Saturday, December 1, 2012

Next Big Future: Eric Lerner of Lawrenceville Plasma Physics Gives ...

Next Big Future: Eric Lerner of Lawrenceville Plasma Physics Gives ...: LPP's chief scientist Eric Lerner explains who's who in the world of fusion energy research and what's the latest in plasma physics and nucl...

The Atomic Bomber Five Part YouTube Series

Discovery Channel---Planes That Never Flew

This got my attention as it was this program that led to the molten salt reactors that Kirk Sorensen is pushing.

It was to be the power plant behind the nuclear powered airplane in the Aircraft Reactor Experiment.

The Atomic Bomber p.1 of 5

The Atomic Bomber p.2 of 5

The Atomic Bomber p.3 of 5

This video got my attention because it is an airframe that I think could carry a suitable rocket that could get to orbit.  It involves a concept that would be powered by conventional rocket engines that would lift it to 100k feet or above, then release the rocket.  The total weight would be less than a fully loaded 747.  It could look like this:

No nuke powered bombers built, but how about a rocket carrier?  The center fuselage would carry a S4B type rocket that could get to orbit.

The Atomic Bomber p.4 of 5

Tests for the Direct Cycle were successful, but the exhaust was radioactive.  The plane was too heavy too.

The Atomic Bomber p.5 of 5

Eric Cartman "you like fu*k asian ladies"

Published on Apr 3, 2012 by Eric Cartman

Reminds me of the Austin Powers movie with the Japanese twins.

XCOR and the Trillion Dollar Space Industry - Andrew Nelson (SETI Talks)

Published on Mar 18, 2012 by setiinstitute

Aero-TV: XCOR Aerospace -- An Innovative Route To Space (Part 1)

Aero-TV: "Mark Our Words... The Private Spaceflight Revolution Will Be Won by Companies Like XCOR"

Comment:  I believe it.

InstaVision: Read My Lips: Why The ‘No-Tax-Hike’ Pledge Is an IQ Test for Republicans

Glenn Reynolds (video at link)


If there's one thing that may be acceptable as a compromise and that is this:  If the Republicans must give it up on Bush's Tax Cuts, then the Democrats must give it up ObamaCare.

Friday, November 30, 2012

A flyable rocket idea

The latest idea is to take the basic delta wing, attach some rocket engines to it, plus a S4B rocket stack that would take a crew to orbit.

There would be Falcon 9 engines and an S4B type rocket in the middle.  The delta wing would hold the rocket below it.  It would be attached on the underside of the delta wing.  There would be landing gear and it would take off like a plane.

Running it through the rocket equation with a few assumptions and it checks out.  You wouldn't need much fuel, since the delta wing is only going to go up to about 100k feet and less than mach 3 and release the S4B.  The S4B can reach orbit from there with a payload about the weight of the Gemini.

Assumptions would be 60k lbs for the delta wing airframe-- about the same as an empty X-33.  Add 40% to the mass for the Falcon 9 first stages (2) and the S4B in order to make it all reusable.

Come to think of it, you don't have to use Falcon 9 fuselages.  You just need a place to put the fuel.  For that matter, the fuel could go into fuel tanks inside the delta wing.  Thus, it would be integrated into two packages--- the airframe that ferries the rocket up to 100k feet.

There's lots of room to make the rockets more powerful and to carry more mass.  For example, you would only use about 1/4 of the available mass for fuel for the two Falcon 9's for just one rocket, much less two.   That means you can add the fuel back in and use that fuel to fly back to base.

It wouldn't be using all 18 Falcon 9 engines.  It could probably get by with as few as 6 at full power.  At take off, all six engines wouldn't be needed.  The atmosphere gives a lift as opposed to launching vertical, so full power isn't needed.  Full power with all 6 engines would only be needed when going to a vertical trajectory.  That occurs when lift from the atmosphere is insufficient to climb to 100k feet.

The way it would look like is maybe a couple engines fire and that gets the airframe up.  It goes up to 30k feet and then needs to go vertical because there's not enough lift at that point.  Now all six engines will fire up at full power and it goes vertical climbing to 100k feet.  Then the S4B is released and flies up to orbit.  In orbit, the S4B releases its payload and then returns to earth.  It too will be reusable.  The capsule will splash down and is recovered to be used again.  Thus, all major parts are reused.

When all else fails, think

It's amazing what happens when you start thinking.  You actually learn a few things that you didn't know before.  Imagine that.  What a concept.

