Saturday, April 13, 2013

Marx Brothers - The Contract Scene - Chico and Groucho

from A Night at the Opera (1935)

Slipform Stone Masonry (sample clips from the DVD)

Could you do something like this on the moon?

Lunar Building Extruder

Selenian Boondocks

Interesting idea.  You can build structures while accumulating gases at the same time.

It would work by vacuum depositing lunar metals obtrained from the regolith that would eventually form a tube.  Extend the tube and it makes an ever increasing volume of enclosed space.

The construction technique he's referring to is slip forms, seen in the video below:

Nasa wants to tow asteroid to the moon, says senator


Looks like a plan to do something that will matter.  The idea is to use what's on the asteroid to enable a permanent human presence in space.

Note that an asteroid of this size weighs about 500 tons.  If it is a carbonaceous asteroid, it may contain upwards of 30% water.  That's potentially 150 tons of water, which is nothing to sneeze at.  It needs to be mined, of course.  That, along with everything else that is usable.

It should not be a one-off mission.  If such were part of a larger plan to utilize asteroidal materials to colonize space, then this should be considered a step in the right direction.

More money could be freed up by canceling the SLS rocket, and contracting SpaceX to do the launch services.

link to article follows directly:

Nasa wants to tow asteroid to the moon, says senator

Nasa wants to grab a small asteroid and tow it into orbit around the moon, as part of a long-range plan towards establishing permanent manned outposts in space, according to a US senator.

View Article

Dark Lightning Discovered



Unknown to Franklin but now clear to a growing roster of lightning researchers and astronomers is that along with bright thunderbolts, thunderstorms unleash sprays of X-rays and even intense bursts of gamma rays, a form of radiation normally associated with such cosmic spectacles as collapsing stars.

Do you know what's happening?  Fusion!  That's right.  It's the same method of generating positive energy from fusion that Eric Lerner is doing in order to achieve positive energy from fusion.  Nature can do it.  Maybe we can too.

You see, lightning is a plasma.  It strips away the hydrogen from the oxygen in the atmosphere, then it fuses it.  The Farnsworth Fusor did it in the lab.  Electricity can be the equivalent of billions of degrees centigrade.

Not all the news is bad, although it seems that way sometimes.

Can You Imagine the Coverage If It Were Dogs?


or, if the babies were killed with AR-15s?

a commenter on the above link offered this link:  "If Babies had guns, they wouldn't be aborted."  You know what?  You should think about that for a moment.  That is, if you bother to think.

Oh, hell.  Let me say it then.  If they can kill helpless babies like this, what will they do to YOU.

Am I connecting?  Probably not.


Another link that should scare the crap out of you, if you aren't on drugs.  Unfortunately, a good percentage of the population probably won't know what hit them when it does.  Not IF, but WHEN.

Using a LFTR as power source for microwave booster

Speculation alert:  As usual, talking out my ass here.  But it is a brainstorm, which means it might or might not be a good idea.  The critical examination of it as an idea is for another time or place.

Anyway, the idea is to solve the launch problem.  Now, Kevin Parkins came up with the idea in his doctoral thesis to use a microwave beam to get a payload to orbit.

I've played around with the idea a bit on this blog.  One of these ideas was the MABB or Microwave Air Breathing Booster.   The MABB could be modified to carry some hydrogen onboard to convert it into an afterburner, like the LANTR concept, that could still get high ISP, but with much better thrust.  What this does is to decrease the mass necessary for orbit.  The more mass you save the better as 98% of the mass is fuel.  This will achieve better payload fractions.  What it will also do is decrease the size of the LFTR as less energy will be needed to get to orbit as the burning hydrogen in the afterburner will effectively double the energy produced.

Now the advantage of the LFTR is that it can be shut down to safe-mode much easier than a conventional reactor.  It can stay in safe-mode until the next launch.

The LFTR can be modular, so it can be mass-produced.  If you need a dozen or so 100 MW reactors, that could be configured into a 1.21 gigawatt power source for your microwaves ( a bit of Back to the Future lingo there), therefore you could do it potentially cheaply.

