Saturday, May 21, 2011

Evening Wrap 5/21

Today was armchair physicist day as I pondered over the feasibility of hydrogen nickel fusion. In my own inexpert and totally untrained unprofessional opinion, it looks like it could work. Seriously. After going through this, I think the odds are now better than 50-50 that this thing will be what Rossi says it is. In that case, I don't think I'll be a buyer of oil company stock anytime soon. It would be great to get in on the ground floor of this thing, but I think that may be covered already. By the time an average schmuck like me could get in, it will be too late.  In the meantime, back to the blog.

It looks like I had a pretty good day in pageviews, but I'll discuss that in the morning. Thanks for coming by, and have a great evening.

Anita Baker - Caught up in the Rapture

This is an instrumental cover of Anita Baker.

Interesting, just find this girl doing a cover of it. She does a good job. What do you think?

Continuation of how to fuse hydrogen to nickel- Rossi Focardi

Well, that is rather presumptuous of me. The previous post with the calculator showed that a series of proton decay reactions can get you from nickel58 to copper63. Each of these appear to release energy. Now, what kind of energy does it take to attach these protons to the nickel nucleus?

I don't find that, but I found a process in which this might occur. It seems that you need very high temperatures to achieve this. How might this be done?

We know that energy is required to start the process. What kind? Electrical energy? Now if we were to have enough of a voltage here, we may achieve the kind of temperature equivalent according to this equation for electron volt to kelvin:

100,000 times 11,605 equals 1.16 times 10 to the ninth degrees Kelvin.

Therefore, from this 100,000 electron volts would be greater than 1 billion degrees Kelvin. This does not seem out of the question.

Herman Cain Announces: "We're Going To Take Our Country Back"

Herman Cain Announces: "We're Going To Take Our Country Back" from Edward Schwartz on Vimeo.

Spring is Here, and So are the Airships

Deltoid Pumpkinseed anyone?  Well, not exactly.   But it is something like that.  These are airships.  The DP was an aerobody, which had the characteristics of an airship and an airplane.  It could land and take off like an airplane, but it had the lifting capabilities of a large airship.  The plan was to be able to lift huge amounts of payload and deliver them almost anywhere for the fraction of the cost of conventional transportation.

Playing around with this calculator

It is called the Semi Empirical Binding Energy Calculator.  Frankly, I don't know how to use it, nor do I know how to properly describe it.  The thing I did was to plug in some numbers corresponding to what I think is happening with the transmutation from copper back into nickel by one of two processes 1) beta decay and 2) electron capture.  These processes will get you back from an unstable isotope of copper to a stable isotope of nickel.  Then another proton is added which sends you up the chain again to copper and back down again to nickel.  This repeats until you reach a stable isotope of copper.  I calculated it for four protons.  I didn't calculate the fifth for copper because I don't know what happens at that point in terms of energy.  This also doesn't take into consideration the energy requirements to get the proton to fuse with the nickel nucleus at each step.

First, let's look at beta decay

add proton to nickel yields copper, beta decays back to nickel

add 2nd proton to nickel yields copper, beta decays back to nickel again

add 3rd proton to nickel yields copper and back to nickel again

add 4th proton to nickel yields copper and back to nickel again

The next proton yields stable copper.

Update:  I had some company so I set this post aside for awhile.  Now I am back.  I'll finish this up in just a minute.

Okay, now I've loaded the ones I did for electron capture.

Electron capture means it takes an electron close to the nucleus.  This converts the proton into a neutron and releases energy.  This happens with proton rich nuclei.  The opposite occurs with neutron rich nucleii.

Just work through the same process as with beta decay, but don't know which one would occur before the other would.  Perhaps the rule would be which takes the least energy.

In these pics, I am speculating that these reactions are feasible.  If there is any info here that suggests otherwise, well, please excuse the amateurishness.  I am after all, an amateur.

It looks like electron capture releases more energy.  
 And there it is.  Maybe it happens this way, or perhaps I am full of it.  Anybody who is trained up on this stuff, feel free to comment.

Video: First Feathered Fight of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShip Two

What worries me about this is that it may put unusual amount of stress on the aircraft. Plus, what if you can't get back to normal configuration? It would mean a crash, wouldn't it?

Rossi Focadi Paper

3 pages of it anyhow

Rossi Focardi Paper

Armchair nuclear physics

Here I go again trying to figure out something that I'm not trained to do. Take all this with a grain of salt.

I'm trying to figure out this Rossi Focardi fusion of nickel into copper. What I've read from other sources say that this isn't likely or possible. But what about this? If you supply energy to the reaction, it could fuse a hydrogen atom into the nucleus. This transmutes it to copper. But if it were to beta decay back into nickel, you could do the whole thing again and again until you reach a stable isotope of copper. But wait, what happens when the unstable copper transmutes back into a nickel isotope? It is called a beta plus decay. There are two paths for a beta plus decay. The energy state in the nucleus allows it, or if this is not possible, then an electron capture takes place.