Anyway, my study of rocket engines and plane leads me to this:  you get a lot of help from the atmosphere by using lift.  For example, a 747 can lift off the runway and fly with much less power than a rocket uses to lift itself off the ground.  The rocket uses brute force to lift itself.  The plane uses aerodynamic lift.  The point is that the plane doesn't need so much power and fuel in order to get off the ground.  A rocket succeeds getting airborne with brute force.

It's kinda philosophical.  The rocket is a brute force machine.  The plane is a finesse machine.  Some people have called rockets big and dumb.  They really are big and dumb.  But they are powerful.  You can beat a problem with brute force, or with finesse.  Or a combination of both.  When finesse doesn't work, bring some brute force.  When brute force doesn't work, try some finesse.  Between brute force and finesse, you may be able to lick the launch problem.

Rocket engines are the least efficient at sea level.  They are most efficient in a vacuum.

The rocket equation is tyrannical.  It guarantees big rockets if that's all that you are going to bring to the table.  If you bring some finesse to the table, you may be able to beat the tyranny of the rocket equation and thus lick the launch problem.

How?  Let's consider a seemingly unrelated topic.

Hybrids are becoming popular with automobiles.  Why is that?  Because internal combustion engines have their good points and their bad points.  Electric motors also have their good points and bad.  But put them together and you may have something useful.  That is, you may have something useful.  Not necessarily.  The question is "what problem are you trying to solve?"  Is it fuel efficiency?  Or what exactly is it?  Maybe it is in the end a potential solution for the liquid fuel problem.  Is that the problem they are trying to solve with hybrids?  Yes, in one form or another it is.  Liquid fuels mean oil imports which is a problem in one way or another.  To the left, it is a carbon problem.  To the right, it is economical problem with a national security aspect.  Either way, it is economic.  Hybrids have become popular because they are seen as a potential solution to an economic problem.

With cars and rockets, you may be trying to solve the same problem.  It is an economic problem.  The launch problem is like the liquid fuel problem in that it is primarily an economic problem.  The same kind of solution may be tried with the launch problem as it is with the automobile--- use a hybrid.  Or, to put it another way--- use brute force when it is advantageous to do so, and use finesse when it is not.

When it comes to solving the launch problem, maybe some people ought to consider more carefully what problem it is that they are trying to solve.

If you want to increase access to space, you'd better make it more economic to get there.  Big, dumb rockets won't solve the economic aspect of the launch problem.  It will get you to space, but it is only a big show with lots of fireworks.  That works for politicians, but not for entrepreneurs who want to get to space and make money while doing it.

Waking up to smell the rotten eggs

  1. There was something recently about the aftermath of the Superstorm Sandy.  It seems that some people were smart enough to get some generators which came in handy when the power went out.  But there was some liberal jackass who thought all of this was just so unfair.  You see, somebody has electricity and somebody else doesn't.  It is just so unfair.  Liberals are so distressed by all of this unfairness.  What he doesn't seem to grasp, and what some liberals don't seem to grasp, is that there are differences in people.  Some people are motivated.  Others aren't.  Some people are prudent.  Others are foolish.  People are different.  You can't make em all be the same.

    In this case, if it is unfair, what do you do about it?  Do you take away the generators from the prudent and give them to the foolish?  This reminds me of what Limbaugh is fond of doing.  He says he illustrates absurdity by being absurd.  But this kind of thing doesn't need illustration.  These people are absurd just by being themselves.
  2. That allows me to segue into a thought I had just before I started writing this.  There's this phrase I saw for the first time in a history book.  It goes like this:  facts are stubborn things.  It was attributed to Joseph Stalin.  But there was an earlier reference that I found later.  John Adams also said that.  Maybe he said it first.  Anyway, facts are not subject to will.  They do whatever they want, they are whatever they want.  No temper tantrums are going to change them.  No table pounding is going to make any difference.  Truth is truth.  It is what it is.  Yada, yada, yada.  Anyway, it seems to me that a healthy respect for the independence of truth is the first step towards being a rational, sane person.  The opposite is the way towards insanity.
  3. Another thought just popped up.  Isn't all of this just a lot of nonsense?  Sometimes I get this feeling of futility.  Like banging my head against the wall.  What good is it to be your best when the world is turning into shit?  Maybe I shouldn't have gotten out of bed.  What the hell.  Get on with it.
  4. Update:  As I was saying: Cops: Fla. woman attacks boyfriend after bad sex
  5. Update:  Or this one: Hey, Mister! Ya Wanna Rent a CHICKEN?  I remember seeing that one.  The result of it all is that the guy goes as nuts as the other guy who's renting the chickens.    The story:  "It's not very long, and it looks kind of hand drawn. The story is about a guy who's driving in his own car, when this truck filled to the brim with cages of rowdy chickens pulls up beside him. The guy driving sticks his head out of the truck and yells, "Hey, mister! Ya wanna rent a CHICKEN!?" The guy says no, no he does not want to rent a chicken. The truck driver keeps bugging him about it, as the guy tries to get away. (I think) it ends with the guy finally acquiescing and renting a chicken."  You see, the guy who starts out not wanting to rent a chicken was sane, but went nuts because of the other guy's insistence on being nuts.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Next Big Future: Skylon Spaceplane Pre-cooler Technology Validated

