I Hope They Call it the Corvega UPDATE: I'm not finding much in the way of debunkery of this story online. Car and Tech blogs seem to be pretty sanguine about lasering thorium to power cars and one site that focuses on rare metals seems to think the lasing thing makes sense with Thorium.
I found little about the Doctor Charles Stevens mentioned in the many articles I perused below. However, I went to the Laser Power Systems site, which is pretty spartan unless one registers...I mean spartan as in there is NOTHING there. Well, I registered hoping to find patent, tech or business info.
After registering, if one clicks on "patents"one is taken to a page called the Galactic Governments Patent Office ...which seems to be a separate website that is railing against new patent legislation....but has no patents. And there isn't much there. On the "News Feed"....I saw "Brickmuppet Registers" as the most recent news. The other site is LaserTurbinePower.com. Registering there takes one to a screen that is labeled Registered Users Area, but that's it...no links...nothing just a page that one has to register to access....with no info or business plan or catgirls or anything
One other thing (scarcely worth mentioning I'm sure). Another Dr. Charles Stevens (who has the same contact phone number) is the founder of Helyxzion, LLC. This is claimed to be a genomics company and my undergraduate biology tells me that his biddness plan is...dubious. I also note that both of these Dr. Charles Stevenses (who share he same phone number) have been working in their respective fields since the mid-80's. I guess that apartment is just full of mad science...Wait...maybe its not an apartment...I'm now envisioning something along the lines of Conjectural Technologies.
Comedy Gold...or a scam?
OK....I've been had.
Now can someone explain to me why no one from any of theseratedsites
did this cursory bit of research? It certainly doesn't excuse my screw up...but damn.
Of course it's not their fault I posted it. This screw up was in my post, on my blog and was my fault.
I apologize profusely to my readers for this post which I am now moving below the fold where it shall fester as a shameful reminder to all of my fallibility.
Unfortunately, the physics behind this is dubious at best. You can't trigger radioactive decay with heat; unless you hit the nucleus directly with something (a neutron, at a stretch a very-high-energy gamma ray), it will sit there until it decides otherwise. Thorium's natural decay process releases alpha particles, which are easy to shield, but a block of pure thorium is just going to sit there unless you heat it up enough to melt, in which case it will just puddle there.
In brighter news, you have a kaiju drop waiting for you on Billy.
I first heard something about this roughly a year ago and it sounded awfully like the hafnium silliness. I didn't blog about it then because it seemed quite unlikely. Now though, this has at the very least got a lot of smart people interested.
As I understand it this involves getting the Thorium to lase, and what they are saying is that thorium lases strongly in the infrared. The heat it gives off is sufficient to generate enough steam to turn a generator that creates enough power to do work AND power the accelerator for the lasing of the thorium. This degrades the thorium over time.
The LPS power plant, for all its whiz-bang properties, isnâ€™t a complete
departure from traditional power generation: the thorium is lased and
the resulting heat flashes a fluid and creates pressurized steam inside a
closed-loop system. The steam then drives a turbine that turns an
Hafnium isomers are real, just not very useful. The problem is in trying to stimulate the collapse of the excited isomer to the ground state - no-one's found an effective way to do that yet. They managed it with a tantalum isomer, but that required more energy than they got back. (I did some research on this for a sci-fi story I want to write. The idea remains tantalisingly plausible, but wildly impractical.)
The thorium stuff, though, looks like several unconnected things that have been incorrectly juxtaposed. You just can't get energy out of thorium that way. If you can make it lase (quite possible, lots of things can be made to lase) that doesn't produce energy, just focuses it. In fact, the process will lose energy (and convert it into heat). The only way to get energy out of thorium is through natural decay, which is far too slow, stimulated fission, which they're specifically not doing, or by setting it on fire. It does burn nicely, but it's not really an improvement over regular fuels.
I hate to rain on the nuclear-car parade, but the whole thing looks like a scam, hoax, or old-fashioned crackpot.
Meh. When I think of "CEO presidents", two names come up, Hoover and George W. Bush. To expand a little further, Bloomsberg in NYC. CEO doesn't seem to be a particularly reliable prep school for executive office - the usual PolySci argument is that successful CEOs tend to work in an absolutist hierarchical environment, and thus aren't well prepared for the back-and-forth of dealing with the trinity of press, legislature, and the executive departments.
But in a choice between Romney and Cain, I'll go with Cain. I'd prefer a frankenstein's monster amalgam of Gingrich's loquacity, Perry's executive experience, and Cain's Tea Party instincts, but I'm told that chimaeras aren't eligible to stand for federal office.