Now read this:

Since the proton is changed to a neutron in electron capture, the number of neutrons increases by 1, the number of protons decreases by 1, and the atomic mass number remains unchanged. By changing the number of protons, electron capture transforms the nuclide into a new element. The atom, although still neutral in charge, now exists in an energetically excited state with the inner shell missing an electron. While transiting to the ground state, the atom will emit an X-ray photon (a type of electromagnetic radiation) and/or Auger electrons, or both. Often the nucleus exists in an excited state as well, and emits a gamma ray in order to reach the ground state energy of the new nuclide just formed.

All this seems like a plausible explanation to me, but that doesn't mean I'm right.

If I am understanding this correctly, the amount of energy released in such a fashion could be greater than energy required for the fusion.  That would make it net energy.

Alternate View column of John G. Cramer: Cold Fusion

His columns are pretty interesting to read. It so happens that he has one about the original cold fusion story of the eighties. This is a fairly critical column, one may feel after reading it that the cold fusion boys' proposition had been debunked.

Whenever something new comes along, it has a tough time because it has to go against the conventional wisdom. If there is anything that is left unexplained, this is seized upon as proof of error and the walls come crashing down on the discovery.  Such is the case here, but he does make some interesting points that should be addressed.

First of all, radiation levels were not detected, which is claimed as evidence of no fusion.  Note the following paragraph
In the P&F (Pons and Fleischmann) experiment, the energy released would require a speedup of the d + d fusion rate by a factor of about a trillion (the ratio of one dollar to the US National Debt). At the same time, their fusion process would have to make at least a billion times fewer neutrons and gamma rays than would be expected from a normal fusion reaction.

That would be true if the fusion was between deuterium atoms, but that is not necessarily the case.  This was fusion, as best as I can tell, between palladium and hydrogen.  A different matter entirely.

There is something about those palladium rods that may have made the difference, or an explanation that needs to be looked at
Pons revealed about a week ago that one must use palladium rods that are cast rather than extruded or forged, and that even among the cast rods tested, only a fraction show excess heat. 

There are some controversies about the P & F experiments, as follows:
1) the solution needs to be stirred, P&F did not
2) failure to use controls with H20 against D20, the P&F's control was with Palladium
3) the methodology of the measurements of voltages

What struck me was that some Palladium show a difference from other Palladium.  P&F was finding something, it would seem.  The use of deuterium is also puzzling.  So the check against hydrogen is a good point, in my opinion.

As with my earlier writing on Rossi Focardi , I guess that P&F found something that they could not explain, but the lack of adequate explanation is not evidence that they didn't find anything at all.  After reading Cramer's article the first time, I would believe that P&F had been debunked, but on further review, maybe not.

A list of his columns is now on the sidebar in the interesting reading section.

Morning Summary 5/21

The end of the world has been greatly exaggerated. Keep an eye of the holy ones and make sure that they are still here just in case you were worried. Anyway, that's a relief.

All the doom and gloom can't hide certain facts. We have an energy solution and somebody somewhere in the world is going to start using it. Once that nation starts using it, most other nations will adopt it because they will have to.

Actually, there are potentially several solutions. But, as far as I know, there is at least one, thorium.

That doesn't mean that the world can't destroy itself anyway. At least it is something to feel optimistic about.

So much for that. Yesterday was another record, with back to back days over 90 pageviews. Woo hoo! Here's the stats.

Thank you for your support.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Evening wrap 5/20

17 posts today, that's got to be a record. There's 13 posts to a page, so this morning's posts aren't even on the front page anymore. Another great day. Thanks for coming by.

Environmentally sensitive ass kickers

Honeywell Green Jet Fuel™ Powers U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Demonstration

First Air Demonstration Team to Use Alternative Fuels Will Fly Using Honeywell Green Jet Fuel Made from Camelina

DES PLAINES, Ill., May 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — UOP LLC, a Honeywell (NYSE:HON) company, announced today that Honeywell Green Jet Fuel™ will power two Air Force F-16 aircraft as part of a Thunderbirds demonstration at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.

The bio fuel is mixed with conventional fuel on a 50-50 basis. Maybe they can mix the fuel made from natural gas from shale, which is mentioned here.

Energy catalyzer, Andrea Rossi, gets U.S. partner

Andrea Rossi, the energy catalyzer inventor, has reached an agreement with a new company in the United States. The agreement builds on several years of contacts with people linked to the U.S. Department of Energy.

It looks good, but I am waiting for October.

Additional story here.  It's about a patent being granted in Italy for this device.

China gets it, where's our leadership?

China shows a world lead in clean nuclear energy

Earlier this year the Chinese Academy of Science announced plans to finance the development of a programme to develop Thorium Fuelled Molten Salt Reactors (TFMSR). This is the first of four “strategic leader in science and technology projects” that the Chinese Academy of Science will be supporting. 

Default talk is just political

You get that after watching this for only six and a half minutes.

Newt Gingrich's ringtone

It is this song right here. Called "Dancing Queen", it was a big hit in the mid seventies. Some folks are making a big deal out of it. Maybe it doesn't matter what song is on his ringtone. They'll find something wrong with it. Seems like a petty criticism. Who knows? He may be the nominee, whatever they think of him now. Might want to keep your powder dry.

