons water14. The potential pollution from the chemicals in the hydraulic fracturing fluids may halt the application of this technology15.

Fig. 2. Horizontal Well Drilling and Hydraulic Fracturing16

References:

1. US Shale Gas Brief.

2. Shale.

3. International Energy Agency, World Energy Outlook 2010, Chapter 5 , Natural gas market outlook, Page 187.

4. Shale Gas.

5. Kuuskraa, V.A., et al., Worldwide Gas Shales and Unconventional Gas: A Status Report.

6. Andrews, A., et al., Unconventional Gas Shales, Development, Technology, and Policy Issues.

7. What You Need To Know About Shale Gas Investing and the Pros and Cons of Fracking.

8. RigData Rig Stats.

9. Newark, East (Barnett Shale) Statistics Updated: 09/23/10.

10. Barnett Shale natural gas field passes a milestone.

11. Powell, Jr., M.E., Recent Developments in the Barnett Shale.

12. The Father of Shale Gas.

13. As Oil Explodes, Why Natural Gas Prices Stay Low.

14. Texas Energy Sector & Barnett Shale Update.

15. Barnett Shale.

16. The Marcellus Shale: New York is the Natural Gas Industry’s New Lab Rat.

Artillery Barrages between Koreas

According to media from South Korea, North Korea fired artillery onto Yeonpyeong Island, which locates in the disputed area between the North Limit Line by South Korea and US and North Korean Military Demarcation Line on West Sea or Yellow Sea on Nov. 23rd1. It is believed that the Hoguk Exercise (호국훈련, National Protection Exercise) in the disputed areas triggered the incident2. Before the military drill, DPRK has condemned the annual exercise and warned they would fire shots2. Since the South explained the exercise is a routine one, a military activity in disputed areas should be controversial. It is reported that South Korea lost 4 (including 2 civilians) and injured 19 (including 3 civilians)3. The casualties and losses from North Korea are unknown till now.

Fig. 1 Disputed Maritime Demarcation Line between Koreas1

Fig. 2 People watch as plumes of smoke rise up from buildings on South Korea’s Yeonpueong island after North Korea fired hundreds of artillery rounds4

Fig. 3 CCTV captures the moment a shell lands on the island4

Fig. 4 A South Korean marine walks through destroyed houses on Yeonpyeong (Photograph: Lee Jin-Man/AP)5

Before the current president of South Korea took the power, the relationship between Koreas was smooth and stable. As we know, North Korea is developing its nuclear power, and the explosion could be regarded as one from atomic bomb. Just before the artillery barrages, a report by Dr. Siegfried S. Hecker stated that North Korea has a modern, clean centrifuge plant of more than 1000 centrifuges all neatly aligned at the country’s Yongbyon nuclear complex and could make two nuclear bombs per year6. One more fact that we could not ignore is that the low living standard in Korea. Thus, we can concluded that North Korea develops mass destruction weapons without considering the starving people. Hold on, please. Here is a question. Why Kim spent so much on the weapon? Killing Chinese? No, I do not think so. Killing Korean? Maybe. Japanese? Possible. American? How? If there was no troops in South Korea, I believe it is hardly for North Korea to attack Washington. Frequent military exercise near or in the Korean Peninsula made the area very sensitive. During the Korean war in the mid 20th century, the threatens of atomic bombs from US on China and Korea were the motivations to develop the nuclear weapons for their own. After China successfully tested its first atomic bomb in 1964, the Communist government claimed that China undertakes not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones at any time or under any circumstances7. North Korea needs a secure environment to develop its economy, while the aggressive President Lee Myungbak and the US troops in South Korea made the wish less possible. Now US and other countries press China to rein in North Korea to prevent further provocative incidents such as the deadly artillery attack on a South Korean island close to the border8. On the other hand, US deployed the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) and four other US Navy (USN) warships to the West Sea (Yellow Sea)9 and began a joint military exercise with South Korea within a broad range which covers 34 degrees 30 minutes north latitude to 36 degrees to 125 degrees east longitude 124 degrees 42 minutes announced by South Korea’s National Oceanographic Research Institute on Nov. 2710. The location of the joint exercise is close to China and North Korea, since it is sort of far from the disputed area10. North Korea has condemned the 4-day war games bring the divided peninsula “closer to the brink of war”11. China started a series of diplomatic activities to ease the tensions, such sending senior officials to Koreas11, exchanging ideas with related countries12, and calling for emergency 6-way talk13. Recently, Wikileaks released US diplomatic cable including the attitude of China on Koreas14. The joint military exercise is to make the situation more complex and worse. President Lee Myung-bak is very confident about the military forces of South Korea, but if North Korea showers Seoul with artillery rounds and rockets, there are predictions that half of the capital will be destroyed in just a day15. It seems that what Lee has done at the risk of millions of South Korean’s lives. The unification of Koreas should be a long term process provided that North Korea could develop its economy and democracy under a stable environment. Otherwise, it is a disaster for all the people in Northeast Asia, especially for China and Koreas. US government and President Lee Myung-bak should abandon the strong and unrealistic policy to North Korea, and drag the Korea Peninsula back onto the right track to peace and denuclearization.

References:

  1. Dispatch: North Korea Shells a South Korean Island.
  2. N.Korea fires artillery shells toward Yeonpyeong Island, killing two marines.
  3. Bombardment of Yeonpyeong.
  4. Korea on the brink: South warns of retaliation after North’s shellfire strike kills two marines.
  5. South Korea cancels Yeonpyeong island drills.
  6. North Korea could make two nuclear bombs per year.
  7. China’s National Statement on Security Assurance.
  8. US to press China to rein in North Korea after attack.
  9. US sends aircraft carrier to Yellow Sea following North Korean attacks.
  10. U.S. military exercises in South Korea Yellow Sea in Shandong sailing 170 kilometers away from the warning is announced.
  11. US-South Korea Joint Naval Show Sparks High Voltage Tension.
  12. Peace & the Koreas.
  13. China Calls For Six-Party Talk With N. Korea.
  14. China frustrated with North Korea: WikiLeaks.
  15. Gov’t Mulls Turning Baeknyeong into Forward Deployment Base.

