Friday, December 14, 2012

WW2 industral giants

The two men that won World War 2. 
Charles Sorensen and Henry Kaiser the masters of mass production. 

Mass production of truck, tanks and aircraft and anything else needed.

Invented the liberty ship and invented a way to make factories and steel mills pop-up in mere days.

Without their industry the American giant would not have arisen to face its enemies. 
Who are the men of today that will step up, help us face the threats of today and make the world of tomorrow? 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Intrade fun

Intrade is renowned for its accuracy but the question is does it lead or follow can it be gamed, is it being used as a propaganda tool  and can it be manipulated to be wrong in the end or will it correct at the last minute.
Here's the action for oct 12 USA 8 to 12 midnight After the Biden/ Ryan debate noise hit and before the news that the BLS Jobs number had been distorted in the previous week by simply leaving out California without mentioning that little fact. [Head may roll at the BLS before the election if congress goes at this. They will definitely roll after January if Romney wins. ]

Notice two things: The two spikes ringed in blue are clearly someone using a lot of money to pull the market back up to 61 form 60 and failing. Even if Obama wins at the current price their money's gone.

Not also the area in dark green. That's a huge number of small trades trying to hold the price up by automated buying at that price anything below it. Again it shows that there are organized players with software driven trading tools in the market. They are trying to keep obama up and Romney down in the hopes that that will influence the vote and demoralise the Romney support base. If anything its having the opposite result on the vote its self. 

It could back fire and loose the obama supporters their money by causing the Obama voters aware of intrade  and the other markets to conclude that Obama's a shoe in and can't loose. There is a risk of a lower turn out of Obama supporters thinking they're not needed. 

Like wise those aware of this market and its history may try to push harder where it matters. Spreading the message to their friends via new means and old. 

I am not a gambling man so I don't bet on intrade but it is fascinating to see these people battle with their (or someone else's money).

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Making Abortion Obsolete.

Ectogenesis - Saving the millions while ending the Abortion debate forever.

The Abortion and RU-486 debate is being fought as well an can be expected. I commend all those that have fought the battle well, championing our defenceless unborn brothers and sisters. 

The disgrace of abortion will remain while we have only two choices life or death, moral [immoral] liberty or bondage to the ‘dangers and inconveniences’ of parenthood.
To sanction death of the innocent for the convenience of a few who find parenting a burdensome responsibility is unjust. I suspect however this generation will need to suffer the consequences of their folly before they will learn the error of their ways. The abortion challenge has many layers at the federal and state level. The laws themselves are often state laws. Support for education and family support are both federal and state. Many of the pressures to have unprotected sex and have an abortion are cultural challenges.
The western world and Japan are suffering a catastrophic consequence. Population decline and the demographic winter problem where an aging population can't support itself; there are not enough young workers to pay the pensions of the older citizens. There may be not enough young people even to care for the elderly in nursing homes and hostels. 
A challenging new solution.
There is a way to break the nexus between life and choice but it will ethically challenging for it raises other ethical questions. It would create a new debate. One where many pro-choice people, opposing us today, would end up on our side of the debate. It is not a quick fix but it may be a path towards. An honourable end to the infant genocide. Live embryo transplantation or ectogenesis.
We are loosing millions of helpless babies slaughtered simply because they are unwanted and unloved by their parents. Or their parents and society is ill prepared to support them. Yet at the same time we have a shortage of babies available for adoption and we have an ageing population that can’t support its long term needs.

How do we move from a pro-death society sanctioning medically enabled and legal infanticide to a prolife society quickly?
In 1924, the British scientist J. B. S. Haldane coined the term "ectogenesis" to describe how human pregnancy would one day give way to artificial wombs. A friend and colleague Aldous Huxley wrote “brave new world”. This turned the worlds eyes away from the benefits to the dangers. Haldane was a socialist and a leading evolutionist in his day. However Haldane was not trying to abolish Gods institution of pregnancy; he was writing in an age of high maternal and infant mortality. That’s what he was trying to end.
The benefits are:
  • It can save both lives where the pregnancy would be dangerous to the mother.
  • It, in theory, could save premature babies that are far too premature to survive in a humidicrib.
  • Many think it will end the abortion debate by allowing both the pro-choice and prolife sides to have their way.