Back tracking a bit to the original idea, which was to lift an X-33 type system using a 747 or Stratolauncher:

You could lift it up to 30k feet, then release it.  The microwave beam will power it up to orbit from there.

At first, it will use atmospheric oxygen in the afterburner.  Once the altitude gets high enough, then it will shift to onboard hydrogen only.  The afterburner will shut off and it will be in fully rocket mode, except the energy will be provided by the microwave beam.


A little research shows that you could separate the oxygen from the atmosphere in the way that Skylon proposes while using the hydrogen as a pre-cooler.  This will allow hypersonic flight in air-breathing mode before switching to fully rocket mode.  That will allow the air-breathing portion to act as first stage in a staged rocket system without having to jettison the stage.

Disparate thoughts, 4/13/13

There are several topics out there, what to discuss?

Perhaps a few short paragraphs on each

  • As mentioned in earlier posts, the culture is sinking fast.  There's no effective opposition to it, so the trend isn't likely to change.  The Republicans behavior is inexplicable.  Why join the Democrats when all that it does is relegate the party to the sidelines indefinitely?  It makes no sense whatsoever.
  • Gold dropped big time yesterday.  It is now trading at less than 1500 oz.  This is amazing, in a way, as the fundamentals call for higher gold prices, not lower.  This looks like a divergence.  A divergence needs some explanation, but such explanation is better captured by the statement that a divergence is like a snowstorm in hell.  Well, when it comes to the markets, and the culture for that matter, it's snowing in hell right now.
  • Gordon McDowell's project to make a DVD out of the Thorium 2012 conference is running behind schedule.  As a matter of fact, the 2013 conference is just around the corner, and now he has another Kickstarter going in order to raise funds to finish the 2012 project.  Somewhat disappointing news.  This thought just entered my mind:  making something good is hard to make work in a reasonable time frame, but making something crappy is a lot easier and takes a lot less time.  So the crappy stuff works even though it is crappy because it gets out there.  The perfect becomes the enemy of the good.
  • It has occurred to me that Bitcoin will never make it.  However, an alternative might work, but won't be implemented because it is too sensible.  This country is not very sensible right now, so anything that would help would not be well-received.  On the other hand, something completely impractical and foolish like Bitcoin will be all the rage.  Fits the times we live in like a tee.
I thought I had a lot more, but my mind has just went blank.  But the above is plenty to chew on if you have any teeth.  That's a metaphor by the way, but given the state that this culture is in, I doubt that many would get it.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Heart health

What to do right, and what to do wrong.

This kind of thing is getting scary

There's a number of posts on Ace of Spades that are cultural in nature.  Maybe I'm not up to speed on this kind of thing, but after reading them, I realize how bad things are out there.

There's this business about same-sex marriage.  That wasn't on any of Ace's posts, by the way.  I'm just correlating it with what was on the blog.

There's a post about the infanticide that wasn't covered on the news.  Now Wikipedia is considering dropping anything about the story on the grounds that it didn't get into the national news.  The reason?  This is happening because women are being forced into underground clinics, so says Amanda Marcotte.  That is just an out and out lie.

There's a pattern emerging.  No honest coverage of Obama, no honest coverage of Benghazi, and now this.  And it is EVIL.  They are just flat out lying about what is going on.  The most evil thing is that people are believing the lies.  Even worse than this is the general lack of fighting spirit to counter the lies.

The culture is as out of control as the government.  It may well be the reason why the government is out of control.  The culture is dead.  Things are getting downright scary.

Washington Post: immigration

They do not necessarily want citizenship, Democrats want that.

If Latinos voted republican, they'd be against it.

Epic Rap Battles of History, Eastwood v. Bruce Lee

"Go ahead, make my Ipod."   Eastwood won.  "Killed by an aspirin?"

Deifying the Dear Leader


In short, he needs to make his bones.  He's got to show that he can fill his daddy's shoes.

Murder rates lower today than in 1926

A little surprising to me.  I figured the murder rates in the old day would be lower---much lower.  But that ain't so, according to these numbers:

1926 Murder rates per 100,000

2011 Murder rates

There was an article comparing El Paso, Texas with Chicago, Illinois.  Chicago has a relatively high murder rate, while El Paso doesn't.  The article points out that the location doesn't matter.  El Paso is across the border from Juarez, Mexico, which has the second worst murder rate in the world.  The common link is gun-control.  Chicago has more strict gun-control laws than El Paso.  Juarez is probably more strict than either.

