Saturday, April 30, 2011

Evening Wrap 4/30

Today's topic was airships.  Funny thing about airships.  They have definite advantages that should make them attractive as a transportation vehicle.  These vehicles could be superior to all known forms of transportation in terms of versatility, cost and safety. Yet, few seem to be interested.  It only goes to show you that people are often not rational.

Let's look over some stats for this month:

Out of over 200 posts for the month, the top post got 24 pageviews.  Most posts don't seem to register.

Monthly pageviews shatters monthly record.  But with 200 posts, it must have been heavy blogging.

Here's a map of the top ten pageviews by country


That's not an exhaustive list.  There are other countries not shown here.  This was the top ten in number of pageviews.  Sometimes I get more pageviews out of country than in the country.  I don't know what to make of that, but it may not be good.

But, there seems to be progress.  Yet it isn't exactly overwhelming.

It could be my choice of things to be interested in.  Such as airships.  Nobody likes them.  My interest in space.  Nobody likes space.  One of my most successful days was the day I put up a link to Sarah LaCroix's video.  She is a singer and musician.  I guess people like music, but there are other things going on.

Politics generates interest.  But I am critical of all politics.  That means I'm going against the tide in both directions.  If I was more partisan, it might help.  But that goes against the grain of what this blog is about.  It's about solutions, and I don't see politicians as offering any solutions to anything.

I guess people like money.  But I am skeptical of markets too.  Maybe telling the truth about things isn't popular.  People prefer fantasy rather than reality.  Offer them a dream and they'll take it.  Offer them the truth, and they'll run away from it.  Start a political fight, and that generates interest.  Try to calm things down and make some sense, and that just bores people.

Now, it may strike some as odd, my talk of reality, given my rather speculative posts about space.  But space just isn't popular.  But popularity doesn't equal truth.  Space doesn't have to be expensive, but that's what people believe.  Why do they believe that?  Politics.  But they like the politics better, even though it is destroying their lives right before their own eyes.

If this blog can't make it, it doesn't speak well of someone.  Is it me?  I'm not so sure about that.  I have some ideas that I will try going forward.  It may bring my numbers up.  But I am running out of ideas and time.

The Deltoid Pumpkinseed

Just finished reading this bookThe Deltoid Pumpkin Seed.  I don't think I'll make a review out of it.  There are a few facts that I can relate here in connection to the Hindenberg airship, which I obtained from the book.

The Hindenberg was required to use hydrogen as its lifting gas.  It was designed for helium, but helium wouldn't be shipped because that was forbidden by the US government.  It seems that a lot bad memories were still too fresh in order to allow the Germans access to helium.  Airships were used in combat in World War I, and they were quite terrifying to the people of that time.  If helium was used instead of hydrogen, the ferocity of the fire may have been less.  By the way, the skin of the airship was also flammable, so that a fire may have been unavoidable at some time.  The hydrogen just made it a lot worse.   

Another fact about the Hindenberg was that it was being used for Nazi propaganda.  Despite its safety record as of that time, the spectacular nature of the disaster made it impossible to be useful for that purpose.  Also, given Hitler's nature, the very fact that it was a source of embarrassment for the regime made it quite vulnerable to the dictator's displeasure.

The airship was a very pleasurable way of traveling according to this book.  A milk bottle was set upside down and made an full trip across the ocean without being knocked over.  That's a very smooth ride that may not be possible on a modern plane.  Not to mention the fact that there was ample room to move around.  Nothing like flying in a glorified sardine can.  It flew at 75 miles an hour.  Not very fast, but compare this to a ship and it is fast even by today's standards.

What a pity to have such a fine flying machine delegated to the scrap heap because of one accident.  In addition, due to the whims of a mad dictator.  I was wondering, why not bring it back?  But this book wasn't about that.  Instead, it was about improving upon the concept of the airship.  It failed due to a lack of interest.  All of the tests of their new design for the airship were successful.  But nobody was interested.  Times change, perhaps now is the time?

A cautionary tale?  Any idea can blow up or be impractical.  But the Hindenberg had a spotless safety record before its mishap.  The concept is sound.  It should get another look.  But keep it out of the hands of people who would ask it to do more than what is necessary.  Remember the KISS principle.

Update:

About the airship in the book, here's a good synopsis of it here.  This post is about the Hindenberg, but the title is not.  Actually, the title was about the book which covered a few other airships besides the Deltoid Pumpkinseed.

Update:

There are a lot of interesting pics showing the accommodations of the Hindenberg.   Remember that this thing flew over 70 years ago.

Update:

Is this an animation or real? With the capabilities that exist today, you may not know for sure until you actually see one yourself in person.




Here's a model rigid airship narrated by a youngster



Finally, I found this pic of the "Pumpkin seed" airship. The book had no pics.

What will they think of next dept: Web Karaoke

A look around my browser stats yielded some info about browsers that I haven't heard of yet.  "Thunderbird" looks like a cousin of Firefox.  I went to the Firefox page and found the link to the video below.  I don't get it yet, but I'm looking.



A little poking around got me to this blog.  I think this may be too techie and you will have to be patient in order to understand it and use it.  Maybe you will want to go here first.


Update: approx 7:15 am

I just now decided that today will be a "vision quest" agenda.   Don't know what I'm looking for, but maybe I'll know it when I find it.

4/30: Morning, ya'll.

The usual preliminaries



Looks like my audience numbers are slipping a bit.  But the quality isn't.  I think the blog is getting better all the time.  I added another slideshow yesterday.  I asked Derek Shannon at Lawrenceville Plasma Physics if I could use his photos on his Picasa web album and he said sure thing.  So there it is, near the top of the page.

By the way, that's where they are working on Focus Fusion, which is what I've been writing about a lot lately.

I am particularly proud of my posts yesterday.  The Stalking Horse post was excellent analysis, don't care what anybody says.  Lady Gaga is top shelf, according to 300 million pageviews.  But, I can see some things about it that may bother some people, yes.   The think pieces were the way I wanted- short but hard hitting.

