Saturday, January 18, 2014

Insects and fish may give clues about how to make a spacesuit


Previously, in the series on mining an asteroid, I had an idea of an Iron Man suit that would protect crew on their long journeys into space.

Well, the post about artificial gills got me thinking again about that spacesuit.  That's the fish part.

The insect part is the observation that insects have hard exoskeltons that allow for plenty of movement.  If we can be clever enough, such a thing could be replicated in a space suit that could allow for plenty of movement and protection against radiation too.

Three or four inches worth of water is equal in radiation protection to a centimeter of lead.  The trick is to work in the crevices of the body and make the thing airtight and watertight.  You would need to pressurize between the hard exoskeleton and the water.  You'd do that with air that would press down upon the water which in turn presses down upon the skin.  The skin needs pressure against it at all times, or bad things happen.  I'm thinking of an air bladder between the water and exoskelton, and another water bladder that separates the water from the air.  They should slide over each other smoothly and with the exoskeleton.

If insects can be made to do it, so can we, I should think.


Time to go short?

Terrifying Technicals: This Chartist Predicts An Anti-Fed Revulsion, And A Plunge In The S&P To 450

Honorious and Ricimer v GOP and Obama

If you read the blog or know your history, you know who all these people are and what I'm writing about.

Honorious was an idiot.  He's the model for the GOP

Ricimer dismantled what was left of the Roman Empire.  He's the model for Obama.

Honorious really was an idiot, or he was too corrupt to do anything about what was happening.  I don't know what the GOP's excuse is.

Ricimer knew what he was doing.  The comparison may not be apt according to some.  There are some who challenge Obama's intelligence.  It is Obama or whoever is behind the man that is a lot smarter than the GOP.

The GOP is putting all its eggs into the election basket and Obama is rigging the election.  When the GOP loses, it will blame "low information voters".   But the GOP is at fault for letting that happen.  Whose fault is it then?

Rigging elections has become a priority in this administration

It even reads as the top priority.  So much higher than their own agenda that they are willing to give up something in order to keep it says the Wall Street Journal.  This stuff actually blows my mind.  Courtesy Transterrestrial Musings, see this link.  I include a quote just to make it sparkling clear:

So that puts a spotlight on newly sworn-in IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, who vowed during his confirmation hearing to restore public trust in the agency, and now must decide whether to aid in a new and blatantly political abuse of IRS powers. The White House is using the agency to win an election this fall. They gave the proof this week.

This kind of stuff Nixon only dreamed of doing.  But it hardly registers a ripple in this quieted down and utterly peaceful semi-republic.  People who have been bought off with food stamps and unemployment checks.  People who have been closed off from the truth from a media that is in lockstep with the administration.  Whatever chance for anyone to protest is now being squelched by an Act of Congress at the behest of the administration.  Our freedom is on the auction block.  WTF?!?

Next Big Future: How feasible is Elon Musk's idea to colonize Mars?

Next Big Future: How feasible is Elon Musk's idea to colonize Mars?: Philip Metzger, NASA, answers the question on Quora Philip manages a NASA lab that develops tech for "living off the land" on th...


Mine the 20 trillion dollar rock instead.  What economic incentive does anyone have for going to Mars?  If that doesn't materialize, even the capability to get there won't matter.

Next Big Future: Al Gore does not think climate change is urgent en...

Next Big Future: Al Gore does not think climate change is urgent en...: Al Gore does not think the climate change problems are urgent enough to start building more nuclear power or to make any attempt at geoengin...


Startling enough, he doesn't see the need for nuclear power because climate change problem isn't a big enough problem yet.  He thinks 10-15 years more of research for better reactors is necessary.  He may be thinking of fusion reactors.  Fusion reactors, in my opinion, may never work.  To wait 10-15 years for that or for the other things to develop may be sheer folly if those things never work out---and there's a risk that they won't.

He's against geoengineering.  I can agree with that.

Does Gore even know about molten-salt reactors?  Or is he claiming to be so smart that he thinks that they aren't good enough, and therefore, he knows better than Alvin Weinberg, who worked on the Manhattan Project?

More thoughts on the collapse of the Western half of the Roman Empire

In earlier posts I discussed the possibility of the survival Roman Empire in the West for awhile longer.

It is something that I think of from time to time.  I like to look at a movie and think about how it may have gone a bit differently than the plot.  It is my way of tinkering with things.  But you can't tinker with the past. It is done and gone forever.  The only thing you can do with history is to learn from it.

So, what about Rome?  What may have gone differently?

