Saturday, August 13, 2011

Artie Shaw - Frenesi

Number 1 in 1940.

Linda Ronstadt has a video up with a song of the same name, but with lyrics. I can't tell if it is the same music. It sounds a bit different to me.





There was something in the news which got my attention. It appears that they are fooling around with the DNA of a worm. Maybe they'll make an artificial worm someday, or maybe somebody will say that they already have. Which reminded me of the Blade Runner, where they made artificial people called Replicants.

Anyway, here is some video that confirms that Deckard ( Harrison Ford ) was a Replicant. That surprised me.




Thanks for coming by, and have a great evening.

NASA X-15 Hypersonic Research at the Edge of Space


Two things about it I didn't know
  1. One of the rear fins had to be ejected before landing
  2. It didn't have rear wheels, but sleds instead

The X-15 may serve as a model for how to recover a spent upper stage.  But it may not be a good enough model.  I noticed that the nose comes down hard.  The longer the rocket, the harder that impact might be.  Also, the X-15 fuselage may have been sturdier than a rocket casing.

Right on.



Don't put your faith in governments. Arm yourself.

Morning Summary, 8/13

Good morning.

Yesterday, I did a few posts on SpaceX. I'd like to continue a bit with that here, and perhaps, if I think of it, a little more later on.

The interest in SpaceX dovetails a bit with the last book I read and discussed here this past week. It seems that Elon Musk wants to succeed where NASA failed.

Musk wants his Falcons to be fully re-usable, while the Shuttle was not. It so happens that I wrote a series of posts on re-using the external tank of the Shuttle, and it has occurred to me that this could be a principle that may come in handy, if Musk decides to use it.  Those in charge of policy during the Shuttle era decided not to employ the principle, you see.  That principle, in effect, would be in situ resourcing, with the spent second stage as a resource to be used, rather than discarded.

The Shuttle ET nearly reached orbital velocity.  That's what made the idea of re-using it a possibility.  I am assuming that the second stage of the Falcon nearly reaches orbital velocity.  Because if it does, this may be analogous to the Shuttle ET.  If not, it may not be practical.  If it is the same as the ET, it would take only a nudge to get it up to a stable orbit.  From there, you can find ways to employ the spent stage.  This would only be limited to one's imagination.

If it is not desirable to reuse the spent stage, then it will have to be brought back in such a way as to allow it to be reprocessed and used again for its original purpose.

I've thought about that too.  It would seem that there may be a way to do it if you could design a heat shield that could pop out when you need it for reentry.  You could accelerate it so that it could make one orbit around the Earth, then pop out the shield to keep it from burning up during reentry.  Parachutes could deploy when enough speed has been bled off.  Then splashdown, and recovery of the spent stage.

Or either way could be used, in case you don't want to leave it in space.  Since you are getting it up to orbit anyway, you could keep it there, or have the option to reenter and recover.

That's all on that subject.  I just received another book, which I could be reading today.  If it seems interesting enough to post about, I'll put up some posts on it.

Be good out there, and I'll be checking in later.

Update:

With respect to the book, Islands in the Sky: Bold New Ideas for Colonizing Space, wikipedia has an outline of the chapters here.  I'm currently on a chapter about skyhooks and tethers, which I wrote about earlier.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Number 1 in 1968

Love is Blue

That does it for today.  Thanks for coming by, and have a great evening. 



Terra Power Update

Advanced Reactor Gets Closer to Reality - Technology Review


Bill Gates gave a Ted talk on this, which is viewable here.

Just have to face up to it

We live in interesting times.






11th Circuit strikes down Obamacare mandate

by William A. Jacobson

  • This is the big case involving 26 states.

We first conclude that the Act’s Medicaid expansion is constitutional.
Next, the individual mandate was enacted as a regulatory penalty, not a revenue-raising tax, and cannot be sustained as an exercise of Congress’s power under the Taxing and Spending Clause.
Further, the individual mandate exceeds Congress’s enumerated commerce power and is unconstitutional.
The individual mandate, however, can be severed from the remainder of the Act’s myriad reforms.

  • It cannot be denied that the individual mandate is an unprecedented exercise of congressional power. 
  • The federal government’s assertion of power, under the Commerce Clause, to issue an economic mandate for Americans to purchase insurance from a private company for the entire duration of their lives is unprecedented, lacks cognizable limits, and imperils our federalist structure.

Is this law dead yet?  It is like Dracula.  You are going to need a wooden stake to kill this thing.

Elon Musk: Q & A at AIAA (video)

He got a question about re-usability, in which he gave an answer that doesn't indicate a likely use of additional hardware, as far as I can tell. It may be entail a restart of engines in order to slow down the descent.

With NASA grounding shuttle, SpaceX and Central Texas take lead in space exploration

by Sandra Sanchez

  • Waco is fortunate to host several thriving aviation and space-related companies such as SpaceX
  • a relaxed environment despite this high-pressure industry
  • more jobs will be created and hopefully less taxpayer money will be used
  • This past decade SpaceX has enjoyed a stream of firsts and industry successes
  • a three-minute test with all nine Merlin engines fired can be heard for miles
Deep in the heart of Texas.

Update:

Here's some video from SpaceX's YouTube page. It is a test of the Merlin Engine, which is referenced in this article.

Debate videos

Newt Gingrich:



Pawlenty and Bachmann:



Romney:



Update:

Yep. You have to be able to take a joke:

Krivit: Rossi’s Scientific Failure in Seven Steps (New Energy Times blog)

Rossi’s Scientific Failure in Seven Steps
Posted on August 7, 2011 by Steven B. Krivit

[This article is Copyleft 2011 New Energy Times. Permission is granted to reproduce this article as long as the article, this notice and the publication information are included in their entirety and no changes are made to this article.]

Andrea Rossi is the creator of a device he calls the Energy Catalyzer, or E-Cat. Together with Sergio Focardi, professor emeritus at the University of Bologna, and Giuseppe Levi, a professor in the university’s Department of Physics, the trio claimed a low-energy nuclear reaction device that produced extraordinarily large amounts of excess heat. In fact, Rossi had promoted the idea as a soon-to-be-available commercial device. The complete list of New Energy Times reports on this topic is here.

The Rossi group’s primary energy claim was based on its assertion that virtually all inlet water vaporized into steam. The group had two primary measurement methods from which to choose.

Method 1 was to perform condensing calorimetry to measure the heat output directly. The group made no such measurements. The characteristics of steam output observed in the June 14, 2011, and April 28, 2011, experiments were consistent with much lower levels of heat output than the group claimed.

Method 2, which the group attempted, was to confirm that no unvaporized water left the device. This method required the group to check two things. First, it needed to measure steam quality to confirm that no unvaporized water left in the form of tiny droplets. However, the group used a device that, according to the manufacturer, was not designed or suitable for measuring steam quality. That device was designed to measure only the humidity of air. The group also needed to check that liquid water did not flow out of the device and down the drain. It did not attempt to check this.