We are approaching the point where we can remove an embryo from the womb alive and keep it alive outside the womb. Around 2001:
  • Dr Hung-Ching Liu had cultured a working womb from tissue taken from a womb. American regulations required her to terminate the embryos at two weeks.
  • Dr Yoshinori Kuwabara in Tokyo had taken goat kids to full term in a device called a “Uterine tank”.

To summarise the Clinical Ectogenesis process is the technology to remove the baby from the womb alive and place it in an artificial womb and take it to full term. Live embryo transplant goes further and moves to the point where we can take an early embryo unharmed from a woman that doesn’t want it and implant it in a medically prepared mother that does.
It amounts to moving the debate away from mass infanticide to a process of adoption direct from the abortion clinic. In considering the future of the unwanted unborn we can’t ignore this technology, with a little research, it may be available with in three years.

Most think the technology will look like this:

Or this:

But this is the reality: A simple neat tank and a few tubes to the relevant equipment.

It’s not cheap or pretty but it’s a start. 
Yes it is unnatural. That is true of all modern medicine.
  • So is a feeding tube in the Terri Schiavo case or Pope John Paul’s case.
  • So is a heart bypass.
  • If we oppose euthanasia of the severely disabled we are often backing unnatural intervention.

If the Lord chooses, he will allow the technology to develop and become safe, cheap and ethical. It will be legally constrained with laws written by Godly people.
If however it comes without our prayer and care.
  • It may be done in secret.
  • It will probably be neither safe nor cheap.
  • It will be the plaything of dictators and unethical people.
  • There will either be no rules or red tape that binds justice up in knots.

Take a look at adult stem cells. Many in the church and key politicians championed them over embryonic stem cells and in a few short years great things have happened.
  • Paralysed people walk.
  • Brain stem cells are being tested. In mice they repair stroke.
  • We have dozens of new adult stem cell lines.
  • Breast tissue stem cells were announced just in 2006.
  • We are growing teeth in the lab.
  • The leading Embryonic stem cell researcher in 2006 apologised for scientific fraud and is mired in scandal and law suits.
  • I know of no cures that have come from embryonic stem cell work that do not create a cancer risk.

Ectogenesis may seem daunting but look at the alternatives!

If we took on ectogenesis will the Lord also bless it?

Some might baulk and ask are we allowing immorality and irresponsibility to prevail if we take on this technology? Do the pro-choice lobby deserve the choice?
Consider this;
  • Aborted babies don’t vote; adopted ones do.
  • They will be often raised in Christian or at least pro-family homes.
  • Garrett Hardin in the famous “The Tragedy of the Commons” paper (1968) warned that if the pro-lifers were allowed to breed freely they would out breed the population control people and the earth-firsters like him.
Most importantly.
  • Roe v Wade reverses from pro to anti abortion if this technology is available in its jurisdiction. That only effects America legally but culturally it will effect the whole world.
The Roe v Wade verdict is predicated on the inability to grant both life and choice. If survival of the baby is possible the wording would imply that ectogenesis would be favoured over the death of the baby.
Development of Articial Wombs Technology's threat to abortion rights
Sacha Zimmerman Sunday, August 24, 2003
  • We will end up running some or most of the clinics. If the abortion clinic becomes an adoption clinic; it will not be closed to the prolife people. We who are arrested at the door for protesting would be inside assisting the mothers. Many women would leave the clinic with their own baby still on board having found at last a supporting environment for themselves and their child.
  • The camouflage of pro-choice or women’s rights will be removed from the pro-abortion, eugenics and the population control lobbies. Most pro-choice people would be pro-ectogenesis if it were advocated and became safe, convenient and ethical. Those that advocate abortion for other reasons are a small fraction of the millions who are pro-choice. These people are Malthusian in their thinking; seeing the world as overpopulated and doomed. They are often technophobic seeing no solutions in new technologies such as fusion or space colonisation. They are unimpressed by new resource management practices, innovative recycling technologies, sustainable lifestyle services or energy reduction enterprises. Abortion to them is all about population control and little else. Yet such people are very rare indeed within the debate and would never command a majority at the ballet box.
Yes we can fight abortion with Laws, education, evangelism and revival. We might see the issue batted back and forth across the media and parliament endlessly. We could see it lost to an obscure bureaucratic committee. The prolife lobby may even win in 80 to 100 years. That’s arguably how long the last reformation took with its conflicts in many parliaments and on bloody battlefields. 
As we fight we lose thousands of little lives per day.

