Living on Titania?

A lot of articles on science floating around the internet is just filler.  Some of it’s more intriguing or interesting than other stuff.  Some I find really fascinating.  This particular article, I don’t.  It’s just useless:

Living on Titania: Uranus’ Moon Explained (Infographic)

That seems simple enough.  It’s got some text, and a nifty graphic:

Space.com infographic

However, the content is pointless.  Living on Titania?  Let’s look at this briefly and logically:

  • It has no air.  You’d suffocate immediately.
  • It has no water.  You’d starve pretty quickly.
  • The average temperature is -333 degrees, you’d freeze to death very quickly.
  • It has no gravity.  If you jumped or tripped, you’d be sucked into Uranus and die a flaming death.
  • It’s night is 42 YEARS long.  That would get kinda boring.
  • It’s daylight is 42 YEARS long.  You’d die of exhaustion.
  • It’s day is 84 YEARS long.  You’d die of old age in less than a day.  Given of course, you’d didn’t suffocate, starve, freeze to death, or die a flaming death falling into Uranus ( yeah, I’m have fun with Uranus. )
  • And, you’d have no cell service, which means no internet, which means you would have nothing at all to do during your one day of suffering on Titania.

Let’s focus on living on really fun places like Enceladus, Io, or Europa?

 

CFLs

I hate CFLs.  When they came along, it was the height of the Global Warming scare, and they, along with bio-diesels, were the cure for the planet.  All we had to do was spend $20 for what used to be $1, and all was well.  Since they lasted seven years or more, that $20 would more than make up for itself in lower electric bills.

Yeah.  Right.

I had just built a new house, so I replaced all the incandescent bulbs.  Probably spent about $500 doing it.  My electric bill would be nothing.

Only problem was, I had to replace a bunch of them after a month or so.  By six months I was in double digits.  And, to make matters worse, I wasn’t even disposing them correctly.  I was just tossing them in the garbage.  How WRONG could that be?  THIS is the proper disposal method:

Take the CFL bulbs to the recycling or Hazmat disposal point. Prepare bulbs for transport by wrapping them in cushioning materials to reduce the likelihood of breakage. A bulb breakage in transit will require you to exit your car, and possibly necessitate hiring a specialized decontamination service. (See References 2.)

Seems rather harsh for a light bulb dontcha think?  And, I’m gonna bet that Hazmat bill alone would eat up whatever savings I was supposed to get for paying $20 for a $1 bulb.

But, it doesn’t stop there.  I have had more than one EXPLODE.  You wanna see what you’re supposed to do if one breaks?  This, is according to the Environmental Protection Agency.  And, you really DON’T want to mess with them.

Before Cleanup

  • Have people and pets leave the room.
  • Air out the room for 5-10 minutes by opening a window or door to the outdoor environment.
  • Shut off the central forced air heating/air-conditioning system, if you have one.
  • Collect materials needed to clean up broken bulb:
    • stiff paper or cardboard;
    • sticky tape;
    • damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes (for hard surfaces); and
    • a glass jar with a metal lid or a sealable plastic bag.

During Cleanup

  • DO NOT VACUUM.  Vacuuming is not recommended unless broken glass remains after all other cleanup steps have been taken.  Vacuuming could spread mercury-containing powder or mercury vapor.
  • Be thorough in collecting broken glass and visible powder.  Scoop up glass fragments and powder using stiff paper or cardboard.  Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder. Place the used tape in the glass jar or plastic bag.  See the detailed cleanup instructions for more information, and for differences in cleaning up hard surfaces versus carpeting or rugs.
  • Place cleanup materials in a sealable container.

After Cleanup

  • Promptly place all bulb debris and cleanup materials, including vacuum cleaner bags, outdoors in a trash container or protected area until materials can be disposed of.  Avoid leaving any bulb fragments or cleanup materials indoors.
  • Next, check with your local government about disposal requirements in your area, because some localities require fluorescent bulbs (broken or unbroken) be taken to a local recycling center. If there is no such requirement in your area, you can dispose of the materials with your household trash.
  • If practical, continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the heating/air conditioning system shut off for several hours.

