Saturday, April 9, 2011

Some great news if it pans out, plus video on budget deal

A couple news items via Instapundit

Something called a wave disk engine.

And, somebody wants to mine the moon, soon.

Please excuse me for my skepticism.  I've been reading of "great" news for years now, but I haven't seen the hardware yet.  When I see it, I will believe it.

Here's some info on budget deal. I may have been ahead of these guys, by the way, on the budget thing. Not the techie stuff above.

Took my eye off this

Tbone Pearson has this contest in which creative people can promote their videos by joining up into the community in which he is trying to build up.  It is hard work to get something like this going and growing.  I have known him (only on the internet) but for a short time, and I have posted his stuff here as well as a few of the artists that I've met in his community.  If anyone in the community comes here, be advised that you are welcome to read my stuff and comment upon it and I am anxious to put your stuff up and help you promote it here.  I've done it before and I'll keep on doing it.  This may not be much, but you have to start somewhere.

Here's Tbone's last video he put up just a few days ago:


I'd rather not be too critical, but I have to say something here. I clicked on the names on his video and they all kept pointing back to his video (Tbone). I think he has his site set up so that it will maximize views, which are only statistics. I realize that maybe you have to employ a few tricks, but just getting cheap pageviews does not impress me. Sorry.

There going to be a fight.

Let's have a fight! A Yo Mama Fight!

Decisions, decisions

You can't get away from them, can you?  Everything has to get decided, one way or another.  The Republicans gave in to the Democrats, in my opinion.  There was no need, but they did it.

The theory of the Constitution is that the House holds the purse strings.  No spending is possible without them, as the Republicans hold that power for the time being.  For what purpose were they put into power but to bring the government back into balance?  If they join the Democrats, which they just did, they are just as lost as the Democrats are.  They just rendered the voters decision last November meaningless.  The idea that they will "get them later" is just meant to fool everybody into thinking that they are serious about actual doing the job they were sent to do.  In the end, it doesn't mean a thing, now does it?

Well, it appears that decisions can be made, and then unmade.  Or opinions can be asked for, then ignored.

I think a big opportunity to set things right has been lost.  All because some nervous Nellies were afraid of the big, bad wolf Democrats and their supporters.  At some point, you have got to stop being scared.  The Republicans never seem to learn that.

My own reaction, as you can see, is quite negative.  It doesn't matter that the Democrats won.  If you give them what they want, they will destroy the country.  What exactly are they "winning"?

The Republicans can claim victory, but it is also hollow.  The amount cut from the budget isn't anywhere near what is needed to put things right.

Both sides are just in the business of fooling the public for awhile longer.  In the end, they haven't solved anything, except buy themselves a little more time.  How much longer can this last?

That's what goes into one's own decisions, what is the circumstances that are beyond your control?  There is just so much you can do about the general nature of things.  This is the way things are.  You just deal with it as it is.

Friday, April 8, 2011

I am listening to some Space Show shows once again

I've listened to two of them and trying to come up with a system that will allow me to review them quickly and easily.  This explains the long lag between posts.  I'm usually busy doing something even though it may appear that I am not.

The amount of information in this mp3 files is tremendous.  It is a great resource and I recommend it highly- that is if you want to get out of the wilderness of our ignorance that is in our modern culture.

I've been through two of these programs and started in on a third.  What I wrote above about it being a tremendous resource may not always be true.  On this latest show I started on, he seemed to be getting into some quackery stuff about Gaia communication satellite proposal on the show which aired on Nov 1, last year.  He began the show with a speech which closely adheres to what I often complain about here.  To that, I felt very much in harmony and sympathy, but then he makes this huge mistake and starts to talk about this proposition which struck me as ludicrous.

I don't want to be negative, but that's the kind of thing that can hurt you.  It may happen here too when you make just one tiny mistake of one kind or another and totally turn off an audience.  ( I turned the show off.  It may have been a good show, but this one thing bugged me enough to turn off the show.)

Anyway, I'm thinking about how to go forward with the blog now that I've obtained a DBA for it.  It is now, legally a business, but not a corporation.  He requested support for the Space Show and so I think I will try my best to support it as best I can.


I've listened to it again, and he did preface the remark with a note of skepticism.  Yet, he treats it in such a way that it can be taken as respectable.  That's the mistake.  I realize that I am in the same company as this fellow that I am calling a quack.  But I have always said that I am not a rocket scientist.  My stuff is only ideas that probably won't work for whatever reason.  I put them out there in the hopes that maybe something will work, it only needs to be tried.  (By who? Me? But I can't.  So, should I shut up?) How do you sort the wheat from the chaff?

I read this man's proposal.  I bit, but I didn't taste anything but sizzle, no steak.  Nothing to get your teeth into.  By the way, on the Space Show, a rocket scientist named John debunked this idea.  After listening to him, and reading this, I think John is more persuasive to me.


I am near the end of this show.  Charles, who has called the show many times, and has criticized JP Aerospace, says flatly that the Airship to Orbit will not work.  He believes he's overlooking some basic physics of the problem that he's working on.  I have no dog in this hunt, but I do think he has some ideas that are worth exploring.


Kelly in Connecticut called.  Can't ignore the physics.  Looking for unobtainium.  Have to find a way to eliminate the "overhead".  Every 29 out 30 dollars spent is overhead.  A more efficient vehicle is not necessarily the answer.  Not cheaper than an aircraft.  Don't have economy of scale.  ( my comment: May never have that).  Looks like an economic problem, not a physics problem, based upon this discussion.

Tony emails note about the Sea Dragon rocket ( on my sidebar  I checked into this, by the way.  A real deal rocket proposal that never flew).   Sea Dragon was talked about before on the Space Show ( I'd be interested in finding that show).  Bill Sprague?  I have to look that up.