The Emperor of the West at the time of the sack of Rome in 410 AD was Honorius.  This dude looks dumb as a rock.  He gave the barbarian general Alaric a motive for attacking Rome itself.  Honorius had thousands of Gothic women and children of Gothic soldiers killed for some strange reason.  Thousands of Gothic soldiers then joined up with Alaric, but now with revenge upon their minds.  Prior to that, he had his protector, who was half-Vandal, murdered.  Now, the provoked Alaric, who was a friend to Stilicho, had a motive for wanting to punish the Romans.  Alaric himself had been ill-treated by Honorius' father, Theodosius, even though Alaric fought and helped win a battle for the last Emperor of the united Empire.

Given the treatment he received, it is understandable why Alaric attacked.  It is hard to understand why Honorius decided to kill off his protector and to give a motivation for an ruinous attack by someone who might have been friendly if treated properly.

There's not much that can done about stupidity and incompetence.  The only way to deal with it is to get rid of it before it destroys you.

Stilicho is sometime portrayed as something of a villain, but how bad could he have been?  He protected Honorius, but the better action may have been to kill him off and take the throne for himself.

Artificial gills

What if you could stay underwater indefinitely?  That may be a future possibility with the claims of this invention.

One thing that you may consider is to use it for space travel.  How?  Swim inside a water filled cabin that provided shielding from cosmic radiation.  There's a lot more shielding from water than from air.  The air would have to be replenished from some source, but that's done anyway.  If mass can be saved this way, why not?

Somebody on the internet, which I cannot cite, called a human's skin as a spacesuit for a fish.  What if you can borrow an idea from a fish in order to settle the solar system?  Water can be a spacesuit for a human, in which one is equipped for life in the water as in the way of a fish.

Movement inside the cabin requires one to push water out of the way in order to get somewhere.  This may help with muscle tone.

Downside?  The mass of course.  Fill up a Dragon with water would require 10 cubic meters.  That's 100k kg, or 220k lbs.  Mass is the big problem in space.  To move around that much mass would require some serious thrust.

Parts of Astrodome demolished

abc local

Looks like the rest is not too far off into the future.

Notes on fabrication of spacecraft, Part IX

Speculation alert:   Series continued from last post.

The discussion moves into more shaky ground here, as I am thinking up a lot of new stuff here.  Stuff that hasn't been done before ( as far as I know ), and stuff that may never be done for whatever reason.

As I discussed in the last post, an idea occurred to me to use the MAB concept discussed in a series I did on this blog back in 2012.  A problem occurred to me, and that is this:  atmospheric oxygen will harm the heat exchangers for the MAB, which will have to double as a heat exchanger with onboard  hydrogen when you get out of the atmosphere.  So, the trick here is to do what the SABRE engine does.  Pre-cool the incoming airstream all the way down to the condensation point for oxygen.  Separate the oxygen, then run the remaining gases through the heat exchanger.  The remaining gases shouldn't be too troublesome.

While you are doing this, you will have to use some hydrogen for the removal of the oxygen.  Here's an idea to deal with that:  You could reinject the oxygen and the hydrogen into the exhaust as a type of afterburner in order to get more thrust.  There was an idea to do that with nuclear thermal engines (NTR), so this shouldn't be too crazy an idea.

In the SABRE engine, helium is used to transfer heat from atmospheric gases to the hydrogen.  That means that the helium will have to be reconstituted somehow.  The SABRE is somehow able to do this, so I figure this system will employ a similar technique.  Since we are not using hydrogen at this stage, the hydrogen itself also has to be used.  I think the SABRE engine dumps the hydrogen or burns it somehow.  At any rate, the burning of the hydrogen with the separated oxygen is worth some energy that can be tapped somehow.  This energy can run some of the systems on board the way the SABRE does it.

As a result, we will be expending some fuel even though we don't use hydrogen as a primary reaction mass.

That amount of fuel can be considered in the ISP calculations.  How to obtain that is a bit beyond me at this point.  At any rate, if it isn't superior to using the SABRE engines and hydrogen, it won't be worth doing.  But it should be worth doing because the primary engine for driving the system is coming from the Microwave Beam.

That should give an ISP well north of the 3500 range of the SABRE.

I wrote "Infinite ISP" in the series title.  That is not accurate.  Consider this to be a correction.

Now the system will have the MAB as first stage, which will take the vehicle up Mach 5.5 as the SABRE would have, and up to the Karman line as in the original configuration.  The twist would be that it would use Microwave Beam for energy instead of burning hydrogen in a conventional rocket mode of the SABRE engine.  From the Karman line, it will release the NTR and that will go on up into space.

