May 11, 2013

This is what technology has come to

And not a moment too soon. Behold: Flying drone will air-drop beer to music festival attendees

Until now, a beer dropping out of the sky into the middle of a party has been a feat that only existed in TV commercials. Thanks to Darkwing Aerials though, attendees at the Oppikoppi music festival in South Africa can fulfill the dream of beer lovers everywhere and have a fresh brew delivered to them from above with the help of a flying drone.

Things like this restore my faith in humanity. Briefly, of course, but I'll take what I can get.

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December 03, 2009

Also sprach Jerry Pournelle

What does someone with an actual scientific pedigree have to say about Climategate? The inestimable Jerry Pournelle isn't kind. Excerpt:

I studied Philosophy of Science from Gustav Bergmann at the University of Iowa back in the 1950's. Bergmann was one of the last of the old Weiner Kreitz, the Vienna Circle, and he steered his students toward the ideas of Sir Karl Popper; but he had contributions of his own. The most important thing I remember from Bergmann is that if you can't put an experiment into a letter to a competent person, so that your correspondent can repeat the experiment and get the same results, it isn't science. Science isn't a method of finding proof and discovering truth. It is a method for falsifying hypotheses, ruling out falsehood; what's left is accepted as truth because it's all we have. ... We know that the major climate alarm in the 1970's and early 1980's was the fear of a coming Ice Age. Gus Spaeth, Carter's environmental quality advisor, was concerned that nuclear waste depositories be able to withstand glaciation. Margaret Meade as President of AAAS had much to say about the coming bad times as the world began cooling. During the 1980's the speculations of Arrhenius made about 1895 about possible "greenhouse" effects of CO2 began pushing forward, and with increasingly powerful (and cheap) computers climate models became affordable to many academic and scientific institutions. The models began predicting warming, although the data collectors weren't really finding it. The rest is history. There emerged a "consensus" about an "inconvenient truth". Whether that consensus was forced by scientific data or by social engineering is open to question.

Finally we know that one phenomenon of the coldest part of the Little Ice Age was the "Maunder Minimum": a long period of minimal solar activities, characterized by long periods of few to zero sunspots. You can monitor rcent solar activity at http://www.solarcycle24.com/ .

Given that the science is not settled, and that the economic effect of national policy to counter "climate change" are enormous, simple Bayesian analysis would indicate that we ought to be spending a lot of money to determine just what the climate trend is: and that means funding contrarian studies, studies designed to refute the "consensus" theory, as well as funding the collection of accurate data. This seems an obvious conclusion. It is of course inconvenient to those whose careers have been financed by grants peer reviewed by peers who don't include "deniers."

Just start at the top of the current view and keep on scrolling.

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December 01, 2009

Cogent analysis

People who read me -thanks to both of you- know that I'm more than a little skeptical about the idea that the Earth is burning up and that people are the primary culprits. Not due to the slavish devotion that the idea is shown by its most ardent worshippers (although those people do turn me off quite a bit), but rather due to the complete lack of science on display: the circle jerk of authorities cited as proof of consensus; the hiding of all data and code so as to prevent actual critiquing of the hypothesis; and the obvious attempt on the part of some to enrich themselves by hyping the "crisis" (Al Gore, you asshole, I'm looking at you).

Let's be clear: science is simple. Observe. Hypothesize. Test. Revise hypothesis and retest as necessary. Make data and methods known to see if your results are reproducible. If so, great: you've got a pretty solid theory. If not, well, time to move on. For the record, the AGW's biggest proponents fail on almost all those points. Thus, it isn't science. Also, the attempt to pass if off as science is a different word altogether: fraud

In any event, I'll give Dafydd ab Hugh, posting at the Green Room, the floor for a few. Excerpt:

One week in high school, my all-time second-favorite social studies teacher, Lyle Thornton Wolf, presented us with a fascinating unit:

On Monday, he passed out forty-eight distinct high-school and college level American history textbooks (there being 48 students in the class). Each of us got a different textbook, though some were merely later versions of an earlier text that somebody else had. Each of us took his book home with instructions to read and “brief” (like a lawyer would) the factual events — not interpretations or speculations — recounted in his book about the Boston Massacre.