After a really slow start, this was another good show.  The callers saved this one.


He says he treats everyone with respect as a matter of policy.  Nothing wrong with that, but this Steve fellow himself seems not to be properly respectful.  ( in my humble opinion)

A couple news items today

I just set up a DBA.  Up until this moment in time, I was operating this under my own name.  A DBA ( Doing Business As) would be needed regardless of how this is organized on a business basis.  Why a DBA at all?  Why anything, since this thing isn't generating revenue?

Well, it isn't the same as going to a corporate nonprofit, but it is a little more than where it was before.  If it doesn't improve, then the out of pocket costs are a lot less.  I won't be doing the non profit corporate idea.  At least, not for now, if ever.  That's what this means.

I can keep this nonprofit forever, if that what it all means.  I will turn over any proceeds earned from this blog over to the company, which can finance its activities on the basis of that.  If nobody contributes, nothing will happen.  But you can still read about nothing here for as long as you will like.

That little bit of business took up a couple hours.  It really didn't need to.  Somehow things take a lot longer than they should.

In another bit of news, I just got an email alert from Chris Laird.  I already noticed that the markets were a little strange earlier, with gold way up.  His alert pointed out that TSX is moving, and this may be some bad news on the horizon, but he doesn't know what.

Tuff Enuff

The Fabulous Thunderbirds

Too negative

I am no believer in man made global warming, but I can see some use for so called renewables.  I started to think a bit about this last night after listening to a recent Space Show broadcast which covered the topic of space solar power.  That topic can segue into this one, which is the UK's experience with windpower.  It is too expensive, some say.

That might be true, but to make all too sweeping statement made here.
Yet, the reality is that unless there’s a miraculous improvement in our technology, wind is NEVER going to shoulder a significant part of the energy burden in this country no matter how much money we waste on it.
What makes this objectionable is that the technology may be ok, but the way it is being used is not.  It makes little sense, in my opinion, to use wind to power the grid.  But wind can power other things for which it is better suited.  Wind is not a good match for the grid because the wind doesn't always blow when you need it to.  But manufacturing, or any other process, can be made to adjust itself, or be tailored to the availability of an energy source.  Its a matter of getting a match to the need.  Not to try to force a round peg into a square hole.  That's the problem here, not the technology of wind power itself;  which is a round peg, and the grid, which is a square hole.  Trying to make this work is the problem, not the technology itself.

I spent time a few years ago studying maps of "stranded" wind energy.  If the energy is stranded, it is because it is a long way from population centers.  The trick would be to get the energy into a usable form which can be transported over distances to where the people are.  A solution can be found to that problem, I would think.   Just manufacture a product on site from an energy source- such as wind- into methanol, or ammonia, and then transport it to where it can be converted back into usable energy.


Note:  In order to give you a heads up, I am now going to colorize pdf file links as green.


This is an interesting link I got form the above pdf link ( in green "stranded") about ammonia.

Just got online

And I go to Kitco dot com, and what do I see?  Forty dollar silver, yikes!  One hundred ten a barrel oil, yikes!  But it is no surprise to me.  The laws of economics cannot be flouted.  The inevitable consequence of inflationary policies will be inflation.  It doesn't show up immediately, but it does show up.  Nine to eighteen months, according to what I can recall.  The first QE was back in early 2009, so this has been longer than eighteen months.  Inflation has been in the commodities markets for a long time, though.  It may take awhile before it gets fully into finished goods and so forth.  But it is coming.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Folding at home

It hasn't been a steady proposition, but it is making progress.  Here's where BNO stacks up on the Folding At Home Scorecard

The file that gets downloaded is huge and it takes awhile.  Then you have to do a search for your name in the list.  BNO_blog shows 6.  The largest number in this group is 2164.  The other numbers, I am not so sure what they mean.  I know I've done 6.

Young Frankenstein

Or, Fronkenstein...

Do you know what intimidation is?

Of course you do.  Anyone alive knows what it is.  Only a few people out of a hundred may not know fear, and they won't live long.  Fear is necessary for life.  Life needs to be preserved through the instinct of fear.  But this can backfire sometimes.  There are times when fear can do the opposite and bring on the very circumstance which is feared.

When I think of what is happening in the world today, I see people giving in to fear.  And this is troublesome.  It won't keep you safe, it will do the opposite.  You don't believe this?  Is there any chance that you fail to see this?

When asked about why they attacked us at Pearl Harbor, the Japanese who were asked that question said that they believed we wouldn't fight.  Think of that.  Because they believe we wouldn't fight, they started a war which caused many deaths.  A firm determination to appear ready, willing, and able to fight would have given these men pause if their words meant anything.  Anyone who doubts this can go look it up.

I think that many in the world are looking at this country now and they see us as a country that is ready to be taken.  When taken, I mean, taken.  They think that we are weak and we won't fight, just as the Japanese thought back during Pearl Harbor time.   There are too many who are too much to reinforce that notion amongst those who may get that idea.  And it is this notion that we may not fight if attacked, it is this notion that is most dangerous of all.

Now, what brought all this on?  It is because of the business about Koran burning.  And the resulting riots in Afghanistan and how some of our representatives in government are responding to it.  I think the natural thing is to want to avoid trouble with the locals in Afghanistan.  But it is a far cry from anyone burning a Koran in this country than someone burning a Koran in their country.  Those who are serving there are not disrespecting their religion in the slightest by virtue of being from a place that does not punish this behavior.  Yet, that appears to be how it is being portrayed.  It is legal and therefore not acceptable for this pastor to be punished or threaten him with punishment for what he did.  Nor is it wise to appear that anyone in our government would consider taking any action to do so.  This gives the wrong impression to those who may get the idea that we won't defend our own law.  If our government can't support its own citizens in such a scenario, it is well to consider whether these polticians serve us anymore, but are serving something else.  In that case, they should be ousted from office.