The system should mass at considerably less weight than the 285k lbs figured for the configuration up to this point.  Now, since we may want more capability, we will have more design flexibility so that additional capabilities could be put back in.  Capabilities that should make the entire system safer and more reliable.

The NSA will soon be reformed…



There is only one group of people that the NSA is spying on that matters to most Americans. And that is other Americans. So what will happen is even more of that particular function… spying on Americans… will be outsourced to the British GCHQ, which already effectively acts an arms length subsidiary of the NSA, bought and payed for with US taxpayers money.


That is so damned typical of this ruling class.  Not only will they not employ Americans and allow foreigners to do what they won't or can't do, they demand that WE PAY FOR IT.  To top it all off, it does not serve us, but enslaves us.

WAKE UP.  Dammit.

Samizdata quote of the day

Jan. 14, 2014
Given the actual, historical record of government behavior, asking government – simply because it possesses fearful power and expresses an interest in the assignment – to watch over “the poor” is akin to asking a gang of serial rapists – simply because it possesses fearful power and expresses an interest in the assignment – to watch over a dormitory full of unarmed co-eds.- Don Boudreaux

Agent of Chaos

The Joker character seems to be confirming what has been discussed in none other than the United States' Declaration of Independence.  People are accustomed to the established ways of doing things, even if they cause suffering, and to accept them rather than to face the horrifying unknowns of change.

Change is inevitable.  This gives you a choice of how to deal with the change.  You can try to change the terms of the change, or just accept what comes by.

Just for the record, I'm not advocating that people act like the Joker here.  It is only a way of illustrating a point.  The point is that there is a choice, even when it seems otherwise.  It may not seem to be a very good choice, but a choice is always available.  Even if you choose to do nothing, that is still a choice.

This is all wrong

I note also that the language is all in favor of growth, but that's not what it is really all about.  What it is really all about is power.

Let's look at the AT&T's CEO idea of restoring "growth"
  • Fiscal Stability---lauds the recent Ryan-Murray deal.  Sorry, but they got rid of the one thing that was working---sequestration.  Now, the government can resume its upward trajectory of growth.  But this is growth for DC, not for Main Street.
  • Tax Reform--- recommends a lower corporate tax rate.  Sorry, but the average corporate tax rate ought to be increased, not decreased.  This may seem leftist of me, but the corporations are not the bastions of liberty that we should be defending.  If you were to drop personal rates and increase corporate rates, that would be an improvement in liberty.  More liberty will engender more organic growth.  What the CEO recommends will only lead to a concentration of more wealth and power into the wrong hands.
  • Expanded Trade--- More and more trade agreements he says.  Sorry again, but the leading economies today do not destroy their own economic basis as we have done.  I'm all for free trade, but not self-immolation.  What the CEO recommends is a perversion of what Milton Friedman recommended.  It has lead to an export of US jobs overseas.  More of the same as this CEO advocates will only lead to more of the same disappointing results.  We need more Americans at work.  We are exporting jobs overseas.  It's time to recognize the error and try something else.  Perhaps an import tax in order to replace personal income taxes.
  •  Immigration Reform--- Of course, the CEO recommends we do the same thing we have been doing all these years, flood our country with immigrants.  Sorry yet again.  As the Roman Empire fell due to the influx of immigrants who did not assimilate and could not be assimilated, so will we if we continue on the same path.  Time to stop the invasion and enforce the borders.  Give the country a chance to assimilate what we have already got, which is plenty enough people.  We cannot provide jobs for the people already here.
Everything he says is wrong.  He is also for same-sex marriage, or so I've heard.  Also wrong.  The people in the highest places, like CEO's are wrecking this nation.  The best thing is to stop listening to them.  They don't serve the people's interest.  They serve their own.  They are using rather clever wording to convince people that they are for us, but they are not.


Larry Kudlow agrees with this guy on the issue of corporate tax rates.  Sorry, I cannot agree.  Kudlow needs to read the Constitution.  It says "no capitation tax", which means no taxes on individuals.  The Framers wanted to tax organizations, not individuals.  A corporation is an organization.  The corporations should be taxed.  Importers should be taxes.  Individuals should not be taxed.  That's what the Framers intended and it worked.  What we do now doesn't work for us, but works great for the rest of the world.

