Entries by Dustan Doud (137)

Friday
Feb152019

The Dismal Feasibility of Solar Corona Breaking & Corona launch

So imagine you've built a star ship bigger than an oil supertanker and sent it out toward a habbital world.  And to ruin the fun, imagine you have to use real physics, and it's going to take multiple generations to get there and your propulsion is powered by onboard hydrogen reactors.  And lets imagine relativistic thrusters that spit out a thin stream "burned" hydrogen fuel, helium atoms going very close to the speed of light, so that said ship's thrusters can use and push with the relativistic momentium equations (p= MoV / (1-v^2/c^2)^0.5). 

Part of the "fun" in going somewhere with Einstein's physics in space is that your gas petal and break are exactly the same thing.  Your fuel filled spaceship is sort of like a full can of soda, about 394grams full and 15 grams empty... so the closer you get to your target, the more sporty your ship is going to handle - so long as your thrusters stay the same.  In such a spaceship, Full engine thrust that started at doggish 1/26th of earths gravity by trips end (with empty fuel tanks) would feel a bit stronger than gravity we get here on earth.  (reality check, good luck even hitting 1/26th of a g from the thrusters even at the end of the ride.  Thrust would likely be far lower.)

This of course presumes most of the ship is going to be fuel and relativistic propellant... which only seems to be a requirement of impatient sorts like... well... most of humanity.  As the fuel to cargo ratio changes, the ship takes hundreds more years to get to destination, largely because it spends more time "breaking."  Breaking here means the ship has to slow down by pointing it's thrusters at the very thing it wants to get to and blasting away so that it doesn't blow right into.

So this got me thinking, could a ship do solar corona breaking?  It isn't hard to imagine a ship that could get close to the sun and fuel scoop or aerobreak.  If the breaking arch through the corona was 1% the sun's radius at 43700 kilometers, and said ship & crew could tolerate 5 times earths gravity while breaking through the corona in a peircing arch, that break manuver would take 944 seconds.  And in 944 seconds at 5g the hellfire corona breaking manuver nets a 46270 meters per second speed reduction.

46 kilometers per second sounds fast.  It's about what it takes to get out of our solar system if you start near the sun.  And yet, even if you exit our solar system at that velocity expect to wait 34 thousand years before you reach the next star.  My hope is a 'Hypothetical popcan space ship' would be able to do it in less time... and if it could, why bother with a dangerous scortch mark leaving breaking maneuvor?  

Even if the solar corona breaking manuveur covered a nice 1/4 arch around the sun the breaking only subtracts 231km per second in speed and increases "bake time" to about 78 minutes, provided the break acceleration stays at a survivable 5 times earths gravity.  I argue that most humans could survive 5g, the crush of 4 people stacked atop them for 78 minutes, with a respirator in a 0.3 meter deep pool.  The padi dive tables seem to indicate so, but still given the pressure gradients, with some risk of lung embolism and alveoli rupture.   

It only makes sense if popcan space ship launches with near empty tanks - 1/25th full just to get up to speed, runs the engines nearly empty, and then a coronal belly flop somehow gathers 1/25th more fuel.  Which is hard to do with real physics and real materials, so hard it might be nearly impossible to bellyflop refuel leaving compression heated star plasma in a "tokamak reactor shaped mega sized fuel tank."   

And that brings us back to a dismal future where fast spaceships with fuel to ship crew and cargo ratios mor

Sunday
Feb102019

The Popular Media 'Be White, Act White' Meme Bites

'American as Apple Pie' makes for an apple pie thats missing Cinnamon from Sir Lanka and Nutmeg from the West Indies.  That's terrible bland pie.   And the sugar in that malic American pie is going to cost dear unless it comes from Brazil.  So...  

Black face and Virgina.  Um... that's ugly.  You've got white supremisists on one side citing examples of white politicians in blackface as a reason those people suck, presumably for some lack of purity of thought.  And you've a reasonable thinking population thinking their elected leaders suck, presumably because they are about as racial sensitive as Rosanee Barr on double doses of Ambien.

