Thursday, July 28, 2011

Insane Imagery

Welcome to the late edition of Insane Imagery. This month I'm doing Star Wars, and focussing on the key elements of the films. These features include:

  • The Lightsabre
  • Blasters
  • Space Travel
  • Cloning
  • Aliens
The Lightsabre

We all know what a lightsabre is, the fantastic sword apparently made of extreme light and heat, which in all other aspect behaves like a sword. But is it a plausible weapon? Short answer: No. Any weapon which is made of light is not going to be solid enough to deflect other weapons, or blaster bolts, or anything else for that matter. Ever try to block a punch with a laser light?That doesn't even get into the idea of keeping the light in a very constricted shape, without the use of mirrors.

Of course, that isn't to say something similar will never be available. The characteristics of a Lightsabre are almost identical to those exhibited by a Plasma Sword. What's Plasma? Why, Plasma is the forth state of matter! Solid, Liquid, Gas, Plasma. If somthing doesn't fit solid, liquid or gas, it's probably plasma. Some examples are, FIRE! LIGHTNING! AURORA BORIALIS! AURORA AUSTRALIANIS! NEBULAS! and many others. Chemically, plasma is a state of matter in which all molecules are dissociated and most are ionized. Make any sense to you? Chemists, correct me if I'm wrong, but is that basically the nuclei (centres) of the molecules are not really connected, but the electrons are almost free moving? Sounds about right.

In any case, if enough energy was produced to superheat plasma, it could be drawn out and held in place with a ridiculously powerful electro-magnetic field. The EMF would cause the sword to strike other such swords as though they were solid, but would pass straight through a non-magnetic sword... although the superheated plasma would probably do some damage. Another advantage would be drawing magnetic weapons to it, melting or contorting them to be useless. This isn't seen in the movies, but would be cool to see in real life.

Despite the seeming simplicity of the concept, creating a "lightsabre" would be next to impossible, as the energy requirements for even short term use are astronomical. In order to create one with today's technology, you would need a nuclear reactor, several super computers and something the size of a tank to house it all. and that's for a normal length blade. We won't be seeing any lightsabres around here any time soon. Blasters on the other hand...


The other handheld weapon of the Star Wars trilogies is the blaster. In effect, a blaster is a handheld weapon of similar shap and size to our current firearms, the only difference being they shoot what looks like lasers. A more likely shot would be, you guessed it, Plasma.

Plasma guns do exist. They aren't military grade, and are VERY bulky, but they do exist. They are known as Dense Plasma Focuses or DPF, and shoot short lived high temperature, high density plasma in scientific experiments. If the design could be miniaturized, and the yield increased, so as to increase the life of the plasma shot, it might achieve a weapons grade. As it is, it is indescribably useful to science, and completely useless to the military.

The other big problem would be energy. It requires a large amount of energy to create the shots of plasma, and nothing we can currently create at a handheld level as anywhere near the levels of output required to run such a device. If a small portable fusion or even fission reactor could be designed, then we'd be much closer to the time of lightswords and ray guns. If we managed to create such a device, perhaps we'd have the energ needed for faster then light travel.

Space travel

First off, when designing the films, the distance between planets was not taken into account, or at least can't have been thought through. Most of the travel in the galaxy was by large starships going at light speed. Not only is this impossible, it is impractical. The faster an object moves, the more energy it needs to go faster; and the more energy it has, the larger it's mass. In order to go at the speed of light, an object would require an infinite amount of energy, and because of that it would have an infinite amount of mass. This is one of the things discovered by Einstein's Theory of Relativity.

The design of the starships witin the Star Wars universe are reminiscent of the rockets of old. They suggest that some fuel burning within a confined space would create a sufficient speed for galactic travel. This is not the case. Unless the fire at the back of the ships were plasma vents... A more realistic inter-planetary transport system would be an Alcubierre Drive, which is akin to the Warp Drive of Star Trek. A drive of this style creates a wave IN THE VERY FABRIC OF SPACE! Doing this would make the space around the ship move, not the ship itself, so it violates no Relativistic laws. Of course an Alcubierre Drive doesn't suggest the intricate maneuvers demonstrated in the films as possible. Though if it could be weakened and directed, there isn't any logical reason why it wouldn't work. At present, there are no known ways to create a spacial distortion event. Perhaps we'll find an alien species who knows a way...


This is an interesting question, are there aliens, and if so, what do they look like? The best thing about the films is that the aliens really do look strange. If aliens are out there, it is almost impossible that they'd look similar to anything we have on earth. The conditions of life on other planets would be different to Earth, just because it isn't Earth. They even have creatures that aren't sentient, which is how you would expect it to be, if they worlds there are anything like Earth.