Then on Wednesday, Mr. Wolf began going through the incident, student by student, making a “comparison table” on the blackboard using every important fact from each book… e.g., the number of colonists killed by the redcoats, the number wounded, how many lobster-backs and Yankee doodles were present, what provocation (if any) did the colonists give to the soldiers, how long the shooting lasted, who was the first shot, and so forth.

As a court trial followed the shootings, and that trial took eyewitness and forensic evidence (future President John Adams defended the soldiers), one would expect nearly all the facts to be reported the same way in every textbook. Not so; there was significant variation in the details taught to students about that infamous eruption of anti-democratic violence.

But Mr. Wolf didn’t stop there, and this was his genius; he was more interested in teaching us good researching skills than specific numbers of people killed in the Boston Massacre. Thus he also made each of us read the footnotes, endnotes, and any other errata indicating the source of the supposed facts reported in his assigned book; he then put up a posterboard list of all the textbook titles arranged like a matrix.

As we reported the sources for each book, Mr. Wolf drew an arrow from the source to the book that cited it. After about ten books, we quickly realized that not a single one of the 48 textbooks cited any primary document or original source material; each cited only other high-school or college textbooks. In fact, only a couple of them cited texts not already in our hands (both times older editions of books we did have).

Worse, the entire set of citations was a snarl of textbook “daisy chains”: Textbook A (let’s say it was the 1962 edition) would have an arrow pointing to B (1964); B pointed to C (1965), which pointed to D (1968)… but D then pointed to a later version of textbook A, say the 1970 edition.

In other words, there was no “ultimate source”: The books just referenced and reinforced each other.

Thus it was hardly a surprise that, variations aside, all the books agreed on the core issues: The colonists were disorderly but didn’t provoke the shooting; no colonist used a firearm; the British were almost entirely to blame; and they only got off because of the eloquence of Adams. The issue was closed; no need to rethink any basic premise. After all, if that interpretation of the data wasn’t perfectly true, what are the odds that all those textbooks would just happen to agree with each other?

This perfectly illustrates how the AGW circle of life jerk begins.

Do I really need to say it?

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November 30, 2009

Time for the tar and feathers

I've been watching Climaquiddick unfold with both amusement and growing horror.

First, the amusement: I've long opined that AGW is based on nothing more than wishing in one hand while pooping in the other, with the wish hand, against all reason, filling up more rapidly. And now we see that the wish hand was actually the poop hand, which kind of explains why it filled up so craptacularly.

Second, the growing horror: The work of "scientists" and programmers who conspired to cherry-pick and massage data; who actively tried to prevent critical articles from being published so as to foster the illusion of "consensus"; and who then used their fraud and bullying tactics as a way to control more of your life and your money. What's worse is that the true believers in AGW, while critical of the CRU tactics, remain unswayed in their dogmatic belief. Megan McArdle, I'm looking at you. I'm reminded of something I read-or watched- about a decade or so ago in which someone asked if there was any fact, or set of facts, that could convince the rest of the group that AGW wasn't real. Everyone said no, to which the questioner then replied "Amen" because that's what you're supposed to say at the end of a prayer.

One final thought: I've studied the code bits from the CRU data and as a former professional programmer, I'm offended. The programmers in question should be ashamed and should be blackballed forever. Unfortunately, they'll likely find gainful employment in our current government as the new Coding Czars, in charge of programming "standards" to which everyone will be forced to comply.

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June 17, 2009

Cool, but not new

Using visible light for early detection of breast cancer is cool and all, but it isn't new. I and two friends did graduate work on this very subject back in the early 1990s. We weren't the first, of course. You can figure that out by searching for "dianography" and seeing how many hits you get. Still pretty cool, though. One of us worked on the research documents, another on the electronics and the last (me) got to do the programming. I never finished and my work was picked up and improved upon by my friend, which turned out to be his master's thesis work. Also, it had to be changed from breast cancer to cavity detection. What can I say? The dental school had more money to give us.

There was one category that we honed in on: some breast cancers are undetectable by X-rays, but can be found via the visible light method. I'm fairly certain that this is where the impetus for this research lies. In any event, I'm hopeful that this cancer, among others, will eventually be eradicated. And that date cannot come quickly enough.