All in all, I feel good about it even if it isn't popular.  Yet.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Wrap 4/29

I got in all my agenda posts earlier than I thought I would.  Nice finish with the Lady Gaga post.  Actually it was a Michelle Phan post about Lady Gaga.  What struck me about the Gaga video was those eyes.  Phan showed how she did it.

Lady Gaga

I wondered how she got that look. I figured it was some kind of high tech deal with the video. Here's how it was done. By the way, this is in reference to her video "Bad Romance"

Stalking horse

A stalking horse candidate is meant to harm someone for the benefit of a third party while intending that connection to remain unknown.  It is a hunting term, which describes the use of a horse to stalk game, which become very alarmed at the appearance of people that they run away before a chance to take a shot.  The horse is used to screen the hunter from the animals, which aren't as alarmed by the horse as they would be by a man.

With respect to Donald Trump, I wonder if he is a stalking horse intended to harm the interests of another player or players in the political arena.  One could be the Tea Party, which appears to be suffering in the latest poll.  Guess who's getting connecting to racism, but the Tea Partiers themselves?  Now, Trump comes out with this birther stuff, and the Tea Party takes a hit in the polls, even though the Tea Party has nothing to do with Trump.  Could it be that Trump is working at the behest of the liberals who keep calling the Tea Party racist?  And wasn't the idea of birtherism a Hillary Clinton idea?  Why should Republicans laud anything that Trump says when he hasn't been a Republican in the past?  Trump could be a stalking horse to harm the Tea Party, and the beneficiary to this is the liberal Democrats.

Markets today

I noticed that gold is up again, near 1550. Wow. Here's some talk about 20,000
Dow.

The fellow here is describing something that I noticed myself. Basically, it boils down to trying to beat the market, which is a lot more prepared than you could ever dream to be. I think he's trying to help, but how many people are going to follow this advice?

Over 2800 posts (updated)

It isn't billions and billions sold, like McDonald's Hamburgers.  At this rate, I'll get my first billion when I'm nearly a million years old.  I'm getting there.

Missing the last flight of the shuttle.  It is being liveblogged here.  Everybody's there, including the President, and Gabrielle Giffords.

All about the Royal Wedding, if that's your thing.

Gonna embed the live coverage of the launch. Here goes:

Watch live streaming video from spaceflightnow at livestream.com


The launch has been scrubbed. Shucks.

Most bang for the buck

What exactly does that mean anyway?  It often means value, but there are those who wonder otherwise.  If you get past the sexual and military overtones, you can discuss it in more general terms, such as value for the dollar.

With respect to the government, which is running trillion dollar deficits, are we getting the most bang for the buck?  After examining the space program over the last several months, if that program is any indication, it would definitely appear to be NO.

When it comes to energy, you would also have to say no.  If a gallon of gas costs over 4 bucks, how could it be otherwise?  Energy should be cheaper.  But saying is one thing, doing is another.

The cheapest government program is the one that doesn't cost anything.  In the case of energy, the cheapest thing the government could go is to get out of the way.  Let the private sector create the new energy sources.  This is the best of both worlds.  More and cheaper energy and more revenues for the government from the growth in the economy.  Why is this so hard?

As I wrote before, Washington is in a bubble.  They believe everything revolves around themselves.  It is really hard for them to see themselves as the problem, especially when they see themselves as the solution.  But there are things that Washington can do.  Running the economy isn't one of them though.  It has been demonstrated over and over again that this does not work.  Burdensome regulations do not work either.  But what does work?  That would be incentives.  If the government can incentivize conditions, the rest will take care of itself.  If it doesn't, it is because the incentives are improperly set.

In particular, the government wants to fund a high speed rail program.  But why not consider alternatives?  Why not consider a 900 foot airship that can deliver cargo and passengers for half the operating cost of a 747?  Why build an expensive rail system, when a air system would need far less infrastructure, could be built in a lot less time and still deliver the benefits of an "green" transportation system?  The government canceled the Walrus system, but wants to build trains?  If cost is the problem, high speed trains are not the answer.

This is where we are.  Trillion dollar deficits and an advocacy of programs that uneconomical and ineffective.  Another example is fusion research.  Why spend billions on ITER, when there are other programs that have just as good a shot at achieving net power, and cost much, much less.

Surely we can do better than this.  But it is considered "extreme" to do anything but the status quo.  So what's so normal about trillion dollar deficits?  Have we defined deviancy down?  Has trillion dollar deficits, which were shocking in an earlier time, now considered the norm?

King Solomon and Huck Finn

The following passage was lifted from SparkNotes.  It is about a chapter in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  It is useful, I hope, in further illustrating the point I once made in the mating ritual post.

Huck astonishes Jim with stories of kings, first reading from books and then adding some of his own, made-up stories. Jim had only heard of King Solomon, whom he considers a fool for wanting to chop a baby in half. Huck cannot convince Jim otherwise.

The part about chopping the baby in half was about a dispute about to whom the baby belonged.  The solution the King offered was to chop the baby in half.  For this, he was called wise, but Jim disputed that.

The parallels I see is that in the struggle for dominance in the mating ritual and in the King Solomon story above, the bigger value is subject to risk in a struggle over something less important.

Yet another parallel can be found in the old Roman saying about peace.  If you want peace, prepare for war.  There appears to be the willingness to give up something in order to get something.  It could be expenses in preparing for war, or actual casualties in a war if peace cannot be obtained.  As Herb Cohen liked to say, you should care, but not that much.  But what if the worse happens?  You have to be willing to take that risk.  It would seem that little ventured, little gained.

The moral of that story is never bet anything you aren't prepared to lose.  You need a balance of some kind.

You Can Negotiate Anything

Let me introduce to you, if you aren't familiar, to Herb Cohen, in the YouTube video below, and the book, which I read many years ago.