We could be saving them in ten years or less if we tried to get this alternative established. If politics is the art of the possible then we need to think laterally and look for the third path.
We are forewarned and forearmed by Huxley and other science fiction writers. Leading ethicists have considered the risks. The dangers of some idiot trying to clone an army or create subhuman slave species are known. The dangers that some future humanist society may try abandon motherhood altogether are foreseen. They will most probably destroy themselves in the attempt. Unless they out law pregnancy and family or try to exterminate us “breeders”; we can leave them to their folly. Others have tried to abolish family replacing it with institutions of various kinds. It always fails. Perhaps we can rescue a few million disillusioned refugees when it all goes wrong. None of the dangers are as real or as monstrous as the death of the defenceless.
The challenge we face is not to deal with every possible abuse of new technology but to be those that have sought the just applications, to have considered and are prepared for the consequences, to have sought alternatives. If we can’t legislate the dangers away then we can’t legislate anything and we are defeated. 
For us there are other things that will be cheaper still than the clone warriors of star wars, the medical clones in the movie “The island” and the human batteries of the matrix. We should remember that a dictator does not need artificial wombs, he has something much cheaper, a women's prison!

If we put ectogenesis on the table, fund it a little, look at its consequences then we have moved the debate forward from today's stand-off. If we ask Gods help and guidance then will he not honour our request with a solution?

Are we ready for the challenge! Dare we seek to save millions. Dare we not!

Wesley Bruce

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Crowd funding government.

Would you accept this deal?
Someone on a blog was talking of sacking all public servants.
It's the wrong strategy.

We need to make the public service work like the market. We have emerging tools. Block chain, Crowd sourcing and insurances can do 80-90% of what governments claim they are there to do.
Our public servant needs to be a true Public Entrepreneurs.
Tools need to be set up to make them such entrepreneurs. It's mostly just software as the links below show.
Try these examples.

The bridge needs fixing. A Public entrepreneur, Mr Bridger, has $10000 and the connections to get it done at $200000.
He offers the following deal on *
Pay $1 - $10 and get an internet thank-you note.
Pay $11-$100 and you get a sticker to put on your car.
Pay $101 and your name will be embossed on the handrail.
Pay $2000 and you get a table at the bridge opening dinner (max 20 seats be quick).
If $200000 is raised/pledged by November the money comes out of your account and the bridge will be repaired.
If under $200000 is raised by November your money will be refunded (or never collected from your account), You will still get the internet thank you note and Mr Bridger will pay you $5000/ the number of individual participants.
If more than $200000 is raised; its oversubscribed. Mr Bridger will take a 5% profit from the surplus, contribute half the remaining surplus to charity (named) and will find another bridge.
Needless to say the thank you note, sticker and embossed handrail all cost a fraction of the remaining $5000.

This is the most powerful crowd funding contract possible. If the 200000 is raised the bridge gets fixed. If not; those giving up their credit card details 'get their money back' with a tiny profit. The Public Entrepreneur only risks $5000 of his $10000. He may spend some of the rest on advertising in October if he's close.

The first actor problem is solved. Anyone contributing first risks nothing and may even profit if he is the only person tossing into the hat. Digital tracking makes the transactions on the site cheap treading to free. Frauds get dropped from the site. The cost is spread thinly over many people so the free rider feels little financial pressure but a little social pressure "Where's your sticker Bill?" With less than 50% paying tax the free riders are abundant today. With some of that tax being public service staff pay going around and around in the tax system the numbers are often much lower.

How would this finance a pension for a disabled person? These are the true undisputed poor not the lazy. This is medicaid, public health and the third rail of social security.

It's simple, Create an assurance contract for an eligible person, the money if raised goes to create a savings account (with a gold based inflation hedge if needed). Part of the interest is compounded part is paid out as weekly instalments. The biggest and best target would be about $500000. At 5% that would pay $235 week; 52 + 1 Christmas bonus. With half compounded until the trust's doubled. If there are exotic medical costs another round of fund-raising would buy extra medical insurance. This person is set for life and never needs to be a government problem ever again. This would work for veterans too. 

How would it do flood rescue? Buys equipment, train people, pays a very poor person to put his house up on stilts.
Can you create a private animal park and put tracking collars on lions? Their already being funded this way.

