Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ace Rothstein character in the movie "Casino"

Once upon a time, I tried to pick NFL games v. the spread.  I found out that it was pretty hard to do that successfully.  The main character in this movie was supposed to be able to do that successfully.  Frankly, the impression given that the only way to do that successfully is to be a crook. Maybe a lot of things are like that.

I have to say that I always thought that I could pull it off.   Not being a crook, but picking successfully v the spread.  Maybe it is better that I didn't.   I never wanted to be a crook.

Anyway, what brought all this on was my interest in the NFL.  I was reading about the spreads in the games this week.  I wouldn't pick a single one of them because I don't follow it as closely as I did before.  Not that it mattered all that much.  Like I said, it is hard to do that successfully.

What are you prepared to do?

A memorable line from the movie The Untouchables.

My emphasis today is on the most recent debate between Biden and Ryan. There was this one question Martha Raddatz asked that seemed to work with this line from the Untouchables. What are you prepared to do in order to stop Iran from getting nukes?  Those were not the exact words, but close enough.  The question in my mind that I'd like to see more fully answered is this: are you prepared to go all the way, or are you prepared to accept nukes if sanctions don't work?

Ryan answered the Raddatz's question.   Biden danced around it.  Ryan could have followed up and painted Biden into a corner, but he didn't.

Anyway, here's the line from the movie:

Gary Aldrich: Searching For The Moosehead Truth


The description of the Moosehead Truth (MHT) was in Aldrich's book Unlimited Access. When I think of that debate between Biden and Ryan, I think that the MHT went undetected and unremarked upon at the time of the debate where it would have had maximum impact. Here's the money quote from the book:
“Well, your honor, there was this one thing. Raymond always made us come to his office to pay the bribes. He insisted that it had to be in his office because it was safe there. Behind his desk, where he sat when we paid him, was this big mounted moosehead. Well, when Raymond looked into the envelope to count the hundred dollar bills, he would always laugh. He’d point up at the moosehead behind his desk and say, “If that f—ing moosehead could talk, we’d all go to jail!”

There it was. The moosehead truth. The MHT.
You can find the MHT in all of conservative sites which are commenting upon the many lies of Biden, but those all could have been cited in the debate by Ryan himself.  The MHT escaped Ryan's notice that night, and it was Ryan's fault for letting it get by him.

You know this because the left was thrilled by Biden's performance.  If he had failed in evading the MHT, they would've been in despair, just as they were after Obama's performance.  They would have known they were heading for certain defeat, but that is not the case today.  The left has lived to fight another day.  That is why they are thrilled.

The public needs to hear the MHT and to note the guilty look on the faces of the left when they are outed for what they are.  If such had happened in the debate, the public's verdict in November would have been similar to what the verdict was in that trial.  Guilty as hell.  Out you go!!!

Biden equals Jack Nicholson's Joker?

This may be a little rough on 'old Joe, but if you take away the eyes, you have that grin down pat. Biden ain't the Joker, but that grin was horrible.

It was like a "Gorbasm, always fake."


Did the Obama campaign "pop its cork" with that performance from Biden? I thought it was a really crazy performance. Crazy as hell.

I need a laugh

Politics ain't beanbag

So, how did the debate really go?  I mean aside from the usual "Barbara Streisand".  That's why I watched the replays, so I could see for myself.

Here's what I saw--- I saw Biden get away with way too much stuff.  I saw Mr. Expert who couldn't debunk every single thing that came out of Biden's mouth--- which should have been easy for an expert.  When it comes to accessing the results of the debate, that's the real deal.  The rest is spin.

Yeah, Biden was rude.  But that is spin.  "Politics ain't beanbag".  What you saw from Biden is a passionate defense of a bad idea.  He was Johnny Cochrane defending The Juice.   Maybe you don't like the idea of getting in the pig pen and wrestling with the pig, but sometimes that is what it may take in order to get that doggone hog into tow.  When you got somebody like Ryan, who is called upon to wrestle with the pig, and doesn't, it won't do to call him "gentlemanly".  Sorry, but that's spin.  That's Barbara Streisand.  An opportunity was lost.  There's no nice way to say it.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Newt: You gotta love him.

Can you imagine Biden getting away with that stuff about Libya with Newt?

