Friday, April 27, 2007

Star Adventures - Apes Must Live - part 1


Trio is called to TG-2154 a space station that has been destroyed by a mysterious force.

Trio is acusted by the space navy since they were the last seen with the probable perps.

The Preps being the legendary Micronauts.

Trio ponders why the Micronauts would want to destroy a space station

They discover that the station was once the property of Bob Lamphere

They also discover mysterious containers that have been opened and the contents taken.

Another old Lamphere property is attacked, this time the old Lamphere building in Beaverton. It is vaporized. Litterally gone from the Earth.

Trio is finally contacted by none other than their old plastic pal. The micronaut warns them that Lampheres DNA was synthisized by the ancient and mysterious Mega-brain of Micron, a thing not even Mic quite understands. All that was evil about Bob is now uploaded into the being of a galactic terror.

The trio must stop the Mega-brain before it can finish making its galactic army to invade Human space. Apes must live.

The mega brain refers to all humans as apes.

They destroy the mega-brain but not before its battle fleet enters hyperspace. The trio manage to scramble the destination point for the battle fleet. However they are left pondering where the battle fleet was sent.

The End. Moo Hoo Ha Ha!

Shocking revelations:

The Mega-brain is not of Micronaut origin. There are further hideous allusions are to what lies behind the manifestation of the Mega Brain. Even though the intial combatants are the TimeTravelers the real army that the Mega-brain is constructing is the resurrection of the dreaded Acroyear race. The Mega-brain is the shadowy force behind the decline and fall of the Micronauts.

Questions left unanswered:
Who made the Mega Brain?
Why was it sent to ruin the Micronauts?
Why did the Mega Brain resurrect the Acroyear race?
Is Earth still in danger?
Where is the battle fleet?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Peaceful USA

I know the that there are al sorts of bad nations out there building atom bombs and chemical weapons, and such like. But leave it to the peaceful USA to lead the way toward the brave new world of weaponry. The US Air Force has been spending hundreds of millions researching positron weapons. If the US is successful in developing such a device it will be the equivalent of creating the atom bomb back in 1945. It will totally change the potential for global destruction.

A positron is an anti-electron. Antimatter! A softball sized lump of anti-electrons could destroy most of the earth as they annihilate with their material cousins. It also does not contaminate the countryside with radioactive fallout. So it is seen, by the military, as a “clean” weapon. Something they have sought for a long time.

Here is a quote from a 2004 San Francisco Chronicle story:

“More cataclysmic possible uses include a new generation of super weapons -- either pure antimatter bombs or antimatter-triggered nuclear weapons; the former wouldn't emit radioactive fallout. Another possibility is antimatter- powered "electromagnetic pulse" weapons that could fry an enemy's electric power grid and communications networks, leaving him literally in the dark and unable to operate his society and armed forces.

Following an initial inquiry from The Chronicle this summer, the Air Force forbade its employees from publicly discussing the antimatter research program. Still, details on the program appear in numerous Air Force documents distributed over the Internet prior to the ban.”

The guy who spilled the anti-matter beans was munitions Directorate official Kenneth Edwards, of Eglin Air Force Base. FYI: Eglin is the largest air force base in the world encompassing 724 squire miles of land and another 97,000 square miles of ocean. The state of Oregon is only 96,000 square miles

More reality ponderings

In my earlier post I stated that I think I am a momentary fluctuation of engery, some energy slipping into the form of matter, and some energy in the form of electrical activity in my head.

The matter of me is held, temporarily, together by various forces, the strong nuclear force and weak force that keeps my atoms together, and to a limited extent electro-magnetism, and finally the force that keeps me stuck on Earth, gravity. The only reason, at least physically, that allows "me" to exist in such a state as to be able to write this blog, is that the ambient local conditions suffice to keep those forces working together in such a way as to allow me to "live". However this is an instantaneous event lasting practically no time at all.