What would you not fund?
If you think the town drunks not worthy of your money would you throw a dollar in for the chance of the Public entrepreneur's $5000? 

Most known classes of public goods have been done. Police, parks, roads, medical research, hospital care, getting into university fully funded.
One girl from South America crowd funded a position in a top US UNI without knowing that she needed to meet other conditions besides just having the money but they waved the conditions. They wanted her crowd funding skills.

Public entrepreneur's replace bureaucracy, treasury and money bills in legislatures. It's a better deal than lobbying and paying off a politician so it may partly eliminate E street [The lobbyists in Washington. Every capital has it's equivalent. ] It replaces debt funding of the projects people genuinely need and want doing.

An Assurance Contract could fund a money bill in the legislature in a fraction of the time of the normal political process. Everything with the exception of law and defence could be crowd funded and we could Crowd fund equipment, insurances and research there too.

Is the freerider still riding free? Yes so are all non taxpayers today.
Are there positive externalities to others? Yes but so what if Joe from interstate gets to cross the bridge once a year!
Are there any externalities that can't be financed this way? I don't think so. We can only find out what can't be funded by trying. 

Are some projects too big? Yes but subdividing a project that is unworkable due to size into several smaller ones may succeed.

There may be a few cases where the money is raised but the task turns out to be impossible, beyond the organisers capability, or just silly. However this happens all the time with your tax dollars.

As long as it's as easy as posting on facebook, as simple as Kickstarter or indiegogo. It's mostly free digits until you hit the target. Then it will fly like this kickstarter project.
Kickstarter is 'no dollars down' preorder capitalisation! {Business finance banks are toast.}

Bitcoin already includes provision for this level of crowdfunding.

  * is not real, yet.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

 Wood Gas Cars.

If Climate change were real and the IPCC were truly about saving the world then maybe they would grab something that works and make it better.

Wood gas works. Its old technology. Its zero carbon. Its free fuel in some cases, cheap fuel in the city. It can be improved.

Its worked before: WW2

It works now:

Its loose in Australia:

An old site:

There is a hundred video's on youtube alone.

So why is this an ignored solution? Why has it not been optimised using all the resources of government and a thousand universities?

The answer is when they say their pulling out all the stops, trying everything, doing whatever is possible! Their not quite lying but its close! They can't even know that they are wrong.

Governments try to pick winners but the process automatically excludes those that don't call for help or subsidies. This technology needs no subsidies. That makes them invisible to government. Also because those that are invisible to government compete with those getting the subsidies the solutions that work become blocked by the ones that don't quite work. We get technology that needs government help and subsidies and thus can never truly be THE Solution.

So how do you optimise and improve such a technology.

  1. Hybridise for city use: Add 40 km of lithium batteries, that's not expensive or heavy. Add all electric drive and regenerative breaking.
  2. Add an optimised 1/4 size gasifier and filter with a small motor optimized to charge as you go. Use an automated blow torch ignition system for the pyrolysis system and computer control. Design the car around the gasifier with a rear engine, gasifier and filter. A rear camera to eliminate the blind spot. Put a baggage compartment in the front.
  3. I would try a fluidised bed sand filter on the hot gases. In a fluidised bed filter gas flows up through sand. The hot sand catches and cracks tars and ash into light combustibles. The sand also flows and can be made to flow past a heat exchanger to dissipate heat. 
  4. Some WW2 models used water spray filters to wash and cool the gas. That also converts some of the carbon monoxide, the main fuel in wood gas, into hydrogen. 
  5. For optimal no fuss shop bought fuel. Pre pack the fuel in cylindrical pucks made of blocks cut to size and glued with proper spacing between two paper sheets with a sheet around the edge. Add a paper handle. Make each puck under 6 kg. At the petrol station converted to a multi-fuel depot add a raised platform, steps and a remote locked cage of fuel pucks.
  6. Invent a briquette machine that converts straw into pellets so it can run on grass in the plains and the savannah.
  7. I would also add a HHO system: an electrolysis cell making mixed oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen would bias the flame speed and timing back to normal allowing smaller engines.  CO burns slower that petrol; hydrogen burns faster than petrol. The two should balance. 

The first priority is the hybrid and the compact optimised power-plant. Everything else will follow as the technology optimises.

