Growing Metal Structure

like a tree:

Modumetal uses nanotechnology — manipulation of matter at the molecular level — to micromanage at a very small scale to better control the conditions and substances through which electroplating occurs. Basically, the company grows metal on a surface in a way that makes it easier to shape and tinker with the material’s characteristics. Lomasney says it’s similar to how nature controls the environment related to a tree’s growth— sunlight, soil, location, temperature—and then creates a tree that is a product those conditions.

This is the sort of thing that Eric talked about in Engines of Creation almost thirty years ago. It’s one of the reasons that any plans NASA has for Mars missions decades from now are already obsolete.

Erika And SLS

The sea surface temperatures are higher than they were for Andrew. If that track shifts just a little the north, the Cape would be in the crosshairs.

The launch pads can probably handle a serious storm, but the VAB can’t handle more than a Category 2 or 3. It’s been dodging bullets for decades. A Category 5 storm would probably level it. No VAB, no SLS.

If that were to happen, it would almost be like a divine intervention to end the Apollo cargo cult, by destroying its temple.

[Update a while later]

I’d note that if it stays on that track, our house in Boca is currently in the crosshairs.

[Thursday-morning update]

Latest track shows it heading up the coast as a Cat 1. Of course, they’re not as good (or at least didn’t used to be) at predicting intensity as they are on tracks.

The Virginia Shootings

This is what I’ve been tweeting this morning.

[Afternoon update]

As usual, the White House lies about “gun violence.”


A new breakthrough?

…burning hydrogen-boron fuel requires truly enormous temperatures, more than 3 billion degrees Celsius, and that will be “very challenging,” says plasma physicist Jon Menard of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory in New Jersey, who is not involved in the project. He says it’s very hard to predict how the gas will behave at higher temperatures. “I’m a little concerned that their [simulations] lag behind their experience,” he says, but the approach “is worth further investigation.”

I hope that one of these ideas works out at some point.

Punching Back Twice As Hard On Campus

Instapundit has some good advice for a fraternity under siege:

(1) Immediately complain to the Department of Education and the Department of Justice that you’re being targeted because of your race and sex, and denied your First Amendment rights. No, nothing will come of this, but that’s not the point. The process is the punishment. (2) Sue on the same grounds. (3) The real killer: Go to the Virginia Legislature and tell them they should cut Old Dominion’s budget. Come prepared with figures on the number of administrators on campus now, versus 10 and 20 years ago. File freedom of information requests and get the travel expense figures for the folks in the administration. Look over them for suspicious and large expenditures. (You’ll find them!) Make a big stink about those.

Administrative bloat leads to large numbers of “student life” educrats without enough to do, so they’ve created a quasi-police-state to fill the time. State legislators are looking for things to cut anyway, and higher ed doesn’t have the clout it used to have. This will hurt them more than anything else you can do.

I would love to see that happen.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!