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  1. I have heard a quote from a Cato podcast as follows: This is from I think Benjamin Friedman, Research Fellow in Defense and Homeland Security, Cato Institute. Link WTF??? I was intrigued, knowing a substantial amount about regular fission reactions myself to hear something mentioned in passing about a new type of nuclear reaction involving a neutron absorber! I searched on the internet at google, and nothing came up. only one search result even mention hafnium in such a reactor/bomb context. WTF? Either this is not real, or almost no one knows about it, or no one is being allowed to speak about it or something. Eventually, I found this broken link: Why broken? don't know, but as with many web addresses that don't work, I shortened it until I got a valid address. This led me here. Strangely, there does not seem to be any references what-so-ever to this hafnium reaction. I have no idea what made me wonder if one of the pictures was a link now, but I hovered my mouse over one (the top right hand picture that has a picture and caption that are completely unrelated.) and eureka! Jackpot! I found a treasure trove of information that I am still reading. Does anyone know anything about this? Is this a real nuclear reaction? Can hafnium really be weaponized?
  2. In navy boot camp I got pneumonia at some point in training. With the large numbers of overweight and out of shape people enlisting, there is pretty much nothing you can say to convince anyone you are really sick. So, after already using my "sick days" for different sickness, I apparently gave my drill instructor the idea that I wasn't well, despite the fact that I felt more or less OK. (Was it the coughing up blood-tinged mucus or my red-hot forehead that gave him the idea? I must have been delirious with fever to not have felt terrible.) So anyway, a trip to the medical building an x-ray and a thermometer reading later confirmed that I was sick. 102F With pneumonia shadows on my lungs x-ray got me "light limited duty" (no sick days left, remember?) for two days when I should have been in bed. I had been complaining for weeks and medical missed it somehow all the preceding visits that month. I remember saying "I can not breath while running laps." As it turns out, you can't "walk off" pneumonia. On the bright side, when it finally cleared up in "A" school, my running times greatly improved to a level I have since been unable to match after having such a handicap while training.
  3. Pick-me-up

    Witnessing the looters in action got you down? This video should make you feel a bit more optimistic about everything, (At least in the very, very, very long run) I know it cheered me up.
  4. Generation WE

    I'm part of this generation and it seems for the most part most of you all are right. I point out the errors in some of my generation's reasoning. For example the EPA's recent decision to allow states to regulate greenhouse gas emission standards. Some of the people around me at work thought this was good. I told my co-workers that car makers will have to make potentially 50 different versions of a given car or truck. How will this help anyone? I heard an interview with an EPA official about it and her replies were very like so much of the type of thinking I see all the time. How will the car makers pay for it? Blank-out. How will they make cars even cleaner? Blank-out. If coal is out the window as 49% of our power where will we get it then if "renewable power" is 20+ years away? Blank-out. Where will we get the money for such a large project as replacing half our power plants with the equivalent amount of wind turbines and solar power? Blank-out. Is the dollar going to be worth much in a year? (Will our salaries keep up?) Blank-out. I've given up feeling bad about all this. It's hard enough to quit smoking as it is. What can I possibly do about any of this? Where in the world can I escape to realistically? I guess I'll just have to try not to care. On the plus side I think my generation is a much more skeptical of religion than previous ones. Hopefully they will question the "progressives" when no one is to blame for what happens but the democratic party. Maybe they just might choose a third party like the libertarians. : )
  5. Atlas continues to shrug

    I agree. Circuit city has been the last place I look for an electronics purchase for quite some time. It has been many a time I have pointed out in amazement that best buy is one of the few stores that actually is as busy in real life as it is in the commercial. At circuit city the prices are higher, less selection, salesmen that don't readily help, and I've heard about and experienced personally that they are difficult, to say the least if you need to return something.
  6. Colliding galaxies shed light on dark matter