I don't think governments can do this. I don't think they can even see real solutions. What's best for the voters is not best for the bureaucrats. Solve a real problem and you kill off a bureaucrats job.

The Earth First greens will automatically oppose this. To them Wood means the evils of forestry. Sustainable human intervention in nature is inconceivable.  They will scream 'deforestation'! We must safe guard against that in some third world counties and government run forests, because they are the remaining commons on land. The "Tragedy of the commons" can only happen with government land, tribal lands and the seas. Private lands are not commons.

I don't think Anthropogenic Greenhouse effect is having any catastrophic effects on humanity or the biosphere. Change happens in all ecosystems and climate change is normal.

However Peak Oil is real and solutions are needed. Wood gas as it is currently configured is a good fuel for those in naturally wooded country side. It can be free as the above sites show.

It requires skill; see the planet mechanics get it wrong.

[I think there may be an element of intentionality in National Geographic's talent for botching green solutions and geo-engineering. ]

It can provide stationary power.

Can this be used on every car and tractor in the world? No but this will work where electric vehicles fail. Optimised it will put a big dent in any peak oil problems.

Here are some Swedes having a go in 1942. Full factory production.
(If someone can do subtitles that would be nice. One American wood gas enthusiast caries a small electric chainsaw in his car. I bet these swedes wish they had one.)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Space station challenge.

Wesley Bruce
We need a radial world builder.
For decades now people have designed space stations for human habitation off the earth. The International Space Station is our first but while its nice zero g lab you would not want to live there.
It's been known since 1920's that any truly habitable space-station has to be a big centrifuge built with materials predominantly mined from off the earth. The minimum viable radius is 80 m and the maximum revolutions per minute is 1.2 rpm. But most are much larger in size, something like this:

That's an O'Neill island 3. The design is from 1976. Each cylinder is: 5 miles (8.0 km) in diameter and 20 miles (32 km) long and with 3 valley's per cylinder that look like this:
The valleys combined yield a usable land area of 157 square miles and the small cylinder ringing the larger cylinders are 0.5 g farm units
We also have designs for torus's that look like this:


Hopefully many are aware of these designs.

There are good animated designs on Youtube but none that you can walk about in. 

While these models and fly-through's are OK; building a world you can walk around in is difficult. Bungie managed it with Halo using a very smart skybox solution and we would need that in any space station design. However to create something that works well and gives the feeling that your really there we need to innovate. Something that makes people feel as if their in the future requires a dedicated physics engine and creative code to solve Level of Detail problems caused by angle.

To do a centrifugal space station the normal x,y,z parameters of a game physics engine are inadequate. It does not handle curvature well and gravity is locked in one direction causing endless code problems. Several people including myself have tried to do something in Second Life and have found it exasperating to say the least. While not totally fruitless, the work at Space Destinies in Scilands stresses Second Life's LSL code to the limits. (Sadly Space Destinies is gone from Second Life.) 

To really work well we need a physics engine that defines x as an axis, y as an angle around x in degrees, minutes and seconds, and z as a radius out from the axis x. In three dimensional space therefore x=0, y=0, z=0 needs to be defined in an more normal x',y',z' co-ordinate system so graphics engines don't have a fit and crash.
 We may use x, Ω and r for axis, angle and radius to avoid problems. However Ω is not a standard letter which may increase code size and decrease speed. I don't know if it will. 
My code writing proof reader tells me it will and we will need to stick to 'o' or something.
Care must be taken not to add the angles as non angle numbers. Because there is both a 3d coordinate system and a radial coordinate system it is possible to build several spinning stations in the one 3d space. Thus will require an additional parameter 'spin direction', clock wise or anticlockwise relative to x' = 0 y' = 0 or the sun.

Objects are placed at an x, y,z coordinate but with the object orientation in the z direction. At high z that is not a problem the surface is near enough to flat. To prevent edges from disappearing into other objects and overlapping textures jittering we may need to adjust the edges or come up with edges that fold down at an angle. I am a firm believer in giving virtual trees roots (no collision) that reach down into the ground so that you don't get the floating tree problem on slopes. 