I won't say whether there are aliens out there or not, because I have no idea. Whose to say just how likely a life starting event is? Or a sentience event? It's possible that we'll never find alien life, just as it it possible we'll find some tomorrow. I will remain agnostic to this question, as the evidence just isn't there for either side.

I have hopefully explained to you the various logical inaccuracies and potential real world applications of the science of Star Wars. I'm likely forgetting a lot, so if you notice something I forget, please comment on here so I can address it. Otherwise, comment of likes and dislikes, follow me if you want, and stay tuned for mor INSANE IMAGERY!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Imagine all the people

Can you imagine my rage? I recently went on to youtube to listen to one of my favourite songs of all time, Imagine by John Lennon. What i find, amongst the numerous remixes, covers and film clips, but this garbage:

This is clearly a mobile weblink, so if you can't follow it, it's called Imagine(christian version). This really burns my biscuits. I'm sure this guy felt his response was grea, but unfortunately he missed the point of the original song. He seems to think the strongest message is anti-religion. That message is there, but it's an accompanying message. The main point of the song is "give peace a chance", to quote another John Lennon song. It seems to me that any message of peace that doesn't mention religion is HORRIBLY flawed. In order for peace to be achieved in the world, there must be understanding and acceptance between religion. That or accepting the fact that if there is some deity out there, it has lost all the fucks it had to give.

This post is not a rambling about the evils of religion, nor am I going to destroy this guy (he made no argument either than his belief in god). This post is my attempt to enlighten people to the things people will do for their belief. Creating a parody is one thing, this is another. To me it seems as though this man thought his religion was being singled out, so he wrote a pro-"my religion" version of the song. It's one of the better reactions possible, but pointless, stupid and counter-productive. Ignorance breeds ignorance, and if a song like this became popular, there's a good chance that the hell theists believe in would break loose upon the Earth.

Crites evidentia logica.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Before I begin the rant you've all been waiting for, I must first apologise for my absence the last month. I have had the flu, and have been without access to the Internet. I missed last months "Insane Imagery" and will hopefully post that this weekend. However, I'm back now and completely ready to rant.

"Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration." Dune 1965, Frank Herbert. This quote is memorable for it's vivid imagery and simplicity. Everyone has been scared before and everyone can understand the thoughts and feelings that occur when one is scared. This seems to make this quote more substantial, more real. And I assert a similar idea: Apathy is the soul-killer. Apathy is the slow but steady death of passion and thought that bring utter annihilation. I use the word soul as a synonym for inspiration, and not as an ethereal entity that acts as your mind.

Apathy has been a major concern of mine, first as my classmates succumbed to its allure, then as I battled it during my years of social anxiety. And now as the world hides from itself behind the shadowy cloak of apathy, I find myself rejuvenated, my normal wish to stay inside and do nothing destroyed, and a new desire to get out and work washing over me, soaking to my core. There isn't much that I can do, especially in gfc world, but without doing something I will go insane. Aside from looking for work, I am going to do my part to save the world. I will write on this blog, make my YouTube videos (currently in editing by the way), and I will be taking every opportunity I can find to discuss this problem and remove it. This will involve public speaking, so I'll be letting everyone know when I do it and how it went. As a personal note, my apathetic nature during puberty led me to become frail and unfit, lacking in self-confidence and stooped over to boot. I am rectifying the situation, working out more, eating healthier and visiting the doctor in regards to a overall health plan. This is all about me, I got off track.

Apathy is a major symptom of clinical depression, as there is virtually no difference between not feeling and hiding from your feelings. Depressed people don't want to show their feelings for various reasons, including being scared of what they'd see, or thinking no-one would like them. They need care and understanding, but because it's a difficult problem, they mostly get confusion or outright rejection. The first step a person can take to help inspire the world is to notice broad spectrum apathy for what it is, and try to help those they see with it.

Harder than noticing apathy in others is noticing it within yourself. If those around you seem worried, or you're bored 90% of the time, you might be depressed and hiding behind apathy. If you think you might be depressed, talk to someone, either someone you trust or a mental healthcare professional. Preferably the latter, as they have been trained to help and know what they are doing. A single apathetic person can deflate a whole room, and as such should do all they can to help themselves, if not for themselves, then for the inspired people they might meet.

Finally, apathy within a group is an easy fix. Anyone can do it, as passion can be contagious. A word of encouragement here, a pat on the back there is all it takes to bring someone out of a slump. If you're really up for it a well timed speech can cause even the least caring individual to become fervent. Even without a set stage a speech can work wonders. If whilst walking down the street you see the chance to inspire, take it. Talk proudly, passionately and with conviction, and people will listen. Let it come from within and people will be impressed by your passion, or have it prepared and let your words come out clear. There are other ways to eliminate the soul-killer, but this is a start, I call it the "Inspire the World Campaign". Please comment with your contributions and support, or point to the multiple flaws in my ad hoc plan. I can benefit from both.

crites evidentia logica.