I watched the debate just now.  Ryan did ok, but he could have been great.  But it is water under the bridge now.

Fred Barnes: Biden Bombed

weeklystandard via Free Republic

You don’t win a nationally televised debate by being rude and obnoxious. You don’t win by interrupting your opponent time after time after time or by being a blowhard. You don’t win with facial expressions, especially smirks or fake laughs, or by pretending to be utterly exasperated with what your opponent is saying.


That may not always be true.  Lloyd Bentsen destroyed Dan Quayle's political career with the "you're no Jack Kennedy" shot.  One thing you can't say about that shot is that it was polite.

I didn't watch the debate, so I have no comment one way or another about who won.  Evidently, Biden put on a show, which was made into an RNC ad.


That grin of Biden's reminds me of this video "Smiling Faces".

The Batting Stance Guy (video)

I used to be a big baseball fan. Not so much anymore. This guy does a humorous imitation of some of the old timers from my day, like Pete Rose and Joe Morgan. Joe Morgan had the habit of flapping his arm against his side. That is what he caricatured in this video amongst others, like Rose. Some of the younger players, I don't recognize. Like I mentioned, I don't follow baseball that much anymore.

By the way, Morgan flapped his arm that way in order to remind himself of something. I like to use that as a metaphor for reminding myself of things, such as not being too sure of myself. That's because I've been wrong and I need to remember that sometimes. Just to explain why I sometimes may seem a bit self-effacing. When you get right down to it, I am not so self-effacing as all that. But I do it like Joe Morgan does it by flapping his arm. Just to remind myself that I am not always so brilliant as I'd like to believe.

Big Bird: A Metaphor for Obama

Bruce Johnson, American Thinker

He makes a case that Obama is Big Bird.  Everybody seems to be Big Bird.  I was thinking that John McCain was Big Bird.  Especially with his attempts to become a member in good standing with the press is reminiscent of the video showed earlier on this blog.  It was Big Bird who made a caricature of himself in order to try to become a member of the Good Birds Club.  Like Big Bird in that video, McCain really does like to get the approval of the left, so much so that he earns the suspicion of conservatives because he plays up to the critics of conservatism.  So, if McCain is really conservative, why doesn't he just be happy with the way he is?

It all depends on how you take Big Bird, I guess.  He seemed to me to be a Big Wuss in that video.  All too often, Republicans like John McCain act like Big Bird did in that video.

Only an issue because of Romney and Ryan?

Weren't these guys the ones who blamed the YouTube video for the attacks?  Didn't Romney say that the apology for the video was disgraceful?  Yes, it was disgraceful.  It is not only disgraceful, but untrue as to being the cause for the fatal attacks in Libya, and now they are admitting it.  So, this is Romney's fault?

By the way, an observation here that is irrelevant, but irresistible:  Stephanie Cutter seemed like such a babe before all this.  Now, she looks ugly.   Can't explain why.  Maybe the perception of beauty can be affected by the personality.  She does seem to me to be like a political hag.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Can people hibernate?

The answer appears to be maybe.  There are reports of people surviving in a state similar to hibernation, but how this happened isn't clear.

How do bears hibernate?  A possible answer is a substance called "HIT" ( Hibernation Induction Trigger).  It is found in hibernating bears.  Squirrels are known to hibernate, and that substance is also found in squirrels.  A squirrel can be induced into hibernation if it is injected with the substance.

If humans could hibernate, it could open new possibilities in medicine and in space travel.

Naturally, I am interested in the space travel part.

This is a wild speculation, but I wonder if humans could be genetically modified into a "man-bear" which could hibernate for months just as bears do.  There may be ethical concerns about this, though.


Somewhat of an unrelated topic, the idea of pyrolysis of human waste has occurred to me before.  Not necessarily for space travel, though.

If everything can be recycled, the amount of mass needed to be taken on a long journey into space can be minimized.  As always, mass must be minimized if we are to keep the spacecraft's dimensions limited to a reasonable size.

Parker: Some Still Believe Obama Or Romney Can Help Middle Class


I do not expect conditions to improve for the middle class in the next 4 years. Another recession is more likely. Higher oil prices are more likely. The continued departure of members of the middle class headed either up or down seems more likely. The middle is not holding.


