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Posts Tagged ‘moon’

Note:  I typed this fast, my head is about to shear off, it is not verbatim, and I’m sure it’s muddled.  It will undergo edits over the next few days.  Please do make comments, give insights, offer other questions, and discuss it to your heart’s content.  It might not be a new idea… oh well, it’s still a fun one to bat around.

I was meeting with Spaced Diode last Saturday and what comes out of his mouth?

He says “I have this idea and you can mock me if you like…”

SD knows my tendency to listen to ideas, mock them, and replace them with my own.  But in this case I was actually interested because he looked… eager.  Engaged, even.

“Now, I realize that someone may have already thought of this, but I haven’t seen it, and it just came to…”

“Spit it out, SD,” I said impatiently.

Note:  We could debate history (below) but I neither want to teach history nor debate it.

So here’s the idea:

What happened in Alexandria?  Well, you had various asses at different points (Caesar, Aurelian, Theophilus, and the Muslims) over a period of almost 700 years do their damnedest to be spectacular asses.  We had dark ages in there and beyond that period as well.  So what do dark ages consist of?  Utter lack of intellectual advancement which typically leads to people being brutal asses to everyone else because they’ve got nothing better to do.

We can speculate whether there is a direct correlation or causation (one to the other or vice-versa) but the point is we had some dark ages and they were pretty awful.  Everyone agrees on that point.  They also agree that there’s precious little records and the loss of the Library of Alexandria was a pretty huge waste.   Lots of brainpower got burned up.

That’s pretty good incentive to try to find some other solution.

Think about what would happen if someone really tried to wipe out the Library of Congress, or if we had our own dark ages after a world war to end all world wars.  It’s not beyond the bounds of the imagination to picture us doing something stupid in the future – a few years from now, hundreds of years, thousands…  But what happens then?   What if future dark ages lead to using precious documents as toilet paper?  What if an EMP blast in multiple locations toasts everything around and not only can you not get to the information but you don’t even know where it is anymore?

Thus, the Lunar Alexandria Project.

The very first question posed to me by Spaced Diode started out simple.  “How do you build a ten-thousand year clock?”

We discussed that at some length.  I supposed that it really came down to a materials selection.

Then he asked, “How do you make anything last ten thousand years?”

I told him my idea on how to design for “forever” was that there’s damn few viable solutions and we agreed that even hundreds of years in book format was pushing limits.  Age, water damage, FIRE… DARK AGES…  But really, any format – gold discs, memristors, crystals, hard drives – all of it at the mercy of the stupidity of mankind when we really put a lot of ignorance into our efforts.  All are fragile and all may be destroyed just like the Library of Alexandria.

His next question was simply “Why not put that information on the moon where no one could get at it?  Why not put it there in a repository?”

I said “Oh yes, that will be of big help – any sufficiently advanced society that crawls out of the muck of a new dark age can have that data if they make it to the moon, well after when they actually needed it.  Wow.  Great idea, man.”

He looked at me exasperatedly.  “No (you lunatic), you put out two signals.  One is AM radio, which is the simplest kind of communications.  I can make an AM radio out of trash in my garage – it’s trivial.”

I said “Oh sure, trivial, tell that to Marconi…”

He looked at me over his glasses with his classic pitying look again.   “No, I am talking about receiving, not broadcasting.   What you do is broadcast simple instructions for how to get to the point where you can really use the library and…”

I nodded.  “Yes!  And then you can handshake communicate!”

He looked at me as if I had finally grown a real live brain.  “Exactly,” he said, “then they can surf the internet and download all sorts of data – they could rebuild civilization using all the information we’ve already amassed.”

We discussed this for hours.  Questions popped up.

  • How do you make something last for ten thousand years?  A whole new set of technologies have to be invented.
    • It has to be self-repairing
      • It should be like a factory in some ways, capable of making it’s own parts, too
      • Think “alive”
    • It has to have redundancy
    • It has to have redundancy
    • It has to be distributed
  • Location, location, location  (the poles)
  • How do you rad harden it?
  • How do you viably store that data?
    • RAID systems, cloud type arrangements
    • It has to have redundancy

He said, and I agree with him – THAT is where you should put research dollars.  THAT is something almost anyone could get behind.  THAT has technological payoffs that are incredible.

