Friday, June 3, 2011

Plasma and Sickness

Covering two things today. First, on request from Tien, we have VASIMR. Quite the interesting topic, I must say. Extremely summarized, VASIMR is a plasma engine, that is ment to replace the fuel guzzling engines that NASA currently uses. Second, we have another little bit on the media. Not going to in-depth there, as there isn't much to say past the facts listed.


The full name of this piece of technology is "Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket". Quite the mouthful, thus, VASIMR. What they do is take an electrical source, and use it to ionize a gas into plasma. Don't know what ionization is? Well, it's when you heat up a gas an extreme amount, and strip the electrons off of it, resulting in the plasma. As for the electrical source, it's likely to be an on-board nuclear reactor, as solar panels wouldn't give enough energy for long range travel. Still against nuclear power? Now you have even less reason to be so.

The fuel (gas) they plan to use is most likely hydrogen. This is because of several reasons: first, there's a huge amount of it, and it can be found almost anywhere. This makes it so they can go to a planet, and refuel, without ever having to be on earth. Second, it's apparently one of the best radiation blockers around... So the astronauts flying the ship could have their fuel protect them. Pretty nifty.

Apparently these things are far faster than the old engines as well, since they're saying that it's pretty likely that they'll be able to go to Mars if they can get these up and running on their ships. Then they're (NASA) also thinking that they'll be able to stick these up on their space station (ISS), and make it so they won't have to ship fuel up to it to keep the orbit from decaying.

Here's a vid of the VASIMR in action:

Gotta Love That Media:

Righto, next subject. Hippo (Brandon) asked me to cover how the media blew things such as Swine, and Bird Flu WAY out of proportion. Let's get into the facts:

36,000 people per year (estimate) die from the common flu.

Only 18,000 have died from the Swine Flu in three years.

Bird Flu: As far as I can find, not one person has died from it in the USA. Sure, I didn't look TOO far into it, but yeah... Apparently only one person's got it, then they just recovered.

So here we have another example of the media taking things out of control just to get more publicity. Why not cover how "horribly dangerous" the common flu is? Or maybe something that actually is dangerous, like AIDS. Fucking Media.

Anyways, them's my two topics for today. Post some comments requesting things that you want covered tomarrow.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Some Surprising Information

It seems to be fairly common these days that the media makes people believe horribly incorrect things. One disaster can occur, and suddenly they're all over it, slandering everything they can. It is then understandable that the masses that listen to this take their words at face value, as they know nothing else. This has been the case with many things in the past... In example, does anybody remember the year when shark attacks were covered over and over again by the press, and made to seem extremely horrific. It got to the point where people were not even going in the water, due to this falsity. In fact, that year, shark attacks were only SLIGHTLY above average. The average? Around fifteen attacks per year, with an even smaller number of deaths. This same media slandering has  occured with nuclear power.

Nuclear Power: An Intro

     So, here we are in 2011. The issue seems to be "what to do when fossil fuels run out!" and "global warming!!! oh no!". People try to turn to "green" alternatives, such as solar, wind, geothermal, hydro and so forth, but what if these are nowhere near enough? The energy produced from this will never be able to power all of this planet, and therefore, other sources must be had. The answer, of course, is nuclear. Using an extremely common source known as "uranium" which has been around since the beginning of the earth. No fossil fuels involved, and it possesses a nearly unlimited supply. Since I don't really feel like introing anymore...

Nuclear Power: How does it work

   First thing you gotta do is enrich your normal uranium with about 2-3% more uranium-235, which is the radioactive isotope of uranium. You then take this, and smash it into pellets, which are about a dime in diameter, and 2.5 inches long. Gather this into a bundle, and put the entire thing in water, which acts as a coolant (if there's no water, you get some nice overheating, and the uranium melts, which is no good at all). Fire a neutron at the bundle, and the nucleus of a uranium atom that it strikes will become unstable, and split, which in turn causes more particles to be released which strike other atoms nearby, thereby creating what is called a chain reaction. This spreads through the bundle, creating insane amounts of heat, which heats the water. As the water steams, it turns turbines to generate power.
   To prevent overheating of this powerful reaction, there are these objects called "control rods". These are made up of a material that absorbs neutrons, and can be lowered into the bundle to halt the reaction. They can also be put in at varying amounts to control heat production. This means if they wanted it to burn hotter, they could raise the control rods out, whereas if they wanted things to go cooler, they lower it in.
   How is all of this contained? Well, they have a concrete liner around the main containment vessel, which holds all the water, or other coolant. There's then a steel liner around that, which holds the core, equipment, and any workers operating in the area. There's then even more concrete around this, which serves as the outer building. Radiation CANNOT escape from this.

