Saturday, September 10, 2011

One black hole devours another

How can one thing called a "hole" stuff something inside of itself? I think of holes as leading to a bottom of some kind where it comes to an end. Or, it leads to something else or somewhere else.

But a black hole seems to have no end, nor any beginning. If light cannot escape it, where does it lead to? It just seems to exist- somehow.

For Obama, likely more lucky than good

He’s No Truman . . . | The Weekly Standard

No bias? Fat chance

PBS alters transcript to hide Obama gaffe

The One They Have Been Waiting For?

Palin knew Revere better than Obama knew Lincoln

Dionne: Fuhgeddaboudit, already!

WaPo's Dionne: 'Time to Leave 9/11 Behind' as 'A Simple Day of Remembrance'

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Contradictions

of the MSNBC Left

  • The long-running “Lean Forward” marketing campaign features different MSNBC hosts waxing poetic on the glories of government and liberalism. 
  • It’s one of several ads equating American greatness with big infrastructure spending on the scale of the Hoover Dam
  • As the number of interest groups claiming sovereignty over their own little slices of policy multiplies, government’s maneuvering room shrinks.
  • Look, I’m no Keynesian, but there should have been at least an economic sugar rush from the stimulus.
  • Why didn’t we? Because money isn’t the problem, government is.  

Liberalism is like Wimpy in this old Popeye cartoon.  The liberals manage to get money out of us all in order to support their mooching, unproductive ways.

I'll label it as Wimpy Economics.  Wimpy's technique is to finagle a hamburger out of somebody for which he claims that he will gladly pay you back someday.

That's how our liberal government works these days.  They claim that they'll pay off the debts "someday", but you know it will never happen.  Their ideas won't work because of their inherent contradictions.  Just like Maddow extolling the virtues of a dam which would never get built thanks to the contradictions in the same political party that advocates big projects that turn out not to be "shovel ready".

Pushing Jobs Bill, Obama Yells

at Richmond Students - Politics - The Atlantic Wire

So, yelling makes him more effective?  Also, this:
 As Obama urged students to put pressure on Congress to pass the plan he told them, "I want you to call, I want you to e-mail, I want you to Tweet." [ comment:  Why does Obama think that "pressure" is going to make any difference?  Is this supposed to be persuasive or intimidating.  If it is supposed to be intimidating, why should Congress be intimidated?  Is the use of force being implied in some way?]

I don't quite get the attitude.  Do liberals think that they can get their way by being bullies?

Limbaugh Debate Analysis: Can Brian Williams Sleep at Night?

Limbaugh Debate Analysis: Can Brian Williams Sleep at Night?

Folks, I don't know about you, but I do not know why the Reagan library people partnered with NBC. I don't know why it is that our Republican candidates continue to put themselves in these situations where they're gonna be queried by Democrat reporters.

There you go.  Limbaugh points out that the Democrats got to frame the debate in a Republican party debate.  What?!?

Market Volatility Continues

Dow is down 300 at this writing.  Gold was down considerably, but has bounced.  That is intraday, but the last few trading days has seen a lot of volatility there as well.

I just now found this news item, purchases of gold now being restricted in Austria.  Big trouble, I suspect.

Instead of calming the markets, governments seem to be doing the opposite.  That should give you an idea of where to affix the blame.

Yahoo Breakout: Why the Obama Jobs Plan Is a Loser

I watched a little, then tuned it out.  He seemed to be hectoring Congress.  This isn't a dictatorship, at least not yet.  Obama isn't Hitler either.  Let us hope that he isn't.

Ed Morrissey of Hot Air adds:
Which word was missing from Obama’s speech last night?

The word was energy.
If Obama was serious about economic expansion, we’d have heard a serious approach to domestic energy production last night.

That's right.  We need cheap, plentiful energy in order to raise civilization to the next level.  But that won't happen with Obama.

Chris Matthews agrees with Gov. Perry?!

It really is a Ponzi scheme.