Next Big Future: Skylon Spaceplane Pre-cooler Technology Validated: Reaction Engines has declared their revolutionary pre-cooler technology a success. The Sabre engine could take a plane to five times the ...

Very good.  Thank you.

Next Big Future: New path to large-scale quantum computing with mil...

Next Big Future: New path to large-scale quantum computing with mil...: In a key step toward building a machine that promises to revolutionize computing, Princeton researchers have developed a method that could ...


A quantum computer can be a big deal.  I'm thinking Star Trek here.

Parapundit: Pravda Relieves Our Worry That Obama Is A Muslim

Writing for the former Soviet newspaper Pravda (Truth) Xavier Lerma informs us that Barack Obama is a communist. I am so relieved.

Actually, the author of the blog agrees with the assertion that uneducated and ignorant people elected Obama.  Not so.  The so-called intelligentsia is rabidly left-wing.  Well, at least Obama isn't Muslim. /sarc

Shippers seek White House's help to keep Mississippi River open

Shippers seek White House's help to keep Mississippi River open

Didn't Hank Williams Jr. make a song about this?

Not everything new is worth knowing, but the culture says otherwise.  But the Good Book says there's nothing new under the sun.

Brain Drain

What is the cause of a brain drain?   Could it be something like this?: Two-thirds of millionaires left Britain to avoid 50p tax rate
The figures have been seized upon by the Conservatives to claim that increasing the highest rate of tax actually led to a loss in revenues for the Government.

Also, notice the phrasing in the above quote.  It is as if it is a doubt that such outcomes will occur.  Yet it has occurred.  It is almost if the occurrence was some sort of mystery that cannot be accounted for.

It should be considered as common sense, but common sense is uncommon now.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thoughts on the road, 11/28/12

  1.   Is there any such thing as a melt down?  At a nuke plant, that is.  If so, it would have to get really hot.  They use graphite in the control rods and the fuel pellets.  Graphite is essentially carbon.  Carbon has the highest melting point of any element.  Actually, according to the Wikipedia entry on carbon, it doesn't have a melting point.  It sublimates directly into vapor at about  3900 deg Kelvin.  A little over 3600 degrees Centigrade, or over 7000 degrees Farenheit.  Pretty hot.

    Anyway, in a nuke plant, if there's a problem, the control rods go in and the pile loses criticality.  That means the reason for it to get too hot (and melt?) has just ended.  It will still get hotter, but will the thing get hot enough to vaporize graphite?  I'm thinking no.  This must be one of those "scary" things that get told so as to turn people against nuclear power.  It has little basis in fact.
  2. On the Limbaugh show today, he says some stuff that made me wonder about why he continues to support Republicans.  I don't know how you support a party which always disappoints you.  I got to thinking about lab rats.  Lab rats?  Yeah, lab rats.  Put a lab rat in a box with a couple of buttons.  One button is a food reward if pressed, the other is an electrical shock.  Which button does the rat learn to press?  I think even a lab rat will stop pressing the darned button that causes pain.  Why can't people stop supporting Republicans who continue to disappoint?  Even a lab rat would have enough sense to stop pushing the pain button.  If those who support Republicans would just ask themselves why they are supporting them and read the riot act to the Republicans, things could change. Otherwise, look for another way.  Another party or do something else.  Even a lab rat could figure out when to start doing something different.
  3. Why are people interested in politics?  Let's see.  If you have it all-- fame, fortune,and romance--- why would you be interested in politics?  Two kinds of people would be interested in politics--- politicians and their followers.  I mean, you have to get something out of it in order to have a reason to mess with it.  Those that are in the center of things would get something out of it.  And those who follow would get something out of it---presumably.  But everybody else probably gets screwed.  If you are one of the others, why get interested?  Just seems like a heartbreak ready to happen.

