Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Beware of Scientific Dogma

A quick note about scientific dogma. When it becomes the all-powerful, unquestionable authority in our lives, it becomes an inhibiting force toward progress and discovery. Never stop questioning! Do not let some assumptions determine your outcome! By entering into a "closed box," you will undoubtedly discover nothing.

We have discovered that some experiments in quantum mechanics are linked to the observer making an observation. Results vary based on whether or not the observer makes an observation. Therefore, we must frame experiments carefully. Furthermore, when you are talking about novel, scientific discovery, you will rarely find a cut and dry result. The experiments usually need to be fine-tuned based on previous results, to get a clearer picture of the results. Such results must always be interpreted based on the data collected, and not on our assumptions of what we think the outcome should be.

Friday, February 25, 2011

wind energy idea

This drivel describes an idea I had for wind energy. Traveling through the heartland of the United States, you will surely notice the massive wind turbines that are popping up along the interstates. These structures are so incredible, I find myself not paying as close attention to the road as I should. In looking at these enormous structures, I noticed that the design seems to prefer a long and narrow blade. I'm sure there are exhaustive studies on the most efficient way to gain energy from wind, and I'm sure these folks have settled on the best solution.

However, what if you instead started with a 20 foot high cement tunnel that tapers in like a funnel toward the center as the tunnel continues. Within this tunnel, you could set up a drum that has blades that get smaller as the tunnel tapers in more. Would this effectively increase the effective pressure on the blades, therefore generating more electricity? Furthermore, as the funnel becomes tighter, wouldn't you have a jet effect, increasing the amount of effective pressure on the blades? I just thought of this because it seems like so much wind is wasted by just running across wide open spaces. If we could concentrate it, and use it along the axis it is blowing instead on one plane where it is used and lost, it may be more efficient. I welcome your comments if I'm way of on the physics of things.

Crude image below. Ha, Enjoy!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Salt Water Burning?

I wanted to drop a drivel on an interesting story about John Kanzius, who figured out that salt water burns in the presence of radio waves. From what I gather, he was looking for a cure for cancer, and stumbled on this interesting finding.

First, the cancer cure idea. I am totally on board with using inert particles that can pass on heat or other forms of radiation that might kill cancer. I hope his idea works! It would be an incredible leap above non-specific pharmaceuticals that deliver huge blows to the whole system. I believe they are doing tests on it right now. In fact, I read about a company called nanopartz that can produce gold nanoparticles and rods of a consistent and specific size, which may really help figure out dosing and other variables. As it says on the website, the nice thing is that gold particles are viewed as a device by the FDA instead of a drug, which might be a less-arduous approval process.

Second, the salt water finding. This unlikely finding is a result of John experimenting to see if his radio frequency transmitter could desalinate sea water. Instead, it appears to weaken the hydrogen and oxygen bonds in H2O, and release Hydrogen gas. If you know how to get concentrated radio waves without using much electricity, fire up your salt water car!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Energetic "Research" on YouTube

Have you ever tried to watch videos on YouTube about inventions that claim to harness zero point energy? What about the motors built in garages that are not shown running in their completeness? For the most part, watching these prove to be a waste of time. I can get cracked out on alternative motors a few times a year, when I get the whacked out idea that I might be able to solve what others are missing. Alas, I have had no such luck. However, I will point out a few interesting sources that I think are worth a look (in the unlikely event that you haven't seen these). First, the Coral Castle by Ed Leedskalnin. How this guy pulled this off has just as much to do with that magnetic wheel in his room as his hard work, in my opinion.

One more thing, remember Billy Idol's song "Sweet 16?" That's about Ed and his lost love! Later!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Biotech innovation

This is a drivel to the biochemists out there!

Biochemists have figured out how to use cells and enzymes to synthesize and manufacture individual proteins, but have not been able to synthesize or break down cellulose on a large scale. This process goes to show how little we know about photosynthesis and the production of cellulose. I'm throwing out a guess that we're missing something in this field, and there is a lot more to photosynthesis than the biochemistry book has to offer. If we were able to synthesize cellulose on large scale, there would be an incalculable industry for these green building materials (assuming you could make the material hardy enough). Additionally, if we could figure out how to break cellulose down efficiently, we could make a fuel out of all that wasted plant material we are discarding. So, the challenge is this: efficiently go between cellulose and its building blocks (individual glucose molecules) to both enable synthetic building materials and fuel sources (the laws of thermodynamics may throw a wrench into that challenge).

As for the fuel sources, employing nature is going to be huge in this. Check out Solix in Fort Collins, Colorado. They have been working on employing algae to make biofuel. I believe they are on the right track and I wish them the best of luck!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

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Monday, January 31, 2011

Wireless Electricity

My first drivel will touch on a topic that most will likely scoff at--wireless electricity.  One can't even mention it without dropping the name of Nikola Tesla, a bonafied genius with inventions that gave us electricity as we know it.  I was looking at the qwiki entry for Tesla, and I really became interested in the 1980's documentary on Tesla by the BBC.  Check it out!

Here is the BBC documentary on Youtube.

You have to wonder why we have spent 100 years wiring the entire world and using inefficient batteries (don't get me started on Lithium-ion batteries in devices and how hip your inefficient electric car is).  I have been looking into the topic, and some MIT people have been able to transfer electricity wirelessly a few meters.  I watched a video on TED about the MIT group, and they touch on Tesla and Wardenclyffe Tower, Tesla's attempt at large scale wireless electricity.  The presenter claims that we will never know if Tesla's Wardenclyffe Tower ever worked.  If you watch the YouTube video, you will see a wireless transfer of electricity at greater than two meters, and that video was made in 1982, almost 30 years ago!  What madness when the smartest of the smart have just begun to scratch the surface of what Tesla did.  Maybe we could have some of these hip Silicon Valley venture capitalists do something worthwhile instead of trying to create the next big iphone app.

Oh, and don't tell me you can't put a meter on it.  Just connect a meter right next to the receiver, which would keep track of power use similar to individual houses.  You could sell power subscriptions by the month, or by the amount used. 

Wardenclyffe Tower