Posted by: Mitch H. at Mon Sep 26 16:53:28 2011 (jwKxK)
Constitutionally, as long as they were born in the US and are sentient and 35 years
old, chimeras can run.
I do share some of your concerns.
However, executive experience is a plus, as is an understanding of how
the regulatory and tax policies affect business.
If he were just a random CEO like Perot or something, I'd be even more
squeamish, but he chaired the National Resturaunt Association and was on
the board of directors of one of the Federal Reserve banks, so he does
have some experience in horse trading. Much would rest on how he filled
out his cabinet, ie: if he seeks yes men or idea men. He has said he
wants Gingrich in some capacity. Gingrich is an idea man to a fault, so
that bodes rather well.
Part of our problem is a permanent political class. Someone like Cain is
much more in keeping with the theory of the republic. How well that
theory can hold up today and how well Cain would translate into practice
are the questions of the moment.In any event he is quite unlikely to
represent a step down at this point.
My graduation plans were an intricate Jenga game of prerequisites. Graduating next summer would have required several things to break my way, most notably having the required courses available, and of course, money is always an issue. Of course the whole pile of blocks could have been knocked over by an illness, loss of employment......
....or Jury Duty.
OK its a civic duty and honestly how bad can it be? I'll be on call, what, a month? + trial time if I am selected to sit on a trial?
Try Two Years....
I've never HEARD of such a thing. According to my summons: from January 2012 through December 2013 I am on call by the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia. For 2 years I have to report to the courthouse 3 days a month and can be called up for jury duty, which, unless it's a really short trial, will realistically will cause me to drop out of school again...
I can't leave the country obviously, so going to Japan to get the teaching job I would have been able to get if I'd still be graduating in August or December of next year is right out.
Take a look at the paperwork they gave you. A -lot- of jury summons include an exemption or at least an offer of postponement for students. See what hoop they need you to jump through for that, then do it; that takes care of it for a while, at which point they'll usually have forgotten about it.
Then just go to Japan if you like. One of the requirements of compulsory juror service is residence in the area, right? If you're moving out of the country, well, you won't be a resident and can't be compelled to do jury duty (in that jurisdiction, anyway, and it's not like you're moving TO any other US jurisdiction, at least until you get back!)
Do you have the paperwork they sent you? It should mention student exemptions.
Echoed. I know in Texas (considering I'm looking at MY OWN jury summons right now) active students are automatically exempt. You just check the box and mail the form back.
Of course, this is Texas, where "justice" is a very loosely defined concept.
As far as non-Texans know.
Which is how we like it.
Posted by: Ben at Fri Sep 23 19:41:33 2011 (RalIr)
You really can be summoned for service on a grand jury - there aren't many of them so most people won't ever see it, but the reason there aren't so many of them is that they get a lot of service out of the guys that they do pick.
It's not the same courtroom stuff as a regular jury. You're generally just checking prosecutors' work, making sure that they've got enough of a case put together before they actually charge someone. Specifically, you can be absent from it occasionally without inconveniencing everyone; so long as 16 people out of the two dozen or so are there, they can still do business. So if you've got a vacation or a week at work you just can't miss, you can deal. And there's no such thing as being "called up for a trial" - totally different kind of jury service, so you're not going to be waiting around to see if there's a trial.
But check for the student exemption first. I know it's not consistent state to state, for all that it's a federal grand jury; the districts run their stuff differently. And even if there's not an exemption, you can ask for a deferral until you've completed your studies.
The first time I was summoned to jury duty, I was scheduled to show up at the courthouse at the exact same time I was to board a plane for Seattle. I called them and explained my situation; they were happy to reschedule me.
Of course, they sent me another summons to report three months later... for the second week of December. This time, they were a less happy to reschedule me. I explained that I was working retail in the biggest mall in the area and we were somewhat busy at that time. No dice, they still weren't willing to do it. Fortunately, I had just sold a computer to one of the sitting judges a couple of weeks earlier. I mentioned his name and asked them to talk to him for proof of my bona fides. An hour later, they called back and said that they'd reschedule me for some time in January.
I think they put a black mark in my logbook, though, because I've been summoned for jury duty five times since then. I'm assuming that I'll get another one in a few months.
Posted by: Wonderduck at Sun Sep 25 01:17:52 2011 (o45Mg)
I've been told at school that It is not likely to get a waiver for students. Still, I'm going to try. I wouldn't mind jury duty if it weren't for the very tight school schedule.
If its a grand jury, I ought to be able to work around it, do my civic duty and not suffer academically. However, the summons mentions both federal grand and petit juries. If it's the latter I'm screwed. OTOH...I'm not at all petite.
...must be hurting the pr0n industry even worse than was thought.