Thus, the group had no accurate measurements of the heat output or the quality of steam produced and therefore no experimental evidence on which to base its extraordinary energy claim.

The group ran one experiment below the boiling point of water; however, it did not write and does not intend to release a report on the results of that test.

Seven Steps

1. Rossi Group’s Extraordinary Claim About Energy Production
The Rossi group’s primary energy claim was based on its assertion that virtually all inlet water vaporized into steam.

2. Video Recordings of Steam Production
The characteristics of steam output observed in the June 14, 2011, and April 28, 2011, experiments are consistent with substantial amounts of unvaporized inlet water present in the output. This means that the experiments produced much lower levels of heat output than the group claimed.

3. Presence of Unvaporized Water in Device Output
-Water can leave as liquid by overflowing through the outlet hose.
-Water can leave as tiny droplets, thus lowering steam quality.

4. No Condensing Calorimetry to Measure Heat Directly (Method 1)
No condensing calorimetry measurements were performed to measure the heat output directly.

5. Claims of Steam Quality Measurements (Method 2)
The Rossi group claimed to have accurately measured steam quality. The chemist it used to perform these measurements did not use a detector that was designed for or capable of measuring steam quality. The group also needed to check that liquid water did not flow out of the device and down the drain. It did not attempt to check this, and thus any steam quality measurement was irrelevant.

6. Device Used to Attempt Steam Quality Measurement (Method 2)
- Question to manufacturer: “What is the capability of this device to measure steam quality?”
- Response from manufacturer: “None. It is not suited for steam quality measurement.”

7. Conclusion Without Sufficient Experimental Facts
Because a) the group did not perform condensing calorimetry, b) it used an unsuitable device to measure steam quality, c) it did not check that liquid water did not flow out of the device and down the drain, and d) it did not write a scientific report about its one experiment below the boiling point of water, it had no quantitative facts about the amount or quality of steam.

As a result, the group could not know the amount of energy production within an order of magnitude.

As with any scientific claim, the burden to provide convincing evidence rests with the claimant.

[Ed: This document was updated on Aug. 9, 2011 to improve the clarity of the two measurement methods.]
Posted in Uncategorized | 18 Comments

Could SpaceX learn something from the Shuttle Program?

Good morning. That series of posts on O'Neill's colonies has me thinking. So, I came up with this idea: put wings on a rocket.

Elon Musk of SpaceX wants to make his rockets fully reusable. Why not put some wings on his rockets, and bring them back to the ground in a controlled trajectory? That method has a lot of experience behind it via the Shuttle program. You could splash down, or you could try to land it on a runway.

Splashdown may be simpler.



Update:

You know, this isn't such a wild idea. You have a vehicle in the Shuttle, which landed on a runway, for heavens sake. The concept is proven. Now, what exactly would you have to do in order to make this work with SpaceX's Falcon 9?

You may need to do a major redesign because you would need to add a lot of hardware to the thing. The mass fraction, which doesn't appear to be good, would probably suffer.

Yet, it would seem to be a desirable goal, because, if you could do this, the turnaround could be fast. Both stages are liquid fueled, so that go more quickly than the turnaround for the SRB's and the SSME's of the Orbiters. I heard it said somewhere, that, if the Shuttles main engines were allowed to operate a little less vigorously, it would have helped turnaround times a lot. As far as the SRB's are concerned, they should have all been in one piece. The fact that it was a solid fuel didn't help turnaround times, either.

It may be harder to get the second stage back, but keep in mind that the Shuttle itself returned from space. It can be done, if that is the goal.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Finished O'Neill's book

The last chapter was in his words, speculative.  I won't comment upon it much.

Mostly, I was interested in the nuts and bolts of his ideas.  The "how-to" part. Basically, he was depending upon the Shuttle to perform according to its expectations, which it did not.  The rest of his ideas collapse after that.

In short, in order for his ideas to be put into practice, there needs to be at least, a much cheaper access to space than what exists now.

He didn't express much interest in nuclear power, believing that it won't be necessary.  It appears that it will, unless Elon Musk of SpaceX can figure out a way to make his rockets reusable.  In other words, Musk will need to succeed where the Shuttle failed.

Without success there, it may come down to fusion propulsion.  In that case, the high energy output of fusion may make single stage to orbit spacecraft possible.

Also, there is JP Aerospace and his airships.  People may ridicule that idea, but what if it is the only way?

Well, that's all for today.  Thanks for coming by, and have a great evening.

Chapters X,XI of O'Neill

Chapter 10:  This is partly a fictional account of how life may be like for somebody on board a colony.

Chapter 11:  This chapter is about homesteading the asteroids.  It is the most reminiscent of Mining The Sky in that regard, but it goes a bit further, with a comparison with pioneering days in the Old West.  To sum it up, there's a lot of room to grow out there, and there's a tendency amongst some to want to do it.

The next chapter will be the last.


O'Neill: Ch VIII,IX

Chapter eight discusses the nuts and bolts of the first colony.  It will require a base on the moon, and a mass driver.  It would have taken six years.  The cost figures calculated are based upon Shuttle estimates, which were not in the cards.  Therefore, it couldn't have been economical.  It would have required an extra heavy lift vehicle to be constructed. That didn't happen, and still hasn't happened.

Chapter nine discusses space solar power as an economic activity for the colony.  It was not to be, and for the same reason- which was launching costs.  Interestingly enough, O'Neill doesn't discuss how to solve this problem.  I think he assumed that the Shuttle would do that, but as we all know now, it didn't happen that way.

This chapter also discusses his ideas for a propulsion based up lunar dust as a reaction mass.  I can't say that I like that idea at all.

Oddly enough, he doesn't seem to making an economical case for building one of these things.  Even if his assumptions were correct, which they weren't, this doesn't make enough sense to me.

He does make a case for his colonies to perform science.  Would a government be willing to support such large colonies for primarily scientific reasons?

Self preservation of the species was also mentioned. If that is the goal, it can be done more cheaply.

Chapter VII, Risks and Dangers

I think this will be the last post dedicated to only one chapter.  I will consolidate the following chapters into one or more posts.

In this chapter, he compares the risk to a colony to the risk of driving an automobile in the US.  It compares favorably, he says.  The risks to the colony are from micrometeors and possible terrorist attacks.

Risks can be minimized, he says.

Market Action Today

Yes, this isn't in the plan, but all plans can be changed or adjusted.

The markets are moving again.  This time, gold is selling off, while stocks are moving up.

I can recall a story about the great market operator who said that sometimes, it is better to just go fishing.

I think that this market is too wild and unpredictable to be trading in it.  You may make money, or you may get yourself busted.  If you can ride that wild beast for just a little while, maybe you can take home a big purse.  Some of us, though, aren't quite so interested in that type of action.


Chapter VI, New Earth

A quote that summarizes this chapter:
Much of this chapter has been devoted to the less serious side of space colonization; not questions of economics and production, but of amusement and diversion.