People looked at me sort of strangely when, at a church picnic, I said that your life on earth is only the spark of your real eternal fire. To live a day or a thousand years is basically no time at all on cosmic scales.

Getting back to "me" the alive "me" of now. In ten billion years I will, physically still exist. My atoms will still be around and in pretty much the same shape they are now. Some will be floating in interstellar space, others will be stuck in the middle of some forming planet on the other side of the galaxy, or maybe in a different galaxy all together. That "me" will not be able to write this blog. And that is probably going to make the readers quite happy.

Metaphysically will there be a "me" seperate from the "me" of ten billion years hence? If there is a "me" I would hope it is not the same me as now. To exist as Scott for ten billion years would really get on my nerves, or the metaphysical equivalent. Surely if you want to find me in a hundred years go dig me up and there I will be, more or less. That is if you define "me" as matter. If I am an idea in the mind of something else then is the matter the idea too? And if it is why bother with the melodrama of birth and death? Especially since we live such short lives.

Maybe our whole life in this universe, that portion of our physical existance where electrochemical activity happens in our heads and bodies, is mere conception. The day an egg is fertalized is a pretty hecktic day for both sperm and egg. But after the this happens the show has only just begun. I would like to think that we have as much understanding of how our lives will unfold as the sperm and egg have.

What I know for certain is that the "me" of this universe, in physical terms, will last for the duration of the cosmos. All the atoms that make me up were born in the instant of universal expansion some 15 to 20 billion years ago. And they will be there at the end too.

Monday, April 23, 2007

How to determine reality

Descate said "I think therefore I am". Then Einstein came around and showed us that everything we see, including time, is warped by gravity. And oh yes space and time are really the same substance now known as space-time. Max Plank, Heisenberg and Born added to the confusion with quantum mechanics. And here we are, with a fair amount of further confusion added since then, so how do we know reality? If there is nothing fundamentally fixed including matter, and space-time itself, what do we call real?

Reality now seems vaporous and nothing but an illusion. But here I am writing this. To me this is real. To you the reader it is real. But in another way of looking at this it is all a transitory fluctuation of energy. We all are a momentary fluctuation of energy. At a given instant in space and time here we are, at least what we call “we” and define as “are”

Look at a sparkler on the 4th of July. For a moment it is bright and flashing, gives off very high heat and then is gone. Now imagine if that you filmed the sparkler and then slowed the film down so that it took 15 billion years for it to burn halfway down the rod. Could you even understand what you were looking at? Generations would come and go, whole planetary life cycles would start, burn and die, while the sparkler burned in the film as it ticked one frame every million years or so. The sparkler would appear static and unchanging for most observers.

This is my lame attempt to show what reality is like. It is an illusion. Reality is what various transitory, energy fluctuations determine it to be at a given time.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

NBC wrong in showing Cho.

By showing that terrible video all NBC did was contribute to Cho's crime. This kid was nothing but a scumbag who didn't have enough sense to kill himself first before ruining the lives of 32 other people. By putting this turd on TV NBC elevated him to something this worthless idiot was not. Let the cops have the tape and other details. Giving scumbags like this a venue is asking for more of the same. If NBC shows Cho's version of himself, I think they should show what Cho did to himself and others to put his stupidity in context. I read his plays and they are terrible, terribly poor. I am amazed that such incompitent writing would be worthy of a grade schooler let alone a university student. If he got anything other than an F for either of these poor excuses for plays the teacher was being overly generous.

Now onto refuting the conservative, gun toting idiots who think that armed students or teachers are the answer. Simply put in a situation where there is gunfire in a school, the responders are not going to ask everyone toting a gun for their permit. If you want to get shot by the cops then by all means pull your stupid gun out. The police had enough trouble making sure the students they did meet were not the shooter. And if half the class was armed and a gun goes off how is the first responder supposed to, with confidence, know who the actual perp is? I guess everyone would have to be arrested and sent to jail to await the investigation? I know cops and they would really be pissed if they came into a situation with a bunch of freaked out kids and teachers with guns all trying to be John F'ing Wayne.

