Sunday, June 29, 2008

Managed Fusion Power

The wild and free Sun, our local deep space campfire, is powered by condensed hydrogen atoms that as they get mashed by gravity, they heat up and merge (or fuse) to form Helium atoms.

This process releases a photon each time.

All that Hydrogen, which was really about all there was before the Universe condensed into stars, galaxies etc., creates a lot of energy and light as it fuses into Helium. The Sun is also, to use a scientific description, frikken huge. Its diameter is 68+ times that of the earth. So the way we get our life sustaining energy is from a big wild roiling explosive ball of nulear fusion.

The Sun is an entirely unmanaged resource. Or it seems about as well managed as an energy source as a BP Texas oil refinery. So much of the energy of the Sun just jets into space in random explosions.

It would be amazing if we could use Hydrogen to make a star that was carefully managed from the start. It could be steadily fueled and waste products somehow safely purged. We could maybe even design a star to live far longer that our Sun.

Our star, SOL, is among the longer lived star types. Some are so massive that they explode and die far sooner compared to other stars. The solar sphere is so vast and yet only a comparatively small bit of that energy strikes the Earth. A carefully designed, planned and managed star could be a stable reliable source of energy for many worlds for billions more years than the 5 billion our star will burn.

The work of replicating the Sun's energy system is in progress in the study of Fusion reactors

We need the supernovas and red giants of the universe to manufacture elements of higher atomic number in their violent death throes.

It just seems to me that if the Sun were an engine, that has a lot of torque but randomly backfires and blows seals, we'd see it as needing design improvements.

Not that I am complaining about my current solar-powered existence.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Killer Cover

I can trust the Killers with Joy Division covers. That is saying a lot. They made it "poptastic" as Stephen Morris (Joy Division / New Order drummer) would say while keeping the feel of soldiering jangly guitars and the driving bass line. I simply love it.

It even has a nice instrumental that is really New Orderish for a Joy Division cover.

Yewchube rules...though it is in MONO...which is lame.


Friday, June 06, 2008

South Carolina's Jesus License Plate Wish

I seem to address a lot of religious topics for a non-believer, but some things just raise my alarms.

Why can South Carolina have Nascar license plates, Or school plates like this:

And foundation plates likes this:

But not a Christianity plate? Surely Jesus is as valid a thing to put on ones plates as a Nascar icon or a school!

I would say "The Problem Is..." but it is not a problem. In the United States of America we have a constitution that is the basis for our laws.

The first amendment to the Constitution, part of the Bill of Rights, states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...

The license plate is a kind of government document and in America, the Constitution specifically says the government should not promote a religion. It doesn't say anything about schools, car racing, mentions religion. This was done for a specific reason, because of the special concern surrounding the influence of devotion in society. The framers knew people could not be truly free if the government put its stamp of deadly authority on any religion.

So, you can't have Jesus license plates in this country! Love your country, because the same Constitution prevents someone else from foisting their religion on you.

Get a bumper sticker.