It may not be wise to incite people, so rather than to say a whole lot more about it, I think I will leave it at that.  There are plenty of people in this world who would like nothing better than to start something over this.  The way things are going, they may get their wish.  Just remember, it has all happened before.  It could easily happen again,

Just heard from John at JP Aerospace

The mission is a go for this weekend.  I have an ad purchased on that mission.  It was a rather small ad, so I don't know how well it will show.  Anyway, if all goes well, I will get some pics out of this at very high altitude.  When I get them, I will post them.

Shuttle launch seen from a plane

This video last a little over 2 minutes. That should be about the time of the solid rocket booster separation.

I wish it was me

I would have put a stake through its heart.

Why pay for something that will have no influence upon what you already believe, or actually do anything about the problem that you say you believe exists?

When you gotta go, you gotta go

But what happens afterward if you can't?

Shutdown talk seems to be coming to a head

This is just politics as usual.  Each side wants to blame the other for the shutdown, but where is an actual plan to reduce the deficit?  Let's see an actual plan instead of a lot of drama.  Otherwise, I say shut it down and take responsibility for shutting it down.  If the politicians don't want to come up with an actual plan to cut the deficit, a forced pare down of its functions may be just the medicine it needs.  No deal until they've got a real plan with real timelines and benchmarks.

Faster, better, cheaper

That is the way to wealth generation.  That's what's wrong with "green" technology.  If it isn't faster, like planes, trains, and automobiles, it ain't better.  If it costs more, well...  Where's the attraction for green technology?  It makes the air cleaner, the grass greener, and the birds chirp louder?  Just exactly what does it do for anyone, except maybe a few?  If these folks want those things, they can move away from the city where most of the left wingers live anyway.

Update: moments later...

I got the impression from Glenn Reynold's Instapundit, that he is in a critical frame of mind right now.  The above post came after reading some of his blog just now.  Nothing wrong with that, but where was he in 2008?  He wasn't all that critical then.  But I was, and my book reviews on the sidebar show it.

More twisted humor from the new guy

Remember the Dead News? Well, the creator of that little ditty has a new project on the way. Here's a short teaser for the new one. Maniacal laughter alert!!!!

No roadtrip today, new label called "Brainstorms"

As I mentioned yesterday afternoon.  There still could be one, but there isn't one today for sure.

Moving on to the next topic, I got an idea from last night's last post about the Space Show for April 5th, covering the topic of fuel depots.  The idea is artificial cold traps located close to the actual cold traps on the Moon.  It's a way to recover the water, crack it, and store it.  How?  You need energy to do all this, and that would be from perpetual light near the polar regions of the Moon.  You could build an artificial crater on the surface which would block sunlight inside the "crater".  This permanently shaded region would become a cold trap.  The sun hitting the outside on the solar panels would produce the energy needed to do the cracking of the water.  It can also power the devices that go into the actual crater and recover the water stored there in the natural cold trap.

Why not just use the natural cold trap?  Well, that might be a better solution.  But you still have to get into and out of it.  It may easier to do that with an artificial trap.  The idea of a cold trap is to store the finished products for a long period of time with minimal or no losses.  For example, some of the losses could be used as inputs to fuel cells, which would generate electricity.  You have water as an output to this, which could be used for life support, or to be cracked again and recycled.

Another idea is to use the Moon base as a launch complex.  There has to be an economic basis for it and that would be it.  Instead of doing it from the Earth, just do it from the Moon.  It takes less energy to launch from the Moon and certain missions can originate there.  Such as launching solar satellites which generate electricity for use on Earth.  They can be manufactured on the Moon using lunar resources and then launched from the Moon into Earth orbit.

By the way, I have created a new label called "Brainstorms".  When I have an idea like this, I will attach this label to it.  A brainstorm is not necessarily a practical solution to a problem, just a speculative idea which may be useful or may not be.  Want to keep it all real here.  There have been many posts such as this in this blog, but I won't go back and try to link to all of them.  Instead, try looking in the PHD label for any more such ideas.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Heavy dose of reality

Yesterday's Space Show wasn't liveblogged because I couldn't get it to work.  It appears that the reason might have been that they were experimenting with video mode of delivering the show.

I have just listened to the recorded show and it was all about fuel depots.  It is a tough problem.  Like a lot of things, it is a lot easier said than done.  I haven't studied the program, and I don't know that I will do that.   It may be better to listen to it yourself, if interested.

Summary statement: 1) Depots warrant further investigation.  Steep tech curves, though.  Money for promising programs than he has heard about.  2) Promising, but lot of incremental demonstrators could answer a lot of questions- medium size steps needed.  Need to get answers soon, should be taking steps now which aren't expensive now. 3) need a balance between concepts and doing something.  Worry about tendency to make hardware too soon, precludes pathways that could be beneficial. 4) life science realities- don't know how biology fits into these other questions 5) delta v for plane changes are expensive; but attractiveness of depots are rising with respect to size of vehicle.  Physics- no show stoppers, looks like economic problem.   6) Need alternatives, don't get into big rush. 7) Chemical propulsion too limiting- nuclear propulsion should be looked into.

Bill Withers - Ain't No Sunshine

Nerva, revisited

I was just thinking of this yesterday.  Brian Wang of NextBigFuture has this little nugget of a news item about nuclear powered spacecraft.

The Wikipedia entry the power capability of this thing was rather significant.   This is a long discussion, so you may want to read the whole thing.

