Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Evening Wrap, 6/4

Not a tremendously productive day today.  That business about China is troubling.  I figured there would be time, but there may not be enough.  Things could go downhill fast with an outcome that is hard to imagine.  Focus Fusion is years away.  If E-cat doesn't work, there won't be any savior.  Things suddenly look grim.

Focus Fusion v E-cat for fusion propulsion

Lerner believes he is way ahead of everybody, but if Fossi-Focardi E-cat works, he won't be after all.  In terms of rocket propulsion, this means that the E-cat will find it's way into a NERVA type configuration, which is probably what NASA is looking into.  Except they won't call it E-cat.  Another possibility is that, if E-cat works, they'll just buy the technology.  We'll see how that works. 

CSPAN surfing

I was hoping to find stuff there that I could put up here, but no luck.

The impression I got from watching these videos is two political parties that aren't serious about what is facing us.  The Democrats and the Republicans have their own sacred cows between them and neither are willing to sacrifice their sacred cows for the benefit of the country.  It is my opinion, then, that they will not solve the problem.  They will, instead, make every appearance of addressing the problem, but will do nothing meaningful in solving it.

What does this mean?  That was mentioned already in an earlier post today.

Heap bad medicine, Kemo Sabe

After what I just found out about the Chinese getting out of Treasuries, plus all of what I've been covering with regards to our space program, and science programs, I think it all boils down to that phrase, which I found in a google search.

I may be inclined to change my perspective away from optimism.  Instead of Houston, We have a solution.  It could be changed to We in heap big doo-doo, Kemo Sabe. 

Fusion Propulsion Post

I meant to write about it today, but I can't think of anything to write about. It has already been covered. The only thing I haven't written about is...  (blankout)

Look, the Lawrenceville Plasma Physics people are on to this, most likely. It would take only a minor modification of their device in order to make it suitable as a fusion propulsion device. How?

By taking away the coil which will be useful for electricity production, but not useful for spacecraft propulsion. But I covered that already. What next?

The thought occurred to me that if this device had sufficient thrust and ISP, you would not need to get to orbital velocity in order to escape Earth's gravity. But I covered that already.

Hmmm. Okay, so I went back into a Power Point file and picked out yet something else that I probably covered already. No, that was a different post.  This power point pic isn't what Lockheed Martin produced, because I blanked out what I didn't quite understand or even agree with and came up with this

Now, the main thing to see is a picture of what I'm seeing.  Here you have the Focus Fusion device (with the arrow pointing downward toward the magnetic nozzle), the tanks of hydrogen and boron that will comprise the reaction products that will fuse in the device and send out the alpha particles (mentioned in an earlier post) as thrust.

Lerner says that he can get 30,000 out of 100,000 joules expended.  The rest is still in the device, not lost.  This will demonstrate feasibility, says Lerner.  But, let's just say (for the sake of argument)  that we are just able to use the 30,000 joules.  That is 30,000 Newtons, is it not?  Is it not also true, that without slowing down the alpha particles (as would be the case if you were to convert to electricity), that you will get virtually all of this output?

It should be noted that
  1. I am relying on memory about the 30,000 joules
  2. That there isn't anything significant that I am missing
  3. There could be something significant that I am missing because I am not trained in this area
  4. My energy conversions could be wrong
  5. The device mentioned has not demonstrated continuous firing.  It would have to fire continuously in order to be useful for power or propulsion.  I am assuming that Lerner has this figured out.

Why write all this?  Haven't they already thought about this?  Yes, I'm sure somebody has.  What bothers me is that somebody could have something worthwhile and have it suppressed.  There was a time when I thought that such a thing would not happen, but these days, I'm not so sure anymore.


I tried to confirm that 30,000 joules number by looking over a few of my posts.  I know that I saw or heard that somewhere, but can't remember exactly where.  Also, some of the energy production will come from the Xray emissions.  Not all of it will come from the alpha particles.  So, the potential thrust will be somewhere south of 30,000 joules.  Don't know how far, but somewhat south of that number.

Apologize to Palin?

Reminds me of those posters you'd see around. The poster would have the caption of "You want it when?" and people are rolling all over the floor laughing.

There's some coverage about all the snark about Palin's so called latest gaffe about Paul Revere. And the question:

So Now All These People Will Apologize to Sarah Palin About Paul Revere, Right?

So, I looked some videos of hysterical laughter, and came up with this

China Has Divested 97 Percent of Its Holdings in U.S. Treasury Bills

( - China has dropped 97 percent of its holdings in U.S. Treasury bills, decreasing its ownership of the short-term U.S. government securities from a peak of $210.4 billion in May 2009 to $5.69 billion in March 2011, the most recent month reported by the U.S. Treasury.

China is making big moves in the bond market. It may be wise for the government to watch these developments because they may put themselves in a bind if they don't. If they allow this, that will also affect the taxpayers. Pay attention to this.


After thinking about this for the last half hour or so, this is beginning to look like a huge story. Why? The significance of what the Chinese have done is that it forces the government to start buying at later maturities along the yield curve. It will flatten the curve, but that's not the main point. The main point is that the government will start assuming more and more of its own debt. If no country nor anyone else is willing to buy US Treasuries at any maturity, which may become more and more evident as time goes by, support for the dollar may evaporate. The significance of this is the end of quantitative easing is around the corner- if not, there is an increasing risk of a dollar collapse and hyperinflation.


I am a bit amazed at the lack of attention this has gotten. It was a story with a time line of yesterday, so I must have missed it. Nevertheless, nobody else is on this story. Here's the best of them that I've found so far.

Tentative deal to sell truck

Just spent some time cleaning out the truck and preparing it for the buyer.  If everything goes according to plan, the truck will be sold on Monday, June 6th, in the morning.  It was what the appointment was about on Thursday.  That's when the deal was struck.