Number of Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents on Food Stamps Doubles

Free Republic

As I wrote before, the point is to overrun this country with immigrants.  Able bodied Adults could work, but don't.  They are being paid not to work.  Now, Marriot complains that they cannot find people to staff their hotels.  Marriot and those like them support "immigration reform".  Well, there are plenty of able bodied people in this country who could work, but are being paid not to work.  For this "reason", we are told that we need "immigration reform".  That's how it works.  Sabotage the system and then complain that it needs to be fixed.  There are immigration laws, they just don't enforce them.  Any new law will not be enforced either, which will bring the next call for even more "reforms".  And so on and so on.

Krugtron the Invincible, Part 1 | Niall Ferguson | Journalism

Krugtron the Invincible, Part 1 | Niall Ferguson | Journalism


The article asserts that Krugman is a jerk and proceeds to show why.

Maybe Krugman is just a good, practicing Alinskite.  He practices the full Alinsky with a regularity that would make Ex-Lax jealous.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Hitching a ride on a comet

Curious about this.  What do suppose that they are looking for?

The GOP will cave in on immigration

All the signs point in that direction.  They want to cave in, so they will.

Early in 2013, I predicted that the GOP will show itself to be a me too party or an opposition party.  It took a little longer than I thought.  They aren't an opposition party at all.  The pretended opposition is a ruse.

In fact, my 2013 predictions stand.  They look pretty good in retrospect.

Judy Woodruff to Gates: Doesn't Your Tell-All Decrease Troop Morale? Matt Lauer to Gates: Doesn't Your Tell-All Represent a Dishonorable Betrayal? Katie Couric to Gates: Aren't You a Dick?



This post pretty much correlates to what I've been writing.  The left criticizes Gates for writing the book and claiming that it hurts America.  Like they cared!  No, they do care, but not about America.  They care about themselves and their place within American society.  They do not care about America itself.  So, the accusation is meaningless.

The accusation would have meaning if they would actually defend this country, which they don't.  Witness Benghazi.  In normal times, the accusation would have meaning.  But these aren't normal times.

It is galling to have these people, who are without honor themselves, lecturing somebody like Gates on the issue of honor.

The left and the Democrat party are just like the Roman General Ricimer, who systematically destroyed what was left of the Roman Empire.  Ricimer did that to preserve his position in that rapidly crumbling society, not because he cared about it.

The Democrats and the left are doing the same thing.  Besides Benghazi, take the jobs issue.  No jobs created in five years.  Now they want to import more people in order to do jobs that American supposedly won't do.  But that is bullcorn.  If you wanted to eat, you will do any job.  That includes cleaning toilets and mopping floors.  But instead of insistence upon work, the Democrats want to pay Americans not to work, and then import people into the country through so-called immigration reform so that they can get more voters that they like.

It's a win-win for them and a loser for America.  Instead of keeping the work ethic strong, they corrupt it with free stuff.  They get the votes of people of are afraid of losing their free stuff and then they get new people who aren't Americans by birth and who consistently vote for them.  All the while, American spirit and character are being systematically destroyed.

M.JOSEPH SHEPPARD'S "A POINT OF VIEW": Michigan The Key To 2016;Governor Palin To Be Prov...

M.JOSEPH SHEPPARD'S "A POINT OF VIEW": Michigan The Key To 2016;Governor Palin To Be Prov...: Also at Palin4President2016 Abandoning Michigan in the heat of the election was seen by  major observers as presidential candidate John M...

So, is Palin going to run in 2016?

This reminds me of something.  I recall how the left tries to ruin candidates, like Palin.  It is reminiscient of the Bentsen-Quayle debate in 1988.  In fact, the entire political discussion since then has been one long Bentsen-Quayle debate.

I've thought a lot about that debate.  Quayle was winning until that insult.  What is galling about it is how those on the conservative side, like Quayle, tend to accept the premises of the left.  One premise that night was the qualification issue that led directly to the insult.  Quayle was asked the same question 4 times.  If he had stopped the whole thing after the first question, maybe things would have been different.  Who knows?  But it is quite undignified to accept the left's premises and have to justify your very existence.  That's what the meaning of that question was, and how Bentsen turned it to his advantage, and to Quayle's disadvantage.

Palin may have made the same mistake.  I didn't see the Couric interview, but if it went anything like what that debate did, the interview went straight to Palin's qualifications to be President.  That shouldn't have been allowed.  What could Palin have done?  End the interview on the spot.