The reason I mention Cohen, is that we need solutions, which is the main theme of this blog. Why Cohen? Well, it is my blog, and I am familiar with it. That's number one. Number two, I think that we are at a critical juncture here, and we need something to help us out. By us, I mean the USA. We've got big issues, mainly with our spending. We need to cut it, but we are faced with the problem about how to do that. There are a couple of ways to deal with this situation: 1) fight or 2) negotiate. I think that negotiation is preferable. Cohen had a reputation as a good negotiator. Unfortunately, he is dead. But we can use his works as an inspiration to what we need to do now.

I am depending upon memory here, but the video backs up what I mention next. And that is this, everybody needs to walk away with something, or a deal can't last. If someone lapses into a winner takes all mode, the ink will not get dry before the deal will start coming apart. In order for a deal to be durable, everybody has to get something out of it that reaches their objective. This may sound too "kum baya", but it is reality. Neither side is going away anytime soon. The reality is that we have to find a way to get along.

I believe deals can be made. But there has to be a will to make the deal, or make the fight. One way or another, the reality of the situation will force a solution of one kind or another. It would be better if the solution is one that we can come up with ourselves, as opposed to having one forced upon us.

I think the next leader of this country will have to show an usual capacity for making solid deals. Deals that will stand up to the test of time. One can recall by reading history, that the US Constitution would not have been adopted if the delegates to the Convention had not been able to make a number of deals. They were called Compromises. Lately, the word compromise has gotten something of a bad name. If by compromise, you mean capitulation, then what you really have is an ineffective negotiation. If you can't negotiate your way out, you may have to fight your way out. Which do you prefer?

Series of Think Pieces

That's the tentative plan today.  Each piece will be short.  I hope each piece will be hard hitting.  I realize this is a terse statement.  Look at it this way: Limbaugh likes to say "brevity is the soul of wit."

If you can boil it down to its fundamentals, it can be brief, hard hitting, and maybe even a bit entertaining.  Let's see how it goes.

So far, I've got a few thoughts rattling around my head.  We'll get to the first one before 10 am, local time.  The next should come by mid afternoon, and the last by evening.  Then, there will be a wrap up.  

If I find anything to use as filler, I'll throw that in too.  Hopefully, it will be an interesting day.  Stay tuned.

Good Morning, 4/29

Seem to be getting into a rut. That's not unusual for this business. There's more I can say, but I don't think I will. These numbers aren't what I'm looking for, that's good enough.



Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wrap 4/28/11

It was mostly about poltics today, plus a couple of reviews.  One review of concepts discussed on this blog and another about Gingrich and his organization "American Solutions".  The two reviews are connected by the theme of solutions, which is part of what I want this blog to be about.  It is also about change ( Laird's movement to religion) and also about lack of change ( need to find energy solutions).  I tried to touch all bases with at least a little something on poltics, arts, sciences and markets.  A workmanlike day, but nothing special.  Today's agenda was the discussion of solutions, but it wasn't a plan.  It just happened.

Watch how a puppet comes to life

I wonder if you could make a puppet that big for a Halloween costume.



Give him a hand. Oops! Couldn't resist that, sorry.

Polywell Update

I was looking for news, and got this post from the Polywell Blog.

I will keep looking. Maybe something has happened.

Update:

Saw this on the forum. It is a .gif file that I had to convert to a movie so that I could upload to YouTube and then embed it here. Whew, that's a mouthful.  It is an animatiion of a pB11 fusion reaction.  This is a clean fusion that produces no neutrons ( no radioactivity).  The proton ( hydrogen without an electron) hits the boron ( also without its electrons) and produces 3 molecules of helium.



Update:

Found something that may be "news". A lot of speculation about the status of the project. By the way, I saw a reference to this, which I think I mentioned in an earlier post.

May have to part company with Chris Laird

He seems to be taking a new direction. It looks like he wants to emphasize Christianity. Well, I don't know if I should be blunt here. Let's just put it this way. I am not going along for that ride.

I think there is such a thing as self fulfilling prophecy. We can all talk ourselves into Armageddon if we all let ourselves believe in it enough. My approach to life is to reason things through, if I can. I know that isn't always possible for a number of reasons. Among these, people are not rational beings. But it is the highest order of consciousness that we have, in my opinion. I do not trust merely believing in things, and trusting that it will all come out right in the end. My view is, maybe it will, or maybe it won't. I am not going to roll the dice on something as shaky as that.

I think Chris does a good job, but he may be getting carried away with his religious beliefs. He can believe what he wishes. I pay for information.

Good Stuff in 2008, Still Good Stuff today

Gingrich on Energy.




Update:

Winning the Future, now where did that term come from?  Rather amusing.  I've been studying Newt Gingrich today, FYI.  It may be something of a coincidence, Newt's interview with Kitco's Daniella Cambone, is one of my most popular posts.  I don't recall writing much of anything else about Gingrich on this blog.  A google search on with gadget on this blog reveals just that one post, but listed numerous times.

I do have some slight connection with American Solutions.   Just a follower, that's all.  I made some slight contribution, as I recall, back in 2008.  This was in favor of the Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less campaign, which influenced President Bush to end the ban on offshore drilling.  This seemed to help with gasoline prices, but that didn't last, since Obama won the Presidency, that relief has ended.

Update:

I am updating this as I find new stuff.  This is one of my very own posts.  Read it and understand.

Update:

I'm looking at the American Solutions website now, and I found this featured video:

Coulter on Trump

I don't watch much TV, so when she says that conservatives were on this from the start, that is reassuring. But what isn't is Whoopi Goldberg plays the race card on the Trump issue and that gets Republicans blame for what was a Hillary Clinton idea.



Now Whoopi on the Race Card

Who do you think she was talking about, Hillary Clinton?????  Noooooooo.  It was those wascally Rethuglicans.