    I'm sorry but cosmology doesn't necessarily have to make sense earth-bound apes. In fact, it almost certainly won't. "In astronomy and cosmology, dark matter is hypothetical matter that does not interact with the electromagnetic force, but whose presence can be inferred from gravitational effects on visible matter. According to present observations of structures larger than galaxies, as well as Big Bang cosmology, dark matter and dark energy account for the vast majority of the mass in the observable universe. The observed phenomena which imply the presence of dark matter include the rotational speeds of galaxies, orbital velocities of galaxies in clusters, gravitational lensing of background objects by galaxy clusters such as the Bullet cluster, and the temperature distribution of hot gas in galaxies and clusters of galaxies. Dark matter also plays a central role in structure formation and galaxy evolution, and has measurable effects on the anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background. All these lines of evidence suggest that galaxies, clusters of galaxies, and the universe as a whole contain far more matter than that which interacts with electromagnetic radiation: the remainder is called the "dark matter component."" -Wikipedia Dark matter is basically matter that does not interact with electromagnetic waves, but who's presence can be inferred by observing gravitational interactions between bodies. Where did it come from? Why doesn't it interact with normal matter? Why can't it be directly observed? We don't know. But it is there. So, until we know more, we call it "dark matter" In a somewhat related subject, black holes can't be directly either. Because their gravity is so great, they cannot be directly observed, since even light cannot escape. However, the matter swirling around it before it crosses the "event horizon" can be seen very easily as the intense gravitational tidal forces heat the matter till it becomes an intense EM source. These brilliant EM radiation sources can be seen across the universe as solar systems worth of matter are ripped apart atom from atom. In our own galaxy, stars many times larger than our sun have been observed in extremely warped elliptical orbits moving at large percentages of the speed of light, orbiting.....nothing. Nothing, that is, visible. "Astronomers are confident that our own Milky Way galaxy has a supermassive black hole at its center, in a region called Sagittarius A*: * A star called S2 (star) follows an elliptical orbit with a period of 15.2 years and a pericenter (closest) distance of 17 light hours from the central object. * The first estimates indicated that the central object contains 2.6M (2.6 million) solar masses and has a radius of less than 17 light hours. Only a black hole can contain such a vast mass in such a small volume. * Further observations[42] strengthened the case for a black hole, by showing that the central object's mass is about 3.7M solar masses and its radius no more than 6.25 light-hours." -wikipedia So stars are orbiting something really massive, small, and not visible. Black hole anyone? "In physical cosmology, dark energy is a hypothetical exotic form of energy that permeates all of space and tends to increase the rate of expansion of the universe.[1] Dark energy is the most popular way to explain recent observations that the universe appears to be expanding at an accelerating rate. In the standard model of cosmology, dark energy currently accounts for 74% of the total mass-energy of the universe...According to extensive sky surveys the redshift in light coming from distant galaxies is proportional to their distance. A value for q measured from standard candle observations of Type Ia supernovae, which was determined in 1998 to be negative, surprised many astronomers with the implication that the expansion of the universe is currently "accelerating"" -Wikipedia Where is the energy causing this acceleration expansion coming from? Why is it accelerating? We don't currently know. Maybe someday we will. Until we have more information, physicists call this force "dark energy" You might think that physicists and cosmologists are making it up as they go along, but it seems to me this sediment comes from ignorance. It was only last year that it was discovered that our own galaxy, contrary to what was originally thought, is actually a bar spiral galaxy, not just a spiral. You might be surprised to know how much work went into just to find out just that little peice of information. z
  7. Complexity Theory

    Hi. I haven't posted in awhile or even logged on because it is simply too depressing to watch this Atlas Shrugged re-enactment go down. Who decided it would be cool to live though the book in real life? Stop it already! Anyway, I recently "stumbled upon" (Mozilla Firefox add-on) Michael Crichton's speech on Complexity theory and I thought it was very insightful. I haven't seen the speech elsewhere so here it is for others to enjoy.
  8. Fun with Guns!

