Author Archives: jlredford

Why Care That “Foundation” Is Bad?

The new TV miniseries “Foundation” is full of meaningless CGI, ponderous religious imagery, thudding messages about terrorism, imperialism and climate change, and dialogue so clunky that even a serious actor like Jared Harris can’t deliver it. So what? There are … Continue reading

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Space vs Balloon Tourism

After a long hiatus, space tourism came back this year. The last trip was in 2012 to the ISS, but there have recently been four trips: two sub-orbital flights by Blue Origin in July and October, one by Virgin Galactic … Continue reading

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The First Exa-Transistor Computer

That is, the first single system to have more than 1018 transistors, more than a quintillion, or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 . It’s the Fugaku supercomputer in Japan: It’s the world’s fastest machine as of November 2020, as defined by the benchmarks on … Continue reading

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Every Thing Can Be Improved – GRK Fasteners

Here’s a story of tech success by immigrants with a rather sad ending – that of the wood screw maker GRK Fasteners. I came across these products in Home Depot, where they get a whole bay to themselves: They’re the … Continue reading

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The Really Dangerous Tech is Really Old

Here’s an odd thing – the technology that is really dangerous today all comes from the 1950s and earlier. The big inventions of the last 60 years are nowhere near as deadly as the ones from earlier, especially those from … Continue reading

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Good News on Backstopping Renewables (3) – Eavor Advanced Geothermal

The last posts were about batteries and pumped-hydro storage, which will be used to handle excess energy from variable renewables. But what happens when there’s no sun or wind for weeks on end? There still needs to be something to … Continue reading

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Good News on Backstopping Renewables (2) – Closed-Loop Pumped Hydro

The Ambri batteries mentioned in the last post are fine for storing some energy for a couple of days, but suppose you need a lot of storage for a week or more. That’ll be necessary when all the fossil fuel … Continue reading

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Good News on Backstopping Renewables (1) – Ambri

Wind and solar at this point are cheaper than any other form of electricity, and are getting steadily cheaper still. Coal plants are getting shut down because it’s just not worth it to run them, and even natural gas is … Continue reading

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We’ve Got to Get To America 4.0

Every 80 years or so this country has been rebooted. Long-felt tensions exploded, and the country took a new direction. We’re at that point now. There is an outright criminal in the White House, there’s been a massive death toll … Continue reading

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H P Lovecraft Had At Least One Black Fan

A while ago I came across an amazing piece of fan fiction – Ex Libris Miskatonici by Joan C Stanley: It’s a pitch-perfect listing of the sinister and bizarre works that have been collected over the centuries by the great … Continue reading

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