MAB, part 8


A series about the Microwave Airbreathing Booster- except with a twist.  This one discusses an option that leaves the airbreather out.

Speculation alert.  Some new ideas to kick around.

You know something?  I wonder if there is some sort of objection amongst the upper muckety mucks to airlaunching upper stages.  Is it because it is felt to be unsafe?  Or is it inelegant in their opinion?  Or is it possible that nobody thought of it?  Personally, I think everything has been thought of at least once.  It just hasn't been implemented.  Thus, the thought that there is an objection to this idea at a high level.

Yet the Shuttle was an ungainly looking thing sitting on top of that big fuel tank.  What the heck.

The idea is to turn a plane into a rocket of sorts and fly it high enough to get above the atmosphere, and then you could release a LH2/LOX powered rocket and it would get to orbit.

Maybe it could even get to orbit easily.  You wouldn't even have to get to hypersonic speed for the release.  Just get above the atmosphere.  The reason being that the lower atmosphere gets in the way of efficient rocket performance.  You save a lot of mass by airlaunching.  Mass is your big enemy in a rocket design.

Take the Falcon 9.  The final payload of this rocket is only 2% of the "wet mass" on the launch pad.  If that's all you can get to orbit, it behooves us to use a lot less mass, don't you think?   Just getting to 30k feet as the Stratolaunch is slated to do actually saves a lot of weight.  If you got to 100k ft in altitude, it may make your engines almost as good as in a vacuum.  Your final wet mass for your rocket stage can be much less than a conventional setup.

Now, a 747 plane by itself can't do an airlaunch that good.  But a modified one with more powerful engines might.  Let's say an altitude of 100k feet would be high enough, and your rocket plane can get there.  What else do you need?

I figured an ISP of 427 for the LH2/LOX rocket would be enough performance.  If you could get to a high enough altitude in order to get an ISP of that much, then you would be able to get to orbit.  You could use J2X rocket engine or Aerospike engine.  Either one would be able to do it as long as you are far enough out of the atmosphere.

Note:  For the purposes of the discussion, I am adding 8500 lbs for a space capsule and 5000 lbs more for engines than the S4B (Saturn) used.  Also, I am adding 40% extra mass on top of the upgraded S4B's mass in order to  to make the rocket reusable.  You could add some wings, wheels, and a heat shield.  The assembly would sit on top of the rocket plane as the Shuttle did on a 747.  It would fly up to 100k feet then be released at a subsonic speed.  Also, if a 747 cannot do this, there would be a plane that could be designed that would.

What if you used rocket engines instead of 747 jet engines on a 747?  To put it another way, what if you replaced the jet engines with rocket engines?  The guys doing the Stratolaunch took the 747's engines and put them on their design.  What if you used the airframe instead, and not the engines?

The 747 uses 4 engines, which are rated at about roughly 50k lbf thrust each.  A single rocket engine will beat that.

But if you did a "clean sheet" design of such a plane, maybe you could make it go supersonic, or even hypersonic.  The point is to get a horizontal launch to horizontal landing capability with your airlauncher.

Another thought:  What if you put Spaceship One  on top of the stack instead of a Gemini capsule?  If launched without fuel, the spacecraft doesn't weigh all that much.  Even less than the Gemini.  What if you take the engines out and beefed it up a little and put a heat shield on it?  Could you get the mass down to a similar weight to a Gemini?  If so, it could land on a runway.  That's the point.


Did you ever wonder how much fuel it takes just to get to supersonic speed on a Falcon 9 launch?  It must be a lot because it took 1 minute and 10 seconds to reach supersonic speed according to the announcer in the cots resupply video on Wikipedia.

That's 70 seconds of all out thrust.  Lots of fuel going out there and lots more of it has to be used because of that fact.

If you just go supersonic to start with, you save a lot of fuel.

The point that I'm making is that you don't really want to launch at sea level with a vertical launch.  It guarantees a much bigger rocket.


Ninth post in this series is here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

FBI asked to probe Obama 'vote-changing' machines

Free Republic

among those who contacted her with concerns were two officials, including a state lawmaker who personally experienced a vote machine changing his vote three times to the party whose agenda he opposed.


Why stop at Maryland?

Getting too late to make any difference.

