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Nuclear Unicorn

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Member since: Wed Sep 16, 2009, 06:33 PM
Number of posts: 19,497

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Lockheed says makes breakthrough on fusion energy project

Lockheed says makes breakthrough on fusion energy project

By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:09pm EDT

(Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp said on Wednesday it had made a technological breakthrough in developing a power source based on nuclear fusion, and the first reactors, small enough to fit on the back of a truck, could be ready for use in a decade.

Tom McGuire, who heads the project, said he and a small team had been working on fusion energy at Lockheed's secretive Skunk Works for about four years, but were now going public to find potential partners in industry and government for their work.

Initial work demonstrated the feasibility of building a 100-megawatt reactor measuring seven feet by 10 feet, which could fit on the back of a large truck, and is about 10 times smaller than current reactors, McGuire told reporters.


Exciting news if accurate.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Wed Oct 15, 2014, 04:12 PM (2 replies)

Apparently the DSCC has pulled ad-buys for Mark Udall in CO.

Heard it on the radio. Can anybody confirm or deny?
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Wed Oct 15, 2014, 08:34 AM (13 replies)

I thought we were past this point in our relationship. Now I'm in tears.

He snuck "Mr. Bojangles" onto my mp3 player.

He's always sneaking sad songs onto my player because he knows they make me cry.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Tue Oct 14, 2014, 09:01 PM (10 replies)

Moving into autumn, this is the season we gather together with family and friends --

Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Wed Oct 1, 2014, 02:08 PM (1 replies)

Right now I'm thinking it would be

worth the trip across the Rockies for some Chinese food.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Mon Sep 22, 2014, 08:18 PM (0 replies)

One of the worst stories you'll ever read: Rotherham child-sex victim confronts her alleged abuser

Rotherham child-sex victim confronts her alleged abuser in the street... but SHE is arrested by a van load of police

A damning report released last month detailed how 1,400 children were sexually exploited in the area over a 16-year period.

The Times reported that a woman whose case is being investigated by authorities - but has not yet been interviewed - was arrested after tackling a man she says groomed her when she was 15.

A witness accused the police of 'acting like insensitive thugs', telling the paper: 'A police van came and six male officers piled out.

'Two of them dragged her away, handcuffed her, put her against a wall and then shoved her into the back of the van.'


I honestly don't know what to say.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Wed Sep 17, 2014, 09:02 AM (1 replies)

My thoughts / prayer for the war with ISIS

If this is to be done let it be done swiftly and decisively. Let us set aside partisan opportunism and wish those who must carry this burden victory and a safe return to their loved ones.

We ask them to conduct themselves with honor first and skill always. Watch over each other.

May the President approach this with equal measures of clarity of purpose, sobriety of judgment and humility. Then return our troops to their families and take nothing except the knowledge we stood for what was right.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Fri Sep 12, 2014, 10:58 AM (22 replies)

Ray Rice, the NFL, the DA and anarchy

They told me if I embraced anarchism that elites would go unpunished for greed and violence while the common people endured brutality and privation -- and they were right!

First, let me say that I think the NFL has so ham-handedly fouled the issue. They tried to skate by with allowing yet another celebrity not face the consequences of their actions but when the CCTV footage emerged they quickly moved not punish Rice out of moral conviction but cover their own asses. How did they think Janay was rendered unconscious? What did they think that was going to look like? Were they dumb enough to think she was rendered unconscious by harsh-language or do they think we're dumb enough to think that was a possibility?

But that is actually beside the point. The real point is the NFL has no business dispensing legal sanctions. No private corporation should be doing that. We live in a nation where no one can be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process. Just because a corporation (a tax-exempt, anti-trust exempt, corporation by the way) is the one depriving liberty and property doesn't make it OK. It actually makes it worse. Corporations are not duly constituted civil authority. It's bad enough they corrupt politics and politicians enjoy being corrupted but when government cedes the authority to impose fines and punishments we are all in some seriously deep doo-doo.

