Is there some other way to use this instrument in it's hobbled state? Lunar mapping? Asteroid hunting? Etc...?? Would be nice to salvage the hardware, even if the primary mission is toasted.
Yes, that's in line with the numbers I've seen. If your goal is to convert solar radiation into electricity, you're much better off with off-the-shelf PV cells. But a more intriguing effort is underway to create a nano-scale matrix that can split water much more efficiently, offering the potential to produce liquid fuel directly.
Taiwan Gold Medal on tap. Nothing special, really, but cheap and quite drinkable. And being locally produced, it's quite fresh, especially from the keg.
Beer is certainly "stuff that matters." And the fact that condensation transfers heat to the surface of the glass may be "news" to some folks. But the number of "nerds" who didn't already know this must be quite small.
OTOH, it's an excuse to talk about beer. Matter of fact, I'm having one right now.
So now Bitcoin becomes the province of "big iron" players like the gubmint and TBTF banksters. Great.
Fertilizer helps, but we'd rather not use that in a high enough degree to make it viable.
What Europe "needs" if it wants to increase production and/or land use is holistic/organic methods, such as intensive managed grazing, pasture cropping, and permaculture design. This would have multiple beneficial knock-on effects...
1. Increase production.
2. Decrease chemical inputs.
3. Decrease fuel and capital costs.
4. Mitigate flood/drought cycles.
5. Increase carbon sequestration.
6. Increase biomass and biodiversity.
7. Decrease the need for veterinary pharamceuticals.
8. Replenish eroded topsoil.
Google a bit on "Joel Salatin", "Geoff Lawton" and "Allan Savory" for some excellent videos on this subject.
No, the focus is precisely on increasing profits for Monsanto, ADM, and Ciba-Geigy.
Sell herbicide resistant seed -> sell herbicide -> $$$
Growing more crops is just a necessary marketing feature. If they could make more money by selling products that grow less food, they would do that instead.
So now we've got rockets that run Linux... I'm shocked, shocked! that no one has stooped low enough to say this yet, so let me be the first to stoop...
Can you imagine having a Beowulf Cluster of THESE?!
diesels are already multifuel vehicles
And thus you show that you missed my point entirely. When you pass a universal standard on new car sales, you effectively guarantee a market for alternative fuels, and that's when your neighborhood gas station decides to put in a 100% methanol pump, because they know that at least all new car sales will be flex-fuel.
You can talk all day about how many cars are available with a flex-fuel option, but until it's the standard, there won't be widespread adoption among fuel vendors. That is the key element that makes it possible to "flip" the market and destroy the monopoly of oil.
We (the USA) currently spend about $400bn/yr on oil imports. We have plenty of "extra" space to grow the necessary non-food crops for this purpose. Anyone who is interested in reducing our economic losses would be well advised to start with this obvious trade imbalance.
AFAIK, currently some cars are flex-fuel, but not all, and on many it's optional (plus, not all can handle methanol). If I were buying a car today, I'd certainly go with a fully flex-capable one (since I can't afford a Tesla). Last time I checked, the bulk price of methanol was about $1.50/gal, and as you note, it can be made "at home" from a wide variety of feedstocks... yard waste, for example.
The jump from ethanol to methanol is important because it takes fuel out of competition with food. Ethanol (at the moment) is hard to make from anything that doesn't contain starch or sugar, whereas methanol can be made from sawdust, or just about anything almost.
We should implement an open-fuel standard, requiring all new cars to be flex-fuel capable. That would break the monopoly of oil as a transportation fuel, bringing real competition for the first time in a century. More importantly, fully flex-fuel vehicles can run on methanol just as well as ethanol (or any mix of these and/or gasoline). Thus, fuel crops would not have to compete with food crops for agricultural resources, since methanol can be made from any type of biomass. This would also have the added benefit of boosting ag markets in developing countries and making them -- the whole world really -- less dependent on petroleum.
I read a fascinating book about the concepts of left/right and asymmetry some years ago called Right Hand Left Hand. It explores asymmetry at all levels, from the molecular to the galactic, including human anatomy, evolution, protein folding, DNA... tons of interesting characters and anecdotes. There is also a website which has some book notes, reviews and questionnaires. http://www.righthandlefthand.com/
Thom Hartmann has been talking about this for several years already. I'm not sure why this is suddenly in the news again, but I'm glad it is.