Here is another winner of a scenario:

Let us just say that Cho entered the classroom with his guns and another student pulled his or her own gun and shot Cho first. The class would errupt into mayhem, many would vomit over the blood and gore, Cho would be dead or dying. The police would be called, the building evacuated. When the cops did arrive all they would have for certain is a dead student, apparently armed, and another student, also armed who has discharged their gun in class. The student who killed Cho would be put under arrest for the shooting and taken to jail. They would go to trial and may or may not be found guilty of manslaughter. Cho's family would probably file a wrongful death law suit too. The student who did the killing would most likely be expelled.

And no lives would have been saved. Hmmm? Well no because there is no crystal ball in current action. You cannot know what will happen during a given event. If you could go back in time then yes you would be able to stop Cho and with justification say you saved lives. But in reality the only murder in my little scenario would Cho's and the only killer would be the student who shot him.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Golden Rule is fun!

Remember when you were a kid and you woke up on Sunday and you thought it was Monday and then you realized that it was still the weekend, or maybe you were even luckier and woke up on Saturday and thought it was Monday? Remember how good that felt? Or when you find a wad of cash in an old suit you haven’t worn in six months? Free money! Well my feelings about the Big Surge in Iraq are pretty much 180 degrees away from those giddy feelings. It is more like the cold feeling you get when the boss taps you on the shoulder and asks “Gotta second?”

Here is my idea about what to do with Iraq. First take the troops that are there and take them out. Second let the Iraqi’s beat the unholy hell out of each other. Take all the money and personnel that are being wasted in Iraq and put them into Afghanistan to at least settle that country.

Then really start using that old Golden Rule:

Keep allocating the same money accept instead of flushing it down a losing war use it for fun stuff. If we had taken the 416 billion we have spent in Iraq and set it aside for college scholarships we could have paid for 20 million students to get 4 year college educations. Hell we could have taken 20 million Muslims from around the world and given them 4-year college, not that we’d ever want to win harts and minds. I know the argument that if you just shoot them in the hart or in the mind you have won them over but 4 years of American style college is probably going to be more fun for them than getting killed.

It all comes down to priorities. We like to spend a lot on killing machines and training people to kill other people. We do not like to spend money on helping our citizens get smarter. We like to build huge college sports complexes and have no problem paying insurance company execs 100’s of millions of dollars while they claim absurdly that it is the little guys fault about rising health costs. We even knuckle under to paying a lousy ATM machine $2.00 to withdraw a $20! We give in and give in and give in. We really need to stop doing that. Give the powerful an inch and they will take a mile. So we need to stop giving in and start getting in their face. Start making a big stink. Not devolve into some mindless tie-dyed counter culture that is doomed to failure, but reclaim our culture and country and force the powers back to their roll as sycophants of the people.

Put investment dollars into Palestine. Not give them boxes of cash but partner with them to build factories to employee people. Help them with an internal economy. Start building luxury vacation condos on the Black Sea shores of Iran and in the Persian Gulf. Inundate their culture not with guns and security personal, but wit tourists. Invade them with the Golden Rule and what we would get would be much less terrorism, oh there will always be nutters, but on the whole things would begin to settle down.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Roomate Doing well...sort of

My new roommate and I are getting along pretty good. He talks to my daughter more than me. His biggest problem is his insistence on letting me know how he is doing. On the one hand he is very helpful, at least he trys to be. On the other he never shuts up. Mr. Vista PC is probably going to fit in to our small space but he will take some getting used to. The old roommate, Mr. XP, I had beaten down to the slave I really wanted. He never said anything to me for he knew there would be consequences to such unwanted communication.

