Monthly Archives: November 2014

Nuclear

“Nuclear fusion could provide virtually unlimited amounts of energy for the world. But the problem of harnessing fusion reactions for practical applications has been an elusive one for decades, never progressing beyond the experimental stage—until now.” Michael Cochrane

Nuclear option

TECHNOLOGY | Revolutionary fusion power moves closer to reality

By World magazine, Issue: “Ebola,” Nov. 15, 2014

9103296900_0d383feabf_zNuclear fusion could provide virtually unlimited amounts of energy for the world. But the problem of harnessing fusion reactions for practical applications has been an elusive one for decades, never progressing beyond the experimental stage—until now.

Last month, Aviation Week & Space Technology reported on a nuclear fusion concept being developed at Lockheed Martin’s famous “Skunk Works” R&D lab. The device, called the Compact Fusion Reactor (CFR), is reported to be conceptually “small and practical enough for applications ranging from interplanetary spacecraft and commercial ships to city power stations.”

The current state of the art in fusion reactors, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), now under construction, is not expected to be online until the late 2020s. Aviation Week’s report states that the ITER, with a power output of 500 megawatts, will cost an estimated $50 billion, will measure around 100 feet high, and weigh 23,000 tons.

Lockheed’s CFR, by comparison, will generate around 100 megawatts, but fit into a transportable unit measuring 23 x 43 feet.

“That’s the size we are thinking of now,” said Thomas McGuire, an aeronautical engineer in the Skunk Work’s Revolutionary Technology Programs unit in an interview with Aviation Week. “You could put it on a semi-trailer, similar to a small gas turbine, put it on a pad, hook it up and can be running in a few weeks.”

Fuel for the CFR is plentiful. It runs on deuterium and tritium. Deuterium is derived from seawater, and tritium is obtained from lithium in a breeding reactor. Although the tritium is radioactive, you don’t need much of it to run the reactor, which means there’s no risk of a nuclear meltdown.

Unlike current nuclear reactors that operate using nuclear fission, fusion reactors don’t generate radioactive waste. Once a CFR fusion reactor reaches the end of its useful life, users can dispose of its radioactive parts much as they dispose of medical waste today.

“There is no long-lived radiation,” says McGuire. “Fission reactors’ stuff will be there forever, but with fusion materials, after 100 years then you are good.”

Lockheed Martin plans to have a working CFR prototype in five years, and a full production unit in 10.

Campus Ministries Sent Packing

“Last year, Bowdoin College changed its rules to forbid student groups from discriminating on the basis of religion in their membership and leadership.” Emily Belz

“InterVarsity is no longer a recognized student group.” Ibid

Sent packing

RELIGIOUS LIBERTY | Some campus ministries adapt—and even grow—as they lose their homes

By ; World Magazine; Issue: “Ebola,” Nov. 15, 2014

bowdoinBRUNSWICK, Maine—In September students at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, walked and biked past groves of evergreen trees and the Mr. Suds laundromat to a Bible study meeting in a Victorian house on the edge of campus. This was the first meeting of the newly named Christian Fellowship at Bowdoin College, which for the past 40 years had gone by the name Bowdoin Christian Fellowship.

That slight change in word order signifies a big change in the InterVarsity chapter’s status: It is no longer a recognized student group. Last year, Bowdoin College changed its rules to forbid student groups from discriminating on the basis of religion in their membership and leadership.

Rob Gregory, a longtime lawyer in Maine and the volunteer adviser to the Christian Fellowship, saw the derecognition as “merely a change of venue as far as we’re concerned. It’s not the end of the world.” He’s fine with the change because he doesn’t want campus ministries to rely on the resources offered by colleges: “I’m happy to go across the street. I’m happy to go to the basement. Christians have been sharing this message in sewers for hundreds of years.”  Continue reading

Collectivism and the 10 Commandments

“[Let’s] look at the way collectivism violates the Ten Commandments. That is the very definition of evil to me. Let’s go through all ten and see how collectivism is a threat to each and every one.” Ben Shapiro

Ben Shapiro  Centennial Review ▪ November 2014

Moses whoCollectivism often prevails politically despite its policy failures. We should not credit the good intentions of this evil ideology. It violates the Decalogue beginning to end. Friends of freedom need to fight back in moral terms, trusting God.

I’ve been asked to talk with you today about why freedom succeeds and collectivism fails. The answer, of course, is that diffuse knowledge beats centralized knowledge.

If you combined all the individual knowledge in this room, we’d all know more together than Einstein did. That’s why no one person is qualified to run a country or run our lives.

But there’s a broader question, and it’s more difficult. With our long history of collectivism failing and freedom succeeding, why is it that collectivism actually seems to win a lot of the time? It wins because we don’t recognize it’s evil and say so.

You’re Seen as Bad 

We assume that the people promoting collectivism are good guys. They believe in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, they have all the best intentions. No, they don’t.

Their intention as collectivists is to shut you down, because they see you as a bunch of racist, sexist, bigoted homophobes who hate the poor. Collectivism is justified because you’re all bad people.

Collectivists are emissaries of an evil ideology, and we have to call it by its name. We have to speak about these things in moral terms.

Look at the hundreds of millions of dead bodies strewn around the globe, thanks to the Soviet Union, China, North Korea, and various other Communist countries.

Look at the crushing poverty that the collectivists have produced in places across the globe today, ranging from South America to Africa to Asia to Detroit.

Or look at the way collectivism violates the Ten Commandments. That is the very definition of evil to me. Let’s go through all ten and see how collectivism is a threat to each and every one.

First Commandment

Start with this: “I am the Lord thy God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of bondage.” This is fundamentally opposed to collectivism. If we’re all individuals created in the image of God, we’re special and precious. No one gets to invade our rights just because they think they are superior to us.

Our rights matter more to us than the government. Across three millennia for the Jewish people, and for more than two centuries here in America, the working theory has been that if you tell me I am supposed to respect government above God, I will resist you with force.

Millions of people have died for their God, and speaking for myself, I will go to jail or even pick up a gun before the government of the United States tells me I’m supposed to violate my religious precepts.

Second Commandment

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