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June 09, 2009

Personal preference given thumbs up by medical science

Part of the reason that I run on a regular basis is that I can ingest a few more calories than I would otherwise be able to. Many times, I've refreshed myself with a chilly beverage consisting of unfermented malt sugars and yeast pee and carbonated via yeast farts. As it happens, my rehydration technique is a healthy one. Excerpt:

Researchers at Granada University in Spain have come across a discovery that will undoubtedly please athletes and sports enthusiasts - a pint of beer post-workout or match is better at rehydrating the human body than water.

Professor Manuel Garzon, a member of Granada's medical faculty, made the finding after tests on 25 students over several months. Researchers believe that it is the sugars, salts, and bubbles in a beer that may help people absorb fluids more quickly.

The subjects in the study were asked to run on a treadmill at temperatures of 104F (40C) until they were close to exhaustion. Once they had reached the point of giving up, researchers measured their hydration levels, motor skills, and concentration ability.

Half of the subjects were given two half pints of Spanish lager to drink, and the other half were given just water.

Garzon said that the rehydration effection in those who were given beer was "slightly better" than those who were given only water. He also believes that the carbon dioxide in beer helps quench thirst more quickly, and that beer's carbohydrates replace calories lost during physical exertion.

Salt, Fat, Sugar, Beer and Caffeine: The Five Basic Food Groups. Coming soon to a PBS documentary near you.

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May 11, 2009

Junk science

Check out this little image:

dipuccio-2.jpg

Now wrap your little globally warmed brain around it and tell me just how you theory is in any way supported by actual evidence.

Go ahead and take your time. The sun isn't scheduled to go nova for another five billion years or so.

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April 30, 2009

Required reading

A friend sent me a link to this post in the Investor Village ConocoPhillips message board. If, like me, you find the Goreacle and his disciples more than a little irritating and if, like me, you aren't willing to starve your family and live in the dark, you probably want to read it. Lots of good information, none of which those of us who live in the real world will find surprising. But it's well worth reading. Excerpt:

Bound to Burn
Humanity will keep spewing carbon into the atmosphere, but good policy can help sink it back into the earth.

By Peter W. Huber

Like medieval priests, today's carbon brokers will sell you an indulgence that forgives your carbon sins. It will run you about $500 for 5 tons of forgiveness -- about how much the typical American needs every year. Or about $2,000 a year for a typical four-person household. Your broker will spend the money on such things as reducing methane emissions from hog farms in Brazil.

But if you really want to make a difference, you must send a check large enough to forgive the carbon emitted by four poor Brazilian households, too -- because they're not going to do it themselves. To cover all five households, then, send $4,000. And you probably forgot to send in a check last year, and you might forget again in the future, so you'd best make it an even $40,000, to take care of a decade right now. If you decline to write your own check while insisting that to save the world we must ditch the carbon, you are just burdening your already sooty soul with another ton of self-righteous hypocrisy. And you can't possibly afford what it will cost to forgive that.

If making carbon this personal seems rude, then think globally instead. During the presidential race, Barack Obama was heard to remark that he would bankrupt the coal industry. No one can doubt Washington's power to bankrupt almost anything -- in the United States. But China is adding 100 gigawatts of coal-fired electrical capacity a year. That's another whole United States' worth of coal consumption added every three years, with no stopping point in sight.

Much of the rest of the developing world is on a similar path.

Cut to the chase. We rich people can't stop the world's 5 billion poor people from burning the couple of trillion tons of cheap carbon that they have within easy reach. We can't even make any durable dent in global emissions -- because emissions from the developing world are growing too fast, because the other 80 percent of humanity desperately needs cheap energy, and because we and they are now part of the same global economy. What we can do, if we're foolish enough, is let carbon worries send our jobs and industries to their shores, making them grow even faster, and their carbon emissions faster still.

We don't control the global supply of carbon.

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February 24, 2009

Magic water!

Actually, it's a simple process. The result is eco-friendly, people friendly and really inexpensive. The machine used isn't cheap, but I'm going to bet that it pays for itself in short order, at least on the commercial scale.

Thanks to Jerry Pournelle for the link.

