Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Nuclear Rocket, Part V

Part V corresponds to Chapter 5 in the book, which is where things get really rocky.  I think I skipped over this part the first time through, so it can be safely said that I didn't really read it.

Now that I have, I can see how he lost Trent Waddington.

The chapter ranges well off into a future which is just too unpredictable.  He has it all planned out, but nothing ever goes according to plan.  NOTHING.  Even if he got his COGO started, it won't necessarily lead to the outcomes he wishes for.

The chapter is mostly fantasy.  It would be a major accomplishment to get the NucRocCorp that he wants, much less the other Congressional Acts that he thinks is necessary for his BIG WET SPACE DREAM.

To give an example, he thinks that a 200, 000 ton press could be lifted into space in order to make better space stations.  Huh?  Even if something like that could be lifted, it all seems over the top to me.  Don't get me wrong.  If we ever had such a capability, I'd be ecstatic.  But it is much more realistic to consider what could get the process that could lead to such an outcome all started.  At this point, NOTHING like this is ever going to happen considering the path we are on.  The chances for this a exactly ZERO.  It would take a major miracle in order to make the probability to move off of zero, if you follow my drift.

I think he stumbles badly beginning with this chapter.

Poll: 29% of Registered Voters Believe Armed Revolution Might Be Necessary in Next Few Years | CNS News

Poll: 29% of Registered Voters Believe Armed Revolution Might Be Necessary in Next Few Years | CNS News


Oh, hell yeah.  The media and the government are giving us the mushroom treatment while they consolidate their power.

By the way, 18% of those who said yes were Democrats.  What do you make of that?  Their idea of liberty is getting free stuff so that means making other people pay for their free stuff by force of arms.

Reynolds: White people staying home biggest problem in 2012



This maybe a bit of self-delusion here from Reynolds.  Colorado was a swing state in 2012, but their turnout was not low, but high---70% or so.  Hard to see how more white people could have turned out.  If Romney doesn't win Colorado, his chances to win were really quite low.

Our biggest problem is that the country has changed in some fundamental way and there may not be anything that we can do about it.

The Nuclear Rocket revisited, Part IV

I hit a brick wall the first time through on page 82, as I recall.

Also, I may be boring people to death with this discussion.  Sorry, it goes with the territory.  If this bores you, you will have to go elsewhere.

I want to summarize what I've gotten from the book, just in case I want to write a review of it on Amazon.

  • Chemical rockets are forever inadequate.  It is implied in the rocket equations.
  • NASA had to know this and so did policy makers.  They are content with make-work projects that don't accomplish anything really.  People shouldn't get starry eyed about what the government can do.  Unfortunately, Dewar himself may be expecting too much of human nature.
  • The book challenges your assumptions.  If you are set in your ways of thinking, this book isn't for you.  If you like thought provoking ideas, this book could be stimulating.  It's worth reading and studying, whether you agree with the ideas or not.

A quickie observation here to add with the rest listed above.  Dewar doesn't consider in situ resourcing.  Actually, if most of the problem is in the energy necessary to get out of the Earth's deep gravity well, it behooves us not to keep on doing that, but to launch permanent infrastructure into space instead.  That includes means of getting hydrogen from the moon and asteroids, or even other planets.  We need a permanent presence in space and that would mean that the infrastructure and personnel needed in order to service nuclear rockets as well as obtaining the reaction mass needed--- all of this must be part of the bargain or the show is off.

Re-visiting The Nuclear Rocket, Part III

Another thing to comment upon:  his idea for a NucRocketCorp.

My first take on this was that it was to be like a GSE ( Government Sponsored Entity).  That would like the Federal Reserve, or Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac.

But it isn't exactly like that.  He says on page 77 that it's a variation on the GOGO concept that NASA uses, or the GOCO concept that the DOE uses.  GOGO means government owned, government operated.  GOCO means government owned, corporate operated.  His is called COGO: short for corporate owned, government operated.

I think there'd be an ideological objection to this.  His idea to have the government in charge of the HEU ( highly enriched uranium) makes sense.  But to have corporate entities turning over their assets to a government operated organization--- I don't think so.

He'd probably have more luck sticking to current models like GOCO that the DOE uses now.

There'd have to be some kind of incentive for the corporations to want in on this.  I can't see the government spending a lot of money to reconstitute the nuclear rocket facilities currently in disrepair only to have no interest shown by the corporations in running it for profit.  The corporations would be making their chemical rockets obsolete, so they'd have a strong incentive not to join in without adequate compensation guaranteed to them.

Dewar believes that they must join or die.  Well, that's an incentive, but you have to get past the politics of it.


Corrected some poorly worded discourse.


