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WHAT SCIFI MOVIE BEST DESCRIBES (OR PREDICTS) THE FUTURE??? - Page 2  

post #31 of 135
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Originally Posted by RobertR View Post

How does that keep anyone from using it? According to you, NO one will provide it because EVERYONE can. On the contrary, If some companies are hesitant to use it as you claim, that would be the perfect opening for those who AREN'T hesitant, which means they WILL jump in. It also seems to me that there would be plenty of ways to achieve greater efficiency beyond the basic fusion process. And who's to say that the process itself couldn't be improved on?

I'm sure some companies will, but it's not going to be some kind of permission to print money, just like the airline industry isn't. The costs to get and stay in the game are high, and the volatility is high for the reasons I indicated. That doesn't keep companies from getting into the business, but look at the history of the industry and the turnover and failures.

It's fundamentally different from the current energy situation, where the supply is much more limited and much more difficult to get to.
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Prices are lower than they were when they were dictated by the CAB.

Again, a true statement that doesn't actually support the argument. You pay for almost everything now as an extra, have less space, get less attention, get less food, etc... Some are talking about making the toilets pay services.
post #32 of 135
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Originally Posted by RobertR View Post

Competition also brings about benefits.
The question is "benefits" to whom.

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especially dictates coming from “consumer advocates” who are really business cartelists in disguise.
To who are you referring?confused.gif

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Without government dictates, Standard Oil went from a 10 percent market share of the refining market in 1871 to a 90 percent share in 1880.
That was achieved by buying out its competitors and cornering the supply, which is why S.O. was eventually broken up by the govt. and anti-monopoly laws were put in place.


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Originally Posted by KBMAN View Post

I hate to sound like a Mod here, but let's try and stay close to 'movie talk', as it relates to this thread....We could talk about energy for a billion years and get nowhere! wink.gif
Your opening post asks the very same thing question we are discussing here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertR View Post

My point is that “economies of scale” and increased efficiency were brought about by a private firm acting in its own interest (Standard Oil), not government edicts. That’s a historical fact that belies the “industry never lowers prices and becomes more efficient when left on its own” claims.

It’s stating the obvious to say “if another company or companies had been more efficient than Standard Oil, prices would have been lower”. The point is that prices got lower as Standard Oil increased market share via its greater efficiencies, something some people would like to believe “can’t happen”.
the only time companies are protected from competition is when government does so, usually in the name of “protecting the consumer” or propping up less efficient but politically favored companies
Why wouldn’t a company that’s able to deliver cheaper and more plentiful energy than its competitors make lots of money? Wouldn’t people FLOCK to that company, as they did to Standard Oil?
You are way off on what S.O. was and did.
Perhaps you should take some time to do a closer read of Standard Oil and its history.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J.D._Rockefeller#Founding_and_early_growth
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J.D._Rockefeller#Monopoly
post #33 of 135
Rent or buy the doc "Who Killed the Electric Car?" The more you know about Standard Oil, the more you'll understand why we're in the energy fix we're in today.

The secret, IMO, is hydrogen. Use the energy of the sun to provide the electric current required to separate the hydrogen and oxygen from water molecules, capturing the gases that are released. Shift the nation toward a clean-burning, all-hydrogen energy system and we'd never need mine another yard of coal. We'd still need oil for plastics and the petrochemical industry, but we'd easily be able to meet that need with domestic production.

The problem is we're not thinking big enough. And there's a reason for that, too. We have a very short-sighted energy policy. That hasn't changed for 80 years, just gotten more entrenched, and we lack the political will to do anything about it. The lead role in clean energy production - the growth industry of the 21st century - is there for the taking and we're going to let China and Brazil take it.
Edited by archiguy - 6/30/13 at 4:10pm
post #34 of 135
I don't think that hydrogen would solve all the problems though. You seem to be looking at it mostly from an automobile point of view. But you need electrical power for industry and you need the transportability of electrical power. Each big factory have to have its own hydrogen planet on site and maintain it and ship in large amounts of hydrogen required for big power requirements doesn't practical to me, or for every home to do something similar on a smaller scale.