Gun-control doesn't work.  Perhaps there's an explanation for El Paso's better performance, but it isn't gun-control.

sources, el paso and juarez

BBC chief refuses to ban Margaret Thatcher death song - Telegraph

Talking about biting the hand that feeds them.  If it weren't for Margaret Thatcher, the UK would certainly be worse off today.

BBC chief refuses to ban Margaret Thatcher death song - Telegraph
The BBC is at the centre of a new row over the death of Baroness Thatcher after admitting it may broadcast a song mocking her passing.

The Hunt Brothers of Bitcoindom suffer same fate, Bitcoin collapses

Winklevoss Twins Revealed As Owning 1% Of All BitCoins

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Afterburner on Parkins' Microwave Concept

Way back at the beginning of this blog, I came across a launch concept that proposed using microwave energy to lift a rocket into space.  It was a doctoral thesis by Kevin Parkins, who went to work for NASA, if I am not mistaken.

Anyway, I wondered at the time if the hydrogen would catch fire in the atmosphere and go "boom".

It struck me recently with the LANTR concept, (which proposed using an afterburner on a nuclear thermal rocket), could be used as an inspiration to improve upon Parkins' concept.  After all, if you can put an afterburner on a nuke, you can do it on a microwave-powered rocket too.

There would be more thrust, but less ISP.  Now, if you were to make it an airbreather on part of the way up, you could compensate for the lower ISP and accomplish orbit with less mass.  At least that's the proposition.



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Never-before-seen artifacts from JFK assassination to go on display in Washington |


I once did something of a study of the JFK assassination.  Oswald did it.  There's not enough info one way or another to conclude that there was a conspiracy.  Anybody who says otherwise is probably full of it.

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Study finds daydreaming the top cause of distracted driving accidents.


Now that I have some time, I'd like to comment upon this.  As far as daydreaming goes, as long as you don't take your eyes off the road, you can react to what happens in front of you.  You may not be aware enough of the other sides of you, but at least the stuff in front you can see.  On the other hand, if you text while driving, you can't see what's ahead of you.  You can run right into it.  There was a fatal accident a number of years ago here in Houston when somebody was reading a newspaper while driving on a freeway at highway speeds. He ran into somebody and it killed him.  Therefore, I wouldn't agree with this finding.

Dr. Ben Carson withdraws as Hopkins commencement speaker

...medical school Dean Paul B. Rothman chastised Carson for his comments and met with graduating students concerned that the famed physician was an inappropriate commencement speaker...Rothman last week had described Carson’s comments on same-sex marriage as “hurtful” and chastised him for using offensive language.


Calling someone a bigot for following a long-term tradition and religious belief is not hurtful too, I suppose.

Mozart vs Skrillex. Epic Rap Battles of History Season 2.

Skrillex? Who the f*** is that?

That question says it all.  I don't know who this guy is and he's a star.  That he is a star says something too.

Obama Could Win in 2014 Midterms by Losing Legislative Battles Now

Obama accuses Republicans of playing politics with respect to gun issue, but his supporters cheer Obama on while he plays politics with the issues.
Obama Could Win in 2014 Midterms by Losing Legislative Battles Now
Obama's agenda may fail now, but that could boost Democratic efforts to win the House. By Eleanor Clift.

The GOP: A Social Club Without A Purpose

Show me a candidate who is willing to use politically incorrect but accurate Levin-type words to describe the enemy — such as liar, idiot, jerk, and criminal — and I’ll show you someone who might just kick his Democratic opponent’s butt

Good luck with that.

The New Wedge Issue: Gold


The world has an economy worth about $80 trillion. But banks have wagered $1.6 quadrillion in derivative trades. If, or rather when, those bets come crashing down, banks will not be able to make good their losses. And governments will be hard pressed to do so either...Gold is coming!


But they will try.