We both agreed to some wiggle room so as to back out of the deal, so that's the reason why it is called "tentative".

This is consistent with the general idea of making this blog my new profession, but with some reservations.  You see, selling the truck could be like crossing the Rubicon.   I am taking the risk when I sell this truck.  The risk is that it may cost more to buy a replacement if this blog doesn't reach profitability, because I will need to return to what I was doing before I started this blog.

Note: This post will serve as an announcement that blogging will be light on that day.  Also, the ad on this page was not the reason the truck was sold.  So, it can't be said that this blog as helpful to that end.  The buyer didn't know about the blog.


Today will be a day for laying the groundwork for the future of the blog.  Selling the truck is part of that.  This post will therefore be labelled "Daily Plan".

The Morning Summary, 6/4

An anomaly here: Sitemeter made a new record, it hasn't been above 90 before.  This shows 94 visitors since yesterday's morning summary.  It has never made over 90 before.  On the other hand, blogger pageviews dropped from the day before.  Whatever the explanation is, it may well be that the kind of visits that I am getting has morphed into a different kind of visit.

This gives me an opportunity to discuss something that has been crossing my mind lately.  What if this blog became popular?  It is still a quite obscure blog.  Do I want popularity?  Not exactly.  But I do need it in order to monetize it.  Without an audience, I can't use that as a selling point to get advertisers.  I need advertising revenue, or some kind of revenue to sustain this activity, or it has to stop at some point in the future.  That point is getting closer every day.

It may be possible to monetize the blog in a different way.  If I were to make it subscription based, for example.   The folks who come here need to think about this.  If you like this blog, you are going to have to help me so that I can keep it going.  I think somebody is helping, and I appreciate that.  But it needs a lot more.  It still hasn't paid me a dime yet.  That is no exaggeration.  It just doesn't pay.  This will have to change.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Evening Wrap, 6/3

If you had Aladdin's Lamp, and you had 3 wishes, what would they be?  I know what I'd like to find out for myself, and that is if you could make a rocket powered by a Focus Fusion device- but not one that produces electricity, but it is own nuclear products.  So, I'll keep this post as a reminder to myself to write more about that tomorrow.  In the meantime, have a great evening.  See you tomorrow.

How familiar this is

The miles rolling by on the highway. I've driven over a million of them and that is no exaggeration.

Lunar-lander testing sparks grass fire at Johnson Space Center

Two day old story. The thing that caught my eye is that they are actually testing some hardware. For what purpose? To actually land on the Moon? That would be surprising to me.

They are testing the Morpheus, it was said.

Video of the Morpheus

Man Says: "TSA Sexually Assaults My Mother"

All this extreme behavior from the government comes from the policy of not doing "profiling". They will molest people who are very unlikely terrorist suspects, but will not look closely at anyone Islamic for fear of upsetting them. So, this is what it is coming to? Ordinary people treated as criminals while the ones most likely to be suspect are not allowed to be searched in a comparable manner?

Quantum Foam Strikes Again

That's my most popular YouTube video.  Well, it ( Quantum Foam) is in the news again.
Quantum theory predicts that a vacuum is actually a writhing foam of particles flitting in and out of existence.

I don't know about the "writhing" part, but they come "into and out of existence" (at the Planck scale) in my video.  I suppose the "writhing" part is when they "happily mix."

What do they do with the mirrors?  Hmm.
For example, if two mirrors are placed extremely close together,
Then what happens?
Pendry says that the result, if it stands up, is bound to generate excitement. "Work in this area stirs considerable passion in the breasts of physicists."
Ok.  Good to see that they are enjoying themselves.

Sarah Palin’s Version Of Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride

Anchorette misses the point, as usual. The point is that tyrants will seize the arms of all the people who might oppose them. That's the point of the Second Amendment, even though it didn't exist yet at that point in time. But it could exist again in a more modern version of George III.

No, she just can't resist taking a shot, even though she probably isn't paid to editorialize, just read from her teleprompter.

Rep. Charles Rangel talked about raising the debt ceiling and the deficit cutting measures

  • Take on what happen on meeting on debt ceiling- have a serious problem.
  • How to save Medicare?  August 2nd comes first, he says.
  • Fee for service a problem? Ties into the recent ObamaCare legislation.
  • Taxes v spending
  • Keynesian "better than nothing" type statement.
  • Weak jobs report.  Reaction? Uncertainty about debt ceiling, he says.
  • calls come next
stopping here

Moody’s Threatens To Downgrade U.S., Politicians Pounce

Yahoo Daily Ticker Discussion with Aaron,Henry and Macke

  • Won't allow banks to fail.  Will raise debt ceiling.   Dysfunctional government.  Hypocrisy abounds.
  • Threatening something, good?  Greater risk and what and see what happens.  Like TARP?
  • Will austerity work?  Don't have the "yarbles" to do it.
  • Credibility can't be risked, if that is what we are doing.
  • Obama has to take the ball, has to lead.  The President has to lead, the "bully pulpit". 
  • Time to come up with long term plan to balance budget. 

Low wages, low growth, low employment: Brace for the age of contraction

Caught up in bubble mania, very few allowed themselves to accept the cosmic reality that constant expansion — of anything — is an impossibility.

Back to the age of limits and of no growth.  That's what Jerry Pournelle was writing about.  Here it is again, as it was in the age of malaise while Jimmah Carter was president.
The competition for natural resources intensifies, and it's certain that very soon we will leave the era of cheap, efficient energy that has driven the Industrial Age. These resources are not infinite.

Well, that sounds a bit too pessimistic. With the new technology around the corner, could it not also be

Focus Fusion as Propulsion

I've always liked this idea. Take a look at this picture: from Fusion Taking Focus Fall 2010 Update on YouTube.

