Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Moon

Welcome. I had a ton of free time today. I didn't accomplish what I wanted to. Story of my life really, but I'm working on it. I did get a little bit done, and that was good. We've finally got homecoming all squared away. Good thing, considering it's tomorrow and all. It's going to be way fun, I'm excited. We decided to go with the economically viable plan, and I'm happy with the decision.

I really wonder where all these traditions came from. Traditions are peculiar things. They spring up from somewhere, and become a law unto themselves. People will go to insane lengths for tradition, even to the point of insanity.

For instance, there is a certain way that you have to do homecoming. It's just the way things are. Nobody ever told you that, but it's expected, and it's followed. You must do a day activity, even if you don't want to. You're requierd to spend X amount of dollars on a corsage. If you don't do this, this, and this you're a dirtbag.

And that's just dumb. Because what if you don't want to do that, and your date doesn't want to do that? Wouldn't it be more fun to do something else? Yeah, it would.

And that's where I stand tonight. Not just on the topic of homecoming, but towards the whole entire world. We must ask ourselves why we are doing this. If the answer is something along the lines of "that's the way it has to be done, even though it's stupid" it's time to change the rulebooks.

A few months ago I spoke of the metric revolution. My attempts have failed a bit, but I'm still working on it. I recently expressed the weight of my Ultimate bag in kilograms, I felt pretty cool. That revolution is still going on, and now it's time to wage another revolution.

My friends, tonight we revolt against stupid traditions. There are many good traditions, let's keep those ones. Unfortunately, there's a multitude of terrible traditions that need to be booted out. I'm being the rebel. Tomorrow I'm not giving my date a corsage, and she's not giving me a boot-a-thingy. I'm saving money. Call me a dirtbag, I'm rebelling.

Who's with me?

In other news, I really am excited for homecoming. It's going to be kicks and giggles. I'm gonna be all suited up and raging. I'll even reclaim my neck from Captain Neckbeard. He took over a while ago, it's been a crazy ride ever since. Sure, I look like a stud, but I don't think the ladies appreciate it half as much as I do. I mean, they don't know what it's like to dream of growing a neckbeard every day for 3 years and then finally being able to do it. To them, facial hair is a bad thing. To me, facial hair is my one true friend.

So, really now. My neckbeard is terribly inadequate and terribly ugly. I know this. That's the point behind the neckbeard. I've realized that there is only so much time left for me to grow a neckbeard like this one. In not so long, I'll be growing a genuine beard- not a mexi-beard. It'll be full and raging. Not ugly and crazy like this one.

I don't want a full beard right now. I want the captain neckbeard.

Yay for me and my facial hair dreams.

Alliance news: Well, it still exists. I think there are some changes coming, and hopefully alot more content coming. That's what this all boils down to- content. We need content. We need a reason for people to go to the site. Right now we've got a pretty vehicle that's delivering nothing but empty boxes. We'd prefer it delivers something that the reader will enjoy. So that's the focus. I've got to find a way to get stuff flowing in. I've got a few schemes we'll hopefully be rolling out soon.

Ultimate news: Holy karate explosion! There's a level of potential here that hasn't been seen since the invention of the potato gun. Things are still a little rough around the edges, but good things are happening. I asked everyone to talk to their contacts at other schools about Ultimate, to see if other schools had clubs or people that played so we could get games against them going on. The response was intense, we've had alot of people come forward with info for us. We don't have anything confirmed except for the Murray showdown, oct. 14, but we've got a whole list of things that could happen with proper execution. Riverton, copper hills, granger, cottonwood, kearns, skyline. I'm sure there are more out there, but those are the ones that we've got contacts for that play Ultimate. That's the project, to get the high school league pumping.

If I have to be the one to organize it and bring it together I will be. Someone has to do it. Through the magic of the internet, I can actually make it work. I can make a tournament happen. It'll require a sacrifice of some of the other stuff I'd waste my time on, but that's alright with me. We're going to have competition. I really want to get a pseudo-league set up here.

Because really, how could would it be to have a highschool champion for Ultimate? Pretty cool, that's how cool.

Anyways, the Murray showdown is going to be pretty intense. I really have no idea what to expect from them. We're going in there very structured and official, and I think they're just a bunch of people that play sometimes. I bet they're pretty good, it'll be interesting to see how they stack up against us. Truthfully, we haven't ever played against anyone but ourselves.