He claims that any sport can be done better in space than on Earth.  He also claims to have made a skeptic into a believer.  How?  It appears that he convinced his skeptic that sex is better in space than on Earth.  Tee hee.

Solar wind + lunar oxygen = water

The moon is loaded with oxygen.  The sun, for its part unleases nearly 7 billion tons per hour of mass in the form of solar wind.

A few calculations:

The surface area of the sun:
2,009,600,000,000 square miles ( approx)
or 2 trillion square miles

Now, the solar wind is emitted at the rate of 7 billion tons per hour (approx), or 14 trillion pounds per hour.
Or 7 pounds per square mile per hour

The surface area of the moon ( approx.  for what it is worth) is 12,560,000 square miles

Thus a trap 1 square mile on the moon can trap upwards of 7 pounds of hydrogen per hour, assuming it is all hydrogen. Combine the oxygen obtained from the moon and the solar wind collected when it hits the trap you set on the lunar surface, and you can make water with it.

What do you think of that?

Chapter V: Islands in Space

In this chapter, O'Neill introduces his Island Three concept.

One can see why this hasn't been accomplished, even though O'Neill believed it could have been done already. Evidently, he was figuring that the Space Shuttle would be more successful than what it was.  For the sheer amount of matter that would have to be lifted into space, this idea seems immensely fanciful.

The actual living conditions and the economics of the place itself, once having gotten it there, seem reasonably practical.  It is the "getting there" part that gives the trouble.

Interesting that he doesn't require anything in the way of new energy sources, like fusion.  Not even fission power is mentioned.  It is all solar.  But the trouble with this is that you have to get it up there.  There has to be a way to get it up there.

Chapter IV: New Habitats For Humanity

Of course, title of this chapter is an attention grabber. Did O'Neill coin this term, or did someone borrow it from him?  The author is silent on this subject, it seems, so I googled it and found it on the wikipedia.  There doesn't appear to be anything there either that answers the question, but I didn't read it all.

At any rate, O'Neill continues to discuss the advantages of space over terrestrial living.  As of yet, I don't see any nuts and bolts methods for getting his colony into place, but little pieces here and there suggest themselves.  For instance, he says that to get stuff off the moon would cost only 3 dollars a pound.  That is in seventies dollars, but if you adjust for inflation, it is still going to be cheap, relatively speaking.

As mentioned earlier, the information here is out of date.  This was before water was found on the moon, and the other two elements that he referred to as being hard to find- nitrogen and carbon- may yet be found in abundance in permanently shaded craters on the moon.  Hence, we may find everything we need for life support on the moon.

He does mention that parabolic mirrors might be possible in order to focus sunlight on a small point.  This is intriguing to me, if it can be done in such a way as to produce significant amounts of power, it may be beamed back towards the surface as a power source.  The power source could be for spacecraft, or for living on the surface.

An economic basis for lunar colonization begins to take shape.  As a way station outward from Earth that can support itself and finance the continuation of the outward expansion.

He finishes the chapter with a discussion of Tsiokovsky.  He was looking to see if anyone had already written along the lines he was thinking, and so there was this Russian who did.

The High Frontier, Chapter III

I thought that I had read only the first chapter when I wrote that last post.  It actually covered two chapters.

The third chapter is titled "The Planetary Hangup".  O'Neill begins to list the shortfalls of colonizing other planetary bodies.  The lack of atmosphere of the moon and Mars, the extraordinary heat of Venus, their common deep gravity wells, and the lack of territory.

He lists the advantages of space: easy transit, unlimited energy source from the sun, and practically unlimited living space and resources.

Note: I am interested in the nuts and bolts on his proposal on how to do this.  He is getting there.

Daily Plan, 8/11

An idea that I had a few months ago, to blog according to a plan for that day, has reoccurred to me.  After reading through the first chapter of The High Frontier, I have decided to blog this book today.  That will be the Daily Plan, since nothing else seems to be interesting to me today.

The book is the original book, which means that it is a bit outdated, having been written in 1976.  Nevertheless, it is an interesting read, particularly in comparison with events that are transpiring this very day.  By the way, it was written just a few years after the last man walked on the moon.  We were experiencing an Energy Crisis, a fear of overpopulation, and the beginnings of the concern about global warming.  There was talk about creating a static society, one which does not permit economic growth, in order to deal with a decreasing bounty of resources available.  The solution, of colonizing space as a way to relieve these problems, is thus easily seen within that context.

That does it for chapter one.  I will post from time to time today, as I go through the book.  Keep tuned.

Morning Summary, 8/11

Good morning.

You know, each day is different.  Maybe not so much for you, but for me.  I wake up, and it seems that something is dominating my thoughts, and it is different every day.  What is it this time?  Nothing!  I look around the usual places on the net, and I find nothing that I want to write about.  Nothing inspires me.

So, I won't be writing much until this changes.  One thing that did happen is one of my books arrived.  It is about O'Neill colonies in space.  If I find anything there I like, I may post about it.

Be good out there.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Beatles- A Day in the Life

(Lennon/McCartney)

I read the news today oh boy
About a lucky man who made the grave
And though the news was rather sad
Well I just had to laugh
I saw the photograph
He blew his mind out in a car
He didn't notice that the lights had changed
A crowd of people stood and stared
They'd seen his face before
Nobody was really sure
If he was from the House of Lords.

I saw a film today oh boy
The English Army had just won the war
A crowd of people turned away
but I just had to look
Having read the book
I'd love to turn you on

Woke up, fell out of bed,
Dragged a comb across my head
Found my way downstairs and drank a cup,
And looking up I noticed I was late.
Found my coat and grabbed my hat
Made the bus in second splat
Found my way upstairs and had a smoke,
and Somebody spoke and I went into a dream

I read the news today oh boy
Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire
And though the holes were rather small
They had to count them all
Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall.
I'd love to turn you on
[end]

Come to think of it, they have to 'count them all' in DC too.

That's all for today. Thanks for coming by, and have a great evening.


Physorg.com: E. coli metabolism reversed for speedy production of fuels, chemicals

Rice University engineering researchers Ramon Gonzalez (left) and Clementina Dellomonaco reversed one of the most efficient of all metabolic pathways -- the beta oxidation cycle -- to engineer bacteria that make biofuels at a breakneck pace.

  • Gonzalez's laboratory is in a race with hundreds of labs around the world to find green methods for producing chemicals like butanol
  • "We call these 'drop-in' fuels and chemicals, because their structure and properties are very similar, sometimes identical, to petroleum-based products," he said.
  • In the Nature study, Gonzalez's team reversed the beta oxidation cycle by selectively manipulating about a dozen genes in the bacteria Escherichia coli.
 I saw this story referenced by Rand Simberg's blog.   I don't like to be negative, but has anybody considered what might happen if this gets into the environment?  I mean, this stuff gets inside living organisms, it could be all she wrote.  Bad stuff.

