Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mirrors, lenses, and solar panels

  1. Heat loss. That's going to cause entropy in your system. There's always that little bit of wasted energy that's going to pull your system down if you don't keep providing energy. Perhaps it could work in theory, but I doubt it could in reality.
  2. PSKLMember

    Thanks. A follow up question, though: why can't the sun work as the power supply, making the intensifying lenses and mirrors all that remains to create such a reaction?
    I'm assuming that, in theory, it could. Of course, you would have to do all the work of designing such a system to make it feasible. It's probably a little more complicated than you think. You'd have to think of the costs of such a project. I would bet that the current lens intensification technology necessary to generate substantive power would cost more than traditional solar panels. Then again, who knows? Maybe nobody's given this idea any thought before. Better take a patent out quick:p

Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama Bin Laden's Death

Osama Bin Laden's been killed, and America is rejoicing. For some, this constitutes some kind of "closure" for the losses we endured on 9/11. And I suppose that might be valid if it weren't so hypocritical. Closure for killings through killings? My thoughts on the murder of Bin Laden are much the same as my thoughts were when we found out that Saddam would be hung. Back then, I wrote:

So, Saddam's gonna play Hang 'em High. Sweet. I love archaic forms of public execution. We should have them more often.

The news that Saddam is going to be hung is I guess a relief to many. Many people, even--and perhaps especially--those who claim to be Christian, believe that taking a man's life away is a justifiable alternative to life imprisonment. Charming. I see Hammurabi's legacy lives on. I've never really understood why it's the Christians who think that it's okay to kill people who have committed crimes. I'm pretty sure that's not what Jesus preached. In fact, didn't he say something about turning the other cheek? That may be a little extreme, but somewhere the whole "You shall not murder" thing seems to have been lost.

This is all neither here nor there. The international community wouldn't have to answer to Christian morality, even if Christians did a decent job of following the teachings of Christ. I don't know about international law, but I'm guesing that Christianity probably isn't the official international religion anyways. Disregarding my moral hangups on the topic, hanging Saddam Hussein is a bad idea. The fire and brimstone pundits say that Saddam's death will be a morale-booster for the people of Iraq, and I suppose that might be true to a certain extent. But it's a ridiculously shallow generalization of the situation. In 2003, the "coalition of the willing" (you forgot Poland) was supposed to arrive in Iraq and liberate the people, who would pick up guns and join in the fight. What the pundits neglected to mention was that a disturbing number of Iraqi citizens would pick up guns and start shooting at the liberation task force. So while some vengeful bastards will have a boost in morale, I'm expecting there to be an outcry against Saddam's execution as well. And making a martyr out of Saddam Hussein is only slightly worse than masturbating with sandpaper.

By the way, Saddam Hussein is an anagram for "Mad anus hissed." Coincidence? I think not.

So while many are rejoicing, I'm not. While I don't condone anything Bin Laden did in his quest for a pan-Islamic world, I don't condone killing the man, either. Not a very popular sentiment these days, I should think. But at least I have a clear conscience.