Business Insider: Bank of America is Doomed

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Execution question last night

This is a typical liberal response to the question put forth to Perry about executions.  Let's worry about the possibility of an innocent person on death row.  But what about the victims of crime?  If you look at the following statistic,  shouldn't we be worrying more about killers on the streets?
Despite dramatic improvements in DNA analysis and forensic science, police fail to make an arrest in more than one-third of all homicides

It is the government's job to make us safe, not to make convicted felons feel safer.  The government bends over backwards to ensure that the rights of the accused are being upheld.  It is hard to get a conviction, due to all the constraints put upon the criminal justice system.  Now, if the liberals got their way, nobody would ever be executed, no matter how heinous the crime, due to the fear that a mistake might be made.

Why should Gov Perry worry about it? It is not his job.  That's what's wrong with the way liberals think.  They think he should be worrying about that so much that he shouldn't be able to sleep.  If he is going to lose any sleep over anything, it should be the 1/3 of all homicides that don't get solved.  That's what everybody should be worried about.  Not that somebody innocent might get executed because the government might have made a mistake.


James Taranto in the Wall Street Journal discusses why they cheered.  He cites a few comments from the lefties which I want to expand upon
  1. "Any crowd that instantly cheers the execution of 234 individuals is a crowd I want to flee, not join," wrote the excitable Andrew Sullivan. "This is the crowd that believes in torture and executions."  [Comment:  Sullivan is talking about "torture" with respect to the waterboarding of a few of the top Al Qaeda arch terrorists.  I think given the circumstances of who they were and what the information sought for could accomplish, and may well have accomplished, that the waterboarding was not uncalled for, but to the contrary.  Rights are not absolute.  You don't have the right to yell fire in a crowded theater.  Rights have to be balanced against other rights.  The use of the word "torture" by Sullivan here, is meant for its affect, not for its true meaning.  The true meaning of torture is wanton cruelty, which in this case, does not accurately describe the situation.  The affect sought for by Sullivan is one of moral superiority.  Liberals really want you to believe that they are morally superior.  They want others to join them in their affectation.]
  2.  a-Nahisi Coates similarly conflates the orderly administration of justice with wanton violence: "Apparently people were shocked by the applause here. The only thing that shocked me was that they didn't form a rumba line. . . . This is still the country where we took kids to see men lynched, and then posed for photos." [Comment:  Ah, we are supposed to feel guilty about what some people did decades ago.  The effort here should be clear, as I pointed out.  Perry should feel guilty.  But guilty about what?  The orderly administration of justice?  No, about something that happened decades ago which has nothing to do with the situation described.  The question that was asked was an attempt to elicit guilt.  It was manipulative.  It needs a vigorous response.  Not the one the liberals are asking for, but one in which exposes their phony "concern", and their self righteous moral affectations.]

Is Social Security a Ponzi Scheme?

Wikipedia definition of a Ponzi Scheme.

That definition gets mighty close to what the US government is doing right now.  Think about it.

Republican Debate Last Night

Any of these candidates are light years ahead of what we have now.

Thorium Energy Future

India's Thorium Reactor

What nuclear fusion has promised,
but can't realize

Energy from Thorium

  A cubic meter of average Earth's crust has 12 grams of Thorium in it.  That would be enough to power your life at current Western standards for ten to fifteen years. -Kirk Sorensen, Google Tech Talk  
That would mean that you don't need a rich deposit of Thorium in order to have useful amounts of it.  Likewise, if it is a rich deposit, not much ore needs to be mined and processed so that you can get a lot of energy out of it.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pournelle: Jobs and climate View 2011090611

We live in interesting times.

How long, O Catiline, will you abuse our patience? And for how long will that madness of yours mock us? To what end will your unbridled audacity hurl itself? 

Perhaps you can look no further than the lack of sincerity in Obama.  We just had a budget deal, now he is said to want more spending.  Is a deal a deal, or what?

That's all for today.  Thanks for coming by.

About barns

Barns?  What does that have to do with LENR?