John Boehner and Mitch McConnell's super committee picks

via Politico
  • Speaker John Boehner has appointed Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.), Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) as the House GOP members of the panel.
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also announced Wednesday the Senate Republican members: Jon Kyl of Arizona, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Rob Portman of Ohio.
  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced the Senate Democratic members of the committee: Patty Murray of Washington, John Kerry of Massachusetts and Max Baucus of Montana.
  • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has yet to name the House Democratic members of the committee, but her announcement is expected soon. 

For a clue for who Pelosi will nominate, read this:
         Pelosi: My Deficit Committee Members Will Oppose All Entitlement Benefit Cuts

If she is as good as her word, there will be at least 3 solid votes against entitlement cuts.   This means that somebody in the Senate on each side is the ones to watch for any sort of compromise on taxes and spending cuts.

CBS: Scientists: Potential Mars water find a "big deal"

  • "Scientists not involved with the project agree that the discovery could be big." 
  •   MIT scientist Christopher Carr, who is building an instrument that could detect DNA and RNA on Mars, if they exist 
  • "Yeah it's a big deal," said Robert Zubrin, president and founder of the Mars Society. "The idea that there's liquid water on Mars today at the surface means that there could be life on Mars today at the surface." (FAQ: What the Possibility of Water on Mars Means)
     
Well, it is all fine and good, but why, outside of science, would anybody go there?  There has to be an economic motivation, or its Apollo all over again.

White metals missing gold rally

via Kitco.com

  • demand insatiable for gold right now
  • who's buying all the gold?
  • what about other metals?
  • what about platinum?
  • fear hits industrials, like the white metals
I think that white metals at some point will seem "cheap", and then buyers will emerge

Behind the scenes at the filming of "The Arroyo"

I've made some video before. Now, I'm a "citizen-producer" for the production of videos. You can too. Make the films you'd like, instead of films that Hollywood wants you see.

Warning! If you have fear of being buried alive, don't watch this video!


Could it be another way of saying that their videos are dying out there? Nah!

Will "Cold Fusion" and Hot Fusion join forces?

Really Cheap, Really Clean Electricity from Boron | tblakeslee

  • E=MC² tells us that one ounce of matter could be converted to seventy million dollars worth of electricity!
  • Boron fusion produces only safe, non-radioactive helium as a product. 
  • The plasma created by a simple DPF device creates its own swirling magnetic field as it collapses 
  • By copying nature instead of fighting it, we can get the energy we need, easily. 
  •   LPP has spent only $3 million so far. 
  • Finally, their test machine is reaching temperatures needed for the boron reaction.
  • There is evidence that the excess heat produced in cold fusion experiments comes from microscopic plasmoids that form inside the metal matrix. E. H. Lewis photographed the melted tracks they made in the metal residue of successful cold fusion experiments.
  • [emphasis added]
  •   The plasmoids seem to form in clusters in the metal lattice that may be created by bose-einstein condensation. [see my related posts]
  • In October, Andre Rossi has promised to deliver its first commercial megawatt thermal plant to Ampenergo, a spinoff of Leonardo Technologies Inc, that will market the E-Cat. Daily updates on the Rossi blog claim that everything is built and on track for delivery as scheduled. Using nano-powdered nickel and hydrogen fuel, his approach to generating heat is amazingly simple. Let’s hope that he ships and let’s hope that LPPs boron fusion test works. We badly need them both!
 Well, could it be?  It seems to sound that way.  The thought occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, the two can join.  A BEC in a DPF plasmoid?  Is it even remotely possible?

The article doesn't say that.  I'm just speculating.

Update:

Thanks to E-Cat News for linking to (actually putting it up on their page) this post.  I appreciate it guys!  I'm flattered.

    Who Framed Roger Rabbit? - video series on YouTube

    I put this up because it reminded me of something which I learned a long time ago. In tough times, it helps to laugh. This happens to be Roger Rabbit's philosophy, which is also repeated on this blog: "If you can't take a joke, you shouldn't be living".


    Who Framed Roger Rabbit part 5

    Who Framed Roger Rabbit part 6

    Polar Bear Scientist Faces New Questions

    via NPR!
    "They asked whether there was a quid pro quo or whether there was some connection between the University of Alberta professor providing some sort of peer review on the polar bear paper and his getting the award of the contract,"



    Wang: Invisibility cloaking for the whole spectrum

    via Next Big Future

    In this paper, we give an example of a device that achieves complete electromagnetic cloaking—not just `carpet cloaking' 

    This could be a big deal.

    At first, I thought to make a joke out of it, but that sentence that I highlighted above makes this potentially very significant, should it hold up.   This could make it invisible to radar as well, you see.

    Holy invisible man, Batman!



    USA Today: Biologists grow replacement sphincters in mice

    Science has produced lots of amazing things -- the hydrogen bomb, gene sequencing -- and now, an artificial mouse sphincter grown from human cells.

    Now, if they can only grow some replacements in Congress.  

    Independent E-cat News: Andrea Rossi – The Trillion Dollar Man

    Yesterday we got a hint of the backroom turmoil behind the brief comments we read on Rossi’s blog and elsewhere.

    Some folks like the drama. I'd just as soon get the thing demonstrated in the most unambiguous way possible. The rest of this stuff holds little interest for me. So, why link it? To make that point, I guess.

    AFP: Peru researchers make rare ancient insect find

    LIMA — Researchers in Peru said Tuesday they have discovered the remains of ancient insects and sunflower seeds trapped inside amber dating from the Miocene epoch, some 23 million years ago.

    Kinda reminds you of Jurassic Park, doesn't it?  Maybe somebody will get the idea to get the DNA and make some dinosaurs and open a park.



    Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    Johnny Nash - I Can See Clearly Now

    The news has been rough lately. Maybe something a little upbeat this time?

    Thanks for coming by and have a great evening.


    Bus. Insider: FED Extends Super-Low Rates Until 2013, May Use More Tools, 3 Members Dissent

    Here are the four key ideas.
    1. There will be no rate hikes until mid-2013
    2. The Fed says downside risks to the economy have grown.
    3. The Fed is prepared to use additional tools if warranted
    4. Three Fed members -- Kocherklakota, Fisher, and Plosser -- have dissented from the FOMC decision. 
    [emphasis added]

    What additional tools?  QE3?  This statement may explain the market's reaction today.  The market is totally addicted to the easy money.   Now that Obama has his money, and Bernanke has stated that he'll drop more money from his helicopter, if needed, the market rushes to buy more stock.  It makes sense to me! /sarc

    Extreme volatility today in the markets

    This is a day that will give you ulcers, if you were trying to trade this.  The Dow was way up, then came back down, then went back up again.  Gold started way up, came way down, and is now trading in the lower end of its trading range, but still a good day.

    This is not something that I could predict even if I studied it for a million years.

