Wimminz – celebrating skank ho's everywhere

July 30, 2014

It’s science Jim, but not as we know it..

So, a staple of science fiction, the incredibly strong materials…

It fucking pisses me off…. here’s why.

Basically, we already know all the elements that can exist or occur naturally, sure, there is conjecture about some transuranics, and there is conjecture that somewhere in there is an island of stability, eg once you make said elements, they stay made, instead of immediately spontaneously decaying towards lead.

We also already know pretty much all there is about chemical bonds, HCCH (Acetylene) is so energetic because of the triple bond between the two carbon atoms.

Elements chemically bonding into substances and materials, yeah, we pretty much know all there is to know about that too, at least in structural terms

Sure, there *might* be an element with an atomic number of 360 (number pulled out of my ass, 30 x Carbon 12) which was both chemically and radioactively stable, once you manufactured it… but it will weigh literally 4 to 5 times as much as lead per cubic foot, and no doubt costs to manufacture would be so eye wateringly high it would make inkjet ink look at cheap as tap water, the only possible uses for such a material is if it were *so* strong you could build a space elevator out of it that could raise the titanic in one lift, or so refractory you could use it to line a fusion bottle rocket, in short, it would have to have some almost magically unexpected, but THEORETICALLY physically possible properties.

Which brings me back to just about every single sci-fi book I have ever read, and even the greats like Niven and Asimov have each conjured up more than one such mythical material.

Now, the absence of evidence, is not evidence of absence, but also, as Locard said “physical evidence cannot be wrong, it cannot perjure itself, it cannot be wholly absent” (with the caveat that there is a huge gulf between actual physical evidence, and a claimed expert interpretation of what that evidence means…)… so there can be stuff we don’t know about yet, because we haven’t looked hard enough or in the right places or in the right way…

So sure, there is a vast chasm in between the green and blue bold text above, but, this is the real world, whatever fits in between, it has to obey the same laws as everything else, and not contradict either the green or blue statements, which, in total, means that even if we do not know what DOES or MIGHT exist between the green and blue text, we sure as shit CAN set some absolute upper and lower boundaries on all sorts of properties of these imaginary materials.

To be sure, there is another way, you can take some semiconductors and apply just the right sort of electrical power to them and they transform into electro-luminescent panels, so there might theoretically be some way to design some material that contains materials science and engineering, so it has a STRUCTURE, and there might be some way to energise that structure so that once energised it had properties that were way out of proportion to what it had before.

But making something 3 mm thick that can repel a bullet strike better than a 6 mm steel plate? Possibly, but you’re already pushing physical law, subatomic physics, chemical bonds, strong and weak molecular forces, so how about a 3mm thick material that can repel a strike better than 300 mm steel?…. no… fucking…. chance…

It defies physical law.

Then, in real life, it’s all roundabouts and swings, diamonds are as hard as fuck, but an oxyacetylene torch will burn them trivially, as easy as a butane lighter will burn tobacco…. Diamonds also shatter easy, put one on an ordinary anvil and whack it with an ordinary 18 oz ball pein hammer.. diamond dust…

…yet in SF land not only does the wonder material shrug off high velocity rounds, it also shrugs off lasers, high temperatures (thermal lance temperatures) oxidation, reduction, chemical reaction of any kind with common substances, etc etc etc.

It’s bullshit, all total utter bullshit.

Niven’s Ringworld is not merely a particularly egregious example, it is so far out there it is world record bullshit, 100 metres of scrith is as resistant to neutrinos as 100 light years of lead, and as for tensile strength, well, it is at the very least on a par with the strong nuclear force, but not over distances of 0.000000000000001 Metre, oh no, over the billion kilometre circumference of the ringworld, a single artefact…

Magic monkeys and unicorns flying out of my ass in formation while singing Jerusalem in perfect Klingon is untold orders of magnitude more probable, likely and realistic.

Yeah, we could possibly one day build an actual honest to god spaceship 750 metres long, which as ocean going ships goes is about 1.5 supertankers, and, EXACTLY like the structure of the Burj Dubai, it could, on the “lower” decks at least, carry significant mass while the whole structure is accelerated at one gravity…

But 25 G?? it would collapse as quickly as the twin towers did, literally, at free fall speeds, and yes, 25G is survivable, in theory, for a human, just immerse them in a liquid capsule and breathe liquid too, yes, that is science fiction, but it is not unreasonable science fiction, Project Orion, you ever wondered why it never got past theory, because you couldn’t build a spaceship big enough to support it’s own weight and absorb a steady series of nuclear blasts below it to drive it in to orbit.

Both the Russians and Yanks built nuclear rockets, run a reactor *real* hot, only cooled by the supersonic gases fed into it, which were heated and irradiated by the naked (lighter that way see) reactor core, to form an exhaust jet and thrust.

It was in nuclear terms as dirty as all fucking get out, but what killed it was you just couldn’t get the thrust, not even to fly an long range plane, much less make escape velocity in a 100 metre cargo ship.