Further thought on this does not preclude a COGO concept.  That could come later after the bonds are retired for the startup.  You'd have to government fund the startup though.  There's no way I could see private companies just willing themselves into oblivion by joining up with this concept.  They'd had to be brought kicking and screaming into this and they'd have to be compensated fairly---maybe even more than fairly if you catch my drift.  Later on, they could get it back once it is on its feet.  In the interim, they'd could run the enterprise until it is successful, or it isn't.  In the end, it must be privatized.

Snow continues delay of spring planting


Ice ages begin with a year without summer.  If this continues, you may want to worry about an Ice Age, not global warming.

In any event, it will be Western Civilization's fault, no doubt.

The Nuclear Rocket continued

Another reason why the book is such a slow slog is that it is so thought provoking.

An example is the analogy of a nuclear rocket system with the transportation business ( page 74).  It just so happens to be the business that I have been in for the past 30 years.  Something like this is right down my alley, as a manner of speaking.  This analogy made me think.

Thus, it struck me that the Space Shuttle was called upon to do too many things.  It was called the Space Transportation System, but such a thing expected from just one vehicle was too much to ask.  It's like using an 18 wheeler as a taxi.  If you did that in the taxi business you'd go broke pretty fast.  No wonder the main mission of the Shuttle, which was to make space more economically accessible---failed.

Instead of a Shuttle that was expected to do it all, it could have been tasked to be a reusable system only with the mission of taking a crew to orbit- a taxi.  NASA already had a heavy lifter, the Saturn V.  NASA could have made it a super heavy with the nuclearized Saturn V, but the Rover / Nerva nuclear upper stage got canceled along with the Saturn.  Something had to replace the Saturn, so the Shuttle by necessity was tasked with not only delivering a lot of cargo, but crew as well.  If the Saturn could only have been retained, the Shuttle could have had a less ambitious mission, and a better chance at success.

Dewar said in his book that NASA prohibited the use of nuclear rockets to get to low Earth orbit ( LEO).  Some may object to blaming NASA, but the taboo against nuclear rockets appears to be NASA's idea.  Thus, the Shuttle became a consequence of the prior decision made by NASA and is NASA's fault.

So, if the nuclear Saturn had been retained, it could have lifted super heavy stuff to orbit which could have used as the main mass in a larger mission.  It would have been the 18 wheeler that could deliver a half million pounds to LEO.  The reusable Shuttle could have been used for delivering crew only for rendezvous with the cargo.  Thus, the Shuttle could have been smaller and much, much cheaper to build and maintain.  Like comparing an 18 wheeler to a taxi.  The transportation system could have had specialized vehicles to do specialized tasks.  The super heavy lifters to deliver the big stuff, the reusable Shuttles to bring small amounts of cargo to space and back.  The Shuttle could have been a taxi and the nuclear Saturn could have been the 18 wheeler.  Very logical and consistent and no need to re-invent the wheel.

Such was not to be because of the taboo against using nuclear rockets to get to LEO.

Re-reading The Nuclear Rocket

This book reminds me of my student days when I read a textbook for a course.

For some reason, the information isn't sticking on the first go round, so I have to keep going back to it in order to fully grasp it.

Not that it is so technical or anything like that.  He uses his own terminology, so that may be a part of it.  If you don't grasp the terminology, you can proceed to the next part of the book.  In other words, the book builds on itself.  Therefore, it is like a textbook.

You can't just skim through it and get it.  At least, I can't.  I don't believe I should rush on to the next thing, but to pause and fully understand this book.

Physical market still strong

Gold And Silver Bullion Coin And Bar Shortages Continue

Friday, May 3, 2013

Project Timberwind

James Dewar, in his book The Nuclear Rocket, doesn't have much good to say about it.  He says they tried to re-invent the wheel.

In case you are wondering, Project Timberwind was an SDI program which was intended to make a nuclear upper stage like the Nerva, only better.  It failed and was canceled early in Clinton's presidency.

According to the pdf final report, the idea was to intercept ballistic missiles.  If that's true, it was a dumb idea.  Good thing it was canceled.  I could examine the pdf  in detail, but first impressions make it look like a foolish gold plated program that was destined to go nowhere.  At the moment, it doesn't seem worth the time to read the pdf report.

Claims were for it to have a "45" version and a "75" version.  Whatever is meant by those designations, I am not sure.  The weight specs are amazingly low and the performance exceedingly high.  Using Dewar's rule of thumb of 1 MW equals 50 lbf of thrust, looks like those were comparable in power to those in the Project Rover/Nerva days during the Apollo Era.  However, these were to have 1000 sec of ISP in a vacuum.  If Dewar is right, it could never achieve that kind of performance from a pebble bed reactor.  They'd have to run it too cold to keep it from sending the nuclear core out the nozzle.  Not good.

