Category: Science

The Thorium Cycle, Part Two

A question you may be asking yourselves now is: if there is a commercially viable application of the Thorium cycle, why haven’t I heard of it before? Well, there is a very simple and obvious answer to this: according to calculations from Canada and India, a kilowatt hour of electricity generated from Thorium will cost about three pence. That’s about a tenth of the current price of immensely subsidised “renewable” energy in the UK and much of Western Europe.

If a truly environmentally friendly energy became available at that price, it would quite totally upset the apple cart of the “green” industry along with its research grants and subsidised non-businesses.

As a whole, “renewables” rely heavily on the taxpayers’ largesse to be kept alive, along with all the “green” and “eco-friendly” investment bonds which are of course not environmentally friendly or socially acceptable at all, as we’ve already seen with regards to the appalling impact of rare earth mining and the increasing number of deaths from NOx pollution since “decarbonisation” began in earnest.

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The Planets

Pttm, Going Postal

Part Three- Earth

In this third part of a series of nine articles, today  we look at the planet Earth.

The Prologue:

It’s round(ish), not flat.

Pttm, Going Postal

The Earth and the far side of the moon on July 5, 2016, also featuring Typhoon Nepartak over the Pacific Ocean, imaged by NASA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite, about 1.5 million km (930,000 mi) from Earth,  One of my personal favourite pictures, told you I like “specialist sites”

Throughout this series, I would like to give a huge H/T to NASA.  www.nasa.gov.  I have used other sources as well, such as  www.space.com  and www.earthsky.org  which is a great site for showing you where to look.

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Presumed Consent

At the Conservative Party Conference in October 2017, PM Theresa May pledged to introduce a system of presumed consent for organ donation in England. A similar opt-out system has existed in Wales since 1st December 2015, and in the summer of 2017 the Scottish government stated that it intended to introduce a “soft opt-out” for organ donation in Scotland.

70s_girl, Going Postal

I object very strongly to this change, the concept of presumed consent subverts the whole nature of organ donation. No longer will it be an altruistic gesture, the state will claim ownership of your body parts when you are near death, unless you specifically register your objection on the official database.

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The Flat Earth Society

Firstly a hat tip to the Flat Earth Society, their website is: https://www.tfes.org/  also for Wikipedia, see here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_flat_Earth_societies

I thought it about time that we all knew something about The Flat Earth Society, (TFES).  I write this article not in jest, you can make your own mind up.  Those that have not blocked a regular poster, Behold a Pale Horse (BaPH), will have seen his oft quoted “Ain’t no such thing as space bro”.  I asked him to write an article, but I suspect this will not happen, so I thought I would do some research and lay out for you what their basic beliefs are and a little bit about them.

Modern flat Earth societies consist of individuals who promote the idea that the Earth is flat rather than an oblate spheroid.  Such groups date from the middle of the 20th century, although some adherents are serious and some are not.  Those who are serious are often motivated by pseudoscience or religious literalism.

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The Internet

El Cnutador, Going Postal

So there I was, at 16, with my Commodore 64, a Programmers Reference Guide and no assembler, translating assembly instructions into hexadecimal opcodes, by hand, then typing them in as DATA statements in decimals. A friend had one of these new fangled Modem thingies, and he could connect to the various bulletin boards, where we would swap our C64 BASIC code into their gaping ether to gain enough upload credits so we could download a few grainy gifs of grot. The modem could handle a blistering 14.4Kbps in one direction at a time.

Never mind that the forests outside our houses were a veritable cornucopia of grot, Reader’s Wives, Playboy, and Fiesta. We even found a copy of Roue once but the stories of lesbian hockey girls in private schools being lightly frotted with a feather duster did little for us.

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The Thorium Cycle, Part One

Rightly or wrongly, I consider myself to be a reasonably educated sort of fellow. But a few years ago, it struck me as rather odd that I had never heard of the Thorium cycle or the molten salt reactor (MSR).

I’m neither a nuclear scientist nor a physicist (nor much of a scientist neither) and I don’t pretend to be one. But I found it rather surprising that apparently a few chapters had been airbrushed out of the history of nuclear science, namely the before mentioned Thorium cycle and the MSR. Now, you might at this point wonder why this is even a thing, and never having heard of them neither, I would share the sentiment.

As we all know, to run a successful economy an abundant supply of safe and cheap energy is essential. And ever since someone on the Asian steppes bartered the first sack of bailey for a goat or a lamb, successful business transactions were at the heart of the human endeavour – no energy, no progress. Simple as that.

Without economic activity, there would have been no cuneiform script, no mathematics, no Pyramids along the Nile, and of course no classical antiquity along the Med from Jerusalem to Athens, and later beyond.

Guardian Council, Going Postal

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The Planets

Pttm, Going Postal
The planets of our solar system

Part One – Mercury

In this series of nine articles we shall look at each planet in our solar system, starting with Mercury and working out to Neptune, but I shall also include the dwarf planet Pluto as we have some wonderful pictures and more information about it.

To give an idea of the size, you can see here that Mercury is a bit bigger than our Moon:

Pttm, Going Postal

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Cider – Milling the stuff

I currently have a project role at Heineken, based at the Cider Mill in Hereford.  It really is a great company, with terrific people.  Even though I, like many others, are contractors, they treat us as part of the team, with all the benefits of being a Heineken employee.  As a Test Manager, I know bugger all about brewing beer, or milling cider.  (Cider is milled, not brewed).

I am going to write this article over the course of milling our cider, so day one was 22nd  November.

Anyway, our project being new to the Cider Mill site in Hereford, was invited to spend a few days, over a few weeks, to mill and vinify some cider, the old fashioned way.  The first day was bloody hard work.

The recipe starts with “take 1,500kg of apples”

Pttm, Going Postal

Here we start with around 500kg each of Dabinett, Yarlington and Brown Snout varieties, from orchards around the area.

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President Trump – New Space Policy Directive

President Donald Trump is sending astronauts back to the Moon

Going Postal
The Road to Apollo – Aldrin at LLRF

Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, the second human to step on the surface of the moon is about to climb into the Lunar Module at the Langley Lunar Landing Research Facility. Aldrin was one of 23 astronauts who trained at the Langley facility in preparation for the final phase of the moon landing.

The president Monday signed at the White House Space Policy Directive 1, a change in national space policy that provides for a U.S.-led, integrated program with private sector partners for a human return to the Moon, followed by missions to Mars and beyond.

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