    In case anybody is wondering, which probably is not the case, I did not trade this market today.  But watching it may make me look for some Tums.

    An Acceleration in Gold has Begun

    by Jordan Roy-Byrne and  Kitco

    That's the source for this chart, which I reproduce (with slight alterations) below:

    Inverse head and shoulders develops in 2008-2009, breakout in late 2009 @ $1000 oz.

    The head and shoulders chart is a well known bearish chart pattern. Since this one is inverted, it should come to nobody's surprise that it is bullish. But many were denying this and still are. Just goes to show you how people can see and still not understand.

    If you look at this chart long enough, you might notice something else.  As in 2009, there was a breakout of the $1250 ish oz resistance in late 2010, a year later.  I even wrote about it in one of my early posts.  This time though, there was no real pullback as the price just continues to keep going up.  The market isn't waiting until the fall to move up, it is moving right now.

    The article mentions an acceleration:
    Sentiment has become more bullish but that is only a reflection of an acceleration in a raging bull market. 

    Inspirations for this blog

    1. Mining The Sky:  as soon as I came across this, my posts became more regular.  It did turn on a light in the old noggin.  I would say that it was the inspiration that got me moving.
    2. Star Trek TNG's First Contact:  there was a scene in which made me realize that if we did have the abilities such as- traveling faster than light, teleportation, putting into material form whatever we wish, such as an evening meal -we no longer would have any concept of wealth.  Moreover, we would not have any concept of scarcity, in the sense that we have now.  Which would make conflicts less likely, since conflict tends to come down to arguments over limited resources.
    3. Bussard's Polywell:  This technology, should it be successful, would make energy cheap and plentiful.  This meshes well with #2 above.  In addition to the Polywell, any other device that would master energy so as to have the same effect.  There are many which I have covered here in the last several months.
    4. The Space Show: I first learned about the Space Show from researching the Polywell.  Dr. Bussard called the Space Show and that is when I first heard about the show.  It so happens that I understand what Dr. Livingston is trying to do, or I think I understand.  Anyway, it is repeated on each broadcast, so you can hear what his vision is for yourself from the links above.
    5. The Energy Problem: This is something that I've been following since 2004.  At that time, I had the original Boots and Oil blog, and I came across some information at that time that convinced me that we have a definite energy problem in this country.  This is what led to me start looking into ways that this problem might be solved.  That is how I found out about the Polywell, mentioned in #3. 
    6. The movie JFK :  This pretty much turned me against the Democrat party.  Up until that time, I'd say I was a independent moderate.  The movie was an absolute disgrace, and what really offended me was how political figures at that time were trying to exploit it.  I guess you can say it boils down to this: a total disregard for truth and honor.
    7. Global Warming:  This probably goes with #6.  Lack of respect for truth.  I suspect that it has been turned into a religion for many, and has not that much to do with science.  But this blog isn't about debunking AGW.  That argument would become meaningless if aneutronic fusion becomes feasible.  Which is another curious thing that I've observed about those who believe in this theory.  Of all the technologies that might work to solve the problem that they believe exists, this is the one solution that would cost the least and have the greatest probability of success.  Yet they aren't very interested.

    There could be many more that I could mention, but these are the main ones.

      Chris Matthews Unloads on Obama; President Should Have Said 'Tax the Freaking Rich!'

      by Scott Whitlock of NewsBusters
       
      "Now, I want you to do your part and tax the freakin' rich! Now, are you going to do it or not?'  
       
      It seems to me that he wanted to get his tax increases, but he failed.  What does Matthews want?  Does he want Obama to put a horse head in Boehner's bed?

      Doorbell

      via Powerline blog

      Actually, the kid is smarter than these clowns in DC.


      QE3, ahoy!

      via Free Republic

      Market distrust of policymakers grows   (ft.com video)

      Usually, the Fed doesn't do anything in August, but they may not get a grace period this year, she says.

      Wang: John Slough fusion space propulsion

      Via Next Big Future

      Just spent the last hour and a half slogging through this series of posts on this space propulsion system.  It is new to me.  Chalk it up to yet another fusion strategy that is out there. There are two others of the hot fusion type which are not what you would call conventional.  Also, this one does not appear to be aneutronic, meaning that it will be radioactive to at least some extent.

      Also, it doesn't appear to have the goal of being net energy, which means it needs an external power source. This could be solar or nuclear.  Yes, nuclear.

      The Department of Defense and NASA has funded this one.  It also appears that Brian Wang seems to think well of it, but not everybody is happy.  That shouldn't be a surprise.  If there is one thing that you can count on, for anything new, there are going to be skeptics and critics.

      Guerrera: Why This Crisis Differs From the 2008 Version

      via WSJ online

      • "The sense of déjà vu is almost sickening."
      • But market turbulence alone isn't enough to prove that history repeats itself.
      • There are three fundamental differences between the financial crisis of three years ago and today's events.
      • The differences are origin of crisis, debt v liquidity,  and the way to deal with it will have to be different this time. 
      I can't say that I agree.  Usually, the simplest explanation is the one most likely to be correct.  The simplest explanation is that the same causes are giving the same effects.  The government is screwing up and has been all along for many, many years now.  Time to fix it.

      Divergence in the markets, what does it mean?



      Definition of DIVERGE
      intransitive verb
      1a : to move or extend in different directions from a common point : draw apart 
        b : to become or be different in character or form : differ in opinion
       2: to turn aside from a path or course : deviate
       3: to be mathematically divergent


      Since this economic crisis began, which is now going on three years, there has been two conflicting schools of thought.  One of the schools said that we were experiencing a deflationary depression scenario; the other, a stagflationary or inflationary depression.   Hence, at times, we get divergent trends in the markets, which reflect the conflicting theories.  At times, stocks and bonds are traded in such a way as to support one point of view, whereas at other times, gold and precious metals are traded which support the other.

      However, these divergent trends are not always obvious.  At the very beginning, in 2008, the trends were in synch briefly, with gold falling precipitously along with stocks.  But gold regained its footing and resumed its uptrend, which began originally in 2001.   From that point on, and until the bottom was reached, and stocks began to rally, the divergence disappeared.  Subsequently, stocks rallied, alongside with gold.  The markets seemed to be saying, the deflationary depression scenario was out of the picture, now the markets appeared to be in sych again.  

      But talk continued about gold being in a bubble.  Its rally was seen to be invalid.  But there were others who thought that stocks and bonds were in a bubble, with the fundamentals unfavorable to the bullish case.  Both cannot be right at the same time.  One or the other must yield to reality.  But there is no consensus on what the reality actually is.

      We now have divergent trends again, which suggest that the situation is about to change.  For we cannot have stocks and bonds trading the bearish scenario on the prospect of deflationary depression, while at the same time, gold seems to be going vertical, suggesting dollar collapse.   If the dollar were in danger of collapse, people should be getting out of bonds in a hurry.  For each dollar would have less purchasing power.