Barns is a unit of measurement of area, which is used to expressing the cross sectional area in nucleii and nuclear reactions.  This is relevant is judging the probability of a nuclear reaction, such as the ones calculated yesterday.

It appears that some of the reactions listed may not be likely.  Others may be more likely, like the one for cobalt.  That is summarize as nickel 58 to cobalt 59 to nickel 60.  This would appear to be a good candidate for a reaction sequence, if I am figuring this right.  Here is a periodic table of elements, in which you can find the "barns" for each element and isotopes.  The bigger the barn, the better the chance is that the critter will find its way into it.  ( As a manner of speaking)  You want larger numbers.  The smaller ones would indicate a smaller "barn".

This caught my attention because I got an idea that maybe you could slow down the neutrons and get these type of reaction sequences.  This is done in nuclear reactors with uranium ( or others) , but perhaps not with elements such as nickel ( so far as I know).  Has anyone tried it?  Well, this table implies that yes, it has been tried.  But what I mean is, did anyone try it with the intention to produce energy from it?  Or is it possible to do that?

If so, it is something like Widom Larsen's theory, but that theory requires ultra low momentum neutrons.  There may not be a handy way to get the neutrons to slow down enough for these type of reactions.  But if there was a way, you could have another way of getting the energy that you are looking for.

It seems that in 2004, Boffins at CalTech figured out a way to slow neutrons down to 15 mph.

 Cobalt 60 has been produced by slow neutrons already.  It takes a long time for it to decay.  Looks like it isn't useful for generating energy.  Shucks.

 I'm finding that Widom Larsen can't explain the E-cat.  The beta decays are not likely to yield the energy observed in any meaningful and useful timeframe.  These could take years to decay.  Energy production needs to take place in much shorter periods of time.  All of this is subject to error on my part, since I am not trained for this.  I'm going to think that this isn't a fruitful area of study.  That's my conclusion.

That leaves BECNF or some other theory.  Beta decays won't work.

Geez.  I'm making a mistake.  Okay, let's say it is still possible.

Houston Meat Market Has 1 Of Best Burgers

Want a great burger when you're in Houston? USA Today says this is one of the best.  Can't say that I've tried it, but I won't be.  On a low fat diet.

Video at the link.  No embed, so I can't put it up here.


Drunken elk rescued from Swede's apple tree - The Local

Which reminds me, what would Sarah Palin say?

That video was most unkind to Palin, because she was right about the basics. The hatred though, just flames through it all. Never mind that Obama is said to be proposing another 300 billion stimulus. Again. WTF?

Rocket Scientist! How Humiliating!

He must have been thinking of this

It wasn't this, I suspect

Words mean things

That's what Rush Limbaugh said. Ok, if words mean things, let's get some words well defined:
  1. fusion: 4. Physics A nuclear reaction in which nuclei combine to form more massive nuclei with the simultaneous release of energy.
  2. cold fusion: A hypothetical form of nuclear fusion occurring without the use of extreme temperature or pressure
With these two definitions, let's apply them to the two theories that have been written about on this blog
  1. BECNF
  2. Widom Larsen
Let's start with BECNF.  Is it fusion?  The answer is YES, because
  1. fusion is fulfilled because hydrogen combines with the nickel and 
  2. the energy released is simultaneous.
Is it cold fusion?  YES, because there is no use of extreme temperature nor pressure.  The process by which the fusion takes place is a Bose Einstein condensate which occurs at a non extreme temperature.  Pressure is also non extreme since that is not required for the theoretical (in this case) Bose Einstein condensate to form.

Therefore, BECNF is a cold fusion theory, since it fulfills the requirements of the definition for cold fusion.  But what about Widom Larsen?  Is it fusion?  The answer is NO, because
  1. Fusion is not fulfilled because the hydrogen (proton) becomes a neutron and a nucleus requires at least one proton, a lone neutron is not a nucleus.  Neutrons alone are unstable and beta decay within minutes.
  2. The energy released is a beta decay, which may or not release energy simultaneously, most often NOT
Cold fusion doesn't apply either, because it isn't fusion in the first place.  Therefore, Widom Larsen is not a cold fusion theory.  The proper term is Low Energy Nuclear Reaction, which should distinguish it from cold fusion.  This may be considered only a semantic difference, but words do mean things- just trying to keep it straight.