The NERVA rocket would also be a nuclear-powered upper stage for the Saturn rocket (the Saturn S-N), which would allow the upgraded Saturn to launch much larger payloads of up to 340,000 pounds to Low Earth Orbit. 

About Roadtrip

Looks like a go at this point.  If all goes to plan, I'll leave town within 24 hours as of this post.  My trip shouldn't take longer than a day, or at most, two.

This is a business trip as well as personal.  It is not intended to be a tourist trip.  It could have ramifications for this blog and the proposed nonprofit idea, but this is not the purpose of the trip.  Aside from that, I have no further comments.  If there is any news that comes from the trip, I will share it here.


I guess it comes from getting older.  Murphy's Law.  Looks like it may not happen after all.  This will be delayed or possibly cancelled.  Still in limbo.

Maurice Davis Band

I was asked what I thought of this.  Anybody want to leave some feedback on it?  I answered it already.  I said I liked it.  Here's a chance for you if you are interested.

Here's the original song. I never heard the song before because I never saw the movie.

They All Laughed At Christopher Columbus

This is a title to a couple of books at Amazon, but I won't be linking to them.  The reason is that Trent Waddington has reviewed it and linked to it from his site at QuantumG blog.  It would be bad form to do that, I would think.  Anyway, I ordered a free sample on my Kindle, but it hasn't arrived yet.  The Kindle said something about not being able to connect wirelessly, so I will have to wait until that clears up, whatever it is.

I am interested because this author is critical of the efforts of those who want to get to space, and I think these are the people that will have to be convinced.  I want to get a glimpse into her mind, if that is possible through this book.

Some bad news about inflation

But this is not news to me.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


The old Boots and Oil Blog back in 2004 had a parody of Al Gore using the lyrics from Blue Oyster Cult's Godzilla.   I called it "Gorezilla" because there was a pic of Al Gore breathing fire in a anti Bush speech at the time.  It was altered from the actual speech and made to look like real fire coming from his mouth.  Anyway, that pic gave me the idea for Gorezilla.

Maybe Godzilla will make a comeback because of the Japanese earthquake and subsequent radiation.  With that in mind, I thought I would troll the YouTubes and see what videos were available.  Sadly, there weren't any really good ones, so I decided to take this one here:

I get a kick out of Godzilla.  It could use a little CGI to improve it, though.

KSM gets a military trial

Reason triumphs, even though some folks think the opposite.  There is no way that you can put this dude on trial like an ordinary defendant.  At least we can stop pretending that we can.  The article makes a lot of false comparisons, in my opinion.

Government shutdown drama

Would it be an anticlimax if the sun came up the next day after a "shutdown"?  I think we are all getting the drama treatment.  This thing has to be hyped like everything else is these days.  Frankly, I haven't paid much attention to it. 

Suspension of disbelief

I may be getting on a bit shaky ground here, yet I will mention it anyhow.  It is a bit shaky because I am trying not to be too naughty here.  Why is this naughty?  Because of where I first heard this phrase.  It came from the movie Basic Instinct, which is quite naughty indeed.

The phrase was used and it caught my attention.  And so I am using it here.  I came across this phrase again while reading about riddles, which I am thinking of using as part of the name for the non profit, if there is one.  Here's the reference to the phrase here in the Wikipedia.  I'll extract the quote where I saw the phrase.

The riddle involves the phenomenon of 'suspension of disbelief' inherent in storytelling and its power over the human imagination.

I went there because of my interest in semantics.  The use of language is important, I believe, because we all need to know what is meant with the words we use.  I don't want to use the wrong word, when a better word could be used instead.

It also struck me because I downloaded a copy of an ebook written by a commenter here who writes for the blog called Eternity Road ( on the sidebar).  I am reading that ebook now.  The book is about the art of storytelling.  So, I am bit struck by the coincidence.

High Speed Trains

There's an article on the Economist, which, by the way, I haven't read. I am merely using the article as a lead in to this opinion.

And that is, maybe we don't need high speed trains.  Neither for freight, nor for passengers.  You may laugh at this, but it has been done before.  Airships!  The Hindenberg is an infamous example.  But why recommend something that was apparently discredited for all time?  The reason is that an airship doesn't require energy to get up in the air.  And it can move in a direction, even across an ocean.  Therefore, a solar powered airship would require no fossil fuels and could carry freight and passengers.

Here's the good part.  It might even be able to do this fast.  If JP Aerospace can make an airship that can get to orbit, there could be one that could cross the continent or an ocean.  All without using a drop of fossil fuel.  Think about it.

The only reason to make high speed trains is to use electricity as opposed to using fossil fuels.  But trains require a lot of infrastructure.  Airships would not.

A few words about Gold

I write about this from time to time, and I guess it is a good time to do it again.  I was reading an essay on Kitco, by the Aden sisters , and I saw this chart

Let me point out a few things here.  Look at where the trend begins, just after Bush was inaugurated.  To be even more accurate, it began when the previous top was exceeded, and when the previous low was higher.  The higher low was just after the inauguration in 2001; when the higher high took place was early in 2003.  It so happens that Fed policy became very accomodative at that exact moment in time.  Just a coincidence?  I think not.

What I get out of this is that the 911 event has put a strain on our finances and that the Fed and the government is financing it by inflationary policies.   The war in Iraq began in March 2003.  By that time, gold was not in a big uptrend yet.   It broke above 500 in 2006.  Guess what happened that year?  The Democrats came into power in Congress.  Actually, they won the election and took power the next year.  The war in Iraq had been dragging on and the government was losing control.  By the time 2008 was rolling around, the price of gold was clearly reaching historical heights.

Democrats couldn't force us out of Iraq, and were favorably inclined to spend more.  No control over spending, neither for domestic spending nor for the war spending.