[PJ Media] : Horrible Jolt This Morning; How Awful Current Leaders Are

Horrible Jolt This Morning; How Awful Current Leaders Are


it is your duty to know the values and customs of living of Piers Morgan, but due to his high station (ahem) he is proudly ignorant of yours. As is so often the case in our increasingly dysfunctional and nasty politics — in which certain parties refuse to even admit that their opponents are free citizens entitled to have beliefs at all — the Out-Classes are deemed all-but-officially Beneath Notice

Pride at being ignorant of your enemies is a recipe for defeat, if Sun Tsu was right.

U.S. admiral: Global-warming threat dwarfs N. Korea (Yep, he said it)

Free Republic


The military officer charged with monitoring North Korea at a time when the rogue nation is threatening to unleash missile attacks worldwide has used a Senate hearing to double down on his claim that it is global warming that is the real danger.


This is a ridiculous statement on multiple levels.  On one level, global warming isn't an imminent threat even if it is 100% true.  Secondly, if you are really concerned about global warming, you can do something about it without raising taxes and regulations---but nothing like this is being proposed.  Thirdly, the even mention of this with respect to North Korea shows a complete lack of seriousness.

Benghazi: Unaware, Unresponsive, Unaccountable

Published on Apr 10, 2013

Nearly seven months after the Benghazi attacks there are still more questions than answers about the Obama Administration's response. Time is running out to find the truth. Absent a special investigation, the American people will never discover the truth about why Americans were simply left to die in Benghazi. More than 70 House Republicans have cosponsored H. Res. 36 to create a Select Committee on the Terrorist Attack in Benghazi - but more than 160 still haven't signed on. [emphasis added]

Rather curious that this many Republicans still haven't signed on to this.  You'd think they'd do it just for the politics of it.

What's going on here?

The Stupidification of the Economy

Will We Never Learn?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

NRA Fires Back | Washington Free Beacon
Eight GOP senators have ready agreed not to oppose.  What difference does this make?


We just got hosed.

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Tradable gold platform, part 3

This will be a new series to explicate some ideas about how to make gold act like a currency even though it isn't one.

Come to think of it, that might get you into trouble.  But wait a sec.

Anyway, this idea started a few days ago.  The second post was a musing about how to make it the currency of a seastead realm.  But, that seems too impractical to me now.  So now I wonder if it may be possible to just deposit the gold in an existing bank vault, and assign a new "bitcoin" to it.  Not the actual bitcoins themselves, but a virtual one that acts as an identifier that puts a claim on that particular piece of gold.

For example, let's say you accept 1 oz gold pieces in this bank vault.  Upon receipt, a new "bitcoin" is created which identifies the piece.  Now, you need a bank for this, so what you do is set up an account that will give you dollars ( or any other currency, including real bitcoins ) in exchange for your gold.  You would be selling your gold to the vault, or more accurately, the bank.  You could not buy it back, though.  The idea is to accumulate gold while increasing the outstanding shares of the virtual currency.  This compares with "mining" the bitcoins.  Instead of "mining", you are exchanging 1 oz. gold pieces for a unit of the virtual currency.  Once created, it cannot be destroyed.  Dollars would go into an account in exchange for the coins, if you don't trust the virtual currency.

Now, if virtual coins stayed on hand at the bank, they could offer to sell the virtual coins for any other currency, you see.  Now, after having made at least one exchange, the virtual coins are in circulation.  It's value is still linked to the coin in the vault.  The coin in the vault doesn't go away, and neither does the virtual coin.  It would function like a "gold certificate" of days gone by.  Instead of trading the coin itself, you'd be trading the virtual representation of it.

Tapped again

Don't know what it is, but there's just nothing out there that I like to respond to.  It is getting rather boring.

While I'm bored, I'll be posting more brainstorms.  Perhaps something interesting may pop up in the interim.

Obama on Gun Control: 'This Is Not About Politics' ...Unless You Disagree With Me

Obama on Gun Control: 'This Is Not About Politics' ...Unless You Disagree With Me

Projection.  He plays politics and accuses the Republicans of it.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Nuclear SSTO a really bad idea?