Yet, we were left to rely on the NFL because the DA in NJ is all but in dereliction of duty. The claim is made that because the now Mrs. Rice declined to testify against her then fiancÚ the DA could not prosecute. That's BS. Domestic violence laws take this oft-seen phenomenon into account. Instead the DA chose/elected/decided to offer Mr. Rice entrance into a diversion program. Check out this amazing level of bald-faced lying --

"Mr. Rice received the same treatment by the criminal justice system in Atlantic County that any first-time offender has, in similar circumstances," Jay McKeen, a spokesman for the Atlantic County prosecutor's office, told ABC News.


We could fertilize the Sahara with that load.

The prosecutor that declined to prosecute Rice even though he had video of Janay being drilled in the face with the fist of a brute who supposedly loves her and then dragged her unconscious body out of the elevator only to leave her sprawled on the hallway floor is also the same prosecutor that is seeking to destroying first-time offender Shaneen Allen.

Ms. Allen is a single mother working multiple jobs. Ms. Allen was robbed twice within the space of a year and decided to obtain her concealed carry permit. Now, I understand I have lost some of you already but hear this out, not as a 2A debate but as an equality under the law issue. Ms. Allen complied with Pennsylvania law, going through the extensive background check and training in state law and safe handling.

Ms. Allen was driving to work when she was stopped for making an improper lane change. She had been in possession of her weapon for barely a week but seeking to do the right thing she volunteered to inform the stopping officer that she was carrying concealed. The state of NJ does not recognize permits issued by Ms. Allen's state of residency, Pennsylvania.

She's facing 10 years in prison. She will be a convicted felon. Her education as a healthcare professional will be rendered meaningless.

Allow me to repeat what the DA's office said --

"Mr. Rice received the same treatment by the criminal justice system in Atlantic County that any first-time offender has, in similar circumstances," Jay McKeen, a spokesman for the Atlantic County prosecutor's office, told ABC News.


Ms. Allen didn't knock a loved one unconscious. Ms. Allen volunteered her information seeking to do the right thing. Ms. Allen didn't leave a limp body lying on the floor as a spectacle. Ms. Allen doesn't have celebrity status and rich contracts.

And it's not just Ms. Allen. Invading armies subjugate the people in Missouri. Babies are being maimed in their cribs because of professional incompetence but no one is held to account. Banks squander people's life savings in bad decisions only to take the people's tax money to avoid the consequence of the bad decisions. Meanwhile the politicians either turn a blind eye or write laws that actually strengthen the corruption while smothering anyone who might compete against their patrons.

This is caprice. This is lawlessness. This is a bastardization of justice. This is a government of men, not laws.

We told them we wanted no more kings and they told us we needed a system or else there would be anarchy. We gave them a system and they made the system king.

We should have gone with the anarchy.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Wed Sep 10, 2014, 10:18 AM (6 replies)

When a gun owner is most dangerous

Thanks to those on the gun control side who have been so illuminating.

A gun owner is most dangerous when they can skirt the background check through a private sale or at a gun show.

A gun owner is most dangerous when they go through the extensive background checks for obtaining a CC permit.

A gun owner is most dangerous when they have no familiarity in the use of their firearm.

A gun owner is most dangerous when they regularly practice with their firearm.

A gun owner is most dangerous when they are ignorant of local and state law.

A gun owner is most dangerous when they obsess over the minutiae of permissible firearms use.

A gun owner is most dangerous when they are ignorant of the toll taken by firearms.

A gun owner is most dangerous when they amass libraries of statistical data to defend their mania.

A gun owner is most dangerous when they openly acknowledge their refusal to adhere to registration and confiscation laws.

A gun owner is most dangerous when they demand we adhere to some musty old document.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Thu Jul 31, 2014, 04:06 PM (24 replies)

Magic: the Gathering; or, a thread in which Nuclear Unicorn gets her geek on

Lover Boy has an acquaintance from work (we'll call him Steve) who is an Army vet the same as Lover Boy. We went over to Steve's house last night for dinner and drinks and Lover Boy noticed Steve had a shelf on a book case stacked with cards from the popular trading card game Magic: the Gathering. Apparently, Lover Boy played while he was deployed, as had a number of his fellow soldiers (the things you learn even after years of being together).