NASA Programs

CSPAN video of a Senate hearing on the future of the manned space program.

Senate Committee Commerce, Science and Transportation | Science and Space

Docking at the ISS

I didn't know there were so many people up there. Looks like a small crowd.

Somebody had a bad day

Don't have a date that this happened. It may be old news for all I know. Just goes to show you what can go wrong sometimes.

Tom Olson on Space Show 5/20/11

Tom Olson today.

ISDC ongoing in Huntsville.

Space Investment Summit prior to ISDC. Will give update on ISDC. Gives an intro and welcome.

Investment Summit:
All day event. Panel discussion of space investment. Keys to success, planning. Overcame a lot of hurdles to get this one done. Needed to get some new sponsors. Went back to educational roots. Want to get it back to what it was. State of commercial space. Theme this year public private partnerships to make things happen. Recommends look at archives.

Keys to entrepreneurial success? Some of this on archive in the next few days.
Bullet points? Integrated types of services.
John in Baltimore: Anyone connected dots to economic situation today? Good question he said. Said a few words and moved on.

Comment: Intellectual bubble. Deflates and go back to real world.

Make money now and scale to space eventually- the way to go.

Every good thing takes longer and costs more than you expect.

Discussion of somebody didn't catch name. In propulsion, it is said. Makes rocket thingies. Doesn't bring hype.

ISDC: what stands out so far? Business track- speaker Bolen and Richard Garret. Tag team. Too many things getting built. Spacex: don't want a resusable Dragon- wants a new one every time. Elon will recycle it anyway, he says.

Hearing that someone proposing new rules for human rating. Still up for public discussion. Could strange the baby in the crib. Don't know what it does for crew safety, he says. FAA could jump in too. Make work for bureaucrats.

Lost the signal. Maybe it is my computer.

Got it back.

Going forward for ISDC. Bigelow speaking tonite.

How to use ISS to go beyond LEO travel. Living in space. Enough "churches" here, he says. ( my comment: I just wrote about that this morning)

One guy who should be on show. Greg Allson. Dr. Space knows him. Project Incubator workshop. Turning ideas into doable projects.

Zubrin on Sunday at ISDC. Breakthrough science and technology. Remembering von Braun rocket team. to send business plans top 5 finalists get to present- that's it for Olson

rest of show will be open line

Apocalypse Wow?

We have some doubters on our hands. It's not nice to fool the Big Guy.

Lies, damn lies, and statistics

Inflation will rise abnormally because of seasonal variations.  You can think of it what you want.  When you see high prices at the pump and they say "no inflation", I think somebody is lying.

Invasion of the Chinese Reverse Mergers: “We Are Under Attack,” Josh Brown Says

The moral of this story seems to be that don't buy a Chinese stock that lists here first. Let them get established in China first.

The human factor in research

Not too long ago, I did a number of posts on the subject of Rossi Focardi fusion research.  Then, yesterday, I came across the energy from Thorium proposition.  Both are attempting to do the same thing: generate energy from the atom.  The difference between the two is that one is fusion while the other is fission.  The similarities are that both had a lot of promise at one point, but seemed to fall by the wayside and recently rediscovered.

There has been a great deal of fear about nuclear energy.  Not to mention the worry about the wastes.  This did not concern me as much as others may have been because of what I read in Dixy Lee Ray's book  Trashing the Planet.  I suspect that a lot of the fear has to do with a lack of understanding which is exacerbated by the way that mishaps get reported in the news.  Hence, the Three Mile Island incident effectively shuts down the nuclear industry here.  A few years later, Chernobyl reinforced that fear.  Now Fukishima just adds to the climate of fear of things nuclear- these things just don't seem safe.  Now, Germany abandons nuclear power.  All of this is an overreaction.  Sadly, it may be unavoidable.  People will fear something they don't understand.   What to do?

The star crossed history of fission has been the impetus for fusion research.  But fusion is much harder.  After all these decades, we still don't have a fusion reactor which is net energy.  But people are looking and looking hard.  As for me, I've been looking closely at the energy issue for several years now.  I came across Dr. Bussard's Polywell concept.  It was one of the first things I wrote about on this blog.  Lately, two other concepts have caught my attention- Focus Fusion and Rossi Focardi's "cold fusion".   My own experience studying these ideas has brought something else to my attention- the human factor.  People fall in love with their ideas.  It is entirely human, but it is also hazardous in its own way.  It may blind us to other paths that we may take.  That's because to fall in love means the exclusion of all other choices.

To fear and to love are all too human.  But it is also possible to learn and keep an open mind.  Unfortunately, when emotions take over, the mind tends to close down.  Reason and logic go overboard and big mistakes can be made.  The reaction to this may draw the reaction- who do you think you are, Spock?  Yeah, maybe you weren't thinking that at all, and the Spock reference turns you off.  I've described times when I got turned off by something only to reconsider.  Sometimes to reconsider can be helpful.  Jumping to conclusions can't be good.  But it is easy to fall into that trap.  I try to avoid that as well as avoiding "drinking the Kool Aid."  I wrote about this Kool Aid stuff on this blog too.  I won't be drinking anybody's Kool Aid.  I'm keeping an open mind.