I just hope it's a good game, I don't want a blowout on either side. I'd love to go and play a game that tied at 14, sudden death. Because really, playing Ultimate is what's fun, not winning. Sure, winning is cool, but it's about the playing.

So, good things are happening with Ultimate. Yea verily. If you have any contacts with any highschools, talk to them about Ultimate. See if anyone's playing. Tell them we'd like to play them sometime soon, and give them my information. We gotta get things rolling here.

Ladies and gentlemen, it's time for another idea. This one is really crazy. But, it's going to be fun, so here we go. Take it for what it's worth.

The concept is simple. People want to be able to go to the moon. The trouble is the moon is very far away and doesn't exactly have an atmosphere. You show up and blam, you blow up because there's not enough pressure pushing in on you to keep you in one piece. The place is ridiculously cold, and the cell phone reception is terrible. Food services are slim to nill, leaning heavily towards the nill part.

In short - there's absolutely nothing on the moon. This is a serious deterrent to living on the moon. We need food, water, heat, and air pressure to live. The moon is pretty much lacking all of these.

But we all know that that won't stop us. We've been there before, we've planted a few flags there. The Russians have deposited a banner here and there. One day, we'll have people on the moon. We've got people in the space station right now, living in space isn't impossible. Right now nobody is doing it. I haven't been keeping track of all the recent projects and whatnot, so I don't know how soon someone's gonna attempt it. But here we go, my crazy plan.

First off, you need a ridiculously large amount of money. That's a given. It's not a ludicrous amount, but it's a ridiculous amount. You have to do what they did back in the day when they were colonizing the Americas. You're either the king of an oil rich nation, or you're a company that sells your shares. I prefer the company approach.

You begin your company as a solution to the nuclear waste problem. Your plan is to build a rail gun of insane proportions. A behemoth, a monster, a really really big gun. The concept, as backwards as it seems, it to launch nuclear waste into space, preferably towards the sun.

The sun is ridiculously large. The sun causes cancer, so we don't have to worry about it complaining about getting cancer because of all the nuclear action we're launching at it. It's sufficiently massive that no matter what we do to it, we will have virtually no effect on it. It'd be like an ant frowning at me. I can't even see the thing, who cares if it's frowning at me?

So, your company invests a huge amount of money, time, and research to design and build this huge rain gun.

(For those of you who don't know what a ray gun is: It's basically a giant cannon powered by electro magnets. It works a little bit like a camera flash. In a camera, you build up a large amount of electricity in a capacitor. All the capacitor does is hold that energy until you flip the switch, and then it all rushes out. So, you hit the switch, the energy goes flying through the wire, hits the flashy-bulb, and goes crazy, then stops. It's just a brief second of super flash. The rush of electricity from the capacitor makes the filament or whatever go super bright, and then it's all gone so it stops. In a rail gun, you've got the same concept. Except with more power, more capacitors. You flip the switch, and all this power goes hurtling along the lines. Let's say that it hits a huge coil, and immediately creates a huge electro-magnet of immense power. If you set stuff up right, this can repel an object (our projectile) away like crazy. Thus, launching it super far)

That's the basic idea behind the rail gun. It requires a ton of electricity to run, but since you're rich you build yourself a huge array of solar panels and windmills and a dam to power it. You get a ton of nuclear waste shipped to you, you pack it up into your cartridge, load the cannon, and hit the big "go" button. Boom, it launches that thing to the sun, and you're never going to see it or feel it's carcinogenic effects.

You make good business. You offer a permanent solution to the waste problem. Nobody seems to mind that you're actually polluting the sun. After all, the sun is a big boy, it can take care of itself. Conspiracy theorists worry that you're actually launching the nuclear waste back in time, and that you're the real one responsible for the dinosaurs extinction.

Aside from the wackjobs though, you're popular and rich. You build another gun, this time in Russia. Profits go up, the world gets a little safer, and you pop up a few more installations all over the globe. You're launching this waste out there like it's nobody's business.

And then, very secret-like, you build a shuttle. Nobody really needs to know about it, because it's best if you don't have people asking questions or getting excited and trying to beat you to the punch.