After having written the above, I checked out the interview with Couric on YouTube, and it does look like Couric was establishing the premises of the left and Palin was in a position of having to defend McCain, who was her boss, and does accept the premises of the left all too often.  This probably led to the insulting climax which was all too inevitable.  But I stopped watching when it became clear to me that that is where the interview was going.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Home again 1/16/14

But it's not Friday, like the last time I wrote a post with this title.  Interesting it is to go back and read what I was thinking in the past.  Even a short time ago, too, and things have changed.  Not a whole lot, but a little.

I was busy today, maybe that's why it seems like it was when I wrote that then.  Still glad to be home and back from the streets of this town and with a little time to write something for this here blog.  Too busy today to do anything out there.

This morning I did another one of those brainstorm type of posts that I do from time to time.  I played around with the spreadsheet to see what advantages that that configuration can give.  One thing I didn't figure was that it didn't quite go with the original idea---which was to take stuff "off the shelf" and plug it into a system that could be running in a short time.  The trouble with using a Microwave Air Breathing Booster is that the technology is maybe a decade away, if not longer.

I realized that today, but no time to post on it.

By the end of the day, I began thinking some rather radical thoughts.  Those thoughts may not be suitable for anybody to write---it was that radical.

It was along the lines of the fall of the Roman Empire.  That's about as far as I will go with it.

No damn foolish ideas no matter what.  If things are to be turned around, you have to be smart about it.

Now that that has been cleared up, something more about the Empire at its end.  I didn't comment upon this at the time, probably because I didn't have the idea to.  But now I do and that is this:  The Empire might have survived under the right set of circumstances.  Obviously that didn't happen.  Consider this---by the end of the Empire, all of the barbarian invasions had pretty much run their course.  The major incursions had been dealt with.  All that remained was to stabilize the situation and try to improve upon what was left.  The problem is that the Empire could not even do that much.  But it wasn't too far off from being able to.

I'm thinking of the assassination of Aëtius, the general who forced Attila the Hun to retreat.  For all his good work, the Emperor decided to assassinate him because he was becoming too powerful.  That was the last straw.  The man who replaced him was Ricimer, who seemed to systematically destroy what was left of the Empire.  When he died, there was practically nothing left.  Four years after his death, the last Emperor was deposed and that was it.

 As Aëtius himself, he replaced Stilicho, another capable general assassinated by a jealous and weak Emperor.  The Emperor Honorius got rid of Stilicho which in short time led to the sack of Rome.  As for Augustine's City of God, nothing is going to help you if you are terminally stupid.  Truly, the bad drove out the good, and the Empire could not recover from both the barbarian invasions and its weaknesses from within.

Yellen: A throwback to a time long since gone

Why Yellen will not be constrained as the previous article asserted.

Bullish case for Yellen?

The article argues that the new fed chairwoman will be constrained from doing what she prefers.  Perhaps some wishful thinking that.

Notes on fabrication of spacecraft, Part VIII

 Speculation alert will apply: Series continued from last post.

This series is similar to the series that I did in 2012 on Infinite ISP.  I called it the MAB, which meant Microwave Air Breathing Booster.  That concept was to use a microwave beam as energy to heat the reaction mass, which was the atmosphere itself.

The main goal behind these speculations is a way to minimize the size of the spacecraft that gets to orbit.  The more reaction mass that won't be carried along, the better, for each pound adds many more pounds that have to be carried as well.

This is the reason for using the SABRE concept of an airbreathing rocket, as oxygen makes up a considerable amount of reaction mass.

As the air gets too thin, however, the onboard reaction mass has to take over.  This is the reason for a nuclear thermal rocket, as the ISP will be up to a thousand.  But we can't use an NTR until we get to the Karman line, so how to deal with that?

Instead of using the SABRE engine in conventional rocket mode, switch to the microwave power to get to the Karman line with an ISP of nearly as good as an NTR.  This saves the need for the heavy oxygen requirement and relies totally upon hydrogen as a reaction mass.

Perhaps the SABRE could be eliminated altogether.  For some folks, they may want to remove the NTR as well and go entirely with the Microwave approach.  But the ISP isn't quite as good, so that won't allow optimization.  Secondly, the Microwave has limited range.  Move outside its effective radius and you lose power.  One other consideration, the Microwave has to be in a dry place with little humidity, as the humidity will foul up the transmission of the energy beam.  This introduces a complexity to combining the NTR with the Microwave.  What to do to overcome that problem?

