Saturday, July 07, 2007

Free Energy From ORBO (and creation science)

How many of you have been following the story on Steorn's "perpetual motion" machine that outputs more energy than is other words violates the 1st law of thermodynamics (conservation of energy). Steorn is an Irish Company that has developed such a machine (called the ORBO).
Orbo is based upon the principle of time variant magneto-mechanical interactions. The core output from our Orbo technology is mechanical. This mechanical energy can be converted into electrical energy using standard generator technology either by integrating such technology directly with Orbo or by connecting the mechanical output from Orbo to the generation technology. The efficiency of such mechanical/electrical conversions is highly dependent on the components used and is also a function of size.

Yesterday a public demonstration of the ORBO was held at the Kinetica Museum in London. The demonstration had to be postponed due to "technical difficulties". You can follow the ORBO perpetual motion story here at Freeenergytracker.

One group that is really excited about this machine are "intelligent design" creationists.
Steorn's findings totally undermine the basic premise of materialism, simply by demonstrating a confirmed physical effect that materialists predict cannot happen. These clever Irish researchers have demonstrated that the principles of thermodynamics function in a manner far closer to the predictions of William Dembski (Dumbski) and William Brookfield than the clearly flawed thermodynamic claims of Hawkings and Maxwell.

There is also an amusing column about ORBO in todays Huffington Post.
1. You can't win. (You can't create or destroy energy in a closed system.)

2. You can't break even. (You can't convert one form of energy to another with 100% efficiency.)

3. You can't get out of the game. (You can only achieve 100% efficiency at absolute zero, but it's impossible to cool anything down to absolute zero.)

Recently Steorn announced it would unveil Orbo, at, of all places, a London art gallery on July 4. However, the demonstration was a failure, because Orbo failed to work. Steorn's official explanation sounds remarkably like the excuses offered by all fringe inventors after their machines fail to work in front of an audience: "We are experiencing some technical difficulties with the demo unit in London. Our initial assessment indicates that this is probably due to the intense heat from the camera lighting."

Why not simply turn the camera lights off, and illuminate Orbo with cool burning fluorescent lights, and go on with the show?
Who would be foolish enough to invest their money in this scam?


Tommorrow Boeing will premier its 787 jetliner. The 787 Dreamliner is a mid-sized, wide body, twin engined jet airliner which makes use of significant amounts of composite materials in its construction. It is also the first new jetliner from Boeing in 13 years. It seats 210-250 passengers and can fly up to 8,000 nautical miles using 20% less fuel than equivalent planes due to its construction of composite materials (57%) and more fuel efficient engines. Boeing already has orders for 640 of the new jetliner.

Find an article comparing the Boeing 787 with the Airbus 380 here.
The Boeing 787 cabin will offer a visually relaxing “sweeping archways” design, window shades whose opacity can be altered at the flick of a button, greater humidification of cabin air, and a sky simulation effect through the use of colour changing light-emitting diodes in the aircraft ceiling. Aisles will be wider as will the seats.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Surprising Poll Results

From the American Research Group:

Do you approve or disapprove of President George W. Bush commuting the 30-month prison sentence of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby while leaving intact Mr. Libby's conviction for perjury and obstruction of justice in the CIA leak case?

7/5/07 Approve Disapprove Undecided

All Adults 31% 64% 5%
Voters 26% 69% 5%

Democrats (38%) 13% 76% 11%
Republicans (29%) 50% 47% 3%
Independents (33%) 19% 80% 1%

Do you favor or oppose the US House of Representatives beginning impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush?

7/5/07 Favor Oppose Undecided

All Adults 45% 46% 9%
Voters 46% 44% 10%

Democrats (38%) 69% 22% 9%
Republicans (29%) 13% 86% 1%
Independents (33%) 50% 30% 20%

3/15/06 42% 49% 9%

Do you favor or oppose the US House of Representatives beginning impeachment proceedings against Vice President Dick Cheney?

7/5/07 Favor Oppose Undecided

All Adults 54% 40% 6%
Voters 50% 44% 6%

Democrats (38%) 76% 24% -
Republicans (29%) 17% 83% -
Independents (33%) 51% 29% 20%

Let's just look at what independents think. 80% of independents do not approve of the commutation of Libby's sentence for perjury and obstructing justice. 50% of independents favor impeachment proceedings against President Bush. 51% of independents favor impeachment proceedings against VP Cheney. The vast majority of Democrats (82%), Republicans (70%)and Independents (97%) oppose a full pardon for Libby.

UPDATE: I've been looking for website that lists the misdeeds of G.W. Bush and there is one here at Unfortunately, because either congressional investigations have not been done or have been obstructed, it is mostly just a list of allegations.

Can we prove Bush purposely lied us into war? I think he did but I don't know whether it could be proved while he is in the White House.

Has Bush been spying on us illegally? There sure is reason to believe that, but we don't even know the specifics of his domestic spying program.

Have his signing statements been illegal? Investigation is just beginning.

Is Bush guilty of authorizing illegal torture? Almost certainly. Torture happened. It's almost impossible to believe that Bush was not aware of it. But it was not and has not stopped But do enough Americans believe it is wrong? They will say they do, but do they actually believe it? I'm not certain.

Bush thinks he is a cowboy (but afraid of horses). Actually he is a coward. He proved that during the Vietnam War and he's proving it now by refusing to be held accountable by obstructing justice.

Should he be impeached? In my opinion there is no doubt about it. Will he be impeached? Unlikely.

On the other hand, if a president can be impeached for lying about a blowjob it certainly seems reasonable that Bush has made far more serious high crimes and misdemeanors

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Tony Snow Defends Bush Commutation Decision

In USA Today:
The president believes pardons and commutations should reflect a genuine determination to strengthen the rule of law and increase public faith in government.
And just how does this strengthen the rule of law? By overturning a conviction by a jury and a sentencing by a respected Judge (a republican) who was following Federal sentencing guidelines?

