Tuesday, September 5, 2023
Thursday, August 10, 2023
Friday, August 4, 2023
Monday, July 31, 2023
All those atmospheric tests, all that radiation affecting the brain development of human fetuses, anyone born after, say, 1954, is severely and profoundly retarded. And so, our parents, and older brothers and sisters, have worked feverishly to create a Fisher-Price civilization to accommodate all of us Boomers & progeny.Idiocracy.
I told this fantasy at a family gathering once, and got a laugh out of everyone except my parents. They gave me the cold fish eye, and maybe even looked at each other and thought "What do you know, he's on to us".
Tuesday, July 25, 2023
My take on the manosphere is that such is the fate of the dickless right. I wrote a prior essay about this, called The Interminable Dicklessness of the Political Right. Feel free to read it before continuing.
I had a discussion with my brother about this. He considers himself a conservative and all the squawking hens on the media are, according to him, not conservative. They are the radical right. The last vestige of the so-called patriarchy.
The term has been bandied about, and though I consdier it a bit simplistic, there is evidence that it is a ephemeral thing, possessed of both imperfection and impermanence. The narrative goes that the patriarchy started with the arrival of horse riding bornze age central asians migrating into Europe. But that is too simplistic an explanation. Archaeological digs of the steppe peoples and their descendants find a lifestyle equivalent to rodeo people today, with all the broken bones and impressive physiques read from their bones. One thing to note is the women are just as busted up and sturdy as the men, indicating no division of labor by sex. Move forward a few thousand years, and my northern barbarian ancestors display a similar lack of division of labor. One can easily find burial mounds of Viking queens as of Viking kings. In fact, Vikings were equal opportunity employers. One can find burial mounds of chiefs who were not ethnically Scandinavia, including one treasure horde found with a viking chieftain of African origins.
Point being the patriarchy is neither permanent nor perfect and situations for the past 99.9999% of human existence shows a shared lifestyle egalitarian and equal.
So, what to make of today's big babies? Case in point: Ben Shapiro annoying little fly was so upset about the Barbie movie that he set dolls on fire. Which means (not unlike Kid Rock shooting up Bud Light cans) he went out and bought the product so he could videotape his temper tantrum.
What to make of this? Aside from the dopamine thrill of media exposure, I can only think to say fucking grow up. Or move to an island of similar weenies to circle stroke the spot where once your peens existed.
Thursday, July 6, 2023
Medium by Adobe, formerly Oculus Medium, is a clay-based 3d modeling program. I've used it since 2018 at least. Five years on and like driving the same car I get more comfortable, less afraid, more poised and graceful in economy of movement. The is as close to clay sculpting in meat space but with magical powers. Anyway, it struck me that I had not done stop motion photography using digital clay. I mean, it should be wild Frankenstein light show, but the figure as ground is my artificial rule and ground is everything.
It took me maybe 30 minutes to an hour for one second of video, but you get mindful of how it strings together in time, the space works itself out as you move stuff and take pictures. We forget our brain is a multi-dimensional survival machine. Butcher, baker, candlestick maker, sure, but first and foremost, warrior.
(It's hard to admit we monkeys are so clever. This little monkey singularity of ours, 100 plus years on and waiting, is 100% electricity. This is the magic of the monkey singularity.)
Update: I've got it down to 5-10 mins per second of video through something called pre-production. I have a automatic machine gun of images pre-loaded and then its mindless repetition, which, hey guess what, perfecto for #AI performance. AI is neither A nor I. I said that back in 1987 and no one was around to hear me say it. So I wrote it down and here it is.
Am I going to continue this boring tedious claymation task inside the computer with VR goggles? Fuckers I've been doing stop motion since junior high. Why I never went into the business was not fear of failure, but of mediocrity.
At the age of ten (TEN) I felt I had lost my creativity, I was losing my edge. I found a book at the public library called Lateral Thinking. I read, then skimmed, then just looked at the pictures through the book without really understanding it, but I did get that a joke is logic sideways, on the x,y,z,t,donut axes. The joke is most of what we do,we do autopilot, because, again, survival machines.