I haven't fallen in love with any one way of solving the energy problem.  It may turn out that the best way will get overlooked when something else is found.  Such has been the case of fission.  Just looking at the way we generate electricity now may look foolish in the future in comparison to how it might be done better with Thorium reactors.  Thorium reactors are smaller, cheaper and safer.  That is not a mere theoretical possibility.  They have already been built.  They weren't commercialized because it was thought better to be able to make bombs.  Thorium is not useful for making bombs.

However, Rossi Focardi may be right around the corner.  This idea may get the lead on Thorium and it may be back to the sidelines for Thorium.  Frankly, it doesn't make any difference to me who wins.  I think we all win when we solve the energy problem.  If it gets solved by fission or fusion- who cares, as long as it works.

Advocates want reactors to use alternative nuclear fuel

This from Kirk Sorenson's tweet.

Thorium is plentiful, less radioactive, safer, its supporters say

Thorium, an element that’s plentiful in the United States, is a cleaner and safer fuel, supporters say. And the reactor technology has been around for decades.
Barely radioactive, thorium can be recycled relatively easily, the Thorium Energy Alliance says.

“Thorium is my client,” he said with a smile. “This needs advocating because it’s just sitting on the shelf, and it’s the ideal future of energy.”

When asked the power source’s downside, he said:

“The people who are negatively affected, financially.”

Anyone in the uranium industry would be one of those, he said.

More about Thorium Energy

A couple more videos from the Energy from Thorium site. Perhaps the strategy here is to take this video, which is a whirlwind of information, and break it down into manageable pieces. Let's watch the first video:

LFTR in 16 minutes:

A picture is worth a thousand words. Hopefully, this picture will explain more quickly why thorium was not pursued as an energy source.

from video above
This is covered in the first minute and a half  (plus a lot of other facts which show thorium's attractiveness in this context.

Here are two more reasons why Thorium is better than Uranium

Here's the final piece I'm putting in here. The reason? If you can't see the advantage, I don't know what else to show you. Watch everything you can and learn about this. It's a big deal.

Morn. Summ. 5/20

A new record for blogger pageviews. Just 10 more and I would have had my first 100 pageview day. Woo hoo!

In case I didn't mention it already, this blog went over a thousand posts yesterday. I think it happened with that flurry of Thorium posts. I wanted to remember the 1000th post, but yesterday just flew by and it past before I realized it.

I like this Thorium idea. This is another one of those ideas that are slipping through the cracks. Not enough people are seeing the potential in this. In the video I just watched, there is the chance that you could get a PHD in nuclear engineering or physics, and never even know about this stuff. But that doesn't discredit it. No, no, no. It has simply been overlooked. Well, there are those who are trying to correct that, and eventually, I think this will make it to the light of day.

This will be another Thorium day.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Evening wrap 5/19

Today was all about Thorium.  It's not the first time that I've heard of it.  If you bombard the stuff with neutrons, it becomes Uranium 233.  From there, it can form the basis of a fuel cycle that will run a reactor and produce energy- relatively cleanly and safely.  There does appear to be some hazard of wastes, but this is much reduced over conventional designs.

Thorium exists in abundance and can power our civilization for thousands of years.  It can be found on the Moon and could power a colony there.  I took a few screen shots that I felt were interesting.

From Uranium 235 to Pu 238- and other isotopes

Or starting from Neptunium 227 to Plutonium 238- avoid isotopes

From Thorium 232 to Plutonium 238

Thorium Fuel Cycle
Interesting day.  As the header of this blogs, we have a solution.   It is just a matter of implementing them.  That's it for today.  Thanks for coming by.  See you tomorrow.

Yahoo Breakout

Dos Hombres- Two opinions.

Nesto: Retailers standing out.  Impressed by volume on advance as opposed to down day.

Macke: Defensive trading.  You can trade the market he says.  

Good Vibrations cover

A Facebook friend posted some of their videos.  They are called the Fendertones.  They seem do only covers of the Beach Boys.  Nothing wrong with that, in my book.

Let's Talk About An ACTUAL Energy Policy

Makes so much sense.  That's why it won't be done.

How embarrassing

They are talking about us overseas. And it isn't complimentary.

Thorium Reactor Question to President Obama

An open question to President Obama, Why aren't we pursuing this technology?

Rep. Joe Sestak's Message to the 1st Thorium Energy Alliance Conference

Former admiral won election in 2006. Served aboard nuclear aircraft carrier. Supports expanding nuclear capacity. Interested in thorium, obviously. Working on getting laws passed in support of this.


The above video is no longer available, but this one is. Please click on the link here so that you can hear what he has to say in support of thorium.

Energy Secretary Chu on Thorium Reactors

Today is Thorium day. Didn't start out that way, but that is what it is now.

I was amazed when he said "Soviet Union". This is a video that is less than a year old.

Aim High: Using Thorium Energy to Address Environmental Problems

Google talk. Once again, about using Thorium to produce energy.

Five Years of Energy from Thorium

Something's very familiar with this story.  You'd think these people would be all over this idea, but they are not.  But it isn't just environmentalists.  Why do people not embrace a solution to a problem?  It is strange.