Tony goes on to write:

Instead, he did what he does normally, and what makes those of us who work for him proud.
Yes, makes his normal, incompetent decisions which are always completely unaccountable.

Worst President ever.

Fred Thompson and Watergate

I did not know that Fred Thompson is actually a lawyer. Moreover, he was minority counsel for the Senate Watergate Committee back in 1973. An article in today's Boston Globe claims that Thompson was a "mole" for the Nixon Whitehouse.
"Thompson was a mole for the White House," Armstrong said in an interview. "Fred was working hammer and tong to defeat the investigation of finding out what happened to authorize Watergate and find out what the role of the president was."

So now we know why Thompson is a great defender of Lewis "Scooter" Libby.
Just as Thompson once staunchly defended Nixon, Thompson urged a pardon for Libby, who was convicted in March of obstructing justice in the investigation into who leaked a CIA operative's name.
Law and Order indeed.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Bush/Cheney Should Do the Right Thing - Resign

Bush has broken a "fundamental contract".

Giving Up Executive Power

I don't understand British government. In fact, British friends I've asked to explain their government don't seem to understand it either. But it's quite different from the USA government. First, they don't have a constitution. They operate based on precedent of their long history. I didn't realize the British Prime Minister had the power to declare war independent of Parliament or the power to make treaties without decision by Parliament.

Now the new British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has proposed to surrender or give up executive powers in 12 areas. He also proposes that a "Bill of Rights" should be established. Here is a link to PM Brown's speech.

Contrast PM Brown's positions on executive power with that of "King George" and I don't mean George III. "Separate but equal" has not been operating so well lately in the USA. Not with a man like George W. Bush in charge. Bush really does believe he is above the law and believes he need not be held accountable by Congress for anything he does. If he doesn't like a law passed by Congress, he decides which parts of the law he will enforce or not. Everything in his administration is held secrete so that Congress cannot provide adequate oversight. At this point, however, he is so disliked and such a lame duck that it doesn't really matter what he does anymore (in his mind).

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Worst President Ever

Bush in 2003:
"If there's a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. If the person has violated law, that person will be taken care of.
I guess we know how Bush "takes care" of his friends. Too bad Bush wasn't in such a generous mood when he denied the requests of 4000 other persons for commutation of sentence.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Who's the Biggest Threat in the World?

Europeans say it's us by far. What a surprise? Of course we are the biggest threat. Remember "you are either with us or against us?" When you have a nation as large and powerful as the USA, populated with people who are easily frightened, run by President who thinks he is doing Gods have every right to consider the USA as a threat.

Amelia Earhart

Disappeared 70 years ago today.

Attack of the Worms.....

That's the title of a column by Nicholas Kristoff in todays NYT. Unfortunately the column is behind the firewall. But he makes a point that doesn't get enough coverage. AIDS, Malaria, TB etc. are all horrible diseases that infect millions of people. But worms (helminth) infect BILLIONS of people.
It often costs hundreds of dollars a year to treat a person with AIDS, continuing for as long as the person lives. But it costs 3 cents per year per person for medicine to prevent elephantiasis, which is caused by worm-like creatures and is on my personal top-three list of diseases never to develop.

The column primarily discusses filarial worm infection and is accompanied with a truly disgusting photo of a foot affected with "elephantiasis" (bad enough that I won't show it). This is a disease caused by a mosquito-transmitted worm that is related to the worms that cause heartworm infection in dogs. We probably spend millions in the USA treating our dogs to prevent heartworm infection.

Unfortunately, treating helminth infected individuals with medication, while cheap and effective, is not a long term solution in many cases. Reducing worm infections is all about clean water and an adequate sanitation system. That's why worm infections are not common in economically developed nations.

Texas A&M Infectious Disease Research Suspended

The Center for Disease Control has indefinitely suspended all federally-funded research on certain infectious diseases at Texas A&M University. This is because researchers failed to report laboratory exposure of researchers to two "select agents".
In a memo sent to the university Saturday, the CDC questions whether A&M meets biosafety standards and has an appropriate security plan. The memo says CDC officials plan to revisit the campus this month, and it demands dozens of records and interviews with key researchers.

The letter warns that the university could permanently lose the authority to work with select agents if researchers don't follow federal guidelines.

Since the attacks of 9/11, the anthrax mailings and the formation of the Dept. of Homeland Security research, in the USA, on certain so-called "select agents" has been very closely controlled. In addition to "select agents" the NIH has a list of pathogens categorized as A, B, and C according to their potential risk to national security.

The pathogens in question, are bacteria: Coxiella burnetii (Cat. A) and Brucella (Cat. B).
A&M researchers have been studying vaccines for Brucella and Q fever, both of which are considered "terror agents" that could be used in biological warfare.

The Q fever case came to light after routine blood tests showed that three lab workers had elevated levels of certain antibodies, indicating they'd been exposed to the agent. None of the researchers fell ill.

CDC officials say they never received documentation on the Q fever exposure. But university officials say that they contacted the CDC on the exposures and that the agency told them it wasn't serious enough to warrant a formal report. The university has since changed its policy to require reporting of exposures, even when there's no evidence of infection.

The Brucella infection occurred when a female lab worker climbed into a chamber used to expose mice to the agent in an attempt to disinfect it. She was home sick for several weeks before she was diagnosed with brucellosis, and she had to take two months' worth of antibiotics to fully recover.
This is going to really hurt Texas A & M University because they are seeking to become the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility which the Dept. of Homeland Security will award in 2008.