Update:

Here's an alternative viewpoint on Trump at American Thinker.  It is an interesting read, but I don't agree.  If you water down your principles, you might as well lose.  Besides, the GOP establishment doesn't mean the same thing as he seems to indicate.  The trouble he alludes to, the "growth" of Republicans when they get to Washington, is an inadvertent admission of what the real problem is.  Washington is in a bubble.   That bubble must be burst.  How?  I covered that in an earlier post.  Look it up.

Brief review of concepts discussed on this blog

This is by no means a full discussion of what I've written here.  In order to get that, you will have to follow the links indicated.  This can be done within the body of the text of each post, or follow the links obtained by clicking on the label attached to the post.  This can be found at the end of the post.  Click on the label and a list of posts related to the subject are presented.  I include this synopsis of what I write because this blog is getting bigger with each post.  It has to be kept manageable.

By the way, anything like this can also be referenced by clicking on the label.  The label to this post will be "about the blog".  Click on that to obtain a timeline of changes to this blog over the last several months.

Concepts in connection to the exploration of space and colonization:

Focus Fusion spacecraft propulsion device
Battlestar Galactica launched by Sea Dragon Heavy lift (double concept, Big Dumb Rocket)
Recycling Shuttle Derived Systems' external tanks

"Green" transportation concepts:
For air transportion:
Solar powered airships

For ground transportation:
Ammonia electrolysis in order to obtain hydrogen for fuel cells.

Political Contributions To Our Saviors




I suppose the title of this post is a bit sarcastic. I was hoping for a little competence, though. Silly me. I asked this Russell guy to help me in return for a small donation and I got zilch. Even worse, I get a solicitation from Bolton for some campaign dough.

I mean, how dumb can you get? What the Republicans need is not money, but some brains and some guts. From where I am standing, they don't have either.

At least save your money and don't send me this stuff. If you get a notice from me of this fact, which I gave Russell, then pass the word. Not only did Russell not pass the word, he took the money and ran, just like I feared that he would. This is why they won't win. No brains. No guts.

Good morning, 4/28/2011

Appearances may be deceiving here, as my traffic numbers appear to be about the same. What you don't see is my overnights were down to only 5 pageviews. That's about as low as its been in quite a while. The sitemeter comparisions give a clue, only 8 visits yesterday, despite the Blogger stats of 56. It could mean a lot of pageviews from a small number of readers.

I didn't mention this yesterday, but I sent out a couple emails. There was no reply to either of them. If there was, there may have been something to report here.

I am going to continue in that same vein, even though there wasn't a response yesterday. The thing is that there has to be an economic rationale for this blog, or it has to go low priority. I've said it often enough. I don't how to make it any clearer.



Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wrap 4/27

Here's a list of what I posted today:

Started out with the arts and sciences, then moved into politics and markets to finish up.  No focus, no agenda today.  But covered all my bases.

Gold making new highs

Haven't looked into the story, though. I'm mentioning it because I been saying it all along. Until the government gets its fiscal and monetary act in order, this is likely to keep going.

Here's something on Yahoo that I can embed here:



Here's another good discussion on natural gas:



and another

Birth Certificate

I don't care.  Just shows how far this country has sunk.

Update:
How can they tell who the daddy was back when the constitution was written? Reminds me of this line from Smokey and the Bandit

Robert Heinlein

To tell the truth, I don't know much about his work.  But I do remember reading a couple of his books while I was  in grade school.  I forgot which book it was, but I remember something from it, and based upon that, I did a google search, giving this.  The thing I remembered was the term "fraki", so I googled that with Heinlein, and that is how I came up with the link.  The word "fraki" was a pejorative word, you see.

The other book's setting was on Mars, but I haven't located that one yet.  It could be this, but I am not sure.

I think I know where he's coming from

He's had a dream most of his life about his airship concept. He's now in his eighties, and his airship still exists in a hangar in New Jersey.  I think a fuller explanation can be found in the book that I just ordered from Amazon.

How did I find this?  Let's see.  We can trace this one back to this post I made a few days ago.  There were two links, I followed one, but not the other here.  The other link was the Walrus, which I've written about.

The general idea here is to use lifting gas to move people and cargo about.  It could do it a much reduced cost, since the lift would come from the lifting gas, not the engines.  It would fuel efficient, maybe even possible to run the thing on solar power, obviating the need for fossil fuels at all.

Fusion is hot

Literally.  As written earlier, a pB11 fusion reaction produces 8.7 MeV ( million electron volts) of energy.  This can be represented also by converting to a temperature measurement with this equation below:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronvolt

Note that a mere 1 electron volt is equivalent to approximately 11, 605 degrees Kelvin.  Now a pB11 reaction above would be multiplied by 8.7 million in order to obtain the heat equivalent of the reaction.  That figures out at 100964 times a million, which is over 100 billion degrees Kelvin.  [between 2 and 3 orders of magnitude hotter than VASIMR] Kelvin can be converted to Celsius by subtracting 273 degrees, since Kelvin begins at absolute zero.  In this example, that is an insignificant difference.  No need to convert this to electricity and back again to heat, wouldn't you think?


Update:

Anybody interested in what I've written about Focus Fusion can put it into the Search the blog google gadget at the top of the page.  Several posts about Focus Fusion will pop up.  As a matter of fact, I did this myself and decided to put a portion of one of my posts up here (cuz I like it so much).  This is from here.

Fusion rockets have to have better alpha he said. He says his generator weighs 3 tons. If putting large fusion rocket, would probably set up a circuit from a single bunch of capacitors. A whole cycle is 8 microsends. For a single electrode, it would melt. In theory, could put a bunch of electrodes to fire off a single capacitor for a better higher energy to mass ratio. Need a switching system. Fire the electrodes in some type of sequence. Get orders of magnitude more energy. (my comment inserted here: this is what I was thinking about, good to hear that it may be feasible) [italics added]

This is in continuation of a proposition discussed here. (fusion rockets)

Superheroes and Supervillains

In the movies, that is.