A San Fernando Valley adult
entertainment studio began construction this month on what it calls a
"post-apocalypticâ€ underground bunker...
Read the whole thing.....Although this is from CBS, I'm not entirely sure this is legit. On the one hand, the Pr0n industry was awash in cash until the crash a few years ago, and I would imagine it is full of flakes. If said flakes did not spend all their money on blow then several of them with an interest in preparedness ought to be able to pull this off. OTOH, the captions on the "blueprints" might warrant some skepticism.
This is actually a big deal. These airships are much better able to handle winds than conventional airships and heavy lift requirements in remote locations would seem to play to their strengths.
These ships have been tested off and on for a decade now by the US DOD, but as far as I know the only military use for them has been the recent contract for a surveillance airship for the US Army. This is much more significant, because, it seems that the technology is now mature enough that they are getting commercial contracts.
The ships currently offered have lift capacities of up to 200 tons , but there are vehicles in development that have a 1000 ton payload.
Unlike normal airships these vehicles are generally trimmed to be slightly heavier than air, which makes them much better ships in a storm, they can still do vertical takeoffs and hovering via their thrust vectoring systems. For the vast Canadian Arctic these ships could indeed be a boon in opening up the wilderness.
If they work out there they could have any number of civilian and military applications., from container transport to passenger liner to Coast Guard cutter.
I've long thought that Bachmann is vastly and disturbingly closer to the medias image of Palin than Palin herself is. I'd actually been meaning to write about why she bothered me...but I didn't and now there is no need as she seems to have self-immolated the other night.
Hidemari Sketch: Hoshimittsu
The third Hidemari Sketch series picks up the 'story' in the next semester and sees 2 more girls join the 4 previous characters. It continues with more of the same. The new season's animation's rather better, but increasing the core cast from 4 to 6 thins the available bandwidth for character development a bit. Still, its well paced. Those who liked the previous incarnations are likely to enjoy this one.
They seem a bit more chibi-fied on this cover.
For those unfamiliar with the franchise, it is based on a 4 panel comic strip and involves the antics of a group of young ladies going to a small but well regarded art school as they try to cope with living in a town extensively polluted by the detrius of an exploded zipatone factory, ( That last bit might not be canon)
Being about art students and written by creative types, it's sort of a Mary Sue
strip for aspiring artists. The humor is generally pretty dry and revolves mainly around sketch comedy and character bits. The pacing reminds me a lot of Peanuts.
The art and direction is exceedingly quirky. This latter may grow out of the first series being a throwaway filler show with no budget. The production team seems to have compensated for their initial lack of resources with offbeat art and a LOT of screen-tone. The first series was a runaway hit and SHAFT seems to have responded by throwing money at the animation team, though the quirkiness remains.
One thing I did find slightly dismaying:
The characters are all living in an apartment complex near the school and one of them is an established (and award winning) writer who has enrolled in the school to learn to draw so she can illustrate her light novels. So...I'd gotten it into my head that this was a college and that Sae was much older than the rest. That was certainly the vibe I got from the first two discs.
This show makes it much clearer that the art school is actually a high school. It just specializes in art.
This means that ...ummm...Sae is a high school student....which for some reason makes me feel both dirty and old.
"Why would that make...?...!!...Oh God...I just threw up a little in my mouth."
Despite that jarring realization It's still an enjoyable little franchise. A third of the way in this third installment is holding up very well.
Eh, if the show had a bit more of Lucy and Linus in it, or even Charlie Brown, I might have loved it. Peanuts could be kind of harsh - cynical, existential, and pessimistic. The Hidemari seasons, on the other hand, make K-On! look like Funky Winkerbeanin comparison.
Posted by: Mitch H. at Mon Sep 12 14:47:37 2011 (jwKxK)
2The Hidemari seasons, on the other hand, make K-On! look like Funky Winkerbean in comparison.
You say that like it's a bad thing.
Muppet, you forgot the most important part of the HidaSketch franchise: Yuno's Duckie.
Posted by: Wonderduck at Mon Sep 12 21:07:44 2011 (o45Mg)
10 Years On
10 years on Bin Laden is dead. AlQuaeda is scattered. Young girls in Afganistan go to school where they once would have gone to the soccer stadium for execution.
Here at home our greatest fear seems to be offending the murderers. PC Quislings ensured that no one from the clergy or first responders is going to be allowed at the place the buildings fell, for it is a secular place....except for the mosque that is to be erected.
Our oikophobic, orientalist ruling class condemns anything that might "offend". They then congratulate themselves on their sophistication and tolerance, and in their implacable ignorance expect reciprocity. What these smug provincial sophisticates cannot comprehend is that our enemies are not sophisticated, or tolerant...or even literate for the most part.