Recession occurred and the only response that the government had was to increase its spending even more.  But that's what got us into this mess in the first place.  Turning to bigger government is like drinking from the same well that is making us sick.  Time to stop drinking from that well before they poison us all with national bankruptcy.

I remember this one

I was thinking about it recently, yesterday, while listening to the Space Show, it reminded me to write about it.  It was this tendency of people to not like people who are unlike themselves.  Someone may ask, why do you equate what was said on the The Space Show with what Bill Whittle was talking about in his series "Tribes"?

On the Space Show yesterday, it was pointed out that the athletes may not like the geeks and vice versa.  And this space stuff is probably, and most likely seen as geeky.   Anyway, after some exposure to what they are doing, they get enthusiastic about science and engineering and some of them will go on to doing that as a career.  And I commented upon that yesterday and thought what a great thing that was.

This morning, while I took a walk, I begin thinking about this Tribes business again.  I may be pretty dumb about these things at times, so, sometimes it takes me awhile for me to catch on.   That's because this morning I noticed that my pageview count went down.  It was well up there (for this blog), but after posting a few artsy posts, which may be held in disdain by the athletic bunch, I may have lost some interest.  And vice versa.  You can't please everyone, but I am not trying to.

I tend to like artsy stuff, but I like sports too.  So, I am not trying to please everyone.  I am just doing what I like.  But the point is, why does this have to be a problem?  That is what I don't get.  But that's me.  And that's where this Tribes thing comes in.  In Whittle's essay, he writes about the Pinks and the Greys.   I think the athletes and the engineers would be the Greys.  I think the artists would be the Pinks.  And they don't always like each other much.  That could be a problem.

I am the kind of guy who can like the Pinks and the Greys.  And I liked the essay that Bill Whittle wrote, which he called Tribes.  But it wasn't always kind to the Pinks.  And Whittle thinks of himself as a Grey.  And me?  Definitely not Pink, but not always Grey.  Make sense of that if you can.

What would be the function of the proposed non profit?

I have given that some thought in the last several hours.  Okay, this is not from an expert, so what we would have here is basically a supportive organization.  It will support other organization's work in the fields of space and energy.  ( Kardashev's Riddle).

Here are two non profits, at this point, that I feel like supporting.  1) Focus Fusion Society  (more about FFS), and 2) The Space Show.  Of course, I could contribute to these on my own.  At this point, I have made no personal contribution to either of these.  I have, however, bought a few books after listening to one of Dr. Livingston's broadcasts.   I suppose I could just support it with my own donations, but I feel that I can do more by doing this and using this as a platform to raise money for these two organizations and others that I may choose later.

The support that I can lend is quite modest as this blog, as I have pointed out several times, has only a very small audience.  In addition, I am on a tight budget myself.  I hope that this blog can become more popular and could become a more significant contributor in the future.

There are other considerations, such as how to set up this thing up.  That is, the nuts and bolts of handling the money.  As I have written earlier, my preference is that it be as simple as possible.  That means if it costs me a lot of time and effort just to set this part of it up, I may abandon the idea.  So, a lot depends upon whether or not I can do this the way that I would like.  For example, I don't want the bank to use this as an opportunity to charge me a lot of money to handle these funds.  And so on and so forth.  I have a fear that other folks out there think that, just because this is a corporation, that it can be their own cash cow.

I want as close to 100 percent of the funds going for its intended purpose as possible.  Since, in the beginning, these funds could be very limited, or even non existent, I would prefer that it at least not to lose money.  Even that may be asking too much.  We shall see.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Liveblogging the Space Show

Prep for the show is down here. As I mentioned earlier, I won't try to transcribe everything. I will just listen in and comment upon anything that pops up in my mind. Which may or may not happen.  As of this writing, the show will start in less than 30 minutes.

 The show is beginning.

Can't miss the newsletter?  Really?

One Giant Leap Foundation is the non profit, a tax deduction for donations.  Mentions blog, I saw that.  Secure world Foundation.  Introduces guest.   Balloon to space guy.  Like JP Aerospace, in a sense.

Talks about the balloon launch.   He teaches 8th grade history.  Hasn't been doing this long, ballooning to space.  Need helium, weather balloon, a few hundred dollars for the balloon and helium, plus the radio and camera and science payloads.  Government guidelines had to follow.  FAA.  Dangerous part in launch and filling of the balloon.  Mentions the pics, have to visit the school site to see it, I think.  92k feet.  No damage, very successful flight.

Lot of people showed up for launch, he says.   He was mentored by somebody else who was launching.

How balloon recovered after it bursts.  It will burst when it gets high enough.  Use parachute.  Takes an hour to hour 10 minutes to get to 92k feet.  45 minutes to an hour down.  Two hour flight.  Drops fast at first because no air, has to get down far before parachute deploys.

Discusses camera used.  Sets every 10 secs.  776 pics and 1000 pics of tree branch.  Camera cost 280 bucks.  Weighs in ounces.  Small.  Special cameras.  Made for extreme conditions like this.  32 gigabyte memory.

Get children interested in space and engineering.  Amateur radio discussion in connection with this.  Need radio to track.  Use GPS and transmit to amateur radio to track.  Need license to do this.  Look for hams for help.  Point in right direction.  Very helpful, he says.

Future projects.  Make it statewide.


The reason I'm interested in this is because of JP Aerospace's work.  This looks like something that a lot of people can get into.  I guess that's the reason to be interested.  People can get involved in something like this.  It increases interest.

back to the program:

Old Town Middle School, Ridgland Mississippi, in northern part of Miss.  Outside of Jacskon.  Oxford, Miss?