Pearl Jam

I never bought any of their music. I ended up with a cassette once, though. I found it on the sidewalk, picked it up. To my surprise, it played perfectly in my player. I got to liking the music. But I can't say that I became a fan. This song featured here -Even Flow- appears to be about homelessness. I didn't know that because it was too hard to understand the lyrics. I found the lyrics on the web just now. Now this YouTube version doesn't appear to be the one on the album, but it is fairly close. It has the lyrics scrolling along as the song plays.



There was a connection to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Here's a couple of their videos on YouTube (embedding not allowed).

4/27/2011

Playing around with these stats again. One picture is worth a thousand words, it has been said. Let's try a few pics.  I can keep the pics from screen shots and then paste them up the next day for comparisons.




That's audience numbers.  The other numbers, I don't know if I want to take pics of those.  Too depressing. That's kind of a joke.  None of these numbers are good, once you think about it.  That reminds me of a joke I saw yesterday.  Actually the joke was called a meta joke.  The term "meta" is an abstraction.  Roughly, it means "about".  Thus, a meta joke is a joke about jokes.  An example:

An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman walk into a bar. The bartender turns to them, takes one look, and says "What is this - some kind of joke?"

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wrap 4/26

I think I can see the way a VC thinks.  He wants to get in and out with a big profit, and he is willing to take a risk, but the proposition has to have a decent shot at success.  Common sense, eh?

Why is it hard for some ideas that look good, but can't get funding?  Most likely, they don't have a product yet, or their market isn't exactly clear.  Let's look at Microsoft.  In the early eighties, IBM came out with the PC, and chose Microsoft as one of the two software companies that would make an operating system for it.  If a VC looked at Microsoft, they would see a sure market for the name brand of IBM, an existing product ( an existing operating system) ready to ship, and a company with a track record in the business (Microsoft).  They would have a good chance of an exit strategy in 3 to 7 years, and a reasonable chance to make a profit.  As things turned out, it was a lot better than that.

If anyone wants to make it big, they had better approximate the Microsoft model.  But that's common sense, isn't it?  But common sense isn't so common.

Your odds at success are diminished if you don't have a product, a reputation, nor a name brand.  All of these combined would be a combination that is as close to a sure thing as you can get in this world.

JP Aerospace's video

Video of their most recent missions, which were dubbed "Away" missions-  number: 47,48,49  -is up on their blog.

That's where this pic came from.  That pic was an ad for this blog.  It is interesting that John Powell has refused funding from folks who approached him.

If you are making a profit already, why the need for outside funding?  Maybe to expand.

It may be useful to review a few points that I have learned:
1) Venture capitalists get a stake in the company
2) They want to have an exit strategy of between 3 to 7 years
3) The exit strategy may consist of an IPO, where the company goes public


The VCs cash out when the public comes in.  They hope to make a handsome profit off the exchange.  This pays for losers since this is a risky business.  The better they are at selecting potential winners, the greater is the percentage of winners, and perhaps even big winners.  The standards are pretty high for prospective companies seeking funding from VCs.

Defending Planet Earth

This question was asked on the Space Show yesterday, and here's the link to the site that the guest, Tom Jones, gave in response to an email question.  Actually, there is a pdf download site that will give you the opportunity to download the book provided that you give some personal information.

I wrote about this hazard from space back in September.

The Space Show founder, Dr. Livingston, appears to be an knowledge entrepreneur.  The term given here as a link, is in connection to the term "venture capital" which is the topic for today.

Angel Investor

Continuing on with this reading, with respect to today's topic, is Angel Investing.  Reading down a little, I came across this blog, and on the top of the page is none other than a young Bill Gates.  You know, the billionaire who started Microsoft?

Hard to imagine that this guy at any time needed a helping hand.  I read about Gates many, many years ago when I was computer guy myself.

The blog doesn't claim that Gates needed an angel investor, though.  I've read enough about Gates to conclude that he isn't Superman.  For example, he didn't create the original MSDOS, but he based it upon a clone of the CPM operating system that he bought.  He marketed that successfully to IBM when they put out the original IBM PC.  That's the big break that made Gates super rich.

This is not to denigrate Gates either.  He knew exactly what he was doing and by golly, he did it.

Crowd funding

This link was provided at the bottom of the page for the venture capital link that started this discussion.  There are some legal hazards to this, but I think that the non profit idea pretty much covers one of the major hazards.

The point is that crowd funding is a different thing from venture capital.  Crowd funding may be more charitable than enterprising.  Not that it can't be a enterprise of considerable size.  The problem is to get everyone to understand what is being attempted and not to expect to directly benefit from any profits thus obtained.  That's because it is nonprofit.  It may well be that this could be a deal killer.

MSNBC Interview of Elon Musk

The Wall Street Journal's Alan Murray interviews the founder of Tesla and Spacex.  Surprising that Musk was the inspiration for Iron Man character.   I guess you can say this is a case study.

Daily agenda, Venture Capital

As I wrote yesterday, I know nothing about this topic. Now is as good time as any to start.

You have to start somewhere with a study of this topic, and as things turn out, I did this yesterday. I met with confusion rather than enlightenment. Rather than to wring my hands in despair, I'll back up, and start over.

First, I will consult the handy Wikipedia.  Therein lies a good discussion of what it actually is. I believe I had an idea of what it was, but it is best to get that down pat. To understand it as well as it is possible. Here's as good a definition of it than what can usually be found:

The venture capital fund makes money by owning equity in the companies it invests in, which usually have a novel technology or business model in high technology industries, such as biotechnology, IT, software, etc. 

I think that "Mining The Sky" is a novel business model and the technology to implement it is also about as novel as it gets.  So, the idea qualifies as novel, all right.

The next thing is how to get started.  As with many things, the devil is in the details.

Morning Summary

I think I will alter that. I have included pageview stats, so that it can be seen by anybody who may be interested. As for money issues, well, you can assume there's no money unless something unusual happens.