My impression is that this program wasn't vetted properly beforehand.

Ordered Alvin Weinberg's Autobiography

The First Nuclear Era: The Life and Times of a Technological Fixer by Alvin M. Weinberg (May 8, 1997)

Once the book arrives, I will be spending a lot of time reading it.

Posting will likely be lighter in the future.  Due to things like this as I mentioned in the previous post.

I will still be posting on the blog to let everyone know I'm still here.

State of the Blog, 5-3-13

Last month set a new record for pageviews.  Sounds like great news, huh?  But not really.  The pace of growth is way, way too slow.  Over the years, I've learned how to be more patient, but at the core, I'm not patient by nature.  I want to move on things---get moving.  The blog is moving way too slowly.  Something has to change.

The pace of growth is one thing.  Another thing is that blogging takes up all my time.  I don't mind this, but there are other things besides this blog.

Now don't get me wrong here.  I don't want to quit blogging.  I want to be more efficient and effective, that's all.  The more successful people don't work themselves into an early grave.  I'm driving myself like a slavemaster.  I have a tendency to do this, yet here I am at the bottom of the heap.  It is a common refrain in my past.  Work hard at getting old, because all the hard work isn't getting me anywhere really.

Physically, I'm wearing down.  I really need something to do when I get older and can't work like I do now.  Driving a truck for a living is a younger man's job.  I'm getting too old for this.  Yet, I look at this blog as a replacement of some kind, and it makes no money.  What to do?  I don't want to quit the blog, but at some point, I'm going to have to quit driving.  There has to be something to take its place because I'm not rich and I can't retire.

At this point of this post, it seems like a list of complaints.  I don't want to complain.  But it is somewhat in my nature, but suppressed for the most part.  Just to restate, something has to change.  I must be more effective.  I need to pick up the pace, if you will.

Turning to subject matter of the blog, it has been my belief from the beginning that energy and space are vital for the future.  Lately, with the thoughts on the nuclear rocket, I've come to the conclusion that nuclear energy is the only way forward.

With that in mind, I looked again at the Thorium Energy Alliance.  I've liked the LFTR since I first heard about it.  But like the blog, the pace of growth for that subject seems way, way too slow.  It's like watching grass grow.

As bad as things are in this country and in the Western World, the fact that a solution like this isn't being pursued with great vigor is something that just puzzles the hell out of me.  There is no single laser like focus on this and there should be.  All of the other ideas are second rate compared to this.  Unfortunately, most people don't know and those who do, don't seem to care.

That's on the ground.  In space, we also have something that works, but has been languishing for 40 years.  That's the nuclear rocket.  It probably isn't any mere coincidence that the nuclear rocket and nuclear energy are at a standstill.

People are just reacting to fear.  But the fear has to be overcome.  We can't go back to the horse and buggy any more than a baby can go back to the womb.  If we don't pursue nuclear energy, it will mean ruin--- for chemical energy is insufficient for our needs and a lower energy lifestyle guarantees only one thing--- the Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse.  For most people, nuclear energy is the Apocolypse.  However, if nuclear energy is the Apocolypse, then the Apocolypse cannot be avoided.  For we don't have a choice.  We make nuclear energy work, or we die.  We don't have the luxury of deciding to stay with the status quo.  Chemical energy is insufficient.  Solar and wind and other renewables cannot even begin to work.  It is merely avoiding what is necessary if we are to move forward.  And we can't move forward without nuclear energy.  It's move forward or perish.

So, I'm going to focus more on nuclear energy and the nuclear rocket on this blog.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Coming to a country near you

How Much Is The Argentinian Peso Worth? That Depends

Gun control zealots bully sen ayotte

The way to deal with bullies is to stand up to them.

An even better way is to kick their butts.

Too white and too self-conscious to wear Google Glass? | ZDNet

This is what the culture has descended to.  A guy feels self conscious about being white.

Zombie Worms Drill Whale Bones with Acid : Discovery News

How did they come up with that name" zombie worms"?

They don't eat brains, but bones instead.

Sent from my Virgin Mobile Android-Powered Device

Thoughts on the road 5-2-13

Can two focus fusion units be combined to produce the muons?

If possible , would that actually save any energy?

If that was successful , would you reach break even?

ParaPundit: Paraguay Grows At 13% This Year, Little Impact On Poor

ParaPundit: Paraguay Grows At 13% This Year, Little Impact On Poor

Machines replacing workers means no jobs created.

Jay Carney: Benghazi "Happened a Long Time Ago"


Hillary Clinton employed this same tactic in the Whitewater investigation.