Vista is still in the honeymoon phase and I am letting the guy ramble on about protecting me from this boogie man and that, but eventually, if he doesn’t shut the hell up, he’ll meat the business side of the back of my hand and that will be that. The sooner Vista stops bugging me the sooner it can start enjoying its 5 year life span.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Just Say NO to Nukes

This is a revised posting. My original post ended by saying “Just Say NO to Nukes.” I changed it now to put it in the heading. Most people, when you they hear “nuclear bomb” or “atom bomb” they think that are all talking about the same thing. It has been many years now since the so called end of the so-called cold war. I say so called since to millions of dead human beings it was not a cold war at all.

An entire generation is about to reach adulthood and not understand the nature of that long horrible stand off. They may even think the stand off is over. Clearly nobody really understands the variety of weaponry that still exists by the thousands. I don’t think even the President could tell you the difference between the Hiroshima bomb and the bombs of today.

So here is a little education. First of all the Hiroshima bomb and the bomb that destroyed Nagasaki, were “fission” bombs. They were atomic bombs. They used a lot of TNT to split plutonium atoms apart and release all that pent up energy. When people talk about suitcase bombs, or North Korean nukes, or the theoretical bomb that might be made in Iran they are probably talking about that kind of bomb.

Today in the arsenals of Russia and the US there are very few atom bombs. The standard US weapon is the 20mt fusion bomb. These bombs are really two bombs in one. The first bomb is a fission bomb that triggers the far larger and more destructive, if you can believe this, fusion reaction. In other words modern first world weapons use Hiroshima bombs a fuses.

The Hiroshima bomb that killed 60 thousand people in the blink of an eye was also pretty much of a dud. Only 1.4% of the fissial material actually did the job. The Nagasaki bomb was a little less of a dud at 15% fission. A modern thermonuclear weapon is thousands of times more destructive than the little atom bombs of WWII. That is why most people who understand the nature of these weapons are all opposed to them.

The Russians, in the late 1950’’s, built and detonated a 100mt bomb dubbed Tsar Bomba “king of bombs” The scientists were so worried about potential aftereffects of the test that they replaced 50% of the core with lead so that it only achieved 50mts. The US has never admitted to producing any weapons that powerful. And really they don’t need to. A 20mt bomb is just about as destructive and is a lot smaller. They are also more accurate.

To make matters worse most all the 20megatoners are loaded in missiles that hold up to10 20mt fusion bombs. In order to destroy a nation the size of the US or Russia only one or two missiles would really be needed to wreak unspeakable havoc. Currently both nations have arsenals in the thousands. Far more than would be needed to destroy the world many times over. Furthermore these weapons are not only in land based silos but at least 50% of the US arsenal is on continuously moving and practically undetectable submarines. This gives the US a first strike capability of killing any nation without that nation knowing what hit it or giving it any time at all to respond. Russia is similarly armed.

If the US so desired it could in a mater of minutes, not an hour or two, but minutes, take out the entire nation of North Korea or Iran., or both simultaneously. All it would take would be two subs and two missiles.

This is the real threat to civilization. This is going to continue to be an ever present danger to mankind and we all need to keep talking so that no one has time to do the unthinkable. Of course Bin Laden and his kind, both Muslim and Christian, and atheist for that matter, would be willing to do it. Democracies must refrain from using a terrorist bomb to justify a global nuclear war. The retaliation to such a provocation would be worse than the initial attack itself and solve nothing.

We have to pressure all first world governments to do a better job at locking down and securing materials that could fall into the hands of the insane. We can do it but it is going to take a conscious effort to wish to live.

Review of 3 scary stories

I recently have completed reading three very scary stories. In reverse order I shall review them.