      From appearances, the two outliers for the moment at least, appears to be gold and bonds.  Gold as mentioned, appears to be going parabolic.   Bonds are at historic low yields.  By definition, a parabolic condition is unstable.  It must yield eventually.  But what about bonds?

      Why should anyone purchase bonds when there is a negative interest rate?  This doesn't make sense, but it might if governments were doing it.  What governments?  Is the USA doing it again?  Doubtful, but it would make a lot of sense if foreign governments did it.  They would want to support the dollar in order to protect their markets here.  A disastrous fall in the dollar would cause the prices for their exports to the USA to become too expensive for American consumers.  That would hurt exporters badly.

      Stocks have taken a beating, but there isn't any long term trend in effect.  Since 2000, the market has topped out.  It may yet retest the 2009 lows, but for the moment, it is within all time ranges.  Stocks do not fall into this divergence, yet. 

      But something has to give.  Is there inflation, or not?  Is the dollar secure, or is it about to fall precipitously?  Will the government address the debt situation convincingly?  All these questions cannot be answered yet.  Hence, the conflicting signals.  It will take awhile for this to settle out.  In the meantime, the divergences most likely will continue. 

      GoldMoneyNews: Jim Sinclair interviewed by James Turk


      The critical point of 1764 has been breached. "Difficult and serious situation."

      Gold up 50 (again)

      Good morning.  Big news in the gold market and the markets in general.

      The price just went over 1700 yesterday.  It is now near 1770!  It touched 1780 earlier.  I am flabbergasted.  Yes, it did seem inevitable that gold would take off at some point, but when it finally does happen, it is still shocking to see.

      Monday, August 8, 2011

      Kotkin: Lost Angeles, The City of Angels goes to hell.


      via City Journal

      A post about how the mighty city has fallen upon hard times.

      I can remember when there was a time when LA was on its way to becoming the biggest city in America, surpassing New York.  Evidently, that has changed.

      Well, that's all for today.  Thanks for coming by, and have a great evening.


      Santelli: If it wasn’t for the Tea Party we’d be rated BBB

      via The Right Scoop

      "Listen to the end to hear his great analogy why we have a spending problem:" 
      This guy is passionate.  I hear he gave a speech like this in 2009.  I didn't see it.  Too bad.  He looks like a guy who actually knows what he's talking about, which is a rarity in the media these days.

      Science: Earth's Dirty Secret: Our Magnetic Field Traps Antimatter

      by Jason Mick (Blog) 
        The respectively bountiful supply in orbit could be, in theory, harvested at a sustainable rate. The harvested particles could be used for a variety of purposes.  

      Here's another post about the antimatter story, which I wrote about earlier today.   A point I neglected to mention was that it isn't necessarily about mining antimatter.  It seems somewhat akin to "farming" it.  You see, it isn't making it, as in a particle accelerator.  Rather, it is using cosmic rays to make them and then trap them before they can escape.


      Rubin: Obama’s horrifyingly bad speech

      via Washington Post

      I linked it here, but took down the link immediately.  He is just saying the same old things.
      Obama had all weekend and the best he could come up with was a reiteration of his plea for a “balanced” approach to deficit control.
      Of course.  The left is totally committed to higher tax rates.  It isn't about increasing revenues, it's about "fairness".
       

      White House. gov, President's presser


      Update:

      Post taken down subsequent to Presidential statement just recently concluded.

      The video player will play automatically which is not what I want.

      The Daily Caller: Michael Moore says Obama should arrest S&P CEO

      By Jamie Weinstein
       These criminals brought down the economy in 2008& now they will do it again,” Moore profoundly tweeted Monday.

      Oops!  I thought it was Bush's fault!   No, it's the Tea Party's fault!  It's Reagan's fault!  It's Hoover's fault!

      Of course it is somebody's fault.  Just as likely though, the one's to blame will go unpunished.  The ones with the biggest mouths are the ones that get listened to.
       

      Yahoo Breakout: U.S. Downgrade Slams Stocks Worldwide

      • The market sets rates, not S&P.
      • The nation is absurdly debt-laden and shows absolutely no signs of stopping.
      • The problem for financial markets is less the spending itself and more the fact that the spending isn't actually stimulative at all.
      • What I'm saying is the downgrade was both deserved and anticipated
      • It's a butt-kicking our country richly deserves.
      Our country doesn't deserve it.  It is this failure of leadership that needs the butt kicking.  They won't listen to the public and they do only what is good for themselves.  They should be forced into retirement.

      Independent E-cat News: Divorce said to be not scientific, but financial

      Daniele Passerini, on his 22passi blog, has received a response from Professor Stremmenos (Defkalion Board Member, physicist and conduit to the Greek government) following the Defkalion/Rossi split. For me, the important points are his continued confidence in the technology and confirmation of eCat tests that were largely self-sustained. There is little chance that a physicist working closely on such a device would mistake this observation. He also agrees with Andrea Rossi that the dissagreement is largely financial.

      Also:
      Even so, a picture slowly emerges and with luck we will soon be able to put the pieces together to construct a narrative that makes sense.

      As far as I know, the show goes on.
       

      Draper Laboratory: Extraction of Antiparticles Concentrated in Planetary Magnetic Fields

      Instapundit has a link to the antimatter story that NBF covered last week.  This reminds me that I wanted to post something else about it.

      So, I pulled up the pdf that the BBC story references.  Here is a pic I copied from the file, an antimatter collector.
      Ultimately, these natural fluxes can be concentrated and the antiparticles trapped
      for use in space propulsion and/or other innovative applications.

      bullet notes
      • high energy galactic cosmic rays (GCR) bombard the upper atmosphere of
        planets and material in the interstellar medium to naturally generate antiparticles through pair production
      • There are four fundamental processes that can cause antiprotons to be concentrated in or around planetary magnetic fields. They are:
      1. Cosmic Ray Albedo Antineutron Decay (CRANbarD)
      2.  Direct pair production and trapping of antiprotons in the exosphere
      3. Transient GCR focusing
      4. Artificial augmentation
      • A natural antiproton radiation belt can be generated in a manner analogous to the traditional Van Allen radiation belts which surround the Earth.
      • The magnetic field of the planet forms a bottle to stably hold the protons and electrons from the decay process.
      • At radiation belt altitudes, this loss rate is extremely slow enabling a large supply of generated antiprotons to be built up relative to the source flux.
      • Based on this and the subtraction of the solar proton contribution, the antiproton content of the Earth’s magnetosphere from this effect is estimated to be between 0.15 and 15 nanograms.
      • A 100 kWe generator would produce approximately 10 micrograms per year. Scaling this to a 1 GWe power source would enable nearly 100 milligrams of antiprotons to be produced per year. This level of antiproton generation is sufficient to enable the first interstellar missions to nearby stars. 

      Inasmuch as I suggested using an energy beam to power a spacecraft, such as VASIMR, there is another possible use for this antimatter- as an energy source employed in a like manner.