I'm inclined to disagree.  But Parker correctly called the 2008 election.  It seemed incredulous to me that Obama could win in 2008, but that's what happened.

The reason for Obama's win was the perceived failure of the Bush Administration.  Democrats had been harping for 8 long years about the guy, and finally, at the end of it, the economy seemed to be collapsing. The collapse cemented the impression of failure.  In other other words, Obama swerved into it.

Parker believes in the peak oil theory.  With what I've found out about the potential reserves of oil, this is nonsense.  Not to mention that there are several promising avenues of research into energy security.  Plus, there is already a proven way to improve nuclear energy--- molten salt reactors.  If Romney is elected, hopefully, he will move on this.  If he doesn't, he will be making a mistake.  Secondly, he will definitely move on fossil fuels.  You can rate this as a 100% probability.  But, you can also rate as a 100% probability of Democrat obstruction for any proposal that might work, including this or any other private energy initiative.  Therefore, it is a political peak oil problem, not just peak oil.

The way to change that is to change the political system.  The current one is broken.

But Parker wants Obama to win in order to teach the masses a lesson:

It is probably better in the long run if Obama gets elected because then when conditions worsen for the middle and lower classes people will come to understand that even a supposed champion of the lower classes can't or won't help them. Now there's still widespread misunderstanding about why living standards are declining. Having a Democrat in charge will go further toward spreading the understanding that deep economic fundamentals are working against the shrinking American middle class.

Yes.  I saw that kind of reasoning in 2008.  I don't think you win by losing.  Better if Obama wasn't elected at all.  Much less being re-elected.

This isn't a pro Romney post, nor any post on this blog should be seen as pro Romney.  If he is elected, he will have to be watched.  If he comes through, he could make a real difference for the better.  But if he doesn't, we will be on the Highway to Hell.  Not just metaphorically, but in reality.  We've got one more chance to get it right.

Wake Up America Rally - Bill Whittle Highlights

You tell 'em kid. I st-st-st- stutter.

I'm going to include this in the heath and well being category.  If only politicians would talk like this.  It is SANITY.  The stuff we usually hear ( from liberals in the media and government ) is just plain CRAZY.

Why are Republicans afraid to talk like this?

Dying woman humiliated by revealing TSA pat-down


SEATTLE -- A dying woman says a a security pat-down at Sea-Tac Airport left her embarrassed in front of crowds of people

Here's another one for the WTF file.  Do these guards really believe that this woman represented a security threat?  Where's the common sense?

Here's what the deal is--- they are afraid of appearing racist if they did a profiling.  Yeah, but profiling actually works and we can't have that.

ObamaCare, The President said he liked the name

But doctors are leaving their profession in droves.  h/t Behind the Black

Patients should expect increasing difficulty accessing medical care, according to a survey of 13,575 physicians. The survey commissioned by The Physicians Foundation estimates that "44,250...physicians will be lost from the workforce in the next four years. The survey also found that over the next one to three years, more than 50 percent of physicians will cut back on patients seen, work part-time, switch to concierge medicine, retire, or take other steps likely to reduce patient access.

More cognitive dissonance --- how do you square this outcome with the intent of the new health care law?

It was supposed to make care more affordable, after all, that is the official name given to the act- Affordable Care Act.  Even if it became more affordable, which it has not, how can it help if there are fewer doctors?

This one goes into the WTF file.


Poles apart: A record-breaking summer and winter

arcticseaicenews  via Transterrestrial Musings

The sun has set over the central Arctic Ocean and sea ice extent is now increasing. While much attention has been paid to the record minimum Arctic ice extent set on September 16, 2012, winter sea ice extent in Antarctica has reached a record high. The Antarctic extent increase is an interesting response to changes in circulation patterns in the Southern Hemisphere.

I didn't read all of this.  It is really boring.  The most interesting thing about it is the cognitive dissonance that must come from such a report.  How can you square this with global warming theory?

Still, if the global warmists really wanted to do something about carbon, they could support molten salt reactor technology.  The technology works and the switch to it would lessen the dependence upon fossil fuels.  An added bonus is that it would help the economy and create new jobs.  But that would make too much sense.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sesame Street: The Good Birds' Club

What a bunch of sanctimonious preaching for toleration. You need to teach people to stand up for themselves. Not to be a big sissy and get pushed around.