Update: I should have read faster and thought more before posting. My chemistry professor would have turned over in his grave, if he weren't still alive.

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August 18, 2008

They're not even trying anymore

To pretend that their "scientific consensus" is anything more than inserting And then a miracle occurs into their work to try and prove that we're melting the planet.

Let me be frank: dickwads like those referred to in this article are setting science back hundreds of years. Maybe their next paper will be on the discovery of the Philosopher's Stone, and it will be published in Ye Olde Timme Alchemy and Sorceries of Transmutation.

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August 12, 2008

Maybe I'm not all that thirsty right now

Interesting little calculator here, which tells me how much of my favorite drink I would have to consume before the caffeine dose would become lethal.

poisonmug.jpg

You could drink 349.57 cans of Diet Dr Pepper before croaking.

If you didn't know, Diet Cheerwine is one of the top ten caffeinated diet soft drinks on the market. Consequently, I can't drink quite as much:

poison.jpg

It would take 297.97 cans of Diet Cheerwine to put you down.

So now you know. Check out your favorite beverage to see how much it will take to have yoy pushing daisies.

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August 05, 2008

Losing my religion

Okay, actually his religion, which would be The Church of the Blessed ManBearPigGoreacle. I swear that after reading that mixed bag of a priori assumptions and begging the questions offered up as gospel, I felt an almost overwhelming urge to say 'Amen'. After all, that's what you're supposed to say in church, right?

Maybe Mr. Holdren could give the opening prayer at the trials that James Hansen wants to put us on. Or maybe he was dropped on the head repeatedly as child. Right now, it's kind of a tossup.

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June 18, 2008

I want to believe

This would explain a lot, wouldn't it? And now I must submit my status report to the Great Big Head.

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June 12, 2008

The science is settled

Check out this 1993 article from the NY Times:

To the astonishment of climate specialists, an analysis of ice extracted from the full depth of the Greenland ice sheet has shown that except for the 8,000 to 10,000 years since the last glacial epoch, the climate over the past 250,000 years has changed frequently and abruptly.

The findings suggest that the period of stable climate in which human civilization has flourished might be unusual, and that the current climate may get either warmer or colder much more quickly than had been believed -- in spans of decades or even less.

The data are likely to bolster concern that future changes in climate might not be spread over many centuries, allowing farmers to adjust to altered growing conditions and coastal cities to deal with rising sea levels, for example.

Scientists have speculated for years about the effects of climate warming. Even a rise of a few feet in sea level would flood many food-producing regions and populous areas.

Commenting on the new research, Dr. Andrew J. Weaver of the University of Victoria in British Columbia said that if the climate became colder Europe would be covered with snow much longer. As glaciers advanced, he said, they would reflect more of the Sun's energy back into space, chilling the climate even more. Warmer and Colder Periods

The scientists said their data showed that significantly warmer periods and significantly colder periods had occurred during the last interval between glacial epochs, about 115,000 to 135,000 years ago. They said they could not tell whether that meant similar changes were in store. Their findings were reported today in two papers in the journal Nature.

Previous studies had shown that there were abrupt changes in climate during glacial epochs, but the new results show that the same was true in the periods when glaciers had retreated. In one "catastrophic event" during the last interglacial period, the average temperature plunged 25 degrees Fahrenheit to ice-age levels for about 70 years, the scientists reported.

The authors said they did not have an explanation for the rapid shifts. They also said it was a mystery why the climate of the last 8,000 to 10,000 years had been "strangely stable."

Thanks to Neal Boortz for the link.

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May 29, 2008

Burn, burn, burn. The planet burns (part II)

Or maybe not

Looks like the Goreacle and his disciples are ready to punish the apostates who refuse to worship at their church. Maybe punish isn't the right word, though. Perhaps I should have said run around shrieking like whiny children who aren't getting their way. From Joe's Blog:

The global warmers are becoming increasingly desperate to prop up their failing prophesy in every way possible. Behaving just as Leon Festinger predicted in When Prophecies Fail. As the earth shows no net warming in a decade and cooling into its 7th year, as new models suggest cooling may continue because of natural ocean cycles, as the sun stays quiet now 12 years since the last solar minimum, usually a signal of cooling, as more and more peer review calls into question the importance of CO2 and of the the accuracy of the models and the entire greenhouse theory because of the failure of fingerprinting, the alarmists begin a frantic effort to save their failing theory. You see so many have won the lottery and want to ensure the annuity checks keep coming.