It seems to take more time than I want to spend in order to collect these stats and report them. Why not let the machine do that? Reporting on lack of money is not fun to write and probably not interesting to read.

I will streamline the morning summary and plan into one post that will go up by 6 am each morning. The plan is the topic for the day.

With that in mind, here's the agenda. What would it take to get funding for any worthwhile project? I briefly looked into that yesterday. That's something I can spend time looking into and reporting. Maybe afterward, it will be worth reading.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Interest in fusion rockets

Here is where it began.  I've been spending some time of this subject today, hence the post.

The difference I have with Waddington's idea is that I see no need to produce heat.  Now, the odds are that Waddington is closer to being right about this than I am, but knowing no better, I keep thinking about this anyway.

The calculations I did yesterday may not be useful nor accurate, but it does seem to be consistent with the proposition that any fusion that takes place is quite powerful, as everyone knows.  The thing that strikes me is that the particles are already doing what we want them to do.  The challenge is to make this happen often enough to produce useful amounts of thrust for a spacecraft.

Waddington's idea of using a compulsator device is interesting.  I was thinking, what if there were a lot of electrodes, and each electrode is pulsed and then let idle for awhile before being pulsed again.  There could be hundreds of electrodes that could get pulsed so that you don't have to rely upon a single one.  It is analogous to an automobile engine.  In an internal combustion engine, the coil supplies a current to the spark plug electrode which ignites the air/fuel mixture that produces the power.  Now, I realize this isn't an internal combustion engine.  But the switching mechanism is what I'm using as an analogy.  I want to use multiple electrodes in order to keep the wear and tear on the electrodes to a minimum.  Plus, I want to be firing as often as possible.  The goal would be at least one electrode firing all the time.


The last post about venture capital was an idea that may well be ludicrous at this point, but this idea just keeps persisting.  What if it could work?  All you may need is to build one and try it out.  I don't have the money, nor the technical know how.  It would have to be supplied from elsewhere.

Venture Capital

What if you wanted to try something, and you needed capital?  I've never done it.  Not that I am going to do anything, just saying "what if".  That's what I'm thinking about now.

Failure to Communicate

Seems like the whole world is like this right now.



Here's another scene from a famous movie. It is a good dramatic scene and it illustrates the problem you can have communicating something important to someone who will not understand.

The Morning Summary, April 25, 2011

The statistics:

Time approx 4:30 am

Sitemeter; Mon. am. 4618; v. Sun. am 4599; 19 up 1 from Sun

Blogger: Sun. 83, up 24 from Sat. (59); overnight is 12 so far, compared with 21 this time yesterday.

Nothing to report on bids, nor sales, still zero on revenues, no clicks on Amazon.  Nobody appears to be clicking on the Products page nor on the Marketing pages.

New record for this blog on Blogger pageviews.

YouTube page: 848 v 847 channel views previously, 493 v. 492 upload views previously. Channel views improve by 1, upload views improve by 1.

It is gratifying to hit new records. On the other hand, the lack of marketing success is frustrating.

Update:

I think I am going to be lite with the blogging today. That's my agenda today. Just to think.


Update:

One thing I thought about was the Space Show yesterday. If you were to get large quantities of turpentine and nitric acid in orbit at a reasonable cost, that could be a plus. On the other hand, these hypergolics may be hard to find and to synthesize in space. It would be necessary to get this up there somehow. Once up there, they can be more useful than trying to store cryogenics. The big dumb rocket could send up buttloads of the stuff. Also, the Space Cannon concept may be able to send it up at a reasonable price.

Also, after I finished the above post, I started reading up on fusion. I may need to spend some time in these forums.

Update:

It is interesting to go back and look at previous posts like this.  It is all an education, just like yesterday.  I didn't know about Interorbital until I listened to the Space Show.  It is still a matter of getting educated on what's out there.

If I may interject a thought into these discussions.  Everybody is going at this in their own way.  But what if no single way exists?  That's a question that should be considered.  Take fusion, for example.  The fact that fusion can take place now is not in dispute.  The problem is getting it to do what we want.  But if we want to do something like generating electricity, it may not be possible by a direct approach.  Let's say if you wanted to use fusion for propulsion and then use that propulsion to emplace solar stations that would send energy back to the Earth.  But I don't think anyone is thinking that way.  Instead, they want to get it to produce net electrical power.  Maybe that isn't even necessary.  That's my point. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

It's a trap!

Well, it's time to wind down a little. Here's something I wasn't exactly looking for, but found something else kinda funny. First, from Star Wars.




Then, from The Big Bang Theory

Argh! Won't let me embed. But you can see it by clicking here.

Ok.  I think that is enough for one day.  I started with a discussion of urgency, some discussion of concepts, such as Battlestar Galactica and nuclear propulsion, liveblogged the space show, and threw in some comic relief.  A busy day.  Let's wrap it up here, and see ya'll tomorrow.  Thanks for coming by.

Hear, hear

Seems like a good read

Somebody has to start talking some sense.  Perhaps this can be a start.

Space Show Liveblogging, April 24, 2011

The show will be beginning in a few minutes. I know I didn't say that I would do this. I didn't know myself. That's how disorganized I get.

The show is starting. I think I will mark the minute mark of each part of the show.

It is starting at 19 minute mark, naturally this is not accurate. Subtract 19 minutes from the number given here.

