Sunday, October 23, 2005


Typing game

Found a very nice typing game here just the job for introducing somebody to a keyboard.

Saturday, October 22, 2005


Music might be the key

Found this I think it rather mind blowing - every gene a symphony. Hear the music of life here I especially liked FOXP2, one of the main proteins that gave humanity the ability to speak.

Friday, October 21, 2005


New search engine for linux

Sorry about the hiatus - I am very slow on my new keyboard, so am spending most of my time on a typing tutor. Try it here (java)

Some nice flash movies of new search engine for the linux desktop called Beagle, see them here Looks promising :)

Friday, October 07, 2005


Main machine up an running

Am happy to announce this household is back to being a two machine household yaay

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Attempt at programing

Downloaded yabasic, will have a go at writing a progam to do what a program I found here does. The problem is the bubbles game keeps throwing up ' :'s and ' ;'s the reason being, the purpose of the game is to teach the 'home keys' on a two handed keyboard because the righthand pinkie rests on the colon key. On a Frogpad one obtains the colon and semicolon by a different method, which makes the bubbles game no good in its current form. Also it gives me an excuse to do a bit of programming, something I have not done in a long while.

Monday, October 03, 2005


New keyboard

I am typing this on a new keyboard albiet very very slowly, but I am touch typing again ! After a stroke about 5 years ago I lost fine control in my right hand so ever since then I have been typing one handed. Now I have a one handed keyboard called a Frogpad

Came across this on Wired magazine, go down a treat on the moon, that kind of stuff, especially if you have plenty of energy :)

Sunday, October 02, 2005


Brahean Blunders

Came across a brilliant article

Finally, there is the biggest Brahean Blunder of them all: refusal to admit to the possibility of Brahean Blunders in the first place. David P. Barash

Beliefs are mental habits, and like all habits they are hard to lose.

Saturday, October 01, 2005


Start at the beginning

Since from about eight years old I have been a avid book worm. I read all the usual child books. I think Enid Blyton who got me started bless her - I sort of gravitated from her to Swallows and Amazons, so on an so forth. Then I discovered SciFi. it was from all those Scifi books, that I acquired my dreams of humanity reaching the stars.

Yes we are making tentative steps in that direction. But the way we are doing it is painfully slow, the reason being, doing space is horrendously expensive especially when America does it. I remember reading years ago the Russian space achievements during the cold war period were achieved at a tenth of the cost of the American achievements. Yes America reached the moon but what have we got to show for it? Apart from an inflated ego zilch! that was up until about twenty years ago, when a lab in the University of Wisconsin discovered with little fanfare, something remarkable.

From here
A sample of soil from the rim of Camelot crater slid from my scoop into a Teflon bag to begin its trip to Earth with the crew of Apollo 17. Little did I know at the time, on Dec. 13, 1972, that sample 75501, along with samples from Apollo 11 and other missions, would provide the best reason to return to the moon in the 21st century. That realization would come 13 years later. In 1985, young engineers at the University of Wisconsin discovered that lunar soil contained significant quantities of a remarkable form of helium. Known as helium-3, it is a lightweight isotope of the familiar gas that fills birthday balloons
To appreciate what this means, requires knowing a wee bit of nuclear
physics. Specifically isotopes . The main way human beings use energy is from either coal or oil, both are very bad for the environment. There is a much more efficient way to obtain controllable energy, this is with nuclear technology. Either fission or fusion, both give a differing set of problems, basically fission is dirty and dangerous shown by Three Mile Island and Chenobyl . Fusion has been achieved but is not economic, the engineers are getting less energy out of the reaction than they are putting in. The reason for this is, they are trying to fuse two isotopes of hydrogen, namely duetririum and tritium, to get them to do this, takes an enormous amount of energy, it is also not a very clean way to achieve fusion.

It is harder to fuse He3 and Deuterium but it is a cleaner reaction, the problem is, He3 does not occur naturally on the earth.
Jack Shmitt (The only scientist to visit the moon) reckons that He3 is worth about $40000 an ounce or $1428 dollars a gram , gold is worth around 15 dollars a gram. If Schmidt is correct in his estimate of the value of He3, this makes He3 nearly a hundred times more valuable than gold. Had the astronauts have struck gold on the moon, I have little doubt that we would be living on the moon by now

The cheapest way to harvest the He3, is a technique I read of years ago, in a science/SciFi magazine called Omni, this technique is called tele-presence. This is the idea of using our hands and eyes at a distance. This would dramatically cut payload costs. Send up a conventional nuclear reactor and a remotely controlled machine shop, a blast furnace, construct remotely controlled mining vehicles to mine raw materials, with which to build an infrastructure

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