For things besides motors in various vehicles, something like fusion, it seems to me, is the only real answer.
post #35 of 135
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Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post

I don't think that hydrogen would solve all the problems though. You seem to be looking at it mostly from an automobile point of view. But you need electrical power for industry and you need the transportability of electrical power. Each big factory have to have its own hydrogen planet on site and maintain it and ship in large amounts of hydrogen required for big power requirements doesn't practical to me, or for every home to do something similar on a smaller scale.

For things besides motors in various vehicles, something like fusion, it seems to me, is the only real answer.

Fuel cells for individual automotive use and bulk hydrogen gas to run power plants. The existing infrastructure would need some modification of course, but that's just an engineering problem. You float thousands of acres of solar panels on top of the warm waters of the equatorial Pacific - where the sun shines all day every day and there are virtually no big storms (they mostly occur in the temperate zones) - and you can produce all the hydrogen gas you need for virtually nothing. It's eminently doable, but would require great vision and will, something in short supply these days. Again, it's just engineering, something we're particularly good at.

Until somebody invents true cold fusion, that option is just a pipe dream. But a hydrogen-based energy economy - we could make that happen tomorrow with technology we already have today.
Edited by archiguy - 6/30/13 at 4:21pm
post #36 of 135
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The question is "benefits" to whom.
You don’t think a competitive business environment is a good thing? You prefer a state enforced monopoly?
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To who are you referring?
I refer to businesses that don’t like it when a more efficient competitor or competitors gain market share at their expense, and turn to government to protect “consumers” (yeah, right) from the “cutthroat competition”.
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That was achieved by buying out its competitors and cornering the supply,
It achieved these things by being more efficient than its competitors (why isn’t that a GOOD thing?), many of whom WANTED to be bought out because they KNEW S.O. was better at the business than they were.
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which is why S.O. was eventually broken up by the govt. and anti-monopoly laws were put in place.
Actually, the impetus came not from a desire to “protect the consumer”, but to protect businesses (which “consumer advocates” supposedly are against) from more efficient competitors. Ida Tarbell, a supposed “consumer advocate” who wrote History of the Standard Oil Company was the daughter of a S.O. competitor who couldn’t compete. This true impetus was actually acknowledged during the U.S. House of Representatives debate on the Sherman Antitrust Act. Congressman William Mason stated that the “trusts have made products cheaper, have reduced prices”, but he didn’t care if the price of oil was “reduced to one cent a barrel”(!) because the important thing to him was the protection of “legitimate business enterprises” (he probably defined a “legitimate business enterprise” as one which paid him off or was in his district). The fact is that S.O.’s market share was declining before it was broken up (Between 1898 and 1906, Standard’s oil production increased, but its market share of oil production declined from 34 to 11 percent), due to the appearance of new competitors such as Associated Oil and Gas, Texaco, Gulf, Sun Oil, and Union Oil. S.O.’s share of the refining market also declined.
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Perhaps you should take some time to do a closer read of Standard Oil and its history.
One of the articles you cited states “despite improving the quality and availability of kerosene products while greatly reducing their cost to the public (the price of kerosene dropped by nearly 80% over the life of the company), Standard Oil's business practices created intense controversy”. And this is supposed to be “proof” that S.O. was “bad” for consumers, requiring “action”?
Edited by RobertR - 6/30/13 at 4:55pm
post #37 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

Fuel cells for individual automotive use and bulk hydrogen gas to run power plants. The existing infrastructure would need some modification of course, but that's just an engineering problem. You float thousands of acres of solar panels on top of the warm waters of the equatorial Pacific - where the sun shines all day every day and there are virtually no big storms (they mostly occur in the temperate zones) - and you can produce all the hydrogen gas you need for virtually nothing. It's eminently doable, but would require great vision and will, something in short supply these days. Again, it's just engineering, something we're particularly good at.