These savages are not the Muslim dentists or professors we know who came here to escape the terror under which they once lived. Our enemies are that terror. For 1432 years they've adhered to a creed that explicitly says to look for any signs of weakness and then attack. They do not appreciate nuances beyond signs of strength and weakness, and the signs they see are overwhelmingly of the latter. They see a people that back down and censor themselves to avoid a potential riot. They see a people that allows them to build a victory marker at the site of their greatest victory.
Your judgment of her performance in a debate is flawed. You assume Obama has testicles.
Posted by: ubu at Sun Sep 11 00:37:29 2011 (GfCSm)
Meh. It isn't just the "establishment" that's turned against Palin, it's also large sections of the commentariat and the upper ends of the base. If Obama is a textbook example of narcissim, Palin's executive performance and recent behavior has begin to resemble that associated with borderline personality disorder. She's left a trail of chaos, polarization, and disorder behind her which is worse than worrisome - it's exhausting. Exhausting isn't what I look for in a leader.
I don't know, she's young yet, by political standards. Maybe a sojourn in the wilderness might give her that "bottom" which a statesman needs. As it is, her lack of organization and tendency to act as a strange attractor is unwelcome.
And I do believe that the Times is suddenly developing Strange New Respect for Palin because they're hoping to maximize Republican entropy in the primary season. A veritable golden apple of division, as it were.
Posted by: Mitch H. at Mon Sep 12 14:40:43 2011 (jwKxK)
Honestly, I think she accomplishes far more as a kingmaker then she could in reaching for the crown herself. In going for the crown, she would have to sell herself, and the venom that is out there for her would be at it's most potent.
She has several things working against her in a presidential run that are muted in her current role:
1. Everything that forced her out of the governorship, she would get 10000x worse as president. Leaving raises a real question about her ability to stay the course in the presidency. If she got the presidency and resigned, she would do enormous damage to the causes she supports. In her current role, the attacks are blunted a lot more.
2. I know a lot of people who have bought into the propaganda that she is dumb and stupid. I don't agree, having looked into her record, but these are ordinary people who are more blinded by the stereotype made of her then I would have thought. She would have to overcome this stereotype while it was being viciously reinforced.
3. She would have to take policy stances that may not always be popular with her base to attract a wider base of support and get elected. This would dilute and weaken her message.
I think she's better and does more where she is then she could in running. Personally, I would respect her walking away from that power more then I would succumbing to it's lures when the odds are so stacked against her.
Posted by: StargazerA5 at Fri Sep 16 05:36:19 2011 (lZbWj)
StargazerS: You make some good points and I don't disagree that she has been very effective for the cause as an advocate, and in rallying the base.
I do share most of your concerns. Note the title of the post.
However, your point 1 is actually non-applicable to the oval office. Unlike the Alaska Governor circa 2009, the president can have a legal defense fund and it is not nearly so easy to throw up utterly fatuous ethics complaints. There is a whole office dedicated to dealing with such matters while allowing presidents to do their jobs. Additionally, it is rare indeed for the POTUS to have to attend a court proceeding and therefore eat into time allotted to executive duties, the latter being a big reason she had to step down.
So performance in the office is not a concern to me.
If she were to jump into the race, I think she'd add quite a bit to the conversation. Gingrich, who has less of a chance than she does certainly has.
The big worry is that (as you say) that she has been so thoroughly defamed that, if she were to get the nomination, the pucker factor leading up to the election would be quite high indeed. I have no doubt she can win the debates handilly, but that might not be enough to overcome preconceived notions or the visceral class bigotry I've seen directed at her.
OTOH, she is despised by the K-Street establishment types of both parties. This is tactically a complication, but from a civics perspective strikes me as a feature and not a bug. It feeds into that aforementioned slim chance that she could actually unify a broad coalition if she could get her message out. I additionally think that occasionally electing someone who hails from a background far removed from the Ivy's is good for the republic, not only because of the very real notion that such credentialism is becoming a sort of aristocracy, but because those few colleges seem to have a disturbing homogeneity in their worldview that is quite dismissive of the concerns of the citizenry as a whole and seems to limit their options. Again this is an argument concerned mainly with civics and idealism rather than the long odds it implies. I have a soft spot for the Quixotic.
A More Pernicious MadnessReuters reports on an EU study that indicates that nearly 40% of Europeans suffer from mental illness. The definition of mental illness in the study seems on one hand to be rather broad, as it includes insomnia and anxiety. On the other hand I don't think the government study is likely to recognize THIS for the madness it is...