Which theory applies to the E-cat?  There are many theories, not just these two.  Funny thing, one or more of these theories may be correct because there may be more than one mechanism at work.  As of this writing, I know of no theory that has been demonstrated to be true.  In fact, there isn't complete agreement that there is a phenomenon that needs to be described by a theory.  People seem to be arguing about whether or not any energy is being formed at all.  My impression is that there's something going on, but nothing has been decided on what that something is.

The Daily Ticker: And Now The US Postal Service Is About To Go Belly Up

You're Crazy!!!!

The amazing things people do in order to get attention.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hey, it's San Francisco

Message to nudists: At least be sanitary

Supervisor Scott Wiener will introduce legislation today intended to get to the bottom of the gross-out factor when it comes to public nudity.

His proposal would require people who bare all for all to see to at the very least place a towel or like item underneath them when they sit down.

Yes, I can see the disgusting possibilities of not doing what the Supervisor proposes.  Geez.


Rice has made a cable from double-walled carbon nanotubes

and powered a light bulb

The big advantage is in the lighter weight. Spacecraft applications, anyone?

2012 Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger get 31 mpg thanks to 8-speed trans


That Highway mileage.  City mileage is 19.

That's a German automatic transmission licensed to be built in house.

What's bugging you?

Chasing Nature - Technology Review

It could be one of these.

Can a butterfly take a leak?

This one did.

Backin up song

Songifying the news.


Here's another - songified news item, that is.

Another broken promise?

What happened to all this new civility that we were supposed to get from the President?  As Gilda Radner used to say "Never mind!".

Phase one of world's first commercial spaceport is now 90% completed - in time for first flights in 2013

Space Ship Two will be powered by RocketMotorTwo being developed by  Sierra Nevada Corporation.  SNC is also developing the Dream Chaser.

Calculating beta decays assuming Widom Larsen neutron production

Well, now that I am more familiar with Widom Larsen, let's say we do another one of these calculator exercises, shall we?

We are assuming only neutrons are added to the nickel nucleus, per Widom Larsen theory. If we were using the BECNF theory, we can add protons, but this is not BECNF, so protons need not apply.

add 1 neutron to nickel 58, yields unstable nickel 59 beta decays by electron capture to cobalt 59

add 1 neutron to cobalt 59 yields unstable cobalt 60 beta minus decay to nickel 60 chain stops here
We assume that the chain stops there, for the sake of simplicity.    The chain picks up again at nickel 62
add 1 neutron to nickel 62 yields unstable nickel 63 beta minus decays to copper 63
add 1 neutron to copper 63 yields unstable copper 64 which beta minus decays to zinc 64
That's not the whole story.  It can also beta minus decay by electron capture to
can also beta decay by electron capture to nickel 64
But lets follow the zinc branch before returning to the nickel branch in the pic above
add 1 neutron to zinc 64 yields zinc 65 which beta decays by electron capture to copper 65
Now let's go back and look at the nickel 64 and what happens there
add 1 neutron to nickel 64 yields unstable nickel 65 which beta minus decays to copper 65
The two lines join again at copper 65 for one more reaction before it ends
add 1 neutron to copper 65 yields unstable copper 66 which beta minus decays to zinc 66
One way to check Widom Larsen would be to check for zinc 66.  In fact, you would really want to look at those transmuted reaction products in order to get a feel for what is going on.

Disclaimer:  all this assumes that I've not made a mistake.  This is amateur hour, remember.

Low mass, low metal: SDSS J102915+172927 is the star that should not exist

Low mass, low metal: SDSS J102915+172927 is the star that should not exist

Monday, September 5, 2011

Six Reasons the Supercommittee Will Succeed

Six Reasons the Supercommittee Will Succeed

'The God Particle': The Higgs Boson

It is everywhere, you cannot escape. Ha, ha.