    Two things: Here, I think, something can be said for gun safety. Just follow a few well known rules like never point a gun at anyone, loaded or unloaded, if not pointed specifically downrange, safety on. If at an outdoor range, and it is called to "go cold" so everyone can go out and either check or put out a target, unload your gun and pop out the clip and put the safety on. For every single rule I'm sure the NRA website has them all. Follow these simple and common sense rules and the chance of an accidental firearms related death goes down dramatically I'm sure. There is a such thing as a "home defense round" that is made specifically to not penetrate more than even one layer of sheet rock (or door,) ideal for an apartment complex setting. There is also a more well known bullet type called a hollow point that "mushrooms" on impact with anything. For a human target this means no exit wound, for a wall this means no penetration, and as such, is the best for not accidentally killing your neighbors. They are a little bit more expensive, but this is a small price to pay if your gun is going to be loaded when it isn't at the gun range.
  9. Fun with Guns!

    It's ok. You realize this may be the only place on the internet where a discussion such as this can be had so calmly? lol. Anyway I was simply pointing out that it is the intent not the means that ends a life. Like the joker demonstrated in Dark Knight, even a no.2 pencil can kill, however, it was the joker's intent to flippantly kill the man that was evil, not the pencil. If any given car driver wanted to kill you, he could, easily. This would make the driver inherently dangerous, not all cars. This same poor logic is used with guns. Banning all firearms stops murder- with firearms. If someone still wants to end a life, they will, with something else. Though I would have to admit it would be a worrying sight to see a gun outside of a home or a firing range not in trained hands, but my logic is still valid.
  10. Fun with Guns!

    Sorry about this quoting format but the way of replying to select posts didn't seem to work, though I've done it before, so I did this Quote: Go 4 TLI yesterday 04:05 AM "I also prefer something old, especially if it was involved in making history...At this point I began to wonder, I have three rifles designed for Nazis and/or Communists. Just whose side am I on?..." Yes those old rifles have a mechanical quality to them that make them kind of fun to use. I should get one. When you shoot one it's like you're more to your rifle than a magazine loader. As to having so many Axis/Communist rifles, I guess it takes a high quality weapons to use against the human spirit? But It's not like that rifle format was invented by Axis/Communists so you can't feel too bad about it. Almost as soon as there were long rifles of any kind, they were in a format close to that. Quote: Carlos yesterday 03:21 PM "Real men move onto the bigger stuff:" You did not just link the Nintendo bazooka! lol! Good times. Quote: bborg yesterday 03:59 PM "Ha, I loved that thing. I had Battle Clash, such a fun game! It gave me a bad crick in my neck when I first used it, though. I am conflicted on real guns, though. While I believe people should be allowed to own them, I personally don't understand the fascination with them and would rather not be around them." Statistically, automobiles are as dangerous, if not, more so, than firearms are, but I doubt you fear them. Really, if you wanted to fear cars, you should fear the driver who runs people over on purpose, not every anonymous driver. What I'm trying to say is, that, to kill, a gun needs to be pointed with intent to kill, and is no more inherently dangerous than a really sharp No. 2 pencil is. Fear the man who would use any given object to kill, not the object itself. That said, guns are one of the few objects with over 500 of development time behind them. Imagine if the user interface of a computer had been developed for such a long time! No blue screens of death that's for sure. Quote; Joss Delage yesterday 07:37 PM " I don't enjoy shooting that much, but I do find guns (and fine knives, fine watches, etc - any kind of fine crafted products) attractive. A Model 1911 with an above-average barrel length has a unique visual appeal, and they are so comfy to hold. I also like the legend attached to some other guns such as the Walther PPK." I understand what you mean. My co-workers thought me strange to enjoy staring at the fascinating tiny clockwork of an open face pocket watch.
  11. Fun with Guns!

    nice! lol
  12. Fun with Guns!