EasyRecovery

A couple of hours ago, suddenly all the pdf files on the desktop of my laptop disappeared with several application software and many folders. One of the folder contains the updated files of my research work. I am not sure whether I have met exactly the same situation before, while I believe that is not the first time that I lost my data. I began using Ontrack® EasyRecoveryTM Professional since 2002. Not only EasyRecovery but also FinalData could recover the lost data or unintentionally deleted data. From my personal experience, I prefer to EasyRecovery much more.

If the lost data contain some common used format files, such as word, excel or powerpoint, the software have special recover program for each format. I remember that I helped my colleagues to recover bunches of reports, data, and presentations. Since EasyRecovery doesn’t have such a module,  I almost successfully recovered all the pdf files today.

No software is perfect, and EasyRecovery is not an exceptional case. There are still some pdf files are not fully recovered. One of them only gives a name but no content at all. Also, I tried recover some word files before, but the results disappointed me a lot.

In nowadays, the hard drives run more quickly than before. Also, the size of theirs are by far larger than before. Therefore, the hard drives seem to be more fragile. Thus, all of us should remember the most important thing is backup. Even, more than one backups should prevent the damage from the disasters. Maybe solid state drive is another choice, but the threshold is too high for most user. The online storage offers one more option to keep the data, which also could remotely accessed. The internet connection is a must under such a situation. Besides, the net speed is concerned. Eatra money is needed, and the quality is not fully guaranteed.

Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum

Note: The 8th China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition (namely Airshow China) is being held in Zhuhai from 16th to 21st this November. Besides, I hope Space Shuttle Discovery could successfully finished her last mission. This post is dedicated to those who are concerning about the advancement in aerospace.

One week before, I went to visit the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, which locates on the west shore of Manhattan Island, close to the Central Park and Times Square (as shown in Fig.1 below). In Fig.1, the red circle indicates the location of Time Square and the yellow one on the right top shows the Central Park.

Fig. 1 Location of USS Intrepid (Green circle)

Zoom in the google map online, you can see the aircraft carrier with a Concorde supersonic passenger airliner (blue circle)  and a diesel-electric submarine USS Growler (SSG-577)(purple circle). Actually the arrangement of the aircrafts on the flight deck in the figure below was different from what I have seen. I am not sure how often Google Maps updates the data. At least a legend surveillance aircraft, Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, was not on the map. Actually the blackbird and F-14 Tomcat were on the side close to 12th Avenue. When I first saw the aircraft carrier and the two planes at the corner of 12th Avenue and 46th Street, I thought that was Su-27 Flanker, a great and famous fighter made by former USSR and Russia. The vertical tails look very similar to each other. With the crackdown of Soviet Union, US also obtained several flankers from former USSR members for personal use and collection.

Fig. 2 Layout of Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Fig.3 British Airways Concorde

Fig.4 USS 577 Growler

Fig. 5 Lockheed A-12(SR-71 Blackbird)

Fig. 6 Grumman F-14 Tomcat

OK, let’s come back to the visit to the museum. After purchased the ticket, I went to the hanger deck, where I can see the interior structure of the aircraft carrier. Also, the history of the aircraft carrier and stuff related to the vessel, such as the Aurora 7 Capsule Replica could be seen on hanger deck. I did not pay much attention there, within half an hour I turned to the flight deck via the stairs. Several guns with different calibers could be seen on the way.

When I was standing on the flight deck, a special feeling came into my mind. Once upon a time, I had a dream about the aircraft carrier. China should have her own aircraft, which could help the People’s Liberation Army Navy to protect the maritime rights and interests, especially on East China Sea and South China Sea. A rumor said that a USSR/Ukraine made aircraft Varyag anchored in Dalian, China under reconstruction for military use. It seems to be unpredictable that how soon it could join the navy. I am proud of being the first standing on a real aircraft carrier among our group of military fans. It is regretable that the AC is not belong to China.

I am not going to introduce the aircrafts on the flight deck, because you can find more details about the exhibits on the wikipedia. A picture of Tomcat once was under a huge glass plate on my desk when I was in high school. The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon loaned from the National Museum of the United States Air Force. is one of the most popular fighter in the contemporary world. I am familiar with the Mig fighters from Poland and China. From childhood, I had the models of a series of Mig fighters at home. It is a pity that there was no F-15 Eagle, or F/A-18 Hornet on the deck. As for F-22 Raptor, the most advanced fighter in the world, I did not even have a wish to see it there. I heard that there was an F-22 air show around NYC before. Maybe I could wait for the next to catch the steal fighter with my new camera.

Fig. 7 General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon

I feel so lucky that I can see  the Royal Naval HMS Daring (D32) near the museum. After the visit I did research about the warship. The lead ship of the Type 45 or ‘D’ Class of air defence destroyer was declared officially in service at the end of July in 2010, since it was lauched  in 2006. The new destroyer visited US for a joint exercise with US aircraft carrier USS Enterprise(CVN-65)1. Unfortunately, on Nov. 10th, only two days after it went back to UK from US2, it has been forced to go into the dock with engine problems3.

Fig. 8 United Kingdom Royal Naval HMS Daring(D32)

References:

1. UK Navy’s HMS Daring conducts joint exercise with US aircraft carrier.

2.Daring Destroyer Returns From US Exercise.

3. Daring’s engines fail.