As we indicated in an earlier blog, they are now busy reinventing old data. NASA and NOAA continually revises old data and makes gross assumptions that always result in more warming. The old reliable radiosonde weather balloon data gets challenged because it (and the satellite derived data) do not show the warming the models and theory predict for the high tropical atmophere. A legitimate scientist would trust the data and assume the models are in error (as models so often are) but to these agenda driven alarmists, the models must be right and the data wrong.

This is science? My degrees must be worthless because this in no way resembles what I was taught.

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May 14, 2008

Burn, burn, burn. The planet burns

Or maybe not. Excerpt:

The global warming gurus assure us that a decade without, you know, global warming, has a perfectly rational explanation, and that humanity's wasteful standard of living is still a sure bet to replace Canadian winters with Las Vegas summers by the end of the century. The Pacific Ocean's La Nina current, a cooler-than-normal expanse of water, is responsible for milder temperatures in the normally balmy equatorial region. China and West Asia have cooled off as well, the WMO reported.

The La Nina current is expected to hang around the rest of the year. After that, we're back on the express elevator to Hades.

"For detecting climate change you should not look at any particular year, but instead examine the trends over a sufficiently long period of time," said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud. "And the trend of temperature globally is still very much indicative of warming."

The La Nina current is "part of what we call 'variability,' " he said.

But as Investor's Business Daily wrote in a Friday editorial: "Why can't the Pacific's El Nino current, which played a large part in the warm reading for 1998, simply be seen as a 'variability' and not part of a greater warming trend?" Variability is code for "data that don't support our cause."

Read the rest.

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May 12, 2008

It's going to get worse

And by worse, I mean colder. Globally. Read the PDF at this link, courtesy -again- of Jerry Pournelle. I've excerpted some of the salient points, but it's worth reading. Anyway:

Do we live in a special time in which the laws of physics and nature are suspended? No, we do not. Can we expect relationships between the Sun’s activity and climate, that we can see in data going back several hundred years, to continue for at least another 20 years? With absolute certainty.

In this presentation, I will demonstrate that the Sun drives climate, and use that demonstrated relationship to predict the Earth’s climate to 2030. It is a prediction that differs from most in the public domain. It is a prediction of imminent cooling.

To put the solar – climate relationship in context, we will begin by looking at the recent temperature record, and then go further back in time.

Then we will examine the role of the Sun in changing climate, and following that the contribution of anthropogenic warming from carbon dioxide. I will show that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is not even a little bit bad. It is wholly beneficial. The more carbon dioxide we can put into the atmosphere, the better the planet will be – for humans, and all other living things.
...
When I asked at the beginning of this presentation if we lived in a special time, well that is true in relation to the last three million years. The special time we live in is called an interglacial. Normally, and that is 90% of the time, the spot I am standing on is covered by several thousand feet of ice. Relative to the last four interglacials, we may be somewhere near the end of the current interglacial. The end of the Holocene will be a brutal time for humanity.
...
2008 is the tenth anniversary of the recent peak on global temperature in 1998. The world has been cooling at 0.06 degrees per annum since then. My prediction is that this rate of cooling will accelerate to 0.2 degrees per annum following the month of solar minimum sometime in 2009.
...
We have to be thankful to the anthropogenic global warming proponents for one thing. If it weren’t for them and their voodoo science, climate science wouldn’t have attracted the attention of non-climate scientists, and we would be sleepwalking into the rather disruptive cooling that is coming next decade. We have a few years to prepare for that in terms of agricultural production.

We won't prepare, of course, because it isn't politically expedient. I look forward to President Obamamessiah's State of the Union addresses being given from South Florida during his second term.

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May 06, 2008

We're all going to burn freeze to death!