It would require a massive boatload of money, all of which would be at fairly high risk, which is probably the issue more than anything else. As with fusion energy research, it's probably something beyond the means of single companies, which immediately gets it into a whole other world of complications. And you are sort of playing a number of things overly lightly. Virtual no big storms isn't the same as no big storms. What damage to such a system would a big storm create? What sorts of interruptions would it create? Who is going to give companies a right to take over large sections of the ocean for their own use, and take the prime locations? Are they going to be forced to share the results with other countries?
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Until somebody invents true cold fusion, that option is just a pipe dream. But a hydrogen-based energy economy - we could make that happen tomorrow with technology we already have today.

There's still research going on with hot fusion (ITER), and it's the only real solution, I would think. At some point it's going to be cracked, though it's obviously proven far more difficult than original anticipated. And that's something anyone investing in a hydrogen economy would have to consider. You spend billions upon billions of dollars and 20 years to convert, and five years later someone finally cracks the fusion issue and you now have a vastly more expensive source that is as obsolete as oil would be. Obviously hydrogen could still be important for vehicles, but with fusion energy you don't need huge flotillas of solar cells to generate it.
post #38 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post

It would require a massive boatload of money, all of which would be at fairly high risk, which is probably the issue more than anything else. As with fusion energy research, it's probably something beyond the means of single companies, which immediately gets it into a whole other world of complications. And you are sort of playing a number of things overly lightly. Virtual no big storms isn't the same as no big storms. What damage to such a system would a big storm create? What sorts of interruptions would it create?
I agree with these points. The problem with hydrogen is that it's an energy carrier, not an energy source.
post #39 of 135
Here's another very predictive film:

Enemy of the State
post #40 of 135
"Strange Days" and "Total Recall" both dealing in themes of view
post #41 of 135
Sorry, hit send by accident. "Strange Days" and Total Recall" both
have themes of viewing recorded experiences from someone else's
brain, fed directly into your brain. I could see an Apple product in
the near future. iExperience perhaps.
post #42 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post

It would require a massive boatload of money, all of which would be at fairly high risk, which is probably the issue more than anything else. As with fusion energy research, it's probably something beyond the means of single companies, which immediately gets it into a whole other world of complications. And you are sort of playing a number of things overly lightly. Virtual no big storms isn't the same as no big storms. What damage to such a system would a big storm create? What sorts of interruptions would it create? Who is going to give companies a right to take over large sections of the ocean for their own use, and take the prime locations? Are they going to be forced to share the results with other countries?

You're not considering just how vast and empty the Pacific Ocean is. There is plenty of room to set up hundreds of these hydrogen production stations and never even see the next one on the horizon. Take a trip through the Gulf and see how many giant oil derricks are out there, each one a BP-potential disaster waiting to happen.

Making the solar farms storm-proof is, again, just an engineering problem. Maybe the panel arrays roll up if one of the extremely rare big storms is approaching - who knows? The point is that's not even remotely an obstacle. And nobody is "taking over" anything. The panels float on the surface of empty and unoccupied ocean. A large OTEC generator (Oceanic Thermal Energy Converter) sits nearby. The gas produced is pumped into giant airships which transport it back to the mainland. It's all doable with technology that's on the shelf today. We don't have to wait for some theoretical breakthrough (which, if it ever happens, will probably require the mining of some kind of exotic element to act as a catalyst with all the environmental costs that entails).

Think how many high-paying design, engineering, and construction jobs would be created by the opening up of a new industry, with technology on the shelf right now, and built on the corroding carcass of an obsolete energy industry that is clearly unsustainable and whose environmental costs multiply as the years go on. Clean energy is the growth industry of the 21st century. That is a fact that cannot be overstated. The country that wins this game wins the future. And the whole world will follow. Cheap, clean energy is the key to eliminating poverty and hunger and making a brighter future for a turbulent world. Only hydrogen has that potential right now.

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Originally Posted by DeanRoddey 
There's still research going on with hot fusion (ITER), and it's the only real solution, I would think. At some point it's going to be cracked, though it's obviously proven far more difficult than original anticipated. And that's something anyone investing in a hydrogen economy would have to consider. You spend billions upon billions of dollars and 20 years to convert, and five years later someone finally cracks the fusion issue and you now have a vastly more expensive source that is as obsolete as oil would be. Obviously hydrogen could still be important for vehicles, but with fusion energy you don't need huge flotillas of solar cells to generate it.