A nuclear booster rocket. No fuckiing way anyone would want this, but- If you use an unshielded core, the weight to thrust vastly exceeds chemical rockets. It has been determined that you can cluster nuclear rockets without them setting each other off, and with the cargo shielded by the hydrogen fuel, an easy ground to orbit and back again, 3-4 runs on one tank of fuel. Radiation? Hell yes! One has to worry about anything within 50 miles of your rocket field (not to mention a tidal wave of legistlation to prevent redress from the atomic rocket corporations I'm guessing Nevada passes state laws to open up atomic rocket ranges.. Nevada is the future of US states)
Anyway, with an unshielded thermal nuclear engine core, you are gettting spectacular blue Cherenkov radiation (eyeballs melting? too close!) from spitfire neutrons hitting atmosphere. Those neutrons are sterilizing everything down to viruses and weird proteins for thousands of yards, and it is the most peculiar form of taxidermy known to this writer.
Your fuel can be the preferred hydrogen, but methane and water will do. The engine is a liberal, of flexible tendencies. Rocket malfunctions are U235 or U233 fuel getting spit out rapidly decaying to the worst product is Strontium-90 which gets in your bones and has the half-life of the average human being. So, ixnay on the ocket-ray.
Thursday, June 22, 2023
Searching through my memory hut, the most comprehensive essay I had on this subject was in this post, Stuck In the 20s. I'm very disappointed in myself. I thought I had gone into more detail than I did.
Recovering from umbilical hernia surgery, I stopped at the library prior to the operation to pick up reading materials, some new and some favorites. I looked for Atomic Accidents by James Mahaffey which had entertained me before and found it checked out. Fortunately, Atomic Adventures by the same author was available, and lo and behold, he had a chapter on the thermal nuclear rocket program. Now, there is any amount of declassified material available on the internet, but few that is understandable to the average US citizen (read: morons). As this was a worthwhile chapter (entitled the Lost Expedition to Mars) I figured I'd provide some of the goodies.
As mentioned in my prior essay, Elon Musk is wasting our time with chemical rockets. Not only is the Solar System out of our grasp with this technology, but simple Earth to Low Orbit transportation is also wasteful and long-term cost ineffective as well. If humans want to exploit space, we need nuclear booster tugs to get stuff out there. Damn the radation and crashes, there is no other way to do it.
So, I have to assume I am stuck in this dark timeline where, rather than dying and frying investigating refractory tehcnologies on Venus, I must watch a catfight between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg in a Las Vegas cage.
Pathetic. Nuclear rockets could have been so easy, that, in some brighter timeline, even the Romans could have made a nuclear rocket, had they the knowledge*. Starting in the the 1950s, Los Alamos scientists got to work building nuclear thermal rockets. This consisted of an atomic pile of graphite and uranium fuel used to heat liquid hydrogen to propel itself. Not to demean the genius and talents of scientists and engineers that worked on it, but, like the atomic pile itself, the thing practically willed itself into existence, given the ease with which matter, arranged properly, obeyed the simple wish to fly up into the sky.
(Seriously, the time from the startup of Enrico Fermi's Chicago Pile 1 until the final experiments which solidified atomic pile reactor design was 90 days. The patent for a neutronic reactor, US Patent number 2,708,656, would not be made public until 1955).
A little known fact is that the nuclear engine, or if you will, the proton rocket engine (given that heated and ejected hydrogen gas particles are protons) was to be the third stage of the Saturn V rocket. Werner von Braun approved it without a flinch, and had not the program been pressed for time, they'd have used it.
Back in the 1950s, the atomic rocket was developed in conjunction with the atomic jet plane, the problem being how to lob these massively huge hydrogen bombs down upon Soviet heads. The bomb was shrunk down enough that conventional rockets would work. (In fact, the thousands of pounds of Sputnik II and Yuri Gargarin's capsule were flung into space atop arrayed banks of WWII V2 rocket engines, much as Musk plans to do with his Buck Rogers dildo Starship). The atomic jet plane was killed off, but work on atomic rockets continued until cancellation in 1973. Imagine what we would have now with proven 50-year-old nuclear rocket technologies.