I'm adding this page to the left sidebar in the location referred to as interesting reading.

Here's Kirk Sorenson speaking on the subject of thorium

Here's another video, a Google talk- very interesting

Reprocessing radioactive waste

Morn. Summ. 5/19

Good showing yesterday, relatively speaking.  

By the way, I just now came across this post.  It is basically what Chris Laird saw back in 2007 and it was this that convinced me that we were headed to a recession.  Interesting to read this again, but this is not the source of information that I read back then.  It is the New York Fed.

May you live in interesting times, indeed.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wrap 5/18

Earlier today, while I was uploading my video, it came to my attention how small the audience is for it. There's less than 100,000 people interested in space. That is a shame, a real shame. If people can only see it the way I see it, the interest would be so much greater. But what can you do? The interest isn't there and it is hard to deal with that.

With that thought, I come to the end of another day. Here's a summary of what I wrote about today. It is more than yesterday, but yesterday I was working hard on something that nobody's interested in. This is one tough business. Anyway, thanks for coming by, and see you tomorrow.

Read between the lines

If you were to take this article at face value, you would get the wrong impression.  This requires a bit deeper reading.

I don't want to make a post of the below, just fooling around a bit.

[̲̅$̲̅(̲̅ιοο̲̅)̲̅$̲̅]                [̲̅$̲̅(̲̅ιοο̲̅)̲̅$̲̅]             [̲̅$̲̅(̲̅ιοο̲̅)̲̅$̲̅]              [̲̅$̲̅(̲̅ιοο̲̅)̲̅$̲̅]

*****************************                           GeGetting close to 1000 posts!





Pat Toomey talks about the debt issue.

5 Ugly Truths About the Debt-Ceiling Battle

5 Ugly Truths About the Debt-Ceiling Battle

Everybody has their own sacred cow.  In this environment, there aren't any sacred cows.  Everything is going to go down one way or another.  Now, or later.


Fox does a story on Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. He is running for President. If I can find all of these stories, I'll put them up here.

Here's a blurb on Herman Cain

still looking for more...

For the love of money-O' jays

It's what makes the world go around.

[̲̅$̲̅(̲̅ιοο̲̅)̲̅$̲̅] [̲̅$̲̅(̲̅ιοο̲̅)̲̅$̲̅] [̲̅$̲̅(̲̅ιοο̲̅)̲̅$̲̅] [̲̅$̲̅(̲̅ιοο̲̅)̲̅$̲̅]

[̲̅$̲̅(̲̅ιοο̲̅)̲̅$̲̅] [̲̅$̲̅(̲̅ιοο̲̅)̲̅$̲̅] [̲̅$̲̅(̲̅ιοο̲̅)̲̅$̲̅] [̲̅$̲̅(̲̅ιοο̲̅)̲̅$̲̅]

Yahoo Breakout

Something big happening? Richard Suttmeier thinks so.

Chris Laird put out a market crash alert not too long ago.

David Joy has some thoughts on the dollar

Splitting water for renewable energy simpler than first thought

Splitting water for renewable energy simpler than first thought? Manganese-based catalyst shows promise

An international team, of scientists, led by a team at Monash University has found the key to the hydrogen economy could come from a very simple mineral, commonly seen as a black stain on rocks.

Not to rain on this parade, but I've seen zillions of stories like this over the years.  It shows promise, but it isn't here yet.

Here's the video

There may be a fly in the ointment here over the song. YouTube says that the music has a copyright claim on it. I saw no copyright notice on it when I downloaded it. YouTube didn't tell me to take it down, but that may change. As long as there's no problem, I can keep it up. So, here it is:

Oops! It looks as if I can't embed it. I can link to it though. Bear with me.

Here' a link from YouTube.

Denali Discontinues Gas Pipeline Project

What is the significance of this? Is this the only way to get gas to the lower 48? If so, how can this be a good thing? It is hard to believe that there's no market for natural gas.

In other news by way of Twitter:
Fox cancels americas most wanted as series john walsh is shopping it around.

Medvedev warns of new Cold War over missile defence

Shuttle Endeavour Docks At Space Station for the Last Time

Newt Gingrich apologizes to Paul Ryan

Uploading video

The first upload is complete. You can now see it on my People for Space Colonization page. There's a link to that page on the left sidebar.

Since the file is so large, it takes awhile for it to upload. Over an hour for the Facebook upload. I'm now doing it for YouTube. Once that is completed, I will embed a copy on this page. That way, the video can be seen on all my pages.

It's a good video if I say so myself. Worth a look. These are spectacular pics of a balloon rising up to 102,000 feet into the air. At that height, the curvature of the Earth is apparent as well as the edge of space is clearly seen. The sky is black, with the blue sky down below. Don't miss it!

Video is complete!

