Dawn of the Era of Reusable Rockets !!!

Us Texans not only can boast of making the U.S.A. energy independent for the first time in seven decades , we also are home to SpaceX launches in Boca Chica, and Blue Origin launches in Van Horn, Texas (Culberson County, West Texas ).

Wed. Dec. 11 at 9:00 AM CST / 15:00 UTC, a Blue Origin, New Shepard launch is scheduled, WATCH IT AT BLUEORIGIN.COM AND BE A PART OF THE DAWN OF A NEW ERA OF REUSABLE ROCKETS !!!... [Read More]

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The Pill

“There is a lack of research on the effects of oral contraceptives on this small but essential part of the living human brain,” said Michael L. Lipton, M.D., Ph.D., FACR, professor of radiology at the Gruss Magnetic Resonance Research Center at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and medical director of MRI Services at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

Yes, a lack of research. You might think that regular use of a powerful neuroaffective chemical cocktail would have attracted mountains of research. But that is not the case.... [Read More]

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Saturday Night Science: The Evolutionary Psychology Behind Politics

“The Evolutionary Psychology behind Politics” by Anonymous ConservativeOne of the puzzles noted by observers of the contemporary political and cultural scene is the division of the population into two factions, (called in the sloppy terminology of the United States) “liberal” and “conservative”, and that if you pick a member from either faction by observing his or her position on one of the divisive issues of the time, you can, with a high probability of accuracy, predict their preferences on all of a long list of other issues which do not, on the face of it, seem to have very much to do with one another. For example, here is a list of present-day hot-button issues, presented in no particular order.

  1. Health care, socialised medicine
  2. Climate change, renewable energy
  3. School choice
  4. Gun control
  5. Higher education subsidies, debt relief
  6. Free speech (hate speech laws, Internet censorship)
  7. Deficit spending, debt, and entitlement reform
  8. Immigration
  9. Tax policy, redistribution
  10. Abortion
  11. Foreign interventions, military spending

What a motley collection of topics! About the only thing they have in common is that the omnipresent administrative super-state has become involved in them in one way or another, and therefore partisans of policies affecting them view it important to influence the state’s action in their regard. And yet, pick any one, tell me what policies you favour, and I’ll bet I can guess at where you come down on at least eight of the other ten. What’s going on?... [Read More]

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Book Review: Atomic Energy for Military Purposes

“Atomic Energy for Military Purposes” by Henry D.. SmythThis document was released to the general public by the United States War Department on August 12th, 1945, just days after nuclear weapons had been dropped on Japan (Hiroshima on August 6th and Nagasaki on August 9th). The author, Prof. Henry D. Smyth of Princeton University, had worked on the Manhattan Project since early 1941, was involved in a variety of theoretical and practical aspects of the effort, and possessed security clearances which gave him access to all of the laboratories and production facilities involved in the project. In May, 1944, Smyth, who had suggested such a publication, was given the go ahead by the Manhattan Project’s Military Policy Committee to prepare an unclassified summary of the bomb project. This would have a dual purpose: to disclose to citizens and taxpayers what had been done on their behalf, and to provide scientists and engineers involved in the project a guide to what they could discuss openly in the postwar period: if it was in the “Smyth Report” (as it came to be called), it was public information, otherwise mum’s the word.

The report is a both an introduction to the physics underlying nuclear fission and its use in both steady-state reactors and explosives, production of fissile material (both separation of reactive Uranium-235 from the much more abundant Uranium-238 and production of Plutonium-239 in nuclear reactors), and the administrative history and structure of the project. Viewed as a historical document, the report is as interesting in what it left out as what was disclosed. Essentially none of the key details discovered and developed by the Manhattan Project which might be of use to aspiring bomb makers appear here. The key pieces of information which were not known to interested physicists in 1940 before the curtain of secrecy descended upon anything related to nuclear fission were inherently disclosed by the very fact that a fission bomb had been built, detonated, and produced a very large explosive yield.... [Read More]

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Just like California’s rolling blackouts, except…

Just like California’s rolling blackouts, except mine are barely a second long.

Well here’s the long story shortened. I have an UPS, an uninterrupted power supply, It WAS connected to two outlets upstairs, (my computer and the UPS is in the basement), it had a massive battery failure a few years ago. The two matched car batteries it ran off sort of decided that they will out-gas hydrogen sulfide and just die. I disconnected it and hoped for the best. We had another failure for a few hours just recently and that prompted me to buy a generator. But a generator will not help with a drop out of only a second. The second drop outs are because of the high winds we are experiencing in NE PA.

Continue reading “Just like California’s rolling blackouts, except…”

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Not Often the Sharpest Knife in the Drawer

The following video gives a brief history of stainless steel. We most often used it by reaching in a drawer and getting a piece of flatware. Those knives aren’t the sharpest but they are well used. Funny we still call them silverware.

I didn’t know the biggest structure made from stainless steel, did you? ... [Read More]

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Tesla Announces the Cybertruck

Tesla has just announced the Cybertruck, an electric-powered utility vehicle to be available in three models priced at US$39,900 (single motor rear wheel drive), US$ 49,900 (dual motor all wheel drive), and US$ 69,900 (tri-motor all wheel drive).  The range varies between 250 miles (400 km) for the least expensive model to 500 miles (800 km) for the most expensive.  More details are available on Wikipedia.

... [Read More]

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Giving a Tele-Monster, a taste of his own medicine.

Hello Ratburgers!

Most of you know I hate “tele-monsters” with a passion that is unequaled.

I’ve subscribed to NOMOROBO.com  for my home phone and they take care of 99% of the “tele-monsters”. But there was that single ring before NOMOROBO would pick up the line and then disconnect the “tele-monster”. So I found a “First Ring Eliminator” on Amazon and installed that. Now I don’t hear that annoying first ring. (It’s unfortunately not available right now.)

Continue reading “Giving a Tele-Monster, a taste of his own medicine.”

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Science Security

China is stealing our science. They steal copyrighted material, they steal proprietary information, they steal research, they steal research results, and they are grooming a large number of U.S. university researchers to be poached to staff Chinese labs in China.

There was a confab on “Science Security” at the recent meeting of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities. It was written up for Inside Higher Ed, but it is on the public side of their paywall so you can all read it. I found it to be a fascinating read. Here is the intro:... [Read More]

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Sic Transit Glorious Monday

Transit of Mercury weather, 2019-11-11Today, Monday, November 11th, 2019, is the long-awaited transit of the planet Mercury across the disc of the Sun, the last such event before November 2032.  Now, before the transit of Venus in June 2004, I vowed that if I got good weather for that spectacle I wouldn’t complain about the weather ever again.  The weather, and the transit, were glorious, so I’m not complaining.  But I can grumble, can’t I?  Here is the weather looking out my window.  This was taken around an hour ago, and since then the ground fog has only gotten thicker.

So, it’s off to the Webcasts.  The NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is watching the transit from space, where the event starts about half an hour before it becomes visible from Earth.  Their Web site was down, presumably crushed by the dozens of people hoping to see the transit there, but it has recently come up and is showing Mercury crossing the inner solar corona (which is only visible from space), approaching the solar disc.... [Read More]

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