Big Bird doesn't like who he is. Sounds like a liberal to me, who doesn't like being an American, successful or white.

If Romney wants to get tough on Big Bird--- then go for it!


This is even richer in meaning than what I thought. In this video, there exists in many forms the kind of bad thinking that liberalism represents.

Liberals exclude conservatives in academia.

Liberals deny any means of getting energy independent that will actually work. Instead, they enforce a energy starvation policy upon the nation that will never solve anything. Any proposed energy solution is given the same treatment that Big Bird got when he tried to join the Good Birds Club.

Liberals exclude conservatives across the board. No matter what conservatives do, it will never be good enough. Too bad conservatives are like Big Bird and try to please liberals. Nothing that they do will ever be good enough to be accepted.

Isn't it all just another example of projection? Liberals exclude others, but want to preach to us about inclusiveness that they won't practice themselves.

Desperate Dems Hide Behind Big Bird

By Michelle Malkin - Friday, October 5, 2012

It’s time for government media to grow up and get off the dole. It’s time for taxpayers to flip the Bird.

Now, now!  Let's be nice.

Solutions not wanted--- Problems are a feature, not a bug

This post may be provocative to some, or common sense to others.

Markets are rigged. It is a matter of keeping them rigged.  For this, you need a good bovine-scatological story, like global warming.

Global warming theory is nothing more than a way to rig the oil market so that prices can remain sky high.   That's good for the few, bad for the many.  What would be good for the many would be an outcome very much to be avoided.  Therefore, solutions are not wanted.  Global warming is no exception--- nay, it a perfect example of the rule.  People who believe in the global warming hoax are being duped.

How do I know this?  Over the last couple years that I've been blogging, I've learned a few things. Amongst these, is the LFTR, which is a new type of nuclear reactor that is over 40 years old.  It was developed by the leading minds of nuclear physics, only to be discarded because it will actually work.

That it is what I mean when I say it is common sense and provocative.  It is common sense that markets are rigged to keep prices high.  It is provocative because people don't want to believe that they are being lied to on an epic scale.

This thought was brought on by my latest study of a solar thermal rocket design.  It could work, but if it did, it would not be welcome.  For if the prices for space exploration and development came down, the prices for precious metals could crash.  This could lead to another threat to the price of fossil fuels.  For if  platinum became plentiful and cheap, hydrogen fuel cells could become price competitive.  It is a pattern that can be observed elsewhere, as I have mentioned.

The Discouragement Fraternity don't want you to believe that mining platinum from asteroids can be profitable.  The pattern can be observable for fracking, LFTRs, mining asteroids, hydrogen fuel cells, and cold fusion.  Some excuse is always given for not being able to do these things.  The real reason for not doing these things is that some people have a lot to lose if a better way of doing things can be found.

Coaster No. 14, A potential mission-Asteroid Mining

Why asteroid mining, if Asteroid Mining Venture Could Change Supply/Demand Ratio On Earth?  According to an authoritative source, the gold market is rather small.
“The World Gold Council is the authoritative source for gold production, (and) states that all of the gold ever mined ‘would fit into a crate of 20 meters cubed.’ That’s 8000 cubic meters,” Lawrence H. White, Professor of Economics at George Mason University, told “A standard Olympic swimming pool is 50 m long x 25 m wide x 2 m deep or 2500 meters cubed. So that’s 3.2 Olympic pools.”
If an asteroid with significant gold deposits were to be found and successfully mined ---
 a large quantity of gold were brought to Earth from an asteroid, it would indeed lower the price of gold, emphasized White. “Possibly, but not necessarily, by enough to doom the venture, supposing that it would have been profitable at the previous price of gold.”

What to do, then?  If going to an asteroid is uneconomical to begin with, why make matters worse and destroy markets by flooding it with excessive supply?

In order to answer that question, let's take a look at aluminum.  Aluminum used to be a precious metal.   It was rare and expensive until a better way to refine it was found.  It so happens that Aluminum is a useful metal in its own right, so a new market- worth more than the old market as a precious metal- was created.  Such may not be the case with gold, but it could be the case with platinum.  Platinum is a useful catalyst.  Its economic value extends beyond its role as a precious metal.