But you can't see it yet! It is uploading on Facebook as I type this. I found some lovely music to play in the background. It is based upon this video


Come sing a song of joy
For peace shall come my brother
Sing, sing a song of joy
For men shall love each other
That day shall dawn just as sure
As hearts set so pure our hearts set free
No man must stand alone
With hands held out before him
Reach out and take them in yours
With love that endures for evermore
Let's sing a song of joy
for love and understanding
Come sing a song of joy
Of freedom tells the story
Sing, sing a song of joy
For mankind in his glory
One mighty voice that will bring
The song that will ring for evermore
Let's sing a song of joy
For love and understanding
Come sing a song of joy
Of freedom tells the story
Sing, sing a song of joy
For mankind in his glory
One mighty voice that will bring
The song that will ring for evermore
Let's sing a song of joy
For love and understanding
Let's sing a song of joy
For love and understanding

Morn. Summ. 5/18

Gee, I really got carried away with those pics yesterday.  I did only three posts.  Actually, only two, since the second post about Romney was done on the day that blogger went down, and that post had been lost.

Now, I made a movie with all those pics.  There were over 400 of them, and they were in sequence.  So the pics can be put together and made into a movie.  The software that I used was not familiar to me, so I spent a lot of time getting acquainted with it.  By the end of the day, I was really getting the hang of it.  The final product doesn't look bad at all.  In fact, it looks good enough that I am going to get some music for it.   You see, it doesn't have audio.  

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Romney's book, day two

I left off yesterday with Chapter 6.  After finishing this book, I will go back and do a more thorough coverage of Gingrich's book, and Huckabee's book.  There's no favortism here.

Chapter 7:  Healing Health Care.  Recounts his history as a troubleshooter ( did that earlier with his dad).  Tells about RomneyCare.  Defends his work, and contrasts with ObamaCare.  Why his is better.  Favors state by state solutions- not federal.  Next step is to deal with costs.  America spends too much on health care, not getting money's worth.  Info tech billed as solution- is not, transparency also, not either.  Need malpractice reform.  Lawyers put profit before people.  Single payer equal death panels.  Government has wrong incentive structure.  Single payer is threat to American experiment.  Should rely on free enterprise.

Chapter 8:  An American Education.  Tells about his own education, then as a parent, and finally as a public official.  Our lives are about choices.  Education builds competitive advantages, but we are losing that.    Post modernism struck in the 60's, impacted education. Teacher's unions oppose choice.  Pitfalls of bilingual education.  Myth of smaller class size in student performance.  Out of wedlock births.  Need better teachers, don't recruit from the top, but the opposite.  Obstacles to better schools: need mentors, cooperation from unions, accountability.  Need different priorities: children lose when unions win. Education and Innovation: successful programs opposed. Virtual academy possible answer.

Chapter 9: Running on Low (energy)  Must vigorously develop all energy sources.  Climate change: world's greatest scientists rate this as lowest priority in terms of cost and benefits.  Should pursue no regret policies.  Our Energy Legacy: Our own policies interfere with free market mechanisms.  Hydrogen and fusion- irresponsible to act as if energy miracles wait around corner (hear that Obama?).  Addressing Demand and Supply: super efficient commuter vehicles, fee bate plans, But Not Just About Cars: most oil consumption not by cars, Alternatives to Foreign Oil: nuclear power- but it is a boogeyman, Update the regulations.  Don't ignore coal nor natural gas. Anwr too.  Game Changers: cap and trade pitfalls- is an energy tax.  Proposal a tax swap of some kind that is revenue neutral- tax oil, but remove other tax.

Here's the outline of the last two chapters.  Haven't read yet, but will come back and fill in later today.

Chapter 10:  The Culture of Citizenship: David Landes's Wealth and Poverty of Nations.A nation of hard workers. Building the nation required a strong work ethic that remains today.  An Education Culture.  Too many don't think education makes a difference.  New development that is not good.   Risk and Its Rewards. A nation of entrepreneurs.  He recruited Steve Ballmer of Microsoft before Microsoft became Microsoft. Belief and Purpose.  Americans are a religious people.  A great nation is never built on hedonism.  My Country Tis of Thee.  Americans are patriotic. Patriotism shown in a story about the 911 flag brought into stadium and the surprising crowd response-silence of respect.  The Respect for Life. Leave no soldier behind.  It is a good sign that so many care about abortion.   It Takes a Family. Out of wedlock births are a tragedy. Safety net programs penalize marriage- must be changed. Must tell adults and children the truth.  Honor Law and Constitution.  Your word is your bond.  The individual is sovereign, not the rulers.  The Demands of Citizenship. Our system requires informed, involved, responsible citizenry. American Destiny. Nobility in the heart of all Americans.  America will meet its destiny for greatness for centuries to come.

Chapter 11: America the Beautiful.  Forecasting America's Strength.  A conversation with a friend.   A force for good.   American Greatness.


This file was just restored by Blogger.  It was lost for several days.  I did finish the report, but, as you see, the last chapter didn't get saved.  This will have to do.

JP Aerospace pics are in

That's what I'm been doing today.  Forgot about everything else, sorry.


I've been working really hard on a movie today.  Posting will resume tomorrow.

A perfect world

The title of this post is what I want to write about today.  But first, let's look at yesterday's stats.

There was a bit of a dropoff, but towards the end of the day, it fell off a cliff.  So, it appears that I may have lost what interest I had.  I think I know what the problem may be, but I don't know that there's anything I can do about it.  You can't be what you're not.