Focus Fusion Generator Device
The thing you can notice here is that the fusion takes place inside the electrode.  There is a high energy particle beam that is emitted from the electrode, which is shown as a bright light in the center of the device.  The particle beam, which is alpha particles- if I am not mistaken- go through a coil type device, which convert the kinetic energy of the particles into electricity.  The alpha particles have an electric charge, due to the positive charge of the two protons of the Helium nucleii in each particle.  That is how you can get electricity.

Now, if you don't use this coil, and just allow the particle beam to exit the device as would a magnetic nozzle of a rocket, this would generate thrust.  The amount of the thrust would depend upon how much mass is emitted and at what velocity.  Considering how powerful the particle beam is, and how much electricity they are hoping to obtain from it, it should be a considerable amount of thrust potential.

Here's another video that shows the bright flash that occurs as the shot takes place.

Google Search Box

For some reason, the index search page that I set up isn't working like it was before. Something may have changed. For your information, the search terms still work, but you may have to massage it a little. If you find yourself on that page, read my update for details.

Today seems a blog housekeeping day. You never know how a day may go. These things are not planned, they just happen.

Jimmy Durante: Everybody wants to get into the act

I was looking for Jimmy Durante, and found this:

That was too good to pass up, so I put it up here.

Now, I kept looking for a good Durante video, and here's one with Linda Ronstadt. This one is old,as Linda Ronstadt is much younger here. Va, va, va,voom!

Some housekeeping

Been making some changes to the blog. You may notice the big picture up top, aka 'the header', which I shrunk down to size and put in the About the Blog section. I put in some pics on the most popular posts, too. I hope these changes make the blog more readable. If not, I screwed up. Well, you can't win them all.

That reminds me. This country has gotten so serious lately, I thought some humor might help. It reminds me of the Batman movie, where the Joker says "this town needs an enema!" Here's the flick

Morning Summary, 6/3

That's Lady Gaga's picture.  Every time I go to edit a new post, I have to look at this hideous picture.  It's an Amazon link that I can put up here for one of her audio CD's.  Hmm.  Gives me an idea, let's see if I can be creative here and link from this pic to it.  If you buy it, you can relieve my pain.  Pretty please?

You know what?  There's a hot spot that will link to Amazon, but it doesn't appear to be on the picture itself.  You have to find it.  I don't know how this happened.  Anyway, if you can find it, it will take you to the Amazon page and if you want to buy it, you can.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Reminds me of our politics today

These guys are supposed to be funny, though. They have an excuse.

The Evening Wrap, 6/2

Looks like 13 posts on a shortened day.  Got to run to that appointment.  By the way, the light blogging was partly due to a bit of computer maintenance.  I'm using a different computer with this post.  Thanks for coming by, and have a great evening.

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet

What matters is what something is, not what it is called.

From Romeo and Juliet.  A feud between the Montagues and the Capulets.   Their big hangup was over a name.  Like "cold fusion".

'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

E-cat question

If E-cat isn't fusion, what is it?

It isn't fission, is it?

It appears that it is beta plus decay, so that isn't fission. With fission, the nucleus comes apart. With fusion, the final product has an atomic number that is higher because it has at least one more proton. The second requirement is an increase in atomic mass because you are adding at least 1 proton to the nucleus. If it beta plus decays into a neutron, it has virtually the same mass.

It isn't beta minus decay, because in that case, there is no increase in mass. By the way, I hope I am not getting these mixed up. Beta decay, as I understand it, means a neutron becoming a proton and vice versa. In any case, if a proton becomes a neutron, there is no mass gain on the order of a gain of a proton, you see.

What I'm trying to get my mind around is these conversions. How do you not call it a fusion when it gains a proton, and it can't gain it any other place but outside of the nucleus? So, when there are protons hanging around, as in hydrogen atoms, or deuterium atoms, how can these protons come from any place but from there? And how do you call it anything else but fusion?

But that is not my main question. If the amount of energy going into the reaction is only 1% of what comes back out, it seems to indicate to me the possibility of a chain reaction, as in the case of fission. Once you get these reactions going, they'll keep going until they run out of fuel. Or the energy level falls to the level that won't support fusion. Hard to see this unless you run out of fuel. If there's plenty of fuel, the fusion should proceed vigorously.

So, what stops the fusion when it starts? That is assuming that there is fusion. What is the nature of these reactions? If they aren't fusion reactions, then what are they?


The Commodities Trade Is Over, Time to Move On: Hilary Kramer

Yahoo Breakout:  Commodities, Gold, Ag Stocks: Buy or Sell
  • Trade over, Rotation, slowdown in China, organic to country, Japan
  •  Short trade out there?  Yes, she says.
  • US Dollar weakened, commodites gain, now buck will strengthen
  • Emotional trade? Right she says.  Commodities, it's bubbles since the tulips.
  • Movement into Gold over, time to move on: out of favor areas ready to run 

Second video is about technical analysis of charts, gold and staples look good, SPY (S&P) and XLF ( financials) don't.

The third video is "Dos Hombres".
  • don't fight the trend
  • defensives outperforming
  • how did you sleep?  the lesson like this, if you didn't sleep last night, overexposed to stocks
  • don't be a hero, look out for yourself, have some cash left over 
  • not in a correction yet
  • don't bargain hunt yet
  • not that bad yet, don't panic 

CSPAN: House Speaker News Briefing

Some remarks by the Speaker on the current economic situation, in particular the debt limit. Questions are taken after remarks.  Some of the questioning went like this:
  • Kucinich and Libya question
  • Wiener controversy
  • Mitt Romney and RomneyCare
  • Earmarks
  • Cyber attack on Google 
  • Hiring impropriety?
  • Military spending on wars
  • Withdrawal of troops? 

submitted proposals to president
spending addiction in DC
calls on president to give his ideas on deficit reduction

Perfect example of the state the country is in

These people can't let this alone, this Weiner stuff.  Ridiculous.  Can't see the humor now.  He's been framed!  It's getting pathological.  A lot of these people need some serious couch time. Un freaking believable.

