August 22, 2019

Thank You

As I ponder the direction I'll take as I approach one of life's crossroads, I want to thank everyone for all the kind words regarding my recent graduation.

It is truly gratifying and I appreciate it more than I can possibly express.

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August 21, 2019

A Follow-Up on Positron Dynamics

Back in March we had a brief post on a company called Positron Dynamics and their claims to have solved the production and containment issues with antimatter regarding space propulsion.

Specifically, they are using positrons (anti-electrons) to catalyze a small fusion reaction. Positrons can be generated on the spot using a radioactive isotope of krypton, thus solving the antimatter storage problem, and being positively charged can be directed with a fair bit of ease solving the handling antimatter problem.

Now one of the Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes points us to a follow up to this story she found by months of diligent research...

"Actually, it was posted this morning over at Atomic Rocket"

Positron Dynamics submitted their report to  N.A.S.A. for peer review this past January. It has now passed muster and is published in the N.A.S.A Rechnical Reports Server. There is a PDF of the report here for your perusal.

Basically the conclusion is that it works, though the version that is looked at in the N.A.S.A report has much lower thrust than one would expect from something with the words "Fusion" and "Anti-Matter". Indeed, its thrust compares unfavorably to most ion drives.

However, it has the astonishing exhaust velocity of  2,943,000 meters per second and a Delta V (the change in velocity over the time an engine burns) of 60,000 meters per second. Now it burns a looong time and accelerates imperceptibly, but its DeltaV is actually better than some of the smaller Orion drive designs which involved using exploding atom bombs as propellant.

Note the diagram and the little object marked "D2 tank".

That's all the the Deuterium propellant needed for a 60,000 meter change of velocity. Yes the thrust is minuscule but over time it adds up. This is for a notional asteroid mission using the design as it is now.

The speed of New Horizons and the Voyager probes, the fastest things ever sent out by mankind is less than 17,000 meters per second.

Winchell Chung puts it thusly:
With many other propulsion systems, rocket designers are happy if the spacecraft is only 75% propellant and 25% everything else. A spacecraft with Radioisotope Positron Propulsion is pretty much 100% rocket and payload, the propellant is only a few micrograms.  Granted that a one metric ton space probe with such an engine will have an measly acceleration of 0.0001 meters per second (0.0125 snail-power), but you can't have everything.

 Be that as it may, the report compares their positron engine with an electric propulsion engine for a hypothetical capture/redirect of asteroid 2009BD and the positron engine kicks the electric engine to the curb. 

Theoretically you can use multiple engine arrays if you must have a higher thrust.

Or perhaps you could use a different engine (say a regular chemical engine) for emergencies. As an aside, the engineers seem to anticipate higher thrusts in the future but that is not mentioned in the peer-reviewed paper and must be considered to be speculation at this point.

There's a good deal of work still to do as noted at the end of the report, but it does now appear that this proposal to field an anti-matter propulsion system in the next few years is indeed practical.

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Info Bleg

So, getting back into sine qua non* of what is at least occasionally an anime blog, I note that 'Danmachi'2 seems to be having a bad case of tournament arc and  the other shows that look interesting are hard to find.

Does anyone know where Katana no Astra and Cop Craft can be viewed? They aren't on Crunchyroll and don't seem to be on Funimation (I don't have a membership there so access is limited).

* See! I iz edgegumikaited now!

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And Then This Happened

You Tube has removed robot fight videos because of their policy against animal cruelty.

No. We're not making this up.

"That's just...Wow."

Since YouTube is putting so much effort into encouraging their viewers to consider alternative platforms, I'd really be remiss if I didn't note that Brickmuppet Blog's BitChute referral page is here.

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Not Actually Surprising, But Discussions of Hong Kong Are Being Downvoted, Demonetized and Removed From the Internet

Vee also has a remedial review of why Epic Games Store is evil, but we knew that.

UPDATE: None of this stopped a bit of defiance from making an appearance at a video game tournament in Shanghai.