Object rotation is a challenge because it adds an extra two bytes to record the angle or 4 bytes if the rotation is on two axies. The larger an object is the better in this respect. Using a single byte 1-255 and multiplying by 1.4 round nearest would work. Another solution is to sum the absolute value of the x,y,z coordinates into a seed angle and use that for random objects: flowers, trees, rocks. It may be possible to add a class of objects called key stones. These have orientation saved for them and all the adjacent objects in the non random classes calls the angle from the nearest key stone and assumes that orientation. Best for structural elements that are not the hull, walls or end caps but are buildings, roads, water flows, hedgerows. These may be treated as optional extras where other orientation options are established.

Gravity needs to be defined by three parameters. Parameter 'Inspin': is the location in the centrifuge or not. If 'Inspin' is yes then what's the locations rate of rotation 'RPM' and radius = r in meters. RPM constrains rotation to prevent dizziness. RPM over 1.2 is unusable for a general populous. Gravity due to centripetal force is a= v^2/ r. For r we can use z since its a radius.
G is 1 where v is 99 m/s for z = 1000m and RPM of 1. v = RPM/z
Very large space-stations 8 km radius can have RPM as low as 0.35 rpm. A v of 293 m/s
Note: Close to the axis gravity will diminish to zero because r [z] drops to zero. At the axis we have a potential divide by zero problem so if z is less than 10 inspin is 'No' to avoid the problem. 10 provides a buffer, 1 might not suffice.

If 'In spin' is No then the player or object is in zero g. Objects should not fall and players should fly. Even cattle should fly in zero g. [It may be a little stress full and ruin the milk!] flying speed should be near zero for anyone without a propulsion aid. That's why the International Space Station has few big empty spaces. Its possible to get stranded with no wall in reach and flapping your arms does not get you very far.

There are several other problems to be solved. As objects are built or placed in the habitat adjacent in the y angle they will converge in the centre x axis. For very tall objects this will produce acute angle collisions. If everything is rectilinear, or uses square bounding boxes, the code may crash. Some procedurally spawned triangular objects, gap fillers will help. Adding a minimum z limits on some objects solves this problem.
Space stations have end caps in the case of the spheres and cylinders and side walls and ceilings/windows in the case of the torus designs. Building these by hand is hard so a procedural method is required ideally at the new world creation phase.

In some cases the centrifuge is inside a larger pressurized hull. Sea of Suns SF and my banked track space station design. In this context we need another surface. One that represents a hull moving past you at 100 m/s. It needs a corresponding fast moving animation. Contact with this surface should be fatal without special tools. [I can see ways to do the special tools to jump on or off, in a real space station. I need an armoured suit with wheels on it and a powerful electro magnet. ]

LOD level of detail problems need to be dealt with because in a space station you can see other areas of the space station several miles away. Here is no horizon when your in a bottled city. 
 That's a horizonless New York downtown.

For a closed world which is highly constrained this is just a skybox problem. For a true open world simulation this is a problem since you can see things due to the inside out nature of the world. Minecraft is one case that handles very high lod problems created by the ability to build very high, 255 in the current game. This means you can see many km away. Another solution is to edit the sky box on the fly to display a lower resolution image of the areas seen. This would be similar to the minecraft mapping resolution. We could use several options for longer distances including 2 to 6 pre-saved default texture maps, 9 chunks, per biome that are tiled to form the unexplored area. These would influence the higher resolution map when its crafted if the player ventures into that area. A last ultra long distance option is green, blue, brown and yellow surface fog.

Building blocks for the world need to include some large hull plates, rock sheets, soil over hull plates, and windows. Some stations have windows in the floor illuminating the valley opposite. Each would need flat, 2d curved and spherical geodesic. To minimise save file size and edge to edge fitting they need to be relativity large. Given the rules of space-station architecture they would be very robust. High but not infinite hit points.

The result would be a representation of these spaces station for educational purposes and for gaming. Because education is my primary short term goal the result needs to be reasonably realistic with procedural landscapes and some buildings. Because many interested in manned space colonization will want to place their stuff in our world it needs to be open I.E. Compatible to open source objects or objects from sketch up, Maya, blender, wings, etc.

If we want to build gaming worlds then appropriate foes would be a would-be dictator and his troops, terrorists, aliens, rebellious robots, or in the case of a space-station world that is very old; primitive humans armed with bows who barely believe in the existence of earth. Big Guns are likely to be banned in such a space  station. If your trying to take a space station intact you may want to limit you weapons to non lethal stunner's, dart pistols, gas grenades and bows. Some space stations may be populated with animal transplanted from earth. This may go beyond sheep and cattle to include dangerous endangered species and genetically modified creatures that they wont allow you to grow on the earth. That could go wrong badly particularly if someone takes violent offence at your killing their newly created GM pet dinosaur.