Nuclear Power: Why Things Went Wrong

   It's not the reactor's fault when things go badly, it's the human's fault for either designing, or operating incorrectly.
   Cherynobyl: why did it happen? Poor design. Modern nuclear power plants require constant supervision to keep from shutting down, as without input, it will shut itself off. Cherynobyl needed input to keep form malfunctioning. See the difference? The actual catastrophe itself resulted from a test. The operators needed to see if water heat on turbines could power the cooling system for as long as they needed to get a back up diesel generator started, in the event of a loss of power. The water didn't do this, and a power surge during the test wiped out the power, causing the uranium to begin to overheat, which in turn resulted in a horrific accident.
  Japan: they put the control rods in, which stopped the reaction quite quickly. However, heat continues to be generated for roughly fifteen minutes after a shutdown, and since there was a poor backup power system, water couldn't circulate to alleviate heat. This resulted in a meltdown. And besides, let's think about this... Should nuclear reactors REALLY be placed near coast, fault lines, and volcanoes? Come on people.

Nuclear Power: Fun Facts

1. There is far less CO2 put into the atmosphere by nuclear power than coal/gas plants.

2. There is also less RADIATION put into the atmosphere from nuclear power plants than coal/gas plants. Yes, you read that right. The plant that is MENT to cause radiation, puts out less radiation into the atmosphere than coal. That's because the radiation from nuclear plants is contained. With coal, it's just pumped out there. Have you noticed the rise in cancer? That's why.

3. Nuclear fission equals around one million times more energy per weight than fossil fuels.

4. There are 443 nuclear power plants operating in the world, 102 of which make up 20% of America's energy.

5. Nuclear power plants cannot blow up.

6. Compared to other non-carbon-based and carbon-neutral energy options, nuclear power plants need far less area. For a 1000 MW plant, site requirements are as follows: nuclear plants take about 1-4 km^2, solar is around 20-50 km^2, and win goes up to 50-150 km^2.

7. Weapons cannot be made with nuclear power plant fuel, as it is not enriched enough.

8. 17,000 cubic feet of natural gas, 1,780 pounds of coal, or 149 gallons of oil provide the same amount of energy as one uranium fuel pellet which is about the size of your pinkey.

9. If the US only used nuclear power, it would take about 10,000 years to make the same amount of waste that is currently needed for coal ash every two weeks.

10. You would need to live near a nuclear power plant for -2,000- years, to receive the amount of radiation that you get in a single x-ray.

11. Nuclear provides 73 % of the energy from all low-carbon energy sources, including hydroelectric, wind, and solar.

12. A pound of highly enriched uranium which is used to power a nuclear sub is the equivelent to 1,000,000 gallons of gas.

13. Each atom split in the uranium bundle results in 200,000,000 electron volts. There are millions of atoms in one pound of uranium.

There, wasn't that fun? Tomarrow I think I'll head into some conspiracies. If you want any covered, leave a comment and I'll look into it.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Once Again...