Incidentally, the last three days has been the best I've had.  This doesn't appear to be carrying over this morning, but I am repeating myself.  That is a good way to segue into my topic.

In a perfect world, you would be understood perfectly.  Or, if you are the one who doesn't understand, you would be able to get it within a reasonable amount of time.  I've been around the block enough to know that I don't always get it.  Plus, when I do get it, it may already be much too late.  That's the imperfect world that we live in.  Somebody out there just doesn't get it.  In a perfect world, that wouldn't happen, or it wouldn't happen too often to be a big problem.

You could easily ask, is it me then?  That's the trouble.  If you got it, then you know who needs to get it. Otherwise, you are in the dark, or somebody else is.  Somebody needs to see the light, but they are not.  And the way forward isn't necessarily clear even if you do get it.

For example, in a perfect world, you can avoid wars.  But the fact that the world isn't perfect, wars keep on happening.  Sometimes the wars can get really big, like a world war.  I've written about this before, if you care to look into it.  Not everyone agrees though, not even about the past.  I'm referring to Adolf Hitler and World War II.  I got a big argument on Amazon about that.  The argument was about how England could have saved their empire if they just let Hitler have his way.  That argument was put forward by Pat Buchanan, and I took exception to it.  I think my argument can best be summed up that a small war is better than a big one.  Once war was inevitable, the best thing was to fight it earlier, as opposed to later.  My argument, therefore, was that England waited too long.  The problem, which was Adolf Hitler, was allowed to get too big.

In a perfect world, you would address problems while they are small.  Don't wait until they get too big and then you have lost control.

But you have to have a realistic attitude about your problems.  If you have you head in the skies, or, to put it more bluntly, your head up your ass, you'll never be able to deal with the problems because you'll never see it coming.  That's what happened to England.

There's an old saying.  "Learn from history, or your doomed to repeat it."  That's one way you can have your head up your ass.  But they are many ways you can be stupid.  Not knowing history is just one way.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The End of Bernanke's "End Game"

I'm not deeply versed in economics.  Nevertheless, this is persuasive to me.

As early as 2003, it seemed like the Federal Reserve was inflating the economy.  There was some mild inflation in 2008 before the collapse.  The reaction was to do exactly what Bush did in response to the 2001 recession

People voting for "change" in 2008 got the same thing they thought they were voting against.  In principle, Bush is no different from Obama.  He is spending too much and using a loose monetary policy to support the economy.

The last decade has been a departure from what was working well in the nineties.  But why was it working in the nineties?   It's beginning to look like a stroke of good luck.  There was a reasonable amount of restraint in Washington- fiscally and monetarily.  What drove that seems to be suspicion of Clinton.  Put that in contrast with the trust of Obama and one has to shake one's head.  Just because Obama can keep his pants on in the Oval Office doesn't make him a better policy maker.  But in the strange world of Washington D.C., the results obtained by the guy who got a Lewinsky appear to be the works of a genius.

That looks like praise of Clinton.  But read it carefully.  We were lucky!  Now we may be "sol".

That pretty much sums it up for today.  Mostly a discussion about economics, with a few space posts.   Thanks for coming by.  See you in the morning.

An eighth grader writes the Space Show

This is what the program was about yesterday.  I listened for a little while, then I turned it off.  Why?

I think it was part anger, part despair.  Maybe I am over reacting.  I do that sometimes.

It is tempting to call the kid an idiot, but I couldn't have written a letter like that at that age.  I'm not too much better of a writer NOW when I am 55.  There was some speculation that the kid got some help.  Whatever the case may be, the mind behind it is not of the same mind as mine.

Not that I think that NASA should get a lot more money.  The government could do better.  Yet, as I watched the Shuttle take to the sky this morning, I realize how big of a job it is to do this.  So, I feel some appreciation for the effort it takes to put a crew into orbit and bring them back safely.  I do not want to denigrate the work they do.

The bottom line for me is that I want to see civilization reach the next level.  It can't do that by staying on the ground.  The Earth is limited, space is unlimited.  Everything we got here on the ground can be duplicated in space, but in greater amounts.  By limiting ourselves, we limit our futures.  For a kid to think the way this kid does, or to be influenced by an adult who thinks this way, is to me almost criminal.  Why deprive ourselves of a brilliant future?  Would you deprive yourself of something far better than what you have now if the better thing is available to you?  What could be better than having many orders of magnitude more material abundance than what we have now?  This to me is absolutely senseless to oppose it, unless you don't actually know this.  If you do know, you may as well take a loaded gun and point it at your own head for all the sense it makes.

I suppose I am arguing from the point of view of a true believer.  Really, the only thing to not believe here is our own ability to get to space.  But this has already been done.  It has been done for over a half a century.  The thing that is missing is the economics of it.  Once that problem is solved, the rest will follow.  Keep in mind that it took nearly 50 years for Henry Ford to popularize the automobile.  All it takes is someone with the right vision in order to come up with a method of conquering space economically.  It is already been conquered scientifically.  It is just a matter of time.