This is what you call "stonewalling" an investigation.  Cover-up!

The main differences between this and Watergate is that nobody died during Watergate, and there's a Democrat in the White House.  Nothing to see here, move along.



A discussion about this book:

More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition (Studies in Law and Economics) [Paperback]

Coulter might have used a different title for the article.  The key is that more guns equal less crime.

Next Big Future: High Energy Costs are Making Europe Even more Unco...

Next Big Future: High Energy Costs are Making Europe Even more Uncompetitive...: Members of the European Parliament were more concerned about any further raising of energy costs that some European companies already say ar...

The great progressive ripoff

What Causes The Growing Wealth Gap In America?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Cruz 2016

NRO  via Instapundit

The freshman senator is considering a run for president.

He looks good so far.  But it's way too early.

Redlines and the Problems of Intervention in Syria

Redlines and the Problems of Intervention in Syria


qe in warp drive

That's the ticket more free money more free stuff.  Land of the free takes on whole new meaning.

Companies hire less, manufacturing growth slows in April

thoughts on the road may first

20 kilowatts will produce one pound thrust.

The coaster would be Impractical because it wouldn't be powerful enough to get off the ground.

Second idea: what if you can get a muon to work with a polywell?
It would be unconventional to say the least. I figure that you have to be very concise as to the placement of the muons.


Perhaps if you direct the muons to the plasmoid in the dense plasma focus?  The idea here is to get the muon amidst a lot of positively charged ions where it will remain and do its work to help bring about fusion.  If a lot of muons can help shrink the plasmoid as well as aid in the fusion itself, maybe it could make a difference.


Here's a pic of a plasmoid that would be the target of the muons.  The goal of the researchers is to shrink down the size of the plasmoid.  Would the muons help to achieve this?

Our smallest plasmoid yet, in formation. The plasmoid is forming at the narrowest “waist” of this image, which is 1 cm across. The waist is only 200 microns in radius. The black specks are defects in the ICCD imaging device

Now, the problem with muon-catalyzed fusion is the sticking of the muons which prevents the maximum number of catalyzed fusions.  The muons are used on frozen hydrogen.  What if the hydrogen is high energy, would this help with the sticking problem?

IBM makes tiny movie by pushing molecules around -

BBC News - Antigravity gets first test at Cern's Alpha experiment


Sent from my Virgin Mobile Android-Powered Device

Obama Losing Power

Dick Morris

If Obama is really losing power, it is about damned time.

Actually, this isn't necessarily good news.  The public has bought all the premises of the left.  That's what put Obama in the White House.  Unless this changes, his replacement just may be worse than he is.

The Individual as Property

American Thinker

The notion of the individual as sovereign is either dead or nearly dead in America.  The political left is like the Borg in Star Trek.  "Resistance is Futile."  You will be assimilated.

Wanna rent a chicken?

Tuesday Humor: GM Announces It Is Losing Money On Every Volt Sold, Will Make Up For It With More Losses

Election turnout comparisons

Something has gotten my attention.  I noted on a comment to a blog post that Texas' turnout in the last election was rather low, so I checked it out.  Yes, it was rather low.  I looked at the country as a whole and I made some comparisons over the last several elections.  I was a little surprised by the findings.  In terms of turnout, the differences were not that much over previous elections.  I had expected more of a difference, but the patterns are pretty well-established.  So, in terms of turnout, not much changed in this last election.

One thing that did change is from 2004 to 2008, We went from Bush to Obama.  Turnout was higher for Obama in 2008, but not all that much higher.  What seemed to change the most is the attitude.  It wasn't turnout.

Has this country experienced that much of a change in just these past 8 years?

If so, this could be permanent.  Obama hasn't changed the country.  The country may have already changed by itself.


This led me to look at the list of the most popular movies and books.

Frankly, I don't know this stuff and it bores me.


If you read Zero Hedge, you will become absolutely convinced we are headed to the Dark Ages.  The American public is blissfully ignorant of the coming doom.


I guess the conclusion to all this is our policy makers and so-called leaders are shielding the truth from the public and since nobody knows that there's some serious problems here, nothing will be done.  Nothing will even be attempted.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

NY Times: Why Do I Have Gout?

You're not necessarily a pig.  In the comments section, a vegetarian said he had it.  He was dehydrated.  The moral of the story?  Drink more water.  Lose some weight.

Sandy Hook victim’s daughter questions Kelly Ayotte on gun vote - Manu Raju -

Sandy Hook victim’s daughter questions Kelly Ayotte on gun vote - Manu Raju -

The left is working on her.

Funny how they claim not to be political, but look at this.

It is almost as if this daughter holds the senator responsible.  What kind of twisted thinking do they produce up there?