Lite blogging, will sign off early today

The usual time is 6:00.  I think I'll knock off at 5:00.  Got an appointment.

The Secret Story of NASA's Atomic Spaceship

The Precursor to Fusion Starship Travel to Proxima Centauri & Beyond? (VIDEO)
It may be feasible, but I don't like it.  It lacks something, I don't know what.  Put it this way, why do something massively big, when you can do it on a much smaller scale?

A post about nothing

Just kidding.  I haven't decided upon a title for this post.  I'm going to look up a few topics and post the notes about it right here.

    Politicus USA : Sarah Palin Gets The Name Of The Statue Of Liberty Wrong

    This is a partisan attack. It is petty. Look at this picture, it is supposed to be unflattering.  Is this the way she usually looks?  No.  How long did they scour the pic files to find this one?

    Mentioning a simple gaffe of one letter mispelling is also petty.

    Yet another example:  "she couldn’t name her favorite Founding Father."  But she names George Washington in this video, which is the example being cited for this fault.  Did they bother watching all of it?  They cite this so called evidence of
    This is the exact reason why the leadership of the GOP does not want to see her win the nomination.
    Not exactly.  The real reason is these kind of partisan attacks are believed and there's a fear that she can't overcome them.  That is the reason I gave in an earlier post.

    Solar Power from the Moon

    I got the link below from World Future Society, mentioned in the last post.

    It is a long post divided into the following sections:
    • A Feat of Futurism
    • The Moon-Based Power Station
    • Over the Moon
    • About the Author 

    By Patrick Tucker (of The Futurist Magazine )A Japanese company is pitching an alternative energy plan that’s out of this world—and potentially the largest public infrastructure project in human history.

    Comment: All of this could become possible with a successful E-cat demonstration.  Let us hope that it is successful.  Bushnell said, if I am not mistaken, that an E-cat device would be better than the nuclear fission device that was developed for the NERVA program in the Apollo program.  It could be a big deal.

    Note:  The World Future Society requires a membership fee.  It isn't much, but I will pass on this for now.


    The People for Space Colonization page has now liked the World Future Society page on Facebook.

    Bushnell on the Environment: 'We should have changed things 20 years ago.'

    By: Denise AdamsStatements such as “humans have taken over and vastly shortened evolution” cause people to lend Dennis Bushnell an ear.  ( As it is often said in this business, read the whole thing)

    I'm trying to gather information about Bushnell. The above link to an early 2008 story is a start.  Here's another link that caught my eye
    Wednesday’s presentation is going to be revised specifically for the “World Future Society.” 
    This outfit's theme seems to coincide with the theme of this blog- solutions.

    I'll be checking out this World Future Society.  You can count on it.

    More about Bushnell here (cached).

    The Morning Summary, 6/2

    Looks like the blog squeaked ahead to a new record yesterday. There were 219 pageviews compared to the old record of 218. Woo hoo! Thanks for your support.

    It looks like the E-cat story is getting closer and closer to main stream territory.  With the Chief Scientist at NASA Langley doing podcasts about it, soon there may be more coverage of the story by the big media.  If not, I'll continue to be happy to report about it here.

    The semantic war continues, though.  He's not willing to admit that it is fusion.  How can it be anything else?

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    The Evening Wrap, 6/1

    I found a Marx Brother video on YouTube today, why not close the day with another?  Amazing piano duet.

    Today was a fun day.  I enjoyed it.  Hope you did.

    Have a great evening and see you tomorrow.

    Hold the presses!!!!  I just found this one.  NASA scientist confirms E-cat can work.  Will change the world.

    NASA Chief Scientist: Rossi eCatalyzer: "Could Change Geo-Politics / Geo-Economics"

    This is a big deal and its about to bust wide open.

    I got the link to the podcast and listened to the interview.  Big time stuff.  Okay, it won't happen overnight, so I am going to check out again.  See you tomorrow.

    Weiner denies that it is his

    Well, it sure ain't mine.

    Rhett and Link's Part 6 of Road Trip

    This will be the last of the series. I met these guys in Amarillo. For my dedication, I received a Mythical Beast patch, shown below:

    Let it not be said that I won't go the extra mile, all 600 of them.

    Took some digging, but I found old 'cold fusion' story

    I found a pdf version of the "cold fusion" story in the Houston Chronicle back in March 2009. The pdf version was in the New Energy Times website.  I got curious and searched the site, but couldn't find it at first. Then, I came across it by searching by the blogger who first wrote about the story- Eric Berger, aka The SciGuy.

    There was a link to the story from the blog, and that is how I found it.

    I took a look at the comments.  There aren't any after the date of the post.  What does that mean?  Stories have a short shelf life?

    Duck Soup- Marx Brothers

    "Duck soup" was American English slang at that time; it meant something easy to do

    Does the world today seem a little bizarre, like this clip?

    Young Frankenstein is linked after this finishes playing:

    Maybe because of the Groucho Marx impersonation. Here's Bob Hope delivering what is described as the funniest line ever.

    Krugman, the committed Keynesian

    The Great Recession is all about lagging demand! Thus saith the prophet of tax, borrow and spend:
    What Davies doesn’t say is that there’s a good reason Lucas won’t even consider the obvious explanation in terms of a shortfall in demand.

    All we need to do, in Krugman's world, is to keep paying people to dig holes and fill them in. After all, said Keynes, it is better than nothing. /snark

    Yahoo Breakout: What Comes After QE2?