Doctor Mahaffey: "The advantage of a nuclear rocket over chemical rockets is the efficient use of fuel, as designated by its specfic impulse (SI). SI which is expressed in seconds, is the "hang time" of a rocket, or the maximum number of seconds it can accelerate, balancing against the pull of Earth's gravity and hanging still above the ground. The SI depends on many factors, such as the weight of the fuel which must be carried and the speed of the mass exhaust leaving the engine. The faster the flying gas exits the nozzle, the more reaction is derived, and the speed of the gas is due to its temperature and weight of the gas particles. The lightest possible gas is hydrogen which is the perfect propellent for a nuclear engine. For a chemical engine, the lightest possible (LH2/LOX) combustion product is steam, which is 18 times the weight of a hydrogen particle or proton. The F-1 engines used in the Saturn V, burning kerosene in liquid oxygen, had an SI of 350 seconds. The theoretical limit to a steam exhaust rocket is 450 seconds. A SpaceX Raptor engine has an SI of 380 seconds. The SI for a nuclear rocket starts at 900 seconds and can increase, in theory, into the millions of seconds."
The Rocketdyne F-1 engine, burning through olympic sized pools of propellant, lasted 165 seconds on the first stage of the Saturn V. It could only be started once and its only throttle setting is full thrust. A NERVA nuclear rocket engine can be run for 10 hours, stopped and restarted sixty times (chilled down by space to near absolute zero an brought up to 2750F in minutes, and can throttle from full thrust to barely moving. Reactor core designs, U235 and graphite, pinned together with stainless steel rods and tungsten ranged from 4000 megawatts to 600 megawatts. In May 1971, the smallest refined nuclear engine, Peewee, weighed just 11 pounds and had a SI of 1000 seconds. It ran for two hours at a blistering 4145F degrees.
Doctor Mahaffey: "(from 1955 on, Los Alamos developed) Five reactor (U235) core designs with power ratings ranging from 600 to 2000 megawatts using graphite as a neutron moderator. Their aggressively odd code names were Uncle Tom, Uncle Tung, Bloodhound, Shish, and Old Black Joe".
(Clearly racist names but hand waved away due to working with black-as-ink graphite would quickly turn technicians into black faced, black handed minstrel show characters. Racial sensitivity being nonexistent then, but I can't help feeling there was a grudging recognition that if you wanted sheer brute strength and stamina, old negroe men were an archetype for a nuclear rocket).
"Old Black Joe, designed to run at 1200 megawatts of power, was approved in Novermber 1956 for continued development. The design was upgraded to 2700 megawatts and plans were to use it as for a range-extending second stage for the Atlas missile. This Super Atlas would be capable of parking a heavy H-bomb in geosynchronous orbit hovering above Moscow ready to pounce at a moment's notice. It would be 9.6 feet in in diameter and 96.6 feet high, and to the delight of the Air Force, it would seem a better idea than carrying missiles around in submarines. The bad news was it would take an eye-watering one billion dollars to develop."
(Keep in mind a decade later the US of A would be spending 2 billion dollars a month in Vietnam).
"At this point in 1956, no nuclear rocket engine had ever been built and the technology consisted of designs on paper and a few computer simulations."