I'm going to take the wildly unpopular view that the firmly established majority of American's are not thinking about this situation properly, and I'm near certain to fail to convince anyone that they should change their minds, but all the same I will try.

It is typically unkind to wear blackface, and there are good reasons to see it as intending to provoke, racially mocking or denegrating.   I really wish it was accepted as a way to celebrate black culture and black heros, or merely an excercise of free speech, but historical precidents exist.  Still the the absolutism of this problem falls apart with reductionism.   

My beautiful little sweetheart aunt with her mys'tary'us accent in the 1970's seemed to have a hard to identify racial identiy,  from old photos you might guess she was Itallian, latino, polynesian or middle eastern.  She was gentle, gracious and kind, even when being mimicked for her accent and softly spoken words by her mother in law.  When playing accordian she could pass for an outdoor Parisian musician.  I don't think she was trying to sell herself as something she wasn't,  precious few people you meet are from Novia Scotia, play accordian and happen to be native american.  So if she committed a cultural offense it was, what: wearing what she liked, playing accordian, defying expectation and a lack intense cultural identity?   

If the answer is that my Aunt gets a pass, they why just her?  I cite "its not fair!" and the foot stomp that follows usually seen in todlers. 

Mocking cultures is bad.  Notions of required cultural purity and cultural racial ownership are just about as bad. Freezing culture is bad, living cultures change, dead ones don't even with veneration.    The unspoken 'Be White, Act White or else' rule the media seem to have on Fox and Friends and CNN just reinforces those first three things in ways that are unhelpful.  Culturial contamination shouldn't be a thing worth caring about.  "Be white, act white" presumes American's love (and deserve) terrible tasting bland apple pie.

For rocking American Apple, please include a little spice.  And include ingredients from a few old immigrants, like Eurasian cows for butter, Asian ginger, central asian Apples, and Turkish wheat.  And this is where my 'it takes-the-whole-world' to make good pie analogy breaks down a bit because Apple pies don't contain many things native to Africa, aside from an old Egyptian bread heating method still in use today.  Um, my bad.    

It is possible I just don't get oppresion, or understand the pain of being something you don't want to be part of. Maybe my fundamental error is in the belief that the whole of humanity owns human culture, when the really is that the world never actually worked that way.   I still don't get the notion of self appointed cultural defenders trying to curtail access to great ideas rather expand influence... but human culture doesn't have be what I think is better for human community in a small world.  Maybe culture exists in large part just to mark bounds, not to connect people but define and isolate.  

Even if I am wrong about everything that the human heritage of culture is, should be and can be, I still grind my teeth when I hear someone called not black enough (say Pamella Harris for a mixed cultural ancestory and for mariage to a white man) or not white enough (say Thomas Jefferson for his relationship with Sarah "Sally" Hemings).   Like conforming to random someone's personal imagined sterotype could somehow be perfect for all humanity.  One thing is certain, it is easy these days to speak dismal volumes about yourself when you choose to mock others with just a few slurs.  

Friday
Feb012019

If Programming Languages Could Make Pets...

In the low level programming language Assembly, you can't have a cat because you are not a team of developers working for years together to program a cat by combined effort, and since the computer hardware improves so much yearly there almost isn't a point in this kind of specialization.  Instead you can have a floating disembodied living cat head, and it's name is speedy.   If you are willing to comprimise, you can attach that head to device drivers written in C and have a terrifying robot cat with tank tread instead of feet and a peak bite force of 3 tons.  

In the programming language Python, you can't have a cat. The good news is that python makes it easy to have a sloth that does everything a cat could do and more, just slowly.  Maybe with numba you can hit triple x speed and own a furry turtle named py-cat with nearly the blazing speed of a happy go lucky skunk.  You don't need to worry about feeding your pet or cleaning up after it, because python comes with a garbage man and he's so busy taking care of all that stuff, all the time, there are few CPU cycles left for your py-cat to be a cat which is why you have a fur turtle.  Infact, the reason your py-cat is so frick'n awesome is because the garbage man was programmed long before you ever set out to program a cat, so just be patient, accept garbageman and love py-cat.