You think creating an entirely new technology - one which isn't even remotely on the horizon - and building hundreds of thermonuclear plants all over the country (which would still produce some amount of nuclear waste, smaller than fission but still just as dangerous) would be cheaper than producing hydrogen from ocean water? Seriously? tongue.gif

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Originally Posted by RobertR View Post

I agree with these points. The problem with hydrogen is that it's an energy carrier, not an energy source.

So is gasoline, kerosene, propane, natural gas, and every other carbon based energy source. Yes, it would require modifying existing infrastructure requiring gigantic private and public investment. But to say that cold fusion - something that's not even on the radar screen - would not is disingenuous. I submit that building dozens of fusion plants would be many orders of magnitude more expensive than modifying the existing production, refining, and delivery system to accommodate hydrogen.

The question should be: what can we do to start the progression from dirty and increasingly scarce and expensive carbon-based fuels to clean, unlimited energy sources? That effort should have begun in earnest 40 years ago - about the time the costs of global warming began to be understood. Hydrogen should be leading that charge. It's relatively easy and cheap compared to any of the alternatives, and produces no polluting by-products or greenhouse gases whatsoever.

Pick up a copy of Marshall Savage's illuminating treatise on this subject (and many others): "The Millennial Project". It's a great book written by a brilliant futurist. If I were King, it would be required reading in every high school science class in the country.
Edited by archiguy - 7/1/13 at 6:27am
post #43 of 135
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You're not considering just how vast and empty the Pacific Ocean is. There is plenty of room to set up hundreds of these hydrogen production stations and never even see the next one on the horizon.
Out of curiosity, I looked up some numbers, and it would take solar panels occupying an area THREE times the size of Nevada, at an estimated cost of $22 trillion to do what you propose. This is IMMENSELY more expensive (not to mention a colossal logistical and engineering problem) than any other alternative. One has to wonder how many years it would take for such a fantastically expensive investment to pay off—if EVER. It sure is easy to propose spending other people’s money, but any person making rational economic calculations is going to look very, very hard at all other alternatives before that one.
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Making the solar farms storm-proof is, again, just an engineering problem….who knows?
So you just wave away obstacles by describing them as “mere engineering problems”? One could say the same “who knows?” thing about fusion, or any other new technology for that matter. Another obstacle not mentioned is the very low energy density of hydrogen—30 times less than gasoline on a volume basis. Again, you can’t just eliminate it as an obstacle by describing it as a “mere engineering problem”.
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hundreds of thermonuclear plants all over the country (which would still produce some amount of nuclear waste, smaller than fission but still just as dangerous
No, not just as dangerous. FAR shorter half life, making them much easier to manage.
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Originally Posted by RobertR
The problem with hydrogen is that it's an energy carrier, not an energy source.

Originally Posted by archiguy
So is gasoline, kerosene, propane, natural gas, and every other carbon based energy source.

No, they are primary energy sources. Hydrogen is NOT. Hydrogen does not occur naturally in quantity, which means energy must be expended to extract it (in essence, you are using the hydrogen to store a fraction of the energy you expended from your primary energy source). The energy source has to provide all of the energy that is available from the hydrogen fuel, as well as all of that lost due to inefficiency during both the production and consumption of the hydrogen. The fact is that it requires MORE energy to produce hydrogen than what can be obtained from it (the same “mere engineering problem” that fusion needs to overcome, BTW). With primary sources such as oil, coal and natural gas, it’s simply a matter of taking it out of the ground. There is some production overhead, but unlike hydrogen, you still have a net GAIN of energy.
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I submit that building dozens of fusion plants would be many orders of magnitude more expensive than modifying the existing production, refining, and delivery system to accommodate hydrogen.
Many orders of magnitude more expensive than $22 trillion? You seriously think fusion would cost millions of trillions of dollars?
Edited by RobertR - 7/1/13 at 7:07am
post #44 of 135
The opening of The Running Man is pretty spot on and the Escape From LA intro are plausible with the exception of the US electing a religious dictator.
post #45 of 135



