Claim: cold fusion may have been verified by third-party researchers. I’ll believe it when I see it. Just posting as an item of interest for now. But oh my, if this ever turns out to be for real, it changes everything — and not just in tech or power generation.
(H/Ts: MJR and MtK)
ADDED: Sigh. It’s possible both of these might turn out to be scams. Per Sam in Oregon, here’s the latest on the Anonabox.
Already got a reality check on the cold-fusion device below.
ADDED: A comment by a friend who works in the power-generation field:
I downloaded and read the paper on the cold fusion device, called E-Cat.
Disclosure: I would like for this to be true. It would improve the health and wellbeing of mankind at least as much as the mastery of fire.
Rossi has been making these claims for years. One of the common elements in all of his experiments is that he uses complex means to measure the energy.
This paper is no different. They have to estimate the energy losses for no fewer than 3 different physical effects. One of those, radiation, accounts for more than 100% of the observed “excess” heat.
That’s a red flag right there. A competent analysis would have predicted how the heat would manifest itself: so much to radiation, so much to convection, so much to conduction. Then they could have checked their results against this prediction.
But they didn’t do that. They didn’t even test their “control” at the same power and temperature levels. Another red flag.
Radiation is a very difficult way to measure energy production. The power goes as the temperature to the 4th power, so a 5% error in temperature gives a 22% error in power. Then the alumina they used has a big change in emissivity as a function of temperature, and the temperature of the tube is far from uniform.
Bottom line; the most likely explanation for the “excess heat” is a sum of small errors in the measurements.
There are also claims of isotopic shifts, but those are tough to measure with the equipment they used. The absence of any radiation means we would have to throw out most of what we know about nuclear physics.
I’m not at all against throwing out theories that don’t work. The problem is that nuclear physics works pretty darned well. Nuclear reactors, nuclear weapons, nuclear medicine, solar physics, cosmography, all of these things require detailed calculations of nuclear reactions and rates, and all of them get answers that are pretty much exactly right. There are always questions at the edges, such as solar neutrinos, but there isn’t any suggestion that the physics is wrong.
The process of throwing out older theories for better ones always follows the same path. The old theories work well enough for a while. Eventually we push the edges enough that the calculations start producing answers that don’t match what we see. A fair amount of data is collected showing that we have a problem. Then some smart person proposes a new theory that explains all of the old stuff AND all of the new stuff.
That isn’t happening here. There isn’t a collection of hints that we have a problem in nuclear physics. Quite the opposite. The further we push, the more confirmations we get.
So I don’t buy the claims of isotopic shifts.
Then there is the question of the complex experimental setup.
The excess power they claim is equivalent to nearly 2,000 watts of excess heat being produced. That’s a lot. If there really was that much heat, it would be easy to measure directly, without the trouble and errors of trying to calculate power from radiation.
Just one idea, to show how straightforward this could be.
Immerse the thing in wax, or lead, or salt. Make the container big enough that it is clearly impossible to melt the contents from the electrical input power alone. Then run it until the container is full of melted whatever. That’s proof. No fancy measurements required. A bit of engineering math in advance, build 2 or 3 to run controls before and after, and you have a bullet-proof demo.
This isn’t a bullet-proof demo. It’s not even a demo. I don’t know if Rossi is running an elaborate con game or if he believes this stuff. It doesn’t matter; I’m pretty sure there is nothing here. I’d be more than happy to be proved wrong.
I’ve linked recently to Ryochiji’s posts about his Serenity Valley cabin’s very, very — VERY — close call with a wildfire.
Lots of other worthwhile stuff at his site, Laptop and a Rifle. Back in the winter of 2011, when his property was less developed than it is now, he vowed to spend 31 days there under a strict set of rules. He called his experiment Project 31 & despite the rigor of his terms, it was a success. Here are all his posts about it
This came up at Joel’s place the other day. I think it was MJR who linked it. In any case, it’s cool in more ways than one — poor man’s air conditioning.