In the programming language C (or oddballs C++ D and Obj C), you can build, link and include a cat in your life.  If you fail to clean the litter box, the cat will die, somewhere in the walls, and smell really bad for days while you try to find the bug riddled corpse.  If two different programmers work together to create your cat, any randomly selected third programmer should be able to inject code, and as such, if you do not feed your cat, hackers will teach your cat to trade all your valuables for canned sardines.   Your cat loves laser pointers.  From the outside, your cat is the envy of most progammers, even if they won't admit it.  On the inside, your c-cat is a complete psychopath if programmed by one person (really darling, violent aggression _is just what cats do) and a complete schizophrenic psychopath if programmed by a team.  Either way, more deranged than you might ever know. 

In the programming language Java, you can be owned by a unusually hungry fat cat.  The cat likes it when you type mostly boilerplate code over and over again.  The cat will do what it wants, and you should do your best to take care of every imaginable possibility so that java cat can always do what it wants and always stays clean and fed.  Should you fail, java cat will plot your downfall the next time you come home with a bag of groceries.  Not to fear, you can tap out even more code for your cat to prevent a java-cat induced death (if not avoid repetive motion disorders), and thanks to java cat npm libraries, you will find millions of bloat inducing features to add to your java cat like "hairball0.2.0!"  Java cat is flexible and may ditch your sorry ass for a different CPU and programmer, because, like most cats, java cat doesn't really love you back.    

In the programming language JS (JavaScript), you can only program the front end of a cat.  What is the rear end of the cat up to?  Guess.  But JS Cat does have a banner ad blinking 'Click me' running between its ears that generates a fraction of a cent for each unique viewer impression. 

In the programming language Rust, you can't own a cat unless you have catfood, a litterbox, kittylitter, a cat crate and shelter.   Organized?  If yes, then you can borrow a cat.  Your new-fangled rust cat will be immortal, loyal, loving and carefree once programmed unless (1) Rust cat runs out of food, kitty litter or shelter or might possibly make any kind of mistake (2) More than one person adopts rust cat as their own.  Should either exception occur, the rust cat's borrow lifetime will instantly end and kitty will crumble into cold dustless soot ruining the nearest carpet.  And you'll need to get a new cat.  This unfortunate situation can ?theoretically? be mitigated by the use of unsafe rust code that links rust cat to dozens of useful psycho C-cat libraries with hidden undefined behaviors. 

In the programming language Ruby you can have an sleepy cat riding a model train around a christmas tree in a tissue-box-car.    You don't have to feed or clean up after the cat, Ruby will do that for you. Your sleepy fat ruby cat-turtle-train loves riding on rails, and doesn't really act that much like a cat.  But that's ok, because it is adorable.  Yes it is.  

If you program in PHP, you have inadvertantly spit on hundreds of people while saying PHP and shouldn't be allowed to own a cat.  I'm not certain PHP cats exist, but PHP is the sound a unhappy cat's bowels make so maybe you should check your cat's rear Zend for a Synfony of Laravel?    Something about a PHP disgusts me, even CakePHP has a disturbing fettish edge to the sound of it that I don't really want to consider.      

Rumors abound of a perl cat living in a tibetian monestary that can 'meow' in just a single character.  But in reality, in the programming language Perl, you can't have a cat, mostly because the people at the pet store don't understand your perl coding style.  But you think you understand it all just fine, and that is part of what makes perl so frustrating.   Maybe if you could just figure out how to enter the store, copy a cat and exit in less than 30 characters with something like ' printf+qw(printf+qw(%s)x2)x2 ' everything would be fine?

In the computer programming language GO, you can have a fur mat but nearly everyone will claim it's a beautiful persian cat and not at all slow and dopey looking for a splunched in nose and sticky crossed eyes.  Your fur mat won't make many mistakes (outside of the algebraic types), and you won't have to clean up after it.  Your fur mat multitasks, you can use it to dust your floors, buff your car and wipe mud off your shoes.   I advocate use of fishing line to animate the fur mat's tail swishing angriy when I tell you GO seems much like poetic python - but the garbage man's arm has been chopped up and zombie reanimated and inserted so it hangs out of fur mat go cat's asterisk.  Lucky thing too, that zombie dangler provide the near constant grooming care required by persians, without the overhead of a complete garbage man, so persian fur mat go cat is a win.  