Raises interest as mentioned.  This reminds me of something.  I had a discussion yesterday that reminded me of how we are all too dependent upon the government to do anything.  Here is something that you can do without having the government to be involved or funding it.   The government has assumed too much responsibility for everything, including space flight.

Teaches history.  Asked about Manifest Destiny.  Only 2 or 3 paragraphs dedicated to it.

Wants to do one during a hurricane or just before one actually.  May give some interesting pics.

Put on website?  Will put up on school and some elsewhere.

A thought occurred to me about this getting real rant he had yesterday.  It seems that maybe he was right about this being the type of thing he was upset about.  Because stuff like this is what an individual can get involved in.  An individual like me.  The big organizations like the government is too restricted to a small group of highly paid professionals.  This is more accessible to all people.  This enpowers people, as opposed to making people dependent.

Popular culture is warping kids minds, it seems.

He got a lot of help with the project because of the interest he was able to generate.  Amazing.

Comment:  This is an amazing show.  It really is.  I wonder how I went all these 10 years not knowing about the Space Show.

Popular culture is crap, crap, crap.  This is great stuff.  The only reason people are not interested in this stuff is because it isn't being produced on major media.  People will get interested if exposed to it.


during the break, I started a new sidebar entry for labels called Space Show Liveblogging

back to show

Pay for license and equipment, bandwidth is free.  Getting license take test.  Study book, law, and a few other tech items.  Not that hard, but is technical. 

Group in Longview Texas.  Interesting.  I've been to Longview lots of times.

ISS has ham radio.  Interesting. 

A lot of teachers want to do this and take it to next level, he says.

Turn lives around.  Heady stuff.

I think I will stop here.  It is so, so sad how people are missing the boat when they miss out on stuff like this.  I wish I had some exposure to it when I was going to school.  This is great stuff.  I'm sure that the reason is that somehow, our culture has failed us.  This is very badly needed.

Another idea that may be impractical

Is it possible, I wonder, that the Apollo lunar modules can be salvaged in any way?  Could the rocket engines still have any use, and would it be worthwhile to attempt to salvage them?  There were six landings, each with the lower descent stage remaining behind when the astronauts returned from the Moon.  Just a thought I was having.

Some Twitter news

Spacex has some news coming out tomorrow.  via Spacexer

Shuttle Endeavour's launch is delayed for 10 days.  April 29th is the new date.  via Jeff Foust

In Situ Space Resource Utilisation    link courtesy of stratocumulus

Commercial Crew to ISS  Facebook page via stratocumulus

It doesn't have any explanation here for what this is and what it does- other than what is on the Facebook page. No audio narration on the video.

On the Energy beat, NextBigFuture has this on thin film solar technology.

No banana in the tailpipe!

These guys are pretty good, but they aren't brothers. ( in the racial sense of the word) I mean, when they do rap, they need "something". An example is from the movie Beverly Hills Cop and the "banana in the tailpipe scene". Ah! here it is

Checking out the Space Show today

I may live blog it on a casual basis.  It is challenging to keep up with the program.  If I am really interested in it, I will make the attempt.  I am somewhat interested today.

Doing a little prep before the show.  More information about today's guest.   And about ARRL Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology .  I think the acronym means National Association for Amateur Radio.  Only that doesn't seem to match up.  I guess we'll find out on the show.

The site looks interesting.  Ham radio, (amateur radio)by the way.  Well, that's all for now.  Going to the top of the blog and will point down here for readers to look this stuff up, if needed.

I may be selling my truck

I did this in 2004 and drove a little electric scooter around instead.  I did this for less than six months and got real tired of it.  Not that I want to repeat all that, though.  This would be a restructuring of my assets, if it all goes down.  I am not wishing to do this, but it may be sort of necessary.  This pic was taken earlier today, so I still have the scooter.  It doesn't work very well, though.   Needs new batteries.

Recycling the ET's revisited

What can you do with the shuttle derived external tanks, assuming that they will exist in the future?  One thing to keep in mind is that when the shuttle's main engines quit firing, the external tank is 98 percent of orbital velocity.

It wouldn't take much more to get it up to orbital velocity.   I suggest that in future missions, a way should be reserved to keep the ET's in orbit,  as opposed to splashing them into the sea.

Once getting it up there, what do you do with it?  I've gone over that in previous posts.  Here's another idea, and hopefully, I can keep it real.  Let's say that you attach a propulsion device that can gradually lift the ET out of Earth orbit, and place it in lunar orbit.  Then, once in lunar orbit, send it to the surface at a predesignated spot and control crash it.  Why?  In order to obtain its materials for use on the lunar surface.

ET's weigh over 50,000 pounds.  That's a lot of metal which won't have to be mined from the lunar surface and processed.  It just needs to be melted down and recast into a useful product for use on the moon.

The Russians control crashed at least one of their lunar probes.  I believe the technique involves using an explosion that will slow down the craft and allow it to land at speed which would not cause too much damage to the probe.  Since the mission is to impart materials to the lunar surface, the condition of the tanks when they land is not that important.  Only that they are salvageable for some purpose.

What propulsive device?  Let's look at VASIMR.  This program is nearly operational.  Attach a VASIMR to an ET and send it to the moon.   Then do a in situ salvaging operation on what's left.

If the VASIMR will be powerful enough to keep the ISS in orbit, it may well be powerful enough to do this job.  It will take awhile, but it would be unmanned, so there's no big hurry.

The Space Show

I put another link to the Space Show on the sidebar.  I don't think that the one that was already there was adequate.  I included a telephone number to call in when a show is on.  It may come in handy.

Another thing about his rant yesterday, I agree with him.  We need to keep it real out here.


It seems to be more complicated to browse the Space Show site than it needs to be. To find the link to the newsletter was a bit of a chore. So, I'm including it on the sidebar once again.