    Jim Bianco of Bianco Research
    • If soft patch continues, possibility of QE3 goes up.
    • Easing pain as opposed to market corrections. 
    • What to do?  Channel Ron Paul, market needs to adjust.  QE's prevent that.
    • QE has affected stock market.  Assets are in bubble.  Weakens dollar.
    • Hasn't Bernanke helped things?  Over short term, weak dollar OK.  Not a long term policy. 

    Watch the bonds

    That's what we saw earlier this morning on Yahoo Daily Ticker.  So, what have bonds been doing lately?  On the 30 year, it has been down.  But I wanted to see the 10 year.  That took a little extra work, but here it is:

    Looks like we have a bit of a downtrend here. I'd say that the bond market is saying that we've got some wiggle room on the debt. But as you can see, the earlier indications were a rising bond yield. That could mean all the tough talk on the debt is causing rates to fall. This is good, but not so good for stocks right now. But that is also good, because stocks are a bit pricey now.

    Heavy lifter? Try this.

    I wrote a bunch of posts about recycling the External Tank of the Shuttle. Let's say that you could count the ET as part of the payload. How much gets lifted into LEO?

    The Shuttle weighs about 80 tons:

    The external tank weighs about 50. The cargo capacity of the shuttle is 25 tons.
    That's 155 tons. Figure out a way to use all that and you've got all the lifting capacity you need.

    Seems like a lot of heavy lift capability already. The trick is to use the external tank. Anybody paying attention?

    News Conference post Endeavour

    • Question about when Endeavour going to California.
    • About debris.  In relation to STS-135.
    • Did Endeavour live up to hopes? Response: Yes. Doesn't look 20 years old.
    • Reflect about mission.  Response: Great potential, but not on manifest at one time.  Got chance.  Stay focused on what need to do, chance to accomplish amazing things.  Team pretty excited about 'flagship experiment".  
    • Atlantis question timeline.  Spacex and Orbital.  Response: Spacex demo in fall.  No decision on combining demos.  Orbital doing test firing in December.  Fall busy time for cargo providers.  Spacex is ahead of Orbital.  Both before end of year.
    • End is closer now, feelings about this?  Response: Too tired to talk now.  Atlantis roll out, won't see again.  Knew end was coming, more realization of that.  Move past sadness.  

    The program lasts a lot longer, but I'll stop here.
    "Very good day today."
    "Amazing job.  Made it look easy."
    "Will start pad processing on Atlantis this morning."

    Representative Jackie Speier (D) on Budget and Energy Issues

    • Voted yes to increase debt ceiling
    • Politics in the vote- she says she's for budget cuts, but voted otherwise
    • Medicare cuts- says not going to cut Medicare
    • Avoiding default- have to cut 35% of budget- says it can't be done
    • They wanted up and down vote on debt ceiling- response? See above.
    • Hoyer to President- no deal without us.  
    • Caller described as Republican- didn't sound that way to me.
    • Democrat caller - fear talk- speech making.
    • Speier is senior Democrat Whip
    • Independent caller - raise my taxes- spending cuts yes- Medicare leave alone.  Response? tax cuts blamed
    • caller says stop playing blame game- response- tax cuts bad
    Most of this program is callers after the short intro.  I leave it here.  My impression is that inflexible positions are being taken, this is not helpful.  Have to have some give and take.

    Yahoo Daily Ticker - Technical Default

    • We've missed debt ceilings before
    • Game of chicken
    • Republicans won't cut as much as they're saying
    • Serious proposal to balance budget only got 7 Republican votes
    • Obama's budget didn't get a vote in the Senate
    • Politicians afraid of losing votes, so they do nothing
    • Risk to the economy?  Yes and No.
    • Watch the bond market

    Debt Ceiling Vote a “Political Sideshow”, Mish Says: Real Issue Is “Govt. Spending Run Amok

    Comic relief- Weiner gate

    It's not that big. Hilarious.

    In Search of Excellence

    I'm referring to the early eighties book.  I read that book, but there's no time to re-read the darned thing.  The reason that I mention it was something that I remember about it.  It is a principle called "stick to the knitting". I take that to mean that you don't deviate from what you do best.

    It seems that with the Shuttle program coming to an end, and considering the failure of the Constellation program, the lessons from that book were either never learned, or were forgotten.  Why create an entire new launch system? Why not use SRB's and ET's along with the Shuttle's main engines in a new configuration which was only minimally different from the one they already had? This may still be done, and has already been decided upon, but is now in jeopardy because of budget constraints.

    The failure to stick to the knitting led to this outcome. If the original plan would have been something like an Ares I which was of the same size of the one that is used with the shuttle, then the remaining design needed a second stage that would have gotten a crew to orbit. This was necessary anyway, but it may have been a little different in the final configuration than the one they came up with. The cargo lifter could have been a shuttle derived sidemount using the same configuration as the shuttle with minimal changes. This should have led to minimal design costs and minimal risks, while maintaining heavy lift capacity and gaining crew safety offered by the Ares I. Two rockets, but each building upon the strengths already demonstrated in the shuttle program. That would have been sticking to the knitting.

    What they did was to decide upon heavier lift, which required a bigger rocket. This is where they went wrong. In my opinion, the shuttle derived sidemount was sufficient. It lifts the current shuttle and cargo, which is 125 tons into low earth orbit. Now, it wouldn't lift that much into orbit in this hypothetical configuration, but it could lift, say as a wild guess, about 100 tons. That's plenty of heavy lift without the need for a complete redesign, which was what they did. The Augustine Commission said that a sidemount configuration would have been sufficient for a Mars mission. The extra lifting wasn't necessary for that mission.

    If the Senate wants to keep the Shuttle derived system, they'd better remember this lesson. If they haven't learned it in the first place, they had better learn it now. Here's what they could do: do a sidemount and fund the Spacex for crew. Spacex could continue developing heavy lift, but that is a few years off. Keeping the sidemount would allow for some margin against program risk if Spacex fails. If Spacex succeeds, you can then decide if you need the program anymore.