Found this link via Jerry Pournelle and couldn't resist sharing some excerpts:

The UK Telegraph reports on April 30: “Global warming will stop until at least 2015 because of natural variations in the climate, scientists have said. Researchers studying long-term changes in sea temperatures said they now expect a "lull" for up to a decade while natural variations in climate cancel out the increases caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions. The average temperature of the sea around Europe and North America is expected to cool slightly over the decade while the tropical Pacific remains unchanged. This would mean that the 0.3°C global average temperature rise which has been predicted for the next decade by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change may not happen, according to the paper published in the scientific journal Nature.”
...
This whole climate change issue is rapidly disintegrating. From now onwards climate alarmists will be on the retreat. […] All indications are that we are now on the threshold of global cooling associated with the second and less active solar cycle.” – May 2, 2008 - By Professor Dr. Will J.R. Alexander, Emeritus of the Department of Civil and Biosystems Engineering at the University of Pretoria in South Africa and a former member of the United Nations Scientific and Technical Committee on Natural Disasters
...
Their entire global warming scare was based on around two decades of warming in the late 20th century so if that is followed by 20 years of stasis and cooling, which one of those two episodes represents the trend? How can we be sure that there is ANY trend?” - Australian John Ray, Ph.D., who publishes the website Greenie Watch said on May 2
...
3) UK Astronomer Dr. David Whitehouse, who authored the 2004 book The Sun: A Biography, said on May 1, 2008: “Isn't it curious that over the next decade man-made global warming will be cancelled out by natural cycles. It's nice that Mother Nature (not the journal) is helping us this way but it does beg the question as to whether the man-made effect was all that significant if it can be nullified this way.”
...
4) Astrophysicist Piers Corbyn, founder of the UK based long-term solar forecast group Weather Action, said on April 30: “It is noteworthy that this 'prediction' in the journal Nature coincides pretty well with various solar-based predictions including the solar-magnetic based prediction we issued from WeatherAction in Jan this year - i.e. cooling till 2013 at least. It seems like the 'Anything But the Sun' faction of UN IPCC works by copying what has already been predicted by a number of solar-based forecasting techniques and then attributing the cause to something earth-based. That way they hope to save the lie that man's irrelevant earth-based efforts could cause climate change. Of course the long term cooling change expected in sea temperatures referred to in this paper in Nature as 'cause' is nothing of the sort it is a consequence of the changes in sun-earth magnetic and particle links. The Nature article is in effect saying that 'Climate Change causes climate change'. Give us a break! Why is there a 22 year cycle in the solar magnetic links and also the same cycle in world temperatures? The reason is that the earth-sun magnetic links drive world temperatures (and this understanding enables successful long-range weather forecasts to be made). The pillars of pseudo-science writing in nature believe their 'sea cycle' is the driver of what happens so they will have to tell us that that the sun's magnetic field is driven by the Earth's oceans. Does anyone buy this? Application of the scientific method to science would be a good idea!”

There's a lot more there which you might want to look at, unless your brain is so calcified with the answer you know to be correct that you can't be bothered to look at any actual data.

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March 22, 2008

Brrr!

McQ excerpts from another article which... you know, I'm going to let you read it yourself. The true believers will piss and moan and say that nothing's changed, while those still capable of rational thought on the issue will say it's simply more data to digest.

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March 03, 2008

Good news for the US, too

The Instamonster links to a Pop Sci article on the wave of new nuclear power plant applications. Excerpt:

The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) just offered its annual outlook for the future of nuclear power, and it’s optimistic—partly of necessity. Today’s 104 nuclear power plants generate about 20 percent of electricity in the United States. Due to rising energy demand and aging infrastructure, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission predicts that industry will need to build 50 new reactors to continue producing the same proportion of the country’s power over the next 30 years.

Most of these plants have gotten past the glint-in-the-eye stage: Thirty-one reactors, representing 17 power companies and consortia, are somewhere in the application process—though NEI predicts only four to eight of those will be in commercial operation by 2016.

I'm intimately aware of the details of at least one of those applications.