Looks like what I considered a brainstorm has already been considered and rejected.  Kirk Sorensen, the guy who wants to build molten-salt reactors, worked on a similar project years ago.  His thoughts on the subject is on the blog Selenian Boondocks.  Basically, his objection is the poor thrust to mass ratio of nuclear thermal rockets.  They are too heavy.

Some bad mouthing for James Dewar's book came from Trent Waddington ( QuantumQ).  Too late to cancel the book order.  He says it's a bad read.  Yikes.

I still like the idea of a nuclear thermal taking off on a runway, though.


It should be noted that James Dewar didn't advocate an SSTO.  His idea was for something akin to an upper stage.

There's a doc file that piqued my interest.  I got it from Dr. Space's website in connection with having Dewar on his Space Show broadcast.  The link can be obtained there.

It's an interesting read.  I have to say, after reading it, that even Dewar may be underestimating the potential of these rockets.

At least 14 hurt in Lone Star College stabbings

We need knife control.

The corresponding www article is:

Washington Post: norks are not serious

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Nuclear Thermal Rocket ( repost )

( originally posted on Feb. 24, 2012 )

According to Jim Dewar, a guest on a recent Space Show, there's a lot of economic potential for nuclear thermal rockets.  What would it take to get this started? ...


The repost was done because this idea of an afterburner on a nuclear thermal rocket has me intrigued.  Dewar's idea is to use tungsten fuel rods so that there would not be any release of radioactivity from the rocket exhaust.  ( That statement has to be verified, as I am recollecting it at the moment of this writing.)  I just ordered his book The Nuclear Rocket in order to learn more.

Now, if you were to combine the tungsten fuel rods with the afterburner, you should be able to minimize the size of the spacecraft.  It would utilize the superior energy potential of nuclear power over chemical, plus it would use the atmosphere as an ally as opposed to an enemy to be overcome.

The goal would be a Single Stage to Orbit ( SSTO) spacecraft that could take off a runway, get to space, and return from space by landing on a runway.   Another goal would be to use atmospheric oxygen in the afterburner so as to minimize the amount of reaction mass needed.

Why use a runway?  This would be to minimize the amount of thrust needed to get airborne.  Also, in order to speed turnaround time for the next mission.  In addition, to make it possible to land on any airport that was available.  Ultimately, this could make it a commercially viable product.

Boy Scouts Board Member Says 'End Gay Ban' - US - CBN News - Christian News 24-7 -

Boy Scouts Board Member Says 'End Gay Ban' - US - CBN News - Christian News 24-7 -


Scout leaders, however, say they don't expect the resolution to pass... If struck down, Tyrell and other supporters say they're prepared to take legal action....Controversy over the policy intensified in 2000 when the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the Scouts to maintain the policy in the face of a legal challenge.[ emphasis added]


The Supreme Court has ruled on the matter.   What do they expect to accomplish?

Obama slams Republicans for gun reform 'stunts'


"What's more important to you -- our children or an A grade from the gun lobby?"


Way over the top.  This guy is demagoguing it now.

From the description, it looks like a crowd of all-American Europeans.

Auburn Man Facing Charges After Killing Bear In His Backyard

CBS Boston

The man claimed he was going to be attacked by the bear and was defending himself.  The police don't believe him, so they charge him.   He is also being charged with having a shotgun.  Looks like a Supreme Court case to me.  If you can't defend yourself against a wild animal, why have a second amendment?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Next Big Future: Path to Affordable uranium from seawater

Next Big Future: Path to Affordable uranium from seawater: IEEE Spectrum - Our oceans contain an estimated 4.5 billion metric tons of uranium, diluted down to a minuscule 3.3 parts per billion. The ...

I was thinking of this in connection with a bitcoin type currency.  The bitcoin software is open source.  Just adapt it to this and you're on your way.

You could peg the proposed currency to the mineral content of seawater.

The coins could be backed up by a seastead colony that would be organized as an independent state.

Next Big Future: Nuclear DC-X : Recent Nuclear Thermal Rocket Propo...

Next Big Future: Nuclear DC-X : Recent Nuclear Thermal Rocket Propo...: 103 page pdf, advanced propulsion study for the US Air Force made in 2004 prepared by Eric Davis of Warp Drive Metrics. Eric W Davis is ...