A suggested option list is possible. It is only included to ensure that the magnitude of the options purists will demand is fully appreciated early. [So you can chicken out now. lol.]
At the creation of a new world the player, world crafter, would be asked for:
Station type:
  • Sphere (Bernal sphere) has a main length of 1m to 100m. Radius over 400 m; optimal 1km. Most buildings are on the hemispherical end caps lower slopes. Generally its terraced.
  • A cylinder has a main length of 101m+, hemispherical end caps.
  • A torus has two parallel walls and an arched glass roof at the roof height. Torus wall height is half the roof height.
  • Banded torus (Crystal-palace) is multiple tori side by side with some of the side walls removed creating a very wide torus.
  • Dumbbell; A pair of balls on each end of a stick or string [Tether]. Often dome shaped habitats. Main length is a width of the dome and the circular base. rotational radius is the full length of the dumbbell. 
  • Beaded torus; The same as Dumbbell but with more domes. With 4 to 20 domes defining each section and some sections are not drawn if their not opposite another bead.
  • Bubble is zero g, air filled but has a narrow and low centrifuge somewhere inside generally on the equator. In this case most activities are zero g with the centrifuge taking the form of a subway train full of apartments, gyms, a school, etc. {This is my own design.}
Material: Metal, asteroid rock, glass.
  • Metal is the default.
  • Asteroid rock is bumpy,
  • Glass is generally only used for bubble. Actually this is not just glass but may also be diamond sheet, reinforced polymer, transparent aluminium, biological material, or clear unobtainium.
Main radius. The radius of the main habitat floor. There may be rooms, basements, below this in some cases.
Main length. The length of a cylinder or the width of a torus. Also the diameter of a dome making up a dumbbell or beaded torus.
Percentage urban: rural: mountain: wild.
  • Urban, buildings, concrete, some flat and sloping grassed areas, some trees.
  • Rural. Farm houses, Grass, woods, hedgerows, roads, and ponds.
  • Mountain. Large hollow buildings with earth roof and walls or sculpted cliffs. Some trees.
  • Wilderness. Lots of trees, smaller patches of grassed clearings and ponds. Some rivers.
Zero g radius and length. Some stations have large non spinning structures out side the end caps. These take 4 possible forms. This may also need a separate material option.
Zero g Habitat Type:
  • Large pressurised industrial voids.
  • Tunnel and rooms. All zero g with some unpressurised rooms and tunnels.
  • Zero g farm. Lots of floating trees, 3d vines and puff ball plants.
  • Mixed: all three.
    Airlocks define pressurised or vacuum. The vacuum is contagious spreading from room to room. The bubble space-station design can use this zero g architecture with no vacuum rooms (until someone does something stupid ).

Lights/ Windows:
  • Valley: The window is in the floor with a soil covered area opposite and adjacent. Normal in cylinders.
  • Mountain: A structure on the valley that has stone side walls and earth covered slopes and glass lens on top spreading the light across the opposite face. I.E. Rama's lights. They allow smaller windows and more living space.
  • End cap: Window above 60 degrees on each end cap. Normal for the Bernal sphere.
  • Axial light: a fusion lamp or solar light pipe running the length of the structure at zero radius. Used in all toruses and any of the others.
  • Sun clouds are small glowing drones.
Torus options number: 'TOB” between one and 20. Two body spin locks TOB to 2.
Torus roof hight.
  • The highest point of the glass roof. It's arch curvature is set by the ratio of this value and main length. In Banded torus its curvature uses 1/TOB x the main length. The arch repeats TOB times. In the beaded torus the main length is much greater than the roof hight. It also curves down to the circular wall. I.E. its a dome. TOB sets the number of completed beads.

This parameter list covers all the current space station designs including the ISS. It is only a suggestion and need not be done all at once.

It would be nice if we could simulate Coriolis forces with reasonable accuracy. Objects will not fall straight down they will fall in the opposite direction of the stations spin. Flying objects will veer in the same direction. Water will form complex eddy patterns even in slow flows.