At the instigation of a mentally unbalanced bee-keeper, the similarly
unbalanced European Court (EuGH), the highest court in the EUSSR, is
considering whether honeybees are allowed to approach genetically
modified plants and take their pollen. If they are not, then, first, the
resultant honey must be removed from supermarket shelves and burned in a
carbon-neutral fashion. Second, bees will be forbidden to approach
OK the translation is imperfect...but damn. Due to hysteria over geneticall modified crops, the EU is going to forbid...the bees...from approaching politically incorrect flowers.
Bee-girl is by Nardak, who had nothing to do with the added text.
Note that being surrounded by such dingalings would seem to indicate that the responses of anxiety and insomnia are actually a sign of sanity.
Seriously, it was a really good exchange. I was surprised.
Despite the focus on Perry and Romney several of the others were quite strong. Perry was not stellar but he gave a credible and solid performance and Romney seemed to hold his own.
Cain did well in previous debates and he has grown as a candidate. This was his best performance ever, with answers that were not only well delivered but remarkable in their specificity.
Thank goodness for Newt...he is not executive material but he is a damned good idea man and these debates are much better for his presence. He actually did hit it out of the park a couple of times. He needs to at least be an adviser in the next administration.
Huntsman came off better than he has before, in that he got to talk, and though he likely did himself no favors with the base its obvious he is a thoughtful guy.
All in all it was one of the better discussions of our problems I've seen.
OTOH the hosts did not cover themselves in glory as they tried (quite unsuccessfully) to start petty fights and in one remarkably patronizing moment, they brought in a Hispanic reporter to ask questions about immigration...and then dismissed him.
That's about what I took from it. I was really surprised that Perry wasn't better; he's usually very good in debates. Of course, the opponents he's had to deal with in the past haven't been particularly strong, either. He was obviously prepared to pitch a lot more than catch. Romney definitely controlled the exchanges between himself and Perry.
Would love to see Newt as Chief-of-Staff...think that would fit him to a T.
From all accounts there's an ironbound high-pressure Dome of Doom anchored over north Texas and Oklahoma, and nothing short of a major hurricane will budge it. Almost all possible tracks I'm seeing for Nate either follow Lee northwards or do a straight charge towards the Pacific across northern Mexico.
Posted by: Mitch H. at Thu Sep 8 10:01:14 2011 (jwKxK)
Most interesting to me is this bit from Brian Wang:
The interpretations also seem to be that the Siegel and Shuster families
will be able to start developing movies and other projects with the
portions of copyright that they control starting in 2013.
Their version of Superman would seem to be legally restricted from
developing the powers of flight. They would be forced to stay at the
power levels of Action #1 and the first two weeks of strips. Although
both parties would be free to create new works based on these separate
versions. I think it would be perfectly possible the 1938 Superman to be
made very interesting and vibrant franchise.
Hey kids, I have an idea, why don't you ask your professor about how Facebook and Twitter were used during the Cuban Missile Crisis. I mean they HAD to have had an impact right? You professor will be SO impressed with you.
I have pursued a degree with the careful consideration
of a rabid pit bull with an Ahab complex. It cannot pass any rational
cost benefit analysis. Still I'm far enough in that I'm committed...or
ought to be.
I'm a college dropout myself. I was preparing to go back and finish my degree at one point, when the stock market cratered and I lost my job and my investments at the same time. Never got back to it, so I really admire your perseverence.
Twenty-two years after I ran out of money and persuaded the university to start paying me, I am theoretically one class away from an Associates degree in Japanese. It appears that if I transfer my dusty old credits from OSU and my even-dustier AP test scores, I can get out by taking whatever rocks-for-jocks science class the school offers online.
Amusingly, because I actually gave a damn about the Japanese classes, they sent me a letter asking me to join the honors society. :-)
It can be done and I've admired your persistence for a while. My own story doesn't have quite so many tragedies, but while midway through a degree, my mother's parent loan was denied two weeks before school was supposed to start. A month after traveling back out to school just to get my stuff in storage shipped home, they decided to cut her the check after all, far too late to do anything. $50k in debt and no real prospects, I got a small miracle in that somebody decided to take a chance on me. A couple of years later I was able to start at a different school. While simultaneously paying off the loans, making for some very... tight years. 8 Years after having to drop out, I had my degree and was debt free within a few months of graduating, would have graduated debt free but my mother passed the summer before my final year and I couldn't, quite, make the cash flow needed.
Nothing unusual with having to go back to school later in life. You have what you need, the persistence to see it through. You just need to break the string of bad luck.
Posted by: StargazerA5 at Sat Sep 10 09:35:52 2011 (lZbWj)