In the programming language R, you can not want or imagine a cat.  Random feline keyboard data entry via transversal, never!  What the F(x) do cats have to do with statistics or data?    The built in cat function has nothing to do with cats.  No further explaination given.

In programming Matlab you'll find a handy cat() command already exists.  It concatenates arrays, or stitchesxtreemen

In the programming language Mathematica, you can image a perfect cat in just a hundred lines of code.  If you do happen to have a supercomputer cluster at your disposal, you will be impressed by imaginary math cat.  But you can't have a real math cat, because the whole point of programming in mathematica was rapid prototyping before porting function by function to nearly any other language that doesn't have onerous per user and per cpu core licensing purchase restrictions.    

In the programming language Swift (till it's not), you can have a c like cat that unexpectly turns into a slow fur turtle and then back into a cat.  These infrequent lycanthropic transformations are not troubling unless your swift cat needs hardware or systems level access to do things like move, eye blink, purr, digest a meal or steer an autonomous vechicle to '1 Infinite Loop Cupertino' in a reliable fashion without causing a plethora of explainable vechicular deaths unless you resort to programming large portions of said autopilot in the antique botique Objective C language and crank out a "more schizo psycho program than anyone really wants driving" frankenstien objective c swift cat autopilot combo.  And each stutter brings just a wiff of the brain eating garbageman undead... hmm... maybe there is some combination of compiler flags that corrects that in the comments section of the official suport/manuals website that would be uselessly opaque but for helpful community annotations?  Despite small timing glitches and just a touch of memory messyness, your swift cat tries hard to stay safe and frequently can be found hiding under the bed. You might love your cat, but your cat likes to spray, and your development enviroment kinda reeks.  But it's ok if you've gotten so use to the stench and can't smell it anymore yourself.   Swift cat is like that.

If your programming language starts with the word Visual, it is probably part of the reason Microsoft completely lost its way with the rise of mobile devices.  And probably part of the reason never-a-good-idea things like "Flash Player Cat" actually exist.  However, if you desire a cat that only runs on desktops and a down right luxurious development enviroment, doubtless your language choice has plenty to offer.  And just be sure to download a few gigabytes of visual C++ redistributable run time DLL patches before distributing visualcat.exe. 

Monday
Jan212019

The Wall Compromise Isn't.

So the new deal seems even worse than the old deal- 1.6 billion for border crossing prision tent city gulags, 5.7billion (up from 5) for a wall of either secret or undetermined architecture, 3 year deferment for dreamers at which time they apparently self deport, 75 new judges and legal teams selected by the president, and 2750 new border agents costing about 138million per years.  

It is reasonable to defend our borders, but it does not seem reasonable to do so at a cost that far exceeds the nature of the economic problem.  And the self justifying liability sheet is set up so a success, say just one illegal crossing in a year, still bears the economic cost of the entire defense --  A "This year each illegal enm cost the US $250 billion dollars, so we need an even bigger wall" type circular argument that evaporates under just a little common sense.  

 

 

 

Thursday
Jan032019

I am the proud owner of a new crate. And you are too!

 

Frank, the fetch and rank at Rust's website crate.io adds guarded fetching and ranking features to generic vectors.  I went a little fast and ripped apart a little program and poured its guts into a crate largely to learn rustdoc and how cargo publish works.... not my best documentation effort.. but I am happy with the generics vector functions and how they seamless bolt into rust programming language features.  And there can be updates should other people use my reasonably solid code with crummy documentation.

use frank::*;

fn main() {

let myvec = vec!["a is for apple", "b is for bear", "c is for code"]; 

let myranks = myvec.rank();  //Hoeffding 1947 style ranking, a count of greaters for each item in a vec. 

let mypicks = vec![2usize,1,0];

let myreorg = myvec.fetch(&mypicks); 

}

In truth, the fetch and rank are just about that simple to use.

Cheers,  Dusty