A primary goal should be to mine platinum group metals.  The profit would come from volume--- selling a lot of the stuff could recover costs sufficiently in order to make a reasonable profit.  But it could use some additional help.  You could leverage the venture with another substance that is not so rare on Earth, but useful in space.

A case could be made for mining water as well, as it still costs plenty to lift the precious substance to LEO. That gives two opportunities for making money.  But, you still have to get there, which is still expensive.

The point of the coaster is to reduce costs of getting there.  If a high ISP rocket can be developed, it can lower the costs of getting to the asteroids- and back with cargo.  A plentiful source of water can provide the affordable fuel for mining expeditions.  This could make the asteroid mining venture for platinum cost-effective.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Jerry Clower Why Can't Johnny Read

Clower dismisses all the excuses given for poor academic performance.

Man collapses, dies after winning roach-eating contest in Broward

Broward -

Edward Archbold was willing to do anything to win an exotic python — even eating bugs both crunchy and slimy....The roaches served up at the contest were domestically raised. “They’re clean – raised for exotic pet feed,” Siegel said. “We sell expensive animals, and these bugs are perfectly safe.”...Lewis suspected that an allergic reaction could have been the cause of death.

Siegal said he’d never heard of anyone dying from eating discoids.

“It’s nothing but pure, clean protein.”

Yeah, right.

Colo. Governor: ‘Lincoln Wasn’t a Great Debater’

BY: Washington Free Beacon Staff  via Instapundit

Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) said Monday that Abraham Lincoln “wasn’t a great debater” during a visit to the Obama campaign field office in Denver, Colo. ....Lincoln famously participated in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates — a series of seven debates in 1858, that pitted the future president against Stephen Douglas.
Yeah, I think it fits the WTF profile.

Guys like this make Obama look good.   But he's a Democrat.   Oops!

Monday, October 8, 2012

NewsBusters: Krugman Makes a Fool of Himself: 'The Press Just Doesn't Know How to Handle Flat Out Untruths'

By Noel Sheppard | October 07, 2012 | 13:21

The left in full spin mode.  They've got to spin their own spin, for heavens sake.  Obama only fudged, but Romney lied, Krugman says.  The press can't handle Romney's lies, Krugman alleges, but what about Obama's "fudges"?  For that matter, what about Krugman's?  The panel handles Krugman that here.  The whole point is that Obama couldn't or wouldn't do it himself.  He needs a telepromter or the press to bail him out.

Will: Romney hits a trifecta in Denver


  • Romney, unleashing his inner wonk about economic matters, probably stabilized public opinion and prevented a rush to judgment
  • Second, Romney needed to be seen tutoring Obama on...distinctions...between reducing tax rates...and reducing revenues
  • Third, Romney needed to rivet the attention of the electorate...on this choice...America can be the which markets...allocate opportunity.  Or America can remain today’s depressed and anxious society... in which government... allocates resources...on behalf of the politically connected.
Judging by the post debate polls, Romney won the debate for these reasons that Will enumerates.  He won on substance and on style.

Coaster, No. 13

Getting an idea of how big the hydrogen tank should be.  Let's go small ball and make this thing lightweight.  If the dry mass of the is held to about the mass of a Bigelow space hab, plus the coaster as propulsion, the entire assembly could be held under 50k pounds.  Realistic?  Perhaps not.

I've got a png file from Ubuntu that shows the calcs from the rocket equation.  Drat it.  I forgot how to get it into jpg format show I could put it up here.

What it shows is that by firing the engine for about 3 days gets you up to escape velocity.  A trip to the moon could do nicely.

The mass flow rate of a car at all acceleration was used as a benchmark of sorts to get an idea of what we're dealing on this score.  Then working backward from the rocket equation, a comparison of sorts could be made that seemed to this amateur to be "in the ballpark".    It is a surprisingly small amount of mass.

Now going back to the pic below, it is about 4 or 5 pounds per cubic foot for the Shuttle tank.  Using that as a guide, then at 11k pounds hydrogen gives about 2200 cubic feet.  Not that big of a tank needed.