Keeping it real

On the Space Show, which I liveblogged yesterday, Dr. Livingston went on a rant about all the "bullshit" out there.  And Dr. Spudis agreed on about 3/4 of it, he said. 

I went back in my blog and noted several posts which dealt with this subject and highlighted it in that post.  I highlighted it according to the new policy I set forth as of yesterday, which is to have in blog links in bold letters, so as to notify the reader that the topic has been covered before in this here blog.

As for keeping it real, I've been contemplating taking this blog to a non profit status.  But this decision is still pending.  One thing about keeping people waiting is that if you make them wait too long, it ain't real.  So, I'm going to put a deadline on this decision.  It's a go or no go by next Monday.  If I don't know enough to know, it will be considered the same as wankery.   And I don't intend to make this blog an exercise in wankery.

One thing about the non profit, if it does happen, there will be a financial audit each year.  If it makes any money at all, that is.  I will know sometime during the first year if the blog will ever pull in any money.  If the worst happens, and no money comes in, I will dissolve the non profit status posthaste.  That's why I want feedback.  I'm not here to wank or be wanked.  Do not wank me by coming here without any intention to back it up.

I'm not here to beg for money.  I consider what I am doing as earning money.  This is by doing real stuff that means real things in a real world.  If I can't do that, I will consider it wankery, and stop it posthaste.  Nothing about this is going to be wankery if I have anything to say about it.

A Roadtrip is possible this week

This one isn't definite yet.  It depends on the outcome of what somebody else does.  If it happens, I'll probably will be lite blogging on that day.  It shouldn't take more than a day or at most two to do this.  On the other hand, if anything goes wrong, it could take longer.  Most likely, it will take up one day.  The destination isn't important enough to discuss at this time.  If I have anything interesting to post on it, I'll put it up.  If I don't go, or if I do go, I'll announce it.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Newsletter - Edition 260 - 03 April 2011 By Christopher Laird

Here's what Chris has on his newsletter today:

   My views on gold and silver firstly  
   Interest rates  
   Food price
   AntiChrist situation
   Japan crisis filling biblical prophecies in a way
   Time is short
   Other newsletters talking about leaving the US

To get the full newsletter, please remember that this is a subscription based service.  A link is provided to his site in the products page.

Comment:  I am not one of the prophecy seeker types.  It is a part of the landscape, but it isn't necessarily a part of my thinking.

Liveblogging the Space Show today

Paul Spudis will be on.  I'd be interested to hear what he says about the moonbase proposal.  The show will be on in less than two hours.  Check back here at that time.

Update:  About 20 minutes before the show.  I was just now thinking about the Superhero series.   The reason I was thinking of it was that my commenter here included a link to the site in which I saw something that he wrote that interested me and I downloaded it.   Not to say much more here, other than I was reading a bit from the download while I was waiting for the show to begin.  ( It's about storytelling.)

Update:  Looks like the show is about to begin.

 Intro beginning.  Announcements:  phone, email, podcast access to program, website has all current info, newsletter uploaded this evening, upcoming plans, future guests can be seen on website, shows are archived.

It is a nonprofit ( where I got the idea for this blog).  Donations are tax deductible.  Begin intro of Dr. Spudis.  Effective articulation of going back to moon.  Senior staff scientist, awards received and has a book out based upon his blog.  Has a cd in the back of the book.

Corrects the URL into the Doctor. gave.    Asks about book.   Why in a book?  Got requests and said it would be handy in a book.  Traveling literature.  Good thematic collection.  A serious change in national space program.  Formally collect those to keep a record.

Running commentary of lunar science.  Running log of operations.  Collection of mini essays.  Like an op ed column.  Half revolved around policy.  Evolved in differently than what they anticipated.

Question:  Clarify article about NASA meetings going to the moon, but going back to Moon cancelled.  Are we going to Moon?  We do we stand?  Answer:  Yes and No.  Phenomenon: a large program get reoriented by big organization not everybody gets message.  Get confusion called Brownian Motion.   Got the project proposed changed, but Congress disagreed.  ( Part of the confusion )  Only partly implemented Prez proposal.  Of seven points, 3 mentioned lunar surface.  No one knows what the mission is.  Chaos.  Also the budget situation in Congress.  No budget for this year nor next year.

How do you plan for that, asks David.  Ans.  Don't.  In reactive mode.  In chaos.  Good plan to destroy NASA he says.

Suggestion on how to move forward?  Ans:  Lack of leadership have chaos.  Need to bring order out of chaos.  A budget will emerge eventually.  May be painful (new budget).  Until then, all up in air.  No comfort to offer, he says.  Never seen it this bad.

Q: Are we really moving forward without timelines?  A: Yes we do need them.  NASA works better with a schedule.  NASA is operational agency.  Need realistic program.  Cost overrun were supposed to be handled by scheduling.

Caller:  John in Montana.  Asks about competition from India, China will spur competition?  How will to turn things around given lack of leadership, competence, vision and having everyone "diving into their own navel"?

Ans:  Spur into action?  Sputnik effect?  But not so sure that it would make a difference.  It will take something dramatic or negative to make that happen, hopes not.

Stop navel gazing?  Will continue that, he says.  Small groups will make things better.  These people will emerge and move us forward.  At some point, realize space is important to society and we need it.  Practical reasons.  Once that is realized, a more stable rational program emerges.

follow up: can it be reversed?  Ans.  Yes, it can.  Need a critical mass.  A rational reason to do this.  Is possible to change it.

call in number  18666877223

Half of questions are aligned with these thoughts.  Tries to convey enthusiasm for the science.  But the edifice is crumbling too.