This answers the question that I posed earlier today.  That is, you can make a nuclear thermal rocket with an afterburner. It will have more thrust, but less ISP.  The ISP would still be greater than the ISP of LH2/LOX engines ( the best chemical engines possible).

Engine List - Atomic Rockets


Idea two

I also was wondering if it would be possible if you can use the same computer code that bitcoin uses to identify a bitcoin, that would identify an asset instead.


I was wondering if it would be worthwhile if you add an afterburner to a nuclear Thermal rocket.


Shit happened.

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North Korea

A couple places on the web say talk to the guy.  Pat Buchanan was one.

I don't always agree with Buchanan.  But you can make a deal with the Norks.  You can't make deals with the Iranians.  You can negotiate with the Norks.  Try it and see.  It is worth trying, anyhow.  A war, even if it is won, would not be a good thing.

It is not likely that this is going to end with the North Korea guy walking off in a huff.  He is likely to do something to try to provoke a bigger fight.  Pretending he is not there isn't an answer.  Is there a risk to talks?  Maybe.  There were talks with the Imperial Japanese when they attacked at Pearl Harbor.  Talks aren't the same as peace, but it may be a start, or it may not be.

Buchanan says retreat from Korea.  I'm not so sure that is a good idea.

Japan is going to hell in a handbasket.  Should we retreat from there as well?  If we start retreating, how far do you retreat?  All the way home?

Tapped out this morning

A scan of the news reveals nothing interesting to me.

Nothing to write about.

There's supposedly an immigration bill coming out of the Senate this week.  Why do we need an immigration bill?

Gun-control is still bouncing around out there.  Why do we need gun-control?

Benghazi?  What Benghazi?  Nobody seems to care about that.

I could complain about the government, but then I see something about how Obama looks cool on TV.

Talks with the North Koreans?  If Obama talks to the guy, I worry a little about what he might say.

I guess there's a bit of resignation here.  Things are going to go downhill, and there's probably not much you can do about it.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Another bitcoin post is like a fish story--- the big one that got away

Yes, it is getting a bit tedious to study the phenomenon of bitcoin.

I went into the subject again for the last several hours.  I can say unequivocally that it is a pain in the posterior to do anything with bitcoin.

BUT, if I had known anything at all about bitcoin in March, I may have been tempted to buy in order to wait and see if there would be anything worth speculating in.  That is, if you have bought into bitcoin before the Cyprus news broke, you'd be sitting pretty about now.  Look at this market cap:

Market cap movement for bitcoin in just one month.  In mid-March, the Cyprus heist news just broke
If bitcoin is really in a bubble, and it may well be, that bubble could pop any minute.  The time to buy was before Cyprus, not after.

A case for negotiating with the North Koreans

This is probably not likely to be popular with conservatives.  However, the alternative is war, or at least the increased risk of war.

It may seem a bit far-fetched, but not impossible, for the North Koreans to have an EMP weapon.  This a very dangerous risk for the United States to ignore.  Even if the North Koreans don't have one of these, how will we know for sure until it is too late?  By that time, millions of lives could be lost, and that could only be the beginning.  Things only can get worse from that point on.

Negotiation isn't surrender.  It is a recognition of realities.  An EMP type weapon would not have to be big.  It just has to be big enough to cause a lot of damage, and such a weapon is possible.  That's the reality.  You could not afford to risk having one of these get through the missile defense.  An all-out total destruction response only devastates North Korea.  If they were crazy enough, they could attack and count on help to rebuild what's left of their country.  North Korea is small.  The USA is big.  It would be a lot easier to rebuild North Korea than to rebuild the United States.  All all-out exchange doesn't do as much damage and it would be a bad deal for us.  It would be the end of the USA as a world power.  North Korea could recover much more quickly.

It would make sense to find out what the North Koreans want, and what they are willing to give in exchange.

The Clinton Administration had an agreement in effect at that time.  It was called the Agreed Framework.  The Bush Administration decided that the cost of that deal was too high.  They objected to the nuclear power plant that was to be built for the North Koreans on the grounds that the spent fuel could be reprocessed into weapons.

