Monday, 27 February 2012

Space Elevator

Can i have floor 32,000 please?...

It seems Japan have got the ball rolling to create a space elevator. For those who don't know what this is, it is an elevator... INTO SPACE. Great news for affordable star-seeing and even could be good news for space travel as we know it.

The project will be undertaken by the Obayashi Corp from Tokyo and will be built using Carbon Nanotubes which are twenty times stronger than steel. The elevator will be going up a quarter of the way to the moon which is approximately 96,000 kilometers up. Awesome.

I wonder how much it would be to take a ride. Anyway they want to finish the project by 2050 so there is still time to dream yet.

The full article is from

The article is also here:

It may be possible to travel to space in an elevator as early as 2050, a major construction company has announced.
Obayashi Corp., headquartered in Tokyo, on Monday unveiled a project to build a gigantic elevator that would transport passengers to a station 36,000 kilometers above the Earth.
For the envisaged project, the company would utilize carbon nanotubes, which are 20 times stronger than steel, to produce cables for the space elevator.
The idea of space elevators has been described in several science-fiction novels. Obayashi, however, believes it is possible to construct one in the real world thanks to carbon nanotubes, which were invented in the 1990s, the company said.
Some other organizations have also been studying the development of space elevators, such as the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
In Obayashi's project, a cable would be stretched up to 96,000 kilometers, or about one-fourth of the distance between the Earth and the moon. One end of the cable would be anchored at a spaceport on the ground, while the other would be fitted with a counterweight.
The terminal station would house laboratories and living space. The car could carry up to 30 people to the station at 200 kilometers per hour, which would mean a 7-1/2 day trip to reach the station. Magnetic linear motors are one possible means of propulsion for the car, according to Obayashi.
Solar power generation facilities would also be set up around the terminal station to transmit power to the ground, the company added.
Whether carbon nanotubes can be mass-produced economically enough and whether various organizations from around the world can work together are two key issues facing the development of the space elevator, according to the company.
"At this moment, we cannot estimate the cost for the project," an Obayashi official said. "However, we'll try to make steady progress so that it won't end just up as simply a dream."
(Feb. 22, 2012)
Thanks Obayashi Corp.


Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Airports and security

Random little postage today, the other day on google plus i commented on a post by Brian Brushwood in which he said this.

'Just minutes ago at the airport, I opted out of the full body scan, as I always do. During the full-body pat down, I remained cheerful and friendly (again, as I always do). But something happened today that I've never before experienced:

TSA agent Charles (I won't give his last name, as I don't want to cause any kind of punishment or retribution), asked me why I chose to opt out. I gave him my usual answer, that I'm one of those misty-eyed constitutionalists... One of those crazy folk who believe that if we're going to have a highly-intrusive search, it should be awkward for both of us.

"Oh, but you're thinking of those older scanners, that showed the whole naked body. These are totally different; they just show a yellow square."

This gave me pause, because my position is more nuanced: understand, I'll dance completely naked through the TSA checkpoint on a dare. I could care less about people seeing my naughty bits. It's the fact that the fourth amendment states, unequivocally:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

It means that unless you're under suspicion for a specific crime, the government has no business checking through your stuff. None at all. Your business is your own. It doesn't matter if you're in line at the bank, at Taco Bell, or at the airport, the government only has the right to search you if they specifically suspect you of being involved in a crime. This was so important to the founders, they wrote it into the constitution... right alongside the right to speak your mind freely and protect your family with a weapon.

I hate the normalization of these intrusive searches. And I hate the scanners even more: They're a magic trick. A way to make something highly intrusive and unconstitutional feel completely civilized and normal. And me, refusing to play their silly game is my little quiet protest against it.

I did my best to explain my position, and was shocked by his response: with the friendliest of tones, he patiently explained to me:

"Well, if you ask me, it's about time the constitution was re-written. That was hundreds of years ago."

...There was not a hint of hostility in his voice, and not a sliver of malice. It was as obvious as pointing out that they sky is up and the ground is down. And if he is this comfortable sharing this opinion with his hand down my pants, I have no doubt it's a popular sentiment among his co-workers.'

