They shall beat their swords into spaceships, and their spears into skyhooks.

Chris Bowers presents an inspiring argument for space travel and I wanted to provide my own.

Engineers are often (justifiably) stereotyped as asking ‘what is the right tool?’ but never ‘why build?’ And, indeed, the pure technical challenges of space travel excite me no end. My dream job would be Martian Structural Engineer — I […]

Perp Motion 4evah

So, it’s possible this system isn’t viable. Thankfully YouTube has a better idea:

I can haz perpetual motion?

We have the waterfalls.

We have the technology–>

So how about we just solve this whole energy crisis right now?

In Space, no one wants your Domes

Photo from Docent X. Thanks!

i-eclectica brings news of the RMF radio station in Poland, which, though terrestrial, perfectly represents the space colony archtype: modular construction, domes, shiny steel, glass, and concrete, airlock-like entrances, exposed mechanical systems, etc. It makes the Trekkie in me squeal. However, I’m thankful they built it on Earth because […]

Centripetal Forces

Not to be confused with Centipetal Forces, the militia units of the the Centipede army.

This xkcd got me thinking: High school physics, where most kids are told about the fictitious status of centrifugal forces, generally sticks to Newtonian physics. This makes sense because pre-modern, F=ma primitivism are the most useful sort of physics to […]

Ways to End the World

No, not Mike Meginnis’s alternatively acerbic and jocular blog (I recently found my thesaurus), but literally How to destroy the Earth (!!!):

3. Sucked into a microscopic black hole

You will need: a microscopic black hole.

Note that black holes are not eternal, they evaporate due to Hawking radiation. For your average black hole this […]

Sunday Conspiracy Blogging

By linking to this Robert Fisk article about questioning the 9/11 explanations, LitBrit produced quite a bit of commenter angst over at the House that Klein Built. As an engineer, I find the discussions of 9/11 steel collapse fascinating, and at the risk of revealing ignorance within my own field I want to wade in […]

Geek Chic

From the brilliant folk at MIT, City Cars:

One of the proposed designs for dense urban areas is a stackable car for two passengers. Vehicle Stacks are located throughout the city to create an urban transportation network that takes advantage of existing infrastructure such as subway and bus lines.

From the nearly-as-brilliant folks at […]

Hymns that are Out of this World!

A family member, knowing of my eternal love for all things spacey, showed me this excellent hymn, which I preceded to sing in my painful, monotone way. Beyond its awesomeness, I see it as someone’s small step towards integrating God into science and celebrating them both. A happy effort. Enjoy:

God of Earth and Outer […]

Hiatus

Posting from now until Friday the 24th will be irregular, as I’m traveling to see people I love more than you, my (possibly imagined) readers. In the meantime, read Green Mars. Don’t let the genre and cover art fool you, it’s an amazing piece of literature.

And if you’ve already read said masterpiece, check out […]

Boom

The Alvarez Hypothesis claims that sixty million years ago an asteroid 80 miles across hit the Yucatec peninsula in Central America. It threw up fifty trillion tons of dust and ashes into the air (note: speculative statistic), blotting out the sun and causing a worldwide mass extinction.

People, those of us […]

Shake Tables & Terrorism

Things you learn in engineering school:

All systems have a resonance frequency. If you push on them at the right interval, the amount they displace skyrockets. This is why soldiers break step when crossing a bridge. This is why certain frequencies of light cause our cells damage. This is why you push someone on a […]