A naked fusion rocket flame might do it, might…. can you imagine a place, a port, that had say one 100 metre cargo ship land from and return to orbit every other day, 365 *fucking*mahoosive* naked fusion rockets per year, at that one location or “port”, and without even bothering to even guesstimate the orders of magnitude of energy involved, you just *have* to be looking at each landing and take off liberating energy on a scale best measured in things like “Hiroshimas”

Hell, if Canaveral got the job you’d probably get a tan from the flame in Alabama and be able to hear it in Texas…. Pripyat/Chernobyl would look like a health spa to folks in Orlando.

Hey, no worries, we’ll just invent anti-gravity perpetual motion machines that violate every law of thermodynamics, who needs a fucking fusion reactor, just build a hydro dam and pump the water back up to the top by anti gravity, cos otherwise the anti-gravity device would require a power source equivalent to the reaction jet device, and you can’t get CERN in a family runabout… too big and heavy see.

Next thing you know you’ve got fucking tie fighters and x-wings pulling fucking acrobatic stunts in a vacuum, and system wide space battles that have battle commanders on bridges with screens that display everything, even the stuff light hours away across the system, in real time… hey, we’d better just invent hyperwave too…

Fucking Star Trek had a lot to answer for, they had to have some plot device for getting from the ship to planet surface and back again so Kirk could fuck green bitches up the ass, and there literally wasn’t the budget to build a prop shuttle-craft and hangar bay, so hey, we’d better invent the transporter, beam me up scotty.

Fucking slaphead Puh-card uses the same technology, when he asks for a cup of earl grey, in the process doing enough mass energy conversion to make the Tsar bomb at 50 megatons look like a children’s sparkler, nobody bats a fucking eyelid, I know, we can point our phasers at the dilithium crystals and recharge them that way, and then  we can get warp speed, wow, it just might fucking work kraptain, well, it worked in *last* week’s episode asshole…

But hey, you gotta give audiences what they WANT… right….

The rule of thumb is it takes about 10 kWh to get 1 Kg into low earth orbit.

The second rule of thumb is it costs you about 10,000 times what the energy in the first rule of thumb costs.

So, out 100 metre cargo shuttle is going to be similar to a similar cargo ship, that’s about 1000 TEU, and 1 TEU is basically a 20 foot container, which is basically up to 24 metric tons.

So, if it takes 10 kWh to get 1 Kg into LEO, it takes 10 MMH to get one Tonne into LEO, 24 MWH to get one TEU into LEO, and 24 GWH to get our 100 metre cargo shuttle to LEO

If a KWH at commercial rates is 10c (US) then a MHW is US$100 and a GWH is $100,000 and 24 GWH is $2.4 million, but, remembering our second rule of thumb, that will actually cost you $24 billion.

That is one very small cargo shuttle, a mere 1000 TEU, the Maersk line ship Emma carries 11,000 TEU, cal it a quarter of a trillion bucks between friends.

This isn’t a port, this isn’t even a schedule, this is a one off, one shipment one way.

A small-ish port, call it that amount per week, call it a 10/12 trillion bucks per year.

Hey Houston, we got a problem, total WORLD economic output is around 90 trillion bucks, so basically if the entire planet co-operated as one and renounced all military spending, we could run one small space-port with one single shipment per week, in volume terms, about 4% of what the single port of Rotterdam handles.

As a basis for a serious go at building a lunar colony, yeah, 11,000 containers a week (remember, they have to hold *everything* you could or will possibly want) will get ya there.

As a basis for an economy that would support even one single country the size of Holland, errrr, nope…..  you’re talking more like the canary islands, not real country sized shit.

Parallels to 18th century colonialism, vast sums of money only the most wealthy economies on the planet could even consider, thrown at it year after year in the hope of a payoff 20 or 30 or 40 years down the line…

Society and people today, no, fucking, concept….

All the vast sums spent today getting shit into orbit, 99% of that shit is satellites, and that means something about the size and weight of a domestic washing machine.

That shit wouldn’t keep the Pitcairn islanders afloat, much less the big island of Hawaii, which is the starting point for a lunar colony complex enough to be on the way to self sustaining…




  1. Eh, somewhat reasonable, except “so how about a 3mm thick material that can repel a strike better than 300 mm steel?…. no… fucking…. chance…”
    A thin layer of sheet metal liquified and propelled sideways rapidly enough to feed a fuckton of material into the incoming round does pretty much that.
    What is reactive armor?

    Comment by Digger Nick — July 30, 2014 @ 9:46 pm

    • what is reactive armour… what it is not is something that is basically unchanged after the reaction, and able to take iterative impacts on the same spot…. >;*)

      Comment by wimminz — July 30, 2014 @ 9:51 pm

      • Yeah, point is tough, workarounds like that get us somewhere. It’s the clever hacks that built the world. Thing is, predicting the next set of clever hacks mathematicians and physicists invent, eh, fucking impossible.