I was thinking of placing the Microwave complex on top of a mountain in the middle of the Pacific.  Mauna Kea Hawaii to be exact.  Given the right location, desert like conditions can be re-created on the backside of a mountain that is high enough to cause snowfall, which depletes the atmosphere of water.  The thinner air at the summit is also helpful with the projection of an energy beam.

So, in practice, the 747 will carry the X-33 to 30k feet and release it.  Either the SABRE engines take over, or the Microwave, or a combination of both.  The X-33 reaches the Karman line, and then releases the NTR package, which then takes over and goes to orbit.

I'll look at the mass savings in the next post.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tesla news

Sales are up, but this isn't a Model T.

The appropriate lesson to take from the Christie affair

A quickie post as time is short.

I didn't come to praise Christie nor bury him.  ( couldn't resist the phrase, sorry )

It is interesting how the Obama club is going after Christie.  Why, if it weren't for Christie's help in 2012, would Obama have won in 2012?  Maybe he would have won anyway, but it could have been closer.

The lesson to learn here is the faithlessness and treachery.  You only make deals with people you can trust.  But you can't trust the Democrats.   Look how they abandoned Bush at the first opportunity.  I expected that and I was right.

Rush might have been talking about this yesterday.  He doesn't understand why some in the GOP believe that you can get the approval of liberals, when that is always proven false.  I was tempted to chalk it all to just plain old stupidity on the part of the GOP that falls for this.  Maybe it is, maybe it is something else.

Christie got something out of it too.  The treachery works both ways.

This is the kind of treachery one can observe in reading the history of the final days of the Roman Empire.

If all Christie and Obama care about is themselves, then such treachery is all but inevitable.  Somebody has got to defend the higher principles, but if those at the top won't, who will?  Nobody would or could during the Roman era.  Are we going down that same path?

Is life a hamburger or a Subway sandwich?

Evidently, I chose Subway.  Take the quiz

You Are Subway
You are active, modern, and on top of trends. Taking care of yourself is important to you, even if you don't always do it.
You like to have a lot of control in your life. You are a high achiever who doesn't compromise.

You are an active, "take charge" type of person. You don't complain or blame other people for your problems.
You do your best in life, but you also cut yourself a break. You know it's all about balance.

Highway 99 tunnel team going hyperbaric to inspect Bertha

Seattle Times: News, weather, traffic, events and photos from the City Desk at The Seattle Times.

"Bertha" evidently is a machine digging a deep tunnel under Seattle.  It has gotten stuck somewhere and cannot advance.  This tunnel team is going down to check it out.  What do you suppose that they will find?  A monolith, perhaps?

Blog: Sarah Palin's father harassed by IRS six times since 2008

American Thinker

Palin's father was above board.  They politicized or tried to politicize Palin's father.  If this isn't an abuse of power, there's no such thing as an abuse of power.

If having explained this to you and you still don't get it, go put on a dunce cap and stand in the corner.

Within Minutes of Benghazi Attack, Barack Obama Was Informed By Top Military Men It Was a "Terrorist Attack" and not a Spontaneous Protest or Exercise in Freeform Film Criticism


Not a protest over a video?  But that is what "The One" said, so it must be gospel truth, right?  Wrong.  Obama lied and people died.

What's worse here is that not enough people even give a damn.  It kinda reminds me of something. (hint, hint)

Okay, I'll spill the beans.  The reason that this is significant is that the terrorists are given the impression that this country will not defend itself.  This means that future attacks are inevitable.  Osama bin Laden got the idea for the terrorist attacks that led to 9/11 because he noted that America will give up if they sustain a few blows.  In other words, he perceived a weakness.  The failure to respond at Benghazi projects weakness.

Still don't get it?

Well, stupidity isn't curable, but ignorance is.  So, after having it explained to you and you still don't get it, the conclusion follows.

What destroyed the Great Library at Alexandria?

This almost reads like an advocacy of government spending.  The answer is a little deeper than that.

One of the great tragedies of ancient history, memorialized in myths and Hollywood film, is the burning of the great library at Alexandria...What made the Museum and its daughter branch great were its scholars...Those scrolls and books were nothing without people to care for them, study them, and share what they learned far and wide. [emphasis added]

The author attributes the decline of the library from neglect from the government.  But it was the society at large that no longer valued it.  In the end, that is how it was lost.  Nobody cared.  How much does it cost to pay for a few scholars to take care of the place?  How much would it have cost to start copying the most important works and placing them in a secure place?  The Empire could have afforded that, even the rich members of that society could have afforded that, but nobody cared enough to do it.


