Category Archives: Science/Engineering

Unwarranted Fear

Bar, never one to pay too much attention to the news media (bless her heart) is suddenly hearing the screamers and is worried about what Iran may do to us for Trump’s assassination of the terror generals. Nothing, I say, at least not here in the relatively sparsely populated middle of the country.

Iran is a poor police state with little in the way of technology, no air force to speak of, no navy, and above all no intercontinental ballistic missiles. Even if they finally (after years of bluster) build a nuke, putting it atop an ICBM to withstand launch and flight is almost as hard as making the ICBM. So no worries, unless you live nearby. And we don’t.

Spengler has it right, though. The Iranian regime is mad. We’ve been at war with them since long before 9-11. Preemptive destruction of their nuclear facilities would be wise. And the sooner the better.

Via PJMedia

Wright brothers

Don Suber on Twitter: “116 years ago today, America’s Wright Brothers flew the first airplane. Within 66 years, America landed a man on the moon. No other nation has in the 50 years since.”

But the winds of Kitty Hawk are blowing in China and India, who are likely to be next. NASA talks about returning, after killing two shuttle crews, but seems happiest with its steady fed funding.

No mention of these white boys’ anniversary on Google’s cartoon, not until a woman or minority is discovered to have participated I suppose.

The Expanse expands

Season 4 is up and running. As usual, with my poor hearing, the story gets less of my attention than the special effects. The show’s claim to being really scientific, however, gets blown up every time we hear a rocket engine burning somewhere or an explosion in space. Really now.

Must not remember the old horror movie poster line: In space, nobody can hear you scream.

Via Amazon

Starship prototype

Turns out that Elon Musk’s SpaceX isn’t just about shipping people and goods to NASA’s space station, but, some day, a trip to a nearby star. Not sure why he built this, near Boca Chica in the Rio Grande Valley on the Texas-Mexico border, when we haven’t even gone back to the moon yet, much less Mars.

India goes for Luna

Blast off of an Indian orbiter, a 1.4-ton moon lander and a 56-pound robot mobile rover on the far side of the moon is today, seven months after the Chinese put a lander on the far side of the moon.

These landers are preparation for manned explorations, including establishment of moon bases, however small at first. Trump reportedly is (take that for what it’s worth) angry that NASA isn’t moving faster on putting Americans back on the moon by 2024.

NASA is a biiiggg bureaucracy—with lots of paperwork—which moves at a snail’s pace. I’m betting on the first base being Chinese.

Via Science Alert & PJMedia

Arctic Pearl Harbor

Most of the Internet is not in the cloud but on fiber optic cable spanning the bottom of the oceans—including the arctic circle.

Where Wretchard the Cat says Russia may be working on mini-subs to cut or otherwise interfere with the cable in a digital Pearl Harbor.

Via PJMedia

Celebrate our Energy Independence

Texas leads the way, sez young Aggie engineer:

“The United States – not Saudi Arabia or Russia – is now the world’s largest crude oil producer. This was unthinkable a few years ago, when politicians bemoaned our dependence on foreign oil, without ever offering any solutions.

“In the new energy economy Texas leads the way and is almost certain to exceed 5 million barrels per day, or about 40% of the total American output.

“As if to underscore just how huge a player Texas now is, a company here recently inked a deal to export natural gas – to Saudi Arabia.”

Via PJMedia