      Why?  Well, antimatter is dangerous.  It would be better to not carry it onboard a spacecraft for a long period of time.  Things go wrong.  Why not use it, then, as a concentrated power source to move a spacecraft that way, instead of inducing explosions and so forth?

      Also, how do you get 1 GWe into space?  You could beam the power up from the moon, then use that power to capture the antimatter, which will amplify the power enormously.

        Durden: Goldman Hikes Its 12 Month Gold Price Target From $1,735 To $1,830

        via Zero Hedge

        • The first of many gold price upgrades is here, as Goldman's David Greely finally catches on to what has been all too obvious to anyone with a frontal lobe
        • Gold prices rise to record high as 10-year US TIPS yields plunge to a record low
        • Further, the recent escalation of sovereign debt concerns suggests that the near-term risk to our new forecast is skewed to the upside, and we continue to recommend long trading positions in gold.
        I would suggest that everyone that the government has been doing has been wrong.   Instead of greater spending, there should be less.  Instead of bailouts, there should have been bankruptcies.  Instead of quantitative easing, there should have been higher interest rates.  The definition of insanity says that you keep doing the same things again and again, while expecting a different result.  The left's only answer to our current situation is to keep spending more!  Keep doing the same old thing because we aren't doing enough of it, they say.  If this isn't insanity, there is no such thing.

        Newsletter - Edition 274 - 07 August 2011 By Christopher Laird

        Good morning. I'm leading off with Chris' newsletter today. It is a subscription based service that you can access through the products page, in case you're interested.

        Maybe you ought to be. Things are off to a rocky start this morning. The first thing I looked at was gold prices- now over $1700 the ounce. It is up an amazing 40 bucks plus. No doubt because of the downgrade over the weekend. Today may be a pretty bumpy ride in the markets. Hold on to your seats.

        Anyway, here's the outline of Chris' newsletter.


        Markets crash this week
        Crazy interday volatility hanging on every headline.
        A theoretical problem I have been working on with markets – it has a definite end
        Everyone more or less on the same level technically on the internet
        Money and banks in a final world economy
        Globalists bleeding jobs from West
        20 to 40 pct. of US college grads cannot find jobs at all!
        Black horse
        Christian Newsletter, Future-Insight

        Sunday, August 7, 2011

        Wolfman Jack

        I'll close the days posts with a portion of American Graffiti, where Curt is enlisting the support of the Wolfman in helping him find the blonde in the white T-bird.

        Thanks for coming by and have a great evening.


        Interesting site

        I found this website in connection with a bit of googling on the subject of mineral composition of the moon.

        Here's a table of elements derived from lunar samples brought back by the Russian and American space missions.

        What is on the moon, you asked?  Not exactly cheese.  (Numeric measurements are parts per million)

        Space-based power

        This question arose in connection with a recent post on the NextBigFuture blog which discussion thorium energy proposition advocated by Kirk Sorensen.

        It seems that there's a lot of thorium on the moon, but beaming it back to Earth is a problem.
        1. It costs a lot to install the equipment on the Moon.
        2. The distance between the Earth and the Moon is such that losses will occur, so how much power actually arrives on Earth?
        3. The value of power delivered at wholesale prices is only about 40 bucks per megawatt hour.  It isn't all that much economic value, which is what you would want in order to finance an expensive project on the Moon.
        Those are the problems that I can think of, perhaps that is only scratching the surface.

        No, what we want to do is to replace costly stuff with less costly stuff.  This gives us an advantage that we wouldn't have otherwise.  How to do that on the Moon?

        Since there is so much thorium on the Moon, and it could produce quite a bit of energy, how can we use this energy?  Especially since getting it all the way back to the ground would entail losses and wouldn't be any cheaper, and probably be more expensive than what is already available.  Here's is a proposition: beam the energy to a spacecraft which uses it for propulsion.  Why would this be an advantage?
        1. Beamed power means that you don't have to carry propellant.  It reduces mass penalties.  The cost per pound to get stuff into orbit is still pretty high.
        2. It would facilitate the use of electric propulsion devices, such as VASIMR, which use only small amounts of propellant, further decreasing the mass penalty, thus saving even more money.
        3. The cost of the lunar produced energy has to be less than what it costs to beam energy from the ground.  Even if lunar produced energy is more expensive than ground based energy, it must be cheaper to get it where you need it, since there is no atmosphere on the Moon.  This cuts losses, thus saving money. 
        Therefore, you can mine thorium on the Moon in order to produce energy that can be beamed to spacecraft traveling to and from the Earth.  This will reduce the costs of traveling between the Earth and Moon and help facilitate commerce between a lunar colony and the Earth.

        Sheppard: Cokie Roberts on Downgrade: 'The Problem That We Have Here is the Constitution'

        via NewsBusters

        •  In fact, the reason they like France and Great Britain is because they’re parliamentary systems where the majority gets what it wants no matter what.[ comment: Yeah, so did Nazi Germany.  This is a Republic, not a Democracy]
        •  the problem that we have here is the Constitution of the United States of America which actually does require people to come together from different perspectives whether it's divided government or not.[ emphasis mine: comment:  It is rather telling that the problem is the Constitution]
        • William Niskanen, chairman of the libertarian Cato Institute, notes that in the past 50 years, "government spending has increased an average of only 1.73 percent annually during periods of divided government. This number more than triples, to 5.26 percent, for periods of unified government."
        The main quibble that I have with divided government is that no unified program can be implemented.  That is what we need right now.  This is very hard to do with a divided government.  Sometimes there are big majorities in the Congress with a President in the same party.  When that happens, they have a window of opportunity to do something with that power.  The Democrats decided to put all their eggs in the health care basket.  They didn't seem to care about getting the deficit down.  As a matter of fact, given the rhetoric employed by Krugman and others, the deficit is nothing to worry about - even now.

        Anyhow, here is the video with Cokie Roberts

        Keeping this in perspective

        If there is any doubt whatsoever about what the Democrats really want, here is Obama on record during the 2008 campaign. It's all about "fairness". It isn't about raising revenues, it's about raising rates.  The two terms are not synonymous.


        Obama: Raise Taxes, Capital Gains - "For Purposes of Fairness"
        Charlie Gibson points out that revenues from capital gains taxes increase when rates go down, and they decrease when rates go up, but Obama insists on raising them anyway on the basis of fairness.




        He is denying history. Listen again.

        Kuhner: Tea Party ‘terrorists’? The ruling class comes unglued

        via World Tribune.com bullet quotes

        • Mr. Biden joined several Democrats in accusing conservative House Republicans of behaving like “terrorists.”
        • Mr. Biden claims he never said them. For the record: I don’t believe Mr. Biden.
        • Contrast this to the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Arizona Democrat, which triggered a huge — and largely manufactured — debate about the devastating effects of incendiary rhetoric.
        • Mr. Obama even urged a new “national discourse” based on “civility.” That was then; this is now.
        • The much-touted spending cuts are meager and mostly illusory.  Instead of celebrating, progressives are fuming. Why? [comment:  see earlier post today, it is all about raising taxes, much higher tax rates]
        They are shaping the battle space for the commission which is to consider how to get the next round of deficit reduction.  Keep in mind that the Bush tax cuts are already due to expire in 2013.  These do not count as deficit reduction.  Any new tax increases will come in on top of that.