All of this is very imprecise, but I am an amateur.  If these numbers are anywhere at all in the ballpark, the system doesn't need to be big.  That's the point.  A small system may do the trick.

It can be made small because a firing of even a small amount of thrust can build up an impressive amount of velocity.  This has been demonstrated with electric thrusters--- Hall effect thrusters.  This will have more thrust than that, with an ISP that is smaller too, but much larger than conventional chemical rockets.  All assuming, of course, that you can pull this off technically.

About .6 lb per gallon, about 7.5 gallons per cu. ft.


Finally got that png file converted to jpg.  Incidentally, the numbers are too low.  I thought the Bigelow space habs didn't weigh quite so much.  The mass of the BA 330 is 20k kg.  Dry mass in the spreadsheet is only 12k, which would have to include a lot more hardware than the 20k kg for the BA 330.

will have to redo this since the updated info varies greatly

Update: It may be possible to substitute the Dragon Capsule in place of the Bigelow space hab. The Dragon capsule fully loaded has a mass of 7500 kg. Combined with the additional hardware, it may be possible to arrive at a final mass of 12k kg as the spreadsheet above indicates.

The only question remaining, in terms of mass remaining, is the mass of the mirrors, heat exchanger, and rocket nozzle assembly.   This need not be massive, so the final mass shouldn't be over the limit.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Space program spinning its wheels

That's why it is stuck in LEO ( low Earth orbit).

The only way space gets conquered is if it can become economical to have it.  It was the same story with automobiles.  Until Henry Ford produced the Model T, cars were an expensive toy for the rich.  The Model T made owning a car affordable for the general public.

There's not much incentive in Washington to reduce the costs of anything.  The real incentive is to make everything as expensive as possible.  That kind of thinking is what brought us trillion dollar deficits that were shocking four years ago.  Now, they are commonplace.  At least as long as our credit holds up.

I like Gingrich because I like space and his space initiatives seemed to offer the best chance forward in space.  He advocated prizes for space achievements.  People respond to prizes, so his idea made good sense.  Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic in response to a prize.  Gingrich was just advocating the long observed principle of people responding to incentives.  People responded to incentives in buying a Model T, it was after all, affordable.

What is the incentive in Washington?  To amass more power, that's what.  It doesn't do anything but grow budgets and grow debts.  Washington is nothing but a big, fat money and power hog.

This SLS system is a big boondoggle.  I can't think of anything more stupid- if the idea is to conquer space.  If the idea is to spend more money in order to do nothing, then this is your baby.  Instead of squandering billions, the intelligent thing to do is to use what already works, instead of spending money you don't have in order to recreate something that already existed 30 years ago.

The VentureStar would have worked, but that was canceled.  But the VentureStar would not have taken very much cargo to space.  Well, who cares?  You don't need to have one ship do every damned thing.  The VentureStar could have taken people to space on a regular basis.  You can rationalize this on an economic basis- like the Model T.  Some say the VentureStar was a boondoggle.  Even if it was a boondoggle, it is a small boondoggle.  Better to have small ones than a big one like the SLS.

The Model T worked because it wasn't intended to be all things to all people.  It worked because it was affordable.  If the VentureStar could have transported people to space for an affordable price, it would have been worth every penny spent on it.  It could have been the modern era's Model T.  It could have worked.  If only Washington did.

Sperm and eggs created in dish produce mouse pups


After producing normal mouse pups last year using sperm derived from stem cells, a Kyoto University team of researchers has now accomplished the same feat using eggs created the same way, Science Now reports. 

That creeps me out.  You can now reproduce with no sperm nor eggs.  For mice, that is.  People are next, you can bet your bippy on that one.   Brave New World, here we come!

SLS Rocket

Let's get real.  In my last post, I suggested a use for the funny big ass rocket (FUBAR).  You could reuse the external tank, which functions in pretty much the same configuration as the Shuttle used.  The external tank of the shuttle reached 98 percent of orbital velocity.  So, just keeping firing the main engines until the whole thing gets into orbit.  Then set up a "wet workshop" using the tanks components to make new useful things that stay in space.  The external tank weighs 50,000 pounds.  That's a lot of material to send up and let come right back down.

But to do something sensible like recycling the et is not going to happen.  Why?  Because it would make too much sense.