The most recent work is a famous story by HP Lovecraft. The Mountains of Madness. Lovecraft is superb at setting the stage for creepy, nasty, and unnerving events. His detailed descriptions of Antarctica are wonderfully dread inducing. All the characters, the frame of reference of the teller of the story as a survivor, makes it all the more unsettling. Lovecraft is right up there with Tolkien as a creator of myths. To the point where there are actually idiots who think his continual references to a book he calls the Necronomicon, means the book really exists. Never mind that its author, the Mad Arab Abdul Alhazzard would be laughed at since his name contains the Arabic equivalent of a stutter. The proper name would be Abdul Hazzard, not AlHazzard, the extra “al” is redundant. Anyway I digress. The story is wonderful and I highly recommend it. It, unlike many sci-fi-horor tales from the 1930s, is not that dated. Lovecraft leaves enough holes in the whole cloth to let the imagination run wild. Usually screaming to the kitchen for late night snack.

The second book is Along Way Gone by Ishmael Beah, a former child soldier from Sierra Leon. It is autobiographical and far scarier than Lovecraft. Since it portrays not some fictitious phantasms, but cold reality where the real monsters are men and at times children. It is a poetic and reverent look into who a loving child is morphed into a killer and then redeemed. His eventual redemption, and his honest appraisal of himself and his actions, also makes for a very uplifting feeling even while being repulsed by the situations in the book. Ishmael Beah is a young man with a bright future.

The Places In Between is the last book. Rory Stewart writes very coolly about his adventures. He does not portray himself as greater than he is. He also neither glorifies nor vilifies the people he meets along his long walk across Afghanistan. This book is scary since it shows the otherworldliness of cultures on the edge of civilization, at least today’s civilization. “Why did you fight the Russians?” the author asked a Pashtun villager chief. “The made our women take off their scarves and they stole our goats.” The chief answered. “Why did you fight the Taliban?” The answer, “They made our women take off their scarves, put on burkas and they stole our goats.” What scares me about this is that we in the west are so myopically self-centered on our own plight we think that those warriors in the hills of distant place give a rat’s ass about us one way or another. We act upon them like the sea upon the beach. The beach has no way of controlling how the ocean treats it. It simply has to take it, put up resistance if it can but it is too busy with the worries of a beach to think about the mathematics of the oceans waves.

Efficient houses

Here is my lame assed idea for less energy hogish houses.

1: Each house has to have solar panels. You cannot sell a home that has no water. Why should you be able to see a home that has no power? The price to ad a 1kw solar array is about as much as the cost to plumb a house. 4% of the price of a house can get you 1KW of solar power generation. That is enough to significantly impact your electric bill.

2: Do not stop on the outside of the home as far as solar panels. There is no reason why some form of photo voltaic system could not be set up inside the home to capture stray photons and send them back to the grid as electrons.

3: Hydrodynamic turbines should be standard in all residential street mains. These turbines would trun each street into a tiny hydro electric dam.

With a little bit of available technology and some creativity we could make our world much better and save the average Joe a ton of money. Wouldn't we like to save money and the planet?

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Ships and how to run them

Here is my method for generating power for the next generation of large ships.

Ships, most of them anyway, sail upon the oceans. Oceans are full of Sodium Chloride. I would pump sea water into a reactor that would use Electrolysis of the sea water to produce sodium hydroxide by the following:

Anode reaction:

2Cl– --- Cl2 + 2e–

Cathode reactions:

2Na+ + 2e- --- 2Na

2Na + 2H2O --- 2Na+ + 2OH– + H2

This would require a DC current from onboard batteries.

Then the sodium would be passed into another reactor where a DC current would be passed through molten Sodium Hydroxide to produce Sodium Na.

Then it is stored in tanks for use as fuel.

The ships engine would be a steam engine who’s heat comes from the mixing of the sodium with water.

“Owing to its high reactivity, sodium is found in nature only as a compound and never as the free element. Sodium reacts exothermically with water: small pea-sized pieces will bounce around the surface of the water until they are consumed by it, whereas large pieces will explode. While sodium reacts with water at room temperature the sodium piece melts with the heat of the reaction to form a sphere, if the reacting sodium piece is large enough. The reaction with water produces very caustic sodium hydroxide and highly flammable hydrogen gas.”

