November 23, 2015

Well Then. This Would Be a Bad Thing.


"Holy fricking crap!"

One of The Brickmuppet's Crack Team of Science Babes reacts to what Volcano Cafe' has chosen as their final and potentially deadliest entry in their "Volcanoes That We Really Should Be Paying More Attention To because We Don't Know Nearly enough About Them But What We Do Know Is Pretty Scary" series. 

 The whole list is interesting as well as disturbing, but the last on the list is quite the doozy





Already synonymous with misery for unrelated reasons, the worlds bloodiest porkchop may one day bring suffering and death to many far from its bleak shores.

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November 10, 2015

Meanwhile....On Youggoth

It appears that NASA's New Horizons probe may have photographed volcanoes on Pluto.

Well, they certainly DID photograph two mountains that each have big fumaroleesque holes in their tops. Additionally, they seem to be associated with fairly young terrain so it is quite possible that these are, in fact, multi-mile high volcanoes.




Interestingly, these two mountains don't fit into the general pattern of geek addled naming conventions for the planetoid and it's satellite, being named for aviation pioneers ( it's those Piccards, not the other one).

Of course, while volcanoes are the most likely explanation yet, they could be something else, perhaps access tunnels for the saucers of the Sinister Snake-Women of Pluto. 












Err...There's more here.


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November 08, 2015

Nukes on a Flatbed Truck

Russia has announced that they intend to begin producing a series of road mobile nuclear power plants. (via)

The project is called Pamir and the mobile plants are supposed to hiot the road sometime in 2020.

Such a short development time might be cause for considerable skepticism save for one important detail not mentioned in the article. 



The picture is of a previous project, also called "Pamir" which was a Mobile Nuclear Power Plant being developed in the 1980s. The project was suspended after only two had been produced in the aftermath of the Chernobyl unpleasantness.

The concept seems to have been twofold. The plants would power dispersed mobile radar arrays that would be moved around constantly to add uncertainty to any wild weasel operations and they could be dispersed and hidden by the dozens to provide power for rebuilding after a nuclear war.

There is info on this project as well as its antecedents herehere (in Russian) and here...which mentions that it was a gas-cooled reactor based on dinitrogen tetroxide, working on a single – cycle scheme which is quite interesting.


"Oh please...He doesn't have any idea what the hell that means."

Ahem...

There is also a PDF concerning the Pamir from the perspective of its dismantling under a nonproliferation program here

Given that the original design seems to have worked, it may not be a stretch to expect that they could simply spool up production again, though the loss of the original engineering cadre would certainly be a significant hurdle.

To what end they are making this non-trivial expenditure is unclear. A couple of megawats available on 2 flatbeds would certainly be useful in building infrastructure and kick-starting settlements in Siberia, though given current events, the original operational concept may well be closer to the mark.

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November 04, 2015

Space Geysers

The massive south polar geysers of Enceladus from the night side. Picture taken by Cassini on approach during its historic pass through the plumes last week. 




"Because Astro Oceanographic Vulcanology is AWESOME!"

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