20 minutes. Reminds that this show must be supported.
21:30 introduces guests.
23:45 what's new?
25:30 Where will rocket be launched?
26:30 Where orbital launches located?
27:45 What about New Mexico?
28:15 First question from email. rocket question
30:30 Fuel handling question
31:30 Protective clothing for hypergolics
32:15 Differences in substances, where do you buy them? Any trouble getting it?
34:00 caller question, hung up? Different caller.
37:50 timeline for flights
39:00 Where does funding come from?
40:45 Cube sats, cube sat kits
43:50 Discussion has been: Where funding streams come from.
44:45 email question: kerosene not used, why?
46:00 turpentine with nitric acid, isp? 240 secs
47:30 email question: what has launch history been?
48:30 incremental approach?
52:00 email question, plans to go to moon? going forward, or on hold?
54:30 caller question: isp on rockets answered before; vacuum 292 secs
57:00 break

1:01:00 return
1:01:00 costs of fuel. White fuming nitric acid 40 cts lb, terpentine = gas price
1:03:00 more fuel question
1:08:00 discussion of Atlas Shrugged movie
1:10:15 caller. Appears to be re-usability of rockets question
1:12:30 email question: 1) interobital pay as go approach hurt company? 2) when interorbit brought up, dismissed, haven't launched in years- third question
1:17:10 Dr. Space follows up, small sat conference- hardware development
1:23:00 commentary upon commercial space and making money now from space
1:24:30 caller disappeared take break

Comparison was made with Atlas Shrugged movie. They aren't waiting around for the government to fund them. They are making money now from space. Hurray for them.

1:28:30 return caller was member of their team and another team lunar x prize
1:31:30 timeline on his new skydiving concept. diving from rocket!!!
1:32:00 hold down g forces, launch standing vertically in pressure suit, wild
1:33:00 Bob emails, explain project, Burt Rutan project
1:35:00 Neb emails about call problems, Dr. Space asks what do we look for?
1:38:30 Regards from Croatia email
1:39:00 Rate optimism
1:40:00 Sub orbital flights, and see if can make money, orbitals make money
1:41:30 Somehow automatic assumption are suborbital natural prog to orbital
1:43:00 allan in Dallas, gov't money only source of funding, why not take it?
1:44:00 never went for cots, contact email ios@interorbital.com web
1:45:00 Bob in LA, can you drive over and see it?
1:46:00 email from skydiver
1:48:00 pearls of wisdom
1:49:00 closing the show.

I learned something today. That is always a great thing.

How fast does an electron move?

It isn't a riddle.  It is a question that I am looking up on the web.  Here is an answer, although I don't know if it is correct or not.  This answer looks like it is about .8 of 1 percent of the speed of light.  That may not be useful to know for anything, and it may not be correct.  At the moment, it is just being used as a working number to calculate something else, as you will see.

What is the mass of an electron?  It turns out to be 1/2000th the mass of a proton.  From that, perhaps you can calculate an interesting number, which I am working out now.  Don't know if it actually means anything, as I once explained, I didn't study physics.

Now, the p B11 reaction described here is said to have a cross section ( don't know what that means) of 8.7 MeV.   Let's see.  The equation for kinetic energy is .5*m* velocity squared.

8.7 MeV= .5* mass * velocity squared

mulitply by 2:    2* 8.7 MeV = mass * velocity squared

want to know what the velocity of the particle is, but I don't know the delta of the rest mass of the particle.

If you know that, you can calculate the velocity of the particle by dividing both sides by delta mass, then taking the square root of both sides.  This would yield the velocity of the particle ( I think).

The reason I'm curious is that I wonder what the velocity of the particles coming from this reaction.  The DPF device appears to release the particles in a particle beam along the z axis.  I am wondering if this kinetic energy can be harnessed directly into thrust for a propulsion device.

Update:

Calculate delta m from the famous Einstein equation: 
kinetic E = Δmc2, where Δm is the change in rest mass of particle
 then it becomes:  8.7 MeV=Δmc2   divide by c2     

giving 8.7 MeV/(88,565,760,000 km/sec), the result approximates to .01 with units????

revisting this:

8.7 MeV= .5* mass * velocity squared

then

8.7 MeV= .5* .01 * velocity squared, simplifying

8.7 MeV/.005= velocity squared

1740000000= velocity squared
=41,713 units of whatever

that would make a big difference wouldn't it????


I used kilometers above, if this is kilometer per second?!

This is probably wrong.

Growing by leaps and bounds?

A borrowed term from Limbaugh.  Can it be said of this blog?  Here's Blogger's stats of this blog for the last several months since I began blogging regularly.

Battlestar Galactica concept

At the risk of appearing even more foolish than I already appear to be, I am going to propose something here that is probably fanciful.

It is a Battlestar Galactica ship constructed from a series of launches from a Sea Dragon type rocket which could be developed. The Sea Dragon would deliver several hundred ton modules which would be put together in space a piece at a time.

Let's say we have 50 launches. If we were to construct a square made up of equal sized sides that were connected together with each other first, then with the sides making up the square as the final piece of construction. Each side would be made of 12 modules of 50 feet of length, which gives each side a length of 600 feet.

Each module would have robust protection from cosmic rays, and therefore would be heavy. In order to produce artificial gravity, the Battlestar would be rotated at about 2 rpm, giving a Martian artificial gravitation along the periphery.

Also, the modules could be prefabricated on the ground in order to minimize the amount of wet engineering that needs to be done in space.  You can put them together like you would with Lego toys.


The Battlestar will need propulsion. And power. This could be designed into the system, which, hopefully can be kept as simple as possible in accordance with the KISS principle.

In order to ensure minimal costs, there could be a number of Battlestars constructed over time. Then you could set up an assembly line to produce the components and the rockets and what have you that could service the station. Ultimately, the Battlestar should become as self sufficient as possible.

Its function would be as a trading outposts from locations in space. They could bring things that would be needed on Earth and receive their payment in turn as with any economic system.


Update:

There would be a number of objections to this system that I will try to anticipate.  First, why so much mass?  Ans: You need as much mass as possible in order to provide protection from cosmic rays.  Also, you need mass in order to store consumables, such as fuel, water, food, etc.  Thirdly, you need your ship to be large so that it can be spun up to provide artificial gravity.  In general, the bigger it is, the better.

