Tech Tuesday – Post Doomsday Eclipse Edition


Oscar Gordon

A Navy Turbine Tech who learned to spin wrenches on old cars, Oscar has since been trained as an Engineer & Software Developer & now writes tools for other engineers. When not in his shop or at work, he can be found spending time with his family, gardening, hiking, kayaking, gaming, or whatever strikes his fancy & fits in the budget.

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25 Responses

  1. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Www1 – I thought we already knew that while the name comes from Greek, the ideas are older, as we get our degree measuring system from the Babylonians and the Egyptians were measuring angles and building orientation to within a gnat’s a** in all their famous wonders.Report

  2. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Enr1 – there’s a difference between something sunk in the abyssal plain (e.g. Thresher and Scorpion) and something sunk on the continental shelf which has a lot more biospheric interaction.Report

  3. Avatar George Turner says:

    [Bio2]. Tasmanian devil breast milk kills pretty much anything. She devils (Tasmanian) have their babies very early, long before the little devils develop an immune system, so researchers wondered why the babies don’t all die from infection once separated from mom’s immune system.. It turns out that Tasmanian she-devils produce a whole new class of antibiotics which will lead to new classes of human antibiotics. The bad news is that researchers are running out of grad students, as they death toll from trying to milk a Tasmanian devil is extremely high, so it will probably come to nothing.Report

  4. Avatar Jaybird says:

    From the article:

    These reactors are significantly safer than the most advanced present reactors in terms of safety and nuclear weapons proliferation risk as well as much simpler in design, making them faster to construct and therefore cheaper. TMSRs also virtually eliminate the problem of long-lasting nuclear waste. The exponentially more efficient technology generates only a fraction of the waste of a conventional reactor with none of the persistent radioactive substances. This makes waste storage and disposal much more manageable.

    On top of that, Alvin Weinberg calculated that we have enough Thorium reserves to meet our power needs for billions of years. Assuming that he’s off by three orders of magnitude, that’s still millions of years. Assuming our power needs have gone up by three orders of magnitude since he did his calculations in 1959, that’s still thousands of years.Report

  5. Avatar J_A says:


    Will people mock me if I say I got teary eyed reading the Voyager article?

    Because I totally did not get teary eyed. Is that clear? Pollen count is high today. That’s all.

    But I do remember watching Carl Sagan go teary eyed himself recounting it in Cosmos. And it did move me at that time.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to J_A says:

      Will people mock me if I say I got teary eyed reading the Voyager article?

      Not this guy, I totally understand dusty conditions.

      I know most of our other probes all have limited life spans by design, but I have to say I am still incredibly impressed with what we’ve been able to do with some very small spacecraft built on some relatively shoestring budgets. And not just NASA, Japan and Europe are doing some excellent work, and I expect China & India will be doing some impressive work as well in the very near future.Report

  6. Avatar J_A says:

    Trans 2

    Everything new again is new again. I remember seeing this same idea in the 1980s while in college. At the time, it was to save fuel.

    Having said that, it is indeed a good idea,, and I’m still surprised it hasn’t caught upReport

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to J_A says:

      I remember when kites were the big thing, but sails make more sense, since you can tack with them.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        The Quadriga sustainable shipping project – an initiative from Hamburg-based Sailing Cargo, aims to build the world’s biggest sailing cargo ship.

        The project outlines a plan to build a 170-meter (560-foot) car carrier, capable of carrying between 1,700 and 2,000 cars

        (em added)

        man, talk about missing the big picture.

        The spinnaker assist is nice because it’s win-win – you’re getting fuel savings but no off-axis distance penalty if you need to course adjust to catch the wind.

        This thing from the article is only going 10-12 kts to begin with so each knot you lose in your net speed of advance is another day on the Rotterdam to New York run (which is one of the shorter ones on the big international trade nodes)Report

  7. Avatar Nevermoor says:


    How quickly does the GOP decide that we should experiment with coal mining waste to see if it produces the same result?Report

  8. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    Fission, general: Duke Energy has filed a settlement proposal with the Florida Public Service Commission to abandon the Levy Nuclear Project, take a loss for ~$350M of the already spent up-front costs (rather than recover from customers), build at least 700MW of new solar, and make network upgrades to accommodate more renewable power.Report