Moon Colonization

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Moon Colonization

http://www.space.com/21588-how-moon-base-lunar-colony-works-infographic.html

This is a great article on moon colonization. It covers the reasons why a moon base can make sense and it is technically feasible. Surprisingly the moon provides most of the necessities to support life; except of course food. Surprisingly the soil is 42% oxygen.

Aside from materials to make rocket fuel the moon has a high concentration of Helium-3 which is a good source of fuel for nuclear fusion. H-3 is a non-radioactive fuel which could be a great long term reactor fuel source.

The materials mined on the moon would be sent into orbit using a dual rail system which fires the materials off a track a couple of mile long. Instead of rockets, electrical energy is used to accelerate the mass.

I’m pointing this out, because this is precisely how my moon base is described in my SIMPOC series. The only major different is, my moon colony named Desert Beach has to be abandoned because 99.9997 % of the people on Earth are wiped out by a suspicious virus and the astronauts on the moon have to use their lifeboats to get home.

Incidentally the first book in the series is FREE.

 

Ray Jay Perreault

https://rayjayperreault.wordpress.com

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Does Sharknado 2 fall into my definition of Sci-fi?

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Sharknado 2

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3062074/

Following my new rating system I give Sharknado 2, 2 buckets of popcorn and 2 bottles of wine.

(0 Bucket of Popcorn – Great; too busy to eat! – 3 Buckets terrible – nothing else to do)

(0 Bottles of Wine – Great; too exciting to drink. 3 Bottles – nothing else to do)

 

I couldn’t, in all good conscience, talk about which movies help define my Sci-Fi perspective without talking about Sharknado 2.

Yes, to some it could be considered Sci-Fi and to others, it falls ‘into another category.’

To me it falls ‘into another category’. Even though I enjoyed the movie, it is too commercial and too self-deprecating to fall neatly into the Sci-Fi genre.

After seeing Sharknado 1, and enjoying it, I looked forward (a little) for Sharknado 2. I found the first one by accident before it became a cult explosion. My wife and I immediately knew there would be a 2 and sure enough there was. Hollywood would never miss the chance to make money of a crazy story line.

This movie didn’t fall within my definition of Sci-Fi because it didn’t try to be Sci-Fi. Its only purpose was to carry the silly story one step further and entertain us with a crazy movie. Sci-Fi in my world has a message, aside from just creating a quick knock-off to make money. Good Sci-Fi takes some element of human nature, science and fiction and shows us something different. To me Sharknado 2 didn’t fit this bill.

I did enjoy it and I’m amazed how a small bomb will break down a tornado. Amazing….

Ray Jay Perreault

https://rayjayperreault.wordpress.com

How movies define Sci-Fi

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How movies define Sci-Fi

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_of_the_Lepus

Over the holiday break I was fortunate to see two pieces of Sci-Fi which I feel helps to define the genre.

The first piece is the classic “To Serve Man” from the Twilight Zone series. It is one of those subtle stories that has aliens and the ending sneaks up on the viewer. It is truly a classic and anyone who enjoys Sci-Fi or writes Sci-Fi has to watch this episode and of course the remainder of the Twilight Zone and Outer Limits series.

The other piece I saw was a classic also. I must admit though I’m not sure what the word ‘classic’ means in this case. This piece is “Night of the Lepus”. You may wonder why I’m referencing this movie, but after you see it and you stop laughing I think you’ll realize how it helps to define Sci-Fi.

The movie is horrible, it has bad acting, bad directing, and lastly the special effects are out of the local grammar school. But, still there is something about it that helps me, in my mind, to understand why I like Sci-Fi.

The beauty of Sci-Fi is that is has room for this type of entertainment. The movie provides entertainment and is best viewed after the second bottle of wine. The ending is imaginative although totally against the laws of physics but that is why it has a cult following.

Maybe I’ll start a Sci-Fi movie rating system. Instead of the “Thumbs up/Thumbs down” rating by Siskel and Ebert, I’ll have 1-3 buckets of popcorn, 0 being poor Sci-Fi, 3 being great Sci-Fi. Then I’ll have 1-3 bottles of wine; 0 fantastic (too excited to imbibe) and 3 would too bad not to drink.

Obviously I’ll have to work on this system a little; maybe another bottle of wine will help.

Ray Jay Perreault

https://rayjayperreault.wordpress.com

Answers to Fermi’s Paradox

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11 of the Weirdest Solutions to the Fermi Paradox

http://io9.com/11-of-the-weirdest-solutions-to-the-fermi-paradox-456850746

Here is an interesting addition to the discussion on Fermi’s paradox. These are all logical reasons why the paradox might not be valid, but I have my own opinions.