It seems it was a thing with them. Apparently this is also where Steve developed the hobby as well only he kept it up even after returning to civilian life. I had also seen the game played while I was in college but I never played.

Steve lamented not having as many opportunities to play and asked if we wanted to throw down a few hands. Steve's girlfriend (we'll call her Margaret) protested saying it was wrong to impose on company but I could see in LB's eyes he was carried back to some fun memories so I said I was willing to learn how to play.

The premise of the game is each player takes the role of a "planeswalker" a being capable of moving through wild, magical universes filled with amazing creatures and phenomenon. Each planes walker has a repertoire of spells they are able to cast as they battle their opposite members.

In practical terms the players have a deck of cards.

These cards come in several types, i.e. land, creatures, enchantments, "instants" etc. In order to possess power sufficient enough to cast the spells players must "tap" the power of the land but you can only lay down 1 land card per turn (assuming the luck of the draw puts them into your hand) you take so there is a slow build-up of your power.

Moreover, the land cards generate different colors of magical "mana" which are used to power similarly attenuated spells. Swamps produce black; forests, green; mountains, red; islands, blue and plains, white. Some more complicated spells require multiple colors.

Each turn you may tap some, all or none of the land you have put into play and at the beginning of your next turn they all reset.

Tapping land for power allows you to play other spells you may have drawn, such as creatures. Creatures are rated for the amount of damage they both deal and can absorb. They remain in play until they are removed by another spell or they take more points of damage from combat than they are capable of enduring.

Enchantments have effects that remain in play until something forces the enchantment to end. Other cards, such as "instants" resolve immediately but any number of instants may be played consecutively by any players so long as they have adequate untapped lands. For example, I tried casting several spells against Steve only to have him constantly thwart my efforts with a "Counter Spell" card.

When creatures battle the player who is currently taking their turn announces which creatures in play are attacking and against whom they are attacking. Other players are then allowed to declare which of their own creatures are blocking. Sometimes combat is spiced-up with a round of furiously cast instants but in the end the attackers and blockers subtract the amount of damage they do from the amount of damage the opposing creature can sustain. Any creature that has its defense ability reduced to 0 is removed from play. Attacking creatures that survive combat may actually inflict damage upon the designated planeswalker.

Each planeswalker starts with a life score of 20. Although this number may be increased by various spells the toll of spells and creature attacks eventually reduces the player to 0 forcing them from the game.

Last night I played 3 colors which I enjoyed. At first I played a red goblin deck. The illustrations on the cards and the text portrayed them as humorous if albeit self-destructive creatures that attack en masse to overwhelm players. however, while they were fun to play I couldn't seem to get the deck to play as I was told it was designed. We'll chalk it up to my n00bishness.

I also played a green elf deck. I had more success with that one as it produced so much mana I never seemed to be at a loss to cast any spell I wanted. Soon I had a sizable army of elves that plucked enemy flyers from the sky and over ran their defenses.

The last deck I tried was a black deck. It had plenty of nasty effects such as forcing Steve's creatures to attack Steve himself and inflicting diseases that wore down ever increasing amounts of the enemy's life.

Lover Boy played a white and blue angels and priests deck and I could see he had remembered how to play. He also took over the goblins and ran roughshod over the table.

Steve fancied his blue or blue-black decks with many flying creatures and he could string together combinations of spells. Although I was at a decided disadvantage playing against him I learned a lot watching how he manipulated seemingly unrelated spell effects to tremendous potency.

Margaret didn't play but she was my able coach.

All in all I had a good time and now Big Bang Theory seems ever slightly closer to my soul. I would definitely do it again and if anyone is curious about playing please set aside our trepidation and treat yourself. It is a game that will challenge you mentally. The art that adorns each card is fabulous and the "flavor" given to the game makes me smile just recalling how rich it seemed.

If you actually made it this far, Thank-you,
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Sat Nov 23, 2013, 06:18 PM (10 replies)
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