        Update:

        It has been said that great minds think alike.   Well, here you are.

        But his came first.   Sigh.

        Finkelstein: ABC Financial Expert Slapping S&P As 'Suspect' Is Undisclosed Obama Fundraiser

        via News Busters

        • Chicagoan Hobson in fact is an Obama partisan.
        • following two statements contain weasel words "a lot", "some"
        • a question a lot of people are asking
        • some now question that agency's credibility 
        • MELLODY HOBSON: Now they come in, and they flex. As if they've been, you know, this bastion of, of correctness, when they've completely been wrong. So now, everything that they do is suspect, in my view. 

        Buffett: S&P Downgrade ‘Doesn’t Make Sense’

        via Wall Street Pit

        • Buffett told me tonight that Berkshire Hathaway’s T-bill exposure is significant.
        • “Remember, this is the same group that downgraded Berkshire.”
        • When asked whether he was worried about market gyrations Monday, Buffett said, “No.” 
        Poster on Free Republic says that Buffett owns Moody's.  I guess we'll see tomorrow what's what.

        Politco: Dean: What's the tea party smoking?

        Probably not what you were smoking, Mr. Dean, when you did this:

        Durden: S&P Explains Why The "$2 Trillion Error" Is Irrelevant

        via Zero Hedge
        • Basically, as S&P says, "Our ratings are determined primarily using a 3-5 year time horizon.
        • In essence all S&P did was point out what Zero Hedge and others have been saying: that a "deficit cutting" plan which is massively back end loaded and has about $20 billion in cuts over the next year is absolutely without credit or merit.
        • Although prepare for an all out onslaught by the Treasury on S&P as a scapegoat
        • The primary focus remained on the current level of debt, the trajectory of debt as a share of the economy, and the lack of apparent willingness of elected officials as a group to deal with the U.S. medium term fiscal outlook. None of these key factors was meaningfully affected by the assumption revisions to the assumed growth of discretionary outlays and thus had no impact on the rating decision.
        What this ought to tell anyone is that there wasn't going to be a downgrade if the debt ceiling wasn't raised. The debt ceiling was raised and the downgrade took place anyway.  The reason why the downgrade took place is explained above.  But that won't stop the scapegoating and the political spin machine from shifting the blame for this failure.

        Parker: Sovereign Debt Crisis About Elderly Entitlements

        via Parapundit
        • Those entitlements programs mentioned by Samuelson take up over half of US federal spending before the coming doubling of the number of people over age 65.
        • All that debt and unfunded entitlements would become a smaller and more manageable problem if the US economy could grow rapidly.
        • both sides of the partisan divide need to give up more than even their opponents demand
        • Ezra Klein.. wants that spending for redistribution, not economic efficacy.. He ought to say so.
        • Both resource limitations and demographic changes are becoming big weights on economic growth.
        • Since we can't afford our lifestyles and our current size of government we need to find ways to do more with less.
        Resource limitations can be overcome, but not with the current leadership.  Entitlement programs can be adjusted for realities such as longer lifespans, but not with the current leadership.  We can afford our current lifestyles, but not with our current size of government.  To change that, you have to change the current leadership.

        Cold Fusion Now: Response from the Secretary of Energy

        Cold Fusion Now recently sent a second letter to the Department of Energy requesting remedy to the lack of funding for LENR research.

        Key quote from the response letter
        “However, it is clear the topic of low energy nuclear reactions remains highly speculative and that the purported mechanism has not yet been validated by the physics community as a reality.”

        Well, it all goes back to the unambiguous test that I referred to.  There is a way to test a "black box", such as what Rossi has.  He doesn't have to give up his secrets.  There's a way, so the question is, will he do it?  It's all up to Rossi to prove what he has.  It is not up to anybody to believe in it.
         

        Independent E-cat News: Defkalion Rossi Divorce

        A recent rumour has been doing the rounds implying that the agreement between Andrea Rossi and Defkalion has been terminated. This has now been confirmed by AR on his blog.

        From the blog
        License and Technology Transfer Agreement between the two companies has been recently terminated 

        Rossi's response to what comes next:
        Andrea Rossi
        August 7th, 2011 at 9:00 AM

        Dear Sterling:
        I prefer that the reasons will be cleared by a judge by a verdict. Facts, not chatters, as usual with me. Our attorneys have filed a suit.
        I confirm that our 1 MW plant will be put in operation in the USA, after an agreement we made last week with one of the most important entities of the USA; the tests will be made by the highest level scientists you can think of. I cannot give the names, until after the test. To the test will attend the highest level scientific journalists I know.
        Thank you for your kind attention,
        A.R. 

        The show is not off, according to Rossi.  The demo scheduled for October will take place in the USA.

        Political News Stories via Memeorandum

        Graeme Zeilinski, Communications Director for the Wisconsin Democratic Party... was a focus of a post here last month when he tweeted that people should celebrate the 45th anniversay of Medicare by “punching a Republican.” by Jacobson: Wisconsin Dem Spokesman Threatens Reporter

         Liberals are growing frustrated with President Obama’s soft response to the Tea Party after fractious negotiations over the debt limit led to the loss of nation’s AAA credit rating on Friday. by Bolton Obama's soft response to Tea Party draws liberal criticism

         But with his deep-seated aversion to conflict and his profound failure to understand bully dynamics — in which conciliation is always the wrong course of action, because bullies perceive it as weakness and just punch harder the next time — he has broken that arc and has likely bent it backward for at least a generation. by Drew Westen What Happened to Obama?

        Liberals are angry.  But what did they give up?  In the current budget, about 25 billion in spending.  No, what they are angry about is that Obama did not give them confiscatory taxes.  Read about that in Krugman's book, which I reviewed on this blog.  Krugman admired the 90% top marginal rate that was in effect since FDR's time.  Subsequent cuts brought it back to where it is now.  That's what they are angry about.  It needs to return, according to their point of view.  They want a more belligerent response from their leaders, and if they don't get it, there may be hell to pay.

        Synergy and Time Management

        Now linking through the blog to Facebook and Twitter. Simultaneous posting on three sites, aiming for synergy and time efficiency.

        This is an experimental post. Just checking it out and seeing if it works as I anticipate. If not, I will take it down.

        Update:

        The idea I had doesn't work, but I won't delete the link from Facebook to Twitter. The posts that I decide to send to Facebook will have to be sent to Twitter manually. Not exactly what I had in mind, but I can do a summary post of related posts and forward that to Twitter.