The post got plenty of comments and i decided to comment about my recent flight, which was my first ever time on a plane.
  This was my essay/comment.

'Very good post, wish us english folks had a constitution like you guys, it seems the majority of our laws are made up as they go along.

Recently on my first trip abroad (Las Vegas(For the magics)), i had my first full body scan and had a nice surprise when i got out the little scanning booth(?) the guard asked me to remain still and to raise my arms and then proceeded to call for assistance as the scanner had found metal of some kind unbeknownst to me within my right bicep. I was pretty freaked out i didn't move, obviously. I kept my cool as much as i could followed orders, bare in mind i was a airport virgin at 23 and got rescanned with everyone staring and i could hear the guards ask each other if they had stab vests on. I picked up on alot at that moment from the folks making comments to twitchy looking guards who were seemingly growing in numbers. NOT FUN.

At that moment when i go rescanned they in fact detected nothing and was thrown through like the obvious piece of shit i was to them.

Nothing seemed to say welcome any better i'm sure. So yeah maybe i may want them to feel some of that indignity and awkwardness next time.

Sorry about the rant, i just had to share and that is the short version.

Thank you kindly.'

Thinking about it now my comment on his post is more of a blog post than a random comment. Hopefully this makes sense to you all.


Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Recommendation 1 - Andrew Mayne

Just a short post, Andrew Mayne has recently started uploading a new podcast audiobook on Itunes.
And this is my recommendation... GET IT and get it now. I haven't had time to listen yet as it will be some good bedtime listening for me.

But everything Andrew Mayne does is golden, his magic is amzing, his podcasts are exciting and books are riveting. This post might as wel just say ANDREW MAYNE. He has the brains of a science wizard and the skills of a master magician.

Here is a link straight to the podcast.

When the citizens of Boston begin to go missing in the fog in 1890, it’s up to the mysterious Smith, inventor and adventurer, to figure out what’s going on with the help of his assistant, April Malone. They’ll have to face off against a secret society, corrupt policemen and a mad psychologist hell-bent on dissecting Smith, in order to find out what’s going on and to save the city from a graver threat.
This 4.5 hour science adventure novella is the first story about Smith, a mixture of Tony Stark, Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who.

I might as well just plug the rest of his stuff here too while i'm here.

His own site for his magics -

Weird things website and podcast for weird stories and strange news from around the world or mainly eastern europe in many cases -

He is also one of the mayne (see what i did there) guys behind a very good magic news and review site -

He seems to also be a regular guest on anther podcast too -

Also he works with the JREF now and then to help promote skepticism and to help administer tests -

I will start doing alot of recommendations on here, due to me reading, listening, watching and playing alot.


Sunday, 5 February 2012


So today i found myself getting bored so i thought why not make a stupid short video.
This is the result, after thinking what i should do i came up with the idea of creating a video which would help people seeing the nice in things such as when people say WTF i normally think well this..

Yes it is stupid and no i don't care. But it kinda shows its easy to be nice. It stopped me being bored for about ten minutes so i guess its a win. Anyway cheers for reading.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012


So i got a new book for Christmas and it is awesome. Written by Richard Wiseman who is the Professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology and a Magician. He is on wordpress too. The book is an assorted collection of social and psychological experiments and may be one of the most interesting books i've read in quite a while.

The book covers jokes, luck, fake smiles, personal ads, charisma and how our personalities are shaped when we are born among loads of other interesting bits and bobs.
Go and buy the book now its cheap on Amazon

The definitive quirky psychology, including the science of charisma, how to detect lies and how our personalities are shaped by when we are born.

If you are interested in psychology or social experiments, just get this book. From reading this book i now realise why people act in certain ways. Its interesting to put into use the things found in this book at work, it helps you realise how others think in different situations too.

Maybe i'll get time to blog more soon seeing as though i have just over a weeks holiday.

Sorry about the way this is written, this isn't the greatest post i've done. It seems my brain is fried.