Ind. State Police Nab I-65 ‘Samurai’

Bonzai! Note: This means "ten thousand years" and is part of a longer phrase along the lines of "ten thousand years to the Emperor."

Aero-TV: XCOR Aerospace -- An Innovative Route To Space

Jeff Greason of XCOR discusses a fully reusable orbital system.

Please read the description that goes with the video (on YouTube). I quote a portion of it below:
Founded in 1999, XCOR Aerospace is a small, privately-held California C-Corporation. Their headquarters and development facilities are located at the Mojave Spaceport and Civilian Aerospace Test Center in Mojave, California. XCOR engages in research, development, and production of reusable rocket-powered, horizontal launch vehicles for suborbital, and ultimately, orbital travel.[ my comment:  emphasis added.  I believe this is the way to go.  That's what I've written about here without even being aware of XCOR's intentions.  If it is going to be done, this is a way to do it.]

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dream Chaser

This looks like a contender for an actual system that may see some action in the future. Mind you, I'm not picking winners here. Not to say that someone else may get the nod.

Here's a screenshot from the SpaceDev site which shows an animated version of the Dream Chaser on top of a rocket, presumably an Atlas V.
One thing that I am checking out is if this will fit on top of an SRB, which was to be used with the Ares I rocket, now canceled.  It would be a way to mate a reusable booster with the reusable Dream Chaser.  Not that they would actually want to put their Dream Chaser on a solid rocket booster.  In fact, the word is out that the Atlas V will launch the Dream Chaser.

Was the SRB ever in the running?

As for dimensions, the SRB and the Atlas V are very similar.  Performance wise, well, I don't know.  The SRB is supposed to fire for about 2 minutes.  But it generates a lot of thrust.  Both SRBs in the Shuttle configuration provided 83% of the liftoff thrust, but only 60% of the mass.

What that would mean in terms of altitude and velocity for a 25,000 pound craft, I can only guess.  The shuttle weighed 10 times as much.  A single SRB just might be enough to get to orbital velocity and altitude. But could it be recovered?

The Ares I was designed to send the Orion into orbit.  The Orion's mass came in at twice what the Dream Chaser's.  With far less mass, all the Dream Chaser may need is just a little more boost from its own onboard rockets in order to reach orbit.  I'm not 100% sure of that, though.  Maybe a lot less than 100%.

This isn't a flyable rocket, but it could all be 100% reusable, if the SRB could be recovered in good shape.

Thanks for coming by and have a great evening.

Morning Summary, 8/4

Well, it's getting late this morning, and I still haven't made a post.

I'm running into problems reporting on nuclear physics because I don't have enough background and lack the time to obtain it.  That didn't stop me from reading more about the subject this morning.  But, there wasn't anything I could post about it.

What it did do is make me wonder a bit about the Widom Larsen theory.  You know, if you look at these theories long enough, you could start having doubts. Doubts about Widom Larsen?  Yes.  But not to worry.  If you read about it enough, there are doubts about all theories.  They are, after all, just theories.  The problem starts when a theory is taken as absolute truth.   Like climate change.

In science, can there be such a thing as absolute truth?  But with religion there is.  Religion has the certainty that science lacks.

Turning from science, I went back to politics.  What I found is this disenchantment with Obama.  His supporters are disappointed.  They want him to fight harder.  I was tempted to make fun of Obama on the basis of this disenchantment.  Shall I mention the idea I had?  Yes, but only briefly.  You see, there is this slang word known as "weenie" which seems to apply to these stories.  A "weenie" is an ineffectual male, which is basically what it boils down to.  So, is Obama a weenie?  That's the humor, or I thought so.  I suppose there will be some who will not be amused.

I like to point out something that I've mentioned from time to time. That is about a sense of humor. There isn't enough of that right now. "If you can't take a joke, you shouldn't be living." That's a quote from a guy I used to work with in the old days. Well, how about it people- can you take a joke?