Flash forward. You've got your shuttle completed, and a super team trained. You take the crosshairs of one of your cannons off the sun, and aim it at the moon. Now, instead of launching nuclear waste, you're launching building materials and food. You're launching pieces and parts. You fling the makings of a lunar base into a field on the moon. And now they're sitting there, and there's nobody around to steal them. Score one for the good guys.

You finally unveil your plan, and launch the shuttle to the moon. There are 5 people on board, a robotic rover, all sorts of supplies, and a flashflight. Your crew will land near the field where all your supplies have been launched from the railguns.

So, they sit down, and your rover goes to collect the packages strewn througout. Thank you DARPA grand challenge, that baby is 100% automated. You don't even have to press go, he just trucks along, picks up the package and brings it right back.

Your crew spends the next several weeks assembling the first permanent base on the moon. For now they're living out of the shuttle, but soon the base will be habitable. I haven't fleshed out all the details on what the base is gonna be like, but they're building it. All the while we're constantly launching more stuff up there. It's a barrage of construction materials and granola from your peeps back on the mother-rock.

In a few more weeks, your second crew arrives. By this point you've got an insulated base with an airlock. It isn't much, but you can go in there and take your helmet off without your eyes popping out of their sockets and exploding in a shower of blood and eye-pieces. Half the crew continues work on the base, and the other half goes to assemble an array of solar panels.

Flash forward a year: Crews have come and gone, but your moon base has been constantly inhabited for a whole year now. Over the months it has grown and grown, and things are starting to look pretty good. You've got surplus electricity coming in, and you actually managed to grow some plants. Sure, you had to launch all the soil and water up from earth, but it's a start. You're working on completing your tourism wing, so you can finally satisfy and wants of all those rich billionaires that want to live on the moon for a week.

Flash forward a few more years, and you've got a permanent moon base. It's bigger, better, cooler. Here's why it worked:

1) Proper financial backing. You don't start this project until you are sure you can finish the project. As a business specializing in shooting nuclear waste into a giant fusion-machine, you're loaded. You don't have to raise taxes in order to make it work, so you can pull it off.

2) Rail guns. Right now it's tough to get a shuttle to the moon. You can do it, but it's expensive and unreliable. By being able to rail gun all your non-human materials up there, not only do you save a ton of money, but you're capable of sending so much more. You can only pack so much crap into a shuttle. The more stuff in there, the more fuel it takes to get to the moon. This way we've got what seems to be an endless supply of food, materials, water, and whatever else they need no more than 24 hours away. No shuttle can boast that. It's all about the snail mail.

3) You did it gradually. That's the only way to do it. Crew by crew, and piece by piece. You start small, with the main airlock building. Then you build the garage for all your materials. Then the farm, then the giant solar arrays. It's bit by bit.

So, we can do it. If we can shoot all of our materials up there using huge rail guns, we can do it. It'll still be monumentally hard, but it's not impossible.

Why do it? That's up to you to decide. What's the point in having a moon base? The same point in putting spinners on your car. They serve no purpose- no purpose other than impressing the ladies.


Nathan said...

I could totally see this happening. I wanna go! 8-)

Combat Kyle said...

Good luck salvaging the pieces of your base that savagely smashed into the face of the moon. They are going to be smashed into bits, or burried under feet of moon-dust. And thats only if you can get enough power into your gun on Earth to shoot the pieces at over 11 kilometers a second to break free of Earth's gravity, actually be a good enough aim to HIT the small target of the moon, and build a gun that big in the first place...) Give it up Shelton, you can't shoot stuff at the moon and expect it to make it, or make it in one piece. It sounds fun, but this idea wouldnt work. Physics says so. (Gravity of the Earth, force needed to get away from that gravity, motion of Earth and the Moon, momentum, impact velocity. Not mention things like electromagentism and ECONOMICS! Nerd pants :D

Anonymous said...

Haha I had similar thoughts as Kyle. I don't know what would survive a shot to the moon. Even one of those black boxes or maybe a crate made of diamond, even if it were REALLY indestructable, it may possibly have a seriously negative effect on the moon, such as a) knocking it out of orbit, if the package were huge enough (rediculously huge), or b) making these gigantic craters and cracks that would eventually break the moon apart.

But I really like your idea, it works marvelously in theory. You could always just send automated ships full of supplies up there, although that kinda defeats the whole low-cost thing. I dunno, I'm not as imaginitive as you, but I really like your idea.