    How an E-cat may have automotive applications

    This one is a little more up my alley, as the saying goes.  My kind of thing.  I worked in the field for a few years, so this interests me.  Not to mention, it is a source of much interest to the public nowadays.  In particular, the green political movement has managed to generate support for their position that the use of fossil fuels should be eliminated.  Since America uses 25% of the oil, but has only 4% of the population of the world, the moral necessity of a solution appears to be necessary.  We need to feel guilty, you see.  An E-cat automotive application can change those facts in a big way.

    But how?  That will be the subject of this post.  First, before speculating upon that, I'll make a few observations that anyone can make.  The E-cat appears to be small, but powerful.  Given that, it can be placed in the engine compartment of a vehicle.  Maybe.  I'll get back to this later, but the E-cat itself will fit.  Secondly, it is powerful enough for its size in order to power an automobile.  To show that this is true, look at my analysis of fuel cell/battery hybrid concept that I made in earlier posts.  Replace the fuel cell with an E-cat, and you are there.  Thirdly, the E-cat proposition appears to be affordable.  This means that the power plant can be competitive with a conventional gas powered vehicle.  At 1 cent per kilowatt hour, and 3 miles per kilowatt, the cost advantage potential should be apparent.  The cost of fuel in the case of gasoline or any other fuel combination pales in comparison.  The E-cat appears to be of such design that it will not cost a lot to make it and not much to operate it.  It should be a big winner.

    Now for some brass tacks, as the saying goes.  Here's a picture of a solar dish with a Stirling engine that can generate 25 kwh of power.  My analysis shows that 25 kwh can power a vehicle in almost any power configuration that you can imagine.  Now, maybe you can't tow a big trailer with it, or a boat, but you can use it for an ordinary automotive application in a variety of possible scenarios.

    The Stirling engine is in the right upper corner.  It takes the focused energy of the sun and converts it into electrical power.  It's size could be made to fit inside a car.  It looks a little large there, but I am confident that it could be reworked so that it could fit in a ordinary sized car.  Also, the E-cat is not large either.  Taken together, the amount of hardware needed will be comparable to the hardware needed for an internal combustion engine.  As you may know, for an ICE, you need the engine, transmission, rear axle, and a gas tank.  Not to mention, a starter and and a radiator.  All this takes space.  So, if Stirling engine may appear to be large here, it can be reworked to fit.  It needs development, but it can be done, in my opinion.

    Morning Summary, 6/1

    It doesn't show it here, but there were over 3000 pageviews for May.  So, I'll show it here, or below:
    Hurray!  Hubba, hubba, hubba, as Rush likes to say.

    Onward and upward.  But the shuttle came down overnight.  And I missed it.  It looks like it was an early morning landing, which is strange.  Why?  Wouldn't they want everyone to see?  It is almost like they wanted it to be a secret.

    Don't want to lose this thought, which happens a lot now that I'm getting to be an old fart.  It is about the passage of time.  Everybody has a different perspective, because people are of all ages, so their viewpoint is influenced by the time in which they have lived.  For me, I can remember the sixties.  I can remember the first part of the space program.  I was a little kid, and they brought a TV in the classroom so all of us little kiddies could see John Glenn blast off.  It was a big deal back then.  But not so much anymore.  One of these days, it may become a big deal again to do what has already been done.  That's because people have gotten used to it, then when it is gone, it becomes a novelty to see it again.  The Shuttle program is ending, and the manned space program is in jeopardy.  There is a risk we may not see it again for a very long time.

    A second thought that I don't want to forget.  That's the importance of friendship.  People these days, and perhaps it has always been true, tend to forget about this.  Don't forget who your friends are.  It is a lonely world indeed not to have any.  I know what that is like and it is not a good place to be.  There is always this insecurity that you are going to be alone to face something that you would like to have friends with you at the time.  The world is not always a nice place.  That's putting it mildly.  Don't be an asshole.  Be a friend.  If you are lucky, the friendship may be returned.  A sobering thought.  But a true one.  Don't forget.

    Oops!  Talking about forgetting!  I forgot to publish this post.  Dang!

    Tuesday, May 31, 2011

    Evening Wrap, 5/31

    Hard to believe it. May is nearly gone. June is the month in which summer officially begins. Around Houston, it gets hot before the summer becomes official. Come to think of it, hurricane season begins tomorrow, if I am not mistaken. There have been early season hurricanes before that have come near Houston. The one I can recall was back in 85-87, but don't recall exactly which year. It didn't amount to much. The last one was Ike, which was as bad as I've ever seen it. And I've lived in this town for 50 years. Something to keep in mind as we go forward into the season.

    The hurricane seems to be a dividing point in time. About that same time, there was the big economic collapse which is ongoing. There was a death in the family not long afterward. Then my own problems at work began as well as some health concerns of my own. Lots of stuff happening in so short of a time period.

    I began the blog hoping for the best, but also fearing the worst. I knew before going in how hard it is to get an audience- I experienced that before with my first blog. This time was even harder than that time. The best that this blog has done is not too much better than what that one did. This is after 8 1/2 months of steady blogging and throwing all I could think of into it.

    I am very grateful for what I've been able to achieve in terms of audience, but that is all that I've been able to achieve. It needs to do much more than that. Each month that goes by leaves me with one less month to figure this out. My time is limited. It isn't urgent, but the trajectory is downward. And that worries me.

    Aside from that, I've been pleased with what I've been writing. At times, I've been quite proud of my work. Today was such a day. That post about the final piece of the puzzle was a doozy. I don't care if it never sees the light of day anywhere. That bit of thinking was inspired.

