Monday, August 31, 2015

Death Star Math


So there's this realty company named Movoto, and they somehow grew a sense of humor, despite being a realty company.

Death Star

Not only are they funny, they are space enthusiasts! On the Movato blog, they profess an admiration for SpaceX, and say they have been inspired by commercial space initiatives to think up interesting ways to relate to space!  Hey, don't most of us do this all day?

On this same blog is an amusing info graphic about how many average homes could fit into the DeathStar, and I'm digging whomever they go to complete their artwork.  In terms of working environment, this place must be a hoot. Clink on the link or the picture to see the answer. :)

Launch Your House Into Space

It gets better. Want to know how much money it would take to launch your entire house into space? I tried it. It would take $678 million to put my dwelling up into the black. 

To put that number into perspective, that's just slightly over the nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of Ecuador. 

They don't happen to mention whether you will just be orbiting around Earth in your floating house or if you theoretically get to travel somewhere interesting. Pity, as I was expecting the follow-up graphic to be the mileage to Europa!

Earth's Moon

The space fun doesn't stop there. Last but not least, just how large would a house have to be in order for it to be visible on the moon??

No joke, just a little larger than the city of Houston.  I'm betting we wouldn't lack for construction volunteers on the project, however...when do we leave?  Check out Movoto's site -- but make sure it's when you have some time to kill.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Aluminum Foiled Again


 Inevitably, after any moon landing anniversary, the hoaxers emerge from the timber paneling to bellow about shadows and wind and stars, and all the reasons why thousands of people worked on the Apollo project, "duping the world" -- yet fascinatingly, no whistleblowers have come forward for 5 decades.

Upon a recent entangling with one of these poor souls on Twitter (which we should just re-name "Trollville" at this juncture), I pointed out they might actually be projecting far more competence onto government bureacracies than deserved. The response was "I'll keep my tinfoil hat, thank you."

People still wear tinfoil hats??

MIT's Ali Rahimi
Ali Rahimi of MIT. Seriously.

Horrible news for the Conspiracy Theory Crowd came many moons ago, when an empirical study should have shut down any arguments.

Alas, if you could "reason" with conspiracy theorists, there wouldn't be any conspiracy theorists.

Whether you embrace the contemporary fashion for blocking government beams (or alien beams, in some circles) it turns out that tin foil headgear actually enables mind control!  Go figure.
Oh, Tabby. Not you, too!

Seeking resource links about radio waves (different writing project), I once stumbled over this enlightening piece of news, whereby several scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (who knew they had so much time on their hands?) experimented with various radio frequencies used by the United States government. Would a tin foil hat truly stem the tide of Big Brotherly evil?

Astonishingly, after testing three common helmet styles, MIT researchers found that the tin foil magnified the waves instead of blocking them.

Fashion Statement

So hmm, maybe the aliens among us set this conspiracy theory in motion all along, hoping that tin foil caps would catch on??

You have no idea how much I wish I was making this up:

A quarter million dollars worth of equipment was used, including computer power, a network analyzer, a signal generator and omnidirectional antenna – all used to test signals in various ranges... all to find out that regular old Reynolds foil amplify the bands allocated to the government.

Wernher von Braun
Recently De-classified.

So what CAN one use to block alien beams or government mind-control technology? I have no idea, but I am sure new products for just this purpose are due to hit the market.

Please, please let it be chocolate.