If the entire purpose of the space program was to spend money and accomplish nothing, then the thing to do is to go forward with this program as it is.  Or even to budget more money for it to waste.

But instead, if a way is found to spend even more money and to make everything even more stupid and self defeating, then that way will be chosen.  The less stupid thing and the sensible thing will go into the dumpster- sensible will go first.

We are near the end of the election cycle.  After all the debate and electioneering, we may decide nothing with this election.  The only thing that might change is the personality in the White House.  Other than that, it just might be business as usual.  Which means, more of the same.

I am hoping otherwise.  Because if nothing changes, we will be in a world of FUBAR.

What I would hope for is some original thinking, or maybe not even some original thinking.  Just use the knowledge we already have developed over all these years.  Unfortunately, even that may be asking too much.

Researchers Discover Bacteria That Produces Pure Gold

gizmodo via Instapundit

Kashefi and Brown are the ones who have created this compact laboratory that uses the bacteria Cupriavidus metallidurans to turn gold chlroride—a toxic chemical liquid you can find in nature—into 99.9% pure gold.

Find one that can produce platinum cheaply, and you just might have something.  For platinum can be used in catalysts.  Gold not so much.

Coaster, No. 12

Basic research is what you do when you don't know what you are doing.  That describes the situation now with this idea.  It's to the point where I'm lost, to be frank about it.

Confusion is not a good place to be.  You don't know what to do next.  So, you research the problem.  With some luck, you may find some answers and further progress can be made.  Or you may hit an impenetrable wall and you are stopped cold.

The laser idea seemed promising, but there are things about it I don't like.  Too much conversion of one type of energy to another.

Curved mirrors have been off and on.  At times, I like them.  At other times, I hate them.

The "power tower" idea seemed good too, but the inefficiency of the thing nixed that idea.

The thought occurred to me to go back to the original inspiration.  The temperature at the focal point of a 2 meter mirror is 3500 degrees C.   This is much hotter than the original goal of 2700 degrees.  What is the problem then?  You have to successfully transfer that temperature to a gas which can be expelled out of a rocket nozzle for thrust.  If it can be done at 2700 degrees C, it will yield an ISP comparable to a nuclear thermal rocket.  That would be an ISP of 850 or so.  Quite an improvement over chemical rockets.

How much thrust from a 2 meter apparatus?  No more than what is delivered to it as energy.  Between 2 or 3 kilowatts is the maximum.  How much thrust from a rocket based upon this--- I don't know.  The calculations are unknown to me, as are many other things.  For example, how to design a rocket is unknown to me.  How to design a heat exchanger is unknown to me. How to get the energy to the heat exchanger is unknown to me.  And so on and so forth.  There are many questions and too few answers.

Now these people in Uzbekistan have a problem with heat.  The thing gets too hot and has to be cooled down.  For what they are trying to do, they probably can't use liquid hydrogen.  So, they are using distilled water.

Now, what if we didn't want to use a crystal to produce a laser.  What if we just wanted to heat tungsten and then cool it down through a heat exchange?  We are left with a lot of hot hydrogen, which would be useless to this thing on the ground.

But what if we built this in space and did the same thing?  The hot hydrogen could be used for thrust in a rocket.  Then we could go places in the solar neighborhood.  That would be useful.  But then you've got a new problem.  How to build something this big in space?

As Homer Simpson would say, "d'oh"!


In order to make something big in space, you will need to commit to building big stuff in space.  With a commitment, it becomes possible.  Without one, you are just whistling Dixie.

This reminds me of another series that I wrote, perhaps the first one I wrote, which was about recycling the et, or External Tank of the Shuttle.

Since the SLS is just an updated version of the Shuttle, why not recycle that tank for each liftoff?  Now, there was a study during the Shuttle Era which proposed to do just that. That is, melt down the metals in the external tank and reuse them.  Reuse them for what?  Why, to make very large mirrors for concentrating solar light so as to produce thrust for a high ISP rocket.

You could melt down the aluminum and spray it on a curved surface- also produced by melted aluminum- in order to make mirrors.  Or very large mirrors.  You could fabricate support beams to place them on and so forth.  Just reuse the metal and make useful things as opposed to dropping the used up tanks into the ocean.  What a waste.


Cut away view of the External Tank