No shortage of publicity, but not driving it.  Perplexing.  Evidence stronger for return to Moon.

Alan in Seattle: do we need a commercial driver or is it still government.  He says both.  Doesn't have to be a conflict.  Can make money and are important national interest.  Knowledge base improving.

Carla asks  focus should build heavy lift vehicle?  Ans.  argument on both sides of that.  The language in bill was in bill.  Congress concerned by retiring shuttle, they are worried losing capability we might need in future.  Keep the infrastructure.  Build around shuttle hardware.

Now a test of wills between NASA and Congress.  Ugly battle.

Why does NASA oppose this?  Pres is opposed.

My opinion:  do both commercial and heavy lift on shuttle technology.

Shuttle sidemount a possible solution.  Meets all requirements.

Policy from the top down.

caller:  John in Atlanta.  mixture of two influences 1) academics rely on unmanned probes 2) certain elements want commercial space  Ans.  fair comment, he says.  Agrees about 1), but influence is less than that.  Not powerful  on 2) in agreement that commercial guys want to get a chance at the money.  Don't help them build their vehicles.

Democrats not been manned program fans.  A certain wing of party.  Ans.  Bipartisan support.  Philosophical divide, not partisan.

 Can't gut the program.  What are the goals?  Won't see Apollo funding.  Need funding to move to get you to goal.

John in Montana:  Other than LBJ has been fan of space?  All Prez have supported space.


The nuts and bolts of government bores me, I have to admit.  This discussion was getting tedious to me.  I am more interested in the moonbase.

back now

Propellant depots.  Ans.  Not critical of heavy lift.  Budget figures struck him on asteroid mission.  Each architecture got only 1 mission to asteroid.  Took too long and got so little for it.  End point trivial to what it took to do it.  ( criticism of president)

another comment was that we spend same amount of money but by end have capability.  Better deal.

(Spudis): Never said propellant depot was dumb.  Depends on what you are trying to do.  One off program is dumb.
Like asteroid.  ( YES!)

This discussion looks very bad for President Obama.  ( my comment)

Discussion goes off on propellant depots and such.  My mind is wandering back to the ET discussion that I wrote about on this blog a few months ago.  Can save the shuttle derived system he was talking about, plus make it more cost effective.

Arc jets?  Dennis Wingo mentioned.  A lot of noise on the line.

David goes off on one his "rants".  Says he has radically changed his views.  Never in 10 year history have totally bullcrap been talked about.  Equated as reality to build is ridiculous.  Tired of powerpoints.   Lack of knowledge and so forth.   Says not doing any good to bombard us with nonsense.  Get Real his says.  He's really getting into it!!!

Spudis agrees with 3/4 of it, he says.  Lot of people on internet.  ( like me?) Don't consider myself an expert.  I try to keep it real.  Spudis, blames it on the lack of leadership in Washington.  He thinks it will get worse.


Comment:  The last thing I want to do is to harm the space program.  If that was the result of what I am doing, I would shut everything down immediately.  I want to keep everything real.  That's the whole point.

 back to show

Blogging the Moon is the name of the book.  Blogging the Moon (Once & Future Moon Collection)

Academic community feels that manned space program too costly, Spudis disagrees.   Cold traps are colder than surface of Pluto.  Cold traps keep water there forever.  Areas near poles are in near perpetual light.  Axis tilt is very low.  Sun is always on horizon.  Mapped out these areas.  Perfect situation to occupy the Moon.  Human presence on a sustainable basis is possible.

Vaporware problem.  Bang on!!!!!  I noticed this.

Spudis says exercising the imagination is a good thing.  Daydreaming is a good thing not a bad thing.  Only bad if allow to replace day to day living.  "Don't be a wanker!!!!"

Widget factories don't make flight hardware, he says.

Need to go to polar region to observe in place.  Anyone can do this, says.  Says he has already done it on the Indian mission.

Any missions to surface?  Looks like no.

Moon v Mars.  (NASA) Never thrilled about Moon.

Rate the optimism  10 perfect 0 worse than today in 5 years?  Spudis at the 30 percent level.  Nothing going to happen in couple years.  Still going to be shell shock at NASA.   Looks for indecision to be extended.  Won't get back on track in couple years.  May take next election.  After that, resolution one way or another.

Future direction is emerging, he says. Spudis can be contacted through his website.  Can't transcribe this stuff fast enough.   Gives pearls of wisdom and closes the show.

Final notes on show:  I think Spudis is right.  I think Obama is mostly wrong, but I am in favor of commercial crew.  I am in favor of sidemount, just use it for cargo.  Try to reuse shuttle ET tanks.   Don't use sidemount for crewed missions.  Don't need to man rate it.   Can use SpaceX for manrated hardware.  Decide on that or another but decide soon.  Agree with Spudis that we need to find out about what is on the Lunar pole regions.  This seems like high priority to me.


Just tightening up the organization of this blog.  For example, it just so happens that the non profit idea isn't really new for this blog.  I had a post called "Colonizaing Seed Project" back in November.  This fits in with the non profit idea pretty well, I'd say.  I added some stuff to that post and updated it a little, plus I linked here and added the non profit label to it.  I think I will add this as sidebar entry because it will help in navigating this blog.  I want to be able to find posts like this easily, you see.  If I can easily find what I write, hopefully you can too. 

You will notice that I used italics in that post for saleable items linked to Amazon.  If you don't want to buy anything, you are given a heads up to avoid clicking on the link.  On the other hand, if you want to support this blog, these type of links will enable you to do that more easily. 

I wrote about using italics on sales links here.  As you may notice, the last link is in bold letters.  That will serve as an example of a new policy.  A links to prior posts on this blog will now be in bold.  That way, you will know that I am referencing one of this blog's own posts.