Mullet Over #462

Some assemblage that likely felt qualified ranked recent (last 50 years) inventions that had the most influence on our world. Number one was the cell/smart phone. I really cannot argue with that choice for mankind, but duct tape might be number one in my family.

It is projected that, as of 2012, the world’s most powerful rockets will not be made by NASA or any nation’s government. A privately sponsored group in California plans to market a rocket model whose engines will combine for 3.8 million pounds of thrust. The stated intent is to place multiple industrial satellites into orbit for approximately one-fifth the costs that are currently charged.

All known objects in the universe (including entire galaxies) rotate. Many astronomers believe that the universe itself rotates.

I do hope that it will not interfere with your sleep patterns should I mention that there are at least 5,000 distinct species of jumping spiders. Some can jump in excess of 50 times their body lengths and all can inject venom, unless they are smashed or something.

Nuclear scientists want the public to be aware that there are two kinds of nuclear reactors: fission and fusion. Both concepts are designed to generate electricity, but the fusion reactors have no nuclear wastes, pose no danger of a meltdown, and require much less critical mass.  In addition, the materials used in fusion reactors cannot be easily converted to weapons use. Several scientists advocate a funding focus on the research and development of fusion powered electrical plants.

There is a growing clique of those who are fascinated by the whale shark. The whale shark is the largest species of fish in the world and it eats only very small prey. Some divers (not me) enjoy swimming alongside the behemoths. The sharks apparently will not deliberately attack humans, but the increasing number of people observing the speckled giants has prompted two rules to be suggested and peer-enforced: do not have more than four swimmers near any one animal and never touch the sharks. There is money to be made in the business of shark viewing. Receipts indicate that whale-shark-tourists recently spent $6.3 million in and near Australia’s Ningaloo Marine Park.

We have observed planets light years distant, yet the deepest man has observed inside our home planet is a 7.6 mile deep hole in the Russian Arctic. That is approximately .4 of one percent of the distance to the earth’s core. Perhaps there exists some irony (and iron) in the situation. Anyway, I hope that all the universal rotating does not bring about any personal dizziness and that you have a pleasant week.