(in 1956 95% of all electronic computer calculations were devoted to simulating nuclear processes. Without a burgeoning need for computers from the defense sector, there woudn't have been enough demand for commercial development and you, gentle reader, would not be reading this on a magical glass box)
"The mind numbing list of impossibilities didn't seem to bother the engineering climate of the time. The fuel pump would take a frozen hydrogen slush at -434F, near absolute zero, and push it at a rate of 70 pounds per second into the top of a nuclear reactor running at two billion watts. No such pump existed. No nuclear reactor had ever run at that power level. In 52 inches, from the hydrogen intake to the nozzle, the liquified fuel would go from near abosulte zero to 3682F through multiple mechanically chaotic phase changes and a severe pressure drop that would try to suck the core out of the end of the engine. The fuel, liquid hydrogen, was the most corrosive substance known, and while sittting quietly in the storage tank would diffuse into all the metal structures it touched, rendering them more brittle than mere freezing would make them. Nothing was know about how stray neutrons from the reactor would interact with hydrogen slush in the fuel tank, whether two nuclear rockets sitting side by side would cause each other to go supercritical via neutron exchange, or how to keep the hot unsupported end of the reactor, glowing incandescent, from following the hydrogen gas out the rocket nozzle."
"(Rocketdyne was contracted to design the fuel pump and nozzle (the nozzle jacketed to flow liquid hydrogen so it didn't melt) and Aerojet General Nucleonics did the plumbing. The Soviets had their own secret nuclear rocket program in their RD-0410 engine. Their project began in 1965 after clandestine observation of American efforts, but was stopped after Chernobyl in 1986. Their engineers were never able to master the intricacies of pumping liquid hydrogen or even keeping it in a tank. They never put a comrade on the Moon. Think of the money they saved)".
What about radiation? Fuck that noise we're going to Mars. To mollify the proles, talk was always that the nuclear engine would be launched by conventional means, and should an oopsie occur it would be outside the contamination-sensitive atmosphere. But oopsies do occur and it was recognized that stuff would fall to Earth eventually. Studies showed that activation at 100,000 feet or in LEO would result in the same amount of radiation as blasting off from ground zero nuclear engines ablaze. Hydrogen exhaust is not radioactive. An added bonus of ground launch is that the thousands of degrees hydrogen exhaust would combust with atmospheric oxygen, boosting the rocket further. Besides, daily radioactive fallout from cosmic rays hitting Earth's atmosphere far exceed the danger of nuclear rocket exhaust.
What about crashes? During the decades of tests of the various nuclear rocket configurations at Jackass Flats Nevade, yes, chunks of the reactor would occasionally break loose and fly out. Often times no big deal and they would continue operating the rocket regardless. KIWI-B1B, in September 1962 operated at 965 megawatts almost to the target 1000 megawatts.
"It hung there for 100 seconds, despite the fact that the core was still leaving in chunks. It ran for a few more minutes, control drums rotating to maintain criticality, until a nozzle sensor blew out and a fire started. All in all, it was seen as a successful run. Back in Washington, details of the KIWI-B1B test were interpreted differently, and key people in charge of the budget had to be peeled off the walls by Werner von Braun at a hearing. These nuclear rockets were to be used for Earth-Moon shuttles to and from a Moon base, and we could not have pieces of engines flying willy-nilly hither and yon. Even wihout a Mars mission, the nuclear rocket program was important if the manned spaceflight program was going to be something other than an isolated moment of glory".
Again, what about crashes? Oh, well, if you are going to get snippy about it. Development of the nuclear engines was turned over to Westinghouse for construction, but in 1965 Los Alamos decided to end its KIWI program with a bang.
"NASA, always safty conscious had asked what's the worst that can happen? That would probably be toppling off the top of the Saturn V booster, where it was scheduled to be the last of three boost stages for the manned Moon shot. Los Alamos dropped a KIWI 75 feet onto a concrete pad, to see if it would somehow throw the reactor into uncontrolled criticality, which they knew would not happen. That's interesting said NASA but but it's a 300 foot drop off a Saturn. Los Alamos took the challenge, bolted a KIWI to a rocket sled and slammed it into a concrete barrier at high speed. Then, to top it off, they put together a special KIWI, cleverly named KIWI-TNT, having controls that could be slammed into the full-on position with pneumatic cylinders, putting the reactor into prompt critical mode all of a sudden. The reactor exploded in a blue flash with a blast equivalent of 300 pounds of black gunpowder, scattering its remains over a 1700 foot radius. Over half of it was found and picked up eventually (by hand)." No problem, I guess, considering Jackass Flats was surrounded by nuclear test sites. NASA canned the engine as a third stage for Apollo, feeling that development was moving too slowly. What if the engine had been dropped from space? Oh, well, the Soviets routinely did that with the Kosmos series. Ho hum.