Hm. Jeffrey Snider also goes on (as I recently did) about how seventeenth century England made such a difference to Americans. Then he goes on. And on. About modern-day political thievery. Long but interesting.*
And things continue to look up! Woman wins big settlement after cop steals her money and arrests her on false charges. (H/T Say Uncle)
Everybody knows about Sherman committing war crimes as he pillaged and burned his way to the sea. But I never knew Sheridan did the same thing farther north — on orders from Grant and with the blessing and thanks of Lincoln.
* He screws up saying that Locke fled England under James I. It was James II. But that’s just being technical. Locke was a pretty amazing person and one to whom we also owe much.
I hope Tesla’s recent bold move of open-sourcing its patents pays off. History and a good guess says it’s likely to greatly benefit the electric vehicle industry as a whole, but not Tesla, specifically.
While the smartest and most dogged gun-rights writers are still going back and forth about whether this week’s “faster than a speeding cartridge” Bloomy ad was real or a hoax, we know this one’s just as stooo-pid and appears to be the genuinely ignorant item.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t describe where the political world stands (no surprise). But it does describe a cool new website and a beautifully laid-out and informative digital magazine.
Brink of Freedom is a great place. It combines a freedomista attitude, high energy, and useful self-sufficiency how-tos.
Michael W. Dean of Freedom Feens turned me on to the site and introduced me to its founder, Josiah Wallingford. (Don’t you love that name?)
Go check it out for yourself. It’s the kind of place you could spend hours. But while you’re here, here’s a little background Q&A with Josiah, as well as links to pdfs of BoF’s January and February editions:
As soon as I post this, I’m going to make Thursday’s “bad” post public again. If clever people and hobby-horse riders want to make the comment section All About Them, that’s on their heads, not mine.
Your encouragement, good cheer, and wisdom delivered via email and via comments on yesterday’s apology post helped me get over myself.
(The irony was not lost on me that I squealed like a little girl over comments on a post titled “Live Boldly.” It was amazingly nice of y’all not to mention that. :-) )
I’m still going to take a week off. I need it. Whether I’ll resume with “Live Boldly, Part II” or not, I can’t say. Slidemansailor was astute when he noted that sometimes the moment for something just passes. However, I’d like to take up that topic again if I can find the proper footing to begin.
Meanwhile, here are some links for you, along with my thanks:
Roscoe Bartlett. He’s much more interesting as an off-grid hermit than he ever was as a congressthing.
We’re finally reaching the long-dreaded day when the fedgov plays a dominant role in who “wins” and who loses in U.S. economic life. The trend’s been going on since the (not-so) Great Society. When it reaches fruition … there will be only losers outside the political nomenklatura.
Commonsense about polygamy is finally appearing in the mainstream. (No, I don’t think government should be involved, but otherwise, this is good stuff.)
If you want to live innovatively off-grid, maybe it’s best not to do it in a city. Or at least not to talk about it if you do. (H/T H.)
That Texas “affluenza” brat who killed four people and turned one of his friends into a vegetable may not have to pay any consequences for his actions. But his parents might.
The courts might never stop the NSA’s outrages (despite hopeful rulings to the contrary). Congress? They never, ever, ever will. But the collaborating companies like Google, Yahoo, IBM, Verizon, etc. might eventually have to stop the NSA or die an economic death. Now shareholders are upping the pressure.
The author of The Anarchist Cookbook, having made all the money off it that he personally needs, now wants the book banned. I doubt it’s going to happen, but you might want to get your copy, just in case. You do know, though, that you’re more likely to hurt yourself with the recipes in that book than you are to hurt anybody else. (H/T B.)
Ever since Pamela Jones shut down Groklaw and announced she was not only abandoning the site but quitting the Internet entirely in light of the Edward Snowden revelations, I’ve been thinking about this.
At the time, though I found her reasons poignant and pertinent, I thought she was overreacting. Now, I don’t know.
Personally, I’m not on the verge of quitting. A big part of my life is here. And all of my career (such as it is) is here. That’s been true since 1986 when a client bought me my first 300-baud modem and set it up so I could electronically submit stories to him. It was certainly true in 1993 when I met my Significant Sweetie (now ex, but still friend) on a FIDOnet gun-rights bulletin board. It’s definitely true now when I’d likely starve to death and blow away without the ‘Net.