A question that just occurred to me, and it is one I have wondered about in our present day.  Do societies that have all sorts of new breakthrough technologies come all at once break down because they didn’t have the transition from lesser to greater technology over a period of time, where they could assimilate it?   Look at any third-world cockroach country.  They have this amazing mix of people still living in poverty and ignorance, some have all the benefits of Western Society, and the two are absolutely awful when mixed.  Look at any dictatorship, middle eastern country, or North Korea (redundancy there, I know).

****

By the by, check out the article that Mitchell posted at Center of the Anomaly.  It’s about your rapidly-disappearing-in-the-distance gun rights.

****

I’m thinking Anthony Weiner should look to his new career options at this point.

And this morning it hit me – he could be a rap “artist”.   His name?

I.C. Weiner

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Topic Salad Sunday.

I was talking with my sister and asked her if they still have goats.  (We’ll call her “GlassCutter”)

Me:  Still got your goats?

GlassCutter:  Yes.  Disgusting animals.

Me:  Can I ask why they are disgusting?

GC:  Yeah.  We rented a billy to mate with our female goats.

Me:  Rent-a-Billy.  Cool.

GC:  Yeah, when they want to attract one of the females, the bucks piss all over their own heads.

Here I imagined a goat standing on it’s hind legs and trying to aim high and with enough force to have a golden shower.  I failed miserably, because I was laughing so hard I was near to blacking out.

Me:  So… do they lay on their backs and aim or…

GC:  No, they put their head down between their front legs and go.  Drives the chicks wild.

Me:  Hmmm.  Does it work with humans?  I mean, I could go pee on myself and…

GC:  Sure, see if Cruel Wife is interested.

To my great relief a verbal description failed to elicit any amorous responses from Cruel Wife.

****

We were eating dinner tonight and I noticed that the kids were far more interested in the tv that we forgot to turn off in the other room.  To test my theory that they were mentally on another planet I started talking.

Me:  So… NASA called.  I’m going to fly to the moon.

(silence, daughter blinks several hundred times slower than normal, but just once)

Me:  But only if I could take a zebra on the spacecraft with me.

(more silence, the boy drooled onto his plate)

Me:  And they said THE ZEBRA that I’m TAKING TO THE MOON could only come with me if THERE WAS A HUGE BLOCK OF BLUE CHEESE RIDING ON THE ZEBRA.

(dead silence, food falls out of boy’s mouth… then…)

Girlhead and Frankenboy:  (in unison)  Can we be excused now?

Me:  Yes.  Fine.  Go.  Your mother and I will eat alone in silence.  In the dark.  Slowly going blind.  Don’t you worry about us…

No I didn’t really say that last part.

****

Sooooo… if Republicans back Obama’s tax cut deal then it is really them approving of another “stimulus package”.  Did I really hear that right?

It is the irony of ironies if you believe one leading economist’s characterization of President Obama’s tax cut deal. As Republicans prepare to take over the House next month — having swept to power by railing against reckless spending in Congress — they are now backing what Mark Zandi calls a second “stimulus.”  – FoxNews.com

A stimulus package in the way politicians seem to see it is where you take away money from people and then give it back to them, thus granting them some sort of favor that they must now feel grateful for.  And they should somehow feel stimulated.

But wouldn’t it be better and far cheaper to not have wasted money on bureaucracy and let people keep their money in the first place?  Talk about government waste.

“It’s stimulus in the sense we’re providing some additional temporary tax cuts and some additional temporary spending increases, so I’m not sure what the difference is between what we’re talking about here and what we did back in early ’09,” Zandi said on America’s Election Headquarters Sunday.

Again… how about you keep your stinkin’ mitts off our money in the first place and let us figure out what to do with it?  THAT is real stimulus, you freak.

****

Watched “The Doors” finally.  God what an aimless damned train wreck of a human being and of a movie.  I walk away from reruns of “Barney” feeling more empowered than that.