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January 16, 2008

Long overdue

A group of scientists have developed plans for a mostly self-sustaining lunar habitat. Coincidentally, I was talking to my wife about life in space recently and mentioned that pretty much all waste, including urine, would be have to be recycled and reused. I also mentioned that solar energy would be the energy source of choice because, umm, do I really need to say it? Excerpt:

According to the plans, Luna Gaia will be a complex divided into linked, studio-apartment-size pods. Situated in a crater to limit its inhabitants' exposure to solar radiation, it would include private and social areas, labs and exercise rooms, and greenhouses in which astronauts could grow the food necessary for a balanced diet. Filters, plants and bacteria will turn wash water and urine into potable water. Algae and other greenery turn carbon dioxide into oxygen. Overall, the group estimates, these systems would make Luna Gaia 90 to 95 percent sustainable, meaning fewer service trips, longer visits and a clearer conscience.

Anyway, the article has some pretty good ideas, but I've got a few questions of my own:

1) Why are they using solar energy to heat water, convert it into steam and then drive a turbine to create electricty? I realize that solar panels aren't horribly efficient, but since you'll be sitting in a no cloudy days, ever, area, you should probably just go straight photovoltaic conversion. Sure, the cells are bulky, but so are replacement parts for turbines, which also do not last forever.

2) They've got the radiation protection worked out, but the scientists just seem to ignore the incoming rock problem. Here on Earth, we've got miles and miles of atmosphere, which eliminates all but the largest meteorites. On the Moon, stuff would just come on in at high velocity. Even a pinhole leak would be enough to kill of the colony. And the moon's surface was excavated by a race of space aliens, it has been bombarded for a long time by enough rocks to make the surface look like a teenager's face. Why not bore into the side of the moon and build the colony mostly underground? Have the cells and solar redirection panels on the crater's edge as designed, but have the habitat protected by the rock already there. As far as I'm aware, the moon isn't seismicly active, so no problem with earthquakes.

In any event, I hope that this stuff gets moving soon. I remember the first moon landing, albeit somewhat dimly, as I was small child at the time. If you had told me around 1972 or so that we not only wouldn't have a moon colony by 2008, but that we wouldn't have gone back to the moon at all, I'd have thought you were nuts. Of course, you may well be insane, but in this one case you are also 100% correct.

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November 26, 2007

Well, this is interesting

I know that someone else is bound to have posted about this "nuclear battery", but I think that it's pretty cool. Carry it to wherever, bury it and voila! 27 MW electric power. My questions, of course, would concern waste disposal and economic viability. Assuming that the answers are reasonable, I'd be fine with the idea. I'll be interested to see where it leads.

Update: I should have known the the Slashdotters would be all over it.

Posted by Physics Geek at 02:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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November 08, 2007

Obviously a Bushbot

This guy has no clue. As penance, he must pray at the shrine of the Goreacle for one month, become a vegetarian and start driving a Prius. Oh, and he has to start every conversation with CHIMPYMCSMIRKYBUSHITLER!!!! IS KILLING US ALL FOR OOOIIIILLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!. In fact, if you can't actually see the italics when he froths, you'll know that he's faking it.

Posted by Physics Geek at 02:49 PM | TrackBack

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October 18, 2007

I told you so

I knew that if Bush continued his ban on embryonic stem cell research that we'd have to wait for breakthroughs from other, more enlightened countries like England. Excerpt:

In a study published in October's Experimental Neurology, Dr Paul Kingham and his team at the UK Centre for Tissue Regeneration (UKCTR) isolated the stem cells from the fat tissue of adult animals and differentiated them into nerve cells to be used for repair and regeneration of injured nerves.

Oh wait. What was I saying about embryonic stem cell research? Nothing to see here, just move along. And now I wait for an honest assessment about this research in the news. Do you think that maybe CNN, PMSNBC, CBS, ABC, or NBC will mention this correctly as a treatment derived from adult stem cells? Me neither. Instead, we'll be treated to editorials on how we're falling behind other countries in stem cell research, without bothering to mention that it's not the morally suspect embryonic kind.

Ehh, I blame Bush. Or question the timing. Or whatever brainfucked piece of idiocy gets John Cole and the Kos Kidz through the day.

Update: Welcome Instapundit readers!

Update: And Daily Pundit readers!

Posted by Physics Geek at 08:26 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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September 18, 2007

The Andromeda Strain part II?

Local people become very ill after a meteorite strikes? This has happened before.

Update: Turns out that the Puppy Blender was on the same wavelength as me.

Posted by Physics Geek at 08:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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