Nuke Power Spaceship

There was an article published recently on the BBC’s website called “Will nuclear-powered spaceships take us to the stars?”

The article describes an idea for interplanetary space travel using nuclear bombs.

The bomb detonates behind the spaceship and the shockwave propels the ship forwards.

You can see it in the picture above. The nuke detonation is on the right and the spaceship is shooting away to the left.

The idea was thought up in the 50’s and dubbed Project Orion back then.

Whenever I read space opera books when I was a kid my dad would talk about Project Orion as the only feasible means of really getting between different solar systems.

Space opera books always have some means of getting between solar systems with faster than light travel (FTL).

FTL is accomplished in the books in different ways depending on the books, but all of them have some sort of dimension bending idea behind them.

The simplest one that actually explained it had the spaceship travel through the fourth dimension.

We perceive the world in three dimensions, but what if there was a fourth that we don’t see?

How would a fourth dimension let you travel rapidly through three dimensional space?

It’s easier to understand if you imagine a two dimensional space, like a piece of paper.

The paper has two dots on it.

Two Dots

Normally you’d have to draw a line across the whole paper to connect the dots.

But what if you fold the two dimensional paper through the third dimension to connect the dots?

Two Dots Touching

Now going between the dots takes almost no time at all!

The same principle applies for FTL in some science fiction stories. Space is folded in the fourth dimension to allow faster three dimensional travel.

We may eventually discover dimensional travel like that, but for our best plan for getting to other solar systems is using up a country’s nuclear arsenal to blow a spaceship across the galaxy.

I think that’s pretty cool!

-Mister Ed

American News

This comic from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal jives with my opinion of American news networks as I mentioned in my previous post.

American news networks seem to universally never cover anything newsworthy. They cover election news and stuff in politics when relevant, but the rest of it is just buzz.

The news networks are often set up where they service an area of about 5 million people or more. Within that area they could pick a story about how one person is over a hundred or how a single school out of the hundreds needs books. The news never covers something like a school district wide book shortage by having in depth interviews with the librarians from that district.

Another example from my local news. They’ve jumped all over a recent murder case. Some of the headlines are “Crime On The Rise” or “What Can You Do To Protect Yourself?” The murder was committed by a self-confessed psychopath. There is no crime on the rise in this situation, its just an individual. There sadly isn’t really a way to protect yourself from crazy people either. What I noticed from these headlines was that the local news is capitalizing on the fear the headlines and story creates to push more of their newspapers/page views.

I do get a little conflicted at times on the issue though. I never feel like reading or watching American news its almost all fear, puff pieces, or politic information I can get faster from the internet. But when I do watch it I occasionally see why they reported on that topic. With the psychopath murderer, how could you not report on that as a local news agency? It’d be foolish not to as it sells papers and it’d be dishonest to the public. We deserve to know that someone like that was in the neighborhood.

It’s just when there isn’t something to report as sensational as that, the new flounders. There could be constant updates on the situation in Ukraine or a daily update on WHY stock numbers changed instead of just the numbers themselves. Those important stories could easily fill the news when something else interesting isn’t happening locally or in DC. Instead, the top story today is “Coaches Turn Out to Hear Athletics Policy Debate”

Really? I can see the value of the story, but is it front page material? I don’t think so.

Just some of my rambling thoughts.

-Mister Ed

Supersonic Jet

Photo of screen

I get most of my news from things my friends post on Facebook. When I look for news on my own, my source is the BBC. I’ve found that American news is… lacking. For example, when the BBC was covering the riots in Thailand and Ukraine, CNN was covering Taco Bell’s introduction of Mountain Dew to their soda fountain.

I read the BBC front page yesterday to get my update on the situation in Ukraine and this story caught my eye:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-26258971

A fancy jet company is talking about introducing a supersonic jet for transatlantic flights. It’d be capable of making the journey in under 4 hours. The best part? The entire length of the walls inside are TV screens showing projections of the outside of the plane.

The engineers of the plane explained it as “reducing drag from windows” or some nonsense like that, but we all know why they did this. It looks freaking amazing.

It’s like something out of a James Bond movie. The Bond villain has a flying fortress that Bond infiltrates. Bond breaks into the villain’s minibar and makes himself a martini. The villain comes into his room and finds Bond there pointing a gun at him while we see clouds fly past the window-walls. “Even SPECTRE agent, I hope you don’t mind. I’ve made myself comfortable.”

I would love to take a ride in this plane. Unfortunately, the company plans a passenger capacity of only 18 people. The flights would probably be ridiculously expensive. Still, maybe I can put it on my bucket list with all the other things I will feel bad for doing when I am old and should be donating my money.

That’s all for today!

-Mister Ed