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Apple Computers

A company that has as its  raison d'être , top of the line, visionary, and exquisite industrial design.

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August 20, 2019

Banality Below the Fold

Art by Naohiro

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Current Status

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August 16, 2019


There are multiple reports that the Trump administration has been trying to buy....Greenland

This is exactly what many of us were afraid of when weighing the nomination of a sketchy Bronx real-estate developer to high office.

"Actually, I don't remember this specific scenario ever being discussed."

Greenland is...misleadingly named...and a poor location for a casino, golf course or beach resort.

Not that it's without charm. To wit: Scenic Kulusuk.

However, Greenland is massively strategic, in both location and mineral resources, potentially making this a very good investment.

Image via

The world's largest island (which, while big, is not NEARLY as big as a Mercator projection often makes it look) is a net (albeit slight) economic drain on Denmark,which doesn't have the resources to develop it or realistically defend it and it's small population of ~56,000 has been steadily dwindling for some time. This is mainly due to them being eaten by polar bears and  Ithaqua.

"Please ignore his last sentence as it is dubious and lacks a citation!"

This is actually the third time the U.S. has tried to buy Greenland, once in 1867 and once in 1946.  As of now, Denmark has looked at the cost/benefit of owning Greenland and once again said "No!".

China, will, no doubt, be undeterred from their more subtle efforts towards the same end.

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August 13, 2019

Some Talk A Good Game About Empowered Women

...but point to Mary Sue Fanfic and weaponizing "the vapors" as examples of such.

Most of those would not be the least bit amused by today's birthday girl, who was a person of extraordinary talent in her sport, She was also a superb showman and entrepreneur who came from less than nothing and on her own merits rose to become one of the most famous women in the world in her day.

She was also a philanthropist, world traveler, businesswoman, actress and at one point tried to raise an all female unit of 50 women sharpshooters  for the Spanish American War before McKinley said "No!"

She also empowered more than 15,000 women in the most profound way possible, by teaching them how to shoot.

On this day in 1860, Phoebe Ann Mosey, better known in later life as Annie Oakley and "Little Sure Shot", was born.

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Meanwhile, In Hong Kong

China has denied a port visit by the U.S. Navy in Hong Kong. This might be taken as an indication that something very bad is in the wind.

The last few days have been less peaceful but the protests, which have been going on for three months now and comprise at time millions of people are still showing no sign of letting up on their own.

It's looking like they will be ended by the CCP, which is reported to be massing troops across the Pearl River.

Tienanmen 2 may well be imminent.

Given the seven and a half million that live in the megalopolis, and what the CCP did in Tiennamen; when the hammer comes down, it has the potential to be a bloodbath on a par with some of the worst atrocities in history. This is not a bunch of students, more than a quarter of the population has taken part in some of these marches, a testament to what the stakes are for the average Hong Konger. The CCP is facing stresses from numerous directions and see the outspokenness of Hong Kong as a danger that is poised to metastasize. For all its millions Hong Kong is but a rounding error among the billion and a half Chinese;  one that the mainlanders have been raised and educated to be decidedly unsympathetic to.

The Hong Kong protestors are waving the American flag and singing The Star Spangle Banner. The desperately want what we have and appreciate it in a way many of our leaders do not and their thirst for freedom is something that many of our gatekeepers and self appointed aristocrats hold in contempt.

There is little that can be done of course, but the comparative lack of coverage or "backpaging"  of this impending catastrophe by mainline news outlets is disgraceful, and feeds into the idea that the tech weasels and media are to a very large extent Chinese fronts now.

I note that the You Tube Filter seems to have gotten particularly egregious about this story recently. Selecting the most recent upload date as a filter provides two particularly anodyne news reports and the then starts going backwards from a month ago.

In any event, companies like Epic that are owned by People's Liberation Army affiliated companies or those like Google that Kow-Tow to their wishes in hopes of favors ought to be scrutinized rather more than they are, for what's happening in china with the social credit system and what is about to befall Hong Kong, is not at all beyond the bounds of possibility for us.