This video will go into this post for some background to its significance, in case that needs to be explained.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


In order to do the SLS missions mentioned in an earlier post, you will have to spend a lot of money and make a commitment to the SLS. This is not likely to go over well as also mentioned in an earlier post. The solution could be a commitment to a bigger budget for NASA which could make everybody happy. Well not everybody. Some folks would rather keep the government as small as possible. To me this is not a big government issue. If need be you can prioritize spending so that you can do this without growing the government. This won't be possible under the current political arrangement. Certain programs would have to go and that just isn't going to happen without a political change. Meanwhile the clock keeps ticking and the opporunities keep slipping away.

My take on why the Roman Empire Fell

To simplify all of it I'd say the reason that it fell was that not enough people thought well enough of it in order to defend it.

If you don't take care of something, it will go away.  Nobody was taking care of the Empire.  Those entrusted with this task simply didn't care about anything but their own interests and so there was nobody to defend the interests of the Empire.

This isn't to say that the Empire was worth saving.  Perhaps that is why nobody wanted to save it.  It just wasn't worth it anymore.

There is a lesson in this somewhere.  Maybe somebody will get it, but who knows?

You know things are screwed up when this is news

Christie vetoes bill to allow transgender people to amend birth certificates.  ( no link will be provided to this leftist site, if interested I found it on Memeorandum.)

Curiously, the leftist site listed some very good reasons for not allowing this.  Not to mention FRAUD.

That a bill allowing fraud was vetoed should not be news.  What should be news is that the bill was passed in the first place.

A birth certificate is a contemporaneous record of an event.  Amending it afterward on the basis of what somebody decided to do to themselves after becoming an adult is nothing but an attempt to cover up the very facts of what happened at birth.  It is a fraud.  Plain and simple deception.

That this should be considered a controversy shows how twisted the left really is.

What is Going On With Jobs?

What is Going On With Jobs?

Young folks aren't getting into the labor force and old folks are staying in longer.  See chart below:

The 16-44 year old participation rate fell from 75% to 55%

The 65 year and older participation rate jumped from 10% to 20%.

The rest dipped slightly.

The younger generation is being screwed, but don't know why.   They can't, because they tend to vote Democrat.  How is this data in their best interest?

Some proposed missions for the SLS

To take advantage of available hardware left over from the Shuttle Era.  One rationale given is to fully test the SLS.  It is currently scheduled to have only one test.  That may not be enough to iron out all the kinks before sending people up on a mission.

Four tests were proposed:
  1. The launch of a Bigelow space hab.  A big one.
  2. A hypergravity centrifuge deployed in LEO.  This will test the technique of hypergravity on lessening the effects of weightlessness on the human body during long stays in space.
  3. Two others unspecified.  Perhaps the Tito mission around Mars?
Or the engines could be used to move up the schedule a bit so that the Tito mission may be possible.  The Tito mission will still need the DUUS engine package and that may not have been decided yet.

Why haven’t we given up on the unemployment rate?

Why haven’t we given up on the unemployment rate?


A close look at the employment numbers.

Loyalty lists

Aren't in the spirit of the Constitution.  You don't swear loyalty to a person, but to the Constitution.  This loyalty to a person thing is a dangerous practice.  It should be illegal.  In fact, it already is.

Not everything is bad

Compare the USA with a story about Germany.

It's all about freedom, baby.

Augustine of Hippo - The City of God (Part 1 of 69)

Rome was sacked in 410 AD.  The event was such a shock that people were looking for an explanation for it and began blaming the Christians.  Augustine responded with his book City of God.  Here's a video that summarizes it for it is a very long work.

It is said to have a profound impact upon Western Civilization.  For such an apparent important book, I've never read it.  Interesting that someone like me could go through the American education system and not being familiar with a book of such importance.

Monday, January 13, 2014

If Iranian oil hits the market, prices will fall

That means the oil boom is fragile.  Molten salt reactors could be an answer, but that is too straightforward, I suppose.

Treasuries strong after weak jobs numbers

It's being played as a deflationary move.

I think the operative phrase is normalcy bias.  Another way of putting it is boil the frog.

Root causes of societal decline and collapse

That video of the Roman Empire's collapse is still ringing in my ears.  It made me think of what made the difference between the Empire's rise and its fall.  What is that difference?  It's hard to put a finger upon it.