Ayottes' response was weak.  No need for apologies, and all accusations needed a firm response.

NYT: Guantánamo Adds Medical Staff

Let them eat cake!

W t  F

Sent from my Virgin Mobile Android-Powered Device

Equal opportunity blog

A bit of humor here, even if you aren't amused.  I just realized that the truth pisses people off.  They just don't want to hear it.

Well, the truth may be a slippery thing, but if I can see it accurately, I'm going to say it.  And that will surely piss off somebody somewhere.  In that sense, I let the chips fall where they may.  If you read this blog long enough, something is going to piss you off.  With the truth, I play no favorites.  So, it is an equal opportunity pisser offer blog.

Yuk, yuk.

Israel: Iran has not crossed nuclear 'red line' (Netanyahu!)

Free Republic


What's up with Netanyahu?  Maybe it's the pressure being put on him by Obama.

At any rate, as far as I'm concerned, Iran crossed the line as soon as they started developing their own nuclear program.

Light water reactors aren't built for their energy.  They are built for bombs.  Simple as that.

Anybody who says otherwise is full of crap.

Too strong a statement?  I don't think so.  Using water requires expensive containment facilities.  This makes it uneconomical and potentially dangerous.  Not to mention the waste disposal problem.

You have to get rid of light water reactors and go with molten-salt reactors which do not require so much containment.  In addition, there is no possibility of proliferation and waste is much more manageable.

There is simply no excuse for light water reactors!  They are Model-T technology in the Space Age.

Islam's true colors

James Zumwalt, UPI via Free Republic


All of this is old hat to those paying attention.  Unfortunately, too few are paying attention.

The question that should be asked in the political arena is why are Democrats helping them?  And why is CPAC being led by a Muslim sympathizer?  And even more so, why the hell is Barak Hussein Obama the president of the United States?

The biggest con job in history

Well, maybe it isn't the biggest.  If not the biggest, one of the biggest.

It is the global warming scam.  It is hard to spot because it appears plausible.

I think it is a scam because it is preventing us from taking real action that could help us.  Real action is to adopt molten-salt reactors at the earliest possible date.

The reason?  I think the energy problem is related to the rocket problem that I've written about.  The amount of energy needed for rockets increases exponentially while increasing thrust to the rocket grows only linearly.  The only way to get that kind of energy is nuclear.  Likewise, the amount of energy needed for continual economic growth is going to increase at a rate that won't allow anything but nuclear to work.  So called renewable energy will never work.  Even oil and gas won't work.  Chemicals won't work for rockets, and it probably won't work for growing and affluent societies.  The energy needs are just too great.

The great con is to keep people from realizing this.  This keeps things as they are, which is highly profitable for some fat cats.  But it is not going to be good for the rest of us.

I just read something that says that Bakken and Eagle Ford are being blown way out of proportion.  Yeah, I think I can believe that.  It is part of the con job.

We should be developing the molten-salt reactor.  It has been available to us for 40 years.  So have nuclear rockets.  We should be developing those too.

The alternative could be ruin.

Sandra Day O'Connor's Second Thoughts On The 2000 Bush v. Gore Decision

Free Republic

She's worried about the reputation of the court.  Stuff like this is why the right cannot win this game.  That's because the left is never worried about reputation.  Since when did the left ever worry about the reputation of the court?  They are reliably left, the right gets wobbly.

The courts are political.  She's worried that it appears political.  More accurately, she's worried about being seen as political when the left never worries about this.

You see, the way the cards are stacked, the right figures that it has to gain the left's approval of whatever it does.  This will never happen.  In the end, the right will do what the left wants because the left intimidates and bullies them into it.   If they had the backbone, this wouldn't happen.

Bush v Gore was decided rightly.  It was a tie and the court broke the tie.  If it wasn't decided the way it was, Bush would have become president anyway, or unless of course, the Republicans were so weak they let the Democrats just steal it outright.  Bush would have won because the Republicans had the House.  They had the Florida legislature.  They had the Supreme Court.  No way Gore could have won that and the Democrats had to know that.  The only point for them to have done what they did was to discredit the Republicans and the new president.  It was done out of spite.

All of the cards were in favor of the Republicans.  They played their cards right.  The Democrats were only interested in getting power.  What's wrong with the Republicans doing it too?

Besides, Bush won.  Not that it really mattered all that much.  The left still seems to get what they want anyway for the reason mentioned above.  Even after standing tall in that controversy, they got Roberts in the Chief Justice chair and he looks like O'Connor with the Obamacare decision.

Decoupling of the gold paper market from the physical market

The Spot Price of Precious Metals Is Becoming Irrelevant

In a cynical mood, or is it realistic?

This business about denying gun purchases to people on terrorism watch lists is just another thing that has me cynical these days.  There's always a con going on.  Always.  Think about how this is a con job.  The guy is a naturalized US Citizen.  How did that come about?  How can he get naturalized and be on a watch list like this?  If he gets on a watch list like this, why isn't his citizenship revoked and why isn't he deported?

Now they come back and say that people who get on watch lists should be denied guns.  Bullshit.  Here we have the government refusing to enforce its gun laws already on the books.  Not only that, but terrorists are allowed to immigrate to the US.  Why not enforce the gun laws and keep the terrorists out instead using it as a pretext to curtail gun rights?

I'm in a cynical mood this morning.  I dreamed last night that I was conned and swindled.  The dream made me realize that I've been conned in real life and the dream was to inform me of what my conscious mind won't.  I'm sure it was a con now.  And it was a slick one, or I'd like to think that it was a slick one because I'd like to think I'm really not that dumb.  Thinking about it a bit makes me realize the con artists prey upon the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of people.  That's what happened with me and what I think is happening here.

The point is that we are being conned.  Con artists exist.  In my own case, certain things didn't add up.  When it comes to the government here, certain things are not adding up either.  The government isn't doing its job.  Let it do its job before they start demanding more authority.  To demand more authority in the face of incompetence or negligence is unacceptable.  Worse than that, it may just be a con in order to get you to give up something that you should not give up.  The government should prove its bonafides before they start asking for stuff.

h/t Instapundit

Monday, April 29, 2013

US consumers keep spending despite reduced pay

US consumers keep spending despite reduced pay


checking in

protein wisdom

If you want to revisit the last 8-years or so of protein wisdom — condensed into about 45 minutes — listen to the first 1:30 of Mark Levin’s show from last evening.   Note: written on 4/26/13


Yeah, it sounds about right.

The big money has them bought and paid for.  No, this isn't leftism for me to mention big money.  I won't be dragged into supporting the Republicans just because they say they are opposing the Democrats when they won't.  It's all propaganda.

ParaPundit: Gang Of 8 Immigration Bill Assumes Big Labor Shortage

ParaPundit: Gang Of 8 Immigration Bill Assumes Big Labor Shortage


I linked this because it is just another example of how this government doesn't pay attention to what people actually want.  They just pass laws that they think is in their own interests and the public be damned.

They are going to try again to pass a gun-control law too.  People don't want that, but they are going to get it anyway.

They are worried about climate change while our civilization crumbles.

Ann Barnhardt says something to the effect that the politicians are all a bunch of money-grubbing, power-hungry pyschos:

These people are ALL psychopaths, and they are preying on YOUR "celebrity worship". Rand Paul, like EVERYONE involved in "politics" today, including his money-grubbing, crazypants daddy, is a power-hungry, money-grubbing psycho who will do and say ANYTHING in order to maintain and advance his power and wealth.

Yeah,  and to think I was optimistic once on this here blog.


You need the ultimate in escapism to feel some relief.

Whatever Happened to America?

Given that readers have been saturated to the point of fatigue with coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings, I thought I’d provide some relief and write about another critically important topic that is generally ignored by the media.

Last Saturday, I called my sister to wish her a happy birthday, and, as is almost always the case when we speak, we got into a discussion about “the good old days.” Early on in the conversation, my sister asked, in a tone of frustration and disgust, “Whatever happened to America?”

To fully appreciate her question, you have to understand that my sister and her husband are models for everything that once made America great. They worked hard all their lives, clipped coupons, paid their bills, saved up for their golden years, and raised three wonderful children who went on to live the same kind of responsible, self-sufficient lives.

But a funny thing happened on the way to their retirement: America disappeared. Well, it didn’t exactly disappear. What actually happened was that it disintegrated. The certitudes that provided the strength for its moral structure simply decomposed over time — sort of like that History Channel show Life after People.

My sister made an excellent point when she said that things that were once considered to be unacceptable in America are not only accepted now, but glorified. And that, I believe, is the key word: glorified.

Take “gay pride,” for example. As a libertarian, I firmly believe that how someone chooses to live his life is his own business, so long as he does not trample on the rights of others. However, I never understood what “gay pride” was all about. I finally came to the conclusion that it had nothing to do with pride and everything to do with “in your face.”

That’s what my sister meant by the term glorification. In the 21st century of secular-progressive America, it is not sufficient merely to be accepting of things that were once considered to be off limits. Now they must be praised, exalted, and celebrated.

Likewise, I believe that the motivation for legalizing gay marriage is to glorify it. I don’t think it’s any of my business if two homosexuals want to get “married,” but I also don’t believe it’s any of the government’s business. The publicity surrounding the attempt to get the federal government to “legalize” gay marriage is all about glorification.