The excess sodium hydroxide would be fed back into the 2nd reactor to make more Sodium while the Hydrogen would be burned or heat and its by product would be water vapor and that would be sent back into the ocean totally clean.

There is no such thing as a perpetual motion machine. So the ship would have to start with a fair amount of charged batteries but once the system gets going it should be efficient. Maybe…?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

D50 Info

Well the folks at Nilon squeezed the D50 out of existance between the D40 and the D8. I guess Nikon doesn't like odd numbered cameras? Anyway technology ever advances. I was talking to a photographer I know and he has a bunch of Nikons. He think people that hem and haugh over 6.1 mp or 10pm are nuts. He has Old nikon with a Leaf digital back that is rated at around 12mp that cost 10 grand back in the day.

To him D40 D50 D70 D80 are all pretty much the same. Grrrrrrrrreat! They all blow the older hyper expensive digital back Nikons out of the water in many more ways than can be counted. He got a D40 and also has a D50 and D70. I am not sure why but this is his job soooooo. Anyway his honest opinion is that image quality in any of the lower end Nikons is superb . The bells and whistles changebut the guts are pretty much the same. And the algarythms used by Niko are also the same and that is what makes a Nikon digital image great.

Is Congress on the right track?

Yes. I know it is tempting to say that the Democrats are wrestling with Bush and any set back now in Iraq could be linked to the war funding issue. Bush backers are already there. But the American people have seen this from the beginning and are demanding action to solve this problem. Bush has a track record with America that is basically one disaster after another. The Democratic controled Congress is attempting to force the Administration into a corner. If Bush says that Congress is now trying to micro manage the war I would argue that his own micro management via Don Rumsfeld did not turn out so rosey. It is not like we just showed up in Iraq either. This mess has been grinding on now for more than 4 years with no end in sight. Pressure needs to be brought to bare on the White House. To force them to admit to themselves that there has to be an end game sooner or later. What is going on in Iraq cannot be put up with forever.

Pelosi and company are attempting an end run around the White House and are playing high stakes brinksmanship. They understand lives hang in the balance. Does Bush? Judging by his four year long war without victory, I would say one would really have to question if Bush understands the stakes.

Strings attached to money does not hamper the commanders in the field, only if Bush vetos the bill. All the bills do is force Bush to adjust his tactics. Clearly force is the only thing Bush listens to.

Hal is dead, Father Lives

Hal my trusty, and rusty, old Dell Precision 530 died quietly over the weekend surrounded by family and friends. Hal served me really well for almost 7 years. The only reason was his Xeon processor. He had been augmented since his childhood. Now his boxy self is waiting to be scavanged for organ donation.

I hate buying new computers. I hate it like the dentist, or rectal exams, actually they both take less time than setting up a new box. It makes not a bit of difference whether you have skills, computer hacking, or not. It is a lousy day no matter what. Like buying a car accept in the case of the computer you have to take the annoying parts home and try to figure it on on your own.

Not only is hardware a bitch, but so is Vista. I am sure Vista will soon be slicing my bread and wiping myy behind, but at this point it is a fun to be with as Hitler after Stalingrad. No that is not quite the right analogy. A better one would be having to deal with an anoying yes man who is actually terminally passive aggressive. "Can I do this for you!? Let me do it! Now watch me ruin your life!"

This new computer has a ton of shit in it that Iwill take time to figure out. It is not a super de duper machine but it is better than Hal, in that it is alive and younger, newer faster and more up-to-date .

Core 2 Duo E6400
2 GB ram
400 GB HD
250 GB HD -from Hal
NVidia 7300 blah blah card
Tunder Card with HD in and out.
Sound gizmos with sound stuff
Media crap I probably won't use
A remote control - You can use it like a mouse
Vista Ultimate, Ombre, Maximum, Gargantuo, Omni Potens Deus.