I smell a locked thread coming... Some of the stuff you guys are talking about has anything to do with Audio/Video Science. No big surprise some people aren't content with the simple subject of the thread.
post #46 of 135
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Originally Posted by RobertR View Post

Out of curiosity, I looked up some numbers, and it would take solar panels occupying an area the size of Nevada, at an estimated cost of $22 trillion to do what you propose. This is IMMENSELY expensive (not to mention a colossal logistical and engineering problem), more so than any other alternative. One has to wonder how many years it would take for such a fantastically expensive investment to pay off—if EVER. It sure is easy to propose spending other people’s money, but any person making rational economic calculations is going to look very, very hard at all other alternatives before that one.

Where on earth did you get that outrageous number? By "looking up some numbers?" What "numbers" would that be? You know nothing about this proposal yet you pull some ridiculous number out of the air and use it as a rebuttal..? I recommend you read the book I referenced - "The Millennial Project". There are some actual numbers there supported by a great deal of data and research into the technologies involved. To begin with, the solar panels are only there to start and run the OTEC generators much the way a battery starts a car. Those are the machines that actually provide the electrical current that would extract the gasses. Don't make wild assumptions on a technology about which you are willingly unfamilar.
Quote:
Originally Posted by "RobertR 
So you just wave away obstacles by describing them as “mere engineering problems”? One could say the same “who knows?” thing about fusion, or any other new technology for that matter.

Absolutely not. All I'm saying is that an entirely new technology does not have yet to be invented to generate hydrogen. Did you even read my posts? The tech needed is already on the shelf. I don't know how I can make that any more clear.
Quote:
Originally Posted by "RobertR 
No, not just as dangerous. FAR shorter half life, making them much easier to manage.

Good grief. It's still highly toxic and persistent nuclear waste and we're not doing a very good job of "managing" what we're producing right now. It's just piling up on site and the proposed national repository in Nevada is now dead. This is a critical environmental problem that would be completely eliminated with hydrogen.
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Originally Posted by "RobertR 
No, they are primary energy sources. Hydrogen is NOT. Hydrogen does not occur naturally in quantity, which means energy must be expended to extract it.

Again, you appear not to have even read my posts above The sun is providing the energy that keeps the gas production reaction going. That extraction energy is free once the capital costs of the solar arrays, OTEC generators, and other equipment has been amortized. Do you think extraction of any fossil fuel can be done for less? In fact, the energy required to extract a unit of fossil fuel increases with each passing year. The age of easy to find and exploit oil and coal reserves is over. The fact that we're even considering building a pipeline to transfer tar-sand oil across the continent is an example of the folly of continuing to pursue this course.
post #47 of 135
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Originally Posted by PooperScooper View Post



I smell a locked thread coming... Some of the stuff you guys are talking about has anything to do with Audio/Video Science. No big surprise some people aren't content with the simple subject of the thread.

No worries; I'm out. The thread was about predicting the future in movies. The future is kind of a volatile subject.
post #48 of 135
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Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

Where on earth did you get that outrageous number?
http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/energy/next-generation/4199381
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That extraction energy is free once the capital costs of the solar arrays, OTEC generators, and other equipment has been amortized.
That's a gigantic "once".
post #49 of 135
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Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

Honestly, it's no point trying to debate this issue if you're not even going to bother reading what I'm saying.
That's why I exited the discussion.

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And Larry's getting peeved. Let it go.
+1
Larry gives ONE warning and that was it.wink.gif
post #50 of 135
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Originally Posted by darthrsg View Post

The opening of The Running Man is pretty spot on and the Escape From LA intro are plausible with the exception of the US electing a religious dictator.

