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Comment Don't forget the Carrington Event! (Score 3, Informative) 182 182

In 1859 the world was hit by an EMP from a massive solar flare, called the Carrington Event. From a comment by Sampenny in the original article.

The Carrington event was a direct hit of a solar-generated EMP, and it destroyed some portion of the very primitive electronics of the time: the telegraph that connected batteries through a coding key to an electrical line stretching across the country-side. The electrostatic disturbances lasted more than a day, and the most obvious effects were the aurora borealis shining around the world. A few years ago the earth missed an equivalent event by just a couple of days of orbit, only now our entire society depends on electronics that fries when subjected to the kind of EM fields that will enter our grids when such as event does occur

More recently in March 1989 we had a geomagnetic storm which caused a massive blackout in Quebec. It was repaired in 9 hours, but a more massive widespread storm could take months.

Comment Trisops did this in the 70's at low cost. (Score 3, Informative) 144 144

From the paper

Large FRCs are produced in C-2 by collision merging of two CTs.3,13 Figure 5 shows the evolution of the excluded flux radius obtained from a magnetic probe array in the -pinch formation and central sections. Time is measured from the instant of field reversal in the -pinches, and distance is relative to the system midplane. Multi-gigawatt pulsed-power modules drive the -pinches, briefly reversing the magnetic field to 0.5kG, then raising it forward to 0.4kG, with field-reversal occurring by t5s. The two CTs so formed then accelerate out of their respective -pinches at supersonic speeds, vz250km/s, and collide at the system mid-plane at about t30s

Check out Trisops

Disclosure. I am one of the authors of the paper referred to in the article.

Comment Location and time usually in photos too. (Score 1) 153 153

Even worst, most photos are done with smartphones, whose default settings ( which most people do not touch) tag the photos with time and location.

Imagine some over ambitious prosecutor ( are there any other kind?) going on a fishing expedition using these photos.

Comment I assume they protected the sensors against EMP (Score 1) 163 163

As a recent article in IEEE Spectrum discusses, Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) weapons, such as those depicted in the movie Oceans Eleven, have become more capable. They can wipe out electronics with no visible signature. EMPs might be deployed either as portable weapons, dropped from a plane or fixed booby traps

Comment It's more complicated. (Score 1) 478 478

I'm 72 with slowed capacity. I have had similar thoughts. Even if you agree with the idea, implementation is tricky. Let's say I stop all life lengthening treatments at 75. Well, I take warfarin blood thinner to prevent clots from forming on my mechanical heart valve. These clots could break off to give me a heart attack or stroke. Clearly this is a life lengthening treatment. Should I stop taking it? If I stop and a clot develops there is a chance the the ensuing heart attack or stroke could leave me deeply crippled, either mentally or physically, but very alive -- to spend my last decade(s) in bed.

In biology there are no sharp lines. When does a child become an adult? 16? 18? 21? 25? All of these ages could do. In the same way, Emanuel, if he does not change his mind -- as most people I know do, will have great difficulty making these decisions except in extreme cases.

Comment You cant make much writing Science Fiction (Score 1) 180 180

Sad thing. After Paolo Bacigalupi won all the awards below he discovered that you make much writing SF, and now writes Young Adult novels

The Windup Girl is a biopunk science fiction novel, written by Paolo Bacigalupi and published by Night Shade Books on September 1, 2009. The novel was named as the ninth best fiction book of 2009 by TIME magazine,[1] and as the best science fiction book of the year in the Reference and User Services Association's 2010 Reading List.[2] This book is a 2010 Nebula Award[3] and a 2010 Hugo Award winner (tied with The City & the City by China Miéville for the Hugo Award), both for best novel.[4] This book also won the 2010 Compton Crook Award and the 2010 Locus Award for best first novel.


It's a great book, one of the best I have read for years. Its plusible dystopian take on the near future still haunts me.

Comment Re:This was tried 35 years ago (Score 1) 280 280

Do I understand correctly that you have worked on that project? If so, could you comment on what the people on LPP Fusion are doing? Is is feasible / safe / sustainable?

Is it safe? I see no safety problems beyond those normally found in laboratories or industrial projects that use high energy densities.

Is it feasible? Who knows? That what science experiments are designed to find out.

Is it sustainable? I assume you are asking is it affordable. I suspect that it could be supported for less cost than the toilet paper used at ITER.

Comment This was tried 35 years ago (Score 5, Informative) 280 280

This was tried as the Trisops Project 35 years ago but lost funding because all of the fusion energy project's focus was on the Tokamak.

Trisops was an experimental machine for the study of magnetic confinement of plasmas with the ultimate goal of producing fusion power. The configuration was a variation of a compact toroid, a toroidal (doughnut-shaped) structure of plasma and magnetic fields with no coils penetrating the center. It lost funding in its original form in 1978.
The configuration was produced by combining two individual toroids produced by two conical pinch guns, located at either end of a length of Pyrex pipe with a constant magnetic guide field. The toroidal currents in the toroids were in opposite directions, so that they repelled each other. After coming to an equilibrium, they were adiabatically compressed by increasing the external field.

Disclosure: I was an author on the paper and of the referenced Wikipedia article;

With all the fancy scientists in the world, why can't they just once build a nuclear balm?