[extropy-chat] Energy & Global Warming [was: Partisans and EP]

Keith Henson hkhenson at rogers.com
Mon Feb 12 17:32:23 UTC 2007

At 03:35 PM 2/12/2007 +0000, Robert wrote:

>On 2/12/07, Keith Henson <<mailto:hkhenson at rogers.com>hkhenson at rogers.com> 
>>Uranyl Nitrate, Solubility: ~66g/100 g water
>>"Uranyl nitrate was used to fuel Aqueous Homogeneous Reactors in the 1950s.
>Keith, I am curious.  During recent events I think I ran across something 
>that said you were an EE.  But I know from other past discussions and 
>things that I've tripped across over the years that your knowledge base 
>extends *way* beyond just that.  Is most of that formal learning or 
>informal learning?

Some of each.  It's probably relevant here for people with kids, though the 
environment is so different now that it may provide little guidance.

My 5th grade the classroom had a set of World Book encyclopedias.  The 
teacher used to let me ignore what was going on in class and read them.

The summer I turned 15 ran into Scientific American at a relatives 
house.  Still remember the main article, one on the assembly of the tobacco 
mosaic virus.  My parents gave me a subscription and I read the back issues 
to 1948, and read every issue more or less cover to cover until it was 
dumbed down (late 70s? early 80s?)  Plus an awful lot of issues of Science 
and Nature in the library.  In junior high read all the books on chemistry 
and physics in the library.  Studied organic chemistry in 9th grade on my 
own, still have the 3 inch thick textbook by Louis Fieser.  Came in handy 
while working on computers in an oil refinery.  Never had a biology course.

Of course, this left me with a rather limited number of contemporaries with 
whom I could socially interact.  :-)

In those days engineering covered a lot of core physics (through quantum 
and solid state), math through and a bit beyond differential equations, and 
applied courses such as fluid mechanics and electrical power lab.  I can 
tell funny stories about both of these last if you want.  First few years 
out working got very interesting in system dynamics.

Then there was the space colony business.  For the co authored papers for 
the Space Manufacturing Conferences, had to learn a great deal about 
farming, vapor phase deposition, fracture mechanics and mixed solid/gas 
heat transfers.

Got into cryonics through Eric Drexler and nanotechnology.  When Alcor had 
to freeze Jerry Leaf who had been doing the surgery, learned how to put 
patients on cardiac bypass and did it several times.  From Dawkin's Selfish 
Gene got interested in memes and from there into evolutionary psychology in 
trying to figure out why cult members act like drug addicts.

But as to how I came up with the numbers . . . . just used 
Google.  :-)  (It was less trouble than going in the other room to look at 
a copy of the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. (38th ed).

BTW, just looked up uranyl nitrate up in the Handbook and it shows an even 
higher solubility.


PS Yesterday talked to a friend who lives in Oak Ridge.  He confirmed my 
thoughts and said this was the second bad news he had this week.  Someone 
has reduced the jitter in a commercially available initiator to 20 ns.  He 
had to explain this eliminates the need for explosive lenses.

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