One major one missed, in my opinion, is social entropy. Social entropy is the natural energy level of society to decay over time. You can see examples of it in the Roman Empire and in some large corporations. Over time societies decay because of a couple of factors. One is span of control. One government can’t control an infinite number of individuals. The larger the number, the weaker the influence. Extrapolate that over billions of individuals, a large number of planets or great distances and the society loses its focus and wonders.

The giant advanced populations that are discussed, I think, reach a practical limit and once reached they decay. Who would care about some leader who is light years away and whose life is totally different? Once the point of decay is reached, technology loses much of its impact and meeting the needs of daily life dominate.

Another item, I think they miss, is the assumption that all creatures explore. Exploration might be a characteristic for only us. We are the product of an evolution where survival of the fittest dominates. Without alpha predators to force evolution a species can remain very happy in its biological niche. There are many examples of this; sharks haven’t changed in 10 of millions of years. They were the alpha predator and had no need to change or explore.

In my recent book Gemini, I described a naive society that never had alpha predators and when faced with a survival situation they didn’t know how to react. They were happy in their world and didn’t feel a need to explore. They had what they needed and there wasn’t any pressure to expand.

In my opinion societies may not feel the pressure to explore the entire universe and if they did they might find limits on their breath and depth which they can’t deal with. Assuming some race of aliens will dominate all of existence is like assuming that crabgrass in your lawn, which you have fought for years, will take over the world.

Ray Jay Perreault

https://rayjayperreault.wordpress.com

Fermi’s pair of sox

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The Fermi Paradox

http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/05/fermi-paradox.html

If any of you have wondered why we haven’t heard from another intelligent life form, this article is an excellent summary of the Fermi Paradox.

This whole thing intrigues me along with just about everyone else in the world. If there are as many habitable worlds as current research indicates why we haven’t been contacted by them. The story doesn’t make sense, there are billions of habitable planets in our galaxy and even if a small percentage of them have intelligent life why hasn’t one of them dropped us line?

What is your favorite reason in favor of Fermi or rejecting it?

My favorite is using┬áradio signals as the benchmark of intelligence. The span of time intelligent life uses giant amounts of power transmitting information in every direction must be short. That along with the very narrow sliver of time that we’ve been transmitting and receiving make our chances of finding anything almost impossible.

If any of you fellow Sci-Fi authors (or readers) haven’t looked over Fermi’s musings you must, there is a lot of thought and interesting points made.

I’m following this blog with another that has 11 of the weirdest explanations for Femi’s paradox, which also make for interesting reading.

Ray Jay Perreault

https://rayjayperreault.wordpress.com

Warp 6 here we come!

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How To Find Faster-Than-Light Particles

#IAN1 #Scifi #Sci-fi

http://www.iflscience.com/physics/do-neutrinos-have-imaginary-mass

Wow am I brilliant ;>). I wrote a blog late in November which talked about how everything in nature is balanced and I surmised that if we have a curve describing how mass increases as you add energy and approach the speed of light then we must have another particle where mass decreases and it loses energy beyond the speed of light. Well here it is and now I have a possible explanation for FTL (Faster than light travel) in my next book.

My brilliance aside, this is very interesting and their discussion about how these particles have imaginary mass is also interesting. The article also noted that squaring an imaginary mass will yield a negative mass. If you notice negative mass is required for the Alcubierre Drive which is another theoretical method for FTL which is being investigated by NASA.

We’re getting closer, Warp 6 here we come.

Ray Jay Perreault

https://rayjayperreault.wordpress.com

Science Fiction Body Swapping

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Science Fiction Body Swapping

http://www.livescience.com/49139-virtual-body-swapping-battles-bias.html?cmpid=558760

When I saw this article I thought of some great science fiction stories. Someone tell me if these have been written.

One civilization works out an agreement with another to swap bodies. Their intellect and personality is traded from one body to another and they learn about each other. The story could get interesting as they get involved in the activities of the alien culture or theirs within our culture.

A variation on this theme is a forceful invasion and an alien robot or device forcibly trades a human with an alien on another world. They invade us by taking over our bodies and sending us to a foreign planet perhaps dying from some catastrophe or super nova.

Or, to continue the invasion theme, we make friends with an alien species and they offer to trade with us for vacations and eventually we find they are pulling the ‘To Serve Man’ trick on us. (For those of you who didn’t see the To Serve Man episode of Twilight Zone – you’ve got to check it out.).

Seems that this story line has some legs; someone go with it.

Ray Jay Perreault

https://rayjayperreault.wordpress.com