I can see what is needed but I can't write the code. Dyslexia makes me a lousy programmer. I have done some programming training way back in the 1980's and know some more modern languages. I know how it works but I just don't have the speed and memory for it. I need to build a team. I have no starting funds so it needs to be an open source project or a component of a commercial game.

Wesley Bruce

Skype: wesley_ian_bruce

Monday, March 12, 2012

Space station fly throughs.

Space propulsion is progressing nicely as many new companies enter the field. Cost and complexity will diminish in the next few years until the price drops to the point where it will be cheap enough to build big space stations. That price is about $3000 a kg is the key target. Its currently $10000. Very few resources would be shipped from earth. The asteroids and the moon would be the main source of supplies.  However to build them we need to build on the success of the international space station that has been testing the material and other aspects of the science. A construction shack space station needs to be launched to do some heavy industry in space.

Then we need to start shooting resources at it from mining robots on the moon and use an asteroid tug to drag a chunk of a near earth asteroid into orbit near the construction shack. A few supplies and fuel will be sent to the construction shack from earth as rockets that are cannibalised for resources.

WE wont live in little zero g habitants like the international space station. That's just a lab. Nor will we live in the construction shack for long. 
We will live in huge centrifuges kilometres in diameter that spin to produce gravity.

Once the large stations are built they become the base replacing the construction shack and becoming the home for thousands. There are enough resources for 700 billion people in the asteroid belt alone.  With these technology there are no limits to growth.

This is what they will look like on the inside and in some cases showing the out side.

Arthur C. Clarke's Rama a representation by Eric Bruneton;  10 km diameter, 30 km long.
Internal surface area including the sea and the full scale duplicate of Manhattan Island:  942 square kilometres.
This is how he built it.
The code is on his site:

Footage of the space station from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Bernal Sphere Space Habitat - Updated flyby.

see also

This is Original larger sphere idea by Aubrey Bernal 1929 about 3-5  km

This habitat is one of the smaller units with accommodation for only about  20,000 to 30,000 people. It's internal habitat space is 12 square km in the main sphere. The cylinders either side of the sphere are the Crystal Palace units: another 10 square kilometres of farms with 5 floors of factory space, livestock farms below that. The Crystal palace design without the Bernal sphere is a stand alone design and probably one of the first stations built.

 Island One, a modified Bernal sphere developed By Gerard K. O'Niell with a diameter of only 500m rotating at 1.9 RPM to produce a full Earth artificial gravity at the sphere's equator. Room for about 5000 people. 

One of the commonest designs is the O'niell Island three design.
There is no good walk through. I'm going to try to fix that.
There are many larger  toroidal space stations. 
fragomatik is a prolific artist. I think his real name is Perry Papadopoulos. In Sydney.



Hollow asteroids are another idea perry has explored.
This looks to be about 1 km on the out side but 5 on the inside. Minor details if the inner scale is right then its  78 to 125 Square km in internal surface area lit by a giant light pipe.

Uzi Berko's design is good too. Its toroidal, about a km wide and 20 km diameter, at a guess, 62 square km but with massive zero g volumes in that huge attached cylindrical structure. That could easily have another 4 or 5 500 m bernal sphere's or smaller toruses in side it. lighting appears to be artificial.

The biggest design is a Bishop ring. This is close to the scale of the halo in Bungie's computer game of that name. A bishop ring 1,000 km (620 mi) in radius and 500 km (310 mi) in width, containing 3 million square kilometres (1.2 million square miles) of living space. It would spin at 1000 m/s which is about 1.7 revolutions per hour. Very fast.

The closet on the web is a ring world flyover. Larry Niven's Ring world is impossibly big. It is a ring wrapped around a sun.

Space stations will not look and feel like being on earth but then being in New York does not feel like being in the countryside of York England. Both have their functions. If you believe in limits to growth then the earth is already badly overpopulated but If you believe that we can make new environments then the options are limitless. Space stations will not just be for the people. there's no reason why the plants and animals can't be endangered species living in combination's not found on earth creating whole new ecosystems that would have never been seen other wise.

On a space station every thing is recycled even the air. Yes there are things that could go wrong but the same is true in any city. An accident on such a station is no more of a problem than a wild fire, a blizzard or a hurricane.
We will work it out.
We must look to the future. If we hope to turn around the world and get it on the right track it helps to have a destination.