Nearly... no, the whole movie of 'The Running Man' is pretty spot on. Seriously. Watch it again but ignore the part about people actually dieing (lol) and pay attention to the game shows themes and the tvs people are watching them on. biggrin.gif
post #51 of 135
How about Metropolis? Pretty dystopian, sure, but perhaps unparalleled as a parable pertaining to the perils of automation.
post #52 of 135
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Originally Posted by Scott Simonian View Post

Nearly... no, the whole movie of 'The Running Man' is pretty spot on. Seriously. Watch it again but ignore the part about people actually dieing (lol) and pay attention to the game shows themes and the tvs people are watching them on. biggrin.gif
I re-watched this recently and have to agree....it holds up well.smile.gif

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Originally Posted by RobertR View Post

No, you need to let it go. Getting energy from sunshine is NOT "free".
No, you need to let it go.wink.gif

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Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

How about Metropolis? Pretty dystopian, sure, but perhaps unparalleled as a parable pertaining to the perils of automation.
+1
post #53 of 135
The 1954 Japanese film Gojira, with English subtitles.
A dark warning to mankind over the misuse of atomic energy.
Less than a decade removed from their first hand experience of the horror of the H bomb, and is basedd on an actual incident of a fishing boat being too close
to the fallout of a nuclear test by the USA,
post #54 of 135
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Originally Posted by JSUL View Post

The 1954 Japanese film Gojira, with English subtitles.
A dark warning to mankind over the misuse of atomic energy.
Less than a decade removed from their first hand experience of the horror of the H bomb, and is basedd on an actual incident of a fishing boat being too close
to the fallout of a nuclear test by the USA,

Another Japanese take (1963) on the dangers of militant imperialism: Atragon. Loved that one as a kid - kind of a forerunner of today's vfx and CGI blockbusters.
post #55 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Simonian View Post

Nearly... no, the whole movie of 'The Running Man' is pretty spot on. Seriously. Watch it again but ignore the part about people actually dieing (lol) and pay attention to the game shows themes and the tvs people are watching them on. biggrin.gif

Well I didn't want to hit people over the head with it. smile.gif
post #56 of 135
Given today's headlines though a comedy and not a sci-fi film so much the 1967 film The President's Analyst nails it at the end.
post #57 of 135
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Originally Posted by RobertR View Post

I’d much rather the free market determine prices than government dictates,

Yup, sure worked great for Enron. rolleyes.gif
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Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

You're not considering just how vast and empty the Pacific Ocean is. There is plenty of room to set up hundreds of these hydrogen production stations and never even see the next one on the horizon.

What happens to the ecosystem of all the life in the water that you've just blocked from sunlight, I wonder?
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Originally Posted by KBMAN View Post

never saw 'Network'.....what's that movie about?

Glenn Beck.
post #58 of 135
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Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post

Is this about actual inventions?

In Fahrenheit 451 (1966) I recall wall-hanging 16:9 televisions. (In the book it was full-sized wall screens).

In The Children of Men they had moved to 2.35:1.

Yet, ironically, Children of Men itself was shot at only 1.85:1.
post #59 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post


What happens to the ecosystem of all the life in the water that you've just blocked from sunlight, I wonder?

Design translucent panels, or enough space between them to allow a certain key percentage of light through, make them constantly moving, something along those lines and that's just off the top of my head. Get a bunch of PhD's working on it and they'll come up with a whole slate of options. Just another solvable engineering problem.
post #60 of 135
BTW, just for information purposes, since I'd not really dug deeply into it, here's a nice discussion of the by products of fusion:

http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=121166

It doesn't itself have any toxic by products, just a small amount of helium (which would be a good thing since we have limited supplies of that.) The issue is that the most likely candidate reactions generate high energy neutrons, which will ultimately end up being absorbed somehow, some of it within the surrounding enclosure, which will become radioactive. Though, that assumes that some clever way of absorbing them that doesn't irradiate the material, or that does so much less, isn't found.

But still, it's not a situation like fission, where the fuel itself becomes highly radioactive and you have to keep pushing more of it through the reactor all the time and storing it. In this case, only the reactor itself becomes irradiated, and that never has to come out of the enclosure, and it never grows bigger over time.
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