Now, with my old incandescent bulbs, that didn’t explode, and didn’t contain mercury, and didn’t emit radiation, I just tossed them in the trash.  True story, I did just toss yet another CFL in my garbage last week.  It had been in an outside lamp in the driveway.  Our temps dropped to about fifteen below and killed it.  It was kinda black and a little shattered.  I imagine it heated too hot too fast and cracked.  So, I stuck a brand new LED lamp in it and just tossed the CFL in the garbage.  The next morning, the garbage had been taken.  The whole garbage can was empty except for one item.  That CFL.  Apparently they’re so dangerous even the landfill doesn’t want them.

When I originally started griping about CFLs, the Feds had banned incandescent bulbs and the only alternative was the environmentally and health safety disaster that was the CFL.  Now LED’s are becoming price competitive with CFL’s, don’t contain the nasty stuff in them, don’t emit radiation that I’m aware of, and seem to last more than a couple of months.

I think the EPA needs to just go ahead and ban CFL’s so that we can once again jump in blindly into a technology before we have a clue what we’re doing to appease people who cite bad science to justify something that’s not happening.

Ballsiest guy of all time

Nothing screams balls more than this:

On Feb. 12, 1984, astronaut Bruce McCandless, ventured further away from the confines and safety of his ship than any previous astronaut had ever been. This space first was made possible by a nitrogen jet propelled backpack, previously known at NASA as the Manned Manuevering Unit or MMU. After a series of test maneuvers inside and above Challenger’s payload bay, McCandless went “free-flying” to a distance of 320 feet away from the Orbiter. This stunning orbital panorama view shows McCandless out there amongst the black and blue of Earth and space.

Seriously, the only thing between you and the ground is two hundred miles of nothing.  You just have to trust that your jetpack won’t fail, and you won’t fall.  Not sure I have the balls to do that.

10 inches and counting of global warming

About that global warming thingy, Boston is not the only place shattering records for snowfall.  In a place that normally gets about six inches a year in snow, we have ten inches on the ground with possibly another three or four coming tonight.  AND, if things hold up, we will set FIVE record low temps this week in five days.  We’re even going sub-zero for three consecutive days.  People, this isn’t even New England.  This is Kentucky.

 

Deep Space Climate Observatory launch

This was a perfect, beautiful, launch:

In case you’re wondering what the Deep Space Climate Observatory is, it is replacing the Advanced Composition Explorer.

What that thing has done since 1997 is measure, most importantly, what is coming from the Sun at the Earth.  All those solar storm warnings you see?  That’s ACE stuff.  Satellites don’t last forever and ACE was expected to die anytime now.

Now, you don’t have to worry about not having that one hour warning when the next solar storm is going to hit the Earth.

The Challenger Explosion

On January 28, 1986 I was attending college at Eastern Kentucky University. It was between classes so I was at the run down old house I rented at the time with a bunch of guys watching one of those old very large floor tv’s. Shuttle launches had become very routine and weren’t always televised. So, I sat down to watch the Challenger launch with most of mind set on whatever class issues I had coming up. This video probably looks a lot like what I saw at the time because I was watching CNN.

I did go to class, but I didn’t concentrate very well. I absolutely LOVED the Shuttle program and was pretty much convinced that due to the lagging public interest, this might every well have killed the entire program. As it was, it did shut down the Shuttle program for a couple of years.  They redesigned the shuttles, and they finally retired them in 2011.  From that point forward, NASA has had no capability of putting a man in space at all.  However, in 2011, I made it a point to take my son and go watch what was thought to be the last Shuttle launch.  Congress funded one more after that tho.  Nothing compares to being up close and personal ( about seven miles ), to a Shuttle launch.

Where ya gonna go?

Woke up to these tweets from NASA:

Recap: #ISS crew inside Russian segment after a coolant pressure alarm. No signs of a leak. Controllers are assessing. 11 a.m. EST TV update

About 7:50 a.m. EST: A live #NASA TV update on the situation aboard #ISS. Watch nasa.gov/nasatv

This would just terrify me if I were there. Where exactly you gonna go in an emergency? Sure, there are escape pods, but what if you don’t have enough time to get to them? You’re talking just a few inches of metal separating you from instant death 24/7.

The astronauts there have balls most people never even dream of having.

This is turning out to be a false alarm, but still……

Dragon docks

I never get tired of this stuff.  The imagery is always stunning to me.

Dragon docks

Even though Obama has set US space travel back about thirty years, it’s probably a chance for a new generation to experience the thrills I did growing up as we once again reach out to the Moon and beyond.

That’s about as optimistic as I am right now dealing with a President with no vision at all. Even though SpaceX is doing ok, man still can’t leave Earth’s gravity for the first President since Johnson.