Two part MAB: Cargo and Crew

Sixth part here.

An infrequently asked question ( IFAQ).  Why do you add an S4B conventional rocket to a design that doesn't require one?  After all, the microwave design can lift a payload to orbit as an SSTO in its own right.

Yes, even though Parkins' design was SSTO, it is not practical for human crews as its acceleration would be too great for a person to endure.  This will allow the MAB to be introduced, which will allow for full reusability and a much lower price tag for each launch.  Even though you do it this way, it doesn't preclude building a cargo version which will lift a lot of cargo for its size.

Using Parkins' numbers, a 500,000 lb wet mass cargo vehicle could lift 20% of its mass as useful cargo.  That means 100k lbs or 50 tons, the same weight class as a Falcon 9 heavy.  Now, if you can do that for  that for half the price of a Falcon 9 launch, it would seem to be a bargain to me.  And that is a conservative estimate on price per launch for the MAB.


Part 8 of a series.

Free Republic: Wow! Rand Paul on On the Record with Greta-where was this message in the campaign?

he strongly insisted that the Bush tax rates resulted in INCREASED revenues to the federal government for years


That's what I've been saying.  If you start with the premise that Bush was bad, you've already lost the fight.

This outcome was decided before it even began.  Bush should have been defended.

GRANTHAM: We're Headed For A Disaster Of Biblical Proportions

Business Insider

Summary of the Summary

The world is using up its natural resources at an alarming rate, and this has caused a permanent shift in their value. We all need to adjust our behavior to this new environment. It would help if we did it quickly.

The Sky is Falling.  A completely different view on CNN.

In any case, if you conquer space, a lot of new resources come on line.  But that would be too expensive, too "out there".  Whatever.


Never underestimate the power of incompetence.  Even though there are solutions, there will be somebody out there who will find a way to screw it up.

The Shot That Prevents Heart Attacks

Yahoo! Health  via Free Republic

“Inflammation is a key player in destabilizing plaque, explaining why some people with relatively little build up in their arteries have heart attacks or stroke, while others with substantial plaque deposits never suffer these events,” says Dr. Bale, who advises all of his patients to get flu shots to guard against inflammation, the body’s response to viral and bacterial infections.
Dang!  A flu shot can prevent heart attacks.  Whoda thunk?

Thorium To Be Used In a Working Reactor

New Energy and Fuel

  • Thor Corporation owns Thor Energy and also has shares in businesses related to thorium fuel, thorium mining and separation of rare earth elements. Fen Minerals holds the mining rights to the Fen deposits in South Norway, which are rich in thorium and rare earth elements.
  • The company has completed a 2-year thorium fuel cycle feasibility study which concludes that thorium-based nuclear fuel has several advantages over uranium-based fuel
  • Thor’s chief technology officer Julian Kelly explained Thor Energy will deploy a mix of solid thorium mixed with plutonium – a blend known as “thorium MOX”.
  • Westinghouse is helping to fund the project,
  • Westinghouse is also known to be the commercial adviser on the U.S. Department of Energy’s collaboration with China on developing a molten-salt cooled reactor. [comment: WTF?]

Good news and Bad News.  The Good News is that Thorium is getting its due.  The Bad News is that molten salt reactor technology isn't.

The thinking is best captured by a comment.  There's no money in making machined fuel rods because there ain't any in a molten salt reactor.

You'd think that'd be the entire point.  But noooooo.

Monday, November 26, 2012

MAB part 6

MAB stands for Microwave Air-Breathing Booster.  Sixth part of a series.  Last post here.

Speculation alert.  Actually, all of these should have that, but I got lazy.

Using atmosphere and energy for precooler for hypersonic flight

If the spacecraft is to go hypersonic and still be an airbreather, some way needs to be found to cool the air on the intake side, if I am not mistaken.  One way is to do it like Skylon does it.  Skylon will carry some extra hydrogen on-board for this purpose.

But what if you can use some of that energy that heats up the atmosphere in order to cool it down on the intake side first?  That way, you don't have to carry the mass of the hydrogen along with its plumbing and tanks.

Don't know if this is the best way of doing it, but here goes.  I figured a Sterling type device to use the energy from the microwave and running in reverse as a cryogenic cooler that will cool down the air intakes.

How to finance this thing

What would all of this cost?  I haven't the slightest idea.  Let's say $15 billion.  If you can get 150 flights out of it, that figures to 10 million per flight plus the other costs.  Let say those other costs were also 10 million per flight.  That would still be a bargain.  The Falcon 9 can launch for 50 million.  But this thing may be configured to lift a lot more than the Falcon 9.  It may lift as much as a Falcon 9 heavy.