        That, and we might be reaching the limits of what the human brain can do here.

        Comment by Digger Nick — August 1, 2014 @ 6:16 pm

  2. Yeah, it´s all BS until somebody finds a way.
    Bronze was also the hardest thing ever imaginable until someone got visited by a space alien or something and got told how to make steel by mixing shit with iron.
    I guess that´s the basic assumption every SF author operated under.
    Not thinking about it too hard, with a big “fuckit lets get to my story now”.

    Totally agreed, 10kWh=1KG to LEO and thus the NASA moonbase or even marsbase bullshit.
    Chemical rocketry is a complete canard, it should´ve been only the first baby-step soon followed by actually feasible propulsion systems.
    But that was NEVER the intention for this tech nor of any GOVERNMENT space program.

    Imagine if the wage slaves actually had a feasible way of planet.
    I´m sure many a Russian, German and Austrian general and politician were glad WW1 started and all their little peasants couldn´t fuck of to America anymore.

    Comment by hans — July 31, 2014 @ 2:02 pm

  3. http://survivalblog.com/frustrations-of-prepping-with-an-unsupportive-spouse-by-b-c/

    “Unsupportive spouse”, so whats the reason for getting married then, if one cant hope for a supportive spouse?

    Comment by freeman — July 31, 2014 @ 4:53 pm

    • Great link.
      Yeah, that guy is going to be in a world of hurt. Especially if he thinks his cupcake will have his back once the actual SHTF starts.

      Though it´s a bit out of place here, why not come to the forum( http://men-going-their-own-way.net ) and post a thread there.

      Comment by hans — July 31, 2014 @ 9:32 pm

      • Been there, may come back some day, but currently going through some legal shit. It’s all fun and games until it’s your door their knocking on. Seriously.

        Comment by freeman — August 1, 2014 @ 1:16 am

  4. I can forgive Niven, because he said “Hey – let’s introduce this one magical box into the universe, and talk about the weird and unexpected consequences.” It was based on bullshit, but he knew it was bullshit, and it encouraged critical thinking.

    Star Trek, though – any time I hear some berk claim that Star Trek was based upon ‘actual science’ (having a physics undergrad fill in blank parts of the script with sciencey words is not science), or that it predicted technology, I want to punch said berk in the throat.

    I suppose all aliens are bipedal, and we’ll be able to breed with them, too?

    Star Trek is fantasy, pure and simple, with a less worked-out rule system than the magic in D&D. It’s fine if you approach it as that, but these middling-IQ ‘geniuses’ need to insist that it’s hard science fiction.

    Comment by Aurini — July 31, 2014 @ 7:15 pm

    • Star trek got around the difficulties of a transporter being incapable of exactly copying the quantum structure of a human being by inventing a “Heisenberg compensator” (referencing the Heisenberg uncertainty principle of the inability to simultaneously know the position and momentum of a particle at the same time). I’m not sure what’s more incredible about the series– the technological inconsistencies, or 20th century socialism working in the 24th century.

      Comment by freeman — August 1, 2014 @ 1:14 am

      • So what WOULD a Trek post-scarcity civilization need money for?
        Communism (socialism for our ´merican comrades) was a great Gedankenexperiment marred by the typical need of elites to control the masses.

        A people with a little fusion reactor and a replicator in the basement would be truly free and very much decentralized.
        It would maybe look like communism at first glance. But no elite´s goon/commisair in his right mind would try to raise taxes or check for the partybook of such a man.

        Of course this needs a total reset of especially the minds of man.
        Pretty much everybody you meet today would just stay in his side of the fishtank if presented with such a radical concept.

        Comment by hans — August 1, 2014 @ 8:35 am

        • They’d need it for the accounting.

          A post-scarcity civilization would have to be the most uber-capitalist society that ever existed for it to last more than 5 years. It just so happens that we’re living in a post-scarcity civilization – and the lack of capitalism is destroying us.

          (Note: we’d also have to be ‘above capitalism’, or above consumerism at least – post-scarcity also collapses when people work 60 hours a week to buy toys they don’t need or enjoy, just to impress their neighbours).

          Comment by Aurini — August 8, 2014 @ 5:26 pm

          • whaaat? Are you trying to say my oculus quiff kegel pad deluxe is a toy?????
            What are you, some sort of fucking commie…. >;*)

            Comment by wimminz — August 8, 2014 @ 6:33 pm

  5. sci-fi writers are entertainers, not engineers and physicists

    Comment by Joe — July 31, 2014 @ 8:30 pm

    • TV and movie? Absofuckinlutely.
      Just look at what a damn circus Jew.Jew.”mysterybox” Abrams turned Star Trek into.
      Granted, there wasn´t THAT grand a vision in it, but still a vision nonetheless.

      Not a planet full of Googlglass9000 wearing yuppies flying lensflare spaceships. All the while the fukken wimminz phone operator is giving the first Officer lip then attitude followed by even more ´tude.

      Comment by hans — July 31, 2014 @ 10:13 pm

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