Ugh... What a pain in the ass. If you're wondering why the OPINIONS is caped, it's due to that pain in the ass. Let it remain a mystery for now. Anyways, here's an essay I wrote. Try and figure out what it's about on your own.
            Christianity makes up around 33% of America (Robinson, 2009), and yet, do even half of those that make up the masses even know the other side of the argument? Atheism is steadily spreading throughout the world, and theological arguments are springing up all over. But still, many communities are completely Christian, and only believe in God because they know nothing else. Then there are those who are so thoroughly indoctrinated due to parents, or friends, that they will argue against clear facts, just to continue on with their current belief system. If Christians were shown the facts, and actually opened their minds to these, they’d come to understand that God does not exist in the terms that we think of “Him” today.
            First, let’s begin with where Christianity originated from, and the similarities between it, and all other religions. One major feature is an apocalypse of some sort. This generally involves a battle between the forces of evil, and the forces of good. There is almost always some indication that an end of days will occur, in which all those that did good will be brought happiness, and those that did evil will suffer eternally. This goes onto another point: nearly all religions not involving reincarnation have a hell, and a heaven. Without fail, if you do badly, you will be put into the “hell” for torment until the end of time, while if you do well, you get sent right up to the “heaven”. This just scratches the surface of the major similarities…
            For a more in depth analysis: one of the first recorded religions belongs to Ancient Egypt, and was recorded via writings in large clay blocks (Gadalla, 2003). Christianity has many, very specific similarities to this. One of these is the concept of three holy spirits, although instead of the Trinity that we have with Christianity, it is Osiris, Isis, and Horus. The word “Amen” is often used throughout many of the major religions we have today. This originated from the Egyptian name for god, which was “Amen”. The Virgin Mary is basically the Christian’s version of Isis. Both were impregnated while still remaining a virgin, and both gave birth to a “holy” figure; one being Jesus, and the other being Horus. Another striking similarity is that of the way in which men were created in each legend. In Ancient Egypt, they had “Khuum”, which means molder. This passage from one of their creation legends, “The mud of the Nile, heated to excess by the Sun, fermented and generated, without seeds, the races of men and animals.” and this passage from Genesis 2:7 in the Bible, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” clearly show a relationship on how the world, and man were created. Now, after all these random facts, you may wonder what the point of all this is. The point here is quite simple: God, as Christians know it, cannot exist, as Christianity is merely a copy of older religions.
Prayer and Miracles
            Who hasn’t heard of some grand miracle occurring, in which a devout Christian prayed to god and received a supposed answer? It states in the bible that God will answer prayers, so maybe they really did receive an answer, and it was a divine act. However, you must consider: what if this would have just happened normally? In example, say somebody was praying that their child would escape from one of the tsunami zones alive. He does this, and the parent praises god for what was supposedly an answer to a prayer. The problem is, this could have easily just been random chance. This applies to many things, all of which can be mistaken for an answer to a prayer.
            But what if a prayer is taken that has no vagueness, such as those above? This was thought through, and a question was made that fit the bill perfectly: why not pray for regeneration of lost limbs? People have posed this question in the past, and quite a bit of information was put down on the subject. The exact question they used was, “Why won’t god heal amputees (Anonymous, 2006)?” Of course, none of those that have prayed for this have received an answer. If God has to answer prayers, then why haven’t any of these amputees received one of these miracles? As seen in Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”, Jesus (who is pretty much the same as God, all things considered) will answer prayers, or so says this passage, and yet, in this case, he doesn’t. The reason he does not, of course, is very simple: the miracles that are occur are merely perceived as such, and are in fact just items of random chance that are mistaken as an answer to a prayer, which, in turn, proves that God does not exist.
The Bible
            Sure, most Christians say they’ve read the bible, but have they really read it? What I mean by this, is, do they only memorize those verses that make it seem like a wondrous book, and then ignore those that wouldn’t sit well with them? The Bible contains many horrific things, all apparently allowed, and even condoned by God. A prime example of this is slavery. In many passages throughout the Bible, God shows his approval of slavery, and even goes so far as to put down price tags, and rules on how slaves can be mutilated (Anonymous, 2006). In Exodus Chapter 21, verse 1, we see: “Now these are the ordinances which you shall set before them. When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing. If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master's and he shall go out alone. But if the slave plainly says, 'I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,' then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for life.” This quotation shows that it is alright with God to separate slaves from families, and you are perfectly allowed to brand through maiming. As another example, in Colossians, chapter 3, verse 22, “Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever your task, work heartily...” This shows that God wants slaves to obey their masters, and to work hard. Are Christians okay with this? Do they know that their precious Bible openly advocates slavery?
            If god is all-caring, and loves everybody, why would he care less about slaves? Could it just be that those who wrote the bible merely put this down as a set of rules, meant to make their society less chaotic? Perhaps while they were writing this, they figured that if they were able to spread this religion among slaves, their slaves would be less liable to rebel. So not only would they get people believing whatever they wanted, and would therefore have some control over them if they began preaching in God’s name, but they’d also have a less chaotic society, and controlled slaves. It is not possible for the Bible to have been in the words of God, because if he truly loved everyone equally, he would not agree with slavery. And, since the Bible is supposed to have been written by God, he cannot exist.
In Conclusion
            Three separate subjects have now been gone over. With the origins of Christianity, it becomes clear that it is merely a copy of previous religions, and therefore if any religion is factual, then it is the ones which came first, and not Christianity. Second, there is prayer. Seeing as prayer does not truly work, and only seems to work through pure chance, or physical intervention, God cannot exist as he does not answer the aforementioned prayers. Finally, there is the Bible itself: God loves all, and yet he advocates the mutilation, and mistreatment that slavery involves. This clearly contradicts itself, making it so that even if God were real, we know him falsely. What do all these points come together to say? God does not exist.

Have fun with that? If so, know that this is just the beginning of my opinions on the retardation of religion. I'll also be heading into my opinions on nuclear power (I'm pronuke, BTW), some conspiricies for the humor of it, and shit that needs to be balanced in the game we all know as "Sundered Earth".