    I hope this kind of thing can be interesting enough to hold an audience. I am always interested in improving it. Sometimes I wonder what else there is to do.

    Thanks for coming by and have a great evening.

    Jeff Greason on a Settlement Strategy For NASA

    Link via NEW PAPYRUS  (note: repaired link)

    A discussion of strategy and tactics vis a vis current national space policy, which appears to be human settlement, but that is not openly stated.  Greason identifies the main problem, which is policy drift- nobody knows a credible way of implementing the implied policy.  There is a lot of confusion, about the meaning of strategies and tactics, and not much leadership.  Current policy drift risks ending human space exploration by default, because there is no strategy.  Greason proposes one, while maintaining that his is only one of many possible strategies that could be employed.

    James R. Stout: These Halcyon Days

    I had to look up the word. It doesn't embarrass me to admit it. I don't know so much after all. Here's what I found


    Calm, peaceful days.
    There's a discussion of the origins of phrase, which ends with this:
    Our current use of halcyon days tends to be nostalgic and recalling of the seemingly endless sunny days of youth. 

    That is what the song is all about. The song captures the meaning of the phrase- he reminisces with a friend about their lives. It's a nostalgic look back through their years together.

    This song and others are on Randy's "Sojourn of Love" CD. You can order it from the Products page.

    Yahoo Breakout: Are Emerging Markets in Better Shape than U.S.?

    Paul Simon of  Tactical Allocation Group (TAG) gives his thoughts.

    This starts out as an emerging market story and ends as a commodity story. That could be because the emerging markets mentions are rich in natural resources, which is what commodities are.  And these markets are in bull markets now.  Gold could hit $3,000 an ounce.  Familiar story of how and why this is happening.

    Debt ceiling talks: How to cut $1 trillion

    The search for budget savings is on.

    Count me as skeptical. Especially if it all occurs in the "out" years. What matters is what they do in the near term. If all the cuts get shifted to the future, then this whole thing looks like a dog and pony show to me.

    2012 Republican presidential field

    Chris Good talked about the 2012 Republican presidential field.
    Palin is strong fundraiser and popular with GOP.  Probably seriously thinking about entering.  Discussion about poll numbers.  Two callers were negative about Palin, seminar callers?  Pawlenty had a negative call about him.

    Tea Party supposedly "angry".  Pawlenty can't play the part, but Palin can.

    Obama's voters may be hard to bring back in 2008.  Flash in the pan, or permanent feature?  Win in Texas, Georgia?  No one sees this coming.

    House to reject debt limit increase without cuts

    "Republicans are playing with fire by voting against an extension of the debt limit today. I hope that the markets understand a political stunt when they see one," said Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y. "Because, to much of the world, putting the full faith and credit of our nation at risk understandably seems like playing Russian roulette."

    Sounds like a "Weiner" to me.

    The Daily Ticker: "The Endangered Middle Class"

    Interview with Heather Boushey

    Disconnect between prosperity on Wall Street and hard times on Main Street.
    Incentives toward financial goals as opposed to making things of value. Doesn't help middle class. Should be more emphasis on manufacturing. Level the playing field between employers and employees, through labor unions, she said. This looks more and more like a Democrat campaign commercial. Looking to blame international trade for loss of jobs at home. Wants worker training as a price for trade deals.

    The next program looks good too. I'll put it up here.

    Beck’s Explosive Video Vindication

    Socialists Explain How They Worked With Muslim Brotherhood & Islamic Extremists in the Mid-East Revolutions to Unite Arab World Against USA, Britain & Israel

    The Mid East could be ready to explode soon.  People are going to be shocked, because they are not being told the truth.

    Seductive Beliefs By Thomas Sowell

    Despite a carefully choreographed image of affability and cool, Barack Obama's decisions and appointments as President betray an alienation from the values and the people of this country that are too disturbing to be answered by showing his birth certificate.

    Easier to blame your problems on somebody else than to do something about fixing them.
    That's the pathological way, the way of envy and resentment of somebody else's success. It is indeed seductive and very powerful political force. Not a very good way of solving problems, though.

    Palin: Eliminate All Energy Subsidies

    Asked Tuesday whether she supports the federal subsidy of ethanol, an always critical issue in the presidential nominating cycle, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin went one step further and called for the elimination of all energy subsidies.

    Her views clash with Romney's and coincide with Pawlenty's.

    Understanding Your Credit Score

    Looks like I need a new category again. Too many posts in the Financial category. They'll be spun off into markets and economics. This new post will be the kickoff for this bit of reorganization, so it gets a sidebar label.

    The video is a discussion about FICO scores.  Evidently, there's more info at

    How credit scores are calculated. How to avoid mistakes that will hurt your credit score.

    Michael Pento: Central Bankruptcy – Why QE3 is Inevitable

    Markets were closed, time to catch up on the news.
    Bernanke is bluffing. Can't fight inflation because selling securities will collapse the market. Statistics are bad even before QE2 ends. Diminishing returns because of rising inflation, monetizing debt can only go so far. If true to word, will have a deflationary depression. If play politics, will have inflationary depression. What has changed since this has started? Nothing has changed from the central cause- which is debt. Debts still have to be paid. Will be like UK, austerity. The dollar will continue to erode and destroy the middle class, he says.

    It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World -Sylvester

    I'm back, but the world is still crazy. Let's have a little fun with it, hence the movie clip.

    The part where Ethel Merman says "Sylvester" cracks me up.

    Clean Energy Partnership to promote hydrogen in Europe

    Honda has joined the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) in Europe to demonstrate the viability of fuel cell technology and support the essential development of a European hydrogen refueling infrastructure.

    Geez, I had an entire series of posts on the subject of hydrogen fuel cells not long ago.  There were so many of these posts, and my category for Energy has gotten so big, that it has become necessary to spin off into a new category with the label of  "Clean green driving machines".  These posts can still be found under Energy, but now can also be found under this new label.