    This is a topic to talk about any firearms you may own. I have a two, a Beretta U22 Neos and a Beretta Cx4 Storm. I got into them about two years ago, after coworkers told me about how fun it is to shoot paper targets at indoor and outdoor ranges. There happened to be a local Gun shop/indoor range that rented pistols for $10 for unlimited time and you could switch out the gun for as many different ones as you wanted, you simply had to buy the ammo. A nice deal if you ask me, and since I first went there I've taken several friends there also. A side note here, they also rented full auto rifles for $15 with the same kind of deal (especially nice because without an ATF license civilians cannot buy them anymore). Let me tell you though, you can blow though a lot of money in a short time with those! Anyway, I first bought a Beretta U22 Neos. My reasons for this pistol in no particular order: cheap ammo ($15 for 550), low recoil (this was my first gun), light weight (with a red dot sight it will take great skill to be accurate at relatively great distance), very easy to clean (again first gun), built in scope rail, looks cool (minor issue). When I first got this gun I almost immediately bought a red dot scope since the built in sights on it aren't that great. In fact the back sight tiny windage screw popped out a few times and I eventually lost it. But since there is a built-in scope rail this is no problem at all. I've been using a TruGlo red dot sight with 2x magnification, and I can shoot empty shotgun shells at 20 yards. The accuracy with this gun is amazing, and, while I'm not that great at it yet, in some bench test, a review was able to get a 1.2 inch diameter group at 100 yards. For those who may not know, a group is usually five rounds within some diameter of a circle. It is something like splitting an arrow when it is within an inch or so, the small .22 bullet holes overlapping. To be accurate at more that ten yards (about 10m) requires immense concentration. I have found that, due to the light weight of the gun, holding my breath actually makes a difference. Breaking this gun down for cleaning is incredibly simple: Loosen thumb screw, the entire barrel/top rail comes off, let the slide come forward off the rail, let the firing pin pop forward and you are done. In contrast, some rifles and pistols have 20 or more steps and you often need tools to do it. Not so with this pistol. Five steps, just your hands, and in about 30 seconds you are done. However, the small bullet size and relative harmlessness of the caliber, led me to want at more realistic weapon to shoot. Quick story: the United States Navy states in some weapons manual I read at some point, that .22cal can often be stopped by thick clothing, if the target is more than fifty feet (about 15 meters) away. I thought that Beretta seemed to have good designs and simple disassembly, so I started looking around there first. The Beretta Cx4 Storm caught my eye immediately. Simple, no tools disassembly, cool appearance, reliability, and availability in several different calibers. I got it in .40cal S&W. I have also bought a front grip/bi-pod combo, a 3-9x NcStar scope, and two 20 round clips. Accurate and fun to shoot, but ammo is somewhat expensive ($15 for 50 or $67 for 250). At 25 yards, I can shoot the center out of targets with little effort. Lately I've taken to pinning examples of this to my apartment entrance wall to give would-be robbers fair warning. Not that I'm all that worried about that. The fun with these firearms, and I think guns in general, is trying to get better every time you visit the range. With pistols the difficulty is higher than rifles, owed mainly to the smaller mass and therefore smaller inertia. Note: somehow, to date, I haven't robbed a bank or killed anyone! Well, actually, one time at the outdoor range I almost hit a butterfly that landed on my target...almost. It didn't even notice, and obliviously flitted away. So what kind, if any, firearms do you own? Likes/Dislikes? Cheap target tips? (like political signs haha)
  13. Hillary Clinton emerges as State Dept candidate

    Hey, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Some idiot will get the job. I propose to laugh at whoever it is. Ha ha. It's not like we can take over the airwaves and broadcast our own transmission like in Atlas Shrugged. America is doomed too some extent either way. What can we do about it? Where can we go to escape? Who sends disaster aid to America? I think laughing at Hillary Clinton doing a job she is less suited for than being a clown may be one of the last really good jokes left.
  14. Why it is good that Obama was elected.

    Wow. Sorry. I'm too used to google's search engine I guess. I should have used it.
  15. Hillary Clinton emerges as State Dept candidate

    I heard this too. I can't help but laugh! I can't wait to see the epic fail!