Wouldn't this much mass be a hazard for Earth should the station fall out of orbit?  Ans: Yes, it would.  But it can be delivered to a higher orbit and there are ways that should be practiced in order to do station keeping at a minimal cost.  One of those ways is going to be attempted with the ISS.  The Vasimr propulsion system will be tested on the ISS soon.  If successful, a similar system could be emplaced with each module as it went up.

Wouldn't that be expensive?  Ans: Probably, but Vasimr can be scaled up, from what I understand.  Perhaps you won't need so many.  Besides, there are other ways to keep the station up there. Electrodynamic tethers, for example.   It is true that the technology isn't perfected yet, but why not try it with this?

What good would such a station be?  Ans: A permanent station in space can be configured to do a number of useful missions for those of us on the ground.  If one could be situation in geosynchronous orbit, it could start deploying and maintaining space solar modules which could supply the Earth with energy.  This is but one example of what such a system could do.  Another would be the clean up of the Van Allen Belts and Space Junk.  Still another would be as a station for sending and receiving missions from deep space.  These could be manned or unmanned missions that could be launched and recovered in space, with the results shared with the those of us on the ground.

Urgency, subdivided

There is my own sense of urgency as it applies to this blog and my own situation. The blog doesn't generate income. It would be great if it did. It would solve a lot of problems if it did. But that is not happening and the time is growing shorter every day.

I can attempt to solve that problem in a number of ways, which I have discussed here. One is to increase the audience and to get some sales going. Another is to buy time in order to build more audience and keep on working at getting a revenue stream going. Selling my truck addresses the latter. Getting a bigger audience is the former. There's the time element as mentioned. Also, the lack of expertise which has to learned on the fly. Lastly, the inertia factor has to be overcome. People just don't seem to be interested.

That gets to the larger picture, which is the world out there. In this country, there is a budget battle ongoing that's getting down to the end game for this cycle. Once the debt ceiling is raised, there is little incentive to do anything else until the aftermath of the next election. That means something needs to be done soon, or the opportunity will be lost. The key thing to remember is that there may not be more opportunities in the future. That's what brings a sense of urgency to the situation, assuming of course, that those who were brought into power during this last election cycle actually want to achieve anything during their stay in power. It could well be that any scenario imaginable may result in a brief stay in power. They may as well do the right thing while they are there.

Comic relief

You need when dealing with serious matters. Contrast this with the real scene from Braveheart. What situation would you prefer? A real battle with real people dying? Or to put your heads together and come up with a solution that everyone can live with? Yet, the movie Braveheart should be a cautionary tale for anyone who has designs to act like a tyrant or a traitor.  This in no way detracts from the urgency of the situation today.  Keep a sense of humor about it.  It may be the only thing that saves your ass.




More comic relief from the movie itself.



Update:

I wrote that the scene was "real" only in the sense that it was a real movie. The movie itself loosely follows historical events. The movie employs artistic license in order to move a plot along, in such a way that it will be a box office success. It is not reality, but a dramatized version of it.

I feel that this should be in anticipation of anyone who may be thinking that I don't know the difference between a movie and reality. My use of the movie is for illustrative purposes. Hopefully, there won't be any confusion about that.

Daily Plan (or Agenda), A discussion of urgency.

As I was taking my morning walk, the idea for today's agenda came to me. Do you remember the Fierce Urgency of Change? Well, the urgency is still there, but, evidently, the change is not. This is consistent with my opinion of politicians in general, they will say anything to get elected. But once elected, they will do what they damn well please.

But what the politicians seem to forget about is that people take what they say seriously.  So, where's this change that everybody thought they were voting for?  When things look pretty much the same as before, the insincerity of the campaign slogan becomes evident.  But the necessity remains.  That's where the pressure must come in to make sure that the politicians remember who put them there and why.

We have urgent problems that need to be addressed and are not being addressed.  That's a fact.  But where the rubber meets the road, as the saying goes, the fiction of rhetoric does nothing to solve the problems that are being faced in the real world.   I think D.C. is in a bubble.  It seems to be all about themselves.  But they need to remember that DC is not the center of the universe.  They do not pay attention, but they had better start, and start soon. Time is getting short.  That is what gives the current situation its urgency.

What to do? This blog is an attempt to bring some attention to this situation and what could be done about it.  I think we need a growth program.  But that does not mean growth in the size and scope of the government.  Somehow, the government must play a role, but must also not be an end in itself.   It must serve the needs of the people, but not insist upon being served themselves.  As for the people, it is not possible to just sit around and expect things to be taken care of.   People need to pay attention too.  Otherwise, things will continue on the present path, which can only lead to bad outcomes.

I advocate a robust space program.  The current program is sick, outdated, and utterly ineffective.  It needs to be reinvigorated with a real purpose that serves real needs.  It must do this within a reasonable budget and in a reasonable time frame.  In the end, it must be a revenue producer, as opposed to a revenue consumer.  No such thing as a free lunch.  This is always been true, but it is more true now than ever.

The Morning Summary, April 24, 2011

The statistics:

Time approx 4:30 am

Sitemeter; Sun. am. 4599; v. Sat. am 4581; 18 up 3 from Sat

Blogger: Sat. 59, down 5 from Fri. (64); overnight is 21 so far, compared with 23 this time yesterday.

Nothing to report on bids, nor sales, still zero on revenues, no clicks on Amazon.

Not too concerned anymore about the dropoff in visitors and pageviews overnight. More concerned about no revenues. I may need to intensify efforts on that issue.

With respect to that, some important decisions are going to be made within the next couple months regarding the truck, which I have on sale. You can't serve two masters. Either the truck goes, or posting here on a regular basis goes. Can't do both. If I get a decent price on the truck, I will sell it and continue here. I've sold on Ebay before, I could do that again. If I do, it will have to come relatively soon within the next few weeks.


YouTube page: 847 v 845 channel views previously, 492 v. 488 upload views previously. Channel views improve by 2, upload views improve by 4. That's an average of two upload views per channel view. An improvement yes, but not much of one.