A Critique of “The Science of Interstellar” by Kip Thorne

By | Jan 27, 2016

Last year, the movie Interstellar made quite the impression. It’s a good movie, with lots to go for it. One of the scientific advisers to the film is Kip Thorne, one of the brightest minds in the theories in the realms of Extreme Physics alive today. He wrote a book called “The Science of Interstellar” to let all of us know about what it was like to be a scientist working in Hollywood, and about the effort it took to make a big-budget SciFi movie consistent with our current state of knowledge. Kip set the bar very high indeed. He insisted that everything in the movie be at least possible based on what we know, even if it was a stretch and very, very unlikely. I have to point out that this was Kip’s standard, not mine, and that by setting this standard, he planted the seeds for his own failure. That’s not to say that the book is bad, or that his efforts were wasted, but by setting the bar so high he actually made is goal impossible in today’s entertainment industry. But despite not quite getting a perfect score, he got damned close. Continue Reading >>

Low-Dose Radiation Exposure Risk, Part II

By | Jan 22, 2016

Well, it’s been a while since I wrote the long, long post on WiFi Health and Safety, and there’s more to report. First, some good news: Continue Reading >>

Retiring Nuke means More Fossil Fuel

By | Feb 8, 2015

I was cruising around the web looking for some information on coal employment(don’t ask), and came across an interesting tidbit of news: After 41 years of operation, the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant  ceased operation and was disconnected from the grid in December of 2014. Continue Reading >>

Read This Book!

By | Feb 4, 2015

In 2008, my Dad published his first book for the public at large. Titled “Beyond Smoke and Mirrors: Climate Change and Energy in the 21st Century,” the book wasn’t about the high energy physics that lead to his Nobel Prize. Rather it was written about climate issues and energy policy. He wrote it because he was ever more frustrated with all the whack-jobs out there who were spewing forth huge amounts of BS. (My words, not his.) Continue Reading >>

WiFi Health and Safety – A Summary of the Mess!

By | Jan 23, 2015

I live in a really wonderful area. We are lucky to have excellent local schools, The Portola Valley School District is a small district of just two campuses. Our community is active, and our district holds lots of events to both inform and poll the parents and other interested parties. During the 13/14 school year, I went to the district sponsored meetings on technology, a hot educational topic due in part of the new infrastructure requirements driven by the Common Core testing changes. I was really surprised that the issue of WiFi health and safety came up at both meetings. In fact, some of the parents in our community feel that this is a very urgent and pressing health and safety issue. While skeptical on this one (I’m a physicist by training) I decided to pretend I knew nothing on the subject and I did some digging…. This not-so-brief write up is the result of what I learned.

Continue Reading >>

A Tale of Two Customer Service Orgs

By | Nov 18, 2010

So recently, I changed my home phone from POTS (Plain Old Telephone System) to VOIP (Voice Over Internet Phone). This was driven by very high costs for the POTS system and the relative low cost of VOIP. Needless to say, the transition wasn’t that smooth. Continue Reading >>

Common Sense Saves Carrier Big Bucks!

By | Jul 9, 2010

My last post, on how stupid we can all be, focused on not doing the obvious and the risks that come with some short term decisions. This post highlights one companies efforts to do something smart. Continue Reading >>

Are we stupid or what?

By | Jun 18, 2010

So I was reading in a green newsletter on automotive stuff, and found some more evidence that we in the US are stupid (not that this evidence is hard to find). Continue Reading >>

Nitrogen in tires, what’s really driving the trend.

By | Jun 7, 2010

I don’t know if you’ve noticed it, but more and more places are offering pure (or more pure) nitrogen for filling your tires. When I dug into the whys of this, I found a bunch of BS, one good reason, and a lot of money… Continue Reading >>

Energy Harvesting for Electronics

By | Feb 4, 2010

I recently highlighted a novel audio amp that can run off batteries for a long, long time. And I’ve been collecting some other low power stuff that I’ll share here. But what really makes it complete is the concept of Energy Harvesting! Continue Reading >>

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