Going down this path again is probably a non-starter.  But what if you could offer something better?  We don't have one of these now, but we did have a lab-tested molten-salt reactor over 40 years ago.  Why not commercialize this technology and offer it to the North Koreans instead?  Maybe they'd refuse, maybe they wouldn't.  Why not try it?

It could save us an unnecessary war.  Besides, we could use the technology ourselves.

It has several advantages that conventional technologies don't have.  It is proliferation-resistant.  Making bombs with these reactors is unlikely.  It is easier to make a bomb the old-fashioned way.  So, why even make the attempt?  Secondly, it is cleaner than conventional nuclear plants by a factor of hundreds.  Thirdly, the energy produced can be as cheap as coal.  Not to mention that it is inherently safe to operate---meltdowns are impossible.  What's not to like?

If the North Koreans don't like this idea, you can rest assured that the reason would be that they would prefer the conventional nukes because the spent fuel can be reprocessed.  The molten-salt reactor doesn't have to do any reprocessing to the waste.  There's very little of it in comparison with conventional nukes and what little of it there is cannot be used for bombs.

A refusal of this offer could mean that the North Koreans would prefer war.  The conclusion would be inescapable.  However, if they took this offer, it would be a real step for peace.

Kitco Commentary: The Long and Winding Gold- (Bull Cycle about to Begin)

By David Banister


The dramatic 2-3 day take down in Gold Spot pricing action smells and looks like capitulation to us at The Market Trend Forecast. 

The markets can be very deceptive.  Also, not for the faint of heart.

I memorized some of the market rules back in 1998 when I first began to trade.  Despite these rules, I went on to make many mistakes that violated them.  The goal of investing is to buy low and sell high.  You're not going to be able to do that if you allow your emotions to rule your intellect.

One of those rules was to buy when there's blood running in the streets.  An example with gold was when the gold rally began--gold was at a low of under $300 oz., and had been there for some time.  Gold Bulls must have lost all hope when the rally began quietly.

Something fundamental has to be afoot before the market will really move.  The fundamental thing changed in 2001 with the inauguration of George W. Bush.  Bush's problem was political.  He had inherited a stock market bubble which had just collapsed.  Interest rates were still high and the economy was heading toward recession.  Bush's response was the same approach that has been followed for the last 12 years and counting.  That is, aggressive spending increases coupled with an expansionary monetary policy.

Nothing really changed when Obama became president.  He has only doubled down on a policy that is failing.

The price of gold is being manipulated.  It is the evidence of a failed policy that cannot be allowed to be seen.  Hence the deception.

Another rule that I memorized is to buy when insiders are buying.  Guess what central banks are doing?   They are buying.  They are buying while manipulating the prices down.  What does that tell you?  It should be telling you something if your mind is engaged and your emotions are well contained.  Otherwise, you are hopelessly lost, and should not be in the markets and won't be for long.

Sen. Bill Nelson announces NASA's plan to capture asteroid


The US space agency is planning for a robotic spaceship to capture a small asteroid and park it near the moon for astronauts to explore, a top senator disclosed Friday.

It will probably be a make work type project that will be used to justify spending money on the big rocket to nowhere.  In order to reduce costs, the agency should contract it out.  Most likely, SpaceX rockets could do a manned mission much more cheaply than the big dumb rocket the agency is building.

Record keeping is point of contention on gun-control bill



Dropping the record-keeping requirement would make it difficult for Democrats to support the bill, according to individuals familiar with the negotiations. Democrats have argued there is no way to enforce the checks without some form of documentation....“The best hope we have right now of a bipartisan compromise is the discussion going on between Manchin and Toomey,” a Senate Democratic aide said Friday.

 It looks like they are looking for a crack in the conservative coalition.  Manchin was supposed to be so gung-ho about guns.   Toomey is supposed to be the arch-conservative.  If they come together on this and make an agreement, it will likely be a sell-out by the both of them.

Record keeping is the key.   The Democrats want record keeping because they want to eventually be able to confiscate weapons.  That's the whole ball game right there.  If they get this, they will have won.


National Review says that the Dems should drop the idea as unworkable.