So there you have it. DARPA and NASA are working on nuclear rockets again, but I can't help but feel that by this time, given real world use of nuclear rocket boosters, we could be putting aircraft carriers moving back and forth from orbit at this point. Hi ho!
Sunday, May 21, 2023
I have been enrolled in Digital Art and Animation Class this semester and just finished up. Honestly don't care what my grade is as I'm 66, this was an elective (they are all elective), and I felt I did well. The class used Adobe software products from image creation (Photoshop, Illustrator) to video post production (Premier Pro, Aftereffects). Oldest student after me was maybe 22. These kids had been using these products since middle school. I'm never embarassed to ask and fortunately my work station was next to a on the spectrum kid named Lennon who was a wizard.
"Lennon! How do I make it do this? No, tell me, don't try to do it". I got up to speed fairly quickly but nothing compared to what my young classmates were doing. It was humbling. Still, half the class dropped, so there's that.
I'm going to post a Youtube link of the Project 5, my final project. I also had to write a paper.
”Sometime After The End Of The World”
By John Kurman
This film started from two pictures I made in January 2020 on Adobe Medium, near the start of the pandemic lockdown. Work was physically closed and soon to be online, I had little to do but go for long walks in my neighborhood. Most of the time I would see dogwalkers and moms with baby strollers. At the time, the seriousness of the COVID virus was becoming appreciated, and I found that I treated my fellow walkers with some caution. One day, a fellow and I were walking past each other, each eyeing the other for plague symptoms I suppose, and we warily waved at each other. Mutual suspicion and maybe a mild rancor hidden under a shallow amity was what I got from that encounter and decided to document it as a sculpt (a VR file containing the 3D staged scene). When I got home, I created the sculpt of the two robots and took pictures. So the short film I created kind of took three years to make.
Could 19-year-old Johnny have made this short film? Not without a lot of explosions and pow-pow, blammo, blown to smithereens sparkly special effects. The symbolism (if any) would have had the subtlety of a sledge hammer strapped to an atomic bomb. There is an advantage to age and experience which hopefully makes this short film more of an elegiac narrative than action flick.
After trying out short animations, I decided that a graphic novel format using sequences of stills was more practical and appropriate for the tone and mood I wanted. I created the still pictures from snapshots of scenes I made in Medium by Adobe, a VR sculpting program that is an analog of clay manipulation to create 3D objects. The two robot figures (and crows) were 3D assets that I either obtained from asset libraries off the internet, or used a figurative kitbash method from a posing program called Design Doll. The landscape was created in Medium, but I deceptively used stagecraft, lighting, and scale to make basically two pizza slices of barren hills and snowy plains combined and rearranged for the illusion of a much larger landscape.
The only animated portions (done in Adobe Illustrator) are the internal visor displays of the robots, which, like Chekov’s gun, shown in the first act, used in the third act. I wanted the visor display to convey robot status and intent when things go mysteriously pear-shaped.
The plot is straight forward and linear, two robots on patrol, each the last remnant of a dead civilization, following their algorithms of guarding a now wasted terrain after, I guess, the Last War. The mystery enters when a set of footprints unknown to either party appears in the snow.
The first act is Silverbot’s story, rather hum drum except for a brief wolf encounter (the wolves categorized as harmless). Silverbot runs into Goldiebot, they exchange perfunctory greetings, and the story is handed over to a Goldiebot second act. Goldiebot surprises some crows which were feeding on remains of a wolf kill. Quick cut back to Silverbot, who is surprised by a crow that causes it (him?) to notice a set of tiny human(?) footprints that were not there before.