The rise of the Empire possibly began with Julius Caesar's crossing the Rubicon.  A willful violation of the law.  Yet the Empire rose with that act.  You could consider it the betrayal of the Republic.  Yet, at the end of the Empire, the treachery did not save the Empire at all.  It was fatal to it.  What's the difference between Caesar and the Caesar's that followed?  It wasn't the mere fact of treachery that made the difference.  Both were present at the beginning and at the end.  Hmm.  Perhaps the betrayal was the harbinger of change.  With the betrayal of the Republic, the Roman form of government changed from Republic to Empire.  With the betrayal of the Empire, the Empire crumbled into the rule of the barbarians.

The rise of Caesar ushered in the Empire, which was a form of government that required the rule of men.  What the Empire required were excellent men.  Caesar was excellent, but the late Empire version of Caesar's were not.  What the Republic needed was the adherence to principles, laws, and traditions.  What the Republic needed was faithful men.  Caesar was not such a man, but he did inspire loyalty to himself.  It must be excellence at something and to something--- a principle as in the Republic, or to the man, as in Julius Caesar.  The late Empire was incapable of excellence of either kind.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


This documentary takes us almost all the way to the very end of the Empire in the West.

What is striking is that the power behind the throne cares little for the Empire, but only for himself.  He is willing to stoop the lowest of treachery to enforce his will.  What was left of the Empire lasted only as long as he did.

How not to get to Mars

Behind the Black blog

Yesterday ( Nov. 20, 2013 ) the world’s first space tourist, Dennis Tito, testified before Congress about the plans his organization, Inspiration Mars, has put together to make possible a manned fly-by of Mars by 2018.

I've been reading about that all day today.  My impression from this and from other things I've read, is that this is unlikely to happen in the time frame that Tito wants.  But it may be possible in 2021.  NASA would have to choose his mission as opposed to the asteroid visit near the Moon.

Not only that, but if NASA doesn't select the "DUUS" option ( Block 1B variant of the SLS ), he can't get the mass into LEO that he needs to do his mission in any case.

Bob Zimmerman at the blog link above doesn't like the Inspiration Mars mission at all.  He seems to favor the commercial crew projects.  The Inspiration Mars may divert funds from that for a mission that may never fly because it is unrealistic, Zimmerman says.

China, US move towards co-operation in space

Free Republic


I'd be more than a bit worried about that.  Obama has already given away molten-salt reactor tech.  What else does he plan to give away?

China appears to be worrisome to me.  More so than Russia.

Robert Ringer and Ann Barnhardt seem to agree about something

That this nation is no longer a nation of laws, but of lawless men.

First Robert Ringer:

today we live in the United States of Lawlessness, where government force trumps all

and here's what Ann Barnhardt wrote most recently why I despair and hold out NO HOPE for any sort of internal self-correction or resuscitation of the now-dead United States. I truly believe that the Marxist infiltrators of the media and entertainment industry intentionally fomented the worship of sports teams...he becomes a free agent and goes to the Red Sox, then he can rape girls, deal drugs and torture animals and THAT’S FINE. Just as long as he is wearing the correct BLOUSE [ my comment: in other words Lawlessness ]
Although it may appear otherwise at times, I think I am in accord with these two because of this.

Airborne Laser on a nuke powered plane at Mach 5.5

Hell, I am supposed to stop these speculations.  But this will be another speculation alert anyway.  Wtf.

The Airborne Laser was under development for over a decade.  It had reached the point was it could have been made operational, but was deemed to be too expensive and too vulnerable to be useful.  So, it was canceled.

So, I was wondering about that.  What if you made it faster and could fly higher?  In the Apollo Era, there was this supersonic bomber program that involved a plane that could fly at Mach 3+ and could operate at 70k feet.  Those too were deemed to be vulnerable.  But what about a plane that could fly at Mach 5.5?  Yeah, I'm thinking the concepts borrowed from the Skylon.  A faster plane can outrun an air defense.

Let's go even further and put a nuclear reactor on board.  It then could fly around the enemy's backyard indefinitely and they'd have to figure out a way to shoot it down.  Not easy to shoot down a plane that can outfly a missile.

Not only could it outfly the missile, it could shoot it down.  Put a fleet of these things in the enemy's airspace and watch them deplete their missile batteries trying to shoot the rascal down.  Then if they launched a nuke, you could shoot that down too.

I know this all sounds crazy, but who said you can't do it?  There was a airborne reactor experiment that produced a successful engine.  Now, if you add a precooler to it, it could go up to Mach 5.5.  In fact, since you don't need to carry fuel, you could have a lot more cargo area that could be used for the lasing equipment.  It could stay aloft indefinitely.  Shielding?  It wouldn't need any since the thing could be flown by remote control.