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The Moooooon.

Update:

Un-American?  My governor, or rather, my state’s governor thinks that voting against the bailout is un-American.

HUH?

December 12, 2008

Mich. Gov.: Vote Against Auto Bailout “Un-American”

@ 11:18 am by Michael O’Brien

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) said it was “un-American” for senators to have voted against approving a bailout of troubled automakers last night, saying their vote may cause a recession to become a depression.

“It is unacceptable for this un-American, frankly, behavior of these U.S. senators to cause this country to go from a recession into a depression,” Granholm said during a radio interview Friday morning.

Negotiations over an agreement to assist Michigan’s Big Three stalled last night in a 52-35 vote on a procedural motion to bring up the package for a vote. Republicans largely opposed the bill after it failed to win concessions from the United Automotive Workers union on wages and benefits.

“It is such an unbelievable stab at workers across the country,” Granholm added. “You give this big bailout to these financial institutions–don’t ask a single question, they can do what they want–and then you lay the blame for the auto industry, which is a victim of this financial meltdown, on the backs of the people who are working on the line.”

Granholm, along with members of Michigan’s congressional delegation, have been pressing for lawmakers to pass an assistance package. All but one member of Michigan’s House and Senate delegation have voted in favor of the package. Rep. Tim Walberg, a first-term Republican defeated in his bid for reelection, voted against the bill.

WHAT?

Bailing out ANY institution under a capitalistic model is un-American.  Geez, this irrational fear of pain is getting out of hand.  Yes, there are rough times ahead – but we all wallowed in largesse when we were oinking it up before the debacle we see in front of us now – and these rough times are going to be painful.   But to bail out everybody under the sun because it’s be painful isn’t possible!  We don’t have that kind of money!  Look, say there are 100,000,000 families in the US.  Now give them $10,000 EACH.  Can you picture what you personally could do with $10,000?  I thought so.

100M families at $10,000 each… Hey, that adds up to 1 TRILLION dollars.  And our government is spending lots more than that to save bankers and now auto companies.  That money is coming from somewhere – it’s coming right out of your future prosperity – in terms of higher interest rates and high inflation when the print-money and borrow chickens and cows come home to roost.

I’m arguing that it is un-American to throw good money after bad.

The auto companies ought to be forced to seek non-union solutions.  Lots of non-union workers make perfectly adequate salaries and have extremely safe workplaces.  Bankruptcy is the way to achieve that.

**********

The moon is accelerating towards earth and has been for a long long time.  Now it is even more accelerating-er…?  No, scratch that.  Max velocity, acceleration flatlining (not changing, anyways).

Ok, I nneeddd to sllllow dddown on mmmmmy cofffeeee.  All overrrr the boarrrd todaaay.

It’s at perigee (more technically-ish “periapsis”) tonight, it’ll be full, and it’ll look huge.  (like J-Lo’s butt)

A whopping 14% hugerer according to experts quoted at the Times Online.  Moon getting larger and won’t require spandex or baggy sweat pants.

So enjoy.

fmoon

Luna… our celestial friend

fullmoonNot our terrestrial friend.  Friends don’t let friends moon drunk.

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Tonight was a lunar eclipse. What happens is described here: American Sinstitute of Physics Explanation … so I won’t go into it.

What’s cool about it is the “sunset effect” where the moon sees the same kind of reddened sky that we see when the sun is setting. But, rather than a chord through one hemisphere at low angle, the moon saw it through a chord across two hemispheres – I wonder what it looks like (yeah, I know.. red).

The question I have is, would an astronaut on the moon have a chance of seeing a green flash? I’ll be asking around – if you know the answer just shout it right out!

– LK

52487119greenflash_512.jpg click on it for the larger image

credits for this picture:

The Green Flash – Fort Stevens State Park, Oregon

http://www.pbase.com/warthog2100/sun
(George does BEAUTIFUL pictures – go check them out)
Canon EOS 300D Digital Rebel ,Canon EF 70-210mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
1/250s f/5.6 at 210.0mm iso100


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