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Important Health Advisory

The Federal Department of Agriculture has issued a consumer warning  regarding certain treatments.

One of our Crack Team of Science Babes has thoughts on this unexpected headline and its impli.... Wait, Is she OK?

"Why is this warning necessary? What the actual Hell is wrong with people!? This is our society now! Game over! Game over!"

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Update Your Codebooks Brickmuppeteers!


Herbie, Herbie, Herbie.

begin edit

$ cat fileCHRIS CUOMO

change to

$1 sed 'li FREDDO' file1
Freddo McFredderson
Doxy Freddo
Punchy Freddo
Freddo Merch

end edit

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August 11, 2019

There Really IS Going to be a RE: Zero Season 2

Out of respect for you, gentle readers, I won't show the trailer as it is all spoilery and fraught. 

Here instead is something less fraught. 

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August 10, 2019

Revisiting the Isekai Theory

It's been a rough week.
I got in around midnight, did some housework and went to bed sometime thereafter. I woke up in a state of intense overpressure and ran too the bathroom and realized it was 17:30!?. I slept over 16 hours?

Anyway, I turned on the news and discovered that I've awakened in a  conspiracy thriller.

UPDATE 10PM: There are now reports that Kaptain Kiddie Diddler was NOT on suicide watch,....because why on Earth would he be?

Of course, I've read enough of these books to know that the suicide is never the MAIN problem. Its covering up something much bigger.

Generally the next element in the plot would be something equally far fetched  like a weapons test gone disastrously wrong...

They covered the ambulances with plastic, because reasons.

...or a massive explosion at a secret facility...

...or an experimental, deep diving submarine on a secret mission encountered...something...that killed half its crew.

Click here for Supah-Size

...or something caused the authorities to shut down the bio-weapon research facility at Fort Dietrich Md.

Picture unrelated (probably)
...or the government suddenly authorized the use of cyanide bombs against..."wildlife".

Or life that's now in the wild.

FULL DISCLOSURE: It is the position of this blog that the chances that any of these are related is slim and there are probably perfectly pedestrian explanations for everything.
Well, except for the Epstein thing.

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August 09, 2019

Mental Health Tip

If Pixy says "Don't read the comments.", then don't read the comments.

"I'm just gonna stand here in traffic for a little bit."

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August 07, 2019


Chaotic week.

I'm making a quick post in the library while working on a research paper. 
Blogging will remain light.

All personal, national and international news is bad...except for this story. 

Well... The story behind the story is nice, the story itself is dumb.

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August 06, 2019


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"I always wanted a pony. But after the accident, I got to BE the pony!"

Can't find the artist, but the girl's name is Mako Shimano. The centaurcycle is called a G.U.M.B.A and the source is an ad for a Toyota dealership in Gunnma Prefecture Japan.
An ad that fills me with equal parts skepticism and want.

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August 05, 2019

This Says SOMETHING About Peer Review

I'm furiously rewriting my last paper in the O.D.U. library. I was informed last week by my professor that the original topic was unacceptable, since it could not be on a developing news story. 


Anyway, just now, while studying peer-reviewed journal articles on the Chinese String of Pearls Strategy, ie: the notion that China's heavy involvement in port infrastructure projects is setting up not only commercial ties but a global naval support infrastructure.  I checked out a citation on one of the articles I was using and discovered that it was...

Characterizing String-of-Pearls Colloidal Silica by Multidetector Hydrodynamic Chromatography and Comparison to Multidetector Size-Exclusion Chromatography, Off-Line Multiangle Static Light Scattering, and Transmission Electron Microscopy
Brewer, Amandaa ; Striegel, André
Analytical Chemistry, Apr 15, 2011, Vol.83 ( 8 ), p.3068

"Keyword search works best if you read what it turns up." 

Now, the reference is a string of words that contains "string of pearls" but is nevertheless irrelevant to my area of study and the article I was referencing...and the passage it was cited as a reference for. 

And so, that reference is disavowed. 

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