Depressing Realization of the Day
In which I write down all those musings of which the world has been horribly deprived until this moment. (Progressive Politics, Liberal Religion, Sex, and the occasional abnormality that bubbles forth from goodness knows where.)
To get that micro-blast of heat, the National Ignition Facility (NIF) uses lasers---coherent light---at a massive scale. Laser engineer Moses notes that photons are perfect for the job: "no mass, no charge, just energy."Video here. (I guess on the scale of the whole universe there is such a thing as peak hydrogen, but we'll let subsequent generations worry about that.)
Moses ran a dramatic video showing how a shot at the NIF works. 20-foot-long slugs of amplified coherent light (10 nanoseconds) travel 1,500 yards and converge simultaneously through 192 beams on the tiny target, compressing and heating it to fusion ignition, with a yield of energy 10 to 100 times of what goes into it. Successful early test shots suggest that the NIF will achieve the first ignition within the next few months, and that shot will be heard round the world.
There is no such thing as peak hydrogen.
In response to a flood of Facebook and YouTube videos that depict police abuse, a new trend in law enforcement is gaining popularity. In at least three states, it is now illegal to record any on-duty police officer.Egad. Whenever people with guns and the power to arrest you want to push the cameras away, that seems bad news to me. We need armed police. But we also need them to use their power very carefully and be held accountable when they abuse it. I think these laws should be overturned.
Even if the encounter involves you and may be necessary to your defense, and even if the recording is on a public street where no expectation of privacy exists.
To be blunt, our politicians and policymakers are overly deferential to police officers and overly concerned with establishing "tough on crime" credentials. As a result, they are far too often hesistant to establish common sense regulations and checks on abuses of power, not to mention being unduly wedded to harsh sentences for non-violent offenses (see, ie, the disastrous "War on Drugs").
But the above cited abuse of power is unjust, undemocratic and fails the standards of any proper liberal society. It would be nice if our leaders had the courage to actually do something about it.
Five of the funniest web URLs
- Experts Exchange – a site where programmers can trade advice – is found at www.expertsexchange.com
- La Drape – a British company selling high-end quilted bedspreads – is listed at www.ladrape.co.uk
- American Scrap Metal – a scrap metal recycling firm – has its website at www.angelfire.com/alt/americanscrapmetal
- Speed of Art – a collective or art designers – are online at www.speedofart.com
- Therapist Finder – a directory for therapy services – can be located at www.therapistfinder.com