Cut back to Goldiebot discovering a similar set of footprints. They both go on Red Alert, hightail it on the tracks after the mystery intruders. When they confront each other, they find the tiny footprints stop where they stand. Both apparently have enough wits not to blast each other with their ridiculous laser cannons, and they stand puzzled for a zoom out and fade.
Are they robots or humans in armored suits? Hopefully, the impression is that they are robots sophisticated enough for humanlike interaction and restraint. Two armored humans or cyborgs would probably have blasted each other, which I considered as an ending...
Silverbot is unfortunately just a rip-off from the Cybermen from the TV series Doctor Who. Goldiebot just kind of fell together as I was modifying the 3D asset manikin.
So there you go. About as much as I could do with my winter plague encounter made into a show.
Here is the video:
Wednesday, May 3, 2023
|United Steak of America|
Wednesday, April 5, 2023
Monday, March 20, 2023
Friday, March 10, 2023
Thursday, March 9, 2023
Friday, March 3, 2023
Very first attempt at oil painting with minimal instruction because it was the 70s man. Looking at it now, I'm giving myself a break. The hair was optimistic. Minus the teeenage exuberance or because of, not bad.
I always drew cartoons, for fear I'd find out I couldn't draw. I took an art class, and the instructor, Kurt Anderson, threw me at every media they had. There's like seven different artists in on this painting, as it took me about a month to get happy with it. I am no Michelangelo
I traded the painting for an ounce bag of weed, $20 in 1975, $139 in today bucks. It almost got trashed, but here it is in the middle of the Pacific: US 50th state Hawaii.
The whole fine art draw? Yeah I can do it now.
Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Friday, January 27, 2023
I had a nightmare last night. It was a dork nightmare. It was a nerd nightmare, where I was in the middle of a Harry Potter wizarding war. I saw a lot gruesome magical acts and tortures around me. I was untouched, almost unnoticed, walking around in the carnage, being a Muggle (which is what I am, and so are you).
The wizarding war took place in the 1940s or 50s I guess, as everyone was wearing bulky long coats and hats. The chief bad wizard and his companions were suddenly in front of me., rudely crowding in, their attention upon the rooftops. I stepped forward and in half a second snapped the chief bad wizard's neck with a grab and a twist, just like on TV.
"Muggle THAT motherfuckers!" I shouted at the other bad witches and wizards right before they magically turned my atoms to dust. I woke up before that part.
Is it worth examing this dream? Not really. I do an off-and-on attempt to lucid dream. Alcohol is bad for that, as well as inhibiting REM sleep. Without alcohol, recall of REM dreams comes back with a vengeance, and that in the form of nightmares. Lots of pee nightmares I am fine with as I don't pee the bed. And as far as I know, I haven't shit the bed for decades. I'll have a dream I shit the bed, and will wake up and search the mattress, but no turds. I always wake up from shit the bed dreams saying "Oh no!"
Shit the bed means to really fuck up bad. I think a worse version is shit in the shower and slip on it, but shit the bed is so concise, so context rich, that it works in any language, in any era. Anyway lucid dreams. The path is through the nightmares as I am closest to awake. It's just a matter of time and patience. It's gonna be a bummer when I do it and it's not the magic bullet. Americans rely overmuch on the quick fix, magic bullet, the technocratic balm, the unicorn rainbow.
Maybe you can't tell, but I am in my manic phase. I suffer from Fragile Kurman Syndrome of the brain.. "What's that? you ask. "What do you got?" I reply.
Kurmans have autism, ADHD, OCD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc., but measured in small amounts. A static measure, cup for cup, is not an apt metaphor, but a helical dynamism will work.
That means I am easily distracted, tending toward a dilletante, a butterfly flitting from topic to topic. As do we all, but I have a focus now. Assume I go another 34 years, I will be 100 (year 2057). If I am 100 years old I am a cyborg mutant along with everyone else.
Oh shit I wanted to die but then they offer up one thousand ten thiousands of years, well ok. whip it on me.