But maybe not.  What if Henry Ford didn't make the Model T, which paved the way for the mass production of automobiles?  We might be riding around on horses even today and automobiles may be mere curiosities. Progress isn't automatic.  Let's not stop it while it is still in its infancy.  Let it grow.  Then we can decide whether we need it or not.

What is a compulsator?

That's the question of the day. You see, I started posting all about Fusion Propulsion and I don't know what the heck I am talking about. I had to go back to Trent Waddington's post about Fusion Propulsion in February and take it from there.  Somehow, the Wikepedia post wasn't good enough to me.  I wanted a better explanation.  I found this on YouTube.  It seems to help a little to actually "see" it.

Next question: would such a device be workable in a space craft? It needs to spin very fast, so it needs a power source, of course. But we knew that already. I wonder if that would be a problem in space- not the power, but the spinning of the thing.


Some looking around yielded this, which looks like it may be what I'm looking for.

What would Michael Moore say about this?

Touchscreens to order your fast food!  Jobs are supposed to be property, according to Mikey.  I gather that he would be opposed to something like this should it come to the USA.  Mickey D shouldn't be allowed to do away with those burger flipping jobs, don't you know.  Well, at least it is a machine and not somebody who is in the country illegally.  That's a relief.

Discussion about how the gold bubble might end

Mickey's arguments seem pretty ship shape.  But the thing that really grabs you is the rate of growth of spending.  Look at this chart:
In just one decade, government spending has grown from 1.8 trillion to 3.7 trillion- more than doubled.  Since the deficit is large now, and the government was running a surplus in 2000, what conclusion can you draw from this?  Only one- that government spending has grown much faster than revenues.   A question- how fast has the economy grown?  Did it double it's size in the last decade?  Something tells me that with 2 recessions- this didn't occur.  Observation number 2: government spending has grown much faster than the economy.  The conclusion follows: we have a large deficit because of over spending- not lack of revenues.

Krugman to the rescue

I like Paul Krugman.  Do you know why?  He gives me something to write about.  Why, if it wasn't for him, I might as well take the day off.

So, what's he up to this time?  He's claiming that the Republicans in the House are holding America hostage. How?  By following the Constitution.  Amazing!  How can the House hold us all hostage by following the Constitution?

It so happens that the House has the power of the purse.  In case Krugman didn't know this, here is the appropriate part of the Constitution as follows:

This means that if the House doesn't want to raise revenue, it doesn't have to.  This also means that if the Senate does and the President does, it doesn't matter.  The House has the final say so.  This isn't holding anybody hostage. It just means that they are following the Constitution.  What does Krugman want?  The President to act like Vito Corleone and make an offer they can't refuse?

Well, actually Krugman wants money.  But the Republicans don't want to give up the money.  Why not negotiate?  You know.  Give up something in order to get what you want.  I'm sure the Republicans will be reasonable if Krugman and his buddies in Congress would just pony up and reduce the price tag of the government a bit.  You know, to some reasonable level of expenditures?  Like ones that we can afford?

No fair says Krugman.  Just one branch of government controlled by one party.  Not fair at all.
Why? Because this is a hostage situation. If the president and his allies operate on the principle that failure to raise the debt ceiling is an unthinkable outcome, to be avoided at all cost, then they have ceded all power to those willing to bring that outcome about. In effect, they will have ripped up the Constitution and given control over America’s government to a party that only controls one house of Congress, but claims to be willing to bring down the economy unless it gets what it wants.
By having the House control the purse, the Framers of the Constitution were acting wisely.  It just so happens that the House is the branch of government closest to the people.  So if the government is getting out of hand, the House can enforce the discipline that the people expect.  It isn't tearing up the Constitution. It is enforcing it. What Krugman really wants is for the House to abrogate its authority and to give his party what it wants- unlimited spending authority.  This hasn't been provided by the Constitution regardless of what Krugman thinks, thank goodness.

The people put the Republicans into power for a reason: to get this spending under control.  A lot of absurd rhetoric by Krugman and others doesn't change the Constitution.  You need an amendment for that, or a lot more Democrats.  At the moment, he is short of Democrats, so they must negotiate.  Negotiation isn't tantamount to tearing up the Constitution.  In fact, it is the opposite, it preserves it.  It has a long tradition in this democracy of ours. Why not try it?

Shuttle Endeavour

I am watching the last launch of Endeavour. I'll post the pics as soon as possible.

Hold at 9:00 minutes. About to be released. Now.

Launch occurred normally. Now in orbit before OMS burn. Pictures taken and now need to be processed. I'll be back with those later.
resume countdown from hold

testing the steering of main engines

clearing away for shuttle to launch

Cap off getting close
1 minute and counting...

The above are in chronological order from 9 minute hold to the clearing of the tower.  The next pics will be until external tank released- also in chronological order.

At throttle up Max Q

12 miles downrange

Boosters seperate

At negative RTLS

Roll maneuver

At moment of ET seperation

Mission control after ET sep
 And that's it.  It is very fast.  Under ten minutes to orbit.  Just two minutes for srb sep.  This thing happens faster than this computer can take a picture and get back to the screen.  Fast.  Or my computer is slow.  Yeah, probably that.

YouTube video below: