Saturday, September 21, 2013

Nice what do we do?

This speech by Boehner was actually quite good, but....

What if they can't back it up?   Get a few of those who were cheering to get cold feet, and the whole thing will come crashing down into flaming ruins.

Consider this speech in the movie Braveheart. Afterward, the "mad" Irishman Steven says something like: "nice speech, now what do we do?"

After that, you have to fight, or look ridiculous. That's the position that Boehner is in now. He has to carry it out to its conclusion no matter how much it hurts, or he looks ridiculous.  The conclusion is victory or defeat, for now the die is cast.  If all Boehner is doing is playing a political game, everyone will be able to see that for themselves.  This has to be sincere.

Fracking Might Be in Britain’s Future

MIT Technology Review

  • The country’s aggressive carbon emissions goals call for the U.K.’s power supply to be virtually carbon-free by 2030.
  • Briony Worthington is mentioned.  She is in favor of LFTR technology that Kirk Sorensen is developing.
  • U.K. voters. Nearly three-quarters of its citizens are worried about climate change
  • targets would slash greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050 from 1990 levels.
  • such ambitious targets are well beyond what renewable energy alone can deliver

The obvious answer should be nuclear energy, but there is a great reluctance to go this route.  The molten-salt reactor would be a good start forward.  Worthington is doing her part, but is anyone over there listening?

Now, the Brits have this man who wants to make a SSTO.  If this were to be built, or something like it, there may be a possibility with space solar.  Kirk Sorensen doesn't believe in it, though.  I tend to follow what he says, but I may make an exception in this case.

Develop the ideas for a moonbase and asteroid capture system that would enable in orbit refueling which in turn can be used to construct huge solar arrays in space that can beam energy back to Earth.  Something to think about.  Or to do something about.

Natural Born Conservative: 2013 GDP Growth Rate Closer to -1.75%

Natural Born Conservative: 2013 GDP Growth Rate Closer to -1.75%: Phony Government Statistics: GDP - By: Larry Walker, II - “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: h...


The government has a huge credibility gap.  What we get from the news is nothing but propaganda.  People believe the propaganda, and won't think for themselves.  Thinking is hard work, as it is much easier not to think, and to let someone else do it for you.

Either we change this or things will continue as they are.  The trends aren't positive.

Obama:'We're Still Trying to Recover;' NBER: Last Recession Ended 4 Yrs Ago

 CNS News


Obama is still blaming Bush.  Guess what?  I've been thinking about the flow of events back then.

There was something called "mark to market".  Mark to market means that the prices for an asset have to be adjusted to reflect their current prices in the market.  Seems reasonable.  But wait.  If you apply this principle to the banks, which are leveraged out the wazoo, there's a problem.  That's because a downward move in the market suddenly puts the banks in the red on the property.  That makes the banks vulnerable to just the kind of thing that we experienced in 2008.

Some folks think "mark to market" is a good thing.  But it doesn't mix very well with a highly leveraged financial system.  It requires that assets always increase in value.  If the opposite occurs, lending institutions or the ones holding the mortgages are going to be in big trouble fast.

They tried to spread the risk around, but this backfired too.  There were so many who were exposed to this that the credit market froze up.  This guaranteed a recession.

The response to this appears to have been to reflate the assets that lost their value.  But at the same time, the government also passed a lot of self-serving and self-defeating measures.  One of which was ObamaCare.

Obama can blame Bush all he wants.  But after nearly 5 years, it's his responsibility now.  This blaming Bush routine is getting old.

Can you hit a bullet with a bullet?

That's the reason given for not being able to stop ICBM's and the rain of terror that they can bring upon us.

But what if that catchphrase is wrong?

Here's something on the subject via an Instapundit link here.  The story there was that there may be some problem with China and their anti-satellite weaponry.  In my opinion, this is bad stuff.  If the worse happens, there needs to be a response to it.

The worse could be a nuclear exchange.  Certainly not a good thing.  What could be done?  Well, it has been taken for granted all these years that ICBMs cannot be stopped.  It is my opinion that this sentiment or opinion may be in error.

An idea occurred to me this very morning.  In earlier and unrelated posts, I discussed some work on gas guns which are proposed to send payloads to orbit.  The idea is this, what if you could make this a dual use technology and use it for terminal defense?

Terminal defense is when everything else fails and the warhead is coming in for the kill.  When the warhead is at its most dangerous point, it is the most vulnerable to an attack upon it.  Now, what if you were to use these gas guns to send up very high speed object and smash into it?  At very high speeds, nothing could withstand the force of that much kinetic energy.  As a bonus, the gas gun's projectile will be very hot.  It will most likely melt the warhead even if did not score a direct hit.

If you were to use these big gas guns in the Atlantic near the Eastern Seaboard, you could offer a terminal missile defense for the major cities in the US.  As a bonus, you could launch civilian payloads from it to enable in orbit refueling of spacecraft.

How about that for an idea?

But you can't hit a bullet with a bullet!  No, we do it all the time.  Every time a spacecraft docks with another spacecraft, it is going much faster than a bullet, and not only are we hitting it, we a barely touching it!  No damage is done, so it is a relatively gentle affair.  But you can get less than gentle if you wish.  That's what the anti-satellite weapons are about.  They will smash satellites and make them useless.  There may not be any answer for this but to be able to respond and not get too burnt with the retaliation.

But won't the warhead explode anyway when it is hit?  Probably not, but even if it does, it is better up there miles away than at the surface where it can do the most damage.

A better response to an anti-satellite attack is to be able to save your population in the event of a war.  Another is to be able to send up replacements really fast.  A third response is to be able to clean up the mess afterwards.

Next Big Future: 3D Printing of a lunar base using lunar soil will ...

Next Big Future: 3D Printing of a lunar base using lunar soil will ...: Setting up a lunar base could be made much simpler by using a 3D printer to build it from local materials. Industrial partners including re...


Why build a lunar base?  Because it's there.  ( Couldn't resist making the phrase)

The only way anything like this happens is if somebody with the means and the will takes it on.

Elon Musk wants to go to Mars.  If you can convince him to go to the Moon first, that may be a way to get back there.

Why would Musk want to go to the Moon first?  He is a businessman.  Businessmen look for ways to economize, and Musk has certainly been doing that with his rockets.  His work promises to make rocket launches much more affordable, but he still has a problem with his goal.

Getting to LEO is only part of the job of getting to Mars.  There's more to it than that.  Sure, you can get to Mars with a rocket right now, but what kind of shape will the crew be in when they get there?  By using the Moon and its resources, you will be able to build larger and more spacious ships that couldn't be launched from Earth.  The energy required to launch from the Moon is only a tiny fraction of what it takes to get off the Earth.

An assist from asteroidal material could be helpful as well, by the way.  An asteroid could enable you get to the surface with a Moonstalk.  It could provide the means and the material to not only get to the lunar surface, but the means and material to get to Mars.

With these ships, you could arrive to Mars in pretty good shape.  With 3D technology that has been practiced on the Moon, you could replicate that feat on Mars.  There will be housing available to his colonists when they arrive at Mars.

True, he still may be able to do this without going to the Moon first, but it may be a bit easier and safer if he were to stop at the Moon and build up his capabilities there before proceeding.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Led Zeppelin - Four Sticks

This song is from Led Zeppelin IV. I recall listening to it many times, but I never did dig into the lyrics until now.  It appears to be about a man who is dreadfully unhappy with his significant other, and wishes to get away, but feels trapped.

I don't know why the song popped up into my head, but I'm telling you that it did.  It fits with the spirit of the times.  The woman could serve as a metaphor for the leadership that is ruining Western Civilization.  The political opposition to the leadership feels trapped by this unhappy situation and longs for an escape.  But it may never happen because it lacks the strength or the determination to change things.

The unhappiness will remain until that link is broken.  But the cure may not what it is imagined to be.  It is also the part that keeps you trapped where you are.

An End To An Era

Things are coming to a head.  The world's economies are in tatters.  The situation is not improving.

Here in the US, the President is regularly exceeding his authority.  The faction that he leads consistently chafes under the limitations imposed upon it by the Constitution.  If they had their way, they'd abolish it.  Instead, they will do everything they can to ignore it or go around it.  The trouble with this kind of thinking is that undermines the glue that holds the nation together.  If it goes too far, and it appears that it just may do that, the whole system could go into crisis.  In response to that, anything could happen.

This President is also in a bit of political trouble.  He has a number of scandals that are dogging him, and his supporters are doing everything they can to shore up his support.  At the moment, he still has substantial support, but there are cracks appearing.  In response to this, the President is now turning to the trick of all tyrants or budding tyrants, which is warfare.  Obama is rattling the sabers.  First with Syria, and now with Iran.  This is suspicious because he ran on a peace platform and was elected for the primary reason that his predecessor waged numerous wars in response to the 9-11 terrorist event.  There is plenty of reason to believe that his attention to foreign affairs stems directly from his weaknesses at home.  The economy is not doing well and his scandal threaten to undermine him completely.  The saber rattling looks political because it probably is.

There's a crisis brewing in Congress as the opposition wants to undo the administration's signature legislation of the first term.  Of course, this will be too much for Obama and the Democrats to accept.  Obama has a political war on his hands while threatening to start a real hot war in the Mid East.

All of this points to an event that will be like a perfect storm.  It will wash over the landscape and change it forever.

Perhaps nothing will happen and all of this is just a tempest in a teapot.  But I don't think so.  It isn't just politics as usual.  Something is brewing out there and it is big.  Something has got to give and when that happens, there will be a change.  What that change will bring is too hard to say at the moment, but things are definitely coming to a head.

I look for it in the next month or so.  It may start with a stock market crash or an event somewhere in the world that is like a spark that sets it all off.

I predicted early in the year we may find out if the GOP is an opposition party or not.  We are about to find out.  They will either fold or they will stand.  If they stand, there will be a crisis.  That could be the kickoff.  It's that or something else, but something's gotta give.

When that something does occur, and I believe that it will, then it will be a new era.  The old ways won't stand.  New ways will replace the old and a new era will begin.

The Fed's clusterf*#k of self-deceit

Guest Post: The Magnificent Fed

1 Million Truckers to Protest Obama by Shutting America Down for 3 Days in October



In support of the effort to defund Obamacare, a group is organizing a trucker strike to shut down commerce for a few days in order to get the attention of DC.


This is the first that I've heard of this.

Do you realize that Obama is now trying to start some trouble with Iran?  Why now?  He's been in office for nearly 5 years.  Iran isn't any better or worse than they've always been.  Why stir up trouble with Iran now?

It's another diversion.  These people in DC won't listen to the people.  They are living in their own world.  Their own little bubble.

Grid Down Acapulco: "There's Nothing to Eat"



Article warns about being prepared for disasters.  Too many don't, and when disaster strikes, order breaks down in 72 hours.


I will never forget what happened back in 2005 here in Houston.  It made the national news.  People trying to get out of the city in advance of a hurricane heading this way.  The freeways jammed for 70 miles around the city.  You couldn't get out.  People were stranded in the heat all day long.

In the city, supermarkets were closed.  Those that were open had empty shelves.  The shelves had been cleaned out of goods.  You couldn't get food or supplies.  This was true even though the hurricane hadn't even hit town and didn't hit town.

The lesson learned?  Big cities are death traps in a disaster.  What happened in Houston was only a preview of what would happen in a real disaster.  Only a fraction of the residents tried to leave, yet the roads couldn't handle the traffic.

Our government isn't prepared and won't prepare.  It's up to individuals to take care of themselves.  There's a lesson in there somewhere.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Idea: Tow ISS to EML-1

This post rates a speculation alert.

There was a Next Big Future post lately which discussed what to do with the ISS after 2020.

Somebody in the comments section may have suggested towing the station towards the first libation point between Earth and the Moon.

It seems like a good idea.  You have to do something with the station after its useful life is over.  You can ditch it into the ocean, or you can use the mass as an anchor for a Moonstalk.

The station is much smaller in mass than the anchor envisioned earlier.  But it could be a start.

Perhaps a less massive object could use a less strong cable.  If so, the weight of over 60k miles of cable could be reduced.  On the other hand, a lighter weight cable could break more easily.

Whatever is decided, a station at EML-1 would be a coup.  An anchor towards the lunar surface would be an even bigger coup.  In order to make that happen, there will have to be some preparations on the surface.

I've been thinking about that one all day.  How would you do that?  You may try drilling and/or digging.  The anchor will have to be placed in such a fashion as to be able to resist a lot of forces placed upon it.  So, it may have to be quite massive itself.  This implies a lot of work to bring about this result.

Perhaps you can use lunar materials for this purpose.  That would save launch expenses from the Earth.

If you drill and/or dig, you will need to send the equipment.  This will take a launcher that can do the job, plus a lander.  Of course, a big enough rocket from Earth that can lift it all and send it to the Moon.

I was thinking that the equipment could have a needle like opening where a tether could be threaded through it towards the lunar surface.  A drill could also fit through this hole and go through it towards the surface and begin digging.  Once the hole is drilled, the cable could be threaded through it.  That means the drill would have be moved out of the way.  That would have to take some ingenuity.

How deep to dig the hole?  Nobody has done anything like this before, so you don't know what will happen when you try it.  Perhaps you need water, but that would be in short supply.  In fact, anything that has to go into the hole that has to be brought from Earth would be quite expensive.

If you can dig deep enough and also do some horizontal drilling, perhaps you can fill the hole with something that will flow into it and harden.  I'm thinking iron from the lunar regolith itself.  If you can set it up like a root that won't be pulled up easily, perhaps enough mass can scrounged up that will do the job.

Pour the iron down into the hole and then build up around it at the surface.  You may need many tons of the stuff to do the job.  If the rig can be moved, on wheels say, then dig more holes.  In this way, you can set up a strong anchor base that be attached to a heavy object in space at L1.

How to thread the needle?  I'm thinking the photonic thruster mentioned in a previous post.  This will stretch out the cable--- from the libation point all the way to the surface.  Thread the needle and then tighten up the cable.  The system will be installed, but it may take more work to make it something that will last.

Eventually, the Moonstalk may be strong enough to start sending stuff up and down from the surface.

Materials can be exchanged as mentioned.  Eventually, asteroids could be brought in and processed.  The final result should be a station that can also be a gateway to the surface and back to Earth and other destinations.

The ISS could house crew as a temporary shelter.  Eventually, the asteroidal material may allow you to construct a more spaceworthy home without having to bring it from Earth.  At that point, the ISS itself can be deconstructed and its materials recycled to produce other useful items.

Does your shit stink?

Your troubles are over!


This is rather profound.  No, I'm not drunk.  

Linus Torvalds Admits He's Been Asked To Insert Backdoor Into Linux



The inventor of Linux was asked to put a backdoor into the popular computer operating system.


I think of Linux as a people's operating system.  Anybody can work on it and improve it.  The idea of the government putting in a backdoor to this operating system in order to spy upon us is obscene.

What is driving these people in government?  Why the hell can't they just leave us the fuck alone?

ParaPundit: California Minimum Wage To Hit $10 Per Hour

Randall Parker, ParaPundit

Note:  You should follow the links in his discussion.  When you don't follow the links, you don't get the full meaning of what he is writing.  You should also do that with respect to my writing on this blog.  I put in links as well to support my points.  If you don't click through, you may miss the point.

There's a number of points that Parker makes, which I won't repeat here.  See above note.

The reason I'm putting this up, is that we are in the midst of an economic change which is starting to worry me a bit.  The change revolves around a rather stratified ordering of society into a rigid class structure.

For anyone familiar, this may sound a bit leftist.  I'm aware of the ideology involved.  Class structures are probably unavoidable.  On the other hand, if the structures are too rigid, there can be no upward mobility.  You will be restricted to the class you are born into in such a social organization.  I'm against such social organization.  I'm for upward mobility.

Inasmuch as I was born into a lower middle class to lower class myself, I am not too happy about the current trends.  I haven't risen much above what I was born into.  This is a point of frustration for me, as I had always thought that I was better than that.  Part of the reason I began this blog was that I had such a feeling and wanted to do something about it.

It seems to me that the upper classes will orient the society according to their own advantage.  The question then should arise, "what to do with all these people who are in these lower classes?"

It is my theory that the Limits to Growth is a way to block the aspirations of the lower classes.  The restriction to resources that this movement advocates will do just that.  It will keep people down who want to move up.

There's no reason for that.  It is unjust.  If you are truly progressive, you should be against Limits to Growth as it is inherently fascist.

We should have an opportunity society with access to resources for everyone.  This can be best achieved when we master energy and space colonization.  This is why I favor it.  It will bring the massive resources to all mankind for the benefit of all mankind, not the privileged few.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

About that moonstalk

I've been thinking about this for most of the day.

For the price of 12 missions to capture asteroids ( 12 times 2.6 billion dollars each ), there would be enough mass for an anchor that would enable a moonstalk to be constructed from a Lagrange point---preferably L1.

It would also require an anchor on the lunar surface, and this would need to be constructed so as to be sturdy enough.  Come to think of it, the asteroids will need to be bound together with a material that is strong enough to hold it together too.  There may be a tendency for it to want to come apart.

The total cost for such a mission would be well below the price mentioned ($88 billion) to set up a lunar fueling station.  You could still set up the fueling station, and much more if you had access to the lunar surface.  This moonstalk could achieve that.

Once the moonstalk is in place, you can then start to mine it for its water content, amongst other things.  Those things that are taken out as valuable enough for other uses can be replaced by lunar materials that aren't so valuable.  Over time, the entire valuable content of the asteroid could be exchanged for less valuable materials from the Moon without losing its original anchor mass.

A moonstalk could enable propellant free transits to the lunar surface.  This would save valuable resources, like water, for life support and shielding from radiation.  You could build additional structures with the lunar materials that may include materials that the asteroids don't have.  It may be advantageous to build a sophisticated complex at this location in order to do many things.  Perhaps you could construct space ships that could shelter space travelers for years.  Such structures could be too large to launch from the Earth's surface.

Moonstalks could be the way to open up space, and lead to settlement.

Robotic snake

Too noisy.  Aren't snakes supposed to be stealthy?

Bug fix for browser

If they would make a secure is in the first place, this wouldn't happen.

You can't win the lottery

Since it's only a couple bucks, what the heck?

Krugman's War of the Worlds Economic Plan ( Reposted and Revisited )


The point of this post is not to make fun of Krugman.  I have always said that a scatter shot approach to spending was a bad idea.  But a well-targeted one?  Yes, that could work.

What Krugman proposes here is an imaginary war against an imaginary enemy.  The spending would stimulate the economy and bring the economy back.  It's too absurd to take seriously.

But here's the thing that could be done instead, and it doesn't have to rely upon imaginary enemies.  We have a real problem brewing with space junk.  We have a big potential problem with an asteroid strike or a comet strike.  Deal with that "enemy" and create jobs while you're doing it.  That's more like it.

You could double or even triple NASA's budget, and you still wouldn't be spending all that much more money than you're spending now.  NASA spends less than $20 billion a year.  Spending an extra $40 billion is a drop in the bucket compared to a trillion dollar deficit.

Now, if you did spend the money, you can have an infrastructure in space that would kickstart new industries.  This would be a stimulus that could work and it wouldn't be ditch digging or leaf raking.  It would support an established industry ( satellites and communications ) and begin new ones ( space tourism and settlement ).

Surely, Krugman wouldn't mind not fighting aliens, but some real problems out there in outer space.

The original post follows:

You have got to see this to believe it

Yeah, the old broken window economic argument works politically. But people are worse off for it.

“The world is totally upside down right now — it’s completely crazy,”

A Recap Of The Facts Surrounding The Navy Yard Shooting



This has been mentioned several times, so I'm putting it up even though it is of not much interest to me.  There is only a political story for people to yak about.  Anything but the issues that matter the most to people.

Speculation... I don't see it anywhere, but it was probably a gun-free zone.  It probably had lax security.  Security seems to be a lot more lax than it was after 9-11.  About time for these type of things to happen again.

The usual events, the usual responses.

Sen. Feinstein wants increased gun control.  Surprise, surprise.

Space Tethers and Space Elevators, Revisited ( and reposted )

Note:  A return to this subject is indicated as a more fuel efficient way to the moon is available, thanks to Belbruno's ideas.  Furthermore, if an asteroid is to be collected, why not a whole bunch of them in order to assemble the necessary mass of 6000 tons.  That would mean about a dozen asteroids, or maybe 1 big one.

Another possibility is to land on the moon and build a cannon which would send the mass back up into the Lagrange point where it would be collected.  This would take hundreds of shots, if not thousands, though.

Onward.... to the repost...

Let us now return to the book by van Pelt.  From page 171
According to Pearson, an already existing fiber material called M5 would be sufficiently strong to build a lunar space elevator [ comment: Moonstalk].  His calculations show that a cable with a lifting capacity of 200 kg (440 lbs) would have a mass of only 6800 kg (15000 lbs).
 The spool of cable would be large, however.  It could be a problem with its size- you have to fit it in a cargo area that would be compatible with an available launch configuration.  Since you need 38,000 miles or so of cable, the spool will be large.

The cable would be deployed from L1 until it reaches the surface.  From there, it would be anchored down and further strengthened so that it can carry heavier payloads.    With a lifting capacity of only 200 kg, this would indicate a need for heavier payloads.   It may take multiple cables for that purpose, if that is the idea.  It doesn't appear that passengers will be able to use the Moonstalks.  They may be very useful in delivering cargo cheaply and efficiently, however.

A couple of Moonstalks, on each of L1 and L2 Lagrange points, would simplify transit between the surface and into space.

In order to colonize the moon, there will need to be some economic reason for its existence.  In other words, how do you make money from this enterprise?  If income isn't feasible, then how might you save money?

One thing is clear:  getting stuff from the lunar surface and back into low Earth orbit should be cheaper than getting it from the ground into LEO.  A Moonstalk would make it even more affordable.

One possibility would be solar panels which could be assembled and put into GEO.  Once there, it can generate electricity and beam it back toward the ground.  The panels can be manufactured on the lunar surface and sent up piece by piece to a station at the L1 Lagrange point.

Or, power could be supplied to spacecraft traversing Cis Lunar space.  This would defray expenses in traveling from the Earth and back.

If operating costs were to be diminished enough, small amounts of goods transported from the lunar surface could make the entire enterprise self sufficient.

What goods, though?  Some have suggested using lunar water as a fuel supply.  This could make a mission to Mars much cheaper.  The fuel could be transported from the poles to the Moonstalk, and from there onward to the Lagrange point.  It would fuel the spacecraft at that point for its journey to Mars.

Furthermore, lunar water could be useful in growing food.  Not only food to sustain a crew on the moon, but food for Mars missions.  A substantial portion of food supplies from the moon could save a lot of money for Mars missions.

A more ambitious possibility is manufacturing stuff for use in space.  Let's say you could build rocket engines and launch them from the lunar surface.  Or build them piece by piece, send them up the Moonstalk, and assemble them at a Lagrange point.  Together with being supplied by lunar fuel, a lot of the cost of the Martian expedition could be taken care of by the lunar colony itself.

Update:  11/21/2011

In reference to the need for an anchor in space of over 6000 tons, the following source is cited.

"Fly Me to The Moon"---Belbruno completed

It is a rather short book.  But there's powerful stuff in it.  It is easier to get around the solar system than we thought.  Also, it is easier for big, bad stuff to come our way, and with little warning.  All the more reason to conquer outer space.  It's conquer it or perish by it, as the cosmos is a dangerous place regardless.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I smell a rat

A lot of people out there in the Establishment want immigration reform.  Was this move, with respect to Syria, a diversion from that issue so that they can sneak this bill through?

If, why is the tea party still allied with the GOP?

Johnny Cash - Don't take your guns to town lyrics

Alcohol and guns don't mix.  The song is about a boy who wants to prove he's a man, so he takes his guns to town and into a bar, where he is shot down.

I put the song up because too many people think America has to prove something in the world.  Are we really that insecure about ourselves that we have to prove something?  Are we really a bunch of fuzzy cheeked adolescents who don't know any better?

I was angry yesterday and it affected me so much that my blood pressure went up.  I was angry for conservatives for making an argument that sounded a lot like this song.  They ought to know better.

We need to do better than this.

"Fly Me To The Moon" --- Belbruno

The book has just arrived.  It is a signed copy, which surprised me.

Anyway, I have read through the first five chapters.  It is an easy read.  Not too technical, but you still have to be something of a space geek to appreciate it.

I do appreciate it.  If there's one thing that I've learned over the past three years since I got interested in space, is that mass is your biggest hurdle.  The less fuel that you use, the better, since it means less mass.  Less mass means better economics.  To make it more popular and accessible to the public, it needs to be cheaper.   This should be quite helpful towards that objective of leaping that hurdle.  We'll need to know about these techniques if the promise of space travel is to reach its potential.

I am excited to finish reading this book.  But, as usual, I don't have time to read it all in one sitting.  Other things to do.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sigh...There they go again.

Sure, Syria was a debacle.  But it doesn't matter.  Syria doesn't matter one way or the other.  It's all optics.  The optics isn't what should matter.  What should matter is that jobs aren't being created, the NSA is still spying on us, the IRS is still discriminating against conservatives, and Obama is still consolidating his power.  Yakking about Syria doesn't help, it helps friggin' Obama.  Nobody gives a shit about Syria, only conservatives!  Conservatives don't give a shit about Syria either, it's our "image".  Wake the fuck up.

Why America is NOT the greatest country in the world, anymore. ( repost )

Note:  A few things have happened since this was posted.  One of them is Syria.  Some may argue that Syria is why we are the greatest country in the world.  We helped the Syrians!  No we didn't.  This agreement that Obama made makes little or no difference.  Even if all the WMD is destroyed, Syria is still what it is.  They are still going to kill each other, just by some other means.  Nothing has been accomplished except to mask what our real problems are, and that problem is with ourselves.  This video is a "come to Jesus" type video that could appeal even to agnostics and atheists.  We've got a problem, and we need to acknowledge it and do something about it.

end note, the repost begins below:

I didn't want to put this up.  This is not to be construed as America-bashing.  Something's wrong.  As the man said, that fact has to be faced.  It can't be in this political climate as it exists now.

Something has to give.  Hopefully, something better can come out of this.  But that isn't guaranteed.

Next Big Future: Nuclear reactor costs in China

Next Big Future: Nuclear reactor costs in China: China's nuclear reactors tend to cost from $1500 to $2500 per KW. This is a far lower cost than in Europe or the US. Controlled cost is ...


Other countries have their costs under control.


So, why can't we?  Our system is failing us.  Our costs are much higher than they need to be and innovation is being stymied.  This is why we are stalling out.  Eventually, we will begin falling behind.  This is inexcusable.

An argument against giving N. Korea an MSR

In earlier posts on the subject, I posited that the Norks may take that deal.  They'd be crazy not to.  Here's why.  If the molten-salt reactor is better, they may be able to make MORE bombs.  More bombs and faster.  If it doesn't work, they lose nothing.

I didn't think of this possibility.

If the MSR is technology that you don't want to give away, don't you think we should have it for ourselves?

If it is junk, then you should want to give it to the Norks, because they can't do anything with it anyway.  If it is junk, what's the harm in trying to find out if it is or it isn't? ( At home, that is.  NOT in N. Korea)

Next Big Future: International space station extension to 2028 woul...

Next Big Future: International space station extension to 2028 woul...: Boeing, the prime contractor, is trying to prove that the station’s components can hold up through at least 2028. Three years ago, Congress...


The extension is not a good idea.  A better alternative is to scrap it after 2020 and build new stations, which are more capable.  Technology is becoming available that will enable this.   We get more "bang for the buck".


Keeping the old station will only delay progress in space.  Building a new one will facilitate adoption of new technologies.

I agree.  Nice writeup from Brian Wang of Next Big Future.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Why I don't believe the movie "A Few Good Men" ( repost )

Note:  I just watched this movie for the first time in its entirety.  The following repost is one that I had almost completely forgotten about.

The movie is implausible.  It is a sounding board for a liberal guy to take a shot at an American institution.

Come to think of it, I had just gone to the theater in the past month or so to watch another implausible movie---Elysium.

Are the liberals trying to make social statements through the movies?  Naw!  They wouldn't do anything like that.

repost follows:

If you recall my recent discussion of the movie Star Wars III,  Revenge of the Sith, then you may remember a discussion about believability.  The video below, and others like it, show the main understanding about The Art of War is that the truth is the thing that is sought, but that should never be given to the enemy.

But that is what the character played by Jack Nicholson does.  He gives his enemy the information he needs in order to destroy him.  Frankly, I don't buy it.  The Colonel would be smarter than that.  He opponent may not be clever enough to get him to tell the truth.

How to look like an idiot

Give advice that's way, way wrong.

We are being violated on a regular basis, but people are focused in on Syria.  Go figure.  At least somebody bothered to notice this, and also that nothing is going to be done about it.

Tor was a setup, you see, and I thought that it was a way to beat the snoops in DC.  It turns out that the snoops were using the anti-snooping browser to catch people who thought they were getting away from the snooping.   Sure makes me feel like a fool for being taken in like that.

The government is treating us like an enemy, and if you say anything in protest, you will be regarded as an enemy.  "Something's rotten in the state of Denmark".

A deal with North Korea that might work

It's a negotiation and "you can negotiate anything".

With that as a premise, and without it as a premise we may as well go to war, let's negotiate a deal.

Here's a deal that the Norks may accept:  We build a molten-salt reactor of the same power capacity as what they have already.  It is a nuclear reactor and it can be used to make bombs, just as what they have now.  It is true that you may have to work a little harder at it, but you still can make a bomb with the molten-salt reactor.  So, the Norks lose nothing and gain a reactor.  What do we get?  Well, as long as the reactor is not operational, and we are testing it, the Norks must shut down their existing reactor so that they cannot make more bombs.  Otherwise, why should we build it for them?  They will still have their reactor, and can reopen it if the new one doesn't work.  They lose nothing and gain a reactor---but only in theory.  Once the theory is proven, and the new reactor works, then they must destroy their existing reactor.  Otherwise, they will have two, and we will have been screwed.

Now, if the process can continue to the point where the new reactor is proven, and the old reactor is destroyed, then the process can move on to more ambitious goals.  That would be to make a lot of power for commercial purposes.  If the Norks decide to back out at this point, they will have two reactors, but they won't have the benefit of the power potential of the new reactor.  To get that potential realized, they will have to give up something in return.

I'm thinking their missiles.

The molten-salt design is modular, so you can build new ones according to the step-by-step approach that will enable us to get what we want and the Norks can benefit from as well.  We don't have to make them any more powerful militarily than they are already.  However, this may be a risk.  I'm thinking that the risk is manageable.

At any rate, it is better than a war.