Still, I think most of us (and most notably a lot of tech types hereabouts) feel the temptation.
We’ve always been independent sorts around here. We avoid being messed with by power trippers. If we can’t avoid, we “mess back.” But right now, there’s nothing we can do to counter the electronic offenses being committed against us and against freedom by the UberGoverment whose all-probing eye peers out from Mordor on the Potomac.
Oh, sure, we can play the old “keyword” game with our emails. (There’s even a new Firefox/Chrome browser add-on to let us do the same thing with URLs and HTTP headers now.) That’s fun. And it’s always true that irritating and misdirecting the bastards is worthwile, even (or perhaps especially) as tyranny grows. We can also use GPG, dump Windows for Linux, use TOR, etc. etc. etc. And eventually heroic tech wizards may save us — and the Internet — from NSAuron.
But now …? Now …? Now we seem to be faced with using dodges that may or may not help or simply shrugging and going on because, realistically, there’s not much else to do. So …
Would you quit the Internet? If so, what would you do instead? If not, how do you adapt to knowing that everything you do online (or on the phone) is probably recorded and analyzed, even if it then disappears into the maw of a datacenter’s godzillabyte storage capacity, never to be seen again?
Now, that said, I’m “quitting the Internet” for the next three days. I may pop in to post some cute dog pictures tomorrow, and I’ll check in to moderate comments at least once a day. Otherwise, I’m away for a bit from the Bad News Net.
Besides describing in good and useful detail how to build an ad hoc solar power system (Joel created his for just $350), it describes how not to do it (e.g. don’t do it like Joel did with the first system he scrounged together). It also shows larger, more professional systems created by five of his desert-rat neighbors.
As you may know, Joel and I were desert neighbors for a while. During that time, I helped redesign one badly built power system (with tons of help from people smarter and more experienced than I) and I accompanied Joel through the beginnings of his own first experiments in solar power.
So I know that this book is accurate and lucid in what it describes. If you have a weekend place, a retreat-on-a-budget location, an RV that you want to retrofit for solar — or anything else that might use a small, DIY solar power setup — Joel’s little book could help.
Joel is careful not to call himself any sort of expert. But he’s definitely been there and done that.
Better yet, the book is well-written, well-organized — and often very funny. If you like the pithy, irreverent way Joel writes on his blog, you’ll enjoy the book even if (like me now) you live in a place where people have to look “sun” up on Wikipedia to remind ourselves that it’s that big yellow blob that other lucky people have in their sky.
This was a week for getting reminded of unconventional freedoms — and unconventional Outlawry (though some might call it just plain criminality).
First, we got fascinated with Christopher Knight (aka the Maine Hermit), whose solitary life some found irresistible. Imagine speaking only one word to another human in 27 years and sleeping outdoors through 27 northern winters. Imagine doing that, yet remaining so un-resourceful that you think stealing from a camp for handicapped kids is a legitimate way to survive.
Then yesterday afternoon, NPR interviewed Mike Brodie — not their usual sort of book author. At 27, Brodie is a freelance auto mechanic who disdains any claim to thinking of himself as a writer or photographer. But at 17, he started hopping freight trains, taking along a Polaroid camera. Now he’s published A Period of Juvenile Prosperity, a photo memoir of that Outlaw life.
Most of us are more respectful of property than the Maine Hermit and more settled than Mike Brodie’s friends. But tell the truth: Do you envy them a bit? Do you sometimes wish you could just walk away from the life of earning and spending and getting, the life of being responsible, filling out paperwork and carrying credit cards and IDs? Do you sometimes long even to give up some of your comforts? Do you think you could do it in the future? Or have you done something like that in your past?
I’m not asking if you’re ready to chuck it all, or if you approve of train-hopping hoboes or thieving hermits. Just wondering if you ever feel the urge, ever acted on it — or ever might.