But all of that depends upon a developmental cost that doesn't exceed this figure and a lifetime at least as long as 150 flights.  How this figures in, I don't know.


Part 7 here.

Next Big Future: European Space Agency gets 10 billion euro...

...and one of the funded projects is Skylon Spaceplane: Ministers from ESA’s 20 member states and Canada today allocated €10 billion for ESA’s space activities and programmes for the years to come...


The 36 page document the article references leaves something to be desired.

Good to hear that Skylon has gotten some funds.

Obama re-elected by an illiterate society?

Whatever the reason for Obama's re-election, it wasn't due to illiteracy.

Recently, Obama has been re-elected for a 2nd term by an illiterate society- source Pravda.

The real head scratcher is how so many educated folk voted for the guy.  But not so much the head scratcher when you realize that it amounted to groupthink.  The left is locked into groupthink by their political correctness.  But the "right" isn't immune either.  Ideology can truly make you stupid.

Yes, groupthink can lead to some really dumb moves by smart people.

Funny how these things work

You hear about shared sacrifice.  But the sacrifice is for thee, not for me.

The ones who want to "save the planet" are the ones who take the most from it.

The ones preaching tolerance are the first ones who will tell you to shut up.

The other guy is always the stupid one.

 You hear about hypocrisy of others, but never about the speaker's own.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Space - The Final Frontier - Moore on the Moon

The Earth is getting too crowded. In the old days, when things got too crowded, people would leave for the frontier. The frontier is where somebody could make a new start. That's what's needed--- a new start.  A new frontier.  A place to seek new opportunities and to grow.  The human race must grow or perish.  Which will it be?

Foster Brooks

Known for his Dean Martin Roast performances.

I wonder if the drunk performance was just a performance or the real thing.

Rhett & Link: Never Make These Faces

Everybody has a default facial expression. What's yours? If, by chance, you have one of the default facial expressions depicted below, you may want to find a better one.  It can impact your quality of life.

"Dumb": This is an Idiocracy expression.

"critical": Don't be a mouth breather expression.

"confused"  This is a WTF expression.

"sad" Forty year old virgin expression.

I don't know which one of the above I need to work on.

Rhett says he saw this facial expression below at Fuddruckers.  Errr...

Life's Disappointments

A post that Glenn Reynolds linked to in his blog reminded me of something in my own life.

I guess I'm in that mood about now and so it is appropriate, I suspect, to relate that story to anyone who might be interested.

But there aren't that many that are interested, so that's one disappointment.  But, I digress.

The disappointment mentioned in that post was a father who wrote an email to his children which told of his disappointment in them.  You see, I can relate to that because my own mother did something like that to me.  The reaction of the children in the mentioned post was to stop being on speaking terms with their father.  I had the same reaction to what my mother said.

It seems that this criticism is not always welcomed.  Why?

In my own case, the thing that riled me up so much was that my mother did not help on the subject that she was being critical about.  Sure, she was my mother, but this was not a case of parental advice given and not taken.  What riled me is that gave no assistance whatever on that subject at all.  She wasn't offering any either.  She was just being critical.

But, on what subject?  The subject of marriage.  I never married you see.  She was disappointed in me for this and made this disappointment plain.  I didn't appreciate it one bit.   There's a lot more to this story, which I will leave out, though.  Basically, my beef with her can described as being similar to that of Lincoln with his critics- he said one has to earn their right to criticize.  On that subject, she didn't earn that right, and so I was offended.

Looking at this in a larger context, I see a lot of that in life.  There are so many who are ready, willing, and able to criticize the hell out of you.  But, when it comes to actually helping you with that in which they find fault, they are nowhere to be found.

That could also be true in politics.  If everyone would stop pointing fingers and try to find a way towards solving our mutual problems, we'd be a lot better off.  If you aren't willing to do something towards that end, you lose any credibility with your criticisms.  As Lincoln said, you have to earn that right.  Unless you earn it, you will not likely meet with receptive ears.

Via Meadia: How The World (Almost) Ended

via Instapundit

We’re less likely to be caught completely by surprise by these kinds of things these days, in large part due to the work of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program and Italy’s ADAS


Lowering the cost of access to space would help in establishing a planetary defense.  That's a good enough reason to want to do space colonization, you would think.