But gay pride and gay marriage are just two of thousands of politically incorrect examples I could allude to in an effort to embellish my sister’s question, “Whatever happened to America?” Sports, in particular, is saturated with such examples.

Last week, I happened to watch the story of Jim Valvano and the North Carolina State miracle national championship in 1983, and what struck me most was how different the players were just thirty years ago. No pony tails, no dreadlocks, no tattoo-covered arms, no saggy bloomers passing as basketball shorts.

The players were civil, well-spoken, and clean cut — intelligent young men who stayed in college all four years and displayed class both on and off the court. Such athletes would seem odd to the typical yahoo sports fan of today.

But that was then and this is now, and the reality is that the secular progressives have won. Just about everything that was once off limits is now glorified. And the key to glorifying moral decadence is getting people to submit to the let’s-pretend game.

We pretend that thug athletes are heroes. We pretend that movie stars are authorities on the most important social and political issues of the day. We pretend that we really believe “rap” is music. We pretend that having pregnant teenage girls running around loose in our high schools is no big deal.

We pretend that the scoundrels roaming the halls of Congress are honorable, upstanding men and women of courage who are serious about upholding the Constitution. We pretend that we have a legitimate president in the White House who is deeply concerned about protecting American citizens. We pretend that we live in a constitutional republic where we are free.

The sad truth is that in today’s America, nothing is real. Money is fake. Politicians are fake. Liberty is fake. We live in the United States of Fake, where we create fake presidents, fake heroes, and fake morals.

The media can distract us for long periods of time with the next terrorist attack, the next plane crash, or the next natural disaster, but it can never answer the question “Whatever happened to America?” Why so? Because if they ever dared to honestly address the question, it would open a thousand cans of worms that they are ill prepared to deal with.

My sister and I grew up in an America that young people of today would find quaint — or perhaps disgusting. To be sure, there were plenty of injustices in our time. There always have been and always will be. But there was a sense of stability that stemmed from certitudes. There was a generally accepted understanding of the difference between right and wrong. There was a meaning to life well beyond bread and circuses.

As the far left, aided and abetted by the conservative media and RINOs in Congress, takes us ever deeper into the abyss of secular progressivism and collectivism, there will be fewer and fewer people around who will remember what the real America was like. And, as with the Holocaust, those with a vested interest in promoting the United States of Fake will increasingly deny that the original America ever existed.

Sure glad I was there to witness it.

You have permission to reprint this article so long as you place the following wording at the end of the article:

Copyright © 2013 Robert Ringer
ROBERT RINGER is a New York Times #1 bestselling author and host of the highly acclaimed Liberty Education Interview Series, which features interviews with top political, economic, and social leaders. He has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business, The Tonight Show, Today, The Dennis Miller Show, Good Morning America, The Lars Larson Show, ABC Nightline, and The Charlie Rose Show, and has been the subject of feature articles in such major publications as Time, People, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Barron's, and The New York Times.

Banks not lending

How The Fed Holds $2 Trillion (And Rising) Of US GDP Hostage

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Metallic hydrogen

A quick post on this as a rocket fuel.  It is said to be capable of ISP's of close to 1700.

A little thought on this gives an impression of exaggeration.

From the Nuclear Rocket book, velocity is proportional to the square root of  temperature divided by molecular weight of the reaction mass.  Okay, so even if you are able to obtain metallic hydrogen, how do you get the molecular weight of water any lower?  You can't.  The combustion temperatures are said to be higher, but how does that do you any good if you can't get it any higher than the melting point of the toughest stuff known?  Nope, not possible.  Isp of 1700 ain't gonna happen with hydrogen oxygen combustion.

Now if you can get metallic hydrogen for a nuclear rocket, you may have something.  That's assuming that you can keep it in atomic form, for the molecular weight of the atomic hydrogen is 1.  That would simplify to velocity is proportional to the square root of the temperature.  The highest temps you'll get is about 4000 K.

NASA's Asteroid Mission Takes Shape as Congress Remains Skeptical - Yahoo! News

A moon mission would be more expensive, says Bolden.

Oh, hell. Just do it, people.     
NASA's Asteroid Mission Takes Shape as Congress Remains Skeptical - Yahoo! News
NASA's proposed mission to snag an asteroid and bring it into lunar orbit to be visited by astronauts is beginning to take shape even as arguments over its rationale continue. NASA is asking for $100 million for the mission for FY2014.
Read the full story

Muon-catalyzed fusion for propulsion

I've liked fusion for propulsion since the first time I saw it discussed.