    As with all new sidebar entries, this gets posted under that label too.  For a view of how the blog has evolved over time, click on that entry in order to bring up those posts that will illustrate the process.   With over 1100 posts in all, there has to be a way to organize it all into something manageable and comprehensible.

    As of this post, there are 25 posts of this category of Clean green driving machines.  If you're interested in this topic, click on the label and bring up those posts to see what the blog has to offer on that subject.


    I have to step out for about an hour.  Blogging will be lighter than usual in the morning.  

    The last piece of the puzzle

    Like everybody else, it seems, I was skeptical of "cold fusion". After having investigated it enough over the last several weeks, I have reached about 90% level of being convinced that it is real. To me, 90% is good enough. That leaves some room for error, but not too big of one.

    First of all, before I go too much further, my word doesn't carry much weight. I'm not a professional in the field, much less an authority. I am writing from the personal point of view. These are my own opinions, independently reached, for what that is worth.

    Now, as I wrote before, there seems to me to be two conditions for fusion. One, is a sufficient energy level. Two, there needs to be a confinement strategy. Having enough energy alone isn't enough. Two atoms must be close enough so that the opportunity exists for fusion to take place. Hence, a confinement strategy. In stars, this is accomplished by gravity. Man made fusion strategies utilize different matter interaction forces in order to obtain sufficient confinement.

    At this point of the search for fusion energy, the confinement methods appear to be insufficient. The confinement strategy I'm thinking of doesn't involve the fundamental interactions, so far as I know. If it does, it may be electromagnetism at the nanoscale.

    Now, allow me to quote from Mallove's Fire from Ice

    ... Research was aimed at achieving in any of a number of competing configurations of magnetic bottles, a combination of temperature, density, and duration that would make hot fusion work. A plasma with a density of 3 x 10 ^ 14 particles per cubic centimeter would have to be held for one second at about 100 million degrees K to reach energy breakeven.

    One mole of particles is 6.02 x 10 ^ 23.   Thus, the amount of particles needed to be energized at one time ( 1 second ) would be the electron volt potential spread out over the percentage of 1 mole of particles mentioned in the above quote.   This would be (3 x 10 ^ 14)  x 10^ 4 electron volts per atom.  Note: 10,000 electron volts is equivalent to 100,000,000 degrees Kelvin.   That would be 3 x 10 ^ 18 eV for the mass in question.   Since the calculation of conversion of electron volts to watts from the link ( in bold above) we obtain:
    1 electron volts =  1.6 x 10 ^-19 joules, which equals only 1.6 x 10^-19 watts
    substituting 1.6 x 10 ^ -19 watts for eV above gives 3x10^18 x 1.6 x10^-19 watts for all the particles collectively.   For the entire mass, that's 4.8 x 10 ^-1 watts for each second.  Not that much energy for what is a small mass.

    The key is that it must all be in one spot at one time.  The way to do that is with a confinement strategy as mentioned above.  However, instead of a magnetic bottle, what if the lattice structure of atoms of a solid substance -such as palladium or nickel- was substituted?  The volume constraint should be easy enough.

    Now 3 x 10 ^ 14 particles are needed to be confined in a cubic centimeter in a second.  In molar quantity, that would be 3x10^14 divided by 6.02 x 10^23 particles in a mole of any substance.  For light hydrogen, the atomic weight is approx 1 g per mole.  That would therefore be less than a billionth of a gram.  But that's not the problem.  The problem is that for any gas at standard pressure, the molar quantity of atoms take up a much larger volume.  Hence, we need to confine the gas.

    For nickel, multiply by 60 grams per mole atomic weight, and the number is still small.  The volume required is tiny in terms of the solid nickel.  Billionths of a gram of nickel?  Not much, clearly.  If the hydrogen gets caught up in the nickel's solid structure, confinement is obtained.  If the required energy is applied over the duration shown above, fusion is possible.  The confinement makes the probability of fusion feasible, by definition above.

    Admittedly, this is from an amateur.  There could be errors.  This is my personal view.  Anybody is welcome to make a comment.  I throw it open for discussion.  Tell me I'm wrong.  I'm all ears.

    The Morning Summary, 5/31

    Blogger pageviews are within reach of 3,000 for the month of May.  This would be a first, but even if that isn't reached, it is still a record.  Audience growth has moderated, however.  New avenues for growth need to be found.  It looks like people liked the Ted Turner/ T. Boone Pickens CSPAN video.  That's may be what you would call a hint.

    I will have more to say about Mallove's book, Fire From Ice, later today.  There are a few facts that I am putting together for a theory about "cold fusion".  For anybody new here, "cold fusion" could become a reality in the near future.  I have come to the conclusion that it is very, very likely to be a real phenomenon.  I will continue to discuss why I think so.  Keep tuned.

    Monday, May 30, 2011

    The Evening Wrap, 5/30

    Well, here we are, another day in the can.  The market was closed today, and the news day appeared to be rather slow due to the holiday.

    Today featured a quasi review of Mallove's book, a bit about the blog, plus a few videos.   One more thing about the book, before I go today.  The author points out that anomalous events have been overlooked in the past, which if it hadn't been overlooked, would have credited the individual with a discovery that was eventually made by someone else.  One example was the X-ray.  The individual who discovered the X-ray got a Nobel Prize.  The individual who overlooked it did not.  There's a lesson in that somewhere.  In addition to that, people have a tendency to deny the reality of an event.  In the case of so-called "cold fusion", it appears that people are overlooking something important, such as excess heat; and when they don't overlook the excess heat, they deny its significance.  Another lesson, if you care to take note.

    I hope you found today's posts interesting.  Thanks for coming by and have a great evening.