Of course, if it ever works well enough for net energy, it becomes self-sustaining and that will help us to kill two birds with one stone: one on the ground with energy production, and one in space for getting places.

An interesting idea expressed in the link above is what if you can get useful thrust out of it even without achieving breakeven?

You could use fission to provide the energy for making muons, and then the muons would create the fusion.  The fusion products will be high-velocity alpha particles that would provide the thrust.  A side benefit is the production of neutrons could be used to breed U-233 from Thorium 232 and to keep the fuel process going on that side.  A type of synergy between the two processes.

My worry is that you couldn't make enough muons in order to make enough alpha particles for thrust.  You'd be supplying much more energy than what you are getting out of the process, but you'd be getting alpha particle zooming along at a fraction of the speed of light.

Anyway, the scientific breakeven for muons is a bit over 300 reactions per muon, according to this chart.  Economic  breakeven is much higher at 900 or so.  I'm wondering that if it would be worth it from a rocket's thrust standpoint to get close to 300?  It won't be economical, but that's not what we are trying to accomplish.  We are trying to get useful thrust out a rocket without it weighing too much and without it causing too much radiation.


Muon catalyzed fusion won't work with Boron-11, so it will not be aneutronic.  This means there will have to be neutron shielding, or there'll be radioactivity and other problems with the mechanical stuff inside the fusion chamber.  I suppose you could also utilize the neutrons to make more U-233.  But that wouldn't work with the tubing that carries the Thorium floride gas.  Hmm.  Maybe you could just line the innards with Thorium and Boron and let it soak up the neutrons.  Replace it as needed and harvest the U233, but that stuff is bad stuff.

Robotic Trip to Ceres to aid Mars Trip

A study of the trip to Mars shows that even with a nuclear thermal engine, you still need a lot of fuel to get to Mars and back.  How can you lessen that requirement?  A thought occurred to me to go to Ceres for water, then send the hydrogen on to Mars.  Instead of a manned mission to Ceres, use a robotic mission instead.  It will go there, grab a lot of hydrogen, then run to Mars and deliver it for the crewed expedition.

The hydrogen will be used for the trip down.  Presumably, a way could be found to get hydrogen back up from Mars so that you won't need return supplies from Earth.  A plan like this will minimize the amount of mass needed to send a crew to Mars.  There's plenty of water on Mars, so you need to land near a water source.

How to get the water from Ceres?  The orbital velocity of Ceres is about the speed of an airliner.  Now, if preliminary reports are correct, Ceres has water vapor in its atmosphere, near the North Pole.  Set up a polar orbit, and then collect the water vapor over a period of time.  Crack the water vapor into hydrogen and oxygen and release the oxygen.  Fill up your hydrogen tank, and then go on to Mars.

It would require about 5k of delta-v for the trip to Mars from Ceres.  From Earth to Ceres?   Over 17k to land!  Landing doesn't need that much delta-v, but we save a little by not landing.  But at least the trip over will be light.  The trip from Mars will be heavy with hydrogen.

To get to Ceres from Earth does not necessarily mean lifting all the fuel off the Earth.  You can lift enough to get to L2 where the asteroid is going to be processed for water.  The hydrogen from the water there will power you on to Ceres.

Why not go to Mars directly?  There's just so much water in that asteroid.  You won't have enough for a crewed mission.  You may have enough for an unmanned mission to Ceres and maybe some manned missions to the surface of the moon.  You could possibly set up a refueling station at L2 and use Ceres as another refueling station for Mars.  You won't be called upon to get all your fuel from the moon or the asteroid at L2.

This wouldn't be an optimal mission perhaps, but it may work.  The attraction is an unlimited amount of hydrogen for any number of trips to Mars.  Sending an empty tank back to Ceres for more refills takes less delta-v than sending another tank from Earth to Mars or to Ceres for that matter.


NASA is sending a spacecraft there to study Ceres.  Perhaps it will find some water vapor in its atmosphere that could support such an idea.  As for the asteroid at L2, a mission is planned sometime in the future for an asteroid to be brought back to L2.

The Nuclear Rocket, Part III

It was only a week ago that I first read this book.  What a difference a week makes.  To recap briefly, I discovered that James Dewar was right when he said:
"any space program conducted with chemical propulsion will be limited forever"---p. 26

It will be limited because to increase the amount of thrust linearly you must obtain energy at a rate that is exponential.  Simple as that.  It's very much related to Einstein's famous equation E=mc 2 .  The equations are very similar. Look at them closely and you will see.   Stands to reason that to get thrust, you need to use Einstein's equation with respect to  matter and energy in order to obtain energy at the exponential rate necessary.

So, I'll be taking another look at Dewar's book.  I didn't accept the energy requirements at first.  That little rebellion is over.